Riverton Journal | October 2021

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October 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 10 FREE


Are You Safe?


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tudents in the fire science, EMT and criminal justice classes at Jordan Academy of Technology and Careers South Campus were pushed physically and emotionally as they performed 440 repetitions of push ups, sit-ups and burpees and climbed 110 flights of stairs. The exercise was held Sept. 11, in remembrance and respect of the sacrifice of 440 first responders who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy, and the 110 flights of stairs they climbed in the World Trade Center before the towers collapsed. “I want it to be a special event for them,” said fire science and EMT instructor Richard Clayton, who arranges the exercise for his students every year on the anniversary of the tragedy. “They don't have a recollection-- they all were born post 9/11 and they've never lived in a world other than that. So, trying to get them to have an understanding relationship with it is what Members of the Unified Firefighters join fire science students in a walk of remembrance on the 20th anniversary of was one of our goals.” 9/11. (Photo courtesy of Jordan School District.) Continued page 5

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Riverton City Journal


October 2021 | Page 3

Tiger Squad joins with community to prevent suicide By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


he South Hills Middle School Hope Squad participated in the Out of Darkness Community Walk for suicide prevention on Sept. 12 at West Jordan’s Veteran Memorial Park. The students raised $445 for the cause and invited friends, neighbors and family members to attend. SHMS school counselor Kathy Campbell said it was an opportunity for the 32 students in Hope Squad (also called Tiger Squad) to be a part of a community event with a wider scope. Usually, the focus of their suicide prevention and anti-bullying efforts is within their school. “It felt really cool to be able to be a part of something big that you know is making a difference,” ninth-grader Mirra Patterson said. “It’s so nice to see so many people supporting the cause, because it is such a big thing in our society today.” During the week leading up to the walk, Hope Squad members promoted the event every day during morning announcements along with messages of hope. They also hosted lunch time activities, inviting students to share what gives them hope and to participate in games. Students participated to earn Out of Darkness bracelets, pins and pens supplied by American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Campbell said the bracelets were a popular item. Despite the thunderstorms on the morning of the walk, Campbell said there was a good turnout of students and their families as well as community members. The morning began with an honor guard ceremony featuring the West Jordan Fire Department as a tribute to first responders and members of the military in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Walk participants were given different colored beads to represent their experience with suicide. Specific colors identified them as someone who had lost a family member, who had lost a child, someone who struggles personally, or as someone who was there to support their friend or loved one. The students were touched by the personal stories shared by survivors and family members who have been affected by suicide. “It was a really great experience,” ninth grader McKenzie Goodwin said. “My family members and some of my friends have dealt with mental illness and suicide, so it was really awesome seeing a lot of the people there, all coming together so we can all support each other.”

Journals T H E

The South Hills Middle School Tiger Squad had a great experience at the suicide prevention community walk despite the rain. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Campbell.)

There was also a resource fair, and as students walked among the booths, they discovered various local resources and organizations promoting a variety of causes and events. Campbell said students were inspired and excited. Some for them are already planning to participate in upcoming community events and fundraisers. “It's kind of created a spirit of that outside community, that there are bigger things that we can do and we can participate in,” she said. The students wore their Hope Squad shirts which drew




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Page 4 | October 2021




Bryan Scott | bryan.s@thecityjournals.com

the attention from some organizations who approached Campbell. She had two people offer to provide a school assembly. The Hope Squad will hold Hope Week in the spring and they plan to participate in the Out of Darkness Walk again next year. “After our experience, we're definitely going to come back and make this an annual tradition,” Campbell said. “We've already got it on our calendar for next year.” l



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Riverton City Journal

JATC students rotate through sets of 440 sit ups, pushups and burpees. (Photo courtesy of Jordan School District.)

In remembrance of first responders who lost their lives when the World Trade Center towers collapsed on 9/11, students climb 110 flights of stairs. (Photo courtesy of Jordan School District.)

Continued from front page Clayton said the experience is a lesson in understanding and appreciating the service and the sacrifices required in first responder professions. To prepare students for the mental and emotional demands of these types of jobs, Clayton believes the best lesson is failure, which

in themselves to push just a little bit further, then that's when you know you have somebody special.” Many students graduate from JATC programs and go straight into industry jobs. One of last year’s students spent this summer fighting wildland fires in Oregon and California. Three others are

he ensures that his students experience regularly. “The ones that pick themselves back up in the face of failure are usually the ones that will be there when the chips are down and the risks are high,” he said. “So, I try to see how far they can push themselves and then the ones that find it

saving lives working in ambulances. Clayton graduated from the first EMT class offered at JATC 28 years ago. He was also in the first recruit camp of the Salt Lake County Fire Department post 9/11, when he said there were ten times the number of applicants to join the department in the wake of the tragedy. l


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October 2021 | Page 5

Aviation students are blown away


viation students were blown away by the opportunity to watch a helicopter land just outside their classroom at the Jordan Academy of Technology and Careers north campus on Sept. 9. “It was cool watching it all happen in real-time and not just in a video,” said Lexis Zinger, a senior. The helicopter was piloted by instructors from the Southern Utah University aviation program. They spoke with students and demonstrated the startup and shut-down sequences and the various checklists involved. Students were allowed to explore the aircraft and ask the pilots their questions. JATC aviation instructor Aaron Organ said his program is designed to expose students with an interest in aviation to opportunities in the industry. He invites guest speakers to the class and arranges field trips so students are able to meet a variety of people working in a variety of careers in the industry. “Most of these students are here to explore—they have an interest in aviation,” Organ said. “Very few of them have a direct line to aviation—not many of their parents work in the industry. And so the main thing I want them to get out of this is just the ability to explore, talk to pilots, and spark that

Page 6 | October 2021

By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com greater interest and give them the resources they’ll need to explore what’s best for them in the industry.” High school junior Lainey Vander Linden is taking the aviation class to see if she wants to pursue a piloting career path. “It’s easier to check it out in high school than it is in college,” she said. Vander Linden said she has learned that there is more to an aviation career than just flying for airlines. In the class she has learned about a lot of the behind-the-scenes jobs. “I think it's cool how we’re exploring the different career paths,” she said. “Because I didn't think there were as many as there are. There’s more than just flying for the airlines, there's a lot more you can do. The helicopter today showed a completely different avenue that you can also go.” Organ uses a variety of activities to give students hands-on learning opportunities to explore flight. During the unit about the history of aviation, students learned about hot air balloons. Once they understood the basics, they made their own and then flew them. They also built model aircrafts as part of the course. But it’s not all playing with aircraft and meeting interesting people. Students earn

Aviation students at the Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers get a detailed lesson on a helicopter’s start-up and landing sequences. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

college credits and prepare to take the written test for a pilot’s license. “It's learning a lot of the basics of what it would be like to be a pilot,” Organ said. “So we get into a lot of math and physics, the aerodynamics of flight and understanding weather.” The aviation course is offered exclu-

sively in Jordan district at the JATC north campus. Students take core classes at their high school and then travel by car or bus to take a half day of classes at the JATC campus. “Think of us as a really big, expensive portable, that's kind of faraway,” JATC Principal Chris Titus said. l

Riverton City Journal

Sunrise Salute tradition introduced at Hidden Valley Middle By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


idden Valley Middle School Principal Shawn McLeod taught students a lesson on the power of unity with a Sunrise Salute, a tradition he started at South Jordan Middle 12 years ago to remember the events of 9/11. “I want them to see that there are positive things that can come out of tragedy and difficult situations,” McLeod said. “I think that's important for our kids to realize that it was a very tragic event, but that event bonded our country together and united us through that tragedy. There's so much right now dividing us that we need to find things that can unite us. So events like the 9/11 tribute are ways that we can pull together and unite together positively.” The event, which took place in front of Hidden Valley Middle School, began with the raising of the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. McLeod gave a brief tribute in remembrance of the sacrifices, heroes, and suffering of that day with a focus on the rebuilding and healing that inspired people to want to be better. In attendance were students, school staff members, families, school district representatives, city officials, firefighters, EMTs, police officers, Bluffdale’s fire chief and the head of the Bluffdale police department. The advanced students in the Hidden

Valley chamber choir performed the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” under the direction of choir director Ali Engebretsen. “‘America the Beautiful’ is a favorite song of mine because the words paint vivid pictures of the many facets of the USA, from the physical mountains and oceans, to the unity we feel amongst each other,” Engebretsen said. “This seemed like a good song choice given the event, especially considering the patriotism and solidarity citizens of this country took part in immediately following 9/11.” Engebretsen invited those in attendance to join in on the first verse of “Amazing Grace” which she said was a strong finish to the program. She was excited to have the Sunrise Salute as the first choir performance of this year. “It's tricky pulling together a performance so near the beginning of the year, but these kids rocked it,” she said. For McLeod, it is important for his students to understand 9/11 because they were not alive when it occurred and the history classes taught in middle school don’t cover recent history. Some of the HVMS history teachers sent their students home with a

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Members of the Bluffdale Fire Department and police force participate at the Sunrise Salute held at Hidden Valley Middle School the morning of Sept. 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy Jordan School District.)

questionnaire about 9/11. “They’ve encouraged them to have discussions during this week leading up to Patriot's Day,” McLeod said. “They're allowing kids to just try and have more in-depth conversations with their parents.” This was the first year the Sunrise Salute has been held at Hidden Valley Middle

School because it wasn’t possible last year amid COVID-19 precautions. It won’t be the last. “I really enjoy doing it each year,” McLeod said. “And I think more and more, as the community gets to know our school and we become part of this area, I think this event will just continue to grow larger and larger.” l



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What you didn’t know about school custodians By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


ctober 1 is Custodian Appreciation Day. Think you know what a school custodian does? You may be surprised. Once you realize just what is involved, you’ll appreciate them even more. Custodians are an important part of the school community Ask any principal and they’ll tell you how important their custodian is to providing a good educational experience for their students. Principal Mike Kochevar said administrators, teachers and students at Mountain Ridge High School all rely on their head custodian Kevan Sprague. “We're there to serve our kids and he wants to put the best product out there,” Kochevar said. “Whether that's through his interactions with the kids, or just having a clean building, or just doing a little extra here or there to make sure that a teacher is ready for the day, he'll do it and everybody knows it.” Foothills Elementary Principal Cherie Wilson said her school custodians care for the students and they step in when they see a student who needs help, making them an important part of the education team. “With any position in school, even a custodian, it's all about the kids,” she said. The job is more than just cleaning In addition to daily cleaning, school custodians are also responsible for deep cleaning and disinfecting, groundskeeping, preventative maintenance and repair, building security, energy management and setting up before (and cleaning up after) all school activities, sport events and meetings. “There's a lot of behind-the-scenes prep to those kinds of things that most people wouldn't wouldn't even see,” said Steve Peart, head custodian for Jordan District. Some custodians deal with unique responsibilities based on their school. Kauri Sue Hamilton School has a swimming pool, which is maintained by head custodian Autumn Penney. She also handles the type of cleanups unique to a school full of students with special needs. KSHS Assistant Principal Karl McKenzie said she has a big job of groundskeeping. “We have more trees than any school in the district,” he said. “She takes care of all of those leaves!” Cleaning methods are hi-tech “It's come a long way from mopping halls all the time with a mop bucket, and the way you clean bathrooms definitely has come a long way,” said Sprague, who has worked as a custodian for 29 years. Instead of mops, custodians use ride-on machines, which clean floors quickly and efficiently. Battery-powered vacuums are cordless, and are more efficient and have better filters than their predecessors. And instead of wiping bathroom surfaces by hand, custodians use a machine that sprays and disinfects the entire bathroom, floor to ceiling. Custodians never stop working High school events can run anywhere from 6 a.m. until midnight, six days a week, said Peart. Schools have a crew of up to nine full-time custodians but sometimes that isn’t enough. Last year, when a custodian was out sick or quarantined, or when a school required a deep-cleaning and disinfecting due to an outbreak, extra custodians would show up to help out once they’d finished up at their own schools. Custodial crews don’t take the summer off, either. They use the three months to deep-clean the buildings.

Page 8 | October 2021

Utah’s Distinguished Educational Support Professional for 2022, Mountain Ridge High School Head Custodian Kevan Sprague. (Photo courtesy of Kevan Sprague.)

“By the time the end of the school year comes, a building tends to be kind of worn down,” Peart said. “And then you work all summer, and you get the floors nice and shiny, and the carpets clean, and you have it ready for school to start back.” Custodians have input on new schools Sprague worked with contractors and engineers for several months on the designs for both Mountain Ridge High and Copper Mountain Middle School, selecting equipment and furniture that would work best for a learning environment. He talked the architects out of installing glass barriers around the indoor track at MRHS, knowing they would be difficult to maintain. “He worked with the contractors to make sure that things were being done the way we needed it to be done,” Kochevar said. “He's an advocate, to make sure we put the best product out there.” Custodial work is a great first job and an investment in the future Jordan District employs about 500 sweepers, part time workers who take care of daily cleaning tasks. Because the district is one of the few employers that hires 14 year olds, working as a sweeper is often a teenager’s first job experience. Peart said students learn valuable job skills working as a sweeper. Sprague worked as a sweeper as a high school student before becoming a full-time custodian. Peart worked his way through college as a school custodian. He said it is a great option for someone who plans to become an educator because the years they work as a custodian in the school district count toward their

retirement. Custodians like to feel appreciated Custodians love it when students smile at them enthusiastically, greet them with personal nicknames and give them fist bumps. They like it when teachers thank them for the extra little things they do for them. And they like receiving awards. Sprague received a top custodial recognition this spring when he was selected as Utah State Employees Association’s Custodial Educational Support Professional of the Year. From there, he was chosen to represent all support professionals in the state as the Distinguished Educational Support Professional for 2022. He is now in the running for a national level award (and $10,000) as well as another state award. Principals love their custodians “We appreciate our custodians because they help to keep our building clean so we can have our students in-person despite the pandemic. They go out of their way to make sure that everyone's needs are taken care of. They greet our students and staff with a smile-- we can tell, even through their masks.” Principal Erin Carrabba, St. Andrew Catholic School “She looks for things that just need to be done. Before you think that you need to ask for it, she's already gotten on it and fixed it.” Assistant Principal Karl McKenzie, Kauri Sue Hamilton School “The thing that I appreciate the most about them is their willingness to help.” Principal Cherie Wilson, Foothills Elementary. l

Riverton City Journal

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 “What a wonderful thing!” exclaimed university scientists show the natural element copper kills germs just by touch. Physician’s Assistant Julie. “Is it supThe EPA officially declared copper to posed to work that fast?” Pat McAllister, 70, received one for be “antimicrobial”, which means it kills microbes, including viruses, bacteria, Christmas. “One of the best presents ever. This little jewel really works.” and fungus. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to The National Institutes of Health says, “The antimicrobial activity of cop- suffer after crowded flights. Though skeptical, she tried copper on travel days per is now well established.” Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used for 2 months. “Sixteen flights and not a copper to purify water and heal wounds. sniffle!” she exclaimed. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when They didn’t know about microbes, but people around her show signs of unwantnow we do. Scientists say the high conductance ed germs, she uses copper morning and of copper disrupts the electrical balance night. “It saved me last holidays,” she in a microbe and destroys it in seconds. said. “The kids had the crud going round Some hospitals tried copper for touch and round, but not me.” Attorney Donna Blight tried copper surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. They say this cut the spread of MRSA, for her sinus. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no and other illnesses by over half. The strong scientific evidence gave more congestion.” A man with trouble breathing through inventor Doug Cornell an idea. He made a smooth copper probe with a tip to fit in his nose at night tried copper just before bed. “Best sleep I’ve had in years!” the bottom of his nose. In a lab test, technicians placed 25 The next time he felt a tickle in his nostril that warned of a cold about to million live flu viruses on a CopperZap. start, he rubbed the copper gently in his No viruses were found alive soon after. Some people press copper on a lip nose for 60 seconds. “The cold never got going,” he ex- right away if a warning tingle suggests claimed. “That was September 2012. I unwanted germs gathering there. The handle is curved and textured to use copper in the nose every time and I increase contact. Copper can kill germs have not had a single cold since then.” “We don’t make product health picked up on fingers and hands. The EPA claims so I can’t say cause and effect. says copper still works when tarnished. CopperZap is made in America of But we know copper is antimicrobial.” He asked relatives and friends to try pure copper. It has a 90-day full money it. They reported the same, so he patent- back guarantee. The price is $79.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with ed CopperZap® and put it on the market. Soon hundreds of people had tried it. code UTCJ14 at www.CopperZap.com The feedback was 99% positive if they or 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. used the copper within 3 hours after the first sign of unwanted germs, like a tick- Statements are not intended as product health claims and have not been evaluatle in the nose or a scratchy throat. Early user Mary Pickrell said, “I ed by the FDA. Not claimed to diagnose, can’t believe how good my nose feels.” treat, cure, or prevent any disease. advertorial


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October 2021 | Page 11

Local school districts join mass-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


ordan, Canyons and Murray are amongst the hundreds of school districts that have joined a mass-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs, Inc., claiming that they deceitfully and intentionally marketed their products to children. This has led to an increase in e-cigarette use amongst youths, statistics reveal, so in the mass-action lawsuit, they are wanting to hold the company responsible and seek damages for the “vaping epidemic” on school campuses around the country. Jordan Board of Education President Tracy Miller said, “vaping is a really big problem in our schools.” “We have a lot of kids who vape, a lot who don’t necessarily know how bad it is,” she said. “They are companies using different flavors and marketing, aimed at youth, and it caught on and became popular at a lot of schools. We (Jordan Board of Education) recognized that it’s a problem and need to hold Juul accountable. The problem is they weren’t forthright and transparent about what was going on. There’s high levels of nicotine in vape products, (which are) highly addictive and it was not marketed that way.” Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg agrees. “We need to call a spade a spade,” he said. “Vaping is not a healthy habit and with them having Captain Crunch and sugary flavors, it’s targeting our most vulnerable population to lead them to believe ‘it’s a cool thing.’ If this puts a stop to marketing unhealthy products to children, I’m happy to support it.” Jordan District approved the legal service agreement on Aug. 24 as they joined the mass-action lawsuit. Canyons joined in Sept. 7, and Murray, Sept. 9. Granite’s school board has studied the litigation, said Ben Horsley, Granite School District spokesman. “The Granite School District has recognized the harmful effects of vaping on our youth,” he said on Sept. 17. “The Board of Education and district administration has studied the associated litigation and is inclined to participate.” Vaping products, known as e-cigarettes or mods, are battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid to create an aerosol vapor which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. Since the user inhales and it doesn’t emit the strong odor associated with conventional combustion cigarettes, and they are designed to resemble USB flash drives, keychains or lipstick tubes, youth often have them in plain sight, even plugged into a laptop, officials say. According to 2020-21 statistics collected by Jordan School District, 90% of the tobacco violations in the district’s schools were infractions against vaping, with only 10% for regular cigarettes.

Page 12 | October 2021

We need to call a spade a spade. Vaping is not a healthy habit and with them having Captain Crunch and sugary flavors, it’s targeting our most vulnerable population to lead them to believe it’s a cool thing. — Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg

A Juul device, plugged in like a USB flash drive, is seen charging in a computer, making it unrecognizable to many teachers or parents. (Photo courtesy of Steve Hanson/Salt Lake County Health Department)

Educators and officials are concerned about youth vaping in the mass-action lawsuit; seen here is a Juul starter kit. (Photo courtesy of Steve Hanson/ Salt Lake County Health Department)

“Vaping is just so prevalent these days,” said Sharon Jensen, Jordan District’s student support services consultant. Jensen said that youth see vaping in social media or have greater access to it, even getting it from family members as 56% say their parents or other close adults are nicotine users. Sometimes, even adults are unfamiliar with the harm and addiction from e-cigarette use, including that it can hamper long-term adolescent brain development, according to Utah Department of Health research. In a 2021 report, it states Utah’s youth vape at nearly twice the rate of Utah’s adults. Jordan’s statistics reveal that the majority are regular users. Last year, of the students caught with tobacco, 98 were directed to attend an online first-offenders class for nicotine. Of those students, 18% used nicotine 26 days-plus in the last month—“basically daily,” she said. Another 11% used it between 13 and 25 days in that past month. Most students who vape are teens, she said. Of those 98 students assigned to the online class, 25% are age 13. Another 24%

are 14 years old. Six percent are age 12 or younger, making the greatest amount, at 45%, in high school. “Often they vape on the job and their outside-of-school-life is much more colorful than their in-school-life,” Jensen said. Those statistics are in line with the state, according to the Utah Prevention Needs Assessment that showed 12.4% of eighth graders tried vaping; 25.5% of high school sophomores; and 32.1% of high school seniors. In Canyons District in 2019, there were 219 school office referrals, first-time and/or repeat referrals, for e-cigarette use or possession, up from 35 referrals in 2010. Justin Pitcher, who has served as an administrator in Canyons District in the Midvale and Cottonwood Heights communities at both elementary and secondary levels, said vaping is “definitely a concern.” “If it’s happening in high schools, then it’s happening in elementary; the frequency is different,” he said, saying there are fewer younger students caught with devices although all age levels may have access to them despite administrators taking them away. Jensen said that Jordan District policy is to collect and lock up Juuls and other violating products; they can be returned to an adult in the family. She’s hoping their first-time user classes as well as well as the END—Ending Nic-

otine Dependence—course for regular users will help youth identify the harm it does to their bodies. “What we want our kids to do is to learn and to quit,” Jensen said. There is no fee for the classes as Jordan District has a state SAFE (Supporting America's Families and Educators) grant which it dedicated to alcohol and drug abuse prevention. However, hundreds of school districts nationwide are wanting Juul to foot the bills for public resources being used to pay for the current and future costs. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California Federal District Court by the Frantz Law group, is a mass tort lawsuit where damages for plaintiffs, or in this case, school districts, are calculated individually. Therefore, multiple plaintiffs can be awarded differing amounts of damages for the amount of its past and future damages. Those costs can range from providing information and resources to students regarding the negative impacts of vaping, student services or counseling, or installing vape detectors. “It’s not really about getting money as much as sending a message,” Miller said. Millerberg agrees: “I don’t expect a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s more of a moral stance than anything else.” l

Riverton City Journal


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

The Inaugural Citizen’s Academy By Mayor Trent Staggs

vocal about his desire to cultivate a police department culture based on community policing principles. Through this model, RPD strives to be service-oriented and focused on meeting the actual needs and concerns of our citizens. Not only do our officers take pride in their day-to-day interactions with the public, they work each and every day to earn the respect and trust of our community.

Prior to 2019, Unified Police Department (UPD) served the law enforcement needs of Riverton City. After a thorough review of future budget forecasts, staffing levels and coverage, it was determined that Riverton City would be better served by selfproviding policing duties. In 2018, Riverton City issued public notice of intent to leave UPD and in July 2019, at a now annual property tax savings of more than $2 million and an addition of 9 officers over what we had with UPD, the Riverton Police Department “In a time of unrest (RPD) officially and distrust in police took over law enforcement services around the duties in country, the Riverton Riverton.

To further community engagement, RPD will be hosting its very first Citizen’s Police Academy beginning this month. This sixPolice Department is a week academy include Two years later, great example of how will educational RPD continues first responders can workshops with to be one of the topics centered great, if not the and should become on community greatest, police an active part of the policing, daily departments operations, in the state community.” school resource of Utah. This officers, drug continued disposal and success comes other topics. The at the hands of our excellent academy will also incorporate a live police chief, Don Hutson, and action scenario as well as firearm his dedicated staff. From the and taser trainings. We anticipate beginning, Chief Hutson has been


offering the academy on a yearly basis.

Chief Hutson clearly states the overall goal of the academy in a recent conversation with me. He said, “It is my hope, following successful completion of the academy, each participant will gain a better understanding of police services and the types of rigorous trainings each officer must go through to be successful. Ultimately, we want our attendees to become ambassadors and advocate for us in the community with a better understanding of challenges we face.” In a time of unrest and distrust in police services around the country, the Riverton Police Department is a great example of how first responders can and should become an active part of the community. Through the prioritization of hiring experienced officers that have displayed a strong commitment to fair and objective policing, we can ensure our residents continue to receive the very best police services. With the inauguration of the first Riverton City Citizen’s Police Academy, we will continue to engage and build trust within the community. I am proud of RPD and have full trust in their ability to lead, protect and serve Riverton City and ask that you continue to support them in their pursuits.

Monday, October 25

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Riverton City Park 1452 W 12600 S

Families are invited to dress up in Halloween costumes and come to Riverton City Park to participate in several free activities and games on the event lawn for the younger kids and a spook alley for the older kids in the rodeo arena! There will be chances to win or collect prizes and candy. Families can start at any station around the event lawn to receive their clue card. The Riverton Rough Riders will be running a carnival and selling concessions in the large pavilion. Tickets for the carnival games will be 4 for $1. Find details at rivertonutah.gov/halloween.



Thank You Riverton Residents MAYOR Trent Staggs tstaggs@rivertonutah.gov 801-208-3129

CITY COUNCIL Sheldon Stewart - District 1 sstewart@rivertonutah.gov 801-953-5672

By Councilmember Tawnee McCay We want to thank all who helped plan, organize and participate in the 9/11 National

Day of Service and Remembrance. It was heartwarming to see hundreds of people gather to provide service to our community, whether that was assembling refugee kits, cleaning up Midas Creek Park and channel, cleaning headstones at Riverton City Cemetery, removing weeds from park strips, making thank you cards for veterans, first

responders, health care workers and senior citizens (Thanks Stampin’ Up!) or a clothing project for Africa. It was an honor to stand with each other and salute the flag of our great country on this Day of Remembrance. We are grateful for the freedoms we are all able to enjoy and the men and women who protect them.

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 dbrickey@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



RPD Enforcing School Zone Laws By Chief Don Hutson The Riverton community is once again bustling with activity as another school year is well underway. This dramatic change in traffic patterns and pedestrian activity causes all of us concern about the well-being of our children as they travel to and from school. I believe we would all agree that obedience to the reduced speed limit in school zones is of critical importance to ensure the safety of children crossing streets near our schools. I would add it would be prudent to reduce our speed on all roadways in the city as children have been known to cross the streets, even outside of designated school zones. We have had officers conducting traffic enforcement throughout the city to remind the motoring public of our commitment to keep kids safe. Another area of concern is the area immediately surrounding crosswalks throughout our city. The practice of parents pulling over to the side of the road near a crosswalk and letting their child out to walk the short distance in order to avoid traffic in the school parking lot can cause visibility issues at our crosswalks. Parking, stopping, or standing, even if you are only stopped momentarily


Children safely cross the street on 2700 W near Southland Elementary with the help of a Riverton City crossing guard.

to pick up or drop off, is illegal and can create an unnecessary risk for the children crossing the street. It is critically important to keep the crosswalk area clear to allow cars traveling down the road the visibility to see children as they are leaving the sidewalk toward the roadway, rather than as they are entering the roadway. Please be aware of this issue as you are dropping off or picking up your children from school. Try to find a spot to pull off the road away from any crosswalks or take the time to pull into the school parking lot to keep the roadway clear and less

CITY COUNCIL • Tuesday, October 5 & 19, 7 p.m.

Riverton City Events

chaotic during drop off and pick up times. Lastly, our crossing guards are dedicated professionals who are passionate about keeping our children safe as they are walking to school. Please be extra-vigilant as you approach crosswalks monitored by crossing guards, especially those in vehicles making turns as they often approach the crosswalks from a different angle. I look forward to another banner school year in Riverton and I thank you in advance for helping us keep our kids safe.


• Thursday, October 14 & 28, 7 p.m.

Secondary Water Shut-Off Reminder The anticipated shut-off date for Riverton City’s secondary water system is October 15. The date is dependent on if canal companies end up shutting off canals sooner than that date. Sprinkler systems should be winterized to protect them from cold temperatures by the end of November.


Please ensure your ball valve is OPEN after water is shut off to drain your lines.

Visit rivertonutah.gov to find the most recent Riverton City event and meeting information.





QPR Suicide Prevention Training

Sign Up: Community Christmas Choir

Utah Hunter Education Classes

Hamilton Effects Exhibit

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Join Healthy Riverton for a FREE QPR class to learn how to respond to someone in crisis.

Join the community choir to sing at this year’s Christmas Night of Music Concert on Monday, December 6! Practices held weekly in November.

Completion of a basic hunter education course and shooting exam is required to obtain a hunting license in Utah. Class limited to 25 people total.

Renowned artist Brett Hamilton will be featuring his hauntingly beautiful special effects works, along with additional pieces.

• Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m., CR Hamilton Indoor Pavilion

• Sign up online at rivertonutah.gov/night-of-music

• September 27 - November 3, • November 3,4,10,12 (Wed & Fri) Register at rivertonutah.gov/hunter-ed Old Dome Meeting Hall

Riverton Quilt Exhibition

Historical Display Tours at City Hall

Wreaths Across America

Calling All Quilters!

The Riverton City Historical Preservation Commission will be hosting self-guided tours of the new historical display located at the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center from 5-8 p.m. on October 5, November 16 and December 7. Those interested in seeing the historical display can visit at any time during the open hours. Enter through the 2nd Floor of Riverton City Hall.

Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,600 locations nationwide, including Riverton City Cemetery.

The Riverton Quilt Exhibition will be held November 15 - December 22 at the Old Dome Meeting Hall. If you’ve got a quilt you’d like to display, be sure to keep this on your radar! The quilt entry period will be held November 1-8. Free to enter and open to all. For more informtion, visit rivertonutah.gov/exhibits.


Sponsor a $15 wreath to be placed at a veteran’s grave at Riverton City Cemetery in December. Learn more by visiting rivertonutah.gov/wreaths.


Riverton honors 9/11 with special flag display Photos by Travis Barton

Left: Special educational boards providing a timeline of events and facts about the attacks were placed around the field. Middle: Riverton City displayed a special field of American flags at Riverton City Park behind the Old Dome Meeting Hall in early September to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Right: “As we observe the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I believe it’s important for each of us to not only remember those who lost their lives in the heartbreaking events that took place that day, but to remember how we felt after 9/11. Our country came together in unity of purpose. We remembered then that there is so much more that unites us than divides us. Only an America that is unified on our nation’s core values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be able to withstand those in the world who want do us harm who have a fundamentally different approach to human rights than we do,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs in a press release.

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October 2021 | Page 17

Staffing shortages are everywhere but employees want more than just a paycheck By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com


elp Wanted,” “Join Our Team” and “Apply Today” signs hang in windows around town and job vacancy postings are plentiful. Businesses who survived Covid are now at risk of closing because the customers are there but they’re short on staff. Some have already closed and others have modified hours of operation due to staffing issues. Local business advisors agree that the solution lies with employers changing their ways and thinking outside the box to appeal to new hires. Bill Rappleye of the Draper Chamber of Commerce says employers not being able to find workers is very typical right now. “They’re all struggling attracting people. The workforce went through Covid, too. It’s affecting us all in one way or another. It’s more depressing now than it used to be. It’s hard to be enthusiastic, especially if you have a job that’s not super interesting,” he said. “These businesses have to face that challenge. They might have to do innovative things, use the resources they have to turn it around in a different way so people can see a different perspective, like offering educational or career paths. It’s a changing paradigm…people are changing and their expectations are changing. Employees need to have something that attracts them. Employers have got to make that job look more enticing.” Rappleye said even young employees want support, not just a paycheck, and employers need to properly train new employees so they’re fully competent. He gave the example of a new employee having to deal with a disgruntled customer who’s upset that the item they want isn’t available because of a supply chain issue, a situation over which the young employee has no control. “If you don’t know how to take care of a problem at work, it’s going to frustrate you and you’re probably going to quit,” he said. He said today’s young people are bright, capable, and looking for training on management basics, certifications they could use elsewhere in their career path, or college or course work paid for by the employer. “The young people don’t get too motivated by the stuff we did 20 or 30 years ago. The work place has changed dramatically, so they want to grow and develop. I believe the businesses who can pull that off in some manner will succeed. They’ve got to have more value than just the dollar.” Rappleye isn’t a fan of online hiring or what he called “robot recruiters.” He said it’s got to go back to really scouring applications and looking for something that creates a personal connection between employee and employer. He also feels it’s about the workplace being like a family and understanding that employees are working for their families, so they need time off for

Page 18 | October 2021

family. In the case of a young, single person, Rappleye said that family is that individual employee, and they need time to pursue activities for their own well-being. Rosanne Simpson is Director of Business Development for the South Valley Chamber. She’s seen some employers get creative on finding new employees, such as a handyman who looked to high school woodshops to recruit, or businesses who find refugees who are ready for and grateful to work. Another creative approach she’s seen is the reformed felon program. While it might raise the employer’s insurance, it might also lead to an employee who’s grateful for a job. Simpson mentioned Simply Thai in Sandy as one example of innovation that’s led to new success. The restaurant has customers check in and order at the counter, wait 20 minutes, then proceed to their table when their food is ready. “They don’t have all the wait staff, they just have food runners. It’s brilliant.” She also mentioned a West Jordan care facility that has great employee retention because of the culture they’ve created, even in an industry that has struggled to find and keep employees. “Employees want to feel like they have a purpose. The employee is now interviewing companies more than before. Now it’s ‘who supports my values, my culture, who gives me educational opportunities and opportunities to serve?’ Simpson said data shows that people also want flexibility, such as a hybrid option of sometimes working from home, along with time to serve and volunteer without using paid time off. According to Simpson, the average employee is staying at a company for three years, so employers need to figure out how to streamline the training process, knowing that’s often the case. “If we think people aren’t going to be leaving after three years, we’re silly. This new norm is what it is. We have to change our perception,” Simpson said. Both Simpson and Rappleye pointed to Chick-fil-A as a strong example of doing business right. Simpson said the company’s sales increased 40% over 2019. Rappleye said the company spends a lot of time and money on training and allows general managers to have part ownership in their stores. Simpson and Rappleye agree that today’s managers can’t be mean or inflexible because employees won’t tolerate that. “They can’t take for granted that employees are going to stick around. It used to be managers managed everyone the same, but you have to manage each employee differently. How they respond to motivation is so different for each employee,” Simpson said.

Help wanted signs are everywhere. Some businesses have already closed due to staffing shortages and others have modified their hours of operation. Local business leaders say today’s workers want more than money; they want good training, certification and education, and paid volunteer opportunities for causes they care about. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

“Managers have got to be allowed to innovate. That’s upper management that’s got to open that door. It’s a new time, and one of the things you have to do when you own a business is stay up to date and use that knowledge in your business,” Rappleye said. Writer’s Note: The Draper Chamber of

Commerce closed its doors Sept. 30. Draper City now works with the South Valley Chamber of Commerce which serves the communities of Draper, Sandy and Riverton and whose membership spans the Wasatch Front and beyond. l

Riverton City Journal




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October 2021 | Page 19

Riverton in the thick of region slate By JJ Thomson | j.thomson@mycityjournals.com


fter defending home turf 3-1 during non-region play, the Silverwolves are looking to take that momentum into the second half of the season. With strong wins against Dixie and Cyprus at home and an away win against Pleasant Grove, the Silverwolves are heading into 6A Region 3 play against a tough division this year. The Silverwolves are currently tied for 4th place in the highly stacked Region 3 division. Mountain Ridge is currently in first place with a 6-0 overall record, and 1-0 in league play. Right behind them is West Jordan who just recently edged out the Silverwolves 20-16. Bingham, also 3-3, is currently in third place, due to their league win against Herriman 27-10. However, this upcoming Friday, the Silverwolves have a chance to swap places, as the Miners will play region leader Mountain Ridge. The Silverwolves took on the Copper Hills Grizzlies Sept. 24, winning 45-14. Leading the Silverwolves this season is junior quarterback Jake Meyers, whose eight touchdown passes is currently the most by all players in the 6A Region 3 division, although West Jordan’s senior quarterback Boston Farmer is right behind him with seven touchdown passes to one interception. Meyers has 810 yards on 60 completions;

completing 55% of his passes, while throwing five interceptions as well. Senior Sau Tafisi had also added eight touchdowns on the ground as well. Another stat leader, Tafisi currently has the longest run of the season in the division after an 88-yard scamper against Cyprus. Tafisi's 118 touches, have resulted in 589 yards for the running back, averaging 98.2 YPG. Riverton will need to rely on Tafisi when the Grizzlies visit on September 24. The Grizzlies have given up over 100 yards on the ground every game this season, and Tafisi should be able to continue to expose Copper Hills' defense en route to another 100-yard game. The Silverwolves have been more of a second half team during this season, so hopefully the offense can get started early in this regional matchup. Anchoring the defense is senior defensive end Ethan Vernon, who is averaging 44 total tackles with 20 solo tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. And on the other end of the D- line is other senior defensive end Andrew Schouten, providing Head Coach Jody Morgan a strong one-two punch on the edge. Schouten currently leads all Silverwolves with five sacks, 27 tackles (14 solos) and just like Vernon, 14.5 TFL. Out of the four games remaining in the regular season, Riverton played both Her-

Coach Jody Morgan addresses his defense during a time out. (JJ Thomson/City Journals)

riman and Bingham last year, splitting the series by beating Bingham 20-17, and dropping the match up with Herriman17-0. The games against Copper Hills and Bingham will be played at home, while Riverton will have to travel to Herriman on Oct. 1, and

again on Oct. 8 against Mountain Ridge. The outcome of those games will determine the Silverwolves placing in the 6A state tournament. The first round of games starts on Oct. 22. l

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Riverton City Journal

From the sideline: Interest turned profession for this MaxPreps photographer By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


n the sideline of any high school event, you are bound to see an oversize camera with someone kneeling down getting shots of the action. These are not high-paid newspaper photographers. In fact, most are there to enjoy a hobby they can share with others. South Jordan’s Dave Argyle has been taking photos at high school sporting events since 2007. His son was running track at Riverton High School, and he wanted some photos to add to the family album. He is now a professional photographer for MaxPreps. “I just do it for fun,” Argyle said. “The money I make helps pay for some of my equipment.” He takes photos of all schools in the valley but loves to focus on the schools close to his home. You can often see him at Riverton, Herriman, West Jordan or West Valley schools. MaxPreps is America’s online source for high school sports. The website aspires to cover every team, every game and every player in the country. Argyle is one of 11 vetted photographers in the state. His 786 photo galleries are the most of anyone else. He has become a voice of the program with others. “I have really been trying to talk others into trying it out,” he said. “The process of being accepted is difficult, but once you are in it

is fun.” The website asks the potential applicant to submit quality photographs to be evaluated. The site’s management like high-caliber sports action shots. After being accepted each photographer is able to send in high school sports shots to be viewed and purchased on the site. Argyle helped supply photos for the Valley Journals (now City Journals) when he started and now promotes his own site and skills. “I look down the list for teams that have not had submissions recently,” Argyle said. “Then I go to those games. As the season goes along, the list gets smaller and smaller. I like to shoot football and basketball mostly.” His interest in photography began nearly 50 years ago. He learned from his father and likes to pass the interest on to others. He has taught classes at the University of Utah and worked with several news agencies. Shooting sports action shots can be difficult, but being in the thick of the action and still getting a good picture is challenging. “I got tackled head-on once—had just enough time to curl up my camera and roll through it,” he said. “I did not get hurt or damage any of my stuff. This has been so much fun.” Traveling to games is a perk of the job too. “I made a trip to Richfield that was beautiful,”

Dave Argyle started taking photos at Riverton High School and can now be found traveling across the valley in search of the great shot. (Greg James/City Journals)

Argyle said, “and I got some good action shots.” In the Salt Lake Valley there are primarily six photographers approved by MaxPreps including Argyle. They include Steve Carnahan, Terry Cullop, Jay Downs, Tim Haslam and Kevin McInnis. The site charges you to download and print

your favorite photos. MaxPreps is also the website used by the Utah High School Activities Association to record statistics and team rankings. The RPI used to seed teams into its state playoffs is generated by the site. l

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October 2021 | Page 21

National and school unity on display during 9/11 program By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


he Mountain Ridge football team’s Sep. 10 matchup with Westlake High was much more than a homecoming game. With that weekend marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the team took the opportunity to honor and remember that time in the country’s history. “The booster club came to us and pitched the idea of making the game a big deal, and I loved it,” said head coach Mike Meifu. Prior to fans arriving at the stadium, American flags were erected on the back of the bleachers. When the team entered the stadium, they did so silently and solemnly, carrying additional flags that were placed in the endzone. The program also included a moment when any veterans in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized. But the climactic moment came when Josh Eldreige, a member of both the football team and the marching band, led a small group of fellow marching band members in the national anthem. For an event about national unity in the face of tragedy, it was fitting to end with an image that suggested unity between two groups of students that, at least traditionally, keep to themselves. Think of all the classic high school movies, where all the students fit neatly into some group or another, be it the nerds, the jocks,

the preps, etc. While those labels and group identities aren’t as rigid these days, Eldridge said there’s some truth to them. “There’s definitely a lot of stereotypes that people live up to on either side,” he said. While Eldridge grew up playing little league football, he left the sport when he started high school. But as a member of the school’s marching band, he had many opportunities to watch his former teammates having fun together. So for his senior year, Eldridge asked himself, ‘Why not do both?’ So he got together with Coach Meifu and band director James Densley, and together the three worked out a schedule that would allow him to practice with both squads throughout the week. One might think that it would be hard to go from one practice to the other, with how different the two activities appear to be, but Eldridge said there are a lot of similarities. “There’s a lot of discipline in both. In marching band you have to be very precise in how you stand and move. In football, on defense especially, you have to be very disciplined in your position or that will mess up everyone else. It’s the same for marching band. If you don’t perform to the best of your ability, that will affect the score for everyone,” he said.

Josh Eldridge performing the national anthem prior to Mountain Ridge’s homecoming game against Westlake. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

In the beginning, Eldridge said his football teammates would sometimes tease him about his affiliation with the band. But over time, the teasing stopped and Eldridge even thinks he’s helped to form a bridge of mutual respect and friendship between the two sides. “I’ve definitely seen a big change. It’s a really good vibe to see both sides of it,” he said. As for the 9/11 game national anthem,

Eldridge said he was grateful for the opportunity to help memorialize that day, but also the chance to publicly show that athleticism and artistic expression aren’t mutually exclusive. Just as 9/11 reminds us that we’re all Americans, Eldridge’s performance perhaps reminded some of his fellow students that no matter what group(s) they “belong” to, they’re all part of a bigger school community. l

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Riverton City Journal

Mountain Ridge soccer team playing for more than themselves By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


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This season, the Mountain Ridge soccer players and coaches have sported taped wristbands bearing the name of someone that person is playing for. (Justin Adams/City Journals)


radition is an important part of any good sports program. Whether it’s a handshake or a chant, something in the locker room or on the sideline, a good tradition can help bring a team together throughout the course of a season. For the Mountain Ridge girls soccer program, their tradition not only brings them together, but also reminds them that they’re playing for more than themselves. “Especially as new coaches coming in, we wanted to figure out a way to play for something other than ourselves,” explained first-year head coach Jeremy King. “Ultimately as coaches, we believe we’re here to win soccer games, but also to develop good young women who will succeed in life. And in order to succeed in life, you have to care more about other people.” King and his coaching staff weren’t exactly sure how to capture that sentiment in a team tradition, but then just before the season started, his mom was diagnosed with cancer, and that provided the inspiration for what his team’s game-day tradition would be. Each game, when the players arrive at the field, the first thing they do is pass around a roll of tape. They help each other wrap their wrists with it, then use sharpies to write the name of someone they’ll be playing for that game. Freshman Jocelyn Wright has been writing down ‘Mom and Dad.’ Her dad passed away from cancer earlier this year. “I was never able to have him at my soccer games, so it’s really motivating to have


him on my wrist because he gets to play every game with me,” Wright said. She also includes her mom because “she’s been my number one. She’s been there for every one of my games.” Senior forward Emma Stephenson has been writing down the name of her uncle Delbert, who passed away during the season. “Me and him are actually pretty close. He got me into cars and stuff. It’s been hard that he left, so I just wanted him to be with me,” she said. She’s also written down the name of her boyfriend, who left on a mission during the summer. “I think it’s brought us closer,” Stephenson said of her team. “Before games we all help each other wrap our wrists and then we all write what we want on there. It’s always sweet, knowing the meaning behind it. I think it’s really brought us together as a team.” “It’s been fun to watch the girls really buy in. It’s fun to listen to the girls talk about playing for their grandma, or their uncle or a friend who’s having problems with this or that,” King saidw. The result has been a team that’s unlike any he’s ever coached before. “I truly believe that our team is closer together than any team I’ve ever seen. You’ll see seniors hanging out with the freshmen… And I can legitimately say that all season long, I haven’t heard of any drama,” he said. “Having stuff like this that they can do together, it’s helped the team grow immensely.” l

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Cross country 5A, 6A divisional race date changes; new venue set for state meet By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


hen 5A and 6A cross country runners line up on the start line at Lakeside Park for the divisional meets, they will have the opportunity to have their full varsity teams. In what is considered the qualifying meet for teams as well as individuals for the state competition, organizers had worked with coaches to determine a good meet date. For this year’s meet, it was voted on for Oct. 13—the same date as the statewide PSAT college entrance exam. The PSAT date likely wasn’t communicated to coaches or put on school calendars, so organizers were not aware of the conflict, said Randy Quarez, 5A representative for track and cross country with the Utah High School Track Coaches Association. “This has happened multiple times in my 24 years of coaching,” he said. “I used to have it happen with region cross country meets.” Quarez said that the conflict also could be that coaches discussed the date more than one year in advance, so it could have been the testing dates weren’t yet released at that time to high school counselors. Typically, high school sophomores and juniors take the PSAT standardized test administered by the College Board. The test measures readiness for college, serves as a practice test for college-entrance exams and is a determination for National Merit scholarships. Once learning about the conflict, Quarez quickly reached out to others in the Utah High School Track Coaches Association. After checking the park availability for the alternative date, Oct. 12, the meet date was changed so all student-athletes could participate.

Page 24 | October 2021

“We were able to move it. If we can fix it, we’ll fix it. It would have been a struggle for kids to do that test,” he said. The qualifying runners then will have more than two weeks to prepare for the state meet, which will be held on a new course this year. The course, which many teams ran in the pre-state multi-day meet in mid-September, is at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex, located off of Rose Park Lane. Utah High School Activities Association Assistant Director Jon Oglesby said there were multiple reasons for moving the meet site after more than 40 years of holding the state cross country race at Sugar House Park. Last year, it was held on the Soldier Hollow course in Midway. “Our state meet had outgrown Sugar House Park,” he said. Oglesby said the coaches’ association was contacted to determine the best place with a course that coaches like, meets the needs of the student-athletes and what was wanted and needed, such as ample parking. “The Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City just east of the airport was the perfect spot,” Oglesby said. “It actually has a really nice setup.” He also said that “coaches more and more are wanting a flatter course that allows for fast times because that allows them to then compete and qualify into various postseason meets.” With the change of venue comes an admission charge. “That’s something that’s been talked about for quite a while. The expenses continue to rise every year and it’s hard for us to push forward with adding the other things that

At one of the pre-state races in mid-September, junior and senior girls try out the new state course, located at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex off of Rose Park Lane. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

we want to add knowing that the expenses around even just hosting it are increasing,” he said. “Our coaches are really insistent on wanting chip timing where their splits are at the miles and on RunnerCard, it’s very easy to follow what’s going on. I think that’s a really wonderful thing for the kids, but there’s a cost associated with that.” Timing isn’t the only cost. The venue, officiating, athletic trainers, awards, dumpsters, portable restrooms and water are some other costs that contributed to the change in charging admission, he said. Oglesby said the coaches have supported the change to the new course. “Our coaches are ecstatic about it,” he said. “I am hopeful that it will be a long-term venue for us.” l

Riverton City Journal

Halloween film haunts in our backyard


tah, and Salt Lake City in particular, has seen a growth in film productions in recent years, and television series and films that fall in the horror genre are no exception. According to a report that came out late last year by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) which includes the Utah Film Commission, film production dollars spent in Utah more than doubled between 2015 and 2019 to about $87 million. The state film commission attributes the growth to a variety of scenery, economic incentives, and available talent. In a press release from this September available on the film commission’s website, it was announced that the GOED board has approved “five new productions for state film incentives, generating an estimated economic impact of $6.5 million and creating over 185 local jobs.” Utah horror film enthusiasts will find no shortage of locations to visit this Halloween season. A recent production that was filmed around Salt Lake City and has a story set in the state is the critically acclaimed 2018 horror tragedy film, “Hereditary,” starring Gabriel Byrne and Toni Collette and written and directed by Ari Aster. The story follows a family in turmoil as they are haunted by a menacing presence following the death of a secretive maternal grandmother. School scenes were shot at


By Katy Whittingham | k.whittingham@mycityjournals.com West High School in the Salt Lake City School District and at Utah State Fair Park. The exteriors of the family’s house and tree house were shot in Summit County, and perhaps the most picturesque and hauntingly beautiful scenes at the cemetery were filmed at Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy. “Hereditary” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2018 and was a critical and commercial success grossing over $80 million. Two of the films in the legendary “Halloween” horror franchise were also filmed in Utah, primarily around Salt Lake City and Midvale: “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” released in 1988 and “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” released the following year. Although receiving negative reviews from critics, much like the other films in the franchise, they have maintained a strong cult following. More than 40 years after the first film’s release, you will still find Michael Myers masks, costumes, and decorations in Halloween stores like Spirit Halloween. Although principal photography for “Halloween 4” was completed in California, filmmakers moved production to Salt Lake City in the spring of 1988 because of rising costs and had to import fall leaves and other fall scenery to make it look like October. The film follows the iconic antagonist, Michael Myers, as he

awakens from a 10-year comatose state and escapes transport to a sanitarium in a plight to kill his only living relative, his niece, Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Laurie Strode, a prominent character in the first two and later films in the franchise. The McGillis School in Salt Lake City stands in for Jamie’s school, and her home with her foster family is located in the lower Avenues and was actually up for sale in late 2019. Much of the outside shots and roads for the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, where the story is set, is Midvale on 1-15. A foreshadowing scene when Jamie’s foster sister, Rachel, takes her to get a Halloween costume where her boyfriend also happens to work was filmed at Vincent Drug in Midvale. A popular soda and shake shop in the ’40s and ’50s, Vincent Drug has served as a filming location for many other film and television shows of the ’80s and ’90s, including Stephen King’s 1994 horror miniseries, “The Stand.” Filming for “The Stand” began in and around Salt Lake City in the bitter winter of 1993 and stood in for the setting of the novel the miniseries was based on, Boulder, Colorado. The jail sequences of the series were filmed at the Utah State Prison in a wing where the prisoners were temporarily moved during filming. In some confusion, crew members mistook actual prisoners’ belongings as props

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

and moved them between cells not realizing the mistake until after the first day of shooting. For more information on the Utah Film Commission and past and upcoming projects being filmed in Utah, visit film.utah.gov. l

October 2021 | Page 25

How does your city know how much property tax to collect? By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


ach year, Salt Lake County sets a new property tax rate for each city. First, a city will receive the same dollar amount as the previous year. If they received $15 million from property taxes in 2020, the city will receive $15 million from those same property owners in 2021. The property tax rate then calculated is set based on the values of all the properties in that city. If values go up, the tax rate decreases. If values go down, the tax rate increases. If there has been any population growth, the city will receive extra. “New growth adds to the city revenue at the same property tax rate as the other properties and becomes part of the calculation the next year,” West Jordan Finance Director Danyce Steck said. If a city collects $15 million in 2020, they may collect $15 million and an additional $200,000 if there is new growth in 2021. Then 2022 would bring the city $15,200,000. Any time a city wants to do a different rate than set by Salt Lake County, a truth-in-taxation meeting that involves the public is required. The rate change can only happen once a year. Because the property tax rate, the percentage, changes year to year, if the city “raises taxes,” the percentage owners will pay is not always higher for the residents than it was in the past. Councils usually consider adjusting the rate when the income of the previous year is not enough to pay for what is needed in the next year.

The rate of property tax a city gets remains stable from year to year, unless there is a truth-in-taxation meeting. (Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

For example, West Jordan performed the truth-in-taxaResidents pay less than commercial property owners. tion process this year. Last year their tax rate was 0.1899%. “All property’s value is set by Salt Lake County, but resThe county then set the new rate for this year at 0.1732%. idential properties receive a 45% discount. This discounted The council raised this year’s rate by 3.2% and properties value becomes the taxable value and is used to calculate the will now pay 0.1788%. property tax bill,” Steck said.

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Riverton City Journal

World champion paraclimber shares story, empowers Girl Scouts to find their passion By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


bout 100 registered Girl Scouts had the opportunity to not only listen to a world-class paraclimber share inspiring tales of mountain climbing, they also could choose to climb with her at the local Momentum indoor climbing facility. As part of the Girl Scouts of Utah’s Girls’ Empowered event, sixth- through 12th-grade girls listened as Maureen “Mo” Beck described competing at world championships and climbing the Lotus Flower Tower, a 2,200foot granite rock face in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in Canada’s Northwest Territories. That alone is challenging enough for many people; however, Beck did those one-handed as she was born without the lower part of her left arm. By coincidence, her love of mountain climbing came at about the same age as the girls in attendance while attending Girl Scout camp near Acadia National Park in Maine, where she grew up. “My counselor said that I may just want to sit this one out,” she remembered. “So, the little 12-year-old me just thought, ‘screw you, I’m going to do it just because you think I can’t.’ I’m sure I didn’t do that well and didn’t make it to the top of the rock, but I wasn’t going to not do it. I never used not having my hand as an excuse.” She also used that same attitude to show her middle school coaches she could play soccer as the goalkeeper, the position where a player can use their hands; play softball—throwing the ball and catching it without a mitt; and play basketball—although she didn’t make that team since she missed tryouts. “I just wanted to show I was an athlete and could play; don’t count me out because I only have one hand. My grandma used to say that I was just being a smart-ass,” she said. But being defiant at Girl Scout camp meant more to the girl who once thought the best thing in the outdoors was hiking. “I fell in love with mountain climbing. It’s just me and the rock. It doesn’t care if I’m a girl. It doesn’t care if I don’t have a hand. It’s just there to be climbed. I knew then I wanted to be a climber and a good climber. Period. I had never known anything more than hiking. My parents weren’t climbers, so I went to the bookstore to buy magazines about mountain climbing.” With the help of friends, Beck developed her own style of climbing to accommodate not having a second hand. Her efforts didn’t stop there; she even tried ice climbing by attaching an ice tool to her prosthetic and also duct-taped a paddle to her prosthetic so she could canoe. Since then, most days Beck has given up wearing her prosthetic. “I had to figure out I can’t really wear a prosthetic to rock climb. It doesn’t help. So, I’m just going to tape my arm so I can feel the rock and also, so I don’t leave a bloody trail behind,” she told the Scouts. However, if Beck wanted to become a better climber, she told the girls, she had to confront her ego. “I had to be honest that it’s hard for me to do some things physically or I was unable to—and that was hard to do,” she said. “I had to realize I didn’t have all the knowledge or all the strength. I finally got to the point where I said at least I have to try and ask questions. I had to admit I didn’t know if I wanted to learn.” Once she did that, Beck said climbing became even more enjoyable. She told the girls that her first climbing title, the first U.S. Nationals held in Atlanta in 2014, she


won because she was the only one in her category. “I felt conflicted about that. Does it count? Can I brag about being first if I’m the only one? I settled on you can because often times, the battle is stepping out of your front door; the hardest part is showing up,” she said. Later, she acquired four more national titles. With only a couple competitive events for paraclimbers each year, Beck made each one count. In 2014, she won the gold at the Paraclimbing World Champions in Spain as one of 15 paraclimbing athletes representing the United States. Two years later in Paris when the next worlds were held, she repeated her title and was one of 50 U.S. athletes, showing that the sport is growing. One championship was a three-way tie because “the people who built the competition underestimated us because it was too easy,” Beck said. Recently Jim Ewing, a climber with a prosthetic leg whom she didn’t know, asked her to join him climbing the Lotus Flower Tower; she reflected back on her decision when she said yes. “Society tells us, our parents tell us ‘no, we should stay safe. Our risks should be small, we should aim for incremental changes in our lives,’ but I think that’s wrong,” Beck said. “I think the more scared you are, the bigger risks you take, the worst that can happen when you take a risk is nothing changes. Failure is where you grow from. Failure when you take a risk is one of the best things that can happen. We’re so afraid of failure that we use it as an excuse to not grow. Life is too short for that.” Beck and the others were gone one month, most of it waiting for the weather to clear so they could climb. For 10 days leading up to the climb, they camped at the base of the peak, heating freeze-dried food on their backpacking stoves. When there was a break in the weather, they climbed part way up the steep cliff to a bivy ledge where they spent the night. “We finally got on the mountain, and you can tell, I was a little less than stoked. The rock was still quite wet. I wasn’t ready for truly how loose and gross and mossy it was. Every single hitch that we did…was a full rope length; these were full 200-foot rope stretchers. So, when Jim would take off to lead, I would just be alone for so long during these belays. I was freezing wet and thinking fairly dark thoughts: ‘This was a horrible mistake. I’m not having fun. I’m 1,000 miles away from my family (she’s married, living in Colorado). It’s August. I should be in Colorado right now getting sunburned, sport climbing and having fun at the beach,” she told the girls. “But I knew anytime I was in a dark place, there is always something on the other side.” After witnessing the northern lights that night and waking the next morning, Beck was excited, but her climbing partner was sick. Knowing this was their only chance, they ascended the mountain, anyway. They reached the top—and rappelled down for nine hours arriving in the dark. “We wanted this to be the first all-adaptive ascent. We thought about it more and adaptation doesn’t mean you have one hand you learn how to climb. Adaptation is more about taking what is wrong and figuring out how to make it work. I realized the more that went wrong with this trip, the more I learned,” said the woman who was named the 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Now Beck is training for what she believes will be her last world championship before taking a break from competition. However, she isn’t ruling out the possibility

World champion paraclimber Mo Beck tells local Girl Scouts that she never used not having a hand as an excuse and went on to win five national titles, two world championships and recently climbed a 2,200-foot granite rock face in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in Canada’s Northwest Territories. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

of competing in paraclimbing if it is added to the Paralympic Games in 2028. Next, she wants to continue scaling peaks, maybe in Alaska. “Life isn’t over when you’re out of the spotlight and off of the podium, the world is still waiting,” she said, adding that now she teaches other adaptive climbers. “I want these girls to find their voice, their passion, what pumps them up. I’ve broken so many barriers now I want to empower them to push those farther,” she said. In addition to Beck, the Girl Scouts watched “The Empowerment Project,” a documentary made by women and featuring women across the country who were making a positive impact. Girl Scouts of Utah CEO Lisa Hardin-Reynolds said that Girl Scouting gives girls opportunities—not only in the outdoors, but from STEM to life skills. “We encourage Girl Scouts to try new things because it could open up a new passion that they can do for their whole lives, just like it has for Mo,” she said. “We want to give them the opportunity to face challenges, lift each other up and see other women role models so they can see that anything is possible.”l

October 2021 | Page 27

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


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


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