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December 2016 | Vol. 16 Iss. 12


Jordan High students launch balloon into space By Julie Slama |


Jordan High Maker Collective students prepare a weather balloon to launch into the upper atmosphere from Utah’s west desert. (Lance Nielsen/Sandy resident)

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Sandy Museum celebrates 29 years By Kelly Cannon | The Sandy City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Sandy. For information about distribution please email or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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he Sandy Museum celebrated 29 years of preserving history during a special extended-hours open house on Oct. 26. The museum, located at 8744 Center St., holds a collection of rare historical items donated from residents. The building itself also contains a wealth of history. According to Sherry Slaugh, the director of the Sandy Museum, the building that houses the museum started out as a ZCMI co-op. “There were 27 co-ops and there are three left standing. This is one of three. Then it was a men’s social club called the Knights of Pythias. Then it was Jenkins Mortuary and they kept the bodies in the basement,” Slaugh said. “Then it was the fire station for over 40 years. It was an all-volunteer fire department. Then it’s been the museum for 29 years.” The museum is full of items, ranging from children’s toys to the pen that was used to sign Sandy into an official city. Slaugh said most of the items were donated by residents. “People are just very generous. We have people who say they don’t want their heirlooms to end up on eBay or KSL,” Slaugh said. “They bring them in so everybody could enjoy them.” The museum celebrated its anniversary by inviting members of the public, as well as Mayor Tom Dolan and members of the city council. “We’re just so thrilled that we have the coolest museum around. It’s very eclectic. We decided to give ourselves a party every year. We invite people through media and through social networks. We put out fliers and we just invite people to come,” Slaugh said. “We’re open later in the evenings so people who can’t attend during our regular hours can come in and see their museum.” One of the rarest items in the collection is a rare Swedish “nyckelharpa,” a musical instrument similar to a fiddle.

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“A man left it at a local boarding house who could not afford his rent,” Slaugh said. “He said when he got enough money to pay for his rent, he’d come back and pick it up and never returned.” Other items in the museum include a military display with uniforms from every war from World War I through Vietnam. It also has a bayonet taken off of a Japanese rifle. “We have the old spinning wheels. We have a beautiful organ that is upstairs from the old Marriot Hotel here in Sandy. It’s very ornate. There are just so many things,” Slaugh said. “One of my favorite things is a little pair of brown leather baby shoes. I have no idea who they belong to. Sometimes people just leave things on our door. We are very fortunate.” 

Residents and special guests mingle during the Sandy Museum open house. The museum celebrated 29 years of preserving history. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

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Sandy Police Auxiliary fundraiser benefits one of their own By Kelly Cannon |


andy residents may have noticed the members of the Sandy Police Department look a bit scruffier during the month of November. The Sandy Police Auxiliary’s annual No Shave November fundraiser helped raise funds to help the family of Officer Ryan Metcalf. Metcalf’s son, Henry, passed away on Sept. 18, just 75 days after being born with trisomy 18 — or Edwards syndrome — along with biliary atrisia, pyloric stenosis, holes in his heart and weak lungs. His stay at Primary Children’s Hospital has left the family with medical expenses. “It’s kind of mixed feelings. Now that Henry’s passed, we’re moving into an area where we feel that things are getting back to normal. It’s kind of humbling. We’ve gotten a lot of support through the whole thing from Sandy City, individuals, our neighborhood,” Metcalf said. “Everybody has been really supportive from day one with Henry and the conditions he had, the whole ordeal of him passing away. It’s been kind of overwhelming at times but it’s been great support overall.” The Sandy Police Auxiliary has done a No Shave November fundraiser for the past four years. According to Dlayne Swensen, the president of the auxiliary, this is the first year the public was also invited to donate to the cause. “I don’t think people understand why all the police officers look really shaggy when historically that’s not something that’s been allowed,” Swensen said. “In the past, they’ve given to different charitable organizations that they hear about. This year it will actually benefit the police officers themselves so it’s a little bit different.”

Henry Metcalf survived for 75 days after being born. (Sandy Police Auxiliary)

The way the fundraiser works is police officers pay to grow a beard. If they started before Nov. 1, they had to buy a $10 beard card. Afterward, they had to pay $30 to keep the beard. “The way the female officers get involved is they buy ‘shave cards,’” Swensen said. “If they buy a shave card, they can give it to the officers and they have to either shave and start

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over or buy another card to get back in the game.” In years past, the auxiliary has donated the money to different charities, including children’s cancer support groups. Often thousands of dollars are raised. “It’s very humbling to have people who want to donate and want to participate,” Metcalf said. “It’s a blessing to have the support of the auxiliary and the department. We’re grateful and appreciative for whatever happens.” Swensen said she believes the focus has shifted from donating to a charity to donating to one of their own officers because it was such an intense situation for the department. “It was a pretty big medical situation. Obviously, he passed away, but he had been at Primary Children’s for a while and that makes the bills astronomical,” Swensen said. “Sandy City is really supportive and does a lot for the police department and the officers themselves. Sometimes it takes a little bit more. Sometimes there aren’t always funds readily available.” Aside from the No Shave November, the Sandy Police Auxiliary provides other support efforts as a nonprofit associated with Sandy City. “Our goal is to support the families and create those avenues of connection within the community,” Swensen said. “We do a couple fundraisers. We provide different ways for community members to donate. Sometimes it’s not clear how to provide police officers with appreciation.” To donate to the Metcalf fund or to learn more about the Sandy Police Auxiliary, visit www.sandypoliceauxiliary. com. 

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Sandy Visual Arts Show hailed a succes By Kelly Cannon |


he Sandy Visual Arts Show is being hailed as a success after its 10-day run at the Sandy Senior Center during the end of October. The show drew 220 submissions from artists around the state. “In a single word I would describe the quality of the submissions as amazing,” said Robin Saville, marketing and development director with the Sandy Arts Guild. “There was a lot of diversity in the submissions that results in many different art categories.” The show started 10 years ago by the Sandy Arts Guild after a group of Sandy residents asked for an art show. Saville said the visual art show allows participants to showcase their work, further develop their artistic talent and put those talents on display. “For some artists they can’t wait to showcase their art. For others it can be difficult to receive public comment,” Saville said. “Community art also helps to create more vibrant neighborhoods, enhancing mental and physical health, increasing community involvement and engagement, as well as fostering neighborhood revitalization.” Saville said the show was held at the Sandy Senior Center because not only does it have enough space to display all the entries but it’s easy to find, has plenty of parking and has lots of daily foot traffic. Submitted artwork included watercolor, oils/acrylics, clay art in the form of either pottery or sculpture, and photography. There was a separate category for artists with disabilities. The art show was judged by Al Round and Doug Sims, two local artists. Prize money ranging from $50 to $700 was awarded to the winners. The winner of Best in Show was Brian Jensen for his clay art

220 submissions were entered into the Sandy Visual Arts Show this year. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

“Green Crystalline Bottle.” The winners for oils/acrylics, starting with first place and ending in fifth place, were Dan Wilson for “The Beginner,” Susan Jarvis for “Four Apples,” Richard Miles for “Morning Cloak,” Lucia Heffernan for “Madame Blanche” and Jeanne Flint for “Desert Bloom.” The winners for watercolors, starting with first place and ending in fifth place, were John Fackrell for “Gnarly Pumpkins,” Colleen Reynolds for “Old School,” Susan Gerberding for “Fall, Spring City Utah,” Gayle Allen for “Hong Kong Temple” and Emily Thomas for “Nightfall in San Jose.” The winners for photography, starting with first place and

ending in fifth place, were Richard Ansley for “False Kiva,” Shayne Shaw for “Web of Gold,” Richard Faldmo for “Faded Melodies,” Jason Rollins for “Unita Solitude” and Cornelia Cannon for “Autumn Reflection.” The winners for clay arts, starting with first place and ending in third place, were Kristena Eden with “The Spirit of Earth Wall Hangning,” Kyle Goldstein for “Red Bowl” and Peggy Milligan for “Ice Bucket/Pottery.” The winners for sculpture, starting with first place and ending in third place, were Sue Shuppy with “Bronze Rabbit,” Randy Thomas with “Queen and Her Jesters” and Mary Adams with “Filled with Wisdom (Luke 2:40).” The winner in the category for artists with disabilities, from first to third place, were Chris O’Conner with “Fish,” Marilyn Neilson with “Two Suns” and Benny Lozano with “Composition 1.” The Sandy Visual Arts Show also held a People’s Choice Awards where guests could vote on their favorite pieces. In the category of sculpture, the winner was Jonathan Morgan for “Perception.” There was a tie for clay arts between Young Chun’s “Self Portrait” and Brian Jensen’s “Green Crystalline Bottle.” There was also a tie for watercolors between Laura Blum’s “One Pink Peony” and John Fackrell’s “Gnarly Pumpkins.” The winner for oils/acrylics was Larry Osoro for “Fancy Feline.” The winner for photography was Shayne Shaw with “Web of Gold.” In the category for artists with disabilities, the winner was Chris O’Connor with “Fish.” To learn more about the Sandy Arts Guild, visit 

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Tumult for many for-profit colleges, why students still attend By Mandy Morgan Ditto |


any students and graduates of ITT Technical Institutes didn’t expect a college to close so rapidly. However, that’s exactly what happened with ITT Tech on Sept. 6, right as the school year was beginning. ITT Educational Services, which operates ITT Technical Institutes — private colleges that have operated in more 140 locations across the nation for more than 50 years — announced closures after the Department of Education decided “to bar the chain of colleges from using federal financial aid to enroll new students,” according to the New York Times. The only ITT Tech location in Utah was in Murray, Utah, and students that planned to attend the 2016 fall semester on Sept. 12 were surprised to have plans changed a few days before. “It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after more than 50 years of continuous service,” said ITT Tech’s official news release announcing the closure of the schools. “The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter.” For Kevin Neff, a graduate from ITT Tech in Murray in 1998, the worth of his degree and the education he received is still entirely valid to him, no matter the school closure. Neff, who received an associate of applied science degree in computer-aided drafting and design technology, was looking for a school to help him get a secondary education degree and have time to spend with his family. “In speaking with the school, reviewing the schedules and looking further at the classes offered, I was pretty much sold from day one,” Neff told the City Journals in an email. He had considered the programs for computer-aided drafting and architecture at both Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah, but the programs would take too much time while he was working full time, and he was hoping to get his degree in less than four years. “I feel the education and training I received at ITT Tech was as thorough as I would have received attending any community college,” Neff said. “There was never a time at ITT that I felt the curriculum or my instructors were sub-par when compared to my public community college options. I did feel that the algebra and physics courses at ITT were tailored more towards real-world applications faced in drafting and design scenarios than an overall study of each course.” Neff has worked for over the last 16 years in a position focused on “the utilization of both GIS and computer-aided drafting systems.” He and his family currently resides in Oregon. Though most graduates haven’t felt much impact from the closure of the school, it was jolting for some employees. Tony Rose, who worked at the Phoenix location of ITT Tech, was surprised to see an email several days after it was sent to his work account about the school closure, before the semester started. There was an email sent to all ITT Tech employees’ work accounts at 4:30 a.m. in Arizona, right after Labor Day weekend, he recalled. “Nobody had checked their email unless you worked in the offices,” he said. “I’m driving home from my day job, and I hear on the radio that they closed it.” He believes management was aware before other employees that the institute would close. He also said many people didn’t get their final paychecks due to scattered management of finances overall. Luckily, Rose has another job working as a network administrator in the Creighton School District in Phoenix, but he won’t have a chance at another community college job until potential hiring takes place before the next semester that starts in January. For those students who were hoping to finish their degree at ITT Tech, there is a process some qualify for to get their student loans through

A sign posted on the door of the ITT Tech campus in Murray announces the closure of the school. The national for-profit school closed all its doors in September. (Kimberly Roach/City Journals)

“It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after more than 50 years of continuous service,” the school forgiven, Rose said, though some are simply going to have to pay off federal loans and find another school that may or may not take already earned credits to finish a degree. The sudden closure of ITT Tech hasn’t impacted Kyle Judson much, as he has security in his current job. Judson, who graduated from one of the previous two ITT locations in Massachusetts in 2007, was top in his class with a degree in computer networking. He is still living in Massachusetts. “I’ve never actually had a job in computer networking, but that’s the same old song and dance for all of us,” Judson said. “I work for a medical device company now, I’m a technical support manager after being in the engineering world for about seven or eight years after I graduated.” Why students choose schools like ITT Tech over four-year colleges is a question that can only be answered by everyone at these schools, who like Judson, have found factors that work best for them. Judson wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do after he graduated from high school; he attended a few universities before landing on ITT Tech. “I’ve always had an aptitude for math and science,” he said. “I knew computers were kind of a combination of the two, and I needed a degree and I needed one fast, so I said ‘ITT Tech, why not?’” The smaller class sizes and regular interaction with professors who worked in the industry all provided positives for Judson at ITT, which led to more connections and networking. There wasn’t, however, as much hardware to use and learn from at the university, which was something Judson said he saw as a bit of a problem, especially with the amount of tuition being paid. For being a technical college, it was the one thing that didn’t quite make sense — to not have the very equipment there all the time to help students really learn the trade they were studying. When it came to funding at ITT, Judson said “there were always some rumors and some whispers about — for lack of a better term

— some shady financial practice,” Judson said. “But at the time I didn’t really know about it, and I just wanted an education, but I’m lucky it worked for me. I got a great job after I graduated, and I was able to pay my student loans, but I also did really well in school so I got a really good job when I was done.” Judson graduated with $48,000 in student loan debt, after a two-year program, including two private loans that were $20,000 and $18,000, with high interest. His federal government loan was low-interest, and he has paid off every loan since. Though programs may end up costing students a lot at schools like ITT Tech, the quicker nature of getting degrees from them is often what brings students to their doors. As for accreditation, Judson feels ITT Tech never had any problems with that; most concerns came with finances, which is ultimately what led to the closure of the nationwide school. However, other colleges that have remained open in the valley are dealing with accreditation issues, since the Department of Education took away accreditation privileges from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions. Those like The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, Broadview University, Neumont University and Eagle Gate College are either waiting for the appeal to go through and provide ACICS with authority once again or are making plans to gain accreditation from another source. Though all schools accredited by ACICS will remain so through a transition period of 18 months, all will want to be sure students from their university will leave with valid, accredited degrees. Neumont University President Shaun McAlmont announced shortly after the announcement about ACICS that they were already in the process — months ago, in fact — of changing accreditors. Neumont is located in downtown Salt Lake City. “We’re already through the first two steps of the five-step process for changing accreditors,” McAlmont said. “This change will not affect the quality — or value — of education that has always set Neumont apart. Regardless of our accreditor, Neumont will continue to deliver a hands-on, rigorous, project-based and results-driven computer science education for all of our students.” Neumont expects to have a new accreditor in the next six to nine months. Since finding out about the possible loss of accreditation from ACICS, Broadview University — located in West Jordan — has also started on the process of being re-accredited with a previous accreditor as a backup plan. “The process is already in place as far as taking care of the front-end work, as kind of a preventative measure, just in case, should we need to use that,” said Michelle Knoll, senior marketing and communications manager for Broadview. “And then, should ACICS prevail, we would just stay with ACICS.” If any changes were to occur, Broadview University would inform students of the change, which would only mean they might have a different company accrediting the university by the time many of them graduated, Knoll said. “It’s kind of a tricky situation, but we know that the students are top priority, so we want to make sure that anything that impacts them they are aware of, but now it shouldn’t impact them, until there’s a decision,” Knoll said. If Broadview had believed that ACICS was doing anything they shouldn’t have done as an accreditor, they wouldn’t have stuck with them, Knoll said. The university supports ACICS and will stay with them if they win with the appeal. No one at the ITT Technical Institute, the Art Institute of Salt Lake City or Eagle Gate College responded to the City Journals for comment. 



UDOT reevaluating median along 700 East Sandy By Chris Larson |


n a pleasantly surprising break from expectations, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is taking the raised median design for the 700 East Safety Project back to the drawing board. Business owners and residents along the 700 East Safety Project corridor feared that adding a raised median with dedicated left-turn pockets would severely and negatively impact surrounding businesses and force traffic onto residential roads that aren’t designed to handle surface street traffic. Project Manager Steve Quinn said other aspects of the 700 East project will continue on a slightly delayed advertising and design schedule through the winter. Road resurfacing, adding bike lanes and bringing pedestrian ramps into compliance with the most recent Americans with Disabilities Act standards from 7400 South to 9400 South will proceed regardless of the status of the median project. Quinn told the Sandy City Journal that the median will still be installed during the 2017 construction season, but said the new design will be significantly reduced to account for comments from the public. Quinn said a redesign of the road will include two public information meetings: one with Quinn reporting to the Sandy City Council at the end of November and another open-house style meeting early in December. Both meetings are open to the public. Businesses and residents organized under the moniker of “Sandy Businesses Against the 700 East Median” to raise awareness on social media and gain the attention of decision makers and local news outlets to voice concerns about the restriction of an otherwise very open transit corridor. Natural Health and Wellness owner Melissa Allred, a self-described “head committee member,” said appeals to local legislator and Utah State Senate President Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, were instrumental in setting up a meeting with UDOT where a select group of Sandy Businesses Against the 700 East Median committee members met with him and representatives from UDOT on Nov. 2. Lee Ann Chapman, owner of Wash Me in Sandy, attended the meeting with Niederhauser and UDOT representatives and said the meeting was very candid

with committee members comments and questions being “blunt.” “We drive those streets and we see it every day,” Chapman said. “If we were seeing four to five accidents all the time and could see those safety issues as a concern, then we be going to (UDOT) saying you need to do something about this street.” UDOT research says that 700 East has both more high-severity and a higher accident rate than is normal for a street of comparable size and shape, according UDOT public documentation. According to the same document, most of the accidents appear to happen midblock. “Project features will increase safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians by designating specific turn locations and thereby decreasing the number and severity of crashes midblock,” UDOT states via a newsletter. But research and data queried by the committee members and the opposition committee say certain documents used to justify the project show that most of the incidents occur at intersections, rather than by people turning across traffic to enter or exit neighborhoods and businesses. “We wanted to go in there with facts and not just emotion to the meeting,” Allred said. She said she and other committee members worked with the city administration and the police department to get records detailing crash data for the area. Business owners also told the UDOT representatives that the openhouse presentations that were held earlier this year to educate the locals made it sound like the project was final and concrete, that nothing could be done to change or stop it. “(The representatives) said that was not intent of those meetings and not how they like it to be and not how it should be,” Chapman said. Quinn addressed the city council on Oct. 4 and fielded several questions about the council, especially about business access and the possibility of commuters frequenting neighborhoods to avoid or get to areas that only allow certain turns. “It’s very tricky in these things to try and accommodate every need,” Quinn said. “Today people have full movement across that corridor. In certain cases it’s just not possible to provide that same open access and

control that access at the same time.” Quinn said skipping the medians would defeat a major point of the $3 million project. A department head said after the meeting that meetings with UDOT engineers had already added three additional dedicated left-turn pockets to help increase access to businesses. Councilwoman Maren Barker, District 2, whose district would be most affected, said her concern is both the access and success of businesses and also the safety of the residents. “How much traffic are we going to push into the neighborhoods just to get off 700 East?” Barker asked. She also said many of the roads are narrow and do not have a curb and gutter. This is compounded when many visitors to the area park on the street. She pointed out there are five schools along 700 East that attract many children to the area, being transported in vehicles and that walk through the neighborhoods to get to these schools. She fears forcing more traffic to the neighborhoods would increase the possibility of accidents involving children. Councilmen Stephen Smith, atlarge, and Chris McCandless, District 4, said they had experienced major dips in revenue to business ventures that relied on convenience of access. Many of the business along the project corridor are conveniencebased businesses that rely on high foot traffic for success, like car washes, gas stations, vehicle supply and repair and other small businesses. “In this day and age, we are creatures of convenience,” Allred said. “We go where it is easy, we go where there is the least resistance.” Her husband is a practicing chiropractor at their business and has garnered a wide-ranging clientele. “People come from all over the state and some out of the state,” Allred said. “If it became inconvenient to go to his office people will question why they are driving 40 minutes to go somewhere closer.” UDOT will likely push contract advertising to Jan. 2017, Quinn said. He also said the plan initially was to advertise in November. Quinn also said the designs will alter the nature of the shoulders, bike lanes and lane width with removing significant portions of the median. 


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Local Girl Scouts earn top awards By Julie Slama |


everal Sandy Girl Scouts recently earned the top awards at their level and were honored at the Girl Scouts of Utah awards recognition on Nov 5. Girl Scouting’s highest award is the Gold Award and can be earned by a girl in ninth through 12th grades. Eight girls across the state earned their Gold Awards. The Silver Award is earned by middle school–age girls; 121 Scouts earned that distinction. The Bronze Award is designed for fourth- and fifth-grade students; 212 girls earned that honor. Each award is based on leadership, volunteer hours and a project that is sustainable and that will improve the girls’ community. “Girls have hopes, ideas and dreams that when put into action can make an impact on society,” said Girl Scouts of Utah Chief Executive Officer Janet Frasier. “Girl Scouting’s highest awards provide a platform for girls to make a difference.” Three Sandy Girl Scouts earned their Silver Award. Seventh-grader Kayla Siebeneck of troop 2547 fostered homeless dogs, including terrier mixes Gus and Bella. Then she created a video for Hearts 4 Paws about fostering pets. “When I wondered why so many people weren’t helping with these animals, I learned

they don’t know about fostering dogs,” Kayla said. “So I made a video to teach them about it. I learned that by fostering a dog, it actually helps two dogs as it opens up a space for another to be helped.” While Kayla improved her video editing skills, she also learned the impact pets can make. “Our community is a better place with dogs. They can cheer people when they’re depressed by improving both their mood and health,” she said. She also learned it was difficult to say goodbye to the pets she fostered. “It was really hard to give up Bella. I had grown so attached to her and wanted her to stay, but Sandy limits the number of dogs to two and we already have two. But I know she’ll make someone else happy,” she said. Other Sandy Girl Scouts who earned the Silver Award include Abigail Slama-Catron, of troop 2547, who learned of the need for bibs at Sandy’s Jordan Valley School, a school that serves students from age five to 22 who have severe disabilities. She wrote to 20 businesses in four communities for donations of towels and ribbons as well as sought donations from more than 120 neighbors and friends. She then asked sewing class students in middle schools and high schools in six communities, as well as Scouts




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For their Bronze Award, members in troop 2235 worked together on their project, “Making a Change for Utah Refugees,” raising money to buy and deliver clothing to the refugees. (Tammie Ynda/Girl Scout volunteer)

and 4H members, to join her in sewing the 180 bibs she presented to the school along with a manual that can help others sustain the “Sewing for Service” project. Emily Steffen, of troop 2405, earned the Silver Award for her project, “We Got This!” In local schools, businesses and churches, she set up baskets in restrooms that were stocked with feminine hygiene products in case women were needing one. She also asked women with extra products to replenish the supply in the baskets they encountered. In addition, Emily made feminine hygiene car kits, which she distributed to both men and women. She said she chose the

project to help teach girls to help each other. Scouts in troop 2544 earned their Bronze Award. The girls made 60 activity kits for Primary Children’s Medical Center to ease the anxieties of being in a hospital and having surgery. The Bronze recipients who live in Sandy are Olivia Christensen, Sophia Christensen and Kiersten Luther. Members in troop 2235 worked together on their project, “Making a Change for Utah Refugees.” This project involved researching the refugees’ needs and raising $1,200 — through two bake sales and a community yard sale — to purchase and deliver needed clothing items. 




Jordan High students launch balloon into space By Julie Slama |


student project that was designed to record a journey into space turned into an offer to help students with further technology projects from Hill Air Force Base. Last spring, a Jordan High advanced studies research class brainstormed technology ideas they could pursue. They decided to launch a weather balloon into space with a camera to record the journey. The class, called Maker Collective, is a student-led science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) group that has about 30 students who are accepted after an application process. “We want students to pursue projects that they’re interested in learning about,” said Boyd Christiansen, a senior and student leader of the group. “We want students to see what they can do and apply what they’ve learned to their next projects.” Coordinating the weather balloon launch were seniors Devin Nielsen and Brendan Larsen. “We started last May, ordering a weather balloon online, looking at weather reports and getting FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval,” Nielsen said. “We wanted to see what our GoPro would record in the atmosphere and thought it would be a really quick, easy project.” The group, which spent about $200 on the project, attached the weather balloon to a Styrofoam ice chest, which was selected to insulate the electronic tracking device. The tracking device also had hand warmers wrapped around it to protect it from the changing temperatures in the atmosphere, Nielsen said.

The students launched the balloon — filled with helium — from the west desert on Sept. 26. “We expected the balloon would travel southeast after reading the weather reports, but it actually went southwest into the 2,600 square miles of Utah Testing and Training Range and landed near Wildcat Mountain. We knew where it was because of the tracking device, but we didn’t expect it to land where Hill Air Force was doing testing,” Nielsen said. Their adviser, Cameo Lutz, said it traveled about 16 miles before the balloon popped. Wildcat Mountain is about 50 miles west of Tooele, which once played host to a Cold War–era bombing target field near its southeastern foot. Nielsen immediately sent emails to Hill Air Force Base, but they didn’t recover their payload until about mid-October when Hill Air Force Base commander Christopher Gough brought it to their class. He said they were doing their annual clean-up of exploded bombs from the 1940s to 2016 when they spotted their payload. Larsen, who is known for his sense of humor, had written a message on the ice chest that said, “Property of Idiots with Munny” with the initials of Jordan High School’s Maker Collective group, and a phone number to call. “Your humor saved the effort,” Gough said. He congratulated the students on their flight that reached 50,000 feet. “When I was your age, frankly, I had no idea you could do this. Somebody once told me to be bold. Don’t let anyone tell you no. Go out and make them tell you yes. And this is a yes,”

Gough said. “Be bold, be smart and have a sense of humor.” While their payload was returned in one piece, including the camera and tracking device, students said some of the camera’s footage was cut out. They are not certain if the chip wasn’t large enough, there were technical issues or it was censored. “We’re not sure exactly what happened, but what it did capture was pretty cool,” Larsen said. “It’s amazing and literally, out of this world, how high we got with a tiny balloon.” The commander also extended an offer to work with the students with further technical, scientific and engineering projects as well as show students Hill Air Force Base projects on both the range and base. “We did everything right, but if we were to do it again, we’ll have to look up more accurate weather models. We knew the wind speed, but we needed the higher atmosphere wind models that weren’t four days old,” Nielsen said. However, they’re not sure if they will be working on another balloon lift-off. “We’ve done it now so it reduces the educational value. We have more experiences we can gain from other projects,” Christiansen said. One of those includes InMoov, an advanced robot that senior classmate Connor Hill pictures walking the school hallways. “We started it last year and already, we have groups working on it with circuit design, visual recognition, software recognition, mobility, coding and more,” Hill said. “It’s definitely going to be cool when we’re done.” 




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Upcoming Events: Public Policy Issues Small Businesses Need to Be Aware of with Maxine Turner December 7, 2016 | 8:00am-9:00am Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce: 35 E 9270 S, Sandy, UT 84070 Holiday Open House December 16, 2016 | 11:00am-2:00pm River Oaks Golf Course: 9300 S Riverside Drive, Sandy, UT 84070



ired of the same old shows every Christmas season? Treat your family to a delightful comedy that will knock your toeshoes off: “Nutcracker: Men in Tights.” This jolly holiday romp opens November 10. It’s Christmastime, and the small Utah town of Slagville is in financial trouble. The town council has come up with a tremendous plan to save them from disaster, they’ll put on a show! And what better show than “The Nutcracker?” Hoping to draw big crowds, they sign up a once-famous dancer, Maurice Money, who is trying to revive his career. But when a crabby town member, Candy Kancor, is overlooked for the show, she sets out to ruin everything. Chaos and hilarity ensue, culminating in the craziest production of “The Nutcracker” you’ve ever seen!

“Nutcracker: Men in Tights” is written and directed by Scott Holman and combines wacky gags and zany characters with Desert Star’s famous brand of screwball comedy. This show will run from November 10 to December 31. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The “Let It Snolio” features many of your favorite, heartwarming Christmas songs, served up with a helping of Desert Star’s holiday comedy. Desert Star audiences can enjoy gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, burgers, scrumptious desserts, and other finger foods as well as a full selection of soft drinks, smoothies and a large array of iced and hot steamers and coffees while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table.

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Community members bring joy to holidays for Jordan Valley School students By Julie Slama |


raditions are big at Jordan Valley School and students look forward to them every year, said the school’s former principal John Gardner, who helped establish some of the winter traditions more than 30 years ago, which the school still celebrates. “It’s fun for the kids and a great way for them to have some of the same social experiences as other students are having,” said Gardner. Jordan Valley serves students with severe multiple disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, seizure disorders, communication impairments, genetic disorders and syndromes, deaf-blindness and students who are extremely medically fragile. The goal at Jordan Valley School is to improve the quality of life for students and their families. However, these disabilities don’t change the joy these students feel when receiving Thanksgiving baskets or attending the annual winter Homecoming Dance. For about 20 years, St. James Episcopal Church has provided Jordan Valley students in need with Thanksgiving baskets, filled with food items and gift cards donated from the local Dan’s Fresh Market to make their Thanksgiving meals complete. “The whole parish helps out,” said youth leader Terry Palmer, who coordinated this year’s efforts. “I didn’t realize how important the need was until we delivered to the classrooms. Some of these students have grandparents raising them or their families are refugees. This is just something we can do that’s fun and wanting them to have a better holiday.” Former Jordan Valley teacher and current school secretary Gay Smullen said the school established a contact with the church in an emergency situation when they needed a safe place for their students. Since then, she said, it has blossomed into a “wonderful relationship.” “Every year, they bring over gift cards for turkeys, pie shells, vegetables, stuffing fixings and everything imaginable for a Thanksgiving dinner. But it’s not just that — they’ve provided some of our students with job site training, hosted trunk-ortreats for our students and have become a safe and caring place for our students,” she said. Principal Mark Donnelly said the tradition and assistance is much appreciated. “We’re really thankful for St. James and the care and support they’ve shown our students year after year,” he said. A 32-year-tradition is the winter Homecoming dance, where older students and alumni are invited to spend a night dancing to the music provided by the group Family and Friends. The annual dance, this year held on Dec. 8, also includes the crowning of the homecoming king and queen and a chance to meet Santa Claus. “The students have fun dancing and we crown a king and queen and give them a sash and corsage, just as their peers. These kids are having a blast,” Donnelly said, adding that the king and queen have their own dance to “The Greatest Love of All.” What makes it more meaningful, he said, is when invited youth from local churches come to

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Member Care Representative Software Sales Specialist Neighbors and former schoolmates, Chloe McKeever and Connor Stevenson were previous Jordan Valley homecoming queen and king. (Nevah Stevenson/parent)

interact with Jordan Valley students. “It’s a special moment when their peer may ask them to dance and bring them out to the dance floor. Everyone is out there dancing together, having a great time,” he said. Gardner agrees. “It’s awesome. They come, treat them like good friends and just make the party fun for everyone.” Gardner said it’s not only fun for him to see the alumni, some in their 50s and 60s, return to the school for the dance, but also for them to interact with the band. “I miss seeing them. When I look back and realize I’ve spent most of the 22 years getting to know them at the school, it makes the dance that much more meaningful. And there’s a bond with the musicians as well since it has been the same band since we started this. The band treats them so well and the students and alumni look forward to seeing them every year,” he said. Jay Christensen, who leads the group, said it began with a guitar, bass and drum trio who played classic rock ‘n roll. The group now includes his wife, Julie, on vocals, as well as Ralph Frost on bass, Jim Colby on drums and Christensen on guitar. This year, Mike Cottam will fill in on drums. “The alumni all meet us and are glad to have us back,” Christensen said. “One follow picks up my first guitar and strums it right alongside of me. They’re happy and having fun. We just hold this date every year and I’ll be sad when and if the date comes and we can’t make it. We haven’t missed one year and the night just goes by way too quick. We come out there to play, but we’re treated like heroes or rock stars. When really, it’s the parents and the teachers who are here every day that are making a difference, who are the heroes. And more so, it’s the students who are enduring everything, but are still smiling who are truly the heroes.” 

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Principal gets pie in face, night on roof as Park Lane students surpass fundraising goal By Julie Slama |


eing $905 over their $12,000 fundraising goal, Park Lane Elementary students had plenty to cheer about. The fundraising goal, earned by students selling $2 candy bars for two weeks, is earmarked to supply Chromebooks for each fourth- and fifth-grade student as well as some iPads, Macbooks and Chromebooks so each third-grader will have a device. Existing carts of iPads and MacBooks will be used to share in the lower grades, Principal Justin Jeffery said. “More and more of our curriculum is based with using technology and most of our assessments, like SAGE testing, are done on computers, so this will help us in sharing computers and devices especially at those times,” he said. “Plus we use them not only for assignments, but with Hour of Code, Reflex math and Lexia for our reading.” Jeffery said that it will also help students become more familiar with computers. “It’s the way our education system is going, so it makes sense for our school to support it. With the SAGE testing, our students need to write essays online, so they need to be comfortable with keyboards and familiar with the device for testing. Plus, in the real world, many jobs entail computer use so we’re

preparing them for their future,” he said. Jeffery said the key to their fundraiser was to keep it easy. “We wanted a low-key fundraiser where it wouldn’t be frustrating for students or parents, something simple. We also liked the idea that they could get the item right there, not wait for wrapping paper or cookie dough to arrive,” he said. There were incentives to encourage students to sell boxes of 30 candy bars. For one box, a student could earn a crazy hat. By selling two boxes, they could attend a popcorn party. With three boxes sold, they received an emoji pillow and with four, they got a playground toy. Jeffrey offered to let them throw pies in his face if they sold five boxes of 30 candy bars. “I thought the idea of selling candy bars sounded good, but I honestly didn’t think we’d do as well as we did,” he said. Colleen Jeffery, who helped with the school fundraiser along with Cynthia Buchanan, said her kids were able to sell candy bars at soccer practices and games. “It was easy because asking for $2 isn’t that much as other fundraisers and most everyone could support them,”


She said that 10 students qualified to throw pies by selling five boxes. However, only nine threw them as one student chose to spare her principal her pie. “Our highest seller was a first-grader (Brooks Anderson) who sold 10 boxes, so we let him and his mother, fifth-grade teacher Katelyn Anderson, each throw a pie. The last pie was loaded up with syrup,” she said. Jeffery said that one hit his ear. “It was gross. It went in my ear and down my shirt. I needed stain remover to get it out. It was all over my face and hair and even with a poncho, it was on my shoes,” he said. The principal also pledged that if the students raised more than $12,000, he would spend a night on the school roof. It was 40 degrees on Oct. 7. “I didn’t think it was going to happen. I’m from Texas, so my sleeping bag doesn’t have a liner and doesn’t go as low as I need to be in Utah,” he said. So inside his tent he set up on the roof, he added an electric blanket. He also set up a pulley system so his family could bring him dinner, and others brought him hot chocolate and snacks during the evening. “I waved to kids as they left school and threw them some candy. I think they got a kick

out of it and could see that I’m here to support them,” he said. 

Park Lane Elementary Principal Justin Jeffery was all smiles after he had nine pies thrown at him as a reward for the students who surpassed their fundraising goal for Chromebooks and other devices. (Park Lane Elementary)


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Silver Mesa fifth-graders thank veterans during patriotic program By Julie Slama |


ilver Mesa Elementary fifth-grader Keyan Olson was excited his grandfather was in the audience to hear his grade’s patriotic program on Veterans Day. “It means a lot to me,” said Keyan, who is class representative on the school’s student council. “There are less and less veterans from when he served as an Air Force controller during Vietnam and in Japan. It’s important they know we are proud of them. I wish my greatgrandfather was still alive so he could tell me about when he served.” Keyan’s grandfather and others who served or are serving in the military were invited to stand and receive a red carnation while the fifth-graders sang “Proud to Be an American,” Keyan’s favorite song during the program. “It says it all — how we’re proud to be Americans and what they’ve done for us,” he said. The program, which teacher April Humphreys wrote about 15 years ago, is tweaked each year to fit the fifthgrade class. It has included a variety of performances from veterans’ stories to demonstrating Native American dance. “The students saw a lot of adults crying (during the Nov. 10 dress rehearsal) and they made connections that patriotism ties into family, church, country,” she said. “Some students even said they were crying.” In preparing for the program, and tying it into social studies, the students are learning about the Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, Civil War, World War I and World War II and the U.S. Constitution. “We read stories to support what we’re learning, such as ‘Hold the Flag High,’ which talks about a black regiment of soldiers during the Civil War, and ‘Paul Revere’s Ride,’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,” Humphreys said. The students also went to the state capitol for its 100th birthday and received a personal tour that included some of the capitol’s back rooms, escorted by state Representative LaVar Christensen. “He talked to the students about the strong foundation of our constitution and how it has helped shape America. That is tied into our program,” she said. Then, Humphreys and the fifthgrade team tie the songs into fifth-grade core curriculum on American history, such as the Bill of Rights rap that teaches students about the Bill of Rights and


Whatever the


Silver Mesa fifth-graders performed its 15th annual patriotic program for students, families and veterans. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

their forefathers’ beliefs, she said. “We had some amazing discussions where students made connections from that song. They asked about gun control and learned because of the Bill of Rights, they have the right to bear arms. They can go to any church to worship they want and can speak what’s on their mind peacefully because of these rights,” she said. Much of the songs were taught by both music teacher Stacy Haddock and teacher Mary Ann Deem, who also accompanied the students on piano. Among the songs the students sang were “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “The Pledge of Allegiance,” “Fifty Nifty United States,” “America the Beautiful,” and “God Bless America.” “What’s More American?” was fifth-grader and student body president Sara Bryner’s favorite song. “It’s just fun and we held props, some they already had for us, and some we came up with to match the song,” she said. “I had a picture of George Washington to hold, but we realized all the pictures of Washington were just on one side of the fifth grade so I traded. I ended up with Corn Flakes, which is funny since I don’t even like cereal.” However, Sara knows it’s more than pointing out that football, ice cream, cereal and other things make up America. “My veterans were my greatgrandfathers and I wish they were alive so they could be here. I had one greatgrandpa who served secret missions

for the Coast Guard, another guarded a prisoner camp and another was an Air Force pilot. My great-grandpa told us shortly before he died that he got a letter from his buddy. One of the airplanes got shot down and his friend was piloting it. He’s the one who wrote my greatgrandpa,” she said. However, both Sara’s and Keyan’s favorite part of the program was the slide show at the end, which featured not only fifth-graders on the playground, but also pictures of students, staff and faculty with their veterans. “It’s amazing the service they provided and how much they gave up for all of us,” Sara said, adding that the slideshow was coordinated by teacher Kevin Nelson, who spent hours on it. “He may have spent more time on the program to get it just right than we did practicing the songs,” she said. After a local Cub Scout troop led the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the program, there was a video clip of American entertainer the late Richard “Red” Skelton explaining the importance of the pledge. Throughout the program, fifthgraders, who wore red, white and blue shirts, shared the messages of the ABC’s of America. Humphreys thanked the audience, but also told the school children, “This is a wonderful time for a patriotic program and these kids truly believe what they are saying. You all are the hope — the hope of all America.” Humphreys? 

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Alta girls basketball team gearing up for a successful season By Billy Swartzfager |


ryouts for the girls basketball team at Alta happened the week of Nov. 7, and their preseason games began a couple short weeks later on Nov. 22 at American Fork. The Hawks will continue playing preseason games through December and will begin to play region games, of which they will play 14, in January. Alta is expecting big things of themselves this season. The team has multiple seniors who played last year at a high level, and a couple of sophomores who were also valuable pieces of the 2015–16 varsity squad that played in last year’s semifinal state tournament game. That team lost a heartbreaker to Springville by only one point. Last year’s team finished first in the region. This year’s team is led by seniors Mariah Martin, Lexi Walbeck, Mykell Johnson and Kacey Blackner. The returning sophomores are Kemery Martin and Deserae Falatea. Those returning are expected to set the tone for new players and underclassmen playing junior varsity or on the freshman team, a new addition for this season. “I expect big things as far as those girls exhibiting a great work ethic and leadership outside of basketball,” said Elizabeth Gustafson, Alta’s head coach.

The 2016–17 Alta girls basketball team poses for an early season photo after practice. (Elizabeth Gustafson/Alta Head Coach)

The team is going to need good work ethic and solid leadership if they are going to accomplish their goals for the season. The Hawks want to go undefeated in their region for the year, a tough order. But the coach believes the players she has returning can get it done. Alta also wants to get back to the state tournament and play for a championship.

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“We want to repeat in our region, we want to get over the one-point loss from last year and play on Saturday morning,” said Gustafson, referring to the championship game. The team was busy during the offseason, in an attempt to maintain their rhythm and camaraderie. The team played in the Summer Jamboree at Utah Valley University, as well

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as the Big Mountain Jam at the South Town Expo Center. They also played in a league with Murray Parks and Recreation that was home to several other teams from other high schools. “We take most of the team to these offseason events,” Gustafson said. “We have a pretty good crew.” Alta is also developing a system to remain competitive as girls graduate and others move into the system. Alta has added a freshman team this year as well as a bantam program for Sandy kids in sixth through eighth grade. “We are trying to build better basketball in the Sandy area,” Gustafson said. “That will ultimately help Alta.” Gustafson emphasized that believing in each other and trusting one another’s abilities is going to be crucial in achieving their goals as a team for the season. Gustafson said they have built mechanisms to teach those principles to all of the girls in the entire program. The whole squad is looking forward to taking all of the things they have gained last season and throughout the offseason into games this winter. “We are looking forward to another great year of Alta basketball,” added the coach. “We’re super excited.” 

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Alta tennis team has a strong year By Billy Swartzfager |


he girls tennis team at Alta High School just wrapped up a strong 2016 season. This year’s group was made up of only 17 girls, a much smaller group than most schools have to work with, but the coach, Lori Sperry, used the small numbers as an opportunity to work with all of the girls one on one. “The coaches are able to pay closer attention and tailor our practices for specific needs,” Sperry said. The team started practice together late in the summer and worked hard to eventually finish the season tied for fourth place in the state’s 4A tournament. The Hawks finished fourth in their region as well behind Timpview and Orem, who tied for second in the state, and Corner Canyon, who finished far below Alta and the other region 7 representatives in the final standings. Alta’s team score was added to greatly by Emilee Astle, a junior, who won the state title for 1st singles. Astle also was a state champion as a sophomore. Astle beat Isabel Brockbank from Salem Hills in the first round, Katherine MacPhail from Judge in the second and second-ranked Anna Findley of Skyline to reach the finals. She beat another top ranked player, Sabrina Longson from Olympus, to hold onto her title as top tennis player of all the 4A high schools. The Hawks were also championed by freshman Sarah Ovard, who made it all the way to the semifinal match in 2nd singles, racking up points for Alta along the way. She beat top-seeded Natalie Eyring of Bountiful in the opening round. Ovard then beat Abby Crandall of Maple Mountain, another higher ranked player to reach the semis. Ovard lost to Orem’s Callie Forsyth in that match.

The 2016–17 Alta girls basketball team poses for an early season photo after practice. (Elizabeth Gustafson/Alta Head Coach)

Another Alta tennis player to compete in the state tournament was senior Emily Bithel in the 3rd singles division. Bithel lost in the opening round to top-ranked Elly Lloyd of Olympus, who eventually played in the final match. Alta’s doubles teams didn’t quite qualify to play in the state tournament, something Sperry hopes to combat in time for next season. “Most of the girls will be playing all year round, and I feel


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if we play all year we have a definite shot at getting better,” the coach said. Alta has a few approaches that seem to paying dividends for the team’s success. In addition to encouraging year-round play at tennis clubs and winter programs, the team has three coaches who focus on various aspects of the team’s needs. Candice Bitheol, the team’s fitness coach, works with the girls every day to enhance their stamina on the court, keeping them in the best possible shape for a deep run late in the year. Sperry and Krista Anderson work with the young ladies on the court, focusing on technique and mental toughness, while Karl Packer works on logistics, getting the team the various things they need to see their goals pursued and achieved throughout the year. Having a small young team is seen as a benefit by Sperry. She is able to get younger, less experienced players time on the court with those who have competed at higher levels before during practices. Many of her JV players have played alongside varsity players all season long, learning as they go, gaining skills they may not otherwise have an opportunity to get. “We saw a large jump in our JV team this year,” said Sperry. “Those are the girls who will be taking over varsity spots in the future.” The small team also has led to a closeness Sperry hasn’t seen very often in her coaching experiences. According to Sperry, her team is as unified as any she has ever been a part of. “I don’t know if I have ever coached a group of such close friends,” Sperry said. “They are such an easily coached group.” 




Alta football just shy of state title game By Billy Swartzfager |


lta High School’s football team had a fantastic 2016 season. The Hawks only lost one game, their last, on the road and uncharacteristically to Corner Canyon. The team finished the regular season 9-1, which was good enough to finish first in region 7, earning Alta a top seed to begin the postseason. The team’s only loss came the final night of the regular season, a non-typical Wednesday night game against region foe, Corner Canyon. The Hawks, who according to head coach Manti Teo have been bitten by the injury bug, allowed 48 points while only scoring 42. Alta didn’t allow 30 points to be scored against them until they played Skyridge, another region matchup. The Hawks won that game, on Sept. 29, by three points, but allowed 56 points. With injuries and some ineligibility issues, some younger players had to step up to help the struggling defense. “They have done what they needed to in order to win games,” the coach said. “The defense is holding them just enough to allow the offense to win.” Alta’s offense hasn’t scored less than 30 points all year; in fact, they scored more than 50 on four separate occasions during the regular season, including an amazing 70 against Timpanogos on Oct. 13. The Hawks finished the

Alta looks to punch it in during a playoff game against Highland. (Alta High School Football)

regular season having scored an average of 50 points per game. “Our offense has put up really big numbers all year long,” Teo said. The offense has been led by senior running back Josh Davis, who averaged over 200 yards per game and amassed 2X touchdowns through the 2016 season. Junior quarterback Will Dana has also been lights out for Alta. Dana threw 34 touchdowns as opposed to two interceptions through the season. He threw for close to 3,000 regular season yards as well, averaging over 270

per game. All-around threat Zach Engstrom, a junior, who was second on the team in rushing behind Davis and led the squad in receiving, also contributed to the potent Hawks’ high-scoring offense. Engtrom finished the regular season with 15 total touchdowns, five on the ground and 10 through the air. All of that offensive success has carried over to the postseason. Alta began the state tournament against Wasatch in the opening round on Oct. 28. Alta won handedly, 49-7. That game consisted of 305 yards and two

touchdowns from Dana, 277 yards and three touchdowns from Davis and another 108 yards of total offense from Engstrom. The defense also played very well, keeping Wasatch to 185 total yards and only one touchdown. Alta played Highland next on Nov. 4. The Hawks won again, 58-48. Dana threw four touchdowns, connecting with Engstrom on two of them. Davis rushed for 151 yards and a score, while Dana also ran one in. Alta’s defense gave up 397 yards on the ground to Highland, who had two players go for over 100 yards each. But, the offense came through. “We are doing what we need to do to win. We are always excited to get an opportunity to play another week,” Teo said. Alta headed to the University of Utah on Nov. 11 for the 2016 semifinal round, where they faced Springville. Alta lost to a tough opponent, 42-14. The Hawks struggled to get the ball moving while on offense. Davis was kept to 95 yards on the ground while Alta gave Springville rushers 401. The 14 points the Hawks were able to muster fell far short of what they needed, but they had an incredible run and the team saw more success this year than last. Teo has the Hawks moving in the right direction, and next season is only nine months away. 



Momentum Building in The Cairns City Center


he Cairns, Sandy’s 1,100-acre city center, is quickly becoming a destination location for an unparalleled live, work, play and shop experience with a “Mountain Meets Urban” atmosphere. Stretching from 90th to 106th South and from I-15 to the State Street, The Cairns will reflect the active urban outdoor lifestyle Sandy is becoming known for, with 20 million square feet of office, retail and housing development, in addition to the desirable amenities of a bustling arts and entertainment scene, extensive trails network, outdoor gathering spaces and our world-class mountain recreation.

What this means for residents is: - New job opportunities brought to our community; - Additional sales tax revenue to continue to improve city services and reduce tax burden; - Greater housing options; - The creation of a vibrant community hub filled with activities that draw people together We’ve been pleased to previously announce the addition of Hale Centre Theatre, as well as the multimillion dollar renovation of the mall, now known as The Shops at South Town. Three exciting new announcements include: - Mountain America Credit Union Corporate Headquarters - The Opening of Monroe Street from 10200 to 10400 South - High-End Residential Housing Units Catering to Millennials and Empty Nesters

Delicious Food, Great Atmosphere


Pet Pictures with Santa Saturday, December 17 Noon to 4PM

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Monday: $7 Margherita pizza Tuesday: Sliders, Salad, Fries & a Drink $10 Wednesday: 1 topping pizza & Drink $9 Thursday: Spaghetti & Meatballs with Salad $10 Friday: Junk Fries $8 Sunday Brunch: 11am - 2pm (801) 996-8155 715 East 12300 South • Draper Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am - 9pm Friday-Saturday 11am - 10pm Sunday 11am - 6pm



The Holidays: Time to Start Giving Back…. Or, is it?


ay it Forward, Serve, Give Back, Random Act of Kindness, no matter how you spell it, it’s that time of year where we are all thinking about giving. What a relief! After the troubled times of November, I for one am looking forward to the positivity the holidays bring. But, this leaves me pondering, what is all the excitement about. After all, December is just one month out of an entire calendar year. Studies show that people that help our fellow man are more successful in life, have improved health and happiness. Plus, children who volunteer are more likely to grow up to volunteer and serve as adults. Communities with more volunteers are typically more stable and better places to live (USA Today). So why are we saving all those positive benefits for only 1/12 of an entire year? Lets face it, in today’s world we need to make the effort to put a smile on the faces around us everyday. So, I’m proposing, in addition to the plans you already have to serve this holiday, you add just one more thing, a big cardboard box. For years I’ve had a box that’s plunked right next to my front door. It’s become a bit of joke for friends, as every time they stop by, I make some excuse for the tripping hazard. To the untrained it could look like a pile of unorganized junk waiting to be hauled out to the trash, but my charity box is actually a dropping ground for denotable food and clothing, household items or children’s niceties. I’ve found that having the box right where I enter and leave encourages me to add to it and reminds me to drop it of. To get you started here are a few things that have landed in this years box. January: Hot Cocoa Mix A little treat to enjoy with a neighbor after shoveling their sidewalk

February: Oatmeal Did you know February is National Hot Breakfast Month? What a great time to do a neighborhood Oatmeal Drive for the Food Bank. March: Books, Puzzles and Board Games It’s national reading month, so how bout encouraging a little reading? Volunteer at the Library; donate books to children in need. Senior homes also enjoy donations of books, puzzles and games. April: Pet Food Pet rescues, such as the Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society and Rescue Rovers not only need pet food, they also need for paper towels, garbage bags, and old blankets. May: Pantry Staples Because of Memorial Day sales not only is May a great month to break out the coupons for grocery shopping. It’s also the month we see both the Boy Scouts Scouting for Food and the Letter Carriers Stamping out Hunger. I like to buy extra so I’m ready for them. June: Tomato Plants and Pots Plant patio tomatoes in flowerpots and deliver them to an elderly neighbor or retirement home. July: School Supplies Kids all over Utah need school supplies and teachers love getting them too. Donate to your local school or participate in Stuff the Bus and help fill backpacks for kids. ( August: Personal Care Items Even the casual coupon user knows that personal care items like toothpaste; soap and hygiene products are easy pickings. Instead of

piling these products on shelves in the basement, I pile any extras in the box and drop them off at the Road Home or a Women’s Shelter. For more about how to get these items with just a little effort and out of pocket expense, make sure you are following the Grocery section of September: Craft Supplies Sharing Place is a place where children that have lost a parent can go to learn coping skills, share stories and learn to deal with grief. They are in constant need of arts and craft supplies. ( October: Diapers Families all across Utah are need of diapers, diapers and more diapers. Visit to find a list of drop of locations. November: Holiday Wrapping Paper, Tape and Gift Cards Remember all of those donated gifts need to get wrapped. Most charities collecting gifts also have a need for wrapping supplies. One idea would be the Holiday Gift Box. They provide individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families who are in need gifts for Christmas. More info at While I may trip over my charity box every now and again, it helps me remember to make those important little donations the entire year. And as for my friends that stop by, well… I’ll just let them continue to think I’m a little unorganized. Wishing you the happiest of holidays, all year long. 






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O Tidings of Comfort Annoy


ow that Facebook has become a year-round newsletter, packed with enough posts to make us feel miserable all year long, can we finally call it quits on those dreadful holiday letters? I understand a family newsletter can be a highlight of the season, recapping all your adventures with witty repartee and candy cane clip art, but to many people, this bragalicious tradition is lemon juice in the paper cuts of life. Reading about how you cured black lung disease or saved an endangered species makes others’ successes look like table scraps. My newsletter would go something like this, “Dear family and friends, I did not get arrested this year. Happy New Year! Love, Peri.” (Disclaimer: The year’s not over yet.) So, first of all, don’t write a Christmas letter. However, if you feel you must write an annual message or your life won’t be complete, here are tips to make it bearable for friends and family. Let your children do the writing. I would LOVE getting a Christmas message that read, “Mom cries in the bathroom and tells us to eat Froot Loops for dinner. Dad has a special ‘drinking mug’ in his garage. Aunt Ethel spent Thanksgiving in the county jail for walking streets. Happy Holidays!” Use your letter as a weapon. A Christmas newsletter can encourage friendly competition amongst your offspring. Announce who had the most As, the best-cleaned room or who

peed the bed the least amount of times. Be sure to embarrass the *&%$ out of them so they’ll be on their best behavior next year. Create an acronym. For instance, NOEL can be Notice Our Exceptional Lives or No One Enjoys Letters. Quote Quiz. Choose the funniest quotes said by your family during the year and have your readers guess who said it. January--”Who left the %&@* lights on?!” February—“Is there a reason there are a dozen shoes by the back door?” March—“Who left the %&@* lights on again?” Write from your pet’s perspective. “This is Peri’s dog, Ringo. I was taken to the vet three times this year and had to get shots. She forgot to give me a treat twice last week, even after I sat under her feet for three consecutive episodes of Westworld. She also didn’t pet me long enough after she got home from work, but she gave me a steak bone, so all’s forgiven.” Share a family recipe. If people ask for your sugar

cookie recipe, put it in your Christmas newsletter. But don’t be like my neighbor who leaves out key ingredients so my cookies never taste quite the same as hers. Not cool. Don’t recount Family Disasters 2016. Your water heater broke, your car died in the desert, you have rats in the basement and bats in your belfry. You lost several jobs, were abducted by aliens and SWAT kicked in your door at 3 a.m. Newsletters are not catastrophe competitions. Next! Don’t brag. For every straight-A accomplishment, for every award-winning dance competition and for every highersalary promotion you exclaim over, your letter will be read by a man with kids struggling in school, a daughter with no noticeable rhythm and a woman in a dead-end, mind-numbing job. Take it down a notch, will ya? Even better, since I never receive mail anymore (except for Hickory Farm catalogues and postcards from mortgage companies), maybe save all your glowing updates for Facebook and Instagram where you can gush all you’d like. You can even add clip art. 

Profile for The City Journals

Sandy December 2016  

Vol. 16 Iss. 12

Sandy December 2016  

Vol. 16 Iss. 12