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December 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 12




arry Potter fans got a special treat on Nov. 7 when Oliver Phelps, who played twin George Weasley in the movies, came to the Shops at South Town in Sandy. He was on hand for an exclusive interview with the Sandy City Journal, and later sat for an open Q&A to celebrate the opening of the Christmas in the Wizarding World shopping experience. Phelps was excited to do the event because he heard how well attended it was last year. “They were telling me how many people came through here last year, and it’s always a plus for us (the actors) to see that. Tonight should be good fun!” said Phelps. Though the 32-year-old has done several fan events over the years, he says he keeps coming back because the audiences are so amazing. He enjoys hearing stories of what role the books and films have played in people’s lives. “When you film it’s like you’re in a goldfish bowl — you don’t know how it will be received. The stories people tell me make me so glad to be involved with it,” Phelps said. Phelps was full of compliments for the people of Sandy, and commented that he had even been to a Real soccer game. “It’s such a cool city, especially the general public and how approachable and interested they are, which always makes my job a lot easier,” said Phelps. The Weasley twins famously argued about which one of them was better looking, and for those who wonder if Oliver and James have the same argument, Phelps put that issue to rest. “There’s a reason I’m here and James isn’t,” Phelps said with a smile, then clarified that in fact his brother is doing a theater show right now. Fans of the Harry Potter series will remember that each year Hogwarts takes a Christmas-time visit to the village of Hogsmeade. It’s that Victorian-like English village setting — complete with authentic Harry Potter merchandise and a wand shop — that the Wizarding World Experience at Shops at South Town recreated. “Certainly in the first film and book, Christmas is a big thing. Harry Potter has adapted itself really well because it’s quite fitting to have the snow on the rooftops and things like that. And the movies seem to always be on TV at Christmas time,” Phelps said. Phelps doesn’t resent the fact that he’s associated more with the Potter universe than any other professional endeavor. “It’s something I’ll never be able to hide from. The way I always think about it is, without Potter my life would be totally different,” said Phelps of his claim to fame. Phelps sees the Potter world continuing for many generations. “The cool thing about it is the costumes, the locations and

Oliver Phelps was full of compliments for the people and area of Sandy. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

stuff like that are all based in their own universe. Its fashions aren’t dated. And it’s a nostalgic thing now. I think it will be one of these things that always just follows on,” said Phelps. Heather Nash is the marketing manager at South Town, and said this event is unique not just to Utah, but to the world. “We were talking with Warner Bros. about how to bring something very unique here,” Nash said. “We put together a proposal on ‘Why Sandy?’ and the thing that sold it was the local interest here. The Megaplex, especially Jordan Commons, was number one (in ticket sales) in the country when the first Harry Potter film came out. That told them that this is an audience that loves Harry Potter,” Nash said. Nash also emphasized that they wanted to put together something that would be free to the community. The Q&A was open to the public, and South Town patrons can walk through the Wizarding World set, play mini Quidditch and watch wand demonstrations free of charge now through Jan. 21. Phelps’s appearance brought fans from around the Salt Lake Valley like Ian, a sophomore at Bingham High. He describes himself as a “Super big Harry Potter fan,” and likes both the books and the movies.

“I started reading the books when I was really young, and I’ve read them all a couple of times. I really like ‘Half-Blood Prince’ (book 6) and ‘The Order of the Phoenix’ (book 5). I like that they’re all rising up together against the Ministry of Magic, and in book 6 it explores what’s going to happen in the seventh (final) book,” said Ian. He heard about the event the day before, and came early to get a coveted front-row seat. “I felt like it would be really cool to meet one of the cast members.” Fans at the hour-long Q&A weren’t disappointed. Phelps answered questions submitted by fans online. Moderator Val Cameron-Walker of the morning show at B98.7 radio had the lucky job of sitting on the stage with Phelps and asking questions. Phelps answered questions about his character and filming the series. He exhibited much of the same lightheartedness for which the Weasleys are famous. His answer to the question, “What similarities are there between you and your character?” was, “We’re the same height.” And about what he wishes he could do like George? “I wish I had a joke shop.” l

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Shopping locally creates connections By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com 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 circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com 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.

The Sandy Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Travis Barton travis@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer Tracy.l@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1021 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton Sierra Daggett Amanda Luker

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here are a lot of different ways to go about shopping this holiday season — browsing at a bricks-and-mortar store, buying online, waiting in line for doorbusters — and each shopping experience meets different personal and family needs. But, how does the type of shopping that’s done impact Sandy, Draper, Midvale and surrounding communities? More specifically, does shopping at locally owned businesses really make a noticeable and positive impact? Bethany Driscoll, a Sandy resident and mother of three, graduated in economic studies. She encourages buying from locally owned businesses when it’s an option. Driscoll knowsit really matters where people choose to shop. “When we buy local, it directly benefits the community’s microeconomy. It provides revenue for local business owners, uses local resources for internal use and creates wages that benefit residents. It also raises contributions to local nonprofits,” Driscoll said. She tries to shop this way often, because more of each dollar spent locally directly circulates over and over again. “It allows the community to culturally and qualitatively grow. That means more resources are directly available for your family,” Driscoll explained. Alex Hickey is a frequent customer at the one-of-a-kind art gallery and collectibles store, Nātür (94 West 7720 South). Hickey said his preferred type of buyer experience is shopping nearby. “I’d rather come look at stuff locally, rather than buy it online. You can get a lot of cool stuff, and it has a story behind it.” He also said, “It helps diversify the city.” Nātür is a destination place operated by owner Jean-Michel Arrigona, who is also the creator and designer behind many of the sculptures and items on display. Arrigona has a consistent following of patrons who say their favorite gifts and most positive shopping experiences have come from locally owned places like his — finding things they could not find anywhere else. “If you buy it on eBay, there’s a good chance you might find it for less. One thing

that my customers come here for, is they’re able to pick what they want. They’re able to look at the quality. They’re able to make sure it’s what they’re looking for,” Arrigona said. When shopping locally, there is an opportunity to get to know where products came from and what the passion is behind those products. “It changes what you’re looking at,” Arrigona said. In his shop, he has unique bracelets made from antique button hooks (tiny disks made out Locally owned shops like Nātür (94 West 7720 South) have added to the cultural uniqueness of oyster shells, of SLC. (Amy Green/City Journals) originally for lacnections.” ing up women’s Another valuable aspect of buying with boots in the 1800s). Purchased online, it’s just a beautiful bracelet. Purchased in a shop, it’s a community in mind is that many locally owned beautiful bracelet with a fascinating tie to his- stores can help educate buyers, offer “how-touse” product advice and direct shoppers to othtory. John Roh, owner of the Razor & Dram, a er highly recommended places. Locally owned single-chair barber shop in Sugar House said, shops have added to the cultural uniqueness of “Shopping local is literally what keeps me each city in Salt Lake — places with consignalive.” Roh feels strongly about buying local. ment goods, handmade items or miniature mer“When I put my money into your store, my maid and dragon skeletons. Nātür has those. There are often locally owned choices money is going toward feeding your kids. Your money is going toward diapers for my son — close by to consider — shops with items rangnot some investment account where it will be- ing from domestic, to athletic, musical, to mecome a digit in a computer screen that doesn’t dicinal, to remarkably artistic — with each one exist anymore,” he said. “Local businesses en- ready to impact the local community and, by rich people’s lives, and we develop closer con- extension, each resident. l

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Heroes among us — Sandy teen wins national prize for her service dog fundraising By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com

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chasing their other dreams. “Morgan (and I) continued to work together all through high school. She is still involved as her time allows and is now a basketball star for Iowa State University Cyclones. We hope to possibly involve our college communities in Paws,” said Bell. Hannah couldn’t decide between training a service dog or going to medical school, so she did both. “In her first year of medical school at Duke University (Hannah) raised Lulu, a Labradoodle puppy who would become a wheelchair assistance dog. We joke and say she will be the smartest service dog ever!” said Bell. Since moving to California, Bell has started using a new service dog, Nox. “Nox is attending classes with me. It has been a big adjustment from (living in) Sandy! Nox is very different from Sunny and it has taken some extra time to complete our development as a

team,” said Bell. Bell plans to take business and marketing classes to help her continue to run her foundation. She also has several fundraising events on the horizon. “I plan to organize another Super Paws 5K this spring and would love to bring that to Berkeley. It would be wonderful to see Waterford keep up the Sunny’s Spring Sing Benefit Concert, and I would love to help them with that,” said Bell. For someone who started her community service efforts early in life, Bell is tuned into creating a new generation of socially aware kids. “I am focused on expanding Puppy Paws fundraising into classrooms. It is exciting to see children involved in community service activities,” Bell said. l

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Tabitha Bell of Sandy with her service dog Sunny and friend Carson with his dog Lulu. (Photo Courtesy of the Barron Prize)


ear teens: If you think you’re too young to make a difference, think again. Tabitha Bell of Sandy was just 13 years old when she started her service dog fundraising organization Pawsitive Pawsibilities. Now a freshman at UC Berkeley, Bell learned in September that she had won a Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes for her work. Bell feels strongly about service dogs because she uses one herself. “I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and needed help navigating my middle school campus at the Waterford School,” Bell said. That’s when her German shepherd Sunny came into her life. For Bell, a service dog meant freedom. “After seven surgeries on my legs and spine, I was forced to remain home from school because of my severe balance and strength deficits. But my dog Sunny changed all that. Sunny supported me when I walked, picked up things I accidentally dropped on the ground and ran messages for me,” Bell said. To share the gift of mobility with others, Bell, her sister Hannah and her best friend Morgan Kane established Pawsitive Pawsibilities. The organization raises funds to train and place service dogs with those in need. The service dogs help military veterans and those with PTSD, kids with special needs and those in need of mobility assistance. After running her foundation and organizing several community fundraisers, Bell got a chance to share some information about Pawsitive Pawsibilities at a horse show earlier this year. After her presentation, a representative for the Barron prize called her and encouraged her

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to apply. In August, she found out she had won. “Each year, the Barron Prize honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment,” it says on the Barron website. (See www.barronprize.org) As part of the award, Bell received a monetary gift she split between her foundation and her education expenses. In addition, “I was given an opportunity to submit pictures and more information on Pawsitive Pawsibilites. The opportunity to spread the word about the foundation in their publications was another great gift!” said Bell. (See www.pawsitivepawsibilities.org for more information) Bell has a unique relationship with her alma mater, the Waterford School in Sandy. “They’ve allowed us to raise money through selling the Pawsitive Pawsibilities bracelets to students, and helped us set up a 5L and benefit concert,” Bell said of the school. Nancy Nebeker is the dean of students at Waterford and worked with Bell as a student. She was happy to help coordinate events at the school and let Bell be an example for the student body. “When Tabitha launched her nonprofit, her fellow students enthusiastically supported her and her fundraising efforts. Tabitha took time to share her message about the life-changing impact of service dogs in student assemblies, and her peers saw clearly the passion Tabitha brought to this important cause. She was a shining example of philanthropy for our entire community,” said Nebeker. Bell and her co-founders Kane and Hannah continue to support the organization while

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Singers from Sandy open the Christmas season in tabernacle concerts By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


errilee Webb, founder and director of the We Also Sing Women’s Choir, loves to teach music. The current iteration of her volunteer choir, which included many Sandy area residents, opened the Christmas season at Temple Square with 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. concerts on Nov. 24. The nearly 300-voice choir is made up of women from all over Utah. Having rehearsed weekly in either Taylorsville or St. George since September, the choirs met together for the first time the day of their concerts and sang 10 songs, all to live instrumentation with professional musicians. Of the choir experience Webb said, “Women are so good at putting other people first. They are caregivers for friends and family, they give of themselves at work and in the community. They need a place to take care of themselves and nurture their interests.” Webb came up with the idea for We Also Sing several years ago. She loved the idea of having a place where women do something that’s “just for them.” The concerts both began with the song “Christmas Is Coming” as arranged by Mack Wilberg. Then they moved on to well-known Christmas anthems such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (arr. Forrest) and a tender arrangement by Webb of “Once in Royal David’s City.”

Page 6 | December 2018

Several women from the Sandy area participated in the nearly 300-voice choir. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

There were lesser-known songs like “All Is Well” (Smith) and “In the First Light” (Kauflin), and a gospel arrangement of Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus (Chinn). They also included an audience participation number “And Christmas” (Tinney/DeHaan) and a choral arrangement of the pop song “Grown-Up Christmas List” (Foster/Jenner). The tabernacle is, acoustically speaking, a large choir’s dream come true. Webb kept the performance space in mind during rehearsals, reminding the choir how sound there would work. When holding certain notes and then cutting-off, she’d say, “In the tabernacle, this note will ring forever, and it will be beautiful.” Taking time to rehearse and sing reminds many women of their deep love of music, which is healing and restorative. Webb frequently also hears from the men whose wives have participated; they are happy their partners take this time for themselves. One reason for the high retention (and recruitment) rate since the choir was founded over a decade ago is perhaps due to Webb’s philosophy. She explained that rehearsals — which are two hours long and dappled with humor, insights on faith and high choral expectations — are equally as important as the concert. “In this group, rehearsals aren’t just a means to an end in the form of a concert. I don’t know what people left to come to practice each week, and I don’t know what they’ll go back home to, but for two hours they can be engaged and be here. It’s a gift to be able to do that,” Webb said. Choir members, like Julie Sanford of the Sandy area, expressed weekly their gratitude for the opportunity to rehearse under Webb’s direction. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to

sing every Saturday morning in this spectacular choir. Merrilee Webb is our driving force of faith, talent, choral knowledge and humor. She directs and teaches us to sing with the angels as we welcome the Christmas season,” Sanford said. A great benefit of the choir is its inclusive nature. There is no audition, and it is not exclusive to a particular religious denomination. Over the years, choir members such as Sanford have recruited others in their circle to join. “My son, daughter, niece and neighbors have all sung with Merrilee’s choirs. We are better people because of it!” Maryanne Coke, another choir member from Sandy, shared how music helped her heal. “I love the language of music. I discovered the We Also Sing choir about seven years ago, when I was going through intense difficulty. As I attended rehearsals, I gained perspective from Merrilee’s thoughts, encouraging words and the music. I still do. It is a rare privilege to sing in this choir and experience the oneness I feel with everyone,” Coke said. Webb has a long history with many of the women who sang with her. During her career, she’s taught at Indian Hills Middle School, Bountiful High School, BYU Hawaii and until December 2018 Dixie State University. Former students of hers are always in the choir. Sanford summed up the takeaway from the rehearsals and concerts: “Music is truly a universal language we all hear and feel. Thanks to all who sacrifice their time to make this choir happen,” Sanford said. *Editorial note: After years of prodding from her friends, this was the writer’s first time singing in the choir. l

Sandy City Journal

Sandy visual art show celebrates 13 years of local talent By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


he 13th annual Sandy Visual Art Show was held Oct. 16–26. The Sandy Arts Council received over 250 entries from around the valley, displayed them at the Sandy Senior Center and awarded several prizes. This year’s featured artists were wife and husband team Lola and Ray Kartchner of Sandy. Sue Watts, a member of the Sandy Arts Council and an artist herself, acted as docent for the works on display. “I’m not sure if we’re the biggest local art show, but I feel we’re the best. Local artists have a chance to show their work publicly and can sell it if they choose,” Watts said. The show was open to artists 18 and over who are residents of Utah. Each could submit up to three works in the areas of watercolor, oil, acrylic, sculpture, mixed media and photography. In addition, artists with disabilities were encouraged to enter and those entries were judged as well. “The Sandy Senior Center is very accommodating to us and lets us have the event here each year,” said Watts, as she pointed guests to the different rooms, each containing a different medium. “The main foyer is reserved for the featured artists who bring several works to show. The featured artist is chosen by the council and is always a resident of Sandy.” Ray and Lola Kartchner were this year’s featured artists. Lola’s passion is watercolors, and she had several paintings to show and sell. “I am basically a traditional landscape artist. I



try to recreate on paper what Mother Nature has created here on earth. Living in Utah there is an endless supply of inspiration,” Lola said. (See www.watercolorsbylola.com) Ray participates in the annual Living Traditions Festival and loves woodcarving, especially with inlay. He carves everything from walking sticks to knife handles and pen covers. He’s carved dinosaurs for his grandkids and a dragon that won Best of Show in a Utah Arts Council show. “My work with wood has become a part of who I am,” Ray said. The opportunity to show work was new to some artists, such as mixed media and collage artist Linda Marie Cloud of Bluffdale. Cloud said showing her work publicly is a big step outside her comfort zone and a new part of her journey as an artist. She had two entries in the show, and uses the creative process to continually see things in a new perspective, on and off the canvas. The show’s opening gala on Oct. 15 let the artists meet and view each other’s work. Adjudicators awarded ribbons for first place in the following categories: Mayor’s Choice, People’s Choice and Best in Show. Best in Show this year went to Sandy artist Glenda Gleave. A seasoned portrait painter with a romantic flair, Gleave used her granddaughter as a model for her painting titled “When Understanding Comes.” Gleave, whose great-great-grandfather was Danish artist C.C.A. Christensen, learned


Linda Marie Cloud of Bluffdale said showing her abstract pieces gets her out of her comfort zone. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

about art from her mother, though it took until her adult life for her to really give painting a try. “I took a community ed(ucation) class with my daughter, and at the end of it, the teacher said that I should be teaching the class,” Gleave said. Since then, she has studied with some of the “best portrait artists in the world,” and decided to master charcoal, oil and portraiture. Despite both her gender and age working against her, she now has a thriving studio and many commissions.

The winning portrait in its current form almost didn’t happen. “I planned to paint my granddaughter as a fairy. While she was sitting for me, we started talking, and she’s always thinking. I saw her suddenly understand (what we were talking about), and I thought, ‘That’s how I want to capture her,’” said Gleave. (www. glendagleave.com) For information on this year’s winners or past winners, or if you’re interested in entering next year’s visual art show, visit www.sandy. utah.gov and search the Sandy Arts Guild. l

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Sandy City Journal

Christmas came early to the Canyons School District Education Foundation with a $20,000 donation from Larry H. Miller Charities, the nonprofit arm of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. The money will fund a Sub-for-Santa effort benefiting students in every corner of the District. "We have pockets of need throughout our District, and this generous donation will make it possible for schools to assist families in making the holiday season truly special for students in need," said Foundation Officer Denise Haycock. The donors want the funds to be widely dispersed. To that end, the Foundation will make every effort to share this money across the District.


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Park Lane STEM Night isn’t rocket science, but includes rockets and science By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


bout a hundred families tried their hands at balloon rockets, milk tray colors and balancing robots and other activities that involved science, technology, engineering and math as part of Park Lane Elementary’s second annual STEM night. “There are some cool ways families can learn how to implement science and math in their studies and look into careers and learn how science is incorporated in the real world,” Principal Justin Jeffries said. “Science is essential to their lives.” With a couple parents designing the six activities and PTA volunteers helping to staff stations, families could try all of them as a time to bond and explore the STEM field. “My 8-year-old wanted to come,” parent Derron Fairbanks said about his son, Calvin. “STEM has important subjects and there is a desire for students to gain an interest in science and to learn.” Rachel Bagley was with her boys, kindergartner Russell and second-grader Jackson as they examined dish soap breaking up fat in a bowl of milk. “The fat bounced off everything and the molecules broke up,” she said. “We do a lot of science at home, but this encourages a lot of people in the community to come do science. It’s not just geeks in the basement or in the lab, but science is for everyone.” Joel and Emily Jensen also tried the milk bowls with their kindergartner Sawyer and his

2-year-old sister, Hazel. “He loves science and we do experiments at home,” Emily Jensen said about her son. “He talks about becoming a scientist.” However, when asked, Sawyer said he wants to become a “policeman.” Fourth-grade triplets Nicholas, Andrew and Parker Sims were working together to stack cups with bungee cords. “They love science,” said their mother, Lisa,. “We go to the planetarium, the natural history museum and places all the time. They’re my little nerdlings.” Nicholas, who liked the Angry Bird slingshot best, said he learned if you hit the bottom of the cardboard boxes with the stuffed bird “it works best and I can watch the whole pile tumble over.” His brother, Andrew, liked the milk bowl experiment. “When you add the soap into the milk and food color, it just rocketed away,” he said. “It was a chemical reaction. Maybe I should ask why or look it up so I know why.” Parker continued to stack cups after his brothers took a break and was excited to create a stacking record for the evening with his friend, Preston. First-grader Bailee Higgs tried out stacking bubbles with dry ice. “It’s fun,” she said. Her dad, Buck, said what she did that night, as bubbles stack around and she pops them, will translate later as she learns more about science.

First-grader Bailee Higgs stacks dry ice bubbles during Park Lane’s STEM night. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“She can learn that with little effort, it can result in simple things that are incredible,” he said. “Science can do lots of things.” Aaron Sprague was with his second-grader, Henrik, testing balloon rockets when they thought of the secret to making the balloon travel quickly in a straight line when it was let go. “You put tape in the middle of the balloon,” Henrik said, as he and his father set a record for their balloon rocket.

Sprague said STEM Night is a fun way to do fun experiments in a safe environment and he plans to try some additional experiments with his son at home. Henrik, who wants to be a geologist, said the water blob bottles were the most fun he had tried thus far. “You learn how gas rises and floats to the surface,” Henrik said. “I’m here because I want to learn more.” l

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Tests? Fitting in? It’s more than that as student anxiety increases By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com It may be that an elementary student is fearful to come to school and once there, he is afraid to enter the school. If that student makes it to the classroom, often he is unable to cope or focus. In secondary schools, feelings can be internalized, leading to disengagement and depression. “There is likely an equal distribution of anxiety and stress K (kindergarten) through 12 (12th grade), however associated behaviors will manifest in different ways,” said Judy Petersen, Granite School District’s college and career readiness director. “Younger students are more likely to act out and struggle to regulate their behavior. Older students tend to internalize their struggles until they manifest as self-harm and/or suicide ideation.” Veteran teacher Karen Larson, who instructs English at Canyons District’s Brighton High, learned that firsthand. “The anxiety level is off the charts,” she said. “Students worry about paying for college, competing in the global marketplace for a job to support themselves, failing, being on their own and having that responsibility, what’s going on in the world.” Larson, who has students keep a journal that she tells them she reviews, has read those entries and more, including a student trying to harm himself. “I immediately let people know. By looking through his phone, they learned there were more pressures coming at him. What is happening in the world — shootings, climate change, cyberbullying — just adds to anxiety,” she said, adding that before reading the journal entry, she had no idea that the student attempted suicide. Sometimes, teachers and counselors recognize anxiety, such as being nervous before a test, but other times, it can be disguised as anger, illness, apathy or other behaviors that look entirely different, said Torilyn Gillett, Canyons School District school counseling program specialist. “Everyone will feel a level of stress in their lives,” she said. “Anxiety is when that stress becomes a point at which the person can no longer accomplish their everyday tasks. Therefore, it is often that a student may not be able to concentrate and participate in academic learning nor complete assignments.” Anxiety in the classroom isn’t just hitting students locally, said Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialist McKinley Withers. “Nationwide, the suicide rates have increased,” he said. “Hopelessness, depression, anxiety all contribute. This is a generation needing different support than we’ve seen in the past. Much of their social world is fragile, contained to a device. There is a definite biological need

Page 12 | December 2018

to be face to face, to have that human interaction and touch, that is being reduced by technology. Now some peers are lacking self-confidence and anxiety grows as they text their peers next to them and sit isolated with their earbuds.” The Child Mind Institute reported in 2015 that more than 17 million U.S. children and adolescents have or have had a diagnosable mental illness — and 80 percent of the kids with anxiety don’t get treatment. According to the National Education Association, nearly two-thirds of college students reported in 2016 “overwhelming anxiety,” up from 50 percent just five years earlier. For seven straight years, anxiety has been the top complaint among college students seeking mental health services, with nearly one quarter saying it affects their academic performance. Petersen said that social workers report a higher number of students with behavior issues related to anxiety. “Students seem to be more anxious about safety at school, away from their parents, especially in K (kindergarten) through 6 (sixth grade), by negative influence of social media, and issues related to their status — and their family’s status — related to immigration,” she said. Gillett said that anxiety at a young age often centers around separation, being worried about their parents when they’re at school, or being anxious in school, speaking to teachers or in front of a classroom. Sometimes, children worry about a variety of everyday things and are filled with stressful thoughts, Gillett said. “Some worry is excessive and not normally warranted,” she said. Testing and academics also may play a factor, said Granite School District parent Robyn Ivins, who has taught in a classroom. “Teens today are really pressured from a young age to succeed so by the time they’re in high school, there’s real pressure to get a 36 on the ACT (college standardized test) and have a 4.0 (grade-point average),” she said. “It’s really taken a toll. Students are struggling to get the best classes, the best teachers, the best of everything. Sometimes they feel the pressure from parents or their peers. Sometimes it’s pressure they put on themselves.” The National Education Association said that these teens grew up in classrooms governed by No Child Left Behind, the federal law that introduced high-stakes standardized testing to every public school in America. Starting in elementary school, instead of making art and new friends, the NEA said they learned to write fullon sentences in timed tests. These are the same students who instead of having hours of art and recess, attend pep rallies to pump them up for

The Zitting family attends Park Lane Elementary’s STEM Night. Counselors recommend families spend time together to help build bonds to make students feel safe and valued. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

state testing. Even the stress of teachers needing to meet certain standards may be adding to the picture, wrote University of Michigan professor Daniel P. Keating in “Dealing with Stress at School in an Age of Anxiety.” Ivins said certain anxiety issues, such as families struggling, may impact a number of Cottonwood High students, with some of the 1,700 students coming from refuge families. She and others try to take away that anxiety by providing food and needed items through the school pantry, which is open to all students. “In high school, there are all sorts of pressures from sleeping with a boyfriend or getting asked to a dance and wearing the cutest clothes to where their next meal will come from and how their family will cope with pressures,” she said. Ivins, who said she’s not an expert, has seen the effects of social anxiety maximized through technology, such as social media. “There is a false look of the world when something is posted on Snapchat,” she said. “Whether it’s students posting or the parents, what’s there is not the whole story. They’re only posting the best. They see that their friends are succeeding, but what isn’t posted is a child having a tantrum or getting a C on a test. It becomes a struggle to lead the perfect life they see their peers have.” Gillett said sometimes, youth can’t fully understand messages and posts on social media. “A friend may say something, and your child takes it as a harsh rejection, when it’s not meant that way at all. Or they see all the great things that people do, but that’s only one percent of their life that is posted. We tend not to post our whole stories, just great accomplishments, not our normal days. Often that results in feelings of not measuring up when they compare them-

selves on what they see posted,” she said. Withers agrees. “Social media sucks kids in and creates anxiety in who sees what or how they measure up. Kids bullied at school feel less anxious nowadays than those who have been cyberbullied. Online, you don’t know who has seen what and you feel your whole life has been broadcast. You have no idea how far it went or who talked about it,” he said. The accessibility of having a smartphone also has led to more concerns beyond social media. “The increased screen time affects students,” Gillett said. “Constant access to the world can be a good thing, but it also means that the young are no longer sheltered from troubles, the next school shooting, bombing or even bullying, as we were when we young. Sometimes, they can’t process it at a young age. We need to build in escape time daily.” She said that even adding meditation, relaxation, deep breathing or taking a few minutes each day for a mindfulness app will help take away panic and anxiety feelings. “Even a walk without technology gives good exercise for both the body and the brain,” Gillett said. She also recommends that having family time as well as putting away devices at dinner will help build bonds to make students feel safe and valued. Sleep, about eight or nine hours nightly, is one the best things for students as well, Gillett said. “Just as your phone needs to be plugged in to recharge, your brain is the same way. It needs to recuperate,” she said. Gillett isn’t anti-technology. “It’s a factor of the world we live in and we

Sandy City Journal

need to find a healthy way to navigate through it. Technology developed super quickly and now we’re seeing the adverse effects and are understanding them. We need to help students make healthy choices that will support and protect them in the world they live in,” she said. Teachers are becoming more aware of how students cope with anxiety and how their relationships are critical, Gillett said. “Some anxiety, such as their ACT scores or fitting in the crowd, is normal, but it’s when there is hysterical crying or depression, those are warning signs and having a positive, strong relationship where a student can talk to and trust an adult is important,” she said, adding that secondary schools have become more pro-active in sharing the SafeUT app or suicide hotlines with students. “We’re taking away the barriers in talking about mental illness. Any mental illness is a risk factor for suicide.” Suicide prevention education begins in seventh and eighth grades in Canyons District from warning signs to recognizing where to get help to good coping skills. Hope squads, students who are “the eyes and ears” of secondary schools who help identify warning signs and seek help from adults, are in place in a number of secondary schools across the state. In September, Canyons showed, “Angst,” a movie about students dealing with anxiety and had a panel discussion afterward. More than 500 families attended, Gillett said. “Anxiety has become a hot topic for parents and we have seen an increase in discussion and

in seeing students who previously didn’t know where to get help,” she said. Olympus High in Granite School District also showed the movie in October and Skyline High held a suicide night Oct. 16. Several parent outreach meetings on mental health and suicide prevention are held throughout Granite School District. In Jordan District, where Herriman High community experienced seven student suicide deaths last year, 36 psychologists were added this year so every elementary has a full-time health and mental professional to match those already in place at the secondary schools. Petersen said there also has been an increase in the number of students — and their parents — reporting that they feel anxious and stressed. “We do not track this specifically, but we have seen an increase in ‘anxiety and stress’ used as reasons for not attending school and an increase in the number of students — and their parents — requesting a home instruction placement for the same rather than a traditional school schedule,” she said, adding that all Granite District staff are trained on what to look for and how to talk with struggling students. Murray School District Director of Personnel and Student Services Darren Dean said school personnel do not diagnose anxiety, but help with resources. “We train administrators and teachers to work with the parent on accommodations in the school setting that will help the student to be successful,” he said, adding that services include meeting with school counselors or extending re-

High school students’ anxiety may increase as they fill out college applications. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

ferrals to an outside agency for counseling services. Withers said while school districts aren’t designed to treat mental health, Jordan District supports students and provides families with resources, including Jordan’s Family Education Center where students can receive eight weeks of free counseling services. Withers said there is even an anxiety group that meets regularly.

Gillett said that some immediate changes such as healthy eating and sleeping can help. “By setting goals and exercising daily habits of living a healthy life, students are building protective factors against anxiety,” she said. “If those are already in place, then that routine will help when anxiety or depression comes. Balance is something we need to learn for ourselves and for our children.” l

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December 2018 | Page 13

Don’t let holiday activities break the bank! There’s lots of fun free events in the SLC area By Christy Jepson | christy@mycityjournals.com


he holidays are right around the corner and there are plenty of things to do in the Salt Lake Valley. Many of them are free. Here’s a list of activities that won’t put a dent in your budget and will provide fun for all. Herriman’s Night of Lights: Monday, Dec. 3 from 5-9 p.m. at City Hall and Crane Park (5355 W. Herriman Main St.). There will be a gingerbread contest, a visit with Santa, the tree lighting, a candy cane hunt, holiday crafts, food trucks, performances by Herriman Harmonyx and Herriman Orchestra, photo ops, and ice skating. There is a fee for ice skating (weather permitting), but everything else is free. Draper’s Candy Cane Hunt: Monday, Dec. 10 from 4-5 p.m. at the Draper Historic Park (12625 S. 900 East). This is a free family event sponsored by the Draper Parks and Recreation Department. Children ages 3-6 will hunt for thousands of candy canes that are scattered around the park and hidden in bushes and trees. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also arrive on a fire truck and will be available for photos under the gazebo. While you are in Draper, don’t forget to check out Draper’s Tree of Light (or sometimes called The Tree of Life), which is a big willow tree in the middle of Draper City Park (12500 S. 1300 East). This tree is decorated with more than 65,000 lights. Draper City first lit the tree for the Christmas season in 2008 and each year more lights have been added. The lights turn on at dusk and stay on until midnight everyday until New Years. This has become a popular holiday destination for people statewide. Gingerbread House Contest in South Jordan: Gingerbread houses will be on display in the Gale Center Auditorium (10300 S. Beckstead Lane) from Nov. 27-Dec. 6 for People’s Choice Award voting. The hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Light the Night at the South Jordan

City: On Friday, Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the South Jordan City Plaza at 1600 W. Towne Center Drive. There will be pictures with Santa, hot cocoa, gingerbread houses, the unveiling of the candy windows display featuring artists Jennifer Vesper and Krista Johansen. Visit Santa on Towne Center Drive in South Jordan: On Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m., Dec. 8 from 3-5 p.m., Dec. 14 from 6-8 p.m., Dec. 15 from 3-5 p.m., Dec. 21 from 6-8 p.m., and Dec. 22 from 3-5 p.m. (1600 W. Towne Center Drive) Riverton’s Holly Days in the Park: On Nov. 26, 30 and Dec. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverton City Park, large pavilion, 1452 W. 12600 South. This free family event includes: the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire engine, hot chocolate and warm buttery scones, and walking through the park reading from the giant-sized storybook pages of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” There will also be vendor booths so visitors can get some holiday shopping done. Christmas Night of Music: This 3rd annual event will be on Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the Riverton High School auditorium and will be a night filled with a community choir of over 100 voices and a local orchestra. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Riverton High School is located at 12476 S. Silverwolf Way. This is a free event. Salt Lake City: If you are downtown celebrating the season be sure to drop by and look at Macy’s holiday candy window displays at City Creek Center. Also in Salt Lake City, on Dec. 17 is the 32nd Annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This free event will be filled with holiday music and fun. There will be musical numbers by the Bonner Family. This event starts at 7 p.m. Santa Is Coming to Town in West Jordan: On Thursday, Dec. 20 from 6-8 p.m. there will be a craft, a coloring station, story time with

Two boys sit on the laps of Santa and Mrs. Claus during Holly Days at the Riverton City Park. (Photo credit Angie Meine)

Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa and cookies, carolers, and a visit with Santa. Santa will be arriving at 6 p.m. sharp so don’t be late. This event will be located in the City Hall Community Room at 8000 S. Redwood Road. Saturday with Santa: Christmas Around the World: On Saturday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. families can come visit with Santa, enjoy food tasting from places around the world, crafts and games and entertainment. This event is free and is sponsored by Taylorsville Preservation Committee and will be held at the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center, 1488 W. 4800 South in Murray. Back for the second year at The Shops at South Town in Sandy is Chistmas in the Wizarding World. Step into the world of a wintry Hogsmeade village that features unique mer-

chandise from the “Fantastic Beasts” and “Harry Potter” films. It is free to walk through and will be opened from now until Jan. 21. Even though it is not free, there is another activity in Sandy that is inexpensive when it comes to ticket prices. The Dickens’ Christmas Festival at the Mountain America Exposition Center (9575 S. State Street) is produced and organized by Olde World Historical Council and claims to be a “unique and unusual entertainment and shopping experience.” From fortune tellers, to old English shops, the “real” Father Christmas, period costumes, street theater, puppet shows, a mini-production of “Scrooge” and visits from the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ticket prices are $3.50 for children and $5.50 for adults. l

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Winter driving safety: Snow falls and you slow down


he long line at the local auto body shop isn’t just for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. With temperatures dropping and leaves soon to follow, it’s time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. 1) Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of knowing road conditions before ever leaving the house. Utah Department of Transportation has more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. Twitter feeds also provide alerts about traffic situations throughout the state, including roads up the canyon. Unified Police have a canyon alerts Twitter page for to update traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as tire requirements and road closures. 2) Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. If only two new tires are placed on the car, make sure to put them in the rear. With the falling snow, it’s necessary to have quality wiper blades that ensures clear views rather than leaving water streaks across windshield impairing your ability to drive. The wiper

fluid reservoir also needs to be replenished before the first snows hit. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over. A system should be in place to check everything in your car such as the battery power and your cooling system. Antifreeze helps the vehicle withstand the freezing temperatures. The vehicle should also be stocked with safety items in the case of an emergency. The Utah Department of Public Safety suggests on its website to have jumper cables, a tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and batteries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and hand warmers. 3) Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slow. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In drivers education courses, prospective

drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front. All movements should be gradual rather than sudden. This means avoiding sharp turns, accelerating slowly and braking softly. Though you may have four-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive, this does not give license to drive recklessly in winter conditions. This means staying off cruise control as well. The need for seat belts increases tenfold during the winter. With car seats, place coats or blankets around the children after strapping them in. Coats can limit the effectiveness of a car seat. Stay alert. Deer become more active after storms. Black ice causes many crashes and that ice typically looks like wet spots. If skidding does take place, steer in the direction the back of the car is going and ease off the gas. Remember to keep the gas tank at least halfway full, it will keep the gas tank from freezing and if you get stuck in a traffic jam, you may need as much gas as possible. 4) Time For those of you who struggle with punctuality, this becomes paramount. Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination means you won’t rush, decreasing the chances of a crash. l

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Thank you, voters! Even though I didn’t win the Utah Senate 9 race, by knocking on 5,000 doors in 50 days, I met so many of you who shared your hopes and concerns for the future of our community. It was a privilege to be welcomed at your doors and thank you all those who supported my write-in campaign. If I can be of help to you on issues of open space preservation, funding schools, or managing our rapid growth, please call me at (385) 449-1070. There is much work to be done. Stay involved and together we will make a difference!

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December 2018 | Page 15

Sandy resident Don Kirk celebrates 105 years of well-lived life By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


on Kirk of Sandy celebrated a very special birthday when he turned 105 years old on Oct. 28. A party, which was held the next day at Kirk’s assisted living center, Cedarwood of Sandy, on Oct. 29, included residents, family members, a letter from the governor, Kirk’s favorite meal and birthday cake. Kirk said family is one of the most important things to him. One of the high points of his life was marrying his wife Olive. Though Olive passed away in 1994, many of his family members were at the celebration to help him bring in another year. He has quite the progeny: seven children, 37 grandchildren, 99 great-grandchildren, 55 great-great-grandchildren and one great-greatgreat-grandchild. Kirk spent his professional life as a credit manager with Fuller Paints. For work, he lived in the San Francisco and Boise areas, and then finally the family came back to the Salt Lake area where they settled. But his real passion? Dancing. He met his wife at a dance at Saltair and loves to dance, “especially the rumba, waltz and tango,” said Margaret Nuttall, sales director of Cedarwood at Sandy. “Cedarwood has a dance each month, and though he’s now using a wheelchair, he loves to come down to the dances. If someone helps him stand up, he even tries a move or two.” Nuttall wanted to make sure that Kirk’s party would be special. “We made a really big deal of it. We invited all the residents and all of Mr. Kirk’s family. We had a birthday cake and arranged the residents’ menu that day so that everyone could enjoy Don’s favorite meal, which is Malibu chicken and asparagus,” Nuttall said. The celebration also included a toast to Kirk

Don Kirk wears the party hat at his birthday party at Cedarwood Assisted Living in Sandy in October. (Margaret Nuttall/Cedarwood of Sandy)

with sparkling cider and a buffet of hors d’oeuvres. Governor Gary Herbert sent Kirk a letter which congratulated him on a “remarkable” birthday. Herbert summed up the feelings of many when he wrote, “We thank you for all the good you have done for Utah and wish you continued health and happiness for many more years to come.” l

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Page 16 | December 2018

Sandy City Journal


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esert Star’s latest parody takes on the Christmas villain that everybody loves to hate! No, not the Grinch... The Grouch! This zany parody opens November 8th and it’s a hilarious musical melodrama for the whole family you don’t want to miss! This show, written by Ben Millet, with an update for 2018 and directed by Scott Holman, follows the story of the Whoville Orphan Sisters as they attempt to save their Christmas future, and presents, from the notorious Grouch. Also hot on the Grouch’s trail is the handsome huntsman, Hunter Hyrum Y, who blames the green goon for the loss of his arm. The team pursues the Grouch into the snowy mountains surrounding their town, only to encounter an even greater threat... one so dangerous, they just might need to join forces with the Grouch himself in order survive! Comedy, romance, and adventure are all on the docket for this delightful send up of the classic children’s story, as well as topical humor torn from today’s headlines. “How The Grouch Stole Christmas” runs November 8th through January 5th, 2019. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s

side-splitting musical olios, following the show. The “Swingin’ Christmas Olio” features hit holiday themed songs and merry, musical steps mixed with more of Desert Star’s signature comedy. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. The menu includes gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, appetizers, and scrumptious desserts. “How the Grouch Stole Christmas” Plays November 8th - January 5th, 2019 Check website for show times: www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com Tickets: Adults: $24.95-$28.95, Children: $14.95 (Children 11 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Call 801.266.2600 for reservations For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com l

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Sophomore breaks school record in first meet By Ron Bevan | r.bevan@mycityjournals.com

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Jordan’s Josue Quispe set a new school record in the backstroke, finishing the 100-yard race in a time of 58.10 seconds. (Ron Bevan/City Journals)


ne year ago Josue Quispe knew nothing about Jordan High School and Jordan knew nothing about Quispe. Today, his name is in the Beetdigger record book. Quispe, who recently moved to Utah from Peru, not only broke the school’s 100-yard backstroke, but beat the record by a full second, finishing the race in 58.10 seconds. And he did it as a sophomore in the first Jordan swimming meet of the season. “It’s quite unusual for anyone to break a school record this early in the season,” Jordan swimming coach Richard Barnes said. “Usually swimmers are just getting back into their styles and continue to improve throughout the year. The old record was set just last January, by a senior. He will probably improve on the record many times before his time is up at Jordan.” Quispe is one of the younger swimmers on the Jordan team this season. Just 15 years old, he carries himself as a veteran in the pool. He learned to swim and competed heavily while in Peru, winning several different swimming awards. “I feel happiest when I am swimming,” Quispe said. “I found peace in the pool and my stress goes away.” Quispe’s family hoped to move to America for several years. They had to await visas, which came through last year. “We chose to move to Utah because we had

heard the people are nice here, and it is a great place to live,” Quispe said. “We had a good life in Peru, but we wanted more opportunities that you can get in the United States.” Moving in last spring, Quispe was too late for his freshman year on the team. But he had another problem: a language barrier. Although he knew some broken English, Quispe spoke Spanish all his life and now found himself in a new land with new challenges, challenges he had to find a way to face. “I don’t have a problem at school with the language difference,” Quispe said. “Teachers are very helpful and I get an interpreter when I take a test. I am also learning more English by being immersed in it.” “Sometimes he uses an app on his phone to speak to me,” Barnes added. “But we don’t have that luxury when we are in the pool, so other swimmers help him to understand our practice routines. He is a hard worker, and he thanks me all the time after practices.” But one language Quispe speaks fluently is movement in the water. A natural at the backstroke, Quispe uses his muscle memory from years of perfecting the stroke to glide easily through the water. “When I am swimming, all I think about is winning,” Quispe said. “I don’t worry about my stroke, just to win. I always think I can get better. I know I can always improve.” l



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December 2018 | Page 19

Brothers compete nationally in sport climbing By Ron Bevan | r.bevan@mycityjournals.com


outh begin competing in athletics at a young age, honing skills in soccer, baseball, basketball and football. They hope someday to represent their high schools in their chosen athletic endeavor. For Ian and Isaac Buehner, the competition keeps them practicing weekly. And although the two teenagers do not represent their schools, they have made names for themselves nationally. The Buehners compete in sport climbing, a sport the two picked up from their parents. “We started climbing as a family when we lived in upstate New York,” said Meridith Buehner, their mom,. “The winters there were cold, wet and long. There was a climbing gym close to us, so we began going there and trying it out.” Although Meridith and her husband Daniel grew up in Utah, climbing wasn’t a passion for them until later in life. “It’s kind of amazing that we grew up here and even though we have some of the best climbing areas in the world, it wasn’t until New York that we found the sport,” Meridith said. The sport continued to be an important family function when they moved back to Utah, and soon Ian and Isaac found they could compete against others. “We just kept climbing when we came back,” Meridith said. “This way the kids could be together as opposed to running all over town to do different sports.” “I tried doing basketball for a little while, but there is something about climbing that is different and perfect for me,” Isaac said. “I like climbing because you can choose how you proceed. You don’t have to go through all the steps and progressions as you do in other sports.” Ian also tried another sport and returned to climbing. “I played flag football, but that got pretty boring,” Ian said. “I am good at climbing. It is more fun than all the other sports. I can set goals for myself and watch myself get them. Climbing kind of makes me who I am.” While Isaac, 14, and Ian, 12, compete in dif-

Ian Buehner works on technique prior to a recent sport climbing competition. Ian, 12, prefers climbing to other sports. (Ron Bevan/City Journals)

ferent age groups, they do compete at the same events. Meridith stays in the sport by helping arrange local competitions. “Basically, I contact the gyms in our region and set up schedules for when they can host competitions,” Meridith said. Gyms in the region, known as the Mountain West Region, stretch through five states: Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Each year there is a national meet, consisting of the top six climbers from a division. Both Ian and Isaac competed this year in the national tournament, held this summer in Georgia. “It is kind of a huge deal to make it to the nationals,” Meridith said. Two different regions make up a division and only the top six kids from the division get to go to nationals. “We have some of the top climbers in the world in our division when you look at the mountainous states we have around us.” l

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Page 20 | December 2018

Sandy City Journal

Technical, vocational training becomes high-tech “These aren’t the grease monkey positions we used to know.” By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


ordan High students Rhiannon Adderley and Jordan Barrus tried out Utah Valley University’s airplane that was on display. Adderley, who is a junior, said they had learned about topics from engineering to aviation services. Barrus, who is a sophomore, said, “I’m looking around, getting an idea of what I want to do.” Learning about career opportunities is one reason Career and Technical Education (CTE) leaders in Murray, Granite, Jordan, Canyons, Salt Lake and Tooele school districts as well as area charter schools wanted to hold a showcase where high school students could explore and ask questions to college and industry leaders. “We want to open the students’ eyes,” said Janet Goble, Canyons CTE director. “They may not know what exists or how the ones they’re familiar with have changed. This gives them a chance to interact and be exposed to these careers and talk to those in the fields. Many industries are offering part-time jobs, internships, education reimbursement and one-on-one conversations about opportunities.” Goble said it’s an effort to support “One, two, four or more,” meaning post– high school education and training such as earning a certificate to a doctorate program. “It used to be pushed that job opportunities came with a four-year degree and that’s not true anymore. There’s a severe shortage in all the skilled, technical areas as the current workforce is retiring. Some starting careers can reach six figures and tuition reimbursement,” she said. Such is the case with Komatsu Equipment, said Matthew Pruss, Komatsu Equipment director of human resources. Komatsu, which supports the Utah Diesel Technician Pathways through educational opportunities at Jordan and Canyon technical education centers, was just one of more than 100 businesses and college and university departments at the Oct. 16–17 Pathways to Professions’ Career & Technical Education Showcase. Pruss said workers earning “six figures” rings true in the diesel tech careers, where they also offer apprenticeships and help pay for education. “Careers are becoming much more high-tech,” he said. “These careers aren’t the grease monkey positions that we used to know. Now, our technicians are on the laptop, understanding electronics, coding and programming.” For example, a drone’s photography may be used to measure elevation, which then can be used in developing models of roads or where to place piles of dirt when

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building a future school site. From there, technicians build and create models with 3D printers, which may be used when excavating with computer-programmed autonomous hauling machinery and trucks. “There are prototypes where there are no drivers in the cab; they’re already be tested,” Pruss said. “We’re needing technicians right now and students can work right into the program where we’re experiencing shortages.” Stephen Hemmersmeier, marketing department data coordinator at Jerry Seiner Dealerships, said they too are experiencing a technician shortage in the automobile industry, and incentives such as tuition reimbursement for two-year technician certification programs are possible with Jerry Seiner Dealerships. “Many students think it’s working with your hands and tinkering with engines, but now it’s being able to upload and run diagnostic equipment on the computer,” he said. Hemmersmeier, and other company representatives, interested students through hands-on activities at the Pathways expo. At Jerry Seiner, students participated in a “Minute to Win It” scavenger hunt to identify 25 parts of a Kia Stinger. “It’s a fun, interactive way to get students involved, and then they feel more at ease to ask questions,” he said. Drayke Gray, a cadet with Salt Lake City Fire, answered students about what he does and why he chose to enter a program for students from age 14 to 18 to learn about the fire service. “Even if they end up not wanting this career, it helps them learn leadership, accountability, knowledge, working with people and opportunities that will help them in their careers or with scholarships with colleges,” he said. Hillcrest High’s Work-Based Learning Facilitator Cher Burbank said not only is it a great opportunity for students to talk to industry leaders, but it also gives industry a chance to share with students so “kids will stay in Utah” with their careers. Priscilla Banbury, an adult volunteer with Americon, agreed. “We’re looking to find adults and kids who are wanting to pursue a job as we have openings and great benefits,” she said. “We want to integrate into the community and support our local students.” Jordan School District CTE Director Jason Skidmore said booths featured agriculture, business and marketing, family consumer science, skilled and technical areas, technology and engineering, information technology and health sciences. “We invited education and industry

Carpe Di End

Jordan High students Rhiannon Adderley and Jordan Barrus check out Utah Valley University’s airplane at the Pathways to Professions showcase. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

from all those sectors with a goal to provide students variety and have them look and learn what options are there,” he said about the 8,000 students in attendance. “Harmons has been here all three years we’ve held the Pathways Showcase. They tie into agriculture, culinary, business and marketing — so many more opportunities than students realize.” Skidmore said he also hopes students are intrigued to pursue their own passion to make it their career. As part of the expo, Salt Lake Community College hosted Jamie Hyneman, co-host of the television show “MythBusters,” who shared how he did that. Jordan High’s Work-Based Learning Facilitator Lisa Willis said it started with “solid advice about following through with what you start” in terms of jobs and education. “He learned through survival, starting to make his own way when he was 14 and did a variety of jobs to survive,” she said, adding that he also earned a master’s degree. “He wanted students to know they could be more than the students who took a test. They could be the students who could find the new method, not just answer a question right, but to think outside the box — to do hard things and make things better. He said they needed to learn things and see things through to the end, not just be passive or give up.” Goble added that she hopes students took note of his reply when asked how he figured out what career he wanted to do. “He said he’s still in the process of exploring and that he’s always learning,” she said. “Lifelong learning is an important part in careers.” l

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Tempting The Grinch

he animated film by Illumination “The Grinch” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Cameron Seely recently premiered on Nov. 9. During opening weekend, it made $66 million dollars. The popularly known version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss was published on Oct. 12, 1957. It began as a 32-line illustrated poem titled “The Hoobub and The Grinch” and was originally published in May of 1955 in Redbook magazine. The book version was released in December of 1957 by Random House. Since then, the book has held the attention of young readers for decades. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, here’s a quick rundown. In the little town of Who¬ville, all of the Whos who live there love Christmas. The Grinch lives north of Whoville and, not being a Who, hates Christmas. As the holiday approaches, the Whos get antsier, creating all sorts of smells and noises, including a song they all sing together on Christmas Eve. As The Grinch radiates of hatred on that night, he comes up with an idea. He will steal Christmas. He disguises himself as Santy Claus and sleds into Whoville where he steals all the Christmas things. As he is stealing Christmas in the middle of the night, a Who child, Little Cindy-Lou Who questions him about

stealing the family’s Christmas tree. He feeds her a lie and moves on with his night. On Christmas morning, well…I won’t spoil it for you. In the story, The Grinch steals everything relating to Christmas, even though Dr. Seuss mentions a few very specific things on The Grinch’s list: pop guns, bicycles, roller skates, drums, checkerboards, tricycles, popcorn, plums, pudding, roast beef, ribbons, packages, boxes, bags, and even the tree. If you don’t want to tempt The Grinch this holiday season, maybe it’s worth not having all of the above-mentioned items easily accessible. We’re in good shape with the first item on this list. Pop guns will probably be unavailable for purchase in many stores. Instead of buying an entirely new bicycle, tricycle, or roller skates, maybe it would be worthwhile to provide a gift card for the app related to the dockless electric rental scooters littering the streets of downtown Salt Lake. I haven’t used one myself, but from what I understand, you pay through an app on your phone and the scooter will run for as long as you pay for. Instead of buying a drum kit, which can run anywhere from $200 to upwards of $600 or more, maybe gift some drumsticks and lessons; or the Rock Band video game provided a gaming console has

been previously purchased. Checkers isn’t the popular game it used to be. Instead of spending $15 to $300 (I’m surprised too) on checkerboards, pick up a few packs of cards for less than $10. Not only are cards less expensive, there are unlimited variations of games that can be played. I’m not so sure checkers can say the same. For popcorn, just don’t. Who wants kernels in their teeth? Or to string popped popcorn? Unless that’s crucial to family tradition, please don’t partake. Also, plums and pudding. I’ve never incorporated those into festivities myself, so I don’t personally understand the appeal. However, I do know that my home is flooded with cookies and other homemade treats gifted from neighbors and family members. If you’re like me and have a swarm of goodies anyway, don’t buy plums and puddings either. Along the same thread (no, not the popcorn one), is roast beef. Does anyone still do roast beef for Christmas? It must be a Who thing. For ribbons, packages, boxes, and bags: keep it simple. Let’s start with boxes and bags. I’m sure a good portion of us will be doing online shopping this year. Keep the boxes from those orders. Personally, I keep boxes from online orders all year long so I can re-purpose them for gift giving. If I need to use

bags, I’ll buy a wholesale pack, because spending $2 to $10 per bag is madness. For ribbons and packages, I recommend buying wholesale as well. Hit up your local craft or party store and buy a few spools of ribbon which you can use multiple times. Balloon ribbon makes for surprisingly fancy present wrapping ribbon. Finally, the tree. I’m exceptionally biased. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh pine from a live tree throughout the season. I would have saved a few hundred dollars by now if I had invested in a fake tree, but some things are just worth it. l

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Life and Laughter—Dance of the Sugar Plum Peri


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never remember having visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, mostly because I didn’t know what a sugarplum was (but it sounds like something I’d eat). What I do remember is having visions of Christmas cookies piled on every possible surface in our kitchen as mom baked herself into a holiday frenzy. Around the middle of December, mom would cart home bags and bags of ingredients for her annual Christmas cookie bake-a-rama, preparing to make the treats she only made once a year. My siblings and I would “help” her unload bags of chocolate, sugar, cream and spices until she yelled at us to go watch TV. When mom donned her apron, adopted a determined expression and started grabbing bowls, that’s when I knew Christmas was really coming. We also knew to stay out of her way, which meant we had to be creative when it came to sneaking bits of cookie dough, scoops of frosting and pieces of pecans. During the ‘70s, sugar consumption wasn’t regulated, it was even encouraged! We ate so much sugar on a daily basis, our teeth were in a constant state of vibration. But at Christmas?! Our sugar levels reached critical mass to the point we peed sugar cubes. I’d eat cookies for

dinner, have a stomachache all night, and only be able to eat four bowls of Cap’n Crunch for breakfast. Each of us had our sugary Christmas cookie favorites, and mom made every single one. Mine were the cherry cookies; buttery sugar cookie dough baked around a maraschino cherry. My sisters loved the pineapple tarts cooked to a golden brown, and gingerbread men, decorated with frosting and Red Hot candies. We all loved the delicate spritz cookies, made with mom’s electric press, and the chocolate mousse balls (which we never got tired of saying). Once the baking was done, and the powdered sugar settled underfoot, mom would pile the cookies on sturdy paper plates and send us out in the snow to deliver the goodies to our neighbors. We roamed the neighborhood, passing other children delivering treats to nearby homes, and wave to each other because this was one chore we didn’t mind. More holiday treats came in the form of grandma’s raisin pudding with rum sauce that she’d warm up in an aluminum can on the stove, and pies she kept hidden in the back bedroom under dishtowels because she couldn’t trust us not to stick our finger in them. We’d decorate sugar cookies at







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sprinkles, the best shape and the least burnt in the hope our cookie selection would earn us amazing presents from the big man himself. Christmas morning meant chocolate-covered peanuts, pancakes with syrup and stockings full of orange sticks, nuts and ribbon candy. That night, we’d nestle, all snug in our beds, gently twitching as sugar ran through our veins, not dreaming of sugarplums, but already counting the days until next Christmas in all its sugary glory. l

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