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April 2017 | Vol. 4 Iss. 04




SOUTH JORDAN DIVER wins fourth straight title By Billy Swartzfager |

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Lizzie Homes atop the podium after the AAU Red/White/Blue Nationals this past summer. (Michelle Holmes)

easier to do complex dives from higher up where there is more room to rotate before hitting the water. But, she said diving from higher up is a bit more intimidating, though one wouldn’t be able to tell she was intimidated by looking at her scores. The point spread between Lizzie and the second place diver at state was close to 80 points, when those sorts of spreads are generally closer to five or 10 points.

Local Postal Customer ECRWSS Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.


ears ago, Lizzie Holmes accompanied a friend to diving lessons in Arizona. What she saw there sparked an interest that has grown into a passion, a passion that has taken Lizzie, now a senior in high school, to the top of many podiums in many different places. Her adventures from the platform are only just beginning. Lizzie plans to dive for BYU next year, having received a full athletic scholarship. When the Holmes family moved to Utah, Michelle Holmes, Lizzie’s mother, got her started in a parks and recreation diving program. She also participated in a BYU dive camp where she received an invitation to join the camp program. Lizzie attends Bingham High School, but diving is considered a club sport, so Lizzie and her mother travel to BYU every day to practice diving after school. “Lizzie wakes up at 7 a.m., goes to school and heads to BYU right after school, doing her homework in the car,” Michelle Holmes said. “We get home every day at 7 p.m.” In addition to being an amazing diver, Lizzie also excels in school. She is an honor student, maintaining a 3.97 GPA, while taking honors courses, AP courses and concurrent classes. Part of the scholarship she received from BYU was for her academic prowess. She wants a degree in nursing while minoring in Spanish. This year, Lizzie won her fourth consecutive state diving title, on Feb 25. She performed six dives against 10 other girls in front of three judges. Lizzie stuck a front two and a half tuck from 1 meter as her most difficult dive. “It’s a fun dive,” she said. “It has more flips than other dives.” Lizzie likes to dive from the 1-meter platform, though it is

“She has learned mental toughness over the years,” Michelle Holmes said, “She can focus on exactly what needs to be done but also has a good time while doing it.” According to her mother, Lizzie doesn’t let her fear of a dive control or conquer her. Her mother tells a story about a time when Lizzie was learning a dive and landed hard and

South Jordan health and wellness. . . . . . . . . . 11400 South and Bangerter to begin construction Residents pledge to create safer South Jordan . . Welby Elementary wins awards at Region. . . . .

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Presort Std U.S. Postage PAID Riverton, UT Permit #44


PAGE 2 | APRIL 2017


Local instructor uses magic tricks to teach life skills By Tori La Rue | The SJ Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout South Jordan. 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.

The South Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott EDITOR: Tori La Rue ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen 801-897-5231 Steve Hession 801-433-8051 Josh Ragsdale 801-824-9854 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Tina Falk Ty Gorton South Jordan City Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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Herriman magician started sharing his expertise with local children in a new program where magic tricks aren’t the only guise. “The whole magic course is an illusion,” said Mont Dutson, the instructor who’s known as “Mont Magic” among his students and audiences. “The idea is, let’s get kids out of the screens and technology because they are losing interpersonal skills, so that was the motivating force.” The magic school course is intended to teach students to be respectful, prepared, enthusiastic, confident, humble, creative, authentic and giving while also teaching them eight close-up magic tricks. “There’s just something about when you do a magic trick and hook it with a thought,” Dutson said. “People remember magic because it is impressive and entertaining, and so you hook something onto it, like these types of life lessons, and they’ll remember that, too.” By the end of the eight-week course, students can make it appear as though they can balance a playing card on another playing card without any strings or safety nets, restore a toothpick from broken to whole, change the signage on a document while someone is holding it and perform other basic tricks. “It’s amazing to learn something that can make all of your friends like, ‘Whoa,’” said McKay Peterson, 10, who recently finished Dutson’s course at the J.L. Sorenson Recreation Center in Herriman. And although he enjoyed learning the tricks, McKay said “life lessons” were the best things he learned from Dutson. “I learned that if you are respectful, then you can be nice to other people, and it will make everyone happy that you are not a jerk,” he said. “And then creativity helps you with your mind, so you could learn more.” McKay and four other boys were the first students to take magic lessons from Dutson at the J.L. Sorenson Recreation Center. Their session wrapped up in March. Dutson’s Salt Lake School of Magic uses the “Discover Magic” curriculum created by Michael Ammar, a world-renowned magician who won the Gold medal in the World Sleight-of-Hand Championship in Switzerland for his close-up magic tricks. Dutson, a magician of 30 years, and his wife, Chris, formerly a teacher for gifted and talented students, brought the classes to the Marv Jensen Recreation Center at the end of 2015 and expanded the program to J.L. Sorenson Recreation Center in Herriman in January 2017. They said they plan to expand the program to the Holladay Lions Recreation Center later this year if there’s enough interest in that area. Although their program is new, it is already gaining national attention. The couple won the “Best New School Directors” award at the Discover Magic conference in Vegas. There are about 100 chapters worldwide. “We didn’t expect to win anything because our program is very

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Sawyer Stout, 10, breaks a toothpick as part of Mont Dutson’s magic trick. Dutson simultaneously teaches life skills and magic tricks during his “Discover Magic” courses at Salt Lake County Recreation Centers. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

new, and we don’t have very many kids at our sessions yet, so it was just an amazing honor,” Chris Dutson said. Mont Dutson said his favorite part about teaching magic is seeing children’s confidence increase. One student came to magic school with hunched shoulders and a whispered tone, but he didn’t end magic school that way, he said. “It looked like almost each time he came back he would stand up a little straighter and be a little more interactive, and his parents told us they were amazed at what he had done,” he said. The same boy went on to perform a magic show for a family party, which gave him more confidence, Mont Dutson said. Mont Dutson’s goal whenever possible is to help his students get in front of audiences to perform their magic tricks. Learning magic is two-fold, he said: learning the tricks and learning how to present. A section of every two-hour class with “Mont Magic” involves performing for the class. Mont Dutson also invites his students to attend his live performances at libraries and perform one of the tricks they have learned. So far, four of his students have taken him up on this offer. When he’s not doing library performances or teaching magic school, Mont Dutson can often be found doing magic tricks at birthday parties and in school assemblies. One of his students performed at his first birthday party gig a few months ago, and Mont Dutson jokingly told him that they’re now competitors. To find “Mont Magic” shows at Salt Lake County Libraries, view the library calendar at To learn more about the Dutsons’ magic school or sign up for classes, visit http://www. 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 3


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This is a great opportunity to share the Book of Mormon. You may bring family, friends or neighbors. They will enjoy this presentation. Casual Dress is appropriate. Please arrive 15 Minutes early. Refreshments will be served. This presentation is not produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


PAGE 4 | APRIL 2017


Art exhibit showcases residents’ original artwork By Mylinda LeGrande |


n Feb. 23 and 24, South Jordan resident artists dropped off their artwork and registered for the free South Jordan art show, held at the Gale Center of History and Culture, located at 10300 Beckstead Lane in South Jordan. The artwork was on display from Feb. 28 to March 10. Ryan Robinson volunteered and also submitted a couple of photos to the art show. “I helped to hang the photos for my wife, Amanda Robison, who is on the art council and also runs the show,” he said. Ages 6–17 were welcomed to bring in either photography or traditional 2-D and ages 18 and up could display photography, traditional 2-D or sculpture. The rules of the show were that a submitted sculpture should be able to stand on its own or be mounted to a stand. Also, all photos and 2-D artwork had to be framed, wired and family friendly. Up to two pieces per person were accepted, and submissions could only be accepted by the show once. Once the artwork was judged, there was a reception for the artists held on Feb. 27 at the Gale Center. Awards were announced, followed by light refreshments. Travis Brian, a Taylorsville resident, attended the reception. “In past years, I helped judge [the art], and I think the event is awesome,” he said. “I really like the children’s artwork. A lot of times there are one or two that really stands out. [There is] so much talent with someone that is only 6 or 9 years old.” The winners for the children’s categories ages 6–9 in traditional mediums were: first place, Taylor Hollist; second place, Paisley Roberts and Terrick Thompson; and honorable mention, Jessica Hanson and Christopher Thompson. Katie Cheney won

first place for photography, ages 6–9. Winners for the 10–13 youth, category were the following: first place, Hanna Song; second place, Ava Simmons; and honorable mention, Asia Whitaker. Photography category winners were the following: first place, Caetano Lubbers; second place, Makelle Mendenhall; and honorable mention, Desiderio Lubbers. Winners for the teen category, ages 14–17, traditional mediums: first place, Chloe Campbell; second place, Riley Mortensen; and honorable mention, Abbey Worthen. “I entered [this contest] because I like art,” Abbey said. “I’ve entered every year for three years. This is the first year I actually got an award.” Winners in the children’s photography category were as follows: first place, Riley Mortensen; second place, Aeryn Gebhardt; and Best of Show was awarded to Parker Simpson’s art piece “Campfire.” Adult category winners for traditional mediums were: first place, Jenettte Purcell; second place, Larry Osoro; and honorable mention, Doug Stout. For photography: first place, Kim Cocknell; second place, Larry Chipman; and honorable mention, Emily Perkins and Lyndsey LeGrande. In the sculpture/3-D category: first place, Nathan Brimhall; second place, Jay Sant; and honorable mention, Allan Schmidt. The Best of Show award went to Annie Jones for “Wizard of Oz,” and the Arts Council award went to Linda Champin for “A Day at the Spa.” Barbara Holdcroft entered the adult photography category and has been taking pictures for two years. “I entered last year for the first time,” she said.” I think it is really great for the citizens of South Jordan to have the opportunity

Abby Worthen, 14, won honorable mention for children categories, with painting “Selfie.” (Mylinda LeGrande/City Journals)

to do this. Last year, I didn’t win anything, but as a result [of being in] the show, I was able to do a one-woman private show here. It was pretty cool.” 


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Celebrating the day at the South Jordan Health and Wellness Expo By Mylinda LeGrande |

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 5


HOME SALES UPDATE! Local South Jordan Native Outsells all other agents by 400% according to Zillow!

Fitness Classes were available to try during a South Jordan fitness expo. (Sarah LeGrande)


residents Day this year wasn’t just for celebrating Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays; it was also a time to get into shape and check out what the South Jordan Fitness and Aquatic Center has to offer. All were invited to attend the Health and Wellness Expo. on Feb. 20. In addition to visiting vendors and health booths, the public could sign up for sporting programs, swim in the pool, use the weight room, take a class or play basketball or racquet ball free of charge. Memberships were also offered at a 10 percent discount during the event. Booths offered information about upcoming recreation programs and provided registration for classes and sports leagues. Roseman University nursing students took visitors’ and members’ blood pressure and provided information about how to lower it. “Our purpose here is to promote healthy lifestyles within our community to get people to our facility and see what our fitness programs have to offer,” Recreation Facilities Manager Janelle Payne said. Resident Steven Jeffs was at the recreation

Booths were set up at the Fitness Expo to educate people about health and wellness topics. (Mylinda LeGrande/ City Journals)

center with his wife to exercise, but they also checked out the expo. “We come here five to six times a week, and [we] like the lunchtime classes like High Fitness,” Jeffs said. “[I] liked talking to personal trainer Lars Toensing about abdominal workouts that we can do and [what] to eat before and after a workout.” Chelle Wyatt, a hard-of-hearing specialist, represented the booth from the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing “We have been here now for three years at least,” Wyatt said. “It is an annual thing for us, and our [program] is one of the best hard-ofhearing programs in the country.” Kristin Armstrong, a representative from the Utah Department for Environment Quality from, was at the expo to provide information about what radon is and how to get kits to test for the naturally occurring gas. “We are trying to get the word out about radon to let people know that it is an issue here in Utah, and it is really easy and cheap to get your home tested for radon,” Armstrong said. “We have certified mitigation [installers] that we recommend who put in sump pumps to take the radon out of your home.” The South Jordan Health Department sells kits for $6, and sells them for $9. Armstrong said if a resident finds high levels of radon from testing, it can cost up to $1,500 to get rid of it. Other vendors at the event included doTERRA Essential Oils, Winder Dairy, Lighthouse Counseling Services LLC, Winder Dairy, Costco, Chick-fil-A, Humana, Legacy, Utah Poison Control, Team Holt Fitness and others. Residents can experience more of the South Jordan Fitness and aquatic center by purchasing a pass. Annual resident rates at the fitness center for adults start at $220 for one person, and there are discounts for additional adults or children in a family. 

Utah Dave has built a network and system for home sales that produces results. Currently Zillow shows he outsells all other agents by 400% in South Jordan. Everyone says they have great marketing etc. Its results that count. Its about walking the talk and Utah Dave’s results show that. Dave and goBE also received awards from Daybreak! Daybreak recognized Utah Dave as top sales agent and top brokerage for New Home Sales in Daybreak! Pretty awesome considering other brokerages have 100’s of agents while there is just a few goBE agents. Shows how efficient and powerful their sales team performs.

RECORD HOME SALES MARKET UPDATE So what is happening in the South Jordan Market? We have appx 10 percent less home sales in Jan and Feb of 2017 than we did in 2016. So the crazy selling spree might be slowing a little bit. The main issue is last year in 2016 there were 321 new listings on the market. This year there have been only 215. Thats a 33% drop. That means the market can still be great for sellers during the next couple months. Interest rates are expected to tick up all year long. Sell now and you could get top dollar for your house while buying a home at a good interest rate before they keep going up. Interest rates like this were last around in the 1950’s. You just cant bet on them going low again.

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PAGE 6 | APRIL 2017


Charity, police benefit from UDOT’s home acquisitions By Tori la Rue |


ocal police and charity organizations are doing what they can to salvage one last use from the vacant houses along Bangerter Highway that will be demolished to make way for freeway-style interchanges. The Utah Department of Transportation claimed 96 homes and two businesses through eminent domain to create the interchanges at Bangerter’s 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 11400 South intersections. UDOT considers property acquisitions as a last resort, but they were necessary in this situation for less restricted travel on the west side of the county, according to UDOT spokesman John Gleason. To make the most of the home acquisitions, UDOT formed partnerships with local police departments, allowing the officers to use the houses from training purposes, and Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, allowing the charity to glean household artifacts. “There is a lot of service that these types of properties can provide even though they will eventually be demolished,” Gleason said. “Our goal would be to make those available for the people who can really benefit from them.” Gathering doors, light fixtures, cabinets and other items from vacant homes became a full-time job for Layne Burrows, with Habitat for Humanity, when UDOT started its Bangerter acquisition process. Burrows’ job title even changed from “assistant store manager” to “harvesting manager” to more appropriately define his daily responsibility of salvaging home parts for redistribution. “We used to only look at houses on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Burrows said about collecting items from nearly 100 homes along

The Utah Department of Transportation has allowed Habitat for Humanity to gather doors, light fixtures and other items from homes acquired through eminent domain. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Bangerter Highway. “We’d work on maybe five to 10 homes at a time, but this is on a new scale,” Every day, Burrows and his occasional team of volunteers collect anything on the exterior or interior of a house that they can sell at Habitat’s “Restore,” where used appliances, architectural items, cabinets, countertops, lights, fans, flooring, windows, plumbing materials and other used items are sold at a discount. The Restore is a major source of revenue for Habitat, which allows group members to build and repair homes for low-income families in Salt Lake County. “This saves the landfill, it gives people opportunities to purchase home finishes they couldn’t otherwise afford and improves the life of those who were are able to make houses for,”

Burrows said. “It is literally recycling to the best ability. We are so grateful for our partnership with UDOT.” Public safety entities also partner with UDOT to use the vacant homes for training opportunities. Unified Police Department Sgt. Brady Cottam said his department uses the homes and businesses to practice team movements, rapid response training and incident response. “We’ll practice the way we do a search warrant or how we would handle a call at that location if there was a domestic dispute gone bad,” Cottam said. “We can practice these things in a real-life setting—in a place where it’s actually OK to break down the doors and windows.” UDOT and UPD’s partnership for using acquired homes has been in place for 15 to 20 years, but Cottam said the Bangerter homes, some less than seven years old, have given the officers new experiences. “Usually the house that we train in are old meth houses, but these are some of the nicest homes we’ve ever trained in,” he said. “It’s good to be able to train in some new construction to see what our teams would do if they needed to get inside these houses.” The Bangerter project has also given the Unified Police Department more opportunities to train on-site than in the past. Usually, UPD trains in one of UDOT’s acquisitions once per year, Cottam said. The Bangerter project has allowed those training sessions to be more frequent. “Using vacant houses has turned out to be one of the best things for us in our training,” Cottam said. “We’ve gone to training sites that have charged us, but this is a place to practice in our own community for free. It’s an invaluable experience for us.” 

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Youth dancers compete to benefit hungry children By Tori La Rue |

Teen dancers perform their trio routine at the Will Dance for Food Alexus Lewis, 12, performs a hip-hop solo dance Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City routine at the Will Dance For Food Competition at Journals) Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/ City Journals)


he Will Dance For Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3 united 1,256 dance contenders ages 4 through 18 in a common goal: raising money for the Utah Food Bank. “It’s a whole different feel from most competitions because the dancers and the kids and the parents all really understand why they are here; we are all here to help feed hungry kids,” said Penny Broussard, founder and director of the Will Dance For Kids project. “It’s not such a competitive atmosphere. It’s more of an atmosphere of everyone working together for a bigger cause.” Between ticket admission sales, community and business donations, competition fees paid by studios and individual dancers and auction proceeds, the Will Dance For Food Competition raised $60,000 for the Utah Food Bank’s

A solo dancer performs at the Will Dance for Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Kids Cafe and BackPack programs. The Kids Cafe program provides 1,900 meals to low-income students at after-school sites on weekdays. The BackPack program provides backpacks full of food to students who might not otherwise have meals over the weekend. “Once I heard this competition would go to help kids who were less advantaged than me, I thought this would be really amazing to participate,” said 12-year-old hip-hop dancer Alexus Lewis from South Jordan. “I love these competitions, but I feel like if I could help someone, that would be really, really awesome.” Alexus’ solo hip-hop routine was one of the 600 routines adjudicated during the Will Dance for Food Competition. Although Alexus said she wanted to win the competition, she said she also realized that just participating meant giving back to the community. Before Olivia Yates, a 12-year-old from Salt Lake City’s The Dance Project, entered the auditorium stage to perform her Broadway-style duo-dance called “Set Myself Free,” she stretched while reflecting on what the competition meant for her. “I like being on stage, but even more it’s cool to be doing my favorite thing while helping someone out,” she said. The 2017 competition was Olivia’s sixth time participating in the Will Dance for Food Competition, which means she was one of the original participants. In the six years that the Will Dance for Kids Program and its Will Dance for Food Competition have been around,

the Utah dance community has raised more than $250,000 for the Utah Food Bank. Because the Utah Food Bank can stretch its dollars, providing $7.81 cents of goods and services for every dollar of donations, Will Dance for Kids’ donations have generated nearly $2 million of goods and services to local, hungry children. Broussard, a Dance America Dance Hall of Famer and former owner of a Salt Lake City dance studio, said she chose the Utah Food Bank as the recipient charity of her Will Dance For Kids Project because of its efficiency with money. “I interviewed several different charities to decide, and the Utah Food Bank was the best,” Broussard said. “At the Utah Food Bank, 90 cents of every dollar goes to food, so the admin costs are miniscule. To me, there wasn’t another charity that even came close to helping kids, like the food bank did.” Broussard, who created Will Dance For Kids as a retirement project, said she’s continually amazed by the community support she sees for the project each year. It takes the coordination of dance teachers, Taylorsville High School representatives, parents, dancers and business sponsors to put the event together. “It really takes an army to do this, and we have great soldiers in every way,” Brouddard said. “Truly everyone just joins together in such a beautiful way to make this happen, and it’s a great feeling. I really get to see, at this point in my life with this project, the best part of everybody.” 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 7

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PAGE 8 | APRIL 2017


UDOT to begin construction on 11400 South and Bangerter By Briana Kelley |

This is a bird’s-eye rendering of what 11400 South and Bangerter Highway will look like from the northbound direction. Construction is scheduled to end in the Fall of 2018. (UDOT)


onstruction on 11400 South and Bangerter Highway is scheduled to begin this May. Representatives from the Utah Department of Transportation and the design-build contractor Ralph L. Wadsworth Company and W.W. Clyde attended South Jordan’s Feb. 21 council meeting to answer questions and concerns about the upcoming project. “This is one of four interchanges that we’ll start this year,” UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said. “This is a continued effort to take Bangerter to the next level and turn it into an expressway with freeway-style interchanges.” There are ongoing property acquisitions, home demolitions and preliminary utility work between now and May. During late May and early June, full-scale construction will begin on the project. It’s estimated completion will be in the fall of 2018. The oval-about on 11400 South will also be removed as part of the project and will be replaced with two stoplights on either end. Construction on the ovalabout will begin in the fall of this year and continue throughout the project’s duration. “This is an area where that [traffic] flow is crucial,” Gleason said. “We’ve experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the past years, and that growth is going to continue over the next few decades. We will double our population in the next 35 years. It is important that

transportation keeps up with that growth and keeps up with current and future needs for getting people around the valley.” Though representatives admit that construction will be long and inconvenient, they are doing what they can to mitigate disturbances. The project will be phased so that traffic can flow during construction. Contractors do not foresee the need to close either Bangerter Highway or 11400 South during construction. Businesses will also be open and accessible to residents, and the contractor assured council members that none are being acquired or closed for construction. There will be access points for all businesses, though admittedly it will not be perfect. “When you’re talking about residents and businesses, any time you have a construction project you will always have short-term inconveniences,” Gleason said. “The goal and the end result will be worth those inconveniences. It will improve traffic flow and decrease congestion. It will improve north–south traffic and east– west traffic as well.” In order to continue the flow of 11400 South and keep it aesthetically pleasing, the contractor has designed the road to continue over Bangerter Highway. Bangerter Highway will go underneath as an underpass. There will be safe pedestrian crossings and sidewalks as part of the 11400 South bridge. “We hope that this type of interchange will improve safety as well,” Gleason said.

“Intersections are where we see a large number of crashes, and there’s more of a chance that you’ll be involved in a crash at an intersection. If you can take away some of these conflict points, you can increase safety.” Residents and commuters wanting updates can sign up for a mailing list specific to Bangerter and 11400 South online at bangerter11400south/. Those who do not wish to receive emails can check back on the website for updates on the project as well as any community events. There will also be a community coordination team assembled to provide monthly input and feedback to the contractor. The team will represent various stakeholders and include a representative from South Jordan City, the District businesses, the west-side businesses and a local resident. The contractor is working with South Jordan City officials as well and is aware of upcoming community events, such as the SoJo Marathon and Tour of Utah. The project is being funded entirely with state funds. “The end result here is going to be worth any type of short-term inconveniences that we are going to see with construction,” Gleason said. “When the project is complete and all is said and done, we really hope it’s going to provide a benefit to homeowners and businesses in the area and for those commuting through.” 



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 9

Residents pledge to create safer South Jordan

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By Briana Kelley |


he South Jordan Police Department and South Jordan City officials recently launched the Safer South Jordan Pledge or 4S Pledge. The campaign, which began in March, aims to educate residents on four ways they can make the city safer. Residents 16 years and up can take the pledge online and receive a prize. “As a police department, we’re responsible for a lot of things, and one of those things is traffic,” Chief of Police Jeff Carr said. “Since I’ve been here, I have had more complaints about traffic than any other thing. Mostly people are concerned about speeding in their neighborhoods, people not stopping for stop signs, those types of things.” The campaign focuses on traffic safety and gives drivers four things that they can personally do to create safer roads. Residents who sign the pledge promise to do four things: 1. Slow down and observe the speed limit. 2. Stop at all stop signs and stop lights. 3. Wear their seatbelt. 4. Stay off their phone.

The 4S Pledge encourages residents to slow down, stop at stop signs, wear seatbelt and stay off phone while driving. Anyone 16 years and older is encouraged to sign online. (Tina Brown/South Jordan City)

“The idea here is to really get everybody to think about their driving habits,” Carr said. “That’s really what it’s about. If you sign the pledge, you’re more willing to personally commit to really try to pay attention to the speed, to stop running that stop sign and, the really big one, to stay off your phone.” The city generally addresses traffic problems in three ways—engineering, enforcement and education. The city is primarily responsible for

engineering and maintains roads, streetlights, traffic signals and street signs. The city also conducts traffic studies when needed. Primarily, the police department carries out enforcement. Officers issue speeding tickets and participate in traffic calming measures. Residents can report traffic violations and request extra patrol or speed trailers online. Education occurs with residents, and Carr saw this as an area that could be improved. As part of community outreach, Carr has attended multiple community meetings and forums. During these meetings, residents most often bring up traffic concerns, particularly speeding, phone use and failure to slow and stop. In a recent Daybreak community meeting, Carr was approached by a resident who asked, “What can I do? How can I help?” Carr realized that all residents could have a greater personal awareness for their driving actions. With this in mind, Carr began working on the pledge. “I just started thinking, we need each and every resident to do their part,” Carr said. “I hope it’s not naive. I really believe our community will latch onto this concept and say ‘yes, we believe that we’re going to do what we say we’re going to do.’ So, if you sign the pledge, you may be a little more conscientious with your driving. That’s where we’re going with this.” Many city officials and city employees have already taken the pledge. Mayor David Alvord and Council members Patrick Harris, Brad Marlor, Don Shelton, Tamara Zander and Chris Rogers all signed after the March 7 city council meeting. Public Information Officer Tina Brown is reaching out through social media and the city’s newsletter “Focus” to let residents know about the pledge. School resource officers are also informing high school students about the pledge. Anyone 16 years and older is encouraged to sign the pledge, found online on the South Jordan City Police Department’s webpage. The campaign is not limited to residents. Those who commute through or come to South Jordan are also encouraged to sign. “One employee approached me and said, ‘I signed the pledge, and I was later driving and I realized something and it made me think,’” Carr said. “That’s the whole idea. It’s just maybe to make you think about your driving habits and become just a little bit better. If you stay off that phone for just that minute when an accident could have occurred and it doesn’t occur, hopefully we’ve made a positive change.” 

“Since I’ve been here, I have had more complaints about traffic than any other thing.”

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PAGE 10 | APRIL 2017


Riverton Art’s Council’s ‘Annie’ circulates timely message By Tori La Rue |


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red-headed 11-year-old, 125 singers and dancers and an elaborate set brought a piece of 1930s New York City to 2017 Riverton in March. Riverton Art’s Council’s “Annie” director, Kim Ostler, said it was her vision to capture the depression era as a learning tool for the cast and the audience by bringing Franklin Roosevelt and mentions of other historical figures to the Sandra N. Lloyd community center stage through the classic musical script about an optimistic orphan. “I want people to understand what it was like then because history repeats itself,” she said. The play follows an orphan named Annie as she leaves her crooked orphanage manager Miss Hannigan to visit millionaire Oliver Warbucks for Christmas. Through her cheerful attitude, she gives hope to a cynical Warbucks and unites people of all different personality types— including the president, a democrat, and Warbucks, a republican. “We are back to the point where we need this message because we don’t understand each other,” Ostler said. “We’re at that point where we think people are aliens if they don’t understand our own ideology or political party, and that’s not where we need to be at. This musical teaches that.” Ostler’s vision reverberated with Todd Young, who plays Warbucks. The actor, who has portrayed multiple lead roles in theaters throughout the valley, took a four-year hiatus from theater to focus more on his family. He said it was a wonderful experience to come back to the stage with such a timely show. “It’s a show of a little girl bringing hope to a nation that is struggling through cultural and national issues, and it is a message of hope that all of us can have,” he said. “You can see the sunshine through whatever might happen.” Other aspects of the show also made an impression on Young and his fellow cast members. Young, a father of four, knows how to be what he called the “soft daddy” character

Elizabeth Birkner, playing the part of Annie, sings a solo during Riverton Arts Council’s “Annie” production. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Playing the part of Oliver Warbucks, Todd Young hands a flower bouquet to Elizabeth Birkner, who portrays the role of Annie in Riverton Art’s Council’s production. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Warbucks becomes but worked a little harder to find the “tough, in-charge, nobody-ever-brokethis-exterior” man that Warbucks starts out as. To own this character, Young ran lines with his older children, Parker and Alexia, who were also in the show with him. Spending time together with his kids was the most enjoyable part of the show, he said. Young and his wife met performing in Riverton Arts Council’s “West Side Story” 15 years ago, so having the kids be part of a Riverton play brought things full-circle, he said. Elizabeth Birkner, who was one of the two girls cast as Annie, said developing her character helped her feel happier and “never fully dressed without a smile,” like the lyrics to one of the play’s songs. “It’s hard to get in the Annie mindset,” she said. “But I’d try to think about how I could make it without my parents and still be happy.” The 11-year-old said she fully embodied her character by dyeing her once-blonde hair to a bright red and using Annie-like phrases such as “Golly” and “Leaping lizards” when talking with her friends at school. Kathleen Higgins, who played Hannigan in Elizabeth’s cast, said Elizabeth was great to work with, even though she couldn’t let on to that on stage. Her angry, loud and outrageous character is bitter toward the orphans she’s in charge of, yet Higgins found a connection to this mean lady. “I just didn’t think she was all bad, and I wanted to create some human-ness with the character,” she said. Instead of yelling all her lines, Higgins

chose to create a goofier persona for Hannigan. “Because of that goofiness, I brought some of myself to the part,” Higgins said. And even when it wasn’t part of her character, Higgins said she brought a bit of goofy character to the stage. In the last scene, Hannigan, feet in tow, is dragged off the stage by some of Warbucks’ servants. With wide eyes and big facial expressions, Higgins portrays Hannigan’s dismay at this situation, though Higgins herself said this as her favorite incident in the play. This motion to get her off the stage is not written in the script. Originally, the servants were to escort Hannigan out of the scene, but Higgins, who was on crutches for several weeks while the show was in practice, dropped them on the ground one practice and let the servants drag her off the stage. Ostler liked the image this created, so she added that into the show’s blocking. “It’s the people we work with that make the shows different and interesting,” Ostler said. Altogether, more than 140 people, from actors and actresses to stage crew to directors, took part in the musical that ran from March 9 through March 20. Through 12 performances, they presented “Annie” to hundreds of Riverton residents. “None of us get paid, but we’re happy to do this,” Ostler said. “Our paycheck comes when we see how happy the kids are in the cast or when we help the audience make connections.” Riverton Arts Council’s next production is Fiddler on the Roof. Auditions are slated for April 27, 28 and 29, and the show will run from June 15–26. 


APRIL 2017 | PAGE 11


PAGE 12 | APRIL 2017

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As Eye See It

City council secretary recognized for 15 years of service

Information on Vision and Eye Health by Dale F. Hardy, O.D. During summer vacation, I spent some time reading several studies related to children and vision and thought I would share some of the high points from them with parents as they prepare their child to go back to school. One of the studies, which is not really very new, and is a repeat of a prior study done by Columbia University, looked at the various tasks performed in a classroom and how much of what is done requires vision. The number was over 85% of classroom tasks required vision, not just vision was nice to have, but was required to do the task. It follows in my mind, then, that not having good vision would handicap a child’s school experience. Hard to get things right when you are not sure if the teacher just wrote a 3 or an 8 on the board. Another study that I found interesting indicated that up to 40% of children with a tentative diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder actually had uncorrected vision and/or hearing problems that made it difficult for them to attend to tasks. It appears that a tentative diagnosis means that it was not confirmed by a positive response to medication. The authors of this study were recommending that a multi-disciplinary approach to these cases would be the best method of assuring proper treatment. The last study I am going to review related to school vision screenings and why they are not adequate as an eye examination. This study was done in Kentucky and all children in the study were given both a standard school screening and then a comprehensive eye examination. 1 out of 4 children who passed the screenings were diagnosed with an eye or vision problem that needed correction in the full examination. The worst part of this report was that only 1 out of every 10 notifications sent home to the parents advising them that they needed to take their child in for a complete examination were ever returned to the school. When they followed up to see how many had been taken to the eye doctor, only 1 out of 8 parents had done that. Many reported never seeing the note so maybe it never got home, but it did show problems in school to parent communication. If you have children in your home, whether you use my office or someone else, please make good vision a part of your back-to-school preparation. You can contact my office at 801253-1374. Dr. Hardy’s office is located at 10372 South Redwood Road, South Jordan. (801) 253-1374 10372 Redwood Road, South Jordan, UT 84095 paid advertisement


By Briana Kelley |


hen residents and others attend South Jordan City Council meetings, they may or may not notice the individual to the side of the city council, rapidly taking notes and conducting roll call votes when necessary. Her name is MaryAnn Dean. Dean was recently recognized for 15 years of service to the city, a momentous milestone according to City Manager Gary Whatcott. Dean works as the city council secretary and is responsible for attending city council meetings, acting as recorder during those meetings and transcribing the meeting. “MaryAnn has been here a long time—15 years,” Whatcott said. “She’s just a delight to work with and as a person as well, and we love her. We hope she stays forever—at least as long as she wants.” Utah law requires that written minutes be taken and kept of all public meetings and are available to the public. Dean is responsible for transcribing the often lengthy discussions that occur, as well as clarifying certain procedures. “My job can be very helpful for the residents who wish to keep track of issues in the city,” Dean said. “It gives them a clear record of the discussion and votes taken on all issues.” Dean’s favorite thing to be a part of during city council meetings are youth visits and recognition for their efforts. This includes high school teams and clubs and winners of art or essay contests. “I also love to see the parents’ beaming faces, so proud of their kids,” Dean said. “I love to see the Youth Council in action, and it gives me such hope for a bright future. I also love it when the police and fire department are recognized for an event that saved someone’s life. I like the feel-good moments and to be reminded of all the good in the world.” One of the most challenging things about her job is how late council meetings can go. It is also hard to relive a long and difficult meeting over again as she transcribes it. Dean grew up in the South Jordan area and is a proud graduate of Bingham High School. She began working for the city in 1997 in her first job post-graduation. “So much has changed since I started working for the city,” Dean said. “The River Park development was just beginning. There was no Daybreak. There was no District. The City Hall is now in a different building. South Jordan was a quiet, rural community. It was

When not at work, MaryAnn Dean is with her family. “My hobbies and interests currently are completely consumed by my family, particularly my children, and their various activities. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Dean said. (MaryAnn Dean/South Jordan City)

known as life off the fast lane, and it truly was.” However, Dean said the thing that has remained constant is the good family values in the city and the pride people have in their city. “There is a sense of community here, and people are educated and passionate about their issues,” Dean said. “I am always impressed by the presentations given by neighborhoods on issues.” Dean has also enjoyed working with many elected officials over the years. She said, though they come with different personalities, points of view, strengths and expertise, they consistently have a deep love for the city and the residents and a genuine desire to serve and make the city better. One of Dean’s biggest highlights in her 15 years of working was when the Bingham High football team came in one year after winning the state championship and performed a Haka. “I also love it when a scout goes up to the microphone with a shaky voice and a prepared speech, pleading his case with the city council,” Dean added. “I love the moment you can see in their eye that it clicks. They get it. This is how change happens—this is how you make a difference.” Dean currently lives in West Jordan with her husband Brian and three children. “The greatest lesson I have learned while working for South Jordan City is that if you want to make a difference in the world, it starts with yourself and your family, your neighborhood, your schools, your local community,” Dean said. “That is where the greatest impact for good is made.” 

“I love to see the Youth Council in action, and it gives me such hope for a bright future. I also love it when the police and fire department are recognized for an event that saved someone’s life.”



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 13

Bruins softball set in top five By Greg James |


he top-ranked Salt Lake Community College Bruins women’s softball team has steamrolled through the preseason and is taking on its region opponents. The Bruins won their first five games of the season. Their dominance showed why they are ranked in the top 5 in the Nation Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll. They began the season with five straight victories in Henderson, Nevada. The first game Jan. 27 was a 6-2 victory over Eastern Arizona. Freshman Addie Jensen had six strikeouts in seven innings. The Bruins fell behind in the top of the first inning but rallied to secure the victory. The final four games of its Henderson tournament, the Bruins scored 52 runs. Their pitching and defense only allowed 15. Pitching is a key part to success in softball. The Bruins have had stellar performances in the circle to start the season. Jensen has started seven games. She has a 2.57 earned run average and is 6-1 in those games. She has struck out 42 opposing hitters to lead the team. Sophomore Chantelle Ladner has also been stellar for the Bruins in the pitching circle, despite a tough 11-3 loss to the College of Southern Idaho in her first region game. The loss elevated her early season ERA to 5.03. The Golden Eagles

The Bruins women’s softball team celebrates victory over USU Eastern in its home series March 11. (Rachel Rowan/SLCC athletics)

capitalized on an error and three hits to jump to a 4-0 lead. The Bruins scored two in the top of the second, but a seven-run fourth by CSI signaled its final fate. Lander, a sophomore, is from Australia. She attended Mount Annan High School in South Wales. She has international experience with the 2015 Australian U19 team and competed in the WBSC World Championship. She was named best pitcher and a member of the all-tournament team in the 2014 U19

Australian National Championship tournament. The Bruins have several talented local players in their lineup. Herriman High School graduates Bryce Taylor, Lauren Tycksen and Kynra Nelson have played significant roles in the teams early season success. The speedy Tycksen has been leading off consistently. She is hitting .388, and her two stolen bases lead the Bruins. Taylor has a 2.79 ERA in three games. Sophomore Alex Valencia leads the team with a .512 batting average. She is from Syracuse, Utah. Another sophomore, Madison Sisco leads the team in home runs with 12. The Bruins have a hold on first place in Region 18. They are 5-1 in Region and 13-4 overall at press time. Cyndee Bennett is in her fourth year as the Bruins head coach. She had been an assistant for six years prior to that. She played collegiately at the University of Utah where she was twice selected as an all-conference player. Last season the Bruins had a 48-9 regular season record and captured a Scenic West Athletic Conference Championship. They advanced to the national championship semi-finals, where they placed third overall. The Bruins are scheduled to have an eight-game homestand beginning March 31–April 8. They host Colorado Northwestern and then close out with four games against second-place CSI. 


PAGE 14 | APRIL 2017


Welby Elementary wins awards as newcomer to First Lego League robotics By Julie Slama |


elby Elementary fifth-grader Cami Mounga had been part of her school’s coding club. So when teachers offered to start a First Lego League robotics team, she jumped at the opportunity. “I thought it would fun and a good learning experience,” said Cami, who became captain of Team Tech. “We became good friends as well as good teammates.” Instead of just offering one robotics team, the school had enough interest to offer two teams. Fifth-grader Caleb McDonald became captain of The Coders. “I like Legos, and it’s been pretty cool to make a program and robot,” he said. “Sometimes we had long practices, but it was better with pizza.” Little did they know their interest in these inaugural teams of Team Tech and The Coders would give them first- and second-place presentation awards, respectively, at the Feb. 4 regional qualifying tournament and bids to the northern state Feb. 11 championship. At state, Team Tech won the inspiration award presented to “a first-year team showing enthusiasm and spirit.” First Lego League isn’t just building a Lego robot and programming it to complete missions each worthy of points; the competitions allow students age 9 to age 14 to compete in core values and an innovative project and presentation, as well

as the robot design and performance. Through the competition, students apply real-world math and science concepts, research challenges, learn critical thinking, team-build and develop presentation skills while having fun competing in tournaments. This year about 32,000 teams competed worldwide, with more than 300 teams across Utah competing in the state qualifying tournaments and both a northern and southern state championship. Starting from scratch, Welby coaches Kristie Alexander, Ana Cerezo, Rani Li and Haley McCall sought advice from other coaches and teams and former state-winning coach Michelle Estrada. They took it upon themselves to learn about robot technology and get grants to buy the robot kit. “We have had more than 100 kids in our coding club, so there’s interest and that helped prepare them for the commitment of First Lego League,” McCall said. “But we started late. By the time we got the robot and started going, other teams already had been programming for months. Still, our students accomplished so much in a short time.” McCall said they did have experience in student research, papers and presentation. “As teachers, we have presentation experience, so we already had our students researching their topics for their presentations, and our teams watched and critiqued each other to help them improve,” she said. “Still, we were surprised when

The Coders compete at the state First Lego League robotics tournament in its inaugural season as a team. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

our students got awards in their first year.” Tying into the First Lego League theme of “Animal Allies,” Team Tech came up with a real world issue they could solve. The team members researched Cami’s idea of helping orangutans and learned that palm trees were being cut down to get palm oil, which was diminishing the food for the animals. continued on next page…



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 15

Welby Elementary wins awards …continued from previous page

“Our idea was to create a knocker that get the nuts down so they don’t have to cut down the trees. We made a prototype with a 3-D printer to show judges. We also worked with Spyhop film makers to make a video of the problem we identified and how we solved it,” Cami said about the infomercial the team posted on YouTube. She also said that they shared information about an app they learned about that identifies foods with palm oil to educate consumers about how those products are harming the orangutan habitat. The Coders’ project was about sharks getting caught in long-line fishing. “The sharks were getting caught instead of the tuna or swordfish. If they aren’t helped immediately, they die on the long line. So, we decided to deter sharks from the hooks with the idea of electricity and attracting them to the other side of the barrier with shiny materials,” Caleb said, adding that his team also created a film about the project through iMovie. McCall said both students became better leaders through the experience. “Cami was always cheering and encouraging her teammates and ensuring everyone was on task and ready for the competitions,” she said. “Caleb was proud of his team and excited; he made sure his team was organized and brought out the best of others.” Cerezo said the experience was positive. “We’re amazed about how much they learned through the process,” she said. “At the beginning, some of the kids weren’t even talking to one another, and by the end, it was as if they were best friends. We saw their character grow and watched them learn more about research and presentation and about robot design and programming.”  The Coders compete at the state First Lego League robotics tournament in its inaugural season as a team. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


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RENTALS The Gale Center Auditorium is a great facility for parties, piano recitals and other gatherings. The room will fit 70 people with chairs only, or eight round tables to seat a maximum of 48. Contact: Candy Ponzurick for rates and availability.


PAGE 16 | APRIL 2017


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Six Dimensions of Wellness Kelsey Meha loves her job. She feels she has a whole building full of loving grandparents that she gets to work with every day. Kelsey is the Wellness Assistant at Sagewood at Daybreak in South Jordan. Sagewood is an independent living, assisted living and memory care facility on a beautiful 6 acre site. Kelsey took this job because she was intrigued by the 6 dimensions of wellness that the company promoted for its residents, which involves developing wholeness in these six areas: intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally, vocationally and spiritually. She was excited to help seniors be balanced and at their best, no matter their age. “We want our residents to thrive,” she said. “We want them to be happy and stimulated in a way that they are challenged.” The Sagewood staff does this by encouraging the residents to help each other. “When they are focused on others, they really benefit!” The residents at Sagewood just love having Kelsey as their Wellness Assistant. Irene, a resident there, said, “From day one, Kelsey and I have planned activities together and she works so hard- she’s great fun to be around as well!” She got married in January and wanted to include the residents, so she had one of her receptions at Sagewood. She said it was so wonderful to include them in her special day. “It’s a day I will never forget,” she said. One of Kelsey’s most satisfying days happened recently when one of the residents named Jan, who lost her leg after 13 failed surgeries, tried a new therapy encouraged by Kelsey. During her assessment with Jan, Kelsey urged her to try the swimming pool for therapy. Jan was hesitant but, “After lowering me into the pool, Kelsey helped me around for the first little bit, then I went on my own. I felt like a whole different person! I was free, light, and wonderful. I was normal for a short time and it was amazing.” For more information about Sagewood and their staff go to

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High school students design wardrobe management app, win award By Tori La Rue |

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 17

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Kyle Christensen, Taylor Dee, Eric Evans, Brandee Hick and their teacher Melinda Mansouri hold up certificates they won in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)


ive high-school web designers from the Jordan Academy of Technology and Careers won “Best in State” for their wardrobe management app design that caters to the blind and visually impaired. “I never considered myself to be one of those super-smart people that could ever win something like this, so the thought that we could is amazing,” said award recipient Eric Evans, a senior. The app design originated with Taylor Dee. The junior, who considers herself to be ”all about clothes,” said she wanted to create an app that would help users mix and match their outfits and become more confident. One of Dee and Evan’s team members, senior Brandee Hick, is legally blind, so Dee suggested her team add an audio element to their app to accommodate people who have visual ailments. Brandee said she loved the idea, so the team got to work. “Getting ready is not a huge problem that blind people complain about, but this app is something that could help in our day to day,” Hick said. In just three weeks, Evans, Dee and Hick, along with classmates Kyle Christensen and Naomi Lundberg, designed “Pocket Closet,” the app that matches, organizes and recommends outfits. The app is also intended to track clothing articles from the hamper to the washing machine and back to the closet. It has a donation feature, which allows users to see nearby locations they could donate the clothes they don’t wear often. Their design plan shows the app working as follows: Participants take pictures of clothing items, and the system gives a description of the article and suggests what could be worn with it. When enabled, the app’s “visually impaired” setting reads the information aloud. The app also has a setting that switches color labels from swatches to words, so those who are colorblind can make better use of the application. The five teens entered their design into the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, along with 1,800 other contestants, and won the Utah portion. Although they didn’t place in the national competition, Christensen said he was proud and shocked. “There are so many students in Utah who are so good at this kind of

Kyle Christensen, a senior in the web design program at the Jordan Applied Technology Center, looks over the app design he created with four other classmates. The app won “Best in State” in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

stuff, and it feels awesome to be honored like that,” he said, adding that he’s already added the award to his resume. “This kind of stuff will really help us out in the future with our school and jobs.” Verizon sent the students and their teacher, Melinda Mansouri, award certificates, a plaque and a 6-foot-by-4-foot banner congratulating them on their win. The students gawked at the size of the “Best in State” sign. “It’s almost big enough that I can read the wording on it,” Hick joked as she chuckled. Word of their victory spread through their school and communities about the app, and folks are already asking the group how they can access “Pocket Closet.” The teens answer that people can’t yet. “This competition was just for the planning portion of the app— where you plan out what the app will be,” Mansouri said. “If you win the national competition, they send out IT programmers to help you create it. What will happen—because we didn’t get that far—is that during fourth quarter in April and May, my students will actually build the app.” The team of five plan to have their app in the app store by mid- to late-May. Mansouri said the sky was the limit when the group planned its apps but said the first prototype the students will build in class will likely be simplified and focus on a few key functions. “It’s a start,” she said. “I’ve had old students go back and rework their apps and improve them over time.” While the teens attend the JATC together, each has a different home high school. Evans attends Murray High, Christensen attends Riverton High, Dee attends Herriman High, Hick attends Bingham High and Lundberg attends West Jordan High. To finish their project—which included two short videos, a logo design, rendering of the app screens and essays—the teens got together on their own time. “This group had a vision, and they just really worked together in a way that’s unusual for high school students so that the design worked,” Mansouri said. “I’m very proud of them for working together and for putting in the extra time to make this a success.” 



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PAGE 18 | APRIL 2017



Bingham High Dance Company season closes with ‘Vision’ showcase By Julie Slama |


ingham High senior Katie Hedman said her mother put her in a dance class when she was little. “I think my mom put me in dance class to get rid of all the energy I had,” said the Bingham Dance Company president. “I did baby ballet and tap and just loved it. I competed on teams at studios and then, I joined the Dance Company here at Bingham.” Senior and co-vice president Jade Kilgore had a similar experience: “I started dancing at age 5 and have never stopped and have never wanted to,” she said. These girls and 28 others will perform together one last time in 18 dances at the season-end, two-hour showcase, “Vision,” at 7 p.m., Friday, April 27,;Saturday, April 28; and Monday, May 1 in the Bingham High School auditorium, 2160 West South Jordan Parkway. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Their season kicks off in May with auditions followed quickly by a four-day USA dance camp in June in Davis County. “The girls literally dance all day long,” Dance Company teacher Gina Terrell said about the camp. “It’s their first big thing they do together.” During the summer, the officers — Katie, Jade and co-vice president Maddie Ruesch — choreograph a routine that the team learns and performs throughout the year. This year, they took their dance theme for the year, “Vision,” and created a motivational dance inspired by famous quotes. “The officers also take the underclassmen under their wing and bond with them through sleepovers, barbecues and attending school functions together,” Terrell said. During the school year, the Dance Company rotates halftime

of football games with the drill team and marching band. “We usually trade off between two hip-hop dances and our opening number. Sometimes, if the game is on or near Halloween, we’ll create a Halloween dance that is fun for the company as well as the crowd,” Terrell said. In October, the Dance Company also performs at the region concert, where they perform as well as see other dance companies throughout the district dance. “We get to see what they’re doing and see how we can improve our own dances, themes and choreography,” Terrell said. In December, the Dance Company helps with True Blue, a schoolwide effort to give to people in the community who might need assistance for the holidays. “The girls perform a Christmas dance, and then Man Co., a boys dance team, will dance together with the girls before finishing the performance,” Terrell said. For the winter showcase, Terrell asks each student to choreograph a one-minute piece and audition for parts. From there, 10 student-written choreographed pieces are selected and dancers are selected for those pieces. “This year’s theme was ‘High School Musical,’ and it was so much fun. We packed the house,” Katie said. The winter showcase also included the Tiny Dance Company, where young girls, age 3 to 15, learned a routine in one day to perform at the concert. “It’s a fun opportunity for them and a fundraiser for our Dance Company,” Terrell said. The fundraising effort was for their late-January Southern California tour, where the Dance Company and ballroom dancers from the school took five master classes at The Edge dance

studio in Los Angeles. They learned several dances such as the Cha Cha and Fox Trot and spent time practicing contemporary, hip-hop, ballet, tap and African routines. They also performed at Disneyland’s California Adventure. The girls, being outside with the sun in their eyes, said they learned how to adjust to performing in a different environment. In March, the Dance Company performed at the Utah High School Dance Festival at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. They also performed at many other festivals and workshops throughout the year. Now, as their season draws to a close, some of them are realizing it may be a turning point of their dancing careers. “I’d like to teach,” Katie said. “Choreographing is my favorite part because I like to create dances that express yourself—show stories that words can’t tell. I feel like so much of my high school is built around dance. I was blessed that the seniors embraced us when we first came, and that welcoming feeling, that continued love and support is special. I feel as if I’m not only losing a place I come to feel safe and comfortable, but I’m losing my sisters I’ve grown so close to.” Jade said she’s open to taking some dance classes at college and has appreciated learning leadership skills this year. “I’ve learned how to teach others, how to communicate and deal with problems,” she said. Maddie, who said she has learned to be better organized, said she would like to continue performing. “I want to keep dancing,” she said. “I love being part of a team, so whether I’m taking a master class or choreographing, I want to embrace more dance and keep performing. It’s what I love to do.” 



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 19

South Jordan diver wins …continued from front cover

awkwardly. She was in pain but climbed back onto the board to try again. When she was up there she was tentative, but Michelle Holmes offered a manicure if she could stick the dive. Lizzie stuck it surely, but her mother knew it had nothing to do with the manicure—that was just a bonus; it was all about Lizzie beating something that challenged her. Lizzie has participated in some very large, prestigious national competitions. She has competed at the AAU Nationals and USA Junior Olympic Nationals for the past three years, diving from both 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Lizzie won first from the platform and second on the 1- and 3-meter events at AAU Nationals last summer. Lizzie is excited to be diving for BYU beginning next fall. The head coach there has been her club coach for a few years, and Lizzie feels she has learned a lot from him. She also said the sacrifices have been worth it, a sentiment her mother shares. “We have bonded over diving” Michelle Holmes said. “This has taken serious dedication from everyone involved. Diving isn’t a team sport, but it is a family sport, and I couldn’t be more proud.” Lizzie feels the same way. “I can’t imagine the sacrifices she has to

make,” she said. “My mother is a big reason for my success.” 

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PAGE 20 | APRIL 2017


South Jordan Elementary students to perform ‘Beauty and the Beast’ By Julie Slama |


bout 115 South Jordan Elementary school children will take to the stage late April and early May to present “Beauty and the Beast.” The 90-minute production will be performed for the community at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 28; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 29; and 6:30 p.m., Monday, May 1 at the school’s multi-purpose room, 11205 South Black Cherry Way. Donations for the ongoing theater program are being accepted. The five-year tradition of hosting a school musical began when thirdgrade teacher Scott Knight was hired. “I took a class in college about how to teach music to elementary kids, and in a book, there was a musical for kids, and I thought, ‘how cool — I want to do that,’” he said. “I told the principal I wanted to direct choir and offer a musical. It’s my passion.” That first year, South Jordan students performed “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The next year, Knight directed two musicals: “North Pole Goes Rock ‘n Roll” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” “It was a little over the top to direct both a musical and a holiday concert,” he said. The last two years, the students have performed “Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King,” respectfully. With each cast, the interest has increased, from 40 students in “Willy Wonka” to 115 third- through sixth-grade students this year.

“I see their self-confidence get a boost as they discover and develop into dancers, singers and actors. The skills translate into oral presentation, following direction, working as a team and memorizing helps improve their reading levels.” “We created two choruses so everyone could have a part, and we double cast the girl leads,” Knight said. “Each year, it’s getting bigger and better. I love it.” With the larger casts, the staging and costumes have improved. This year, the multi-purpose room will have a multi-level stage by using platforms to enlarge the existing stage. Students also will help as the stage crew, and parent volunteers are assisting with backdrops. Knight began rehearsals earlier than past years with general acting classes offered once per week in November. “This gave students a chance to work on their skills and be better prepared for auditions the first week of January,” he said. Once students were cast, the acting classes resumed, being skill

South Jordan Elementary will hold four performances of “Beauty and the Beast” featuring 115 school children. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

specific to their parts. In early February, before school as well as after school once each week, students learned the music. In late February, choreography was added. In March, they began learning staging, and before the show, students will rehearse with costumes and props. Directing the show along with Knight is fifth-grade teacher Diane WittRoper, who is helping with costumes and sets and has directed “Beauty and the Beast” at Bluffdale Elementary; second-grade teacher Alan LaFleur, who is choreographing the show and has choreographed shows at Salt Lake Community College’s Grand Theatre; academic support teacher Renee Jackson, who is helping students with their accents; and academic support specialist and opera singer Rinda Clyde, who is a drama coach. Knight said through being involved in the musical, students learn new skills. “This gives students who don’t always shine in the classroom a chance to shine on stage,” he said. “I see their self-confidence get a boost as they discover and develop into dancers, singers and actors. The skills translate into oral presentation, following direction, working as a team and memorizing helps improve their reading levels.” Students and their families will have a chance to see the new liveaction release of “Beauty and the Beast” in movie theaters before they take the stage. After the show, students will be given a fun “Beauty and the Beast” certificate, photo and a chance to purchase a DVD of the show at cost. “We have a cast party and celebrate their performances and what all they learned while having fun,” Knight said. 

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RunGr8 Running Center

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unGr8 Running Center, located in Riverton, recently celebrated their 5th anniversary in business last February. This locally owned small business was founded by Blake and Heidi Christensen who have a passion for running and for helping others achieve their fitness goals. RunGr8 Running Center is known for their friendly, knowledgeable and non-intimidating staff who are experts at helping people find the perfect fitting shoes and gear. One thing that sets them apart is their biomechanical analysis known as “the Gr8 fit process”. This analysis is performed by taking a foot scan to determine a person’s arch type and the pressure points in the feet. Next they perform a 10-15 second gait analysis on a treadmill using slow-motion video technology to assess a person’s pronation tendencies. The biomechanical analysis is free with every shoe purchase and it is very effective in helping people find the perfect fitting shoes for both comfort and support. It only takes 10 minutes to perform the analysis and no appointment is necessary. RunGr8 is so confident in their ability to fit people in the right shoe that they have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee that allows customers to exchange the shoes for a new pair if they are not satisfied with the way the shoes fit and feel. “We are not a store just for runners,” Blake said. “We help walkers, hikers, people who work on their feet all day, and anyone who is looking for the most comfortable and supportive shoes, find the perfect fitting pair.” They have an incredible selection of shoes from the best-known brands, including Brooks, ASICS, Saucony, Altra, Hoka One One and Mizuno. RunGr8 Running Center also helps people who suffer from foot, heel, and arch pain find relief. They carry products such as compression socks, orthotic insoles, massage tools and even supportive flip flops to help people find relief from painful foot conditions including plantar fasciitis. They are involved in the community and make it a priority to “give back” and to support events that help people live active lifestyles. RunGr8 Running Center sponsors many local running races and charity runs. They sponsor and support the local high school track and cross country teams.

Through the store, they provide many free clinics on running related topics, have training groups that help people participate in 5ks and half marathons, and even host a free 5k every November to help raise awareness for runner safety. Learn more about RunGr8 Running Center at or visit them at 2608 W. 12600 S. in Riverton. 

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PAGE 22 | APRIL 2017

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onjour” is about as far as most Americans can get in French, but a growing group of West Jordan residents is expanding their horizons. January through April of this year, the Viridian Event Center hosted viewers who enjoyed fulllength, feature films in French. Most of those who understood without subtitles were 12 and under. The Utah Film Center, which seeks to “promote a diversity of ideas and develop new audiences for film,” kicked off 2017 by offering a series of four animated French films for children through its Tumbleweeds program. Families enrolled in French immersion programs were especially thrilled. They said they appreciated that the county’s West Jordan Library recognized there would be in interest in French cinema because of the dual language immersion program housed in four schools in the valley. “I’m glad we could come,” sixth-grader Whitney Cheney said. “I understood everything, and I like the free popcorn.” Emillia Fuller, a Fox Hollow mom, said she is grateful that the center offered this resource to complement what her kids were learning at school. While her school-age French immersion students were able to keep up with the movie plots in French, her younger children came along as well so they could start getting an ear for the language. They also managed to understand the films.

“It’s a nice change from Disney because you get more of the culture. I hope they keep doing this,” Fuller said. “The French movies are more mysterious than American movies,” Ryleigh said. “They talk a lot faster and don’t articulate like our teachers. Sometimes it’s harder for us to understand because we’re used to our French teachers’ voices.” At first, it was difficult for the children to comprehend what was happening in the films, and they struggled to read the subtitles, but as the movies went on, they realized that they didn’t have to read anymore—they were understanding the French. On the other hand, first-grader Matthew Barnett saw the subtitles as a welcome challenge. “They help me read,” he said. Many of the attendees at the screenings were families from French immersion schools, including Fox Hollow in West Jordan, Diamond Ridge in West Valley, Butler Elementary in Cottonwood Heights and Oak Hollow in Draper. Several families in the crowd said they read about it on their school Facebook pages. There were also some native French speakers who learned of the film series through the French Alliance. The audiences for the screenings have grown each time, as the word has spread over social media about this extracurricular opportunity to


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learn more French. Fourth-grader Mira Barnett said the films were “cool because they aren’t like movies you see in theaters,” while her older sister Ella thought they were “fun and creative.” “Zarafa,” January’s offering, told the tall tale of France’s first zoo giraffe arriving via hot air balloon. “April and the Extraordinary World,” shown in February, was set in an alternate steampunk universe that used the Eiffel Tower as a power source. “Eleanor’s Secret,” presented in March, followed a boy through an imaginative adventure of learning to read, guided by fairytale characters come-to-life. The final film in the French series, “A Cat in Paris,” will be shown on April 3. Hopefully it will live up to the common thread found by first-grader Hali Sims. “I like how all the French movies have happy endings,” she said. Tumbleweeds offers monthly children’s film screenings at the Viridian Event Center the first Monday of each month at 4 p.m. Visit to find out what they’ll be showing next. The Utah Film Center brings ongoing free movie screenings to many venues throughout the state, including Salt Lake City, Logan, Moab, Ogden, Orem, Park City and West Jordan. 



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 23



Desert Star Playhouse MURRAY, UT, March, 2017 — Desert Star Playhouse, the theatre that’s built a reputation for producing laugh out loud, family-friendly musical comedies, continues its 2017 season with a comedic take on the birth of a superhero in “Captain American Fork: The Worst Avenger!” The show opens Thursday, March 23rd. Captain American Fork isn’t the hero we want, but he is the hero we need! As the new superhero in town, his greatest aspiration is to join the Guardians of Utah Valley. But the fun and games are over (or just beginning?) when a new villain arrives on the scene! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and The Cougar is out for revenge when The Homemaker scores her engagement to Zion Man. With an attack on the Cultural Hall of Justice, The Captain and his new sidekick—Bingham, The Copper Minor—are put to the test! Are they in over their heads or can the Captain rise to the occasion and save the day as he fights for truth, justice, and the American Fork Way? Find out in our hilarious new show! Directed by Scott Holman and written by Ed Farnsworth, Captain American Fork runs from March 23 to June 3, 2017. The evening also includes another of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The Spring Break Olio will feature some new and classic rock with a dash of beach fun and, as always, a hilarious Desert Star twist! 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 and smoothies while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. CALENDAR:

“Captain American Fork: The Worst Avenger” March 23 – June 3, 2017 Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7pm Friday at 6pm and 8:30pm Saturday at 2:30pm, 6pm, and 8:30pm Some Saturday lunch matinées at 11:30am

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PAGE 24 | APRIL 2017


Elk Meadows holds Kindy 500 tour across America By Julie Slama |


indergartners recently drove their cardboard cars, motor homes, trains, jeeps, race cars, airplanes and other forms of transportation as part of Elk Meadows Elementary’s third annual Kindy 500. Students first toured around the school’s multi-purpose room on parade before settling in to Jody Comte’s room to learn about America’s famous symbols. “It’s a really fun way for students to remember learning America symbols,” Comte said. “It builds community through parent support and sixth-grade student helpers.” For the morning classes, sixth-graders Morgan Harris, who dressed up as George Washington; Gia Gomez, who portrayed Betsy Ross; Gabby Villanueva, who was the Statue of Liberty; and Matthew Woodruff, who dressed up as both Abraham Lincoln and a bald eagle, helped students learn about America symbols. “The kindergartners are really cute and sweet, and some of them are shy, which reminds me of how I was at that age,” Morgan said. “I remember looking forward to learning about Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and the Statue of Liberty in kindergarten.” However, Morgan said there wasn’t a Kindy 500 back in her kindergarten days. The idea of the Kindy 500 came from a teacher in Payson whom Comte’s mother knew. Comte’s mother, who teaches kindergarten in Salem, Utah adopted this

teacher’s idea and has been holding the event at her school for 10 years. Through the tour of America in her classroom, Comte’s students learn facts about a well-known American symbol. Then Comte ties in activities or crafts, many of which help students listening, writing, learning and motor skills. For example, after learning about Betsy Ross, the American flag’s 13 stripes and 50 stars and what the colors of the flag represent, the students made their own flag by frosting graham crackers and adding red licorice stripes and candies to represent the stars. “It allows them some fun, but they’re still learning the lesson and working on their fine motor skills,” Comte said. Through dramatic play, the kindergartners figured out how to build a paper nest about the size of a bald eagle’s nest out of classroom supplies. Comte said that through the process, the students learned teamwork and creativity and the importance of American symbols. They also learned perspective by measuring their heights against the height of nose of the Statue of Liberty after learning the Lady Liberty was a gift to America from France and that there are 354 steps from the pedestal to the crown of the statue. Students learned that the White House, which needs 570 gallons of white paint to coat the exterior, was first known as the “president’s




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Elk Meadows kindergartners take part in the Kindy 500, where they first drove their cardboard vehicles around before learning about famous America sites in their classroom. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

home” or the executive manor before President Theodore Roosevelt called it by its current name. They also learned facts about Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Students then had the opportunity to write and draw what they would do if they became president. The answers ranged from helping people and giving people flowers to having a pet and eating cookies. Many of the kindergartners thought the activities were fun but also enjoyed sitting in their

vehicles as they learned. Laura Tuttle, parent of twins Rylee and Hank, said her kindergartners chose to create the vehicles they helped make out of 12 by 24 by 13 inch boxes. “I have a school bus because Dennis (bus driver) always makes it fun to ride on and talks to all my friends and me,” said Rylee. Her brother chose a mail truck. “I like to go get the mail and sometimes, there’s invitations for me to go to birthday parties,” he said. Hank likes learning about states and their capitols. “He’s obsessed with maps and would love to travel more,” Tuttle said. Kindergartner Aloalii Palimoo wants to be a police officer,so he was “touring America” in a police car. “I want to help people do the right things,” he said. Laura Tuttle, parent of twins Rylee and Hank, said her kids chose the vehicles they helped them to create. His mother, Beauty, said that Aloalii has visited some historic sights around Salt Lake City as well as in Hawaii. Through it all, the kindergartners learned about America. “America means people die for others so we can be kids and can do what we like to do,” kindergartner Reagan Evans said. 



Dads, Daughters flock to Jordan Ridge Comic Con By Julie Slama |

Jordan Ridge Elementary held a Comic Con to provide activities and games for its daddy-daughter event. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


ru and a minion from the animated film “Despicable Me” spent time together at Jordan Ridge Elementary’s Comic Con where they could draw their own superhero, identify famous castles or train to be princesses. The two were actually Ryan Campbell and his first-grade daughter, Tatum, who were dressed up to participate in the school’s annual daddy-daughter activity on March 9. “We spend a lot of time together, so this was something we’ve been planning,” Campbell said, as Tatum chimed in listing recent activities they’d done together, such as watching movies, going to Scheels and exploring the Clark Planetarium. “I took her to McDonald’s for dinner and asked what the best part of her day was. She told me, ‘it hasn’t happened yet.’ She was really looking forward to the Comic Con.” Tatum’s favorite parts of the Comic Con were the games and the Frozone Freeze Dance, where they tested their dancing and freezing moves. That was also a favorite of first-grader Brooklyn Nokes, dressed as Princess Aurora, and her grandfather, Tom Holbrook, also known as Mr. Incredible. Both first-graders completed eight different activities to win a prize. Other activities included a photo booth with superhero props, hidden photos located in several hallways, superhero dad libs, superhero trivia quizzes, and a chance to save Captain America’s shield. Participants could also make their own tiara, smash villains with a wall ball, match spaceships to stories, and participate in a game called superhero hullabaloo. The superhero hullabaloo was a favorite of sixth-grader Rebecca Waters and her father, Richard. They dressed as Mavis and Dracula from the Hotel Transylvania movies. “It’s a good movie, and they’re good daddy-daughter costumes,” she said.

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 25


Dont Text & Drive

A Jordan Ridge student, dressed as Sadness from “Inside Out,” attends Jordan Ridge Elementary’s Comic Con. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Through the years, the two often attended the daddydaughter activities at the school. Last year, there was a “Star Wars” theme with Chewbacca at the event, and Rebecca drew Yoda, created a Yoda origami and received Jedi training. Two years ago, there was wand making and various food potions with the “Harry Potter” theme. “It’s fun to support my daughter and just have fun here at the school,” Waters said. Parent-Teacher Association volunteer Maria Tegtmeier, who was dressed as Mary Poppins, was co-chair of the event along with Michelle Spens. “Three years ago, we started changing up the traditional daddy-daughter dance we’ve had for 15 to 20 years, and from there, it’s just grown,” Tegtmeier said. “With Comic Con, it’s such a broad subject we could incorporate superheroes, fantasy, science fiction, princesses — something for everyone and it’s really open for costumes.” Older siblings of the elementary school students also dressed in Disney costumes for the event. Tegtmeier’s daughter dressed as Cruella de Vil. Others dressed as Cinderella and Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.” Several participants posed with the characters for photographs. “We like being able to give dads, grandpas, neighbors or someone special in the girl’s life a chance to spend time with her. Many don’t have the one-on-one time with their child, so this gives them that opportunity,” Tegtmeier said about the 400 Comic Con participants. In April, many of the same activities will be used or slightly adapted for the Mother-Son Comic Con. “This is beginning to take on its own feel where kids are looking forward to coming,” Tegtmeier said. “Jordan Ridge has a lot of rich traditions to offer students.” 

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Bingham boys soccer relying on focus, teamwork By Billy Swartzfager |

By Shelley Potts, Business Manager / 801-253-5200

The South Jordan Chamber of Commerce welcomed the following new and returning members in the last month: CenturyLink 10384 River Heights Dr South Jordan, UT 84095

GT Automotive 919 W. Baxter Drive South Jordan, UT 84095

McDermott Company & Asso. 883 Baxter Dr. South Jordan, UT 84009

Tide Dry Cleaners 11514 S 4000 West, Suite 101 South Jordan, UT 84009

Chick-fil-A 11494 S District Drive South Jordan, UT 84095

Jordan River Family Medicine 1868 W 9800 South South Jordan, UT 84095

Mountain America Credit Union 753 W. South Jordan Pkwy South Jordan, UT 84095

Treasure Tower (NEW) 2569 W 9545 South South Jordan, UT 84095

Daybreak Communities (NEW) 4700 Daybreak Pkwy South Jordan, UT 84009

Jordan Valley Church 3671 Old Bingham Hwy. West Jordan, UT 84088

Mountain America Credit Union 3451 W. South Jordan Pkwy South Jordan, UT 84095

Zions Bank 1622 S Jordan Pkwy South Jordan, UT 84095

Eliza Rose Gifts (NEW) 3654 W Dusty Sky Lane South Jordan, UT 84009

Les Schwab Warehouse Center, Inc. South Valley OrthoMed (NEW) 10623 S Redwood R #101 10532 S. Redwood Road South Jordan, UT 84095 South Jordan, UT 84095

LunchBox (NEW) First Med Urgent Care 8822 S Redwood Rd, Ste E133 11463 S. District Drive, Ste 200 South Jordan, UT 84095 West Jordan, UT 84088

Zions Bank 4753 Daybreak View Pkwy South Jordan, UT 84009

The Egg & I 10555 S Redwood Rd South Jordan, UT 84095

Bingham soccer coaches, of the past and present sit at the table of honor during the team’s first banquet (Billy Swartzfager/City Journals)

UPCOMING EVENTS 2nd Annual South Jordan Economic Summit

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 7:45am-2:00pm, Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College, 9750 S 300 West in Sandy. Register and get more information at

First Fridays – Speed Networking

8:00am-10:00am, Miller Free Enterprise Center Showroom, 9750 S 300 West in Sandy

Let’s Do Lunch

April 11, 2017, 11:30am-1:00pm, The Egg and I in South Jordan.

Women In Business Luncheon

April 18, 2017, 11:30am-1:00pm at Club 90 9065 S Monroe Street in Sandy

Thirsty Thursday Networking Event

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 4:30pm-6:30pm, The Break Sports Grill, 11274 Kestrel Rise Rd in South Jordan

Ribbon Cutting Godfather’s Pizza 10949 S. 1175 W South Jordan, UT 84095

big THANK YOU goes out to Merit Medical for hosting the event this year. Vision Dinner ACongratulations to our award winners:

Outstanding Community Hero Outstanding Chamber Partner Outstanding Large Business Brian Synan, Gordmans Jenkins-Soffe Funeral Homes Sam’s Club

Outstanding Small Business Tide Dry Cleaners

We have a new website coming in February with many added features for our members – watch for it!


he Bingham boys soccer team has been gearing up for the 2017 campaign since tryouts in late February. The returning players have likely been gearing up since last season’s early exit from the Utah 5A State Tournament. The 2016 Miners took first in Region 3 with a stellar 12-3-1 record. They then went on to suffer a close loss to Mountain Crest, 3-2, which went on to lose to Viewmont, the state champions, in the first round of the postseason. This season, the team looks to play just as well and hopes the results will be similar to last year’s. The team’s goals include playing at its best and competing for a state title. The players have a long season ahead of them still but have begun the process under second-year head coach Ahmed Bakrim. Bakrim has been coaching club teams for 15 years and spent time playing professionally in Morocco, so the team is learning from a person with a lot of experience and a passion for the game. The team hopes it will be able to achieve its goals through daily dedication, whether it be at practice or on the field during a game. Each of the team’s practices focus on areas of needed improvement. If the coaches see something during a game, a weakness, the following practice will address what the coaches observed. Bingham channels a lot of its energy toward playing as a team and supporting one another. The team takes part in a weekly team dinner, where all of the players get together for a meal, which is great for team camaraderie according to assistant coach Trevor Ott. “This is great for team chemistry,” Ott said. “You can’t just put the 11 most talented players on the field; they have to learn to play together.” The 2017 Bingham soccer team is led on the field by a few returning players who are expected to contribute big minutes and big plays. Corbin Lowrance, a sophomore, Nate

Devenberg, a junior, and Isaiah Cardosa, a senior, are all hard workers who support their teammates on and off of the field. They all exhibit sportsmanship and are great examples for those around them, which all falls in line with the team’s focus, according to coaches. “The message is to work as a team and support one another—teamwork and staying humble,” Bakrim said. The Miners approach each day the same way, in practice or in a game. They aren’t concerned with the opponent; players and coaches are more focused on the tasks at hand. “We don’t get caught up in who we are playing,” Bakrim said. “We just try to stay focused on how we want to play our game and do our best. Focus is a big key, as well as playing until the whistle.” The team began region play March 17 against West Jordan and will continue playing against region foes throughout April and into May. The Miners believe they have a good strategy for staying on top of their game and achieving some goals. 

This year’s soccer team at Bingham enjoys the first team banquet of the season (Billy Swartzfager/City Journals)

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 27



Garbett Homes

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a home,” Garbett Homes President Bryson Garbett said, “they’re also buying into a lifestyle choice.” Garbett started his construction career as a young man, working as an 18-year-old framer. He graduated from the University of Utah with a history degree and then started his own company in 1988. After 28 years of perseverance and excellence, Garbett Homes has become one of the largest and most innovative homebuilders in the state. Garbett is also selling complete “inventory homes” and three home sites in the single-family housing phase called Solaris. The newest phase of Solaris opened on Sept. 2. Additionally, Garbett has opened 10 of 25 additional home sites of their next phase of development that incorporates their most popular plans and exciting new updates. Garbett builds homes and townhomes using its award-winning formula of utilizing the latest “green technology and design” and affordability in Daybreak communities. The homes in Daybreak set themselves apart with modern interiors and exteriors. Because of Garbett’s pride in being “Utah’s Greenest Homebuilder,” all homes in these new developments offer solar panels as a standard feature and are built to exceed the Energy Star 3.0 standards that all Daybreak builders are required to meet. Homeowners will definitely notice the advanced framing, drywall, and insulation practices in their lower utility bills. To further decrease the cost of homeownership and increase energy and resource efficiency, Garbett has partnered with Slow The Flow to offer Solaris buyers the option to “Flip Your Strip,” or remove lawn or minimize greenery in parking strips. This saves both water

and money instead wasting an average of 10,000 gallons of water annually on poor irrigation practices. Questions can be answered or an appointment can be made at the model home at 10458 S. Abbot Way, South Jordan, or by calling 801-396-9800 to speak with a new home specialist. 

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PAGE 28 | APRIL 2017


Bingham boys soccer players learn of program origins By Billy Swartzfager |


n the late 1970s, there was no boys soccer team at Bingham High School. And, if you ask those who tried to start one, the school wasn’t interested. But, there was interest, enough so that a team of 15 or 16 kids was eventually created. Fast forward nearly 40 years and there is not only a team, but one large enough to fill an entire basement for the 2017 season’s first team dinner on March 7. A day after the Miners’ first pre-region game, a victory, the entire group got together for a meal to kick off the season in style. Julia Howard, who has a son on the squad, rounded up the very first head coach from Bingham soccer and one of his players to speak to the current team about the origins of the sport at Bingham High School. “I thought it would be really cool for the kids to get some perspective about where the team came from,” Howard said. Al Richards spoke first. He was one of the first players on the first team. His nickname was Air, because air is everywhere. It was Richards who first spoke to Bingham’s administration to get permission to form a team. Richards started a petition and gathered enough support from those around the school to get the OK, though Bingham administrators said they couldn’t fund the team in any way. That left the few boys, who had only ever played recreation league soccer, to round up a place to practice, as well as fine equipment and a coach. That is where coach Chris Black came in. When he spoke to the crowd of current players, he mentioned that he may have been bamboozled into becoming the coach in the first place by the resourceful young men who were recruiting him. After he signed

Coach Chris Black, Al Richards, coach Trevor Ott and coach Ahmed Bakrim at Bingham soccer’s first team dinner. (Julia Howard/Resident)

on to coach, he discovered that they had no balls, no nets, no place to practice or play and no way to get there. Black, who was a teacher, and his assistant coach, Robert, who played with Black at BYU and who worked at the prison as a correctional officer, led the team to the state semifinals in its first year. They found ways to come up with uniforms through Robert’s prison connection. Prisoners there made the uniforms in exchange for being able to attend games. The prisoners’ jumpsuits were the same color as the players’ uniforms, and they were referred to as




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the Bingham soccer team’s cheerleaders. Together, the coaches also came up with a place to practice and the equipment they needed to be competitive. They took care of the fields they used at West Jordan Park; the team painted them, allowing other youth leagues to use them on other days, and even dug the holes needed to erect donated goal posts. The group also borrowed nets from a soccer shop in Midvale until they were able to secure necessary funding. The team also wound up with the balls they needed to get by, though the details surrounding the balls remain vague. “Robert was good at acquiring things,” Black said. “Whenever we played another team, we left with another ball.” Black headed the team until 1988. During that period, he didn’t get much support from the school and knew if soccer was going to survive at Bingham, the sport would have to become sanctioned as a team sport by the Utah High School Athletic Association. A writer from the Deseret News led that charge, writing a piece about the growth of the sport and the following it was beginning to have. The writer also quoted Black in reference to how much soccer would cost compared to some of the other, more popular sports at the time. Black credits the sanctioning of soccer in Utah to the writer and the story he wrote. These days, soccer is extremely popular, though still not as much as football or basketball. But, there are no financial and logistical struggles like those Black faced in the early years at Bingham. And, he is extremely proud of that, as is Richards, the two individuals most responsible for bringing soccer to Bingham High School. 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 29




Larkin Mortuary

The last thing on your bucket list. Swimming with sharks. Lunching beneath the Eifel Tower. Seeing the Cubs win the World Series. Planning your own funeral. Hopefully you watched every at-bat with Bill Murray and can check the cubs off your bucket list. As for sharks and Paris, Bring your lunch to the square not to the shark cage and you’ll be fine. As for funeral planning, here’s a few suggestions. First, make it yours. That’s right, don’t die and let aunt Helen sing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” accompanied by one of her friends on the new age harp. The only way to prevent that is to pre-plan. “We’ve had some people come in with some pretty crazy ideas,” says Spencer Larkin of Larkin Mortuary. “We’re fine if they want their casket painted fire engine red like their first car, or they want the whole congregation to sing the words to an Elton John song. What’s important for those left behind is the opportunity to celebrate all the characteristics of a friend or family member who made them laugh, love and cry. All those emotions are essential to preserving memories and celebrating life.” The only way to do that is to plan the service yourself. Think of it as the last thing on your bucket list. Second, plan it with your spouse only. You two started together, write the ending together without the distraction of keeping everybody in the family happy. Don’t feel guilty about not including them. They get to do their own someday. Third, Plan with somebody you can trust and let all the kids and friends know where the plans are. Larkin does a great job at this, no matter where you want to be buried or cremated or cryogenically frozen. They sit one-on-one with you and go over

every detail. The plan is digitally stored, backed-up and updated regularly so there is no chance of one data bit being lost. They offer different financial plans so your kids don’t get stuck with the bill…unless that is part of your plan. “Most people don’t know all the details that go into a service until someone close to them passes,” Spencer says. “And over and over we hear them say: ‘I wish I could’ve enjoyed the days before the funeral but I was too caught up in planning and

worrying about offending someone in the family and how I was going to pay for things.’ When parents have a plan in place it’s the best parting gift they can give their children.” So take out your bucket list. Go straight to the bottom and add Pre Plan my funeral. When you check that one off you’ll feel a whole lot better knowing Helen will be singing at your brotherin-law’s funeral, not yours. 

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APRIL 2017 | PAGE 31



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’ve never been socially dynamic, flitting from person to person at parties like a butterfly with a Mountain Dew addiction. In most social occasions, I’m standing under the exit sign, trying to catch my husband’s eye and pointing to my watch. My hubbie is a card-carrying extrovert who loves the thrill of the crowd. He talks to strangers, tells jokes in public and uses phrases like, “I’m just thinking out loud.” I’ve never used that sentence in my entire life. A recent personality assessment said my potential careers should include hermit, monk and/ or crazy cat lady, which isn’t a surprise. When I watched The Martian, I wondered why (besides the lack of oxygen, books and food) Matt Damon would ever want to return to Earth. I’m not anti-people, but as a loud-and-proud introvert, our overly stimulated society can, at times, be exhausting. Introverts get a bad rap. We’re considered bashful and insecure when actually we’re superobservant, intelligent and creative individuals. But still. Extroverts “help” me adjust to society by saying things like, “To feel confident, stand like Wonder Woman for two minutes every day.” I already feel confident. I would no sooner stand with my hands on my hips than I would stand with a pencil stuck up my nose. They suggest that introverts be team leaders to “boost self-esteem” without realizing that group







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assignments can push an introvert so far into a closet, they’ll wind up in Narnia. But give me a task and send me to my room, and I can accomplish pretty much anything. Here’s how to make small talk with an introvert: don’t. Hell is an endless social mixer where I have to make small talk for eternity. But if you want to have a genuine conversation that doesn’t revolve around sports or weather, I’m all yours. Extroverts often mistake an introvert’s silence for shyness when we’re actually, what’s the word? Listening. In fact, we’re such good listeners, we often hear what’s NOT being said. Most introverts can read the emotional situation in the room, especially if there’s lots of standing with hands on hips. Things an introvert hates: surprise parties. Things an introvert never says: “I’ll be working the crowd,” “Everyone gather around,” “I can’t wait for the company party.” If I was forced to post a profile on a dating site (which I’m not, dear), it would say, “Don’t bother contacting me. I’m not home. Well, I’m home, but I’m never going to talk to you.” I dream of living in a library with a fully-stocked gourmet kitchen, warm blankets and a trapdoor that opens under the welcome mat when someone rings the doorbell. My personal space is a 20-foot circumference from the end of my outstretched arms. If an introvert hugs you, they really like you.



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Profile for The City Journals

South Jordan Journal April 2017  

South Jordan Journal April 2017