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December 2017 | Vol. 4 Iss. 12




ow, row, row your pumpkin, all across the lake. That was the theme of the 2017 Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta held at Daybreak’s Oquirrh Lake on Oct. 21. “It’s a way to kind of give back to all of our customers,” said Robb Baumann, one of the founding members of the Utah Regatta. The regatta began seven years ago when members of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers, that included Baumann from the Mountain Valley Seed Company, decided to take some of their giant pumpkins for a spin out on Sugar House Pond. “I told a few friends that we were going to do it, and we just had a gentleman’s race. We started cutting them up and figuring it out,” said Baumann, who said the process was definitely trial and error. The first year, a pumpkin weighing around 1,182 pounds and paddled by Andrew Israelson won first place. Travis Evans, another member of the group, would eventually hold the World Record title of “Fastest 100 Meters,” rowing a pumpkin in 2015. It is being added to the Guinness Book of World Records. This drew such a crowd and built so much interest in giant-pumpkin growing that the number of racers increased every year. Eventually, Sugar House Pond could no longer accommodate the race, and LiveDaybreak stepped in to offer Oquirrh Park and Lake as a substitution. “To have a place to unload the pumpkins, a place to carve them and then have 4,000 people to be able to spectate, along with eight to 10 food trucks—it was almost as if our venue was made for the race,” said Dan Rodgerson, of LiveDaybreak.” This is the second year the regatta has been held in Day-

Meet the new mayor

break, and both residents and racers seem pleased with the arrangement. “We were real happy to be back this year,” said Baumann. “Daybreak just couldn’t be better hosts.” Eleven entries made their way across Oquirrh Lake in carved pumpkin boats ranging from 400 pounds to 1,000 pounds amid the excited spectators.


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Racers in pumpkin boats row their fastest across Oquirrh Lake at the 2017 Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta. (LiveDaybreak)

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Christmas season begins

The race winner was Jim Seasons, who rowed across in a 550-pound pumpkin called “Perdy.” Awards for Best in Show were also awarded, as mascots jumped off the pier and families posed in front of an extra giant pumpkin for pictures. A pumpkin naming contest was also held for one special 450-pound pumpkin that ended up with the moniker “Pumpkin Spiced Yacht.” Baumann first got involved with the Utah Giant Pumpkin Continued on Page 7...


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Page 2 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

Meet Dawn Ramsey, new Mayor of South Jordan 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: Travis Barton ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer 385-557-1021 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton and John Guertler

South Jordan City Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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By Jennifer Gardiner |

outh Jordan recently elected its first female mayor when Dawn Ramsey beat out Mark Woolley during the November elections. But exactly who is the person to whom the voters entrusted their vastly growing city? Ramsey is among several newly elected mayors across the state who shook up the races this past election. Ramsey wanted the residents of South Jordan to know she is fully committed to spending the time necessary to protect what the city has built and is ready to fight for what is needed to maintain and elevate the quality of life in South Jordan. “There is great work to be done in our city over the next four years, and I’m grateful for the chance to be part of the team,” Ramsey said. “We have a fantastic city council and staff, and I look forward to working together with them.” Ramsey is currently a full-time volunteer on behalf of public education and represents the parents of the Jordan School District at the regional and state level. She serves on the Utah PTA State Board of Directors and is the region director over 57 schools within the district. “I also spend time at the Capitol working with legislators and state organizations advocating for the health, safety and education of our kids, as well as working with local business leaders to secure resources which provide opportunities for children and teachers in our local schools,” Ramsey said. “We obtain money for classroom grants to help our teachers and food for hungry kids by providing Principals Pantries in each of our schools, hygiene kits, coats and Christmas for 150 students.” Ramsey said she is excited to use her time and leadership experience on behalf of the residents and the city she loves. “It is an honor to be elected as our next mayor, and I am committed to working together to keep South Jordan one of the best cities in America to live and raise a family,” Ramsey said. “I will be transitioning out of my PTA role in order to devote my focus to the residents of South Jordan. I am prepared to give my full-time effort to representing and advocating for our city and will not have the distractions or demands of other full-time employment.” Ramsey grew up in the valley and graduated

from Cyprus High School and the University of Utah where she danced on the Crimson line and studied elementary education. She recently returned to school to complete a degree in public relations at Brigham Young University. Ramsey said her faith and family are the most important things to her, and she and her husband of 25 years, Don, have lived in South Jordan for almost 14 years with their six children, comprising three girls and three boys. One daughter graduated from BYU and is living in Logan with her husband, who is preparing for medical school; another daughter recently got engaged and is currently completing her degree at BYU. They have a son serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Estonia, a son who is a senior in high school and a younger son and daughter. Dawn Ramsey was elected the newest mayor of South Jordan. “I love meeting people (Dawn Ramsey courtesy) and hearing their stories,” Ramsey said. “I love to sing and am part of a lo- ing the support necessary for our staff to succeed,” cal seven-member women’s a capella performing Ramsey said. “I believe our employees have great group. I love running marathons, learning, travel- insight as to what takes place in the city, and I’d ing, cooking and entertaining. I love South Jordan love to see what they see.” To Ramsey, the voice of the people matters. and the wonderful people who live here. I wish to “I want our residents to have the chance to express my sincere gratitude for their confidence in me. Let’s work together and make great things ask questions or share concerns in an informal, personal setting,” she said. “I will have a twohappen over the next four years.” Ramsey plans to implement a “Walk a Day hour block each month dedicated to meeting with In My Shoes” program, where she will spend one residents who wish to come in and visit. Details day each month working alongside one of the about making an appointment will be available after I take office. While I cannot promise to fix city’s employees. “My desire is not to be a thorn in their side; everything, I can promise to listen, and if there is rather this job shadow is to understand what it a solution the city might be able to help with I’ll takes to run our city and to ensure we are provid- be happy to point them in the right direction.” l

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December 2017 | Page 3

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JORDAN SCHOOL DISTRICT – Public Notices Special education child Find

Every child is entitled to a public education regardless of disability. Children with disabilities may go without services because families are not fully aware of their options. If you know of a child, birth to age 22, who is not receiving any education services or feel that your child may be in need of special education services, please contact your local school or call the Special Education Department in Jordan School District at (801)-567-8176.

Special education RecoRdS deStRuction

On January 31, 2018, Jordan School District will destroy special education records of students born prior to September, 1991. Former special education students who are 27 years old may request their records from the school last attended; otherwise, the records will be destroyed.

caRSon Smith ScholaRShip

Public school students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may be eligible for a scholarship to attend a private school through the Carson Smith Scholarship program. Further information is available at

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Page 4 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

Monte Vista sixth-graders view night skies


By Julie Slama |

bout 80 sixth-graders and their families gathered around telescopes set up by the Salt Lake Astronomical Society on their playground. It was an effort by teacher Alicia Rasmussen and the sixth-grade team of teachers to introduce students to the night skies before they begin learning about space. “We saw Saturn, which was super cool, and galaxies and double stars,” Rasmussen said. “We

thought this would be a great opportunity for our students and their families to see what is up in the night sky.” For two hours, students had the chance to step up to the seven or eight telescopes to witness what the astronomers had visible in their scopes. “The astronomers talked to the students as they came up to the telescopes, explaining what they were seeing in the telescopes and how the

constellations that are visible change according to the season,” she said. Rasmussen said when students learn about the night skies this winter, they also will learn about the moon and its phases. On that night, Sept. 12, the moon wasn’t visible. “We can use this firsthand experience to understand the concepts of what we’ll be studying better,” she said. “When they read it in a book,

Monte Vista hosted a star party for sixth-graders and their families with telescopes provided by volunteers from the SLAS (Julie Slama/City Journals)

most don’t understand it as well as when they internalize it by doing it.” With the sixth-grade curriculum, students also will learn about gravity, scale of the solar system, constellations and more. “We talked about what we saw the following day and shared with other students who weren’t able to make it,” she said. “We’ll pull in our experiences again when we study it.” Rasmussen got the idea to bring in the Salt Lake Astronomic Society last year after seeing a flier about star parties at the Clark Planetarium. “Last year, students loved it, and it was a fun, different experience,” she said. “I received positive feedback from parents as well. We love it when community members can bring something into our schools and teach it to students.” Because it was such a hit with students then, Rasmussen decided to repeat it this year. She anticipates it will be an annual event. “This year, the students were really excited,” she said. “I heard them talking with parents about what they were seeing while waiting to look into another telescope. Some parents who were there got information about how to hold their own star parties. This was the first time some kids had looked through a telescope. They’ve been telling me what they learned and how cool this was. For some, it’s been their favorite school activity in elementary school.” l

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December 2017 | Page 5

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Bingham High to present “Shrek” after successful Shakespeare competition


or Bingham High theater students, there wasn’t a break from being on stage for their fall musical from placing second in their ensemble competition at the 41st annual junior high and high school Shakespeare competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University. Students recently performed the musical, “Shrek,” during November, which comes after theater students took the stage in Cedar City presenting their original ensemble piece, “Fury

By Julie Slama | in the World,” directed by Liz Smith. “It was a compilation of scenes from ‘Merchant of Venice,’ ‘Othello’ and ‘Taming of the Shrew’ that are relevant to today’s world and discrimination, such as in Charlottesville and with women’s protests,” said theater teacher Michelle Robbins. “Our kids used lines from Shakespeare with current photos, and it was powerful. I was sobbing when I saw it.” Students also competed in two scenes, three monologues, a dance duo based on “Ro-

The Bingham High theater department will present “Shrek” this November. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

meo and Juliet,” tech Olympics and improv, where senior Dylan Burningham was a repeat winner of the “Jimmy Fallon award.” “He’s a great emcee and is good at commanding the stage,” Robbins said. Robbins said the students headed back to South Jordan before the awards ceremony, so they were waiting for final results and trophies to be shared with them. “I take the students to do their best and to learn,” she said. “I tell them, ‘If you feel good, then you win.’ It allows us to look objectively at our performances.” Many of the Shakespeare students also were working on blocking their performance of “Shrek” during September rehearsals. “It’s a challenging show to put on,” Robbins said. “The dragon alone is 27 feet long and 9 feet tall. It takes six actors and tech students to operate. There are 41 speaking or singing parts, including younger kids who play characters like Little Shrek and Little Fiona.” The show featured senior Brady Genessy as Shrek; senior Sydney Peebler as Fiona; junior Jackson Holladay as the Donkey; senior Dylan Burningham as Lord Farnsworth; and senior Darrin Burnett as Pinocchio. Robbins was both the director and technical director of the show, and Lori Metcalf was the choreographer. The music was under the di-

rection of Ryan North, and the pit orchestra director was Jim Thompson. Ane Genessy made the costumes, and Lance Hansen made the sets Hansen. Before the students took the stage, they invited back two former students who sing a cappella with their current group, Brigham Young University’s Vocal Point, to help raise funds for new LED cyclorama curtain lights. “Our current lights are 30 years old, but with new lights, we will use less electricity and be able to have more colors,” she said. Bingham High students return to the stage in 2018 with “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” at 7 p.m., Friday, March 2; Saturday, March 3; Monday, March 5; and Tuesday, March 6 in the Copper Pit. After competing in the region ensemble competition on Thursday, March 8 and in individual competitions on Thursday, March 15, students will perform in the school’s musical theater revue on at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 3 through Saturday, May 5 in the Copper Pit. The year finishes with student directed one-act plays on Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18. “We really have a phenomenal group of kids who are talented and dedicated,” Robbins said.l

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Page 6 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

South Jordan woman honored for extensive volunteer service


By Jennifer Gardiner |

outh Jordan resident Luane Jensen has spent 40 years volunteering her time to others and was recently awarded with the Power of Service Award by UServeUtah, the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Jensen has clocked hundreds of hours annually in service to community organizations, historical societies and within her church. Her commitment to the city of South Jordan, where she has lived for more than 44 years, amounts to nearly 300 service hours and an extensive history as a volunteer as a dedicated Scout leader. Josh Loftin, representing Utah Department of Heritage & Arts, said Jensen is a champion of the South Jordan community. “Every week she volunteers a minimum of two hours as a museum docent at the Gale Center of History & Culture, which is a favorite field trip for elementary and preschool-aged children,” Loftin said. “Jensen frequently volunteers extra time to help with field trips and special tour requests in order to teach children more about her hometown.” Jensen is also an appointed volunteer of the South Jordan Historic Preservation Committee and helps advise city leaders on preservation and historic education. “Her areas of concentration include the South Jordan City cemetery and community outreach to veterans,” Loftin said. “Jensen was instrumental

Luane Jensen (center), of South Jordan, pictured with UServeUtah Chairwoman Debbie Hardy and Mark Thomas, chief deputy for the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office. (Courtesy South Jordan City)

in advising, coordinating and fundraising for three completed historic monuments in the city: the veterans’ memorial, the 1938 school bus/train accident tragedy and the ‘Birthplace of South Jordan’ memorial.” For more than 10 years, Jensen has handwashed the bronze veterans’ memorial statue in

South Jordan City Cemetery and has coordinated memorial services with the city and with the Veterans of Foreign War each year for Memorial Day. Jensen’s 35 years as a Scout leader has made a difference in hundreds of young Scouts’ lives and has been essential in coordinating the Scouts’ annual food drive with the Utah Food Bank, yield-

ing more than 28 tons of food from the South Jordan community. During the Oct. 3 South Jordan City Council meeting, Jensen was given her award and was further recognized for her contributions to the city and her community. Jensen said she is honored to receive the award but doesn’t feel she deserves it more than others who have contributed so much of their time. The award came as a shock to Jensen, and she thanked both Melinda Saeger, who nominated Jensen for the award, and city leaders for their time in recognizing her. “My dad taught me at an early age about patriotism and how to serve the community, and I thank him for that,” Jensen said. “I am living proof you are never too old to serve. I thoroughly enjoy serving the community.” The Power of Service Award is presented three times a year to a volunteer who shows significant commitment to his or her community and demonstrates the power of volunteer service through his or her activities. All nominees for the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate are eligible for consideration to receive the Power of Service Award. Visit to learn more about the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate. l


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Jim Seamons won the main race in “Perdy,” the 550-pound pumpkin. (LiveDaybreak)

Growers because of his work at Mountain Valley Seeds, which sells primarily vegetable seeds to local Utah growers. He learned that a lot more goes into the growing of giant pumpkin boats than anyone thinks, Almost every giant pumpkin grower is using genetics relative to one original grower, the Dill’s Atlantic Giant Pumpkin, based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Utah growers traditionally start their seeds on April 15, moving them to a garden space by early May and harvesting in the first week in October. Baumann said that the difference in size can be so dramatic that between morning and night, they can sometimes gaining 50 pounds in a single day during prime growing time. When it comes to carving a giant pumpkin into a boat, there are a lot of options and many lessons that Baumann and his friends have learned over the years. One must decide whether to carve out the flat side as a natural bottom, which drags but offers stability, or the round side to glide more through the water but can sacrifice stability. “Everyone’s got their own strategy, and

that’s half the fun,” Baumann said. “It’s just silly and fun.” The Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta has always been free and open to the public, and Baumann insists it will remain so because it’s just for the fun of pumpkins. “We do want to inspire people to grow,” he said. “Kids come out and get excited and want to grow, and they’ll grow an 80- to 100-pound pumpkin without too much work.” Rodgerson takes pride in Daybreak’s ability to attract new and different events and activities that maybe the public hasn’t seen before. He said what makes the pumpkin regatta so popular is a crazy, weird formula. “Most people haven’t seen a pumpkin that large, and then to see a pumpkin that large in a race and then to see a bunch of yahoo guys dressed up in costumes in pumpkins at this kind of race is incredibly entertaining,” said Rodgerson, who is looking forward to the 2018 calendar of events. For more information on giant-pumpkin growing, visit l

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Page 8 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

SoJo choral arts works hard to keep performing and bring music to the valley


By Keyra Kristoffersen |

staple of the city of South Jordan, the Sounds of the Season, is holding its 13th annual holiday concert Saturday, Dec. 2 with two performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Bingham High School. “We want to give back to our South Jordan community,” said McKell Scanlan, who has been with the community choir since 2005 and has acted as producer for the annual concert for the last five years. The choir is at a crossroads, said Scanlan, because the group recently became a nonprofit in 2016, independent from the city of South Jordan, forming the SoJo Choral Arts. The question has been whether to go out with a bang after so many years or try to find a qualified director to soon take over for the group’s founder and director, Marlene Stanley. “We realized that Marlene is aging, and for us to continue on, we need to be able to establish some honorarium funds in order to attract a qualified person to take the reins and take us into the future,” Scanlan said. After moving to Utah from Houston, Texas, Stanley, who had a musical background, began the Sounds of the Season choir in 2004, and the DeciBelles, an audition women’s choir of around 40 members that began in 2002, and was incorporated in to the SoJo Choral Arts when it went independent.

The Sounds of the Season choir of South Jordan performs once a year for the winter holidays. (Matt Tanner)

“DeciBelles work is based on studies of how music affects the aging brain and the health benefits,” said Scanlan. Both choirs are non-denominational and boast more than 200 singers and orchestra musicians, directed by Barbara Peterson and orchestra concert master Jeremy Starr. The DeciBelles perform between 60 and 100 events throughout the valley at civic and church events and at senior living facilities. The Sounds of the Season rehearse one to two times a week for three months before putting on its main concert the first Saturday of every December. “It’s pretty remarkable for what it is,” said Scanlan of the groups, whose rehearsals function

similarly to weekly workshops. Choir members come from various musical backgrounds that range from former Mormon Tabernacle Choir experience to musical directors to performing with the University Chorale. Many are from South Jordan and range in age. After spending much of their lives in music, the members want to give back. Scanlan uses it as therapy for damaged vocal chords. “We’ve always been about community,” she said. “We’ve built this community of musicians. We try to recruit across the spectrum and get a good balance.” Since becoming an independent body, the SoJo Choral Arts have had a crash-course in grant

writing and raising funds on its own. In past years, some funds from the city and other groups were allocated to the choirs, along with perks such as free use of the community center for rehearsals. Without that backing, the groups have moved to a local church, but with the help of fundraising, Scanlan said they’re hoping to be able to afford renting a different space, such as a school, by next year. “We’re at a tipping point because even though we’re not new, we’re big and strong, we’ve got an organization with a volunteer administrative staff of 30,” said Scanlan. An organization this large and established has its own set of challenges when suddenly being an independent body because of the expectations inherent. The upside is that so many love their program that they are willing to provide help. Lisa Eccles, of the Eccles Foundation, has provided a grant that will help them through next year. Scanlan is pleased that they understand what the SoJo Choral Arts is about and the direction that they hope to head in the coming years, particularly finding and hiring a new paid assistant director to begin next year and the ability to raise funds to benefit charities. For more information about upcoming performances or for information about donating to or joining the SoJo Choral Arts, visit: http://www. l

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Light the Night By Keyra Kristoffersen |


n Friday, Dec. 1, South Jordan is kicking off the Christmas season celebrations with the annual Light the Night on Towne Center Drive. “There’s really lot of things to do,” said Tina Brown, the city’s public information officer, who anticipates more than 150 guests at the event. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. where residents and spectators can gather on Towne Center Drive to participate in the countdown to the lighting of city streets and the 30-foot Christmas tree. The tree is set up right outside of South Jordan City Hall, and Mayor Dave Alvord is expected to attend, as it is his last year running the countdown. “It’s beautiful, and people really love that display,” said Brown, who will be spending her fourth year helping out with the decade-long Light the Night event this year. Along with the tree-lighting, hot cocoa and cookies will be provided, along with discounts from the surrounding merchants on food and massages. As soon as the lights go on, Santa Claus will also make a special appearance on a fire truck, escorted by local South Jordan firefighters to the Santa Shack set up in front of City Hall. Santa will be available to take Christmas present orders from children that

night as well as every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 16. The culmination of the annual Gingerbread House contest will also be announced that night with winners awarded first- and second-place prizes for People’s Choice, Child 8 and under, Youth aged 9–12, Teen aged 13–17, Adult aged 18-–4, Senior aged 55 and up and the newest category this year, Santa’s Choice. The Gingerbread House contest began in November with a Gingerbread 101 class that taught the ins and outs of creative cookie house construction. With that basic training, South Jordan residents were invited to submit their gingerbread creations as individuals and groups by Nov. 17 for display and voting to Arts at the Gale until the evening of Light the Night. The Cookies with Santa party also allowed the public and artists to rub elbows with the Man in Red himself while he perused the 20 to 30 entries. Another popular display are the candy window displays that will be in in some of the store windows along Towne Center Drive. Based on the old ZCMI windows displays in downtown Salt Lake, local artists create candy sculptures to set up for all to see. Typically, the displays are created with 10 artists

working within a theme. This year, Classic Christmas and the city provides the candy for the sculpture, and the artists provide the many hours of work. The candy sculptures will be on display through the entire month of December. “They work on these for a long time; they’re incredible and really detailed,” Brown said. “We’ve seen everything used. I think the best part of Light the Night is our Candy Window Displays.” One activity that will be missing from previous years is the ice skating rink that normally occupies the space next to the South Jordan Library; however, due to construction and lack of suitable space this year, there will be no rink. Brown said not to worry, however, because there are more than enough sights and activities, such as crafts at the library, to keep the whole family occupied and delighted through the night. She also said plans are underway to find a new home for the ice-skating rink that will work better in the future. All the activities are free and open to the public. “We encourage everyone to come down and enjoy the festivities,” Brown said. “It is a lot of fun. It’s amazing some of the things that our events people plan.” l

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Page 10 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

Hallway of remembrance arranged for veterans By Keyra Kristoffersen |


or the second year in a row, Sagewood at Daybreak honored its resident veterans and their spouses by celebrating Veterans Day with a two-day “Walk of Remembrance” through its halls as well as a special dinner. “I think it’s a really cool thing to bring back what happened, what they did there and see how many people really did give so much of their lives for these things,” said Kelsey Meha, activities director. ”Lots of times you see the photos, but you don’t see an actual uniform or medals.” Currently, more than 50 veterans reside at Sagewood, with another 50 spouses of deceased veterans living there as well. That’s more than half of the population of residents. Celebrating their sacrifice of both soldiers and the spouses who either waited for them at home or moved around with them is central to Sagewood’s culture. “We try and bring in as many people as we can to really celebrate our veterans,” said Meha. Along with a dinner and morning flag ceremony provided by the Taylorsville High Junior ROTC, the Walk of Remembrance, a temporary museum, was set up through the halls showcasing clothing and memorabilia provided by the resident veterans and their families along with photos and descriptions of their time in the military. Medals, photos, uniforms and keepsakes from several wars and places all over the world were set out for anyone to see from Nov 10 through Nov.11. One of those residents is Troy Roper, who was a paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Brigade

of the United States Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968. Roper said the Army lied to him because he never got the muscles they promised when he accidentally volunteered for jump school, though he did get the chest hair, he said. While in Vietnam, Roper was exposed to Agent Orange, which led to extensive eye surgery. The chemical also left him with nodules in his lungs, and last year, he underwent a seven-hour heart surgery. In 2005, he was in a motorcycle accident that left him with only a 2 percent chance of living, but he eventually ended up in a veterans’ nursing home. In 2015, he moved to Sagewood where he said he loves Sagewood, though he’s mad because of the 15 pounds he’s gained since. His health is great, though, and he just received an award for 4,000 volunteer hours at the Veterans Affairs signed by President Barack Obama. Roper travels to the Veterans Hospital in Salt Lake one to three days a week where he takes care of his health and also teaches disabled veterans how to travel by Frontrunner and TRAX. “I’m a pretty adventurous guy; ‘no’ is not a part of my vocabulary,” said Roper, who spent his time skiing before his accident. He wore his 173rd hat for the ceremony. “I did my time; it was quite an experience.” Wayne Bott is a World War II veteran and has been a Sagewood resident since 2016. Bott joined the Army out of high school in 1943, completed basic training in Georgia and arrived on Utah Beach at Normandy France a few days after the

initial D-Day landing in June 1944. He spent his time marching alongside tanks as they followed General George S. Patton through Belgium all the way to Czechoslovakia to meet the Soviet Union Army. “We sat up on a hill outside of Plauen (Germany); the bombers were coming over every night, all night long, bombing the city,” said Bott, remembering the small town on the modern-day border of Bavaria and the Czech Republic. Bott said in some places, nothing in the city stood over 4 or 5 feet tall, but as they travelled deeper into Europe, the enemy soldiers would pull back from towns rather than fight and possibly destroy them, so they were actually beautiful. In one area, a prisoner of war camp was set up right in the middle of a railroad station with a large P.O.W. sign painted above it. “I think it was deliberately put there because they wouldn’t bomb the railroad station,” said Bott. Bott said it was a long trip across Europe, but they were able to do a lot of clean up after battles had finished raging. “All in all it was, I guess it was a good education for a guy who grew up in a farm town where everything was quiet and peaceful,” said Bott, who was raised in Payson. As an adult, he spent 60 years in the same house in Murray before moving to Sagewood. Along with photos and other pieces of memorabilia, Bott submitted a regimental history book with a history of where he went and what he did

in the military. Residents and their families were invited to attend the activities. Meha said the event may be open to the public in the future. l

Hal Kartchner poses next to memorabilia from his time in the military. (Sagewood)

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Zombies come alive at Eastlake Elementary By Julie Slama |

It’s close to midnight…something evil’s lurking from the dark under the moonlight. You see something that almost stops your heart. You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it.” But there weren’t any screams as zombies danced down the stage stairs and into the multi-purpose room filled with elementary school students. Instead, there were smiles of delight as they saw sixth-grade student zombies dancing with their Beverley Taylor Sorensen arts specialist Jackie Webster, who appeared as Michael Jackson from his jacket to his red pants. They danced through Jackson’s hit song, “Thriller” at a surprise Halloween assembly. Sixth-grader Addie Noyce said that it was fun to do. “The little kids had the cutest faces,” she said. “Some were smiling, laughing and were surprised all at once when they first saw the zombies dancing.” Addie invited her family, including her grandfather, Tim Noyce, to the assembly. “She said, ‘Grandpa, we’re doing ‘Thriller.’ Come see me be a zombie,’” he said. “I like to support all my grandkids so I came. All the kids here really seem to enjoy it, and they’re putting Michael Jackson to shame. They’re really good and having fun.” Addie said she learned how much Webster likes Michael Jackson, which when the teacher heard that, she laughed and admitted that it was true.

Eastlake sixth-grade zombies line the stage before they perform a thrilling assembly for their classmates. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“I grew up with my three sisters loving his music and dancing, but it’s my cousin who was friends with him,” she said. “She would take her kids over to his house where they’d play and hang out. She said he was just kind of like a kid who wanted to have fun.” The idea of dancing to “Thriller” came nine years ago, when Webster, her sister and friend performed it in Foothills Elementary’s library for fun and to demonstrate dancing. Later, she began teaching it to her third-grade class, and the tradition was born. “Everyone just planned on us doing it, and we doubled the size with all the kids on the same track. Parents thanked me, saying that it gave their children a chance to do some arts that aren’t in the school very much,” Webster said.

Her last year at Foothills, she invited all the former students who had learned the dance to join her in an encore performance. So when she came to Eastlake as the arts specialist, several teachers, Principal Kyle Hansen and families also came to Eastlake and were familiar with the production, and she was asked to continue the tradition at this school. Webster is the visual arts specialist through the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, which is a teaching partnership between highly qualified arts specialists and classroom teachers in more than 100 Utah elementary schools. Working with the classroom specialist, Webster gives students arts instruction that ties into the state’s fine arts core curriculum. “I want students to have the opportunity

to explore all arts or have a chance to dabble in dance, art, theater and, music, and this is giving them exposure to dance,” she said. “So far, I’ve only done it with one class during their art rotation, but I may have to look to changing that next year.” This year, sixth-graders in Elaine Cloward’s class learned the dance steps and overcame being “too cool” for it. “They learned it step by step,” Webster said. “We used some of the steps Michael Jackson did, then I composed my own steps where others are too difficult.” With the parents’ support to help provide costuming and makeup, the sixth-graders performed “Thriller” for younger students and then joined them in singing fun Halloween songs. For a second assembly with older students, they included reciting “The Raven.” “Through doing this, the kids bonded and realized that they’re all included and getting to do something special,” Webster said. “They learned rhythm and movement and tied it into a special Halloween surprise for the school.” However, when students filed in for the assembly, most of sixth-grade performers were backstage — apart from a few zombies stretched out on the stage stairs. The Eastlake students had no idea that what was in front of them — “You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination, but all the while you hear…thriller, thriller night.” l

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Page 12 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

Why the future of Glenmoor Golf Course is in jeopardy


By Jennifer Gardiner |

ecil Bohn, who passed away in 2015, built what is now Glenmoor Golf Course in 1968. It became a staple for South Jordan residents and is a popular course for golfers from around the state. Four decades later, due to a dispute between the remaining shareholders, a judge ordered the corporation to dissolve the property to be sold for the highest value. This immediately threw the city of South Jordan in the middle of a battle over protecting the many residents who own homes in the surrounding areas who want to preserve the golf course, versus allowing an investor to come in and purchase the land to develop it into something else. By a vote of four to one, city leaders recently approved a resolution that would provide a notice of a pending change to the South Jordan’s zoning map. This proposal would change the existing agricultural zoning that Glenmoor was built on to open space. South Jordan Mayor David Alvord explained this would put a temporary freeze on applications being presented to the planning committee for the construction of the property while city officials, along with the owners of the golf course, come to a rezoning agreement. He believes their job is to protect the residents of South Jordan over the gain or loss of a property owner’s land. Cecil Bohn’s daughter Sharon Laub said she heard about the meeting through other residents and was upset about not being notified. During the meeting, it became clear the owners have an undesirable conflict with the rest of the residents have who property along the golf course. Laub said during the council meeting that rezoning the property to open space would significantly decrease the value, and property owners collectively stand to lose millions of dollars. Marc Pehkonen is president of the Glenmoor Village Skye Homeowners Association. He lives on Skye Drive, which borders parts of the golf course. The development was the first of the properties to be built at Glenmoor. Pehkonen said his home has been in his wife’s

Battle of whether Glenmoor Golf Course will remain a golf course or be sold to a developer. (Courtesy Glenmoor Golf Course)

family since 1975. “It’s a fantastic place to live,” Pehkonen said. “The buffer that the golf course provides makes what is essentially a small and unassuming property a beautiful oasis in what is fast becoming an unbroken sea of development in this part of the valley.” Pehkonen agrees with what city leaders are trying to do and said many people who spoke at the city council meeting made excellent points, going beyond the considerations of property value. “Increased traffic access through the neighborhood and undue burden on the local schools, which are already operating at capacity, would depress many more property prices than just the residences that directly border the golf course,” Pehkonen said. “I feel for the owners of the golf course and hope the city is able to negotiate with them and recognize their property rights,

but I believe this is an occasion where the harm to the many would outweigh the potential harm to the few.” The one city council member who opposed the resolution, Brad Marlor, said he voted against the resolution because he believes the best first step with the landowners would be face-to-face meetings in a work study session with the council and staff. “I believe placing the item on the agenda without even inviting the landowners to the meeting was unconscionable,” Marlor said. “The council essentially voted to begin the process of downzoning their property without any discussion with the landowners. I, of course, voted against that resolution. I believe the action of the council only served to provoke the landowners and polarize them.” During the next council session, Marlor was asked whether he had any direct conflict

of interest relating to the golf course. He addressed the issues in a statement. “I was approached by a law firm, who essentially said they needed to provide a candidate as a receiver, and because of my professional background in mergers and acquisitions, he asked me if I would consider being a receiver for Glenmoor Golf Course,” he said. “I found out more about what that entailed, and I spent a few days thinking about that. If I had been appointed receiver, that would put me in conflict with what I do here as a city council member, and I elected to decline that opportunity.” While it was not made clear at the council meeting why they are in a lawsuit with the other shareholders, Tamara Schneiter, whose father’s estate owns the other 50 percent, said it was partially due to Bohn’s daughter Mary Lou Coates’ embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the golf course. Court documents show as part of civil litigation, Coates signed a Confession of Judgement acknowledging she embezzled Glenmoor funds and owes $873,841.21 to Glenmoor. She was charged criminally for $70,000 in checks written between June and August of 2010. On Nov. 2, Coates pleaded guilty to second-degree felony communications fraud and is now serving a six-month sentence. She was also ordered to serve 3,600 hours of community service and will be on probation for 36 months. “The repeated attempts to conceal Mary Coates’ embezzlement caused the friction among the Schneiter and Bohn family and is reason for the possible rezoning of Glenmoor,” Schneiter said. “The hostility between the owners is a result of the repeated attempts to conceal the financial malfeasance and preclude discovery that might reveal any additional financial malfeasance.” It is still unclear what exactly is going to happen to the Glenmoor Golf Course or when city officials will be discussing this issue further, but one thing is clear, the Glenmoor property will be sold, and the corporation that has run the golf course for over four decades will dissolve. l

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Elk Ridge students, faculty run for fun, fitness By Julie Slama |

Students run either a 1-mile course or a 5k in Elk Ridge Middle School’s seventh annual Goblin Chase. (Anabelle Thomas and Allison Bryan/Elk Ridge Middle School)


here weren’t any ghosts or witches running, but Elk Ridge students and teachers were lacing up their shoes for the seventh annual Goblin Chase.

About 60 students took off to run through the neighborhood Oct. 30 as an optional activity, said Assistant Principal Spencer Campbell. “This gives students an opportunity to participate in a challenging event, and it’s a way we can

celebrate these kids,” he said. “Some treat it as a race after competing in the cross country season while others walk with friends or a class and do it together for fun.” The run, which features both a 1-mile course and a 5k, began when former Elk Ridge Assistant Principal and current Oquirrh Hills Middle School Assistant Principal Audrey Fish had leftover race numbers from a previous school’s basketball fundraiser — a 5k.

“I was thinking we could put them to use at Elk Ridge and encourage the kids to be healthy and get exercise within the school community and school hours,” she said. “It started with about 30 students that first year, and it’s gotten bigger each year.” Although there’s not a goblin that chases the students, nor do they chase a goblin, Fish said the race was set at this time of year for the predictable fall weather and to tie into Halloween. “I loved doing it, and the kids have so much fun,” she said. Tying into the event is the annual fall festival, which this year was held on Halloween. “There are carnival games and a dance,” Campbell said. “It’s a day to celebrate the kids and all the awesome things they do.” The Parent-Teacher-Student Association student leadership volunteer to help organize and be in charge of the race, giving them leadership opportunities, he added. “Everyone who runs or volunteers gets a T-shirt, and they’re pretty cool,” Campbell said. Participants receive certificates, and top finishers are awarded goodie bags filled with Gatorades and granola bars. This year’s 1-mile winners include first-place finishers Robert Giudice and Vanessa Pulley; second-place runners Daniel Clark; and three-way tie between Lindsey Neumann, Macey Shosted and Liberty Warner; and third-place finisher Alex Nay. In the 5k, the winners were Gavin Lee and Elysse Powley; second place went to Miles Miller

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and Natalie Swain; and third-place finishers were Trey Hawkins and Natalie Bushnell. Joining the students running were faculty members Janice Dalley, Amanda Mair, Courtney Moylan, Becky Payne, Steve Pollock, Christie Robinson and Aaron Saxton as well as Principal Wyatt Bentley. While not everyone trains, Campbell said it helps encourage students to be healthy. It also counts toward the Wapiti Award, an honor students can earn all three years of their middle school career. Students can earn points for 100 percent attendance each quarter, a grade-point average of 3.8 or higher, not having any tardies, auditioning for the musical, participating in school program such as ballroom dance or Lego robotics, performing a service project outside of school, participating in the Goblin Chase school fun run, being part of the PTSA, playing on a sports team or several other ways, Elk Ridge Assistant Principal Michelle Kilcrease said. “Each criteria is worth a certain number of points,” she said. “Once students have earned this, then we honor them at a catered banquet and ceremony at the end of the year.” In eighth grade, students can receive the silver Wapiti medal, and in ninth grade, they can earn the gold Wapiti medallion. If the student earns all three, he or she is awarded a platinum medal. “The Goblin Chase is just a fun way for all of our students who want to run and exercise together,” Campbell said. l

Page 14 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

Mayor David Alvord reflects on term as South Jordan City’s leader By Jennifer Gardiner |


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lthough he didn’t realize it at the time, Mayor Dave Alvord’s decision to not run for another term opened the door for history to be made when the residents of South Jordan elected its first female mayor, Dawn Ramsey. But before Alvord hands over his reins, he took the time to reflect on the last four years and what being the mayor of South Jordan has meant to him.

Alvord hadn’t planned to be a mayor one day; in fact, after he graduated from Skyline High School, he attended the University of Utah and Case School of Dental Medicine, where he studied to become a dentist. His political interest was piqued after winning a statewide political cartoon contest in the sixth grade. But Alvord discovered a love for politics, and his curiosity grew even more after becoming

a regional campaign chair for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. After a few brushes with issues within the city, Alvord said he attended a few council meetings and decided at that time he wanted to be a member of the city council. “I met the man who would be my opponent for the District 5 seat, Chris Rogers, and we just clicked,” Alvord said. “He had great energy, and I really liked the guy. I realized that if I wanted a chance to work with Chris, I would have to run for mayor.” Alvord said he didn’t know if he would win, but he put his name in the hat. While at first there was a pretty big gap between him and the leading candidate, the remaining mayoral candidates who didn’t advance ended up endorsing him, allowing him enough support to be elected. Alvord has an extensive range of experience working with the public. He said being mayor of a city like South Jordan was both enlightening and rewarding. After observing cities that elected to change their government, he feels South Jordan could possibly benefit more by having a full-time mayor. “I wouldn’t necessarily say we were at a disadvantage because I put in a lot of work,” Mayor Alvord said. “But on the same foot, there were several moments where I thought maybe if I could put in just a little more time, I could get that much more done for the city.” Being an elected official often means connecting with the public on several different platforms. Alvord’s active social media presence means staying in touch with the community on a regular basis. “Sometimes people will just tag my name in a point they want attention to, and while I couldn’t solve every problem, it was surprising that in some cases that is all it took,” he said. “As much as I would prefer someone sending me a direct message or letter, I was just as responsive that way too.” Alvord said what he will miss the most is being able to respond to everyday concerns of residents and how rewarding it was to help others. “Over the last four years, I have received well over 100 calls where someone needed a either a stripe painted, a flashing stop sign or help with slowing the speed limit in a certain area,” he said. “These were really practical requests, where I could call the city manager and work on getting those things done for our residents.” Alvord and his wife, Laura, have lived in South Jordan for nearly 14 years. They have three daughters and one son ranging in ages from 5 to 11. He opened his dental practice, Oquirrh Mountain Dental, adjacent to city hall, becoming both a resident and a business owner in South Jordan. Alvord said he loves the city of South Jordan and all the support he has received from the residents. He doesn’t plan on going anywhere, anytime soon. When asked about his thoughts on Mayor-elect Dawn Ramsey, Alvord said he really appreciates how much time she has given to the community and her willingness to give even more. l

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December 2017 | Page 15

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Counting bones in a skeleton? Wicked!


t may be ghoulish, but several first-graders were counting how many bones are in a skeleton. Others, like first-grader Owen Pierson, who was at Hawthorn Academy’s Trunk or Treat Math Night with his dad, Ryan, were measuring monster pictures with candy corns. “I like math,” Owen said. “It’s easy.” Owen and Ryan were trying to complete the first grade’s spooky math packet. The activities ranged from designing and building a cage using marshmallows and toothpicks to hold an angry monster to estimating and counting the number of eyeballs in a jar. First-grade teacher Jenna Erlebach said the skills tie into the common core standards. “We teach them these skills in school, but this night has a fun, Halloween theme to them,” she said. “Plus, it’s fun for them to do it as a scavenger hunt.” Hawthorn Curriculum Director Candalyn Winder said by combining trunk or treat with math night, attendance has been greater, and the activities have a fun theme. “The kids just have a blast doing Halloween-themed games and activities that tie to the core curriculum,” she said. “We’re trying to get kids excited about math, not just doing worksheets. Some of the activities have real-life applications.”

By Julie Slama | Winder also said that through the activities, the school is providing a sense of community and support for parents to learn how to help their kids learn math skills. “Parents are seeing the students learn firsthand and also can understand how they can support or create similar activities at home, so the kids are having fun and being engaged in learning math,” she said. Kindergartner Londyn Wismer, who was accompanied by Jillian Wismer and Tyler Chism, was engaged in creating her own monster tied to the book “Go Away Big Green Monster.” “We came for the activities as well as trunk or treat,” Wismer said. “She’s having fun, but she’s also reviewing her counting and shapes. We’re cutting a lot of shapes.” In another classroom, kindergarten teacher Janet Scott was having students create spiders out of shapes. “We’re wanting our community to be able to interact through math activities and learn that math can be fun,” she said. Fifth-grade teacher Brittney Garcia had families trying their hand at geoboards — boards with pegs or nails stuck out of them. Then, with rubber bands, the families created shapes and designs, including a pumpkin. “Younger students are able to create a tri-

A Hawthorn Academy student dresses up in his costume for both trunk or treat and Halloween-themed math night activities. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

angle or a square, while older ones can show me how to make a parallelogram or a trapezoid,” she said. “By making shapes on their own, they’re connecting it to a different part of their brain, and they’re understanding it better.” Garcia also said she gives students real-life applications such as finding the perimeter and

area of a given space, such as a square on the gym floor, or a house or of the school. “They’re able to gain recognition and put what they’ve learned to use,” she said. “Tonight, we’re giving a chance for them to create, learn and connect with their families.” l

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Page 16 | December 2017

South Jordan City Journal

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South Jordan students thank veterans for service, sacrifice By Julie Slama |

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A Cub Scout salutes the flag before joining his Jordan Ridge classmates to sing to seniors at Carrington Care assisted living center. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


ifth-grader Will Evershed and his Jordan Ridge Elementary classmates walked to Carrington Care assisted living center to share a message for veterans and their families. “We wanted to sing for veterans because what we have is what they gave us,” said the 11-year-old whose grandfather served in the National Guard. Will’s favorite song, “Thank You Military,” was to “thank them for what they did.” The patriotic program, which highlighted Betsy Ross sewing the flag of symbolic colors and Thomas Jefferson penning the Declaration of Independence, also recognized the veterans as their heroes, and the students even sang, “You’re a Hero.” Carrington Activities Director Diane Kunz said the students have an impact on the Carrington community. “It does them a great service when these young people come in and honor them,” she said, adding that Jordan Ridge students have sung patriotic songs to the seniors for about seven years. ”It makes it special.” Principal Melissa Beck said Jordan Ridge students appreciate the seniors. “It’s cool to see how Carrington Court is part of our community,” she said. “They’re our friends and neighbors.” The Veterans Day program also included remarks from U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Keith Topolski, a prayer by Certified Clinical Interfaith Chaplain Rebecca Anderson and the acknowledgement of veterans who served in Germany during World War II to those in Korea in three branches of military.

Al Casler remembered serving in the South Pacific with the Navy. “It was a long time ago that we went island to island looking for the Japanese to make our country free for our people,” he said. Louis Pickett enlisted in the ROTC and rose to the rank of Army captain as he gave psychological tests to several military branches of those wanting to enlist. “I tested the high school graduates to see if they were fit to be in the service,” he said. ”It was the time between World War II and the Korean War. “It was good times and relatively peaceful, but we were still on shaky ground with some other countries,” said his wife, Willy, whom Pickett had met on a blind date while studying at Utah State University. “It was a patriotic time.” Pickett said that it was a proud time to serve. “We were real patriotic and appreciated the country and our flag,” he said. Carrington Court Executive Director Michael Nielson thanked the residents. “We thank you, for you are the greatest generation, and the tremendous sacrifice you made, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can have the freedoms we have,” he said. Will’s mother, Emily, was moved by the program. “It brings tears to my eyes to see that they’re actually singing to these veterans,” she said. “It means so much.” Jordan School District Superintendent Patrice Johnson said it’s the responsibilities of schools to teach students about

Veterans Day. “Many young people don’t know what a veteran is and why they are being commemorated, so if they aren’t learning in schools, where will they learn?” she said. “When they talk about the meaning of songs, they sing from the heart, and you can tell the impact it makes on them. With the programs where they participate, memorize and know all the songs, it’s a great way to honor veterans in our community.” At Elk Ridge Middle School, Boy Scouts who attend the school presented the flag while Counselor Camille Cook sang the national anthem, and the honors choir sang patriotic songs in their Veterans Day program. Honored guest speaker South Jordan Mayor-elect Dawn Ramsey spoke how veterans have impacted everyone’s lives and asked students to serve others in ways they could. South Jordan Middle School students honored about 20 veterans at their second annual before-school service, which about 350 students and families attended. The event included a flag ceremony and the choir singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the “Armed Forces Medley,” which veterans were acknowledged by their branch. “It’s important the kids know the sacrifice and remember how they are living in a relatively peaceful country with so much to appreciate,” Assistant Principal Tim Heumann said. “It also helps to make U.S. history come to life, and it becomes a part of them. It’s a positive experience for the veterans and our students.” l

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South JorDan city Journal

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Bingham won the 6A state championship on Nov. 17. (Photo/Pat Mcdonald)


he Bingham Miners’ football squad is more than a team; it’s a program. This is what happens when you’re a fixture is the state title race every year. This season, the Miners reached the title game for the eighth time in the past 12 years. Bingham defeated East for the Class 6A championship on Nov. 17 making it seven state titles in that span and 11th overall. Behind an imposing front seven and its power rushing attack, the Miners finished off the Leopards 27-14 to win the inaugural classification championship. It’s no surprise that the Miners made their way to the title game once again. Bingham marched through the regular season unscathed with a 9-0 record (4-0 in Region 4). Coach John Lambourne’s squad has been at the top of state rankings all year and even appears in the top 20 of national rankings. Championship clash opponent East was a familiar opponent. Bingham and East met Aug. 25 in both teams’ second game of the season. The Miners broke up a close 24-17 game at halftime to run away with a 4817 victory. That win snapped East’s 24-game winning streak. In this year’s postseason, Bingham has leaned on both its stout defense and effective offense to roll over the opposition. The Miners first overwhelmed Cyprus, Region 3’s No. 4 team, 65-7 in a contest that was all but decided in the first quarter. Bingham jumped out to a quick 28-0 lead and cruised from there. Braedon Wissler got things going with a 60-yard punt return and then added a 4-yard run a few minutes later. Up 45-0 at halftime, the Miners got a lot of backups involved in the second half and added 20 more points. Twelve Bingham players carried the ball, and

the Miners totaled 240 yards on the ground. Quarterback Ryan Wood only threw seven passes but completed six of them for 90 yards. In the quarterfinals, Bingham hosted Region 1 foe Syracuse, a team that entered the contest on a four-game winning streak. But like it did in the first round, Bingham jumped on top big early and was never threatened on its way to a 37-7 rout. The Miners led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 21-0 at halftime. Syracuse didn’t get on the board until the fourth quarter when Bingham was already up 37-0. Wissler and Amoni Kaili each had touchdown runs, and Kobi Matagi added a 30-yard interception return for a TD in the first quarter. Special teams had a key role in the victory as well. Brandon Lopez contributed three second-half field goals. Bingham clinched its title game berth with another lopsided win. The latest came in a 31-7 win over Herriman in the semifinals Nov. 10. In a rematch of a Sept. 1 34-0 win for Bingham, the Miners found themselves in a tight contest in the first half, leading just 14-7 at the break. Tanner Merrill got things started off with a 36yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. After Herriman tied the game, the Miners went ahead for good on a 16-yard TD pass from Wood to Brayden Cosper. Bingham then outscored Herriman 17-0 in the second half; Wissler scored both touchdowns. His first TD came on a 34-yard pass from Wood in the third quarter. In the fourth, he capped off Bingham’s day with a 7-yard score on the ground. The championship game against East matched up a stellar Bingham defense against East’s potent run game and scoring offense. The Miners entered the game having given up just 9.8 points per outing. Meanwhile, the Leopards put 41.8 points on the board each game. l

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December 2017 | Page 19

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A locally owned business in Riverton with expert knowledge and service will be celebrating their sixth anniversary in February 2018—RunGr8 Running Center. RunGr8 was founded by Blake and Heidi Christensen, who are not only passionate about running, but also helping others achieve their fitness goals. Their small business is known for their friendly, knowledgeable and non-intimidating staff who are experts in helping people find the perfect fitting shoes and gear. That means anyone who needs shoes. “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 to find the perfect fitting pair.” They have an incredible selection of shoes from the best-known brands in the industry, in-

cluding Brooks, Asics, Saucony, Altra, Hoka and Mizuno. RunGr8 stocks more than 100 models of shoes for running, walking, hiking, going to the gym or to work. RunGr8 has a unique evaluation that sets them apart in the industry, a biomechanical analysis known as “The Gr8 fit process.” The analysis is performed by taking a foot scan to determine the 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 analysis is free with every shoe purchase and designed to effectively help people find the perfect fitting shoe for comfort and support. No appointments are necessary and it only takes 10 minutes. So confident is RunGr8 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 100 percent satisfied with the way the shoes fit and feel. Those suffering from foot, heel and arch pain can find relief at RunGr8. They carry a vast ar-

ray of products including compression socks, orthotic insoles, massage tools and supportive flip flops to help people find relief from painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Each staff member undergoes extensive training directly from each shoe brand manufacturer. It means they understand the common running injuries and foot conditions and therefore know the best products to reduce pain and comfort. RunGr8 is active in the community making it a priority to give back and support events that help people live active lifestyles. They sponsor local running races and charity runs as well as nearby high school track and cross country teams. Through their store, they provide many free

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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. To learn more about RunGr8, visit www. or stop by the store at 2608 W. 12600 South in Riverton. l

Page 20 | December 2017

SoJo Station Open House Welcomes Tenants and Community Partners Offering Salt Lake County’s most iconic office address with high profile I-15 visibility and immediate access off 106th South, in South Jordan City, SoJo Station features the most powerful office headquarters location in Utah. Located just steps from the UTA Frontrunner commuter rail platform, this location will be unmatched relative to employee retention and recruitment. Developed by Millrock Capital in partnership with Utah Transit Authority (UTA), SoJo Station also features structured parking and enhanced infrastructure. A full service Embassy Suites hotel is also master planned to be incorporated into the project, anticipated to bring 160-170 suites, a full service restaurant, conference center and fitness facility. Salt Lake based InMoment and Lucid Software are the kickoff Tenants and chose to relocate their headquarters at SoJo Station securing the premier location. Pluralsight has also expanded into the location as they prepare for an upcoming, long-term campus location. SoJo Station | 10355 S, South Jordan Gateway | South Jordan, Utah 84095 | 801-365-2001

South JorDan city Journal

New region offers new opportunity for Bingham girls basketball


By Josh McFadden |

or the past two seasons, the Bingham girls basketball team has chased Copper Hills for the region title. Unfortunately for the Miners, two years ago, they came up short, finishing second, and last year, they had to share the title. Thanks to region realignments this season, Bingham won’t have to worry about the Grizzlies. But that doesn’t mean big challenges aren’t ahead for this year’s squad as it moves from Region 3 to Region 4, where it will now compete with Utah County foes American Fork, Lone Peak, Pleasant Grove and Westlake. “We have to play as a team in order to be successful,” said head coach Charron Mason. “The more the girls play together and work as a team the better they will be. This is a new tough region, and so we are excited to be able to compete with the teams in the south. We will have to work hard and bring our A game for every competition in Region 4.” The Miners are coming off an 11-1 region season and an overall mark of 17-8. Bingham fell to Viewmont in last season’s state quarterfinals. Mason is eager to see what this squad can do. The Miners return starters Journey Tupea, a junior guard/small forward, and Shanyce Makuei, a senior guard. Last season, Tupea averaged 8.6 points per game—second on the team—and hit 10 three-pointers. Meanwhile, Makuei scored nearly seven points per game and hit 13 shots from behind the arc. “Both are great scorers, and we will be counting on them to fulfill their job,” Mason said. “Tupea is a great leader and sets a good tone for our team. Makuei has a great passion for the game and loves to play basketball.” The Miners have a full slate of non-region games before opening up league play Jan. 11 at home against Pleasant Grove. Bingham’s first regular season game was Nov. 21 at nearby Herriman. The team will play in some chal-

lenging preseason tournaments as well: the Pleasant Grove Tournament, Nov. 30–Dec. 2, and the prestigious Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec. 19–22. Mason believes the non-league games will serve as a good barometer for the team and will help get the girls ready for the rigors of region action. She’s optimistic that her players will respond well and progress throughout the season. “I expect the girls to work hard all season long, to play together as a team and to learn life lessons along the way,” she said. “We hope to do well through our preseason, to be able to compete in our new region and hopefully do well at state.” The Miners have been practicing for a few weeks. Even though the season is just getting underway, Mason likes what she sees, especially with the girls’ attitudes and enthusiasm. “I am looking forward to being a part of the success I know this team will have,” she said. “They have already been working so hard, and they have a great energy. They are passionate about basketball and love to play on the team. They are chomping at the bit. They are so excited to start our games. Before the season, they were counting down the days to tryouts. They are so excited, and that energy and enthusiasm spreads to everyone. It is awesome!” Mason also highlighted assistants Megan Leach, Skyler Beard and AJ Grieve. She is pleased the dedication her staff and players show each day. She said success wouldn’t come without everyone’s buy-in and commitment. “We are excited for this team and these girls,” she said. “They are amazing young women, and it is an incredible experience to be a part of the Bingham Lady Miners basketball team.” l

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Reality town: a real-life experience By Jet Burnham |


inth-graders were invited to live like an adult for a few hours at Reality Town, held at Oquirrh Hills Middle School. “We give them a real-life simulation of what it’s like to be an adult,” said school counselor, Steve Cherry. “They have to learn how to manage their money and purchase things within their budget.” Students were given a job, a monthly salary and a family. They had an hour and 45 minutes to chose how to use their money to purchase a home, a car, insurance, groceries, pets and entertainment packages and to donate to charity. The jobs the ninth-graders were role-playing were based on the accumulative GPA from their seventh and eighth grade. The higher their GPA, the more career options and the higher salaries they had to chose from. Belle Snow felt her GPA put her in a good position. She secured a job as a dental hygienist, just like her sister has in real life. She has learned from her siblings how important good grades are to their future. “Having older siblings, I am seeing that if they didn’t do good in seventh grade, they’re having a harder time in high school and college,” said Belle.

Manuel Acuna said his parents have always encouraged him to do well in school. He said there were no surprises for him during the simulation because they have also taught him how to budget. Parent Volunteer Katie Watkins believes the activity is good for all students. “I think it’s a taste of reality and gets them thinking about the kind of money they have to make in the future to be an adult,” said Watkins. She worked at the donations station and noticed the amount students donated depended more on their personality than the amount of money they made. “Some are really generous, and they don’t have very much money, but they’re willing to give a lot. Others are just doing the minimum donation,” said Watkins. Taylor Wood made an additional donation to charity when he realized he had a lot of money left over. “I was pretty careful at first,” he said. “I was buying pretty cheap. But once it was getting toward the end, I went a little nicer on a little bit of the stuff. But it’s still not as nice as I could because you never know when something’s going to

come up.” Erin Turley and Kathryn Chevalier were parent volunteers helping at the Housing station. They assisted students to determine the best option depending on their family size and income. Most kids tried to avoid living in their parents’ basement. “Most kids are really thinking about it,” said Turley. Dallin Trickett learned that unexpected expenses can come at any time in real life. Students picked cards that could either earn them a little money or slap them with an unexpected expense. Dallin had to pay for two speeding tickets and spend $80 on a date. Others earned money by finding cash on the street. “I lost $12 because I bought Girl Scout cookies—I couldn’t resist,” said Belle. Makenna Nielsen felt her Reality Town experience was easy because she had enough money for all of her expenses. Her high GPA meant she got a job as a radiologist making $5,000 a month. She said learned the importance of good grades when she was in seventh grade. “If I make good habits now, then those will carry on throughout the whole entire high school,” Makenna said.

The goal of Reality Town was to emphasize this connection that grades they earn now affect their future opportunities, said Cherry. Students also learned a new appreciation of their parents. “I need to appreciate my parents more because they work hard. I really do appreciate them after seeing how much it takes to support a family,” said Valeria Enciso. She said her parents have always provided nice things for her, and she feels like she’s never had to go without. But in the simulation, she ran into some problems. “I’m buying the higher-end stuff, and I’m running out of money because my income is not high enough for my lifestyle,” Valeria said. She said from now on she’ll be more aware of what she asks her parents for and be understanding when they set financial limits. Belle said she realizes her parents spend a lot of their monthly income on her extra-curricular activities. She had one child in her simulation and was surprised at the cost of child care alone. “What I learned today is that it is hard being a parent,” Belle said. l

December 2017 | Page 21

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Manuel Acuna, Dallin Trickett, Makenna Nielsen and Belle Snow enjoyed their taste of adult life at Reality Town. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

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Page 22 | December 2017

South JorDan city Journal

The Great Toy Hunt For as long as there has been Christmas Hype there have been hard to get toys. And, with those toys come parents and grandparents willing to go to crazy lengths to get one for their child. Last year it was Hatchimals and this year new toys like Fingerlings and a Nintendo that looks like something from then ‘80’s have already gone missing and pop up with over inflated prices from toy scalpers on eBay and Amazon. It’s become an American tradition. Ninja Turtle Super Shredder toy was my most memorable toy hunt. Some of you probably remember getting one or wanting one. It was sometime around 1985. I remember spending hours hunting, calling and searching for this silly $6 dollar toy. And I was finally able to snag one after stalking ToysRUs employees, showing up at the store before the doors opened, racing to dig through a box of newly arrived Turtles to get one of the 4 that came in a case. Keep in mind; the Internet did not exist for common folk at this time. Yep, I got caught up in the hype and thought, my kid must prevail, determined for him to have bragging rights of being the owner of this prestigious toy. I got that little rush when I brought my treasure home and carefully hide the sack on the top shelf of the closet. To this day, Super Shredder still has a home among the dust in my attic.



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were common dinner table items. I learned to clip those .10¢ coupons out of necessity, not because it was the popular thing to do. Looking back on my Super Shredder hunt, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to give the gift of one of life’s most valuable lessons instead. After all, what better gift than to teach a child that we don’t always get what we want. Have you gone to crazy lengths to find a Christmas toy or do you have a memory of toy you got or didn’t get as a child? Enjoy the hunt, but know that if you don’t prevail you are still giving a treasured gift to the child you love.

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December 2017 | Page 23

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Laughter AND





very year on November 30, while my girls slept, I’d spend the evening putting up Christmas decorations. I’d place every Santa just so and every angel just right. My daughters would wake up to a magical Christmas wonderland with twinkling lights, cinnamon-scented pinecones and beautifully wrapped packages. That was my dream. Reality was much different. Oh, the house was decorated, and the girls were excited, but within five minutes the entire holiday-scape was destroyed. My daughters would walk into the idyllic wonderland I’d created, squeal with glee and run to their favorite Christmas decoration. One daughter immediately turned on the display that had Disney characters barking your favorite carols. If you haven’t heard “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” sung in “Woofs” by Pluto for 25 days in a row, you don’t know the real meaning of Christmas. Another daughter ran to the Nativity scene where she helped Mother Mary run off with Frosty the Snowman, leaving Baby Jesus in the care of a 6-foot polar bear wearing a holiday scarf. Yet another daughter took the ornamental French horn off the wall and marched through the house trumpeting Jingle Bells. Not to be outdone, her little sister used the tree skirt as a cloak and pretended to be the Queen of Christmas,

which caused several fistfights in front of the holy manger. When the girls went off to school each day, I’d put all the decorations back in their traditionally ordained locations. I found Ken and Barbie naked in a Christmas stocking. I discovered one of the Wise Men snuggled with an angel behind an advent calendar. I glued the shepherds’ crooks back on because the girls would have them fight ninja-style and kept breaking them off. I found the singing Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer shoved into a pile of laundry. Oh, wait. I’d put that there. Because it never shut up. The girls would come home from school and spend the rest of the evening rearranging the decorations while I radiated anger. “Leave the damn tree alone!” I’d repeat 40 times a day. “But someone moved my ornament from its special place.” (Insert the sound of Christmas decorations falling off the tree.) When I found the Christmas pillow I had painstakingly cross-stitched had been used to wipe up a Kool-Aid spill, I finally lost it. I was exhausted from trying to redecorate the house every day to keep everything looking perfect. I screeched, in a very unholiday voice, “Put the Baby Jesus back in the manger




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was given back to Mother Mary. (She had returned from her illicit rendezvous with Frosty in time to change the baby’s diaper and put him back in the manger.) My house was messy and emotional, but delightful and creative, too. This was my Christmas wonderland. l

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before I tell Santa to burn all your presents!” Everyone froze. The daughter who had wrapped Baby Jesus in layers of toilet paper to keep him warm looked at me, eyes brimming with tears. “I just wanted to hold him,” she said, as her lip quivered. That’s when it hit me. I was the Grinch. Why the hell was I ruining Christmas? Why was I trying to keep everything perfect? To my daughters, it was already perfect. They loved the decorations and wanted to play with them for the short time they were displayed. I took a few deep breaths. I apologized. I even agreed to sit through a Christmas play where the Wise Men kidnapped Jesus and held him for ransom, but a stuffed Santa Claus karate-kicked the Wise Men to rescue the holy babe who

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Page 24 | December 2017

South Jordan City Journal

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South Jordan December 2017  
South Jordan December 2017