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DECEMBER 2016 | Vol. 2 Iss. 12



Stars debut, bring professional basketball to the suburbs By Tori La Rue |


J.J. O’Brien handles the ball during the Salt Lake City Stars’ inaugural game against the defending NBA D-League Champions the Sioux Fall Skyforce. O’Brien added 20 points and six boards to the game, but the Skyforce still Defeated the Stars 117–100 (Dave Eggen/NBAE/Getty Images)

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South Salt Lake promises more holiday fun By Orlando Rodriguez | The South Salt Lake City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout South Salt Lake. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: 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 Salt Lake 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 Steve Hession 801-433-8051 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Melody Bunker Tina Falk Ty Gorton

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

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A Day of The Dead themed shrine with Mexican painter Frida Kahlo at its center. (Orlando Rodriguez)


ctober’s “Palloween” celebration was only one of the many activities the Promise South Salt Lake program had in store for locals. In coalition with the 14 after-school programs, such as the PAL (Police Athletic League), they continue to uphold their mission of creating a healthy and educated community. Events such as Palloween—the term a play off of Halloween and PAL—attempt to create a haven for families to enjoy the holidays in a safe environment. Palloween was organizer’s Edward Lopez brainchild, and he upholds a certain philosophy when it comes to community involvement. “I believe the community is our greatest resource, that’s kind of my catchphrase.” Lopez, who started his tenure with Promise South Salt Lake three years ago, is always part of every event that is sponsored by the program.

“Before Palloween, we hosted Healthy Halloween, where we offered free flu shots and even clothing donations,” he said. And, in early

“I believe the community is our greatest resource, that’s kind of my catchphrase.” November, he and other volunteers were also responsible for their annual chess tournament at the Columbus Center, which enjoyed a substantial turnout. The Palloween event was in collaboration with the PAL boxing program, that offers an extracurricular outlet for youth to find mentoring

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and encourage them to make good decisions for themselves and the community. The Day Of The Dead themed gathering featured raffles, face painting, cookie decorating and also clothing donations. These events offer a lending hand to lowincome families in the area so that they also may enjoy the holidays. Not only that, but the program’s mission motivates residents to uphold a healthy lifestyle, both inside and out. For upcoming holidays, Promise South Salt Lake has many events planned. They are hoping for a significant turnout to their Breakfast with Santa event on December 6. And, the program still stands by its promise to create the best community environment possible and help develop young people into healthy, prosperous individuals. 






A bird in the hand By Orlando Rodriguez |


ugar House’s independent birding retailer Backyard Birds was recently honored with the Retailer of The Year Award at the 2016 edition of the Wild Bird Expo for “Best Store Under 1800 Square Feet with a Birding Emphasis.” The ceremony took place on September 28 in Mexico, MO, Rob Blackhurst and JB Leonard pose with their sponsored by Gold Crest Distributing. The store, award. (Orlando Rodriguez) located on 2698 South Highland Dr., had been nominated the year before and this year they finally took the honor. Owner Rob Blackhurst was not able to attend the ceremony, but co-owner Trace Sweeten and fellow employee JB Leonard were. Blackhurst could barely hold his excitement. “I kept texting JB: Did we win? Did we win?” Blackhurst recalled. “We were absolutely thrilled. It was such an honor to accept the award.” The winners were chosen by birding industry leaders. The committee determined the victors by criteria that encompassed the stores’ efforts in advancing the birding hobby and industry, and the impact they’ve had in their local community. Backyard Birds’ exponential growth in sales since its inception contributed to its selection, as well as the expert guidance

they offer for birding enthusiasts. The 2015 nomination was the first time Backyard Birds had heard of the award, but they’ve been around since 1998. “My business partner, Trace and I decided to do something different,” Blackhurst explained. “And birding had always been a hobby of mine. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing for a long time.” The store carries 140 different kinds of birdseed and more than 60 styles of birdbaths along with hundreds of garden decor items. They also offer resources and general information for birding enthusiasts. “Birding is the second most popular hobby,” Leonard said. And since they’ve set up shop in Utah, they understand that in a dry state like Utah it’s a lot more difficult to care for birds. “Birdbaths are very important,” Leonard explained. “In Utah, water evaporates quickly, and that’s where birds get their energy.” Apart from essential birding needs, the store also collaborates with hundreds of vendors around the U.S. and in Utah, selling an extensive inventory of gifts, decorations, and trinkets. Works of local artists are always on display. They partner with South Salt Lake’s Sugar Post metal artist Fred Conlon and have his “Metal Monsters” sculptures available. “When we first started, we didn’t have this kind of inventory,” Blackhurst explained. And when asked about working with local artists, he said, “There’s always a lot of unique stuff in Salt Lake alone.” Since opening, Backyard Birds’ sales have increased on average 10 percent each year and have almost tripled over their first year in business. And, even during the 2008 recession, their sales increased by 3 percent. “We are totally independent and locally grown, all with very little guidance,” Blackhurst said. 

Dear Citizens of South Salt Lake, I have now been serving as one of your representatives on the City Council of South Salt Lake for the past three years. During that time I have also served on the Jordan River Commission. Additionally, in the past year I have served as your City Council Chairperson. As I have served on the City Council, my love and appreciation for the City and the people of South Salt Lake has grown. I have been embraced by this community and have loved watching it grow. I believe the citizens of South Salt Lake are kind, strong, and deeply dedicated to overcoming the unique challenges in South Salt Lake in order to make it a better place to live. I will never forget my favorite people, places, and activities in this community. My family and I have been graciously served by the community while living here for the past seven years. I am sad to announce that my family and I are buying a house and will be moving out of South Salt Lake at the end of December 2016. With this move, my time on the City Council will be coming to a close. While I believe this is the right move for me and my family, I know I will deeply miss the people here. Thank you so much for your support and friendship and for giving me the opportunity to learn more about this community through serving on the City Council. I am confident that the future of South Salt Lake is bright. I have seen the power of the people in South Salt Lake as you have voted, attended council meetings, and participated in this community over the years. May you continue your involvement and continue making South Salt Lake into the community you want it to be. Best wishes for the future! Sincerely, Debbie Snow Council Chair for SSL

Our mission is to inform and entertain our community while promoting a strong local economy via relevant content presented across a synergetic network of print and digital media.

Apart from birding needs, Backyard Birds also sells trinkets and decor. (Orlando Rodriguez)

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PAL Thanksgiving Project helps needy in South Salt Lake By Brian Shaw |


uring the holidays, families gather to share conversation, good food and the warmth of being indoors. But not everyone has the luxury of having good food to eat at Thanksgiving. That’s where the Police Athletic League comes in. PAL, along with local teenagers from its program, fan out across the city this time of year, getting tips on who needs help. The organization also got names from an ad it posted in the South Salt Lake Journal as well as names submitted by Promise South Salt Lake. For South Salt Lake police officer Jerry Silva, who started with youth corrections in 1995 and became an officer with the city in 1998, this project he oversees with about 25 middle school and high school aged kids is the highlight of his year. “As an officer, this is one of those projects that you enjoy doing,” Silva said. In his ninth year of providing Thanksgiving for the needy, the project has grown in his estimation to the point where the food he provides is comparable with that of any fine dining establishment. “This is like going to Little America, for example, and having their Thanksgiving brunch. I can’t begin to tell you how good that makes me feel,” Silva added.

The way the project works is that earlier in the year, Silva and his crew ask for donations from area businesses. This year alone, Fresh Market will donate turkeys—it has donated over 100 in the past three years, according to Silva—along with canned goods. Salt Lake Valley GMC, which is in its second year of helping out, will donate hams. And Village Inn will bake and donate all the pies, leaving these needy residents with everything they could possibly want in a Thanksgiving meal. The project even included recipes so that these needy residents could properly cook the food provided for them in their meal baskets—which the project delivered in vans on November 22 after all the food was collected at the Salt Lake Culinary Center Academy on 2233 South 300 East. For those in need, added Silva, it’s a real blessing. “I talked to one mom who lost her son about six months ago and it really made her day to know we cared about her. That really put a smile on my face, because being an officer isn’t always fun. There’s a lot of stress that goes with the job and I’m just grateful to help those who need it.”  A family gathers around the Thanksgiving table. (Abigail Batchelder)

Utah Arts Alliance tries to save Granite High from developers By Brian Shaw |


he battle rages on between land developers who have the former Granite High School property under contract from the Granite School District and those who are still interested in preserving the old Granite High buildings for public use. This latest development comes less than one year after South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood vetoed the first plan approved by the city council in a 4-3 vote to build a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and 78 single-family homes. In this revised plan, the developer—who met with a handful of residents at the Columbus Center on October 13 at a contentious open house—would do a few things that city residents might find as disturbing or more so than the first plan, which the mayor nixed back then because residents told her they didn’t want a Wal-Mart sprouting up in their city. Entitled the “Granite Legacy,” the developer will reportedly demolish the backside of Granite High—on which the swimming pool sits—and build 84 single-family homes. A small open space would be created up the middle of the property, while the front side would be rezoned for a big-box retailer. That plan is now in the hands of the city. Meanwhile, another group has stepped to the forefront recently with a different plan that it intends to present to Garbett Homes before the developer begins demolition on Granite High’s buildings and rebuilds the area—a six-month time frame starting now. In an attempt to combat the developer’s latest plans, the non-profit Utah Arts Alliance has come forth with what it’s terming the “Granite High Encore Project,” which in its own words would “Save the property and heritage of the site for the community.” It’s already raised over $3,000 on an IndieGogo fundraising page. On October 26 and for the second time in as many city council meetings for the month, the non-profit even sent a

PIXAR President Ed Catmull, a Granite High alum, (left) has reportedly stepped forward to aid a local non-profit in saving his alma mater from demolition. (Steve Jurvetson)

representative to update city council members and city officials on their project. After Derek Dyer walked up to the dais to inform the members and city officials on his organization’s latest information, City Attorney Doug Ahlstrom suggested that the council not “interfere with the contract [with Garbett Homes].” “[The council] should just be good listeners and forward on all comments onto the property owners who have the property under contract,” said Ahlstrom. The six point plan the non-profit has put forth is rather extensive and contradicts what Garbett Homes has outlined it wants to do. First, the alliance would “acquire the Granite High property and adjoining buildings from [Granite School District].” Second, it would “maintain [the largest open space in South Salt Lake] for community use.” Both of the Alliance’s initial goals would

take a serious hit under Garbett’s current plan. In addition, the alliance would refurbish the auditorium and use it for a community arts center and “renovate the Industrial Arts building into a Maker Space,” which is a place where artists can create. Garbett’s current plan, however, is to demolish all of the buildings on the property. The Alliance also has a plan that will excite city residents, but this idea also counters what Garbett intends to do with the property. The non-profit would like to “restore the gymnasiums, workout rooms and pool for community use,” a feature that is sorely missing in the city right now. The alliance added in its public disclosure that it would like to use the other buildings on the former Granite High School site for “community purposes and work spaces.” All are counter to what Garbett has in store for the former Granite High property, and Garbett’s proposal for rezoning the property is now in the hands of the city. Interest in the property is heavy, as evidenced by the 1,500 signatures and counting that are currently on a petition which the Granite High Alumni Association created to make Granite High a historical landmark. Whether or not Wasatch Properties actually agrees to a meeting with the Utah Arts Alliance is still unclear. Alliance member Derek Dyer reported that the Alliance has “talked to” PIXAR director Ed Catmull, a Granite High alum, and he did appear in a video the Alliance submitted to the city council at the October 26 meeting. In the end though, it will all come down to what Garbett Homes wants to do with the property. As the moment draws near for the city to make a decision on the former Granite High grounds, city residents continue to wonder what will come of their beloved high school. 




Ribbon cutting ceremony unveils new pickleball courts By Brian Shaw |


ith pickleball being all the rage in South Salt Lake these days, played several days during the week and even on some evenings inside of the Columbus Center, what better time than now to announce the building of a new outdoor court? “I think it’s gonna be a big step for the public to feel like they can just show up to play [on the new pickleball court] and the best part is that it’s free,” said Dustin Permann, South Salt Lake recreation coordinator. On Oct. 26 at 12:30 p.m., Mayor Cherie Wood and Urban Design Director Sharen Hauri were on hand at Central Park—just southwest of the new basketball courts the Larry H. Miller Foundation donated—to christen the new pickleball court and cut the ribbon. In Permann’s estimation, the timing couldn’t be better. “Our indoor courts are filling up three days a week now, so we figured that with the cement pad left over from the old elementary school building of the basketball courts it was a good time to do this,” added Permann. “Now people can come and play whenever and they won’t have to get on a list to do it.” With the decision to build the pickleball court came the task of finding someone to resurface the court. Bimbo Bakeries stepped in and chipped in about $5,000, Permann said, helping defray some of the upfront costs by donating nets and resurfaing of the court. The court itself was made out of the same Sport Court surface as the basketball courts, Permann added. To find the new pickleball court, Permann said, you’ll just park on Claybourne Avenue and walk towards the LHM basketball courts. You’ll see the new pickleball court just southwest of the basketball courts, he said. 

City officials and members of the community were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony for two new pickleball courts on Oct. 25 at the Columbus Center. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

The HERC will serve you

By Orlando Rodriguez |


he B-boy Federation’s recently opened HERC (Hip-Hop Education and Resource Center) at 2505 S. State St. hopes to become a pillar for hip-hop arts in the community. The center takes its name from DJ Kool Herc, considered to be the father of hip-hop music, and was the brainchild of the B-boy Federation owners and longtime B-boys themselves Josh Perkins and James Karren. The HERC enjoyed a large turnout for their open house on Nov. 3, but their long-term plans call for a larger grand opening in early 2017. Not only that, but they plan to solidify the programs they will offer. Apart from the usual dance practices for dancers to hone their skills, they will also have art and djing classes, as well as will teach young dancers the history and language of hip-hop. They hope that young dancers have the incentive to put in the work in both dancing and educating themselves to create pathways to personal success. “In the hip-hop community, anyone is welcome, but you have to pull your weight,” said Josh Perkins, “if you don’t, the community will weed you out. There’s respect for hard workers.” Perkins’s experience as a professional dancer serves as a base for the ideals they want to instill in younger dancers. He got his start as a dancer in late 1999, and he witnessed pro-am breakdancing competitors who blew him away with their ability, and gave him the drive to practice every day and hone his craft. In 2004, he and Karren formed a B-boy group, called the “Angels of Death.” They would go to competitions out-of-state and struggled to begin with, but then found their

stride. The group disbanded in late 2007 and “Pyro” and “Text,” what Karren and Perkins call themselves respectively, stayed in Utah, and founded the B-boy Federation shortly after. “The dance scene in Utah was pretty dead around 2008,” said Perkins. “Not many people were breaking, and we wanted to create more of that hunger for it.” In coalition with the Utah Arts Alliance and the Murray Boys & Girls Club, they hosted many B-boy events that exponentially enjoyed great turnouts. They modeled their events after a dance league in Arizona that contacted them to create a partnership. HERC2.JPG “We wanted to partner with the dance league in Arizona but their rates were too expensive for us, but we took the concept of the league and figured out how to better suit it to our community,” said Perkins. Regardless, they continued to struggle. Then in late 2011, they were approached by Teri Munn, parent of a fellow dancer, who started them on the path to become a nonprofit organization. And, in 2013, the B-boy Federation was molded. As the Federation moves into a larger space, their long-term plans for the HERC continue to be set. They’ve partnered with the UDO (Urban Dance Organization) who will work at the HERC as well. Apart from the usual open practices, breakdancing battles, art shows and workshops, they will continue to find new ways to throw unique events. Their perennial stage production, “They Reminisce,” usually performed at the Rose Wagner Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City, will look to bring the show to different cities in

The space will serve for multiple events and open practices. (Orlando Rodriguez/City Journals)

Utah and in other states. The production grants opportunities for local dancers to gain experience, and their aim is to make it as authentic as they can to the history of hip-hop. They also hope it can serve as educational for viewers who may not know the origins of the dance moves B-boys are known for, by looking at its history throughout decades. Along that vein, they hope it can reach a different demographic. The B-boy Federation will continue to increase its efforts to make the community more aware of the hip-hop scene in Utah. The scene, however, is one that Perkins admittedly says cannot be too underground or too mainstream. “If you look for it, you can find it,” he said. More information can be found on their website and on their Facebook at TheBboyFederation. 

Josh Perkins stands in the Hip-Hop Education and Resource Center. (Orlando Rodriguez/City Journals)




Teacher spotlight on Lincoln Elementary’s Johanna McMullin By Aspen Perry |

Your Career Begins

with Us!

Member Care Representative Johanna McMullin leads her sixth-grade class in reviewing the math lesson for the day. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)


ith 18 years in the teaching profession, Lincoln Elementary sixth-grade teacher, Johanna McMullin is a firm believer of the idea that investing in others means they will invest in themselves. Although McMullin’s mother had been a teacher, McMullin attributes her decision to teach from watching her father in his humanitarian pursuits. “Teaching to me is one of the best professions in which you get to experience other people…If you allow yourself, it can give you the opportunity to be exposed, enriched and supported through a real life ‘walkabout’ with people of varied race, religion, ideas, and culture,” McMullin said. Enjoying the richness of various cultures lends insight into why McMullin has spent the majority of her career, 15 years to be exact, teaching at Lincoln Elementary, a school known for a diverse student population. McMullin also believes another reason she has stayed at Lincoln for this long is the bonds she creates with her students and their families. “You start to teach the siblings of former students. I see the infants I once held now are my students. I feel, in a small part, a member of their familial stability and predictability,” McMullin said. McMullin’s love and dedication to her students does not go unnoticed. “[Johanna] is very dedicated to our school…She has a great way of supporting kids. Especially those some may call the ‘tough kids’. Her experience is a great value to our school,” Principal Afton Lambson said. Teachers often agree one of their top challenges is meeting the needs of individual students, especially if their class is large. Despite having 29 students with diverse backgrounds and learning needs, McMullin’s experience shines through. Instead of seating the children at sideby-side desks facing the front of the room,

she arranges her classroom with round tables allowing the children to work in groups. “I think the biggest challenge as a teacher is meeting the individual needs of my students. [However], I try and maximize the capabilities of each student to benefit another. This not only supports my teaching and their learning, but raises up one individual and builds the other, solidifying our classroom as a working system with similar goals and support,” McMullin said. Watching this in action, students remain eager and engaged in learning throughout the math lesson. First, by reviewing math homework and going over the day’s math lesson as a class, followed by time to work, first with their assigned group, and then with a group of their choosing. Another aspect of the room are the books and thought-invoking quotes McMullin displays and teaches to her student. This includes a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that emphasizes the class dynamic of learning from one another: “Every man is my superior in some way, and in that I can learn from him and be a better person.” Students are not the only ones in the class learning. McMullin’s investment in fellow colleagues is also prevalent. Tiffany Liddell, an ESL specialist who assists in McMullin’s class, said, “I enjoy learning from Johanna. Working in her classroom has been a huge learning experience for me, and Johanna has been just as supportive of my learning as she has her students.” Given the high praise McMullin receives from colleagues and students, it would appear her way of adapting a humanitarian ideology to her method of teaching by investing in those around her is paying off. When asked what she loves about teaching, McMullin answered, “My personal teaching mantra has been: ‘If you invest in those you are teaching, personally, they will in turn, reinvest in themselves’.” 

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“Nutcracker: Men In Tights” Is A Holiday Treat


Hope mentors help students prevent suicide By Rubina Halwani |


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

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

CALENDAR: “Nutcracker: Men in Tights”

Plays November 10, 2016 through December 31, 2016 Nov 10 - Nov 30: Mon, Wed, Thurs at 7:00 PM Friday at 2:30PM as scheduled, 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM Saturday at 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 6 PM and 8:30 PM Dec 1 - Dec 31: Mon through Fri at 2:30, 6:00 and 8:30 PM Saturday at 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM and 8:30 PM Tickets: Adults: $24.95-$26.95, Children: $14.95 (Children 11 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107


Call for reservations For additional information, visit our website at

Hope Squad members at the Utah PTA Vital Issues conference. (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)


ope Squad students from Lone Peak High School talked to peers from around the state about suicide prevention. The session was one of several lectures at the Utah PTA Vital Issues/Advocacy conference. The program was held Nov. 7 at the Granite School District Administration building. Suicide is the leading cause of death in children aged 10–17, according to the Utah Department of Health. Paul Dymock, licensed clinical social worker and suicide prevention specialist for Alpine School District, explained Hope Squad is a student-led, suicide prevention advocacy group. Hope Squad members are nominated by their peers. They are trained to identify signs of suicide and be a comfortable contact for peers. “What they do is go into the classroom and students present to students, which is way more effective than adults presenting to students,” Dymock said. Hope members offer information on causes, treatments and resources to fellow students. Dymock added that the support structure of Hope Squad includes trained teachers and student mentors, counselors, administrators, parents, police and religious community members. “We’re finding that as we’re working and being involved the numbers are dropping and we’re seeing great successes,” Dymock said. Youth suicide rates in Utah have been consistently higher than the national rate. An average of 550 Utahns die annually from suicide

and more than 4,500 people attempt suicide each year. Three key factors discussed by the student presenters were failure, anxiety and stress. “Anxiety is highly treatable, but one-third of people that do have anxiety are not getting help for it,” said Hope Squad student Brittan Allphin. Hope Squad member Sierra Anderson suggested for students to know one another on an individual level as a way to build social connectivity and ward stressful and anxious situations. “The teachers who notice the anxiety symtoms — those are the teachers that makes the difference in people’s lives,” Anderson said. “And those don’t even have to be teachers, those can be students and parents as well.” Suggested treatments include ways to be happy and healthy, and the specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) goal-setting method. Utah offers the SafeUT crisis line, a statewide, 24/7 service for anyone facing suicide, depression, anxiety, loss/grief, school problems, substance abuse, self-harm, or relationship difficulties. It is free, anonymous and confidential. You can call 1-800-2738255. There is also an available app. For more information, visit clinical-services/safe-ut/. To learn more about Hope Squad and how to begin one in your school community, visit 


December 2016 Cherie Wood, Mayor 801-464-6757

Mayor’s Message – Cheers to Our Community

South Salt Lake City Council Members Ben B. Pender, District 1 801- 580-0339 Kevin Rapp, District 2 801-485-5817 Sharla Beverly, District 3 801-803-4127 Portia Mila, District 4 801-792-0912 L. Shane Siwik, District 5 801-548-7953

Mayor Cherie Wood

Mark C. Kindred, At-Large 801-214-8415

South Salt Lake Angel Tree

Debbie A. Snow, At-Large 801-870-7655

City Offices Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 801-483-6000 220 East Morris Ave SSL, UT 84115 Animal Service 801-483-6024 Building Permits 801-483-6005 Business Licensing 801-483-6063 Code Enforcement 801-464-6712 Fire Administration 801-483-6043 Justice Court 801-483-6072 Police Administration 801-412-3606 Promise 801-483-6057 Public Works 801-483-6045 Recreation 801-412-3217 Utility Billing 801-483-6074 Emergencies 911 Police/Fire Dispatch 801-840-4000

In this season, we all spend time being grateful for our families and our communities. South Salt Lake is blessed with so many people and groups who are caring for their neighbors and families and working for a better world. We are so fortunate for the team effort making meaningful, long-lasting changes in people’s lives. This edition of the newsletter highlights just a few of the many shining stars in our community. Our community also benefi ts from a lively, engaged citizenry who embody the spirit of democracy. There are many ways to get involved. Voting is one way to make your voice heard and spur change, as last month’s elections just demonstrated. But, it is just one way. Getting


Stop by City Hall and visit our Angel Tree from now until mid-December. The tree is located on the 2nd floor of South Salt Lake City Hall (220 East Morris Ave). It is ornamented with tags that have a description of a want and/ or need by a local resident. Youth City Council will be accepting and distributing for families in need. Gifts may be dropped off at City Hall. Please don’t forget to attach the tag to your wrapped gift so we know who it belongs to. Monetary donations can also be made at the Finance Department on the 2nd Floor. The South Salt Lake Youth City Council would like to thank everyone in advance for participating. Call 801-455-1729 with questions.

involved in community conversations is just as important. As city leaders, we know we are on the right path (or sometimes in need of a U-turn), when we hear from you, our constituents. This year was particularly interesting as city council and planning commission meetings were packed with passionate people. The debates on the future of Granite High, our fire, ambulance and animal services showed how important our local government decisions are to your daily lives. I thank every one of you who shared your story and got involved. My hope this season is that our community continues to share this spirit of giving. Your time, energy and passion will lead us into a brighter future. Thank you.

On The Move SSL City Council Meetings

UTILITY BOX ART Lexey Otterstrom

220 E. Morris Ave., 2nd Floor Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.

We are excited to announce our latest utility box art selection and honor one of our senior citizens, Lexey Otterstrom, the artist. One of our Meals on Wheels volunteers was invited to view a basement full of original paintings in one of our meal recipient’s homes. While it was difficult to choose just one, we selected a lovely piece. The original work will be installed on the corner of 300 East and 2700 South. This beautiful piece of art will enhance our community for years to come. Thank you to Lexey for sharing your talents with us. For more information on the City’s Utility Box Art program email

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.

SSL City Planning Commission Meetings 220 E. Morris Ave., 2nd Floor Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

New Resident


Snow Removal The City of South Salt Lake works to provide timely and efficient removal of snow and ice from streets. Residents can assist by keeping the following information in mind:

Volunteer Recreation Coaches South Salt Lake is a community of people who give. This is seen across the City and our Recreation Volunteers are shining examples. They give unselfishly of their time, energy and talents to see to it that our youth succeed and have fun while doing so. Seen here are photos of some of the coaches at the volunteer dinner: Anthony Martinez, Beth Floyd, Chad Carpenter, Dimas Rivera, Mark Montoya, Steve Long, Rebecca Fitts, Rachel Becker and George Hatch. These coaches have volunteered in our City four days a week and coached multiple seasons, sometimes multiple teams at a time. Thank you for spending your time making a difference for the youth in our community.

• Be mindful when the snow starts to fall and accumulate that sidewalks need to be free and clear of snow and debris. • Snow removal must take place the same day the snow has fallen, unless it falls after 6:00 p.m., it will then need to be removed by 10:00 a.m. the following morning. • Do not park on any city street or roadway between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. when snow removal will be necessary.

Rebecca Fitts

• Parking is limited to 72 consecutive hours on any street or in any alley. These regulations are enforced for the safety of everyone. Contact Urban Livability at 801-464-6712 with any questions.

Anthony Martinez

Dimas Rivera

Columbus Senior Center HOLIDAY PARTY Tuesday, Dec. 13 11 a.m. Entertainment by the Decibells Chorus Dinner at Noon Please call or sign up by Dec. 6 385-468-3340

December 2016 Promise South Salt Lake Neighborhood Center Spotlight: Lincoln Elementary School Promise South Salt Lake’s program at Lincoln Elementary School, a United Way Promise Partnership site, serves Lincoln students and their families. Promise afterschool programs at Lincoln support education, health, and community involvement. Activities include the following: homework help and small group tutoring, enrichment activities and Friday field trips. The school also offers pre-school and college prep and career planning services. Principal Afton Lambson has been an amazing partner to Promise South Salt Lake and it is a true privilege to be operating programs at his school. For more information, contact Center Manager Brandis Stockman, at 801-657-0416 or email

PAL Thanksgiving – Thank you to our Community and Partners!

South Salt Lake has 14 neighborhood centers serving our community: Hser Ner Moo Community and Welcome Center 479 East 2250 South South Salt Lake, Utah 84115 801-466-3238 Roosevelt Community School 3225 South 800 East Salt Lake City, Utah 84106 801-828-8219 Historic Scott School and Arts & Community Center 3238 South 540 East South Salt Lake, Utah 84106 801-803-3632 Lincoln Community School 450 East 3700 South South Salt Lake, UT 84115 801-657-0416 Utah International Charter School 350 East Baird Circle South Salt Lake, UT 84115 385-290-1306 Central Park Community Center and PAL Boxing Program 2797 South 200 East South Salt Lake, UT 84115 801-466-3143 Columbus Center 2531 South 400 East South Salt Lake, UT 84115 801-412-3217 Woodrow Wilson Community School 2567 South Main Street South Salt Lake, UT 84115 801-386-0589

PAL Youth, Police Officers, community members and business partners were able to prepare Thanksgiving Dinner kits for nearly 50 South Salt Lake families in need. A special thank you to our business partners: Village Inn, Salt Lake Valley GMC & Dodge, State Farm, Salt Lake Culinary Center and Fresh Market! Write Here Community Writing Center offers free writing assistance to people of all writing levels and staff members can discuss ideas with participants even if individuals haven’t yet started writing. The writing doesn’t have to be for school or work as any form of writing is welcome. In the past, people have sought assistance on short stories, family histories, résumés—just name it!

Competence Definition: The ability to do something successfully or efficiently. “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” - Will A. Foster

Granite Park Jr. High 3031 South 200 East South Salt Lake, UT 84115 801-440-4499


Historic Scott School Arts & Community Center 3280 S 540 E 801-803-3632 Monday & Wednesday: 3-7 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday: 3-6 p.m.

Meadowbrook STEM & Community Center New Address: 250 West 3900 South South Salt Lake, UT 84107 801-518-5502 Cottonwood High Promise 5715 South 1300 East Murray, UT 84121 801-828-8678 Kearns Saint Ann Promise 430 East 2100 South Salt Lake City, UT 84115 801-518-9523 Commonwealth Performing Arts and Youth Entrepreneurial Center Opening August 31, 2016 Address-TBA 801-828-8678 Moss Elementary 4399 South 500 East Salt Lake City, UT 84107 801-828-8678

On The Move Rock Star - Andy Wagner Locate Utility Shut-Off Valves

Some emergencies may require you to turn off your utilities. To prepare for this event, you will need to be able to locate and effectively turn off the gas, electricity and water being supplied to your house. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves. All adult members of the family should know how to turn off the utilities. However, if the gas is shut off to the house, a professional must turn it back on. Do not attempt to do this yourself.

Holiday Safety Tips The holiday season is upon us, take time to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Holiday Shopping While shopping, be mindful of the following safety tips: • Be aware of your surroundings; look for suspicious persons, etc. • Remember where you parked your car • If shopping late in the day or after dark, park where the lighting is bright • When returning to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash • Don’t leave valuables or purchases in your vehicle

Package Theft Keep in mind these tips when having items shipped to you: • Track your packages • Have neighbors or family members retrieve packages once delivered • Have packages delivered to your workplace • Request signature upon delivery, whenever possible While these steps don’t guarantee you will not become the victim of crime, they will reduce your chances of falling prey to criminal activity.

Captain Andy Wagner marches forward every day, going above and beyond. He is humble and dedicated to the South Salt Lake Fire Department and to our community. He puts his many talents to good use, taking on new tasks and showing he cares. He has been instrumental in completing several electrical projects for the Fire Department, saving the city money each time. Captain Wagner is well known among his peers as a person that will reach into his own pocket and financially help citizens that may be struggling and down on their luck. This type of behavior exemplifies the type of person Andy is. Captain Andy Wagner is respected by many and is viewed by all as a mentor in the ever changing fire service profession. Thank you, Andy, for being a “Rock Star”!


Coffee With A Cop Coffee with a Cop is part of a national initiative to create a place for community members and police officers to come together. There are no agendas or speeches; just the opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and the chance to get to know the officers in their local neighborhoods. The South Salt Lake Chamber supports the program to help businesses increase their involvement in the community’s safety. The event takes place on the first Wednesday of each month from 9-10 a.m. at Village Inn, 2929 S. State St. The next session is Wednesday, December 7.

Reported by: Bill Knowles, Community Ombudsman, South Salt Lake Contact for questions/concerns: 801-580-2626; 2245 S 300 E – Zellerbach Apartments – 292 units Contractor: Jacobsen Construction Estimated completion date: late summer 2018 Current status/activity: concrete pours ongoing, framing on west resident building; the number of workers on the site will jump from 50 to well over 80, all working for local Utah companies

2200 South between State & Main – WinCo Foods & other commercial development Project owner: Boyer Company Estimated completion date: late fall 2017 Current status/activity: completing design review; groundbreaking set for March

2245 S 400 E – S-Line Townhomes – 32 units Project owner: JF Capital Estimated completion date: late spring/early summer 2017 Current status/activity: under full construction, moving to inside of units shortly, project on target for May 2017 completion

2928 S State St – Harley Davidson Expansion Project owner: Harley Davidson of Salt Lake Project description: 5,200 sf building expansion Current status/activity: project under construction with footing and foundation being poured for the expansion

2255 S State St – Ritz Classic – 287 units Estimated completion date: spring 2019 Current status/activity: groundbreaking set for the first week in March

862 W Fine Dr – HOJ Engineering Project Owner: HOJ Engineering Project description: new 45,000 sf industrial building Current status/activity: building is near completion



Woodrow Wilson after-school program thrives By Aspen Perry |


Carpe Di End

Children built and tested solar-powered s’more oven during WWCS Summer of Adventure Program. (Bonnie Owens/WWCS Afterschool Program Coordinator)


oodrow Wilson Community School’s (WWCS) afterschool program exceeds goals to help their kids thrive with more programs being offered than originally slated and double the enrollment of two years ago. All this helps ensure kids are college and career ready. In November 2014, WWCS Director Lindsey Edwards announced on the United Way of Salt Lake blog site, the afterschool program would be doubling in size, which at that time, served 100 students. Edwards also stated the expansion would include a STEM program with students from Westminster College helping in mentoring and tutoring. Just two years later the program continues to thrive and exceed expectations. The program currently has 198 students enrolled and has been able to expand upon program activities. After four years with the WWCS, Bonnie Owens, after-school program coordinator, loves her job. “I have the best job in the world… It is fun and challenging in all the best ways… Our kids and families are hard working and invested… it’s an honor to share in their joys, celebrate their successes, cry with them in times of sadness, and help in their times of need,” Owens said. This year kids enrolled in the program have enjoyed interestbased activities, engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities, as well as received academic tutoring and homework help, and participated in service learning projects all geared toward preparing them for college and career readiness. One STEM activity highlighted in the September WWCS newsletter was a solar-powered s’more oven the students built and tested during the Summer of Adventure program. In addition to all the weekday activities, every Friday the kids attend field trips to popular spots in the valley, including Clark Planetarium, Red Butte Gardens, Wheeler Farm, Living Planet Aquarium, and much more. Much like other program activities, field trips incorporate the focus of the program’s goals: STEM, global learning, and college and career readiness, in a playful fun way. “During the field trip to the zoo, we talked about what type of jobs the animals would have, which the kids really got a kick out of,” Owens said. “We also have a partnership with Westminster and one of the field trips was a college tour, the tour included getting to

watch the women’s soccer team, which was huge for the kids, soccer is a big part of a lot of their lives,” Owens said. Along with academics and play-based learning, another important element is the dinner program called Kids Café. As with other Promise South Salt Lake Programs, WWCS afterschool program recognizes the importance nutrition has on a child’s behavior, academic success, and well being. Owens explained they are often in need of adult mentors. “The more adult mentors we have, the better we are able to meet the academic needs of individual kids. We especially encourage adult mentors whose racial, ethnic, and linguistic identities reflect the diversity of our kids,” said Owens. During the holiday season WWCS after-school program has a number of fun events taking place. The Workers Compensation Fund will host their annual Winter Party, where they bring fun, winter-themed activities and give each child a small gift to take home. Given the rich cultural and religious diversity of the program, Christmas is not the only holiday to be highlighted. Each year they choose an additional holiday to learn about as a way to celebrate both differences and similarities, explained Owens. “This year we’ll be leading several lessons and activities to teach the kids about Kwanzaa,” said Owens. The program also holds Family Nights. December’s Family Night will take place Thursday, December 15 from 6-8 p.m. “It will be a game night with dinner, family crafts, and bingo with lots of prizes.” Owens said. 

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Grizzly Closet opens at Granite Park Jr. High By Aspen Perry |

“Get Connected, Stay Connected”


Social Media Luncheon: LinkedIn

Grizzly Closet is ready to serve the local community. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)

Presentation by Callie Birdsall

December 16, 2016 Columbus Center - 2531 S 400 E 11:30am - 1:00pm Please register in advance at $20 for chamber members $25 for non-chamber members Lunch catered by Lia Peterson

A special thanks to our new and renewing members! • Utah Grizzlies / Maverik Center • Mix District Media • Skyline Exhibits Utah

• Regina Price Realty Group • Questar Gas Company

Upcoming Events: December 7 – Coffee With A Cop @ Village Inn / 2929 S State December 7 – Annual Business Outreach Luncheon (city & chamber) @ Columbus Center December 16 – Women In Business Social Media Luncheon @ Columbus Center December 23, 26 – Chamber Closed – MERRY CHRISTMAS! NOTE: To receive regular information for all events please contact


ranite Education Foundation teamed up with Granite Park Junior High to start Grizzly Closet food pantry lending support to the local community. On November 14, Granite Park Jr. High officially opened the doors of Grizzly Closet, which provides basic needs for the surrounding community by supplying items such as food, hygiene items, and clothing. The majority of food and hygiene products were donated through the Granite Education Foundation with ongoing donations arriving through Utah Food Bank. Previous to November, Granite Park Jr. High had a small food pantry set up with Granite Education Foundation and Utah Food Bank in an effort to better serve the food needs of the surrounding community. The Granite Education Foundation selected Granite Park as a potential location for a food bank based on location, community needs, and due to Granite Park already offering similar services. “[The food bank] seemed like a good fit based on what [Granite] district had in mind, and then of course, Principal Stirland, felt it would be a great opportunity for the school and community,” said Carmela Castaneda, Granite Park Community School director. Castaneda went on to explain one barrier they face is ensuring the community is aware Grizzly Closet is open and here for them whenever they are in need. “We haven’t set limits on how much anyone can take at this time, so far we have been operating on a honor system of you know your family and you know your situation, please take what you need,” Castaneda said. To assist in setting up Grizzly Closet, volunteers from Granite Credit Union arrived with additional shelving racks, food, warm

clothes and plenty of helping hands. Volunteers helped restock shelves, set up racks, and organize clothing to give Grizzly Closet a store-like feel. Although Grizzly Closet is not set up to provide holiday meals at this time, one of the main goals is to have enough food options for community members in need to be able to make a complete meal from the food items they select. Typically food pantries are able to meet this goal with additional support from corporate groups or individuals supplementing the food already donated through Utah Food Bank. Corporations or individuals interested in taking part in supplementing food items, may contact Granite Park for a list of food items that would better complete what is already in stock. Though given the recent contribution from Granite Credit Union, food items are not an immediate need at this time. “Right now I don’t know that we have any food needs, but we currently don’t have any winter boots or warm socks,” said Brody Mangum, AmeriCorps representative. Seasonal items such as coats are generally coordinated through United Way of Salt Lake. Though seasonal clothing items will not always be available, Grizzly Closet currently has a small selection of winter coats, hats, and gloves. Currently Castaneda is on leave, however she will serve as the main contact. Those interested in donating may contact her at During Castaneda’s leave Mangum will oversee donations for Grizzly Closet and may be contacted at brodymangum@ For any additional questions contact Granite Park at 385-646-5174. Grizzly Closet will be open at Granite Park Jr. High, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.4 p.m. 



Tumult for Many For-Profit Colleges By Mandy Morgan Ditto |


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Private colleges, like ITT technical Institutes, that have operated in more 140 locations across the nation for over 50 years — announced closures after the Department of Education decided “to bar the chain of colleges from using federal financial aid to enroll new students,” according to the New York Times. (Mandy Morgan Ditto/City Journals)


any students and graduates of ITT Technical Institutes didn’t expect a college to close so rapidly. However, that’s exactly what happened with ITT Tech on Sept. 6, right as the school year was beginning. ITT Educational Services, which operates ITT Technical Institutes — private colleges that have operated in more 140 locations across the nation for over 50 years — announced closures after the Department of Education decided “to bar the chain of colleges from using federal financial aid to enroll new students,” according to the New York Times. The only ITT Tech location in Utah was in Murray, Utah, and students that planned to attend the 2016 fall semester on September 12 were surprised to have plans changed a few days before. “It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after more than 50 years of continuous service,” said ITT Tech’s official news release announcing the closure of the schools. “The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter.” For Kevin Neff, a graduate from ITT Tech in Murray in 1998, the worth of his degree and the education he received is still entirely valid to him, no matter the school closure. Neff — who received an associate of applied science degree in computer-aided drafting and design technology — was looking for a school to help him get a secondary education degree and have time to spend with his family. “In speaking with the school, reviewing the schedules and looking further at the classes offered, I was pretty much sold from day one,” Neff told the City Journals in an email. He had looked into the programs for computer-aided drafting and architecture at both Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah, but the programs would take too much time while he was working full time, and he was hoping to get his degree

in less than four years. “I feel the education and training I received at ITT Tech was as thorough as I would have received attending any community college…there was never a time at ITT that I felt the curriculum or my instructors were subpar when compared to my public community college options,” Neff said. “I did feel that the algebra and physics courses at ITT were tailored more towards real world applications faced in drafting and design scenarios than an overall study of each course.” Neff has worked the last 16 years in a position focused on “the utilization of both GIS and computer-aided drafting systems.” His family currently resides in Oregon. Though most graduates haven’t felt much impact from the closure of the school, it was jolting for some employees. Tony Rose, who worked at the Phoenix location of ITT Tech, was surprised to see an email several days after it was sent to his work account about the school closure, before the semester started. There was an email sent to all ITT Tech employees’ work accounts at 4:30 a.m. in Arizona, right after Labor Day weekend, he recalled. “Nobody had checked their email unless you worked in the offices. I’m driving home from my day job…and I hear that they closed it on the radio,” he said. He believes that the management was aware before other employees that the institute would close; he also said that many people didn’t get their final paychecks due to scattered management of finances overall. Luckily Rose has another job working as a network administrator in the Creighton School District in Phoenix, but won’t have a chance at another community college job until potential hiring takes place before the next semester that starts in January. For those students who were hoping to finish their degree at ITT Tech, there is a process some qualify for to get their student loans through the school forgiven, Rose said, though some are simply going to have to pay off federal loans and find another school that may or may not take already earned credits to finish a degree. 

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Stars debut, bring professional basketball to the suburbs By Tori La Rue |


he Salt Lake City Stars began their debut season midNovember, giving basketball players opportunities for growth and community members additional accessibility to professional ball. In April, the Utah Jazz announced they’d be moving their development league affiliate, formerly known as the Idaho Stampede, from Boise to the Salt Lake City area to tighten ties between the D-League team and the Jazz. The team’s new home is the Bruin Arena at the Salt Lake Community College Taylorsville Redwood Campus. “The No. 1 priority of purchasing the team and bringing it to Salt Lake is to help the development of the Utah Jazz basketball organization,” said Bart Sharp, the Stars’ general manager. “While we want to be competitive and we do have the goal to win games, make the playoffs and succeed there, the No. 1 priority is to develop our players and provide them an opportunity to understand the Jazz system, instruction and culture.” The D-League team brings together new players on the Jazz roster who could use more playing time, Jazz draft picks who have been assigned to the Stars and free agent players who could be called up to the Jazz or other National Basketball Association teams upon vacancy. Sharp said Rudy Gobert, a Jazz center who played with the Stampede during his rookie year, is a fantastic example of how the D-League can reinforce a player’s skills. “I bet quite a few people would attribute his rapid development to that ability to get on the court with the D-League, all while staying close to the parent organization— the Jazz,” Sharp said. Sharp noted that Joel Bolomboy, Jazz forward who formerly played at Weber State University, may have a similar experience. “He is obviously on the Jazz roster, and he is doing very well; however, there are opportunities while we are in town,” Sharp said. “They could send Joel down to a (Stars) game here on Tuesday

night, and he could get some more playing time on it, and then on Wednesday he could be on the Jazz bench, building those relationships with those players and making sure that he understands what they are doing at that level, which hopefully expedites his experience as a player.” Because the Jazz already have four point guards contracted, two Jazz second-round draft picks are assigned to the Stars: Tyrone Wallace, a 6-foot-6-inch guard coming from University of California and Marcus Paige, a 6-foot-2-inch guard from University of North Carolina. “I think this is an opportunity to get better and work on my craft—you know, put in the hours here and put in the time,” Wallace said about playing for the Stars. “It is a chance for me to get on the floor every night in order to be in the NBA.” Wallace, who spent part of his senior season at Berkeley on the sidelines after he suffered a wrist fracture during a preseason practice, said he was ready to get back on the court full time. “I am ready for the fans to get here,” Wallace said. “I think it is going to be a good year for us.” The Stars went up against the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Reno Bighorns on Nov. 6 in their preseason tri-game at the Kaiser Permanente in Santa Cruz, Calif., falling short against the Warriors 52–38 and emerging victorious against the Bighorns 60–50. Although three players scored in the double-digits, the Stars lost their inaugural game against the defending NBA D-League Champions the Sioux Fall Skyforce on Nov. 12 (print deadline). The Stars were behind by up to 31 points in the third quarter, but narrowed the gap to 17 by the end of the game in a 117–100 loss. Season tickets for the Stars are still available and run as low as $78, with single game tickets as low as $5. Sharp said it’s an affordable way for families residing in the suburbs to watch professional basketball with less travel. “We feel like—especially being out here in the Taylorsville

Eric Dawson pivots with the ball during the Salt Lake City Stars’ inaugural game against the defending NBA D-League Champions the Sioux Fall Skyforce. The Stars lost the away game 117–100 at the Sanford Pentagon. (Dave Eggen/NBAE/Getty Images)

area so close to Kearns and West Valley, West Jordan and others— that there’s a lot of folks even in the Salt Lake County that don’t get an opportunity to go to the Jazz games as much as they’d like, so we’re bringing a part of the Jazz here,” Sharp said. The Stars have their own dancers, dunk team and fun zone that includes bounce houses and activities for kids, bringing a unique alternative to going to the movies for family nights out, he said. The Stars will also be more accessible than Jazz, Sharp added. After each game, spectators are invited onto the court for an autograph session with some of the players. In addition, the

coaches, staff and team host basketball clinics to help aspiring child basketball players. Their first basketball clinic on Sept. 17 served 50 children at the Taylorsville Recreation Center. Giving back to the community will be a focus for the Stars. One of the team’s 24 home games will be a “themed jersey night,” where the Stars will design and sport a jersey featuring a local charitable organization. The jerseys will be auctioned at the end of the game, and the proceeds will go to the charitable organization. For more information about the Stars or to purchase tickets, visit com. 




Olympic hopeful elevates status in climbing world


By Travis Barton |

veryone aims to climb the ranks of their given passion. Nathaniel Coleman is literally doing it. As a competitive climber, Coleman is enjoying a successful 2016. Earlier this year, he won USA Climbing’s Bouldering Open National Championship and the Youth Bouldering National Championship in Madison, Wis. In October, he took second representing the United States at the inaugural International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World University Championships in Shanghai, China. “I feel honored really to be at a level where I’m able to win these competitions,” Coleman, 19, said. He also won the collegiate national championship in bouldering in May as a member/coach of the University of Utah climbing team. “This year has been a picture-perfect way for him to complete his youth career,” said Jeff Pedersen, CEO and co-founder of Momentum Indoor Climbing—where Coleman began training at age nine. Pedersen was one of Coleman’s first coaches. With the sport of climbing approved by the International Olympic Committee to be included in the 2020 Olympics games, Coleman’s success figures to see him as a prime contender to represent his country. Coleman said he definitely has aspirations for the Olympics. Already getting a taste of it by representing USA at international competitions around the world, Coleman said competing in China gave him a “team feeling.” “It was cool to have that sense of team that you usually don’t get in such an individual sport,” Coleman said. “I was just excited to do well and have my team be proud of me.” Olympic climbing will be a combination of sport climbing, bouldering and speed climbing. As a specialized boulder climber, Coleman said many world cup climbers specialize in one discipline rather than all three. Each discipline requires different types of training. “It’s kind of up in the air whose gonna be best at that time, with four years to train I’m sure I’ll be able to get pretty decent at all three,” Coleman said. Considering his career accomplishments, his parents, coaches and competitors expect him to continue his “incredible journey” because of his talent. “He knows how to move his body, he knows his strength. He can execute moves that a lot of climbers can’t because of his strength and body awareness,” said Rosane Coleman, Nathaniel’s mother and Momentum competitive team manager. This natural talent has led to sponsorships and compensation for doing what he loves. Nathaniel has sponsorship deals with Prana clothing company, Five Ten footwear and Petzl, a climbing gear manufacturer based out of France. Nathaniel doesn’t earn enough money to make a living,

but there remains a level to which he can make a living off of climbing. Something he realized a possibility at age 15 when he won the Youth Bouldering Nationals. Nathaniel said the victory motivated him to train harder and get more comfortable in the competition setting. But it was when he took fifth at the adult nationals at age 18 that he took it seriously. “At that point I knew this was definitely worth considering doing for the rest of my life,” Nathaniel said. “When I was 15 I knew it was a possibility, and at 18 I knew it was happening.” “I see a lot of climbers get on a route,” Rosane said. “And then I see Nathaniel do it and he makes it look so easy that I think I could do that and then I go, ‘no never mind.’” Introduced to climbing at age nine by his friend Palmer Larsen, Nathaniel started on the Momentum youth team. Nathaniel said once he tried it out, he loved it and has been climbing ever since. “It just fit my style of athleticism really well and my body type,” Nathaniel said. The challenge of the sport always gives him something to progress to, which plays a big role in his love for the sport. “There’s seemingly endless rock in the world, you can always find a bouldering rock that’s harder,” Nathaniel said. Rosane said he was a very independent and hyperactive child. “Once he knew what he wanted, he went for it,” Rosane said. His affinity for the sport incorporates the mental aspect as well. Nathaniel said it appeals to him that every time he climbs, he’s faced with a puzzle. “You really do need to be able to work through these puzzles in your mind to be a good competition climber,” Nathaniel said. He said he’s noticed many climbers he competes against attend ivy league schools. Having taken third place in a state chess tournament in third grade, Nathaniel’s aptitude for general problem solving, he said, has developed his ability on the climbing wall. “Climbing will help with my chess, chess will help climbing and it’ll help with my schooling so it all circulates back,” Nathaniel, a computer science major, said. Physicality is just as essential to the sport with Nathaniel noting the importance of finger strength, bicep pulling power and core stability. He trains four days a week for anywhere from three to three and a half hours. Training consists of lifting weights, body weight exercise, climbing different problems back-to-back, rings gymnastics, and hanging onto a ledge with weight hanging off him. He also works mobility exercises to make sure his stretching is being applied well. Nathaniel recently aged out of the Momentum program, but attributes much of his success to his time there. “Wouldn’t be where I am climbing without Momentum. Even if I lived in a different state with a different climbing gym, I might not be climbing as well as I am today,” Nathaniel said. He added that for youth considering climbing, joining a climbing gym provides needed technical knowledge. “The more you get involved with climbing, the more obsessed with it you’ll become,” Nathaniel said. One of Nathaniel’s coaches at Momentum, Kyle O’Meara, said their climbing program helps kids prepare for life.

Nathaniel Coleman, a Murray High School graduate, was The North Face’s 2016 Young Gun Award recognizing up-and-coming climbers. (Vincent Monsaint)

“From problem solving to long-term goal setting, climbing offers young people an opportunity to develop traits that are easily transferrable to college and the workplace,” O’Meara said. Nathaniel’s parents have been an important part of his progress, whether it was coming to his competitions or paying for expensive climbing gear. “[They’ve] been the most supportive people in my life for sure…even when they though it was just going to be a hobby, they were sending me to Wisconsin and Atlanta for nationals so I could pursue what I loved,” Nathaniel said. Rosane said he’s very humble so she’s constantly bragging about him with everything he’s done in his short life. “He just has a very natural ability, it’s been an incredible journey watching him get to where he’s getting,” Rosane said. Climbing has affected every aspect of Nathaniel’s life from the places he’s seen to his own maturation. The Murray native has competed all over the world from France and Italy to Wisconsin and Georgia. “What I eat, how I sleep, the things I do with my free time. Other people might be playing video games, I’m usually watching climbing videos,” Nathaniel said. “When I’m at a public event I try to remain professional instead of making fart jokes with my friends.” Rosane said the sport has helped to focus him from the hyperactive child he was growing up. “When he gets on a climbing wall, it’s like nothing else exists,” Rosane said. “It’s made his life have more purpose, so that he’s able to set goals and reach them.” It’s an inherent connection to it that means Nathaniel will climb until he is too old and “breaking bones when [he] falls.” “I just feel it was what I was meant to do. I think I can achieve a lot in it. So I think it’d be a waste if I didn’t pursue this thing I was born to do,” Nathaniel said. The University of Utah sophomore almost didn’t attend the local university. Rosane said many suggested he take a year off to just let him climb. Nathaniel chose to go to school and get a degree in computer science that not only can he fall back on, but he hopes he can do work while traveling the world. “It would’ve been easy for him to just say, ‘I wanna climb,’ but he’s got goals and he wants a degree,” Rosane said. 

Nathaniel Coleman, 19, stands on the left side of the podium after taking silver at the IFSC World University Championships in China. (Josh Larson)




South Salt Lake holds soccer camp for refugee hopefuls By Brian Shaw |


or kids, ages 7-15, who play soccer, an event was held at the Central Park Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 29 that in their eyes was bigger than the World Cup. Prizes and trophies were being given. Food and drinks were available. Most importantly, they were there to have fun and play their favorite sport. In addition, coaches from all over the Salt Lake valley wearing their soccer club’s respective polo shirts walked around the fields, holding clip boards and taking notes on these young players. For many of these kids—some of whom come from wartorn countries in Africa, Asia and Europe and even Central America—getting an opportunity to participate in this event and show their skills off to these clubs, possibly looking for the next biggest sensation in Utah, was a huge deal. Sponsored by Dry Creek Charity, this 4 vs. 4 refugee youth soccer Halloween tournament also featured four-person teams from other clubs who were interested in getting out and playing a little soccer. Many refugees started playing on fields in their respective countries, in conditions most people couldn’t imagine. But no matter where they come from, they’re all bound by their love for a little round ball, some dirt and grass, and maybe even a goal to shoot on.

Several refugee kids from South Salt Lake—like James Rogers and Phanuel Kavita—have come from such war-torn countries and worked their way up from South Salt Lake-area recreation teams to club and high school teams before making it on to college teams and even the pros. All it takes is a dream and a ball and some imagination and determination, according to Dustin Permann, South Salt Lake recreation coordinator. “It’s great for them. It gives them a chance to be seen and show off what they can do. We’re really excited about it, the charity is really excited about it and so are these kids,” said Permann about the event. And so to have the opportunity to maybe don the shirt of a well-known local club and wear the Nike or Adidas brands that adorn most of the larger clubs in the state, well, it’s just gravy for these boys and girls. At the event, the kids participated in dribbling, passing and shooting drills before playing in the small-sided games featuring four players per team and no goalkeeper. The camp culminated in a World Cup-style tournament where the kids got their final opportunity to display the skills they just learned from the event organizers—who held mini-training sessions with the kids—and provide peeks into other soccer Players are in action at the soccer event on Sat. Oct. 29. (Trisha Gold) skills they learned along the way. 

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


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

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

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



O Tidings of Comfort Annoy


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

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

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

South Salt Lake December 2016  

Vol. 2 Iss. 12