June 2019 | Vol. 5 Iss. 06
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MEET THE ARTISTS RESPONSIBLE FOR SOUTH SALT LAKE’S MURAL FEST 2019
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n May 11, artists and those who appreciate art gathered at The Commonwealth Room at 195 W. 2100 South in South Salt Lake, for the city’s second annual Mural Fest. The murals are painted on various locations throughout South Salt Lake’s industrial area commissioned by The Utah Arts Alliance, South Salt Lake Arts Council and the businesses who agreed to the art on their buildings. Art enthusiasts had the opportunity to take a tour of 10 new murals and meet the artists with the help of a walking or biking map. For those who missed out on the festivities, the map can be found on Mural Fest’s website www.utaharts.org/ mural-fest. Billy Hensler, who participated last year, is the artist behind the first mural on the map, a piece painted on the east wall of The Commonwealth Room. Hensler considered what the building was when he began working on the piece. “I knew this was a music venue so I wanted something exciting,” Hensler said. The third stop on that map, Shades Brewing at 154 W. Utopia Ave., got a facelift from artist Chuck Landvatter, another past participant, who has painted some 20 murals that can be seen at The Gateway and other Salt Lake City locations. Trent Call had to work during the night to complete his mural on the Beehive Distilling building, located at 2285 S. Main St. and just off the TRAX line. He had to work when the
Traci O’Very Covey in front of her mural titled “Habitat” at South Salt Lake’s Mural Fest. (Holly Vasic/City Journals)
train wasn’t running to be able to use the forklift to complete the piece, which is at stop six on the map. Call had applied to paint the mural to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike, which occurred a day prior to the Mural Fest. His goal was “painting a mural about trains with no trains,” Call said.
Josh Scheuerman poses for a photo with one of the gnomes in his mural. (Holly Vasic/City Journals)
Giant gnomes now greet customers and passersby of Sugarpost Metal, 80 W. Truman Ave. and stop eight on the map, thanks to artist Josh Sheuerman. His inspiration came from Sugarpost Metal’s unique lawn ornaments known as gnomebe-gones. Sheuerman explained the owner of Sugarpost has been making the lawn sculptures for years. “He came up with the idea of creatures coming in the night and stealing the gnomes,” Sheuerman said. “They have been so proficient over the years that I thought that I’d do the reverse role of making giant Godzilla gnomes that are then destroying the gnome-be-gones.” He said the owners loved the idea. Artist Traci O’Very Covey hoped to bring a sense of community to Mountain Land Design, 2345 S. Main St., with her work. Covey called the mural “Habitat.” “A lot of my art work is about the grace and joy of everyday life,” she said. “We’ve got dogs, and good food, and houses, and community, and the mountains and that’s basically what it’s like. It’s just enjoying your everyday life.” The live music, children’s activities, artist’s booths, and murals brought families, neighbors, and friends together to celebrate art. South Salt Lake Council member for District 3, Sharla Bynum, was pleased with the outcome and announced to the crowd that despite some disagreements within the city council about budget and other issues, Mural Fest was something they all agreed on. l
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Cottonwood High Robotics Team competes in nationals
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By Bill Hardesty | B.Hardesty@mycityjournals.com
n the movie, “October Sky,” a group of West Virginia high school students led by Homer Hickam, found a way out of their coal mining town by building rockets. The movie was based off Hickam’s book titled, “The Rocket Boys.” It might be said that the Cottonwood High Robotics Team is our local “Rocket Boys [and girls].” The students on the team started with a goal in December 2018 and, by April, they competed at the International First Robotic Competition in Houston. “[It is] an opportunity to prove to themselves that they can compete with others and learn from it,” Coach Yuri Perez commented before the competition. The 13-member team, part of the South Salt Lake Promise program, was formed in December 2018. The competition rules were released in January giving the team about six weeks to design, build and test Underdog, a fitting name for the robot and the team. Over the months, the team has devel- The Cottonwood High Robotics team tours Johnson Space Center before competing in the International First oped a symbiotic relationship with the AMES Robotics Competition in Houston during April. (Photo Courtesy of Cottonwood High Robotics Team) Robotics team also located at Cottonwood High School. They shared expertise and experience with both teams going to the Houston competition. It was the first time for the AMES team as well. Besides working on their robot, the team found time to teach robotics to elementary students as part of the Refugee 4H STEM program for 10 weeks. Ninety percent of the team are refugees from seven countries. With aid from the community, including engineering expertise, the team received the Rookie All-Star award at the Utah regional competition at the end of March. They competed against 50 teams from California, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah. Now they will The Cottonwood High Robotics Team makes final adjustment before competing in the International First Rocompete against 400 teams. International First Robotic Competition This year’s competition centered on a red and blue alliance. Each alliance consists of three different teams each match. This means team X might be a partner in your alliance and in the next match, they are your competition. This brings an interesting dynamic to the competition — how much to reveal to a team when they are your alliance member because in the next match, they could use the information against you. The mission of the alliance is to fill the supply ship with cargo pods (large plastic balls). They needed to attach a hatch before doing so because if not, the balls would roll out. Each alliance also sends one robot to the other side to play defense. There isn’t much time between matches for the alliances to develop a strategy. “Sometimes you have 10 minutes to talk with the other team. One time we had a minute. Either way, you start with a smile,” Aye Chan, a robot driver, said. Each match is two and half minutes.
botics Competition in Houston during April. (Photo Courtesy of Cottonwood High Robotics Team)
But, the first 15 minutes is called the Sand Storm period. The windows of the arena are blacked out for the competitors. They need to drive blind, use a camera on their robot or preprogram the robot. Teams collect points throughout the competition. The Houston experience Things didn’t go exactly as planned for the Cottonwood team. They lost in the early matches but finished strong. “It was very good to see our team working together. We worked to the last match. We fought to the last moments of the game, even if it didn’t matter,” Abdul Bari Ayubi, team captain, reported. Muna Abdullahi, the media girl, provided her insight, “It didn’t matter if we won or lost. It was the experience.” While the experience was great, team members had to give up other experiences like performing at the school’s talent show or
going to junior prom. Another interesting aspect of the trip was the cultural aspects. By high school, many parents are used to sending their children on school trips. Yet, for some team members’ parents, the idea was foreign. In Muna’s case, Perez talked with the parents to reassure their daughter would be watched over. In another case, a vice principal stepped in. “We are like a salad,” Yousuf Hnidati, the human reloader, commented, “We are more than a team. We are a family. We have gotten to know each other’s culture.” Once home, the team had two weeks to prepare for another competition. The MASA competition asks each team to identify a local problem and recommend a solution. The team focused on developing ways how each person can be more water conscious. This summer some team members will be working on the First Lego Team at the 4-H Refugee center. l
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Annual mother and son game night a big win for all By Holly Vasic | firstname.lastname@example.org
outh Salt Lake’s Mother and Son Game Night kicked off summer once again with kids and their moms eating watermelon, playing in a bounce house, flying kites and more. The yearly community celebration at Central Park (2797 S. 200 East) keeps growing, and South Salt Lake is thrilled by the turn out. “Over 200 mothers and sons came,” said Myrna Clark of South Salt Lake’s Parks and Rec Department who puts on the event. “There were a few daughters there too, but we don’t turn family members away,” she clarified. Clark said the event originally began as a fiesta themed night due to the date being near Cinco de Mayo, “but it struggled to keep interest.” A few years ago, the theme was adjusted and participation increased. “We changed into the game night idea five years ago when the city turned 75 years,” Clark said, because of the correlation between the diamond anniversary, at 75, and baseball season. The South Salt Lake youth baseball and tee-ball programs also occur during early May. “We decided to make a game of it,” Clark said, including minute to win it and baseball home run games in the mix of activities.
Bringing the community together to enjoy themselves is Clark’s hope for the event. “It is a joy to just watch the faces of the kids light up when they do something fun,” Clark said. Tashell Hall said her sons loved the event. “My favorite part, probably, was watching my two boys interact together and actually get along.” With the near seven year age difference between her boys finding activities for them to do together isn’t always easy. Hall’s 13-year-old daughter decided to sit this one out. Hall said she was welcomed but her daughter wanted her mom and brothers to have fun, saying, “No, that’s your guy’s thing.” Hall said this was their first time at the game night but is already planning on attending next year. Lacey Pledger brought her boys, ages 3 and 6, to the event as well. They loved the rockets. “You jump on it,” Pledger explained, “and they shoot in the air. I liked that. I thought that was fun.” Her boys also enjoyed flying kites and drones and shooting balls inside the bounce house. l Lacey Pledger’s boys hold planes at Mother and Son Game Night May 3. (Courtesy Lacey Pledger)
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June 2019 | Page 5
Mayor’s budget ups property taxes to support first responders’ pay increase By Bill Hardesty | B.Hardesty@mycityjournals.com
hat can you get for $71? You can get about 25 Happy Meals at McDonalds. You can get about 23 gallons of gasoline. You can get a pair of shoes or maybe two. You can also get a more experienced police force or fire department. At the city council meeting on May 8, South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood presented her proposed budget for fiscal year 20192020. The proposal included a 31 percent property tax increase to fund a 15 percent pay increase for first responders. It is estimated this increase will cost the average homeowner $71 a year. Residents have not seen a property tax increase from the city since 2006. Below are highlights of city council meeting and work meetings held April 3, 18 and May 8: Battle lines are drawn Before a city council work meeting on April 3, the mayor was given a letter signed by four council members (Mark Kindred, Ben Pender, Corey Thomas, and Shane Siwik) stating their views on the 2019-2020 budget. The letter was asking for $1 million transferred from administration to the storm water and Capital Improvement fund. They stated, “[their] commitment to coming more into line with storm water regulations and the changes we proposed below (i.e., move the one million) are geared towards enabling this to happen.” The letter included specific statements such as, “We ... will not fund salaries for department heads/ managers who have not yet come before us for advice and consent” and “we also will not budget salaries of any administration personnel to be paid of the city council budget.” The authors did make one concession offering to “allocate needed dollars for these raises [for first responders] out of the storm water proposed budget.” Since the letter was given to the mayor in an open meeting, Wood did not respond at that time. However, after presenting her proposed budget, Wood provided her official response. She indicated she did not address the letter in the budget for three reasons. • The letter violates State Code which states a mayor/council form of government cannot interfere with an executive officer performance of their duties. Wood believes that the proposed deep cuts in administration would interfere with her duties to keep the peace, enforce the laws, and execute the policies adopted by the city council. • The letter violates the spirit of the open meeting act. Wood pointed out that while there was a quorum of the council represented in the letter, it was not done in a public meeting and is not transparent. • The Employer Council did an independent adverse impact analysis on the letter. The council concluded that this action would put the city at risk for impact claims by a protec-
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South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood and Director of Finance Kyle Kershaw present their proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget to the city council on May 8. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)
tive class (women) because: • Five positions would not be funded and four out of the five of them are female. • Cuts in administration where the majority of employees are female to fund police and fire departments that are mostly male. Stop the revolving door In the April 18 city council meeting, department heads and managers paraded in front of the council telling them of their needs and issues. Two common themes came out the presentations. The first is the lack of staff. Most were calling for one more employee. The second theme was an increase in wages to keep trained staff. They pointed out that since wages are low, inexperienced employees are hired. They stick around long enough to get trained and gain experience. They then get jobs with other cities that pay more. This causes a revolving door of employees in and out. The result is increase training costs for the city. Wave of blue Many audience members wore blue at the May 8 meeting, notably the police officers and firefighters in attendance to encourage a significant wage increase. Matt Oehler, president of the South Salt Lake chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, spoke during the public comment time. He pointed out South Salt Lake lost 30 percent of patrol officers due to pay. He also pointed out that SSL police officers are some of the busiest per call volume.
He called out Councilman Siwik who, in an interview, raised the idea of contracting with the Unified Police Department (UPD). Oehler said that UPD’s model of over promising and under delivering would hurt South Salt Lake. He went on to say the police department has created a positive culture and that would be lost with UPD. Later, Siwik responded by making it clear that he has an obligation to look at all options before raising taxes. “I was asked if UPD was an option, and I replied it is,” Siwik commented. Councilman Pender added, “I didn’t see the interview as a push to UPD. We are only looking at options. I will not rubber stamp items.” Joe Anderson, representing the local firefighter’s union, also spoke during citizens’ comments. He echoed the words of Oehler. He pointed out that South Salt Lake Fire Department captains are last in pay among 16 departments. “This issue has been going on for some time, but we are now seeing the negative consequences,” Anderson said. He went on to say, “We are losing valuable experience and knowledge.” Each speaker received applause from the audience. Later in the meeting, Kyle Kershaw, South Salt Lake director of finance, presented the proposed budget. With the understanding that 42 percent of the budget comes from
sales tax, they are projecting a 4-5 percent increase in sales tax for the general fund. They are also expecting $700,000 in 2019 and $300,000 in building permits in 2020. Also, the state is paying for an additional 12 police officers and 12 EMT’s for the Homeless Resource Center. The budget is calling for a 3 percent cost of living increase for all employees except for first responders. The mayor is calling for one additional employee in IT to handle police IT needs and one enforcement officer to help with parking issues. The mayor is suggesting a one-time funding of $700,000 from the building permits to be used for storm water improvements including an additional employee. As mentioned earlier, the budget calls for a 15 percent pay increase for first responders, except for chiefs. A 31 percent increase in property tax will be dedicated to pay for the increase. This will put first responders a little above average with the understanding that other cities will most likely increase their pay. Kershaw provided other details about the general fund and the capital fund. The proposed budget is available on the city website. The city council set a public hearing date on the budget for June 5. If a tax increase is part of the approved budget, additional meetings will be held most likely in August. l
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The Train Shoppe offers easy way to appreciate the First Transcontinental Railroad By Holly Vasic | email@example.com
ay 10, 1869, was a day diligence and perseverance paid off. The First Transcontinental Railroad connected at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory. The sesquicentennial celebration of the Golden Spike, the last spike driven into the railroads ceremoniously bringing the coasts of America together, happened this past May with a grand celebration. Thousands gathered at Promontory Summit on May 10, 2019 to witness the re-enactment of the Golden Spike. Big screens made it possible for everyone to have a good view. Union Pacific No. 119 and Central Pacific’s Jupiter faced each other on the railroad tracks, like they did 150 years before—the steam locomotives are reproductions of the originals. Performers, volunteers, and some attendees were dressed in 1869 costumes and a slew of golden spike memorabilia was available at the giftshop, which had a line that wrapped around the building. Food trucks helped feed the masses. Kris Nielson, co-owner of Marquesas Corndogs, one of the food trucks at the event, said, “We were told to expect about 50,000 people at the park. We were asked to prepare to serve 1,000 people per day. We knew it was going to be busy.” And that is exactly what happened. “People from around the world appreciate golden spikes, history and hand-dipped dogs.” If you missed the festivities, South Salt Lake has its own train hobby shop to help you enjoy and appreciate railroads. Justin
Nichols of The Train Shoppe, 2964 S. State St., said people can see the Jupiter and No. 119 at the shop on a much smaller scale. The store is filled with model trains displayed on mountainous terrain with bridges and houses and also for sale new in the box. In the back children can enjoy original Onlookers of the Golden Spike re-enactment held May 10 at Promontory Summit saw fireworks at the end of train rides and games, with birthday party the ceremony. (Holly Vasic/City Journals) rooms that look like Old West store fronts. For curious readers, Nichols recommended the book, “Echoes of Hammers and Spike” Paid for by the Portia Mila Campaign by Clive Romney with Sam and Suzanne Payne to learn more about the First Transcontinental Railroad. It is available at the store. “There is a lot of good info in that about the actual event, how it all came about,” Nichols said. Local mom Krystina Richins is a fan of The Train Shoppe. The first time she took SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY COUNCIL her daughters, ages 3, 6, 8 and 12, to attend DISTRICT 4 a friend’s son’s birthday party, “I’d never heard of it and never would have thought to I’ve had the honor to serve as YOUR go inside from looking at it,” Richins said. Councilmember and voice on the City “But there’s a door in the back that takes you Council. I ask for your support as I run for to this darkened, almost magical world of re-election. trains.” Richins recommends the shop for kids ages 2 and up, but noted, “My oldest is 12, and she loved it, too.” WE ARE HERE The Golden Spike re-enactment is a yearly event held at Promontory Summit and TO STAY worth the hour and half drive north to re-live Utah history. But, for a closer trip, visit The Train Shoppe to celebrate trains whenever you want. l
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June 2019 | Page 7
Hard-working mom gets makeover thanks to daughter’s diligence
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Nancy and Nisa Ledezma before and after their makeover after winning the Treat Your Mom Like a Queen contest sponsored by MD Diet SLC Clinic on May 8. (Photo courtesy of MD Diet SLC Clinic)
he evening of May 8 will always be remembered by Nancy Ledezma of Rose Park as the evening she was treated like a queen. “This is a dream come true,” Nancy said as the hairdresser combed her hair. MD Diet SLC Clinic, 3655 S. State St., sponsored a Facebook contest titled Treat Your Mom Like a Queen. The contest was for a mother and daughter to receive makeovers right before Mother’s Day. Nancy’s daughter, Nisa, nominated her mom and worked hard to help her win. “I tagged everyone. I encourage them to tag others. My message was shared like a million times. It was a lot of work,” Nisa said. When asked why she nominated her mom, Nisa said, “So many reasons. She never gets anything like this. She deserves a day like this.” Nancy is the mother to five children. Her two youngest teenage sons still live at home. She also has four grandchildren. Five years ago, she lost her husband under tragic circumstances and left her in the hospital in serious condition. Through it all, she kept the family together. After a long recovery and grief period, the family became closer and stronger. “She does lots and lots of hard work. From fixing cars to remodeling
the house to being in the delivery room when I had my own daughter,” Nisa said. In fact, Nancy said her first car repair was replacing the transmission in her Volkswagen Jetta after reading two books. She noted that was before the days of YouTube. Nancy instilled this “can do” attitude in Nisa. Nisa became the first person in her family to graduate from high school and to complete a CNA certification. Other royalty was also in attendance, notably Miss Utah, Jesse Craig. She was impressed with Nancy’s example of female empowerment. “Raising five kids is difficult. Doing it alone makes it even harder,” Craig said. Queenly advice When asked what does being mother mean to her, Nancy replied, “Having people need you. My children are my world. I have to teach them to be an asset to the community.” Nancy provided this advice for mothers. “Love your children like there is no tomorrow. There is no guarantee there will be a tomorrow.” Nancy said the greatest challenge being a mother is not having enough time. Sponsor and donors Winston Behle, operations director for MD Diet SLC Clinic, provided the
catalyst for the event. “We were looking for a way to give back. We also realized that our main clients are mothers. We found a way to ensure one mom for one night would feel like a queen.” MD Diet SLC Clinic (www.mddietclinic.com) has served the Salt Lake community since 1998 serving over 600 clients a month. They help with medical weight loss, HCG diet, vitamin injections or maintaining your current weight. They tailor each diet to individuals. They are also providing six months of diet services to Nancy and Nisa. ProDo, Utah’s first dry blow bar, located in Draper and South Jordan donated hair styling. Dapper & Dash, a mobile salon, provided a place for hair styling and makeup. Their bus (known as Dash) travels along the Wasatch front providing salon services to corporate clients and community outreach. Balance Mobile Spa donated a facial and massage for mother and daughter. They provide their services in homes, work settings or while you are away from home. Soulstice Day Spa & Salon, located at Fort Union and Jordan Landing, donated manicures and pedicures. Down East in Millcreek donated a $100 gift card each providing Nancy and Nisa with new outfits.l
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Tracy Aviary Nature Center planned for James Madison Oxbow Park By Bill Hardesty | B.Hardesty@mycityjournals.com
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Drawing of phase 1 of the proposed Tracy Aviary Nature Center along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. (Photo courtesy of South Salt Lake City)
racy Aviary is coming to South Salt Lake City this summer with the opening of a nature center along the Jordan River. The City Council suspended their rules on May 8 to pass on a 7-0 vote an ordinance creating the Nature Center Pilot Project (NCPP) overlay district. The same ordinance was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on May 2. The quick pace of approval was the result of using an outside consultant and a lot of groundwork by city staff, the consultant, landowner and applicant. Tracy Aviary and Salt Lake County had placed a hard May 15 deadline. “I love this project. I support it. I love the idea of having legitimate use of the river. Eyes on the river. This is exciting,” said councilwoman Sharla Bynum of District 3. The ordinance covers phase 1 of the project. The nature center will be built on a 1/2-acre part of the James Madison Oxbow Park at 1100 W. 3300 South. The Park is part of the Jordan River Parkway trail system. The nature center will focus on the river’s ecosystem and provide ways for the community to interact with nature surrounding the river. The full nature center design is still under discussion. Phase 1 This phase will consist of visitor education center and office, bike rentals, and restrooms. The center will be open during daylight hours. Currently, there is no plan to charge an entrance fee. The classroom will be a mobile building on a temporary foundation. It will have an office and a classroom. The bikes will be stored in a shipping container. Local artists will be encouraged to paint a mural on the long side of the container. The bikes are designed for families to use along the Jordan River Trail. Tim Brown, Tracy Aviary CEO, mentioned that phase 1 allows them to get their feet on the ground as they fundraise hoping
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to complete an 8 to 10-acre campus for active recreation along the river. By creating the NCPP overlay district, the complications of a permanent zone change, or a subdivision are avoided. During phase 1, no live animals will be housed at the nature center. However, Tracy Aviary will use the classroom for their robust educational offerings such as river walks for families and community groups. Built within the ordinance is an end date. Tracy Aviary has four years to build the full design. If they choose to leave, the land reverts to the old code and Tracy Aviary would have to restore the property. This temporary overlay district can be extended beyond four years with the city council approval. The City staff recommended the passage of the ordinance because, “The proposed amendments are consistent with General Plan Goals [of]: a. preserving existing open space, and creating new parks, open space and recreation and cultural sites, b. enhancing the quality of life in the City by improving the community’s appearance, safety, education, positive outlook, gathering places and positive momentum, c. regulating land uses based on compatibility with surrounding uses, residential areas, and economic feasibility, and d. establishing the Jordan River Parkway as a desirable place to be enjoyed by all residents, especially families.” Homeless Resource Center One concern voiced both at the planning commission meeting and the city council meeting was the distance between the nature center and the new homeless resource center opening this fall. The center is being built at 3380 S. 1000 West. In both meetings, the consensus was the location was bit of a concern. However, the concern is mitigated by the positive step of the nature center. l
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How did Granite District fare in the 2019 educator wage wars? By Heather Lawrence | firstname.lastname@example.org
n April, Granite District announced that they had reached a tentative settlement for setting starting teacher salary at $43,500. Canyons and Murray districts announced they would start teacher salaries at $50,000. The wage wars were on. Ben Horsley, GSD’s director of communications, said there’s more to total compensation than salary, such as health insurance. “While other districts may offer larger base pay, Granite teachers will see more options in their health benefits at a lower cost, which means more money in our teachers’ pockets at the end of the day,” Horsley said. One innovative way Granite is competing to compensate their teachers is through their Wellness Clinic, which held a ribbon-cutting event on May 13. “This clinic is the first of its kind in Utah. All GSD employees and their families can come and receive care, including primary and urgent care, lab work and prescriptions at no cost. It is a major piece of what we will expect will attract employees to Granite for years to come,” Horsley said. The clinic is located in the former seminary building at Valley Junior High School on the corner of 4200 South and 3200 West in West Valley. It is scheduled to open for patients before the beginning of the 2019–2020 school year. It will be staffed by clinicians from Premise Health. Horsley also said this has all been done without having to raise taxes. Canyons’ and Murray’s increases will both require a property tax increase. Mary D. Burbank, assistant dean for teacher education at the University of Utah, said she commends the districts for committing to support the teaching profession by improving compensation. “It’s a big leap to increase pay level. It highlights the priority of certified teachers. There’s a shortage of teachers in the community, and actions like this symbolically under-
score the importance of the profession,” said Burbank. Burbank also said a compensation package may be what makes a teacher choose to work in one district over another. “We’re always looking for new teachers and work closely with our district partners. We value their recognition that it takes work to become a teacher and retain them,” Burbank said. John Funk, also of the University of Utah’s teacher education program, said Granite has recently been on the forefront of raising teacher salaries. “It was two years ago the Granite District pushed the envelope by providing a 12% increase to their teaching staff. Other districts knew they would have to compete. I applaud Granite for trying to do something to begin to compensate teachers,” Funk said. Funk said he encourages his students, future teachers, to consider the following when interviewing for a job. “Don’t be fooled by the beginning salary. Look closer at the benefits,” said Funk, who found that considering insurance premiums changed take-home pay. “Also, look at the salary schedule. Compensation (goes up) according to the number of years taught and the level of education the teacher has attained,” Funk said. His studies showed that salary can change significantly based on the district’s pay ladder as early as four years into the job. These comments align with Horsley’s, who said he hopes teachers will “do the math” when it comes to picking an employer. “Canyons and other districts’ health insurance costs are such that after paying for them, net pay will be less than what (a teacher) can get in Granite.” One point of agreement was the need to recruit and retain quality teachers. “We are in a world of hurt right now. Most colleges and universities are down in numbers in their teacher prep programs. The salary amounts may help,” Funk said. l
Students at Woodstock Elementary in Granite School District volunteer answers for a guest educator. Granite hopes to recruit and retain quality teachers with a new starting salary of $43,500 and a free employee wellness clinic. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)
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S outh Salt Lake City Journal
June 2019 Cherie Wood, Mayor 801-464-6757 email@example.com
South Salt Lake City Council Members Ben B. Pender, District 1 801- 580-0339 firstname.lastname@example.org Corey Thomas, District 2 801-755-8015 email@example.com Sharla Bynum, District 3 801-803-4127 firstname.lastname@example.org Portia Mila, District 4 801-792-0912 email@example.com L. Shane Siwik, District 5 801-548-7953 firstname.lastname@example.org Mark C. Kindred, At-Large 801-214-8415 email@example.com Ray deWolfe, At-Large 801-347-6939 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Admin 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
CITY NEWSLETTER Investing in Safe Neighborhoods: Now is the Time
One of things I’m most proud of as Mayor of South Salt Lake is our neighborhoods. Every year, they become cleaner, more beautiful and safer than ever. And that’s largely due to our amazing Police and Fire Departments. Our City has been fortunate to have officers Mayor Cherie Wood and ﬁreﬁghters who spend time in our neighborhoods, know our youth and check on our houses when we’re out of town. But that security is at risk. Over the last few years, we have seen more and more turnover in our ﬁrst responder employees. Great employees are leaving to work for other cities. And that’s because our police and ﬁre personnel are paid signiﬁcantly less than surrounding cities. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Uniﬁed Police indicates that our public safety heroes are paid approximately 15% less than those in neighboring agencies. This creates huge challenges in attracting and retaining ofﬁcers and ﬁreﬁghters. As Mayor, it is my job to identify a sustainable funding source for public safety. And after months of study and deliberation with my staff, we have determined that the most effective way to fund a ﬁrst responder wage increase is through the stable source
of property taxes. As part of my 2020 Budget Proposal, I am suggesting a 31% increase in the South Salt Lake portion of your overall Salt Lake County Property Tax Bill. The tentative budget was presented to the City Council on May 8. While I don’t take this lightly, it’s important for residents to know that the South Salt Lake portion of your bill is 14.5% of your overall property tax. So while some parts of your County property tax bill have risen over the years (for instance, Granite School District, State Basic School Levy and Salt Lake County taxes), South Salt Lake has not raised its portion of property taxes since 2006. This means we are collecting the same amount of property tax revenue in 2018 as we did in 2007. And though we have worked hard over the years to bring new dollars to the city through grants and assistance, we have exhausted those sources. It’s time to take control of our destiny and ensure that our residents are safe. These are important decisions that will have major impacts on our community. I hope you’ll take the time to discuss this with your families and neighbors and call me if you have any questions. I invite you to get involved so we can make this decision together. The public hearing for the FY2020 budget has been schedule for Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. I hope you will join us for this important discussion.
City News City of South Salt Lake – Notice of Municipal Election
SSL City Council Meetings 220 E. Morris Ave., 2nd Floor Wednesday, June 5, 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m
SSL City Planning Commission Meetings 220 E. Morris Ave., 2nd Floor Thursday, June 6, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.
New Resident CORNER
Did you miss Spring Clean-up? If you are a South Salt Lake Resident, receiving garbage pickup through the City, you can rent a debris trailer to dispose of your old household items and yard waste. For more information or to rent a trailer, go to the Finance Department at City Hall or call: 801-483-6000
The City of South Salt Lake will hold a Municipal General Election on November 5, 2019 to elect the following: City Council Member District 1 – 4 year term City Council Member District 4 – 4 year term City Council Member District 5 – 4 year term City Council Member District At-Large – 4 year term To qualify as a candidate a person must be: 1. a United States citizen 2. at least 18 years old 3. a legal resident of South Salt Lake for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the date of the election 4. a registered voter of the municipality 5. a resident of the council district you are ﬁling for
The candidate ﬁling deadline is Friday, June 7, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Declaration of Candidacy forms or Nomination Petitions must be ﬁled in person with the City Recorder at 220 East Morris Avenue, Suite 200, South Salt Lake, Utah, unless individuals are subject to Section 20A-9-203(3)(b) of the Utah Code. If you have questions, please contact the City Recorder’s ofﬁce at 801.483.6027 or 801.483.6019
South Salt Lake City Council Action Report Summary
Full agendas, minutes, handouts and video recorded meetings available at: sslc.com/city-government/council-meeting Date 4/17/19
Agenda Item Discussion/Selection of Independent Auditor
A Resolution expressing commitment to meet the obligations of Financial assistance related to Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility capital Improvement Project Discussion/Selection of Independent Auditor
South Salt Lake Lions Club Annual Chuck Wagon Breakfast
The candidate ﬁling period will be Monday, June 3, 2019 through Friday, June 7, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A Resolution expressing commitment to meet the obligations of Financial assistance related to Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility capital Improvement Project An Ordinance to establish a new Nature Center Pilot Project Overlay District Presentation of Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2019/2020
Subject Discussion on whether or not to start an RFP process to select a new Independent Auditor for the City A Resolution acknowledging the letter from DWQ and expressing the commitment to meet the obligations of financial assistance related to Central Valley Water Reclamation
Action Moved to Unfinished Business for May 8th
Next Step Further Discussion
Moved to Unfinished Business to a future meeting
Discussion on whether or not to start an RFP process to select a new Independent Auditor for the City A Resolution acknowledging the letter from DWQ and expressing the commitment to meet the obligations of financial assistance related to Central Valley Water Reclamation
The Council decided to go through with the RFP process to select independent auditor Approved
More discussion at a future meeting
An Ordinance amending zoning map to include the Newly Established NCPP Overlay District (Tracy Aviary) Acceptance of the Tentative Budget by the Council and set public hearing date
No further action required
Council accepted tentative budget. Public hearing date set for June 5th at 7:30
No further action required
Nominate a South Salt Lake Beautiful Yard
Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:00 to 10:30 a.m. Reams Parking Lot 2783 South State Street Cost: $5 per person
Mayor Cherie Wood’s Beautiful Yard Award is her way of thanking SSL residents who have made exceptional efforts that impact their neighborhoods in a positive way. Beautiful yards make neighborhoods more attractive and vibrant. It’s easy to nominate, please take a moment to contact the Urban Livability Department at 801-464-6712 or email@example.com to recognize a deserving yard.
Public Safety Police Pay, Recruitment & Retention are our Challenges! It is no surprise, to me that police agencies across the Salt Lake Valley have been struggling to hire and retain qualiﬁed, experienced ofﬁcers. This has been a valleywide issue for several years now, and reﬂects national trends. What has caused the shift? Police Chief In Utah, many police departments point to a Jack Carruth reduction in retirement beneﬁts. URS (Utah Retirement System) has always been an attractive employee benefit, but Utah Legislators altered the Public Safety Retirement beneﬁts signiﬁcantly in 2011 by adding ﬁve years to the length of service required and a reduction in pension. It took a few years for the full impact, but we are now seeing fewer recruits and fewer people sticking with law enforcement as a career. Fortunately, State Legislators have seen the impact, too, and have made improvements to the URS plan. Even still, Law Enforcement agencies in the Salt Lake area are dealing with a more glaring problem — salaries. Salt Lake County police agencies are literally in a bidding war to recruit new hires and to keep seasoned ofﬁcers from leaving for a higher salary at another city. We lose ofﬁcers to agencies in Utah and even to other states. It is too easy to switch locations for a signiﬁcant pay raise, and it is difﬁcult to overcome, even with the great culture and opportunities our department offers. South Salt Lake has the highest calls for service per ofﬁcer (calls divided by staff on patrol) in the valley. Our ofﬁcers ﬁnd the job to be exciting and rewarding, but they are also mentally and physically taxed as a result. Harder work would seem to merit higher pay, but this is not the case in our City. A 2019 comprehensive pay study, showed that South Salt Lake Police Department’s pay is 12.53% below the average pay for ofﬁ cers in the Salt Lake Valley. Many surrounding agencies are looking at even a higher salary increase this year to recruit new ofﬁcers. In addition, there is more competition in the market as several cities have terminated their contracts with
Uniﬁed Police Department (UPD). Herriman City and Riverton City recently opted to create their own local departments and found in doing so they could pay ofﬁcers more. They are now among the higher paying agencies in the valley and are pulling ofﬁcers from other cities by offering higher starting salaries and higher topped out salaries for experienced ofﬁcers. As other agencies get smarter with budgets and hiring, South Salt Lake must keep up. South Salt Lake has been actively recruiting, as we received state funding for new ofﬁcers to serve the homeless shelter and surrounding neighborhood. We have been able to recruit some new ofﬁcers through a lot of hard work and outreach on the part of my staff to identify and hire personnel. Those efforts can and will only go so far as we fall further behind in salary. We need to increase our current salary ranges for South Salt Lake ofﬁcers, to stay competitive with local market and to keep the best ofﬁcers protecting you. How do we do that? We need your help! The City budget is currently being discussed and will be ﬁnalized by the end of June. Meetings are scheduled for June 5 & 12. Additional may be scheduled as needed. Please help your Police Department by reaching out to your City Council Members to tell them that public safety is a priority of our community. We can’t just wait this out – we have to act now to make sure we keep experience in our City. We are your Police Department and we are here to serve you! Thank you for your support.
Délice Bakery 2747 S State on Wednesday, June 5, 9 - 10 a.m.
Sincerely, Chief Jack Carruth
There will be a Business Watch meeting on Monday, June 24 at 4:30 p.m. hosted by Level Crossing 2496 South West Temple.
Everyday Hero Essay Contest
Title: Everyday Hero Length: 500 words or less Eligibility: South Salt Lake Residents Age: 17 and younger evaluated as a group 18 and older evaluated as a group Deadline: June 12, 2019 Winner will have their essay read at the Veterans Reception on July 3, the Parade Flag Ceremony on July 4 and receive a $100 gift card. Selection will be by the Freedom Festival Parade committee. All submission must include full name, address, and age. Submit to: Myrna Clark 2531 S 400 E SSL, UT 84115 firstname.lastname@example.org
Business and Development Columbus Senior Center Highlights 2531 South 400 East South Salt Lake, Utah 84115 • 385-468-3340
New Development and Construction COMING FALL 2019: Tracy Aviary Nature Center
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Fitts Park
Tracy Aviary has been given approval for a zone change to start planning for a new nature center on the Jordan River at James Madison Park, located at 1111 West 3300 South. The project is the ﬁrst phase of a center that will bring ﬁrst-rate educational programs and family-friendly recreational activities to this natural stretch of the Jordan River.
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays – 9:30 a.m. EnhanceFitness Monday & Wednesday Modiﬁed Yoga – 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Tai Chi – 10 a.m. Tuesdays & Thursdays U of U Exercise Class 9:45 a.m. Tuesdays & Thursdays Pickleball – 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays Movie w/ Popcorn 10 a.m. Fridays, Line Dancing 10:30 a.m.
Tracy Aviary director Tim Brown had looked for years for the best site on the Jordan River to create a home for outdoor education in a location where migratory birds, water-loving birds other wildlife could be seen in their natural habitat. He found it in South Salt Lake section of the Jordan River. Working with Salt Lake County (owner of the park property), they secured rights to build there and worked on a funding package that also included aviary fundraising and funds from the Utah State legislature. The pilot project that will be built this year includes an indoor and outdoor nature classroom, displays of information about birds and the local ecosystem, and gear rental, beginning with bikes and working toward boat rental. The center will act as a stepping stone to a larger nature center building and gardens, which are in the Aviary’s 5 year-plan. Tracy Aviary educators have already started programs here with youth education and bird-watching tours for the public. For more information, visit tracyaviary.org/jordan-rivernature-center
Daily Lunch – Noon $3 suggested donation Come check out what the Senior Center has to offer! See us on Facebook: Columbus Senior Center
Join Tracy Aviary to see the Jordan River like never before! The Mobile Nature Center will be in the City on: • Monday, June 3rd, 6:00-7:30 pm, General Holm Park – Relax at the River program • Wednesday, June 5th, 9:30-11:00 am, James Madison Park – River Walk • Sunday, June 9th, 2:00-3:30 pm, James Madison Park – Nature in the City Eco-Art program • Wednesday, June 12th, 9:30-11:00 am, General Holm Park – River Walk Additional info can be found at: tracyaviary.org/jordan-rivernature-center/mobilenaturecenter
Park expansion to 300 East is under construction. Fitts Park has restricted access due to construction of a park expansion and Mill Creek Trail. Access from Front Avenue is closed. Please enter and exit from 500 East. Construction Activities for June include: 1. Paving Mill Creek Trail between 300 E and 500 East 2. Building park amenities (playground, bike course, ﬁtness course) 3. Landscaping 4. Installing light poles Thank you for your patience during construction. If you have questions, please contact: Bill Knowles, Community Ombudsman 801.580.2626 or Mayor Cherie Wood 801.464.6771
NOW OPEN: Carl’s Jr.
Located at the corner of 3300 South and Main Street, a new Carl’s Jr. is now open.
Volleyball Camp June 10 – 14 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 6th-12th Grades $10.00 – Deadline June 7
July 15 – 19 Grades 2-4 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Grades 5-7 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. $10.00 – Deadline July 5
First Tee Golf July 29 – August 9 Ages 7- 17 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Central Valley Golf Course $25 – Deadline July 19
Adult Coed Softball Rec League 5x5x5 Mon & Wed Evenings June 10 – Aug 14 18 years and older 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Central Park Ball Field 5 players on ﬁeld Max Roster: 7 $70 per team Deadline June 7 Register at the Recreation Ofﬁce 2531 S. 400 E. SSL, UT 84115 Ofﬁce hours: M-F 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For more information: 801-412-3217
Community Happenings South Salt Lake Freedom Festival July 3-4 2019 VETERANS APPRECIATION RECEPTION July 3, 2019 6 – 8 p.m. Veterans and their families are invited. Refreshments. Columbus Center, 2531 S 400 E
Connecticut artist ARCY at Level Crossing Brewing Co.
Mural Fest SOUTH SA LT L AKE
Artist Dan Toro in front of his mural on Salfire Brewing Co.
Saturday, May 11th the city celebrated the completion of 10 new public art murals in Downtown South Salt Lake at Mural Fest.
Local artist Chuck Landvatter working at Shades Brewing
Take a walking or bike tour of the murals!
Message from Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson 4th of JULY FESTIVITIES
5K, Fun Run/Walk – 7:30 a.m. Register by June 28 ($5) Forms: sslc.com Start and ﬁnish line at Fitts Park at 3050 S 500 E
9:00 Flag Ceremony 9:30 Parade Start – Kimball Ward to Fitts Park
8:30 am – 10:30 a.m Pancake Breakfast ($3) 11:00 – 2 p.m. Celebration at Fitts Park Activities include: bounce houses, train rides, music, food and live performances Questions: 801-750-1632 or email@example.com
4th of July Parade READY, SET MARCH!! Interested in working or participating in South Salt Lake’s 4th of July Parade? We’d love to have you! We’re looking for families, groups, organizations, and businesses that would like to participate in this year’s parade, including planning, setting up, and walking in the parade. For more information call Leslie Jones at 801-750-1632.
For more info on Mural Fest, visit sslarts.org
The Jordan River, its Parkway Trail and the river’s ribbon of natural areas are an absolute treasure that my administration is dedicated to protecting and improving. On its path from the southern to the northern borders of Salt Lake County, one of the areas of the river’s greatest potential is in South Salt Lake. That’s why Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation has developed plans for the new Jordan River Regional Park within your city. In recognition of the unique recreation opportunities in and around the Jordan River, the park development prioritizes conservation of natural habitat and innovative programming to engage individuals and families living on the Wasatch Front. For example, Tracy Aviary is adding a second location within the proposed park boundaries to offer education and conservation programs along with other programming that connects people to nature and helps preserve the natural habitat. To support the vision of a Jordan River Regional Park, the ideas competition “On the River’s Edge,” is currently underway. The aim is to incorporate the ideas in the park plan, as well as increase utilization of the Jordan River. We hope to see concepts that will look to balance conservation with development, link residents and visitors to an ecologically diverse nature corridor, create year-round recreational opportunities and foster vibrant gathering places. I look forward to seeing all the creative ideas that emerge from the competition, to learn more about “On the River’s Edge” go to slco.org/on-the-rivers-edge.
Promise Afterschool Program Spotlight KEARNS ST. ANN SCHOOL Brownie Troop
The Promise afterschool program at Kearns St. Ann School partnered with Girls Scouts of Utah to start a Brownie troop in January 2019. Led by Helena Jones, Promise Prevention Specialist, girls have earned badges in STEM, Dance, Financial Literacy and other subjects. They had the chance to practice their skills in March, when they sold cookies to students, staff, & volunteers in afterschool. In May, the older group of Brownies bridged to Juniors. We are grateful for our partnership with Girls Scouts of Utah that provides new, exciting activities to our youth in afterschool. For more info contact: AnnElise Acosta 385-630-9754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COTTONWOOD HIGH Math Hoops at Lincoln Elementary
The Cottonwood High School Afterschool program spent the month of April mentoring elementary students on the Math Hoops program, run by Program Manager Mikenzie Orozco. Math Hoops is a board game-math curriculum where participants learn fundamental math skills through participating in “basketball tournaments” using their favorite NBA and WNBA athlete statistics. The ﬁrst few months of the spring semester ﬁve Cottonwood youth spent time learning the game and planned out activities for youth at Lincoln Elementary. On Wednesdays in April, our Cottonwood youth volunteered at the Lincoln afterschool program, where they each had a group of four students. They taught these students how to play Math Hoops and worked with them on their basic math skills in preparation for the tournament on May 8. Our youth from Cottonwood have had such a great experience mentoring and working with the elementary youth at Lincoln. For more info contact: Colleen Bradburn email@example.com or 385-630-9748.
UTAH INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL Volleyball League
The Refugee Services Ofﬁce (RSO) is working with Utah International Charter School and Promise South Salt Lake afterschool to run the girls’ volleyball league. Through the hard work of RSO, we were able to ﬁnd refs and coaches for each team and every game. They also got knee pads and volleyballs for each girl participating in the league. The refugee girls’ volleyball league began in April and the ﬁrst games went well. This league serves six teams of about 11 girls 12-18 years old. The girls are learning teamwork, grit and how to handle winning and losing. The season will culminate in a championship game at World Refugee Day on June 22. For more info contact: Adrienne Buhler firstname.lastname@example.org 801-520-7175
Join Promise South Salt Lake for Summer Programming! Check out our available programming and start our application process. Morning, Afternoon, and All Day programs available. Call 801-483-6057 for additional info.
Granite District works to help at-risk and refugee students graduate By Heather Lawrence | email@example.com
our Bilal has seen both sides of Cottonwood High School. She currently works at Cottonwood, but less than a year ago she was a student there. As both a student and employee, she’s been involved in a Granite District program designed to help more students, especially those at-risk or refugees, graduate. “My story is a little interesting because I graduated from Cottonwood last year. A lot of students thought that I just love school so much that I came back to work. The story is really not about me loving school but it’s about helping those students and giving back to the community,” Bilal said. Principal Terri Roylance said that Granite District in general and Cottonwood High specifically have some unique challenges. “We are a student body that comes from five different cities. Every day, an army of buses drop off our students. They come from Holladay, Murray, Taylorsville, South Salt Lake and Millcreek City,” Roylance said. Though Cottonwood and other GSD schools have robust honors programs and ambitious scholars, they also have students whose education and social opportunities are limited. These students are at risk of not graduating. Roylance said that Cottonwood’s answer to helping at risk students is a multi-faceted approach. Records have been helpful. “We have been very meticulous about looking through those students who have left out school. If parents don’t come and officially check out our students or tell us they’re moving, we follow up on those things,” Roylance said. Roylance utilizes Cottonwood staff and AmeriCorps volunteers. “AmeriCorps has five volunteers here. Our counseling team identifies students who are academically at risk. We meet weekly to discuss things and then communicate what we talk about with students, parents and teachers,” Roylance said. One challenge throughout the district is helping the refugee population. “Among our students we have a significant refugee population. These students may not have had the opportunity to attend school in their home country. They come to us as a junior or senior and they have not had schooling,” Roylance said. Bilal was one of those students. Her family came to Utah in November 2014 from Damascus, Syria. Though she’d had access to schooling, there was still a language barrier as her native language is Arabic. “People say it takes seven years to learn a new language. We partnered with the nonprofit One Refugee. They’ve paid for two teachers at our school who take students with refugee status one class period every other day. They can also get a scholarship to SLCC
Page 18 | June 2019
Nour Bilal, who is from Syria, graduated from Cottonwood High in 2018. Now she’s back working at Cottonwood to make sure at-risk students graduate. (Photo courtesy Nour Bilal)
for up to four years,” Roylance said. Yuri Perez teaches math and science at Cottonwood. “My students are 100 percent English learners. Sixty to 75 percent of them are refugees and the rest immigrants from a variety of countries. I believe the support Cottonwood gives to this population of students is one of the reasons why there is an increase in graduation rates,” Perez said. Perez saw engagement and achievement outside the classroom this year when his students formed a robotics team and competed in the FIRST robotics competition. In addition to limited schooling, there are other barriers for at-risk students. “These students come with emotional baggage and cultural and distance barriers. If they are within walking or close driving distance to the school, then they can participate in more activities at our building. But if they aren’t we need to help them,” said Roylance. Roylance’s team went above and beyond. “We are trying to eliminate barriers in all possibilities. We have a social worker who goes to students’ homes with an interpreter if necessary,” Roylance said. Cottonwood also does a summer program which helps “a little bit.” Peers who are in National Honor Society (NHS) are involved in the process of helping, too. “Monday morning is our late start day.
Our NHS students go to the library Monday morning and anyone can come in for tutoring. We also have an after-school program where students can get help 2:10 to 5:30 every afternoon,” said Roylance. School districts are required to report their graduation rates each year. In GSD, that responsibility lies with Rob Averett. Averett is director of research and has been with the district for 24 years. “We are seeing improvements across most schools in Granite District especially since 2016. Cottonwood went from a graduation rate of 75 percent in 2016 to 80 percent in 2018. Cyprus High’s graduation rate in
2016 was 76 percent; in 2018 it was 84 percent. Overall, Granite District’s graduation rate in 2016 was 73 percent. In 2018 it was 76 percent,” Averett said. Averett said communities need to be realistic about their changing demographics. “Refugees and other immigrants have come and they are here to stay. World conditions place us in these circumstances. We need to deal with the situation. If we don’t help them, we’ll have a less capable and more violent society,” said Averett. For the general population, “it’s a known, provable fact that income potential is higher the more education a person has. Employability is higher. The Bureau of Labor publishes statistics on earnings potential which shows that educated people have higher median weekly earnings,” said Averett. “Individual students need to take the long view and master education so they can compete in the modern world. Graduates can make larger contributions to society. They are comfortable working in our society,” Averett said. When it comes to Cottonwood’s roughly 400 seniors, Roylance said the connection between graduation and community is making a difference. “People in our valley are reaching out, seeing a need and answering that need. We have awesome teachers and counselors and a special emphasis on looking at educational equity. Combine that with the awareness piece and that is why we have success.” For people like Bilal, who’ve been on both sides of the issue, the results are rewarding, especially when students feel like they’re being given a fair chance and a voice. “I have had seniors who started to do better when I followed up with them. I think it’s because they don’t like to be told what to do, but shown what to do,” Bilal said. Bilal said her goal is simple: “I tried my best to have students feel safe and comfortable when they to talk to me. All I really want is to make sure those kids gets the right help and are able to graduate.” l
S outh Salt Lake City Journal
Granite District teaches students strategies to recognize, report abuse By Heather Lawrence | firstname.lastname@example.org
ranite School District held a press conference in Apri1 at Woodstock Elementary in Murray to talk about the program they’re using to educate elementary students about child abuse. The conference included time with Principal Brenda Byrnes, Gwen Knight of Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) and older elementary students. Ben Horsley, director of communications, called the press conference. “Since November of 2016, PCAU has been in many of our elementary schools to provide training on preventing child abuse. Over the next school year, the training will continue until it has been provided to every elementary school in GSD,” Horsley said. Horsley also acknowledged Discover Card for a generous donation towards the training. Steve Peck of Discover Card said, “I grew up in the Granite District. We value volunteerism and doing the right thing. We’re providing this donation to make sure that the entire district can receive this information and training.” The curriculum for the training, which runs for two 45-minute sessions and is geared toward specific ages, was developed over the past 30 years. It focuses on helping smaller children recognize the “uh-oh” feeling which might be an indication that something wrong is happening. For all students, the strategies recognize, resist and report are taught. “In the report piece, we teach each child to have three trusted adults that they can talk to. Our curriculum is evidence and best practice based and was approved by a panel of the State Board of Education, DCFS and parents,” Knight said of the curriculum used by the nonprofit, Prevent Child Abuse Utah. Knight said that a bill passed in Utah in 2014 requires that every student, parent and
As a principal, I truly feel like I’m a protector of students. Anything we can do to empower them to know what is safe is something that I support. – Brenda Byrnes
school personnel be given access to abuse training. “We are invited into the school to do this training. Parents are notified, and they can opt out. They can also come to the classroom and sit in on the presentations. We send handouts home,” Knight said. The donation from Discover Card is
S outh SaltLakeJournal .com
LOOKING FOR PART-TIME WORK? WANT FLEXIBLE HOURS WITH HOLIDAYS AND WEEKENDS OFF?
Granite School District is hiring Kitchen Managers, Nutrition Service Workers, and Nutrition Worker Substitutes! Applicants must have: High school diploma or equivalent, background check, and be willing to obtain a food handler’s permit. • • • •
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www.graniteschools.org/ nutritionservices/jobs Woodstock Elementary students and every student in Granite School District will learn how to prevent child abuse. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)
important because though the education is required, it comes at a cost. “Our instructors all have at least a bachelor’s degree. We are funded by grants and fundraisers. Discover specified that we come to Granite District because it is special to them,” Knight said. The media was permitted to speak with selected fifth and sixth graders who’d been through the training. Students Ava Kunz, Abigail Van Orman and Carter Oliphant said they had heard some of the information before, but they also learned new things. “We talked about the different kinds of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. One thing that was new to me was the amount of kids who are abused. It surprised me quite a bit, and it makes me feel absolutely horrible,” Carter said. The other students said they’d learned about finding a person to talk to at school if you can’t talk with your parents. And they learned about the Safe UT app. Brenda Byrnes, the principal at Woodstock Elementary, has taught or been an administrator all over the Granite District. “As educators in general we’re trained to look for things, for signs. We have a student support process if there are any concerns. We have a team of professionals like a social worker and school psychologist that can look at what’s going on,” Byrnes said. “I definitely have seen some sad situations with kids. The thing I want to focus
on is that when we became aware, we used that student support process to get the best help for that student. I think GSD has a really good system in place,” Byrnes said. TM Byrnes said that she’s confident students can get help if they need it. “We want students to know we’ve got people to help them. The district has supports. Absolutely, definitely we have helped students through that process.” Knight said that parents are encouraged to have age appropriate conversations with their kids about abuse. “Last year there were over 10,000 victims of abuse in our state. It happens in every demographic, every culture. We started a billboard campaign that gives parents two good website resources: www. Are you a business leader? pcautah.org and www.howtopreventabuse. At no cost, the ElevateHERTM Challenge is easy org,” Knight said. to accept and will benefit your company. For Knight and Byrnes, the goal of prevention is the same. “Children who experiJoin businesses across Utah in ence adverse experiences such as abuse and our mission to elevate the stature neglect are at increased risk for suicide, menof women’s leadership. Take the tal health issues, substance abuse and even ElevateHERTM Challenge and stand with crime and other health issues. Our mission other businesses as we pledge to elevate is to prevent that by empowering children to women in senior leadership positions, in recognize, resist and report abuse,” Knight boardrooms, on management teams and said. on politcal ballots. Byrnes said, “As a principal, I truly feel like I’m a protector of students. Anything we LEARN MORE: can do to empower them to know what is safe is something that I support.” l www.WLIUT.com/challenge
Take the ElevateHER Challenge
June 2019 | Page 19
Nine educators, one administrator honored with Excel award By Jess Nielsen Beach | email@example.com
n a scene straight from King Arthur’s time, dozens of teachers, administrators and supporters of education gathered together at round tables to celebrate their colleagues at the 2019 Excel Awards, hosted by the Granite Education Foundation. Teachers and administrators from Granite School District were awarded for a job well done on April 12 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. This year’s theme was stories, with elaborate thrones and a dinner buffet fit for the momentous occasion, which also marked 30 years of the ceremony. “If you want to find champions who support education, they’re right there,” said Brent Severe, the CEO of Granite Education Foundation, gesturing to the room. Nine teachers and one administrator were chosen as Excel award recipients, a process that has been a long time coming. Nominations started in October of last year, with students, parents, and other staff choosing an outstanding teacher and submitting their name. Once the nominations are in, there is a months-long process in which the teachers and administrators are notified and must then complete an application. The selection committee, made up of past winners, sponsors, and education advocates, then spends January through March reading over each application and deciding
Page 20 | June 2019
which candidates move on until there are only 10 left. This year, there was a record 4,000 nominations from the immense 92-school district, which speaks to the caliber of Granite’s educators. “These teachers are shaping our tomorrow,” Severe said. “The award is truly a rise to the top of the finest educators, from kindergarten all the way up to AP math.” Not only is the Excel award a high honor, but each winner receives $1,000 and is eligible for Teacher of the Year at the state level. On hand to emcee the night was KSL news anchor Shara Park, who grew up in the district. “Tonight we gather to celebrate the story of teachers,” she began. “I run Granite, through and through…I never would have signed that four-year college scholarship to NIU (Northern Illinois University) without those teachers in my life. Thank you for what you’re doing.” After a video presentation of past winners discussing the honor and opportunities that come with the award, 2018’s Teacher of the Year—and Utah’s nominee for the 2020 NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence—Archer Birrell, took the podium. “I love stories about superheroes,” Birrell said, “especially the Granite Education Foundation. Thank you for being real-life
2019’s Excel award winners. Left to right: Jennifer Millett, Samantha Vore, Leah Wright, Levi Negley, Rachel Pehrson, Michelle Chester, Lauren Merkley, Molly Dingley, Stephanie Harris, and Jared Reynolds. (Photo courtesy Granite Education Foundation)
heroes.” He went on to thank those who supported and inspired him, ending with, “I want to encourage all of you to be a teacher’s hero, too. Your support might help a teacher to stay in the field.” Teachers being heroes was an ongoing theme throughout the evening. Many spoke of the challenges presented by being in Title 1 schools, where students may not have the best circumstances in their personal lives. Educators often purchase supplies and snacks with their own money to help a student in need. “You hope you can make a difference,” said award-winner Leah Wright, a teacher at Gearld Wright Elementary. When speaking of her nomination and relationships with her pupils, she added, “Sometimes you have an incredible bond with a child. That’s what it’s all about.” Each winner was introduced first by a short video of them in their school, their reaction to winning the award, and a short interview of their story and how they came to be in the profession. They were then brought onstage and presented the award by their sponsor. Martin W. Bates, the superintendent of Granite School District, closed the event by expressing his gratitude for the sacrifices and dedication of the audience. “If community and education come together, it strengthens that community.” The winners Jared Reynolds, Granite Connection High School: “The most amazing thing about receiving the award is receiving it for the school.” Jennifer Millett, South Kearns Elementary: “I have five kids. I want to be the teacher I’d want them to have.”
Lauren Merkley, Cottonwood High School: “I teach because I love humans.” Merkley went on to win teacher of the year. Leah Wright, Gearld Wright Elementary: “My motivation for teaching is absolutely the children.” Levi Negley, Taylorsville High School: “[In teaching] there’s an emotional responsibility, an intellectual responsibility…it made me see my community as I had never seen it before.” Michelle Chester, Churchill Junior High: “Every day I have something happen that I never thought would. It’s surprising every day.” Molly Dingley, Evergreen Junior High: “If you continue to improve and practice, that’s what helps any profession. I couldn’t have found a better fit, school and students.” Rachel Pehrson, Philo T. Farnsworth Elementary: “I always came back to education. I can make a bigger difference at a Title 1 school.” Stephanie Harris, David Gourley Elementary: “I really love helping others; watching their faces as they learn and grow is my favorite.” Samantha Vore, Cyprus High School: “I wanted to see if I can make a difference like was made for me. It’s indescribable, just having people come in and say ‘good job.’” Sponsors Granite Credit Union, America First Credit Union, Molina Healthcare, World’s Finest Chocolate, SelectHealth, my529, Coller Industries, VLCM, McNeil Engineering, University Federal Credit Union Businesses can contact the Granite Education Foundation office for sponsorship opportunities. l
S outh Salt Lake City Journal
Offensive coordinator Casey Miller takes over as new Cottonwood football coach By Brian Shaw | firstname.lastname@example.org
or Casey Miller, Cottonwood’s new head football coach, looking at more options in the offseason seems to be a passion since before he took over and was the team’s offensive coordinator. “Any young men interested in doing the right thing, working hard, and being the driving force behind turning an entire community around, please take a look at Cwood HS as an option. Early varsity playing time available!” tweeted Miller on Feb. 1. Little did Miller know that as of March 29, that the tweet he sent would become rather prophetic. Bart Bowen would step down as Cottonwood’s head coach, accepting the position at Logan High and Miller would be named the Colts new head coach. “We were surprised [Coach Bowen] left,” said Greg Southwick, Cottonwood athletic director. He added that the program was caught unaware of Bowen’s intention to leave, however, Bowen’s wife is from Cache Valley and so Southwick did suspect that her ties to that community may have played a role in Bowen’s departure. In steps Miller who now goes from the guy known for running the Colts’ ever-popular annual winter coaching clinics and coaching up quarterbacks to the guy in charge of the Cottonwood football program as a whole. It isn’t the first time Miller has been a head coach. He spent two years (2011 and 2012) heading up Hillcrest’s program and went a respectable 5-10 in his time with the Huskies. “We’re pretty high on Casey right now; he does bring experience to the position,” added Southwick. “He and [Bowen] are a lot alike with their tying of academic achievement into their athletics so we feel that will be a seamless transition as far as the kids and our program go.” Prior to coaching in Utah and California, Miller was a quarterback at Cyprus High in the early 2000’s, taking snaps under center for Pirate coaching legends Sonny Sudbury and Dave Peck before playing at Benedictine College in Kansas for two years and at Utah State. Bowen released a statement on Twitter the day of his decision to leave for Logan, stating in part, “We are going to miss our family at Cottonwood High greatly. I have grown a deep love for the young men, faculty, administration and community there.” “The kids there are some of the most amazing young men I have ever worked with,” Bowen continued. “Their work ethic, determination and grit are unrivaled. I am fortunate I got to work with them.” Bowen went 1-19 overall as Cottonwood’s head coach. In two years at the school, Bowen helped rebuild a program that before his arrival saw several head and assistant coaches quit or be fired.
S outh SaltLakeJournal .com
Bart Bowen (pictured here) stepped down as Cottonwood’s head coach this off season to accept a position at Logan High. Offensive coordinator Casey Miller takes over. (File photo City Journals)
Bowen has reconstructed a foundation; now Miller has to figure out how to keep the program intact—it’s never easy after a coaching change—and then taking it to the next level. He’s done so before at Hillcrest, it appears. “What we really like about Casey is he really acknowledges what his strengths and weaknesses are,” added Southwick. “He’s gonna play to those strengths and take whatever talent he has and mold it.” How Miller will increase the win total at Cottonwood is probably going to take time. But, for a inkling as to how Miller might accomplish such a mighty task, you could look at the tweet he sent on April 12. “Looking for coaches in the Salt Lake City area who want to try and help turnaround a program that has been down for a while... gonna be a lot of work but we’re gonna get it flipped eventually.” Southwick said he agrees with Miller’s assessment of the Cottonwood football program. “I see [Casey] getting into the Little League programs and building it up that way,” said Southwick. “Because our demographic is tough, it’s spread all over the valley so I see him starting with them younger and bringing them up. In a few years I think we’ll see a difference.”on office for sponsorship opportunities. l
Miller also now takes over a program ways and it’s only recently that the Colts that many would say is doing better overall. have begun to reverse this trend. Unlike Bowen before him, however, Miller Miller also seems to understand the has an education background—he’s taught Colts football team has a lot of work to do. chemistry at Cottonwood for several years. In terms of sheer numbers on Cottonwood’s team though, Miller will have his hands full as some studies prove fewer kids Midtown Community Health Center provides healthcare services for your are playing high school football than ever. Cottonwood, in particular, is feeling the entire family, from pediatrics to senior care, making it convenient and easy to sting of this recent phenomenon—hence the care for you and your family in one location. reason for Miller’s tweet back on Feb. 1 asking that more players consider what is now • Medical Services his program. • Prescriptions For the past several years, the Colts have been at a huge numerical disadvantage on the • Dental Services sidelines—often outnumbered 3-to-1 by oth• Behavioral Health Services er larger 5A schools in their region. Most of • Care Management Cottonwood’s players have had to play both
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June 2019 | Page 21
Father’s Day around the County 2019 By Jennifer J. Johnson | email@example.com
appy Father’s Day, Salt Lake County! The City Journals gives a tribute to Valley dads by sharing what they are doing this holiday.
for her husband’s Father’s Day. She is going to recreate a memorable Hawaii anniversary, by turning their Holladay backyard into Hawaiiday—creating a temporary sand pit and paddling pool, complete with 12 children and Father’s Day bows to Mother’s Day Like a gentleman, June’s Father’s Day parents in grass skirts, sipping “mocktails.” bows to May’s Mother’s Day, opening the The ModernDad.Com—‘We get to famidoor for her and letting her go first. Father’s lies in different ways’ Day, according to some fathers the City JourUtah is somewhat famous for its momnals interviewed, like to keep their day more my bloggers — women who write on the modest than a more elaborate Mother’s Day. Internet about their experience as moms. Explains Jeff Stenquist, a Draper res- Jason Dunnigan, senior digital communicaident and Republican member of the Utah tions specialist at Riverton-based Stampin’ Legislature, “Myself and fathers in general, Up!, has been presenting the other side of the we don’t get into celebrations so much. We story, giving “a guy’s perspective” on being don’t try to draw a lot of attention to our- a parent since the first posting of his “The selves.” Stenquist noted that gifts for Father’s Modern Dad” blog in 2014. Day tend to be “socks,” versus more exotic This Father’s Day will be the first time gifts for Mother’s Day. Dunnigan, who was adopted, is armed with Socks work just fine for the Draper dad information about his biological parents. of adopted children from the Ukraine, folAt Christmas in December, he was giftlowed by the added gift of biological children ed with ancestry DNA from local company in what some parents would consider an en- Ancestry.com. Through the experience Dunviable boy-girl-boy-girl formation. “Father- nigan ended up in dialogue with his birth hood is a great honor. It’s a great experience mother and learned about his birth father. to be a dad.” The experience—and what he said he will be thinking about this Father’s Day—is Father’s Days on the road, again a gift for himself, knowing, “I am where I am Utah daddy blogger Jason Dunnigan has been writing about being a modern dad for the past five years. This Born in India and then growing up in supposed to be.” Dunnigan, a father of three Father’s Day he is grateful for his adoptive parents and three young children. (Photo Credit Jason Dunnigan) Kearns, Salt Lake County District Attorney and Salt Lake City Foothill neighborhood who said he looks like his father, Taylorsville resident Sim Gill recalls spending Father’s resident Jim Dunnigan, a long-time Republican representative of the Utah House of Day on the road with his father. Back in those days, property assessment Representatives, observed, “Sometimes, we was a centralized function for the state, ver- get to families in different ways. I am really sus a responsibility now delegated to coun- grateful.” ties. Gill’s father, Jagdish, then an appraiser for the state of Utah, now residing in Cottonwood Heights, would travel the state to assess land values. “Delta, Kanab, St. George, Price, Duchesne,” Gill rattled off Utah municipalities as if in a speed challenge. Gill and his brother and sister always viewed Father’s Day as “an adventure” and a “special time,” spent on the road, away from their Kearns childhood home.
Giving fathers a head start West Valley City resident Frank Bedolla said he has coached more than 600 low-income Utah dads on how to be the best fathers possible, by un-learning behaviors and attitudes. Through his nonprofit Fathers and Families Coalition of Utah, Bedolla offers the Nurturing Fathers Program, a 13-week, evidence-based training course designed to teach men parenting and nurturing skills. Fathers and Families Coalition starts the work of growing great future dads for young men, as well. Bedolla’s “Wise Guys” course, currently being taught at Murray High School and downtown’s Horizonte School, “teaches young boys how to be men, how to treat women.” Bedolla said that previous generations of parents misunderstood “quality time,” to the detriment of their children and families. “They thought quality time was being present, but it is also being interactive.” His advice to Utah fathers, for Father’s Day 2019? “The best thing you can do is invest in your child. Be the best father you can be. Be there.”
Foster Father of the Year—A Hawaiiday in Holladay Just in time for Father’s Day, Holladay resident and head of strategic insights for Western Governors University Michael Morris was named Foster Father of the Year for the Salt Lake metropolitan area. First fostering, then adopting seven children within the first six months of marriage, Morris and his wife, Amy, were a phenomenon. Now, almost three years later, the couple has achieved near super-foster hero status for fostering another five children, all siblings, hoping to ultimately reunite them with their birth parents. The Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival at the Gateway is officially honoring him the last day of the festival—and the day before Prizes for papas - keeping fathers safe on Father’s Day. the job by remembering their children Wife Amy Morris has another surprise For the past 14 years, WCF Insurance
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2018 Exemplary Father Vladimir Cespedes receives his honor with the best gift of all – his children. (Photo Credit: WCF)
(Workers Compensation Fund) has reached out to Utah’s growing Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audience. As can be imagined, many of those folks are dads. WCF wants to remind dads to be careful on the job, and do it through the gentle and most powerful tug of all—through the heartstrings of their children. The Padre d’el Año—Father of the Year—competition gives Utah children a way to nominate their fathers to earn the special honor and to be gifted with prizes WCF touts as being $500 in value. Children in three age groups—ages 7-11, 12-15, and 1517 nominate their papas for the prizes. Three fathers each season are honored,
receiving cash and one-of-a-kind gifts. This year’s Padre d’el Año and two runners-up will be honored at the June 29 Real Salt Lake game later this month. While the program is targeted to Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audiences, the honor is available to all. Entry forms (offered in Spanish and English) are available at www. wcfespanol.com/. The contest is a case of all fathers being winners. “The major reward that each father receives is knowing they are heroes for their children,” said Carlos Baez, community relations manager for WCF and Taylorsville father of three. l
S outh Salt Lake City Journal
Resuscitating the county’s heart— town hall update on the Jordan River Parkway By Jennifer J. Johnson | firstname.lastname@example.org
f you held a stethoscope up to Salt Lake County, Mayor Jenny Wilson said you’d find the County’s happy place, beating faintly, but beating nonetheless, conserving its energy for a near-term metamorphosis, along the stretch of the Jordan River. The Jordan River is the heart of the County, and thanks to the recreation zone established by the Legislature two years ago, the County’s heart is going to be receiving much-needed resuscitation. Wilson shared the message May 1, with a group of residents, elected officials, and County staff, assembled at the Salt Lake County Complex for stop four of a five-site cross-county town hall. Another resuscitated area of the County, “near the heart of Salt Lake City,” per the Mayor, South Salt Lake, also received air time, as she praised the up-and-coming nature of the city and complimented its elected leadership, some of whom were in attendance at that night’s town hall, and others who attended the previous night’s town hall at Millcreek Library. Stops one through three on the cross-county tour had the Mayor and a cadre of County staff and “electeds” visiting the Southwest Quadrant at South Jordan’s Equestrian Park and Event Center; then the Draper Senior Center; and most recently, Millcreek’s Library. Stop four—on County’s home turf Stop four, at the State Street County Complex, felt different. County employees, operating on their home turf and not needing to lug materials to and from cars and buildings, seemed more relaxed. It was also a town hall where varied constituents came from out-of-area to assemble at County government’s usual locale. The format for each of the town halls comprised an hour of mingling and discussing against the backdrop of a mini trade show, complete with tabletop booths, highlighting various County services. The next hour featured a short County presentation, with introductions of elected offices taking the first half hour and question/answer with Wilson filling the last half hour. At the County Complex, Wilson spoke for a bit, then turned time over to Associate Deputy Mayor Dina Blaes, who gave a comprehensive update of what the County has been up to with the Jordan River Parkway. Tapping the heart of the County The Jordan River Parkway is an approximately 45-mile stretch running along the Jordan River. The urban park traverses the river from Utah Lake in Utah County, accompanies the river through Salt Lake County, and then terminates at the Great Salt Lake in Davis County.
S outh SaltLakeJournal .com
Stop four of Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson’s cross-county tour landed on “home turf” – the Salt Lake County Complex building. (Photo Credit Salt Lake County)
“Salt Lake has a really incredible design community,” he acknowledged. “We wanted to tap into the best ideas to inform the master plan.” The competition received 28 registrations from across the country, including California, New Jersey, Washington, and, en masse, Utah. From these initial registrations, designers, engineers, landscape architects and urban planners will assemble innovative ideas to reimagine the area in terms of five key areas: activation; connectivity with surrounding communities; recreation in terms of yearround, multi-use opportunities; conservation of habitats and ecological functions; and economic prosperity in terms of future development. “A balance between recreation, conservation, and economic development” is what the County is seeking for the master plan, Blaes said. Entries were due at the end of May. InJune, Salt Lake residents will have the chance to vote online for their favorite projects and provide additional input on the project, and a panel of 13 experts, ranging from elected officials to academics to entrepreneurs will select winners of the biggest prize monies. Salt Lake residents are the best experts, and will be able to cast votes at https://slco.org/ on-the-rivers-edge. The competition offers $20,000 for the winner of a Jury Award, $4,000 for the winner of the People’s Choice Award, and an additional $2,500 for Innovation for best-inclass ideas for each of the five categories.
Parkway includes a mixed-use trail for cyclists, skaters, and joggers. There is a separate equestrian path as well. The Parkway enjoys intersecting with numerous trailheads, both city and county parks, and other green spaces such as golf courses. The Utah Legislature established the area from Highway 201 to 4500 South as a Recreation Zone and approved funding to make the area easy for recreation enthusiasts to enjoy. “We thought it was an appropriate opportunity to masterplan,” Blaes said, indicating the County owns 250 acres of land in the stretch. Blaes leveraged her experience in com- South Salt Lake City—‘A city on the rise’ munity development with downtown Salt One city at the County’s heart is South Lake and decided that healing the heart re- Salt Lake City, which is the site for one of quired specialists—many specialists. three Homeless Resource Centers to replace On the River’s Edge - Adding a ‘trans- The Road Home homeless shelter downtown. At the County Complex town hall, the Mayor plant’ to traditional master planning To engage the community and get ideas spoke of South Salt Lake in a way unlike any from across the country, in concert with its of the other cities on the tour. “South Salt Lake,” she said, pausing, partner, The Jordan River Foundation, the County elected to host the “On the River’s “It is so close to the heart of downtown, and just by its geography and proximity to Salt Edge” competition. “The purpose of the competition is to Lake—it is a city on the rise. “I have met with other mayors about re-envision a mid-valley section of the Jordan River Parkway,” according to the On the their challenges and opportunities,” she said. “South Salt Lake has more—or as much— River’s Edge website. “Let’s really push the envelope,” is how potential as any community.” “The South Salt Lake partnership has Soren Simonsen, executive director of the Jordan River Commission and member of the been great for me,” added Wilson. She spoke SLCO Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, about teaming with the city on library projects and “an aviary center of sorts,” with “the describes SLCO’s strategy. In order to “become better stewards first-phase opening being not too long from of the Jordan River and the Jordan River now.” “We are very grateful,” indicated South Parkway,” Simonsen told City Journals in a follow-up interview, SLCO looked to add a Salt Lake City Councilman Shane Siwik, transplant to the traditional masterplanning who was in attendance at the town hall, along with council colleague Corey Thomas. l process to truly innovate.
June 2019 | Page 23
Cottonwood softball advances to state quarterfinals By Brian Shaw | email@example.com
ast year, the Cottonwood Colts softball team saw their season end after suffering two second-round losses following a firstround victory at the 5A state tournament. This year, however, under new head coach Jen Riches—who replaced Alyssa Smith, who along with her husband headed back East so that he could attend medical school—the Colts have flipped the script. Instead of winning its first-round state tournament game, this year Cottonwood lost 6-1 to Roy on May 14. But, then the Colts turned around and knocked off Olympus on May 16 in the oneloss bracket in an 8-7 barnburner that saw them post six runs in the first inning before hanging on for the win. Under the new coach Riches then, it’s more of the same—though athletic director Greg Southwick said he was sad to see Smith go. “She’s doing a great job with these kids,” added Southwick who was also in the stands at the Colts’ second-round victory. “She coached under the last coach and her dad was a former coach too, so it’s in the blood, I guess.” In the big win over Olympus, pitcher
Carlie Roberts went the distance for Cottonwood, scattering 15 hits. The Colts (12-10) were buoyed by senior Bailey Mitchell, who in that huge first inning slammed a home run. They also got five doubles from other Colts. Cottonwood, which finished third in Region 7 at 6-4 overall, will now face off against East on May 24 in the one-loss bracket. For the Colts, one more loss means they’ll go home for the summer. But for now, Cottonwood—who plays East after press time—is still alive and hitting. l
Carlie Roberts was one of Cottonwood’s most impactful pitchers this season. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
Motorists take note: lane filtering law comes to Utah By Amy Green | firstname.lastname@example.org
ext time you sit in traffic on State Street and watch a motorcyclist travel down the middle of two lanes of stopped vehicles, don’t fly into road rage. This practice, known as lane filtering, is now legal. The goal is to prevent rear-end collisions between motorcyclists and approaching cars. Utah Highway Patrol has done a thorough job of explaining House Bill 149, a new motorcycle lane filtering law (legal since May 14, 2019), effective throughout the state. A link on the UHP Facebook page explains the law in detail and shows an example of doing it the lawful way. Sergeant Jason Nielsen of the Sandy Police Department encouraged drivers to have motorcycle awareness. “There’s going to be a learning curve. This is something brand new to the state of Utah. Other states have similar things, but this is new to us, so hopefully that learning curve won’t cause any injuries,” Nielsen said. All commuters should be aware of the law and have an extra eye out for motorcyclists. That way, traffic will be a safer group effort. How exactly should it be done? Lane filtering is only legal when: • The posted speed limit is 45 mph or less (never on freeways)
ing in the same direction • The vehicles a motorcycle is passing must be stopped • The motorcyclist speed must be 15 mph or less • Above all, the movement must be made safely • When traffic begins moving again, the motorcyclist must safely merge back into a lane
Street bikers are asked to follow the exact law requirements. “Drivers of any automobile — cars, trucks and motorcycles — need to be patient. Whether people agree with it or not, it’s the law. They’re (motorcyclists) allowed to do it,” Nielsen said. He gave examples of roads where lane filtering would/wouldn’t be permitted. “If it’s on Bangerter Highway, then no.” The speed limit is over 45 there. “But State Street is OK.” The higher speed freeways are illegal places. “The majority of roadways in Salt Lake Valley though, this law falls under,” he said. Dan Smith, assistant parts manager at South Valley Motorsports has been riding street bikes for 20 years. “One scenario is • The road has at least two lanes travel- being stuck in between a couple cars on the
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Lane filtering law comes to Utah. (Amy Green/City Journals)
road, and seeing them on cell phones or doing something, not paying attention. I already know that I’m not going to get seen. Coming up to a stop light, I’ll move myself to the front where I know that when the light turns green, I can get out of any bad situation,” Smith said. If one is motivated to take a motorcycle licensing class, Utah is ready to educate at driver’s ed training facilities for that, too. “There are correct ways to get introduced to the sport, mainly the Utah Rider Education www.utahridered.com has a program for new
riders. They teach you all the appropriate ways to be safe in traffic and how to handle your bike,” Smith added. Seeing motorcycles pass everyone else can feel unfair. That’s not the intent. When done correctly, the lane filtering law has a purpose and a function, meant to protect. Sandy Police Department stats show 24 motorcycle crashes just in Sandy City in 2018, with one fatality recorded. The goal is always zero fatalities. l
S outh Salt Lake City Journal
Summer 2019 filled with community festivals By Joshua Wood | email@example.com
s the school year winds down and summer heats up, festival season takes off and lasts throughout the summer. From the end of May until late August, cities throughout the Salt Lake Valley celebrate community spirit with parades and fireworks along with local traditions unique to each summer event. Check out this schedule of festival events and plan your summer fun.
WESTFEST West Valley Centennial Park| June 13 - 16 • Centennial Park (5405 West 3100 South) • “Your Family, Your Community, Your Festival”—Westfest offers something for everyone. The event includes a parade, 5k and 10k races, vendors and fireworks. From June 13 to 16, enjoy one of the best carnivals in the valley.
FORT HERRIMAN TOWNE DAYS Butterfield Park | June 17 - 22 • Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South) and other locations • Herriman celebrates 20 years of incorporation at this year’s festival. Residents and visitors can show off their talents in the Fort Herriman Days talent show and enjoy the circus and a wide variety of events, including the Yeti Run. The festival also features a home run derby, carnival and more.
TAYLORSVILLE DAYZZ West Valley Regional Park |June 27 - 29 • Valley Regional Park (5100 South 2700 West) This year’s summer festivals will feature plenty of activities for children. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Davis)
SOJO SUMMER FEST South Jordan City Park| May 29 - June 1 • South Jordan City Park (11000 South Redwood Road) • South Jordan City Hall (1600 Towne Center Drive), Heritage Park (10800 South Redwood Road) • With the theme “Where Summer Begins,” South Jordan gets the season off to a classic start with SoJo Summer Fest. Attendees can enjoy summer traditions like the car show and parade on June 1 along with a fun SoJo twist, the Battle of the Bands.
HEART AND SOUL MUSIC STROLL Sugar House | June 8 • 1530 E. 2700 South • Local bands share the healing power of music as friends and family can stroll from house to house listening to various performers. Food trucks and bike rentals will be available. These performers spend the rest of the year playing for audiences who can’t come to the music stroll.
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• Taylorsville offers a blend of the usual summer festival activities along with a musical twist. Festival goers can take in the parade and fireworks, check out the hot rods at the car show, and run the 5k. The event also features performances by the Utah Symphony and the Taylorsville Orchestra.
RIVERTON TOWN DAYS Riverton Rodeo Arean |June 27-29, July 2-4 • Riverton Rodeo Arena (1300 West 12800 South) and City Park (1452 West 12600 South)
with the parade, which is followed by two days of action-packed rodeo activities and then the carnival.
SANDY CITY 4TH OF JULY South Towne Promenade | July 4 • South Towne Promenade (10000 South Centennial Parkway) • “Let Freedom Ring” is the theme of the Sandy City 4th of July festival. The event will once again feature the spikeball tournament, plenty of vendors, games and activities for kids, as well as the parade and fireworks.
FUN DAYS Murray Park |Juy 4 • Murray Park (296 East Murray Park Avenue) • Murray Park is the place to be for the city’s Fun Days on July 4. The day includes a breakfast, parade, 5k run/walk and children’s race. Attendees can also enjoy the chalk art contest, and of course, fireworks.
JULY 4 PARADE & FESTIVAL South Salt Lake | July 4 • Fitts Park (3050 South 500 East) • The City of South Salt Lake offers a pancake breakfast to start off its July 4th parade and festival at Fitts Park. The festivities will also include a 5k and parade.
BUTLERVILLE DAYS Cottonwood Heights| July 26 - 27 • 7500 South 2700 East behind Butler Middle School • Butlerville Days returns with two action-packed days of fun. There will not be a 5k this year, but the popular
• The Riverton Rodeo returns on June 28 to start off Town Days. The event will also feature a parade, carnival, fireworks and movie in the park. To fuel their fun, attendees can take in the chuck wagon breakfast. Contests and activities include spikeball, pickleball, 3-on-3 basketball, yoga in the park and more.
STAMPEDE DAYS West Jordan Rodeo Arena| July 4 - 6 • West Jordan Rodeo Arena (2200 West 8035 South) and Veterans Memorial Park (1985 West 7800 South) • July 4-6 • West Jordan offers a big time rodeo, fireworks, carnival and more during Live music will entertain festival goers all summer Stampede Days. The festival kicks off long. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Davis)
pickleball tournament is back. Attendees can also enjoy the parade, rides and games, the car show, a movie in the park and fireworks.
DRAPER DAYS Draper Park | July 11 - 13, 16, & 19 - 20 • Draper Park (12500 South 1300 East) • Draper Days kicks off with the rodeo July 11–13, then the festival continues with more activities, including the children’s parade on July 16. There will be plenty of tournaments and activities on July 13 when people can compete in pickleball, tennis and basketball. Events on July 19 and 20 include the parade, car show, 5k, concerts and more.
OLD WEST DAYS RODEO Bluffdale Park | July 26 - 27, August 5 - 10 • Bluffdale Park (2400 West 14400 South) • Old West Days kicks off with the rodeo on July 26 and 27. Then a wide variety of activities happen between August 5 and 10 including a parade and the family shindig on Aug. 10.
HARVEST DAYS Midvale City Park | July 29 - August 5 • Midvale City Park (425 East 6th Avenue) • Historic Midvale Harvest Days take place from July 29 to Aug. 5 and will feature block parties, a movie in the park, music and more. The parade, festival and fireworks will take place on Aug. 3 at Midvale City Park.
SANDY BALLOON FESTIVAL Storm Mtn Park |August 9 - 10 • Storm Mountain Park (980 East 11400 South) • Starting at sunrise, the Sandy Balloon Festival will take off from Storm Mountain Park and fill the skies. Activities will fill the rest of the weekend, including the balloon glow on Saturday evening at the South Towne Promenade (10000 South Centennial Parkway).
BLUE MOON ARTS FESTIVAL Holladay City Hall Park |August 24 • Holladay City Hall Park (2300 East 4570 South) • Wrap up the summer in Holladay with the Blue Moon Arts Festival. The event will include live music, arts, food and children’s activities. l
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A behind the scenes look at a Salt Lake Bees game By Christy Jepson | firstname.lastname@example.org
hen fans walk into the Smith’s Ballpark and hear the words “Play ball!” they expect a night full of exciting baseball, tasty food and entertainment. What fans don’t see is the work that goes on behind the scenes that starts weeks, days and hours before the first pitch of each game. It’s the preparation and planning of the groundskeeping department, food and beverage division, and the marketing and communications departments that work together to make a memorable evening for fans coming to the ballpark at 77 W. 1300 South. Nikki Sim is the game operations and marketing manager for the Salt Lake Bees. She is responsible for planning all the onfield and video board promotions, the promotional team and staff, theme nights and giveaways. For Sim, her work begins before the fans enter the gates. She is constantly meeting with the video production team, DJs, the PA announcer and promotion team to go over everything to make sure everyone knows their job. “If everyone is on the same page for videos, promotions, and their responsibilities, things tend to run smoothly. Marketing is very important to a sports team because for the Bees, we want more than the baseball fan to come to a game. We want people who are eager to do something on a warm evening to come to a Bees game and experience more than just baseball,” Sim said. When you are Matthew Greene, the director of operations for Pro Sports Catering and in charge of all food and beverage at Smith’s Ballpark, your work starts anywhere from two days before a big game or the morning of regular games. Just last year,
concessions sold over 25,000 pounds of hot dogs. They also hosted the largest picnic in minor league baseball for a group of 6,000 people. Greene has over 200 employees who work for him in the food and beverage department. “For many employees, this is their first job and it’s great to see them grow up over the summers and then we get their younger siblings. You get to know the families and it is rewarding when the older ones come back from college and make it a point to come say hi,” Greene said. In his duties of director of field operations, Brian Soukup and his crew of two fulltime assistants and two seasonal assistants, make sure the playing field and outside landscaping is in top notch for every home game. For an evening game, Soukup and his team start working at 9 a.m. to make sure the entire field is mowed, then they pack the bullpens, work the mound and plate, clean and drag the track and spend several hours working the infield dirt. According to Soukup, it is not uncommon for his crew to work 14-15 hour days because after games they stay and repair and prepare the field for the next day. Other jobs they do are water the grass, paint grass lines and set up the field for batting practice. “We mow the field every day when the team is in town and every other day when they are out of town. That means we mow our lawn about 200 times a year,” Soukup said. In order to get community members aware of the Salt Lake Bees, Kraig Williams, the communications manager for the Salt Lake Bees, helps with public relations, media relations, community relations and digital
Bumble is the Bees’ mascot and has fun with fans at the games. (Photo credit Brent and Paul Asay)
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Simon Matthews, a Salt Lake Bees pitcher. (Photo credit Brent and Paul Asay)
media. “For me and my team it’s informing people of what is happening at the ballpark that they will enjoy, whether that be through social media to promote an upcoming theme night, setting up media interviews with players that fans would like to know or getting the team and our staff out in the community to help,” Williams said. To these Salt Lake Bees employees, getting fans to games is more than just about baseball. It is trying to make the best experience possible. “We provide more than just baseball,” Sim said. “Children can meet our beloved mascot, Bumble, ride a train, play on a playground, and make memories with their families.”
Both Williams and Soukup agree that the Bees games are an affordable way for families to spend time together. “For example, you can get four tickets and four hot dogs for $24 on Monday nights on our website and it’s a lot of fun for the whole family … For those that aren’t into the game, we have tons of fun promotions and theme nights for all kinds of people,” Williams said. So whether it’s a major league game or a minor league game, every department contributes in different ways to make each Bees game a grand slam for the fans. For more information about the Salt Lake Bees or to buy tickets visit their website at https://www.milb.com/salt-lake/tickets/ l
The Smith’s Produce Race is the most popular on-field promotion at the Salt Lake Bees games. (Photo credit Brent and Paul Asay)
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Competitive youth sports: Training Hard By Catherine Garrett | email@example.com
or the past several years, youth sports have become increasingly competitive and time-consuming with year-round opportunities on various fields of play. Is there a benefit? What is the cost? Over the next two issues, the City Journals will explore the current trends of competitive youth sports with signing up for yearround options at young ages and specializing in sports early versus trying out multiple sports while looking at the effects of the intense training required that can lead to recurring pain in young athletes and burnout. Why children play sports The first thing we need to do with our young athletes, according to Aspen Institute Executive Director Tom Farrey, who authored “Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions Of Our Children,” is to make sure this is what the kids want to do. “Youth sports is a wonderful thing. They’re terrific. We just have to understand that we’re dealing with human beings – little human beings – they’re not miniature adults and we need to listen to what they want.” The number one reason children participate in sports is because it is “fun.” In a study by George Washington University, youth listed 81 definitions of “fun” as social bonds, access to action and coaches treating players with respect. Interestingly, “winning” was the 48th reason and “earning medals” was 67th on the list as far as motivations behind young athletes playing sports. John O’Sullivan, in an article, “Why Kids Play Sports,” recommends that we let young athletes define their level of enjoyment with sports and continue to listen to their perspective throughout our evaluations of their “sporting path.” “As they get older…you might have to tell them that in order to pursue their goals in a sport, they might have to step it up a notch environment wise,” he said. “But when that time comes, let it be their decision to make the jump. If you force it, you may lose them. When we force kids to try out for a high-commitment, performance-pathway sports team, and all they want is to play and be with friends, they will burn out, lose the love of the game, and quit.” O’Sullivan also encourages parents to be patient with the varying levels of growth and performance of our children. “Your nineyear-old soccer player who only made the B team is just fine. Your 11-year-old basketball player who isn’t playing AAU is not a lost cause. Every child develops at different ages and on an individual timeline, and your best contribution is to help them fall in love with a sport so that they actually want to play and practice enough to get good at it” He further states, “The greatest athletics-related gift you can give your child is love of sport. They will take it from there.” As the entire landscape of the competitive youth sports environment has changed
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over the past decade, the one constant through all of this is: kids play sports to have fun, most stay in sports for many years because they are still having fun and a large percentage have left athletic fields because they are not having fun. Demands on young athletes At younger and younger ages, club and accelerated sports leagues options are available which lead youth into spending more time focused on one sport. Aside from the financial burdens that increase at older ages and levels, the intensity of the training for that sport – and sometimes at the exclusion of all other activities – also trends upward. Multi-sport athletes also risk overtraining and overuse with different workouts from different coaches. Despite some benefits of avoiding burnout from one sport and developing different skill sets from various sports, a high demand is put on youth’s bodies with minimal recovery time. This is where the greater cost potentially lies as more and more is being demanded of youth athletes. “Where is the research that more is better? I don’t see it,” said Carolyn Billings, Brigham Young University director of Sport Medicine and head athletic trainer. “We are pushing our youth to train more than some of our college and professional athletes, and it is wrong. Under this system we have created with such a desire for prestige and winning, we are doing a real disservice to these kids. Sports used to be such a positive thing, but we’re losing sight of those life lessons.” George Washington University professor of sports management Mark Hyman said, “The system is now designed to meet the needs of the most talented kids. We no longer value participation. We value excellence.” That demand on the bodies of those in youth sports is taking its toll with injuries that are up 500-700% from 10 years ago, including severe ones. Billings noted that she began her career in 1995 and didn’t see an ACL injury until nine or 10 years later. “Now, I typically don’t see a soccer player who hasn’t had some type of knee injury,” she said. “And those are just some of the results of what’s been happening over the last 15 years.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of young athletes are injured each year with half of those injuries considered preventable. Utahbased Sport Ready co-founder Robin Cecil, a physical therapist of 25 years, said. “Look around. Has an ACL become common? Have you heard your child often complain of pain? Injuries are becoming so common that it is now considered normal. Playing with pain is not normal. Giving our children Tylenol to get them through a game should not be considered normal. The ‘no pain, no gain’ motto was for a different era with different parame-
For the past several years, youth sports have become increasingly competitive and time-consuming with yearround opportunities on various fields of play. Is there a benefit? What is the cost? (Stock photo)
ters. The pains that hurt at night are typically growing pains, but if it’s pains during the day, we need to address it.” Cecil often finds athletes approaching her asking for help and reporting frequent pain. “We know what causes a lot of what’s going on. We need to first recognize that it is a problem and then find ways to place the child back of the center of their own sports experience.” Some things to consider For parents with younger children considering competitive sports: • There is not a magic starting age for competitive sports • Identify your focus. Are you looking to develop your athlete or win at all costs? • Find a system that will allow children to play multiple sports through elementary school. • Understand the early specialization sports, such as gymnastics, diving, figure skating have very complex skills that are able to mastered before maturation, and also the late specialization sports (basketball, soccer, field hockey, tennis). • Consider children’s interests and match sports to children’s temperament, size and level of commitment • Consider the cost For parents with children already in competitive youth sports • Recognize that sports have changed • Recommended guidelines are that a child does not compete or train more hours per week than their age • Understand that playing multiple sports
in the same season when competing in at least one sport at the competitive level leads to greater chances of injury • Consider the benefits of taking two months off each year for specialized athletes • Ensure that athletes are warming up and cooling down with each training and competition. • Ensure that your athlete is hydrate. • Understand that you are the child’s best and most invested advocate. Speak up if your child is in a situation of overtraining and/or is dealing with injuries on a regular basis or burnout. • Understand your role in caring for and monitor your athlete’s health, wellness and workload or make sure the coaches and clubs they play for are doing so. (Compiled from sources including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, John O’ Sullivan, Francois Gazzano, “A Home Team Advantage by Brooke Lench, Sport for Life, Project Play and other health professionals) The competitive youth sports industry pulls at wallets, time, desires, goals at a financial price tag of upward of $15 billion with opportunities of accelerated sports leagues and elite traveling teams and the “possible” college scholarship. This is the cost. Young athletes and parents can weigh the benefits and risks involved with the high-level training it takes to get there. In the July 2019 issue, the City Journals will discuss ways to monitor workload, wellness and injury and burnout to increase the safety of our young athletes within the school and club settings. l
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Cottonwood baseball wins region title in a dogged quest for a state crown By Brian Shaw | firstname.lastname@example.org
or the Cottonwood baseball team, last year’s early exit left a bad, bad taste in their mouths. Now the rest of their opponents have been feeling the pain all season. Whether it was preseason or the regular season, it hasn’t mattered. Over the entire 2019 season, Cottonwood has defeated its opponents by an average score of 10-2. The Colts went 22-3 overall and 14-1 in region play, winning six of those league games by the 10-run rule in five innings or less. What’s even more impressive is that Cottonwood allowed just 29 runs in 15 games in region play. Altogether, the Colts racked up impressive stats en route to another Region 7 crown. While the Colts are happy winning the league hardware—and it will look nice in the Cottonwood High trophy case—the ultimate prize in 2019 is a 5A state championship. Cottonwood was denied last year after winning the 5A state title in 2017. While nobody is out-and-out saying it’s payback time, there’s a sense around the Colts locker room of some unfinished business. And so far in 2019, the Colts have acted like somebody stole their state championship trophy from their trophy case. They have
rolled past their first two opponents at the 5A state playoffs. They 10-run ruled Woods Cross in the state opener May 13, allowing just one hit over five innings in the 10-0 victory. Cottonwood then trounced Maple Mountain 7-1 in the 5A state second round on May 15, showcasing their depth at pitcher and in the field as Ross Dunn gave up five hits. The Colts also scored five runs in the second inning and never looked back, getting a tape measure home run from senior Daniel Gonzalez along with stingy defense to move on comfortably to the winners bracket, where they’ll next face Timpanogos after press time May 21. Of course, for those who recall, this point—the 5A state quarterfinal—is exactly where those wheels began to fall off the school bus that Cottonwood took down Interstate 15 to Utah Valley University. The Colts lost that quarterfinal game 3-0 to Skyridge last May, planting them squarely in the proverbial back seat—or the one-loss bracket—where two games later, they exited the 2018 state tournament in shocking fashion. But the Colts avoided that catastrophe defeating Timpanogos, a team they 10-run
ruled in preseason, by a score of 4-1. The vic- two runs in the bottom of the seventh to setory set up a rematch with region foe and de- cure a spot in the title game on May 24 (after fending state champ, Jordan. In a tight game, deadline). l Cottonwood rallied from 1-0 down scoring
Remember these safety tips during fireworks season
ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24, Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country.
• Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law.
• Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns.
• Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks.
• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
• Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. • Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. • Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. • Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. • Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. • This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside.
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Dylan Reiser fields a grounder during the season. The towering Reiser has been a steady contributor both on the mound and behind the plate. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
• Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. • Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. • Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. • Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. • Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles.
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Salt Lake County’s Welcoming City tackles racism, encourages healing through stories By Jennifer J. Johnson | email@example.com
n presenting the State of the County speech at the end of March, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson praised the county’s becoming a certified Welcoming City for incoming refugees and existing minority populations. This honor credits the County’s providing rich resources for refugees and a host of other factors. The county ratcheted up its welcoming status April 26, by joining in the YWCA’s pledge against racism in a public way. The Salt Lake County Office of Diversity and Inclusion sponsored a Stand against Racism community luncheon, in concert with YWCA/Utah, anchored by written educational materials and a panel discussion about racism with a question and answer session. “Racism is a form of discrimination, based on … generalized differences between groups … and that those differences … make one group, or groups, inherently superior over others … making us inherently different and unequal,” reads the definition of racism, per County materials. Panelists comprised young people of color, ranging from millennial-aged professionals and college students, to a member of Generation Z, a Kearns High School sophomore (millennials are defined as those born between the years of 1982-1996. Generation Z or Gen Z are born 1997 and later.) Panelists shared experiences with the pain and confusion of racism as well as the restorative, strengthening healing of positive role models, all here in Salt Lake County. The 90-minute session explored issues ranging from racism to role models, from stereotypes to starting over, from institutional change to personal responsibility. The program included encouraging participants to stand and read aloud the anti-racism pledge. Attendees were also treated to hearing the pledge recited in both Spanish and Japanese, by local residents. Provocative audience questions — and statements masquerading as questions — ranged from requesting an apology from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its previous discriminatory policies regarding black members to a Sugar House man questioning why he is branded a white nationalist, amid his professed cultural awareness, to a refugee mother wondering how to answer her children’s asking, “Why are we black?” From racism to role models Abandoning wearing the hijab headdress, customary as an expression of her Muslim religion and culture, became a protection strategy and coping mechanism for South Salt Lake-based Muslim licensed clinical social worker and therapist Faeiza Javed who works in Murray. Javed, however, leverages this as a strength in her counseling practice. “I learned how to navigate my multiple identities,” she
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noted in her Psychology Today bio, “which helps me be present with my clients and understand their issues.” “Racism? I don’t think it will ever disappear, that’s just how it is,” said Michael F. Iwasaki, a Japanese-American attorney practicing in Salt Lake City for the State of Utah. Latina high school student Susana Lemus, a sophomore at Kearns High School, indicated “feeling really welcomed” here in Salt Lake County. Local role models In terms of the Salt Lake experience for the young panelists, Emerald Greene, an African-American graduate student at the University of Utah, observed, “Having people who look like us in positions of power” as “representation” is helpful. Greene cited the County’s own Emma E. Houston, director of the Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as a local role model. Greene, who resides in Salt Lake City, works as an intern for Houston’s office. What about role models who are not employers? Lemus and Michael F. Iwasaki both credited their parents. Iwasaki,a fourth-generation Asian-American, also included his grandparents among his role models. Javed indicated finding role models on social media as a source of solace. With regards to the Salt Lake environment in specific, like co-panelist Greene, Javed pointed to someone right there in the room: “Luna Banuri, now there is a powerhouse,” she said, crediting the local activist participating on the Utah Muslim Civic League and Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. The temperature of racism – Anecdotal insights with an eye toward data The best way to help fight racism, is to “give up a seat at the table,” according to Kwamane O. Harris, an African-American man who works for Planned Parenthood in Salt Lake and has a bachelor’s in criminal justice. For Harris, giving up a seat at the table translates to businesses and organizations proactively seeking to ensure diversity in decision-making, “giving a voice and listening … then they can talk about things they need.” Iwasaki indicated that media attention to racism is helping combat the problem as is proactive action such as the passage of hatecrimes legislation this past legislative session, here in Utah. Having already been complimented as a mentor for people of color, audience member and Avenues resident Luna Banuri challenged the panel and the audience to question racism through data. “There has been an increase in hate crimes across the country,” she stated. “We need to rally as a community and create institutional ways to address issues.” Banuri
Director of the Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Emma E. Houston ensured the “Stand against Racism” community dialogue was a “safe space” for questions ranging from white nationalism to perceived church bigotry. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)
followed up with City Journals, providing information about anti-Muslim hate crimes. According to FBI data, such crimes targeted against Muslims are continuing to rise, approaching the highest incidence of crimes, just after the 9-11 tragedy. Another mentor credited by panelists, Salt Lake County’s Emma E. Houston, a Sugar House resident, whose office sponsored the event, recommended a personal engagement approach to help thwart racism and offered the services of her own office. Responding to a refugee woman’s angst at hearing her children feel their teachers do not value them, she said, “Go to the school. Have a conversation. Take the temperature.” Houston indicated her office’s CODA – Council of Diversity Affairs – can be a support for those in need of knowing where to even begin the conversation with the school, or even with their own children.
check ‘Hispanic,’ proudly.”
See diversity, as opposed to color All five members of the panel disagreed with the idea of bringing races together within a human race, by ignoring color. “My ethnicity makes me unique and proud about who I am,” emphasized Harris. “The problem is, [that] we are fearful of difference(s) – that’s the mindset and the ideology that needs to change,” asserted Javed. “I am proud to be Japanese-American,” shared Iwasaki. “In a perfect world, you wouldn’t see color, you would see diversity.” And again, from the youngest panelist, Lemus: “When the box comes, I’m going to
Stand against racism – no hate, no fear The YWCA Pledge against racism is available at standagainstracism.org/. For more information about standing against racism and being part of Salt Lake’s certified Welcoming County, contact the Salt Lake County Office of Diversity and Inclusion by reaching out to Emma Houston at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join CODA, the Council on Diversity Affairs, to make a difference in the community at www.SLCO.Org/Diversity. l
Moving forward, together A lasting a ha moment of the panel question and answer session came when Kearns sophomore Lemus, started to make a comment about older people, then stopped, recognizing what she self-branded as ageist assumptions, apologized and moved on. “When it comes to diversity, we need to love it,” said event moderator Lance Paul Keen Brady-Sayer, who, himself, said he, a person supposedly attenuated to concerns of minority populations, realized what he considered his own lack of racial sensitivity in asking a Native American friend about their plans to celebrate the Fourth of July. “I do not think you can un-learn racism,” said African American University of Utah graduate student Greene, “but you can definitely learn how to be an advocate for your own information.”
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Money, get away
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o you know what the first day of summer (June 21) means for a music lover like myself? Summer concerts! Utah, surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly?), has an amazing music scene. From rock shows, to country extravaganzas, to electronic music festivals, to rap concerts, to musicals, to recitals; we’ve got it going on. When purchasing tickets, concertgoers have a few different options. You can purchase tickets through one of the most popular local ticket vendors: Smithstix. Alternatively, you might seek out tickets from TicketMaster, VividSeats, Songkick, Stubhub, or other similar websites. Or, you might buy tickets directly from the venue. For example, if a show is at The Complex or Eccles Theater, you can visit their website and purchase tickets there. The final option is to buy tickets at the door (or maybe even from scalpers). After spending years refining the craft of buying tickets for the best price possible, the best advice I can give is: it depends. I know, I know, that’s not the answer you were hoping
for. Here’s why: it depends on how much the tickets are, how excited you are to see the artist, and when/where/and how long the show is. When considering buying concert tickets, I recommend answering the following question: how much do you care about seeing the performance? Usually, that answer has some follow-up questions. Have you been waiting to see this artist/band/show? If so, how long have you been waiting? Do you know song lyrics (if there are lyrics)? Would your life benefit from seeing the artist/band/ show live? Or will it be better to only know them from their videos, televised concerts, etc.? After gauging your desire to attend the show, figure out how much you would be willing to pay for a ticket. If it’s someone like Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney, are you willing to pay in the triple digits? If it’s someone local, or niche, are you willing to pay $20? Maybe $40? Once you have an acceptable number in your head, go ahead and search for those tickets, but not before. At this point, if you find the desired ticket is about $10 below your acceptable price range, go ahead and snag that ticket. Allow for that $10-$20 flexibility, because online vendors will charge various service fees. Smithstix has at least three different service fees, generally totaling around $15.
Or, if you find the ticket is a little over your price range, but your desire to attend far outweighs the cost, make sure to buy early. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you want to go to a show, but it sold out quickly, so now all the tickets are over $200, when they were originally around $40. No one wants that. If the ticket is not in your desired price range, and you’re not sure if you really want to go, you have some options. Buying at the door isn’t a bad one. The awesome thing about buying tickets at the door is the absence of service fees. If a show is going to be $20 at the door, I can bring a $20 bill and be just fine. Not like when a website says it’s going to be $20, then all of a sudden, it’s $35 because of fees. However, if you wait to buy your ticket at the door, there’s the possibility that the show could sell out. And then you’re back to the question, how much do you care about seeing the performance? Is it worth potentially missing it? If you’re looking for shows or performances to attend, sign up for newsletters. There are places on many websites where you can sign up for pre-sales. Additionally, some ticket vendors, Live Nation for example, will occasionally have $20 ticket weeks, where they list a handful of shows for $20 a ticket. Those are an absolute steal!
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ne of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I think of this when I’m feeling glitchy, when my processor runs slow, my memory won’t upload and I can’t download complete, coherent sentences. When my energy drains like a cell phone battery, that’s the sign I’ve neglected my mental health for too long. I get snappy with my husband to the point he tells me to get out of the house and come back when I can act like a grown-up. After flipping him the bird, I pout to my car. Self-care isn’t just bath bombs and margaritas. Bath bombs dissolve too quickly and margaritas only get me into trouble. Selfcare is tapping into activities that recharge your energy levels. This might mean asking for help (I know, a woman’s ultimate sign of weakness) or finding more time for yourself. Ordering pizza Monday nights is just fine. Jogging through the park is just fine. Hiding under your bed eating Hershey kisses is just fine. Telling your family you’re going to get ice-cream, then taking a monthlong drive through the Andes is on the border of just fine. The point is, find your own self-care routine. This should involve spending time alone. I’m sure in the 1600s, women who practiced self-care were burned at the stake. Why would a woman want to be alone when she gets to care for a 75-year-old husband
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and 10 children? She must be a witch. I must admit, coming home from work I’ve had the thought, “I have so much to do tonight. I can’t even.” Then I drive around listening to self-help audiobooks until I can face life again. Sometimes self-care is hiding in the bathroom with a magazine for 30 minutes because if the kids ask for One. More. Thing. they’ll find themselves living in the garden shed for three months. Every woman’s self-care routine is different. Some women wear face masks while they create a vision board they hope will teleport them to a mansion in Newport Beach where they’ll frolic with a Hemsworth brother. Some women need a hammock, a book and a set of earplugs. And DIY facial scrubs might get your skin glowing, but your mental health needs some polishing, too. Women are so good at controlling everything. Well, women are so good at trying to control everything. Stress does not equal control. Worry does not equal control. You going out of your friggin’ mind is not control. Self-care is a mental practice that involves 1) saying “No” once in a while, 2) saying “Yes” once in a while, 3) not berating yourself, 4) taking plenty of naps, 5) noticing when you’re running on fumes and 6) the occasional margarita. It’s about accepting who you are. Unless you eat Miracle Whip. Then you might need to reevaluate your life. How often do you play? How often do you sleep? Are you so attached to the white-
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