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April 2017 | Vol. 27 Iss. 04


RIVERTON ART’S COUNCIL’S ‘ANNIE’ circulates timely message

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“We are back to the point where we need this message because we don’t understand each other,” Ostler said. “We’re at that point where we think people are aliens if they don’t understand our own ideology or political party, and that’s not where we need to be at. This musical teaches that.” Ostler’s vision reverberated with Todd Young, who plays Warbucks. The actor, who has portrayed multiple lead roles in theaters throughout the valley, took a four-year hiatus from theater to focus more on his family. He said it was a wonderful experience to come back to the stage with such a timely show. “It’s a show of a little girl bringing hope to a nation that is struggling through cultural and national issues, and it is a message of hope that all of us can have,” he said. “You can see the sunshine through whatever might happen.” Other aspects of the show also made an impression on Young and his fellow cast members. Young, a father of four, knows how to be what he called the

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

red-headed 11-year-old, 125 singers and dancers and an elaborate set brought a piece of 1930s New York City to 2017 Riverton in March. Riverton Art’s Council’s “Annie” director, Kim Ostler, said it was her vision to capture the depression era as a learning tool for the cast and the audience by bringing Franklin Roosevelt and mentions of other historical figures to the Sandra N. Lloyd community center stage through the classic musical script about an optimistic orphan. “I want people to understand what it was like then because history repeats itself,” she said. The play follows an orphan named Annie as she leaves her crooked orphanage manager Miss Hannigan to visit millionaire Oliver Warbucks for Christmas. Through her cheerful attitude, she gives hope to a cynical Warbucks and unites people of all different personality types— including the president, a democrat, and Warbucks, a republican.

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“soft daddy” character Warbucks becomes but worked a little harder to find the “tough, in-charge, nobody-ever-broke-thisexterior” man that Warbucks starts out as. To own this character, Young ran lines with his older children, Parker and Alexia, who were also in the show with him. Spending time together with his kids was the most enjoyable part of the show, he said. Young and his wife met performing in Riverton Arts Council’s “West Side Story” 15 years ago, so having the kids be part of a Riverton play brought things full-circle, he said. Elizabeth Birkner, who was one of the two girls cast as Annie, said developing her character helped her feel happier and “never fully dressed without a smile,” like the lyrics to one of the play’s songs. “It’s hard to get in the Annie mindset,” she said. “But I’d try to think about how I could make it without my parents and still be happy.” The 11-year-old said she fully embodied her character by dyeing her once-blonde hair to a bright red and using Annie-like phrases such as “Golly” and “Leaping lizards” when talking with her friends at school. Kathleen Higgins, who played Hannigan in Elizabeth’s cast, said Elizabeth was great to work with, even though she couldn’t let on to that on stage. Her angry, loud and outrageous character is bitter toward the orphans she’s in charge of, yet Higgins found a connection to this mean lady. “I just didn’t think she was all bad, and I wanted to create some human-ness with the character,” she said. Instead of yelling all her lines, Higgins chose to create a goofier persona for Hannigan. “Because of that goofiness, I brought some of myself to the part,” Higgins said. And even when it wasn’t part of her character, Higgins said she brought a bit of goofy character to the stage. In the last scene, Hannigan, feet in tow, is dragged off the stage by some of Warbucks’ servants. With wide eyes and big facial expressions, Higgins portrays Hannigan’s dismay at this situation, though Higgins herself said this as her favorite incident in the play. This motion to get her off the stage is not written in the script. Originally, the servants were to escort Hannigan out of the scene, but Higgins, who was on crutches for several weeks while the show was in practice, dropped them on the ground one practice and let the servants drag her off the stage. Ostler liked

Magic tricks teach life skills . . . . . . Riverton controversial rezone denied. Herriman updates on general plan . . Local writers place in teen contest . .

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PAGE 2 | APRIL 2017


Local instructor uses magic tricks to teach life skills By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com The South Valley City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout South Valley. The South Valley Journal covers news for Herriman, Bluffdale, and Riverton. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

The South Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Tori La Rue tori@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Steve Hession steve@mycityjournals.com 801-433-8051 Josh Ragsdale josh.r@mycityjournals.com 801-824-9854 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Tina Falk Ty Gorton South Valley Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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

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Jack Fenn, 9, watches as his magic instructor, Mont Dutson, performs a trick at the J.L. Sorenson Recreation Center in Herriman. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

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

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 3


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PAGE 4 | APRIL 2017

Just serve: a new way to volunteer


By Tiffany Webb | t.webb@mycityjournals.com


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olunteering in the community may have become easier thanks to a new website formed to help those wanting to volunteer find service projects that match their interests and qualifications. Briefly during the Feb. 27 city council meeting, Sheril Garn, Parks and Recreation director, mentioned that justserve.org is now available to Riverton residents who want to find service projects in the community. Mayor Bill Applegarth provided the South Valley Journal with information about the Just Serve initiative in Riverton boundaries. The website, which was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is still new. It allows people to see what service projects are available within and outside their city. “It is a tool for the community, not just members of the LDS church, to look for service projects within the community,” Applegarth said. A ZIP code is all that’s needed for the site to determine what service projects are available in the nearby area. There is also the capability to step out of the city boundaries and find volunteer service projects in other cities as well. “You can register if you want, but you can also just go on the site to see what they

have there,” Applegarth stated. “Its just such a wonderful concept to me.” According to Applegarth, there is a wide range of volunteer opportunities available on the site. The site might include, for example, opportunities to deliver weekly groceries from the food bank to those in need or take cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Applegarth mentioned that there’s project listed in Bulffdale in April to help put playground equipment together. Currently, Riverton City leaders are working with Just Serve to gather information about service projects within Riverton and to upload those to the website. According to Applegarth, there will be different kinds of

park projects throughout Riverton. If settings are set within 25 miles of the users ZIP code, there are hundreds of service opportunities in Riverton’s surrounding cities to choose from. “Its not just LDS church projects— it’s community members, nonprofit and governmental agencies,” Applegarth said. “Its just a wonderful clearing house to be able to serve the public.” To Applegarth, the Riverton citizens are very giving. He said they show this through the service projects they get involved in, using the middle school and high school Christmas charity drives as examples. “My observation of Riverton citizens is they are a very giving, service-oriented, volunteer-oriented group of people,” Applegarth said. “I feel that Riverton citizens do a lot of service, and this is just another tool to help them do what they do so well.” Anyone can visit the justserve.org website and search for great service project opportunities. Whether it be helping out in the parks by cleaning up, planting trees or helping struggling readers in elementary schools, Riverton has opportunities for volunteer work. 



Youth dancers compete to benefit hungry children By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

A solo dancer performs at the 2017 Will Dance For Food Competition, More than 150 solo, duo and trio dance routines which benefits the local food bank. (Tori La Rue/City Journals) were performed at the Will Dance For Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)


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

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

raised $60,000 for the Utah Food Bank’s Kids Cafe and BackPack programs. The Kids Cafe program provides 1,900 meals to low-income students at after-school sites on weekdays. The BackPack program provides backpacks full of food to students who might not otherwise have meals over the weekend. “Once I heard this competition would go to help kids who were less advantaged than me, I thought this would be really amazing to participate,” said 12-year-old hip-hop dancer Alexus Lewis from South Jordan. “I love these competitions, but I feel like if I could help someone, that would be really, really awesome.” Alexus’ solo hip-hop routine was one of the 600 routines adjudicated during the Will Dance for Food Competition. Although Alexus said she wanted to win the competition, she said she also realized that just participating meant giving back to the community. Before Olivia Yates, a 12-year-old from Salt Lake City’s The Dance Project, entered the auditorium stage to perform her Broadway-style duo-dance called “Set Myself Free,” she stretched while reflecting on what the competition meant for her. “I like being on stage, but even more it’s cool to be doing my favorite thing while helping someone out,” she said. The 2017 competition was Olivia’s sixth time participating in the Will Dance for Food Competition, which means she was one of the original participants. In the six years that the Will Dance for Kids Program and its Will Dance for Food Competition have been around,

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

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 5


PAGE 6 | APRIL 2017


Draper Historic makes ‘Little Mermaid’ part of your world By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com


n a display of color and costume, the Draper Historic Theatre’s production of “The Little Mermaid” brought the Disney classic to life. Based on the movie, “The Little Mermaid” tells the story of the mermaid Ariel who makes a deal with a sea witch to become human in order to be with Eric, a prince she has fallen in love with. Director Marc Navez described “The Little Mermaid” as his favorite Disney movie of all time. “I wanted to direct it and I said, ‘Let’s get it on stage and show what little Draper Historic Theatre could do with the tiny stage and still be under the sea,’” Navez said. When he was casting the show, Navez said he looked for people who could pay tribute to the roles and could seem like they walked out of the movie. “They could be Ariel or they could be Eric,” Navez said. “They were people you already knew so you could already love the characters.” The hardest part of putting the production together was combining the theater’s old technology with recent technological additions made through donations. “We got three new LED light strips donated to us and a brand new sight screen in the back and having to deal with that and having this brand new technology paired with our 50-year-old technology and its clashing, and figuring out that meshing and having a performance ready was probably the biggest challenge,” Navez said. The show opened with the lights going down and a blue screen shinning on the back. Actors dressed as fish “swam” out onto the stage in silhouette and ended with Ariel grabbing a fork that was flung off a boat by Eric. This intricate opening was Navez’s favorite part of the show.

The production was double cast with the main characters being played by different actors on different nights. The role of Ariel in cast B was Erica Glenn. “It’s funny, the girl who is double cast opposite of me was my understudy in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ this last summer with the Lehi Arts Council,” Glenn said. “It’s kind of fun that we both found our way here and both ended up getting cast across from each other.” Glenn said she was drawn to the character of Ariel because she is such a fun character and so different than other Disney princesses. “A lot of ingénues and Disney princesses are a little bit blah, especially the older ones, and she was start of the new wave of princesses where they’ve got a little bit of spunk. They’ve got a little bit of inner rebellion they’ve got to deal with,” Glenn said. “This is also a fun role because almost the entire second act is pantomimed. It requires a whole different set of skills. And she has a very distinct personality, which is fun.” Glenn said the hardest part of the production is the amount of work necessary to pull off the spectacle and other-worldliness of being set under the sea. “Figuring out those elements and figuring out how to work on the stage to make sure everything goes smoothly is probably the trickiest part,” Glenn said. In prepping for the role, Glenn said she resisted the urge to watch the Disney movie but instead tried to get into the head of a 16-year-old girl. “I did a lot of thinking about her character and how she kind of matures over the course of the show. I think of her in terms of her relationships; her relationship with her dad is really key and obviously her developing relationship with the prince and her relationship with

The classic Disney tale was brought to life at the Draper Historic Theatre. (Draper Historic Theatre)

Sebastian and her relationship with Flounder,” Glenn said. “To me, that’s what drives the show, those developing relationships.” Jared Campbell played the role of Eric in cast B. Campbell was previously in “Into the Woods” in October at the Draper Historic Theatre and was asked to come back and audition for Eric. Campbell described the character as being a big dreamer. “He wants to be something other than what he is. He’s a prince in line for the crown and he doesn’t want to,” Campbell said. “He continued on next page…


S OUTHV ALLEY JOURNAL.COM wants to be a simple sailor. He wants to be out on the sea, which is kind of funny with him and Ariel and their paths crossing.” While preparing for the role, Campbell also avoided watching the movie because he didn’t want to copy that version of Eric. Instead, Campbell dove into the script. “I read through the script a few times and figured out how Eric works with me. How am I going to portray Eric? What do I really feel? I was trying to get inside of his character,” Campbell said. “I was really going through that. And then really being able to interact with the other actors on the stage was a big thing in developing my character.” For Campbell, the most tender part of the show is the song “If Only.” While not in the original movie, it was added to the Broadway production. The song is a quartet between Ariel, Eric, Sebastian and King Triton. “It’s a big developing moment for them. It’s a moment where everything is shifting where they’re realizing what is going to happen and what is about to change,” Campbell said. “It’s this really tender moment where they’re really expressing their longings.” For more information about the Draper Historic Theatre and future productions, visit http://drapertheatre.org. 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 7

Living Planet Aquarium takes up yoga


By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com

manda Jones says she’s found her calling. After a yearlong process, Jones has begun a program of teaching yoga classes at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper. Jones’ classes began in January in the shark tank viewing room and then, on Feb. 18. expanded into the Journey to South America gallery. She focuses on an all levels of vinyasa flow. “We started with Yoga with the Sharks, and that was a big hit but I noticed this space and I always feel so good and my muscles feel so relaxed in this rainforest space. You can breathe in that fresh humid air right from the tropical plants and have the ambiance of live, free-flying birds,” said Jones. “I feel that Utahns will appreciate the nice reprieve from our dry, yucky air by coming in here to this atrium environment.” Jones, who has been practicing as a certified yoga teacher for three years as well as spent five years as a volunteer, specializes as a hatha yoga instructor and meditation coach, which focuses more on de-stressing and achieving a peaceful mind. Vinyasa yoga focuses on the flow between each pose, moving from Asana to Asana rather than calmly setting into a pose. Vinyasa coordinates movement with breathing, making it faster-paced than traditional hatha yoga. Jones is grateful to have finally found her “niche,” as she calls it. Her journey to it began a

year and half before her first Yoga with the Sharks class, when she was suffering from postpartum depression. “I would bring my son here and the shark tunnel was so tranquil, it kind of erased all of my depression symptoms. I just had to show people how tranquil they can get when actually surrounded by nature.” “I saw it on Facebook and it appealed to me,” said Corinne Adair, an attendee. “The instructor seems really personable.” Attendees of the Rainforest Yoga class were asked to find a spot on the top floor platform of the South American exhibit while brightly colored tropical birds flew freely overhead. Dozens of mats were laid out while people of all ages and physical types listened to the sound of birds and flowing water while Jones walked them through meditative movements, asking them questions like, “Who am I?” Cassie Dalton, who started doing yoga six years ago, said, “I like yoga and this sounded cool. I like the humidity, especially compared to the Utah desert.” Jones has hopes that through her classes, her students decide to make changes for the better, both in their lives and the world around them. “I think we need a lot more environmental awareness, especially given Utah’s air, and I like to get people into yoga and meditation because it gives

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Amanda Jones guides through each pose while attendees listen to the sound of tropical birds and waterfalls. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)

them more self-awareness and more compassion,” said Jones. “And to get them doing yoga in an environment that’s so striking as the South American rainforest, maybe they’ll make that connection, hey, I can make a difference and do little things to ease the burden on our environment.” Shelby Dobson, public relations manager for the aquarium, said they are very pleased to be able to offer these classes and are happy with the response, as each have sold out quickly. “A little sweat from the humidity and a little sweat from the yoga and you’ll be detoxed in no time,” said Jones. “The aquarium really provides such an amazing environment for people to come and learn.” For more information about the yoga classes or to register, visit http://www.thelivingplanet.com/ essential_grid/yoga/. 

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PAGE 8 | APRIL 2017


Controversial rezone denied at 11800 South and 4000 West By Tiffany Webb | t.webb@mycityjournals.com


nother application to rezone the property located at 11800 S. and 4000 West was denied at the March 7 city council meeting. Currently, the property at 11800 S. and 4000 West is zoned for a church facility at the south end. Approximately 10 acres to the north of the church property was up for rezone from R-3, which are third acre lots to R-4, which are fourth acre lots at the March 7 city council meeting. There have been several rezone applications for this property. Back on June 4, 2013, it was approved from R-4 to R-3. Once again on Nov. 17, 2015, there was a rezone application submitted to have it zoned back to an R-4 designation. This was denied. Then, this past Jan. 3, there was another application for rezone from R-3 to R-4 and CG, a mix of residential and commercial, which was also denied by the council. During the Mar. 7 council meeting, another rezone application for the same property stood before the council. This one asked to have it rezoned from R-3 to R-4 without the commercial designation that was suggested at the Jan. 3 meeting. According to Jason Lethbridge, the community development director of Riverton City, the planning commission forwarded a denial recommendation to the city council. Paul Bringhurst, a Riverton resident that represents the applicant, Ron Martinez, spoke during the public hearing at the March 7, commenting on issues brought up by residents at the planning commission meeting. Some residents stated that having smaller homes would diminish property value and that they would have the potential to attract crime to the area. Bringhurst said he thought these concerns were invalid. “I would think that we would want to provide housing choices,” Bringhurst said. “I would think we would be all-inclusive and

Photo from slide show presented at the city council meeting on March 7. An aerial view of the area requesting to be rezoned. (Riverton City)

include a demographic of diverse incomes and that we would want to support different housing choices.” Resident Wade Davis, who lives close to the property up for rezone, spoke during the public hearing on March 7 as well. “I can sense a lot of frustration, a lot of nerves,” he said. “You can sense that in the room. All of us feel it, which is not a good feeling.” Davis also spoke about how the extra homes added to the area

with the fourth acre lots would add more children to Midas Creek Elementary School. In addition to the facts Davis presented, he also presented a petition that was signed by 52 people to keep the property zoned at third acre lots. To back Davis’ statement, Councilwoman Tricia Tingey commented on the issue of Midas Creek Elementary issue. “Any extra impact to that school will make it more crammed than it already is. The impact of nine extra houses is an impact. That will add a full extra classroom of students to that school which is an extra classroom that they do not have.” Tingey said. One thing can be said of all residents that spoke during the council meeting. They are wanted the development to be used for housing purposes instead of for commercial purposes. Resident Terry Hunter felt that the sooner houses go in, the better it will be for the because they won’t need to defend this piece of land. Hunter went on to state her opinion that if there aren’t houses built soon, there will be more rezone applications submitted. She said she believes that the longer it takes to build homes, the more probable it will be for commercial developments to try and move in. Tingey made the motion to deny the application to rezone from R-3 to R-4 with a second to deny the motion made by Councilman Brent Johnson. Before a roll-call vote could be carried through, however, Councilman Sheldon Stewart made a substitute motion to approve the application with a second from Councilman Trent Staggs. The substitute motion failed in a 3-2 vote, and the original motion to deny the application passed with a 3-2 vote. With the rezone denied, the lot that has garnered many frustrations still remains an R-3 zone that allows third acre lots. 


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PAGE 10 | APRIL 2017


Rezone near future CenterCal development passed unanimously By Tiffany Webb | t.webb@mycityjournals.com


36-acre area at 4245 W. 12600 South may be lined with townhomes, cottage-style homes and senior housing in the future. After many meetings with the planning commission and developers, the Riverton City Council passed a rezone on a 36-acre of property from planned commercial to RM14-SD/EHOV at the Feb. 21 meeting. This new zoning means one section may have townhomes up to 14 units per square acre; another section can have cottage-style housing up to eight units per square acre; the last area can have elderly housing. “All that I have spoke to are in favor of this, for this use.” Doug Young, the applicant for this rezone said of the residents around the property being rezoned. According to Jason Lethbridge, Riverton City community development director, the applicant can choose to do more cottage-style houses on this property, should he make that decision. However, Young cannot choose to encroach on the area designated for the cottagestyle homes to put in more townhomes—that would require another rezone to be approved by the council. “As we continue our market study, we would prefer to have more cottage-style

Exhibit B from the slide show presented at the city council meeting on Feb. 21, a proposed layout of the property at 4245 W. 12600 South (Riverton City)

homes than anything, so we are keeping an open mind,” Young said. “We want to have price points in here for three different groups of residents in the community. It makes for a healthy environment.” Having this area zoned for planned commercial use for so long has allowed a certain preservation of the land. According to Young, this is not typical for cities. “I see it over and over in many cities that they don’t preserve a chunk of ground like this for something that is spectacular, and you have

certainly set the table for that,” Young said. The new zoning of this property would also allow a seamless transition into the back of the new CenterCal mixed-use project that will help the city reach build out. This would allow easy access to the amenities and transit stations that CenterCal will offer. In addition to this proposed rezone, Young’s application included an increase of stone or brick from 25 percent to 35 percent. Young also said he would like to incorporate a trail system connection from

Come in to see our NEW

Exhibit A from the slide show presented at the city council meeting on Feb. 21 for the area being rezoned. (Riverton City)

his development to the retail section of the CenterCal project. “Thank you for your support,” Young said to the council after the application for the rezone passed unanimously. “This is just the beginning of this area. We are excited about it, and you won’t be disappointed.” An HOA is proposed for the future homeowners of the 36-acre land stretch. 

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Herriman cracks down on code enforcement By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 11

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Herriman’s city council recently approved the hiring of an administrative hearing officer to help keep the city in order. (Herriman City)


erriman residents with tall weeds or clutter in their yards could be facing fines after the city council approved citations for code violations and hired an administrative officer to review these claims. In Herriman, it’s against city code for residents to have weeds taller than 6 inches in their yards, deposit or accumulate dirt or similar materials on the public right of way, keep inoperable vehicles in their yard, park in the roadway during snowy conditions or place their own signage on utility poles. However, these laws are commonly violated, according to city Public Information Officer Tami Moody. “We used to just talk with people and make requests with people who were in violations with city code, but city leaders started thinking maybe there needs to be a little more depth, a little more meat and potatoes, behind the violation for it to be impactful and create change,” she said. In addition to giving notice violations, city leaders will now allow code enforcement officials to issue civil citations and fines for noncompliance. Moody said city leaders believe this will allow code enforcement officials to correct problems faster and avoid involving police and other public safety personnel who have more pressing matters. This ruling came after another on Feb. 8 that allowed animal control officers to issue civil citations for animal violations. Before the Feb. 8 change, officers could only issue verbal warnings or criminal citations relating to animal violations, so the new ordinance gives animal control an intermediate option for violations. An administrative hearing officer will and hear from residents who have received a citation either from animal control or code enforcement. The hearing officer can adjust a citation as he or she sees requisite. Herriman officials have hired Greg Christiansen, Taylorsville’s hearing officer, to fill this role. This is an as-needed service, so Christiansen will only be paid if there is a hearing for him to attend. Christiansen visited Herriman City work meetings to talk with the city council about his position at Taylorsville. He said he’s seen Taylorsville’s community become more beautiful and safer since they started to enforce the code more thoroughly. The code enforcement

fines also brought $120,000 to Taylorsville city last year, he said. Although people may not see the benefit in keeping the community beautiful, Christiansen said the looks of a city go along way in determining property values. Herriman City Councilwoman Nicole Martin said she thinks that’s a valuable reason to enforce city code. “Your home is your single biggest investment, and it is very frustrating when you are in a neighborhood and you can have one person who has no respect for the ordinance in the city in which they chose to live and by extension it is hurting the property values around them,” she said. “This is not fair and not right. So for me it has little to nothing to do with the money other than the fact that it serves as an incentive for them to do what they should do without the fines.” Martin continued to say that she thinks creating civil citations for code violations is a good idea because it establishes a standard of living for the city for years to come. Code violation is not a huge issue currently, but creating a culture where people take care of their property will prevent city leaders from needing to adopt harsher policies later, she said. Christiansen, who has worked with West Valley City on code enforcement in the past, said that city’s main challenge is trying to fix the code violations that have been going on for decades. “You’ll be driving down the street, and there will be an extremely well-manicured lawns on one street, and then on the next street you feel like you are in some suburb of LA,” Christiansen said about West Valley. “The city is trying, but I think the culture that they created from the beginning is going to be really hard to change. They are doing a great job to try to overcome that, but it is a challenge.” Herriman is at an optimal time in its lifespan to adopt these code enforcement citations to create a culture for the future, he said. Mayor Carmen Freeman said he’d like the city staff to look into the city code to discover changes that they could make to catch code mishaps before they become a problem. Code enforcement is likely to be a topic on the council agenda in meetings to come, Moody said. 

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PAGE 12 | APRIL 2017



Herriman leaders consider updates to the general plan



By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

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erriman officials are creating a new blueprint for the city by updating the general plan that was adopted in 2013. A city’s general plan acts as the vision for future physical development by describing land uses and foretelling where those land uses should be located. These land use divisions are decided based on preserving community identity, managing growth and density, improving the physical environment of the city and other factors. The biggest reason for Herriman’s general plan update is to extend the city’s land use map to include recently annexed properties, such as the 500-acre Dansie property at approximately 13100 S. and 7000 West, and properties that could be annexed in the future, according to City Planner Bryn McCarty. The proposed land use for the Dansie property is mostly agricultural and residential use. Should nearby land owners decide to annex into Herriman to develop their land, the new general plan would help them to know what the city would like to see in these areas, McCarty said. Other proposed changes to the general plan include changing some planned mixed use areas to commercial, creating an area designated for business park and creating a new medium-density residential category that would allow the city to differentiate between places where the city would like to find townhomes compared to apartments. “Previously, they were all lumped into one category,” McCarty said. “Anything eight units per acre and higher was considered the same. This adjustment will better serve the city.” The city hosted a public hearing on these proposed general plan updates on March 8. Several residents expressed their thoughts of how the city could improve the update general plan before adopting it. Jerry Walker, who grew up on a Herriman farm, said he was concerned with the way agriculture was defined in the general plan because it has the potential to place 2-acre properties and 49-acre properties into the same land use category. “You created an extra division of residential because you saw there was a need to have more divisions, yet you took all of the agriculture and threw it into one and that doesn’t work,” Walker said to the council. “You still need different zones for

different agriculture because not all agriculture is all the same. I think there’s a tendency that if you’re not farmers, you don’t look at it that way, but you need to.” Glen Larson, another resident, said he appreciated the council’s effort to cut back on high-density land uses in the general plan but asked that fewer units be permitted per acre on high-density land uses. After resident comments, city council members said they were not ready to pass the general plan yet. Mayor Carmen Freeman said he wanted the plan to address agricultural land use for various-sized properties. He also wanted the plan to cover Herriman’s goal to become a business center and the city’s plan for trail and recreational development along the south mountain, which extends from the Mountain View Corridor to the county property on the west. Councilwoman Nicole Martin said excluding the word “sustainability” from the general plan is an omission that needs to be corrected. “By ‘sustainable’ I mean, are we pulling in the revenue that we need to meet the needs of all of the residents who are living in our city?” she said “We need economic development, a daytime population accessibility to traffic corridors and balanced housing types. All of those things are important for us being a balance community. Councilman Jared Henderson was the most eager of the city council members to pass the general plan, saying little fixes here and there could extend the process indefinitely. The council has been working on updating the plan for seven months. “The general plan is the general plan,” he said. “A lot of the things that have been mentioned are details in zoning and those are things to be taken care of under those procedures for densities in those particular zones. I think we need to move forward as judiciously as possible with the general plan and the vision.” In response, Councilman Craig Tischner said he also believes the document is a living document but said he doesn’t want to be making major changes to the plan every few weeks. The council chose to send the plan back to staff for revisions and invited staff to bring it back within 30 days. 



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 13

PAGE 14 | APRIL 2017



High school students design wardrobe management app, win award By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


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

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

application. The five teens entered their design into the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, along with 1,800 other contestants, and won the Utah portion. Although they didn’t place in the national competition, Christensen said he was proud and shocked. “There are so many students in Utah who are so good at this kind of stuff, and it feels awesome to be honored like that,” he said, adding that he’s already added the award to his resume. “This kind of stuff will really help us out in the future with our school and jobs.” Verizon sent the students and their teacher, Melinda Mansouri, award certificates, a plaque and a 6-foot-by-4-foot banner congratulating them on their win. The students gawked at the size of

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


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APRIL 2017 | PAGE 15

Writers place in longest-running creative teen contest By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


eyton Williams is not only a woodsmith—he’s a wordsmith. The entrepreneur, who is a junior at Herriman High School, crafts intricate wooden pens that he distributes through a website, but it’s what he drafted with one of those pens that scored him a region win in the longest-running creative teen contest in the United States. Williams’ “The Process of Making a Pen” reached Gold Key status in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in mid-February and has now gone on to be adjudicated at the national level. More than 300,000 works are submitted to the contest each year, and Williams was one of the three Herriman High students to receive this honor. Williams is the subject of piece he submitted to the contest. In the story, Williams constructs a pen while his thoughts flash back to meaningful moments in his life when people taught him that material possessions do not create happiness. “Those memories are impressed on my mind forever,” he said. He recalls an old homeless man he met on a family trip across the United States. The man offered to take a picture of Williams’ family. They accepted, but when Williams’ father went to tip the man, he declined and instead offered to pay for lunch for the family of seven. “This guy didn’t have anything, but he was so insistent—I think because we had a big family— that he wanted to do something nice for us, so he

bought us all Philly cheesesteaks,” Williams said. “It was just such a turn of service—this homeless man giving us the help we needed.” The story cycles through several other memories—one of Williams’ Nepalese friend, Karma, telling him about a simpler life in Nepal. Another story describes the experience he and his father had when they went to Ohio to fix up a run-down trailer park. The neighborhood children gathered around Williams as he worked and offered to help him. The kids were amazed by Williams’ electronic device that allowed him to listen to music through headphones. “It’s like they have never seen one before, but they were still happy and joyful,” he said. Through the writing process and reliving these life-experiences, Williams said he learned he needed to focus on what matters most. “I learned that I really need to change myself and my attitude toward life in general—to not take everything for granted,” he said. “I need to realize that value isn’t found in what you have but in your potential.” Erika Burch, another junior at Herriman High School, also said she learned a great deal about herself through writing the memoir she submitted for the contest. Although she said she’s honored to be a Gold Key winner, the greatest benefit of creating her entry was that it helped her to understand herself better, she said.

Burch recently crashed a car when an elderly couple performed a U-turn in front of her vehicle. She saw the other couple’s airbags employ and a woman rushing over from a nearby house to see if she was OK. Although shaken up, Burch had no serious injuries, and she was relieved to find out the couple in the other car was fine, too, but she said the event caused her to reflect on significant events in her life. She depicts this scene in her story and braids memories that ran through her head during the accident into her award-winning memoir. The memories Burch included are simple but made an impact on her life, she said. She includes memories from stargazing to visiting a fair with friends. “Before the car crash and before writing the story, I didn’t want to talk to people, but after, I decided I couldn’t live that way,” she said. “I realized I would miss out talking to people and experiencing new things, so this writing process was a big moment for me.” While Burch knew the story was meaningful to her, she said she had no idea that other people would like it. She forgot that she entered the piece into a contest until her English teacher announced to the class that she had won the Gold Key designation. “My class started clapping, and I almost started crying in class,” Burch said. “It was amazing. I felt accomplished. I knew I was a good writer, but

Peyton Williams poses for a picture while creating a pen in his workshop. Williams wrote a memoir, partially about pen making, that reached Gold Key status in the longest-running creative teen contest in the United States. (Peyton Williams)

didn’t know I could get something tangible out of writing, and this was that sudden realization that I could do what I wanted in life and succeed at it.” Burch said she hopes to be a professional writer some day. Daniel Wilkersen also won the Gold Key award. Scholastic Art and Writing also awarded the following Herriman High School students with the Silver Key award: Sofia Jimenez, Carter Johnson, Madison La Giglia, McCall Morris, Megan Nielson, Wyatt Searle and Sam Woodruff. 

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Sophomore athlete scores 205 soccer balls for elementary school children By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


uy Chiarenza, a sophomore striker on the Providence Hall High School soccer team, shared the love for his favorite sport with children at his alma mater by gathering 205 soccer balls for Providence Hall Elementary. “I want to inspire the next generation of soccer players,” Chiarenza said. “I wanted them to have access to the equipment because they might find that they love the sport that I love.” Before Chiarenza’s donation, the elementary school had limited gym equipment with eight soccer balls. Doug Pinkal, the physical education teacher at the school, said Guy’s contributions were “a dream come true.” “It might only take one soccer ball to play a game, but it takes many to do meaningful drills and encourage skill development,” he said. “The donation easily provides each student a ball during PE, with plenty to spare for recess.” Chiarenza began trying to come up with a community service project in November when he heard that Providence Hall Elementary was running low on gym equipment. He put the soccer spin on the project to coincide with his own passion for the sport and rounded up the soccer balls by early March. His original goal was to provide 20 soccer balls for the school, but he exceeded that goal 10 times over. “I was so surprised,” Chiarenza said. “I knew I could be successful with the donation, but I didn’t think that would mean giving away 200 soccer balls and two soccer nets. I was just shocked—in a good way.”

Guy Chiarenza presents the soccer balls and soccer nets he collected to Providence Hall Elementary administration. (Monica Chiarenza)

Some of the companies he contacted declined to donate or didn’t contact him back, so he said it felt like a victory when he received $50 in donations to shop at Big 5 Sporting Goods. He used that money to purchase five new soccer balls. He also cleaned cars to earn money to purchase soccer goals for the school. Later, Chiarenza heard back from Copper Mountain Soccer Club representatives. They said they would donate at least 50 soccer balls to his cause and ended up donating 200 balls.

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“I couldn’t be happier with this outcome,” Chiarenza said. “Now the kids have a chance to really try this sport out.” Soccer is a hobby that has helped Chiarenza through the ups and downs of life, he said. He started the sport at 4 years old and has continued play ever since. He said he’s developed a love of teamwork and friendship through soccer and hopes his project can help others find that, too. Chiarenza used the project to accomplish a Middle Years Program, a personal 25-hour project through the International Baccalaureate educational foundation. From drafting a plan, to asking businesses for donations to presenting his project outcome to others involved in the MYP program, Chiarenza said the project wasn’t an easy task but said it was worth it. Pinkal said he was impressed with the determination one teenager had to help the students at Providence Hall Elementary. “His project has created opportunities otherwise unavailable for many of our students,” Pinkal said. “I was very impressed with Guy for choosing a project that benefits his community, and I’m very grateful that our school is at the center of it.” 

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Charity, police benefit from UDOT’s home acquisitions By Tori la Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

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


ocal police and charity organizations are doing what they can to salvage one last use from the vacant houses along Bangerter Highway that will be demolished to make way for freeway-style interchanges. The Utah Department of Transportation claimed 96 homes and two businesses through eminent domain to create the interchanges at Bangerter’s 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 11400 South intersections. UDOT considers property acquisitions as a last resort, but they were necessary in this situation for less restricted travel on the west side of the county, according to UDOT spokesman John Gleason. To make the most of the home acquisitions, UDOT formed partnerships with local police departments, allowing the officers to use the houses from training purposes, and Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, allowing the charity to glean household artifacts. “There is a lot of service that these types of properties can provide even though they will eventually be demolished,” Gleason said. “Our goal would be to make those available for the people who can really benefit from them.” Gathering doors, light fixtures, cabinets and other items from vacant homes became a full-time job for Layne Burrows, with Habitat for Humanity, when UDOT started its Bangerter acquisition process. Burrows’ job title even changed from “assistant store manager” to “harvesting manager” to more appropriately define his daily responsibility of salvaging home parts for redistribution. “We used to only look at houses on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Burrows said about collecting items from nearly 100 homes along Bangerter Highway. “We’d work on maybe five to 10 homes at a time, but this is on a new scale,” Every day, Burrows and his occasional team of volunteers collect anything on the exterior or interior of a house that they can sell at Habitat’s “Restore,” where used appliances, architectural items, cabinets, countertops, lights, fans, flooring, windows, plumbing materials and other used items are sold at a discount. The Restore is a major source

of revenue for Habitat, which allows group members to build and repair homes for lowincome families in Salt Lake County. “This saves the landfill, it gives people opportunities to purchase home finishes they couldn’t otherwise afford and improves the life of those who were are able to make houses for,” Burrows said. “It is literally recycling to the best ability. We are so grateful for our partnership with UDOT.” Public safety entities also partner with UDOT to use the vacant homes for training opportunities. Unified Police Department Sgt. Brady Cottam said his department uses the homes and businesses to practice team movements, rapid response training and incident response. “We’ll practice the way we do a search warrant or how we would handle a call at that location if there was a domestic dispute gone bad,” Cottam said. “We can practice these things in a real-life setting—in a place where it’s actually OK to break down the doors and windows.” UDOT and UPD’s partnership for using acquired homes has been in place for 15 to 20 years, but Cottam said the Bangerter homes, some less than seven years old, have given the officers new experiences. “Usually the house that we train in are old meth houses, but these are some of the nicest homes we’ve ever trained in,” he said. “It’s good to be able to train in some new construction to see what our teams would do if they needed to get inside these houses.” The Bangerter project has also given the Unified Police Department more opportunities to train on-site than in the past. Usually, UPD trains in one of UDOT’s acquisitions once per year, Cottam said. The Bangerter project has allowed those training sessions to be more frequent. “Using vacant houses has turned out to be one of the best things for us in our training,” Cottam said. “We’ve gone to training sites that have charged us, but this is a place to practice in our own community for free. It’s an invaluable experience for us.” 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 17


PAGE 18 | APRIL 2017


UDOT to begin construction on 11400 South and Bangerter By Briana Kelley | briana@mycityjournals.com


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

“This is an area where that [traffic] flow is crucial,” Gleason said. “We’ve experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the past years, and that growth is going to continue over the next few decades. We will double our population in the next 35 years. It is important that transportation keeps up with that growth and keeps up with current and future needs for getting people around the valley.” Though representatives admit that construction will be long and inconvenient, they are doing what they can to mitigate disturbances. The project will be phased so that traffic can flow during construction. Contractors do not foresee the need to close either Bangerter Highway or 11400 South during construction. Businesses will also be open and accessible to residents, and the contractor assured council members that none are being acquired or closed for construction. There will be access points for all businesses, though admittedly it will not be perfect. “When you’re talking about residents and businesses, any time you have a construction project you will always have

short-term inconveniences,” Gleason said. “The goal and the end result will be worth those inconveniences. It will improve traffic flow and decrease congestion. It will improve north–south traffic and east–west traffic as well.” In order to continue the flow of 11400 South and keep it aesthetically pleasing, the contractor has designed the road to continue over Bangerter Highway. Bangerter Highway will go underneath as an underpass. There will be safe pedestrian crossings and sidewalks as part of the 11400 South bridge. “We hope that this type of interchange will improve safety as well,” Gleason said. “Intersections are where we see a large number of crashes, and there’s more of a chance that you’ll be involved in a crash at an intersection. If you can take away some of these conflict points, you can increase safety.” Residents and commuters wanting updates can sign up for a mailing list specific to Bangerter and 11400 South online at www. udot.utah.gov/bangerter11400south/. Those who do not wish to receive emails can check back on the website for updates on the project continued on next page…



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 19

Bangerter Highway will flow underneath 11400 South as an underpass, as shown in this rendering. (UDOT)

as well as any community events. There will also be a community coordination team assembled to provide monthly input and feedback to the contractor. The team will represent various stakeholders and include a representative from South Jordan City, the District businesses, the west-side businesses and a local resident. The contractor is working with South Jordan City officials as well and is aware of upcoming community events, such as the SoJo Marathon and Tour of Utah. The project is being funded entirely with state funds. “The end result here is going to be worth any type of short-term inconveniences that we are going to see with construction,” Gleason said. “When the project is complete and all is said and done, we really hope it’s going to provide a benefit to homeowners and businesses in the area and for those commuting through.” 

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

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The Draper Area Chamber Of Commerce, Salt Lake Home Builders, Salt Lake Board Of Realtors, The Draper Journal & The Rock Church.

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Home Buyers, Sellers and Owners – This One’s For You! Tuesday, April 25th 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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PAGE 20 | APRIL 2017


Mestenas place third in state By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Contact: Susan Schilling 801-280-0595 | susan@swvchamber.org Mission Statement: To advance community, business, and civic-related interests to ensure continued improvement in the way of life. Vision Statement: Through volunteerism and leadership, our members bridge community and business—together we are stronger. Benefits: Resources, Networking, Education and Advocacy Sustaining Partners: Riverton Hospital . Jordan Valley Medical Center . Wasatch Lawn Memorial South Valley Park . Riverton City . Herriman City . City Journals

CHAMBER NEWS What an amazing company we had the opportunity to do a ribbon cutting for. Lindsay Titus the executive director said: “ Renaissance Ranch Bluffdale Women’s Program is a residential program devoted to the healing of women suffering from addictions and the restoration of their lives and families. Our staff has years of professional and personal experience with addiction and are truly passionate about helping the addicted and afflicted women in our communities. We treat addictions through gospel solutions and use an evidence based approach to increase and ensure success and long term sobriety. Additional information about our program can be found at www.renaissanceranch.net or by calling 801-446-5356.” There is not a family around that hasn’t been touched by substance abuse. What a great asset to all. Knight of Heroes is our annual award night where we honor heroes in Riverton, Bluffdale and Herriman. We honored the following heroes: Unified Police Department— Riverton · Detective Shane Laycock Bluffdale Police Department · Officer Jared Chuchran Unified Fire Authority · Captain Wes Lathen · Paramedic Justin DeKorver · Paramedic Scott Smith · Captain Rich Rich Jr. · Engineer Bryan Jensen · Firefighter Curry Mattson · Paramedic Todd Burrows · Firefighter Jared Callister Unified Police Department— Herriman · Officer Trevor Weeks

Bluffdale City Fire Department · Captain Jeremy Allen Volunteer of the Year · Nancy Franklin Business Woman of the Year · Dr. Patrice Johnson Business Man of the Year · Richard Goodloe Small Business of the Year · Bear-O Care Large Business of the Year · City Journals We are so honored to have these heroes in our area. For more of their stories please check out our website. www.swvchamber.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS swvchamber.org

It is an exciting time for the Chamber—new member benefit added this month is Shout Outs. Chamber members will have the opportunity to have a short video clip posted on Facebook about their company. If you are a Chamber member and want to be featured with a Shout Out let us know. We will be honoring one teacher from each school in Riverton, Bluffdale and Herriman on April 20. This is so fun to award these teachers for their hard work and dedication. The Chamber was present when Governor Herbert signed an executive order to direct that all state rules and regulations must not pose undue burdens on the economy, individuals, public and private organizations or local governments. A review of 2,000 state rules found that about 360 lacked a clear public purpose, the governor said. The order addresses the need for the state to remain vigilant and guard against over-regulation, which he says saps the U.S. economy of about $2 trillion in additional costs and services.


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The Herriman High School drill team started this season with a fundraiser in the rodeo grounds and finished holding a third-place state trophy. (Alexi Anderson/Herriman drill)


he Herriman High School drill team, the Mestenas, finished its season near the top of the 5A state drill competition. The team’s best routine highlighted by flying monkeys captured the excitement of its fans. “Ultimately, we strive every year to win the state title, but at the end of the day we gave it our all, and we feel happy and confident with what we put on the floor,” Mestena captain Alexi Anderson said. “We are also happy for all of the other teams that placed and competed. We truly just want everyone to do their best.” The Mestenas captured third place at the 5A state drill competition held Feb. 2-4 at Utah Valley University in Provo. Their kick routine finished second overall. Dressed in red jackets and silver tights, the girls performed several kick lines, including standalone kicks, hook-up and disconnected kicks, along with change-of-direction kicks. The spectators cheered as the completed each aspect of the dance. “I definitely loved our flying monkey kick routine,” senior Rylee Hilton said. “Getting into character was easy once we had our makeup and ears on. When we pulled out our wings, the crowd just goes crazy, and it gave us so much energy. I love dancing. On the floor, I could feel the connection, and I love my team.” They performed the flying monkey routine in Orlando, Florida, and won their division. “It feels good to think we placed so well,” Anderson said. “There are several amazing teams in this state.” The Mestenas placed third in military and

fourth in dance. This is the second year in a row they have placed third behind Copper Hills and Bingham. In Region 4 competition, Herriman placed second behind Pleasant Grove. The Mestenas avenged the results by finishing ahead of the Vikings at state. “I did not start dancing until I was 9 years old, which is later than most girls,” Anderson said. “I have been part of the drill team for four years. I have loved hanging out with my team. We have performed at in school activities and competitions as well as halftime stuff.” The Mestenas started the season with a unique fundraiser. They gathered money from friends, family and boosters all gambling on where the cows would poop in the Herriman rodeo grounds. In 2017, state drill teams competed in dance, kick and military routines. The judges are given scoring sheets to look for aspects completed during the dance. Dance routines can score points for leaps, fouettes, and pirouettes. The military moves like arm movements, formations and patterns score points. In each scoring routine the majority of the team must complete the skill to score the point. Anderson was team captain; Alanna Boroski was co-captain; and Katelin Graham, Kenna Brett, Sydney Halcom, Ally Neilson and Rylee Hilton were team officers. Arial Larson coaches the Mestenas. She is a graduate of Hillcrest High School and has coached the team since its inception. 



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 21

Herriman’s Barnes named coach of the year By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


he Utah High School Activities Association recently named Herriman cross country and track and field coach James Barnes 5A coach of the year. His mentorship has impacted students and teams on and off the track. “He was one of the biggest influences in my life,” Herriman graduate Lucy Biles said. “Even though he was my track coach, I consider him one of my closest friends. He taught me how to push myself—not only to push myself in races, but in other aspects of life as well.” Barnes coached Biles to three individual state cross country titles. She is now running cross country at the University of North Carolina. The UHSAA named Barnes the 2016 5A coach of the year, and he received the Distinguished Service Award at a special association luncheon. “He taught me to look for things I could improve, on and off the track,” Biles said. “He helped me set goals to improve in running and as a person, too.” Barnes has coached track and cross country for 12 years, the last seven at Herriman High School. He has helped teams win 10 state championships. Several of his runners have gone on to compete on the collegiate level. In October, Barnes was credited with saving several of his runners’ lives. An out-of-control truck struck one member of the team and narrowly missed several others while they were on a training run. He constantly teachers his team members to be aware of their surroundings.

“One of the biggest things he taught me was to give it my best all of the time,” former Herriman track athlete Marlee Peterson said. “As long as you work your hardest nothing else matters. Every day I was supposed to compete with myself. I was supposed to become a better version of myself each day. He talked to each of his athletes every day about their goals and how important their work ethic was.” Peterson is running track at Southern Utah University. She competes in the 200 meters, 400, 800 and 4x400 relay. She is an individual high school state champion and a member of the 4x100 relay current state record-holding team at 47.3 seconds. “I know he has changed my life and the way I look at running,” Peterson said. Barnes graduated from Payson High School in 1987 and attended Utah Valley and Utah State universities. He has helped coach his teams to 19 region titles and 10 state titles. He has coached at Provo, Bear River, Riverton and Herriman high schools. The Mustangs’ track and field team is off and running this season. Its girls team hopes to defend its third straight state title in May at the state high school track and field finals. The team lost several seniors; speedsters Kaysha Love and Dallin Tycksen have graduated. Love holds the state record in the 100. The Mustangs opened their season March 15 (after press deadline). They are scheduled to host Riverton April 5. The region championships are scheduled for May 10–11 at Riverton High School. 

Herriman track and cross country coach James Barnes has played an important role in his students’ lives. Lucy Biles called him the biggest influence in her life. (Lucy Biles/North Carolina cross country)


PAGE 22 | APRIL 2017


Local wrestlers cap off season with championships By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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The Herriman High School wrestling team fared well at the state wrestling tournament. (Melani Clark/Herriman wrestling)


he 2017 state wrestling championship for Dylan Gregerson and Logan Jensen will be a tournament they never forget. Each captured his first high school state championship. “Being a state champ is everything I dreamed it would be,” Gregerson said. He captured the title in the 138-pound weight class after posting an over 32-3 record this season. Gregerson, a Riverton High School senior, won his individual title by defeating American Fork’s Tayler Durfey 9-5. He jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period with a takedown and near fall. The match stayed even in the second period with both wrestlers capturing two points. The victory seemed assured when Gregerson got a takedown with 52 seconds remaining. He started wrestling in seventh grade. He has an overall record of 130-24 in his high school career. He is the first wrestler from Riverton to win 100 matches in his high school career. “I could not have made it here without my coaches,” Gregerson said. “It has taken a lot of hard work. Dwayne (Henry, a coach) pushed me to my full capabilities.” Riverton’s Sterling Hansen also qualified to participate in the state tournament. He lost his first-round match and won a match in the consolation bracket before falling out. Herriman High School’s Logan Jensen brought home an individual state championship in the 145-pound. class. His 44-3 overall record coming into the state meet made him the overall

No. 1 seed. Jensen comes from a strong family background of wrestlers. He started wrestling at age 5. His older brother, Jaron Jensen, was a state champion and still wrestles at the University of Wyoming. He is the son of Blake and Janet Jensen of South Jordan. “Jaron started wrestling one year, and my Dad thought I was too young, so I started the next year,” Logan Jensen said. “I think it is an obsession to the grind. I am addicted to seeing my work pay off. It is a great feeling.” He faced the No. 2 seed in the finals of the tournament, Steven Quintana from Layton High School. Logan Jensen scored a takedown in each of the first and second periods that led to a 5-1 advantage headed into the final stanza. he attacked quickly in the third and scored another takedown and a near fall to secure the victory 10-3. “It was great ,and I loved it, but I felt like I wanted to achieve this in my freshman and sophomore years too,” he said. “It felt good, but it felt like I have more things to accomplish.” The Mustangs had several wrestlers place in their individual weight classes. Kade Sydall finished fourth; Drake Hale placed fifth; Dylan Chavez was sixth; Carson Bowdren finished fifth; and Cole Clark came in fourth. “I feel lucky, but I started from a young age and worked hard nearly every day for lots of years,” Logan Jensen said. “It is welldeserved to get here.” 

Dylan Gregerson won the state championship in the 138-pound weight classification. He is also the first Silverwolves wrestler to win 100 matches in his career. (Dwayne Henry/Riverton wrestling)

Herriman’s Logan Jensen is following in his brother’s footsteps. He has become a force in 5A wrestling. (Melani Clark/Herriman wrestling)

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Bruins softball set in top five By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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


he top-ranked Salt Lake Community College Bruins women’s softball team has steamrolled through the preseason and is taking on its region opponents. The Bruins won their first five games of the season. Their dominance showed why they are ranked in the top 5 in the Nation Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll. They began the season with five straight victories in Henderson, Nevada. The first game Jan. 27 was a 6-2 victory over Eastern Arizona. Freshman Addie Jensen had six strikeouts in seven innings. The Bruins fell behind in the top of the first inning but rallied to secure the victory. The final four games of its Henderson tournament, the Bruins scored 52 runs. Their pitching and defense only allowed 15. Pitching is a key part to success in softball. The Bruins have had stellar performances in the circle to start the season. Jensen has started seven games. She has a 2.57 earned run average and is 6-1 in those games. She has struck out 42 opposing hitters to lead the team. Sophomore Chantelle Ladner has also been stellar for the Bruins in the pitching circle, despite a tough 11-3 loss to the College of Southern Idaho in her first region game. The loss elevated her early season ERA to 5.03. The Golden Eagles capitalized on an error and three hits to jump to a 4-0 lead. The Bruins scored two in the top of the second, but a seven-run fourth by CSI signaled its final fate. Lander, a sophomore, is from Australia. She attended Mount Annan High School in South Wales. She has international

experience with the 2015 Australian U19 team and competed in the WBSC World Championship. She was named best pitcher and a member of the all-tournament team in the 2014 U19 Australian National Championship tournament. The Bruins have several talented local players in their lineup. Herriman High School graduates Bryce Taylor, Lauren Tycksen and Kynra Nelson have played significant roles in the teams early season success. The speedy Tycksen has been leading off consistently. She is hitting .388, and her two stolen bases lead the Bruins. Taylor has a 2.79 ERA in three games. Sophomore Alex Valencia leads the team with a .512 batting average. She is from Syracuse, Utah. Another sophomore, Madison Sisco leads the team in home runs with 12. The Bruins have a hold on first place in Region 18. They are 5-1 in Region and 13-4 overall at press time. Cyndee Bennett is in her fourth year as the Bruins head coach. She had been an assistant for six years prior to that. She played collegiately at the University of Utah where she was twice selected as an all-conference player. Last season the Bruins had a 48-9 regular season record and captured a Scenic West Athletic Conference Championship. They advanced to the national championship semi-finals, where they placed third overall. The Bruins are scheduled to have an eight-game home-stand beginning March 31–April 8. They host Colorado Northwestern and then close out with four games against second-place CSI. 

Riverton Art’s Council’s ‘Annie’ …continued from front cover

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

the image this created, so she added that into the show’s blocking. “It’s the people we work with that make the shows different and interesting,” Ostler said. Altogether, more than 140 people, from actors and actresses to stage crew to directors, took part in the musical that ran from March 9 through March 20. Through 12 performances, they presented “Annie” to hundreds of Riverton

residents. “None of us get paid, but we’re happy to do this,” Ostler said. “Our paycheck comes when we see how happy the kids are in the cast or when we help the audience make connections.” Riverton Arts Council’s next production is Fiddler on the Roof. Auditions are slated for April 27, 28 and 29, and the show will run from June 15–26. 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 23


PAGE 24 | APRIL 2017


Big numbers, bright colors: a mom’s journey with her autistic son By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com Purple turtle. Those were the first words written by DJ Bradford when he was 2. Now the 7-year-old boy writes words like quintillion, understands what googolplexian means and names the hue, saturation and luminosity of the color burgundy. He also has autism. As April commemorates Autism Awareness Month, West Valley resident Sara Bradford, DJ’s mother, reflected on the family’s journey from discovering he had autism at 16-months-old to his ability at 7 to read and understand on a high school level. DJ also has a photographic and auditory memory. “It’s nothing I’ve ever encountered or dreamed of having,” Sara said of her son’s ability. “It’s just truly amazing, he’s got skills that are incredible.” His Mind DJ started with writing purple turtle, but his academic abilities have increased since he wrote those two words in chalk in front of their house. And it is all self-taught. At age 3, he wrote ‘Missoula, Montana’ in cursive and block letters two weeks after his grandmother wore a T-shirt bearing those words. He’s read his teenage sister’s algebra book. He was seen doing binary code and programming on his tablet. He can count to five in German, Chinese, French and will say ‘this is my mom’ in Russian. That’s in addition to the words in English, Spanish, Italian and Polish that he can read, understand and say. One day he asked his mom what color her lipstick was. She replied it was burgundy, he then told her what the hue, saturation and luminosity of burgundy was. He loves colors.

DJ Bradford, 7, sits on the porch in front of his house. DJ has autism and a photographic and auditory memory making his academic level well beyond his years. (Bradford family)

In preschool, he wrote supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for his teachers to see. The periodic table of elements, he’s memorized it. States, capitals, countries? Not only does he know them all, but he can draw the country’s flag, like the Chinese flag he put on a Christmas tree ornament. “He’s going to get me my master’s, and I don’t even have my bachelor’s,” Sara joked. His Diagnosis Though DJ was reading words at six months old, it didn’t make hearing the diagnosis of autism any easier for his parents. “He was reading everything. We were excited and telling the

pediatrician and he was like ‘well he should be talking, saying words,’” Sara said, adding DJ had no sense of fear or danger. For Sara, a paralegal and massage therapist, and her husband, Dustin, they had plans of grandeur for their first child together. “When we found out, obviously it was devastating for both of us…everything was kind of cut. You have to accept your expectations are no longer, and it’s kind of soul crushing,” she said. Sara was pregnant with their second child when they learned of the diagnosis. “It was really scary, like how did this happen, did I drink too much of something? Or is it just this strange (thing) of you don’t know how it happens,” she said. They finally reached a place, she said, where they accepted what happened and that they needed to help him. “Helping find out what happened to him doesn’t help him. It just makes us worry, and it’s like it’s harder to accept him when you’re trying to change him and you’re trying to figure out a way to make him different,” Sara said. From the diagnosis to now, they face difficulties in behaviors. Early on he would constantly flap his arms, spin in circles and hum. “He wouldn’t look at people, he didn’t care about anyone. Just flapped his arms and spun in circles,” Sara said. Knowing when to use the bathroom is still problematic so pull-ups are a commonly bought item at the store, a challenging place for DJ. Stores are overwhelming for DJ, who loves to read and wants to read all the labels and prices. Sara said he’ll throw himself on the ground and she will drag him kicking and screaming. conitnued on pnext page…

S OUTHV ALLEY JOURNAL.COM She said he struggles when little things go wrong, like if he drops a cup of water then his world revolves around how he “spoiled his water” or if the battery on his tablet dies. He’ll throw the electronic device, scream, bite himself or hit others. Aggressive behaviors she tries to redirect with a high-five. His inability to respond to instances of misfortune in a manner that is socially acceptable is what stresses out Sara. “Those things really scare me like what’s going to happen in the future when he’s out there and can’t get his seat belt on correctly and he freaks out and people don’t understand,” she said. At 3, he still wasn’t speaking. Sara came across a behavioral program that suggested taking dairy and gluten out of DJ’s diet. Her research said milk contains casein and gluten contains a wheat protein. Both of which may cause swelling in the brain and stomach. In his first week without dairy, he said 50 words. “Finally, we were hearing his voice and it was just amazing,” Sara said. He now drinks almond milk and is completely gluten-free. His School With DJ’s advanced knowledge, school has been tricky. At 2-years-old, the family got him involved with DDI Vantage, an early intervention non-profit that helps create goals and guidelines for children with autism. From there he moved into the Autism Support Services: Education, Research and Training (ASSERT) program throughout preschool. But when came the second day of first grade at a new school, things changed. Placed in a second and third grade class with other children with special needs, he wandered off. He left the lunch room and headed toward a busy road. “It was pretty scary,” Sara recalled. Though nothing bad happened, DJ’s parents decided to take their son out of school.


APRIL 2017 | PAGE 25

That was last fall. DJ is now being homeschooled by his mom every afternoon since October. Though he’s demonstrated a desire to go back to school, Sara said it works for now, until they can accommodate sending him to a school for children with autism. The home school program they’re following allows DJ to test out of certain units making the process quicker. He finished the first grade in four months and is now in second grade. “I think at this point if I can do two grades a year, I’ll be able to catch up to where he’s really at,” said Sara, a former preschool teacher. She said she has a great daily curriculum to follow. He spends two hours in the morning every weekday working with Applied Behavior Analysis therapists who work with his behavior, they’re currently developing a program to help with aggressive behavior. “I just kind of let them do their thing which is hard for a mom but they’re doing great,” Sara said. His Moments Through the difficult moments over the years, the family— consisting of Sara, Dustin, teenage Sydnie and 5-year-old Anna— has enjoyed flashes of happiness. Whether it was DJ warmly embracing the return of his older sister—one of the few people Sara can trust him with—using the bathroom properly or him uttering three simple words, I love you. “We are just so thankful there are those moments…these little tiny things, when they happen, are like the biggest gifts ever. It’s overwhelming, emotional,” Sara said and choked back her tears. One such instance happened at Christmas, when DJ opened a present, looked up and said ‘thank you.’ “He had never shown us that he was thankful,” Sara said. “We didn’t even know he understood that so it was kind of neat to see like, wow, he’s more normal than not sometimes and I forget that cause he’s so unique. Going to the bathroom and the toilet, who would celebrate that? We do because it never happens.”

Dustin and Sara Bradford take a photo with a laughing DJ. (Bradford family)

His Future Like any parent, Sara worries about what the future holds for DJ. If he can have an independent life and not have to live with a family member to care for him. She wants him to have friends. Sara said he had a friend in preschool, but he doesn’t have any friends right now, adding that he’s demonstrated no desire to have friends. He loves his sisters, Sara said, and the family enjoys a good relationship with another family of similarly aged children. “I want him to be healthy and have what he needs… I want him to make a friend. I would love to see him have a conversation with someone someday,” Sara said of her hopes for her intelligent boy who just five years ago was writing “purple turtle” on a sidewalk. “I would say we just want him to be happy,” she said. 

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PAGE 26 | APRIL 2017



Bingham boys soccer relying on focus, teamwork By Billy Swartzfager | billy@mycityjournals.com

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


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

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

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APRIL 2017 | PAGE 27

Utah Falconz women’s football team opens season as defending champions By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


he best Utah sports team you’ve likely never heard of is about to launch its fourth season. In the previous three seasons they lost just one time, a championship game, by four points. “I’ll never forget that game,” Keeshya Cox said. “Sure, we’ve won all the rest…but that one still hurts. I never want that feeling again.” Cox is the star running back for the 31-1 Utah Falconz of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL). With league names like the Yellow Jackets, PhantomZ and Lady Crushers, IWFL teams compete coast to coast, from Maine to Montreal and Tampa Bay to Tennessee. The Murray-based Utah Falconz play their home games at Cottonwood High School. Last season Cox rushed for 1,364 yards in 12 games (113.7 ypg), guiding the Falconz to a blowout win in the 2016 IWFL World Championship in Charlotte, N.C. Utah beat the Minnesota Vixens, 49-6. It was sweet revenge for the Utah women, who’s only loss in three seasons came in the championship game, the year before. The Falconz begin defense of their title April 8 in Phoenix. Their home opener is April 15 hosting the Sacramento Sirens. “I grew up watching football with my family and always wanted to be a part of it,” said team founder and owner Hiroko Jolley. “This is not a profit making venture. I spend five to sometimes 10 hours a day coordinating team activities. But I love

Since their creation three years ago, this Utah Falconz team has lost only one game. (Utah Falconz)

the game, so it’s worth it.” In this pay-to-play league, each team member is charged $800 to cover uniforms, equipment, travel expenses and referees. Coaches volunteer their time. Nearly every road game involves a long bus ride, though the trek to North Carolina was by air. “These women are all former athletes and come from all walks of life,” Jolley added. “We have former rugby and soccer players, track runners, basketball and softball players, you name it.” The 52-woman Falconz roster has an 18 year old, all the way up to a 45 year old. “No grandmothers on the team,” Jolley said. “But lots of moms.” Cox became acquainted with the team while playing flag football at Sugarhouse Park. The

former Dixie State University basketball player was approached after the non-contact football game by Louise Bean, the Falconz quarterback. “She told me about a brand new team that was just being formed and asked me to join her at one of their tryout clinics,” Cox said. “I loved it right away. This is not a rec league. It’s very, very competitive. It’s great for former collegiate athletes because many of us need something to replace that level of competition.” In addition to her nearly 1,400 yards rushing last season, the Missouri native Cox also scored 29 touchdowns. “Sure, I love carrying the ball, but it’s even more fun for me to assist and mentor my teammates, and watch them succeed,” she said.

Another of those former college athletes is Elisa Salazar, who played softball for McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. She’s now a wide receiver and defensive back for the Falconz. “What I love about the team is the effort our coaches make to get everyone into the games,” Salazar said. “In the championship game last summer, everyone had gotten in by the second quarter. I love playing myself, but it’s also amazing to see my teammates do well.” The Falconz normally deploy a veer triple option offense, primarily to offset their smaller size. Air Force Academy graduate Rick Rasmussen is their head coach. “He’s amazing,” Salazar added. “He doesn’t smile a lot, but he has a big heart. When he calls us out once in a while, it’s only because he wants what’s best for us.” Something must be working. Last season the Falconz outscored their opponents 621 to 40. Utah outgained the opposition, in total offensive yardage, 4,299 to 962. Tickets to their April 15 home opener at Cottonwood High School are $10 for ages 11 and up, $8 for seniors and members of the military. Kids 10 and under are free. “If people come out to see one game, I think they’ll like it,” Jolley said. “Our players take it seriously and work hard.” With 31 wins and only one loss, that seems to be working. 



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Desert Star Playhouse MURRAY, UT, March, 2017 — Desert Star Playhouse, the theatre that’s built a reputation for producing laugh out loud, family-friendly musical comedies, continues its 2017 season with a comedic take on the birth of a superhero in “Captain American Fork: The Worst Avenger!” The show opens Thursday, March 23rd. Captain American Fork isn’t the hero we want, but he is the hero we need! As the new superhero in town, his greatest aspiration is to join the Guardians of Utah Valley. But the fun and games are over (or just beginning?) when a new villain arrives on the scene! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and The Cougar is out for revenge when The Homemaker scores her engagement to Zion Man. With an attack on the Cultural Hall of Justice, The Captain and his new sidekick— Bingham, The Copper Minor—are put to the test! Are they in over their heads or can the Captain rise to the occasion and save the day as he fights for truth, justice, and the American Fork Way? Find out in our hilarious new show! Directed by Scott Holman and written by Ed Farnsworth, Captain American Fork runs from March 23 to June 3, 2017. The evening also includes another of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The Spring Break Olio will feature some new and classic rock with a dash of beach fun and, as always, a hilarious Desert Star twist! Desert Star audiences can enjoy gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, burgers, scrumptious desserts, and other finger foods as well as a full selection of soft drinks and smoothies while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 / Call 801.266.2600 for reservations. For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com


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RunGr8 Running Center

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

Through the store, they provide many free clinics on running related topics, have training groups that help people participate in 5ks and half marathons, and even host a free 5k every November to help raise awareness for runner safety. Learn more about RunGr8 Running Center at www.rungr8.com or visit them at 2608 W. 12600 S. in Riverton. 


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PAGE 30 | APRIL 2017



Oakwood Homes

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Oakwood Homes Extends Home Development in Herriman


akwood Homes, a Colorado-based private homebuilder with its Utah division headquartered in Murray, Utah, has been successfully developing its community Parkhouse at Rosecrest Meadows on the west bench in Herriman. Now five new floorplans are being introduced, ranging in size from 2,290 square feet to 3,473 total square feet, accommodating up to five bedrooms. Homes come with an unfinished basement, allowing for future growth, and a two-car garage. Standard Oakwood features include spacious kitchens with large eat-in islands and walk in spa-baths in the master suite. These new single-family homes start in the upper $200s. “Some prospective first-time homeowners or even empty-nesters are looking for new singlefamily homes that cost under $300,000,” said Kelli Cunningham, vice president of sales. “With the cost of land and building materials, that’s a hard product to deliver. That’s why we’ve designed several new floorplans that still offer the quality ‘wow’ features homeowners want with an affordable price.” Other signature Oakwood features offered in these new homes include granite countertops in the spacious kitchens, open-concept living spaces, large windows, and flexible spaces that can be tailored to a homeowner’s needs and lifestyle. Complimentary professional design services are also provided for each homebuyer and a 10,000-square-foot design center where they can meet and choose all their finishes. All homes are built to exceed industry standards for energy efficiency. Oakwood’s Parkhouse at Rosecrest Meadows is situated over 44 acres in the Rosecrest Master Planned Community of Herriman. This fast growing area is within minutes of The District shopping center as well as the Mountain View Corridor for easy commuting to either downtown Salt Lake or Utah County. Many area parks, splash pads, walking and hiking trails surround the development for families and neighbors to enjoy.

When complete, Rosecrest Meadows will feature 201 single-family Oakwood homes, offering valley views and the most popular floorplans that Oakwood Homes offers. “We design around how families live and function,” said Cunningham. “At Oakwood, we’re guided by our mantra to provide ‘luxury at every level.’ We’ve mastered creating a superior product for less and work closely with our homebuyers every step of the way.” The extension of the Parkhouse at Rosecrest Meadows community is just one of four Oakwood developments recently released. In addition to the Herriman location, Oakwood Homes is offering new home sites in Lehi at Holbrook Farms, in the Park City/Heber area at Jordanelle Ridge, and a new townhome development in West Valley City with Villages at Westridge. These four developments offer homes ranging in price from the low $200s to the low $500s, providing housing options for most Utah homebuyers. Tour the four model homes currently open at Parkhouse at Rosecrest Meadows to learn more about Oakwood Homes and to view all available floorplans. Three additional model homes will open in May. The Oakwood sales consultant can be reached at 801-254-2948. You can also view all floorplans at www.OakwoodHomesCo.com/Region/Utah/. 

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



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My husband has learned that if I don’t have some alone time to recharge, I get . . . irritable. (He uses a different word, but I can’t put it in this column.) If I have two hours of uninterrupted alone time, it’s better than Christmas morning. I’ll plan which books to read. I stock up on really good chocolate. I’ll make sure my super-soft socks are clean. But if plans change and I lose that time? God help the world. Wrath is an understatement. I’m not saying introverts are right and extroverts are wrong, or vice versa. I’m saying the world needs both social butterflies and quietly introspective people who bring a sense of calm to an overworked culture. All I’m asking for is sincere connection and a spouse who is willing to leave the party early. 

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

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Dear friendOver the past 15 years, I’ve sent out literally millions of flyers with a picture of my family and usually I’m in there somewhere. I shared personal details of my back pain, my struggles with weight gain, and how I watched my cute wife get in shape by running. I shared my drama of trying to run to get healthy, but how my low back and knees didn’t agree with the running thing…and ultimately how this led me to discover how awesome Chiropractic care can deal with problems like mine. The long and short of this journey is that I eventually lost the weight, ran some marathons, and completed the 7 years of college required to become a Chiropractor. But Here’s What I Didn’t Tell You… As time passed I continued to do what I could to be healthy, such as exercise and get regular chiropractic treatments. But as much as this helped me be active and pain free, I began to be aware of something that started bugging me. And the reality was I couldn’t stop it nor could I control it. The fact is…I WAS GETTING OLDER…time and gravity were creating problems for my back. To make matters worse, working with patients ironically put stress on my back. So, even with my regular personal treatments and exercise, I started hurting again. And honestly, I struggled with it. Not because of the pain, but because I felt that maybe there was some contradiction that I was treating and teaching patients how to get rid of their back pain....but meanwhile I was having mine. The Real Truth is This... After taking X-rays of my back, I discovered that one of my spinal discs was in bad shape and that I also had arthritis. It took me only seconds to see that my low back was going to need more than just adjustments to

I Think most People WANT to know that with a serious spinal problem, there are more options than just popping pills, or surgery, or just getting a bunch of chiropractic or physical therapy treatments to manage pain…they want solutions. I THINK MOST PEOPLE WANT an honest skilled doctor who is good at discovering what is wrong and what needs to be done to give the best outcome…even if that means turning the case down and referring them out.

get better. So as much I as believe in what chiropractic adjustments can do, I needed something more effective for this problem or else my back was going to be in serious trouble. If this took place 10 to 15 years ago, I would have just had to live it or roll dice with surgery. But the REAL TRUTH and the REAL BLESSING is now days there is great technology and time tested protocols that have excellent success with these types of serious problem. And the good news is that solution to my problem was already sitting in my office. We use powerful protocol that includes the LiteCure class IV non-surgical laser (to help reduce pain and stimulate healing), the DRX 9000 Spinal Disc Decompression, and a unique exercise program that stabilizes the surrounding muscles. This specific combination has literally helped hundreds of my patients with severe disc and sciatic problems. I’m happy to report first hand that it worked for me as well… I now feel great.

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Profile for The City Journals

South Valley Journal April 2017  

South Valley Journal April 2017