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T

his past summer, the high-density Olympia Hills development proposal outraged Herriman residents. They were concerned about additional stress on already overburdened transit corridors and a host of other concerns. Mayors of Riverton, West Jordan, Herriman and Copperton Township, joined in an 11th-hour discussion of the impact of the proposed development. They vetted concerns, shared data and issued a joint press release, beseeching the Salt Lake County Council to not approve the developer’s request for zoning changes to allow for the high-density development. As is the case in a solutions-oriented, optimistic point of view, the problem served as a springboard for solutions, among them, greater synergy among the mayors and the communities they represent. “Southwest Quadrant” has become a newly-branded aspect of the Salt Lake Metropolitan area and “Southwest Mayors” has emerged as a voice in regional planning. Southwest Mayors and its caucus The communities of Bluffdale and South Jordan are also among those represented on the Southwest Mayors Caucus, bringing the total of communities represented to six According to Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, synergies among the communities is an immediate outcome. Staggs indicated that throughout the 45 days of the Utah Legislature, the group of mayors met every Monday with legislators that represent their communities. “That had never happened before,” Staggs said. Now that the legislative session has concluded, the mayors are continuing with their newfound glue, having convened as a

Mayors in the southwest part of the valley formed a Southwest Mayors Caucus where they met every Monday throughout the legislative session. That includes West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding (left), South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, seen here at Riding’s inauguration in January 2018. (File photo City Journals)

group the first Thursday after the end of the legislative session. group consisting of mayors representing this many cities, workHistoric synergy ing together for the greater regional good,” observed South Jor“This is unprecedented, as historically, there has not been a dan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. Continue on page 4...

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Cameron Diehl, executive director of the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT), agrees with Ramsey. “This certainly is a historic moment for the Southwest Valley,” he said. “They’re engaged at a very productive level. They are taking things to the next level.” Ramsey noted the mayoral synergies may have benefitted by the fact that five of the six mayors were completely new to their positions 16 months ago. Such newness and fresh perspectives can unlock unique strategies and tactics. Among those unique ideas include the caucus’ decision to raise $250,000 to develop a shared growth strategy for the region. The mayors have pooled resources to apply for funding from Salt Lake County and from the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC). The work is paying off—literally. The Southwest Mayors Caucus has already been awarded $100,000 by county leaders to conduct transportation studies. Results of the $125,000 grant request from WFRC were not available at press time. However, the communities indicate they have already committed an additional $25,000 from their own coffers. “We want to think regionally and act locally, and we support legislation that encourages wise comprehensive planning measures, while still allowing cities the flexibility to determine the way we grow,” said Ramsey. Southwest Quadrant: building the brand through communication Guiding growth is essential, for regions

and communities. Long before plans for the Inland Port surfaced, planners, developers and valley residents at large have become familiar with Salt Lake’s “Northwest Quadrant” and have discussed how to balance the area’s ecological and development potential. The Southwest Mayors Council is now beginning to get the word out about the other side of the valley—the Southwest Quadrant. ULCT afforded an opportunity for additional synergy and communication. During the legislative session, ULCT decided to issue daily or even twice-a-day YouTube videos, reminding legislators and the public about what it sees as cities’ commitments to mindful infrastructure planning for Utah’s continuing, explosive growth. The response from the Southwest Mayors Caucus was robust. About 25 percent of the video contributions from cities across the state came from representatives of the Southwest Quadrant. “The southwest mayors have tried to publicize their specific growth concerns,” Diehl said. “They have been successful at raising awareness.” Thinking regionally, then communicating and acting locally in ULCT videos West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding participated in two videos, touting the city’s transit-oriented development (TOD) co-located with the Jordan Valley Hospital, and also spoke to mixed-use development at Gardner Village, and plans for a walkable community at Jordan Landing.

Staying true to her “Thinking Regionally and Acting Locally” theme, Ramsey specifically called out the concept of Southwest Quadrant and indicated she is “really proud of the fact that we are working hard, together, to figure that out.” Herriman Councilwoman Nicole Martin spoke to what she deems Herriman’s successes in providing “a spectrum” of housing types to meet resident needs. Martin’s colleague Councilman Clint Smith participated in three videos, covering everything from transportation infrastructure to trails systems for recreation. Staggs participated in three videos, speaking to the Southwest Quadrant and to Riverton’s own growth issues. Staggs also took the lead in inking an editorial referring to the Southwest Quadrant and discussing transportation issues in a local newspaper. Other members of the Southwest Mayor’s Caucus joined in signing their names and those of their cities to the piece. More Southwest Quadrant Mid-last month, a modified Olympia Hills project re-emerged on elected officials’ and residents’ plates. Residents were invited to study revived project plans and comment. This time around, the forward-thinking Southwest Mayors Caucus has proposed visioning and transportation studies in the works, to help frame decisions about that and other developments. To watch videos from the Southwest Quadrant and other areas across the state, check out the ULCT’s YouTube channel.

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Page 4 | April 2019

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Gabby Hindoian caps year as Miss Riverton By Clinton Haws | c.haws@cityjournals.com

G

abby Hindoian, 18, is winding down her campaign as Miss Riverton. As the next pageant approaches, she took a moment to reflect on her time and platform. The biggest surprise for Hindoian was all of the events and time that the position required. It is not just being crowned and earning a title. “I have loved every minute of my last year,” Hindoian said. “It has been kind of unexpected. I did not understand just the extent of how much work went into doing this.” Though it can be overwhelming with work, school, service and various Miss Riverton engagements, she said she “loved every minute of it.” Now a freshman at UVU, her plate is more than full with academics and work. She won the Miss Riverton title while she was finishing up her senior year at Riverton High School. Studying to graduate with a degree in dance performance, she strives to dance professionally. “I want to do it while the window is relatively small and the body is capable for performing,” she said. For the first-time pageant contestant and winner, the time was well spent. Being Miss Riverton left a good impression on her personally. Residents in Utah Valley might be seeing her crowned in their city soon (perhaps Miss Utah Valley University). “It was such a good experience,” she said “You meet so many people and learn new things.” When asked if Miss Utah is a possibility down the road, she said, “Maybe, if I keep doing it. That is ultimately the goal, right?” Obviously, she has enjoyed the position well enough that she has the desire to do it again. With all community/city pageants, a contestant can only hold the title once. “When you add in work, school and family, it can become a bit overwhelming,” she said. “A part of me wants to do it again to keep the momentum of it going. I definitely plan on doing it again, although it may be after I finish my time as a student.” Then again, she could be preoccupied dancing on tour across the country or globe. Hindoian is studying to graduate with a major in fine arts with an emphasis on dance performance at Utah Valley University. She is finishing up her freshman year. She hopes to dance professionally in a company after she graduates. “Dancers’ windows are so small to be able to perform, so I want to perform as long as possible,” she said. “The body is only good enough for so long in the dancing world, usually.” Everyone be aware of the impact of social media When running for Miss Riverton, Hindoian ran on the platform of the dangers and effects of social media has on our overall

S outh ValleyJournal .com

Gabby Hindoian in gown and Miss Riverton crown (Michael Scott/Michael Scott Photography)

health (including our mental and physical health). She advises those that suffer anxiety or begin to struggle with their mental health to not take the position too seriously. The platform was an easy choice; it was inspired personally by her younger brother. “My original platform was inspired just solely off of him because he struggled a lot with social media, and his self-confidence suffered,” she said. “Originally, I saw him go through it, and that became what I wanted to focus it on, and then I went through it myself. It only grew from there, and it affects everybody. It is not just certain age groups; it affects everybody.” Social media was creating anxiety and depression her brother’s life. Since then, he has adjusted and learned to see the warning signs of its negativity. He will delete the app from his phone entirely for months at a time until he is good and ready to get back on it again. The social pressures that come with it can be overwhelming. She recommends to anyone that is dealing with any sort of anxiety or negative repercussions to simply delete it. “Sometimes, it might seem complicated than that, but honestly take the time and just delete it for a minute,” Hindoian said. “I am

so incredibly proud of my little brother. My little brother is 14 years old, and ever since I had this platform to speak from, when he realizes he gets down or upset, he completely deletes his Instagram, and he is off of it for several months until he is ready to get back on it. I am so proud of him for that because I do not even have to tell him. He just does it on his own.” It’s a great lesson for parents trying to navigate the issues of social media with their children. For some, this might seem impossible, especially for teens. “So many that are his age are so glued to their phones,” she said. “It almost seems the younger they get, the worse they are with it, so that can be a really hard step to take. Even if it is not just deleting it fully, it is setting a time limit for yourself to be on it. Spend a half-hour or an hour at most a day on it.” Hindoian recommends setting a timer or even deleting the app from your phone to focus on the things that matter and have a real impact on your life. Apps such as Facebook and Instagram have a timer in its settings where you can set it for an hour a day. If that time is up, move on to other tasks and things that will lift you up. “Social media is easy to get obsessive

with,” Hindoian said. “When you start to compare and suffer negative thoughts and anxiety from it, try to be aware.” “Go do other things with the rest of your day that is going to make you feel good,” she continued. “Go out with friends and focus on personal interactions rather than social interactions through a phone.” She urged parents to not forget that it is in your control and you also provide an example. If your children see you looking at your phone while you interact with them, it sells a picture that your phones and social media might be as or more important as what they are saying. “Especially for that 12 to 14 age range, it is much of the time in the parent’s control,” she said. “They have to be in charge of that because the kids can’t do it themselves. Work on building interactions in person that have value and lasting meaning.” Advice for the next Miss Riverton As her year is winding down as Miss Riverton, Hindoian looks on her experience with a bit of nostalgia. The upcoming pageant takes place April 27 at Riverton City Hall. It is a rite of passage event in more ways than one for her. In uncanny fashion, it is also on her birthday. She not only finishes up her first year of adulthood, but she is handing over her crown as Miss Riverton. If her last year is any indication, she has many incredible endeavors just around the corner. “I really want the girls and the next Miss Riverton to soak up every single second of this experience” she said. “You meet so many amazing girls and create the strongest friendships.” Hindoian said the time over the last year went by quickly. With all of the events and opportunities to serve out there, she wants the next pageant winner to make the most of every moment. “It is really easy to get overwhelmed and stressed with all of the service and responsibilities thrown your way,” she said. “Even though there is a lot going on, you really need to enjoy every second and not take a minute for granted. It feels like once you are getting crowned, you are adjusting to everything you are doing. Then, the minute you get comfortable and dive into the entirety of the experience, you just get back up and hand over the title to the next girl.” Hindoian leaves with a lifetime of memories, experiences and relationships that have been created since being crowned. She is inspired by how all of the examples she has witnessed throughout the many service events. She said even if you are not a pageant winner, there are always opportunities and groups to help out others. “I think it is really amazing,” she said. “Seeing everyone’s eagerness and motivation to help and aid others is really inspiring and uplifting.”

April 2019 | Page 5


Catch the award-winning musical ‘Urinetown

Bluffdale Arts

is excited to announce auditions for the Broadway Musical

By Clinton Haws | c.haws@cityjournals.com

Y April 26 from 6-9 PM April 29 from 9 AM- NOON call backs in the afternoon and evening

Bluffdale City Offices 2200 W 14400 S Ages 14 - young adult ***yes we will have female newsies***

Seize The Day This production is made possible by support from Bluffdale City and Salt Lake County ZAP

Listen Technologies On January 10, 2019 Listen Technologies celebrated the opening of its new building located at 14912 Heritage Crest Way in Bluffdale. The expansion doubled its useable space by adding 20,000 square feet. Due to a tremendous amount of growth they needed room to increase their employee workspace in addition to warehouse space. Listen Technologies has been in business since 1998 and believes all people deserve to hear the world around them. They design and manufacture assistive listening products that equip users with the personalized solutions they need to listen and engage in environments where hearing is difficult, whether they are in a theme park, house of worship, tour group, theaters or other venues. Listen Technologies sets the standard for innovation and develops products that minimize noise, distance, clashing conversations, hearing loss and other audio challenges. To learn more about how they provide a better way to hear the world, visit listentech.com

Page 6 | April 2019

ou read that right, that really is the title! “Urinetown” is a story of ridiculousness, dark comedy, idiocy, love, greed and of revolution—when paying to urinate (or otherwise) is the cultural norm after a terrible drought. With water becoming as valuable as any commodity, covetousness becomes part of the ruling authority. It’s a tongue-in-cheek Broadway musical and winner of numerous awards, including winner of three Tony Awards and three Outer Critics Circle among them. “It is a mix of ‘West Side Story,’ ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Chicago,’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’” said producer and choreographer Vicki Wartman, who has been choreographing and producing for the Riverton Arts Council for more than 20 years. She currently serves as the arts administrator for Riverton. With its slick humor and plot, the play provides a refreshing take for musical theater. In many forms, it pokes fun at the stigma of the Broadway musical industry while reminding the audience of the many joys of attending live performance musicals. The play is based on a setting in which the town’s residents have to pay for the “amenity” of a public toilet after running low on water as a resource. The town’s lawmakers no longer allow private use of toilets. “We have an incredible cast,” said Director Kim Ostler. “It is the most talented cast I have worked with.” Accompanied by longtime RAC members, some new faces mix in for this Riverton live performance. The cast of “Urinetown” provide a show that is entertaining and full of laughs. It’s a setting that is great for a night with a date or one’s family with children old enough to follow the story. It is a dinner-style theatre in which the audience can purchase dinner for intermission. The show pulls out all the stops in this satirical musical. This lead is Bobby Strong, a public utility employee who struggles with the current system in which you have to pay to use toi-

lets. He is haunted by the memories of watching Old So and So being taken away by the police simply because he did not have sufficient funds to use amenity No. 9 that day. In Act 1, Bobby runs into the daughter of the richest man in Urinetown, Hope Cladwell. She is fresh out of college and returns to learn from her “Daddy,” Caldwell B Cladwell about running and eventually take over the family business. “Listen to your heart Bobby, what does it say?” Hope literally rests on Bobby’s chest listening to his heart. In a smooth turn, Hope has Bobby do the same with her heart. The scene concludes with a romantic kiss. With that, the kicker serves as the final moment in which Bobby starts to provide a citywide revolution by providing free use of the toilets to the local residents. A series of events follows that involves honor, kidnapping, bribery and a square-off between Bobby and Cladwell. The show provides arc words such as today and tomorrow. In a great scene that is a parody from the “Les Miserables” renowned scene “Le Revolution,” this mob and heroes of the story are focused on today. Meanwhile, Cladwell and his cronies are focused on tomorrow. “There is not an unmemorable song in this score,” said Ostler. Comprising solos, duets and ensemble musical numbers, the musical brings many different variables. There is interaction and acknowledgment with the audience, whether interaction is by the opening narrator or the play narrator. Other characters include Officer Lockstock and Officer Barrel. The show provides an audience surrogate through Little Sally, who asks questions the audience will find themselves wondering. Sally’s exchanges with Officer Lockstock feed the audience with tidbits of information while providing slick jabs at the authority figure. The two leads of the play are co-led. When they perform depends on the date of the play. “The leads are all extraordi-

Jessica Yergensen as Hope Cladwell. Heath Bateman as Caldwell B. Cladwell and the ensemble in a musical number (Dave Argyle/DBA Photography)

nary in their own unique way and skill set,” says Wartman. Ostler was invited by a friend to see the National Tour in 2005. “I knew nothing about the show and came away speechless,” she said. “I was calling everyone to buy a ticket and to go see it. It was the funniest, most intelligently stimulating show I had ever seen.” The story continues in Act II with hysterical moments, writing genius, and joyful song and dance performances. If you enjoy musicals and have not experienced this playbill yet, it is a refreshing production that embodies sarcastic fun comedy. It includes one-liners that might stray toward political incorrectness. The spirit of the play satirizes the legal system, capitalism, corporate mismanagement, social irresponsibly and municipal politics. “It has been a joy adding so many different styles of dance

and having the opportunity to teach young minds something new,” says Ostler. Wartman has enjoyed her work on the play. “Being able to create choreography parodied on so many awarded and memorable musicals has been a pleasure,” says Wartman. The cast has chemistry throughout the play. Although the premise of the show is dark in concept with police executing those who do not use bathroom facilities or pay for them, it is an uplifting and comical experience. The ruse is it is so outlandish and provides a place for many punchlines and multiple satirical parodies. It also helps that the heroes in different aspects are partly idiotic and flawed in some respects. They bring heroism and honor to the forefront. The conclusion is also unexpected but fits the persona of the play.

South Valley City Journal


Being prepared in an emergency is important, but knowing about it matters most By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

I

n February, contaminated water in Sandy City caused a massive amount of concern for its residents, not just for those who had been drinking the water but the manner in which many felt city leaders let them down by not communicating with them sooner. Once city officials decided to let the community know, it created an entirely different set of issues; not everyone received the emergency alerts city leaders said they sent to everyone in the affected area. So, what does that mean? It means that officials in Utah cities and counties as well as in the state all have ways in which they notify the community of an emergency. If you are not signed up for those alerts, you could miss out on very important information. Tami Moody, spokesperson for Herriman City, said one of the challenges of having a community that is prepared for emergencies is ensuring the members of the community are able to receive that information. “Herriman City offers an alert system that allows residents to sign up for emergency alerts and other important community news,” Moody said. “Our program enables the city to provide critical information quickly for various situations such as severe weather, evacuations, law enforcement issues and fire alerts.

Moody said signing up for an alert system allows the community to receive information faster which can be critical in some situations. “When time is of the essence, sending the information directly to someone’s phone provides more people will receive the notification and be able to respond,” said Moody. “Currently, Herriman City has more than 950 people signed up to receive emergency alerts, and more than 1,200 have signed up to receive various alerts regarding City information.” Herriman has just under 40,000 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau. A list of state, county and city resources are listed below for those wishing to make sure they can be notified in case of any emergency. State of Utah You can sign up for any state emergencies such as Amber Alerts, Earthquake, Fire, Air Quality, Consumer Recall and Protection Alerts. Heath, travel, traffic and wildlife alerts are also available. You can sign up for any of the alerts you feel best fit your need at https://www.utah. gov/alerts/ Salt Lake County

Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center has instituted a regional emergency notification system for Salt Lake County. Located in West Valley City, VECC is a consolidated 9-1-1 dispatch center that serves all communities in Salt Lake County with the exception of Salt Lake City and Sandy City. The service provides a way to send telephone, SMS text and email notifications regarding emergency situations or critical public safety information directed toward those that are impacted by, or in danger of being impacted by, an emergency or disaster and delivers information and instructions regarding emergencies, disasters or critical information under the authority of the responding agencies. To register your information for alerts from VECC, please visit vecc9-1-1.com/ voip-registration/. Bluffdale City You can sign up for emergency alerts through the Bluffdale City Website bluffdale. com/list.aspx. There are also city social media accounts for Bluffdale which use the alerts. If available, information will be given there at www.facebook.com/bluffdalecity/ (Bluffdale City, Utah) and twitter.com/bluffdalecity (@

bluffdalecity). Herriman City To register for the text/email alert system, you can go to public.govdelivery.com/ accounts/UTHERRIMAN/subscribers/qualify For social media communications, residents can follow Herriman City on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/HerrimanCity/ and /twitter.com/HerrimanCity (@herrimancity) They also use the reverse 911 system to notify residents of emergencies in their area. Riverton City Residents can subscribe to the email service at rivertoncity.com/subscribe. For push alerts, you can download the Riverton Connect mobile app at rivertoncity.com/app. For social media communications, residents can follow Riverton City on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/rivertoncityutah and twitter.com/rivertoncity (@ rivertoncity). For more information about emergency notifications, go to rivertoncity.com/departments/communications/emergency-notifications.php. Texting Service where residents can optin will soon be available.

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Page 8 | April 2019

fter a wave of earthquakes hit the southwest end of the Salt Lake Valley in February, many started to worry if that meant the “big one” was right around the corner. Seismologists weighed in on the concerns and were quick to jump in and try to help ease residents’ fears. According to The University of Utah Seismograph Stations, 160 earthquakes occurred in the Bluffdale area from Feb. 13 to March 5. The largest of these quakes was a 3.7 magnitude that occurred just after 5 a.m. on Feb. 15. Jim Pechmann, a seismologist with the University of Utah, with the help of Paul Roberson, said in a report he wrote about the Bluffdale earthquakes, that the largest foreshock was a 3.2 that occurred just shortly before the 3.7. “One-hundred forty-six of the earthquakes were aftershocks, with the largest being a 3.1 on Saturday, Feb. 23,” said the report. “It is possible the Bluffdale earthquakes are occurring on the nearby Wasatch fault, but it is also possible they are occurring on a minor, unnamed fault.” The report further stated the 4.0 earthquake that occurred in central Utah on Feb. 20 is not related to the Bluffdale earthquakes, as it is more than 120 miles away, which is too far to trigger a larger earthquake. No injuries or damages were reported in

any of the quakes. Perchmann said in Utah, an earthquake usually needs to be larger than 6.0–6.5 magnitude for a surface break to occur. “The reason the quakes were felt on the surface by so many was because there are a lot of people living on top of where the earthquakes occurred,” said Pechmann. “A second reason is that the deep soils in the Salt Lake Valley tend to amplify ground motions from earthquakes, especially small ones.” Perchmann goes on to explain the smaller quakes also do not mean they are releasing pressure to lessen the chances of a larger quake in the near future; smaller quakes only increase the chances of a larger one, not lessen it. Be Ready Utah says being prepared for an earthquake is very important, that an earthquake larger than any others we have ever experienced in the valley is likely to happen in the future. Utah is a seismically active region, and the majority of Utah’s population is concentrated in the highest area of hazard. In a press release issued by the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, officials said the Duck, Cover and Hold On procedure is based on the premise that the built environment in the United States is superior to that in many developing countries. ”Because of seismic provisions in building codes, stringent building inspections and

superior building materials, the structural collapse of buildings in the United States occurs infrequently,” said the release. “Further, earthquakes have been shown to cause significant non-structural and content damage, for example, caused by falling ceiling and light fixtures and toppled bookcases and cabinets. Falling objects pose a real risk of injury or death.” The Utah Division of Emergency Services, California Office of Emergency Services, Structural Engineers Association of California and American Red Cross all agree that taking cover under sturdy furniture, such as a desk or table, will greatly reduce the possibility of injury or death. The main things seismologist want people to know in case of an earthquake is to make sure they have a 72-hour kit with food, water and clothing, along with a home evacuation plan. Residents should also make sure heavier items are not located in a place that could cause severe injury if they fell,. It is also good to discuss a meeting place for your family, as communication grids are likely to go down, making reaching your loved ones difficult. For more information about the Duck, Cover and Hold tips for preparing children and the elderly, as well as other resourceful tips, you can go to www. utah.gov/beready/earthquakePreparedness.

South Valley City Journal


Herriman’s incoming Anthem Commercial Center snags WinCo By Travis Barton | travis.b@thecityjournals.com

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inCo is coming to Herriman. Herriman City Council took major steps for the city’s planned Anthem Center on Feb. 27 when it voted unanimously to approve a series of agreements that will make WinCo the center’s anchor tenant. The Anthem Commercial Center is a planned 50-acre project slotted for the area between Mountain View Corridor, Anthem Park Boulevard and Herriman Main Street. But in order to move forward with the project, the development needed an anchor tenant—a large, often brand-name business such as a department store or retail chain. Anchor tenants generally attract other smaller companies to the area. “Getting these anchor stores is critical to making these [centers] work,” said Assistant City Manager Gordon Haight during a Feb. 27 work meeting. Some residents on social media expressed excitement about WinCo setting up shop in Herriman. Initially, Walmart had submitted building plans in 2016 but eventually abandoned the project, requiring city leaders and the developer to find a new anchor tenant and buy back the 18 acres owned by Walmart—which had until the end of 2018 to begin building a store. Once that ended, the developer could repurchase the land. WinCo, meanwhile had expressed interest in the area but were already under contract for another property in South Jordan. Herriman officials, as part of the agreements, agreed to waive certain water and transportation fees to incentivize WinCo to relocate to the city. Those fees will be reimbursed from property tax TIF (tax increment financing) generated by the project area over time. According to city documents, the WinCo development—an 82,500-square foot-WinCo grocery store—will recapture some of the sales tax leakage and provide additional revenue to the city, lessen dependence on property taxes and increase its point of sale sales tax. While there are large sums of money interchanging between Herriman City, the redevelopment agency, the Anthem Development and WinCo—some to the tune of $300,000 for Anthem impact fees or $400,000 for WinCo impact fees—Councilwoman Nicole Martin said the city is made whole at the end of the day. “And more importantly, this is money that we’re shifting back and forth that

S outh ValleyJournal .com

doesn’t even materialize but for the development itself,” she said during the Feb. 27 city council meeting. “It’s not coming out of our existing coffers.” Funds must be spent in the area for infrastructure and improvements, Councilman Jared Henderson said during the meeting. “It’s not enriching these companies,” he said. “We’re not encumbering ourselves; we’re not indebted in any way,” Henderson said. “Everything is based on the performance of the commercial development.” Martin said it is a large benefit that comes from their partnership with the developer, John Gust, who estimated work on the WinCo would start in July. Gust said a demographic report that showed the area was “ground zero for growth” pushed WinCo to get out of its contract with South Jordan. “We take great pride in sticking with you guys,” Gust told the Herriman City Council. “It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of effort.”

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International Women’s Day events support,celebrate women By Jennifer J. Johnson | J.Johnson@mycityjournals.com

M

arch 8, the official “International Women’s Day,” is ever-growing in international and social-media buzz, and prompted a flurry of local activity on par with the weather happening that day. City Journals presents a recap on several Salt Lake Valley-based activities and commemorations of Women’s Day. First-time celebrators — for the youngest of young — Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum Nearly 900 members and guests of the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum were treated to a celebration of women’s social, cultural and political achievements, through the lens of gender equality. On March 8, children up to age 11 learned “the amazing things women can do,” recounted marketing coordinator Anna Branson. Children used unique materials and media to create artistic renditions of historic and current women leaders, including the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, anthropologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, and human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai. All received “Believe in Girls” stickers and had the chance to walk through a unique kaleidoscope, featuring all of the wonderful possibilities for girls and women.

Rising up, lifting up at the U of U – for college students, staff, faculty and community At the University of Utah, the “day” has become a week-long celebration of women. The Women’s Leadership Summit, themed “Rise Up, Lift Up” was preceded by the “Empower U” Symposium, where president Ruth Watkins provided the keynote address. The Women’s Leadership Summit, now in its fifth year, offered a resources fair, with everything from women’s health information to voting engagement. The fair was presented in booths lining a wall of windows in the Ray Olpin Student Union building. The university assembled a roundup of nearly 20 breakout sessions, dealing with topics as edgy as navigating shame culture to as vanilla as financial-planning strategies for women. “It was truly a day of learning, engagement, and idea sharing,” shared Jessica Lynne Ashcraft, co-chair for the event and associate director for student leadership and involvement at the U. Ashcraft indicated 200-plus women attended the event, “due to the wonderful range of topics presented and the excitement to engage on topics that are so salient for women right now.” Women in international business as a A University of Utah student created this mosaic of the beauty in women’s diversity. International Women’s Day theme… was celebrated around the world and across Salt Lake Valley on March 8. The University of Utah turned it into World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) a week-long celebration. (Photo Tina Dirmyer/University of Utah)

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leveraged one of its trademark strengths — partnering — to commemorate International Women’s Day, and, like the U of U, made the celebration into a full week of activities, versus just a day. On March 8, WTC Utah co-hosted a sold-out luncheon, in collaboration with the Women’s Business Center of Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber. “WTC Utah would like to be a part of the solutions that address the challenges facing women as they pursue global economic opportunities,” said Suzette Alles, chief operating officer of WTC Utah. “Increasing international trade, and supporting women in their efforts to do so, helps companies grow, create wealth and become more resilient. This, in turn, bolsters economies on a local, national and global level.” … And as an honor and an inspiring thought of global contribution March 7, the day before the official day of commemoration, WTC participated in the 10th-annual Women in International Business Conference. This power-packed day included perspectives from 30 business, government, and education leaders representing various facets of Utah’s diverse economy. At the half-day conference, Dr. Mary Beckerle, CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, was named International Woman of the Year. In her role at Huntsman, Beckerle over-

sees a cancer research laboratory focused on fundamental cell biology and Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that typically affects children and young adults. All that, an incredibly important role, and yet, Beckerle shared with City Journals deeper insight into the awesome responsibility and opportunity she and other women and men like her bear. “I believe that cancer researchers have a role in advancing global partnerships and understanding,” she observed. “In a sense, we serve as volunteer diplomats as we travel the world to share our results and work together to advance human health.” More than a day, or even a week… a month? Women Techmakers Salt Lake and Miss Nations of the World both identified March 23 as the day for their respective International Women’s Day Celebration event. The Women of the World held its ninth annual fashion show just a few days before the official date. Snowy weather on March 8 scrubbed or severely limited celebratory efforts from Sandy’s Miller Center to downtown Salt Lake’s Capitol demonstration. Regardless of the stormy weather, the message at all events was clear. Women — and girls — are to be encouraged, mentored, and celebrated all day, all week, all month, all year, whether officially or unofficially.

South Valley City Journal


Riverton economically prosperous and ever-growing, says mayor By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

Helping Families Heal for Over 130 years

Mayor Staggs’ speech is available online, but technical difficulties caused council members’ individual reports to be lost in the ether. (Riverton City Communications)

F

ollowing a city council meeting on Feb. 19, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs delivered the annual State of the City address at the Old Dome Meeting Hall. Just like last year, he proclaimed Riverton to be “strong, prosperous and growing,” and presented a look forward at some of the city’s plans for 2019. After Staggs’ remarks, each member of the city council gave a more individualized report on their specific districts. “2019 will bring a continued emphasis on standing up the Riverton Police Department, a commitment to the safety, security and mental health of our students, and a focus on emergency preparedness,” said Staggs. He also expressed confidence that 2019 would be a fantastic year for Riverton economically, since the 1.6 million-square-foot Mountain View Village shopping center will be breaking ground for its second phase of development. This phase will include a movie theater, a massive multimillion-dollar fountain and other entertainment options to complement the numerous restaurants and retail outlets that moved in last year. Together, all of this is expected to bring Riverton millions of dollars in sales tax revenue. Thanks to this economic prosperity, a municipal fee reduction may in the cards for Riverton residents this year. Riverton’s annual general fund expenditures have fallen by almost $300,000 in the last three fiscal years, dropping from $8.9 million in fiscal year 2015–2016 to $8.6 million in the most recently closed out 2017–2018 fiscal year. Also, $714,000 has been added to the general fund’s fund balance, which ended June 30, 2018, at $2.8 million. “With this increased fund balance, and given the projections over the course of this fiscal year, I will be looking to reward our

S outh ValleyJournal .com

residents with a fee holiday or reduction in one or more of the enterprise fees,” Staggs said. “After all, these are your funds.” This year should also see the expansion of Riverton’s community theater program, fund allocations for a recreation center, more programmable sports field space, renovations to city hall and the completion of an expansion to the currently at-capacity Riverton cemetery, which will be expanded by almost 1000 burial plots by this Memorial Day. “This much-needed expansion will be on time and under budget,” Staggs said. “Once all burial plots are sold, there will be no cost to the city to have established this new section.” The State of the City address, with in-person attendance by invitation only, was meant to be broadcast live to the public, but due to some technological difficulties with the meeting hall’s microphones, the audio was unusable. This caused some frustration for hopeful viewers. “I was at the council meeting, and when they broke to go to the other hall, I thought, I’ll just go home, and I’ll get my wife to bring it up,” said Riverton resident and regular council meeting attendee Mike Johnson. “Well, I go home, and I sit down in a nice comfortable chair, and the mayor comes on, and he’s speaking, and all of a sudden there’s no sound. So, I missed out on a very good speech that our mayor gave.” If you, too, were hoping to watch the livestream of the State of the City address, all is not completely lost. You may not be able to hear the city council members’ individual district reports, but the full six-page text of Staggs’ address is available to read on the Riverton city website.

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Tackling the Southwest Valley’s traffic woes By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

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he mayors of West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman, Copperton and Bluffdale are organizing a traffic visioning study for the southwest portion of the valley and are working to understand the collective impact of their planning decisions. Assisted Living & Memory Care “We all hear the issues,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. “We know that traffic times and travel times have really been elongated over the last several years.” The study will make recommendations on how to better integrate the valley’s various transport networks: roadway, active transportation and public transit—public transit being an area that Staggs has noted as being particularly lacking. “If you were to look at a map, there’s only one core bus route, UTA 126, that goes down south of South Jordan. That’s it,” said Staggs at a city council meeting on March 5. “All of us as taxpayers are spending this money—sales tax and other pieces that are going to UTA, through UDOT—and we need to continue to be vigilant to make sure that the infrastructure we desperately need here is constructed.” More than 160,000 new people have moved into West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman, Copperton and Bluffdale ~Large private room and private bath since 2000, according to a jointly signed with individual climate control, statement published by the mayors of those emergency call system, and cable tv six cities. Those 160,000 new residents account ~Home Cooked, Dietitian-Approved for 70 percent of the population growth for Meals with snack and hydration the entirety of Salt Lake County in that same time frame. But new road infrastructure, the available as needed mayors postulate, has not been increasing at ~Assistance with daily living activities nearly the same speed, which has created a veritable transportation crisis. including medication “There are 12 driving miles between monitoring and charting I-15 and the western parts of Herriman, ~Daily housekeeping services South Jordan and West Jordan, compared to just 6 miles from I-15 to Wasatch Boulevard ~Attentive and committed staff on the county’s east side—twice the distance providing individual and group with no adequate east–west connectors comparable to I-215. Mountain View Corridor, activities which didn’t even exist in 2010, is projected ~Cozy and secure living in a home-like to have as many cars traveling on it as I-15 environment brings peace of mind did in 2010 (more than 150,000). Bangerter

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Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs wants to see residents’ transportation tax dollars used more efficiently. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)

Highway has the same traffic projections: the equivalent of two I-15s running through the southwest part of the valley,” wrote the mayors. The six mayors began meeting regularly after last year’s Olympia Hills housing debacle, which, had it actually gone through, would have seen more than 33,000 people crammed into 930 acres of land, essentially creating a city the size of Midvale or Kearns but crammed into a third of the land area of either. The development was ultimately vetoed, but the incident made the mayors realize that if they wanted to keep the valley’s infrastructural woes from worsening even further, it would require some serious teamwork. The group of mayors is now urging state officials to convert Bangerter Highway into a full freeway, connect the Mountain View Corridor all the way to I-15 and improve east–west connectivity between the I-215 belt route and Bangerter Highway. “Bangerter is going to take some $500 million to complete, with all of those great separated interchanges,” Stagg said. “And we have moved up the timeline to a certain extent.” Separated interchanges at 12600 South, 10400 South and 6200 South are all slated to be completed in 2020, which should provide some immediate relief to the choking river of cars that is 12600 South today. Also, 2700 West and others should hopefully

be completed the year after that. “When the rest of those interchanges are done, and it becomes a full freeway, we’re going to see noticeable improvement to the transportation corridors that we have,” said Staggs. There’s one other state bill that the six southwest mayors were watching with worried eyes: Senate Bill 34, which would prod cities into constructing further high-density housing developments in exchange for a bribe of transportation dollars. The mayors don’t see this so much as a tempting bribe as a threat to withhold desperately needed funding if they do not comply with the state’s interference in their city plans. “Affordable housing proponents ignore the current transportation crisis. They are pushing the public and state policymakers to just add more housing, particularly multifamily housing. Moreover, the state legislature is now entertaining options that would withhold state transportation dollars (your tax monies) to communities that don’t adhere to their top-down planning directives to build higher densities. This is wholly irresponsible, and it would only exacerbate the transportation crisis we are in today,” the mayors wrote. “It literally puts the cart before the horse—and then they’ll take away your horse if you don’t add to the cart!”

South Valley City Journal


Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best: Riverton’s Emergency Preparedness Committee examines its resources By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

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iverton’s Emergency Preparedness Committee delivered its first-ever presentation at a city council meeting on March 5. Last year, Riverton introduced a number of committees entirely comprising citizen volunteers, including an economic development committee and a transportation committee, but the Emergency Preparedness committee is perhaps the one receiving the most attention. “In light of some of the earthquakes and other things that we’ve experienced, we felt it really timely for them to come in,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. Committee head chairman Nick Richey couldn’t agree more. “Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes,” he said. “Most recently, we’ve had a swarm of earthquakes not too far from home, and that’s spurred up a lot of interest among community members as well as the emergency management team at state, county and local levels,” Currently, the committee is operating on a $15,000 annual budget. “Personally, I don’t think that $15,000 is enough,” Richey said. “Only $500 is allocated toward rations, and communication is what’s sucking up most of those funds. A large component of that is going to be consumed by computers, TVs, instant radios and communication equipment, as well as rations and water for at least 96 hours. That takes up 75 percent of our budget.” The remaining 25 percent is currently budgeted toward community outreach and education efforts. City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt is working with the committee to apply for a grant that could potentially double the committee’s funds, which would be a welcome boon. Staggs pointed out that, as the city is approaching the end of a fiscal year and most of the committee’s current money-suckers are one-time expenses, the committee will be receiving another $15,000 relatively soon but is still in favor of pursuing the grant and potentially increasing the budget further.

S outh ValleyJournal .com

Riverton’s Emergency Preparedness Committee hopes to create an emergency operations center vaguely like the Utah EOC, pictured here, in Riverton’s public works building. (Joe Dougherty/City Journals)

Officials from the city’s public works department are working with the committee to transform the public works building into an emergency operations center. From the sound of it, they’ve still got a ways to go so far as seismic integrity. “We want to make sure that all of our staff areas are earthquake proof,” Richey said. “When visiting the public works building, I noticed that there were a few key items that were not secured to the wall, one being the hazardous material shelving. Should an earthquake occur, a lot of that oil and petroleum would spill out on the floor.” He also remarked that it looked like a lot of important electrical components, including the backup generator, were not properly secured, which

could compromise the whole building’s electricity access if they were to be knocked loose and damaged. Beyond that, the committee is looking to improve its public outreach. Over the last few months of its operation, the committee has worked with city staff to completely overhaul its old website, which formerly consisted of just a few bullet points of information. The committee wants to establish emergency aid contacts with surrounding economic partners as well as other cities. The public works director and city engineer, Trace Robinson, suggested the possibility of reaching out to local construction agencies to identify their equipment, so that if debris needs to be removed after some crisis, officials will know

where to look. Another idea is including educational handouts in residents’ utility bills. “Everyone in Riverton receives a bill of some sort, so if we can attach in there quick snippets about what to purchase to increase individual preparedness or future classes or training, that would be ideal,” said Richey. There are a number of free online training courses—Incident Command System 100 and 908, most notably—that the committee suggests city officials take. It also hopes to provide Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, as well as CPR training sessions, to Riverton residents at some date in the future.

April 2019 | Page 13


Olympia Hills redux? Uncertainty abounds for proposed ‘tech town’ development Jennifer J. Johnson | J.Johnson@MyCityJournals.com

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t is a vision with antonyms aplenty. The developer’s “dream” is residents’ “nightmare.” “High density” becomes high drama. Even the developer’s public relations firm—Love Communications—produces glitzy images that some loudly proclaim propaganda. ‘Big upside’ and ‘a definite sense of place’ On March 13–14, residents of Herriman and South Jordan, respectively, had the opportunity to preview developer Doug Young’s vision for Olympia Hills II. Input from the meetings will be collected, considered and presented to Salt Lake County officials for next-step consideration in the developer’s request for zoning changes to accommodate the project. As Young sees it, Olympia Hills II would be a “live-work-play-shop modern community,” anchored by a huge high-tech employer offering high-paying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. Instead of the original proposed density of nine people per acre, the Olympia Hills II number has slightly modified to 6.8. The development would be buoyed by an unprecedented network of regional parks and trails, as well as a children’s hospital and a Utah State Extension campus, all of which would reimagine around 900 acres of unincorporated Salt Lake County, running along the Bacchus Highway, or State Route 111. “The concepts, on the surface, are worth exploring. They have a potential upside,” observed Wasatch Front Regional Council

(WFRC) Deputy Director and President of the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association Ted Knowlton. According to Knowlton, plans to integrate amenities through the area such as a network of parks and open spaces “create something more valued than just standard community parks.” Such planned connectivity and synergy, he said, “tends to provide great value to a city over decades and decades.” The sequel whose parent never made it beyond the editing floor Olympia Hills II is a chiseled version of this past summer’s highly contested, high-density Olympia Hills development plan for land located approximately from 6300–8500 West and 12400–13100 South. The original proposal was broadly booed by Herriman residents who assembled a change.org petition with more than 16,000 signatures in opposition. In an action serving as the catalyst for the newly emerging Southwest Quadrant Mayors Council, mayors of Copperton Township, Herriman, Riverton and West Jordan banded together to dissuade the imposition of what they see as an infrastructure nightmare. The tag-team pressure led then-Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams to veto the Salt Lake County Council’s near-unanimous, 7-1 support of the project, which would have sought approval to alter land use from an A-2 Agricultural Zone to a P-C or Planned Community Zone. After going back to the drawing board to reimagine Olympia Hills, the developer is now, per the request of Salt Lake Coun-

ty, hosting public open houses for comment, prior to making a formal application for a rebooted project. It is a project forecast with what the developer calls “patient money,” meaning that there is time to await approvals and funding to wait out the securing of anchor tenants. ‘A 30- to 40-year process’ Olympia Hills II is a re-spliced project looking to gain traction necessary to begin what developer Young says is ultimately a 30- to 40-year process. The developer would look to transform the unincorporated area to a bustling, mixed-use, high-tech community, a modern-day corporate town beholden to a tech behemoth such as Amazon, Facebook or Google. Young traced Utah’s history with mining towns as evidence of communities historically growing around work. The demise of “big-box” retail and other disruptive changes in business, he observed, will reinvent the way communities operate. To visually depict today’s high-tech town concept, the developer even included pictures of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s “Willow Campus” corporate town. There is no affiliation of any sort with Zuckerberg or Facebook. The project’s far-west location and lack of breezy transportation with I-15 make it a seeming non sequitur with its goal of building synergy with Lehi’s Silicon Slopes high-tech community. However, the I-15 quotient is not the only consideration. “A lot of people confuse the idea that I-15 is the center of the valley, but it’s not,” Knowlton said. “It separates

one third from the other two-thirds.” “If the Southwest Quadrant communities really wanted to,” he adds, pausing for a moment, “they could create a strong employment spine. They have to allow for it, through planning and zoning, and encourage it, through regional community development.” From concerns to conspiracies City Journals reporters attended both open houses March 13–14 at Herriman’s Bastian Elementary and South Jordan’s Golden Fields Elementary—listening to and interviewing multiple residents of both Herriman and South Jordan. At press time, a tally of citizen comments was unavailable – in terms of either content or quantity. Residents’ verbal concerns ranged from insisting the developer secure “guarantees” of anchor technology tenants, to the burden Olympia Hills II would have on transportation, water and other resources. Mainly, residents expressed skepticism if it was really feasible for a community, even a “corporate town” to behave like “an island” where residents would look to stay in place, versus commuting elsewhere, for recreation, jobs base and other needs Critiques of Olympia Hills II’s creating a “commuter community” sting in the present sense, being a spot-on critique of existing community Herriman. The city has had the dubious distinction of having the state’s lowest jobs-to-housing ratio, rendering it a sprawling bedroom community without economic development to support it, requiring commuters to drive elsewhere to work opportunities. In some cases, resident concerns morphed to conspiracies, with elected officials and others charging the developer with purposefully staging the open houses without proper public notification. Numerous residents used the term “propaganda” to refer to visuals depicting aspects of Olympia Hills II. Misinformed residents critiqued the developer for poor development projects in Herriman, which he legitimately had no part of. Some residents came to the sessions anticipating a “town hall” format and felt illat-ease navigating a room full of posters on easels, visually depicting everything from storm-drain management to traffic patterns. Uncertainty the only certainty for many The biggest concern about Olympia Hills II is uncertainty. Multiple residents asked developer Young for “guarantees” — as to which tech company would become the anchor tenant, which children’s hospital would co-anchor, what types of housing products would domA “live-work-play-shop” modern community is developer Doug Young’s vision for Olympia Hills II, a 30 or 40-year development seeking to come to Southwest Quad- inate the acreage and what the density distrirant. Open space is depicted in green; the “town center” in red; the Utah State University Extension campus in an appropriate blue; and neighborhood housing in bution would look like. yellow and orange. (Image Credit: Love Communications, for developer Doug Young) “I tell my children that wanting some-

Page 14 | April 2019

South Valley City Journal


thing is not a plan,” remarked Herriman City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore Jared Henderson, who also included the concept in a lengthy Facebook post which was widely distributed to residents across the Southwest Valley. “Guarantees” are never givens in planning such a visionary community, according to Knowlton. “It happens often that a community is hopeful to land a certain path of employment, and it doesn’t materialize,” he said. “What can be done in a vision is to analyze market demands and think about how different patterns of development, infrastructure or different packages of amenities can increase the likelihood [of their realizing the opportunities.] Communities

can influence these outcomes, but cannot control them.” We’re not opposed, but… “We’re not opposed to growth, but we want it done responsibly,” said Herriman Resident Lisa Brown, who is part of the resident coalition who assembled the 16,000-signature opposition to the initial Olympia Hills project. “I’m really sad,” said Kristie Miller, a Herriman resident who attended the meeting in South Jordan. “A case of less information, more propaganda. It is disappointing to not see any impact reports or resources that are backing up claims. “We feel like we had handled this already.”

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Members of a resident coalition that originally opposed Olympia Hills gather to question and critique the high-density, “tech town” Olympia Hills II project proposal. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

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South Valley City Journal


It’s cool to be kind at Butterfield Canyon By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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tudents and faculty at Butterfield Canyon Elementary can’t stop smiling. That’s because they signed a pledge to smile more. “I started doing it, and it actually made other people smile, and it made their day, and they seemed happy,” said fifth-grader Benjamin Hill. The pledge was January’s challenge, part of a yearlong kindness campaign perpetuating kindness through a monthly theme and challenge and weekly activities focusing students on being kind to self, peers, family and community. “We want them to keep thinking about it continuously and keep challenging themselves to continue that kindness through each day,” said Michelle Thorn, the fifth-grade teacher who created the campaign. Students and faculty members participate in challenges such as performing random acts of kindness, saying hello to a minimum number of people in a day or picking up trash around the school. “I love that there’s a focus on kindness and that every student gets a chance to make a difference for other people,” said Principal Amanda Bollinger. Student council members, with support from Thorn and additional council advisers Brandon Maulis and Jen Joos, compile and deliver all the instructions and materials teachers need to implement the weekly activities with their students. “If the teachers had to go get the stuff and actually plan it out, they wouldn’t be doing it,” said Sadie Ashton, a fifth-grader on the coun-

cil. “They’re so busy, so I think it’s nice that they can just get the stuff and be able to enjoy it with their class.” Thorn has received positive feedback from teachers, who make time for the activities during class. “Teachers say it’s changing the culture of our school,” said Thorn. “They’re seeing differences of kindness in their classroom. They’re feeling like they’re leading their classroom with more kindness because of it.” The program was initially developed to focus on kindness for the first week of the new school year. “We all loved it so much that I just turned it into a kindness campaign for our whole school for the whole year,” said Thorn. Fifth-grader Alexa Raiford has noticed there are fewer students sitting alone during recess since the campaign began. Lexi Jacobson, a sixth grader, said, “It’s made our school a lot more welcoming and open to new students, and it’s just made everyone happy.” She said many of the activities have had lasting effects, such as when students wrote compliments to each other on sticky notes earlier in the school year. “I still see people in different classes with their sticky notes on their desks because it just made their day and made them feel a lot better,” said Lexi. Activities involve the larger community as well. In February, student council members delivered Valentine cards created by each class to residents at a nearby assisted living

center while the school choir entertained them. A banner of appreciation with each student’s fingerprint on it was delivered to the Herriman police department. Another month, the fire department received a banner decorated with every student’s handprint. “We always have the whole school involved,” said Thorn. “So, even they can’t go deliver it, they can still be a part of it.” Kindness has become the school culture. “It’s really created a culture of ‘this is what we all do’ and that we can all make a difference with each other,” said Bollinger.

Visitors to the school are greeted with a kindness tree in the front lobby, where each student has written on a small paper heart how they will spread happiness. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

“We’ve tied the whole theme throughout everything we’ve done this year.” Humorist and positive speaker Hank Smith presented an assembly about kindness and Family Literacy Night’s theme incorporated February’s “Spread Happiness” theme. The program also ties in with other kindness campaigns at nearby schools. In February, student leaders from Fort Herriman Middle School’s Kindness Squad visited several elementary schools, including Butterfield Canyon, to present an object lesson on kindness. “It’s peer empowerment,” said FHMS Kindness Squad adviser Becky Hunsaker. “You’ve got to reach the younger kids with students. It’s more impactful to have them see a middle schooler who they think is really cool.”

Fort Herriman Middle School student leaders taught mini-lessons to elementary students as part of their Kindness Week, which also included an assembly with comedian Stuart Edge, a performance by the band Foreign Figures and a kindness scavenger hunt. Daily challenges encouraged students to compliment others, express gratitude to teachers and perform acts of kindness.

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Oquirrh Hills only school in district with robotics team By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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t First Tech Challenge competitions, teams of students grades 7–12 test robots they’ve designed and programmed in a challenge course. While many teams are sponsored by technical schools, wealthy school districts or private donors, Oquirrh Hills Middle School is the only school in Jordan District to sponsor a First Tech robotics team. And with a $1500 budget—a mere fraction of the budget some private teams have to play with—they still qualified for the state competition. “There’s some of these high school groups and private groups that are getting tens of thousands of dollars,” said Todd Monson, robotics team adviser and science teacher at OHMS. “So, for us to be able to make it to state championship is amazing. We’re David and they’re Goliath, but the fact that we’re in the battle is pretty good.” Monson juggles various grants to fund a new robot each year. A grant from David Ferro, dean of Applied Science and Technology at Weber State University, was awarded to OHMS just two weeks before the qualifier competition in December, allowing Monson to purchase practice equipment and to enter an additional robot into the competition. The first team, the OHMS Shockers, didn’t advance due to a malfunction, but the Robo Eagles moved on to state on Feb. 23 to finish

The OHMS robotic teams were invited to the Utah State Capital Building to promote their program to law-makers on Feb 19. (Photo courtesy Greg Sill)

25th out of 36 teams, the highest ranked middle school division team. “A lot of this is the confidence that Mr. Monson instills in the kids,” said Greg Sill, a parent volunteer on the team. “Also we have had some good alliance pairings in the competitions where we have helped each other to move forward.” Sill said with a school-sponsored team, time and funds are limited, so designs and

programming are simplified to focus on a few basic tasks that will earn them the most points. “If you try to do too much, it makes it harder to get it all working together,” he said. “Teams with more experience have the ability to solve that extra step.” Of course, winning isn’t everything. The skills students gain in collaboration, problem solving and confidence will help them for the rest of their lives, believes Monson. “Gracious Professionalism” is the philosophy of First Tech. “Gracious professionalism means you play well, you lose well, you work together well—all those good sportsmanship aspects,” said Sill. OHMS robotics students have had their share of setbacks, disappointments, malfunctions, failures and disasters. Hanna Evans, an eighth-grader on the team, said they’ve learned to stay calm and work through problems as they arise. “We know that if we’re stressed, we know it’s probably not going to work out as well,” she said. “So, if we calm down and we figure out how we can work on it together, then more people have better ideas and we can problem-solve.” Jacob Little, a seventh-grader on the team, helps his teammates try to find the hu-

mor when things go wrong because in the end, it’s about having fun. Eighth-grader Dylan Ramos agrees. “We all enjoy the company of each other and working on the robot,” he said. The team members meet twice a week after school. Monson relies on help from Sill, who volunteered to help mentor while his three sons were on the team and has continued even though none of them are on the team anymore. “I could not do this without his help,” said Monson. “He’s amazing with the kids and tremendous as a parent volunteer to help me out as much as he does.” Monson is passionate about the program and makes it a priority in his already full schedule. “It’s worth it,” he said. “That’s my investment into their future and my future as well. Maybe one of them is going to engineer a device that’s going to fix my knee someday or something like that.” Because of Monson’s efforts to support and promote the robotics team as well as the OHMS Science Olympiad team, he was named Utah STEM Action Center’s Innovative Teacher of the Year for 2018–2019. The OHMS robotics program is always looking for sponsors. Donations are accepted through the Jordan Education Foundation.

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South Valley City Journal


Asian-American high school students encouraged to tap ‘superhero’ potential Story and Photos By Jennifer J. Johnson | J.Johnson@mycityjournals.com

Motivated” was a common word AsianAmerican high school students across the state felt, after attending the 20th-annual Asian-American High School Conference Feb. 28 at the University of Utah. This year’s theme — “Shaping Superheroes; Creating Positive Change” — was a powerful one, providing context to the keynote and breakout sessions. The conference seeks to help Asian-Americans high school students be prepared for collegiate success, and, even more importantly, be prepared to embrace their everyday, figurative “superhero” potential as community leaders. “When a student is passionate about something, their drive is extraordinary,” informs the conference brochure. “As such, students will learn about issues facing the Asian and Asian American communities and how they can use their passions and educations to create critical, sustainable, and positive changes in their own communities.” Students treated to ‘Who’s Who’ of Asian, Asian-American scholars Students attending the conference received academic resources, including scholarship guidance, admissions counseling, and opportunities to meet and connect with university faculty, staff, and students. Graduate students, professors, and university administrators from not just the University of Utah, but also from Salt Lake Community College and Westminster College participated in the event. Distinguished academicians, including a Rhodes Scholar and a Guggenheim Fellowship winner, politicians, and successful entrepreneurs also participated in the event. Academic disciplines represented ranged from electrical engineering to ethnic studies; from history to humanities; from

medicine to music education; and from art history to Asian studies. Asians as Superheroes, through world history and mythology … “Our Asian identity is not something to be ashamed of,” advised Matt Wong, a self-described “Cantonese American” who attended Salt Lake Community College and now works at the university. In a breakout session, Wong recounted stories of historical and mythical Asian superheroes and challenged students to liberally share their own family history and stories, particularly “if your family is recent immigrants.” He cited Ishikawa Goemon, “A Japanese Robin Hood” from the 1800s and another figure from that century, the Hindu queen Lakshmibai who led troops to battle for independence against British colonization. He also shared his family’s reverence for the contributions of Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China and the forerunner of democratic revolution in the People’s Republic of China, which overthrew the last Chinese imperial dynasty. In more recent history, Wong cited what he considered heroism of the “No-No Boys” of World War II who protested America’s unconstitutional treatment of 110,000 Japanese Americans who were placed in internment camps, yet were, themselves, asked to serve in the military. … And, today, as comic book characters – and creators Following up on a subtheme of the conference — that Asians can be stereotyped and must move beyond those stereotypes — Dr. Paul Fisk shared with students a vibrant future outside of what people consider or even uniquely recommend as careers for Asians (e.g. careers limited to science or engineering). Marvel Studio’s upcoming “Shang-Chi” will be its first superhero movie featuring an Asian protagonist. The film has signed a Chinese-American writer and is considering a variety of Asian and Asian-American directors, with the goal being to “introduce a new hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers.” Those are jobs that students could look forward to in the future, Fisk indicated. Inspiration and challenges Students attending the conference looked forward to applying what they learned. A student from Taylorsville wants to take the inspiration and tools to help coach her younger sister through school. Other students shared challenges in negotiating their Asian history with being raised in “white communities” and, for biraStudents attending the conference and their university cial students, the everyday anguish of and not hosts were encouraged to dress in either semi-formal having “white relatives” honor or appreciate or cultural attire. their Asian roots. One young woman indicatS outh ValleyJournal .com

High-school students from throughout Salt Lake Valley (and the entire state) received valuable information about scholarship opportunities and other tools for success after high school.

ed feeling like a literal alien. On the difficulty of being Asian in predominately white schools, a student from, arguably, the state’s most diverse high school, West High School in Salt Lake City, observed, “When your parent has an accent, they look down on you.” West’s studentbody represents students from homes where more than 120 different languages are spoken. Students attending the conference appreciated being able to bond with so many in similar circumstances. “I am really glad I came,” shared a student from Granger High School in West Valley City. “It feels like I need to do more,” said a

West High School student, who felt inspired to study Asian and Asian-American history and seek to serve as a role model. The Asian and Asian-American population at the U of U and in context with Salt Lake City metro Asian students comprise 5.82 percent of the university’s student population. Biracial students account for another 5.13 percent of the studentbody. According to the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, this is about twice as significant a population as within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan area, where Asians comprise 2.6 percent and those of two or more races are 2.5 percent of the overall population.

With a playful, larger-than-life-size blowup bottle of the popular Thai sriracha sauce in the background, members of the University of Utah’s Asian-American Student Association greet conference attendees.

April 2019 | Page 21


Schools celebrate Dr. Seuss with apples on top and reading with Pop

Blackridge first graders see how high they can build the Cat’s hat. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Cookies and Dr Seuss books were the highlight of Foothills Elementary’s read-athon. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Foothills Elementary Principal Cherie Wilson and Administrative Assistant Patti Hanlon help hand out cookies to students as they read in the hallways. (Jet Burnham/ City Journals)

Books big and small were read by students big and small—in the hall. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Page 22 | April 2019

Carly Aston’s first-grade class practices balancing “apple on top.” (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

First-grade teacher Carly Aston reads to her class at Blackridge Elementary. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Older students paired up with younger students to model fluency. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

An hour was set aside on the morning of March 1 for students to read books together. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

South Valley City Journal


Families were invited to read books and eat sweet rolls at Athlos Academy. (Courtney Haacke/Athlos Academy)

Students read with parents and teachers at Athlos Academy. (Courtney Haacke/Athlos Academy)

Students at Northstar Academy really get into character to celebrate Dr Seuss’s books. (Photo courtesy Tana Archer/Northstar Academy)

S outh ValleyJournal .com

Director Jarom Airhart dons the Cat’s hat to read with students. (Courtney Haacke/Athlos Academy)

Cafeteria workers made colorful sweet rolls for families who came to read with their children at Athlos Academy. (Courtney Haacke/Athlos Academy)

Themed treats were a favorite part of celebrations. (Photo courtesy Tana Archer/ Northstar Academy)

Read Across America is celebrated March 2, Dr Seuss’s birthday. (Photo courtesy Tana Archer/Northstar Academy)

April 2019 | Page 23


North Star Academy hosts temporary weather station By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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tudents had a front-row seat to science in action when local weather scientists chose to place a weather monitoring station on the east lawn of North Star Academy (NSA). “Students had observed the station and were curious about what data was collected and how it would be used,” said Monette McKinnell, a science teacher at NSA. Scientists from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah used the station to collect data to help them understand the transport of pollutants from Utah County, carried on the winds through the Jordan Narrows (along Jordan River), into the Salt Lake Valley. North Star Academy, located in Bluffdale at 2920 West 14000 South, is ideally located to gather data for the study. “This is in a good location to get the winds to understand that transport,” said Erik Crosman, a research assistant professor with the Jordan Narrows Gap Ammonia Transport Study. “We want to see how far north did those flows extend, so this is a good spot.” The weather station collected air samples once per minute and relayed the data to the research team for seven weeks. McKinnell’s eighth-graders are currently studying how atmospheric conditions relate to weather patterns and how weather predictions are made based on data collection. When Crosman came to retrieve his equipment on March 4, she invited him to talk with

Students compete to record the highest wind speed by blowing air into the sensors of a handheld weather meter. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)

her students about the weather station and the data it had obtained during the seven weeks it was installed on the school grounds. McKinnell said it was a great opportunity for her students to interact directly with a scientist who measures data such as temperature, wind speed and humidity because it provided authenticity to what they had been studying in class. Seeing the relevance of curriculum concepts engaged the students more than a textbook could, she said. Students saw the real-life application of weather models and satellite data and how it is a viable career path. Crosman allowed students to experiment with handheld data collection tools to mea-

sure temperature, wind speed and humidity levels in the air. It became a competition among students to see who could blow into the sensors and record the highest wind speed. Crosman also explained the role of weather balloons in weather and air quality research. Balloons rise in the atmosphere, collecting data until they expand so much that they pop and plummet back to the earth. Crosman said while scientists release hundreds of weather balloons each day, only 20 percent are ever found. As a young child, Crosman found a weather balloon that had drifted back to the ground, but he hasn’t seen another one since. Crosman’s stories resonated with stu-

dents. “Almost everyone was shocked to learn not only how many weather balloons are released each day but the quantity of data they collect,” said McKinnell. “The mental image of a car-sized balloon that pops was fun and will help make the entire presentation more memorable.” Crosman also spoke with a group of students, grades 5–9, who were interested in learning more about the job of a weather researcher. “The students at North Star were some of the most engaged, interested students I have ever talked to about weather,” said Crosman, who plans to return to launch a weather balloon with students this April. Crosman was impressed that, despite being placed so close to a school, the equipment remained undisturbed. The data collected about the chemistry of pollution particulates, specifically PM 2.5, will contribute to finding solutions to air quality problems such as inversion. The study was a collaboration between several scientists and was funded by the Utah Division of Air Quality. For more specific information on the project, titled Jordan Narrows Gap Ammonia Transport Study - Meteorological Support and Observations, enter Station ID:UFD13 at https://mesowest.utah.edu/.

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Yes, they changed math: Rose Creek Elementary math night teaches parents a lesson By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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omework can be frustrating for parents who didn’t learn math the same way their kids are being taught. Teachers at Rose Creek Elementary invited parents to Math Night, held Feb. 21, to familiarize them with how students are learning to approach math. “Our main purpose was to teach the families and parents to show them how we’re teaching math now,” said Britta Nunley, a special education teacher. Rose Creek uses CMI, Comprehensive Mathematics Instruction, as its instructional framework. With CMI, students learn multiple ways to solve math problems. This can be frustrating for parents who learned just one way to find the answer. “We get a lot of pushback because it does take a lot more effort and time, and the parents have never learned it,” said fourthgrade teacher Jessica Clayton. “Because they don’t understand it, they don’t know how to help their kids, and then everyone’s frustrated.” Often, students will turn in homework completed in the way their parents showed them how to do it, which is the standard algorithm (following a set of steps). “Ninety-nine percent of the time, they don’t understand why it works,” said Clayton. “We do teach the standard algorithm, but that’s the last step we do,” said Nunley. “We don’t want the kids to use the standard algorithm unless they understand why it works. We do a lot of models, a lot of manipulatives and drawing the model to solve so they understand how it’s working instead of going

through the rote process.” At math night, each grade level provided an activity to engage parents in new ways of looking at math. Fourth-grade teachers asked parents to solve a division story problem using two different strategies. Most could easily solve it using the standard algorithm they’d learned—plugging numbers into a long division equation. “Most of them just sat there and didn’t know what to do after that because they’d never solved a division problem in a different way,” said Clayton. Teachers prompted them to try drawing a picture or to separate the ones, tens and hundreds or to work it in reverse with multiplication. Clayton found parents were willing to try new ideas when they saw the connection between the picture and the strategies they were familiar with. “It was nice to see how the new math is being taught and how they visualize things, and then it helps them understand the concepts better,” said Preston Pearson, a parent. With CMI, students learn many different strategies so they find the one that makes the most sense to them. Families explored the concept of fractions using the graph paper, math tiles, construction paper, scissors and pencils the third-grade team provided. For fifth-grade math, they used blocks and marbles for hands-on, visual ways to solve complex problems. The feedback from parents and teachers was positive. “We felt like this really helped parents

see exactly what their child is learning and Many don’t understand why they “carry the how we teach it so they can help them at one” in an addition, which really is a ten, not home and understand themselves how to bet- a one, said Clayton. With CMI, students can ter work through various problems with their use blocks representing tens and ones to see children,” said third-grade teacher Krystal how and why they are regrouping the values. Parker. Clayton believes students who struggle Kristina Gowen has three students to with math benefit from seeing math in a difhelp with their homework. ferent way and finding a strategy that makes “I appreciated just learning the termi- sense to them. nology the teachers were using so when [my “I don’t think kids just hate math bekids] are at home, I can use that same termi- cause they’re bad at it,” said Clayton. “I think nology to work with them,” she said. they hate math because they don’t understand Because CMI encourages discovery, it.” Parker tells parents to let their kids struggle a Principal Tami Bird, who was previousbit before they step in to help them. ly a district math specialist, introduced Rose “Part of learning new concepts is trial Creek teachers to CMI a few years ago. It and error and failure along the way before took two years of professional development you can really grasp it,” she said. “Allowing instruction for them to fully incorporate the a safe space for students to make mistakes is concepts into their curriculum. very important to their learning.” “There is a global body of research that Nunley uses questions to prompt her stu- supports the work being done at Rose Creek,” dents to figure out their errors for themselves. said Bird. When a student gets a different answer, there Clayton can’t imagine teaching math is a class discussion. any other way. “With CMI, kids can explain their think“I have seen a huge difference in the ing,” Clayton said. “They know what they’re kids, in their confidence and their abilities,” doing; they understand why it works.” she said. “If the kid is allowed to figure it out Many parents were taught how to solve 7:03 on their own at first and then have some supGH_DRAPER_AD_5.1563X.pdf 1 9/20/18 GH_DRAPER_AD_5.1563X.pdf 1 9/20/18 7:03 AMAM a problem and don’t know why it works. port and help, they just fly.”

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Families at Math Night learn multiple ways to solve math equations. (Photo courtesy Britta Nunley)

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April 2019 | Page 25


Patriots have best season in school history By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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rovidence Hall reached new heights during its boys basketball season. “It was probably the best season we have had in our short program’s history,” head coach Brett Pugmire siad. “The kids worked really hard and accomplished their goals. It was a special season for not only the boys but for the school and the program.” The Patriots cruised to a region championship and qualified for the Class 3A state basketball playoff. It was the school’s first-ever region title. “I have been here since day one, and each year we have gotten better and better,” Pugmire said. “It has been a slow building process, but obviously we are getting there. This year was our best year so far.” In their first tournament game, the Patriots jumped out to a large first-quarter lead over San Juan. At halftime, they led by 17 points and never looked back. Their 79-55 victory advanced them into the quarterfinals. Marcus Sherwood and Dalin Dodge each scored 24 points in the first-round victory. In the second round, Providence Hall lost to the defending state champion Manti Templars, 74-56. The Patriots trailed the entire contest and shot 28 percent from the field. That loss put them in the consolation bracket where they lost to South Sevier 55-41 to close out their season.

In his final season as Patriots head coach Brett Pugmire and his team advanced to the quarterfinals. (photo courtesy of Brett Pugmire/PH Basketball)

The loss was the last of the careers of several Patriot seniors—players Pugmire said came up through the junior high program. “Our younger program has been a key to our team’s improvement,” he said. “I contacted the junior high coach early on, and we discussed how we could run an offense in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade levels. By the time the kids get to the high school, they are familiar with what we are running. We are able to fine-tune those things and add to what they have already learned. It was not a new

learning curve each year. That has helped us speed up the process to get to where we are today.” That program development is hampered when junior high kids leave and play at other public schools in the area. “It is hard,” Pugmire said. “We start to develop the kids through junior high, and then it comes time to choose a high school, and it gets tricky. Blake Freeland and Alex Anderson, who start at Herriman, were Providence Hall kids. It is a hard part to lose kids

to the big schools around us, but our team had good chemistry and feel.” Sherwood led the team in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per games. The 6-foot6-inch senior has several offers to continue playing after his high school career is over. “I think his plan is to serve and LDS mission,” Pugmire said. “He has some potential. He has worked hard and has earned his success. He has got good feet. It is impressive to see his court vision and passing. He sees the play develop before it does and is a great rebounder. We were fortunate to have him.” Ben Morales started at point guard; Parker Green was the team’s defensive stopper; and Dallin Dodge played opposite Sherwood. Pugmire said every player served his role to make the team better. “Melik was a freshman who dd not start right off the bat,” he said. “It took him a while to get some experience and find a place. He became our best outside shooter. These are great kids on and off the floor. They are the type of kids I never had to worry about. I would love to have my son be just like them. They were a joy to be around.” Pugmire is leaving the program to take a postion at another school. At press deadline, administrators were still looking for a replacement.

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Page 26 | April 2019

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South Valley City Journal


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pring is upon us, summer is on the way; and with warmer temperatures and (hopefully) blue skies on the horizon, drivers can’t blame slick roads or blinding flurries for their faulty driving anymore. Driving safely requires good driving habits. Habits. Not occasionally safe maneuvers. The following are some prudent practices to implement in your daily travels.

Safe Driving Habits

drove over a nail and didn’t realize it. We often don’t look at the tires on the passenger side since we don’t approach the car from that direction, checking regularly allows you to examine those opposite side wheels. It will keep your car’s handling in its best condition. Each vehicle can have different appropriate PSI (measurement for tire pressure), but when temperatures drop, so Blinkers and blind spots Driving 101. If you plan on changing does the pressure in your tires. lanes, let others in on your secret. Everyone Keep car maintained will appreciate it. Others want to know what Since you’ll be regularly checking the you are planning. tires, might as well keep regularly schedLikewise, if you see a blinker come uled maintenance on your car. This can range on indicating your lane is that car’s desired from oil changes to transmission flushes. destination, let it in. This isn’t the Daytona Simply checking windshield washer fluid or 500. We are not racing for $19 million. It is the antifreeze level in your car’s reservoir can common courtesy, if we want people to use prevent serious issues happening on the road. their blinkers, then we should reward them Wash your car especially after storms for doing so. or if you’ve parked under a pine tree where Remember the blinker doesn’t automat- birds can drop their white business on the ically assume safe passage to the next lane. hood or sap could drip onto the roof. Left And while your car’s sensors in the rearview untreated, these outdoor stains can ruin the mirrors are helpful, they are not omniscient. paint on your vehicle. Check your blind spot with your own eyes. Drive defensively There’s a reason it’s called a “blind” spot. This means keeping distance between

troubling and you probably shouldn’t be behind a steering wheel. Also you can’t always see what’s in front of the car before you. They may have to slam on their brakes due to an unexpected obstruction. If you rear end them, insurance rarely works out in your favor. This can also mean slowing down on wet roads or not weaving in and out of traffic. Distractions This is the No. 1 reason for accidents. This is not limited to using the cell phone, though texting, checking news alerts or making a phone call are all terrible decisions to make while driving.

It also extends to dozing off or checking the price at the gas station you just passed. Be alert, stay vigilant. Other drivers may suddenly stop, they may not see you as you yield or turn. By staying engaged and sharp, your reactions can be sharper and you may even anticipate what other drivers are looking to do. One way to stay engaged is to vary your daily commute. Changing your routine alerts your brain, breaking you from the monotonous snooze you may find yourself after traveling certain routes hundreds of times. These habits are important and it is not overdramatic to say that they could save a life.

Tire pressure you and the car in front of you. This one is almost as simple as the first. Touching their bumper does nothing for Check your tire pressure on a regular basis you. And if you need to get that close to read to know if there is a small leak. Maybe you their license plate or sticker, your eyesight is

Punt, pass and kick: Providence Hall getting a football team

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ootball will be a real thing at Providence Hall High School. The school board and administration had been discusing adding more activities for their students. Approximately one year ago, they sent a survey to parents and teachers asking which programs were most attractive to the students. “Most of the respondents liked football,” Providence Hall Athletic Director Bret Kettenring said. “Most think football will be good for school spirit and bring more kids to

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

the school, and overall they thought football is big right now in Utah high school sports.” The Patriots are scheduled to begin their inaugural football season this fall. They will play an independent schedule. At press time, is was unclear whether the Utah High School Activities Association will allow the team to participate in the postseason. The Patriots hired Cal Williams as their first head coach. “I was fortunate,” Williams said. “The week before I had contacted them, the school board had approved the request to begin a football team. I cold-called the school to ask about the position.” Williams was an administrator for the Utah State football program. The demands of a collegiate program led him to inquire about high school coaching positions. He heard from a friend that the Patriots were planning to begin a team, and he applied for the position. “It was my understanding that the school was losing students every year because they wanted to go to a school like Herriman or Riverton that offered football. This team will help drive up enrollment. It creates a more traditional high school experience for the students.” Plans for the football stadium at Providence Hall According to the school study, within a 5 High School place it between Mountain View corridor and the school majestic pillars. (Photo courtesy mile radius of the school, 40 homes are built each month. of Greg James/City Journals)

S outh ValleyJournal .com

“It is a huge response from the community and parents that this is something they want for this area,” Williams said. Kettering said bringing a football team to the school is benefiting other sports. “We are excited for the new opportunity and further expansion of our school,” Kettenring said. “Because of this expansion it has opened the doors to bring in track and field, lacrosse and theater to the school too.” The first-year schedule includes a trip to Southern Utah to play Monument Valley (tentatively scheduled to be played at Dixie State University, the date is yet to be announced). The Patriots will face Summit Academy in Bluffdale Sept. 13 and Copper Hills Sept. 6. All games will be played at away sites while the school constructs a new football stadium. “I think we play a tough schedule,” Williams said. “We travel quite a bit. Getting games this late in the year proved to be difficult. With the new RPI rating system, the UHSAA anounced they may let us in the playoffs because regions are not as important anymore. We will wait and see.” Initially, administrators expected 30 to 50 students to participate. “We had several parents say they wanted their kids to play,” Williams said. “Right now on my roster list, we have 82 signed up. Right at 50 came to our first morning conditioning and 10 more that could not come for some

reason or another.” Building a program involves acquiring equipment and, most importantly, a football field. School officials will be renovating the current soccer field in front of the school. Administrators plan to build a retaining wall next to Mountain View Corridor, sinking the field to its level and building bleachers below the current school’s majestic columns. “We have been starting from square one,” Williams said. “The field will have lights a new scoreboard. Similar to Highland High School, we will build the bleachers into the dirt and not take a away the columns that are the front of the school. The visiting fans will look toward the front of the building, and our home fans will look out over the Salt Lake Valley.” The team will participate in traditional offseason workouts, three times a week. Williams plans to run a spread offense relying heavily on the run game. He does not expect a lot of size, so he plans to use a quick, up-tempo passing game. Defensively, the Patriots will play a 4-3-style defense (four down linemen and three linebackers), allowing them to be flexible. “We are excited to get things going,” Williams said. “I like to build a culture of discipline. We will not tolerate bad behavior, but we will do things to be respectful. I want well-rounded student athletes.”

April 2019 | Page 27


Riverton slider wins national youth luge event By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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liding for one Riverton teen could lead to an appearance in the 2030 Olympics. Orson Colby was introduced to the sport of Luge two years ago and is on track to win his way onto the national stage. “For me, it is fun, and at some parts it can be scary,” Orson said. “I wanted to try it out, and I thought it was fun. I have learned a lot about goal setting, and I would tell all of my friends to try it out.” Orson is a 13-year-old Riverton resident;. He is the son of Garry and Kelly Colby. His mother was looking for activities for him to participate in during the summertime. She found this opportunity, and he has enjoyed the experience. USA Luge Slider Search is a program that offers an introduction to the sport. The summertime initiative is geared toward youth ages 9 through 13 years. “I found out about it through the Boy Scouts,” Kelly Colby said. “It was held in Research Park by the University of Utah. He really liked sliding on the wheels in the summer and was invited to the ice.” The search includes the uses of wheelequipped luge sleds similar to the ones used on the ice. After several skills training sessions and fitness tests, potential luge athletes are invited to ice tracks to try it out. Last summer, more than 25,000 young athletes were introduced to the sport. “My husband and I tried it this year from the beginning of turn 12 (the Park City track has 16 turns),” Kelly said. “We hit nearly 40 mph. Orson is averaging about 60 on a longer course. It was crazy. Name any adjective, and that is what it was: terrifying, exhilarating, That is what it was.” Orson competes in the youth division. His progression could take him onto to juniors and eventually the national team. At the youth nationals, held in Park City March 2–3, Orson had the fastest time in his division. He finished 1.3 seconds faster than the second-place slider, Logan Barnes, from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. “There are only two luge tracks in the United States: Park City and Lake Placid (New York),” Kelly Colby said. “It (Park City) is exactly 45 minutes from our home, but it does cost quite a lot to help him compete. Typically, a pair of booties runs $400, and he still needs a suit, helmet and a sled. It is quite a commitment. It has been great. He uses a surplus sled right now.”

Page 28 | April 2019

Thirteen-year-old Orson Colby began sliding on the Park City luge track two years ago and won the youth B division national event March 2-3. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Colby)

Kelly labels her son as an adrenaline junkie. He plays lacrosse, rides motorcycles, skis and enjoys action sports. He is an honor rolls student at Oquirrh Hills Middle School. “The first time it was scary to see him at those speeds on the ice, but now I realize he is good hands,” Kelly Colby said. “There are coaches and officials everywhere to help. He has crashed and gotten banged up, but nothing serious.” He trains three to four times a week in Park City. Along with the national races, he runs club races weekly. The clubs are divided by age groups. “He is hopeful the 2030 Olympics will be right here on his home track in our backyard,” Kelly Cobly said. “We have been fortunate that the Olympic Committee has placed the the Olympic Park in a trust so we can participate on the track.” Fellow Utahn Matt Greiner took second place at the youth nationals in his age group. He lost by 0.3 seconds over the three runs. ‘I don’t think this is for every kid,” Kelly Cobly said. “It has been good for Orson with the attention to detail. The coaches analyze the race and are fantastic.”.

South Valley City Journal


Orson Colby, from Riverton, reaches speeds of more than 60 mph as a member of the USA Youth Luge team. (photo courtesy of Kelly Colby)

S outh ValleyJournal .com

April 2019 | Page 29


Maximize that government paycheck

T

by

CASSIE GOFF

he due date for taxes is quickly approaching. The Internal Revenue Service wants all taxes filed by April 15. As many are still trying to file their taxes, either with a consultant or at home with online services, the question bouncing around in frontal lobes is: how can I maximize my tax return? Hopefully, you should have already prepared for this. Sometime last year, you should have ensured your W-4 was correct, checking that it was set to withhold the right amount. A common mistake professionals in the tax industry see is not withholding enough during the year; making it so you’re paying money back to the IRS in spring, instead of receiving money in return. So, if you haven’t checked up on the withholding amount prescribed in your W-4 for a while, now would be a good time to do so. One of the most effective ways to maximize your tax return is to claim dependents. In other words, have some minis. For tax purposes, the more children the better. However, if you’re not the paternal type, you might be able to claim your spouse, parent, or friend as dependent, depending on the situation, and the necessary evidence. Those dependents will probably need some shelter. Another way to maximize your return is to buy a house. Mortgage insurance is deductible! In fact, there are many items that are deductible including: charitable donations, med-

ical costs, prepaid interest, and education expenses. Remember when that clerk asked you if you wanted to round up your total to the next whole dollar, so the change could be donated to charity? Find that receipt. Even those small donations can be deducted. (I’ll be dumping out my shoebox of receipts all over my house, anyone else?) Go back to school! Refundable education credits can deduct up to $4,000 from tax liability. Additionally, families can deduct up to $2,500 on student loan interest. (That may not make up for rising tuition prices, but right now we’re only focused on maximizing that return!) That “credit” word. Pay attention to those. Tax credits subtract directly from your tax bill, while tax deductions reduce your tax bill in proportion to your tax rate: they lower the amount of income the IRS can tax. In other words, tax credits are independent. While you (and your recommended tax professional or software) are weighing out the credits and deductions, you might weigh standard tax deduction and itemized tax deductions as well. It may be the case that itemizing your deductions can help you get a bigger refund. Keep banking on that retirement. If you’re contributing to an employer-sponsored 401(k) or/and an IRA, that can help reduce your taxable income, maximizing your refund in return.

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Page 30 | April 2019

South Valley City Journal


Life and Laughter—Hang me out to dry

A

fter happily drying our clothes for a decade, our dryer hit its tweenage years and started giving us the silent treatment. It would only work when we said magic words or used pliers to wrangle it into submission. I wasn’t ready to plop down several hundred bucks for a new dryer, so I suggested we string a clothesline in the backyard for fresh, sunny, natural drying. But with all the snow and the rain and the wind and the snow and the snow, I finally gave in. One weekend, the hubbie and I got in the car, girded our loins (I think that means we buckled our seat belts) and drove to the gargantuan furniture/appliance store where we were immediately attacked by suit-coated salespeople. They swarmed from everywhere. I thought, at first, they were zombies and impaled a couple of them with the leg of a kitchen chair before I realized my (understandable) mistake. One of them valiantly latched onto us, and the rest of them staggered back into the bowels of the store. Our salesperson/creature had mainlined 17 Dr. Peppers and hopped around us like a crazy ding-dong until we reached the appliance center. There were washers and dryers as far as the eye could see, which isn’t far because I’m pretty nearsighted. But trust me, there was a huge dryer selection. Mr. SalesCreature launched into his spiel. “I want you to have the dryer that your future washer will adore. Not the washer you have now, but the one you’ll want in two years.”

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I explained we weren’t looking for an appliance matchmaker, but he continued. “You don’t want a dryer that will be mocked by your future appliances,” he said, as if he weren’t talking nonsense. “You want a dryer that will raise the standard of your home.” He’d obviously never seen our home. He guided us to the Drying Machines O’ The Future, detailing all the dryer features we never knew we needed. Throwing out terms like Wrinkle Shields, Quad Baffles and All Major Credit Cards, he described a Utopian laundry room where unicorns came to raise their young and clothes never smelled like mildew. We then learned about laundry pedestals; the crazy 12-inch tall invention that raises your washer and dryer by, well, one foot. “Why do I need my laundry machines on $300 pedestals?” I asked. “That seems like it’s setting a bad precedent for other appliances in my home.” “You won’t have to bend over to get your clothes,” he said, jumping in place. “They even have pedestals with a tiny washing machine to wash small loads, or to store cleaning products!” “Wouldn’t I have to bend over to reach that?” I asked. He blinked, then started again with the benefits of appliance pedestals, but I interrupted. “Look,” I said. “We have $300 in cash, $200 in collectible stamps, $123 in Kohl’s

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By Jennifer J. Johnson | J.Johnson@mycityjournals.com

T

his past summer, the high-density Olympia Hills development proposal outraged Herriman residents. They were concerned about additional stress on already overburdened transit corridors and a host of other concerns. Mayors of Riverton, West Jordan, Herriman and Copperton Township, joined in an 11th-hour discussion of the impact of the proposed development. They vetted concerns, shared data and issued a joint press release, beseeching the Salt Lake County Council to not approve the developer’s request for zoning changes to allow for the high-density development. As is the case in a solutions-oriented, optimistic point of view, the problem served as a springboard for solutions, among them, greater synergy among the mayors and the communities they represent. “Southwest Quadrant” has become a newly-branded aspect of the Salt Lake Metropolitan area and “Southwest Mayors” has emerged as a voice in regional planning. Southwest Mayors and its caucus The communities of Bluffdale and South Jordan are also among those represented on the Southwest Mayors Caucus, bringing the total of communities represented to six According to Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, synergies among the communities is an immediate outcome. Staggs indicated that throughout the 45 days of the Utah Legislature, the group of mayors met every Monday with legislators that represent their communities. “That had never happened before,” Staggs said. Now that the legislative session has concluded, the mayors are continuing with their newfound glue, having convened as a

Mayors in the southwest part of the valley formed a Southwest Mayors Caucus where they met every Monday throughout the legislative session. That includes West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding (left), South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, seen here at Riding’s inauguration in January 2018. (File photo City Journals)

group the first Thursday after the end of the legislative session. group consisting of mayors representing this many cities, workHistoric synergy ing together for the greater regional good,” observed South Jor“This is unprecedented, as historically, there has not been a dan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. Continue on page 4...

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South Valley City Journal April 2019  

South Valley City Journal April 2019

South Valley City Journal April 2019  

South Valley City Journal April 2019