August 2017 | Vol. 27 Iss. 08
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From Salt Lake CountyAnimal Services by 2018 By Mariden Williams | email@example.com
n June 20, the Riverton City Council passed a motion to end its longstanding contract with Salt Lake County Animal Control in six months’ time. Riverton, having no animal control services of its own and has outsourced animal control to Salt Lake County since 2012. But the county has rewritten the contract, and in so doing dramatically increased the costs for Riverton. Under the new contract, Riverton would pay $287,000 to the county in 2017, which would increase to $346,000 in 2018 and would in 2019 cap out at nearly $411,000. “The trajectory this is heading on is reaching a breaking point for Riverton’s budget,” said Interim City Manager Ryan Carter. The price increases were not without reason, however. At an earlier city council meeting on May 5, Salt Lake County Animal Services representative Talia Butler explained that, for the past several years, a few cities have been carrying all of the service’s fixed costs, while only variable costs were passed on to Riverton and other areas. Last year, Kearns paid $15 per resident for the County’s services, while Riverton and other areas paid only around $4 to $7 per resident. “The costs were really askew,” said Butler. “We have to fix it; there’s just no other way around it.” The new contract equalizes the price of the County’s animal control services across the board. Under it, all cities benefited by Salt Lake County Animal Services will pay about $9.63 per resident. The new contract has generated some hard feelings amongst the City Council—less due to the cost increase than to the fact that the notice came too late for them to do anything about it. The first the council heard of the cost increases was when it received the new contract on March 24, and unless it was approved by July 1, it would simply expire, leaving Riverton in the lurch. “They didn’t talk about this six months ago,” said Mayor Bill Applegarth. “They didn’t give us any advance notice. Nobody contacted us. Nobody came to speak to the Council until after we received the letter and after we were
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Salt Lake County Animal Services main shelter. Riverton will discontinue using Salt Lake County Animal Services next year. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)
under the bus.” Councilwoman Tricia Tingey added, “I think we’ve been put in a spot where we can’t make a decision anything other than to join, and that makes me mad.” It should be noted that the service provided by Salt Lake County Animal Services has been exemplary. Over the years the service has operated in Riverton, it has averaged about 41 animal intakes a month, and 97 percent of those animals eventually made it out of the system alive—meaning they were either claimed by their original owners or adopted by new homes. According to Butler, this is the highest live release rate in the state and among the highest in the nation. It’s a substantial increase over the 73 percent live release rate Riverton maintained before contracting with the county. Additionally, the County offers free microchips and pet vaccines to all residents it serves, and it’s the
Local Postal Customer ECRWSS Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.
only 24/7 animal control service in the state. Former City Manager Lance Blackwood remembers how things were before Riverton first contracted with Salt Lake County Animal Services. “When we did it ourselves, I spent five to 10 hours a month on animal control problems; people who were upset with the way we handled it,” said Blackwood. “I have not received in three years, one complaint—zero. It’s a big deal.” Carter said he didn’t take any issue with the quality of the service the county provides. “But the basic fact remains that we can either afford it, or we cannot,” said Carter. The new contract states that customers may terminate the contract at any time, effective after 180 days’ notice. Riverton’s City Council, pressured as it was to either approve the contract or suffer the consequences, decided to use this grace period to its advantage. At its June 20
meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve the new contract but with the caveat that on June 3—the first business day after the contract took effect—city officials would immediately submit a 180-day termination notice. The six months granted by the contract will allow the Council enough time to make arrangements so that, when the contract finally ends, Riverton won’t be left without animal control. The council plans to hire two additional ordinance employees to help with animal control once the contract expires. The precise details of these two new employee positions—and the resulting necessary budget changes—are to be discussed at future city council meetings; however, it is estimated that the hiring and training of these employees will not amount to any more than half of what Riverton would have paid had it stayed on the county’s contract. l
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SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
Presidential scholar winner is all business By Jet Burnham | firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Valley City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout South Valley. The South Valley Journal covers news for Herriman, Bluffdale, and Riverton. For information about distribution please email email@example.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.
The South Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott email@example.com EDITOR: Kelly Cannon Kelly@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper firstname.lastname@example.org 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen email@example.com 801-897-5231
arin Murdock believes big goals are achieved by taking one small step at a time. She took the small step of joining FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) her sophomore year at Herriman High School. She stepped up to leadership positions. Three years later, she was Sterling Scholar in business and marketing. Now she has been named a Presidential Scholar Winner. “I love the feeling of challenging myself to learn new things and become a better student and person,” said Murdock. “I honestly never thought I would be able to accomplish something of this magnitude.” The Presidential Scholar is awarded to just 161 students in the nation each year. Murdock was one of 20 specifically selected for success in the career and technical education (CTE) fields. Joining FLBA led Murdock to discover her passion for business and marketing. It also put her in the path of Julianna Wing, the business and marketing teacher, who was named a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar Distinguished Teacher. “Marin is the kind of student that comes by once in a career,” said Wing. “What has set Marin apart is her ability to recognize opportunities and spend hours relentlessly working toward her goals.” Murdock said her main goal was to work hard every day to become a little more successful than the day before. “There’s always something positive that can come out of trying to be your best self,” said Murdock. She learned that if she focused on the everyday small wins, they would add up to make a big win.
Marin Murdock and her teacher Julianna Wing, both recipients of this year’s Presidential Scholar Awards. (Kathy Liu/Presidential Scholar)
She said her instructors were a huge influence on her. “The last three years have consisted of Mrs. Wing pushing me out of every comfort zone I ever had (in order) to be the best possible version of myself,” said Murdock. “I learned that success lies outside of your comfort zone.” She was also inspired by her business teacher, Randall Kammerman.
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“He lives every day as an improvement on yesterday, which is what I aspire to do in my everyday life,” said Murdock. “As I have seen him change the lives of more people than I can count, he has become an inspiration for who I want to become.” Murdock was actively involved with service-oriented school clubs at HHS, such as Interact and National Honor Society. She took a total of 18 business classes and held leadership positions in FBLA and DECA. “As a scholar in the area of CTE, Marin has shown what can be accomplished when the skills gained in the classroom are applied to her community,” said Wing. As a junior, Murdock and two peers (Keenan Budd and Hannah Pedersen) saw the need for successful businesses to support the rapidly growing city of Herriman. The students worked to establish the first-ever Herriman City Chamber of Commerce. Murdock then served on its board of directors. “The Herriman City Chamber of Commerce will continue to help the community for years to come, and it solved a real-world issue,” Murdock said. She said the best part about business and marketing is its potential to make an impact on her community and on the world. “The thought of having the ability to make the world a better place is what continually drives me— what makes me get up in the morning,” said Murdock. She feels business and marketing have given her an avenue to reach many of lives. Her dream job is to create a business that will ultimately build up third-world economies, providing relief from tragedy, hunger and disease—conditions she saw while on a humanitarian trip to Mexico. Wing and Murdock traveled to Washington, D.C., in June for the Presidential Scholar Awards Ceremony where they each received their medallions. “This award has given me confidence that I am able to achieve anything I set my mind to,” said Murdock. “I will be more open to seizing opportunities and taking chances because I know the benefits of achieving something beyond what I previously thought possible.” l
S outhV alley Journal.Com
August 2017 | Page 3
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SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL 12590 South 2200 West
GOAL! Herriman scores a STEM high school
Riverton, Utah 84605
By Jet Burnham | email@example.com
here’s more to the new Real Salt Lake Academy High School than soccer. “Any student can come, and they don’t have to play soccer,” said Academy Director Ryan Marchant. Of 300 enrolled students, only 50 spots are reserved for players who are part of Real U-18 soccer teams (25 for students relocating from the current Arizona training center/academy and the other 25 for local players). The majority of spots are open to any Utah resident, grades nine through 12. “Our No. 1 priority is academics,” said Marchant. The curriculum’s emphasis is on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies. Real Academy encourages students to choose their path of study and their pace of advancement through project-based learning, STEM curriculum, college preparatory classes and state-of-the-art online curriculum within a small, cohesive educational community,” said the school website. Students will have the option to choose a pathway of study, specializing in an area such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, or Sports Business. The school’s mission statement explains how the academy is different than other high schools. “We believe it is essential for secondary students to understand they are in control of their educational experiences and their paths to successful futures.” Students will coordinate their classes in a blended learning model. They will use a combination of traditional classroom structure (with teachers in a classroom), online classes (accessed through Edgenuity) and workshop/lab style classes. To create an even more personalized education, students will rely on competency-based learning. They will work at an individual rate and have the opportunity to adjust their classes according to their learning pace. Marchant explained that if a student proves they have learned the class material—through an online test—they can progress on to
The 77,000-square-foot high school will be completed before the Aug. 22 start date. (Ryan Marchant/Real SL Academy High School)
the next class without waiting for the end of the semester. “This process would also have the potential of increasing students’ options for specific pathways, concurrent enrollment and internships,” according to information on the school website. Class offerings—in addition to core classes—will include art, choir, theater, dance and foreign language classes. Specialty classes such as robotics, electronics, engineering, debate, marketing, economics and computer programming, gaming and graphics, will be offered according to interest. As unique as the academic programs are, the school will still provide students with an experience like any other public high school, said Marchant. Real Salt Lake Academy High School is a fully accredited high school that will have the traditional social and extracurricular activities. The school will also have a Special Education classroom. And of course there will be school sports. In addition to a school soccer team (independent from Real teams), there will be cross country, basketball and tennis teams. The school building, located at 14750 South 3600 West in Herriman, has a 90-acre campus (mostly soccer fields, a stadium, housing and training centers for Real and Monarch teams). The school has 77,000 square feet of classroom space.
The academy’s three-story building is designed with plenty of windows to bring in natural light. The bright red roof houses an array of solar panels, providing a renewable energy source for the school. Marchant said the goal is for the school to be energy neutral. “It’s a really green building and also really high end and high tech,” said Marchant. The academy will provide one-to-one technology, supplying each student with his or her own laptop. Marchant thinks students will be excited about the robotics lab and the technology available. There is also a workshop area, called a “Maker Space” where students can build and create projects. It will be stocked with 3-D printers, tools, supplies and other machinery. Twenty-five faculty members will provide direction and support to students with an average class size of 25. “It’s going to be a unique school, and we’re excited to partner with Real Salt Lake and offer this great service to the community,” said Marchant. Orientations for interested students and parents are held every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium. More information about the school and enrollment can be found at rslacademy.org. Admission is selected by lottery, which will be run every three weeks until the remaining spots are filled.l
August 2017 | Page 5
S outhV alley Journal.Com
“IN PAIN?... Tried Meds?... Injections?... Contemplated or Even Had Spinal Surgery?... AND STILL HAVE PAIN?” The Controversial Truth and How One Salt Lake Doctor’s Solution May be the Only Way Out of Pain for Some Dear friendFor the 15 years that I’ve been in practice, I’ve been somewhat known as “the guy that sends out those flyers with his kids on them”. However, that’s only a part of the story. You see, new information and technology has come forward that has helped so many people eliminate spinal pain without taking pills, shots, and surgery. Let Me First Point Out that in many cases, medicine, shots, and operations are necessary for proper health and recovery. I’m grateful that this stuff exists. However, in my 15 years of practice, I’ve seen thousands of patients who are regularly getting meds, injections, and even operations that they didn’t need, and who are still in ridiculous pain...it’s tragic...NO WONDER that person is frustrated and skeptical that anything will help. I WOULD BE TOO!!! The problem is that with many doctors, if health insurance doesn’t cover a procedure, it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist! The reality is that the “accepted” treatment for spinal conditions is as follows: medication, physical therapy, steroid injections (pain management) and then surgery. Period. No matter how effective anything else may be. BUT... The Real Truth is that other effective scientifically based solutions do exist. In fact, over the past couple years we have used an innovative approach of combining Deep Tissue Laser (a Class IV device) and spinal decompression. The Laser beam penetrates
about 3-5 inches into the human body. Injured cells respond with an increase in energy and blood supply to injured areas (like Spinal Stenosis and discs) And it stimulates healing in stagnant decaying areas (like arthritic joints). Also, the Deep Tissue Laser stimulates the production of new healthy cells. Spinal Disc Decompression Therapy is performed on a computerized table that allows separation of vertebral segments. The “pull” is very gentle and specifically directed to the compromised regions. Vertebral segments are separated approximately 3-5 millimeters creating a negative pressure between the vertebrae. Disc bulges or herniations can resorb back and dehydrated (narrowed) discs can be rehydrated or thickened. Typical treatment protocol is 20 to 25 office visits, but most patients start feeling better by visit 4. A study performed by Thomas A. Gionis, MD and Eric Groteke, DC. showed an amazing success rate of 86 to 94%! Most of the cases used in the study were disc herniations with or without spinal degeneration. These success rates are consistent with my personal treatment of thousands of similar cases.
juries, along with gentle Chiropractic care for cases that may need it. And finally, the treatment is pain-free.
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Page 6 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
Riverton explores possible redevelopment of downtown area By Mariden Williams | firstname.lastname@example.org
The heart of the study area: the intersection of Redwood and 12600 South. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)
t a meeting on June 20, the Riverton City Council discussed the possibility of redeveloping the area along 12600 South—from about 1300 West to about 2200 West—to make it more pedestrian friendly and provide more options for restaurants, retail and recreation. Previously, the council partnered with Psomas Engineering to conduct a study on the area and to draw up some development concepts. At the council’s June 20 meeting, Psomas engineer Greg Haws guided council members through the results. Psomas came up with a few different development scenarios, which mostly centered around expanding upon a few potential districts that are already budding within the study area. Many different square-footage allotment maps were tossed around; most of them included substantial space for retail and recreational zones. The city park in particular was discussed as a candidate for further development. Haws seemed optimistic that with a few additions, Riverton could effectively “extend the park all the way to 12600 South, and really make that a recreational district for the city.” One proposal was to encourage sit-down restaurants along the park edge, thinking that the location could provide an opportunity for diners to sit out on the patio and enjoy the view. In addition to the burgeoning recreational district around the city park, the study area may contain the beginnings of a respectable retail district. This could be expanded and encouraged to become a bit more welcoming to pedestrians. Psomas also addressed the possibility of a transit-oriented development. There has apparently been discussion of some sort of public transit stop—what kind of transit has not been decided—being built just west of the intersection of Redwood Road and 12600 South. If that happens, city officials will need to make some changes to the layout of the streets in the area. “There’ve been truncated roads that don’t
go all the way through,” said Haws. “In order to have a thriving transit-oriented development, you’ve got to reestablish some of the grid that’s been lost.” Making things more accessible to pedestrians is a key feature in every development scenario. The goal of this redevelopment is to draw more vitality into the area, and that’s hard to accomplish when people don’t feel safe walking around it. Currently the study area is very much designed for car traffic rather than pedestrian use. “You have a river of cars going through the middle of Riverton,” said Haws. “But in a river, when you get off to the sides, there’s eddies and places where the water can calm down and pool off.” The businesses currently situated along the corridor do not provide that desired trickling-off effect. The vast majority of them are auto-centric. There are plenty of car repair shops, emissions testing centers and drivethrough restaurants but nowhere to linger. “If we’re going to make this a center where people are going to want to come and gravitate, and spend time and money, something drastic has to change,” said Haws. Riverton City itself has limited control on how things in this area will develop. “At the end of the day, it is up to the property owners as to whether or not they want to develop their property,” said Councilman Trent Staggs. “North of the park may be where the city potentially has the most influence, because we do own property there.” But city leaders did meet with many of those who do own property in the study area, and according to Staggs, the reception was very positive; in fact, some of those property owners actually helped pay for the Psomas study. “That, to me, means there’s a lot of buyin,” said Staggs. “These property owners, they want to see something happen.” l
August 2017 | Page 7
S outhV alley Journal.Com
Kids get down to business
N O W I E T
By Jet Burnham email@example.com The Picketts sold solar glasses for viewing the upcoming total solar eclipse. They hoped to earn enough money for a trip to see the eclipse later this month. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
re your kids bored this summer? Do they want to make some extra cash? They might be interested in joining hundreds of kids, aged 4 to 16, who are selling their handmade products to the public at the Children’s Entrepreneur Market. Exclusively for young entrepreneurs, these Markets are held each month at various locations. “The idea was born out of boredom,” said the market founder’s mother. At age 8, Kayden started selling lemonade as a way to entertain himself. “I thought it’d be cool to get a bunch of kids selling their stuff,” said Kayden. His idea became the Children’s Entrepreneur Market, started last fall. Kayden’s mom said the Market introduces kids to the aspects of running a business in a safe environment. It also provides a lot of traffic for the young entrepreneurs to reach a large number of customers in just one day. At the market on July 8, held in the parking lot of Noah’s Event Venue, kids were selling lemonade, popsicles, homemade treats, jewelry, 3-D printed toys, bath bombs, yoga classes, hair bows, stress balls, herb plants, cinnamon rolls, original artwork, sewing projects, solar-viewing glasses and more. Lydian Crowther, age 10, created her own dog treats and came from Ogden to sell at the market. “I took a recipe online, but then I tweaked some of the ingredients and amounts,” said Lydian, whose own dog is her taste-tester. She created her own sign and colorful packaging to market her creations. Alyssa, Justin and Mallory Wadsworth, from West Jordan, made 110 wizarding wands to sell at the three-hour-long market. Justin had taken a wand to school and had a lot of kids ask to buy one. His mom, Lynette, suggested the Market as a great place to sell them. She thought it would be a good experience for her children to learn about marketing and give them an opportunity to reach more customers than just in their neighborhood. Keeping with the wizarding theme, the Wadsworths also sold popsicles, which they advertised as “cold wizard wands.” “It’s a great experience to get the kids out talking to people, building confidence,” said Amy James, from Sandy. This was her son’s first face-to-face experience selling his products. “He’s actually kinda shy by nature, so it’s a little hard for him to engage,” said James. Her son, Logan, age 13, has been a creative entrepreneur from a young age.
“He’s got it in his soul,” his mother said. Logan often makes things and bakes things to sell to friends and family. At his booth, he sold items such as wooden flower presses, string whirly-gigs (which he advertised as “the original fidget”) and knotted survival bracelets. James said this was a test run to see how products sold before they looked into selling online. The Market encourages parents to allow their kids to run the booth, conduct the sales, count the change and haggle the price. The Johnson family’s five children participated in the market as a way to earn money for a family vacation. “This is our first selling experience as a family,” said Charlene Johnson. “They’ve been working together and it’s been a good experience. They had considered the 10:30–1:30 timeframe of the market and chose to sell hot dogs and drinks to hungry shoppers. Equipped with a toy cash register, the Johnson children also sold their handmade creations — from elastic-woven pencil grips to popsicle-stick crossbows. The family made snickerdoodles together and lured in customers with free samples. “As parents, we’ve been able to talk to them about cost and capital — explaining when you have money you can buy things; once you buy it, you can sell it for more and make money,” said Jason Johnson. The family had coordinated coupons with sales to purchase products and raw materials to increase their profits. The Johnsons encouraged their kids to solicit sales by calling out what they were selling to shoppers walking by. Jason added incentive for his kids to sell more when he told them, “Whatever you don’t sell, you have to carry back to the car.” There are plans to expand the market. Next spring, guest speakers will teach marketing classes about branding, packaging, etc. There will be a Shark Tank-type of competition for teens. Kayden said often kids come to the market to shop and end up hosting a booth the next month. The next market will be Aug. 12 in Lehi. On Sept. 2, the market will be at Noah’s Event Venue. Registration and information can be found at childrensentrepreneurmarket.com. Events have between 70 and 160 booths, which cost a mere $10. Entrepreneurs receive a T-shirt to identify them to buyers and a swag bag of snacks, water and a book about how business works. l
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Page 8 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
Out with the old, in with a new turf By Greg James | firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT: Susan Schilling 801-280-0595 email@example.com MISSION STATEMENT: To advance community, business, and civic-related interests to ensure continued improvement in the way of life. VISION STATEMENT: Through volunteerism and leadership, our members bridge community and business—together we are stronger. BENEFITS: Resources, Networking, Education and Advocacy SUSTAINING PARTNERS: Riverton Hospital • Jordan Valley Medical Center Bluﬀdale City • Wasatch Lawn Memorial So Valley Park • Riverton City • Herriman City • City Journals
CHAMBER NEWS The Southwest Valley Chamber is 20 years old this year. Look for us in the parades in Riverton, Herriman and Bluffdale. Check out our new logo and join us as we celebrate at a member appreciation luncheon in August. Welcome the following new members to the Chamber: Valerie Wimmer from RealtyPath, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Deseret Industries, The Reef Tanning & Spa and Carol Almond Farmers Insurance. Thanks to the following for renewing their membership: Merit Medical, Smith’s, Jacobsen Pediatric Dentistry, Master Muffler, Blooming Minds Montessori and Sagewood at Daybreak. What a great time to be a member of the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce! The annual Scholarship Golf Classic will be held on August 15 at River Oaks Golf Course in Sandy. It will be a 8:30 shotgun start and check in begins at 7:30. 100% of monies made will be given to our educational programs which include our scholarship program and our teacher appreciation lunch. Thanks to the following for sponsoring: Eagle Sponsor: Bank of the West Lunch Sponsor: Workers Compensation Fund Breakfast Sponsor: American United Federal Credit Union Cart Sponsor: Broomhead Funeral Home We are looking for hole sponsors, players and prizes for the prize drawing. Go to www.swvchamber.org for more information.
FIRST FRIDAY: SPEED NETWORKING Friday, August 4, 8:00 to 10:00
WOMEN IN BUSINESS Tuesday, August 8
10TH ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP GOLF TOURNAMENT Tuesday, August 15th
MEMBER APPRECIATION LUNCH
Thursday, Aug. 31 at Texas Roadhouse
The scoreboard on Riverton High School’s football field stands at the far north end waiting for its new turf to be installed. (Greg James/City Journals)
he football fields at Riverton, West Jordan, Bingham and Copper Hills have taken on a complete facelift this summer. “I remember in my early days teaching at West Jordan when I worked the chain gang watching Mike Meifu (current West Jordan head coach) break through the line,” Jaguars athletic director Scott Briggs said on the day he announced the hiring of their current head coach. The stories I could tell of the games I have seen.” The glory, defeat and hard work on these fields is part of the lives of many of its players. The old grass, drainage systems and dirt will be gone soon. If the turf could tell us the stories of its past what would it have to say. At Copper Hills, Sealver Siliga had many tackles for loss. As a Grizzly, he played many games on the grass on Garrison Field. Now he is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but in his career he has played in a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. The green grass has also been the resting place for countless numbers of track athletes during numerous track and field events. The Jaguars home turf could tell the story of DJ Tialavea, a lineman at West Jordan in 2009, an All-State player who just signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons. The sidelines at Riverton and West Jordan were also the home to the late Rick Bojak. The legacy he left with his student-athletes will always be a part of their lives. Riverton has had players like Brady Holt and Simeon Page begin their careers playing on its grass. The new multi-use fields should be ready in early August. They will be marked for soccer and lacrosse along with the traditional football lines. The renovation is part of the Jordan School District’s initiative to
make its playing surfaces top of the line. Construction began in June. Copper Hills, West Jordan and Riverton’s fields had the drainage system and sprinklers removed in preparation for the new turf. Bingham’s new surface is an update to the turf it already had. The project in its entirety is expected to cost $3.2 million. The natural turf that remained at the Jordan District schools had become outdated. The three fields under construction were the last to be resurfaced in the Salt Lake Valley. Fields with natural turf are prone to having uneven surfaces, animal and bug infestations and field breakdown because of overuse. The expense of maintenance outweighs the cost of the turfs initial installation. When the field turf is installed it keeps its green appearance without watering. The surface is also durable and maintains its structure without constant maintenance, according to artificial grass liquidators. Players have complained of the heat the turf produces, but its installers say a cool watering a few hours before use can reduce temperatures drastically. The turf is expected to last 10–15 years. It consists of a 2-and-half-inch-long blade with alternating layers of fine sand and rubber grit. The layers are placed on a drainage base of about an inch for water to safely drain off the surface. Maintenance changes from mowing, watering and fertilizing to brushing, raking and sweeping. Fieldturf (a turf installation contractor) officials said the field needs to be maintained properly for the school to realize its benefit. Field turf is being used in places such as the University of Utah, the Seattle Seahawks and many other football fields around the country. l
August 2017 | Page 9
S outhV alley Journal.Com
Backyard chickens: coming soon to smaller lots? By Mariden Williams | firstname.lastname@example.org
he Riverton City Planning Commission is considering revising the city code to allow chickens to be kept in small residential yards. Currently, chickens are allowed on rural-residential lots of half an acre or more, but the proposed changes would allow chickens to be housed on lots of much smaller size, perhaps as small as one-fifth of an acre. A public hearing on the matter was held June 22. The planning commission addressed it again and proposed a defined plan of action at its July 13 meeting, which was held after our press deadline.. This is not the first time city officials have considered an amendment to this ordinance. Previously, city leaders considered reclassifying chickens as household pets rather than as small farm animals, which would have allowed each household a maximum of six chickens. This amendment was ultimately rejected, largely due to concerns that some lots would be too small to accommodate six chickens, and the planning commission brought up similar concerns at its most recent meeting. Chiefly, the commission worries that smaller lots won’t provide enough distance between the coop and other dwellings to mitigate noise and the stink of chicken manure. Other concerns include the possibility of chickens getting into other yards and causing a nuisance, or else being threatened by neighboring pets. “My parents kept chickens when I was growing up, and we constantly had battles with the neighbors, because their cats kept coming over to our yard and killing our chickens,” said City Planner Andrew Aagard. There is no easy solution for neighborly disputes, but odor can be easily managed simply by cleaning out the coop regularly. Regarding noise issues, Riverton resident John Potter said it shouldn’t be a problem.
“If you consider a quiet cluck, kids playing outside are going to be far noisier than chickens in a coop,” he said. Roosters, however, are a different matter. Whatever changes the city may make to its policy on hens, the noisy males of the species will continue to be banned on lots smaller than half an acre. Other cities have varying ways of regulating backyard chickens. Herriman employs a sort of sliding scale, wherein lots from 5,000 to 8,000 square feet can have four chickens, from 8,000 to 1,000 can have six chickens and 10,000 and larger can have 10 chickens. Lots smaller than 5,000 square feet can’t have any at all. Draper has no minimum lot size requirement; every residential lot is allowed up to six chickens. However, it does regulate minimum setbacks of chicken coops and compost heaps from other dwellings and property lines. The strictest of the cities examined was South Jordan, which requires that chickens be kept on lots of 10,000 square feet or larger, with a maximum of six chickens per lot. But it should be noted that even South Jordan’s required 10,000 square feet is still less than half as much land required by Riverton’s half-acre rule. If Riverton does proceed with this policy change, it is likely that they will use Herriman’s chicken code as a model. “I think the idea of ratcheting up with lot size is a good idea,” said Commissioner Brian Russell. “The more area you’ve got, I think the more chickens you can have. Where the breakoff is for zero, I think, is up for discussion.” Now that the public hearing is over, the next step is for the
Riverton residents might be able to keep chickens on their small lot homes. (Stewie Smith)
city planners to hatch a new ordinance to replace the old one; they will hold another public hearing for the proposed new ordinance at the next meeting on July 13. From there, the planners will bring it before the City Council for approval. l
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Page 10 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
Bastian Elementary looking forward to the future By Jet Burnham | email@example.com
tudents in Herriman are more excited than usual for the first day of school. About 550 of them will be attending the brand-new school, Bastian Elementary, located at 5692 West American Park. Principal Doree Strauss said it is a lot of work to open a new school. She did it 12 years ago at Daybreak Elementary. “The fun part is to build a community, a culture, a faculty and staff,” she said. Strauss has worked with teachers to plan activities to help integrate the students into a cohesive school. Students are coming from three elementary schools—Herriman, Daybreak and Silvercrest. Bastian Elementary will have an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) learning. There will be Chromebooks for every classroom, and each grade will have its own computer lab. Fifth-grade teacher Carola Proctor said the fifth-grade team is looking forward to implementing new ideas this year. “We want to have our students succeed by providing them with the tools they need to grow,” she said. Kathy Collins, who will be teaching second grade, said she will teach an integrated curriculum, incorporating technology to enhance her students’ learning. Strauss will provide cutting-edge technology for all grades. One such tool—available to teach-
ers and students—is called zSpace. It is a virtual reality system that uses 3-D technology as a way for students to explore subjects in an interactive way. Another program Strauss will bring to Bastian is called Community of Caring, a character education program. The first value focuses on family. Strauss said the school will make a quilt together, inviting each family to design a quilt block. Strauss is also excited to implement a program she has developed called Specials. “Everyone says they meet students’ needs but they don’t—they can’t,” said Strauss. Teachers are burdened with large class sizes of students of varying levels. With the Specials program, teachers have the time to meet the individual needs of students. Qualified aides, many with specialized degrees, will work daily with students in 45 minutes of STEM, computer lab, PE, character education, music and art activities. During this time, teachers will be free to work with students one-on-one or in small groups. “I love the Specials program,” said Shaunti Turner, who participated in Strauss’ program at Daybreak Elementary. “It is so nice to have individual time with students to teach the interventions they may need. When you have 25 or more students, it can be hard to find that time during the day.”
Collins also used the program at Daybreak. She uses it to help struggling students catch up and to provide accelerated students with more challenging enrichment activities. “It is a highly effective way to help each student achieve academic Students will use a virtual reality system to explore subjects in 3-D. (zSpace) success,” she said. Teachers have plans for a school choir, will be used for group projects and activities. debate program and Strauss has hand-picked her teachers for this a chess club, among other after-school activities. Students will have opportunities for acting, year—most have worked with her before. They singing and researching through various projects all agree she is a great principal to work with. “She is extremely supportive of teachers and teachers have planned for the year. Students will also actively participate in helps us have the tools, training and autonomy district-sponsored enrichment activities such as needed to be successful,” said Collins. Proctor said Strauss is aware of each teacher Monster Math and the district science fair. The new school is named after the Bastian as an individual. “She recognizes the strengths in us and enfamily, which donated the property to Jordan District. The school mascot and school colors will be courages us to use those strengths and not to bedecided by the student body once school begins. come ‘cookie-cutter’ teachers,” she said. Bastian Elementary will hold an open house Strauss loves to involve students in decision-making and will invite Bastian’s student council to be for families to tour the school on Aug. 22 from 1–3 p.m. Classes will begin the next day. actively involved in shaping the school. “The first day will be a red-carpet opening,” Strauss said the school building is well-designed for group learning. Two collaboration halls said Strauss. l
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Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez to visit South Jordan’s Black Diamond Gym By Billy Swartzfager | firstname.lastname@example.org
lympic Gold Medal gymnast and “Dancing with the Stars” winner Laurie Hernandez will be visiting Black Diamond Gymnastics and Sports Center in South Jordan on Sept 30. Her visit will mark the culmination of a months-long fundraiser Black Diamond’s gymnasts have been working on. All proceeds raised by Black Diamond will be donated to Primary Children’s Hospital. Participants at the gym began raising money in May hoping to bring in more than $100,000. The hospital performed more than $16 million in charity care for children in 2016 alone. The decision to go with Primary Children’s was an easy one for Black Diamond. “Every family that is part of Black Diamond has children, and almost all of them have personal experience or know someone who has had to use Primary Children’s services,” said Kelle Land, Black Diamond’s event coordinator. Last year, Black Diamond ran a similar fundraiser, though it used that money to buy new equipment for the gym. Olympian Jordyn Wieber appeared at the gym to cap off 2016’s campaign. The final event in September will be similar to what occurred last year, with Hernandez paying the gym a visit instead of Wieber. Those raising funds have multiple opportunities to earn special prizes involving Hernandez as well. There will be private clinics coached by the Olympian. Black Diamond gymnasts raising a minimum of $125 will be able to attend the hour long opportunity, while the top-30 fundraisers will be able to participate in an
additional clinic just for them. Everyone raising $250 will receive an autograph, be able to pose for picture and attend a questionand-answer session with Hernandez. After the Olympian answers questions, there will be a lunch where the top-10fundraisers will get to sit at Hernandez’s table. Black Diamond is working with Lucas Sports, which works with world-class athletes to help raise funds for community sports. The all-time record for fundraising with Lucas Sports is $108,000, so Black Diamond hopes to bring in at least $109,000 with an ultimate goal of $150,000. The organization that holds the record did so with 130 participants. Black Diamond’s goal is to have all of their 187 participants from both South Jordan and Park City take part in raising money for the cause. At the time the interview was conducted, there were 114 young gymnasts registered on the fundraising website, 75 of whom had already solicited contributions. The gymnasts are highly motivated by the Hernandez’s coming visit. And, there are several weekly contests throughout the ordeal to keep them inspired. Top fundraisers each week can earn various prizes like being able to take selfies with Hernandez or being photobombed by the Gold Medalist. The young gymnasts are grateful for the opportunity to learn from Hernandez but are more grateful that the privilege is something they are even able to enjoy. According to Land, the fundraiser has helped to raise awareness as well as money.
Black Diamond gymnasts (Kelle Land/Black Diamond Gymnastics)
“This has shown these kids that there are children in the world who never get the opportunity to participate in sports due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances,” Land said, “It has taught them about true struggles.” According to Land, the gymnasts have also learned a lot about hard work, community responsibility and what it means to be a humanitarian. Everyone involved is proud to have contributed to helping children at Primary Children’s, and being excited to meet Laurie Hernandez is icing on the cake. l
Page 12 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
Keep Our Community Safe Remember August is Back to School Traffic
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The new Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy opens it’s JEWEL BOX Theatre (a horse-shoe shaped theatre) September 1st with Forever Plaid. Your 4 Favorite Crooners Return! What happens when a 50’s quartet is allowed to come back from heaven to do the show they never got to do on earth? Fabulous music… 16 Tons, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Three Coins in a Fountain… Experience it all on our new, cozy Jewel Box Stage! By Ross and Raitt. One of your most requested shows of our 32 years!
Nearly 70% of Car Accidents Occur Within 10 Miles of Home! Sooner or later it’s going to happens to most of us – getting into a car accident. The vehicle insurance industry estimates all motorists are likely to be involved in at least four auto accidents in his or her lifetime. Additionally, very young or novice drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident, as opposed to more experienced drivers. More revealing are interesting survey facts that of all collisions that occur, 52% occur within a 5-mile radius of home while an astounding 70% occur within 10 miles. Although the vast majority of accidents occur close to home, most of them tend to be relatively minor. Perhaps you’re leaving your neighborhood and a neighbor pulls out of their driveway and hits your car in the side. Or maybe you’re at the neighborhood grocery store and you have a small fender bender in the parking lot. But serious injuries can occur especially when we add to our neighborhood roads increased pedestrians, loose pets, playing children and recreational runners and bikers. Local traffic safety issues for our communities is always an ongoing concern. Data from surveys also show that the farther from home the accident occurs, the more severe it tends to be. This is especially true for accidents that occur on busy highways and interstates where vehicles are traveling at much faster speeds over longer distances. Why do so many accidents occur so close to home? The surveys shed some light on this important question. Broadly speaking, drivers tend to have a false sense of security when driving close to home. For example, drivers are less likely to wear their seatbelts when driving to the neighborhood convenience store. Another big factor is distractions. Whether it’s talking on a cell phone, texting, scanning the radio or eating while driving, any little thing that diverts your attention from the road can open the door for a collision. When on a busy highway, drivers are more likely to maintain their focus on the primary task at hand and save the cell phone call, texting or radio scanning for later. Most Law enforcement, safety experts and personal injury attorneys, are pretty vocal about distracted driving. Local personal injury attorney - Ned Siegfried of Siegfried & Jensen sees cases of this type everyday and reminds us: “Just because you’re close to home doesn’t mean the danger of a car accident is lowered. In fact, you should be even more cautious when driving in your neighborhood or down to the corner mini-mart. Driving
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the speed limit and simply being aware dramatically reduces the chance of you being in a car accident, regardless of whether you’re just cruising down the street or traveling in another state.” Stay safe - Avoid these dangers! These three major factors can also significantly increase the risk of being involved in a car accident: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI / DWI) Speeding - Nearly one-third of all car accidents are caused by someone driving over the speed limit or driving too fast for the current weather and/or road conditions Driving while distracted - which includes texting, eating, applying make-up or any other behavior that takes a driver’s attention away from the road While not all of these accidents result in a fatality, the overwhelming majority of them result in some type of injury, property damage or litigation. Also, important to note that data from the Annual U.S. Road Crash Statistics journal suggests more serious car accidents are more likely to occur during specific days of the week, as well as during specific times of each day. The following is a breakdown of the days of the week and times of day when a fatal car accident is most likely to occur: Monday — 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6:00 pm Tuesday —7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm Wednesday — 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6 pm Thursday — 7am to 9am and 3pm to 9pm Friday — 9pm to midnight Saturday — midnight to 3am Take note that weekday mornings and late afternoons with its increase traffic dangers are also times school children are on the move. With schools back in session this month it’s a good reminder to watch out, slow down and avoid distracted driving. Protect your family – Before an accident! Mr. Siegfried advises: “The only thing you can do to protect your family before an accident is to have enough insurance. With uninsured drivers, more expensive vehicles on the road and the high cost of medical care for any injury - it’s vital to make sure your family is adequately covered. In many cases - you can increase your insurance limits up to ten times for just a few additional pennies a day. This greater coverage will adequately protect yourself and your family. Review with your insurance company the benefits of increasing your liability, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and under-insured motorist coverage(UIM). It’s one of the best values out there. “- Ned Siegfried
August 2017 | Page 13
S outhV alley Journal.Com
Herriman makes ‘Little Mermaid’ part of its world By Kelly Cannon | email@example.com
Eric and Ariel enjoy a romantic evening during the production of “The Little Mermaid.” (James Crane/Herriman Arts Council)
or its annual summer show, the Herriman Arts Council brought the underwater world to the stage with its production of “The Little Mermaid.” Based on the Disney movie, the musical featured a large cast and many technical feats. Directed by Stephen Kerr of the Herriman Arts Council, the iconic musical was chosen for the summer show because of the community of young families living in Herriman. “We’ve always tried to do shows that appeal to that audience,” Kerr said. “Also, it’s a popular show, and we felt that it was something that not only would be appealing to the residents of Herriman but also to the broader community.” Kerr said it’s always challenging to cast a show as iconic as “The Little Mermaid” because it often depends on who shows up for auditions. When it came to casting Ariel, there were definite traits Kerr was looking for. “We were looking for someone who could portray that, that sense of adventure, someone who is headstrong,” Kerr said. “Those were important and then ultimately, it’s a very tough role as far as singing. They have to be able to sing “Part of Your World (Reprise)” and be able to hit those notes and belt that and have it be something that our audiences are able to connect with.” The show is a technically challenging feat with a big cast, large set pieces and the need to convey things are happening underwater. To create a sense of magic, a flight system was brought in to physically lift cast members into the air. “We wanted to create that underwater atmosphere of having various characters be able to swim and be able to create that magic,” Kerr said. “They will be lots of swimming from several different characters.” Kerr described “The Little Mermaid” as having a sense of joy and contains elements that people can relate to in their own personal lives. “It’s family relationships, certainly father daughter relationships between Ariel and King Triton—learning to let go of your children as they grow and get older and the challenges of that,” Kerr said. “It really is something that the whole family can come and have an experience that is a whole evening of magic. It’s a great family show.”
Adam Millington played the role of Prince Eric. This was Millington’s first show in Herriman, but he had worked with Kerr in the past. “(Kerr) wants us to be so good and he pushes us,” Millington said. “As a director, he looks beyond the big parts and pulls out the small aspects of the show that are impactful. I really appreciate that. It helps me feel connects to the show and helps me feel like we’re doing something worthwhile.” Millington said he was excited to play Eric, describing the character as a confused young boy. “His parents have both recently passed away, and he’s conflicted between wanting to be a fun-loving youthful kid and the responsibility of running a kingdom,” he said. Performing in the show was a challenge for Millington because a week before the show, he tripped and fell on stage, breaking his elbow and damaging a hip and rib. He was able to pull through and perform. The role of Ariel was played by Emily Taylor Wells, who had played the role of Belle in the Herriman Arts Council’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” two years ago. Wells said “The Little Mermaid” is one of her favorite shows and was intrigued by the idea of playing Ariel in a way that hadn’t been done before. “I think a lot of people think Ariel is airheaded and kind of not the brightest bulb,” Wells said. “But I thought it’d be interesting to see Ariel who is played kind of fun and goofy cause I think that’s kind of her charm.” Barton Sloan played the role of Sebastian. Sloan is a dentist in the area who became aware of the show when working on a patient. “The dad was in the corner, and we got to talking about how we both did theater in high school,” Sloan said. “He was looking on his phone and he said, ‘Herriman is doing “Little Mermaid.” Why don’t you audition?’ I said, ‘I will if you will.’” Sloan described Sebastian as a loveable character that everyone remembers. “He’s loveable while caring and fretting for Ariel,” Sloan said. “And he has the best songs. That’s what it boils down to.” l
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Page 14 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
City celebrates heritage with annual Fort Herriman Days By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
ith three days jam-packed with activities, attractions, rides, food and fun, the annual Fort Herriman Days helped residents celebrate their heritage. Held June 22–24 at W&M Butterfield Park, the celebration brought out droves of families and community partners. Though Herriman was only incorporated in 1999, residents have been celebrating the settlement of Herriman for decades with parades and festivals. This year, the official celebration was changed to incorporate more family-friendly attractions. “On Thursday, we held a family night,” said Director of Communications and Herriman Public Information Officer Tami Moody. “We had a lot of free activities for the kids. The inflatables were free that night, and there were just a lot of games and things that brought families out and made it a lower cost for them.” Friday night was water night with a giant foam party on the baseball fields and with water slides and games where people could shoot water at each other. “All of that was fun as well,” Moody said. “We’ve tried to incorporate a lot of free activities for the kids, as well as when you have to buy the carnival wristbands or for the inflatables.” Friday concluded with the traditional movie night on the field with the movie “Sing.” “It was packed,” Moody said. “It was great.” Saturday started with the parade that wound around Herriman, concluding at Butterfield Park. Saturday also had the general carnival and the car show, and it finished with a special concert featuring “Groove Merchants.” The decision to incorporate more activities geared toward budget-minded families came from an internal discussion at the city.
“We’ve had some staffing changes, and with that comes new and bigger ideas. It was something we decided to incorporate,” Moody said. “We’re a city of families. We have so many young families here that we want to make sure they have a night they can come and participate. We were able to keep the costs down so that they were able to enjoy a lot of the activities.” All throughout the three days, volunteers and city employees asked participants to complete a survey to see how they were enjoying the festival. “We’re asking people to rate the changes,” Moody said. “We’ve had a lot of good and positive feedback. It’s been great. We’re also going to put up a little survey on our Facebook page to invite people to rate their experience and offer any suggestions they have on how we can make it even better next year.” Based on feedback from last year, the number of carnival rides was increased this year. “It’s in a much bigger area, and we’ve had really good feedback on that,” Moody said. “The parade route—it wasn’t necessarily extended, but it used to cause a lot of congestion when it came into the parking lot right here so we had it go around. It lessened the congestion. It did impact neighbors, but we did send out a flier so they knew.” Though there were events and activities centered on families, Moody said the city tried to make Fort Herriman days appealing to everyone. “It’s a good time for families and people of all ages,” she said. “We’ve really tried to incorporate something for every-
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Two boys watch the merry-go-round during Fort Herriman Days. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
one. We now have entertainment going all three days. A lot of it is local entertainers, local dance studios. We have a lot more local participants in our entertainment, which has been fun.” Sponsors for the 2017 Fort Herriman Days include CenturyLink, Herriman City, Staker Parson Companies, Herriman Towne Center, Intermountain Riverton Hospital, Rio Tinto, Rocky Mountain Power, Arthur J. Gallgher & Co, Shearology, Select Health, Simply White, GSBS Architects and Awaken City Church. l
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August 2017 | Page 15
S outhV alley Journal.Com
Bank of American Fork Back to the Basics By Chaille’ Mackie, Vice President and Northern Region Manager, Bank of American Fork I spend much of my time each day assisting people with their finances. My customers come in and we help them understand how to maximize their savings, find the best accounts to manage their money and learn ways to help protect themselves from scams and fraud. As I have applied financial practices that I encourage others to adopt I have discovered that getting back to the basics is a solid foundation to build on. Being and feeling in control of your finances can go beyond just having the money you need to live and provide for yourself and your family. Sixty-four percent of Americans reported to the American Psychological Association in 2015 that money is a “somewhat” or “very significant” source of stress. Both those with a high net worth and those with low income reported stress because of money. Anxiety and stress can lead to unhealthy results, like poor sleep, irritability or high blood pressure. Knowing that I’m practicing safe and smart financial habits personally helps me to avoid money anxiety. These are some really basic but important money tips that have helped me to feel peace of mind when it comes to money and valuable items. It’s just stuff! It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that
we need more things—to wear, in our homes, to use—but having too many things can be overwhelming in the end. When I am thinking about purchasing an item, I make sure to ask myself: “Do I really want it? Do I need it? Do I just think I need it because it’s on sale?” Take advantage of “free money.” I participate in my employer-sponsored retirement savings plan and with the added contribution from my employer, I’m able to save money for my future. I’m taking advantage of the benefits my employer offers me by participating in the employer match program. It’s easy to forget that these types of programs are a part of compensation—I wouldn’t say no to a direct deposit I have earned, so why would I say no to the retirement contribution match I’m earning? Protect your silver and gold. Make sure you are protecting your valuables from thieves, fire, flood and earthquake by securing them in a safe deposit box or fireproof home safe. Doing this gives me peace of mind concerning the safety of my valuables. I talk to people about money every day. In my 15 years in banking I have learned volumes about different ways to make, keep and use money. I hope these ‘back to the basics’ money tips will assist you in setting a strong financial foundation. l
Chaille’ Mackie has been with Bank of American Fork for 15 years, where she manages Bank of American Fork’s northern region, along with the day-to-day operations at its Riverton Branch. She loves that her customers have become her friends.
Page 16 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
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orld champions are humbly living in West Jordan. The Blodgett family has turned their passion for Dutch oven cooking into a delicious winning activity. “We always enjoyed Dutch oven cooking when we went camping,” said Lisa Blodgett about the tasty hobby she enjoys with her husband, Brian. Back in 2002, Brian was asked to go to the Salt Lake County Fair to help judge a
Lisa Blodgett, middle, and daughter Katelyn won the 2016 Dutch oven world championship. (Lisa Blodgett/ West Jordan)
Dutch oven contest. The contests are sponsored by the International Dutch Oven Society (IDOS), headquartered in Salt Lake City. IDOS is a nonprofit organization with the goals of preserving and promoting the skills and art of Dutch oven cooking. IDOS describes the camp style of Dutch ovens as cast iron pots having three legs to hold the pot above the coals, as well as a rimmed lid to hold coals and keep the ashes out of the dish. Brian came home from the contest and told Lisa about how awesome it was. So the next year the couple started competing. Their first child, Ben, was a baby then. Contestants compete in either the novice, youth or advanced category. Novices cook a main dish and a dessert. The advanced level adds a bread, which is the hardest of the dishes to cook. The Blodgetts competed in the novice category for two years, then moved up to advanced. After a few years, the Blodgetts qualified to go to the world Dutch oven competition. “That year I was pregnant with twins, so we couldn’t go,” said Lisa. But Brian and Lisa kept cooking and earned their way back to the world contest in 2009. That first time, they took second place. In 2010, they won the championship. The contests have usually been held here in Utah, in conjunction with the International Sportsman’s Expo in March. Teams from all over the U.S. compete. While most of the teams are from Utah, teams come from all over including Alaska, Texas, California, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Internationally, teams from Japan and Australia have attended. After the Blodgetts won the 2010 world championship, their kids were getting old enough to start cooking with them. At age 8, Ben competed with his older cousin in a few youth cook-
offs. Then the parents started taking turns cooking with one of their twins, Katelyn and Tyler. Ben and Lisa cooked in a competition in 2014 and won it. They went on to the world contest in 2015 and came in fifth place overall. The world contest is a two-day event. “They weed it down to five teams each day, and there’s the returning champs, so it’s down to 11 teams for the finals,” said Lisa. Last year, Lisa and daughter Katelyn, 9 years old at the time, competed and won, advancing to the world competition. The mother/daughter duo won worlds, making them the reigning 2016 world champions. “We didn’t even think we had a chance,” said Lisa. Lisa made some interested creations. “The dishes that come out of these are quite gourmet,” she said.. “For our semifinals, we did a raspberry cheesecake. We made a jalapeno cheese bread, and lemon rosemary salmon. The presentation gets you a lot of points. For our finals, we had a chocolate raspberry cake, a rosemary olive asiago cheese bread that Kate decorated, and we did a beef Wellington for our main dish.” Katelyn likes Dutch oven cooking because, “You get to be creative about it, and you get to cook with a friend or a sibling. It’s always exciting at the end when you find out what place you got — and when you get to taste all the other’s foods.” Tyler said, “One of my favorite parts is eating the food. The food that we make is delicious.” Things don’t always go smoothly in competition. Ben, now 14 years old, remembers a time when he competed with his dad. “After we had baked our cake, I was a little tired, and I went to lean on the table with my elbow,” he said. “My elbow went right on the cake, smashing it down. So then we had to patch it together with frosting, and it had a huge blob in it that was just frosting.” Tyler laughed about last year’s competition when Katelyn’s pants almost caught on fire. Katelyn said, “When I was stirring the sauce for the beef Wellington, the coals were on fire, and they were too close to my pants,” Lisa added. “It started melting her pants. It wasn’t really funny.” How can fellow camp chefs improve? “The biggest tip that we share with people is heat management,” said Lisa. Cooks need to understand how to distribute the coals on the oven. “If you are burning the food, it’s because you have too much heat on the bottom.” The formula Lisa uses is to double the number of the Dutch oven’s diameter, heat that many coals and put two-thirds of the coals on top. For example, if you have a 12-inch oven, double that number and heat 24 coals. Put twothirds or 16 coals on top and one-third or eight coals on the bottom. As the Blodgett family continues to cook their delicious creations and win championships, it looks like they have also found a valuable recipe for family unity. l
August 2017 | Page 17
S outhV alley Journal.Com
Tour of Utah comes to South Jordan for inaugural start and finish By Billy Swartzfager | email@example.com
he Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah begins July 31, kicking off its 13th year. The 2017 version of the annual bicycle race spans 600 miles with 36,525 feet of climbing. In 2015, the event became a 2.HC-rated UCI sanctioned stage race, making it one of the finest in North America. Of the 10 Utah cities hosting a start or a finish line, six of them are doing so for the first time. South Jordan is one of the new cities to join the Tour and will be hosting both a start and finish. On Aug. 3, South Jordan’s inaugural start to the Tour’s Stage 4 will be on Redwood Road, using 11400 south to reach the Mountain View Corridor. Stage 4 covers new territory for the Tour of Utah, crossing 125 miles in Salt Lake, Utah and Tooele counties. The stage will venture into Rush Valley and onto a surprising jaunt of terrain for riders. They will be taken over 10 miles of maintained dirt and gravel on Faust Road, which will connect them to the old Pony Express Trail in the West Desert. The course will cross Five Mile Pass and return through Utah County via SR 73 through Cedar Fort. There will be 4,000 feet of elevation gain on this leg of the race and should provide a fantastic finish back in South Jordan with the final 3 miles circling South Jordan City Park. South Jordan City leaders are excited to play host to their portion of the race. It brings something different to the city and its residents. City officials are planning a kick-off party on Aug. 2, the evening before the race, at the park. There will be activities for everyone, including families and children. City leaders also consider themselves lucky to be in the position to host both a start and finish to the only internationally sanctioned cycling competition for men in North America. “This is something new and we are excited to do it,” said Tina
Brown, South Jordan City’s communication specialist. “There will be a lot of participants, and our residents can really enjoy it.” Tour of Utah organizers approached South Jordan Mayor David Alvord earlier in the year, and there was definite interest on South Jordan’s part. The opportunity to expose residents to such a high-class competition was something city leaders were eager to provide. “I knew it would be a great opportunity for our city,” Alvord said. “We have a real gem, and the more people that see it, the better. The Start-Finish was optional, but we chose to host both to maximize the exposure for the city.” In addition to South Jordan’s participation and festivities, the Tour of Utah will provide all sorts of opportunities for surrounding communities to witness the event. The Heber Valley will return for a stage start that also Riders from a previous tour, racing through the mountains (Jonathan Devich/Epic Images) includes the Ultimate Challenge Citizens Ride presented by University of Utah Health. Logan will serve as the race’s headquarters for the “No two stages of the Tour of Utah look exactly the same, and we overall start, including the team presentation, which is an event spectators are encouraged to attend. The race is encourage each community to play to their strengths to bring out a great thing for Utah and South Jordan residents as well as the the crowds. It is a free event, open to the public and offers great activities throughout the day – kids’ races, expo, etc. South Jordan local economies. “The Tour of Utah really encourages each host to create a sense has really embraced this opportunity and is planning some really of community,” Tour of Utah Executive Director Jenn Andrs said. cool activities leading up to and during Stage 4.” l
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Page 18 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
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A member of the Unmanageables up to bat in a game this season (Billy Swartzfager/City Journals)
or 18 years the Clean and Sober Softball Association of Utah has been putting together teams of coed softball players for friendly competition while the players find comradery, support and some fun. The league is one of the largest in the state with 67 teams and seven divisions. Four fields in Sandy are home to many of the divisions. Games are played every Friday night from late March all the way in to November some years. The league is something powerful for many who are looking for a reason to stay away from drugs and alcohol. There is a rule that in order to play, one has to have been sober for at least 14 days. That may not seem like much, but to someone going through the struggles of addiction, two weeks can seem like a very long amount of time. Some players even attribute the league to their long term sobriety. According to Nick Daniels, league secretary and captain of the Unmanageables, he stayed sober in order to be on the diamond. “For the first sixty days or so, I stayed sober just so I could play ball,” Daniels said. He’s come a long ways from there, and has found others who have done the same. There are close to 15 people on his
roster and most have stories similar to his and being together on the field every week gives them all something to look forward to as well as a sense of community . “We are more like a family out here,” Daniels said, “We know each other and are here to support each other.” The support and care for one another extends past game time as well. Many of the players are close due to the nature of their struggles and share time over the BBQ or at the bowling alley when not in uniform or during the off-season. “This is a place where people can meet others with similar experiences, whether it’s someone in recovery for 20 years or someone who is just starting out,” Daniels said. Daniels’ story is similar to many of the people he faces every Friday night. He sought treatment for his struggles and heard about the league from others who had found it to be helpful. Many of the teams in the league are sponsored by treatment centers, made up of players who are participating in the center’s programs, or who have been through the center previously. Other teams, like the Unmanageables, are put together through various channels and pay their own way with help from sponsors. Daniels’ team
gets a share of their league fees and money for jerseys from Lone Pine Cabinet. Most players discover the league through friends and support networks, or the league’s Facebook page. They generally reach out to a team captain, an old timer from meetings or one of the league’s numerous officials and board members hoping to get placed on a team. With 67 of them, it usually doesn’t take long to get someone a team to call their own, so they can begin the process of recovery, surrounded by a group of people who have been there and are willing to help. The league requires that participants be a part of a recovery program, though one could argue that being part of one of the many teams on a Friday night serves every bit as good as a meeting. Watching the teams play games shows just how close these folks are. They know each other’s first names, each other’s history. They share respect for the work they are doing off the field and it shows on it. The upper divisions in the league are competitive, but never at the expense of what really matters, which is the fact that the league helps people change their lives, and has been doing so for a long time. l
August 2017 | Page 19
S outhV alley Journal.Com
A young man plays tennis his way
ennis may be his second choice of sports he loves, but Riverton High School senior Grant Johnson has made a lasting impression on his opponents, coaches and teammates. “He has been playing tennis for me since he was a freshman,” Silverwolves tennis coach Karl McKenzie said. “Honestly, when he first came out, I was worried about how I was going to cut him. I was nervous about dealing with his physical deformity. I was not trying to be judgmental, but that was my concern. He is such a great kid and works so hard now I do not even realize he is any different than any of the other kids.” Johnson has cerebral palsy affecting the entire right side of his body. Through sports, his disability has gotten less and less severe, but he still has use of only one arm and has taught himself how to play tennis. “He never wanted to give up,” McKenzie said. “I found he had played baseball one-handed and really wanted to be like every other American kid. I have never seen a kid like him.” Baseball is Johnson favorite sport. He started playing little league when he was 7 years old. He is a member of the Riverton Babe Ruth 18 and under boys baseball program and cheers for the St Louis Cardinals. His favorite player is Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Playing tennis with one arm presented challenges. Tossing the ball, grabbing the racket
By Greg James | email@example.com
Riverton senior Grant Johnson has become an example to others by playing competitive tennis with a disability. (Grant Johnson/Riverton tennis)
and smashing a serve all with one arm is different than how everyone else plays. He said he has had to work on that and his backhand to be competitive. “His opponents really do not know what to expect,” McKenzie said. “I think they even
devalue him because they do not know what to expect. His serve is different, and he had to work on a weakness, but he has overcome all of that. He does it all with just one hand.” He has played doubles and is trying to earn a singles spot. His doubles partners have
included Jaxson Day and Peter Schouten. This summer, he has played some Utah Tennis Association singles tournaments in preparation for next season. Johnson learned baseball playing first base and pitching. His father showed him the skill, and he practiced with his friends at recess and after school. “I think he has a lot of determination,” McKenzie said. “He has always had that grit to be better. I notice that he does not want his disability to be the focus. He wants to fight through and do what it takes to win. He is very humble and does not want to be singled out. It is something that has helped him stand out.” Johnson plans to attend college after graduation. He wants to go into business management. “I want to keep practicing and learning,” Johnson said. “I don’t like special recognition from the fans or an umpire. I try to be courteous, but it bugs me not to be treated like a normal athlete. It gives me an extra purpose to keep playing sports.” Another player at Riverton baseball has the same disability, and Johnson said he has played catch with him, and he knows that he wants to be a pitcher. He is glad he could be an example and help him learn the game. “He is a good kid, and I am glad he can be an example to other kids.” McKenzie said. l
Page 20 | August 2017
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SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
Sixth-graders get standing ovation from EPA By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
Four Sandy sixth-graders received a standing ovation from about 400 Environmental Protection Agency’s scientists and staff for developing an bird scare device that has been tested and proven effective at Salt Lake International Airport. These students, who will receive the President’s Environmental Youth Award, presented their findings and demonstrated their device, called a Bionic Scarecrow, at the EPA Region 8 all-hands meeting July 18 in Denver. “The President (of the United States) has joined EPA to recognize young people for protecting the nation’s air, water, land and ecology,” EPA Assistant Regional Administrator Darcy O’Connor said. “It’s one of the most important ways that EPA and the President demonstrate commitment for the environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s youth.” The team has been invited to EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. to receive the honor that has only been awarded to a handful of students each year since its inception in 1971. Currently, they are fundraising for the Aug. 28 awards ceremony through a GoFundMe site: https://www.gofundme.com/ bionic-porcupines-award-ceremony. “The award is a huge honor, but we didn’t go about trying to earn it,” said team member Abigail Slama-Catron, who attends Midvale Middle School with teammate Eric Snaufer. “We’re concerned about making a positive difference in our environment. Individually, we’ve picked up litter on trails and parks, planted trees, marked storm drains and other projects, but together, we can make a larger impact.” Abigail said that their device may be a way to effectively help airport wildlife staff reduce bird strikes, which may prevent similar incidents as the one commonly known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” In January 2009, 155 people survived an emergency landing in the Hudson River after a flock of Canada geese struck a U.S. Airways flight minutes after leaving LaGuardia, New York airport. “We not only identified a need, but we created an answer — and it works,” said Allison Drennan, who attends Beehive Science and Technology Academy with teammate Timothy Holt. “We’ve built several Bionic Scarecrows that the airport is using now and they want more.” Eric said that the sixth-graders got together under their team name, Bionic Porcupines 2.0, to compete
in the FIRST Lego League competitions. One part of the contest is to create a project that could impact their community. “After sending emails and calling several people in our community, the airport officials invited us there,” Eric said. “They explained the problem that 218 birds hit airplanes last year. Our team thought that the project was pretty challenging. I hadn’t thought about it until I researched and became engrossed in it.” Eric said that a recent Cornell University study showed random motion scares away birds. So the group decided to create a miniaturized air dancer that was small, portable, waterproof and environmentally friendly. Using a toolbox, a car battery and a water-resistant fan, they put to- Four sixth-graders presented their bird scare device to 400 Environmental Protection Agency’s scientists and staff and received a standing ovation. (Julie Slama/City Journals) gether the basics — along with sewing a nylon windsock that ic Scarecrow was named one of port to see our project actually work randomly scares away the birds. In addition to research and 60 most innovative projects in the and see that we are making a difference in the world,” Abigail said. hands-on experience, the sixth-grad- world. In April, the team joined by AlCanyons School District Suers learned skills from designing the device to using power tools and lison’s older sister, Katie, also par- perintendent Jim Briscoe complilearning about soldering and elec- ticipated in the Utah High School mented the team for their hard work tronics. The team also sewed and Entrepreneur Challenge at the outside the classroom. “I’m very proud of the innosurged the ripstop windsocks that University of Utah were awarded vative and practical approach these are being tested. They’ve bonded $1,000 for the best prototype. “It was an incredible experi- students took to try to save lives and as a team and have improved their oral speaking skills through presen- ence to see up-and-coming entre- have a positive impact on our comtations from local classrooms to the preneurs showcase their hard work munity,” he said. “I know I’ll feel and pitch their idea to the judges,” much safer flying out of Salt Lake EPA presentation. The team spent several hours said Stephanie Gladwin, entrepre- City and I’ll be on the look out for Bionic Scarecrows.” at Salt Lake International Airport neur challenge chair. Katie, who worked mostly on However, the team isn’t conwith United States Department of Agriculture Airport Wildlife Biolo- the business plan, presented the tent to stop their desire to improve the environmental. While in Dengist Bobby Boswell, who also was project to judges. “They were pretty excited ver, they toured EPA’s lab, meeting acknowledged at the Denver presentation from the USDA, EPA and about it,” said the Alta High fresh- with several scientists to see how Bionic Porcupines 2.0 for mentor- man. “Through the presentation, I they test surface water, as well as learned about the world of business, discussed water issues and probing the team. “We discovered that the prob- terminology and other financial lems with a panel of 12 other scienlem was larger than we realized at spreadsheets that I can use in my fu- tists so they can pursue an innovafirst because many airports are lo- ture. It was really amazing to be the tive water project. The Bionic Porcupines 2.0 also cated on the birds’ migratory routes youngest teams at the challenge and and habitats,” Abigail said. “We’re to win an honor for best prototype.” received compliments on their bird Abigail and Eric also repre- scare device and suggestions on wanting to share our Bionic Scarecrows because they save lives — sented the team to present their how to expand it to other usages, innovative project at the regional such as in mining operations and both the people’s and the birds.” Their devices will save airport Salt Lake Valley Science and En- beaches where there are bird issues. EPA Acting Deputy Regional officials money on current more gineering Fair, where they won the expensive methods of scaring the elementary division category of Administrator Suzanne Bohan said birds as well as save airlines about mechanical engineering as well as that the Bionic Porcupine 2.0 team $900 million per year in damaged received special awards from the has set the bar high. American Institute of Aeronautics “These student winners are explanes, Timothy said. “We have a provisional patent and Astronautics and the Utah De- emplary leaders, committed to strong so we’re able to produce more Bi- partment of Transportation. They environmental stewardship and probonic Scarecrows to help stop bird also were invited to apply to the Na- lem solving,” she said. “Environmental education cultivates our next strikes at other airports and places tional Broadcom Science Fair. Abigail also presented the generation of leaders by teaching around the world,” Timothy said. Their innovative project hasn’t Lego team’s project at the Canyons them to apply creativity and innovagone unnoticed. After winning the Film Festival, where the film won tion to the environmental challenges we face as a nation. I have no doubt FIRST Lego League qualifier’s best middle school documentary. “It’s great to be recognized for that students like these will someday champions award, they won the most innovative project in Utah our hard work, but what meant the solve some of our most complex and state competition and their Bion- most was when we went to the air- important issues.”l
August 2017 | Page 21
S outhV alley Journal.Com
Magical Harry Potter camp brings Hogwarts to life By Kelly Cannon | email@example.com
or the week of July 10-15, the Viridian Events Center in West Jordan was transformed into the magical world of witches, wizards and all things Harry Potter. Called OWL Camp, the five day summer camp combined kids’ love of the Harry Potter books/ movies with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) based learning. Each day of the camp was based off a book in the Harry Potter series with the first day being “The Sorcerer’s Stone” and the second day being “Chamber of Secrets.” The final day was a combination of both “Order of the Phoenix” and “Half-Blood Prince.” The camp did not include “Deathly Hallows” because of the serious and tragic subject matter in the book. The campers attended classes throughout the day that corresponded to the book of the day. “So this is second year, which is based off of ‘Chamber of Secrets.’ We have a potions class today where they’re learning how to make slime,” said Nyssa Fleig, the library program manager for the Salt Lake County Library Services. “We also have a defense against the dark arts class where they are learning self-defense moves. We have herbology where they are learning how to make mandrakes.” Various classes were taught by volunteers in the community. These included Utah State University Extension 4-H teaching herbology, Hogle Zoo teaching care of magical creatures, University of Utah graduate poetry students teaching charms and Family Tae Kwon Do teaching defense against the dark arts. “There are two components to OWL Camp. One is the STEAM classes that goes from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. They have four classes
each day,” Fleig said. “The other part is the immersive experience. We really want them to feel like they are going to Hogwarts.” In addition to the classes, the “Chamber of Secrets” day also included a guest appearance by Gilderoy Lockhart and a basilisk on display. Kids could also download an interactive version of the Marauder’s Map. At the end of each day, family and friends of the campers could come and take a trip to Hogsmeade where local businesses set up shops full of fun treats and trinkets. The idea for OWL Camp stemmed from other successful Harry Potter programs put on by the library services. “We’ve done movie release launches and book release launches and midnight parties. We’ve done an annual Yule Ball for the past five years. It happens in January and it’s just for the teens,” Fleig said. “We’ve always had a lot of success with Harry Potter themed programs. It’s a great combination of literacy and fandom and we get to add a little STEAM education so it was a great fit. We wanted to build on the success of the programs.” Fleig said the library services wanted to try their hand at summer camp, explaining there are a lot of kids in the community who can’t attend traditional summer camp for a number of reasons. “We wanted to meet that need in an environment that is free and accepting, that is flexible so they can feel welcome and they already have a connection with the fandom,” Fleig said. Leading up to the camp, several library locations held special Diagon Alley shops where anyone, not just campers, could come in and make Harry Potter themed crafts. These included Pottage’s
Gilderoy Lockhart entertains campers during OWL Camp, presented by Salt Lake County Library Services. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
Cauldron Shop in Herriman, Magical Menagerie at Bingham Creek, Ollivander’s Wand Making in Holladay, Weasly’s Wizard Wheezes in Hunter, Jokes and Pranks in Sandy, Sock Puppet Pets in Tyler and U-No-Poo Craft and Scramble in West Jordan. Fleig hoped the campers built confidence and learned a new skill they didn’t have before attending the camp. She also hoped it made an impact on the summer slide. “We already known that when they get out in the spring and when they go back in the fall, a lot of kids end up behind,” Fleig said. “We’re hoping this is just one more opportunity where they can learn and keep those skills strong.” l
Page 22 | August 2017
SOUTH VALLEY JOURNAL
7 tips to saving money on Back to School items
Back to school supply shopping can be a big chore. Trying to plan where the money comes from can be like computing for an extra Christmas each year. With careful planning, not only can you take care of your child’s needs, it’s also a great way to get home office supplies for the home too. Here are 7 tips to make your shopping easier on the wallet. #1 – Take stock You might be surprised at how much you have on hand. Back to School sales typically last all the way through October. Using what you have on hand can allow you the time needed to take real advantage of sales as they progress. You might try tuning this into a fun game, where the kids search through their stuff from a scavenger hunt style list looking for last year’s scissors, pencil sharpener and protractor. #2 – Stick to a list Wait for the teacher to release the list of supplies needed then make your list of required supplies with your child. Your list will also help teach the kids responsible shopping. It’s easy to get distracted with that super cute light up My Little Pony backpack with matching lunchbox and water bottle, but is it really needed? #3 - Set Limits As your kids grow older, they will want more and more of the hottest and most “trendy” items. Even though your kids crave these items, these “character-focused” products will quickly destroy your back to school budget. In addition, these items often aren’t made with much quality. #4 - Buy in Bulk Buy in bulk to save money on back to school shopping. When pens, crayons, and glue go on sale in the late summer, buy enough to get you through the rest of the year. This is also a great time to stock-up on office supplies for yourself. And, don’t forget the tape for Christmas. It’s usually at it’s cheapest this time of year.
#5 – Buy Used Good quality clothing doesn’t have to be purchased new. You might take a look at Kid-to-Kid stores that sell gently used kids clothing. There are several along the Wasatch Front. Pack up any kids clothing you have when you go, Kid-to-Kid will also accept kids clothing that meets their guidelines and give you credit to use in the store. Just Between Friends Consignment sale is another great way to buy used. This bi-annual sale is held at the United Soccer Center, 9100 S. 500 W. (9/22-9/23). Arrive early as the best things go quickly. www.jbfsale.com/home.jsp #6 – Shop the Loss Leaders Almost all stores advertise “loss leaders” in their weekly flyers. Loss leaders are the items that are marked down so much, that the store doesn’t make a profit on them, in hopes that you’ll purchase other items while shopping. They are usually on the front page of the ads. Eventually everything you need will be a loss leader. Staples, Target, Walgreens, Shopko and Smith’s Marketplace all have fabulous loss leaders each week. #7 - Use coupons Combining coupons with the sales is the best way to maximize your savings and often you’ll get your free items or pennies on the dollar. Find coupons on mobile apps like Ibotta.com (enter code Coupons4Utah when registering for additional perks), Target Cartwheel, and Smith’s mobile app. You can also find coupons for school and office supplies in your Sunday Newspaper inserts and on Coupons.com. This year how about turning the back to school thought process around and make back to school shopping a, fun and traditional savings spree. Joani Taylor is the founder of Coupons4Utah.com. A website devoted to helping Utah families save time and money on restaurants, things to do and everyday needs. l
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Parental Guidance Not Suggested
delicious stew. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t even boil an egg, I wanted to live with my sisters and brother in an abandoned train car. Still do. Pippi Longstocking had a big house in a Swedish village and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. With her mother dead and her father lost at sea, Pippi’s outlandish behavior never got her grounded from the TV. In fact, she had a horse, a suitcase full of gold, and no one telling her to go to bed before midnight. Left at a boarding school, motherless Sara Crewe learns her father is missing in the war, and probably dead. She enters a life of servitude at the school and uses her imagination to stay upbeat by telling stories. I could tell stories for food. That’s basically what I do now. Scout Finch, the crusading heroine in “To Kill a Mockingbird” got along just fine without a mother. She wasn’t afraid to fight for what she knew was right. Scout inspired me to think about what justice really means, and to be outraged when justice isn’t served. And the queen of them all, Nancy Drew, shaped my entire life. With her wealthy father, Carson Drew, and her
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Eyre and even Cinderella—all motherless success stories. However. Several years ago, I found myself without a mom. I was devastated. I discovered it wasn’t cool at all. It certainly didn’t allow me to live in a Swedish boxcar while telling stories, crusading for justice and solving mysteries. I finally realized that her influence is what taught me to be a kind, independent, free-thinking, literate, crusader for justice. Being motherless is not what it’s cracked up to be. But my mom was right about one thing, I did start drinking Coca-Cola and swearing. l
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band of friends Ned, Bess and George, Nancy drove her fancy convertible through River Heights, her Midwestern hometown, that seemed to be bustling with international criminals. If her small town hosted so many depraved lawbreakers, certainly Murray, Utah, could have its share of brazen jewel thieves. Nancy was plucky and fearless as she investigated broken lockets, whispering statues and tolling bells. Her adventures left me breathless with jealousy because I knew her success could be directly attributed to her motherless stature. Then there’s Anne Shirley, Jane
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When I was 10 years old, my dream of living as an orphan was swiftly derailed when my parents refused to die. How else could I achieve the spunky, independent status that comes from living without parents who constantly insist on manners and bathing and church on Sundays? Being orphaned was the best option, but being motherless would work, too. My mom was aware of my wish for a motherless future and seemed to take it personally. She’d tell me to stop lying around the house like a depressed sloth because she had no intention of leaving me motherless. She assumed once I was permanently without maternal supervision I’d start drinking Coca-Cola and swear. I blame literature for my orphanic life goals. Most of the books I read featured young women who endured their motherless lives with flair. Jessie Alden, the 12-year-old heroine from “The Boxcar Children,” was one of my role models. After her parents’ death, Jessie lived with her siblings in an abandoned boxcar, keeping it tidy and preparing tasty meals by picking berries and gathering random kitchen scraps that she turned into
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