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August 2018 | Vol. 28 Iss. 08


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n an emergency meeting on July 19, the Riverton City Council unanimously declared the city’s intent to leave the Unified Police Department at the end of 12 months, though they did so with the understanding that this decision may change if substantial differences between the UPD and the city can be resolved. “Let me be clear, we have the utmost confidence in and respect for the UPD officers who serve our city so well,” said Mayor Trent Staggs. “Our concerns do not lie with service received from local officers but with the administrative and governance levels of UPD.” The driving force behind this dramatic gesture came July 18, when city officials finally received information about an important decision that would be made at a UPD Board of Directors meeting the next day. This decision would make changes to an agreement between the UPD and its member communities, and yet nobody was told about it until the last minute—when it was almost too late to do anything about it. “It made me really nervous to know that the UPD Board would be considering such substantial changes to our agreement during a time when we are actively trying to resolve some very important concerns,” said Staggs. “We must be able to work out these concerns if we stay with UPD.” Staggs said this “last-minute reveal” of critical information is just one of many instances in which the UPD Board has been needlessly opaque. “During my time on the board, I have seen also others,” he said . “I ask for information but either get no answer or partial answers.” The threat of Riverton’s withdrawal sent a clear message of disapproval to the UPD Board, which ultimately tabled the proposed changes to the contract. City officials intend to work with UPD in the months ahead to see whether there may be a path to an agreement to stay. “I truly don’t believe we would have been able to do that if we didn’t signal our intent to leave before the Board adopted changes to the agreement, boxing us in to a potentially bad deal

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Riverton officials are pleased with the service of their UPD officers, but they have some reservations about the organization’s administration. (Riverton City Communications)

for our taxpayers,” said Staggs. The proposed changes would see the assets and resources the city has invested in the UPD over the years distributed disproportionately across the service area. Taxpayers would not receive the bang for their buck they reasonably should. The organization’s financial accountability leaves something to be desired, according to Staggs. “We’re billed at the top end for each officer allocation, yet each officer in our precinct is not receiving top end pay,” he said. “The differential should go back to our own fund balance or reduce our billed amount to the organization. But that doesn’t happen.” The same goes for other unused precinct-specific budgeted money; but instead of returning to Riverton, the unused funds get ab-

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sorbed by the service area. In fact, Staggs said county officials seem to consistently put their own interests above those of the member cities it claims to serve. “Contracts and monetary benefits too often go directly to the county when other vendors could provide a service less expensively,” said Mayor Staggs. City officials realize this topic deserves much public discourse and education. The council will provide opportunities in the weeks ahead to ensure Riverton residents can become educated, ask questions and express their thoughts to elected officials. “I would hope that at the end of the day we can come to some resolution that would be positive for all of us — for the community and for UPD,” said Councilmember Tish Buroker. l

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Hale Center Theatre’s My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale

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Bluffdale city celebrates 40th birthday during Old West Days with activities for everyone The South Valley City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout South Valley. The South Valley Journal covers news for Herriman, Bluffdale, and Riverton. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

The South Valley Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Travis Barton travis@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer Tracy.l@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1021 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton Sierra Daggett Amanda Luker

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n connection with Bluffdale’s Old West Days on August 6-11, the city is also celebrating its 40th birthday by adding birthday-themed activities throughout the week. Ending the week will be the biggest “Family Shindig” concert the city has ever had. “The birthday celebration is to help us remember those who worked so hard to make our community what it was, is, and will be,” said Connie Pavlakis community events coordinator for Bluffdale. “It is a unique opportunity for new residents and old residents alike to gain an appreciation for the way our city has formed and the unique atmosphere we have here.” The Saturday night “Family Shindig” concert and firework show is sure to be a favorite this year as Eclipse 6 and Carver Louis will be the preshow performers before the main Grammy Award winning country group, Diamond Rio. “This concert promises to be the best our community has had,” said Pavlakis. “Bluffdale residents are already sharing their excitement and anticipation with us. We can’t do something this big every year, so we hope all our residents will come out and enjoy it.” Throughout the week, residents have a chance to win a limited edition birthday challenge coin by attending seven birthday bash events, starting on July 27 and going through August 11. Residents can pick up a birthday card at any of the birthday bash events and earn a sticker for each event they attend. Each sticker is worth 10 points. When their card has 40 points, from at least four different events, they can take their card to the Deck of the Old West Bank between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. Only the first 100 people with their card filled will be eligible to win the challenge coins. According to Pavlakis, the birthday celebration coin was designed by a new volunteer, Clint Lantz. The coin shows the evolving history of Bluffdale. The original idea of having a challenge coin came from one of Bluffdale’s own firefighters, Matt Evans.

Bluffdale City’s 40th anniversary logo designed by resident Clint Lantz.

BIRTHDAY BASH EVENTS: July 27-28 Old West Days Rodeo (online ticket prices are $6 each or a family of six package is $30, at the gate tickets are $8 each or $42 for the family package) August 2-4 “Swing” a play presented by The Bluffdale Arts Advisory Board (Online ticket prices are $8, $10 at the door) August 6 Family Fun Night (free) August 7 Family Fun Rodeo (free) August 9 Old West Car Show (free) August 10 Monster Truck Tour (Online tickets are $10 or a family of six package is $50, at the gate prices tickets are $12 or a family package for six is $60) August 11 Lions Club Breakfast ($2 for 12 years and under, $3 for 13 years and older) Throughout the birthday celebration, there will also be birthday bash bingo happening Saturday Aug. 11 from 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at Bluffdale City Park under the big tent by the inflatables. This event is for anyone 13 years and older. That same day there will also be a 40 door prize giveaway, in honor of the city’s 40th birthday. There is no cost to pick up entry tickets but they must be picked up between 10

a.m. and 4 p.m. at the local artisan’s showcase in the livery. The drawing will then take place at the Databank Showcase Stage at 5:30 p.m. Residents must be present to win their prizes. Other activities during Old West Days and the birthday celebration week include: SuperHero and Princess Activity, Night Out Against Crime, Fun in the Foam, FamilyFun Rodeo, Old West Pickleball Round Up, ATV Rodeo and Mud Bog, Chalk Art Sketchin, 25-mile cycling ride, Vendor Market Scavenger Hunt, Monster Truck Insanity Tour, Parade, Youth Challenge Night, Vendor Market, and Midway Games. According to Mayor Derk Timothy, over the past 40 years, Bluffdale has gone from a very small rural town of 1,300 people to a city of 14,000 people. “The city has gone from having no City Hall to City Hall being housed in a small Fire Station to sharing space in a nice fire station to a new City Hall we can be proud of,” said Timothy. In 1858, the famous Orrin Porter Rockwell paid $500 for land near the Point of the Mountain where he built the Hot Springs Brewery Hotel. At its peak, this land included a Pony Express station, hotel that offered food for travelers, stable, and brewery. But it wasn’t until four years later when Jens and Rise Madsen became the first permanent settlers in the area in 1862. Four years after they moved to the area, the train ran through Bluffdale in 1886. Bluffdale City was incorporated in October 13, 1978. For more information regarding Old West Days or the 40th birthday celebration, visit their website at www.bluffdaleoldwestdays.com./ Construction Note: There is a lot of road construction near the events and it will be best if residents can enter Bluffdale City Park on 14400 South from 2700 West. There is plenty of public parking on 2700 West. Try to avoid the area of 14400 South between Redwood Road and 2200 West which may be closed to through traffic. It would be best if you are coming from the south end of Bluffdale to use 15000 South to 2200 West or 2700 West. l

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S outh Valley City Journal

Creating culture: Bluffdale’s Music and Art Festival By Brett Jay Apgood | b.apgood@mycityjournals.com “As we look through the history of the entire world, we have never been able to find a civilization of mankind that didn’t have music as an integral part of their culture,” Nate Anderson said. Anderson was a volunteer for the Bluffdale Art Council at its annual Music and Art Festival on June 22 and 23. The festival allows Bluffdale residents and members of surrounding cities an opportunity to come to share their talents and express themselves through art. Originally conceived as a free concert in the park, the annual festival was tailored into a night where anyone—not just professional musicians—can have a chance to perform in front of an audience. The idea to modify the original idea came from the observation that kids in middle school did not have the opportunity to perform for crowds like the high school students have with “Battle of the Bands.” “It was important for us to give the youth opportunity,” said Marianne Dunn, an arts council board member. This year’s festival was split into two days: the first was an “Open Mic Night,” which allowed participants whose music leaned toward an acoustic sound, while the second day allowed for participants to play with an entire band, along with an allotted drum off time. The musicians are not allowed to have a

Close-up of award-winning ceramic plate. (Brett Jay Apgood/City Journals)

backtrack but are encouraged to be accompanied by instruments. Participants can cover pre-existing songs, perform their own original songs, or even perform a mixture of both. “People can come, try things out see what impact it has on other people and develop humanity while they’re at it,” Anderson said.

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Along with music, the festival has also introduced an art show, where people of any age can share their work. This year, artists displayed ceramics, photography and many other media. The festival was created about five years ago and has continued to grow and improve, especially after shifting toward marketing through social media.

“When we first started, I think we had five bands split into two categories,” Dunn said. The first day of this year’s festival featured acts consistently playing through a three-hour period. As well as consistent growth, the quality of the festival has also improved, event organizers said. After the first year, BlackBear Productions has volunteered to run the audio. The festival has also gained support from other volunteers such as Anderson, who already had a music career going. He saw this as an opportunity to give back to the community and share something he loves. “I was in a place where I wanted to give back and open up some opportunities for younger musicians,” he said. As the festival progresses the Art Council hopes to expand and include more participants especially adult performers. “We would love to have adults come and share their talents with the kids,” Dunn said. Along with providing musicians a chance to perform, the festival also strives to create an opportunity for members of the community to have a free night out, to come relax and to listen to live music. “We have a great time,” Anderson said. “Come on out, throw a blanket on the grass and enjoy some wonderful music that is really heartfelt and sincere.” l

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Mountain View Village opens first stores and unveils massive eagle sculpture By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


his past June 15, the first phase of Riverton’s much-anticipated Mountain View Village shopping center officially opened for business. Built by CenterCal Properties, which also created the Station Park development in Farmington and Canyon Corners in Park City, the development comprises 85 acres in one of the fastest-growing areas in Utah. When completed, it will include retail, restaurants, an office complex, a gym, a hotel and a full luxury theater. “This is the first phase of what will be a much larger project,” said Fred Bruning, CEO of CenterCal Properties. “The second phase will be starting construction next spring, and at the end of the day we hope that we’ll have created a gathering place that the community can be really proud of.” Throngs of people attended to take advantage of the numerous opening-day sales and to see the unveiling of the massive bronze eagle sculpture set at the heart of the development. The wind playfully pulled the sheet away long before officials could, allowing attendees several sneak peeks of the statue while various speeches were made. “When we were first starting to think of the architectural and artistic direction for the project, the team that was working on it kept coming back to a theme of eagles, because eagles had a sacred place in history for many, many thousands of years,” said Jean Paul Wardy, president of CenterCal Properties. Titled “Majestic,” the 9-foot-tall,

Unified Fire and Police Department members pose with the sculpture (Mariden Williams/City Journals)

1,300-pound eagle took sculptor Brian Keith more than a year to make. At its base are three commemorative plaques— one for the fire department, one for the police department and another for the Air and Army National Guard. “The people who make up the first responders and the National Guard in our community make a choice to put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of everyone, regardless of

the cost,” Keith said. “This is a large sculpture, but it is small compared to the scope of what they do for a living. Without the daily courage and sacrifice of the men and women who serve in the military and our emergency services, this project would have never come about.” The sculpture measures 13 feet from wingtip to wingtip, but were the wings unfurled instead of curved, the actual wingspan would

measure closer to 20 feet in width. “He’s not taking off for flight. He’s not landing. He’s protecting,” said Keith. “You can almost imagine him on a nest with his wings flared out and around, defending the weak and keeping them safe.” Members of the Unified Fire and Police Departments were invited to be honored and come take pictures with the sculpture. “This project is really the culmination of quite a bit of work,” said Riverton Mayor Trevor Staggs. “It’s a storied timeline that goes back a good 10 years or more. The fields that were here previously, over the years they sustained many of us through bountiful harvest. And I believe they will continue to provide sustenance, albeit on a different level.” Mountain View Village will provide more restaurant, retail and entertainment options closer to home for Riverton residents and will act as a gathering place for many more people across the valley. It will also provide hundreds of jobs and a hefty increase in sales tax revenue—something that has generated a lot of excitement for Riverton residents and city officials alike. “The overwhelming support and action from our public is something that I think is a credit to not just our elected officials but also to the property owners and to the developers,” Staggs said. “That’s a very rare thing to happen, and it went off amazingly well.” l

Riverton officials gathered to say a few words after the unveiling of the sculpture. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)


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Car enthusiasts bring passion projects to Town Days’ annual show By Brett Jay Apgood | b.apgood@mycityjournals.com


n July 7, a warm Saturday afternoon, Riverton City hosted its annual car show as part of its Town Days celebration. Participants came from across the valley, displaying a variety of makes and models spanning various decades and with every car comes a story. Some of the cars have been lifelong passion projects for their owners, while others have been projects that allowed for family bonding. “I’ve had it for a little over eight years; just bought it on KSL, and I’ve been restoring it for the last three years,” said Jerry Van Scott. Van Scott has been rebuilding a 1973 Z28 Chevrolet Camaro, which he has restored completely from bottom to top. “I have been a mechanic for 40 years,” he said. “So I had a guy do the body work and the paint. He gave it to me as an empty shell, and I assembled the whole thing.” This has been his first restoration that he was finally able to get started during retirement. “I redid the interior and redid the engine,” Van Scott said. “It was a total restoration; it was pretty ugly.” The decision to restore the Camaro was easy. “I’ve always been a Chevy fan,” he said. Riverton resident Brian Thacker was at the show displaying

his 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, which is his first restoration. “It had a 350 small block Chevy in it when I got it, so I pulled it out and found the correct 400 and went through the front end and redid everything completely,” Thacker said. His interest in cars started young and took off from there. “I’ve been into cars ever since I was a kid,” he said. Lane Sutowaty brought a 1934 Ford 5 Window Coupe, which has been a family restoration project. “My favorite part was just building it with family, with my brother and father, when my father was still alive,” he said. The desire to work on cars has been lifelong for Lane, as the 1934 Ford has been a part of his family his entire life. Sutowaty has rebuilt many cars through employment, but some of his memories from rebuilding stay within the family. “I’ve rebuilt this 34; I rebuilt my brother’s 67 Corvette; the Model T we rebuilt for a family project,” Sutowaty said. Sutowaty has found a lot of joy from working on cars and enjoys working with various makes and models. “I enjoy all the aspects of cars; it doesn’t matter if it’s Ford, Chevy or Chrysler,” he said. “Each car is unique in its own way, and they’re fun.” Wayne Mcallister was at the festival showing his 1951 Chevrolet Belair, which he rebuilt himself.



ale Centre Theatre specializes in bringing true magic to the stage and is captivating parents and children yet again with the classic tale of Pinocchio in Disney’s My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale, set to run July 7 – Aug. 27 on the Sorensen Legacy Jewel Box Stage in the new Mountain America Performing Arts Centre in Sandy. For the presentation of this unforgettable show, Hale Center Theatre has lowered the minimum age for guests from five to three years old, with tickets on sale now. Guests will enjoy the story of Pinocchio from the unique perspective of the character Geppetto, told with the help of gifted child-actors, enchanting costumes, and famous music that has touched the world time and again!

With 18 children performing in the show between the two casts - ranging from ages eight to 12 years old - My Son Pinocchio is genuine children’s theater produced for children. These young actors have helped make the story even more real on stage with their retained belief in the magic of

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The festival went from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to close out Riverton’s annual Town Days festival.l

Lane Sutowaty 1934 Ford 5 Window Coupe (Brett Jay Apgood/City Journals)

Gifted Actors, Enchanting Costumes and Famous Music All Found in Hale Center Theatre’s My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale

the story, and passion for bringing audience members into their world of fantasy and wonder. Dave Tinney, producer of My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale has said that children, with their creative imaginations, are wonderful storytellers, no matter their age. Creativity is further found in the costumes for this show, with Hale Center Theatre hiring a sole designer for Pinocchio’s nose. Eric Clark, a hair and makeup artist from Cirque du Soleil and other productions, spent a great deal of time with the HCT team researching and determining how to meet the challenge of making the nose grow on stage. Other main characters, including the lovely Blue Fairy, have been adorned with intricate and detailed costumes designed by Joy Zhu, to help bring greater animation to each show. Enhanced by spectacular costumes and sets, the impressive group of performers bring further enchantment to the stage when performing the famous songs featured in My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale. I’ve Got No Strings, When You Wish Upon a Star and additional music from Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, will delight children and send parents down memory lane. Music director Kelly DeHaan and choreographer Brittany Sanders, as well as all other aiding crew, have done a beautiful job bringing these masterful arrangements to the Sorensen Legacy Jewel Box Stage in a way that cannot be witnessed elsewhere. Because this production is so magical for children, HCT recently treated a group of students and family members of Guadalupe School in Salt Lake City to a performance, through its HCT Applauds program. For every new HCT production,

HCT Applauds provides free theater passes to a non-profit organization that contributes to the community’s quality of life. Guadalupe School is committed to transforming the lives of low-income children and adults through education. Performance times for My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale are 7:30 p.m., Monday, Friday, and Saturday, and matinees Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. throughout July. August performance times are 7:30 p.m., Monday,

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and matinees Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and $20 for youth, ages three to seventeen. For additional ticket information call 801-984-9000, go to www.hct.org, or visit the box office at 9900 S. Monroe Street in Sandy, UT. For updates, contests, and information on the current theater season, follow Hale Center Theatre on Facebook. l

August 2018 | Page 7

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Page 8 | August 2018

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Riverton 2018–19 budget approved By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


iverton officials finalized the tentative 2018–19 city budget at their June 19 meeting. Mayor Trent Staggs’ initial budget was first proposed on May 2, and over the next few weeks the city council combed through it and compiled questions and concerns. Then, at the June 19 meeting, elected officials and staff members discussed each concern and decided upon budget amendments— a rigorous process that took about three hours. “We want to recognize the council members for all the work they’ve done in poring over this budget,” Staggs said. “It’s pages and pages — it’s about a $33 million budget.” This year, Riverton’s sales tax revenue is forecasted to increase by 6 percent to almost $7.2 million—an increase that allowed the city to completely eliminate business licensing fees. “This is an all-time record for our city, and I believe this increase is still conservative based on the opening of Mountain View Village this fiscal year,” said Staggs. Over the last 10 years, Riverton’s sales tax revenues have grown by 61 percent, allowing for the city’s 2018–19 General Fund balance to achieve a 25 percent cushion. The General Fund is where the bulk of city employee and operational costs are kept, and it’s the largest of the funds. “After several years of lean revenues for roads, through legislative appropriations, increased gasoline tax revenue and road impact fees, there is room this year to substantially increase the amount of road construction,” said Staggs. This will include asphalt overlays and slurry seals. The overall amount of money allotted to road repairs has more than doubled, increasing from $521,213 to $1,695,450. This year’s budget also allows for $2.3 million in new road construction, and an additional $44,000 for traffic calming mea-

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Some $400,000 will be spent on improvements to Riverton City Hall. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)

sures—up from only about $1,000 last year. Riverton’s parks should also be seeing a lot more attention this year — the park maintenance budget has increased by about $120,000, with a good $20,000 of that going toward tree replacement. The council also allotted $300,000 to the creation of new parks. Some $500,000 will be spent on improvements to City Hall and the city cemetery; $75,000 of that will be spent to annex another acre of land into the cemetery, which will allow space for about 1,000 more burial plots.

One topic that earned a lot of discussion was switching the city’s 3,500 or so street lamps from halogen to LED bulbs. “For every light pole we convert, we’re roughly saving ourselves about $11–$12 per year per light pole,” said Councilmember Sheldon Stewart. Though the initial conversion of a halogen light pole to LED is expensive; it pays for itself within a few years. “They last about between four and seven years, those halogen bulbs,” said Public Works Director Trace Robinson. “We’re constantly replacing them. And it’s not just the bulbs, it’s also the ballasts and things that are going out with those. Our electrician’s out every day repairing lights.” LED streetlamps, by contrast, last about 12 years. If both the ballasts and the halogen bulb die at once, the electrician retrofits the light post to hold an LED bulb. But if the ballasts remain functional, the post is simply given a new halogen bulb. Thus far, only about 600–700 of the city’s 3,500 lights have been swapped to LED. “We’ve been working on that for probably six years to get to that point,” said Robinson. “We’re going slow.” “I would like to see a more aggressive change-out moving to an LED standard and get that project done in a shorter time,” said Councilmember Tish Buroker. “If it’s taken six years to do this much, to get to your 3,500 lights, this is a lifetime project.” The city council decided to start retrofitting light posts to LED every time a bulb burns out instead of waiting for the ballasts to blow out too, which should speed things along. But this year’s budget allows only $100,000 of expenditure on streetlights, which is about $25,000 less than last year’s and a good $75,000 less than what the department was seeking this year. Whether the lights will be upgraded at an accelerated rate remains to be seen. l

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Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Currently seat belts on buses are only available for students with special needs. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


ollowing a recent school bus tragedy in New Jersey, the issue of school bus safety is under renewed scrutiny. The Federal Transportation Safety Board released a statement in May urging school districts to install seat belts on buses. The issue is not new to Utah. Utah Rep. Craig Hall, of West Valley, proposed a bill in 2016 to require seat belts on Utah school buses. “We require, by law, for all children and all adults in our own personal vehicles to wear seat belts,” said Hall. “And we can be fined as parents if our kids don’t have their seat belts on. But for some reason, we deem it perfectly acceptable to put kids in buses with no seat belts at all.” Herb Jensen, Jordan School District director of transportation, thinks the idea of putting seat belts on school buses is an emotional issue. “A lot of people think that if it’s the right thing for their minivan, then it should be the right thing for a school bus, but that isn’t necessarily the case,” he said. Jensen is confident in the engineering and design of school buses to protect passengers without a restraint through compartmentalization, protecting students with closely spaced seats with tall, energy-absorbing seat backs. Hall said through his research, he found compartmentalization is ineffective in rollover or side impact crashes or when kids aren’t sitting appropriately. “Students are tossed about the interior of the bus like clothes in a dryer,” he said. In contrast, when a child is buckled

in, he said they are far less likely to be injured and can evacuate easily with the click of a button. “An uninjured child can move more quickly than an injured or unconscious or dead child,” he said. One of Jensen’s concerns about seat belts is they would exacerbate the situation if children can’t get out of them independently or if they are stuck high in the air after a rollover. Jensen said fires on buses are more common. He believes restraints would impede a quick evacuation, especially for young children. In his experience, he also believes students would play around and misuse seat belts, causing needless injuries. Jensen said facts and data support that seat belts on buses is not the right answer. “School buses are extremely safe already,” he said. “It would be hard to justify the expense because it’s extremely unlikely that a child is going to lose their life if they’re on the inside of a school bus.” Jensen noted there hasn’t been a casualty inside a Jordan District bus for more than 80 years. “I would daresay there’s not a safer vehicle on the road than a school bus,” he said. “You don’t want to run into a school bus because you’ll lose.” Jensen cites statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reports out of 324,710 motor vehicle fatalities from 2006–2015, only five were passengers on a school bus. “We transport 15,000 kids twice a

day and drive millions of miles a year on our buses,” said Jensen. “Although we do have accidents, we don’t have casualties with the occupants of the bus. I think that data speaks for itself.” Jensen said if state or federal legislation passes, the district will comply. “You’re not going to statistically increase the safety of our buses by spending the enormous amount of money that it’s going to require to put seat belts on the buses,” said Jensen. “When we have our first casualty on a school bus, I might change my mind. Any fatality on a school bus is one too many.” Hall said he is monitoring the situation to see what happens on the federal level before he initiates another bill in the next Utah legislative session. “Eventually, this is going to happen,” said Hall. “And unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragic accident for the seat belts to be put into the school buses.” According to FTSB, at least 29 states have introduced school bus seat belt legislation in the last year, but high costs have been a roadblock for many. Hall estimates only about six states have school bus seat belt regulations. To reduce costs, Hall said any bill he initiates will require seat belts on new buses only. The National Transportation Safety Board also recommended requiring collision-avoidance systems and automatic emergency brakes on new school buses, citing that most bus accidents are caused by human error. l

S outh Valley City Journal

Murray Park wins the City Journals’ Park Madness tournament By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com

The final bracket of the City Journals’ “Park Madness” tournament.


uly was national Parks and Recreation month, and we here at the City Journals celebrated with a friendly little tournament to determine the best park in the valley. Each round, the parks went head-to-head in a Facebook poll. Whichever park garnered the most votes moved on to the next round. We called it “Park Madness.” The tournament had a little bit of everything, from a No. 16 seed upsetting a No. 1 seed to lopsided blowouts to intense down-to-thewire finishes. Here are our tournament awards: Park Madness Champion: Murray Park Murray Park came into the tournament as the No. 6 seed (based on Google reviews) but immediately showed that it was a top contender when it picked up a whopping 88 percent of the vote in its first round matchup with Herriman. It went on to win by large margins in both the semifinal and final. It’s only test was a second round matchup with Riverton, which brings us to… Most Improved Park: Riverton Park It’s too bad that Riverton and Murray had to meet in the second round, because that matchup would have made for a great finals.

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The two parks were neck and neck for the entire two-day voting period, sometimes separated by as little as a tenth of a percentage point. Riverton Park was supported by many residents who voted and commented about how much they love the park. As for the Most Improved Park award? We figured that made sense just because the park was recently reconstructed in 2015. Rookie of the Tournament: Mountview Park In a tournament full of parks that have been around for decades, Mountview Park made a lot of noise by making it to the finals as a park that’s less than 10 years old. The Cottonwood Heights Park may not be as well-known throughout the valley, but it was able to beat the likes of West Valley’s Centennial Park, Sugar House Park and Dimple Dell Park on its way to the finals. Upset of the Tournament: Eastlake Park Eastlake Park, located in South Jordan/ Daybreak would be another good candidate for Rookie of the Tournament, but its first-round upset of the top-seeded Memorial Grove Park in Salt Lake City deserves its own award. Sadly, the Cinderella story stopped there, as Eastlake Park fell in the second round to Dimple Dell

Park. While Murray Park may have won the tournament, the real winners are Salt Lake Valley residents who can visit and play at these amazing parks. We have some great parks and recreation departments that make sure we all have safe, fun and beautiful places to enjoy the summer. l

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August 2018 | Page 11

Thousands lined the streets for Riverton’s Town Days Parade By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


iverton City’s Town Days offered plenty of fun. None more so than its annual parade down 2700 West where thousands lined the streets as people on floats threw candy, a jazz band played and “Let’s go Riverton” chants could be heard.

Miss Riverton Gabrielle Hindoian waves to the crowd during the parade. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

More photos of the event can be found at southvalleyjournal.com. For other great content—from videos about a new Spikeball league to our Park Madness bracket throughout July where residents could vote for their favorite park—check out the

Kids anxiously await the Riverton Town Days Parade coming in the distance along 2700 West. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Riverton’s elected officials toss candy to the crowd during the parade. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

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City Journals Facebook page and our website, mycityjournals. com. l

Unified Fire come through the parade with their Rhinoceros. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

S outh Valley City Journal

Jack Sparrow waves from a float for First National Bank. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Drummers in the Riverton High School marching band let loose their percussionist talents. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

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he first thing that Danial Dew wants you to know about his Farm Bureau agency is that they do things differently there.

“I’ve never liked the sales component of insurance. My main purpose is not to sell. It’s to make sure my customers are covered,” said Dew. Dew’s priority is meeting with people. That face-to-face time is essential to the way he does business. “My approach to working with people is to start with a conversation. I ask this question: What’s at the center of your world? Then we figure out how to protect it.” Farm Bureau offers coverage for home, auto, life, farm and ranch, business and workman’s comp. Once Dew understands what’s at the center of a customer’s world, he creates a diagram. “It’s actually like the customers are interviewing me. We make sure this will be a good working relationship both ways,” said Dew. He loves finding the customers who are ready to make sure they are protected. “Many people don’t understand the limits of their coverage,” said Dew. “Many ‘best quote’ auto insurance companies sell state mandated minimum insurance coverage. While these com-

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panies can have the lowest monthly fee, they also have a cap of $15,000 on a vehicle. Many vehicles today cost more than that, so how do you make up the difference if you are in an accident?” Dew said that with a focus on the needs of his customers, he can secure coverage that is far beyond the industry standard. Without an agent, chances are you end up dealing with someone in a call center. “You know how it is with a call center. You’ll get a different person each time you call in. That isn’t a relationship. My customers have my phone number – office and cell – and my email address. You can contact my assistant Dawn Skowronski or my sales associate James Tambourine. You shouldn’t worry about whether or not it’s ok to call or text your agent. We are here for you,” said Dew. The agency office, located at 9865 S. State Street near Jordan High School, is easily accessible. There are underwriters and claims adjusters in the same building. Understanding a claim or getting a question answered is as easy as walking upstairs. “We sometimes win on price, but we always win on quality,” Dew said. Dew said he knows these conversations are

hard. “In my experience, 50 percent to 70 percent of people don’t understand what their liability limits are. They don’t want to think about needing life insurance, or they don’t know that if their sprinkler breaks, they might not be covered for outside

damage. These are hard conversations to have, but I enjoy the education piece. I sit down with all my customers at least once a year and revisit their needs. We don’t leave people underinsured. We just don’t.”l

August 2018 | Page 13

Utility boxes in Herriman could be artwork someday By Pamela Manson | p.manson@mycityjournals.com


hose green utility boxes that dot Herriman could become pieces of art one day. The city council voted July 11 to authorize an agreement with Rocky Mountain Power giving Herriman the option of decorating the boxes. If the Public Art Utility Box Program were implemented, the city would either use wraps or designate an artist to paint the pad-mounted equipment. The program is intended to “make something that’s not so attractive maybe more attractive,” Wendy Thomas, director of Parks, Recreation and Events, said at a council work meeting in June. Thomas added that the program would allow local artists to display their talents. In addition, Herriman officials could use photos of city events that are made to look like artwork, she said. City Manager Brett Wood said utility boxes are often tagged with graffiti, and an art program would discourage that.

The council vote was a preliminary action, and city leaders are not required to go forward with the program. Wraps would cost about $750 each, depending on the size of the box, and last from five to seven years, according to a city report. Mayor David Watts said he wants to look further into introducing utility box art to Herriman. “I think this is a great opportunity to increase the level of community feel that we have, so I would be supportive of at least moving to the next step,” he said. Cities around the United States and around the world have utility box art programs. South Salt Lake describes the artwork “as a form of communication to a moving audience.” Park City recently started a program with an EmPOWERment theme that focuses on water and energy conservation, renewable power sources, cleaner transportation and recycling and reuse. l

This utility box found in South Jordan Heritage Park at 10800 South Redwood Road is an example of what boxes in Herriman could like. (Pamela Manson/City Journals)

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S outh Valley City Journal

Study to examine best density for Olympia Hills site By Pamela Manson | p.manson@mycityjournals


ARE ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS. Same day and next day appointments are available.

Herriman city officials were considering hiring a consultant to determine what development density at the proposed Olympia Hills property just outside city limits would protect or enhance the quality of life for current residents. (City Journals)


veto by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams stopped a rezone that would have allowed Olympia Hills, a proposed high-density housing development, to be built just outside of Herriman. However, city officials are still concerned about what could end up on the site. In June, officials directed city staffers to prepare a cost estimate for a study and begin the process of hiring a consultant to determine what development density on the land would protect — and even enhance — property values and the quality of life for Herriman residents and surrounding communities. The property sits in unincorporated Salt Lake County just outside of Herriman but is within an area that could be annexed into the city. Even if the land doesn’t become part of the city, development there would impact the surrounding community, Herriman City Council members say. “I think we all want to see the total effect,” Councilmember Jared Henderson said at a July 11 work meeting. Councilmember Nicole Martin agreed, saying the analysis would be “very helpful information to relay to the county, to relay to the public, to relay to our residents.” The Salt Lake County Council voted in June for a rezoning change that would allow the construction of housing for about 33,000 people on 931 acres. If built, the mixed-use development on the site — from 6300 West to 8500 West and 12400 South to 13100 South —

would have had a density of 37 people per acre. The plan sparked huge public opposition, with residents from neighboring communities sending hundreds of emails to county council members urging them to deny the rezoning request. The mayors of Herriman, Riverton, West Jordan and Copperton issued a joint statement in opposition to the rezone. At a June 5 meeting, the council voted 7-1 for the rezone. But after an intense public backlash, McAdams vetoed the Olympia Hills rezone, and the council announced it would not seek to override him. The Herriman study will assess numerous land development factors — including economic and environmental sustainability, topography, utilities, transportation, parks and schools — to determine the site’s “carrying capacity,” or development density. The study, which is estimated to cost $30,000, is expected to take three months to complete, according to Herriman Planning Director Michael Maloy. “Ultimately, what we’re looking for is a study that helps us understand what really is the appropriate carrying capacity for this property,” he said. The study also will help the city long term, Maloy said. “That information will flow into part of our general plan update because we do discuss our annexation policy within our general plan,” he said. l

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Bluffdale Arts Advisory Board

is excited to announce Auditions for the Broadway Musical

Ready to roll: Herriman Police Department transition on schedule By Pamela Manson | p.manson@mycityjournals.com

O Set against the dramatic background of an idyllic South Pacific island during WWII, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific intertwines the themes of romance, duty, and prejudice to create a story that is all at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking.

FRIDAY, August 17 from 6-9 pm SATURDAY, August 18 from 9 am to noon Call backs – Saturday August 18- 6-9 Bluffdale City Offices-14400 So 2200 West Come prepared to sing 16 bars. An accompanist will be provided. NO CDS OR MP3S PLEASE

A LL PA RTS A RE AVAI L AB L E Nellie Forbush - Mezzo-Soprano Emile de Becque - Baritone Lieutenant Joseph Cable -Tenor Bloody Mary - Mezzo-Soprano Seabee Luther Billis - Baritone Liat -Spoken Military personnel, nurses Polynesian children under 10 years Performance Dates – October 11-13, 2018

QUESTIONS, CALL 801-680-1192 This project is made possible by support from Bluffdale City, Zoo Arts and Parks (ZAP) funding.

fficers with the new Herriman Police Department are on target to hit the streets Sept. 30 on their inaugural shifts, its chief says. “We keep hearing that there’s no way this can be done in four months, but our partners have come through for us at the highest level,” Police Chief Troy Carr said. The formation of the department began after a May 16 vote by the Herriman City Council to withdraw from the Unified Police Department and create its own force. Council members said the city was overpaying for the services it received from UPD and that Herriman could get more bang for its buck with its own department. At a July 11 council meeting, Carr said UPD patrol cars and other police vehicles are being rebranded, and plans for a police armory have been completed. Carr also said in his update that staffing will not be a problem because job postings have attract-

ed an “amazing group” of candidates. He said 47 qualified applicants were vying for a position as sergeant and that more than 100 people had put in applications to be an officer. The chief, who was a UPD lieutenant before his appointment to the top job at the Herriman Police Department, had said at an earlier meeting that potential hires came from all over the Western United States. All job offers were expected to be sent out by the last week of July, according to Carr. “I’m proud to say we’re on time, we’re on track,” he said. John Inch Morgan, executive director of the Valley Emergency Communications Center, told the council that work setting up the 911 system also is on schedule. “We’re ready to roll,” Morgan said. “As soon as you push the button, we’re ready to answer the call.” l

Cody Stromberg (right), Chad Reyes (second from right) and Brian Weidmer (second from left) were introduced during a recent city council meeting as the first officers of the Herriman Police Department. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Top five ways to avoid an accident


ccidents are inevitable. Or are they? We’ve all met someone who says (more like “claims”) they have never experienced a car accident before. While we might doubt the veracity of such a statement, there are countless ways to avoid those nauseatingly time consuming situations — the ones where you wait for law enforcement on the side of the road (or middle of the intersection), deal with insurance companies and figure out finances for fixing the fender. There are countless ways to avoid an accident, here are the top five. 1. Attitude You probably weren’t expecting this one first. As a driver, you control over 3,000 pounds (or more) of metal that can cause incalculable damage. Driving with maturity and the right mindset makes a world of difference. Speeding to beat another car to the exit or to get back at the person who cut you off a minute ago may give you a moment of satisfaction, but is it worth the risk and ramifications? If all drivers commit to having a responsible attitude, imagine how much less we’d find ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic waiting to pass the accident. 2. Speed From 2012-2016, 40 percent of motor vehicle traffic crash deaths in Utah were because

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of speeding, according to Utah Department of let someone else go first. Public Safety’s crash data. This also applies when driving in poor Slowing down isn’t going to kill you, but weather conditions. Heavy rainfall and snowflying past others just might. storms blot windshields and make roads slick, 3. Distraction adverse circumstances to traveling safely. BaStay focused. Keep your guard up. Though sics become even more vital like keeping your you may be a phenomenal driver, others aren’t. distance from the vehicle in front of you. Be aware of your surroundings by paying 5. Maintenance attention to what’s in front of you and checkThe best way to avoid car malfunction is ing your mirrors. Knowing where everyone else the maintenance of said car. is helps avoid collisions. If you’re distracted Ensure tires and brakes are operating withby your phone, music, or billboards with cows out issue. Keep fluids to their proper levels. writing on them, it limits your response time to Oil changes and car washes make a difference. what another driver may being doing in front of These simple, but effective maintenance tips enyou. sure your car remains a well-oiled machine (pun 4. Defense intended). l This was one of the first concepts taught in driver education and one of the first we forget: drive defensively. Failing to yield caused 12 percent of deaths from 20122016 in the same data mentioned before. That comes to 154 people who died Here are some ways to avoid a car accident, like this one. (Photo by David Shankbone) because they didn’t

S outh Valley City Journal

Riverton officials’ thoughts on the new county transportation tax


hen the time came to support or deny Salt Lake Council’s $58 million transportation tax, the entire Riverton City Council sat in silence—perhaps surprising, given that the council had given the topic much discussion earlier on in its June 19 meeting. Salt Lake County officials needed the support of city councils representing at least 67 percent of the county’s population to enact the tax, which county residents had previously rejected in 2015. Though other cities have approved the tax, Riverton’s lack of a motion amounted to a refusal to support it. “Voters in 2015 were able to vote on this, and 65 percent of Riverton residents said no, and I believe that we need to listen to the residents in Riverton,” said Riverton Councilmember Tawnee McCay, citing just one of the many reasons she opposes the tax. “Our city and our state both have large budget surpluses this year,” McCay said. “Our economic prospects look great. I understand that the roads cost a lot to maintain and build, but if we have the transportation needs, then I think that we [as a city] need to prioritize those needs instead of relying so much on the state. We did increase our transportation funding by over a million dollars this year. I think that we can continue to increase that in the future.” Councilmember Tish Buroker expressed doubts that city leaders actually would address transportation needs on its own, though, citing past city projects that have gone unfinished for years.

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By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

Riverton City elected officials were concerned UTA received too high of a percentage in county’s new transportation tax. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

“When we did our own budget, we had a nice discussion about giving about $170,000 from the general budget to the streets department to finish the lights project, which my understanding is that it’s been ongoing for about seven years,” said Buroker. The council decided not to give the project additional funds, even though those funds were available, so Buroker thinks it unlikely that they would appropriate the needed money for streets. “I know in my particular district there are some older streets,” she said. “I’ve talked to several residents who need some major road repairs, which they’re never going to see, because

at this present time all we have the money for is to maintain, and not to fix. Every dollar we now spend on our streets saves $7 in the next three years.” Though Buroker spoke in favor of the county tax, she still made no motion to support it. Some Riverton officials also took exception to the way the county plans to allocate the tax revenue. “After July 1 of 2019, funds from the sales tax will be divided in a very specific way,” said City Attorney Ryan Carter. Forty percent will go to UTA, 40 percent will be distributed amongst the cities, and 20 percent would go to the county. But before July

1, 2019, “There is no guarantee as to what percentage will be spent in any given category,” Carter said, meaning county officials could, if they wanted, hoard all the funds from the first year for themselves, which is concerning, given it owns about 3 percent of the roads within the county. “I think it’s rather unfortunate that this whole sales tax increase is billed, if you will, as a local roads project,” said Mayor Trent Staggs. “Cities no doubt need transportation funding— the vast majority. However, to have it pushed on cities to take 100 percent of the political heat for 40 percent of the benefit—spending a quarter to basically get a dime here—is, I think, a little bit cowardly of the county.” McCay expressed her displeasure about the way the money has been dispersed. “It’s also just frustrating with the county that their funds have not been evenly distributed between the cities,” he said. “There’s also the idea that cities that don’t support this would not receive as much funding. I don’t think that that’s fair.” Staggs also questions why county officials gave so much money to UTA. “If passed to the county level, my opinion is that they’re going to continue what they’re doing,” Staggs said. “UTA has received $165 million from Salt Lake County alone this last year, with our city representing 4 percent of that. Do any of us really think that we have received $7 million in bus service here in our city?” l

August 2018 | Page 17

Students access real-life scientific resources to build dinosaurs By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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Students use museum resources and their imagination to create the ultimate dinosaur species. (Photo Alex Goodlett)


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ike scientists in a scene from a popular dinosaur movie, students teamed up with the Natural History Museum of Utah to design the ultimate dinosaur species. Using Research Quest, a creative digital program developed by the museum, students determined the best combination of various heads, torsos, tails and legs from a digitized library of fossils scanned from the museum’s paleontology collection. “We are gettng some of the expertise of our scientists out there to kids, and we’re getting objects out there—they’re looking at actual scanned fossils that we have at the museum,” said McKenna Lane, digital learning and curriculum specialist at NHMU. Research Quest brings the museum resources to the classroom through the internet and is easily accessed from computer labs or classroom Chromebooks. Using digitized fossils and scientific materials, video segments from leading scientists and printable resources, students work their way through activities called investigations. The teaching resource— available to all Utah teachers—was developed by the museum in partnership with the Utah Educational Network and the University of Utah’s departments of Educational Psychology and Entertainment Arts and Engineering. Kirsten Butcher, of the University of Utah’s Instructional Design & Educational Technology Program, said not all species of dinosaurs have been discovered, so students are using the simulation to create a feasible design

for a potential species using the same resources as actual scientists. Students designed dinosaurs that would most successfully perform in simulated tests of survivability, diet, reproduction and physical stability, based on the features of each fossil. Research Quest provides teachers with three different investigations that engage students in actual paleontology work as well as the development of critical thinking skills. “Critical thinking has been recognized as a huge concern for education for a long time,” said Butcher. “But it’s notoriously difficult to teach and to engage students in these processes.” Research Quest uses a digital interface and a gaming style to appeal to students, while providing practice in this important life skill. “We live in a very information-rich world,” said Butcher. “It takes really strong critical thinking skills to sift through information, to make sense of information, to know what to do with that information.” Another investigation, targeted to older grades, asks students to study a real-life quarry site where many dinosaur skeletons have been found. Students develop a theory of how the dinosaurs ended up there, based on available evidence. Then they debate with peers who interpreted the data differently and support an opposing theory. “This is a real scientific question—there’s no one correct answer,” said Butcher. Students use the same resources that are available to pa-

leontologists to develop their theories and then compare it to leading scientific theories. “From the teachers, we hear a lot that it’s a really great tool for getting kids to construct evidence-based arguments, and that’s something they feel is really unique and valuable,” said Lane. “Students are gathering evidence to support an argument and communicating that argument—something they don’t usually get a chance to do.” Another investigation gives students access to 3-D digitized models of fossils found in the NHMU’s collection. Using observation and analysis, they determine what kind of dinosaur the bones are from. Research Quest has been available for classroom use since the beginning of this school year and has been well received by students of all ages, said Lane. The program was initially targeted to middle school students but is adaptable for younger grades as well. “I had to do a little preparation to scaffold the program since it’s a middle school-designed program,” said Kristine Jolley, a teacher at Midas Creek Elementary in Riverton. She said her students were excited to use the technology and were engaged in learning. She felt her fourth-graders benefitted from the challenge to think more critically in a fun way. “The best part is just the fact that it is a cool subject, and the kids enjoy it,” she said. More information can be found at www. researchquest.org. l

S outh Valley City Journal

DO YOU KNOW WHY THEY BUY? Every conversation is an opportunity to sell! Whether you are selling a car, cosmetics, your dental services, the value of last movie you watched, or the importance of your kids doing their homework before they can play, you are either making a sale or you are being sold. Would it be important to understand what makes a person buy? What if you could understand the science of buy-ology (buying behavior)? Would that help you make more sales and in a shorter period of time?

BANK® is the only personality methodology in the world, scientifically validated to predict buying behavior in less than 90 seconds! Much like each cryptex has a code which will open it successfully, and several which will not, each potential customer has a formula to why they make certain buying decisions. If you know their code, you can communicate with them on their terms and the likelihood that they will do business with you increases exponentially. Working together with Sarah Larsen at Know Their Why, LLC, who is a licensed and certified trainer of the BANKCODE system, you can learn how to simplify the sales process and have unlimited potential to make more money. Sarah is an attorney with 20 years experience who understands the importance of making sure your message is heard and understood. She lives right in Salt Lake, but has clients across the country who have been taught this simple process and have closed deals that they otherwise feel would not have been possible. If you’d like to learn more, go to www.getbankified.com where you can take this simple personality assessment for yourself. If you’d like to see a detailed report of what your buying personality is, enter your name, e-mail and phone number and you will get the normally $79 report for FREE. If you have any further questions, contact Sarah directly at 801-927-3052 or at sarah@knowtheirwhy.com.

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August 2018 | Page 19

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S outh Valley City Journal

It’s no bluff—Bluffdale to have two new schools By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


luffdale Elementary, at 14323 South 2700 West, is bursting at the seams. Even after filling 12 portable classrooms and adopting a modified traditional schedule to stagger the classroom hours of nearly 1,300 students, the school is still overtaxed. “We were definitely feeling overcrowded this last year,” said PTA President Adrienne Donner. She said 200 additional students registered over the summer last year, causing the office to scramble to hire more assistants before the school year began. Teachers worked longer hours, and extracurricular programs had to be suspended. “We can’t have things like a play or a choir because there are classes being held on our stage,” said Donner. Jordan School District is digging in to address the problem. Approximately 4 miles east of the school, they broke ground on a new elementary school with the capacity for 900 students and a new middle school with the capacity for 1,250 students. Jordan District School Board Vice President Matthew Young said Principal Karen Eagan and the teachers and students at Bluffdale Elementary have done a great job adapting to their circumstances. “I can only hope and pray that the new elementary school will carry on the amazing legacy and carry over that same spirit that permeates the halls of Bluffdale Elementary,” he said.

Students dig in at groundbreaking for much-needed schools in Bluffdale. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)

A small group of fifth-graders sang Bluffdale Elementary’s school song at the May 25 groundbreaking ceremony of the two new schools, which are being built across the street from each other. City leaders, Jordan School District representatives and Bluffdale residents were also in attendance. Bluffdale City Councilmember Ty Nielsen said the community has been waiting a long time for these schools to be built. “It makes me feel good to be a part of this,” he said. “We’re bringing not just one school but two right next to each other to help bring our immediate community together and to educate and change the lives of these children.”

The development also includes a 25-acre park adjacent to the middle school, creating a total of 60 acres of public use land. The new schools are designed with collaborative workspaces, where students will be able to participate in group learning experiences. “It will serve today’s kids in the way they need to be served,” said Young. “The day and age of the teacher standing in front of rows of students and pushing knowledge that way—we know that doesn’t work effectively. Today’s kids need to be able to engage with one another, exchange ideas, experience learning.” Jordan District currently serves 53,000 students. District officials have been monitor-

ing the explosive growth within the boundaries. Young said they anticipate more than 56,000 students in the next two years. “This area is continually growing and expanding to our south,” he said. “They estimate in this Independence Valley alone, by the time these schools are completed, there will be another 600 homes.” The two schools in Bluffdale—and another four currently under construction—were funded by the $245 million bond approved by Utah taxpayers in 2016. “We are so appreciative of their willingness to say yes, to invest in the future of their children and our children,” Young said. “Without the bond, building these schools would have been impossible.” Schools currently under construction include the elementary and middle school in Bluffdale, the West Jordan Middle School rebuild, a middle school in South Jordan, and a high school and elementary school in Herriman. All are scheduled to open for the 2019–20 school year, with the exception of Bluffdale’s middle school, which will be ready the following year. Jordan District officials anticipate being under budget for the six projects. District Facilities Services Director Dave Rostrom said any leftover funds will be applied to the purchase of property for additional future schools. l

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August 2018 | Page 21

Decommissioned buses repurposed for rescue training By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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Eleven decommissioned school buses were used for rescue training exercises. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

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mergency saws squealed and metal whined as rescuers tore through the yellow skin of a school bus. “It’s not an easy task to get these to come apart, which is a good thing because we want our kids to be safe,” said Herb Jensen, Jordan School District transportation director. District officials recently provided 11 decommissioned buses to be used for rescue training exercises. “This type of training is pretty rare on this type of vehicle,” said Dustin Dern, a battalion chief with the Unified Fire Heavy Rescue team. In addition to the heavy rescue team, members of local fire departments, swat teams and highway patrol were invited to participate in bus rescue training, as well. Wes Harwood, an engineer with the West Jordan Fire Department said it is important for them to see the buses up close and have hands-on experience of cutting into them so they will be more proficient in the case of a real situation. “Personally, I’ve never been on an actual school bus accident,” said Harwood. “That’s the interesting thing about our job—we need to be prepared for everything. I may never personally go on a school bus accident in my career, but I might go on one today.” While many aspects of a bus rescue are the same as with a passenger car, which they get a lot of practice on, Dern said buses are more challenging because of how they are built. They are bigger, heavier and harder to stabilize. Rescuers practiced cutting extra exits into the sides of the buses as well as removing seats and windows. Law requires buses to be reinforced on the top and bottom and on the sides with two iron bars. Utah law requires twice as many reinforcement bars. “There’s a lot of reinforcement under the skin, so it’s just difficult,” said Dern. “A lot of our typical tactics for regular motor vehicles don’t necessarily work on buses, so we have to adapt some of those techniques.” WJFD officials also used the opportuni-

ty to test new battery-powered equipment and were pleased with their performance. “We’re able to get into the buses quicker, more efficiently and safer now,” said Harwood. In most cases, the rescuers would not have to make as many cuts as they did during their practice scenarios. “Realistically, a bus is much easier to access than a passenger vehicle because there are so many safety features, there are so many emergency exits and they are so big,” Harwood said. “It’s not really an issue if we can get inside; it’s learning how to do it very efficiently.” Teams also practiced lifting the body of the bus with airbags. This technique is used when a car is lodged underneath a bus, which happened last February when a car hit a stationary school bus at estimated speeds of more than 50 mph and became wedged underneath. An accident involving a school bus is a “high-risk, low-occurrence” situation, said Harwood. It is less likely to occur, but if it did, there would potentially be a higher number of people to rescue. “Our first goal is to get in there without having to cut anything,” he said. “Those kids are going to be scared, and we don’t want to scare them any more than we have to. So, the safest, quietest, quickest, easiest way to get in there is going to be our first option. So realistically, cutting them is our very, very last case scenario.” Additional training with the remaining school buses is scheduled for August. They will practice with buses tipped on their sides and on top of other vehicles. Using simulated victims, rescuers will get hands-on training lifting buses off other vehicles to access passengers. Jensen said he hoped the rescue teams would never have a reason to apply what they learned through their training exercises. “They’re learning how sturdy school buses are and how well built they are, which is as it should be because they’re protecting our kids,” he said. l

S outh Valley City Journal

Riverton’s Gregerson captures wrestling title By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


ylan Gregerson, a Riverton High School graduate, finished his high school wrestling career as a state champion. One year later, in his first competition since high school, he qualified for the United States Junior Pan Am Games. “I am really happy that he has gotten to this point,” Dylan’s mother, RoyAnn Gregerson, said. “He has worked so hard for a long time. It is pretty cool.” Dylan hurt his knee shortly after he won the state championship in 2017. After having surgery and spending nearly one year in rehab he went to Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete at the UWW Junior Greco Roman Western Regional in April. “I was a little scared with his first tournament after the injury, but he took fourth,” RoyAnn Gregerson said. “That qualified him to go to Indiana for the national qualifier.” With his top finish at regionals, he advanced to the world team trials in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June. He placed second and earned a spot in the Pan American Championships this fall in Guatemala. Dylan is the youngest of four sons for RoyAnn and Steven Gregerson. He is the first

to wrestle in his family. He played football until seventh grade when one of his coaches suggested he give wrestling a try. He currently attends Utah Valley University and plans to try out for the Wolverines wrestling team this fall. For the past year, he trained with Taylor Lamont from Maple Mountain High School. Dylan Gregerson credits his success to his friends and coaches. “I love my friends and coaches and the support they have given me,” he said. “Tim (Hamilton) helped sponsor me so I could get to Indiana. Without everyone’s support, I could not do it.” Dylan Gregerson currently wrestles in the 63-kilo weight class (138 pounds). He took third at the state wrestling meet in 2016 and first in 2017. In high school, he wrestled at 132 pounds. He suggests those interested in wrestling to give it a try and listen to their coaches. “Dwayne Henry has got to be one of the best coaches I have ever had,” Dylan Gregerson said. “He pushed me to try Greco, and I found my love of wrestling. I think that nowadays the athlete needs to do what he or she likes. You can


get better by putting in the time. I realize that my training is part of my life.” Continued training and improvement could land him a spot on the national team and earn him a trip to the Olympics. “My No. 1 goal is to go overseas and get an Olympic gold medal,” he said. “I really want to do that.”. Dylan Gregerson is studying engineering and physics at UVU and graduated from Riverton in 2017. “I really tried to steer him away from sports, but he wanted to give this a try, and I really want to support my kids in whatever they want to try,” RoyAnn Gregerson said. The Gregerson family is very supportive of the wrestling community in Utah. “I had no idea how amazing the wrestling community is and what the sport of wrestling does to build character in a young man or young woman,” Steve Gregerson said. “I definitely would have encouraged my older kids to give the sport a try if I had known. When Dylan got involved, we realized what we were missing.” Dylan is scheduled to travel to Guatemala sometime in September. l

In his first meet back after a year long rehab, Dylan Gregerson captured second place at the Junior Greco Roman Nationals. (Photo courtesy of RoyAnn Gregerson)

Galactic Tag

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alactic Tag Nerf Arena in Herriman is now open. Beyond the storefront lettering at 13256 S. 5600 West is an indoor, air conditioned, abandoned toxic warehouse scene. Hiding behind 55- gallon barrels and crouching around wooden crates is a way to escape the summer heat, yet keep the body moving and playing. Here, exercise can be as active or relaxed as one makes it. There are chairs for a front row seat to watch kids and take pictures, but participation is highly encouraged for anyone, preschooler to adult, who wants to join in as a sneaky toy dart sniper.

The arena has racks of Nerf blasters, spongy swords and loads of foam ammo ready for any size group. Choose orange team or yellow. Put on the safety eyewear provided, load the squishy darts and start to mow people down—loved ones, people you live with, someone you just met, people you work next to, homies you hang with or even strangers. Everyone participating wins. Actually, some lose—but it’s all in fun. This venue accommodates drop-in visitors with prices, operating hours and details listed at www.galactictag. com. Jessie Welsh took his two boys to Galactic Tag. All three of them played together. Welsh said, “I had a lot of fun. How many places can you go where you can shoot your kids and get away with it?” His sons Jack (11) and Eli (9) both left giving an identical response, the sign of “two thumbs up.” Eli also added, “Five stars.” That’s double blaster-style praise. Kids are often known to be honest

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sharpshooters about their feelings. Galactic Tag can host parties, team-building events, fundraisers and family reunions (with advance scheduling). Monthly passes are available for frequent guests. In the front is a snack station and soda fridge to purchase treats, and there are clean restrooms at the back. Owner Keith Rust wants people have fun, but have fun using basic practices of respect. A reminder posted on the Nerf blaster rack seen walking in reads, “Be honest, no head shots, no cussin’, be smart (and) shoes required.” Those guidelines make the games accessible and appropriate for all ages and abilities. Nicolas Farmer, employee referee, has been working at Galactic Tag since its opening. Referees are there to help cue players from game to game. They assist younger children in reloading darts, and also keep things going smooth after a team wins a round. Farmer said he is the “primary blaster repair guy.” He stays near the action and “watches to keep people safe and make sure everyone is having fun,” he explained. Farmer suggested, “If you are looking for a great time, any number of people any time of day, this is the place to do it.” Rust described how the indoor Nerf center began by saying, “It was a long time coming, trying to figure out how I wanted to progress with my career… my background is in product life cycle management. The more I’ve been in consulting, I find that we actually are more in ‘the people business,’ trying to help people work together more effectively. The idea is having some way to be able to

have a fun venue to teach teamwork, honesty, and integrity—which are kind of our three pillars—and that’s what the business is about. This is just a fun avenue to learn those skills.” There seems to be no disadvantage to putting on a yellow or orange team vest before entering the arenas. The advantage is in the strategy—loading a blaster in the shadows of a box crate and metal drum, or patiently waiting for an opponent to emerge from the barricades. Being quick to take cover could result in a win—who knows? But, there is always victory in getting out and experiencing things with family or friends and in supporting a local business. l

August 2018 | Page 23

Patriots ready to run the cross country season By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


rovidence Hall High School is hoping to improve on its eighth-place finish last season at the state cross country meet. And the team will begin the season with a new man at the helm. “It is is exciting to be a new coach at this school,” Patriots head cross country coach Eric Williams said. “We have quite a few seniors and upperclassmen that all want to be better.” The Patriots are led by senior Nolan Beck. He finished last season as region champion. “My goal is to stick with Nolan this year,” junior Brandon Garrett said. “He is by far our best runner. Cross country is a great sport for me to use to stay in shape for my other sports (basketball and baseball).” Beck placed 19th overall at the state cross country meet last season to lead the Patriots. TJ Warnick, Chase Francis, Will Keel, Nathan Lund, Caden Peterson and Evan Neff all finished within four minutes of each other. All seven of the top boys runners are expected to return this season. “I feel like since I have been at the school this varsity team is going to be the most competitive we have ever had,” Garrett said. Williams is entering his first year as the team’s head coach. In summer workouts, he

likes to run with his team to help coach members on technique and strategy in racing. “He has been great so far,” Garrett said. “I like that he runs with us and trains by our side. That pushes us to be better.” The girls team did not qualify for the state meet last season. It placed sixth at the Region 14 finals. Abby Finlayson led the girls by placing 20th at the region memet. Brynne Rindlisbacher, Ann Seo, Maya Howell, Natalie Finlayson, Madison Mitchell and Lea Seo were the other top team finishers. The girls team is scheduled to return all of its top varsity performers from last season. High school cross country is a sport in which teams and individuals compete on courses over natural terrain such as dirt, grass and hills. It is both an individual sport and team competition. Teams score points based on finishing position. Most of the courses are about 3 miles in length. “We feel like we are giving these kids every opportunity to get better,” Williams said. “We want them to have success. The girls and boys teams are improving every day, and they have been working hard this summer to improve.”

The Patriots traveled to Moab last season and participated in the Red Rock Classic cross country event. (Catherine Garrett/City Journals)

According to the Utah High School Activities Association rules, the first school meet can be held after Aug. 7. The state meet is scheduled to be held Oct. 17 at Sugar House Park. The team is scheduled to compete at the Highland Invitational at Sugar House Park Fri-

day, Aug. 17. The Patriots will also take part in the Red Rock Invitational Sept. 5 in Moab. Lucy Biles of Herriman High School holds the sixth- and eighth-fastest times on the Sugar House course. It was slightly reconfigured in 2015. l

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Page 24 | August 2018

S outh Valley City Journal

Race training is a way of life for many athletes By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

West Valley resident Cody Kluge raises his hand in victory as he climbs through a mud hole at a recent adventure run. (Photo courtesy of Cody Kluge)


orthern Mexico’s rugged Sierra Madre mountains are home to the indigenous Tarahumara people. During the 16th century, they retreated deep into the formidable canyons to escape slave raids by the Spanish. They have remained isolated from the outside, world and trail running is a major part of their lifestyle. Running became important to them for hunting purposes, notably chasing deer until the animal becomes too exhausted to flee. The book “Born to Run” explores their lifestyle and running habits. Today’s crossfit training, backcountry adventure races and Spartan events exhibit many of the physical challenges demonstrated by the Tarahumara. “A friend of mine got me involved,” West Valley resident and Spartan competitor Sam Jones said. “It is a race with a lot of physical tests. I have competed in 30 or more Spartans, and I enjoy it.” A Spartan event includes racing up and down mountainous terrain, carrying baskets of rocks, crawling under barbed wire and climbing ropes — all while competing in a distance race course. There are three main distances in an event: the sprint of 3–5 miles, middle distance of 8–10 miles and then the expert with a length of 12–15 miles. Many outdoor events have incorporated 5ks, family fun runs or marathons as part of the celebration, but training for each of these events can be a different experience. “I have incorporated trail running, and some say like a cross-fit training into my exercise routine to prepare,” Jones said. “I do carries with weights and training like that—just being able to elevate my heart rate without red-lining.” Spartan event coordinators have developed training programs to help its competitors prepare. Fitness experts warn competitors to train properly to avoid injury. “Doing 30 deadlifts fast can be harmful if

S outh V alleyJournal .com

proper technique is not followed,” said Kenyon James, a fitness trainer from The Drive. “So carrying a dead weight across the room wrong could cause injury. Like any training, if you do not maintain correct technique, it could be bad.” Training for a physical event like a Spartan, 5k or a marathon should include a check-up from a doctor and a good mixture of different types of exercise. The Stack training program suggests weightlifting day one, sprinting and short bursts of power day two, trail running day three and density training day three. Day four should include muscle use with the running. Then the process is repeated. “I have gotten to know a lot of people and made several friends by participating,” Jones said. “I suggest to start small and slowly get into it. It can be hard to go right into the big races. Not everyone is there to compete. Some just want to be physically fit and get together with friends.” Fitness training can be relatively inexpensive to begin with. The proper equipment can be as simple as a good pair of shoes, although many experts can invest thousands of dollars into training, gym memberships, personal assistants and specialized equipment. For many racers, the desire to do a marathon or Spartan is a personal challenge. They want to test their limits and see if they can go the distance or even lose weight. Whatever the reason, they hold tight to that desire. Months of preparation can be tough, so maintaining the motivation can be key. “It is a lot of fun and a good way to stay physically fit,” Jones said. “Be ready to get messy. I have gotten bruises and cuts.” Near the end of most Spartan races, the final obstacle can be a fire jump—stacks of wood with small fires that the competitors must jump over to get to the finish line. The fun and hard work leading to that final moment is much like the Tarahumara in Mexico coming home to a warm meal at their nightly resting place. l

August 2018 | Page 25

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iving in a desert state, some Salt Lake Valley residents are making it a mission to Medium Shrub water. conserve Utah received limited Front Yard Seating snowpack in the (Gathering Space)officials say they’ve mountains, and local water had to dip into reservoir water early thisPath year. Central Open Shape But Shaun Moser, an instructor at the ConserLarge Shrub vation Water Garden in West Jordan, said even Med. Ornamental Grass heavy snowpack years aren’t an excuse to waste Small Ornamental water. Grass Little Trudy Catmint“Conservation should be an ethic here in Hameln More often than not, we’re in some kind Utah. Fountain Grass of drought here,” Moser explained. Thyme That’s why state officials have been pushing to implement a statewide water conservation campaign called Slow the Flo. It’s designed to educate residents and also to encourage changes in residents’ landscapes, including using less grass in their yards. Dani Workman, a West Jordan homeowner and mom, said she’s trying to make small changes to her landscape to reduce water use. “We water our lawn twice a week and watch the weather to decide what days will be best to do it,” Workman explained. “For our garden, we collect rainwater in barrels from our downspouts and use that to hand water our garden. Not only is it free, but it saves a little bit of water and money.” Moser said the average lawn only needs 20 minutes of water every other day during the hottest months. In the spring and fall, grass only needs 20 minutes of water approximately 1-2

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times a week. But Moser said it’s even more important MediumThe Shrub averto cut back on the grass in your yard. age sprinkler system isn’t designed to water any lawn area smaller than 8 feet wide,Medium suchTree as park strips or sides of aPath home. The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District offers monthly classes to give residents examples on how to Shrub cut back Focal Point on sod grass at Localscapes.com. “The style of landscaping that has been adopted here in Utah really doesn’t fit our climate. Bright Edge Yucca The English style of landscaping developed DaisyMoser in an area that gets rain a lot ofSundancer time,” 1 explained about landscapes filled with grass. “Here in Utah we need irrigation systems to keep things alive.” Cynthia Bee, outreach coordinator for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, says Local Scapes offers a small reward to residents who take their classes teaching water conservation and implement changes to their own landscape. “We’re not calling it an incentive, because it’s not enough to cover costs for changing your landscape,” Bee explained. The small bonus is up to $.25 per square footage in a landscape, but the real benefit is reducing water. To learn more about Local Scapes, the next beginner class will be at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1 at the Conservation Garden Park at 8275 S. 1300 West in West Jordan. You can sign up for Local Scapes 101 on LocalScapes.com l

S outh Valley City Journal

Airport reconstruction project on schedule for 2020 By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


ust two years from now, Utahns will see a brand new Salt Lake International Airport opening. A construction project that has been decades in the making is underway at the airport, as crews are working to build a new parking garage, central terminal and a new north and south concourse. “One of the biggest milestones was in May,” said Nancy Volmer, the airport public relations director. “That’s when one of the final steel beams went up.” Why build a new airport? When the Salt Lake International Airport was first built in the 1960s, it was designed for 10 million passengers per year. But now, more than 60 years later, the airport serves more than 24 million passengers annually, and that number is increasing. Volmer says with the current design, only one plane can take off at a time, and the airport wasn’t built for a hub operation. “There’s congestion on the curb side, there’s congestion on the gate side,” Volmer explained. “There’s not enough seating for passengers waiting for their flights.” Who is paying for the new airport? “No local taxpayer dollars are being spent on the airport,” Volmer said. For the $3.6 billion reconstruction project, the airport is relying on several major areas of funding: 41.3 percent - Future bonds to pay for the remaining cost 23 percent - 2017 revenue bonds issued by the airport 14.8 percent - Airport savings 11.5 percent - Passenger facility charges 4.9 percent - Rental car facility charges 4.5 percent - Federal grants Volmer says one of the primary reasons why the Salt Lake International Airport is able to fund the reconstruction project without local taxpayer assistance is because the airport has been saving for this project since the 1990s. “People who use the airport are helping pay for this redevelopment. Passenger user fee, the airlines, the car rental user fees,” Volmer said. Future Changes One of the biggest changes that will push the Salt Lake International Airport into the spotlight is security. The new airport will have state of the art equipment for security screening to help cut down on wait times and limit the hassle as passengers try to make their flights. The entire design of the airport is focused on making it easier for passengers, Volmer explained. “You can check your bag, print your boarding pass, go through security, and you won’t have to go up and down levels. It (will be) convenient for passengers,” Volmer said. Some other major improvements include: • A larger parking garage able to fit up

S outh V alleyJournal .com

Airport officials say the new airport design will allow for easier access to passengers. (Photo courtesy Salt Lake International Airport)

to 3,600 vehicles, with separate areas for drop off and pick up. • Separate arrival and departure levels • On-site car rental pick-up and dropoff counters • Tech friendly with more locations to

plug in electronics • More shopping and dining What is Phase 2? Phase 1 is expected to be completed by Fall 2020, and then construction will begin on Phase 2, which includes building the north and south

concourses on the east side, the demolition of concourses B, C and D, and the demolition of the International Terminal. For more information about the Airport Reconstruction project, visit www.slcairport. com/thenewslc. l

August 2018 | Page 27

Utah’s housing unaffordability crisis By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


espite an uptick in employment, Utah is becoming more unaffordable for low-income families. According to a recent report from the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, housing prices have been steadily rising since the 1990s, but Utah wages are not matching that growth, and low-income families are starting to suffer as a result. “Eighty six percent of people pay more than 50 percent of their income toward housing,” said Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition. “The issue has been happening for some time. Wages haven’t been keeping up with rent.” Rollins says it’s especially affecting Utah because population growth is outpacing the number of homes and apartments available, and construction isn’t meeting demand. Jennifer Gilchrist, a realtor in Salt Lake County, said she often sees homes in the $200,000 to $250,000 price range get offers within a matter of hours. “It’s really crazy right now. There are a lot of people who want to buy houses and not that many people who are selling,” she said. Since last year alone, the average single family home has gone up approximately 13 percent in price. For example, a $300,000 home for sale last year, would now be selling for about $340,000, according to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. While other states are suffering from an increase in housing prices, Utah is ranked as the 4th highest in the nation for that growth, and experts believe it’s only going to get worse. For Jerusha Stucki and her husband, who were both born and raised in Utah, the rise in housing prices has made it difficult for them to search for a home for their growing family. They’ve tried looking at houses, but the rising cost makes it a daunting task.

“Our price range is for houses that are old, dirty and cheap, and we don’t want to be house poor,” Stucki explained. But waiting for a few years down the road could be even worse. Stucki says just three years ago, she and her husband nearly bought a townhouse but ultimately had to back out. Now, that townhouse is worth $35,000 more than the asking price from just a few years ago. “There’s a good chance, we may not see houses at the prices we saw even three years ago,” Stucki says. The housing unaffordability crisis isn’t just affecting families wanting to buy homes, but rentals are rising at an alarming rate. Rollins says many families are combining with other households in one home to manage rental costs, and some are putting up with substandard housing because there isn’t anything better available in their price range. “Last year the housing wage was $17.02 and it just went up to $17.77, that’s a 75 cent increase per hour,” Rollins said. But Rollins says for the average person to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake County, their wage needs to match approximately $19.90 an hour. “That’s up 86 cents from last year,” Rollins explained. The University of Utah Gardner Policy Institute report suggested some municipal measures to help reduce housing unaffordability, including waive or reduce fees for affording housing, change building codes to encourage more affordable housing, and adopt zoning ordinances that provide a wide range of housing types and prices. But in the meantime, families like the Stuckis continue to follow the housing market and hope future changes will make housing more affordable in Utah. l

The Top 10 most expensive Wasatch Front areas in Q1 by median home price (courtesy Salt Lake Board of Realtors)



Emigration-84108 (up 19.5 percent)



The Avenues-84103 (up 20.4 percent)



Alpine-84004 (up 7.4 percent)



Holladay-84124 (up 14.7 percent)



Draper-84020 (up 3.5 percent)



Holladay-84117 (up 10.2 percent)



South Jordan-84095 (up 16.7 percent)



Sandy-84092 (down 7.4 percent)



East Central SLC-84102 (up 31.3 percent)



Eden-84310 (down 3.4 percent)



Canyon Rim-84109 (up 3.9 percent)

The limitations of the Wasatch Front geography means there’s not much more room for sprawl, so new Utah housing developments are going to have to get creative. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Page 28 | August 2018

S outh Valley City Journal

Salt Lake Chamber hopes to raise awareness about Utah’s housing situation By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com

A block party was held as the TGIF was demolished at the old Cottonwood Mall site in Holladay. The demolition makes way for the planned Holladay Quarter development which has seen varying amounts of opposition from residents. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)

Representatives from the Salt Lake Chamber will be visiting with the following cities at each municipality’s city hall in the coming weeks and months with more to be scheduled. North Ogden

August 14 @ 6 p.m.


August 21 @ 3 p.m.

West Jordan

August 22 @ 6 p.m.


August 28 @ 6 p.m.


September 4 @ 5:30 p.m.

Woods Cross

September 4 @ 6:30 p.m.


September 11 @ 6 p.m.

Pleasant Grove

September 18 @ 5 p.m.


September 18 @ 7 p.m.


September 20 @ 6 p.m.

South Jordan

October 2 @ 4:30 p.m.

West Bountiful

October 2 @ 7:30 p.m.


October 9 @ 5:30 p.m.


October 9 @ 6 p.m.

S outh V alleyJournal .com

“Anytime a developer comes in with a plan that involves high-density housing, it’s like a four-letter word,” said Draper Mayor Troy Walker during a meeting of Draper officials and representatives from the Salt Lake Chamber. The meeting was the second of many meetings the Salt Lake Chamber hopes to conduct with every city council along the Wasatch Front in order to discuss the topic of housing affordability. “Recently we’ve had a lot of business owners coming to us and saying, ‘Our employees are struggling to find housing,’” explained Abby Osborne, the chamber’s vice president of government relations. The Salt Lake Chamber, a business association that operates throughout the state, then partnered with the Kem C. Gardner Institute to produce a report on housing affordability, released earlier this year. “What we found in the report was quite alarming. For the first time we have more households than household units,” said Osborne. “That’s a big component of why you’re seeing these skyrocketing prices. It’s just supply and demand.” While there are factors that limit what state and local governments can do about housing prices — for example, the state can’t do anything about rising material costs or the fact that the opportunity for further “sprawl” is limited by the Wasatch corridor’s geography — the Salt Lake Chamber is on a mission to let governments and individuals know what they can do. “We’re just starting a dialogue with the city councils,” Osborne told the City Journals. “We’re asking them, ‘What do you think about

this issue? Would you consider smaller lot sizes? Why are you opposed to higher density housing?” Osborne pointed to the Daybreak community in South Jordan and Holladay’s still-in-theworks Holladay Quarter development as examples of cities using creative zoning policies to create more housing in a smart way. However, the opposition to new housing efforts is much more likely to come from residents, not local governments, according to Osborne. “We have a lot of NIMBYism in Utah,” she said, referring to an acronym that stands for “Not In My Backyard.” That can be seen with the case of the Holladay Quarter, where community groups formed to fight against the development. Part of the Salt Lake Chamber’s mission will include a “full-blown media campaign” this fall to educate people about the nuances of the housing affordability issue. Osborne said she hopes the campaign will start to remove the stigmas and misunderstandings that people have about new housing developments. For example, one misconception people have is that most of our growth is coming from out-of-state. “Not true,” said Osborne. “It is us, having children who want to stay here and live here because of our quality of life.” “I think the unknown is fearful for people,” she said. “They have this perception of how they want to raise their large families on big pieces of property. But when those kids grow up, where are they going to live? If these trends continue, there won’t be enough homes for the people that want to live here.” l

Plots of land around the valley are constantly being considered for new housing, like this piece in northeast West Valley City. A development proposal for townhomes was denied in June after nearby residents mobilized against the level of density. Residents want single-family homes built there. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

August 2018 | Page 29

Making sense of cents




he importance of saving money has been emphasized ever since I was a child. I was bombarded with the sentiment from my parents, my teachers and from the media. “Save Big” marketing messages have been in my life ever since I have been able to make sense of my senses. Lately, I’ve been wondering why. Why do we need to save money? As soon as I was old enough to receive a paycheck, my parents told me to put at least 10 percent of it into a savings account, if not more (hopefully one that accrues interest). They always told me to keep a $100 comfort pillow in my primary checking account and to keep a significant safety net. When I would ask “Why?” their response was always, “In case of an emergency.” What if the car breaks down and you need to pay for a pretty hefty repair? What if you break a part of yourself and need to pay for medical expenses? Saving money was to keep myself out of debt when outstanding situations arose. In school, we were required to take financial planning classes. We received instruction on how to budget, how to buy a house, how to get the best agreements for car payments, and how to plan for retirement. The essentials

for our personal budgets, right? Buy a car. Buy a house. Save enough to retire on time. Saving money was to maintain a comfortable lifestyle to transport ourselves, shelter ourselves, and take care of ourselves in old age. As soon as we reproduce, we start saving money for our children. I’ve always heard that one child costs $20,000 per year, on average. Offspring are expensive. On top of that average support, parents tend to save for their children’s future (aka a college education). Parents also tend to want to leave their children something of merit when they pass. So, we save money for emergencies, for a comfortable lifestyle, and for our offspring. Besides those canons of saving money, what else do you

save money for? What do you put value on? What do you not mind spending full price on and what do you absolutely need a coupon for in order to buy? It may be food. Some people don’t mind paying money to go out to eat multiple times per week at real restaurants (not fast food joints). Other people will stock pile coupons and go to different grocery stores in order to get the best deals. It may be clothes. Some people don’t mind paying triple digits to have a specific name or logo on the fabric wrapped around their bodies. Other people buy their jeans from Wal-Mart for $10. It may be cars. Some people pay for fuel efficiency, or speed, or sporty-looking body styles. Other peo-

ple can’t even imagine paying more than four figures on something that just gets them from point A to point B. It may be family and friends. Some people will make agreements with family and friends to not exchange gifts. Other people don’t mind spending some cash on their people. Why are we so driven to save a few dollars here and a few cents there? Why are we so turned on by sales and big savings tactics? Is it so we can have money for emergency situations? Or to spend money on things we perceive to have value? Or is it some ideal the marketing industries have driven into us since before we can remember? Let me know so I don’t feel like I’m just rambling into the ether. l

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S outh Valley City Journal

Life and Laughter—Uncommon Courtesy


Laughter AND





e’ve become an unpleasant people. All the commons, like courtesy, sense, knowledge and good, aren’t nearly as prevalent as they should be. But we’re Americans! We’re resilient! We survived New Coke and the Sony Betamax. We can definitely start using old-fashioned common courtesy. Making America Great Again should include some of the following: Be Thoughtful Being thoughtful doesn’t have to be inconvenient, like throwing your jacket on top of a mud puddle so I can cross without getting my dainty feet wet. (Disclaimer: I’ve never had dainty feet). Even small actions amp up your kindness cred. Open doors, smile, give up your seat, wipe down the machines at the gym (you know who you are!!) or offer to carry a bag of groceries. Maybe thoughtfulness means doing something you’d rather not do, like play Yahtzee with your grandson 327 times in a row, watch golf with your husband or help a friend move. Offer to buy a stranger’s coffee, remember important dates, use manners, write thank you cards and let someone go in front of you at Walmart. Watching their wary acceptance is pretty hilarious.

Shut up and Listen Have you ever talked to someone and realized their eyes were more glazed than a Krispy Kreme conveyer belt? That means you’ve monopolized the conversation and it’s someone else’s turn to talk. (“Conversation” means two or more people exchanging ideas.) We’re horrible listeners. We interrupt, interject with personal stories, refuse to make eye contact and try to keep that supercool thought in our brain so we can jump right in as soon as the speaker takes a breath. Calm yourself. Listen to learn. If we already know everything, there’s absolutely no reason to pay attention to someone who’s talking to us. If you agreed with that last sentence, your wife is slowly poisoning you. Put Down Your Damn Phone We are WAY too invested in our cell phones. I’m not excluding myself. My husband and I often have this conversation: Tom: Can you put down your phone and watch TV? Me: I’m watching. Tom: What just happened? Me: The guy did that one thing to that other guy. Tom: Hand me your phone. Me: [Eye roll] Gees, you don’t







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understand. Our discourteous cell phone behavior made headlines this spring after a cast member of Hamilton called out audience members in Salt Lake because they wouldn’t turn their phones off during the performance. Good grief! We’ve even irritated the Founding Fathers (again). Leave your phone in your car, on your shelf or in your fish tank if you’re in a situation that requires decent human behavior. Be Generous Utahns are notoriously cheap. I mean seriously-perhaps-we-should-be-in-therapy cheap. I’ve had two daughters who worked in food services. They’ve shared horror stories of impolite guests, demanding drunks and overall poorly behaved people. Come on, everyone. The wait staff survives off your chintzy tips. They usually make less than $3 an hour and when you tip $2.75 on a bill of $100, you are a villain. Don’t be afraid to pry open that creaky, dusty wallet and tip your restaurant servers, hair stylists, pizza guy, Uber driver or dog walker. Let Drivers Merge for Cryin’ Out Loud Nothing more needs to be said


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Profile for The City Journals

South Valley City Journal August 2018  

South Valley City Journal August 2018