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December 2018 | Vol. 28 Iss. 12


HERRIMAN MAYOR COMES UNDER fire for irresponsible spending on trip to D.C. By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com


uring its Nov. 14 work meeting, the Herriman City Council addressed alleged irresponsible spending made by Mayor David Watts on two trips to Washington D.C. earlier this year. City Finance Director Alan Rae laid out the details in question, which included using a city credit card for non-city business, exceeding the recommended limit for travel expenses and failing to provide receipts for expenses. During the two trips, Watts’ city credit card ran 21 transactions. Only two receipts were provided by the mayor, according to Councilwoman Nicole Martin. “Frankly, I’ve never seen a case this bad in terms of lack of documentation,” said Rae during the meeting. Watts’ first trip to Washington D.C. was for an annual visit that Herriman city officials make to visit with Utah’s congressional delegation. At the end of the trip, Watts used a city credit card to purchase a different flight home than the rest of the attendees that included an overnight layover in Denver, where he stayed at a hotel that “seriously exceeded [the city’s] per diem rate,” according to Rae. Watts ended up arriving in Salt Lake only “a few hours” earlier than the rest of the Herriman officials, said Martin, who also went on the trip. Watts’ second trip to Washington D.C. was to attend the American Mosquito Control Association’s annual Washington conference, as a representative of the South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District. According to Rae, that trip did not constitute Herriman city business so the mayor’s credit card should not have been used at all. Instead, he used it multiple times at a hotel, to pay for Uber rides and to, once again, buy a seat on a flight home “a few hours earlier” than the flight that had already been paid for by the Mosquito Abatement. This issue was initially raised during a council meeting on July 11. At that time, the mayor reportedly told council members he had only just been informed of the problems half

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Herriman Mayor David Watts, seen here sworn into office in January 2018, will receive a written reprimand from the city council for alleged irresponsible spending during two trips to Washington D.C. earlier this year. (File photo/ Herriman City)

an hour earlier. However, Rae said that he had informed the mayor of the issue weeks earlier, on June 26. During the July meeting, Watts promised to fully pay the city back for what he had spent. “It’s public money. We should be held to a higher standard,” he said at the time. However, over four months later, the mayor had made no effort to repay the city, said Rae. After hearing from concerned residents who wanted to know if the money had ever been paid back, the council decided to address the situation again during its Nov. 14 meeting. The council expected Watts to attend the meeting, and he had indicated as recently as the previous Friday that he planned to attend. But on the morning of the meeting, the council re-

ceived an email from the mayor saying he was going out of town for the rest of the week and that he had acquired legal counsel who advised him not to participate in any meetings in which the issue is discussed. “He’s very well aware that this was on the agenda tonight,” said Councilwoman Sherrie Ohrn. “It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t be here tonight.” Attempts by the South Valley Journal to reach Watts for comment were not returned. At the conclusion of the work meeting, the city council decided city credit cards would no longer be given to elected officials. When traveling, officials will now pay for expenses with their personal cards, then submit receipts for approved purchases to the city for reimbursement.

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December 2018 | Page 3

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

The South 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 ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: 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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ay hello to Jade Hansen, the new Miss Herriman. A senior at Providence Hall High School, Hansen won the Miss Herriman Scholarship Pageant on Nov. 3 at Herriman High School. The ever-enthusiastic Hansen is a lifeguard, soccer player (she plays keeper and a little forward), pianist and HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) club president at her school. As Miss Herriman, Hansen won a $2,000 scholarship to the college of her choice; she’s still deciding where she wants to go (“and taking suggestions,” she joked). She intends to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she turns 19 next September before becoming a nurse. Montana Wood was first runner-up, and Sahviena Ballard was second attendant. The South Valley Journal caught up with Hansen shortly after her pageant coronation to find out more about “one of the best experiences” of her life. What inspired you to enter the pageant? I wanted to help out and serve my community and be a big part in the community. I had a friend back in 2010 who won Miss Herriman… and I was like, “Wow, I want to do that when I’m older.’ I never really saw myself doing pageants; this is the first pageant I’ve ever done but I want to go outside my comfort zone and try something new so I can help the community and be an inspiration to other little girls and then I ended up winning Miss Herriman. So I was like, ‘That’s cool!’ How did you prepare for the pageant? I was a little out of my element, so I went to all the Saturday workshops starting in September until the pageant. I looked up interview questions and practiced interviews with my friends and my family to make sure I was up to date. I made sure to practice my talent; I did piano. I learned Clementi Sonatina to play and perform. So, there was a lot of preparation for it because I’m not as experienced as some of the other girls, so I had to do a lot of work outside of the workshops to get to where I was comfortable for interview and talent and on-stage questions. What did you learn about yourself throughout this whole process?

Thank You

I learned I’m really good at public speaking. I love to be in front of people and performing. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to which was a little different than what I’m used to, but I was able to overcome that and overcome the self-doubt. I learned to gain a lot of self-confidence, because I’m not always super confident in myself. But going through the pageant, I learned that you have to be confident in yourself, and then the judges and the people will see that. And that will make you a more likable person. So I can use those (skills) in my everyday life, and I want to inspire other people to be able to have that too. What was the experience like being named Miss Herriman? I was in shock! They called the second runner-up and the first runner up, and they didn’t call my name, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so happy for these girls, and I’m going to be so excited for the Miss Herriman.” And then they called my name on Miss Herriman, and it took me a second (to realize). I was sitting there and was clapping and then I’m like, “Wait, that’s totally me,” and I was totally in shock. I didn’t expect it. I was doing it to have fun, hadn’t done a pageant before and was super excited to just get to know the girls. When they called my name, I was in shock, but I was also super excited and super thankful to everyone who supported me, especially my family, my friends and the judges for being so great. It was just one of the best experiences I think I’ve ever had. I felt so happy and overjoyed that I was going to be able to be Miss Herriman. What is your platform and why did you choose it? My platform is “Protecting Our Athletes,” and it’s focusing on preventing athletic injuries. I tore my ACL playing soccer my sophomore year, and before that I hadn’t really worried about injuries. I was just kind of doing what my coach said. When I tore my ACL, it felt like the end of the world because I loved high school sports. Sports is what I do. I talked to my doctor and physical therapist, and they said it’s all about your leg strength, hip strength and muscle strength. I thought, “If I had known this, I would have trained better.” I did some research, and I actually did a proj-

Jade Hansen reacts to being named Miss Herriman. (Photo courtesy Miss Herriman Scholarship Pageant)

ect that sophomore year and made a website on how to prevent ACL tears. So I want to expand on that and go to all different kinds of athletic injuries. I’m taking sports medicine right now, and we’ve learned how to prevent athletic injuries in football and lacrosse and every sport. So, I want to help athletes not have to go through what I went through because it was such a hard experience. I want them to be prepared and understand the risks of those kinds of injuries. It changed my life, and now I’m here and able to use it in a platform, but I want to bring awareness to all kinds of injuries. Tell us about the influential people in your life, particularly towards winning Miss Herriman? My parents were huge supporters of this; they helped me to be able to overcome anything, and they were super proud of me. They told me before the pageant, “Whatever happens, we’re proud of you for doing this, for stepping outside of your comfort zone.” I was super excited for that because it’s always great to have parent support. Then Sarah Pettit (pageant director)—I’ve never done a pageant before, and she was so welcoming. She was my pageant mom and helped me with everything, checked up on me, made sure I was up to date. She called me right before pageant and sent me a really cute message of how good of a job I was going to do. She was always so supportive of me, and I wouldn’t have made it through without Sarah’s help. She was a huge inspiration. l

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Brain power: Hugs are better for your mind than electronics By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


our family needs at least eight hugs a day. That’s according to Dr. Christy Kane. Kane has a Ph.D. and is a clinical mental health counselor who practices in Utah and Salt Lake County and has spent years studying and preparing to write a book on how electronics affect the human brain. She does workshops around the state previously presenting in Tooele and Cedar Hills. On Nov. 12, Kane was at Herriman High School telling the almost 200 people in attendance how to help your family members better deal with the electronics in their lives. “This is the information you want to hear for you kids,” said Laura Warburton, whose daughter took her own life, as she introduced Kane. “It’s going to blow your mind and save lives.” Today’s electronic world of social media, text messaging, video games and snapchatting is neurologically changing kids’ brains, Kane said. She noted how today’s generations differ from previous ones. Past generations would spend their youth blueberry picking or getting neighborhood kids together to play games and build forts. “We’ve gone from floppy discs to hand-held computers giving us unlimited access to anything we imagine,” Kane said. While the information at our disposal is important, she said it also comes with side effects: • Fractured attention spans limiting our ability to maintain focus and concentrate. Kane showed ads from the ’60s that would cut from shot to shot every six to eight seconds. Compare this to today when videos tend to cut every three seconds. • Less socializing because we spend more time in isolation. During the ’80s, kids went out three times a week socially. Today, it’s one or less. Kids spend more time isolated alone in their bedroom, according to the Center for Disease Control. • Brain growth is delayed. Kane explained we’re born with 100 billion neurons in our brain. They don’t multiply and divide; they grow connections. Learning to play the violin or speak Spanish creates neurological connections for long-term growth. That process of growth is stimulated by complex activities that require

focus, waiting, memorization, tactile (or touching) activities and social interaction. If such activities are diminished, brain growth delays, warned Kane. All this is most prescient with teenagers. Ninety-two percent of teenagers have smartphone access, and nationally, teens are spending 6.5 hours per day on electronics. Kane said when today’s 19-year-old is 60, they will have spent 20 years on electronics. The brain is addicted to electronics, and without properly planning and rationing out screen time, brain development is stunted, both cognitively and emotionally, Kane said. “You have the power to decide that you control (electronics); they don’t control you,” Kane told the audience. To combat these issues, Kane said we need to understand three chemicals in our brain: dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Anything that creates an emotion of anticipation is dopamine, like Christmas morning. It’s the addicting and pleasure seeking chemical. “Too much leads to anxiety and not enough is depression,” Kane said. The brain burns 90 percent of the energy you consume, while the body gets 10 percent. “It’s like running three to four marathons in our minds every day,” Kane said. “It’s because we’re constantly existing in a dopamine world.” Serotonin is a stabilizer chemical. It affects mood, sleep, appetite, memory and perception. This comes from the food we eat, notably nuts, seeds, eggs and chicken. Oxytocin is where the eight hugs come in. Only produced from human touch and animals, oxytocin influences emotion and social behavior. It’s known as the “cuddle” or “love hormone” because the chemical is released when you snuggle up to someone. “We are meant to be held, we are meant to socialize,” Kane said. “If you take nothing else from tonight, take this: Your family needs hand to hand, eye-to-eye, body-to-body-contact hugs.” Kane was quick to point out that electronics aren’t evil; there just needs to be balance. Teens need nine hours of sleep. Families can create media plans to unplug and limit screen time.

Other ways she suggested were writing in cursive, reading paperback or hardcover books rather than Kindles before going to sleep, taking notes by writing them rather than typing them and spending time in nature. Neil and Tara Lilley recently moved to Utah from Georgia. They brought their two pre-teen boys to check out Kane’s presentation as part of family night. It left an impression. “There were so many things I never considered, like memorizing phone numbers or that video games are designed to make you addicted,” Tara said. “It can be kind of tough because you can’t always control what kids do at their friends’ house. But we’ll definitely change some things at our house.” Kane’s will present at Alta High School on Jan. 28. l

Shirts reminding people to give eight hugs every day were sold after Christy Kane’s presentation at Herriman High School. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Heroes to the rescue at Riverton’s annual 5K By Jenny Jones and Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


or a decade, Riverton City officials and the Unified Police Department have held a holiday fundraiser for families in need. This year was no different. Participants in Riverton’s annual Holiday Heroes 5K and 1-mile ‘Fun’draiser Run, held Nov. 7, were asked to donate non-perishable food or monetary donations the day of the race. All proceeds and donations benefit local families in need. Ronda Poole runs every year in the 5K wearing a turkey costume. “One of the great things they do (is) a food drive, and its awesome for these families out here,” she said. Event organizers begin collecting food during the fun run and continue up until Thanksgiving to deliver family dinners to those in need. UPD delivers the food, “making sure that families that wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving din-

Page 6 | December 2018

ner, get a Thanksgiving dinner,” said Poole. Benski Dayley, Riverton’s recreation coordinator who organizes the event, said local schools also do fundraisers to contribute to the cause. In total, they typically raise a couple thousand dollars each year, he said. On sunny yet chilly morning, participants ran around Riverton City Park and the surrounding neighborhood to find Santa waiting for them at the finish line. Brad Barton was the male winner for the 5K at 18:00, while the Rene Jackson was the female winner with a time of 27:02. “The races are fun—the starting atmosphere with the music and everything,” Dayley said. “Today’s kind of fun, even though it’s a little early for some people and the holidays, but we still got Santa and the turkey and Christmas music to kind of get you in the holiday spirit.” l

Kids of all ages were greeted at the finish line by Santa during the Holiday Heroes 5K and 1-mile Fun Run. (Photo/ Jenny Jones)

S outh Valley City Journal


Mr. Le’s Dry Cleaners

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ver the past 24 months, Michael Le and David Le (aka the “Le Brothers”) have purchased 5 independent dry cleaning stores and branded them under a new name called Mr. Le’s Cleaners. With the acquisitions of these dry cleaners, and potentially more, the Le Brothers are focused on providing the highest quality of dry cleaning and laundry services to their local communities. According to the Le Brothers, as they researched what to name their new business, they wanted a name that represented the values that their parents taught them when they came to America in 1975. That is to always; WORK HARD, HAVE FAITH and BE GRATEFUL. So the Le Brothers decided to name the business after their patriarch, whom they refer to as the original “Mr. Le”. The Le Brothers quickly realized that the dry cleaning business is a people business, where trust and loyalty must be earned. The previous owners spent their lives building a successful business with loyal customers. This process cannot be replicated through discounts and fancy advertising. So at whatever cost, the Le Brothers retained the previous owners and their staff to insure the same

quality and service the customers were used to. One of the unique concept of Mr. Le’s Cleaners is how they are focused on their local communities. With special discounts and services, they support schools, active military personnel, veterans, policeman, fireman and even missionaries preparing to serve fulltime missions. Michael Le said, “Our support to the community and its people, is us paying back to the community that took us in with open arms when we lost everything after the Vietnam War. We had nothing when we arrived to this great country and now everything we have is because of those who sacrificed before us”. He went on and said, “We will always remember those people and continue to pay it forward whenever we can”. As Mr. Le’s Cleaners is establishing their footprint in the Salt Lake Valley, they’ve been busy adding new equipment, remodeling storefronts and implementing new technology. All of this to help improve the cleaning process, communicating with clients and ultimately earning their customer’s trust. The Le Brothers have been working with companies like Comcast, Skipio, Google, Yelp and Cleancloud to help build a new communication platform for current and future

services they provide. David Le also mentioned, “We are excited about the merger of many years of talent and experiences with all of our team members. Our goal is to grow the company organically through great

people, simple processes and happy customers. It won’t be easy, we know we will make some mistakes but we will do what is right for our customers and stand by our company moto. We’re Happy When You’re Happy!” l

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S outh Valley City Journal

Riverton leaves UPD in favor of creating Riverton Police Department By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


s of Oct. 23 2018, Riverton City is officially leaving the Unified Police Department in favor of creating its own in-house Riverton Police Department. This move has been in the works since back in July, when the Riverton City Council declared their intent to leave the Unified Police Department if significant differences between the city and UPD board officials could not be resolved. “The decision to form our own police department has been a difficult one for us,” said Councilman Sheldon Stewart. “Ultimately, the decision was made based on what direction could provide the best level of service in our city at the best cost. The move to create our own police department allows more Riverton taxpayer dollars to be invested in law enforcement service right here in our own community.” “We are excited to begin the process of forming the Riverton Police Department,” said Mayor Trent Staggs. “The first step for us will be to hire a chief of police that can guide us as we begin the formation of the department. The city council has directed city staff to take steps to begin that search and hiring process.” Officials won’t need to create the police department entirely from scratch. Riverton has been a member of UPD since 2010, and so all of the UPD assets purchased with Riverton tax dollars in that time, belong to Riverton. Because of this, Riverton should be able to take its toys — the police precinct building next to city hall, squad cars, et cetera — and go home to create their own police department, for relatively little money. According to the city’s financial analysis, the new department could hire up to 38 officers and five civilian employees without paying more than what is currently paid to UPD for law enforcement service for 28-30 officers in the city. That’s what the numbers say, but many participants at a town hall meeting back in August expressed doubts this is how things would actually play out — one resident described the proposed Riverton Police Department’s budget as “a pipe dream.” “I’ve seen Draper do this. I’ve seen it three times, and every time, it was over budget. I saw Taylorsville do it, and it’s over budget. I saw Cottonwood Heights do it, and it’s over budget. And you show us your numbers… it’s gonna go over budget,” said Ray Lopez, a retired UPD officer. Many cities that leave UPD end up coming back in the end for precisely that reason. “I was part of the Taylorsville police department, and we had a lot of struggles, although we had a lot of great people trying to make it work. The budget was just too much, and we came back to UPD,” said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera. The city hopes to have a chief of police in place by January 1, 2019, with the first review of applications taking place on Nov. 16, 2018. The new chief will oversee the formation of the new department, including the hiring of officers, the acquisition of equipment, the creation of a budget, and the development of policy.

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Once hired, the new police chief will oversee the hiring of officers, acquisition of equipment, budget creation, and more. (Riverton City Communications)

“We’re excited to be able to open the chief of police position and begin accepting applicants,” said Riverton City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt. “We’re looking to hire someone who will create and develop the Riverton Police Department into the best department in Utah, bar none.” The new chief will be appointed by the mayor, with the advice and consent of the city council. Reporting directly to the city manager, the chief will serve as part of Riverton City’s executive management team and will be expected to earn the respect of the community, be customer-focused, facilitate a positive work environment, and develop both short-term and long-term public safety goals for the city. “Public safety is our number one goal,” said Staggs. “We’re looking for the best and the brightest in our new department to help us with that goal, and that starts with hiring a chief of police who understands that and who can instill it as part of the culture of the new department.” It is anticipated that following the hiring of a chief of police, other officer and civilian hires will take place between January and June 2019 to ensure the department is fully staffed to take over operations from UPD at some point in July 2019. “We appreciate the service of the UPD officers who have served our community so well for many years,” said Councilwoman Tawnee McCay. “We hope to see many of those who serve here currently, whether as officers or as crossing guards, apply for positions in the new Riverton Police Department when that time comes.” l

Lighthouse Counseling services For 5 years Lighthouse Counseling Services has been providing Mental Health Therapy for the community. They serve all ages (from 18 months on up) in individual, family or couples therapy. They have an outpatient clinic as well as a week long family retreat program. In outpatient therapy clients learn how to be more empowered and stronger as they move through the storms in their lives. At the retreat the family is able to strengthen their communication skills and thus create a stronger, more connected and more unified family. Lighthouse Counseling Services is dedicated to strengthening individuals and families for generations to come.

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Selflessness and sacrifice: Riverton remembers its veterans By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


iverton’s 2018 Veterans Day program focused on highlighting the stories of military veterans. The Riverton Arts Council sponsored a Veterans Day essay contest for youth ages 8–18, with the aim of collecting stories of military veterans who made an impact in the community or the world at large. Winners Kenley Taylor, Braedon Burge, Mara Spigarelli and Carter Larson read their essays at the beginning of the program. “Some veterans like their name being heard,” said Spigarelli, who won third place. “They want to be remembered. My grandpa seems to be the opposite. He’s often hard to talk to. He’s secluded and keeps to himself, but he’s a great person, and I think he should be remembered. My grandpa inspires me. He never boasts about his accomplishments but stays quiet. He knows that when he joined the Air Force, it wasn’t so that he would be recognized for it later. It was to help people who weren’t as fortunate as he was.” Humility and the desire to put the spotlight on others were running themes throughout the program, even from the veterans who were asked to speak about their experiences fighting for their country. Chief Jason Adamson, a third-generation military veteran, said fairly little about his own experiences with the military, instead opting to talk more about his father and about his grandfather, who fought in World War II. Adamson was living on a military base in Germany when his dad was deployed to serve in the first Gulf War. “All the kids I went to school with—all their dads were deploying as well,” Adamson said. “It was a very scary time for all of us. We were really scared about what was going to happen— what was going happen to him, what was gonna happen to the soldiers.”

Page 10 | December 2018

When the time did come to talk about himself, Adamson, who has served with the Air Force and the National Guard, deflected the spotlight with a joke. “I served with some of the most elite special operation soldiers in the world—and since I was an intelligence guy, I can’t tell you anything about it,” he laughed. He talked a little bit more about the impact his deployments had on his family, recounting the heartbreaking moment when his little daughter clung to his leg at the airport before his deployment, asking, “Dad, are you gonna die?” UFA Battalion Chief Mike White also preferred to talk about veterans other than himself and again emphasized sacrifices made rather than glamorous stories. “It’s on this day we reflect on the sacrifice of really incredible, incredible people,” said White. White read three letters written by soldiers to their loved ones just prior to their deaths: one written by a 15-year-old drummer boy during the Civil War, one scribbled on the back of family photographs by a captured American lieutenant in World War II and one written by a soldier about to embark on a mission to flush 600 Taliban fighters out of the mountains in Afghanistan. “I hope as we reflect on these letters and what the meaning of Veterans Day is, the stories that are out there, I challenge all of us as citizens, not just of this great country, but even of our community, be involved,” White said. “Step up, get involved in a cause bigger than yourself. That’s what makes this country worth fighting for: the people.” The Riverton Jazz Band provided entertainment in the form of upbeat patriotic swing tunes. The auditorium lobby had a number of military displays courtesy of the Riverton Historical Preservation Commission and Layne Schoenfeld, featuring

guns, replica grenades, fatigues and other gear. “We want to thank our veterans,” said Mayor Trent Staggs. “Thank you for your service and for all that you do. We recognize that although our inalienable rights to right, liberty and property come from God, they are nonetheless politically protected and therefore we rely on our armed forces to defend that freedom.” l

Kenley Taylor, first place winner of the Veterans’ Day essay contest, shows off her certificate in front of a military display.

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How Jordan School District boundary changes will affect Riverton By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


n Oct. 28, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs livestreamed an interview with Jordan School District Board of Education representative Matt Young as part of Riverton’s ongoing LIVE with the Mayor video feature. “This conversation is timely, in the sense that these boundary adjustments in the Jordan School District are happening now,” said Staggs. “This conversation is not only timely but is going to be very good, very informative for all of our residents.” A number of Rose Creek residents will be sent to Bluffdale Elementary, and some of the Southland community will be sent to Riverton Elementary, but most Rose Creek and Southland residents will be sent to Rosamond Elementary. “There were far more elementary changes to the Riverton area schools than I had anticipated,” said Young. “In large part, that was because of some of the overcrowding issues that are occurring in the South Jordan schools. As our administration looked at how to meet that need of evening out our populations, they looked to our Riverton schools to accommodate some of that growth.” Riverton is perhaps most significantly impacted by the middle school boundary changes. A good chunk of residents currently zoned for Oquirrh Hills will be rezoned to attend a new middle school being built in Bluffdale when it opens in the fall of 2020. “That is a significant impact to that community,” Young said. “They’re used to attending primarily Oquirrh, which is closer, and we acknowledge that it is closer. But as we looked at the utilization of our assets and how to best plan long term, we knew that as Bluffdale continues to grow, there would be an increasing demand for a middle school out there.” The Jordan School District does own property close to the asof-yet unnamed high school being built in Herriman and could theoretically build a middle school there instead of in Bluffdale. But that property is already a stone’s throw away from South Hills Middle

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School. “The long-term concern was that one of those schools would ultimately be under-utilized. And so to spread that out, we chose the Bluffdale site,” said Young. Some bussing will be required, but ultimately, that would have been necessary at either of the proposed sites. Riverton students from the Monarch Meadows area will now go to South Hills Middle School. All of Rose Creek will be shifted to Oquirrh Hills Middle School, so they will no longer need to cross Bangerter Highway to get to school. Staggs addressed some concerns from residents that the rezones would still force some students to cross perilously busy roads. “With this change, there will be some that will not have to cross Bangerter Highway, but on the south side, there in that Monarch Meadows area, with this change, there will be other students who will need to cross Bangerter,” said Staggs. Bangerter isn’t the only busy road that will pose challenges but also the extremely fastpaced Mountain View Corridor. “Mountain View Corridor, while a wonderful asset for our transportation needs out here, has created, to say the least, significant concerns with regards of how to appropriately boundary kids,” said Young. The school board understands these concerns and will provide transportation for anybody who is required to cross Mountain View Corridor or areas of Bangerter that lack overpasses. “Whether that’s a shuttle service, true bus route, we’re still in the process,” Young said. “But we’ve authorized our transportation department to begin looking at those routes.” Over the course of the redistricting process, the school board has put out several surveys where residents could leave feedback on the three redistricting options. According to Young, they received more than 800 pages of comments on the first survey alone.

“I’ve been receiving a lot of email, primarily from Riverton and Bluffdale residents,” Young said. “I am just so grateful that I have the privilege of representing the Riverton area. People feel strongly about it, but they’re polite, they’re straightforward, and they’re looking for solutions. I really appreciate the feedback people are providing me directly.” “It’s a great contrast to the national dialogue that usually happens,” Staggs said. “The civility that may not be there in some part, it is here in our community.” Parents wishing to have their children attend a school they are not zoned for must go through a rather complicated permitting process. It can be done online, and applications will open on Dec. 1. l

Final boundaries for elementary schools in Jordan School District. (Courtesy Jordan School District website)

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esert Star’s latest parody takes on the Christmas villain that everybody loves to hate! No, not the Grinch... The Grouch! This zany parody opens November 8th and it’s a hilarious musical melodrama for the whole family you don’t want to miss! This show, written by Ben Millet, with an update for 2018 and directed by Scott Holman, follows the story of the Whoville Orphan Sisters as they attempt to save their Christmas future, and presents, from the notorious Grouch. Also hot on the Grouch’s trail is the handsome huntsman, Hunter Hyrum Y, who blames the green goon for the loss of his arm. The team pursues the Grouch into the snowy mountains surrounding their town, only to encounter an even greater threat... one so dangerous, they just might need to join forces with the Grouch himself in order survive! Comedy, romance, and adventure are all on the docket for this delightful send up of the classic children’s story, as well as topical humor torn from today’s headlines. “How The Grouch Stole Christmas” runs November 8th through January 5th, 2019. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s

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December 2018 | Page 13

Winter driving safety: Snow falls and you slow down


he long line at the local auto body shop isn’t just for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. With temperatures dropping and leaves soon to follow, it’s time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. 1) Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of knowing road conditions before ever leaving the house. Utah Department of Transportation has more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. Twitter feeds also provide alerts about traffic situations throughout the state, including roads up the canyon. Unified Police have a canyon alerts Twitter page for to update traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as tire requirements and road closures. 2) Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. If only two new tires are placed on the car, make sure to put them in the rear. With the falling snow, it’s necessary to have quality wiper blades that ensures clear views rather than leaving water streaks across windshield impairing your ability to drive. The wiper

fluid reservoir also needs to be replenished before the first snows hit. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over. A system should be in place to check everything in your car such as the battery power and your cooling system. Antifreeze helps the vehicle withstand the freezing temperatures. The vehicle should also be stocked with safety items in the case of an emergency. The Utah Department of Public Safety suggests on its website to have jumper cables, a tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and batteries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and hand warmers. 3) Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slow. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In drivers education courses, prospective

drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front. All movements should be gradual rather than sudden. This means avoiding sharp turns, accelerating slowly and braking softly. Though you may have four-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive, this does not give license to drive recklessly in winter conditions. This means staying off cruise control as well. The need for seat belts increases tenfold during the winter. With car seats, place coats or blankets around the children after strapping them in. Coats can limit the effectiveness of a car seat. Stay alert. Deer become more active after storms. Black ice causes many crashes and that ice typically looks like wet spots. If skidding does take place, steer in the direction the back of the car is going and ease off the gas. Remember to keep the gas tank at least halfway full, it will keep the gas tank from freezing and if you get stuck in a traffic jam, you may need as much gas as possible. 4) Time For those of you who struggle with punctuality, this becomes paramount. Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination means you won’t rush, decreasing the chances of a crash. l

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It just got real for these teens By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

The Reality Town experience is provided to ninth-graders through Jordan School District’s Work-based Learning team. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


tudents at Copper Mountain Middle are only 12-15 years old but they are on their way to becoming adults. “You feel like it’s so long away,” said ninth-grader Peyton Bisquera. “But if you think about it, it’s just a couple years that we’re going to be in college and living on our own.” Counselors at CMMS held a Career Week in October to get students thinking about their impending futures. On Oct. 25, students visited Reality Town, job shadowed at a career of their choice and learned about careers in the news business at an assembly. “Hopefully, they will learn about a career that interests them and want to learn more,” said Teresa Bills, a counselor at CMMS. “Students who know what they want to be when they grow up have a goal that will help them focus as they progress in their education.” Walker Hurren had the kind of experience counselors hoped students would during Career Week. “I thought my dad’s work would be boring because he basically sits behind a desk all day, but I really liked it,” said Walker, who job-shadowed at an advertising agency. Walker said he felt comfortable in the office environment and was excited to recognize familiar math and graphing concepts during his dad’s daily tasks. Inspired by his eye-opening experience, Walker has begun taking an online advertising course to prepare him for a future job. Many other eighth-graders job shadowed family members to learn how their interests and abilities can be applied to a career. Zoe Tidwell discovered that she liked the environment of her aunt’s hair salon.

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“I at least know now that I like socializing with people,” she said. “I don’t like being in a confined space—I like to be on my feet and be with other people.” She was also surprised to realize she already understands the chemistry stylists use to formulate perm solutions and hair dyes. “It was exactly what I’m learning in science so it was a cool connection,” said Zoe, who loves science. Maggie Featherstone shadowed her aunt, a real estate agent, and spent the day chatting with clients. “I love talking,” said Maggie. “I think this helped me to get to know what I’m interested in. I want a job where I can talk and a job that helps people.” Rachel Kinikini had a similar experience at a health clinic, shadowing her mom last year. “It really confirmed to me that, even though I don’t know what I want to do yet, I want to help people,” she said. Zoe said the focus on careers from college and career awareness classes and Career Week activities helped her realize that the choices she makes now affect her future. “It’s what you do now—all the clubs you go into, all the volunteering work that you do— that gets you into these jobs,” she said. Claire Hyer is already preparing for her dream job of a stay-at-home mom. “When I babysit, I find so many techniques that you use with kids so I think that will help me be a better mom when I’m older,” said Claire, who is a big fan of reverse psychology. While eighth graders were out in the workforce, ninth graders participated in a Reality

Town and seventh graders attended a careers assembly. “These types of experiences give students an opportunity to get a taste of what their future could be like,” said Bills. In Reality Town, ninth-graders were assigned a career and income (based on their GPA) then made purchases such as a house, cars, groceries, insurance and entertainment packages without running out of money. “This helps me understand better how much things actually do cost,” said ninth-grader Peyton Adams. “It gives me a better sense of what adult life would be like.” Career Week also offered lunchtime games and activities encouraging students to plan for their futures now. “If we keep doing planning stuff like this, I think it’ll really help us prepare and be ready to face being an adult when it comes,” said Isaac Wardle, a ninth grader who wants to be a surgeon. Seventh graders take required courses in college and career awareness and have a few assemblies each year to expose them to various career options. Seventh graders Easton Jettie and Grace Flinn are both interested in becoming reporters. At an assembly given by KSL’s morning news team, they learned about the variety of job opportunities at a news station. They were surprised to learn how early some have to wake up to cover the news. Seventh-grader Addison Freeland doesn’t know what career she will choose but said school activities and classes have provided her with more options to consider. l

December 2018 | Page 15

Major boundary changes affect entire district By Julie Slama and Jet Burnham


fter weeks of receiving feedback through survey responses, letters, emails, Facebook threads, texts and phone calls, the Jordan Board of Education presented and approved the final boundary changes for the 2019–20 school year. Details can be found at boundary.jordandistrict. org. Unlike previous options A, B and C that affected almost every school, the final decision, option D, announced Nov. 13, only adjusted the boundaries of 20 of the existing 36 elementary schools and most middle and high schools. “Our choices have not been easy,” Board President Janice Voorhies said. “But they are the result of thousands of hours of analysis and discussion by our staff and board members in conjunction with the preferences and hopes of our local communities. It’s obvious that students matter to everyone involved.” The last major upheaval related to boundaries was when the District split, forming Canyons School District in 2009. Change was inevitable with the opening of five new schools next fall — elementary schools in Bluffdale and Herriman; a middle school in South Jordan and the rebuilding of West Jordan Middle School; a new Herriman high school; and a Bluffdale middle school for 2020–2021 — to ease overcrowding in many rapidly growing communities with the approval of the $245 million bond approved by voters in 2016. “The board is realigning almost all school boundaries to balance student numbers more equally and give our students opportunities for the best education possible,” Voorhies said. The changes include Majestic Elementary closing its doors in the 2020–21 school year. The school building will be repurposed for other programs yet to be determined, said district spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf. “It was a surprise,” Majestic teacher Heather Reisch said. “There had been rumors that they were going to close Majestic because our enrollment is small. But they made improvements to our school two years ago, so I thought with that huge investment that they would not be closing us.” Every school in the district was evaluated during the 18-month process. Concerns about safety, fiscal responsibility, aligning elementary through high school feeder systems, allowing for expected growth in school population and the desire to create longer-lasting boundaries were taken into account, board member Darrell Robinson said. Every step of the process was open to the public, who were invited to a series of open houses to express their concerns and opinions. Riesgraf said the board was aware the changes were likely to be met with resistance. “We know boundary alignment is difficult on parents, but before we ask for another bond, we need to be responsible and know if we are using every inch of school space we can — and

Page 16 | December 2018

we know that there is some space on the west side,” she said. Boundary changes, initially drawn by Jordan District Planning Services and administration, were adjusted based on parent feedback and finalized by board members. “Everyone wants change to happen—to someone else’s kid,” Robinson said. “Most people don’t want to move.” In the end, more students stayed where they are than were moved, Robinson said. But many parents reacted to earlier options A and B by uniting together to express concerns about school proximity, safety and alignment of feeder schools. Many parents were concerned about overcrowded schools. The board addressed this issue by approving new rules governing permits, (details can be found at boundary.jordandistrict.org). Robinson said permits have been a problematic issue for many areas. Beginning Dec. 1, students can request a permit to a school outside their boundary only if it is at less than 90 percent capacity. Permits will be limited at schools such as Jordan Ridge Elementary, which currently has a high number of permitted students. However, it is transitioning to a traditional calendar next year that should reduce its capacity by 25 percent. Foothills Elementary in Riverton also will transition to traditional schedule, while Blackridge Elementary in Herriman, Fox Hollow Elementary in West Jordan and South Jordan Elementary will remain on a year-round schedule. South Jordan parents were concerned about overcrowding at Eastlake Elementary, where a kiva and a computer lab were turned into classrooms last year. This year, 36 students in the sixth-grade Chinese dual immersion class were combined into the former computer lab with both the English and Chinese teacher, as there were not enough classrooms. The school has four portables, which is the limit for schools in the Daybreak community. Board member Tracy Miller said those and other concerns were reviewed in the 879 single-spaced pages of survey results as well as the public comments collected during the eighthour open house on Oct. 23 to create option C, which pleased more Monte Vista parents. “We looked at the long-term (enrollment) of Monte Vista and realized those options were just shifting students to another school that would result in overcrowding there, so we decided that we’d need to look at other options — add on to a school, move existing programs, build a new school or do what we need to help where the growth is,” she said, adding that Monte Vista already has 11 portable classrooms. Growing communities on the west side were upset when overcrowding concerns led to initial options that rezoned children out of schools nearest their homes.

Majestic Elementary in West Jordan is scheduled to close its doors in the 2020-21 school year with the approval of Jordan School District’s Board of Education’s boundary changes. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Concerns about Jordan Ridge Elementary students on school permits versus neighborhood kids who walk to school were brought up during the boundary discussions. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Deborah Ivie said with Option A, B and C, she would have had to drive past one middle school to get to the proposed boundary middle school. “It would literally double the time to get to school for both junior high and high school,” she said. She, like many parents, wasn’t anxious to have her kids attend a school that would be too far for them to be able to walk home from after-school activities. Projected growth was a consideration that caused the board to implement a two-step boundary transition for three middle schools— Fort Herriman, Oquirrh Hills and South Hills. Boundaries were drawn for the 2019–20 school year and will be altered again for 2020–21.

In contrast, Oquirrh Elementary PTA president and school crossing guard Beth LeFevre was happy her West Jordan neighborhood was rezoned because her kids will move to a less-crowded school. Ultimately, the board tried, whenever possible, to limit the number of students who had to change schools, Robinson said. Voorhies said the feedback from residents through each step of the process illustrated the support and care families have for their schools. “I love that most communities love their current schools and care enough about their children’s education to become involved in the process,” she said. “It is very satisfying to see that citizens take their responsibilities seriously by seeing that their voices are heard.” l

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Permits play a big role in boundary changes By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


everal hot “areas” in Bluffdale, Riverton and Herriman kept board members busy fielding questions, criticisms, requests and expressions of appreciation almost nonstop for the weeks leading up to the final boundary decision on Nov. 13. Board members listened and explained their decisions, assuaged concerns and stamped out rumors. “This is the toughest thing I have ever done in my life,” said board member Darrell Robinson, who committed to return every call and email. “It has been a very hard month.” He said he wanted to ensure everyone had access to correct information and the opportunity to be heard. As the board considered transitioning Blackridge Elementary in Herriman and Foothills Elementary in Riverton to traditional schedule, Robinson asked for community input. He hosted an impromptu meeting to provide information on the two options. Ultimately, he said it his decision, but he wanted to do what the community preferred. Blackridge overwhelming voted to stay on year-round—65 percent of parents and 74 per-

cent of staff voted to continue for at least one more year. Foothills chose to change to traditional schedule next fall. Of 331 parents who responded, 62 percent voted for the traditional schedule. Among the 30 staff members who responded, 13 percent preferred traditional. Complications with boundaries arose as the new middle school in Bluffdale won’t open until the 2020–21 school year. Fort Herriman, Oquirrh Hills and South Hills middle schools will be using a two-step boundary transition to ease into that change. They will follow Option C Transition for the 2019–20 school year, then change to Option C for the 2020–21 school year. Details can be found at www.boundary. jordandistrict.org. To ease the disruption this will cause to students, the district will have what Robinson calls “a generous permit policy both ways.” They will try to accommodate any student who requests a permit to transition to the new school right now, ahead of the change, or who requests a permit to finish out their middle school career where they are in spite of the boundary changes.

New permits rules will affect schools that have accepted too many in the past. However, current fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders who choose to finish out next year at their current school instead of moving to the school their neighborhood has been changed to will have first priority for permits. Permit requests for next year will be accepted beginning Dec 1. Further details about permit rules can be found at boundary.jordandistrict.org. Permit changes do not directly affect students in dual immersion language programs such as the Portuguese DLI program at Bluffdale Elementary, the Spanish DLI at Herriman Elementary and the Chinese DLI at Foothills Elementary. First priority for permits to these schools will go to siblings of current DLI participants and to students living within the school’s boundary. Decisions about the transfer of the Chinese DLI and the ALPS middle school programs to new middle schools are currently under review. l

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December 2018 | Page 17

Tests? Fitting in? It’s more than that as student anxiety increases By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com It may be that an elementary student is fearful to come to school and once there, he is afraid to enter the school. If that student makes it to the classroom, often he is unable to cope or focus. In secondary schools, feelings can be internalized, leading to disengagement and depression. “There is likely an equal distribution of anxiety and stress K (kindergarten) through 12 (12th grade), however associated behaviors will manifest in different ways,” said Judy Petersen, Granite School District’s college and career readiness director. “Younger students are more likely to act out and struggle to regulate their behavior. Older students tend to internalize their struggles until they manifest as self-harm and/or suicide ideation.” Veteran teacher Karen Larson, who instructs English at Canyons District’s Brighton High, learned that first hand. “The anxiety level is off the charts,” she said. “Students worry about paying for college, competing in the global marketplace for a job to support themselves, failing, being on their own and having that responsibility, what’s going on in the world.” Larson, who has students keep a journal that she tells them she reviews, has read those entries and more, including a student trying to harm himself. “I immediately let people know. By looking through his phone, they learned there were more pressures coming at him. What is happening in the world — shootings, climate change, cyberbullying — just adds to anxiety,” she said, adding that before reading the journal entry, she had no idea that the student attempted suicide. Sometimes, teachers and counselors recognize anxiety, such as being nervous before a test, but other times, it can be disguised as anger, illness, apathy or other behaviors that look entirely different, said Torilyn Gillett, Canyons School District school counseling program specialist. “Everyone will feel a level of stress in their lives,” she said. “Anxiety is when that stress becomes a point at which the person can no longer accomplish their everyday tasks. Therefore, it is often that a student may not be able to concentrate and participate in academic learning nor complete assignments.” Anxiety in the classroom isn’t just hitting students locally, said Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialist McKinley Withers. “Nationwide, the suicide rates have increased,” he said. “Hopelessness, depression, anxiety all contribute. This is a generation needing different support than we’ve seen in the past. Much of their social world is fragile, contained to a device. There is a definite biological need to be face to face, to have that human interaction and touch, that is being reduced by technology. Now some peers are lacking self-confidence and anxiety grows as they text their peers next to them and sit isolated with their earbuds.” The Child Mind Institute reported in 2015 that more than 17 million U.S. children and adolescents have or have had a diagnosable mental

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illness — and 80 percent of the kids with anxiety don’t get treatment. According to the National Education Association, nearly two-thirds of college students reported in 2016 “overwhelming anxiety,” up from 50 percent just five years earlier. For seven straight years, anxiety has been the top complaint among college students seeking mental health services, with nearly one quarter saying it affects their academic performance. Petersen said that social workers report a higher number of students with behavior issues related to anxiety. “Students seem to be more anxious about safety at school, away from their parents, especially in K (kindergarten) through 6 (sixth grade), by negative influence of social media, and issues related to their status — and their family’s status — related to immigration,” she said. Gillett said that anxiety at a young age often centers around separation, being worried about their parents when they’re at school, or being anxious in school, speaking to teachers or in front of a classroom. Sometimes, children worry about a variety of everyday things and are filled with stressful thoughts, Gillett said. “Some worry is excessive and not normally warranted,” she said. Testing and academics also may play a factor, said Granite School District parent Robyn Ivins, who has taught in a classroom. “Teens today are really pressured from a young age to succeed so by the time they’re in high school, there’s real pressure to get a 36 on the ACT (college standardized test) and have a 4.0 (grade-point average),” she said. “It’s really taken a toll. Students are struggling to get the best classes, the best teachers, the best of everything. Sometimes they feel the pressure from parents or their peers. Sometimes it’s pressure they put on themselves.” The National Education Association said that these teens grew up in classrooms governed by No Child Left Behind, the federal law that introduced high-stakes standardized testing to every public school in America. Starting in elementary school, instead of making art and new friends, the NEA said they learned to write full-on sentences in timed tests. These are the same students who instead of having hours of art and recess, attend pep rallies to pump them up for state testing. Even the stress of teachers needing to meet certain standards may be adding to the picture, wrote University of Michigan professor Daniel P. Keating in “Dealing with Stress at School in an Age of Anxiety.” Ivins said certain anxiety issues, such as families struggling, may impact a number of Cottonwood High students, with some of the 1,700 students coming from refuge families. She and others try to take away that anxiety by providing food and needed items through the school pantry, which is open to all students. “In high school, there are all sorts of pressures from sleeping with a boyfriend or getting asked to a dance and wearing the cutest clothes

The Zitting family attends Park Lane Elementary’s STEM Night. Counselors recommend families spend time together to help build bonds to make students feel safe and valued. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

to where their next meal will come from and how their family will cope with pressures,” she said. Ivins, who said she’s not an expert, has seen the effects of social anxiety maximized through technology, such as social media. “There is a false look of the world when something is posted on Snapchat,” she said. “Whether it’s students posting or the parents, what’s there is not the whole story. They’re only posting the best. They see that their friends are succeeding, but what isn’t posted is a child having a tantrum or getting a C on a test. It becomes a struggle to lead the perfect life they see their peers have.” Gillett said sometimes, youth can’t fully understand messages and posts on social media. “A friend may say something, and your child takes it as a harsh rejection, when it’s not meant that way at all. Or they see all the great things that people do, but that’s only one percent of their life that is posted. We tend not to post our whole stories, just great accomplishments, not our normal days. Often that results in feelings of not measuring up when they compare themselves on what they see posted,” she said. Withers agrees. “Social media sucks kids in and creates anxiety in who sees what or how they measure up. Kids bullied at school feel less anxious nowadays than those who have been cyberbullied. Online, you don’t know who has seen what and you feel your whole life has been broadcast. You have no idea how far it went or who talked about it,” he said. The accessibility of having a smartphone also has led to more concerns beyond social media. “The increased screen time affects students,” Gillett said. “Constant access to the world can be a good thing, but it also means that the young are no longer sheltered from troubles, the next school

shooting, bombing or even bullying, as we were when we young. Sometimes, they can’t process it at a young age. We need to build in escape time daily.” She said that even adding meditation, relaxation, deep breathing or taking a few minutes each day for a mindfulness app will help take away panic and anxiety feelings. “Even a walk without technology gives good exercise for both the body and the brain,” Gillett said. She also recommends that having family time as well as putting away devices at dinner will help build bonds to make students feel safe and valued. Sleep, about eight or nine hours nightly, is one the best things for students as well, Gillett said. “Just as your phone needs to be plugged in to recharge, your brain is the same way. It needs to recuperate,” she said. Gillett isn’t anti-technology. “It’s a factor of the world we live in and we need to find a healthy way to navigate through it. Technology developed super quickly and now we’re seeing the adverse effects and are understanding them. We need to help students make healthy choices that will support and protect them in the world they live in,” she said. Teachers are becoming more aware of how students cope with anxiety and how their relationships are critical, Gillett said. “Some anxiety, such as their ACT scores or fitting in the crowd, is normal, but it’s when there is hysterical crying or depression, those are warning signs and having a positive, strong relationship where a student can talk to and trust an adult is important,” she said, adding that secondary schools have become more pro-active in sharing the SafeUT app or suicide hotlines with students.

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“We’re taking away the barriers in talking about mental illness. Any mental illness is a risk factor for suicide.” Suicide prevention education begins in seventh and eighth grades in Canyons District from warning signs to recognizing where to get help to good coping skills. Hope squads, students who are “the eyes and ears” of secondary schools who help identify warning signs and seek help from adults, are in place in a number of secondary schools across the state. In September, Canyons showed, “Angst,” a movie about students dealing with anxiety and had a panel discussion afterward. More than 500 families attended, Gillett said. “Anxiety has become a hot topic for parents and we have seen an increase in discussion and in seeing students who previously didn’t know where to get help,” she said. Olympus High in Granite School District also showed the movie in October and Skyline High held a suicide night Oct. 16. Several parent outreach meetings on mental health and suicide prevention are held throughout Granite School District. In Jordan District, where Herriman High community experienced seven student suicide deaths last year, 36 psychologists were added this year so every elementary has a full-time health and mental professional to match those already in place at the secondary schools. Petersen said there also has been an increase in the number of students — and their parents — reporting that they feel anxious and stressed.

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“We do not track this specifically, but we have seen an increase in ‘anxiety and stress’ used as reasons for not attending school and an increase in the number of students — and their parents — requesting a home instruction placement for the same rather than a traditional school schedule,” she said, adding that all Granite District staff are trained on what to look for and how to talk with struggling students. Murray School District Director of Personnel and Student Services Darren Dean said school personnel do not diagnose anxiety, but help with resources. “We train administrators and teachers to work with the parent on accommodations in the school setting that will help the student to be successful,” he said, adding that services include meeting with school counselors or extending referrals to an outside agency for counseling services. Withers said while school districts aren’t designed to treat mental health, Jordan District supports students and provides families with resources, including Jordan’s Family Education Center where students can receive eight weeks of free counseling services. Withers said there is even an anxiety group that meets regularly. Gillett said that some immediate changes such as healthy eating and sleeping can help. “By setting goals and exercising daily habits of living a healthy life, students are building protective factors against anxiety,” she said. “If those are already in place, then that routine will help when anxiety or depression comes. Balance is something we need to learn for ourselves and for our children.” l

Groundbreaking for New Daybreak Community Center SpringHouse Village at Daybreak, which opened earlier this year, is an active adult community catering to those 55 and better. South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey and South Jordan Chamber ambassador Laurie Snarr recently joined company executives and new homeowners to break ground on the development's 10,000-square-foot community center. It is expected to open in late 2019. Built by OakwoodLife, a division of Oakwood Homes, the development brings a new resort-style living concept to the master-planned community of Daybreak—a community within a community--where homeowners can enjoy staying fit, being healthy, learning new skills, volunteering, and making new friendships—in short, taking advantage of their next “best” chapter in life. It’s a place where homeowners can scale down but not slow down.

Rich Sonntag (VP of Residential Development at Daybreak) and Ryan Smith (President of Oakwood Homes Utah) are joined by South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey and Ambassador Laurie Snarr of the South Jordan Chamber.

SpringHouse Village homeowners help turn dirt for their future state-of-the-art community center.

SpringHouse Village includes more than 450 homes with low-maintenance, main-level living and landscaped grounds; access to Daybreak amenities, including its lake, trails, shops and restaurants; and use of the soon-to-be Spring House community center with pool, spa, exercise and movement rooms, pickleball and bocce ball courts and more. Uniquely OakwoodLife, this community is creating built-in connections for an ongoing active lifestyle…a convenient location where residents can Come to Life with OakwoodLife. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SPRINGHOUSE VILLAGE:


Ryan Smith, president of Oakwood Homes Utah, speaks to guests in attendance at the SpringHouse Village community center groundbreaking.

December 2018 | Page 19

Don’t let holiday activities break the bank! There’s lots of fun free events in the SLC area By Christy Jepson | christy@mycityjournals.com


he holidays are right around the corner and there are plenty of things to do in the Salt Lake Valley. Many of them are free. Here’s a list of activities that won’t put a dent in your budget and will provide fun for all. Herriman’s Night of Lights: Monday, Dec. 3 from 5-9 p.m. at City Hall and Crane Park (5355 W. Herriman Main St.). There will be a gingerbread contest, a visit with Santa, the tree lighting, a candy cane hunt, holiday crafts, food trucks, performances by Herriman Harmonyx and Herriman Orchestra, photo ops, and ice skating. There is a fee for ice skating (weather permitting), but everything else is free. Draper’s Candy Cane Hunt: Monday, Dec. 10 from 4-5 p.m. at the Draper Historic Park (12625 S. 900 East). This is a free family event sponsored by the Draper Parks and Recreation Department. Children ages 3-6 will hunt for thousands of candy canes that are scattered around the park and hidden in bushes and trees. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also arrive on a fire truck and will be available for photos under the gazebo. While you are in Draper, don’t forget to check out Draper’s Tree of Light (or sometimes called The Tree of Life), which is a big willow tree in the middle of Draper City Park (12500 S. 1300 East). This tree is decorated with more than 65,000 lights. Draper City first lit the tree for the Christmas season in 2008 and each year more lights have been added. The lights turn on at dusk and stay on until midnight everyday until New Years. This has become a popular holiday destination for people statewide. Gingerbread House Contest in South Jordan: Gingerbread houses will be on display in the Gale Center Auditorium (10300 S. Beckstead Lane) from Nov. 27-Dec. 6 for People’s Choice Award voting. The hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Light the Night at the South Jordan City: On Friday, Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the South Jordan City Plaza at 1600 W. Towne Center Drive. There will be pictures with Santa, hot cocoa, gingerbread houses, the unveiling of the

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candy windows display featuring artists Jennifer Vesper and Krista Johansen. Visit Santa on Towne Center Drive in South Jordan: On Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m., Dec. 8 from 3-5 p.m., Dec. 14 from 6-8 p.m., Dec. 15 from 3-5 p.m., Dec. 21 from 6-8 p.m., and Dec. 22 from 3-5 p.m. (1600 W. Towne Center Drive) Riverton’s Holly Days in the Park: On Nov. 26, 30 and Dec. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverton City Park, large pavilion, 1452 W. 12600 South. This free family event includes: the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire engine, hot chocolate and warm buttery scones, and walking through the park reading from the giant-sized storybook pages of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” There will also be vendor booths so visitors can get some holiday shopping done. Christmas Night of Music: This 3rd annual event will be on Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at the Riverton High School auditorium and will be a night filled with a community choir of over 100 voices and a local orchestra. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Riverton High School is located at 12476 S. Silverwolf Way. This is a free event. Salt Lake City: If you are downtown celebrating the season be sure to drop by and look at Macy’s holiday candy window displays at City Creek Center. Also in Salt Lake City, on Dec. 17 is the 32nd Annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This free event will be filled with holiday music and fun. There will be musical numbers by the Bonner Family. This event starts at 7 p.m. Santa Is Coming to Town in West Jordan: On Thursday, Dec. 20 from 6-8 p.m. there will be a craft, a coloring station, story time with Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa and cookies, carolers, and a visit with Santa. Santa will be arriving at 6 p.m. sharp so don’t be late. This event will be located in the City Hall Community Room at 8000 S. Redwood Road. Saturday with Santa: Christmas Around the World: On Saturday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. families can come visit with Santa, enjoy food

Two boys sit on the laps of Santa and Mrs. Claus during Holly Days at the Riverton City Park. (Photo credit Angie Meine)

tasting from places around the world, crafts and games and entertainment. This event is free and is sponsored by Taylorsville Preservation Committee and will be held at the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center, 1488 W. 4800 South in Murray. Back for the second year at The Shops at South Town in Sandy is Chistmas in the Wizarding World. Step into the world of a wintry Hogsmeade village that features unique merchandise from the “Fantastic Beasts” and “Harry Potter” films. It is free to walk through and will be opened from now until Jan. 21. Even though it is not free, there is another activity in Sandy that is inexpensive when it comes to ticket prices. The Dickens’ Christmas

Festival at the Mountain America Exposition Center (9575 S. State Street) is produced and organized by Olde World Historical Council and claims to be a “unique and unusual entertainment and shopping experience.” From fortune tellers, to old English shops, the “real” Father Christmas, period costumes, street theater, puppet shows, a mini-production of “Scrooge” and visits from the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ticket prices are $3.50 for children and $5.50 for adults. l

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‘Wait till you see what’s next’ for Riverton High performing arts department By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


n November, Riverton High School’s Performing Arts Department performed “In the Heights,” a musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. But wait ’till you see what’s next. “Wait Till You See What’s Next” is what’s next. That’s the title of the upcoming Broadway Revue at RHS. The song that inspired the title for the show is just one of 25 Broadway hits students will perform for audiences Jan. 4 and 7 at 7 p.m. “It’s one of our highlights because we get to represent so many shows,” said Clin Eaton, theater teacher at RHS. “We have a good cross-section of old and new productions.” Performing individually, in small groups and as a whole class, the students in the music/dance/theater (MDT) class will showcase their skills. “They’re very talented kids,” said Eaton. To audition for a spot in the show, all 26 students in the MDT class performed three solos for their classmates. “We listen to 78 solos in class,” said Eaton. “The top ones get put in the Revue.” Kelly DeHaan, music director at Hale Theater and at West Jordan High School, will accompany each musical number. He will also sing the title song “Wait Till You See What’s Next.” The revue exposes theater students to a variety of dancing and singing styles. Several guest choreographers have been invited to work with students on select scenes. Eaton said students learn something different from each choreographer, gaining skills in a variety of styles of dance to enhance their resume. “Students love getting to work with guest artists,” Eaton said. “The broader the range of experience, the more options they have for their future.” Guest choreographers include Melanie Cartwright, Kori Wakamatsu, Addison Welch and Nathan Balser, who has per-

formed at the Tony Awards and on Broadway. Wakamatsu, a former RHS teacher who now teaches at BYU, has been a guest choreographer for every Broadway Revue since they began in 2005. She loves working with the high school students. “It allows me to work with a population that may not otherwise do a lot of this kind of dance,” she said. “It exposes them to a different style and hopefully prepares them for any endeavors once out of school.” Staley Banks, a sophomore, said the experience has helped him improve his dancing abilities. And he has fun performing with friends. Sarajane Hale, a senior, is looking forward to being part of her second Revue. She said each number will touch the audience in one way or another. “All the numbers are different, but they all have an impactful message for the audience because not a single person in the audience is the same,” she said. Eaton expects a good turnout for the show. He said the community has always been supportive of RHS productions. “Utah definitely is a popular place for musicals,” he said. Eaton said Eccles Theater has had a record year for season ticket holders for their touring Broadway shows. And Hale Theater, where Eaton and several of his students have performed, built a bigger theater to meet local demand and still have to add additional performances to accommodate their ticket holders. So, what’s next for the theater department after “Wait Till You See What’s Next”? Feb. 21–26, RHS will be the first school in Jordan School District to perform “Peter and the Starcatchers,” winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Play in 2014. Based on the first two

books of a series written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the show tells the backstory of the characters from “Peter Pan.” “It’s a fun, different, new take on the classic story of Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys and, of course, Captain Hook,” said Eaton. Eaton said the show has comedy, drama and magic. It will give actors an opportunity to play multiple characters and to experience a different style of show. “While we have the kids for three years here, we want them to have as big of cross-section of shows as we possibly can,” he said. Auditions for “Peter and the Starcatchers” are open to all RHS students and will be held Dec. 10. l

Students rehearse for their Broadway revue with guest choreographer Kori Wakamatsu. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

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Siblings led Mustangs 2018 girls tennis By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


erriman High School’s girls tennis team had not one but two sets of sisters competing this year. As it turned out, the sibling rivalry helped them have a fun season and a successful one also. “I think our season went really well,” Mustang head tennis coach Linda Richmond said. “A lot of our girls did well in state. Tennis is based a lot around family. If one sibling plays, then others will play, and it influences them to compete and play well.” The Mustangs placed second in Region 3 behind Riverton this season. That qualified them to participate at the state tournament. At the state tournament, they finished seventh, just ahead of American Fork. “The sisters were fantastic,” Richmond said. “The older girls were great with their younger sisters. I asked Emily (Swapp) what was your favorite thing about playing this year and she said, ‘Playing with my sister.’ It was very positive with our team.” As a freshman Emily Swapp made a big splash as the No. 3 singles player. She finished second in Region 3 with a 7-3 overall record and advanced to the semifinals in her bracket. She defeated Fremont’s Reagan Bolos 6-3, 6-1 in the first round and Bingham’s Anna Thomas 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semifinals. She lost to the eventual state champion from Lone Peak. “Emily started playing tennis when she was very young,” Richmond said. “She is out

there playing really hard, and she works just as hard as any other kid.” Her senior sister Megan also lost to the eventual state champion (Weber’s Jacque Dunyon). She closed out her career advancing to the quarterfinals. She was named Mountain America student-athlete of the month this fall. The other sister combo, Lily and Sophie Winder, also had a positive impact on the team. One of the Mustangs No. 2 doubles players, senior McKaylee Jensen, suffered an injury with only two weeks remaining in the regular season. The team of Madi Hansen and Brittney Richins took advantage of the opportunity. They won the Region 3 championship and won their first round state match 6-2, 6-0 over a team from Granger. Jensen was also a recipient of the Academic All-State award. She maintains a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and had been a contributor on the varsity team until she was injured. “We never have academic problems with our student-athletes,” Richmond said. “We have incredible people, and they focus not only on their individual game. They are amazing individuals.” Junior Sydney Reading finished second in region at the No. 2 singles position. She advanced to the second round at state by defeating Chole Tapacio from Granger 6-0, 6-1. She lost in the second round also to the eventual state champion from Lone Peak.

The family atmosphere around the Mustang tennis team comes from more than just the camaraderie, they are a family on and off the court. (Linda Richmond/Herriman tennis)

Richmond said consistent play is important for her team members to progress. “It can be expensive to play indoors in the winter,” Richmond said. “I have players spend four hours a day playing. The players that are really serious we work on the mental game and how to play matches better. The experienced players have coaches that teach them good technique. With the less experienced players, we work on strokes and development.”

The No. 1 doubles team of Callie Davis and Meg Finlay won a region championship with a 9-1 overall record. They lost in the first round of the state tournament. “All of the girls did a lot of outside work,” Richmond said. “Our season is pretty short, from about July to October. Most of these kids play year round, and to be successful, they have to play year-round. It can be a rough season if they don’t put in the extra effort.” l

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our family, our family, His family. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church congregation in Riverton is just that — a happy family in Christ. For 10 years, the Holy Trinity has called Riverton home. Now with nearly 300 members, there are weekly services, Bible study classes, daycare, preschool and even private education from kindergarten to fourth grade. The children’s education includes a broad teaching of liberal arts, with Latin and music lessons. All the teachers and staff are enthusiastic and devoted to the children. The weekly Divine service is conducted in the ancient tradition set forth by Jesus and his Apostles. With prayer, music, scripture readings and expansions by Pastor Al Borcher. The pattern was even used prior to Christ’s coming in the Jewish faith. Following the service, there is Sunday school and Bible class, for young and old, to learn from the scriptures. The children’s Sunday school is taught by volunteers, while the Bible class is taught by Pastor Borcher or Vicar Bennett. The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church follows the doctrine of Jesus and his Apostles before the teachings of man were introduced after His

ascension into heaven. Martin Luther, whose 500th reformation anniversary was celebrated last year, helped expose the original faith and teaching from that corruption. But even for a formal worship, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. There is no dress code. Parents are encouraged to bring their children. Pastor Borcher affirms that “Happy kids make noise, and that’s OK with me. All the kid’s call me Papa Pastor, and I love it. It is the best job I could ever expect to have.” In addition to worship services, there is a women’s group that focuses on charity and special projects. A men’s Bible study group is taught each Saturday morning at 8 a.m. at the local Jim’s Family Restaurant. In October, there is a reformation celebration that commemorates the anniversary of the work of Martin Luther over 500 years ago. He brought the gospel back to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles, before it was changed by men. The gospel is open, forgiving, loving, at the same time following Jesus teachings in Holy Scriptures. Weekly Sunday morning Divine service 9 a.m. Sunday school/Bible study 10:15 a.m. Location:


13249 S. Redwood Road in Riverton For the holiday season, there is a special spirit of celebration at the church. To commemorate the season there are services that honor the Redeemer and bring people closer together in the family of Christ. There are worship services for Advent and Christmas. Advent services: Wednesdays before Christmas on Dec. 5, 12, and 19 . Looking forward to Christ’s Second

Coming, 6:30 p.m. A fellowship meal precedes service @ 5:30 p.m. Christmas services: Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, Old-fashioned calndlelight Christmas worship 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, Candlelight service with Holy Communion 11 p.m. Christmas Morning, Dec. 25, Celebration with Holy Communion 9 a.m. l

JORDAN SCHOOL DISTRICT – Public Notices Special education child Find

Every child is entitled to a public education regardless of disability. Children with disabilities may go without services because families are not fully aware of their options. If you know of a child, birth to age 22, who is not receiving any education services or feel that your child may be in need of special education services, please contact your local school or call the Special Education Department in Jordan School District at (801)-567-8176.

Special education RecoRdS deStRuction

On January 31, 2019, Jordan School District will destroy special education records of students born prior to September, 1991. Former special education students who are 27 years old may request their records from the school last attended; otherwise, the records will be destroyed.

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Mustang volleyball nabs a place in school history By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Mustang players block a Bingham spike during the first round of the state tournament. (Justin Adams/City Journals)


s the volleyball season came to a close, Herriman High School’s team gathered for their traditional Halloween practice. The players dressed as football players, Spider-Man, a hot dog and a large Donald Trump blow-up doll and prepared for the final week. It was a week they could mark down as historical in Mustang lore. “We have played well, and playing good opponents brings out the best in our team,” Mustang head coach Bryan Nicholson said. The final regular season match pitted them against Copper Hills, the defending region champion. The Mustangs lost the first set but managed to take the next two before falling in the fourth to force the tie-breaker. Momentum had shifted, and they lost 15-6 in the final set to lose the match 3-2. Their effort did not go unnoticed by their coach. “Copper Hills is a good team, and they force us to play at our best,” Nicholson said. The match exhibited the strength of the team. The final set came down to several long rallies. Defensively, the Mustangs were able to maintain pressure to help them attack the Grizzlies. The big hitters are often the ones sending the blasts across the net and logging points toward victory, but those front and center blasts often get their start from the back-row defense unless the Mustangs thwart the opponent right at the net. While the other team focuses on the return, the Mustangs have learned to organize themselves to be in the best position. Senior Ellie Malovich led the team with 73 blocks. Behind her, senior Jasmyne Love and sophomore Sydnee Steel combined for nearly

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600 digs. “I think defensively we have been strong,” Nicholson said. “We got to a lot of balls that a few weeks ago we were not. We have made several adjustments, and they really adapted to that and caught on to quickly. We are heavy on seniors. It is a young group as far as experience goes.” The Mustangs returned two starters from a year ago but had several players with varsity experience. They finished the campaign with a 25-8 record, the most single season wins in school history. Their regular season success led to an eighth-place state finish. At the state tournament, they lost to Bingham in the first round, defeated Cyprus and Riverton before losing to American Fork to finish their season. Love led the team with 335 kills. The senior was also selected with Morgan Haws and Joecy Cummings to represent the Mustangs at the 6A senior All-Star game. “Jasmyne has done it all for this year,” Nicholson said. “She is kind of our go-to player, and everyone knows it, but she still able to do a lot, and the team really gets behind her.” Senior Hannah Freeman was named to the 6A Academic All-State team. The award recognizes student-athletes that have excelled in the classroom as well as the athletic competition. The Utah High School Activities Association considers this their most prestigious award. “I am super proud of their these girls, and I feel we have some momentum building for our program,” Nicholson said. l

December 2018 | Page 25



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reat Harvest Bread Co. has stood the test of time. Some who spent hours on college campuses in the late 1990s might remember portable Great Harvest stands, that served up warm and thick-cut slices of bread, at a price students could afford. That time was before food trucks and moving cuisines were a big hit “thing” in SLC. Great Harvest remains strong as a staple bread supplier, a café spot and a fresh baked choice for communities. The permanent locations continue to become more convenient. A new Great Harvest is open in South Jordan (3591 W. 11400 South) Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat. 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and closed Sunday. A few facts about Great Harvest (for bread and business stat enthusiasts) are: All Great Harvest locations are individually owned. They are now a franchise of about 300 stores nationwide, but are owned and operated by local bakers. They are a neighborhood-style bakery. The new South Jordan Great Harvest owner and operator Jason Pennock has been involved with Great Harvest with his partner Natalie since they were 20-year-old students. “We chose Great Harvest because of the lifestyle, the food and the connections with so many wonderful people along the way,” Pennock said. “We have owned the Draper Great Harvest for the past 13 years and have now decided to open this new location in South Jordan. We are thrilled to become part of the South Jordan community.” Great Harvest offers many types of breads. Their signature honey whole wheat is baked daily. These loaves are made with

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five simple, fresh ingredients: water, honey, stone-milled whole wheat flour, yeast and salt. In a time when many product labels are not as transparent as they could be, Great Harvest offers raw honesty. Their nutrition details are clear with no nine syllable words—a straightforward approach to mixing and making. Pennock asks with sincere concern for food consumers, “Have you ever looked at a bread label at the grocery store? Can you even pronounce half of what is on that label? That is what makes our bread unique—pure and simple ingredients, baked fresh every day right in our bakery.” Great Harvest also mills their wheat daily into brand-spanking new flour, to use for each Monday through Saturday baking routine. They have crisp components that have not come from a can or been sitting around on a bulk storage shelf. Their ingredients today are newer than yesterday’s. Great Harvest has many options to suit the savory, sweet, earthy or texture-craving tongue. Other breads include cinnamon burst (a recommended option for making french toast), ninegrain, beehive white, cranberry orange, tomato herb, nutty grain, white garlic cheddar, low carb bread, pumpkin chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, eggnog cake bread and lemon poppyseed. The list goes on, to dazzle any heel or soft center fan. They bake at least 10 varieties daily. Pennock happily manages a menu that changes monthly and seasonally. “Inside the café end of our business, we serve delicious sandwiches. The outside (the bread) is as good as the inside,” Pennock said. “Some of our specialties include a grilled turkey

pesto, Baja chipotle turkey, savory roast beef, turkey goddess (with creamy avocado dressing), harvest veggie...to name a few.” “We also do beautiful gift baskets. If you want to give great gifts, come see us,” Pennock said. They do client, neighbor and catering gifts as well as box lunches, dessert trays, breakfasts, business meeting meals, weddings and parties. “We want you to come by and taste the fresh baked difference,” he encouraged. Pennock has an energetic mood and obliging attitude. It is pleasant to shop where customers are appreciated and are welcomed with a warm slice of bread. Great Harvest offers that, together with commitment to serve great food. The staff is knowledgeable, experienced and excited. They are ready to suggest memorable-tasting treats, for the people of South Jordan and anyone lucky enough to be passing through. l

December 2018 | Page 27

Bears win state championship


To advance community, business, and civic-related interests to ensure continued improvement in the way of life.

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Summit Academy High School in Bluffdale won its first state football championship. (photo courtesy of Summit Academy)

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n its second attempt, Summit Academy High School’s football team won its first-ever state championship. As the sun set over the Great Salt Lake Nov. 10, the Bears took the field at Weber State University. Led by head coach Les Hamilton, they had overcome their new rivals, Juan Diego, to play for the 3A Utah High School Activities Association championship. “We work hard every year, and it’s hard to win that last one,” Hamilton said. “I am proud of these guys and what this represents.” The Bears defeated the North Sanpete Hawks 55-18 for the championship. They never trailed in the contest. The win closed out a successful season. The Bears cruised to a 3A south division championship. They compiled a 5-0 region record and finished 10-2 overall. The road to the championship was not an easy one. They lost two preseason games. The most implicating was a 35-24 defeat at the hands of the Grantsville Cowboys. The Bears offense was held to 15 yards rushing in the contest. Their second loss came at the hands of a powerful Cardinal Newman High School in California. The loss to the team from California catapulted the team toward an undefeated region schedule. It also opened the playbook offensively for the Bears. In their final five regular season game, they averaged 34 points per game. Senior Kasey Briggs led the team at quarterback. The Corner Canyon transfer threw for 2,176 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also ran for 288 yards and three touchdowns. “Kasey has gotten better as the season has

gone along,” Hamilton said. “He completed 68–69 percent of his passes all season. He has minimized the number of interceptions.” The Bears’ offense was more than one dimensional. Talmage Brown carried the ball 105 times and had 11 touchdowns. None of his carries were bigger than the 33-yard touchdown in the state semifinals. He turned the corner after stiff-arming the Juan Diego defender and turned on the jets for the score. His run solidified the Bears’ lead. The Bears had defeated North Sanpete earlier in the season 14-10. North Sanpete had not competed in a team sport state championship in 50 years. “We were really confident,” Hamilton said. “We have seen some improvement all year long. We knew North Sanpete was going to be tough defensively. We wanted to get up on them early. We needed to have good stops on defense and stop their run game.” Summit Academy started strong with the long opening kickoff return. Brown sprinted down the sideline to the North Sanpete 15-yard line. Three plays later, Briggs hit Astyn Brady cutting across the middle for the first touchdown. The Bears never looked back, leading 28-0 into the second quarter. Brown ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another in the game. Carson Wheaton led the Bears with 11 tackles on defense in the victory. Briggs also threw for three touchdowns. Hamilton is in his third year as the Bears’ head coach. The team last played in the state final in 2014 under the direction of Scott Gorringe. l

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It’s Silver Rush season By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


iverton High School student body officers are inviting students and community members to participate in a month of activities that will help earn money for charity during the school’s annual Silver Rush charity drive. “It’s really refreshing to set all of your troubles aside and not worry about what you need to do but worry about what you can do for somebody else,” said SBO Brevin Ashby. Dec. 7 RHS has several student bands whose talents will be showcased in the annual Battle of the Bands. Admission fee goes toward the charity. Dec. 11 The ASL (American Sign Language) Club will be holding a silent auction in the Tech Atrium starting at 3 p.m. Anyone is welcome to bid on items as long as they stay silent—it’s a “voice-off” function. Becky Tueller, club adviser, said those who don’t know sign language can still easily write down their bid to compete for big prizes such as drones and gift cards. Hot cocoa will be served and all proceeds go to Silver Rush. This is also the night to mark your calendars to see the boys of RHS strut their stuff in the Mr. Silver Rush Pageant. “That’s a lot of fun; we always have a ton of people come out to that one,” said Danny Brown, a student officer who was a contestant his sophomore year. In addition to performing a talent (he did a ribbon dance), contestants respond to interview questions, pose in formal wear and show off their legs. “For the legs portion, I walked out in heels, a tutu and fishnet tights,” Brown said. As if that weren’t entertaining enough, the audience can also pay to influence the outcome of the contest. Last year’s pageant was one of the top money earners for the charity. Dec. 12 Parents and students look forward to the Silver Swap, a highly entertaining basketball game where members of the boys basketball team become the cheerleaders, while the cheer squad plays a basketball game against the drill team. The girls basketball team takes on the role of performing the halftime routine. What makes the game fun—and profitable—is that the spectators can influence the game. “You can change the rules as you go,” said Katie Borgmeier, SBO adviser. “Anyone in the crowd can do it.” By flashing some cash, parents and students can add time to the clock, substitute in a star basketball player, send someone to the penalty box, etc.

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Dont Text & Drive

Riverton High School students ask community members to donate to a good cause. (Larsen Williams/ RHS student)

Dec. 15 SBOs are selling tickets donated by the Utah Grizzlies for the Dec. 15 hockey game. A portion of the night’s ticket sales will also be donated to Silver Rush. Dec. 18 The holiday band and orchestra concert begins at 6:30 p.m.. Jason Weimer, band director, promises a great show highlighting the music of Leonard Bernstein for his 100th Birthday. Dec. 19 The Campout is a 20-year tradition at RHS. Students “camp out” along 2700 West with tents and campfires, collecting donations from passing drivers from late afternoon until midnight. While students hope for warm weather, drivers are more generous when there is bad weather. “The years it snows, they feel sorry for us, and they’re willing to stop,” said Borgmeier. All month long To see which nights you don’t have to cook dinner, follow RHS on Facebook and check the schedule at www.rivertonhigh.org for information on which restaurants are hosting spirit nights. You’ll get a hassle-free dinner, and Silver Rush will get a percentage of the night’s proceeds. During Silver Rush season only, Arctic Circle, at 12555 South 1300 West, is offering its exclusive Silver Rush milkshake—a purple concoction of cookies and cream with sprinkles. A portion of the sales of this unique creation will be donated to Silver Rush. Community members can also support the charity drive by participating in Odd Jobs. From Dec. 1 to 20, Monday through Fridays 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., groups of high school students will canvas the neighborhoods offering to help with any job they need done: unloading a dishwasher, helping with homework, hanging Christmas lights, shoveling walks or walking dogs. Residents are invited to donate to the

charity, but it is not required. “What’s really cool is when you go to a house and you see they’ve been putting aside their spare change and dollars just in a jar all year,” said Brown. “You feel like people are looking forward to Silver Rush.” Dec. 20 On the final day of the charity drive, students can buy their way out of class with in-kind donations such as canned food and toys. Borgmeier said it’s also the day of the closing assembly of Silver Rush. “Here it is 1:30, the day we get out for Christmas Break, and the gym is packed as full as we can get,” she said. “No one leaves early to go home and start their Christmas break. They’re all there to see what change they have made.” Borgmeier said she loves to watch the reaction of the families the money goes to help. “They are just in tears and amazed at what this tiny community can do in three weeks,” said Borgmeier. The student leaders are always amazed at the response they get during the charity drive. “People just go all out for Silver rush,” said Brown. “Everyone does everything they can to raise as much money as possible. It’s really cool to see how the student body comes together.” The student leaders said in the end, it’s not about the total money earned. We do as much as we can to raise money, but it’s just about the change we see in the community,” said Brown. “People start to forget about their cliques and social groups and come together for Silver Rush. I think it really changes the dynamic of Riverton throughout the rest of the year also, not just during the month of December.” How else can you help? Online donations can be made at www.rivertonhigh. org. l

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Tempting The Grinch

he animated film by Illumination “The Grinch” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Cameron Seely recently premiered on Nov. 9. During opening weekend, it made $66 million dollars. The popularly known version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss was published on Oct. 12, 1957. It began as a 32-line illustrated poem titled “The Hoobub and The Grinch” and was originally published in May of 1955 in Redbook magazine. The book version was released in December of 1957 by Random House. Since then, the book has held the attention of young readers for decades. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, here’s a quick rundown. In the little town of Who¬ville, all of the Whos who live there love Christmas. The Grinch lives north of Whoville and, not being a Who, hates Christmas. As the holiday approaches, the Whos get antsier, creating all sorts of smells and noises, including a song they all sing together on Christmas Eve. As The Grinch radiates of hatred on that night, he comes up with an idea. He will steal Christmas. He disguises himself as Santy Claus and sleds into Whoville where he steals all the Christmas things. As he is stealing Christmas in the middle of the night, a Who child, Little Cindy-Lou Who questions him about

stealing the family’s Christmas tree. He feeds her a lie and moves on with his night. On Christmas morning, well…I won’t spoil it for you. In the story, The Grinch steals everything relating to Christmas, even though Dr. Seuss mentions a few very specific things on The Grinch’s list: pop guns, bicycles, roller skates, drums, checkerboards, tricycles, popcorn, plums, pudding, roast beef, ribbons, packages, boxes, bags, and even the tree. If you don’t want to tempt The Grinch this holiday season, maybe it’s worth not having all of the above-mentioned items easily accessible. We’re in good shape with the first item on this list. Pop guns will probably be unavailable for purchase in many stores. Instead of buying an entirely new bicycle, tricycle, or roller skates, maybe it would be worthwhile to provide a gift card for the app related to the dockless electric rental scooters littering the streets of downtown Salt Lake. I haven’t used one myself, but from what I understand, you pay through an app on your phone and the scooter will run for as long as you pay for. Instead of buying a drum kit, which can run anywhere from $200 to upwards of $600 or more, maybe gift some drumsticks and lessons; or the Rock Band video game provided a gaming console has

been previously purchased. Checkers isn’t the popular game it used to be. Instead of spending $15 to $300 (I’m surprised too) on checkerboards, pick up a few packs of cards for less than $10. Not only are cards less expensive, there are unlimited variations of games that can be played. I’m not so sure checkers can say the same. For popcorn, just don’t. Who wants kernels in their teeth? Or to string popped popcorn? Unless that’s crucial to family tradition, please don’t partake. Also, plums and pudding. I’ve never incorporated those into festivities myself, so I don’t personally understand the appeal. However, I do know that my home is flooded with cookies and other homemade treats gifted from neighbors and family members. If you’re like me and have a swarm of goodies anyway, don’t buy plums and puddings either. Along the same thread (no, not the popcorn one), is roast beef. Does anyone still do roast beef for Christmas? It must be a Who thing. For ribbons, packages, boxes, and bags: keep it simple. Let’s start with boxes and bags. I’m sure a good portion of us will be doing online shopping this year. Keep the boxes from those orders. Personally, I keep boxes from online orders all year long so I can re-purpose them for gift giving. If I need to use

bags, I’ll buy a wholesale pack, because spending $2 to $10 per bag is madness. For ribbons and packages, I recommend buying wholesale as well. Hit up your local craft or party store and buy a few spools of ribbon which you can use multiple times. Balloon ribbon makes for surprisingly fancy present wrapping ribbon. Finally, the tree. I’m exceptionally biased. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh pine from a live tree throughout the season. I would have saved a few hundred dollars by now if I had invested in a fake tree, but some things are just worth it. l

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Life and Laughter—Dance of the Sugar Plum Peri


Laughter AND





never remember having visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, mostly because I didn’t know what a sugarplum was (but it sounds like something I’d eat). What I do remember is having visions of Christmas cookies piled on every possible surface in our kitchen as mom baked herself into a holiday frenzy. Around the middle of December, mom would cart home bags and bags of ingredients for her annual Christmas cookie bake-a-rama, preparing to make the treats she only made once a year. My siblings and I would “help” her unload bags of chocolate, sugar, cream and spices until she yelled at us to go watch TV. When mom donned her apron, adopted a determined expression and started grabbing bowls, that’s when I knew Christmas was really coming. We also knew to stay out of her way, which meant we had to be creative when it came to sneaking bits of cookie dough, scoops of frosting and pieces of pecans. During the ‘70s, sugar consumption wasn’t regulated, it was even encouraged! We ate so much sugar on a daily basis, our teeth were in a constant state of vibration. But at Christmas?! Our sugar levels reached critical mass to the point we peed sugar cubes. I’d eat cookies for

dinner, have a stomachache all night, and only be able to eat four bowls of Cap’n Crunch for breakfast. Each of us had our sugary Christmas cookie favorites, and mom made every single one. Mine were the cherry cookies; buttery sugar cookie dough baked around a maraschino cherry. My sisters loved the pineapple tarts cooked to a golden brown, and gingerbread men, decorated with frosting and Red Hot candies. We all loved the delicate spritz cookies, made with mom’s electric press, and the chocolate mousse balls (which we never got tired of saying). Once the baking was done, and the powdered sugar settled underfoot, mom would pile the cookies on sturdy paper plates and send us out in the snow to deliver the goodies to our neighbors. We roamed the neighborhood, passing other children delivering treats to nearby homes, and wave to each other because this was one chore we didn’t mind. More holiday treats came in the form of grandma’s raisin pudding with rum sauce that she’d warm up in an aluminum can on the stove, and pies she kept hidden in the back bedroom under dishtowels because she couldn’t trust us not to stick our finger in them. We’d decorate sugar cookies at





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EXPIRES 12/31/2018

Board Certified Orthodontist

“Pain meds? Shots? Physical Therapy? ... even Surgery, but STill Have Pain?” The Controversial Truth and How This May be the Only Way Out of Pain for Some Dear friendFor the 15 years that I’ve been in practice, I’ve been somewhat known as “the guy that sends out those flyers with his kids on them”. However, that’s only a part of the story. You see, new information and technology has come forward that has helped so many people eliminate spinal pain without taking pills, shots, and surgery. Let Me First Point Out that in many cases, medicine, shots, and operations are necessary for proper health and recovery. I’m grateful that this stuff exists. However, in my 15 years of practice, I’ve seen thousands of patients who are regularly getting meds, injections, and even operations that they didn’t need, and who are still in ridiculous pain...it’s tragic...NO WONDER that person is frustrated and skeptical that anything will help. I WOULD BE TOO!!! The problem is that with many doctors, if health insurance doesn’t cover a procedure, it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist! The reality is that the “accepted” treatment for spinal conditions is as follows: medication, physical therapy, steroid injections (pain management) and then surgery. Period. No matter how effective anything else may be. BUT... The Real Truth is that other effective scientifically based solutions do exist. In fact, over the past couple years we have used an innovative approach of combining Deep Tissue Laser (a Class IV device) and spinal decompression. The Laser beam penetrates

about 3-5 inches into the human body. Injured cells respond with an increase in energy and blood supply to injured areas (like Spinal Stenosis and discs) And it stimulates healing in stagnant decaying areas (like arthritic joints). Also, the Deep Tissue Laser stimulates the production of new healthy cells. Spinal Disc Decompression Therapy is performed on a computerized table that allows separation of vertebral segments. The “pull” is very gentle and specifically directed to the compromised regions. Vertebral segments are separated approximately 3-5 millimeters creating a negative pressure between the vertebrae. Disc bulges or herniations can resorb back and dehydrated (narrowed) discs can be rehydrated or thickened. Typical treatment protocol is 20 to 25 office visits, but most patients start feeling better by visit 4. A study performed by Thomas A. Gionis, MD and Eric Groteke, DC. showed an amazing success rate of 86 to 94%! Most of the cases used in the study were disc herniations with or without spinal degeneration. These success rates are consistent with my personal treatment of thousands of similar cases.

juries, along with gentle Chiropractic care for cases that may need it. And finally, the treatment is pain-free.

YOU NEED TO KNOW: I only take cases that I know I can help. (I won’t waste your time & money). We are on most insurance including Aetna, Altius, Blue Cross, Cigna, Deseret Mutual, Educators Mutual, IHC Select Med, PEHP, UHC, and others. And Regardless of fault, Auto Injuries are 100% Covered by Auto Insurance. When you call, you will receive a Complete Spinal Assessment which includes an exam, X-rays (if needed) and 2 office visits along with 2 Pain Relieving Treatments (for a limited time) for only $27 ($293 Value). We are Elite Performance Health Center. We are located at Deep Tissue Laser combined with Disc Decompression Therapy is 86-94% successful I-15 and Bangerter Hwy (13552 S. 110 W.). Our number is 888-YOUR-CARE. in the treatment of Failed Back-Surgery Syndromes. Herniated, Bulging or “Slipped” –Matthew D. Smith, D.C. CSCS Discs, Disc Degeneration and Spinal Stenosis, Neuropathy, Weakness, Pain,Tingling, Chiropractic Physician Numbing in Arms or Legs, Acute or Chronic Joint Pains. We also offer laser treatment for Carpal Tunnel Pain, Headaches, Shoulder, Elbow, Hip or Knee Pains, and Auto In- P.S. I am also extending this offer to one family member for only $7.

Complete Spinal Exam (X-rays if needed)

& 2 pain relieving Treatments

for only $27($293 Value)

Auto Injuries are 100%

covered by Auto Insurance.

888-yoUr-CArE (888-968-7227)


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Profile for The City Journals

South Valley Journal December 2018  

South Valley Journal December 2018

South Valley Journal December 2018  

South Valley Journal December 2018