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February 2017 | Vol. 27 Iss. 02


The jobs of winter

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Riverton HS fights against cancer

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

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ow does a man like Tommy Lawrence wind up working full time at an elementary school? It’s a question Lawrence himself and his boss, Steve Giles, wondered several years ago. The 33-year-old head custodian, who said he can be found hunting or fishing when he’s not at work, can be distinguished by his tattoos, including one that spirals down his right arm and another that creates a flame design from his left wrist to forearm. “This guy is all man,” Principal Steve Giles said. “He’s very sensitive without being too gentle and, through it, has a great bond with the kids.” It wasn’t Lawrence’s plan to work with children—or be a custodian, for that matter—but health challenges led the heavy equipment mechanic to change careers. “I went out and looked for the first available job coming out of construction, and it was custodial,” he said. “The best way I can describe it is living in one foreign country and moving to another. I used to work with ornery, angry people, and now I’m dealing with kids who just make you laugh and giggle all day.”   While a janitor is typically a caretaker of the school building and grounds, according to Giles, Lawrence is the caretaker of a whole lot more—distressed students, tired teachers and anyone else who could use a friend. Realizing a need to help kids stay hydrated at recess, Lawrence designed and built an outdoor drinking fountain. When kids get in trouble and are assigned to clean bathrooms or the cafeteria as a behavior consequence, “they become friends with him and want to be better just to please Tommy,” Giles said. One day at lunch a student was crying because the spacers in his mouth left him too sore to eat. Lawrence went into the kitchen, grabbed two Jell-O cups and sat down to enjoy the snack with the student, according to staff members. “He’d do anything for anyone,” said Michelle Lindsey, who teaches fifth grade at Blackridge. “I’m in charge of the PE equipment. He built me shelves and helped assemble the difficult equipment I ordered. When part of the equipment broke, he redesigned it to make it better than before.” These incidents aren’t isolated. Without being asked, Lawrence collected 200 milk cartons from the cafeteria, washed them and dried them for the first grade to use to create gingerbread houses, and Vice Principal Shauna Worthington said she’s noticed Lawrence come in and buff the floors before special events on his own accord. Kindergarten teacher Mindy Smith said Lawrence intervened several times when an angry student wanted to harm her or other children. “They ended up becoming good buddies,” Smith said.

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Blackridge Elementary teachers point at Tommy Lawrence, the school’s head custodian, who represented their classes during the school’s annual fundraiser competition. (Blackridge Elementary)

In a way, Lawrence has become an icon for the students at the school. Blackridge hosts a yearly competition to go along with a school fundraiser. The grades are divided into two teams: half led by Giles and the other half led by Lawrence. Both teams try to raise the most money. Upon losing, the team leader must take on a challenge such as painting his nails or wearing a tutu. Lindsey’s fifth-grade class was on Giles’ team, but she said, as much as her students love Giles, a few of them insisted on cheering for Lawrence because he’s been such a good friend and role model for them. Students often try to peek through the blinds in Lawrence’s office window to say hello. While Lawrence said he appreciates the salutation, he admits it can be distracting to his normal work day. To stay focused but still let the students know that he’s thinking about them, Lawrence created a glass-framed ant farm in December that fits into his office window, complete with a toy well, model trees and miniature people figurines. The students can’t see Lawrence through his window anymore, but they can see the habitat he created for them to study. The connection Lawrence has with the students is irreplaceable, said Giles, who also said, “He’s not just part of our school, he’s a pillar of our school that holds us up.” And while the administration and faculty argue that Lawrence is involved in the school above and beyond what’s needed to be to fulfill his job description, Lawrence doesn’t see it that way. “I just do my job,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t get so much done without continual support from Giles and his night supervisor Linda Hahn. “This is all teamwork—strictly teamwork. As long as they are willing to help me, I am more than willing to help them.” l

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Riverton schools raise nearly $230,000 for local children fighting cancer By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


iverton High School and its surrounding feeder schools raised $228,097.68 for local children battling cancer during a three-week charity drive in December. The high school alone raised $191,274.17. Riverton’s charity fundraiser, known as Silver Rush, is one of the school’s longest-standing traditions, but this is the first year that the high school invited other Riverton schools, including South Hills and Oquirrh Hills middle schools and Rose Creek Elementary, to join their efforts. And while Riverton High’s student body officers were thrilled about their record-breaking Silver Rush total, up from last year’s $144,446.16, they continued to repeat what’s become the Silver Rush motto: “It’s not about the money—it’s about the change.” “The purpose was to bring the community together to serve those families who are going through a really hard time,” said Adam Murray, student body president. “There’s nothing like it.” The school’s student body officers selected Millie’s Princess Foundation as this year’s Silver Rush. The foundation, named after Millie Flamm, who passed away after fighting a 3 ½-year battle with leukemia, works to raise money for Utah families who are in the midst of their own childhood cancer battles. Unlike other charities RHS has worked with in the past, Millie’s Princess Foundation introduced the students to the seven beneficiaries who ranged in age from 4 to 18, each living in the local vicinity from Lehi to Taylorsville. Kyra Eccles, a senior RHS student, said her next-door neighbor was one of the children for whom RHS would be raising money. “I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘This is so cool,’” Eccles, said. “To be raising funds for someone you know—for my brother’s best friend—it got really personal.” The seven children and their families came to Riverton High for a dinner night and opening and closing Silver Rush assemblies, giving students an opportunity to get to know them. “It wasn’t just us putting money in some big charity pot,” said Ashley Lund, a member of student government. “We knew where our money was going; we knew who it was going to.” Four-year-old Andelyn, who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in October, connected with a senior student at the group dinner, according to her

Darren Hall, 6, sits on his dad’s shoulders after Riverton High School student government officers announced the grand total students raised in their charity drive. Darren was one of the seven children who benefitted from the drive. (Michael Martinez/Riverton High School)

Riverton High School students cover their gymnasium floor after student body officers announced the grand total for their charity drive: $191,274.17. (Brycelee Johnson/Riverton High School)

mother Jessica Hadfield. While Andelyn couldn’t come to many of the Silver Rush activities because of her medical condition, Hadfield said that same senior student made a special trip to visit her newfound 4-year-old friend at their house. Andelyn was in the hospital for most of the drive, but she continually watched the YouTube video of Riverton High’s opening Silver Rush assembly to make her feel happy, according to her mother. “Silver Rush will be a help for us financially with medical bills and other stuff, but I think those teenagers did so much good just by helping my 4-yearold feel loved,” Hadfield said. From ugly sweater stomp tickets to campouts, date auctions, movie nights, concerts, a male beauty pageant and more, the high school collected donations for the local families. They collaborated with businesses and restaurants, getting them to share a portion of sale proceeds Silver Rush and had nightly group outings to perform “odd jobs” for community members in exchange for donations. Each day, student government members collected money at lunch, often inviting students to participate in challenges and activities for charitable donations. Student representatives also carried around giant jugs, asking for spare-change donations. But while the students were collecting donations, they were left in the dark about how much money was being raised. The main office staff

and student government adviser Katie Borgmeier counted the money before the school gathered for a closing assembly, where a banner with the total number of donations was unveiled. “I was sick the whole time during the closing assembly because I was so anxious to see how much money we had raised,” said McKay Nelson, who helped plan Silver Rush. “But then I just remember the feeling that came over me when the banner was dropped and we saw our grand total—over $191,000— and I just started crying. Those two seconds made the whole thing worth it.” Hugs and tears and shouts continued as students rejoiced in what their school and community accomplished. Amidst the chaos, 6-year-old Parker Bonnet sat, sporting a wolf hat that covered his bald head, while his mother, Regina Bonnet, said she sat considering the service that had just been performed for her son and six other children. School representatives had given Parker the hat at the beginning of the drive, when he still had a full head of hair, and it quickly became “his favorite thing” during his treatment for his second fight with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to his mother. “While Parker didn’t understand the full implications of what was going on, I was just so very grateful,” Bonnet said. “I don’t even know how to put into words the love that we feel from the kids and the community. They put their hearts and souls into it, and we are forever grateful.” l


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February 2017 | Page 5

New UFA chief ready for ‘less drama, more action’ By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


ix months after City Weekly reported on questionable bonuses and use of credit cards among top Unified Fire Authority officials, Utah’s largest fire service has a new head. Dan Petersen, who started his full-time firefighting career in 1980, claimed his first day as UFA’s Fire Chief on Jan. 17. Petersen, who’s been the Fire Chief, CEO and Budget Officer for Jackson County Fire District 3 for Dan Petersen joined UFA as its new chief more than six years, holds on Jan. 17. Petersen said he’s hoping to a master’s in management bring a new level of transparency and from Southern Oregon leadership to Utah’s largest fire agency. State University, a bachelor (Unified Fire Authority) of science in fire administration from Western Oregon State University and an associate of science in fire science from Rogue Community College. His experience with wildland and urban interface fires and “proven track record of building trust” launched him to the top of the pool of more than 30 applications, according to Mike Watson, who was the interim chief after former Chief Michael Jensen resigned. “As I have explained to our employees, Chief Petersen is exactly what UFA needs,” Watson said. “He is very people-oriented

and able to build sound relationships. He is confident in his abilities to lead UFA, and the ad hoc committee members were highly impressed with his leadership examples and abilities.” Petersen said he’s not nervous to jump into UFA where state audits on former high-ups incentive pay and credit card spending recommend a criminal investigation into the misuse of funds by Jensen, former Deputy Chief Gaylord Scott and a couple other top UFA officials. Jensen and Gaylord spent more than $50,000 on company credit cards and, along with two other top UFA officials, racked up more than $100,000 each in total incentives from 2011 to 2015. “I have already met with many of the staff about establishing leadership expectations and let them know that we won’t be tolerating unethical behavior or anything in that vein. We must do the right thing every time. The organization is ready for less drama and more action in the right area,” Petersen said. “I’ll be reviewing the leadership organization, and making sure leadership is there to support the firefighters who are doing that job every day to respond to your house and take care of your needs — that’s where my work will be going.” While Petersen said he knows it may take a while to gain public trust because of his predecessors, he’s hoping to expedite that process by increasing public transparency of the budget. “My goal, and that of our current finance director, is to let the public see how the money is spent and where it fits,” he said. Petersen took his first days in Utah to get to know the people he will be working with by scheduling meetings with all stations and staff—that’s a total of more than 120 meetings. Petersen said it’s important for he and the UFA firefighters to know each other. “They are the ones performing service every day on the street and will give me a better view of what we need to do,” Petersen

said. “The meetings will make sure we are all clear on the kind of leadership vision, mission and values fit what is best for the community, and from those discussions, we will generate a list of action items to tackle as a team.” The strong community feel at UFA and dedication of the firefighters is familiar to Petersen, he said, reminding him of his work at Fire District 3. That’s one of the reasons he decided to apply for the position after taking a trip to Utah to visit. Petersen said he wasn’t looking for a new job but was slowly convinced by “a trusted recruiter” that it would be a good move. Job changes tend to happen unexpectedly, Petersen added, telling the story of how he chose to join the fire service. While attending college, Petersen noticed that a student in his chemistry class responded to a pager. He approached the student aabout it and found out he was working as a volunteer firefighter and living rent free at the fire station. “I thought that was a pretty cool opportunity, so in 1979, I started living in the fire station while going to college,” he said. “After a year of that, I realized this is what I wanted to do. I fell into it.” Petersen worked his way up from firefighter to engineer and then to captain before becoming a battalion chief, then deputy chief and finally a fire chief. After nearly 38 years in Southern Oregon’s fire industry, Petersen fell into another opportunity—one at UFA. The decision wasn’t as easy, according to Petersen, but he said he feels like he made the right choice. “My wife and I have taken this day by day,” he said. “Our kids are out of the house, and I’m done being depressed about that, so we’re ready for the next change. It will be an adventure, and I’m excited to experience Utah.” l


Page 6 | February 2017


Teacher brings robots to elementary school By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


ixth-grade teacher Cammie Chang didn’t want her students to have to wait until middle school and high school to have exposure to engineering, so she started a before-school robotics club at Rose Creek Elementary. “My husband’s in the field, but he really didn’t have the opportunity to study like this until high school,” Chang said. “If you’re not getting exposed early, you may lose your chance to go into something like this. Most of the time in high school students have already chosen their interests and cliques.” With the sixth-grade curriculum expanding in the 2017–18 year to include more experiments and hands-on approaches to science, Chang said she thought it was the perfect time to get the school’s fifth- and sixth-graders more interested in the fun parts of science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM—learning. Chang had her eye on Lego robotics kits, but the school couldn’t afford them without help. For just five robot kits, it would cost the school nearly $2,000. Chang sought alternative funding by writing a mini-grant to the company for which her husband works, Kihomac, which specializes in renewing and extending aerospace investments through technical data development, systems and software engineering, reverse engineering and prototyping and complex manufacturing. The president of Kihomac granted Chang the $2,000. Jordan School District also bought Chang a robot for starting up the club, bringing Chang’s total number of robots up to six, enough to start Rose Creek’s first robotics club. Nine students arrived for the first club meeting Jan. 10. Although the first meeting’s focus was on organizing and getting

acquainted with the pieces of the robotics kits, students were already concocting ideas for the robots they wanted to create later. “I’d like to build one that could go get me a soda out of the fridge,” fifth-grader Spencer Call said. “That would be really cool.” Madison Sorensen, a sixth-grader, said she was hoping to program a robot to lift something up. Her robotics club partner, Sierra Cowley, agreed, adding that it would be exciting to see a robot do anything, as long as it was something that they programmed it to do. Sierra said she got into coding and programming in fourth grade, so she said she was excited to use those talents in the robotics club where she could create something that would move on its own. The club may also help Sierra in her future career plans, she said, adding that she’s considering becoming a computer programmer as one of her top three career options. Maison, who wants to become a lawyer or a nurse, said the robotics class can also help her progress toward her future professional goals. “These robots—they could teach you how to problem solve, and that can help you learn new things anywhere,” she said. While the club will work on its own this year and get a grasp on how to work their new robotics kits, complete with a robot brain, sound sensor, motion detector, touch sensor, ultrasonic sensor and gyro sensor, Chang said she hopes to expand the club’s reach next year reaching out to similar clubs at other elementary schools and meeting up for robot competitions and games. l

Ty Levesque and Spencer Call, both fifth-graders at Rose Creek Elementary school, organize a robotics kit during the school’s first before-school robotics club meeting. Cammie Chang, a sixth-grade teacher at the school started the club after receiving a grant from Kihomac, a company that works to renew and extend aerospace investments. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Max McInnis and Kyle Gowen, both sixth-graders at Rose Creek Elementary, participate in the school’s first robotics club. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)


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February 2017 | Page 7

Football ban lifted at Herriman Elementary By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


erriman Elementary School students can play football again during recess after the student body persuaded the principal to lift the ban she placed on the sports in October. Football was the most popular sport to play at recess, but it was causing more harm than good, according to Herriman’s principal, Kim Gibson. “Every day at recess we’d have about 10 kids in the office for either fighting or an injury, and my staff, we would have to take the time to call the parents,” Gibson said. “It was just time consuming, creating injuries, creating fights, and I said, ‘I am disbanding football.’” No longer allowed to play football, Ethan Probst and Henry Watson, both sixth-graders, spent their first recess under the ban drafting a petition which they would later take door to door to gather signatures from students, parents and neighbors. “In the petition, it said our principal banned football because people were fighting and getting hurt, but then it just said you may as well ban school because you could get hurt at school if you trip and fall or something,” Henry said. Upon receiving emails from parents about the ban and hearing about Henry and Ethan’s petition, Gibson asked each student in the school to write her a persuasive essay stating why football should or should not be allowed at school. “Really, the way to teach writing is when it is a real-life experience and something they feel passionate about, so I said I want all of the students to write me a persuasive essay which I will look over and it will help me make my decision if I should remove the ban,” Gibson said. “It was a way to fuel their writing.” Five-hundred essays written by 5- to 12-year-olds surfaced

on Gibson’s desk, and none of them said they wanted the ban to continue. Although the students disagreed with her decision, Gibson said she was impressed by the sophistication, grace and respect with which the students wrote their essays. Gibson called for a meeting with the community council to discuss the state of football at the school. Parents were invited to attend, and Henry and Ethan were invited to share their petition and persuasive essays. “The room was packed, but they were very articulate in presenting,” Gibson said. The boys asked that the ban on soccer and football be removed and presented ideas to remedy the injuries and fights that kept occurring through the sports. Henry suggested the school start playing flag football instead of two-hand touch football to keep students from pushing each other on accident when they meant to tag. “There were some kids who would be too aggressive,” Henry said. “Sometimes the kids who were pushed got hurt, and it sometimes got kids mad, and then they got in a fight.” Among other rules, Ethan suggested creating a student-led referee system to keep students in-line even during the recesses where teacher aides weren’t on duty. Gibson and the community council accepted Ethan and Henry’s rules, and without being asked, Henry came to school with a written list of the rules which Gibson copied and made for each class. To help the school remember these rules, Gibson asked the district’s communication department to film a video of Henry, Ethan and other student leaders explaining the rules. Students wrote the movie clip script with help from teachers.

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Henry Watson and Ethan Probst (front) and other student leaders at Herriman Elementary explain recess safety procedures the school recently implemented. The school’s principal banned football until students expressed their desires to play the game safely. (Jordan School District)

The district’s communication department asked Gibson if they could use the video districtwide to teach other schools about sport and recess safety. Gibson agreed. “It is exciting to be leaders,” Ethan said about acting in the movie. “At first you, kind of have to think about it because it’s going to be shown around the whole district and that’s a lot of people. It’s just really a lot.” Gibson said she’s grateful students came up with a compromise, a way to bring football back to the school while increasing safety. The students learned problem solving, and the school’s a better place with Ethan and Henry’s rules, she said. To view the safety video Ethan, Henry and their classmates created, visit Jordan School District’s YouTube page. l


Page 8 | February 2017

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A look at Herriman’s urban deer program By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


erriman residents expressed their approval of and frustration about Herriman’s deer relocation program after city staff posted a video on the city Facebook page showing a person dressed as Santa releasing Herriman deer into central Utah on Dec. 19. With more than 3,300 views, 13 shares and 20 comments on the video, it caused a stir on social media. The City Journals began looking into the program to provide more information for the community. Herriman’s urban deer program began in 2015 after about 57 deer–auto-related collisions occurred in 2014 within the city. The number comes from rural kill app data kept on file by the Utah Department of Transportation and may not be 100 percent reliable because the data only tracks auto–deer crashes on state routes and was not originally measured by city boundaries. UDOT spokesman John Gleason, however, said the data can give estimated information that’s “fairly accurate.” “We started receiving calls and emails from residents saying, ‘Hey my daughter or son hit into a deer on the highway,’” said Justun Edwards, Herriman’s water director who also oversees the city’s urban deer program. “We started to get lots of safety concerns. People were also telling us about property damage from deer, but we weren’t as concerned about garden and trees as we were about the accidents.” Upon realizing the deer–auto crashes were a prevalent safety hazard, Herriman administration sought a way to decrease the chance of them happening, Edwards said. City officials studied the urban deer programs adopted by Highland and Bountiful to decide what kind of program might work for Herriman. Highland’s program uses lethal means to lessen the deer population, while Bountiful’s program relies solely on trapping and relocating deer. Each city that desires to create an urban deer program must work with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources because the mule deer are property of the state. In these programs, state officials allow the city to manage part of the deer herds. After residents voiced opinions at city council meetings, Herriman administration created, in coordination with the division of wildlife resources and the mule deer foundation, a combination program, which would allow city leaders to use lethal means and trapping and relocation to mitigate the deer population within the city. Wildlife professionals counted deer in the area, determining there were 700 deer in the city. Herriman’s agreement with the state, or certificate of registration, allows the city to remove 400 deer total within three years—360 antlerless deer and 40 with antlers. Herriman leaders wanted to incorporated both methods in the city’s plan because lethal means and trapping methods both have strengths and limitations, Edwards said. “The limitations of lethal—you can’t do it everywhere. It is not safe everywhere,” said Covy Jones, Utah’s private lands public wildlife coordinator. “A major limitation of trapping, though, is you can’t get a deer in a trap without conditions that are right. You have to have them hungry enough to get into a trap, so you can only trap during the winter months when they can’t find food, but you can harvest animals earlier in the fall.” Edwards added that lot size, shape and location plays a part in which method is used. “It’s hard to use lethal in a public place or when the lot is too small,” he said. Cost is also an issue. It costs about $200 to trap and transport one deer, according to Jones. This includes the cost for testing the health of the animal, tagging it with a radio-transmitting tracking device, gas to take the deer to central Utah and labor for employees.

Herriman City’s Facebook post that sparked questions about the city’s urban deer program (Facebook)

This means if all 400 deer Herriman is permitted to remove were trapped and transported, it would cost the city $80,000. While Jones, a self-described animal lover, said he understands why people would be sad or concerned about harvesting mule deer, he said he believes it’s beneficial to the community. “None of these programs are extermination programs,” he said. “With our programs, the meat is harvested and donated to needy families. The alternative is they die on the road and damage a person’s car. Instead, now people who really need food can have food.” Moving mule deer to a new location can also help augment the deer population in places where that population is dwindling, Jones added. Herriman relocated 38 deer and harvested 42 deer in 2015. The city relocated 30 deer and harvested around 28 deer in 2016. Jones and Edwards both said they didn’t have data on whether the auto–deer crashes were on a downward turn, but both said they believed the program was working well. According to UDOT’s data, there were approximately 73 deer–auto collisions in 2015 and 73 in 2016, both representing a larger number of crashes than the approximately 57 that occurred before the urban deer program was implemented in 2015. Gleason, with UDOT, said there weren’t any state roads added during any of those years. There’s not conclusive evidence of why the numbers would have been lower in 2014. Herriman’s urban deer program will continue as is until the beginning of 2018 when certificate of registration is up. At that point, the city can discuss needs and re-evaluate its current program, Jones said. l


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February 2017 | Page 9

City creates introductory government classes By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


erriman City administration created free and online-friendly Government 101 courses after residents expressed their desires to understand more about city operations in recent city council meetings. “These classes will give our residents insight to what goes on so they can have a level of understanding of government that will give them confidence,” Mayor Carmen Freeman said. “The challenge right now is that people are interested in things that are going on, but they don’t know how processes work.” Tami Moody, Herriman’s public information officer, is already at work coordinating schedules for the classes. Herriman administrative staff members will teach courses that concern their expertise. For example, Alan Rae, Herriman’s finance director, taught the first Government 101 course on the city budget on Jan. 9. Residents can attend the classes held at the Herriman City Hall, 13011 South Pioneer Street, in person or from anywhere with an internet connection. Each meeting is streamed through Facebook Live on the Herriman City Facebook page. The class is intended to be interactive, and Moody encourages both the in-person and distance students to ask questions. When Facebook viewers had questions during the Jan. 9 meeting, Moody read the questions aloud for Rae to answer during his presentation. “Even if people can’t make it to class or watch the class on Facebook during the time we have available, we will link it to our website, so in the future people can take the classes whenever they want,” she said. “It will be like an archive.” While Freeman, Moody, Councilwoman Coralee Moser, City Manager Brett Wood, City Communication Specialist Destiny Skinner and three residents were the only in-person Government 101 participants at the inaugural class, the one-hour course segment reached more than 700 views after less than 24 hours on Facebook.

Students, including Herriman Mayor Carmen Freeman and Councilwoman Coralee Moser, participate in Herriman first Government 101 class on Jan. 9. (Tori LaRue/City Journals)

“I’ve really appreciated this forum to present major topics so that those who cannot make it live, like myself, are able to participate,” Dan Adams said in a Facebook comment. Shauna and Darrell Heiner, who were present at the city offices during Rae’s presentation, said they plan to come out to more meetings. “I think these things help you learn the facts so that you can be an educated voter,” Shauna Heiner said. “If we have a bond that comes up, and you don’t understand what a bond is or how Herriman gets its money or anything, then how can you be an educated voter? If you come to these, you will have a better idea of how everything works.” Darrell Heiner mentioned his surprise at how Herriman receives a relatively small amount, 2.6 percent, of total property tax compared to Jordan School District’s 45 percent. He said he always hears people


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criticizing the city about how high property tax is but had never researched how much money the city actually makes off the tax. Here are some other highlights from Rae’s presentation at the Jan. 9 Government 101 class: • Herriman has never had a truth in taxation hearing which means the city hasn’t had a property increase since its incorporation. • The Herriman City Council must give the public seven days’ notice before holding a public hearing to change part of the city’s budget. • A city must have a balanced budget according to state law and cannot have less than 5 percent or more than 25 percent of expected revenues left over at the end of a fiscal year. • Herriman receives 2.6 percent of property taxes. • Roughly half of Herriman’s expenses from the 2015–16 budget calendar were used to build infrastructure. • Herriman has about $64 million in debt, but retains a AArating with Standard and Poor financial services. This is comparable to a general credit score of approximately 800, according to Rae. To view Rae’s full presentation visit Herriman City’s page on Facebook or http://www.herriman.org/gov-101/. The next Government 101 class held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 will focus on land use, including information on the general plan and zoning. The following course on Feb. 21 is centered on economic development. Moody said future classes will likely feature these topics: functions of the planning commission, how to run for public office, bonding, parks and recreation, history of the Herriman Towne Center and more. l

Page 10 | February 2017


Understanding our form of government Mayor Carmen R. Freeman

Herriman City Mayor’s Message


hile visiting my children and grandchildren in Vernal some time ago, I had an experience which reminded me of how the public may view the political office of mayor. After exiting our car to go to one of the local convenience stores, one of my granddaughters in a joking way, began teasing and pushing me. This alarmed one of my grandsons to the point where he boldly proclaimed, “Don’t hurt the mayor, he can put you in jail!” This simple yet innocent declaration offered by my grandson of what he thought a mayor could do, emphasizes the need for residents to clearly understand the role and responsibility of the mayor. While the mayor of any municipality has no authority to incarcerate an individual, still they have authority granted them through the governmental process to offer direction and vision for the city and to be attentive and responsive to the needs of its residents. Typically, a mayor of any municipality administers under the legal guidelines established within its city code and ordinances. Currently, Herriman City functions under what is referred to as a mayor/city council form of government. Under this arrangement, the mayor is a regular voting member of the council, is the chair of the city council, ensures that applicable laws, statutes, ordinances and resolutions of the city are adhered to, recommends to the city council measures that would be in the best interest of the city and coordinates and implements the strategic vision of the city. As the mayor engages in these and other prescribed duties it is important to note that their position as the governmental leader of the city does not

grant them complete autonomy from the city council. Unless directed by the city council, the mayor is not to act independently with respect to critical issues and matters that affect the city and its residents. City concerns and matters brought to the attention of the mayor and city council are to be contemplated, approved and implemented through a majority process. This form of governance provides a system of checks and balances which protect the interest of those the mayor and city council have been elected to represent. Under the mayor and city council form of government, the mayor and city council are to work in concert with each other in a spirit of cooperation, understanding and unity. This governmental structure enhances the vision, strength and success of the city and provides a safe and secure foundation against oppressive and self-serving leadership. Additionally, the mayor and city council has a responsibility to communicate efficiently to the residents they serve and welcome their input on important issues. To facilitate this objective, the city recently started a Government 101 course which will address a variety of subjects throughout the year such as governmental financing, economic growth, residential development, etc. We are hopeful these classes will provide information and clarity on how decisions are made within local government. We are also hopeful through the Government 101 course study, residents will gain a better understanding of the issues that affect them and how local leadership should function to respond to the needs of their residents. l

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hen Bluffdale’s old method of animal control fell apart, the city council unanimously voted to start contracting those services through the Salt Lake County Animal Services on Dec. 14. The contract went into effect Jan. 1. Both the city’s full-time employee and part-time employee in animal services left their positions for other opportunities, and South Jordan City, Bluffdale’s shelter partner, let Bluffdale officials know that the prior contract between the cities would no longer work for its plans moving forward. “Bluffdale City has a history of being very cost-conscious,” Bluffdale Mayor Derk Timothy said. “Sometimes that leads us to contract outside and sometimes in-house depending on the service. “Cost played a role here.” Bluffdale’s annual budget for the animal services and zoning code enforcement department last year was $124,500, including salaries and benefits for employees, supplies and the shelter contract with South Jordan. The city’s new cost for animal services with the county is $8,700 per month, amounting to $104,400 per year. The cost for contracting with the county amounts to a wash, according to Grant Crowell, Bluffdale’s city planner and economic development director, because Bluffdale is keeping $20,000 in its budget to hire a part-time code enforcement employee since the animal services and zoning and code enforcement departments will no longer be merged. “It’s about the same cost, but we believe we get an increased potential of service since the county’s operations are open 24/7, 365day a year,” Crowell said. “Salt Lake County was already doing Herriman and Riverton’s animal service, so we seemed to fit.” If the city would have continued providing its own animal services, city leaders would have needed to build an animal shelter, which would have been more than $1 million, according to Crowell. “Because we’re in the process of building a city hall, and then we’re looking at building a fire station and hopefully a public works facility, it’s not in the budget for us to build an animal shelter,” Crowell said. By law, a shelter requires an employee to be on duty whenever an animal is within the building. This would also cause increased costs, Timothy said. Realizing the city couldn’t afford to build or man a shelter, Crowell looked into partnering with Utah County cities such as Saratoga Springs but said Salt Lake County was the most budget-friendly and timesensitive option.

Bluffdale started contracting with Salt Lake County Animal Services for its animal control in January. (Pixabay)

“Right now, the reason we are going to contract is it is a much better price than we could do ourselves,” Timothy said. “I am not saying that the residents wouldn’t prefer paying more to have it in house, but as of right now, we have an 18-month contract to see how it goes.” City administrative staff will monitor resident responses to the changes in animal control through a survey on the Bluffdale website. If responses are negative, city leaders will consider alternative options when the 18-month contract expires. By joining Salt Lake County Animal Services, Bluffdale in now a no-kill community. This means healthy or treatable animals within the shelter they use will not be killed even if the shelter is full. The county’s services reserve euthanasia for terminally ill animals and those that are considered dangerous. Callista Pearson, communication’s manager for the county’s animal services, said the county is “honored” to serve Bluffdale and confident that its service with suffice. “Salt Lake County Animal Service is nationally recognized for its ability to expand services and programming to better serve the community,” she said. “We have over 60 personnel on staff, which includes 16 animal control office, animal behaviorists, full-time veterinary staff, animal care professionals and more.” While the shelter for the county’s animal services is in Salt Lake City at 511 West 3900 South, some services are available online. Free and low-cost microchips and vaccinations are also available to Bluffdale residents now through a voucher program. For more information on services, visit adoptutahpets. com. Residents can look forward to a vaccination and licensing clinic in Bluffdale on Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon. The specific location has not been determined yet. l


S outhV alleyJournal .Com

February 2017 | Page 13

Screaming Eagles debut at Maverik Center By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


ndoor football returns to the Maverik Center in West Valley. The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles begin play February 16 as members of the Indoor Football League. The team also forges in a new era of sports team management. The fans helped hire coaches, pick dancers and will call plays as part of the franchise. “We are excited and have signed 28 guys and make some cuts down to 25 guys that will lead to a great team out on the field,” said Screaming Eagles President Thom Carter. “I am more excited about how we want people to experience sports. We are trying to make history. We are allowing fans to have their voices be heard.” The fans have decided the team name, hired the coaches and with a downloadable app will be able to call the plays during the game. “This will be perfect for lots of fans. The guy who likes to bring his family to the game and buy a beer and a hot dog; the fantasy football guy that is all about the stats and lastly the video game fans who want to feel like they are playing the game,” Carter said. The Screaming Eagles have signed University of Charleston graduate Jeremy Johnson to compete for playing time at quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 197 lb. dual threat QB was a highly recruited four-star athlete from Silsbee, Texas. He originally played at West Virginia after leaving with several injuries he was finally resigned to ending his football career, but The University of Charleston found him and offered a chance. In 2015 Johnson threw for 2,170 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.

University of Utah offensive lineman Junior Salt has signed to be part of a line that includes another former Ute, Siaosi Aiono and Arizona Wildcat Steven Gurrola. “We do not know what our final roster will look like, but the local standouts make me excited. Everyone has bought into this team. Our opponents are well established and winning programs. We also think our 10,000 offensive coordinators will help us figure out ways to win. The power of all of these ideas will make us a better team and organization,” Carter said. Devin Mahina, a former BYU Cougar and Washington Redskin tight end, and Utah State wide receiver Alex Wheat should provide reliable targets for Johnson. Mahina is a 6-foot-6 receiver who finished his Cougar career with 46 receptions and five touchdowns. “We feel we are empowering arm-chair quarterbacks. The people who call in on Monday mornings to the sports talk shows can now show us what they got. We live in an age of immediate access and fans are demanding this of their sports teams,” Carter said. William Macarthy was hired by the fans as the team’s first head coach. The organization narrowed down nearly 220 applicants to the best six finalists. Facebook live interviews and 38,000 votes from fans in 21 different countries finally gave Macarthy 34.9 percent of the votes. He has coached on four different indoor teams. He has been a general manager, defensive coordinator, head coach and special teams coordinator. Most recently he has been working as special teams coordinator at Monroe College in New York.

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The Screaming Eagles begin their season Feb. 16 at the Maverik Center against the Nebraska Danger. Tickets range from $5 to $85. In indoor football if a ball goes into the stands the fan keeps it. The Screaming Eagles also have contributed to improving the wireless service in the arena. The fan will not need to use cellular data to participate in the games. “The game will have something for everyone,” Carter said. l


Page 14 | February 2017


Controversial property rezone denied by council By Tiffany Webb | t.webb@mycityjournals.com


ver the last several years, the property located on the Southwest corner of 4000 West and 11800 South has had many rezone applications denied. The most recent application proved to be no different. There is a minor difference, however, in the property listed in the most recent rezoning application. It does not include a portion of the property on the southern end where Midas Creek Channel runs through. This southern portion of the property is now devoted to another project. The other project taking up the southern portion of the property has recently been bought and has the intended use as a future non-denominational church building. There is no connection to this project and the one for the rest of the property to the north. Currently, the subject property is listed as an R-3, meaning that only third-acre singlefamily lots can be built. The proposed rezone was for a mixture of zone types. Approximately a third of the north portion is listed on the application for commercial gateway and the remainder is for R-4, where only fourth-acre single-family lots could be built. Paul Bringhurst a newer Riverton resident who was also representing the applicant Ron

Martinez in the planning of the rezone on the Jan. 3 city council meeting, spoke to the council regarding the rezone application. “I think one thing that is important to consider is that oftentimes we can get stuck looking just within our jurisdiction, and I think if we plan in a vacuum, we can get into a little bit of trouble,” Bringhurst said. At the planning commission meeting on Dec. 8, this application was given a negative recommendation for this rezone to take place. A few days after the planning commission meeting there was a meet-up held at Andy Applegarth’s residence to further discuss the rezone along with the rezone applicant. Andy Applegarth, Mayor Bill Applegarth’s son, lives near the proposed rezone. At the Jan. 3 city council meeting, Bringhurst announced that the applicant wanted to omit the commercial portion of the rezone and use the whole property for the residential R-4 zone instead. After Bringhurst spoke to this change, Mayor Bill Applegarth made a public declaration that he has not given any councilperson a statement saying that he wishes for one way or another on this matter regardless of his son’s involvement in the


Traffic signal sign of 11800 South and 4000 West on the border of Riverton and South Jordan (Tiffany Webb/City Journals)

matter. Andy Applegarth addressed the council with his concerns about the rezone having any commercial involvement. “I am obviously very opposed to that being commercial, and in my mind that whatever you do with one property, its going to set precedence for the next property,” he said. “I am adamant that those stay singlefamily homes.”


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In addition to Andy Applegarth addressing the council, many other residents near the property in question spoke out in opposition to the rezone to include commercial. Many are in favor of having the fourth-acre lots as long as that’s all that the property remains zoned for. After the residents voiced their concerns, the council made a motion to deny the rezone application. It passed unanimously among all councilmembers. l

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Page 16 | February 2017


The jobs of winter By Tiffany Webb | t.webb@mycityjournals.com

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

CHAMBER NEWS We thank all our Board of Directors for their service. They are volunteers and the Chamber wouldn’t be successful without their support and service. Our Executive Board of Directors: Bren Robinson is Past-Chair; Jordan Jones is Chairperson; Jake Bright is Chair-elect; and Melanie Jacobsen is Treasurer. Board of Directors: Bryan Scott, Caesar Procunier, Cyndi Coyle, Kent Randall, Laura Klarman, LaMont Snarr, Mike Anderson, Nancy Franklin, Rebekah Wightman, Rufine Einzinger, Spencer Pack, and Stephanie Sherrell. It is an exciting time for the Chamber—new board members and new enthusiasm. We are adding benefits to membership in the Southwest Valley Chamber. For instance, member to member discounts, membership now includes membership with Women in Business, and attending First Fridays speed networking for free. Look for more membership benefits next month. Help needed: we are preparing for our annual Knight of Heroes on March 10. This is an evening where we honor police and fire heroes in Bluffdale, Herriman and Riverton. We also honor business heroes. If you have met a Hero in your business dealing, please let us know. We will be honoring a Large Business (more than 25 employees), Small Business, Business Man, Business Woman and Service/Volunteer of the Year. Email: susan@swvchamber.org.

Swearing in of new 2017-2018 term board of director members. Left to right: Jordan Jones, Chairman; Bryan Scott, Rebekah Wightman, Melanie Jacobsen, Kent Randall, Nancy Franklin, Spencer Pack.


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One of Riverton City’s snowplow trucks at the city works building. (Riverton City Communications)


hen snow starts to fall, there are people like LaMar Mitchell and KC Skinner who are preparing the snow filled streets for a safe commute for drivers of Riverton. A typical snowplow day for Mitchell, streets department supervisor, and Skinner, streets department assistant supervisor, starts the day before or the night before the storm hits. They can be found up nearly every hour or two checking the weather throughout the night before they start to plow. Mitchell and Skinner will figure out which type of streets they must plow—the main streets or the secondary streets. According to Mitchell, the schools are taken care of first. “We come to work to see how bad it is, then call all of the drivers and that starts our shift until everything is completely plowed,” Mitchell said. “The city is split up into four sections. It normally takes 12-plus hours to plow; that doesn’t include cul-de-sacs.” However, according to Mitchell, they do have a policy in place for so many inches accumulated before they can plow cul-desacs. Some of the duties and responsibilities Mitchell and Skinner have are to make sure all the equipment is ready for the snowstorms, to make sure there is enough salt ordered and is stockpiled and lastly, to contact everyone needed to plow. Combating the snowfall is only half the job for Mitchell and Skinner. Asphalt road repairs and concrete sidewalk repairs are also part of their duties. “When it gets warm and cold, we have potholes we have to maintain in the winter months.” Skinner said. A unique feature to Riverton City is a brine-making machine that was built that Mitchell and Skinner use to make a salt solution. Skinner has made most of the equipment associated with the brine solution. According to Mitchell the benefit of having the

brine solution is to create a barrier between the road and the new snow, and it makes cleaning up the snowy streets much easier. “If we know the snow is coming, then we will usually go out and lay the brine solution down to the main roads, so it makes everything a bit easier to clean up.” Skinner said. “There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into snowplowing.” Skinner said they have designated trucks set up to lay down the brine solution. Most of the problems the snowplow drivers encounter are parked cars and trailers on the roads, people’s complaints when snow is plowed in front of their house, people trying to pass them while driving. A couple things that Mitchell and Skinner would like winter drivers to know is to allow snow truck drivers more space and to understand that, much like semi trucks, it does take a lot longer for the plows to come to a stop, especially in the snowy conditions they tend to drive in. “Give the snowplow trucks some space,” Michell said. “Many people don’t understand the room needed with the blade. It takes us longer to stop and give them plenty of room.” Mitchell and Skinner said they enjoy their jobs year-round. When plowing the snow, they love knowing that family, friends and all other residents are getting to the places they need to more safely. “A lot of times we plow, we get a lot of thumbs from people, and that helps to keep going.” Mitchell said. “We have an eight-people crew, and they work so diligently, and with how many miles they have logged, they are really sincerely committed to doing a good job,” Angela Trammell, Riverton City’s Communication Manager said. “Even a minor storm, we are clocking almost a thousand miles.” Riverton residents may report a problem, like a missed street, at Rivertoncity.com. l


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February 2017 | Page 17

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ayor Bill Applegarth addressed Riverton residents during his state of the city report at the Jan. 3 city council meeting “There have been a lot of wonderful things accomplished this year; some of it continuations from the previous year, especially the Center Cal project—that is going to be a great new addition to Riverton,” Applegarth said. The report included many topics from utilities to the mayor’s priorities for water for the 2017 year. According to Applegarth the 2017–18 year will include no utility fee increases. Currently, Riverton City has lower utility costs than neighboring cities. Applegarth spoke about the management of labor costs, among many other things in his state of the city report. “We will continue to manage our labor costs by hiring and retaining competent, high-performing employees,” Applegarth said. “This will allow Riverton city to remain among the very best cities in terms of having the fewest number of employees per resident and keeping the labor cost low.” A high priority of the mayor for the year is to secure a long-term culinary water supply. The plan is to develop a plan to stabilize Riverton’s culinary water supply for the long term. The concern the mayor has is the storage capacity that is currently in place for culinary water. “In the future, we must build a new culinary water storage tank on the western side of Riverton. This will allow us to keep our culinary water rates as low as possible,” Applegarth said from his prepared statement. According to Applegarth’s prepared statement, he, his staff and the Riverton City Council are going to find the most cost-effective financial plan that is going to allow the construction of this culinary water tank as soon as possible. Lastly, Applegarth talked about his other closely tied priority to culinary water—a sustainable secondary water system. Over the course of the next three years, the State of Utah Division of Water Quality will be preforming a study to improve the water quality of Utah Lake and reducing the lake’s water surface area. “Riverton City can be an important part of supporting a healthier Utah Lake by working together to reduce the amount of water taken from the lake each year by using wise, economically feasible, conservation principles,” Applegarth said. l

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Page 18 | February 2017


Mustang basketball striving for state tournament By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


very game night the Herriman High School boys basketball team is going to give its best. This season the Mustangs only had one player with varsity experience, but they are still determined to make the most of their opportunities. “We are slowly progressing,” head coach Brad Tingey said. “We did not have any returning starters, only had one player with varsity experience.. We have some young players that we have been trying to teach. Despite that, every game we have had a chance.” Bingham defeated the Mustangs 86-56, and Juan Diego beat them 79-38. In the team’s other eight losses the average margin of victory is only six points. They have an overall record of 4-8 and are 1-2 in region games (at press deadline). Their four wins came over Provo (78-70), West Jordan (45-38), Hunter (71-44) and Riverton (49-47). “We want to give ourselves a chance to win every game,” Tingey said. “Every night in our region it is a war. Teams are going to earn it when they play us.” Earlier this season, senior Ryan Mccann scored a season high 32 points against Provo. He leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game. He is shooting 47 percent from the field and 73 from the free-throw line. “Ryan has waited for his opportunity,” Tingey said. “As a senior, he has taken full advantage of that chance. To his credit,

he worked and worked and worked to get this chance.” Weber State football recruit Noah Vaea is a team leader. Tingey said he gives a full effort all of the time, and his teammates count on him. “I try to give 110 percent all of the time on the floor,” Vaea said. “I try to give it all I have got all of the time. We just need to work together and not take dumb shots.” The Mustangs held off Riverton for their first region victory this season. They jumped out to an early lead holding the Silverwolves to only two points in the first quarter. Thy led by 11 at the half, 25-14. The Silverwolves rallied back, but fell just short, with the game ending 49-47. Mccann scored 14 and Vaea had 4 in the victory. The Mustangs are scheduled to face Riverton once more this season Friday, Feb. 3 at Herriman High School. They have defeated the Silverwolves three straight times. In the rivalry, they lead overall with a 9-8 record. “We really do not have a lot of experience,” Mccann said. “We are learning every game. I know we will finish strong this year.” To qualify for the state tournament, the Mustangs must finish in fourth place or better in Region 4. The 5A tournament is scheduled to begin Feb. 27 at the University of Utah and Utah Valley University. l

Senior Jake Mangum is averaging five points and nearly three rebounds per game. (Greg James/ City Journals)

“We are learning every game. I know we will finish strong this year.”

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February 2017 | Page 19

Garrett signs with USU-Eastern By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


erriman High School senior Madison Garrett had the desire to keep playing volleyball after she graduated from high school this spring. She studied the recruiting process, looked for opportunities and promoted her talents. She found an opportunity at Utah State Eastern in Price, Utah. “I am so excited to play there,” she said. “I went to Price for an official visit, and I fell in love with the campus. It is smaller, and I feel like my professors will know me. Volleyball-wise, they have a new coach, and I liked the direction and the way they play.” The process of recruiting has many rules. Coaches can contact high school athletes, but players can only take official paid for visits after their junior year in high school. There are dead periods and rules on what potential recruits can receive from the school. Garrett learned the rules and marketed her abilities to coaches around the country. She enrolled in a class her junior year at Herriman High School that taught students about the college recruiting process. She learned how to promote herself and the “how-to” of the college recruiting process. She filled out online profiles, uploaded videos and entered stats. She also contacted coaches all around the country. She received offers from several schools, including schools in Iowa, Kansas and Massachusetts. Garrett wanted to play close to home. Many times she found it was important to make sure the college coaches knew who she was. “Honestly, when we visited Herriman, Maddie was not one of the players we were looking at,” USU-Eastern head volleyball

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coach Danielle Jensen said. “She contacted us and was very engaged in the process. After a visit with her and watching her play, we loved how dominate her serve was, how she put up a tough block and was a strong hitter. Those abilities coupled with her ability to motivate teammates is what led us to making her an offer.” Garrett has played several positions. She was nicknamed the assistant setter, she played middle blocker and switched to right side hitter. At 6 feet tall, the ability to play several positions made her very versatile. She had 14 aces the last week of the high school season. “Nicholson (Herriman High Head Coach) taught me to believe in myself,” Garrett said. “He boosted my confidence and helped me to improve in the areas he knew I could. As a freshman, I was not that good at serving, but he taught me to work on it. We might not have had lots of wins at Herriman, but every match was a state qualifier. We played against the best teams every night.” Garrett had been rotated out in several games. She went to her coach and asked what she could do to get better. She found the areas she needed to improve and began working on getting better. “Had Maddie not been as involved and respectfully persistent with her desire to play at the next level, we most likely would not have given her the opportunity to show us her skills. We look forward to watching her grow at the next level,” Jensen said. Madison is the daughter of Mike and Catherine Garrett of Herriman. She has played volleyball since the third grade. l

Above: Madison Garrett signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball at USU-Eastern. (Catherine Garrett/ Herriman booster) Right: Herriman senior Madison Garrett (No. 10) played several positions for the Mustangs, including middle blocker and outside hitter. (Catherine Garrett/ Herriman booster)

Page 20 | February 2017



Patriots basketball is learning to fit in By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


n the southwest corner high on a hill sits Providence Hall High School. The Patriots boys basketball team is hoping to improve on last season’s first round state tournament loss. “This season has been a learning curve for us,” said Blake Pugmire, boys basketball head coach. “We have had some ups and downs and have worked to find our niche,. We have some young guys. Every year we get a roster full of new kids, and we learn to work together.” Providence Hall has taken a quiet position in the shadows of the big 5A schools, but despite its obscure placement, they have begun to make a formidable position in Region 16. The team finished fourth last season. The Patriots started its 2016–17 season with eight wins in its first 10 games. They are 6-1 when the front-court tandem of 6-foot-4-inch senior Rylee Withers and 6-foot-5-inch sophomore Marcus Sherwood score in double figures. Pugmire said playing as a team is important. “We have gotten good productivity from our bigs (Withers and Sherwood),” he said. “We need to find proper balance. When we

Providence Hall High School has found its spot amongst the bigger 5A schools surrounding its boundaries. They are building a tradition they can be proud of. (Greg James/ City Journals)

have a big score, and one of guards too, we are good.” Tannon Peterson has come off the bench and provided a much-needed spark. His 11.8 points per game ranks second on the team behind junior guard Boston Douglas’ 13.6. “Tannon is definitely a senior leader on this team, but there are lots of other kids that step in when it is needed,” Purmire said. “Boston and Parker (Green) have definitely

stepped up. This group is good friends and has good chemistry off the floor. This group works together.” Providence came up short in its first region game, falling to South Summit 61-52. The Patriots jumped out to a big lead. After one quarter, they led 17-11. Despite the early lead, the Patriots shots stopped falling. At the end of the first half, South Summit hit a halfcourt shot to tie up the game.

The second half was not as kind to the Patriots, and despite a last-ditch effort, they fell just short. “At first, I did not think our region was going to be as tough as last year, but seeing scores in the paper, I can see it is going to be tough,” Pugmire said. “We need to play our best and not make mistakes.” Region 16 boasts last season’s state champions, the Summit Academy Bears. The Patriots will also face North Summit, South Summit, American Leadership and Maeser Prep. “We stress effort,” Pugmire said. “We cannot control some things going on in the game, but we can always give full effort. We need to play faster. We are such a new school. The kids have not played together, but now that the junior high is coming together. When they get together up here it is going to get better.” The 2A state tournament is scheduled to begin Feb. 18, and the finals will be held at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield on Feb. 25. l

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February 2017 | Page 21

S outhV alleyJournal .Com


NOAH’S Event Venue

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any people in Utah know of NOAH’S Event Venue as the premier location for weddings, business meetings and events. With two state-of-the-art venues in South Jordan and Lindon, NOAH’S is often the first location that comes to mind when someone thinks of events in Utah. But what many locals don’t know is that over the last decade, NOAH’S has expanded nationwide and is now the largest event venue corporation in the country. NOAH’S was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in South Jordan. Every year more than 10,000 events are held at NOAH’S across the country. “The buildings are gorgeous and we are known for having the best customer service in the industry, but I think what really draws people in is our flexibility,” said NOAH’S Vice President of Public Relations Kirsten Mussi. One of the most unique things about NOAH’S is their open-vendor policy. Customers have the flexibility to bring in the vendors of their choice (including their caterer) to fit their budget and their tastes. Customers can rent each room individually or the entire building for the block of time that they would like. NOAH’S provides event essentials for no extra charge including tables, chairs, tablecloths, audiovisual, setup and cleanup. NOAH’S also provides countless ways to customize each space. The most notable involves NOAH’S unique movable ceiling. This revolutionary technology can only be found at

NOAH’S and it allows decorations to be suspended above the Main Hall without the need for a ladder. With various ceiling décor packages available, the space can be completely transformed.

“I’ve worked at NOAH’S for eight years and I’ve never seen two events that look the same,” said Tiffany Rhodes, the vice president of marketing at NOAH’S. “We have so many

different layouts and ways that each customer can customize the space with lighting, tablecloths and ceiling décor. When someone comes in with a vision, we love making it come to life.” Unlike most venues that have hidden fees and closely guard their pricing, NOAH’S has a very straightforward pricing structure. All prices can be found online at www. NoahsEventVenue.com. Customers can also check availability, see pictures, and even book their events online. There are currently 31 NOAH’S venues operating nationwide and an additional six venues are under construction. The company’s largest venue is the 32,000-square-foot building in South Jordan (322 W. 11000 S.). NOAH’S of South Jordan features 11 rentable event spaces including an ice skating rink, a racquetball court, the Main Hall, conference rooms, a theater room and four board rooms. NOAH’S of Utah County in Lindon (1976 W. 700 N.) features a streamlined one-story layout and a new high-end design. While NOAH’S has rapidly grown into a household name nationwide, the industry leader is proud of its Utah roots. “When you host an event at NOAH’S, you’ll get the kind of attention and genuine service that you would get from a small, family-owned business,” said Mussi. “But at the same time you will benefit from the expertise and experience of working with the best in the business.” Contact NOAH’S Event Venue at (801) 243-4675 or learn more at www.noahseventvenue.com.

Page 22 | February 2017


A New Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day




remember as a child carefully picking the card from the box of Valentines that had the perfect pun on it for that particular friend. Maybe it was a picture of an Elephant, “I won’t forget you are my Valentine” or the bear that proclaims “I can’t bear to be without you.” We would carefully tear along the dotted lines, so as not to rip them, then stuff each envelope with pink and yellow hearts, that when combined, made a secret message? Then we would run around the neighborhood leaving our creations on the doorsteps of our friends and those we had a childhood crush on. I remember that no matter how much we licked the envelope it wouldn’t stay stuck shut. Later as teens, when the hormones were raging, Valentines became a day of Teddy Bears and giant candy kisses, first dates and holding hands in the movie. Then finally I found that special someone and Valentines became the day where we would present cards to each other and try to think of creative ways to express our love without spending too much. After over 3 decades of marriage though, I’m finding that few of the sentiments on cards apply and I have often considered designing my own line of valentine cards that are sold according the number of years one has been together. “Valentine, our body’s may be sagging, but my love for you never will.” Or: “I can’t wait to celebrate our love tonight at

Monte’s Steakhouse and use the buy 1, get 1 free coupon we have.” As the years have gone by, it’s become the day to day little things that mean more to me than this designated day of love, like when my hubby brings me a cup of early morning coffee before I get out of bed or folding a load of laundry on a night when I’m working late. Valentines has really just become another day for us, so we decided to do something different and make Valentines a day of generosity. Instead of making it a selfish day of loving each other, something we already do every day, we’re turning it into a day of loving one another. We’ve discovered that by spending time together giving back is wonderful way to spread some Valentine cheer and

bring us closer together at the same time. Here’s a few ideas we’ve had for this year: • Make arrangements to drop off Valentine goodies to an elderly care facility. While at it you could stay a while and play a game of cards or just listen while they reminisce about the person they are missing. • Contact a children’s grief facility, like the Sharing Place, and donate craft boxes or needed supplies. • Plan a date night volunteering at the Utah Food Bank or serving up a meal at your local shelter. • Instead of dinner at a restaurant, have dinner at a charity event. Many non-profits hold charity gala’s and auctions. To find them, check http:// www.valleyjournals.com/calendar or contact the charity foundation of your choice. • Give blood together. It’s something we all intend to do, make a date of it and then have a meal together afterwards. Making February 14th a day to open your heart and share generosity is a great way for those of us with or without a Valentine. What better way is there to spend Valentine’s Day? _________________________________________ Joani Taylor is the founder of Coupons4Utah.com. A website devoted to helping Utah families save time and money on restaurants, things to do and everyday needs.

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February 2017 | Page 23

S outhV alleyJournal .Com


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’m a terrible romantic. I mean that literally. I’m terrible at being romantic. When God handed out sentimentality, I was hiding in a bathroom stall eating a box of chocolate donuts. If I’d married an unfeeling psychopath that wouldn’t be a problem, but my husband could be the spokesperson for the Hallmark channel. He’ll plan Valentine’s Day like he’s competing for a spot on “The Nicholas Sparks RomanceA-Thon Reality Evening.” There’s roses and poetry and candlelight and chocolates and puppies and rainbows and glitter. And then there’s me, sitting dumbfounded saying something like, “Did Valentine’s Day come early this year?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m lucky to have a husband who remembers not only my birthday, but the time of my birth, what the #1 song was and the Oscar-winning movie from the year I was born. But by comparison, it makes me look pretty pathetic. I often return kind thoughts with chilling sarcasm—but he still hugs me and makes me feel like I’m not quite the monster I think I am. (But he should probably stop calling me FrankenPeri.) So because of all the sweetness he shows me, and because I’m still learning this whole romance thing, this is my Valentine’s letter to my hubbie: Thank you for having my back and being willing to fly into battle to defend me from the smallest slights.



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Amazon (“Where did that come from?”). Thank you for binge watching TV shows, not dragging me to parties, reading next to me in bed, laughing at my jokes, going to my yoga class and snuggling every morning before we head out to face the world. And here’s the funny thing. Despite my resistance and outer shell of cynicism, I often feel like the Grinch when his heart grows three sizes. I’ll find myself crying at movies without embarrassment (but I’ll still get offended when you offer me a tissue). You’ve taught me to appreciate sunsets, beautiful clouds and a gentle hug at the end of the day. Maybe one day I’ll change from being a terrible romantic to being terribly romantic. Probably not. But it could happen.


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Profile for The City Journals

South Valley February 2017  

Vol. 27 Iss. 02

South Valley February 2017  

Vol. 27 Iss. 02