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t was the news the friends and family of Riverton residents Josh and Thamy Holt had started to worry that they would never hear: “Josh and Thamy Holt, released from prison and headed back to the U.S.” The news seemed to come out of nowhere, but the entire world celebrated as the couple made their way back home to Utah. Josh Holt traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry Thamara Candelo, and bring her and her two daughters back home to the United States. Instead of wedded bliss, military intelligence accused them of being spies and charged them of terrorism, espionage and illegal possession of weapons after authorities claimed to have found two automatic rifles and a hand-grenade in their apartment. The couple had been waiting on Calena’s U.S. Visa when they were arrested. The last couple of years have been anything short of a massive emotional rollercoaster for Josh’s family. His mother, Laurie Moon Holt, and her husband have been advocating for his release ever since. On three separate occasions, the Holts had been put through the torment of thinking they were getting closer to seeing their son released only to have it pulled out from under them by some sort of political red tape. In February of 2018, after a year of working with Venezuela’s child welfare agency, Thamy Holt’s 7-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, whose father died in 2017, travelled to the U.S. to live with Josh Holt’s parents. Not knowing when or if her son would be released, Laurie Moon Holt and her husband travelled to Miami to meet the young girl and bring her back to Utah. Thamy Holt’s other daughter continued to reside in Venezuela until her mother’s release when she travelled with Josh and Thamy back to Utah. On May 26, 2018, Sen. Orrin Hatch issued the following statement as the Holt’s were already on their way to Washington, D.C.: “I’m pleased to announce that after two




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years of hard work, we’ve secured the release of Josh and Thamy Holt, who are now on their way home to the United States from Venezuela. Over the last two years, I’ve worked with two presidential administrations, countless diplomatic contacts, ambassadors from all over the world, a network of contacts in Venezuela and [Venezuelan] President [Nicolas] Maduro himself, and I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverton.” Hatch went on to express his thanks to Chairman Bob Corker for his pivotal efforts, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their help in this effort. “I want to particularly thank Caleb McCarry, whose expertise and effort in Venezuela on my behalf has been instrumental in bringing Josh home,” Hatch said. Hatch has worked for the last two years to secure Josh’s release, including most recently negotiations with Maduro himself. Their release came just one day after a meeting between U.S. officials and Maduro in

Caracas, whom the Trump administration has claimed runs a dictatorship. This meeting came on the heels of months of meetings between an aide to Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and allies of Maduro. Trump tweeted and said Holt had been a hostage and expected to host Holt and his family when they arrived at the White House when they arrived in Washington, D.C.. The Holt family said in a statement that Holt’s release was a miracle. “We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish,” said the Holt family in statement. “We are grateful to all who participated in this miracle. We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish. We ask that you allow us to meet with our son and his wife before giving any interviews and statements. We are grateful to all who participated in this miracle.” After the Holts arrived in Washington, D.C., they spent the night at an area hospital undergoing a mirage of tests before they were

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Saturday, July 14 • 8:30AM -3PM allowed to fly home to Utah. On May 28, they were met with cheers, hugs and banners from friends and family and members of their community as they came down the escalators at the Salt Lake International Airport. It was a welcome home fit for a man and his wife, who only strived to get married and live happily ever after but faced adversity from the very start. The Holts have received support from not only friends and family but from strangers all over the world. Welcome home Josh and Thamy Holt! l

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Family members each play a part for Miss Bluffdale 2018 By Holly Vasic | h.vasic@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 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer Tracy.l@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1021 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton Sierra Daggett Amanda Luker South Valley Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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ard work for eight women came to a heart-pounding conclusion on May 5 at Riverton High School as the Miss Bluffdale Scholarship Pageant capped its newest winner. The evening unfolded with performances by the contestants, a farewell daddy-daughter dance from last year’s winner, a Little Miss pageant, and, at the end of the show, the winner, Abigail Roller, was crowned. Abigail’s brother Liam Roller, who just turned 5 last month, sat in the very back row of the Riverton High School auditorium with a family friend, too little and impatient to sit through the entire show. He had just been playing in the commons area with his friend and had come back in to hear the winner. When “Abigail Roller” was called, he threw his arms in the air and screamed louder than anyone else. Jamie, Abigail’s mother, couldn’t believe it. “I was in awe that it was my daughter that just won,” she said. Adam, Abigail’s 12-year-old brother, described how nervous he was after the show, asking his family if they had felt the same. Sisters Jessica, 10, and Bella, 15, couldn’t be happier for their oldest sibling. Their dad, Matthew, recalled feeling overcome with emotions. This family of seven all worked together to make Abigail’s (known as Abbi) dream of becoming Miss Bluffdale a reality, such as finding sponsors for the perfect dress. Jamie loved the dress shopping. “The most fun part was when she would ask me to go dress shopping with her and seeing her try on all of the many, many dresses,” Jamie said. The entire process of competing for Miss Bluffdale was challenging and exciting for Jamie as a mother and has given her the opportunity to allow Abbi to make decisions for herself. “We are really close as a mother and daughter and I had to step back and let her do this on her own,” Jaime said. Abbi will be off to Utah State University

Left to right: Mother Jamie, 12-year-old brother Adam with five-year-old brother Liam on his shoulders, Miss Bluffdale Abbi, 15-year-old sister Bella, 10-year-old sister Jessica, and Dad Matthew (Holly Vasic/City Journals)

this fall with the scholarship winnings she was awarded from being crowned. This experience may have been a positive step toward what’s to come: Jamie’s first born leaving the nest. “I already know if I think about it too much I’m going to cry that my little girl is growing up,” Jamie said. In addition to the support of her family, Abbi had, what she called, a secret weapon— her new-found friend Hanna Norton. Though Jamie loved the dress shopping, Abbi said it was a difficult aspect of preparing for the pageant. “One of the biggest challenges for me was finding an evening gown that fit all of my picky requirements,” Abbi said. She tried on a variety of evening gowns at many different dress places, one of them being Bling it On, a dress rental place in Riverton, where she met Norton. “She took me under her wing, even while she was busy preparing for the Miss Lehi pageant she is in,” Abbi said.

Abbi’s dad, Matthew, was a little surprised when she decided to compete. “We are not pageant people,” he said. It was not something Abbi had grown up doing, but Jessica was confident in her big sister. “Abbi is very wonderful and kind,” Jessica said. “When she does something, she never gives up, and she looks like a princess.” The pageant may be over, but Abbi has the year ahead of her to be Miss Bluffdale, already practicing her parade wave. “I’m looking forward to going to parades and also really making a difference in Bluffdale with my platform,” she said. Bella is also looking forward to what her big sister can do in their city. “It is going to be a great experience to really connect with Bluffdale and become a part of the community,” Bell said. l

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S outh Valley City Journal

Herriman Arts Council’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is sure to be a flying, family fun show By Christy Jepson | christy@mycityjournals.com


hen Herriman resident Kristin Housley was just 5 years old, her father, who was in the movie business, took her to the grand premier of the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Not only did she get to meet the 1968 stars of the movie, Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, she also got to take home a record of all the songs from the musical. From that moment, Housley fell in love with the story and the music. Now, nearly 50 years later, Housley is excited to be the director for the 2018 Herriman Arts Council summer musical production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which will be performed at the W&M Butterfield Park in Herriman starting July 11. “I fell in love with this movie,” Housley said. “It’s a love story—a story about dreams coming true and bad guys getting what they deserve and children coming off victor, and it’s a lot of fun! I was inspired then and continued to be inspired by it now.” If you have ever been to a Herriman Arts Council production, you are sure to have heard the words “Herriman magic”—something it does that brings magic and surprise to each of its shows. Housley mentioned that there is yet another “Herriman magic” element to this show too. “One that will surprise everyone,” she said. According to the producer, James Crane, the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” car comes from

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Chicago and promises to surprise and thrill the audience. The story of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is about a quirky inventor, Caracatus Potts, who turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy flying vehicle for his children. The Potts family, along with Truly Scrumptious, the daughter of a major confectionery maker, all go off on a magical adventure to a far-away land to save the Potts’ grandfather from the evil rulers, Baron and Baroness Bomburst. This production has a little a bit of everything from crazy adventures to a little romance to some exciting surprises. “This is a real family classic musical,” said Deb Taylor, the production manager for the show. “There’s so much imagination in the story, and kids live in their imaginations every day. It is a great celebration of childhood and fantasy.” Crane, the producer, explains how the story embraces creativity, the power of the family unit and reminds us all that magic is always with us, if we are willing to look for it. “The talent on stage is incredible,” he said. “The story is heartwarming and hilarious. The music is beautiful and catchy, and the dancing is lively and a real visual treat.” Almost everyone in this show has been in a previous Herriman production. Barton Sloan, who plays Grandpa Potts, loves working with such great talent.

Spies, Boris and Goran, from the Herriman Arts Council’s summer production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” played by Tevan McPeak and Brent Rindlisbacher. (Picture credit Tonia McPeak.)

“There are a lot of return actors,” said Sloan. “Having a lot of return actors shows that Herriman has a great love for the theater and shows the great quality of productions they make.” The production is performed at the Rosecrest covered pavilion at the W&M Butterfield Park in Herriman. The outdoor setting makes for a great outdoor stage. “The sun setting in the west during the show is remarkable and adds another unexpected element and always seems to enhance the visual impact,” said Taylor. Costume designer Emily Berbert enjoys the beautiful scenery the Herriman hills gives to the background. “I really like this stage,” she said. “The natural hills in the background are beautiful.”

It is obvious that the producer, director, actors, costume designers, production managers all love the theater and hope to share their love of the theater with the audience. It is estimated that about 30,000 volunteer hours will be put into this show. “Every ounce of ourselves and the love we have for theater and the arts goes into our shows,” Taylor said. “What a magical thing to give our children—the love of the arts. Shows like this one will bring wonder and amazement to any child.” Just as Housley fell in love with the film the first time she saw it at age 5, she hopes it will have the same effect on people who come. “I hope the audience leaves the theatre happier than when they arrived, more hopeful about their lives and humming a tune from the show,” she said. “That is what musical theater has always done for me and what I wish it for everyone.” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” will be performed at the Rosecrest Pavilion at the W & M Butterfield Park (6212 Butterfield Park Way) on July 11–14, 16, 17, 19–21 and 23. Tickets prices are $9 per person and can either be bought in advance at www.herriman.org/arts-council, or you can purchase them at the box office the day of the show. The box office opens at 6 p.m. the night of the show. Tickets are for general seating with the house opening at 7:30 p.m., and the performance starts at 8: p.m. l

July 2018 | Page 5

Golden Spoke ride unites bikers, communities of Wasatch Front


early 150 years ago, railroad workers from the east coast and west coast met at Promontory Point, Utah, where they signified the connection between the two halves of America with a Golden Spike. On June 2, bikers from across the Wasatch Front rode from Ogden in the north and Provo in the south and met one another at the center of the new Jordan River Parkway Bridge in Salt Lake City to celebrate the completion of over 100 miles of continuous multi-use trails. The name of the event (as well as the new trail system itself): the Golden Spoke. “It was a great ride,” said Matt Christensen, who rode from the mouth of Provo Canyon, where riders met as early as 5:15 a.m. Christensen said the various new additions to the trail system make using it much easier for Utah bikers. “I rode, and it wasn’t all connected so you would get lost in neighborhoods,” he said. “Like the Jordan Narrows area, past Thanksgiving Point, is all connected now which is great. Before you had to go up and do a big detour. So yeah, it’s great to be able to stay on trails all the way through and avoid all the traffic.” The trail system is now the longest multiuse trail west of the Mississippi River. After the two groups of riders met on the bridge, they gathered at nearby Fisher Mansion in Salt Lake City for a celebration that included food

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By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com trucks, a bike course for kids and public speakers. “It was a great ride,” said Scott Barrett, a Sugar House resident who regularly uses the trails system as well as public transportation to commute to his job in Draper every day. “There were all types of riders, all types of bikes, and we had great weather.” The trail system’s potential for providing Utah residents with alternative commuting options was noted by both event organizers and guest speakers, including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who attended the celebration portion of the event at Fisher Mansion. “This helps us with our air quality as we get off of our vehicles and onto bicycles,” said Herbert. Herbert also drew comparisons between the Golden Spoke trail system and the Golden Spike, the place where the Transcontinental Railroad’s east and west ends met in Promontory Point, Utah. “The Golden Spoke’s a little more regional, a little more local, but no less important,” said Herbert. “The Transcontinental Railroad connected the east and west coasts together so America was a little smaller. What we’re doing here with these trails is connecting our communities, making it so we can in fact work together and appreciate each other’s communities.” Herbert was joined by other local leaders, such as Mike Caldwell, the mayor of Ogden,

Bikers from the south head up the Jordan River Parkway Bridge, where they met with another group of riders who came from the north. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

as well as the chair of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, a cooperative alliance of local government leaders tasked with finding and implementing innovative transportation solutions to accommodate Utah’s rapidly growing population.

“I think this can only happen in the state of Utah, where communities come together, they work together, they collaborate, they coordinate,” Caldwell said. “I don’t see this kind of work happening in any other state that I’ve had exposure to.”l

S outh Valley City Journal

Don’t go chasing waterfalls; stick to fireflies By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com


hen it comes to Utah insects, a few on the easy-to-spot list would be grasshoppers, ants, wasps and boxelder bugs. Earwigs find a way to make a casual sashay up the walls here. Daddy long-legs seem to have a rockhound club in every valley window well. Mosquitos regularly perform a funky flash mob out on the lakes. Pill bugs hide smart and tight in our suburbia sidewalk cracks. Moths find their place of expiration in that common graveyard of sliding door tracks. We have our predictable Utah creepy-crawlies. But, don’t let the stink bug you accidentally squashed curb your wild creature enthusiasm. It’s a good time to see something new. There are luminous beetle characters showing up on the Utah scene—fireflies. They are a curious thing, flashing their creature rhythm of morse-style code. They are convincing many that there is more biodiversity to our state than we may think. Utah entomologists and insect experts have a proposition for local residents. Researchers can use our assistance for a firefly citizen science project. The Natural History Museum of Utah and BYU specialists have merged efforts to find and observe firefly populations, and they’re looking for help. To badly mis-quote a 1990s hit TLC song… “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.” Please stick to the wetlands and the mud that you’re used to, and help find fireflies. You can visit the citizen project details here: https://nhmu. utah.edu/fireflies, where you can learn about these interesting beetles, submit sightings and view a firefly map of where people have observed them. The map has a spread-out selection of possible places to find them. The project can help offer clues of where more might be found. For those interested in experiencing creatures behind glass, there is a temporary firefly exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah. When asked whether fireflies are native or invasive to Utah,

A large firefly sculpture lights up with the press of a button, at Natural History Museum of Utah (Amy Green/City Journals)

Christy Bills, entomology collections manager at the Natural History Museum of Utah, clarifies that fireflies are in fact, indigenous. “They’ve been here forever,” she said. “They’re not strong flyers. Once they’re in an area, they can’t move away from that area very successfully.” She explained how some people believe anecdotes of how their ancestors must have brought fireflies to Utah in a jar. It’s not common to spot a firefly though. “We don’t know about them, but farmers who go out to their pastures at night—they have known about them,” Bills noted. Just one firefly logged to the map gives a whole lot of data. There’s hope to find more and to involve resident scientists or even just outdoor enthusiasts to take on new purpose in their

adventures. It could be a fun outing to search, find, get pictures of and actually log a firefly onto the community map. It’s likely that more firefly sightings would be in areas with wet reeds, near still waters and around wild corn dogs (cattails). These are the best places to spot them. Head toward muddy areas. “Swaner Preserve (Park City), Spring Lake (near Provo) and Nibley (Cache County) are three places to possibly see them,” Bills said. “But, you never know. I hate to say, ‘Go there, and you’ll see one.’ You can never shop the wild.” Go out during night-time hours, and it seems like one might want a headlamp and sturdy galoshes to go searching. If you go firefly spotting, remember to wear proper bug repellant, full coverage outerwear and choose a safe plan. Let others know where you’re going. These things are always best done in groups and with an adult. If you see fireflies, “Leave them alone,” Bills said. “We have the web farm (website above) for people to report that they’ve seen them. We never harm the population.” The few that are taken by scientists are kept in a specimen collection and used for important nationwide research. “They are not an endangered species,” Bills said. No one is going to have to give up their property for government scrutiny, or areas won’t become restricted if fireflies are spotted. Be careful not to trespass on others’ privacy though. Go firefly searching in public areas. Scientists are calling for those who enjoy a tiny species hunt to help communicate where a firefly has been seen. Even if we can only spot one—playing the fiddle, living inside a giant peach or eating its way through a wild corn dog. Each glowing firefly has loads of valuable information to offer us, with just one more dazzling dot on the map. l

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UFA fires into the world of podcasts By Aspen Perry | a.perry@mycityjournals.com


hat began as a way to provide more training and internal communication for Unified Fire Authority’s (UFA) emergency medical services (EMS) division has plans to venture into the public outreach realm. Roll Call Podcast was adapted as a forum for various UFA paramedic-training options developed when EMS Division Chief Wade Watkins, Captain Layne Hilton, and UFA paramedic Chris Middlemiss began bouncing around ideas regarding the annually required training for UFA’s paramedics. “Each year paramedics need to certify in advanced cardiac life support, and we rotate every other year for pediatric life support,” Watkins said. After some deliberation regarding the best way to get the message of Medical Director Dr. Kim Roland out to the department, as well as to encourage questions, Watkins and Middlemiss felt a podcast offered the best potential to create an open-forum dialogue. “I chose a couple street medics and an operations captain, and they could ask any question they wanted to,” Watkins said. “Having the medical director there to interact was phenomenal as far as the communication that happened.” Watkins said the level of outreach the podcast format allotted was significant, given the large size of UFA with 640 employees, including 200 paramedics. “They could all hear the why (behind the procedure), they could hear the doctor’s mindset, and then the paramedics could get answers — and it worked,” Watkins said. The level of success reached from the first attempt at the podcast led to more possibilities, including case reviews to broaden the knowledge of positive outcomes throughout the EMS division. “Let’s say paramedics go on a call that rendered good results

Page 8 | July 2018

for a patient,” Watkins said. “We’re going to take those paramedics and talk to them, so our other practitioners can hear that, embrace it, and learn from it.” In addition to receiving firsthand feedback from division directors and in-the-field methods for success, Watkins explained how the podcast forum was beneficial as a means for expediting the learning process for new paramedics. For Watkins, the conversational style of a podcast also lends to a natural mode of learning through dialogue. “I love the conversation. It’s easy to (understand) a conversation where it’s okay to be wrong and learn from (that dialogue),” Watkins said. In addition to discussing training and community issues, Roll Call has recently started exploring micro-learning episodes, ranging from 10–15 minutes on topics such as drug of the month, which could serve as a tool for citizens to understand community issues, as much as the intent for UFA education. While the majority of Roll Call podcasts at this time are geared toward furthering the education and training of UFA staff, the knowledge can also be used by civilians to better understand why UFA operates as it does today. It also provides lessons on both the successes and challenges facing the men and women charged with saving lives. In preparation for summer, Watkins has plans for a two-part episode covering wildland firefighting, in which he hopes to include not only best practices for local and national firefighters who tune in, but also address concerns of the average citizen. For individuals who prefer watching interview conversations, Watkins, Hilton, and Middlemiss recently started filming podcasts with a virtual reality (VR) camera, so viewers can feel as though they’re in the room and part of the conversation. The VR video recording of the fourth podcast — part 1: CVA, EMS

UFA Podcast 1: Roll Call Podcast hosted by UFA EMS Division (Roll Call itunes)

review with 104A — is available to view on YouTube. The Roll Call Podcast is available for free on iTunes, under the category of “Science & Medicine,” for any civilians interested in better familiarizing themselves with UFA happenings. l

S outh Valley City Journal

Riverton seeks residents’ help in capturing city life through photo contest


By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

iverton City officials have launched the “Best of Riverton Photo Contest” with the goal of having residents capture the very best the city has to offer through photography. The contest, which runs through Aug. 3, is divided into three categories: Live, Work/Service and Play. Photos from the contest will be used to tell Riverton’s story in the city’s future marketing and communications efforts. “You don’t have to be a professional photographer to participate,” said Casey Saxton, director of communications. “We want to capture what life is like in Riverton, whether you take photos with a professional camera, drone or phone. Our hope is that folks will get out into the community and take and submit photos of all things Riverton.” Suggested photo subjects include aerial fireworks, city landscapes, public buildings, pets, backyard barbecues, sports, community events, volunteer projects, employment and crafts fairs, and more. The contest is open to everybody, both residents and non-residents, and each individual can submit up to 10 photos. Photos also don’t need to have been taken during the contest dates—so if you took a great picture at the Town Days three years ago, you can still submit it to the contest without any worries. This isn’t the first time Riverton officials have invited residents to contribute to city branding in the form of a contest. The city’s

S outh V alleyJournal .com

Congratulations on 50 Years of Marriage! Lamont and Rosalin Hamilton are celebrating 50 years of marriage on July 6, 2018. Lifelong residents of Herriman, they have had an influence on many lives through the 4-H horse program, High School Rodeo, and church callings. Friends and family are invited to celebrate with them on July 14, 2018 at an open house in their honor. The celebration will be held at the LDS Stake Center located at 13768 South 6400 West from 6-8 that evening. Please no gifts.

Entered photos have a chance to be featured in Riverton’s future communications and marketing materials. (Riverton City Communications)

new logo was also designed by a resident, as part of a contest hosted just this last April. “Citizen involvement is a priority for the city,” said Councilwoman Tricia Tingey in an official city press release. “We want residents to be able to have a hand in telling Riverton’s story by participating in the photo contest.” One overall winning photograph will be selected from all the submissions, as well as a winner from each of the three categories. The

across-the-board winner will receive a $300 cash award, and category winners will each receive a $100 award. The winners will be recognized at a city council meeting, and the winning photos will be hung, with attribution, in City Hall and posted on the city’s social media accounts. Entry details, as well as contest rules and conditions, can be found at rivertoncity.com/ photocontest.l

July 2018 | Page 9

A new face for Riverton City Hall By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


iverton City Hall needs a remodel, and city officials have decided that there’s no better time than the present. The place is already hopping with orange cones and construction machines from the neighboring Redwood Road project, so why not add a few more to the mix? “It felt like the timing was ideal,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs at a June 5 city council meeting. “With the improvements to Redwood Road, the timing was right to try and visit some improvements to the frontage.” Riverton City Hall was built back in 1909 to serve as an elementary school, and between its utilitarian beginnings and the awkward placement of utilities such as the power pole and transformer, “picturesque’” isn’t exactly the first word that pops into mind upon first glance-- or second glance either, for that matter. “I’d like to—I think everybody would like to—at least relocate the power pole,” chuckled Mayor Staggs. Besides relocating the transformer and power pole, some other features up for consideration are an elevated entryway with an arch, memorial bricks, extra parking spots and a waterfall. The city planning commission has assembled some sketches and design concepts, but since an overarching design hasn’t been decided on yet, the cost isn’t decided yet either. The current estimate looks to be around $380,000,

which has already been set aside in the city budget, but that’s just an estimate. “I’m in favor of this, but I would like some more solid numbers,” said Councilmember Tawnee McCay. “As far as the infrastructure—the curb, gutter, sidewalk, paving—we can nail that down pretty quick,” said City Planner Andrew Aagard. “Those are just unit prices. It’s when we start getting into the arch and waterfall, those types of things—those are the unknowns.” Before city officials can go out to bid on those extra design features, they need to figure out exactly what it is they want to see. “I would like to see our final plan look something similar to what we have at the park,” said Councilmember Tish Buroker. “It would just be nice to identify some tie-ins, perhaps to the Old Dome Meeting Hall or surrounding landscaping, “so it doesn’t look like another separate distinct building. What do we have at the park that we could pull over here, so that there’s some sense of uniformity? Especially considering the fact that the buildings are both fairly close to each other.” One goal of the remodeling is to make the building look more official. “I think this front, it still kind of looks like a seeder,” McCay said. “It just reminds me of, like, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or something, and we’re a city hall. I would like to see some-

City planners have designed various concepts, but nothing is set in stone yet. (Courtesy Riverton City)

thing a little more colonial, with some pillars. You know, we’re a government office.” The Riverton Historic Preservation Society has also been weighing in on the design process. City Hall is currently Riverton’s only building on the National Register of Historic Places, so maintaining some amount of integrity to the original design is important, even if it’s not the most exciting-looking thing on the planet. Being on the Register earns a building significant federal grants for upkeep and maintenance.

There are also grants available for water-efficient landscapes that could offset a big chunk of the remodeling costs, and these have not been factored into price estimates yet, city officials confirmed. “The grant from the [Jordan Valley] Water Conservancy District should be the first on our list, because if it’s approved, they can pay up to half of that,” said Aagard. “We’re talking $50,000 to $60,000 in landscaping costs that can be granted through the conservancy district.” l

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Page 10 | July 2018

S outh Valley City Journal

Riverton remembers those who served, no matter how long ago

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The community gathered on blankets and lawn chairs to watch the service. (Riverton City Communications)


iverton residents honored their fallen veterans with their annual Memorial Day service on May 28. Since 2018 marks the 100year anniversary of the end of World War I, this year’s service shone a particular light on the 44 World War I veterans buried in the cemetery. Residents gathered at the Riverton City Cemetery (1540 West. 13200 South) at noon and sat on blankets and lawn chairs to watch the program, which included the American Legion Honor Guard, a 21-gun salute, and a reading of the names of all the cemetery’s deceased veterans. Decorating the cemetery for the event was a community effort. Volunteers met at the cemetery the evening before the service to

S outh V alleyJournal .com

place flags on veterans’ graves. In addition to the flags, the Riverton Historic Preservation Commission received a small $600 grant from the Utah World War I commission, to be used for making metal poppies to place on the World War I veterans’ graves. “World War I veterans, none of them are left, and so nobody can tell their stories,” said Riverton Historic Preservation Chairman Andy Pierucci back in March, when the Riverton HPC first applied for the grant. “We’d like to be able to help recognize not only those that served in World War I for Riverton, but also just for World War I in general—all those that served.”l

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July 2018 | Page 11

New Herriman Police Department begins to take shape By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

After Police Chief Troy Carr (second from right), these three men, Cody Stromberg, Chad Reyes and Brian Weidmer (from left to right) were hired to round off the leadership team of the new Herriman Police Department. (Herriman City)


t least the beginnings of one. After deciding in May to separate from the Unified Police Department, major steps were taken in June toward the ultimate formation of Herriman’s brand new public safety arm. Newly appointed Police Chief Troy Carr, who most recently served as the UPD precinct chief for Herriman, introduced the first three members of the department during the June 6 city council meeting: Chad Reyes, deputy chief of police; Cody Stromberg, lieutenant and operations commander; and Brian Weidmer, lieutenant and investigations commander. “These three are the top of the top in law enforcement,” Carr told the city council. “As a team, we will build you something that our community is going to be very, very proud of.” Reyes was a lieutenant with UPD in the Herriman precinct prior to taking his new position. The new deputy chief spent about 20 years with UPD working in various units such as violent crimes and K9 where he felt “privileged” to serve. A Herriman resident, Reyes said he feels honored to serve the community where he resides. “I appreciate the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to the future,” he said. Stromberg, a former city council candidate, will lead the operations division, while Weidmer comes from UPD. Weidmer has previously worked in SWAT, search and rescue and community policing among others. “I am very pleased and humbled to be here and a part of this team,” Weidmer said. “I bring great enthusiasm to this as-

Page 12 | July 2018

signment.” These inaugural members of the HPD had quite the competition, with Carr noting the “amazing response” of applicants they had after posting the positions. Applicants came from all over the Western United States, including Las Vegas Metro and San Mateo (California) Police Departments, according to Carr. Reyes told the Journal there are lots of moving parts to the transition with equipment, vehicles and branding, in addition to the salary and benefits packages they need to put together for prospective officers. Renderings for the department’s patch and badge have already been created. Target dates are always moving, Reyes said, but the tentative aim is to separate from UPD on Sept. 29 and hire supervisors and patrol officers in the early to middle part that month. “People are going to come to us because of our culture and our community,” Carr said. “I truly believe that. People want to police here.” “Now is our time to build the Herriman City Police Department,” he continued. “Now is our time to build the brand and the culture and what it’ll become known as long after we’re all gone. I’m very, very proud and happy to be at that foundation level.” Withdrawal process Despite a frosty beginning to the separation with UPD leadership, all indications from city officials are that preliminary discussions have been productive. City leaders are working with UPD Chief Jason Mazuran on the transition. “There’s very much an underlying

tone of mindfulness on both sides,” Mazuran said during the June 6 work meeting. “To make sure what we’re doing is fair and equitable to Herriman City and to the other partners of the UPD so that we can make that (transition) as clean and smooth as possible.” During that same meeting, City Manager Brett Wood said they don’t want to leave UPD “in a detriment,” that they should be left with “a benefit as well,” to serve as an example. Much of the discussion now revolves around logistics, notably patrol cars and rebranding. Councilwoman Nicole Martin described the separation as a “divorce,” and every attempt is being made to have “a good divorce for the sake of the kids.” This is about public safety, she said, and would expect a dysfunctional process if that was not the case. City leaders said they are operating in good faith with UPD with Mayor David Watts adding he wants to see UPD be proactive in this process so it’s not left to the last minute. As for service, both sides are adamant no gap in police coverage will occur. While Carr has taken mantle as chief of police, UPD has appointed Lt. Brian Lohrke to oversee operations during the transition. His focus will be on policing, taking no part in the separation negotiations. “My sole purpose is to keep the eye on the ball,” he said. l

S outh Valley City Journal

Slow down: speed reducers coming to Mountain View Corridor By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


ith recent accidents along Mountain View Corridor giving the Herriman community much concern, plans are now in place to implement safety measures along the highway. Rosecrest Road in particular was the location of several fatalities in recent years. City Engineer Blake Thomas told the city council during its June 6 work meeting there’s been 46 accidents on Rosecrest between Jan. 1, 2010, and March 31, 2018. This does not include the recent accident on April 9 that killed a 9-monthold baby. The intersection at Rosecrest and MVC (located near the Providence Hall schools) will see advanced warning systems (flashing yellows) put in place prior to the intersection to warn drivers of an impending red light. UDOT officials will install those signs before the end of the summer, according to Thomas. Dual red globe lights are also planned to be installed at every intersection with a cross street along the MVC. This will be from 4100 South to Porter Rockwell Boulevard. Thomas said these lights come from a study done in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that reduced total collisions by 12 percent and right-angle collisions by 33 percent. Thomas expected these to be installed during same time frame as the advanced warning signs. Often, police officers must sit behind one stoplight, meaning they either can’t tell when

A study done in North Carolina saw car collisions decrease with the use of these dual red lights. These will be installed at every cross street along the Mountain View Corridor from 4100 South to Porter Rockwell Boulevard. (Courtesy Herriman City documents)

someone runs a red light or the officer must run the red light as well to pull over the violating driver. A tattle tell light—a blue light mounted on the pole of a stop light that illuminates when the light turns red—will also be installed at the MVC intersection with Rosecrest. Other loca-

tions for the tattle tell lights are currently being discussed. “So we’re saying this is our fair warning to our residents that we’re going to make it even more difficult to run red lights in our city,” said Mayor David Watts. The cost for each of these signs will be covered by UDOT, according to Thomas. A new system, recently being tested out in Arizona that uses infrared to track wrong-way drivers, will be installed at the 12600 South intersection of the MVC. The system will send out an alert to police and initiate blinking lights placed on the back of speed limit signs alerting the driver. These new signals come about after a meeting between the public, Herriman City and UDOT—along with their recent analyses and studies. Thomas said solutions from city staff included extending Autumn Crest Boulevard to 13400 South and connecting Juniper Crest Road to Real Vista Drive across the MVC (expected to be done summer 2019). “When that gets connected, we’ll have another connection in case there is an accident on Mountain View (Corridor), you can get people out and around,” Thomas said. These two road extensions, Thomas said, will help alleviate the congestion problem at Rosecrest Road often cited by residents. l

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July 2018 | Page 13

Helmets, awareness most important bike safety practices By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


et. Mike Russell said the biggest safety issue for kids is not wearing a helmet when riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters. “Wearing helmets is huge,” said Russell. “They should always have a helmet on. If we could have everybody wear a helmet, that would be our No. 1 goal.” As a police officer with the Unified Police Department, Russell said he has seen helmets save lives. But wearing helmets is often overlooked. “If you were to watch when kids are coming to school every day, one-fourth of them don’t have helmets, and some of those don’t have them on the right way,” said Rebecca Blackburn, first-grade teacher at Midas Creek Elementary. As the weather got warmer this spring, Midas Creek Elementary, in Riverton, held a Bike Rodeo. Ardis Bird, the PTA volunteer who arranged the rodeo, said they invited just firstgrade classes to participate. “They are having the opportunity to be a little bit more independent, as they know how to ride a bike, and they are off riding,” she said. “You want them out of the road and stopping at the stop sign and learning the safety rules so they can be safe as they enjoy their summer activities.” Russell and fellow detective Jared Nichols reviewed safety rules with first-graders and discussed traffic signs students might encounter in their neighborhood—stop signs, crosswalks, railroad crossings. They also reviewed cycling hand signals. Then the 6- and 7-year-olds navigated an obstacle course designed to test their awareness of potential dangers they may encounter while playing outdoors. Parent volunteers met students at each station, to watch them identify hazards and follow traffic signs. Riding bikes and scooters provided by the officers,

First-graders review safety skills in a bike rodeo. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

students navigated several stop signs, a train crossing, a pedestrian crossing at an intersection, swerving between cones and yielding at roundabout. Nichols made sure to demonstrate proper helmet placement for students. He said helmets should have a snug fit and be level on the head of the wearer. Most of the students brought their own—some with rubber Mohawks or designed to look like a unicorn. Police provided helmets to those who didn’t. Nichols stressed that safety should be the top priority for kids playing outside. Even when kids are playing, they should be

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aware of their surroundings. Blackburn said most kids know the safety rules, but it is good to have a reminder—especially this time of year, when kids are getting out on their bikes more. She said the kids loved having real police officers talk to them and having positive interactions with them in a fun and friendly environment. “They are still excited about learning new things at this age, and they listen better to them,” said Blackburn. Natalie Bradford, parent of four boys ranging from 7 to 15, knows kids resist following safety rules—especially as they get older. “My older two definitely think they don’t have to wear a helmet,” said Bradford. She said she reminds them to, but they don’t always listen, thinking they’ll be fine. “I think it’s good for them to see the police officers as the instructors to reinforce that it is a good idea,” said Bradford. Nichols, who has been an officer for 20 years, said he enjoys the work he does in Community Oriented Policing. In addition to hosting bike rodeos at schools around the valley, they also provide various trainings for businesses and give presentations to Cub Scout groups. He enjoys educating students but believes parents are the most important factor in keeping kids safe. “Parents do a good job teaching safety, but [the bike rodeo] reiterates that and gives clarity,” said Nichols. He said parents especially need to address driveway safety with all family members. “The biggest tragedy I’ve seen in my career usually occurs in their own driveway,” said Nichols. He said helping kids and drivers be more aware of their surroundings can prevent kids from being hit when cars are backing out. l


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Teacher, a game show enthusiast, wins big on ‘Jeopardy!’ By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


teve Mond, math teacher at Real Salt Lake Academy in Herriman, won third place and $25,000 in the “Jeopardy!” Teachers Tournament, which aired in mid-May. “I’ve been watching the show for 30 years, so being on it is always something I wanted to do,” said Mond, who lives in Midvale. For his students who weren’t familiar with the trivia game show, Mond used a sports analogy to explain his weeklong absence from class. “If you think of knowledge as a sport, this was the major leagues for me,” he told them. The Teachers Tournament showcased 15 of the country’s sharpest educators competing for a $100,000 grand prize. Larry Martin, a second-grade teacher from Kansas, won the top prize. Claire Bishop, a high school Latin teacher from Kentucky, placed second and took home $50,000. In addition to personal winnings, each contestant was awarded a $2,500 educational grant provided by Farmers Insurance’s Thank America’s Teachers program to fund classroom projects. Mond plans to use the grant money to purchase podcasting equipment. “Our school has a focus on technology,” said Mond. “It seemed like podcasting would be a nice hands-on piece of technology to have in the school.” RSL Academy Principal Grant Stock is

thrilled. “We are a STEM school and have 1:1 technology here at our school,” said Stock. “The podcasting equipment will help to enhance and expand our vision of implementing technology into all aspects of our school.” The podcasting equipment will be used to broadcast school announcements. Teachers will also be able to use it to record their classroom activities and lectures, allowing access to students and parents. “This will allow students to review content that was taught or to learn content before they show up to class so they can be more fully engaged,” said Stock. Podcasting would also make class content available to students who were absent. Stock said Mond’s gameshow experience has also revitalized his enthusiasm for teaching. While contestants waited to tape their episodes, they spent hours in the Green Room swapping stories, lesson ideas and teaching strategies. “He told us that it was one of the very best professional development events he had ever attended,” said Stock. “He said he felt more excited about teaching then he had in a long time.” Mond already uses games with his math students. “We’ve done some things to include trivia and to include games with what they’re learning,” he said. He created a math relay race, challenging

Steve Mond won $25,000 for his third-place finish. (Photo courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc)

students to run to the end of the hall, solve a math problem and run back to tag the next team member to solve the next problem. He also worked with colleagues to prepare

a cross-curricular competition for ninth-graders in which they competed for points by answering questions in categories related to their core subjects of English, math, science, social studies and geography. Mond said he has always been a trivia fan. “I like knowing things,” he said. “I was the kind of student that just liked to learn things whether or not there was a grade attached. I wasn’t there to necessarily get an A; I was there to learn the material.” He believes learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom. “I liked to connect things I was learning to things I was seeing out in the world,” he said. He continues to broaden his knowledge base by traveling and by interacting with students and colleagues. Mond felt confident going into the tournament, having researched about what to expect and having watched the show for most of his life. He also knew he had a good knowledge base in a lot of topics. He also thinks teachers make good “Jeopardy!” contestants. “The schools I’ve taught at have had some really well-educated and sharp folks,” he said. “I think just being around people with different backgrounds, and different knowledge bases certainly helped.” l

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July 2018 | Page 15

Global issues come home for Summit Academy students By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


acob Vanderlinden plans to be in Afghanistan in the next few years. He will be joining the Air Force after graduation next year. He is preparing now, by focusing his final history class project on terrorism in Afghanistan. “I want to learn about terrorism and why people do it and how we’re stopping it,” said Vanderlinden. This is the kind of connection Cassie Geisler, 11th-grade U.S. history teacher at Summit Academy High School, wanted her students to make. ”I think it’s very helpful for students to not only know something’s happening but acknowledge something’s happening,” she said. “It’s easy to live in your bubble—the Bluffdale bubble.” To step out of the limited perspective of their everyday lives, she challenged her 11th graders to research a U.S. foreign policy from 2000 to the present, decide if they agree or disagree with it and predict what will happen with the issue in the next few years. Kaijsa Peterson researched the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and is hopeful a solution can be reached if both sides try harder. “I feel like Russia and Ukraine have always been some of the scarier countries—with the communism and everything,” she said. “After I learned more about this, it’s definitely scary because it’s not over.” She hopes it will be a more peaceful situation by next year, when she plans to teach English in Russia and Lithuania for eight months. Cole Allen chose to learn about how the U.S. is dealing with ISIS. He said he realizes it directly affects him because it affects the cost of fuel for his car. “If we cut off their oil supply, we either have people die or we pay more for gas,” he said. “I don’t want to pay more for gas, but I’m not having people die for that.” He said he feels positive about the future because the U.S. has learned a lot about ISIS and similar groups. “We recognized how to prevent this in the future, which is super important because this is going to happen again and again because history repeats itself,” he said. “The more that we recognize it, we detect it earlier so that we don’t have terrorist attacks.” Allen loves history and said Geisler has been a great teacher. “Her passion and how much she cares about it makes it fun for us and makes it super easy to show up and be a part of the class,” he said. Carson Wheaton said Geisler provides activities that involve students. “She makes history apply to you,” he said. “It’s not just a history class; it’s like ‘how does this apply to you?’ and ‘why are you learning this?’ and gives us a reason why this is important.” Students displayed their final projects on trifolds and held a Foreign Policy Fair to share

Page 16 | July 2018

Karson Kitchen and Whitney Broadbent agree with President Barack Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Jacob Vanderlinden learned that Afghanistan used to be a beautiful center of trade. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

their research with their peers. Astchyn Brady used stats, graphs and numbers to emphasize the enormity of the conflict over man-made islands in the South China Sea. “The U.S. stepped in because they felt like this is a big thing for us—90 percent of world trade goes through the South China Sea,” he said. Being a stats-oriented person, he told the story through numbers—1,200 islands, $5.3 trillion in trade and 11 billion drums of oil per year. “The numbers paint the picture bigger,” he said. “If you didn’t have the numbers, you’d say ‘China is building a lot of islands.’ But that doesn’t say anything—you need exact numbers.” He and his partner concluded that the UN should introduce a bill to implement tariffs and sharing the territory among the surrounding countries. Foreign conflicts happen on the other side

of the world but the Israeli–Palestine conflict hits close to home for Caroleena Vidal. She has family living in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where they are impacted by the violence and the refugees. She said researching the issue with this perspective opened her mind. “I strongly want peace between the two states, but because I’m here and I’m very young, I can’t do anything about it besides inform others,” said Vidal. Geisler hopes to inspire students to get involved in world issues through local nonprofit organizations. By sharing their knowledge with peers at the policy fair, she hopes other students are inspired to get involved as well. “I try to push them to look outside of what’s happening in their own little lens of life,” said Geisler. “It’s all about perspective and making them realize there’s more to this world than just what’s right in front of them and that they can actually do something if they want to.” l

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July 2018 | Page 17

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he baseball and softball programs at Herriman High School combined to host a fundraiser for their programs. They arranged to have former major league baseball player Jose Canseco entertain and sign autographs June 2. The crowd witnessed towering home runs, chants and even some trash talk. Canseco lofted one ball over left centerfield that hit the American flag on the pole between the baseball and softball fields, approximately 460 feet away from home plate. “One of the assistant coaches approached me back in January with the idea,” head baseball coach Jason DeHerrera said. “He asked if he could try to arrange to have him come and hit some balls for charity. I said, ‘Sure, let’s try and get it done.’ I honestly did not think he would have the time, but he has been all in. All of the money we raise goes back to the teams.” Canseco lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he drove his own RV to Herriman High School for the event. He retired from the major leagues in 2001. He played with eight teams and was a six-time all-star, rookie of the year in 1986 and most valuable player in 1988. “He has been very generous and very nice,” DeHerrera said. “It has been all about the boys and girls on our teams. He talked to the team and they asked questions of a former major leaguer. It was very cool.” Canseco is most famous for being a member of the Oakland A’s “bash brothers.” He and

Mark McGuire led the A’s to a World Series championship in 1989. He belted 462 career home runs, which is 35th on the MLB all-time list. At the time of his retirement, he had the most home runs for a Latin-born player, but in recent years he has been passed by several others. “It is nice to see a major leaguer share some knowledge with these kids,” DeHerrera said. “It is amazing the things he was telling them, at 53 years old how fast his hands are and what kind of shape he is in.” Canseco spent time on the field hitting baseballs and softballs. Several hundred donated money for autographs and pictures with the slugger. “I definitely remember him playing, and being an A’s fan, I would not have missed it,” one fan said. Others donned their jerseys and hats. One little league uniform even read Coach Canseco on the back. “I am glad that I could come out here and help out with the cause,” Canseco said. “Hopefully we get a bunch of people that can catch the vision, and I can put some balls into orbit against this wind. People don’t always see what the players do. A lot of us get involved and work with kids and local charities.” He was able to speak to the Mustang players. He advised them what is to be expected of them and what they can do to become better players. He even emphasized the importance of

staying away from drugs. “The hard work is what is expected,” he said. “Schooling is important, and I tell them to stay away from PED (performance enhancing drugs.) The scouts are looking for that kind of stuff early now. I tell them to be careful of the people they hang around with. Baseball is a great game. They will love it.” His career has been marred with drug implications. His book “Juiced” implicated several players as PED users and caused him to be blackballed by the league. “There are players in the Hall of Fame right now that used PEDs,” Canseco said. “Someday, yes, there will be a place for all of us.” As he displayed his hitting prowess, the fans remembered his glory years. He lamented on the toughest pitcher he had to face. “Randy Johnson was the toughest I ever faced,” Canseco said. “He was a left-hander and had a slider that was devastating, I was telling these kids that if your technique is good and you are locked in, you will be OK. When psychology gets in your head and you struggle a little bit, it becomes tough. I tell these kids to have fun.” All of the money raised will go to the teams for an indoor hitting facility. Donations can be submitted through the school or the Go Fund Me account. l

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Mustangs win state championship By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Players celebrated carrying the state trophy around similar to how NHL players celebrate their championship. (Photo courtesy of Herriman softball)


he Herriman Mustangs captured the 6A state softball championship. “It feels great; it was awesome and a great experience,” Mustang head coach Heidi McKissick said. “I always knew they could do it. It was just if they wanted to do it.” The Mustang run to a championship included an exciting final game, a 6-5 extra-innings victory over Syracuse. Junior pitcher Libby Parkinson sent the game into the additional innings with a bottom-of-the-seventh-tying home run. “Players think about the moment forever,” Parkinson said. “I have always dreamed of it, but it did not feel like it was real. I felt like I needed to do something to lift my teammates because I had put us in the situation the inning before.” Parkinson had hit two batters in the top of the seventh, and those two runners scored the go-ahead runs. McKissick said the team worked together to lift each other up after its tough inning. “We had some exciting things go in,” McKissick said. “Krystal (Kemp) gave us a great play from left field to give us a chance. That was a momentum changer.” The Titans loaded the bases in the top of the eighth. They lifted a shallow fly ball to left fielder Krystal Kemp, who then fired a bullet to home to cut off the go ahead run. The momentum immediately shifted in the Mustangs favor. “Starting this season, I knew we would have a chance,” McKissick said. “They all just needed to play together. Our seniors all played

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well in the tournament. That really made me feel good.” The Mustangs hosted Hunter in the first round of the tournament. Kemp, April Visser and Alexia Arredondo all had triples in the 9-1 victory. In the second round, they defeated Clearfield 8-2. Parkinson led the team with a home run and a triple and also pitched a gem. In the tournament quarterfinals, the Mustangs again coasted to a 11-6 victory over Layton. That set up a semifinals matchup with Bingham. The Mustangs scored early and often against the Miners. By the fifth inning, they held a 7-0 lead and held on for the 8-2 victory. Bingham did not let up. It had eight hits but could not get runs across the plate. The win avenged last season’s loss that knocked them from the tournament. “Bingham always plays well,” McKissick said. “They have magic up their sleeves in every game.” This is the school’s first softball state championship. The Mustangs graduate five seniors, and McKissick said next year’s team should be just as good. “Next year, Libby will be a senior, and we have some young kids coming up that are pretty good,” McKissick said. “Next year will be a different perspective and new attitudes.” Herriman entered the tournament as the Region 3 champions. Its 6-2 region record sent it to a 22-10 overall record and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. l

July 2018 | Page 19

Public outcry halts Olympia Hills development By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


n the face of massive community feedback, the Salt Lake County Council announced on June 19 that it would not seek to override County Mayor Ben McAdams' veto of the Olympia Hills rezone, and the Salt Lake Valley breathed a collective sigh of relief. But even with the density beast defeated for now, concerns remain that the council would happily have allowed such a strongly-opposed proposition to just slide by without notice. "Despite our vehement opposition to this plan, as well as other mayors and city councils and literally hundreds and hundreds of emails to the county council, this zoning decision still went forward," said Herriman City Councilmember Nicole Martin. The Olympia Hills rezone would have seen 931 acres of unincorporated county land from 6300-8500 West and 12400-13100 South (land that is part of Salt Lake County, but not part of any city) rezoned to allow living space for some 33,000 people— essentially creating a city the size of Midvale or Kearns, but crammed into a third of the land area of either. It would pack an unprecedented 37 people per acre and the county council initially approved the rezone, 7-1. "The county council and particularly the county mayor had ample opportunity to talk to us,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. “They said one of their goals was to minimize or mitigate negative impacts to neighboring communities, and yet I honestly didn't hear about this at all until the week before (the decision was to be made).” In fact, almost nobody had heard about it before that point — partly due to the timing of the two legally-required informational county council meetings. The first of these meetings was held on May 22, when most city mayors were at a real estate conference (ICSC) in Las Vegas, and thus unable to attend. The second meeting, held Tuesday, June 5, was the same meeting in which the vote took place — which allowed very little time for the public to express their concerns. Even in the limited timeframe afforded, the public still made their voices heard. In a space of mere days, the county council received hundreds and hundreds of emails and phone calls against the rezone. The mayors of Herriman, Riverton, West Jordan, and Copperton released a joint statement urging the council to deny the rezone. But the uproar was mostly ignored. At the June 5 meeting, only Councilmember Steven DeBry voted no. "The sad thing is, Tuesday night, before they voted, Councilman DeBry had a motion on the table to table this, to give more time for some input and talk about some of these concerns that we've all now voiced," said Staggs. "He could not get a second on his motion, so it just died, and they voted on it anyway, 7-1. Even though that night they had a statement from our city, they had a statement from all of

Page 20 | July 2018

Olympia Hills would have packed a city at least the size of Midvale into one third of the land mass, putting a massive strain on road and utility infrastructure.

(From left to right) Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, County Councilmember Jim Walker, Herriman Mayor David Watts and County Councilmember Ann Granato listen to resident concerns during a town hall at Herriman High School. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

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our mayors in office, and they had hundreds of phone calls and emails, none of which were in support. I think I got one email that showed they were in support, out of the hundreds." It was only after huge public backlash, lots of negative media coverage, a packed town hall meeting, and a mayoral veto that the county council finally agreed to let the rezone proposal die. “The irony is, every talking point from the Mayor’s veto proposal is what I have been advocating for several weeks when this proposal first came forward," said DeBry. “The quantity of emails, phone calls, and citizens attending the town hall was impressive, and this action would not have happened without their voices.” Hundreds of Salt Lake Valley residents attended the town hall meeting, held on June 14 at Herriman High School, to air their grievances and urge Mayor McAdams to veto the rezone. Among the many concerns discussed were insufficient roadways (particularly east-west freeways), increased taxes, stretching police and fire services thin, and the lack of schools to support such growth. One of the biggest concerns, among residents and elected officials both, was traffic. “Olympia Hills, with a density of 37 people per acre, would rank in the top 15 most dense cities in the entire country. We're talking about cities like New York; Queens; the Bronx; Newark, New Jersey and Los Angeles," said Scott Watson, a Herriman resident. “Do you know what all these cities have to accommodate for all this density? Freeways, highways, massive public transportation, trains, subways, fleets of buses. And what do we have here in Herriman? I don't know, a couple of horses.” Now that the Olympia Hills project has been put on hold, what will happen next? It seems unlikely the developers will just pack their bags and go home (Doug Young, the Olympia Hills developer, was unavailable for

comment) — and even if they did, Olympia Hills surely isn't the only prospective high-density housing development in the county. Utah is a growing state, and sometime, somewhere, something is going to have to give. "There is an education process we need to give to our residents on the reality of growth within our community, and our state as a whole," said Herriman Councilmember Nicole Martin at a city council meeting on June 6. "We will not be, we cannot be, a community of oneacre, five-acre lots." But, must all the growth be centered in the southwestern part of the Salt Lake Valley? Herriman resident Leigh Gibson thinks not. “With the US census data proving that the growth rates are trending outside of Salt Lake County, why are we trying to force it back in using ultra high density housing developments?” Gibson asked county leaders at the town hall meeting, kicking off a speech that garnered thunderous applause. "When we had higher growth rates and open land on the east side, we were not proposing near this level of density there." As Gibson pointed out, there are “tens of thousands of acres of open land” in other counties, and Salt Lake County is no longer Utah’s hottest site for population growth. In 1995, nearly 42 percent of Utah’s population lived in Salt Lake County, but in 2018 that number decreased to 36 percent. “This is a clear indicator that the growing population in Utah is looking outside of Salt Lake County for more growth,” said Gibson. “And yet we’re acting like the southwest of Salt Lake Valley is responsible for sustaining the growth of the entire state. The land in the southwest Salt Lake Valley is not the only open land left in the valley, and we need to stop acting like it is.” Travis Barton also contributed to this article. l

Residents set up a tent outside the town hall at Herriman High School to gather signatures for a referendum to block the development. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

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July 2018 | Page 21

‘Handcuffed’ cities: The new transportation tax By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


new $58 million sales tax will be implemented throughout Salt Lake County. It will be a quarter-cent tax (one cent for every $4 spent) with collection going toward transportation funding. Leaders of the cities and townships within the county had to decide whether to support this tax by June 22. Enough municipalities showed support and the tax could be implemented as early as next month. The state legislature has been trying to impose this tax for years. In 2015, Proposition 1 was on the general election ballot. After it failed, state legislatures went to work drafting a bill. In 2018, Senate Bill (SB) 136 was passed during the general legislative session. This bill allows counties to institute a local option general sales tax to fund certain transportation needs such as parking, trails, roads, sidewalks, public transit, park and rides, bus and rail service, and traffic and pedestrian safety features. Prop 1 During the 2015 election, voters had the option to vote on Proposition (Prop) 1. A quarter-cent sales tax would be implemented to fund transportation needs. The funds collected from that tax would be split: 40 percent to cities and towns, 40 percent to transit districts and 20 percent to the counties. For counties without public transportation, the split would exclude transit districts. Out of the 29 counties in Utah, 17 included Prop 1 on their ballot, including Beaver, Box Elder, Carbon, Davis, Duchesne, Grand, Juab, Morgan, Rich, San Juan, Salt Lake, Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele, Uintah, Utah and Weber. Out of those 17 counties, 10 voted in favor of Prop 1. Salt Lake, the most populated county in the state, voted in opposition. Prop 1 failed in Salt Lake County with a 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent vote. After the election, it was widely believed by legislators and locally elected officials that corruption in the Utah Transit Authority was the primary reason Prop 1 failed. SB 136 Senate Bill 136 is a 222-page document, which amends 43 chapters of Utah Code, enacts 9 sections of Utah Code and repeals one chapter of Utah Code. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper and Rep. Mike Schultz. It underwent six substitutions while in session and was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 22. The bill went into effect on May 8. This bill allows all counties in the state to impose a quarter-cent sales tax for transportation funding needs. Outlined in the bill were multiple options for counties and cities wishing to impose the new sales tax. Option 1: If a county imposes the quarter-cent sales tax before June 30, 2019, the county may keep all the funds collected during that first year to pay debt service or fund regionally significant transportation projects. By July 1, 2019, the funds collected from the tax are split, distributing 40 percent to cities and towns, 40 percent to transit districts and 20 percent to the county. (Sound familiar?) Additionally,

Page 22 | July 2018

SB 136 allows counties to implement a new sales tax. It also makes significant changes to the Utah Transit Authority governance.

counties may impose a new local option sales tax by July 1, 2019, for transit capital expenses and service delivery. Option 2: If a county does not impose the quarter-cent sales tax before June 30, 2020, then cities within that county that have transit services can impose the tax with their city. At that point, cities have the option to impose the full quarter-cent tax, from which the funds collected would be distributed half to the city and half to the transit district within that county. Option 3: If the tax is not implemented by June 30, 2022, by a county or city, it expires. Giving counties and/or cities authority to implement new sales tax is not the only thing SB 136 does. It also increases state hotel tax, state vehicle rental tax, registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicle registration fees. A transit transportation investment fund was also created under this bill. The TTIF is a new fund with the Utah Department of Transportation for statewide transit capital projects. After July 1, 2019, funds collected from state sales tax will be transferred to this fund. The legislature may also appropriate revenue into this fund. By fiscal year 2019, $5 million is estimated to be in this fund. SB 136 also makes significant changes to UTA. Instead of 16 part-time members on the board, UTA will have three full-time members. An additional board, the Local Advisory Board, was created with nine members. All powers and duties of the boards have been adjusted.

The Transportation Commission was included within the bill as well. The commission has been required to update criteria, proprieties, funding levels and capital developments. “In my heart of hearts,” Harper told the South Jordan City Council on June 5, “I believe that UTA is going to turn around and become far more responsive.” Salt Lake County Since Salt Lake County residents voted against a sales tax in 2015, the Salt Lake County Council passed an ordinance leaving the decision to impose the quarter-cent sales tax up to the cities. Ordinance No. 1829 — Enacting Chapter 3.09, Entitled Optional Sales and Use Tax to Fund Highways and Public Transit — was passed on April 24. Final adoption of the ordinance took place on May 1. The ordinance was “enacted to provide a source of revenue to provide its residents with public transit and safe highways, and the council directs that the provisions hereof be interpreted and construed to accomplish this stated purpose.” The quarter-cent sales and use tax upon retail sales within the county was levied under this ordinance. However, it would only go into effect once “cities, towns and metro townships representing 67 percent of the Salt Lake County population…have adopted a resolution supporting the imposition of the sales and use tax.” This means a collective of cities and townships making up two-thirds of the county’s pop-

ulation must pass resolutions in support of the tax by June 22, in order for the tax to be implemented this summer. Which is exactly what happened. With the tax being implemented, money raised for transportation funds from this sales tax will equate to around $58 million countywide. Cities Cities within Salt Lake County’s jurisdiction include, Alta, Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville, West Jordan and West Valley. Salt Lake County also includes the townships of Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna and White City. All the governing bodies for these municipalities have been discussing the tax and associated suggested resolution. Many city councils feel like their hands are tied. “As cities, we are fairly handcuffed with regard to how we are able to acquire new revenue,” said Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle during their discussion. “We are at the mercy of the state for these sorts of bones and crumbs, so when they throw them to us we are well-advised to take them.” In fact, cities were so well-advised to pass a resolution in support of the tax that the Utah League of Cities and Towns drafted and distributed a resolution where cities just had to fill in dates and names.

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City leaders have to decide whether they should support a new sales tax for transportation funding in order for the tax to be implemented throughout Salt Lake County.

Council members from many different cities were hesitant to show support to the resolution because of how their constituents voted on Prop 1 in 2015. “Two years ago when this went on the ballot, the voters turned it down,” said South Jordan Councilmember Patrick Harris. “People were campaigning against it. The county is asking cities to override residents’ votes.” “City council members are literally being bullied into overriding the will of their voters in order to have a piece of pie that the voters already spoke against,” wrote West Jordan Councilmember Zach Jacob in a Facebook post. Cities may get a bigger piece of that pie if they show support for the tax now. Now that the county can implement and collect this tax before July 2019, 100 percent of the funds collected from the tax go directly to the county. Since most of the transportation needs are city-specific, such as roads owned by various cities, cities would see almost all of that money back. “The county doesn’t have any roads, so that money will be distributed to the cities,” said Cottonwood Heights City Manager John Park. If the tax is imposed later than July 2019, the collected funds will be split: 40 percent will go to the cities, 40 percent will go to UTA and 20 percent will go to Salt Lake County. This means the cities would see less of the collected funds. Additionally, many councils are fearful that if they don’t pass a supporting resolution now, they may not see any money coming back to their city during the first few months of collection when the tax is imposed by the county. City Resolutions As of publication, six cities and three

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townships have passed resolutions in support of the county’s ordinance to impose the tax. Alta passed Resolution 2018-R-3, supporting the imposition of tax in 2018, on May 9. Holladay passed Resolution 2018-18 on June 7. Midvale passed Resolution 2018-R-25 on May 15. Millcreek passed its resolution on April 23. South Jordan passed Resolution R2018-19 on June 5. Taylorsville passed Resolution No. 1816 on June 6. Townships Emigration Canyon, White City, Magna and Kearns have all passed resolutions in support of the county’s ordinance. Copperton is still discussing and has yet to act on a resolution. Sandy and Draper cities proved to be the deciding factors with their support pushing past the 67 percent threshold. Draper leaders supported the tax in a 4-1 vote on June 19 while Sandy leaders supported it 4-3 after extensive debate. Herriman leaders discussed the suggested resolution on June 6 and will take action on June 20 during their general meeting at 7 p.m. at the Herriman City Council Chambers at 5355 West Herriman Main Street. Murray City officials passed a resolution of support on June 5. Salt Lake City leaders reluctantly passed the resolution on June 12. Herriman and Riverton Riverton discussed the transit tax on June 19, but no motion was made which, in essence, was a vote against. Councilmember Tish Buroker was in favor while Councilmember Tawnee McCay and Mayor Trent Staggs were against, but no official vote was taken. Herriman voted on June 20, the day after the tax had reached the necessary 67 percent. While aware would have no effect on the out-

come county wide, city officials still felt it necessary to share its position. The city council voted 3-2 to support the transit tax with amended language added by Councilmember Nicole Martin. Councilmembers Jared Henderson and Sherrie Ohrn both dissented, respectively, cit-

Best of


ing the public vote in 2015 and an improper process to implement the tax. “No one can question the fact that transportation funding is needed,” said Martin during their meeting. She pointed to how roads are in constant need of maintenance. “I, in good conscience, cannot possibly turn down transportation money that I know is needed not only for maintenance” but for various projects highlighted by Gordon Haight, assistant city manager. Haight cited the capital project roads he anticipated would be eligible for these transportation funds. Among those roads were Herriman Parkway, Main Street, 7300 West, 6400 South, 600 West, South Hills Boulevard, U-111, 11800 South, 6400 West, 13400 South and Oquirrh Connection. Though Martin was supportive of the transportation funding, she expressed concern at the lack of east-west traffic corridors. She said 12600 South and 13400 South are “inadequate” as the city’s only primary east-west roads. Councilmember Sherrie Ohrn noted that Herriman residents voted down Prop 1 in 2015. She noted a public distrust in UTA and an questionable process by the legislature and county to implement this tax. “This resolution should not be before us,” she said. “This is a county tax and it should be them to impose it, not passing it onto the cities.” Travis Barton and Mariden Williams also contributed to this report. l



We need your help to capture, in photo, the very best Riverton, Utah has to offer! The Best of Riverton Photo Contest is divided into three categories: live, work/service and play. Photos from the contest will be used to tell Riverton’s story in the city’s future marketing and communications materials. Entries due by August 3.

Contest Winner • Awarded $300 • Recognized at a city council meeting • Photo featured, with attribution, on the city’s social media accounts • Photo hung, with attribution, in City Hall

Category Winners • Awarded $100 • Recognized at a city council meeting • Photos featured, with attribution, on the city’s social media accounts • Photos hung, with attribution, in City Hall

rivertoncity.com/photocontest July 2018 | Page 23


Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic 1381 Stone Ridge Ln, Riverton, UT 84065

Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com


amily. Everyone has one, but it is what separates Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic from other clinics.

Dr. R. Clay Cannon began practicing as a solo practitioner straight out of vet school in 1985. He founded Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic in 1989. Clay and his family are Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic. The business is 100 percent family owned and operated and the entire family resides within a stone’s throw of the clinic. Cherrie Cannon, Clay’s wife, has been with the clinic from the beginning. She now grooms and teaches puppy classes, while also working as a technician. Clay’s two daughters, Marnie and Jennifer grew up in the clinic. Marnie, an attorney, began working with her dad as soon as the practice opened and was working in the office by the time she was 12 (25 years ago). Marnie is now part owner and practice manager at Stone Ridge. Jennifer manages the clinic’s groomery and is the owner of K-9 Design, the No. 2 groomery in Utah according to Best Things Utah. Clay grew up on a cattle ranch loving animals. Both Cherrie and Jennifer raise and show Australian shepherds. Marnie remembers always growing up around horses. The family atmosphere extends beyond the

immediate Cannons. Each staff member, client, and patient is treated as if they were family. Clay and Marnie take time to personally get to know each client and patient. Every person who enters the Stone Ridge doors becomes a member of the family. “People like that it’s a family business because one: they pretty much know our veterinarians are going to come and stay,” Marnie said. “People know us by name, we know them by name. They know our history, we know their history. They just come in and become part of the family.” Quality is never shirked at Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic. Stone Ridge has three veterinarians on staff, Dr. R. Clay Cannon, Dr. John Knowles (currently deployed in Kuwait for the military) and Dr. Alan Cunningham (who plans to retire here) to provide care for your pets. They also have doctors who work in their facility who specialize in orthopedic, chiropractic, ultrasound, endoscopy, radiology, and more. The clinic is committed to providing the best possible medical care as a premier veterinary clinic and is constantly updating their facility to keep up with the latest innovations. In keeping with the family theme, Stone Ridge believes in being able to meet all of your

pet’s needs not just their medical needs. Stone Ridge provides grooming services and has spa upgrades to make your pet’s experience at the groomer more relaxing. Stone Ridge provides boarding services which include: small kennels, large runs and extra-large runs for larger dogs; as well as complimentary baths for those staying three nights or more. To ensure your pet’s safety, Stone Ridge has strict vaccination standards for pets staying for grooming and boarding services. The clinic is full service, and there aren’t many of those left. “We don’t believe in sending you pets 50 different places to have them taken care of because that’s stressful for your pet,” Marnie explains. “We have full service medical care here so it allows owners to take their pet to one location and be able to get everything they need.” This says nothing of the Stone Ridge family’s desire to give back. The owners and staff are

active in civic organizations, pet rescue and canine cancer research funding. Discount or no cost animal care is offered to shelter and resuce animals. A community garden is planted each year on Marnie’s property with the produce being shared among staff, friends, clients and neighbors. Stone Ridge also took over Riverton City’s animal sheltering helping to make it a no kill shelter. A success so far. To learn more about Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic, visit the clinic at 1381 W. Stone Ridge Lane in Riverton, call 801-254-4840 or find them online at www.stoneridgevet.com and on Facebook. l

Mercedes-Benz of Draper Celebrates its Grand Opening To kick off the year, Mercedes-Benz of Lindon moved to Draper to settle into a new home. Now, they’ve cut the ribbon and hosted their grand opening. On Monday, June 18th, customers, friends, family and employees gathered together to celebrate a brand-new, world-class Mercedes-Benz dealership. With the new home comes a new name, and Mercedes-Benz of Draper is happy to announce that there is a new luxury in town. New and existing customers can take advantage of the dealership’s VIP experience, which offers an impressive variety of complimentary amenities—vehicle pick-up/delivery, flat tire repairs, car washes, and much more. The dealership looks to offer a first-class experience to parallel its first-class dealership. While the dealership may be new, the team at Mercedes-Benz of Draper is not. The combined average experience with Mercedes-Benz amongst management is 12 years, which assures the dealership is both dependable and well-versed in working with a top-tier luxury brand. The experience and passion the employees have for the brand and the customer is what has led to the store’s ultimate success. At the core of the dealership and its employees is the desire “To Be The Best Place To Work And The Best Place In Town To Do Business”.

Page 24 | July 2018

Photo Credit: Brent Asay / LHM Dealerships

The grand opening was reception-style and offered light refreshments and beverages to all those in attendance. Guests enjoyed speeches from Mercedes-Benz executives, Draper Mayor Troy K. Walker, and owner of Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Gail Miller. Mercedes-Benz of Draper is located at 11548 S Lone Peak Parkway.

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July 2018 | Page 25

Behind-the-scenes look at major fireworks shows By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


he telltale BOOM goes off, followed by several more bursts, and then a series of fireworks flash into the sky. Every July 4 and 24, crowds come from far and wide to witness one of dozens of fireworks shows that light up the Salt Lake valley. Behind the scenes, it’s a very different picture. “I think of it as painting a canvas,” said Lantis Fireworks salesman and licensed Utah pyrotechnician Jeffery Ott. “And I have the sky to paint on.” Lantis Fireworks produces some of the major fireworks productions in the Salt Lake Valley, including the popular Salt Lake City and Sandy City fireworks shows. Each one of those 15- 20-minute fireworks displays takes hours of work to organize the performance, set up fireworks connections, coordinate with local fire marshals and ensure safety. Organizing One of the most prominent shows in the Salt Lake Valley is the one where hundreds of fireworks shoot off the roof of the Sandy City Hall every Fourth of July. Months beforehand, Lantis Fireworks is coordinating with Sandy City officials to decide how long the show will be, how close viewers can get to Sandy City Hall and still be safe, and what music will help time out the display. In the background of almost every fireworks show are carefully timed pieces of music, stitched together, to which the fireworks are choreographed to match tempo. “When you’re playing ‘The Star Spangled banner,’ you’re not shooting pow, pow, pow; you’re shooting one shell, then another,” Ott said. “You want your shells in the air to match the music. The music really dictates what you see.” This year, it won’t just be music. Sandy City is partnering with FM radio station Z104 to broadcast the music, along with recordings of service members’ wives talking about them coming home. “We try not to make it just about things exploding,” said Mearle Marsh, community events director for Sandy City. “The ending has always been spectacular; we don’t expect any-

(Courtesy Lantis Fireworks) Lantis Fireworks sets up fireworks to be discharged at the 2017 Sandy City fireworks show.

thing less this year.” Marsh says this is the second year that Sandy City will have fireworks discharged from the roof of the Sandy City Hall. “It’s a challenging location, but it makes for a really beautiful setting for the fireworks,” he said. Lantis Fireworks and Sandy City officials have big plans for this year’s fireworks display. There are the “cake” fireworks: multi-shot aerial fireworks that make a rapid staccato burst of noise during the show. Then, in the Sandy City show, there are the 3-inch shells that light up the night sky with a big boom; the two combine to create the overall, bigger fireworks display. By using a mix of colors and matching several different types of shells to music, a “Pyro” technician can create an amazing fireworks show for viewers. “Pyros”

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This term may sound like a dangerous person with fire, but for fireworks, it’s the exact opposite. “Think about a conductor conducting an orchestra, that’s what a Pyro does; they’re part conductor and part magician,” Ott said. Lantis Fireworks’ Pyro technicians go through extensive training before they can even touch one of the production fireworks. According to the state of Utah regulations, Pyro technicians — or Pyros for short — are required to work on at least three fireworks shows and go through extensive safety training. Once they meet these requirements, a potential pyro technician can then take a test to get a license that would allow them to legally shoot off production-quality fireworks. “Production is a 1.3G fireworks classification,” Ott said. “The stuff that your neighbors are doing, that’s consumer grade, that’s 1.4G. It’s measure on gram weight per item. Consumer is supposed to be safer, less gunpowder.” Ott also but cautioned that, “all fireworks are explosives.” All that training is necessary. At every show, there are fire marshals, firefighters and other emergency experts on hand in case something goes wrong. Safety “We’re attempting to put explosives in the air in a safe manner,” Ott said. Safety is the No. 1 priority for Lantis Fireworks pyro technicians, Ott explained. “We take every possible safety precaution from the time they’re loaded onto the truck, up until the point we shoot them, and even while we’re shooting them,” he said. “Because the

truth of it is, if you’re lucky and something bad happens, you’ll lose a finger. If they don’t get lucky, they get dead. You have to think like a fire marshal. Safety is always your first priority.” Ott remembers a few years ago during a Lantis production in the Salt Lake Valley, and there was a wind shift. “When a shell goes off, it doesn’t just go up into the air; there’s often some fiery debris that comes out of the mortar tube along with the shell ,” he said. “We had some fiery debris that blew over and two-thirds of the way through the show; it prematurely ignited part of the finale (fireworks). So some of that ‘boom, boom, boom’ started going off much sooner than it was supposed to.” There are specific rules governing major production-style fireworks displays. For every 1-inch shell used in a fireworks show, viewers have to be kept at a distance of 70 feet in radius from the firework discharge zone. This means at the Sandy City Hall, when Lantis Fireworks uses 3-inch shells to light up the night sky, nobody except for the licensed pyro technicians and safety personnel can be within 210 feet in any direction from the roof of the Sandy City Hall where the fireworks are set off. Local fire officials will be on hand at these major fireworks displays. Salt Lake City Fire spokeswoman Audra Sorenson said they prefer it when Utahns visit the fireworks shows instead of setting off their own fireworks, because it’s much more safe. “Going to a fireworks display that’s sponsored by a city or company is ideal for us,” Sorenson said. “They work hand in hand with the city to make sure the location, the display and conditions are ideal so that they’re discharged properly. We can work hand in hand with those shows’ teams to make sure it’s a safe fireworks display.” Setup For a 20-minute show, it can take a team of Pyro technicians 10–12 hours to set up the fuses, tubes, electronics and fireworks for the display. “You have to wire in every shell by hand.,” Ott said. “Then if it’s choreographed, every shell has a specific place it has to be wired in.” But when it’s done right, you end up creating a lasting and memorable experience for everyone watching—from young children who’ve never seen a fireworks show, to the people who never miss a fireworks show. “Our whole goal is the ooh, ahh, wow,” Ott said. “That two to three seconds of silence between the last shell going off and thunderous applause that often follows a show is beautiful.” If local residents are planning to set off their own fireworks, there’s a map showing restricted areas: https://slcfire.com/fireworks/. For the month of July, residents can legally discharge fireworks July 2 to 5, and July 22 to 25. l

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n a short five years, Texas Roadhouse in Riverton has already made waves. Opened in 2013 at 12556 South Rhetski Lane in Riverton, Texas Roadhouse has the leadership in place to propel them to new heights.

Nick Smith, the Riverton restaurant’s Managing Partner, was nominated for the company’s Managing Partner of the Year in 2017 by Texas Roadhouse. Of the 500 locations across the country, Smith finished in the top 25. “We’ve only been open for a little over five years now so it was a pretty big accomplishment,” said Alisha Oliver, marketer for the Riverton location. Smith has covered every aspect of Texas Roadhouse in his 19 years with the company, starting as a dishwasher to now owning a restaurant. He arrived at the Riverton location in October 2013, taking the restaurant from its growing pains to overseeing incredible growth. As a member of the Riverton community as well, Smith can often be recognized at grocery stores by customers. Texas Roadhouse, who just celebrated its


25th anniversary, does all grassroots marketing with no national advertising. “It’s all about digging into the communities where we build and it’s all about building relationships in our community,” Oliver said. Those relationships are Smith’s passion, especially when it comes to schools be it donations or fundraising. Schools with no budgets to feed teachers can often find Smith either donating food or giving it at cost. “He always says, ‘we are money poor, but food rich,” Oliver said. Smith wasn’t the only leader to be recognized by Texas Roadhouse. Riverton’s service manager, Jaclyn Blain, was also nominated in 2017 as Service Manager of the Year. Oliver says Blain’s driven and passionate nature played a major role in the restaurant’s hiring and culture building. “It was just an honor for them to even be nominated and expect to see them again for sure,” Oliver said. “If we can make it on stage then we know we’re doing something right in the restaurant.” l

Remember these safety tips during fireworks season

ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24 , Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country. 1. Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law. 2. Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks. 3. Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. 4. Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. Just ask a friend who lost half his hair and needed to wear a hat/bandana for six months to protect his scalp.

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5. Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. 6. Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. 7. Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. 8. This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside. 9. Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns. 10. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 11. Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as

much. 12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. 13. Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. 14. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. 15. Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. 16. Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles. l

July 2018 | Page 27

Patriot golf team places fifth at state

Mission stateMent:

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

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Resources, Networking, Education and Advocacy. sustaining Partners: • Riverton Hospital • Jordan Valley Medical Center • Bluffdale City • Riverton City • Herriman City • The City Journals

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The Patriot golf team captured fifth place at the 3A state golf tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brett Armstrong)


little golf team built from scratch three years ago vied for the girls 3A state championship. The Providence Hall girls golf team placed fifth, and junior Morgan McDougal finished ninth overall. “I had never picked up a club before my freshman year,” McDougal said. “I went in after tryouts that year because my dad wanted me to. I enjoy it because it is a sport that you can constantly push yourself to be better. I like being part of the team.” The coaches educate the players on rules and technique every season. “We watch these boring rules videos, and he gives us a giant packet we need to study and take quizzes,” McDougal said. “It takes awhile to get the hang of the rules. Getting my swing down is tough too.” Experience level on a high school team can vary. “A large majority of girls on the team had never touched a golf club before,” head coach Brett Armstrong said. “The biggest thing we do is be dedicated to practice, and they come out on a regular basis. We have approached things knowing that we can teach anything but attitude. Girls even without much experience with the right attitude and are willing to learn.” The Patriots golf team had 10 members this season. Armstrong has been the team coach for three years. He coaches alongside his father, Marv Armstrong, and his wife, AJ. Three years ago, when the team was organized, they struggled to find six girls to participate. “I felt like we had just the right number of girls on the team,” Armstrong said. “Any more than that it gets tough to give them the coaching that they need. I have seen teams with more, but then it can get difficult.” The team won its region championship their first two seasons in existence. They were the first region titles in school history. This season the team moved into Region 14 in the 3A classification.

In their first region match of the season, Providence Hall finished fifth out of six schools. The girls constantly improved as the season progressed. The team decided it needed to put extra time in practicing to get better. As the final regular season tournament began the team sat third overall, 29 strokes back. Freshman Kylie Nguyen, playing in her first varsity match, posted her season best score and vaulted the team to second overall, just three strokes out of first. “There were players in region that would post better scores individually, but we always had girls that would step up with a low score when we needed it,” Armstrong said. McDougal and several other players have worked on their game and plan to play tournaments this summer to keep improving. “Morgan came in as a freshman that had never played,” she said. “Her and Brooklyn (Armstrong) have played the top positions on the team since they were freshman. I felt we were the underdogs going into the season. Amelia Pederson also played very consistently all season.” Brooklyn finished fifth in Region 14; McDougal was seventh. Brooklyn had a severe wrist injury in the team’s final region match. It was doubtful she could even play at the state tournament. “Morgan (McDougal) really stepped up for us at state,” Armstrong said. “She knocked seven strokes off her previous best score and shot an 85. She finished ninth overall. Both Morgan and Brooklyn were co-captains and will be back next year. They led the way for us.” Senior Avery Jackson held the third position for the team. McDougal and Brooklyn were picked second team All-State; Jackson was honorable mention. “We encourage the girls to play throughout the summer,” Armstrong said. “I know most of them have county passes and use them. They play in some tournaments and get some private instruction too.” l

S outh Valley City Journal

How to plan a dance: Ask Manny By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

130 Years



Wearing their AskManny sweatshirts to all their competitions was part of their marketing plan—they knew teens (their target market) would be paying attention to what they were wearing. (Photo courtesy Julianna Wing/HHS)


aelyn Dougher, like many high school students, hates to plan for school dances. Because of the irritation of coordinating all the details, her group of friends procrastinated planning for Herriman’s Winter Ball last year. The day date, planned last minute, was chaotic and caused Dougher to inadvertently forget her dance ticket at home. “It was horribly embarrassing and such a hassle,” Dougher said. Many students forgo school dances because of the planning and expense involved, said graduating senior Peyton Williams. “Absorbing the costs of renting a tux, purchasing a corsage, eating at a classy dinner location, paying for a ticket and any other expenses is very difficult for a high school student,” he said. If only there was an easier way to coordinate dance planning. That’s what Dougher, Williams and their business team partner, Edison Velasco, thought when challenged to write a business plan for FBLA and DECA competitions. Their 30-page business plan outlined the idea for an app, AskManny, which would include features for every detail needed to plan a great dance experience: corsages, dresses, tuxedos, activities and dinner reservations. “AskManny is an app that combines both aspects of money-saving apps and planning apps to make high school dances planning easy and convenient,” said Velasco. The app would even provide ideas for creative ways to ask someone to a dance. And to solve Dougher’s problem, students

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could use the app to purchase their dance tickets and show the ticket on their phone instead of having a printed one. The app would also include a database of students who already have a date. “It rescues students from an embarrassing rejection if someone was already asked,” said Velasco. The team found, according to research, teens can spend over $1,200 on prom. Their goal for AskManny is to help high school students save money. Local businesses would place advertisements and offers on the app. “With AskManny, students would have access to limitless resources offering cheaper ways for students to plan high school dances,” said Williams. The idea for such an app has been met with popularity. “This AskManny concept happens to be such a unique idea and one that has created a lot of buzz around it,” said Herriman High School’s FLBA adviser Julianna Wing. When the team took first place for Herriman High at State DECA and sixth place in State FBLA competitions for their business plan, they attracted outside attention. They were invited to Silicon Slopes’ Shark Tank-style competition where they earned first place and $400. At the competition, hosted by Alpine School District’s CTE department, Dougher was also singled out for the Women in Entrepreneur Student Competitions and received a full-tuition scholarship to an entrepreneurial boot camp. In April, the team was one of 20 high school teams invited to the Lassonde En-

trepreneur Center at the University of Utah. The team received $5,000 for second place and an additional $500 for winning the most votes for People’s Choice. Team members qualified for DECA nationals and went to Atlanta, Georgia, to compete at the end of April. What started as an assignment has become a real opportunity. “Most business plans are hypothetical, but I think we’ve made ours a lot more feasible,” said Williams, who was named Sterling Scholar runner-up in Business and Marketing. AskManny is currently in a prototype concept phase, waiting for a developer to take it on at a price the students can pay. They hope to have a working prototype ready for the 2018–2019 school year for all seven high schools in Jordan District. The name of the app was inspired by Herriman High School’s 2016–2017 SBO spirit officer, Manuel Fergoso, who was the guy who seemed to have the inside scoop on fun. The team felt using Manny’s name would make it more like asking a friend for advice. “It’s a little bit more of a personal touch,” said Velasco. The students give a lot of credit to their business teachers, Julianna Wing and Randall Kammerman, for their encouragement throughout the process. They, in turn, have been impressed by the students’ dedication to the project. “Not very many kids are willing to write a huge business plan and put in all the work and research,” said Wing. l

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Free events to illuminate your summer fun




chool’s out for summer! Here’s a list of free events and activities to keep monotony out of the month of July. Festivals! Cities all across the valley host activities and events to celebrate our independence. Draper, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, South Salt Lake, and Sandy all hold their own celebrations for the Fourth of July. Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, and Holladay celebrate Pioneer Day with multi-day festivals and concerts. For more information on these festivals, refer to the Summer Festival Guide in the latest edition of the City Journals. Sandy will be hosting a balloon festival on August 10-11 at sunrise at Storm Mountain Park. These festivals highlight the magic of hot air balloons. Farmers Markets were quite the rage last year, with over 30 to choose from. On July 11, the Sugar House Farmers Market will be at Fairmont Park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On July 14, check out the Sunnyvale Farmers Market in Midvale from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It will include a food pantry, free lunch and activities for kids, and music. Don’t miss one-night free events like: the Parade of Raptors presented by HawkWatch on July 9, at the Salt Lake Public Library Riverside Branch from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On July 13, Trivia Night will be held at the Leonardo. Up to six people can sign up to be a team, or go solo! On July 10, the Local Author Showcase continues at The King’s English Bookshop. Jared Garret will introduce his new book, “Usurper.” On July 18, Yappy Hour will be at Fairmont Park. There will be an offleash play area for the dogs, and music, beer, and food trucks for the humans. On July 21, the Indian Food Fair will be held at the Gallivan Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presented by Bollyfood lunch, there will be live entertainment, ethnic shopping, and of course, food! On July 28, Mindy Dillard will lead a songwriting workshop for teens ages 12-18 at the Salt Lake Public Library Sprague Branch, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many free series-styled events will be held. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the Gateway will host Yoga on the Plaza in the Olympic Plaza. Shopping and food options will be available after yoga. July is Pacific Island Heritage Month. On the 28th, their annual KickOff will begin at 5 p.m. at the Sorenson Multicultural Center. This event has entertainment and activities from nine Pacific Island countries.

The Community Writing Center will be hosting FreeFest: a youth workshop series, at the Downtown Salt Lake Public Library, Suite no. 8. This series is intended for young adults ages 15-19. Four different workshops will be offered: on July 25, check out the XYZine, zine-making extravaganza. On July 26, learn basic bookbinding skills during the Book-Making Workshop. On July 27, EnTwined will teach you how to create a twine game. On July 28, check out Poetr?- make a mess of poetry and all things poetic. Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) is offering a Kids Summer Passport. Get a passport (available to download online), earn five stamps by visiting destinations like the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and the Wasatch Community Gardens, by August 25. Show the fully-stamped passport at the local library to reserve a spot for a final party at the Clark Planetarium. The party

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will be held August 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with movies, popcorn, exhibits, and prizes. Our canyons also have fabulous options for getting outside. If anyone can do all the following hikes in one summer, let me know so I can be impressed. There’s Buffalo Point, Bloods Lake, Ensign Peak, Bridal Veil Falls, Golden Spike, Cecret Lake and Albion Basin, Willow Lake, Dooley Knob, Hidden Falls, Adams Waterfall, Patsy’s Mine, Grotto Falls, Donut Falls, Timpanogos, Brighton Lakes, Bell Canyon, Stewart Falls, Broads Fork Trail, Silver Lake, Battle Creek Falls, Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Mirror Lake, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Dripping Rock, Mount Olympus, Suicide Rock, Elephant Rock, White Pine Lake, Jordan River, and the Bonneville Shoreline, and Provo River Parkway. In conclusion, none of us have an excuse to be bored this summer! l

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Life and Laughter—Girls Camp


Laughter AND





hat do you get when you have 25 teenage girls camping in tents? A motive for murder. I’m convinced every crazed serial killer roaming a summer camp, was once a mild-mannered camp counselor hoping to teach peace, love and kindness to a herd of snarling 15-year-old girls. While men can plan a Scout camp over a 4-hour Call of Duty session, women meet for months to plan an inspirational and life-changing camp that every single girl will whine through. Leaders schedule dozens of meetings to choose the theme (Let’s Get Dirty!), create the menu (Fun With Tofu!) and decide on the camp color (glittery unicorn pink). Once those main decisions are finalized, the real job begins: planning hours of activities to teach young women the importance of a) nature, b) bonding and c) indoor plumbing. An ordinary day at young women’s camp can look something like this: 6 a.m.—Flag ceremony and motivational singing 6:15 a.m.—Breakfast/clean-up/ inspirational stories/singing 9:00—Nature hike/Identify native plants/singing Noon—Lunch/Clean-up/singing 1:30-3:30—Glittery art project to

encourage sisterhood/singing 3:30-5:30—Journaling/free time/ singing 5:30-8:00—Dinner/clean-up/ singing 8:00-10:00—Campfire/uplifting stories/singing 10:30—Lights out/quiet singing An ordinary day at young women’s camp actually looks like this: 6 a.m.—Leaders go from tent to tent, waking up girls who spent the night vaping in the woods. No singing. 7:48—Quick flag ceremony followed by burned oatmeal, cooked in a Dutch oven. Inspirational stories interrupted by young women fighting because someone’s journal is missing and, “I know it’s you, Jessica, because you’re such a $#*$&!” Girls are ordered to get ready for the day. 11:17—Hiking! But everyone’s waiting for Angela to finish curling her hair with her butane curling iron because she will NOT be seen looking like a hillbilly in case she runs into lumberjacks wandering through camp. 2:25—Having been chased by a moose, the hikers are now lost and trying to figure out how to get cell service in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains. Leaders consider making a break for it, leaving the girls to wander the wilderness forever. No singing.




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4:58—Leaders have bagged the art project and journaling, and have moved onto the dinner part of the program. Girls are napping in various locations and refuse to help prepare any meal. Leaders consider a mass poisoning but decide against it because they’re too tired. 8:20—Dinner is finally served. The girls are STARVING and complaining that dinner wasn’t ready hours ago. A few girls half-heartedly sing two camp songs before everyone sits and stares into the campfire. Someone is crying. It’s one of the leaders. 11:45—Girls are told to stop talking because people are trying to sleep. Someone is singing. 1:35 a.m.—The girls are told, for the millionth time to, “Shut the $%&$ up or I’m going to dismantle your tent and you can sleep under a tree!!!” 4:17 a.m.— Everyone is crying. 6:30 a.m.— Someone asks when breakfast will be ready.


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Repeat for five more days. (Note to CIA: If you decide to torture me by making me camp with teenage girls, please, just waterboard me instead.) At the end of camp, the girls’ matching shirts are covered with mud and glitter. No one is smiling. Even Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees wouldn’t approach this scene. No one is singing. But girls’ camp is like childbirth. Once it’s over, you only remember the good parts, and soon leaders are optimistically planning the next camp with even MORE glitter, MORE bonding and MORE singing. The men slowly shake their heads and return to Call of Duty. l


All In One

PROPERTY MAINTENANCE SPRING FULL YARD CLEAN-UP & HAUL, 20% OFF, IF SCHEDULED BY MARCH 31ST Also Schedule Aeration and Power Raking – licensed and insured –

DAVE at 801-455-6705 HOME REPAIRS

Home Services Randy’s Tire and Muffler Handy Electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting,

Complete Auto Repair & Service Manager Owned and Operated Serving Bluffdale/South Valley for 3 Generations 14250 S Redwood Rd 801-254.9971

bathrooms & kitchens remodeled…


NO JOB TOO SMALL Mark Landers 801-641-9644


Lawn & Landscaping



801.867.7800 greg@stronglandscape.com

Professional Lawn Care Services Mowing, Sprinkler Install and Repair Custom Landscaping 17 Years Experience, Licensed & Insured

Brick and Masonry Work


Brick and Block Work

On Call Roofers

Insurance Repair Chimney and Mailbox Repair

Call Grant at 801-254-7697

30+ Years of Experience All Types of Roofing and Gutters Residential and Commerical www.OnCallRoofingInc.com

Call Now: 385-529-1032

July 2018 | Page 31

Profile for The City Journals

South Valley City Journal July 2018  

South Valley City Journal July 2018

South Valley City Journal July 2018  

South Valley City Journal July 2018