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June 2018 | Vol. 28 Iss. 06


PARENTS RISE UP TO LIFT STUDENTS’ SPIRITS By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


ews of the sixth Herriman High School student to take his or her own life this year hit parents hard. Many felt helpless. Others decided to act. PTA President Denise Christiansen quickly responded with a campaign to get parents into the school to support students just two days after the latest tragic passing. “I’m here because I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines,” said volunteer Kristine Anderson. “I wanted to come and try and just give any kind of assurance to these kids that they’re loved and noticed.” Anderson, who admitted she’s never been very involved with the PTA, decided to help at the school rather than wallowing in sadness at home. She was one of many volunteers enthusiastically welcoming students to the school, wishing them a good day and offering them mints and candy. Volunteers committed to flank every school entryway, every morning, through the end of the school year. “As parents, we kind of feel helpless—no one knows what to do,” said Shanae Freeman. “But we’re going to try with a smile and a greeting—and candy always helps.” Kim McCann made sure she smiled at every student who passed her on their way into the school. “I’m hoping to make a connection with teenagers and brighten their day,” she said. “I think that’s what we’re missing—real connection.” Shandie Evans said her son, a senior, feels Herriman High School is so big, he sometimes feels lost. Parents said the rapid growth of the area and the subsequent influx of new students make it difficult for teens to get to know each other. Garret Evans graduated three years ago. “The school has grown a bunch since I’ve been here, and it was hard even then,” he said. He signed-up to greet students

: Herriman High students were enthusiastically welcomed into school every morning for the last few weeks of the school year. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

because he knows how it feels to lose a classmate. “It felt only right to try and make a difference, to try and help, because I’ve gone through it.” He hoped a smile would start the teens with the right attitude for their day. Junior Hannah Freeman said students were grieving and didn’t know how to react. When parents were there to greet them, it made a difference. “It feels like a better environment than it was yesterday—it feels really positive,” she said on the first day of the campaign.

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Christiansen said her initial Facebook post was fueled by frustration—she rarely gets help from more than a few PTA members. “When we have 3,000 students, four parents are not enough,” she said. She was thrilled when volunteers quickly committed to continue helping at the school for the remaining weeks of the year. Parents signed up for “What’s Up Wednesday” to seek out and talk to students in the cafeteria. They implemented a kind words campaign, flooded social media with up- Continued on page 5...

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Need to mix up your summer fun? Try cooking with your kids 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 Corbett Carrel Corbett@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1016 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton

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ummer is usually a time when schedules loosen, kids need a remedy for the “I’m bored” syndrome, and parents try to get kids off their electronics. During those long hot summer days taking time to teach cooking skills in the home or enrolling a child in a cooking class is a beneficial and educational activity. Over the past eight years, the McBride family has learned the many valuable lessons that can be taught in the kitchen, besides learning how to prepare a healthy meal or snack. “The skill and knowledge of how to run a kitchen, teaches so much more than just eating and not being hungry. Budgeting money, communication, trying new foods, learning about cultures around the world…. all of these principles can be and should be taught in the kitchen,” said Sara McBride, a mother of four children. Kylee and Kjerstin McBride enjoy cooking in the kitchen with their mom and dad, Sara and Corey. Kjerstin, age 9, realizes the special time she gets to spend with her dad when she helps him. “He is a really good cook and knows a lot. And l like that we can cook together and talk together. It’s extra time I get to be with him,” she said. Both sisters recently took a Little Chefs cooking class at Harmons and loved it. Although they were a little nervous at first, they quickly realized it was fun and they learned different kitchen skills. “My favorite part was the whole class. I’d never done anything like that before and it showed me I am a good cook. The chef was really nice and helpful,” said Kjerstin. During this three-hour kids’ cooking class, about 15 little chefs gathered in a large kitchen around a central cooking area in Harmons and watched a professional chef demonstrate how to make macaroon cookies. Then the students were divided into groups of three and tried making their own macaroons. “If we needed help, the chef would come and help us and then tell us we were doing a good job,” said Kylee, age 7. “We each made our own mix and then that made our own cookies. There was lots of ingredients in the kitchen already and we each got to use what we needed to make our own cookies,” Kylee said. Not only did the McBride sisters make delicious macaroon cookies, they had fun and

Corey McBride teaches one of his daughters, Kjerstin and one of his sons, Justin how to measure ingredients when cooking. (Photo/Sara McBride)

gained confidence while learning to make something new. “My favorite part of the class was being able to do it all on my own. I didn’t have anyone taking over for me. I got to scoop, measure, and stir and mix it all myself. And taking home a box of delicious cookies was really fun, too. I shared it with my whole family,” said Kylee. After the class, their mother noted the many benefits of the class. “Besides kitchen safety, they learned cooking techniques like whisking, piping, blending, and measuring, which reinforces basic math skills. They also learned to try new foods and flavors. They came away feeling proud of themselves and the delicious cookies they had created,” said Sara. Before his daughters took a cooking class, Corey took a cooking class to help increase his interest in cooking. “In the past I learned to cook from books and the internet. However, I found that there is only so much you can learn by reading and watching videos. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, live instruction is worth a thousand pictures,” he said. Corey enjoys cooking and wanted to try cooking with a wok. He read up on wok cook-

ing and watched online videos, and he became more fascinated with this type of cooking. “I soon realized that reading and watching videos wasn’t going to be enough. So, I start looking for a cooking class I could take,” said Corey. He too enrolled in an adult cooking class at Harmons and had a wonderful experience. “The wok class introduced me to so many new ideas.” The McBride family believes that whether at home or in a community cooking class, teaching a child to cook lends itself to many positive outcomes. “Parents cooking with their kids is a great way to develop a good healthy relationship that extends into all parts of life,” said Corey. “In addition, there is a great sense of accomplishment that can come from something as simple as making cookies.” Some local places that offer cooking classes are: Harmons at Bangerter Crossing, City Creek or Holladay Market (visit www.harmonsgrocery.com for prices and classes) and The Home Lab (900 E. Pioneer Road in Draper, visit www.draperhomelab.com for prices and classes). l

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S outh Valley City Journal

Students found a balloon and coupons to local restaurants on their cars—a gift from the PTA. (Jet Burnham/ City Journals) Continued from front page...

lifting messages and decorated every car in the student parking lot with balloons and coupons donated by local restaurants. Support even came from community members who don’t have children at the school. “I didn’t expect as many people to step up as did, but they truly are just as concerned about the kids as we are and have made the effort to be here for our kids,” said Christiansen. Volunteers felt like they were responding to the loss of six students by committing to not lose any more.

“If we can be here and do this one day a week and do this for our kids—what a difference it’s going to make,” said Evans. Rosanne Delaney used her job as a crossing guard, just a few blocks east of the high school, to reach out to students of all ages. Wearing a large “You Matter!” poster, she waved enthusiastically to every car and smiled at the middle school and elementary students she helped cross the intersection. “We don’t want any more of our kids to feel like if they were gone, nobody would miss them—because that’s absolutely not the truth,” said Delaney. Students supported the PTA campaign as well. Golden Gate Club members peppered the campus with positive message sticky notes. They tied yellow ribbons around trees. Student Body Officers invited students to fold paper cranes of hope to string up in the commons area. Even students from neighboring Bingham High School joined in to help greet students in the morning. Ryan Cherry, who just recently started the pro-social Golden Gate Club, said the community response made a difference for the school atmosphere. “There’s a significantly different mood in the school today,” he said. “I walked in today, and I see smiles everywhere.” l

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June 2018 | Page 5

See how animals run, adapt and help modern-day science at ‘Nature’s Ultimate Machines’ By Christy Jepson l christy@mycityjournals.com


ave you ever wondered why a woodpecker never gets a headache? Or what tiny animal has a punch so strong that it can break aquarium glass? Or who has a stronger grip: a human or a chimpanzee? These questions and many more can be answered at the new traveling exhibit “Nature’s Ultimate Machines” at the Natural History Museum of Utah from now until Sept. 3. “I believe this exhibit is one of the most hands-on and interactive exhibits we’ve had to date,” said Lisa Thompson, the exhibit developer for the Natural History Museum of Utah. This exhibit shows the amazing inner workings of how creatures have learned to adapt to harsh environmental conditions and how they fight daily battles to help them survive. The exhibit features 130 specimens, scale models, videos and interactive displays to help guests discover how plants and animals have developed unique ways of moving, adapting and surviving in their own habitat. When visiting the new exhibit guests can explore a larger-than-life termite mound and look and see how its design is used in modern architecture. Guest can feel how much energy it takes to pump blood up through a giraffe’s 7-foot neck. People can learn which creatures can crush over 8,000 pounds in one bite, and they can learn about different ways creatures swim, slither, jump and gallop.

Students visiting ‘Nature’s Ultimate Machines’ exhibit and exploring the strength test of different materials in our bodies and in nature. (Photo/Caity Gainer, Natural History Museum of Utah)

“One of the favorite areas for kids is the flying chair where guests can sit on a tall office chair that spins and choose between two different types of wings that are made out of a light PVC pipe and canvas,” Thompson said. “They flap the wings up and down to help them spin around.” Different-shaped wings have different results when you start to move them up and down. According to Thompson, this hands-on flying area gets guests thinking about which shape of


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wings help birds fly away quickly versus which shape of wings are needed for birds that fly long distance. Guests will be engaged in all the interactive and digital exhibits while learning also about the marvels of natural engineering that inspire modern mechanics, such as the creation of Velcro, chainsaws and wind turbines. This entire exhibit brings to life the connection between biology and modern-day engineering. For example, guests will be able to see that by studying the bone structure of a woodpecker— and why they never get headaches or concussions even when they peck wood 20 times per second—is helpful and useful in research to help make better, stronger and safer helmets for football players. This exhibition was developed by The Field Museum in Chicago. All Field Museum exhibits are in English and Spanish. The Natural History Museum of Utah is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Wednesdays when it is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $14.95 for adults, $12.95 for seniors 65 and older, $12.95 for ages 13–24 and $9.95 for children 3–12. University of Utah students and faculty are free with valid ID. The museum is located at 301 Wakara Way in Salt Lake City. For additional information, visit: nhmu.utah.edu/ultimate. l

Students at the museum looking at how hard the giraffe’s heart must pump in order to get blood up through its tall seven-foot neck. (Photo/Caity Gainer, Natural History Museum of Utah)


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Welcome to your summer festival guide By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


ometh summer, cometh the festivals. Each year, cities across the Salt Lake Valley hold a summer celebration to commemorate the community, city or country. They do so with parades, contests, music and fireworks. This year’s slate of festivals starts after Memorial Day and will run into fall. Here’s a chronological guide to everything on tap for summer 2018. SoJo Summerfest | May 30–June 2 South Jordan kicks off the summer spectacles with its third annual SoJo Summerfest. This replaced its traditional Country Fest two years ago. The four-day festival features events all over the city from Mulligans Golf Course (10600 South 692 West) and City Park (11000 South Redwood Road) to the public works parking lot (10996 South Redwood Road) and fitness and aquatic center (10866 South Redwood Road). Events will feature family fun activities such as the carnival, 5K race, parade, car show, superhero party or swim with local performing group, Utah Mermaids. A skateboard competition, tennis tournament, chalk art contest and multi-category Battle of the Bands are also set to take place throughout the festival. A complete list of events and times can be found at sjc.utah.gov/sojo-summerfest/. Fort Herriman PRCA Rodeo | June 1–2 Held at W&M Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South), Herriman’s annual rodeo features a family night on Friday and military night on Saturday. The rodeo will also include a special needs roundup on Saturday from 3–4:30 p.m. Visit herriman.org/prca-rodeo/ for more information. Music Stroll | June 9 The seventh annual Heart and Soul Music Stroll returns to Sugar House on June 9. Dozens of local performers will share their musical talents throughout the day (last year featured 44). Free to the community, the Music Stroll has 14 different locations spread throughout a two-block radius along Filmore and Glenmore streets between 2700 South and Zenith Avenue. Thirteen performing areas are arranged on front lawns with one stage set up at Imperial Park (1560 East Atkin Avenue). Heart and Soul is a nonprofit organization based out of Salt Lake City that aims to bring the “healing power of music” to people in isolation. Performers donate their time throughout the year performing at places like senior centers, prisons or hospitals. Streets are lined not only with hundreds of people but several food trucks as well. Visit heartsoul.org/music-stroll for more information. WestFest | June 14–17 What started in the late ’70s at Grange Park with a car show, pony rides and a few food booths has blossomed into one of West Valley City’s premier events. The annual celebration, which commemorates the establishment of West Valley City and the recognition of its residents’ various backgrounds, will take place at Centennial Park (5415 West 3100 South) from June 14–17. The 2018 version will feature a WestFest Sombrero Bowl Skate Competition, the 13th an-

S outh V alleyJournal .com

nual Dutch Oven Cook-off, a 5K and 10K and entertainment from No limits, This is YOUR Band, Chance McKinney and Channel Z. For more information and for those interested in volunteering, visit westfest.org. Fort Herriman Towne Days | June 18–23 The city’s weeklong celebration of everything Herriman begins on Monday, June 18, with a talent show and ends on Saturday June 23 with a carnival, parade and fireworks. Each day of the week features something different such as a disc golf tournament, home run derby, K9 and trampoline shows and a foam party. All events will take place at W&M Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South), J. Lynn Crane Park (5355 West Main Street) and Rosecrest Park (13850 South Rosecrest Road), where the Herriman Hyzer Disc Golf Tournament will take place. Times and events can be found at herriman. org/fort-herriman-days/. Taylorsville Dayzz | June 28–30 Located at Valley Regional Park (5100 South 2700 West), Taylorsville Dayzz holds a full slate for its city celebration on the west side of the valley. From Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. when the carnival begins to Saturday’s fireworks finale at 10 p.m., the festival is nonstop with entertainment. Tributes bands Imagine (Beatles) along with the West Valley Symphony & Cannons will perform Thursday night, Desperado (Eagles) takes the stage Friday night and Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees) with the Taylorsville Orchestra will close it out on Saturday. Every show is free to the public. Saturday also includes a 5K fun run, pony rides and a car show. A full list of events and times is available at taylorsvilledayzz.com. Riverton Town Days | June 28–July 4 Riverton starts its celebration one day early this year on June 28 with its Three-Man Arena Sorting Competition and the Riverton Rodeo and runs right through to July 4 with its full slate of activities on Independence Day. July 4 will feature the 11th annual ATV Rodeo (Riverton Rodeo Grounds, 12780 South 1300 West) where races will include pole bending, barrel racing, pantyhose race, a key hole race and a hide race. Independence Day will also see Riverton Country Mile 10K, 5K and one-mile races in addition to the Tour de Riverton Bike Race. The starting lines will begin on the south side of Riverton City Park at 12800 South. Food, hay dives and a July 3 evening parade are still on the docket for this tradition since the early 1900s. For more information, visit rivertoncity.com. Western Stampede | June 30–July 4 What starts with a fun run, children’s parade, carnival and family fun night on June 30 continues with the focus of West Jordan’s summer festival — its rodeo. July 2–4 features a PRCA rodeo at the city’s rodeo arena, 8035 South 2200 West. The rodeo also features the winner of the Western Stampede Queen Contest, which was scheduled for May 12. Visit westernstampede.com for more

Community members look at cars during Bluffdale’s Old West Days 2016 celebration. (City Journals)

information. Murray Fun Days | July 4 Murray City carries a full slate of activities for Independence Day. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. will be the annual parade, which begins at Fashion Place Mall (6100 South State Street) and ends at the west end of Murray Park (296 East Murray Park Avenue). Awards are given for the following parade entry categories: special interest/antique, business/commercial, equestrian/animal and civic/ royalty/political/float. The rest of the day takes place at Murray Park. It features a community breakfast, chalk art contest, talent show, a Ducky Derby along the creek in Murray Park, a coed volleyball tournament on the softball field and ends with fireworks. For exact times and events, visit murray. utah.gov/283/Fun-Days. July 4 Parade and Festivities | July 4 South Salt Lake will continue its festival tradition at Fitts Park (3050 South 500 East) on July 4. The day begins with a 5K fun run at 8 a.m. while the parade gets underway at 9:30 a.m. and the one-day celebration rounds out with a festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sandy City 4th of July | July 4 Sandy holds its Independence Day Celebration on the grassy promenade between Sandy City Hall and South Towne Mall at 10000 South Centennial Parkway. The Sandy Classic 5K race begins at 7 a.m. A youth arts festival commences at 10 a.m. where children ages 4–12 can participate in face painting, craft stations and sand sculpting. At 6 p.m. the parade begins with a concert at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks to close out the night at 10 p.m. Draper Days | July 5–7, 12–14 Draper’s festival will take place over two weekends in July. Culminating in the second weekend with fireworks and concerts, Draper Days will begin with various athletic contests the first weekend including a tennis tournament, pickleball tournament and 3 v. 3 basketball tournament. Other events include Splash Dogs, horse pull, pie contest, rodeo, Draper Idol and a children’s parade. Full event schedules and information can be found at draper.ut.us. Butlerville Days | July 23–24 Cottonwood Heights continues its traditional celebration this year on Monday and Tuesday, July 23–24. Planned by volunteers, city staff and the

Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, Butlerville Days takes place at Butler Park (7500 South 2700 East). The festival expects to have games, entertainment, a carnival, parade and fireworks show. A creative craft market and pickleball tournament are recent additions to the yearly commemoration to go along with the 5K fun run. Bluffdale Old West Days | July 27–28, August 6–11 While the rodeo will take place July 27–28, the city’s official Old West Days celebration goes all week long in August. Details for events are still to come, but if last year is anything to go by then this year can expect another monster truck competition. Last year also featured a 25-mile cycling ride and ATV rodeo. Check bluffdaleoldwestdays.com later this summer for more information. Harvest Days | August 6–11 1938 marked the first Harvest Days in Midvale, according to the Midvale Historical Society. It was sponsored by the Midvale Kiwanis club. Details are still being ironed out, but the weeklong celebration of Midvale, begins August 6. The week’s events generally feature an induction into the Midvale Arts Council’s Hall of Honors, a parade and a grand festival and Midvale’s City Park (between Center Street and 7500 South, at approximately 425 West). Check midvaleharvestdays.com later this summer for more information. Blue Moon Arts Festival | August 25 Holladay rounds out the summer season with its annual Blue Moon Arts Festival. The one-day celebration is different from other cities’ week-long engagements. Holladay will have its Concerts in the Commons series running from July 14 through Aug. 25. July will also feature Jim McGee’s ambitious art project combining storytelling and large-scale charcoal portraits. “It’s an opportunity for people to model and collaborate, to be seen and heard in a unique kind of way,” McGee told the Journals in February. Culminating in a festival for music and arts, the Blue Moon Arts Festival takes place at Holladay City Hall Park (4580 South 2300 East) from 3-10 p.m. on Aug. 25. This year’s musical attractions will include Motown group Changing Lanes Experience and Gypsy jazz group Red Rock Hot Club. For more information, visit holladayarts. org. l

June 2018 | Page 7

Unified no more: Herriman to withdraw from UPD


t was a decision that boiled down to cost and control for Herriman officials. Herriman City Council voted unanimously to withdraw from the Unified Police Department during its May 16 city council meeting. City leaders plan to create their own police force and possibly withdraw from UPD by July 1. Troy Carr, the city’s precinct chief under UPD was named chief of the Herriman City Police Department May 21. While the council members voiced their appreciation and satisfaction with its current crop of UPD officers, they also cited a lack of transparency and unresponsiveness with UPD, overpaying for minimal officer presence and a desire to better control its law enforcement distribution as reasons for the withdrawal. “Were extremely happy with our officers,” said Councilman Jared Henderson, who serves as Herriman’s representative on the UPD board. “But there is a difference between the [officers] that we appreciate and the job that they do and the level of service that we receive for what were paying for. There’s a huge difference.” Henderson, along with the rest of the council and city staff, made it clear during the meeting that there is no dissatisfaction with the officers, just that there “aren’t enough of them” for the cost they’re paying. Herriman Finance Director Alan Rae explained they should have 18 officers in the city, but currently operate at 13.5. “We paid for five

Page 8 | June 2018

By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

Herriman City Council voted to withdraw from the Unified Police Department. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

officers last year that we didn’t get.” City projections showed almost $5 million that goes toward UPD versus the $4.5 that it would cost for Herriman’s own police force. Councilmembers said they overpay almost $1 million with that expected to jump to $2 million over the next fiscal year (that starts July 1). “I cannot justify spending an extra $2 million a year when we can’t even get the officers here,” Mayor David Watts said. “I can justify spending an extra few hundred thousand dollars a year to pay the officers more so that we have them on our streets.” Under the current model, Herriman has its own UPD precinct where officers can be pulled from other cities in emergency cases and vice versa. But with a limited number of officers on duty, it makes for what Councilman Clint Smith described as “reactive” rather than “proactive” policing. While UPD officials said they were surprised by the decision, the withdrawal decision was perhaps foreshadowed by the council’s choice to leave SLVLESA, Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Services Area, in August 2017. This was due to the amount of money put into the SLVLESA fund without getting proper services in return, almost the exact same reason for the city’s withdrawal from UPD. City officials said by moving to their own department, they would have 31 sworn officers and control over law enforcement decisions because they’d be financially responsible and not paying for officers that aren’t available. Council members citing examples why the council wanted to leave UPD: payment was made, essentially twice, for brand-new police vehicles, and those vehicles were never ordered, Watts said. Henderson said emails and requests for meetings to address their concerns went unanswered for long periods of time. And some specific questions were never answered. Henderson said it started to reach a point of no return with the city’s budget to be approved

in June and a general desire from the council to not overpay for its police service (quantity, not quality) for another year. Councilmembers felt that would be irresponsible to taxpayers. It also felt like Herriman had no voice on the UPD board, Henderson said, often being outvoted or ignored altogether. “To put it bluntly, I feel like we were getting pushed in the corner, and they take our lunch money and we’re like, ‘see you next time,’” he said. “We’re at the point where we’re ready to say enough. We’re going to take control; we’re not going to put up with that kind of treatment anymore.” Though city officials have discussed their problems with UPD and possible withdrawal for some time, for UPD officials and residents, it was a shock. Residents said they didn’t hear about possible withdrawal until seeing it on Facebook the night before. All residents, and a few police officers, spoke against withdrawal at the May 16 meeting highlighting the quality service they’ve received. Resident Eric Deets said he guaranteed the city’s budget would double in five years if it created its own police department. “If we have such good service, which we do, let’s work with UPD,” he said. “Let’s get the problems fixed. Lets’ improve the service that we have and go from there.” Regional policing is more effective than sticking to city limits, said Jeremy Anderson. “I’m really disturbed by how quickly we’ve decided to go after this issue,” he said prior to the vote. “The fact that there is chatter that this is already a done decision, is really disturbing to me.” Sgt. Duane Jensen works in Herriman and lives in Sandy. He highlighted other cities such as Taylorsville, who returned to UPD, or Cottonwood Heights, where officials are considering cutting its force, as warning signs to starting its own police department. “It’s a big mistake,” he said. “I’ve seen

this movie before, and I know how it ends. I think you’re making a decision based on emotion rather than sitting down and looking at the facts.” Herriman resident and Salt Lake City Sgt. Brian Sloan said with the statewide officer shortage, it’ll be difficult for Herriman to court experienced police officers “unless you’re willing to pay crazy amounts of money.” Watts later said he was willing to pay top dollar for police officers. Salt Lake County Sherriff Rosie Rivera said she inherited some issues within the department, and the current cost model was created by previous board members who no longer serve. Her main priority was the safety of Herriman residents and said she was willing to help with the city’s transition to its own police force. “We do believe that we need to keep a good partnership,” she said. “Public safety is our concern. How we get there, how you pay for public safety—that can all be worked out.” Chair of the UPD Board and Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini was more blunt with the city council. “We wish you would stay, and we believe you’re making a monumental mistake,” he said. “If you want to leave UPD, go with the Lord on that, that’s your decision. But please, please do this in a logical way.” Silvestrini was referring to Herriman potentially leaving UPD by July 1. “Public safety is too important to make this kind of a decision so precipitously, so abruptly,” he said. “Give us some time; we’ll work with you to do what you want to do.” Silvestrini had other concerns too, such as the city’s ability to create a police department by July 1 and what it does to the other participating townships and cities in UPD. “Your decision to leave UPD is essentially like throwing a hand grenade into the room with respect to the UPD budget,” he said. “And to the extent that’s going to affect our city budgets, you’re throwing more hand grenades into your sister jurisdictions council rooms, and that’s not the right way you should do this.” But Councilwoman Sherrie Ohrn said that doesn’t make sense because it would be Herriman’s money being withdrawn, “unless our money is used to subsidize other cities.” City officials said there are contingencies in place for police coverage in case they do sever ties completely by July 1, but that’s not what they want. Henderson said they received threats in a meeting the day before the vote to withdraw from a top UPD official, but said there are a “number of scenarios where we can have a transition that works for everyone.” “If we are met with the threats and vitriol we got yesterday then we will leave July 1 for the betterment of Herriman,” he later continued. “We have planned for that scenario. I’s not ideal; we don’t want to do it that way. But if they force us to, then we’re prepared to.” l

S outh Valley City Journal

Herriman City to explore possible sale of former city hall By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

2018 EvEning SEriES

The new city hall where Herriman City relocated its offices in August 2017. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


erriman City officials will explore options to sell the Herriman Community Center, the former city hall, after a unanimous vote from the city council on May 9. Prior to the grand opening of the new city hall last year, the community center served as the municipality’s headquarters. Located at 13011 South Pioneer Street, the community center was declared surplus by the council vote. The vote also determined that a minimum bid be established at its appraised value (almost $1.7 million) and directs city staff to “establish a method to determine the highest and best economic return to the city.” The decision comes after months of discussions surrounding the building, its purpose in the community and its financial viability. City officials said maintenance and operating costs for the building were too high—approximately $110,000 annually with no offsetting revenues—especially not with other needs the city wants to address, according to city councilmembers. Councilman Jared Henderson said he had a hard time matching the sentiment with the fiscal price tag, notably when the city’s job is to provide necessary services. “Really, what I see is this (city hall) was built to completely replace the old and look toward the future. I’m having a hard time justifying the other one on pretty much sentiment when this was intended to replace it and carries a hefty price tag to do so,” Henderson said prior to the vote during the May 9 city council meeting. He would later say, “(when it) boils down to it, we are kind of out of time, and it would be, in my opinion, fiscally irresponsible of us to just hang onto (the building).” He added if there was a funding mechanism to offset even some of the cost, then maybe they could justify it, but he never saw a solution, “only additional costs.” City staff explored the option of renting out building space to private entities, but Operations Manager Monte Johnson said, “Anytime we change the use from municipal use, we

Herriman City Council declared the community center, and former city hall, as surplus property allowing city staff to find the best economic return to the city. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

lose our tax exempt on that building, so then we would be required to pay property taxes on that to (Salt Lake) County.” Those property taxes would incur almost $30,000 more. Councilman Clint Smith said he struggled to foresee a feasible option without requiring additional cost. Though he did suggest with any potential sale of the building those funds go toward preserving other historical sites in the city. The building will not be sold immediately as a result, Henderson explained this vote merely gives city staff the “opportunity” to engage with professionals and “vet out options” for the building. The decision was met with frustration by parts of the community that urged the city to keep the building or give them more time to find financial solutions. Michelle Baguley, a former Herriman city council member, led a campaign called the Herriman Promise Foundation Working Group to save the center. She asked the council to keep a promise made by a previous city council, one she served on, that made an agreement with the intent the building would always remain. “The promise was made that the community center would be used for the community’s future use,” she said. “That intention was not to be sold to be used for something else. The intention of that promise was that it would be used for the community such as a senior center, 4H clubs or a safe place for youth.” Resident Leah Church told the council prior to the vote that reneging on a promise made by a previous city council diminishes the council’s integrity and credibility going forward. “I feel like once it’s contracted and a decision has been promised, I feel like it should be honored,” she said. “And I honestly think that’s what this all comes down to. Some things pay for themselves in other ways instead of just monetary.” Councilwoman Sherrie Ohrn said if the previous council didn’t want the building to ever be sold, then that language should have been included in the original agreement.

The agreement states that if the property is no longer in the city’s best interest, then the city “shall use the property for a public and/or community purpose that will promote recreational, charitable, or any other purpose that is in the interest of the public” then the city would either name the building after the Lions Club or “erect a suitable monument, memorial or plaque.” Ohrn argued that language is too wide open ,while Henderson said for a council to commit future generations doesn’t make sense and isn’t fair. “While I understand the sentiment of what that particular council wanted, we’re told every time we make a decision, we can’t legally bind a future council to anything,” Henderson said. He added other residents have told him Herriman needs parks and roads asking how the city can keep a building that was replaced with a newer version. That new version, city officials said, can serve the same uses as the community center. Organizations can use city hall as a location to meet. “There are spaces that can accommodate small groups and large groups, so use it,” Ohrn told the audience during the city council meeting. “We’re paying for this building, so we might as well use it and get the full benefit of it possible. None of us voted to build or not build it. But it’s here, so let’s utilize it for the purpose it was erected. Residents also asked for more time to find a solution. Baguley requested an additional year or two. But Henderson said an additional two years could come out to a quarter of a million dollars; he felt it would be fiscally irresponsible to do so. Baguley wrote on Facebook after the meeting: “I want to thank the members of the community and our Promise Foundation associates who stood beside us, in our campaign to #savethecommunitycenter. Although the outcome was not as we had hoped, it was an honor to serve beside you in this endeavor to keep a promise.” l

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Every Thursday at 2 p.m. in Murray Park Pavilion #5 FREE June 7 – Stephanie Raff ......................Storytelling June 14 – Nino Reyos .........Native American Drum June 21 – Miss Margene ..............Children’s Dance June 28 – Coralie Leue .............The Puppet Players July 12 – Jonathan the Magician ....... Magic Show July 19 – Rebeca Wallin ........Shakespeare for Kids July 26 – Popcorn Media .....................Family Rock Aug 2 – Honey Buns........................... Song/Dance This program has received funding support from residents of Salt Lake County, SL County Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP), Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and Museums & National Endowment for the Arts.

June 2018 | Page 9

‘An absolute honor:’ Jackson steps down to focus on health


By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

n what Alan Jackson described as “one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” he resigned from his Bluffdale City Council position on April 11. Jackson, 49, was honored by the Mayor Derk Timothy and the city for his service during the May 9 city council meeting. “I just love Bluffdale,” Jackson said. “It’s been an honor serving, and I wish I could have continued. I would have preferred to continue, but (these are) tough decisions in life.” His difficult choice comes after 4 ½ years battling Lyme disease and being reelected for a third term last November. Deciding in 2017 to campaign for reelection was already a hard decision for Jackson due to his “health and the challenges” he was having. But he hoped with his new treatments that they “would help [him] prepare and be able to serve.” Unfortunately, he said, his condition worsened over the last few months, and it was time for him to concentrate his efforts elsewhere. “I just have to focus on trying to get better and tackle that challenge in my life right now,” Jackson said, adding he still has hope in his current treatments. Jackson’s wife, Tish, said it was an emotional time for her husband, but “family always comes first and his health. I’m very proud of him and all that he’s done.” Urged by his friend and then-mayoral candidate Kim Fuller to run for city council in 2009, Jackson—a Bluffdale resident since 2007—had always had an interest in politics. Combine that with the city’s troubles at the time—council infighting, lawsuits—Jackson decided to run. “The city was in the news far too often at the time.” Jackson arrived with two other newcomers: Timothy, who was elected as mayor (and still serves), and former Mayor Noell Nelson. All three replaced incumbents marred by years of council infighting. Though Timothy defeated Jackson’s friend, the two came to be integral parts of Bluffdale’s growth over the past decade with a mutual admiration for each other. “Mayor Timothy has just been amazing,” Jackson said. “He’s the right man for the job, that’s for sure. We’re lucky to have him.” Timothy was emotional as he presented a plaque to Jackson recognizing him for his eight years of service. “Alan really brought a lot to the city,” Timothy said. “He’s leaving it a lot too. I don’t even know what to say, because you’ve been so valuable to the city.,” He described Jackson as quiet, but “when he spoke, the things he had to say were meaningful, and they were really well-thought out. I believe Alan has been a very, very, very import-

Page 10 | June 2018

Alan Jackson poses for a photo with Mayor Derk Timothy. The two have served together ever since they were elected in 2009. (Photo courtesy Bluffdale City)

ant part of our city and certainly an important part of our city council.” Both Timothy and Jackson noted the amount of work and projects put into the city over the years. Jackson highlighted Porter Rockwell Boulevard, the developments and the schools that have come in over the past eight years as important matters he’s dealt with. “It’s amazing, when we were elected there wasn’t one home in Independence (Village) and now you look at it and its crazy,” Jackson said. Serving on the council can almost feel like a graduate program with the amount of information members absorb. Jackson noted how much he learned about city codes, state laws, bureaucratic process and the limited power of the city council at times. But he emphasized his interactions with residents as being the most pleasant experiences. That includes the big issues such as meeting with neighbors around the Maverik gas station and the Smiths grocery store that never arrived. “Those experiences will always be with me, and just interacting with the citizens has been great,” Jackson said. Now the father of five children and two grandchildren (one of which was born in May), plans to focus on getting healthy and spending time with his children. But Jackson will always cherish his time serving the city. “It’s been an absolute honor for me to serve on the council,” he said. “It’s been a tremendous blessing in my life. I think that’s what made the decision so difficult because I truly will miss it. I’ll miss the interaction with the council— amazing, amazing council—and staff. The staff is just the best the state has. Those are things I’ll miss.” l

S outh Valley City Journal

Coin flip determines new Bluffdale City Council seat By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

Travis Higby takes his oath of office to become Bluffdale’s newest city councilman. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


luffdale has a new city councilmember, and it was George Washington who decided it. Well, sort of. After 11 candidates were whittled down to two via a first-round vote by the four remaining city councilors, the final vote was 2-2 between finalists Travis Higby and Kristin Roberts. State code mandates a tie be broken by chance, so a coin was flipped. Roberts chose tails—choosing first after picking the closest number between 1-10, a number determined by Mayor Derk Timothy— but the quarter landed with George Washington’s head up, and Travis Higby was appointed the newest member of the Bluffdale City Council. “That was absolutely unexpected,” a visibly surprised Higby said moments after the coin flip. “I was voting for Kristin, but I’ll try to do my best now that they made a decision.” Higby will serve at least until the current midterm ends in January 2020. The public process to choose a new councilmember came when two-term Councilman Alan Jackson stepped down in April due to health issues. During the May 9 city council meeting, the 11 candidates who applied for the position were given about two minutes to state their case and answer questions from the mayor and council. In what was essentially a public job interview, both finalists described the experience as “nerve-racking.” Higby noted it was “a little awkward” but that it needs to be public for the residents to see. “I don’t have a whole lot of public speaking experience,” said Roberts, who expected something like this to happen, “so it was a little nerve-racking, but it was OK, better than I thought.” Roberts—who favors 1-acre lots with animal rights; smart, balanced growth; and emphasized having a strong sales tax base with retail locations along Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway—was gracious in defeat and positive about the future of the city. “I know the city council will do a great job for the city and our citizens,” she said. “And I congratulate Travis. I think he will be a great addition to the city council.” She isn’t the only one to think that. During the first round of voting, Higby was the only

candidate to receive a vote from every council member. The man he replaced also has full faith in him. “He’s more than qualified,” Jackson said of Higby. “I think he’s going to do a tremendous job for the city. I’m excited that he’s there. There were so many good candidates this evening that could’ve easily filled my position. It was good to see that. He’s going to do great, I think he’s got the knowledge and background to step right up and fill that seat.” Higby’s background includes working with city administrations through his work as a civil engineer where he said he’s helped councils with large infrastructure projects. Initially, he was a reluctant applicant for the position. Having held town halls for work and served on Bluffdale’s general plan and parks, trails and open space committees, Higby told the council he’s “always looked at what you guys did, admired it and said no thank you” to the prospect of joining them. After being cajoled by City Councilman Dave Kallas’ wife, Higby decided to apply but lacked excitement at the possibility. It wasn’t until the civil engineer started speaking with city staff about the city’s plans with its infrastructure and water and transportation projects that he “started to get giddy.” Higby, a resident of Perry Farms (southeast side of the city) for 11 years and HOA president for the last eight, said he wants to maintain low density, keeping horses on properties. “That’s essential to what we are,” he said. When asked by the council about his vision for undeveloped land on the south end of the city, Higby said landowners have the right to do what they want—within what’s allowed by city ordinances—and let the free market take place, with guidance from the city. When the council raised taxes to increase its fire and police, he supported that. Referencing a cultural divide between the east and west side of the city (brought up throughout the night by candidates and councilmembers), Higby said they throw an annual luau at Perry Farms to maintain that cohesiveness and wants to apply that concept to the city. Minutes after his appointment, Higby got right to work taking his seat on the dais listening to resident frustrations about parking and jumping into city budget discussions.l

June 2018 | Page 11

New city manager on the job in Riverton By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

Konrad Hildebrandt comes to Riverton with 18 years of city management experience.


fter nearly a year, Riverton has a new city manager: Konrad Hildebrandt, who comes to Riverton with 18 years of experience as a city manager or assistant city manager and 30 total years in the public sector. Hildebrandt most recently worked as an assistant city manager in Odessa, Texas, and has previously worked as a city manager in both Cedar Hills and Washington Terrace, Utah. “My family and I feel extremely honored to be here in Riverton,” said Hildebrandt in an official Riverton press release. “I look forward to working jointly with elected officials, staff and residents to make Riverton an even greater and more vibrant city where people can live, work and play.” Riverton City operates under a six-member council form of government. The council consists of a mayor and five council members, who have delegated the operational day-to-day responsibilities of managing the city to a professional, full-time city manager. “We’re thrilled to have Konrad on board as the new city manager,” said Mayor Trent Staggs. “His experience in city management will serve us well as we seek to continually improve the quality of life for Riverton residents. His approach and experience align well with

Page 12 | June 2018

our city’s goals, and I look forward to seeing him help our city strive for operational excellence.” Hildebrandt holds a master of public administration degree with an emphasis in local government and facility management, in addition to a bachelor degree in business management and a minor in international business and Portuguese, all from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. He and his wife, DeAnna, have five children and two grandchildren. The city has been without a formal manager since June 2017, following the retirement of former city manager Lance Blackwood. The selection process has seen numerous delays. This was chiefly a matter of democratic fairness; with two council seats up for election in November 2017, the Riverton City Council elected in July 2017 to not even open applications until January 2018, so that new councilmembers would have a say in the selection process. In the time since then, City Attorney Ryan Carter has acted as the interim city manager, to the general approval of the city council. Hildebrandt began his administrative duties April 30 and was selected out of a pool of more than 100 applicants. l

S outh Valley City Journal

New playground opens with a splash By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


iverton’s new Western Springs Park playground and splash pad, located at 4570 West 12790 South, officially opened to the public on Thursday, May 24. Formerly under the operational responsibility of Salt Lake County, Riverton assumed responsibility of the park back in 2017, and since then, many improvements have been made. In addition to installing the splash pad and brand new playground equipment, city officials also put in new benches, planted more trees, and repainted the restrooms. “We’re thrilled to be opening the new playground and splash pad at Western Springs Park,” said Sheril Garn, Riverton’s parks and public services director. “It’s a great addition to the park and the local community.” The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 6:30 p.m. Adults and children alike were invited to come celebrate the opening of the brand new equipment, with parents being encouraged to bring their children dressed to play on the splash pad and new playground equipment that evening. The city provided hot dogs and snow cones to attendees, as well as miniature beach balls that children could play with in the water and take home with them when the day was done. l

The Western Springs Park is outfitted with shiny new playground equipment and ready for fun. (Riverton City Communications)

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June 2018 | Page 13

Major earthquake? Stay SAFE! By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


ast November, Salt Lake County kicked off the SAFE (Schools Aid Families in Emergencies) Neighborhoods program, and now members of the county emergency management office are seeking to boost community awareness of what the program is and how it works. What’s the big idea behind the program? In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, grab your 96-hour survival kit and walk to your neighborhood elementary school. "We at the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) need to know where the worst-hit areas are, and the only way we can do that is to set up an area in a school where everybody gathers, and if they're OK, says, 'we're OK,'" said Salt Lake County Emergency Management Representative Bill Open. "And if your home's OK, you can go back home again. We don't need you to stay at the shelter. But we need to know where the worst-hit areas are." In the event of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake along the Wasatch fault line, it is estimated that 80 percent to 85 percent of homes will sustain moderate to severe damage, and some 350,000 people across the county will be displaced. Many main roads will become impassable, and basic services will be interrupted for weeks or months. This means there would be no water, no electricity, no gas and no telephone. "It's really neighbors helping neighbors for the first week until we can start to get re-

Page 14 | June 2018

sources in from Denver or from the north or from the south," said Open. To mitigate this, all 143 elementary schools in the Salt Lake Valley have been furnished with a JIT (Just In Time) kit, which contains tools to essentially transform every public elementary school in the valley into a hub for community organization, communication and aid. "Let me stress this: This is only for a catastrophic earthquake," said Open. "This doesn't work in a flood; it doesn't work in a snowstorm—only a catastrophic earthquake." "The purpose of them being at the schools is that they're a centralized location, and just about everybody knows where their local elementary school is," said Salt Lake County Deputy Emergency Manager Matt Burchett. The JIT kits are not what you might expect from an emergency relief kit: food, water, first aid supplies—all of these will need to be provided through other means (ideally a self-prepared 96-hour survival kit), because the JIT kits are all about communication. They contain long-range radios that will allow officials at schools to communicate with one another and to provide organizational instructions, job aids, paperwork, maps, charts and other informational resources. "This kit is an organizational tool,” Open said. “That's all it is. There's nothing to eat, unless you really are interested in lots of fiber. It's

A key feature of SAFE Neighborhoods is individual preparedness, and you can start by building a 96-hour survival kit for every member of your household. (Salt Lake County Emergency Management)

just paper and organizational tools." But in the chaos following a natural disaster, organization is a very important thing. "There's a transportation plan, a hand radio plan, a family reunification plan—there's a lot of depth to this program," said Burchett. Every kit contains three green books, each page of which contains a map of a single neighborhood. Using these, search parties will be able to assess the status of every house in the neighborhood, mark out who needs what and report back to the schools. There are various other disaster preparation programs in place in smaller regions

throughout the county, such as Riverton and Herriman's neighborhood block captain program. SAFE Neighborhoods is not designed to replace these programs but to work together with them. "It works with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team); it works with your neighborhood block captains; it works with church programs. It dovetails perfectly with everything. The idea is to work with your neighbors," said Open. "The kits are ready,” Burchett said. “We've got an earthquake preparedness plan. And now the key is just to try and get the word out." l

S outh Valley City Journal

Four-person crews mean UFA gets there slower but helps you faster By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

4-person crews can tackle emergencies much more quickly than 3-person crews. (Unified Fire Service Area)


bout six months ago, Riverton transitioned from housing three three-person firefighter teams to two four-person teams. This has had some interesting results on emergency response times. "We basically are seeing about 24 seconds of increased response time because of only having two units instead of three," said Unified Fire Authority Chief Dan Petersen. "But one of the core benefits we gain out of the four-person crews is a decreased amount of time to actually take action on-scene." Studies have shown that it takes about 5.1 minutes less to put out a house fire with a four-person crew than with a three-person crew. Additionally, a four-person firefighter crew can immediately enter a burning building, but, due to OSHA regulations, three-person crews must wait for a fourth firefighter to join them before taking action. So while with three-person crews, it may not take as long for firefighters to arrive on scene, with four-person crews can solve the problem much more quickly. "In a perfect world, we'd have three four-person crews in there, but that would be an extremely expensive change," said Talsan Schulzke, the UFA's strategic data manager. "We felt good about the data, even though we're only looking at a six-month window," said Petersen. "We've added a little bit of response time but shrunk the call-to-action time by about five minutes per crew." As Petersen explained, response time— namely, the amount of time from when you dial 911 to when firefighters appear at your door—is actually less important than call-to-action time: the amount of time from when you dial 911 to when the fire is out and your problem is solved. Increasing the number of four-person crews is not the only change the UFA is looking at making in the near future. "Something we're really excited about is

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this data port that we're going to have," said Schulzke. Accessible through the UFA website, the data port will allow city officials and residents alike to analyze response times, where different stations are what types of calls most frequent in which areas and more, all through an interactive GIS map. “We're putting that in place right now, and we're very close to having it online," Schulzke said. "We've worked real hard on getting accurate data," said Petersen. "It's been kind of a challenge over the years, and we've been able to get a lot of that refined." Analyzing data and crunching the numbers is critical to making sure emergency services can get to the scene and fix your problem as quickly as possible. "Our system is really built on this design where we place our companies where they need to be to get them as close as possible," said Schulzke. "We try to put them into those places and get the stations built in a good manner that allows us to get to the scene quickly." Another upcoming change that should decrease response times is the addition of a “peak load” ambulance. “We're running today with two ambulances in the city, and they serve that south-end area, and as we get more busy, we bring in ambulances from other parts,” Petersen said. The peak load ambulance would float around from jurisdiction to jurisdiction depending on where it was needed most. So if, an area on the east side was receiving lots of calls, there'd be less likelihood of pulling a Riverton ambulance over to pick up the slack. "That will allow us to move us into different areas based off of the demand for the day, without stripping other regions,” Petersen said. l

June 2018 | Page 15

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Page 16 | June 2018

By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


rincipal Cherie Wilson, of Foothills Elementary in Riverton, has recently been dancing around the school in a long-tailed red jacket and top hat. Wilson played the part of the Greatest Showman for the school’s Kindness Week assembly and isn’t ready to give up the role. “I think [the students] are starting to associate the ringmaster with kindness,” said Wilson. “I'll dress up in the costume here and there during the day to bring the 'magic' to the kids— they get so excited.” Wilson dazzled students and faculty at a kick-off assembly, singing and dancing to music from the popular movie, “The Greatest Showman.” The music, the energy, the dancing and the confetti stirred the students into a frenzy of excitement. “That soundtrack really speaks to kids,” said Katie Thomas, a fifth-grade teacher who developed the idea for the theme. “To be able to put that live for the kids—that was incredible.” Students were invited to “Come Alive” with kindness and look for opportunities to help and compliment others all week. They were provided with kindness buttons to trade with each other whenever they performed or received a kind deed. “The principal exchanged hers about 50 times in the lunchroom alone,” said Thomas. Thomas is the leader of the Excellence Team, a group of teachers who work to create a positive atmosphere in the school. Their previous Kindness Week, held in December, highlighted reasons to be kind. “This time, we really saw a need to focus on service,” said Thomas. During May’s Kindness Week, students gave service to their school, country, community and to themselves. Classes participated in neighborhood cleanup projects, a clothing drive and writing letters to servicemen. They competed in a penny wars competition to raise money for Primary Children's Medical Center’s cancer research. The students had a visual reminder to think of others: an ever-growing paper chain, detailing kind acts each student had performed, stretched along the hallway walls. To the delight of students, Wilson was also taped to the wall as a reward when the chain finally grew long enough to loop through the entire school. Wilson said the fun and positive atmosphere Team Kindness (which included Student Council members and the Excellence Team) created provides a better learning environment for students. “When kids feel safe, loved and cared for, they will work harder,” she said. Kindness has become the culture of the school. “Kids look for those kind acts, and it has just become the norm,” said Wilson. “Staff are recognizing each other, students are recognizing each other, and students will recognize their

Kindness Week kicks off to the rousing music of “The Greatest Showman.” (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Volunteers swarm Foothills Elementary to quickly complete improvement projects. (Jordan School District)

teachers and vice versa. It's great.” Kindness Week officially began April 30 with Comcast Cares Day, when 568 community members, school staff and Comcast employees worked to complete service projects around the school. Comcast employee Britton Carroll said Foothills had the largest group of volunteers of all six Comcast Cares sites that day. “There were so many people here, we ran out of projects to do,” said Wilson. She said the work allotted for the four-hour time frame was finished in two. “It was amazing—the turnout and the support of this community,” she said. Volunteers happily cleaned classrooms and washed walls and windows. When they were done, they moved on to bathrooms and the library.

Outside, families planted Arctic Willow shrubs and fountain grass, filled plant beds with bark, repaired the field, picked up trash and leaves on the playground and swept walkways. There were plenty of opportunities for volunteers of all ages to help, said Amy Sheetz, who brought her three children to help. “They had enough kid-appropriate jobs for them,” said Sheetz. “They had little buckets that the kids could put the bark in and haul it over to the flower beds.” Foothills students were excited to help serve their school, many of them clocking the service hours necessary to earn their Mustang Pride Award. To earn the end of the year award, students K-3 are required to perform four hours of service; grades 4-6 require twice that amount. Thirty to 40 percent of students earn the award each year. l

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Outstanding educators recognized By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


or Amy Lloyd, math is always the answer. Using her math skills, Lloyd analyzed testing data at Fort Herriman Middle School and developed a growth mindset curriculum that has significantly improved students’ math skills. “She transformed Fort Herriman into the highest-performing school in math when looking at both student proficiency and individual student growth combined,” said Principal Rodney Shaw. Last year, Fort Herriman was ranked second in the district for overall student proficiency, and in 2018 it had the highest median growth percentile of all secondary schools in the district. Lloyd, who was named Jordan School District Educator of the Year, just wanted to change students’ attitude about math. “My goal is to make sure they don’t hate math,” said Lloyd. “It doesn’t have to be their favorite subject, but I hope I show them there’s a use behind the math. By the end of the year, it is rare that I have a student that still hates math.” Lloyd takes a positive approach to the subject, reaching students who have decided they aren’t good at math or are afraid of being wrong. “They get prizes for participating or for going up to the board,” she said. “They will do anything for a jolly rancher.” Last year, 85 percent of Lloyd’s students improved their scores from the previous year, many by more than 75 points. Shaw, whose own children have taken Lloyd’s class, said she has had a dramatic impact on the lives of students. “She is one the most encouraging, loving, supportive teachers I have ever worked with in 24 years,” he said. “She is an amazing leader who truly understands the unique developmental needs of middle level learners.” Lloyd stays on top of students’ progress, regularly checking for understanding. She collects daily data on each student to catch them before they fall behind. Lloyd works with students on all levels of math, including special education students. “She has these kids achieving at levels they have never experienced before,” said Jessica Wilson, special education team leader. “The math is complex, but her unique approach and sincere love of the students makes them want to succeed.” Lloyd also coordinates peer tutoring among students. Her expectations for her students are clear. “They know exactly what they need to do to earn their A,” she said. “I’m here to help and provide the tools, but ultimately, they’ve got to put in the work if they want to succeed.” In addition to the Educator of the Year recognition, Lloyd is also one of 34 teachers, counselors and administrators recognized by Jordan Education Foundation as an Outstanding

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Educator. Other Outstanding Educator winners include: Cristina Roberts, Copper Mountain Middle School, loves to challenge students to stretch themselves and to believe in themselves. “Mrs. Roberts is one of a kind. Mrs. Roberts is a teacher who changes lives,” said Principal Cody Curtis. Sharon Gunn, Herriman Elementary, has been teaching in Jordan School District for 31 years. “She fosters a growth mindset where learning comes from effort, struggle and making mistakes,” said Principal Kim Gibson. “Sharon is a gem—more valuable than can be expressed.” Natalie Redd, Foothills Elementary, creates a happy place for students. “She has the gift and ability to not only meet the whole class's needs while instructing but going down to each child's level to help them one-on-one,” said Principal Cherie Wilson. Laura Smith, Riverton Elementary, challenges students to achieve their personal best. She emphasizes life skills and positive social behaviors. “I don’t know a special ed teacher who gives so much time and effort into their classroom as Laura. She is an amazing teacher to work for, and she teaches me so much every day. Her students are very lucky to have her as a teacher,” said her nominator, Principal Cindy Tingey. Kimberly Stewart, Oquirrh Hills Middle, is the department chair for Language Arts Department and teaches seventh-grade reading and language Arts. Administrators at Oquirrh Hills said Stewart has made an impact on the students, building relationships based on trust and respect. Jodee Crane, Bluffdale Elementary, prepares her kindergarteners with a solid foundation in phonics, writing and numeracy to set them on the path to excel in school. “Miss Crane will tell you exactly what they are good at, exactly where they need to improve and exactly how you as a parent can help them,” said Principal Karen Egan. Debbie Ballard, Kauri Sue Hamilton School, has been supporting students and their families for more thn 30 years. “I believe Debbie is the one of the few and privileged district professionals that makes a difference in thousands of lives from all over our district,” said Principal Rita Bouillon. Nicole Warner, Herriman High School Kathleen Collins, Bastian Elementary Jaclyn Johnson, Silver Crest Elementary Heather Wiest, Butterfield Canyon Elementary Megan Cox, Blackridge Elementary Shelley Forman, Midas Creek Elementary Nancy Rasmussen, Rose Creek Elementary Jason Carwin, South Hills Middle Amber Jones, Southland Elementary Leslie Thompson, Riverton High School l

Board members from Jordan Education Foundation surprise Cristina Roberts with an Outstanding Educator Award. (Jordan Education Foundation)

Debbie Ballard is recognized for her work with special needs preschool children. (Jordan Education Foundation)

Amy Lloyd is named Jordan District’s Educator of the Year. (Jordan School District)

June 2018 | Page 17

Schools offer Battle of the Books program for love of reading By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Student teams read these and others on the Battle of the Books lists before battling each other. (Juile Slama/City Journals)


n the weeks preceding Eastlake Elementary’s Battle of the Books competition, third-grader Hailee Morten had read five books but was hoping to read five more before the school’s tournament, slated for May 24–25. “I like reading,” she said, adding that she typically will read Dr. Seuss books. Fifth-grader Daxton Nelson admits he is not “really a reader,” but as a class requirement, he also is on a Battle of the Books team, Daxton had just finished reading “Wonder,” quite different from the books about NBA player Lebron James he typically reads. These two students may showcase some reasons why America’s Battle of the Books organizers promote the program in schools, as it motivates students who typically read one type of book to expand to other genres, and it also encourages those who aren’t readers to read more for the joy of it. “There are so many benefits from encouraging kids to branch out of genres they typically read or hopping on board to get in more reading,” said Katherine Harbaugh, who coordinated Daybreak Elementary’s first Battle of the Books in late March. “We’ve had some students who are gung-ho and have read so many books, they have improved two reading levels.” Daybreak chose the 20 book lists for their teams, which included books such as “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Because of Winn-Dixie” for the third- and fourthgrade list, and “A Wrinkle in Time,” “On the Banks of Plum Creek” and “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” for fifthand sixth-graders. Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program for students who have created teams to read books and come together to demonstrate their abilities and to test their knowledge of the books they have read.

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While many schools have different ways to set up their own tournaments, Daybreak’s competition was double elimination, and teams were assigned to even- or odd-numbered questions for the round of 18 questions. Once a team couldn’t answer the question posed to them, the other team had a chance to answer and earn points. The battle is presented to students to answer the question with the title of the book before receiving additional points with the author’s name. For example, if students could correctly name the title “Harry’s Mad” and author of the book, “Dick King-Smith,” to the question, “In what book was a house burglarized of its china, silver and family pet?” The team could receive 15 points. “It tests the students’ comprehension skills as well as gives them good life lesson skills working as a team and sportsmanship — how to be good sports if they win or lose gracefully in a battle,” Harbaugh said. At Daybreak, each class set up their own teams and asked students to read four or five books each, which were available in the school library. In the tournament, 40 fifth- and sixth-grade teams battled each other, and likewise, 38 third- and fourth-grade teams challenged each other. The inaugural year’s team winners were from Nancy Kertamus’ fourth-grade class and the Book Slayers from Ramsay O’Connor’s sixth-grade class. The teams were going to be added to a rotating school trophy. Harbaugh said it wasn’t just about competition but also enjoyment as teams bonded and worked together. “Every team had a name they picked out and had a lot of fun with that,” she said. “They created posters too. It was good to see kids reading for the love of it, not the drudgery, but for fun.” l

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1,000 paper cranes give strength By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Don’t face the tough times alone


ifty-two fourth-graders at North Star Academy in Riverton made 1,000 cranes in three days to send love and good luck to a teacher and student, both fighting cancer. The students had read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr, a historical novel about a girl suffering from leukemia. The story reminded them of third-grader Elizabeth Thomson, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last May. “They were able to relate to the book and connect [the character’s] story to her story,” said Principal Tana Archer. When they learned in the book that cranes symbolize strength, the students wanted to remind Elizabeth and their former second-grade teacher Marci Shouten, who has been fighting breast cancer this year, to be brave during their medical treatments. So, they committed to making 1,000 cranes for them. “We just started making them like crazy,” said fourth-grade teacher Katie Jensen. Using origami paper and plain copy paper, students folded cranes between assignments and in their free time. One student made 132 in one night with his family’s help. “They took so much pride in the project that they wanted to get it done as soon as they could,” said Jensen. Students delivered several cranes to Shouten’s classroom, where they now hang from her ceiling. The bulk of the cranes were delivered to Elizabeth, who is no longer able to attend school. “When we received the cranes from the fourth-graders, it was very touching,” said Elizabeth’s mom, Cheree Thomson. “We have baskets full of cranes around our house, reminding us of the sweet children who care about Elizabeth.” The fourth-graders knew Elizabeth well because they share recess time with the third grade. Jensen said her students are close because they grow up together in a school of just 530 students. “We have an amazing group of kids in our school,” said Jensen. “With the community we have here, the kids are very loving and very caring.” North Star Academy also has a service-oriented format, regularly incorporating student-led service projects into the curriculum. “Any time a kid voices a desire to do a service project, we allow them to run with it as much as we can so it helps them grow even more as a person,” said Jensen. Jensen and the other the other fourth-grade teacher, Wendy Feotis, have supported their students in acts of service throughout the year. Recently, they made play kits for patients at Primary Children’s Hospital and decorated valentines for the Road Home Shelter. “This grade just has a heart for service,” said Archer. “We try to help them look outside themselves—and the students took this oppor-

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call 801-931-6594 Elizabeth Thomson receives love and strength from 1,000 cranes made by her school friends. (Photo courtesy Katie Jensen/North Star Academy)

Aaron Scott Gwilliam AND David M. Corbett Fifty-two fourth-graders at North Star Academy in Riverton made 1,000 cranes in three days to send love and good luck to a teacher and student, both fighting cancer. (Photo courtesy Katie Jensen/North Star Academy)

tunity.” Shouten said she has felt so much support from students and their families this year as she fought breast cancer. “I have gotten strength from everyone's kindness and prayers,” she said. “It was so good to be able to come to school and teach and not think of myself.” Her students, past and present, were especially a great support to her. “The kids are so kind—it’s a really safe place to be bald,” she said. “They give me their hugs, and families tell me they’re praying for me. I just appreciate so much to be able to come and work and be with them—it’s been my sav-

ing grace.” She and Elizabeth, who was her student last year, formed a bond as they commiserated with each other through the trials of chemotherapy treatments, hair loss and regrowth. While Shouten recently received a clean bill of health, Elizabeth’s disease is progressing. Through the difficult times, both have felt the support of the close-knit school community. “We have had countless stories of love and kindness shown to our family,” said Thomson. Shouten said the support she has received this year has been amazing. “I feel so blessed to work here,” she said. l

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The youngest driver might be the fastest


By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

ocky Mountain Raceway kicked off its final season, and 14-year-old Natalie Waters is having an impact already. “I grew up with racing,” Natalie Waters said. “My uncles are Jimmy Waters and Lynn Hardy (veteran racers at the RMR), so I was at the track when I was about 6 months old. I got into a quarter midget (similar to a go-kart) when I was 6 years old. Then I drove a junior stinger and a focus midget.” Waters is currently driving a new midget racecar and an open wheel limited sprint car. In both classes, she competes against drivers more than double her age. “I like the adrenaline rush,” Waters said. “I have always thought it looked so cool. It is nice to know that I am doing well. Last year was my first year on the entire track, and I think I have gotten it a little bit. This year I feel I can go as hard as I can.” She has been fast. Her limited sprint averaged 91.2 mph around the ⅜-mile oval. Her qualifying time was fourth fastest for the opening night racers. In her midget division, she has raced competitively against Chaz Groat for several years in quarter midgets and now in the focus midgets. Groat was last year’s class champion. “My family is really close with Chaz’s family,” Waters said. “We both got into this class together and seem to be in the same step in racing. There is a little pressure being a girl, and I am the youngest ever to drive a sprint car in the state of Utah. It is different, but knowing that I get out of the car and beat those grown men is cool.” Waters has dreams of racing in NASCAR. She has support from several sponsors and a working crew. Her grandfather John Waters is her crew chief and has set up her cars from the beginning of her racing career. “I have been racing since I was 11 years old, and I have never seen

anything like this,” John said. “It is so emotional to see her start racing when she was 6. She told me, ‘All I wanted was a trophy.’ She has so much passion for it. She just finished racing, and she is back here waxing her car to make them look nice.” In a race last November at the Bullring in Las Vegas, she flipped her car and totaled it. John found another car, purchased it and prepared it for this season. In set-up, John has always prepared the car limiting her on her throttle availability to ensure she could learn the handling of the car. “I did not want to give her full power,” John said. “I wanted her to drive where she felt comfortable. This year, we are giving her more of the edge. We are close to $35,000 to race these cars this year. It is expensive, but she has learned to work with the sponsors and meet their expectations.” Seeing her daughter race has been a heart-racing experience for Natalie’s mother, Cassie Waters. “When she drives by the wall and I can see her face for like a split second, it might make me cry; I can’t believe that she is in control of the car,” Cassie said. “It is just crazy. I am with her every day. I make the oatmeal and do her laundry and buy her makeup. Now, she is here racing at night.” The final season at Rocky Mountain Raceway continues all summer. The sprint cars are scheduled to return June 16. “They started racing quarter midgets with the track and with the talent they have I know they are going to do a good job,” Rocky Mountain Raceway General Manager Mike Eames said. “These young drivers have potential, and it is sad that the track is closing because it would be fun to see what they could do. They are respectful, and watching them is one of the favorite parts of my job. I can’t cheer for her because she has cooties and is a girl, but I like good racing and hope she does well.” l

Natalie Waters pilots this limited sprint race car at Rocky Mountain Raceway at speeds approaching 115 mph. She is 14 years old. (Greg James/City Journals)

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June 2018 | Page 21


Mustangs homer themselves to a region title By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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After a hard-fought win over Copper Hills, the Mustangs stopped off to celebrate with some ice cream. (Herriman softball)


he offensive production at Herriman has outpaced all of its competition. “We have been playing really well,” Herriman softball coach Heidi McKissick said. “Our offense is definitely our strength. We are just Herriman. We are skilled at hitting, and we keep hitting it far and long.” The Mustangs have scored 250 runs this season, the most in the Utah High School Activities Association 6A classification. They averaged 9.3 runs per game, hitting double figures 12 times this season. Riverton, the second-leading scoring team in Region 3, averaved 8.7 runs. “Seriously, we have a deep fence at Herriman, and to have two girls with this many home runs is crazy,” McKissick said. Junior Libby Parkinson has hit three home runs in two seprate games this season. The first came March 13 in a 18-12 victory over Fremont. The second was May 3 in a 17-12 victory over Copper Hills. She has 16 home runs on the season. Senior April Visser has also connected on 14 dingers for the Mustangs and was named Herriman’s female athlete of the year. The regular season began with a trip to the Bull Head City Tournament in California to begin their season. They also celebrated its seniors moving on to college before the season began. Cassidy Adams will attend Dixie State; Krystal Kemp, Southern Virginia University; April Visser, Saint Francis University; Alexia Arredondo, University of Utah; and Lexi Slade, Utah State University. Parkinson and Kemp have contributed in the pitching circle for the Mustangs. Parkinson has pitched in 20 games this season and Kemp

14. Parkinson has struck out 86 opposing hitters in 81 innings. “We need both of these girls; they definitely help us out,” McKissick said. “They both have different leadership skills. Libby throws a good rise ball, and Krystal gets ‘em with her changeup.” The Mustangs work off the field is just as important to them as what they do on it. The team volunteered at the Oquirrh Mountain girls softball league and spends time in a one-day clinic teaching skills to the younger players. The players have also maintained a team 3.5 grade point average. “We focus on academics a lot,” McKissick said. “It is pretty amazing. I feel like they lead by example, and they have to do their best.” Arredondo was named to the UHSAA Academic All-State team. She maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA throughout high school. Visser and Slade also had 3.9 cumulative GPAs. “We are playing as a team,” McKissick said. “In the past, I have had some great players, but this group has worked together and relied on each other.” McKissick is finishing her fifth season at Herriman. This year has been unlike any other off the field. The team has endured several tragedies along with the entire student body. “It has been really rough,” McKissick said. “The kids have been wearing orange ribbons to remind them that life is precious. We include the heart on our field and remind them every day that they matter to us. It has been a sucky year. I have tried to honor these kids and pushed to be kind to each other. We do not know what everyone goes home to.” l

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Silverwolves return to state playoffs By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


he Riverton High School boys soccer team returned to the state playoffs this season. “I am pleased with how we played overall,” Silverwolves head coach Paul Moizer said. “I expected a better record. We had three or four games that did not go our way. If we had gotten those games, I would be happier with our results.” The Silverwolves finished the season 4-8 in Region 3 and 6-9-1 overall. Their one tie and six of their losses each came by only one goal, including their final regular season contest against Herriman. The Mustangs led 2-0 at halftime, but a valiant Riverton comeback fell short. Team captain Colin Horman scored a lone second half goal in the 2-1 loss. “This is a pretty close group, and they play well together,” Mozier said. “It’s a nice blend of grade levels on the varsity team, and they work hard and pass the ball well.” The midfield has been a strength for the team this year. Senior Kelson Kaas and juniors Cory Sanders and Micah Sims do well to transition the team from defense to offense. “They (midfielders) have played well together,” Mozier said. “They really drive our team. They have assisted on most of our goals this season.” Sims leads the team with five assists; Kaas has four and Horman two.

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Senior midfielder Kelson Kaas is second on the team in assists this season. (dsandersonpics.com)

The Silverwolves scored a goal in all but three games this season. They scored 15 goals in their 12 region games, third most in Region 3. Horman leads the team with seven goals, and fellow senior Connor Christensen has

scored six. Christensen scored two goals in a 3-1 victory over West Jordan. Herriman won the Region 3 title, Copper Hills finished second, Taylorsville third and Riverton fourth. The Silverwolves beat Taylorsville and

West Jordan twice in its region contests. “Our region is strong,” Mozier said. “Herriman and Copper Hills have been ranked in the top five this year. Taylorsville and West Jordan are very good teams. Every game is competitive. You have to bring your best game every time or you will get beat.” The Silverwolves had two players split time at the keeper position. Sophomores Jarom Hyde and Michael Doty each played one half of every game. Both had a shutout and together, they allowed only 1.4 goals per game. “It is not the ideal position to split time between keepers, but it was really hard to choose between them,” Mozier said. “Both are great keepers and have their own strengths. Jarom commands the box and takes control on crosses. Michael is great on one-on-ones. Both of them are great shot stoppers and have come up with some fantastic saves.” The Silverwolves returned to the state playoffs this season for the first time since 2015 when they advanced to the quarterfinals and lost to Alta 3-0. They won their first state championship in 2014 over Fremont 1-0. The Utah High School Activities Association 6A state tournament began May 15. The fourth-seeded Silverwolves opened at Granger High School against the Lancers where they scored two second half goals to win 3-2. l

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Herriman boys volleyball 3rd best in state By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


he Herriman High boys volleyball team placed third at the Utah Boys Volleyball Association May 11–12 at Corner Canyon High School, the highest finish in program history. The Mustangs were led by outside hitter Gable Briggs and setter/outside hitter Spencer Robins on the 12-member squad. “We definitely exceeded our expectations at state,” assistant coach Mark Robins said. “We definitely peaked at the end, and I think it had a lot to do with the camaraderie of the team. Once they beat a team that they weren’t expected to beat, then they had confidence and really trusted each other.” Herriman defeated Lone Peak, Skyline, Olympus and Corner Canyon — while losing to Ridgeline and Bingham — to set up a rematch with Ridgeline for the bronze. The Mustangs prevailed in a tight 3-setter – 25-22, 23-25, 1510 to claim third place. “The level of competition in the state tournament this year [among the 16 teams] was as high as it’s ever been across the board,” Robins said. “We’re not a powerhouse team, but we’re good at every position.” He particularly noted the emergence of three brand new players to volleyball — Cesar Cinco, Spencer Lestarge and Jared Casto — who not only picked up the middle blocker position quickly but were the dominant players at the net in the state tournament.

Page 24 | June 2018

“The maturation of our middles has been incredible,” Robins said. “Our net defense was tough to get around. We blocked a lot of people.” Also on the 2018 squad were setter Caden Bailey, outside hitter/right side Koleman Chidester, outside hitter/right side Kenyon Colemere, libero Peyton Colemere, outside hitter/right side Dub Laws, libero Daxton Owens and libero Parker Reynolds. Head coach Shea Fahnestock was assisted by Robins along with managers Gracie Malovich and Brenna Dansie. The sport of boys volleyball has been growing exponentially the past few years. Herriman, which had two teams last season, is now at four teams, thanks in large part to the efforts of Spencer Robins, Briggs and Malovich who have set up booths at the high school during lunches and made school announcements to create interest. “They’ve done a really good job of putting the sport on the map at the school as a legitimate sport,” Mark Robins said. “Spencer has been the biggest advocate for this program and has been key in finding those kids who need a place, and I think it’s important for us to continue to facilitate that. There are so many boys that are really good athletes, but our school is just so large that there isn’t a place for them on all these athletic teams. We want to make sure

The Herriman High boys volleyball team placed third at the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state tournament May 11–12 at Corner Canyon High School. (Photo courtesy Mark Robins)

these boys just have opportunities.” Of the 64 boys that came to tryouts, 46 were placed on the Mustangs’ four squads. “Boys naturally take to volleyball because the game is aggressive, fast-paced and requires that everyone on the court contribute equally,” Mark Robins said. “It’s a consummate team sport. Boys pick it up very quickly and learn great skills like increased vertical, footwork and body control.” The sport has been played throughout the state the past 20 years, but the UBVA was formed just three years ago. “Our goal was to work together to grow boys volleyball,” UBVA president Jill Davis said. “We have been successful in bringing leadership, organization and growth to the existing boys volleyball community. We continually strive to help it be a more legitimate and formally recognized experience for the many boys here who love to play. We have seen incredible response and success since UBVA’s inception.” Currently, the boys sport is not sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association, but discussions with UHSAA have taken place, and Davis is “hopeful our local school administrators will begin to recognize the value of it as a viable athletic option for their students.” Davis noted that nearly all of the 149 schools in the state have girls volleyball. “It’s obviously a very popular and welcome sport in the state,” she said. “And, anyone who has ever seen boys play at a competitive level know it is a very different and exciting game to watch, so we are hopeful the culture of boys volleyball will continue to build and

become more accepted and supported by our community at large.” Boys volleyball has also been evolving into a year-round sport with a fall club season held and nine club options statewide for participants to choose from. The numbers continue to grow each year, which is also helping the high school spring season, that is facilitated through recreation centers, expand to more than 60 teams this season — which includes 32 teams from Salt Lake County. “Volleyball is just a great game,” Davis said. “It is truly a team sport, truly a mental exercise, and truly a challenge to master. If you play competitively, you begin to appreciate many incredible technical nuances that are involved. For example, the slight angle of a hand will make or break a good pass, set, block or hit which can result in either you gaining a point or giving one away. And, of course, that all has to be decided and accomplished in a fraction of a second — sometimes while you are floating in mid-air.” Davis said what lies ahead for boys volleyball in the state will be determined, in large part, to UBVA’s “ability to accommodate the current growth and interest.” “We truly hope the future sees all boys high school volleyball teams in Utah enjoying a healthy presence within their own schools — whether merely using the gyms for practices and games as a club sport or as a full-fledged sanctioned sport with total school support.” For more information on the UBVA, visit http://www.ubva.info or email ubva.info@ gmail.com. l

S outh Valley City Journal

Juan Diego soccer player moving on to college ranks By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


ast year, three-time All-State soccer player Jered Meriani, from Juan Diego Catholic High School, was told he was too small — at 5-foot-6 — for college soccer. That comment simply led to a summer of hard work that landed the senior a scholarship to play at the Division I level with San Jose State University. He signed a national letter of intent Feb. 7 to play for the Spartans’ program. Meriani, the son of Jery and Leslie Mariani of Riverton, said, “I worked really hard this past year to prove them wrong. I am really happy and relieved to be playing in college, and I’m excited about the area and [San Jose State] coach [Simon] Tobin. I’m sad I have to leave all my friends though. Now, I just need to go get buffer.” Tobin said determination was one of the reasons he wanted Meriani in his program. “We had a very meaningful time in my office with he and his dad, and he shared that he had also been told early on that he couldn’t compete at a high club level for too long,” Tobin said. “Jered likes to keep breaking barriers down and proving people wrong. I like that in a kid. We’re happy to have him.” JDCHS head soccer coach Daniel Cavar, who was also Jered’s USA coach eight years ago, said, “Jered’s size will not affect his soccer ability. He is a very versatile player on the ball, and his quickness and agility is just phenomenal.” Meriani has been the Soaring Eagle program’s top scorer this season — with 14 goals — while leading Juan Diego to an 11-5-1 record and a final-four finish at the 4A state tournament. “Jered has been a big contributor over the past years for our organization and the school,” said Cavar. “We are looking at a player that has a high potential of making it to the professional ranks.” The 18-year-old got his start in soccer at the age of 6 after trying nearly every other sport.

“I caught on really easy with soccer,” Meriani said. Two year later, he joined the Utah Soccer Alliance program. During his club years, he was voted by the state’s coaches to be on the All-UYSA team that included the top 13 players in Utah. Throughout high school, Meriani was recognized as Honorable Mention on the 3A All-State team and as a First Team All-State player the last two seasons. Tobin said he noticed Meriani at an SJSU soccer camp and went to see him play at the prestigious Surf Cup in San Diego last summer where he “did very well against good competition.” The veteran coach plans to use Meriani as an outside attacker initially. “Jered certainly has the potential to play anywhere on the attacking line,” Tobin said. “That’s one of the reasons we really liked him — he has good versatility. He makes things happen and bangs in goals. He may not be the biggest, but he has a lot of skill, and I’m impressed with his battling qualities.” Meriani was also selected for the Spartans because of his demeanor both on and off the field, according to Tobin. “Jered plays nice soccer that is pleasing on the eye, but the longer I’m in this, these kids have to have good character as well,” Tobin said. “And, Jered is a great kid.” The sport of soccer has taught Meriani several life skills, including learning to work and communicate with others as part of a team, and he said he is grateful for so many who have helped him on his journey to playing at the next level. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and play the sport I love without my friends, family, teammates and coaches,” Meriani said, particularly noting his coaches Cavar, Scott Platz, Myriah Fankhauser and Seth Quealy. “They stuck with me through everything and believed in me from the very beginning. Almost everything I know in soccer is from them, and I can’t thank them enough for the endless trainings to get me where I am today.” l


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Helping Families Heal for Over 130 years Juan Diego Catholic High senior soccer player Jered Meriani signed with San Jose State University to play for the Spartans program this fall. (Photo courtesy Jered Meriani)

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LarkinMortuary.com June 2018 | Page 25

Warriors win their first league contest


he Utah Warriors captured their first league victory on a cold, rainy night at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman. “Honestly, it was a relieving feeling to see some of our work pay off,” Warriors inside center and co-captain Paul Lasike said after the win. “The boys have put in a lot of effort, and it is good to finally get a result in our favor.” They defeated Austin Elite Rugby 41-22, May 11 for their first Major League Rugby victory. The wet weather played an important part in the match. The ball was difficult to handle and became a factor in the game. Austin maintained control long enough but missed an early try and the Warriors were able to grab a 15-0 lead early in the contest. As Austin settled into its game the contest see-sawed, and eventually the Warriors took a 22-7 lead into the halftime break. “We knew they were going to come out hard (in the second half),” Warriors scrum half Joseph Nicholls said. “We needed to survive that initial onslaught.” Austin had chipped away at the Warriors’ lead and had gotten to within five points. Then the Warriors Maika Hafoka converted a try, and fly-half Kurt Morath put a kick over the top to Nicholls to extend the lead to 41-22. In the contest, Jared Whippy fractured his lower leg and was taken to the hospital. His twin brother Josh suffered the same fracture

Page 26 | June 2018

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com in the last home match. Both are expected to be out for the season and for their international club, Fijian National Team. “It (the injury) will test the resilience of our team and show everyone what our team is made of,” head coach Alf Daniels said. “We are not out of this competition by any means, and we will keep fighting. It is always hard when you lose quality players like both of those boys. We are also losing a couple to international play in a couple of weeks too, so it puts us in a mess of a place for sure.” The Warriors are competing in the inaugural season of Major League Rugby. The startup league has signed an agreement with CBS Sports Network to televise 13 games throughout the 10-week season. The league has teams in Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; Glendale, Colorado; New Orleans, Louisana; San Diego, California; and Seattle, Washington. The Warriors are in fourth place (at press time). “We did not expect to start with nothing and come up with something over night,” Warriors General Manager Kimball Kjar said. “The guys have improved every week, and we are moving in the correct direction for sure.” The Warriors play their home games in Herriman at the new Zions Bank Stadium. Their first home game had over 9,000 fans. “The community is still tentative,” Kjar said. “The non-rugby fans are still unaware because it is not the run-of-the mill sport. I al-

The Warriors Kurt Morath is the Tongan all-time highest points scorer. (Davey Wilson/Utah Warriors)

ways say that once you come to a game you will not go away disappointed. People always walk away having been entertained. The first game set an attendance record for a domestic rugby

game. There is a rich rugby history in this area.” The Warriors are scheduled to host New Orleans June 16 and Houston June 23. Tickets can be purchased at warriorsrugby.com l

S outh Valley City Journal

Why Visit D.C.? Leave UPD? A Message from Herriman City Councilman Client Smith I have had a couple of questions recently from residents regarding how we interact with our Utah Delegation in Washington D.C., particularly the decision to send some of our elected officials and staff to Washington to meet with them. These were some great questions and one that I wanted to focus on providing some information to our residents. The purpose of the trip to Washington D.C. was multi-faceted. There are several key issues that Herriman City has been focused on over the last several years and continue to focus on during these trips. Our City officials meet with representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the contaminated soils issue that exist in some parts of the city and look for solutions and funding to help mitigate them. For many years, we have not been eligible for federal funding to help mitigate these contamination issues. With the most recent trip, our representative was able to make significant headway in potential language changes that would allow us access to that federal funding. They meet with representatives from the Department of Transportation to discuss ongoing transportation issues and work to help secure federal funding that will benefit our transportation needs in roads and mass transit development. Transportation continues to be one of the highest priorities brought up by our residents and we will only be able to address these concerns adequately with the aid of federal transportation funding. One of the most beneficial topics to Herriman that our officials have focused on heavily during these Washington D.C. trips over the past several years is referred to as ACUB Funding. They continue to meet with representatives of the Department of Defense on securing additional Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) funding to continue to preserve our south mountains for open space. To date as a City, we have been the recipients of over 12 million dollars that have been used to buy the land adjacent to and surround Camp Williams to preserve and protect that important buffer. During the most recent visit of our delegation to Washington D.C., our proposed ACUB funding for the upcoming year of two million dollars was increased to five million dollars because of the great work done by our team while there. The other question posed to me was why we send staff with our elected officials on these types of trips. It is important to send both elected officials of our City as well as staff on these trips for several reasons. Our elected officials are the ones that are able to arrange these meetings to meet with our Utah Delegation from both the House and the Senate. Though we work closely with our representatives on a local level, it is important to visit our Utah delegation members in Washington where they are actively engaged in the work and can help to facilitate

additional meetings of our City officials with those having direct input on the issue we are working on. Staff from our City is always included to help work out the details to be carried out. It is up to them to carry out the day-to-day function of the City and the elected officials to set that direction. Another recent issue that I wanted to address is Herriman’s decision to separate from Unified Police Department (UPD) for law enforcement services. This has been a difficult and emotional issue. It is not one that has been taken lightly or without thorough research and thought. We have repeatedly raised questions and concerns over the costing model being used and why we continue to pay for officers that we are not receiving and have struggled to obtain the resolve that we are seeking. The City belonged to SLVLESA, a taxing entity for UPD, for many years. They were allowed to set the tax rate for each of our residents in order to fund the law enforcement needs of all members that belong to SLVLESA. In an effort to have better control over those taxes collected for law enforcement purposes in Herriman, we withdrew from SLVLESA effective January 1, 2018, and created our own taxing entity to preserve those funds collected in Herriman for these purposes. That entity is called the Herriman City Safety Enforcement Area (HCSEA). We were hopeful that this would give us better control over the funds collected in Herriman and have more say in how our funds are spent with UPD. This has not proven to be the case so far, as we are only 1 vote on a 13-member board that governs UPD. This is a challenging issue and one that we have been giving a great amount of attention to for the benefits of our residents. We are working hard to be fiscally responsible with your money and now feel it is appropriate to look at all options available to us. We have fantastic personnel that work for UPD and serve our city. Our consideration of this issue is not about the personnel, but rather the fiscal administration of your tax dollars. We currently have five unfilled positions in Herriman within UPD. Some of those have been unfilled for several years with no clear timeline of when we will see those officers. Yet we continue to pay the full price for those officers year after year along with the vehicle, equipment, training, and fuel, but are not getting the service promised. As a united Council, we were not comfortable allowing this to continue when we have a real need of more officers on the street. We are moving in the right direction and I am excited about the future of Herriman and how we will provide law enforcement services to the residents of Herriman.

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CHAMBER NEWS Welcome the following new members to the Chamber: Healthy Fix, Salt City Sweet Shop, South Mountain Community Church and Wells Fargo. Thanks to the following for renewing: ABC Great Beginnings, Cyprus Credit Union, Franklin’s Consulting, Jordan Credit Union, Mountain America Credit Union, Salsa Leedos Mexican Grill, Staker Parson and Stampin’ Up. WeLcOMe: Dentists of South Jordan recently opened its doors. Dentists of South Jordan and Orthodontics serves the South Jordan and Daybreak area as well as the neighboring communities of Riverton, Herriman, Bluffdale, West Jordan and the surrounding areas of Salt Lake. We know it’s important to find a dentist you can trust nearby, so please check us. Modern equipment helps make us one of the most technologically advanced offices in the area. It enables us to be faster, less invasive and more efficient while offering the highest level of dental care at an affordable cost to you We’re on the southwest corner of Bangerter and 11400 South, next to Cubby’s and Starbucks.

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Congrats to these teachers for being honored as the Teacher of the Year for their school: Herriman High - Jessica Lord Riverton High - Brian DeVries Providence Hall High - Loree Rominger JATC South - Melinda Mansouri Copper Mountain Middle - Jack Bona Fort Herriman Middle - Emma Cisneros South Hills Middle - Sydna Graf Oquirrh Hills Middle - Brittney Broadhead North Star Academy - Diana Seidel Kauri Sue Hamilton - Candi Woolley Athlos - Lynnette Gittins Bastian Elementary - Christie Despain

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For almost half a century, steel has been the firm foundation of the Wood family. Ron Wood has worked with steel for 45 years. His son, Richard Wood, began his steel working experience at age 14. Ron owned Uintah Steel from 1990 to 2009 before launching Rightway Steel in 2011. Richard, having previously served in senior leadership positions with Ford, PwC and AIG, returned to Utah almost a year after Rightway opened its doors to join his father. “We decided to kind of grow it from him and I and a secretary into what it is today,” Richard said. “We’ve been working together hand in hand every day for seven years.” You can identify Rightway’s ultimate goal in the company’s name: doing quality steel projects the right way. With a business model built on high-quality steel fabrication and installation, safety, and top-notch project management, the company takes steel services to another level. All types of steel structures are fabricated and installed by Rightway including: stairs, railings, fencing, gates, trellis, canopies, structural beams and columns and most all steel needs. Their steel is coated with paint, powdercoat, galvanizing, or clear coat. They can also coat

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steel with modern and highly desired blackening product. And that doesn’t even mention the roof frames, sand and metal blasting, anchor bolts and embeds, siding, purlins or girts. Fully insured, licensed (in both Utah and Hawaii) and certified, Rightway’s projects have probably supported you or a friend at one point. Ever been to the Hogle Zoo? Steel for the lighthouse point splash zone and Creekside play area was fabricated and installed by Rightway. What about attending a University of Utah football game? Stainless steel concession stands were fabricated and installed in each of the 16 concession booths prior to the 2015 season. Seen a movie recently at a Cinemark Theatre? Rightway fabricated and installed structural beams, bracing, ledger angle and decking within two theaters to effectively expand seating capacity for the largest theater in Utah. And that barely scratches the surface of Rightway’s long history of successful projects. Its success stems from a seven-point quality control process. They meet with each customer to ensure they understand the scope of the project. Drawings are generated and reviewed with the client. Coatings and specialty items are reviewed to ensure proper finishing

work. Materials are procured from local suppliers. Fabricators and installers take special care and precaution in every detail. Steel is inspected at multiple stages during the process to guarantee superior craftsmanship. “Quality over cheap is where we focus,” Richard said. That quality has earned Rightway multiple awards for its various steel projects, be it for design, renovations or landscaping projects. Rightway, an A+ Better Business Bureau

member, is always on the lookout for home builders, commercial and industrial contractors, and remodeling experts. Their same respect and approach given to each project applies to their clientele. Rightway seeks repeat customers who wish to have a long-term relationship with a high-quality steel fabricator. To obtain a free quote or project advice, visit their website at rightwaysteel.com or email ron@rightway-steel.com or richard@ righway-steel.com. l

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June 2018 | Page 29

Travel Budget



Schools out for summer! It’s time for vacation! One of my friends told me that her family spent around 10 grand on a two-week holiday. Don’t do that. Instead, use this nifty little invention called the internet to do some research. There are hundreds of blogs and forums where people share their travel experiences, sharing information about the cheapest transportation and best deals in various cities worldwide. Before going anywhere, check what people say about that destination and what they recommend when traveling on a budget. Flying can be an expensive hassle. Many travel bugs recommend using a credit card that offers the chance to earn miles. Cashing in those miles can mean a free plane ticket. I’ve also heard that checking fares on Tuesday, two weeks before your travel date, will be the cheapest option. Don’t hold me to that though. Driving can be boring. Don’t forget entertainment if you’re going on a road trip. If you have a Netflix subscription, download the app on your phone, and download episodes, podcasts, or comedy specials. Have everyone in your car do the same for hours of internet-free entertainment. Oh, and make sure to bring an auxiliary cord. And water. Stay hydrated people.

For lodging, don’t stay stay in your destination city. It’s generally cheaper to book a place outside of the area. For example, it’s cheaper to stay in Murray than it is is downtown Salt Lake City. It’s cheaper to stay in Sandy or Cottonwood Heights than it is to stay in the canyon resorts during ski season. Know the areas around your destination city. Luckily, we live in the era of Airbnb, where hotel prices are almost obsolete. The website is fantastic for any kind of group traveling. If you’re going with the whole family, you can check for full homes to book. If you’re traveling alone or with friends, you can rent out a room for low prices. Hostels are also great options for the lone traveler. If you’re going on vacation to see a physical place, and not going for an event, go during the off season. Tourist attractions, lodging, and other accommodations will be marked down. Plus, there won’t be so many crowds. You may end up on a tour with just a few other people, instead of a few busses. When visiting new cities, check for free walking tours. Not only are they budget-friendly, they help you get acquainted with the city. You may see something you want to visit, which you didn’t know existed.

While you’re on that walking tour, find the local grocery store. Take some time to do your grocery shopping and make your own meals. Eating out is expensive, especially if you’re doing it every day. I recommend trying some local food no matter where the destination, but don’t go crazy. Eat out on only a few occasions and pack your own food the rest of the time. Booking tours or buying attraction tickets the day-of can be mind-bogglingly expensive. Before you leave home, take some time to research ticket prices for the places you might want to visit. Many places have discounts if you book in advance or through third-party websites. If you have a discount associated

with your identity, ask for it. There are so many places that offer discounts for military personnel, seniors, students, etc. Bring some proof, just in case. I used my University of Utah student card to get a discount on a tour in Australia. Want to work while traveling? Many places offer free lodging in exchange for labor. Like farm-stays, where you can stay for free if you help out around the farm. They may even feed you too. There are also many programs outside of the country for teaching English. One day, I plan to go help baby turtles make it to the ocean safety. A free place to stay for chasing birds away?! Yes. Please. l

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Don’t Kill the Messenger


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Back when Paleolithic man ruled the world, humans only learned what was happening outside their cave when another caveman rode into town on his velociraptor. Soon, dinosaurs evolved into horses (duh, that’s just science) and traveling merchants shared stories and events as they roamed the country. They’d sit around campfires, making s’mores and spreading gossip. In cities, town criers walked the streets in ridiculous outfits, ringing bells and shouting information at passersby. When Johannes Gutenberg mechanized the printing process, he started a revolution that led to books, newspapers and inexpensive bird cage lining. Town criers became journalists, people dedicated to the pursuit of truth, shining a light on injustice and living on hot coffee and cold pizza. America’s Founding Fathers recognized the importance of the press, protecting free speech in the first amendment. Journalists were regarded as necessary vermin, an invaluable cog in the democratic process of checks and balances. Distinguished reporters like Carl Bernstein, Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite took journalism to its apex before its Icarus-like plunge into the mud of “journalism” today.

With the introduction of the Internet Machine, news has changed. A flood of misinformation is available at our fingertips and anyone can post “news” and share it as reality. Your crazy Uncle Joe has the ability to post his conspiracy theories as fact, while negating facts as theories. (Yes, I’m talking to you, holocaust deniers and urine therapy adherents.) As newspapers fold and journalists are fired, consumers must find their way in a wild wilderness, navigating blogs, podcasts, posts, tweets, forums and websites, searching for truth, justice and the American way. On TV, Barbie and Ken dolls throw softball questions at politicians, making no effort to hide their biases. They’re like balloon bouquets; pretty


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to look at and fun for a while, but then they float creepily through your home, lurking in doorways and scaring the skittles out of you at 3 a.m. Sponsored content (advertorials) sneak their way into news broadcasts and articles, looking like journalism, but in reality they’re just fancy ads. Usually, readers don’t even know. Journalists have become public relations specialists, crafting news instead of reporting it. On top of all that, our president declared war on the press. The U.S. just ranked 45th on the World Press Freedom Index, coming in behind places like Bahari, Namibia and Sokovia. (Only one of those countries is real, but I’m presenting it as fact. Most readers don’t bother dis-


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covering the truth.) Do reporters pick on Trump? Yes. Does he deserve it? Maybe not all the time. Maybe. But his anti-press pomposity further erodes the faith we’ve placed in our news agencies as his bellowing cry of “Fake news!” rings from media outlets. Investigative journalists are an endangered species. It seems little vetting, research or fact-checking is being done. It’s more important to have the story first—even if it’s inaccurate. Wikipedia isn’t research. (I know that, because I looked up journalism on Wikipedia and it said, “This is not a news source.”) Here are other things that aren’t news sources: Facebook, Twitter, hateful bloggers and venom-spewing talk show hosts. In 2009, I wrote a column, grumbling about the sensationalizing of stories where a celebrity’s activities were treated as breaking news. (FYI: It’s not.) Things have only gone downhill. There are many journalists working diligently to present the truth, but it’s getting harder to hear their voices over the screeching of velociraptors, the screaming of town criers and the bellicose rants of our leaders. No news isn’t good news. No news is no news. l


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June 2018 | Page 31

Profile for The City Journals

South Valley City Journal June 2018  

South Valley City Journal June 2018

South Valley City Journal June 2018  

South Valley City Journal June 2018