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June 2019 | Vol. 29 Iss. 06

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arolyn Gough, principal of Riverton High School, has been awarded a Huntsman Excellence in Education Award. “Whether it is leading teacher development, mentoring new administrators, dressing as the Sylvester (the school mascot), performing some awesome guitar moves during an assembly, observing a teacher or the countless other duties she performs, Carolyn Gough’s influence and hard work make Riverton High School a phenomenal place to learn and to teach,” wrote RHS teacher Melissa Brown on the nomination application. English teacher Claudette Rush said Gough has transformed the educational culture and academic philosophy of the school with her focus on developing learning-driven, community-oriented, future-focused and service-minded students and faculty. “I feel very passionate about student learning and about accountability—holding ourselves accountable for making sure that students are learning,” said Gough. Gough believes every kid can learn despite their home environment, their language ability or their cognitive ability. Each Wednesday, administrators, counselors and teachers meet to create the “Wednesday List.” They identify students who have additional concerns beyond the classroom and discuss specific ways the faculty can support them. “Receiving the ‘Wednesday List’ is another reminder that my realm of influence extends beyond my classroom,” said Brown, who teaches math. “It reminds me that we are a community of caring teachers and that many of our students are struggling with difficulties that are far more pressing than academics. This awareness of these students helps me be a more sensitive and effective teacher.” Gough has also created a behavior committee tasked with identifying and working with students with behavior prob-

Principal Carolyn Gough can’t help but stand and sing when she hears the Riverton High School fight song. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Gough)

lems. These select faculty members provide the role of a caring adult at school who is not just focused on grades but who will attend the student’s activities and performances—which Gough feels are an important part of students’ lives. As a former teacher and coach, Gough knows the importance of extracurricular activities, which she said sometimes take up 60 percent of her time. “It’s a huge motivation for a lot of kids,” she said. “It’s where they get their sense of identity, and it’s where a school gets its sense of pride and a lot of community and culture.

Kids aren’t interested in learning if they’re not interested in being here.” Jumping up and down with students at a football game or attending a school group performance helps Gough connect with students. “Especially as the principal of a large high school, it’s easy to become distant from kids,” she said. “You’re not working with them every day in the classroom, so you have to be with them. You have to be out and about and visible at the activities.” Continued Page 5

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Continued from front page Gough is known for her frequent Twitter posts, and students flock to get into her pictures when they know she’ll be tweeting them out. “I try to tweet out things that are positive about Riverton [HS],” she said. “I tweet them out; the kids see that I see them and that they matter and that they’re important.” During the graduation ceremony this year, Gough asked groups of students to stand and be recognized for accomplishments and participation in a variety of school activities and programs. “My goal at graduation is to get every student on their feet as being recognized at graduation at least once,” she said. “I try to just recognize kids as much as I possibly can and the things that they do.” Gough is an advocate for teachers as well. She has carves out time for them to collaborate on curriculum and to analyze student data together. She empowers teachers with professional development opportunities, and when teachers ask for support or supplies, Gough said she does everything she can to

say yes. “I am certain that the only reason I am still in the teaching profession is because I have had Carolyn Gough as my principal the last six years,” said Brown. “She motivates me to improve my teaching practice, content knowledge and student interaction in order to be the best teacher possible.” The Huntsman Excellence in Education Award is given to 11 educators each year in recognition of their outstanding contributions to Utah’s public school system. Winners receive $10,000. “The best thing about receiving an award like this is, even though I’m not a limelight-type of person, is that it is focusing on education,” said Gough. “It’s a great opportunity to focus on the great things that do happen in education.” While the work is hard and the hours are long, Gough said watching a student learn makes it worth it. “I love what I do,” she said. “I’m pas- Her enthusiasm is apparent when Riverton High sionate about it. I love education. I love kids. School Principal Carolyn Gough dresses as Sylvester, I couldn’t think of a better job, truthfully.” l the school mascot. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Gough)

Herriman softball among teams to raise over $10K for Huntsman Cancer Institute By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

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The Herriman High School softball team was among 14 area teams who participated recently in the 17th annual “Swing for Life” softball tournament held at the Larry H. Miller Cottonwood Complex. Between the teams and other fundraising efforts, more than $10,000 – and counting – was raised for cancer research, according to founder Kathy Howa, Rowland Hall-St. Marks School’s softball coach and a breast cancer survivor. “Swing for Life” has donated more than $1 million to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. (Photos courtesy of Kathy Howa)

South Valley City Journal

1,000 new plots coming soon to Riverton City Cemetery By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


much-needed expansion to Riverton’s at-capacity city cemetery is well under way. City officials spent around $75,000 to annex another acre of land into cemetery, which will allow space for about 1000 more burial plots. Some of that money has also been used to improve the cemetery’s flagpole and surrounding garden, as well as to commission two granite memorial stones. “It’s coming along nicely,” said Sheril Garn, Riverton’s parks and public services director. “Everything will be finished for Memorial Day, with the exception of the granite markers.” Of course, the big question is, when will people be able to begin buying plots? Apparently, potential purchasers will literally have to sit around waiting for the grass to grow: the freshly planted sod will need to settle into the ground for six to eight weeks before it will be strong and healthy enough to be walked on, or dug into. “We are looking anywhere from July 1 to July 15 before we will begin selling plots,” said Garn. “Based on the fact that our cemetery currently has no available lots, and the timing of lots sold the last time the cemetery was expanded, a sale of approximately 300 burial

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lots is anticipated this year,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. In addition to the extra plots, the improved cemetery will include two granite marking stones listing every veteran buried there. The lettering will be white against the black granite, with veterans listed according to their year of death. They will be engraved once a year just prior to Memorial Day. Originally, there was interest in also listing which military branch and what conflict deceased veterans served in, but after some deliberation, city staff decided it would be best to keep things simple and list only their names and death years. “We are not comfortable with listing the conflict they served in, or the arm of the military they served in, just because our records are very fuzzy,” said Garn. “We just felt like we wanted to keep the information as accurate as possible.” In order to prevent veterans from being incorrectly immortalized on large slabs of stone, families of the deceased will be able to review all spellings and dates at the cemetery’s 2019 Memorial Day service. “For Memorial Day, we will have corrugated cardboard signage with all of these names on them to show the public what it’s going to look like,” Garn said. “At that time,

Once the new sod (abutting the fence at the back of the pictures) settles in, occupants of the crowded Riverton City Cemetery will have a little elbow room—for a little while, at least. City staff estimates that 300 plots will be sold this year alone. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)

we will invite our residents to please check the spelling and death and birth years, so that we make sure we get it right.” The markers won’t be ready to install until closer to November, so those will be unveiled at Riverton’s Veterans Day service instead. But the Memorial Day service may

still feature something new: a performance from the Riverton Youth Choir, suggested by Councilmember Tawnee McCay. “I’ve seen that done in other cities, and I think it encourages more families to come and watch those kids, and it brings a special feeling to the service,” said McCay. l

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New laws and programs prepare Utah students for tech careers By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


re the graduates of Utah’s 429 high schools prepared to fill the jobs of the state’s growing tech industry? “There are more than 1,500 open software development jobs in Utah right now across all industries,” said House Representative John Knotwell. “Utah’s economy continues to grow at a rapid pace fueled in large part by a young, motivated and creative workforce. And while these things are great, there is more that we can and we must do.” Knotwell sponsored the Computer Science Grant Act to provide computer science

Studies are required courses for secondary students. The Utah State Board of Education Computer Science Task Force is recommending more elective computer science courses as well as the integration of computer science concepts (problem-solving, logic, mathematical reasoning and coding) into all aspects of classroom teaching for all ages. They also recommend changing keyboarding skills to a requirement for fifth-grade students instead of just recommended as it is now. Industry leaders have committed to match the state’s funding for a total of rough-

college graduates who choose to employ their STEM skills in-state. Industry and community organizations such as Talent Ready Utah, Utah Technology Council, Silicone Slopes and the Utah STEM Action Center are stepping up to prepare young people to fill Utah’s STEM jobs. On April 29, the Utah STEM Action Center teamed up with Boeing and Tallo to host Utah’s inaugural STEM Signing Day, an event celebrating high school seniors dedicated to pursuing college degrees in STEM subjects. Forty-six students were invited to

bunch of bio classes,” she said. Utah STEM Foundation Director Allison Spencer, told the select students they should be celebrated just as much as athletes on their signing day. “Though we’re not giving you a multimillion dollar contract—though I sure wish we could because I feel like it’s that important—you’re setting an example for the rest of the students in the state of Utah,” she said. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson told the students they are fortunate to have support and opportuni-

Gov. Gary Herbert signs a bill to provide every student K–12 with increased computer science instruction. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Students at Real Salt Lake Academy High School use top-of-the-line equipment to graduate with career-ready skills. (Photo courtesy RSLAHS)

instruction to every student K–12. With the signing of the bill, Gov. Gary Herbert appropriated $3.9 million to make three different computer science courses available in all Utah schools by 2022. “This bill had more co sponsors than any bill in our 2019 legislative session, a clear signal that the time for this issue is now,” said Knotwell. “These courses help young people hone essential skills like problem-solving, collaboration and creativity—skills which are desperately needed in our workforce today for employers to compete in an ever-changing marketplace.” Currently, there are 19 computer science courses offered, (33, including IT courses) in Utah schools. Digital Literacy and Digital

the State Capitol to commit to pursue careers in biology, aerospace, engineering, medical, bio technology, chemistry, etc. Davis High graduate Ryan Johnson committed to study aerospace engineering. While growing up, his family had a homemade rocket launcher. “We’d always just build rockets,” he said. “I’ve always just liked seeing how high and how far we could launch them.” Sasha Singh, a graduate of Beehive Science and Technology Academy, who plans to be an orthodontist, said her interest in science was inspired by her ninth-grade biology teacher. “She really got me interested in the human body, and since then, I’ve been taking a

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ly $8 million this year going toward that goal, said Knotwell. Funding will provide training for teachers as well equipment such as 3-D printers, robotics equipment, smart boards and computers in the classrooms. But computer science is not the only industry in need of qualified employees; there is growth in all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) industries. The Utah’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development reports there are 4,201local tech companies, 1,074 in the life science industry and 944 in the aerospace industry all in need of qualified employees. Last year Herbert signed S.B. 104 Talent Development and Retention Strategy, committing $2.5 million for debt relief for local

ties to explore science and technology, which she did not have as a young girl. “I’ve been very passionate as the state superintendent to ensure that our students have all sorts of opportunities around STEM,” she said. Many schools offer STEM opportunities through family night activities, school clubs and programs such as First Lego League and Girls Who Code. Others have taken a STEM approach to everyday instruction. REAL career preparation: At Real Salt Lake Academy High School, a free public school in Herriman, students commit to STEM-based career paths while still in high school. They choose a course of study in medical, sports business,

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Students pose on the steps of the State Capitol at STEM Signing Day, where they committed to pursue degrees in STEM subjects. (Photo courtesy of Utah STEM Action Center)

digital media, engineering or mathematics. Students take a variety of classes for elective credits until they commit to their career pathway, usually by their junior year. “By the time they start focusing and moving up on the chain, most of them are all there because that’s what they actually want to do or have an interest in that idea of somewhere in that career field,” said digital media instructor Jennifer Tighe. Principal Grant Stock said while other area high schools offer similar CTE pathways, at RSLAHS it is required for each student to choose and follow a pathway. This is because RSL team owner Dell Loy Hansen is as passionate about education as he is about soccer and wants his players to be prepared for life with marketable skills. “More kids come here to start for soccer than they do for the STEM,” said Stock. “But they get here and many of them begin to realize that there’s these careers that they can be successful in. We see a lot of kids just take advantage and run with that.” Some soccer players even start to find they have a passion for something besides soccer. “They really get excited about the STEM, and then they begin to change some of their focus,” said Stock. His son signed up for digital media classes and found they conflicted with his soccer schedule. “He pushed his soccer to do an after-school program so he can do this coursework.” While many students are soccer players, enrollment is open to anyone. Local students

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are drawn to the small class sizes and availability of top-of-the-line equipment. RSL provides all students with a Chromebook and access to Mac and PC computers, digital drawing tablets, digital cameras, video cameras, 3-D printers and current software.

prehensive video games for their senior year portfolios. “There’s just such a growth in the STEM field; these pathways prepare the students for a career and prepare them to be successful,” said Basquin. “It just really helps give the

“These courses help young people hone essential skills like problem-solving, collaboration and creativity—skills which are desperately needed in our workforce today for employers to compete in an everchanging marketplace.” Rep. John Knotwell.

Digital media is one of the most popular pathways with students. “They like the interactiveness, and obviously, most kids like to play on the computer,” said Leland Basquin, school academic counselor. “But what they’re doing is really focused, and they are projects they enjoy to do,” Students learn the basics their freshman year and progress from 2-D to 3-D modeling to animation until they are creating com-

students real-life, real-world education that’ll prepare them for the future.” For the last two years, Tighe has taken qualified students to showcase their career-ready skills in national Technology Student Association competitions. “I never had the opportunities to take classes like this,” said Tighe. “So, I think this is amazing to have the kids get that head start in high school for their careers.” l


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New Miss Riverton to battle against pornography By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

Queen Bethany Fox, 1st Attendant Lily May Snow and 2nd Attendant Gentry Rose. (Photo contributed)

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he Miss Riverton Scholarship Competition ended with a community saying goodbye to its reigning Queen, Gabby Hindoian, and welcoming in their new royalty, Queen Bethany Fox, First Attendant Lily May Snow and Second Attendant Gentry Rose. This was Fox’s first pageant, and she is ready to take on what she says is a “public health crisis” and is planning to use her platform to help her community battle children being exposed to pornography. “Children in their formative years are not yet emotionally or mentally prepared to make sound judgments regarding sexually explicit material, and such material is harmful to minors,” Fox said. “My goal is to help protect children from pornography through influencing community standards and educating parents on creating family standards.” Fox said she hopes to see the Riverton City Council promote a community standard that reflects and encourages a wholesome environment for children and families, similar to a resolution passed in Sandy City in October 2015. “I will propose that Riverton City adopt a strong, detailed resolution, encouraging all businesses, schools and public institutions in Riverton City to uphold child-appropriate standards,” she said. “As Miss Riverton, I plan to write an article to bring awareness to those available resources. I will also post links to articles online that can help parents create a standard of what is acceptable in their families.” Fox understands it may not be feasible to completely eliminate the likelihood of children encountering pornography but believes individuals, families and communities can make great strides in protecting them through education, awareness and open discussion. Fox said the experience of the competi-

tion has taught her a lot about current events, how to speak confidently and how to make new friends. When asked why she entered the competition, she said she remembers thinking “Why not?” “That sounds like a fun, interesting experience.” she said. “Sean Wilson, the pageant director, is absolutely amazing. I loved working with her.” During the competition, she played an excerpt from Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor on her violin. “I had been working on this concerto for a year, and I performed the first movement in its entirety last December for my senior recital,” she said. “I’ve played the violin since I was 4 years old and have a been a member of the Lyceum Philharmonic Orchestra for four years.” Fox has some advice for young women who might be considering entering into pageants and competitions. “I would say fear is not a good enough reason not to do something,” she said. “If you want to do something, be brave and go for it. If you don’t attempt or try new and difficult things, you absolutely cannot accomplish them. If you try, you may not succeed, but what if you do? Win or lose, success or failure, it will be worth it because growth and learning can come with either outcome.” She has lived in Riverton for 12 years with her parents, Abraham and Betsy Fox, and six younger siblings. Her older brother is serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Dallas, Texas. She has been home-schooled her entire life, with the exception of a few classes at Riverton High School. She will be attending BYU-Idaho in September to study musical arts with an emphasis on violin. l

South Valley City Journal

CERT training begins at Riverton UFA Fire Station 120 By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

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Hard hats and yellow vests all around at the introductory CERT meeting. Riverton City Councilmember Tawnee McCay sits at left. (Mariden Williams/City Journals)


n May 15, a class of 25 Riverton residents donned hard hats and yellow vests to kick off their journey to become part of a Community Emergency Response Team. The CERT training, sponsored by Riverton City, aims to give these residents skills that will help them help others in the event of a disaster or other emergency. CERT is a national program that was developed to help communities become safer, more prepared and more resilient when disasters occur. Even untrained residents try to help their neighbors in disasters such as building collapses, but lack of knowledge of how to do that safely often results in further injuries and further problems. CERT training is designed to help regular people learn how to help others better. “We’ll go over first aid and stuff in here,” said CERT instructor Jeff Taylor. “You won’t come out as an EMT, you won’t come out as a first responder, but you’ll have a general idea of how to treat people.” CERT training consists of a five-week course, held on Wednesday evenings at UFA Fire Station #120. In each three-hour class, students will learn about such things as disaster psychology, hazmat safety, performing search and rescue operations, putting out fires and safely moving injured people. The course will end with a disaster simulation in Herriman, where trainees can put their newfound skills to the test. This particular course is filled to capacity, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to sign up for others. “The stuff that we campaign, it’s something that Unified Fire Authority offers to any resident that’s in our area,” said Taylor. “We’ll teach it to you guys for free. You can

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organize a group of your neighbors or your co-workers or whatever, and we’ll come teach you all that stuff. I have to have a group of at least ten that are interested in it, and we can come out and teach you.”

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Disasters can happen any time The schedule has been moved around a little bit. This particular CERT training course was originally supposed to kick off with a hands-on fire-stopping lesson, but a same-day barbecue held on the firehouse lawn forced the trainees to stay inside for a more lecture-based experience. On the first day of class, everyone received a goody bag containing a manual, a neon reflective vest and a hard hat. “Why do we need helmets? To protect from debris that’s falling on your head, sure. But it’s also for recognition. Same with your vest,” said Taylor. “If you’ve got a helmet and a vest on, most people will go, ‘Hey! That guy is in charge!’ So, normal citizens are just going to come up to you and start congregating around you, and that’s how you can start organizing the CERT process.” While professional emergency service members are definitely better prepared than local CERT teams, professional emergency service members also aren’t as readily available in catastrophic disasters. Even once they get to your area, they won’t know the people or the lay of the land as well as the people who live there do. “It promotes a sense of community,” said John Flynt, community preparedness coordinator for the Salt Lake City Office of Emergency Management. “People get to know others in their communities a little bit better. No one knows where you live better than you do.” l

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Riverton Police Department ready to roll By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com


he budding Riverton Police Department, and all its new officers, are well on track to begin their rounds this June, once Riverton’s contract with the Unified Police Department expires. “All the police officers are hired, so we’ll have 35 police officers,” said Riverton City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt. “They won’t start their patrol until the first week or so of June. But they’re all committed, they’re all signed up. They’re getting pumped and they’re ready to go.” With UPD, Riverton had just 26 dedicated officers but also access to UPD’s pooled resources: things such as homicide detectives, K-9 units and SWAT teams that are extremely useful to have when you need them but don’t make a lot of sense for small cities like Riverton to include in its own police force. However, Riverton officials seem confident that the nine additional officers in their own department will be able to make up for the lack of UPD’s more specialized resources. “We believe that this increase in officer presence, and having a police force that is branded and dedicated to just Riverton City will be a very good thing for our community,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. “Taking into account what we would have stand-

Page 10 | June 2019

ing with the Unified Police Department, at our current 26 officers in the precinct, there’s about $1.2 million of value added to the city.” Chief Don Hutson, who has been masterminding the creation of the new police department, worked with city staff to select six sergeants to aid in the process of interviewing, background-checking and eventually hiring all the remaining officers in the force. “We had more than 90 applications for those six sergeant positions; the quality of applicants was amazing,” Hutson said. “I think you’re going to be very, very happy with the management team.” And not only have the officers been hired, but the force has also already received its ORI number from the national Department of Justice, a feat which Chief Hutson is particularly pleased about. “One of the most challenging aspects of creating a new police department is to be recognized through the BCI, or the Bureau of Criminal Identification,” said Chief Hutson. The BCI is a state agency that manages and is Utah’s gatekeeper for access to the FBI’s prodigious information databases. The BCI won’t let you access any of those databases unless you have an ORI number, which is a unique identifier number assigned by the Department of Justice to every law enforcement

agency in the United States. So, if an officer wants to, say, check whether or not a car is stolen, they must provide their ORI number to the BCI, or they can’t get any information. “We received our ORI number just this week,” Hutson said at the city council meeting on April 2. “We have been recognized as a legitimate agency by the FBI Department of Justice, so that we can run those searches and checks on the national databases.” This was one of the phases of police department setup that had worried Hutson the most, partly due to horror stories he had heard from Herriman’s infant police department, which didn’t obtain its ORI number until very soon before its officers were due to start patrolling. “They were almost in a panic, ensuring that they got that, and we’ve taken care of it three months in advance,” said Hutson. Having an ORI number this early in the game is a massive relief. The public image of police officers with shiny badges and branded cars holds almost as much power as an ORI number in its ability to command respect, and Hutson, city staff and a few graphic designers have also been working to make sure that the new force will be well-dressed and well-equipped. “We received a mock-up of our new

The first Riverton Police Department police car was unveiled to the public on May 15. (Riverton City Communications)

patch,” Hutson said. “It looks pretty awesome—really awesome, I think. We’re excited about having the opportunity to put together our uniform; it came out even better than I thought.” The squad cars have also been finished. “We’re going to have an unveiling of a brand-new police car on Silverwolf Corner, at 12600 South and Redwood Road, sometime in the very new future,” Hildebrandt said. “It’s all marked up and all beautiful.” l

South Valley City Journal

What is Esports? By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


t has become an epidemic, esports are a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing in popularity in players’ basements. Esports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different teams and leagues face off playing games made popular by at-home gamers such as Fortnight, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Counter Strike and Madden to name a few. Gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world by attending live events, on TV or online. The live streaming service Twitch allows viewers to watch gamers in real time. “There are tons of Meetups and small community groups that play weekly, like little grassroots groups,” said JJ Mckeever, Information Technology Specialist for GameTyrant, a North Salt Lake-based gaming center. “The games have been made increasingly available. People play in groups, and there are tournaments where they can play in person.” The 2018 Overwatch Grand Finals were held at the Barclays Center in New York City. According to a report from Newzoo, a market analytics company, 380 million people will watch esports this year. Tournaments and events will draw crowds that rival most traditional sports. In July, ESPN and Disney announced a multi-year deal to televise the

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Overwatch League. According to Newzoo, 588 esports events were broadcast in 2017. Last year, the NBA drafted 102 professional gamers to compete in its newly launched NBA 2K league. Colleges have even gotten in on the action. Recently, Snow College in Ephraim announced plans to add an esports program to its athletic department. “We are excited about the addition of esports and the opportunities it presents for our students,” Snow College President Gary Carlston said. “This is new territory for most higher education institutions.” But not everyone carries the same enthusiasm. “I could not get him out of the car,” Jaylynn Merrill said. “He is always playing that game and never pays attention.” She had grown frustrated that her nephew, Spencer, did not want to stop playing long enough to walk into the school. The attitudes of many parents and family members are similar to Merrill’s feelings. “I do not understand what he sees in those games,” she said. Esports players, not unlike traditional athletes, can rake in big money. Tournaments boast millions of dollars in prize money. The world’s best players can earn seven figures a year. The League of Legends tournament in

Gamers come in all ages. Spencer Cox and his cousin Jordyn play Smash Brothers at home on the Nintendo DS. (Photo courtesy of Greg James/City Journals)

2017 generated $5.5 million in ticket sales. “For the most popular games there is a tournament almost every weekend,” Mckeever said. “Super Smash Bros is very healthy (popular) in this area. Game Tyrant (in North Salt Lake) had a tournament that attracted some major talent. The Pac-12 has an esports league and the (University of Utah) has several esports teams.” Newzoo indicates League of Legends, Counter Strike and Fortnite as the most popular esports games. The NBA is not the only traditional professional league to get in involved. Major League Soccer has started eMLS using the game FIFA. The Internation-

al Olympic Committee met in 2017 to discuss the possibility of legitimizing esports as an Olympic competition. “Kids can get involved by watching YouTube videos and learning the strategy,” Mckeever said. “Practicing is important. Join up and play face-to-face. I know there are school leagues to get involved with.” Taylorsville, Cyprus, Herriman and Copper Hills high schools are some of the many local schools that offer gaming clubs. “Perfect practice applies just as much to esports teams as to traditional sports teams,” Mckeever said. l

June 2019 | Page 11

History and music intersect at Promontory Point for Rosamond students By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Fourth grade students tell the tale of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)


he story of the transcontinental railroad, completed at Promontory Point in 1869, was told through music by fourth-graders at Rosamond Elementary, who have been studying Utah history all year. “It’s been wonderful to integrate the arts in social studies and Utah history,” said fourth-grade teacher Holly Keele. “My kids can tell you all about the railroad and the challenges and the triumphs.” She said learning and rehearsing the play got them excited about the event and celebrating its 150th anniversary. “It just really kind of solidified all the learning,” said Keele. “They’ve done studies that learning is deeper and more embedded if you learn in a variety of ways.” A total of 96 fourth-graders participated in the performance. “We have some students who have overcome anxiety, and getting up in front of our group learning how to perform— it’s been really, really awesome,” said Keele. Some students had a speaking part and acted out key events in the story, while others held signs and props or played instruments during the songs. The fourth-graders performed the show twice, once for the school and again for their parents. Fourth-grader Rowen Burgess was proud of their performance. “It’s a good learning experience, but it’s fun to learn at the same time,” she said. “It’s really good how everyone works together to make the play really good.” The program included catchy songs about black powder explosives, the injustices for Chinese immigrants, the devastation of Native American lands, the greed of businessmen, the competition between the two railway companies, and the excitement of the culmination of all the work when the trains finally met at Promontory Point. In class, Keele said they have talked about the significance of the railroad to Utah and how it changed the world by speeding up communication, creating access to new places and increasing connections between

Page 12 | June 2019

people. “It’s kind of like how the internet changed our lives,” she said. “This railroad changed the lives of the people in 1869.” The script and songs were written by Stephanie Skolmoski, who has three grandkids attending Rosamond, one of which is in the fourth grade. She thought the 150th anniversary of the completion of the rail line was a big deal, so she wrote the play to involve the kids in the celebration of the event. She began writing the play last year. She wanted to be able to include a lot of details that students wouldn’t otherwise learn. “There was a lot of research involved,” she said. “I didn’t want anyone to tell me that I have the wrong information.” Skolmoski said she is not a fan of trains. “But I’m a fan of giving the kids music and teaching them creatively,” she said. She taught music classes in Salt Lake District for 20 years. When she retired and her grandkids began attending school, she was quick to volunteer to teach music in their classrooms. “I just feel like the kids don’t get enough of it,” she said. Her experience is that kids learn and retain information better through music. Grace Redington’s speaking part in the performance was announcing the dates the two railroad companies started laying their first tracks, something Skolmoski said Grace will probably never forget. “These kids will always remember a lot of the facts because of this,” she said. Former students have told her that they got through a test on the Preamble to the Constitution or the state capitals because of the songs she taught them. Last year, Skolmoski wrote a “Hamilton”-inspired play for the fifth grade to perform because the musical was popular and it fit in with the American history they were learning. When asked what she has planned for next year’s show she replied, “I’ll come up with something.” l

South Valley City Journal

Cheers and encouragement: How to be a better sports parent By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


Dont Text & Drive

Ryan Davis sits quietly as his son’s wrestling coach explains the best ways for him to become a better wrestler. (Greg James/City Journals)


ere’s something most kids will never say to their parents: Thanks for screaming at the referee and the other team the entire game. All parents want to help and support their kids while they play sports. Most are able to do so without hindering others enjoyment or putting unnecessary stress on coaches or players. However, a refresher on spectator etiquette is always a good thing. “Parents that support their athlete regardless of their role on the team make the best parents to work with,” former Copper Hills boys basketball coach Andrew Blanchard said. “It helps when parents find a role in the program that supports and are genuinely happy without expecting something in return.” Here are three ideas to help you to become a better sports parent from truesport. com. Support the coach Some parents believe that their child’s performance, within the youth program, is a reflection of their own parenting skills and self-worth. They feel that constant instruction from the sideline will help their child get it right. In a study by truesport.com of children who are over-parented shows they are more likely to develop anxiety, have low self-esteem and believe they have no control over their success. “I feel boundaries are important, but the coach needs to have a relationship with the parents so that they know he cares about the overall mental and physical health of the athlete. I think parents asking about playing time or other athletes should be avoided by all accounts. Playing time is a coach’s decision and should not be brought up in conversations or meetings,” Blanchard said. Let your children learn as well as fail. Remember to let kids have fun and encour-

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age pick up games with no parents, coaches or stat keepers. Encourage children A player waiting to hear what base he needs to throw the ball to may never learn to make decisions. It is good to let players act with an objective. In the book “The Narcissist You Know,” Dr. Joseph Burgo encourages competitive parents to talk to their kids, praise their efforts and be less critical of their mistakes. Help kids set goals. They are like a road map of where they want to go both in and outside of sports. Break down the big goals into smaller, incremental goals. “Players must work while they wait. Otherwise, they will not be ready or prepared when their chance to play comes,” Blanchard said. Respect officials and the opposition Bad calls happen. They happen in youth sports, high school sports, professional sports and even the Olympics. Of all the places the bad call matters the least, it is youth and high school sports. In most youth sports the official is a volunteer, there is no instant replay or mega million dollar prize money on the line. Sportsmanship is generally talked about in a sport context, but as you step back it is generally good behavior and communication in any situation. Children model the behavior and communication styles they see. Teaching children to play by the rules, own their mistakes, say thank you, disagree respectfully and be a team player is important. “At the beginning of the season I have a meeting and encourage the parents to be positive with their athlete. They should speak positively about their athlete and his teammates. I encourage them to avoid ‘table talk’ unless it is positive,” Blanchard said. l

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South Valley City Journal

Basketballs that beep and hoops that honk: P.E. class is fun for blind student By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


t’s a typical P.E. class, with students running around, throwing and catching a ball. Except half of them have their eyes closed, and the ball they are frantically trying to catch is shrieking with a piercing tone. The game is called ultimate round ball, and it is the new normal for P.E. class at Providence Hall High School—all because Conner Green, who is blind, wanted a normal gym class experience. “Blind kids can do most everything; they just need a different way,” said Green. Because he is blind, he is often left out of the fun by those who assume the activities are too hard for him. “I want be strong,” said Green. “I like to be pushed, actually.” P.E. teacher Kathy Howa decided there was no reason Green couldn’t physically participate in her class activities. So, she researched on the internet and found soundbased equipment that would allow him to play with the rest of the class. “He’s a kid that wants to be normal—he is normal,” she said. “And that’s the way he’s going to be treated in my class to the most that I can do in a safe way.”. In class, they sometimes play games that rely on sounds and involve blindfolds. But most of the time, students play soccer and kickball and baseball the way they usually do: following the ball with sight, while Green tracks it by sound. “They’re the same game but just different tweaks,” said sophomore Jaden Lopez, a student in the class. The balls they kick emit a high-pitched tone. Students run around bases that beep loudly, and they shoot ringing balls into a hoop that alerts its location with a shrill call. Their frisbee broadcasts its trajectory with a shrill shriek. Green said Howa is a genius with the creative ways she has adapted the games. “She let me do all the things that other kids do,” he said. “And she never has said ‘you can’t do.’ I can play more games with those kids like the same as them.” Green moved here from China five years

Connor Green, a blind basketball player, uses a basketball that beeps and a hoop that honks. (Kathy Howa/Providence Hall HS)


Students take a shot at playing blind, following the sound of a beeping ball with their eyes closed while a sighted teammate assists. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

ago. While he sometimes struggles with speaking English, the 18 year old excels in his P.E. and weightlifting classes. “He’s just like everybody else,” said Lopez. Except that Green can out-jump the rest of the class in jump roping. “Even when we do push-up challenges, he’s always on top,” admits Lopez. Howa said students learn a lot from Green. He introduced them to goal ball, a game he said blind soldiers used to play. “You have to use your hearing and block the ball when the ball comes,” Green explained. The students’ experience playing the game blind-folded gave them appreciation for some of the challenges Green experiences daily, said Howa. But she said he never complains—unless she does something such as just hand him a ball instead of throw it to


“He doesn’t want special privileges; he wants to earn things on his own,” she said. “His attitude is so positive and so inspirational because he wants to be as normal as he can be.” Howa said Green is always cracking “sight” jokes. “I tell him his job ought to be a comedian, because he is hilarious,” she said. “He will pop something at you from nowhere, and it’s like you are about to just die laughing.” Howa said in 25 years of teaching, she’s never had a student like Green. “This kid’s changed my life, actually,” said Howa. “He’s come into a part of my career that has just given me excitement and inspiration because of who he is and his attitude.” l

When local news recently spread reports that Kathy Howa used her own money to buy a basketball with ringing bells inside for her blind student, she began getting money and offers of donations from around the country. She turned them down—because it turns out Providence Hall High School already has a P.E. budget. “I’m new here, so I didn’t realize they had a budget,” said Howa. “So, I just went and bought the first beepers for the basketball. And then they told me they had this wonderful budget, so that actually helped me buy the rest of the stuff through the school.” The equipment will stay in the department for the next blind student, Green’s younger sister, who will be in Howa’s class next year.

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June 2019 | Page 15

Pole vaulting community cheers state record break



By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com





Riverton pole vaulter Summer Steeneck clears the begining height at the Riverton Invitational earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com)


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he state pole vault record has been broken. Riverton’s Robbie Walker stepped back and cleared 16 feet 3 inches to break a state record that has stood since 1995, culminating his hard work and the help of specific trainers. “Robbie has trained with us for several years,” Utah Pole Vault Academy director and Bingham High assistant track coach Kody Pierce said. “He is a good athlete. We say he has great hops. He is a hard worker. He committed himself and had the state record in mind for a couple of years.” Walker jumped over 15 feet last season as a junior. His teammate, Trent James, went higher than him and provided some good healthy competition and set his mind to attaining his goal. “I think he saw what he could do and knew he had this year to train to reach the state record. He has worked his butt off,” Pierce said. Pole vault has only been a track scoring event for girls and boys in smaller classifications for five years. Some schools did not even own the equipment until recently. “I was in the same boat as most of these kids,” Pierce said of his high school track days. “I recruited a buddy to help me and have figured it out. Since then, I have traveled all over the country and have learned to be a better coach. The pole vault world is pretty tight nit. We help each other and want to see the sport grow.” Pole vault technique and training can be very specific. “It can be a fun sport that you can come and do just in the spring season, but to be like a Robbie Walker you need to put in the time. They are the ones that get the higher marks. We have athletes of all skills and ages,” Pierce said. “Gymnasts make great jumpers, speed strength and agility are important. A good pole vaulter will be one of the best athletes on the track. He may not be the fastest, but one of. They need to be strong and jump

well.” As Walker approached the platform to attempt the state record a hush fell over those around the stadium watching him. His arms cleared the bar and a cheer erupted. “This is a pole vault community,” Pierce said. “There are no boundaries. They love the pole vault and love other pole vaulters. It doesn’t matter what school you are from. Him breaking the record was cool. A good high school vaulter is somewhere in the 14 foot range. Robbie is an exception.” Walker is not the only athlete with high hopes at the state meet. Herriman thrower Blake Freeland currently stands in the top 10 best performances in the state in three events; shot put, discus and javelin. He could contend for championships in all three events. The Mustangs also have high hopes for their boys relay team in the 4x100 and 4x400 meters. Dave Newman could also contend in the 110m hurdles. The lady Mustangs could have several top performers. Cassidy Henderson in 100 and 200m along with Kayla Butterfield in 110 hurdles and Make Tufa in the shot. The Mustangs captured both the boys and girls region track championships. Riverton finished third in boys and second in girls. Silverwolves runners Tanner Rogers and Joey Nokes have posted top times in the 3200 this season. Ty Davis ran the fastest 1600 at the region championships. The Utah State track meet was held May 16-18 at BYU (after press deadline). The Pole Vault Association is open year round and encourages youth to participate. Its indoor facility in Riverton even hosted a pole vault event this spring when the weather rained out a weekend track meet. “We have 40-50 kids that participate with us regularly,” Pierce said. “It depends on the time of year. We have several schools that do not have a pole vault coach. We want to help all the kids that need it.” l

South Valley City Journal

Providence girls sink putts on their way to region championship By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


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The Patriots placed fourth overall at the state girls 3A golf tournament. (Photo courtesy of Providence Hall Athletics)


he leaderboard at the Region 14 girls golf championships was filled with girls from Providence Hall High School. “The seniors on this team have won (the region title) three of the last four years, Patriots’ girls golf coach Brett Armstrong said. “They are the winningest team in school history. Last year they only missed it by two strokes after the entire season.” The team’s success carried over into the state tournament May 8 and 9 where it placed fourth overall. “Four years ago, we started this team with just enough girls to play,” Armstrong said. “Today, they finished a school-best fourth in the state tournament. Along the way, they have learned to love the game, developed incredible swings and built relationships that will last a lifetime.” Seniors Morgan McDougal and Brooklyn Armstrong led the charge by shooting a two-day combined total 176 and 178. Makayla Bennion shot a 205, Amelia Pederson and Sabrina Bentley shot a 206, Yaisha Corona shot a 221. The top four girls combined score of 756 was good enough for fourth place, only four shots behind Grand Country. Richfield captured the 3A state title, Morgan was second and Carbon rounded out the top five. In addition to the region championship McDougal finished first overall as the region medalist. She placed seventh last season. Brooklyn Armstrong finished second, and Pederson was eighth in the final standings.

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At the state tournament, held a Round Valley Golf Course in Morgan, McDougal placed 11th and Brooklyn Armstrong was 12th overall. The team won three of its six region tournaments. It captured the region title by 19 strokes over Carbon. “A large majority of the girls had never touched a golf club three years ago,” Brett Armstrong said following last season’s run in the state tournament. “The biggest thing we have done is dedicate to practice. They have all come out on a regular basis. I know these girls have season golf passes and spend a lot of time in the summer golfing together.” Many junior golfers have the opportunity to participate in a nationwide initiative to encourage youth golfing. Youth on Course provides youth access to affordable golf. There are eight participating courses in the Salt Lake Valley. They include Glenmore, River Oaks, Mulligans, Murray, Fore Lakes, McRiley, Nibley and Rose Park. As a YOC member golfers can enjoy golfing for as little as $5 a round. YOC provides for more the discounted golf rounds. The program helps interested parties find internships at courses, paid caddie positions and college scholarships. “We encourage the girls to play throughout the summer,” Brett Armstrong said. “They play in tournaments and get some private instruction.” l

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Summer 2019 filled with community festivals By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


s the school year winds down and summer heats up, festival season takes off and lasts throughout the summer. From the end of May until late August, cities throughout the Salt Lake Valley celebrate community spirit with parades and fireworks along with local traditions unique to each summer event. Check out this schedule of festival events and plan your summer fun.

WESTFEST West Valley Centennial Park| June 13 - 16 • Centennial Park (5405 West 3100 South) • “Your Family, Your Community, Your Festival”—Westfest offers something for everyone. The event includes a parade, 5k and 10k races, vendors and fireworks. From June 13 to 16, enjoy one of the best carnivals in the valley.

FORT HERRIMAN TOWNE DAYS Butterfield Park | June 17 - 22 • Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South) and other locations • Herriman celebrates 20 years of incorporation at this year’s festival. Residents and visitors can show off their talents in the Fort Herriman Days talent show and enjoy the circus and a wide variety of events, including the Yeti Run. The festival also features a home run derby, carnival and more.

TAYLORSVILLE DAYZZ West Valley Regional Park |June 27 - 29 • Valley Regional Park (5100 South 2700 West) This year’s summer festivals will feature plenty of activities for children. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Davis)

SOJO SUMMER FEST South Jordan City Park| May 29 - June 1 • South Jordan City Park (11000 South Redwood Road) • South Jordan City Hall (1600 Towne Center Drive), Heritage Park (10800 South Redwood Road) • With the theme “Where Summer Begins,” South Jordan gets the season off to a classic start with SoJo Summer Fest. Attendees can enjoy summer traditions like the car show and parade on June 1 along with a fun SoJo twist, the Battle of the Bands.

Heart and Soul Music Stroll Sugar House | June 8 • 1530 E. 2700 South • Local bands share the healing power of music as friends and family can stroll from house to house listening to various performers. Food trucks and bike rentals will be available. These performers spend the rest of the year playing for audiences who can’t come to the music stroll.

Page 18 | June 2019

• Taylorsville offers a blend of the usual summer festival activities along with a musical twist. Festival goers can take in the parade and fireworks, check out the hot rods at the car show, and run the 5k. The event also features performances by the Utah Symphony and the Taylorsville Orchestra.

RIVERTON TOWN DAYS Riverton Rodeo Arean |June 27-29, July 2-4 • Riverton Rodeo Arena (1300 West 12800 South) and City Park (1452 West 12600 South)

with the parade, which is followed by two days of action-packed rodeo activities and then the carnival.

SANDY CITY 4TH OF JULY South Towne Promenade | July 4 • South Towne Promenade (10000 South Centennial Parkway) • “Let Freedom Ring” is the theme of the Sandy City 4th of July festival. The event will once again feature the spikeball tournament, plenty of vendors, games and activities for kids, as well as the parade and fireworks.

FUN DAYS Murray Park |Juy 4 • Murray Park (296 East Murray Park Avenue) • Murray Park is the place to be for the city’s Fun Days on July 4. The day includes a breakfast, parade, 5k run/walk and children’s race. Attendees can also enjoy the chalk art contest, and of course, fireworks.

JULY 4 PARAFE & FESTIVAL South Salt Lake |Juy 4 • Fitts Park (3050 South 500 East) • The City of South Salt Lake offers a pancake breakfast to start off its July 4th parade and festival at Fitts Park. The festivities will also include a 5k and parade.

BUTLERVILLE DAYS Cottonwood Heights| July 26 - 27 • 7500 South 2700 East behind Butler Middle School • Butlerville Days returns with two action-packed days of fun. There will not be a 5k this year, but the popular

• The Riverton Rodeo returns on June 28 to start off Town Days. The event will also feature a parade, carnival, fireworks and movie in the park. To fuel their fun, attendees can take in the chuck wagon breakfast. Contests and activities include spikeball, pickleball, 3-on-3 basketball, yoga in the park and more.

STAMPEDE DAYS West Jordan Rodeo Arena| July 4 - 6 • West Jordan Rodeo Arena (2200 West 8035 South) and Veterans Memorial Park (1985 West 7800 South) • July 4-6 • West Jordan offers a big time rodeo, fireworks, carnival and more during Live music will entertain festival goers all summer Stampede Days. The festival kicks off long. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Davis)

pickleball tournament is back. Attendees can also enjoy the parade, rides and games, the car show, a movie in the park and fireworks.

DRAPER DAYS Draper Park | July 11 - 13, 16, & 19 - 20 • Draper Park (12500 South 1300 East) • Draper Days kicks off with the rodeo July 11–13, then the festival continues with more activities, including the children’s parade on July 16. There will be plenty of tournaments and activities on July 13 when people can compete in pickleball, tennis and basketball. Events on July 19 and 20 include the parade, car show, 5k, concerts and more.

OLD WEST DAYS RODEO Bluffdale Park | July 26 - 27, August 5 - 10 • Bluffdale Park (2400 West 14400 South) • Old West Days kicks off with the rodeo on July 26 and 27. Then a wide variety of activities happen between August 5 and 10 including a parade and the family shindig on Aug. 10.

HARVEST DAYS Midvale City Park | July 29 - August 5 • Midvale City Park (425 East 6th Avenue) • Historic Midvale Harvest Days take place from July 29 to Aug. 5 and will feature block parties, a movie in the park, music and more. The parade, festival and fireworks will take place on Aug. 3 at Midvale City Park.

SANDY BALLOON FESTIVAL Storm Mtn Park |August 9 - 10 • Storm Mountain Park (980 East 11400 South) • Starting at sunrise, the Sandy Balloon Festival will take off from Storm Mountain Park and fill the skies. Activities will fill the rest of the weekend, including the balloon glow on Saturday evening at the South Towne Promenade (10000 South Centennial Parkway).

BLUE MOON ARTS FESTIVAL Holladay City Hall Park |August 24 • Holladay City Hall Park (2300 East 4570 South) • Wrap up the summer in Holladay with the Blue Moon Arts Festival. The event will include live music, arts, food and children’s activities. l

South Valley City Journal

Herriman boys volleyball place sixth at state By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


he Herriman High boys volleyball team got off to a rough start to begin the season but regrouped and placed sixth in the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state tournament May 10–11. “We struggled mightily at the beginning where we were trying to find our identity and see where everyone was going to fit,” said assistant coach Mark McNees. “We had some brand-new faces that ultimately served in starting roles.” The Mustangs rebounded from an eighth-place showing in their regular season to defeat East, Skyline, Olympus and Corner Canyon to reach the region championship game against Bingham. In the title match, Herriman lost both sets by a total of three points to finish second. “We played our best volleyball of the year against Corner Canyon, and we felt like we were peaking at the right moment,” McNees said. At state, the Mustangs battled through injuries and sickness to defeat Davis and narrowly lose to Lone Peak to put them in the fifth-place game where they lost to Olympus in three sets for a sixth-place showing. McNees noted captain Peyton Colemere’s “great season” and credited starting outside hitter John Mack and starting middle

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The Herriman High boys volleyball team took sixth at the Utah Boys Volleyball Association state tournament May 10-11. (Photo courtesy Mark McNees)

blocker Jacob McNees for their “huge” contributions as newcomers this season. Also, on the Herriman squad this season, also coached by Shea Fahnestock, was Koleman Chidester, Kenyon Colemere, Brady Farmer, Daxton Owens, Taylor Pugmire and Parker Reynolds. The Utah Boys Volleyball Association was created five years ago to grow the sport that had already been competing for more than two decades. There were 70 teams fielded throughout the state this season.

“The growth of boys volleyball in the last five years has been incredible,” Copper Hills head coach Earle Fenstermaker said. “I have seen new schools in our league and heard this was the largest state tournament. Also, in the club level there are more and more clubs adding teams and new clubs popping up.” Although boys volleyball is not currently sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association, discussions are ongoing as the sport gains more and more momentum.

UBVA president Jill Davis said, “Anyone who has ever seen boys play at a competitive level know it is a very different and exciting game to watch. There is increased interest and support from the community, and we hope UHSAA will adopt boys volleyball in the near future.” For more information on the UBVA, visit www.ubva.info or email ubva.info@gmail. com. l

June 2019 | Page 19

Father’s Day around the County 2019 By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com Happy Father’s Day, Salt Lake County! Just in time for Father’s Day, Holladay The City Journals gives a tribute to Valley resident and head of strategic insights for dads by sharing what they are doing this hol- Western Governors University Michael Moriday. ris was named Foster Father of the Year for the Salt Lake metropolitan area. Father’s Day bows to Mother’s Day First fostering, then adopting seven chilLike a gentleman, June’s Father’s Day dren within the first six months of marriage, bows to May’s Mother’s Day, opening the Morris and his wife, Amy, were a phenomedoor for her and letting her go first. Father’s non. Now, almost three years later, the couple Day, according to some fathers the City Jourhas achieved near super-foster hero status for nals interviewed, like to keep their day more fostering another five children, all siblings, modest than a more elaborate Mother’s Day. hoping to ultimately reunite them with their Explains Jeff Stenquist, a Draper resbirth parents. ident and Republican member of the Utah The Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival Legislature, “Myself and fathers in general, at the Gateway is officially honoring him the we don’t get into celebrations so much. We last day of the festival—and the day before don’t try to draw a lot of attention to ourFather’s Day. selves.” Stenquist noted that gifts for Father’s Wife Amy Morris has another surprise Day tend to be “socks,” versus more exotic for her husband’s Father’s Day. She is going gifts for Mother’s Day. to recreate a memorable Hawaii anniversary, Socks work just fine for the Draper dad by turning their Holladay backyard into Haof adopted children from the Ukraine, folwaiiday—creating a temporary sand pit and lowed by the added gift of biological children paddling pool, complete with 12 children and in what some parents would consider an enparents in grass skirts, sipping “mocktails.” viable boy-girl-boy-girl formation. “Father-

hood is a great honor. It’s a great experience The ModernDad.Com—‘We get to famito be a dad.” lies in different ways’ Utah is somewhat famous for its momFather’s Days on the road, again my bloggers — women who write on the Born in India and then growing up in Internet about their experience as moms. Kearns, Salt Lake County District Attorney and Salt Lake City Foothill neighborhood Jason Dunnigan, senior digital communicaresident Sim Gill recalls spending Father’s tions specialist at Riverton-based Stampin’ Up!, has been presenting the other side of the Day on the road with his father. Back in those days, property assessment story, giving “a guy’s perspective” on being was a centralized function for the state, ver- a parent since the first posting of his “The sus a responsibility now delegated to coun- Modern Dad” blog in 2014. This Father’s Day will be the first time ties. Gill’s father, Jagdish, then an appraiser Dunnigan, who was adopted, is armed with for the state of Utah, now residing in Cottonwood Heights, would travel the state to as- information about his biological parents. At Christmas in December, he was giftsess land values. “Delta, Kanab, St. George, ed with ancestry DNA from local company Price, Duchesne,” Gill rattled off Utah muAncestry.com. Through the experience Dunnicipalities as if in a speed challenge. Gill and his brother and sister always nigan ended up in dialogue with his birth viewed Father’s Day as “an adventure” and a mother and learned about his birth father. The experience—and what he said he “special time,” spent on the road, away from will be thinking about this Father’s Day—is their Kearns childhood home. a gift for himself, knowing, “I am where I am Foster Father of the Year—A Hawaiiday supposed to be.” Dunnigan, a father of three in Holladay who said he looks like his father, Taylorsville resident Jim Dunnigan, a long-time Republican representative of the Utah House of Representatives, observed, “Sometimes, we get to families in different ways. I am really grateful.”

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Giving fathers a head start West Valley City resident Frank Bedolla said he has coached more than 600 low-income Utah dads on how to be the best fathers possible, by un-learning behaviors and attitudes. Through his nonprofit Fathers and Families Coalition of Utah, Bedolla offers the Nurturing Fathers Program, a 13-week, evidence-based training course designed to teach men parenting and nurturing skills. Fathers and Families Coalition starts the

Utah daddy blogger Jason Dunnigan has been writing about being a modern dad for the past five years. This Father’s Day he is grateful for his adoptive parents and three young children. (Photo Credit Jason Dunnigan)

work of growing great future dads for young men, as well. Bedolla’s “Wise Guys” course, currently being taught at Murray High School and downtown’s Horizonte School, “teaches young boys how to be men, how to treat women.” Bedolla said that previous generations of parents misunderstood “quality time,” to the detriment of their children and families. “They thought quality time was being present, but it is also being interactive.” His advice to Utah fathers, for Father’s Day 2019? “The best thing you can do is invest in your child. Be the best father you can be. Be there.” Prizes for papas - keeping fathers safe on the job by remembering their children For the past 14 years, WCF Insurance (Workers Compensation Fund) has reached out to Utah’s growing Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audience. As can be imagined, many of those folks are dads. WCF wants to remind dads to be careful on the job, and do it through the gentle and most powerful tug of all—through the heartstrings of their chil-

dren. The Padre d’el Año—Father of the Year—competition gives Utah children a way to nominate their fathers to earn the special honor and to be gifted with prizes WCF touts as being $500 in value. Children in three age groups—ages 7-11, 12-15, and 1517 nominate their papas for the prizes. Three fathers each season are honored, receiving cash and one-of-a-kind gifts. This year’s Padre d’el Año and two runners-up will be honored at the June 29 Real Salt Lake game later this month. While the program is targeted to Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audiences, the honor is available to all. Entry forms (offered in Spanish and English) are available at www. wcfespanol.com/. The contest is a case of all fathers being winners. “The major reward that each father receives is knowing they are heroes for their children,” said Carlos Baez, community relations manager for WCF and Taylorsville father of three. l

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North Star students thrive in choose-your-own-adventure classes By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


magine a class where the assignment for the day is to sample chocolate from around the world. At North Star Academy, students participate in clusters classes, meeting with like-minded peers once a week to study a topic that interests them. Students who chose the Chocolates of the World cluster tasted a variety of chocolates, including surprising Japanese flavors such as grape, strawberry, and a peanut and ketchup combo. “The weirdest flavor was avocado,” said fourth-grader Elinor Eggertsen. In addition to tasting, students learned the history of chocolate and how the Japanese originally used it as medicine for the wealthy. They learned about techniques French chocolatiers use to make the darkest chocolate in the world. They explored the various uses of chocolate, including making a chocolate mud cake recipe and hot chocolate. Field trips to local candy factories allowed them to see the process of candy making. Noah Hansen, a fourth-grader in the cluster, said while he enjoyed tasting the grape-flavored Kit Kat from Japan, his favorite sample was chocolate button from Mrs. Cavanaugh’s. “It just tasted really good,” he said. Cluster classes are grouped by grade and focus on a specific topic. They often include field trips and community service projects. The cluster classes learning culminated in a Cluster Carnival Showcase held in March. “This is an event where students share with each other what they’ve been working on for the past several months,” said Jamie VanLeuven, Enrichment Specialist at NSA. More than 30 clusters showcased their topic of study, which included cake decorating, shadow puppets, magic tricks, holiday crafts, cinematography, world dance, art, playwriting and cake decorating. Sidney Warnick taught the Marine Life cluster. For the showcase, her students created models of the ocean zones in a water bottle and invited parents and students to put their hand in ice water for a demonstration of the insulating properties of blubber. Warnick said the hands-on activities are the best way her students, who ranged from grades 1–3, learn. “Getting the kids engaged at this age helps them remember what they learn,” she said. Helzyon Singleton, a first-grader, said they also learned how they can help marine animals by not littering. After a field trip to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, students decided to raise money for the aquarium’s expansion. They earned $140 by selling treats after school. “They earned enough to buy a brick at the aquarium so they can go and see that they earned that money to support the aquarium,”

Page 22 | June 2019

Kelli Olsen attached plumbing connections to a water jug to create a bubble machine powered by dry ice. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

said Warnick. Sixteen boys in 1–3 grade signed up for the Natural Disasters cluster. Melanie Densley, a kindergarten teacher, planned engaging projects every week for students to explore natural disasters. First-grader Austin Gee said his favorite subject was tornadoes. The class created their own tiny twisters with two plastic pop bottles filled with water. They also made snow and put it into ornaments for a Christmas craft. “Most of what we did was hands-on activities,” said Densley. While learning about earthquakes, the boys built structures and placed them on top of Jell-O for a seismic simulation. They explored the destructive force of water by building flood barriers out of blocks and Legos and the dumping buckets of water on them. “It was a lot of fun,” said Densley. “We learned a lot, all of us, even myself.” She incorporated topics of emergency preparedness with a visit to the local fire department. Students also compiled a personal 72- hour kit and created emergency ID cards. Their homework was to make an emergency plan with their families. In a student-led study of world wars, students chose to focus on World War II, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Michelle Stewart taught the cluster, facilitating discussions of events that led to each war and the U.S.’s involvement. Her brother, Todd M. Bair, retired 1st sergeant for the U.S. Army, shared his experiences from Desert Storm and Afghanistan with the class. Students explored specific details about the weapons and vehicles used in warfare. Michael Burton, a fifth-grader, made models of airplanes, ships and tanks out of Legos. Others made helicopter models out of PlayDoh. “The students completed their projects through hard work and a lot of research,” said Stewart. “Many students designed their mod-

els and kept adding or taking away materials to make it more accurate.” Stewart felt that her students were able to gain a new perspective of the relationship between the military and their freedoms. “It’s important for them to understand cause and effects of the wars and what those wars meant to the U.S.—how they impacted us,” she said. “I feel that kids need to learn our history and the importance that is had and still has in creating our country. Our military and their families sacrifice so much for us to have our freedoms. I feel it is important that kids understand this.” Middle school clusters included topics such as world dance, 3-D art and forensic science. “We learned about the different types of forensic science and how important they are to crime investigation,” said eighth-grader Wyatt Sorenson of his Forensic Science cluster. The group learned about various fields that use forensics and visited a lab at UVU to see the equipment and techniques used in crime scene investigations. “It was really cool about the powders that they would use to see where the blood was and different types of liquids,” said Sorenson. For the Cluster Showcase, the older students in the cluster helped younger students put their fingerprint on an emergency card ID card. Landen Hiatt, a seventh-grader, said it was interesting learning about different types of fingerprints (whirl, left and right loops, tented arch) and the various tools police use to find people. One cluster focused on fundraising for cancer patients. Together, they tied three blankets, stuffed 20 teddy bears, made 48 ornaments, created 35 cards, filled 75 coloring kits, prepared 200 bracelet kits and knitted three hats. They also baked cookies and painted friendship rocks. The items they made were either donated or sold to raise

$200 for cancer research. Mad Scientist was a popular cluster for first-third graders. Computer teacher Kelli Olsen, assisted by two middle school students who signed up for the cluster, used everyday objects to set up a variety of fun science experiments. “I had an $80 budget, and I was under that for most of what we did,” said Olsen. “A lot of it was just stuff around the house.” The students watched videos to collect ideas for experiments they wanted to try. Making slime was their No. 1 choice. “The clusters are more based off of what the students have an interest in so these are students who showed an interest in doing science experiments,” said Olsen. “I just based my lessons off of what their highest interests were.” She said when she teaches clusters, which vary in subject every year, she tries to relate real-world applications to the topic of study. She talked with her group about various scientific careers. “I think, outside of the things that they learn in a school environment, this shows them an outside interest of something they could actually do as a job or a career,” she said. “It gives them more of an insight into what the career looks like.” l

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round the country, other builders are starting to realize what Leisure Villas has known for nearly 20 years: Active retirees want to stay in the communities they raised their families in and where their friends are. They want to enjoy a more carefree lifestyle without the worries of home maintenance and yard care. They want to be near folks with similar interests and age. Leisure Villas makes this time of life more enjoyable by creating carefree communities that are especially designed for today’s more active seniors.

Over the last few years, because of the explosive growth in the valley, there has never before been such a great need to provide quality homes, designed with respect to the preferences of our retiring population. Leisure Villas stands apart, in that, they cater exclusively to residents who are 55 and better, providing a better lifeSwimming Pool Movie Theater Billiards

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No builder along the Wasatch front has more experience creating quality communities designed around the needs and desires of today’s retirees. Our success has come because we’ve listened to our residents and designed communities and floorplans which deliver what our buyers seek out most: comfortable, attractive, single-level, ADA adaptable plans, with real, useable, valuable community amenities. Herriman values their aging population, and so do we. Since active seniors are all that Leisure Villas caters to, we have the expertise and experience to create the best carefree, quality housing opportunity in the city.

For the last couple of years, Leisure Villas has been building another premier 55+ community in Herriman, and is about 2/3 completed. Located just west of Mountain View Corridor, at 12340 S. 5505 W, right next to Anthem Park Blvd, this new development is ideally located next to the Midas Creek Trail, with quick access to downtown shopping and other local amenities.

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South Valley City Journal

Remember these safety tips during fireworks season


ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24, Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country.

• Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law.

• Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns.

• Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks.

• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

• Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. • Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. • Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. • Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. • Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. • This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside.

• Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. • Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. • Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. • Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. • Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles.

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Motorists take note: lane filtering law comes to Utah By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com


ext time you sit in traffic on State Street and watch a motorcyclist travel down the middle of two lanes of stopped vehicles, don’t fly into road rage. This practice, known as lane filtering, is now legal. The goal is to prevent rear-end collisions between motorcyclists and approaching cars. Utah Highway Patrol has done a thorough job of explaining House Bill 149, a new motorcycle lane filtering law (legal since May 14, 2019), effective throughout the state. A link on the UHP Facebook page explains the law in detail and shows an example of doing it the lawful way. Sergeant Jason Nielsen of the Sandy Police Department encouraged drivers to have motorcycle awareness. “There’s going to be a learning curve. This is something brand new to the state of Utah. Other states have similar things, but this is new to us, so hopefully that learning curve won’t cause any injuries,” Nielsen said. All commuters should be aware of the law and have an extra eye out for motorcyclists. That way, traffic will be a safer group effort. How exactly should it be done? Lane filtering is only legal when: • The posted speed limit is 45 mph or less (never on freeways)

ing in the same direction • The vehicles a motorcycle is passing must be stopped • The motorcyclist speed must be 15 mph or less • Above all, the movement must be made safely • When traffic begins moving again, the motorcyclist must safely merge back into a lane

Street bikers are asked to follow the exact law requirements. “Drivers of any automobile — cars, trucks and motorcycles — need to be patient. Whether people agree with it or not, it’s the law. They’re (motorcyclists) allowed to do it,” Nielsen said. He gave examples of roads where lane filtering would/wouldn’t be permitted. “If it’s on Bangerter Highway, then no.” The speed limit is over 45 there. “But State Street is OK.” The higher speed freeways are illegal places. “The majority of roadways in Salt Lake Valley though, this law falls under,” he said. Dan Smith, assistant parts manager at South Valley Motorsports has been riding street bikes for 20 years. “One scenario is • The road has at least two lanes travel- being stuck in between a couple cars on the

Lane filtering law comes to Utah. (Amy Green/City Journals)

road, and seeing them on cell phones or doing something, not paying attention. I already know that I’m not going to get seen. Coming up to a stop light, I’ll move myself to the front where I know that when the light turns green, I can get out of any bad situation,” Smith said. If one is motivated to take a motorcycle licensing class, Utah is ready to educate at driver’s ed training facilities for that, too. “There are correct ways to get introduced to the sport, mainly the Utah Rider Education

www.utahridered.com has a program for new riders. They teach you all the appropriate ways to be safe in traffic and how to handle your bike,” Smith added. Seeing motorcycles pass everyone else can feel unfair. That’s not the intent. When done correctly, the lane filtering law has a purpose and a function, meant to protect. Sandy Police Department stats show 24 motorcycle crashes just in Sandy City in 2018, with one fatality recorded. The goal is always zero fatalities. l

Former NBA coach hosts skills camp for kids By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


t’s not often an NBA coach comes to town. And yet it just so happens that Utah is lucky enough to be the home of former NBA assistant coach Barry Hecker who has been teaching basketball for more than 40 years. The veteran coach, who lives in Murray, became used to life on the road after a 21-year NBA coaching career with stints for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies. Following his retirement in 2013, his travels haven’t slowed down. This past year, he has conducted clinics in Finland, Senegal and Canada along with various states around the country while also working with high school and college players on an individual basis, including some in Utah. This summer, he is back home for a four-day Shooting and Offensive Skills camp June 17 through 20 at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center, located at 8015 S. 2200 West, in West Jordan for boys and girls in grades third through ninth. “These camps are all about the basic fundamentals of basketball,” Hecker said. “We focus on quality fundamental instruction, we work hard with a lot of discipline and structure and we have a lot of fun. When these kids walk out of there, they know they’ve been taught and improved.”

Page 28 | June 2019

The camp is scheduled for June 17, 18, 19 and 20 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The cost is $80, which includes a T-shirt. Registration is open online at www.slco. org/gene-fullmer/ or at Gene Fullmer Rec through the first day of the camp. The first 40 kids registered will receive a free basketball. Contact Jason Kehr at jkehr@slco.org or (385) 468-1951 for more information. The camp is being sponsored by Ken Garff Automotive Group, Chick-fil-A and Standard Optical. The long-time NBA coach started playing basketball in the seventh grade and it wasn’t long after being involved in the sport that a junior high P.E. teacher instilled in him a desire to coach the game. A trip with his dad to a Celtics game as a 12 year old solidified that dream. He has coached basketball at every level, but his first coaching experience was running the John Henson Junior High track team in Oxon Hill, Maryland. “I didn’t know anything about track, but I decided if I was going to coach it, I was going to win so I found out everything I could and we won the championships three years in a row,” he said. He then coached the junior varsity basketball team at Oxon Hill High School and led them to an undefeated 20-0 season.

Following several other coaching stints, he landed a job at Salt Lake Community College in 1976 where he met Harry Weltman, the general manager of the now-defunct American Basketball Association’s St. Louis Spirits. Weltman was later hired as the GM for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and took Hecker from a West High School coaching job in 1984 to the NBA as the player personnel director for the Cavs. Hecker held the same position with the Los Angeles Clippers two years later and was promoted to assistant coach in 1994, where he had two separate stints in the coaching and player development ranks. He was an assistant coach at Memphis through 2013 when he retired from coaching. “I love basketball because when it is played the right way it’s beautiful to watch – when all five players are playing their roles, sharing the ball and having each other’s back,” Hecker said. “It’s a game where five lesser talented players can beat five more talented players.” Hecker said the values he has learned from basketball are invaluable and it thrills him to share those principles of hard work, teamwork, unselfishness and persistence, along with the physical skills of the game itself, with others.

Former NBA coach Barry Hecker worked with NBA player Rudy Gay during his 21 years in the NBA. (Photo courtesy Barry Hecker)

“I don’t care who I coach or when I coach,” Hecker said. “I simply enjoy teaching the game. It’s great to see a smile on someone’s face as they experience success. If you help somebody, you’ll be somebody.” Hecker has conducted clinics for more than 40 years and particularly enjoys working with youth. “If you teach skills, that leads to confidence and that confidence can allow anyone to do anything they want,” he said. “I have more fun with young kids than with the pros. In the NBA, you have guys who are making millions. These kids are making nothing and they’ll listen to you.” l

South Valley City Journal

Olympia Hills clears procedural approval to resubmit high-density proposal By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com


orensic science often shares stories of people “speaking from the grave” and having impact on the future. In the case of the high-density Olympia Hills development project proposed for the Southwest Quadrant, former Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’s voice reportedly loomed large this week as a case of “Forensic Development” is ensuing, with some citing political motivation as a factor. The Salt Lake County Council passed a resolution on May 21 allowing Olympia Hills developers to reapply their proposed project. County gears to re-engage SLCO attorneys have been in a conundrum about how to treat the veto McAdams made last June of the proposed 900-plus acre parcel project. McAdams’s 11th-hour June 2018 veto of developer Doug Young’s application to enable the high-density Olympia Hills project came after Herriman residents and a group of Southwest mayors rallied in protest to thwart a county council, which had given the project a 7-1 green-light vote. Current SLCO Mayor Jenny Wilson was then a 10-year veteran of that council. Now mayor after McAdams (now Rep. McAdams) left the seat for Washington, D.C., Wilson indicated, earlier this week in an interview with City Journals, that time was drawing near for the county council to initiate a timeline to re-engage with the developer. “The initiation is required by the council,” she said. “They have a year.” Wilson said the council “will noodle by themselves” but also indicated her belief the council would elect to move forward and developer Doug Young would be asked to reapply and allowed to enter a modified proposal.

Olympia Hills project developer Doug Young calls his company “The Last Holdout, LLC.” Shown here is the last structure on land from the former Lark mining town. Young re-imagines the 900-plus acres in Unincorporated Salt Lake County as part of a transit-connected, bustling work-play-shop, high-density, high-tech community for the future. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

perspective, and was unaware, until contacted by City Journals, of any council procedural matters. “We still have a full, valid application at the county,” Young said. “We have never lost that. It’s going to take quite a process to work through that. We’re in the initial phases.” Young has assembled comments from the two recent SWQ open houses and is, he said, addressing residents’ concerns about density. The project received a major thumbs-up mid-May when Clint Betts, the executive diWhose court? rector of Silicon Slopes, praised the developAccording to a source at SLCO, who ment, citing it multiple times as an example wished to remain anonymous, attorneys have of the type of project needed not only in Salt advised the county council that having the Lake County but throughout the state. mayor veto a development project has not Noodling on Olympia Hills occurred before. Betts, who serves on affordable-housing Without precedent, reportedly, there is no legal mechanism for them to manage committees and is a long-time technology vinext steps in the process, and “nobody knows sionary, was the third speaker as part of the Council’s “Regional Growth Summit 2.0,” whose court it is in,” said the source. City Journals received, in advance of its presented April through mid-May. Salt Lake County Regional Developpublic dissemination, an unsigned copy of a “Fact-Finding Resolution” by the County ment leadership, held three, back-to-backCouncil, a machination that defines McAd- to-back weekly informational presentations. ams’ mayoral veto as an executive decision The sessions were conducted live, as part rejecting the ordinances the council adopted of County Council business and were also and not the developer’s overall application. streamed over the internet, via Facebook live The resolution was part of the SLCO Coun- sessions. Multiple calls over multiple weeks by cil’s official business on May 21, where the the City Journals to District 2 Council memresolution was passed. In essence, the resolution allows the de- ber Michael Jensen, who chaired the Growth Summit, went unanswered. veloper to re-apply. While some of the council members, as For his part, Young, the owner of the 931.8 acres under his “The Last Holdout, well as Wilson herself, sent policy advisers LLC,” is operating under a business-as-usual to South Jordan and to the even more con-

S outh ValleyJournal .com

tentious Herriman open houses for Olympia Hills in mid-April, the council’s newest member, Shireen Ghorbani, was the only member at both open houses, staying for much or most of the public input sessions on the project. Wilson, Ghorbani and Jensen, as well as council members Max Burdick and Ann Granato, are up for re-election in 2020, making political maneuvering on Olympia Hills a dicey matter, particularly for those with Southwest constituents. Those with Southwest Quadrant (SWQ) constituents to consider for 2020 election for their current seats include the mayor and Ghorbani and Jensen. As of now, Wilson is the only publicly declared candidate for the 2020 SLCO mayor race. “I am the mayor and not a candidate,” was her response to additional questions about 2020, beyond her clear intention to be county mayor for six years, versus two. A legal matter or a political one? Of the county council’s machinations, “It’s not a legal matter but a political matter,” said a local municipal law expert familiar with the project—and the political climate in the Valley. Olympia Hills is certainly a political conundrum, with much of Southwest Valley still actively protesting the development, while the county as a whole, and cities on a municipal level, are bursting at the seams in terms of growth pressures and a stated need to accommodate for population growth. Salt Lake County is projected to add nearly 600,000 residents by 2065.

In addition to what was a reported 16,000 signatures collected on a Change.org petition by residents, six mayors of the SWQ continue to go viral with actions to thwart or at least severely constrain the project. SWQ Mayors Council leaders of Copperton Township, Herriman, Riverton and West Jordan initially allied in formal protest with a crisis-coordinated press release to sway McAdams. South Jordan later joined the SWQ Mayors Council. The group meets weekly and did so throughout the Utah Legislative Session, and has successfully lobbied to receive $250,000 in grant dollars to fund transportation and visioning studies. According to West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding, members are swiftly moving forward with plans to manage SWQ growth, formally issuing a request for a transportation study. Amid press speculation that given members of the group are its “leaders,” they are now considering pooling resources to manage what until now has been an officially, intentionally leaderless and democratic group seeking to best manage their mutual destiny in strategic, synergistic areas. Riding’s comments to the City Journals came in conjunction with his attendance at the Kearns open house by Wilson. During her five-site, cross-county town halls during April and May, Mayor Wilson indicated multiple times that her assumption is that Olympia Hills is moving forward. “Ultimately, I don’t know how we move forward without more density and more planned communities,” she said. “We cannot move forward with wasting a single acre.” l

June 2019 | Page 29

Money, get away

D by


o you know what the first day of summer (June 21) means for a music lover like myself? Summer concerts! Utah, surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly?), has an amazing music scene. From rock shows, to country extravaganzas, to electronic music festivals, to rap concerts, to musicals, to recitals; we’ve got it going on. When purchasing tickets, concertgoers have a few different options. You can purchase tickets through one of the most popular local ticket vendors: Smithstix. Alternatively, you might seek out tickets from TicketMaster, VividSeats, Songkick, Stubhub, or other similar websites. Or, you might buy tickets directly from the venue. For example, if a show is at The Complex or Eccles Theater, you can visit their website and purchase tickets there. The final option is to buy tickets at the door (or maybe even from scalpers). After spending years refining the craft of buying tickets for the best price possible, the best advice I can give is: it depends. I know, I know, that’s not the answer you were hoping

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Or, if you find the ticket is a little over your price range, but your desire to attend far outweighs the cost, make sure to buy early. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you want to go to a show, but it sold out quickly, so now all the tickets are over $200, when they were originally around $40. No one wants that. If the ticket is not in your desired price range, and you’re not sure if you really want to go, you have some options. Buying at the door isn’t a bad one. The awesome thing about buying tickets at the door is the absence of service fees. If a show is going to be $20 at the door, I can bring a $20 bill and be just fine. Not like when a website says it’s going to be $20, then all of a sudden, it’s $35 because of fees. However, if you wait to buy your ticket at the door, there’s the possibility that the show could sell out. And then you’re back to the question, how much do you care about seeing the performance? Is it worth potentially missing it? If you’re looking for shows or performances to attend, sign up for newsletters. There are places on many websites where you can sign up for pre-sales. Additionally, some ticket vendors, Live Nation for example, will occasionally have $20 ticket weeks, where they list a handful of shows for $20 a ticket. Those are an absolute steal!

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for. Here’s why: it depends on how much the tickets are, how excited you are to see the artist, and when/where/and how long the show is. When considering buying concert tickets, I recommend answering the following question: how much do you care about seeing the performance? Usually, that answer has some follow-up questions. Have you been waiting to see this artist/band/show? If so, how long have you been waiting? Do you know song lyrics (if there are lyrics)? Would your life benefit from seeing the artist/band/ show live? Or will it be better to only know them from their videos, televised concerts, etc.? After gauging your desire to attend the show, figure out how much you would be willing to pay for a ticket. If it’s someone like Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney, are you willing to pay in the triple digits? If it’s someone local, or niche, are you willing to pay $20? Maybe $40? Once you have an acceptable number in your head, go ahead and search for those tickets, but not before. At this point, if you find the desired ticket is about $10 below your acceptable price range, go ahead and snag that ticket. Allow for that $10-$20 flexibility, because online vendors will charge various service fees. Smithstix has at least three different service fees, generally totaling around $15.

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Power Up



Laughter AND




ne of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I think of this when I’m feeling glitchy, when my processor runs slow, my memory won’t upload and I can’t download complete, coherent sentences. When my energy drains like a cell phone battery, that’s the sign I’ve neglected my mental health for too long. I get snappy with my husband to the point he tells me to get out of the house and come back when I can act like a grown-up. After flipping him the bird, I pout to my car. Self-care isn’t just bath bombs and margaritas. Bath bombs dissolve too quickly and margaritas only get me into trouble. Selfcare is tapping into activities that recharge your energy levels. This might mean asking for help (I know, a woman’s ultimate sign of weakness) or finding more time for yourself. Ordering pizza Monday nights is just fine. Jogging through the park is just fine. Hiding under your bed eating Hershey kisses is just fine. Telling your family you’re going to get ice-cream, then taking a monthlong drive through the Andes is on the border of just fine. The point is, find your own self-care routine. This should involve spending time alone. I’m sure in the 1600s, women who practiced self-care were burned at the stake. Why would a woman want to be alone when she gets to care for a 75-year-old husband



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and 10 children? She must be a witch. I must admit, coming home from work I’ve had the thought, “I have so much to do tonight. I can’t even.” Then I drive around listening to self-help audiobooks until I can face life again. Sometimes self-care is hiding in the bathroom with a magazine for 30 minutes because if the kids ask for One. More. Thing. they’ll find themselves living in the garden shed for three months. Every woman’s self-care routine is different. Some women wear face masks while they create a vision board they hope will teleport them to a mansion in Newport Beach where they’ll frolic with a Hemsworth brother. Some women need a hammock, a book and a set of earplugs. And DIY facial scrubs might get your skin glowing, but your mental health needs some polishing, too. Women are so good at controlling everything. Well, women are so good at trying to control everything. Stress does not equal control. Worry does not equal control. You going out of your friggin’ mind is not control. Self-care is a mental practice that involves 1) saying “No” once in a while, 2) saying “Yes” once in a while, 3) not berating yourself, 4) taking plenty of naps, 5) noticing when you’re running on fumes and 6) the occasional margarita. It’s about accepting who you are. Unless you eat Miracle Whip. Then you might need to reevaluate your life. How often do you play? How often do you sleep? Are you so attached to the white-

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Profile for The City Journals

South Valley Journal June 2019  

South Valley Journal June 2019

South Valley Journal June 2019  

South Valley Journal June 2019