Sugarhouse Journal | August 2021

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August 2021 | Vol. 7 Iss. 08





e on the lookout for some new big, bold murals that will adorn three local businesses. The Sugar House Mural Project will install these artworks in the Sugar House Business District. “The purpose of this project is to create a more vibrant

community, elevate the economic prosperity of Sugar House, House Community Council, the Sugar House Chamber and and support local artists and businesses,” said Meggie Troili, the Living Museum of Sugar House. the Sugar House Community Council arts and culture chair. One mural will be painted outside Cameron Wellness The Sugar House Mural Project is supported by the Sugar Spa by Chris Peterson, highlighting the two peacocks that live Continued page 6

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Sugar House Community Garden provides organic, local food for community By Anagha Rao |


he Sugar House Garden is one of Sugar House’s hidden treasures. It is located in Sugar House Park at 1330 East 2100 South. The Sugar House Garden has 56 plots available for rental that are approximately four feet by 12 feet each. This garden is equipped with an automatic drip irrigation system that waters all the plants on the plot. In order to make it ADA accessible, the garden has raised plots and is accessible by car. “One of my favorite things about the Sugar House Garden is that it’s a very dynamic and social location,” said Giles Larsen, the Parks for Produce Manager at Wasatch Community Gardens. Located in the middle of the Sugar House Loop, there are always bikers, runners, and people with dogs spending time in this beautiful park. The purpose of the garden is to give people of all backgrounds the opportunity to get together and experience the joy of growing their own food. Not only does the garden provide access to organic and great-tasting food, but it also helps people socialize and get to know their community. Larsen said, “Even if you are a new gardener, it’s different than just growing something on your own because you are surrounded by people who have been growing food for decades. You really get to tap into that knowledge base.” Initially, the land the Sugar House garden occupies was an abandoned rose garden. In the fall of 2020, the Sugar House community began a grassroots movement to establish a new garden in Sugar House Park. They partnered with the Wasatch Community Gardens to transform the old space into a functional community garden. This garden was specifically designed by the community to fit the needs of Sugar House. Interested community members are al-

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Sunflower plot and tool shed at Sugar House Community Garden. (Photo courtesy Sugar House Garden Instagram)

lowed to rent a plot of land from the garden. By renting a plot, community gardeners are given a space to garden and access to gardening tools. Volunteer gardeners also have discounted access to workshops hosted by Wasatch Community Gardens. Gardeners are responsible for weeding, pruning, and harvesting the crops in their plot. “We tell people to count on at least five hours of gardening a week,” said Larsen. In addition, volunteers are expected to contribute at least six hours per year to tend

common areas or participate in special projects that benefit the garden as a whole. Interested community members may apply to rent a plot of land from the garden by filling out an application and paying a $37 renting fee. However, if $37 is too expensive, there are plot scholarships available for gardeners with demonstrated financial need. To apply for a plot, visit The Sugar House Community Garden is a collaboration with Wasatch Community Gardens. Wasatch Community Gardens is a




The Sugar House City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Sugar House. For information about distribution please email or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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nonprofit organization that was founded in 1987. Its mission is to provide universal access to fresh, organic, local food. Eventually, their programs expanded to work with different communities. “We work with homeless women, single mothers, folks receiving mental health treatment, and we seek to provide a sense of empowerment that comes from growing your own food,” said Larsen. l

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County softball is back By Greg James |


he Salt Lake County Sports office has hosted its first softball tournaments in nearly 15 months. “It is like the sun is shining again,” Salt Lake County Parks Program Manager Josh Olmstead said. “These players, families and fans are so excited to be back out here.”

The Valley Complex and Larry H Miller Cottonwood softball complexes held the Firecracker girls accelerated tournament July 15–17. A total of 53 teams competed in five age groups. “This is a great revenue generator for the county,” Olmstead said. “It brings teams

from many different states here to compete.” Teams from Montana, Washington, Idaho and California participated in the tournament. Winners in the five age groups were the Grantsville Shock, Utah Bullets, Utah Crush, Force and Bad to the Bone. These teams will play 50–75 games a year including these tournaments. Girls accelerated softball is played by over four million athletes across the country. Teams in Utah play in several leagues and tournaments almost every weekend. The USSSA is considered the largest sanctioning body in the United States. To compete at the national championship, a team must earn a spot in a qualifier tournament. A girls fastpitch team may compete in several tournaments to prepare for the opportunity to qualify. The county also hosted the USSSA softball state finals and will hold the Copper Classic in September. “Teams like to come here,” Olmstead said. “Our fields are nice to play on and the county has lots of opportunities for the teams to vacation.” The Larry H. Miller Cottonwood ComSunflower plot and tool shed at Sugar House Community Garden. (Photo courtesy Sugar House Garden Insplex has finished its recent renovation. The

fans seating area is now covered with a system to keep cool. All the dugouts are covered and there is a picnic area at the top of the seating complex. “It is state-of-the-art now,” Olmstead said. “Everyone needs to go and check it out.” The Larry H. Miller charities donated $5 million to rebuild both the Cottonwood Complex and Valley Region Softball Complex in Taylorsville. The Cottonwood facility opened this season and construction at Valley will begin later this fall. “Larry was passionate about softball, and this complex will forever be a part of our family’s legacy,” Gail Miller said at the press conference announcing the donation in 2019. Salt Lake County also began its men’s, women’s and coed softball leagues this month. Its 15-month postponement has players itching to get back on the field. “I think it is even more popular,” Olmstead said. “People are ready to get out and play again. I came out to Taylorsville Days, and there were people everywhere, and I could feel this sigh of relief that it was time to get outside and be with our friends again.” l



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Continued from front page in Allen Park. This mural fits with Cameron Wellness Spa’s mission to focus on holistic wellness through natural therapies. In addition, Troili says, “this mural is reflecting the Sugar House community’s love for nature and green spaces.” The second mural will be a vibrant Polynesian dancer on the west side of Club Karamba. This piece will be painted by Bill Louis. In all of Louis’s artwork, he includes elements of his Polynesian culture through patterns, flowers and clothing. This mural is designed to showcase the cultural diversity of Sugar House. The third mural will be a combination of colorful patterns and designs outside of SugarHouse Barbeque. The artist behind this mural is Evan Jed Memmott. These colorful designs full of squiggles emanate a sense of both chaos and peace, darkness and light. The simplicity of the shapes draws the viewer in, while the complexity keeps them pondering the meaning behind the art. Over the past couple of years, the arts and culture scene at Sugar House has suf-

fered due to its redevelopment. “One thing I have noticed is that the community has desired more vibrant, public art,” Troili said. From this need, the Sugar House Mural Project was born. The mural project was initially supposed to be one street mural as part of the McClelland Trail project. After that project got delayed, the community council partnered with The Living Museum of Sugar House to expand the project. An official unveiling of the murals will take place on Aug. 13 in conjunction with the Sugar House Art Walk. The art walk will include live music, art displays, and interactive community experiences with Joy Mob. The Art Walk will also provide free mural maps of all the hidden and less popular murals in Sugar House, including the one in Boxing is for Girls and Lila Studio. The Sugar House Mural Project is sponsored by: The Hansen Sisters Foundation, Salt Lake Arts Council, AltaTerra Real Estate, Engel & Völkers Real Estate, Cameron Wellness Center and Life Spa, SugarHouse Barbeque, SLC ACE Fund, Salt Lake City Corp and the Sugar House Art Walk. l


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Page 6 | August 2021

Sugar House City Journal

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimmillion people are living er’s 6.2 or another dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brainwith disease that causes 6.2 million people are living with a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are Alzheimer’s diseaseEvery in the United 10 warning signs and symptoms. individual may experience Alzheimer’s disease in the United one States. or more ofOver these signs in a different degree. If you notice any 34,000 people in Utah of them in yourself or a34,000 loved one,people please see in a doctor. States. Over Utah

alone. This disease kills more people

10 SIGNS OF This disease kills more people alone. each year than breast cancer and ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Top: Cooper the Aussie. (Photo courtesy @copperthetriaussie) Bottom: Cornell the Grey Nugget having a blast finding tennis balls. (Photo courtesy @rhi_mish_creative)

Salt Lake City hosts Yappy Hour for dogs and dog owners By Anagha Rao |


appy Hour, one of Salt Lake City’s signature programs for dogs and dog lovers is back this s ummer. The first Yappy Hour of the summer was held on Tuesday, July 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Fairmont Park. “The first Yappy Hour event began in the summer of 2015 within the parks department. It started when a group of dog lovers in the community organized an event that highlighted the Salt Lake City parks with established off-leash areas to celebrate people and their dogs,” said Amy Nilsson, the Salt Lake City Event Manager. Admission to Yappy Hour is free, and dog lovers of all ages are welcome. Half of the park is dedicated to a large off-leash area with dog toys, water bowls and treats. The other half of the event has booths from local businesses that provide products and services related to dogs. This includes grooming services, pet CPR training, pet photography and even clothing for dogs. The event includes live music, activities and food for you and your pup. You can take printable pictures with you and your dog, or take your dog to splash around in the many doggy pools. Attendees will also be able to en-

MyS ugar HouseJournal .com

ter giveaways for free dog products. If you want food or drinks, this event has a lineup of seven food trucks. One truck even has chicken- or beef-flavored snow cones for dogs. Anyone 21 and older can purchase cold beer from Proper Brewing, the official beer sponsor of Yappy Hour. Yappy Hour is also a great place if you are looking for a new dog. Rescue Rover, an organization that helps homeless dogs find homes, will bring dogs up for adoption. People can meet the dogs, and if there is just one they can’t say no to, they can adopt them on site. The Friends of Fairmount Park are collecting usable shopping bags. Nilsson says, “If you have a bag of bags that you don’t know what to do with, drop them off at the donation bin located near the entrance.” All bags must be in reusable condition and free of holes. The next Yappy Hour event will be held on Thursday, Aug.t 12 from 6-9 p.m. at Pioneer Park. On Tuesday, Sept.14, another Yappy Hour event will be held from 5-8 p.m. at Liberty Park. For more information, visit the Fairmont Park Yappy Hour Facebook page.l

eachloss year 1. Memory that than disruptsbreast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and is the daily life prostate cancer combined, and is the 2. Challenges in planning or 4th leading cause of death in Utah. problem solving 4th leading cause of death in Utah. 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, More than 104,000 people in Utah More than 104,000 people in Utah work or at leisure 6.2for millionsomeone people are living with Alzheimer’s provide living 4. Confusion withunpaid time or care disease in the United States. Over provide unpaid carepeople for insomeone living34,000 place Utah alone. This disease kills withunderstanding Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is 5. Trouble more people each year than breast cancer with Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is visual images and special and prostate cancer combined, and is the widespread and can be devastating to 4th leading cause of death in Utah. relationships widespread and can be devastating to 6. New problems with words families. More than 104,000 people in Utah proin speaking or writing families. vide unpaid care for someone living with 7. Misplacing things and Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is widelosing ability to Forthemore information, aboutto families. spreadto and learn can be devastating For more information, to learn about retrace steps Together we can work to findor a cure support groups or other resources, 8. Decreased or poor and ultimately have our first survivor! support groups or other resources, or judgment Join the fight and lend your to to get from helpwork immediately contact thevoice 9. Withdrawal or this critical cause by attending the to get help immediately contact the social activities Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There Alzheimer’s Association’s free 24/7 are eight Walks throughout the state 10. Changes in mood Association’s Alzheimer’s free 24/7 of Utah: and personality Helpline at:

Helpline at:

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800-272-3900 800-272-3900 or visit our website at: or visit our website at: For more information or to get help immediately contact the Alzheimer’s Association’s Togetherfree we24/7 can work Together we can work Helpline at:

to find a cure to find a cure and ultimately have our first survivor! 800-272-3900 and ultimately haveRegister our first survivor! at: orJoin visit our thewebsite fight at: and lend yourtoday voice to Join the fight and lend your voice to this critical cause by attending the this critical cause by attending the2021| Page 7 Walk to End Alzheimer’s thisAugust fall. There Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There are eight Walks throughout the state

Dr. Valarie Flattes appointed Associate Dean By Bill Hardesty |


n June 2021, Dr. Valerie Flattes was named the first associate dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Utah College of Nursing (CON). “I am delighted that the CON is leading health sciences in the appointment of an inaugural Associate Dean for EDI. I am especially excited to work with Dr. Flattes as she paves new paths in our journey for University of Utah Health to transform into national leaders of EDI,” Dr. José Rodríguez, associate vice president for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at University of Utah Health, said. “As we continue on our journey towards meeting our commitment to create a diverse and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students, and patients, Dr. Flattes is well-qualified to serve as the CON’s inaugural Associate Dean for EDI,” Dr. Marla De Jong, dean of the CON, said, “A respected, experienced, and authentic leader, Dr. Flattes broadly embraces diversity and inclusion— including race, ethnicity, education, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status, religion, and diversity of thought—and will champion for and create a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment within the college in which to work, learn, and collaborate.” Dr. Flattes Flattes has served as a career line faculty member at the CON for 17 years. She currently serves as a clinical assistant professor and director for the Adult/Gerontology Primary Care specialty track of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She graduated with a diploma in nursing from the Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1974. She later earned three degrees and two certificates from the University of Utah—a bachelor of science in nursing in 1997, a master of science degree as a gerontological nurse practitioner/ adult nurse practitioner in 2002, a doctor of philosophy in nursing in 2020, a health care management certificate in 1998, and an interdisciplinary gerontology certificate in 2016. Flattes possesses a range of clinical experiences working with diverse populations across the United States and has worked with college, university, and state organizations to promote health equity. Focusing on the health of those from underrepresented groups, Flattes has worked with the Utah Department of Health Office of Health Disparities Reduction, the Council on Diversity Affairs, the Utah Black Roundtable, the Utah African American Health Taskforce, and the CON Faculty Advisory Committee Diversity Taskforce. Her background in nursing includes medical-surgical nursing, obstetrics, long-term care, emergency nursing, home health care, community engagement, mi-

Page 8 | August 2021

Valarie Flattes has been appointed the inaugural Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Utah College of Nursing. (Courtesy of UofU College of Nursing)

nority health issues, and health equity. Associate Dean for EDI The new leadership position was developed to provide collaborative, strategic, and results-oriented leadership for CONwide EDI efforts and assimilate the tenets of EDI into the CON’s culture. In her new role, Flattes will lead initiatives to integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion into college culture, including academic programs, research, and scholarship; clinical practice; recruitment and retention of students, staff, and faculty; hiring and promotion practices; and community engagement. In addition, she will advise CON curriculum committees, develop, mentor diverse students and faculty, and optimize initiatives that support the belonging and success of all CON members. “The voices of underrepresented health sciences members who are faculty, staff, and students need to be heard. The University of Utah is in a critical place with regards to developing a needed plan of action that fosters breaking down the systemic barriers for

equity and inclusion for all of its members,” Flattes said. “I have always said that there is work to be done. While the committees I have served on over the last 20 years have good intentions, this has been met with minimal movement. The recent events and violent acts of this past year make it imperative that steps be developed and implemented to create a climate of belonging and inclusion. The time has come to act on what we have developed over the past several years so that all faculty, staff, and students feel that they are welcome and included in the university community. I look forward to serving as the Associate Dean for EDI and leading initiatives to continue to develop a more inclusive campus.” “This appointment demonstrates the CON’s long-term commitment toward becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive college,” De Jong said. “Dr. Flattes brings historical knowledge and years of service to the college, university, and community and is poised to inspire the college to reach new heights.”

College of Nursing (CON) The University of Utah College of Nursing was officially established in 1948. However, “the first CON nursing diplomas were offered in 1916 to a class of six students who trained within the Salt Lake County General Hospital,” according to the CON website. The CON developed the first midwifery academic program west of the Mississippi in 1965. In 1969, the college moved into its current building on the University of Utah Health Sciences campus. Currently, they allow 72 enrollments into the undergraduate program for the fall and spring semesters. In addition, they also offer three master’s programs and two doctorate programs. According to the U.S. News & World Report, they have the No. 11 best nursing-midwifery program. The Doctor of Nursing is rated No. 23, and the online Master of Science in Nursing Program is ranked No. 38. l

Sugar House City Journal

Hawthorne Elementary School appoints former educator as principal By Lizzie Walje |


his upcoming fall, Kody Colvin, a former Salt Lake City School District educator and assistant principal, will become Hawthorne Elementary School’s new principal. On June 22, the district’s official Facebook page announced Colvin’s appointment. The announcement was met with an outpouring of accolades and congratulations, wishing Colvin well and speaking to his admirable character. Colvin has always worked at the elementary level. His first-ever position was as a third-grade teacher at Beckman Elementary. Since then, he’s taught first and third grade at a few other institutions, although he’s worked with elementary students of all ages due to his work as an instructional coach alongside other teachers. Colvin is drawn to elementary students, due to the pivotal nature of early development. “I really enjoy working with elementary school students” Colvin said. “[At that age] students are becoming fluent readers and can engage in conversations about text. They are starting to develop deeper math skills.” In the beginning of his career, Colvin had no desire to work at the administrative level. He further explained that many teachers feel the same, acknowledging the

MyS ugar HouseJournal .com

Kody Colvin is Hawthorne Elementary School’s new principal. (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City School District)

importance of having dedicated educators in the classroom. “I always knew I wanted to advance in my career, but I was unsure about what that journey would be. After learning the important role a school principal can play in students education, I became curious.”

It wasn’t until he received an opportunity to work as assistant principal at Escalante Elementary School, that he tried his hand at an administrative position. It was there that Colvin fine-tuned his skills as a leader. Colvin believes his greatest strength lies in his ability to champion diversity and

foster an environment that allows all students to feel seen, validated and heard. He plans to bring this mentality to his inaugural year at Hawthorne. Colvin was drawn to Hawthorne for a few key reasons. As a resident of the Liberty Wells neighborhood, Colvin has a direct vested interest in the community. Moreover, he respects that Hawthorne houses multiple important programs under one roof including The Extended Learning Program (ELP) and the Neighborhood and Curriculum Assessment (C&A). He looks forward to maintaining the excellent work Hawthorne already provides students, while focusing on getting to intimately know the educators, staff, students and families of the institution. Overall, Colvin wants to create a space that focuses on building strong relationships amongst educators, staff, families, and students. He believes that cultivating authentic relationships with the school’s stakeholders will, in turn, create a space that students love to be in. “I believe that school leaders who honor the important work of equity, diversity, and inclusion create schools that center all students’ identities and create . l

August 2021| Page 9

Never-Ending Network Evolution, Are All Broadband Providers Up for the Challenge? By Bryan Thomas, VP Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region

Working and learning remotely for the past 15 months brought unique circumstances for all of us to navigate in several areas, and central to it all is having access to a reliable, secure internet connection. The pandemic posed the biggest technological test in the history of the internet. When offices and schools closed in March 2020, internet traffic across the U.S. surged by 20 – 35 percent, as millions of people transitioned to working, learning and consuming all of their entertainment at home. Now our communities are transitioning back to working from offices or making hybrid work arrangements, and schools are planning to reopen their doors beginning in August. A flexible, continuously evolving network staying ahead of customer demand is critical. The success of a network hinges on three factors: decades of strategic investment, continuous network innovation, and the best team in the business. Investment In the last three years alone, Comcast invested $389.6 million in technology and infrastructure in Utah, including upgrades to our network. Since 2017, Comcast devoted more than $15 billion nationwide to strengthening and expanding our network – including building more than 33,000 new route miles of fiber, which is like driving from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine more than 10 times. Every two and a half years, the company has added as much capacity to the network as it has in all the previous years combined. One of the greatest advantages of our massive network is we already pass 60 million homes and businesses with a powerful, fiber-dense network, and we have the ability to quickly, surgically, and efficiently add additional fiber and capacity when and where it’s needed. Because of our continuous investment in our network, we can often complete targeted upgrades in weeks rather than months and years. We have a proven track record of completing network upgrades and improvements ahead of schedule, and delivering the performance our customers need well before they need it. Innovation Continuous innovation throughout every part of a network is key. Comcast is a leader in the 10G initiative, which leverages new standards and technology to dramatically increase internet speeds. The technology lays the groundwork for network operators, like us, to deliver multigigabit download and upload speeds over connections already installed in hundreds of millions of homes worldwide. Meaning, we can deliver multigigabit speeds to homes without the need for massive digging and construction projects. With this technology, Comcast can continue to deliver ultra-fast service today, while simultaneously building capacity for future needs.mAnd with decades of experience, Comcast is advancing network virtualization and data access to cloud-based technologies for greater performance, increased reliability and easier upgrades. Simply put, we’re able to meet the needs of tomorrow – today, and continually improve the customer experience by delivering faster speeds, greater capacity, and more dynamic connected experiences. Team Support In addition to investing billions in building and evolving our network, Comcast engineers, artificial intelligence scientists, and cybersecurity experts across the country are continuously developing and deploying new technologies to protect our customers and ensure our network can meet emerging threats and challenges. We have a team of cybersecurity experts scanning the network for threats and actively defending our network and our communities. Our teams are made up of elite talent working at every level of the network from software and artificial intelligence at the core, to the best field teams laying new fiber and upgrading the network year-round in all conditions. New network entrants who don’t have a plan or resources to support never-ending network evolution, cybersecurity protection, and hardening may put customers who rely on them at unnecessary risk. As the country shifts yet again, home and business internet connections remain essential for video calls, education, healthcare access, workforce development, streaming entertainment, and more. At Comcast, we remain relentlessly focused on connectivity, to deliver the smartest, fastest, most reliable network to the communities we serve – keeping you connected to more of who and what you love.

Page 10 | August 2021

Lessons learned during pandemic ‘changed education forever’ in Granite School District By Heather Lawrence |


hether or not you’re superstitious, there’s no question that Friday, March 13 was a big day. That’s the day the governor announced a “soft two-week closure” of schools. When that closure stretched on for months, we all found out that what goes on in schools impacts our society and economy. Granite School District is the third largest district in Utah, and their website reports they serve roughly 67,000 students and employ 7,500 people. Ben Horsley, communications director, said that because of Covid-19, “Education changed forever, for better or worse, and the impacts will be seen for decades.” Horsley said GSD has always had a distance learning option, but in 2020 it was kicked into high gear. That gave them a crash course in what works and what doesn’t. “At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, we had about one third of our students doing distance learning. By the end of the year, it was about 18%. We anticipate that 3-5% will still be utilizing distance learning this coming school year,” Horsley said. They started with a dual modality approach, where teachers were required to do in-person and online instruction. That stretched many teachers beyond their limits, forcing them to work unsustainably long days. Millions of dollars in rescue funding was recently approved by the federal government for Utah schools. With Granite’s portion of the funding, they will hire dedicated teachers for online instruction. It will be available for all students K-12. Horsley said that kindergarten enrollment for fall 2020 was the lowest it had been in decades, which he thinks was a direct response to the pandemic. “We learned that families’ needs vary widely. We do our best to offer flexible ways to meet those needs. We are concerned about transiency, child care and internet availability. We’re keeping the distance learning option for those families who need it,” Horsley said. The pandemic pushed Granite to rethink how they interact with parents. Parent teacher conferences went virtual this past year, which offered a lot of flexibility. “I think in the future you’re going to see ways where we can reach more parents using a distance option, like we did with parent teacher conference. “This will advance engagement with parents. I think schools will utilize online and Zoom resources. We’re looking at updating our systems to allow parents to connect with the teachers not just with Canvas, but in a variety of different ways,” Horsley said. These options also help students who are

distance learning due to a long-term illness or home hospital situation. They can connect with a dedicated online teacher, and they’ll be able to hear and watch a lesson online live as opposed to a recorded one. “We feel strongly that despite our best efforts, in-person instruction will always have a higher success rate for the majority of our students. But we will offer a distance ‘self-paced’ option. We’re expanding those offerings, and students can take as many classes as they want to and go as fast as they want to. This is good for the self-motivated student,” Horsley said. So what if the pandemic had never happened and the district hadn’t been forced to grapple with all of these issues? “We were always looking at expanding our offerings, but this forced us to bring it all up to date as soon as possible. The silver lining to the pandemic was us being able to increase the options and individualization for students. “Our teachers also became much more versed and fluent in how to use the different online platforms,” Horsley said. Granite will also use portions of their federal funding to create summer programs and address the mental and emotional issues brought on by the pandemic. “Education changed forever. That’s not just in terms of learning loss and trying to fill that gap, but also the emotional and mental health challenges as a result of isolation and lack of socialization. We have 40 million dollars in Covid aid that we’ll use to provide a variety of interventions for our students,” Horsley said. l

Ben Horsley of GSD is pictured at a board meeting wearing a mask. Horsley said that the past year has “changed education forever.” (Granite School District)

Sugar House City Journal

Alleviating (at least some of) the post-pandemic social awkwardness By Cassie Goff |


020 was an extroverted social butterfly’s nightmare. As we developed proper Zoom-tiquette while in varying degrees of quarantine, many of us lost touch with our in-person social skills. Many of the friends and colleagues I have seen in-person recently shared a laugh with me over not knowing how to social anymore: yes, as a verb. And man, if you thought a room full of writers was socially awkward before the pandemic, imagine us now. I wanted to share some quick tips and tricks to improve social interactions this month. Before I do, I’d like to emphasize if trying to remember suggestions for social interaction detracts from engagement, forget it. The most important thing for any social interaction is to be completely engaged in the moment. Authenticity is what we seek in social interactions. Think about it. We instinctively know when they’re not. We notice when someone stops listening, even if they tune back in. We can sense when another is either too bored or too amped to be fully present. Even some of our commonplace language is indicative of our societal value of authenticity. “Fake” and “basic” are insults. “True to your heart; you must be true to your heart” are lyrics in a very catchy Disney song. (Daa da-da da.) I digress. Take these suggestions only to store in the running background programs of your cognition. (I must add that these suggestions are highly Utah specific, socially and culturally. For 2021, the importance of facial expressions may be (re)discovered. We developed habits after realizing, even subconsciously, the majority of last year dragged on without others being able to fully perceive our faces. As the masks come off and the Zoom meetings become nostalgic, our faces are fully public again. Meaning, if you adapted to only smiling with your eyes, it’s time to retrain those smile muscles. Courtesy smiles are back. Speaking of faces, maintaining eye contact has become a new struggle for many. It’s natural for humans to look around when recalling a memory, formulating a lie, trying to find the right word, or simply taking in our environment. Instead of feeling pressured to maintain constant eye contact for the majori-

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ty of a social interaction, try maintaining eye contact for only what feels comfortable and appropriate for the social interaction. (Someone once told me that if you’re uncomfortable with eye contact, stare at the person’s nose directly in between their eyes, as to gives the same effect.) Most of our communication is nonverbal (60 to 95%, depending on who you ask). That means, pay attention to your body language, positioning, tone, and nonverbal cues. Maintain an open body language. (Is any part of your body slouched, crossed, or otherwise reserved?) Consider the positioning of your body in the specific environment. (Are you close to the door?) Feel the tone of your voice. (Are you speaking monotone?) Mind your gestures. (Are you speaking with your hands?) Lastly, show genuine interest in others. It’s likely we are interacting with humans who we want to spend time with, for differing reasons. Communicate valuing their time and relationship through both nonverbals and verbals. Ask questions that go beyond small talk, really listen to their answers, ask thoughtful follow-up questions about barely mentioned details or their own interpretations, make mental notes of any upcoming important events of dates, and allow for laughter. Okay, really lastly, be gracious with yourself. Any amount of social interaction after over a year of distancing and quarantining can feel draining. Our energy storage for socialing might deplete more rapidly. It’s okay to only want to go out one night per week, when we used to go out multiple nights per week; and to feel like going out to dinner was equivalent to running a marathon; and to accept a more introverted lifestyle. It’s okay to feel a little socially awkward. Because we all do. Research from: Aragon, Bandura, Bargh, Burgoon, Darics, Duffy, Cherry, Clark, Dunbar, Ekman, Friedman, Guerrero, Guyer, Hendriksen. Houpert, Navarro, Nguyen, Pease, Perry, Rosenthal, Skinner, Thompson, and Willard. Dang. I’m not the only one who wrote about this phenomenom: “It’s not just you…” by Bonos; “We’re all socially awkward now,” by Murphy. l



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August 2021| Page 11

Government 101: Form of government in cities By Erin Dixon |


n Utah, there are two possible types of government: Council-Manager or Council-Mayor. There’s a possible third type of government, a Charter, but none of the cities in which City Journals publishes has one. Council-Mayor The mayor is elected every four years and represents the entire city. They are the head of the executive branch, like a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) in a private business. All department heads within the city report to them. When a new mayor takes a seat, they can hire or fire department heads, but council advice and consent is required. City council members are also elected every four years, though usually not at the same time. This prevents the city from having an entirely new council at once. Each council member represents a portion of the city (district), or the city as a whole (at-large). The council is the decision making body but does not have any power over city staff. The council makes decisions for the city: budget, property, code, planning and zoning, etc. The mayor may be invited to attend, speak and contribute. Council meetings, usually twice a month, are run by city council members. The mayor is responsible for carrying out the decisions made by the council. The mayor can veto if they disagree with any legislation passed by the council. The council elects its own chair who conducts the public meetings.

Council members do not have any administrative powers to direct staff. Council-Manager The mayor is elected and represents the entire city. They are part of the council. In this form of government, the council appoints a city manager to be the CEO. Department heads answer to the manager and the manager can hire or fire department heads, though hires are subject to council advice and consent. Council members are elected every four years, though usually not all at the same time. In some cities, the mayor votes with each decision. In others, the mayor only casts a vote if there is a tie. The mayor is chair and the face of the council. The manager attends council meetings, gives reports and advises council in decision making. Council meetings, usually twice a month, is run by the mayor. The city manager is responsible for carrying out the decisions made by the council. The mayor does not have veto power. Council members do not have any administrative powers to direct staff. Cottonwood Heights: Council-Manager, mayor always votes Draper: Council-Manager, mayor is tie breaker Herriman: Council-Manager, mayor always votes Holladay: Council-Manager, mayor always votes Midvale: Council-Manager, mayor is tie breaker Millcreek: Council-Manager, mayor always votes

Each city government operates differently, and elected officials have different responsibilities depending on the form. (infographic/Erin Dixon)

Murray: Council-Mayor Riverton: Council-Manager, mayor is tie breaker Sandy: Council-Mayor South Jordan: Council-Manager, mayor always votes South Salt Lake: Council-Mayor Sugar House: Council-Mayor, governed by SLC Taylorsville: Council-Mayor West Jordan: Council-Mayor West Valley: Council-Manager, mayor always votesl

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Sugar House Art Walk provides unique cultural experience for community By Anagha Rao |


he 13th season of the Sugar House Art Walk kicked off on the evening of July 9. It featured exhibitions from local businesses such as Local Colors, Central Book Exchange, and Boxing is for Girls. The Sugar House Art Walk is one of Sugar House’s signature events, and due to COVID-19, this event was unable to be held last year. The Sugar House Art Walk (formerly known as the Sugar House Art Stroll) was founded in 2008 by Amy McDonald on behalf of the Brolly Arts organization. This event aimed to bring together artists from diverse backgrounds and immerse the Sugar House community in a night of culture. Laurie Jan Bray, the founder of the modern Sugar House Art Walk, said, “The purpose of the Sugar House Art Walk is to bring art into local businesses throughout Sugar House and give people the opportunity to engage with their community while having a fun, cultural experience.” This event also included live music by students from the Salt Lake Academy of Music on Monument Plaza. The Salt Lake Academy of Music is a local music school in Sugar House. Its audition-only band regularly performs at local community events. The Art Walk features a variety of art and artists including these participating businesses: Local Colors: Local Colors is a local fine arts gallery that regularly features many different artists across all mediums. For this Art Walk, Local Colors featured pottery by local artist Neena Plant. Plant’s artwork consists of not only traditional pottery but also creative jewelry and sculptural pieces. Central Book Exchange: The Central Book Exchange is located on 2017 S. 1100 East. Artist Tamia Wandle showcased her handmade linocut art she created using printism. Her collection of artwork includes her Father’s Day cards and engravings of natural scenery, including national parks and different types of animals. Village Vintage: Village Vintage is a local home goods shop that sells landscape art, figures and vintage art pieces. Many pieces on display for the Art Walk were donated by the King’s Gallery, and the art pieces were made by a mix of local artists living in Salt Lake Valley. Awakening Heart: Awakening Heart is a bookstore that does psychic and astrology readings, reiki energy healing and sells gifts such as Himalayan salt lamps, crystals and books. This business will be showing artwork with wooden carvings of mandalas on wooden books, coasters and greeting cards. Lillie Bee Emporium: Lillie Bee Emporium is a shop that sells gifts such as candles and artwork as well as tea and teaware. For the Art Walk, Lillie Bee offers pottery decorated with mosaic patterns. Every pot has dif-

Page 14 | August 2021

ferent tile shapes that work together to create a colorful pattern. Commence and Craft: Commence and Craft is a local art shop in Sugar House that sells a variety of artwork, including paintings, prints, glass, jewelry and other mediums of artwork. This gift shop features Handcrafted Radiance natural and organic creams and lotions. This business is founded and owned by Rebecca Lafferty. In these creams, there are no ingredients that can’t be pronounced, and these are especially beneficial for people with sensitive skin. Tea Zaanti: Tea Zaanti is a teahouse that focuses on fine tea and community. In this tea house, artist Essie Shaw has unique art that seeks to empower black voices in the community. Shaw’s art is loud, unrefined, and is a way for her to express herself and represent Display of Handcrafted Radiance cream outside of Commence and Craft. (Anagha Rao/City Journals) others like herself. Cameron Wellness Center: The Cameron Wellness Center is a naturopathic medical clinic that focuses on holistic wellness. The artist Elizabeth Walsh is showcasing her detailed dot paintings of deserts, mountains and natural scenery that can be bought as greeting cards, paintings or prints. Walsh also has artwork made from crystals and stones, including birthstone rings for every month. The next Sugar House Art Walk will be held Aug. 13 from 4-10 p.m., which will be the biggest event of the year. The art walk will feature live music, interactive community experiences with Joy Mob, and art displays by local businesses. In addition, the August Art Walk will be the official unveiling of the two new murals sponsored by the Sugar House Mural Project. One mural of two peacocks will be displayed on the side of Cameron Wellness Spa, and it is painted by Chris Peterson. There are also many small murals throughout Sugar House. The Art Walk will provide free mural maps of all the hidden murals in Sugar House, including the one in Boxing is for Girls and The SugarHouse Barbeque Company. l Kinetic sculpture on display at Local Colors Utah. (Anagha Rao/City Journals)

Salt Lake Academy of Music students perform at Monument Plaza. (Anagha Rao/City Journals)

Sugar House City Journal

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August 2021| Page 15

Millcreek local Shelby Jensen heads to Paralympics By Daniel Olsen |


t just 20 years of age, Shelby Jensen will be one of the younger athletes competing at the Tokyo Paralympic Games next month. Jensen competes in para-fencing which is like fencing except done in wheelchairs. After several hours per day of practice over the last few years, the hard work has finally paid off. The Millcreek native has competed at national and even international levels, but this will be her first time in the Paralympics. After trying several sports in her youth, Jensen finally found her niche at this sport where she could compete at the highest level. It has become her greatest passion for several reasons. “I can hit people and not get yelled at,” Jensen said. “It’s a mental game. It gives you an adrenaline rush. No one else matters because you are only focused solely on your opponent. You have to think two or three steps ahead of what your opponent is thinking. You have to predict your opponent’s next move. You can be as buff as a bodybuilder, but the mental game is where it’s at.” Due to COVID restrictions, her trainer (Brandon Smith) cannot go to Tokyo to attend the games. Instead, the one para-fencing coach for Team USA will be there to give instructions to her and the other para-fencers.

After trying several sports in her youth, Shelby Jensen finally found her niche at fencing where she could compete at the highest level. (Photo courtesy Shelby Jensen)

Smith works with her on a regular basis at coached. Valkyrie Fencing. The club has several loca“She has these moments where it all tions along the Wasatch Front. Jensen is one connects and she tunes in,” Smith said. “That of the most talented fencers that Smith has makes her actions really easy. She still has

a lot of development to work on to untap her full ability. Her drive is great and she’s still developing that. Sometimes we have to slow it down because she wants to go fast.

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Sugar House City Journal

We need to practice techniques slowly, and then speed it up. If you have a bad action then you’ll get bad results. Full force isn’t the best strategy in this sport.” With no spectators allowed, this will be a Paralympics unlike any other. “I want her to go out and do what she knows best and enjoy herself,” Smith said. “This will be a different Olympics. It will be quiet enough that she will probably hear the other coach talking. It’s a different scenario. It’s a unique experience for sure. She will enjoy it. Mickey, the Team USA coach, will be on her side in Tokyo. I will be able to call in if they are struggling to communicate. Sometimes I need to be quiet and let her figure it out. Training is how you’ll perform.” To even make the Paralympics is a marvelous feat in its own right. Even if Jensen does not medal, she will represent the state of Utah well. “I’m excited for Tokyo,” Jensen said. “I want to do my best. Medals don’t really matter as long as I do my best to make my country proud.” Jensen and the rest of Team USA will have their work cut out for them. While they are usually a perennial favorite, China and Russia have strong teams. Japan, the host country, is also strong. Korea has amazing footwork. For 13 years, Jensen has had to get used to having a disability that has completely changed her life.

“I had a stroke when I was seven,” Jensen said. “It was caused by a brain aneurysm. When they went to clip off the blood clot, another stroke paralyzed my right side. I now have right-side hemiparesis.” While it might be easy for many to give up on achieving greatness after a traumatic moment like this, that was not in the cards for Jensen. “After that, my parents put me into sports,” Jensen said. “Sports are the best kind of rehab. I am around other like-minded people. People share their mental and physical accomplishments.” This isn’t the first time around the global para-fencing scene for Jensen. Several trials and experiences have prepared her for this month. “I once fenced with my friend in Dubai for the U23 Junior World Championships in February 2019,” Jensen said. “She is from Amsterdam but fences for Turkey. I got a bronze medal. It was the best feeling knowing I won an international medal against another country.” When explaining how she got to this point, Jensen made it clear that one can’t be expected to be a great fencer overnight. “I train five days a week for three to four hours a day at the club I go to,” Jensen said. “When home I’m also working out and hitting a dummy for several hours. I watch videos of my opponents and how they fence.” Fencing was not a sport that Jensen

knew much about early on. She had to discover her passion. “I was first introduced to it at a wheelchair sports camp,” Jensen said. “I liked the aspect of a one-on-one sport with my opponent. I tried other sports before fencing. Once I found fencing, I found a niche. There are also team events. I like individual events more but with team events you can face a different team or country.”

Jensen was not hesitant to encourage other young athletes to try the sport of fencing. “Try it,” Jensen said. “You’ll never know if you like it until you try it. Everyone should try it once.” Jensen leaves for Tokyo on Aug. 17. Her events happen Aug. 24-28. No streaming options have been announced, but fans can follow her progress on l

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August 2021| Page 17


All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air


10 years in ! Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 orbemail Winter is rough and expensive on your home’s systems. Older homes are less energy efficient and have unreliable plumbing. Newer homes need maintenance to keep up their systems. Chuck Staszkiewicz, owner of the complete home maintenance company All Hours Plumbing and Drain SLC, has a checklist to help you winterize your house. For information on all their services, go to their website at and chat with customer service, or call them at 385.213.0535. “There are indoor and outdoor tasks that will keep your home running well through the winter and minimize the need for emergency calls to us during holidays and cold weather,” Staszkiewicz said. “Make sure exterior water valves are turned off to prevent burst pipes. Walk around your house and check the foundation. Close any vents that are open. Put your shovel, snow blower and ice melter somewhere convenient,” Staszkiewicz said. Staszkiewicz started All Hours as a plumbing company 10 years ago. “As we grew, customers asked if we did HVAC services. They wanted someone in their home they trusted. So we began doing HVAC,” Staszkiewicz said. This year’s economy was unpredictable, but All Hours continues to hire and stay open as an essential business. They provide yearly plans so a technician can check your house during the year and do scheduled maintenance. “We’re always looking for the right kind of people to work with us,” Staszkiewicz said. “Employing the right kind of person is critical. When someone is in your home working on your systems and giving you quotes, it needs to be someone you trust,” Staszkiewicz said. All Hours builds their team with ongoing training, and they


have earned hundreds of high praise reviews. “Wow, so impressed. It’s never easy to let a stranger in your home. We received reminder texts with a picture of who we should expect the next morning. “From the moment we opened the door to when he left, the technician was professional, kind and courteous. We will definitely call All Hours Plumbing for any future needs,” wrote Gwen in an online review. The indoor checklist for winter has small projects like checking furnace filters and cleaning appliances, and big jobs like furnace tune-ups and water heater maintenance. “Drain your water heater until it’s cleared of sediment and then refill it. Utah’s water is hard on water heaters,” Staszkiewicz said. If draining a water heater doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, let the professionals at All Hours do it. While they’re there, have them check your furnace and plumbing. “Thanksgiving is one of our busiest days for emergency plumbing calls. We’re happy to come out, but we’d rather save people the inconvenience. “With our maintenance plan, we check those systems before the big family meal. We fix potential issues so you can enjoy your

warm, well-maintained home over the holidays,” Staszkiewicz said. The checklist also includes thinking about indoor air quality and respiratory concerns. “Utah’s air quality issues don’t stop at your front door. We’re a full service home maintenance company, and that includes duct cleaning and placing steam humidifiers,”

Staszkiewicz said. All Hours is a local company that earns Utahns’ trust and gives back to the community. “Recently, we helped a woman who had just gone through chemo and was having respiratory issues. We installed an air filter and donated our services. In addition to the service, I think it just made her feel better to know that someone cared,” Staszkiewicz said. Staszkiewicz knows customers today are well informed and have done research before they call around. “It’s imperative to find the right company, and we take earning your business seriously.” For more information on winterizing your house, emergency services or maintenance plans, give Chuck Staszkiewicz and his team a call at 385.213.0535 or check their website at Technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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UDOT’s transportation solution to ski traffic in Little Cottonwood By Cassie Goff |


he last few weeks of July in Cottonwood Heights were filled with conversation around the Utah Department of Transportation’s Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Study (EIS). UDOT released their Draft EIS on June 25, which identified their two preferred canyon transportation alternatives. They have since been taking public comment. UDOT initially began the EIS in 2018 in order to look for ways to alleviate traffic congestion within Little Cottonwood Canyon, with the goal of implementing the best one within the upcoming years. During the summer months of 2020, five transportation alternatives were researched and discussed. The five transportation alternatives identified were: enhanced bus service, enhanced bus service with roadway widening, a gondola from the Little Cottonwood Park and Ride, a Gondola from La Caille, and a COG rail from La Caille. On July 20, Project Manager Josh Van Jura presented UDOT’s two preferred alternatives to the Cottonwood Heights City Council. UDOT’s first preferred transportation alternative is an enhanced bus service with a widened roadway. The enhanced bus service would include two main mobility hubs at the gravel pit (roughly 6900 S. Wasatch Blvd.) and 9400 S. Highland Drive. Busses would leave these hubs every five minutes heading directly up Little Cottonwood Canyon to either Snowbird or Alta. These busses would be able to jump traffic ques and pass personal vehicles. In order to make that possible, part of Wasatch Blvd. would need to be widened to include a dedicated bus lane. “On certain days, it’s likely to be faster than driving your personal vehicle. What better motivation when you want to go skiing to see a bus passing you going uphill,” Van Jura said. The enhanced bus service option would cost $510 million initially for startup and construction costs with $11 million annually for operation and maintenance. Van Jura shared this enhanced bus service option is ultimately UDOT’s preferred choice. This alternative meets UDOT’s mobility goal, even though the visual impact from widening Wasatch Blvd. would be significant and there is potential for water quality concerns. The second preferred transportation alternative is a gondola from La Caille. The gondola would include a base station north of La Caille (a privately owned restaurant) (roughly 9565 S. Wasatch Blvd.) with 1,500 parking stalls. Gondolas would leave every two minutes to travel through the canyon directly to two stations, one located at Snowbird and the other at Alta. In order to make that possible, 23 towers would need to be built at pivotal points within the canyon.

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The two preferred transportation alternatives were chosen because they met two of UDOT’s goals: mobility and reliability. (File photo Joshua Wood/City Journals)

“Because it operates in that separate alignment above the roadway, if you have a slow-moving vehicle, a slide off, or even avalanche debris on the road, the gondola could still provide a consistent travel time,” Van Jura said. This gondola is the second most expensive transportation alternative at $592 million initially for startup and construction costs with $7.6 million annually for maintenance and operation. This alternative meets UDOT’s reliability goal, with low impacts to wildlife and watershed, even though the visual impacts would be most significant. In response to Van Jura’s presentation, Cottonwood Heights Mayor Michael Peterson quickly inquired about traffic speeds along Wasatch Blvd. and tolling in both Cottonwood Canyons. “Speed limits are set by the greater UDOT and are controlled by the legislative code and administrative rules,” Van Jura said. “That process is outside of this EIS process.” Van Jura explained how tolling is included in all of the transportation alternative plans. By 2050, UDOT would like to toll 50 days out of the year. Tolls would cost around $20 to $30 and would be required predominately during the peak morning hours of ski days. “What we want is to get some of those people either to come up later in the day or, if they want to be there for first chair, get them to choose one of the transit modes,” Van Jura explained. Councilmember Christine Mikell mentioned how she has been trying to get a meeting with the governor, but there hasn’t been much interest from the Governor’s Office to

meet about Wasatch Blvd. and canyon traffic. She asked the Mayor if he could utilize his CWC (Central Wasatch Commission) connections to invite the governor to at last come and take a walk of the area. Additional concerns voiced by councilmembers included continuity with the city’s Wasatch Blvd. Master Plan, crossing Wasatch Blvd., neighborhood access, impacts of potential parking structures, scaling of implementation, non-response from the governor’s office, and various environmental and sustainability concerns including snowsheds. City Manager Tim Tingey asked the councilmembers to send their concerns to be compiled and brought back for discussion during the Aug. 17 council meeting. After discussion, Cottonwood Heights will draft a formal statement to submit to UDOT before Sept. 3, in coordination with the EIS public comment session Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson recommended “it would be best if we identify a preference of one over the other and provide some rational for that decision.” (The council seems to be leaning in support of the enhanced bus service alternative over the gondola.) UDOT will continue receiving public comments until Sept. 3, as they have extended their initial 45-day public comment period to a 70-day public comment period. So far, they have received over 3,500 comments. Two public hearings were held to gather public comment further, one in-person on July 13 and one virtually on July 20. Over 350 people attended the in-person public hearing. “I was very pleased with the turnout. There was a lot of involvement from the community,” Van Jura said.

After Sept. 3, UDOT plans to respond to all comments publicly. They will work on revising their draft EIS plan throughout the autumn months to have a conclusion by winter. Van Jura is aiming to have the final EIS plan completed before March, preferably January 2022. The project’s purpose remains “to substantially improve transportation-related safety, reliability and mobility on S.R. 210 from Fort Union Blvd. through the Town of Alta for all users on S.R. 210.” This article provides a quick overview of the material found within the over 55 documents included in the draft EIS materials, including a 28-page executive summary, seven interactive maps, and over five hours of presentations and public comments from public hearings. For a comprehensive look at the Draft EIS, or for more information: visit the UDOT’s EIS webpage at Hard copies of the Draft EIS have been made available at various locations throughout the valley. In Cottonwood Heights, hard copies can be found at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd.) or Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 Bengal Blvd.). To stay up to date, visit the LCC EIS social media on Twitter or Facebook. To submit comments (before Sept. 3) visit the link above, send an email comment to, call UDOT at 801-200-3465, or write them a letter directed to: Little Cottonwood Canyon EISc/o HDR; 2825 E Cottonwood Parkway, Suite 200; Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121. l

August 2021| Page 19

Soaring Summer Travel is Lifting Utah’s Economy Take the ElevateHERTM Challenge

By Robert Spendlove | Zions Bank Senior Economist


he Salt Lake City International Airport is bustling. Visitors are pouring into Utah’s state and national parks. And the iconic Temple Square is once again welcoming visitors from around the world to our capital city. After the coronavirus pandemic dramatically impacted travel and tourism – along with so many aspects of our lives and our economy – it’s exciting to see travel returning to our state. In July, the Salt Lake City International Airport reported that passenger volumes were at 105% of 2019 levels – one Are you a business leader? of the strongest rebounds nationally. And At no cost, the ElevateHERTM Challenge is easy a year after Covid-19 halted most interto accept and will benefit your company. national travel, our Zions Bank branches have seen an uptick in people coming in Join businesses across Utah in to get foreign currency for their summer our mission to elevate the stature travels, particularly the Mexican Peso, of women’s leadership. Take the the Euro and the British pound. ElevateHERTM Challenge and stand with This return to travel is important. other businesses as we pledge to elevate The travel and tourism sector generates women in senior leadership positions, in over a billion dollars in state and local tax boardrooms, on management teams and revenue each year, according to the Union politcal ballots. versity of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Tourism and visitor spending LEARN MORE: support more than one in 11 Utah jobs rectly or indirectly. And in some parts of the state, the employment impact is much

larger. From the snow-capped mountains to the majestic red rocks, statistics show that not even a global pandemic can keep people away from all our state has to offer. Despite the pandemic, a record 10.6 million people visited Utah state parks in 2020 – a 33% increase from 2019. Similarly, Utah’s ski resorts saw a record-breaking 5.3 million skier days during the 202021 winter season, according to Ski Utah. The previous record was 5.1 million, set in 2018-2019. The business side of tourism continues to recover, although much more slowly than the leisure side of travel. It will take some time for business travel to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic, but the future is looking bright. More than a year after the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic began, Utah’s economy has emerged as one of the strongest in the nation, with the second-highest job growth of any state. This busy season of travel is a great sign that our travel and tourism industry is making a strong comeback. A boost in summer travel will have far-reaching impacts on the economy, bringing back jobs

and stimulating additional growth. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A.

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Making sense of your property tax statement Did you get your property tax statement and feel overwhelmed trying to understand it? Every year we get calls from residents who need help making sense of their tax statement, so here is some info that might be useful. The county treasurer is responsible to collect taxes for over 70 different entities, not just Salt Lake County. That means that your city/township, school district, water districts, and other entities show up on your property tax statement. Once we get the money, we distribute it to the different taxing entities. The Salt Lake County assessor oversees the assessment of your property value. Once your value is assessed, then the tax rate is applied to that amount. If you think your assessed value is incorrect, you can appeal it between August 1 – September 15. Just go to to see instructions. One great thing about our state is that Truth-in-Taxation is required. That means you will be notified if a government entity is trying to raise your taxes. My property tax notice, for instance, showed an increase with my school district and two of the water districts. It also shows when the public hearing will

My name is Jonathan Campbell. I am a resident of Holladay, and my kids attend school in the Olympus High network. I've been practicing dentistry for 20 years, near St. Mark’s Hospital. There are many great choices for dental care in the area. If you need a dentist, or you’d like a second opinion, we can help. Call or email today!

Aimee Winder Newton Salt Lake County Council | District 3 be held so government officials can hear from you. Just because a tax rate stays the same, doesn’t mean your taxes won’t increase. After your property is assessed, the county adds in additional growth and

then divides all the property values by the proposed budget amount. That is how we get the tax rate. Government cannot collect more than what they did the previous year without a Truth-in-Taxation hearing. If property values and growth are going up, your tax rate would go down if there was no additional tax increase. When taxing entities tell you the rate hasn’t changed, that still could mean a tax increase from that entity. Don’t worry, though… it should be crystal clear on

your property tax statement if it’s an increase. If there is a public meeting, that entity is raising your taxes this year. If you find yourself falling on hard times and need some tax relief, you can apply to the Treasurer’s office for a few different programs designed to help. The programs are as follows: Circuit Breaker– 66 years old or surviving spouse with household income below $34,666. Indigent – 65 years old or disabled with household income plus adjusted assets below $34,666. Hardship – Extreme financial hardship at any age with adjusted household income plus assets that do not exceed $34,666. This limit is increased by $4,480 for each household member. There are also programs to help veterans. Visit for details. Although paying property taxes is not pleasant for anyone, keep in mind the many services that our cities, counties, school districts, water districts, and even the mosquito abatement district provides. And don’t hesitate to get involved in these government entities. The more that people get involved, the more taxes stay in check.


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My grandson and I thought we’d practice hitting golf balls into lakes and shrubbery, so we went to a par 3 course to get our game on. It was sunny, the birds were singing, everything was right with the world, until the clueless 20-something young man at the counter asked if I was eligible for the senior discount. Cue record scratch. First, I’m NOT. Second, you NEVER ask a woman if she’s eligible for the senior discount. I’ll die at 107 without ever accepting a $3 dotage deduction off ANYTHING. Soon after my ego-destroying golf course incident, I visited my dad in the hospital when the nurse assumed I was his wife. First, eww. Second, I have to accept the fact that my “Best By Date” has come and gone. It’s not that I wander the streets carrying a tabby cat and a bag of knitting, but I find myself becoming less visible to anyone under 30. Trying to get help at a store is impossible because I must look like a pair of sandals walking around by themselves. No one wants to help a foot ghost. I receive barely disguised disdain at the make-up counter as the salesperson indifferently directs me to the anti-aging, skin-firming, wrinkle-removing face spackle, even if I want mascara. It’s a social

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science experiment to get older. Gen Zers hype equality, but only for demographics they care about. But here’s the secret: I don’t give one flying Fig Newton (old people cookies) if the Millennial and Gen Z crowds think I’m irrelevant. I’m a laid-back Gen Xer, raised with minimal adult supervision to be independent, resourceful, fun, flexible and humorous. [Me, shaking my cane at the world]. My generation learned to entertain themselves before the Internet but also became technologically savvy as high-tech advanc-

es changed the world. We grew up on Saturday morning cartoons and I wanted to be “bionic” or a Charlie’s Angel. I also rocked a smallpox vaccine scar (because vaccines work, people). We were easily amused. One of our favorite toys, the Clacker, was two heavy plastic balls attached to a string that you knocked together – for hours. We also had pet rocks, Silly Putty and Weebles. Okay, yes, our toys were stupid – but we were not. We used our imagination and became innovators, dreamers, creators and visionaries, and don’t need to be talked down to. Patronize a Gen Xer and you’ll end up with a pet rock shoved in your ear. I celebrated my birthday in July and love every day that my heart is beating, my lungs are breathing, and my mind is learning. I’m resilient, hopeful and optimistic, and look forward to turning even older next year. I’ll continue to wear shorts, tank tops, mini-skirts or anything else I damn well please. The only thing I refuse to wear is a fake smile because I’m done playing small. But I’m not done playing golf. Even if it means getting carded to prove I’m not a senior (yet), age won’t stop me. I still have lots of golf balls to hit into lakes and shrubbery.



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e on the lookout for some new big, bold murals that will adorn three local businesses. The Sugar House Mural Project will install these artworks in the Sugar House Business District. “The purpose of this project is to create a more vibrant

community, elevate the economic prosperity of Sugar House, House Community Council, the Sugar House Chamber and and support local artists and businesses,” said Meggie Troili, the Living Museum of Sugar House. the Sugar House Community Council arts and culture chair. One mural will be painted outside Cameron Wellness Spa The Sugar House Mural Project is supported by the Sugar by Chris Peterson, highlighting the two peacocks that live Continued page 6

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