Sugarhouse Journal | February 2022

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February 2022 | Vol. 8 Iss. 14



ach year the Salt Lake County Stormwater Coalition holds a series of competitions for Utah students K-8. The competitions are broken down categorically, however, each challenge encourages students to take initiative by creating and championing their own ideas regarding water conservation and sustainability. Two Nibley Park Middle School students, Takarah Parker and Kadence Gholson were recognized for their video titled “Get Your Trash Out of the Gutter.” Students are given the opportunity to participate in one of four competitions: Big Idea, Prototype, Experiment and Nature as a Solution. Takarah and Kadence won in the 2021 Big Idea category which calls for students to create a persuasive and detailed three- to six-minute video focusing on a specific water issue and consequently outlining a solution for said issue. Takarah and Kadence, both eighth-graders at Nibley Park, created a Public Service Announcement that focused on keeping stormwater drains clean

by keeping trash and other waste out of city gutters. In addition to their recognition and award, each girl was given a $100 Amazon gift card. Both Takarah and Kadence were inspired by the issue of gutter cleanliness because it affects nearly all neighborhoods but is rarely talked about. “We wanted to bring awareness to non-point source pollution,” Kadence said. “If you’ve ever seen rainbow color water pooled by your storm drains, you’re actually looking at pollutants. That rainbow is actually non-point source pollution. It may look pretty but these pollutants affect the health of our lakes which can affect everything from water supply to tourism.” “Beyond any money issue,” Kadence said, “the biggest problem is keeping up with our world’s health.” Both girls were motivated to speak on the issue of storm drainage because it’s an issue that has many possibilities for solutions. Continued page 5

Takarah Parker and Kadence Gholson win the Big Idea category for the Salt Lake Coalition Water Science and Engineering Competition. (Courtesy of Salt Lake City School District)

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Utah ranks nationally as one of 2022’s best places to find a job By Lizzie Walje |


espite the collective labor struggle currently at play throughout the nation, according to, Salt Lake City ranks as one of the best locations in 2022 for jobs and job seekers in the United States. According to WalletHub’s Communications Manager Diana Polk, multiple job markets across the United States were weighed and tested based on certain criteria. “To determine the strongest local job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary,” Polk said. Salt Lake City was bested only by Columbia, Maryland as the top choice for best city for jobs. Incidentally, several West Coast cities were also present on the top 10 list for best job cities including San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose. As for the worst cities for job growth? Louisiana featured the No. 1 worst city, Baton Rouge, and another contender with Shreveport. What makes Salt Lake City such an attractive option for job searchers? According to Adam McMann, a financial writer for WalletHub, the methodology for the study called upon a significant amount of data for consideration. In order to determine the best job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state across two key dimensions. “Job market and socioeconomics,” McMann said. “We then evaluated the two dimensions using 31 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for job seekers….Finally,

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we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area,” McMann said. The metrics that held the most weight were those linked to job opportunities and satisfaction such as availability, employment growth, industry variety, unemployment rate, and overall job satisfaction. The study further compounded these results by adding in socioeconomic criteria as well like median annual income, safety, transportation costs and availability, vaccination rate, average commute, housing affordability, and life satisfaction surrounding dating, recreation and overall friendliness. Ironically, Salt Lake City ranked the highest when it came to the job market. However, when factoring in its socioeconomics score of 23, Salt Lake City was knocked to the second slot when combining both job market and socioeconomics. Another Utah city, Salt Lake’s neighboring West Valley City, also made WalletHub’s list as the 22nd best city for jobs. In essence, despite the overall challenges faced in the years of Covid-19, Salt Lake City proves a relatively promising frontier for job seekers. Despite the promising shifts in unemployment rates, John Winters, a professor of economics at Iowa State University urges for cautious optimism. “The unemployment rate for 2022 will depend on Covid variants and policy responses, and there is much uncertainty in those. That said, the economy is currently quite strong, and I expect that will likely continue through 2022.” As for tips for getting gainful employ-

WalletHub’s comprehensive 2022 study names Salt Lake City as one of the best locations for job market opportunity in the nation. (Photo courtesy of

ment, Winters believes your best bet is to strike a balance regarding the types of work you apply for. “Historically, one of the biggest mistakes people make is limiting their search too much or not searching at all. Most workers early in their careers should cast a very wide net and apply to many different jobs, including outside their local area,” Winters said. Most experts who contributed to the study agreed that while the economy is certainly in a better spot than it was in 2020, it’s still best to operate with caution and




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make smart moves related to your current employment status. Trying to reform your circumstances in your current place of employment is always a smart first step. However, at this time, Winters does encourage those with jobs to be on the continuous lookout for new and better opportunities. “Furthermore, [people] should keep an eye out for new and better opportunities even when they have a job,” Winters said. “The best way to get a pay raise is to change jobs or have an attractive outside job offer and negotiate with your current employer to stay.” l

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Rams riding high midway through region Photos by Travis Barton

Top Left: Star Sosefina Langi calls out the offensive set during a region game against Brighton. Langi, who is averaging almost 14 points per game, was caught in the face by an opposing player’s arm on the previous play. Bottom Left: Arizana Peaua puts up a 3-pointer against Brighton. At press time, the Rams were 8-2, 3-1 in region under new coach Sala Asiata. Right: Sharpshooter Sophia Legate watches a shot fall in a region win over Brighton where the Rams broke out a 20-point fourth quarter to win the game. Highland was the No. 2 seed in the RPI at press time.

Continued from front page “One simple solution is community cleanups,” Takarah said. “Anyone can participate and all it takes is getting together a group of people to remove trash from the gutters. These community cleanups can be started by anyone in the community from mayors to schools.” Outside of trash cleanups, everyday efforts such as undergoing routine checkups on your vehicle can lead to better quality water for everyone. Ensuring that your vehicle is not leaking oil and picking up after your pet, are just a few solutions that can lead to changes. “With a little bit of knowledge and a little bit of care,

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we can get our trash out of the gutters,” Kadence said. For these two students, the pinnacle of their message was to find a way to actively engage the community and do so in a compelling and easy-to-follow way. As far as the Stormwater Coalition is concerned, the two students successfully created a compelling PSA. Carrie Culter, of the Salt Lake County Stormwater Coalition, said, “Congratulations to Takarah and Kadence. And to all those other students who took the time to participate. We thank all of these students for their entries. We are proud to see young minds take an interest in these pressing issues and look forward to holding the competitions again next year.”l

With a little bit of knowledge and a little bit of care, we can get our trash out of the gutters. Kadence Gholson February 2022 | Page 5

Rams battling it out in Region 6 Photos by Travis Barton

Left to Right: Elijah Tolbert eyes the Skyline defense as the primary ball handler for the Rams. Highland was 3-2 in region at press time. Sefa Brown shoots a free throw against Skyline during a major region win against Skyline. The Rams were 7-9 at press time.

Left: The Highland boys basketball team reacts to an important basket scored by the Rams in the fourth quarter of a region game against Skyline. Right: The Highland boys basketball team celebrates a 55-49 home victory over Skyline.

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Sugar House City Journal

Wellness Bus helps get residents on the road to better health By Darrell Kirby |


f residents have a goal in 2022 to improve their health, they need to get on the bus. It’s the Wellness Bus, the University of Utah Health’s mobile clinic where people can get free health screenings, nutrition counseling, and lifestyle coaching and education to help them live a healthier life. The Wellness Bus is parked each Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Redwood Recreation Center, 3060 S. Lester St. (3100 South just east of Redwood Road). Times and locations can change, so it is recommended people view their schedule on Facebook (Utahwellnessbus) or Twitter (@UtahWellnessBus). Step inside and community health workers will measure blood pressure, heart rate, glucose (blood sugar) level, cholesterol, and body mass index, a ratio of weight to height. The information gathered can also help determine if a person is more susceptible to (or already has) diabetes or other conditions, according to Nancy Ortiz, Mobile Health program manager at the University of Utah Health. “We’re just there to help them make lifestyle changes,” she added. Any additional health history offered by clients can help community health workers and registered dietitians on the bus determine if there are deeper issues that need to be addressed at traditional medical facilities. “We don’t have medical providers on the bus,” Ortiz said. “We like to say that we identify (potential problems).” Clients who don’t have adequate financial means can be referred to free and low-cost clinics for further diagnosis and treatment from doctors and other medical professionals, she added. Most people who visit the Wellness Bus don’t have insurance and it’s not required. Inside the bus on a Monday morning in January sat Maria Hernandez, a retired nurse from Venezuela. She has worked on the Wellness Bus since its inception. “I love to work with the community helping them in the area of prevention,” she said. “Diabetes is a big problem if people don’t take care of it. This is the reason that we are here.” Pacific Islanders are especially vulnerable to diabetes. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that Pacific Islanders are 2.5 times more likely to be diabetic than the non-Hispanic white population. More than 3% of West Valley City’s population is Pacific Islander, according to the 2020 Census. A world map inside the Wellness Bus is dotted with pins showing the native countries of the clients who have visited the clinic on wheels. “It’s really interesting to talk to people who came from different countries,” said Vika Havili, who has helped with health screenings on the bus since April 2021. The Wellness Bus began rolling in 2018

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Pins on a world map inside the University of Utah Health’s Wellness Bus indicate the native countries of people who have visited the mobile clinic. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

in part with a $5 million donation the previous year from the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation, which supports organizations and programs that provide health, wellness and other resources to improve the lives of individuals and families. Larry Miller died in 2009 of complications from diabetes. That’s one of the major conditions that the Wellness Bus helps people address through education and directing them to resources for treatment. In fact, the bus is a key part of an initiative called “Driving Out Diabetes.” Besides West Valley City, the Wellness Bus makes weekly visits to Kearns, South Salt Lake and Glendale. “We go there because they have high rates of diabetes,” Ortiz said. Hernandez encourages people in West Valley City to visit the Wellness Bus to get on the road toward a healthier life. “This is my passion,” the 75-year-old said. “Giving service, helping everybody.” For more information, visit In addition to the Wellness Bus, the Redwood Recreation Center will host a free weekly nutrition education program, Journey to Health, starting in March. Text 385-2265131 to register. l


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Christmas Box programs help children both locally and internationally By Addie Hunsaker |


he Christmas Box International was created by Utah writer Richard Paul Evans and his wife about 25 years ago after Evans' book “The Christmas Box” became a national bestseller. According to Celeste Edmunds, executive director of The Christmas Box International, “He [Evans] and his wife decided they wanted to give money back that they had made from a couple of books he'd written already. The premise of the Christmas Box is based on the loss of childhood so they knew that they wanted their money to go to children, but they weren't sure the best way to do that. Richard Evans asked his father, a social worker at the time, ‘What's the best thing we can do with this money?’ He said, ‘Honestly, I don't know. How about we ask the dean of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Utah?’ And so we held a statewide conference at the University of Utah and invited all the Child Welfare officials in the state that we could find. We asked literally, ‘What is the single most important thing we can do for Utah's at-risk children?’ At the end of that conference, the answer was there's no place for children to go when they're removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, trafficking or facing homelessness.” The Christmas Box International aims to serve adolescents experiencing such hardships by temporarily providing short-term housing solutions in a safe environment with proper food and shelter, until a rehousing plan can be properly created with the involvement of judges and caseworkers. Their year-round programs provide access to emergency children’s shelters and, as of last year, 13

resource rooms in DCFS offices across the state with more to come. “About half [of the kids] go home under a safety plan with the state….The other half go into foster care or stay with another family member. Sometimes, that may not work and they have the Christmas Box to come back to but more times than not because time [for planning] has been given that is the right placement for a child. We just celebrated 25 years of defending 125,000 Children in 2021…and successfully keep an average of 39 sibling groups together per month,” Edmunds said. The Christmas Box also aims to smooth the transition for youth from foster care into adulthood with their Milestone program, which has an 80% success rate. Youth graduating from the foster care system that have been “identified as having high potential for success” at living independently are taken into the program for up to two years. The Christmas Box also donates resources like hygiene products to countries such as Kenya, Peru and Ecuador. The organization's global outreach can be attributed to surplus donations that then get distributed between The Christmas Box’s 60 community and international partnerships. The organization has many opportunities for volunteer work including the Help Fix Our Houses program, in which volunteers can help renovate rooms, such as bedrooms or classrooms, any of the three houses in Utah including the home in Salt Lake. Local youth may also get involved in the Kids Helping Kids program which allows

The Christmas Box also donates resources like hygiene products to countries such as Kenya, Peru and Ecuador. (Stock photo)

schools and their students to form a fundraiser using creative ideas that can also be found on their website such as Pay to Cosplay or Battle of the Bands. The Christmas Box also accepts donations and a current wish list of items needed can be found on their website at l

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Omicron variant forces Salt Lake School District students back to remote learning


n an emergency Salt Lake City School District board meeting held Jan. 14, board members decided that all of the district’s schools would temporarily transition to remote learning. The three-day remote learning period will be in effect from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21. In the wake of omicron, Utah has experienced record case numbers. On Jan. 13, the state reported a jaw-dropping 12,990 cases, the highest single day case load ever recorded. Since then, the state has faced massive supply shortages as well as increased pressure on hospitals where overworked staff are fighting to find space to accommodate infected people. The exponential surge of omicron was the leading catalyst behind Salt Lake City School District’s decision to transition students to temporary online learning. Despite the challenges of implementing online learning, district spokeswoman Yándary Chatwin had a rather optimistic approach to the unfortunate circumstances. “This time around it was a lot easier for [us] to decide to go virtual. Our teachers are fortunate to have an advantage in that area, as we have the most experience in the state teaching remote. Because of the experiences of the previous years, we’ve been able to successfully pivot to online learning,” Chatwin said. Chatwin also assured parents of the district that resources are available to help students during this transitional time including continuous efforts to help students access technology, the continuation of graband-go lunch programs, and more. These services are especially helpful for students who may struggle with online learning initiatives. “Most kids will be able to learn at home and do so effectively. At least temporarily. On the other hand, we recognize that not every student is successful in doing so. Some students have specialized needs that are better met in person, and we’re prepared to do what we can to accommodate them as best we can for the time being,” Chatwin said. Prior to closures, several schools in the district had reached high enough infection rates to qualify for a test-to-stay program. The program, which came as a result of the passing of Senate Bill 107, was put in place to help rapidly determine the health of large numbers of students and effectively siphon healthy students to partake in in-person learning. Unfortunately, this mandatory testing protocol was suspended due to a critical shortage of necessary testing supplies. With unprecedented numbers of students and educators calling out sick, schools across the state have turned to re-

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By Lizzie Walje |

Students and parents are experiencing déjà vu, as the district announced that virtual learning will be reinstated for the foreseeable future. (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City School District)

mote learning to help bounce back. In fact, given the severity of omicron’s spread, the Utah legislature has had to renege on their own previous remote learning ban. It was previously prohibited for public institutions to implement remote learning for more than one day at a time during any academic calendar week. Districts and charters had been required to offer at least four in-person learning days despite the sagging infrastructure of schools. In a letter penned by the district to students and parents, it’s made clear that online learning is strictly temporary. “We realize remote learning is not the ideal learning scenario, which is why this change is only temporary. Our hope is that, combined with the Jan. 22-23 weekend, these five days away from school will help us to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. We look forward to welcoming our students back to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 24.” Will the Jan. 24 return date be long enough to help mitigate the recent omicron crisis? Like most matters related to the pandemic, only time will tell. In the meantime, the district will continue to do its best to keep students safe and that includes encouraging students to get the Covid-19 vaccination. To find out more information regarding testing, vaccination providers, and more visit

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Setting up chairs at the basketball game is only part of the responsibilities of the school’s AD. (Greg James/ City Journals)

State bill proposed to help athletic directors’ continued education By Greg James | wenty minutes before the West Jordan a lion’s share of my time,” Morley said. “There High School basketball game, Carlson is a reason that colleges have compliance offiBoudreaux is checking to make sure the refer- cers. That is all they handle.” ees are set in the locker room so the game can At Copper Hills, the athletic department start on time. His team has the court set up with oversees more than 100 coaches and volunchairs, music and cheerleader entertainment. teers. Over the past decade, the job of being the “We have 26 varsity programs. Football school’s athletic director has changed. They alone has 12 assistant coaches. Each of those now oversee more than just game setup. Cer- coaches needs to pass coaching fundamentals, tification of athletic directors enhances admin- CPR training, background checks, concusistrators’ ability to better serve the school and sion training, and child abuse training. One community. of the difficulties is that many of our coaches “Twenty years ago being an AD (athletic are paraprofessionals (they do not work at the director) was mainly game-day operations,” school). Many think they are just helping out Copper Hills AD Ben Morley said. “Making the team, but they still need to pass these courssure officials show up, the scorer table is set up, es,” Morley said. ensuring the halftime performance and schedIn the last two years, high schools have uling the busses. Now that is the easiest part of added cheerleading, girls wrestling, and lathe job.” crosse to their varsity programs. In the near Current responsibilities of school athletic future boys volleyball could be added. In the administrators include much more than pre- US nearly 11 million students participate in afgame jobs. ter-school activities. “The essential components of being an “The CAA (certified athletic administraathletic director is managing the coaches, tor) would be eligible for a salary supplement,” keeping them in compliance. Related to that is current Granite School District Athletic Dikeeping the athletes in compliance also,” Mor- rector Chris Shipman said. “In our eight high ley said. schools, we have several that already qualify All of these extra responsibilities have for the stipend.” been added to their job description, but with Additional training can help the stuno additional compensation or certification re- dent-athletes stay safe from future sports probquired by the school. The coaches they super- lems. vise need more certification than they do. “Name, image, and likeness are coming. Most athletic administrators, on their A famous athlete that wanted to make money own, have achieved the extra certification with can if they don’t use school resources,” Morley no extra compensation. said. “The dark side is that it will make high State Bill 67, sponsored by Sen. Michael school recruiting a bigger thing. One more K. McKell, proposes a supplement for the carrot a good team can dangle in front of an school AD to encourage the training they can athlete.” achieve. Jordan School District recently hired an “I could not be more in favor of certifi- athletic director to oversee its district programs. cation,” Morley said. “The recognition and “I think districts are waking up to the imvalidation of this job is supremely important. portance of the job. I teach one class but am a Becoming an athletic director encompasses full-time athletic director. Our athletic staff is several duties. dedicated to the program,” Morley said. “It is Coaches and player eligibility are a big the world we live in and we should learn how part of their jobs. to manage it.”l “Coaches, assistants, and players take up


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February 2022 | Page 11

James Brown brings resources to older adults through new multimedia project By Bill Hardesty |


bout two years ago, James Brown, a Salt Lake Valley media personality for over 30 years, started a new venture. He and other board members formed the Living & Aging with Pride nonprofit organization. Like many older adults, Brown was hit with a rent increase two years ago. His rent went from $900 a month to $2,500 a month. He realized that he had to move. He reached out to his network and found a home at Sharon Gardens (3354 Sue Street). The Utah nonprofit Housing Corporation built the apartments. "I started thinking about my own discovery as I've gotten older. Things that I didn't quite understand. I got to go to Medicaid. I got to go to Medicare. I got to go there. I got to go. I've got to do all these things that I was not prepared to do," Brown said. "And I saw a lot of seniors disappointed and angry and upset, and I thought, you know, I want to talk about this since my background had been in television and radio." Brown began to make his vision come true. First, Living & Aging with Pride was created as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This allows the organization to receive donations. Later a multimedia initiative was added titled "Living and Aging with Pride," which will enable advertising and sponsorships on media products. The vision

“‘Living and Aging with Pride’ is a unique multimedia infotainment program which addresses the inevitability of aging and highlights the financial burdens that impact the aging communities' quality of life," according to their website, "It's more than just a television show or a media show. It is truly being developed to be a resource for older adults that they can rely upon. And not only locally, but on a national perspective," Brown said. The website's goal is to be a one-stop destination for information and discussion of issues concerning older adults. Brown feels that many informational websites push a product or an agenda. "What I've witnessed, rather, is that when you go to many of these sites, it's more about the donation aspect of it, you get that upfront, you don't get the how do I deal with this problem upfront?" Brown said. "Well, we're going to give you the solution to the problem. You know, we're going to prepare you before you get the problem. We're going to educate your children because they're wondering what they're going to do when mommy and daddy get 70 and 80 years old, and we're going to help guide them through." The vision is bold, and Brown has spent two years preparing for the release. He built a

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podcast studio in a room at his apartment complex. He made partnerships with influencers. There is a four-person board of trustees and an 18-member advisory board. Brown even has a set designed for future video programming. "I'm about a month away from introducing to the world our first three episodes," Brown said. "From there, we will hopefully attract the necessary funding that will enable us to produce 13 to 26 television shows. Now, I say television only because that's one of the mechanisms for putting the message out, and we do know that seniors watch television." The podcasts and other information are available on their website. The backstory The name James Brown might sound familiar for those living in Utah. For 13 years, he wrote, produced and hosted a show called "New Horizons" on Channel 14 and Channel 7. The focus of the show was to explore diversity in Utah. His open conversation style made the show an award winner. He was also a featured reporter for Channel 4 for nine years. Before going to TV, he was on KALL radio. A guest on his talk show suggested he move to TV and arranged for his hire at Channel 4. Brown made sure his ethnicity was not an issue when he was hired. "I told the producer I wasn’t going to be the minority guy. The guy who covers every event involving a Black or Hispanic individ-

It’s more than just a television show or a media show. It is truly being developed to be a resource for older adults that they can rely upon. And not only locally, but on a national perspective. James Brown ual," Brown said. "He asked me what kind of stories did I want to do. I told him I wanted to do good stories. Stories about people doing good things, and I got my wish." One notable Brown story is when he went undercover in the homeless community. For three days, he panhandled in front of a church. Brown said he made about $600 a day. "But it was such a humiliating experience. I thought, how do these people stand here and ask people for money. It's so demeaning, especially the looks you get," Brown said. Brown won a local Emmy for his story. l

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James Brown sets up for his “Living and Aging with Pride” podcast. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

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801-942-0053 Photo of Millcreek businesses along Highland Drive. (City Journals)

$10,000 for local business support under Canyon Rim Cares By Bridget Raymundo |


n Jan. 10, the Millcreek City Council gathered to discuss and vote on a financial contribution to Canyon Rim Cares of up to $10,000. Canyon Rim Cares is a subcommittee for the Canyon Rims Citizens Association for the “Millcreek Miracle” campaign. “Nate Gibby who has pulled this together has an impressive record as a Millcreek volunteer,” Mayor Jeff Silvestrini said. “He has organized a number of different projects that have benefitted broad segments of our community.” Gibby has organized service projects to assemble refugee hygiene kits, clothing drives, and fundraising for internet essentials in cooperation with Comcast. He is a co-creator in the Millcreek community according to Silvestrini. Gibby associates closely with the Millcreek business council in the progress of his initiative. The business directory of local businesses in alliance with Canyon Rims Cares will be displayed on the Millcreek website and the Canyon Rim Cares website. The “Millcreek Miracle” campaign is similar to the LEED certification, which indicates buildings that create healthy, highly efficient, cost-saving green buildings, because both check to see that the candidates fit the criteria of being beneficial to the community. According to Bonneville Research’s report, "The Millcreek Miracle campaign facilitates the engagement of local businesses, residents, and nonprofit organizations to increase the revenues of local businesses while providing opportunities for both businesses and residents to increase their community involvement. The ‘miracle’ occurs when local sales tax dollars improve community resources (e.g., parks, streetlights, snow removal, infrastructure improvements, etc.) and more people become involved in important causes that provide an immeasurable benefit to our community.” The Canyon Rim Cares criteria is designed to be achievable for local businesses

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willing to participate. It helps to make sure the business is supported and the money circulation stays in Millcreek City. The partnership provides mutual benefit and helps the local economy in Millcreek. Businesses who choose to get the certification will not be required to financially support the campaign. The money provided by Millcreek City in this contribution is expected to fund and promote the campaign. The funds will also go toward supporting the youth council, hiring locals, website development, decals for businesses, promotional material to get businesses to learn of the program and, perhaps, even banners on lamp posts. The grant was approved and is guaranteed for up to $10,000 yet it is not certain the full total of the funds awarded will be necessary. This contribution is different from the regular funding Canyon Rim receives since it does not depend on community councils and is therefore simpler to manage. The program will not be specific to Canyon Rim, but rather the whole of the city. However, the 501(c)(3) of the organization platform is in Canyon Rim. Certification with Canyon Rims Cares will be awarded at different levels: bronze, silver, and gold. Millcreek City requested Bonneville Research to rigorously review the effects of the funding before providing the nonprofit grant. They concluded in their report released on Dec. 6, 2021 the fund would be for the best interest of the city and so, justified under state law. After over a year of discussing the program, now more businesses will have the opportunity to feel involved and create relationships of support from the local community. “[The program funding is] a way to help Millcreek businesses feel involved in the community and the community to feel involved with our businesses and to create a relationship of support,” said Cheri Jackson, councilmember for District 3.

February 2022 | Page 13

Beyond love at first swipe By Karmel Harper |


ince the emergence of the internet, dating has never been the same. Before 1995, when, the first online dating platform, was launched, singles met each other via mutual set-ups, at work or school, social events, or random meets at the local club, bar, grocery store, or other venues where two people were lucky enough to be at the same place, at the same time. As texting wasn’t mainstream until the late 1990s, singles actually had to call each other to connect and plan dates. Waiting a few days between contact was typical and even expected. In 1997, Nokia introduced the first phone with a built-in keyboard. According to Paige Roosien, who wrote a June 2015 SignalVine article, text messaging took off at the start of the millennium once people could text friends on different networks. Roosien said, “By 2002, more than 250 billion SMS messages were sent worldwide. By 2007, the number of texts sent each month surpassed the number of phone calls. Eventually, text messaging was officially the preferred way of communicating with friends and family.” For busy professionals serious about finding their perfect partner, hiring a professional matchmaker can be effective. Though the term may evoke images of

Yente from “Fiddler on the Roof” with its associated catchy tune, modern professional matchmakers are devoted to learning how and why relationships form, grow, and last. They work closely with their clients to discover their true qualities and build deep, working relationships to find them their most compatible matches. They also work as coaches to empower their clients with confidence and authenticity they can present on dates. Herriman resident Mia McKinney is a professional matchmaker who successfully coaches clients to master first dates and empowers them to approach a second date.“My job is to vet prospective matches for my clients, so they don’t have to waste their time doing that. My clients are primarily professionals and executives who don’t have the time to text all day or go on endless first dates,” McKinney said. McKinney said one of the biggest mistakes people make on first dates is looking too far ahead to see if their date will make a good spouse, parent, or long-term companion. “The primary goal of a first date,” McKinney said, “is to see if you would like to meet for a second date.” The ease and instant communication of texting has propelled online dating as the No. 1 method for people to meet their

significant others. According to Statista. com, the most popular dating apps as of April 2021 based on the monthly number of downloads are: 1) Tinder - 1.1 million 2) Bumble - 564,000 3) Hinge - 393,000 4) Badoo - 207,000 5) Match - 125,000 6) OkCupid - 109,000 7) eHarmony - 67,000 8) Coffee Meets Bagel - 39,000 9) happn - 34,000 A 2019 study conducted by theknot. com surveyed over 10,000 recently married or engaged couples and found that 22% of them met online, with 30% of the spouses meeting on Tinder. Another 14% found success on OkCupid, and 13% met their matches on Bumble. But if swiping right, sending “winks,” or texting a kissy-face emoji to get someone’s attention is not your thing, do not despair. The study revealed that 19% of couples met through mutual friends, 17% met at school, and 13% met at work. And 11% met at a social setting like a bar, concert, or party. While McKinney’s matchmaking services are offered through a firm that does not service Utah, she is available to locals as a professional Date Coach to assist with

Online dating reigns as the No. 1 method singles use to find their significant other. (Photo courtesy of Canva.)

online profile creations or improvements and one-on-one date coaching. You can contact her at With Valentine’s Day around the corner, ‘tis the season for Cupid’s arrow to fly. Whether it’s online, through mutual friends, at work or school, or with the help of a professional matchmaker, there are many ways for that arrow to strike. l



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801-810-7058 Page 14 | February 2022

Sugar House City Journal

Want cleaner air? Get rid of that old wood-burning stove By Justin Adams |


lean air has become an increasingly important issue for Utahns. It impacts the state’s collective health, its environment, even its economy. There are many different methods by which Utah can work towards cleaner air—both on the individual and institution level—and one of those is by getting rid of old wood-burning stoves. Thom Carter, energy advisor to Gov. Spencer Cox wrote about the danger of these stoves in a guest post on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website. “Wood-burning stoves are a significant source of air pollution—pollution that negatively impacts individuals’ personal health and the environment,” he wrote. “Particles that make up the smoke and soot from wood-burning stoves can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes permanent lung damage for those who inhale the smoke. Especially during the cold winter months, smoke from wood-burning stoves gets trapped with other air pollutants resulting in health-threatening inversions. In fact, wood-burning stoves can cause a mini-inversion within neighborhoods.” To help people get rid of their old

wood-burning stoves, the DEQ has created an assistance program that incentivizes homeowners to upgrade to cleaner heating devices. Applicants can receive anywhere from $500 to $3,800 to help pay for the cost of making the change. There are a few qualifications for homeowners wanting to take advantage of the program. For example, the stove must be actively used for a “significant amount of home heating” in order to qualify. (So you can’t use the program to get rid of that stove in the basement that’s only gathered dust for the last 20 years.) The program also can’t be used for remodeling work or on rental or commercial properties. To learn more about the program and see if your home qualifies, you can visit l

A new program from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is urging Utahns to upgrade from their old wood-burning stoves.

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Learn about notable Utah African Americans for Black History Month By Karmel Harper |


ntil the November 2020 elections, slavery in Utah was still legal as punishment for a convicted crime. According to Article 1, Section 21, in Utah's state Constitution, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within this State." However, on Nov. 3, 2020, Amendment C, which bans slavery in all forms, passed with 81% of the vote. Utah House Rep. Sandra Collins, who sponsored Amendment C, said, “Our constitution serves as a basis for all of our laws and policies. We need to be clearer about what prison is for and what prison is not. The notion of ‘slavery or involuntary servitude’ should not be imposed on people merely because they are convicted of a crime. By passing this measure, we will assert that slavery is not a Utah value.” Although slavery in Utah was not widespread, some Utah pioneers held African-American slaves until 1862, when Congress abolished slavery in all of its territories. Brigham Young sent three African-American men as part of an advance party in 1847 to clear brush, trees, and rocks to make a road for pioneer wagons. These men were Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby. Their names appear on a plaque on the Brigham Young Mon-

ument in downtown Salt Lake City with the inscription: “Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby, Colored Servants.” Kristine Murdock, a historian, and administrator for Our Kaysville Story Facebook page, said, “After Green Flake and his wife Martha Crosby (also a slave) were freed, they settled in the Salt Lake Valley. They were members of the LDS Church and very loved in the community. They are buried in the Union Cemetery Cottonwood Heights, Utah.” However, some Utah slaves’ stories were tragic. 1n 1858, when he was only 3 years old, Gobo Fango of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa was given to white property owners Henry and Ruth Talbot after famine afflicted the Xhosa. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Talbots set sail from South Africa to Boston in 1861, where they would join the gathering of saints in Salt Lake City. The Talbots smuggled Fango aboard in a wrapped carpet, but Fango was reported to have provided entertainment and helped take care of the sheep on-board once the ship set sail. After traveling west to Utah, the Talbots eventually settled in Kaysville. According to an article by the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, Fango’s feet froze one year

when the Talbots allegedly forced him to herd animals in bare feet. When someone suggested that one of his feet required amputation, he said he ‘would rather have part of a foot than none at all.’ It seems that part of his heel was removed, but that doctors did not amputate his foot at the ankle. Years later, a woman reported that Fango would place wool in his boot so that his foot would fit into it and he could walk. He left the Talbots and worked as a laborer for the Mary Ann Whitesides Hunter family, who lived in Grantsville, Utah, roughly between 1870 and 1880. He was listed as a “servant” (likely employed as such) in the 1880 U.S. Census living in Grantsville. Fango settled in the Goose Creek valley of Idaho territory by the 1880s and worked as a sheepherder. However, tensions between sheepherders and cattlemen in the area led to Fango’s murder by cattleman Frank Bedke, who was acquitted. Fango, who was described as generous with a cheerful disposition, dictated his final will and testament before succumbing to his gunshot wounds. He bequeathed half of his estate ($500) to the Salt Lake Temple Construction Fund. Nearly 45 years after his death, Talbot and Hunter’s family members could not find evidence of Fango’s membership in the church and thus performed his baptism by proxy in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 20, 1930. The U of U article said, “Because Fango was a Black African, he could not be ordained

to the priesthood posthumously, which would have made it possible for him to receive other LDS liturgies by proxy. As Louisa Hale wrote to a historian seeking information on Fango in 1934, ‘a Negro cannot hold the priesthood. So [performing his posthumous baptism] was all we could do for him. I, of course, feel that he is more worthy than many that do hold it.’” As February is Black History Month, we honor the stories of African Americans who have shaped this country and state. Notable African American Utahns include Mignon Barker Richmond (1897-1984), who was the first African American woman to graduate from a Utah college and was a human and civil rights activist, and Anna Belle Weakley-Mattson (1922-2008), an astute businesswoman who was a significant force to Ogden’s growing Black community in the 1900s. Daybreak’s Club for Diversity & Inclusion places staked signs around Oquirrh Lake in South Jordan to honor Black History Month, displaying photographs and the history of notable African Americans. Visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the lake while learning more about these exceptional individuals. Vanessa Janak said, “I think knowledge is power. And I think when we as a community can take even small opportunities to lean in and learn about people who aren’t just like us, it helps us become closer, appreciate others and their differences, and foster a greater sense of purpose and belonging. For everyone.” l

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Page 16 | February 2022

A member of the Daybreak Diversity & Inclusion club places a sign at Oquirrh Lake for Black History Month. You can visit the lake in February to read about notable African Americans. (Photo courtesy Vanessa Janak)

Sugar House City Journal

Cottonwood High School hosting national coaches clinic in February By Brian Shaw |


or the fourth year since he’s been at Cottonwood High, head football coach Casey Miller is set to host some of the top football coaches from around the country at the 2022 Utah Coaches Clinic Feb. 18-19. But this year is bound to be a bit different. One of those coaches slated to appear is offensive guru Noel Mazzone. “We are hoping this year we will make a jump with the guys we are flying in and the fact we got shut down for a year because of Covid,” Miller said. Known to many as the “Quarterback Whisperer,” Mazzone learned under such notable coaches as Dennis Erickson at Oregon State and Ed Orgeron in the 2000s before working at Arizona State again under Erickson, and at UCLA, Texas A&M and Arizona as an offensive coordinator through the 2010s. Mazzone has also developed NFL quarterback legends like Philip Rivers and Chad Pennington among others, and is currently an offensive analyst at UConn. But like many in the football coaching profession, Mazzone worked his way up the coaching tree, starting out as a graduate assistant in the early 1980s at the school at which he played—the University of New Mexico. Miller said Mazzone wants to share some of his knowledge that he’s acquired over the decades with the coaches who are planning to attend the two-day clinic—as do the other guest speakers slated to appear this year. At press time they include Taylor High School (Texas) head coach, athletic director and read-option guru Brandon Houston (see more at, longtime defensive coordinator Ty Gower and Beaumont High School (Califor-

nia) head coach Jeff Steinberg. For Miller, bringing such coaching expertise to the foot of the Wasatch Mountains for a coaches camp is a necessary step in the evolution of the state’s high school football coaches. “We have improved the format of it a lot [over the past four years]. It is becoming more high school based, less college based, and we have grown slowly to where we have over 100 now,” said Miller, who started this clinic eight years ago when he was the head coach at Hillcrest High. Having a coaches clinic at Cottonwood also means that Utah’s best and brightest don’t always have to travel too far to get the best and latest coaching tips and can stay closer to home, added Miller. “My coaches can learn good football from nationally recognized coaches,” Miller said. “We don't have to pay to go/stay in a casino resort at the other places, and it allows them to network with other coaches in state.” Starting Friday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at Cottonwood, coaches will listen to several of the afore-mentioned guest speakers before meeting at a nearby restaurant later that evening for a coaches dinner. Coaches will return to Cottonwood High the morning of Saturday, Feb. 19 to participate in breakout sessions before the final guest speaker addresses the group from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Breakfast and a catered lunch will be included with Saturday’s early sessions, said Miller. After the final guest speaker on Saturday the coaches will go back to breakout sessions for the remainder of that afternoon and part of the evening, Miller said. Saturday’s

Cottonwood High will host some of the top football coaches from around the country at the 2022 Utah Coaches Clinic Feb. 18-19. (Pixabay)

session will allow the coaches attending to share notes and tips on how they can improve their programs and build this coaching fraternity. To close out the two-day clinic, there will be a dinner social Saturday night at a site to be determined along with door prizes. At just $75 per person it’s quite a bargain as well— something Miller hopes will capture the interest of all the football coaches out there. To sign up visit coltswebstore. l

Local artist paints symbols of the soul By Sona Schmidt-Harris |


ith sensitive eyes moving above her COVID-19 mask, it is easy to see why Sheri Lyn Sohm would be both a good artist and teacher. In fact, she has taught art to both school children and adults. At the University of Utah, she was an instructor of an OSHER class. Sohm approaches her students with the same creativity with which she approaches the canvas. “I was an exhibiting watercolor artist during the ’80s then spent much of my creative energy teaching students in the gifted education program until recently retiring,” Sohm said. “I’ve been so excited to take up art again.” Taught by her grandmother how to paint, Sohm became the designated artist of her school classes. “As a kid, if you could draw, you were the artist of the classroom,” she said. “And so if any art needed to be done, they’d call, ‘Sheri, come here. You draw the art.’” Though she was proud to be “the class artist,” Sohm realized that it precluded other children in the class from pursuing their artistic gifts. If they just had some lessons and learned a few tricks, she believed that the other children could draw as well. In addition to her careers in teaching and art, Sohm also worked as an illustrator

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for a small advertising company where a design of hers, a root beer float for Fernwood’s, appeared on a local billboard. Her art has also appeared at the annual Springville Exhibit, and she had a two-person show at the Loge Gallery at Pioneer Memorial Theater. Though honored by accolades and exhibits, it is not what motivates Sohm. Her natural impulse is to create. Recently, a wall in the living room of her home started to crack, so a rectangular hole was cut to make sure water wasn’t creeping in. Sohm saw it and thought, “Wow! That is so beautiful—the pink insulation, caulking between the cinderblock, the boards and nails holding the whole thing together. I just had to find a canvas of the same size as the hole and paint an image that matched the ‘whole in the wall.’ Artists are a little weird,” she said. Sohm harnesses her “weird” impulses to create symbolic art. Sometimes she understands what she wants the images to say and sometimes figures out what they mean after painting them. For instance, Sohm painted an intriguing piece with an antique china doll, a ribbon of rainbow color of varying intensity, a ruler, a match at different stages of its existence (unstruck,

Sheri Lyn Sohm displays a painting she created of her beloved dog. (Sona Schmidt-Harris/City Journals)

burning and then burnt out), triangles/pyramids and three lines that vanish behind the doll’s head. After finishing the painting, she believed that the images represented time. Though Sohm is drawn to symbolism,

she also enjoys painting landscapes, animals and still lifes. These and other works will be displayed at Holladay City Hall in February. Some will be for sale. l

February 2022 | Page 17

Parents in Granite District urged to monitor students’ social media amid recent threats By Heather Lawrence |


hreats posted on social media disrupted schools across Utah and other states in December. A vague threat went viral about something planned at “GHS” on Dec. 17. In Granite District, a Matheson Jr. High student was taken into custody “in connection with a threat” on Dec. 16. “We’re seeing posts and reshares of content across the state. It’s inundating us this morning. The police have been all over it. These [online threats] are very difficult to track,” said GSD spokesperson Ben Horsley on Dec. 16. The threats were shared via TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. They caused a “major disruption” to the school day. The district responded with a letter to parents and increased police presence on some campuses. Horsley said that parents, not schools, are responsible to monitor or restrict students’ social media accounts. “There are 62,000 students in our district. We have no way of monitoring social media accounts for all of them. That responsibility falls to the parents,” Horsley said. The letter from GSD urged parents to be proactive in learning what social media their kids use. "As soon as you are able, please check

your student’s smartphone device for any of the following social media platforms: Snapchat, Instagram or TikTok," the GSD letter to parents stated. The letter continued, “Tell your children that threatening posts should not be shared, but instead reported immediately to a trusted adult.” Thankfully, nothing came of the Dec. 17 threat. Horsley said it was vague and lacked credibility, but he reiterated that GSD takes any threat seriously. Threats can always be reported anonymously on the SafeUT app or by calling the Granite Police Department at 801-481-7122. Students who make threats “for fun” or “as a joke” can face serious consequences. Criminal charges include a felony charge of making a terrorist threat, and school and district level discipline also apply. Those consequences and the possibility of real violence are reminders that parents need to know what their kids are doing online. Technology can be hard to keep up with, but GSD said not knowing how to monitor a child’s account can’t be an excuse. Horsley said parents may have to restrict students’ access until they educate themselves. “The frustrating thing is parents who

don’t understand the technology, but are allowing their kids access to it, are calling on the school to monitor their kids’ social media accounts. If parents don’t have the ability to monitor a child’s social media, please remove or restrict their access,” Horsley said. Legally, minors must be at least 13 years old to create social media accounts. Snapchat’s Terms of Service state, “No one under 13 is allowed to create an account or use the Services. If you are under 18, you may only use the Services with the proper consent of your parent or legal guardian.” Other platforms have similar rules which are agreed to when you click “accept.” If your child has created a social media account without your consent, there are ways to delete it if you choose to. If your kids are on a family media or phone plan

with you, research how you can monitor their activity. Paid parental control software like Qustodio, Bark and Net Nanny are also available. In the case of December’s threat, Granger High principal David Dunn told parents to look for specific usernames. “We are looking for a user account on [Snapchat, TikTok or Instagram] that goes by evil eye, serenity or yelizaveta. If you identify any of those user handles, please contact Granite police at any time,” Dunn said. Even without specific usernames, parents and guardians should be generally aware. The tip sheet from GSD “Knowing What’s on Your Child’s Smartphone” will give parents an introduction on what to look for. Any threat, bullying, or inappropriate social media use should be reported. l

With the widespread use of smartphones among teens and preteens, the district is finding a number of apps being used for cyberbullying, sexting and accessing pornography. While many of these apps can be used for wholesome purposes, we strongly recommend that all parents be proactive in monitoring smartphone use. New apps with questionable content or features are being developed all the time. Becoming familiar with the types of apps are on you child’s device will help build trust and keep unwanted content out of their hands.

A parent’s guide to apps

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MESSAGING APPS There are several apps that act as free alternatives to text messages sent over regular phone and data plans. These apps are typically seen on iPods and tablets, but are also common on smartphones. A few of these messaging platforms are popular networks for sexting because users feel a greater sense of privacy than typical phone text messaging services.

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APPS FOR HIDING THINGS Many applications exist for the sole purpose of hiding things from plain view. In many cases these apps allow users to hide photos, messages, and even other apps the user may want to keep secret. Some of these apps have deceptive names or icons (Calculator%). Other apps provide platforms where users can post anonymously.


SOCIAL APPS Social media and other interactive apps are commonplace among all smartphone users. However, many of these networks contain adult material not far removed from popular content. Others are notorious for cyberbullying, and many allow private messaging and photo sharing between strangers. It’s important to know how your child uses these apps




Apps for sharing photos and videos have always been popular among teens. Many of these apps do not have content filters, and privacy settings are sometimes nonexistent. Live streaming apps are also popular among teens. These platforms allow users to connect via live video feed. Oversharing and chatting with strangers are common issues.

Dating apps typically allow users to create profiles complete with personal information and photos and browse other user profiles. It is possible for users to create anonymous or misleading profiles. Private messaging features help users arrange to meet in person. Some applications have specifically been designed to match users for casual sexual encounters.










Hot or Not


















Page 18 | February 2022

Sugar House City Journal

Esports teams in Granite high schools compete for first time in 2021 By Heather Lawrence |


n a Wednesday in December, five Cottonwood High students and teacher Dwight Epperson hold a club meeting during lunch. They talk about upcoming events and tournaments. During the meeting, three more students who want to join turn in applications. Ellis Ames, a junior and club officer reminds them what’s at stake for the next tournament. “We’re competing against [students in] the entire country as well as others in our district,” Ellis said. The big prize is $500 and a PC. And all they have to do to win is play video games. The students are officers in one of Cottonwood’s newest district-sponsored clubs: Esports. “Esport (video game) competitions have sprung up in high schools and middle schools throughout Utah. In line with this growing popularity, GSD has developed an Esports organization to help connect students to competitions,” wrote Granite District in a press release in November. The five officers at the meeting today are Ethan Barnett, Miguel Garcia, Tyler Needham, Ellis Ames and Casen Johnson. Their team is 31 students and growing. In December alone they had three tournaments. The team has a great ally in their advisor. Epperson had a 30-year career as an attorney, and then started a second career teaching. He’s been at Cottonwood for three years, and his son teaches math at Granger High School. “It really is fun. I don’t recommend it for retirement— they’re keeping me busy. But it keeps things simpler than law,” Epperson said. He takes a minute to break down some of the team stats. “Apex Legends has eight players, but Halo only has four,” Epperson said as he hands out printed copies of the roster. He’s happy to give the kids a place to be and somewhere to belong. The students like Epperson. With several tournaments a month, they rely on him to keep up the paperwork. All the competitions are done through Generation Esports. “Mr. Epperson is pretty great. He does a lot of the technical things: he signs people up, and there are weird and confusing paperwork things that can be difficult. There are hoops to jump through and he helps us all with that,” Ellis said. The world of video games is occupied mostly by males. But Cottonwood’s club wants female players to feel comfortable joining. There are three female students in the club and another comes in to apply during the meeting. “It’s about 10% females on the team, which is about how it plays out in other teams,” Casen said. They play as a team, not against each other. But they are playing against other district-sponsored teams at Granite District high schools. The nearest rival is Skyline High. Cottonwood and Skyline both competed in the 2021 Ken Garff Esports Fall Festival. It was a four-hour competition with students from 20 Utah school districts, including Granite. The games were Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Rocket League. Team members are designated to certain games. “We have a lot of members, but they are spread across different games,” Ellis said. “We could play each other more and find out our strengths and weaknesses so we could compete individually instead of as a team, but we haven’t really done that yet. It’s hard to say, ‘You have to show up to practice today,’ and get people here to practice. This isn’t a football team, it’s a club,” Casen said. At this meeting, just before Christmas, they’re talking

MyS ugar HouseJournal .com

Esport competitions are all over the world now, including in Granite School District. (Wikimedia)

about the Triton Cup, where the prize is $500 and a gaming PC for the winner. The team thinks that after Christmas they might get more members as students get gaming consoles or equipment as gifts. The games for this tournament are Halo, Apex Legends and Super Smash Brothers. Parents need to sign a permission slip because some of the games are violent and rated Mature. Casen understands why some parents might object. “Halo is literally a war simulator,” he said. “It’s a space war between aliens!” Ethan interjects, defending the fictional aspect of the game. At this point you might be wondering if it’s legitimate for a high school to encourage their students to play more video games. Epperson cites the cover story in the September 2021 issue of Utah Business Magazine in support of Esports. “This article lists some of the benefits of having a high school team. I think when you have an environment like we’ve had here [with the pandemic] where we just seem to not have a lot of control over what’s going on around you, these games give you a sense of control. And for these students that feels really good,” Epperson said. Tournaments are played from home but they can all see and communicate with each other. They are live-streamed and spectators can watch—if they’re up for four to six hours of watching other people play video games. And if they progress far enough in a tournament, they get to play together in a facility, face to face with their opponents and spectators in a crowd. Winning looks a little different depending on the game. “I’ve researched the rules for Halo in the tournament, and it’s the best of three. You’re playing a version called Slayer on two teams of four. You could tie, but it’s very uncommon,” Tyler said.

There is a social aspect to the club. All the officers say they’ve made friends here. Some are involved in other activities like football or wrestling. Like all clubs, students need to maintain a 2.0 GPA to participate. There are people who make a career in Esports, and in Utah it’s not out of the realm of reality. Competitors from Utah have found success at video game competitions. One of the first was Jeff Hansen. In 1990, a then 10-yearold Hansen from Murray played in the Power Fest competition in Salt Lake City sponsored by Nintendo. Hansen went on to win at several levels and earn prizes and trips until 1993. His story was profiled in episode two of the Netflix series “High Score.” More recently, in February 2020, a professional Esports team from Layton won $1,000,000 at a competition in Canada. The article in Utah Business Magazine focused on the Utah Jazz Esports team. Its six players live together in an apartment in Salt Lake City and play up to 10 hours a day. The Jazz gaming website says team members are “guaranteed, competitive salary and benefits as well as housing.” There are other benefits. Learning about video games can influence teens to seek out STEM careers and learn more about coding. Playing as a team means working together. The prize gives them a goal to work toward. Interactions with Epperson give them a supportive role model. And maybe the best part is that playing video games—which is fun—can count as a school activity. Casen said he feels fine telling his parents to give him some time to practice his video game skills. “I just say, ‘I’m gonna go do a school thing, and I need you to not talk to me for a while.’”l

February 2022 | Page 19

Local headed to the Winter Olympics By Justin Adams |


or the second time in six months, a Herriman native is headed to the Olympic games. What’s even more amazing is the journey she’s taken to get there. Growing up in Herriman, Kaysha Love was a talented and passionate gymnast. She competed just up the road at Olympus Gymnastics in South Jordan. Eventually though, the sport began to take a toll on her. She was putting in 30 hours a week. She didn’t have much of a social life. Injuries began to mount. So as she entered high school, she made the decision to pivot to track and field. It turned out to be a great decision. In just her second race, she broke a state record. “That’s when I realized that track could pay for my school,” she said. Love would go on to win state titles in the 100 and 200 meter races… as a freshman. Her 100 meter record still stands to this day. Love is quick to credit her track and field coach for her success. “I had a fantastic track and field coach. He was one of the best high school coaches in Utah,” she said. Her high school success led to a scholarship offer from UNLV, where she competed until graduating last year. During Love’s junior year, her coach began working with a runner who also competed in the skeleton race. He began doing some research into what it takes to compete in the skeleton and bobsled competitions. “He came to me and said it could be a successful sport for me after college,” Love said. “You need to be fast, powerful and explosive.” At first, she was a little apprehensive. “I had to remind him, I’m from Utah but I left Utah to get away from the winter and the cold and now you want me to do a winter sport?” But, perhaps remembering all the good that had come from her making a jump from gymnastics to track as a high schooler, she decided to give it a go. In October of 2020, she was invited to a rookie mini-camp hosted by the USA bobsled team at Lake Placid, New York. The event provided a handful of athletes with an introduction to the sport, and a chance to prove their potential with a competition. Love took first place in that competition. “The coaches were pretty excited about my potential in the sport,” she recalled. However, Love was still in the midst of her senior season at UNLV at that point. She returned and raced track from January to June of last year. After a two week break, she went back to Lake Placid

Page 20 | February 2022

The culture difference was incredible - to see a different part of the world. The way Europeans live life was just fascinating and incredible. Kaysha Love

where she competed for, and won, a spot on the US national team. That punched a ticket to Europe, where for the past couple months Love and her teammates have competed in the Bobsleigh World Cup. It was Love’s first time traveling outside the country. “The culture difference was incredible - to see a different part of the world. The way Europeans live life was just fascinating and incredible,” she said. It was also an extremely successful trip for Love and Team USA. In Altenberg, Germany, Love and her teammate Kaillie Humphries took first place. In other races, Love was paired with Elana Meyers Taylor, who ended up winning the gold medal based on her cumulative scores throughout the competition. In the two-person bobsled competition, one person is in charge of’ “driving” the sled. They’re referred to as a pilot. The second person, seated in back, is called the “brakesman.” With Love being so new to the sport, she falls into the second category. Most of the pilots have been competing for years. About 90% of them started out as brakesmen though, before eventually jumping into the pilot’s seat; something that Love hopes to do herself someday. “That’s something I’m very interested in,” she said. “I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t give it a try.” Given her track record of stepping out of her comfort zone to try new things, that wouldn’t come as any surprise. Love found out that she had officially made the US Olympic team the second week of January, just weeks before the competition was set to begin in Beijing ,China. She found out on a Zoom call while sitting in a hotel room. “It was incredible. It was a very sur-

Herriman native Kaysha Love (left) is going to the Olympics to compete in the two-woman bobsled event. This winter she competed in the annual World Cup competition in Europe, during which she and her teammate Kaillie Humphries (right) took first place in one of the races. (Photo courtesy of Viesturs Lacis | IBSF)

real feeling. I just burst into tears,” she said. Love said she’s excited to see yet another part of the world, as well as to represent her country on the biggest stage in sports. The two-woman bobsled event is scheduled to take place on Feb. 18-20. With strong pilots like Humphries and

Meyers Taylor, there’s a good chance that Love could end up on the podium. (The team hasn’t yet decided which brakesman will be paired with which pilot). No matter who she’s paired with or how she does, Love knows her family and friends from Herriman will be proudly cheering her on from a watch party at their home.w l

Sugar House City Journal

Google Fiber comes to nearby Millcreek By Bridget Raymundo |


ith the start of January, a revision of the goals and plans set out for last year are now under revision for the progress expected from Millcreek City Council this year. One of these goals is the continuing expansion of Google Fiber in Utah or more specifically, in Millcreek. In fall 2020, the license to introduce Google Fiber into Millcreek was signed which led to the first of Millcreek residents being serviced in November. The completion of the installation for this project is at about the halfway point having laid down fiber under right of way roads. Completion is expected by July 2022 and following is the probable lag of full connection to individual home services. This will last approximately several months in order to get the door hangers ready, the road crews set, and to get customers connected through sign-up eligibility. All residents with construction in front of their homes will have Google Fiber services by this fall if all goes according to plan, meaning no major unpredicted setbacks occur. The full network will be made in less than a year for the whole of Millcreek City, an incredible accomplishment as stated by Jacob Brace, the Government and Community Affairs Manager on the expansion of Google Fiber in Utah. He has noted his experience on this project with public works has involved plenty of cooperation and coordination on both parts. Through the winter season, it was difficult

to handle the leftover snowfall for the safety of pedestrians and for the snow plows to pass through construction for Google Fiber. Additionally, during the project, some calls were issued from the city on behalf of complaints from residents bothered by Google Fiber construction. Brace states those issues were resolved in a timely manner and his organization is still working closely with the city with regards to open communication in reaching resolutions. Brace said the Google Fiber construction crews have measured about 85% of the project is complete. There is also a map called the Google Project Areas map of construction available to the public which presents information given to the city engineer by way of permitting request and is not a forecast on the construction. On the map, yellow areas signify a hold on permits for a variety of possible reasons, yet the permit is already on request to the city. Some areas on the map which are void of color means there is a moratorium due to weather. The areas void of color will still receive the services of Google Fiber in due time. Red areas on the map means a lot of construction activity is happening there, but the work there is not done. Brace said the west side of Millcreek is also getting well connected which is important to the Millcreek Promise aiming to provide digital equity and accessibility. The Millcreek Promise joined the efforts of South Salt Lake to give public access to the internet through re-

sources such as hardware equipment and Google Fiber. As of now, the Google Fiber construction must complete 220,000 linear feet of installations. On estimate, one construction crew can cover 2,400 linear feet cut in a day during winter or imperfect weather. Three crews are issued regularly through the winter season, and in the summer season or during good weather double the amount of construction crews are present. “[The construction team] will go as fast as they can,” Brace said. “Within the limits of the public works and all our permitting.” Major obstacles facing the Google Fiber project in Millcreek are snowfall and making sure to work ahead of city projects on the road. Spring and summer bring lots of road projects so Google Fiber focuses on getting to those locations beforehand since those roads cannot be cut once they have been worked on by the city. Only a total of six utility strikes have occurred up to now and the majority are damaged sprinkler lines which are fixed on the same day or as soon as possible if the weather is not favorable. Temporary repairs for these utility strikes are common, especially in winter and unfavorable weather conditions can cause asphalt work to be delayed. Another crew will be back to follow up on the issue like sprinkler malfunctions. They will surround the strike with barricades and include a phone number to call with further questions on the door hangers of residents af-

fected. While Silvestrini said some people aren’t happy with changes, there are many Millcreek residents who “contact us all the time to thank us for the fact that Google Fiber is now available to them. I just want to thank you, Jacob, for your cooperation with the city and I think it’s been a decent relationship.” Two prior email notifications have been sent to existing customers of Google Fiber to let them know of the right of way licensing fee. The automated service did not identify Millcreek addresses well enough because Millcreek is a relatively new city and its boundaries have some shared zip codes. Google Fiber has third party vendors scrubbing for quality assurance to properly designate Millcreek rather than Salt Lake City. Brace said proper remittance will happen, and the Millcreek communications team is working with Google to correct false statements of the change in fee. Google Fiber services are $70 per GIG (since 2012) and two gigs for $100. A 2% fee is passed on as result of being in the right of way of Millcreek City roads which equates to $1.40 for a gigabit and $2 for the two GIG price. The 2% fee will be for new customers joining in February. For homeowners associations that want Google Fiber construction in their communities, call 833-942-0105. l

Use you smartwatch to monitor your heart during American Heart Month By Karmel Harper |


ebruary is American Heart Month, a time to focus on our cardiovascular health. While paper and chocolate hearts abound, February also raises awareness for the health of our beating hearts, the life-sustaining organ that pumps oxygen throughout our bodies. Paula Nielson-Williams is the recreation manager and 29-year veteran of Salt Lake Community College’s Exercise Science department. “Exercise is good for heart health,” Nielson-Williams said. “American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate-vigorous exercise or an hour a day of moderate exercise. So get out walking, lift some weights, or play with your kids.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. WHO said, “Since 2000, the largest increase in deaths has been from this disease, rising by more than 2 million to 8.9 million deaths in 2019.” (Source: www. While heart disease has typically afflicted older adults, heart attacks have increased in younger people under the age of 40, with a steady rise in patients between 20 - 30 years old. The Cardio Metabolic Institute said, “It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a

MyS ugar HouseJournal .com

heart attack. Now 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age. Here’s another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common. Between the years 2000-2016, the heart attack rate increased by 2% every year in this young age group.” Reasons for this steady rise among younger people are increasing risk factors affecting this age group such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, smoking and vaping, and substance abuse. While lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoiding substance abuse can significantly mitigate heart disease risk factors, regular exercise is a very effective method for combating heart disease. Johns Hopkins exercise physiologist Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D, said, “Aerobic exercise and resistance training are the most important for heart health. Although flexibility doesn’t contribute directly to heart health, it’s nevertheless important because it provides a good foundation for performing aerobic and strength exercises more effectively.” For aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, measuring one’s heart rate is standard to ensure one works out within the prescribed heart rate zones for optimal benefits. Heart rate train-

ing zones are a percentage of your maximum heart rate or heartbeats per minute. With the emergence of smartwatches and other devices, people can monitor their heart rate in real-time and adjust their exercise intensity. These devices incorporate personal biometrics such as age, gender and weight and calculate individualized heart rate training zones. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 25-yearold’s maximum heart rate is 195 heartbeats (bpm) per minute (220-25=195), and a 65-yearold’s maximum heart rate is 155 bpm. From this calculation, heart rate zones are established (see photo). The number of zones can vary based on the device’s monitoring system, but a popular standard is five zones: 1.The warm-up or Healthy Heart zone is 50% - 60% of your max heart rate (Mhr). 2.The fat burn or Weight Management zone is 50% - 70% of your Mhr. 3.The cardio or Aerobic zone is 70% - 80% of your Mhr. 4.The intense or Anaerobic zone is 80% 90% of your Mhr. 5.The maximum or Red Line zone is 90% - 100% of your Mhr. However, this simple equation, which only uses the single metric of age, does not consider

whether the individual is a seasoned triathlete or an unconditioned sedentary desk worker. Doctors typically advise those with heart conditions on their heart rate zone ceilings. As exercising in Zone 5 or higher puts significant strain on your heart, more fit individuals can reach this level for short bouts. Therefore, monitoring heart rate over time during exercise bouts to see improvement trends is practical. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, those with heart conditions can use a smartwatch to monitor their heart throughout the day. Kaysville’s Scot Vore said, “I use my smartwatch to monitor my steps and my heart for Afib.” l

February 2022 | Page 21

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Sugar House City Journal

Sometimes it is rocket science


hree things could doom our country: domestic terrorism, Olivia Rodrigo and the rejection of science. The first two are obvious, but rejecting science? When did scientists become the bad guys? As more people deny mainstream science, I think about the good, old Russian pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko. (You can call him Tro.) He and Joseph Stalin were BFFs after Tro convinced Stalin he could “educate” crops to grow using his “law of the life of species” theory which included planting seeds close together and soaking plants in freezing water. Stalin embraced this nonsense and seven million Russians died from starvation when the country ran out of food, because Tro (you can call him The Idiot) convinced Stalin that science-based agricultural practices were garbage. There’s lots of science I don’t understand, like quantum mechanics, curved spacetime and string theory, which proves kittens will play with a ball of yarn indefinitely. But I don’t have to understand science because, and here’s a key point, I am not a scientist. I’m saying this louder for those in the back: science shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But here we are. Anti-science is on the rise and people (i.e., non-scientists) are putting their own batty (often dangerous) theories


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ing cough, rabies, and tetanus were introduced, they were welcomed as miracles. Researchers first identified human coronavirus in 1965 and studied diseases like SARS and MERS before COVID-19 jumped up like a maniacal Jack-in-thebox. The COVID vaccine was based on years of research, not months of blindly pouring pretty colors into test tubes. And what about climate change? For decades, researchers told us fossil fuels contribute to an increase of greenhouse gases, which sounds like a great sustainable energy source, but actually traps heat and warms the planet. What did we do to those silly goose scientists? We ripped out their livers and made foie gras. Now we have higher temperatures, severe storms, drought, flooding, Oliva Rodrigo and wildfires because, just like when Aristotle and Bruno walked the (much cooler) earth, people can’t wrap their minds around reality. With little or no science knowledge, deniers continue the assault, and the world is paying the price. What evidence would change their minds? Why do they believe conspiracy theories over proven results? I guess you can guide someone to wisdom, but you can’t make them think.

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out in the universe, much like Tro the Idiot. More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle decided our planet was a sphere, not a flat disc flung through space in a game of Frisbee golf played by Greek gods. But people didn’t believe him. Some flat-folk still don’t believe him. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for his theory of the cosmos which included the heretical idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Before his death he proclaimed, “Perhaps you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.” And that’s what it boils down to: fear. A campaign of distrust based on fear slowly erodes faith in scientists and any theory they present. We all know the government is run by rabid lizards in human suits, but scientists have saved our bacon for centuries. In 1796, Dr. Edward Jenner used gunk from a cowpox sore to inoculate a child against smallpox and gave the world its first hope to combat the terrible illness. When he wasn’t performing in “Hamilton,” President Thomas Jefferson strongly recommended smallpox vaccinations to eradicate the disease. Dr. Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine in 1955, becoming a national hero. When vaccines for measles, whoop-




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