Riverton Man Is Mr. Christmas
andy Peck of Riverton describes himself as Mr. Christmas. He loves everything about the holiday and started setting up a Christmas village under his tree the year he married his wife Diane. The couple has been married for 35 years now, and the village has expanded to fill about a quarter of his rather sizable living room. Peck said he can’t begin to estimate exactly how many pieces he possesses. His village this year takes up about three 10-footlong folding tables, and Peck insists that this is the least amount
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By Shawna Meyer
of pieces he’s ever used. Due to a deer hunt and an anniversary trip to Las Vegas, Peck is a little behind this year, so he decided to shrink his display down a bit. “I probably have the amount that’s out this year times about five; it’s sick,” he said. Peck’s grandmother and mother played an important role in fostering his love for all the holidays, but Christmas is especially
Mr. Christmas continued on page 4
“We want to be the change because some people can’t do it on their own.”
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Page 2 | December 2014
Merry Christmas, Gabe By Shawna Meyer
By Rachel Hall
THE SOUTH VALLEY TEAM
Crockett-themed tree that they did in 2010. Gabriel was obsessed with the American frontiersman. Also, in 2011, they did a “Beauty and the Beast” inspired tree because it was one of his favorite movies. “He would wear out that movie because he watched it so much . . . That tree was my favorite; it was awesome,” Mitchell said. Although they didn’t receive any financial support from the funds raised at the Festival of Tree’s fundraising when Gabriel was sick, the Mitchell family is very thankful that this event continues to happen every year. “We have such happy memories of taking Gabriel to the Festival of Trees every year, so we just continue to do it,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s an awesome way for families to get together and a great way for people to honor their loved ones who have passed on.” The Mitchell family plan to continue decorating and donating trees in Gabriel’s honor for many years to come. “I start thinking about the next tree right after we finish the one we’re working on,” Mitchell said. l
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f you live in Riverton, there’s something different in the water flowing out of your kitchen sink. It’s a difference you can taste. But whether or not the taste is better or worse than the water that once pumped through the pipes is a matter of personal opinion. For months, Riverton City officials are in the process of deciding between changing the source of residents’ water to Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District or maintaining the current well system, with the help of an independent consulting firm and feedback from the community. Every household received a fact sheet about the water choices and ballot for voting for a preference through the mail in November. To allow households to try out the JVWCD water before deciding whether to switch over, the city began a trial run of using the new source in November. While some individuals have noticed a change in the hardness or taste of the water at the sink, there are also some who feel like the difference isn’t drastic enough to require a switch which would result in a higher water bill. “There are some people who don’t mind the water,” City Councilmember Tricia Tingey said. Tingey hopes that residents will be proactive with the water issue by not only staying informed with the information that has been disseminated to the community, but will also speak with their neighbors about the pros and cons of each water source. “Everyone needs to have a say in this. This is truly their decision,” she said. The decision on which water source to select for the future of Riverton will be determined by the vote of city council if enough ballots are not received back by Dec. 8. JVWCD water will continue pumping into homes until Dec. 12 so that feedback can be based on actual comparison of hardness and taste of the two sources. If JVWCD is selected to supply water either by ballot or city council action, Riverton residents will see an increase in their water bills starting in July 2015. The exact amount of the cost increase for each household depends on usage. Under the current system, 10,000 gallons costs customers east of 4800 West $21.32 while JVWCD charges $41.60 for the same amount of gallons used. l m i ss i o n s tate m e n t
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The Mitchell family of Riverton has donated a tree to the Festival of Trees for five years. They decorate a tree in honor of their son Gabriel who passed away in 2009.
Riverton family has participated in the Festival of Trees for five years in a row. Heather Mitchell and her now ex-husband Ryan started participating in 2009 after their 7-year-old son Gabriel passed away in his sleep. “We started doing it in [Gabriel’s] honor on the year that he passed away,” Heather Mitchell said. “It’s like our family giving Gabriel a Christmas present every year.” Gabriel was a special needs child who couldn’t verbalize much, and he was considered blind. However, these impairments didn’t stop him from enjoying the Festival of Trees with his family. “He loved being there, so it just kind of became a tradition . . . He loved all the noises and smells. He was super happy and content while we were there and just had a big smile on his face,” Mitchell said. The couple also has another son Isaiah, 2, who is not special needs. They took him to the Festival of Trees last year, which was his first time. They will also be taking him again this year. The theme of their tree this year is “Gabe’s Heart of Gold.” It will have gold and bronze colored decorations, most shaped like hearts. Usually the family does a large tree every year, but due to financial reasons, they’re doing a smaller tree for this year’s festival. “[Gabriel] was just the most amazing little boy and always brought so much joy to everybody, so I wanted to do something more along the lines of his heart and stuff like that,” Mitchell said. Gabriel’s great-grandmother Nancy Allred buys the tree every year. Mitchell’s family donates money to help buy decorations, and they help decorate it. Mitchell estimates that it will take them about five hours this year. Mitchell said that the main reason they participate in the Festival of Trees is because they firmly believe in raising money for Primary Children’s Hospital. Their doctors and nurses were very helpful and kind. “All of Gabriel’s doctors were at Primary’s. We were there a lot,” Mitchell said. “I think it was just like anytime he was there—whether it was a surgery or a doctor’s appointment—all the doctors and nurses were attentive and very sweet with him.” A few of their more memorable trees included a Davy
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Nonprofit Organizations Combine Efforts For The Holidays
Riverton Police Have A New Home By Rachel Hall
By Shawna Meyer
hrough Dec. 11, Riverton City Hall, 12830 South Redwood Road, will be operating as an official dropoff location for the Candy Cane Corner. Riverton residents can drop off their donations during office hours, which are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday until 5 p.m. The Road Home, Utah’s branch of Volunteers of America, and YWCA Utah have collaborated annually on this drive for 17 years. It provides Christmas gifts to many families who would otherwise go without. The people behind the scenes at the Candy Cane Corner are looking for toys and clothing for children of all ages, clothing for teens and adults, household items and wrapping paper. Once the donations come in, volunteers will set everything up in an empty storefront to make it look like a regular shopping center. Then, families who couldn’t otherwise afford it can go through the store and shop for their families for free. Zach Bale has been the chief development officer at Volunteers of America for almost eight years. Before they launched Candy Cane Corner, each organization would
The Candy Cane Corner helped 750 families receive Christmas gifts last year, which included 1,200 children. hold its own charity event around the holidays, but each event would be very similar. “We thought it would be better to pull all three of our agencies together and make one big thing happen,” Bale said. The storefront space is donated each year, so its location changes. This year the U.S. Translation Company in Salt Lake City has donated its space, 200 South 300 West, to the cause. Last year, the event helped 750 families, and a little over 1,200 children received gifts thanks to all of the volunteers’ efforts. Bale estimates that it took around 800 volunteers to make everything run smoothly last year. l
hen an emergency arises, people often turn to the police for assistance. Riverton City residents will no longer have to question where to find the help they need now that a free-standing police station has been constructed near City Hall. “The proximity is invaluable to Riverton City,” Police Chief Rod Norton said. The doors will be open to the community in December, just one year after the Dec. 1, 2013 groundbreaking. Services available onsite include records requests, citation assistance, tours for groups such as Boy Scouts and other community outreach programs. “We’re really looking forward to next year providing community classes,” Norton said. A domestic violence advocate will be on the premises for individuals who need help leaving a dangerous situation. Often fear and a lack of financial means prevent people from seeking the help they need, Norton said. To assist those who are in such a situation, there is a Unified Police Department kids’ room in the building that allows children to play while a parent meets with the domestic abuse advocate. The child stays in constant
Riverton Police continued on page 5
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Mr. Christmas continued from page 1 important to him. “My grandmother on my mom’s side had a village as well as my mother, and I always loved, as a kid, going to my grandmother’s house, lying down and looking at the village,” Peck said. His grandmother and mother’s villages weren’t nearly as grand as his, but Peck
a night for that two weeks. It’s after work and sometimes late into the night, like I’m usually asleep by the time he comes to bed,” Diane Peck said. The pieces that weren’t passed down to Randy Peck come from after-Christmas sales, vacations and gifts. Peck shops year round for village pieces. “Wherever we go, whatever we do, Randy will always venture off and look for
Peck, so this is only about the third year he’s dared to display it. However, he felt that he had to because the Pecks traveled to New York this year as a family. Although it changes every year, a Temple Square scene has become a staple for the village, as well as a manger scene. “We always do a Temple Square scene because every year we like to see the square and the lights. Also, that’s where we were married,” Peck said. There is also a “Nutcracker” ballet scene, which returns every year as well. When their oldest daughter Laurie was born on Dec. 22, they wanted to create a special tradition in her honor, so Diane decided to take her to “The Nutcracker” at the Capitol Theater each Christmas. After the birth of her other daughters,
Courtney and Lexi, and after their sons Riley and Reagan got married, Diane decided to expand the tradition to include all the girls in the family. “Well, we used to go to Capitol Theater until it got so many of us, and then it got too expensive. This year, we’re going to go to the Perry Theatre in Ogden. It just is really fun for us,” Diane Peck said. Peck’s village isn’t as well known throughout his neighborhood as his elaborate Christmas lights display. However, they do have families from the neighborhood come over to their house—usually on Monday for family home evenings. “We mostly started because we like to have an excuse for all our kids to be here for the holidays, and now they do. And they bring their extended families,” Peck said. l
Randy Peck’s Christmas village display started because both his grandmother and mother had one. However, his village is much grander. This year it fills three 10-foot-long folding tables, which is about a quarter of his living room. Photos courtesy of dbaphotography.com. does hold onto a few pieces that used to be theirs. Due to how precious they are to him, and partly due to his 11 grandchildren and their roaming fingers, he keeps most of the really important pieces locked away in a safe even during the holidays. “I loved it, so I wanted to carry on the tradition of my grandmother and my mom. I was the only child [in my family] that did this, and when my mom died, all I asked for were her village pieces,” Peck said. Peck began setting up the village the day after Halloween. It took him about two weeks to complete it. “He works on it usually a few hours
them,” Diane Peck said. “It doesn’t matter what day it is—it could be in July,” Remington Peck, their youngest son, said. However, not just any old piece will work in the village. Peck likes the pieces to tell a story and have meaning. “We like to do it around themes of what we do as a family,” Peck said. “The different scenes are related to vacations, experiences and traditions.” For example, in the village this year, there is a prominent Statue of Liberty piece, which the family bought right after the events on Sept. 11, 2011. The piece is special to
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Randy Peck’s Christmas lights display started as a challenge from his kids to beat Griswold from the movie ‘Christmas Vacation,’ in which Clark Griswold installs about 25,000 lights. This family takes challenges very seriously, so Peck brought out all the lights he had in his basement. Last year, he put out around 33,000, and this year he hopes to get to 40,000 lights on his house and in his yard. If he reaches his goal, then there will be over a thousand feet of cords. Peck started putting out lights on Oct. 1 and turned them on the day before Thanksgiving. “This year, we’re going to give out candy canes every Monday night for people who drive by,” he said. In the past, the family has had to work together to remember to turn the lights on every night from about 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. However, this year they have the lights on timers. Peck is also using all LED lights this year. Since they’re more energy efficient, the family’s electrical bill hasn’t been as high as in previous years. In response to the Pecks’ lights display, last year the neighbors on either side of the brightly lit house just put up signs that said, “Ditto,” with arrows pointing to the “Griswold house.”
S outh Valley Journal.com Riverton Police continued from page 3 view of the parent because of the design of the space, which tends to put both at ease during the process. Local students from Riverton High School’s art department partnered with the UPD to help the kids’ room to feel inviting and appealing by creating a Calvin and Hobbes mural on the wall. “It’s going to be an outstanding service,” Norton said.
December 2014 | Page 5
NEWS “We want to be their partners. We want them to feel that this is their police building and they are welcome here,” Norton said. It will take a few weeks to finish up the interior space with maps, bulletin boards and moving boxes. Once they’re settled, the police department will celebrate the opening of the new station with an official ribbon cutting scheduled for Monday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. “If they [the community] think they’ve seen it, they haven’t. Come see it on the
One Hundred Years Of Vibrant Living By Linda Petersen
ernice Freeman Lewis of Riverton turned 100 on Nov. 9 and Rocky Mountain Care of Riverton threw her a party with family and friends Nov. 8. A tiny woman, Lewis was the fifth of 12 children (six boys and six girls) and the oldest girl. She grew up on a farm in Herriman where she learned the value of hard work, something she has lived by her whole life. On the farm they baled hay, grain and wheat. Her father had 17 horses. “I spent my whole life working— everything from soup to nuts,” she said. Lewis moved to SLC in 1939 and lived in Sugar House for some time. During her life, she worked for a canning company and the LDS church in its clothing factory, among other jobs.
Lewis was married twice but doesn’t like to talk about those times. Instead, she loves to talk about her great-nieces and nephews, never having had children of her own. “They’re so cute. I just love them,” she said. Lewis is aunt to many including Herriman Mayor Carmen Freeman. “She’s just so vibrant and full of life,” her niece Lynn Naylor said. “She rarely complains. She just loves life.” “She’s been a mom to all of us girls,” her youngest sister Vesta Betty, 87, said. “She was the leader of the group.” Lewis lived on her own until two years ago when she started having balance issues. She is now a resident of the Brighton House in Riverton. l
Bernice Lewis cuts her birthday cake.
Riverton residents can visit the newly built police station for help with citations, records request and community outreach classes. It is located at 12810 South Redwood Road. Community partnerships are just one goal of the Riverton City UPD. For example, an officer will be available to meet with residents who desire to form a community watch group in their neighborhood.
inside,” Norton said. The new building is located at 12810 South Redwood Road. l
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Page 6 | December 2014
Holy Cow, Bluffdale! By Lindsay B. Wolsey
t was a first for the Bluffdale Animal Control Department: six cows were running amok in the river bottoms and no one knew where they came from. “Usually people will call and report missing livestock, and we had no calls. These weren’t local animals,” Animal Control Officer Anika Estioko said. The cows were first spotted on Nov. 18
“ It was bizarre. Some
of these cows were very distinctive and no one knows where they came from.” on Heritage Crest Parkway. Animal Control Officer Craig Rasmussen tried to chase them down, but the elusive cows ran back into the bushes. After a few days of them on the run, a local farmer managed to corral the cows and reported them to animal control. As Bluffdale’s animal control ordinances do not specifically state the
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protocol for dealing with rogue cows, the animal control department had to figure out what to do with the cows. After a short stay at the farmer’s ranch, the cows were loaded up and taken to the Bluffdale Rodeo Grounds while city officials tried to track down their owners. “It was bizarre,” Estioko said. “Some of these cows were very distinctive and no one knows where they came from.” The best theory for the riddle of the cows is that they must have been stolen, and for some unknown reason someone dumped the cows in Bluffdale. The animals were two different breeds, and were taken from different owners. Only one owner was located, and he was shocked that two of his cows were found in Bluffdale as they were last spotted in Delta. After 10 days in city custody, the remaining unclaimed cows were taken to an auction and were sold for around $1,200 each. The city has since amended the animal control ordinance to include a provision for renegade cows. l
Library Receives Fresh Makeover By Rachel Hall
he Riverton Library is scheduled to reopen its doors in mid-December after being shut down in October for renovations. “It’s more of a makeover,” Library Manager Christa Warren said. The last set of renovations that the branch received was four years ago, but there were still improvements that needed to be made to make the library more user-friendly and appealing to patrons. “The carpet was 15 years old,” Warren said. In additional to new carpet, the wiring and work stations have been updated. The new reference desk has been designed with kids in mind, so that the space is more open and accessible by everyone that visits. During the closure, holds on materials are being sent to Riverton’s
Library Makeover continued on page 7
The Riverton Library closed in October to receive a makeover that will make the space more appealing and accessible for patrons. The reopening is just in time for the community to participate in the scheduled holiday events at the branch.
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An Eagle Project Welcome By Denise Sabin
luffdale’s main city park has a new welcome sign, thanks to Brennan Clark’s Eagle Scout project. Brennan recently installed the sign he had constructed for the south entrance to the park. “I had passed the park a few times and noticed that it didn’t have a sign like most city parks, so I thought it would make a good project,” he said. The sign, which is made of wood with
and oversee the building of the sign. Brennan said that his former scout leader, Greg Wolfley, was probably his biggest help, giving direction, facilitating portions of the project and pushing him to get it done. “Greg Wolfley knows woodworking and gave me ideas of how to put it together. He coached me through the whole thing,” he said.
Bluffdale resident Brennan Clark recently completed his Eagle Scout project which was building and installing a new sign for the city. painted steel lettering, was a challenge for Brennan, who had limited woodworking skills. He said that his only previous building experience was putting together cabinets when his family built their home in Bluffdale last year. But, as with most Scouts working on projects, Brennan had help. Dave Anderson, a scout leader in the community, cut the letters out of stainless steel, and Brennan’s father, Matthew Clark, helped to gather materials
City leaders were supportive of the project, and view it as an improvement to the park. “The new sign is a perfect addition to our city park and welcomes all who come to use,” Mayor Derk Timothy said. Brennan, a senior at Bingham High School, finished the project in the nick of time, turning 18 just four days after installing the sign. Scout guidelines require projects to be finished before the candidate turns 18 l
Library Makeover continued from page 6
“We are excited to have our patrons come back and see us,” she said. The library not only maintains a collection of 95,000 items, but offers WiFi access in addition to computer workstations equipped with the internet and Microsoft Office.
sister library in South Jordan and patrons are also able to return borrowed materials to any Salt Lake County Library branch. While this arrangement has been beneficial for keeping up with circulation, Warren is anxious to be back in Riverton’s community with the regular faces at the branch that she describes as part of the neighborhood.
nce the doors open, the Riverton Library will be back to full operation with a list of events already scheduled. l
Oquirrh Mountain Ballet will present its first production of the Christmas classic, “The Nutcracker,” on Dec. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. It will feature dancers and performers from the community as well as the Utah Chinese House and gymnasts from Gymcats. These performances will be held at the Sandra Lloyd Performing Arts Center, 12830 South Redwood Road. All seats $7, general admission; Children under 2 free. Tickets are available at Wasatch Arts Center, 11968 South Redwood Road, at the door, or from cast members. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/oquirrhmountainballet
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MAKING HOLIDAY MEMORIES: NINE CREATIVE AND FRUGAL TRADITIONS By Joani Taylor
recently met a gal who told me a story about how they use their cowboy boots for Christmas stockings. This came about because, during a move to a new home, the box with their holiday decorations got lost. Instead of buying new stockings they hung their cowboy boots on the mantle and have kept the tradition ever since. When you think of Christmas traditions you might think of driving around and seeing the lights, watching a favorite holiday movie, enjoying special recipes or opening up PJ’s on Christmas Eve. Holiday traditions invoke wonderful and playful memories of childhood and help bond us to those we love. We asked our readers at Coupons4Utah.com what their favorite holiday traditions are and we got a lot of great responses. Here are a few favorites that are out of the norm and easy on the wallet.
Toy Clean Up: Two or three days before Christmas gather the kids and go through their toys. Place those they no longer play with in a special bag and put it under the tree. On Christmas Eve, St. Nick will take the bag and replace it with their newly wrapped toys. The toys get donated to a local shelter or care center. Table Talk: Use butcher paper instead of a tablecloth and breakout the crayons. Everyone, adults and children, writes or illustrates something on the table. It can be words of gratitude, a big announcement or sharing a goal they hope to achieve. When it’s time for dinner each person shares what they wrote. Go Camping: Camp out around your Christmas tree the night you decorate it. Tell stories by candlelight. In the morning have the same breakfast menu from year to year, like funny face pancakes or a special muffin or bread that you only make on that particular morning.
Stop a Cop: Wrap up goodies, then on Christmas Eve find a police officer or stop by a firehouse and deliver your treats, with an offer of thanks and gratitude for keeping you safe on the holiday.
Discover Your Inner Actor: Put on a holiday performance. Act out the nativity and read the story
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of Christ’s birth from the Bible. Then, have a gift exchange game where the gifts cannot cost more than $5. Newlyweds Forever: Make a yearly decoration for the tree out of things you can find around the house that represents where you are in that stage of life. Your ornaments will tell a story of time as you grow your family. Winter Wonderland: Make a paper snowflake each day during December and have your child write something they are thankful for on it. Then hang the snowflakes in the window or around the house. Ants in Your Pants: Go sledding or ice skating on Christmas day after opening the gifts. This is a great way to channel the Christmas excitement into a healthy family activity. Hide and Seek: Santa’s mischievous elves hide one present for Christmas Eve. They leave treasure hunt style clues all over the house leading the way to the gift. What’s your holiday tradition? For more ideas our readers submitted visit: coupons4utah.com/traditions Happy Holidays
December 2014 | Page 9
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SENIORS Riverton Senior Center 12914 South Redwood Road 385-468-3040 The center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. A requested donation of $2.50 for those 60 years and older. There is a mandatory price of $5.25 for anyone under 60 years old. Transportation is available daily to and from the center. Call in advance to arrange. Listed below are upcoming events. The center has many regularly scheduled classes (including exercise classes) and activities. Contact them for more information.
Dec. 16, 10 a.m. – “Healthy at Every Age” A presentation by Huntsman.
Dec. 29, 9:45 a.m., 1 p.m. – Monday Movie: “Polar Express”
11 a.m. – Blood Pressure Checks by Harmony Home Health
Dec. 29, 5 p.m. – Christmas Light Trip. Advisory committee-sponsored trip to Thanksgiving Point and ChuckA-Rama for dinner.
Dec. 17, 11:15 a.m. – Entertainment: Herriman High Chamber Music Club Dec. 18, 9 a.m.; $8 suggested donation – Manicures by Kimberly Jensen. Appointments needed. 10:45 a.m. – “Time Steppers” will perform their holiday program Dec. 18, Jan. 15, 11 a.m. -- Attorney Phil Ferguson. Register for a free 20-minute consultation
Dec. 9, 10 a.m. – Sharing with Terra. A conversation group
Dec. 19, 11 a.m. – Entertainment: Good Time Jazz Band
11 a.m. – Entertainment: “Decibelles”
Noon – Holiday Meal. Registration required. Menu is: glazed ham, au gratin potatoes, vegetables, dinner roll, pineapple lime whip, cherry crisp.
Dec. 10, 9:15 a.m. – Computer Instruction for Seniors Dec, 10 -- Register for Introduction to Computers 11 a.m. – Entertainment: Midvale Choir 1 p.m. – “Stay the Course” – Speaker Richard Smart. The Positive Thinking Institute. 11 a.m. – “Mindfulness Meditation” with the Vital Aging Project. Classes are in a safe and inviting environment. Dec. 15, 9:45 a.m., 1 p.m. – Movie: “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”
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Dec. 22, 9:45 a.m. 1 p.m. – Monday Movie: “White Christmas” Dec. 23, 11 a.m. – Entertainment: John Tibola Dec. 24, 11:45 a.m. – Sack Lunches. Center closes at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 25 – Center Closed Dec. 26 – Center is Open, no Transportation
Dec. 30, 10 a.m. – Around the World with Weston Dec. 31, 11 a.m. – Entertainment: Riverton Jazz Band Jan 1 — Center Closed Jan 6, 11 a.m. – Entertainment: “Otter Creek” 11:45 a.m. -- Birthday Lunch for those with birthdays in January Jan. 8, 11 a.m. – Blood Pressure Checks with Unified Fire Authority Jan. 19 – Center Closed for Martin Luther King Day Jan. 20, 11 a.m. – Blood Pressure Check Walkins Welcome l
GRANGER MEDICAL CLINIC OPENS URGENT CARE Granger Medical Clinic has opened an Urgent Care (formerly a walk-in clinic) at its Riverton location, 12391 South 4000 West. Care is offered for a variety of injuries and illnesses. Hours are 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Most major insurances accepted.
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Page 12 | December 2014
South V alley City Journal
Silver Rush Helps For The Heart By Sherry Smith
ife can change in a heartbeat. Sometimes it’s the heartbeat that changes a life. For children struggling with congenital heart defects and childhood-onset heart disease, the heart of the family is also impacted. These children and their families have found a support network with Intermountain Healing Hearts. And Riverton
mountain Healing Hearts to provide grants toward medical bills for 25 Riverton and Herriman families with children struggling with heart defects. “We want to be the change because some people can’t do it on their own,” Activities Student Body Officer Dillon Yeager said.
“ Silver Rush gives us the chance to
focus on someone else’s life. Money can be tight for some families. It also brings our community closer together.” High’s annual charity drive, Silver Rush, has found their cause. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the United States, affecting one of every 100 children. Intermountain Healing Hearts was formed to provide support and answers for families with children who are impacted. The goal of Silver Rush is to donate funds for Inter-
Watch for RHS students out asking to do odd jobs for Silver Rush between Dec. 1 and Dec. 19. Students will also be camping out on the street in front of the high school on Wednesday, Dec. 17 from 4 to 11 p.m. taking donations from passersby. If you’d like to help, consider taking advantage of one of several scheduled business nights. If you mention Silver Rush
Riverton High students will be hitting the pavement again between Dec. 1 and Dec. 19 taking donations for their Silver Rush charity benefitting Intermountain Healing Hearts. as you purchase your food, a portion of the proceeds will go toward Silver Rush. Dec. 9 is Chick-fil-A night at the District location. Dec. 10 and Dec. 15 is Buffalo Wild Wings night at the District. Also Dec. 16 at the Riverton Texas Roadhouse. Until Dec. 19, Silver Rush shakes are available at the Riverton Arctic Circle on 12555 South 1300 West and at Iceberg Drive Inn at 13400 South and 5049 West. If entertainment is more your speed, check out Mr. Silver Rush. Yes, it’s a beauty pageant with the guys as the contestants. It’s sure to entertain. The festivities are on
Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Tickets, which are $5, are available at the door. Talented students prevail at RHS, and the evidence is available on a Silver Rush CD available in the RHS main office for $5. “Silver Rush gives us the chance to focus on someone else’s life. Money can be tight for some families. It also brings our community closer together. At the first of the year, we see cliques. After Silver Rush, everyone is a lot closer,” Kendra Muller, student body officer over student recognition, said. l
Big Hearts At Herriman High Choose To Give Back By Sherry Smith
ince it opened in 2010, Herriman High has been doing a yearly charity drive each December, known as Hearts of Gold. This year, students will work from Dec. 1 to Dec. 19 collecting donations for Mac’s Gift. Mac’s Gift is a nonprofit organization designed to meet the emotional needs of children with cancer. When a child has cancer, a family’s focus is on treating the condition. Providing Christmas becomes an afterthought that sometimes cannot be realized due to the burden of mounting hospital bills. Mac’s Gift provides
a Christmas to more than 60 families in Utah who have a child fighting cancer. Herriman High students will be out pounding the pavement and knocking on doors in December asking to do odd jobs to earn money for Mac’s Gift. They also have a few events open to community participation, and all proceeds will go to their efforts. Catch a choir concert on Dec. 11. Cost is $1 for HHS students, $3 for adults and $10 for a family of five. Tickets are available the evening of the performance at the
auditorium doors. On Dec. 18, a black-tie dinner catered by HHS restaurant and food service students and concert entertainment by the Chamber Singers is $10 a ticket. The event will be held in the small gym on the north side of the school. Tickets will be available at the door. Iceberg Drive Inn on 13400 South and 5049 West is also participating in the festivities by offering a Hearts of Gold shake with a portion of the proceeds donated to the cause. l
December 2014 | Page 13
S outh Valley Journal.com
Oquirrh Fest Flies High With Two Causes By Sherry Smith
he giving spirit has taken over Oquirrh Hills Middle Fire Departments in Riverton. OHMS plans to support this School cloaked as Oquirrh Fest, the school’s three-week worthy cause with $5,000 from their proceeds this year. charity drive happening Dec. 1 through 19. The students “This is a really great school. One of the goals here will be working to collect funds for two worthy causes. is character development. We strive to get the students Each day, we lose more of our World War II veterans. invested in their community and to look outside themselves,” As their numbers dwindle rapidly, time is of the essence Braun said. in helping them to go see the World War II Memorial in So, where do these proceeds come from? Washington, D.C built in their honor. Oquirrh Fest’s first On Friday, Dec. 12, students will be caroling in front cause is Honor Flight. of Peterson’s Fresh Market at “The average trip on 1777 West 12600 South and One of the goals here is character Honor Flight costs about $900 a teacher will be camped out development. We strive to get the per veteran. There are two vets on the roof. It’s a sight not to in Riverton who have applied to be missed. students invested in their community go that we would like to support, The Blue Aces, a teenage and to look outside themselves. as well as nine or 10 others. We all-girl rock band who has hope that students will invite opened for the Neon Trees will grandparents or other vets to apply,” Oquirrh Hills Middle be playing in the OHMS auditorium on Thursday, Dec. 18 School teacher Travis Braun said. at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available for purchase in the Honor Flight takes applicants on a first-come, first- school’s main office. served basis. The flight, lodging and meals are completely Wendy’s at 1938 West 12600 South is also sponsoring free to the veteran. Each vet must take a guardian with them Oquirrh Fest from 4 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 17. Be sure to mention who is asked to cover their own expenses. If a vet doesn’t Oquirrh Fest. If you’d simply like to donate to the cause, have a family member to fill the guardian role, Honor Flight please stop by the main office at OHMS before Dec. 19. has volunteers willing to step in and accompany the vet. A final celebration assembly will be held on Friday, Local families in need will not be forgotten by Oquirrh Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. in the OHMS auditorium. The public Fest either this year. The school’s second charity is Local is invited to attend and learn more about Honor Flight and Heroes operated by the Unified Police Department and Local Heroes. l
Pajama Days Shared At Rose Creek Elementary By Sherry Smith
t seems like such a little thing: a new pair of pajamas for Christmas. Many of us get them without a second thought, but there are families in our area for which it is just a dream. When the sixth graders at Rose Creek Elementary discussed holiday traditions, the subject of pajamas came up. “For many families in Utah, there’s a tradition of getting a new pair of pajamas for Christmas. It’s kind of unique. About 85 percent of my class gets them. We had a class discussion, and the students felt that this was a tradition that would be great to share,” sixth-grade teacher Terri Cavender said. So, the students decided to hold a pajama drive to collect for families in need and didn’t have far to look for recipients. Title One families serviced by the Jordan School District will receive the donations. Title One schools have been identified by the federal government as having a high
percentage of the student body requiring financial assistance with things such as free and reduced lunches and additional academic supports to meet academic challenges. “Every year, we are looking for community donations to gather basic items of need including comfort and hygiene. This year we are helping 200 families and an estimated 600 children,” Jordan District Parent Liaison Evelyn Sadler said. For these families, food and utilities come before any comfort items such as new pajamas. Rose Creek sixth graders will collect pajamas from Dec. 1 through Dec. 19. The community is welcome to contribute new pajamas in elementary school child sizes for both boys and girls. Donations will be collected at the Rose Creek Elementary office. “I welcome the beautiful gesture that these students at Rose Creek Elementary are doing for other students in their own district,” Sadler said. l
TreeUtah mascot Carrie Cottonwood stopped by Midas Creek Elementary to help third through sixth grades plant four new trees. When student leadership saw that four trees had died on their school property, they applied for a grant from TreeUtah to replace them. TreeUtah gave a generous $1,200 grant to the students who replaced the trees in a planting ceremony Nov. 4.
Page 14 | December 2014
e welcome several new businesses to the community. First, South Valley Services, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a variety of options to anyone experiencing family violence. Their programs aim to empower individuals and communities to recognize their self-worth and to develop the necessary skills to reach their greatest potential. They believe advocacy, prevention and safety are the primary tools in the process
Riverton will quickly find out that we’re substantially different than your typical pizza chain,” said Tharson Goh. “I was attracted to the Marco’s brand because it was founded on Italian freshness and quality standards, making it stand out from all other well-known brands. All ingredients are genuinely fresh and truly craveable. I’m proud to open a Marco’s Pizza and offer such a quality product to the people of Riverton.”
South Valley Services ribbon cutting. of eliminating family violence. SVS has three programs to fulfill their mission: shelter, community resource centers and prevention/education. They are pleased to announce the opening of their new Riverton Community Resource Center. This center is a public/ private partnership with Riverton City. This center offers case management services to all community members in the areas of family violence, community resources, mental health, housing and navigating the criminal justice system. They are located in the Riverton Sandra Lloyd Community Center, 12830 South Redwood Road, Riverton, UT 84065. For help and services stop into the information desk in Riverton City Hall and they will connect you with staff. The number to call to access services is 801-255-1095. The hours are Monday-Friday, 9-5. For more information, please feel free to call 801-255-1095 or visit South Valley Services website www.svsutah.org Second, Marco’s Pizza, the fastest-growing pizza company in the United States, known for its fresh ingredients, secret sauce recipe and dough made in-store daily, opened at 2572 West 12600 South, boosting the local economy by adding up to 25 jobs. “Pizza lovers in
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South V alley City Journal tasks by doing the following: • Count from one to nine as fast as you can. • Say your ABCs from A to I as fast as you can. • Now go from counting to ABCs as fast as you can, i.e., 1A, 2B, etc. How quickly were you able to do each of them? Our brains are not set up to multitask and the following will help you become more efficient at everything that you are doing. These work in all of life’s situations: Twenty-minute rule, rather than switching between tasks every minute or so, chunk tasks into 20-minute blocks without interruptions. Don’t become a slave to email. The average professional spends 23% of their day emailing, often switching tasks when new email arrives. Configure email or phone syncing to be delivered hourly, rather than immediately. Use voice mail to control interruptions. Another solution would be to implement the Pomodoro Technique: Twenty-five minute uninterrupted work (set alarm); fiveminute break, no work (set alarm); 25-minute uninterrupted work (set alarm) ; five-minute break, no work (set alarm) ; 25-minute uninterrupted work (set alarm) ; five-minute break, no work (set alarm) ; 25-minute uninterrupted work (set alarm);15-minute break, no work (set alarm). All our lives are busy and we just want to help you be more efficient and effective as you implement these ideas. Happy Holidays from the Southwest Valley Chamber! l
Marco’s Pizza ribbon cutting.
S outh Valley Journal.com
December 2014 | Page 15
Mustangs Want To Win By Greg James
n the four-year history of Herriman High School, its girls’ basketball team has played in one state tournament game (2013). The Mustangs fell two wins short of returning there last season. Now head coach Jill Ames hopes her team can gain needed varsity experience to attain their goals this season. “We will need to practice, practice and practice to get our defense to where it needs to be. I know we will figure out our
their first victory this season, a 49-25 victory over Hillcrest Nov. 21. The scrappy freshman duo of Milee Enger and Macy Markus could see time together in the back court for the Mustangs. Enger scored eight points and Markus added two in the win over Hillcrest. Together, they scored 10 in a 55-37 loss to Kearns Nov. 20. “Our freshmen [Enger and Markus] play together on some AAU teams [competitive league]. They will make mistakes and grow into our system. I have faith that they are going to be a big part of our success. Milee is a pit bull, not afraid of anyone. Macy has been thrown into the fire, but she is a competitor,” Ames said. The Mustangs will rely on returning senior Lexi Smith, a varsity player since her freshman year, to lead the team. She has scored 334 points in her career at Herriman. Her career high, 18 points, came against Pleasant Grove at the end of last season. “Lexi brings our team her leadership and a calm personality. She does not get too high in our wins or too low when we lose. This off season she has gotten better defensively and better as a guard,” Ames said. Kaylie King, Kaylie Heninger, Morgan Littlewood, Amanda Mitchell and junior Sarah Duncan will all play important roles on the team. “We are a true team. These kids love to compete. Top to bottom, these girls want to win. They are good Senior guard Kaylie King scored 10 points for the Mustangs against students and athletes. I am proud of them for what they Mountain View Nov. 22. Photo courtesy of dbaphotography.com do. We love to find ways for positioning and get some of these girls the them to bond as a team on and off the court. experience they need. I know these girls Our relationships with each other help us want to do it. Our goals include playing become a better team,” Ames said. good defense by holding the other team to The Mustangs participate in team 40 points or less,” Ames said. service projects every month. In November, Defense has been important in the they served in their homes. They plan Mustangs four year history. They have 18 to work at the food bank, serve at The wins and three losses when they hold their Kauri Sue School and help with Hearts opponents to 40 points or less, including of Gold this season. l
The Providence Hall Junior High cross country team had a successful season. The boys and girls teams each went undefeated in their four regular season meets and regional meets. Recently, the boys’ team placed second at the charter school state finals and the girls finished third. Individually, Seth Robertson took second overall, Nolan Beck fifth and Allison Jones seventh at the state meet. The Patriots’ region opponents included Early Light Academy in South Jordan, North Star Academy in Bluffdale, Hawthorn Academy in West Jordan and American Preparatory Academy in Draper. They are coached by Jessie Ballard. —Greg James
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Page 16 | December 2014
South V alley City Journal
Team Begins A New Era By Greg James
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hen the lights come on in the Riverton played sparingly last season and are expected High School gymnasium, new faces to be important role players on the team. At will be standing on the sidelines, but the 6-foot-3, Anderson is an imposing player basketball team will still have the same other teams will need to learn to defend. style of play they have used since the school Andrews scored 36 points last season. Wilson opened in 1999. said he has the ability to get to the basket Skyler Wilson takes over as head and score in the open court. basketball coach after Steve Galley stepped “This team has worked hard in the off down at the end of last season. Wilson has inherited a team with two returning starters, seniors Jaron Jones and Jeff Arens. “I am really excited. This team gets along so well, and it has made it fun for me to start coaching them,” Wilson said. Wilson graduated from Riverton High and was the school’s first all-state athlete. He has been an assistant coach at the school for 10 years. He had been the junior varsity and sophomore coach prior to his being hired as head coach last spring. The Silverwolves have several players that Wilson said can score consistently. He said that will make them a hard team to defend. Arens and Jones both averaged double figures last season for the Silverwolves. Both are threats from Silverwolves senior Jeff Arens averaged 11.1 points per game last behind the three-point line: Arens season. Photo courtesy of dbaphotography.com hit 43 and Jones had 21 last season. “Jaron (Jones) is a good all-around season. They do things that are unselfish. player. He is our tallest kid, so he will We are set up to succeed. The culture we play close to the basket, but he can step want is already set up. We have a tradition outside and hit the shot too. Jeff (Arens) of players that do well in the class room is a great shooter. We challenged him in and on the court,” Wilson said. the off-season to work on his ball-handling The Silverwolves will host the Riverskills. He is going to help us succeed,” ton Holiday Tournament, a fundraiser for Wilson said. the team, Dec. 27-31. They have 16 teams Joey Andrews and Spencer Anderson scheduled to compete. l
December 2014 | Page 17
S outh Valley Journal.com
Local Soccer Star Selected To Play In All-American Game By Greg James
iverton High School senior Hailey Skolmoski has been selected to play in the second annual High School All-American Game. Skolmoski and 42 of the nation’s elite
“It has helped pull us
together. Everybody was hurting when Tyce passed away. It helps us to remember that his sister is still here.” girls’ soccer players will play in Raleigh, N.C. on Dec. 13. “I am so excited to go and play against the best of the best. It pushes me to be at my best,” Skolmoski said. “I love the competiveness of soccer, and I love the
now with the Utah Avalanche. “Playing with the Avalanche has changed me as a player. Without that team, I would not have been given the opportunities I have for college scholarships and recognition,” Skolmoski said. As a senior she scored 27 goals, the fourth-highest total in the state, and she netted 58 goals in her high school career. She was selected first team all-state in 2013 and 2014. “It was great to have her on our team. She is great with the other players and very easy to coach. She has the natural ability and is a hard worker. Hailey has the whole package as a player,” Riverton head coach Paul Moizer said. “It is not the wins I remember, it is the times I was together with my team in adversity,” Skolmoski said.
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Hailey Skolmoski led the Silverwolves in scoring with 27 goals and 10 assists this season. Photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com people I have met. The game has taught me a good work ethic and keeps me well rounded. Soccer has helped me in school and in other aspects of my life.” The All-American players were chosen based on their career high school achievements. The game is sponsored by the National Soccer Coaches Association. Skolmoski and Kyra Fawcett from Woods Cross were the only players selected from Utah. Skolmoski began playing soccer when she was 5 years old. When she turned 10, she began playing competitive soccer with club travel teams, first with USA soccer and
Skolmoski also received an academic all-state award. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average. “I am not sure how I balance school and sports. It must come down to priorities. Sometimes, I have to stay home on Friday nights to get some school work done. I had to learn what is really important. I have learned to give it my all and not give up,” she said. Skolmoski has committed to continue to play soccer after graduation at the University of Utah. She plans to pursue a degree in elementary education or early childhood development. l
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Page 18 | December 2014
South V alley City Journal
Community Pours Out Support For Kidney Transplant Patient By Rachel Hall
magine walking into a doctor’s office for a routine examination with an expectation of leaving with a clean bill of health, but instead being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Samantha Ruggles, 22, didn’t have to imagine such an experience – she had to live it. Ruggles, a graduate of Brigham Young University, had planned to serve an LDS mission earlier this year. During the physical required as part of the process of preparing for missionary service, a blood test revealed her creatinine levels were above normal. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with kidney failure in June and was told she would need a transplant to save her life. The initial shock she felt was soon followed by sadness
with the realization that the condition would also prevent her from serving a mission. “I’d always felt healthy, so it didn’t seem like it was real. It meant that I would have to change my plans for life,” she said. Despite the disappointment and health challenges Ruggles has faced since the diagnosis, she feels the experience has taught her a great deal about service. Many of her loved ones offered to be tested as a match when they heard the news that a transplant was needed. Ruggles’ aunt, Lisa Whea, went ahead with the testing and discovered that her blood type and antibodies matched, and she agreed to donate a kidney. “It’s been an amazing experience to see some positives come out of this hard
trial. I am just overwhelmed. Words can’t express how grateful I am to everybody,” Ruggles said. Ruggles was scheduled for the transplant Dec. 2 (after press deadline.) Bryan and Suzie Ruggles, Samantha’s parents, recently organized a fundraiser with the support of the community on Nov. 22. The morning included a 5K run, breakfast and silent auction to help raise funds to pay for the transplant operation. The cultural hall at her LDS ward house Riverton was filled with well-wishers hoping the best for Ruggles and for her speedy recover after a Dec. 2 transplant. Thoughts and prayers were also offered for Ruggles on her Go Fund Me account, which raised more than the goal of $5,000
to help pay for medical bills. Additional donations can be made through the family’s Go Fund Me account at www.gofundme.com/h2pt1c. Samantha Ruggles had a goal of raising $5,000 to help her family with the cost of medical bills, but supporters donated $9,115 within 14 days of the Go Fund Me account being opened on Nov. 11. “I just feel so humbled and loved by everyone in the community,” she said. As Ruggles moves forward from this experience, she plans to use all she has learned about service to help give back to others in need in the future. She has also returned as a graduate student to Brigham Young University and is earning a master’s degree in civil engineering. l
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S outh Valley Journal.com
Rockin’ Around the Real Christmas Tree By Peri Kinder
ow that we’re empty nesters, my husband has tentatively suggested that we destroy Christmas. We’ll be cuddling in front of the TV when he whispers, “Do you think it’s time we invested in a fake tree?” “No.” “But a real tree stresses you out each year.” “That’s not stress, it’s the Christmas spirit,” I reply. “I didn’t know the Christmas spirit was so grouchy.” A real Christmas tree has always been the center of my holiday decorating. Growing up, we’d hang stockings, put out Advent calendars and display nativity scenes, but the season didn’t officially start until the tree was plunked into a bucket of boiling Mountain Dew. (We had the only caffeine-addicted tree on the street.) After dad strung the lights and went to hide in his bedroom, we’d attack the tree like a whirling tornado, fighting over who got to hang favorite ornaments. Once we were in bed, mom and dad would redecorate and hang tinsel, one silvery strand at a time, on every branch. I’ve carried on that tradition (minus the tinsel that would cling to our clothes) to create our own perfect Christmas tree. Our holiday tree has never been a symbol of opulence. We’ve never had a Winter Wonderland tree with white fluffy reindeer frolicking through snowy silk ribbons, dangling with sparkly Swarovski crystals and silver-sequined snowflakes.
Instead, our tree’s branches are weighed down by homemade angels with ratted-out hair and lopsided halos, clothespin reindeers tangled around hand beaded wreaths, and South Park characters rubbing shoulders with the baby Jesus. Decades of school photo ornaments hang amid the evergreen boughs, detailing years of missing teeth, questionable hairstyles and teenage angst. And loved ones who have passed away are remembered with ornaments ranging from dancing shoes to teardrop prisms. Put together, it’s an explosion of bad taste that would make Martha Stewart cry. But it’s not just a Christmas tree—it’s a family tree representing years of holiday memories. The finished product is only half of the story. Finding the perfect Christmas tree is a tradition/catastrophe I anticipate/ loathe every December. Hence my husband’s misguided “fake tree” suggestion. He just doesn’t understand that a
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plastic tree is a soulless imitation of holiday beauty, and the first step to anarchy. Each year, I schedule a day to pick out a tree, and, without fail, it’s the coldest, snowiest, iciest weekend of the month. My youngest daughter tags along to make sure I get it right and to help hold the tree on top of the car once the loosely-tied knots start to unravel—much like my mind. We scour tree lots, looking for an evergreen that is devoid of bare spots, more alive than dead and not full of spiders. (Don’t ask. It’s a horrible holiday memory.) We also try to avoid tree lots managed by the town drunk. (That’s another Christmas/horror saga involving a leering, inebriated tree salesperson with a chain saw.) Once the tree arrives safely home, we discover the 10-foot tree won’t fit into our 8-foot living room. We attack it with dull handsaws and scissors until it fits, and then, in a flurry of Christmas chaos, we adorn it with lights and ornaments, and top it with a rickety angel, balanced precariously on the highest branch. When the dust settles, we’ll cuddle by the decorated tree, watching Christmas lights twinkle while the snow softly falls. It’s the epitome of holiday perfection. Until my husband whispers, “What do you think about having Christmas dinner at Village Inn?” Could be a long, cold winter in our home. l
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COUNTY MAYOR’S MESSAGE By Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
t’s budget time at Salt Lake County. I recently presented my proposed 2015 budget to the county council. It is structurally balanced with existing revenues and no tax increase. My proposed budget supports my approach of efficient, cost-effective government service delivery and accountability to the taxpayer. This is a lean budget that shows Salt Lake County is living within its means. We took a sharp pencil to all new requests for money and cut total requests from the mayor’s
department and from other elected officials by $19.8 million. We’re holding the line on government, moving in new ways to more efficiently meet the demands of a growing population, while at the same time maintain support for healthy communities and an excellent quality of life. I’m optimistic, given our strong fiscal track record and excellent fiscal management, that we’ll meet our responsibilities, including deferred maintenance. Our funding commitment to deferred maintenance amounts to a 400 percent increase over what was budgeted in 2010. It’s our responsibility to ensure everything operates safely and efficiently and serves the purpose for which it was designed, built and paid. Even though we’ve cut the backlog of deferred maintenance in half, I won’t be satisfied until we’ve met our goal. The best way to balance our budget and keep taxes low is to support private sector job growth. Salt Lake County is in the national spotlight for our success in growing the economy and creating sustainable prosperity. We’re attracting a key segment of the workforce—the 25 to 34-year-olds who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. We’re keeping up with such hot job markets for these desirable workers as Nashville, Denver and Houston. Our regional development team has begun to deliver on the promise to be efficient and effective partners in economic development. We’ve begun
to plan and build safe, modern infrastructure improvements, partnering with cities and townships throughout the county to leverage transportation bond money. We’re meeting our core responsibility to protect public safety by directing needed funds to the Sheriff, the Emergency Operations Center, the District Attorney and the Legal Defenders Association. I am excited that 2015 will be the year that Salt Lake County begins to move away from an outdated, “fundwhat-once-worked-system” or “fund-what-we-hope-willwork-system” to a “fund-only-if-it-works” approach. I’ll be writing about that in more detail in the near future. At a time when residents and taxpayers are fed up with government gridlock and partisan bickering, and skeptical of government’s ability to function, Salt Lake County will stand out as deserving of their support and trust. By collaborating across party lines and jurisdictions, our metro area will have safer streets, cleaner air, and more arts, parks, trails and open spaces if we work together. Fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability, opportunity for all; these are the values that keep us strong. I look forward to working with the county council to finalize the budget and get residents’ comments at our Dec. 9 public hearing. l