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an easter assortment

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conquering the list

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Mobile Neighborhood Watch Proposal Draws Opposition From City By Taylor Stevens

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ollowing a series of break ins and other crimes just north of Riverton High School in the month of January, the city and police quickly shut down Riverton residents who were discussing a proposal that would implement a mobile neighborhood watch group. Mobile neighborhood watch groups are different from traditional neighborhood watch groups in that mobile groups take a more active role in pursuing potential perpetrators. According to Councilwoman Tricia Tingey, who was approached by some members of the community with this idea, the concept of creating a mobile neighborhood watch is

something the city has dealt with before. “The idea is always there,” she said. “They had seen an increase in crime in their area. We have an absolutely phenomenal neighborhood watch over there, but they just wanted to bump it up. They felt that they wanted to do more. More is fine as a neighborhood watch group, but not as a mobile citizens watch.” Police Chief Rod Norton said that his department does not support mobile neighborhood watch groups because they often put untrained residents directly in harms way. “There are too many liabilities for both the citizens and the department,” said Norton.

“ Let us be the ones that do

our best to get there and decide if it’s legitimate or not.” “Effective mobile watches need a considerable amount of training and oversight in terms of knowing how to remain stationary at all times and never engaging suspects. And that’s hard for citizens to do.” Norton said that traditional neighborhood

watch groups tend to be just as successful as mobile neighborhood watch groups—minus the liabilities. “If neighbors are looking out for each other, that is highly effective,” said Norton. “If they will organize and at least hold the initial meeting and an occasional meeting after that, the city will put neighborhood watch street signs up for them and assist in ongoing coordination of any intelligence about suspects in the area.” The most important thing residents can do if they see something suspicious? “Call it in,” said Norton. “A lot of citizens tell us that they don’t want to bother us because they’re not sure if it really is suspicious or not or if they’re overreacting. With so many crimes, the one tip we need to solve the case so many times comes in from a suspicious call. Let us be the ones that do our best to get there and decide if it’s legitimate or not.” Ultimately, mobile neighborhood watch groups are neither the safest nor most effective option, burdening residents with a job many officers give their lives to do. “The police are in control,” said Tingey, “and we want to rely on them for that kind of force—not the citizens.” l

fame tag

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making school history

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quotable community:

“Bluffdale residents value the land. It’s what unites us. We want to preserve that.”

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Page 2 | March 2015

Meet With The Mayor

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f you are a Bluffdale resident and you have something you want the Mayor to know, there’s an easy way to talk to him in person. Mayor Derk Timothy has set aside an hour and a half on the third Tuesday of each month to meet with residents. He meets with residents in the council room prior to the Bluffdale Planning Commission meetings at 7 p.m. “I picked 5-6:30 p.m. because I thought some people might want to talk before dinner, and some people might not get off work until 6 p.m. You can talk about anything you want,” Timothy said. “I came because I didn’t want the mayor to be lonely and have to put in that only two people came in the newsletter,” joked long-time Bluffdale resident David Spencer. Spencer requested that more police officers be assigned to the light on Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway. “So many people are running red lights,” Spencer said.

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ith Easter fast approaching, the city employees that make up South Valley are preparing by buying thousands of plastic eggs and bags of candy to satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth. There will be Easter Egg Hunts happening in Riverton, Herriman and Bluffdale, so residents have a choice about where to take their families. For Bluffdale residents, the Easter Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, April 4 at Bluffdale City Park, 14350 South 2200 West. The hunt is free and starts at 10 a.m. sharp. The Bluffdale Lions Club has sponsored this annual egg hunt for over 10 years. “This event is something that the Lions Club does for the community, so there’s no charge for it. We buy all the eggs and candy for it . . . We invite anyone who wants to come to come out,” Bluffdale Lions Club member Dean Compher said. Compher said it takes about 10 volunteers from the Bluffdale Lions Club to run the event. The park will be divided into four areas, where four age groups will hunt separately. The age groups are 0 to 3, 4 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 11. “We normally fill between 2,000 and 2,300 eggs. Plus, we have some other prizes and stuff too, and the entire hunts takes about 15 minutes,” Compher said. There will also be prize stickers in some of the eggs in each age group. If kids find one of these, then they can redeem the sticker for a stuffed animal. For Herriman residents, the Easter Egg Hunt will also be on Saturday, April 4 at 10 a.m. The hunt will take place at

By Lindsay B. Wolsey

“We actually have our reserve officers patrolling that area. We don’t have them parked on Bangerter because we have had two patrol cars rear-ended. Luckily the officers weren’t in the vehicles at the time, but we can’t risk the safety of our officers. That is our most ticketed area. We’ve actually met with Riverton and the Highway Patrol to work on making that area safer,” the Mayor said. Jared Neilsen saw a reminder about the meeting on Facebook and popped over to grab a cookie and ask the mayor a question that had been stewing in his mind. “What is being built in the park?” Neilsen asked. The answer to his question was the armed forces memorial that Bluffdale city has been working on for several years. When the memorial is finished it will feature a stone engraved with the names of all Bluffdale residents who have served in the armed forces. The stone will be surrounded by lighting

April Brings An Assortment Of Easter Events

THE SOUTH VALLEY TEAM

South V alley City Journal

NEWS

By Shawna Meyer

W & M Butterfield Park, 6212 West 14200 South. All kids are asked to bring a basket to put their eggs in, which will be filled with candy, cotton candy, popcorn, fruit snacks and even small toys. The park is divided into sections by age group: 0 to 2, 3 to 4, 5 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 12. “We increase the amount of eggs this year,” Director of Communications Tami Moody said. “We also have a special section of our Easter egg hunt for kids with special needs, so that they can participate in the hunt as well.” The Herriman Fire Department will bring a fire engine to sound the alarm to signal the beginning of the hunt. Members from both the Herriman Fire Department and Herriman Police Department will also be on hand to meet the kids and help out. After the egg hunt, there will be a scavenger hunt. This aspect of the event is meant for kids who either didn’t get candy during the egg hunt, or those who might be intimated by large crowds. The scavenger area has candy hidden in straw for the kids to find. For Riverton residents, there will be two free Easter events. Both will happen at the C.R. Hamilton Family Sports Complex, 3700 West 13800 South. The Teen Hunt is on Friday, April 3 at 9 p.m. and the Kids Hunt is on Saturday, April 4 at 10 a.m. The teenagers are expected to dress warm and come with flashlights. “There will be candy, trinkets and toys out on the lawn. Right at nine, they will hear a siren, and they just go and

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grab whatever they can get,” Youth City Council Coordinator Brittany Parker said. After the hunt, there will be free doughnuts and hot chocolate for them to enjoy. At the kid’s hunt, the hunting area will be divided by age group: 0 to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 7, 8 to 9 and 10 to 12. The eggs will again be filled with toys and candy—some might even have cash in them. The Easter Bunny will make an appearance at the egg hunt for the kids to meet throughout the event. “We try to stress to people that they should get there early for both events,” Parker said. l m i ss i o n s tate m e n t

Creative Director: Bryan Scott: bryanscott@myutahjournals.com Staff Writers: Sherry Smith, Greg James, Taylor Stevens and Lindsay Wolsey

and flagpoles for each of the five branches of service. The Lions Club provided the cement work, and several Eagle Scout projects have been done working on the memorial. “We are dedicated to having this done through volunteers. It’s like Old West Days. It means more to people when they are part of it,” Mayor said. Neilsen was also concerned about proposed solutions to the traffic congestion near Bluffdale Elementary and the Rodeo Arena. “If the gravel road becomes a regular road, I’ll have busy roads on three sides of my house two times a day,” Neilsen said. After a brief discussion, the Mayor gave Neilsen contact information for the head of the Arena Committee and suggested that he present his ideas at their next meeting. “We can’t fix everything, and we can’t always solve everything. But we can try,” the Mayor said. l

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South V alley City Journal

Riverton City Enacts New Cemetery Regulations By Taylor Stevens

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he city council voted Feb. 3 to change flower regulations and hours of operation at the Riverton City Cemetery, effective April 1. The new regulations will change the cemetery’s hours of operation to be more specific. The cemetery will now remain open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. — a change from the previous “dusk to dawn” allocation. “People go by the cemetery early in the morning,” said Riverton Councilman Paul Wayman. “So why make a law or a rule that is not going to be enforced?” Before the time change, anyone on cemetery property prior to dusk or after dawn could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, Wayman said the nonspecific language was unclear to mourners.

The cemetery will also go back to enforcing restrictions on artificial flowers, said Parks and Public Services Director Sheril Garn. The restriction allows artificial flowers only on gravestone monuments and markers. “Everyone mourns differently,” Garn said. “But if you want your cemetery to be pristine and well-cared for, you have to have some rules.” The artificial flower restriction comes in light of maintenance and mowing problems associated with the plastic. However, “It’s still going to be a problem because we have so many people who don’t have headstones,” Garn said. “So we’re going to try and be very mindful and respectful of that.” l

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ou would be hard pressed to find anyone who knows more about how the city of Bluffdale functions than City Recorder Teddie Bell. Bell was the first employee hired after Bluffdale City offices moved into their old building on Redwood Road in 1990. “When I started as city clerk there were two of us in the office. Connie Rice and I did everything you do to keep a city running. We wore many hats. We just did it all. I’ve done a lot of everything over the years: dog licensing, accounts payable, billing. I’ve functioned as the secretary for the planning commission,” Bell said. Bell was able to walk to work to the Redwood building as it was only a few doors away from her house. “One winter the snow was so bad I was the only one that made it to work. The city recorder got stuck, the maintenance guy was stuck, and I just put my boots on and made it to the office,” Bell said. Bell was appointed City Recorder in 2003. She has worked during the administration of five different mayors and has seen Bluffdale grow from a small rural community to a larger community. “It makes me sad to think of her leaving. I don’t even want to think about it. She is so smart. She has everything in her head. She remembers everything,” city secretary Nancy Neilson said.

“This has been a wonderful place to work. I’ve enjoyed working here. Bluffdale is a great place to live and raise a family. I’ve loved that I can work in the city I live in. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years. I’m going to miss the interaction with the staff and residents that I’ve known for 25 years. We have a great administration and great staff,” Bell said. After she retires on March 27 Bell plans to spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren. “I’m looking forward to the next chapter. My husband thinks it would be a good thing if I joined him in retirement,” Bell said. l


S outh Valley Journal.com

NEWS

Riverton Senior Center Earns National Accreditation By Riverton Senior Center

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iverton Senior Center earned National Accreditation from the National Council on Aging and National Institute of Senior Centers (NCOA/NISC). There are 11,000 senior centers in the United States and just over 200 centers have received national accreditation status. On Tuesday, February 24, the Riverton Senior Center celebrated the accomplishment with a special luncheon. Entertainment by the

western trio “One Wagon Three Wheels” was followed by the presentation of the accreditation plaque, lunch and cake for everyone. Riverton City Mayor Bill Applegarth was asked to speak. He discussed the collaboration between Riverton City and Salt Lake County in building and sharing operational cost

The peer reviewer mentioned her surprise and excitement regarding the amount of volunteer involvement in the operation of the senior center. of the new senior center which opened four years ago. Mayor Applegarth also mentioned Herriman City and Bluffdale City, because of financial contributions received from both cities towards operational cost of the handicapped accessible van used to transport seniors to and from the center. The accreditation process requires the assessment of nine key areas of the senior

March 2015 | Page 5

center operations, by a peer reviewer assigned by NCOA/NISC. The Riverton Senior Center received the highest rating possible of “Best Practice” for two of the nine areas of the accreditation review. The “Best Practice” honors and highlights the collaboration between Salt Lake County and Riverton City and the self-assessment process Riverton Senior Center implemented in examining the nine areas

required by NCOA/NISC. The self-assessment committee reviews and identifies the strengths and weakness of the senior center. The volunteer committee assigned to this task included local community council members, business and community partners affiliated with the senior center. Volunteers play an integral part in the daily operations of the center. The peer reviewer mentioned her surprise and excitement regarding the amount of volunteer involvement in the operation of the senior center. Currently they have 98 active volunteers that help with a variety of center operations. The volunteers and the senior center staff were credited as creating a warm and welcoming environment at the center for all participants. Congratulations to Riverton Senior Center, Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services and Riverton City for providing a place where any adult over 60 years of age can be supported, remain independent, be engaged and receive access to services and resources. To find out more information about the Riverton Senior Center visit them online at http://slco.org/aging-adult-services/ riverton-senior-center/ l

Peripheral Neuropathy: WAR NING

South Jordan, UT — In our office we have seen far too many patients suffering with the debilitating symptoms of peripheral neuropathy like burning, weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling. We even see individuals whose neuropathy is so far advanced they are at risk of having their feet amputated. Figure 1: Falls affect millions of seniors in the U.S. every year.

However, none of these are the reason neuropathy can be a deadly condition. The biggest risks from peripheral neuropathy are the balance problems and falls that this condition can cause. You see, the nerves in your feet help send signals to your brain to maintain proper balance. When the nerves are damaged by neuropathy it is common to feel like you are off balance, or going to fall. Many of you reading this may have already fallen, and live in fear that your next fall may result in a fracture or concussion. Sadly, over 2.4 million seniors in the U.S. every year visit the emergency room each year due to falls, and nearly 23,000 die. This damage that results in balance problems is commonly caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet which causes the nerves to begin to degenerate due to lack of nutrient flow. As you can see in Figure 2, as the blood vessels that surround the nerves become diseased they shrivel up which causes the nerves to not get the nutrients to continue to survive. When these nerves begin to “die” they cause you to have balance problems as well as, pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and many additional symptoms. Figure 2: When these very small blood vessels become diseased they begin to shrivel up and the nerves begin to degenerate.

To make matters worse, too many doctors simply prescribe medications which don’t fix the cause of the problem. Even worse, some of these drugs have side effects that include dizziness and loss of balance! There is now a facility right here in South Jordan that offers you hope without taking those endless drugs with serious side effects. (See the special neuropathy severity examination at the end of this article.) In order to effectively treat your neuropathy three factors must be determined. 1) What is the underlying cause? 2) How Much Nerve Damage Has Been Sustained. NOTE: Once you have sustained 85% nerve loss, there is likely nothing that we can do for you. 3) How much treatment will your condition require? The treatment we use in our office is like watering a plant. This technology will allow the blood vessels to grow back around the periphFigure 3: The blood vessels will grow back around the nerves much like a plant’s roots grow when watered. eral nerves and provide them with the proper nutrients to heal and repair. It’s like adding water to a plant and seeing the roots grow deeper and deeper. The amount of treatment needed to allow the nerves to fully recover varies from person to person and can only be determined after a detailed neurological and vascular evaluation. As long as you have not sustained at least 85% nerve damage there is hope! Dr. M. Shane Watt at NeuroBolic Health Center will do a Neuropathy Severity Examination to determine the extent of the nerve damage for only $57. This neuropathy severity examination will consist of a detailed sensory evaluation, extensive peripheral vascular testing, and a detailed analysis of the findings of your neuropathy. Call 801-495-4444 to determine if your peripheral neuropathy can be treated, pain reduced, and your balance restored. Our Peripheral Neuropathy program is the most comprehensive and state of the art treatment that exists in Utah. Dr. M. Shane Watt Chiropractic Physician

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Page 6 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

NEWS

YouTube Sensation Films Video At Herriman High

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ometimes failure opens doors that success cannot. This was the case for Lindsey Stirling. After being voted off in the quarterfinals of “America’s Got Talent,” she was told by judges Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne that there wasn’t a place for a dancing violinist and she couldn’t fill a theater in Vegas. Stirling’s unique act, dancing and playing the violin, is exactly why she fills theaters. Her 5.8 million YouTube followers, world tours and chart-topping albums speak volumes as to how wrong Morgan and Osbourne were.

back to some of my first shoots.” More than 50 students participated in the filming both behind the scenes and in the video as musicians. After a long day of filming, Stirling took time to answer questions from students and to take selfie photos with them. Studentbody president, Tanner Guss, participated in the filming as a drummer. “It was really cool to have an opportunity to be seen in the video. Stirling and her crew were easy to work with and I had an enjoyable time,” Tanner said.

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Former “America’s Got Talent” contestant and YouTube sensation Lindsey Stirling films her latest music video onstage at Herriman High School. So, what does a young artist do when she needs to film her next YouTube video? The originality of Stirling was expressed in yet another way. Her unique choice was to film onstage at a high school. Her relatives at Herriman High made the connection for her, and the administration was asked. A date was set, and filming took place in January. In a prepared statement, Stirling said, “I wanted to film this music video at an actual high school because I wanted to give the kids an experience where they could not only see how a music video shoot worked, but so they could also be a part of it.” Stirling continues, “The students were super helpful; running the stage sound, helping us set up the different set pieces, controlling the rigged stage lights, and the orchestra and band students learned the sheet music so they could be in the video. Not only were they helpful but working with the students was really fun. Their excitement was electric and took me

The video is a compilation of music from “Les Miserables” and the completed version will be found on Lindsey Stirling’s YouTube channel. A final release date wasn’t available at press time. l


March 2015 | Page 7

S outh Valley Journal.com

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Page 8 | March 2015

Isaac’s Bucket List

HERRIMAN NOW OFFERS PASSPORT SERVICES

By Sherry Smith

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erriman City is now offering passport services to residents of Herriman, Bluffdale, Riverton and South Jordan. The program began Jan. 23, and 27 applications were received in the first week alone. A passport counter is now set up at the main window in City Hall, 13011 Pioneer Street. Passport services are available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Passport applicants can make an

W

hen the light began to dim around sixth grader Isaac Garcia, he thought he wasn’t smart; the world was passing him by. Later he found that wasn’t the case, and it wasn’t his fault it seemed that way. There

“ I never in a million

years thought we’d finish up the list. A lot of people helped us out.” was a very real reason the light was fading, and the clock was ticking on what remained of his vision. Isaac was diagnosed with a pediatric form of macular degeneration known as Stargardt almost two years ago. This genetic disease impacts one in 10,000 children, but most do not develop symptoms until their 20s. Isaac’s case is unusual due to his young age, and he will be blind and dependent upon Braille in one to four years. Rather than sitting back and waiting for his vision to fade, Isaac chose to put together

South V alley City Journal

NEWS

Blackridge Elementary sixth grader Isaac Garcia just crossed the last item off his bucket list. Isaac visits the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. a bucket list of things to see before he can’t. Over the school year, Isaac has been one busy traveler seeing things from the Delicate Arch to the Statue of Liberty and Mt. Rushmore to Gettysburg. The final items on his list were a Roman colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. He was able to visit them on a recent two-week vacation to Italy.

“He is a little overloaded, but he’s learned a lot. I never in a million years thought we’d finish up the list. A lot of people helped us out. On the way home, I asked if we should make a new list. He says he needs a break, but maybe somewhere with a beach or a pool. We can do that,” Isaac’s mom Kelly Lucas said. l

appointment or just drop by City Hall. “What we like in the city is that we’re providing another service to our residents while bringing in a little bit of income,”City Manager Brett Wood said. The closest other passport acceptance facility for Westside residents is at the West Jordan Post Office at 7901 South 3200 West. —Linda Petersen


March 2015 | Page 9

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Page 10 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

Space to Play and Room to Grow By Lindsay B. Wolsey

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luffdale City is experiencing a lot of growth, and the City Council wants to make sure that the parks and open spaces are available to both current and future generations. They are currently seeking input from residents to find out what they want in trails, parks and open spaces. At a Jan. 28 open house, residents were able to see overviews of open spaces, existing parks and trails, and proposed parks and trails. The 20 residents who attended were asked to mark what area of Bluffdale they live in on a

JBR012115-JBR Bunion-foot 10.37x5.55.pdf

map and were given stick-it notes and markers to add input directly on the displays. The city also has an online forum where residents can voice their opinions at planbluffdale.com. City officials would like the open space plan to reflect the community’s priorities and vision. Along with an assessment of the current park systems, facilities and trails, Bluffdale officials are hoping to create a concise and actionable plan for future development. In doing this, they are also planning to take into

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consideration the needs and thoughts of those who live in Bluffdale. “Bluffdale residents value the land. It’s what unites us. We want to preserve that,” City Councilmember Heather Pehrson said. A significant addition to existing Bluffdale parks and open spaces is an 80-acre park being put in by Salt Lake County Recreation. The park will be located at 14000 South 2700 East. Construction is already underway; the first phase of the park is expected to open in the spring of 2016. Amenities in phase one include multipurpose sports fields, an open lawn and sledding hill, three pavilions, two restrooms, three basketball courts, two tennis

courts, eight pickle ball courts and a children’s play area with a splash pad. SLCR project manager and landscape architect Morgan Selph designed the play area with a Rocky Mountain theme in mind. The three slides in the play area will come off a play tower that resembles a forest fire watch station. “The splash pad will have a soft water area for the younger kids, and then a waterfall with a harder water adventure for the older kids. We also have a 300-foot wall around the splash pad that kids can climb on. It’s not tall, and there is even an area designed for toddlers,” Selph said. l

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Local Author Prepares For A Busy New Year By Shawna Meyer

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estselling author and Riverton native Christina Dymock splits her time between cooking, writing and being a mother and wife. Dymock is the author of six cookbooks, as well as over a dozen works of fiction, and she is the mother of six children, who range in age from 6 to 13. Dymock grew up in Riverton and graduated from Bingham High School. After high school, she attended the University of Utah and graduated with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations. After college, Dymock married her husband Craig, and the two moved to Herriman to start their family. The couple never officially dated in high school, but they did know each other at Bingham. However, their relationship began after Craig returned from his LDS mission and has lasted 15 years. The Dymock family lived in Herriman for seven years before moving to a small town in Utah County called Genola, which is where they live currently. Dymock was a proofreader at an advertising agency for a few years. Then she was hired as an adjunct professor at Salt Lake Community College in the marketing department, where she taught for four years. “When my third child was born, I had a difficult pregnancy. I couldn’t continue to teach while I was pregnant. While I was down in bed with [my son], I started writing,” Dymock said. She started out by writing articles for Women’s Health magazine and stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul publications. She also wrote pieces for the Deseret News. “I did a little bit of everything starting out,” Dymock said. During this time, Dymock’s grandmother Lucy was taking care of her ill grandfather. While homebound with him, Lucy began writing books when she was 77. She would have Dymock proofread for her. “I thought, ‘If she can start doing this at that age, then why haven’t I thought of doing this?’ She just inspired me to try something new,” Dymock said. Although Dymock’s grandmother Lucy passed away in 2013, she continues to pay homage to her by publishing her fiction novels under the name Lucy McConnell. “My mom says that I used to write stories all the time when I was little. I don’t remember that as much, and I wonder if it’s just because it’s always been a part of me,” Dymock said. Cooking has also always been a major part of Dymock’s life—with six kids it kind of has to be. Her mother fostered her love of cooking, and she says she enjoys it because it allows her to work and create with her hands

ALL-NEW 2015 SHOW WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA Christina Dymock is a bestselling author who has lived in both Riverton and Herriman. She writes cookbooks and books of fiction, and she has six kids. in a way that writing doesn’t. “The cookbooks work really well into family life. . . As long as I’m feeding them, I may as well be working on a recipe for the cookbooks, so the cooking works really well into being a mom,” Dymock said. “It’s finding time to write the fiction that’s the hard part.” With writing, cooking, testing new recipes and caring for kids, Dymock doesn’t have a lot of time to spare. Luckily, her husband wholeheartedly supports her career, and she says that he works hard to make sure that she never “loses herself in being a mom.” If she were to advise other busy women trying to balance having a career and having a family, then Dymock would tell them to throw out the idea that their life is ever going to have balance. “I would say that if you put your kids first, then everything else will kind of fall into place, as long as you keep what’s important in mind. When something happens, if it doesn’t affect what’s most important, then it becomes manageable,” she said. For 2015, Dymock is planning to publish two more cookbooks. One is called the “Healthy Family Slow Cooker Cookbook,” which will be full of sugar-free and gluten-free recipes for families with dietary restrictions. The other’s theme hasn’t been decided on yet. She is also hoping to do a follow-up to her “Christmas in Snow Valley” romance series, which will be titled “A Summer in Snow Valley.” She also has another Christmas-themed romance planned, and she hopes to start working on a new bride-themed series as well. l

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Page 12 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

EDUCATION

Rosamond Second Graders Perform 7 Habits Of Happy Kids By Sherry Smith

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f you’re looking for a leader, look no further than the second graders at Rosamond Elementary. They are ready to tell you The 7 Habits of Happy Kids and explain what each of them means. In 2013 Rosamond Elementary School became a Leader in Me School thanks to grant money from the Jordan Education Foundation

Habits of Highly Effective People. “The seven habits have sunk in in a way that I didn’t anticipate. The kids talk about it with each other outside of school,” said Jessie Ellertson, mother of a second-grade student. On Feb. 25, the second graders performed a Reader’s Theater based on what they have learned in the program complete

Rosamond Elementary second graders perform The 7 Habits of Happy Kids on Feb. 25. The Program is based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and is geared for school-aged children. and the Panda Express Corporate Offices. With the money, teachers were trained in the program and students were supplied with program books and materials. The Leader in Me Program is based on the principles found in Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. The book is based on his father Stephen Covey’s book, 7

with songs to go with each of the seven traits. The script was written by the second-grade teachers for the students and each of them had a speaking role. “If we use those habits for years, then some of us can be leaders. There might not be wars and bad things in our country then,” second-grader Jackson Meier said. l

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March 2015 | Page 13

S outh Valley Journal.com

Fame Tag Explodes At Riverton High

Traditional Schedule Coming To Butterfield and Herriman

By Sherry Smith

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o you know what your teenager is doing? Most of the time, you’ll find them with their faces buried in their phones. A new app written by Riverton High sophomore twins Grace and Maya Ethington may keep them buried in their phones even longer. Fame Tag users choose three words from a pre-selected list to tag or describe a friend. The app keeps track of each friend’s most frequently used words, and can create a fame rank for the most frequent words or phrases used to describe a person. Grace and Maya would say that social media allows you to see the world, but Fame Tag shows you how the world sees you. Word of Fame Tag has spread and it now has more than 500 users at Riverton High. Grace and Maya hope that it will spread to

By Sherry Smith

Sixteen-year-old Riverton High sophomores Grace and Maya Ethington combined their unique talents with their father’s to come up with a new app called Fame Tag. other schools as well. It is available for a free download for Apple products, and a Samsung version is in the works. “Most people really like it. It’s all these positive words about you,” Maya said. The idea for Fame Tag originally came from their father, Justin, but the girls revised it in ways that only teenagers can do. In the end, the girls designed it, and Justin built it. l

The opening of Blackridge Elementary did more than reduce the number of portable classrooms at Butterfield and Herriman, it reduced population in such a way that a return to traditional schedule from a year-round schedule became possible. “Blackridge shifted the population so that we didn’t have overcrowding at the other two schools. We knew that it would happen, but didn’t know it would happen so fast,” Jordan School District spokesperson Sandra Reisgraf said. Jordan School District chose to survey parents and teachers at Butterfield and Herriman Elementary schools to see if they would prefer a year-round schedule or a traditional schedule. At Butterfield Canyon, there were 410 responses to the survey with 78 percent favoring a traditional schedule. At Herriman Elementary, there were 360 responses with 68 percent choosing the traditional calendar. Teachers at both schools were also surveyed, and the overwhelming majority preferred the year-round schedule. However, parent choice won the vote. Jordan School District will adopt the traditional calendar effective for the next school year. “We hope that they can follow the traditional schedule for two years and possibly longer. It will depend on growth in the area,” Reisgraf said.

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Page 14 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

EDUCATION

Riverton Releases Two Books As Part Of 150th Celebration

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iverton City released a book titled “Riverton Schools: 150 Years of Public Schools in Riverton” in February and is working on publishing another book containing recipes collected from Riverton residents. Both books are in conjunction with the city’s 150th birthday celebrations. The school book debuted at the public schools in a series of assemblies hosted by Riverton City Mayor Bill Applegarth. Each public school received a copy of the book from the city at its assembly, and every student was given a coloring book featuring trivia about and mascots from each school. “This is the perfect year to provide that history and celebrate what makes our city what it is,” said Angela Trammel, Riverton’s communications manager. “There’s no better way to do that than through our kids.”

“This is the perfect year to provide that history and celebrate what makes our city what it is.”

Applegarth agreed. “I felt the assemblies went very well,” he said. “It was a great joy for me to be there and interact with the students. It’s amazing how bright and wonderful the students we have here in Riverton are.” A copy of the book will be available for viewing in the principal’s office of each school as well as in the Riverton City Library.

In addition to the school book, the city is currently working on publishing a book containing recipes collected from Riverton residents. The book includes over 600 recipes and a brief account and timeline of Riverton’s history, as well as historical pictures of the city. City Councilman Paul Wayman and his wife, Linda, originally had the idea to create the book as a way to celebrate Riverton’s history. The 150th birthday committee, who put months into gathering and proofreading recipes and compiling the book, executed the idea. Wayman said he couldn’t think of a “better way to celebrate the 150 years than with the heritage of all the cooking and the food that is had from the Riverton citizens.” Pricing and publication information for the recipe book has not yet been officially released, but Wayman expects it will be available sometime in April. l

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March 2015 | Page 15

S outh Valley Journal.com

Double Fun When Twins Compete in Lego Robotics By Julie Slama

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wo sets of twins teamed up to compete at the state First Lego robotics competition and showed double the fun could win one of the coveted tournament awards. At the Utah First Lego League state championships Jan. 31, the Lego Benders won the teamwork core value award. This came after winning the Jan. 10 regional competition at Murray High and also being honored with the champions’ award. The Lego Benders team consisted of twins Dallin and Aubrey Andrus, of Riverton, and their cousins, twins Hannah and Brandt Zollinger, of Murray. The Andrus twins are fifth graders at American Preparatory Academy in Draper and their cousins are seventh-graders at Riverview Junior High. They were coached by their parents, Jason Andrus and Justin and Christy Zollinger. “They were pretty consistent all the way across the competition,” Lego judge adviser Jeff Martin said after the competition Jan. 10. “They performed well in every area.” The First Lego League competition allows students from age nine to age 14 to compete and receive judges’ comments and

scores in core values, a project and robot design and performance. Students had the opportunity to solve challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Through the competition, the students applied real-world math and science concepts, researched challenges, learned critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills and had fun competing in tournaments. For Dallin and Aubrey, the competition gave them a chance to follow the footsteps in an activity their older sister competed in. “It’s really great doing it with our cousins because we have all sorts of fun,” Dallin said. “I’ve learned a lot.” Their project was creative, combining the twins’ ideas. They role-played how to invest smartly and save their money by comparing it with superheroes cooking bread successfully versus a villain’s recipe turning sour, coach Christy Zollinger said. “Hannah and Aubrey suggested cooking as a project. Then we asked what is hard to learn at school and they said ‘finances, because it’s boring,’ so they combined those together and

After the Jan. 10 First Lego League regional competition, the Lego Bender team and coaches are all smiles. Photo courtesy of Jason Andrus Brandt loves superheroes, so that got added in. It was just a fun idea that they had and suggested created videos on YouTube to share it with others,” she said. Although the project and robotic design

had to be the team’s own work, it worked well as Jason Andrus is an electrical engineer with IM flash, which sponsored the team, and Justin Zollinger works as an accountant, so the fathers could advise their children. l


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South V alley City Journal

SPORTS

Silverwolves Fall Short At State Tournament

Mustangs Cheer And Drill Teams Secure Victories

By Greg James

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he Riverton High School girls basketball team closed out an amazing season with a loss in the semifinals of the 5A girls state tournament. “We were picked to finish fourth in our region. I feel fantastic about our season. These kids give it their all. They just play hard, I do not need to ask them to,” head coach Ron Ence said. The Silverwolves closed out their regular season with an 18-2 record. They secured their second straight Region 4 championship and 14th straight state tournament appearance. They opened the state tournament against Bingham with a 53-43 victory, the teams first win over the rival since 2012. Kirsten Spencer scored game-high 15 points. Rebecca McDougal and Tiena Afu each finished with 10 points. Riverton advanced to the second round against Viewmont. They beat the Vikings 5246. Afu scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds. Spencer scored 10 points, six from the free throw line in the final minutes. “I certainly like coaching this team. We never have a D1 [division one college talent], but we have very good talent,’ Ence said. The Silverwolves advanced to the

By Greg James

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Senior Kirsten Spencer scored a team high 11 points in the Silverwolves semifinal loss to Brighton. Photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com tournament semifinals to face Brighton. The Bengals front line proved to be too much for the Silverwolves. They were out rebounded 41-20 in the 43-31 loss. Spencer scored 11 points and Afu had another seven. Riverton only managed to shoot 24% in the game. “We were a little bit off. We moved the ball inside and out, but the shots just would not

fall. Brighton is a very good team,” Ence said. Brighton advanced to the championship game where they defeated Fremont 49-40 to win the state title. “We have a good team. I really liked playing for Coach Ence. He teaches us all to hustle all of the time and give it our best,” senior Sarah Ralphs said. l

heerleaders and drill team members never get a break. At every game or assembly at Herriman High School you can see them performing or leading the team’s fans in cheers. “A cheerleader’s most important duty is to support the school and show spirit. We wanted to put school spirit before competition. It paid off because we won region and state,” Mustang cheer coach Courtney Thomas said. The Mustang cheer team took first place at the 2015 state cheer competition Jan. 31 at Salt Lake Community College. They competed in the all-girl division this season, a change from last season when they were a co-ed team. “Co-ed is very competitive, but there are many more all-girl teams. It was fun to make the jump this season into that division. In high school cheer the competition often becomes number one, it should never be that way. We are here to cheer on our school and these girls have done a great job of that all year,” Thomas said.

Mustangs Cheer continued on page 18

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March 2015 | Page 17

S outh Valley Journal.com

Herriman Puts Competition In A Head Lock By Greg James

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he Herriman High School wrestling team accomplished its highest state finish in school history. They placed third overall in 5A and had five wrestlers place in their weight brackets.

“As a coach I have high expectations. These kids put so much time and effort into the season and work on achieving their goals. As a team third place is great and we plan on improving that next year,” Mustangs head

Left: The Herriman High School wrestling team had the best season in school history placing third overall at state. Photo courtesy of Brady Clark. Above: Junior Shane French captured second place at the state wrestling finals. Photo courtesy of Brady Clark wrestling coach Steve Bowdren said. Juniors Jaron Jensen and Wade French captured individual state championships in their weight classes. French defeated Riverton’s Simeon Page in the championship match 5-4. He posted a 29-1 record this season and was rated No. 1 at 220 lbs. in the entire state by wrestleutah.com Jensen defeated Syracuse’s Seth Rich 6-5 in his state championship match. He had a 31-1 record this season and won the 5A divisional qualifier by defeating Fremont’s Zane Peterson in a major decision 12-4. He was also rated No. 1 in his weight class by wrestleutah.com “All five of our state placers are very

dedicated and have sacrificed a lot of time to earn a medal at state. They are skilled, in great condition and have hearts of champions,” Bowdren said. Freshman Logan Jensen placed fifth at 126 lbs. at state. Junior Shane French placed second at 182 lbs. and senior Taylor Brundage fourth at 160 lbs. The Mustangs finished in first in Region 4. The five individual state placers is a school record. They qualified 14 wrestlers for the state championships. “We had a great season. Finishing first in region and third in state is something to be proud of. We have a young team with a lot of talent coming back next year,” Bowdren said. l


Page 18 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

SPORTS

Girls Develop Wrestling Skills By Greg James

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hink twice about making fun of this girls club. It is the first all-girl wrestling club in the state of Utah. Tuesday nights they meet at Riverton High School to perfect their wrestling skills. “USA Wrestling has added a girls division to every meet. We live in a state that is very conservative, but girls want to be champions too. Most of these girls have grown up with brothers or dads that wrestled. That is where they got interested. We want the same things for our daughters as we do for our sons. Wrestling teaches good qualities,” Utah Girls Wrestling Coordinator Billy Cox said. Three Utah freestyle wrestling clubs are sanctioning all-girls practices: Champions Wrestling Club in Mapleton, Tactik 3-Style Wrestling Club in Riverton and Crushers Club in Layton. Riverton High assistant and Tactik coach Dwayne Henry has arranged the opportunity for girls to spend practicing and learning wrestling at Riverton High School. The club also practices in Mapleton and Layton on Monday nights. “We like the central location at Riverton High School. Kids from Copper Hills and Herriman can come easily here to practice. Some of the girls come up from Utah County too. It is good to get the girls together. There are lots of opportunities for these girls to advance,” Cox said. Female wrestling was recognized as an Olympic sport and 24 colleges now sponsor

Mustang Cheer continued from page 16

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The Mustang drill team, the Mastenas, performed at halftimes and assemblies during the school year. They also won Region 4 and

Paige Mills from Riverton is learning wrestling holds as a member of the first all-girls club. a varsity female wrestling program. “Last year colleges offered 160 scholarships for womens wrestling and less than 150 of those were used. This can break down barriers and give girls a chance to expand their horizons and confront their fears,” Cox said. Utah USA Wrestling received a grant from Salt Lake City to help under-privileged girls participate. “This is an opportunity to get girls off the streets, out of drugs and abusive relationships. They could learn something fun and get a scholarship to go to school. We are trying to give kids more opportunities,” Cox said. Sixth grader Sage Mortimer from Mapleton recently won the Utah Northern State Championships and took home the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament. Her mother Chanel Mortimer said wrestling has taught her daughter dedication. “This will take off. It is going to be huge,” she said. The 2015 Utah spring wrestling season began Feb 27 and continues through April 25 with the state championships at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington, Utah. l placed third overall at the state drill competition at Utah Valley University. The Mastenas took third in Military routine and second in kick routine at the state competition. l

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Herriman cheerleaders support school activities and won the state cheer competition. Photo courtesy of Courtney Thomas


S outh Valley Journal.com

CITY COUNCIL REPORTS

March 2015 | Page 19

HERRIMAN CITY COUNCIL

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n January the Herriman City Council held a retreat to discuss our priorities for the coming year. We discussed many topics including the vision and direction for Herriman. We are a fast growing community with the best residents in the Salt Lake valley! Herriman continues to be a great place to live and raise a family!

outgrown the current community center. We are in the study and design phase of a city hall to assess the needed office space, partnerships with other entities that could be housed there, and financial requirements to build it. Look for more on this in the coming months.

HERE ARE A FEW OF THE TOP PRIORITIES DISCUSSED:

We have all observed the large number of apartments and town houses being built throughout the valley and in Herriman. As a Council, we have taken proactive steps to adjust the Master Plan to reduce or eliminate high density in many areas of the community. It will take some time to process current projects but all new high density projects are being challenged. We appreciate having housing options and the interest of more businesses locating in Herriman but we need to rebalance with a greater emphasis on lower density housing.

Curbing high density:

Growth of sales tax revenue through economic development: Herriman has over 31,000 residents which is attracting business. The Neighborhood Walmart, Taco Bell, CVS Pharmacy, Popeyes and others have opened their doors in the past six months. More are coming and will be announced soon. Each business that locates in Herriman contributes to our sales tax revenue which funds the parks, roads, events, water, and many other amenities we enjoy. This transitions us from dependence on property tax and growth to fund the City and makes us financially viable in the long term. Transportation needs: We are adding miles of new roads each year.

Our older roads need costly maintenance or they degrade and cost even more to repair than if we provided needed maintenance earlier. The Utah Legislature is considering a change in the fuel tax rate to provide needed funding to take care of municipal roads. We encourage your support of transportation funding for municipalities.

Towne Center and city hall: Retail and residential development continues in this area of the city. The County Library and Recreation Center along Main Street, businesses along 134th South and homes in between are part of this master planned development. A critical element of the Towne Center is a City Hall and central park. We have significantly

We look forward to another great year in Herriman with many community events that bring us together. Thank you for everything you do to make your neighborhood and Herriman a great place to live! It is an honor to serve in such a community! l

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Page 20 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

SENIORS Riverton Senior Center 12914 South Redwood Road 385-468-3040 The center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Transportation is available Monday through Friday for those who live in the area of Riverton, Bluffdale and Herriman. The cost is free; call the center for more information. Most activities require you to sign up in advance. March 17, 11 a.m. — Blood Pressure Checks with Harmony Home Health

4 p.m.; Free. — Painting with a Twist. Come make your own masterpiece. Any talent level really. All art materials provided. Just sign up and show up. Class is for participants 60 and older.

LOCATING STOCK IMAGE

1 p.m. — Advisory Council Meeting. Contact center if interested in joining the committee. March 19, 10:30 a.m. — Staying Sharp Brain Health. AARP presentation. 11 a.m. — Free Legal Consultation with Phil Ferguson. Appointments needed. March 19, 26, 12:30 p.m. — Eat Lean = Be Lean. Pork recipes, benefits and samples. March 20, 10 a.m. — iSmile Dental Presentation 11 a.m. — Pathways to Cope with Grief and Loss: “Grief can help you grow.”

March 27, 10 a.m. — iSmile Dental Screening. Appointments needed. 11 a.m. — Pathways to Cope with Grief and Loss: “Moving Forward with Grief.”

11 a.m. — St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon. RSVP for lunch. Entertainment: Keith Lewis. The meal is corned beef and cabbage. March 18, 10:30 a.m. — Pet Emergency Preparedness. What you need to know in an emergency.

6 p.m.; $8 or two for $15. — Late Night. Dinner provided by Red Flame. Entertainment by “Irish Dancers.” Sponsored by the Advisory Committee. Get your tickets at center. There are only 45 spots available.

March 30, 9:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Movie: “Into the Woods” March 31, 9 to 11:30 a.m. — Screenings: PVD, Vision, Balance, Blood Pressure and Glucose March 23, 9:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Movie: “The Theory of Everything” 10 a.m. — Free English as a Second Language Class March 24, April 10, 10 a.m. — Family History Class: Nana with Atria. Register and receive a free history journal. 11 a.m. — Entertainment: Banjo Blues. Live music. Stay for lunch after at 11:45 a.m. Lunch will be a savory beef ziti bake. March 25, 10:30 a.m. — Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from Harmon’s Dietician March 26, April 10, 9 a.m.; $8 donation. Manicures. 10 a.m. — $8 donation. Podiatrist.

11 a.m. — Entertainment. Mama’s Wranglers. Live music. Stay for lunch after at 11:45 a.m. Lunch will be a Philly cheese steak. April 2, 11 a.m. — Blood Pressure Checks with United Fire Authority April 7, 11 a.m. — Birthday Lunch. Free lunch for April Birthdays for those 60 and older. Thanks to the Advisory Committee. Entertainment: “Utah Old Time Fiddlers.” April 8, 11 a.m. — Entertainment: Taylorsville Harmonica Band April 10, 10:30 a.m. — Pre-Planning with Larkin. Free gift for all attendees.

DON & JEANETTE MERRILL ARE CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF MARRIAGE

Two score and ten years ago this couple decided to tie the knot. 4 kids and 9 grandkids later they’re happier today than they’ve ever been. It takes a special relationship to last through 50 years of good times and bad and come out smiling in the end. On March 22 we would like to wish our parents and grandparents a very happy and special anniversary.


March 2015 | Page 21

S outh Valley Journal.com

COUNTY MAYOR’S MESSAGE Decision Time For Wasatch Mountains And Canyons By Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams

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e’re nearing decision time for an important collaboration on the future of the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back mountains and canyons. More than a year of work from nearly 200 stakeholders has produced a proposed blueprint for actions that we can take to balance four systems in the Central Wasatch mountains— environment, recreation, transportation and economy. Achieving that balance offers a unique opportunity for Utah residents and visitors to continue to enjoy this remarkable natural area in a variety of ways for years to come. Mountain Accord was launched with a sense of urgency. A fast-growing population and increased tourism, as well as traffic congestion and sprawling development, puts

ing data about what is currently happening with each of the four systems. The proposed blueprint identifies key actions for each system—such as protecting water resources and restoring the environment—in a way that balances all four. Some development in the canyons has produced a thriving ski resort economy, which helps attract tourism dollars to our state. Undeveloped back country terrain has likewise helped grow outdoor recreation businesses that provide jobs. Trails offer a chance to be in the mountains with friends and family, to have fun and perhaps see wildlife. Modern forms of transportation offer the chance to connect Wasatch Mountain communities in a way that is less polluting and more efficient. We’re nearing the end of the first phase of the Mountain Accord project. Following an opportunity for the public to attend several

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more and more pressure on sensitive mountain environments. Without a plan to coordinate actions over the next five to 10 years, what we value most about the Central Wasatch—clean, affordable water, open space and the beauty of nature—will suffer. In 2014, the Central Wasatch experienced 5.7 million visitors. By 2040, that number is projected to grow to 7.2 million. The mountains are a critical source of clean water for more than 500,000 people. As our population increases, so does the need to protect our water. Popular trailheads are overrun with cars on weekends. Traffic jams build up in the Park City area. Change will come whether we act or not, but the question is, will we be happy with that change? The proposed blueprint—you can read it and comment on it at www.mountainaccord. com –is the result of collecting and analyz-

open house meetings to ask questions and to leave comments about the proposal on the website, the Mountain Accord Executive Board members will take a final vote during an April 6 meeting. The results will then move forward in a federal Environmental Impact Statement phase, which will involve public agencies, private landowners, transportation groups and members of the public, among others. That process will determine what happens on the ground, from the designation of special land protection to the construction of transportation systems. No matter what happens next, I believe this is an historic accomplishment. United by the realization of how much the Central Wasatch matters to all of us, we’ve come together in a way that I think offers a path forward for keeping what we love and value about our Rocky Mountain home. l

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Page 22 | March 2015

South V alley City Journal

PREPARING FOR LOSS – MUST HAVE CONVERSATIONS By Joani Taylor

O

ne of the most tumultuous things we deal with in life is the death of a spouse. It can also have some devastating financial repercussions. New York Life (newyorklife.com) reports in a recent survey that 55 percent of widows and 38 percent of widowers have to adjust to a change in income. Recently my mother experienced complications from a common surgery that resulted in nearly $400,000 in hospital and doctor expenses and ultimately ended up costing her life. While insurance did pay a portion of the bill, the unexpected costs and hardship left me realizing how much of a difference some pre-planning could have helped my dad in dealing with the untimely loss. Here are four conversations you should have with your spouse or partner to help ease the financial and emotional hardships after your passing. Will you have enough income? Financial advisor Michael Maddocks of Amerprise Financial, Draper (ameripriseadvisors.com), reports that people often just pick a number out of the air when they get life insurance, without really considering needed future expenses. When deciding on a life insurance plan, Michael recommends you should consider 1. The ever increasing costs of end-oflife expenses 2. Replacing lost future income and 3. Funeral expenses. However, if you are faced with an abrupt, unexpected loss, if you or your loved one endures a long hospital stay incurring significant medical bills,

you may be asked to come up with a large dollar figure. How do you prepare for these possible outcomes? 1. You should have an emergency fund and 2. You should revisit the amount of life insurance coverage you have at least annually. Lastly, look into a long-term care policy. This will help pay for some of the costs of an extended stay at a care facility while preserving your savings for retirement.

their own funeral service, but only 25 percent have already made plans for them. Immediately after the death of your loved one is not the time to be price comparing mortuaries and attempting to determine what your wishes are in regards to their remains. While it may be difficult, preplanning your funeral not only can save you money, but it will bring a great amount of peace of mind to you and your spouse once it’s done. What are the passwords? With the increasing number of financial accounts being managed online, the surviving spouse won’t even be able to log in without log-ins and passwords. Plus, the added security financial instructions have put into play that require you to change your password periodically make it common for a spouse to neglect to inform the other of password changes. Keep your online account information in a safe place, up to date and let your spouse know where it is.

Funeral plans: A 2010 survey by the National Funeral Directors Association (nfda. org) said that 66 percent of adults would like to choose to arrange

Get your will in order: Talk to an attorney and put your wishes in writing. If you don’t want to be connected to life support, be sure you also have a living will in place. Make sure your spouse knows what your wishes are in regards to any financial holding you have and your positions of sentiment. l

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March 2015 | Page 23

S outh Valley Journal.com

Bring It On By Peri Kinder

D

uring a fierce game of Connect Four, my grandson dropped his last red checker in the slot and yelled, “Yes! I won! I beat you two times in a row!” I quietly disassembled the game and carefully put the pieces back in the box. “I think it’s time for you to go home,” I said. “Get your coat.” Did I mention he was 8? I’ve had a bit of a competitive streak since childhood. In third grade, I challenged the fastest boy in class to a race because he said girls couldn’t run. We lined up at the starting line, taking off like rockets when our friend said “Go!” Halfway across the playground I realized I was not going to win. But instead of losing gracefully, I flung myself to the asphalt, shredding my jeans and kneecaps, and then accused him of tripping me. Seemed like a good idea at the time. No one is immune from my aggressive approach to activities. At the gym, I’ll casually glance at the screen on the stairclimber next to mine to see how hard that person is working. Yesterday, the lady on the adjacent machine was working at a level three, so I punched my stairclimber to level 11. She stayed at three, meandering through her routine while I increased my resistance to 13, 14 and 15. Take that, total stranger! Did I mention she was about 85? And carrying an oxygen

tank? And she didn’t know we were competing? I’m also a terrible winner. I’m all “Yo! Take that loser! In your face!” (Or something like that. It’s kind of an outof-body/mind experience.) And on the (rare) occasion my husband beats me at tennis/Words With Friends/Rack-O, the glacial chill I radiate could refreeze the polar ice caps. He says something stupid like, “You know it’s not the Olympics, right?” To which I respond, “Is that how you apologize?” “For winning?” Ignore. I blame my mom. She’s not around to defend herself, so it’s all good. Playing SkipBo with her was like a card game of Spy vs. Spy as she tried to sneak extra cards under our piles when we weren’t looking. We always thought she was a brilliant strategist. Nope. She cheated. When a friendly game of Charades with the family

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turns into a reenactment of the “Hunger Games,” it might be time to back down. When I try to outrun, outjump, outwit and outlift the unsuspecting people around me I usually only end up proving how easily I get hurt. Did I mention I get injured a lot? You’d think that after teaching yoga for almost a decade I would have learned to let go of my competitive cravings. After all, I tell my classes all the time that life, like yoga, is not a competition. Yet. After much practice, I’m learning how to lose with grace. Ish. A wise person once said the only competition you have is with yourself. This person was obviously a cave dweller with no friends, siblings or children to compete with. So, if you’re on the stationary bike next to me; yes, we’re racing. And when I have a Connect Four rematch with my grandkids, I will display no mercy. They’d better show up and be serious because I will not go easy on them just because they’re in elementary school. l

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South Valley Journal - March 2015 - Vol. 25 Iss. 3  

South Valley Journal - March 2015 - Vol. 25 Iss. 3  

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