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February 2019 | Vol. 6 Iss. 02


INSPIRATIONAL TEEN RECEIVES $25,000 SCHOLARSHIP By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


hanh Le, a senior at Taylorsville High School, was grateful to be rescued from a difficult statistics problem when representatives from Sallie Mae interrupted his class to award him a $25,000 scholarship Bridging the Dream Scholarship. “Thanh is one of those people that is always happy and always trying to help other people,” said Claire Dukatz, the school counselor who nominated him for the scholarship. “He’s definitely been an example to others here.” Le earns good grades while juggling AP classes and an after-school job. He is a member of the cross country and track teams and is involved in extracurricular activities. He admits he went a little crazy applying for several leadership positions this year. Le currently serves as senior class senator, president of the HOSA club, treasurer of the Key Club, a member of the Student Advisory Council for the Utah State Board of Education as well as the Utah Youth Council. He loves the service opportunities these positions provide. Le has also been promoted within his martial arts academy and teaches classes to other students. “Those are just some of the most valuable moments as a teacher that I’ve been able to apply to all of my leadership positions,” Le said. Leadership opportunities continue to boost Le’s confidence, which hasn’t always been there. Le said he used to be shy and overly concerned with doing everything perfectly. He said giving up on perfectionism became necessary for him to be able to balance his academics with his extracurricular activities. Besides, he said it wasn’t helping him. “If you’re always a perfectionist, I don’t think you’ll learn from your mistakes,” said Le. Le reached this and other realizations through a lot of time self-reflecting after his mom passed away just after he finished junior high school. He realized he had been immature, had taken his parents for granted and hadn’t appreciated them enough. He said his development into a young adult was escalated by losing his mother at that age. “I thought a lot about my actions and my future and what I could do,” he said. Le took charge of his own life, as his father started to be away more often, traveling back home to Vietnam to build a new life. Living on his own much of the time, Le has learned to shoulder adult responsibilities.

The $25,000 scholarship Thanh Le received from Sallie Mae bring his dreams of college within a closer reach. (Photo courtesy of Sallie Mae)

Role models from his martial arts academy of nine years have inspired him with the skills needed to get through his many challenges. He hopes to be able to do the same for others who have even harder lives. “If there are students out there who are struggling more than me, I would like to be able to give them some help figuring out their lives, figuring out their situation and getting them up from where they are,” he said. “I didn’t have that help, and I would like to give that help.” Dukatz said Le is an example to other students with how he has dealt with his hardships. “He’s actually used them to improve himself as a person and find ways that he can help other people,” she said. “Losing [his mom] really propelled him to want to help others the way that he had seen her help others.”

Le’s advice to other teens dealing with difficult situations is: “You’ll learn from it; you’ll definitely grow from it. It will be OK.” Le plans to use his scholarship at the University of Utah to pursue a degree in the medical field, where he can continue to help others. Le was chosen as one of seven $25,000 scholarship recipients from a nationwide pool of nominations. The scholarship is awarded each year to high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service or school activities, while facing financial circumstances that may prevent them from being able to fulfill their college dreams. Another THS student, Jobany Quiterio, was one of last year’s winners.l

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C ITY OURNAL The Taylorsville City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Taylorsville. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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First Taylorsville City Council meeting of 2019 opens with a Hindu prayer By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

Taylorsville City Councilman Curt Cochran (L) invited Hindu spiritual leader Swami Sandeepananda Giri to offer the council’s first 2019 moment of reverence. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

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Kerala has 2,200 people per square mile – yet is only India’s 13th most populated state. The number one most populated state in America, New Jersey, has just over half that population density, at 1,210 people per square mile. Unmarried, and with no children, Giri is staying eight weeks with the Wendel family in Taylorsville, through February. “I am attending 6-hour English (ESL) classes each day (through the Granite School District continuing education program), visiting the library regularly and learning all about the (UTA) bus system,” he said. Lynette added, her visiting friend is also ‘earning his keep’ at her home. “He is an incredible cook,” she said. “Just a week after he arrived, Giri spent seven hours preparing food for a dinner party. We just make sure we have food in the house and he does his magic.” “I love spices,” Giri added. “And I can make any dish.” At each city council meeting, the mayor – or a council member – is tasked with making arrangements for the moment of reverence. In 2018 alone, these included prayers, patriotic readings and even a musical number. For the first meeting of 2019, the council’s Diversity Committee liaison, Curt Cochran, had that responsibility. “Lynette knows of my involvement on the committee and told me Swami Giri was going to be visiting,” Cochran said. “I thought it would be wonderful to have him offer a reverence. We don’t see the Hindu faith represented a lot here in Utah, so I was glad to see it.” In an effort to continue the theme of diversity, Cochran said he already invited a Vietnamese spiritual group to preside over the city council moment of reverence, the next time it is his turn to arrange it. For the record, the most recent estimates indicate Christianity is the world’s leading religion with 31.5 percent claiming that as their faith. Islam ranks number two (23.2 percent), followed by Hindu (15 percent) and Buddhism (7 percent). “This area is very nice – quiet and calm,” Giri concluded, moments before offering his city council prayer. “I love the mountains, which – in my religion – have souls and character.” When he finally gets around to packing for his return to India, it’s anyone’s guess how many John Denver CDs will be in the suitcase. l

ore than 20 years after his untimely death, country music legend John Denver has a new fan – a Hindu spiritual leader who traveled nearly halfway around the earth to offer the first Taylorsville City Council moment of reverence of 2019. “I love the mountains – all monks love mountains – we worship mountains,” Swami Sandeepananda Giri, 51, said prior to the Jan. 9 council meeting. “Last night I had tears as I watched a John Denver interview on television. His song (“Rocky Mountain High”) is all about love of the mountains.” So, it is probably safe to assume Giri is enjoying his view of the Wasatch Front, during this second visit to Utah. And just as he did last time, in 2015, Giri is staying at the home of Taylorsville Planning Commission member Lynette Wendel. “I met Giri when he came to speak at the Parliament of World’s Religions, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in 2015,” Wendel said. “They were looking for Utah families to host visitors and it was purely by coincidence he ended up at our home.” Wendel and Giri were among some 10,000 attendees at that conference, which they say addresses “mutual understanding of religions in a world where it is very necessary.” “More than 100 faiths – and 100 countries – are typically represented at the parliament,” Wendel added. “Guest speakers address many critical topics such as poverty, environmental sustainability and other current issues. The parliament was like the Olympics for world peace. I had to attend. It was a life-changing experience.” So too, it would seem, was meeting Giri. “My 2015 visit was my second Parliament of World Religions (Melbourne 2009) and my first visit to Utah,” Giri added. “I like it here and am glad to be back.” Giri and Wendel renewed their acquaintance last fall in Toronto, at the most recent religions parliament. Giri hails from one of India’s southernmost cities, Trivandrum, in the state of Kerala. The United States Census Bureau reports, India is the second most populated country in the world, while the United States is third (both behind China). But lest we ever think Wasatch Front traffic jams are Visiting Hindu spiritual leader Swami Sandeepananda Giri teaches unbearable, other population comparisons between the USA members of the Taylorsville City Council, “Namaste,” the universally recognized salutation of his faith. (Carl Fauver/City Journals) and India are staggering. For starters, Giri’s home state of

Taylorsville City Journal

Valentine’s Day ideas By Michelynne McGuire | m.mcguire@mycityjournals.com

Abbey the Cavapoo poses with a homemade Valentine’s Day card wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day. (Michelynne McGuire/City Journals)


ere are some ideas and places around the valley for a Valentine’s date and some budget savvy ideas for Valentines. Romantic: Does your honey have to work on Valentine’s Day? That’s not romantic…but perhaps doing one sweet deed a day is the best way to make it up to your honey. Help them feel extra appreciated with one sweet gesture a day leading up to Feb. 14. Outdoorsy: Don’t let cold temperatures stop you from celebrating Valentine’s in the great outdoors. Dress warmly and try these ideas: Ice Skating: Gallivan Center, Ice Rink Hotline: (801) 535-6117. For more details check out their website: www.thegallivancenter.comSkiing: Some ski resorts offer retreats, spa specials and romantic dinners for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time. This website: www.skiutah.com helps you navigate different resort websites for information. Ice Castles: Journey to Midway and walk hand-in-hand around magnificent illuminated ice formations. www.icecastles. com Giving back: The hopeful animals at local animal shelters could use some love too.The Sandy Animal Services Department doesn’t need volunteers, but they do allow good willed people to visit and give the animals attention in their pet/play room during normal business hours. Sandy Animal Services Department is located at 8751 S. 700 West in Sandy. (801) 352-4450 Indoorsy: If you and your love opt out of crowds this year…perhaps, make a fun recipe together, cookies, cupcakes, or whatever your fancy…and then paint or draw one

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

another to the best of your artistic abilities. Singles/miscellaneous: Sumo Wrestling! Yes, you can rent a sumo suit with some friends from Canyon Party Rental, LLC (801) 836-7700. For more information their website is: www.canyonpartyrental. com Relaxing: Massages. Many places offer couples massages. For seniors: “Draper’s best kept secret.” That’s according to Draper Senior Center’s office specialist Lisa Campbell. The senior center offers an array of fun things for seniors to do and socialize. And it is free for seniors aged 60+ and free for spouses under 60 if they are married to a member who is at least 60. It’s open to seniors living in all areas. There is a workout facility, classes offered and even a café serving generous portions at good prices. Their Valentine’s Day event, a ballroom dance Valentine’s party, will take place on Feb. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Come join in the dance and fun and celebrate “love day” with good music provided by the ballroom dance class and enjoy light refreshments. And on Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Valentine’s entertainment will be provided by the non-profit organization Heart and Soul. For savvy savers: Bowling at All Star Bowling in Draper will be open, no reservations needed, first-come basis. It’s located at 12101 S. State Street in Draper. (801) 5721122. Supporting a play at your local community theatre, Draper Historical Theatre has different on-going shows throughout the year, www.drapertheatre.org. If you and yours are in the mood to laugh, look into a comedy club near you. Fancy Foodies and Desserts: If you’re a foodie and you plan to splurge on your sweetie by deciding to indulge and tantalize your taste buds in ambiance, La Caille a French restaurant in Sandy, is having a Valentines seven-course dinner for $150 per person, reservations required. They are located at 9565 Wasatch Blvd. in Sandy. (801) 942-1751 And www.opentable.com is a simplified way to find a Utah Valentine’s Day Restaurant with open Reservations. Not feeling the crowds, Dairy Queen is having Cupids Cake, made from their traditional ice cream cake, perfect for sharing and it comes in the shape of a heart, a sweet treat for your sweetie that you can take home. Family: If you’re not already in touch with your inner child, perhaps taking the family to bounce around on some trampo-

lines together will heighten your awareness; Airborne Trampoline Park is an amusement center in Draper UT. Their website states that they feature, “Wall-to wall trampolines attract jumpers of all ages to this complex with air dodge ball and foam pits.” They are located at 12674 Pony Express Rd. in Draper. (801) 601-8125 And if you’re not in Draper there is another called Get Air Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. Teens and adult, budget friendly: The Draper Library is offering on Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. a tasting of chocolate and creating. You will get the chance to test your palate with chocolate sampling and create your own seasonal craft to go with. This is through the Draper Makers, they have a seasonal creation time to learn new techniques, the supplies are provided while quantities last. Registration preferred. The Draper Library is at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) Draper and is across from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Developmentally Appropriate: “All Ability Activity Very Fun Valentines,” Friday, first day of February at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Crafts and activities are designed for adults and teens with disabilities. “We have a great time, it’s the highlight of my month,” said Sarah Brinkerhoff, manager at the county library Draper. Registration is required. www.thecountylibrary.org The Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 9434636 Kid friendly, family/friends and free: Valentine crafting, bring the kiddies to make a Sweet Penguin Magnet, on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1-4 p.m. You may drop in between one and four p.m. to make a sweet penguin magnet for Valentine’s Day. The crafting will take place in the children’s area; everything will be available to put together a magnet, while supplies last. Feb. 11, 7- 8 p.m. Family Draper Makers, no registration required, supplies provided while quantities last. Come and make homemade Valentines and quality time with family while creating seasonal crafts. Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Whatever you plan to do, here’s one easy tip for fostering love and appreciation: During your time together, take a break from checking cell phones and focus on one another. Valentine’s Day is truly a day to be loving first and foremost to others and yourself. l

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Taylorsville City Journal

Planning Commission reaches new heights in 2018, now with new leadership By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

Taylorsville Community Development Director Mark McGrath leads a joint training session involving Taylorsville and Herriman City and planning commission officials. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)


t the deadline for this story, the new chairperson for the Taylorsville City Planning Commission had not yet been elected. But as you read this, that person is now in place. So, the “who” was not known a deadline time, but the “what” certainly was. What the new commission chairperson for 2019 has to do is fill big shoes and keep a professional, aggressive, forward-thinking strategy alive. “Our Planning Commission members really stepped to the plate (in 2018), and it was certainly one of the most active and effective commissions we have had,” said Taylorsville Community Development Director Mark McGrath. “Commission members receive a small stipend. They are mostly volunteers. And last year, they did so much on behalf of city residents.” This is high praise from the commission’s primary support staff member and someone who has worked with the planning commission for 25 years. Among their 2018 accomplishments, members of the commission took advantage of more educational opportunities, attended more regional planning meetings and initiated further opportunities for growth with another planning commission (Herriman). Which, of course, all leads to the burning question: “Who cares?” McGrath says

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

Taylorsville taxpayers should. “This active and aggressive effort to become better trained as planning commission members serves the public in two ways,” McGrath explained. “First — the obvious one — it makes them better at their jobs. It helps train them to make better land use decisions that should make our city more attractive and livable.” But he added, the second benefit is even more important to the bottom line. “As commission members attend various planning meetings, they establish an important presence for Taylorsville,” McGrath said. “Groups quickly learn our city is serious about making improvements and getting things done. And these groups have access to many federal grant opportunities. The more our planning commission members make this effort, the more it improves our chances of bringing in outside money for various projects. That’s why Taylorsville taxpayers should care.” Two of the primary “movers and shakers” in this effort to become a better-trained planning commission were last year’s chairwoman Lynette Wendel and the group’s longest-tenured member, Anna Barbieri. For starters, they audited and attended a University of Utah course on city planning, taught jointly by McGrath and his counterpart in

Herriman, Michael Maloy. “It was an excellent course that really helped educate us on things that can be done in cities — particularly in built out cities like (Taylorsville) — to better serve residents,” Barbieri said. “And the class also prompted us to put together the joint meeting and training session with the Herriman Planning Commission.” Last fall, Taylorsville Planning Commission members — and a couple of city council people — toured Herriman, to observe effective uses of public space. Afterward, the groups heard a presentation by McGrath and were given a nationally recognized book about effective city planning. A month later, the two groups reconvened to discuss the book. “Those were very beneficial meetings, and I know we are already talking about doing something similar in 2019 with the Millcreek City Planning Commission,” Barbieri said. At this point, her proper title may be commission chairwoman Barbieri. At press deadline, she was planning to volunteer her name for the post. Barbieri previously served as the chair in 2015. “I think we accomplished what I wanted to accomplish in 2018,” Wendel said during her final few days in the position. “I

just wanted to see the Planning Commission become more proactive and less reactive to issues. In order to do that, I think members need to pursue as much professional training as possible. It has been a fulfilling year.” As Wendel leaves her post, Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson, who spent six years on the planning commission herself, is among those singing Lynette’s praises. “They did an incredible job learning the needs of our community and acting in our citizens’ best interest,” Overson said. “I love the idea that Taylorsville is creating a presence at community planning meetings throughout the valley. The planning commission makes many crucial decisions — about things like zoning codes and special use permits — which impact people in a direct way. This group, under Lynette’s leadership, worked hard to learn everything it could to make those decisions effectively.” City Councilman Brad Christopherson concurred. “As a municipal legal adviser, I have worked with a lot of planning commissions along the Wasatch Front,” he said. “I would stack our commission up against any of them. Lynette (Wendel) has done a great job as chair, and the entire commission has stretched and grown to become more influential in what the city is doing.” l

February 2019 | Page 9

Two years after first announcement, ground finally broken on Taylorsville arts center By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


was five days before Christmas…. And all through Taylorsville…. A groundbreaking was stirring… Giving art lovers a thrill. The groundbreaking on perhaps the most ambitious construction project in Taylorsville history finally took place just before the holidays, following a near two-month delay in the ceremony as county officials recovered from sticker shock and found additional funding to get the job done. “Our bid amount for the project was $38.8 million, the lowest of five or six bid finalists,” said Jacobsen Construction President and CEO Doug Welling. “But that was higher than the county had budgeted. We could not afford to lower our bid, and eventually they agreed to it.” County officials admitted to being a little “shocked” the bid came in that high, as they had budgeted $32 million for that portion of the overall $45 million project. But by “reprioritizing” spending (i.e., delaying other planned county projects), they were able to meet the Jacobsen bid. In the process however, what was originally scheduled as an Oct. 29 groundbreaking became a Dec. 20 ceremony. “I feel like a child on Christmas Eve, with visions of plays and music dancing in my head,” Mayor Kristie Overson told the large groundbreaking gathering, standing in the cold air. “This truly is a Christmas gift. This wonderful facility fits into our Taylorsville 2020 vision. We have worked nearly two years to plan this facility, and I can’t wait for the first performance.” Utah Congressman Ben McAdams also addressed the gathering, wearing his Salt Lake County mayor’s hat for possibly his final official event. “This new regional cultural asset will provide the fast-growing mid-valley with

wonderful performance and rehearsal space,” McAdams said. “I knew when I first started as Salt Lake County mayor how important it would be to get theaters closer to where valley growth is. Everyone should have easy access to the arts.” McAdams also gave a shout-out to former Mayor Larry Johnson, looking at him in the audience and saying, “You camped at my office… you were there all the time… and your persistence and nagging helped to make Taylorsville the final site location.” The December 2018 groundbreaking came just more than two years after the December 2016 announcement that the arts center was coming. Now the race is on to avoid another two full years until the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center ribbon-cutting and first performance. “Out contract allots us 620 construction days, meaning the center should open in late 2020,” Welling said. “We will have hundreds of construction workers on this project. We like to think the actual ‘first performance’ at the arts center will be those employees, hard at work.” Commuters along 5400 South will be able to see those performances daily, as the arts center slowly rises from the grass southeast of city hall. “There has been such a great need for the Taylorsville Arts Council — for rehearsal and performance space — I am thrilled to see this project get under tway,” Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton said during her groundbreaking remarks. “This will be a great performing arts hub, serving Taylorsville, Murray and other community groups as well.” The 70,000-square-foot facility will include a 400-seat primary theater along with a smaller theater, featuring seating configurations of 50 to 200 seats. County officials

Just five days before Christmas, Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson was among those offering comments during the frigid groundbreaking of the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton, a Taylorsville resident, was one of several elected officials to speak as ground was finally broken on the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

promise the center will also include the latest in state-of-the-art theater lighting and sound systems. “This is such a much-needed asset,” City Councilman Ernest Burgess said before the ceremony. “It is so nice to see these dreams come true, particularly for the (Taylorsville) Arts Council.” Councilman Brad Christopherson added, “This (groundbreaking) marks the culmination of years of work, going back to before I was on the city council (2013). A lot of people have worked very hard for a long time to reach this point.” Although the arts center will be constructed on Taylorsville City property, Salt Lake County officials will own, staff and op-

erate the new facility. The Taylorsville Arts Council will enjoy “prioritized” use of the site. The arts center project team includes representatives from architects Method Studio, theater consultants The Shalleck Collaborative, general contractor Jacobsen Construction, Salt Lake County and Taylorsville City. City Community Development Director Mark McGrath said after the groundbreaking ceremony, “This is going to be fabulous — the architectural icon of the whole city.” Of course, that is following another twoyear wait. But this time residents will be able to watch the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center grow before their eyes. l

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City officials plan to unveil gathering place next to new performing arts center By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

With ground now broken on the new performing arts center southeast of Taylorsville City Hall, the race is on to also complete work on this acreage, southwest of the city building, so both sides can open together late next year. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)


ow that ground has been broken on the new $45 million Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center southeast of Taylorsville City Hall, changes will be coming fast and furious to all the open acreage between the city building and 5400 South. After sitting empty for about a decade, the entire area will undergo a radical facelift over the next 20 months. “Now that work is underway on the new arts center, we want to also make improvements to the area west of the new center, so that both sides can open at the same time late next year,” said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson. “We want to make this a wonderful

gathering place for residents to see a show in the arts center and to enjoy other things on the other side (of Centennial Way, the road leading to city hall from 5400 South).” Clearly the plans for the open acreage to the west are not as ambitious as a multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art performance hall, which means whatever ends up being built on that side will not take as long to construct. “We want to create a synergetic relationship between all three areas — city hall, the new arts center and the open area to the southwest — so people feel it all ties together and is aesthetically pleasing,” said Community Development Director Mark McGrath. “We have had a master plan for this complex for many years. But now it needs updating.” The first step in that process is already underway, as city officials have received six bids from consulting and design firms. “Staff will meet and discuss their qualifications and make a recommendation to the mayor,” McGrath said. “We want to see construction and landscaping recommendations that will tie the entire area together.” Funding for the consultants and the work to follow is coming from two primary sources. “The city set aside about $1.2 million several years ago when we sold the southwest corner of the property to the developers of the

St. Mark’s Taylorsville Emergency Center,” said City Councilman Brad Christopherson. “That money has always been set aside for developing this acreage, and now is the time to use it.” Mayor Overson said a similar chunk of money came courtesy of the Salt Lake County Tourism, Recreation, Cultural & Convention (TRCC) Advisory Board. “We requested about $1.4 million in grant funding from the TRCC board, which was approved as the county was going through its budgeting process last December,” Overson said. “We want to make this area outside the performing arts center shine and make this a wonderful gathering place. The TRCC funding will help make that possible.” With design consultants coming on board soon, the next question is this: What will the open acreage contain? “We believe there is space in the area for one or two restaurants, although no decision has been made yet to include those,” McGrath said. “It will be up to the designers to lay it out, and then we will have to see whether there are restaurant operators interested in locating there.” “There’s been talk of a nice restaurant — to capitalize on the arts center audiences — along with more of a faster-serve place,”

Christopherson said. “But we need to study daytime populations to see whether that is feasible. If we do this right, that area (west of the arts center) will be a great community gathering place. That is the goal, to create a sense of completeness. So, now we just have to figure out the best way to do that.” The open acreage is also expected to include pieces of art and an amphitheater area suitable for events such summer outdoor movies, which were revived last season. The food truck Saturday nights launched last year are also expected to find a home in the new configuration. “As for the area farthest south — up against 5400 South — we want to create some kind of grand entrance into the city complex, with signage and possibly a short wall or water features,” McGrath concluded. “Again, at this point we need to get the consultants on board and start looking at options.” But it appears the one thing that is not optional in the midst of all these discussions is the completion date for the westside acreage. “I have been hearing for years that the city needs to take care of this dirt in front of city hall,” Overson said. “So, I can promise you, when that new arts center opens (expected in December 2020), it will not open next to raw dirt.” l

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‘I love this job…but it could be 24/7’ Overson says of her first year as mayor By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

Kristie Overson has now served Taylorsville as Mayor for one year, following six years on the city council and six years before that on the city planning commission. (Taylorsville City)


ristie Overson has been involved in Taylorsville city government for many years, as a planning commissioner, a city councilwoman and now mayor. She says she enjoys serving the community but does have to be cautious not to let it overwhelm her. “I love being mayor,” Overson said early in 2019, after one full year on the job. “I’m not exactly sure what my expectations were. But I have enjoyed it, although it is very time consuming. It could easily be 24/7 if I let it. So far, though, it has been great.” Asked to assess her first year in office, Overson said it has mostly been a success. And despite our hi-tech world — where we can obtain everything from a car to a hamburger, without any human interaction — Overson believes her most important priority

Page 12 | February 2019

has been to build personal relationships. “I have gotten to know other mayors in the Salt Lake Valley, as well as legislators, business leaders, members of the county council and many other people,” Overson said. “It’s important to sit down with other people and compare notes. The more we collaborate and coordinate, the better we can accomplish things.” Overson said Taylorsville taxpayers are also better served through this kind of collaboration. “I have been able to sit down with certain mayors to discuss valley wide issues, westside problems or mid-valley concerns,” she said. “Then those groups can collaborate together to work on ways of obtaining grant money, for instance, to help address needs.

Sometimes as mayors we might want to be territorial—to have our city be ‘the best.’ But I have found we are able to get the most done, working together.” Overson’s relationship building has also extended to individual Taylorsville residents, through a Thursday afternoon program she initiated, called “The Mayor is in.” “As I campaigned for this position, I knocked on a lot of doors and met a lot of people who often said they felt like they had no real access to city government,” Overson said. “I was determined to keep that connection going. I am proud I’ve been able to keep Thursday afternoons (2 to 4 p.m.) open for anyone to drop in and discuss any issue on their mind. I have had as many as 10 people visit on a day, and I have also had no one show up. It’s important residents know they can come discuss concerns without an appointment.” “A couple of my constituents have met with the mayor on Thursdays and have told me they appreciate the access to city government,” Councilman Brad Christopherson said. “I think it is a great policy she has started.” Additionally, during her first year in office, Overson led the charge to return a paid position to city government which had been cut and eventually eliminated during the recession of a decade ago. She felt it was important to restore Taylorsville City’s presence on Utah’s Capitol Hill during the state legislative session through a lobbyist. John Hiskey was contracted by the city late last summer. “I am so appreciative of the city council and the working relationship we have developed,” Overson said. “They supported my idea to re-establish funding for a lobbyist, and I think we found a good one in (Hiskey). Again, it is all about building relationships, which he is good at. Our presence (during the state legislature) will help us find more fund-

ing opportunities and additional resources for city projects.” Also, in the theme of relationship building, Overson is happy to have established special roundtable meetings where stakeholders can share ideas and sort through issues. “We have had two of our priorities meetings so far, and we may have even more (in 2019),” Overson said. “The meetings allow city council members, city department heads, key staff members and me to all talk together to better understand issues we may face. These strategy meetings allow all of the city’s stakeholders to share ideas together.” Another thing the mayor has been determined to take advantage of has been her allotted time on the bimonthly city council meeting agenda for her “Mayor’s Report.” “Each one of those is kind of a short ‘state of the city’ address, so I have tried to be thorough,” she said. “If they are going to allot me the time, I want to make sure the council — and those attending the meeting — are aware of what my office has been working on.” “I think Mayor Overson has been doing great and is a strong ambassador for the city,” Christopherson said. “She has really rolled up her sleeves. She’s engaged, thoughtful, involved and gets around to a lot of meetings throughout the county.” Councilman Dan Armstrong, who was elected by the body as its chairman last month, also added, “(Mayor Overson) has done a good job. She is conscientious, diligent and a hard worker. I would never want any of our mayors to fail, and she certainly is not.” As for 2019, Overson said she has no particular large plans or goals, other than to continue to maintain relationships and to represent constituents, though perhaps not 24/7. l

Taylorsville City Journal

City of Taylorsville Newsletter 2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400

MAYOR'S MESSAGE Dear Friends and Neighbors, As this year’s session of the Utah Legislature gets underway, I am reminded of the many organizations, agencies and individuals who are working on behalf of our Taylorsville community. We are fortunate, as a city, to enjoy such positive relationships with so many. It is important to me to cultivate and maintain those reMayor Kristie S. Overson lationships because I know that such rapport makes all the difference in accomplishing our goals for Taylorsville. We can do so much more by working together. Our resources stretch farther, our ideas are better, our community grows stronger through collaboration. This month, of course, we are working closely with our legislative representatives on behalf of our city. We are lucky to have representatives who care so much about our community, and I count each of them as friends. (See accompanying story for more about the legislative process). As a Mayor and City Council, we are also working with many others through various committee assignments. This work enables us to strengthen municipal government, as well as share Taylorsville’s experiences with other cities. Among assignments as Mayor, I currently am serving on the Board of the Unified Police Department, where I chair the Finance Committee and sit on the Legal Valuation and the Governance committees. I also serve on the Unified Fire Authority Board, where I am a member of the Benefits and Compensation Committee. Through these assignments, we are not only able to give voice to Taylorsville’s needs but also advocate for our police officers and firefighters. Other mayoral committee and board assignments include: The Utah League of Cities and Towns Legislative Policy Committee; the Legislative Affairs Committee of ChamberWest; the Active Transportation Committee of Wasatch Regional Council; the Mosquito Abatement District Board (I take this assignment seriously — those mosquitos are pesky!); the Western Growth Coalition, as well as the Council of Governments and Council of Mayors, among others. As we work together, it’s all about strengthening and building relationships. We understand that we can get things done when we cooperate and talk about priorities and shared issues collectively. At our Jan. 9 City Council meeting, a special guest — Swami Sandeepananda Giri of Kerala, India — gave our message of Reverence. Swami Sandeepananda, who is staying for eight weeks with Taylorsville Planning Commissioner Lynette Wendel while visiting the United States, encouraged those attending to “walk together” and “share no argument.” His thoughts echoed my own about the importance of collaboration. By doing so, we are able to achieve happiness and peace. As always, I wish both to you, my Taylorsville friends. –Mayor Kristie S. Overson

WHAT’S INSIDE – February 2019 Frequently Called Numbers, Page 2 Council Corner, Page 3 Public Safety, Page 5 Heritage Remembrances, Page 6 Environment, Page 8


February 2019 Legislators Represent Taylorsville at the ‘People’s House’

Affectionately called the “People’s House,” the Utah State Capitol is bustling with activity this month as the 2019 General Session of the 63rd Legislature gets underway. The 45-day session began on Monday, Jan. 28, and will run until midnight on March 14. Taylorsville’s legislators want citizens to know that it truly is their house. They are working hard to represent the city and its residents and are focused on furthering Taylorsville’s interests and goals. City leaders also are actively participating in the process. They have identified several priorities and are tracking a number of issues before the Legislature this year. They remain in constant contact with representatives, to ensure the community’s needs are met. It’s never been easier to contact your legislators and get involved. Representing Taylorsville are: • Rep. Jim Dunnigan, House District 39. Rep. Dunnigan was a member of the Taylorsville/Bennion Community Council before helping to organize Taylorsville as a city and then serving on its inaugural City Council. He also is chairman of the city’s Taylorsville Dayzz and owns an insurance firm. To contact Rep. Dunnigan, call 801-840-1800 or email jdunnigan@le.utah.gov. • Rep. Karen Kwan, House District 34. Rep. Kwan was elected to the House in 2016. She is an associate professor of psychology at Salt Lake Community College, where she was named SLCC 2014 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. To contact Rep. Kwan, call 385-249-0683 or kkwan@le.utah.gov. • Sen. Wayne Harper, District 6. Sen. Harper is a long-time resident of Taylorsville, where he works as the city’s Economic Development Director. Sen. Harper was first elected to the Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives. To contact Sen. Harper, call 801-566-5466 or email wharper@le.utah.gov. • Sen. Karen Mayne, District 5. Sen. Mayne is the Minority Leader in the Utah State Senate. She is retired after working as a para-educator with the Granite School District. To contact Sen. Mayne, call 801-232-6648 or email kmayne@le.utah.gov. “We are so fortune to have these legislative leaders representing us and our city,” said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson. “We enjoy such a good relationship with each. Our legislators are attentive and responsive. I have full confidence in them and their abilities.” Mayor Overson hosted a Legislative Breakfast at City Hall in the week before the legislative session where city officials talked to legislators about their priorities and how to best support their work at the Capitol. In addition, Mayor Overson and members of the Taylorsville Youth Council




2600 West Taylorsville Blvd 801 -963-5400 ǁǁǁ͘ƚĂLJůŽƌƐǀŝůůĞƵƚ͘ŐŽǀ

| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

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UPCOMING Taylorsville Events Feb. 6 & Feb. 20 – 6:30 p.m. City Council Meeting @ City Hall Feb. 12 – 7 p.m. & Feb. 26 – 6 p.m. Planning Commission Meeting @ City Hall Feb. 18 – All day President’s Day, City Offices closed March 25-30 Taylorsville Arts Show @ Taylorsville Senior Center. (This event is open to the public to share their artistic talents. All ages – youth to seniors – are invited to exhibit).

City of Taylorsville Newsletter LEGISLATORS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1


participated in the Utah League of Cities & Towns (ULCT) EVALUATING A BILL Local Elected Official Day on Jan. 30. It is a yearly tradition • What is the problem the bill is trying to for the Youth Council to attend the day, which provides an solve? excellent opportunity for the youth to talk to legislators • Is the problem best addressed at the local and see first-hand how the process works. Mayor Overson and city leaders also plan to attend the or state level? ULCT Legislative Policy Committee meeting, held every • Is the bill a one-size-fits-all approach? Monday at noon in Room 30 of the Capitol. At the start • Does the bill restrict mayors and councils of the session, legislators already had opened more than from letting cities and counties work? 1,100 bill files and generally several hundred of them will affect local government. • Does the bill create an unfunded mandate The Legislature is expected to take up several issues this or harm city or county budgets? year that are of interest to the city, including discussion of possible adjustments to sales tax including the distribution formula for local governments; restoring funding for firefighters’ retirement; bills involving land use and zoning; affordable housing and the recruitment and retention of police officers. The city also is supporting legislation that would provide additional funding for law enforcement patrols and weed eradication along the Jordan River Trail.

Local Elected Leaders Plan Best for Their Communities - and the Public Agrees By ULCT President/St. George Mayor Jon Pike & ULCT Executive Director Cameron Diehl Change can make us uncomfortable. Whether it’s upgrading from an old lounge chair or a laptop, it takes some effort. Yet, if the right choices are made, the result can be a future of greater ease and efficiency. Last month, the Utah League of Cities and Towns — a non-partisan, interlocal cooperative of local leaders — shared data that Utah residents are anxious about population growth, and the majority of them believe Utah is growing too quickly. In this decade so far, Utah has added approximately 402,000 residents, which is roughly the equivalent of today’s population of Salt Lake City, West Valley City and Lehi. In a survey conducted by Y2Analytics commissioned by the Utah League of Cities and Towns and other partners, 63 percent of residents expressed strong concern that growth was occurring too fast. However, the data indicate residents also understand the benefits of growth, stating they depend on community leaders to implement plan and articulate a vision for the future. Who should be responsible to plan for the long-term needs of a community? Those surveyed ranked these organizations in the following order: • Mayors and Council Members (40 percent) • Neighborhood Councils/community groups (21 percent) • Utah State Legislature (18 percent) • Developers (14 percent) • The Governor (13 percent) The league then asked who residents most trusted to plan for the long-term needs of their community. The number who trusted mayors and council members the most jumped to 58 percent. Additionally, 22 percent of respondents

said neighborhood councils/community groups, a combined 11 percent said the Legislature or the governor, and 2 percent said developers. Our elected city leaders are aware of the trust and expectation that residents place in them. Mayors and council members are working diligently to protect the character of Utah’s unique communities, a character that is as diverse as Utah’s landscape — from its red rock deserts to its mountain forests. Additionally, the data show that residents overwhelmingly expect local government leaders to plan for the long-term needs and infrastructure of their communities, more so than other elected officials or stakeholders. Residents also trust local leaders to communicate with them about those plans, and they will hold them accountable if they perceive they are not doing their jobs. As we approach the 2019 legislative session, the 1,380 mayors and council members from Utah’s 248 cities and towns are taking their responsibilities seriously to plan for the future. Additionally, our local leaders intend to collaborate with state elected officials, stakeholders and the public on the outcome of preparing for Utah’s population growth while preserving our quality of life.

February 2019

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |



Taylorsville Arts Council Brings Joy to the City

By Council Member Ernest Burgess

As you know, Taylorsville City is a family-oriented community; we love it when families are in our proThe Taylorsville Arts Council has made our comductions. We have been very lucky to have the Bates munity better in so many ways. Its mission is to family, from Taylorsville, involved in many of them. provide cultural activities and experiences for the Rachel Bates said: “We love that we have such a great residents of the City of Taylorsville and surrounding Arts Program in Taylorsville because it has given my communities, and I am so proud of these efforts. whole family an opportunity to perform together in As its City Council advisor, I have seen first-hand some wonderful productions.” how our Arts Council is enriching the lives of comOne of the highlights of the year is the Taylorsmunity members by exposing them to the arts and ville’s Got Talent show. One of our judges, Mary providing opportunities to participate in theatrical Dickson, director of Community Relations at KUED, and musical productions and events, classical music, said of the last production: “It was a pleasure to voice and dance, and other performing and visual art. see the surprising amount of talent in Taylorsville. Left to right: Curt Cochran (District 2). Ernest Burgess (District Some of the acts were top caliber, which made The arts inspire, enlighten and entertain. The Arts Council provides many opportunities judging fun.” 1). Dan Armstrong, Vice Chair (District 5). Meredith Harker for our residents to spotlight their talents. One is our Those comments sum up well the talent we enjoy (District 4). Brad Christopherson, Chair (District 3) Taylorsville Symphony Orchestra (TSO). Under the dihere, and we anticipate that will only grow as our city rection of our talented conductor, Larry Spell, our orchestra members have almost continues to focus on the arts. We especially look forward to the opening in Fall 2020 doubled in number. The orchestra performs four regular concerts a year, and at of the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center next to City Hall (See a photo gallery of Taylorsville Dayzz. Orchestra members are all volunteers, and all the concerts are its Groundbreaking on Page 7). Arts Council Member Gordon Wolf, who is also on free, which makes it nice for families to attend. the board of the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, which will operate the new Orchestra President Molly Upshaw, who is also the liaison with the Arts Council, facility, said: “Salt Lake County Officials have made wonderful accommodations for made a wonderful comment at our last meeting: “I found the Taylorsville Sympho- the Taylorsville Arts Council. The county has made this a public partnership which ny right after I finished college and started my time as a stay-at-home mom. It has we really appreciate.” been the perfect way for me to maintain and improve my musical skill, as well as a Now that the Performing Arts Center is coming, we need to put on productions weekly break from my everyday responsibilities. … My kids love being able to see and events that will fill the seats, entice more participants and uplift our patrons. me perform and have been coming to concerts since they were infants! As long as We would love to have your input on how we can accomplish this goal and help I’m in Taylorsville, I will be a proud member of TSO.” us give you what you want to see. The Arts Council depends on volunteers and is Another arts opportunity provided by the Arts Council is its production of three currently looking for new members. If you love the arts and would like to be on the plays a year. Since starting as director seven years ago, Wendy Dahl-Smedshammer Arts Council or if you would just like to help, please feel free to call Susan Holman has attracted more performers and patrons. She teaches and directs with love and at 801-966-8376. understanding — always bringing the best out in the performers. We are very grateAnd, be sure to catch our annual Arts Show, March 25-30, at the Taylorsville ful for Wendy and all that she has done. Senior Center!

City Council Elects New President, Vice President In starting the new year, the City Council has elected new leadership. Council Members Dan Armstrong and Meredith Harker will serve as respective President and Vice President of the City Council. They were elected Jan. 9 by their City Council colleagues to serve as the Council’s leaders. New City Council Chair Armstrong represents Council District 5 and is owner of a CPA firm, working as a financial advisor. He and his wife are longtime Taylorsville residents and have seven children. Vice Chair Harker is a lifelong resident of Taylorsville, representing District 4. She works as a third-grade teacher at Taylorsville's Calvin Smith Elementary School, and she and her husband have four sons. Congratulations to Council Members Armstrong and Harker!

‘Let’s Talk Taylorsville’ Held Every Fifth Wednesday

Council President Dan Armstrong

Vice President Meredith Harker

The City Council and Mayor met with constitu- to 4 p.m. at her office at City Hall. The Mayor and City Council are always seeking ents at the end of this past month as part of their greater input and want to know what you think. first “Let’s Talk Taylorsville” event. They are hosting these meetings every fifth Each, of course, is also available by phone or email. Wednesday. The first “Let’s Talk Taylorsville” was You can find their contact information on the city’s Jan. 30. If you missed it, the one coming up is the website, www.taylorsvilleut.gov. next fifth Wednesday of the year on May 29. It is a good Come meet with the chance to talk one-on-one with the Mayor and City City Council and Council about any issue. Mayor every 5th The Council and MayWednesday to talk or decided to start holding one-on-one about these meetings in keeping any issue with their priorities of accessibility, transparency and engagement. Mayor Kristie Wednesday, May 29th, 6 pm City Hall Council Chambers Overson also has an open2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd door meeting with constituents, “The Mayor is In,” every Thursday of the week from 2

Let's Talk Taylorsville


City of Taylorsville Newsletter

| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

Letterto the Editor

Thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard to plan the Saturday with Santa: Christmas Around the World event on Dec. 8, 2018, at the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center! The day was presented and planned by the Taylorsville Historic Preservation Committee, Cultural Diversity Committee and Parks and Recreation Committee. The event was well received by all, and the children especially had a great time. They painted rocks and cut snowflakes and even raced in potato-sack “Reindeer Games.” Youth from the community also sang some Christmas carols that topped off the event with happiness. Our mayor, Kristie Overson, along with some of the City Council were in attendance and all had good words for our city of Taylorsville. Thank you again. I can’t wait for next year’s event! –Marsha Mauchley Parks & Recreation Committee Member


Special      Pricing for Taylorsville Residents

Please Contact:

Lee Bennion - 801.834.4325

Arcadia Elementary Team Places Second in Statewide Stock Market Game Smart investments require a keen awareness of economics and business, and most of us are more than happy to leave it to financial professionals. For Shelly Prettyman’s fifth-grade class at Arcadia Elementary, however, business investments are a favorite topic, and her students are eager to try their hand by participating in the Stock Market Game. One of the teams did so well at carefully choosing stock investments that it earned them a runner-up place. Mayor Kristie Overson visited the school this past month where she extended a hearty congratulations to the students and their teacher. The Stock Market Game is a statewide competition administered by the Utah Office of State Treasurer for students in grades four through 12. Each team is given a dollar amount to buy, sell, trade and invest in U.S. companies that trade on Wall Street over a 10-week period. The highest earning ‘investors’ were declared winners in their age category. “My classes started playing about four years ago and we have come very close to being in the top three teams in our division, but have not quite made it this far in the past,” Prettyman said. While she does teach the students the basics of business and the stock market, the task of researching and comparing companies is a team decision. They decide where to invest and how much money will be spent all on their own. Saul Borceguin, Francisco Vargas and Mason Graham methodically selected where to invest and ultimately ended up having the second-best score in the state in their division. “I wanted to purchase stocks in the cinema because a lot of people go to the movies, but my team didn’t agree

Mayor Kristie Overson and Granite District Superintendent Martin Bates (both pictured at center) gather with students, family members and teachers at Arcadia Elementary in Taylorsville. with that purchase so we discussed other ideas,” said student Francisco Vargas. “We bought shares in Amazon, FedEx, Game Stop, AT&T and Tesla.” “This year all eight of my teams placed in the top 30 of 100 teams in our division, and it was a close run right to the fight to the finish,” Prettyman said. Each student from the winning team received a plaque inscribed with their name and a $50 savings certificate from Utah Education Savings Plan. But the team isn’t stopping there; they’re already looking forward to the spring. “The market seems to be going toward a bear market, so the spring game might look completely different,” Vargas said.

Open House Planned for Community Council 2A & 2B Residents An open house for Community Council 2A and 2B residents is scheduled for Feb. 4, from 7 to 8 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers. Community Council representatives are hosting the open house for residents to learn more about the importance of the community council and how you can voice your concerns for not only your neighborhoods but for happenings in Taylorsville City, as well. District 2 City Council Member Curt Cochran will be attendance. “We would love to see more of our fellow District 2 residents being a more active voice or taking a more active role in the community,” said Barbara Hegland, who has served as Taylorsville Community Council 2A Secretary. “We hope to see you there!” Check out the accompanying map to see the Community Council and City Council districts where you live, including District 2. According to city ordinance, the purpose of establishing community councils is to inform communities about city policies and services, engage the public in city decisions, promote a sense of community, and encourage and cultivate community participation and communication. Community Councils are advisory councils established by the city.

February 2019

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |


Exchange Club Honors Firefighter and Officer of the Year The Taylorsville Exchange Club yearly honors outstanding firefighters and police officers. This year’s Exchange Firefighter of the Year is Firefighter Specialist Rob Marriott, and Officer of the Year is Detective Kresdon Bennett. Marriott has been employed with UFA since January 2007 and currently works as a Heavy Rescue Technician based out of Station 117. Prior to full-time status, he served in the Wildland program for five years. He is actively involved in the community. For many years, Marriott coordinated and participated in the annual UFA/UPD softball game, which for several years now is a part of the Taylorsville Dayzz celebrations. He also is a key contributor to the annual “Firefighter Chili Cook Off,” a fundraiser for the University of Utah Burn Camp. Not only is he a committee member of this event but he is also a member of the UFA team, Sultry Poultry (the best cashew chicken money can buy). In addition, Marriott is a Utah Burn Camp counselor for both Camp Nah Nah Mah and the Adolescent River Trip. Since its inception, Marriott also has coordinated and

assisted with the UFA-sponsored EMT courses – now 26 in number, beginning in 2010. Officer of the Year Det. Bennett has been a police officer for 16 years. In that time, he has held numerous assignments including patrol, K-9 handler and detective. He is respected as a top narcotics and fugitive apprehension officer in and around the State of Utah. During 2018 alone, Det. Bennett successfully completed the following: 61 arrests, 23 search warrants, 17 recovered vehicles, $28,377 in seized currency, 30 seized firearms, and the recovery of thousands of grams of illegal drugs. “Very few police officers have the ability to impact criminal networks like that of Detective Kresdon Bennett,” said Taylorsville Precinct Police Chief Tracy Wyant. “Kresdon’s abilities in seeking justice with our most violent and prolific career criminals is perhaps his greatest professional contribution. His investment in the profession of law enforcement has undoubtedly had huge impact in keeping our community safer.”

Officer of the Year Det. Kresdon Bennett is honored by Exchange Club representatives Linda Hardman and Renee Sorensen (pictured at left and right) and Mayor Kristie Overson.

Firefighter of the Year Rob Marriott and his wife, Meisha, are joined by Unified Fire Authority Assistant Chief Jay Ziolkowski.

Prevent Auto Theft and Auto Burglary with These Tips By UPD Assistant Chief Tracy Wyant You may be tempted to leave keys in a parked vehicle, or leave your purse and other valuables in plain view. These actions can make you an easy target for criminals. As opportunists, criminals look for the easiest “opportunity.” If criminals see a vehicle running, they will take the opportunity to steal it. If criminals see items that have value, in the open and easily accessible to them, they will steal them. In this day when cellphones contain a person’s life details, including personal information, contacts, credit card or debit card information, imagine being forced to go without yours because of theft. The best solution to these problems is to minimize the ability for criminals to commit crime, and minimize the chance of becoming a victim. Be diligent and try to follow the listed suggestions to minimize your chance of being victimized: 1. If you have a garage, use it. Parking your vehicle behind a garage door will help prevent thieves from seeing your vehicle. 2. Park in a safe, well-lit area. Criminals do not like being seen. 3. Utilize vehicle theft systems, stickers or LED lights inside the vehicle. If a criminal thinks your car has an alarm, they will likely move on. 4. Concealed ignition kill switches: These can be purchased for cheap, and installed in a location only known to you.

5. Steering wheel locks: These can be a great theft deterrent due to the effectiveness of the device. They must be used properly, but if a thief can see the lock, they will likely move on and not target your vehicle. 6. Do not leave valuables in plain sight. Criminals look specifically for this and target vehicles with easy access to valuables. They can break a window and be gone with your property in a matter of seconds. 7. Do not leave your vehicle running.

Chief Tracy Wyant

8. Do not leave titles or other personal identifying items in your vehicle. Identity theft is an ever-growing crime that can cause years of headaches to fix. Keep only the registration and insurance card in your vehicle. 9. Do not, under any circumstance, leave a firearm unse cured in your vehicle. These make easy targets for crimi nals, and obviously have unforeseen negative impacts. By working together, we can combat the ever-growing problem of auto theft and vehicle burglary. Thank you for your help!


| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

City of Taylorsville Newsletter


Taylorsville Bennion Heritage REMEMBRANCES

• Free AARP Tax Aide: Mondays, Feb. 4 to April 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 385-468-3370 to make an appointment. Appointments fill up fast. • Exercise with U of U Students: Mondays and Wednesdays. Open gym aid at 5:15 p.m., class at 5:45 p.m. • Pathway to Citizenship: Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Intermediate to advanced English required. This course gives help to answering and understanding context for questions on the U.S. Naturalization test. • Super Bowl Tailgate: Friday, Feb. 1 at 11:15 a.m. Root beer floats by Calvin Curtis Attorney at Law. • Wear Red for Heart Health Awareness: Monday, Feb. 4. • Dignity Funeral Presentation: Your Life Your Legacy. Monday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. • Birthday Tuesday Entertainment: Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. Entertainer Kevin Scott. This will be Chinese New Year themed. • Heart Health Presentation by Humana: Monday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. • Valentine’s Day Party: Thursday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. • Center Closures: Monday, Feb. 18. President’s Day • Westminster Nursing Students: Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Screenings for artery disease, balance/vison, blood pressure and blood glucose. • Decathlon: Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the 10th East Senior Center. Call for questions and to sign up.

The Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center holds many life histories of our pioneer ancestors. Each month, a new one is chosen to be featured on these pages. This month’s tells of William Warner Player Jr. (1857-1938) and his wife Louisa Port Player (1859-1941). Their story including citations and an inches-thick album was provided to the center by Jolene Tanner, who is a direct ancestor. If you wish to learn more, come to the museum to see their full history. William Warner Player Jr. was born July 19, 1857, in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to Charles Warner and Louisa Port Player Betsey (Oades) Robbins Player. He was known as “Will” throughout his life and was a tall, lean, good-looking man with piercing crystal blue eyes and brown hair. His grandchildren recall that he always had a “twinkle in his eyes.” In his later years, he wore a mustache and most often could be found in his blue-and-whitestriped bib overalls. In his youth, William was working as a stone-cutter in construction of the Salt Lake Temple when he observed two young ladies that often passed along the block. He told his fellow workers that that he was going to marry one of them some day. Louisa Port was born in Foyle, Hampshire, England William Warner Player Jr. on Nov. 30, 1859, to William and Mary (Garnett) Port. Louisa stood 4 feet, 11 inches with dark blue eyes and brown hair. Louisa was almost 22 years old when she and Will were married on Oct. 12, 1881. The Young couple began life together at 735 W. 200 North (now 300 North), just across the street from the home where Will grew up. In 1884, Will and Louisa purchased property in the southwest portion of the Salt Lake Valley. The area was called South Taylorsville at that time but soon became known as Bennion. Their first cabin consisted of two rooms, and then a tiny bedroom, kitchen and pantry were added. Their children were baptized as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the canal west of the church near 1488 W. 4800 South. A Sons of the Utah Pioneer marker has been erected at that spot. The Player children attended school in Bennion in the red brick 64th District school at 6200 S. 1700 West, better known as Redwood Road. In about 1884, Will dug a well for the family so they could have their own water behind the house. They shopped at the first store in the area owned by Charlotte Rouse Wright on 4800 South. She sold groceries, sugar, tea, salt, pepper and other spices, candy, gum, licorice and tobacco. The Player boys were taught to hunt and work on the farm. The girls were taught to sew and keep house. When the Player family made the move to the area, many necessities of life and farming were already being established, making life a little easier as they embarked upon making their land into a home and farm. As a side note: In 2005, Elva Player Turpin, a longtime resident of Bennion, donated antique clothing including a Dolan fur coat, muff, scarf, dress hat and parasol used by her grandmother, Louisa Port Player. The family also donated a shawl and fan owned by Louisa’s mother-in-law, Betsy Oades Player. The pictures of William Warner Player Jr. and Louisa Port Player hang on the bedroom wall at the Taylorsville-Bennion Heritage Center Louisa Port and William Warner Player Museum. The museum very much appreciare pictured in their later years. ates these donations.

February Brings Full Slate of Activity

Drop by the center at 4743 Plymouth View Drive, or call 385-468-3371 for details.


City Officials, ChamberWest and restaurant representatives participated in a Ribbon Cutting to mark the official Grand Opening of Carl's Jr.! They are located at 3822 W. 5400 South in the WestPoint shopping area. The location also sports the first doublelane drive-thru at a Carl's Jr. in Utah.

February 2019

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |

We Can All Pitch in to Help Make Winter Driving Safe With winter here, it is important for residents to understand their roles during snow removal. One of the goals of Salt Lake County is to provide expeditious and efficient snow removal during winter snowstorms. County road crews continue to strive toward a high level of service for residents during these road conditions. During heavy snowstorms, it can take as much as 48 hours to clear all priority routes and through streets once the storm has subsided. To help expedite clearing roadways from snow and icy conditions, the county is asking for your help. You can assist snow removal operators in several ways: • Always park your vehicle off the street when snow is on the road or expected. Vehicles left in the roadway create unnecessary obstacles for snow removal operators to work around, and they can slow the process of properly clearing the road. It also is against Salt Lake County’s ordinances. Contact the Salt Lake County Sheriff at 801-743-7000 to report vehicles parked on the roadways. • Keep obstructions such as portable basketball hoops, trash cans and toys off the street.

City of Taylorsville Winter Parking Restrictions The City very much appreciates your help in keeping parked cars off the roadways as crews work to clear snow in winter months. No Overnight Winter Parking (November - April) for Snow Removal (ordinance 11.20.130) No Parking for more than 24 Consecutive Hours (11.20.135) No Large Truck or Trailer Parking in Residential Area for more than three consecutive hours (11.20.060) No Parking for Repairs, Maintenance, or to Display for Sale  (11.20.140)

• Exercise extreme care and caution when driving in adverse and inclement weather. Your safety and the safety of other motorists and pedestrians is the highest priority. • Travel at a safe distance from snowplows at all times to avoid damage to your car. Do not try and pass these vehicles and remember the driver cannot see your vehicle when it is directly behind them. Please be patient. For more information on snow removal or to view a copy of Salt Lake County’s snowplow priority zones, please visit the Public Works Operations website at www.slco.org.

Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center


Construction of the MidValley Performing Arts Center in Taylorsville is moving forward. Mayor Kristie Overson attended a pre-construction meeting at the end of January, following the formal Groundbreaking ceremony held in front of City Hall on Dec. 20.   "Plans and staging are moving ahead,'' Mayor Overson notes. "It's so exciting to see the developments."   The facility will include the 400-seat Mainstage Theater and a 200-seat smaller theater, as well as rehearsal and event space and public art. Its construction and surrounding City Center landscaping is a key part of the city's 20/20 Vision for the year 2020 and beyond.


December 20th Taylorsville City Hall


City of Taylorsville Newsletter

| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

Taylorsville Community Gardens The Taylorsville Community Greenhouse opens on Feb. 22 for spring planting. The cost is $25. A few spots are also available for the community gardens this season.

FEBRUARY WFWRD UPDATES 2019 COLLECTION RATES The Wasatch Front Waste fees for 2019 will remain at $17 per month/$204 per year for one garbage can and one recycle can, plus all the other services you get in your service package. There is an increase to the fees to the Trailer Rental Program in 2019. Green waste trailer rentals will increase from $40 to $45 per rental. Bulk waste trailer rentals will increase from $125 to $145 per rental. There are also additional fees of $15 per mattress piece, $12 per refrigerator and $3 each for tires disposed of in the bulk rental trailers. Please refer to the 2019 fee schedule on the WFWRD website wasatchfrontwaste.org/rates-fees/ for more details on all district fees. Customers can help keep fees low by recycling as much as possible. More than 60 percent of the materials at the landfill can be recycled.


For additional information please contact: Toni Lenning at 801-414-4192

Carefully Handle ‘FOGs’ to Prevent Sewer Problems Fats, oils and grease: These dirty actors have the potential to cost you money if not handled properly. Problems can develop in your household drains and the sewer collection system due to the improper disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG). Commonly used cooking oils and grease disposed in sink drains can lead to sewer line backups in homes and businesses. Sewer main backups may overflow onto streets creating adverse impacts to public health and the environment. The easiest way to solve FOG build-up is to keep it out of the sewer system. Here are a couple of tips: • Pour cooled FOG into a can or other container with a tight lid (coffee can, glass jar or plastic container) and dispose of it in the garbage. • Place baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, then empty the drain baskets/strainers into the trash. Tell your family, friends and neighbors about problems associated with grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out. The solution starts in your home with your actions. I f yo u h ave a ny q u e s t i o n s, please contact Taylorsville-Bennion Improvement District by calling 801968-9081 or visiting www.tbid.org. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Did you know that WFWRD provides landfill vouchers to residents? These vouchers give Taylorsville residents up to $12 off one truck or trailer load of bulk or green waste. You can use these vouchers if you have the ability to haul your own truck or trailer loads to the landfill. The vouchers can be obtained at Taylorsville City Hall.

BROKEN/DAMAGED CANS If your garbage or recycle can is broken or damaged, please call Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District at 385-468-6325. They will come and repair your cans as part of your fees for services. You can also complete an online service order request on the WFWRD website wasatchfrontwaste.org/report-a-problem-orrequest-service/

LIKE WFWRD ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District is on Facebook and Twitter. Please “like” their Facebook and Twitter pages. This is the best and quickest way for you to get notified of tips, issues and important announcements that may impact your service.

Bus rapid transit project connecting Murray, Taylorsville and West Valley remains on schedule By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

Rendering of proposed Midvalley Connector BRT station. (Photo courtesy UTA)


etween I-15, the westside belt route, Bangerter Highway and the Mountain View Corridor, commuters in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley can normally find a relatively pain-free way to move north and south. But the never-ending dilemma of the east–west commute lingers on. On 5400 South through Taylorsville, the solution was to install red and green lane signs that make every day feel like Christmas for drivers. And for a full decade now, the problem has been considered, debated and addressed for improving 4500–4700 South travel. “Work first began to address this travel problem across the valley along 4700 South back in 2009,” said Loretta Markham with Jacobs, a consulting firm on the project. “Back then, a light rail spur was still being considered. But through years of analysis, it was determined a bus rapid transit project would be more effective at connecting people to other mid-valley mass transit systems.” At their first meeting of 2019, Taylorsville City Council members heard a detailed update on the Midvalley Connector Bus Rapid Transit project from Markham, who is the Jacobs consultant team project manager.

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

“My guess is the bulk of the construction work will occur in 2021,” she told the elected officials. “Under the current timeline, final design of the project will occur this year, with property acquisition after that. There are 30 partial land acquisitions required. But most of those are just little slivers of land, which should not take as long to acquire.” In fact, the only Taylorsville residents who will be displaced by the project reside in two aging apartment buildings between 4700 South and Salt Lake Community College: Casa Linda Apartments. “The city purchased Casa Linda Apartments as right of way acquisition,” City Councilman Brad Christopherson wrote in a text to the Taylorsville Journal. “The state allocated some funds several years ago. A couple of the Casa Linda buildings have already been torn down.” Christopherson also added the city was aware of an asbestos issue in the buildings at the time of the purchase. Taylorsville officials will be responsible for the hazardous waste cleanup if there is any. But because the still-standing buildings were constructed more recently than those that have already been torn down, the council is hopeful crews will not find asbestos when the current struc-

tures are removed. Effectively, the Midvalley Connector Bus Rapid Transit line will link Murray’s Intermountain Medical Center to West Valley City Hall. A new transit hub will be constructed at Salt Lake Community College, the primary reason why the apartments must

go. And 15 bus stations will be constructed along the route. “They are not like standard Utah Transit Authority bus stops, which are often just a pole in the sidewalk,” Markham continued. “These stations will be covered, include benches and a kiosk for purchasing bus tickets.” Several of the stations will be built in the middle of 4500–4700 South. The bus route will proceed west on 4700 South before turning north on 2700 West to end in West Valley, west of Valley Fair Mall. “This route will connect commuters with TRAX lines and many other mass transit options,” said Lynda Jensen, with Forsgren Associates, Inc. Essentially, she is Taylorsville’s contracted city engineer on the project. “There are so many office buildings along this route; it should help a lot of people to be able to leave their cars at home when they go to work.” The $40 million cost of the BRT project includes the purchase of eight deluxe, high-capacity busses at an estimated cost of $1million each. During her presentation to the Taylorsville City Council, Markham also asked the body to sign a formal resolution in support of the BRT plan. At press deadline, council members had verbally committed to do so and encouraged Markham to offer their resolution as a template, as she seeks similar notices of support from the Murray and West Valley City councils. “I have worked with a lot of cities on a lot of projects,” Markham said. “Taylorsville’s vision and support to see this through — for 10 years now — has been as impressive as any municipal work I have seen. Even through various city administrations, their commitment to improving mass transit through Taylorsville has never wavered.” l

Rendering of proposed Midvalley Connector BRT station. (Photo courtesy UTA)

February 2019 | Page 21

Taylorsville High’s Harwood named heart challenge winner


By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Registration for Spring League open now! its kind and we invite all girls (4th-12th grade) to join. www.UtahGirlsTackleFootball.com


Corner Canyon High’s Mindy Wilder and Taylorsville High’s Kevin Harwood came away with Most Improved and Overall Winner titles, respectively, in the teacher 2018 My Heart Challenge. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


fter 100 days, Taylorsville High School teacher Kevin Harwood was given a sash and a crown as the overall winner of the 2018 My Heart Challenge. Fourteen high school teachers from across the Salt Lake Valley participated. However, all the teachers say they were winners in improving their own health. Harwood, who teaches English, received a $1,000 check earmarked to be used at the school. He hopes to use it for more copies of “The Jungle,” which he had students read this year and talk about prepared and processed foods. “We examined both sides of the issues,” Harwood said. Learning about meat packaging was “cool,” according to Taylorsville High student body vice president and senior Nephi Williams, who attended the ceremony along with student body president and senior Daniel Fairbourn. “We all took an interest in Mr. Harwood’s challenge and saw the positive impact he was making in his life and gave students the motivation to become healthy themselves,” Fairbourn said. “He’d make fun assignments where we would move around in his class and healthy food to share so we’d be more energetic.” About 500 Taylorsville High students also listened to a Cornell University professor, whom Harwood arranged to come to classes and speak about the ethics of farming, protecting the forests and environment, and heart disease associated with a red meat diet.

Page 22 | February 2019

Harwood decided to take part in the challenge to be a more active grandfather. “For me, participating in the challenge was a wake-up call,” Harwood said. “It got me thinking about what I’m doing and how it takes time to develop healthy habits.” Before the contest, Harwood admits he developed poor habits after running the 1994 St. George Marathon. He would eat weekly at a Mexican restaurant and would turn on Netflix instead of hitting a treadmill and eating fruits and vegetables. “I learned valuable information that transformed my life,” he said, adding that his family also participated, including the family dog, Daisy, who took him on 4-mile daily walks. Harwood’s wife, Karen, said her husband was committed to his new health plan, with a long-range goal of meeting 10,000 steps. “He’d help shop for food, make sure we cooked it healthy and just adapted a healthier lifestyle,” she said. Principal Emme Liddell said she was proud of Harwood. “He took it seriously, working hard to become healthier, and set an example for those around him to change their lifestyle,” she said. “He had conversations with students about making the commitment to become healthier.” Through the program, all the teachers received individual coaching and counseling from heart experts at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, talking to exercise

specialists, dietitians, counselors and cardiologists. They were introduced to various exercises, which they might not be familiar with, from yoga to boxing, and participated in weekly health assessments. Together, they exercised 46,194 minutes and lost 212 pounds. Their cholesterol levels decreased 14 percent, while their triglycerides dropped 32 percent. Through an increase of 18 percent of aerobic fitness, their body fat went down 19 percent. In Granite School District, Julia O’Discoll of Skyline High also took part in the challenge. The most improved award went to Mindy Wilder, of Corner Canyon High in Draper, who also received $1,000 for her school, along with a sash and crown. During the 100 days, she lost 44 pounds. Wilder not only got her physical education students and volleyball team to participate, but she also introduced yoga to nearby Crescent Elementary in Sandy in early November, getting six classes of third- and fourth-graders to become active. “Everything I learned, I took back to my ninth-grade class, including nutrition and exercise logs,” Wilder said. “They made a lot of progress. The volleyball team was very engaged and preferred fruit and vegetables over snack foods. The elementary kids became more flexible as they learned something new. I learned little things that will make a lifetime change for me.” Other teachers shared what they learned to their classes and schools. Pepper Poulsen, at Bingham High in South Jordan, involved students, who performed a rap at the awards ceremony. At Jordan High in Sandy, Nicole Manwaring, who biked to work, had her school participate in tracking steps as well as having chef program students at the school prepare a healthy meal in December. She even got the preschoolers to learn to exercise while learning their letters, said Principal Wendy Dau. Murray High’s Keeko Georgelas worked with their school’s culinary arts students to hold a fundraiser dinner for heart research for Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, which could help pay living expenses for families of patients undergoing heart transplants. “I hope it becomes an annual event,” he said. “This impacted my life as well as students and faculty at Murray.” Kristina Kimble, of Alta High in Sandy, said it was easier knowing other teachers also were committed to the program. “I can email or talk to any of these teachers and know that we will continue to be supportive of one another,” she said. “It’s not over; it’s a lifetime commitment. We all succeeded in becoming healthier, so we all won.” l

Taylorsville City Journal

Squad of students helping troubled teens By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com with Thoughtful Thursday and posts about good friends. “We were trying to say you can help people get through tough times with social media,” said Kate Okabe, a sophomore. Throughout the week, students were encouraged to write Hope Grams, complimentary notes to be delivered to other students during class. “It makes me happy when I get one, so I try to do as many as possible to other people,” said sophomore Merryim Loose, who joined the squad because she feels good when she can help friends through tough times. Her brother Robert, a naturally outgoing person, was nominated by his peers to be on the squad. “For me, it’s just pretty much what I always do — I just try to make people laugh,” he said. THS has had a Hope Squad for four years. Eisenhower Jr. High started its Hope Squad this year. “We have had many positive experiences with our Hope Squad so far,” said Eisenhower club adviser Kristina Moore. “They really look out for and take care of the students here at Eisenhower. We know that they are having a positive impact on their classmates.” Being a member of Hope Squad has a positive impact on its members as well. Anaeli Pham, a senior, was bullied During a lunchtime activity, club members encourage students to make friendship bracelets and write positive notes to each other. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


hen a student called for homework accommodations from a mental hospital, Stephanie Floch wasn’t sure what to do. “I was still a new teacher, and I just had to navigate all those things—I had to figure out, as a teacher, ‘What are my boundaries?’ and ‘What should I be doing?’” Floch said. Counselors provided advice, and then an administrator provided information about Hope Squad. Floch headed up the club as a solution that included not only teachers and counselors but also students. THS school counselor Claire Dukatz said the program is a great way to educate students about mental health issues and its warning signs so that they can help their friends. “Students are more likely to open up to other students than adults,” Dukatz said. She said having extra people trained to spot atrisk students means counselors can help more of them. “We don’t see the students in the hallways and in class, so it’s really the peers that hear them talking in the hallways,” she said. Hope Squad members are trained to recognize warning signs of suicide ideation, to know what to say and what not to say to be helpful, and to know how to refer their peers to an adult for help. They strive to be friendly

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

to everyone, make connections with others and regularly check in with peers they know are struggling. “The whole goal for Hope Squad is to raise more awareness for suicide prevention and for mental health issues around the school,” Floch said. “I definitely feel like it’s been making a difference just for students to know there are faculty members and students that are go-to people who are qualified to help out and are approachable and know what to do and what not to do.” Floch and Dukatz, along with fellow faculty member Nicole Lavely, are advisers for the club, but the program is mostly student-driven. The 30 members of the squad recently planned a successful Hope Week to remind students that they are available to help. Lunchtime activities promoted social interactions through trivia games, mindfulness exercises and crafts. The Hope Squad also used social media challenges—based on daily themes—to spread positive messages. On Meme Monday, students posted positive-message memes on their social media. On TimeWarp Tuesday, they posted memories from a time when they felt happy and then posted pictures of calming places on Wind-Down Wednesday. The week ended

in 10th grade (at a different high school). Through squad training, she has learned about healthy boundaries and support systems. “Being in Hope Squad just made me realize that there are good people out there,” said Pham. “It gave me people to talk to when my friends were in trouble and I didn’t know what to do for them.” l

Club members are trained to recognize warning signs of suicide ideation. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

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February 2019 | Page 23

Under new direction, Warriors girls basketball having an impact By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Warriors senior Finau Tonga has signed an early letter of intent to attend St Marys. She is averaging nearly 17 points per game.


he girls basketball season at Taylorsville High School started this season with a new head coach. They have continued the progression that had been established by the previous regime. “It has been a little frustrating,” Warriors new girls basketball head coach Reggie Jewkes said. “We have had a rocky start and our record should be better than it is. We have had some girls out with injury, but we have

Page 24 | February 2019

really tried to come together.” Jewkes takes over the program after previous head coach, Jodi Lee, left to take a position at Riverton High School. Jewkes brings with her plenty of basketball experience. She began coaching boys basketball in 1997 after her all-conference career with the University of Utah. She has been an assistant at Skyline and once before at Taylorsville. “It is tough to inherit someone else’s

team. I have been looking at our strengths and trying to develop them,” Jewkes said. “This is a good group of girls, very sharp and have been catching on to what we have been teaching them.” Senior center Finau Tonga leads the team in scoring averaging 16.5 points per game. At 6-foot-2 she also leads the team with 12 rebounds per game. “She is probably the strongest girl basketball player in the state,” Jewkes said. “That is our strength and we go to her. Our opponents know it and sandwich her underneath. The good thing about Finau is that she knows if they crash down on her she can pass it out to someone else for a three. She is a force inside.” Tonga was an early signee with the Saint Marys Gaels in California. The Warriors rely on Tonga to get the ball to its outside shooters Calleigh Deyoung and Aubrey Yorgason. They have combined for 226 points in the teams first 12 games. Against Cyprus the interior defense collapsed on Tonga holding her to 11 points, but she was able to find Yorgason who pitched in eight points and Deyoung sank 3 three-point shots in the 47-36 win.

“They came and double teamed me but the rest of my team came through. That is probably the biggest reason we won tonight,” Tonga said after the victory. Preseason left the Warriors with a 5-7 record. They secured wins over Roy, Summit Academy, Olympus, Skyline and Cyprus. Jewkes said they are now prepared for their region contests. “That is what this is all about. We needed to learn and be ready for region. This group is great. They are very coachable and a fun group. Sometimes they test my patience but they are a great group,” Jewkes said. The Warriors compete in the Utah High School Activities Association Region 3. They are scheduled to face West Jordan, Herriman, Copper Hills and Riverton. Lee returns to face her old team Jan. 22 (after press deadline). The Warriors have qualified for the state tournament in five straight and in 14 of the last 15 seasons. The team has caught on to the message of the new coaching staff and hopes to keep the streak alive. “We had to adjust. She has been showing us some new things, but it has been a great season,” Tonga said. l

Taylorsville City Journal




TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

February 2019 | Page 25

Women enjoy talking together and with professional snowboarder Nirvana Ortanez (middle in blue) before the Women’s Ride Day dinner.

Women freeride and unite By Amy Green


ackcountry.com hosted a Women's Ride Day at Brighton Resort on Jan. 10. It was open to women of any skill level who registered. It was a day of snowboarding, complimentary barbecue, adventure films and a chance to ride top-of the-line winter gear. Dinner and drinks were “on the house” for ladies who met at Milly Express lift for the meetup. Backcountry.com is an online retailer that was formed by two guys in a Park City garage with a business dream. Since 1996, they sell specialty gear and clothing for a wide range of outdoor mountain sports. To start the 2019 year with style and ambition, Backcountry partnered with the Women’s Leadership Coalition to sponsor this relaxing day. It was for gathering women to shred up some sweet “gnar-pow” together (that’s old school for “gnarly powder man!”). Though after this event, gnar-pow is obviously a gender non-specific term. The point of the event was to inspire women who want to hit the slopes, to meet other women and try out the latest gear. Doing this can help women network and feel empowered in a male dominated sport. Marga Franklin, visual merchandising manager for Backcountry explained, “Our goal is to get people out there on the snow… sharing with

Page 26 | February 2019

other people who might be intimidated, but want to try. We have all the gear so they can come out.” Burton and Nitro were there to offer free snowboard demos and the newest bindings. Brighton chefs served the ladies a hearty dinner of barbecued pork sandwiches and more. It was a tasty meal to replenish energy for taking more runs into the night. What’s not to enjoy, when there is good female company, food and snowboarding films starring talented women? Myllissa Pinchem attended. “I love how inviting everything has been. Coming out here today, everybody has been so welcoming. I’m a beginner and everyone was super nice letting us demo the boards. Having the opportunity like this and having other women that share the same passion is really awesome,” she said. Backcountry recognizes that women can benefit by meeting together in an adventure setting. The attendees agreed that women doing sports together is important. When businesses give back by promoting core passions, with women celebrated as a part of it, it sends a positive message. It is a message (for women who already love the outdoors) to feel equal in sports. It’s also a message to encourage women who are on the

fence about trying new things. Nirvana Ortanez, a professional snowboarder, was there. “Look up events like this and just come. It’s the best way to get intimidation out of the way. We take time out of our schedules and travels to be here at these events, to really encourage women who might be intimidated,” she said. Ortanez has been highlighted in TransWorld Snowboarding as a woman with some serious commitment and skill. Women are also popping out of the woodwork, with talent for filming and photography in snowboarding. Gill Montgomery, a freelance photographer, knew about the event because she shoots professional snowboarders and lives in the area. “Whenever there is a female event, I’m all about it,” Montgomery said. “It’s great because there are so many girls in the industry that never really get together. Events like this show girls, even younger girls (and girls not as confident in snowboarding), that there is a community — that we are very welcoming; that you can reach out and go to events like this and be comfortable and accepted.” When it comes to getting more involved in sports like snowboarding, Montgomery related, “It always seems kind of intimidating, especially as a female (you’re constantly sec-

ond guessing yourself). You just need to find a group that you can ride with, and there really are other girls to shred with. Go out and get involved.” She recommended visiting a local ski shop for info, and paying attention to upcoming events. It was a day of sweet gnar-pow, and even sweeter intentions put into action by Backcountry.com. One can follow on Facebook to watch for more events at www.facebook.com/ Backcountry.

Backcountry.com’s van parked near Brighton Resort’s Milly Express lift marked the place for women to gather for snowboarding, food and free gear demos. (Amy Green/City Journals)

Taylorsville City Journal

Local volleyball club sponsoring Olympic dream By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

Former 5A MVP Melissa Fuchs Powell is now a professional beach volleyball player and has her sights set on the 2028 Olympics. (Photo courtesy Melissa Fuchs Powell)


ative Utahn Melissa Fuchs Powell’s journey from prep All-American to collegiate indoor and beach volleyball player is simply continuing. As a professional beach volleyball player, the 24-year-old now has her sights set on the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And despite just playing with one partner in the sport, it will take a village to get her there. Local volleyball Club GSL is helping to sponsor Powell in her pursuit. “I’m a dreamer, I chase my dreams and I have received some help to do that and I sense that in Melissa,” Club GSL owner Warren Van Schalkwyk said. “She is a great competitor and, like many top-tier athletes, she has all the skill sets in a great volleyball player. But, the thing you immediately notice about Melissa is her competitiveness and drive. She goes after it to make things happen and she doesn’t sit back and hope for it to. I’m absolutely willing to support that drive.” Powell is the daughter of former Brazilian professional volleyball players Ray and Val Fuchs and has been living and breathing volleyball her whole life. Even though she felt she was much better at basketball growing up, she knew she had more support in volleyball. “It’s like a culture for us – in Brazil it’s soccer or volleyball,” Powell said. “Watching my siblings play really helped me develop an understanding for the game until I gained my own love for it. It’s not who I am, but it’s a

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

reflection of who I am.” The 2012 5A MVP who led Pleasant Grove High School to the state title followed her brother Phillip, who played at BYU, and her sister Becca, who played at Utah and Weber State, with her own talents into the collegiate ranks. She began at Central Michigan for one year before playing at Houston Baptist to be closer to where her family had relocated. It was there that she started playing beach volleyball as well as indoor and she played both over the next three seasons. “Ever since I was young, everyone said my style was more of a beach volleyball player,” Powell said. “As I tried it, I realized that I really, really liked playing beach. I started getting pretty good at it and the more I played, the more I knew that I could pursue it professionally if I wanted to.” Following her four years of indoor eligibility – and now married to BYU football player Riggs Powell who she met in Houston – she returned to play her final season of beach volleyball in the spring of 2018 at the University of Utah. In her first professional beach volleyball tournament in Austin, Texas in May 2018, she and partner Jessica Wooten finished 45th. She has since played with two other partners – Victoria Dennis and Allison Spurrier – and has risen in the rankings to her current standing – 133rd – with a goal to break into the top 30.

This past fall, Powell tried out for the P1440 tour, founded by three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, and received a spot which provided her free training throughout the four-month pro-league series. “That has really helped jumpstart my career where I could start getting recognized more around the beach volleyball community,” Powell said. “It’s important to get more exposure as I try to move up.” Van Schalkwyk said he simply noticed Powell’s Instagram page recently and realized her name seemed familiar as she had been one of the top players in the state. As he saw her goal of being an Olympian, he decided to reach out to her and see how he could help. “Our mission at Club GSL is to be a support for every individual and help them achieve their personal goals in volleyball,” he said. “I knew what Melissa was going after fit within that mission statement.” Powell trains with Van Schalkwyk and Mike Daniel who help find high level athletes to play with her. “One of the things I noticed with Melissa’s videos is that she’s often alone,” Van Schalkwyk said. “I asked her about that and she said it is difficult to find people to practice with and that is where we are trying to help in addition to sponsoring some of her gear and providing her some money monthly for tournaments.” Van Schalkwyk credited Powell for her drive to go after success in a sport that favors

those who can play on the beach year-round. “It’s very brave for a girl from Utah – where we only have two and a half months of beach weather – to even have the courage to break into this sport,” said Van Schalkwyk. The 5’11” player realizes the odds she’s up against and isn’t backing down. “I’ve always been doubted,” she said. “Volleyball has taught me to not give up when things get hard so I plan to keep training and keep pushing and keep moving towards my goals. It’s always worth it to go after what you dream of and I want to help inspire others to know that too.” Powell said she is grateful for the support she receives and also noted her husband’s “100 percent backing” in helping her follow her dreams. The reality for a professional beach volleyball player is that money is needed for travel, tournaments, gym memberships, gear and apparel and she is continually seeking all the help she can get. “I’m having a ton of fun,” Powell said. “We get to go to beaches all around the world and I can continue to play volleyball. Playing beach is very easy on your joints so you can play it for longer.” Powell is scheduled to compete in India, Brazil and Thailand over the new few months, the next leg on her Olympic journey.

February 2019 | Page 27

Teams ready for realignment in 2019 By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com




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n December, the Utah High School Activities Association released its final determination for region alignments for the upcoming school year. “The new region alignment for 2019–20 is the best representation for my school that I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching,” Hunter High School soccer coach Bret Solberg said. “These schools are all quite similar to each other, and that leads to fair competition.” The realignment committee consisted of 16 members, including an athletic director, a representative from each classification in the state, a private school, charter school and six board of trustee members. The committee received current enrollment numbers on Oct. 1 and arranged each school into six classifications. The committee delivered a first consideration in October for schools to evaluate. Kearns and Granger were considered bubble schools in the 6A classification. Bubble schools were allowed to argue which of two classifications they could join. After consideration, they chose to stay in 6A with schools in their area. “A few years ago, Granger, Hunter and West were in a region with Davis County schools, and that was hard because we were not similar to them,” Solberg said. The 2019 alignment for Region 2 will include Cyprus, Granger, Hunter, Kearns, Taylorsville and West Jordan. These school will compete in this region for two years. All but one of the schools (West Jordan) is in the Granite School District. “I do feel like we have been treated fairly,” Taylorsville athletic director Guy Mackay said. “Being an only school in your district in a region is hard, but us being back with schools with similar demographics is good. As far as competitiveness goes, it will be good. We are back with some of our natural rivals.” The UHSAA oversees 109 state championships over 10 boys and 10 girls sanctioned

sports. Executive director Rob Cuff emphasized the importance of balance in its regions. “We wanted more like schools in each region,” Cuff said in an open meeting about alignment. “It minimizes risk, especially in football. Some say it is watered down, but now we have similar schools playing each other. There is not a big difference in school size.” The committee uses two factors in its decisions: enrollment and free lunch applications. Cuff said they look for things that can be measured to make alignment decisions. “There are 51 different high school associations around the country, and there are 51 different ways to work this out,” Cuff said. “There are states that use the success factor in determining regions. We have not felt that is the way we want to do it yet. Some want it that way; others don’t. I have heard mixed feelings on some of our regions like Region 2, but we feel this is a group of like schools and it may not be the strongest, but it is competitive.” Some have argued that the qualifications for state tournaments should be changed to allow more competitive teams into the state playoffs. “I think it is unfair that some better teams sit at home during playoff time,” Herriman head boys basketball coach Scott Briggs said. “Maybe the region champions should get a bye into the tournament, and then the lower-place teams play-into the tournament. I am not sure how to do it, but we need to look at it.” There is a motion for the UHSAA to analyze its playoff formats. Currently, the top four teams in each region qualify for the state tournament. In 2019, Region 1 will have eight schools, whereas the other three regions in the 6A classification each have only six. The UHSAA is scheduled to analyze the enrollment and realign its members in 2021. l

Taylorsville City Journal

A New Year to focus on issues important to you


e’re well into the new year, and that means new opportunities to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing our community. In January I was also sworn in to serve another term representing you on the Salt Lake County Council. Thanks to those of you who supported my re-election. To those who did not, please know that I take the charge to represent ALL my constituents very seriously, whether you voted for me or not. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out if you need anything. I commit to being accessible and responsive to my constituents, and to bringing renewed vigor to the great tasks ahead of us as a community. For the coming term, as well as this legislative session, here are some of the key issues I’ll be focusing on. I’ve fought for our trails and open space, and I’m pleased to see added resources for the gem of the west side: the Jordan River

Trail. As I represent the county on the Jordan River Commission, I’ve had opportunities to support additional trails, a bike rental program, and added law enforcement along the river. I will continue to push for additional resources, because we need to keep this a fun and safe place for people and families to recreate. I also serve as a board member for Prevent Child Abuse Utah, and I’m a big proponent of education in our schools on this important topic. One in five kids in Utah will be sexually abused before age 18, and I’m determined to reduce this startling statistic. For free parent education, go to pcautah.org. I’m eager to see continued work at the state level for mental health crisis resources. Suicide is the most preventable cause of death, and I’ll be particularly interested to support legislation or county initiatives that can help curb this epidemic. As I serve on the

state’s mental health crisis commission, I will continue to push for things like more mental health counselors in schools and receiving centers in the valley. I also chair the county’s intergenerational poverty task force, where we’ve been collaborating with local leaders in human services, education, mental health, and local and state government to improve resources for impoverished families and remove any barriers to their success. Any legislation that supports families stuck in a cycle of poverty, in a fiscally responsible way, ought to be supported. We also need to keep the momentum strong on criminal justice reform, through improved substance abuse treatment programs and enhanced mental health tools in the community, so that those incarcerated don’t become repeat offenders. This, while still providing sufficient jail bed space to en-

able police to do their jobs, is vital. A safe community is my top priority. Another pressing issue that’s top of mind this time of year is our air quality. For the quality of life as well as overall health, increasingly working to curb emissions is something we can all get behind. Sensible government policy ought to be part of the equation, but all of us can do our part today by being more mindful of how much we drive and seeking to reduce trips. All of these issues, and many more, are intrinsically tied to the current and future success of our county and our state. I’m optimistic about the future of Salt Lake County and Utah because I’ve seen the goodness in our people, the strength of our economy, and the courage in our hearts to work even harder to build a bright future for our kids. Thanks for putting your trust in me to serve you once again! l

You were just in a car accident, now what?


nless you’re one of the few anomalies in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feeling when your car makes unwanted contact with another vehicle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. While we may want to crawl into a hole, we can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you 10 to be aware of (in no particular order). 1. Have an emergency kit in your car. While this step comes before the accident occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whatever you kit entails, make sure it has a first-aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a small (and simple) camera in case there’s been damage to your phone. We’re typically frustrated or frazzled after an accident and not inclined to rational thinking. Being prepared limits the possibility of forgetfulness. 2. Take a deep breath. Accidents are traumatic experiences. Taking a breath will shift focus from what just happened to what needs to be done next. 3. Get a status check on everyone in the car. Check with each passenger to see if they are OK. Have someone call 911 immediately if someone is injured or unresponsive. 4. Move to a safe location. Most insurance companies recommend relocating the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible after the accident. If

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the damage to the car is minor, this should be relatively easy. But if there are major injuries or questions about the safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if its blocking traffic. 5. Increase your visibility. Turn on your hazard lights and set out your attention items from the emergency kit—flares, orange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One accident should not lead to another. Take precaution to ensure other drivers on the road remain safe. 6. Stay calm. It is very easy to lose your temper in this situation, it’s human nature. Keeping your cool will keep the situation from getting worse. If it wasn’t your fault, it’s easy to want to let your emotions loose on the other driver. This will cloud your judgment and may lead to something that does not help the situation. You still need to exchange information. 7. Exchange insurance information. This is imperative. If you are to file a claim on your car, you will need the other driver’s information. Most likely, after an accident you are feeling jumpy or stressed. It means when you try to write down their information your handwriting will look like ancient hieroglyphics and, unless you are a cryptographer, will be unable to read it later. We live in the 21st century, take a photo of their information and take photos of the damage done to both cars. 8. Don’t admit guilt. Every insurance

company will tell you to do this. Even if you are at fault and it was you to blame. This could drive your premium up or even lead to you being sued. Let the police and insurance companies determine this. 9. Call the police. While some minor accidents don’t require a report to be filed, it’s up to the discretion of the drivers in the accident to call the police. Law enforcement can take statements, get information on injuries and property damage. Be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report. If there is a dispute, the officer will be an important testimony. 10. See a doctor. Depending on the in-

juries suffered or not, it is easy to skip this. A large financial situation has just happened with the car accident, you don’t want another one by seeing the doctor and jacking up your health costs. It’s important to consider it, or possibly speak with one. Adrenaline can be pumping after the accident and one might not notice the amount of whiplash to your neck. Symptoms can take 24 hours to appear. The warning signs include neck pain, stiffness, loss of motion in the neck, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and pain in the shoulders or upper back. It can be better to be safe than sorry.

February 2019 | Page 29

Behind the Grind(er)




ver wonder what the best bang for your buck is at the coffee shop? Let’s take a journey through my years working as a barista at local and corporate coffee shops. As a customer, you have all sorts of options to get your caffeine fix: drip coffee, espresso drinks, teas, iced blended drinks, cold brews, etc. Let’s focus on drip coffee. Drip is a coffee shop’s equivalent to what you make at home in your coffee pot, just on an industrial scale. We’ll grind the beans, measure out the correct amount, throw that in a filter, make sure the brewer is set to pour the correct amount of water, and hit a “brew” button. If you’re looking for something simple, drip coffee is the best deal at any coffee shop. Depending on the size, and if you’re going to use your own cup, drip coffee is priced anywhere from $2 to $4. Or, if you plan to hang out, most shops will offer “to stay” refills for a reduced price. However, most of us don’t want to get plain drip coffee when we visit a coffee shop. Usually, we desire something fancier, something with espresso. The options for espresso drinks are vast: doppios, lattes, flavored lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, cortados, macchiatos, mochas, flat whites, dirty chai lattes, blended drinks and signature drinks. Instead of detailing every one of those, I suggest focusing on the most important factor for making your important morning decision:

the ratio of the amount of espresso to the amount of product. Depending on your taste buds, some drinks might suit your wallet better than others. For example, the espresso quantity in a latte and a mocha are equivalent, but there can be as much as a $1 difference between the drinks. For chocolate lovers out there, it’s worth it to get the mocha. But for customers focused primarily on caffeine, a latte would be the way to go. For espresso drinks, one of the main considerations is size. If there are three size options for a single drink, it’s important to ask how many shots are going in each size. At a popular corporate coffee shop, there are three size options for espresso drinks — the equivalent of a small, medium and large. Here’s the big secret: there’s generally the same amount of espresso in a medium and a large. The difference comes down to the other products: milk, flavoring, water, concentrate, tea. Anytime I visit a coffee shop, I always order the equivalent of a medium, because there are more espresso shots than a small, but less product to dilute the espresso (and add more calories) than a large. Subbing is a secret trick. Many coffee shops will charge 50 to 75 cents for extra shots, additional flavorings, or a milk substitution. If you order something like a vanilla hazelnut latte with coconut milk and an extra shot, you’ve just added $2 to your

drink price. Instead, you might want to find a drink on the menu that already has coconut milk (check the specialty drinks) and sub out whatever flavor that drink has for your desired flavor. Sometimes, it’s worth pricing out where your favorite drink would be cheaper if you subbed products, and where it would be cheaper just to ask for the additional flavor. Last, but not least, please tip your baristas. I know that seems contradictory. You say, “Wait, we are going to save a few extra cents on a drink just to spend more money by tipping?” Yes, but hear me out. Even if the baristas won’t admit it, or even when they are trying hard to be objective toward customers, they’ll remember who tips well. If you tip your baristas, they’ll make sure to treat your drink with a little extra love.

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Life and Laughter—Cold Snap


n the lovely, winter song, a family travels over the river and through the woods to visit grandma. It sounds idyllic, with everyone bundled in fur robes as a happy, prancing horse carries them through snow drifts. I call bull-shenanigans. Winter travel is never that picturesque. My winter driving dread usually starts around 5 a.m. when the snowplow drops its blade outside my bedroom window. First, I want to murder the snowplow driver. Second, I want to burrow in the blankets and not get out of bed until Easter weekend. I don’t know if there’s one inch of snow or three feet, but I know stupid drivers will hit the streets soon, causing mishaps and mayhem. Once I’m ready for work, I jump in my car where the faux leather seats have frozen over like a glacial lake and the steering wheel is now made of solid iceberg. I shiver uncontrollably as I crank the heater up and run through my wide vocabulary of cold-weather swear words. Jack Frost isn’t nipping at my nose; he’s chomping my entire face. Utah drivers are always encouraged to drive smart and read up on winter safety tips. Of course, no one does that, so freeways turn into demolition derbies on ice. Some advice includes: • Never mix radial tires with other tires (because those radial tires are anti-social as hell). • Keep the gas tank at least half full. (Hahahaha!) • Steer where you want to go. (This seems like a trick suggestion.)


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weather. But first, you have to pass the TSA agent, who’s as smug as Vladimir Putin in a crocodile-wrestling competition. He insists I take off all my layers of clothing, including but not limited to, two cardigans, a vest, a parka, a couple of blankets, four scarves and a coat. Once past security, if a blizzard stops air traffic, you’ll be staying in the airport because no airline gives a small bag-o-peanuts about your comfort. You’ll end up sleeping across four chairs with armrests, trying hard not to kick the person snoring next to you. Even if it’s your husband. After boarding, I look at the snow through the tiny oval windows, watching workers deice the plane. That always inspires confidence. (As a side note: are there still air marshals on flights? I wish they’d identify themselves so I could have them arrest the parents of the child who kept throwing pretzels in my hair.) We’ve come a long way from hors-drawn sleighs, but it would still be very thoughtful of grandma if she lived somewhere warm. l




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• Have blankets in your car. (I always carry at least seven blankets. Even in the summer.) • Don’t try to walk if you’re stranded. (I don’t try to walk when I’m not stranded.) • Tie a bright cloth to the antenna so help can find you. (Antenna? What are you driving? A 1975 Impala?) • Steer into a skid. (That’s usually what gets me in trouble in the first place.) • Have snacks available. (I did an inventory in my car and found 17 half-full bottles of water, 35 pounds of graham cracker crumbs, 14 brown apple slices, a half-eaten taco and 143 chicken nuggets. And a long-lost Snickers bar, which I ate immediately.) • Don’t be stupid. (I guess this tip was for the driver next to me, wearing his ball cap backward, trying to wipe the snow off his windshield by slapping his shirt across the glass.) But it’s not just car travel that gets messed up in the winter. Flying becomes a nightmare straight from Hotel Antarctica. If you travel by plane, there’s a good chance your flights will be cancelled due to bad



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February 2019 | Page 31

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Profile for The City Journals

Taylorsville Journal February 2019  

Taylorsville Journal February 2019

Taylorsville Journal February 2019  

Taylorsville Journal February 2019

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