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January 2020 | Vol. 7 Iss. 01



GROWING IN TAYLORSVILLE By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


hen confronted by an issue from a Taylorsville resident, it’s not uncommon to hear Mayor Kristie Overson say something like, “I agree that’s something we need to address. Would you be willing to volunteer to help us solve the problem?” The mayor is not alone. City council members also constantly seeking more volunteers for the various service committees they oversee. In 2019, city residents began to step up in a big way. Memberships have grown in several of the city’s volunteer committees, particularly the Parks & Recreation, Cultural Diversity and Historic Preservation committees. “Our Parks & Recreation Committee grew from two active members to six in 2019,” Councilwoman Meredith Harker said. “I think a big part of it is because we are working hard to communicate better with people, especially through social media. We are getting the word out about things. People naturally become more active — and volunteer more of their time — when they are aware of what is happening.” “We’ve seen more volunteers in our bigger events,” Overson said. “It’s great to see because nearly all of our city activities need volunteers to make them successful.” In addition to improved communication, another unusual factor played into a volunteerism boost in 2019. And yet another unique circumstance is expected to do the same in 2020. Let’s look back, and forward, at each of those.

Just over a year ago, city and county officials broke ground on the new Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center. Weather permitting, the $39 million facility will open this fall. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America. Recent turmoil within the BSA prompted the faith to overhaul its youth development programs for both boys and girls. As the clock wound down in 2019, many Utah Boy BOY SCOUT EAGLE SERVICE PROJECTS Scouts went into overdrive to try to earn the BSA’s top rank, It was well-publicized for at least a year, The Church of the Eagle, before their church troops were disbanded. Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints planned to sever its 105-year This proved to be good news for Taylorsville, in a cou-

ple of areas, particularly at the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center (1488 West 4800 South) where several Eagle Scout candidates, troopmates, relatives and friends assisted in the completion of beat-the-clock service projects. “When Eagle Scout candidates take on projects at the heritage center, it saves our own maintenance crews time and Continued page 10 money,” Overson said. “More




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Chimes teach students more than music By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones | k.jones@mycityjournals.com

Chimes choir practices every Wednesday. From left to right: Cassandra, Lila, Kevin, Kamran, Emmett, Coen, Chloe, Logan, Stephen, and Veronica Vilski (Kathryn Jones/City Journals)


hen the previous hand chime choir director at Prince of Peace Lutheran School in Taylorsville moved to Florida, Veronica Vilski was quickly fitted for the new part. She already knew piano, the organ and the accordion, having begun piano playing at age 6. Though she’d been in various choirs for years and was currently on duty at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church every Sunday, conducting a chime choir of third to eighth graders was quite another story. Still, she jumped in with both feet. “I asked some of the eighth graders to come in and show me how to do it, and they did,” she said. “It took me a while to enjoy it—about four months. I was learning too.” Vilski, who is also a kindergarten teacher, loves the growth that comes from being in a chime choir. Getting the kids to concentrate is the


hardest part, she said. It’s amazing how much effort it takes. “At first, I have to whisper the measures and the beat 1-2-3-4,” she said. “‘What beat are we on?’ I ask. Some of the students bob their heads to the beat. Some of them tap their feet. Some of them do this.” She moves her body like a snake. “If you miss your note you don’t play it,” she tells the children. “You can’t go back and play it again; you have to just keep going.” “Some kids pick up [the music] really quickly, especially kids who are good at math,” Vilski said. “Playing the chimes is a lot of timing and counting. Once you learn music, it does help you in math as well. Usually, I try to give the melody notes to the more confident or experienced chimers and then kind of the backup ones to those who

are new.” And it can be a challenge for students. “Songs are hard because of the tempo,” Lila, 11, said. “Sometimes you have to go really fast.” The chime choir meets once a week. The three choirs have students ranging from grades 3 to 6. With the fairly manageable number of 40 students, Vilski soon sees who gets the grade and who is struggling. But that’s as it should be. There are no tryouts for the group, just interested children who want to try their hands at something new. “It takes getting familiar with it, and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, I recognize the song — I did it,’” she said with a smile. Teamwork helps. “Friends are good,” Logan, 12, said. “Sometimes they help me count. And sometimes they turn the pages.”




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Helping each other out is the name of the game, according to Vilski. Coming to practices helps improvement, and never giving up even when things get difficult appears to be the exception rather than the rule. “It’s really a team thing,” she said. “It’s a good lesson too. When it’s performance time, you only get one shot. It’s not like ‘sorry, I missed my measure that I’ve been working hard on, can I do it over?’ Performance time is it. You either get it or not. No matter what, it’s done.” Like life, you practice hard, Vilski said. You perform, and then you assess what happened afterward. You can’t go back. Rehearsals are a big deal for the Lutheran chime choir. Choir members practice once a week and are expected to keep up the practices along with their regular studies. The parents aren’t off the hook either. They’re expected to participate by coming to the spring and fall performances (for sixth to eighth grades; additional Thanksgiving and Christmas performances are required). Currently, the chime choir, which is part of the music curriculum at the school, performs for students, teachers and parents four times a year, but they are open to sharing their skills outside the school. Retirement centers and even the Dicken’s Festival are not out of the question for the future, according to Vilski, who admits that sharing her students’ talent would be a good thing for them and for the community. A new adult hand chime class began three months ago. “You would be surprised at how hard this is to just pay attention for four minutes straight,” Vilski said. “And you’ve got to be ready.” Practice is on Sundays. Anyone interested in participating, should please contact Vilski at 801-261-3803 or princeofpeace@ popslc.org. l

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DUI case filings up in Municipal Court; new .05 law not a big factor By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


s Taylorsville Municipal Justice Court Judge Michael W. Kwan finished up serving a six-month suspension from the bench, without pay, city officials say the court has continued to function effectively under interim Judge Ron Wolthius, along with city prosecutor Casey Taylor and court-appointed public defender Doug Stowell. “Our court is running very smoothly,” Mayor Kristie Overson said. “It has been seamless.” “Judge Wolthius is actually handling more cases, more quickly [than Kwan did],” City Attorney Tracy Cowdell said. “I am grateful to [Wolthius] for filling in under difficult circumstances and with very little notice. He has done a tremendous job.” Kwan was suspended last May — in a decision approved by the Utah Supreme Court — for making derogatory comments in court about President Donald Trump. The politically charged news was picked up nationally in many publications. “When it comes to humor, politicians are often the butt of jokes; this can be a problem, however, if the jokes are delivered by a judge,” is how The New York Times opened its story about the incident. At a recent Taylorsville City Council meeting, normally opposing attorneys Taylor and Stowell appeared together to update the council on the justice court. Then two weeks later, as he approached the end of his sixmonth stint as the fill-in, Wolthius did likewise. “You have been very gracious and accommodating as I have filled in,” Wolthius told council members. “We are moving people through Justice Court as fast as any municipality in the valley. I think you have an excellent Justice Court staff. It has been my pleasure to serve.” In their appearance before the council two weeks earlier, Taylor and Stowell focused more on updating Justice Court case

filing trends. Taylor reported that driving under the influence case filings took a dramatic jump in fiscal year 2019. However, he does not believe the state’s recent lowering of the legal blood alcohol level to .05 — the lowest in the nation — is a significant factor in that jump. “Of the 127 DUI filings we had (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019), maybe three or four are for suspects whose blood alcohol level was between .05 and .08 (the previous legal limit),” Taylor said. “I don’t think the new law has really changed things much. We are still investigating cases the exact same way. I don’t think it has had as much of an impact as people were worried it would.” Taylor is a prosecutor in the firm of Cowdell & Woolley, P.C. (7500 South State Street). That firm has held the Taylorsville city attorney contract for about 10 years. For a bit longer, since 2006, the firm of Stowell, Crayk and Bown has held the city’s public defender contract. A Professional Limited Liability Company, Stowell, Crayk and Bown (2225 South State Street) represents low-income defendants in several cities and has a second office in Vernal. “Our firm serves as public defenders in 13 Utah cities, primarily in Salt Lake County, but with a couple in Utah County and one in Vernal,” Stowell said. “We handle about 400 legal cases in the Taylorsville Justice Court each quarter, representing about 200 different clients. I would guess about 20% of all defendants facing charges in Taylorsville are (financially) eligible for court-appointed defense.” Defendant eligibility for taxpayer-funded representation is based on federal guidelines. “The Indigent Defense Act (2016 Utah Code) requires defendants to earn no more than 150% of the United States poverty level to be eligible for court-appointed council,” Taylorsville Justice Court Clerk Jeff Gallegos

reported. “According to our current table, a single person must have a salary no higher than roughly $18,000 per year to be eligible. For a family of six, the total household income must not be over about $51,000 for a defendant to be assigned a court-appointed attorney.” The 127 DUI case filings for fiscal year 2019 marks a 20% increase over the 105 filings in FY 2018. During his presentation to the council, Taylor suggested a couple of possible reasons for the marked increase. “It seems Unified Police has put an increased focus on drunk driving arrests in Taylorsville,” he said. “I know they conducted at least two DUI checkpoints during the year. I have prosecuted in other states and can tell you that different law enforcement agencies place different emphasis on DUIs. Here in Taylorsville, it seems to be a higher priority.” Both Taylor and Stowell agree that drunk driving convictions routinely cost defendants thousands of dollars. “DUIs are a Class B misdemeanor in Utah, unless there are multiple offense or other circumstances (such as a car accident and/or injuries),” Stowell said. “But people who are not eligible for public defenders will pay $3,000 to $5,000 for defense in my office. And $10,000 fees are not uncommon.” Additionally, DUI fines and fees typically cost well over $1,000, and court-ordered substance abuse treatment can add thousands more to the tab. In addition to DUI cases, other more serious crimes adjudicated in Justice Court include domestic abuse and retail theft cases, when the value of what has been stolen does not exceed $500. All other crimes — Class A misdemeanors and all felonies — are referred to District Court. After presenting their information to the Taylorsville City Council, the body’s vice chair offered Stowell and Taylor praise. “I observed our Justice Court last sum-

Prosecutor Casey Taylor and defense attorney Doug Stowell (L-R) stand outside the Municipal Court at the east end of Taylorsville City Hall. (Carl Fauver/ City Journals)

mer, and I can tell you it moves quickly, but with compassion,” Councilwoman Meredith Harker told them. “I could see you care about the people you are defending and prosecuting.” Councilman Ernest Burgess added, “I appreciate the dignity and care you show defendants who are usually doing all they can to get their lives back on track.” While the DUI case filings made a dramatic jump from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2019, overall filings did not. Total case filings in fiscal year 2018 were 10,302 while fiscal year 2019 filings were 10,716, a 4% increase. In both years, well over 80% of the filings were for traffic citations. l

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Wrestling, scholarships and lightning: Taylorsville (and Kearns) 2019

Capturing a whole year in a few photos is next to impossible. But the following snapshots will attempt to do just that as we look back at 2019 in Taylorsville and Kearns. To read stories along with these photos go to taylorsvillejournal.com.

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

Bruins women’s basketball coach Caption: Salt Lake Community College’s Betsy Specketer compiled 545 wins before she stepped down as its women’s basketball coach this past year. (Photo courtesy of SLCC)

Students from the community also participated in the groundbreaking for Salt Lake County’s Kearns library. A place community leaders said would a valuable asset to students and residents alike. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

YMCA Community Family Center after-school program participant Ember Heckrotte-Lyons tries her hand at a cardboard arcade game at the 125th anniversary of the “Y” serving northern Utah. (YMCA Community Family Center)

The Cougars won the state girls wrestling championship. Kelsey Taylor, Tania Batta, Saibyn Newell and Ashlyn Jepperson combined to bring home the title by one point. (Photo courtesy of Kearns High School)

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Vista Elementary fourth-graders hammer designs into leather bracelets at the school’s Mountain Man Rendezvous to supplement what the students have been learning all year about Utah history. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)

Members of Granite Education Fund surprised Taylorsville High teacher Levi Negley with his Excel Award during class. (Steven Powell/Granite District)

Coaches, clothes and all, joined the girls championship water polo team, in the pool after their finals win. (Greg James/City Journals)

Taylorsville City Journal

Carol Masheter on the summit Vinson Massif — 16,050 feet elevation, highest peak in Antarctica — January 2012, at age 65 years 2 months. Masheter is the oldest female to summit the seven highest peaks on all seven continents. (Photo courtesy Carol Masheter)

It takes a village — or just a household — to raise a giant pumpkin. Taylorsville’s Andrew Israelsen babied this year’s mammoth pumpkin, and his wife, Yvonne, meticulously recorded daily weight gains of their “baby.” Andrew boasts a 1,608-pound Pumpkin, which is, officially, the largest in Utah for 2019. (Photo by Jennifer J. Johnson)

Lightning strike victims Scott and Chloe Robinson were treated for their injuries at the U of U Burn Center. The pair of Taylorsville residents — nearly killed by a lightning strike in June — are now almost fully recovered. Four of their friends were recently honored by Unified Fire Authority for helping to save their lives (Photo courtesy Robinson family)

Laua Tafili was surprised with gifts from local businesses as a reward for overcoming incredible hurdles to excel in his freshman year. (Granite School District)

Motorists driving in front of the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center one Saturday morning this summer got a surprise sneak preview of “Mamma Mia!” if they were lucky enough to hit the red light. Taylorsville Arts Council)

Blowing bubbles was part of the fun at field day at Hartvigsen School. The activity was one of 25 service projects organized for Eisenhower Junior High’s second annual Day of Service in which 1,150 teachers and students participated. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

The 14-and-under Taylorsville Fastpitch softball team celebrate its state championship win at Valley Complex. The Taylorsville girls team allowed one run while scoring 61 to win the 14-and-under recreation state championship. (Photo courtesy of Chris Gonzalez)

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

January 2020 | Page 7


Dont Text & Drive

Voters return three incumbent councilmen to office despite concerns over possible 2020 tax hike By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

City Councilmen Brad Christopherson, Ernest Burgess and Curt Cochran (L-R) were all decisively reelected in November. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

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t a time when the national political scene is so hostile, many are reticent to even say who they support for president, local Taylorsville City politics appears to be about as tranquil as can be. All three incumbent city councilmen were reelected handily, one of them without even facing a challenger. “I have always said public safety and economic development are my top priorities,” said District 3 City Councilman Brad Christopherson. Running unopposed, he earned 1,197 votes and will continue in the post he has held since 2013. In city council District 1, Ernest Burgess has served even longer, winning a third fouryear term with nearly 64% of the vote. Also winning — with more than 60% voter support — was Curt Cochran in the District 2 race. Cochran was elected by the other members of the Taylorsville City Council in January 2018 to fill the seat vacated by Kristie Overson when she was elected mayor. Unlike the other two, this was Cochran’s first time to be elected directly by his constituents. “I spent a lot of time on the campaign knocking on doors after work every day and on Saturdays,” Cochran said. “You certainly never want to underestimate your opponent, and I did not. I learned a lot about people’s concerns.” In Burgess’ case, his constituents seem to particularly oppose change. He was elected in 2011, 2015 and now 2019. Prior to Burgess, D.L. Bud Catlin held the same post for 14 years, from 1998 through 2011. Catlin

passed away less than a year after leaving office in October 2012 at age 77. Now with the elections behind them, Cochran, Burgess and Christopherson can join their city council colleagues Dan Armstrong and Meredith Harker in looking ahead.


The entire Taylorsville City Council has essentially spoken with one voice in recent years, saying they do not like the idea of raising property taxes but will not shy away from voting to do it if the move is necessary to maintain quality public safety. Several Salt Lake Valley cities have recently approved sometimes dramatic tax increases, while Taylorsville has been able to avoid it. But that clock may run out in 2020. “Reaching a consensus on a $65 million budget is difficult at best, and there was a lot of drama,” Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson said last summer in assessing her work with fellow Unified Police Board of Directors members on an officers’ pay hike. “[The approved budget increase] was a good step forward, but we need to follow through with another increase.” After much haggling over the numbers, the UPD board approved additional officer funding in three different forms: • 2% Cost of living adjustment (COLA) • 4% Market increase • 2.75% Merit increase All sworn officers were expected to receive the cost of living and market adjustment pay hikes. However, many senior officers were not eligible for the merit increases.

Taylorsville City Journal

This may be the year the Taylorsville City Council is forced to raise property taxes, to fund Unified Police salary increases. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

Business leaders and property owners discussed economic development at Regal Cinemas last summer, during the Taylorsville 2020 Summit. (Kim Horiuchi/Taylorsville City)

“[In 2020] we will have to be serious about looking at a tax increase,” the mayor said at the time. “We need to remember we have amazing officers who risk their lives for us every day. Tax increases are uncomfortable to discuss, but if it is for public safety, as this would be, I think most people will understand why it is necessary.” Months before the UPD board approved the increases, Christopherson led the charge on the council to have the body pass a resolution endorsing their police department. In speaking about UPD officers at the time, he said, “It would be unconscionable to tell them we have no additional money. If we need to do a tax increase, I would be supportive of that.” In addition to the little bit of unincorporated Salt Lake County that still remains, Unified Police now serves six communities: Holladay, Kearns, Magna, Midvale, Millcreek and Taylorsville. Department officials are now reviewing their IT, fleet and dispatch divisions to see if budget cuts are possible to create more funding for officer pay. Overson recently told the council the UPD Board of Directors is expected to again take up the topic of pay increases this month. Another hefty hike for police officers could be the final straw forcing a property tax increase proposal. “[The UPD board] is not yet talking specific numbers [for a second officer pay increase, in as many years],” she said. “But I will be advocating an increase that is likely to require a property tax increase in Taylorsville. The City Council has told me they support that. We will analyze police salaries in neighboring cities. We know we need UPD pay to be more competitive.”

“The city really put together a nice program, designed to get developers and business owners to think outside the box,” she said. “It gave people a good look at future plans for the city. I really thought it went well. I know I made some key contacts.” Given the success of last summer’s event, Overson said something similar will follow in 2020, though the details have not yet been firmed up. “We sparked interest with developers and landowners during the summit,” she said. “What we do this year, I’m not yet sure. But it is about building relationships. It takes time. We’re helping people understand; we are business friendly.”


The most effective way to stave off property tax increases is to grow city revenues in other areas. The Taylorsville City Council continues to work to that end by concentrating efforts on economic development. Last spring, the city enjoyed an out-ofthe-blue shot in the arm when a new national survey — conducted by telecommunication giant Verizon Wireless — christened Tay-

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

lorsville as the eighth “best small city across America,” in which to start a small business. Ironically, while Taylorsville ranked eighth overall, it was still only fourth best in the state: 1. Logan, Utah 2. Sarasota, Florida 3. Coral Gables, Florida 4. South Jordan, Utah 5. Doral, Florida 6. Cheyenne, Wyoming 7. Lehi, Utah 8. Taylorsville, Utah 9. Missoula, Montana 10. Corvallis, Oregon “It has been so encouraging to see our city economy bounce back, following the recession,” Overson said at the time. “The Verizon research is wonderful.” Soon after that top 10 list appeared, Overson and Economic & Community Development Director Wayne Harper hosted the “Taylorsville 2020 Summit” at the Regal Theaters. “We [had] hosted a couple of business social gatherings but thought it would be a good idea to offer a more thorough view of what Taylorsville has to offer,” Overson said. “We wanted to get developers, business owners, brokers and others all together to showcase the city. We want them to see our shopping districts and get a vision of how they might serve their needs.” Harper said the planned 90-minute event ran closer to two hours, as attendees networked and discussed the city’s future. “I know a couple of other cities have hosted these kinds of summits in recent years, like Provo, Sandy and Ogden,” he said. “We sent out 350 invites, and at least 90 people attended. A handful were here from Illinois, Maryland and Florida. We wanted to get property owners and investors together to discuss what we are doing to energize the city.” Among those impressed with the Taylorsville 2020 Summit was city Planning Commission Chairwoman Anna Barbieri, who also serves on the city Economic Development Committee.


“This will give Redwood Road better curb appeal and better lighting,” Council Chairman Dan Armstrong added. “It should be very positive, and I’m glad to see it finally happening.” “If it was up to [Taylorsville City] alone, the work would already be underway,” Overson said of the timing on the project. “Redwood Road is a state highway, so we have other partners and some government red tape to cut through. But the work should begin in 2020.” Like all Wasatch Front municipalities, Taylorsville faced its share of challenges in 2019 and undoubtedly will do so again in this new year and decade. But voters in three of the city’s five council district said they like the people currently doing their bidding. The council seats filled by Dan Armstrong and Meredith Harker are next on the ballot in 22 months. They are not ready to commit to running again just yet, but neither is ruling it out. So, stability on the Taylorsville City Council could reign for several more years. l

Perhaps the most visible changes to the Taylorsville landscape coming in 2020 will be improvements along both sides of Redwood Road from 4100 to 5400 South. To move that massive planned project along, nearly a year ago the city council voted unanimously to spend $835,000. That’s how much local taxpayers had to pay, for the city to receive more than 15 times that much in federal tax funding for the facelift. “The city was approved to receive just under 13 million federal dollars through the Wasatch Front Regional Council,” City Administrator John Taylor said. “But to receive that funding, the city council had to approve a 6.6% match, or $835,000.” This beautification project comes several years after a nearly identical effort was completed on the much shorter stretch of Redwood Road from 5400 South to the belt route (I-215) overpass. “It has been a long time since Phase 1 [of the Redwood Road beautification project] was completed, and we are pleased to finally be able to move ahead with this second phase,” Overson said. “Mostly we want to do away with the visual clutter. This will include burying utility lines. Beautification walls will Unsightly utility lines are expected to begin disapalso be built along parts of the road. We want pearing along Redwood Road in Taylorsville this to give Redwood a more attractive, uniform year. (Carl Fauver/City Journals) look.”

January 2020 | Page 9

Continued from front page importantly, it has been a great tradition. The museum had a great relationship with the Boy Scouts for many years.” Two of the final Taylorsville Boy Scouts to finish up Eagle service projects at the heritage center were Eisenhower Junior High eighth grader Andrew Valora and Cottonwood High School Senior Kyle Jones. “For my project, we stained and painted several things [at the heritage center], including a couple of buildings, an outhouse, two benches and a cider press,” Valora said. “I took a field trip here a few years ago. I chose this project because it helps the local community.” A member of Taylorsville North Stake Troop 948, Andrew was the third Valora boy to earn the Eagle Scout rank. Meantime, from the Jordan Stake Third Ward Troop 636, Jones and his younger brother were also racing to complete their Eagle Scout projects before the end of 2019. Their three older brothers had already earned the rank. Kyle led the restoration of an antique piece of equipment at the heritage center, believed to be well over 100 years old. “We had suggested a scout restore our ice hauling sled as a service project to several Eagle candidates, but Kyle was the first one willing to do it,” said Taylorsville Historic Preservation Committee Chairwoman Susan Yadeskie. “We believe the sleigh dates back to between 1900 and 1910. He did such a great job.” Meanwhile, another Boy Scout scrambling to finish his Eagle Service project assisted the city in a different area. Mitchel Harker, 18, son of Councilwoman Meredith Harker, chose to complete a lasting Eagle service project by constructing a little library. “As a teacher, I am a big supporter of reading, for children and adults,” Meredith Harker said. “But not everyone can get to the Taylorsville Library when they want to. I’m excited to see people get access to books in another way. I hope Mitchel’s project will encourage others to build little libraries for our city.” “Little libraries” are fairly small weatherproof boxes with doors on the front and shelves to hold 30 to 40 books. Popular in many parts of the country — but, so far, not so much in Utah — the boxes are receptacles for putting unwanted books in, or pulling a book out, to read and return. Mitchel’s little library is about 2 feet tall and wide by 15 inches deep. His Eagle Scout project donation to Taylorsville City included 35 books, completely filling it. Last October, the little library was installed at Bennion Park (3200 West 5620 South). Its unveiling was part of a joint ceremony, as the city also planted two maple trees there after young Tanner Cowley, 9, raised more than $725 to purchase them. City officials matched his donation, and a crowd looked on as the trees went into the ground and Harker’s little library went into service.

Page 10 | January 2020

Mitchel Harker (right of the little library) poses with his parents, two brothers and his fellow BSA Troop 1069 members, before presenting his handmade Eagle Scout service project to the Taylorsville City Council. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

With 2019 now behind us, Boy Scout Eagle service projects are expected to largely become a thing of the past in Taylorsville. However, the new decade is expected to boost volunteerism in a completely different area.


“This is, by far, the most momentous thing the arts council has ever been a part of,” Taylorsville Arts Council Co-Chairman Howard Wilson said in describing the anticipated opening this fall of the $39 million Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center, southeast of city hall. “I joined the arts council in 2000, and we have been looking for a good, affordable performing venue ever since then.” Now that it is coming on line — with the first shows tentatively planned for next December — arts council volunteers expect their ranks to grow. “We are always looking for new members, more volunteers,” arts council Treasurer Gordon Wolf said. “Hopefully, once the doors are open on the new center, it will become a magnet to involve more people.” It’s been more than three years now since Salt Lake County leaders unveiled their plans to construct the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center in Taylorsville. The city was chosen over Murray and other competing cities, thanks in large part to the Taylorsville City Council voting to donate the land for construction. Following two years of planning and design work, ground was finally broken on the center just over a year ago. Last summer, Salt Lake County officials announced, barring unforeseen building delays, the arts center should be “essentially” finished by Oct. 1, 2020. Their plan is to then spend two months testing all of the facility’s new equipment. “It will be really nice to have a wonderful new venue,” Taylorsville Arts Council Co-Chair Susan Holman said. “We’ve already seen more people volunteering at our activities, because the new center is coming. And we expect that to grow this year, as more people become aware of it.” In addition to having the new venue

Construction has just passed the halfway point on the new Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center, as it gets closer to looking like this artists’ rendition. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

right in their proverbial backyard, the Taylorsville Arts Council will also enjoy some additional benefits. For starters, as part of its negotiated agreement with Salt Lake County, Taylorsville is receiving 16 rent-free nights each year, to make use of the arts center. The local arts council will also enjoy permanent rent-free storage in the new facility. “Right now, the arts council spends $100 per month for a storage unit out by Airport 2,” Wolf said. “But we’ve been told, the new arts center will include a 10-by-10-squarefoot storage area just for us that we can lock. Additionally, during the run of our productions, [county officials] have said additional temporary storage areas will be available for our props.” In anticipation of the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center opening, Taylorsville City Council members also boosted their annual arts council budget from $10,000 to $15,000. “The city has never said ‘no’ to one of our budget requests,” Wolf said. “We have been realistic about our financial requests, and they have never turned us down. The additional annual funding will help us make even better use of the arts center.” Perhaps no one is more excited about the new arts center opening than Taylorsville Arts Council Director of Musicals Wendy Smedshammer.

“My heart gets aflutter thinking about all the magic we get to create in there,” she said. “One thing we are super excited about is we can now leave our sets and props out overnight and not risk vandalism. We can’t do that at the outdoor [Salt Lake Community College] amphitheater. It is our hope to do more shows once the arts center opens.” Salt Lake County leaders have promised the Taylorsville Arts Council it can host the first major show in the new arts center. The local group plans to stage “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as its first production there. “We last did ‘Joseph’ about five years ago at the SLCC amphitheater, and it was a crowd favorite,” Smedshammer said. Finally, in addition to all the stage productions the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center will host, the new facility will become the venue for the annual Taylorsville Art Show, now being held at the city’s senior center. Also, art show winners will remain on display in the arts center for the succeeding year. “We really don’t know exactly how the new arts center will impact the Taylorsville Arts Council, but we look forward to learning,” Wilson said. “We know things should be bigger and better. And along with that, we’ll need more volunteers. I am confident they will come.” l

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Voters return three incumbent councilmen to office despite concerns over possible 2020 tax hike | PG 8 This may be the year the Taylorsville City Council is forced to raise property taxes, to fund Unified Police salary increases. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)


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January 2020 | Page 11

In-state gymnastics meet to be held at the Maverik Center By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


he Maverik Center in West Valley City will host the inaugural Rio Tinto Best of Utah gymnastics meet Jan. 11. Teams from the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University and Utah State University are scheduled to compete. “We are honored to host the Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet,” Maverik Center CEO Kevin Bruder said. “We look forward to continuing to host high-caliber gymnastics events that elevate the level of competition.” This will be the second time that the four schools will compete in the same event. The other was in 1993 at the Smith’s Challenge Cup. The event was held at the Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah. The Utes came out on top, Utah State finished second, BYU third and SUU fourth. BYU, Utah State and SUU compete in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference, while Utah competes in the Pac-12. The Cougars boast 11 in-state athletes on their team. This season, they return all but two gymnasts from a team that advanced to the NCAA regionals for the 10TH straight season. They placed third in the MRGC last season behind Boise St. and SUU. “It is incredible that our state has four

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outstanding division one programs,” Utah head coach Tom Farden said. “It speaks volumes about the popularity of gymnastics in Utah. This meet will allow each school’s passionate fans to get a chance to see their team in a championship setting. The podium at the Maverik Center is simply one of the best, and we are looking forward to this event this upcoming season.” Farden is entering his fourth years as head coach of the Utes. Last season, they finished seventh at the NCAA championships. They return 10 of their 24 gymnasts, including two All-Americans, Missy Reinstadtler (All-Around) and Sydney Soloski (floor). The team also includes two USA National team members, Maile O’Keefe and Abby Paulson. “We are not just interested in qualifying into the National Championships,” he said. “We want to get Utah back on top of the podium.” Utah owns 10 national championships; its last title came in 1995, and they finished second in 2015. SUU head coach Scott Bauman’s Thunderbirds finished second in the MRGC last season. They beat Utah State all three times they faced each other last season. Karly McClain was named MRGC freshman of the

The University of Utah Red Rocks placed second in the Pac-12 last season and qualified for the NCAA National Championships. (photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)

year last season. Utah State closed out last season ranked 42nd overall and did not qualify for the National Championships. Leighton Varnandore earned second team MGRC all-around last season. The Maverik Center hosted the 2019 Pac-12 Women’s Gymnastics Championships in March and is scheduled to be the host venue for the next three years. It seats

approximately 9,000 for gymnastics events. Tickets for these events can be purchased by contacting the Maverik Center and the schools. Utah gymnastics led the NCAA in attendance for women’s sports last season. South Carolina basketball was second and LSU gymnastics third. The Utes largest crowd for a meet was in 2015 when they hosted Michigan, 16,019 an NCAA record. l




nless you’re one of the few anomalies in the 4. Move to a safe location. Most insurworld, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve ance companies recommend relocating experienced that sickening feeling when your the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder car makes unwanted contact with another vehiof the road as soon as possible after the cle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. accident. If the damage to the car is minor, While we may want to crawl into a hole, we this should be relatively easy. But if there can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you are major injuries or questions about the six to be aware of (in no particular order). safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if 1. Have an emergency kit in your car. its blocking traffic. While this step comes before the accident 5. Increase your visibility. Turn on your occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whathazard lights and set out your attention ever you kit entails, make sure it has a firstitems from the emergency kit—flares, oraid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a ange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One small (and simple) camera in case there’s accident should not lead to another. Take been damage to your phone. We’re typiprecaution to ensure other drivers on the cally frustrated or frazzled after an acciroad remain safe. dent and not inclined to rational thinking. 6. Exchange insurance information. Being prepared limits the possibility of This is imperative. If you are to file a claim forgetfulness. on your car, you will need the other driv2. Take a deep breath. Accidents are trauer’s information. Most likely, after an acmatic experiences. Taking a breath will cident you are feeling jumpy or stressed. shift focus from what just happened to It means when you try to write down their what needs to be done next. information your handwriting will look 3. Get a status check on everyone in the like ancient hieroglyphics and, unless you car. Check with each passenger to see if are a cryptographer, will be unable to read they are OK. Have someone call 911 imit later. We live in the 21st century, take a mediately if someone is injured or unrephoto of their information and take phosponsive. tos of the damage done to both cars.

Page 12 | January 2020




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City of Taylorsville Newsletter


January 2020

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400

MAYOR'S MESSAGE Dear Friends and Neighbors, There is always a sense of excitement in the air as we retire the past year and look forward to all the possibilities of the new one ahead. But this year, I am even more enthused to ring in Year 2020. We have been extensively planning for Mayor Kristie S. Overson this new year and the decade beyond. We’ve engaged in spirited Cabinet meetings each week, as well as quarterly Priorities Meetings with the City Council and staff. We held our first 2020 Summit, which was a resounding success in gathering stakeholders in a networking forum at Regal Cinemas. We met in community gatherings, including our Envisioning Event at the Taylorsville Recreation Center, where residents huddled with planners to discuss ways to invigorate four primary commercial centers in our city. We applauded this past year as big announcements were made, including the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to locate a temple at 2603 W. 4700 South (see story on Page 3), and Target’s move to bring a new store to The Crossroads of Taylorsville center. We watched with eagerness as the mounds of dirt first piled up for its foundation and then the walls rose high during construction of the new Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center. We talked with landscaping and architecture experts to plan how our new City Center will look as we bring the Arts Center and adjacent City Hall together into one cohesive, community-centric space. We cheered at Ribbon Cuttings as many new small businesses opened across the city, and we gave our input at public hearings for the new Midvalley Connector Bus Rapid Transit line. We waited patiently as the aqueduct at 6200 South and Bangerter Highway was moved in advance of the coming freeway-style interchange there, and we worked diligently in further defining our 2020 Vision that includes these projects and so much more (see accompanying story). It is why we are thrilled to turn a page on the calendar and see this year now here. Many of our plans will come to fruition this year, including the opening of the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center, the new City Center landscaping, the Target store opening, development of the Midvalley Connector BRT route, and the opening of the Bangerter Highway interchange at 6200 South. It will be a whirlwind year, to be sure, and we can’t wait. But we are not stopping at the end of this year. Our 2020 Vision is a vision for the 2020s decade, beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, and ending on Dec. 31, 2029. In fact, I have a feeling these ’20s will be roaring for us! –Mayor Kristie S. Overson

WHAT’S INSIDE – January 2020 Frequently Called Numbers, Page 2 Council Corner, Page 3 Heritage Remembrances, Page 7 Environment, Page 8

2020 Vision Kicks off a New Year Filled with Activity

City leaders have adopted a 2020 Vision for the next decade, including the year 2020 and beyond. That vision focuses on five key areas: economic development, public safety, transportation, parks and recreation, and community building. “These are the building blocks that make up a community,” said Mayor Kristie Overson. “We believe by concentrating on these areas, both with our attention and resources, we can continue to expand on all of the city’s successes in making our city even stronger.” The Mayor and City Council have been working with key stakeholders and community members over the past year in developing this vision with the goal of bringing sharpness and clarity to the direction of the city. Efforts include bringing new business and housing to the city, and plans for prime development locations, transportation, and land use. City leaders also continue to focus on ensuring a safe community and building the quality of life that makes Taylorsville the preferred place to be. “Our vision focuses on new business and economic growth taking place across the city, as well as development opportunities and projects on the horizon,” Mayor Overson said. City leaders are calling their efforts a “2020 Vision” because, of course, perfect eyesight is 20/20 and they are looking to the upcoming decade called the 2020s, beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, and ending on Dec. 31, 2029. This planning process is meant to create a forward-thinking, proactive and reinvigorating approach focused on better serving residents, visitors, business and property owners.

Specific projects planned for completion in Year 2020 include: • The Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center, coming in fall 2020. The $39 million center, operated by Salt Lake County, will feature the 400seat Mainstage Theater, 200-seat Studio 5400 Theater and multi-use rehearsal space, as well as public art installations. It will serve as home to the Taylorsville Arts Council. • A new Target Store at Crossroads of Taylorsville, opening in fall 2020. The store at 5800 S. Redwood Road offers high visibility and ease of location. The I-215 freeway exits directly into The Crossroads center. The center and store also are bordered by main arterial Redwood Road to the east and 5400 South at the north of the center. • The Midvalley Connector Bus Rapid Transit Project. The Midvalley Connector will link Frontrunner and the Green, Red, and Blue TRAX lines connecting Murray, Taylorsville and West Valley City. Riders will access 15 stations and 1.4 miles of dedicated transit lanes on 4500/4700 South, as well as a new transit hub at Salt Lake Community College. • City Center Landscaping and Design. The ambitious new landscaping and open space design will tie the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center and City Hall into one cohesive, community-centric space. • The new freeway-style interchange at Bangerter Highway and 6200 South. Utah Department of Transportation crews spent the fall working to move an aqueduct at the site. The aqueduct relocation will shave a year off the construction time of the interchange.



| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

City of Taylorsville Newsletter Children Shop with a Shield in Taylorsville The Unified Police Department and Salt Lake County Sheriff 's Office played Santa for dozens of children and their families at the Walmart in Taylorsville. The annual Shopping with a Shield event is meant to help others during the holidays. Officers not only raise funds but also donate their own time and money, and then purchase gifts with the kids. Mayor Kristie Overson, Taylorsville Precinct Police Chief Tracy Wyant and Sheriff Rosie Rivera were among those who gathered for the holiday fun this past month. The event started with a police motorcade that traveled through Taylorsville from Bennion Jr. High to the store on Redwood Road. The children delighted to see the vehicles lined up, interact with the mascots and most especially pick out the perfect gifts with officers.


JANUARY 2020 Jan. 1 – All day

New Year’s Day. City Hall is closed

Jan. 8 & 22 – 6:30 p.m.

City Council Meeting @ City Hall

Jan. 14 – 7 p.m. & Jan. 28 – 6 p.m. Planning Commission Meeting @ City Hall

Jan. 20 – All day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, City Hall is closed

Jan. 27 – All day

Opening Day of the Legislature @ State Capitol Find a full calendar of events every month on the city’s website, where you can also submit your own events for possible publication. Go to www.taylorsvilleut.gov.

Holiday Giving Donations are Delivered to the Golden Giving Center A big thank you to all the businesses, residents, employees and community partners who gave to Taylorsville’s citywide Holiday Giving drive for the Golden Living Center. This past month, Mayor Kristie Overson and employees from City Hall delivered large boxes filled with candy, blankets, McDonald’s gift cards, soda (used for bingo prizes), washcloths, scarves, toiletries and slippers to the center for seniors living there. “It is inspiring how thoughtful and selfless those living and working in Taylorsville are,” Mayor Overson said. “It means so much to me and especially to the Golden Living Center. Thank you to all!”

January 2020


2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |


2020 Will Bring Some Exciting New Projects for Our City

By Council Member Meredith Harker Can you believe it is now the year 2020?! I thought that was a year for science fiction and dystopian novels. And yet here it is. What are some of your goals and aspirations for this new decade? Well, as a City Council, we have several. Our focus for the last several months has been looking ahead with our 2020 city vision and now this is the year where we will see some of it come to fruition. Of course, the most visible one is the new Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center that will be opening this fall. I can’t wait to sit in one of the two theaters to watch a show from our own Taylorsville Arts Council or a traveling performance from across the country. Another marvelous addition to our city will be our new gathering space outside of City Hall. Expect to see work start on that soon with an amphitheater, green space, a gateway sign, beautiful foliage, and walking paths. This will be a perfect place to enjoy food trucks, a movie on the lawn, a farmers’ market, and many other community events. We’d love to welcome all the state employees who will be moving into their new State Office Building on the former American Express campus. We hope that

they find their new home comfortable, productive and welcoming, and that they enjoy working in our great city. We must mention the Redwood Road beautification project and the Bus Rapid Transit line that will be starting soon, as well. These two projects will help give better access to our city and make traveling through the center of the valley easier and more convenient. Also exciting is the planned opening this fall of a new Target store at The Crossroads of Taylorsville shopping center, and we can’t forget the new interchange at 6200 South and Bangerter Highway that will make driving so much easier. As always, we will continue to hold fun community events and include some new ones as well. Taylorsville Dayzz will be the biggest one ever. Food trucks and movies at City Hall will be coming again this year. There will be the safety fair, a spring planting, a spike ball tournament, our Earth Day event, Saturday with Santa, and all the City Council meetings, which everyone is invited to attend. It will be a year filled with Taylorsville spirit and coming together. We invite you to join us in our 2020 Vision to make Taylorsville the best city it can possibly be now and for years to come.

Left to right: Curt Cochran (District 2) Ernest Burgess (District 1) Dan Armstrong, Chair (District 5) Meredith Harker, Vice Chair (District 4) Brad Christopherson (District 3)

Temple in Taylorsville will be Built at 4700 South Taylorsville leaders are pleased with the announced location by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of a temple to be constructed within the city at 2603 W. 4700 South. Church officials announced the exact location this past month. The church owns the property where the temple will be built. A church meetinghouse currently sits on the site, which is bordered by 4700 South to the north and I-215 to the east. The Taylors Landing and Westwood Shopping Centers are located across the street.

The temple site also is located on the Midvalley Connector Bus Rapid Transit line that is under development along 4700 South. “The site is easily accessible and manageable from a traffic standpoint,” said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson. “It is a visible location supported by nearby businesses and vibrant neighborhoods, as well as adjacent thoroughfares and convenient freeway onramps. “In our view, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could not have picked a better location,” Mayor Overson added. “We anticipate that the temple site and investment by the church in this location will further invigorate the area and our community.” The church indicated in a press release that the site is 7.5 acres. Plans call for a three-story temple of approximately 70,000 square feet, with a center spire. The existing meetinghouse on that site will be removed and will not be replaced. The church stated that further information — including interior and exterior renderings — will be made public later. Groundbreaking dates have not been set. City leaders first learned about the church’s plans to locate a temple in Taylorsville when the announcement was made by President Russell M. Nelson at the church’s 189th Semiannual General Conference on Oct. 5. “This is such good news for our city,” Mayor Overson said at the time. “We look forward to

the serenity, peace and beauty that a temple is sure to bring to our community, as well as the contribution it’s expected to make to Taylorsville’s rich mosaic. “We have long enjoyed a good partnership with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” she said, “and we look forward to working even more closely on this project.” City leaders anticipate that such collaboration would include approval of building permits, as well as coordination of any needed traffic mitigation. The temple in Taylorsville is one of eight new temples, including two in Utah, that the church plans to build. The other announced Utah temple will be built in Orem. Taylorsville will be the first temple built in the Salt Lake Valley since the Draper and Oquirrh Mountain temples opened in 2009. The Taylorsville and Orem temples will be the 22nd and 23rd temples in Utah.


| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

Saturday with Santa

City of Taylorsville Newsletter Santa visited Taylorsville over the holidays and found everyone on his nice list. The annual Saturday with Santa event held at the Taylorsville-Bennion Heritage Museum marked its 15th anniversary this past month with plenty of fun for all, including children's crafts and games, choir performances and tasty treats. Thank you to the Taylorsville Preservation Committee, as well as the Parks and Recreation and Cultural Diversity committees, for sponsoring another fantastic event!

January 2020

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |


2020 VISION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Project planning has taken place in each of the vision’s five key areas, including: Economic Development. Recent master-planning efforts have focused on retail centers as well as commercial district envisioning and revitalization. The planning efforts have concentrated on four primary areas: 5400 S. Redwood Road, 4800 S. Redwood Road, 4100 S. Redwood Road, and Bangerter Highway and 5400 South. Transportation. In addition to the Midvalley Connector BRT project and the 6200 South interchange, the city continues to work with partnering agencies such as the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Transit Authority to improve travel time, reduce traffic congestion and increase peak-hour roadway capacity. The new 5400 South interchange at Bangerter Highway, for example, has shaved commute drives by an average 10 minutes. Public Safety. Crime in Taylorsville continues to decline. Also of note, despite national police shortages, including in the state of Utah, the Taylorsville Precinct is fully staffed. This is a credit to the Unified Police Department’s aggressive recruitment process, focus as a full-service police organization and vast opportunities for advancement and professional growth. Additionally, the city works in tandem with Unified Fire Authority and its two stations in Taylorsville: #118 next to City Hall and the Taylorsville-Plymouth Fire Station #117 on Redwood Road. Parks and Recreation. The city, with assistance from Salt Lake County, led a large clean-up effort along the banks of the Jordan River, including vegetation removal and trash cleanup. The city’s Community Development Department has focused on trails and trail improvements, and the city additionally is investing in its many neighborhood parks, as well as Valley Regional Park. Building Community. The city plans to continue its tradition of supporting community-wide events with the reliance on a vast network of volunteers. Taylorsville leaders also are working in close collaboration with city partners including Salt Lake Community College, the Taylorsville Senior Center, the Taylorsville Bennion-Heritage Center, Salt Lake County’s Taylorsville Library and Taylorsville Recreation Center, as well as Granite School District and our neighborhood schools. “We want everyone to come together in working to implement this vision,” Mayor Overson said. “There is so much opportunity that awaits. We can’t wait to see it happen.” Read more about Taylorsville’s 2020 Vision on the city’s website at: www.taylorsvilleut.gov

2020 Vision Logos are Installed on Police Cars, City Vehicles Decals with the city's 2020 Vision logo were installed on 35 UPD vehicles and about a dozen city vehicles over a couple of days at Taylorsville's Fire Station #118 next to City Hall. Officers and city workers brought their vehicles to the station's garage where UPD Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant and Det. Scott Lloyd personally worked to attach the blue-and-white decals to both sides of each car. "We wanted to show our support for the city's 2020 Vision," said Chief Wyant. "Public safety is a key com-

ponent of that vision, and it means so much to us that Mayor Overson and the City Council have included what we do as a formal part of the city's plans for the future.” The 2020 Vision that city leaders have adopted for the next decade, including the year 2020 and subsequent years, focuses on five key areas including: economic development, public safety, transportation, parks and recreation, and community building. In reflection of this vision and its focus on public safety, city leaders made it a priority during the last legislative session to support the restoration of Tier II retirement benefits for police officers and firefighters. The bill, which was passed into law, increases the amount someone hired after mid-2011 would receive in retirement, from 37.5 percent of their salary to 50 percent, after 25 years of service. Police officers and firefighters backed the bill as a way to improve recruitment and retention, noting that many agencies are having trouble filling positions. The change goes into effect this year, 2020. “We want to make sure that our public safety officers know how much we appreciate, admire and respect them," said Mayor Overson. "It is the primary reason public safety is such an important part of our 2020 Vision. What our officers and firefighters do for our city is invaluable."

Mayor Overson, who is a member of the governing board of the Unified Police Department and serves as chair of the UPD Board Finance Committee, also has worked to secure raises for UPD personnel. "Public safety, which represents about 42 percent of our Taylorsville budget, is critical for our city," she said. Read more about Taylorsville’s 2020 Vision and view a photo gallery of the work to install the 2020 Vision decals on the city’s website at www.taylorsvilleut.gov


| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

City of Taylorsville Newsletter

January 2020

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |

Taylorsville Bennion Heritage REMEMBRANCES This month’s article from the Historic Preservation Committee is very unique. The decision was made to highlight some uncommon phrases/ words that are mostly no longer in existence in 2020. They are vintage words, for sure. Some of them are listed below: Best thing since Sliced Bread! Over Yonder Good night nurse That’s the cat’s meow

Right as Rain Good grief Pollyfoxin Guldarnit

The bee’s knees For crying out loud Goin’ up north

If we have brought a smile to your face — GREAT! Have a perfect New Year. You’ll be hearing more from our committee soon … and that’s No Balony.

Ensure Winter Safety, Guard Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning By UFA Capt. Richard Rich Winter is upon us and the temperatures have dropped. Our furnaces have kicked into overdrive in an effort to keep us comfortable. With this additional demand for heat in our living space comes the risk of carbon monoxide build-up that can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a good idea to have your furnace tuned to ensure it is running at peak efficiency, not only for savings in your pocketbook but for peace of mind that your family will be safe as they sleep. As our furnaces burn natural gas to produce heat, the byproducts of combustion are vented to the outside of our homes through the duct system. With a system that is operating properly, you have nothing to worry about. But a system that is dirty, out of adjustment or has cracked ductwork is another situation that could prove disastrous. Carbon monoxide is one of the byproducts of combustion. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that has a molecular weight approximately the same as the atmospheric air around us. What does all this mean? It means we cannot see the gas; we cannot smell the gas and the gas does not rise up and out into the atmosphere. It does not collect in the low-lying areas of our homes and neighborhoods. Why is this important? Carbon monoxide is toxic to our bodies. Exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) impedes the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues and vital organs. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it combines with hemoglobin (an iron protein component of red blood cells), producing carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which greatly diminishes hemoglobin’s oxygen-carrying capacity. Hemoglobin’s binding affinity for carbon monoxide is 300 times greater than its affinity for oxygen. As a result, small amounts of carbon monoxide can dramatically reduce hemoglobin’s ability to transport oxygen. Basically, we suffocate from the inside without even realizing what is happening. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure are headache, nausea, rapid breathing, weakness, exhaustion, dizziness and confusion. Hypoxia (severe oxygen deficiency) due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning may result in reversible neurological effects, or it may result in long-term (and possibly delayed) irreversible neurological (brain damage) or cardiological (heart damage) effects. Other sources of carbon monoxide to be aware of are fireplaces, candles and our vehicles. Be very careful when warming your vehicles in the morning. The exhaust gases are full of carbon monoxide and find their way into our homes or even our neighbors’ homes. Protect yourself. Have a working carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. If you experience a carbon monoxide alarm in your home, call 911 and move to fresh air. Leave the windows and doors closed so when our crews arrive, they can get an accurate assessment of the air inside your home. As always, thank you and stay safe!


TAYLORSVILLE SENIOR CENTER Upcoming Events for January: • Closed for Holidays: Wednesday, Jan. 1 • Birthday Tuesday Entertainment, Deiter Wachtel: Monday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. to noon • Volcano Science Presentation (register): Friday, Jan. 10, 1 to 2 p.m. • Good Grief, Creative Grief Process (register): Thursday, Jan. 16, 1 to 3 p.m. • Foster Grandparent Program Information: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 11 to 11:30 a.m. • Free Health Screenings: Friday, Jan. 24, 8. a.m. to noon • Valentine Letter Writing Workshop (register): Friday, Jan. 24, 1 to 3 p.m.

NEW ONGOING CLASSES: • Utah History Class Series: Thursday, Jan. 2 through Thursday, Feb. 6, 1 to 2 p.m. • Family History, FamilyTree Search Class Series (register): Monday, Jan. 6 through Monday, Feb. 10, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. • Drums Alive Exercise Class: Mondays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. • Qi Gong Exercise Class (register): Wednesdays, 4 to 4:30 p.m. • University of Utah Fitness Program: Begins Wednesday, Jan. 15. Wednesdays during spring semester, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

If you need to register for a class, you may do so by calling 385-468-3200 or stop by the front desk when you are at the center, 4743 Plymouth View Drive.

Winter is Here CITY CODE 11.20.080 - PARKING PROHIBITED WHEN: It is unlawful for any person who owns or has possession, custody or control of any vehicle or trailer to park or knowingly allow to be parked any vehicle or trailer on any street or highway: A. After any snow and/or ice accumulation, until after the street or highway is cleared of snow and/or ice; or B. For a period longer than twenty four (24) consecutive hours; C. For any period longer than that allowed by appropriate signs, markings, or parking meters giving notice of such parking time limitation. (Ord. 14-03, 2-19-2014)


| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

City of Taylorsville Newsletter Wishing for Spring? Take Some Free Classes

JANUARY WFWRD UPDATES HOLIDAY COLLECTIONS Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District will not be collecting on New Year’s Day. Since the holiday is on Wednesday this year, collections will be delayed by one day to accommodate. Taylorsville collections will occur on Friday, Jan. 3, instead of Thursday.

CURBSIDE CHRISTMAS TREE COLLECTION WFWRD will be collecting Christmas trees during the month of January. For collection, place your undecorated tree on your curb. The trees will be collected the day after your regular collection day during the month of January. If your tree is not collected one week, a truck will be back the following week. Please call the WFWRD office, or chat with them online for additional information. • Please remove all snow off the tree • Trees cannot be accepted with decorations, lights, tree stands or flocking. • Do not place the tree in your garbage, recycling or green waste can. • If the tree is over 8 feet tall, please cut it into smaller sections. • Artificial trees cannot be accepted

The Conservation Garden Park is offering free classes to inspire, educate, and empower communities to create and enjoy waterwise landscapes. Located on 10 acres in West Jordan, the Garden Park is easily accessible from all Wasatch Front communities. The garden began with six examples of waterwise landscaping in a mock residential setting. It has since expanded to include interactive exhibits for educating the public on waterwise design, planting, and irrigation — becoming one of Utah’s premier water conservation teaching and demonstration gardens. Taylorsville-Bennion Improvement District, as a Member Agency of Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, encourages customers to explore this valuable resource. Sign up for classes by going online to conservationgardenpark.org. If you have any questions, please contact Taylorsville-Bennion Improvement District by calling 801-968-9081 or visiting www.tbid.org. Follow TBID on Facebook and Twitter. QUESTIONS? Please contact Taylorsville-Bennion Improvement District by calling 801-968-9081 or visiting www.tbid.org. You can also follow the district on Facebook and Twitter.

RECYCLING REMINDER As gifts and presents are exchanged this season, please remember that paper-based wrapping paper is recyclable; but plastic or Mylar wrapping, and bows/ribbons are not recyclable.

CAN SETOUT WFWRD would like to remind all residents to have their cans placed on the street by 7 a.m. on the day of their normal collection. Salt Lake County Health Department Regulation 7, Ordnance 4.3.2 also requires that the cans be taken off the street the same day they are emptied. Residents are asked to keep this in mind and have their cans ready for collection in time, and to ensure they are taken off the street for the health and safety of our neighborhoods. This also helps snowplows effectively plow neighborhoods.


City Journals presents:

A publication covering winter indoor and outdoor recreational activities in and around the Salt Lake Valley area.

Local runner turns childhood illness into fitness motivation By Jess Nielsen Beach | j.beach@mycityjournals.com You see them every time you drive down the street: runners, of all shapes and sizes, pounding the pavement in snow or shine. For Jill Wilkins, a West Valley resident, you’re more likely to see her at a more elevated level.

Rather than let her illness defeat her, she used it as a way to better herself. “I always loved the strength of runners. You’ll be driving and see people running in bad weather and think, ‘wow, good for you!’ I wanted to be the strong one, beWilkins, 39, grew to love trail running cause I’ve always been the sick one.” Although the fitness guru now has after a prolonged childhood illness. “I was really sick my whole life,” Wilkins years of training under her belt, it didn’t said. “I missed four years of school. I had come easy. Her first 5K was with her uncle, to have daily nutritional IVs and I was very who was nearing his fifties. Her only goal was to not let him beat her—which he did, unhealthy. I was always ‘the sick one.’”

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sooner than she expected. “We started running and an eighth of a mile in, not even a half mile, my uncle takes off,” Wilkins said. “There’s nothing more humbling than seeing your older uncle take off and there’s nothing you can do about it.” After finishing that race, Wilkins was determined to get better. She began to train and love the workout, and she wasn’t about to pay for a sitter. “It’s so simplistic.” Wilkins said, explaining her routine as a mom who loves to run. “You don’t need a babysitter for the gym, you’re not stuck in a room with sweaty, smelly people not knowing what to do and being intimidated. You just put one foot in front of the other.” Once her love of exercise was cemented, Wilkins began to explore the nearby mountains. “I’ve always loved hiking and running, and then I found trail running, which just combines it all.” In addition to the scenic views and fresh air, Wilkins is grateful for the easier toll trail running takes. Rather than the flat, monotonous pavement on roads and sidewalks, the dirt and snow serve as a cushion to not wear down as much. “I like the mountain running because it’s very hard to do, but it’s much easier on your body. It’s less impact. There’s also trail variances, there’s rocks, roots, ups, downs; you’re using all the parts of your legs and all different tendons.” If you’re looking to start trail running, or running in general, don’t be scared. According to Wilkins, there is one important factor if you decide to embrace the great outdoors, even in the snow. “Running is not for everybody, but hiking is for almost everybody. You can get enjoyment out of it and you don’t have to do hard hikes. It’s putting one foot in front of the other. If you have to take a breather, do it. Get yourself out and enjoy the moun-

Wilkins surfs down the mountain during the Brighton Cirque series race. (Photo courtesy Jill Wilkins)

tains. We are so lucky. There are so many people who pay to travel here and experience our trails, and they’re right here.” As for fellow moms with young children, she adds, “Most people think it’s complicated to get kids out, but it’s really not. It’s no different than going sledding or seeing the lights at Temple Square. Warm clothes, snacks if they’re hungry, and hand warmers.” If you’re ready to get out there, Wilkins recommends checking online for avalanche dangers as well as consulting the app, All Trails. “All Trails will filter hikes, show the distance, elevation gain, etc. That way you can see oh, this will be an easy trail verses something more challenging.” Wilkins said. “If you have a pair of hiking boots, you’re fine. Just pick a trail that doesn’t have a lot of steepness. I like trekking poles, they’re great for balance. In the snow, you might be a little off, so pull out your poles and get going.” For more fitness inspiration and photos of Utah’s most stunning views, you can follow Wilkins’ Instagram page: jillrwilkins.

January 2020 | Page 21

Winter sports for the non-skier: Wasatch Front offers plenty of alternatives for outdoor fun By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Sledding takes off when there is fresh snow. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

Sledding offers winter fun for kids of all ages. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

Kids ready to take off after a storm. (Joshua Wood/ City Journals)

The ski season got off to a solid start in Utah with a late November storm piling over 3 feet at many resorts as they opened. That should come as great news for skiers, but what about Utah’s non-skiers? Do they wait until spring and summer for warm weather outdoor activities?

from $13 to around $25 per day. Many of the shops that sell and rent ski gear also rent snowshoes. From REI or your local ski shop, it is relatively easy to get a pair of snowshoes and poles and try it out. “Snowshoes are good,” said Alan Greenberg at Cottonwood Cyclery in Cottonwood Heights. “They’re low cost, it’s fun, it’s something to do outside. You don’t have to wait in line, the trails are free.” While the number of snowshoe rentals is fairly low from his experience, Dailey said he rents snowshoes to couples looking for something different to do on a date, or to older customers seeking low-impact snow sports. “It still gets you in the mountains, you still get to see cool stuff, and you’re not fighting the crowds,” Dailey said. “In the summer, you have all those hiking trails available. In the winter there are way less crowds.”

While that certainly is an option, there are a lot of other things Utah’s outdoors offer. From hitting the trails on snowshoes or darting downhill on a sled at the neighborhood park, getting outside this winter is easy thanks to the Wasatch Front’s accessible outdoor wonders.

Getting outdoors on a (snow)shoestring budget

Snowshoeing presents a low impact and relatively low-cost alternative to skiing. People can enjoy the crisp, clean air of the mountains at a fraction of the cost of skiing. Snowshoes help people access nearby trails without the same crowds they might encounter during summer. It is increasing in popularity, too. According to statistics, 3.7 million people snowshoed in the United States in 2017, up from 2.4 million in 2007. “It’s a great alternative,” said Mike Dailey at the Wasatch Powder House in Holladay. “I’ll send people to Millcreek Canyon because you don’t have all the ski traffic. There are a lot of trails up there. You can also go to the quarry in Little Cottonwood.” Snowshoe rentals in the area range

Page 22 | January 2020

Winter sports can be about more than snow

Ice skating presents a timeless way to enjoy winter sports. From the indoor rink at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center to the Olympic Oval in Kearns or outdoor rinks when they can be found, skating helps bring people together. Greenberg of Cottonwood Cyclery is passionate about skating and has visions of expanding access to ice skating in Cottonwood Heights. “It’s easy in the summer to make excuses to go outside and do something, but in the winter, it’s really hard,” Greenberg said. “My son plays hockey and

Locals flock to parks with steep hills after a snowstorm. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

goes to Hillcrest. If there’s an outdoor rink, he would skate there. He might meet some Brighton kids. Something like that brings a community together. That’s important.” With sparks flying as he sharpened a customer’s skate in his shop, Greenberg talked about his vision for an outdoor ice skating rink as the centerpiece of a winter haven in Cottonwood Heights. Put it near a sledding hill, add food trucks and outdoor concerts, and the whole community could take part in winter sports right in town. “Any ice sport is a hidden sport,” Greenberg said. “It’s tucked away in a rink. You really have to seek it out. You’re never going to stumble upon it. In the Midwest and the Northeast, where they have that stuff, you have communities that run into each other, and it’s out there. Who knows how many kids would see a rink and say, ‘Mom I want to play hockey or I want to figure skate.’” For those who do skate, Cottonwood Cyclery sells, repairs, and sharpens skates for hundreds of people in the area. “I’d love to have an opportunity down here, right in the middle, where people driving by look and say, let’s buy a couple of cheap hockey sticks and we’ll go dink around on the ice,” Greenberg said.

very popular among the mountain biking community,” said Sydney Ricketts of Trek Bicycle in Cottonwood Heights. “There’s definitely a large mountain biking community in Salt Lake. Fat biking is popular among mountain bikers because not many people do it so you don’t get the crowds like the ski resorts do in winter.” The large, wide tires on a fat bike are great for riding over loose terrain like snow. They tend to require a larger frame, particularly the fork, than most mountain bikes can accommodate. Fat bike enthusiasts find uses for them year round. “Some people are all about the fat biking,” Ricketts said. “They can definitely be a year-round bike. The traction, and the tires since they are so big, you can run them at a lower PSI. Since they’re so high volume they can act like suspension, if you will.” In the summer, fat bikes are popular for bikepacking, which is essentially backpacking by bike. The fat tires are great for rough trails and work as well in desert sand as on the winter snow. Fat biking also offers a winter alternative to skiing when the snow might not be so great. One limitation of winter fat biking is finding suitable trails. “Trails need to be maintained,” Greenberg said. “You can’t just fat bike on loose snow.” A big, fat winter spin on summer sports Not to worry. One way to find good The ice and snow don’t have to put off traditionally summer sports completely. trails for fat biking is to piggyback on anOne alternative that enthusiasts in the area other winter sport. “I see a lot of people enjoy is fat biking. “Fat biking is definitely biking on snowmobiling trails like in the

Taylorsville City Journal

Seven years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr

Another traditional summer activity that can be enjoyed in winter is fishing. Utah offers several good ice fishing spots less than an hour from the Salt Lake valley. (Photo courtesy Van Hoover)

Uintas,” Dailey said. “Mirror Lake Highway, Soapstone Road, they groom them. You have a road to ride on.”

Traditional winter fun right in town

Classic winter activities never go out of style. Go to a park like Mountview Park in Cottonwood Heights or Aspen Meadows Park in Sandy after a snowstorm, and you will find plenty of people sledding the steepest hills. Sledding is a low-cost activity that families can enjoy close to home. “We’re here just to have fun with the family,” Monica Smith said as she watched her kids race down the hill at Aspen Meadows Park. “We’ll try to ski half a dozen times this year, but we probably sled more.” People of all ages dart down snowy hills each winter, but sledding definitely seems to be about kids. It is a way for families to make the most of newly fallen snow and get outside during the winter months. “I don’t ski; this is it,” said Levi Ortega. “It’s all about my kids. There’s no skiing or snowboarding for me. We just sled.” Inexpensive sleds of various designs, from plastic or foam to inflatable tubes,

are widely available in stores. More elaborate sleds are also an option. “A wooden toboggan? I can get them,” Greenberg of Cottonwood Cyclery said. “Think what a killer Christmas gift that would be. It would be really cool to have.”

A fun icebreaker

Another traditional summer activity that can be enjoyed in winter is fishing. Utah offers several good ice fishing spots less than an hour from the Salt Lake valley. “Rockport (State Park) is a great place,” said Karson Ranck of Fish Tech in Holladay. “It has some nice perch and rainbow trout. And it’s just 30 minutes away. There’s Jordanelle (State Park), and Strawberry (Reservoir) is really popular.” The main obstacle to ice fishing, aside from getting over the idea of sitting in the cold for hours waiting for a bite, is getting through the ice. To do the job, people can opt for an old-fashioned manual auger or a powered one to drill a hole for their lines. Manual augers run around $70 at Fish Tech, while powered augers can cost $600. Ice fishing is another way to enjoy recreation areas without the crowds. There are multiple online resources to check on temperatures and ice conditions before venturing out. Making sure the ice is suitably thick for fishing is, of course, a key safety measure. It is also a good idea to research specific locations on the lake before drilling holes. Since finding a place to fish takes a lot more work when you have to auger a hole, it helps to make a plan of action ahead of time.

The tip of the iceberg

Snowshoes offer a low-cost way to explore nearby trails in winter. (Photo courtesy of John Dehlin)

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

Other winter sport activities that can be enjoyed include curling, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and more. There are also opportunities to put a winter spin on more traditionally warm weather activities like running and various team sports. Utah is renowned for its winter recreation, but there is much more to do on the Greatest Snow on Earth than just skiing.


More and more people are saying they just don’t get colds anymore. They are using a new device made of pure copper, which scientists say kills cold and flu viruses. Doug Cornell invented the device in 2012. “I haven’t had a single cold since then,” he says. People were skeptical but New research: Copper stops colds if used early. EPA and university studies Businesswoman Rosaleen says when demonstrate repeatedly that viruses and bacteria die almost instantly when people are sick around her she uses CopperZap morning and night. “It saved me touched by copper. That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp- last holidays,” she said. “The kids had tians used copper to purify water and colds going around, but not me.” Some users say it also helps with heal wounds. They didn’t know about sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a viruses and bacteria, but now we do. Scientists say the high conductance 2-day sinus headache. When her Copperof copper disrupts the electrical balance Zap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no more congestion.” seconds. Some users say copper stops nightSo some hospitals tried copper touch surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. time stuffiness if used before bed. One This cut the spread of MRSA and other man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” Copper can also stop flu if used earillnesses by over half, and saved lives. Colds start after cold viruses get in ly and for several days. Lab technicians your nose, so the vast body of research placed 25 million live flu viruses on a gave Cornell an idea. When he next CopperZap. No viruses were found alive felt a cold about to start, he fashioned a soon after. Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams smooth copper probe and rubbed it genconfirming the discovery. He placed miltly in his nose for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold lions of disease germs on copper. “They never got going.” It worked again every started to die literally as soon as they touched the surface,” he said. time. The handle is curved and finely texHe asked relatives and friends to try it. They said it worked for them, too, so tured to improve contact. It kills germs he patented CopperZap™ and put it on picked up on fingers and hands to protect you and your family. the market. Copper even kills deadly germs that Now tens of thousands of people have tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback have become resistant to antibiotics. If said the copper stops colds if used within you are near sick people, a moment of 3 hours after the first sign. Even up to 2 handling it may keep serious infection days, if they still get the cold it is milder away. The EPA says copper still works even than usual and they feel better. Pat McAllister, age 70, received one when tarnished. It kills hundreds of diffor Christmas and called it “one of the ferent disease germs so it can prevent sebest presents ever. This little jewel real- rious or even fatal illness. CopperZap is made in America of ly works.” Now thousands of users have pure copper. It has a 90-day full money simply stopped getting colds. People often use CopperZap preven- back guarantee. It is $69.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with tively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to get colds after crowded flights. Though code UTCJ9. Go to www.CopperZap.com or call skeptical, she tried it several times a day on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen toll-free 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. advertorial

January 2020 | Page 23

Do you have what it takes to be a professional hockey ref? By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com Did you hear about the professional hockey game where not one fight broke out? If you did, please let Jim McKenna know, because he probably would have loved to referee that game. Hockey, after all, is the only sport with a penalty box (a temporary detention cell) and requires its referees to match the toughness of its competitors. McKenna, while dodging hockey pucks and punches during the night, works during the day in the information technology world as an I.T. solution manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a profession he has had for the last 20 years. On top of all of that, he serves in the bishopric of his Murray congregation. “I started officiating when I was 24. I was married and going to school and needed a way to make some extra money,” McKenna said. “I was always hard on the refs when I played, always thought they did a poor job. One of them told me to give it a try if I thought I could do better.” The Skyline High graduate grew up playing hockey; he started at age 6. When the ice rink was not available, he and his brothers played street hockey. After graduating from the University of Utah, he continued playing hockey in recreation leagues and decided he could, indeed, do a better

job than other referees could. “I learned very quickly; it is a lot harder than it looks. But, I loved being involved, and it was a great way to make extra money. Later on, I kept doing it because I loved working in high-level games. I have also come to meet and get to know a lot of great people,” McKenna said. To be a professional hockey referee, you go through a process similar to the players. First, you are selected to work in developmental leagues and junior leagues, such as the USHL or NAHL. Referees are then hired to work minor professional hockey, such as the East Coast Hockey League and American Hockey League; then the National Hockey League hires the top refs of those leagues. McKenna officiates many of the Utah Grizzlies games and minor league teams in Idaho. According to McKenna, “I was older when I started working, and so I never had the desire to move my wife to the Midwest or back East to work hockey games. Most of the refs spend several years traveling around working games to get a shot at the pro level. I was happy and lucky enough to get to work here in Utah.” McKenna typically draws the linesman assignment, meaning his primary responsibility is watching for violations involving the

center line and the blue line, and infractions including icing and offsides, after which the linesman conduct face-offs. McKenna is also expected to break up scuffles, fistfights and other altercations that occur during the game. His day job of working with computers and, if you will, his weekend job (working as a leader in his LDS ward) are, without question, vastly different. “Dealing with players, no matter what the level of play—college, pro, or youth— you always have to be the adult and be in control, you can’t let your emotions get to you. I have found my faith and perspective helps me do that. “Yes, hockey is probably one of the most colorful sports, language-wise. I have found that the older I get, the less I care about what I am being called or what the fans, coaches or players yell. I have found if I can find the humor in all the craziness, it helps.” McKenna calls working the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics Games the highlight of his career. He called many pre-Olympic matches and assisted the international referees with all the games. “I worked as a linesman during the 2002 Paralympic Games. I lined the bronze medal game between Sweden and Cana-

Professional hockey referee Jim McKenna, in stripes, clears out of the way after conducting a face-off. (Photo courtesy Jim McKenna)

da. That was a blast. I got to know a number of officials from other countries, and we had a great time during that week,” McKenna said. “I also got to watch every Olympic game, including the gold medal game between the USA and Canada, which was probably the best sports experience I have had.”

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4 convenient locations in the Salt Lake Valley. To find one near you visit grifolsplasma.com In addition to meeting the donation center criteria, you must provide a valid photo ID, proof of your current address and your Social Security or immigration card to donate. Must be 18 years of age or older to donate.

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City Journal

Salt Lake County budget finalized for 2020 T

Salt Lake County Council | Aimee Winder Newton | District 3

he Salt Lake County Council voted 7-2 to increase property taxes. This increase would raise the tax on an average home about $30 per year. I was a “No” vote on this increase, and I want to share my reasoning. Throughout the fall budget process I listened to constituents and worked with some of my colleagues and Council staff to comb through the budget. I felt an added urgency to find efficiencies given the fact that the Mayor’s budget included a nearly $18 million dollar property tax increase. Ultimately, my colleague Councilman Richard Snelgrove and I proposed a package of roughly $11.8 million in proposed cuts to the budget. I’ve posted publicly my proposed list of cuts, but I want to highlight two specific initiatives here that I proposed in the budget. Though they weren’t passed, I believe these two changes would have yielded significant savings to the taxpayer, and ultimately delivered better outcomes. First, I proposed a revised compensation plan that would have shifted pay increases to county employees who need it most. It would have reduced the Mayor’s proposed raise for those in the highest income brackets, and shifted more of it to those making less than $70,000 per year. Under this plan, those jobs with the highest turnover and workforce shortages would have benefitted. And it would have saved somewhere in the ballpark of $436,000 annually, according to initial estimates. The second proposal dealt with contributions to non profit groups. This batch of expenditures doesn’t receive the level of scrutiny taxpayers deserve, with the same organizations simply getting the same funding

each year with insufficient justification for the return to taxpayers. This line item would be cut in half, to $270,000, saving that same amount each year. The remainder would go through a more vibrant process of reviewing vital community groups and partnerships that the county should support. While I’m disappointed these two proposals, as well as many more cuts, weren’t accepted, the Council did end up approving about $6 million in cuts, which is still an improvement over the proposed budget. But ultimately I didn’t feel good about asking for more money from taxpayers when I believed there were still cuts that needed to happen, which is why I voted “No” on the final budget. The reason I am so passionate about cutting the “nice to have” items from government is simply this: it isn’t our money—it belongs to the taxpayers. Every trim we can make to push back against the natural tendency of government to grow can help keep more of your tax dollars in your own wallets. And I always believe we can do this while still making valuable investments in public services, which I’ve defended before. Our aim should always be to achieve maximum efficiency, and keep the role of government restrained and carefully targeted. Going through the largest government budget in Utah (second only to the state government budget itself) that totals roughly $1.4 billion is hard work, but I love the opportunity to do so on behalf of my constituents. Every vote I cast as a County Council member comes after thoughtful consideration of how it will impact the county, our residents, and the constituents whom I represent in this role.


Granite School District is hiring Kitchen Managers, Nutrition Service Workers, and Nutrition Worker Substitutes! Applicants must have: High school diploma or equivalent, background check, and be willing to obtain a food handler’s permit. • • • •

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner positions available! 15 to 40 Hours per week with Flexible scheduling! Hiring at over 100 schools within the district. Pay starts at $12.25 per hour.

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The four B’s one Taylorsville School is doing to keep kids learning By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones | k.jones@mycityjournals.com

Lavinia Mapa waits her turn while her sisters Suzie (back) and Arianna (front) take care of some dental work on Bennion’s stage. (Photo by Leisl Leystra/Bennion Elementary)


hen was the last time you smiled when going to the dentist? Probably never. But Bennion Elementary can’t help but keep everyone smiling. In its second year, Big Smiles Dentist has made another comeback. “This year’s forms that we turned in to the dentist have doubled,” Public Relations Officer Leisl Leystra said. Fifteen children were seen last year; this year, over 60 applications were submitted. This year’s Big Smile’s plan was a oneday event held Dec. 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the school’s stage area. But the plan quickly changed when the dentist ran out of time on the originally scheduled day, and additional time had to be slotted for a full day on Dec. 9. The talk for next year? A definite two-day dental experience. Big Smiles, is a real dream for parents who struggle to pay for preventive care or cavity costs for their children. Big Smiles, whose organization also offers free services for those without insurance, took the load off students as well—students who, following their procedure, could now focus on their school work without the pain of a toothache. Other than the space to work, everything was provided by the dentist including a chair, a light, a traveling cart of dental tools and drills. Everything from X-rays and cleanings,

Page 26 | January 2020

to cavity filling and tooth pulling, were taken care of, Leystra said. Parents were welcome. Many even brought younger children for a dental visit. Currently, Big Smiles Dental sees only students who are enrolled at the school, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t fill out a form and wait to see if the dentist has time after serving the students, Leystra said. This year, several Bennion Jr. High students also visited the dentist. Big Smiles Dental.org, who began their organization because of many a parent’s struggles getting their child to the dentist due to transportation and work issues, was eager to help children who might not visit the dentist otherwise. Big Smiles, which caters to children’s teeth throughout the United States, has five local dentists currently on the roster, dentists who travel to schools to assist children in need of dental care. And that means a lot — to everyone.


The Battle of the Books, run by fourth grade teacher Erin Bitner, is in its second year. Students are required to read five or more books recommended by the Granite School District from incoming nominations to be on a team and to compete at the district level, said Bitner, who has been at Bennion for 11 years. She has been holding monthly meetings in her classroom, has had students choose the books they are committed

Farfun Muridi, Jocelyn Ramirez and Lavinia Mapa eat lunch with Principal Jane McClure as part of the Student of the Month program at Bennion Elementary. (Photo by Leisl Leystra/Bennion Elementary)

to reading and has separated the 25 students into teams. Each team is expected to read 15 books among the team members, and each individual reader is expected to read at least five of the 15. “I have seen much more follow-through on reading the five-plus books and already have a few kids that have met their goal and beyond,” Bitner said. “I also have several parents that come to the meetings to help and discuss the books with us, which is awesome!” Although the district sends along a set of 30 books to be used for the “battle,” and librarians pull from their shelves what they have already, Bennion uses “bonus points from Scholastic Book Club to buy additional copies,” Bitner said. These books are placed on a different cart from the other school books and can be checked out by students. The ultimate goal, however, is to get “several teams together for the district competition,” she said. At the upcoming competition in the spring, grades will compete in a “quiz-like competition” about each of the books. “You want to make sure all 15 books have been read amongst the team members,” Bitner said. She’s keeping the comprehension strong by having her students fill out a “story map” on each of the books they’ve read. The story map includes basic elements such as characters, plot and setting — stuff that makes a

book interesting and memorable. “We’re trying to make reading cool again!” Bitner said. “It is so fun to discuss the different books and some of the things they liked about them or things they connected within the story. It’s kind of like a book club at school.”


Because learning is never enough without positive behavior attached, Bennion Elementary has incorporated a Bobcat Best program to keep students’ brains ticking. “Students are given a Bobcat coupon when they are recognized for good behavior, going the extra mile,” Leystra said. The student turns in their coupon, and once a week, names are drawn from the box. “Students can earn anything from a pencil to a pizza party. Each teacher picks one student that is consistently showing Bobcat Best behavior.” She added that she is in charge of their Bobcat Best Student of the Month and that she puts up a monthly display of the winners. She also orders a favorite book for each of the winning students from the Scholastic Book Order, and the students get to eat donated lunches from Chick-fil-A with the principal on the second Friday of every month. A postcard is also mailed to the parents making them aware of the award.


Success for Bennion extends far beyond the classroom and includes outside projects as well, such as the before-school music pro-

Taylorsville City Journal

All smiles, Justine Johnson is ready to begin her dental work. (Photo by Leisl Leystra/Bennion Elementary)

WE NEED YOUR INPUT PARTCIPANTS EARN $50 Students of the month Boston Rogers, Jolie Gomez and Makenzie Metcalf eat a Chick-fil-A lunch with Principal Jane McClure. (Photo by Leisl Leystra/Bennion Elementary)

gram; the Student Ambassador Leadership Team, or SALT; and aluminum tab collecting for the Ronald McDonald House, initiated by Bethany Johnson, the school’s social worker. The before-school music program offered to third through sixth grade is sponsored by Riverton Music in Jordan Landing. “This has been a great little activity for the students here,” Leystra said. The students meet at 7 a.m. on the school stage. Band practice is every Monday and Wednesday. Orchestra is offered every Tuesday and Thursday. SALT provides leadership-oriented students opportunities to serve their school by welcoming new students and participating in

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

needed service projects, Leystra said. “The team meets several times a month; they help serve the school with service projects (and) welcoming students to Bennion,” Leystra said. “As their name says, they are leaders.” The SALT Team raises money for charities such as Make-A-Wish, the Humane Society and the Ronald McDonald House. As part of SALT, Bethany Johnson collects aluminum tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. She’s run this program for years. “It’s been good to see the kids reach out to donate to children that are sick,” Leystra said. l


January 2020 | Page 27

Utah high schools asked to raise the bar on sportsmanship By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

A throng of screaming Copper Hills fans pack the stands led in cheers by a dedicated cheerleading team. (photo courtesy of Greg James/City Journals)


technical foul, 15 yards or a penalty shot are just a few examples of punishments that result from unsportsmanlike conduct. More serious violations can result in fines, suspension or even termination. The Utah–BYU rivalry again took sportsmanship’s center stage because of several incidents in an early December men’s basketball game at the Huntsman Center. Several Cougar students began singing their fight song during a halftime presentation honoring former and deceased Utah head coach Rick Majerus. The melee that followed included fights in the stands and altercations on the court. This basketball game is not the first time the two schools have squared off. In 2009, BYU quarterback Max Hall said, “I don’t like Utah, in fact I hate them. I hate everything about them.” He later apologized. Utah head men’s basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak said in 2016 he did not care if the teams ever played again. College sports participants are not the only poor examples. In 2009, two Ute Conference youth football teams forfeited all of their games and the conference president was removed after allegations of using illegal players. The

Page 28 | January 2020

whistleblower received threats and called the police for protection. “You’re an idiot, you have ruined our son’s season and I am going to burn your house down,” prompted that call to the police, all over a youth football game. Has sportsmanship been lost for a willingness to win at all costs? “It can be horrific. I had never been so scared,” Peggy Pyle, a county recreation scorekeeper, said about her experience witnessing a brawl at a slow pitch softball game. “One big guy hit another guy in the head with a glass coke bottle. It was wicked crazy.” The Utah High School Activities Association has recently made an exaggerated emphasis on sportsmanship at its contests. “The organization is committed to stressing educational and cultural values,” UHSAA director Rob Cuff said. “We stand to improve the participation experience in activities, promote life skills, lessons involved in competitive activities, foster sportsmanship, mutual respect and assist those who oversee high school sports and activities at UHSAA member schools.” In a City Journal study, 78% of respondents said parents are most responsible for sportsmanship, good or bad.

Taylorsville City Journal

behavior and demonstrate respect and appreciation of opponents, officials, fans and coaches. Get loud, have a great time, but remain positive.” In the City Journals sportsmanship survey, 56% of those filling out the questionnaire said they had displayed poor sportsmanship. Meanwhile, 91% do not think all participants deserve participation awards. “Disappointment and failure is life,” Blanchard said. “Disappointment can be a useful motivator to athletes. It can help them overcome the negative feelings that come with losing.” In 2019, the UHSAA changed how teams qualify for the state tournament. The changes sparked a controversy over if all teams should make it or not. Beginning this last fall, all teams make the tournament but are seeded by a ratings performance index. According to the Cyprus head basketball coach, his team needed to learn something before making the playoffs. “My first three years at Cyprus, my teams did not deserve to make the tournament, and we didn’t,” Smith said. “I’m saying we did not work hard enough to earn it. I needed to teach my program what hard work was and what needed to be done to have sustained success.” Taylorsville athletic director Guy Mackay agrees that sports can teach more than winning. The Copper Hills girls basketball team bench sits on the edge of their chairs cheering for their team. (photo “One of our big problems is that winning courtesy of Greg James/City Journals) is described today only with the final score,” “Young amateur athletes often emulate what they see being done by college and professional athletes,” West Jordan High School athletic director Carlson Bourdreaux said. “In my view, competition has become more and more about making the other guy look bad, not just about doing your best. We ask our coaches to address sportsmanship and proper behavior with parents at parent meetings. Our objective is to encourage loud, rowdy, positive fan support for your sports teams.” UHSAA schools have been encouraged to use an initiative called “Do Rowdy Right.” “We focus on teaching the fans, all fans, not to let the cheering get personal,” Bourdreaux said. “Our students and parents are monitored throughout the contest, and we try to stop negative comments. I am not going to pretend we are always right, but adults are some of the most important people in teaching good sportsmanship.” Copper Hills High School is among several schools that have implemented ways to improve the fan experience. “It is difficult enforcing good behavior at sporting events,” Grizzlies athletic director Andrew Blanchard said. “We have student ‘spirit leaders’ that come to all athletic events. They are the leaders of cheers and behavior. Our administrative team works closely with those students encouraging positive cheers. Choosing these leaders is very important.” The players on the team reflect their coaches.

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

“This is something everyone can work on,” Cyprus head boys basketball coach Tre Smith said. “I am sure players, coaches and officials have all felt disrespected at times. My biggest thing is wanting to create a sense of great character kids in the program.” The UHSAA program “Raise the Bar” encourages four ways to improve sportsmanship at athletic events: teach, enforce, award and model. In the 2018–19 athletic school year, every UHSAA 6A and 5A school experienced a player or coach ejection. The high school program to improve these statistics includes objectives to help each school earn sportsmanship awards. “Every school can win at sportsmanship,” Cuff said. All UHSAA members schools were given a banner to hang in their gymnasium. Each banner has empty spaces for gold stars that can be earned by completing the objectives outlined in the program. They include: displaying the schools sportsmanship policy, zero ejections; athletes and parents signing the sportsmanship pledge; and school sportsmanship video contest entries. During the school year, schools evaluate their sportsmanship application and can mark areas as successful or areas that need improvement. “We can promote the development of character and ensure the teaching of positive values,” Cuff said. “We must avoid negative

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Mackay said. “The problem is the mindset. What is someone trying to accomplish with athletics. Winning is more than the actual scoreboard.” The sportsmanship epidemic has had on impact on officials. Recently, the UHSAA pled for qualified officials to help support the student-athletes. A shortage of qualified officials has become a national problem. The state’s sportsmanship initiative hopes to make the vital improvements so high schools can continue to offer athletic competition. The 2019 6A sportsmanship video winner was Skyridge High School; Alta won the 5A classification. “Honestly, I feel sportsmanship in Utah is getting better and better every year,” Blanchard said. “The UHSAA works with high school administration and athletic directors to come up with procedures on how to show fans good behavior. There are always a few that never follow the rules, but we now have procedures to help deal with those fans.” l

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5 New Year’s Habits You Should Keep

t’s the new year, a time where many people promise themselves, this year they will turn over a new leaf and bust their bad habits for good. For those that have accomplished this mission, good for you. For me, however a new year’s resolution is more of a holiday tradition of making, and then breaking, an already empty promise to myself. I have found that if I really want to change a behavior, I need to turn the old habit into a new one. I try to make my new habits fun, challenge myself, compete with someone else and reward myself at the end. In truth, I have most success doing this when it isn’t New Year’s. But, in keeping with the holiday and my mission to inspire others to save money here are 5 habits we penny pinchers use on a daily basis to keep a few more dollars in our pocket. 1. We prepare food from scratch. Preparing meals ahead, freezing extras and avoiding eating out will really stack up to extra savings. Not to mention the added health benefit. If you find you are eating out too often or most of your meals are prepackaged, just making this one change can add up to big bucks. 2. We shop second hand first. We make it a habit to check thrift stores, Restore and consignment stores before buying new. If we don’t find what we’re looking for we often choose to wait plus,

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there’s the added benefit of keeping things from the landfills. 3. We fix it before we replace them. When something breaks, we don’t throw it away immediately. We assess and research whether the item can be repaired to extend its lifespan. We are also inclined to do it ourselves as opposed to hiring things out. 4. We give our kids less stuff. Frugal kids don’t have a lot of toys. We as parents expect our kids to learn to be creative with less. We pass on buying the trendy clothing for our kids and teach them at an early age to earn, manage and respect their own money. 5. We take advantage of community events. Utah has an amazing amount of

family activities that are free. Did you know there are free days for the Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, there are free movies in the park and so much more. Visit Coupons4Utah.com every Wednesday for a list of frugal family activities. The list of things that a frugal person does on a day to day basis to save a few dollars is endless and varies greatly from person to person. But, in general I think that living a frugal lifestyle can make for a simpler lifestyle too. We tend to turn saving money into a game instead of paying attention to every detail we challenge ourselves to reach our financial goals faster and reaching a goal like paying off the house, paying cash for a car, or taking a dream vacation, makes for a Happy New Year.


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Taylorsville City Journal

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nless you’ve been living in the Gobi Desert, hiding from the toxic political atmosphere, you’re well aware that Bravo will air the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” in 2020. As if 2020 wasn’t going to be terrible enough. If you’re not familiar with the intellectual and thought-provoking series, executive producer Andy Cohen flies to town in his invisible helicopter, rounds up glamourous white women, tells them to act like idiots, then throws a diamond necklace into a swimming pool to watch them jump in wearing slinky evening gowns. It started in 2006 with “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and then spread like the plague through New York, Atlanta, Beverly Hills and other unsuspecting cities. In any given episode, you can expect nanny drama, coiffed eyebrows, white woman problems, plastic surgery cleavage, mean gossip, pouty lips, cats, jewelry for cats, catty behavior and lots of big hair. Buy why Utah? Well, the series tends to be overwhelmingly white, so I guess Utah makes sense. And I’ve heard that some women in Utah live glamourous lives in upper-class communities. That rules me out. My glamourous life consists of digging through laundry for a pair of matching socks. What I want to see is “The REAL Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.” Episode #1: Judy is late for church. She’s


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Bo and drinking sparkling cider. Instead of all these genuine Salt Lake City scenarios, the new show will feature your basic Housewives’ dilemmas. Boo. Here’s Stefon from Saturday Night Live to explain what we’ll see during the show (because I miss him and want him to return to SNL so much). “If you’re watching ‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ you can expect hysteria at the highest levels. There will be screeching, low cut gowns, pygmy goats directing traffic, Aquanet toothpaste, a jewelry heist, several cans of Pillsbury pizza crust, a lusty affair with a diesel mechanic, Spam, cabana boys with cowboy hats, Golden Retrievers wearing red pumps and a gala at Salt Lake’s newest club, Spork.” Actually, that might actually make 2020 bearable.

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