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September 2019 | Vol. 6 Iss. 09

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EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES NEXT YEAR By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


ierra Yost, a recent Taylorsville High School graduate, placed first in her event at state competition for DECA, a business and marketing club, qualifying her to travel to Washington, D.C., to compete with students from around the world. “I think that nationals is an amazing opportunity for students because not only are you meeting people that you would never meet otherwise, but I had never really interacted with anybody outside of the United States, so it was very interesting to get their perspective,” she said. Yost was the first Taylorsville High School student in five years to qualify for DECA national competition and, along with 50 other Utah students, had to pay for entry fees, lodging and travel to Washington, D.C., to compete. Because of her first-place win at state, Yost said a large portion of her costs was covered by the school district and Utah DECA. Second- and third-place qualifiers were left with a much bigger bill. Yost said participation in the event, which included a visit to Universal Studios and Disney World with all the competitors, was a great opportunity for high school students. “A lot of the kids that went wouldn’t be able to go to these parks or see these things without the help from their schools or even from the DECA board,” said Yost. “A lot of these students, I mean, it was their first time leaving Utah. So, I think that it’s an amazing opportunity because you get to branch out and meet new people, see new things.” Fortunately for students like Yost, DECA is one of the

Sierra Yost won her event at DECA region and state competitions to qualify for nationals. (Photo courtesy Utah DECA)

least expensive activities ($15 for dues and $10–$40 for each local competition) compared with cheerleading or sports teams, which can total thousands of dollars. Parents have been complaining about the rising costs of school fees for years. Tamra Dayley, of the Utah State Board

of Education auditing department, said a recent USBE audit found school fees have been on the rise in recent years, outpacing inflation and student enrollment, while the number of fee waivers has declined. Additionally, a legislative Continued page 23




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Taylorsville City Journal

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Taylorsville 2020 (economic development) Summit a success as ‘stakeholders’ discuss city’s future By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


resh on the heels of being named, in a nationwide survey, one of America’s best cities to start a small business, Taylorsville elected officials gathered nearly 100 property owners, developers, business operators and other stakeholders to learn more about the community and the economic opportunities it holds. “I think this was primarily Mayor (Kristie) Overson and Wayne Harper’s idea,” city spokeswoman Kim Horiuchi said. “But it was also discussed in a couple of priority meetings, held last fall and earlier this spring. The goal was to gather as many stakeholders together as possible to share the vision for the future of Taylorsville.” Thus, the city’s first “Taylorsville 2020 Summit” was held at the Regal Cinema. “We have hosted a couple of business social gatherings during the winter holiday season, but we 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.” Earlier this year, telecommunication giant Verizon Wireless named Taylorsville the eighth-best city in America to start a new small business. City officials said educating summit attendees about how the community earned its way onto that list was one of their top priorities during the event. “I know a couple of other cities have hosted these kinds of summits in recent years, like Provo, Sandy and Ogden,” said Taylorsville Economic Development Director and Utah State Sen. Wayne Harper. “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.” Harper said the planned 90-minute event ran closer to two hours, as attendees networked and discussed the city’s future. Meredith Harker was one of three city council members who attended the Taylorsville 2020 Summit. “I think people may have been surprised by how many options are being considered for changing, improving and revitalizing the city,” Harker said. “As I talked with people, I was particularly impressed by how they all spoke so highly of our city staff. They said they are easy to work with, which is what we want. I think the summit was very successful.” City Councilman Curt Cochran was unable to attend but said afterward, “With all the work that’s being done — and with our appearance on the Verizon list — I see nothing but a bright future for Taylorsville businesses.” Elected officials and business leaders offered power point presentations during the economic summit, followed by a question-and-answer period. “It really was an opportunity to dialogue and to share our vision of what the city can do over the next 20 years,” Harper added. “We had some display boards highlighting the city’s accomplishments outside the theater. Mayor Overson welcomed everyone. The presenters were effective. It went well.” “For a first event like this, I think everyone from the city felt it was really good,” Horiuchi said. “We invited our congressional delegation and had representatives from the offices of Sens. [Mike] Lee and [Mitt] Rom-

Nearly 100 business leaders, elected officials and other “stakeholders” attended the Taylorsville 2020 Summit. (Kim Horiuchi/Taylorsville City)

Taylorsville City Councilwoman Meredith Harker (R) shows a summit attendee the architectural layout of the Summit Vista Retirement Community on 6200 South. (Kim Horiuchi/Taylorsville City)

ney, and Rep. [Ben] McAdams. Based on how successful it was, I think we will do another summit like this in the future, but it may be in a couple of years. Everyone seemed curious and engaged.” Another Taylorsville 2020 Summit attendee who found value in the event was city Planning Commission Chairwoman Anna Barbieri, who also serves on the city Economic Development Committee. “The city really put together a nice program, designed to get developers and business owners to think outside the box,” she




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said. “[The summit] gave people a good look at future transportation plans for the city, with the BRT (bus rapid transit) line coming in. They also discussed some of the key intersections along Redwood Road that are being discussed for improvements. I really thought it went well. I know I made some key contacts.” “We believe it is important to always be forward-thinking,” Overson said. “That’s one of the main reasons I thought the Taylorsville 2020 Summit was a good idea.” l

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Salt Lake, national designers yield ideas to resuscitate Salt Lake County’s heart—The Jordan River


By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

ome of Utah’s own—either in competition with or in partnership with, much-larger design firms from both coasts of the United States—ended up with top nods in a competition to make the Jordan River more developed, with a stated promise to maintain conservation. “On the River’s Edge” was a creative way of generating urban, architecture and landscape design ideas and, hopefully, generating as much community interest in Salt Lake County’s efforts to reimagine a 3.5-mile stretch of the Jordan River Parkway and then revitalize the Jordan River through development of these ideas. The compact contest—spanning a three-month window from announcement to judging—culminated in having winners announced in a very apt location: South Salt Lake’s General Holm Park (proximate to the Jordan River Parkway Trail). The event took place June 27 with an audience of approximately 60 design competitors, municipal and county officials, and other interested parties. Winners were announced and design boards from all competitors were displayed. Competition categories included activation, connectivity, conservation, economic development and other areas of innovation for reimagining the river.

er’s conservation, economic development, recreation and connectivity potential. Wilson indicated wanting to deliver a master plan in 2020 and hit the legislature up for funding in next year’s session.

Jordan River reimagination draws national competition

To yield best-in-class creative and technical assets for the Jordan River development future, the call for aid went both far and near. Nationally advertised, the competition

ing degrees of design expertise judged the competition. Residents’ choice awards yielded what Salt Lake County says were nearly 1,400 votes.

Why design competitions?

Design competitions are common in the architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture space. Participating designers enjoy flexing their creative and technical skillsets for problem solving.

Resuscitating the heart of the county

The Jordan River Parkway spans 45 miles and covers three counties. Long neglected, the river became the recipient of formalized caretaking with the 1979 establishment of the Jordan River Foundation. With Salt Lake’s burgeoning population and challenges with the closure of The Road Home shelter, the river, particularly in South Salt Lake, has become a magnet for homeless camps, compromising perceived safety and recreation amid the bigger issue of humane management of the area’s homeless. The river is, nonetheless, “the heart of the County,” according to Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and is in need of serious resuscitation, particularly along the area running from State Route 201 (21st South Freeway) to just south of 3900 South. Urban design theory holds that river-facing design encourages residents to frequently visit and, in so doing, “take ownership” of the river. This then builds resident-stewards of the river, not only discouraging abuse, but allowing the river to thrive as an amenity, versus an eyesore or problem. Salt Lake County, the Jordan River Foundation and municipal mayors from Millcreek, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville and West Valley City wanted to spur creative idea generation to help inform a master plan for the area, and, in turn, serve as an inspired source to lobby the Utah Legislature to fund the riv-

The combined team of Blalock Partners and Loci informed their work on the design competition by having both offices get on bicycles and ride parts of the Jordan River trail system. The strategy worked: The duo cleaned up the $20,000 grand prize and another $2,500 award for its “Weave” concept. Competitors “Lighter Than Air” charged that the Blalock/Loci design was “the worst possible choice” for the environment.

drew a healthy blend of competitors from both coasts. Teams were often comprised of collaborative firms, with often one of them based in Salt Lake, and others—most often, environmental consultants—based elsewhere. “There are not many competitions like this in Utah,” said landscape architect and planner Tyler Smithson of Park City-based Bockholt. “So, when you see one? You jump on it.” Sixteen teams competed for more than $35,000 in prizes, which were donated by the Sorenson Impact Foundation, Mark Miller Subaru, Central Valley Water Reclamation and the Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands. A jury of a dozen individuals with vary-

Sponsoring entities receive a lot of creative concepts at minimal cost. (In this circumstance, Salt Lake County and the Jordan River Foundation received numerous concepts across five categories for administration costs only, since designers charged nothing for their ideas, and underwriting sponsors covered all of the prize money.) Businesses that win projects use that those credentials to earn additional business, and possibly be awarded the vendor of choice for work on projects associated with the Jordan River. On the Rivers Edge competition was the brainchild of new Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Dina Blaise. Blaise, who became accustomed to running such competitions while working on the “Downtown Rising”

Taylorsville City Journal

campaign for Salt Lake City, wanted to bring could see, then evaluate entries, as presented the design contest idea to the county and lev- via social media. There was also no ahead-oferaged a unique blend of partners to sponsor judging public exhibit of the projects. and judge the competition. Julie Holbrook, a member of the South Their eye on the prize—and the Jordan Jordan Planning Commission, a former mayor and a woman educated in chemical oceanRiver The combined team of Salt Lake City- ography, expressed frustration with the exebased Blalock Partners and Loci were broad- cution of the project. Holbrook says she took ly considered the big winner of the competi- the time to register, only to see virtually iltion for its combined “Weave” entry, wining legible, thumbnail-sized images, without the $25,000 in prize money and, likely, the much ability to be informed by backup data. “Too hard to read,” she surmised. more important honor, the prestige of winning. The entry won the Top-Jury Award, the Connectivity Innovation Award, and the Economic Prosperity Innovation Award. Seattle-based MIG won the Peoples’ Choice Award and the Conservation Innovation Award for its “Jordan Rising” concept. The combined team of Salt Lake Citybased Landform Design Group and Amherst, Massachusetts-based Place Alliance won the Recreation Innovation Award for the duo’s “Reimagine the River’s Edge” concept. Three Salt Lake City-based teams—AJC Architects, ArcSitio Design and Bonneville Research— won the Activation Innovation Award for its three-worded “Live + Work + Recreate” entry.

Move from being on the edge to being involved

Blaise indicates the project is an evergreen one, and that she and other members of the county plan to exhibit the project boards—which some firms estimate they spent two weeks’ time researching and creating—in multiple venues over the next several months. Competition information, including project narratives and design boards from winning entries, is available online courtesy of the county, at slco.org/on-the-rivers- “Lighter Than Air” presented an innovative entry, focused on cleaning air and leveraging the Jordan River to host a large-scale air-quality collection device, which would real-time report AQ data, then broadcast it, via edge.l an AQ stock exchange of sorts, along I-15 travelers’ routes.

Dignitaries and residents seek to weigh in

On hand at the awards ceremony were Wilson and Blaise from the county, Jordan River Foundation’s Lynn Larsen, Jordan River Commission Executive Director Soren Simonsen, Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini, Taylorsville Mayor Kristi Overson, and West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow. “Energized, excited, with wheels turning” is how Wilson described the impact of the entries, which were submitted as digital renderings, accompanied by in-depth technical descriptions. Resident participation on the front end and voting process seemed severely thwarted by technical execution limiting how they Salt Lake’s own Blalock Partners and Loci teamed up to not just present their creative ideas, but come away the clear “winner” in the Salt Lake County- and Jordan River Foundation-sponsored “On the River’s Edge” design competition to reimagine a 3.5-mile stretch.

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

September 2019 | Page 7

Eagle Scout Mitchel Harker builds and donates ‘little library’ to Bennion Park By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

Parents: don’t let this sale sneak up on you.

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)


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or more than a century, Boy Scout troops — affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — have been cranking out Eagle Scouts at a rate far outpacing the national average. But that partnership between the church and the Boy Scouts of America is now down to its final few months. Church leaders announced more than a year ago that they will sever ties with the BSA at the end of this year. An entirely new youth service, activity and camping program is now being developed. Because of these changes, Taylorsville City Council Vice Chair Meredith Harker said perhaps only one of her four sons will achieve the Eagle Scout rank they have long dreamed of accomplishing. So, she is grateful her oldest — Mitchel Harker, 18 — chose to complete a lasting Eagle service project, which she hopes may spark a trend throughout the city. “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 we will see more little libraries in our city.” “Little libraries” are fairly small, weatherproof boxes with doors on the front and shelves with books inside. Popular in many locations across the country, the boxes are receptacles for putting unwanted books in, or pulling a book out, to read and return. Not long after Meredith Harker became acquainted with the little library concept, it came time for her oldest son to come up with an idea for a service

project — the final major requirement for the Eagle Scout rank. “I got the little library idea from my Mom, and I thought it would be a great project,” Mitchel said. “Nearly all of the materials were donated. I think our total cost (for the Plexiglas doors and hinges) was about $15.” “Once word got out about what Mitchel was doing for his project, neighbors began making donations,” Meredith Harker said. “One neighbor donated old wooden pallets. Another neighbor has a nice woodshop where Mitchel did much of the work. It turned out to be fun for a lot of people.” Several members of Mitchel’s Troop 1069 also assisted with the work, include his younger brothers Max (15) and Mason (13). Youngest brother Miles (10) is still not old enough to be a troop member. He is active in Cub Scouts. “Building the box frame took about a week, while sanding, staining and glossing was another two weeks,” Mitchel said. “Then someone donated the roof shingles. The entire project took about a month to finish.” The completed little library is about 2 feet tall and wide by 15 inches deep. The donation to Taylorsville City also included 35 books, completely filling it. Mitchel, his troop and his family attended a recent city council meeting where the 2019 Taylorsville High School graduate formally donated his box to the community. Mom looked on in front of him — with the rest of the city council members — while his dad was somewhere in back. “I think (the little library) turned out excellent,” he said. “I am very hap-

py I chose this project.” City officials said this first of what they hope could end up being several donated little libraries will now be installed at Bennion Park, on 3200 West at 5620 South. Taylorsville Community Development Director Mark McGrath is in charge of that part of the project. At press deadline, he was not certain whether it would be in place in late August or early September. “We need to set a post in concrete to raise the little library off the ground a few feet,” McGrath said. “I would like to position it near the northwest corner of the park, closest to homes where people can walk to it more easily. It will be a nice addition to the park.” His Eagle Court of Honor now behind him, Mitchel is looking ahead to a freshman year at Utah Valley University, followed by a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is proud of his Eagle service project and a bit melancholy that is brothers, and many other Utah young men, may not follow in his footsteps. “It is kind of sad (the church will soon discontinue sponsoring Boy Scout troops) because I have loved it,” Mitchel Harker said. “If my brothers do not choose to stay with Scouting (by joining a troop not sponsored by the church), they will not earn their Eagle Scout rank, which would be a shame.” Mitchel hopes to one day be a civil engineer, meaning his little library may end up being one of his smallest projects ever. On the other hand, if it accomplishes what some in the city hope it does, his elevated wooden book box could start a trend that leads to others throughout Taylorsville. l

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were because of speeding, according to Utah Department of Public Safety’s crash data. Slowing down isn’t going to kill you, but flying past others just might. 3| Distraction. Stay focused. Keep your guard up. Though you may be a phenomenal driver, others aren’t. Be aware of your surroundings by paying attention to what’s in front of you and checking your mirrors. Knowing where everyone else is helps avoid collisions. If you’re distracted by your phone, music, or billboards with cows writing on them, it limits your response time to what another driver may being doing in front of you. 4| Defense. This was one of the first concepts taught in driver education and one of the first we forget: drive defensively. Failing to yield caused 12% of deaths from 2012-2016 in the same data mentioned before. That comes to 154 people who died because they didn’t let someone else go first. This also applies when driving in poor weather conditions. Heavy rainfall and snowstorms blot windshields and make roads slick, adverse circumstances to traveling safely. Basics become even more vital like keeping your distance from the vehicle in front of you.






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September 2019 | Page 9

Planning Commission focus on improved walkability at key Taylorsville shopping areas By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


aylorsville Planning Commission members continue to concentrate on assisting city officials in dealing with the ongoing challenge to make aesthetic and walkability improvements in key areas. In a nutshell, they want to help improve livability in a community that has little room for large-scale changes. “We would love to see more vibrant, walkable areas for our citizens,” said Planning Commissioner Chairwoman Anna Barbieri. “We know improvements can be made

If the intersections of Redwood Road and 5400 South is “commerce ground zero” in Taylorsville, Holladay has its own version of that, where Murray Holladay Road bisects Highland Drive. Taylorsville Planning Commission members toured that area last spring, as part of a meeting with their Holladay planning counterparts. “This was our second tour like this, following a similar trip out to Herriman last fall,” Barbieri said. “We again shared a reading assignment with the group, as we did with

Venerable Carriage Square, on the southwest corner of 4100 South and Redwood Road, is one of the areas Taylorsville officials hope to see beautified and modernized in coming years. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

at shopping areas along Redwood Road at 5400, 4800 and 4100 South. But the challenge will be in working with existing property owners and commercial tenants because those areas are already built out completely.” Barbieri is serving her second stint as the planning commission chairperson. She is the longest-tenured member of the seven-person body. Barbieri believes a recent “field trip” the commission took across the Salt Lake Valley helped give her group some redesign ideas. “They have made so many effective changes in Holladay to improve the look and the walkability of the area,” Barbieri said. “They now have outdoor areas for eating and concerts. The tour gave us a great look at how something old can be made new with a little planning and thought.”

the Herriman Planning Commission. But I think this trip was more relatable to us. Herriman is busy developing lots of untouched land. But Holladay, like us, is dealing with the challenge of improving areas that are already built out.” The Taylorsville and Holladay Planning Commission members read the book, “Walkable City,” by Jeff Speck. At a follow-up meeting, members of the two bodies discussed ideas from the book and shared with each other photographs they had taken of attractive, walkable areas. “The Taylorsville Planning Commission is an interesting group to be on, because you get to hear about all the new developments or changes that are coming,” said the group’s new vice chair, Marc McElreath. “It’s nice to have a say in what projects will look like and

Looking southeast across Utah’s busiest intersection, Redwood Road and 5400 South, Taylorsville officials are working with consultants to devise ways of making the area more pedestrian shopper-friendly. (Carl Fauver/ City Journals)

whether they will be compatible with the vision we have for an area. Even newer to the Taylorsville Planning Commission is David Wright, who just joined the body in May. Many of his fellow members are thrilled to see his expertise join them. Wright is a 25year landscape architect. That has been his job title working for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2011. “Our tour of Holladay was great; the staff was fantastic,” Wright said. “They have developed a lot of nice walking space through a lot of hard work. Walkability means, ‘Can you get to a grocery store without a car? Are you close enough to mass transit to walk to it?’ There are a lot of areas this might be done in Taylorsville. The Crossroads area might lend itself to this (south and west of Redwood

More smiling. More laughing. More photos. More confidence.

Road and 5400 South). But the challenge is, we have to be able to work with private companies.” Barbieri is excited to have Wright’s expertise on the planning commission. She’s also pleased with the evolution she has seen in her time with the group. “When I first started, I think the planning commission was pretty passive and reactive, just making decisions on issues brought to us,” she said. “We did not plan for the future much. But now, the commission is much more forward looking. We are trying to help guide improvements in transportation, housing and commerce that will positively impact the next 20 to 50 years. We are trying to build a community where people want to live and work.” l

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Taylorsville City Journal

Fox Hills Elementary students are finding it safer to cross busy 4000 West as this school year begins By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com


ith their student population dwindling and anticipated Granite School District boundary changes coming, officials at Fox Hills Elementary School (3775 West 6020 South) were concerned that safety improvements would not enjoy a high priority at their sometimes-dangerous crosswalk over busy 4000 West near 6000 South. But school Principal Teri Daynes and members of the Fox Hills Elementary School Community Council apparently underestimated the resolve of Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson and her counterpart in the Kearns Metro Township, Kelly Bush. “The safety of our citizens will always be my top priority as mayor, so we knew we needed to do something,” Overson said. “If the Granite School District does what is expected, a year from now kids will no longer cross 40th West to get to school. But that doesn’t help the kids this year. So, we installed some new safety lights.” At a cost of about $10,000, Taylorsville City officials had bright flashing lights added to the crosswalk signs on both sides of 4000 West near 6000 South, just a few hundred yards west of the school. Initially, city leaders were going to split the modest cost with the neighboring Kearns Township. But eventual-

Journals C I T Y


ly Taylorsville officials chose to take care of the entire expense. “We were planning to split the cost when (Taylorsville City Manager) John Taylor called back and said they would pay for it,” Bush said. “That took us aback a little bit, and we are certainly very grateful.” Bush added the Kearns Township will reciprocate by adding another pedestrian crossing light on 4000 West, this one farther north, near Kearns Junior High School, at about 5000 South. Work on that project was also scheduled for completion late last month, before the start of the new school year. “We are very grateful Taylorsville City stepped forward to pay for the crosswalk improvements,” Daynes said. “Our school community council had been working for nearly a year to find funding for the project after one of our members was nearly hit on 4000 West while she was pregnant and working as a crossing guard. After that near miss, Kylie Jones became our biggest force on the council to make the improvements.” Jones has now started her fourth year as a school crossing guard. She calls the improvements a welcome change. “That is supposed to be a 35 mph-road, but drivers go much faster,” Jones said. “I

have seen parents nearly get hit. It took us an entire year to get these improvements. Changes finally came more quickly when we involved the Taylorsville and Kearns mayors. We are grateful to both of them.” Of the 700 Fox Hills Elementary students — down from 850 just four years ago — nearly half live west of 4000 West. Daynes is not sure how many of them regularly walk to school. The enhanced crosswalk lighting — installed shortly after last school year ended — includes a button on each side of the street, which pedestrians can push to activate the flashing lights. “I admit, the improvements do not knock your socks off; but it is certainly better,” Daynes said. “We would have preferred larger, overhanging lights. But this will definitely be safer than what we had before.” Daynes also pointed out that some students regularly use the crosswalk when crossing guards are not present because of before- and after-school activities hosted at Fox Hills Elementary. “I’m just glad the cities, the school district and the school’s community council all got together to deal with this problem,” Overson said. “Sure, these lights may not be

This sign on the northwest corner of Utah’s busiest intersection, Redwood Road and 5400 South, welcomes drivers to an area that city officials hope to “spruce up” in the years ahead. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

as necessary next year if the school boundaries change. But some people will still use the crosswalk then, and it needed to be safer.”l

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September 2019 | Page 11

Seating options keep students on the edge of their seats


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By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

one are the days of students learning quietly at their desks. Teachers are incorporating alternative or flexible seating options that get students out of their seats. “I don’t think there is any real-world job that requires you to sit in a desk and a chair for eight hours a day,” said Bluffdale Elementary teacher Cari Bergstrom. “Even an office job, you’d be able to stand up and walk around, so I don’t think a desk and chair is a life skill they need to learn.” Alternative seating options depend on a teacher’s personality and on their budgets. Common options are floor pillows, couches, wobble stools, yoga balls, bungee chairs and low rockers. Often, a bouncy band is attached around the legs of a traditional desk for students to bounce their feet on to work off excess energy. Bergstrom has been providing alternative seating options for her students for three years. She said when kids can move around more, their ability to focus improves. “Their attention increases, and they’re more engaged,” she said. She has seen a rise in test scores in every subject and said the classroom feels more comfortable. “It frees up a bunch of space because you don’t have to have 26 desks,” Bergstrom said. “I have floor options that they use clipboards with so you get more space and more kids can fit.” Amanda Dohmen, a fifth grade teacher, said alternative seating works well with her teaching techniques. She likes to use collaborative learning and group projects, but she found she was spending a lot of time reminding her students where they needed to be. “I felt like I was on my kids all the time, and that’s not my teaching style,” she said. She began incorporating flexible seating in her classroom at Athlos Academy during the middle of her first year of teaching to allow students more autonomy. Instead of telling them exactly what they needed to do, she empowered students to take charge of their own learning and discover what seating option worked best for the task they had been given. “By giving them that freedom and that choice—it just changes the entire dynamic of my teaching, and it changes the dynamic of their learning,” she said. “I’ve seen their test scores rise, and I’ve seen behavior diminish.” Dohmen aims to create a homey and positive atmosphere in her room, with diffused scents and comfortable corners to help students feel comfortable and calm. “This isn’t just a classroom to them,” Dohmen said. “It’s also home—they spend eight hours a day in here.” When Dohmen took a new teaching position this year at Summit Academy Independence Campus in Bluffdale, she took her pillows and couch with her but was also stuck

A variety of seating options are used to meet the variety of students’ needs. (Cari Bergstrom/Bluffdale Elementary)

with traditional desks in her new classroom. With support from her new administration, she lowered some desks to the floor to be used with cushions and raised some to create standing desks. April Stevenson faces an even bigger challenge of transferring the successful flexible seating she has used for years with her fourth graders at Bennion Elementary in Taylorsville to her new classroom at Eisenhower Junior High. She believes it will take a few months to challenge old-fashioned teaching methods and classroom organization to be able to adapt the alternative seating philosophy for older students. But she believes it is a needed change for today’s students. “There’s a lot of teachers that are still doing the exact same thing they did 20 years ago or even five years ago, and our population is different than five years ago,” she said. “Students are learning differently. Students need different opportunities.” Dohmen said variety is key with students these days, whether it is in teaching methods or classroom seating. “If you do the same thing every day, you just get bored and the kids get bored,” she said. “That’s when kids start messing around; that’s when they’re not learning anymore.” Stevenson believes alternative seating options are just one small part of the necessary changes needed to keep up with the needs of modern students. “If we want something different in education, we have got to do something different,” she said. “Education is taking little steps, but we’re getting little differences. I think if we really want education to take some leaps and bounds, we really have to think leaps and bounds in change.” l

Taylorsville City Journal

Shopping for culture By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


ason Dieu, a junior at Taylorsville High School, said he can speak passable Chinese after three years of classes, but he is always learning new things about Asian culture. “My favorite part about learning Chinese is that it is such a new experience,” he said. “Compared to our culture, Chinese culture is so different and interesting.” THS offers Chinese classes for foreign language credit. The school also hosts advanced Chinese classes as part of the dual immersion language program. All students learning Chinese were invited to participate in a field trip this spring to a local Chinatown market for an authentic experience in Chinese culture. “The store is a good place for them to make observations and do cultural comparisons,” said Mengqi Wang, a Chinese instructor at THS. He said the store is stocked with a wide variety of cultural merchandise, cluing students in to cultural norms and values and providing a visually immersive experience for them. “We all got to experience and explore the culture of Asian people through their environment,” Dieu said. “That’s the kind of thing that a classroom setting couldn’t teach Students explore a Chinese market to practice their Chinese language skills and learn about Asian culture. students. It provided meaning and experience (Mengqi Wang/THS) that reading a book or watching a video can’t

provide.” The students had two tasks while exploring the market. First, they looked for some fairly culturally specific grocery items — soy sauce, dragon fruit, bamboo shoots and Sichuan peppercorns. This challenge gave them practice in reading, writing and pronouncing the words and prices, as students read the signage and asked questions of native Chinese speakers who were working and shopping at the market. Students also gathered information to create a presentation comparing snacks, meats/seafood, vegetables/fruit, spices and seasonings found in an Asian market with those found in typical American grocery stores. The field trip culminated in lunch at a Chinese restaurant for a taste of authentic Chinese food. There are 25 schools in Granite District that offer DLI programs for French, Spanish and Chinese. Calvin Smith Elementary houses one of two Chinese DLI programs in the district. Those students feed into the Chinese program at Bennion Junior High and then continue onto Taylorsville High School to complete the program. THS is the only school in Granite District to host two DLI programs—Chinese and Spanish l

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September 2019 | Page 13

Unified Police honors Sen. Harper for work to restore public safety retirement benefits By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

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Mayor Kristie Overson, Councilman Brad Christopherson and State Sen. Wayne Harper (center, L-R) are flanked my law enforcement representatives, after Harper was honored at a Taylorsville City Council meeting. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)


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eteran Utah lawmaker and Taylorsville City Economic Development Director Wayne Harper has spent better than 20 years tackling thorny issues at the state capitol. As a house member from 1997 to 2012, and a state senator since 2013, Harper has earned a reputation for coalition building and tenacity. Earlier this summer, the Unified Police Department and, in particular, its Taylorsville Precinct, honored Harper for applying those legislative skills to help heal what has been an open wound in the state’s police and fire community, ever since a second, lesser “tier” of retirement benefits was created for emergency responders. “As a (Taylorsville) city employee, Wayne has attended city council meetings for years now, where I have discussed the challenges of recruiting and retaining police officers, since the Tier II retirement policy went into effect (in 2011),” said Unified Police Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant. “Finally, last fall, he pulled me aside after a meeting and said, ‘I think the timing is right (at the state legislature) — let’s fix this.’ And then he worked to get it done.” Utah’s emergency responders hired prior to 2011 — those who became known as “Tier I” employees — remain eligible to receive 50% of their final annual salary as retirement pay after 20 years of service. However, the new “Tier II” required employees to work 25 years to be eligible for retirement. And after those additional five years, they would only receive 37.5% of their final annual salaries.

“The cut was dramatic and hurt our morale, in addition to making it harder to find new officers,” Wyant said. “But after being told for several years that nothing could be done, Harper went out and did it anyway.” Under his Senate Bill 129, which eventually passed both the house and senate by overwhelming margins, Harper was able to restore the retirement to 50% of annual salary. Two retirement tiers remain, as those hired after 2011 will still have to work the additional five years (25 vs. 20 years) to receive the benefit. “One of my proudest days ever (at the state legislature) was the day we debated this bill on the hill,” Harper told the Taylorsville City Council meeting audience, on hand as he received his recognition plaque from Wyant and the UPD. “The gallery was packed with police and firefighters — people who put their lives on the line every day for us — all dressed in their uniforms. In all my years in the legislature, I would say this was one of the four most important pieces of legislation I have ever sponsored. I’m glad we were able to get it done.” The plaque Wyant had made for Harper includes a famous quote from author and humorist Mark Twain: “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” Among those who were both a little astonished and incredibly grateful for Harper’s efforts were the presidents of both the Utah Sheriffs’ Association (Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer) and the Utah Chiefs of Police Associ-

ation (Orem Police Chief Gary Giles), who each attended the senator’s recognition ceremony at the council meeting. “I don’t know how he read the tea leaves to know this was the right time, but he took the bull by the horns and got it done,” Wimmer said of Harper’s efforts. “He pulled all of the stakeholders together for a number of different meetings to work through issues. I told the senator, he is what a legislator should be.” Orem Police Chief Giles added, the changes Harper marshalled through the legislature are already paying dividends, even though they will not actually take effect for another year. “Morale among our Tier II officers has gone up since the bill passed, even though the changes have not been officially implemented,” he said. “Just knowing (their retirement) is getting fixed has created such a big improvement. These people are now talking about staying in their careers longer.” Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson and each member of the City Council also shared words of praise with Harper. The council has long been on record, strongly supporting increased pay for UPD officers in order to make the agency more competitive. “Public safety is paramount, and this was an effort to restore what had been taken away years ago,” Overson said. “Wayne is well-respected. He is a statesman who gets things done. We are lucky to have him as our representative.” l

Taylorsville City Journal

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

MAYOR'S MESSAGE Dear Friends and Neighbors, It’s that time of year when the hot summer days give way to the crisp mornings of autumn and all its color. School supplies are now stocked on store shelves, teachers have readied their classrooms and students are rushing to catch a bus. I am so grateful for our schools in Taylorsville and for all Mayor Kristie S. Overson the people – the educators and teachers, administrators and employees, parents and students – who ensure they are exceptional places of learning. The city enjoys an excellent partnership with Granite School District. We are especially proud of our Taylorsville High School Warriors and look forward each year to seeing their many accomplishments as school gets underway. We cheer for their success! We are lucky, too, to be home to Salt Lake Community College’s main campus, as well Utah State University’s Salt Lake Campus. SLCC is the state’s largest two-year college and the Utah college with the most diverse student body. The main Redwood Road campus in Taylorsville serves more than 20,000 students. Utah State University, with its central location in Taylorsville, offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As a city, we value these educational opportunities. We know how important education is in building a strong, connected community and skilled workforce. Our community depends on an educated populace, particularly as technology, and research and development fields continue to grow here. We are an educated community. In fact, 63 percent of employees in Taylorsville work in professional fields, and 62 percent of Taylorsville residents have graduated with a degree or attended some college. Along these lines, it was my great pleasure to speak before the Granite Board of Education last month. Superintendent Martin Bates made me aware that the Granite District reserves the front row at its board meetings each month for mayors and that the seats are rarely filled. So, I took advantage of that invitation. I talked about the good things that are happening in Taylorsville and the schools in our city. I pledged our continued cooperation and support. I also invited Granite’s representatives to come to one of our meetings. After all, the front row in our City Council chambers is available and always empty, too! –Mayor Kristie S. Overson

WHAT’S INSIDE – September 2019 Frequently Called Numbers, Page 2 Council Corner, Page 3 Public Safety, Pages 4 and 5 Heritage Remembrances, Page 6 Environment, Page 8


September 2019 City Gathers Input Toward Master Planning Four Areas

The work to revitalize four commercial centers of the city is underway, and key to the effort was an Envisioning Event where dozens of residents offered their input on what they would like to see. What kinds of places do you like to shop? Which restaurants do you frequent the most? What kinds of services or amenities do you wish were offered in Taylorsville? These were just some of the questions asked of residents. At the Envisioning Event, held this past month in the lobby of the Taylorsville Recreation Center, those attending were given paper play money and sticky notes. They were asked to attach the notes to display boards indicating their ideas for the city. They placed the play money in blue bags attached to the displays to show which amenities were most important to them, or per se where they would invest those dollars. Dozens more comments also were submitted on the city’s social media sites in response to announcements about the Envisioning Event, and the city’s Economic Development Department continues to take input online on the city’s website, www. taylorsvilleut.com. The display boards also are now set up in the lobby of City Hall, where residents can comment on them there, as well. “The goal of this planning process is to create a vision to reinvigorate the commercial centers in Taylorsville to better serve our residents, visitors, business and property owners,” said Mayor Kristie Overson. “We want everyone to be a part of this effort to transform our city.” The planning focuses on four primary areas, including: • 5400 S. Redwood Road. It is the largest of the four centers at 166 acres and with an estimated 50 percent or more of surface parking lot. Walmart is located on the eastside of this study area and Regal Cinemas is located to the west. • 4800 S. Redwood Road. The smallest of the areas at 30 acres, the True Value hardware store is located here, with the new fire station to the east. It is the area closest to the coming BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) line on 4700 South. • 4100 S. Redwood Road. This area encompasses the northern boundary of Taylorsville and West Valley City and includes Carriage Square and the Savers store. It is viewed as a critical area because it is Taylorsville’s Gateway. • Bangerter Highway and 5400 South. This is the second largest study area at 64 acres. On the south side is the former Big K lot, which is vacant, with newer development to the north. It is also a gateway area, sharing a boundary with Kearns. “We want a plan that is rooted in economic realities that is also aspirational and visionar y and seeks to stretch and create the best opportunity for Taylorsville, but it also should be focused on ideas that



| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

City of Taylorsville Newsletter Calling All Teens: Join the Youth Council Do you enjoy local and state government, service projects and serving our community? If so, the Taylorsville Youth Council is for you. Meet with Youth Council Members on the first and third Wednesdays in September at 3:30 p.m. to see firsthand what the group is all about, what it does and how you can join. Applications are currently being taken through Friday, Sept. 20 and can be found on the city’s website at www.taylorsvilleut.gov

Youth Council Members 2018-19

Requirements include: • 9th-12th grade students who reside within city limits or attend school in Taylorsville • 3.0 GPA • Citizenship in good standing • Two letters of recommendation; one must be from school • Attend 75 percent of Youth Council meetings and Youth Council sponsored events

The Youth Council was created by the City of Taylorsville to provide an opportunity for young people to learn about and participate in local government. The Council organizes and takes part in service projects, fundraisers and events in the area. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

UPCOMING Taylorsville Events Sept. 2 – All Day Labor Day. City Offices are closed in observance.

Sept. 4 & 18 – 6:30 p.m. City Council Meeting @ City Hall

Sept. 10 – 7 p.m. & Sept. 24 – 6 p.m. Planning Commission Meeting @ City Hall

Sept. 12 – 6-7 p.m. Cultural Diversity Committee Meeting, with special guests @City Hall. Everyone welcome!

Every Thursday – 2-4 p.m. The Mayor Is In @ the Mayor's Office, City Hall See a full list of events on the Taylorsville City Calendar at www.taylorsvilleut.gov. There, you can also submit your own event online for possible publication.

Youth Council members helped out at the annual City Cleanup Event.

Volunteer Remembered for His Service to HAMnet Club Dan Reid, who volunteered many hours providing HAM radio support for the Taylorsville HAM net Club’s weekly gathering and assisted in numerous community events, passed away on July 26. He was 52. Reid, KB6UNC-SK (silent key), was an integral part of the Taylorsville HAMnet organization as well as other local ham radio groups. Although he had a visual impairment, Reid never let that stop him from doing what he could to serve the community, said Rulon Swensen, K7BTU, of the Taylorsville HAMnet Club. “He was a joy to be around,” Swensen said. “He, along with his daughter Rachel (pictured here with her father), provided a great service in any event they attended.” Reid was the voice at the start of the Taylorsville Dayzz parade, announcing to the net control operator the entries as they entered the parade route. “We will miss his voice on our weekly net and his presence at city events,” Swensen said. Reid is survived by his wife, Virginia, and three daughters, Mirisa, Rachel and Megan.

September 2019

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |

COUNCIL CORNER By Council Member Brad Christopherson “Is voting virtuous?” This quote by renowned Utah pollster, professor and political pundit Dan Jones has always resonated with me. I heard him ask this question during a class I was taking toward earning a political science degree at the University of Utah many years ago prior to law school. I ended up taking eight or nine classes from the great Professor Jones, who taught me well. It is interesting to me that he chose the word “virtuous” in relationship to voting. When we think of virtue, we may think of moral excellence and righteousness, or goodness. One definition describes virtue as any admirable quality, feature or trait. Another deems it an “effective force of power.” Indeed, virtue is a weighty word. There is responsibility, character attributes, even worth and reward associated with it. It makes me want to do more and be better so that I can carry that title and be described as such. Professor Jones never did answer the question. He wanted to leave it up to each of us, his students, to ponder and decide for ourselves. But I am certain that if hard pressed, his answer would be an undeniable ‘yes.’ Best known as the ultimate teacher and professor, Jones influenced literally thousands of young people, including me, to learn and appreciate civic engagement, the U.S. Constitution, political history, voting and the importance of respecting those who serve in political office. With his passing last year on Nov. 2,


Live a Virtuous Life and Remember to Vote this November will be the first main election where we won’t be privy to his political wisdom, and I will miss that. I miss him. Jones did not care a bit for partisan politics. It didn’t matter if you were a Republican or a Democrat, or even if you disagreed. His main concern was that you participate in the process, that you are engaged and recognize that a representative democracy depends on each of us. It is why I am convinced he would answer in the affirmative when contemplating his own question. A Primary Election was held this past month in Taylorsville for Council District 1, and while turnout across Salt Lake County was low, the political science major in me couldn’t help but smile when seeing the “Vote Here” signs at City Hall and the large feather flag posted outside to draw attention to the ballot drop box. I always love seeing the voting machines and the poll workers, not to mention the engaged voters and candidates. In my opinion, there is no better way to make a difference in our community than to exercise your right to vote. In Taylorsville, we have a Municipal Election this year for Council Districts 1, 2 and 3. Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and ballots will be mailed the week of Oct. 14. You can find information about voting registration, voting locations, candidate details, finance statements and contact information all on the city’s website at www.taylorsvillut.gov. We can do better in Utah where unfortunately voter turnout is traditionally low. It is particularly disappoint-

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) ing to me that our state ranked No. 39 out of 50 for turnout in the 2016 election. But Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who oversees Elections for the state, notes that means your vote actually matters even more. It carries even more weight. To those who think their vote doesn’t count, Cox declared: “I would say as nice and as kindly as possible, you’re wrong. Your vote really does matter.” That said, may we all be people of virtue this November and at every election, just as Dan Jones was, and vote!

Eagle Scout Completes ‘Little Library’ A new “little library” will be installed this month at Bennion Park. It is the brainchild of Council Member Meredith Harker whose son, Mitchell, completed the library as his Eagle Scout project. “I chose to do this because I enjoy reading and I want others to read as well,” said Mitchell Harker, who is 18 years old and was awarded the rank of Eagle at a Court of Honor on Aug. 11. “By putting this in the park, I hope that my neighbors will decide to pick up a book and read, too.” The project took about three months to plan and complete, including a month of building time. Mitchell

was assisted by his Scout leaders and troop. “I am really proud of the effort,” Council Member Harker said. “It turned out even better than I thought it would.” The library holds about 40 books, which neighbors are encouraged to check out. “The point is to take a book, leave a book, trade a book,” she said. Council Member Harker, who teachers third grade at Calvin Smith Elementary School in Taylorsville, said she first learned about the simple, small and varied venues for neighborhood book sharing while reading the book “City Comforts,” as part of the Planning Commission’s Book Club. “In it was this idea of little libraries,” she said, “and when I saw that my little teacher heart started beating really fast, and I thought we need one of these in Taylorsville.” She approached the city about the possibility, and her husband suggested to their son that it might make a good Eagle Scout project. Council Member Harker then talked to the librarian at her school, who had actually made three little libraries for Murray City and shared her plans on how to make them. There is one other known little library in Taylorsville, constructed by a resident and located in Mayor Kristie Overson’s neighborhood. Council Member Harker said

maintenance of the little library her son built will likely fall to her since Bennion Park, at 5600 S. 3200 West, is nearby their home. “I am so happy this came about,” she said. “I’m very passionate about reading and how important it is for everybody.”


City of Taylorsville Newsletter

| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

Law Enforcement Agencies Honor Senator Wayne Harper State Sen. Wayne Harper, who represents Taylorsville, was honored by city leaders, the Unified Police Department’s local precinct and more than a dozen law enforcement organizations across the state for his work to pass legislation improving the retirement benefits for public safety employees. The groups presented Sen. Harper with a plaque of appreciation at a recent City Council meeting. “Every

member of the public safety community owes you a debt of gratitude for your efforts during the 2019 legislative session,” said UPD Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant. The plaque was given in recognition of his leadership. Among those honoring Sen. Harper were Mayor Kristie Overson and City Council Member Brad Christopherson, Chief Wyant, Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer, who represents the Utah Sheriffs’ Association, Orem City Police Chief Gary Giles, who represents the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, UPD Chief of Police Jason Mazuran, West Jordan Police Chief Ken Wallentine and West Jordan Deputy Chief Travis Rees, as well as the Utah State Fraternal Order of Police and Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Association. “Sen. Harper, on behalf of all men and women who make up law enforcement — police officers, deputy sheriffs, correctional officers throughout the state of Utah — I can’t thank you enough for your efforts and investment in law enforcement and your diligent work in helping modify the Tier II retirement legislation,” Chief Wyant said. Mayor Overson and others echoed that appreciation. “We want to make sure that our public safety officers know how much we appreciate, admire and respect them. Sen. Harper has done a lion’s share in this effort,” she said. The legislation 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 supported the bill

UFA Message: Never Leave Children Alone in your Car By UFA Assistant Chief Jay Ziolkowski Even with the cooler fall weather, temperatures inside your car can reach deadly temperatures, meaning you should never leave children alone in a car. In explanation, here is some important information from FamilyEducation.com: Every year, between 30 and 50 children in the U.S. die from overheating in a vehicle. Most of those deaths are the result of a parent or caregiver forgetting a child — usually a sleeping baby or toddler —in the car on a warm or hot day. Some tips include:

Do not knowingly leave a child in the car Do not be tempted to let your dozing child continue sleeping in the car after you have arrived at your destination — not even in your own driveway. Even if it is 60 degrees outside, a car can still reach temperatures over 110 degrees inside. Cars can heat up 20 degrees in 10 minutes, and rolling down the windows or parking in the shade does little to keep a car interior cool on a hot day. Children's body temperatures also rise much more quickly than adults, and they can suffer from heatstroke

with a body temperature of 104 and die with a temperature of 107 degrees.

as a way to improve recruitment and retention, noting that many agencies are having trouble filling positions. The change goes into effect next year. Getting the bill passed was a challenge, Council Member Christopherson said. “Sen. Harper was alone for a lot of this against a very well-organized, well-funded and vocal opposition.” Sen. Harper thanked those for the great honor. “This means a lot to me. I was privileged to be able to serve and carry the torch on this issue. “One of the proudest days I ever had was when we were debating this bill on the floor of the Senate and the gallery was packed and the side aisles of the Senate chamber were packed with all these wonderful people including the sheriffs, police, corrections, fire departments – everybody who puts their lives on the line for us every day,” he said. “It was a true team effort.”

Chief Recognizes Officers, Sergeant for Good Work

Use reminders and double check When parents are overly tired, or when they stray from their normal routine, they're more likely to forget a quiet child in the backseat. Try these reminder strategies: • Put an essential item, such as your purse or briefcase, next to your child's car seat rather than in the front seat. • Place a "baby on board" or "look before you lock" sign or note on your dashboard or front passenger seat when you place your child in the car seat. • If your family is following a new routine, or someone different (such as your spouse, a grandparent, neighbor, or babysitter) is driving your child to daycare, always check in with the daycare or person who did the drop-off to ensure your child reached the destination.

Take action if you see a child at risk The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges you to offer assistance if you see a child alone in a car, and get help right away if you notice signs of heatstroke. "Don't worry about getting involved in someone else's business — protecting children is everyone's business," according to the NHTSA.

Taylorsville UPD Chief Tracy Wyant recognized several law enforcement officers at a recent City Council meeting for their good work. They include Officer Chris Rieck and Sgt. Rich Wilson, who were honored with the Chief's Award. Officer Rieck, a Traffic Investigator, was recognized for his professionalism, attention to detail and service provided to residents. Sgt. Wilson works Graveyard Patrol and was recognized for his steadfast efforts and leadership. Also honored were Officer Athena Walser as May's Officer of the Month for operating with "true compassion," and Officer Jared Cardon as June's Officer of the Month. Cardon navigated a difficult traffic situation with calm professionalism, Chief Wyant said.

September 2019

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |


City, UPD Host Annual Night Out Against Crime Taylorsville's annual Night Out Against Crime drew dozens of residents who enjoyed an evening of fun activities and came away with plenty of useful information about crime prevention and safety. Organizers, volunteers and sponsors all worked hard to make the event a success. Among them were Unified Police Department's Taylorsville Precinct, Unified Fire Authority, Utah National Guard, St. Mark's Taylorsville Emergency Center, Taylorsville Karate, the

Red Cross and the Taylorsville Public Safety Committee. Activities included a K9 demonstration, climbing wall, karate demonstration, Cupbop-Korean BBQ food truck, and bike rodeo and train rides around City Hall for the children. Those in attendance were given cards that they could take around to the various booths where they were stamped as information was distributed. The cards were then submitted for a prize drawing sponsored by the General Army Navy Outdoor store. Overall, the Night Out Against Crime event provides opportunities to learn about crime prevention, spend time with neighbors and speak to Emergency Service providers about how to keep neighborhoods safe. Nationally, it culminates annually on the first Tuesday in August.

MASTER PLANNING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 can be realized,” said Ryan Wallace of MHTN Architects, which has contracted with the city to coordinate the project and help develop the plan. “Through the fall and early winter, we’ll be focused on area planning — reconnecting areas with existing neighborhoods, leveraging existing transit opportunities, and creating unique and identifiable places.” As project manager, Wallace is leading the team made up of MHTN; Voda Landscape + Planning, which is helping with urban design and place-making, Zions Bank Public Finance, which is providing market analysis; Portland-based Leland Consulting, which will focus on economic revitalization; San Francisco-based Greensfelder Commercial Real Estate, a national retail expert; and Fehr & Peers, a transportation consultant; as well as the city’s planners and staff. The effort is being funded through Wasatch Front Regional Council’s Transportation and Land Use Connection Program. “ The objective is to align land uses adjacent to public transportation to create more walkable, accessible communities along the Wasatch Front,” Wallace said. “The project is also a part of the Taylorsville 2020 Vision built upon the idea of creating economic prosperity through community building and creating community identity.” Mark Morris of Voda Landscape + Planning notes that it is an incremental process. “There’s a lot of opportunity and that’s really what we’re looking at,” he said, “making places more vibrant and appealing. What makes you want to linger? What makes you want to stay?”

The event is built on the philosophy that the best way to build a safer community is to know your neighbors and your surroundings. It is a community-building campaign celebrated by millions of neighbors across thousands of communities. This year's Night Out Against Crime in Taylorsville was held on Aug. 13 at City Hall.


| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

Spend September at Taylorsville Library Several activities are planned this month at the Taylorsville Library, including: QPR: Suicide Prevention Training Monday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m. Learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Class taught by a certified instructor. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying "yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling or neighbor. Adult Lecture Series: All About Tornadoes Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. Learn all about tornadoes and severe weather, from storm chasing to forecasting as well as the latest research with Mike Seaman a Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service. Seaman earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Utah. He is in his 20th year with the National Weather Service. He spent several years in the central and southern plains forecasting and researching severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Seaman also spent a considerable amount of time storm chasing and intercepting a variety of severe weather.

City of Taylorsville Newsletter

Taylorsville Bennion Heritage REMEMBRANCES This Junior High School is Breaking Records

Featured this month is a junior high school in Granite School District located at 4351 S. Redwood Road. It is Eisenhower Jr. High School, which opened in 1974 and was named after prominent World War II general and the United States’ 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. According to Granite School District’s website, Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville has a few claims to fame that you may not have known.

Family Fun in Utah with @slcmoms Monday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. Britney Anderson, the woman behind Instagram's @slcmoms, will share fun outings and activities for families to do in the Salt Lake County area. Visit or contact the library for more information, 801-943-4636.

Volunteers Wanted Volunteers are needed at both the Taylorsville Precinct of the Unified Police Department, as well as the Taylorsville Food Pantry. UPD’s Taylorsville Precinct is looking to add up to eight new volunteers to assist its mobile crisis response team. This is a fulfilling undertaking for responsible and positive individuals. The position requires a good driving record, valid driver’s license and the ability to pass a comprehensive background check. Candidates will go through an interview and background process within the department. Chosen applicants will receive training to enable a professional and compassionate response on domestic violence, sexual assault, unexpected deaths and other police calls as needed. Interested volunteers can email victim advocate/volunteer coordinator, Lisa Kocherhans at LKocherhans@updsl.org. The Taylorsville Food Pantry needs two or three volunteers to work as they can on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m., or Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. According to Pantry regulations, volunteers must be at least 14 years old. If interested call 801-815-0003, or stop by the Pantry, located at 4775 S. Plymouth View Dr., during business hours. The Taylorsville Food Pantry is also in need of individual packets of oatmeal and breakfast bars.

At the top of the list: World Records! Eisenhower has a long tradition of setting and breaking numerous world records, including the longest paperclip chain, the fastest human conveyor belt, the largest Post-it Note Mosaic, the largest wobble board ensemble, the world’s largest marshmallow fight, and the world’s longest loaf of bread! The school’s attempts at breaking quirky records have been featured in publications such as “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and “Guinness World Records.” We can hardly wait to see what World Record EJH will accomplish next!

September 2019

2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard • 801-963-5400 |


Taylorsville Resident Celebrates 101st Birthday When Richard Thorley Stucki of Taylorsville marked his 101st birthday this summer, city employees, a local restaurant, family, friends — even the mayor and governor — all celebrated with him. “He has lived a long life full of service and adventure,” says his daughter Marilyn Hixson, “and I’m lucky to be along for the ride.” Mr. Stucki was a resident of Cedar City for many years where he also grew up as the oldest of four children, including three sisters whom he has all outlived. He moved to Taylorsville about five years ago, and every Wednesday he and his daughter venture to the McDonald’s on Redwood Road for his favorite lunch — a McDouble hamburger, Diet Coke and french fries. The employees at the restaurant know him as a regular and always greet him with a friendly, “Hi Grandpa.” Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson and a couple of city employees met him, his daughter and granddaughter, Jamie Hixson, there on a recent Wednesday to congratulate him on his milestone birthday and learn more about his long life. “It was a pleasure,” said Mayor Overson. “He and his family are simply delightful.” Mr. Stucki, who is the oldest surviving City Council Member in Cedar City where he served for eight years, even offered some wisdom to the Mayor. “Everybody, whether they argue in a meeting or not, they must stay

friends,” he said to Mayor Overson, who agreed that was very good advice. He recalled that while serving on the Cedar City Council, one woman was adamant that a barber school be allowed in the city but the zoning would not allow it. “She let us have it,” Mr. Stucki said with a laugh. “But most of it was good. We doubled the water supply and got the airport expanded.” He also served for 52 years in the Lion’s Club and never missed a meeting. “I really liked the camaraderie and things we accomplished for the city. We built several patios and parks in the canyons.” The club sold hamburgers for a dollar to raise money, but his grandkids literally ate into the profits because he gave away the food to them for free. Mr. Stucki, who was honored by Gov. Gary Herbert among the state’s centenarians at a luncheon on Aug. 20, turned 101 on July 19. Among the highlights of his life, he was a B-17 pilot instructor with the Air Force, where he flew for 3½ years and served for five at Hobbs Army Airfield in New Mexico. “He’s often remarked that flying at the hands of his students was more harrowing than flying a combat mission,” his daughter said. He had joined the National Guard in Cedar City at age 22, just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He wore his military uniform and rode in a restored World War II jeep in the Days of ’47 Parade to mark his 100th birthday last year and again this summer for his

Taylorsville Fast-pitch Softball Team Claims State The Taylorsville Nightmarezzz 14U All-Star team took State in the USA Softball of Utah State Rec Tournament at Valley Regional Softball Complex. The championship game on Aug. 10 capped six games of tournament play. The Nightmarezzz finished undefeated, allowing only one run in six games. In all, the Taylorsville fast-pitch softball league team scored 61 runs during tournament play to clinch the championship. Brynn Winget pitched the entire tournament, including 16 innings. She completed 208 pitches, 146 strikes, 12 strikeouts, with only one walk and one run. Mayor Kristie Overson and City Council members planned to formally congratulate the team and coaches Chris Gonzalez, Joe Singleton, Marco Romo and Donovan France at their Sept. 4 Council meeting. The team includes: Alecia Martinez, Ashlyn Powell, Brynn Winget, Gracie Bowen, Hadlee Robinson, Haylee Vogele, Jadelyn Hooper, Jerzee Chavez, Julissa Romo, Lexi Gonzalez, Oakleigh Harman, Olivia Muniz, Persaya Smith and Saige Thompson. Great job, Nightmarezzz!

101st. The Liberty Bell Foundation also took him up in a B-17 in April 2018, and the Veterans Honor Flight organization flew him to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments in 2015. His name and picture are part of the World War II Memorial. Mr. Stucki piloted a small plane again at age 95 after friends took him flying in theirs in Cedar City. “It was a lot easier to fly than a B-17,” he said. Mr. Stucki has two daughters, five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He and his wife, Gwen, who passed away in 2016 at age 96, met on a blind date. She was a school teacher, and they were married for 69 years. After his military service, Mr. Stucki returned to Cedar City where he owned a car dealership and repair shop, and he and Gwen raised their family. To mark his birthday, Mayor Overson gave him a Taylorsville hat and a coin, as well as a card signed by all the employees at City Hall. He was also surprised with a cake from McDonald’s employees when he came in for his weekly Wednesday lunch. The secret to his long life, he said, is simple: “Wake up every day!”


| www.taylorsvilleut.gov

City of Taylorsville Newsletter Taylorsville Welcomes Tuyet’s Pharmacy

SEPTEMBER WFWRD UPDATES KEEP RECYCLING By now you have probably heard that recycling fees have increased and at times have been higher than landfilling the materials. It’s also important to know that landfilling the recycling will not prevent increased costs. The materials have to go somewhere, so why not keep recycling going. During July, WFWRD conducted a Recycling Survey to obtain feedback from residents on their desires regarding recycling services and costs. 730 survey responses were received from Taylorsville residents, out of 6,035 total responses. Districtwide, 95.9 percent are supportive of continued recycling services, and 79.1 percent indicate that they would support a fee increase. 96.2 percent of the Taylorsville respondents are supportive of continued recycling services, and 73.7 percent indicate that they would support a fee increase. This information will be shared with the District’s Administrative Control Board with a recommendation from Executive Director Pam Roberts to continue recycling.

AREA CLEANUP The annual Area Cleanup program is underway! Taylorsville residents can expect to see Area Cleanup containers from Sept. 4 through around Sept. 26. Residents will receive a postcard in the mail identifying the exact date that the containers will be in their neighborhoods. Residents can also use WFWRD’s Address Lookup Tool at https://slco. org/wfw/ to find their specific scheduled date. Additional information about the program can be found on WFWRD’s website at https:// wasatchfrontwaste.org/area-clean-up. Green waste will be collected separately, and it will be delivered for composting. Collections need to be small piles, and these pickups must be scheduled. Call 385-468-6325 for more information. Mattresses and metal items will be collected separately and taken for recycling as staffing allows. Please do not place these items in the large containers. Instead leave them in front of your property and to the side of your driveway. All residents are asked to be courteous when using these Area Cleanup containers. Be mindful that these containers must be shared with your neighbors. Also, do not overfill them as they become a significant hazard when transporting if filled higher than the walls of the container. If you have a lot of items to dispose of, please consider renting a bulk or green waste trailer or obtaining a free landfill voucher at Taylorsville City Hall or the Library.

Tuyet's Pharmacy is now open for business in Taylorsville. City leaders and ChamberWest welcomed the pharmacy with a Ribbon Cutting at their new location, 4128 S. Carriage Square. They are a locally owned, independent pharmacy that offers consultations in English and Vietnamese. You can easily transfer your medications from any pharmacy. In addition to Vietnamese prescription labels, they offer Spanish labels and labels in other languages upon request. Besides their pharmacy, Tuyet's features a small gift shop with Korean cosmetics. The store's pharmacist, Dr. Tuyet Nguyen, has seven years of retail pharmacy experience, graduating with a doctorate of pharmacy from Roseman University, where she also received her MBA. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Utah. The store is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed weekends. The Ribbon Cutting was held July 27. See www. tuyetspharmacy.wixsite.com/utah for more information.

Is That Lawn Really Worth It? After a long hot summer, you may ask: Is all that lawn really worth it? Consider the frustration of irrigation systems not working, weeds that grow no matter how hot it is, and weekends sacrificed to maintain that unappreciative lawn. There is a better way to have a beautiful yard while saving time and water! Localscapes to the rescue. The professional team of horticulturists, landscape designers, maintenance pros, irrigation experts are here to help. A free resource promoting a moderate approach to waterwise landscaping that is appropriate for Utah. Visit Localscapes.com for more information. If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact our office at TaylorsvilleBennion Improvement District at 801-968-9081 or visit their website w w w.tbid.org and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Continued from front page audit of secondary school fees last September found evidence of widespread violations of Utah Code in regards to activity fees and accessibility. The report showed problems with hidden fees (a cheerleading fee was listed at $1,775 but students ended up paying $2,500), students being required to purchase items listed as optional (team spirit packs and camps), and waivers not being offered to

“My whole promotion for DECA is that we’re creating an experience that’s going to help them in life” – Tori Wouden qualified students. In response to the findings, USBE is working to bring school districts into compliance with the Utah Administrative Rule and the recently passed house bill 250, which ensures that public school system fees do not create a barrier to full participation for any student, regardless of their financial circumstances. By next year, USBE will require schools

to publish accurate school fees, set caps on total fees a single student can be asked to pay and implement corrective action for noncompliance to these rules, many which have been in effect for decades but have been misunderstood. New regulations will also prohibit individual fundraising requirements for students to supplement activity fees. Dayley said, ultimately, the goal is to make activities—curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular—accessible for all students through appropriate fees and waiver eligibility. “Every student should be able to participate fully in their education experience, regardless of their social-economic situation,” s food said Dayley. onate d r e c o For students such as Yost, participation Local ger |rwriter@mycityjournals.com at Writ local Be By in school activities is priceless. Yost said DECA has been the biggest influence on her life, and she believes she would be a different person if she hadn’t joined the club her sophomore year. “I think that I still would be an introvert,” said Yost. “I don’t think that I would be able to communicate well or have had the business opportunities and job experiences that I have had.” Tori Wouden, DECA club adviser at Taylorsville High School, said school clubs such as DECA benefit students well beyond high school. “My whole promotion for DECA is that we’re creating an experience that’s going to help them in life,” she said. l




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Heartwood Home Health

6671 S. Redwood Rd, Suite 101, West Jordan, UT

Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com

“Our Nurses make House Calls.”


eartwood Home Health and Hospice provides custom healthcare across the Salt Lake area, bringing comfort and dignity to the homes of patients and seniors. Those with limited mobility, life-limiting conditions or chronic pain, and who prefer to receive treatment in the comfort of their own homes, will especially benefit from the services offered by the Gephardt Approved™ care provider. As a relatively small, locally operating organization, Heartwood Home Health and Hospice offers a wide, carefully coordinated range of services, easily combined to fit a

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

patient’s unique, individual needs and goals. Every one of Heartwood Home Health and Hospice’s care workers is equipped to make house calls. Doctors and nurses care for medical needs; they also provide palliative care and arrange for any Medicare-provided equipment needed. Certified nurses’ assistants care for everyday needs: laundry, bathing and light-duty cleaning. Occupational therapists are available to inspect houses for safety and to arrange for Medicare-funded upgrades such as safety bars. Speech therapists work closely with stroke patients, restoring their ability to move their mouths for speech. A physical therapist can help patients gain independence, making remarkable recovery of mobility and strength and relieving pain and discomfort. A social worker helps with the many complex and often overwhelming legal paperwork: writing wills, navigating power of attorney and making other important deci-

sions regarding a person’s legacy. Finally, a chaplain is also available to help relieve emotional and spiritual discomfort, not just for patients, but also for family and friends. Hospice is an important part of Heartwood Home Health and Hospice’s offerings—a part often misunderstood. For patients with life-limiting illnesses, “Hospice is a way to take control at the end of their life,” said Lee Vasic. He finds patients are often unafraid to die, but do fear the painful conditions they expect to experience in the end of life. In-home hospice can help people live comfortably to the end of life, in their own homes, far from the noise and discomfort of hospitals. Hospice, as offered by Heartwood Home Health and Hospice, exists not only to meet the needs of those diagnosed with life-limiting diseases, but also their family members. Even the most independence-minded may choose to receive hospice care once aware of the benefits that extend to family members and caregivers.

Homemakers provide meals and can help ensure a home environment is beautiful and calming for the patient. This can allow spouses or caregivers to spend more time with their ill loved ones. Chaplains and social workers are equally available to family members. Heartwood Home Health and Hospice even offers a 13-month bereavement program to care for spouses or other family members through the first anniversary of a loss, a time many find especially challenging. For all of these reasons, Medicare recommends hospice for the final six months of an ill person’s life. Heartwood Home Health and Hospice offers a range of other services, from post-surgery care to rehabilitation services. As a small, locally owned and operated healthcare provider in Salt Lake City, Heartwood Home Health and Hospice is ideal for every kind of healthcare that can be performed within a person’s home. Visit heartwood.info to arrange care or to learn more about Heartwood Home Health and Hospice.

September 2019 | Page 23

‘Does your mother know that you’re out’ singing and dancing in traffic to publicize your show? By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

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. (facebook/Taylorsville Arts Council)

A large cast and crew of 80 made “Mamma Mia!” one of the Taylorsville Arts Council’s most successful summer musical productions ever. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

Taylorsville Arts Council “Mamma Mia!” cast members drum up excitement for their production, by offering brief performances for drivers stopped at a red light. (facebook/Taylorsville Arts Council)


f it’s good enough for Will Smith and cast members of the movie “Aladdin,” shouldn’t it work for the Taylorsville Arts Council production of “Mamma Mia!”? That was the thinking behind arts council vice chair Susan Holman’s suggestion, “Mamma Mia!” Cast members spend a Saturday morning running in and out of traffic in front of the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center (1450 West 4800 South) to perform brief snippets of their show on the crosswalk during red lights. “I enjoy ‘The Late, Late Show with James Corden’ (CBS) and particularly the ‘Crosswalk the Musical’ segments,” Holman said. “During traffic red lights, performers race into the street, perform for maybe a minute and then run off again when the light changes.” Several of the late-night television show’s crosswalk segments, including the one with “Aladdin” cast members, can be found on YouTube. And don’t worry, Unified Police gave the “Mamma Mia!” producer the thumbs up. “I don’t know if (the crosswalk performances) sold any additional tickets, but it was fun,” Holman said. “So, my guess is we

Page 24 | September 2019

will do it again in the future.” As for the six-night production at Salt Lake Community College’s Alder Amphitheater, veteran Taylorsville Arts Council Director Wendy Dahl-Smedshammer considered it one of their biggest hits. “I was thrilled with our cast and crew; they were fantastic,” Dahl-Smedshammer said. “We had 60 cast members, a crew of 12, an eight-piece band and great crowds each night. It was wonderful — certainly one of our most successful productions ever. I have been excited to direct ‘Mamma Mia!’ for two years. It was a lot of fun.” Of all the cast members, only one faced the additional challenge of singing and dancing while seated in the wheelchair she has used since age 5. “Amanda is a rock star,” Dahl-Smedshammer said. “Her arms are amazing. I have directed about 10 people in wheelchairs over the years. She was one of the best performers I have directed.” Amanda King, a Colorado native, was making her very first appearance on a Taylorsville Arts Council stage. “I have never been able to walk, got my first wheelchair at age 3 and really began us-

ing it at age 5,” King said. “I never let it slow me down. I began taking piano lessons at age 6 and performed in the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale from age 7 to 9.” Amanda moved to Utah in January 2016 to attend Utah Valley University. Although this was her first time performing in Taylorsville, she has performed in opera productions at UVU and at the Scera Shell Outdoor Theatre in Orem. King also played three seasons of women’s wheelchair basketball for the University of Illinois. And now she is completing her final semester at UVU, working as a student teacher with the Taylorsville High School choirs. “I learned about the ‘Mamma Mia!’ production from a UVU classmate (Steven Broschinsky) who was the show’s music director,” King said. “I moved up to Taylorsville for my student teaching job in June. So, it was great to make a lot of new friends in the area with cast members. I love the musical community in Utah. It’s much better than in Colorado. I hope I can find a teaching job in this area so I can remain. I would really love to be here when the new (Mid-Valley) Performing Arts Center opens next year.”

Dahl-Smedshammer was also pleased with the performances of the three men who played character Sophie’s fathers: Bill (Daniel Bluck), Harry (Ben Nordby) and Sam (David Oldroyd). “I’ve taught voice lessons to David’s daughter, and Daniel’s wife has performed with us before,” she said. “But they had not performed on stage for years. And Ben’s first-ever performance was last summer. They each had their own quirkiness, and the three had incredible chemistry. They were awesome, and I hope they will try out for other shows in the future.” Like everyone else associated with the Taylorsville Arts Council, “Mamma Mia!” producer Holman and Dahl-Smedshammer can’t wait for the new performing arts center to open in 15 months. But even when it does, Wendy promises some shows will continue away from the new $39 million venue. “Summer theater has to be outside,” Dahl-Smedshammer concluded. “I can’t wait to stage our first show in the new arts center. But we’ll keep coming back (to the outdoor Alder Amphitheater at Salt Lake Community College) as long as I am directing.” l

Taylorsville City Journal

Co-workers challenge each other to fitness trifecta


o-workers at a local auto collision repair facility challenged each other to lose weight and eat healthier. Before they realized what they had done, a pull-up bar was installed in the corner, a climbing rope hung from the rafters, and there were daily push-up challenges at lunch. “It is about challenging and encouraging each other to be healthy,” Herriman resident Travis Roberts said. He was with his kids at the library and came across the widely popular book “Spartan Up” by Joe De Sena and Jeff O’Connell. Roberts decided to attempt to run a Spartan Race and convinced Dom Mirabelli and Chic Evans, his co-workers, to also try. “I got the book on audio, and for me it was a game changer,” Roberts said. “I told these guys that they needed to listen to this book. We started to seek out extreme athletes, then we committed to doing the trifecta.” It wasn’t just one Spartan; they wanted to complete the trifecta, finishing a Sprint, Super and Beast in one calendar year. Completing all three meant training and traveling to other Spartan events in other states. To complete the goal and all three race distances in the same year, they made trips to Boise, Idaho, on June 29; Snowbasin on July 20; and Aspen, Colorado, on Aug. 3.

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com “We trained together three times a week,” Mirabelli, a West Valley resident, said. “We did 13-mile trail runs after work and practiced burpees (a four-step squat thrust) every day.” A Spartan is a mountainous trail race broken up with physical obstacles. A Sprint is typically 3 miles and includes 20 obstacles. a Super is at least 8 miles with 25 or more obstacles. A Beast is 13 miles with more than 30 obstacles. The obstacles are different at each event. They are designed to test participant’s mental and physical fortitude. They can include an atlas ball carry, tire flip, monkey bars and wall climbs. Each event has different types of challenges and may place them on a hill or flat ground depending on the event coordinator. “Some obstacles were tough for me but easier for others,” Murray resident Evans said. “If you can’t do the obstacles then you have to do 30 burpees. Spartan races are all about camaraderie.” “We never would have gotten this far into it if we had not worked together,” Mirabelli said “It gives us something to talk about at work. We are constantly trying to find motivation with another book or race to sign up for. There are races outside the Spartan realm

like triathlons or half-marathons or endurance races.” Roberts said training changed things in his life. “I cut out garbage candy—any processed sugar,” he said. “Dom went vegan for a while then tried keto diet. We have learned how important diet is.” Taking care of their bodies became more of a priority as they trained. “The further we got into it, the healthier we became,” Mirabelli said. “We were motivated to drink water, and we have been pushing ourselves, all while learning what we need to do to become better.” The experience was not without its funny moments. During the Colorado race, they came across a bear about 30 feet off the trail. “Dom thought it was a wolf, but the bear was right there,” Evans said. “I yelled at Travis in front of us to come back. He had run right past it. We all laughed. It is not really a competition between us, but we have helped each other improve. We try to beat our time and improve.” They each thought about giving up. “This has been one of the hardest things physically and mentally I have ever done in my life,” Evans said. “A year of training, and at a point my legs were locked up, and I

did not think I could finish. There is a nightand-day difference in me since we have done this.” Mirabelli has signed up for an Ironman; Roberts wants to complete a 100-mile endurance race, and Evans has signed up with his wife to try again next year. “Everyone has a weakness somewhere,” Roberts said. “I might excel here, and he might struggle here. I felt like I made people mad by trying to get my friends to do this. I felt like if everyone would try this it would change their lives. It gave me confidence and accomplishment. My neighbor tried it and had never done something like this.”l

Three co-workers at a local body shop challenged each other to become healthier; it transformed them into Spartan athletes. (Photo courtesy of Travis Roberts)

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September 2019 | Page 25

New Rio Tinto Kennecott Visitor Experience bigger and better than before By Christy Jepson | Christy@mycityjournals.com


hat is 2.75 miles across and three-quarters of a mile deep and is practically in your backyard? The answer: Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, one of the largest mines in the world. Taking your family to the new Rio Tinto Kennecott Visitor Experience is a great fall family outing which will provide an engaging and educational activity for everyone. “If you’re 4 years old or 84, there is something for everybody at the new Visitor Experience…it is fascinating, engaging and just a fun experience,” said Kyle Bennett, spokesman for Rio Tinto Kennecott. According to Bennett, the new Visitor Experience gives people a sense of scale more than ever before. For instance, visitors can now walk inside the bed of a 2,400-squarefoot haul truck and a full-size shovel scoop. Visitors can also learn about the mine’s history, safe mining practices, how ore gets refined to become copper, why mining is important even today and see a panoramic view of the mine. The new Rio Tinto Kennecott Visitor Experience has only been open for six months. The old visitors center was removed in the spring of 2013 because monitoring equipment had been detecting movement in the mine for a few months prior. “We closed the old visitors center just before the landslide in April 2013, which was the largest non-volcanic landslide in North American history,” Bennett said. Fortunately, because of advanced monitoring and planning, no employees were injured that April day when 165 million tons of rock slid down the northeast section of the open pit mine. The slide did damage roads, buildings and vehicles inside the open pit. The mine is so big that you can see it from space. Here’s some more facts to impress out-of-state friends and family: • Rio Tinto Kennecott is the second largest copper producer in the United States with more than 2,000 employees. • The mine produces up to 300,000 tons of copper each year. • The Utah Copper Company was incorporated on June 4, 1903. Some experts of that day criticized it and said the company would never make money because the ore grade was too low. • Since those beginnings, 20 million tons of refined copper ore has been produced. • It is one of the largest man-made openpit excavations in the world. • Rio Tinto Kennecott comprises nearly 8% of U.S. annual copper production. • Without mining, we wouldn’t have cars, cell phones, plumbing or electricity. • If you stacked two Willis Towers (formerly the Sears Tower) on top of each other, they still would not reach the top

Page 26 | September 2019

of the mine. • You could lay the soccer field at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, end-toend more than 38 times across the top of the Bingham Canyon Mine before it would reach both sides. • Besides copper, Rio Tinto Kennecott produces copper, gold, silver molybdenum and sulphuric acid, • It’s the first open-pit mine in the world. The new Rio Tinto Kennecott Visitor Experience is located at 12732 Bacchus Highway in Herriman. The mine is open sev-

“If you’re 4 years old or 84, there is something for everybody at the new Visitor Experience… it is fascinating, engaging and just a fun experience”

The lookout area where visitors can see the panoramic view of the Bingham Canyon mine. (Photo Rio Tinto Kennecott)

– Kyle Bennett

en days a week from April 1 to Oct. 31. Reservations are required and can be purchased at riotintokennecott.com/visit or at the Bingham Canyon Lions Gift shop on site. Tickets are $5 each and children under 5 are free. All proceeds will be donated to the Kennecott Charitable Foundation. The Visitor Experience starts at the Lark visitor parking lot. Once visitors check in, they are shuttled up to the Bingham Canyon Mine overlook to see the mine and exhibits. It is a mostly outdoor self-guided tour. l

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Visitors explore the different exhibits at the new Rio Tinto Kennecott Visitor Experience. (Photo Rio Tinto Kennecott)

Taylorsville City Journal

A look at municipal campaign donations in Salt Lake County By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

Average Campaign Donations per Candidate (City Journals)


ith Salt Lake County’s 2019 municipal primary elections in the rearview mirror and the general election now months away, it’s a good time to look at the state of campaign finances at the local level. The City Journals examined the campaign finance disclosures of every municipal candidate in the valley (excluding Salt Lake City proper) to see which cities’ elections are drawing the most money, where the money is coming from and to what degree campaign spending impacts election results. Here’s what we found.

Where is the money going?

It turns out there is a wide disparity in how much money is being spent in different cities across the valley. In Sandy City, 26 times more campaign money per candidate was raised than in the neighboring city of Midvale. A competitive race in the city of Draper where 11 candidates are fighting for three open at-large city council seats has drawn $88,894 worth of campaign funds, the most of any city in the county. Of that total, $23,471 came from just one candidate. Most cities (10 out of 13) raised between $1,000 and $5,000 per candidate.

Where is the money coming from?

The three most common types of campaign contributors are individual donors, donations from businesses (which

Source of Campaign Donations (City Journals)

Percentage of Cities’ Campaign donations Coming from Salt Lake Board of Realtors. (City Journals)

sometimes happens through a political action committee) and self-funding from the candidate themselves. The balance between these three types of sources varies from city to city. We took a look at the three cities with the most total donations, Sandy, West Jordan and Draper, to see where the money is coming from in their respective races. Draper was the most balanced, with each category being within a few thousand dollars of each other. Sandy City was the only city which had more donations coming from businesses. West Jordan was noteworthy for how much its races are being self-funded by its candidates. Fifty-seven percent of the funding for all the city’s campaigns came from the candidates themselves. When it comes to donations from businesses and business interests, one source stands out from the rest. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors (and its political action committee, The Realtors) doled out over $58,000 in donations to candidates’ campaigns during the primary season. In some cities, donations from the Board of Realtors accounted for a quarter, or even half, of all donations. At the candidate level, the Board of Realtors donated an average of $2,252 to candidates, though there were a few candidates who received more than $5,000. For 10 candidates, donations from the Board of Realtors made up at least half of their total campaign finances.

Does the money even matter?

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In today’s world where candidates can easily reach people through social media, some might wonder if having money for traditional campaign advertising is still important. Can you win without courting donors, or does money buy elections? In the primaries, 76% of candidates who raised at least $1,000 advanced to the general election. However, there may be diminishing returns when it comes to bigger campaign coffers; for candidates who raised at least $5,000, the percentage of those who advanced to the general election remained at 76%. However, candidates who received money from the Board of Realtors got an extra boost—84% of them advanced to the general election, compared to 50% of candidates who didn’t. Money is not the be-all and end-all however, as there were 11 candidates throughout the valley who were able to advance to the general election despite having the lowest-funded campaign in their respective races.

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S t o p i n fo r a F R E E a i r c h e c k ! September 2019 | Page 27

Football coaches use creative ways and plays to expand their teams By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


he problems facing high school football do not seem to be going away, according to new data released by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Neither is the downward trend in participation. “Where are my lineman?” Kearns High School’s line coach Shawn Teo asked. “We don’t have the same number of kids playing football as we have had.” In the past decade, according to NFHS data, football participation has dropped by nearly 6%. Many local coaches have experienced that trend. “We have had a handful of seniors come back for this season. I think our numbers are settling,” Hunter head coach Tarell Richards said. “We have tried to keep everyone involved year-round. They will want to stay if they build friendships with coaches and other players. Football is dying; our west side schools are battling the same things.” Transfers to other schools is one thing that has affected schools in the past. “We had kids in the past leave for football season and then transfer back for the spring so they can graduate with their friends,” Richards said. This is a problem many schools experience. “I want to develop only the talent here in Riverton and only those kids,” Riverton High

head coach Jody Morgan said. “I don’t want other teams to steal my kids.” The Silverwolves coaches count 12 players that have left their program to attend other schools. “We have had other varsity coaches approach my athletes,” Morgan said. “I feel like some coaches treat it like the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’; they think these are guidelines and not rules. The UHSAA needs to stop going after individual kids and go after the programs that are doing it.” Cost, single-sport specialization and injuries are other concerns players and parents have with football. Some coaches believe it is important to creatively find opportunities for kids to play. Hunter High has tried to hire coaches that know the community or have been part of the Wolverines’ football team in the past. “We have coaches that believe in the community,” Richards said. “They are born and raised here. That builds trust with parents and players.” The coaches have also changed practice plans to prevent injury by training in helmets only one day a week. They also try to find more chances for the kids to play. “The kids that don’t play on Friday night always play on Thursday in the sub-varsity game,” Richards said.” We can’t play them


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www.graniteschools.org/ nutritionservices/jobs Page 28 | September 2019

stantly trying to build a good relationship. We sell to the parents that we want to build good football players and great young men. Football is hard, and we try to relate it to everyday life.” Richards pointed out he thinks the UHSAA is trying to help. They have recently realigned regions encouraging more rivalries. “I think the new regions are good because we are now playing kids that have the same demographics,” he said. “I think the UHSAA has got it right with realignment. It makes it exciting.” l

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two days in a row. It is not responsible because of the injury possibility.” Preparing the players mentally and physically is an important part of keeping kids on the field. “Kids nowadays have ADD (attention deficit disorder); they want to do what has success,” Richards said. “Whether that is another team, another sport or school program. We have to be creative.” Riverton High players are becoming more involved in the youth programs. “We attend little league games,” Morgan said. “We host a youth camp and are con-

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• • • •

The number of high school football players has decreased steadily recently; recruiting, multiple sporting opportunities and cost are contributing factors. (Photo courtesy of West Jordan football)







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Taylorsville City Journal

Pickle Power! The family-friendly sport that’s taking over Utah By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


ou’ve probably seen them at a park near your house: miniature-sized versions of tennis courts filled with people smacking a yellow Wiffle ball back and forth. The courts (and the sport itself) seem to have sprung up overnight. If you haven’t played yet yourself, you surely know someone who does. Someone who has probably asked you with all the zeal of a missionary deployed by a crazed sport-religion hybrid: Do you play pickleball? Interest in pickleball has doubled in just the last three years, at least according to data from Google Trends. A sport that most people hadn’t even heard of five years ago is now a third as popular as tennis and half as popular as bowling. It’s already far surpassed sports like disc golf and badminton. While the sport is certainly exploding nationwide, nowhere is its popularity greater than here in Utah. More Utahns search for information about pickleball than residents of any other state, again according to Google Trends. Arizona is close behind, and most Pickleball players participate in a tournament held at Wardle Fields Regional Park in Bluffdale. (Justin Adams/City Journals) states’ interest in the sport is less than half of what it is in Utah. A tennis player and coach herself, she said ties together. It ended up going all over the country. So why is pickleball gaining populariDrew Wathey, a spokesperson for the she knows several former tennis players who “Those players came from all over Utah ty so fast? And why is Utah at the head of but also the United States,” Case said. “They USA Pickleball Association told the City switched to pickleball as their primary sport. its growth? But most importantly, why is it had a great experience then went home and Journals that demographics changes have Pickleball also makes more sense when mucalled pickleball? taught their friends how to play. In a lot of a lot to do with the sports’ growing popu- nicipalities are trying to decide what ameniOrigins ways, that first year in 2003 really created a larity. “Society is getting older. A lot of the ties to include in their public parks, she said. The game got its start in 1965 in Wash- big opportunity for it to spread.” baby boomers are hitting retirement age and “Some of those tennis courts that aren’t lookington state, when Joel Pritchard, a state conthey’re not able to be quite as active as they ing very good, it makes more sense to put An old folks’ game? gressman spliced together a few elements The fact that one of pickleball’s first used to be, and pickleball is a natural transi- in pickleball courts. They are more family from various sports during a hot summer friendly and don’t take up as much space.” big exposures to the world came through an tion,” he said. weekend at his home on Bainbridge Island. With pickleball quickly gaining ground event targeted towards seniors is no coinci- Replacing tennis? Pritchard’s backyard had a badminton on tennis, it may be only a matter of time beThe high demand for pickleball courts is dence. The mechanics and rules of pickleball court, but when he couldn’t find any badminfore a pickleball equivalent of Wimbledon is create a sport that is accessible to just about visible all over Salt Lake valley. In Cottonton equipment, he instead grabbed some ping broadcast on ESPN. everyone, including seniors. In return, the se- wood Heights, three recently installed picklepong paddles and a plastic ball. Along with nior community has been a driving force in ball courts proved to not be nearly enough to Going forward his friends and family, Pritchard developed a Is it possible that pickleball is a passmeet demand and so three additional courts its growing popularity. set of rules for this newly invented game over Because pickleball courts are a fraction were just added. In Bluffdale, Salt Lake ing fad? A sport that spikes in popularity the course of that weekend. of the size of tennis courts, players don’t County’s Wardle Fields Park, which opened for a few years but eventually dies out leavAs for how it got its name, legend has need to cover as much ground, particularly in 2017, included 16 pickleball courts, and in ing thousands of empty unused courts in its it that it’s named after the Pritchard family’s since doubles is the most popular form of the a possibly symbolic move, not a single tennis wake? Not likely, according to Wathey. dog. “The Pritchards had a dog named Pick“I don’t really see a downturn for the sport. This allows players, who maybe aren’t court. les, and you’re having fun at a party, right? “Sometimes sports run in cycles. Tennis sport anytime soon,” he said. “It’s incredible. as quick as they used to be, to still excel at So anyways, what the hell, let’s just call it has hit somewhat of a plateau,” Wathey said. More courts are being built, and we don’t see the sport. pickleball,” said Barney McCallum, one of At the Huntsman World Senior Games, a plateau in that. They’re popping up all over “What I find in my senior community the sports’ cofounders. is their mobility might not be there, but once registrations for pickleball have surpassed the country.” The sport grew slowly over several deAnother factor that will help the sport they get to the line, they have all the motion that of tennis, according to Case. “Four years cades. By 2003, there were only 39 known they need,” said Linda Weeks, a Parks and ago we opened up registration at midnight. continue its rise is its affordability, Wathey places to play the sport in North America, Rec employee in Farmington who has been Within two minutes, the pickleball registra- noted. according to the USA Pickleball Association Pickleball sets that include two to four helping organize pickleball tournaments in tion was full,” he said. Because of that event, website. the Games have changed their registration paddles and balls range from $20 to $60 on Utah for years. However, that same year the sport was In one recent tournament, Weeks said a process for pickleball to be more like a lot- Amazon, whereas a single high-quality tenadded to the Huntsman World Senior Games, nis racket can easily run north of $100. That grandmother and her grandson ended up tak- tery. a multi-sport competitive event that draws The possibility of pickleball supplanting low barrier of entry combined with an eving second place. “I don’t know what other seniors from all over the world to St. George, kinds of sports out there would lend them- tennis is ironic, considering the overlap of er-increasing supply of courts means more Utah. selves to that kind of generation gap,” she the two similar sports. One of the first arti- people are getting into the sport. “There were questions about whether “I never would have guessed that it cles about pickleball appeared in Tennis magsaid. a sport named pickleball would ever be the Weeks thinks the sports’ ability to cater azine and some of the best pickleball players would have been to this extent already,” next big thing,” said Kyle Case, the current Weeks said. “I talk to people every day who to both the young and old is a big part of why are former tennis pros. CEO of the event. “But we just decided to get Weeks agreed that pickleball seems to say, ‘What’s up with this pickleball thing, can it’s grown so fast in Utah, where there are big behind it and see where it goes.” families who like to be outside doing activi- be putting a dent in the tennis community. you explain it to me?’” l

TaylorsvilleJ ournal.com

September 2019 | Page 29

New chapter begins for Utah lacrosse By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

Lacrosse has grown into thousands of participants statewide over the past several years and the sport will now officially be sanctioned for the upcoming school year with the boys and girls programs competing in the spring of 2020. (Photo courtesy Craig Morris)


t’s been a long time coming and it’s now finally here…boys and girls lacrosse is officially sanctioned beginning with the 20192020 school year with the competitive season for both programs to be held in the spring. An effort from the Utah Lacrosse Association, founded in 1994 by Westminster Coach Mason Goodhand and the lacrosse community, got a final push in 2015 when a four-member committee of Craig Morris, Renee Tribe, Brian Barnhill and Brae Burbidge led the charge to show the growth of the sport and the ability to develop and maintain high school programs statewide. “We walked out of a meeting with the UHSAA (Utah High School Activities Association in May 2017) where it was decided that lacrosse would be added as a sanctioned sport and we all looked at ourselves and asked, ‘Did that just happen?’” Morris said. “We were not expecting it to happen that day so we just stood there pretty shocked. It’s been pretty cool to see the quality rise in the game here that has far surpassed my expectations. We are producing a lot of talent in this state and colleges have taken notice and the sanctioning process will only get Utah more on the radar.” When the initial announcement was made two years ago, UHSAA Executive Director Rob Cuff acknowledged the efforts and patience of those within the lacrosse community. “I want to really reach out and thank the lacrosse community for how they’ve handled all the discussions,” Cuff said. “We knew it was going to come on, but it was just a matter of time.” The UHSAA’s Jon Oglesby said lacrosse was added because of the “interest and

Page 30 | September 2019

preparation of the member districts” throughout the process. “The process of adding lacrosse and getting it ready for competition in the spring of 2020 has been a collaborative process that has included the efforts of many school districts, administrators, coaches and lacrosse aficionados,” Oglesby said. “The UHSAA Board of Trustees is excited to see these student athletes get a chance to compete under the UHSAA umbrella.” Morris moved to Utah from New York more than 25 years ago after playing lacrosse in college and quickly became an integral part of the growth of the sport as he assisted Goodhand in the development of the ULA while he became the lacrosse coach and athletic director at Waterford School in Sandy. In 2003, approximately 300 players competed in programs with that number up to 1,800 athletes in just six years. Currently, close to 4,000 players are involved in lacrosse statewide. Herriman High girls lacrosse coach Wes Allen said it has been exciting to watch the sport take off over the last several years. “At times it has also been overwhelming because we haven’t had the availability of resources needed to support such an accelerated growth pattern,” he said. “Every year we’ve watched lacrosse grow more and more into a mainstream sport here in Utah and we’ve gone from playing high school games on the fields of elementary schools not even in our hometowns to now playing on our own high school fields and sometimes even in the stadiums.” Being a sanctioned sport—as opposed to a club at the high school level—means more to the programs than just a different status

around campus. Funding is now available through the schools that will include transportation, equipment, coach salaries, referee payments and league fees which will ease the financial burden that had been solely the responsibility of parents and athletes. “It will be nice for the players to be recognized more for what they do now that it’s an official sport in the schools,” former East High boys lacrosse coach Peter Idstrom said. “It’s been in the works for a long time, and it is just huge now to get the access that was lacking before.” With these changes, lacrosse players will now be held to the same academic standards, school boundary restrictions and region competitive structures that the other 10 sanctioned sports adhere to. This season, all sports will be using the Ratings Percentage Index system to include all teams in the state playoffs. Using that RPI, current plans are for lacrosse are the top seeds will compete in the “A” division at the state tournament while the bottom teams will be in the “B” division at the end of their 16game season, but that is still to be determined at the UHSAA meeting in August. The 28 lacrosse teams currently slated to compete statewide will comprise four regions throughout one single class. Region 1 includes Bear River, Box Elder, Green Canyon, Logan, Mountain Crest, Ridgeline and Sky View. Region 2 is made up of East, Highland, Judge Memorial, Olympus, Park City, Skyline and West. Bingham, Copper Hills, Herriman, Mountain Ridge, Riverton, Waterford and West Jordan comprise Region 3 while Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Jordan, Juan Di-

ego, Timpview and Wasatch are the teams in Region 4 this season. Following this inaugural year, two classifications will be made based on the results of this season. More teams will be added in year two as some teams in the Alpine, Davis and Weber School districts will secure arrangements to be ready for the 2021 spring season. “This was a full community effort from every program out there,” Morris said. “It has taken a lot of time from those of us who have cared about it deeply. It’s just icing on the cake and been so exciting to see it get to the finish line.” Allen said the trajectory of the sport will only continue upward in Utah as it begins its first season as a sanctioned sport. “We’ve become a hot spot for recruiting and this will only help to increase the visibility which will hopefully bring in new players from the youth through the high school programs,” he said. Dan Dugan, president of the Intermountain Lacrosse Association—a newer organization formed from the now absolved ULA—said there is reserve money that had been set aside for “strategic growth with the intent to help build new teams and new programs.” The Mountain West Lacrosse Foundation was created with charge over those funds and a grant process will begin this fall for teams that would like to apply for assistance for their programs. Information will be updated as details are available at www.imlawutah.org. l

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Take Your Best Shot


’m stating right up front I hate vaccinations. I’m not an anti-vaxxer, I’m just more afraid of getting a tetanus shot than dying a horribly painful death. My dad scarred me for life when he told me to avoid petting strange dogs. I didn’t know what made them strange, but he went on to explain how dogs have rabies and if you get bit, you get a great big shot in your stomach - or you die. #OldYeller That was enough to scare me away from dogs for at least 40 years. The neighbors got tired of me screaming every time their dog barked. And it made me terrified of shots. My mom did her part when it came to scaring the DiSeases out of me in regards to vaccinations. She showed up at school one day to give me a ride home, which should have been my first clue. Mom never drove us to or from school, even in the snow, even in the rain, even when we were late, even when stupid boys threw earthworms at us. But there she was, in the pick-up line with a big smile on her face (second clue). “Why are you here?” I asked, suspiciously. “We’re going to get a treat,” she said, all innocent and everything. “Super!” As soon as I was in the car, we drove to my doctor’s office where he proceeded to give me an MMR booster. There are no words.


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