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April 2017 | Vol. 17 Iss. 04




Residents pack into the West Jordan city council chambers on Feb. 22. Residents voiced their opinions about a ballot measure that could have changed the city’s form of government during a public hearing at the meeting. (Tori La Rue/ City Journals)

“If we are going to go through the exercise of putting it on the ballot, then my belief is we should do it better, so the residents of our community have the information to be able to make a vote.”

“I think Resolution 17-28 is probably better than Resolution 17-18, but I think they are both so messed up that I need an opportunity to rescind, not to approve, so we’ll take that up another time,” Councilman Zach Jacob said. Councilman Chad Nichols and Jacob motioned to rescind 17-18 at the March 8 council meeting. The vote passed 4-1 in favor, with Councilman Dirk Burton casting the negative vote, Mayor Kim Rolfe abstaining and Councilman Jeff Haaga excusing himself because of a “conflict of interest.”

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Even though the ballot question, which posed a change to the strong mayor form, is no longer set for the November, Nichols said it’s important for the city to continue the change of government discussion. “We have welcomed this giant into the city,” he said. “People are anxious and want to talk about it. If we find out only 15 people want a change, and that’s it, then we won’t put anything on the ballot. If we have 20, 30, 40 and then hundreds of people interested in a change, maybe it’s time.”


est Jordan revoked a change of government question set for November’s ballot, but the discussion on the issue will continue— this time likely allowing residents more say in the debate. In West Jordan’s current government form, the council–manager government form, the elected seven-member city council constitutes the legislative branch of the city. The mayor acts as chair of the council, with an appointed city manager acting as the CEO of the city. On Jan. 25, the city council passed a resolution, Resolution 17-18, that would have posed a change from the current form of government to the council–mayor form, colloquially called the strong mayor form. The council–mayor government breaks the mayor away from the legislative branch and places him at the head of the executive branch. No one spoke in favor of the resolution or the council–mayor form of government at the hourlong public hearing during the Feb. 22 city council meeting. Instead, residents asked for more time and education on the subject. After another public hearing with similar responses on March 8, the city council rescinded the resolution, taking the question off the ballot. The council also approved the creation of a resident committee that will advise the council on what type of government residents support. “If we are going to go through the exercise of putting it on the ballot, then my belief is we should do it better, so the residents of our community have the information to be able to make a vote,” Councilman Alan Anderson said at the March 8 meeting. Anderson tried to amend the ballot question resolution during the Feb. 22 meeting to allow nearly five more months of resident discussion. His proposed amendment, Resolution 17-28, would have allowed the city council to make changes to the ballot question up to Aug. 13, but it failed to gain the majority vote. Several council members expressed their desires to rescind the ballot question entirely and start over.

Jacob made a motion to create a resident committee to study all the municipal forms of government available, seek input from fellow residents and present findings to the council. The motion passed 5-0, with Rolfe and Haaga abstaining. The committee will have seven to nine members and will not include any voting members from the city council. The city council will appoint these members by April 26. Councilman Chris McConnehey also encouraged the city to host town hall meetings and open houses where residents could voice their opinions on the city’s government form while learning about the other municipal government forms in Utah. Besides the council–manager and council– mayor forms of government, Utah law outlines three other kids of municipal governments: the six-member council, five-member council and charter government forms. A charter government would allow the city to build its own form of government. In the five- and six-member council forms, the mayor is the CEO of the city and chairperson of the council, and responsibilities may be added or subtracted from the mayor’s job description by a vote of the council. One reason the Resolution 17-18 ballot measure was criticized by residents and Nichols, McConnehey and Jacob was because it included only two government options. It allowed residents to choose between their current form and the council–mayor form but disregarded the other forms on Utah books. “Let’s let (residents) have all of the choices, and not just make the first half of the choice for them,” Jacob said. The newly approved resident committee will study the pros and cons of all available government forms and present findings to the council. Residents who are not on the committee are encouraged to voice their opinions during the public comments segment at the city council meetings. 

West Jordan family welcomes refugees. . Justice Center named after fallen officer. Pink shirts teach big lessons . . . . . . . . Intent letters signed at West Jordan . . .

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PAGE 2 | APRIL 2017


5600 West widening: a worthwhile hassle By Natalie Conforto | The West Jordan City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout West Jordan. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

The West Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott EDITOR: Tori La Rue ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen 801-897-5231 Steve Hession 801-433-8051 Josh Ragsdale 801-824-9854 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Tina Falk Ty Gorton West Jordan Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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simple T-intersection in the Oaks neighborhood in West Jordan has been a source of dread, annoyance, and frustration for more than a decade. Local drivers know that if they have to be at 8200 South and 5600 West any time during the morning or afternoon school rush or evening work rush, they’re going to be waiting. Many opt to take the long way around to avoid the intersection. When heavy construction equipment arrived at the site in February of this year, residents were jubilant. Even though road construction will cause longer wait times at the intersection for now, people who live in the area are willing to deal with the temporary hassle. “I don’t mind the construction on 5600 West,” said Anne Forester, who lives in the area. “I think having a light will make that area safer. With so much growth happening out here, we need to keep up by expanding roads and accommodating for more traffic.” Bearing the brunt of the road-widening project are the crossing guards, who deal with impatient drivers at 8200 South and 5600 West several times each day to assist children attending West Hills Middle, Copper Hills High, Fox Hollow Elementary, Hayden Peak Elementary and Ascent Academy. Cindy Jacobsen, who supervises the 82 crossing guards in West Jordan, commented on how difficult it has been for the school kids and the crossing guards to maneuver around the construction vehicles that have been obstructing their usual path. She praised her guards for going above and beyond to keep the kids safe through this transition, even on icy, snowy and muddy days. “My guards are awesome,” Jacobsen said. “They have been walking the kids up and around the equipment. You need to keep in mind that they’ve got children all over the place there.” Amber Ford, one of the orange-clad heroes at this intersection welcomes the construction project.

Tractors and heavy machinery have been stationed at the construction site at 5600 West and 8200 South, obstructing paths of pedestrians and crossing guards. (Natalie Conforto/City Journals)

“I agree with the decision to widen the road and add a light,” she said. “Every morning and afternoon, while I am working, there is heavy traffic. Also, the traffic along 5600 West has continued to increase since the road was opened up to the north. I think a wider road, along with a light, would help to alleviate these problems.” However, some still have misgivings about the construction. Many residents attended UDOT’s public open house on Feb. 23 at West Hills Elementary to find out more about the proposed changes and voice their concerns. Some worried about the easement, which will encroach onto the back park strip areas of east-facing properties on the east side of 5600 West. Any improvements to the park strip made by residents will be lost. UDOT representatives explained that this was necessary in order to widen the road to the required five lanes. Others asked if there will still be crossing guards at the intersection now that a signal light will be directing traffic. UDOT officials did not know the answer, as the West Jordan Police Department manages the crossing guards. Jacobsen trusts that the crossing guards will stay at the intersection, even with the signal light. “There are no intentions of removing the crossing guards,” Jacobsen said. If residents ask for a new guard post, she

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appeals to her lieutenant, who in turn appeals to the police chief for the final decision to increase the budget for additional guards. But, since guards are already in place at 8200 South and 5600 West, the budget won’t be affected if they remain there. “I believe that they’re desperately needed there just because of the traffic,” Jacobsen said. “It’s much better to have the guard there to help control some of that and to keep the kids at bay.” Jacobsen cited other “controlled crossings” in West Jordan that have crossing guards along with signal lights, including 7000 South and 3200 West. Because the city already supports controlled crossings, she is confident that the new signal light will also become a controlled crossings. A wider road can lead to faster traffic, and more danger to pedestrians. Some parents are still apprehensive about their children walking across a five-lane street—even with a crossing guard. Nicole Barnett, who drives through this intersection every school day with her children, is both excited and wary about the new road. “As a driver, it will be so much easier to turn left (north) onto 56th West, but I still won’t have my kids cross the street,” she said. Barnett will continue to drive her kids to and from school, and they will all soon enjoy a much smoother ride. 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 3


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PAGE 4 | APRIL 2017


West Jordan family welcomes refugees


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eylo (name has been changed) is from Somalia. She arrived here three months ago with her six children under the age of 14, and they are still waiting for her husband to get permission to come. While she struggles to learn English and navigate school for her children, she is sending over any money she earns from her custodial job to her husband so he can join them in the United States. Leylo is one of the 1,150 refugees the United Way estimates arrives in Utah every year. After waiting in refugee camps for years, the lucky few are able to travel to the United States, often becoming separated from family members. For mother and son, Amy and Trevor Beaumont of West Jordan, saying they want to do something to help these refugees is more than just lip service. They found a way to give valuable assistance, and they are doing it regularly. Trevor and Amy each spend five to seven hours per week teaching English classes to people who have recently arrived in the United States who must learn English in order to work and provide for themselves and their families. English language skills—skills the Beaumonts already possess without even thinking about it—are vital skills that will empower refugees to make their way in their new surroundings. Amy had been searching for ways to help refugees for months while listening to daily BBC news stories about their plight. Trevor witnessed thousands of Eastern European refugees fleeing to Hungary, where he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and said he wished he could help them as he

Trevor Beaumont stands with his students. He said, “We can joke and laugh together often, and everyone feels uplifted after class.” (Trevor Beaumont)

an educational background. Trying to teach the function of the parts of speech in the English language would be ineffective, seeing that they may not understand it in their own language. The most important qualification to be a volunteer is to be able to speak English.” Trevor teaches an English Life Skills class at a school near his home, and Amy teaches an intermediate English course at an apartment complex. Each class meets twice per week for 90 minutes, plus about 45 minutes of prep time for the teachers. Both Beaumonts said they feel

“They are such good people. Some of them have had really hard lives, but they are so positive and so loving. They work really hard.” passed them in train stations and saw nobility and kindness among them. He said he surmised that they had no control over their situation and were only seeking a better life, as any American would do. Once he was back home, Trevor resolved to do something. He found the English Skills Learning Center in Salt Lake City, which provides free English lessons in many areas throughout the city. Classes are offered at various times during the week, so he knew he could find teaching times that would work with his schedule. He and his mother signed up with the ESLC, completed the 12-hour training and got to work. “You don’t need any kind of teaching degree to teach English with this program—just a desire to help,” Amy said, adding that the ESLC provides all the training and materials needed. Trevor said he never has to bring up grammar points like nouns, verbs and adjectives, because “many of these refugees do not have

the effort is worth their time and enriches their own lives. “I love it,” Amy said. “I know what I am doing is important, and it is making a difference.” Trevor feels that although he doesn’t earn any money for teaching, he is being well paid. “The biggest reward for volunteering is happiness,” he said. “I full-heartedly believe that true happiness is not found while focusing on ourselves but rather while focusing on others.” Both Beaumonts have connected with the individuals in their classes. They found that the students are earnest and eager learners—of English and anything they can learn to make life better for their families. Trevor said he is impressed by the positivity many of the refugees exude after enduring so much hardship. Both teachers have found that their lessons are filled with laughter, joking and goodwill between students of many nationalities who are all trying to integrate into American culture and

apply for citizenship. “Seeing their dedication and efforts, and their love for our country makes me want to be a better person and a better American.” Amy said. Trevor and Amy’s classes are made up of people from Africa, Venezuela, Iran, China, Mexico, Vietnam, Burma and Pakistan. The Beaumonts shared some of their students’ stories. “I have a student who is one of the most hard-working and selfless people I have met,” Trevor said. “He has been in America for six months. He is married with no kids, and his wife lives here with him. He wakes up and gets going every morning at 4:00. He works a full-time job and on top of that he volunteers every day at a kitchen for homeless people. He is very friendly with everyone and just always expresses love to others. He’s really an incredible person.” Another student lives with relatives while her husband and children remain in her home country. She has been here for 10 months and is always hoping and praying that her family will be able to join her here. She’s a proud mother and is always talking about her kids; one is a software engineer, and the other is a university student. “You can tell by talking with her how much her life revolves around her family and how much she misses them,” Trevor said. “She Skypes with them daily.” Amy is glad for the chance to help these refugees. “They are such good people,” she said. “Some of them have had really hard lives, but they are so positive and so loving. They work really hard.” The English Skills Learning Center offers several training sessions throughout the year. Go to to get involved. 



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 5

Teen uses her crown and sash to help others By Jet Burnham |


atalie Stratton, a junior at Taylorsville High School, has a zest for life that keeps her constantly trying new things, from crafts to sports. Busy as she is, service is always at the top of her to-do list. “I love doing service for people. It is my happy place,” she said. She has always loved giving away things she’s made to others and doing acts of service anonymously. To widen her opportunities to help others, she recently began participating in service-based pageants representing the Taylorsville/ West Jordan area. For her platform, she chose to focus on mental health Natalie Stratton uses her awareness and suicide prevention. position of pageant winner “I thought if I could get more to educate the public about word out there, we could stop some of suicide prevention. (Cheryl these things from happening to kids; Stratton) it doesn’t need to happen,” she said. Stratton’s platform was inspired by personal experience. Five years ago, she rescued a good friend from a botched suicide attempt. Just two months later, there was a very public suicide by a fellow Bennion Junior High student. Stratton said she hadn’t known how to help her friends, so she learned the warning signs of suicide and completed certification

for a program called QPR (Question Persuade Refer) at www. The confident Stratton enjoys public speaking. Because of her pageant titles, she has been able to reach more students, speaking at schools and community events. “If you have a crown and a sash, it opens doors for you,” said her mother, Cheryl Stratton. “It was really great to get out there and share my story and have people understand it’s a serious thing that they need to address now, or it’s going to only get worse,” Stratton said. In just one year, Stratton has participated in several pageants, many with a focus on service, such as Crowns for Cause, where all proceeds were donated to pay the medical bills of someone living with MS. She also volunteered at the Miss Amazing Pageant, held for girls and women with disabilities. Stratton won the Regal Majesty Utah County Preliminary Pageant but won’t make it to the state competition because of scheduling conflicts. It’s no surprise considering her schedule. Stratton does, well—everything. She spins yarn, knits and crochets, makes bobbin lace, tats, blacksmiths and welds. At school, she is in Graces (the competitive girls’ choir), honors choir and concert choir. As a junior, Stratton is a half credit away from graduating by taking online classes during the summer. She also plays the guitar, ukulele, piano, takes voice lessons and dances with a performing hula group. She has participated in various sports—cheerleading, soccer,

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volleyball, gymnastics—and in theatrical plays at school and in the community. “She’s a full-time job on Saturday,” said her mother. “My schedule is very delicately balanced,” Stratton admitted. Stratton’s goal is to become a civil engineer. “I want to build things and make things with my hands,” she said. Combining her love of service, working for a cause and using her hands, Stratton is currently preparing for a humanitarian aid trip. This summer, she will help build the first Safe House for abused women and children in Cochabamba, Bolivia. “It’s been such an amazing experience getting ready for it that I can’t imagine how amazing it’s going to be to finally get to go there,” said Stratton. The two-and-a-half-week trip is costly for a junior who recently had to quit her job coaching gymnastics and whose father is a school teacher While fundraising efforts have not been very successful, (one was cancelled due to an attempted suicide by a classmate who was planning to help), Stratton was fortunate to find a donor. Remaining costs are related to plane tickets and extra baggage fees for donations she’d like to take with her. She continues to request donations via her GoFundMe page, https:// “I have found that serving other people is the best way to forget about yourself,” said Stratton, who hopes to blog about her journey and inspire others to seek opportunities to give service. 


PAGE 6 | APRIL 2017

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I Love West Jordan Day planned for April By Natalie Conforto |

West Jordan residents showed their city pride as they planted trees in 2016. (Reed Scharman)


nown as Comcast Cares Day in the past, I Love West Jordan Day on April 29 will be the fifth annual citywide service project in West Jordan. Organizers are planning cleanups in several areas throughout the city, including two main projects at Vista West Park (9120 South 3780 West). Vista West Park is an existing park that receives regular maintenance but could use a little extra TLC, according to the city Event Manager Ashleigh O’Connor. Volunteers will clean out dry washes and storm drains, lay 1,500 square feet of sod and plant 30 trees. Shovels and trimmers will be available for volunteers to use that day, but participants are encouraged to bring work gloves. “Come with gloves and a smiling face, and we’ll take you,” O’Connor said. To get involved or sign up your group, email ashleigho@ The event changed its name because Comcast will be concentrating on other cities this year. The company plans to sponsor cleanup efforts in every city on the Wasatch Front. “We will not be hosting a project in West Jordan City this year, but hope to partner with the city on Comcast Cares Day again in the near future,” Deneiva Knight, of Comcast, stated. “West Jordan City has been a great community partner.” Knight reported that 1,083 West Jordan volunteers participated in 2016 and that West Jordan received more than $20,000 in grants for joining the effort. However, since this day of service has become a well-established tradition in West Jordan, West Jordan City has taken over the reins, and changed the name to I Love West Jordan Day for 2017. Even with the name change, organizers are confident that I Love West Jordan Day will be well attended because residents here like to serve. Those who have participated enjoyed helping, and they tend to come back. The numbers who attend have actually increased year after year. Comcast Regional Director of Project Management Miles Jensen lives in West Jordan, and he expressed his

Comcast Cares Day at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in West Jordan 2016 (Dirk Burton)

pride for his town. “The Comcast Utah market is one of the smaller markets across the company, but we have always led the way in the number of volunteers that participate in these community service activities,” he said. “I love being able to say that I live in a place where everyone loves to serve one another, and that’s demonstrated by how many people show up to these events every year, rain or shine.” In past years, volunteers at Comcast Cares Day concentrated on beautifying schools inside and out. Jensen and his family planted trees and shrubs at an elementary school last year. “It turned an older school into a nice-looking establishment,” Jensen said. “Not only was it amazing to work alongside my neighbors and fellow West Jordan-ites, but it also made me happy to know that we were making a difference the employees and kids at this school.” Kenny Frederick, who volunteered at Sunset Ridge Middle School, recalls washing desks. “It was fun,” he said. “I spent an hour to two hours tops, and I got a free shirt and Little Caesar’s pizza.” Others planted flowers outside the school and pulled weeds. Anne Forester helped at Veteran’s Memorial Park planting trees. She enjoyed meeting new people and working together to beautify and improve her city. “I love living in West Jordan, and it’s nice to see its residents care about where they live and that they want to make a difference in the community,” Forester said. While the volunteers are giving back with service, I Love West Jordan Day’s organizers plan to give back to them again by providing breakfast and T-shirts, secured by several local corporate sponsorships. All volunteers should meet at Vista West Park at 8 a.m. on April 29. Breakfast will be served at the park, and then participants will disperse to various projects throughout the city. Further details are available at the new city website, 



French films receive a chic critique at the Viridian By Natalie Conforto |

Mira, Ella and Matthew Barnett pose with a movie schedule. They attended all the French movie screenings held at the Viridian from January to April. (Nicole Barnett)

Fox Hollow Dual Language Immersion students pose next to the movie poster for “Eleanor’s Secret.” (Natalie Conforto/City Journals)


onjour” is about as far as most Americans can get in French, but a growing group of West Jordan residents is expanding their horizons. January through April of this year, the Viridian Event Center hosted viewers who enjoyed full-length, feature films in French. Most of those who understood without subtitles were 12 and under. The Utah Film Center, which seeks to “promote a diversity of ideas and develop new audiences for film,” kicked off 2017 by offering a series of four animated French films for children through its Tumbleweeds program. Families enrolled in French immersion programs were especially thrilled. They said they appreciated that the county’s West Jordan Library recognized there would be in interest in French cinema because of the dual language immersion program housed in four schools in the valley. “I’m glad we could come,” sixth-grader Whitney Cheney said. “I understood everything, and I like the free popcorn.” Emillia Fuller, a Fox Hollow mom, said she is grateful that the center offered this resource to complement what her kids were learning at school. While her school-age French immersion students were able to keep up with the movie plots in French, her younger children came along as well so they could start getting an ear for the language. They also managed to understand the films. “It’s a nice change from Disney because you get more of the culture. I hope they keep doing this,” Fuller said. “The French movies are more mysterious than American movies,” Ryleigh said. “They talk a lot faster and don’t articulate like our teachers. Sometimes it’s harder for us to understand because we’re used to our French teachers’ voices.” At first, it was difficult for the children to comprehend what was happening in the films, and they struggled to read the subtitles, but as the movies went on, they realized that they didn’t have to read anymore—they were understanding the French. On the other hand, first-grader Matthew Barnett saw

the subtitles as a welcome challenge. “They help me read,” he said. Many of the attendees at the screenings were families from French immersion schools, including Fox Hollow in West Jordan, Diamond Ridge in West Valley, Butler Elementary in Cottonwood Heights and Oak Hollow in Draper. Several families in the crowd said they read about it on their school Facebook pages. There were also some native French speakers who learned of the film series through the French Alliance. The audiences for the screenings have grown each time, as the word has spread over social media about this extracurricular opportunity to learn more French. Fourth-grader Mira Barnett said the films were “cool because they aren’t like movies you see in theaters,” while her older sister Ella thought they were “fun and creative.” “Zarafa,” January’s offering, told the tall tale of France’s first zoo giraffe arriving via hot air balloon. “April and the Extraordinary World,” shown in February, was set in an alternate steampunk universe that used the Eiffel Tower as a power source. “Eleanor’s Secret,” presented in March, followed a boy through an imaginative adventure of learning to read, guided by fairytale characters come-to-life. The final film in the French series, “A Cat in Paris,” will be shown on April 3. Hopefully it will live up to the common thread found by first-grader Hali Sims. “I like how all the French movies have happy endings,” she said. Tumbleweeds offers monthly children’s film screenings at the Viridian Event Center the first Monday of each month at 4 p.m. Visit to find out what they’ll be showing next. The Utah Film Center brings ongoing free movie screenings to many venues throughout the state, including Salt Lake City, Logan, Moab, Ogden, Orem, Park City and West Jordan. 

The Utah Film Center seeks to promote a diversity of ideas and develop new audiences for film.

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 7


PAGE 8 | APRIL 2017


West Jordan resident recognized for 15 years of municipal service

Charity, police benefit from UDOT’s home acquisitions

By Briana Kelley |

By Tori La Rue |


hen residents and others attend South Jordan City Council meetings, they may or may not notice the individual to the side of the city council, rapidly taking notes and conducting roll call votes when necessary. Her name is MaryAnn Dean. Dean was recently recognized for 15 years of service to the city, a momentous milestone according to South Jordan’s City Manager Gary Whatcott. Dean works as the city council secretary and is responsible for attending city council meetings, acting as recorder during those meetings and transcribing the meeting. “MaryAnn has been here a long time—15 years,” Whatcott said. “She’s just a delight to work with and as a person as well, and we love her. We hope she stays forever—at least as long as she wants.” Utah law requires that written minutes be taken and kept of all public meetings and are available to the public. Dean is responsible for transcribing the often lengthy discussions that occur, as well as clarifying certain procedures. “My job can be very helpful for the residents who wish to keep track of issues in the city,” Dean said. “It gives them a clear record of the discussion and votes taken on all issues.” Dean’s favorite thing to be a part of during city council meetings are youth visits and recognition for their efforts. This includes high school teams and clubs and winners of art or essay contests. “I also love to see the parents’ beaming faces, so proud of their kids,” Dean said. “I love to see the Youth Council in action, and it gives me such hope for a bright future. I also love it when the police and fire department are recognized for an event that saved someone’s life. I like the feel-good moments and to be reminded of all the good in the world.” One of the most challenging things about her job is how late council meetings can go. It is also hard to relive a long and difficult meeting over again as she transcribes it. Dean grew up in the South Jordan area and is a proud graduate of Bingham High School. She began working for the city in 1997 in her first job post-graduation. “So much has changed since I started working for the city,” Dean said. “The River Park development was just beginning. There was no Daybreak. There was no District. The City Hall is now in a different building. South Jordan was a quiet, rural community. It was known as life off the fast lane, and it truly was.”

When not at work, MaryAnn Dean is with her family. “My hobbies and interests currently are completely consumed by my family, particularly my children, and their various activities. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Dean said. (MaryAnn Dean/South Jordan City)

However, Dean said the thing that has remained constant is the good family values in the city and the pride people have in their city. “There is a sense of community here, and people are educated and passionate about their issues,” Dean said. “I am always impressed by the presentations given by neighborhoods on issues.” Dean has also enjoyed working with many elected officials over the years. She said, though they come with different personalities, points of view, strengths and expertise, they consistently have a deep love for the city and the residents and a genuine desire to serve and make the city better. One of Dean’s biggest highlights in her 15 years of working was when the Bingham High football team came in one year after winning the state championship and performed a Haka. “I also love it when a scout goes up to the microphone with a shaky voice and a prepared speech, pleading his case with the city council,” Dean added. “I love the moment you can see in their eye that it clicks. They get it. This is how change happens—this is how you make a difference.” Dean currently lives in West Jordan with her husband Brian and three children. “The greatest lesson I have learned while working for South Jordan City is that if you want to make a difference in the world, it starts with yourself and your family, your neighborhood, your schools, your local community,” Dean said. “That is where the greatest impact for good is made.” 

“She’s just a delight to work with…and we love her. We hope she stays forever—at least as long as she wants.”

The Utah Department of Transportation has allowed Unified Police Department and other public safety organizations to use homes acquired through eminent domain, like this one, in training exercises. Because these homes will be destroyed to make room for Bangerter Highway, the officers are sometimes permitted to break down doors, windows or garages in the trainings. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)


ocal police and charity organizations are doing what they can to salvage one last use from the vacant houses along Bangerter Highway that will be demolished to make way for freeway-style interchanges. The Utah Department of Transportation claimed 96 homes and two businesses through eminent domain to create the interchanges at Bangerter’s 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 11400 South intersections. UDOT considers property acquisitions as a last resort, but they were necessary in this situation for less restricted travel on the west side of the county, according to UDOT spokesman John Gleason. To make the most of the home acquisitions, UDOT formed partnerships with local police departments, allowing the officers to use the houses from training purposes, and Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, allowing the charity to glean household artifacts. “There is a lot of service that these types of properties can provide even though they will eventually be demolished,” Gleason said. “Our goal would be to make those available for the people who can really benefit from them.” Gathering doors, light fixtures, cabinets and other items from vacant homes became a full-time job for Layne Burrows, with Habitat for Humanity, when UDOT started its Bangerter acquisition process. Burrows’ job title even changed from “assistant store manager” to “harvesting manager” to more appropriately define his daily responsibility of salvaging home parts for redistribution. “We used to only look at houses on Tuesday and Wednesday,” Burrows said about collecting items from nearly 100 homes along Bangerter Highway. “We’d work on maybe five to 10 homes at a time, but this is on a new scale,” Every day, Burrows and his occasional team of volunteers collect anything on the exterior or interior of a house that they can sell at Habitat’s “Restore,” where used appliances, architectural items, cabinets, countertops, lights, fans, flooring, windows, plumbing materials and other used items are sold at a discount. The Restore is a major

source of revenue for Habitat, which allows group members to build and repair homes for low-income families in Salt Lake County. “This saves the landfill, it gives people opportunities to purchase home finishes they couldn’t otherwise afford and improves the life of those who were are able to make houses for,” Burrows said. “It is literally recycling to the best ability. We are so grateful for our partnership with UDOT.” Public safety entities also partner with UDOT to use the vacant homes for training opportunities. Unified Police Department Sgt. Brady Cottam said his department uses the homes and businesses to practice team movements, rapid response training and incident response. “We’ll practice the way we do a search warrant or how we would handle a call at that location if there was a domestic dispute gone bad,” Cottam said. “We can practice these things in a real-life setting—in a place where it’s actually OK to break down the doors and windows.” UDOT and UPD’s partnership for using acquired homes has been in place for 15 to 20 years, but Cottam said the Bangerter homes, some less than seven years old, have given the officers new experiences. “Usually the house that we train in are old meth houses, but these are some of the nicest homes we’ve ever trained in,” he said. “It’s good to be able to train in some new construction to see what our teams would do if they needed to get inside these houses.” The Bangerter project has also given the Unified Police Department more opportunities to train on-site than in the past. Usually, UPD trains in one of UDOT’s acquisitions once per year, Cottam said. The Bangerter project has allowed those training sessions to be more frequent. “Using vacant houses has turned out to be one of the best things for us in our training,” Cottam said. “We’ve gone to training sites that have charged us, but this is a place to practice in our own community for free. It’s an invaluable experience for us.” 



Public works building to bring safety, efficiency to West Jordan By Tori La Rue |


he groundbreaking for a new $26.5 million public works building on Feb. 16 was a “manifestation of hope” for Justin Rayl and other public works employees, Rayl said. “When I was hired on in ‘99, we had already outgrown the building at that point,” he said. “We talked about the need for a new design for almost a decade, and it’s like this is the hope saying we can move forward.” Until construction is finished on the new public works facility at 7960 S. 4000 West in approximately 14 months, Rayl and dozens of other public works employees will continue to provide utilities to more than 28,000 homes and businesses, clean 160 miles of storm drain line, maintain 328 miles of sewer line and sweep 860 lane miles of roadway using the old building as their primary hub. That hub was built in 1986 when the city had a population of around

Mayor Kim Rolfe speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for West Jordan’s new public works facility on Feb. 16. (West Jordan City)

35,500, about one-third of today’s 110,000. “We don’t spend that much time in the building, but my equipment needs a place to reside that is properly adequate for its needs, and we don’t have that,” said Rayl, the wastewater operations supervisor. “I can’t meet the needs of a growing city now, but this new facility and will really make that possible.” Rayl and nearly 50 other public works employees celebrated the new building by taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony. Only 19 participants lifted the dirt with shovels in the ceremony, but other employees, all smiles—even in the below-freezing temperatures—gathered behind them to pose for city photographs. Public Works director Wendell Rigby said residents might not understand the need for the new building because they don’t see how public operates from day to day, but he assured those present at the groundbreaking ceremony that the new facility was long overdue and would enable the employees to be more efficient in their work that affects all West Jordan residents. Public works is responsible for storing

and maintaining 450 vehicles, including street sweepers, vacuum trucks, plow trucks, police vehicles, fire trucks and other automobiles. “I am amazed at how the staff is able to park (the vehicles) in the building,” Rigby said. “They back them around and pull them in between all these supports. I am surprised we don’t have more damage to the vehicles.” Within the past two years, city officials have spent more than $3.65 million to purchase city vehicles and an additional $713,00 on police vehicle rentals. The new public works building will provide more room and practical parking space to accommodate the new fleet. This will allow public works employees to respond to snowstorms, waterline breaks or other pressing matters more quickly, Mayor Kim Rolfe said. The new facility is being built on the site of the old facility, and the 10 acres of city-owned land that’s adjacent and to the north, bringing the full site of the facility up to 17 acres. The old building will remain operational while the new building is under construction. The city council selected this site because it was the cheapest real estate option. The 10 acres to the north used to contain two soccer fields as part of the West Jordan Youth Soccer Complex. The parks department is opening two fields that were intended to be closed for maintenance to allow the same amount of soccer to be played within the city. City leaders eventually plan to create more soccer fields at Ron Wood Park. In addition to having inadequate space, the old building presents daily safety and sanitation hazards. In his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Rigby mentioned the current facility’s unstable equipment, roof leaks, little space for salt storage, poor ventilation and nesting area for birds. “Although we have tried to keep the pigeon population down, they seem to always find a place to live, and so they drop their eggs and feathers and other things on the floors and on some of the employees,” he said. “The current building is well-used, but it is time to build a new building.” The building has two components: the $15 million main building, and $11.5 million accessory structures, including salt storage and a dump station, and is designed to last 50 years. Hogan Construction and JRCA Architects are working with the city to complete the project. “I have a pretty big car and it filled it four times. Those students are amazing,” Powell said. “I hope they gained an understanding of people and their needs in Africa and an awareness that service can be as easy as cleaning out their closets and finding items that others are in need of can be a blessing to many others.” 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 9

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West Jordan names justice center after fallen officer By Tori La Rue |


est Jordan changed the name of the West Jordan Justice Center to the Thomas M. Rees Justice Center on Feb. 23 in memory of the city’s first fallen officer. Lt. Travis Rees pulled a rope and watched as a black banner dropped, revealing his father’s name on the building in black capital lettering. The lieutenant followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming an officer in the West Jordan Police Department. “This day is an honor for my family—for my own personal family and my work family,” Travis Rees said. The elder Rees was shot in a training accident in 1986 as he and another officer were trying to demonstrate how suspects might attempt to take a gun away from an officer. The other officer’s pinky finger caught on the trigger of Rees’ revolver, sending a .38-caliber bullet through his chest. Rees was airlifted to the hospital but died two hours later, according to his Officer Down Memorial Page. “Anyone who has given the ultimate sacrifice to put their life on the line to protect us ought to be remembered,” West Jordan Councilman Zach Jacob said in the city council meeting where the council decided to rename the center. “They deserve all the recognition and honor that we could possibly dole out.” The city council voted on March 9, 2016 to change the justice center name, but waited until Feb. 23, the anniversary of Rees’ death and 50th anniversary of the police department, to officially rededicate the building.

West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond speaks at the renaming and rededication ceremony of the West Jordan Justice Center to the Thomas M. Rees Justice Center. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Tori Thacker, Lt. Travis Rees and Ciji Sampson pose for a picture after the unveiling of the justice center’s new name. The building was named after West Jordan fallen officer Thomas M. Rees, Thacker and Rees’ father and Sampson’s step-father. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Police officers and Rees’ family and friends gathered for the ceremony and listened as Lt. Bob Shober recounted memories of who was killed on duty. Shober called Thomas Rees his mentor and best friend. “The type of cop that Tom was, he was the type of cop that if you needed a major case solved, you wanted him to be in charge of that case, and if there was somebody that was outstanding or if you were looking for a suspect, you wanted Tom to find them,” he said. More than just being a good cop, Shober said Thomas Rees was a good person. Shober admired the kind of father Rees was and said he wanted to create a family atmosphere like Thomas Rees had. When Travis Rees told Shober he’d decided to become a police officer Shober said he was not surprised but said he was excited. “I still look at Travis every day—and (my wife) says the same thing—when we see Travis, we see Tom,” Shober said. “They are spitting images. They have the same characteristics;

they have the same instincts. Tom was a cop’s cop, and his son followed him.” Shober’s words were followed by remarks from Mayor pro tem Chris McConnehey and Judge Ronald Kunz. Chief Doug Diamond closed the ceremony, and guests were invited to tour the center. Thomas Rees’ family, the West Jordan Police Department and now the justice center will carry on Thomas Rees’ legacy. There couldn’t be a better way to commemorate West Jordan Police Department’s 50 years than to honor one of their own who sacrificed his life while serving to the community, Diamond said. “I appreciate that we are here together as a family of human beings to honor one officer but also to honor the family and this year to honor all of our officers and all of the men and women who serve in public safety,” Diamond said through tears. “I am sure (Thomas Rees) would rather be here today without his name on this building, but he was willing to make that sacrifice for our community.” 

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PAGE 12 | APRIL 2017


City councilman resigns months after controversial run-in with police By Tori La Rue |


eff Haaga resigned from the West Jordan City Council on March 20, eight months after a alleged drunken encounter with police in which he claimed he was “protected” because of his position as a councilman. Haaga cited “personal family matters” as his reason for resignation in a letter addressed to Mayor Kim Rolfe. “I appreciate Councilmember Haaga’s willingness to serve our city and wish him the best,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said in a preJeff Haaga resigned from the pared statement. West Jordan City Council on Former Mayor Melissa March 20. (Facebook) Johnson, several residents, Alliance for a Better Utah and others formally asked Haaga to resign in August after he was charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident, a Class C misdemeanor, on July 23. On July 19, Haaga had been involved in a hit-and-run crash at a local bar after which South Jordan police officers questioned him at his home. Witnesses at the scene said Haaga

was “visibly intoxicated” at the time of the crash, but officers said they did not issue a DUI because there was about an hour lapse in time between the crash and their questioning. Haaga pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident on Oct. 7 and was issued a $500 fine and 180 days of probation. Jail time, which could have been up to 90 days for this charge, was waived. Haaga missed four consecutive city council meetings in August and September, including the Aug. 10 meeting where several city councilmembers made a motion to censure him. The censure failed 3-2 because four votes are needed to pass a vote in a seven-member council. The city council passed an ordinance of ethical standards for elected officials effective Sept. 7. The standards outline behaviors that are inappropriate for council members and created a legal backbone to potentially remove noncompliant council members from office. Claims against Haaga’s actions prior to Sept. 7 could not be filed under this ordinance, but similar actions in the future can. Rolfe said the ethics ordinance was not aimed at Haaga but said he was hopeful it would help the city avoid conflicts in city government that landed West Jordan spots in news stories the past few years. “I think this will set the future to be more respective of individuals on the council and will stop some of the issues that

we have dealt with,” he said. “I don’t want to be specific with that, but this will resolve many of the concerns now because there is direction.” The city council accepted Haaga’s resignation at the March 22 city council meeting, and acknowledged that the city could move forward with appointing a new city council member to fill the vacancy for the remainder of Haaga’s term. “With so many great people living in our city, I’m confident we will find someone who will be able to effectively fill this position,” Rolfe said in a statement. Haaga served in an at large seat on the council since January 2014. This means he represented the city as a whole, not a particular district of the city. Those who are interested in filling the vacancy from now until January may submit a vacancy application in-person to city clerk Melanie Briggs. The appointed council member must be a registered voter, have resided in West Jordan for 12 consecutive months, currently live in West Jordan and meet other legal requirements. Appointed council members participate in an interview process during a public meeting and are selected by blind vote of the current council members. The appointed council member would fill Haaga’s former seat until January 2018. The council at-large positions are up for election in November. 

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Youth dancers compete to benefit hungry children By Tori La Rue |


he Will Dance For Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3 united 1,256 dance contenders ages 4 through 18 in a common goal: raising money for the Utah Food Bank. “It’s a whole different feel from most competitions because the dancers and the kids and the parents all really understand why they are here; we are all here to help feed hungry kids,” said Penny Broussard, founder and director of the Will Dance For Kids project. “It’s not such a competitive atmosphere. It’s more of an atmosphere of everyone working together for a bigger cause.” Between ticket admission sales, community and business donations, competition fees paid by studios and individual dancers and auction proceeds, the Will Dance For Food Competition raised $60,000 for the Utah Food Bank’s Kids Cafe and BackPack programs. The Kids Cafe program provides 1,900 meals to lowincome students at after-school sites on weekdays. The BackPack program provides backpacks full of food to students who might not otherwise have meals over the weekend. “Once I heard this competition would go to help kids who were less advantaged than me, I thought this would be really amazing to participate,” said 12-year-old hip-hop dancer Alexus Lewis from South Jordan. “I love these competitions, but I feel like if I could help someone, that would be really, really awesome.” Alexus’ solo hip-hop routine was one of the 600 routines adjudicated during the Will Dance for Food Competition. Although Alexus said she wanted to win the competition, she

There’s More to

Teen dancers perform their trio routine at the Will Dance for Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

said she also realized that just participating meant giving back to the community. Before Olivia Yates, a 12-year-old from Salt Lake City’s The Dance Project, entered the auditorium stage to perform her Broadway-style duo-dance called “Set Myself Free,” she stretched while reflecting on what the competition meant for her. “I like being on stage, but even more it’s cool to be doing my favorite thing while helping someone out,” she said. The 2017 competition was Olivia’s sixth time participating

in the Will Dance for Food Competition, which means she was one of the original participants. In the six years that the Will Dance for Kids Program and its Will Dance for Food Competition have been around, the Utah dance community has raised more than $250,000 for the Utah Food Bank. Because the Utah Food Bank can stretch its dollars, providing $7.81 cents of goods and services for every dollar of donations, Will Dance for Kids’ donations have generated nearly $2 million of goods and services to local, hungry children. Broussard, a Dance America Dance Hall of Famer and former owner of a Salt Lake City dance studio, said she chose the Utah Food Bank as the recipient charity of her Will Dance For Kids Project because of its efficiency with money. “I interviewed several different charities to decide, and the Utah Food Bank was the best,” Broussard said. “At the Utah Food Bank, 90 cents of every dollar goes to food, so the admin costs are miniscule. To me, there wasn’t another charity that even came close to helping kids, like the food bank did.” Broussard, who created Will Dance For Kids as a retirement project, said she’s continually amazed by the community support she sees for the project each year. It takes the coordination of dance teachers, Taylorsville High School representatives, parents, dancers and business sponsors to put the event together. “It really takes an army to do this, and we have great soldiers in every way,” Brouddard said. “Truly everyone just joins together in such a beautiful way to make this happen, and it’s a great feeling. I really get to see, at this point in my life with this project, the best part of everybody.” 

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High school students design wardrobe management app, win award By Tori La Rue |


ive high-school web designers from the Jordan Academy of Technology and Careers won “Best in State” for their wardrobe management app design that caters to the blind and visually impaired. “I never considered myself to be one of those super-smart people that could ever win something like this, so the thought that we could is amazing,” said award recipient Eric Evans, a senior. The app design originated with Taylor Dee. The junior, who considers herself to be ”all about clothes,” said she wanted to create an app that would help users mix and match their outfits and become more confident. One of Dee and Evan’s team members, senior Brandee Hick, is legally blind, so Dee suggested her team add an audio element to their app to accommodate people who have visual ailments. Brandee said she loved the idea, so the team got to work. “Getting ready is not a huge problem that blind people complain about, but this app is something that could help in our day to day,” Hick said. In just three weeks, Evans, Dee and Hick, along with classmates Kyle Christensen and Naomi Lundberg, designed “Pocket Closet,” the app that matches, organizes and recommends outfits. The app is also intended to track clothing articles from the hamper to the washing machine and back to the closet. It has a donation feature, which allows users to see

nearby locations they could donate the clothes they don’t wear often. Their design plan shows the app working as follows: Participants take pictures of clothing items, and the system gives a description of the article and suggests what could be worn with it. When enabled, the app’s “visually impaired” setting reads the information aloud. The app also has a setting that switches color labels from swatches to words, so those who are colorblind can make better use of the application. The five teens entered their design into the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, along with 1,800 other contestants, and won the Utah portion. Although they didn’t place in the national competition, Christensen said he was proud and shocked. “There are so many students in Utah who are so good at this kind of stuff, and it feels awesome to be honored like that,” he said, adding that he’s already added the award to his resume. “This kind of stuff will really help us out in the future with our school and jobs.” Verizon sent the students and their teacher, Melinda Mansouri, award certificates, a plaque and a 6-foot-by-4-foot banner congratulating them on their win. The students gawked at the size of the “Best in State” sign. “It’s almost big enough that I can read the wording on it,” Hick joked as she chuckled.

Kyle Christensen, a senior in the web design program at the Jordan Applied Technology Center, looks over the app design he created with four other classmates. The app won “Best in State” in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Kyle Christensen, Brandee Hick, Taylor Dee and Eric Evans pose for a picture by the banner Verizon sent them for winning “Best in State” in an app challenge. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

Word of their victory spread through their school and communities about the app, and folks are already asking the group how they can access “Pocket Closet.” The teens answer that people can’t yet. “This competition was just for the planning portion of the app—where you plan out what the app will be,” Mansouri said. “If you win the national competition, they send out IT programmers to help you create it. What will happen—because we didn’t get that far—is that during fourth quarter in April and May, my students will actually build the app.” The team of five plan to have their app in the app store by midto late-May. Mansouri said the sky was the limit when the group planned its apps but said the first prototype the students will build in class will likely be simplified and focus on a few key functions.

“It’s a start,” she said. “I’ve had old students go back and rework their apps and improve them over time.” While the teens attend the JATC together, each has a different home high school. Evans attends Murray High, Christensen attends Riverton High, Dee attends Herriman High, Hick attends Bingham High and Lundberg attends West Jordan High. To finish their project—which included two short videos, a logo design, rendering of the app screens and essays— the teens got together on their own time. “This group had a vision, and they just really worked together in a way that’s unusual for high school students so that the design worked,” Mansouri said. “I’m very proud of them for working together and for putting in the extra time to make this a success.” 

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 15




A P R I L 2 017

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

City Council Creates Ad Hoc Committee to Study Forms of Government On March 8, the West Jordan City Council passed a resolution creating an ad hoc committee to study various forms of municipal government and recommend an option for the City Council to consider. “Forms of government are like tools and, depending on size and considerations of the city, you need to use the right tool,” said Deputy City Attorney Duncan Murray. For the past several decades, this has been a recurring subject of debate with the question even making it to the city-wide ballot in 1989 where it was defeated. But as West Jordan has grown, the question of whether we’re using the right tool for the job keeps coming up. The City Council had previously passed a Currently West Jordan operates under a resolution putting a change of the form of govcouncil-manager form of government in which ernment on the ballot for this November. After we have a seven-member council (including two public hearings, however, at which many the mayor) and a city manager who is the chief residents requested additional time to study the administrator under the council’s legislative options available and gather resident input, the authority and general direction. Although City Council voted to rescind the change-of-govthis form of government is the most common ernment question from the ballot and instead, among cities across the nation, West Jordan is created this committee. one of only a few cities in Utah to use it since it According to Murray, this committee will be was discontinued as a municipal government like a mini constitutional convention. “It will be option by the Utah State Legislature in 2008. an open process in which residents are involved, people feel like they have some ownership and we have more of a chance of success in finding the best fit for our city,” he said. The committee will have seven to nine resident members appointed by the City Council. If you’d like to be considered for appointment, please email a resume and cover letter to Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 14 at 4 p.m.

Apply Now for At-Large Council Vacancy The West Jordan City Council is filling a vacancy for a Council At-Large seat (represents the entire city rather than a specific District). Interested individuals must be registered voters, have resided in the City of West Jordan for the past 12 consecutive months, currently live within the city boundaries, and meet all other legal requirements. “With so many great people living in our city, I’m confident we will find someone who will be able to effectively fill this position,” said Mayor Kim V. Rolfe. Applications and information can be found online at or can be picked up in the City Clerk’s Office, West Jordan City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road, 3rd floor. Applications are due by Tuesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. and must be submitted and signed in the City Clerk’s Office. The City Council will then meet on Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m., or in a later meeting, to appoint a new Council Member, who will serve until approximately Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

Springtime Projects, Cleanup and Events For many, springtime means spring cleaning and spring projects. As someone who has worked in road construction for more than 40 years, for me, springtime is when things get really busy. If you’ve driven down 7000 South in the last month, you’ll agree. There is a lot of work taking place from 1300 West to 3200 West. (Phase one of this utility project was completed last year and ran from the Jordan River to 1300 West.) This is the biggest utility project the city has ever done. We decided to expedite the project to complete two phases during this construction season rather than dragging it out for another year. The city-owned utilities under this road are about 40 years old (water and sewer), undersized (sewer) or non-existent (storm drain). These utilities have reached their life expectancy and it is safer to replace them rather than to wait for them to break and cause an accident or an unsafe sewer backup in a home. Much of the regular construction work along 7000 South (and other utility corridors like 1300 West) is utility work and completed by outside entities like Questar, Century Link, Comcast, Rocky Mountain Power, UDOT and other telecom companies. I live in the construction area and know how frustrating construction delays can be. But I also recognize the need for this project. Please be patient and try to find alternate routes. The project is expected to be complete by September. Road construction is not the only thing happening during this busy springtime. We have an Easter Egg Hunt planned for April 15 for kids 12 and under. This “eggstravaganza” takes place at 9 a.m. in the Soccer Complex, 7965 South 4000 West. We also have an I Love West Jordan Day planned for April 29. We have some tree planting and park cleanup projects planned, or you can organize your own project to beautify your neighborhood. The city has a limited supply of dumpsters and large trash bags that they can provide if you email and provide the details of your beautification project. Green waste collection resumes April 3. Please help us extend the life of the landfill by recycling your grass clippings, leaves, small branches and other green waste. Simply put green waste in the green can and put it curbside on your regular trash collection day. This program runs through the end of November. To help keep our community clean and green, the City has free dumpsters available to help with your spring cleaning. You can schedule a dumpster for regular trash or green waste every 60 days. As you can imagine, this is a very popular program so plan ahead and find out more by visiting the city website at or email

PAGE 16 | APRIL 2017


5600 West; 7800 S. To 8600 S. Widening

Bangerter Four Interchanges On March 23, Utah Department of Transportation and contractors Ralph L. Wadsworth and W.W. Clyde, hosted a Meet-the-Contractor open house at the Salt Lake Community College Campus in West Jordan. The purpose of the meeting was to provide detailed information about the Bangerter Four Interchanges project and its upcoming construction activities, set to begin in May. Information presented at the meeting included details about the construction schedule and phasing. Visit the project website to see the meet materials or sign up for weekly email updates. Website: Email: In case you missed it, the 5600 West project team held an open house in February to provide area residents and motorists with information about the project design, features and schedule.

Hotline: 888-766-ROAD (7623)

Project features include: • A new travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane • New traffic signal at the 8200 South intersection





29 7


Veterans Memorial Park 1985 W. 7800 S.

• Improved pedestrian crossings throughout the project area • Bicycle lanes to provide active transportation options • New sidewalk, lighting and a privacy wall where none currently exist • Culvert replacement at Clay Hollow Wash Project design is ongoing through May 2017 and the project team hopes to have a contractor begin work in July. The project schedule is dependent on a number of final reviews and approvals, which may shift the start of construction to early 2018. More information will be provided in future updates. To stay informed, sign-up for project updates at or call 888-966-6624 ext. 5

7000 South Utilities Construction Update The 7000 South Utilities Construction Project is in full swing. This project entails upgrading badly needed sewer, storm drain and water utility lines along 7000 South between 1300 West and 3200 West. Current work includes finalizing box culvert installation at the South Jordan Canal and Utah & Salt Lake Canal locations, roadway and sidewalk excavation, installing sewer lateral, water, and storm drain lines. Over the next six months of the project, local residents and commuters can expect continued lane reductions, intermittent one-way flagging operations, left-turn restrictions and occasional night work. Work will include removing and replacing pipelines, removing and replacing old utility services, as well as milling and overlaying a new roadway surface. Work is expected to take place Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. with occasional night work. Major traffic congestion and delays can be expected. Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged to use alternate routes whenever possible. For your safety and the safety of construction crews, please obey all construction signage and flagging operators. We know construction impacts are never easy, but we appreciate your continued patience. Once the project is complete, residents can expect improved utility service, improved roadway drainage, and a smoother, safer commute. To receive weekly project email updates, please contact the Public Information Team at or 801-569-5101.



“Our Vision� – the Collected Works of Steven Leitch on display at the Schorr Gallery West Jordan’s Schorr Gallery welcomes back the photographic work of Steven Leitch. A West Jordan resident for almost 30 years, this is Leitch’s third show at the Schorr Gallery. A reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 6 from 7-8:30 p.m., to kick off Leitch’s latest show “Our Vision.� The Schorr Gallery is located on the third floor of City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road. In his latest exhibit, Leitch broadens his repertoire to include images outside of Utah, still lifes, seascapes, landscapes and an assortment of other recent work. Along with his images, are photographic representations of Installation Sculpture created by his daughter Stephanie Leitch. An artist in her own right, she has had her work exhibited in multiple galleries throughout Utah and out of state. A graduate in Art and Sculpture from the University of Utah, Stephanie lives in Salt Lake City. Steven Leitch retired from the University of Utah in 2013 after 37 years while simultaneously serving in the United States Army Reserve. He retired after 40 years as an Army photojournalist, editor and public affairs specialist. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Photography from Weber State College. He is currently serving as a Service Missionary Photographer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a curator of the City of West Jordan Schorr Art Gallery and a member of the West Jordan Arts Council. When he is not photographing for the LDS Church or arranging an art exhibition for the Schorr Gallery, he writes poetry and short stories and serves as a board member of the Utah State Poetry Society. Steven and his wife, Deanna, live in West Jordan. He is the father of three children and the grandfather of three grandsons.

Join Our Team The City of West Jordan has a variety of job openings including Building Inspector I, Facilities Maintenance Technician, Administrative Assistant and Crossing Guards. Please spread the word and help us find good people. We are especially in need of crossing guards to help our children safely arrive at school. This is a great part-time job for someone looking for flexibility and extra income. Visit for more information and to apply.

Mountain West Chorale Presents The 21st Annual

Spring Choral Festival Spring Choral Festival Payson Civic Chorale ���� The Beehive Statesmen ���� Davis Master Chorale ���� Mountain West Chorale ����

7:00 P.M Friday, April 7, 2017 West Jordan High School Free and Open to the Public

PAGE 18 | APRIL 2017












City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 7-8:30 p.m.






Utah Youth Soccer Complex 7965 S. 4000 West 9 a.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.











City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.





Gene Fullmer Center 8015 S. 2200 West, 6 p.m.


City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd., 6 p.m.


Community beautification projects take place around the city.

The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 Join the conversation! Follow (801) 569-5100 West Jordan – City Hall.

West Jordan Police Dept. 8040 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84088 801-256-2000 801-840-4000 Dispatch

JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Follow West Jordan – City Hall



APRIL 2017 | PAGE 19

Pink shirts teach big lessons By Jet Burnham |


essica Sheffield’s kindergarten class at Mountain Shadows Elementary is a unique mix of kids dealing with unusual circumstances, including physical and mental disabilities, language barriers and grief and loss. “Kids just have to learn to adjust to the differences we have in our class,” Sheffield said. It all started with classmates teasing Brayden Dignan about wearing a “girl’s shirt.” He simply responded that his pink shirt was his “Ella Shirt.” When Sheffield learned it was worn in remembrance of his younger sister who had passed away, she saw an opportunity to teach empathy. Sheffield asked Brayden’s mom, Angela Dignan, to be involved. Dignan arranged for the Mascot Miracle Foundation to visit the class. The mascots, who support families dealing with loss, taught the kids about ways they could support Brayden. Dignan also bought each child a pink “Ella bracelet” to wear to show their support and love for Brayden. Sheffield didn’t stop there. She actively got the kids involved in noticing others in their classroom that needed extra support. Classmate Ashley Dahl had hip problems that limited her ability to sit on the floor with the rest of the class. Students were reminded to make sure there was a chair available for her. When Ashley used a walker after a corrective surgery, classmates clamored to help. “They grabbed stuff for me and helped me get drinks,” said Ashley. The students even volunteered to stay in from recess to play with her, said Sheffield. Sheffield told her class, “It makes my heart so happy. Even if we are different, we can play with everybody.” Brittany Markham said her son, Devin Gunnell, has been affected by the students in his class. When Ashley had surgery, he told his mom he wanted to say a little prayer for her.

West Jordan High Junior Jag Preschool registration is open

for the 2017-2018 school year

two classes to choose from: Monday/Wednesday – 9:45-12:00 Tuesday/Thursday – 9:45-12:00

Fee is $65 a month, October through May plus a one-time registration fee of $10. Low income families can qualify for tuition assistance.

Register and pay in the West Jordan High School Main Office. call the high school for any questions:

(801) 256-5600

“He’s a very thoughtful child, and it just melts your heart how well he takes these different circumstances, and he wants to be their friend, and he wants to help them out,” said Markham. Devin, like the other kindergarteners, was also excited to learn sign language to communicate with classmate Sam Ramos, who is deaf. Students have learned some signs and how to interact with Sam through her interpreter. Sheffield highlighted Sam during their unit about the five senses. “We talked about even when people are different than us and one of their senses does not work, we can still play with them,” said Sheffield. To further promote unity, Sheffield thought it would be a great gesture for everyone to wear pink to show support for Brayden. Markham immediately volunteered to purchase 27 pink shirts for the class members. She had recently lost her mother to breast cancer and was touched by the idea of supporting a classmate though a difficult experience. Impressed with the kindness and acceptance shown by her students, Sheffield chose to add the phrase “ABCDEFG COME AND PLAY WITH ME” to the shirts. Carla Bischoff, a student’s grandmother, volunteered to take care of printing the shirts. “I thought it was a really important and a really good idea to instill in these little people,” Bischoff said. “I thought it was important enough to spend money on.” Her grandson, Thachur, is autistic and struggles with social skills. She said he is learning to accept the differences of others in this kindergarten class. “I think it’s so important to encourage the kids to love one another even though they’re different and accept them,” Bischoff said.

Mrs Sheffield’s kindergarten class wears matching pink shirts to show support for classmates. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Once the shirts were printed, Nicole Shreeve, a parent who volunteers in the classroom often, spent eight hours helping students add their painted hand prints onto all 27 shirts. On a Friday in February, Sheffield presented the shirts to her class. “We talked about how we could all wear pink to help show you love Brayden,” Sheffield told the kindergarteners. “The shirt represents our love for each other.” “Pink turned into a boy color!” one student exclaimed. “It’s OK to wear pink, especially if it means something special. Some friends need a little extra love,” Sheffield told her class. Shreeve and other parents are impressed with Sheffield’s efforts. “I do think there are so many expectations on the teacher that it would be so easy to let kids’ personal lives slide,” Shreeve said. “She doesn’t need to pay tribute to Brayden’s little sister, but that’s a huge part of Brayden’s life. It’s the person Mrs. Sheffield is.” She has noticed a difference in the students’ attitudes toward each other—there is less teasing because the teacher stays on top of it. “She makes sure everyone here is safe and loved,” Shreeve said. 


PAGE 20 | APRIL 2017


Heartland celebrates the wisdom of Dr. Seuss By Jet Burnham | Would you read a book with a nurse? Would you read one in a hearse? Would you, could you with the mayor? Or with a Grinch all green with hair?


eartland Elementary students read with a variety of community members in honor of Dr Seuss’s birthday. It was part of the school’s reading contest held to highlight the importance of reading. The volunteers, including the mayor, a city council member, the district superintendent, police officers, a farmer, a radio announcer, a counselor from a funeral home and a nurse entertained students with Dr. Seuss stories when they visited the school March 2. Dirk Burton, a West Jordan city council member, jumped on chairs and moved around the room while he read “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” His animated voice and uninhibited actions got the first-, second- and third-grade autistic students making train noises and booms of thunder along with him. Many of the volunteers who came to read are fans of Dr. Seuss. Sports announcer Steve Klauke has read in elementary schools on Seuss’s birthday for the past 10 years. “Fox in Socks is my favorite because it’s considered to be the most difficult tongue twister that Dr. Seuss ever wrote,” said Klauke. The phrases are challenging for many readers, but for Klauke, sports radio announcer for the Salt Lake Bees and Weber State University, it comes naturally.

Leaders from the community volunteered to read to students for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. (Janiece Atwood/Heartland PTA)

“When play happens fast, you have to be able to relay what’s going on without twisting your tongue,” he said. After he read to the class, Klauke invited some of the fourth-graders to try a few of the tongue twisters themselves. Famer Gil Ma, who owns the farm at Gardner Village, told students he hoped they would gain a love for reading. “In fifth grade, I’d never read a Dr. Seuss book,” said Ma to a class of fifth-graders. Ma shared how he hated reading as a child because it was hard. “Dr. Seuss has changed my life because he made it fun for me

to read,” he said. Ma struggles with dyslexia, which wasn’t diagnosed until he was in college. He said he reads better upside down so it was no problem for him to read the page from above while showing the pictures of “The Foot Book” to the class. Sharon Hartwell, a nurse and grandmother to four students at Heartland read books in her granddaughters’ classrooms. Her son, Mike Stevens, a family counselor at a funeral home, also volunteered to read books in his children’s classrooms. He also provided the Grinch costume that Abram Yospe, administrative intern, wore to sneak around the school and creep up on students to hand them Dr. Seuss bookmarks. Melissa Stevens, preschool teacher at Heartland, is a big Dr. Seuss fan (she named her daughter Maisy after the character in “Daisy-Head Mayzie”). She served on the PTA committee that planned the school’s annual reading contest, culminating in the celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. “We wanted to celebrate the love of reading and show how important reading is to everyone in our lives,” Stevens said. “We had the people who serve in our community come to show that everyone you see has reading in their life and a love for it.” The school’s reading contest kicked off with Cat in the Hat Day on Feb.1 when students got to wear wacky hats. For two weeks students kept track of the time they spent reading. The goal was to read 150,000 minutes. The school surpassed that amount with more than 300,000 minutes. Prizes were awarded to the top three readers in each class, the top reader in each grade and the top class in each grade. 

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APRIL 2017 | PAGE 21

Family + games = fun By Jet Burnham |

Your Career Begins

with Us!

Cassie Green helps her children prepare their math games. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


arents are often willing but unsure how to help their children learn math concepts, said Natalie Newbold. She is a third grade teacher at Terra Linda Elementary where parents and students were invited to Math Night on Feb. 16. It was an opportunity for teachers to share game ideas as a way for parents to help their children master difficult math concepts. “Everyone works together to give the child the best chance of success,” said Newbold Parents attended sessions in each of their children’s classrooms to be instructed in games they can play with their children to strengthen math skills at home. Students are more open to practicing math if it is in the form of a game said Lindsay Curtis, who teaches fourth grade. “They don’t focus on the math side, which brings down the wall they’ve built up towards math. This makes math a little easier for those that struggle,” said Curtis. Newbold described her third graders’ negative reaction to math. “Even the thought of doing math in my classroom is brought with moans, groans and sudden needs for bathroom breaks,” she said. She meets this attitude by incorporating games into lessons. “I love using games to teach because it “tricks” students into learning. They don’t realize they are learning and mastering concepts because they are having too much fun,” she said. Newbold said using manipulatives, something tangible, helps kids see math concepts in a different way. Principal Karen Gorringe believes using manipulatives strengthens learning. “The more senses you can use, the better able the students grasp the concepts,” she said. Math Night was simple to plan; teachers in each grade chose a game that practiced a skill specific to their curriculum. Parents spent the evening learning the game with their children. First grade teacher Valene Gurney said her team developed a game that focused on what they are teaching right now—three-digit addition. Students used plastic disks to mark off sums on a printed game board. Sophie Rond and her classmates were given a bag of colorful pipe cleaners and beads by their

second grade teachers. This activity allowed students to visualize the relationship between numbers. Following a worksheet of subtraction, students would slide the total number of beads onto opposite ends, seeing the relationship between the two values. For fifth graders, teachers provided a deck of cards and a list of variations on the card game War. To practice math facts, players multiplied the numbers on the cards that were turned over. To practice fractions, each player flipped over two cards to make a fraction. Players then compared the fractions, determining which was greater in value. Parent Cassie Green said Math Night was a good activity to get her two kids involved with math in a fun way. She helped her kindergartener create a number-matching game which he cut out and decorated with stickers. Fourth graders and their families played the game of Farkle. Richard Worthen was enthusiastic about being score-keeper while playing the game with his dad. He practiced large number addition as he added up numbers on the rolled dice and then totaled each round’s scores. “I could tell the families were having fun playing together, and they were really getting into the game,” said Curtis. Math Night had a modest turn-out, but the feedback was positive, said Gurney. “Those that came enjoyed it,” said Gurney. “Most stayed the whole hour. I was surprised they stayed entertained for the whole hour.” Other teachers noticed the same thing— those who came, stayed and played. “The parents seemed just as excited to be playing with their students,” said Newbold. Office aides and secretaries compiled the 675 kits with materials requested by the teachers, using a budget from the school’s Community Council fundraiser. The games were sent home the next day with students who didn’t attend the activity, said Gurney. Gorringe feels the night was a success and plans for an even better one next year. “Our goal is to improve the students’ math skills and create a community where all are responsible for student learning,” said Gorringe. 

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PAGE 22 | APRIL 2017


Special needs students share in winning season By Greg James |


he West Jordan High School boys basketball team finished its season with an appearance in the state basketball tournament and celebrating a 14-year tradition. An Eagle Scout project is what started the project, but dedication has kept it going. “The special needs game is one of my favorite parts of the basketball season,” Jaguar senior Connor Manglinong said. “It is fun to watch them play and getting to know everyone.” On Feb. 18, several special needs students, the Jaguar basketball players and cheerleaders joined together for instruction and a competitive, yet fun game. “We set up drills before they play the game,” Manglinong said. “They dribble, shoot free throws and do layups. This gets all the players warmed up before the big game. Some of them are shy at first, but when we get to know each other it becomes fun,” With participants decked out in Jaguar black and white uniforms, the pace of play never exceeded much more than a trot. At one point, Sam, a Jaguar team guest whose last name could not be disclosed by the students or the school, squared up about 35 feet straightaway from the hoop. He shot the ball underhanded towards the basket. As it got closer it was evident

The Jaguars basketball team and cheerleaders shared winning experiences with special needs students. (West Jordan Athletics)

the shot was going in. When the ball went through the net the fans and team erupted. Sam raised his hands high above his head and pumped his fists. The excitement overwhelmed his teammates and opponents. The game’s purpose became clear. The Jaguar players knew how important this game has become for the participants. “It is fun to watch. They are all so unselfish,” Manglinong said. “The kids often help each other score, and they are all ballers.”

Head coach Scott Briggs organizes the event, and his players run the drills, referee and serve as public address announcers. The cheerleaders and fans chant and cheer for their favorite players. The annual event has become a favorite for many of the players. It all began in 2003 as an Eagle Scout project for Jessie Josie. The game was only one highlight of the end of the 2017 season. The Jaguars captured fourth place in Region

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3. They qualified for an appearance in the 5A state playoffs. Their first round matchup was against, Sky View, the Region 1 champion. The Jaguars jumped out to a big lead to start the game. Sky View only managed eight points in the first quarter, where West Jordan led by 14 points. They managed to maintain that lead headed to halftime. Sky View rallied in the third quarter and cut the lead to two points, but the Jaguars didn’t succumb and held on for the 69-63 victory. Junior Darian Nebeker led the Jaguars with 19 points “I thought we had a great season,” Manglinong said. “Playing with this bunch of kids for as long as I have made it even more special.” The upset sent the Jags into the second round against Pleasant Grove. The West Jordan defense collapsed to cover the 7-foot-3 Viking center, Matt Van Komen, and he found the open shooters behind the three point line. Pleasant Grove drained 11 three-pointers in the victory. “Making the playoffs is good for our team,” Manglinong said. “Playing in the college arenas is a cool experience.” This was the second state tournament appearance in a row for the Jaguars. 

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APRIL 2017 | PAGE 23

Intent letters signed at West Jordan By Greg James |


est Jordan senior Alden Tofa made the choice of his lifetime. He selected where he will continue his football career after high school. He had kept his choice a secret from everyone, including his mom, until his big reveal day Feb. 1. Surrounded by his friends, family, teammates, coaches and several media members. Tofa reached to the table and picked up one of the four hats carefully placed in front of him. His choice: Brigham Young University. “The recruiting process was amazing,” Tofa said. “It was one of the best experiences to go through. My coaches were big help through the entire thing.” He finally made a decision the night before the party; he knew where he felt he needed to go, despite the multitude of offers he was given. He said his faith and prayers made the choice much easier. Tofa had been the second-highest-rated defensive lineman in the state by The 6-foot-5 248-pound lineman ran the 40 in 5.07 seconds and had a 30.3 inch vertical jump. “I have learned to work hard,” Tofa said. “Playing here (at West Jordan) made me learn to handle adversity and work with what I have been given. I am excited to join BYU.” He plans on serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU. “I think he is a quiet giant,” Tofa’s family friend and fellow West Jordan football parent Shelley Oliverson said. “He is certainly an everyday teenager in many ways, but he wants nothing more than to improve the state of his family. He certainly hopes that football will be an avenue to help him get there.”

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The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a document used to indicate a student athlete’s commitment to participating NCAA colleges and Universities in the United States. NLIs are signed and typically faxed to the recruiting institution on signing day. Recruits who have signed a NLI must attend the school they have signed with to receive financial aid and scholarships. The NCAA rules also prohibit coaches from recruiting them further. The Jaguars had two other star football players sign. Dallin Jamison will enter Weber State University after graduation. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound tight end caught 29 passes and six touchdowns his senior season. He was selected Academic All-Region 3. His parents are Koby and Brandy Jamison. Offensive lineman Austin Leausa signed at Southern Utah University. He deadlifted 400 pounds and ran a 5.0 second 40 yard dash. SUU landed 12 offensive lineman, a position they were short on depth last season. According to the Cedar City newspaper, The Spectrum, the dozen recruits will be expected to contribute right away. “We were short on offensive lineman this year,” T-birds head coach Demario Warren told ‘The Spectrum’ on signing day. “We hoped we would be able to sign O-lineman to start and for depth.” College football coaches often build relationships with their high school counterparts. Jaguars head coach Mike Meifu has experience at the college level. He has demonstrated his ability to help student athletes play at the next level. Last season four Jaguars committed to play college football. 

Jaguars enjoyed National Letter of Intent Day by signing to play college football, Dallin Jamison, Alden Tofa and Austin Leausa made it official and signed with their choice of schools. (Shelley Oliverson/WJ football booster)

“The recruiting process was amazing. It was one of the best experiences to go through. My coaches were big help through the entire thing.”

PAGE 24 | APRIL 2017



Azurettes win again By Greg James |


he past year for members of the Azurettes, Copper Hills High School’s drill team, has been one filled with stress, anger and jubilation. The team capped off this tumultuous year with a state championship. “Winning state is such an indescribable feeling, and to do it with my best friends makes it so much sweeter.” Azurette team president Rylee Southwick said. “They always say it is lonely at the top, and this so true of drill.” The top is where the Azurettes landed. At the state drill competition, held Feb. 4 at Utah Valley University, the Azurettes swept first place in all three categories: dance, kick and military. They were named 5A state champion for the fifth straight season. Being a state champion takes commitment. Southwick sacrificed her time to be a part of the team. She retired early on Friday nights so she could be ready for practice early Saturday mornings, arrived early in the morning and stayed after school for practice. The team trained nearly 20 hours a week beginning last spring for this year’s show. “It added up to nearly 580 plus hours,” Southwick said. “I can see how we can get burned out, especially as a senior. Our team is full of such incredible talent; it blows me away. This year was definitely the most rewarding because we fought so hard to come back from the accusations we got last year.” After their state championship in 2016 several opposing schools accused the Azurettes of cheating. Among the accusations were judge tampering and costume and routine changes. Drill team coach Shannon Mortensen denied the allegations and stood steadfast behind her team and its decisions. The team was cleared of any wrongdoing, but Mortensen was suspended for the team’s first competition this fall. The team was placed on probation and fined $1,500. “She (Mortensen) taught us to never give up,” Southwick

said. “Our goal this season was to walk off the floor knowing we did everything we could, and it does not matter what the outcome is because we left everything we had on the dance floor.” Southwick started dancing when she was 2 years old. She said this year’s routines involved a bunch of music mashed up into a presentation. Drill routines are divided into three separate categories. This season they competed in military, dance and kick routines. The Azurettes’ military routine combined athleticism with precision arm movements and formations. It is highlighted by the traditional forming of a capital C and H, the symbol of their school. It also included dancers running across the backs of their teammates. The theme “The city’s gone green” highlighted the team’s kick routine. The intricate motion and variety of kick sequences were not the only thing to catch the judges eye. Their bright green leggings and alien style leotard made the team stand out. The dance routine included pirouettes, leaps and fouettes. The dance had multiple sets with change of pace and tempo. All required elements in drill team competitions. At the state competition, Bingham placed second, Herriman third, Pleasant Grove fourth and Layton fifth. The Azurettes were also Region 3 champions and placed first at the Mustang Invitational and Bountiful Invitational. Southwick was team president, and Sidney Blair and Talisha Crespin were captains; Madi Chinn, Baelie Smith and Nikki Burgon were co-captains; Marissa Rivera was VP of finance; Karly Devey was costume chair; Taylor Larson was VP of travel; and Tatiana Olmedo was secretary. In spite of all the controversy, the team has already set out on repeating again next year. It holds auditions in March, and after a small break, it will prepare for a sixth straight championship. 

“Our goal this season was to walk off the floor knowing we did everything we could, and it does not matter what the outcome is because we left everything we had on the dance floor.”

The Azurettes wait patiently for the final results to be revealed at the state drill team competition. (Rylee Southwick/CH Drill team)



Bruins softball set in top five By Greg James |

The Bruins women’s softball team celebrates victory over USU Eastern in its home series March 11. (Rachel Rowan/ SLCC athletics)


he top-ranked Salt Lake Community College Bruins women’s softball team has steamrolled through the preseason and is taking on its region opponents. The Bruins won their first five games of the season. Their dominance showed why they are ranked in the top 5 in the Nation Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll. They began the season with five straight victories in Henderson, Nevada. The first game Jan. 27 was a 6-2 victory over Eastern Arizona. Freshman Addie Jensen had six strikeouts in seven innings. The Bruins fell behind in the top of the first inning but rallied to secure the victory. The final four games of its Henderson tournament, the Bruins scored 52 runs. Their pitching and defense only allowed 15. Pitching is a key part to success in softball. The Bruins have had stellar performances in the circle to start the season. Jensen has started seven games. She has a 2.57 earned run average and is 6-1 in those games. She has struck out 42 opposing hitters to lead the team. Sophomore Chantelle Ladner has also been stellar for the Bruins in the pitching circle, despite a tough 11-3 loss to the College of Southern Idaho in her first region game. The loss elevated her early season ERA to 5.03. The Golden Eagles capitalized on an error and three hits to jump to a 4-0 lead. The Bruins scored two in the top of the second, but a seven-run fourth by CSI signaled its final fate. Lander, a sophomore, is from Australia. She attended Mount Annan High School in South Wales. She has international experience

with the 2015 Australian U19 team and competed in the WBSC World Championship. She was named best pitcher and a member of the all-tournament team in the 2014 U19 Australian National Championship tournament. The Bruins have several talented local players in their lineup. Herriman High School graduates Bryce Taylor, Lauren Tycksen and Kynra Nelson have played significant roles in the teams early season success. The speedy Tycksen has been leading off consistently. She is hitting .388, and her two stolen bases lead the Bruins. Taylor has a 2.79 ERA in three games. Sophomore Alex Valencia leads the team with a .512 batting average. She is from Syracuse, Utah. Another sophomore, Madison Sisco leads the team in home runs with 12. The Bruins have a hold on first place in Region 18. They are 5-1 in Region and 13-4 overall at press time. Cyndee Bennett is in her fourth year as the Bruins head coach. She had been an assistant for six years prior to that. She played collegiately at the University of Utah where she was twice selected as an all-conference player. Last season the Bruins had a 48-9 regular season record and captured a Scenic West Athletic Conference Championship. They advanced to the national championship semifinals, where they placed third overall. The Bruins are scheduled to have an eightgame home-stand beginning March 31–April 8. They host Colorado Northwestern and then close out with four games against second-place CSI. 

The Bruins have a hold on first place in Region 18. They are 5-1 in Region and 13-4 overall at press time.

APRIL 2017 | PAGE 25


PAGE 26 | APRIL 2017


Bruins host SWAC basketball tournament By Greg James |


alt Lake Community College hosted the Scenic West Athletic Association men’s and women’s basketball tournaments March 2-4. The winners automatically earned a bid to national junior college tournament. “We had some tough breaks in the second round of games this year that did not go our way,” USU Eastern head coach Chelsey Warburton said. “We had a choice to stay that way or turn it around. This team is a fighting team, and we have been playing really well coming into this tournament. We have had the energy, and have been playing well.” The SWAC consists of five men’s and five women’s teams. The winners of the three-day tournament receive an automatic bid to the junior college national championship tournament. Region 18 was organized in 1968; Salt Lake Community College joined in 1987. In the opening round of the tournament the USU Eastern men’s and women’s teams both defeated Colorado Northwestern Community College and advanced into the second round. The men advanced to play Snow College in the second round, while the Eagle women faced Salt Lake Community College. Salt Lake Community College dominated the women’s tournament. Conference player of the year Tia Hay led her team by averaging 19 points per game. The Lady Bruins never trailed in the tournament. In their first game, they defeated USU Eastern 66-47. Hay scored 13 points, and sophomore Annie Brady pitched in 21 in the victory. The Bruins defeated Snow College in the championship game 67-40. They dominated the Badgers, at one point holding them scoreless for eight minutes. The Bruins earned a berth to the

women’s national championship tournament March 20 (after press deadline). “I feel pretty good about this team,” Bruins head coach Betsy Specketer said. “They have bought into what we’re teaching them, and we are a hard team to match up against.” The women’s national tournament will be held in Lubbock, Texas. The conference’s No. 2 team, College of Southern Idaho, dominated the men’s tournament. The Golden Eagles cruised past the Bruins in the second round 87-75. The Bruins held a five-point lead headed into halftime. However, the Golden Eagles shot 53 percent in the second half and pulled away from the Bruins. Dalven Brushier led a balanced Bruin attack with 17 points. Five players scored in double figures, but they could not slow down the CSI attack, allowing 50 points in the second half. The Bruins’ loss eliminated them from a national title run like last season. CSI then shocked the No. 1 seeded Snow College Badgers in the championship game 92-82. The Golden Eagles up tempo style of play was difficult for their opponents to defend. The Golden Eagles will represent Region 18 in the men’s national tournament held in Kansas beginning March 20 (after press deadline). Hay was named the women’s tournament most valuable player. She joined Brianna Osorio from CSI as the co-players of the year; Madison Loftus (USU-E), Sica Cuzic (SLCC), Ariel Augustine (CSI) and Harley Hansen (Snow) also received all-region honors. 

On the opening night of the tournament the all-region awards were announced. The men’s all-region team includes Quinn Peters from USU Eastern, Christian Gay from SLCC, Charles Jones and Deishan Booker from CSI and Zach Hunsaker and Blake Truman from Snow. (Greg James/City Journals) The Jaguars basketball team and cheerleaders shared winning experiences with special needs students. (West Jordan athletics)

The Bruins women’s basketball team won the Region 18 regular season championship. (Greg James/City Journals)

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Garbett Homes

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Buying and building a home is the decision of a lifetime.

Garbett Homes understands the importance of this decision and builds homes with the mindset that a home is more about just walls and a roof: it’s a starting point for all that people do. With this in mind, Garbett has begun construction on a townhome project in Daybreak’s popular SoDa Row area called Parkway Station. These 27 new homes with seven floor plan options include at least one outdoor living space such as balconies, roof top terraces or patio spaces and solar panels as standard features. Living in these townhomes means homebuyers will also get SoDo Row, Oquirrh Lake and a UTA Trax station all within walking distance and The District and Mountain View Corridor just a short drive away. Models for the first phase of townhomes will open in early 2017 and the pre-selling will begin soon, with prices from $230s. “When people buy from Garbett Homes, they’re not only buying

a home,” Garbett Homes President Bryson Garbett said, “they’re also buying into a lifestyle choice.” Garbett started his construction career as a young man, working as an 18-year-old framer. He graduated from the University of Utah with a history degree and then started his own company in 1988. After 28 years of perseverance and excellence, Garbett Homes has become one of the largest and most innovative homebuilders in the state. Garbett is also selling complete “inventory homes” and three home sites in the single-family housing phase called Solaris. The newest phase of Solaris opened on Sept. 2. Additionally, Garbett has opened 10 of 25 additional home sites of their next phase of development that incorporates their most popular plans and exciting new updates. Garbett builds homes and townhomes using its award-winning formula of utilizing the latest “green technology and design” and affordability in Daybreak communities. The homes in Daybreak set themselves apart with modern interiors and exteriors. Because of Garbett’s pride in being “Utah’s Greenest Homebuilder,” all homes in these new developments offer solar panels as a standard feature and are built to exceed the Energy Star 3.0 standards that all Daybreak builders are required to meet. Homeowners will definitely notice the advanced framing, drywall, and insulation practices in their lower utility bills. To further decrease the cost of homeownership and increase energy and resource efficiency, Garbett has partnered with Slow The Flow to offer Solaris buyers the option to “Flip Your Strip,” or remove lawn or minimize greenery in parking strips. This saves both water

and money instead wasting an average of 10,000 gallons of water annually on poor irrigation practices. Questions can be answered or an appointment can be made at the model home at 10458 S. Abbot Way, South Jordan, or by calling 801-396-9800 to speak with a new home specialist. 

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PAGE 28 | APRIL 2017



Desert Star Playhouse

MURRAY, UT, March, 2017 — Desert Star Playhouse, the theatre that’s built a reputation for producing laugh out loud, family-friendly musical comedies, continues its 2017 season with a comedic take on the birth of a superhero in “Captain American Fork: The Worst Avenger!” The show opens Thursday, March 23rd.


“Captain American Fork: The Worst Avenger”

Captain American Fork isn’t the hero we want, but he is the hero we need! As the new superhero in town, his greatest aspiration is to join the Guardians of Utah Valley. But the fun and games are over (or just beginning?) when a new villain arrives on the scene! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and The Cougar is out for revenge when The Homemaker scores her engagement to Zion Man. With an attack on the Cultural Hall of Justice, The Captain and his new sidekick—Bingham, The Copper Minor—are put to the test! Are they in over their heads or can the Captain rise to the occasion and save the day as he fights for truth, justice, and the American Fork Way? Find out in our hilarious new show!

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The evening also includes another of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The Spring Break Olio will feature some new and classic rock with a dash of beach fun and, as always, a hilarious Desert Star twist! Desert Star audiences can enjoy gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, burgers, scrumptious desserts, and other finger foods as well as a full selection of soft drinks and smoothies while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table.

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APRIL 2017 | PAGE 29




esidents in Salt Lake County enjoy a great quality of life, in part thanks to the outdoor recreation opportunities available through open space. I am a strong proponent of the benefits of recreation and open space to individuals, families, and the community as a whole. I represent the county on the Jordan River Commission, and served as chair last year. I’ve been privileged to work with the people on the commission to preserve and enhance the open space around the river. Seeing this flourish as a resource for families, bikers, and all other outdoor enthusiasts has been a rewarding part of my public service. These amenities encourage physical, mental, and emotional health and well being for all. I am passionate about preserving open space within Salt Lake County whenever a prudent opportunity arises. I am also passionate about ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and appropriately in Salt Lake County. Recently, proposal came before the Salta Lake County Council County Council asking us to spend $3 million


County Council votes against buying land in Wasatch County Aimee Winder Newton, County Council District 3

to help purchase a parcel of land known as Bonanza Flats, in the Wasatch Mountains west of Guardsman Pass. This land is mostly in Wasatch County. This proposal was denied as I voted no, along with four of my colleagues. We support expending taxpayer dollars within Salt Lake County. Many people contacted us saying they would rather see their Salt Lake County tax dollars spent within their own county to preserve open space. We have parks that are unfinished. We have opportunities to expand open space around the Jordan River. We have high-growth areas in the valley that are being developed and need open space preserved. We also have our own Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains that some have asked us to preserve. It is tough to make decisions about all of these needs within a tight budget. Three million dollars may not sound like a lot, but it is one percent of the County general fund. To make decisions regarding large dollar amounts after

the budget has already been approved means we can’t weigh this request against other priorities such as criminal justice reform, mental health services, and other needs. Bonanza Flats is a beautiful area, and worth preserving. That’s why I made a personal

contribution through Utah Open Lands, and encourage anyone else who would like to see that land preserved do the same. But I do not believe it would be an appropriate use of Salt Lake County tax dollars given the cost, timing, and location outside of Salt Lake County. 

Aimee Winder Newton, County Council District 3


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’ve never been socially dynamic, flitting from person to person at parties like a butterfly with a Mountain Dew addiction. In most social occasions, I’m standing under the exit sign, trying to catch my husband’s eye and pointing to my watch. My hubbie is a card-carrying extrovert who loves the thrill of the crowd. He talks to strangers, tells jokes in public and uses phrases like, “I’m just thinking out loud.” I’ve never used that sentence in my entire life. A recent personality assessment said my potential careers should include hermit, monk and/ or crazy cat lady, which isn’t a surprise. When I watched The Martian, I wondered why (besides the lack of oxygen, books and food) Matt Damon would ever want to return to Earth. I’m not anti-people, but as a loud-and-proud introvert, our overly stimulated society can, at times, be exhausting. Introverts get a bad rap. We’re considered bashful and insecure when actually we’re superobservant, intelligent and creative individuals. But still. Extroverts “help” me adjust to society by saying things like, “To feel confident, stand like Wonder Woman for two minutes every day.” I already feel confident. I would no sooner stand with my hands on my hips than I would stand with a pencil stuck up my nose. They suggest that introverts be team leaders to “boost self-esteem” without realizing that group







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assignments can push an introvert so far into a closet, they’ll wind up in Narnia. But give me a task and send me to my room, and I can accomplish pretty much anything. Here’s how to make small talk with an introvert: don’t. Hell is an endless social mixer where I have to make small talk for eternity. But if you want to have a genuine conversation that doesn’t revolve around sports or weather, I’m all yours. Extroverts often mistake an introvert’s silence for shyness when we’re actually, what’s the word? Listening. In fact, we’re such good listeners, we often hear what’s NOT being said. Most introverts can read the emotional situation in the room, especially if there’s lots of standing with hands on hips. Things an introvert hates: surprise parties. Things an introvert never says: “I’ll be working the crowd,” “Everyone gather around,” “I can’t wait for the company party.” If I was forced to post a profile on a dating site (which I’m not, dear), it would say, “Don’t bother contacting me. I’m not home. Well, I’m home, but I’m never going to talk to you.” I dream of living in a library with a fully-stocked gourmet kitchen, warm blankets and a trapdoor that opens under the welcome mat when someone rings the doorbell. My personal space is a 20-foot circumference from the end of my outstretched arms. If an introvert hugs you, they really like you.



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My husband has learned that if I don’t have some alone time to recharge, I get . . . irritable. (He uses a different word, but I can’t put it in this column.) If I have two hours of uninterrupted alone time, it’s better than Christmas morning. I’ll plan which books to read. I stock up on really good chocolate. I’ll make sure my super-soft socks are clean. But if plans change and I lose that time? God help the world. Wrath is an understatement. I’m not saying introverts are right and extroverts are wrong, or vice versa. I’m saying the world needs both social butterflies and quietly introspective people who bring a sense of calm to an overworked culture. All I’m asking for is sincere connection and a spouse who is willing to leave the party early. 

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Profile for The City Journals

West Jordan Journal April 2017  

West Jordan Journal April 2017