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Month 2019 | Vol. 19 Iss. 08

FREE 2019 ELECTIONS A TURNING POINT FOR WEST JORDAN By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com


y a margin of 63 votes in 2018, West Jordan voters chose to change their form of government. Proposition 10 read: ‘Shall the City of West Jordan, Utah, change its form of government to the Council-Mayor Form, with a seven-member Council?’ Voting results: 6,841 for, 6,778 against. The eligible voting population at the time was over 70,000. Local elections this year will look very different as this election will decide the first “strong mayor” for the city. A new at-large seat will replace the seat of the current mayor, and the new mayor will have greater administrative power than in the past. (The new at-large position will be a two-year term so in future it will fall in line with the other two at-large seats.) All four district seats are also open for election. The only two council seats not up for election are the two at-large spots currently held by Kayleen Whitelock and Chad Lamb, respectively. The change comes with enthusiasm in the community. Jennifer Scott, West Jordan resident, “We finally have an opportunity to elect a mayor who can be a voice for our city. The balance of power is shifting...It’s absolutely essential that we elect a mayor who can capitalize on this opportunity. We need someone who can lead. Someone who doesn’t just reflexively defer to staff. “I’ve been wanting to see this change for 20 years.” Melanie Briggs, recently retired city clerk, worked for West Jordan City for 33 years. “I am excited for the change in form of government. In my opinion, the Manager/Council form has not worked well.”

dates on the government changes at West Jordan City Hall in late-May. “After January your mayor will no longer sit on your council. Your mayor may attend council meetings, but council will choose its own chair,” Church said. “The mayor will be an observer of the legislative branch.” The mayor will be the head of the executive and administrative branches of the city. This role was previously performed by a city manager. The current form of government has Jim Riding as mayor and chair of the West Jordan City Council, while David Brickey is the chief executive officer and is in charge of carrying out the decisions of the council. The new mayor will take the place of CEO. Church, addressing the mayoral candidates said, “You’re going to have the duty to carry out the policies enacted by the council. You’re going to have the duty to carry out those policies only within the budget they adopt. Then you are going to be in charge to run the city...to do the day to day decision making, to assign the employees, to control those department heads, to run the show.” A potential problem with this form of government is when the mayor and council disagree on any particular issue, and in conflict, stagnate operations and progress. Sandy and South Salt Lake both have councils and mayors that are occasionally at odds and, in the case of South Salt Lake, almost prevented a budget from being approved. “I have to keep reminding the mayors that their first duty in the code is carry out the policy adopted by the council, not torpedo it. Mayors should understand that you win your fight at the council level and if you lose it...you still have to carry New mayor responsibilities David Church, a municipal attorney, educated the candi- them out.” “There is no way that a council removes an elected may-

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or. The voters do that. So for four years, they may or may not get along,” Church said.

City Council changes

This change will also affect the council, as they have less power within administration. “...[N]o more council members talking to public works directors saying, ‘I think you ought to do my street.’ No more council members going a recorder clerk and saying ‘I don’t like the way you handle the election.’ Any of that by council member would have to be in writing, directed to the executive, significant change,” Church said. Council members only have power if the entire council votes with them. “When you vote in the majority and pass your policy then you get your way. If you’re in the minority, all you had was the right to vote. I like to say that in local government the worst job...is council member in strong mayor form (of government).”l



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August 2019 | Page 3

Flag memorial displays scope of child abuse problem in the U.S. By Jordan Hafford | j.hafford@mycityjournals.com


t Veteran’s Memorial Park this June, the West Jordan Exchange Club installed the Field of Flags, paying tribute to the approximately 1,500 children that die nationally as the result of child abuse each year. “Seeing the Field of Flags for the first time years ago caused me to become interested in the Exchange Club,” said Gwen Knight, president of the West Jordan Exchange Club. “It was the year after Sierra Newbold from our own community had been kidnapped and murdered, so our city was especially aware of the importance of keeping children safe.” The West Jordan Exchange Club is an affiliate of the National Exchange Club, a service organization whose core values include country, community and family. The national project for the Exchange Club is child abuse prevention. As an effort to raise awareness in the community regarding how many children die each year as a result of child abuse injuries, the West Jordan Exchange Club for the past several years plants a field of 1,000 flags honoring the children who die annually in the United States because of child abuse. In 2017, the number had climbed to 1,720 child fatal-

ities nationwide. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are four common types of child abuse and neglect: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. More information on child abuse can be found at www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/ childabuseandneglect. Everyone in the State of Utah 18 years and older is required by law to report child abuse if they have witnessed it, suspect it or have received a disclosure. The Utah Division of Child and Family Services has a hotline number for reporting as well: (855) 323-3237. “I believe that we as adults have the responsibility to be the protectors of children and to make a report if we suspect abuse,” said Knight. “The club spends an entire Saturday every February, washing and repairing the flags and retiring ones that have become worn. I have often heard feedback from passersby that it is a beautiful, inspiring sight to see all the flags displayed for children.” Other projects the club is involved in regarding children include supporting the Children’s Justice Center and plant-

Flags commemorating child abuse-related deaths in the United States at Veteran’s Memorial Park (Reed Sharman/West Jordan Exchange Club Secretary Treasurer)


The West Jordan Exchange Club in front of the child abuse prevention flag display (Reed Sharman/West Jordan Exchange Club Secretary Treasurer)




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. 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. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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ing a pinwheel garden in front of the City offices in April to commemorate Child Abuse Prevention Month. In addition, along with the Dannon Company, the group recognizes and awards scholarships to four area high school students who are nominated for its ACE (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence Award) in March. The Field of Flags is only one of many community-oriented projects in which the Exchange Club is involved. Exchange Club leaders are always looking for new members. If residents would like to know more, they can contact Jay Thomas at capjthomas@msn.com and follow the group on Facebook at West Jordan Exchange Club. The flag display at the park not only honors but serves as a poignant reminder to how vulnerable our youngest residents are, and how, as Knight put it, it is our responsibility as adults to protect our most precious assets: the children. Upon visiting the vast field of flags representing these innocent victims, the profound question posed to in the popular thriller film “A Quiet Place” echoes, “Who are we if we can’t protect them?” l


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CONSISTENCY CONTRIBUTES TO SUCCESS We all need consistency in our lives to thrive. It gives us a sense of security when we have something and someone to count on. Long term relationships provide strength, dependability, and stability. Consistency in the workplace provides opportunity to capitalize on what is known as “institutional knowledge”. For nearly two years, I have focused on building relationships and improving economic development to make West Jordan City the city of choice for residents, communities, and businesses. My Master’s Degree in Business, my experience as Mayor, and my previous business experiences has contributed to West Jordan City’s success since I was elected. The opposite of consistency is inconsistency, which means starting over. West Jordan City cannot afford to step back and change their progressive, successful direction. As Mayor of the City of West Jordan, I will continue to look out for your best interests now and long term. I will continue to be someone you can count on. I will continue to provide the leadership this city needs and deserves. I will continue to watch over the city with integrity and an uncompromised work ethic. Consistency Contributes to Success, Jim Riding

Planning for the future of the West Bench is like a puzzle Salt Lake County is estimated to add 600,000 new residents by 2065. Many of those people (our kids and our grandkids) will settle in what is now undeveloped and unincorporated Salt Lake County. To ensure quality of life for those residents (and ourselves) – we need to plan.





Where will people live and work? Will there be adequate water and open space? How will we get from place to place? Get involved by taking our short survey at oquirrhview.org. Tell us about your preferences for growth along the West Bench. Your input matters, help us plan for a bright future.


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August 2019 | Page 5

Teens make magic at library’s ‘Harry Potter’ camp By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


ver since “Harry Potter” made its debut, muggle children around the globe have watched their 11th birthdays come and go, secretly hoping that they’d receive their Hogwarts acceptance letter by owl post. For those who are still waiting to enroll at the magical boarding school, the county library’s OWL Camp was the next best thing. OWL Camp took place this year at the Library’s Viridian Events Center from June 24 through June 28. Each day, a new crop of Hogwarts hopefuls arrived at Platform 9 ¾ to be greeted by a bantering muggle train conductor. From there, students were ushered indoors, where the Sorting Hat placed them in one of four Hogwarts houses. The Events Center was convincingly disguised as the famous castle, complete with an enormous dragon statue and detailed costumes supplied by HRW Creations. The purpose of the event, now in its third year, is to “provide a free, inclusive, STEAM-based summer camp for youth ages 11 to 18,” said library program manager Nyssa Fleig. Throughout the day, children attend STEAM-focused classes (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) with a magical twist. Real-world subjects are matched with fantastical counterparts, as visitors from Utah’s Hogle Zoo teach Care of Magical Creatures, the Natural History Museum of

Utah and Red Butte Garden cover Herbology, and many more. The camp is organized so that a different age group attends each day, starting with 11 year olds on Monday and ending with 17 and 18 year olds on Saturday. Registration began in March, and all you need to be accepted is a library card. Library manager Matt McLain—convincingly disguised as Professor Dumbledore—explained that the challenges faced by the books’ characters in each year of their schooling are reflected in the curriculum for each day of OWL camp. First-year students face challenges like those found in the first “Harry Potter” book, while the oldest attendees experience events in the final book of the series. This allows the faculty to tailor their teaching to different age groups and gives students an opportunity to return year after year, experiencing something new each time. Aspiring witches Kylie and Juliet, both 14, attended OWL Camp last year and were eager to return this year. Their favorite class was Potions, taught by faculty at the University of Utah’s College of Pharmacology, where they learned to make their own lip balm. Pharmacology faculty member Jim Ruble said the skills the students learn in his Potions class are “a type of a dosing formula-

An amusing muggle train conductor invites teens to board the train to Hogwarts at the library’s OWL Camp. (Alison Brimley/City Journals)

tion that compounding pharmacists routinely make all the time” (though at OWL camp, they don’t use medication). In past years, students have been thrilled by the self-stirring beakers in the Potions classroom. After all, as writer Arthur Clarke’s 3rd Law states, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In the Defense Against the Dark Arts

classroom, the Clark Planetarium helps young witches and wizards become familiar with “Muggle technology.” Students make Lego Mindstorms robots drive around autonomously, attaching a sensor to the robot and programming the sensor to avoid obstacles. Teachers in this classroom adapt their teaching to the ages of each group, while younger teens are given more instruction, older ones are given more freedom to figure things out on their own. But OWL Camp’s curriculum doesn’t stop at STEAM education. Fleig explained that the event also aims to teach social and emotional skills. Salt Lake County Youth Services teaches a class in coping skills and anti-bullying tactics (“charms”) and attendees are given time to interact and socialize in a “Common Room.” In follow-up surveys, students routinely rate Common Room as their favorite activity of the day. In this goal as well as others, OWL Camp seems to have hit upon a magic formula. “One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get every year from parents is, ‘My child was super nervous about coming—they’re very shy, they’re very anxious, they didn’t know anybody, and they left your camp with a new friend,” Fleig said. l

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West Jordan City Journal

A taste of Americana at West Jordan’s annual carnival By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


est Jordan’s summer carnival, held this year on July 4, 5, and 6, was just one of many events that took place as part of the 65th annual Western Stampede, hosted at the West Jordan Civic Center and presented by Jordan Valley Medical Center along with other local sponsors. After the Grand Parade kicked off the festivities on the morning of July 4, the carnival began at Veteran’s Memorial Park. The carnival lasted from noon to 11 p.m. on all three days. Other events included the rodeo, which took place each evening at the West Jordan Rodeo Arena, and the Linda Buttars Memorial Fun Run (including a 5k run as well as a 1-mile family walk) on Saturday morning. The festivities wrapped up on Saturday night with a free screening of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” at Veteran’s Memorial Park. “Most people associate the Western Stampede with the rodeo, but it encompasses all three days of city celebrations,” said West Jordan Events Coordinator Heather Everett.

Overall, she calls the weekend’s events a definite success. The rodeo completely sold out on July 4 and came close to selling out on the 5th and 6th. Even the fireworks show was well attended, despite rain and wind. While entrance to the carnival was free, carnival goers had to purchase individual tickets for the rides—or a wristband good for unlimited rides could be purchased in advance for $20 (or $30 on the day of the event). With individual rides costing $3 to $6 each, the wristband was well worth the price. But visitors who attended the carnival on Saturday got an even better deal: buy-one-getone-free wristbands were offered from noon to 4 p.m. Mary Martinez, a resident of West Jordan, has been attending the carnival since she was a teenager and now brings her own kids. “It’s a lot different from what I grew up with,” Martinez said. “It was a lot more when I grew up. When I was younger, this place was packed—rides, vendors, booths of all different kinds.” Today the vendor list seems

Ferris wheel at West Jordan’s carnival. (Alison Brimley/City Journals)

Old-fashioned carnival games offer tempting prizes. (Alison Brimley/City Journals)

WestJordanJournal .com

to be much shorter. But she still enjoys attending with her kids. “They love the rides,” Martinez said. “And it’s definitely a lot cheaper than Lagoon.” For the more faint-hearted carnival-goers, the event offered classics such as swings, Ferris wheel and bumper boats. For those less prone to nausea, there was the tilt-a-whirl, zipper and more. Food vendors stationed in trucks and tents around the perimeter of the park included Famous Dave’s BBQ, Dinky Donuts, the Pizza Bus and many more. More centrally located were carnival classics such as corn dogs, funnel cakes and cotton candy. While the carnival opened at noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the enter-

tainment began at 4 p.m., offering a unique schedule of performers each day. There were musical performances from acts as diverse as Joshy Soul and the Lyric Opera Theater; dance performances in many styles; pie eating and watermelon eating competitions; and even a cowboy hypnotist. Whether you grew up attending the carnival like Mary Martinez or not, just walking around West Jordan’s carnival was enough to drum up some serious nostalgia—an activity that feels perfectly suited to any Fourth of July weekend. “We’ve had really good feedback from the community,” Everett said. “Our residents really enjoyed it.” l

August 2019 | Page 7

Novices and veterans come together to put on one ‘Crazy’ show By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


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ass by the outside of Midvale’s Performing Arts Center, built in the 1930s, and you might first notice its distinctive art deco style. From July 11-22, this theater served as an apt venue for another 1930s artifact— Sugar Factory Playhouse’s production of the Gershwin-inspired musical “Crazy for You.” Many songs in “Crazy for You,” you might already know by heart—standards like “Embraceable You,” “Someone to Watch over Me” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.” First produced on Broadway in the 1990s, “Crazy for You” takes its music from the famous jazz-era tunes of George and Ira Gershwin, weaving them into a romantic plot that borrows elements from screwball comedy of the ’30s and ’40s. New Yorker and aspiring dancer Bobby Child (Daniel Fifield) is ordered by his banker mother to travel to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a theater, but ends up falling in love with the theater owner’s daughter, Polly (Kimberlee Robbins). What follows is a madcap story of mistaken identities, misunderstandings and lots of tap dancing. The inside of Midvale’s Performing Arts Center feels surprisingly snug: only six rows of seats sit before the stage, with a few rows of temporary seating behind that. “Most places I’ve performed at aren’t this intimate,” said Robbins, who returned to the stage for the first time following the birth of twins last year. Robbins has performed all over the world, but said “there’s something special about being able to do a show…where the audience feels more a part of [it].” Music director Jared Campbell said one difficulty of this production was putting together the many group numbers. The rigorous musical style

and multiplying harmonies posed a challenge to the cast, composed of veterans and newcomers alike. But, said Campbell, “this cast really stepped up to the challenge.” He established strict expectations, but received “no backlash. They’re all just very respectful.” Cast member Austin Bunkall was one such newcomer. With no acting experience under his belt, he was surprised to be cast in the role of the main villain, Lank Hawkins. Embracing his inner villain hasn’t been easy, but Bunkall said of his first onstage experience, “It’s been incredible, and I’ve loved it.” Watching the cast interact offstage, you get the sense that their relationships extend far beyond the performance. Before a dress rehearsal, two real-life sisters who play New York showgirls tried on their character’s blonde wigs, jokingly asked a member of the production staff, “Do we look like our mom?” “Yes,” came the response, “she was that blonde in high school.” One might even be tempted to accuse Campbell of favoritism for casting his own dog, Miss Fanjie, as the show’s only canine character. Many in the cast, including Bunkall and Robbins, auditioned for the production in the first place because a friend who was already involved encouraged them to join. But rest assured, if friendships got these actors to their auditions, it didn’t stand in for talent. The skill of this cast leaves little to be desired, particularly when it comes to leads Robbins and Fifield. Whether singing or dancing, both are a pleasure to watch on stage, and Fifield’s high-pitched, old-time New York accent lends an endearing quality to a character that might be otherwise hard to like. And the women who play showgirls frequently chime in with The

Polly Baker (Kimberlee Robbins) and Bobby Child (Daniel Fifield) star in Sugar Factory Playhouse’s production of “Crazy for You.” (Alison Brimley/City Journals)

Andrews Sisters-style harmonies that don’t miss a note. Though this story is zany on the surface, the actors have connected with the underlying themes that make it a story worth telling. As Robbins put it, the appeal of the show is that “it talks about things in a humorous way that people don’t like talking about. The decisions that Polly and Bobby have to make, no one wants to talk about those life decisions. It’s so nice to be able to share those vulnerable moments with people.” l

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The cast performs one of the many ensemble numbers in “Crazy for You.” (Alison Brimley/City Journals)

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




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A life filled with service, a retirement filled with toys By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

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s your ideal retirement filled with toys? Duke’s is. Preferably tennis balls and bite sleeves. Officer Tom Smith has been Duke’s constant companion. Smith, who trained Duke, bought him from the city for $1 and continues to care for Duke in his retirement. “...[H]is life was very structured, he has a command for everything. He really only got to do what he was told. He didn’t get toys unless he was working…[T]hey get paid with toys. Now he gets to have toys all the time. “I have given him old bite sleeve covers and let him have his way with them. To him that’s the ultimate, the bite sleeve.” Retirement isn’t entirely relaxing for a trained working dog. It can be a difficult adjustment. “He goes crazy when I go,” Smith said. “That’s the part of this kind of Malinois, they have that heart, they just want to work, work, work.” Duke worked with Smith on 1,135 cases through his life with the force. He was retired for his age and his slowed

Duke has led a fulfilling life of fighting crime and toys. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

pace. His training was for patrol and drugs. His nose is his powerhouse. He can locate an extinguished marijuana joint in an ashtray from outside a vehicle. A dog’s sense of smell can grant an officer what is known as “plain sight” that gives them the right to search a vehicle or building. But for a dog, it’s called “in plain smell.” “With a dog, a dog has the ability to smell an odor leaving the vehicle,” Smith said. “The supreme court has determined that you have no right to privacy of odor emitting from your vehicle.” The sense of a single joint is Utah’s #1 Self Proclaimed his most impressive feat, but he has Pet Odor Remover also detected 150 pounds of mariF R E E E S T I M AT E juana from outside a vehicle, which is undetectable to a human. - Patrick Another example of Duke’s impressive nose is his tracking of an active shooter, simply from the shooter’s abandoned hat. “One of his best things...a guy who shot 15 rounds at a hotel clerk, took off on foot and jumped a bunch of fences. They gave me...a hat that he had dropped. He FrattoBoys.com made a beautiful track and footstep Also tile cleaning! by footstep, after about two city


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blocks (went) right to where he was hiding underneath an...electrical box,” Smith recalled. “It was great, surprised me.” A police officer trains and continually works with his own dog. Smith was inspired by his grandfather who was a horse and dog trainer. “I have a grandpa who was an amazing horse trainer. He always had dogs and they were all trained the same way. You don’t break a horse, you gentle a horse. “It’s the same thing with a dog. There’s compulsion and there’s coercion to make a dog work. There’s got to be a lot more coercion and a little bit of compulsion to have a successful trained animal.” “That’s why I wanted to be a police officer. I like my job. I love my canine job.” Smith now has two new dogs that live and work with him, another patrol and drug dog, and a rescue and bomb dog. At home, the two new dogs get along with Duke, though they can outrun him. Even though Duke’s police days are over, he is still content. “He’s happy. He’s very happy,” Smith said. l

August 2019 | Page 11

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Page 12 | August 2019

West Jordan City Journal


Stephen Buhler

3540 S. 4000 West, West Valley City, Ut

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

Stephen Buhler’s office is conveniently located in West Valley City at the Harmon Building, 3540 S. 4000 West. (Photo courtesy Stephen Buhler)


n 1998, attorney Steve Buhler left the Salt Lake City law firm where he had worked as an associate attorney to open his own office. “I live on the westside,” he said, “and I know people don’t always want to drive downtown.” Buhler also realized that the westside communities were underserved with respect to quality legal advice and representation. “Many lawyers offer a free consultation.

But I want to be helpful whether you hire me or not. One thing I will never do is make your case sound better than it is just so I can get your money. I will tell you the truth about how I see your case, the good and the bad, and help you make the best decisions possible going forward,” Buhler said. Experience matters Over his 25 years practicing law Buhler has helped thousands of people understand their legal rights, the legal process, and how to obtain the best legal solutions available to them. Buhler sums up his business philosophy, “If you have a legal question, a legal problem to solve, or are wanting to do some advance legal planning, call me. I will do my best to help you. I understand that every question, every case and every plan is important. I will listen to you, do my best to understand your issue, and give you valuable legal advice and representation,” he said. Buhler strives to educate and help. “I want everyone who comes and meets with me to leave a little happier and more confident, with a better understanding of the law than they had when they first came in,”

Buhler said. Buhler focuses on estate planning (wills and trusts), probate (inheritance), and family law including divorce, paternity, adoption, name change, premarital agreements and guardianship. Since relocating his law practice to West Valley City, Buhler has immersed himself in community service including serving on the board of directors of the chamber of commerce (chamberwest.com), chairing the nonprofit after-school program provider Community Education Partnership of West Valley City (cep4kids.org), and serving in local government. His office is conveniently located one block west of Bangerter Highway in the Harmon Building, 3540 S. 4000 West, Suite 245. It is from that office that Buhler has proudly provided quality legal services for 21 years. More information about the practice and Steve Buhler’s awards and recognitions can be found on his website, www.4utahlaw. com. To schedule an appointment or to talk to Steve Buhler over the phone, call his office at (801) 964-6901.

“Many lawyers offer a free consultation. But I want to be helpful whether you hire me or not.”

Stephen J. Buhler, attorney at law, helps westside clients with a better understanding of the law, specifically in estate planning and family law. (Don Polo Photography)




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West Jordan City Journal


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August 2019 | Page 15

West Jordan works to slim budget while adding more police officers By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com


une is budget month. By state law, the official budget for the fiscal year (from July 1 to June 30) must be adopted by June 30. All city leaders go through all their income and expenses, making changes and adjustments with input from employees and council. If taxes need to be raised to support the city, then a truth in taxation meeting takes place in August of that new fiscal year. West Jordan officials did not see the need to raise taxes this year.

And budget went down.

“The budget was prepared without any kind of property tax increased at all,” Danyce Steck, finance director, said. “We anticipate revenues will sustain the budget for the next year under the current rate.” The City’s General Fund amended budget for fiscal year 2018–19 totaled at $56,560,295. The new tentative budget 2019– 20 reigns in the spending to $56,494,821. City departments consolidated their spending. For example, in the past, public works would budget for its own emergency spending. Now that excess in its budget is put back into the general fund so that any department has more access to emergency funds. “Public works really came to the table,” Steck said. “And it also gave all the departments some clarity when we brought all the budgets together. They were used to having them dispersed to so many divisions; they were able to bring those down.” Not only did city leaders lower their anticipated spending, they were able to put the savings to work. Last year, city officials raised taxes to hire five more police officers. This year, they will employ an additional three officers, with no increase. “We added three full-time police officers, and we also added the funding from the Jordan School District for a part of the wag-

Page 16 | August 2019

es of those officers, as they will be assigned to be school resource officers,” Steck said. “And when school is out of session, they will come back into the community.” Half of the wages for these new officers will come from the Jordan School District, since they will be spending much of their time in the schools.

Savings Account

The ending Fund Balance, which acts as the cities savings account, will rest near 15% of the total budget, which is equivalent to 55 days of running the city at full capacity with no income. “I would rather have it be 20%, but that Where West Jordan government gets its money. (image/West Jordan) was about as good as we could get,” Steck said. “We cut as many things as we could to get to this level. The state recommends between 20 and 25%; they max out at 25%.” Steck was recently appointed to West Jordan as finance director, and increasing the fund balance is one of her goals for the city. “In consolidating divisions into departments, we were able to identify budget cost savings in both operations and personnel,” she said. “That savings coupled with savings from vacant positions and other increased operational efficiencies will be the resource we plan to use to build that financial sustainability into the budget.”

Budget Concerns

Resident Steve Jones was concerned about a portion of the budget. “One of the things I would like to see as a citizen is Risk Management,” he said. “I’d really like to (see) a history what’s been expended in that risk management as well as broke down as far as insurances and litigations.” “We have a risk management fund at $1.7 million,” Steck said. “It funds our risk manager staff and claims on the city. So we

How West Jordan City spends its revenue. (image/West Jordan)

have budgeted for four of our deductibles for our large claims in case they do happen or occur, and we fund our workers comp and insurance.” Further details were not available about claims against the city.

Strong Mayor Salary

Another point of discussion on the budget is the salary for the new strong mayor that will take office in January 2020. The council has been unable to assign a specific

salary and will most likely revisit the topic in a budget amendment later this year. The current budget reserves $120,000 per year for the new mayor, but Councilmember Kayleen Whitelock is unhappy with this number. “This is a service, not a job,” she said. “You’ve got to love what you’re doing and why you are doing it or you’re not going to represent our city. When the average citizen household income is only $72,000, I have a hard time saying that our mayor is worth $40,000 more.” l

West Jordan City Journal

Empathy Project empowers West Jordan students to stop discrimination By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


embers of an after-school club are tackling social injustice and discrimination at West Jordan Middle School. “The Empathy Project is a place where students can talk about sensitive social issues that go along with being an adolescent,” said Principal Dixie Rae Garrison. “Students can talk about things that matter most to them.” Several school staff members facilitate the club, and the students strive to create an atmosphere in which all students feel supported and accepted. “I have personally faced many injustices, and I’ve been discriminated against, so when there’s a group that celebrates diversity and tries to promote empathy, I’m going to be all over it,” said Alex Roman, vice president of the group last year. Students and staff meet regularly afterschool for Project Empathy to brainstorm ideas to encourage empathy among students through education and leading by example. Learning appropriate ways to react to social injustices has been empowering for students, said Tara Pearce, one of the group’s advisors. “Our students are better equipped when they hear different slurs or when they hear different offensive terms,” said Pearce.

“They all know how to respond to that to try to stop that.” Abigail Rose Hartle, a Project Empathy member, said that often kids aren’t trying to be mean. “A lot of people say things without knowing what they actually mean,” she said. One of the group’s campaigns last year was to eliminate the use of “gay” as a derogatory adjective by reacting to its use as if it were a swear word. It made a lot of students stop and realize the meaning of what they were saying. “I’ve noticed that, since I’ve started treating it like a bad word, kids have stopped saying it around me, at least,” said Alex. Each month, Pearce introduces a book written from an authentic perspective of a young person who is a minority, homeless, living in poverty, LBGTQ, living with illness or disability, etc. “We’re not a book club,” said Tayleigh Ward, last year’s group secretary. “We like to get things done. We read things to learn about them, but then we try and do something about it.” Students use themes from the books as a springboard for discussions and theme weeks

to educate the student body about peers who are different than they are. “We challenge ourselves to do something on topic to benefit the whole school,” said Annalynn Lee. “Our hope is that the individual students in the group are enacting changes in their daily lives that can have a ripple effect,” said Pearce. Monthly guest speakers provide successful role models as they speak on topics such as gender stereotypes, gender roles, body image, poverty, gender discrimination and workplace discrimination. Students and staff said they have noticed an improvement in student interactions. Raissa Sopoye has seen her peers confront and educate others when they hear them use a discriminatory phrase. “More people are standing up for themselves,” she said. “I'd say it has been a change; it's really kind of a ripple effect.” Kimberley Lopez, who will be a ninth grader this year, said the group also serves as a support network. “For the people who do become a victim of racism or sexism, or just any form of discrimination, this group also shows you a way

to cope with those words,” she said. Students said they felt comfort in knowing they are not alone in their struggles and won’t be judged by group members when they share their experiences. “You can just say whatever you want, and they somehow find a way to make you feel accepted,” said Kailee Snyder. Last year, the group partnered with other school clubs for school fundraisers and unifying activities. This coming school year, Empathy Project members will continue monthly themes, activities, assemblies and awareness days, highlighting topics such as different identities and abilities, mental health, acceptance and self-acceptance, school spirit, and unity. Any student is welcome to participate in the Empathy Project. “We really wanted every student at our school to know that they had a place where they didn't have to be good at anything; they didn't have to have a certain skill; they didn't have to be a certain color or certain way, or certain gender or whatever,” Pearce said. “They could just come and talk about things that matter and try to learn how to be kinder.” l

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WestJordanJournal .com

August 2019 | Page 17

You are invited & dinner is on us!

Jordan School District raises pay and expectations 9

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By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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Jordan School District


Average home value in the area is $400,000

> without tax increase $250/month > with tax increase $500/month

Current teacher salaries without tax increase/with tax increase

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New teacher

Step 10 teacher

Step 20 teacher

Step 30 teacher









> Proposed tax increase is $18 per $100,000 property value per year > Most homeowners will pay $72 a year, or $6 per month.

Grant pool was $3 million last year; it will be $4.5 million this year


ordan District teachers have been promised a $3,075 annual increase to their wages but the school board is hoping to give them even more. “Jordan School District has fought for many years to elevate teaching, to push the other districts to elevate teaching,” said Jordan District Board President Bryce Dunford, who said the winners of the district salary wars are the teachers. To stay competitive with districts with a larger commercial tax base, Jordan’s board is asking the community to support a tax increase—about $6 a month—that would directly increase teacher wages an additional $3,000 a year, bringing the starting salary to $48,000 per year. Board members are asking the community to invest in the good teachers in their schools instead of losing them to other districts offering higher salaries such as Canyons and Murray, which both recently announced a $50,000 starting pay. Southland Elementary teacher Cindy McDowell is concerned by the lack of public support for previously proposed tax increases to benefit education. “The public is paying a certain amount right now, and they’re getting quality teachers,” said McDowell. “Why would they want a tax raise to get the same teachers?” The board held open houses July 9, 15 and 29 at local high schools to collect feedback from the community. The seven board members will make their final decision of whether or not to levy the tax at the Truth in Taxation hearing at 6 p.m. on Aug. 6 at Riverton High School. Salary pay is only part of the Jordan pay package. What sets it apart from other districts is incentive pay opportunities, said

©Debbie Funk / City Journals

Dunford. Teachers can apply for grant money for the time they invest in improving student learning. “We don’t want our teachers just to be paid,” said Dunford. “We want to offer an incentive to do a little bit more.” Last year Jordan District, who was recently named No. 12 on Forbes’ list of Utah Best Employers, introduced grants for their teachers who were putting in additional hours to run after-school activities and to develop new curriculum for their classrooms. The grant pool increased 50 percent this year, creating $4.5 million available to reward the district’s 2,700 teachers for their extra efforts. Reaction to the pay package was mixed when announced May 29. Some teachers said grant applications were too time consuming and were not available for provisional teachers. McDowell expressed frustration that teachers are being asked to prove that they are doing excellent work before they get more pay. “I’m not happy that we’re having to justify a raise,” she said. Dunford acknowledged the grant program, after just one year, still has some kinks to work out. But he emphasized that no other district pays their teachers for these hours. “This board stands behind incentive pay as a way of improving teaching,” Dunford said. “We pray that you won’t see it as hoops you have to jump through but as rewards for extra excellent teaching.” Kathy Bekkemellom, a teacher at South Hills Middle School, is pleased with the grant program through which she was paid for her time to develop curriculum for a new digital literacy class, which every computer teacher in the state was doing anyway.

“It’s something I would have done no matter what,” she said. “So, I took 10 minutes, filled out the grant and got an extra $3,000.” Bekkemellom is happy with the new pay package. “I’m glad that they’re trying to stay competitive with the other districts and motivate the teachers to do excellent work,” she said. Board member Matt Young said when negotiating teacher pay, the board’s role is to balance the expectations of taxpayers and teachers. “Our role is to see a bigger picture,” said Young. “We are accountable to multiple stakeholders.” Board members believe incentivizing teachers’ extraordinary efforts will create the best district possible. “We believe strongly that this is going to push teaching in Jordan School District to a completely new level,” said Dunford. “Our teachers are going to generate ideas that no one’s thinking about. We’re going to come up with teaching techniques that no one’s trying. We’re going to use technology in a way that no one else is doing because teachers get compensated for doing great things rather than just being ordinary like everyone else. That’s why we offer the incentive pay.” Jordan teachers are also being asked to work two more days next year. They will be prep days to set up classrooms at beginning of the year and to prepare curriculum, which teachers usually do without pay. Additional funding is currently being developed into new programs including incentives for mentoring, bringing the total fund for incentive pay to $7 million. l

West Jordan City Journal



NEWS Paid for by the City of West Jordan

Voting in the 2019 Election Voting is an empowering process that gives residents a direct opportunity to shape their government and community. Here are some things to consider when registering and voting.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

HOW WAS YOUR MONEY SPENT? I am pleased to report to West Jordan citizens how recent property taxes, water fees and business license fees have been spent to improve public safety and quality of life.

PROPERTY TAX In 2018, West Jordan City Council approved a $2,198,886 property tax increase to be spent on public safety improvements. How your $2,198,886 property tax dollars were used: INCREASED FUNDS TO POLICE BUDGET $1, 383,351 5 NEW POLICE OFFICERS HIRED (including vehicles and equipment) CROSSING GUARD compensation increased INCREASED FUND TO THE FIRE BUDGET 9 NEW FIREFIGHTERS HIRED INCREASE TO STREET BUDGETS STREET MAINTENANCE AND EQUIPMENT

HOW TO REGISTER You can register, check your registration status or make changes to your personal information at secure.utah.gov/voterreg. Residents can register online or in person until August 6 for the primary election and October 29 for the general election. Also, you can register the day of the election by filling out a provisional ballot at a voting center. While the deadline for mail-in registrations for the primary election has passed, the registration deadline for the general election is October 7. Instructions are given in detail for each option at SLCo.org/Clerk/Elections.

HOW TO VOTE You can vote in the primary and general elections. In West Jordan, a primary will be held for all seats except Council District 2 because primaries are only required for seats that have more than two candidates. Depending on your registration, you will either vote by mail or in person. Salt Lake County will mail ballots to active, registered voters three weeks prior to the election day. Ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before the election day to be counted. You can also drop them off at an official ballot box or Election Day Vote Centers until 8 PM on the election day. West Jordan’s Ballot box is located on the southwest corner of West Jordan City Hall at 8000 S Redwood Road and is open 24/7. There are several options to vote in person. West Jordan’s early voting takes place at West Jordan Library - 8030 S 1825 W. Election Day Vote Centers include the Viridian Event Center (not West Jordan City Hall) and Bingham Creek Library (4834 W 9000 S) as well as any other vote center in Salt Lake County.



WATER RATE From 2013 to 2017, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District increased the cost of water by 12.3 percent and there has been a growing demand to maintain the water system infrastructure. The City initiated a rate study by an independent consultant which identified a need for increased revenue to support and address the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District’s raise in costs. In October 2018, the City initiated a needed rate increase to keep the City in compliance with bond requirements. This rate increase was the first response to the City falling below the bond debt coverage ratio required by bond contract requirements. Based on the findings from the study, the City Council initiated the needed rate increase to both the base rate and the tiered rates in February 2019. This cost increase continues to ensure safe, high-quality water to our community and supports the increased demand to maintain the water system infrastructure.

BUSINESS LICENSE FEES In January 2019, City Council approved, with a unanimous 7-0 vote, to increase the business licensing fees and in March 2019 City Council voted to increase the rental dwelling unit fees. Both increases are based on an independent cost study conducted by Zions Public Finance Inc. which determined that an increase of fees was necessary to accommodate the increase of services to businesses. The City Council chose to preserve the same rate structure but increased the fees by a marginal amount. This change is estimated to generate approximately $190,000 as licenses are renewed. This revenue was dedicated to assisting the City by adding three (3) additional new police officers in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, making a total of eight (8) new police officer positions to support public safety. I believe Thomas Paine said it best in his book “Common Sense” when he stated, “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.” I don’t know of anyone that likes taxes and fees raised, however, they are necessary for us to maintain safety and the quality of life we enjoy here in West Jordan.

August 7-12 - Early voting for primary election from 2-6 p.m. only. August 13 - Primary Election, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. November 5 - General Election, 7 a.m.- 8 p.m.


Jim Riding, Mayor



West Jordan Neighborhoods Encouraged to Register for 2019 National Night Out

GSI Presenting at ESRI

“Together, we are making communities safer, more caring places to live.” Neighborhoods throughout West Jordan are invited to join communities across the country and participate in National Night Out from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6. On the night of the event, residents throughout West Jordan are asked to turn on their porch lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors, police officers and elected officials. Cookouts, block parties and neighborhood walks will occur simultaneously throughout the City as members of the West Jordan Police Department and City Council team up to visit registered neighborhoods. Contact WJPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Christie Jacobs at Christie.Jacobs@ westjordan.utah.gov or 801-256-2032 to register your neighborhood. National Night Out is an annual nationwide grassroots event designed to heighten crime awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships.

9400 South Renamed to Fullmer Lane Last month, 9400 South from 1700 West to 2200 West was renamed to Fullmer Lane to honor the legacy of the Fullmer family and their impact to the community of West Jordan. The family was largely known for their involvement in the sport of boxing and service to the community. Gene Fullmer won the world middleweight boxing championship in 1957 and was inducted to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1985. The family started the Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves franchise in Utah and provided free boxing lessons to at-risk youth, with over 2,000 young people participating in their program.

West Jordan City’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team was asked by Cityworks, industry leader in GIS Centric Asset Management systems, to present at the 2019 World ESRI GIS Conference in San Diego, held last month. Earlier in the year, the GIS staff created Citizen Service Request (CSR), an online service residents can use to report virtually any non-emergency issue within the city. The ESRI Conference had over 19,000 attendees from 130 countries, representing nearly every commercial sector, government organization, and non-profit field. “It’s an honor to be asked to present at the conference,” GIS administrator Clint Hutchings said. “It speaks to the ingenuity of our team and how CSR revolutionizes the way residents interact with the city.” When a citizen logs a problem on CSR, the issue is routed to the proper city department and a work order is generated automatically. The citizen is given regular status updates via email until the problem has been resolved. The GIS team put the system together using software products the city already owns so no additional resources were needed. Since the CSR has been introduced, the city has received and responded to over 350 service requests from the app. “The new CSR has allowed the city to fully track each asset in the city and to log the history including regular maintenance, repairs, installation dates, etc. This allows the city to become more proactive rather than reactive in maintaining city assets,” GIS specialist Andrew Thorup said. Residents can find the City Service Request at gis.wjordan.com/cityservice-request/


2019 Western Stampede Thank you to all who came and supported the Western Stampede traditions! We sold 10,696 tickets for the rodeo and sold out on the Fourth of July. To be the first to hear about next year’s rodeo and events, follow us at facebook.com/WJStampede













Veterans Memorial Park 8020 S 1825 West 6 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Park 8020 S 1825 West, 9 p.m.

City Hall West Parking Lot 8000 S Redwood Rd 10 a.m.-noon






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

Neighborhoods throughout the City







Veterans Memorial Park 8020 S 1825 West, 9 a.m.






Ballot Box and Vote Center open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

City Hall Mayor’s Office 8000 S Redwood Rd 3-5 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers 8000 S Redwood Rd. 5:30 p.m.





Join Our Events Committee




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

City Hall Mayor’s Office 8000 S Redwood Rd 3-5 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers 8000 S Redwood Rd. 5:30 p.m.

The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 Join the conversation! 801-569-5000 West Jordan – City Hall WestJordan.Utah.Gov

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

SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY AND HAVE A GREAT TIME DOING IT – JOIN THE EVENTS COMMITTEE! From the Easter Egg Hunt to the Fourth of July Parade and everything in between, events shape our city’s image and strengthen our sense of community. Give as little or as much time as you have and help bring them to life. Fill out a volunteer interest form on our website at WestJordan.Utah.Gov/Committees.

Godfrey gets unanimous vote from Jordan Board of Education to be new Jordan School District superintendent By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Incoming Jordan School District Superintendent Anthony Godfrey, second from left, joins District Administrator of Middle Schools Michael Anderson, Jordan Board of Education member Marilyn Richards, South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey and Board Vice President Tracy Miller during the 2019 Legislative Session. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Ramsey)


wo weeks after the May 28 Jordan Board of Education announcement of being named the new Jordan School District superintendent, Anthony Godfrey is ready to reveal secrets. Those secrets include his reaction to being offered the position as head of the fourth-largest district in the state: “I’m thrilled; I’m excited. I’ve worked in Jordan School District a long time and love it.” Well, that isn’t so much of a secret since Godfrey has worked his way up the ladder in Jordan District, including most recently being associate superintendent during the past 26 years. But, how about this secret? With the announcement years ago of West Hills Middle School’s mascot, a mock fight between the wildcat and another mascot choice took place on the auditorium stage, with the winning mascot resulting in the school’s mascot. It was actually Godfrey, who was a teacher there at the time, dressed up in a neighbor’s Weber State University mascot costume, giving the last punch to send the Wildcats to victory. “I’m ready to reveal, for those lost fans of that time, who it really was dressed as the

mascot,” he said, adding that he doesn’t even recall the proposed mascot he was fighting. That may be about the only secret he’s held onto; those who know him, including Jordan Board of Education member Marilyn Richards, say “he’s a well-spoken, straight-forward genuine person.” Richards has known Godfrey since 1999, when she was principal of Jordan High School, which was in Jordan District at that time, and for five years, he was her assistant principal or “my right arm.” “I knew then, he was destined to be great,” Richards said. “The kids loved him. He was so bright and had a great sense of humor. He’d always bring and share funny cartoons.” She remembers for her 50th birthday, Godfrey packed her office with black balloons, but in the middle of them was a “big red U balloon,” which the Brigham Young University graduate wasn’t happy to see. However, Richards got her lasting revenge. One day when Godfrey was assigned to give parking tickets on cars without permits, she received a call who described a “little red-headed boy” was outside, checking out all the cars. Ever since then, Richards has

called Godfrey her “little red-headed boy.” “I’m glad we’re working together again,” she said. “He already knows our programs, has things in place, has established relationships with people and is knowledgeable of the workings of our district. I’m sure that little red-headed boy will continue to lead our district to great heights.” Even though Godfrey has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and worked in the district office, he said that his first goal is to get out to the schools to meet students, parents and all the employees. “I want to know what they like that we’re doing, what we can do better, how can we be more efficient and effective,” Godfrey said. “I want the chance to hear how we can collaborate, work together. With faculty, I want to hear what will make their jobs better. Sometimes, we ask more instead of taking things off their plate. I want to know how to provide more resources for them.” Understanding the people and their needs are among the qualities Board of Education Vice President Tracy Miller appreciates in Godfrey. “His leadership skills are amazing,” said Miller, who chaired the national superintendent search party. “He is so good finding solutions for many different and difficult situations. He has the valued, trusted relationships and the love of the district. He understands what has happened, where we have been and knows the direction we’re headed. He’s innovative in student achievement and is supportive of technology used to improve teaching and make it more effective.” Already Godfrey is working with others to try to bring the 1:1 ratio of student to electronic device a step further, perhaps slowly rolling out a laptop check-out system throughout the district this fall so secondary students can use them the entire school year, including at home. “This would help personalize learning and prepare them for their next level of education,” he said.

He plans to continue outgoing Superintendent Patrice Johnson’s motto, “every child, every day.” “It is a really good reminder that even when class sizes can be large — as they are across the state, we need to focus on every individual child, their needs and making sure our 3,000 employees are challenging every one of the 55,000 students in the district every day,” he said. “My hope is to help people be the best they can and provide the support and resources they need.” As students graduate, he hopes that not only do they learn the curriculum but also have the “soft skills” needed to be successful. “They should be able to communicate, problem-solve, have stick-to-it-ness, grapple with problems and know how to learn,” she said. “These are skills that can translate into any job and help them be contributing citizens.” While Godfrey plans to be visible, available and transparent as superintendent, he still plans to find time to take a break at concerts, “from beginning bands to superstars” because “I’m a big fan of live events, concerts, and I like a wide range of music.” Richards attests to that. “If there is a concert in the valley, he’s there.,” she said. She also said still drives his 20-plusyear-old Saturn with 300,000 miles on it, including to the movies, where he went to the opening nights of the recently released “Star Wars” and “Avengers.” South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey looks forward to continuing working with Godfrey in his new position that he will assume July 1. “For the past six years, I’ve worked with Dr. Godfrey with region PTA, Jordan Education Association and now as mayor, and I’ve known him to have the utmost integrity and serve as an outstanding educator and administrator,” she said. “I look forward to Jordan School District being a great district under Dr. Godfrey’s leadership.” l

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West Jordan City Journal

Passionate poets promote performance participation By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


r. Steve Haslam, of Copper Hills High School; Sally Wilde, of Herriman High School; and Amanda Kurd, of Kearns High School, are passionate to put poetry slam clubs and classes into all Utah high schools. They formed the Utah High School Poetry Slam Initiative to campaign for poetry slam to become a sanctioned activity through the Utah High School Activities Association. “We said, ‘Let’s do something more; let’s do something bigger; let’s do everything we can to get it in every school that we can because we have watched poetry literally save lives, and so that is our goal,’” said Haslam. Poetry slam is a competition where students perform a three-minute, 10-second original poem for five judges. Teachers who coach poetry slam clubs claim it provides a forum for students to express their experiences and emotions to a responsive audience. While poetry slams are popular in coffee shops and on YouTube, only about six Utah schools participate in inter-school competitions, and only two offer poetry slam classes. The poetry initiative hosted a gala May 2 to educate teachers, administrators and district officials about the benefits of the activity in hopes of encouraging participation in more schools. Their goal is to get 30 schools to participate, which would meet the UHSAA requirements for gaining an Emerging Sport/ Activity status. The Emerging Sports Policy was recently introduced by the UHSAA for the 2019–2020 school year. Currently, only 10 girls’ sports and 10 boys’ sports and three activities—music, theater/drama and speech/ debate—are sanctioned by the UHSAA. In response to requests from many participants and coaches of a variety of school activities, such as poetry slam, the UHSAA has created a student participation survey. “We are trying to gauge what types of activities the students in Utah are participating in outside of those sports and activities that are already sanctioned by the UHSAA,” said UHSAA Assistant Director Jan Whittaker. “If enough schools meet the requirements spelled out in the policy [20% of the 150 member schools], they will be placed on the Emerging Sports and Activities list.” Once an activity or sport becomes fully sanctioned, UHSAA can offer a state championship event. Schools from Jordan, Alpine, Davis and Granite districts currently participate in locally sponsored poetry slam competitions and workshops. The small but passionate community has drawn the support of well-known slam poets who were invited to teach workshops and perform their poems in conjunction with the state poetry slam competition hosted by Copper Hills High School May 3. This year, high school students from American Fork, Bingham, Brighton, Copper

WestJordanJournal .com

Advisers of local poetry slam clubs answer questions at a gala to promote the high school activity. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Hills, Herriman, Kearns, Paradigm and Skyline high schools participated. Members of the poetry slam initiative insist that poetry slam needs its own activity category and cannot be run under the umbrella of another activity, such as theater. Wilde said the judging criteria for individual theatrical performances doesn’t rate for original work, while slam poetry ratings put a greater emphasis on the poem rather than on the performance. RJ Walker, professional slam poet, teaches workshops in schools, recovery centers, detention centers and prisons. He has seen the benefits of slam poetry. “People need these spaces—especially youth,” said Walker. “People need healthy ways to express themselves and to listen and to feel what other people are saying.” Haslam said a misunderstanding of poetry slam has been a stumbling block to participation. Some educators and administrators fear what might come out of students’ mouths when they are turned loose to express feelings and “edgy” experiences in front of a live audience. There are rules restricting language and certain subject matter at the high school level. Administrators Todd Quarnberg, of Herriman High School, and Kim Searle, of Sunset Ridge Middle School, both spoke in support for poetry slam at the gala. They said their students have been able to tackle com-

plex emotions and work through difficult experiences without abusing their trust. “Historically, we thought that if we talked about suicide then kids are going to kill themselves, and we know that’s not true,” said Searle. She believes poetry slam can help students deal with their feelings in a healthy way. “We start sharing in classrooms with the adults we feel safe with, who can train our kids to use their voices to develop those skills that give them the gift of speech and listening and language,” she said. “They increase their relationships and their support systems, which means they live healthier lives. Isn’t that what we want for our kids?” That is the mission of UHSAA—to help students to succeed in their lives. By introducing the new policy, UHSAA board members hope to be able to support more sports and activities, and benefit more students. “This policy is intended to find ways to increase female participation as well as look for ways to meet the interests and needs of all students in Utah,” said Whittaker. Professional slam poet Jose Soto said slam poetry appeals to a wider variety of students, as well. He said it exposes them to more culturally diverse poets than what they read in English class. As a Venezuelan immigrant, he doesn’t relate to Shakespeare and Poe. “The problem is, those words and those

people don’t mirror my words, my experiences and just aren’t my people,” he said. “Poetry slam is a space where people like me have a voice, where students that have never been able to listen to people who look like them, get to.” l

Well-known slam poet Jesse Parent speaks in support of high school poetry slam clubs. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

August 2019 | Page 25

City Journals presents:

OUTdoor JOURNAL A publication covering outdoor recreational activities for men, women, and children in the Salt Lake Valley area.

What Mount Olympus means to Holladay residents By Sona Schmidt-Harris | s.schmidtharris@mycityjournals.com Curved snuggly around the base and slowly ascending the majestic slopes, Holladay claims Mount Olympus as her own.

Mount Olympus completes the Holladay skyline. (Sona Schmidt-Harris/City Journals)

Page 26 | August 2019

Holladayites go about their daily business sometimes not cognizant of this regal giant that stands at 9,030 feet. Still, one can barely look up without seeing the mountain. Several former and current Holladay residents reflect on what Mount Olympus means to them. City Councilman Brett Graham said, “Mount Olympus has meaning to me on several levels. First and foremost, it is a dominant landmark which I look for each time I fly into the Salt Lake Valley. When it comes into view, I feel home. From the valley, my city, neighborhood and home lay below and the mountains I love on either side.” Graham said that while Mount Olympus is a constant, it also changes. He loves seeing it capped with snow or watching the leaves change in the fall. “It is impressive in all seasons,” he said.   It also brings back memories, specifically when he was in high school. “A few buddies and I thought it would be fun to climb it with a generator and string a big ‘O’ in the trees to light up during the Olympus versus Skyline game. Needless to say, it didn’t happen…generators from the 1980s were heavy.” He added, “We are lucky to live below a beautiful creation.” Ninety-one-year-old David Taylor has been a hiker since he was 4 years old. A long-time Holladay resident, Taylor recalled his times on Mount Olympus fondly. “At night, you could hold the moonlight in your hands,” he said. There are parts of the Mount Olympus trail that are very steep. Taylor said, “When somebody says, ‘Oh yeah, we climbed Mount Olympus,’ I ask, ‘Did you go all the way up?’” Instead of answering, he said,

Shanna McGrath stands at the peak of Mount Olympus, McGrath’s first hike when she moved here a year ago. (Photo courtesy Shanna McGrath)

they change the subject. He said that through the years the Mount Olympus trail has been made a little bit easier. “You can look around and see the valley. It’s wonderful to be able to see that,” Taylor said. In his long life, his enthusiasm for the mountain has not dimmed. He said he believes that everyone in his family has gone up Mount Olympus. “For us, and I would say for most of my children and their children, we have interest in Mount Olympus.” Former Olympus High School student Andrea Wilkinson said, “From the time I can remember, Mount Olympus has always been there providing the eastern backdrop to my view. Her beauty and majesty are unsurpassed, no matter the season. However, she is especially beautiful in winter—after a snowstorm—when the sparkling white snow contrasts sharply against the blue sky. She is also beautiful in the spring and summer after a rainfall when her greenery is bright and looks full of promise. Mount Olympus is a protector who looks over the vast valley onto those of us lucky enough to live beneath her magnificent peak— basking in her shadow and glory.” Some Holladay residents climb the mountain and some wax poetic about its grandeur. In either case, Holladay and Mount Olympus are intimately bound.

West Jordan City Journal

It’s electric! How to hit the trails with integrated propulsion By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com

Bike experts like Mike Buckley, shop manager at 2nd Tracks Sports/Level 9 (Millcreek) are excited to talk about electric options. For any rider, beginning or advanced, motor propelled mountain bikes are a great emerging option for commuters and outdoor adventure seekers. (Amy Green/City Journals)

More mountain bikes with integrated electric motors are popping up around Utah-- in bike shops of course, on city streets and the diverse trails across the Wasatch. (Amy Green/City Journals)

You can’t see it… (it’s electric!). You gotta feel it… (it’s electric!). Ooh, it’s shakin’... (it’s electric!). Actually, you can see it. It’s a bike. It’s an electric bike. Boogie woogie, woogie!

More mountain bikes with integrated electric motors are popping up around Utah-- in bike shops of course, on city streets and the diverse trails across the Wasatch. Utah and its mountains are abundant with off road recreation opportunities. Those uphill places are even more accessible to ride now, thanks to electric mountain bikes or eMTB. For those who love getting to the further outskirts, dusty dirt avenues, rocky trails and Utah’s infamous desert washboard roads, longer distance rides are now more doable. Broadly speaking, there are two types of e-bikes: full-power or pedal-assist. The difference is in how they are powered by the motor. A full-power bike is meant for short distances with little to no pedaling over relatively short distances. Pedal-assist bikes are designed to be pedaled most of the time. But when you are tired and need a boost, these bikes can provide a bit of electric help. An eMTB falls into the category of pedal-assist. To read more about how they work check out www.explainthatstuff.com/electricbikes.

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Eddy Steele of SLC, is an avid rider. He has a Focus Jam Squared eMTB. “I love my particular bike. It affords me the ability to ride the trails that are by my house, or on my way home from work. I can ride quicker, whereas on a normal bike, I wouldn’t have the time to ride before it gets dark. A trail that would normally take two to three hours to ride, takes only about an hour on my eMTB with pedal assist,” Steele explained. Mountain bike hobbyists might wonder if one can get the same kind of challenging workout on an e-bike. “It’s not the same kind of workout, but you’re still getting a workout. I’m still breaking a sweat and I’ve still got an increased heart rate. But anytime you are working out two-three hours vs. one hour, you’re going to burn more calories,” Steele said. On an eMTB, one can ride longer. Steele explained the pedal assist advantage saying, “It helps out a lot on the hills and you can make it give you a little more assist on uphill’s. So if you’re using it aggressively, you can really cut down drastically on the amount of pedaling work. So it’s less of a workout to conquer hills than it would be if you had a normal bike. But it’s still a workout.” Steele recently met a guy in St George who has the same bike. After confirming

that the other guy didn’t steal his bike, the men got to talking. “The southern Utah guy was in his 50’s or 60’s, retired, a little overweight, and had bought his bike a few months ago. The guy hadn’t mountain biked before. He wanted something that would help him out a bit. In the short time that he had been mountain biking he lost around 30 pounds. I think without an electric mountain bike he probably wouldn’t have been out being so active,” Steele said. The fun thing about mountain biking is going outside and being on the varied terrain. An electric mountain bike can help one enjoy the sport more fully when one might not otherwise be physically capable. “The other nice thing I like about my bike is it’s a little heavier, so I feel a lot more stable. I feel like I can be a little bit more aggressive in my downhill mountain biking without getting so bounced around. I feel more secure. But it’s not too heavy. I still feel like I can control it really well,” Steele added. e-bikes are pretty amazing. One might wonder if anyone can just go out and take it anywhere? Mike Buckley, manager at 2nd Tracks/Level 9 Sports (Millcreek) where eMTB bikes are sold said, “Currently the people who maintain the trails make the decision (whether to allow e-bikes).” So check the rules before hitting the offroad trails. Where one is allowed to ride an eMTB can vary greatly on federal, state and local trails. As a general rule, any trail open to motorized and non-motorized use, is also available to eMTB riders. Because land rules can change frequently, don’t ride where rules aren’t clear.

For information regarding Utah e-bike laws, consider the following:

• LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency. • STATE: Utah State Parks do not have an eMTB policy. Contact the department for the most up to date information. • FEDERAL: On federal lands, e-bikes are considered motorized vehicles and have access to motorized trails. Contact the U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Regional Office or the BLM Utah State Office Bend National Park for more information.

A great place for more information on where to ride an eMTB is:

• A map of great eMTB rides at peopleforbikes.org/emtb • eMTB “Adventures” at peopleforbikes.org/e-bikes

There is little doubt that electric bikes are better for the environment than traditional gasoline engines. But they aren’t perfect. The development and disposal of batteries causes pollution. The electricity to power an eMTB might be coming from a source of significant pollution. However, e-bikes are a good start at improving air quality. As some say, “Perfect is the enemy of the good.” It’s a neat time to be in the market for a bike, to start thinking about a first one, or upgrading that vintage Schwinn. It’s also a great option for folks who need their bike to do some of the pedaling. See if you can spot these e-bikes wheeling around the Salt Lake scenery.

August 2019 | Page 27

New Draper trail conditions app improves outdoor experience By Stephanie Yrungaray | s.yrungaray@mycityjournals.com

Cell phone with trail app and trail in background. (Stephanie Yrungaray/City Journals)

Residents and visitors hoping to enjoy Draper’s 90+ miles of trails now have a way to check trail conditions before they head out the door. Draper City recently released a trail conditions app with the goal of keeping hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders informed as well as keeping trails in good condition.

beautiful outdoors,” said Draper City Councilwoman Tasha Lowery. “We have the most preserved and protected wild lands of any city in the state, over 5,000 acres. It really makes a difference to our residents and their ability to get outside and appreciate all Utah has to offer.” The app, which can be found online at Draper City’s map portal draper.maps.arc“Our hope is that the app will make gis.com/ shows all of the city’s trails with it easier for residents to engage with our each trail colored according to its current condition. Green for open, yellow for tread

lightly, red for closed and blue to indicate which trails are groomed during snowy weather. Clicking on the colored lines pulls up the name of the trail, its condition and the last date of inspection. Greg Hilbig, Draper’s Trails and Open Space Manager said either himself, his assistant or a park ranger are responsible for making sure the app conditions are accurate. “We are often out on the trails checking them,” Hilbig said. “Depending on the time of year and the recent weather it is pretty obvious to those of us familiar with the trails what their condition will be.” Hilbig said the app is an important tool for keeping trails healthy. “A lot of our soil is clay which holds the water longer. The problem with using [trails] when they get really wet and muddy is that it displaces soil off of the trail. On a muddy trail, hikers and horses cause potholes and bikers cause ruts. When the mud hardens it makes the trail lumpy and causes erosion.” Draper resident Chad Smith said his family uses the community trails for mountain biking, running and family hikes. He thinks the new app will make a real difference to trail users. “As Draper’s trail system becomes increasingly crowded and complex to ac-

commodate those on foot, bike and horse I see this app as a way to get in front of some problems that have been on the rise for awhile now,” Smith said. Smith said the number of mountain bikers can make it difficult for hikers, walkers and runners to use the trails, but recent improvements made by Draper City are helping. “They’ve added more foot traffic only trails, and they’ve minimized areas where foot traffic and bike trails intersect and overlap,” Smith said. “At this point, with so many recent changes and such a need for crowd management, I think education is the biggest issue remaining.” Hilbig said he hopes that word will spread about the trail conditions app. “The last time I checked we had 5,000 visits to [the app]. We are hoping to spread education because a lot of new users won’t understand why they shouldn’t be on muddy trails.” Overall, Hilbig said he hopes the app will improve everyone’s experience on trails in Draper. “People from all over use these trails,” Hilbig said. “We just want everyone to have a good time and be courteous to other users.”

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Page 28 | August 2019


West Jordan City Journal

Keep your bike tuned for the trails with Salt Lake’s Bicycle Collective By Jenniffer Wardell | j.wardell@mycityjournals.com

The Bicycle Collective restores, maintains and sells used bikes. (Jenniffer Wardell/City Journals)

You can’t conquer a mountain trail if your bike isn’t in good shape.

For those wanting an inexpensive way to keep their mountain bike in optimum condition, the Bicycle Collective is here to help. With locations in Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo and St. George, the Collective offers open benches, tools and expert help for anyone looking to maintain and repair all kinds of bicycles. They also offer classes for both kids and adults. “We have pretty much everything required to fix most bikes, even old ones,” said Amy Nguyen Wiscombe, the volunteer and program coordinator for the Collective. Just inside the front door of the Salt Lake location is the bike repair room, with rows of tools and equipment and racks to hang bikes while they’re being worked on. Rows of rims hang overhead, and a stack of tires rests along one wall. A separate room has even more tires and tubes. “We only have six benches, and

they’re usually full from beginning to end,” Wiscombe said. “There are also usually three people on the wait list.” If you’re on the wait list, it’s best not to go anywhere. “You have to hang out,” she added. “You don’t know when a bench is going to be done.” The benches are mostly open during what the shop refers to as DIY (Do It Yourself) hours. During that time, volunteers and paid experts are also on hand to help answer the questions of anyone working on their bikes. “The nice thing about repair here is that you’re repairing your bike, but they have guides here who are pros,” said Joe Zia, who was working on the trail bike he’d recently purchased from the Collective. “If you’re in over your head, they can guide you.” Zia’s son, Jeff, was there learning how to take care of the bike he would be using frequently. “I’m actually a great bike rider, and my dad is, too,” Jeff said. “We go on trails three times a day.” When questioned if they really did that much riding, Zia smiled. “We go quite a bit.” The only two things the Collective

won’t do is bleed hydraulic brakes and repair mountain bike forks (the part that holds the front wheel). “(Our experts) might not have that type of knowledge,” Wiscombe said. “It’s pretty specialized.” The Collective also has a Youth Open Shop, where children and teens get exclusive use of the benches. They also have a weekly WTF night (Women, Trans and Femme), designed exclusively for those female, transgender, genderqueer, transmasculine, transfeminine or femme. The nights, which are part of a national movement, are meant to give those individuals a safe space to work on bikes. “Cycling is typically pretty dominated by men, and a bike shop can typically be a pretty intimidating space,” Wiscombe said. “We try to be really welcoming and inclusive.” DIY time, Youth Open Shop, and WTF night are all $5 an hour for bench time. The complete schedule for all three sessions are available at the Collective’s web site, www.bicyclecollective.org “It’s a lot cheaper than getting it serviced at the bike shop, and you know the work that’s getting done on your bike,” Zia said. Lucas Ruiz was also in the shop,

working on his mountain bike. “I do at least 40 miles a day on my bike, so I have extra wear,” he said. Even if you don’t ride that far every day, you still have plenty of reason to tune up your bike. “All bikes require regular maintenance of some kind,” Wiscombe said. “Right before you ride, you should always check your air, brakes and chain. Once a month, you should give your bike a detailed cleaning, lube your chain and check to see if things are worn out.” The Collective’s next round of mountain bike classes for kids should be announced next April, with word going out on their social media accounts. Other classes will cover everything from flat repair to suspension systems to derailleurs. Just like the people who use the benches, the students come from all walks of life. “They range from college kids all the way to retired folks,” Wiscombe said. “All different socioeconomic levels.” It’s that variety, and the opportunity to help them, that help keep the Collective going. “There’s incredible diversity in Salt Lake,” she said. “We get to meet these people and experience their stories.”

Hiking opportunities abound in the area By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com The Salt Lake Valley and surround- like that sometimes,” Roberts said. “We ing mountains is considered a hiking have seen deer and all kinds of stuff in our own backyard hikes.” mecca. There are 171 registered hiking trails right here in this valley and surrounding foothills. According to alltrails.com they can all be accessed within a 20-minute drive from any point along the Wasatch Front. These hikes range in difficulty and skill levels. “I try to hike with my son once a week,” Herriman resident Travis Roberts said. “We like to get out and enjoy the time together. He loves the wildlife and all the things he can see while we are hiking. I want him to have a thorough fitness experience.” Hiking has great rewards, but care should be taken to ensure your simple day trip does not turn into a disaster. Be prepared for your adventure. According to alltrails.com here are some tips: Research the trail you are venturing on and notify someone of your plans; prepare yourself physically by stretching, having enough water and supplies; hike with a buddy; bring clothing for changing weather conditions, watch your step, and most importantly, know when to turn around. “Watch for wildlife, snakes and stuff

WestJordanJournal .com

Here are a few nearby hikes best suited for families.

Yellow Fork Canyon Trail, Herriman

A moderate hike consisting of a 6.8mile loop. It gains approximately 1,300 feet in elevation and ends on a ridgeline with great views of the valley. Many residents like its proximity. Parts of the trail are steep and rocky and there are many spurs off the main trail to explore. Bentley Roberts and his father Travis have explored several hikes close to their home. They have learned to

Temple Quarry and Little Cottonwood Creek Trail, Little Cottonwood Canyon

enjoy spending time together. (Photo courtesy of Travis Roberts)

A 7-mile out and back trail that fea- recreational users including bikes, runners tures a river and lots of shade. It gains and families. 1,350 feet in elevation to the top and ends Herriman Fire Memorial Flag, Herriman at an old mill. This hike contains history of A relatively short 1.7-mile steep and the Utah Pioneers and building of the Salt rocky hike. It ends with spectacular views Lake Temple. of the valley. It is considered a moderate to Mountain View Corridor difficult hike by alltrails.com users. This hike travels the entire length of Orson Smith Park to the Draper Suspension the corridor and can be accessed at severBridge Loop al points along its route. The trail is mostly A 2.3-mile loop rated as easy, alpaved and includes several benches along though there is a long uphill section. The the way. It is frequented by several types of trail is well maintained and has frequent

bicycles. A short hike past the suspension bridge is the old pine bridge and worth the extra effort.

Jungle Trail Hike, Corner Canyon

A new trail in the Corner Canyon trail system has been built for kids. In fact, the sign at the trailhead says it is for the young and adventurous. The hike begins at the Carolina Hills trailhead. The trail is shaded and has logs to climb over and forts to hide in; it is only .1 miles in length.

August 2019 | Page 29

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Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them informMD our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com n L. Sybrowsky, MD James R. Meadows, J. Steele McIntyre, MD

tioners’ cuff values No providers longer the small, single clinic ts Medicine specialize in inrotator West Valley City, Granger Medical Clinic first and foreement, isfracture care and minimally invasive most, including now a “physician-owned, physician-led” ck in the game. medical network, with 28 locations located standards of pa-

across four counties in Utah. In the short space of five years, Granger Medical Clinic rapidly expanded its range of services, andSte. added 230, 20 newDraper locations. Kimballs Lane, Granger Medical Clinic attributes this ewsportsmedicine.com growth and success to its organizational model, which maximizes its physicians’ decision-making capacity. When practitioners receive the greatest possible support and autonomy, they are best able to serve their patients. This “physician-owned, physician-led” philosophy begins with the leadership of Granger Medical Clinic: each affiliated practitioner owns stock in the company. The physicians themselves elect the clinic’s board of directors, itself completely composed of physicians. This structure allows the clinic’s doctors to influence the organization’s direction directly, rather than reacting to the decisions of administrators who may lack medical expertise entirely. Granger Medical Clinic’s structure ensures the organization reflects its practi-


tient care. “Because every member of our board is a physician, we always approach problems asking, ‘What’s best for our patients?’ not, ‘What’s best for our business?’” said a spokesperson for the clinic. For example, Granger Medical Clinic’s practitioners do not need to meet monthly patient quotas, unlike many physicians employed by larger, traditionally-structured medical institutions. Since the practitioners in Granger Medical Clinic’s network are free to meet their patients’ needs as they see fit, they can avoid ancillary costs, red tape, and corporate influences faced by employees of larger, traditional organizations. The results are lower costs for the clinic’s patients and better-adapted care. Additionally, Granger Medical Clinic’s 170-plus, largely-independent practitioners benefit from participation in a larger network; its website lists 30 specialties, from family medicine to endocrinology.

Therefore, patients’ healthcare experience combines the benefits of many local, private clinics (lower costs, responsiveness to patient needs) and the benefits of a larger infrastructure of many affiliated specialists, usually only found in hospitals. For example, many patients receive highly individualized care packages built on the diverse skills, experience, and service of Granger Medical Clinic’s wide network of specialists. According to a representative of Granger Medical Clinic, these advantages often attract highly-skilled and idealistic specialists, eager to join Granger Medical Clinic’s network of practitioners. Granger Medical Clinic has also attracted recent critical attention, receiving outside acknowledgement of its community responsiveness. Four locations won prestigious “HealthInsight Quality Awards” in 2018 for patient care. In 2019, the clinic’s influenza program won the Utah Silver Syringe Award in its category, an award for “exceptional dedica-

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tion to ensuring access to influenza vaccine or provided education to their community members.” Now, the clinic looks to the future, continually innovating, and improving its individualized patient care. The board of directors recently approved a significant proposal for a new “population health department,” widening the clinic’s coordinated community outreach efforts. Further demonstrating their commitment to serving the community in deeper ways, Granger Medical Clinic recently hired a licensed clinical social worker. Thanks to this change, the clinic now offers mental health support across its network and helps coordinate resources for patients who cannot afford treatment without support. Granger Medical Clinic, with its adaptive, physician-focused structure, is poised to serve Utah with excellence in today’s rapidly-changing medical care field. You can find more information, schedule an appointment, or find Granger Medical Clinic’s list of specialties at: https://www.grangermedical.com/

SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IS OUR #1 PRIORITY! What other businesses say about ChamberWest:

Jon Butterfield, RN, BSN, MBA, President, Jordan Valley Medical Center “I credit our involvement in ChamberWest for our highly successful opening as well as our continued success. My participation in the chamber has been life changing personally and professionally. There is no better place to develop your business and your community influence than ChamberWest. With dozens of exceptional events each year, the chamber attracts high-caliber, enthusiastic members. Whether you are a start-up or a multi-milliondollar corporation ChamberWest truly has something for every level of business.” Julie Cluff, Owner, The Joint Chiropractic


Page 30 | August 2019

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“Membership in ChamberWest and engagement in Chamber programs has been an excellent way for my hospital to develop stronger relationships with city leaders and elected officials. Participation in the Legislative Affairs Committee has provided an important opportunity for me to interact and connect with our legislative representatives. The Chamber is an invaluable resource to the business community.”

Interface with businesses in Taylorsville, Kearns and West Valley — ChamberWest is excited to welcome West Jordan businesses, helping you build MORE meaningful connections! Join our 3 “C” Regional Chamber of Commerce as a:

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West Jordan City Journal

Why is Dave Newton running for West Jordan City Council? He wants to be important! He likes 6 hour meetings! There are no good shows on TV! None of the above?

This year we change our City’s form of government. We will elect a Mayor who will actually run the City. Dave helped promote that change to facilitate our growth as Utah’s 4th largest City. Our new mayor will need much help and support to accomplish this task. Dave Newton has the experience as previous Mayor and Councilman to help set the policies and budgets that will provide a pattern for many years to come. The City needs that kind of leadership and experience.

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New elementary school will reunite neighborhood

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Gov. Gary Herbert joins representatives from Jordan District and West Jordan City for the groundbreaking of a new elementary school in West Jordan on April 24. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


vercrowded schools in West Jordan have caused neighborhoods to be split as families choose to send their children to schools outside their boundary area. “A lot of people in our neighborhood, they put their kids in charter schools, they take their kids to magnet schools, they take them other places because the school we’re assigned to is so overcrowded,” said Stephanie Traver, whose child attends Oakcrest Elementary. She is excited about the new elementary school being built at 8860 S. 6400 W. “This is going to be so wonderful because a lot of these people who are going all these different places are now going to come back here.” Kuuipo Vea took her daughter out of the neighborhood school when the overcrowding started to affect her academic performance. “We’ve been homeschooling for a couple of years because it’s so crowded—we had 34 in a third grade class—just the teacher and 34 kids,” said Vea. “She wasn’t getting the one-on-one attention that she needed, so her reading was slipping. It was suffering, and so our option was to bring her home so we could focus on getting her on grade level.” Traver, a former teacher, said she has been asked to tutor many of the neighborhood kids who are behind in reading and math. She said when classes are overcrowded, struggling students aren’t able to get the extra help they need. “I just feel like when the classes are smaller, and they can get more of the one on one that they need, and the teachers can give the attention and time,” said Traver. Jordan District Board of Education member Janice Voorhees, who will be the representative for the new school, understands the issues of the rapidly growing community—some of her grandchildren attend the overcrowded schools in the area. The new school, built with a capacity of 1,000 students, will alleviate overcrowding of nearby schools such as Oakcrest and Hayden Peak and Copper Canyon.

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West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding attended the groundbreaking for the school on April 24. While antelope currently graze in the field that is the school’s future home, Riding said surrounding open land won’t stay undeveloped for long. He said the city has 23,000 acres of open land, and that as developers build more homes, more schools will be needed. Recent boundary changes in Jordan District have addressed overcrowding issues, and it has secured land for future needs due to expansion west of Mountain View Corridor. The new school is being built with surplus from the bond which paid for several new schools opening this fall, including Mountain Point Elementary in Bluffdale, Mountain Creek Middle School in South Jordan, Mountain Ridge High School and Ridge View Elementary in Herriman, and the replacement building for West Jordan Middle School in West Jordan. Hidden Valley Middle School will open in Bluffdale in 2020. Jordan District board member Dale Robinson said because construction costs came in under budget, extra funds will build additional schools in the coming years. The new elementary school will open in the fall 2020. Parents look forward to having a school closer to their homes, where they can be nearby and where their children can walk to school instead of being bused. Travers believes when kids attend school together, it strengthens their relationships and the neighborhood. “If you’re in the same class, you’re going to the same school; I think that helps the neighborhood,” she said. Riding, whose wife is an elementary school principal, said elementary schools play an important role in uniting communities. He said while high schools tend to create rivalries within an area, elementary schools do the opposite. “Elementary schools like this one will create a community,” he said. “It creates a hub.” l

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s many of you know, I’m a budget hawk who takes very seriously the charge to go through the budget and make sure every penny of your tax dollars is being spent wisely. When I was first elected to the County Council, I wondered how we funded the numerous recreational and cultural amenities our residents enjoy. From parks and trails, to museums and concert halls, there are many things we love to use, but where does the funding come from? Long before my time on the council, a tax was instituted on car rentals, hotels, and restaurants. This tax revenue makes up the TRCC fund (Tourism, Recreation, Culture, and Convention) where the funds are used to enhance the quality of life in Salt Lake County. So make sure to thank a tourist and a restaurant-goer next time you see them parading around Salt Lake! Forty percent of this tax revenue in the TRCC program goes to fund parks and recreation. If you or your family has enjoyed one of the programs run by our county parks department, visited a recreation center, or you’ve gone jogging on one of our many trails, you’ve seen the positive impact of the TRCC program firsthand. These funds help to run programs and pay for ongoing operations and upkeep of our county parks and recreation amenities. The rest of the money from the TRCC program helps to pay for fine arts and other cultural event programming throughout our community, including funds related to tourism. In order to ensure these funds are thoroughly vetted and properly prioritized, we have the TRCC board that advises the County Council on where to spend these funds. This nine member board is made up of mayors and community members throughout our county, and they thoroughly review potential projects

that are eligible for TRCC funds. They then make recommendations to the County Council that we review as part of our fall budget process each year, and we then put the final funding for these various projects into our county budget. Having a board comprised of truly local representation is an important step to ensure that tax dollars go to a wide variety of projects that benefit residents throughout our county. It’s also worth highlighting that the tax dollars funding the TRCC program don’t come from the county general fund. When we look at our county responsibilities and available funds, there are always many demands competing for general fund dollars. Chief among them is often a slew of criminal justice needs, including our county jail. We spend over 70% of our general fund budget on criminal justice. This fits well with the role of the county, as we recognize that public safety should always be a top priority. The benefit of having revenues for TRCC that are largely distinct from general fund dollars, is that we don’t see recreational and cultural needs competing directly with public safety needs. In fact, state law gives clear direction on what TRCC funds can be spent on. This is a valuable tool that we as policy makers use to ensure that the various needs of our community are funded in a responsible way, and through a thorough decision-making process with local buy-in and support. Now that we’re enjoying the summer months, I hope you’ll get out and enjoy the many recreational and cultural amenities our wonderful county has to offer. I’m looking forward to 2020 when the Midvalley Performing Arts Center opens its doors… funded by TRCC!

August 2019 | Page 33

West Jordan ‘a sleeping giant’ says Jaguars new football coach By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


he football program at West Jordan High School has a new head coach. Carson Mund takes over this fall for the Jaguars. “West Jordan is really a sleeping giant,” Mund said. “Coach Meifu really got West Jordan back up to where it had been. He had similar philosophies as I do. It has not been too hard of a transition. The kids are really catching on.” The Jaguars’ new offensive wrinkle will include a more prolific running game. “I think we will be a lot more committed to running the football,” Mund said. “Meifu did a great job, and I have some big shoes to fill. He has been very successful in building this program back up. We have spent a lot of time in the weight room and are emphasizing to the players the importance of being a good teammate. We also want the kids to learn to be dependable. The way of life is going to be most important.” The Jaguars are Mund’s first head coaching opportunity. He comes to West Jordan after spending time at Box Elder, Weber and Logan high schools. He has coached quarterbacks, running backs and linebackers. He also spent time as an offensive coordinator. “I will be offensive coordinator, and that is what experience I bring to West Jordan,” he said. “We will run a multiple set offense with different formations, personnel groups and shifting movements. We will really need

to be bigger, faster and stronger. Every year we need to lay it down and take our team to where we know it can go.” He graduated from Box Elder High School in 2010 and served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Samoa. Mund is not the only new addition to the coaching staff. Former Jaguar and retired NFL product DJ Tialavea returns to his alma mater as line coach. “We both have discussed the potential of our offensive and defensive line,” Mund said. “It is huge what can be done. We are very young with only two seniors, but the core is so good. DJ being around has been a great influence. He has played at the highest level of football. He relates well to the kids. He will be a great benefit.” The Jaguars return two All-State players from last year’s team, safety and running back Isaiah Lapale and cornerback and wide receiver David Montezuma. The battle for the starting quarterback position will boil down to senior Ben Anderson and sophomore Boston Farmer. “Whichever quarterback is not starting will get lots of time as wide receiver,” Mund said. “They are both going to be huge contributors to what we do offensively. The offensive line will be anchored by our center, Bo Lambson.”

Last season the Jaguars sophomore team defeated Hunter, but this year the players get the opportunity to learn from a new coaching staff. (Greg James/City Journals)

The Jaguars lost a majority of their offensive and defensive line to graduation. Former quarterback Oakley Kopp recently signed a letter of intent to attend Montana State Northern. West Jordan will compete in a revamped

Region 2. It will face Cyprus, Granger, Hunter, Kearns, Taylorsville and West. “The kids are doing what it takes to win,” Mund said. “The attitude of the kids that we have is awesome.” l

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August 2019 | Page 37




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Outside adventures

ven though Utah is well-known for having the greatest snow on Earth, we have some pretty great weather in the summertime, too. (Let’s forget about the few weeks where we hit 100 degrees.) Utah’s fabulous landscape makes getting outside easy, fun, and best of all, free. One of the most common activities for residents of the greater Salt Lake region, and beyond, is hiking. The numerous canyons and national parks surrounding the bustling cities make taking a breath of fresh air just a quick car ride away. Some of Utahns favorite hikes include: Buffalo Point, Bloods Lake, Ensign Peak, Bridal Veil Falls, Golden Spike, Cecret Lake and Albion Basin, Willow Lake, Dooley Knob, Hidden Falls, Adams Waterfall, Patsy’s Mine, Grotto Falls, Donut Falls, Timpanogos, Brighton Lakes, Bell Canyon, Stewart Falls, Broads Fork Trail, Silver Lake, Battle Creek Falls, Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Mirror Lake, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Dripping Rock, Mount Olympus, Suicide Rock, Elephant Rock, White Pine Lake, Jordan River, and the Bonneville Shoreline, and Provo River Parkway. Before you leave for a hike, pack the 10 essentials of hiking with you (Google “10 essentials for hiking” for the list) and make sure to research the trail beforehand. Don’t try new trails out of your comfort range alone. Along the same note, tell someone where

you’re going; we don’t need another “127 Hours” situation on our hands. If you don’t want to get out of the car, (Don’t worry, I get that because driving through nature allows for air conditioning) scenic drives include: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, American Fork Canyon, Hobble Creek Canyon, Provo Canyon, Park City, Aspen Grove, Nebo Loop and the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. If you want to take hiking one step further, camping is a quick and dirty option. Check out www.utah.com/camping to find your perfect camping spot. Then, make a reservation. Good camp locations fill up fast. Most reservations require a small fee, ranging from $3 to $100 (for groups). Explorers may reserve their site through www.reserveamerica.com, the Utah State Parks’ website, www.stateparks.utah.gov or by checking the KOA’s campgrounds. Some of the best places to camp in Utah include: Spruces Campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch State Park near Midway, Rendezvous Beach along the southern shore of Bear Lake, Fruita in Capitol Reef National Park along the Fremont River, Little Sahara in Nephi, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Southern Utah, Fremont Indian State Park southwest of Richfield, Antelope Island State Park on the Great Salt Lake, the Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park and

Goblin Valley State Park. While I usually opt for a beautiful hike, my father is definitely a fisherman. For locations to cast away, check out www.UtahFishingInfo.com or www.UtahFishFinder. com. Some of the favorite fishing holes around the state include: Flaming Gorge near the Utah/Wyoming border (particularly the Mustang Ridge campground), Tibble Fork Reservoir in the American Fork Canyon (try the Granite Flats campground), Fish Lake in the Wasatch mountains (it’s in the name), Duck Creek Pond in Dixie National Forest, Mirror Lake in the Uintas and Sunset Pond in Draper. When you’re exploring the great outdoors, make sure to bring a book with you! (Am I required to say that as a writer?) Forty percent of friends from an unofficial Facebook poll report that their favorite thing to do is read a book under a tree or on the beach. The other suggested hobby to do under a tree is woodworking. Whittling can be very cathartic. Lastly, if you don’t want to go too far away from home, many local municipalities offer movies in the park throughout the summer. Check out your local city or county’s website for dates and further information.

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West Jordan City Journal

Hot Diggity Dog


Laughter AND




ingo the Dog came to live with us 10 years ago and I’ve mentioned his crazy antics often over the years, including, but not limited to: The night he ate our couch. The day he chewed the leg off the coffee table. His fear of vacuums. His love of snow. The times he’d snuggle in my lap, even as a 90-pound dog. How the word “walk” sent him into spasms of joy. The way he’d act like I was returning from a 90-day world cruise, although I’d just gone downstairs to get towels out of the dryer. When he couldn’t corral the grandkids, and it drove him bonkers. Five months ago, Ringo the Dog passed away. It was unexpected and heartbreaking. There was a sudden emptiness in our home that had been filled with Ringo begging for treats or running in and out of the doggie door. We were all dazed, unsure how to move through our dogless days. There was no furry distraction keeping us from sliding down the death spiral of today’s political chaos. I had to start talking to my husband. I had no good reason to go for walks every day. No one jumped on me when I got home from work. Well, my husband did, but it just wasn’t the same. Few things are as satisfying as a warm, happy dog snuggled next to you. So. For my birthday in July, we decided it was time to get a puppy. I yelped and jumped


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on the Google machine like an 8-week-old Pomeranian to search for dogs. I was quickly overwhelmed with the sheer number of puppies and the high-level of cuteness available. Then I saw a German Shepherd/Lab puppy on the Community Animal Welfare Society website. I contacted the CAWS foster mom and was told he’d already been adopted – but his sister was available. I couldn’t drive fast enough to meet this little ball of furry energy. Even before I’d held her, I knew she was mine. When we discovered her birthday was Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), that clinched it. #StarWarsGeek We named her Jedi. After filling out the application, where I had to list everything from how often she’d go for walks (daily) to what Netflix shows I binged (all of them), CAWS finally approved her adoption and we brought Jedi home. I forgot what it’s like to have a puppy sleep between your feet as you get ready for work. I get overwhelmed with happiness every time she pounces on her squeaky toy. I find reasons to stop at PetSmart every day for treats and toys and accessories. My husband suspended my credit card. My two-year-old granddaughter can finally boss something smaller than her. My seven-year-old grandson spends time training her to sit and lie down. (The puppy, not his sister.) My husband’s adjusting to having Jedi knock the lamp over every single day. I’m floating on a puppy-shaped cloud.

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I tried to invoke the Family Medical Leave Act so I could spend all day with Jedi watching her explore and grow. My boss wasn’t buying it, so I dash home during lunch for some quick puppy love. I know we’re in the puppy honeymoon stage and soon our sweet little girl will turn into a velociraptor, only with more teeth. But I also know time with our pets is so short. That makes it all the sweeter. Jedi didn’t replace Ringo, she’s just a rambunctious extension of his joy. I’m sure every dog owner thinks they have the most wonderful dog in the world. The best thing is, they’re right.


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August 2019 | Page 39











Upper Corner Canyon Trail Head

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West Jordan Journal AUGUST 2019  

West Jordan Journal AUGUST 2019

West Jordan Journal AUGUST 2019  

West Jordan Journal AUGUST 2019