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December 2017 | Vol. 17 Iss. 12

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By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

A

t the end of the year, Jim Riding will clean out his desk and leave his corner office of West Jordan City’s public works department. And move across the hall. Riding was elected the new mayor of West Jordan City in November, defeating incumbent Kim Rolfe 64 to 35 percent. While the result didn’t surprise Riding—why run if you don’t expect to win, he said—the numbers sure did. “My anticipation was that I would probably win, but I thought the margin would be a lot closer,” he said. “And so, I was very, very surprised at the margin difference.” The 64-35 margin was much larger than 2013 when Rolfe defeated Ben Southworth 50-48. “I think people wanted a change,” Riding said noting that change goes beyond the person sitting in the mayor’s chair. Residents voted in favor of proposition 10, which will see the city’s form of government change, a change that Riding opposed. “I think the people wanted more positive publicity out there about the city and not negative publicity, so I’m hoping to be able to give them that,” Riding said. Riding had never campaigned to be elected before, though he joked he was on student council in sixth grade. Having been a city employee for the past 15 years, he was set to retire at the end of 2016 when he was asked to stay on another year. That’s when he decided to enter the mayoral race. Being close to retirement and wanting to pay back the city, Riding decided if he was going to do it, now was the time. “I just thought this is my time to try to do this and try to make a difference for the city,” he said. Riding will leave his city employee post at the end of the year where he is the capital improvement projects and facilities project manager where he’s helped oversee the construction of three fire stations and various parks, the justice center and moving the rodeo grounds to where they’re currently located. He said he’s also had responsibilities with tenant improvement projects, fleet, streets, solid waste and cemeteries. Now Riding is set to take on a bigger project: West Jordan City. With West Jordan having dealt with perceived negative publicity in recent years, Riding hopes to bring harmony to the city’s legislative branch with clear lines of dialogue. “I don’t think there’s been enough communication between all the council members and the mayor and city manager in the past as there probably could be,” he said. Riding would like to implement a work or study meeting prior to city council sessions similar to what other cities do around the valley. Those meetings see the mayor and city council go over items on the upcoming city council agenda with the heads

of departments and city manager. FrattoBoys.com This way, Riding said, there can be more conversation and clarification prior to when they would vote on an issue. “Even though it’s a public meeting, it’s a lot more informal,” he said. West Valley City and Murray hold their study meetings shortly before the city council sessions while Draper and Cottonwood Heights hold theirs on the off week of city council meetings. One of Riding’s major focuses as he enters the mayor’s office in January is to strengthen relationships with the county, legislators, council members, the city manager and city employees, most of whom he already knows having worked with them. Another major issue for the Air Force veteran is to also bring more economic development to the city. With plenty of land still undeveloped—approximately 25 percent—Riding is focused on bringing in companies to provide goods, services, jobs and tax revenue. “We can’t place all of the tax burden on the homeowners here; we need to have some more businesses, good businesses here,” Mayor-elect Jim Riding stands in front of his son Seth after hiking the Grand Canyon. Riding prepared for a year, Riding said. Overall, Riding wants to see which included a few half-marathons, to complete the hike. (Courtesy Kathe Riding) an improved image for the city whether it’s positive news from a city council meeting or simply two blocks from their house so they “could stay in (the) neighborhood with (their) friends in West Jordan.” local school principals calling to ask for help. “We built the house, stayed here, and we still love it,” said “Our motto is “home of the good neighbor,” he said. “How Riding, who loves hiking, fishing and riding trails in his Razor. can we be the good neighbor that we need to be for everyone?” The outdoor enthusiast, who shares a garden with his neighIt was July 1993 when Riding, a Phoenix, Arizona, native, moved to West Jordan with his wife and seven children plus one; bors, also loves a challenge—his campaign flier had a picture of they have a “daughter” who adopted them when she was in high him fighting a bear—with his Grand Canyon hike five years ago school and who still comes over for family dinner once a month possibly serving as one of the toughest. With his family, Riding hiked from the north to the south rim. It took 10 ½ hours and a with her husband and five kids. Riding said West Jordan was a perfect match at first because year of physical preparation to accomplish this. It’s that kind of preparation he wants to take into his newest of the home they could buy for his family’s size. When he and challenge, serving as mayor of West Jordan City.  his wife decided to move four years ago, they chose an empty lot

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Kids connect over ‘National Picture Book Month’ By Kaylee Smedley | k.smedley@mycityjournals.com

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

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Kids gather to listen to author Jean Reagan at “Picture Book Party.” (Kaylee Smedley/City Journals)

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n Monday, Nov. 13, the Viridian library hosted its very first “Picture Book Party,” in honor of November’s status as “National Picture Book Month.” The party featured local children’s author Jean Reagan. At the event, kids were encouraged to read, write and connect with others through a variety of activities. Families from all over gathered for this special event. The “Picture Book Party” was kick-started by an engaging demonstration from author Jean Reagan, and it was followed by various book-inspired activities. Reagan is the author of the best-selling “How To” picture book series, including Beehive Book Award-winning “How to Babysit Your Grandma.” “We wanted to do something to celebrate ‘National Picture Book Month,’ and so we planned this picture book party. I knew Jean, so I got in contact with her about this idea. And each of the activities going on during this event are based on activities found in Jean’s books,” explained one of the librarians over the event. Kids and their parents first were able to hear some storytelling featuring one of Reagan’s “How To” books, plus some insight on her outstanding writing career. Reagan said that a good portion of the inspiration for her books came from her own difficulties in learning to read while growing up. “I mean, I struggled and struggled, and I always tell school kids that I looked around, and everybody else was reading,” Reagan said. “And I tell kids, if you’re frustrated because you’re struggling, keep trying. Maybe you’ll get to write books for kids one day.” She went on to explain that one of her greatest hopes with this series is to provide books that are accessible to all kids. That way, kids who may be struggling can still have something fun that they can read with someone. Jean Reagan’s initial trouble with reading was not her only challenge in this literary journey. She opened up a Q&A session, where she answered questions from both kids and parents about her writing career. Reagan shared some experienc-

es, specifically about the setbacks she faced in the process. She compared these setbacks to the feeling kids get after finishing a homework assignment or cleaning their rooms and then having a teacher or parent inform them that they weren’t actually successful in the task. Reagan faced a fair amount of failure before getting her first book published. Rather than getting down about it, Reagan explained that during times of rejection, she gives herself a moment to feel grumpy and then goes back to work. Reagan brought up how another important factor in writing these children’s books is trying to help kids create actual, human connection with each other. These days, most people (even kids) spend a large amount of time on their phones or other devices, rather than with one another. “The thing about picture books is that generally you’re reading, like an adult with a child, or an older child and a young child,” Reagan said. “And in this day and age, to have that slow, human connection, as opposed to being ‘plugged in,’ that is really valuable.” She continued to explain how, when kids read picture books, they naturally get to respond to what they see and what they hear. It inspires communication. At that point, you have an interaction. Reagan’s wise words were followed by an exciting balloon drop, after which kids enjoyed a variety of activities based off of the “How To” books. Families could read beneath decorative tents, dress up for a photo booth, enjoy an ice cream treat, make party hats, sing along with live music and even create their own picture books. They also had the opportunity to have their book copies signed by Reagan. The initial outcomes planned for this event were described by Viridian library as “encouraging kids to TALK, SING, READ, WRITE, PLAY -- and PARTY!” and that was definitely accomplished. More than that, however, kids learned the importance of never giving up and seeking to connect with one another. 

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West JorDan cItY Journal

Viridian library hosts ’Local Authors and You’ weekend By Kaylee Smedley | k.smedley@mycityjournals.com

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or the fourth year in a row, the Viridian library hosted a special weekend completely dedicated to new writers. November serves as National Novel Writing Month, and local authors from all over Utah gathered at the Viridian library on Friday, Nov. 3, and Saturday, Nov. 4. This special event kicked off on Nov. 4, with keynote speaker Sara Zarr. Zarr is a local author who has published multiple novels and was a National Book Award Finalist. She spoke to aspiring writers about the ins and outs of successful writing, including ways to inspire creativity. Zarr shared bits of her own inspiration, saying, “If I read a book that I love or see a movie that I love, I want to respond to it in some way, and I think that is one of the things that makes me want to write. Also, I love music. That always gets my creative brain working.” She also provided tips on publishing, writing your first novel and ways to lead a creative life. Zarr emphasized the importance of going back to reading and always remembering the reasons why you started. “I truly believe that how you’ll get there is ultimately where you’ll arrive,” she said. “When the ‘how’ and ‘why’ become the endgame, we slowly forget the ‘where,’ and that’s essential. We have zero control on the ultimate outcome, but we can control how we get there.” The next day, more than 70 published authors

came to the Viridian library to meet with aspiring writers. For four hours, these authors provided various workshops, book signings, and writing discussions, all for free. “The idea for this event came out of a panel idea—like, let’s just bring these authors all together, and so we did,” said Liesl Seborg, who led the event. This event and others hosted by Viridian library and the surrounding branches served as opportunities for new writers to gain experience and advice from other writers. One of the most unique aspects of the event was seeing so many local authors, both published and would-be, all in one place. One young girl shared how here in Utah, the writing community is very close, and writers are supportive of one another. “The writing culture here is so unique,” event participant and writer John Olsen said. “People bend over backwards to help each other, and I feel like it’s unique to Utah.” That November weekend, more than 70 published authors gave of their time to offer advice and help to new writers. During the Friday portion, attendees were able to do a Q&A session with Zarr and talk with her one-on-one during the book-signing. A similar thing happened in the Saturday half, as more Q&As and book-signings were held, and writers had time to visit personally with one another and exchange Ideas.

Published local author Sarah Zarr kicks off event at Viridian Library’s “Local Authors and You” event as keynote speaker. (Kaylee Smedley/City Journals)

This event inspired writers both to continue writing and to continue reading. Attendees could enter to win free books from these local authors. There was also an emphasis on the value of reading, especially when you yourself are writing. “What gets lost is just kind of reading and your own love of books—what made you want to write in the first place,” Zarr said. She went on to share how, in our current society, new writers turn to social media or blogs to learn how to write, when really, all the information we need is in books. She explained that when

you have a writing question, like “How long is a chapter?” or “How do you end scenes?” your best resource is to open a favorite book and see how it’s done. Hopeful writers of all ages were able to receive advice and have questions answered, all by authors who’ve seen success—local authors who all had to start somewhere. “What’s inspiring to me is that Utah itself is an incubator for these authors,” Seborg said. “We want to build them up and help them realize their dreams.” 

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West JorDan cItY Journal

West Jordan City officials break ground for new cultural arts facility By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

W

est Jordan City officials broke ground for a new Cultural Arts Facility Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the site of the new facility in Veterans Memorial Park, 1955 West 7800 South. Mayor Kim Rolfe, West Jordan City Council members, representatives from several West Jordan arts organizations and members of the community attended as the ground was officially broken for the new facility. “During my term as mayor and two terms on the city council, we have been working to find a permanent home for our Arts Council. For many on the Arts Council, the wait has been much longer,” Rolfe said. “I’m excited to announce that we have the funding available and are ready to break ground for the West Jordan Cultural Arts Facility.” The 20,000-square-foot facility will occupy 2.85 acres in Veterans Memorial Park and will include spaces for art and entertainment, including a 300-seat theater, gallery, multi-purpose rooms and concessions. The lobby will connect to an open, west-facing plaza and sculpture garden that will be used for art exhibits and outdoor events. “Over the years, we have performed in many venues that have been less than ideal including the old sugar factory, school auditoriums, Pioneer Hall, the park bowery and even the rodeo arena,” Arts Council Chair Jen Crabb said. “West Jordan has a long history of community arts that

Mayor Kim Rolfe and West Jordan City Council members, representatives from several West Jordan arts organizations and other local officials ready to break ground on the new cultural arts facility. (West Jordan City)

has enriched our city as well as neighboring communities.” The Arts Facility adds to the West Jordan Civic Center, which encompasses City Hall, County Health Center, County Library Headquarters, State Third District Courthouse, West Jordan Justice Center, Fire Station 52, District Attorney’s Office, Gene Fullmer Rec Center and West Jordan Senior Center. These facilities are

located adjacent to the 100-acre Veterans Memorial Park where the arts facility will be built. “An arts facility fits nicely into this mix and provides a much-needed home for the arts,” Rolfe said. “Over the years, I have enjoyed attending plays, concerts, exhibits and performances put on by our arts council. I’m always impressed by the quality performances they deliver. I’m pleased that we will now be able to build a permanent

home for the arts so they can continue to enrich our community.” Funding for the facility will come from several sources, including proceeds from the sale of the city-owned property, such as the old library that the arts council currently uses for rehearsal space and other unused vacant properties. With additional funding from the Salt Lake County Cultural Facilities Support Program, this $9.2 million facility is scheduled for completion by spring 2019. CRSA designed the facility, and Okland Construction will serve as the construction manager/general contractor. With the completion of the new Cultural Arts Facility, the West Jordan Theater Arts, Symphony, Band, Jazz Band, Youth Theater and Mountain West Chorale, as well as other literary and graphic arts groups associated with the West Jordan Arts Council will have a home for rehearsals, workshops and performances. City leaders said they have planned for parking with the new facility, but the park has ball fields in the same vicinity. City officials expressed that parking could still be an issue if games overlap with events at the facility. Otherwise, parking will be available for both sets of uses. A variety of concerts and performances will be held by various groups once the facility opens.

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Residents vote against bond for rec center By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

I

Swimmers participate in a high school swim meet at Salt Lake County’s Gene Fullmer Recreation Center in West Jordan. Residents recently voted down a bond that would have seen the city bond for their own aquatic and recreation center. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

n an overwhelming vote of 75 to 24 percent, West Jordan residents voted against a city bond that would have seen an aquatic and recreation center built at Ron Wood Park, 5900 West New Bingham Highway. Had the bond been passed, an estimated $46 million would have been issued to acquire, construct, improve and equip the center. “I never felt like it would pass,” said Mayor-elect Jim Riding. “I think the people out there did not want that tax increase.” The bond would have meant a tax increase of $54.51 per year on a home valued at $245,100 and $99.12 per year on a business or secondary residence. Proponents of the bond felt the recreation center strengthens the city’s image attracting more residents and businesses to the community. It would also support the economy, proponents argued, bringing in people for the various competitions or simply serve as a competitor to rec centers outside city limits. But detractors said there were too many unknowns surrounding a new recreation center such as ongoing costs and sustainability. The concern is that even though $46 million pays for construction, there are still the em-

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ployees needed to staff the facility and the fees that go along with using the facility. Detractors also pointed out that there are local gyms and fitness centers nearby questioning how appropriate it is to compete with against those businesses. Riding said he’d prefer to wait for ZAP (Zoo, Arts and Parks) funds to become available before considering a recreation center. ZAP is a county program aimed to enhance art, cultural and recreational offerings. Even with that money, though, he said he’d rather have the county build and operate it. “We’re paying money all the time as citizens to the county. To have additional drain on our city resources would have been very difficult,” Riding said, adding rec centers aren’t “typically money makers for the city.” He estimated it’d probably be $2 million a year in operational costs, and even with the ZAP funds, a bond would still need to be passed. “But then the county would build it and operate it, and it would be a beautiful building within the city limits and a great amenity,” Riding said. “But we wouldn’t have the financial burden that this was going to put on the city. That was my biggest concern.” 


Page 8 | December 2017

West JorDan cItY Journal

A ‘minion’ ways to be healthy

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Minions give advice to students during Health Week. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

C

olumbia Elementary School took advice from Minions about good hygiene habits during its PTA-sponsored Health Week.

“We just want a good kickoff to cold and flu season so we can keep us all happy and here and clean,” said Mindy Plagge, PTA president-elect. Holly Phelps, this year’s chair of Health Week, chose a Minion theme to help teach students “A ‘minion’ ways to stay healthy.” The committee hoped the playful theme would appeal to students. For one week, posters and bulletin boards around the school showed minions sharing hygiene tips. “It’s just a good opportunity to remind the kids of basic hygiene,” said Phelps. In the morning announcements, Principal Kathe Riding introduced the hygiene habit of the day with a fun way to remember it. “She is fabulous at improv, so she always has some story to add,” said Plagge. Riding’s stories are entertaining and make an impression on the kids, she said. Riding admitted she has a lot of stories because she’s been around a long time. The first topic covered was hand washing. Students were reminded to wash their hands with soap after using the restroom or before eating. They were encouraged to sing a song like the “Alphabet Song” to ensure they were washing for a full 30 seconds. They were also encouraged to use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Students took a moment one morning to practice sneezing and coughing into their elbows to prevent germs from spreading. Phelps said her daughter, a first-grader, remembered that tip and was quick to point out when family members forgot to use a tissue or their elbow to block their cough. One day highlighted the use of cleaning wipes to keep desks clean and keep work spaces free of germs that could make the student and their classmates sick. Students were also reminded to brush their teeth every morning and night to stay healthy. Families were asked to donate hygiene

items to their child’s classroom that fit with the daily theme. A total of 32 kits were made from donations collected from parents and community members, providing teachers with a supply of hand sanitizer, tissues, cleaning wipes and toothbrushes. The PTA supplemented the stockpile of supplies so that each classroom (including their preschool) got a kit. The Health Week campaign was also a way to remind parents how many supplies a classroom goes through in a year, said Plagge. She said parents are always willing to send in a container of wipes at the beginning of the year but don’t really think about it later on in the year. “We just want everyone to be more aware,” said Plagge. She said a wipes container that contains 60 wipes is only enough for a class to wipe off their desks twice. It is the same with tissues. “Our teachers are the ones, when we run out of tissues, that are buying all these tissues,” she said. “There are 26 kids in a class. One box of tissues is like half of a day of three people having a cold.” Phelps said germs can spread quickly at schools. She has already had three colds this year from working part time at the school as a reading specialist. Plagge said her child getting sick so often during her first-grade year is what inspired her to start Health Week. The first year was just a fun way to review basic health habits. The next year, the PTA budget was used to supply each classroom with a container of cleaning wipes to support the spread of germs. “I’m obsessed with Clorox wipes,” Plagge said. “They make the world go around at my house.” Last year’s budget allowed the purchase of toothbrushes when the PTA learned there were students who did not have toothbrushes of their own. Plagge said PTA funds are always donated back to benefit the students. 

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West JorDan cItY Journal

22 veterans honored By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Students visit with veterans and their families at a private luncheon. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

S

tudent Body Officers at West Jordan High School organized a Veteran’s Day Assembly to express appreciation and honor to veterans who might think teens don’t care about their service. “Our Veteran’s Day Assembly is to show our student body what kind of sacrifice our veterans have made,” said SBO Chase Dean Harward. “It’s a time when we honor their service and we honor the things that they did and thank them for it.” Cassity Oertle, senior class president, said the program focused on veterans as individuals. “It’s their time to stand up there and be thanked formally,” she said. “I think that’s one of

the coolest parts. That doesn’t happen very often for them.” Personal information about each veteran was shared, like their favorite places they’ve served, their hobbies and interests, and their words of advice to young people. “I really liked hearing all the bios about every single veteran,” said SBO Lauren Brown. “That was cool to hear something personal about them and exactly what they did—it made you respect them even more.” Each SBO invited a veteran to be honored at the assembly. Some were family members

or neighbors. Each veteran received a stack of thank-you letters written by students and two lapel pins—one with an American flag and one with the WJHS theme. The 22 Veterans that participated were pleased with the program. “West Jordan outdid themselves—it was wonderful!” said Eddie Blandford, an Air Force veteran. “It’s a welcome sight to see young men and young women stand, all of them with their hands over their heart. It was a great show of patriotism by the West Jordan students,” said Blandford. He also said it gave him hope for the future of the country. “These kids get it.” Active duty Marine Steve Merkley spoke to the student body about how he is proud to sacrifice for his country. “You are worth it!” is his response when people thank him for his service. He said knowing that he is has the support of the American People is what keeps him going when times are tough. Daniel Silva, who served in the Marines for 24 years during two wars, said veterans like to feel supported. He didn’t get appreciation when he got home from Vietnam. His experience was better when he came home from Iraq. “Coming back from Operation Desert Storm, the ship rolled in and people are out there cheering—that was pretty cool,” Silva said. He feels strongly that young people would have a better life if they each had the opportunity to experience military service. He said being in the Marines had an immense affect on his life.

The musical numbers for the assembly were powerful and patriotic. The Madrigals performed the National Anthem, and the Swing Choir and band performed “God Bless the USA”. Veteran Joel Salazar said he was very moved by the “Homeward Bound” piece that the concert choir and orchestra performed. SBO Brady Oldroyd’s grandpa, Larry Banks, performed a lively guitar solo, which had won him the All Pacific Army Entertainer contest. He had entertained troops all around Vietnam and Korea with his quick fingers. The program ended with WJHS alumnus Evan Bullard playing “Taps” on his trumpet. After the assembly, veterans and their families were invited to a luncheon with SBO students. “I think that’s the payoff for these kids—to be able to sit down and interact with them on a more personal level,” said SBO Adviser Richard Hoonakker. “They hear some fun stories. It’s pretty fun to watch that.” SBO Brooklyn Booth sat with a group of veterans at the luncheon and was able to hear about their personal experiences. She said meeting those who have served the country was a unique experience for her. There fewer opportunities to meet WWII veterans, such as Douglas A. Smith, who was the first of the 18-year-olds drafted into the Army during World War II. Booth said meeting the actual people who have fought made it more real to her. “I think it puts it more into perspective,” Booth said. 

JORDAN SCHOOL DISTRICT – Public Notices Special education child Find

Every child is entitled to a public education regardless of disability. Children with disabilities may go without services because families are not fully aware of their options. If you know of a child, birth to age 22, who is not receiving any education services or feel that your child may be in need of special education services, please contact your local school or call the Special Education Department in Jordan School District at (801)-567-8176.

Special education RecoRdS deStRuction

On January 31, 2018, Jordan School District will destroy special education records of students born prior to September, 1991. Former special education students who are 27 years old may request their records from the school last attended; otherwise, the records will be destroyed.

caRSon Smith ScholaRShip

Public school students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may be eligible for a scholarship to attend a private school through the Carson Smith Scholarship program. Further information is available at http://www.schools.utah.gov/sars/Scholarships.aspx

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G O OD NE IG H BOR

NEWS

DECEMBER 2017

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

2017 General Election Results The City of West Jordan conducted the 2017 election with Salt Lake County. The city also used the Vote By Mail option as outlined in Utah Code 20A-3-302 ‘Conducting entire election by absentee ballot.’ Every registered voter in the City of West Jordan received an absentee ballot in the mail during the first week in October. At the end of Election night on Nov. 7, the turnout was 22 percent. After all the votes had been tabulated, voter turnout had increased to 31.72 percent. The City Clerk’s Office coordinated the final canvass, including any provisional ballots and valid Vote By Mail ballots, with the County Clerk’s office. The City Council is the official Board of Canvassers of the election and conducted the “Canvass of the Election” on Nov. 21. The “canvass” consists of reviewing the number of votes received for each candidate as provided by the Salt Lake County Clerk. The city also had two Measures on the ballot this year: “West Jordan City Bond,” for the Aquatic and Recreation Center $46 million Bond; and “Proposition 10,” to consider changing its form of government to the Council-Mayor Form with a seven-member Council. The results listed below are from the Official Canvass and include any valid ballots that were voted on Election Day. MAYOR OFFICIAL TOTALS Jim Riding 8,724 Kim V. Rolfe 4,856 AT-LARGE COUNCIL OFFICIAL TOTALS Kayleen Whitelock 7,761 Chad R. Lamb 5,988 Jay Thomas 5,426 Hyrum Smith Matthews 3,767 DISTRICT 4 (2-YEAR TERM) OFFICIAL TOTALS Alan R. Anderson 2,635 WEST JORDAN BOND OFFICIAL TOTALS Against the Issuance 10,326 For the Issuance 3,320 PROPOSITION 10 OFFICIAL TOTALS For 6,841 Against 6,778

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

An Honor to Serve This Will Be My Last Mayor’s Message. It has been my honor to serve West Jordan for 12 years – the last four as mayor. One of the best parts of my job has been working with residents who I didn’t formally know and visiting them in their homes and working with them to resolve issues that affected them. When I was first elected to the City Council in 2004, the population was almost 94,000. Today, it’s around 114,000. A lot has happened during this time. I’d like to list a few accomplishments over the past four years that I’m proud of: • We passed an ordinance that caps multifamily housing at 23 percent of the total housing stock in West Jordan. This means that 77 percent will be single family homes and 23 percent will be multi-family housing (townhomes, condos and apartments). This is what the public has asked for, and allows us to provide a balance of housing that meets the needs of people throughout different stages of life. • We created an ethics ordinance for the West Jordan City Council which outlines an expected “code of conduct” and a process to address violations. We set up an Ethics Committee to ensure elected officials adhere to a high level of behavior and responsibility. • We placed the form of government on the ballot so that citizens could vote and choose which form of government the city should operate under. I look forward to two years from now when the strong mayor form is implemented. (The council-manager form is the current form the city operates under.) • We changed over 5,400 streetlights to LEDs, saving thousands each year. • As I leave office, the fund balance for the city is at an unprecedented $102 million, and we have the lowest debt ratio of any city our size in the state. The biggest disappointments: • Losing the Facebook data center. We worked for 18 months to encourage Facebook to locate a new data center in West Jordan. When the project lost support, it resulted in a loss of over $20 million to West Jordan, not to mention the loss of millions to the school district, the county and the state. • I proposed the first-ever property tax decrease for citizens and businesses in West Jordan’s history. It failed in a 3-4 City Council vote. I look forward to getting back to work in the private sector. As many of you know, Rolfe Construction is located in West Jordan. But as long as I have been in office, I have not bid on any jobs for the City of West Jordan. Legally, I could have. But to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest I have only bid on jobs for other cities. I love the City of West Jordan. I’ve lived here for over 40 years and have two businesses here. It’s been a great place to live and work, and I’m honored to have served on both the City Council and as your Mayor. Sincerely,

Kim V. Rolfe


GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN

7000 South Utilities Construction Continued to Spring TRAVEL LANES TO BE RESTORED FOR WINTER MONTHS Construction crews have been working since February on a complex utility project on 7000 South from 1300 West to 3200 West. The work includes removing and replacing pipes, installing box culvert canal sections, removing and replacing old utility services, as well as milling and overlaying the roadway surface. This is the largest and most complex infrastructure project the City has undertaken, with eight separate projects under construction at once. Construction crews are working to complete as much work as possible before winter weather hits, but the project will not be complete this fall. During winter months, travel lanes will be restored. Total project completion is tentatively anticipated for summer 2018. When work resumes next year, the project, work zone and schedule will be reduced, creating less impact to nearby residents and the travelling public. This project has been particularly challenging to residents and businesses in the area. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that the break from construction will be welcomed by those most impacted. When this project is complete, residents can expect improved utility service, improved roadway drainage and a smoother, safer commute.

Register now for Citizen Police Academy

Bangerter Four Interchanges Over the last 10 years, the Utah Department of Transportation has been making major improvements at various intersections along Bangerter Highway to reduce travel times and congestion, connect communities, and improve overall safety along the corridor. Some of these noticeable improvements can be experienced at the 7800 South and Redwood Road intersections, where people traveling along Bangerter Highway now drive over these two cross-streets without having to stop and wait for a green light at a signalized intersection. Similar intersection improvements are underway at 7000 South, 5400 South, 9000 South and 11400 South. All four are expected to be completed by fall 2018.

7000 South The new interchange has opened and lanes and traffic have shifted into their permanent configuarations. Finish work continues on the 7000 South interchange as weather permits. This includes finish work, shoulder work, removal of temporary asphalt and the start of the noise wall posts and panels. Work will continue to complete the pedestrian bridge in early December. Some of the work on 7000 South will resume in the early spring, but UDOT will notify the public as soon as this work is set to begin.

9000 South 9000 South work is progressing. Crews will be shifting traffic onto the permanent concrete in early December. Noise wall installation along the west side of Bangerter Highway will continue. Sign up for updates to stay informed by emailing bangerter@utah.gov or calling 888-766-ROAD (7623). Soon after these four grade-separated intersections, also known as interchanges, are completed UDOT will continue to upgrade this popular highway to a fully functional freeway similar to I-15 and I-215, so it can handle current and future travel demands in the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. Visit the project website udot.utah.gov/bangerter or contact the project team for more information.

The West Jordan Police Department is gearing up for its next session of the Citizen Police Academy. The next session begins in January. Participants get an inside look at how the police department works and learn about different aspects of police work, including firearm safety, crime scene investigation, K-9, crime prevention and defensive tactics. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and pass a basic background check. There is no fee, but class size is limited. For more information, contact Christie Jacobs at 801-256-2032 or via e-mail at christiej@wjordan.com.


GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN

New Cultural Arts Facility

Call for Volunteers

City officials broke ground for a new Cultural Arts Facility Nov. 1 that will be located in Veterans Memorial Park on a 2.85-acre site at approximately 1955 West 7800 South.

GET INVOLVED AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY Several West Jordan City Committees have openings. If you’d like to strengthen our community and help shape its future, we need you! ARTS COUNCIL – Help bring the arts to life in West Jordan. Subcommittees include the following: • City Band • Mountain West Chorale • Theatre Board (Sugar Factory Playhouse) • Literary Arts

“During my term as mayor and two terms on the City Council, we have been working to find a permanent home for our Arts Council. For many on the Arts Council, the wait has been much longer,” West Jordan Mayor Kim V. Rolfe said. “I’m excited to announce that we have the funding available – with no tax increases and no bonding!” The 20,000 square-foot facility will include spaces for art and entertainment, including a 300-seat theater, gallery, multi-purpose rooms and concessions. The lobby will connect to an open, west-facing plaza and sculpture garden that will be used for art exhibits and outdoor events. Funding for the facility will come from several sources including proceeds from the sale of city-owned property, including the old library that the Arts Council currently uses for rehearsal space, and other unused vacant properties. With additional funding from the Salt Lake County Cultural Facilities Support Program, this $9.2 million facility is scheduled for completion by spring 2019. CRSA designed the facility, and Okland Construction will serve as the construction manager/general contractor.

• Visual Arts (help plan art exhibits at City Hall’s Schorr Gallery) • West Jordan Symphony • Youth Theatre • Fundraising DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE – If you’re a professional in the field of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning or urban design, come help determine the design standards of new building projects within the City. EVENTS COMMITTEE – From the Demolition Derby to the Independence Day Parade and everything in between, help bring these events to life. HEALTHY WEST JORDAN COMMITTEE – Ready, set, RUN! The Healthy West Jordan Committee plans programs and events to help our residents be active and healthy. HISTORICAL PRESERVATION COMMITTEE – Share your expertise and help designate and preserve historically significant sites within our City. PARKS & OPEN LAND COMMITTEE – Share your ideas on what types of parks we need and how we are going to pay for their maintenance and operation. PLANNING COMMISSION – Be a part of determining the types of new homes that are built and where new stores and business are located. SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE – Help find ways for us to be more efficient in our use of water, energy and other resources and plan for future growth in West Jordan. More information is available on the city website at www.westjordan.utah.gov. To apply or if you have questions, please contact Heather Everett at heathere@wjordan.com or 801569-5100.


GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

ARTS COUNCIL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

PLANNING COMMISSION

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Viridian Event Center 8030 S. 1825 West 6 p.m.

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

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

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

THEATRE ARTS PRESENTS “FIVE CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS”

ANIMAL SHELTER HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

INTERFAITH MESSIAH SING-ALONG

Midvale Performing Arts Center 695 W. Center St., 7:30 p.m.

WJ Animal Shelter 5982 W. New Bingham Hwy 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Jordan Oaks LDS Stake Center 8117 S. Leslie Dr. (3905 West) 7 p.m.

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

“SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN” EVENT

PLANNING COMMISSION

PLANNING COMMISSION

City Hall Community Room 8000 S. Redwood Road 6-9 p.m.

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

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

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

21

DECEMBER

25 & 26

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

LITERARY WORKSHOP

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

City Hall Community Room 8000 S. Redwood Road 7 p.m.

CITY HALL OFFICES CLOSED

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7-18

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

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

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


December 2017 | Page 15

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Page 16 | December 2017

West JorDan cItY Journal

New display in Sandy mall honors teens killed on Utah roads

T

By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

he lives of 34 Utah families were tragically altered in 2016 after receiving the news their teenager had been killed in a motor vehicle crash. During October, a memorial was created and put on display inside the Shops at South Town in Sandy as a tribute to those teens who lost their lives on Utah roads in 2016. On May 7, Brad and Jenny Montague’s 16-year-old daughter, Erica, was killed when the driver of the car she was riding in was speeding and lost control of the car. As the car turned sideways into oncoming traffic, the passenger side of the car was hit by another motorist. Erica died instantly. “She had gone with a friend to take another friend a gift,” said Brad. “Her curfew was 10:30 p.m., so when she was a few minutes late, I sent her a text asking where she was. She replied back, ‘We’re hurrying.’ That was the last time we would hear from her.” The Montagues are pleading with drivers to slow down and not speed. “If you are going to be late, call your parents and let them know,” said Brad. “We promise you that they would rather have you home safe and sound — and late — than not come home at all.” Excessive speed was the No. 1 con- Display at The Shops at South Town memorializing 120 teen lives lost on Utah roads (Photo Courtesy Zero Fatalities) tributing factor in fatal crashes involving a teen driver last year in Utah. The Utah Nationally, the risk of crashes are higher Utah’s teens featured in this year’s book. Joshua’s Highway Safety Office data shows teenagers trav- friend had just received their learner permit a few among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any otheling at 50 mph or higher when they crashed were months prior to the crash. Joshua was riding in his er age group and they are three times more like5.5 times more likely to be killed. friend’s car when the driver turned in front of an ly than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal Over the last 10 years, 285 teens aged 13–19 oncoming vehicle. Joshua took the full force of the crash. Driver inexperience is a contributing factor have died on Utah roads. The lives of 120 of these crash when the car was hit directly where he was in crashes involving teen drivers. teens have been featured in memoriam books cre- sitting. No one else was hurt. “I am pleading for parents, siblings and role ated by the Utah Department of Health and Utah “There is a reason you practice driving with models to go above and beyond,” said Carlos Department of Transportation, who collected the an adult in the vehicle after receiving your learner Braceras, UDOT executive director. “Don’t let stories of teens killed in motor vehicle crashes to permit. Experience is vital,” said Joshua’s mother, driver education end after a semester-long course. help state and local agencies show drivers of all Elizabeth Nielsen. “We were honored to be Josh- Driving safely is a lifelong pursuit and should be a ages the impact their decisions have on others. The ua’s parents and privileged to have this extraordi- lifelong effort to improve.” books are also distributed to high school driver ed- nary soul with us. We will forever miss the beautiAccording to Zero Fatalities, more than 90 ucation classes throughout the state. ful light that shined so bright whenever he entered percent of all crashes are due to driver error. They Fifteen-year-old Joshua Nielsen is one of the room.” attribute those crashes to five deadly driving be-

haviors: drowsy driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, impaired driving and not wearing a seat belt. Joseph Miner, UDOH executive director, said there are policies such as the Utah Graduated Driver License laws that were designed to help new drivers learn driving skills over time and gain the experience needed to become safe drivers. “These laws, along with prevention efforts by our state and community partners, have saved lives,” said Miner. The 2016 memorial book is dedicated to Erica Montague, Joshua Nielsen and the following teens who lost their lives on Utah roads (only 15 of the 34 teens killed are listed) Destany Turrubiartez, 16, of Ogden Bailee Marie Dibernardo, 17, of Layton Sandon Rylee Marshall, 19, of Vernal Sydney Naylor, 16, of Tooele Simon Olson, 18 of Saratoga Springs Caleb Allen, 17, of West Valley City Hailey Lee-Ann Godfrey, 18, of Eagle Mountain Tucker Joseph Kunz, 18, of Middleton, Idaho Braxton Phetsysouk, 14, of Corrine Drex Jade Taylor, 18, of Diamond Valley Hunter Chase Johnson, 17, of Bountiful Lexie Sage Fenton, 16, of Draper Hunter Douglas Kelly, 18, of Layton The public is invited to view the exhibit commemorating 120 of the 285 teen lives killed on Utah roads since 2007. Memorabilia from select teen crash victims and their stories are also on display. The exhibit will be on display through the holiday shopping season. To download a copy of the book “A Reminding Light: Remembering 15 Lives Lost on Utah Roads,” visit www.health.utah.govorhttp://ut.zerofatalities.com/dont-drive-stupid/. 

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Page 18 | December 2017

West JorDan cItY Journal

Jaguar volleyball captures confidence By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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n paper, the season for the West Jordan High School girls volleyball team seems lackluster, but in reality it experienced a confidence boost. “I felt pretty good about the team and our season,” Jaguar head coach Paulasi Mataveo said. “I think our kids really came through for us. We are young volleyball-wise (experience). We had a few players that are new to the game. This season we only had two players that played varsity last season.” Freshman Maryjane Vanisi and her sister Kalisi, a sophomore, started the majority of the season for the young team. Kalisi was the team’s setter and missed the last part of the season for personal reasons. She led the team in assists with 223. Mataveo said the team came together in her absence and played well in the state tournament. “We had to ask some kids to play out of position, and they really stepped up and played well,” Mataveo said. “Maryjane is a good athlete, and she was able to help as the setter. She is a good enough athlete to step in. Lani Jaeger was our defensive specialist, and she also helped out a lot.” Jaeger and Maryjane combined for 73 assists in the last two weeks of the season. “Maryjane is a type of player that has a lot of upside,” Mataveo said. “I think people are going to need to keep an eye on her the next few years. She has raw talent and never really worked on aspects of her game. When she is done at West Jordan people, will know who she is.” The Jaguars qualified for the state tournament by finishing in fourth place in Region 3. They compiled a 6-11 overall record this season. Mataveo said the team played better than expected in the state tournament.

In its first match of the tournament, West Jordan faced Region 1 champion and eventual fifth-place state finisher Syracuse. Without much expectation, the Jaguars played well. They defeated the Titans in the first set 26-24. The set victory boosted the confidence of the team. “We ran into a challenge and struggled to mold the team,” Mataveo said. “When we won a game from a No. 1 seed, I think that was a good reward for us to see what we can do,” Mataveo said. The Jaguars eventually lost to Syracuse 24-26, 25-14, 25-11,25-11. Their first-round loss placed them into the consolation tournament where they defeated Hillcrest 25-19, 2512, 20-25,25-16. On the second day of the tournament, they lost in the consolation semifinals to Copper Hills 3-0. Senior Tatyana Tofa led the team with 97 kills. Ariana Perez was second with 82. Mataveo said they were leaders in the program. “She (Tofa) was one of our main girls this year,” he said. “A returning varsity player, she was steady all year for us. Ariana Perez was another senior and returner. Without those two, it would have been different for us in the middle. They were the cornerstone for us.” The Jaguars have qualified for the state tournament for seven straight seasons. This was Mataveo’s second season as the Jaguar head coach. “I think our program is on the right path,” he said. “We want a team that the community will be proud of. We are starting a junior high program. We are trying to model what the successful programs around the state are doing. We have some good kids that are starting young.” 

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December 2017 | Page 19

WestJorDanJournal .com

Principal of the Year makes every moment matter By Jet Burnham | jburnham@mycityjournals.com

Principal of the Year Todd Theobald stresses time management to meet the needs of students. (Todd Theobald)

T

odd Theobald, principal at Majestic Elementary, has a motto: “Make every moment matter.” His philosophy has turned Majestic from a failing school into a thriving one. The school was consistently receiving an “F” on the Board of Education’s annual school performance report. Theobald turned that “F” into a “B” in his first year as principal and has maintained the school’s improved standing for the past five. Theobald said because of the transient nature of the school, time is precious. “We don’t have them for seven years like other schools do,” he said. “We don’t have time to waste.” Theobald believes in budgeting time in the same way he budgets money. “When you have a budget, you know where every dollar is going so you can stretch it,” he said. “We want to get the biggest bang for our buck.” As principal, Theobald works with teachers to find ways to reduce non-instructional time—like the morning routine. “The kids come in, hang up their backpacks, make their lunch choice—this can take 15 or 20 minutes,” he said. He has calculated that more than 180 school days, even five minutes a day of wasted time totals over 15 hours of lost instruction time. Theobald was named a 2017 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals for the impact he has had at Majestic. He insists he couldn’t do what he does without his faculty. “The award is not about me,” he said. “I have the most amazing faculty. They are the

most dedicated and amazing people and I am getting credit for their work.” Theobald said his faculty faces a more difficult job than other elementary teachers—85 percent of their students receive free or reduced lunch, and many have difficult home situations. Some of their students come from the homeless shelter overflow. Theobald said all of his faculty members have made the choice to work at Majestic. “They are so willing to come on this journey and make a difference,” he said. “They know they are making a difference and will do whatever it requires.” Theobald, who has a B.A. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in educational leadership and a M.Ed. in math pedagogy, believes in providing frequent in-depth professional development opportunities for his faculty. Every summer, he holds a training boot camp of high-yield instructional strategies with an emphasis on efficiency. Theobald got special permission from Jordan School District to adjust the daily school hours to accommodate more professional development for teachers. Ten minutes were added to each school day, earning an extra early release day each month, allowing for an afternoon dedicated to professional development. Theobald has outlined with his teachers non-negotiable quality instructions to be as efficient as possible. Teachers post a copy of the day’s lesson plan in their classroom, have clear objectives for the day and know how to measure learning for each lesson. Teachers track progress through Mastery Connect, a data platform, to quickly sort through student data and determine how to target student needs most efficiently. Teachers share the methods and tools that have been successful with their students with each other. “Our teachers use the wisdom of teams to identify needs and trends,” Theobald said. Theobald has also worked to improve the community for his students. As principal, he evaluates ways to provide support, stability, education and empowerment to students and their families. He hired a family learning coordinator and a homeless liaison for the school and replaced traditional parent–teacher conferences with Academic Parent Teacher Teams. He keeps a Principal’s Pantry stocked with food for struggling families and provides access to meals and academic activities at the school throughout the summer months. Theobald was honored with 62 other principals at a banquet held in Washington D.C. this October. Principals were selected for the award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and commitment to students and their communities. 

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Page 20 | December 2017

West JorDan cItY Journal

Basketball season tips off By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

The Jaguars combined solid defense with constant ball movement into a top ranked basketball program. (dsandersonpics.com)

T

he high school basketball season is upon us. The local teams have picked their lineups. The excitement of the new season has settled upon the teams and fans. Copper Hills The 2016–17 Grizzlies boys basketball team found itself on the path toward a championship game. Stockton Shorts led the team in scoring averaging 23.6 points per game, but with him graduated and now playing at Snow College, head coach Andrew Blanchard needs to find someone to help fill the scoring void. Bingham derailed the Grizzlies’ championship hopes by defeating Copper Hills two out of three times last year. The Grizzlies are scheduled to host them Friday, Jan. 5 in the teams’ only scheduled meeting of the season. The boys will also play in the Utah Elite tournament Dec. 7–9. Another important game on the schedule is West Jordan, Tuesday, Jan. 30. The Copper Hills’ boys’ run into the state tournament last season ended in a semifinals loss to Lone Peak. Success this year will hinge upon its returning players. At 6-foot-5 junior Trevon Allfrey averaged 9.3 points per game last year and has plenty of varsity experience to help the Grizzlies maintain their dominance. The girls team finished in first place in Region 3. The Lady Grizzlies finished with a 21-4 overall record. They also lost in the semifinals to American Fork, 48-45. It was their second straight trip to the semifinals where they lost both times by a total of five points. Junior Breaunna Gillen returns to the team as the second-leading scorer. She averaged 9.8 points per game last season. Another player to watch this season will be senior Kiarra Gasu. She averaged 5.9 points per game last year and could be a key in maintaining the balanced attack Copper Hills is known for. Key games on the girls team’s schedule in-

clude a showdown with cross-town rival Bingham Friday, Dec. 8. The Grizzlies are also scheduled to play in the Corner Canyon Winter Classic Dec. 14-16. The team will host West Jordan Thursday, Jan. 11. West Jordan The Jaguar boys team made its second straight state tournament appearance last season. Wins in its final two region games helped it finish in fourth place in Region 3 with a 6-6 record. The momentum carried the Jaguars to a first-round 6963 victory over Skyview, but they were eliminated with a 54-39 loss to Pleasant Grove two days later. A key player for the Jaguars’ return to the state tournament could be 6-foot-5-inch senior Darrian Nebeker. He led the team in scoring last season, averaging 12.0 points per game to go along with6.5 rebounds per contest. As an undersized big man, he has been forced to guard bigger and stronger opposing players. The boys are scheduled to participate in the Utah Autism Holiday Classic Dec. 27–30 at Olympus High School. Key region contests include their home games against Herriman Friday, Jan. 19 and Riverton Friday, Jan. 26. They will host Copper Hills in their next-to-last game of the year Friday, Feb. 16. The Lady Jaguars have a new head coach this season. Former assistant coach Lei Lolohea takes over after Carlson Boudreaux stepped down after last season. She takes over a team that won only four games last season. They return their top three scorers from last season: seniors Heaven Lewis, Kennedi Hardy and Kendra Ludwig. Each could be a key contributor in the Jaguars’ improvement. The Jaguars are scheduled to host Hunter in their first home game Thursday, Nov. 30. As the team prepares for its region games, it will also host Cyprus Dec. 21. 

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December 2017 | Page 21

WestJorDanJournal .com

County baseball leagues excited for new facility By Jennifer Gardiner| j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

T

he city of Saratoga Springs broke ground in October on an all-new sports complex. But Patriot Park has more than just the surrounding community excited. With the addition of six new baseball fields close to the Salt Lake Valley, many local baseball leagues see opportunity for reprieve at a time when city leagues are at capacity and overflowing with an abundance of players and not enough fields. Salt Lake County baseball programs started to see problems in 2012 when Riverton officials closed one of the city’s baseball parks, forcing the for-profit super leagues to decrease the number of teams that could play in their leagues. “The loss of seven Riverton fields significantly impacted the availability of fields for competitive baseball in the Salt Lake Valley, and this led to cutbacks of roughly 40 teams in the league at that time,” said Brandon Riley, Utah Select league director. “Utah Select would definitely be interested in exploring the use of the new fields in Saratoga Springs, and it would likely allow for additional capacity again.” Riley said lights at a ball field are critical, as most of the fields teams currently use in the Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City parks systems don’t have lights. “This requires early games, as early as 4:30 p.m. and makes it very difficult for parents to get their kids to games without taking them out of school, as most teams arrive an hour before game time,” Riley said. “The little extra travel to Saratoga Springs or other municipalities can be offset with lights, as it allows parents and kids to avoid the negative impacts of leaving school early to play baseball games.” Dave Gatti, president of Riverton Baseball City League, said he is thrilled to hear Utah County is building another park. He hopes it will help operate a city league program and open the way for more players who want to play in their city to now have a place to do so. “Cory Wride park is bursting with kids,” Gatti said. “Utah County needs the room, and it will be a great welcome to the baseball community. Right now there are kids of all abilities and skills flooding back into the city leagues, but this can also cause an influx of problems. I think the city leagues could really benefit with new fields that could be able to use the fields.” Like Riverton, many other city leagues around the valley started to see an influx of kids filtering out of for-profit super leagues and into the city programs simply because those leagues had to downsize their programs over the lack of facilities. Even tournaments were having to be held far away during times that are inconvenient and disruptive for kids in school. Riverton City League has more than 1,100 participants in its Cal Ripkin League; similar numbers of kids play in Copper Hills and South Jordan leagues as well. “I believe that city leagues purpose to provide quality rec options for kids of all skill levels that challenge them and fill a need for activity,” Gatti said. “But I could see the need for having a place in the city that kids who just wanted to play ball and enjoy having something to do, and those kids who are more experienced and competitive could play in the same place.” Gatti developed what is now known as that separation within the city leagues, and it has become what he said is a solution for many teams left wondering how they can continue to play in

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Copper Hills All-Stars city league team (Photo Courtesy Kristy Pincock)

leagues where there are so many kids and a shortage for coaches. . “The American League allows kids of any skill level to just play and have fun, without the pressure of having to be overly competitive,” Gatti said. “But they are all a part of the wonderful programs now being offered at city league parks. The National League allows those that are used to playing competitively to also enjoy the same amenities a city league offers but where they can continue to play with kids of the same skill level.“ Saratoga Springs Mayor Jim Miller said leaders in his city recognized the community need for new baseball fields, among the other amenities Patriot Park will offer. Currently, the city doesn’t have any baseball fields, forcing residents to filter into neighboring cities’ baseball leagues. Miller said his sons have played in Lehi leagues for years After city officials received word that Lehi was no longer able to accommodate Saratoga Springs residents on baseball teams because it left them with little room for its own residents, the idea for Patriot Park came to light. Miller said the park will bring the community together for fun and recreation, regardless of whether they are baseball fans. While city leaders haven’t fully decided how the baseball park will operate, they are open to the idea that leagues and teams from the Salt Lake Valley may want to use it and that they will most likely hold tournaments at the park. Patriot Park is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019. It will include six baseball fields, eight pickle ball courts, a playground, batting cages and concessions. The fields will be named after each different branch of the military and will include a memorial for veterans. 

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Page 22 | December 2017

West JorDan cItY Journal

The Great Toy Hunt For as long as there has been Christmas Hype there have been hard to get toys. And, with those toys come parents and grandparents willing to go to crazy lengths to get one for their child. Last year it was Hatchimals and this year new toys like Fingerlings and a Nintendo that looks like something from then ‘80’s have already gone missing and pop up with over inflated prices from toy scalpers on eBay and Amazon. It’s become an American tradition. Ninja Turtle Super Shredder toy was my most memorable toy hunt. Some of you probably remember getting one or wanting one. It was sometime around 1985. I remember spending hours hunting, calling and searching for this silly $6 dollar toy. And I was finally able to snag one after stalking ToysRUs employees, showing up at the store before the doors opened, racing to dig through a box of newly arrived Turtles to get one of the 4 that came in a case. Keep in mind; the Internet did not exist for common folk at this time. Yep, I got caught up in the hype and thought, my kid must prevail, determined for him to have bragging rights of being the owner of this prestigious toy. I got that little rush when I brought my treasure home and carefully hide the sack on the top shelf of the closet. To this day, Super Shredder still has a home among the dust in my attic.

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were common dinner table items. I learned to clip those .10¢ coupons out of necessity, not because it was the popular thing to do. Looking back on my Super Shredder hunt, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to give the gift of one of life’s most valuable lessons instead. After all, what better gift than to teach a child that we don’t always get what we want. Have you gone to crazy lengths to find a Christmas toy or do you have a memory of toy you got or didn’t get as a child? Enjoy the hunt, but know that if you don’t prevail you are still giving a treasured gift to the child you love.

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December 2017 | Page 23

WestJorDanJournal .com

Laughter AND

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very year on November 30, while my girls slept, I’d spend the evening putting up Christmas decorations. I’d place every Santa just so and every angel just right. My daughters would wake up to a magical Christmas wonderland with twinkling lights, cinnamon-scented pinecones and beautifully wrapped packages. That was my dream. Reality was much different. Oh, the house was decorated, and the girls were excited, but within five minutes the entire holiday-scape was destroyed. My daughters would walk into the idyllic wonderland I’d created, squeal with glee and run to their favorite Christmas decoration. One daughter immediately turned on the display that had Disney characters barking your favorite carols. If you haven’t heard “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” sung in “Woofs” by Pluto for 25 days in a row, you don’t know the real meaning of Christmas. Another daughter ran to the Nativity scene where she helped Mother Mary run off with Frosty the Snowman, leaving Baby Jesus in the care of a 6-foot polar bear wearing a holiday scarf. Yet another daughter took the ornamental French horn off the wall and marched through the house trumpeting Jingle Bells. Not to be outdone, her little sister used the tree skirt as a cloak and pretended to be the Queen of Christmas,

which caused several fistfights in front of the holy manger. When the girls went off to school each day, I’d put all the decorations back in their traditionally ordained locations. I found Ken and Barbie naked in a Christmas stocking. I discovered one of the Wise Men snuggled with an angel behind an advent calendar. I glued the shepherds’ crooks back on because the girls would have them fight ninja-style and kept breaking them off. I found the singing Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer shoved into a pile of laundry. Oh, wait. I’d put that there. Because it never shut up. The girls would come home from school and spend the rest of the evening rearranging the decorations while I radiated anger. “Leave the damn tree alone!” I’d repeat 40 times a day. “But someone moved my ornament from its special place.” (Insert the sound of Christmas decorations falling off the tree.) When I found the Christmas pillow I had painstakingly cross-stitched had been used to wipe up a Kool-Aid spill, I finally lost it. I was exhausted from trying to redecorate the house every day to keep everything looking perfect. I screeched, in a very unholiday voice, “Put the Baby Jesus back in the manger

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West Jordan December 2017  

West Jordan December 2017