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West Jordan’s Jerica Tandiman finished fourth and fifth in the ladies 500 and 1000 meters U.S. Olympic trials, qualifying her for the 2018 Winter Olympics. (John Kleba/US Speed Skating)

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By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com he 2002 Winter Olympics had scarcely ended when then 7-year-old Jerica Tandiman fell in love with speed skating. She is now headed to participate in one of the world’s pinnacle winter sports events. “It feels pretty awesome to be an Olympian,” Tandiman said. “I am still trying to process it all. I am really excited, and it is something I have been working towards for years. It feels good to finally reach that goal.” Tandiman started skating shortly after the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics finished and left behind the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns—within walking distance of her home. She was fascinated with the speed and her parents enrolled her in a learnto-skate program. “It inspired me,” she said. “I remember going to the oval and watching the speed skaters train. They went so fast. I was more interested in that than I was in figure skating or hockey. My parents knew I was competitive and like to race, so they let me try it.” She now races in speed skating’s sprint races—the 500 and 1000 meters. In the 2017 World Cup event at her home track in Kearns, she placed fourth and 12th in her 500-meter events. She placed 11th in the 1000 meter. “In a sprint, you have such a short amount of time,” Tandiman said. “Your technique needs to be spot on, and you need to be mentally prepared to make adjustments. If something goes wrong in the race, you do not have a lot of time to fix it. A typical 500 takes about 38 seconds, so if I make a little mistake that can make the difference between a podium or last place.” The national team is based in Salt Lake and she trains here

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year-round. As a junior skater, she made five junior world teams. Her competition schedule has taken her around the world including Russia, Norway, Italy and Japan. “I would not have ever been able to go to all of these places if not for my speed skating,” she said. “It has been really cool to travel and learn a little bit about the places I have been. I try to learn a couple of phrases in the language and sightsee a little bit.” She spends about six hours a day training on land and the ice. Rotating between racing, cardio and weight training. Along with prep work on equipment and other family chores, she has little time to herself. When she does find free time, she enjoys doodling, painting and graphic arts. “Going into this Olympics, I don’t know if I expect to medal necessarily,” Tandiman said. “I hope to race some of my fastest times. There are other members of the team that have been to the games before. They have really helped encourage me. I am going to get valuable experience and try my best. I do not want a lot of pressure. I want to enjoy the experience and race the best I can.” She has a part-time job with Dick’s Sporting Goods, and they also help sponsor her travel and training expenses. She graduated from Kearns High School in 2013 and attended BYU-Hawaii. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be Feb. 9–25 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Her events will be held Feb. 14 (1000 meter) and Feb. 18 (500 meter). She has three sisters: Justine, Julie and Jamie. Her parents are Edwin and Christine. They now live in West Jordan. “I am looking forward to representing Utah.,” Tandiman said. “I have had so much support from people in my neighborhood and friends that have known me growing up. I think it is going to be a great experience. It will be fun and exciting.” l

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West Jordan City Journal

‘New day, new adventure’ as elected officials sworn in 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.

The West Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Travis Barton Travis@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer Tracy.l@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1021 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton and John Guertler

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n a night when three newly elected officials were sworn in, West Jordan’s only incumbent winner from the 2017 election, Alan R. Anderson, brought his mom to the front of the city council chambers as he took the oath of office. “Of all the things I’ve done being in an elected position, I’ve never had my parents come,” Anderson said. His father passed away before he was appointed city councilmember via coin toss in November 2016. “I won’t call it regret, but I wish my dad could have seen this.” Anderson said he learned the value of public service from his dad, who served as a highway patrolman for 35 years. Anderson’s middle name, Ruel, comes from his dad, and it’s why he chose to keep the middle initial on his city council plaque. “He always said, ‘why is my name Ruel?’” Anderson recalled. “I said ‘I don’t know; your parents called you that.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s be because I make the rules.’” The councilman for District 4 will now be making city rules with three newly elected officials: Mayor Jim Riding and Councilmembers at-large Kayleen Whitelock and Chad Lamb, respectively. Before a council chambers overflowing with attendees, the four officials were sworn in on Jan. 3. Riding took his oath wearing a lei in honor of his son-in-law, a Hawaiian native. He described his feelings as “surreal,” having moved across the hall from his corner office as the city’s capital improvement projects manager. For 15 years, Riding has worked for the city. He said he’s relieved it’s finally over so they can start taking care of city business. Economic development, Riding said, is his No. 1 priority. “I want to get out and start talking to businesses,” he said, adding he’d like to get the chamber of commerce connected to the county and state economic development departments to “see what we can do to get some good businesses here to revitalize the tax base, increase the tax base so that we can afford to do the things we need to do as a city.” Lamb, a strategic media planner-buyer for Saxton Horne Communications, echoed those

Councilman Chad Lamb is sworn into office by City Recorder Melanie Briggs. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

sentiments. “You can’t put the burden on the citizens with taxes; you can put that burden on businesses that come in, and that way you’re helping to grow the city without having to put too much on the taxpayers,” he said. Lamb said his election win didn’t sink in until taking the oath. “It finally feels real tonight,” he said. For Whitelock, her feeling was “one of joy and a little bit of nervousness.” A former nurse, Whitelock has served in public office before, having been on the Jordan School District Board of Education as well as various Utah PTA boards, including the state board. She said she’s always been involved with the city from the outside but never on the inside. “New day, new adventure,” she said. Her initial priorities are establishing work sessions and improving the city’s image are. “We’re a wonderful place, but we’re not respected in the valley, so I want to work on that,” Whitelock said, adding that to do that, city leaders need to build relationships with the Salt Lake County Council and legislators.

She said she has many relationships with those that represent West Jordan and the Jordan School District. The city’s image has also been affected by council infighting in the past, something the new members think will change. “I think the city council we have now is going to be united and work together,” Lamb said. “We’ve seen other councils in the past that didn’t work together, but this one is really a good bunch of people that are going to work together to make West Jordan better.” It’s one of the reasons why Riding, now the city’s 13th mayor, was so excited to get started. “I’ve got some really good people on the council,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with each one of them and try to see if we can’t get some good things accomplished for our city.” With the change in government coming in 2020 from the current council–manager form to a council–mayor form, Riding and Anderson will be up for reelection in 2019, only serving two-year terms. l

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Page 4 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Locals discuss international relations with visiting foreign dignitaries By Ruth Hendricks | ruth.h@mycityjournals.com

I

s NATO obsolete? How can the average person living in Utah have any impact on international relations? These were some questions posed by local residents to visiting European dignitaries. The Viridian Event Center hosted a special panel discussion, “Across the Pond, In the Field” on Jan. 11. The discussion aimed to engage new audiences across the country to better understand how people outside Washington, D.C., view transatlantic relationships, trade alliances and other foreign policy issues. The visit was part of a project from The Center for a New American Security. The visiting dignitaries were H.E. Lars Gert Lose, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States; and Lord Browne of Ladyton (Des Browne), member of the House of Lords and former United Kingdom Defense Minister. The United Kingdom includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but Browne hails from Scotland. The discussion was moderated by Julianne Smith, a director with CNAS, a think-tank in Washington, D.C. Salt Lake City was one of 12 cities on the tour. Earlier in the day, the visitors had breakfast with a technology council, sat down with 200 students at East High School, met with the mayor of Salt Lake County and met with people at the Deseret News. The two men have a running joke between them about who can accumulate more people who claim either Danish or Scottish heritage. “He’s losing badly,” said Browne. The first issue discussed was NATO. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental alliance between 29 North American and European countries based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed after World War II in 1949. NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it can call for military power in response to an attack. “President Trump has been pushing our European allies to spend more on defense. This is not new,” said Smith. “Many presi-

dents have pushed them to do more. Trump has also said that the alliance is obsolete. It was needed after World War II, but he wonders why we need it now.” Lose of Denmark said that NATO today is more important than ever, especially in Europe where they are dealing with a very aggressive and uncertain Russia. “We need to stand firm and have a strong position towards Russia,” said Lose. “Without NATO this can’t be done. We live in the neighborhood of Russia, so we feel this very concretely every single day.” Lose agreed that there is a problem with budget sharing in NATO. “The U.S. is paying about 70 percent of the budget. We need to step up in Europe.” The alliance goal is for countries to be spending at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. The Danish government just decided to increase their defense budget by 20 percent. “We are still not at the 2 percent goal, but we’re going in right direction,” said Lose. Browne agreed. “This complicated and difficult world that we live in generates threats to us that we never imagined we would have to face,” he said. “No matter how big and powerful you are, you can’t face these threats yourself.” About the NATO budget, Browne said, “Scotland pays more than their 2 percent, but we don’t pay enough. We have depended on the generosity of America to pay for our defense for far too long.” Kate, an audience member, asked how we can be more supportive of international relationships in our communities when we live fairly isolated from other countries. Lose said that we live off of international trade. He saw a statistic that day saying 25 percent of all jobs in Utah were supported by international trade. It’s 75 percent in Denmark. “We have a tendency these days to look more inward, with terrorists, climate change, refugees and migrants,” Lose said. “We want

to close our borders and keep to ourselves, but that’s not a solution. We need international cooperation more than ever.” Browne closed with a thought on what we can do about international relations. We can get to know each other and respect the differences. “Stop trying to make people be like we are,” said Browne. “Because two things will happen. Either we’ll fall out with them, or if we succeed, it will become the most boring place you ever knew.” Browne wondered why we think differences are a threat. “We can rise above that.” l

Ambassador Lars Lose of Denmark, Lord Browne of the UK and Julianne Smith with the Center for a New American Security discuss international relations at the Viridian. (Ruth Hendricks/City Journals)

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February 2018 | Page 5

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Scout’s Eagle project involved community partners to help animals By Ruth Hendricks | ruth.h@mycityjournals.com

P

orter Southworth, a sophomore at Copper Hills high school, recently completed an Eagle Scout project that he believes is somewhat different than most. Many young men have earned the Eagle Scout award, which is the highest achievement in the Boy Scouting program. The accomplishment requires earning at least 21 merit badges and completing an extensive service project that the scout plans, organizes, leads and manages. Porter has always loved animals; he has two dogs and has raised rabbits and chickens. For his project, he chose to collect donations that would help the creatures at the West Jordan Animal Shelter at 5982 West New Bingham Hwy. Most Eagle Scout projects help other people. “Not many Scouts want to do a project that benefits animals,” said Porter. Porter got approval from his Scout leaders, a manager at his local Smith’s Marketplace store at 5600 West 7800 South, a PetSmart store and Ascent Academies of Utah, a charter school serving students in kindergarten through ninth grade where his mother works as an aide. Porter began by writing a project plan and got a list of what was needed from the shelter. The undertaking took a great deal of coordination between the Scouts, the school, private businesses and the shelter. During October, Porter went to Ascent Academy four Fridays in a row to meet with the third- and fourth-graders who got together for what they call a “cluster”. Porter’s mother works at the school and helped to coordinate with them. It just happened that the students were already talking about animals, so Porter made a presentation and asked for their help with his project. Porter printed posters for the students to color and put in stores and for schools to publicize the request for donations. Students also helped color pictures to decorate the collection boxes. “For publicity, I designed and made 500 fliers, posted on social

media and the school,” said Porter. “Plus, the whole Scout troop gave out fliers around the neighborhood.” Ben Southworth, Porter’s father, was grateful for the help his son received, particularly from Smith’s, where a manager provided boxes to store the goods. “We recycled some campaign signs and made collection bins to set up by the checkout area at Smith’s,” Ben said. “Bruce at Smith’s was super supportive and welcomed the opportunity to partner in the effort.” Porter asked for donations of pet supplies such as cat and dog food, treats, toys and also towels and blankets. Collection bins were set up at the Smith’s for about three weeks. The effort resulted in 118 cans of cat food, about 500 cans of dog food, plus lots of dry food, kitty litter, toys, raw hide bones, animal shampoo and 140 blanket and towels. “There were over 300 individual donations,” said Porter. On Nov. 14, Porter took all the collected items and dropped them off at the shelter. Workers there were thrilled and said they would put some of the supplies under the shelter’s Christmas tree. Ben expressed gratitude for the donations and said it was impressive to see what people gave. Porter had asked for gently used blankets and towels, but most people gave new items. “Someone left the receipt in their bag of donations, and they had spent $170,” said Ben. “There were many big donations.” Some of the donated products were in bags from Smith’s, so Porter figures people saw the donation box in the store and gave in the spur of the moment. Others had gone to different stores to buy things and came back to drop them off. Porter now has completed the requirements for his project and is waiting for it to be reviewed by the headquarters of the Great Salt Lake Scout district. “I learned that a big project is not easy. It’s a lot of work, and you can’t do it alone. You need help from others,” said Porter.

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Ben said of Porter, “He’s learned to delegate and lead. I like to hear that he realizes he can’t do everything by himself. This project involved so many aspects of the community.” l

Porter Southworth shows many of the donations he collected. (Ben Southworth/West Jordan)


Page 6 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Local band, Booyah Moon, releases first album

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Utah local band Booyah Moon released its album in January 2018. (Audrey Livingston)

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ooyah Moon, a band comprised of five former Utah Valley University students, released its first album, “Landing”, in January 2018, complete with CD-release party at the Loading Dock in Salt Lake City. South Jordan natives Stephen and Tayler Allen make up the band as lead vocals and drums, respectively, alongside Jordan River and Joe Roberts on guitar and Brooke Bolick on bass. Four of the five met as tutors in the writing lab at Utah Valley University while Tayler was also there, studying theatrical design. Each member of the band has experience in musical performance, from choir to garage bands to design. “We all like stories, so that was a uniting factor,” said Stephen Allen. Stephen Allen, Roberts and River took a class from Rob Carney called “Wild and Angry Lit,” and for a final project, they used their music and writing backgrounds to write a song. “Our final project for the class was anything we wanted as long as it was relevant,” said Stephen Allen. “[Carney] asked us to perform it at the Conference for Social Change.” After that performance in the fall of 2016, the three continued to get together, write songs and play music, eventually adding Stephen Allen’s wife, Tayler, on drums and Brooke on bass guitar to become Booyah Moon in January 2017. “We don’t really have a set sound that we need to hold to,” said Stephen Allen about the lack of concern over creative differences with so many writers. “We like to tell stories or at least have some kind of narrative element in our songs. New is cool.” The band’s first album, “Landing,” includes seven songs. The first song was chosen to be recorded by sound engineer Stephen Cope, of Pro-

vo’s Studio Studio Dada, during what he referred to as Hell Week. During this time, a large number of bands were brought in to record a single song for an anthology album Cope would cut. “We so enjoyed the process of working with Cope and Studio Studio Dada that we decided to go back there and doing our first album,” said Stephen Allen. Over a couple of weekends, the band finished recording the other six songs that Stephen Allen and the rest of the band felt were best prepared and described them as a band with so many different points of view and styles. “We wanted something that was a showcase of a variety of sounds and not seven songs that are two similar,” said Stephen Allen. “Those seven showed the different forms that we have.” The band, he said, has no shortage of music coming in thanks to having so many writers. The group already has plans for the next track lineup on its second CD; however, since it’s such a lengthy process, the group might take a little while to complete it. A GoFundMe was set up to help fund the cost of producing “Landing.” “We’re unique but somewhat familiar in a way you maybe haven’t heard before,” he said. The band released its first music video for the song “Fraidy Cat” on Halloween, and it has plans to continue performing. In 2017, the band played at the SLC Veg Fest and Springville Battle of the Bands. It will be at Kilby Court on Jan. 29, 2018 and performed at the CD release concert on Jan. 22 in Salt Lake City. “It’s been a lot of fun and we all get along really well,” said Stephen Allen. “It has been crazy, but it’s a good time.” To find out more about the band and how to buy tickets for upcoming performances, visit https://www.booyahmoon.com/. l

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Fire chief steps down after 23 years in public safety

I

t was 1998, and Firefighter Marc McElreath responded to an apartment fire. Two elderly people were on the third floor with their escape route compromised. Fire stood in their way. The only way out was through a window three stories up. With the help of his partner, McElreath rescued the couple from almost certain death. “That’s a one-call-in-your-career (experience) that you get, and I was fortunate enough to do that,” he said. Now 20 years later, McElreath is stepping down as West Jordan Fire Chief, a position he held since April 2010. Deputy Chief Clint Petersen will serve as Interim Fire Chief. “Losing Chief McElreath is a loss for the city,” said City Manager David Brickey in a press release. “But after his leadership, he is leaving the West Jordan Fire Department in a great position regarding public safety. We wish him the best and are confident Chief Petersen’s leadership will ensure a seamless transition.” McElreath said he’s going to miss working with the firefighters. “I felt very fortunate to have the quality of the employees that we had,” he said. “That sure made my job easier. West Jordan’s got a great fire department, and they’ll continue to do well.” Being a chief for seven years is a long time, Petersen recalled hearing McElreath say. He felt the shelf life of a chief is probably around 5 to 7 years. McElreath said he was ready for a change, and the timing felt right with the department in a good place. “I worked in government and enjoyed it immensely,” he said. “West Jordan is a great place to work, but I want to test out the private sector. There are opportunities to do different types of things that involve my skillset I had being a fire chief.” Petersen, a close friend of McElreath, said his former chief had an open-door policy with everyone. “He’s just a very likable guy,” Petersen said. “He just gets along with everyone. He’s really diplomatic—a really good boss to work for. He’s fair

By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

and firm when he needs to be.” Petersen played a crucial role in McElreath’s introduction to public safety. Having served in the military, in the early ’90s McElreath was looking for a career. His dad worked part time with Salt Lake County Fire (now Unified Fire Department), sparking his interest to do a ride-a-long with a Taylorsville crew. Petersen was on that crew. McElreath enjoyed the dynamics of the job. He got to help people, every day was different and the schedule was appealing with 24-hour shifts followed by time off. In December 1994, McElreath joined West Jordan’s public safety team full time. The city has grown through those 23 years, eventually splitting public safety into separate police and fire departments in 2000. During the mid-’90s, the city’s public safety team required police and fire to be cross-trained with one another. McElreath spent time at the police academy and did the field training program; though never assigned to the police department, it did lead into doing arson investigation. He was the last person from West Jordan to be cross-trained. “It was a good thing for both departments because police work and firefighting each require specialized training, and it’s hard to be proficient in both disciplines,” he said in a press release. Seeing the department grow into a full-service department with 85 firefighters and four fire stations is something McElreath will proudly look back on. He remembered when West Jordan was perceived as a training ground, losing firefighters to other cities because of wages, equipment and deficiencies. The city began making changes in 2002, with council and resident support, that saw improvements in wages and equipment. It also led to a new fire station built in 2015. “Since then, we have not lost people like that; they came and made West Jordan their employer for their entire career,” McElreath said. “West Jordan has great facilities, great equipment and great people.” He said the future of the department is

Marc McElreath stands next to a recent hire for the West Jordan Fire Department in November. (West Jordan Fire Department Facebook)

“bright.” With the mentoring that takes place and the staff it has in place, he said there are plenty of people to step up. Even with the change in government, he doesn’t expect the department to suffer. “I don’t suspect they’ll miss a beat,” he said. “That’ll have no effect on delivery of service to the citizens. Eighty-five people are dedicated to provide the best service they can.” McElreath, a North Carolina native who now lives in Taylorsville, plans to take a year off to spend time with his wife and two teenage daughters. He then intends to jump back in the work force with safety coordination, risk management and emergency management mentioned as possibilities. “I wish him the best of luck,” Petersen said. “I know he’ll be successful with whatever he does.” While Petersen currently serves as the interim chief, he is hopeful to be appointed to the position permanently. “I know the department, I know the guys; I think I’m a firefighter-type boss,” he said. Petersen joined the department in 2000 to

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help start the paramedic program after spending 21 years with Salt Lake County. Though he never had aspirations of being a fire chief do to the political side of the job, he’s sure he’ll learn the ropes. Petersen was named interim chief effective Jan. 1 with an expected timeline of 60120 days for when a permanent chief will be named. “Overall, he’s a great guy, good friend, and he’ll do a great job as the interim fire chief,” McElreath said. “If he’s appointed fire chief, West Jordan will be in good hands.” The duo’s friendship extends outside of work—they saw country music artist Gary Allan perform in January together—and into the competitive confines of golf. “He’s an OK golfer,” Petersen claimed. “I don’t think he’s ever beat me, and he tries real hard.” McElreath joked it’s because Petersen carries the scorecard with an eraser. “I’m sure his mind is very full of work stuff he’s got to do, so he might not recall the golf scores very accurately,” he said. l

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Page 8 | February 2018

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Zero Fatalities installs sidewalk clings to encourage pedestrian safety By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.

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Signs on sidewalks around bus stops and other locations are designed to help others “look up.” (Photo/UDOT)

Tragedy recently struck a Kearns family when a young wife and mother was hit and killed by a Granite School District bus as she attempted to cross the street in West Valley City on Jan. 11. In December, another family lost their mother as she crossed the street to attend the Festival of Trees in Sandy. A 53-year-old man was hit and killed while attempting to catch up with a bus in Taylorsville and a 19-year-old man had his life cut short in November when an alleged drunk driver hit him as he walked to McDonalds near his home. These are only a fraction of the stories of devastation that autopedestrian accidents can have on families and the community. But the Utah Department of Transportation and Zero Fatalities, a state run program that focuses on eliminating fatalities on Utah roadways, is finding ways to help prevent future tragedies from happening. Historically, December is the second deadliest month for pedestrian deaths in Utah. Together, UDOT and Zero Fatalities decided to start a campaign that would help people pay more attention when they are walking. The installation of outdoor advertisements is all part of the “Heads Up” pedestrian safety campaign being done at select locations around the state of Utah. The goal is to remind people to stay alert when walking. Twenty sidewalk clings were placed from Ogden to Provo along with retro-reflective advertisements at 50 bus shelters throughout Salt Lake City. UDOT selected intersections with high pedestrian traffic and crashes. “Unfortunately, we see far too many pedestrian deaths, especially this time of year,” said UDOT Traffic and Safety Director Robert Miles. “We hope these messages will remind Utahns to be more aware and more careful when walking close to traffic.” There are two different sidewalk clings. One reads, “The driver didn’t see the pedestrian. The pedestrian didn’t see the driver. Watch for cars, they might not see you.” The second cling reads, “Your life is in danger. Watch for cars, they might not see you.” “Pedestrian deaths are 100 percent preventable,” Miles said. “But to prevent pedestrian fatalities, drivers and pedestrians must work together.” Pedestrian fatalities are increasing at an alarming rate in Utah and across the nation. In 2017, 43 pedestrians have been killed on Utah roads, already surpassing the total number of pedestrian deaths in 2016. In 2016, 1,006 pedestrians were struck by motor vehicles; 898 were injured and 39 were killed. Pedestrians accounted for 1 percent of individuals in

crashes and 14 percent of deaths. The 49 pedestrian deaths in 2015 were the highest in Utah since 1987. Statistics show 58 percent of drivers in pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes were under 40 years. Leading Contributing Factors of Drivers in Pedestrian Crashes : 1. Failed to Yield Right of Way (36 percent) 2. Hit and Run (11 percent) 3. Driver Distraction (8 percent) 4. Improper Backing (4 percent) 5. Speed Too Fast (4 percent) Of the pedestrians in crashes, 51 percent were under 25 years of age. Leading Contributing Factors of Pedestrians in Crashes: 1. Improper Crossing (12 percent) 2. Darting (9 percent) 3. Not Visible (6 percent) Fifty-five percent of pedestrians had no contributing factor in the crash. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of drivers who hit pedestrians were turning. Drivers need to watch for pedestrians before turning. In Utah, historical crash data shows pedestrian fatalities increase during the fall and winter months with October being the deadliest for pedestrian fatalities. Zero Fatalities offers these simple tips to preventing an autopedestrian crash: • Drivers need to remember to always be on the lookout for pedestrians, always yield right of way to pedestrians and never speed, drive while distracted, drowsy or impaired in anyway. • Pedestrians need to remember to never assume the right of way and stay alert, cross at designated crosswalks and adhere to traffic signs and signals, be visible by wearing reflective materials when possible and when doing everything right, still assume drivers can’t see you. Sidewalk signs were placed in various locations throughout Clearfield, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Kaysville, Layton, Lehi, Midvale, Ogden, Orem, Provo, Salt Lake City, South Jordan and West Valley. Bus shelter location signs were placed around West Valley City, Taylorsville, Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, Provo, Sunset, Roy and South Ogden. l

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February 2018 | Page 9

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Go for it! Organizations encourage women to enter politics

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hile obtaining a seat in local government does not provide much financial reward, there are perks when running for office. Patricia Jones, CEO of the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI), spent 14 years serving the Utah Legislature and was surprised at just how beneficial learning the system ended up being. As Jones explained during a mid-January interview, having an understanding of how government worked provided her and her family invaluable information when she began looking into long term care options for an aged parent. “There are just so many things you learn, that help you in your own personal life, and help your loved ones,” Jones said. It’s something many Utah women are beginning to discover. Utah’s rank for women in office is on the rise with more projected to run in future elections. “I think we’re seeing more women run, because they’re feeling more confident,” said Jones. In 2016, Utah ranked 45th among state legislatures for percentage of women holding office. A rank that can be disheartening considering Utah’s history of being ahead of the curve when it comes to women in politics. In 1896—24 years before women were granted the right to vote— Martha Hughes Cannon ran as a Democrat against her husband, and became the first female state senator of the United States. Though Utah fell behind the curve in regards to the number of women in office, it appears to be a statistic that is steadily increasing. In accordance with Utah Valley University, within just one year Utah’s rank went from 45th to 38th, with five women gaining seats in the House. Bringing the number of women serving the 104-member Legislature up to 21 (15 House, six Senate). Organizations with programs offering political campaign education to women are seeing a rise in participants as well, meaning Utah will continue to see an increase of women running in future elections. Jones of WLI, an organization formed three years ago with the intent to support women in both

By Aspen Perry | a.perry@mycityjournals.com business and political leadership, has seen a significant rise in participants for their political development program. “The first year we had 17 women that applied and that were in the class, last year we had 23, and this year we have 50,” said Jones. Jones explained that four of the female mayors elected during the November 2017 election were part of WLI’s political development program. Those four are: Michelle Kaufusi from Provo, Holly Daines from Logan, Kelleen Potter from Heber City, and Katie Witt from Kaysville. “The great thing about the [program] is they get to know one another and want to help each other. It’s really a magical thing to see,” Jones said. Real Women Run (RWR) is another organization created to empower women, founded in 2011 at YWCA Utah. Erin Jemison, director of public policy with RWR, reported of the 98 women who were elected to office in the 2017 election, 23 were RWR participants. Kristie Steadman Overson, newly elected mayor of Taylorsville attended one of Real Women Run’s events six years ago, as preparation when she ran for a seat on Taylorsville City Council. Overson won the council seat, where she continued to serve until running and being elected mayor. During her campaign, Overson knocked on almost 3,000 doors and discovered communication was a top concern for her constituents. “Connecting with someone on their doorstep is a lot different than getting perspective during a council meeting. As I did that… I thought I can take this knowledge and use it, so communication is absolutely the key,” Overson said. Cottonwood Heights recently elected District 3 Councilwoman Tali Bruce also attended training through Real Women Run and found the personal testimonials of women who had run beneficial. “You can spend a lot of time prepping for something like this, but their advice was solid. To just go for it,” Bruce recounted of her experience. Along with Bruce, Christine Watson Mikell was the other woman who altered the all-male de-

Women’s Leadership Institure pds panel: Left to right: Hillary Hahn, Government Relations, Utah Symphony Utah Opera; Kelleen Potter, Heber City mayor; Holly Daines, Logan City mayor; Katie Witt, Kaysville City mayor; Bev Uipi, Millcreek City Council; and Alisa Van Langeveld, currently enrolled in PDS. (Women’s Leadership Institutue)

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Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson and District 4 Councilwoman, Meredith Harker. (Mayor Kristie Overson)

mographic of Cottonwood Heights previous city council. “I think boards or councils are better when there’s a diverse perspective. [Being] a mother, business owner, I offer a diverse perspective that may have not been on the council throughout the life of the city,” Mikell said. Though Mikell had planned to participate in one of WLI’s groups, due to schedule conflicts she was unable to attend before running for council. “I think those organizations are fantastic, and I wish I’d had the benefit [of one of those programs],” Mikell said. Although Mikell was unable to prep for her campaign through WLI or RWR her experience working on the board of Utah Clean Energy provided hands-on experience for collaboration. Newly elected South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey, shares a similar path with her years of service on the Utah PTA State Board of Directors, which provided an opportunity to work with other female elected officials. “I work with a lot of women who hold positions of capacity that make a big difference… I’ve learned a lot from those women,” Ramsey stated. For Ramsey, growth is the main issue that she will focus on during her term as mayor. “Working with other local mayors and legislators, to try to help protect what we love most about South Jordan, and to work hard to get the services and funding that we need to continue to enhance quality of life for all of our residents,” Ramsey said. All in all, it is looking to be promising year as more women enter the political arena in Utah. When asked what advice they would offer other women thinking of running for office in the future, the advice from all women was the same: Go for it! “We need more women in the legislature,” said Jones with WLI. She added, “There are real structural benefits of having gender balance… it’s not good enough to have just one woman at the table.” With the rise of females enrolled in political development education, Utah is sure to see more women on the ticket for 2018. l

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Page 10 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

WJ Fire recaps California wildfire experience

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By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

arly December saw one of the worst wildfires in California history begin, and West Jordan saw six of its best firefighters head west to help out. Capt. Kris Maxfield, Travis Ball, Roy Todd, Blake Edwards, TJ Moser and Ryan Stephenson were the six members of the West Jordan Fire Department deployed in a task force along with South Jordan, Sandy and Salt Lake City “What an honor it was to get deployed with those guys and how well they represented the city,” Maxfield told the city council on Jan. 10. “They were phenomenal. Out of all the groups, those five particularly were always keeping a positive attitude even when things were tough and the hours were long.” Maxfield gave a presentation during a city council meeting—where they received a standing ovation—about the 14-day experience they had helping battle the Lilac and Thomas wildfires in California. They returned on Dec. 20. The group helped with both fires, spending three days protecting a ranch house against the Lilac fire in north San Diego County. It was known as the Lilac-5 since this was the fifth time this area had burned. The ranch house was owned by Santa Anita Park, which operates horse racing, so they were also protecting livestock. That included a horse named Nyquist, who won the Kentucky Derby

Capt. Kris Maxfield (center) along with two of the five other firefighters who went to battle the fires in California during December. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

in 2016. The horse is valued at $23 million. Maxfield said they extinguished any hot spots, coordinated drop-offs and did night patrols. They then moved onto the Thomas fire, now known as the largest in California history having destroyed 1,063 structures and consumed 281,893 acres, one civilian and one firefighter. The group was assigned to protect a neigh-

borhood in the Santa Barbara mountains where they did structure triage and public relations. The group also canvassed the neighborhoods, speaking with people and assessing houses by filling out tickets that indicated which houses they would try to save if the area caught on fire. “It was a little bit humbling being able to decide the fate of someone’s property,” Maxfield said.

The firefighters also spent time protecting important infrastructures such as water treatment plants. They slept in places such as the front lawn of a 1,200-acre ranch or a sanitation building parking lot in Santa Barbara the firefighters affectionately referred to as “Camp Utah.” In one 48-hour period, fire containment jumped from 30 to 60 percent, at which point the group was demobilized and sent home. Interim Chief Clint Petersen said California issued an eight-state request for help, “governor to governor.” He added all information received from CAL FIRE suggests this was a “successful deployment and would call on us again if the need arises.” Maxfield said CAL FIRE employs 5,400 full-time firefighters with 2,400 seasonal and 5,300 volunteer firefighters. It has a $2 billion budget and 967 fire engines, 59 bulldozers, 23 air tankers and 12 helicopters. “For them to reach out to a state like Utah and say they need help, that was a pretty phenomenal request,” he said. City officials expressed their appreciation to the firefighters for their service and sacrifice. “It was still a sacrifice to leave at the drop of a hat,” Councilman Dirk Burton said. “Thank you, each of you, for performing that service on behalf of West Jordan and the state of Utah.” l

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February 2018 | Page 11

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David Brickey named City Manager—for next two years

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By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

nterim no more, but still temporary. David Brickey, who has served as West Jordan’s interim city manager since Mark Palesh retired in July 2017, was named the new city manager in a unanimous and enthusiastic vote by the city council on Jan. 24. “The fact that you have confidence in me, I am just thrilled,” Brickey told the council after being sworn into office. “Thank you and I look forward finding and hearing what we can do to make things better and improve this city. You have my commitment for the next two years and hopefully longer.” Brickey will serve David Brickey stands with his wife Stacie (center) and West Jordan elected officials after taking the oath of office. (Travis Barton/City Journals) in the position for the next two years—resitransparency and leadership to the process.” don’t think we’ll get anyone better than who is dents voted for a new form of government that The appointment didn’t come without already here. Let him continue to sail the ship.” will see the mayor assume executive leadership some concern. While the council voted unaniCouncilman Zach Jacob said they don’t responsibilities. This will dispense with the city mously to confirm his appointment, it voted 5-2 have the luxury of headhunting for what is manager position altogether, starting in 2020. to authorize the new city manager’s contract. essentially a “temp job” and said the council Every elected official expressed their con- Councilmembers Dirk Burton and Whitelock, should focus on having a productive relationfidence in Brickey, who was formerly the city in addition to a few residents, voiced their con- ship with the city manager. attorney. cern about how the contract was written, spe“We are lucky that we have an individu“David has done a great job in the interim cifically regarding severance pay and compen- al—in the city, on the staff—who can capably capacity and the City Council has asked him sation. and exemplarily fill that position,” Jacob said. to serve in this role permanently,” wrote MayAnnual salary for the city manager will The appointment comes two weeks after or Jim Riding in a press release. “He also has be $186,908.80. Whitelock felt the compensa- the city council voted 5-2 to not require their a proven track record with the city in his role tion was too high while Burton previously ex- city manager to live within city limits. as city attorney. We are confident he will help pressed keeping Brickey under the interim tag. Under the previous city code, the city manguide us as we prepare to transition to a Coun- The councilman was uneasy about awarding a ager was required to be a legal resident of the cil-Mayor form of government in 2020.” position of employment that will be terminated city within six months of being appointed. If the Councilman Chad Lamb said if he could in two years, making Brickey eligible for a six- code had remained, Brickey—who currently choose Brickey to serve as city manager for the month severance package. lives in Park City—would either be required to next 10 years, he would. According to the contract, if West Jor- move to West Jordan or be replaced with someCouncilwoman Kayleen Whitelock said dan decides to not continue employment with one who lives within the city. Brickey understands the political landscape of Brickey after the form of government change This makes the sixth time in seven years the city, county and state. “He understands the on Jan. 6, 2020; he would receive a five-month West Jordan has replaced its city manager. growth we are facing and is willing to work severance package. Its latest appointment has worked in the with the council on what is best for our city,” But if Brickey and the city negotiate a public sector for more than 20 years. Brickey she said during the city council meeting. She “successor agreement” then no severance pack- worked 10 years as the Summit County Attoradded he’s a good communicator, a necessary age would be paid. That agreement could in- ney and seven years as Deputy County Attorquality for the position. clude returning to his previous position as city ney gaining extensive experience in planning West Jordan’s press release stated Brick- attorney or being appointed as the city’s new and land use decisions. He was named the 2012 ey’s work philosophy includes building rela- chief administration officer, pending the may- “County Attorney of the Year.” tionships of trust and providing services to the or’s choice. Brickey was appointed city attorney in public. Burton said when someone knows their February 2016 and said any success he’s had “I enjoy working in the public sector and contract is ending they look to other locations since arriving is not a direct reflection of himwork hard to earn the trust of those I serve,” for a job. Burton wants Brickey to remain with self, but of the department heads and city attorBrickey wrote in the press release. “I under- the city and have his full attention on West Jor- neys he works with. stand the challenges that can come from a polit- dan. Though against the contract, Burton said “It’s a team concept that I hope we recogically charged environment, and work to bring during the Jan. 10 city council meeting that “I nize,” he said. l

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Page 12 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Vintage dancers to continue Pioneer Hall use at reduced fees

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By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

or 22 years, Kimberli and Tom Grant have been involved with vintage dancing—from their time in Georgia to when they moved to Utah and discovered there was no vintage dance group. They decided to start their own in 2007, called the Old Glory Vintage Dancers where historical dancing styles from the 1700s through early 1900s are taught. “A lot of the dancing history’s been lost; we have been able to bring it back here, and the people love it,” Tom told the city council in January. Originally supported by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, OGVD has typically held two classes a month at Pioneer Hall (1137 West 7800 South) since 2008 for $30 per night. Now, after a tight 4-3 vote by the West Jordan City Council, they can continue at that price for another year. “We were thrilled to have the decision in our favor,” Kimberli said. When management of Pioneer Hall was transferred from Daughters of Utah Pioneers back to West Jordan City, according to city documents the city was unable to verify that the fee reductions were made within city code. OGVD then made a two-year request (by doing so bringing them under city code) to keep those fees at the reduced $30 rate, or $720 a year. “We try to keep the cost down so that those who attend don’t have to pay a lot and we can appeal to a larger number of people,” Tom said. The council only approved one year instead of two after an almost 45-minute discussion on

the matter. Much of which revolved around the fee structure that would be in place and how much would be waived for the dance classes. “It was kind of a roller coaster ride,” Kimberli said. Without the fee reduction, OGVD would be required to pay $230 per night. For two nights each month, the cost would reach $5,520 for the year. With the fee reduction, OGVD will now save $4,800 in 2018. Councilwoman Kayleen Whitelock voted against the fee reduction, saying the city shouldn’t subsidize taxpayer money for private organizations. “I’m not opposed to a price break, but I don’t want the taxpayers subsidizing private use,” she said. Councilman Chris McConnehey, having brought forth the issue, argued that city leaders subsidize money for everything they do, whether it’s with developers or for the youth soccer complex. He also said one reason for the fee reduction is due to the group’s help with Fourth of July events. “When folks help out at that, we typically waive fees for them in their entirety, but they’re not asking for that,” said McConnehey. Councilman Zach Jacob was in favor of keeping the fee at $30, saying he didn’t want to “change the rules of the game” on them. For at least five years, OGVD has been paying the same amount to the city; it was only recently city staff realized this fee schedule might not be in compli-

ance with city code. “They’ve been doing this, for this price, for a long time, renting it from the city for this price, and I don’t see why all of a sudden we should have a problem with it,” said Jacob. Councilman Dirk Burton, who voted against the reduction, had no problem with OGVD holding classes at Pioneer Hall; he wanted a different fee structure set up. Pioneer Hall was remodeled in 2007 for about $450,000 and is not seismically sound, said Mayor Jim Riding, who also dissented in his vote. His concern was about building usage and the hall’s fragile nature. Seeing how the building was treated by previous renters, Riding said it’s the one building in the city for which he doesn’t want to see fees reduced. The building, also known as the old rock church, was built in 1867 originally used as a meetinghouse for Mormon pioneers. It was restored in 1937 and renamed Pioneer Hall, where it’s been used as a dance hall, social center, reception house and a house of worship ever since. Having gone to observe a class to see what they do, Councilman Chad Lamb said it’s the ideal location for what OGVD does. “That’s what that building is for,” he said. The people who built that building, Kimberli said, would do the dances OGVD teaches. A fundraiser ball was even held back in 1867 to help finish the sandstone building. She also said they teach dances the hall would have seen during

Kimberli and Tom Grant started Old Glory Vintage Dancers where historical dancing styles from the 1700s through early 1900s are taught. (Old Glory Vintage Dancers)

the 1800s. “We feel very connected with the building,” she said. The dancers teach in period clothing, including corsets, hoop skirts, dresses, cravats, frock coats and white gloves. “To be able to do that in a place like Pioneer Hall is just thrilling for us,” Tom said. “The purpose of Pioneer Hall, and its restoration, is to keep the history alive, and we are part of the history we’re trying to keep alive.” l

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February 2018 | Page 13

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Generating an electric curriculum

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xcitement crackled through students at Hawthorn Academy as they formed a human circuit of electricity as part of an interactive presentation from Rocky Mountain Power’s WattSmart Program. The program introduced the fifth-graders to the concepts they would be covering in their upcoming science unit. “This program takes an abstract concept and provides very real examples of how electricity is applied in our daily life, helping students place their learning in context,” said Candalyn Winder, Hawthorne’s International Baccalaureate curriculum specialist. By utilizing an IB curriculum, teachers at Hawthorn Academy encourage students to ask “why?” “The IB philosophy is grounded in inquiry—using questions to help students build their own understanding,” said Winder. The WattSmart presentation touches on many of the concepts in the fifthgrade science core curriculum. Students volunteered to participate in the presentation, answering the questions of how a process plant generates power and how power moves through the power grid, enters homes and powers appliances. Diane Baum and Pam King of the National Energy Foundation (sponsored by RMP) had student volunteers form a circuit. Standing in a circle with fingers touching, the fifth-graders caused an energy stick to light up. Presenters asked students to consider which materials would conduct the current through their human circuit and which would interrupt it. As a sheet of aluminum foil, a pencil, a paper clip and a sheet of paper were put between the students’ hands, they made predictions. After this and several other experiments with the energy sticks, the fifth-grade teachers promised to buy some for students to use in their classrooms. Other questions the presenters posed to students were how electricity works, why electricity arcs, how voltage works and how electricity travels through the public utility system. The RMP presentation also stressed to students the importance

By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com completed by their parents to their teacher the next day. of safety around power lines and outlets. Dr. Deborah L. Swensen, superintendent/lead director for “Safety is a key message that they need when they start experimenting with circuits in the classroom,” said Winder. That is why Hawthorn Academy, said the school puts into practice the concepts the presentation was scheduled before the classes began their unit taught by the WattSmart program. “We have solar panels on the roof of the building,” she said. of study. Fifth-grade teachers said students benefit from the WattSmart “We also set thermostats to save on energy at night, over the weekProgram Presentation because it prepares them for their science unit, ends and over long holidays. This year, we changed out our lights to which includes a lot of hands-on activities. With teachers Michelle be LED lights throughout the building and in the parking lot.” l Petrulsky, Angela Anderson and Joylynne Brown, students ask questions and conduct their own experiments in class to find the answers. They execute more extensive tests to explore conductors and insulators with materials such as balloons, paper clips and strips of flannel. Once students understand the concepts, they apply them. Students create their own circuits to power a light. Building on those concepts, they advance to building a circuit with a light that uses a switch to control the flow of electricity. Students apply the knowledge gained from experiments with static electricity to participate in a soda can race. They generate static electricity by pushing and pulling soda cans with positively and negatively charged ions to shoot them across the gym floor to the finish line. The WattSmart presentation also engaged students in discussion of energy efficiency and conservation. They outlined how students could use technology and simple changes in their daily behaviors to increase efficiency of both electricity and water usage. Students received a booklet from RMP to take home as a resource for their families. They were encouraged to share what With pom-poms and pinwheels as props, students act out the progress of electricity from they’d learned at home and were promised a free LED power plant to homes. (Jet Burnham/City Journals) nightlight if the whole class returned a RMP survey

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Page 14 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Traditional valentines exchanged for compliments

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By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

n Valentine’s Day, Foothills Elementary fifth-graders won’t be handing out storebought Valentine cards and baggies of treats. They will be giving a sweeter gift to their classmates: a compliment. For their alternative Valentine exchange, fifth-grade teachers (Sarah Johnson, Lyncece Rowntree, Amee Kovacs and Dawn Opie) asked their students to write nice things about each of their classmates. The compliments are then turned into a keepsake. “Every student gets a piece of art that says 25¬–26 kind things about them or to them,” said Opie. The teachers emphasize the idea of feeling good about yourself and being kind to others. The idea was inspired by the book “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. The book teaches that everyone has an emotional bucket that needs to be filled with kind words and kind acts to help them feel whole and happy. Students also listen to “Firework” by Katy Perry and “Who Says” by Selena Gomez during the week leading up to Feb. 14 as they think about what compliments they will write to each other. Once students receive all their compliments, they glue them onto a picture of a bucket to show how their emotional bucket has been filled by their peers. “It’s fun to watch them read the sentence and

Students are excited to compliment each other each morning. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

place them in the buckets for all to read,” said Opie. “We just hope to spread real kindness.” Opie said there used to be problems at the school on Valentines Day. Students went overboard with gifts as they tried to out-do each other, lavishing special gifts on select friends. One boy gave jewelry, flowers and money to the girl he liked. This left another girl in tears because she liked the boy, but he didn’t give her anything. “We decided it was time to teach these kiddos authentic kindness and forget about ‘love’ in fifth grade,” said Opie. “We all figure these kids have a long time to worry about relationships and hearts being broken. Being kind to everyone every day is a far better quality to have than worrying about boyfriends and girlfriends.”

The power of compliments is something Michelle Petrulsky uses in her classroom every day of the year. Her fifth-grade class at Hawthorne Academy in West Jordan begins each day with a class meeting where they take a few minutes to compliment every single student. One student is in charge of conducting the meeting and asks, “Who wants to give [names a particular student] a compliment?” Most of the students raise their hands, and then the person singled out chooses one of students who rose his or her hand to give a compliment to him or her. Students praise each other’s choices, behaviors, personalities, skills, talents and physical traits. The recipient responds with a “thank you,” and then another child’s name is called, and another com-

pliment is given until every student in the classroom has received one. Petrulsky said this practice makes a tremendous difference in her classroom from the very beginning of the school year. “Within the first two weeks, I have the most well-behaved students with really good attitudes who are very positive about learning,” she said. The class becomes a team that supports and encourages each other. Petrulsky has seen shy students who struggled to participate in the exercise gain courage. She said all students thrive in the accepting environment. “They’re not afraid to raise their hand or take a risk or ask a question,” she said. “Even children that have come from other schools, who maybe had difficulties before, just turn right around.” The support kids feel from their peers affects their learning. Petrulsky said her students know they are liked and aren’t going to be judged, and that makes a difference. “Its’ amazing how feeling like you’re a part of something and everybody cares for you brings out that drive to do their best,” she said. The compliments don’t stop once the morning meeting is over. Students support and cheer each other on throughout the day, from getting through challenging assignments to playing games at recess. l

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February 2018 | Page 15

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FEBRUARY 2018

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Newly Elected Officials Sworn into Office At the start of the new year, West Jordan’s recently elected officials were sworn into office. Many were there to welcome Mayor Jim Riding, Council Members Alan Anderson (District 4), Chad Lamb (At Large) and Kayleen Whitelock (At Large). They join Council Members Chris McConnehey (District 1), Dirk Burton (District 2) and Zach Jacob (District 3). Mayor Riding began his first term in office as West Jordan’s 13th – and final – mayor under the current council-manager form of government. During the past election, voters approved a ballot measure by 63 votes to change to a council-mayor form of government with a seven-member council. The new form of government takes effect in January 2020. Your elected leaders are here to serve you. Here is a little information about those who were just sworn in. Contact information, meeting schedules and more can be found online at WestJordan.Utah.Gov under the “Government” tab: Mayor Jim Riding —Riding previously worked for the City of West Jordan for 15 years in a variety of positions, most recently as the city’s capital improvement projects manager. Riding has also served on the PTA nominating committee, as a Utah State Precinct Delegate and in the Boy Scouts of America. He served in the United States Air Force during Vietnam, graduated from the University of Phoenix and holds a bachelor’s degree in management and master’s degree in business administration. He and his wife Kathe have seven children and 24 grandchildren. Alan Anderson (Council Member District 4) — Anderson is the business manager at a local charter school and also served as the executive of Chamber West Regional Chamber of Commerce for 15 years. Anderson holds a master’s degree in public administration from BYU and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Utah. He and his wife Kristi have four children. (Anderson was appointed by a coin toss in November 2016 to fill a vacated seat and had to run for election during the 2017 election.) Chad Lamb (At-Large Council Member) —Lamb is a strategic media planner-buyer for Saxton Horne Communications. He also serves with the Exchange Club and was Chair of West Jordan’s Parks and Open Lands Committee. Lamb received a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in Spanish from Southern Utah University. He and his wife Virginia have three children. Kayleen Whitelock (At-Large Council Member) — Whitelock is a long-time education advocate. She has served on the Jordan School District Board of Education and on various Utah PTA boards including the State Board. Whitelock has a nursing degree from Salt Lake Community College and worked as a nurse until she became a foster parent. She and her husband Dan have seven children and four grandchildren.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

My First Four Weeks STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR NEIGHBORS AT THE STATE, COUNTY AND LOCAL LEVELS I’ve had the pleasure of serving as your mayor for about a month now. I’ve enjoyed meeting many new people including state, county and local leaders, business owners and many residents. I’m also working with neighboring mayors to take a stronger lead in shaping growth on the west side so that our collective voices are heard at the Legislature. West Jordan isn’t an island, and I feel it’s important that we continually strengthen our relationships with our neighbors. It’s also important that we work together as a City Council. One of our first items of business was to appoint a city manager to replace Mark Palesh who retired in July 2017. At the Jan. 24 City Council meeting, we appointed David R. Brickey. David, who came on board as city attorney in February 2016, has been serving as our interim city manager. David has done a great job in this interim capacity, and the City Council has asked him to serve in this role permanently. Even though voters approved a change of government in the 2017 election, West Jordan will continue to operate under the Council-Manager form of government until January 2020

when the Council-Mayor – or “strong mayor” – form goes into effect. This means the city manager takes care of the day-to-day operations of running the city and the City Council sets policy, passes ordinances, and provides direction and fiscal oversight. The city manager reports to the mayor and City Council, while the department heads report to the city manager. Our business community is also a very important relationship that needs attention. Last month I attended the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gala. I am working with the Chamber to strengthen the relationships we have with our great business community as well as our economic development partners on the state and county level. We need to improve those relationships so when the “power brokers” in the state think about where to put the next big deal, West Jordan will be at the top of the list. I’m confident in the future of West Jordan. We all play a part in keeping our city a great place to live, work and do business. Thank you for your efforts. I look forward to getting to know you better and working together to create a more prosperous West Jordan.


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Environmental Achievement Award Presented to The Dannon Company From Left to right: Councilmembers Alan Anderson and Kayleen Whitelock, Gov. Gary Herbert, Dannon Sr. Plant Director Jean-Philippe Nattero, Mayor Jim Riding, Chamber of Commerce President Aisza Wilde and Councilmember Dirk Burton present Dannon with an environmental achievement award.

West Jordan leaders were joined by Gov. Gary Herbert on Jan. 18 to present an Environmental Achievement Award to The Dannon Company for their leadership and innovation in minimizing their environmental impact. This is the first environmental award the City of West Jordan has presented to a business. “Since Dannon opened their West Jordan plant in 1997, they have worked hard to be a good corporate citizen,” West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding said. “We are proud to have a company in West Jordan that values sustainable ingredients, water conservation, waste reduction and animal welfare.” “We’re constantly looking for new methods to lessen our environmental impact in West Jordan, and all the communities where we operate, and also looking for ways to ensure we give back to the local community,” said Jean-Philippe Nattero, Senior Plant Director. “We’ve made a number of investments to reduce our water consumption, for example, and building on these efforts, we’ve also worked to return 97 percent of the water we use back into the community’s water reclamation system.” Dannon, which is part of DanoneWave, is also leading the way with a new type of corporation know as a “public benefit corporation.” DanoneWave is the largest public benefit corporation in the U.S. and is one of the top 15 food and beverage companies in the country. This type of corporation is managed in a way that balances shareholders’ financial interests with the benefits it brings to people, the planet and society as a whole.

FACTS ABOUT THE WEST JORDAN DANNON PLANT • Reduced water consumption per ton of finished product by over 22 percent since 2015 • Invested $1,000,000 in reverse osmosis equipment to further reduce water consumption by another 10 percent through process water recovery • Invested over $500,000 in waste water treatment facility upgrades resulting in a 65 percent reduction in the number of sludge loads being hauled on city streets and the associated air emissions from the trucks and reduced odor emissions from the waste water plant

• Invested over $800,000 in a new higher efficiency boiler to reduce natural gas consumption and air emissions • Returns 97 percent of the water that goes into the plant back into the community’s water reclamation system • Manufactures 3 million cups of yogurt per day • Plant size = 400,000 square feet on 60 acres • Completed over 20 expansions since opening in 1997

Join our Citizen Panel and Help Shape the Community You are invited to join our Citizen Panel! Participants will be asked to share opinions on a variety of topics that impact our community. Input will be collected through online surveys and will be used to improve our city. Survey topics will include public opinion on political issues, quality of life, community events, city initiatives and general concerns. Because it may be difficult for residents to attend City Council meetings or stay current on city issues, we are implementing a simple, online survey system that enables you to voice your opinion on topics that impact our community. The goal is to improve our community by helping elected officials make decisions based on public opinion — your opinion. The surveys are protected from tampering. All participants will be allowed only one submission per survey. Duplicated responses and survey resubmissions will be filtered and removed from the final sample set. This will ensure the information collected fairly represent the community’s opinion. When a survey is completed, the results will be available online for viewing. Your personal information will not be sold or shared publicly. To fully understand the community viewpoint, demographic information will be requested but is not required. In order to receive and participate in these email surveys, you must opt-in. Email info@wjordan.com to join the Citizen Panel.

Online Bill Pay Did you know you can pay your city utility bill online? You can set up one-time payments from your checking account, credit or debit card. You can also set up auto pay to automatically notify you and deduct your payment each month. To enroll, have your utility bill handy and visit WestJordan.Utah. gov, click the e-services tab and follow the enrollment instructions.


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Wildlife Photography at the Schorr

Meet the Mayor

The Paul J. Marto exhibit at the Schorr Gallery will end Friday, March 2. Don’t miss this chance to see his work up close. His photographs have been highlighted by National Geographic, USA Today, KSL.com and many other entities. The Schorr Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located on the third floor of West Jordan City Hall, 8000 South Redwood Road.

Every Thursday* from 3 - 5 p.m. residents can stop by the Mayor’s office on the 3rd floor in City Hall and visit with the Mayor on any issue, question or concern. Please stop by and share your concerns and vision for our city. For those who are unable to visit during this time, appointments can be made by contacting our main administration office at 801-569-5100. *Occasionally Mayor Riding will have commitments that require him to be away from the office on Thursdays. On these days, a city council member or someone from the mayor’s staff will be available.

Volunteers needed for the Healthy West Jordan Committee Ready … set … run … to join the Healthy West Jordan Committee! The Healthy West Jordan Committee is looking for members to help bring to life events that promote all facets of good health for West Jordan residents. The committee meets the second Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. Email info@wjordan.com to apply or request information.

Youth Theatre Audition Notice for ‘Peter Pan’ The West Jordan Youth Theatre announces Peter Pan Auditions Feb. 7 and 9 from 5-9 p.m. Auditions will be held in the City Hall Community Room, 8000 S. Redwood Road. Callbacks will be held by invitation only Feb. 10 from 12 to 6 p.m. Auditions are open to youth ages 8 to 18. Please arrive a few minutes early to your audition time to complete paperwork. Please prepare 32 bars of a Broadway song in the style of the show (choose a selection from something other than Peter Pan). Please bring a CD or MP3 as we will not have an accompanist. Headshots and resumes welcome. We require conflict dates for February through April. See you soon! More information at wjyouththeatre.com.

Events Serve your community and have a great time doing it – join the Events Committee! From the Demolition Derby to the Independence Day 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. Email info@wjordan.com to apply or request information.

Sustainability Help safeguard West Jordan’s future – join the Sustainability Committee! The Sustainability Committee is responsible for recommending and implementing solutions to reduce environmental impact and costs related to energy, water, wastewater, storm water, solid waste, green waste, recycling, fleet, fuel, air quality, property maintenance and any other area related to environmental sustainability. The Sustainability Committee meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. Email info@wjordan.com to apply or request information.

Calling all Cowboys and Cowgirls! The Western Stampede Committee is looking for volunteers, like you! The Western Stampede is celebrating its 64th annual PRCA rodeo, and we are looking for volunteers willing to dig their feet in and make this event EXCEPTIONAL. Learn more about opportunities to serve on the Western Stampede Committee by emailing events@wjordan. com or calling 801-569-5160.


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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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DOCUMENT SHRED & E-WASTE RECYCLING

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

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

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

Viridian Event Center 8030 S. 1825 West 5-8 p.m.

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The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 (801) 569-5100 www.wjordan.com

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

E-WASTE = HAZARDOUS WASTE By Lesha Earl – Trans-Jordan leshaearl@transjordan.org E-waste is hazardous waste that does not go in either curbside recycling or trash. Many newer devices prominently display an image warning against placing them in the trash. Some electronic devices contain harmful metals such as cadmium, chromium, barium and lead, which pose human health risks. Reusing is always better than recycling, so if the electronic device is still in working condition, find a good home for it. If it is no longer working, bring it to your nearest e-waste recycling drop-off location. Many retailers provide special bins for e-waste drop off, and the Trans-Jordan Landfill accepts household e-waste recycling for free when received at our Public Convenience Center. As our society continues to develop more products that “plug in” than ever before, wise and proper disposal of your old e-waste is the least you can do to help keep these toxic components out of our landfills and away from human exposure. Questions? Call 801-569-8994 or visit Transjordan.org.


February 2018 | Page 19

WestJordanJournal .com

Big cast, small stage

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By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

or the first time at Jordan Hills Elementary, students supposed to be sadder, I keep my eyes down,” she said. “At performed a play for the community. “A Christmas one part I have to be frustrated but also confused, and it’s Carol, The Musical” played for two nights, Nov. 30 and kind of hard.” Dec 1. She said the message of the play is to learn from Julie Ferguson, a parent volunteer, directed the show, Scrooge how not to react. which had a cast of 77 actors and 12 stage crew members. “When you have something sad or that you’re down She had the help of 20 parent volunteers. about, just don’t act like him,” she said. “I love that it is a unifying community activity,” said The three Scrooges shared a wireless microphone, but Ferguson. She said parents have been asking for a school some actors had to speak their lines without amplification. play at Jordan Hills for years. Students learned to project their voices to reach the back Students were excited to be involved. Every child who of the audience. Madyson Beckett said he was cast as the auditioned got a part; however, only 12 of the 50 who auditown crier because he had the loudest voice. tioned for stage crew were chosen. The play was performed on the small school stage. Because of the size of the cast, they rehearsed in small groups, “We had to break a few hearts,” said Ferguson. not coming together until the dress rehearsal. The cast mostly comprised girls; half of them had to Because of the size of the cast, the participants rehearsed in small groups, not coming Principal Michelle Lovell said she knew parent volundress up as boys. The character of Scrooge was divided together until the dress rehearsal. (Jet Burnham/City Journals) teers would do a great job organizing the play, which had among three girls and one boy to use the talent of more kids no budget. as well as spread out the dialogue among the actors. “People can change and be nicer, and sometimes you have “The parents are so supportive in this community,” said “Each child doesn’t have to memorize quite so many lines,” to help them understand why it’s important to change,” she said. said Ferguson. Libby Christofferson played Scrooge in the beginning Lovell. “It’s so fun to see the kids get to express themselves in a different way than they do in school.” The kids felt good about their roles, whether they had one scenes. Ferguson said that it was a great opportunity for elementary line or several. “I’m the mean one—it’s fun being the mean one,” she said, “The kids were just excited to be in it,” said Ferguson. though she said she’s not sure if it’s a compliment when her students to get stage experience to prepare them for theatrical productions at the high school and middle schools, whose proSummer Ruckert, a fifth-grader, tried out for the play be- friends tell her she is doing well at being bad. cause she loves to sing and dance. She was surprised when she “I really like being Scrooge because he has a lot of charac- grams are also well-supported by the community. was cast as one of the Scrooges because she is naturally a happy ter,” Libby said. ‘You have to feel sorry for him, but he also has Ferguson chose the play because it was one she performed person. She played the Scrooge at the end of the play when he is to be angry, and you have to feel sorry for him at the same time.” in as a child when her mother was in charge of the school play. happy and excited to have a second chance. She paid attention to her own physical reactions to emotions to Her mother adapted the play for elementary-aged students from “I’m the happy one—I never stop smiling,” she said. She be able to exaggerate them for Scrooge’s character. “A Christmas Carol, The Musical” TV production by Albert said the play had a good message. “When I get mad at someone, I roll my eyes, and when I’m Finney. l

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Page 20 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

A night at the museum By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

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amilies from Riverside elementary were invited to step inside “Night at the Museum” to view their children’s artwork. Riverside’s PTA created a museum in the school’s cafeteria as a fun way to display students’ Reflections entries. This annual tradition is the culminating activity for Reflections participants. Karina McDougal was in charge of this year’s activity.

“It’s based on the movie—that our art comes alive when we’re here,” she said. To engage families in the theme, McDougal invited her older daughters to dress up in characters from the movie “Night at the Museum”—one as a night guard and one as a T-rex (in an inflatable dinosaur suit.) Children were delighted to chase the dinosaur around and ask the night guard questions. Works of visual art, 3-D art and photography were displayed

(Jet Burnham/City Journals)

around the cafeteria on walls and tables, giving the space the feel of a museum exhibit. Art and photography pieces that won the Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit and Honorable Mentions were all on display. Color copies were made of the pieces that had already moved on to the next level of judging. The National PTA-sponsored Reflections program encourages students to explore creativity in the arts outside the classroom. This year’s Reflections theme was “Within Reach.” PTA president Lisa Mitchell said the theme was a challenging one for students to interpret. She said that may have been the reason there were fewer entries submitted this year than in past years. There were 89 entries this year. The PTA partnered the Night at the Museum activity with a performance from the school choir, the Soaring Singers. “In an effort to ‘reflect’ the theme, we have chosen the songs, ‘I Won’t Grow Up,’ ‘When I Grow Up,’ ‘Let them be Little,’ ‘The Impossible Dream’ and our standard sort of school song, ‘Like an Eagle,’” said Maurya Fox, choir director and music teacher at Riverside who formed the Soaring Singers Choir nine years ago. “We started with just a handful of students and a tape player,” Fox said. “Today we have almost 40 students, two volunteer accompanists and a volunteer co-director.” Fox said the parents who volunteer to help with the choir have been very dedicated. Alisson Lucas, co-director, and Mark Atencio, accompanist, both began helping the choir when their children attended the school. They have continued to volunteer even though their children are now in high school and college. Sue Evans, a retired teacher from Riverside, also plays the piano for Soaring Singers concerts as well as the annual Christmas Sing-A-Round. The choir traditionally has two performances each year. Students in grades third through sixth participated in the Museum Night performance, held in November. The next concert, scheduled for the

spring, will include second-grade singers as well. The following students earned an Award of Excellence for their entries and advanced to the next level of judging. 3-D Art Award of Excellence: Gavin Steiner, Conner Greco, Addie Utley, Alondra Trejo Award of Merit: Tyler Reitzel, Samuel Griffiths, Benjamin Wride, Brayden McDougal, Bella Rosethal, Boston Carter Dance Choreography Award of Excellence: Adison Sargent and Olivia Bergstrom Film Production Award of Excellence: Everett Meyers, Colton Reid, Sydney Tyler, Peyton Wells Award of Merit: Paul Broadbent, Emma Haws Literature Award of Excellence: Angelita Martinez, Jane Myers, Peyton Wells Music Composition Award of Excellence: Alexis Bird, Bryson Bird Photography Award of Excellence: BreeAnn Halterman, Jeremiah Mitchell, Ashlyn Mitchell, Rachel Jones, Kate Bird Award of Merit: Brayden McDougal, Blake DiFrancesco, Alexandra Cummings Visual Arts Award of Excellence: Jack Utley, Dylan Thorn, Autumn Johnston, Claire Tyler, Peyton Wells Award of Merit: Tess Rogerson, Sofia Griffiths, Kadence Smith, Brooke Bird, Cooper Rogerson, Paige Goodrich, Camden Plouzek, Adilee Fletcher, Morgan Wells, Abbagaile Jimenex-Colbert, Nora Foote, Daniella Martinez, Mindee Tran, Alexandra Cummings, Jolene Morrison, Josielin Perez, Max Freeman, Dezzirae Martinez, Brooke Hyte, Taylor Brown l

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February 2018 | Page 21

WestJordanJournal .com

Cold nights, warm hearts

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By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

hen West Jordan High School students arrived at a home where a woman asked them to do some housework for her, she told them she had been hoping and praying that something good would happen. She was pregnant, in pain and had received bad news the day before. The students were glad they were there to help her when she needed it most. “Five minutes after she had been hoping for something good to come out of her day, we knocked on her door,” said Anne Szymanski, junior class president. “She said ‘you guys are like my angels—you came to save me from this day.’” Emma Gines, junior class secretary, had been keeping track of the group’s stops on the map. She had instructed the group to go to the left, everyone had just turned right. “It was really good we went that way instead of going to the left and then miss the whole experience with her,” said Gines. “I was really happy that I had that experience. It felt really good to know that you’re doing good and helping other people.” The experience came about as part of Odd Jobs, an annual tradition for West Jordan High School students in which they canvass the neighborhood every night for four weeks, offering to give service and asking for donations. Szymanski said it’s the most profitable activity of the school’s December charity drive. “Everything about Odd Jobs makes the whole charity,” said Szymanski. “Odd Jobs is the heart of it”. Nights were long, cold and sometimes discouraging, but the students also had experiences that warmed their hearts. Cassity Oertle, senior class president, said she heard many touching stories from students. “People come home every day from Odd Jobs saying, ‘The coolest thing just happened!’” said Oertle. SBO President Sina Green was part of a group invited inside the home of an older couple. They apologized there were no Christmas decorations; health issues had made it too hard for them to put up for the last five years. The students offered to decorate the house and tree. The couple was grateful, and the students were excited they could help. SBOs said good experiences helped keep up morale when shifts were long.

“It gives you a little boost of energy for a couple days, so you keep remembering how good that experience was. You keep going back because you want to have more experiences like that,” said Szymanski. Students were also touched by community members’ generous donations. One resident donated the entire $191 that she had in her wallet, said Gines. At another home, a student in the group explained the students’ purpose to a resident who didn’t speak English. The woman donated a handful of coins. It wasn’t until they’d left that the bilingual student told the rest of the group that the woman was out of work but had still wanted to give all the money she could find to their charity. “It just spoke volumes about our community and how, even when they don’t have, they give,” said Lauryn Meyers, junior class vice president. Brittany VanValkenburg, senior class secretary, said the biggest goal of the charity drive was to make a difference. “It’s not quite so much about how much money we raise but about affecting the community and bringing everyone together into a sense of unity,” said VanValkenburg. Gines said she realized she met and connected with people in the community that she never would have had the chance to meet if not for Odd Jobs. “It’s really nice when you get invited in and then they talk about their own lives,” said Gines. “They take that time out of their lives and just talk to you.” Emily LaBonty, sophomore class vice president, said the SBOs worked hard to set students up for a good experience. “Our goal is not just to have the money; it’s to have the experiences,” she said. The special moments are what keep kids wanting to participate in Odd Jobs, added Gines. Through Odd Jobs and many other fundraising activities, West Jordan High School students raised $51,434.91 for Millie’s Princess Foundation, a group that helps families affected with childhood cancer. The money went to three families with children fighting leukemia. “What we raised is going to help the families so much,” said Oertle. “None of what we made would have been possible without community.” l

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Page 22 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Salt Lake County Council’s

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ith the state legislative session underway, the Salt Lake County Council is keeping an eye on a number of bills that could impact our county residents. Although there will be many interesting issues, here are some that I will be paying particular interest to. Over the last year, homelessness has been a focal point of county, state, and city leaders in the Salt Lake area. With the spike in criminal behavior and victimization in the Rio Grande district of downtown Salt Lake, and with help from Operation Rio Grande, much of our time has been spent discussing solutions and allocating additional resources. We appreciate our state partners in this endeavor. Though Operation Rio Grande has had many successes, we’re certainly not finished. Providing the right tools for our homeless residents to get back on their feet is a long-term effort. As any legislation arises to fund homeless services or alter current programs or resources, we’ll

Homelessness, poverty, mental health among issues to watch this legislative session

examine how it accomplishes the goals to help all our Salt Lake County residents be successful. Part of solving the homelessness crisis also must include affordable housing. Far too many county residents can’t find suitable housing that they can afford, while struggling to make ends meet. Currently, community reinvestment projects must set aside 10 percent of their budget to go toward affordable housing. This is a helpful funding stream that shouldn’t be taken away without a suitable replacement source of funding. The best way to address the homeless issue is a combination of law enforcement response to the criminal element (specifically targeting the drug trade), short-term resources for housing and other immediate services so families no longer have to live on the streets, and longer term jobs, education and training options so they have the skills and resources to become self-sufficient. These long-term

resources will naturally have to include affordable housing as a key component. I look forward to the work of our legislators to move these goals forward this session. Last year the County Council approved my proposal to launch the Salt Lake County Intergenerational Poverty Task Force to look at ways to increase access to opportunity for those residents who are struggling the most to make ends meet. I’m hopeful that legislation this session will move us closer to accomplishing the goal of expanded opportunity, upward mobility, and empowering impoverished Utahns with the tools to earn their success and climb out of poverty. Lastly, I’m encouraged by Governor Gary Herbert’s recent creation of the youth suicide task force. I’ve written in detail about this issue before, as it touches many of us personally, and all too painfully. I hope that with more efforts as a community, we can increasingly convey hope and help to each and every teen who may be

struggling. I ’ l l continue fighting for better resources, Aimee Winder Newton like the County Council District 3 w i l d l y successful SafeUT app, and the proposed three digit crisis line, to help our teens overcome any mental health crises they face, and take a step forward into a life filled with more happiness and hope. We owe this to our children. These issues are often weighty and difficult to fix. But that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the good work done by so many in Utah who serve in state, county, and city leadership roles. I look forward to the tremendous progress we can make as we work together as Utahns in the coming year. l

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February 2018 | Page 23

WestJordanJournal .com

Bruins basketball team ranked headed into league play By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Sophomore guard Dalven Brushier is a spark plug to motivating the Bruins potent offense. (Greg James/City Journals)

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top-five junior college basketball program has risen among us. The Salt Lake Community College men’s basketball team won 15 straight games to begin the 2017–18 season and have found themselves ranked among the top teams in the country. “I am a coach, so I always want things to be better,” Bruins head coach Todd Phillips said. “We are 19-1 and ranked fourth in the country, so it is good. We need to get better. These are junior college kids; we need to get better and play toward the end of the year. We try to be disciplined and work as a team.” The Bruins are scheduled to participate in the Region 18 tournament in Ephraim, Utah March 1–3. If they advance, they will play in the National Junior College tournament March 19 in Lubbock, Texas. “Defense is a key to our team,” Phillips said. “Our big kid in there (Kur Kuath) is dominant. He is one of the top two shot blockers in the country. That is why he is headed to Oklahoma. We just need to guard the [three-point shots].” Kuath has committed to continue his basket-

The Bruins gather around head coach Todd Phillips as one of the top-ranked junior college basketball teams in the country. (Greg James/City Journals)

ball career at the University of Oklahoma after finishing at SLCC. The 6-foot-9-inch sophomore from Sudan, Africa, has averaged 4.4 blocks per game this season. His 12.4 points per game is third most on the team. “[Kuath) gets a lot of blocked shots, but how many other shots does he change or make them alter?” Phillips said. “It helps our guys to know that if they get beat he is behind them.” On Jan. 11, the Bruins faced the College of Southern Idaho. Kuath blocked three shots in the first four minutes of the game. They needed their defense to keep the game close because on offense, the Bruins had only managed 31 points and shot 35 percent from the field in the opening half. “We got control of the game in the first half and had snatches; we could not make a shot here, and we had a turnover there,” Phillips said. “In the second half, we made our baskets. We had two or three runs of six or eight points, and we guarded on the other end.” In the second half, the Bruins managed to open up on the offensive end. They scored 52 points and pulled away for a 84-64 victory over

the No. 9-ranked team. “It is great to play at this level,” sophomore Christian Gray said. “The exposure is incredible. I have great teammates, and the competition is very good. We need to keep rolling; we need to crash the glass, and I need to hit my free throws.” Salt Lake County residents Bushmen Ebet (Kearns) and Matt Lindsey (Olympus) have made an impact on the season. Lindsey is averaging 5.6 points per game, while Ebet leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game. “[Lindsey] has been a starter half the year and he comes in and hits shots for us,” Phillips said. “He gives us that spark. Bush (Ebet) is our best player. He really gets this team going. He is so fast and very athletic.” Point guard Dalven Brushier averages four assists per game. The Sophomore from Colorado Springs is also averaging 8.5 points an outing. “This is great competition and a fun game,” Brushier said. “I try to do whatever the team needs from me. Sometimes it is scoring, sometimes passing. We have national-type potential if we can put things together.” l

Not Just News... Your Community News...


Page 24 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

McDougal Funeral Home

SPOTLIGHT

4330 S Redwood Rd, Taylorsville, UT 84123

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

I

n December 1950, R. David McDougal opened the doors to McDougal Funeral Home, located on the (then) quiet Redwood Road in Taylorsville, Utah. At the time, only fields surrounded the new mortuary. Ever since he was a small boy, David had dreamed of owning and operating a funeral home. When his loving grandmother passed away, eight-year-old David watched the gentle care and sympathy shown by the funeral directors, and knew this was what he wanted to do for his life’s work. David studied Mortuary Science in Wisconsin after graduating from high school and serving an LDS mission. He met his sweet wife, Joyce Muir, in Provo, Utah. He loved and respected “Joycie,” fondly calling her “his bride,” even into their advancing years. Joyce worked with David in the office, serving as receptionist, secretary, and in a variety of other roles. Her service was indispensable to its success. They raised their five children at the funeral home and taught them to love and care for each other. In the early 1960s, David’s younger broth-

er, Richard, joined the staff and together the two of them provided dignity and honor to the lives and legacies of the families they served. David and Richard recognized that the loss of a loved one brings challenges and difficulties to those left behind. Working together, David and Richard were uniquely qualified to address and assist in solving many of these concerns. They followed the admonition to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” and considered it a privilege and a blessing.

Two of David’s sons, Kirk and Spencer, joined the staff to continue the family legacy. The funeral home has been family owned and operated since its doors first opened. Today, it operates under the direction of Ronald McDougal, Darren Parker, and Michael McDougal. They know and understand the value of maintaining the high standard of compassion and dignity that has made McDougal Funeral Home one of the leading funeral homes in the Salt Lake Valley. It is their goal to pro-

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tect this reputation as they continue to serve families in the community. The staff are also committed to excellence in service and work hard with consideration to care for each person experiencing loss. The staff also includes Family Service Counselors who are specifically trained to provide information for pre-planning all aspects of a funeral service; they offer monthly seminars to educate the community on the choices and aspects in preparing for the future. Many have come to recognize the value of these preparations. They have seen the great benefit and peace of mind provided to families at a time of loss. With services and plans already in place, families have had time to reunite, to remember, and to honor the one who has passed on. McDougal Funeral Home’s dedication to compassion and service, which began over 67 years ago on a quiet street in Taylorsville, is continued today. The determination to honor and respect the life and legacy of those served is second to none. Faith McDougal

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February 2018 | Page 25

WestJordanJournal .com

Salt Lake County Council’s

South Salt Lake City Editorial

ME SSAGE

By Richard Snelgrove Salt Lake County Councilman at Large

to these and other popular venues would be higher and possibly out of reach for Richard Snelgrove many of our citizens. The same is true of many of our arts organizations. The Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Pioneer Memorial Theater, Utah Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum and Ballet West are the most well-known of these. But, there are many other large and small organizations that provide quality entertainment and cultural exposure to hundreds of thousands of patrons including the West Jordan Arts Council and the West Jordan Conservation Garden Park. In addition, many of these arts organizations donate free tickets to disadvantaged residents as part of their agreement to receive ZAP funding. Lastly, Salt Lake County owns and operates 30 regional parks and recreational centers. These facilities are heavily used, as anyone who has visited them can attest. Because of this demand, in part, we are in the process of building additional ZAP supported parks and centers to make these types of facilities available to additional residents. Indeed, as a custodian of these funds, I am regularly approached by city mayors and other civic leaders requesting further ZAP funded services in their communities. They express appreciation for the facilities they have and acknowledge that they are well used. I extend my appreciation to the taxpayers of Salt Lake County for making the ZAP program possible and I can assure the taxpayers that in this program, they are getting their money’s worth. l

I believe that the citizens I serve realize, for the most part, that basic public services such as roads, courts, planning and zoning, police, fire and paramedic, etc. are best left to local governments. These services are, of course, funded by taxes. Taxpayers rightfully expect efficient services in exchange for their hard-earned tax dollars. For the most part, particularly at the state and local level, I believe that is what they are receiving. In saying this, I want to highlight a program where I believe the taxpayers are getting an exceptional “bang for the buck”. It is the Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) program. This program is funded by a tenth of a cent sales tax in Salt Lake County and raises over $23 million per year. The ZAP program was reauthorized by the voters in 2014 with 77% support. In Salt Lake County, the ZAP program is administered by two employees. A recommendation on the allocation of funds is made by two advisory committees made up of city mayors and other community volunteers. The final decision on the allocation of funds is then made by the Salt Lake County Council. In December, the County Council authorized the disbursement of $13.3 million of funds to worthy ZAP Tier I and Zoological organizations. This program helps fund a broad range of activities across the Salt Lake Valley. It is likely that you or someone you know has taken children or grandchildren to the Hogle Zoo, The Living Planet Aquarium or the Tracy Aviary, which together see millions of visitors per year. If not for the support received from the ZAP program, ticket prices

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Page 26 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Jaguar manager helps team achieve success

A

Eric Stoker cheers on the team as he completes his chores as team manager. He may be the biggest Jaguar basketball fan. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

s the West Jordan High School boys basketball season began, the team had its goals set to win a region championship and advance to the state tournament. They did not realize the other milestones they would accomplish. “I am OK with our guys tonight,” said Jaguars head coach Scott Briggs after they lost to Olympus 83-68. “We have expectations of winning. I think our kids carry themselves like they expect good things. On some nights you need to be great. We are happy; we have had our struggles, and we know there are teams in our region that are going to be really tough.” The Jaguars’ preseason included victories in their first five games, and they have only lost twice in their first 13 games. On the court the team is led by its seasoned players, but behind the bench and at practice its managers do their best to keep the team on track by gathering water bottles, setting up timers and making sure equipment is available. Longtime team manager Eric Stoker has seen many Jaguar teams. On Dec. 8, he witnessed his 80th victory behind the bench. In his 300-page book he documents many top Jaguar basketball moments and all of the games and experiences he has had. Briggs jokes with him that he makes things up, which Stoker vehemently denies. Stoker graduated in 2007 from West Jordan and continues as a team manager. The players enjoy him. Briggs said he may be the team’s biggest fan. “I am not sure about this team yet,” Stoker said. “I know we need to win.” Stoker can rattle off scores to games long since forgotten, but he maintains his favorite player ever is Jordan Loveridge. “I got to watch him play at the University of Utah,” Stoker

said. “He is my favorite and the best Jaguar in my book.” The Jaguars participated in the Utah Autism Holiday Classic held at Olympus High school this year for the fifth straight season. They won three of their four games and averaged 69.7 points per game. “We know the competition is going to be good,” Briggs said. “The tournament is run really well. It is similar to state tournament play with quick turnarounds. We have to get ready for the next one.” Seniors Sinai Enoch and Darrian Nebeker lead the team in scoring. Enoch has averaged 19.2 points per game and has hit 33 three pointers. The 6-foot guard has a slashing style and is able shoot from the outside. He had a season-high eight assists against Roy Dec. 30. Nebeker is a three-year starter for the Jaguars. He is averaging 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-5-inch forward plays in the low post and can shoot from the outside. “They are both really good, and both work really hard at this game,” Briggs said. “They’re very coachable kids and good students. They are our two constants, but on any given day the other kids come in and make plays for us. All of our seniors play a lot.” Junior Jakob Josephson is playing a bigger role on the team as the season progresses. “He is coming in and making a difference,” Briggs said. “I can tell he is getting comfortable in these big games. We are happy with this team, and I think we have room to improve.” The 6A boys state basketball tournament is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, and the championship will be held at the University of Utah March 3. l

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February 2018 | Page 27

WestJordanJournal .com

Schools face off in ping-pong championship

A

s a competitor with asthma, many sports are difficult for Rachel Gardner to participate in, but she has found one that is social, competitive and fun—table tennis. “I played a bit last year, but this year I started getting more interested in playing,” said Gardner, a member of the Granger High School table tennis club. “I saw a friend playing in the library and thought it looked fun. It is hard to play with my asthma, but I have surprising stamina, and it helps me feel better. This is a sport I enjoy.” The first state invitational table tennis tournament was held at Granger High School Jan. 13. Participants from several Utah high schools played for the chance to win an initial state title. “These student-athletes are just as much competitors as our basketball or football players,” Granger High School’s club director and math teacher Walter Poelzing said. “Table tennis is popular all around the world. It is an international sport; some of our Granger club’s parents are immigrants from other countries.” Table tennis is one of the top sports played around the world. It has seen substantial growth in Utah. “It gives students that do not fit the traditional sports mold an opportunity to showcase their talents in a state-level tournament,” Poelzing said. “I have been surprised at the schools that have expressed interest. We expected about 40 partic-

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Granger team members Rachel Gardner (right) and Emil Seyidov get some practice time in before the first-ever state table tennis championship. (Greg James/City Journals)

ipants. It will continue to grow.” Schools from as far north as Syracuse and south as American Fork were represented. The tournament also included players from Brighton, Cottonwood, Taylorsville, Itineris Early College and Granger high schools. The Lancers boast the largest table tennis club in the state. They have 15–20 active weekly players. “I have a passion for this sport,” Poelzing said. “I understand what it takes to get better, and I hope these students can get better and enjoy it. In

Europe, it is part of the curriculum. I want our kids to have that opportunity.” The participants were able to play in either the hard bat paddle tournament, open paddle tournament or both. The student-athletes competed in the first round, and based on their performance, they were split up into divisions based on ability. “I have been playing for a while,” Granger High student Emil Seyidov said. “My friends got me involved,” I think staying focused on the ball is most important. If you can’t do that then you don’t

hit it very well. It is also important to stay calm.” The tournament was divided by experience level. Even those without much playing background were learning and enjoying the game together. “I have only played for about six months,” Jared Gordon said. “At Itineris (high school), our seminary building has a table, and we started playing about once a week. It is interesting at all the different strategies you can use to win.” Game strategies include serving areas, lobbing returns and spinning your shots. The game can change from one hit to another. “Anyone interested in getting in shape and playing the game should try it out,” Seyidov said. “There are clubs and tournaments all around. It even helps me in school to stay dedicated and get good grades.” Salt Lake City Table Tennis Club and Paddle Palace donated equipment and money to support the tournament. In December, Seyidov, Armando Meneses and Dilyn Poeut won the Granger winter tournament. They also hosted a Granite School District tournament in October. “Most of the kids start playing in their garage or basement,” Poelzing said. “There are several clubs around the country. They are just not well organized. I want to have a U.S. citizen win a world championship. That would be great.” l

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Page 28 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

You were just in a car accident, now what?

U

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West Jordan Chamber of Commerce held their 30th annual gala, , on January 18th.

Awards Presented

Board Member of the Year Award: Nancy Franklin, Franklin’s Consulting Ambassador of the Year Award: Jason Kirkham, Maxx Purchasing Small Business Person of the Year: Kyle Hansen, Asphalt Materials Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Bryan Scott, City Journals Family Owned Business of the Year: Burt Brothers Tire and Service Manufacturer of the Year: Danone Wave

IS IT TIME TO CONSIDER SENIOR LIVING?

Have you noticed your loved one: • Falling? • Skipping meals? • Skipping meds? • Untidy house? • Repeating stories? • Mail piling up?

nless you’re one of the few anomalies in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feeling when your car makes unwanted contact with another vehicle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. While we may want to crawl into a hole, we can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you 10 to be aware of (in no particular order). 1. Have an emergency kit in your car. While this step comes before the accident occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whatever you kit entails, make sure it has a first aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a small (and simple) camera in case there’s been damage to your phone. We’re typically frustrated or frazzled after an accident and not inclined to rational thinking. Being prepared limits the possibility of forgetfulness. 2. Take a deep breath. Accidents are traumatic experiences. Taking a breath will shift focus from what just happened to what needs to be done next. 3. Get a status check on everyone in the car. Check with each passenger to see if they are OK. Have someone call 911 immediately if someone is injured or unresponsive. 4. Move to a safe location. Most insurance companies recommend relocating the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible after the accident. If the damage to the car is minor, this should be relatively easy. But if there are major injuries or questions about the safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if its blocking traffic. 5. Increase your visibility. Turn on your hazard lights and set out your attention items from the emergency kit—flares, orange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One accident should not lead to another. Take precaution to ensure other drivers on the road remain safe. 6. Stay calm. It is very easy to lose your temper in this situation, it’s human nature. Keeping your cool will keep the situation from

getting worse. If it wasn’t your fault, it’s easy to want to let your emotions loose on the other driver. This will cloud your judgment and may lead to something that does not help the situation. You still need to exchange information. 7. Exchange insurance information. This is imperative. If you are to file a claim on your car, you will need the other driver’s information. Most likely, after an accident you are feeling jumpy or stressed. It means when you try to write down their information your handwriting will look like ancient hieroglyphics and, unless you are a cryptographer, will be unable to read it later. We live in the 21st Century, take a photo of their information and take photos of the damage done to both cars. 8. Don’t admit guilt. Every insurance company will tell you to do this. Even if you are at fault and it was you to blame. This could drive your premium up or even lead to you being sued. Let the police and insurance companies determine this. 9. Call the police. While some minor accidents don’t require a report to be filed, it’s up to the discretion of the drivers in the accident to call the police. Law enforcement can take statements, get information on injuries and property damage. Be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report. If there is a dispute, the officer will be an important testimony. 10. See a doctor. Depending on the injuries suffered or not, it is easy to skip this. A large financial situation has just happened with the car accident, you don’t want another one by seeing the doctor and jacking up your health costs. It’s important to consider it, or possibly speak with one. Adrenaline can be pumping after the accident and one might not notice the amount of whiplash to your neck. Symptoms can take 24 hours to appear. The warning signs include neck pain, stiffness, loss of motion in the neck, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and pain in the shoulders or upper back. It can be better to be safe than sorry. l

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February 2018 | Page 29

WestJordanJournal .com

My Dumb Car By Dean Scott | d.Scott@mycityjournals.com

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The 2018 Mazda 6, loaded with safety features to keep you safe on the road.

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y car is a 2005 Ford Taurus. Knowing that, you can imagine that I am not a car guy. I am not a person that is necessarily impressed with something because of the shininess, rather, I look at things more functionally. My car gets me from point A to point B, several times a day. It gets 25 miles per gallon, the doors and windows work, the heater and air conditioner work, and best of all, it is paid for. Why would I need a new car? Until this week I would have made a passionate argument that I don’t need a new car. But over the last week my thoughts have changed. A few weeks ago my office got a new car on a loan with the instruction I could drive it for a week. They did not know what car, just that it would be a new one. I was excited. Then I got the phone call saying the car was at the office, it was a red 2017 Mazda 6, I was disappointed. A Mazda. I might as well just drive the Taurus. However, I was assured the Mazda was a nice car. I have 200,000 miles on the Taurus, so I thought at least I don’t have to put more miles on the Taurus. As soon as I sat in the car I was impressed, it had comfortable white leather bucket seats, smelled like a new car and it was modern and sleek. The excitement was back. But it was not the new smell that changed my mind, it wasn’t the comfortable seats that changed my mind, it was not the warranty. From my office to my home is about a 25-minute drive, from Sandy to Bountiful. In those 25 minutes, I learned my Taurus was dumb. Now I have always known that I drove a dumb car, but never understood that my car was dumb. The Mazda 6 was equipped with heads up display, keyless entry system, keyless start, rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, auto lights, auto high beams, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition system, radar cruise control, traction control system, and dynamic stability control. Those are just the things I figured out. My Taurus had given me no experience with such capabilities. The fact was obvious, this car was smart. This car knew things that I did not know, important things like when a car was in my blind spot or when I was drifting lanes. Technology is cool but doesn’t necessary impress me. Remember, I measure the functionality. And it was the tech’s functionality that impressed me. As soon as I started the car

the heads-up display came up on top of the dash. This allowed me to know the most important things I needed to know while driving, without me taking my eyes off the road. It showed me my speed, the speed limit, if there was a car in my blind spot, if I was drifting lanes and more. The Bluetooth telephone system allowed me to take calls without using my hands. In one swipe of my thumb, without my hands leaving the steering wheel, the call was answered. Until this moment, I did not realize how dangerous it was for me to use my handset while driving. Over the week I also noticed that I did not hold my phone while I was driving, which dramatically cut down on texting and other use of my phone while driving. I travel with two dogs and, like children, sometimes these dogs require attention in the back seat. So, I reach back and tend to them. The first time I did this with the Mazda I started to drift into the next lane. That is when I learned about lane departure warning and lane keep assist. The car alerted me that I was drifting lanes and it corrected the steering to keep me in the lane. Possible disaster avoided. The Mazda 6 is also equipped with controls in the center console, which are easy to learn and operate. This was nice because it allows you to maintain your driving position when using the radio, navigation system, Bluetooth phone, without having to reach up and touch a button on the dash or touch screen. In the 7 days that I drove the Mazda I don’t recall once reaching for the dash as I drove. All this tech seemed to keep my body in a better driving position, my eyes to the front, alerted me of dangers, presented me more data to allow me to be a better driver and when I wasn’t being that better driver, it softly nudged the steering wheel and put me back on target. So after spending a week with the new 2017 Mazda 6, I will be looking for a new car, or at least a newer car, but for sure a smarter car. I loved the Mazda and I hated to return to the Taurus, is that Mazda the right car for me? I don’t know. The Mazda was a great car and it appeared to be incredibly safe, so if you see a new Mazda 6 out there on the road with a smiling driver, it may be because I traded in my dumb car. l

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Page 30 | February 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Homemade Love

by

CASSIE GOFF

A commercial crazed Valentine’s Day can leave you broke. Americans spend billions of dollars to celebrate a holiday rumored to be started by Hallmark in order to sell cards—which aren’t cheap. Then there’s the overpriced dinners, expensive roses and the marked-up heart-shaped chocolate. Perhaps a more accurate expression of love can be found in homemade gifts, because your time, love and effort was put into them. Here are less expensive alternatives for homemade Valentine’s Day gifts; some not even requiring creativity. Instead of supporting Hallmark’s card industry (some cards are $13 now!), write your own card. It’s not that hard, I promise. Start by picking the front of your card. If you’re not feeling particularly magical, just print a picture. It can be a cartoon your sweetheart will find funny. Or perhaps print a photo of a fun memory, or something related to an interest of theirs. Now you’ll need to write something on the back or inside of the card. Google “Valentine’s Day card messages” for some inspiring poems and sayings. For more personalized content, close your eyes, think about your loved one and what they mean to you, type out your thoughts, and then write it on the card. Creating your own card doesn’t take too much time, and it’s usually

more memorable. Plus, you’ll save a few bucks! If you’re planning on buying candy or chocolate, don’t grab the heart-shaped ones. Candy specifically made for Valentine’s Day is anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars more than the everyday version of the same. Maybe it would be worth it if the candy tasted better, but usually the proportions are thrown off by festivity. I’d rather have a regularly proportioned Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, than a heart-shaped slab of peanut butter. One dozen red roses can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. Instead of buying something that will just die in a few days, make some flowers. This is where DIYers rejoice. It’s fairly simple to make some flowers out of material that won’t wilt. Pinterest is a great place to find instructions on how to make flowers out of any material you can imagine: books, tissue paper, felt, glass, cotton balls, buttons, seashells, pearls, Q-tips, pinecones, feathers, old jewelry, yarn, and even coffee filters. Unless you’re just aching to dine at a packed restaurant followed by watching a movie in a crowded theatre, don’t leave your house for Valentine’s Day this year. Luckily, we have many amazing streaming choices for entertainment. It’ll be much more relaxing to stay in, cook

dinner, pop your own popcorn, and watch a movie together. Cook your partner’s favorite meal. If you need help in that area, many grocery stores have readyto-prepare meals that can help you. Or, try cooking something completely new together. If a movie or TV show is decided upon beforehand, try cooking something from that show. A great place to find ideas for corresponding a meal and a movie is the YouTube channel called “Binging with Babish.”

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February 2018 | Page 31

WestJordanJournal .com

Life

Laughter AND

by

PERI KINDER

WEST JORDAN

To Infinity and Beyond

A

s our country devolves into a 24/7 protest, people are casting their eyes to the stars. They’re either hoping for a) an asteroid to hit the planet, b) our alien overlords to save us from catastrophe or c) the chance to flee to Mars to populate (and eventually destroy) another planet. Life on this beautiful blue marble (or beautiful blue dinner plate if you’re a flat-Earther) has had a good run. We’ve evolved from being hunters/gatherers to being couch potatoes while creating technology that is certain to bring about our impending doom. Do we really need a talking fridge? But Mars! Oh, the possibilities! I envision a world where everyone lives in hexagonal domes, speaks in British-accented tones, and wears white flowing robes. That could be a problem. I can’t wear white, even when I’m not living on a planet covered in red dust. Every night I would look like a red chimney sweep. NASA wants to send the first humans to Mars in the 2030s, which creates an interesting predicament. I’ll be too old to populate anything, but every planet needs a wise old woman giving cryptic warnings to the younger generation. I could fill that role, assuming I survive the seven-month journey to the Red Planet. The possibility of relocating to the planet of war has become an animated

discussion in our home. Me: Would you want to live on Mars? Hubbie: Of course! Me: Wouldn’t you be afraid we’d die on the way there? Hubbie: Wait. You’re going, too? Seven months is a long time to give someone the silent treatment. Describing the flight to Mars, NASA uses magical terms like “transfer orbit” and “astronomical position” which I’ve learned are NOT part of the Kama Sutra. Voyagers traveling to Mars could lose fingernails, have spinal fractures and vision problems, and there’s always the chance you’ll upchuck in your spacesuit and suffocate after blocking the air system with your intergalactic vomit. So, there’s that. Once we land, we’ll spend a lot of time cleaning up abandoned movie sets that Abbott and Costello, Matt Damon and Santa Claus basically trashed during filming. But once that’s done, then what do we do? I guess people will build greenhouses and grow food. I won’t be on that crew because I can’t even grow mold. Others will install solar panels. Solar companies are already training door-to-door salesmen for the Mars market. There will be a team working on communications so we can keep up with our favorite Netflix shows and hopefully

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someone will open a really good Mexican restaurant. Space enthusiasts have wanted offEarth colonization for decades. There’s been discussion about creating a city on the moon, but scientists feared people would treat it like a giant bounce-house and not get anything accomplished. Plus, one day on the moon is equal to one month on Earth. And you thought an 8-hour workday was bad. Venus was never an option. With skin-melting temperatures, acid rain and a super-dense atmosphere, Venus was too much like Alabama in August. However,

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nights on Venus can last up to 120 days. Maybe then I could actually get eight hours of sleep. So, Mars it is. What if once we get settled, we find a prehistoric Statue of Liberty, buried in the red clay? We’ll discover that billions of years ago, people left Mars to travel to Earth because idiots were destroying the Red Planet. Like one of those giant leaps for mankind, only backwards. There’s no chance of me relocating to another planet. But I can still stare at the stars and watch Mars twinkle in the distance. I just hope it’s not flat like Earth. l

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