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January 2019 | Vol. 19 Iss. 01

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CITY HALL MARCHING WEST JORDAN INTO THE FUTURE By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

City council currently has a mayor with six council members (Alan Anderson not pictured). In 2020, the council will expand to seven members with a strong mayor. (Courtesy West Jordan)

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ubstantial residential and economic growth, and extensive legislative adjustments make 2019 a year of change for West Jordan. Local government changes This fall, West Jordan will vote for it’s first “strong mayor.” This mayor will be unlike any other mayor past. Currently, the mayor has no administrative or executive duties. There is a six-member council that helps the mayor with the legislative decisions. The city manager, who is appointed, not elected, is the official administrator. When the term begins for the new “strong mayor,” the mayor will no longer simply be chairperson of the city council, but his/ her responsibilities will absorb many of the tasks that are currently handled by the city manager. The city manager has been the chief executive officer (CEO) of the city. This person has taken care of the administrative business of the city and ensures that direction by council is implemented. The strong mayor will become the CEO with administrative and executive power, as well as the face of the city. On the 2018 ballot, Proposition 10 asked: ‘Shall the City of

West Jordan, Utah, change its form of government to the Council-Mayor Form, with a seven-member Council?’ The voting results were 6,841 for, 6,778 against. West Jordan’s eligible voting population at the time was over 70,000. Position of the city manager will be eliminated David Brickey, current city manager said, “My first responsibility is to implement whatever the city council has given to me by directives, usually every two weeks that will have set policy, to make sure staff is following up on their obligations to fulfill the city councils requests.” Every morning, his first task is generally “figuring out what’s burning [and] put that fire out,” he said. With the new “strong” mayor, the city will no longer have a city manager. There will be a position for an aid, or assistant mayor, that will be an at-will post. But, the current council will decide exactly what that position will require and how it will differ from the current city manager responsibilities. “It will be dependent on the council to rename my role,” he said. “Some cities that [have] a strong mayor form of government will have a person that is directly assisting the mayor, but it can be called anything from a deputy mayor to city administrator.”

David Brickey is planning on submitting his name to serve the new mayor for that position in 2020. Mayor position will become “strong” As it stand now, the mayor is the face of the city council, the legislative body. He is the voice for the collective decisions made by the council and city manager. “Right now, as mayor, I’m chairman of the city council,” Riding said. “I sign all the contracts for the city, but everything that takes place in the city basically is handled by the city manager.” A typical day for the mayor includes signing resolutions and contracts at city hall, visiting businesses, interacting with and answering questions from residents. “On council days, I block out a time that’s open, 3 to 5 p.m., open meet the mayor,” Riding said. “David will come and talk about things, keeping me in the loop because most of it is his decisions. Some things that may involve city council [and] he’ll keep me involved, so we can let city council know as well.” The mayor and council are currently the decision makers when it comes to policy and law, but they do not implement those decisions. “Council is just the legislative body, Continued on page 5...

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Amazon’s A-list book ‘Confessions of an Iyeska,’ has SLC significance By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com The West Jordan City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout West Jordan. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: 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 Sierra Daggett Amanda Luker

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“Confessions of an Iyeska” recently hit No. 2 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases for the category of Native American & Aboriginal Biographies. The story is about the life and work of late Viola Burnette, a woman who faced diverse trials. Viola was the first attorney general of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She was also an Iyeska, meaning mixed-blood Native American. One of Viola Burnette’s daughters, Jo Overton of West Jordan, helped see the book through editing and publication. Family, friends and supporters gathered at the University of Utah Marriott Library Gould Auditorium on Nov. 10 for a book release launch reception. “My mother was a world changer,” Overton said. “She was the first in her family to go to college, becoming a lawyer and judge. She rewrote the domestic violence code for both our tribe and another tribe. She started a group called Lakota Women for Change, and they went on to help our people change our tribal constitution for the first time ever. The original constitution was a basic template given to the Oyate (people) by the federal government, when our tribe was forced to sign a treaty and give up their land.” Viola Burnette’s other daughters Terese Burnette, Janet Routzen and Anita Guevin have helped bring the story forward. They came from South Dakota and Southern California to unite with their sister Jo in SLC. It was a meeting in the middle—a literal halfway point to Utah from the sisters’ home states. The launch gathering was a special

celebration of Viola’s life, family legacy, her preservation of culture and talent for telling important history through narratives. The biography weaves together what Viola Burnette faced in the 20th century, being forced into boarding school, being female, a Native American of mixed-blood and more. Viola Burnette now has a wide and unfurling family tree of posterity, extending to Salt Lake City. The family branches out further, with legally adopted members who have an all-embracing attitude. Kate Overton, Jo Overton’s daughter from Murray said, “It’s not just my unci’s (grandmother’s) story but one that many Lakota women faced in that time. It’s a story of survival, perseverance and courage. It describes how difficult it was for Natives to live the way the wasicu (white man) wanted them to, instead of the way their people always had—how they were forced to depend on the government for everything and how that caused the oppression that we continue to face today.” Indy Blaney loved the book. “It has a ‘Forrest Gump’ quality about it,” she said. “She (Viola) brings in so many things that were happening—other things that were happening in the country outside the Reservation, like where she was when Kennedy was shot.” Without wanting to give too many spoilers, Blaney summed up the book saying, “This is the story about a very brave woman who faced a lot of opposition in her life, both on and off the Reservation.” On the Gould room’s biography launch table was an arrange-

Family, friends and supporters gathered at the University of Utah Marriott Library Gould Auditorium on Nov. 10 for a book release launch reception. Sisters left to right-Anita Guevin, Janet Routzen, Jo Overton, Terese Burnette (Photo courtesy Viola Burnette family).

ment of fresh-printed copies. To the side was a plaque reading: “All of the proceeds from the sale of ‘Confessions of an Iyeska’ are being donated to a scholarship for Native American women studying law at the University of South Dakota Law School. In Memory of Viola Burnette.” Jo Overton added, “Many people in our family have now gone to college and been able to use their educations to help our tribe and other Native peoples.” The reception began with Native American song and drum performers singing tribute to the book’s author and also in worship

of a Creator. Strength and honor sounded from their circle of beating tambour and oscillating voices. Her journey is now history, officially bound together—Viola’s remarkable story. It is a real account that one can pick up, and in likelihood, one that can inspire. The soft robin egg blue cover is styled with angled red and ultramarine shapes, together making a spirited pattern. The book stands out in bold simplicity. One could wonder if the quilt-like design and complimentary colors on the front, symbolize Viola Burnette’s life—a first vivid offering of the powerful telling within. l

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West Jordan City Journal


which sets the rules, procedures, ordinances,” Riding said. “But they need to try to stay in their lane and not try to be the administrative body, which is what council has done in the past. The mayor is supposed to be the face of the city.” When the mayor becomes the primary decision maker, he or she will decide what help they want with the combined roles. “Depends on who gets elected We watched with Salt Lake City, when she was elected she asked for the resignation of all the department heads. In Sandy, he asked for four or five. That’s conceivable,” Riding said. “Who’s got a bigger ego, if they decide they want to be president of West Jordan instead of mayor,” Riding continued. “Hopefully that wouldn’t happen here.” 2019 will define the future of city government Beginning in January 2019, the current city council will meet weekly to review each line of code in the city to make way for the new responsibilities of the mayor, and the deletion of the city manager. “Many of the codes for the city have some kind of change happening to them because of the change of government, so council will start reviewing these, and we’ll have to review and approve each one,” Riding said. “[We will] try to get everything set up so there’s a very smooth transition, so the people in the public probably wouldn’t even know.” The review process must be complete by June 1 when residents are able to put forth their name for the fall election. The candidates will need to know what the new code will be and how it will define their legislative positions. Most of the city council positions will be open for election this year. An additional at-large position that will be added to council, as well as districts one, two, three and four, and mayor. Chad Lamb and Kayleen Whitelock are the only members that will remain for another two years. Because Riding was elected at the same time as the government change, he will only serve two years of the four-year term. He will need to run for re-election—which he plans on doing—because the mayoral role will be changing. Regardless of the results of the election, the city is required to pay him for the full four-year term. After Riding’s election, he stated that he would not keep the extra pay. Industry growth Kent Anderson, economic development director, outlined some business projects the city has been working on and will be completed in 2019. Near 7000 South and Redwood Road will be a new Lucky’s Grocery. A large home decorating store called At Home will replace Sears in Jordan Landing. More unnamed tenants and development will go in across the movie theater in Jordan Landing. “We’re working with some additional tenants that we can’t share the names of; we hope to announce early in 2019 one in the southwest part of the community,” Anderson said. Riding said there are other major projects still in development that may take more time to complete. ...continued from front page

WestJordanJournal .com

“[Some] things are coming to fruition [sometime this] year; some are probably five years out,” Riding said. “There’s just a lot of things in transition right now.” A strong business base is what keeps a city from relying too much on residents to financially support the operation of the city. Property taxes were raised 18 percent in August 2018 to fund police and fire, both of which needed increases to support the increasing population. More business in a city, especially large business, can help temper the need for further tax increase in the future. “There [are] different types of revenue streams that the city uses to provide our core functions to the residents,” Anderson said. “[P]roperty tax and sales tax are significant—the two most significant revenue. Trying to increase both of those revenue streams makes it easier to provide services to the residents without having to ask for additional increases.” There are several large developments in process, but the city is under Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), which prevents anyone from discussing specifics. Even if a potential tenant is working through the process, there is no guarantee of its completion. Anderson alludes that there may be some significant companies that are considering West Jordan land. “It’s always challenging when you’re working with developments because you can go quite far down the process and something comes up,” Anderson said. “Typically, these larger Fortune 500 companies are evaluating several sites and go down the process for development approval on multiple locations simultaneously and make the final decision as they get near the end.” Auto dealerships and liquor stores are two large business that can be desirable in a community because they provide consistent large sums of sales and property tax. “We’re still in conversations with potential auto dealerships,” Anderson said. “The liquor store is a little more challenging because that’s held by the Utah State Legislature to help them identify West Jordan as a new location for a liquor store.” Another large project may be announced early spring 2019. Across the street from the West Jordan City Hall is the Jordan School District Auxiliary Hall, which is also adjacent to a TRAX station. This property has the potential to be a large development if the district office is moved. “Our city center project [for which] we received a grant from the Wasatch Front Regional Council and Salt Lake County is called the transportation land use connection grant,” Anderson said. “We’ve hired a consultant to evaluate this site from and economic perspective of what’s appropriate land use, and the highest and best return on this site.” “Once this planning process is completed, the next step would be to work with the Utah Transit Authority to have this TRAX station be designated as a Transit Oriented Development, which allows UTA to enter into a joint venture with a developer for the land they have available there,” Anderson said. Housing Growth Community Development Director Scott Langford said city leaders have a number of goals

Parts of Jordan Landing are getting a makeover in 2019. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

but also have legal restrictions that dictates how land is developed. City code states that 77 percent of housing must be single-family residences, while the remaining 23 percent is multi-family residential. The city does not currently fill this ratio. “Every year per this ordinance, we have to do an analysis on where we are city wide as far as housing stock to make sure we’re marching toward that goal,” Langford said. “[However], it’s looking 20 to 25 years before we achieve that balance.” However, the path toward this goal is not straight. “There are a lot of exemptions that have popped up,” Langford said. “We can’t restrict a multi-family development if it’s for senior housing, or if there is a nonprofit HUD-financed project, that’s exempt. We legally can’t exclude that type of housing from the city.” Ultimately, Langford said the goal is to retain residents within the city by building a variety of housing to suit any need. This will encourage people to upgrade and downsize within the city. “The whole thought behind this is that we want a mixed, diverse housing stock for the residents in West Jordan where right out of high school you can find something, all the way up through your whole life find something that will fit your needs,” Langford said. Public influence on the future The growth of business and residential essentials are a result of the combined efforts of elected officials, employees of the city and residents. However, the ultimate success of business in the city is dependent on the residents. “What helps is having residents out patronizing our businesses in the community that help generate sales tax,” Anderson said. “The more shopping that they do locally, the easier it is for my department to attract additional retail tenants because they can see that people are interested in shopping in West Jordan.” Residents can give opinion and influence decisions through public hearings.

A public hearing is required when there is a land rezone on a council agenda. Residents who live on land adjacent to the rezone property are notified and allowed to give comment. Previously, residents would give their comments, but no dialogue could take place between council and residents. The council could discuss issues brought up by residents during that same meeting, but decision on the rezone was made that evening. Some residents felt that council members were listening to comment as a formality and that voicing concerns was purposeless. In late 2018, the council began a new practice that would delay the decision pertaining to the public hearing at least two weeks. This would give them time to investigate concerns and directly answer questions. “The developers are probably the ones that are most disgruntled about it because it delays whatever that is for two weeks,” Riding said. “But it gives council members an opportunity to make a more educated decision.” This new pattern of public hearings and delayed decision making will continue through 2019. However, there is a limit to the extent residents can influence land use. “The public should be heard; the public is entitled to be heard,” Brickey said. “But the public still has to remember that founding fathers had the idea that land had value. It’s the one commodity that you can’t create.” In some cases, public opinion can be overpowering. A balance must be found between resident’s concerns and ideals, and between the landowner’s wishes. “The courts have described public hearing that have what they call ‘clamor,’ when the public’s clamor influences the decisions of the elected officials in a way that results in a taking or an unauthorized restriction of the land, the courts won’t allow it,” Brickey said. “They’ll say that the influence of the community took away a constitutional right that the developer is entitled to. We’re trying to avoid that.” l

January 2019 | Page 5


Shawn Zumbrunnen: The guy is funnier than his name By Bob Bedore | bob@mycityjournals.com

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o matter what anyone tells you, going out and trying to entertain a crowd night after night is never easy. And when you’re making up most of what you’re doing live, right in front of the crowd, it’s even harder. But for Shawn Zumbrunnen it’s all in a day’s (or night’s) work. Zumbrunnen routinely takes the stage (either by himself, with a comedy troupe, or with his rock band, “Rev Mayhem”) with only a slight idea of what the night is going to hold. It’s sort of like jumping out of a plane without checking to make sure that your parachute is packed – it’s either going to work or you’re going to make one heck of a crash. But luckily for Shawn, he’s always found a way to land on his feet. “I’ve just always loved entertaining,” Zumbrunnen said. “First it was using my Star Wars figures to act out scenes. Then it was real acting. I had an obsession with acting.” This led to a scholarship with Weber State University and then to other shows. Zumbrunnen, a recent South Jordan transplant, started getting parts at the Off Broadway Theater in Salt Lake, but it was joining the improv troupe “Quick Wits” where he really started to shine. Improv allowed his lighting fast mind and razor wit to be untethered and he took off. Through improv comedy Shawn has won many awards including taking home first place in both of the SLC Comedy Festival Improv Competitions. But as great as he is alone, he really likes working with a troupe. “In improv comedy there’s a moment where you’re in a total mind link with the other actors and the audience. It’s an amazing feeling,” Zumbrunnen said. “There are times when people are just erupting with laughter at pretty much everything that comes out of your mouth. The energy from that is incredible. Zumbrunnen has an element to what he does that really sets him apart: his music. Few

Page 6 | January 2019

people can create a song as quickly as he does, and even fewer can do it half as well. To make it even worse, he is all self-taught on the guitar. “I saved up my weekly stipends while on my (church) mission and bought my first guitar. I got a few pointers from people, but I really loved just figuring it all out,” he admitted. And with all that “figuring out” Shawn has put out an album under the name “Cyclops Kid,” but then re-recorded and re-released it under his new band name, “Rev Mayhem.” The album is full of quirky songs like “Zombie Girl,” “Evil Genius,” and “Freaky.” “Growing up I always loved the bands that were a little… different,” Shawn said. “Bands like ‘Flight of the Conchords,’ ‘Barenaked Ladies,’ ‘Tenacious D,’ ‘Garfunkle and Oats,’ and my favorite, ‘JoCo,’ all played a part in what I do today. But what I really loved is watching comedians like Eric Idol and Steve Martin and see how they weave music into what they’re doing on stage. And so far that is working out as well. Rev Mayhem has opened up for bands like “Men Without Hats, “Mr. Big”, and even for American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks. In those shows he’ll play some of his rehearsed songs, but he loves to work with the crowd to create something special, something that is their own little song. “Mostly for me its creating clever lyrics,” said Shawn. “A joke seems to land harder when put to music. Getting a praise to fit perfectly to the music is like solving a riddle, that’s my favorite part.” But if asked to describe his music and Rev Mayhem, Shawn quickly calls what he does, “Nerd Core.” “It’s a bit heavy and strange, but if people listen to the words I’m singing, I know they’ll like it.” The next step for Shawn is using those puzzle solving skills for writing. Not long ago

Shawn Zumbrunnen is a master entertainer and emcee, and most of it he makes up on the spot. (shawnzum.com)

he wrote a show for Off Broadway Theater, “Lone Texas Walker Ranger,” and found a lot of joy in that. “It was a great success,” he said. “I love doing improv, but it’s a whole different level of ‘WOW’ when words you sweat over and create get a big reaction.” Since then Shawn has gone on to be a freelance writer. He’s penned some of the videos you’ve likely seen on internet promoting such products as Snap Power. And he’s even started directing the videos as well, adding another layer on the already packed “Shawn Lasagna.”

But all of it really comes down to one thing – the audience. “I want them to be the hero, its high energy with a lot of audience participation,” Shawn said. “And it hard not to smile when you see a Rev Mayhem Show.” Or pretty much anything else Zumbrunnen happens to be doing, for that matter. If you want to hire the best, and possibly only, improvised comedy rock band, check out the fun at shawnzum.com. l

West Jordan City Journal


West Jordan city employees bringing true gift to children By Bob Bedore | bob@mycityjournals.com

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s we finish unwrapping the gifts brought to us through the Christmas season, it’s important to take a moment to remember those who might now have such a merry time of things. Thanks to the efforts of the West Jordan City Employees Association, many of the homeless and unfortunate children of West Jordan will find some much needed items in festive paper waiting for them. This year they have set their site on the Title 1 elementary schools within the Jordan School District to hand out coats and boots. “We as an Association like to help out these kids,” Association President Tom McOmie said. “And that’s especially true at this time of year. It’s something we’ve been doing for the last 10 years.” McOmie mentioned the City Employee Association asked the schools in the area for 10 needy children that could use a new coat and some boots. The schools came back and asked whether they could do more than 10. “I told them, if there is a kid that needs something from us, give me their information, and we’ll take care of it,” he said. In the past, they’d have roughly 140 items to get for the children, but this year the number was close to 340. More than 100 employees in the association purchased the items for the children and gathered them into a warehouse for a

large wrapping party. “When you go into some of these schools and see the conditions of the coats and boots of these kids, it breaks your heart,” said City Employee Association Vice President Jared Smith. “As an employee’s association this year, we wanted to make sure that every child had a warm coat or boots to wear this winter. City employees are tied to the community, and providing service like this is the reason we all come to work here, to continue to make this the best city in the state to live in.” The employees worked a long time to get the gifts ready to present to the children. But there was an obvious feeling of internal warmth within each of them as they knew the warmth and cheer they were bringing to the kids. “It feels good to be able to help out some kids who might find it hard to stay warm this winter,” McOmie said, thinking about the faces of the children opening up the gifts. “So many of us will go about our business this winter not ever thinking about the fact that others out there are in a difficult situation, maybe struggling to stay warm. I like to know that we are helping these kids out, and this may be the only gift some of these kids will get this holiday season.” Each year, it’s a big effort, and the need will likely be needed next year. You can help out by reaching out to the West Jordan City Employee Association and ask how you can lend a

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January 2019 | Page 7


West Jordan 2018: captured by its best photos

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f a photo says a thousand words, then the following pages could write a book capturing some of West Jordan’s most memorable

moments in 2018. From wooden toy cars to families on Jeopardy, 2018 was one to remember. l

Donald Davis, a celebrated national storyteller from North Carolina, appeared at the Viridian Event Center for a free evening concert as part of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. (Whitney Cox/City Journals)

Families can’t resist running through the bubbles during the Fun Run at Hawthorne Academy. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Parent volunteers, all 50 of them, helped with all aspects of the “Singin’ in the Rain,” performed at West Hills Middle School. (Photo/Matthew Binns)

Page 8 | January 2019

A cosplayer celebrates “Star Wars” day on May 4 at the Viridian Event Center. (Ruth Hendricks/City Journals)

Live goats demonstrated solid, stable cuteness at Libraries Rock event in the summer. (Amy Green/City Journals)

West Jordan City Journal


Toymaker Alton Thacker greets the crowd at the December parade held in his honor. The event can now be seen on the Facebook program “Returning The Favor.” Thacker would go on to finish his one millionth wooden toy car over the summer. He makes wooden toy cars for kids in need. (Kim Wells/West Jordan City)

Stephanie Davis is the sophomore defensive coordinator and coaches the defensive backs on the Jaguars varsity football team. Davis was the only female high school assistant football coach in Utah. (Shelley Oliverson/WJ football)

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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Volunteers have fun while helping to place flags on the field. This is part of the Field of Flags at Veterans Memorial Park, placed there on June 2. (Reed Scharman/West Jordan Exchange Club)

Selfie! Group of teens dressed in cosplay from Andrew Hussie’s webcomic, Homestruck. The teens dressed for the two-day anime convention in August at the Viridian Event Center. (Picture courtesy of the County Library)

January 2019 | Page 9


98-year-old’s artful and nimble life: still helping others with mobility By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com

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aria Nygard is a West Jordan resident. She’s been coming to the Sandy Physical Therapy and Aquatics center three times a week to volunteer as a teacher. She started coming originally for her own health in 1995. That evolved into her permanent volunteer position. She is now 98 years old and continues to lead classes, swim and move. Watching her balance in the water is impressive. She does it with grace and amazing control. Nygard welcomes her participants at 8 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning into the relaxed pool setting. She has a glow of health about her and a happy smile complementing lovely platinum hair. The water, kept at 96 degrees, is not overly heated (like 60 minutes in a hot tub can be). It’s a just right, “warm hug” of water temperature. Nygard says the 96 degrees soothes and calms the storms of arthritis pain. Linda Messick comes to the class because a doctor recommended it to her husband when he was dealing with cancer and arthritis. After Messick’s husband died, the doctor encouraged her to keep coming. Messick has been an occasional substitute leader for the class, helping Nygard to keep things running on schedule. Nygard encourages doing consistent exercises. She explains how it can improve the chances of staying independent into the golden years. Jessica Baxter is a physical therapy assistant

Page 10 | January 2019

working at the center who knows Nygard. “Since I started working here, her little group has gotten bigger,” Baxter said. “Both health-wise and socially, it’s good for them. It helps them keep everything moving. It has contributed to Maria living longer and being able to do the things she does. She really impresses everybody. She is the one person I tell a lot of people about. She sets a good example for the patients we work with.” Nygard now rides in a friend’s passenger seat to get to class but still enjoys teaching and helping others meet together in the pool. “I used to drive here, but I gave up driving earlier this year,” Nygard said. Nygard started volunteering more than 20 years ago. Nygard likes to educate herself on politics in her spare time. She is an avid reader. There is also an uplifting social aspect to the water classes. Those who show up for her sessions have varying physical issues, from back pain to bursitis. But they all seem to have a good measure of fun while there. The class talks and mingles through the one-hour workout. They all know something of each person there — names, hobbies, interests. Nygard also has a history of being an excellent seamstress and tailor. She worked at ZCMI for a number of years doing sewing and skilled alterations. She is no amateur craftsman. Nygard learned much of her tailoring ability from European clothiers. In the 1950s, she came to Utah

from Manitoba, Canada. She worked personally with the original Fred Macray “Mr. Mac” Christensen when he was in business with ZCMI. For fun and family bonding, Nygard practiced a hobby of making hand-painted Ukrainian eggs. This type of artwork is called Pysanka. Rather than a typical application of paint, a wax-resist method is used to apply the color. Working on a small surface such as an egg requires patience and motivation. Pictures of Nygard’s skill show that her personality and gifts are indeed persistent. She proves to be a woman willing to commit to projects and see them through. Nygard recalled how Pysanka-style artwork was a family activity she loved and taught to her kids. “I have three children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren,” she said. Nygard may not be painting as many eggs as she used to or doing jumping jacks in the pool. But her class is not really about doing fast laps or the backstroke. It is gentle torso twists and careful knee-to-elbow lifts. She teaches light gestures that have long-lasting benefits. The class chats and catches up on life while following her lead — each person going at his or her own speed. The members agree that these sessions are worth coming back for. Neil Overton frequents the class with his wife, Jo. “I didn’t go for a week or two. I noticed a huge difference, and I was like what?” he said.

Class meeting on a Monday morning for gentle water exercise. (Amy Green/City Journals)

“That measly little pool does something!” Jo Overton agrees. “It doesn’t seem like serious exercise, because you’re not hurting when you do it,” she said. “The water eases the impact and makes it easy to do.” Anyone who is interested in trying an hour of water relaxation is encouraged to show up to Nygard’s group (sign up at the front desk). As with the warm water, Nygard and her class are warm and welcoming too. They are excited about anyone joining in — old timers, newcomers, the energetic and the weary. Often, one cannot swim all troubles away. But Nygard and her class-goers feel that enjoying weekly smiles, conversation and healthy movement can lighten the burden of any strain. l

West Jordan City Journal


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West Jordan City Journal


G O OD NE IG H B OR

NEWS

JANUARY 2019

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

New Energy Efficiency Financing District Established

Want to upgrade your existing building but don’t have a financing option? Building a new property from scratch and have a gap in your capital stack? Try C-PACE financing! C-PACE offers $0 down, 100% financing on energy improvements to commercial buildings. The City of West Jordan recently joined the C-PACE District and will be co-hosting an open house with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. This free event is for energy efficiency/renewable energy contractors, project developers, and building owners who wish to learn more about the Utah C-PACE program. Join us to learn how C-PACE financing can help you grow your business and improve energy efficiency. Commercial and industrial property owners and other stakeholders are welcome to attend. Date:

January 28, 2019

Time:

3:00 – 4:30 pm

Place:

West Jordan City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road First Floor Community Room

Questions:

Paul Coates, 801-569-5181 or paul.coates@westjordan.utah.gov

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

Community Engagement and Economic Development Happy New Year! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given this past year to serve as mayor of West Jordan. 2018 brought many changes and 2019 promises to bring many more. One thing, however, will not change. And that is our commitment to representing you. This is your city and we are committed to openness and a high level of community engagement. To that end, we have changed the way City Council operates. City Council Live: City Council meetings are now streamed on Facebook Live and can be accessed on YouTube via our city website. We will continue to improve openness wherever possible, and you can expect more city participation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media outlets as well as improvements to our website. Public Hearings: Public hearings give residents the opportunity to voice their opinions on pending issues. But with council’s vote scheduled the same evening, council members often did not have time to thoroughly consider that input before voting. Votes on issues requiring a public hearing now must be scheduled at a later date to give City Council time to fully consider public input before voting. Work Sessions: City Council meeting time has changed from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to allow for work sessions during which council members openly discuss issues facing the city. Public Input: We want to hear your voice as much as possible on issues facing City Council. Last year’s public outreach was unprecedented as we actively sought input on matters such as trash collection, the Parks Master Plan and the Wild West Jordan Playground project. We will continue to seek your input on important decisions. These measures are a big start to improving our openness and responsiveness to you. But we need you to be part of that equation. As you consider your New Year’s resolutions, please add increasing your community involvement and participation in local government to the list. To participate in city surveys, please go to www.WestJordan.Utah.gov/citizen-panel. Economic Development: Staff are actively creating development opportunities and local business resources for the new year. The city received an $80,000 grant to conduct a Station Area Plan for the City Center property just east of City Hall. We also received a grant from the Economic Development Corporation Utah to begin Stage 1 Certification for a Mega Site in the Pioneer Technology Park, and the federal government designated a section of the city as an Opportunity Zone to encourage private investment. Looking forward to 2019, PayPal will be joining the community at the new Aligned Energy facility, At Home will be taking the place of Sears at Jordan Landing and Lucky grocery will be opening in the old Albertson’s location on 7000 South and Redwood. There are also several exciting projects currently in play, including new retail options as well as new large companies looking to make West Jordan their home. As we begin the new year, I’m very optimistic about the future of West Jordan. We are a city of great people and great opportunity. Stay tuned to see how it unfolds. Sincerely, Jim Riding, Mayor


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

CJC honors West Jordan with ‘Community Support’ award at annual conference

The Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center recently presented the city with the “Community Support” award at their annual conference. According to their director Susanne Mitchell, the award is in appreciation for going the extra mile and helping to make their “Day of Hope Car Show” fundraiser a success. For the past seven years, the CJC has held this event each August in the city’s Veterans Memorial Park and has raised over $225,000, which has helped child victims of crime in our community. West Jordan Detective Jody Wright also received the “Law Enforcement Professional of the Year” award. Detective Wright works in the Special Victims Unit and is a great asset to our Police Department. We appreciate the partnership we have with the Children’s Justice Center and value the important work they do as they help victims through the child abuse investigative process so that healing and justice can take place.


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

Nextdoor is the private social network for your neighborhood

Nextdoor is the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips. There are so many ways our neighbors can help us, we just need an easier way to connect with them. All users verify their addresses, so you can be confident that your communications stay within a trusted environment designed just for you and your neighbors. Visit Nextdoor.com to sign up. Provide and verify your address to become a member of your local Nextdoor groups. The Nextdoor application is not owned or maintained by the City of West Jordan. All questions regarding its use should be sent to Nextdoor.com.

Accessory Dwelling Units in West Jordan The City Council is looking for input on Accessory Dwelling Units. An accessory dwelling unit is an additional living quarter on a single-family lot that is independent of the primary dwelling unit. It contains a separate living space which is equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities and can be either attached or detached from the main residence. Currently, ADUs are only permitted in very limited fashion within West Jordan, making many existing ADUs illegal. The apparently high number of existing illegal ADUs reflects a strong demand for this type of residential housing. Since this use is already occurring illegally on a wide scale, potentially amending West Jordan’s local laws to more commonly permit ADUs may protect the safety and character of existing neighborhoods. We understand that there are both pros and cons to potentially amending local law to more widely legally permit ADUs. Therefore we invite you to take a short survey to assist us in gaining a greater understanding of how you feel about this housing type. To take the survey, visit WestJordan.Utah.Gov/accessory-dwelling-units.

E-Waste Recycling & Document Shredding Did you know that the City of West Jordan holds quarterly e-waste recycling and document shredding events? The next one is Feb. 2 from 10 a.m.-noon in the City Hall parking lot, 8000 S. Redwood Road. West Jordan residents can bring up to two “bankers boxes” of paper for shredding and residential electronic waste each quarter. Documents will be shredded onsite. Hard drives can also be shredded if they have been removed from the computer. Unfortunately, televisions, CRT monitors, cracked LCDs and printers are not accepted. (Trans-Jordan Landfill allows some of those items to be deposited by our residents. Please contact Trans-Jordan at 801-569-8994 for more information.) Bring proof of residency or city employment (driver’s license, utility bill or city ID badge). For more information, contact 801-569-5700 or email publicworks@westjordan.utah.gov.


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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

JA N UA RY

JA N UA RY

NEW YEAR’S DAY

MAYOR’S OPEN OFFICE HOURS

1

9

CITY HALL OFFICES CLOSED

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

JA N UA RY

JA N UA RY

JA N UA RY

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

PLANNING COMMISSION

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

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

“WAY TO A BETTER LIFE” CONTEST KICK OFF Gene Fullmer Recreation Center 8015 S 2200 West, 5:30-8 p.m.

JA N UA RY

JA N UA RY

JA N UA RY

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY

MAYOR’S OPEN OFFICE HOURS

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

CITY HALL OFFICES CLOSED

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

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

F E B R UA RY

F E B R UA RY

9

21

JA N UA RY

25

CITY COUNCIL ANNUAL STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION Public Works Bldg 7960 S 4000 West, 8 a.m.

15

17

23

23

2

5

DOCUMENT SHRED & E-WASTE RECYCLING

PLANNING COMMISSION

City Hall West Parking Lot 8000 S 1825 West, 10 a.m.-noon

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

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

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

Call for Volunteers GET INVOLVED & HELP STRENGTHEN YOUR COMMUNITY Several West Jordan City Committees have openings. If you have a little time and a desire to make a difference – we need you! • Events Committee • Healthy West Jordan Committee • Parks & Open Lands • Western Stampede Committee For more information, contact Heather Everett at Heather.Everett@ WestJordan.Utah.gov or visit the city website committee volunteer page at WestJordan.Utah.gov/committees.


How to win the science fair By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

I

t’s almost time for the school STEM science fair, and students and parents are racking their brains for project ideas. “The science fair is really the heart and soul of what science is all about,” said Breanna Garrard, science teacher at WJMS. “It’s finding an answer to a question by testing it out, using the scientific method.” The science department at West Jordan Middle School has been successfully turning students into scientists who are consistently standing out at the district and state science fairs. Last year, of the 25 students to advance from district to state competition, 15 were WJMS students. They claimed 22 of the 25 spots the year before and 15 the previous year. “This year, who knows? But we have high expectations,” said science department head Hiram Bertoch. Bertoch and Garrard are two of the five dedicated teachers in the science department that have made it a priority to support their students in their creation of successful science projects. Exhibit A: A champion A recent product of the department’s efforts is eighth-grader Jonny LeBaron. As a seventh-grader, he won the STEM Fair at the school, district and state levels. He was awarded Grand Champion at State. This fall, he was recognized as one of the top 300 applicants of the prestigious Broadcom Masters, which chose winners from 2,537 applications nationwide. Jonny’s project caught the eye of judges because of the incredible amount of work he put into his project. For his social science project, Mind Over Math, Jonny tested the effects of positive growth mindset phrases on students’ math test scores. He collected huge amounts of data; over seven weeks, he tracked 1,586 tests from 258 students in six different grades. It took the support of family, school and community to finish the project. Jonny said everyone was enthusiastic about being a part of it. His science teachers helped him develop the idea. His former elementary school principal, Ronna Hoffman, helped further tweak the project and elicit cooperation from teachers at Riverside Elementary (who agreed to participate since Jonny would be grading all the tests for them.) Jonny received additional help from his parents, his aunt and his neighbors in analyzing and inputting data into graphs. His sisters even helped grade tests. “He had significant community help, which is a very amazing component to this,” said Jonny’s mother, Angie LeBaron. “One kid can’t do this on his own—there’s no way he could have done this project on his own.” She realizes how lucky her son was to have so much support. “It’s just one of those things that you wish on every child—that they have the support from a community,” she said. How to win the science fair: tips from winners To support others in the development of a

WestJordanJournal .com

The winners from West Jordan Middle School last year. (Photo courtesy Principal Dixie Harrison)

successful science fair project, Jonny and teachers from the WJMS science department are sharing some suggestions and tips: Start early School science fairs must be completed before the end of February to qualify for district fairs held in late February and state fairs held in March. WJMS students begin developing their projects in October. Ideas grow and change through the long process of trial and error. By February, students have worked out all the kinks, and the project is ready for judging. “Starting earlier really helps a lot so then you can evolve the idea into something good and test it and see what idea will be best,” said Jonny, who had several earlier ideas that didn’t work out. Do real science “What the judges look for is real science,” said Bertoch. He stresses that trials should be managed correctly, using control groups and definable variables to ensure valid results. Bertoch said successful students apply the science and engineering practices they learn in class to develop an idea instead of just making a volcano model or copying a project they’ve seen done before. “They make their own discoveries,” said Bertoch. “We focus on that with the kids—that’s why we have so many winners.” Jonny’s project was based on the application of scientific principles. With the amount of data he collected, Bertoch said it was more of a dissertation on growth mindset, which is a current educational hot topic. Ask for help “The successful students that we have had in the last two years are those that have taken advantage of every help opportunity we have given them,” said Garrard.

The five teachers in WJMS’s science department provide ample time for students to work on their projects—in class, after school and during Pride Time. Teachers even provide students with supplies needed to create their presentations. The language arts department gets involved, too, focusing on skills that help students compose the written portion of their project. Data, data, data Jonny’s project required more effort and time than most projects. But good data makes for a good project. “For Johnny, what helped him is that his project was heavily data driven,” said Garrard. She said because of the large number of samples (1,586), his project was more credible than if he had just sampled one class or one grade. To limit extraneous factors, Jonny sampled from students in the dual immersion language classes at Riverside Elementary. His sample size included two classes per grade that had been taught by the same teacher. Use what you know Projects can stem from students’ interests and experiences. WJMS students are encouraged to build on their idea each year, developing the concept in seventh grade and developing it further for the next two years. “By the time they get to ninth grade, they will have been working on the same project for three years and will legitimately be able to say to the judges at the state level, ‘I’ve been working on this project for three years,’” Bertoch said. Anyone can win Impressed by the projects coming out of WJMS, district judges have asked Bertoch to train other schools in the techniques he has implemented. Bertoch believes the support provided by the science department teachers evens the playing field for all students to have the opportunity

to create a great project. They ensure that no student is held back by their circumstances or lack of support at home. “We want to make sure that they can win, too,” said Bertoch. “We’ve had a lot of our kids who are lower socioeconomic go to the district and the state.” STEM Fair winners receive scholarships and cash prizes, an opportunity that, at middle school level, can have a lifelong impact on students, said Bertoch. It’s a win-win Bertoch said no matter the outcome of the fair, the process of developing a STEM Fair project gives students a sense of accomplishment. “The biggest benefit is that they are seeing that they can do something difficult, that they can do real science and that they’re smart,” he said. “A lot of them have never done something hard, and they don’t know what they’re capable of.” l

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Are letter grades failing students? Parents give the grade to report cards By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

I

t may be a positive experience when little Gabriella or Alex brings home a report card from elementary school informing parents they’ve mastered or are progressing to meet a standard in the core curriculum — all without the traditional letter grade. But parents say that may not be the answer for high school students. “So far, my kids have been spared the drama of the standard-based report cards,” Bingham High PTA vice president Jodee Packer said. “With my kids applying to colleges, random proficiencies compared to letter grades don’t make sense. Everyone knows that a 4.0 GPA means all As.” Packer, who lives in Jordan School District, also points out to compete in high school athletics, GPAs are checked to allow students to compete, and to change it “complicates the system unnecessarily.” “It’s a system we all know. How do we check grades if we’re all doing proficiency-based report cards?” she said. Nationally, the trend is exploring standard-based report cards as educators say letter grade report cards diminish students’ interest in learning and result in them thinking about how well they’re doing rather than be engaged in what they’re doing, said education expert Alfie Kohn, author of “Punished by Rewards” and “Schooling Beyond Measure.” “The research quite clearly shows that kids who are graded — and have been encouraged to try to improve their grades — tend to lose interest in the learning itself, avoid challenging tasks whenever possible (in order to maximize the chance of getting an A), and think less deeply than kids who aren’t graded,” Kohn told the National Education Association in 2015. “The problem isn’t with how we grade, nor is it limited to students who do especially well or poorly in school; it’s inherent to grading. That’s why the best teachers and schools replace grades (and grade-like reports) with narrative reports — qualitative accounts of student performance — or, better yet, conferences with students and parents.” Locally, school districts are taking a closer look at transitioning to or have already made the change to standard-based report cards to complement their parent-teacher conferences. Granite School District, Salt Lake City area’s largest district, began reviewing the standard-based grading more than eight years ago and has been making the transition, tweaking it along the way, said Assistant Superintendent Linda Mariotti. Four years ago, 18 teachers tested the new system. Last spring, 400 Granite District teachers used proficiency-based grading. This fall, 1,200 of the 4,000 teachers in the district were on board, mostly in the elementaries, she said. “Anytime something is new, it can be overwhelming because change is hard,” Mariotti said. “But proficiency-based grading empowers our students. It supports student learning and we

Page 20 | January 2019

want to do what’s right for our students.” She, along with other educators, inform parents in town meetings about what the district calls proficiency-based grading (PBG), which she said is a synonym for standard-based grading. “I may be one of the oldest in the room and grading hasn’t changed since I was in grade school, but we need to let you know how well your student is learning at that moment in time and we can do that with proficiency-based grading where a letter grade can’t do that,” Mariotti told parents recently at town meeting held at Cottonwood High. “The PBG report card will show where students are struggling and how you can help them and with what. It allows teachers to evaluate the assessments and know where to reteach. It eliminates grade inflation and extra credit not based on course work. Our report cards now will have value where the traditional letter grade report cards haven’t been making the grade when it comes to measuring student progress and achievement.” In traditional grading, Mariotti said letter grades report the number of points earned on assignments in a subject but it doesn’t reveal what the student has learned. Proficiency-based grading, she said, offers better feedback by evaluating how well the student has met measurable standards. Through the PBG or standards-based grading, students will receive a score based on assessments put into an algorithm. The latest assessment will carry the most weight as students are expected to know the subject better, she said. “This will ensure that we are being consistent and that the students will be learning the standards,” Mariotti said about the assessments that can be retaken during that school year. “With PBG, students are given multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in multiple ways — they can write it, build it, dance it, say it, paint it, say it in another language — any way they can articulate they know it.” That 1 to 4 score will be what is shown on report cards for elementary-grade children, but Granite secondary students will have that converted into letter grades as well. “Nationwide, colleges are placing less emphasis on GPAs and more on ACT and the courses students are enrolled in, but we realize it is a bigger system out there so right now, we’re continuing to provide both the score and letter grade. USHAA (Utah High School Activities Association) also has student-athletes eligibility on GPA so that’s another reason to provide both. But we know letter grades can be subjective and may not really be reflective of what students are learning and PBG eliminates that,” she said. However, the transition frustrates some parents. Sheri Wade’s children have some classes that are graded on a PBG system and some that are not — she thinks. “My daughter’s math class is straightforward,” she said about the eighth-grade honors

Granite School District Assistant Superintendent Linda Mariotti discusses the transition to proficiency-based report cards at Cottonwood High School. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

class at Bennion Junior High. “If the student gets a 1, then we know the student needs improvement and in what area. If there’s a 4, then we know the student has exceeded the expectations.” What confuses Wade is a science class. “I’ve been told that if a student receives 40 percent on a quiz, that it can’t be retaken and that assignments and labs are part of the grade where I’ve been told that with PBG it’s not graded so it’s hard to understand what is going on,” she said after the parent meeting at Cottonwood High. Earlier, Mariotti said homework is not scored. “Homework is independent practice. Teachers demonstrate and talk about a skill, then they do it together with students and then ask students to do it on their own either in class or at home. Teachers provide students feedback, but not in terms of grades or scores, but rather to see them do well and improve,” she said. “There also is no extra credit. The scores are based on proficiency assessments. It’s a new mindset that we’re needing to shift.” Cottonwood School Community council member and parent Robyn Ivins then questions the motivation for homework. “I really like the proficiency-based grading and I’m grateful for them trying to make a difference, but it’s confusing to students and parents with how assessments really work and if homework and extra credit are really not part of the grade,” she said. “I feel like all the teachers who have switched to PBG are on the same program, but they aren’t.” For example, Ivins said her daughter, who she thought was in a PBG math class, just had her homework graded and was told that the teacher informed her that homework needed to be completed if any student wanted to retake

tests that term. Even the change of mindset may prove difficult, Ivins said. “If teachers tell them they’re not grading homework, the majority of high school students won’t do it. It’s hard for them to be motivated to do it just for the sake of learning. It’s hard for students to suddenly be told they don’t have to get a certain grade. It goes against everything they’ve been told from first grade that they need to have certain grades so they can be ready for college and receive scholarships,” she said. Ivins also expressed concerns with the new grading system for refugee students and those with disabilities. Mariotti gave this example: if a parent has a sixth-grader and she is reading on a third-grade level, the teacher is still to teach the sixth-grade standards. “The IEP (the student’s individualized learning plan) will be able to show and help her with different ways she may be able to demonstrate her learning and trying to meet the proficiencies, which she may or may not get to, but she may get to a concept or objective level,” she said. “The same is true with an English learner, where a state test helps identify her understanding level and from there, she can demonstrate the learning.” Many parents wanted a concrete date the district will completely transition to PBG. Mariotti said there isn’t “a drop-dead date,” but encourages teachers to shift when they’re comfortable. “Already this is rolling over on its own, just snowballing. I know it’s frustrating to parents we don’t have a specific date, but we want teachers to embrace it, not resist it,” she said. In two years, she expects most teachers and schools to be on board with PBG for Granite’s 67,900

West Jordan City Journal


students. The transition also is occurring in nearby Jordan School District, which educates students in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley. Jordan School District Administrator of Middle Schools Michael Anderson said he’s “excited to give more meaning to our grading system. It’s part of the trend to get to the heart of school and learning and education.” While he said middle school and high school levels haven’t changed their letter grades, with PBG, they are able to provide an “accurate reflection of what students know and are able to do.” “With standard-based grading, extra credit, effort or not getting work down isn’t the focus; it’s assessments,” he said. “We’re changing report cards from a grading game to a learning game.” He said the assessments will reveal what standards students miss and will help teachers determine if the question was poor or if it’s an area that needs to be retaught. He said homework is used for students to practice what is taught to be ready to take the assessments.

“O

ur report cards now will have value where the traditional letter grade report cards haven’t been making the grade when it comes to measuring student progress and achievement.” — Granite School District Assistant Superintendent Linda Mariotti

“Kids can retake assessments, but only after homework is done, so they have a chance to learn the material,” he said. “The 4-3-2-1 score with proficiencies will show if students know or can show proficiency and can demonstrate and apply it. This will give more meaning to the A to F letter grade on current report cards and allow the student to know why they may have a B in a class and know he or she needs to show proficiencies in certain standards to improve. Standard-based grading empowers the students to know where they are learning and what gaps they have.” Anderson said that since letter grades are “universal” with colleges worldwide, Jordan has remained with letters, but “has put more meaning into those letters” at the high school level. Elementary students are on the numeral system. “Our teachers and administrators have worked their guts out for better education and standards of learning for our kids,” he said. “Standard-based grading takes the guesswork out of report cards.” Oquirrh Elementary PTA President Beth LeFevre appreciates that.

WestJordanJournal .com

“The report cards are trying to explain it more and there’s no guessing that one assignment can bring down a grade,” she said. “It gives parents a better idea of what a child needs to work on, but I’d still like to see more explanation with the scores and see the percentage of where they’re at. If I don’t understand something, or want more detail, I don’t wait for the school to contact me. I just go to the teacher.” Both Granite and Jordan districts have online report cards so students and parents can review students’ learning — as does Murray School District. Murray School District students receive the common letter grades. “All Murray City School District schools use a traditional letter grade report card that measures completion,” said Scott Bushnell, Murray District assistant superintendent. “The MCSD report card is issued quarterly and gives a snapshot of a student’s academic, citizenship and attendance status at that time.” However, Murray District educators have looked into the pros and cons of standard-based grading. “We are focusing by grade levels and subject areas, across schools, working on agreement of standards and levels of proficiency. We are currently working within the traditional grading format and communicating with students and parents on how a student is performing. In English/language arts, math and science, we have begun to monitor the progress of students with respect to grade-level standards. This progress monitoring has been beneficial in helping students and parents understand standards mastery. This process began in elementary schools and is now being used in secondary schools as well,” he said. Canyons School District made the transition to PBG with elementary schools in 2013–14 and tweaked it with parent and teacher input for the following school year. “We feel parents have a better understanding of their child’s progress with our report card reflecting ‘mastered’ or ‘not yet mastered’ a standard rather than passing or failing,” Canyons Spokeswoman Kirsten Stewart said. “The idea is not to penalize the student, but to learn the material and retake the tests to demonstrate the mastery of the standard. One of the benefits of standards-based grading is it helps to convey that mistakes can be made and not getting 100 percent is part of the learning process.” While the standard-based grading system is in place in elementary schools, Stewart said there is discussion about placing it in the secondary schools although “there is no established deadline.” “It doesn’t have to be a score, but the letter grade can be based on those standards,” she said, adding teachers have more than 90 hours annually of instructional training to help assess student learning and achievement. “We feel standard-based grading is a nice balance to communicate to parents that their child is learning and learning skills that they will use through their lives.” l

January 2019 | Page 21


Page 22 | January 2019

West Jordan City Journal


Winter driving safety: Snow falls and you slow down

T

he long line at the local auto body shop isn’t just for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. With temperatures dropping and leaves soon to follow, it’s time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. 1)Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of knowing road conditions before ever leaving the house. Utah Department of Transportation has more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. Twitter feeds also provide alerts about traffic situations throughout the state, including roads up the canyon. Unified Police have a canyon alerts Twitter page for to update traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as tire requirements and road closures. 2)Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. If only two new tires are placed on the car, make sure to put them in the rear. With the falling snow, it’s necessary to have quality wiper blades that ensures clear views rather than leaving water streaks across windshield impairing your ability to drive. The wiper

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fluid reservoir also needs to be replenished before the first snows hit. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over. A system should be in place to check everything in your car such as the battery power and your cooling system. Antifreeze helps the vehicle withstand the freezing temperatures. The vehicle should also be stocked with safety items in the case of an emergency. The Utah Department of Public Safety suggests on its website to have jumper cables, a tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and batteries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and hand warmers. 3)Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slowly. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In driver’s education courses, prospective

drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front. All movements should be gradual rather than sudden. This means avoiding sharp turns, accelerating slowly and braking softly. Though you may have four-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive, this does not give license to drive recklessly in winter conditions. This means staying off cruise control as well. The need for seat belts increases tenfold during the winter. With car seats, place coats or blankets around the children after strapping them in. Coats can limit the effectiveness of a car seat. Stay alert. Deer become more active after storms. Black ice causes many crashes and that ice typically looks like wet spots. If skidding does take place, steer in the direction the back of the car is going and ease off the gas. Remember to keep the gas tank at least halfway full, it will keep the gas tank from freezing and if you get stuck in a traffic jam, you may need as much gas as possible. 4)Time For those of you who struggle with punctuality, this becomes paramount. Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination means you won’t rush, decreasing the chances of a crash. l

January 2019 | Page 23


Addresses: Bell’s 48th Street Deli 1207 Murray Taylorsville Rd Taylorsville Lone Star Taqueria 2265 Fort Union Blvd Cottonwood Heights Cous Cous Mediterranean Grill 5470 South 900 East #1 Salt Lake City Guras Spice House 5530 13400 S Herriman Fav Bistro 1984 E Murray Holladay Rd Holladay Shaka Shack 14587 750 W Bluffdale Spudtoddos 7251 Plaza Center Dr #120 West Jordan

Lunch Madness

T

his summer, we took the best parks around the valley and pitted them against each other in head-to-head contests with winners determined by social media voting, until we had a victor. Now, we’re turning our attention to local restaurants, diners, grills and cafes. This is Lunch Madness. We started by selecting one restaurant to represent each city in the Salt Lake Valley, using

a variety of criteria. First and foremost, it had to be a locally owned and operated restaurant. As a chain of local newspapers, we’re all about supporting small and local business. Second, we wanted to have a diverse tournament so we selected a broad range of types of restaurants. From classic burger joints and taquerias to Thai-fusion and potato-centric eateries, there’s something for everyone in this competition.

Voting will begin the week of January 22. As with regular voting, we encourage all participants to be informed voters. So go try a few of these restaurants, especially if there’s one in your area that you’ve never been to before. Find a favorite, then help vote them on through the tournament. Voting will take place on the City Journals Facebook page. l

Bracket Seeding: Bell’s 48th Street Deli

Lone Star Taqueria

(Taylorsville)

(Cottonwood Heights) Joe Morley’s BBQ

Abs Drive In

(Midvale)

(West Valley)

The Break Sports Grill

The Break Sports Grill 11274 Kestrel Rise Rd South Jordan

(South Jordan)

Pig & A Jelly Jar 401 East 900 South A Salt Lake City

(Salt Lake City)

Spudtoddos (West Jordan)

Pat’s BBQ

Pig and a Jelly Jar

(South Salt Lake)

Pat’s BBQ 155 W Commonwealth Ave, South Salt Lake Sugarhouse BBQ Company 880 E 2100 S Salt Lake City Tin Roof Grill 9284 700 E Sandy Salsa Leedos 13298 S Market Center Dr Riverton

Shaka Shack

Fav Bistro

(Bluffdale)

(Holladay)

Cous Cous Guras Spice House

Garage Grill 1122 East Draper Parkway Draper Joe Morley’s BBQ 100 W Center St Midvale

(Riverton)

Page 24 | January 2019

(Sandy)

(Sugar House)

(Herriman)

Ab’s Drive-In 4591 5600 W West Valley City

Tin Roof Grill

Sugarhouse BBQ Co.

Mediterranean Grill (Murray) Garage Grill

Salsa Leedos

First Round Voting: January 22-23

(Draper)

Second Round Voting: January 24-25

Third Round Voting: January 28-29

Finals: January 30-31 West Jordan City Journal


Changing schools for sports: Is it good or bad? By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

A

s Carolyn Fotu and her husband, Tevita, debated on where they thought their two sons should attend high school and play football, they never anticipated the windfall of emotion that the decision would involve. “Hard is an understatement,” Carolyn Fotu said. “We uprooted them from what they knew and put them in a whole new environment. The backlash that came with it made it even harder, but looking back at it now, it was all worth it.” The Fotus broke no rules when deciding through open enrollment where their children should attend school. In fact, initially they transported them to their chosen school and eventually they moved into the school boundaries. They enrolled into Bingham as part of the open enrollment program outlined by the Utah State School Board. According to state code 402, a school is open for enrollment of nonresident students if enrollment level is at or below enrollment threshold. The Fotus applied for their children to attend Bingham and were granted permission by the Jordan School District. “It surprised us that friends were offended when we went through it,” Carolyn Fotu said. “Tevita had attended Bingham’s summer workouts and gotten to know the coaches. He liked the way they ran their program. That is what sold us on Bingham.” The investment the Fotus made in research for the future of their children paid off. Their oldest, Malachi, was recruited and earned a football scholarship to Southern Virginia University. Sione is currently a junior and has received several college offers, including the University of Utah, potentially saving the family thousands in college expenses. “Playing sports in high school helped teach them things they can use in everyday life situations,” Carolyn Fotu said. Scholarship offers can come to athletes no matter where they play their games. “We found the good players no matter what,” former Southern Utah University assistant men’s basketball coach Drew Allen said. “Honestly, where the student plays in high school means nothing. We found the kids in the offseason camps and tournaments anyway. We could not come watch the high school games because we were playing at the same time. If the kid was good enough, we found them no matter what.” Noah Togiai starred at Hunter High School as a basketball and football player. He was heavily recruited in both sports and ended up at Oregon State playing basketball for one season before later becoming a football-only athlete. He has been rated by ESPN as one of the top 25 tight ends in the country and may enter the NFL draft this spring. Hailee Skolmoski, a graduate of Riverton High School, signed and played soccer at the University of Utah. She scored 26 goals in her four-year career for the Utes. She is part of the Real Salt Lake women’s developmental pro-

WestJordanJournal .com

gram. Atunaisa Mahe, from West Jordan High, is a freshman at BYU and has earned his way as a defensive lineman for the Cougars. These are some of the many examples of players who made it despite not playing at the powerhouse school, but players and parents still try to manipulate the system in their best interests. “It happened to me once,” Cyprus head boys basketball head coach Tre Smith said. “A student came to me and asked if he transferred into our school if I would give him a spot on the team. I told him he would need to try out just like everyone else. I never heard from him again. Honestly, tryouts is the toughest part of my job. I try to keep the best players. One year, I kept a senior that I cut as a junior. He got better.” The Utah High School Activities Association indicates undue influence and recruiting rules to be an important part of their jurisdiction. The violation of the association bylaws can be followed with penalties such as reprimands, probation, suspension, fines and vacating wins. In 2015, allegation were made against Summit Academy High School that one of its assistant football coaches was recruiting players. The UHSAA suspended the program from the 2016 state football playoffs and fined the school $3,000. The assistant football coach, Jeff Callahan, lost his position at the school. Callahan was accused of contacting then-current Copper Hills players and encouraging them to transfer to Summit. Then-Copper Hills Principal Todd Quarnberg presented copies of text messages as proof to the allegations to the UHSAA. Initial eligibility is established by a student attending a high school or trying out for a high school team (whichever comes first). After eligibility is established, a student must submit a transfer request with the UHSAA if they want to change schools. A request by the City Journals for a number of transfer requests reviewed by the association was denied. Former Summit Academy and current Wyoming long snapper Jesse Hooper transferred from Copper Hills. “Some of my old friends were not very happy at the moment,” Hooper said. “They understood what was best for me and my family. My old school and my new school were both very professional and welcoming. Wyoming has been everything I could have dreamed about. I started all 12 games. I finished the season healthy. I am truly blessed.” The UHSAA governs high school athletics and fine arts activities in the state. It includes 154 member schools and more than 100,000 participating students. The association sanctions 10 girls sports and 10 boys sports, along with music, theater/drama and speech, and debate. The UHSAA recently finalized its region realignments for 2019. The association has the

Riverton High School’s football team has endured three coaching changes recently and still managed to qualify for this year’s state tournament. (photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com)

responsibility to assign its member schools into classifications and regions. According to its bylaws, it takes into account any factors that promote fair competition. Every two years, it arranges the schools into competitive regions. “For a lot of kids to be involved in something outside of the classroom it is a good thing,” Hunter High School Principal Craig Stauffer said. “Some of these kids, because they get involved, they know that they have to

keep a certain GPA so they can play. It is like a huge insurance policy. To think they could be out on the streets doing something else makes it all worth it. Winning is not the most important thing, although it is nice to be competitive.” Rob Cuff, the UHSAA executive director, told the City Journals in a recent story, “Winning teams and competitive balance is not the goal of the association. Our mission is about participation.” l

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SPOTLIGHT

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A quick and dirty look at probate As an attorney, I have a healthy appreciation for legal jargon. And within the realm of estate planning, there’s really no better example of legal jargon than the term probate. We throw down that word like it’s going out of style bedazzling it in the process with a handful of adjectives like long, complicated, expensive, hard, messy, etc. But I’m not sure we actually tell you what probate is, so I thought I’d take a minute and do just that. Probate is a fairly simple concept. It’s the process of changing assets from the name of a deceased person into the name of a living person and paying off any debts the deceased person may have had. For example, if you own your house and you kick off into the great beyond, we now have to somehow get your name off the title and put the name of whoever buys your house on the title. And we do that through the probate process. So why does the court have to get involved? Well, anytime we’re taking assets out of someone’s name and putting them into someone else’s, we best be sure that the person is actually dead and that we verify whether any instructions were left in the form of a will. Then the court has to make sure the will is legit and give legal authority to the people you said should take care of all your stuff. So why do we say probate is complicated, expensive, hard, messy, etc.? Well, most families with a deceased loved one must do some organizing and digging to get all the financials in order: assets have to be gathered, organized, liquidated, settled, and then distributed. An attorney is usually part of this process which is where the expen-

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sive part comes in. And sometimes family members fight over stuff because grief affects everyone differently and this stuff is all folks have left of someone they loved very much, which can make both hard and messy. Why do people always talk about a trust? Trusts come in many shapes and sizes, but the two kinds of trusts that folks seem most interested in are the probate-avoidance trust and the Medicaid trust. Probate-avoidance trusts, when used correctly, make it so that you don’t have to go through probate after you die. Medicaid trusts address the worry that the state is going to take everything you have after you die, and just to clarify a misconception on this, the state isn’t interested in keeping any of your stuff or taking your money unless you used Medicaid (not Medicare) at the end of your life, and then they’ll put what’s called a Medicaid lien on the assets in your estate to repay what they spent on your behalf, but Medicaid trusts when used correctly allow you to avoid this pay back provision. So, there is a quick and dirty overview of what probate is, what it isn’t, and why you may want to do some estate planning in 2019. Happy New Year! Rebekah Wightman is an Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship attorney at Sandberg, Stettler, and Bloxham, PLLC in South Jordan. Though an Oregon native, Rebekah has made her home in Utah for the last 12 years and currently resides in Herriman with her husband, two sons, and brand new baby girl. Rebekah can be reached at 801-984-2040, Rebekah@ssb.law, or by visiting http:// ssb.law. l

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West Jordan City Journal


New electric vehicle charging station in West Jordan By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

Carpe Di End

Gain peace of mind knowing everything is taken care of your way.

Electric Vehicle - West Jordan City now owns an electric vehicle charging station at the Public Works building. (Photo courtesy West Jordan City)

W

est Jordan City is now the proud owner of an electric vehicle charging station. Rocky Mountain Power provided a grant to the city that paid for 85 percent of the new station. The station has two connections, one with a high speed charger, and the other a slower connection. The slower Level 2 charger is free. “One of the conditions was that it be open to the public, and for anybody with an electric car to use,” said Public Works Deputy Director Justin Stoker. “That level 2 charger for the people that are not in a rush to get the electricity that they need.” The fee to charge a vehicle at this station is an initial $1.50 for connection then $0.20 per kilowatt hour. If the vehicle is left at the station for more than two hours, an additional $5 per hour fee will incur as a penalty for monopolizing the space from other users. Salt Lake City stations average $0.23 per kilowatt hour with a $2 initiation fee. There are other stations that are privately owned and charge higher amounts. The city initially pays for the power that is used, but then receives money from Charge Point each month to pay for the electricity.

WestJordanJournal .com

Fees are collected through an online app that manages the programming of the station, as well as pays credit card fees. Brian Clegg, director of Public Works detailed the functioning of the station. “At the end of the month, the city will get a check from Charge Point from the customers who used the station.” City leaders are looking to convert their work force vehicles in the near future to electric cars. $600,000 a year is budgeted just for gas. Charging an electric vehicle is 20 percent of the cost of gasoline. Not all the vehicles, such as fire trucks, have the potential to be converted. But Public Works pickup trucks and potentially police cars could be electric. “We’re looking forward to the potential for saving on fuel costs,” Stoker said. “In the next year or two, they may be cheaper than traditional mechanical cars.” In addition to saving money on fuel, electric cars do not require as much maintenance. “An electric vehicle is very simple; it’s just a battery and an electric motor,” Stoker said. “You effectively do away with the need to do an oil change, to get your transmission fluid checked or brake fluid checked. You still have to rotate your tires and change your windshield wipers,

but that’s about it.” The city will save additional money by being able to eliminate the costs associated with frequent maintenance. Councilmember Kayleen Whitelock was concerned that the fee be ample to not only maintain the stations but to ensure ability to pay for repairs in the future as needed. “I want to make sure we’re charging more than it costs us to have enough to maintain and repair,” Whitelock said. Though the station is in West Jordan, local residents are not expected to be the primary users. “Usually, the people that will be using charging station will live outside our city,” White lock said. “They will charge at home, and when they’re going somewhere they charge there.” There are two other charging stations in West Jordan, but the only one owned and operated by the city is at the Public Works Building. Rocky Mountain Power has offered another similar grant, and West Jordan City may soon see another charging station near city hall in the near future. It is located at the Public Works Building on 7960 East 4000 West. l

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Setting smart resolutions

W

by

CASSIE GOFF

elcome to 2019! As we all begin to realize the consequences of those holiday snacks and dinners, pesky New Year’s resolutions nip at the frontal lobes of our brains. As we set goals to help us achieve those resolutions, it’s important to remember that we need to set goals that can be completed. Setting a resolution like “lose weight” ends up in a spiral of money lost into programs, diets, gym passes, specialty foods and more. George T. Doran publicized his theory on how to set attainable goals in November 1981. His theory was aimed toward individuals working in the business world, since his original paper was published in “The Management Review.” However, it was such a great idea that today his theory is widely used and almost universally recognized. Doran recommends setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. That’ll be easy to remember right? Let’s walk through each of those letters, and illustrate them through one of the most common resolutions last year: losing weight. A resolution of “I want to lose weight this year” is not considered to be a S.M.A.R.T. goal. S stands for specific. Doran suggests targeting “a specific area for improvement,” even identifying who is

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involved and what the action is. For our example, we could identify a loss of pounds, a healthier BMI, or reducing inches around your waistline. M stands for measurable. Doran proposes quantifying “an indicator of progress.” Luckily, for our example, this specific part of our S.M.A.R.T. goal overlaps a bit into measurable. We can measure how many inches around our waist or arms we have lost or see if our body fat percentage has gone down. A stands for achievable. Doran states that “the objective must be attainable with the amount of time and resources available.” In other words, we may think about this point as living within our means. If we know we will be able to set aside only three hours for exercise per week, and two hours for food preparation per week, our goal should not be to be as skinny as Keira Knightley or as bulky as Hulk Hogan. R stands for realistic. Doran advises creating “an objective that is reasonable to ensure achievement.” Health science research has found that an average human being can lose one to two pounds per week, healthily. So, our goal should only be to lose between four and eight pounds per month. T stands for timely. Doran recommends “specifying when results can be achieved.” Make sure to set time stamps

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Page 30 | January 2019

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for goals. In our example, if we want to lose weight within the next year, we should set smaller goals within that time frame. For example, maybe we can lose 20 pounds within the first three months and an additional 10 pounds within six months. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can be the difference between achieving New Year’s resolutions and failing to even grasp at them. If we are constantly setting unspecific, non-attainable goals, we may be setting ourselves up for failure. Such failure inevitably leads to a depreciation of mental health and personal

well-being. This may be the ultimate objective for the recommendation of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals: making sure we set ourselves up for success, while in the process, protecting the state of our mental health, and ensuring a personal well-being. And hey, setting S.M.A.R.T. goals allows us to save some money as well. Un-S.M.A.R.T. goals usually leave us in a frazzled scramble where we spend too much money on things we think will help us achieve our goals last minute. Avoiding that crunch time helps our brains, as well as our wallets. l

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Life and Laughter—High Intensity Interval Torture

Life

Laughter AND

by

PERI KINDER

WEST JORDAN

I

f you heard a loud groan echoing through the stratosphere, it wasn’t our planet finally imploding, it was the sound of millions of people rolling off their couches to start an exercise program for the new year. Maybe they want to lose 10 pounds, run a 5K - or maybe even a marathon if they think they’re some kind of freakin’ super hero. Some people hit the ground running. (I hit the ground every time I run. That’s why I stopped running.) Others might take a gradual approach, adding an extra five minutes each day until, like me, they’re exercising for five minutes each day. But some folks lunge directly into extreme exercise—trying to punish themselves into health, beating muscles into submission and then talking about it NONSTOP. There’s no one worse to talk to than someone who just discovered CrossFit. And people who do Parkour?? Intolerable. They jump from buildings, swing from trees, climb walls and don’t touch the ground for 24 hours. When I was a kid, this was called, “Don’t step in the lava” and we’d jump from couch to end table to piano bench to bookshelf to the safety of the kitchen floor. Now, it’s

basically an Olympic sport. There’s always a new health fad that promises to SHRED fat, BURN calories, BUILD muscles and DESTROY abs. (And they mean destroy in a good way.) Spokespeople are usually tree trunks with heads and are as hyped as a toddler mainlining Mountain Dew. If you trace exercise craziness back to its roots, you’ll find Jack LaLanne, the great-grandfather of fitness, and the first person to make everyone feel super crappy about their bodies. Jack LaLanne didn’t wear a shirt for 40 years. Before that, humans were basically doughy people who didn’t give a rip about biceps. Then, Jane Fonda high-kicked her way into the fitness industry, wearing high-cut leotards, leg warmers and terry-cloth armbands to fashionably wipe the sweat from her brow. She had a gajillion housewives burning calories with her VHS tapes, starting the workout-athome phenomenon. She’s 125 and will still kick your butt Now we’re obsessed with high-intensity fitness. (“We” meaning someone who isn’t me.) We throw down $50 to sweat through an excruciating hot yoga class, cycle like we’re being chased by stationary zombies and do hundreds of burpees to remixed hip-hop tunes.

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make your pee dark-red! Ew. I get it. Everyone wants a beach body, even though that term doesn’t really narrow it down. Walruses live on beaches. Whales have often been found on beaches. And even though I’m a Cancer, I’d rather not have the body of a crab. So before you roll off your couch this year, maybe set a fitness goal that

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January 2019 | Page 31


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West Jordan Journal January 2019  

West Jordan Journal January 2019

West Jordan Journal January 2019  

West Jordan Journal January 2019