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July 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 07

west Jordan




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By Jet Burnham |


ight students from Oakcrest Elementary earned their seventh Soaring Eagle Award this year—the only students to earn the award every single year since kindergarten. Jazilyn Mayhew, Carson Rasmussen, Savannah Davies, Teanna Sorensen, Kaidence Vance, Kyle Janzen, Madisyn Done and Kambrie Aguirre completed the yearly requirements that challenged them to go the extra mile. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment,” said Kyle. “I’ve done something every single year that some kids don’t do.” This year, about 16 percent of the students at Oakcrest earned the Soaring Eagle Award, which requires students to complete a list of activities outside the classroom. “These are things that each student has to do above and beyond the regular curriculum,” said Jen Aguirre, PTA president. “It takes a ton of work and effort for these kids to get this award.” Each grade level has different requirements, determined by the team of teachers. The sixth-grade award required students to complete 17 requirements this year. Students served their neighbors, provided babysitting, attended cultural events, developed new skills, planned fitness programs and presented extra reports. The students said they have seen the benefit from their years of hard work. “It teaches us more life skills and things we should do in our community and to be a good person,” said Kyle. Madsyn said she has begun a habit of pushing herself to do more than what’s required. Kambrie said it gives her a good feeling to challenge herself. Sixth-grade teacher Wilma Gustafson said the program encourages students to try new things. “It gives them a chance to really develop their character and push themselves to go above and beyond,” she said.

as low as


a month Christopher Lyon, whose daughter McKenzie is a first-grader, said the award requirements were a good supplement to classroom work. “All the academics come easy for her, so this gives her something to stretch her,” said Lyon. First-grader Kyson Nixon’s parents found working on the award was a good way to help their son channel his energy into engaged learning experiences. He read “Charlotte’s Web” and created his own spider web out of glue, paper and sticks. He also made an ABC Book, writing and illustrating it on his own.

Just eight students earned their Soaring Eagle Award every year from kindergarten to sixth grade. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)

She said it also prepares her sixth-graders for leadership roles in middle school. “I feel like it prepares us for next year in middle school, how we can be leaders in that school and be an example—even in the shadows,” said Jazlyn, who feels she can be a leader even if she’s not a student body officer. Kadience said she had to learn to prioritize her time to fit the extra work into her already busy schedule. “I remember in kindergarten it being a whole lot easier,” she said. “My sister is in kindergarten this year, and her Soaring Eagle was done in two weeks, while it took me this whole time to work on mine.” Janet Craven said for some of her fourth-graders, many of the activities coincided with what they were already doing with their church groups or families. She said many of the kids who earn the award are just naturally “extra-mile students.”

Thank You

“That kind of project actually helps keep his focus,” said Kyle’s father, Kent Nixon. “Once he starts the project, he lights up, and we try to let him come up with his own ideas, with his own creativity. I feel like it enriches his learning and creates memorable experiences that will strengthen his classroom studies.” Kyle’s mom, Kayla, believes the award reinforces life lessons. “It helps them realize if you put hard work into something, you get something out of it,” she said. What Kyle and the other 146 students got out of it was a sense of accomplishment, new skills and a medal engraved with their name. Kaidence believes the award is one every student can earn. “Not a lot of kids get very many chances to win big awards, and I think especially when you’re younger, it makes you feel really important and boosts your confidence to win it,” she said. l

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West Jordan City Journal

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

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he Viridian has many special events, exhibits and celebrations all year long. It is a prime gathering hub, central to the surrounding Salt Lake County library locations. When a unique program is launched, the public can learn and enjoy here. Card-members can check out books while they explore and play. Libraries definitely rock. On June 1, the Viridian hosted Libraries Rock, a summer reading kickoff event for 2018. This end-of-school transition party brought different types of rocks—the mineral ones you can study under a microscope, big plastic ones for scaling mountain-style and other types. When musicians bring the funky sweet beats, that really rocks too. It was a rock-stacked occasion with a catchy theme. Although sadly, Dwayne Johnson didn’t show. Surely, he would have come had he known about it. West Jordan police K-9 unit came to set a calm and safe mood for beginning the hot summer dog days. The working pups were available for petting and pictures. Kids could climb into the back of a real police vehicle and “rock” the thug look for a minute. A world champion yoyo master, Dale Myrberg performed rock ‘n swing toy pendulum tricks. Live goats were there. They didn’t balance on rocks but demonstrated solid, stable cuteness. Kids could test musical gizmos and make their own “sound sandwich,” a type of harmonica made with just a few craft materials. A photo station had blow-up guitars and punked-out sunglasses for rockin’ the selfie. Rockhounders came to offer information on their outreach programs, open to all ages. If there is any sliver of geology hobbyist inside you, visit Nyssa Fleig, library program manager who helps plan events, said, “We want to inspire a love of reading, and we want to encourage kids especially to read all through the summer. We’ve found that reading though the summer is one of the best indicators of school success.” The goal for this event is to rally summer reading for everyone and make participation simple. Walking in, each patron was greeted

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

with a reading record log to get started. No one was left under a rock (pardon the pun) or excluded. It is a fairly open-ended challenge for kids, little pre-readers, teens and adults too. The record log helps anyone jump into summer leisure and literacy goals. The library promotes even surface reading such as magazines, board game instruction manuals, or cool articles from the West Jordan Journal. It doesn’t have to be deep reading or an agonizing strain over Homer’s Odyssey. “Kids love to read when it’s not required,” Fleig said. “We don’t care if it’s a Facebook post or a novel. We don’t judge how reading is done. You can listen to an audiobook instead of reading. We just want people to engage their brains over the summer.” There’s also more to it than just motivating one to “library and chill.” The program encourages making things, gardening and going on adventures. “To complete the reading program you can actually read, learn, create, play or connect,”

Fleig said. “We want people to get out into the community and visit their local museums, their parks and all those kinds of things.” If you’re not ready to budget for big concert and theater tickets, there’s other great stuff happening here: The reading challenge also ends with rewards, when completed and turned in to your local library branch by July 31. “It’s very easy to participate,” Fleig said. “Once you complete it, you get a free book, you get a ticket to our Library Days at the Natural History museum of Utah and you get entered into a drawing.” If that motivates you, but you missed the celebration, pick up a reading challenge record from any county library branch or online at If you were there in person at the Libraries Rock event, maybe that would count as a first check-off goal in your summer reading log? Rock ‘n roll with it.l

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West Jordan City Journal

West Jordan struggles to find its artistic identity West Jordan theater troupe hoping to find a home, again By Bob Bedore | “The show must go on.” That’s the motto etched on the hearts of anyone who has been bitten by the theater bug. But for the Sugar Factory Playhouse, that phrase has often been expanded to, “The show must go on, even when we don’t know where it’s going to go on.” Since its beginnings in 1995, when it was called the West Jordan Performing Arts Board, the members of the Sugar Factory Playhouse have been forced to move from one place to another in order to find space for their performances. They have made use of everything from parks to libraries and meetinghouses to rodeo grounds. Even more strange, the West Jordan Community Theater has had to do multiple shows at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. “It’s hard at times and makes us feel like a moving theater group, like Gypsies,” said Michelle Groves, an original member of the organization and current Chairwoman of the Sugar Factory Playhouse. “Every time we move, we have to go through our stuff because our storage gets smaller and smaller. It never fails. Once you throw something away, the next show you’re thinking, I needed that! Then, there’s the problem of our patrons being confused as to where to find our shows. It’s hard to follow us. Social media has helped, but it still gets confusing.” Still, this group of people, dedicated to presenting arts within their home city, soldier on. Each year, it produces four shows, giving an outlet for residents to act, make costumes, build sets and all other manner of things a show can do, but also for people to come see good theater at a price suited for families. “The show must go on.” What makes the plight of the Sugar Factory Playhouse stand out more is that West Jordan is Utah’s fourth-largest city. At more than 100,000 residents, West Jordan dwarfs many cities that have had permanent structures for their arts programs. A new facility is in the plans, but even that isn’t a given yet. More on that in a moment, but first, here is a rundown of Sugar Factory’s history. Sugar Factory Playhouse through the years In 1995, It produced its first show, “Dude Ranch,” a script from Hale Center Theater’s founder Ruth Hale. This was held in a picnic pavilion in West Jordan Main Park. During its time in the park, the group rehearsed and stored items in the attic of city hall. Many nights were spent in the park providing their own overnight security on the sets for productions. The group did a show every summer in the park, occasionally finding a spot indoors for a winter show. The success of their shows led it to look for something more permanent. 2002 brought the group a chance to move indoors as it started to do its shows in the old meetinghouse by city hall. It could now store items, rehearse and even produce a show in the building, all while sharing the building with the Gene Fullmer boxing club. It didn’t last long, however, because the new fire station was built,

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Groundbreaking takes place on the proposed site for West Jordan’s new center for the arts. (West Jordan City)

and the group had to find a new home. An old Sugar Factory became the home. For six years, the troupe produced popular theater in a building that had little access, parking in the dirt, no real marquee and a theater that was something only slightly better realized than the days of Spanky and Alfalfa putting on shows in their barn. The use of the stage required ingenuity and creativity. The main part of the building also gave them a great amount of the storage. The troupe shared the building with different city entities, but it felt like home to the members—so much so its current name reflects those years. But then with three days before the opening of “See How They Run,” condemned notices suddenly appeared on the doors. Michelle Groves said that her husband, Vic, then the chair of the committee, got a call a few hours before they were to show up for final rehearsals. “That was our hardest time,” Michelle Groves said.. “To drive up on a Monday and see ‘Building Condemned – Do No Enter’ signs up, and the building locked, was crazy. It was like a kick to the stomach.” Midvale leaders came to the rescue and let “See How They Run” perform at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. The set had to be changed to fit the new stage, and the actors had to redo much of their blocking — the show involves a great deal of running around (as the name might indicate), but in the end, the show went off as if nothing had happened. “The show must go on.” Since that time ,West Jordan’s community theater has been without anything resembling a home, and each year seems to force the group to narrow the collection of props, costumes and other equipment needed for shows. A new home was proposed at the new Viridian Library. However the set-up is more like a high school gym with no stage or lighting. To make matters worse, the county introduced policies and restrictions that made doing a run of a

show difficult. This comes despite the city giving the land and money for the library. 2012–2015 saw productions put on at elementary and high schools, Pioneer Hall, inside the community room of city hall and once at the rodeo grounds. That last one was “South Pacific,” and everyone involved with the production gives a resounding “never again” to the idea of doing another show there. In 2015, county officials made a deal with West Jordan leaders and gave them the old county library. The troupe was allowed to store, rehearse and produce small performances there. Things looked like they were finally turning around, and the building was dubbed “OLAF” (Old Library Arts Facility) by the troupe. Everyone went to work to get the building ready for their opening show, “39 Steps.” This would be the one and only show performed in the building. Fire officials said the building didn’t meet code for a theater, and the troupe was once again looking for a home. Though it was allowed to store items and rehearse in that building until the recent sale. Currently, the Sugar Factory performs two shows a year in the Midvale Performing Arts Center (“All Shook Up” opens there July 12), and two shows in Pioneer Hall. Storage remains at a premium, as the troupe had to once again throw out a bunch of items that it will surely need soon. Also, the members are back to trying to find new rehearsal space. This has resulted in them trying to choreograph big dance numbers in the small art gallery in city hall. A (spot)light at the end of the tunnel Things could be on the upswing again for the Sugar Factory Playhouse. City officials were able to sell the “OLAF” with the money earmarked for a center for the arts, and an area in Veterans Memorial Park has been set aside for the building. There was even a ceremonial groundbreaking event held with gold shovels and plenty of cameras last November. But as the space remains fenced off, those

gold shovels are all that have disturbed the ground in eight months. City leaders have not wavered that they would like to have a place for the arts, but now the location seems to be in jeopardy as Utah Department of Transportation officials have pointed out the chosen spot and building orientation might not work with the easements they have along 7800 south. And then there is the fact money will always be an issue. The money from the sale gives the group a start, but it’s not enough to finish the job. There is worry within the troupe that once again the money will be used elsewhere, and it will remain homeless. Michelle Groves believes arts are vital to a city. “Arts are important for all mankind,” she said. “They make for a more well-rounded person. They instill confidence to do all sorts of things. And on a city level, it’s important. It’s always been a part of cities. There’s always been a city band, or theater, or choir. It brings families together. They can do all of this together, whether performing or watching.” And yet, with the importance of a thriving arts program, and the fact that most Utah cities have a location, West Jordan still struggles to find an artistic identity. “People looking to help can reach out to us to volunteer,” Michelle Groves said. “They can show the city that they think arts are important by writing to the city council — let them know they are excited to have a center for the arts. They can donate to the facility. They can come to our shows and applaud the efforts. There are many ways they can help.” And with that, Sugar Factory Playhouse members remain optimistic that the future will be bright and they won’t be homeless for long. But until that day, they will continue to find places to perform and strive to put on the best shows they can, because even though where they do a show might always be in the air, one thing remains…“The show must go on.” l

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July 2018 | Page 5

Field of flags commemorates and seeks to prevent deaths from child abuse


wen Knight, a leader with the West Jordan Exchange Club, said last October in West Jordan, “A 13-day-old baby boy died as a result of child abuse. This sadly reminds us of the importance of child abuse awareness, prevention education and resources.” Bright and early on Saturday morning, June 2, volunteers met at the Veterans Memorial Park near 7800 South 2200 West to set up around 1,000 American flags to remind people about preventing child abuse. “Each year we have between 1,600 and 1,700 deaths in the United States from child abuse,” said Knight. “This field is commemorating all those kids that passed away.” The annual event is sponsored by the West Jordan Exchange Club, which is a local chapter of the national service club. Many others helped as well. “We have some great volunteers here from Wells Fargo, some from JustServe, and we also have the fire department here helping us,” said Knight. The Exchange Club has three core values: country, family, and community. Their national project is child abuse prevention. “During the year the club does different activities in these core areas. For instance, for ‘community’ we help with Comcast Cares day. We will do a flag raising ceremony on the 4th of July, and we have a float in the local parade for ‘country,’” said Knight. The organization holds fundraisers during the year to help support their core values. This year they adopted a school, Columbia elementary, and they helped put up a pinwheel garden during the month of April, which is child abuse

Page 6 | July 2018

By Ruth Hendricks |

The West Jordan Exchange Club and other volunteers completed the field of flags. (Reed Scharman/West Jordan Exchange Club)

prevention month. Reed Scharman recently retired after 35 years with the police and the West Jordan fire department. “Six years ago, Rick Davis, who was the former city manager, wanted to see some participation from the city in these groups, so the police and fire departments became members of the Exchange Club and just volunteered,” said Scharman. Scharman explained that if an emergency call comes, members of the fire department leave to attend to that, but they help out at the field while they can. The fire department also allows the club to store the flags in a trailer at

their station. “The whole idea is just to get people to think about child abuse,” said Scharman. “Because we’re patriotic, American flags just seem natural, and people notice them. Part of stopping or helping to reduce child abuse is to get people talking about it.” The Exchange Club also helps sponsor the Children’s Justice Center car show and supports South Valley Services, which is a domestic violence shelter located in West Jordan. Last year was the first time the club posted a notice on the volunteer website JustServe. org, which lists volunteer projects. Anyone can

go on the site, see what needs there are in their neighborhood, and just sign up or show up. Knight works for Prevent Child Abuse Utah. Their website,, offers free resources. A 30-minute course teaches parents how to recognize child sexual abuse. Another course for adults who work with kids covers all four types of abuse. “Kids that are most susceptible to fatalities are children under three, because they can’t talk or protect themselves,” said Knight. “Lots of times kids don’t report abuse because they are afraid they won’t be believed. One of the things we teach is that if you are abused, it’s not your fault, and that you should keep telling people until someone believes you. And we are telling adults to always believe a child and report, because research shows that few children lie about being abused.” Knight said that everyone over the age of 18 in Utah is a mandated reporter, which means that if you suspect abuse, if a child reveals it to you, or if you witness abuse, you should call either child protective services or law enforcement. It’s a “good faith” law, meaning that if you report in good faith, you can’t be sued. The field of flags stayed up for two weeks, until June 16, at which point the volunteers returned again to take down the display. The West Jordan Exchange Club always welcomes new members ages 18 and older who like to serve in their community. The group has a Facebook page, or you can email Gwen Knight at to learn more about the club. l

West Jordan City Journal

Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Stick to fireflies


hen it comes to Utah insects, a few on the easy-to-spot list would be grasshoppers, ants, wasps and boxelder bugs. Earwigs find a way to make a casual sashay up the walls here. Daddy long-legs seem to have a rockhound club in every valley window well. Mosquitos regularly perform a funky flash mob out on the lakes. Pill bugs hide smart and tight in our suburbia sidewalk cracks. Moths find their place of expiration in that common graveyard of sliding door tracks. We have our predictable Utah creepy-crawlies. But, don’t let the stink bug you accidentally squashed curb your wild creature enthusiasm. It’s a good time to see something new. There are luminous beetle characters showing up on the Utah scene—fireflies. They are a curious thing, flashing their creature rhythm of morse-style code. They are convincing many that there is more biodiversity to our state than we think. Utah entomologists and insect experts have a proposition for local citizens. Researchers can use our assistance for a firefly citizen science project. The Natural History Museum of Utah and BYU specialists have merged efforts to find and observe firefly populations, and they’re looking for help. To badly mis-quote a 1990s hit TLC song… “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.” Please stick to the wetlands and the mud that you’re used to, and help find fireflies. You can visit the citizen project details here:, where you can learn about these interesting beetles, submit sightings, and view a firefly map of where they’ve been observed. The map has a spread out selection of possible places to find them.

WestJordanJournal .com

By Amy Green |

A large firefly sculpture lights up with the press of a button at Natural History Museum of Utah. (Amy Green/City Journals)

The project can help offer clues of where more might be found. For those interested in experiencing creatures behind glass, there is a temporary firefly exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah. When asked whether fireflies are native or invasive to Utah, Christy Bills, entomology collections manager at the Natural History Museum of Utah clarifies that fireflies are in fact, indigenous. “They’ve been here forever. They’re not strong flyers. Once they’re in an area, they can’t move away from that area very successfully,” Bills said. She explained how some people believe

anecdotes of how their ancestors must have brought fireflies to Utah in a jar. It’s not common to spot a firefly though. “We don’t know about them, but farmers who go out to their pastures at night—they have known about them,” Bills noted. Just one firefly logged to the map, gives a whole lot of data. There’s hope to find more, and to involve citizen scientists or even just outdoor enthusiasts, to take on new purpose in their adventures. It could be a fun outing to search, find, get pictures of, and actually log a firefly onto the community map. It’s likely that more firefly sightings would

be in areas with wet reeds, near still waters and around wild corn dogs (cattails). These are the best places to spot them. Head toward muddy areas. “Swaner Preserve (Park City), Spring Lake (near Provo) and Nibley (Cache County) are three places to possibly see them,” Bills suggests. “But, you never know. I hate to say ‘go there and you’ll see one’. You can never shop the wild,” she reminds. Go out during nighttime hours and it seems like one might want a headlamp and sturdy galoshes to go searching. If you go firefly spotting, remember to wear proper bug repellant, full coverage outerwear and choose a safe plan. Let others know where you’re going. These things are always best done in groups and with an adult. If you see fireflies, “Leave them alone,” Bills said. “We have the web farm (website above) for people to report that they’ve seen them. We never harm the population,” she explained. The few that are taken by scientists, are kept in a specimen collection and used for important nationwide research. “They are not an endangered species,” Bills assured. No one is going to have to give up their property for government scrutiny, or areas won’t become restricted if fireflies are spotted. Be careful not to trespass on others’ privacy though. Go firefly searching in public areas. Scientists are calling for those who enjoy a tiny species hunt, to help communicate where a firefly has been seen. Even if we can only spot one—playing the fiddle, living inside a giant peach or eating its way through a wild corn dog. Each glowing firefly has loads of valuable information to offer us, with just one more dazzling dot on the map. l

July 2018 | Page 7

Elvis and Shakespeare collide in fun musical

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The Draper City Amphitheater Presents:

The Music of Starring Jim Curry and Band

Saturday, August 18 • 8pm

One of America’s greatest singers and songwriters Featuring all your favorites and more: • Rocky Mountain High • Sunshine on my Shoulders • Thank God I’m a Country Boy • Leaving on a Jet Plane • Grandma’s Feather Bed • Calypso • Annie’s Song • Take Me Home, Country Roads

For tickets and more info visit:

Page 8 | July 2018

As expected when your show features all Elvis songs, nearly every number in “All Shook Up” is a show stopper. (Travis Green)


he Sugar Factory Playhouse is about to “Shake Up” West Jordan — in the best way possible. The local theater company is pleased to present its latest show, “All Shook Up,” and fans of Elvis, ‘50s dance steps, slicked-back hair, romance and Shakespeare have a lot to be excited about. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” “All Shook Up” tells the story of a small-town girl with big dreams from somewhere in the middle of a square state in the middle of a square decade and the motorcycle-riding stud she falls for. But the romance isn’t reserved for just them; half the town gets caught up in love. As the town bartender, Silvis, says, “Somethings going on in this town.” “All Shook Up” is inspired by and features the songs of Elvis Presley and the book by Joe DiPierto. It is directed by Michelle Groves. “The show is super fun,” said Brian Buhler, who plays the Elvis-like roustabout Chad. “The singing, the dancing and the script is absolutely hilarious.” The cast features many West Jordan residents, including Buhler, Brieanna Michaelis, Caleb Hintze, Jeannie Hawkins and MeriLynne

Michaelis. Michele Groves, who has directed and acted in many Sugar Factory shows over the years, is also a resident. Many of Elvis’ biggest hits have been worked into the musical. You’ll tap your toes to the likes of “Burning Love,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and a whole lot more. The cast has been working hard on the dance moves and is excited to get the show in front of an audience. For Buhler, this show has had him playing a little outside of his comfort zone. It’s not easy for a 16-year-old to tap into the swiveled hips and snarled lip that has melted the legs of screaming girls for decades, but this young actor is more than up for the task. “Right now, the hardest part is keeping up the energy of the character the whole time, but I’m having a great time,” the young actor said, a smile always on his face that’s sure to do nearly as much damage to female hearts as the King himself. “All Shook Up” first ran on Broadway in 2005 and has become a popular show for schools, regional theaters and tours. Strangely enough, there have been two long stays of the show in Seoul, South Korea. For the tour in the

United Kingdom, the show’s title was changed to “Love Me Tender.” Some might remember the show being in the news locally back in 2013 when Herriman High School was about to perform the show and some parents complained that it was too racy. The cast was allowed to make some changes, and the show was allowed to continue. But don’t worry about anything with this show; it’s full of Elvis charm and all the ‘50s goodness the stage can handle. It’s deemed appropriate for all ages. Performances will be July 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on July 14 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center (695 Center Street). Doors open a half hour before the show, and seating is unassigned. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for children (12 and under), seniors (60 and over), students (with ID) and groups of 10 or more (must purchase tickets at the same time). You may purchase tickets in advance at Macey’s grocery store in West Jordan (7859 South 3200 West) or at the door with cash or check.l

West Jordan City Journal

Behind-the-scenes look at major fireworks shows By Lana Medina |


he telltale BOOM goes off, followed by several more bursts, and then a series of fireworks flash into the sky. Every July 4 and 24, crowds come from far and wide to witness one of dozens of fireworks shows that light up the Salt Lake valley. Behind the scenes, it’s a very different picture. “I think of it as painting a canvas,” said Lantis Fireworks salesman and licensed Utah pyrotechnician Jeffery Ott. “And I have the sky to paint on.” Lantis Fireworks produces some of the major fireworks productions in the Salt Lake Valley, including the popular Salt Lake City and Sandy City fireworks shows. Each one of those 15- 20-minute fireworks displays takes hours of work to organize the performance, set up fireworks connections, coordinate with local fire marshals and ensure safety. Organizing One of the most prominent shows in the Salt Lake Valley is the one where hundreds of fireworks shoot off the roof of the Sandy City Hall every Fourth of July. Months beforehand, Lantis Fireworks is coordinating with Sandy City officials to decide how long the show will be, how close viewers can get to Sandy City Hall and still be safe, and what music will help time out the display. In the background of almost every fireworks show are carefully timed pieces of music, stitched together, to which the fireworks are choreographed to match tempo. “When you’re playing ‘The Star Spangled banner,’ you’re not shooting pow, pow, pow; you’re shooting one shell, then another,” Ott said. “You want your shells in the air to match the music. The music really dictates what you see.” This year, it won’t just be music. Sandy City is partnering with FM radio station Z104 to broadcast the music, along with recordings of service members’ wives talking about them coming home. “We try not to make it just about things exploding,” said Mearle Marsh, community events director for Sandy City. “The ending has always been spectacular; we don’t expect anything less this year.” Marsh says this is the second year that Sandy City will have fireworks discharged from the roof of the Sandy City Hall. “It’s a challenging location, but it makes for a really beautiful setting for the fireworks,” he said. Lantis Fireworks and Sandy City officials have big plans for this year’s fireworks display. There are the “cake” fireworks: multi-shot aerial fireworks that make a rapid staccato burst of noise during the show. Then, in the Sandy City show, there are the 3-inch shells that light up the night sky with a big boom; the two combine to create the overall, bigger fireworks display. By using a mix of colors and matching several different types of shells to music, a “Pyro” techni-

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Months of work goes into creating a memorable fireworks display. (Lantis Fireworks)

Lantis Fireworks sets off several types of fireworks in a final performance. (Lantis Fireworks)

cian can create an amazing fireworks show for viewers. “Pyros” This term may sound like a dangerous person with fire, but for fireworks, it’s the exact opposite. “Think about a conductor conducting an orchestra, that’s what a Pyro does; they’re part conductor and part magician,” Ott said. Lantis Fireworks’ Pyro technicians go through extensive training before they can even touch one of the production fireworks. According to the state of Utah regulations, Pyro technicians — or Pyros for short — are required to work on at least three fireworks shows and go through extensive safety training. Once they meet these requirements, a potential pyro technician can then take a test to get a license that would allow them to legally shoot off production-quality fireworks. “Production is a 1.3G fireworks classifica-

tion,” Ott said. “The stuff that your neighbors are doing, that’s consumer grade, that’s 1.4G. It’s measure on gram weight per item. Consumer is supposed to be safer, less gunpowder.” Ott also but cautioned that, “all fireworks are explosives.” All that training is necessary. At every show, there are fire marshals, firefighters and other emergency experts on hand in case something goes wrong. Safety “We’re attempting to put explosives in the air in a safe manner,” Ott said. Safety is the No. 1 priority for Lantis Fireworks pyro technicians, Ott explained. “We take every possible safety precaution from the time they’re loaded onto the truck, up until the point we shoot them, and even while we’re shooting them,” he said. “Because the truth of it is, if you’re lucky and something bad happens, you’ll lose a finger. If they don’t get

lucky, they get dead. You have to think like a fire marshal. Safety is always your first priority.” Ott remembers a few years ago during a Lantis production in the Salt Lake Valley, and there was a wind shift. “When a shell goes off, it doesn’t just go up into the air; there’s often some fiery debris that comes out of the mortar tube along with the shell ,” he said. “We had some fiery debris that blew over and two-thirds of the way through the show; it prematurely ignited part of the finale (fireworks). So some of that ‘boom, boom, boom’ started going off much sooner than it was supposed to.” There are specific rules governing major production-style fireworks displays. For every 1-inch shell used in a fireworks show, viewers have to be kept at a distance of 70 feet in radius from the firework discharge zone. This means at the Sandy City Hall, when Lantis Fireworks uses 3-inch shells to light up the night sky, nobody except for the licensed pyro technicians and safety personnel can be within 210 feet in any direction from the roof of the Sandy City Hall where the fireworks are set off. Local fire officials will be on hand at these major fireworks displays. Salt Lake City Fire spokeswoman Audra Sorenson said they prefer it when Utahns visit the fireworks shows instead of setting off their own fireworks, because it’s much more safe. “Going to a fireworks display that’s sponsored by a city or company is ideal for us,” Sorenson said. “They work hand in hand with the city to make sure the location, the display and conditions are ideal so that they’re discharged properly. We can work hand in hand with those shows’ teams to make sure it’s a safe fireworks display.” Setup For a 20-minute show, it can take a team of Pyro technicians 10–12 hours to set up the fuses, tubes, electronics and fireworks for the display. “You have to wire in every shell by hand.,” Ott said. “Then if it’s choreographed, every shell has a specific place it has to be wired in.” But when it’s done right, you end up creating a lasting and memorable experience for everyone watching—from young children who’ve never seen a fireworks show, to the people who never miss a fireworks show. “Our whole goal is the ooh, ahh, wow,” Ott said. “That two to three seconds of silence between the last shell going off and thunderous applause that often follows a show is beautiful.” If local residents are planning to set off their own fireworks, there’s a map showing restricted areas: For the month of July, residents can legally discharge fireworks July 2 to 5, and July 22 to 25. l

July 2018 | Page 9

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West Jordan City Journal

Practically perfect nanny graces local theaters By Lana Medina |


he winds are changing, and Mary Poppins is passing through Utah productions. Decades ago, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke immortalized the iconic film “Mary Poppins,” and now with the newest Mary Poppins movie due to hit the box office in December, local productions are bringing back their own versions this summer. The Draper City Arts Council showed off its own version at the Draper Amphitheater in June. The practically perfect nanny also landed at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City for several shows in June. And at the Midvale Main Street Theatre, 21 children — from 8 to 18 years old — danced and sang their way through a choreographed production of “Mary Poppins Jr.,” to the delight of packed audiences. Mary and her friend Bert danced and sang on stage to the popular songs “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and much more. “You wake up with the songs in your head,” Tammy Ross, who owns the Midvale Theatre, joked before one of the last performances of “Mary Poppins Jr.” The junior production started training three months before opening night, and Ross said “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” took months to get just right. Tammy’s daughter Cassidy Ross, who produced the show, said all their regular junior cast members have been begging for a dance show for ages. When “Mary Poppins Jr.” became available to perform this year, she leapt at the chance. “We chose it because it gave them a challenge in choreography,” Cassidy Ross said. “Tap dancing came back, a bit of Broadway choreography.” The live theater production follows the story of the popular 1964 film, and the songs are similar, but there are dozens of changes to the live theater version. And the newest Mary Poppins film is expected to be an even bigger change. The film, “Mary Poppins Returns,” is scheduled to hit the box office on Christmas Day. According to The film is a sequel to the 1964 film and follows Mary Poppins revisiting Michael and Jane Banks, now grown up, after they experience a family tragedy. Dick Van Dyke is the only returning member of the 1964 cast. The new film stars Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, a lamplighter and apprentice to Jack from the first film. “It’s good timing,” said Tammy Ross about the Midvale Main Street Theatre’s live production of “Mary Poppins Jr.,” but she says it wasn’t planned in connection to the upcoming Disney film. “It was just one of those things.” Cassidy Ross picked “Mary Poppins Jr.” for the theater’s junior production this year because it had just been released, and she was looking for a musical for the kids to perform.

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The teens playing Mary and Bert were excited minutes before their final performance. “It’s inspiring to see all the emotions that come out of people,” said 18-year-old Lilah Straaten, who played Mary. “I work with kids, it’s so fun to see all their smiles.” This was Straaten’s first performance with the Midvale Main Street Theatre, and she said she loves live theater. And for this local production, there’s been something new every night. “Our Mr. Banks broke his foot,” Cassidy Ross said. “Funny enough, (he was) sitting on a side table and the table broke, and he just landed wrong and broke his foot. But he rocks it on crutches.” During another performance, the lights flickered on and off at the beginning of the second act, and the cast had to pretend nothing was happening. For 18-year-old Wyatt Stensrud, who played Bert, this production has helped inspire him to pursue acting when he attends college in fall 2018. “I love seeing the power theater has,” Stensrud said. “(The audience) can come, see a show and relate to someone in the show.” The Mary Poppins character performance inspired one 3-year-old girl so much that she has attended almost every summer performance in full Mary Poppins costume and even posed for a picture with Straaten after the production ended, Cassidy Ross said. The scheduled productions of Mary Poppins ended in June, but there are several other local theater shows planned for the rest of the year in Utah. l

Mary Poppins, played by Lilah Straaten, poses with a 3-year-old girl dressed as Mary Poppins on stage after the Midvale Main Street Theatre’s “Mary Poppins Jr.” production. (Courtesy Midvale Main Street Theatre)

Lilah Straaten and Wyatt Strensrud star as Mary and Bert, performing alongside Jane and Michael Banks in the Midvale Main Street Theatre’s “Mary Poppins Jr.” production. (Lana Medina/City Journals)

July 2018 | Page 11

Golden Spoke ride unites bikers, communities of Wasatch Front By Justin Adams |


early 150 years ago, railroad workers from the east coast and west coast met at Promontory Point, Utah, where they signified the connection between the two halves of America with a Golden Spike. On June 2, bikers from across the Wasatch Front rode from Ogden in the north and Provo in the south and met one another at the center of the new Jordan River Parkway Bridge in Salt Lake City to celebrate the completion of over 100 miles of continuous multi-use trails. The name of the event (as well as the new trail system itself): the Golden Spoke. “It was a great ride,” said Matt Christensen, who rode from the mouth of Provo Canyon, where riders met as early as 5:15 a.m. Christensen said the various new additions to the trail system make using it much easier for Utah bikers. “I rode, and it wasn’t all connected so you would get lost in neighborhoods,” he said. “Like the Jordan Narrows area, past Thanksgiving Point, is all connected now which is great. Before you had to go up and do a big detour. So yeah, it’s great to be able to stay on trails all the way through and avoid all the traffic.” The trail system is now the longest multiuse trail west of the Mississippi River. After the two groups of riders met on the bridge, they gathered at nearby Fisher Mansion in Salt Lake City for a celebration that included

food trucks, a bike course for kids and public speakers. “It was a great ride,” said Scott Barrett, a Sugar House resident who regularly uses the trails system as well as public transportation to commute to his job in Draper every day. “There were all types of riders, all types of bikes, and we had great weather.” The trail system’s potential for providing Utah residents with alternative commuting options was noted by both event organizers and guest speakers, including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who attended the celebration portion of the event at Fisher Mansion. “This helps us with our air quality as we get off of our vehicles and onto bicycles,” said Herbert. Herbert also drew comparisons between the Golden Spoke trail system and the Golden Spike, the place where the Transcontinental Railroad’s east and west ends met in Promontory Point, Utah. “The Golden Spoke’s a little more regional, a little more local, but no less important,” said Herbert. “The Transcontinental Railroad connected the east and west coasts together so America was a little smaller. What we’re doing here with these trails is connecting our communities, making it so we can in fact work together and appreciate each other’s communities.” Herbert was joined by other local leaders,

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Page 12 | July 2018

Bikers from the south head up the Jordan River Parkway Bridge, where they met with another group of riders who came from the north. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

such as Mike Caldwell, the mayor of Ogden, as well as the chair of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, a cooperative alliance of local government leaders tasked with finding and implementing innovative transportation solutions to accommodate Utah’s rapidly growing population.

“I think this can only happen in the state of Utah, where communities come together, they work together, they collaborate, they coordinate,” Caldwell said. “I don’t see this kind of work happening in any other state that I’ve had exposure to.” l

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West Jordan City Journal



JULY 2018

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

West Jordan Neighborhoods Encouraged to Register for 2018 National Night Out Neighborhoods throughout West Jordan are invited to join communities across the country and participate in National Night Out from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7. On the night of the event, residents throughout West Jordan are asked to turn on their porch lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors, police officers and elected officials.

“Leave your lights on, give crime a going away party” “It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors which is the best way to keep neighborhoods safe and free of crime,” said Mayor Jim Riding. Cookouts, block parties and neighborhood walks will occur simultaneously throughout the City as members of the West Jordan Police Department and City Council team up to visit registered neighborhoods. Contact WJPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Christie Jacobs at Christie. or 801-256-2032 to register your neighborhood by July 31. National Night Out is an annual nationwide grassroots event designed to heighten crime awareness, generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships.

Meet the Mayor Date Change Regular “Meet the Mayor” hours have changed. Beginning July, open hours for residents to meet with Mayor Riding will be the second and fourth Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. No appointment necessary. If these times do not work for you, please contact Heather Everett at 801-569-5105 or heather.everett@westjordan. to schedule an appointment.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

Strengthening Our Sense of Community A strong sense of community enriches lives with feelings of belonging, identity and connectedness. In this digital era, it’s more vital than ever to strengthen those connections to family, neighborhood and community. There are many opportunities for individuals and families to be involved in the community within West Jordan, and a lot of them are happening soon. I’ve listed a few ideas below: West Jordan has a great tradition of community events, and the Western Stampede is happening this month. It’s been going on for 64 years now and has become our iconic City event. If you haven’t already participated, please do . . . and take your family. With everything from the rodeo and carnival to pie eating contests and a Fourth of July parade, there’s something for everyone. Volunteering is also a great way to feel like you belong and are a contributing member of the community. The City has many volunteer opportunities that range from one-time commitments to ongoing committee membership. Whether you’re interested in the arts, the environment, healthy living or improving parks, chances are we have a volunteer opportunity you’d enjoy. Visit our website at for more information or contact Heather Everett at 801-569-5105 or Speaking of the arts, come out a support one of our local Arts Council functions. We have a fantastic theatre group that will be performing “All Shook Up” at the Midvale Performing Arts Center July 12-23 at 7:30 p.m. Go to for details. Get to know and look out for your neighbors. A great way to do this is to organize a block party for National Night out on Aug. 7. On the night of the event, residents throughout West Jordan will attend neighborhood block parties and police officers and elected officials will divide up to visit them. Make your voice heard on issues within the City by signing up for our Citizen Panel. When issues arise, the City will reach out to get your feedback. Email to opt in. Attend a City Council meeting or if your schedule doesn’t allow you to come to City Hall, we are now streaming our City Council meetings live on Facebook. City Council meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 8000 S Redwood Rd. Every meeting has time allotted for citizen comments, and we’d love to hear what you have to say. Or bring your concerns to me personally during the bi-weekly “Meet the Mayor” open office hours, from 3-5 p.m. every second and fourth Wednesday. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to come to City Hall, watch a City Council meeting on YouTube or just visit one of our many City-sponsored Facebook pages to stay informed and give us your feedback. In our increasingly electronic-dependent society, it’s easy to feel isolated. Join with me in keeping West Jordan strong and connected.


Construction Update Construction season continues as crews work to keep the different utilities and roadways in good condition. Please be patient and plan accordingly. You can find more information on the city’s website at WestJordan.Utah.Gov on the “Construction” page that can be accessed from the homepage.

7000 SOUTH UTILITY PROJECT The east side of Redwood Road is finished. Crews continue to work west of Redwood Road connecting neighborhoods into the new sewer main. This work will continue to impact traffic and the ability to make left-hand turns both into the neighborhood side streets and onto 70th South. Please exercise caution and follow traffic control devices.

CONSTITUTION PARK DETENTION BASIN IMPROVEMENTS Construction is underway to lower the Constitution Park detention basin. This project includes water, sewer, storm drain, and park construction, and road reconstruction on 7000 South from the canal through the intersection. The project will install a new storm drain pipeline and lower the detention pond which will add capacity to city systems to handle a 100-year rainfall. The trees which were removed will be replaced.

5600 WEST CONSTRUCTION The city is widening 5600 West from 7800 South to 8600 South to five lanes, adding a new traffic signal at 8200 South, new storm drain, sidewalk, bike lanes, lighting and a privacy wall where none exist. Crews are currently working on preparing the sub-surface for the new roadway on the west side of 5600 between 7800 and 8200. A new box culvert is being installed that requires the presence of a crane in the work zone. One lane in each direction will be open. Please stay up to date by signing up for email updates at or by calling the hotline at 888966-6624. Additional information can be found by visiting www.westjordan.utah. gov/5600-west-construction-project.

4000 WEST 9000 SOUTH INTERSECTION ROAD WIDENING PROJECT Construction is underway on the 4000 West 9000 South road widening project and is expected to last about two months to widen 4000 West (on the west side), install a new signal and construct new curb, gutter and sidewalk from 9000 South to 9150 South. The project will restrict traffic on 4000 West. This is a joint project between the city and UDOT.

BANGERTER INTERCHANGE – 9000 SOUTH The new overpass at Bangerter Highway and 9000 South is open with two lanes of traffic in each direction, eliminating a signal for north and southbound traffic. Bangerter Highway will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between 9000 South and 7800 South during daytime hours. Lanes will continue to be reduced to one lane in each direction nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Temporary striping will be in place as crews complete roadway work on the north side of the new overpass, along with shoulder, drainage and fiber optic work. New barrier from 9000 South to 7800 South has been installed.

ONGOING TURN LANE RESTRICTIONS THROUGH LATE SUMMER Turn lanes to and from northbound Bangerter Highway closed June 23 as crews began construction of the northbound on and off ramps. Initial work includes demolition and removal of the old roadway surface, excavation along shoulder areas and hauling large volumes of fill materials to build the ramps. Work will continue day and night. Contact the project public information team by calling the hotline at 888-766ROAD (7623) or emailing or visit for the latest updates.



Local Utah Artists Exhibit Their Work at the Schorr A new exhibit is set to open at the City Hall Schorr Gallery featuring the work of local artists David Jones, Collette Tomlinson, Ron Moulton and Diann Higbee. An opening reception will be held opening night July 12 from 7-8:30 p.m. The public is invited. The artists are all members of the Intermountain Society of Artists and will exhibit a variety of their art. David grew up in the West and became interested in art when his parents took him to art galleries, show and art exhibitions at the State Fair. “I always enjoyed the outdoors and country life. Farms, ranches, horses and people who lived the rural lifestyle fascinated me, especially the cowboys,” said Jones. “I started painting in the late 1970s and attended excellent workshops with wonderfully talented artists but am primarily self-taught in my artist pursuits.” Collette grew up on her father’s farm in South-Central Utah in a tiny town once named Vermillion. “I loved the red-tan swarthy hills around my town, with their complement of emerald in swathes and patches, sun and shadow,” she said. “Through my paintings, I want to describe the diverse, beautiful scenery and the people I see in ‘Just Plain ol’ Utah’.” Salt Lake City native Ron Moulton has always loved art. “I’d spend my early years drawing stick figures and cartoons,” he said. “Since then I have taken many art classes and workshops from respectable instructors. My first painting teacher taught color theory, which gave me a solid foundation to build upon.” Moulton works in oils and paints landscapes in the impressionistic style. Diann Higbee of South Jordan, is an artist in many ways, not only does she paint, but produces art through her metal works, her Koi ponds and gardens, and her wildlife photography.

Economic Development Director Message By Kent G. Andersen, Economic Development Director Since becoming the Economic Development Director for West Jordan in April, I’ve been on a listening tour, meeting with as many community and business leaders as I can to learn about the community, its businesses, and what lies ahead for the City. Here is a summary of what I have heard: West Jordan is in a unique position to capitalize on available economic development opportunities. • West Jordan is in the geographic center of economic development happening within the Salt Lake Valley, bounded on the north by the coming Inland Port and on the south by the growing Silicon Slopes. • The amount of vacant land along the foothills of the Oquirrh mountains presents a job creation opportunity for the City, and It is important to prepare and plan for it appropriately. • The community is looking forward to refreshing and revitalizing its retail centers. • It is important to diversify the City’s tax base, so not to rely exclusively on one type or another. In the coming months, I look forward to continuing to learn about West Jordan and to begin implementing new ideas to grow business and build an environment the community is proud of. LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Lacem Construction was recently selected as the 2018 Minority Owned Business of the Year by the Utah Small Business Administration. Lacem Construction is a good example of a thriving business in our community, and achieves the type of success the West Jordan Economic Development Department wants to replicate. Congratulations, Lacem Construction!

Four Promoted at Fire Department Four Fire staff received rank promotions during a recent City Council Meeting after undergoing a rigorous promotional testing process. Blake Edwards was promoted to Fire Captain, Matt Meranda was promoted to Fire Engineer, Brad Jensen was promoted to Paramedic and Sam Pascua was promoted to Paramedic. These promotions were made possible due to the recent retirements of previously appointed fire department personnel.

E-Waste Recycling & Document Shredding Aug. 4 Did you know that the City of West Jordan holds quarterly e-waste recycling and document shredding events? The next one is Aug. 4 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 may allow some of those items to be deposited by our residents. Please contact Trans-Jordan at 801-5698994 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

Movie in the Park Aug. 3 FREE “Wonder” lights up the big screen Friday, Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. Come enjoy the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy born with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending mainstream elementary school for the first time. Bring your friends and family for a night of great entertainment in Veterans Memorial Park, 8030 South 1825 West.







SCHORR GALLERY OPENING EXHIBIT City Hall Schorr Gallery 8000 S Redwood Rd, 7 p.m.








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





Midvale Performing Arts Center 695 W Center St, 7:30 p.m. Matinee July 14, 2 p.m.









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






Viridian Event Center 11 a.m.

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



The Sustainability Committee is responsible for recommending and implementing solutions to reduce environmental impact and costs related to energy, water, wastewater, storm water, solid waste, green waste, recycling, fleet, fuel, air quality, property maintenance and any other area related to environmental sustainability. The Sustainability Committee meets the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. Email to apply or request information.



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

Help safeguard West Jordan’s future – join the Sustainability Committee!



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

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

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


LIUNA Local 295


2261 S Redwood Rd. West Valley City, Utah 84119

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ardworking men and women across Utah not only need representation, they need opportunities. That’s where LIUNA Local 295 steps up.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) is a local labor union that utilizes resources and programs that are designed to increase member’s job skills and career opportunities. All this while improving the quality of life for members and their families. If you are skilled craft laborer, they have prospects for you. If you are searching for an apprenticeship, they have prospects for you. LIUNA Local 295 wasn’t a recent creation. It’s not a pop shop opened in the last year. It was a teenager during the Great Depression. It’s been in Utah for 110 years. Let’s repeat that, 110 years. Construction sites are familiar to LIUNA, whose efforts in the construction area are geared toward helping provide a quality workforce to employers who know the value of skilled and qualified employees. LIUNA primarily deals with the construction of commercial buildings, heavy (structures such as bridges or tunnels), highways, industrial, refractory, refinery and pipe lines. Those are some places to work, but if you’re concerned about being underqualified, have no

fear, that’s another reason LIUNA is here. One of the best continuing education systems in the world is offered by LIUNA and the best part: it’s free. With more than 50 different courses where training is offered, doors to new opportunities are opened by providing members the skills that employers are looking for. Training is available to all members in good standing. LIUNA believes that training is crucial to their mission. Training provides the skills people need to find a quality job and it gives contractors the skilled employees they need to finish the job. Certifications and trainings are available in many areas. Some of the training offered includes: • Traffic control maintainer • Flagger • Mine Safety HA • Occupational Safety HA • OSCA RSO Refinery Safety • Concrete • Pipe laying Not only is there a place to work and the training available to be a constant contributor, LIUNA members live better lives. From pay to training to retirement. Numbers from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics supports this: • The average wage for union workers is


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$28.08 compared to $18.10 for non-union workers. • It neutralizes pay discrimination. Women in a union receive a weekly pay advantage of 32 percent over non-union women in the workforce. • For Hispanic union workers, it’s 42 percent. • For African-American union workers, it’s 33 percent.

• Advantages come in healthcare and retirement as well, 85 percent of union workers have health care insurance which includes medical, dental, vision and prescription drugs compared to 54 percent of non-union workers. • For guaranteed defined benefit pension plans, 76 percent of union workers have them while 16 percent of non-union workers don’t. The Local Union’s excellent relationship with workers is due to the relentless drive of business manager and secretary treasurer Diane Lewis. She is responsible for all affairs and business of the Local Union being properly conducted. Lewis negotiates with employers for wages and benefits by ensuring provisions of all agreements are enforced and respected by all parties. As the secretary treasurer, she keeps meticulous records of all monies received, deposited and disbursed under the Local Union’s accounts. She also presents written financial reports on a monthly basis to the executive board of the Local Union and its membership. While there is only one office, located at 2261 S. Redwood Road in West Valley City, its jurisdiction covers all of Utah. To find out more, visit or call 801-972-5380. l



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July 2018 | Page 17

City Council debates the efficacy of ballistic glass By Erin Dixon|


n an affirming vote of 5-1 (Mayor Jim Riding was excused for the evening), the council approved the installation of ballistic (bullet proof) glass in two departments: Justice Court and Finance. $100,000 from the fiscal year 2017–2018 budget had been reserved for this purpose, and construction bids have been collected. During a council meeting on May 23, a debate about the glass ensued. The discussion centered on the perception of the safety in these areas, whether these areas have the highest need for protection over others, and that safety in the United States in general is a growing concern. City Manager David Brickey, though not included in the city council vote, had strong opinions on the construction. “There have been numerous school shootings in recent years across the country; I think it’s a reality of the United States today,” Brickey said. “The day’s coming where our kids are going to have to go through magnetometers to go to school. I’d like to be able to protect the people who work here.” The location choice for the glass is in reaction to recent events, not simply for an anticipated feeling of safety. In the documents given to council members it states: “Both of these areas deal with a high volume of public traffic and are collecting money... Both departments

Carpenters and installers take measurements and assess the windows at the Justice Court building where bullet proof glass will be installed. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

encounter extremely stressed and/or unstable individuals whose emotions are high.” Councilmember Kayleen Whitelock was concerned about the appearance of these public areas—that the glass may make residents feel less safe and less trusting of local government. “I struggle with this,” Whitelock said. “When I go to places like that, it doesn’t make me feel safer; it makes me think maybe I

shouldn’t come here anymore. It’s the feel that it gives. If someone wants to do harm they are going to do harm.” Councilmember Chris McConnehey referenced a specific incident that motivated the proposal and was in favor of the installation. “We’ve had issues with code enforcement and irate individuals come in there and causing harm,” McConnehey said. “So, we’ve had to do

some remodeling and relocation. We have these in police; we have these in the courts next door. I would rather not wait until we have a significant incident to take action.” In return, Whitelock said she felt that if there was a security risk for one department because of displeased residents, then all departments should be outfitted with security. “Today, we’re picking winners and losers then,” she said. “There’s people that get really mad at the mayor, and you Mr. Brickey. So, how do we decide that finance is important but over in government, those women aren’t as important?” Brickey responded that the concern for these departments comes first because of some recent events, but that he was not unwilling to secure more areas in the future. “[I]f we have a flash point at the Planning counter, don’t be surprised if I’m back here asking for that to be considered next time,” Brickey said. Police Chief Doug Diamond agreed with Brickey that the need is most important in Finance and the Justice Court. “We constantly review those areas that we think need the security,” he said. “We identified these two areas that we probably need to do as soon as we can. But as we go along, we’ll evaluate all the other areas as well.”l

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West Jordan City Journal

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July 2018 | Page 19

Unprosecutable crime By Erin Dixon |


rime, prosecution, punishment: Law enforcement seems simple, but in reality, following through and correcting a problem is far more complex. Domestic abuse and drug abuse are two such public plagues that are difficult to deal with. In a presentation May 23, Judge Ronald E. Kunz gave statistics on crime for the years 2010 to 2017. Domestic Abuse Kunz said even though there are charges brought against domestic abusers, 80 percent of those charges are dropped. “One of the big things in our community is domestic violence and trying to eliminate that,” Kunz said. “Eighty percent of cases that are filed are dismissed. The problem is that we need a victim to testify when it comes to court.” The Utah Constitution, Article 1 Section 12 states that, “a wife shall not be compelled to testify against her husband, nor a husband against his wife…” When a spouse is a victim, he or she cannot be forced to give evidence against his or her accused spouse. The prosecution has no choice but to drop the charges. Another way charges are dismissed is through a plea advancement. “[What] we call a plea in advance where they enter a plea before: If they pay an advance fee and get some counseling then have no further violations, it gets dismissed,” Kunz said.

The majority of crimes committed are done under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (Stock photo)

Some domestic abuse cases are successfully prosecuted, but the rates are dismal. In 2017, “14 percent end up pleading guilty to the charges,” Kunz said. “Four percent don’t appear and go to a warrant. One percent go to a non-jury trial. Two cases went to a jury trial and were found not guilty. Two cases went to a jury

trial and were convicted by the jury.” However, the total number of domestic abuse cases in West Jordan has fallen from 1,256 in 2014 to 574 in 2017. Drug and Alcohol Crimes Drug abuse is difficult to track, and even when it is present in a crime, it is not the prima-

ry offense that is prosecuted. “I would guess that 80 percent of the criminal cases that I see are somehow drug related,” Kunz said. “It’s a big problem in our society, and it affects all of us in different facets of our lives.” If the majority of the crimes are under the influence, and drug abuse is rising, then the crime will follow. “The drug problems that we have in our society doesn’t always reflect drug charges,” Kunz said. “The thefts, the assaults, controlled substances—all of it is up.” Crimes related to alcohol and controlled substances in West Jordan has risen from 553 in 2015 to 710 in 2017. West Jordan Police currently has three positions for narcotics detectives, and only two of those are filled. There was only one detective in the position until halfway through 2017. Future of crime For any of the problems to be solved, there needs to be a police officer to handle it. “I understand they’re having trouble hiring good police, but I would say that in the next three to five years, we’re going to see an increase in crime,” Kunz said. “And we’re going to see an increase in the way that affects our standard of living in this bedroom community. I just don’t see an end to the opioid problem.”l

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West Jordan City Journal

Columbia Elementary reads 2 million minutes, not stopping for summer break By Jet Burnham |


hen Kathe Riding came to Columbia Elementary as principal 11 years ago, she challenged students to read 1 million minutes. It took a few years before they reached their goal. For this, her last year at the school, she asked students to reach for a total of 2 million minutes. They answered with 2,147,097 reading minutes. “You’ve made my dream come true,” she told the students. “This is my best gift ever.” During the school year, students were motivated to reach benchmarks on the way to 2 million. There were random drawings for free books and classes competed to earn the right to have a stuffed Snoopy in their classroom for reading the most minutes each week. The most popular reward was music in the cafeteria during lunch. At the end of year assembly, the total was announced to the enthusiastic students. The top classes were awarded with a traditional decorated hubcap to proudly display in their classroom. From a random drawing, four lucky students won a 5-pound chocolate bar. Several teachers promised to dye their hair purple when the students reached their goal and surprised students the day of the assembly. Teachers had another surprise for students to celebrate reaching their reading goal—they sprayed them with silly string during the assembly. Once the students calmed down, Riding encouraged them to continue reading throughout the summer. “Reading is a super power for your life,” she said. “Reading is going to build your vocabulary, it’s going to build your confidence—it’s like money in the bank. Everything you read is like putting money in a savings account.” For the last two years, Columbia has sent their students home for the summer with materials to continue their learning during the summer. “We’re making sure they don’t have the ‘summer slide,’ so they don’t lose what they’ve learned,” said teacher specialist Angela Drope. Summer slide is a term to describe children’s tendency to forget what they learned the previous year when they return to class after a three-month break. “It’s where people don’t use their brain, and they forget some things,” said teacher specialist Suzette Johnson. “It’s that gap between June and August that we’re concerned about.” Students received a packet of materials that included math flash cards, handwriting practice and a book. “These are activities they can do during the summer so that they can keep their learning alive,” Johnson said. This year, each grade was sent home with a classic book like “The BFG” or “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse” or books from popular series like “I Survived” and the early reader “Biscuit” series. “I think it’s important to keep reading during the summer,” said sixth-grade teacher

WestJordanJournal .com

she said. To make sure students have access to reading materials during the summer months, Columbia teacher specialists are providing a mobile book exchange for families. The Columbia Book Mobile will provide a lending library where kids can borrow and return books during the summer months. l


Columbia Book Mobile Villa West Park: 8400 S 4000 W, 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on June 13, 27, July 18.

A purple-clad principal and her team of super heroes of reading, math, writing, and SAGE testing encouraged students throughout the year to do their best. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Woodcove Park: 8025 S 2870 W, 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on June 20, July 11, Aug 1. The book mobile will also be available during the summer breakfast (8:30 a.m.9:30 a.m.) and lunch service (11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.) at Columbia Elementary, 3505 W 7800 S.


Jordan School District’s Summer Food Service Program Angela Drope said most books donated to the Book Mobile came from Toole and Grantsville residents who answered her request on social media. (Angela Drope/Columbia Elementary)

Jennica Bodenhofer. “You can tell that their reading level has grown over the summer if they read or their parents read to them versus those who don’t.” Riding said the effect from last year’s summer packet was an 8 percent increase in schoolwide reading proficiency scores. Bodenhofer said any kind of reading is beneficial, even if it is not at the child’s reading level. The main purpose is to keep brains active

over the summer. She believes writing is just as important. “The backbone is the reading and the writing,” she said. “You have to read to write and vice versa.” She said any kind of continuous writing, like in a daily journal, will strengthen elementary students’ academic skills. “I think writing is one of the most important things to practice, especially at their age,”

Provides free nutritious meals to children 18 and younger Meals available June 4 through August 3 Columbia Elementary 3505 W 7800 S Majestic Elementary 7340 S Redwood Rd Heartland Elementary 1451 W 7000 S Riverside Elementary 8737 S 1220 W Westvale Elementary 2300 W 8660 S Breakfast 8:30-9:30 Lunch 11:30 – 12:30 Adults can purchase a breakfast for $2 and a lunch for $3.30

July 2018 | Page 21

Valedictorian (and competition)—a family tradition By Jet Burnham |

Sara, Hana, Alex and Carl Fauver-- three of them displaying their valedictorian medallions while the fourth shows how she feels about only being third in her class. (Photo courtesy Carl Fauver)


arl and Patti Fauver told their children they would pay them for each straight-A report card they earned in high school. Their four children responded by all earning nothing but A’s. So, $1,200 later, they had four straight-A students and three West Jordan High School valedictorians. “I don’t think it was really a factor in motivating them,” said Carl Fauver. “Their competitive spirit with one another did all of that.” The competition began when the oldest daughter, Alex, was ranked third out of 596 graduating students in 2004. (Her dad believes she missed out on the No. 1 spot because her many choir classes weren’t weighted as high as AP classes.) Next, Sara earned the No. 1 spot and valedictorian of the 2012 class of 433 students. Carl Jr. followed his sister, also ranking No. 1 and valedictorian of the 2015 class of 396 students. Not to be outdone, the youngest Fauver, Hana, became WJHS’s 2018 valedictorian, ranking as the top student out of 518. Her siblings all attended her commencement address to cheer her on in what had become a family tradition. Hana said there was a lot of pressure for her to be the top in her class like her siblings. But she also found a way to best them. “Yeah, I had to get No. 1, and I also

Page 22 | July 2018

had to get the highest ACT,” she said. Hana earned a 33 on her ACT, trumping the 31 and 32s her siblings had scored. The Fauvers have accrued many academic achievements, always trying to out-do each other more than their peers. Collectively, they passed 24 Advanced Placement exams (11 with perfect scores). All four Fauvers were also Sterling Scholars. The siblings admit they are very competitive. “We’re not ones to be outdone in our family,” Carl Jr. said. “Whoever comes out last has a tendency to do their darndest to get ahead of the people who came before them.” The competition extends outside of academics as well. For example, Sara holds a school track record for the 2-mile race. Carl Jr. ran track for WJHS three years later. “I don’t hold the boys’ record, but I ran way faster than Sara, and that’s what matters,” he said. The siblings compete about who will finish reading the “Harry Potter” series first and who has been to the most states. Despite the constant competition, the siblings are very close. “I live in Wisconsin now, but I talk to every member of my family at least once a week on the phone,” said Sara. The Fauvers said they enjoy having fun together and they enjoy learning.

“Learning was just something instilled in our family,” Carl Jr. said. Family vacations centered around activities like the Lewis and Clark anniversary celebration and the Golden Spike Reenactment. The Fauvers collectively earned a total of 601 A’s between eighth grade and graduation. But earning straight A’s was not always easy. Carl Jr. said there were “absolutely a lot of close calls.” “The cut-off is 93 percent,” he said. “I hung out right around about 93.1 percent in a couple classes.” His hardest A was for an AP Music Theory class, which he took to challenge himself even though he is not a musician. Sara said her hardest A was in an AP US History class in which she struggled because it wasn’t logic-based like math or science. Alex’s hardest A to earn was in AP Biology, and Hana’s was in AP Chemistry. Ironically, Alex ended up majoring in Biology and Hana plans to major in biomedical engineering. They said their first AP classes had required more work than they had expected. Straight A’s earned all four Fauvers scholarships and promising futures. All three girls have been invited to participate in the prestigious Access summer program at the University of Utah for women in science. But not to be outdone, Carl Jr. recently took fourth place in a national Skills USA competition. l

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Making clouds with wood, ink and patience By Amy Green |


he world is full of good artists, but how many get to make personal dreams come true, turning their artwork into a consistent and rewarding profession? Having buyers far and wide snatch up your original art would be absolutely thrilling. Jennifer Worsley, professional woodblock landscape artist, has experienced that “floating-on-a-cloud” feeling, having her work be exactly what many art enthusiasts are looking for. Clouds happen to be part of Worsley’s work. She has a unique expression of sky and earth in her compositions. Her billowy, inkpressed floating atmospheres, have movement and shape that is striking. She describes her work saying, “A certain linear quality always seems to be there in my work. My favorite visual element is line. The expressiveness of line is very individual to an artist, like handwriting. Line doesn't always lend itself easily to landscape images…but the lines that aren't necessarily there in real life, can be very real in my mind. That capturing of the world in an abstract form, is what my work is about.” Worsley brought her art to the 2018 Utah Arts Fest. This is an annual gathering of painters, potters, printmakers, performers and photographers (an impressive show of “p” word talents) and more. “The Utah Arts Fest was one of the first places I tried out when I had just finished college more than 15 years ago, as a way to show my work,” Worsley said. “This was back when it was held at the fairgrounds on North Temple. I was simply elated that people responded to my work. There just isn't any substitute as an artist, for when someone pays you for what you create.” The festival is now held at Library and Washington Squares in downtown Salt Lake

City (200 East 400 South) and ran from Thursday, June 21 to Sunday, June 24. “I really enjoy getting to interact with people and see their reactions, plus collectors can meet the artists! It's a very gratifying experience on both sides, and something I continue to enjoy every year I get to participate,” Worsley enthused. “I have branched out to other festivals all around the country and enjoy participating in the ‘circuit.’ But the Utah Arts Fest has always been my favorite event. Those four days and nights are a main highlight of my summer.” Professional artist Jeff Hepworth, who also does skilled landscape painting said, “Jennifer’s work is highly admired by her peers. Her drawings, pastels, and especially her block prints exhibit a very creative complexity and technical excellence that few artists can achieve.” She has a warm and relaxed personality, ready to answer questions about her special printing method — a Japanese technique called moku hanga. Her SLC in-home studio is where she does the thoughtful work she’s committed to. When not traveling to festivals, she has regular open studio hours during the winter season. Worsley’s success is a combination of talent, quality art education and dedicated time. Her website shows her skill and diversity. “I have always enjoyed sculpture too, and woodblock printing has an element of that. I have a gallery of pastels, drawings, woodblock prints and a link to Instagram where I will show my works in progress,” she said. Worsley is an artist who perfects some age-old methods, yet with a modern-looking, lasting impression. “I love going on long drives to look for things to draw and paint. It is usually a certain outline or shape that makes a landscape exciting to me, a way of capturing what the world means to me,” she explained.

A woodblock print by Jennifer Worsley, inspired by her pastel drawings. (Amy Green/City Journals)

Page 24 | July 2018

She uses her travel inspiration, paired with a gouge chisel tool on a plane of wood. Then line by line, inch by inch, she makes a picture showing nature’s depth and layers. It seems like a delicate, complicated and patient process. But Worsley is not a complicated person. She is

someone who loves cats and is passionate about creating. She is a fine artist worth getting outside under the real clouds, to experience. Worsley is the type who would want you to call her by first name. Look for Jennifer, and see great art. l

Jennifer Worsley sharing her art and explaining the woodblock process. (Amy Green/City Journals)

Inks and wood tools used by Jennifer Worsley to make block prints. (Amy Green/City Journals)

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July 2018 | Page 25

Junior high team wins division championship By Greg James |


est Jordan can claim a 2018 junior high division girls tackle football championship. “It was great, a fantastic season,” West Jordan Junior High girls coach Shawn Goutz said. “We had girls that had a lot of fun. We had several first-year girls that got some touchdowns for us. It was a great season for us. Playing the championship game at Herriman High was great. I loved it as much as the girls did.” The West Jordan team had 18 girls; five of them are first-year players. The team members live in West Jordan High School and Copper Hills High School boundaries, and their season lasted five games, plus the playoffs. “We had quite a few girls that were playing for their first time,” Goutz said. “We had some linewomen that played well, and it was amazing to help these girls learn the game.” The league is a full-contact all girls football league. It is the first of its kind in the nation The players live in Salt Lake, Utah and Davis counties and play with smaller teams and modified rules. It began from the exposure of Sam Gordon and her viral video. Gordon recently won the NFL game changer award. “The girls listen so much better than the boys,” Goutz said. “I coach boys in the fall, and after a year or two they think they know everything, but the girls pay attention. We also have much more range in ability. Every year we have girls that have never played football. They do

not know anything about the game.” The challenge is covering the basics for the new girls and teaching more experienced players .The design of the league makes it less time consuming. The elementary-age girls practice two times a week, and high school and junior high teams practice three times each week. They then play a game on Saturday for five weeks. “There are so many other things going on like soccer and stuff, but we have a very high retention rate,” Goutz said. “Once they try it, they stick around. When the girls talk about playing, they light up. When my daughter talks about the league, she brightens up.” Laura Goutz and Gordon are among the top recruiters for the league. Laura was voted MVP of her team by her teammates. She attends Elk Ridge Middle School. She plans on playing next season in the high school division. “I cannot recruit players like my daughter can,” Goutz said. “Her enthusiasm and excitement is incredible.” There are five clubs at the high school level. By Utah High School standards to be a club there must be a teacher representative, a student leader and 11 supportive signatures. West Jordan, Herriman, Bingham, Copper Hills and Bingham have clubs in place. “We need to find ways to work with the elementary schools to expand the game,” Goutz said. “The lawsuit is still in place (against the

The Utah Girls Tackle Football League crowned the lightning from West Jordan its junior high division champions. (Greg Baird/UGTFL)

UHSAA and school districts), but we are still increasing.” The league uses certified coaches similar to what Ute Conference uses for the boys. “The league comradie is incredible,” Goutz said. “When my daughter started playing

four years ago, she had never played and was shy. She has made lifelong friendships. The do sleepovers and all the things kids do with their friends. That is honestly the best thing. It is competitive, but they show friendship and work with the other teams too.” l

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amily. Everyone has one and it’s what makes Wasatch Medical Supply in West Jordan a special place.

That and their essential supportive health products. One of the only medical supply companies in the Salt Lake Valley (especially on the west side), Wasatch Medical Supply is local, family owned and seasoned in the medical equipment world. While the company has been around for over a decade, it was bought by the Sorenson family three years ago. With the experience of brothers Jeremy and Jeff in medical sales and father Neil no longer doing his previous work due to health issues, the family chose to roll the dice. “We decided to take a leap of faith and bought this,” said Jill West, co-owner and Neil’s daughter. For West, it’s been three years developing skills doing something she’s never done, but exciting to learn the ins and outs of business as well as build new relationships with neighbors in the city.

The Sorenson family has taken its close-knit, communicative approach to the business world with their customers. “Our communication is a big aspect for our customers,” West said. “It’s nice to know that our customers feel like they’re part of us and that they communicate with all of us that are helping them. Because they know we are together on it.” West and her father brief one another each night so they’re always aware of each customer’s need. It’s that personal focus with patrons that separates Wasatch Medical Supply from large corporations. “Healthcare is so expensive and we know that it is,” West said.

“We try to keep our prices as low as possible and help our customers find the best options for them.” Having forged strong relationships with the nation’s leading suppliers and manufacturers, Wasatch Medical Supply has plenty of products for customer needs including: wound care, first aid, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, compression hose, orthopedic soft goods, orthotics, and incontinent, diabetic and bariatric supplies. Its current promotion gives you a free starter kit with every purchase of compression stockings, which includes lotion, gloves and all the necessary items to put on and care for those stockings. You can find Wasatch Medical Supply at 1366 West 7800 South in West Jordan, online at and by phone at 801-566-5844. Or swing by the store Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you may catch the entire Sorenson family. l



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July 2018 | Page 27

Bruins signed to continue academic-athletic careers By Greg James |

Dalven Brushier is one of several Bruins that have signed letters of intent to continue their careers. (Scott Fineshriber/SLCC athletics)


thletes from Salt Lake Community College closed out their seasons and careers for the Bruins. Many are moving on to four-year schools. Softball The Bruins closed out their season with a 41-14 record. Despite their sparkling regular season they fell to College of Southern Idaho in the Region 18 tournament finals and lost out on a chance to return to the NJCAA finals in St George. Herriman High graduate Lauren Tycksen earned a scholarship to continue playing softball at UNLV. West High School’s Breah Ava is headed south to BYU. Sara Bendt is moving on to Northern State University and Ashlee Snyder is going to University of Louisville Lafayette. Baseball The Bruins baseball team closed out its season in the district playoffs. They lost to CSI and Arizona Western to finish their season with a 36-18 overall record. A number of SLCC players are expected to announce their commitments over the coming weeks. Sterling Lay was the first to put his name on a letter-of-intent. He will attend MSU-Billings in Montana. Ben Weese from Cache Valley committed to BYU. Soccer In its second year of existence the men’s and women’s soccer teams exceeded expectations. The men finished the season with a 10-6-1 overall record. They lost 3-2 to Snow College in the Region 18 tournament. The women finished with a similar record of 10-5-1. They lost in penalty kicks to Utah State University Eastern in the Region 18 tournament. The men's team had five players and the women's team six recognized as all-region performers. Ashley Sargent was named

Page 28 | July 2018

Region 18 women's keeper of the year. Bridger Hansen, Matt Penrod and Reid Arne have signed with Westminster College, Herriman’s Jake Sollis with Southern Virginia University, Cody Oliver with Dixie State, Copper Hills graduate Luis Vargas with Utah Valley University and Eddie Lopez with Masters University. Basketball The men’s basketball team lost only four games last season. Their final loss came to South Plains in the NJCAA national tournament. The Bruin women held a 26-6 overall record this season. Like the men’s team they captured the Region 18 championship and advanced to the national tournament. They lost to ASA College 60-59. Hunter High School graduate Kimauri Toia signed to continue her academic-athletic career at Metro State University in Denver, Colorado. The Bruins leading scorer, Tia Hay, is headed to Santa Clara University. Kur Kuath from the men’s team is headed to the University of Oklahoma having been highly recruited. Dalven Brushier is going to Western Oregon and Jordan Gilliam to UC Riverside. Volleyball The 2017 SLCC volleyball program had several successful moments this season. They were ranked in the top-5 at one point and grabbed the SWAC championship. Among their top achievements is placing six student-athletes on the school’s president’s list. Three players were named to the NJCAA All-Academic team. Toa Faleao and Megan Treanor are headed to Dixie State University, Sam Filiaga to Weber State University and Laken T’eo to Tennessee State University. l

West Jordan City Journal

Briggs steps down as Jaguar head coach By Greg James |

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in West Jordan We are designed to serve working individuals and families who need evening appointments for their normal healthcare needs. West Jordan boys basketball coach Scott Briggs has taken the head coaching position at Herriman High. (Greg James/City Journals)


he announcement that West Jordan High School’s head basketball coach, Scott Briggs, is leaving his alma mater to take over at Herriman High School still echoes through the Jaguar hallways. For 23 years as head coach and five more as an assistant, he has seen more games in the Jaguar gymnasium than anyone. Briggs has played a crucial role in Jaguar basketball history. He also played varsity basketball at the school. “I am so grateful for the players, friendships and memories I have from all my time at West Jordan High,” Briggs said from his Twitter account. While Briggs hasn’t changed much from his 1989 yearbook picture, his accomplishments have. He guided West Jordan to two state basketball titles and nearly missed on two others. He was a two-year starter under head coaches Grant Price and Dan Cowan at the school. He eventually took over coaching for Cowan and replaced him as athletic director at the school. “Every game he would write three things on the board,” West Jordan graduate and former University of Utah player Jordan Loveridge said. “ He would say play hard, play smart and have fun. West Jordan basketball is hard-nosed and blue collar because of him. Off the court, he teaches his players how to be men; how to do the right thing. He will be missed at West Jordan.” In his final season at the helm of the Jaguars, he led the team to 16-8 overall record and

a first-round playoff loss to Pleasant Grove 6254 (the Vikings have ousted his teams from the playoffs the last two years). The Jaguars last missed the playoffs in 2014. He won state titles in 2001 and 2009. “When I was a freshman I was on the varsity team, we had seven seniors that coach did a great job of motivating,” Loveridge said. “No one expected us to win the title (2009).” Briggs gives credit for his success to his current and former assistants, like Andrew Blanchard (currently head coach at Copper Hills), Kevin Damron (a current assistant at Herriman), Steve Tidwell (former Taylorsville head coach) and Kasey Walkenhurst. He attended Dixie State and the University of Utah before becoming a teacher at West Jordan. He is married and had three kids. Briggs has been recognized as one of the top coaches in the state. “West Jordan head coach Scott Briggs is amazing and does it with such class,” Pleasant Grove head coach Randy McAllister said after last season’s playoff game. He has helped organize the West Jordan Special Needs Clinic and Basketball Game. It was held in February for the 16th straight year. “Some of the best times for me is coming back home and watching coach and his teams,” Loveridge said. “I like to catch up and talk about old times with him.” The school administration announced former assistant and Jaguar alumni Mason Sawyer has been hired to replace Briggs. He graduated from West jordan in 2009 and was a member of one of the state championship teams. l

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rifols donates more than plasma, gives $59,165 to Granite Education Foundation

Steve Raguskus grew up with a single parent. He had three younger sisters, the family was on welfare. They would receive food donated from the local food bank at the end of each month. His family would be sponsored by other families at Christmas where they were given shirts, jackets and shoes. “I’m that kid that (was) among the 65 percent at or below the poverty level,” Raguskus said. “So when I see what the Granite Education Foundation is doing, it’s very real, very personal to me.” Raguskus, the center manager for Grifols Biomat in Taylorsville, is referring to the Foundation’s efforts to address food insecurity in Utah. It’s why Raguskus and the Grifols Biomat Centers in Taylorsville and Sandy raised $59,165 throughout March to donate to the Granite Education Foundation and the nearly 70,000 students it serves in the Salt Lake Valley. The money will go towards providing clothing, coats, shoes, backpacks, underwear, socks, hygiene items, glasses, and additional needs. All for the kids.

Brent Severe, CEO of the Foundation, said the almost $60,000 donated “was extremely generous.” “Businesses stepping forward helping to meet those needs makes a big difference in the education of these kids,” he said. For every person that donated plasma in March, Grifols donated $5 to the Foundation. Raguskus said it was “an opportunity” for donors “to give back twice.” “It’s going to help (the kids’) quality of life and help these kids’ mental well-being.” Grifols, a global healthcare company that produces essential plasma derived medicines, presented a large check to the Foundation in April. It was a moment not soon to be forgotten by Raguskus. “It was a humbling experience,” he said. “I joined Grifols (in 2015) because of my belief in why Grifols does what it does. It helps save lives on a global scale.” Severe met Raguskus in November 2016 and knows his upbringing. It was Raguskus’ background and passion, Severe said, that drove this campaign. “He was one of those kids that received

help, so he understands how important that is and believing and providing for these kids,” he said. This isn’t the only campaign Grifols works on. Last year they held their inaugural Cruisin’ for Charity Car Show. Their second car show will be on July 28 in the parking lot of the Grifols center in Taylorsville. It will feature partners from Granite Education Foundation; South Valley Services, a domestic violence shelter in West Jordan; and Rape Recover Center in Salt Lake City. It’s all to “bring awareness to these real things that happen to our community members, regardless of your class in society, how much you make, how much you don’t make,” Raguskus said. Building this cognizance for their donors and the community is part of why Raguskus joined Grifols.

“I felt they are socially responsible and they were giving a platform for my employees to give back,” he said. Needs are increasing in the Granite School District, according to Severe, and “they’re not going away.” Those interested in assisting the Granite Education Foundation can call 385-646-KIDS. To learn more about donating plasma, please visit Who knows, maybe one of those kids will in turn give back, just like Steve Raguskus. l

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West Jordan City Journal

RMR partners with Parents Empowered By Greg James |

Carpe Di End

Gain peace of mind knowing everything is taken care of your way. Rocky Mountain Raceway has set up several displays around the facility to remind its patrons of the dangers of underage drinking. (Greg James/City Journals)


ocky Mountain Raceway has teamed up with Parents Empowered to discourage underage drinking. “I have come to the race track several times,” West Valley Youth Council Member Zack Christensen said. “My aunt has raced here several times. It is a fun place, and I am glad they are supporting this message. I know of friends that have gotten alcohol from their parents. It is hard to watch them go down this downward spiral. It can lead to dependence and life troubles.” Christensen, who will be an incoming senior at Granger High School, said it is important for parents to set guidelines and become proactive in their kids’ lives. “The race track is a great place to interact as families and groups,” he said. “I think teens will drink when they do not feel happy. I think families need to be part of kids lives. The race track can be an escape from reality. Even a small amount of parent involvement can reduce the real consequences of underage drinking.” Parents Empowered is using RMR as a unique way to get their message out to parents. “We are excited to work with Rocky Mountain Raceway,” Parents Empowered co-chairman Art Brown said. “It is a great venue that hosts families. It is a place where families can be together and watch

WestJordanJournal .com

some fast cars.” According to the Student Health and Risk Prevention underage drinking has decreased steadily since the formation of the group Parents Empowered (10 years ago). West Valley Mayor Ron Bigelow has been a strong supporter of the program. Studies also show the people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become dependent during their lifetime. There are 16 million alcoholics in the United States; more than 4 million are teens (according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse). Underage drinking impairs brain development. A teenage brain is still developing, and alcohol can do irreversible damage to the learning and memory center, the hippocampus. In Utah, a person under the age of 21 who possesses, consumes or buys alcohol is committing a crime. Penalties are severe and can include fines and even jail time. “Programs like this can make a difference,” West Valley Police Lt. Rob Hamilton said. “Many teenagers drink to get drunk. Studies show that kids are drinking as young as sixth grade. This is an important issue; we need to set clear boundaries. I hope the residents can work together with us. You or a friend should

not have to be a recipient of me or one of my peers knocking on your door. It is one of the worst things we have to do.” Alcohol is approximately 35 percent of the concession sales at Rocky Mountain Raceway. The track offers family sections where alcohol and smoking are not permitted. Hamilton said the racetrack is very proactive in preventing driving under the influence and underage drinking. “RMR is very responsible, and their internal security is very good,” he said. “Our intel briefing has not seen an increase in alcohol-related crimes on RMR event nights. They are a facility that does a great job supporting families.” RMR has several competitors that are under the legal drinking age, and officials plan to help provide public service announcements to remind parents of the laws. “During our final season we think it is an important opportunity to help fight against the abuse of alcohol amongst teens and the hazards that it can do to a teenagers brain,” said Mike Eames, raceway general manager. “We have installed some creative signs and displays. They will be a reminder on race day about alcohol use, but it will remind parents the role that they can play in preventing underage drinking.” l

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Two JDCHS baseball players moving on to the college ranks By Catherine Garrett |


he Juan Diego Catholic High School baseball team had two seniors this past season on the third-best team in the state in the 4A ranks, and those two players, Dawson Stiefel and Jared Perry — who are both from West Jordan — will be playing in college this fall. Stiefel signed with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho, while Perry will be playing for Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. “I chose CSI because of how consistent their program has been throughout the years,” Stiefel said. “Their coaches are amazing, and they do a really good job of sending players onto the next level.” “I loved the facilities at Columbia Basin, and coach (Brent) Wyatt is a really cool dude,” Perry said. “I also feel like it provides me an atmosphere that would help me as a person.” “We’re pretty excited about having Jared in our program,” Wyatt said. “I don’t just recruit players with good abilities. I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and, knowing that he’s a pretty high-character kid with a mix of athleticism, that’s my favorite kind of kid. We’re excited to have him in the mix.” Juan Diego baseball coach Kellen Carsey said both players set a “perfect example” of leadership and how hard work pays off. “What both these two young men have has all been driven by working hard and earning what they got,” he said. “They both will go on to play college baseball, which is exciting for both of them, but more than anything in whatever they do they will be successful because they show up on time and work hard.” Stiefel, the son of Kevin and Tiffany Stiefel, has been playing baseball for more than 14 years and has plenty of memories in the sport, including his first All-Star team stint in the 8U division — as a 6-year-old — and two visits to Cooperstown, New York, a few years ago. At Juan Diego, the senior infielder has been a pivotal part of the Soaring Eagle baseball squad that has finished in the top four in the state the past two years. Last season, he was an Honorable Mention All-State second and third baseman. This year, he belted three home runs along with 14 extra-base hits while recording a 3-1 record on the mound. One of those home runs was in an 8-7 win over Mountain Crest in

JDCHS infielder Dawson Stiefel will play for the College of Southern Idaho next year.

JDCHS centerfielder Jared Perry signed with Columbia Basin College for next season.


the first round of the 4A state tournament. “I love the emotion that is involved in baseball as well as the strategies,” Stiefel said. “I also love the adrenaline that comes with every at-bat and every pitch.” Stiefel said the sport has taught him patience, confidence and staying in the moment. He credits his parents, coaches and teammates for the success he’s had. “They have pushed me to become the player and the person that I am today,” he said. “My coaches never gave up on me and had confidence in me to put me in the lineup each and every game day.” The CSI-bound player has his sights on Division I baseball and the professional ranks beyond. Perry, the son of Greg and Shannon Perry, got his start in baseball as a T-baller at 3 years old. He worked his way up through the sport, and despite being cut from the Copper Hills baseball team as a freshman, he continued to pursue his dream of playing baseball at a high level. While playing for Mountain West Baseball Academy teams, he faced teams from Juan Diego and always admired the strength of the Soaring Eagle program. “They were always solid and legit,” he said. “I had pretty good performances against them, and that got me thinking that I could play with them.” Jared Perry found his way to JDCHS the next year and was used as a pinch runner at times, which allowed him to letter. That summer was a pivotal time for him as he gave up football to focus on just baseball. “I decided the NFL wasn’t really going to happen, and I was better at baseball anyway,” he said. “I also decided I didn’t just want to pinch run on varsity, but I wanted to make an impact.” So he went to work, and, as a junior and senior, the centerfielder was named Second Team All-Region. “I love how the hard work you put in with baseball can translate into success,” he said. “I just really wanted to play, and I’m getting the chance to keep doing that.” Jared Perry credited his parents, coaches and teammates for the belief they showed in him that led to the chance to play at the next level. l


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West Jordan City Journal

Remember these safety tips during fireworks season


ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24 , Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country. 1. Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law. 2. Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks. 3. Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. 4. Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. Just ask a friend who lost half his hair and needed to wear a hat/bandana for six months to protect his scalp. 5. Responsible adults should not only

be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. 6. Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. 7. Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. 8. This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside. 9. Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns. 10. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 11. Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. 12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. 13. Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. 14. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. 15. Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high

location such as a cabinet or shelf. 16. Last, but not least, make sure every-

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July 2018 | Page 33

Free events to illuminate your summer fun


chool’s out for summer! Here’s a list of free events and activities to keep monotony out of the month of July. Festivals! Cities all across the valley host activities and events to celebrate our independence. Draper, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, South Salt Lake, and Sandy all hold their own celebrations for the Fourth of July. Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, and Holladay celebrate Pioneer Day with multi-day festivals and concerts. For more information on these festivals, refer to the Summer Festival Guide in the latest edition of the City Journals. Sandy will be hosting a balloon festival on August 10-11 at sunrise at Storm Mountain Park. These festivals highlight the magic of hot air balloons. Farmers Markets were quite the rage last year, with over 30 to choose from. On July 11, the Sugar House Farmers Market will be at Fairmont Park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On July 14, check out the Sunnyvale Farmers Market in Midvale from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It will include a food pantry, free lunch and activities for kids, and music. Don’t miss one-night free events like: the Parade of Raptors presented by HawkWatch on July 9, at the Salt Lake Public Library Riverside Branch from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.



On July 13, Trivia Night will be held at the Leonardo. Up to six people can sign up to be a team, or go solo! On July 10, the Local Author Showcase continues at The King’s English Bookshop. Jared Garret will introduce his new book, “Usurper.” On July 18, Yappy Hour will be at Fairmont Park. There will be an offleash play area for the dogs, and music, beer, and food trucks for the humans. On July 21, the Indian Food Fair will be held at the Gallivan Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presented by Bollyfood lunch, there will be live entertainment, ethnic shopping, and of course, food! On July 28, Mindy Dillard will lead a songwriting workshop for teens ages 12-18 at the Salt Lake Public Library Sprague Branch, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many free series-styled events will be held. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the Gateway will host Yoga on the Plaza in the Olympic Plaza. Shopping and food options will be available after yoga. July is Pacific Island Heritage Month. On the 28th, their annual KickOff will begin at 5 p.m. at the Sorenson Multicultural Center. This event has entertainment and activities from nine Pacific Island countries.

The Community Writing Center will be hosting FreeFest: a youth workshop series, at the Downtown Salt Lake Public Library, Suite no. 8. This series is intended for young adults ages 15-19. Four different workshops will be offered: on July 25, check out the XYZine, zine-making extravaganza. On July 26, learn basic bookbinding skills during the Book-Making Workshop. On July 27, EnTwined will teach you how to create a twine game. On July 28, check out Poetr?- make a mess of poetry and all things poetic. Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) is offering a Kids Summer Passport. Get a passport (available to download online), earn five stamps by visiting destinations like the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and the Wasatch Community Gardens, by August 25. Show the fully-stamped passport at the local library to reserve a spot for a final party at the Clark Planetarium. The party

will be held August 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with movies, popcorn, exhibits, and prizes. Our canyons also have fabulous options for getting outside. If anyone can do all the following hikes in one summer, let me know so I can be impressed. There’s Buffalo Point, Bloods Lake, Ensign Peak, Bridal Veil Falls, Golden Spike, Cecret Lake and Albion Basin, Willow Lake, Dooley Knob, Hidden Falls, Adams Waterfall, Patsy’s Mine, Grotto Falls, Donut Falls, Timpanogos, Brighton Lakes, Bell Canyon, Stewart Falls, Broads Fork Trail, Silver Lake, Battle Creek Falls, Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Mirror Lake, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Dripping Rock, Mount Olympus, Suicide Rock, Elephant Rock, White Pine Lake, Jordan River, and the Bonneville Shoreline, and Provo River Parkway. In conclusion, none of us have an excuse to be bored this summer! l

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West Jordan City Journal

Life and Laughter—Girls Camp


Laughter AND





hat do you get when you have 25 teenage girls camping in tents? A motive for murder. I’m convinced every crazed serial killer roaming a summer camp, was once a mild-mannered camp counselor hoping to teach peace, love and kindness to a herd of snarling 15-year-old girls. While men can plan a Scout camp over a 4-hour Call of Duty session, women meet for months to plan an inspirational and life-changing camp that every single girl will whine through. Leaders schedule dozens of meetings to choose the theme (Let’s Get Dirty!), create the menu (Fun With Tofu!) and decide on the camp color (glittery unicorn pink). Once those main decisions are finalized, the real job begins: planning hours of activities to teach young women the importance of a) nature, b) bonding and c) indoor plumbing. An ordinary day at young women’s camp can look something like this: 6 a.m.—Flag ceremony and motivational singing 6:15 a.m.—Breakfast/clean-up/ inspirational stories/singing 9:00—Nature hike/Identify native plants/singing Noon—Lunch/Clean-up/singing 1:30-3:30—Glittery art project to

encourage sisterhood/singing 3:30-5:30—Journaling/free time/ singing 5:30-8:00—Dinner/clean-up/ singing 8:00-10:00—Campfire/uplifting stories/singing 10:30—Lights out/quiet singing An ordinary day at young women’s camp actually looks like this: 6 a.m.—Leaders go from tent to tent, waking up girls who spent the night vaping in the woods. No singing. 7:48—Quick flag ceremony followed by burned oatmeal, cooked in a Dutch oven. Inspirational stories interrupted by young women fighting because someone’s journal is missing and, “I know it’s you, Jessica, because you’re such a $#*$&!” Girls are ordered to get ready for the day. 11:17—Hiking! But everyone’s waiting for Angela to finish curling her hair with her butane curling iron because she will NOT be seen looking like a hillbilly in case she runs into lumberjacks wandering through camp. 2:25—Having been chased by a moose, the hikers are now lost and trying to figure out how to get cell service in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains. Leaders consider making a break for it, leaving the girls to wander the wilderness forever. No singing.



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4:58—Leaders have bagged the art project and journaling, and have moved onto the dinner part of the program. Girls are napping in various locations and refuse to help prepare any meal. Leaders consider a mass poisoning but decide against it because they’re too tired. 8:20—Dinner is finally served. The girls are STARVING and complaining that dinner wasn’t ready hours ago. A few girls half-heartedly sing two camp songs before everyone sits and stares into the campfire. Someone is crying. It’s one of the leaders. 11:45—Girls are told to stop talking because people are trying to sleep. Someone is singing. 1:35 a.m.—The girls are told, for the millionth time to, “Shut the $%&$ up or I’m going to dismantle your tent and you can sleep under a tree!!!” 4:17 a.m.— Everyone is crying. 6:30 a.m.— Someone asks when breakfast will be ready.

Repeat for five more days. (Note to CIA: If you decide to torture me by making me camp with teenage girls, please, just waterboard me instead.) At the end of camp, the girls’ matching shirts are covered with mud and glitter. No one is smiling. Even Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees wouldn’t approach this scene. No one is singing. But girls’ camp is like childbirth. Once it’s over, you only remember the good parts, and soon leaders are optimistically planning the next camp with even MORE glitter, MORE bonding and MORE singing. The men slowly shake their heads and return to Call of Duty. l



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Profile for The City Journals

West Jordan City Journal July 2018  

West Jordan City Journal July 2018

West Jordan City Journal July 2018  

West Jordan City Journal July 2018