June 2019 | Vol. 19 Iss. 06
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THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEER-PACKED MEALS TO FIGHT HUNGER ACROSS THE WORLD By Jordan Hafford | email@example.com
n a well-known, sleepy little shopping village that revolves around wholesome family fun, it is not with great surprise that one finds the fifth annual charity event to feed starving children. More than 1,000 volunteers showed up to make this charity a success, and they did not disappoint. They ended up packing 357,696 meals, which equates to feeding 980 children for an entire year. Feed My Starving Children is a member of Global Impact’s charity alliance and has shipped more than 2.2 billion nutritious meal formulas worldwide. Angie Gerdes, president and owner of Gardner Village in West Jordan, loves the Feed My Starving Children charity. “Gardner Village had been looking for a charity to be involved in, and this turned out to be a perfect fit for our facility here,” she said. “We contributed the space as well as over $20,000 to the cause because we believe so strongly in it.” The food packing was done inside the popular event venue at Gardner Village called The Gathering Place and was completed in four separate sessions over two days. By the time volunteers finished, they had filled one-and-a-half semi trucks. Each meal cost only 22 cents to pack and send, and they were all paid for by different groups or companies who sponsored the packs. Maureen Evans, along with her husband, Bob, are the local Pack Sponsors for Kids Feeding Kids, a nonprofit organization partnering with Feed My Starving Children. She said of the effort, “There’s such a difference between feeding children and feeding children who would not have a meal otherwise. Six-thousand two-hundred children a day die from starvation around the world, and we intend to make a dent in that year after year.” At last year’s event, the food had been shipped directly to the Philippines, in which volunteers had fed 744 children for an entire year. Within two weeks, the food will be in children’s tummies somewhere out of the country. While officials don’t know yet where this year’s batch will be headed, the Feed My Starving Children organization has a 99 percent success rate of getting the food right to where they want it to go. It is a Christian organization, so it goes to the church missionaries first who pray over all the food. “Feed My Starving Children really believes in the power of prayer and that it’s God’s work to try to feed these chil-
Gardner Village owner Angie Gerdes and Maureen Evans get into the action at the Feed My Starving Children packing event. (Jordan Hafford/ City Journals)
Volunteers ready at their stations to fill bags of food for hungry children. (Jordan Hafford/City Journals)
A room full of volunteers at Gardner Villages’ The Gathering Place facility packing hundreds of bags of food for charity. (Jordan Hafford/City Journals)
dren,” Gerdes said. Gardner Village always strives to create wonderful moments from its rich heritage and family atmosphere. People spend afternoons milling about the historic shopping and dining village enjoying its simple charm daily. The Feed My Starving Children charity is placed here annually to offer the
opportunity to give back to the less fortunate. “We hope for people to come away from this realizing how blessed they truly are, especially the younger generations that come to help who don’t necessarily realize yet that not everyone has a refrigerator full of food to raid,” Maureen Evans said. l
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Kick Ash Festival seeks to put an end to ‘vape-havior’ – E-cigs on most-wanted list, per youth filmmakers
By Jennifer J. Johnson | J.Johnson@mycityjournals.com
ocal students are hooked on a bad habit: The use of “e-cigarettes” and “vapes” has increased an astonishing 500 percent since 2011. The findings come from the annual Student Health and Risk Prevention Survey (SHARP), conducted by area school districts in conjunction with the state health department. While, to young minds, “vaping” may seem like a warm and fuzzy, innocuous version of cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco, vaping is anything but un-dangerous. According to the American Lung Association, “evolving evidence” spells a collision course of vape usage with irreversible lung damage and lung disease. “People think vaping and e-cigarettes are different [from traditional tobacco products],” explains Julia Glade with the SLCO Health Department. “They aren’t. They are the same thing.” Kicking Ash through the best communicators – kids themselves SLCO is using an innovative approach to discourage teen vaping. The County is counting on kids, themselves, to do much of the communicating, and, in doing so, create even more buzz, with the ultimate outcome being to “Escape the Vape.” The 2019 Kick Ash Short Film Festival, held March 20 at West Jordan’s Viridian Event Center, gave students the chance to use creative and technical skills to make compelling 30-60 second anti-vape film “shorts” or public service announcements (PSAs) and then have them screened at a red-carpet event. In addition to the carrot of helping make a difference in the world, filmmakers were tantalized by significant booty. The school with the most Kick-Ash film entrants was awarded $350 for its multimedia classrooms. Kick Ash first-prize filmmakers in the upper division (grades 10-12) received $400, but the lure of the “audience-choice” award may have been even more tantalizing: The audience-choice winner, determined by a FaceBook voting poll, received a Chromebook with a 32-inch monitor, speakers, and blue-tooth headphones. Lower-grades were awarded $100 for “placing.” The Kick Ash ‘aha’ moment Having studied health-education promotion at the University of Utah, SLCO’s Glade is a certified health-education specialist for SLCO. The Kick Ash Festival, now in its second year, is her idea. She says she got the inspiration for Kick Ash while attending the 2017 Utah Substance Abuse Conference in Southern Utah.
Area junior high and high school students won hundreds of dollars for their “Escape the Vape” videos as part of Salt Lake County’s “Kick Ash” film festival. (Photo Credit: David Skorut/Salt Lake County Health Department)
– both the judges’ and the audience-choice award - was “Dreams” from Riverton High School. “Dreams” powerfully posited that “Teens are more likely to vape than use any other form of cigarettes,” making vape a “threatening gateway drug” for Gen Z. The payoff message? “Everyone has dreams. Don’t let vaping destroy yours.” The first-place entry, in the lower division, is a fact-filled vid called “Be Smart, Don’t Start.” The vid playfully depicts doing obviously un-smart activities, like touching a boiling pot, and then compares those to the decisions by teens to vape. The school submitting the most entries, Draper Park Middle School (DPMS), also ended up being the school whose students swept the lower-division individual prizes, with first-, second-, and third-place winners all coming from DPMS. The festival’s timing made it a perfect fit for the DPMS science curriculum. “In seventh grade, we learn about body systems,” explains Amy Valdez, seventh-grade teacher for DPMS. “We had just finished learning about respiratory systems, so they had a lot of good background knowledge.” Valdez paired the science and communications aspect of the project in students’ learning. “We talked about how a PSA needs to be informative. It needs to be a quick message and pack a punch.” The complete list of winning Kick Ash Short Film Festival entries is as follows:
Studiously listening as a speaker encouraged creative solutions for substance abuse, Glade suddenly had a profound “aha:” Salt Lake County youth, as members of Generation Z, the first generation of true “digital natives,” would respond to messages in a Upper Division (Grades 10-12) compelling, digital format. • First Place - Savannah Cobb and MauThe concept for “Kick Ash” was formed. ra Broadhead, Riverton High School Glade’s idea got the go-ahead, and the first • Second Place - Emily Guerrero, Amer“Kick Ash” event took place last year, 2018, ican Preparatory Academy/West Valley with the theme “Stand up, Speak out against City Big Tobacco.” The Winners – every Gen Z hearing the message and lucky high-school, junior high filmmakers The night of the screening of the 28 entrant-videos at the Viridian Event Center, none of the entrants knew, ahead of time, which entries had won, adding to the excitement of the event. Winning entries were presented with oversized checks and another opportunity to pose on the red carpet. And the most important thing for the student-filmmakers entering Kick Ash 2019? “To know they can make a difference in educating their peers,” observes Glade. Community members SLCO Library, RC Willey, Larry H. Miller Charities, University of Utah Health Plans, Primary Children’s Hospital, and Intermountain Healthcare were the underwriters of the prizes. All videography teams received not only cherished memories from the red-carpet screening but a commemorative Kick Ash T-shirt. The winning entry in the upper division
• Third Place - Serena Washburn and Sydney Austin, Summit Academy High School/Bluffdale Lower Division (Grades 7-9) • First Place - Ryan White, Draper Park Middle School • Second Place - Kasch Hart, Draper Park Middle School • Third Place - McKay Neyman and Tyler Balls, Draper Park Middle School Audience Choice Award • Savannah Cobb and Maura Broadhead, Riverton High School School with most entries • Draper Park Middle School Find all of the student videos at #KickAsh2019 or search @SaltLakeHealth on YouTube. Spend time on a Monday night or other time watching these videos with Gen Z and/or other family members. l
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June 2019 | Page 5
New laws, programs prepare Utah students for tech careers By Jet Burnham | email@example.com
FutureINDesign graduate Allyanna Boo demonstrates her graphic design project for Itineris Principal Renee Edwards at the program’s Senior Showcase. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)
raduates of Utah’s 429 high schools will look to fill jobs in the state’s growing tech industry. But are they prepared? “There are more than 1,500 open software development jobs in Utah right now across all industries,” said House Representative John Knotwell. “Utah’s economy continues to grow at a rapid pace fueled in large part by a young, motivated and creative workforce. And while these things are great, there is more that we can and we must do.” Knotwell sponsored the Computer Science Grant Act to provide computer science instruction to every student K-12. With the signing of the bill, Gov. Gary Herbert appropriated $3.9 million to make three different computer science courses available in all Utah schools by 2022. “This bill had more co sponsors than any bill in our 2019 legislative session, a clear signal that the time for this issue is now,” said Knotwell. “These courses help young people hone essential skills like problem solving, collaboration and creativity—skills which are desperately needed in our workforce today for employers to compete in an ever changing marketplace.”
Page 6 | June 2019
Currently, there are 19 computer science courses offered, (33 including IT courses) in Utah schools. Digital Literacy and Digital Studies are required courses for secondary students. The Utah State Board of Education Computer Science Task Force is recommending more elective computer science courses as well as the integration of computer science concepts (problem-solving, logic, mathematical reasoning and coding) into all aspects of classroom teaching for all ages. The task force also recommend changing keyboarding skills to a requirement for fifth-grade students instead of just recommended as it is now. Industry leaders have committed to match the state’s funding for a total of roughly $8 million this year going toward that goal, said Knotwell. Funding will provide training for teachers as well equipment such as 3-D printers, robotics equipment, smart boards and computers in the classrooms. But computer science is not the only industry in need of qualified employees; there is growth in all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) industries. The Utah’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development reports there are 4,201 local tech com-
Students play around with programmable rolling robots at Columbia Elementary School’s family STEAM night. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)
panies, 1,074 in the life science industry and 944 in the aerospace industry, all in need of qualified employees. Last year, Herbert signed S.B. 104 Talent Development and Retention Strategy, committing $2.5 million for debt relief for local college graduates who choose to employ their STEM skills in-state. Industry and community organizations such as Talent Ready Utah, Utah Technology Council, Silicone Slopes and the Utah STEM Action Center, are stepping up to prepare young people to fill Utah’s STEM jobs. On April 29, the Utah STEM Action Center teamed up with Boeing and Tallo to host Utah’s inaugural STEM Signing Day, an event celebrating high school seniors dedicated to pursuing college degrees in STEM subjects. Forty-six students were invited to the State Capitol to commit to pursue careers in biology, aerospace, engineering, medical, bio technology, chemistry, etc. Davis High School graduate Ryan Johnson committed to study aerospace engineering. While growing up, his family had a homemade rocket launcher. “We’d always just build rockets,” he
said. “I’ve always just liked seeing how high and how far we could launch them.” Sasha Singh, a graduate of Beehive Science and Technology Academy who plans to be an orthodontist, said her interest in science was inspired by her ninth-grade biology teacher. “She really got me interested in the human body, and since then, I’ve been taking a bunch of bio classes,” she said. Utah STEM Foundation Director Allison Spencer told the select students they should be celebrated just as much as athletes on their signing day. “Though we’re not giving you a multimillion dollar contract—though I sure wish we could because I feel like it’s that important—you’re setting an example for the rest of the students in the state of Utah,” she said. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson told the students they are fortunate to have support and opportunities to explore science and technology, which she did not have as a young girl. “I’ve been very passionate as the state superintendent to ensure that our students have all sorts of opportunities around
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Students pose on the steps of the State Capitol at STEM Signing Day, where they committed to pursue degrees in STEM subjects. (Photo courtesy of Utah STEM Action Center)
STEM,” she said. Many schools offer STEM education through family night activities, after-school clubs and programs such as First Lego League and Girls Who Code. Others have taken a STEM approach to everyday instruction.
design. In his FIND class, he designed a personal website as well as business cards and a resume highlighting his experience and skills which he hopes positions him well to qualify for an internship. FIND graduate Robert Watts is headed for the animation or the special effects fields, while Brandon Bain is planning to continue Nationally recognized STEM program: West Jordan’s Itineris Early College in coding. They both credit the FIND proHigh School has been nationally recognized gram for expanding their skills and perspectives for their career paths. for its STEM focus. Study.com named Itineris on their 2019 list of the 30 Top High School STEM Programs. Study.com, citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, said STEM jobs grew three times as fast as non-STEM jobs from 2000–2010. The site suggests early exposure is key, posting on its website that: “Rigorous STEM education can give a head start to students interested in pursuing work in these fields before they even reach college.” Itineris offers concurrent college enrollment classes through Salt Lake City Community College for STEM courses such as college algebra, math research, applied molecular biology, biomolecular separation and analysis, and medical terminology. What makes Itineris stand out is its after-school STEM and Art program, FutureINDesign or FIND, in which students learn coding, IT networking and graphic design. The program provides industry instructors and opportunities for the juniors and seniors in the program to earn Microsoft and IT certifications. FIND graduate Jaron Esquivel is headed to the University of Utah to study computer
Early Exposure Some local schools are providing STEM experiences at an earlier age. Students at West Jordan Elementary use Chromebooks in their classroom for everyday exposure to word processing and keyboarding skills This frees up their time in the computer lab for exploring more technical skills. For 45 minutes a week, students learn a variety of technical skills from filming and editing videos to publishing digital books to composing music on their computers. Students learn increasingly complex skills each year—by fifth grade, students can code video games, and by sixth, they have the skills to create animated videos. “Each grade has had progressively more challenging coding,” said Ellen Smith, computer lab instructor. Students gain proficiency in an assortment of programs, starting in third grade with PowerPoint and progressing to coding programs such as Scratch and digital drawing programs such as Pixie. Educators, parents and industry leaders agree that exposure to these kinds of experiences at a young age prompts interest and confidence to better prepare youth for technology careers.
Gov. Gary Herbert signs a bill to provide every student K-12 with increased computer science instruction. (Jet Burnham\City Journals)
“Early exposure is critical,” said Kath- learning toys for pre-k/early education that erine Kireiev, of the Utah STEM Action engage kids in fun applications of computer Center, which provides grants for educators science principles.” l to implement tech learning. “There are many
June 2019 | Page 7
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“Deanna’s Divas” was just one of hundreds of themed groups supporting someone special affected by multiple sclerosis. (Jordan Hafford/City Journals)
hat is the value of charity walks, and why do so many participate in them? “This is our ninth year, and we do it for our grandma every single year,” said Dallas Armenta, a walker who attended the event in honor of her grandmother. “We watched her suffer for over 30 years, and even though she’s not here anymore, we want to try to help others so they don’t have to go through what she did.” While the time and organization spent on events such as these that aim to raise money for a cause is indeed of considerable size, the effect it has on the community is invaluable. It raises awareness, creates a network of support and gives those suffering a sense of pride. The Walk MS event in West Jordan has seen its 20th year and is hardly losing steam. This year, there were 2,500 attendees, which raised more than $180,000. There were also 100 total volunteers to staff rest stops and cheer on walkers. “With nearly 1 million people living with MS in the United States, as published in a new study funded by the National MS Society, events like Walk MS are more important than ever to help raise awareness for a disease many of those within our community are living with,” said Melissa Mathews, President of Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter, National MS Society. “We are all in this together.” The National MS Society has recently conducted a new study which tells us that
twice as many people in the U.S. are living with multiple sclerosis than previously believed. Previous studies estimated the number to be 400,000; however, the new research indicates that the number is actually closer to 1 million. “Twice as many people need a cure and to know they have a community to support them,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO of the National MS Society. “Nobody should face MS alone, which is why Walk MS is so powerful as the gathering place for the MS movement. Funds raised at Walk MS support programs and services for people affected by MS, ensure legislative decision-makers understand the challenges of MS and public policy needed so that people can live their best lives, as well as fund global, cutting-edge research so we can get another step closer to finding a cure.” Among the attendees were veterans, MS victims, loved ones and lots of furry friends. Hundreds of large and small teams made their own creative themed jerseys and team names to display their support and enthusiasm for loved ones. They walked 1 to 3 miles along Veterans Memorial Park in West Jordan. Along with generating publicity, this charity instills a sense of hope in a community where MS is increasingly prevalent. Those who walk for their loved ones are proud of the victims and their fight and are proud of those who suffer hope for relief and hope for help from Walk MS and its avid supporters.
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June 2019 | Page 9
All that Jazz: Former beat writer releases book for Utah Jazz fans By Julie Slama | email@example.com
atching his sons’ lacrosse games and his daughter’s volleyball games, Deseret News writer Jody Genessy says he’s watching his favorite sporting events, a far cry from when he was a self-described “fanatic” Utah Jazz fan who painted his face before going to the NBA games with his dad or spending nine years as a beat writer covering his favorite basketball team. Even after calling it quits, like many greats before him — Jazz point guard John Stockton, power forward Karl Malone, one of the all-time winning most coaches Jerry Sloan, Genessy occasionally has returned to the arena, filling in on the beat, knowing the workload ahead of him. “I loved covering the Jazz,” he said. “As a kid, I tried to spin the ball like Adrian Dantley, and I grew up watching the Jazz. Covering the Jazz, I was there first hand to see them, but it was also madness. It was a crazy travel schedule. I saw a lot of airports, car rentals, hotels and arenas, but never the touristy sites. “ Genessy said his routine would include covering morning shoot-arounds to get quotes then return to the arena at 5 p.m. to interview coaches, transcribe notes, look at stats before covering the game. He was on the road 90 days per year. “I tried to show readers what it was like behind the scenes,” he said. “I had access to the guys in the locker room and I wanted to give Jazz fans a flavor, a feel of what it was like. By the end, I was mentally exhausted, it was a grind, and I knew it was time I needed to change my beat.” Just after he let go of covering the Jazz in 2017, he was approached about writing the book “100 Thing Jazz Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” which will have a book signing June 15 at Barnes & Noble in West Jordan (7157 Plaza Center Drive in Jordan Landing). It has already been a steady seller on Amazon and will have a second printing. After thinking about writing the book for a week and being encouraged by everyone, especially his wife, he agreed. One week later he had an outline of the book’s 100 chapters. “As I sat down and typed up a list, Pete Maravich, the Jazz name, the team moving to Salt Lake City, Adrian Dantley, Stockton’s short shorts, ‘City of Utah,’ I became excited about the book,” he said. Carving out time from his family, fulltime job and working as a health coach, Genessy spent the next five months, “writing it a little bit everywhere” in the break room at the Deseret News, at his home office, even at McDonald’s in his hometown of Herriman where he had free Wi-Fi and drink refills. He spent hours “strolling through memory lane:” watching Jazz highlights from Pete Maravich (“I would have loved to see him play”) to Michael Jordan pushing off Bryon
Page 10 | June 2019
Jody Genessy, author of “100 Things Jazz Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” met fans and signed autographs at King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City. (Photo courtesy of Ethan Genessy)
Russell in the NBA finals, and rereading his nine years of stories, including covering the Hall of Fame inductions. He read other accounts of the team, interviewed current and former players and coaches. Genessy even put out a poll on Twitter, which Mehmet Okur humorously responded, so it was included in “100 Things” book. “I did get some fresh interviews, but I also used a lot of research,” he said. “If there was a good quote or information from a game at the time, it was truer than recalling it three decades later, so I gave credit. It’s been neat, emotional, reliving memories and comebacks. I had forgotten or didn’t known some of the pranks I wrote about, like Adrian Dantley being fined 30 pieces of silver. It’s a funny story.” The book tells stories of “the shot,” which Stockton relived 20 years later (but “he only got off his tippy toes” this time around) to point guard Mo Williams posting on social media about Big Al Jefferson’s 10-foot-by12-foot bed, which “nobody wanted to move so it sold with the house” when Jefferson left. Other stories and chapters got cut, Genessy said as he wrote 110,000 words when the book editor requested only 60,000 to 70,000. Fortunately, his favorite chapter, “Stockton’s shorts,” remained. “I love how that was laid out in the book,” he said. “I wrote ‘In honor of John Stockton’s trunks, the chapter will be short. The end.’ And it ended the page. I also loved writing about the ‘City of Utah’; it cracked me up to relive it. I think the ‘Villains’ chapter was fun to write and entertaining to read.” Genessy said covering the Jazz, he had to “be fair, not a fan,” writing about “good performances and when they struggle.” He also had to learn to read the players and coaches.
Seen here with two of his four children, Jackson (left) and Aidan, Jody Genessy opens a box of his books, “100 Things Jazz Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.” (Photo courtesy of Heather Genessy)
At one point in the book, he wrote he received a stern response by Sloan when he questioned Carlos Boozer’s struggling game. “Sloan defends his players, and if outsiders question and give too much grief, they can feel his reproach,” Genessy said. “One time I talked to him and asked, ‘Have you considered toying with the lineup?’ He said, ‘I don’t toy with anything.’ It was a poor choice of my words, and I got a stern look from Jerry. You don’t want to be on the end of it.” Genessy wrote about the Jazz at times he wasn’t on the beat, interviewing others to gain perspective. One such occasion was to address the 1992 playoffs that got delayed against the Los Angeles Clippers after the Rodney King trial verdict was announced and the team found itself escorted to practice facilities for their safety. Genessy also missed covering the Jazz during Frank Layden’s reign, but he asked him to write the forward to his book. “It was an honor to interview Frank Layden,” Genessy said. “He was the bridge from the early days until now. He’s the ambassador for the Jazz, being the funny guy and able to put everything into perspective. He’s still very much admired.” On the beat, he said he had to adjust to the players as he interviewed them. “Deron Williams always wore his emotions on his sleeve, so if he had a bad day, he didn’t want to talk,” he said. “Alec Burks always gave short answers. He didn’t want to be interviewed, so the interview would be done in one minute. Mehmet Okur always gave four responses (because of the Turkish to English language barrier), but over the years, his English got better.” On the upside, Genessy said many players were great to interview, and Earl Watson was especially fun and gregarious. Every interview he had with current coach Quin Snyder, Genessy felt he “got smarter about
basketball. He is a good teacher, brilliant.” Genessy also appreciated Gordon Hayward’s dad driving him around Indianapolis one day, giving him insight about his son, which was revealed in the book addressing their “van talk.” “I could see how he tried to help and their relationship — the love and support of each other,” he said. “He opened the door into their lives and gave light to the up and coming player. It made a great story.” Genessy tried to put the chapters in priority order and consulted others before naming his first chapter, “Stockton to Malone.” “I talked to (Deseret News columnist) Lee Benson who said Larry H. Miller would be his No. 1 chapter,” he said about one of the sports writers he admires along with Deseret News writers Brad Rock and Doug Robinson. “Without Larry Miller, there probably would be no Utah Jazz. But for 20 years, the Jazz were ‘Stockton to Malone,’ and in a lot people’s minds, they still are. They’re the foundation; they have the statues, the streets on the map.” Decades later, Genessy now sees current teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, which he nicknamed the Stifle Tower, as what may become “the next generation of ‘Stockton to Malone.’” While writing the book may be Genessy’s “final chapter” in writing about the Jazz, it isn’t of his support for the team. Now Genessy, who has more flexibility in his current Deseret News assignment, may be watching the playoffs on the sidelines with his four children. “We invest our heart and soul in teams; we want the championship,” he said. “We follow the sport, fall in love with the people, fantasize our role on the team, yell, be supportive, wear the gear. This year, if Utah wins the first and second rounds (against the league’s toughest teams), it will be a breeze to win the NBA finals.” l
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June 2019 | Page 11
Joel P abuzz with reading Beehive Books By Jet Burnham | firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the Lost” by Brigid Kemmerer was voted by Utah teens as the winner of the 2019 Young Adult Beehive Book Award. Daniel Faber, a ninth-grader at Joel P Jensen Middle School, said out of the 19 nominated books that he read, that was the one he voted for. Beehive Books, nominated by the Children’s Literature Association of Utah, include young adult fiction, children’s fiction, picture books, informational books, poetry and graphic novels. “It was really interesting to see all the different ways that people can write books— like different styles,” said Daniel. Belinda Bambino, librarian at Joel P Jensen Middle, selected 19 books from the Beehive Book nominees most appropriate in content and reading level for middle school readers and challenged students and staff to read them. Students who had read the most books by spring represented JPJMS at the Battle of the Books competition against other local middle school teams. JPSMS’s team of seven took first place in this year’s battle, held at Riverton High School. It was a huge improvement from last year’s last-place standing. “It was the first year we had gone,” said Courtney Beesley, language arts teacher. “We didn’t realize that we should have read as many of the books we could. This year, they were really gung-ho about reading as many of the books as they could, and they really studied.” Beesley worked with team members to practice answering detailed and specific questions about the books. “We split the books up to different people so they could specialize in that and be really focused on that book,” said Samantha Kyriss, an eighth-grade team member.
Page 12 | June 2019
Due to the extra preparation, the team was able to collectively answer all but one of the 48 questions correctly. “There were definitely ones I personally didn’t know,” said Daniel. “But since there are four on a team, I think that we had our bases pretty covered.” Bambino motivated other students to read the nominated books by offering candy for each book they read. The 40 students and teachers who read at least five books from the list were invited to a party at the end of April where they enjoyed a catered lunch, won prizes and admired the shiny trophy the team had earned. “You don’t always get recognized for being a good reader or for loving reading,” said Beesley. “So I think it was kind of cool for them to get some recognition.” Beesley said students are also pushed out of their normal reading patterns. “There’s all sorts of different genres and all different kinds of subject matter in the Beehive Books,” said Beesley. “They’re exposed to a lot of different types of books.” While Daniel said it is rare to find him without a book, he admits he probably wouldn’t have read many of the nominees if it weren’t for the challenge. However, he was surprised to find he liked the different books, such as “Forget Me Not” by Ellie Terry. “I had never seen a book written like that,” he said. “Instead of chapters, it was a one- to two-page poem or little segments. It doesn’t tell you what’s going on, but it gives you little glimpses of it.” Samantha, who read a total of 70 books this year—11 from the nominee list—was also pushed out of her comfort zone. “I would never have read “Eliza and her Monsters” [by Francesca Zappia] probably because it didn’t really appeal to me at first— like the cover and the summary,” she said.
Students receive prizes for reading. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
“But when I started reading it, it was really, really good.” She said the story about a teen dealing with anxiety helped her gain an understanding of something she doesn’t have a personal experience with. Marilee Moon, president of the Children’s Literature Association of Utah, said the current trend in youth literature is books about young people dealing with hard experiences such as mental illness, imperfect families, disability, LGBTQ and struggling with inclusion and belonging. Graphic novels are also a growing
trend—especially with reluctant readers. “Kids love them because they’re short and fun,” said Moon. “It’s a way to get struggling readers to love reading.” The Beehive Award Winners are the only children’s book award chosen by children. Youth were invited to read the nominees and vote for their favorite. The winning books in each category are listed at claubeehive.org or can be found on display at local libraries. Next year’s nominees are also posted on CLAU’s website. Voting opens in September and closes April 1, 2020. l
West Jordan City Journal
Wild West Jordan gets an upgrade By Erin Dixon | email@example.com
ild West Jordan Playground version 2.0 was scheduled to open in May of this year. Now it’s debut is projected for midfall. What is the setback? (To see our previously published article about Wild West Jordan, visit westjordanjournal.com) It will be bigger and more expensive. Last year, when the original structure was torn down, city leaders allocated $800,000. The design that came back using with that amount was a simple park with minimal features. In February, the Parks division presented a preliminary new design to the West Jordan City Council. The draft was met with a lack of enthusiasm. Councilmember Chad Lamb wanted to give more to the residents than a basic park. He said of the first design, “I was hoping to get more options of designs. It’s not something that I think is unique or different or exciting.” Kim Wells, former public information officer for the city, expounded on the reaction of the council to the $800,000 design. “Partly when the plans were presented to the council, they wanted to see something even bigger with more play components,” she said. “It’s a really important park for the city, so they wanted to make sure this play-
ground reflected that. When the plans came back, I think they were underwhelmed.” Wells clarified why $800,000 can only go so far when building a park. “Partly because these types of playgrounds are commercial grade, they’re designed to last, they’ve got to take a lot of use by a lot of children, they’ve got to withstand the elements, and they’re going to last for a lot of years. They’re expensive.” With council direction, city staff set to work planning a more intricate, and more costly, structure. The fence alone in the preliminary design cost $60,000, giving a good reference point to how much a large playground can cost. Ultimately, the city council voted to spend the entirety of the $800,000 on the play structure, and in the near future will allocate additional funding for the fence and surfacing. Patrick Alcorn, construction manager for the city, said there isn’t a set completion date. Because the play elements are entirely custom, officials are waiting for fabrication before they can start construction. The goal is for sometime this fall. The new playground will have a longer life than the previous Wild West Playground built in 2004, which lasted just over 14 years.
The new one is projected to last 20. “[O]ur last structure was basically TREX and screws would poke through, and this [new one] is all metal with some type of Teflon, plastic coating on all the pieces,” Alcorn said. “It’s very weather resistant and maintenance friendly.” The new Wild West Jordan will also be more inclusive for children with different mobility needs. “One of the unique features is it’s one of the larger all-abilities playground,” Alcorn said. “So, there’s quite a bit of area you could get to if you were wheelchair bound.” The ground surface is a soft, springy material rather than wood chips. A wheelchair can reach almost the highest point of the structure. A fence will surround the entire structure, making it easier to keep track of children, especially those prone to bolting away unexpectedly. Children will be more protected from the summer sun with awnings over some of the play area. “That was one of the requests we had come from the public quite regularly: ‘Can you give us some shade?’” Wells said. Though it takes a little more room than the previous structure, construction will not obscure or disturb any of the nearby roads, playgrounds or trees.
“It’s about 16,000 square feet; it’s a little bit bigger,” Alcorn said. “We will not be taking any of the existing trees.” l
The new playground near West Jordan City Hall is meant for all-abilities, including a flat play surface and wheelchair-accessible components. (Photo courtesy West Jordan)
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801-568-3944 West Jordan City Journal
G O OD NE IG HBOR
NEWS Paid for by the City of West Jordan
2019 Comcast Cares Day
M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E
West Jordan’s Western Stampede The City of West Jordan is holding its 65th Annual Western Stampede July 4, 5 and 6. The Western Stampede is more than a few nights of rodeo. When it began in 1954, the city held activities like a beard contest, a greased-pig chase and a water-dunking machine in addition to the rodeo. Today, we host a parade, carnival, movie night, fireworks show, family fun night and many other fun activities for your family and the community to enjoy together.
Thank you to all 320 volunteers who helped with our city beautification projects for Comcast Cares Day! Here are some of the improvements made to our city: • 60 trees planted at four different locations • 50 yards of mulch added to shrub beds and tree wells • New soft-fall chips added to three playgrounds • Annual flowers planted and headstones cleaned at the West Jordan Cemetery • Trash pickup at all locations and graffiti removal Project locations included Broadmeadow, Constitution Park, Wildflower Park, Teton Park, and the West Jordan Cemetery. If you weren’t able to join us for Comcast Cares Day, we hope that you can volunteer with us next year.
In 2018, we had record-setting attendance at the Western Stampede Rodeo. It comes as no surprise. I’ve been coming to the rodeo for 26 years, usually bringing my evergrowing family. I’ve seen tremendous improvement in the quality of the arena, riders and participants, stock contractors, announcers, vendors and entertainment. People come from all over the state and country to participate in and watch our iconic rodeo. If you haven’t been to a rodeo (especially ours), I encourage you to buy your tickets at WesternStampede.com now. The Mutton Bustin’ alone is well worth the price of admission! You don’t have to wear cowboy boots or a ten-gallon hat to attend. You don’t even have to know the names of the events. Just come, grab some popcorn and enjoy the summer evening.
2019 FAMILY FUN NIGHT We had an incredible turnout for our Family Fun Night and Children’s Parade last year. This year, we’ve decided to combine the two events into one evening on Saturday, July 6 from 3:30-8 p.m. The Children’s Parade is an opportunity for the youth of West Jordan to dress up and decorate their bikes or scooters and put on a miniature parade inside Veterans Memorial Park for their parents and spectators. During Family Fun Night, our community will be treated to inflatable slides and obstacle courses, pony rides and other fun activities. There will be a variety of food trucks and vendors for families and attendees to purchase dinner and snacks.
VOLUNTEERS I want to personally thank all those who work to put on the Western Stampede year after year. It requires dozens of volunteers, hundreds of participants, and thousands of hours to put on a successful event. Volunteers are essential to help with arena parking, ticket booths, arena upkeep, sponsorships, food vendors, parade coordination and more. Our Police and Fire Departments help us keep the events safe by working around the clock during Independence Day and throughout the week. Those who participate in the Grand Parade, Linda Buttars Memorial Fun Run, Rodeo and Children’s Parade are all important pieces to West Jordan’s Western Stampede. Without their help and participation, we wouldn’t have these Independence Day celebrations. Starting with the Fourth of July Grand Parade at 10:30 a.m., I hope that you will join me and the City Council in enjoying the 2019 West Jordan Western Stampede. In the following pages of this month’s City Newsletter, you will see additional details about the time, place, and details of all the exciting events happening during the Western Stampede. Jim Riding, Mayor
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER
PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
Fourth of July Parade • July 4 • 10:30 a.m. This year’s festivities begin with the annual West Jordan Independence Day Grand Parade. The parade starts at City Hall, 8000 South Redwood Road, and runs north to 7000 South. There will be road closures to accommodate the parade. Please use alternate routes during these times. We are also looking for parade entries. Applications are online at WesternStampede.com.
Carnival • July 4, 5 & 6 The carnival is in town! Admission is free and rides and food are available for purchase. Hours of operation are: July 4 from noon-midnight; and July 5 & 6 from noon-11 p.m. Discounted pre-sale tickets go on sale at City Hall, 8000 South Redwood Road, beginning Monday, June 3 and will be available until July 3 or when supplies run out.
Park Activities • July 4, 5 & 6 Many activities will take place in Veterans Memorial Park including an entertainment stage with a variety of talents from music to magic, food trucks and booths, and many art and craft vendors. From the Grand Parade on the morning of the Fourth to the last carnival ride on Saturday night, there will be ongoing activities including a pie eating contest, fireworks display, free Family Fun Night with inflatables and pony rides, a Children’s Parade and much more.
Western Stampede – July 4, 5 & 6 Events take place at Veterans Memorial Park (8030 South 1825 West) and the Rodeo Arena (8035 South 2200 West). Details online at WesternStampede.com
Western Stampede PRCA Rodeo • July 4, 5 & 6 7 p.m. Mutton Bustin’ Preshow; 8 p.m. PRCA The Western Stampede rides into town for the 65th year of rodeo excitement! Cervi Championship Rodeo is back for their seventh year and brings their award-winning “Born to Buck” program and top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls. Tickets start at just $8! Get your tickets online now for best seating. The Arena Box Office will be open July 4 from 1-8 p.m. and July 5 & 6 from 4-8 p.m. Rodeo tickets range from $8-$20. Visit www.WesternStampede.com for tickets and event details.
Fireworks • July 4 • 10:15 p.m. The fireworks show begins when the Western Stampede Rodeo is over and the livestock are secured at the adjacent arena. Fireworks will be visible throughout the park and arena. Personal fireworks are not allowed in city parks. Fireworks may be discharged according to state code between the dates of July 2-5 and July 22-25 in non-restricted areas. Visit WestJordan.Utah.gov for additional details.
Linda Buttars Memorial 5k Fun Run & 1-Mile Walk • July 6 • 8 a.m./9 a.m. All ages are welcome to participate in this affordable run/walk honoring Linda Buttars, a West Jordan volunteer extraordinaire, who passed away in 2006. Both the timed 5K (8 a.m.) and the 1-mile walk (9 a.m.) are open to strollers . Registration is just $5 for an individual, $10 for immediate families and $10 for business teams for the first five and then $2 for each additional member. Register online at Active.com by June 18 to receive a t-shirt. (Late and walk-up registrations are available but don’t guarantee t-shirts.)
Family Fun Night • July 6 • 3:30-8 p.m. The Children’s Parade will kick off Saturday’s Family Fun Night at 3:30 p.m. Children can dress up and decorate their bikes or scooters to join in the fun. Following the Children’s Parade there will be free inflatable slides, obstacle courses and pony rides as well as an entertainment stage, Police Department K-9 demonstrations and the chance to view and explore “big rigs” from the Public Works Department. The fun-filled night will conclude with a free movie in the park. Food trucks and other concessions will be available for purchase at Veterans Memorial Park for dinner and snacks.
Movie in the Park • July 6 • 9:30 p.m. The perfect way to end the Western Stampede is to cool down, watch the sunset and enjoy an outdoor movie at Veterans Memorial Park. Watch out for our online survey to help us pick which movie.
The Western Stampede is excited to name Jordan Valley Medical Center as our title sponsor! A BIG thank you to community-minded sponsors like Jordan Valley for supporting events like the Western Stampede! This event has been a West Jordan tradition since 1954 and generous sponsors like Jordan Valley Medical Center help make it possible.
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER
PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
FILING PERIOD TO DECLARE CANDIDACY: MAYOR/CITY COUNCIL
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3-7 Administration Office 8000 S Redwood Rd. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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City Hall 8000 S Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
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City Hall Council Chambers 8000 S Redwood Rd 6 p.m.
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City Hall Council Chambers 8000 S Redwood Rd. 5:30 p.m.
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City Hall Council Chambers 8000 S Redwood Rd. 5:30 p.m.
The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 Join the conversation! (801) 569-5100 West Jordan – City Hall www.wjordan.com
West Jordan Police Dept. 8040 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84088 801-256-2000 801-840-4000 Dispatch
The splash pad at Ron Wood Park, 5900 W. New Bingham Highway, is open for the season! Splash pad hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed Sunday. The splash pad is on a timer and can be turned on by stepping on a button on the west side of the splash pad. We have received requests to have the splash pad open on Sunday but currently do not have adequate staff. Staff is required to be on site to keep the filters clean and the splash pad operational. Also, pavilions at the Ron Wood Park are first-come, first-serve and are not available for reservation. Currently, the only park pavilions that can be reserved are at Veterans Memorial Park. Pavilions can be reserved online at WestJordan. Utah.gov or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-569-5728.
The latest Water Quality Report has just been released, and we are pleased to report that our drinking water meets all federal and state requirements. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires water providers to report to their customers on the quality of their drinking water each year. Most of the the city’s water supply comes from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. The water supply is supplemented with well water from May through October. The latest report is available online at WestJordan.Utah.gov. For questions or concerns, please call 801-569-5700.
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June 2019 | Page 19
Water conservation, police shortage characterize final county town hall By Jennifer J. Johnson | email@example.com
ountywide water conservation and concerns about a law enforcement labor shortage headlined the tail end of a five-site, cross-county town hall tour, ending May 9 at Salt Lake County Element Event Center in Kearns Metro Township.
Water conscientiousness, conservation “an absolute priority” for west side SLCO Mayor Jenny Wilson says she has Kentucky Blue Grass on the lawn of her Federal Heights home for her kids to play in but indicates the whole county needs to gear up for water conservation, and that, through conservation and water-wise planning, grass can co-exist with a conscientious yard. The key is conscientiousness for individuals and cognizance according to legislators and the county. According to Wilson, if the sweet carrot of conservation does not invoke restricted water usage, then the smarting stick of price regulation will change—must change— county residents’ water usage. A question-answer session with the mayor yielded her comments, where she lightly chided previous SLCO administrations’ ambiguous or even agnostic treatment of environmental issues and underscoring what she promises to be elevated concerns about environmentalism during her administration.
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“You are right to be critical of the county,” Wilson said. “To date, we have not been very strong on environmental issues.” Indicating what she depicts as newfound county courage and strength with regards to environmentalism, she asserted, “Water conservation is an absolute priority.” The matter is of particular concern for west-side development, where “we will only have the water if we change our practices,” she said, adding, “We have got to change the conversation in our state.” It is a consistent theme Wilson has been building since delivering her “State of the County” speech in March when Wilson announced her commitment to creating a new Office of Environmental Services. County leaders also concerned about law enforcement talent shortage During a presentation either she or a representative of her staff had delivered throughout the five-site, cross-county town hall, SLCO Sheriff Rosa “Rosie” Rivera diverted attention to a concern about SLCO law enforcement being understaffed and experiencing considerable challenge attracting talent in a Salt Lake Metro and state economy with less than 3 percent unemployment. Law enforcement compensation is a hot-button in the Salt Lake Metro area. According to Police Sgt. Kevin Hunter with the SLCO Sheriff’s office, there is a 600-person statewide shortage for law enforcement personnel. SLCO’s jail management accounts for 116 of those jobs, resulting in what Hunter says is a 26 percent open headcount. Early-to-mid-May saw Salt Lake City officers reportedly pleading with the city council for higher pay and the capital city’s council approving budgeting for nearly twice the officers proposed by SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s staffing request. Mid-month, South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood proposed the city’s first property tax hike in a decade — a 31 percent increase — to fund pay raises for police and firefighters amid what she said are some of the lowest responder salaries across the Salt
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Lake Valley. “It’s very important that we get enough staff, so if you know people in law enforcement, it would be great to send them my way,” Rivera said to a loud round of applause. Rivera pointed out that SLCO runs continuous police academies year-round, has raised starting wages for officers and, thanks to new legislation, as of July 1, SLCO can hire individuals as young as 19 years of age to work in the jail. Wilson addresses additional concerns as “a friendly bureaucracy, efficient bureaucracy” In addition to addressing water conservation, Wilson addressed residents’ and elected officials’ concerns, ranging from security along the Jordan River amid the nearterm severing of services (June 30) and legislated closure (Sept. 30) of The Road Home Homeless shelter and a transition plan to three Homeless Resource Centers dispersed through Salt Lake City and neighboring South Salt Lake City. Kearns-specific issues seemed limited to questions about development issues surrounding the still-new metro township form of government Kearns migrated to circa 2016, to grumblings about years-long delays in SLCO’s developing the Oquirrh Park green space. In depicting the county’s relationship with KMT and other west-side metro townships such as Magna, Wilson said, “We’re a friendly bureaucracy and an efficient bureaucracy.” She also emphasized SLCO’s regional transportation and connectivity responsibilities and stressed her administration’s and SLCO’s overall “problem-solving capabilities.” Cross-county town hall tour hits final stop Stop five on a cross-county town-hall tour landed Wilson and a team of elected officials and the departments that support them squarely at the most magnificent and newest site of the tour—the SLCO Element Event Center in Kearns. Prior to the May 9 town hall in Kearns, SLCO held town halls in South Jordan, Draper, Millcreek and the SLCO Complex itself. The town halls were ambitiously executed, just months after Wilson assumed office late January. (Wilson advanced to the mayoral position via a special election by the Democratic Party after former Democratic SLCO Mayor Ben McAdams’s ascension to the national political sphere, joining the United States House of Representatives, defeating former Republican representative Mia Love in the November 2018 election.) The Element Event Center venue and comments on Kearns Kearns residents Alex and Nancy Aerts said attending the town hall afforded them
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson (left) discusses Southwest Quadrant development issues with West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding and his wife, Kathe Riding, at the Kearns Town Hall, May 9. (Photo Credit: Salt Lake County.)
their first time inside the Element Events Center. “A west-side kid who’s proud of it,” said Alex Aerts, who has previously served on committees for the building he now was enjoying. “Modernization is great. Beautification is better.” “We are slowly getting away from the old Kearns,” said his wife, Nancy, considering the changes positive. During the evening, Wilson cited numerous SLCO projects in various stages of completion, contributing significantly to the beautification of the area. The results noticed by Nancy Aerts are indicative of “The Kearns Initiative,” a placebased initiative started in 2015 by McAdams. “Mayor Bush was fantastic to get the word out,” said Ryan Perry, senior policy adviser for Wilson, giving credit to Kearns Metro Mayor Kelly Bush for the full attendance at the event. Bush’s staff advertised the town hall on the Kearns Metro Township’s Facebook page and even provided Facebook Live video footage of the event. “West-side communities such as Kearns, Magna and West Valley City—they usually are very good at showing up,” said Perry. West-side dignitaries show support Bipartisan support for the SLCO tour was on display in Kearns. Utah Sen. Minority Whip Karen Mayne and Utah Rep. Erik Hutchings were in attendance, representing both chambers of the Utah Legislature, and both Democrat and Republican political parties, respectively. West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding and wife, Kathe, were in attendance, as were WJ City Councilmembers Dick Burton and Kayleen Whitelock. Bush was also supported by KMT Councilman Alan Peterson and Kearns Community Council member Paula Larsen. Magna Metro Township Mayor Dan Peay and wife, Shauna, also attended. l
West Jordan City Journal
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Columbia creates lands of learning for STEAM night By Jet Burnham | firstname.lastname@example.org
TEAM Night transformed Columbia Elementary into six lands of learning. Elaborately decorated hallways welcomed families into each new land. In Water Land, hallways became waterways with blue plastic tablecloths draped over from the ceilings and blue streamers running down the walls. A bubble machine drew to activities such as a sink or float sensory experience and an obstacle course. Parents and students made “junk boats” out of water bottles, toilet paper rolls, rubber bands and boxes of various sizes, which they then tested to see if they would float. “It’s been fun to see all the parents and kids working together,” said Tammy Struthers, a first-grade teacher. “All the parents are actually engaged with their kids, which is really cool.” Butcher paper jungle vines hung in Adventure Land where the focus was engineering activities. Ulysses Rodriguez, a second-grader, spent the majority of his there, building objects out of marshmallows and toothpicks. “He’s going to be an engineer someday, I just know it,” said Teresa Gomez, his teacher. Students built a variety of structures— towers, bridges, tents, people, jewelry— while applying engineering principals. “There’s a lot of learning going on even though it looks like playing,” said Gomez. “I have students figuring out that using toothpicks diagonally can help make a structure more sound versus just building a square, which they all start off with.” Colored squares dotted the floors that to the colorful hallways of Candy Land and activities such as Fizzy Science, States of Matter, Candy Mazes and Tessellation Art. Kindergartener EmiLee Letcher was thrilled to play with candy. Her mother, Crystal Letcher, said the school activity was a good way to spark her daughter’s interest in STEAM topics. In Astroland, students played with remote-control robots and waited in line for a chance to complete a space mission in the InfiniD mobile lab. Families who visited Imagination Land made popsicle-stick launchers In Magic Land, University of Utah students, dressed in top hats and capes, dazzled families with science experiments about ocean acidification, plasma balls, magnets, oobleck (slime) and liquid nitrogen. Rebekah Maxwell shrieked with joy when she saw strands of DNA separate from the strawberries she’d mashed with various liquids. “I feel like a real scientist—I’m saving strawberry DNA!” crowed the third-grader.
Fourth-grader Angela Acevedo and her dad work together to make a “junk boat.” (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
Other students were dazzled by the experiments that used liquid nitrogen. When they popped frozen bits of cereal into their mouths, their body temperature quickly evaporated the cold air into puffs of white vapor that shot out of their mouths and noses. U of U student Madi Walker showed students how to make batteries out of a potato, cucumber, lemon and apple. “They thought it was the coolest thing ever,” she said. “They did not believe that a battery can be made from stuff that they eat.” Walker, who is majoring in chemistry and plans to apply for medical school, said she remembers a lot of science demonstrations in her elementary school that exposed her to and got her excited about science. Columbia students regularly engage in science activities with certified teacher science specialist Cara Hagman. The goal of STEAM Night was to engage kids in STEM learning that involved their families, as well. Sponsors for STEAM Night included the Utah STEM Action Center, Columbia Elementary’s PTA, Jordan Education Fund, Loose in the Lab, University of Utah, and InfiniD as well as faculty members. “This is a whole team effort,” said Sandy King, chair for the event. “We had our STEM committee, but then teachers throughout the whole school just put in so much love and care into just making it fun for kids. We have a great principal who’s building a culture of fun.” l
West Jordan City Journal
West Jordan Elementary students display their ‘wonder’ ful art
By Jet Burnham | email@example.com
arents were wowed by their children’s artwork, on display at West Jordan Elementary School’s Art Night. After dinner in the cafeteria, families enjoyed the paintings, drawings, sculptures and digital art students have created throughout the year. “I am just so proud,” said art specialist Vicki Crist. Students work with Crist on art projects inspired by books and by master artists. Her instruction applies right-brain thinking to master the basic components of art. Crist, who encourages students to sketch and doodle any time they can, invited them to showcase pieces they’d created on their own in addition to projects from her weekly art class. Sixth-grader Gabrielle Garcia displayed sketches she’d drawn a few years ago as well as more recent experiments in pencil techniques such as a series of sketches illustrating a visual range of emotions. She said her work was inspired by the emotions of sadness, loneliness, loss and anger. “I draw when I feel emotions,” said Gabrielle. Jackson Attaway volunteered to provide on-the-spot portraits for those attending Art Night. “I just wanted to do some portraits and do something fun,” said the fifth-grader who hopes to be an animator someday. Amber Cook, a parent, said the artistic outlets West Jordan Elementary offers help foster emotional wellness for students. “It’s great to have a school that boosts the arts,” said Cook. “It’s not just about the math and the science but that they’re actually able to show their personalities and work through their emotions through art.” Under the direction of Beverly Taylor Sorenson Art Learning Program music specialist Jaycee Johnson, each grade performed a song about kindness for families attending Art Night. The year’s focus on kindness and the introduction of the theme “A Wonder to Behold” began at Back to School Night when each family received a copy of the popular book “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Cook read the book with her first-grader and thought it was a great way to help kids understand the power of being kind. “I think with the kids just learning to be kind at school, and having that as a theme at the school has helped them just with not as much of the bullying, making sure that they’re standing up for each other and being kind,” said Cook. The kindness theme has been incorporated in every activity this year from assemblies and in-class activities to challenges such as students filling up a Bingo card with kind acts they performed. Students even report classmates they see being kind for a chance to attend a Kindness Breakfast of cookies and
Mountain America Partners with Utah Special Olympics to Promote Inclusion The Special Olympics Unified Sports Program was established to break down barriers that exist between students with intellectual disabilities and other students. Through this program, students with disabilities and partners (students without disabilities) train and compete together. With nearly 1.5 million elementary, middle, and high school students participating nationally, Unified Sports creates inclusion and acceptance by forming a path to friendship and understanding. More than 80 athletes from eight schools participated in the Unified Sports State Track & Field event at Copper Hills High School on May 15. As the title sponsor of the Utah Special Olympics Unified Sports program, Mountain America presented the athletes with their medals after Wednesday’s competition. (Copper Hills girls 100-meter team showcasing their gold medals).
Families stroll the art-filled halls of West Jordan Elementary. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
milk provided by Chick-Fil-A. Sixth-grader Chloe Edginton said the theme has impacted students’ behavior. “The way that kids treat each other for the way that they look or just how they act— they don’t really get judged for it anymore,” she said. “Kids treat kids a lot better just for who they are.” The kindness theme, coupled with a new social-emotional education curriculum to teach problem-solving strategies, has provided students skills to prevent playground disagreements from escalating. Culture and Climate Specialist Angie Hamilton reports there have been fewer office referrals during recess. “The climate and the culture around here are definitely more relaxed and more welcoming,” said Hamilton. Heidi Attaway, who has a fourth-grader, second-grader and kindergartener attending West Jordan Elementary, said they had problems with bullying at their previous school. She said the climate at WJE is much kinder, and the administration is quick to address bullying. She credits Principal Jen Ludlow for setting the mood of the school. “She treats all the kids like they’re her own,” said Attaway. Ashly Birch, parent of a fourth- and second-grader, said she appreciates that, through the kindness theme, the teachers and administration are supporting what she is teaching her kids at home about being kind to others. “As parents, we try to always teach that, but I think when it’s magnified like this, it’s reiterating that we need to focus more on it,” she said. l
June 2019 | Page 23
From bottom of the class to leader of the pack: Copper Hills graduate impresses superintendent By Jet Burnham | firstname.lastname@example.org
t age 10, Elvis Amin was reading two levels below grade level. A child of Sudanese refugees, he struggled to master English and to overcome a speech impediment. But he was motivated to work hard to improve because he wanted to be friends with the popular kids, who he realized were also the smart kids. “Seeing them being in their classes, and me going to resource classes or English as a second language classes, kind of pushed me to want to be with them—and to even go farther than them,” said Amin. And that’s exactly what he did. Now Amin is the epitome of the popular kid. He is always surrounded by friends. He is the smart kid and the student leader. Amin served as sophomore class president and junior class president and is currently the Student Body president at Copper Hills High School. “As a leader, Elvis has the ability to lead a group, but every person in that group will believe that Elvis is their friend,” said Scott Adamson, SBO adviser. Student Government Adviser Rae Boren credits Amin for a greater school unity. “He is beloved here at Copper Hills,” she said. “It is because he not only treats ev-
eryone with kindness and respect, but he does it with a genuine heart. He learns about the people he interacts with, he listens to them and includes them.” Whether he is reaching out to the quiet kid, providing a listening ear for the kid who got kicked out of his house or texting the worried kid at midnight, Amin exemplifies the principles Superintendent Patrice Johnson values. This is why members of the Jordan Education Foundation awarded him the first ever Dr. Patrice Johnson Superintendent’s Scholarship. The scholarship, awarded to a student who has demonstrated leadership, tenacity, grit, perseverance and searching for the American Dream, was funded by JEF board members in honor of Johnson, who is retiring. As Sudanese refugees, Amin’s parents struggled to provide basic needs for him and his three sisters. Living on government support for food and housing without positive peer role models in his community, Amin struggled in school. Finally, his mother arranged tutoring sessions, and Amin seized the opportunity to work hard to create a new future for himself. “Elvis is such a positive young man that when times are difficult, I believe he knows
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that he or the group or the situation can be overcome with persistence,” said Adamson. In addition to serving on student government, Amin is also secretary for the school’s Black Student Union and is involved in CH Pals helping special needs students. Amin believes his life experiences help him connect with others. “I feel like, for me, that’s been key— building friendships and just helping others grow,” said Amin. “I feel like I’m relatable, and I’m able to help them realize that they can make it past this adversity that they face.” Amin feels a responsibility to mentor others. “Being SBO President, I work with 26 other kids in student government,” said Amin. “I try to be like a big brother to them and just hear out their problems and just try to help them.” Amin knows he is fortunate to have had the opportunities and the support that he has and he wants to pay it forward. “I want to be that person that I never had,” he said. “I never had that mentor— someone that was older than me, who was making it down the right path and showing me the right way to go and just being a good example. I feel like I kind of had to figure
that out for myself. I know there’s a whole generation behind me that wants to learn the same thing, because no one else is doing it for them.” This includes the people of South Sudan, whom he plans to help once he gets his business degree from the University of Utah. “It’s the people that keep me going,” said Amin. “Seeing others do stuff and just trying to help them is what keeps me going. And that’s what makes me smile.” l
Elvis Amin receives the first-ever Dr. Patrice Johnson Superintendent’s Scholarship. (Photo courtesy Jordan Education Foundation)
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West Jordan City Journal
Students at Majestic Elementary get new shoes for the summer By Jet Burnham | email@example.com
ome kids in West Jordan may be running a little faster and standing a little taller this summer in the brand-new shoes given to them by Shoes That Fit and Bridge Investment Group. “You’ll be able to run fast in these brand-new shoes,” Micah Brown promised the children of Majestic Elementary School in West Jordan when he and his fellow local Bridge Investment Group employees helped Shoes That Fit volunteers deliver brand new athletic shoes to the students. They brought 268 pairs of shoes—one for every student in the school, including the preschoolers, totaling a value of $12,000, said Principal Kathe Riding. Riding said having new shoes that they feel comfortable wearing will be a boost to the kids’ self-confidence. “It’s more than just a pair of shoes,” she said. “This might be the difference to where they go outside and play a little more because they want to use their fun shoes.” Riding told students that the shoes might be a little big. Teachers had measured the kids’ feet but left room for them to grow during the summer. If the shoes felt too tight, students were able to switch them for a better size. Riding warned them no matter how cute the shoes were or how much they liked them,
Local volunteers from Bridge Investment Group partnered with nonprofit Shoes That Fit to provide the shoes. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
they needed to make sure they had the right size. “We do not want you to be so excited that you say they fit when they don’t fit,” she said. Stanton Sweeney, a sixth-grader, has been wearing shoes that are too big for him lately. He was happy with his new white shoes, which have a memory foam foot bed and are much more comfortable. “They’re a smaller size, and these one’s fit me better,” he said. “I didn’t really care about the brand just as long as they fit me.” As the boxes of shoes were handed out,
smiles broke out among the students, but there were some tears among the adults who were helping the excited kids try the shoes on. “It’s giving that gets personal,” said Riding, who is grateful to those who made the donation possible. Helen Lim, of Shoes that Fit, said the nonprofit does these kinds of events a few times a month all across the country. While in Utah, the group also provided 220 shoes to students at M. Lynn Bennion Elementary School in Salt Lake District. “We look for schools in areas that are ei-
ther low income or areas of need,” said Lim. “Our mission is focused on providing athletic sneakers that kids feel good in and they feel comfortable in so they can learn, play, thrive and reach their highest potential.” After all the work of coordinating the events, Lim loves to watch the kids’ reactions when they get their shoes. Fourth-grader Savannah Whitchurch was happy to get black shoes with bright pink laces and soles. She said she will be doing a lot of running in her new shoes. “My other ones were old and worn out, so it was really fun to get new shoes,” she said. Mark Giorgio, who works at Bridge Investment Group headquarters in Sandy, was excited to be part of the event. “I live across the street, so these are my neighborhood kids,” he said. He enjoys working for a company that frequently gives back to the community. Abygail, a kindergartener, said it was nice for people to come and give all the kids shoes. “I give people presents,” she said. Now that she has new shoes to play hide and seek in, she said she will give her old shoes away to someone else. l
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June 2019 | Page 25
What is Esports? By Greg James | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gamers come in all ages. Spencer Cox and his cousin Jordyn play Smash Brothers at home on the Nintendo DS. (Photo courtesy of Greg James/City Journals)
t has become an epidemic, esports are a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing in popularity in players’ basements. Esports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different teams and leagues face off playing games made popular by at-home gamers such as Fortnight, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Counter Strike and Madden to name a few. Gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world by attending live events, on TV or online. The live streaming service Twitch allows viewers to watch gamers in real time. “There are tons of Meetups and small community groups that play weekly, like little grassroots groups,” said JJ Mckeever, Information Technology Specialist for GameTyrant, a North Salt Lake-based gaming center. “The games have been made increasingly available. People play in groups, and there are tournaments where they can play in person.” The 2018 Overwatch Grand Finals were held at the Barclays Center in New York City. According to a report from Newzoo, a market analytics company, 380 million people will watch esports this year. Tournaments and events will draw crowds that rival most traditional sports. In July, ESPN and Disney announced a multi-year deal to televise the Overwatch League. According to Newzoo, 588 esports events were broadcast in 2017. Last year, the NBA drafted 102 professional gamers to compete in its newly launched NBA 2K league. Colleges have even gotten in on the action. Recently, Snow College in Ephraim announced plans to add an esports program to its athletic department. “We are excited about the addition of esports and the opportunities it presents for our students,” Snow College President Gary Carlston said. “This is new territory for most higher education institutions.” But not everyone carries the same enthu-
Page 26 | June 2019
siasm. “I could not get him out of the car,” Jaylynn Merrill said. “He is always playing that game and never pays attention.” She had grown frustrated that her nephew, Spencer, did not want to stop playing long enough to walk into the school. The attitudes of many parents and family members are similar to Merrill’s feelings. “I do not understand what he sees in those games,” she said. Esports players, not unlike traditional athletes, can rake in big money. Tournaments boast millions of dollars in prize money. The world’s best players can earn seven figures a year. The League of Legends tournament in 2017 generated $5.5 million in ticket sales. “For the most popular games there is a tournament almost every weekend,” Mckeever said. “Super Smash Bros is very healthy (popular) in this area. Game Tyrant (in North Salt Lake) had a tournament that attracted some major talent. The Pac-12 has an esports league and the (University of Utah) has several esports teams.” Newzoo indicates League of Legends, Counter Strike and Fortnite as the most popular esports games. The NBA is not the only traditional professional league to get in involved. Major League Soccer has started eMLS using the game FIFA. The International Olympic Committee met in 2017 to discuss the possibility of legitimizing esports as an Olympic competition. “Kids can get involved by watching YouTube videos and learning the strategy,” Mckeever said. “Practicing is important. Join up and play face-to-face. I know there are school leagues to get involved with.” Taylorsville, Cyprus, Herriman and Copper Hills high schools are some of the many local schools that offer gaming clubs. “Perfect practice applies just as much to esports teams as to traditional sports teams,” Mckeever said. l
West Jordan City Journal
Cheers and encouragement: How to be a better sports parent By Greg James | email@example.com
You are invited & dinner is on us!
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Travis Nichols coaches his son by showing him the moves he needs to complete to win his wrestling match. (Greg James/City Journals)
ere’s something most kids will never say to their parents: Thanks for screaming at the referee and the other team the entire game. All parents want to help and support their kids while they play sports. Most are able to do so without hindering others’ enjoyment or putting unnecessary stress on coaches or players. However, a refresher on spectator etiquette is always a good thing. “Parents that support their athlete, regardless of their role on the team make, the best parents to work with,” former Copper Hills boys basketball coach Andrew Blanchard said. “It helps when parents find a role in the program that supports and are genuinely happy without expecting something in return.” Here are three ideas from truesport.com to help you to become a better sports parent.
Support the coach Some parents believe that their child’s performance within the youth program is a reflection of their own parenting skills and self-worth. They feel that constant instruction from the sideline will help their child get it right. In a study by truesport.com, children who are over-parented shows they are more likely to develop anxiety, have low self-esteem and believe they have no control over their success. “I feel boundaries are important, but the coach needs to have a relationship with the parents so that they know he cares about the overall mental and physical health of the athlete,” Blanchard said. “I think parents asking about playing time or other athletes should be avoided by all accounts. Playing time is a coach’s decision and should not be brought up in conversations or meetings.” Let your children learn as well as fail. Remember to let kids have fun and encourage pick up games with no parents, coaches
or stat keepers. Encourage children A player waiting to hear what base he needs to throw the ball to may never learn to make decisions. It is good to let players act with an objective. In the book “The Narcissist You Know,” Dr. Joseph Burgo encourages competitive parents to talk to their kids, praise their efforts and be less critical of their mistakes. Help kids set goals. They are like a road map of where they want to go both in and outside of sports. Break down the big goals into smaller, incremental goals. “Players must work while they wait,” Blanchard said. “Otherwise, they will not be ready or prepared when their chance to play comes.” Respect officials and the opposition Bad calls happen. They happen in youth sports, high school sports, professional sports and even the Olympics. Of all the places the bad call matters the least, it is youth and high school sports. In most youth sports, the official is a volunteer; there is no instant replay or mega million dollar prize money on the line. Sportsmanship is generally talked about in a sport context, but as you step back it is generally good behavior and communication in any situation. Children model the behavior and communication styles they see. Teaching children to play by the rules, own their mistakes, say thank you, disagree respectfully and be a team player is important. “At the beginning of the season, I have a meeting and encourage the parents to be positive with their athlete,” Blanchard said. “They should speak positively about their athlete and his teammates. I encourage them to avoid ‘table talk’ unless it is positive.” l
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June 2019 | Page 27
Copper Hills twins hitting home runs in the Big Apple By Greg James | email@example.com
he St Joseph’s College Brooklyn Bears softball team has become the home to a former Copper Hills softball tandem. Twin sisters have made an impact in their first year in the big city. Freshman Jessica Mecham was named to the All-Conference team in her first year of collegiate softball. The 2018 Copper Hills graduate joins her twin sister, Jaden, at the New York school. “Jess came in this year as a freshman and was able to fill a big role for us here,” Bears’ head coach Danielle Fazzolare said. “She is a strong pitcher, but she has a strong bat and played well as a utility player. She has a high IQ of the game.” The Mecham sisters chose a long way from home to continue their playing careers. “My sister and I wanted to play together somewhere,” Jessica Mecham said. “We looked for a school that had our majors and where we could play.” The sister combo played several years of competitive softball. Their most recent teams include the Utah Bomb and Utah Cruisers. They helped lead Copper Hills to a thirdplace state finish in 2017. “Playing at Copper Hills was sometimes stressful,” Jessica Meacham said. “I had to
learn to pitch to other catchers. I had thrown to Jaden my entire life. I had to learn to be a better individual player. It was helpful to play with all kinds of athletes.” Jessica Mecham compiled a 6-6 overall record this season. She also had a .322 batting average. Jaden Mecham played first base and catcher for the Bears and compiled a .419 on base percentage. “She (Jessica) was able to come into the game in different positions and situations and be successful,” Fazzolare said. “We hope to have her for the next three years. We want her to continue to work on her pitches. She throws so many great pitches; we just want her to continue to improve. Offensively, we want her to improve on her pitch selection. She has been training in the outfield for us too and has made quite a bit improvement out there for us.” It was a culture shock for the twins to move to the big city. “It is fun,” Jessica Mecham said. “There are always activities and stuff going on around campus. I have never been bored. It is fun to take the train. We have met a great group of girls, and I love my teammates. My first collegiate shutout and win are things I will remember forever.”
The Bears closed out the regular season with a 16-20 overall record. They placed fourth in conference behind St Joseph’s– Long Island, Mount Saint Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent. The NCAA Division 3 school competes in the Skyline Conference. “We use a recruiting website and came across her and her sister on there,” Fazzolare said. “They were interested in coming to New York, and we had the majors they were interested in. It worked out well for us.” Jessica joined three of her teammates on the All-Conference team. “It is definitely a good recruiting tool to have All-Conference players,” Fazzolare said. “It shows our school is getting recognized in such a small conference. It is nice to find talent in all different areas. We always want the best athletes, but as a private school, we want students with good grades so we can have good balance as student athletes. This is our fourth year in the conference and the second time we have made the playoffs. Although we did not go as far in the playoffs as we had hoped to go, we are definitely making improvements every year with the recruits Jessica Mecham was named All-Conference for the we have coming in. We are growing every the St Joseph College Bears in Brooklyn, NY. (Photo year.” l courtesy of St Joseph sports information)
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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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks.
• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
• Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. • Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. • Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. • Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. • Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. • This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside.
• Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. • Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. • 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. • 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. • Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles.
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Money, get away
o you know what the first day of summer (June 21) means for a music lover like myself? Summer concerts! Utah, surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly?), has an amazing music scene. From rock shows, to country extravaganzas, to electronic music festivals, to rap concerts, to musicals, to recitals; we’ve got it going on. When purchasing tickets, concertgoers have a few different options. You can purchase tickets through one of the most popular local ticket vendors: Smithstix. Alternatively, you might seek out tickets from TicketMaster, VividSeats, Songkick, Stubhub, or other similar websites. Or, you might buy tickets directly from the venue. For example, if a show is at The Complex or Eccles Theater, you can visit their website and purchase tickets there. The final option is to buy tickets at the door (or maybe even from scalpers). After spending years refining the craft of buying tickets for the best price possible, the best advice I can give is: it depends. I know, I know, that’s not the answer you were hoping
for. Here’s why: it depends on how much the tickets are, how excited you are to see the artist, and when/where/and how long the show is. When considering buying concert tickets, I recommend answering the following question: how much do you care about seeing the performance? Usually, that answer has some follow-up questions. Have you been waiting to see this artist/band/show? If so, how long have you been waiting? Do you know song lyrics (if there are lyrics)? Would your life benefit from seeing the artist/band/ show live? Or will it be better to only know them from their videos, televised concerts, etc.? After gauging your desire to attend the show, figure out how much you would be willing to pay for a ticket. If it’s someone like Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney, are you willing to pay in the triple digits? If it’s someone local, or niche, are you willing to pay $20? Maybe $40? Once you have an acceptable number in your head, go ahead and search for those tickets, but not before. At this point, if you find the desired ticket is about $10 below your acceptable price range, go ahead and snag that ticket. Allow for that $10-$20 flexibility, because online vendors will charge various service fees. Smithstix has at least three different service fees, generally totaling around $15.
Or, if you find the ticket is a little over your price range, but your desire to attend far outweighs the cost, make sure to buy early. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you want to go to a show, but it sold out quickly, so now all the tickets are over $200, when they were originally around $40. No one wants that. If the ticket is not in your desired price range, and you’re not sure if you really want to go, you have some options. Buying at the door isn’t a bad one. The awesome thing about buying tickets at the door is the absence of service fees. If a show is going to be $20 at the door, I can bring a $20 bill and be just fine. Not like when a website says it’s going to be $20, then all of a sudden, it’s $35 because of fees. However, if you wait to buy your ticket at the door, there’s the possibility that the show could sell out. And then you’re back to the question, how much do you care about seeing the performance? Is it worth potentially missing it? If you’re looking for shows or performances to attend, sign up for newsletters. There are places on many websites where you can sign up for pre-sales. Additionally, some ticket vendors, Live Nation for example, will occasionally have $20 ticket weeks, where they list a handful of shows for $20 a ticket. Those are an absolute steal!
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Page 30 | June 2019
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ne of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I think of this when I’m feeling glitchy, when my processor runs slow, my memory won’t upload and I can’t download complete, coherent sentences. When my energy drains like a cell phone battery, that’s the sign I’ve neglected my mental health for too long. I get snappy with my husband to the point he tells me to get out of the house and come back when I can act like a grown-up. After flipping him the bird, I pout to my car. Self-care isn’t just bath bombs and margaritas. Bath bombs dissolve too quickly and margaritas only get me into trouble. Selfcare is tapping into activities that recharge your energy levels. This might mean asking for help (I know, a woman’s ultimate sign of weakness) or finding more time for yourself. Ordering pizza Monday nights is just fine. Jogging through the park is just fine. Hiding under your bed eating Hershey kisses is just fine. Telling your family you’re going to get ice-cream, then taking a monthlong drive through the Andes is on the border of just fine. The point is, find your own self-care routine. This should involve spending time alone. I’m sure in the 1600s, women who practiced self-care were burned at the stake. Why would a woman want to be alone when she gets to care for a 75-year-old husband
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and 10 children? She must be a witch. I must admit, coming home from work I’ve had the thought, “I have so much to do tonight. I can’t even.” Then I drive around listening to self-help audiobooks until I can face life again. Sometimes self-care is hiding in the bathroom with a magazine for 30 minutes because if the kids ask for One. More. Thing. they’ll find themselves living in the garden shed for three months. Every woman’s self-care routine is different. Some women wear face masks while they create a vision board they hope will teleport them to a mansion in Newport Beach where they’ll frolic with a Hemsworth brother. Some women need a hammock, a book and a set of earplugs. And DIY facial scrubs might get your skin glowing, but your mental health needs some polishing, too. Women are so good at controlling everything. Well, women are so good at trying to control everything. Stress does not equal control. Worry does not equal control. You going out of your friggin’ mind is not control. Self-care is a mental practice that involves 1) saying “No” once in a while, 2) saying “Yes” once in a while, 3) not berating yourself, 4) taking plenty of naps, 5) noticing when you’re running on fumes and 6) the occasional margarita. It’s about accepting who you are. Unless you eat Miracle Whip. Then you might need to reevaluate your life. How often do you play? How often do you sleep? Are you so attached to the white-
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West Jordan Journal June 2019