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May 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 05




srael Granillo had a life-changing experience when he met his hero, Real Madrid soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. “In meeting Cristiano, I feel like anything is possible if you put your mind into it and never give up,” said the senior at Copper Hills High School. Despite his degenerative neuro-muscular disorder, Granillo has decided to do all he can to excel in school and in life. The West Jordan Exchange Club recognized Granillo for his academic performance while overcoming his personal challenges by. He was one of four inspirational high school seniors who received the ACE—Accepting the Challenge of Excellence— Award. “We ask schools to nominate a student who has overcome adversity and has done well in school,” said club President Gwen Knight. The students received a $500 scholarship, funded by Dannon. Just a few years ago, Granillo was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia. With the support of family and friends, he is determined to live his life as normally as possible. He hopes to inspire others struggling with disabilities. “I want to show them to not give up and to always move on no matter what,” he said. “Just because you have a disability, it Continued to page 21..

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Page 2 | May 2018

West Jordan City Journal

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

The West Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott EDITOR: Travis Barton ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer 385-557-1021 Corbett Carrel 385-557-1016 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton

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Volunteer commissioners celebrate the end of the 2016 season. (West Jordan PONY Baseball)


t’s time again for balls, bats, mitts and bases. Many kids throughout the valley will spend time playing baseball this season. West Jordan PONY Baseball is a league seeking to make a difference in kids’ lives by helping them learn baseball in a supportive environment. West Jordan resident Jennifer Dinkelman got involved four years ago so her five sons could learn to play baseball. Even her youngest at 3 years old plays ball. PONY is an acronym, which stands for Protect Our Nation’s Youth. PONY Baseball has been around for about 30 years and is dedicated to creating a safety-oriented and challenging game for children ages 3 to 19 years old. The West Jordan PONY Baseball league is committed to providing children with the opportunity to participate in one of America’s greatest pastimes in a safe and fully supervised baseball program. The nonprofit organization teaches fundamental skills, encourages physical activity and teamwork, promotes sportsmanship and motivates children to participate in organized sports. “I volunteered in the organization, which helps since they waive some of the fees,” said Dinkelman. She likes the values of PONY Baseball and found that it cost much less than other competitive leagues, which can run up

thousands of dollars. PONY Baseball fees run from $55 for the youngest players to $165 for the oldest. Dinkelman’s brother played PONY Baseball as a child. “It’s a learning league, with healthy competition that is not demoralizing,” she said. The youngest kids play T-ball, while the group has accelerated all-star teams for those with more experience. “The teams are small, about eleven per team, so the kids get lots of playing time,” said Dinkelman. “Nine or ten are on the field at a time, with one rover.” All the positions are staffed by volunteers. PONY Baseball is operated exclusively by parent and community volunteers who are committed to teaching children the values of sportsmanship, courage, integrity, honesty and loyalty. Volunteers are needed and welcomed at any time and in all areas. The season goes from April to June. A fundraiser breakfast will be held Saturday, May 12 at Veterans’ Memorial Park at 1985 West 7800 South from 8:30 a.m. until noon, or whenever the food runs out. One important way the group makes money is through concession sales at the games. There was previously a 2-story building at the Veterans’ Memorial Park that was used as a snack shack, but three years ago the building

was so run down that city officials had to condemn it. According to Dinkelman, West Jordan city staff said they would try to rebuild the structure and set aside a budget of around $30,000. However, after getting design plans and bids, the cost was estimated to be around $160,000. The PONY Baseball leaders have been partnering with the city to find options. Last year, the group was able to bring in a mobile home to use as the sales center. Since organizers wanted to cook some items on site, there are city ordinances, fire codes and plumbing requirements to be met, which precludes the use of a mobile food vehicle. Ryon Sim, president of West Jordan PONY Baseball, said the May fundraiser is an annual event to raise money for the general fund of this charitable organization. The group also has a banner program where businesses can buy banners of various sizes to display by the field, and there are some private donors. Sim said they are also working toward getting a scoreboard. This is Sim’s third year as president, and he spent about four years as a commissioner before that. “I have been involved in baseball since my son played,” he said. “After he grew up, I missed the fun and pride of teaching kids baseball.” Sim also likes the fact that PONY Baseball is not overly competitive. “We don’t push that winning is everything,” he said. “Having fun is more important.” Sim is happy with the support West Jordan city provides. “The new council and mayor are good proponents of sports, and we are working hard to find solutions,” he said. Sim said Mobile Mini provided the portable concession building, and it has been a huge sponsor. Dick’s Sporting Goods has also been a great sponsor, both on the local and national level. Company officials have donated equipment and hold a sale day when members can buy products at 20 percent off. The first game for the year was played April 18, after a delay due to the heavy wind storm. l

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West Jordan City Journal

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May 2018 | Page 5

Dental students, families walk to help cure oral cancer By Keyra Kristoffersen |


oseman University of Health Sciences is partnering with the National Oral Cancer Foundation to hold a walk in South Jordan in order to raise funds and awareness for oral cancer research. “The walk is basically to help raise awareness of oral cancer so we always invite survivors of oral cancer and families of those that have passed away to come with us,” said Brady Robbins, a third-year dental student in charge of the fundraiser this year. “It’s just a way to show our support for them and also get the word out to communities so they know that it is a thing.” Robbins has heard stories about head and throat cancers from his older brother, an oncologist, and the treatments that patients go through. It affected him deeply so when his turn came around to choose a community project to volunteer to run, it was an easy choice to chair the OCF Walk. “He’s expressed to me how important it is for dentists to be a part of the treatment because the earlier the cancer is detected the better chance they have of survival,” said Robbins, “That weighed on me and I thought about it a lot, how important it is for us to find cancer before it becomes life threatening.” Currently, Utah has the lowest death rate for oral cancer in the United States at 1.6 deaths per 100,000, tied with Connecticut, according to the World Life Expectancy website. The highest death rate in the U.S. is Mississippi at

3.8 deaths per 100,000 people. Historically, of the approximately 49,700 Americans who are diagnosed each year with this largely preventable type of cancer that affects the mouth and/or pharynx, it has been caused by tobacco and alcohol use. This might help explain why Utah has such lower rates of death per capita as substance use is not as prevalent as in other places around the country. It has also affected mostly older generations as inflammation from use has had time to grow, however, in recent years as HPV infections have grown in the younger generation, so too have cases of oral cancer according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Because of this rise, along with the walk to raise funds, the National Oral Cancer Foundation and the students from the Roseman University will be providing free oral cancer screenings at the event. They will be checking for any lumps or bumps in the head and neck, then perform an intraoral exam and check visually for anything that looks abnormal on all sides of tongue, gums, roof of mouth. “Oral cancer can happen to anybody and the best way to know if you have it or not is to get checked, to go to your dentist and ask them to screen for free,” said Robbins. “The earlier you find out about it, the better your chances of survival.” Robbins anticipates more than 150 participants and has a team from the school as well as from around the community

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Supporters of oral cancer research and treatment take off for the annual Oral Cancer Foundation walk/run in South Jordan, hosted by Roseman University of Health Sciences. (Brady Robbins)

volunteering to help with the event and hopes to raise $10,000 for awareness, research and treatment. This is the fifth year the walk has happened and will take place at East Riverfront Park, 10900 South Riverfront Parkway, South Jordan on May 5 with same-day registration starting at 8 a.m. The cost to participate in the walk is $30

to pre-register, $35 the day of the event and is free for oral cancer survivors and children under 5 years-old. Everyone registered will receive a free event t-shirt and there are prizes for those who raise more than $1,000. To register for the event, donate or find out more information, visit donate.oralcancer. org. l

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Page 6 | May 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Boy Scouts annual food drive helps feed Utah’s hungry By Jennifer Gardiner |


n March 15, Governor Gary R. Herbert kicked off the 32nd annual Scouting for Food event by being the first to donate to this year’s food drive benefiting the Utah Food Bank, several regional food banks, and many emergency pantries across the state of Utah. Governor Herbert was joined by Brigadier General Dallen S. Atack, Assistant Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard and representatives from Boy Scouts of America. He hoped to encourage others to donate to the food drive. Two days later, the Utah Food Bank and agencies from across the state worked with the Boy Scouts of America during the annual Scouting For Food. About a week prior to the food drive, scouts went door-to-door to hand out flyers and encourage residents to leave perishable food items on their doorstep to be picked up and delivered to the food banks on the morning of the official drive. Scouting for Food has impacted an estimated 392,000 Utahns struggling with hunger by providing over 22 million pounds of food and close to $32,000, the equivalent of almost 19 million meals since 1997 alone. This year they anticipated to go well over the 20 million meal goal. With 1 in 6 Utah children facing hunger, providing youth the chance to give back to those who could be classmates, neighbors, or friends makes Scouting for Food even more significant on the lives of those who participate “It is so rewarding to see the Boy Scouts of America, the Utah National Parks Council,

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the Trapper Trails Council, the Great Salt Lake Council, and the Utah National Guard all working together to help fight hunger within their own communities,” Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank Chief Development Officer said. A lot of cities from around the state participated in the drive including those who gathered in South Jordan and American Fork including Community Action, Tabitha’s Way and the Utah Food Bank. Their ultimate goal is to fight hunger statewide. “It is so rewarding to see these youth and their leaders all working together to help fight hunger within their own communities,” said Al Switzler of Tabitha’s Way. “You can’t tell if someone is hungry just by looking at them. They look a lot like you and me, and they need our help.” The food banks are always taking donations. The most needed food items include rice, pasta, cereal, chili, peanut butter, boxed meals, canned meats and canned fruits, and even non-food items including diapers, toilet paper and hygiene items. Donated food should be commercially packaged (non-glass), non-perishable and nutritious items (low-sodium and low-sugar items). Community Action Services and Food Bank has been serving Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties since 1967. Its mission is to foster selfreliance in individuals, families and the community. Last year, Community Action helped thousands of families with food, housing, utility and other assistance, and provided community gardens, a commercial kitchen, financial literacy and homebuyer education.

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Canned foods were among the items that could be donated during the Boy Scouts annual food drive. (Pixabay)

For more information about Scouting for Food, or to find a local food pantry, you can visit or www. The Utah Food Bank was founded in 1904 and has operated under various names, but remains true to its mission of fighting hunger statewide by providing food to a network of 149 emergency food pantries and agencies. Last year, Utah Food Bank distributed 39.2 million pounds of food and goods, the equivalent of approximately 32.7 million meals, to families and individuals in need. l


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May 2018 | Page 7

Things heat up with chili cook-off to battle multiple sclerosis By Keyra Kristoffersen |

An assortment of chilis and desserts bring neighbors together to raise funds and awareness about MS. (Rebecca Hunter Payne)


hen Suzanne Hunter was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2004, her family rallied around her in support, especially when her health declined rapidly. “It was hard because there were always things that she had issues (with),” said Rebecca Payne, Hunter’s older sister. “Every day’s a struggle but she still does it.” With the diagnosis, one of the first things the family did was become involved with the National MS Society. They first participated

in walks with a team that grew every year in support of Hunter and others with the same disease. “It started with our family, and then at our last MS walk we had at least 50 people,” said Payne. Three years ago, their efforts to help grew to include small fundraisers like garage sales and selling candy bars to raise awareness and money for help and research. From there, the idea of a chili cook-off evolved thanks

to a family penchant for cooking and a chili cook-off that already existed in the parent’s neighborhood. “The first one was amazing,” said Payne. “It was the biggest fundraiser that we had done.” The cook-off has been so successful that the tradition has continued and is now in its third year, growing through word of mouth and social media advertising. The cook-off is held every year in Payne’s house, first with five chilis then 10, and this year 12 were entered along with assorted desserts. Entrants are charged a minimal fee to have their food judged and guests pay $3 to try as many of the chilies and desserts as they want, voting for favorites at the end of the evening. First, second and third place are awarded with certificates and prizes in each area after the voting has closed and the money raised is donated to the National MS Society. Along with providing her house as the location, Payne said she’s in charge of making sure there’s enough space for adults and children, enough people invited and enough food to feed everyone. She said this will likely be the last year the cook-off is held at her house, though, because the interest has grown beyond what it can hold, so they’re looking for a facility that can accommodate them in the future. The first year, there were only about 15 adults who attended plus children, and the second year

included 30 guests. The years since Hunter was first diagnosed have been a roller coaster ride of adjustment as her health steadily declined and she began using a cane then a walker and finally a wheelchair for two years. It really took a toll on her husband and three children, but Payne said they really stepped up, calling them Hunter’s saving grace. Hunter has recently been in the news. Thanks to some new breakthrough medications for MS patients, she has been able to leave her wheelchair behind and finally walk again with help from a cane, which the family calls amazing. “It’s just such a crippling disease,” said Payne about her sister’s good days and difficult days with seizures and getting her muscles and joints to move and function. “The MS Society had been amazing and so have her doctors with all the new medications coming out throughout the years.” Along with the free MS walks — the next one was April 28 at the Veterans Memorial Park in West Jordan — Payne’s family and team organized a paint night for April 14 and will possibly a pumpkin ball in the future because orange is the color of MS awareness. With the help of sponsors and donations, Payne said they would like to one day become a nonprofit, but for now they’re happy to be a group helping win against Multiple Sclerosis. l

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West Jordan City Journal

When the landfill is full, where will your garbage go? By Erin Dixon |

Annual growth in tons from 2010 to 2018 at the Trans-Jordan Landfill. (Mark Hooyer/courtesy)


ou park the garbage can at the curb, and the massive truck comes to whisk away the trash. Where does it go from there? Simply, to the local landfill. But in the future, collecting and dumping may not be so simple. Where does the garbage go now? West Jordan trash, as well as six other neighboring cities, is deposited at the Trans-Jordan landfill. The Trans-Jordan Director, Mark Hooyer, and Public Education Coordinator Lesha Earl, presented a glimpse into the future to the West Jordan City Council on April 11. Trans-Jordan is made up of seven-member cities that own the landfill, including West Jordan, Sandy, Draper, Riverton, Herriman, Murray and Midvale. Fifty-five percent of the trash delivered to this landfill is from the curbside pickup; the remaining 45 percent comes from commercial or public dumping.

Garbage deposits are increasing The amount of deposits has been increasing slowly for years. From West Jordan alone, the curbside trash collection between 2016 and 2017 increased from 36,514 to 38,514, an increase of 5.2 percent. Green waste has also increased by 4.3 percent. What has caused the increase of trash from West Jordan? “Is that because you’re adding all these new households in West Jordan? Not really. I think your growth is primarily coming from just people are buying more. These are economic good times; there’s more waste at the curb,” Trans-Jordan Director Mark Hooyer said. When we buy more goods, there is more potential for trash when we are done with the purchases. The amount of garbage deposited into the landfill has increased by 92,340 tons from 2012 to 2018, which is 34 percent annually. At the current rate, the Trans-Jordan has less than 14 years left to fill to capacity. At that point, the seven cities will need to look for a different location to dispose of their trash. The landfill collection continues to grow this year, and it is not showing any signs of slowing. “We’re having a record year again this year,” Hooyer said. “We’ve eclipsed the nine months of our current fiscal year. We’ve totally blown our previous waste records out of the water all but two of those months.” What does the future hold? Trans-Jordan board member and former West Jordan Mayor Dave Newton also attended the meeting. “We’ve created a separate entity called NUERA,” he said. “It stands for Northern Utah Environmental Resource Association. And that is made up of six landfills through northern Utah. Four of those landfills, including Trans-Jordan, purchased the Bayview Landfill from southern Utah County solid waste district. [W]hen this landfill up here fills up, we have a place to

go to take our garbage.” Though there is ample space for our trash a decade and a half in the future, this change will come at considerable cost. The current cost to the public for curbside waste is about $12 per ton. The Bayview Landfill is 45 miles to the south of the current landfill. “That’s too far for the city dump trucks to go,” Hooyer said. “So, we’ll be transferring somewhere in the Trans-Jordan area. What are the costs of that? To start with, that cost to drive that down there is $12 a ton.” On top of the cost it takes to transport the waste from your curbside, there will be a charge to operate the transfer station as well as a fee charged at the new landfill. All of these costs are simply to run the machinery and pay the employees who are managing the waste. “Just that cost right there is $34.50 a ton for your waste,” Hooyer said. “This is coming down the road in the future so keep that in mind.” Increase in costs The current cost of dumping at the landfill is $15 a ton for curbside pickup, while commercial and individual cost is $29 a ton. That rate is about to rise to $16 per ton for residents and $31 per ton for commercial. This increase is marginal per household however,; it amounts to $0.20 per household per month. This is still the lowest rate locally and nationally. The two neighboring landfills charge over $30 a ton for residents, and the national average collection rates average around $50 a ton. Before another 15 years pass the cost of trash collection will increase for West Jordan. It remains to be seen exactly how much city officials will need to spend and how soon changes will be necessary for simply disposing of the residents’ waste. l

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The recycling business is changing By Erin Dixon | “[Recycling is] a market that’s in freefall, and that’s changing a lot of things,” Director of the Trans-Jordan Landfill Mark Hooyer said to the West Jordan City Council April 11. The Trans-Jordan Landfill is made up of seven member cities that own the landfill, including West Jordan, Sandy, Draper, Riverton, Herriman, Murray and Midvale. They are in charge of the collection and disposal of all these cities waste, as well as the green waste and recycled items. Changes in the Recycling Market A large portion of items that were put into our recycling bins was previous sold and shipped overseas to China. “In 2016, the U.S. averaged 4,000 containers per day of recycling scrap shipping back to China,” Hooyer said. Today, that number is reduced by 90 to 95 percent, which means that only about 100 containers a day are now shipped overseas. United States and China’s politics have altered the export and foreign demand for our recycled waste. “The “Green Fence” policy was enacted in 2013, which authorized China’s rejection of loads of certain scrap materials that didn’t meet various standards. In January 2018, China enacted the “National Sword” policy which outright bans 24 types of materials,” Hooyer said. “In addition, “National Sword” placed a daunting 0.5 percent contamination rate on shipments. That means that 20 pounds of contamination is enough to reject an entire one-ton bale of recycled product. It’s a near-impossible standard that U.S. recyclers haven’t been able to meet.” These new policies mean that cities are now being approached to help pay for recycling rather than making a profit. With a massive decrease in profits, the business of recycling must change. “What that has done is that has killed the recycling market,” Hooyer said. Contamination Contamination of non-recyclables in the recycling bins also contributes to the amount that is dumped into the landfill—from large contaminants such as laptops and toilets to

innocent mistakes like plastic bags. There are things that people think are recyclable but in reality must be dropped at a specific recycling collection bin, such as plastic bags, heavy metals and glass. As much as 25 percent of what is collected from the curbside is dumped into the landfill instead of being recycled. “Contamination is assessed at the material recovery facility where recycling is sorted and put into bales to be shipped to the actual recycler,” said Lesha Earl, manager of public education at Trans-Jordan. “The process of sorting through recycling relies on labor-intensive efforts to weed out the contamination. In a perfect situation, workers can remove a contaminant in the sorting process, but more often than not the contamination spreads to surrounding material, sometimes even ruining the entire load.” The only solution is education. To make a difference, each household must know what is appropriate for their curbside bin, as well as where to take the other potential recyclables. “Not all plastics are recyclable,” Earl said. “Even if an item has a recycling symbol, it is not necessarily recycled locally. Trans-Jordan is working with both MRFs and all of the recycling haulers in our area to provide accurate and updated information on recycling through our ‘Be Bright, Recycle Right!’ campaign.” The top-10 most common items found in a curbside recycling bin are: 1. Plastic Bags 2. Needles/biohazardous waste 3. Wire, hose, cords, rope and chains 4. Propane Tanks 5. Yard waste/wood 6. Motor oil containers 7. Electronics 8. Food waste 9. Clothing/shoes 10. Mercury-containing objects Go to , or for information about proper disposal of these items. The Future of Recycling The future profitability of recycling is unknown, but there are still things people can do

Items acceptable in your curbside recycling. (Trans-Jordan/courtesy)

to improve the process. Refer to the charts connected to this article to learn more about what to do with items you may think can be reused. In a perfect world, people would avoid disposing of anything. However, reusing materials for yourself is the next most preferred method of recycling. Then, properly sorting the waste to the correct facility is the next course of action.

A Note on Green Waste Green waste is turned into compost on the Trans-Jordan Landfill site. After it is collected, it is put through a process of watering and turning for four to five months before it is screened for size and then available to the public for purchase. l



4501 South 2700 West • Taylorsville Page 10 | May 2018

West Jordan City Journal

Volunteers help stars sparkle on stage By Jet Burnham |

Confetti rain makes stars Aedan Hawkins, Savannah Walker, Bryan Phillips and Sydney Anderson sparkle on stage. (Photo/Matthew Binns)


t took a lot of brainstorming to get it to rain on the set of West Hills Middle School’s production of “Singin’ in the Rain.” But Director Judy Binns and Producer Clarisse Offen knew, with their force of nearly 50 parent volunteers, it would happen. “The parents stepped up this year in a big-time way,” said Offen. Offen and Binns rely on the support of parent volunteers for

every aspect of their shows—from the set, props and costumes to donating supplies and sewing, cutting, painting, replacing lights, fixing mics and trouble-shooting. “They find out what the strengths of their volunteers are and then simply empower them to do what they do best,” said volunteer Jeanie Hawkins. “They want nothing less than what is best for our kids, and they draw people to them that want the same thing.” Hawkins and her husband, Josh, both have experience in construction and were tasked with making it rain without water touching the stage. Offen purchased a confetti machine from Spain (with her own money) that had to be adapted to an American plug and adjusted to cover a wider area of the stage. The machine could spew 10 pounds of confetti, which sparkled like rain in the stage lights. “The reaction from Bryan (who played Don) and the rest of the cast when we made it rain for the first time on stage was priceless,” said Hawkins. The cast comprised 96 actors and 24 stage crew members. “If you think about it in terms of the volume of children we had and all the logistics of the different set pieces, it was quite an undertaking,” said Offen. She and Binns offered a part to every student who auditioned. There are no participation fees, no compulsory volunteer hours and no ticket fees for West Hills productions. They rely on volunteers and donations from a supportive community. “We hope they enjoy what they see and that they will be supportive enough to give us something for the following year,” Offen said. As for the thousands of hours Offen, Binns and Music Director Sherri Anderson dedicated to the show, “Our paycheck is the smiles on their faces and the look in their eyes,” said Offen.

Offen said the production was very popular—every show was sold out—because students are held to a professional standard. “We treat them like they are capable of doing hard things— which they are,” said Offen. “It’s amazing what happens when you tell the kids ‘you can do this.’ They don’t know that they can’t. They just trust us and they work hard.” Binns held a summer workshop to train a few students to tap dance for the show. Thirty-two students signed up and all gained such proficiency; they were choreographed into big musical numbers with highly technical moves. “I don’t think the audience expected it to be that many kids being able to do it,” said Offen. “They could tap everything [Binns] could throw at them.” Offen said Binns has a gift working with teens. “She can pull out of them all these skills and abilities that they didn’t know they had—she’s phenomenal,” she said. Parent Renae Dyatt said students rise to the occasion when they are given a chance to share their talents. “When you take an interest in the kids and help them know of their worth, they’ll just shine,” Dyatt said. “The plays have helped many kids—including my daughter—come out of their shell.” Binns said being involved in a theatrical production is beneficial for students, especially during their difficult teen years. “They find their place, they find their confidence, they find their voice, they find their friends, they find a family—they find it on our stage,” said Binns. She believes theater provides students a place to shine outside of academics and athletics. “It’s unique to musical theater—everybody walks away a winner,” said Binns. “The kids know they are part of something magical, and they’re super proud of themselves—as they should be.” l

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May 2018 | Page 11

Art creates cosmic connections By Jet Burnham |


cience can be a very left-brained subject. That’s what junior Shannon Andersen thought when she registered for an astronomy class at Copper Hills High School. “I was expecting all numbers and equations and physics— but it’s not actually,” she said. Her astronomy teacher, Chad Vongsawad, started the term with an art project to introduce students to objects in the solar system. “The whole project was the idea that art and astronomy are very much connected because astronomy is looking at images,” said Vongsawad. Most of what we know about the planets’ features, geology and atmosphere is gleaned by analyzing pictures of them, he said. “We look at line and shape, and at color, value and texture and ask ‘what does that mean about that object?’” said Vongsawad. Students studied an 8-inch-by-10-inch image of an object and then created their own interpretive art piece. Some showed a close-up of a geographic feature on a planet; others were from a distant perspective, showing weather patterns over a planet or the chemical make-up of a moon’s surface. The assignment was a right-brained task in a left-brained subject. “We were assigned to look at a picture and draw not necessarily what the picture is but what we saw in it,” said Jordan Anderson, a junior, who claims he is not an artist in any way. “Venus didn’t have too many distinct features, so I focused on select features,” he said. Carter Coambs chose a picture of Pluto because he thought it would be easy to draw. As he studied the photograph, he realized it wasn’t as simple as he’d assumed. “There were parts of it I would never have seen otherwise just looking at these photos,” said Coambs.

Even students familiar with art gained a deeper understanding of their subject. Senior Angel Ricas, an experienced artist, chose to focus on Jupiter’s rings. As she worked on her assignment, she saw the rings as a more complex feature of the planet. “I got to admire them—some are bigger, some thinner, some are more distinct,” Ricas said. She said realizing this helped her understand the differences in the makeup of the rings, something she’d never considered before. That was the goal of the art project. “Often times, the kids think they know a lot about the solar system, but all they really know is the order of the main planets, and they don’t realize all the other things,” said Vongsawad. He also assigned group presentations about a specific object in space, helping students gain a stronger understanding of the object before they expand on it in the course curriculum. “We are at the beginning of talking about our solar system and what’s contained in it,” said Vongsawad. “Each one of them right now should be a relative expert in one of the objects.” He said as the class discusses each object in the solar system—from planets to asteroids—students can share the details they discovered from their art pieces. “We’re going to keep pushing into that idea and building on this project and reflecting on what they saw,” said Vongsawad. Ricas believes adding a creative element to science makes it more accessible. “I like the crossover of different subjects, mixing art with science,” she said. “It makes science less intimidating in a way— and more interesting.” Andersen believes this type of assignment encourages students to step outside academic stereotyping. “Getting scientific kids to do art work will help them see more in the scientific world instead of just numbers and

Students learn about the solar system through art exploration. (Chad Vongsawad/Copper Hills High School)

equations,” she said. “It opens their vision of that kind of stuff.” This is the first semester Vongsawad has implemented the NASA-sponsored project, titled “Art and the Cosmic Connection: Elements of Art Inspire Planetary Image Analysis,” which was created by Monica and Tyler Aiello. He adopted the program as his course introduction after attending a Deep Space workshop last fall. l

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West Jordan City Journal

Teachers who exceed expectations By Jet Burnham |

April Winegar was surprised to be named a Jordan School District 2018 Educator of the Year as she’s congratulated by Principal Mike Kochevar.. (Photo courtesy of Jordan School District)


hen April Winegar’s students at West Jordan High School pass by her in the halls, they can be sure she will say hello. “I don’t want any of my kids to feel invisible, so I just try to make sure I say hi to them every time I see them,” Winegar said. Winegar teaches French, serving as the head of her department as well as the English Language Development Lead, working with ELL (English Language Learners) students. She was nominated for Jordan District’s Educator of the Year award by Vice Principal Donna Hunter. “She is a master at striking the balance between advocating for students and teaching them to self-advocate,” said Hunter. “She cares and helps students commit to go far beyond the bounds of the classroom. She is an admirably outspoken and proactive advocate for all of her students but especially for our English language learners who face unique challenges. She cares about them deeply and individually.” Winegar has revolutionized the ELD program to address the gaps in services for ELL students, which make up 20 percent of the student body. “April puts in much work, time, and tears to ensure that our students have success,” Principal Mike Kochevar said. “She tracks these students throughout their day. She has created curriculum to teach them in her ELD classroom. She has created an ELL task force that meets with teachers after school to share strategies that we can use to help our kids be successful.”

Winegar also helped implement a graduation program for minority and ELL students. Buddy Alger from the Department of Educational Support Services worked with Winegar to identify and eliminate barriers to ELL students. He said it was a unique experience working with a teacher with such passion and commitment. “I have never seen a teacher do so much with so little for so many kids,” said Alger. “I really can feel her energy and desire for these kids to graduate and move on. She is remarkably compassionate and kind, yet she took no grief from students who had a million excuses on why they couldn’t graduate.” Alger said Winegar’s philosphy was the inspiration for naming the program Diploma Now. “She was so focused on ‘now is the time,’” he said. “She is always saying, ‘Let’s do it now,’ ‘let’s work on it now.’ Her goal is to get kids to graduate now.” Because of this commitment, 90 percent of the students in Winegar’s program graduate on time. In one year, her students completed and passed the tests for 229 packets, earning 29.5 credits. The results came from long hours of work. Spanish teacher Sarah Woolstenhulme said Winegar has done the work of several people for several years. “She spends hours of her own time and so much compassionate energy working to be the best teacher she can be in order to help her students experience success,” said Woolstenhulme. “It is immensely important to her to help her students overcome the challenges that they face inside and outside the classroom.” Alger said he tried to support Winegar in the immense responsibilities she had. “I hired part-time helpers, and she out-worked them all,” he said. “Her commitment to that program was beyond what I ever could have expected from a teacher. Her passion and commitment would not let her exhaustion get in the way. She really is an exceptional educator and does remarkable things for the students that she works with. She is one remarkable woman.” Winegar has also doubled student enrollment in WJHS’s French program. “She is doing fantastic things in aligning her curriculum with how students learn languages best—and it shows,” said Woolstenhulme. “Her students clearly enjoy her classes and are learning a ton.” In only her fifth year of teaching, Winegar was surprised to be named one of Jordan Education Foundation’s 2018 Educators of the Year. She has many more ideas to improve her programs


in the years ahead. “This award was very unexpected, but this is nothing to look at yet,” she said. “They should come back in 10 years.” Other West Jordan educators to receive the 2018 Jordan Education Foundation Educator of the Year Award are: Stacee Worthen. She is a dynamic counselor who helps students and teachers at Copper Hills High School dealing with stress and loss. She has trained students and faculty as members of Hope Squad to help students struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Julie Huffman. He is the instructor for the Certified Nurse Assistants Program at Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers North. She ensures that all of her students are proficient in the skills needed to be a CNA. She is a positive infulence on her students and co-workers. Susan Call. She is a first-grade teacher at Heartland Elementary and is an ideal example of a professional teacher who uses data to drive her instruction. She spends her time before and after school and during lunch prepping individualized lesson plans for her students, focusing especially on her ELL students to help them learn the language and feel comfortable in her classroom. Marie Hoffer. This teacher at Mountain Shadows Elementary is always looking to provide support to others. Colleagues said she remains positive and cheerful, even on difficult days or when working with students who need behavior interventions. “She works her magic, and every student in her class feels that they are her favorite because of the individual support and encouragement she gives to them,” said Principal Annette Huff. Lee Dupaix. This Oakcrest Elementary first grade teacher addresses the whole child for their social, emotional, physical and mental needs. “He sees children for what they can be,” said Amanda Parry, a parent. “Mr. Dupaix has the ability to find out what each child’s strengths and weaknesses are and then he individualizes their learning. He makes learning fun and school a place where children want to be.” Other winners include: Amanda McCullough, Westvale Elementary; Susan Allen, Westland Elementary; Hiram Bertoch, West Jordan Middle School; Stacy Selk, West Jordan Elementary; Laurie Murdock, Falcon Ridge Elementary; Melinda Carpenter, Columbia Elementary; Kimberlee Reynolds, Jordan Hills Elementary; Rochelle Manglinong, Copper Canyon Elementary; Tanya Hale, West Hills Middle School and Cherie Lawson, Hayden Peak Elementary. l


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May 2018 | Page 13

School safety starts with students: ‘know something, say something’ By Julie Slama |


oleen Walton admittedly is worried about the safety of her four children attending Jordan School District schools. “With the world we live in, I’m worried and want to know what’s going on with how they’re keeping them safe,” she said about the reason she attended the April 12 school safety panel where Jordan School District administrators as well as city and community leaders addressed issues of concern about keeping the district’s 53,000 students safe at their schools. Through a plethora of information and background of how district officials are trying to ensure student safety, Walton realizes it’s her turn to get involved. “I’m overwhelmed with the amount of information they presented and impressed at the range of it,” she said, adding that she feels reassured that everything is being done to keep her kids safe. “My daughter talked about the recent drill (at Riverton High School), but we don’t talk about shootings and what they should do if there is one. I need to talk to my kids.” The lockdown drill rang during a passing period instead of while students were in a class. Riverton High Assistant Principal Curtis Hagen said 2,200 students were in closed-door classrooms within 11 seconds. “We have drills every two months,” he said. “This one we did with the Unified Police so they get to know our building, the turns, hiding spots and become familiar with it.” Elementary students drill monthly, so in emergencies, they’re familiar with the procedures, said Amanda Edwards, Silver Crest principal in Herriman. Officials advised those who may pick up school children to become familiar with the various drills conducted at the schools and to know the difference of a lockout – when there is a threat outside of the school so exterior doors are locked – versus a lockdown — an intruder is inside the school — versus a shelter in place — threatening conditions outside the school, but inside, students are able to move around the building. Jordan School District spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf said parents should keep their contact and emergency contact information updated through Skyward (a school

management software) so once students can be safely released, they will receive them and know about the situation. Information also will be available through social media, she said. South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey, who has children in the district, said she recently observed an active shooter training at Bingham High conducted by South Jordan Police. “It was a privilege — and terrifying — to see it,” she said, adding that police go through intense training to prepare for emergency situations. “As parents, we should talk to our children about ‘what would I do in that situation’ as our community response team already is addressing those issues.” Students need to practice as if it is a real situation, South Jordan Police Chief Jeff Carr said. “What are they going to do and how are they going to avoid it?” he said. “How can they deny an attacker to get where they are at and if they can’t, how do you defend yourself? These are issues that need to be talked about.” Communication, including student messaging inside a school, is key, Riesgraf said. “We know parents need a lifeline to their students,” she said. “We used to tell students to put devices down, but it doesn’t work. What we say now is that this would be a good time to let your parents know you are OK. We do ask that they don’t send video or live-stream as we’ve learned it reveals tactical positions and their approach which could jeopardize the safety of first-responders.” Carr said parents can be assured there will be a “tremendous amount” of law enforcement once a problem stars, but beforehand, is when police need help. “We will help you and be there in mass numbers, but we need to communicate to our children if they ‘know something, say something.’ It’s OK for them to talk,” he said. Ben Jameson, who was Riverton’s South Hills Middle School principal and now is the district’s evaluation, research and accountability department director, said that students are worried they would get in trouble by saying if they see signs of emotional distress — bullying, suicide, drugs and others — among their classmates, and they’re afraid their friend

A panel of city, school district and community leaders address issues of concern about keeping students safe at school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

would retaliate or be angry. “We assure them they are being a good friend, and in time, their friend may realize the best friend is the one looking out for them,” he said. He said that cyber-bullying is more visible with smartphones and social media, so students are a key to alerting adults about the first signs. When he was principal, Jameson put in place an early warning system to identify students who may have attendance, discipline and grade concerns so they could help them before it becomes a greater issue. West Jordan’s Joel P. Jensen Middle School Principal Bryan Leggat said that his staff, as others across the district, gets to know students by name so the students know they are cared for or missed if they aren’t in school. Ramsey also encouraged parents to watch for warning signs and for them and students to become familiar with the statewide SafeUT electronic device app, which provides real-time crisis intervention with counselors to youth through texting as well as a confidential tip message to school administrators on bullying, threats, violence and depression. Superintendent Patrice Johnson said the community focus is “to keep our children safe.

We need to talk to our children and make sure they’re aware of what is going on to keep them safe.” District facility operations manager Lance Everill ran through the district’s safety and security timeline from first installing analog cameras to the increased measures in response to the Columbine High shootings in 1999 and Sandy Hook in December 2012. He also said that all schools have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and that security doors have been completed in every elementary school, and the district is in the process of installing them in every middle school. There also is a districtwide consistency, so as students or teachers move from building to building, they will be familiar with the same procedures at each school. “Our children have been born into a world of emergency response,” Everill said. “It’s not just violence. What our students are learning everyday in drills (can be applied to) real life.” Ramsey said the process is evolving, and training is ongoing. “We can’t predict everything, but everything that can be done is being done,” she said. “As a parent, I’m grateful.” l

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801-913-3553 | Page 14 | May 2018

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MAY 2018

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

Arbor Day Foundation Names West Jordan Tree City USA The City of West Jordan was honored as a Tree City USA community for the 22nd consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. West Jordan achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

CITY BUDGET PROCESS: IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE Spring is one of the busiest times of year for elected officials and city staff as we prepare the budget for the next fiscal year which runs from July 1 to June 30. These budget dollars are entrusted to us by our residents, and we take that trust very seriously. Our goal is to maximize every dollar to improve “quality of life” for our residents. We recognize that residents have differing opinions about the role of city government, what it should provide, and what constitutes quality of life. This is why the budget process includes a public hearing on June 13. You can share your opinions on the budget or any topic during citizen comment at any City Council meeting. You can also make your voice heard by signing up for our Citizen Panel. The Citizen Panel is a group that will have the opportunity to complete several online surveys each year on a variety of topics so we can get feedback on important matters that impact our community. You can sign up by emailing


Left to right: Regional Forester Scott Zeidler, West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding, West Jordan Urban Forester Ty Nielsen, West Jordan Parks Director Brian Clegg and State Forester Brian Cottle. In 2017, approximately 700 trees were planted, bringing the number of city-owned and maintained trees to over 13,000. And we’re off to a good start this year, with about 118 trees planted by volunteers at the annual Comcast Cares city beautification day. According to the city’s urban forester Ty Nielsen, trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits. West Jordan is also in the top 10 for the length of years as Tree City USA.

We have a couple of new faces at City Hall. We recently appointed a new city attorney as well as an economic development director. Rob Wall will serve as city attorney and replaces David R. Brickey, who was appointed city manager in January. Rob brings a wealth of experience from the cities of Sandy, South Jordan and West Valley that will be especially helpful as we prepare to transition to a council-mayor form of government in 2020. Kent G. Andersen replaces David Oka, who retired in December, as West Jordan’s economic development director. Kent comes to us from Layton where he helped their City achieve a 21 percent increase in sales tax revenue from 2012-2016 and an 18 percent increase in total taxable sales during the same time frame. He has fresh ideas and vision and will help West Jordan realize its economic potential.

FIRE OPS 101 Last month I had a stressful, educational and ultimately very enjoyable experience with the West Jordan Fire Department in their annual Fire Ops 101 Training. I and several other members of the Council and city staff got a small taste of the things fire fighters experience on the job. We participated in a variety of emergency scenarios including a fire attack, vehicle extrication, active shooter and mental health situation. The shooting experience at the school hit especially close to home since my wife Kathe is a principal. It was difficult to experience that possibility, but also reassuring to know that our police and fire departments have both the experience and preparation to handle these situations. I now have a greater understanding and appreciation of the skill and the strength it takes to perform duties our firefighters perform on a regular basis.

COMCAST CARES DAY My wife and I had a great time planting 85 trees with over 100 fellow volunteers during Comcast Cares Day. City staff was very helpful in showing us how to properly plant them. Thank you to all who joined us for this city-wide cleanup! As always, if you have questions, concerns or ideas you’d like to share with me, please email, stop by Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. or call 801-569-5100 and I’d be happy to meet with you.


Construction Update

Updated information, detour and alternate routes can be found on the project website at

Construction season is in full swing. These projects are necessary to keep the different utilities and roadways in good condition. Traffic is more congested than normal right now in part because of the many construction projects taking place all around the valley that are causing traffic to be rerouted. Ideally, the state and cities would put all the infrastructure in first before the growth occurs but unfortunately, the funding isn’t available until the growth occurs and people and businesses move in. Utah’s winter months also compress the projects into a short time frame. Please be patient and plan accordingly. You can find more information on the city’s website at WestJordan.Utah.Gov on the “Construction” page that can be accessed from the homepage. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the major projects scheduled for 2018:

9000 SOUTH

7000 SOUTH UTILITY PROJECT Work has begun in the Redwood Road intersection and will continue for about the next 2 ½ months. Medians have been removed so there are more available travel lanes while the road is under construction. Three lanes in the peak direction and two lanes in the non-peak direction will be open during the day. Temporary signals will be installed. No left turns will be allowed from Redwood Road to 7000 South or from 7000 South to Redwood Road. The contractor has obtained a permit from the Salt Lake County Health Department that allows them to complete much of the work at night between the hours of 8:30 p.m.-5:30 a.m. Lane shifts will continue as crews install water, sewer and storm drain lines so please pay attention to the message boards. This project has been underway for the past two years and involves replacing water, sewer and storm drain pipes from the Jordan River to 3200 West. This project replaces some of the oldest pipes in the city. These utilities have reached the end of their life expectancy and it is safer to replace them rather than to wait for them to break and cause an accident or an unsafe sewer backup. Much of the project is complete, with the section from just east of Redwood Road to 1985 West under construction this spring. Email to sign up for project updates or call 801-569-5101.

Crews and equipment will work day and night (weather permitting) to complete the construction of the new overpass bridge. Construction of the overpass retaining walls, including foundations and concrete wall panels, is nearly complete. Asphalt and concrete paving of the north and south overpass will continue, and concrete paving of the bridge deck will be underway within the next few weeks. Construction activities are ongoing day and night. Residents, businesses and drivers should be aware of trucks entering and exiting the work zone. Continue to expect noise, dust, vibration and nighttime construction lighting. Residents, businesses and motorists should expect the following: • Day and night work, five to seven days a week • Noise, dust, vibration and construction lighting • Potential travel delays • Changing traffic patterns and reduced speeds • Lane closures during off-peak hours (for the latest information on traffic conditions, visit or download the UDOT Traffic app for iPhone or Android) • Trucks entering and exiting the work zone *Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. Contact the project public information team by calling the hotline at 888-766ROAD (7623) or emailing or visit for the latest updates.

5600 WEST PROJECT UPDATE Construction is scheduled to begin in early May (weather permitting) and last about four months to widen 5600 West between 7800 South and 8200 South. Thanks to all who came to the project open house April 12 and Thanks to Councilman Alan Anderson for hosting it and Ascent Academy for letting us hold it at their beautiful school. For those who missed it, there is a link on the project webpage to the Facebook Live event on WestJordan.Utah.Gov. The widening will include: • • • • • •

New signal at 8200 South Improvements to old pavement New sidewalk Improved drainage facilities Bicycle lanes New lighting and privacy wall where none exist

Sign up for project updates by mailing or calling the project hotline at 888-966-6624, ext 5.

BANGERTER INTERCHANGES 7000 SOUTH 7000 South at Bangerter Highway is closed through early May. Turn lanes will move over the next several weeks as crews shift the traffic through the work areas to complete the reconstruction. Pedestrians can cross Bangerter Highway using the new pedestrian bridge.


City Leaders Participate in Fire Ops 101 Last month, the West Jordan Fire Department held their traditional Fire Ops 101 Training. The training provides an opportunity for elected officials and city leaders to get a small taste of the things firefighters experience. Mayor Jim Riding, Council Members Chad Lamb, Kayleen Whitelock, Chris McConnehey, Dirk Burton, and Alan Anderson, and City Manager David Brickey participated in a variety of emergency scenarios including a fire attack, vehicle extrication, active shooter and mental health scenarios. “It was an eye-opening experience that illustrated the importance of proper training, having the right equipment and being prepared for the many different situations which our public safety personnel is

Left to right: Risk Manager Jared Smith, Senior Human Resource Generalist Derek Orth, Councilmember Chad Lamb, Councilmember Kayleen Whitelock, Mayor Jim Riding, Councilmember Dirk Burton, City Manager David Brickey, Councilmember Chris McConnehey and Councilmember Alan Anderson. called upon to respond,” City Manager David Brickey said. “Teamwork is essential. Both our Fire and Police Departments work together seamlessly, which is essential in an emergency situation. I’m confident our city is in good hands.” The Fire Ops 101 training was provided by volunteers from West Jordan Local 4624. Members of their families role-played in the active shooter scenario that took place at Copper Canyon Elementary.

“Primitive Perspectives” at the Schorr May’s Schorr Gallery art exhibit will feature the unique artistic work of David S. Sharp. The exhibit will include paintings, framed relief carvings, tribal masks and sculptures, all examples of what Sharp calls, “Primitive Perspectives.”

“Primitive Perspectives” will be on display from May 3 to July 9, with the artist’s reception Thursday, May 3, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the third floor Schorr Gallery in West Jordan City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road. Light refreshments will be served during the reception. According to Sharp, his work is a fusion of tribal animistic ideas, the subconscious mind, and modern abstraction. “The style I work in is perhaps best described as Neo-Primitive or Post-Modern Primitive,” he said. “I use direct carving and like to work from memory, but hold a sense of truth of materials in all the media I use.” Although Sharp is predominantly a sculptor these days, he has spent many years as an illustrator and animator. He earned bachelor degrees in sculpture, painting and drawing from the University of Utah and has almost completed a master’s degree. His work has been displayed in numerous galleries and artistic events throughout Utah and elsewhere. He and his wife Carol are founding members of the Celtic musical group Idlewild that has toured and played in many major festivals in the region for over 20 years. They will be playing their music during the artist’s reception.










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




City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd., 7 p.m.

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









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

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

Juan Diego High School 300 E. 11800 S., Draper 7:30 p.m.








West Jordan Youth Theatre presents PETER PAN


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

Joel P. Jensen Middle School, 8105 South 3200 West Thurs-Sat & Mon 7 p.m. April 21 matinee 2 p.m.







Veterans Memorial Park 8030 S. 1825 W. Dusk

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


Veterans Memorial Park 8030 S. 1825 W., 6 p.m.


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



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

Salt Lake County Council’s

MESSAGE One of the most important duties of the county is ensuring public safety for all our residents. That’s why criminal justice is one of my priorities as a County Council member. Adequate resources in our county jail to take dangerous criminals off the streets, as well as tools to help others who have made mistakes move toward rehabilitation and reintegration as productive members of society, are just two of the key roles of our county. I’m also deeply committed to criminal justice reform. We’ve long known that merely locking people up doesn’t necessarily lead to truly fixing the cycle of criminal behavior that is a part of life for some of our residents. This is particularly true when it comes to drug abuse. It’s important that we find ways to help people take responsibility for their actions and be held accountable, but then empower them to improve their life. The goal is for any county resident who exits our criminal justice system after paying their debt to society to never enter the system again. That’s why I’m encouraged by the great work in the county’s Intensive Supervision Probation program. This program takes a high risk/high need population and couples their substance abuse treatment with other aggressive interventions like home visits, worksite visits, and more. The goal is to create a more

SLCO’s Innovative approach to Drug Abuse

powerful relationship between the case managers/officers and the participants in the program. One way our county Criminal Justice Services and Behavioral Health Services experts measure outcomes is through “risk scores” of program graduates. This risk scores can help indicate the likelihood of someone reoffending in the future. For graduates of the Intensive Supervision Probation program (also called “ISP”), we’ve seen a 45% reduction in risk scores. Eighty six percent of graduates are receiv-

ing a clinical assessment, and 73% are actively engaged in treatment. We’ve had over 600 referrals in the program since it started in July of 2015. One success story involves a client who was married with two young daughters. He struggled for several years with an addiction to meth, and had several run-ins with the law. He finally hit rock bottom when his children began getting bullied because their father was a drug addict. Unless he made some drastic changes, he would risk losing his family. This client agreed to go to Volunteers of America

for detox, in order to be at a place where he Aimee Winder Newton County Council District 3 could enter treatment. After more than a year at a residential treatment facility, he finally graduated from his treatment program, having beat his addiction. He reconciled with his wife and kids, got a full-time job, and was able to pay for an apartment for himself and his family. These are the success stories that give me hope that we can make tangible differences in our community by empowering residents who are ready to change their lives. We’ll continue to track the outcomes of this program and report back to the public, but I’m excited by the promising results so far. When you look at approaches like this in the context of our state and nation’s opioid crisis, these tools are particularly encouraging. In fact, over one third of all ISP participants are working on recovery from an opioid addiction. We’ll also always be looking at innovative new approaches to drug addiction, in the broader context of reforming the criminal justice system and reducing recidivism. In the meantime, hats off to the people running our Intensive Supervision Probation program, as well as the clients who have succeeded.

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WestJordanJournal .com

801-290-8827 May 2018 | Page 19

District employees become active participants in school shooting simulation By Jet Burnham |


ocal school administrators were armed and dangerous as they took the role of police officers in virtual reality active shooter scenarios. Forty Jordan School District employees, the majority assistant principals, were invited to the Utah Attorney General’s office for the simulation. The training provided a realistic experience as participants were immersed in 300 degrees of video display. “I knew it was a projection; I knew it was on a screen, but it felt super life-like,” said Caleb Olson, Sunset Ridge Middle School assistant principal. “It was about two and a half minutes, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d said it was 25.” Normally used to train police officers, the simulation placed participants into the action of a school shooting, a disturbance in a parking lot, a gunman loose in a movie theater and a shooting range. The filmed scenarios adapted to participants’ reactions and to their interactive weapons, creating hundreds of different twists and turns in the action. “It was like a choose-your-own-adventure novel,” said Buddy Alger, Silver Crest Elementary School assistant principal. “You really felt like you were there; you felt like you had to make decisions and talk to people.” The assistant principals observed each other’s performance. Elk Ridge Middle Assistant Principal Spencer Campbell was surprised by some of the reactions of his colleagues. “You saw a side of them that you wouldn’t

Page 20 | May 2018

Jordan District provided local assistant principals with eye-opening training in an active shooter simulation. (Photo courtesy Caleb Olson/Sunset Ridge Middle)

West Jordan City Journal

normally see,” he said. “Caleb [Olson] was more serious than I’d ever seen—usually Caleb is very funny and mellow.” Amy Adams, Riverside Elementary School assistant principal, experienced a virtual hostage situation in which she hesitated to fire her weapon. “Until I saw him shoot, I thought he was still innocent—except that meant that somebody got hurt because of my hesitation,” she said. “I have a greater appreciation for police and the types of decisions they are required to make.” Actual police officers were on-site to provide feedback about the choices administrators made and factors they had missed. “That coaching aspect, after what really did feel like a real incident, would be invaluable to law enforcement and was really helpful for me,” said Alger. “It really helped me to slow down and evaluate how and why I make the decisions I do in all of my interactions.” Olson was inspired to consider modifying how safety drills are run at his school. “I’m not naive enough to say I’m prepared after having done two and a half minutes of training,” he said. “I realize it’s not always going to go smoothly. If something were to happen, it would not be a textbook scenario. We need to be flexible to respond.” He realized his school would be better prepared by varying some of the factors of the drills, like availability of exits, time of day and weather conditions. The experience also reinforced the importance of sticking to assigned roles during emergencies. “It was humbling to realize, in a crisis situation, what you think you might do, you don’t,” said Elk Ridge Middle Assistant Principal Michelle Kilcrease. In one virtual scenario, a teacher approached

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the responding officers for help. “While some people might be trying to be helpful in a crisis situation like that, it’s actually a big distraction,” said Kilcrease. “We’ve been trained on what to do, and it’s important to follow through with the training we’ve had so the officers can do their job.” Kilcrease said she is grateful for these unified emergency plans the district has implemented. All schools conduct practice drills regularly with students and local first responders. There are established protocols to address a variety of emergencies such as fire, weather, violence, earthquake, bomb threat, power outage and reunification. Jordan School District also provides in-depth emergency simulations for faculty members. Copper Canyon Elementary recently held a medical evacuation reenactment to practice working with medical first responders. Last year, an emergency simulation was staged at Alta High School, complete with actors and gory makeup. Elk Ridge Middle faculty has practiced drills with SWAT teams and has shown students a staged first-person account video reinforcing the importance of following procedure during a lockdown. “It is an unfortunate reality that school shootings happen,” said Kilcrease. “We just want to keep the kids safe.” Student safety is the ultimate goal of all the trainings, drills and simulations. Norma Villar of the Jordan District Safety Committee said they have established multiple community action board partnerships to address a variety of safety issues. “We constantly explore areas where safety can be improved,” she said. l

Continued from Front Cover...

doesn’t mean that you’re less than everyone else.” Raphael Dos Santos will soon be the first high school graduate and college student in his family. He maintains a 4.0 GPA at Valley High School and plans to be a dentist. But previously, he was struggling emotionally, mentally and academically. “Despite his rough start in high school, he has consistently received good grades and has done everything possible to improve his academic standing,” said his guidance counselor, Raylene Glover. Dos Santos focuses on his grades as well as serving others. As president of the service learning activities club at Valley High, Dos Santos organizes service projects four times a year. “Giving back to my community has always played a major role in my life,” he said. “I hope to influence others to do the same.” Autumn Gardner said she has been shaped by the difficult circumstances in her life—her mother’s poor health, homelessness and substance abuse. “The mistakes and events in my life have turned me inside and out, but have made me a better person today,” she said. Gardner is a successful student at Itineris Early College High School who has found balance in her life. “She has become a model student for how to manage the adult world of responsibilities and still do well in school,” said Assistant Principal Jeffery Bossard. Because of her experience caring for her

mother, Gardner has been inspired to become a nurse. “I just like the idea of helping people,” she said. West Jordan High School senior Shantel Singleton credits her grandpa for helping her take control of her life after a difficult childhood. “I learned that no matter the amount you struggle, you can always overcome it,” she said. Once she realized she could choose to be happy, she overcame her depression and the pain caused by her parents’ drug use. She chose to focus on making others happy. “I hope to make a difference in the community and to those around me,” said Singleton, who is studying to become a nurse. She is also a dedicated member of the West Jordan High School basketball team. Because of injuries, she wasn’t able to play in any games this past season, yet she continued to attend every game, practice and team meeting as well as stay on top of her grades. The four courageous students were awarded their scholarships at a recognition breakfast hosted by the West Jordan Exchange Club. West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding, various city council members, Brad Sorenson from Jordan School District and representatives from Dannon were in attendance to congratulate the students. Two of the award recipients will be recognized at the district exchange club and have a chance to move on to the national level, where they will have the opportunity to receive a $10,000 scholarship. l

May 2018 | Page 21

High schools see decline in number of referees By Greg James |


f players line up on the field and there is no official to enforce the rules, does it count in the standings? Overall, Utah high school sports have seen a 2 percent decline in the number of officials for its sporting events. Nearly 2,700 men and women officiate high school athletics in the state. “We are no different than the national trends,” said Jeff Cluff, Utah High School Activities Association assistant director in charge of officials. “Officiating is a difficult trade. It takes a lot of time just to be adequate let alone very good at it, and our newer officials are not sticking around long enough to get to that point.” Many of the state’s experienced officials are retiring, and there are not the number of younger replacements. Cluff also pointed out that we have more schools and more athletic participants than ever before. “It used to be that there would be one game a night at the school,” he said. “Nowadays, there could be a baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse game all at the same time. Not to mention all the club sports that use our officials too.” Utah’s current unemployment rate of 3.1 percent leads to a strong economy. Therefore, many residents are not compelled to spend extra time at a side job. The UHSAA has partnered with youth sports programs such as Ute Conference football in the Salt Lake Valley. The youth football program referees are also registered as UHSAA officials. The purpose is to train younger referees on Saturday to become high school officials also. “There used to be college courses as elective credit,” Cluff said. “It was used to get students to referee intramurals. Those classes are no longer available for college credit. I think [Southern Utah University] still has this course, and Weber State recently started one. Young kids do not have as many places to be introduced to officiating.” The scrutiny involved in the game has also discouraged many eligible participants. “I can be at a high school game, and within five minutes of an error on the field or court I can get a text, tweet or an email at the UHSAA showing the error that the official made,” Cluff said. “People are less patient, and they expect perfection until they actually try it and see how hard it really is.” Professional sports fans have become accustomed to instant replay and slow-motion video—something that is not available at the local high school level. “I had friends that were intentionally thrown at and have heard of parents and players that were malicious and disrespectful,”

Page 22 | May 2018

The need for more officials of high school sports is increasing. More games, retirement and poor sportsmanship is making it hard to find enough replacements. (Photo

former high school softball umpire Gerri Ewing said. “It is hard to put a young 16- or 17-year-old into that environment and expect them to be eager to come back. I umpired because I love softball. The money was not important to me. It was so I could give back to the community.” Utah has two NFL officials both of whom are former high school officials (Bart Longson, Ryan Dixon). Two years ago, two Utah-based officials worked the NCAA national championship football game. DG Nelson (SLCC baseball coach) recently refereed in the NCAA basketball tournament, and six PAC 12 umpires reside in Utah. “I think our top 15 percent of officials are as good as any in the country,” Cluff said. “I have seen and associate with officials at a high level. We have a deep pedigree of officials in this state. Some of our experienced officials are very well respected.” Officials and coaches have seen an increase in unsportsmanlike conduct from both players and fans. “Parents can be so harsh toward officials. It is a toxic age,” Herriman swim coach Michael Goldhardt said. “Kids and parents want game time; they have no loyalty to the school, and it is always someone else’s fault.” Schools and state associations are finding ways to recruit. Their plans include training and seminars at local leagues and recreation sports, but the need is growing faster than they can find replacements. l

West Jordan City Journal

Grizzlies lacrosse is having championshiptype season By Greg James |

Christian Hoffe is the Grizzlies’ second-leading scorer. He netted five goals against Roy Feb. 28. (Photo courtesy of Copper Hills Lacrosse)


acrosse will be the 11th sanctioned Utah High School Activities Association sport in 2019– 2020, just two short years away, but the Copper Hills boys club is ready to compete for the state title now. In this spring club season, the Grizzlies have only lost twice: once by a team from Oregon and also at the hands of American Fork. Their 12 varsity

wins have them ranked fourth in the state according to the Utah High School Lacrosse League rankings. The Grizzlies won their first five matches of the season and seven of their first eight. Those wins included a 10-8 victory over Bishop O’Dowd from California. In the victory Tavish Quigley had seven saves in goal, and Nicholas Ludlow scored three goals. On the season they are averaging 10.9 goals per game and only allowing 7.8. Ludlow is the team’s leading scorer. He has netted 40 goals this season. Christian Hoffe is second with 29, and Radley Park has 18. Defensively, Eric Flowers has played 11 games in goal and has 89 saves. He leads the team with a 52 percent save percentage. Another important defensive play is the ground ball. It is recorded when the ball changes possession during live-ball play. Brayden Rudd leads the team with 64 ground balls. He also has won 59 percent of the draws (similar to hockey face-offs). Both boys and girls clubs currently compete in the spring. Approximately 1,000 student athletes participate on 42 boys club. High schools around the state have the choice whether they want to participate. The UHSLL has outlined a participation map if a school chooses not to field and lacrosse team. If a players school does not have a team their players will be directed to the target team in their area. The state UHSLL championship tournament is scheduled to be held May 8–19. l

Creating Opportunities for and With People RISE provides services for adults and children with developmental disabilities including residential settings, day programs, employment assistance, managed care, and home and community based services. RISE also provides services for children and families through foster care and professional parenting, adoption, kinship care, after school and summer programs, behavior supports, and mental health services. RISE Services is currently looking for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) throughout the state. In Utah, RISE provides support in the Logan, Ogden, Taylorsville, West Jordan, Vernal, Roosevelt, Tooele, Utah County, Price and St. George areas. Bob Anderson, American animation director, said “There’s nothing so rewarding as to make people realize they are worthwhile in this world.” In one simple sentence, Mr. Anderson has eloquently summed up the role of a Direct Support Professional. Whether the job is done just through the summer, a year or two through college or as a career, the most ideal part of the contribution that a Direct Support Professional makes in the life of a person with developmental disabilities is that what they get back from the experience is magnified to infinity and for their lifetime.


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May 2018 | Page 23

West Jordan track athletes set for state meet

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West Jordan High School senior Olivia Horrocks ran a 19.39 100-meter hurdle time at the Taylorsville Invitational. (Greg James/City Journals)


he high school track season is winding down, and several West Jordan athletes are setting top times. “We are doing pretty good with the kids we have,” Copper Hills head track coach Garth Rushforth said. “I think we are weak in a couple of spots. We have some good kids trying their best, and we have about 200 kids, which is about normal from past years.” Copper Hills, West Jordan and Westridge High School track teams competed together at the Taylorsville Invitational April 14 at Taylorsville High School. The Jaguars placed fifth overall; the Grizzlies were seventh. The Jaguars had several top finishes. Drake DeHann placed second in the 3200 meters; he also finished fifth in the 800. As a team the Jaguars girls finished third overall in the 4x400 relay and sixth in the 4x100. The boys finished third in both the 4x400 and 4x100. Jaguar junior Jasmine Lopez finished 33 in a fast 100-meter field. “I think my start is the best,” Lopez said. “All season, I try to keep going by putting motivational sayings on my mirror to keep me focused. Every single day, I go for it. I want to be region and state champion by trying to have a positive attitude and taking good care of my body.” The Taylorsville event was one month before the 2018 State Track and Field Championships at BYU May 17–19. Rushforth said it is a good barometer of where each athlete stands in their preparation. “Now at mid-season we need to fine tune them,” Rushforth said. “We try to take out the roughness and get to where they are focusing on different parts of each race and cleaning it up. Same thing with throws and jumps—we need to clean up the approach and hit the peak at the right time.”

The Grizzlies Garrett Stone took first place in the 200 with a time of 22.58 seconds. The boys and girls sprint medley teams both took home second-place finishes in their events. The girls team members are Payton Case, Madison Leseberg, Abigail McVey and Hailey Kidd. “I felt pretty good about my race,” Leseberg said. “It has been cold so far this season, so I am not quite to where I want to be yet. I have goals to get to and match my PRs (personal records). I practice constantly and try to take care of myself all season.” The Grizzlies’ Camilla Andam finished second in the long jump. Rushforth said there are many athletes to watch on this year’s team. “I have very few academic issues with our team,” he said. “I very seldom have to worry about that. They are great students. They are all active in the school. I have kids involved in everything. A track team definitely helps athletes in all sports. We want the top athletes to participate with us.” Track and field finishes its season at the state championships, yet Rushforth said he wishes students could see its benefit in all other sports. “Kids used to be multi-sport athletes,” Rushforth said. “I ran track, played football and basketball. Over time I figured out what I was good at. Today, we put so much on our kids, and they just don’t have time in their lives. We need to realize it is not the golden ticket we should be looking for. We should let them have their experiences in school and life. Those experiences are what they are going to take with them for the rest of their lives.” Westridge High School had several students compete. Hope Keaton finished 39th in the 100, Sophomore Sydney Arsenault placed 47th in the shot put. l

West Jordan City Journal


Comcast Cares

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t was 6:20am on Saturday, April 21 and I was steaming my Kelly green Comcast Cares Day t-shirt. It was my first “Cares Day” (as it’s known to Comcasters), and I wanted to feel ready. I had been the External Affairs Director in Utah for just over a month. My shirt was not the only thing that was green. I may have been the newbie, but Comcast Cares Day isn’t new; it’s 17 years old, and this year we reached a significant milestone: one million volunteers. In my short time here, I’ve come to understand that Cares Day isn’t just something that Comcast does; Comcast Cares Day is a huge part of who we are. As a global media and technology company, Comcast is known for providing best-in-class cable and internet—just ask anyone with X1 who speaks to their remote. But in reality, we do something far more significant. Comcast is in the business of connecting people—to one another, to the larger world,

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and to their community. My family and I moved to Salt Lake from Brooklyn six years ago. We love it here—the outdoors, the ever-increasing slate of arts and culture offerings, and the ingrained sense of service. Even so, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt more connected to my community than I did Last Saturday on Cares Day. I sprayed windows and pulled weeds at The Road Home’s Palmer Court with a group of students from the U. I saw STEM workshop student’s wide smiles as they watched their ideas take shape in the 3D printer at Northwest Middle School. I sorted through cardboard boxes of clothes and toys in the basement loading dock of the YWCA with a group of nurses from Huntsman Cancer Institute. We were all moved when Sally Hannon, Development Coordinator at the Y, thanked us, saying, “I can’t believe all you’ve

done. I’ve never seen this part of the floor before.” I am proud to work at Comcast. In my new role, I will be focused on external relations strategies, including community impact work—like Cares Day—as well as communications and local government affairs. But the way I see it, I’m just the newest member of a super high-performing team, who have put an unbelievable amount of effort into the planning and execution of Comcast Cares Day. For them, this day is about people. It’s about supporting our project leads and partners; it is about delivering volunteers, students, and our nonprofit and school partners a seamless and meaningful experience; it is about making visible and lasting change to organizations and lives. And it is a little bit about hoping for good weather. Lucky for us, both sun and spirits shined brightly in Utah this Comcast Cares Day. l

May 2018 | Page 25

Sports facility offers variety of camps and programs By Catherine Garrett |

The Elite Level Sports Academy has been teaching athletic skills since it opened last January. (Photo courtesy Denise Swope)


he phrase “If you build it, they will come,” from the movie “Field of Dreams” is familiar to many baseballs fans and Cottonwood Heights resident Denise Johnson Swope has found that concept to be true since she opened her doors last year to the Elite Level Sports Academy, located at 2100 W. Alexander St. Ste. A in West Valley City. The facility boasts 13,000 square feet of turf, eight batting cages, six mounds, workout facilities and meeting rooms. “The response has been tremendous,” Swope said. “Parents and players really love our year-round skills and drills program and we provide quality instruction from top-notch instructors.” The facility has been a dream of Swope’s for a few years so she worked on the “right business model,” to ensure that everyone can walk away from each time “feeling like they got real value from their time in our place.” “I have always wanted to give back to kids, hoping they would experience the game and all it has to offer,” Swope said. “It is important to me that players get the skill development that is so badly needed in this area. I also wanted it to be a place where you can come regardless of your ability.” A weekly hitting camp in May and a summer baseball camp are the upcoming events at the facility, which also offers private baseball and softball lessons and space for team practices. They currently have an Elite 13u team – which has GPA and community service requirements – and are planning to add more teams in the fall. Swope said she recently brought on a strength and conditioning and speed and agility coach to help expand Elite Level’s services to other athletes including football players. Several football camps are also planned for this summer. The hitting camp for players ages 10 to 14 is scheduled for May 2, 9, 16 and 23 or May 3, 10, 17 and 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each night. Instructors will teach the fundamentals of hitting and work through drills with individualized instruction. The cost is $100.

Page 26 | May 2018

For the summer baseball camp, professional instruction will focus on skills, proper mechanics, speed and agility, personal growth and fun. Two different weeks will be offered from June 4 through 8 and June 11 through 15 with a morning session from 8 a.m. to noon for players ages 7 to 10 and afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 11 to 14. “Our focus at camp is to advance each individual’s skill and knowledge of baseball,” Swope said. “Each camper will receive specific instruction on how to play the game and how to improve on and off the field. We will cover all aspects of baseball.” The cost is $150 per week and a T-shirt is included. Those interested can register at the facility or online at www. or by calling (801) 972-2829. Swope got her start on the field as one of the original Bonnett Ball girls and started playing softball when she was young. She later played for Olympus High and accelerated teams and then watched a son and daughter play for a few years. She has been a softball and baseball coach, but has been part of the baseball community for more than 20 years—as a coach, Crown Colony Baseball board member and president and District Commissioner for Cal Ripken Baseball. “I was very fortunate, being able to travel all over the country, meeting people and experiencing so many things,” she said. The life lessons Swope has learned from sports—working hard, discipline, competing, teamwork, failure and success— are also part of what her goals are in the services she offers the sports community at Elite Level Sports Academy. “I have seen sports give a lot of kids the structure and discipline they need to be successful in life,” she said. “To me, baseball and sports are really about a bunch of great life lessons. I love to see a young player find success when they have been struggling and having their hard work pay off.” l

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May 2018 | Page 27

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in the West Jordan Journal with your membership.

Page 28 | May 2018

Hardworking men and women across Utah not only need representation, they need opportunities. That’s where LIUNA Local 295 steps up. The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) is a local labor union that utilizes resources and programs that are designed to increase member’s job skills and career opportunities. All this while improving the quality of life for members and their families. If you are skilled craft laborer, they have prospects for you. If you are searching for an apprenticeship, they have prospects for you. LIUNA Local 295 wasn’t a recent creation. It’s not a pop shop opened in the last year. It was a teenager during the Great Depression. It’s been in Utah for 110 years. Let’s repeat that, 110 years. Construction sites are familiar to LIUNA, whose efforts in the construction area are geared toward helping provide a quality workforce to employers who know the value of skilled and qualified employees. LIUNA primarily deals with the construction of commercial buildings, heavy (structures such as bridges or tunnels), highways, industrial, refractory, refinery and pipe lines. Those are some places to work, but if you’re concerned about being underqualified, have no fear, that’s another reason LIUNA is here. One of the best continuing education systems in the world is offered by LIUNA and the best part: it’s free. With more than 50 different courses where training is offered, doors to new opportunities are opened by providing members the skills that employers are looking for. Training is available to all members in good standing. LIUNA believes that training is crucial to their mission. Training provides the skills people need to find a quality job and it gives contractors the skilled employees they need to finish the job. Certifications and trainings are available in many areas. Some of the training offered includes: • Traffic control maintainer • Flagger • Mine Safety HA

• Occupational Safety HA • OSCA RSO Refinery Safety • Concrete • Pipe laying Not only is there a place to work and the training available to be a constant contributor, LIUNA members live better lives. From pay to training to retirement. Numbers from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics supports this: • The average wage for union workers is $28.08 compared to $18.10 for non-union workers. • It neutralizes pay discrimination. Women in a union receive a weekly pay advantage of 32 percent over non-union women in the workforce. • For Hispanic union workers, it’s 42 percent. • For African-American union workers, it’s 33 percent. • Advantages come in healthcare and retirement as well, 85 percent of union workers have health care insurance which includes medical, dental, vision and prescription drugs compared to 54 percent of non-union workers. • For guaranteed defined benefit pension plans, 76 percent of union workers have them while 16 percent of non-union workers don’t. The Local Union’s excellent relationship with workers is due to the relentless drive of business manager and secretary treasurer Diane Lewis. She is responsible for all affairs and business of the Local Union being properly conducted. Lewis negotiates with employers for wages and benefits by ensuring provisions of all agreements are enforced and respected by all parties. As the secretary treasurer, she keeps meticulous records of all monies received, deposited and disbursed under the Local Union’s accounts. She also presents written financial reports on a monthly basis to the executive board of the Local Union and its membership. While there is only one office, located at 2261 S. Redwood Road in West Valley City, its jurisdiction covers all of Utah. To find out more, visit or call 801-9725380. l

West Jordan City Journal


Oakwood Homes introduces OakwoodLife coming to Daybreak Resort-style living for today’s active adult buyer

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akwoodLife is bringing to life a new development—and a new lifestyle concept—for those 55+. Located in the award-winning community of Daybreak, the new OakwoodLife neighborhood will include more than 450 homes with low-maintenance, main-level living and beautifully landscaped grounds; access to Daybreak Lake, its trails, shops and restaurants; plus, most importantly, built-in connections to an ongoing active lifestyle. “This is a ‘community within a community’ for those who want to scale down but not slow down,” said Jennifer Cooper, VP of Marketing for Oakwood Homes. “Reflecting a resort-style feel, homeowners can enjoy staying fit, being healthy, learning new skills and even volunteering, while living in a beautiful low-maintenance home, making new friendships and taking advantage of their next ‘best’ chapter in life.” Known as SpringHouse Village at Daybreak, this is the inaugural 55+ active adult community for OakwoodLife, with two additional developments planned later this year in Colorado. OakwoodLife is a division of Oakwood Homes, an award-winning private homebuilder in business for more than 26 years. Sales for SpringHouse Village begin in June but prospective homeown-

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ers can receive advance information about floorplans, homesites and pricing, as well as invitations to events and promotions by signing up on OakwoodLife’s VIP Interest List. To do so, visit The first VIP events for prospective homeowners are in early May so people are encouraged to sign up soon. The central lifeblood of SpringHouse Village will be The Spring House, an amenity-rich center complete with its own Lifestyle Director, who will curate a variety of activities and classes for residents, including fitness, nutrition, finances, travel, volunteerism, DIY experiences and more. Once com-

plete, the 10,000-square-foot Spring House will offer a state-of-the-art fitness center, movement studio, pickle ball and bocce ball courts, an outdoor pool and spa, entertaining spaces indoors and out, a fire pit and more. OakwoodLife homes are thoughtfully designed for open-concept living with spacious kitchens, large welcoming windows, main level master suites, indoor and outdoor entertaining areas, and “flex” spaces that can become guest rooms, a home office, a media room, or whatever fits a homeowner’s lifestyle. Floorplans range from 1,200 to 3,500 total square feet and all homes include energy-efficient features and smarthome technology. Landscaping and grounds maintenance is handled by an HOA. “This new resort-style community is a game changer,” noted Cooper. “With affordable low-maintenance homes, a central location along the Wasatch Front to still gather with loved ones, and planned activities and socializing, residents can choose to do as much or as little as they want. It is peace-of-mind, freedom-filled living at its best.” Studies suggest that the 55+ population struggles with three key concerns: the fear of outliving their finances, struggling with poor health and being isolated. OakwoodLife strives to ease each of these issues through its carefully designed homes and community amenities. SpringHouse Village offers an entirely new rendition of the affordable, carefree, active, lock-andleave lifestyle many homeowners seek. For more information, and to be included on the VIP Interest list, visit l


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Helping Families Heal for Over 130 years May 2018 | Page 29

Birthday Shopping



May is a month of celebration for my family. There’s my birthday, my dad’s birthday, my friend’s birthday, my parent’s anniversary, and, of course, Mother’s day. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays and take time to find the best gift to surprise them. You know who doesn’t like celebrating birthdays? My wallet. During the past few years of extravagantly celebrating birthdays, I’ve picked up a few tricks to make my wallet happier. Let’s start with online shopping. I always shop online: it’s easier to find that perfect personalized gift in cyberspace than it is at the local shopping mart. I’ll usually start (I’ll admit it) with some social media stalking. I’ll go through the birthday person’s feed and see if there’s anything they have been really into recently, or there might even be a post explicitly telling friends what to get them for their birthday. Once I have a good idea of what to get the birthday person, or at least what theme to go with, I’ll start searching. If the birthday person made it easy on me and posted a wish list, I’ll start comparing prices online. Usually, the same item can be bought for cheaper on specific websites, or provide free shipping. I use Google Chrome as my browser so I use an extension that will compare prices for me. If I’m looking at an item on a website, the extension might automatically find the same item cheaper somewhere else. If it does, a small pop up will appear in the corner of my screen telling me it found a better deal. There are all

kinds of coupon and price comparison extensions to download on Chrome. They’re amazing. I never check-out online without a coupon. I subscribe to a handful of list serves that will send me sales and coupons. I’m always thinking ahead when I receive those emails. If I see a crazy discount on an item I think one of my friends will love, I purchase it then and wait until their birthday, or Christmas, whichever one comes first. Additionally, I always search for coupon codes. If you Google “store name” coupon codes, you’ll get hit with a bunch of websites providing coupon codes. I use Retail Me Not and Deals Cove, just to name a few. My last tip for online shopping is to leave items sitting in the cart. If you have an email linked to the site you are shopping on, you’ll usually get an email reminding you that an item is in your cart (as if you had forgotten). The site will usually send a 10-20 percent coupon code to inspire you finish the transaction. This requires patience though, since these emails usually won’t show up in an inbox for a day or two. If you don’t want to go online shopping, personalized gifts are always great options. I love making personalized cakes for my birthday people. They’re fun, tasty, and generally inexpensive. You can buy baking supplies in large quantities and use them for many different occasions. I use the same tactic for party supplies as well. I love to surprise my birthday people by decorating their car or home or

workplace. I have bags full of streamers and balloons that I buy in quantity. Lastly, if you’re not like me but like many of my friends, you can opt out of receiving gifts on your birthday altogether. Instead, request the money that would be spent on your gift to go towards a donation. Facebook has a specific invite for this: you can invite your friends to donate your birthday gift money to a charitable cause. I have been invited to donate to The Humane Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, Cancer Societies, the World Wildlife Fund, etc. There are hundreds of nonprofits to choose from which this social media platform has listed. l


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Laughter AND




Toddlers are draining. They’re exhausting, demanding, messy and literally shaking with energy. When my kids were little, I was tired all the time. I’d fall asleep at stoplights and dream of the day I could sleep without someone’s little foot stuck in my ear. The next decade passed by in a blur of softball games, dance recitals, science fairs, birthday parties and happy family activities. It’s a montage of smiling faces and sunshine. Little did I know, our happy family time was waning. I didn’t realize I was stuck on a roller-coaster, slowly clicking my way to the first steep drop. A gentle “Clickity-clack, clickity-clack” starts to get louder as the coaster moves closer to the top of the hill until suddenly I’m up so high and afraid to look down. Once a daughter turns 13, the coaster’s brakes release and you freefall into a death spiral, an upsidedown loop, a backwards spin over the rails, and a straight-down drop that moves your stomach into your ribcage. You get whiplash from changing directions. There’s lots of screaming. There might be some brief, quiet moments but only because you’re steadily climbing back to that first steep drop. Clickity-clack, clickity-clack. You recognize the parent of a teenage daughter because their teeth are clenched and their fists so tightly clasped they’ve lost all blood flow to their fingers. They’re currently experiencing a 7 G-force thrill ride, Teenage Terror Tornado, and they can’t get off for at least six years. Other than being an alligator midwife or snake milker, there’s no job more dangerous or thankless than being the mother of a teenage daughter. Moms



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and 14-year-old girls get embroiled in death-to-the-enemy exchanges on a daily basis. Everything becomes a battle and exclamation points abound. Teenage Mutant Ninja Daughter: I was late for school again!!! Harried Mother: You slept in. TMND: Why didn’t you wake me up???!!!! HM: I tried to wake you up for 30 minutes. TMND: I was tired!!!!! HM: You should go to bed earlier. TMND: I’m not an old lady like you!!! At this point, the mom stops talking because she’s ready to punch a hole in the refrigerator. She’s endured slammed doors, rolled eyes, super-black eyeliner, sulkiness, unexpected anger, crop tops and shrill yelling. I speak from experience, both as a former teenager and the mother of four teenage daughters. As a teen, I wrote my mom a few letters explaining how much I hated her. She wrote me one right back. I lied, snuck out of the house, refused to attend church, yelled at my siblings and changed into sexy tops after I left the house for school. Somehow, my mom didn’t kill me, for which I am endlessly grateful. My own daughters had their share of teenage drama. I’d often go to bed at night wishing for a lightning both to hit me in the head. I’d have been

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perfectly fine with that. Sudden death often felt easier than years of teenage moodiness. Now, each of my daughters have a daughter of their own. I watch as they deal with the everyday calamities that must be dealt with when you have a daughter including mood swings, swearing and bathroom bawling, and the daughters have their issues, too. But occasionally, a daughter would snuggle up to me, tell me she loved me and ask how my day was. She’d hold my hand and look interested for about 10 seconds before asking, “Can I have $50?” Clickity-clack. Clickity-clack. l


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May 2018 | Page 31

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West Jordan City Journal May 2018  

West Jordan City Journal May 2018

West Jordan City Journal May 2018  

West Jordan City Journal May 2018