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November 2019 | Vol. 19 Iss. 11


HER KIDS SAID THE DARNDEST THINGS, SO SHE WROTE A BOOK By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals


hen Crystal Liechty, of West Jordan, became a mom, she had no idea that her three kids would provide her with enough humorous material for a book. But they did. A signing for Liechty’s book, “Educating Mom,” was held at the Printed Garden Bookstore in Sandy on Oct. 5. The book features writing by Liechty, illustrations by Steve Heumann and a foreword by James Dashner. “This is the first event we’ve done that’s just about us and this book,” Liechty said. “I brought all the kids, though I’m afraid of them spouting off at the mouth. But if you’ve read the book, you know they do that.” “Educating Mom” is written as a graphic novel. The text is supplied by real-life situations at Liechty’s house. Heumann then illustrates comics to go along with the text. Liechty got the idea to turn her trying and funny moments as a homeschooling mom into a comic several years ago. After working as an editor for the Valley Journals (which became the City Journals), she wanted to publish her own paper. “Because my kids were so funny, I wanted to make what they said into a comic,” she said. “So, I hired Steve to help me, and we’ve been working together ever since.” Liechty asked her friend James Dashner to write a foreword for the book. Dashner is a New York Times bestselling author. He’s best known for “The Maze Runner” books, which were made into movies. “Crystal and I met at the Storymakers Conference 15 years ago,” Dashner said. “We support each other as writers, so when she asked me to be here, I was happy to do it.” Heumann said this is a good time for the medium of

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Writer Crystal Liechty and illustrator Steve Heumann sign copies of their book “Educating Mom” in Sandy on Oct. 5. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

graphic novels. “I’ve been into comic books since I was a kid, so I always thought it was a legitimate art form,” Heumann said. “One thing I like about comics that you can’t do in a traditional novel or movie is that you can control time. The way you sequence the art can force the reader to pause or look longer at

a frame.” Heumann said he goes to a lot of “cons” — comic conventions — and does a lot of illustration work in that area. But working with Liechty is a natural fit. Heumann and his wife live in Liechty’s neighborhood, and both families homeschool their kids. Continued page 13

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West Jordan performing arts theater plan in the works again By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

The final design will look similar to this but has not been finalized. (Photo courtesy of Method Studio)


here’s more discussion about the West Jordan theater. “We have been to this point before,” said Vic Groves, chair of the Cultural Arts Society of West Jordan. “I’m happy that it is adjacent to the original Sugar Factory site. We are cautiously excited that the project is moving to the next stage. This council appears committed to seeing it through. It doesn’t hurt that it’s an election year. They are talking about breaking ground by spring, which would be great, but there is a general concern about rising construction costs.” The designer of the new performing arts center, Method Studio, presented its design to the West Jordan City Council in late September. Method Studio is also responsible for the construction of UVU Performing Arts Center, Mid Valley Performing Arts Center and the Draper Amphitheater. The new West Jordan theater will no longer be on 9000 South but on or next to where the old sugar factory building stood. The exact layout for the interior and parking,


and whether to leave room for future growth, is still being discussed by city officials, employees and contractors. After the presentation of the 250-seat auditorium, complete with storage room, lobby space, restrooms, parking lot and grounds, Councilmember Zach Jacob said, “this is more than what I was picturing, so I’m looking forward to the price-tag part.” Korban Lee, assistant city manager, discussed the financial aspects of the project. “We have $5 million construction budget,” he said. “We have $6 million in the bank, but that has to cover FFE (fixtures, furniture, equipment), design cost, site development cost. We’re trying very, very hard to stay on a $5 million construction budget. We have a $2 million grant we anticipate retaining as well, so I’m confident we can get this done with this kind of design, but we need to watch every penny we can.” Groves, also at the September meeting, was impressed by the design. However, he worried the storage space was not sufficient

for what the Cultural Arts Society needs, one of the groups that will frequently use the space. “Instrument storage is paramount, because they can’t be moved back and forth all the time,” Groves said. Mayor Jim Riding talked about what the project should entail. “We recognize that there are so many other things that we’d like to have in it, we really would,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for years and years and years. We want to start with something and worry about other things at a different time.” After the meeting, Travis Green, member of the West Jordan Performing Arts Society, was apprehensive of the entire process, though he hasn’t seen the final plan. “As far as I know, no one has discussed our lighting, sound and other technical needs with those that are designing the building. Sometimes, it feels like the city council is simply saying, ‘Here’s what we’re willing to give you. Take it or leave it.’ And I worry that




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November 2019 | Page 5

Utah talent agencies tackle challenges of working in a small market By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


he offices of Unique Talent aren’t glamorous. On the second floor of a West Jordan office park, Unique is run out of just a couple of rooms. It’s a two-woman outfit: Cristie Anderson, founder and CEO, started the company just nine months ago, and booking agent Ariel Stratton is a working actor herself. Both are clearly energized and passionate about changing the landscape of the Utah film and modeling industry. A talent agency connects actors and models with the filmmakers and photographers who want to cast them. And opportunities do come our way here in the crossroads of the west. Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” and “High School Musical” (the series), and the Kevin Costner series “Yellowstone” are just a few of the current or recent made-inUtah productions. And there’s always an abundance of commercials. But there are factors at work in Utah that make careers in modeling or movies uniquely challenging. “Utah talent agencies unfortunately have a pretty bad rap right now,” Anderson says. She and other agency owners are setting out to change that.

Scarce work, ample fees

Anderson began her career in modeling in the 1990s and has acted as well. After becoming a mother, she began to work as a talent agent for a local company. Her experience there taught her that some things could—and needed to—be done better. As a child, Ariel Stratton acted in California. She began pursuing a career in engineering as an adult but eventually returned to film. When she decided to get back on the acting scene in Utah, she went agency shopping and was disappointed by what she found. “I did a lot of stuff growing up in California, so my standards are LA standards,” she says. “Utah does not have that standard by any means, because we’re a right-to-work state.” Stratton noticed these differences when she started to read the contracts agents were offering. “People’s contracts here are very different then they are in LA,” she said. “There’s not a lot of work compared to LA, so a lot of agents here have these obnoxious fees that are unheard of in LA.” It’s the same problem that inspired David Layne, of Elevate Talent, to start his own agency. Layne also worked as an actor for years, but when the agency that represented him shut down, he and his fellow actors struggled to find representation. “Half the agencies in Utah at that time were more interested in charging fees,” Layne said. “They sell the dream, but they don’t deliver the dream.” Many of Layne’s friends at the time told him they thought he’d be a great agent, so

Page 6 | November 2019

he decided to go for it. That was four years ago. Today Layne represents 320 people. He says he’d cap that number at no more than 500 or 600. “I’ve pledged that I will always remain small,” Layne said. “Other agencies have anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 people that hardly ever get work. I represent people that really want to work.” For Layne, it’s essential that he knows everyone he represents and feels “that everybody has the opportunity to get cast.”  Typically, agencies take a cut of the pay that their actors or models make on a booking—usually about 15%, the rate Unique charges. But because Utah doesn’t have as many jobs available, some agencies struggle to profit on bookings alone. “They [charge extra fees] to stay afloat,” Stratton says. “The problem with that is they just start bringing in more people every week, not focusing on the people they already have.”  And there’s the deluge of fees: signing fees, website fees, fees to update headshots. “I’ve even heard some charge a ‘social media fee,’” says Warren Workman, of Royal Talent. “What the crap is that?” “It’s ridiculous to pay to be represented by someone who’s supposed to be working with you,” Stratton said.  The fact that none of these fees were built into her contracts is what initially impressed Stratton about Anderson. Though Stratton initially signed on as an actor, her passion for Anderson’s mission blossomed into a work relationship. Stratton brought her connections to Anderson and provided wordof-mouth advertising. In the months they’ve worked together, Stratton and Anderson have become close. And they’ve used each other’s skills to help build their careers. “She can’t get rid of me,” Stratton says, and Anderson is quick with her comeback: “I don’t want to!”

that his agency will likely stay on the smaller work for free, and Stratton reports it’s makside, but that’s what Royal aims for. ing a difference. Workman finds low-paying jobs to be a Low-paying jobs major problem as well. Often, he gets a castBecause Utah’s market isn’t as vibrant ing call for a commercial offering to pay an as that of larger entertainment hubs, the jobs actor something like $50. that are available often don’t pay enough to “I don’t even send my actors to that,” he make a gig worth an actor’s or model’s time. said. It’s not worth their gas money, and for Anderson is passionate about bringing more an agent who, like Workman, receives a 10% high-fashion modeling to Utah, but currently, cut on his actors’ bookings, it’s certainly not modeling jobs are sparse. worth his time. Many models are desperate enough to

Little diversity

Unique Talent model Anika Boyer gets her hair and makeup done before a fashion show. (Photo courtesy of Cristie Anderson)

Productions and shoots cast in Utah need racially diverse talent just as much as productions cast in bigger cities. But because the pool of actors isn’t as varied, this provides a challenge to agencies. In their eight months of existence, Unique has paid particular attention to that and has had success finding child actors of many backgrounds. The adult talent pool has diversified more slowly, but they’re working on it. The lack of diversity Warren Workman saw in Utah talent was one of the forces that inspired him to begin his own agency. Workman, organizer of the Utah Film Festival, has been in the film industry for 15 years but opened his own agency just months ago. As a producer, he saw that most agencies had only “about five looks” that they could provide. He felt he could do something about that. His commitment to focus on diverse talent means

take one of the abundant unpaid jobs advertised on Facebook. “There are a lot of models, and they’re actually trained, but they’re working for free because they think the exposure is going to be good for their career,” Anderson said. “But really, the type of exposure they’re getting is not going to help them. It really drives the market down.” Stratton jumps in. “It’s created this cycle, and it’s even bled over into the acting world, where people will undercut you or not pay you at all and because people show up for [unpaid jobs],” she said. “So, people continue to do it.” Anderson is working to change that expectation. She encourages her models not to

Moving on up

These challenges aren’t unique to Utah so much as they are to any smaller market. That’s why Workman, Layne and Anderson all work to help their talent audition in cities such as Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Layne and Workman even have affiliated agents in major cities. That’s not something you’ll get from any agent. “Other agencies seem to be afraid to let people audition in LA because they’re afraid they’re going to lose them,” Layne said. Losing talent means saying goodbye to the steady stream of fees they supply. For Anderson, the priority is to launch her actors’ careers—and if that means losing them to another agent in a better market, she’s happy to do it. 

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Cristie Anderson, founder of Unique Talent (Photo courtesy of Alex Valente)

Ariel Stratton and Joe Jacobsen film demo clips for their acting demo reels at the offices of Unique Talent in West Jordan (Photo courtesy of Cristie Anderson)

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Travis Clark, an actor and model who’s been with Unique Talent since January, is new to the industry, but said he’s “aiming for the big leagues.” He wants to get out of Utah and feels that Anderson has been nothing but supportive. She’s helped him find auditions in LA, Vegas and more. For all these agents, keeping a small talent pool is a key to upholding high standards.

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They’re confident that their commitment will help them rise to the top—if not in size, then in reputation. “I don’t have the desire to necessarily get rich off of this,” Anderson said. “I have the desire to be well respected.” . l

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Page 8 | November 2019





Her kids said the darndest things, so she wrote a book | Cover Story When Crystal Liechty, of West Jordan, became a mom, she had no idea that her three kids would provide her with enough humorous material for a book


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Furry reading tutor makes a doggone difference at West Jordan Middle By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@cityjournals.com


eatrice is a reading tutor, a dog, and the secret to success for reading improvement at West Jordan Middle School. Beatrice, or Bea, belongs to language arts teacher Tara Pearce, who believes reading aloud is an effective strategy to help low-performing readers improve their skills. But it is hard to get ninth graders to do it. “Students hate reading out loud,” Pearce said. “They don’t like reading out loud to me, they don’t like reading out loud to peers.” To ensure her ninth graders are prepared for high school, especially those students with special education needs, Pearce constantly researches new strategies to boost their reading skills. She has seen a lot of research about reading out loud to therapy dogs, so she started bringing Bea into class two days a week to read with some of her reluctant readers. “When they read to a dog, the dog’s not going to stop them,” Pearce said. “If they mess up on a word, it’s not a big deal. They don’t feel embarrassed.” Sydnee Oakeson, a reluctant reader, now begs to read to the 1-year-old mini goldendoodle puppy. “People stop you and ask you

questions,” she said. “Reading to the dog is just reading and petting.” Angel Gomez said he can focus better when he is reading to Bea. “Reading to a teacher will kind of get me nervous,” he said. Principal Dixie Garrison was thrilled when Pearce suggested the idea. “If a kid is a struggling reader, and they have a teacher sitting there evaluating them and correcting them as they try to read aloud, there’s nothing they would dread more than having their reading time with an adult,” Garrison said. “For the kids who are reluctant to read, they’re able to sit with Beatrice in a private break-out room and read aloud to the dog without judgment, without correction, without any kind of pressure.” Pearce expects to see a measurable academic gain for her students from this experiment. She is still collecting data, but in the semester that Bea has been in the classroom, she has noticed other unexpected benefits. “I have already seen attitudes change toward reading for some of my lowest readers, and that’s always a win,” she said. “At the beginning of the year, we had to try to help them find a book and they wouldn’t necessarily

stick with any book. But consistently, since I’ve been bringing Bea in, they’ve been prepared for reading time—and almost looking forward to it.” Time with Bea is offered as incentive to students who struggle academically, behaviorally or emotionally. “They’ll sit with her, they’ll pet her, and you can see their mood change,” Pearce said. “It makes it so much easier to talk to them.” She has had some of her best conversations with one of her most challenging students when Bea was present. “He’ll be thinking about the dog and playing with the dog, and then he’s more open to talking with me, so it’s a way of building that relationship,” she said. “I just feel like she helps a lot of students feel better.” Pearce said she couldn’t have tried this unconventional strategy without support from Garrison, who has always supported teachers to implement unique ideas that will benefit students. “My philosophy is to foster innovation, not stifle it,” Garrison said. “So, where some school principals might not even consider a therapy dog in their school, I welcomed it. I encouraged it, and I think it needs to happen more.” l

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Reluctant readers are motivated to read out loud to Beatrice, a mini goldendoodle. (Photo courtesy WJMS)

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Struggling students find it calming to read to a dog. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

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Theater productions promise invigorating comedy and rock ’n’ roll romance


ill your autumn evenings with comedy, song and dance performed by talented local youth. Here’s what local high school theater departments have planned: Copper Hills High School presents “The Drowsy Chaperone: A Musical Within a Comedy,” winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, is based on a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. It will be held Nov. 8, 9 and 11 at 7 p.m., 5445 West New Bingham Highway. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students and $5 seniors/military/veterans. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance in the front office or copperhillstheatre.org. “The Drowsy Chaperone” is the story of an enthusiastic theater buff sharing his favorite musical with the audience. “He puts on the record and starts playing the music and all of a sudden the characters start coming out of things in the apartment— the refrigerator doors—the whole musical comes to life within his apartment,” said director Jordan Morrell. “He narrates along with the story and takes us through it step by step. As they perform it, he talks about his favorite things, things that are kind of weird, and not so great. He talks about the famous actors playing these characters and his affinity for them.” Morrell chose the play because it is a

By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com fun show that “pokes fun at the traditions of theater.” “We do this crazy thing called theater because we can sit back and laugh at ourselves and all the crazy things that we do,” he said. “There are all these little subplots and twists that are stereotypical of some of the great musical theater pieces.” West Jordan High School kicks off its theater season with the rock ’n’ roll musical, “All Shook Up” based on the book by Joel DiPietro and the music of Elvis Presley. It will be held Nov. 14, 15, 16 and 18 at 7 p.m. and a 2 p.m. on Nov. 16, 8136 South 2700 West. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students/seniors and can be purchased at the door or in advance in the front office or at westjordanhigh.org. “I thought it would be a really fun, upbeat show for the kids to do,” said director Tony Akin. “It’s got a lot of great music and great dancing. I wanted to do something that was just going to be a heck of a lot of fun.” Akin, who is a fan of Elvis Presley, hopes to expose young people to music they aren’t familiar with. Seniors Addie Bowler and Tyler Rowe, who play the lead roles, said they’ve grown to appreciate the music. Rowe even sets his Pandora to the Elvis station now. “The music is a ton of fun,” Rowe said. “It’s all Elvis music—just put with harmonies and a story behind it.” Rowe plays the


The cast of “All Shook Up” goes through a dance number, led by student choreographer Samantha Overdiek. (Jet Burnham/city Journals)

Elvis-inspired character with slicked-back hair, leather jacket, guitar slung over his back, astride a motorcycle. Bowler plays the girl who disguises herself as a boy to get close to her crush (played by Rowe). “It’s Shakespeare’s ‘Twelve Night’ play, set it in the ’50s and put to Elvis music,” Bowler said. “It’s got really good humor and lots of antics—definitely a must-see.” Forty-eight students bring their singing and dancing talents to the show, including members of WJHS’s Dance Company. “It’s a much bigger show than we had anticipated and a lot more dancing than we actually thought when we first decided to do this show,” Akin said. Student choreogra-

phers, juniors Samantha Overdiek and Annie Allen, have exceeded expectations in creating energetic dance numbers such as “Jail House Rock” and “Come on Everybody.” WJHS choir director Keith Evan is vocal director and junior Gabbie Oertle provided all the artistic painting for the set. Akin said the goal of producing shows in high school is to develop students’ talents. Morrell, who has been involved in theater for 25 years, agrees that theater provides unique opportunities for students to develop new skills. “We can teach our kids to be self-advocates, to be critical thinkers, to be positive and build each other up,” Morrell said.  He said performing also provides an opportunity for students to develop confidence at a critical time in their lives. Morrell said for some students, being in a theatrical production can be the most confidence-building experience that happens in their life.  “Theater can be a very powerful vehicle for students to experience and find a safe place to be where they feel accepted and valued,” he said. “And there’s a great pay-off as an actor and as a technician because when you hear the audience applaud or laugh, you helped create that. Even if it was only one small moment, you were a part of that moment that got that laughter, that applause.” l

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These barrels may not move for two years, as Outlaw Distillery’s rum ages. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

There’s no compromise on the practice “from grain to glass” at Outlaw Distillery. Kirk and Denise Sedgwick, co-owners of Outlaw Distillery, are passionate about ensuring quality products for their customers. All of their spirits are absent of artificial flavorings and are made from natural, local, quality ingredients. In order to create Outlaw Distillery’s

Page 10 | November 2019

line of handcrafted spirits including Rum, Spiced Rum, Coffee Rum, White Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey and Moonshine, Kirk and Denise allow only the highest grade of raw natural materials into their distillery. The majority of these materials, like corn, wheat, oats, rye and barley, are all produced by Utah farmers. Any materials the Sedgwick’s can’t obtain locally, they’ll purchase from U.S.based companies exclusively. As an example of raw natural quality ingredients, Outlaw Distillery only uses fancy molasses. “That’s what the industry calls their finest batches,” clarified Kirk, as many people have questioned the term “fancy.” (That’s in comparison to blackstrap molasses, which is the lowest-quality molasses, Kirk explained.) Denise and Kirk are strict about not adding artificial flavoring or sweeteners to any of their recipes. Instead, they pull their flavors from the natural ingredients themselves. For example, Outlaw Distillery’s coffee rum is made from coffee beans directly. Kirk described the process as similar to how cold brew is steeped and made at coffee shops. He takes coffee beans from Bad Ass Coffee

Company and throws them in with the other ingredients needed to distil rum. After the coffee rum has acquired the desired flavor, Kirk will filter out the coffee beans. Using only natural ingredients and not allowing for artificial flavoring are practices that many of the local distilleries agree on. Kirk reported that many of the local distillers are friends, so he doesn’t see any of them as competition. Outlaw Distillery’s products can take anywhere from two weeks to two years to distill. Kirk can distill a barrel of moonshine or white whiskey in as little as two weeks. However, a barrel of rum will need to age for at least two years. Growing up in Utah, Kirk has always been fascinated by the infamous history of the state. He always loved reading about Butch Cassidy, who was born in Beaver, and the Outlaw Trail which ran through Utah. Outlaw Distillery is completely locally owned and operated. Denise and Kirk do all their own distilling, with their family and friends helping out when needed. Kirk designed and built the equipment for his distillery. Even though Outlaw Distillery is a fairly

new business, opening their doors in January 2015, Kirk has been distilling liquor for over 19 years. In addition to their liquor products, Outlaw Distillery hosts tours and tastings. Kirk enjoys hosting these in-depth tastings and tours. During his 90-minute tour, he educates attendees on an assortment of information relative to distilling. Kirk teaches attendees how to read the labels on liquor in order to ensure they’re getting the best product. He also walks attendees through the process of distilling. “You could go home and make your own liquor after my tour,” he says with a laugh.   Tours, tastings, and products can all be purchased from their store in Midvale (552 W. 8360 South). Outlaw Distillery is licensed as a liquor retailer, so customers can stop by on their way home from work to pick up their favorite liquor. “You don’t have to hassle with the lines at the state liquor store,” Kirk says. For more information on Outlaw Distillery, visit their website at OutlawDistillery. com or visit them on Facebook at Outlaw Distillery.

West Jordan City Journal

Utah-born author inspires real-life women with mermaid stories By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


hen Utah native and author S.R. Atkinson released the third installment of her “Siren Anthology” series this year, she wanted to throw a party. Her past two releases were accompanied by standard book tours that took her across the country. But this time, she wanted something other than the repetitive, hurried signings at locations such as Barnes and Noble. This time, Atkinson thought, “I’m going to throw a party, so I can hang out and say thank you.” She threw three parties: one in New Jersey, where she currently lives; another in St. George, near where she went to college; and another in West Jordan, on the back patio of Boda Bridal inside Gardner Village. Atkinson’s book “Treading Waves” came out this summer and is the third in a series that follows a teenage mermaid named Santi. The West Jordan release party, held Sept. 20, included a mermaid-themed coloring contest, raffle, and food and drinks. Atkinson’s gratitude and affection for those who support her work was evident in the way she interacted with everyone at the event. A graduate of Taylorsville High, Atkinson attended Southern Utah University and University of Utah before moving to the East Coast in 2010. But she never formally studied writing at a university. Rather, her degree was in psychology, which she says has taught her more about writing than she could have

learned studying writing directly. Understanding psychology helped her understand her characters’ minds and motivations. “I often tell people, if you want to write a book, know why people do what they do,” Atkinson said. Her degree in psychology helped her writing career in another important way: It steered her toward a job working with troubled youth. The teens she met in this position eventually became her inspiration for the series. “All of my dedications in my books are for the girls I worked with in treatment,” Atkinson said. “I think a lot of people write young adult books at kids, like ‘Here’s a book, and I’m going to teach you a lesson.’ I didn’t write this at them; I wrote this for them.” And her vision has been realized in some meaningful ways. Occasionally, a girl she’s still in touch with from the treatment center will email her, citing a specific passage from one of her books and describing what it meant to her. One girl that made a strong impression at the treatment center “was having such a hard time doing anything,” Atkinson said. “She was scared of everything. She just wouldn’t do what she had to to get better.” In “Breathing Water,” the first book of the series, one of the characters says, “The hardest

part about breathing water is believing that you can.” After reading those lines, this girl “emailed [Atkinson] and she was like, ‘This has always been my problem, that I don’t believe I can do these things.’” Atkinson was blown away. She’d written that line with that very girl in mind. Her writing has also enabled her to make connections with readers she hasn’t met in person. In 2015, after the publication of her first book, a speaking tour took her to one high school where, following her speech, kids lined up to talk with her—a gratifying experience. But then, just two weeks ago— and four years after the speaking engagement—a student from that school messaged Atkinson on Instagram. She said, “Your book was recommended to me by my high school librarian, and reading it helped me find my voice.” “I was like, What?” Atkinson said. “That was the best compliment I’ve ever received, ever.” Atkinson has found enthusiastic readers in many locations around the country, and she’ll do a standard book tour next year to visit some of those locations. Even in the age of the internet, making in-person connections has paid off for her career. Though the “Siren Anthology” centers on a young female protagonist, she hopes it too will reach more than just young female

City leaders remove expenditures from agenda to protect interests


By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

est Jordan City officials used to publish the dollars spent on each agenda. Now, the agenda shows where money is going but not how much. Councilmember Chris McConnehey pointed this out during a council meeting in late September. “I liked it better when it showed everything on the front page, what was a few thousand dollars versus a multi-million-dollar consent item for a new water tank or something like that,” he said. In response, City Manager David Brickey cited there were legal reasons that the price could no longer be listed. Tauni Barker, communications officer


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for West Jordan said, “It’s a strategic move to ensure the city is able to execute contracts for a competitive price. When prices are listed on consent for an RFP (request for proposal), companies look to them as a base price for determining future response. While the information is no longer included on the agenda as a consent item providing easy access, it is still public information and can be requested via the GRAMA process.” In other words, it is a way to make sure the city gets the lowest and most competitive price possible from potential providers. The City Journals previously reported on money printed on the agendas in March 2019. l

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S.R. Atkinson, a native of Utah and author of the new book “Treading Waves.” (Yvette Sojka)

readers. It’s something that she’s had to reckon with as an author, even influencing the choice of name she uses. While she writes under the name “S.R.,” in person she goes by her first name, “Savannah.” The choice to write under her initials is one she made based on the readers she wanted to attract. “I want to be more confident about my decision, but I think I made it because Savannah is a girl’s name, and men and boys don’t read books written by women,” she said. “And it bothers me that I did it, but I kind of stand by it—if I trick a couple boys into reading it, great.” Overall, though, it remains important for Atkinson to speak to women in her fiction. “I want women to feel strong, and if they read my books and it makes them feel like they can do something that they didn’t do [before], then I’ve done my job,” she said. l NEWS FROM OUR ADVERTISERS



n August, Comcast expanded the pool of eligibility for Internet Essentials — basically, any home already receiving some kind of federal aid, including EBT or Medicaid are now eligible. This means 27,000 more low-income Utahans now qualify for in-home – high-speed – low-cost internet service through Internet Essentials. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected 8 million low-income Americans to affordable internet service – including 112,000 in Utah – and invested more than $650 million in cash and in-kind support for digital literacy training and educational initiatives. As a father of five, I know firsthand how in-home internet can impact children’s education. Most homework assignments today often required the use of a computer and internet, whether it be to do light research, read material, or type up an essay – it is absolutely essential to be connected in our modern, digital age. Affordable internet offers an array of opportunities to gain access to job skills, access health information, promote smarter shopping and civic engagement, and use of e-government services as an alternative to the sometimes-costly process of traveling to government offices in person.


ESSENTIALS Those without access to in-home internet service may have a greater need to access government services and may not realize more and more of those services are available online. Additionally, some parents may not understand how essential the Internet has become for students, especially those in underperforming schools. Comcast understands when people – who would otherwise not have access – connect to the internet they disproportionately improve their quality of life — particularly for older and poorer Utahans. For example, next-generation applications will focus on connected homes and digital health care — essential tools for helping seniors age in place. That’s one of the reasons it is imperative to increase digital equity and close the digital divide in Utah. For more information, or to apply for the program, go to http://www.internetessentials. com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can call 1-855-765-6995.

November 2019 | Page 11

50,000 words or bust for aspiring novelists this November By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


ore than 80% of Americans think they have a book in them. They also think they should write it, according to writer Joseph Epstein. For many, the dream of writing a novel remains that, just a dream. However, for those who are ready to finally write their story, some extra motivation comes along every November in the form of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo writers share a common goal of reaching 50,000 words in just 30 days each November. That adds up to a 200-page novel draft in just one month. To help writers stay on track, and to find a group of like-minded novelists to be around while cranking out those pages, the Salt Lake County Library offers write-in events at several of its locations. “People can come to a branch hosting a write-in,” said Liesl Seborg, of Salt Lake County Library. “There will often be treats, prizes, word sprints, a little social interaction.” This will be the sixth year of large participation in write-in events at Salt Lake County Libraries. Five locations will host write-in events during November, including the Whitmore, Millcreek, Taylorsville, West Valley and Bingham Creek branches. Writeins will be held in at least one library each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

throughout November. Event schedules can be found on the library’s website. “Our main function is to provide a comfortable space where writers can work and meet other writers engaged in the same challenge,” said Daniel Berube, of Whitmore Library. “It’s also helpful for writers to have a set time blocked off for writing. We usually have a mix of writing veterans and people that are curious about what NaNoWriMo is.” While dozens of people typically participate in the write-in events each November, Seborg estimates that around 1,000 people in Salt Lake County will sit down to write as part of NaNoWriMo. Statistics from the national organization showed participation increasing from fewer than 200 in its first year in 2000 to more than 200,000 10 years later. The number of participants has continued to grow from there. The draw of NaNoWriMo comes from something that many aspiring novelists share deep down. “Everybody ultimately wants to write a book,” Seborg said. “I think the appeal is that there are many stories to be told, and this is a way to push themselves to write what’s in their mind, what’s in their heart of hearts.” Write-in events held all over the world offer something else. While the act of writing tends to be a solitary task, writers themselves

help push each other. “You’ve got other people who are also struggling,” Seborg said. “They can share the good days and the bad days.” Throughout November, new and experienced writers in Salt Lake County and beyond can find a quiet place near them to write. They also find a group of people who share similar aspirations. Each write-in event ranges from silent to raucous. Writers will all quietly type or scribble away at their stories, then take time at the end of the session to talk about their experiences. They celebrate each other’s breakthroughs and laugh off their challenges. Write-ins are typically led by people affiliated with the national NaNoWriMo organization. These municipal liaisons offer experienced words of encouragement as well as structure for the events. If a community liaison is not available, local library staff step in. Some library staff even participate in NaNoWriMo as writers, including Seborg, who intends to aim for her own 50,000 words this November. “I write fantasy/science fiction and focus on dystopian novels,” Seborg said. “I like to put my nightmares on paper so I can control them.” l Writers can attend a NaNoWriMo event at Whitmore Library each Wednesday in November.

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Crystal Liechty, author of “Educating Mom,” held a book-signing event in Sandy Oct. 5. Illustrator Steve Heumann and author James Dashner in the background. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

Copies of “Educating Mom” by West Jordan author Crystal Liechty and illustrator Steve Heumann. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

Continued from front page Liechty sends Heumann material, then he’ll go through and pick what he thinks are the funniest parenting anecdotes. “I figure out which ones are best suited to a comic,” Heumann said. “Then I’ll plan it out — if it’s short I use four squares [of illustrations]. If it’s longer, I can put in a ‘reaction’ square without dialogue.” Liechty’s supporters filled the Sandy bookstore at the Oct. 5 signing event. Own-

when I think of my sister is that she is hilarious,” Pyper said. “When we were growing up, she did comedy in talent shows. And she’s always been a good writer. She was just finding her niche.” The Liechty kids, Griffin, AJ and Hazel, got to sign books with their mom and Heumann. “I think my mom is really good at writing,” said Liechty’s 10-year-old daughter AJ. “It’s pretty cool that she writes about us, but

er Aaron Cance said he likes to support local writers. “I think events like this are good for a bookstore,” Cance said. “I try to have one to two events per week. Having a local writer in here is good for everyone. I’m a writer myself, and this gives me a good vehicle to support writers.” Among Liechty’s fans was her sister, Tiffany Pyper of West Jordan. “The first thing that comes to my mind


it can also be scary. We’re talking, and then all of a sudden what we just did is on Facebook. So, I guess I’m kind of famous.” “They’re kind of getting to an age where they won’t let me share what happens anymore,” Liechty said. “We’ll be talking and they say, ‘Don’t put that on Facebook!’” So, she wrote a book instead. l









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November 2019 | Page 13

SWQ Visioning Study: Asking for connectivity, demanding the payment for infrastructure By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com


n a Monday in mid-August, some of the most prominent players in the Southwest Quadrant met to launch a vigorous, $250,000 “Shared Vision and Growth Strategy.” While the message was nowhere on the press materials, one of the key goals of the project was summed by South Jordan Dawn Ramsey: “Looking to strengthen our ‘ask’ to the legislature to complete the Mountain View Corridor.” This project and the need to provide East/West connectivity for far-flung SWQ communities has been a repeat-theme with the Southwest Quadrant Mayors Council and with members of all communities represented. Also oft-repeated is the need to ensure developers “pay their fair share for their projects, if [they exact a] higher stress on infrastructure,” as underscored by Herriman Mayor Pro Tempore Jared Henderson The visioning study is slated to address land use, economic development and transportation infrastructure changes across participating communities and collectively target “a high-quality of life,” with a 2050 outlook, the precise timeframe by which the state is set to double its population. Municipal leaders representing six municipalities and areas of unincorporated Salt Lake County hope the study will strategically inform development in the micro-region. The room was packed with VIPS in municipal, micro-regional and state government, as well as with land-development, business, utilities and print media.

That is the porch and central living area; SWQ is the safe and overflow guest rooms

The next day, a local newspaper ran an article positing that Salt Lake City is both the front porch and the seemingly contradictory central living area of the state. With that analogy in the realm, numerous municipal, business, utility and mainly resident stakeholders are going to be dedicating the next 12 to 18 months to the task of defining what the Southwest Quadrant means— to Utah and to the surrounding communities that will be most affected by the development on a day-to-day basis. With all of the discussion about SWQ comprising the county’s last undeveloped land and the micro-region’s fulfilling on state economic-development efforts to continue to house not just “natural increase” in population through family growth those who have been recruited to Utah—perhaps this precious Southwest Quadrant land is akin to both a “house safe” and burgeoning “guest rooms” to the urban center’s front porch and living area—a safe whose combination is needing to be discovered, to unlock the best and highest use of precious land and guest rooms seemingly beyond infrastructure capacity.

Page 14 | November 2019

Southwest Mayors, Salt Lake County Mayor reiterate ‘near infrastructure crisis’ reasoning

In late-July, the South Jordan Journal and South Valley Journal broke the story that more than 40 staff and elected leadership from the Southwest Mayors Council had cast respective votes and selected Logan Simpson among nine competitors as its urban-planning partner to execute its SWQ visioning study. At a press conference chiefly organized by, introduced by, and held within Riverton City, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, Bluffdale Mayor Derk Timothy, Copperton Metro Township Mayor Sean Clayton, Henderson, Ramsey and West Jordan City Mayor Jim Riding joined with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson in formally announcing the selection of Logan Simpson and reiterated the importance of planned growth in the micro-region. Staggs underscored the “flurry” of housing activity in the area since early 2000. Staggs reiterated how SWQ has been consumed with 70% of all of the population growth in the area. A full half of this number he attributed to moving into the county from out of state as part of the “state’s and county’s successful recruiting efforts” to relocate business and qualified talent to Utah. “A near infrastructure crisis” is the impact of such unchecked growth, he said, citing challenges for future development amid with fragile water, stormwater, sewer and other infrastructure components. “Growth is good, as long as it is done responsibly,” Clayton said. Representing both the unincorporated land in Salt Lake County that comprises SWQ as well as the county’s role in co-funding the quarter-million-dollar visioning study, Wilson indicated that the study “will help the region and the county better address growth.” “All of our answers will not be found in this study, but the collaboration—that, in itself will yield solutions,” she said.

Synergies and the similarities coloring present and future, whereas competition comprised the past

West Jordan’s Riding and Herriman’s Henderson also highlighted the importance of and the uniqueness of the mayoral collaboration. “I don’t know when six mayors have gotten together to form a coalition,” Riding said. “We have a lot of differences—communities are that way—but, three things—transportation, infrastructure and land use—they apply to all of us.” “Traditionally, we’re competing against each other,” Henderson said. “Up until 10 to 15 years ago, cities could do that, but mistakes have been made. What I’ve seen over the last 12 months, we have so much more

Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs speaks during the Vision and Growth Strategy Kickoff meeting at Intermountain Riverton Hospital. Details on the study such as project goals, process, schedule and community involvement were released. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

in common.” Bluffdale’s Timothy pointed out that, by working together as a micro-region, versus a bunch of competitive cities, SWQ will “justify future funding” and “hopefully, have better success.” He summed: “Collaborative planning enables us more future success.” Leadership from municipalities and the county have repeatedly emphasized that participation from all relevant organizations, landowners and residents will be assured through the work Logan Simpson will guide. From there, the mayors turned the time over to Logan Simpson itself. Logan Simpson is a nearly 30-year-old regional firm with more than $15 million in annual revenues. With offices in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Utah (downtown Salt Lake City), the firm lists “community planning” as its third core service, after environmental services and cultural resources. The firm also offers landscape architecture. In servicing the mixed-constituency of municipal and county leadership, Logan Simpson has so far created a new logo depicting SWQ as six interconnected municipalities (not showing unincorporated Salt Lake County land area); launched a new swcountyvision.com/ website; has invited first-round input for the project from those attending the initial press conference; and has eschewed the “Southwest Quadrant” branding, in lieu of simply “Southwest Salt Lake County.” l

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson speaks next to representatives from the southwest quadrant cities during the Vision and Growth Strategy Kickoff meeting at Intermountain Riverton Hospital. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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November 2019 | Page 15

Dancers celebrate life to the tune of suicide prevention By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


igh School senior Bree Smedley said it is easy to dwell on the sadness of suicide. “When we talk about suicide, it starts to get very dark,” she said. “I think we need to celebrate the life that people have, and giving people happiness and excitement is really going to help with that.” Smedley brought happiness to audiences performing with the Copper Hills High School drill team at the 2nd Annual Dance for Life Suicide Prevention Charity Gala, held Sept. 28. CHHS drill coach Jennifer Fulger said the team chose to perform two upbeat pieces, including the crowd-pleasing hip-hop piece they performed at Homecoming. “Our other options were a little bit darker and did not seem to fit the purpose of the event,” Fulger said. “So, we chose some that are a little bit more uplifting, fun and entertaining.” Senior Kara Banks was honored to be part of West Jordan High School’s drill team and the wider dance community that came together for the cause. “The energy from all the dancers was so positive,” she said. “It had a really great vibe.” CHHS and WJHS were two of 15 local high school drill and dance teams invited to

perform at the charity event. Dancers from local dance studios and professional groups, including BYU Ballroom and Ballet West, also performed during a matinee and evening performance. Event organizer Kristin Barlow said 390 dancers participated. ”It’s just a good, hopeful event for the great dance community to come together to bring awareness to the issue and to show unity for this cause,” Barlow said. The event provided mental health resources and an opportunity for those touched by suicide to talk together. Guest dancer Hannahlei Cabanilla, champion of “So You Think You Can Dance” season 15, also taught a master class to local dancers. West Jordan High School junior Sammy Overdiek said the class focused on finding joy in dancing. “Often, we become stressed because we take the things that used to be our relief and our safe place — the things that used to make us happy — and we start to consider those things as work,” Overdiek said. “Then we don’t have an escape anymore.” She was also inspired by event guest speakers Mrs. Utah America 2019 Alisha Staggs (former drill coach for Taylorsville High School), Congressman Ben McAdams and mental health expert Christy Kane, Ph.D.

“One thing that a guest speaker said that really stuck with me was that it is so easy to be kind to other people,” Overdiek said. “It’s that easy to better connect ourselves to the people around us, and that connection could be what saves someone’s life — so why would you ever deny someone these simple things?” Overdiek said the WJHS drill team is a good support to her when she is stressed or worried. “I always have someone to turn to with a team this amazing,” she said. “It’s so inspiring to see the way we lift each other up.” As the VP of Unity for the CHHS drill team, Samantha Hooper plans regular activities and makes personal connections to ensure each team member feels included and supported through the stresses of dance and their teenage lives. “I try to help people out that are struggling,” she said. “It’s important to help them out throughout the week so that they know that they can do it and it’s going to be OK.” Barlow believes young people can have a more positive outlook on life when they are part of a team or group. She runs several programs in Box Elder County schools, such as anti-bullying assemblies and free ballet programs, which she hopes to expand to Salt

The Copper Hills drill team dances to knock out suicide. (Jet Burnham/City Journals )

Lake area schools. Find out more about her programs at www.danceforlifenation.org. “We’re trying to give that joy that we feel in dance to more kids, give them more opportunities throughout the state,” Barlow said. “We’re trying to incorporate dance as a way to get people exercising, and getting involved with something and getting them off their devices and making them feel part of something.” “Events like these are what are going to change our world for the better,” Overdeik said. “I am so very grateful to the Dance For Life program and many others who are fighting to make help available to these people in desperate need, so that I don’t have to lose the people I love, and you don’t either.” l

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Page 16 | November 2019

West Jordan City Journal

Community invited to learn about diabetes prevention By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


Last year’s community health fair organizers pose with U of U mascot, Swoop the redtailed hawk. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth Levitt)


niversity of Utah’s Center for Community Nutrition presents the West Jordan Middle School Fall Health Fair Monday, Nov. 4, 6 to 9 p.m. at West Jordan Middle School, 7550 South Redwood Road. It is open to all families in West Jordan and the Jordan School District. “Our mission is to advance the prevention of disease—particularly diabetes and obesity—in the community through education and outreach,” said Community Nutrition Program Administrator Sarah Elizabeth Garza-Levitt. The outreach event is funded by the Larry Miller and Gail Miller Family Foundation to educate families about healthier lifestyle choices and the early health screenings that could have identified the late Larry Miller’s diabetes and slowed its progression. “That’s why the Larry H and Gail Miller Family Foundation is so passionate about this work in early prevention, or childhood prevention of diabetes in family units—because it directly impacted their lives,” Levitt said. The free Community Health Fair will provide information about a variety of public health concerns at booths sponsored by the Wellness Bus, Utah Center for Community Nutrition and the American Heart Association. There will be information about vaping/nicotine and the U of U One Day Diabetes Program. The University of Utah School of Dentistry will host an oral hygiene education booth and pass out free hygiene kits. Children can win prizes by playing games or participating in activities at each booth. There will be a drawing to win Fitbit devices and Utes football and basketball

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Prizes are awarded to those who participate in booth activities. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth Levitt)

tickets. Healthy snacks will be provided and U of U mascot, Swoop the red-tailed hawk, will be available for pictures. The health fair is part of the Driving out Diabetes Initiative and Diabetes Awareness Month. From 7 to 8 p.m. there will be a screening of the documentary, “Sugar Babies.” “The film teaches the basic physiology of diabetes and talks about ways that people can manage their diabetes—either type one or type two—and improve their overall health,” Levitt said. The film’s director, Jenny Mackenzie, will be available to answer questions and to discuss what parents can do to keep their children healthy. One of the families featured in the film will talk with community members and share how they manage their child’s diabetes. West Jordan Middle School Principal Dixie Garrison is glad to support the community health fair for the second year. She said many parents don’t realize the dangers of diabetes for their children. She said when parents watch the “Sugar Babies” film, they will better understand the importance of the daily choices they and their children make. “It’s about how our lifestyle and the food we eat and the way that we raise our kids is causing the crisis,” Garrison said. She believes changes can be made to promote a healthy lifestyle and diet and avoid serious health problems. In an effort to promote healthy food choices, WJMS does not have sugary drinks in its vending machines. “We don’t have the soda available for students to buy,” Garrison said. “We just have water bottles, Gatorade and juices.”

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Swoop offers healthy snacks at community health fair. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth Levitt)

The U of U Health and Sciences Department has developed a curriculum and teaching materials for teachers based on the “Sugar Babies” film. Their Crush Diabetes program is designed specifically for middle school students to educate them about the risks and the prevention of diabetes and obesity. “Over the last two years, we’ve reached over 25,000 students across Utah, Idaho and Arizona,” Levitt said.. l

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November 2019 | Page 17

Real-life and on-stage families star in ‘Oliver!’ By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com

The cast of West Jordan Youth Theater’s “Oliver!” (Photo courtesy of Blythe Starkie)


he day before its show opens, the cast of West Jordan Youth Theater has a final dress rehearsal for its production of “Oliver!” The performers are busy getting into costume, but the musical director already wears a shirt that proudly announces her role: Theater Mom. In fact, almost everyone in charge here—director, producer and more—is also a parent of one or more performers. West Jordan Youth Theater is overseen by a board, and when it’s time to put on a show, the board members take turns taking different roles. This time, board member Chelsea McGee took on the role of director. “I’ve loved ‘Oliver!’ since I was a little girl, so I knew if I ever directed, it would be this show,” McGee said. The musical, based on Charles Dickens’ 1837 novel “Oliver Twist” and was adapted for the stage by Lionel Bart in 1968. West Jordan Youth Theater performed Sept. 19–30 at Joel P. Jensen Middle School. This fall, it was just the right time for McGee to step up. Though she’s served as assistant director and musical director before, this is her first time at the helm. While it has been daunting, she reports

Page 18 | November 2019

that her directorial debut has been a great experience. The cast has picked things up quickly, and things have gone smoothly, despite the challenges of working with kids ages 8 to 18, all with varying levels of experience in theater. The organization relies heavily on the support of all parents with children in the show. For each child who wants to participate, a $50 participation fee is required, which covers a T-shirt and other expenses such the cost of venue. “Wrangling 50 to 60 kids is also very hard, so we ask parents to volunteer their time,” producer Tracey Lyu said. That volunteer time is spent supervising kids, creating costumes, set painting, gathering props and working concessions once the show opens. “West Jordan’s got a great community that comes together and helps us pull off great productions,” Lyu said. McGee and Lyu both joined the board of West Jordan Youth Theater after their children performed with the group. Now the families participate together. Lyu describes herself as “a huge advocate for volunteering time” who thought, “Why not join the theater?” McGee’s family was drawn in by her

oldest daughter, now in college. This introduced her to the ladies on the board, which inspired her to join herself. They were “helping to create something that people really like,” McGee said. “I thought, I can do that. I can help with that.” Only two of the current board members don’t have kids in the production. Because this presents a potential conflict when it comes to auditions, McGee said, they do everything they can to keep the casting process objective. “When it comes to our kids, we either step out of the room or don’t comment,” she said. In real life and on stage, then, “Oliver!” is a family-centered show. The story follows orphan Oliver Twist. After being raised in a workhouse and sold to a mortician, Oliver falls in with a gang of young pickpockets, led by the Artful Dodger and overseen by the conniving Fagin. After a series of dangerous turns, Oliver is finally adopted by the wealthy Mr. Brownlow. For 11-year-old Carter Mann, who stars as Oliver, the “suspenseful” plot is what interested him in the show. This is Mann’s second performance with WJYT, following his

Clockwise from bottom: Carter Mann as Oliver Twist, Brandon Gull as the Artful Dodger, and Anthony Bowe as Fagin. (Photo courtesy of Blythe Starkie)

portrayal of Michael Darling in Peter Pan in its spring 2018 production. Anthony Bowe, who plays the role of Fagin, is, at 19, one of the oldest and most experienced performers in the cast. He tried out for the show, his first with WJYT, on a whim. This show has taught him a lot of lessons, especially how to work with younger children and to “connect with people of all ages.” Thus, he’s had to almost embody the role of his character by taking younger children under his wing—though perhaps in a less criminally oriented way. But it’s Dodger, a member of Fagin’s gang, who delivers some of the most famous lines from the musical. “Consider yourself one of the family,” he sings to Oliver. The attitude of the parents and board members putting on the show echo that message. “Everybody that comes here, regardless of age, they’ve become this theater family,” McGee said. “You can feel that on the stage. And kids that participate in our program, it’s pretty fast that they feel part of that family.” l

West Jordan City Journal




Paid for by the City of West Jordan

West Jordan Public Works department takes home two safety awards at 2019 AWWA Conference The department that takes care of our city’s public streets and sidewalks has a reason to boast. In October, the Intermountain section of The American Water Works Association gave the department two safety awards—one for overall safety and another to an individual employee for outstanding safety initiatives. With a whole laundry list of requirements, being eligible for either award isn’t easy. The department’s incident rate had to be lower than the national average, safety performances had to be continuously improved, and a health and safety program needed to be in place. The Public Works department earned the award for its Emergency Response program and the EOC training that key staff members take on a monthly basis. The employee who took home the award for outstanding safety is Jeremiah Tello, a water system lead, who has been with the city since November 2017. Tello received his award as a new operator coming in and taking the lead on the new SCADA water system. So, keep in mind the next time you take a sip of water, you have an award-winning Public Works department working hard to keep you and your family healthy and safe.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

Consider shopping local for the holidays With the holidays quickly approaching, shopping seems to be on everyone’s mind. This season I’m hoping you consider shopping at a business right here in West Jordan. Buying local means that you are finding what you need at our shops at Gardner Village, the wide variety of stores at Jordan Landing, and the many other merchants throughout our city. Shopping local also creates jobs, which in turn provides more career opportunities for you and your neighbors. You’re also keeping your tax dollars here. Buying locally ensures that sales and property tax dollars are reinvested in our city. Those dollars pave roads for our cars, go to schools to provide for our children’s future, and support local law enforcement which in turn keeps our families safe. You have heard of Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, but what about small business Saturday? On the day following the busiest shopping day of the year, there is a push for supporting small, local businesses. There are a lot of additional benefits to spending your money at a shop operated by a local business owner. According to ‘Buy Local First Utah,’ for every dollar you spend at a locally owned business, $.55 stays here in Utah. That is four times more money than if you spend that same dollar at a national retailer. When you hit the stores later this month or even in the future, lets keep those tax dollars in our city. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay local. Sincerely,

Jim Riding, Mayor



As has been the case for the last several years, West Jordan’s municipal election will be processed mainly by mail. Ballots have been mailed to all active voters. Ballots may be returned in postage-paid return envelopes and must be postmarked no later than Monday, November 4, 2019

Drop off a vote-by-mail ballot at the drop box located at the Southwest corner of West Jordan City Hall up until 8 p.m. on Tuesday November 5, 2019 or at any Election Day Vote Center. You may also pick up a ballot and vote in person at any Election Day Vote Center. A driver’s license or state identification card is required.

WEST JORDAN ELECTION DAY VOTE CENTERS: Bingham Creek Library 4834 West 9000 South, West Jordan, UT 84088

West Jordan Library (Viridian) 8030 South 1825 West, West Jordan, UT 84119



All-abilities playground opens in West Jordan City A PLAYGROUND BUILT FOR ALL CHILDREN TO EXPLORE An all-abilities park is now open to the public following a ribbon cutting event on October 17, 2019. The new Wild West Jordan Playground in Veterans Memorial Park features inclusive play opportunities for children of all ages and all abilities. Amy Crapo’s son Aiden has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, which makes it nearly impossible for him to play alongside other children on the playground. “We’ve never had a park that my son Aiden has been able to really play on,” Crapo said. “With this park he is able to go all the way to the top and go down all the slides and actually interact with all the kids.” Aiden is seven-years-old. Amy says it’s hard for him to sit back on the sidelines and watch his twin brother play. The city and builders worked with the Crapo family to make the new Wild West Jordan playground accessible for any child. “It really felt like it was a privilege that I was able to express different ideas of what I thought would be good for this park,” Crapo said. The original Wild West Jordan playground was built and almost completely funded by the community in 2005. It quickly became known as one of the premiere playgrounds in the valley, but weather and time made the playground unsafe for children. In November 2018 the city made the decision to tear it down and rebuild a new playground in its place. “The original playground was loved by children for fifteen years,” said West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding. “We like to say it was loved to death.” The new play space is also breaking records in the state. The playground features a wheelchair accessible ramp that is nine feet tall setting a record in Utah and allowing all children to reach new heights in West Jordan. “This is an amazing park,” said Crapo. “I think all the other cities are going to have to really step it up because while there are different ability parks throughout the state, we’re only able to participate in one or two different things and I’d love to see other cities step it up so all kids can participate.”

It also features a variety of benches, tables, trees and shade sails to make for a more comfortable environment for children taking a break and the adults looking on.

More than 100 children and their parents joined West Jordan officials at the opening of the newly renovated Wild West Playground last month. The playground, located on about an acre in Veterans Memorial Park, is now one of Utah’s premiere all abilities play spaces.

At the new playground, there are textures to promote tactile based play, bells and musical instruments for auditory stimulation, binoculars and height for visual play, as well as numerous climbing walls and 12 slides.

Perhaps the most exciting feature to note is that our playground is fully ramped and accessible to nine feet – a Utah record! Today children of any ability can climb to new heights in West Jordan.



















One of Utah’s fastest growing companies to call West Jordan home

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

Revitalize the block and bring more jobs to West Jordan. That’s the plan Walker Edison has after announcing the company will move its worldwide headquarters to where the old Shopko stands at 1520 West and 9000 South. “We are excited to open a new, state-of-the-art facility in a now underutilized space along one of the city’s busiest corridors,” said Brad Bonham, Walker Edison’s Chief Executive Officer. “The renovation of an old Shopko location will not only revitalize the block and allow us opportunities to give back to the West Jordan community, but will also prove a place our employees will be excited to come to work every day.” Walker Edison was recently named the 15th fastest-growing company in Utah. What started as a furniture supply company, in 2006, has now become a leading partner for the biggest names in e-commerce. West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding calls the move a much-needed facelift. ““We are thrilled that Walker Edison has chosen West Jordan as the location for its new headquarters. Their decision to invest here reflects confidence in the city’s business environment and excellent workforce,” said Mayor Riding. The 95,000 square foot location will feature a 20,000 square foot photo studio, two auditoriums and an employee-focused workspace. Walker Edison employees plan to move to the new facility in Spring 2020. To learn more about Walker Edison, go to walkeredison.com

‘It will be a bumpy road ahead’ to comply with changes in student activity fees and travel


illcrest High’s top band, orchestra and vocal ensemble met earlier this fall to discuss their possible upcoming tour to Washington, D.C. It wasn’t for certain, parents learned, as Canyons School District’s travel policy changed to be compliant with the state. The expected announcement of the trip will be in November. Canyons now has a travel policy that includes a $1,250 price tag limit, non-competitive travel limited to every other year beyond 425 miles unless petitioned, and paperwork can’t be filed more than 150 days before the trip, amongst other regulations, Hillcrest band director Austin Hilla said. “It makes touring for all students more even-handed and accessible, but with restrictions, it becomes a challenge,” he said. “It’s important for our students to go, gain exposure, learn the significant impact of the music culture across our country and are able to communicate in the same language — through music. Our trips are co-curricular, they tie into the core, but are not required for a grade. Last year, they were recorded at a professional recording studio. It’s an opportunity that they wouldn’t get otherwise.” It isn’t just that Canyons is changing their policy. Each local educational agency, or LEA, also more familiarly known as school districts and charter schools, are ensuring their policies regarding travel and student fees.

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

from Utah’s 3rd District Court that the state must provide “a system of public schools open to all children of the state” and “there must be reasonable uniformity and quality of educational opportunity for all children throughout the state.” Furthermore, the court found that “local (school) boards of education are continuing their efforts to eliminate nonessential expenditures that have unreasonably driven up costs for many programs which have great value for students, such as choir, debate, vocational courses and team activities, and that additional efforts will be made to ensure that those above the current wavier eligibility standard are not ‘denied the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the required fee, deposit or change.’” While fee waivers are available “to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the required fee, deposit, or charge,” fees and fundraising were increased amongst other participants, so much, that it made it difficult for some students to participate in one activity, let alone several, Dayley said. “We were finding that here is a group of three, four, five fee-eligibility students, but we can’t have other students paying additional fees to cover the fee-waiver kids. We need to charge all students equally and have the LEAs pay to have everyone participate,” she said. “If it is a project or field trip related to the course that is graded, then the schools or school districts needs to pay so all students Why? State Board of Education School Fees have that same opportunity for the grade.” Project Lead Tamra Dayley said that this Co-curricular activities and travel also past year, after continuing to get three or were scrutinized. “We’ve seen prices raised for several four daily complaints from parents claiming, “public education isn’t free” and concerns uniforms, travel and items that aren’t critical about increasing numbers of fees and soar- to the activity,” Dayley said. In Granite, where more than 60% of the ing amounts, the Utah Board of Education “looked into it to make sure we are compli- students qualify for fee waivers, their Board ant” with a 1994 court case ruling. She said of Education looks for equality amongst the the task force discovered that many “schools high schools. “Gone is the day that names are printed were misunderstanding the ruling. We found many school districts weren’t compliant with on jerseys and are given to students at the end of the year,” Horsley said. “We need to make the court ruling” during the past decades. To be fair, Granite School District it a quality experience and quality program spokesman Ben Horsley said that with the across the board.” Another example, Dayley said are pergrowth in school programs and competitions, nobody could see the direction of co-curricu- forming arts trips. “If schools feel that travel and perforlar activities and travel. “Most school districts thought they were mance are important for the band, choir or compliant and they were not knowing and performing arts group to provide an integral unintentionally going against it,” he said. part of their education, then they need to Years ago, “there were no names on jerseys evaluate if it’s good enough for the rich kids, or needing a new helmet, or needing multiple how they will help pay for the socio-economcostume changes, or needing to play or per- ic kids and find a way,” she said. “What we form out of state. Now, our school board will need to question is ‘is the trip to Disney for be looking into the activities to determine if one hour of instructional time considered inthe travel is reasonable, if it’s the only com- struction or is it more of a trip?’” Several districts’ drama teachers have petition of its kind to travel, and if these trips are meaningful. We want to make sure all our sidestepped these rules by creating a community-based trip to New York, allowing stukids can participate.” In 1994, 17 school children from five dents, alumni and others to join on what may area school districts and seven parents heard have once been a school trip, Dayley said.

Page 22 | November 2019

Cottonwood High School students participated during their music tour in 2018 in Los Angeles. Many school districts now will examine if travel is beneficial to the academic goals of the school. (Amber Tuckness/Cottonwood High)

“As long as it’s a community trip, and teachers aren’t using the school to promote or handle arrangements or be liable, and advertise it ‘at an arm’s length,’ from the school, then it’s permissible,” she said. Complying with the changes ahead with activity fees and travel, Dayley said, “It will be a bumpy road ahead. Some rural districts already have made that hard decision. They don’t have a football team, or choir, or cheerleaders.” Canyons School District Spokesman Jeff Haney said Canyons’ discussion at all levels has been how to fairly implement fees at the most reasonable cost possible while still maintaining the same number and quality of activities that parents have come to expect from Canyons District schools. “Travel has become an expectation by many parents and students,” he said. “But the district must consider if the travel is contributing to an academic goal and if the district is able to fund fee-waivers for students where needed. The other danger is that if robust programs are not provided, families with means will continue to seek private lessons, teams or instruction, but students without the means would lose the opportunity to participate at school. The (Canyons) Board of Education is giving great consideration to what is fair and reasonable while also considering how to maintain robust and educational programs for all students.” As of April 1, schools now have to outline what is included with the fee charges, whether it’s a lab fee or a sports and club activity fee — and there are regulations in fundraising, including the amount raised and the families’ time commitment involved. “We want transparency. We want to know what’s important and what schools are doing with the fees,” Dayley said. “We want parents knowing, before their student goes into it, how much the maximum amount will be.” Horsley said that there will be changes, as the law states that fundraising is optional and that the school district will need to cover

costs. He said that a Granger High audit showed that cheerleader fees cost about $2,500, but “not a single one paid because they were covered by fundraisers. But now, if someone doesn’t want to participate in fundraising, they don’t have to.” However, their costs are being examined. “We need to look to see if our fees are reasonable and if they really need to have four outfits and three out-of-state trips,” he said.

It isn’t just the Utah Board that is reviewing the fees.

This year, in the legislature, House Bill 250 would require LEAs to evaluate and review their school-fee policies and take corrective action. HB250 goes in effect Jan. 2020. Once made aware of the need to review their school-fee policies, Canyons Board of Education began studying Canyons’ fee structures almost immediately, Haney said. “Principals, coaches, advisors, administrators and board members diligently studied the district’s fee structure, discussed how improvements could be made, and reviewed what could be done to realign to the new requirements,” he said about their travel policy that was approved May 7. “One of the overarching guiding principles is how to implement fee waivers for students according to the law and within the district’s budget.”

And if LEAs don’t comply?

“We will work with the school districts to be aligned,” Dayley said. “Basically, they’d have to ignore us for two years and if they do, then the last resort would be withholding of funds, but I don’t foresee that. We want to help students prepare and meet the goals of Utah’s education system. We want the same right for all students as the court stated back 25 years ago, but now there’s more clarification and ways to support involvement so all programs can be made accessible to students.” l

West Jordan City Journal


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| Page November 201910/16/19 10:4323 AM

How does athletic recruiting work? By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


yton Nielson is an eighth grade basketball player at Jefferson Junior High. He and his family have already started preparing him for his college recruiting experience. “It is a lot of work,” Alesha Nielson said. “There is a lot that I didn’t even know I needed to do. We have been fortunate with having good coaches that have helped us along this path, and they encouraged us to get started now. I read an article that talked about all of the things you should do to promote your child to college coaches.” Athletic ability plays an enormous role in getting a scholarship, but as parents learned at recruiting seminar held at Hunter High School Oct. 8, there is a lot more to it than that. “I had a top volleyball player in California,” director of regional recruiting for NCSA (next college student athlete) Paul Putman said. “She had taken college courses. I think she had a two-year associates degree in her back pocket. When she registered with the NCAA for eligibility, she found out she was an academic non-qualifier. She had not taken the correct core classes before her senior year.” According to ncsasports.org less than 1% of students receive a full athletic scholarship. Many schools have the ability to give out partial scholarships and help the students

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academically qualify for other scholarships or grants. “There are tons of opportunities out there,” Putnam said. “If you are a football player, your DNA needs to match up with what that coach wants. Anything outside of D1 (top colleges) is equivalent. The coaches will find FASFA, grants and academic money to help them come to school. An ACT test score going from a 21 to say a 26 could mean upwards of $5,000 a year. A coach can build you a financial package with that.” Recruiting profiles available to college coaches can help get the student’s list of abilities. “A profile is like a resume; a track coach is going to look for certain times, and a football coach may want size,” Putnam said. “It helps them push you resume along the process.” Britain Covey, wide receiver at the University of Utah, was a top-level high school quarterback, but he did not fit the profile that many coaches were expecting for that position. He transformed himself into a slot receiver. “Every sport has room for recruiting,” Putnam said. “Womens golf is a great example. There are a lot of scholarships that go unclaimed in that sport. Womens wrestling is one the is growing, but every sport can bene-

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Page 24 | November 2019


fit from this message.” The message to the parents resonates a change. “Every time a parent comes up to me and says, ‘I did not realize that,’” Putnam said. “We need to go talk to our counselor and make sure we are on track. Parents always say they thought our coach was supposed to do more for us, but it is not the coach’s job. The coach should teach the game. Make sure you are having fun, and hopefully win a few games. He or she is to be responsible for your kids’ future.” Hunter High School is one of many schools to host recruiting seminars. The NCSA helps athletes in the process of recruiting. A top-level player will typically have an offer after his or her sophomore season. The NCSA suggests athletes begin at age 13 to make sure they are on track. Many recruiting profiles have a timeline of when and what to do. “Our coaches help with what they can,” Hunter athletic director Pam Olsen said. “Players have access to these profiles for free. We try to help them send out marketing, and if a college contacts us, we try to make it important, but the parents need to be more involved. I really like the analogy that your GPA is a college bank account. If it drops you have taken out a withdrawal.”

Noah Togiai, a Hunter High School alum, is a senior at Oregon State University. His recruiting days included calls from coaches from all parts of the country, but for most high school athletes it is not that way. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

The University of Utah football team will offer 25 scholarships each year. At the beginning of a high school athletes sophomore season the coaches will have evaluated about 2,000 athletes in that grade for those scholarships. They will offer those limited scholarships to approximately 200 players. “The reason they offer so many kids those scholarships is because some will choose other schools, some kids get hurt, this kid posts stupid things on social media, and finally, some become academically ineligible,” Putnam said. “As signing day approaches, 25 are going to get the letter of intent to sign. The rest will get a letter that says sorry.” Most of all recruiters want you to know is to be educated and take control of your own future. For more information, contact your high school’s guidance counselor. . l

Connect with the City Journals FACEBOOK.COM/ THECITYJOURNALS






West Jordan City Journal

Year-round efforts help Jaguars claim region title By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


est Jordan High School volleyball coaches started a program several years ago in hopes of lifting a beleaguered team to new heights. They gave junior high players a chance to play club volleyball year-round. “That offseason program is a big thing,” Jaguars head coach Paulasi Matavao said. “We have had some kids playing for three or four years now. They have developed over the years and matured as volleyball players. I think we are starting to see the results of that offseason stuff.” The Jaguars clinched a Region 2 title. At press deadline, they were undefeated in their region matches and had a 17-7 overall record. “The kids are doing really well,” Matavao said. “They had a good offseason, and it is paying off for them. I think that is a big thing.” Club volleyball is the offseason program many players use to improve their skills yearround. The season typically runs January through August. Matavao credits increased playing time to his team’s improvement. “Playing in the offseason has really helped all of these girls,” he said. Sophomore Mua Letoi leads the team in kills. She has averaged three kills per set. “She (Letoi) is much better this year as

a sophomore,” Matavao said. “She has matured volleyball-wise. We are winning a lot of games with this group. We are ranked higher and winning in region. This is a good group.” Senior Kalisi Vanisi leads the team with nine assists per set, while Key Gravitt has amassed 63 blocks. “I think volleyball maturity is the biggest difference,” Matavao said. “I feel good. I think we have a chance and will be very competitive. This group has been very fun to coach. We have been close in all of the games we have played even the ones we lost.” The Utah High School Activities Association will use a new system this season to seed all volleyball teams into its state tournament. The ratings percentage index, or RPI, is based on the team’s winning percentage and its opponents’ winning percentage. At press deadline the Jaguars are ninth in RPI. “I think the RPI is good,” Matavao said. “It gives us an idea of where we are. It has been a motivation to move up. I think with only 28 teams in the division everyone should go to the state tournament. The old set up made it so that several good teams did not make it. I think a team should not have been punished for being in a good region.” The state tournament is scheduled for Nov. 5–9. The first round will be held at home

Junior libero Maryjane Vanisi leads the Jaguars in digs this season with 167. (Photo courtesy of Greg James/ City Journals)

schools with the winners advancing to Utah round of the tournament but managed to adValley University in Provo for the finals. vance to the quarterfinals of the sixth-place Last season, the Jaguars lost in the first bracket. l


West Jordan District 1 LEARN SPECIFICS AT:

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A few things you should know about the Stars By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

We are excited to announce that our second clinic has opened in South Jordan.

Accepting New Patients ·Skin Cancer ·Mohs Surgery ·Acne ·Moles ·Belotero ·Eczema ·Chemical Peels

·Botox ·Juvederm ·Kybella ·Radiesse ·Bellafill ·Microneedling ·Laser Treatments Stars players spend time signing autographs after the games for fans. (Photo courtesy The Salt Lake City Stars)


he Salt Lake City Stars, the G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, enjoyed their most successful season last year. As the 2019–20 season approaches, there are a few things you should know about this team. This is the fourth season for the Stars in Breton Yates Elena Douglas M Woseth Angela Brimhall D.O. FAOCD M.D. FAAD Hadjicharalambous M.D. Taylorsville at Bruin Arena on the campus of M.D. FAAD Salt Lake Community College. They were previously the Idaho Stampede before they moved to their current home. Last season, the Stars earned a playoff berth for the first time since the team moved here. They were eliminated in the first round by the Oklahoma City Blue. The home opener is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 15 against the defending G League champion Rio Grande Vipers, the Houston Rockets affiliate. The Stars beat them three Shane Farr Michael R Swinyer Alisa Seeberger times last season. P.A. -C P.A. -C On the schedule this season are 24 home F.N.P. -C games; 13 of those fall on a Friday or Saturday night. Home games include a kid zone Main Office: 1548 East 4500 South, Suite 202, Salt Lake City and autograph sessions. Single-game, group packages and season tickets are now availSouth Jordan Office: 4040 West Daybreak Pkwy, Suite 200, South Jordan able and range in pricing. The Stars’ roster has begun to take shape. Phone: 801-266-8841 On Sept. 21 (after press deadline) they held an open tryout. Also securing spots on the roster are Jazz draftees Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman. In July, they signed


Page 26 | November 2019

two-way contracts with the Jazz and will split time between the Stars and Jazz. League rosters are made up of 12 players; two of those are NBA players (Brantley and Wright-Foreman). The remaining players are signed to league contracts and assigned to teams throughout the league by drafts and as allocation players (a player with a local tie, like a University of Utah player to the Stars). One player from each local tryout could also be assigned to the roster. The minimum age to play in the G League is 18, which different from the NBA minimum of 19. The base annual salary is $35,000 plus housing and insurance benefits. If a player is picked up by an NBA team, they can earn a bonus plus a new contract. Martin Schiller is returning for his third season as the team’s head coach. He spent his summer coaching during the Jazz summer league and with the German National Team in the FIBA World Cup. Several players have G League experience on NBA rosters, including Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neal, and Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder. The League is also a proving ground for front office personnel and officials. The NBA has also experimented with rule changes to help grow its game in the G League. l

West Jordan City Journal

Western is proud to announce our new physician: Janet Eddy, M.S., M.D. Accepting New & Existing patients from previous West Jordan clinic – Starting October 1st, 2019 Same day appointments available.

(801) 285-4800 Dr. Eddy’s clinical interests are in all aspects of women’s healthcare, including prevention, infertility, gynecologic surgery including robotic surgery, obstetrics both low and high risk and gynecology. She looks forward to helping women as they move through different stages of life. Getting to share the journey with her patients is her favorite part of practicing medicine and investing back into her community just makes Riverton Utah feel more like home!

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Seven years without a cold? By Doug Cornell


More and more people are saying they just don’t get colds anymore. They are using a new device made of pure copper, which scientists say kills cold and flu viruses. Doug Cornell invented the device in 2012. “I haven’t had a single cold since then,” he says. People were skeptical but EPA and university studies demonstrate repeatedly that viruses and New research: Copper stops colds if used early. bacteria die almost instantly when people are sick around her she uses Coptouched by copper. perZap morning and night. “It saved me That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp- last holidays,” she said. “The kids had tians used copper to purify water and heal colds going round and round, but not wounds. They didn’t know about viruses me.” Some users say it also helps with and bacteria, but now we do. Scientists say the high conductance sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a of copper disrupts the electrical balance 2-day sinus headache. When her Copperin a microbe cell and destroys the cell in Zap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more seconds. So some hospitals tried copper touch headache, no more congestion.” Some users say copper stops nightsurfaces like faucets and doorknobs. This cut the spread of MRSA and other illness- time stuffiness if used before bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” es by over half, and saved lives. Copper can also stop flu if used earColds start after cold viruses get in your nose, so the vast body of research ly and for several days. Lab technicians gave Cornell an idea. When he next felt a placed 25 million live flu viruses on a cold about to start, he fashioned a smooth CopperZap. No viruses were found alive copper probe and rubbed it gently in his soon after. Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams nose for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold confirming the discovery. He placed milnever got going.” It worked again every lions of disease germs on copper. “They started to die literally as soon as they time. He asked relatives and friends to try it. touched the surface,” he said. The handle is curved and finely texThey said it worked for them, too, so he patented CopperZap™ and put it on the tured to improve contact. It kills germs picked up on fingers and hands to protect market. Now tens of thousands of people have you and your family. Copper even kills deadly germs that tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback said the copper stops colds if used within 3 hours have become resistant to antibiotics. If after the first sign. Even up to 2 days, if you are near sick people, a moment of they still get the cold it is milder than usu- handling it may keep serious infection away. al and they feel better. The EPA says copper still works even Pat McAllister, age 70, received one for Christmas and called it “one of the when tarnished. It kills hundreds of difbest presents ever. This little jewel real- ferent disease germs so it can prevent sely works.” Now thousands of users have rious or even fatal illness. CopperZap is made in America of simply stopped getting colds. People often use CopperZap preven- pure copper. It has a 90-day full money tively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to back guarantee. It is $69.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with get colds after crowded flights. Though skeptical, she tried it several times a day code UTCJ7. Go to www.CopperZap.com or call on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen toll-free 1-888-411-6114. flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. Buy once, use forever. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when advertorial

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At a time when emotions are tender, receiving guidance by someone who has been around and understands your needs can help you find the perfect service.

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Readers like you keep us printing!

Thank You!

Connecting communities along the wasatch front

Be a part of your community news by donating to City Journals today! Name: Phone:

As the West Jordan City election and my campaign comes to an close, I just want to say Thank You! Thank You to my family! Without your support I’d never made it this far. Thank You to my friends! You filled the potholes to make the journey easier. Thank You to those who offered advice, put signs in your yard, made donations, handed out flyers, or told your neighbors about me! Win or lose, together we made a difference in our community and helped shape the future of this great city! And last but not least, Thank You, to You, the voters of West Jordan who trusted me with your vote! You believed in me. I’m humbled by your support.

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West Jordan City Journal

Try the GetOutPass for giving the gift of experience By Christy Jepson | christy@mycityjournals.com


ith the holidays approaching, are you wondering what to get your kids that doesn’t require batteries or USB cords? What about investing in something that guarantees family fun time? What about instead of buying toys that usually last 12 days, you buy something that lasts 12 months? The GetOutPass might be your perfect solution for a new holiday gift this year. The GetOutPass is a fairly new entertainment pass which offers pass holders the opportunity to visit 17 venues in the Salt Lake Valley, 20 venues in Utah County, 13 in Davis/Weber Area, seven in the Logan area, and four venues in the St. George area. You also get a one-time yearly admission to their featured venues: Lagoon, Cowabunga Bay, Brighton Resort, and one Cherry Peak concert ticket. According to their website, some of the venues allow weekly visits, some monthly visits, some quarterly visits and some you visit just once during the 12-month period. The GetOutPass was created in 2017 by three friends: Charles Belliston, TC Krueger and Taggart Krueger. “Our goal was to get more families out doing more things together. We all felt that too many people were just spending days and evenings at home watching Netflix and playing Fortnite. We decided we needed to come up with a solution, we wanted people out doing things together and creating memories,” said Belliston, one of the cofounders. So, with this goal in mind, the three of them created a statewide pass that allows families the chance to spend more time together while offering more opportunities to visit places they normally wouldn’t visit. They can see their hard work paying off be-

cause of the success of the pass since it started two years ago. Utah is not the only place where you can get a GetOutPass. The company has expanded and now offers passes in Idaho, Washington, Colorado and the Sacramento, California area. Although each pass has a different price and offers different attractions and venues, the pass works the same way. “The GetOutPass really is an awesome thing for both families and venues. That’s why it’s such a growing success,” Belliston said. The Utah GetOutPass is $149.95 per person and includes almost $3,000 in free admissions all year. Some of the Salt Lake area attractions include Cowabunga Bay, Fat Cats, Jump Around Utah, Bazooka Ball, Brighton Ski Resort, Chaos Escape Rooms and more. “We are constantly adding new places for our members to get out and enjoy making memories. Every time a new venue is added, it’s simply a bonus for our members, we never charge anything to our existing members, they simply get the new offers for free,” Belliston said. The up-front cost might seem a little pricey in comparison to other local passes, but the pass pays for itself if you just go to the four featured venues: Lagoon, Cowabunga Bay, Brighton Resort and Cherry Hill. Then all the other 65 attractions statewide are just an extra bonus while building memories, going to new places and having fun for 12 months. For a list of all the attractions and venues on the Utah GetOutPass and for more information visit getoutpass.com. The pass is good for 12 consecutive months from the date of purchase. l

SOME OF THE SALT LAKE AREA ATTRACTIONS • Lagoon (one admission yearly) • Cowabunga Bay (one admission yearly) • Brighton Ski Resort (one admission yearly) • Cherry Peak Summer Concert Series (one admission yearly) • Fat Cats (weekly admission) • Momentum (one admission yearly) • Kangaroo Zoo (three free admissions) • Paintball Addicts (unlimited visits) • Bazooka Ball (monthly admission) • Jump Around Utah (quarterly admission)

WestJordanJournal .com

• Dart Nation Nerf Tag Arena (monthly admission) • The Farm at Gardner Village (weekly admission) • Game Tyrant (multiple offers) • Highjump (one admission yearly) • Puzzling Adventures (one admission yearly) • Chaos Escape Rooms (one admission yearly) • Straight Flight Golf (one admission yearly) • The Escape Key (one admission yearly) • Laser Quest (one admission yearly)

November 2019 | Page 31

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immediate family or household member of such persons. PROMOTION DATES; GAME CARDS; PRIZES; ODDS: Promotion begins 11/29/19 at 10 a.m. PT and ends 11/29/19 at 9 p.m. or sooner if all Game Cards are distributed (“Promotion Period”). Visit the Store during Store hours during facebook.com/AshleyHSMontclair the Promotion Period to get an official Game while supplies a Gameof Card is a prize winning card, scratch off the circle on the Game Card.facebook.com/AshleyHSPalmdale If it reveals “5,000” then to claim the prize, aCenter $5000 Ashley HomeStore Just North Point Marketshopping Place spree (ARV $5,000), you must 21301Card Victory Blvd. last. To reveal whether present the card to a Store Manager. Prize claim must be made person at Storethe by 11/30/19. Prize mustMall be used at store within Eligibility Zone by 11/30/19. Determination of winner subject to verification of eligibility andFrom compliance with Official Rules including timely providing signed Laguna Hills Across Sam’s Club and Canoga Park, CA in 91303 PALM DESERT MURRIETA Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release. 500 total Game Cards available in the promotion, 1 is Winning Game Card. Odds: 1 in 500 at beginning of Promotion. If due to a printing, production or other error, more than one (1) Winning Game Card is submitted prize Followfor usaat 24001 El Toro Rd Super Walmart 747-226-6026 Desert Gateway Plaza 25125 Madison Ave claim in the Promotion, then the intended prize in this Promotion will be awarded in a random drawing from among all verified and validated prize claims received by Sponsor. One Game Card request per eligible person. If prize is not claimed by 11/30/19 it will be awarded in Second @AshelyHomeStoreWest Laguna Hills, CA 92653 26520 Carl Boyer Dr 34740 Monterey Ave facebook.com/AshleyHSCanogaPark Murrieta, CA 92562 Chance Drawing. For complete Official Rules by which all participants are bound and details of Second Chance Drawing see Store. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.



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COLTON *Offer applies only to single-receipt qualifying purchases. Ashley HomeStore does not require a down payment, however, sales tax and delivery charges are due at time of purchase if the purchase is made with your Ashley Advantage™ Credit Card. No interest will be charged on promo purchase and equal 661-284-7200 760-202-3052 facebook.com/AshleyHSLagunaHills facebook.com/AshleyHSMurrieta Mt. Vernon Ave.divided equally Monday - Sunday monthly payments are required equal to Exit initial promo purchase amount by the number of months in promo period until promo is paid in full. The equal monthly payment will be rounded to the next highest whole dollar and may be higher than the minimum payment that would be required 10am - 9p facebook.com/AshleyHSPalmDesert facebook.com/AshleyHSSantaClarita if the purchase was a non-promotional purchase. RegularWay account terms apply to non-promotional purchases. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Existing cardholders should see their credit card agreement for their applicable terms. Promotional purchases of 855 Ashley NORTHRIDGE LONG BEACH merchandise will be charged to account when merchandise is delivered. Subject to credit approval. ‡Monthly shown is equal to the purchase price, excluding taxes andSAN delivery, divided by the number of months in the promo period, rounded to the next highest whole dollar, and only applies to the Colton, CA 92324 VICTORVILLE DIEGO Just East of the West of the 605payment in Long selected financing option shown. If you make your payments by the due date each month, the monthly payment shown should allow you to pay off this purchase within the promo periodMiramar if this balance is the only balance on your account the promo period. If you have other balances on your account, 909-433-5303 North ofduring Victor Valley Mall 7770 Road Northridge Mall Beach Towne Center this monthly payment will be added to the minimum payment applicable to those balances. 12704 Amargosa Rd San Diego, CA 92126 facebook.com/AshleyHSColton 9301 Tampa Ave, Ste 1401 7410 Carson Blvd §Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See store for details. Victorville, CA 92392 858-408-1701 Northridge, CA 91324 Long Beach, CA 90808 ‡‡Previous purchases excluded. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount. Discount offers exclude Tempur-Pedic®, Posturepedic Hybrid™ mattress sets, floor models, clearance items, sales tax, furniturewww.AshleyHomeStore.co protection plans, warranty, 760-261-5386 facebook.com/AshleyHSSanDiego 818-717-1740Stearns & Foster® and Sealy 562-766-2050 delivery fee, Hot Buys, Manager’s Special pricing, Advertised Special pricing, facebook.com/AshleyHSLongBeach and 14 Piece Packages and cannot be combined with financing specials. †Subject to availability. Order must be entered by 4facebook.com/AshleyHSVictorville PM. SEE STORE FOR DETAILS. Southwest Furniture LLC., many times has facebook.com/AshleyHSNorthridge multiple offers, promotions, discounts and financing specials occurring at the same time; these are allowed to only be used either/or and not both or combined with each other. Although every precaution is taken, errors in price and/or specification may occur in print. We reserve the right to correct any such errors. Picture may not represent item exactly as shown, advertised items may not be on display at all locations. Some restrictions may apply. Available only at participating locations. ±Leather Match upholstery features top-grain leather in the seating areas and skillfully matched vinyl everywhere else. Ashley HomeStores are independently owned and operated. ©2019 Ashley HomeStores, Ltd. Promotional Start Date: November 5, 2019. Expires: December 2, 2019.

“Se Habla Español”

WestJordanJournal .com

November 2019 | Page 33

Alternative Thanksgiving




hanksgiving, aka Turkey Day, is rarely about the turkey anymore, as the percentage of herbivores continues to rise. Thanksgiving isn’t as common anymore either, it seems that “Friendsgiving” is much more prominent. Just as the traditional food and holiday is favoring alternatives, you might need some alternatives for the holiday cooking as well. Since it’s rumored (dare I say, proven?) that the price of turkey spikes for the holiday, let’s find a cheaper alternative for that. Don’t worry, if you’re a diehard carnivore, there’s still meat alternatives for you: which may include stew meat, ham, chicken or fish. Fantastic vegetarian and vegan alternatives exist for everything Thanksgiving. Alternatives to turkey include: cauliflower steaks, pot pie, mushroom Wellington, cauliflower alfredo, gobi musallam (whole roasted cauliflower) and lasagna soup. Alternatives to gravy include: soup, mushroom gravy and onion gravy. Alternatives to stuffing include: stuffed acorn squash or bell peppers, mushroom croissant stuffing and carrot soufflés. Alternatives to mashed potatoes include cauliflower gratin, mac and cheese (preferably topped with bread crumbs), sweet potatoes and scalloped corn casserole. And well, as long as you’re not tossing milk and meat into everything you’re cooking, you won’t need to alter your favorite recipe for green bean casserole, dinner rolls,

cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Luckily, there are many dishes that can appease both the carnivores and herbivores. Sometimes, you just need to split the batch of whatever you’re cooking in half; leaving half for the vegetarians and vegans and half for the carnivores. Pizza, pasta, rice bowls and mashed potatoes all work great for compromise dishes. (Please be mindful of the kitchenware you’re using when cooking these dishes as some vegetarians have nightmares about cross-contamination.) Make sure not to forget the salad! Thanksgiving is a great time to get crazy with salads. Go fruity with a grape salad, a Honeycrisp apple salad, a pear salad, pomegranate salad or a mango-berry salad. Throw some fruit on top of your leafy greens, and you can’t go wrong. Or get rid of those leafy greens altogether and make a “fluffs” or Jell-O salad. If you go this route though, read the ingredients on the package—some fluff’s and Jell-O’s are not vegan friendly. Now, if you haven’t jumped onboard with Friendsgiving yet, consider this your formal invitation. It’s a holiday-themed event centered around fantastic food and friends that doesn’t involve the risk of (politically-charged) arguments with the relatives. If you are hosting or attending a Friendsgiving, you have more options. Since Friendsgiving usually functions more like a potluck, the more extravagant you get with

your food choice(s), the better. Everyone will think about bringing a salad, or potatoes or a pie. Don’t be the person to bring another replica side dish. To avoid duplicates, start a Google doc, or other shareable document, with your friends in advance. You might want to plot out the desired courses in advance: appetizers, mains, sides, drinks, desserts, etc. Then, everyone can play to their strengths. The friend that is strictly carnivore can bring the meat options. And the friend that is strictly vegan can bring the vegan options. The friend that has a dessert Instagram account can bring their homemade cake. And the bartender friend can bring the drinks. When utilizing the Google doc, make sure to note any allergies or other dietary restrictions anyone might have. No one wants to spend their holiday worrying about the availability of an EpiPen. In addition, if there’s going to be a good mix of carnivores, vegetarians and vegans, cookers might want to consider dividing their batches in half, one to include meat and one to exclude any meat or dairy, as mentioned above. And remember folks, whether you’re attending a traditional Thanksgiving or alternative Friendsgiving, please remember to be a good guest. Ask the host what they need help with when you arrive, make sure to help clean up before you leave and, last but not least, express your thanks.

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Page 34 | November 2019

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West Jordan City Journal


Laughter AND



Don’t Forget November


andwiched between October and December, November is the bologna of months. Everyone pulls it out, gives it a sniff, then tosses it in the trash. Once Halloween is over, we blast into a frenzy of Christmas shopping and decorating, forgetting all about this beautiful month full of autumn leaves, crisp apples and carb overload. We need a marketing team to change the perception of November from “Brownish month when we count our blessings” to “A kaleidoscope of excitement. And pie.” Okay, maybe “kaleidoscope” is overkill, and it’s hard to spell, but you get the idea. Thanksgiving continues its reign as the best holiday between Halloween and Christmas but even the cherished turkey day has its opponents. It’s almost impossible to tell the origin story of Thanksgiving without pissing someone off. Let’s just say people living in America (probably not its original name) in the 1600s created the first Chuck-A-Rama, minus the carrot-filled Jell-O. In the U.S., any holiday that has the tagline “An Attitude of Gratitude” is doomed from the start but what if we created a terrifying mascot? People like threats and merchandising. What if Gerta the Ghoulishly Grateful Goose (sold as a freakish Beanie Babies stuffed animal) flies into your bedroom on Thanksgiving Eve to make sure you’re being thankful. Not enough gratitude? She pecks your forehead and flies off with your pumpkin

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pies. Instead of Elf on the Shelf, how about Goose on the Loose? You read it here first, people. What else happens in November . . . ? Election Day! The first Tuesday after the first Monday when the moon is full and pythons are mating, is set aside for foreign nations to measure success by screwing up election results with fake social media content. As opposed, to genuine social media content. Consider this year a dry-run for the 2020 Apocalyptic Election to End all Elections. Black Friday is also in November. What if we protest Black Friday sales and refuse to shop or decorate for Christmas until, call me crazy, December 1? Christmas is sneaky. Once you allow Christmas tree lots to set up in November, it’s an easy slide into year-round Christmas where everyone is miserable and broke. Charles Dickens could (posthumously) pen a story where we learn Ebenezer Scrooge was right all along, perhaps titled, “A Christmas Peril.” Movember is also a thing where men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise awareness for the importance of shaving – and men’s health issues. A group of women have also sworn to stop shaving for the month. That group is called Europe. The first Wednesday in November is Stress Awareness Day, created by parents who realize Christmas is weeks away and their children are reaching frenetic levels of idio-

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cy. Maybe November needs its own alcoholic beverage that we start drinking on this day. How about a mulled cider with a tequila chaser called the No No November? Veteran’s Day is cool. World Kindness Day is super nice. But let’s tackle the real meaning of November. Pie. Pie is the reason for November. With harvest foods like apples and pumpkins and peaches and pears and banana cream, pie in November is as necessary as breathing, especially if breathing is slathered in homemade whipped cream or served a la mode. So instead of treating November like it’s some type of disgusting mystery meat, can we agree it’s at least hamburger, maybe even a sirloin? Who knows, if we keep slapping Christmas back to its own month we might even enjoy the leaves, the apples – and the pie. Always the pie.



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November 2019 | Page 35

Preventing High Density Housing Explosion Mayor Riding spoke out against the Olympia Hills Development, a back room deal that would have dumped 6,500 high density homes near West Jordan, increasing traffic congestion.

Solving Traffic Jams Reducing traffic congestion is a top priority for Mayor Riding. He has championed significant traffic improvements and will continue to make commuting better and safer.

Creating Jobs to Keep Taxes Low As a former small business owner, Mayor Riding understands the value of hard work and treating employees well. He has recruited top-tier employers to create local, high-paying jobs to keep our taxes low.

“My wife and I have known Jim Riding for more than 15 years. You can count on him to follow through on his promises and work for the common good. With the new form of government, our city needs someone who has the experience and forward thinking abilities that he possesses.” –Kevin Mertin West Jordan Resident West Jordan Fire Department, Retired


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West Jordan City Journal NOV 2019  

West Jordan City Journal NOV 2019

West Jordan City Journal NOV 2019  

West Jordan City Journal NOV 2019