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November 2016 | Vol. 16 Iss. 11


Painted piano tells stories

By Jet Burnham |

page 17

Students will be invited to play background music on the piano during Parent Conferences. (Deborah Hansen/Fox Hollow Elementary)

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Page 2 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

New playground serves children in domestic violence shelter By Tori La Rue |

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

The West Jordan Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott EDITOR: Tori La Rue ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen 801-897-5231 Steve Hession 801-433-8051 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper


ommunity donors pitched in to help a domestic violence shelter install a new playground at its West Jordan facility at the end of September. “We want this to be a safe and fun place, and I feel like that means we need a space for kids to be kids,” said Jennifer Campbell, executive director for South Valley Services. “It’s a place not for them to escape their problems but to cope with them.” As one of the only two domestic violence shelters serving the county, about 300 victims of domestic violence find a temporary home at the South Valley Sanctuary each year. Nearly half of those people are children. On any given day there are 25 to 30 children living at the shelter, according to Campbell. The more than 18-year-old, “well-loved and well-worn” playground on the shelter grounds was becoming a safety hazard, but South Valley didn’t have the means to repair or replace it, Campbell said. Salt Lake County, American Express and UPS donated $33,000 for the project. “I think doing things like this is an investment in our community,” said Amy Dillon, UPS operations manager. Dillion and other UPS employees donated time to South Valley Services in 2015 by spreading bark around the old playground and painting the inside of the shelter. They reached out to South Valley in 2016, asking how they could help again. Campbell was already designing a new playground using donations from Salt Lake County and American Express and welcomed the contributions from Dillon to create a bigger playground. “It’s an amazing difference from the old playground,” Dillon said of the new bright yellow and green playground. “It’s nice to see the fruits of our labors.” Campbell’s daughter chose the playground colors while she was on a job shadow. Although Campbell was hesitant to choose the light colors, she said she went with her daughter’s opinion since her daughter was the target age for the project. “She chose the yellow and green because she said they weren’t dark colors that would make the playground too hot to play on,” Campbell said. Campbell, other members of South Valley Services, representatives from the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Riverton Mayor Applegarth, West Jordan City Councilman Dirk Burton, West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond and representatives from UPS, American Express and Salt Lake County celebrated the installation of the playground with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 29. Campbell presented plaques to the donors and shared a brief speech about what the playground would do for those who stay at the South Valley Services shelter.

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Community donors pitched in to help a domestic violence shelter install a new playground at its West Jordan facility at the end of September. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

“We really try to give them a sense of normalcy,” Campbell said. “This is a nice place that they can be in and know that the community cares.” The yellow and green playground is the newest addition shelter yard which also includes a playground for small children, a sensory garden and a pathway on which children can ride bikes, scooters and skateboards. “I think anything they can add to make it more like home makes it more comfortable for the children and the parents as well,” Applegarth said at the ribbon cutting. “I support it.” In addition to the South Valley Shelter for those in high-risk domestic violence situations, South Valley Services also has community resource centers at Riverton City Hall, West Jordan City Hall, West Valley City Hall, West Valley City Library and Kearns Library. The centers assist individuals who are in domestic violence situations by providing appropriate resources to meet their needs and goals on a case by case basis. The centers also offer free healthy relationship classes to anyone in the community. For emergency shelter or general questions, call South Valley Services’ 24-hour hotline at 801-255-1095 l

November 2016 | Page 3

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Page 4 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

Viridian celebrates Roald Dahl’s birthday By Tori La Rue |


oald Dahl’s most popular children’s books came to life during the Viridian Event Center’s Oct. 7 celebration of the author’s centennial birthday. “We were planning on doing a big party in October, and it was between Roald Dahl and Harry Potter, but we decided on Roald Dahl because his 100th birthday only comes once,” said Amanda Paige, youth services librarian. Dahl, who also wrote adult novels, is most well-known for his nearly 20 children’s’ books that are written in an imaginative style where the rules of nature are mixed-up, making his works a perfect fit for a night full of family games, Paige said. Children and adults bustled through the Viridian’ event rooms that had been converted into a fantastical fair with stations themed by Dahl’s books: “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda,” “The BFG,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Witches.” Some children listened as a librarian gave a Roald Dahl story time in the adjoining West Jordan Library while others determined their Roald Dahl names by matching the first letter of their first and last name with a word from one of Dahl’s stories. Nora Foote, known for the night as The Wondercrump Bunce, and her brother Tommy Foote ran along the back right corner of the room catching bubbles with colorful butterfly nets at one of The BFG stations. The activity symbolized “dream catching,” a major theme in the book. The 7-year-old sister and her little brother playfully bantered as they leaped to catch bubbles that loomed over their heads. “This activity is perfect for them,” said Katy Foote, the

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Norah Foote, 7, and her brother Tommy Footes, 5, catch bubbles in butterfly nets at the Viridian Event Center’s Roald Dahl Day celebration. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

children’s mother. “We read Roald Dahl books together all the time, and they love all of the exaggerating and pretending.” Other BFG-based activities included opportunities for chldren to draw their own “phizzwizards,” a made-up word Dahl uses in his story to define peaceful, happy dreams. Participants constructed fake “big, friendly giant,” or “BFG,” ears out of construction paper. The Witches station, which was run by the Westminster College chapter of the American Chemical Society, included

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four stations. With the help of the society members who were dressed in lab coats and witch hats, participants shrunk pictures of frogs, burnt clay snakes, created potions and changed the color of pieces of paper. “We do Halloween-themed events like this all of the time, but we really tried to base this off of the things that they do in ‘The Witches’ book,” Jess Tobin, one of the society members, said of the cross-curricular event that combined science and reading. “It’s good to see these kids making connections at such a young age.” The Roald Dahl extravaganza continued as children stamped ink images of bugs into peach print-outs at the “James in the Giant Peach” station and built candy necklaces at the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory station.” Brothers Tyler, Chris and Isaac Powell started out their Roald Dahl Day celebration by coloring pictures of a newt at the Matilda station. The brothers stuck their colored newts on a person-sized cutout of the fictitious character “The Trunchbull”— the mean headmistress from “Matilda.” This activity is based off of the scene in the book where a student places a newt in “The Trunchbull’s” drinking water. “These books are full of funny stuff,” Chris Powell, 7, said. “I can’t wait to see the rest.” More than 100 people came to the Roald Dahl day, which Paige, who was on the event’s planning committee, classified as a success. “It’s amazing to put on such a fun event that promote literacy and reading,” she said. “The planning paid off.” l

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November 2016 | Page 5

Jordan Valley opens new cancer center By Tori La Rue |

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Above: People tour the Jordan Valley Cancer Center at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Sept. 21. (Kyle Rathjen/Fuel Marketing) Right: The Jordan Valley Cancer Center’s Versa HD machine can apply conventional cancer therapies and techniques that target tumors, including advanced stereotactic radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery. (Kyle Rathjen/Fuel Marketing)


he Jordan Valley Cancer Center, which opened on Aug. 1, may be the building that bridges the services Jordan Valley offers to its cancer patients and the first hospital in Utah to implement an innovative form of chemotherapy, but to Misty Bateman it’s simply a symbol of hope. On Sept. 19, two days before the center’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house, doctors at the center told Bateman that she’d successfully overcome her third battle with cancer. The disease that afflicted her, beginning in her liver and intestines, is in remission. “I’ve been upgraded from patient to survivor this week,” Bateman said, holding back tears. Bateman and her doctor, Richard Frame of Utah Cancer Specialists, embraced at the ribboncutting ceremony, exchanging positive words and congratulations. Frame said he hopes Bateman is one of many to receive good news at the facility. The $20 million cancer center, located at 3592 West 9000 South, houses a center for women’s oncology, a resource room run by the American Cancer Society and an area designated for Brachytherapy, an internal radiation therapy. The center’s Versa HD machine can apply conventional cancer therapies and techniques that target tumors, including advanced stereotactic radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery. “The beauty is, if you are a cancer patient, your surgeon is most likely here, your medical oncologist is here, and your radiation oncologist is here—all in one setting,” Steven Anderson, Jordan Valley Medical Center CEO, said. Before the Jordan Valley Cancer Center opening, oncologists were spread through hospital locations in the valley, requiring patients to travel to several hospitals for visits. Most of Bateman’s therapy occurred before the construction of the new cancer center. She

Member Care Representative Software Sales Specialist Customer Service Gaming Guru traveled from place to place and described the old chemotherapy facility as “small” and “cramped.” “I just feel like this one is so open and just peaceful, and that is important,” she said. “I think it is really an amazing place. It’s important to have that peace.” Frame said he’s excited for the cancer center because it allows space for research and includes the technology to advance cancer care in Utah. Jordan Valley doctors performed the first hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy treatment in Utah at the new center, a treatment where chemotherapy is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery. Clinical research studies and cancer support groups will be facilitated on site, providing a one-stop place for cancer help, Frame said. Doctors, patients and their families and hospital staff celebrated the Jordan Valley Cancer Center at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 21 where they listened to speeches by Anderson, IASIS Healthcare President, and CEO Carl Whitmer, Jordan Valley Medical Center Board Member David Newton, and doctors Anne Kieryn, Mark Reilly and Frame. Afterward, Jennifer Morris, senior director of hospital systems for the American Cancer Society, presented the Charles R. Smart Award to IASIS Healthcare, Jordan Valley’s parent company, for the establishment of the cancer center facility. Irene Huntsman, Jordan Valley’s chaplain, offered a dedicatory prayer. Members of the West Jordan community came to the community open house on Sept. 24, which included free health screenings and light refreshments. Bates said she hoped the new facility attracts others to Jordan Valley’s care. “They are like family,” Bates said about the Jordan Valley doctors and specialist. “Once you are here, you are never alone.” l

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Page 6 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

Starks swims across Catalina Channel By Greg James |


est Jordan High School alumni Chad baths to train my body. The tide was different Starks completed the second leg of the this time too; for part of the swim, it was in my open water triple crown. He swam across the face, and part of the time it was pushing me.” Catalina Channel approximately one year after Shortly after sunrise, the official observer he completed his English Channel solo swim. spotted dolphins swimming with him, but the “This swim was actually harder than the biggest scare came from a thresher shark that English Channel swim,” Starks said. “About circled him several times. The crew of his pilot two hours in, I had something going on in my boat, including his wife and some friends, kept shoulder, and I had to vary my strokes, so I a close eye out to make sure the shark never could rest it a little. This is one I will remember interfered. for quite some time.” “Sharks were on my mind from day one of Starks completed the swim with an my training and throughout the swim,” Starks unofficial time of 13 hours 3 minutes and 5 said. “I heard the dolphins and saw a huge fish, seconds, on Sept. 24. The timing of the swim but it never came close enough to see what it starts when the swimmer enters the water was. Thresher sharks are just curious, and I and finishes when the swimmer touches the never actually saw it. The trailing boat told me opposing shore and clears the water. The fastest about it later.” recorded time was 9:05 in 2009. In September 2013, Charlotte Brynn The official distance of the swim is 21 was allegedly attacked by a shark attempting miles. Starks said the water temperature was the Catalina Channel swim. She is the actually about 70 degrees; it was warmer than only recorded shark attack upon swimmers what he trained for and expected. He began attempting the Catalina swim. It happened in his swim at approximately 11:30 p.m., leaving her first hour in the water while it was dark. She Catalina Island towards San Pedro, California. kept on swimming and did not alert her crew. The finish area is different than the sandy She swam and additional 11 hours before being Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday beaches of France. California’s coastline in this pulled from the water for hypothermia. area is large boulders and rocky shore line. 1 During the swim, Starks 2 would stop every 3 “I trained to expect cold water,” Starks half an hour for five to 30 seconds to eat and Preschool Storytime Toddler Time Baby & Me Storytime said. “Just like the swim last year, I took ice hydrate himself. He used a Gatorade mix to 10:15 am 10:15 am 10:15 am

Closed Sundays

Baby & Me Storytime 11:15 am Amigos y Libros 7:00 pm


Closed Sundays

take turns telling silly stories.

Preschool Power Play 11:00 am



Closed Sundays

West Jordan Library

Friday “When Chad sets a goal,Saturday he is determined to accomplish it,” Gridley said. “He does 5 not 4 give up. We have trained Local Authors & You together, and I feel Chad will be the third person1:00 pm from Utah to

Anime and/or share an interest in Japanese culture.





Let’s Go LEGO!—Tuesday November 15@ 6:30 pm Come express your creativity with Legos! Fun for the whole family. West Jordan Senior Full STEAM Ahead! Quick Meals with USU Turkey Has a Terrible Join us for books, music, fingerplays, and a fun craft. Geared towards 3 to 5 year Preschool Storytime—Tuesday November 1 @ 10:15 am

4:00 am 10:30 am Preschool Powerplay—Tuesday November 1 @ 11:00 am

Food $ense Temper Puppet Show Magic Tree House Book Club—Thursday November 17 @ 6:30 pm ALL LIBRARIES 7:00 pm 11:00 am Join us for West Jordan Library's exciting book club for young readers. This

Engage your child's imagination through the power of play. Enjoy an open play session with other children, fun toys, and activities. For babies to preschoolers, with a caring adult.

month, we’ll be reading Polar Bears Past Bedtime #12. We'll chat about the book, learn some interesting facts, and have some serious fun with various activities and games.

Toddler Time Ages 2-4. Join us for stories, songs and activities. A grown-up must accompany children. • Wednesday November 2 @ 10:15 am • Thursday November 3 @ 11:15 am

Pajama Monsters Storytime—Monday November 21 @ 7:00 pm Have a monstrous silly time at pajama storytime. Join us for stories, songs, and fun (with or without your jammies). For kids of all ages with a participating adult.


4:00 pm Thursday November 3 @ 10:15 am



Great Reads—Tuesday November 22 @ 7:00 pm A book club for kids and a caring adult. Lively discussions, activities, friendship and


Magic Tree House fun! This month we’ll be reading Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans Book Club by Laurence Yep. 6:30 pm Storytime @ Wheeler Farm—Tuesday November 15 @ 10:30 am


Closed Sundays

Closed Sundays

READ Make a Thanksgiving menu. Write and 27 draw pictures for each food. WRITE Play musical chairs… with pillows! PLAY

For more info visit:



20 21 22 23 24 25 Put on a puppet TangleArt!—Thursday November 3 @ 7:00 pm DAY AFTER Pajama Monsters Great Reads show to your ALL LIBRARIES THANKSGIVING Join Tonya Janelle Mendez, CZT with TangleArt Studios to learn the art of the Storytime Zentangle® Method, "an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful 7:00 pm favorite book. THANKSGIVING Local Authors & You—Saturday November 5 @ 1:00 pm 7:00 pm


Join us in the “Milking Parlor” for stories and fun! Storytimes are free and open to the public. For preschoolers with a caring adult.

Let’s Go LEGO!

Amigos y Libros—Wednesday November 2 @7:00 pm 6:30 pm Canciones y cuentos para toda la familia, en Inglés y en Español. Songs and stories for the whole family, in English and in Spanish.

★ ★ ★

complete the open water swimming triple crown.” Starks is the third Utahn to complete the Catalina leg of the triple crown; Joelle Beard and Gridley both did in August 2013. They are also the only two Utahns to complete the triple crown by completing the Manhattan Marathon swim. Starks is planning on the Manhattan swim in 2018. Starks currently resides in Sandy and is an assistant coach on for the Jordan High School swim team. Starks and Gridley are members of Salt Lake Open Water. They sponsor openwater racing and the triple crown of Utah lakes. The Utah triple crown includes swimming the width of Bear Lake, the Great Salt Lake swim Antelope Island to Black Rock, and the length of Deer Creek Reservoir. Starks has completed the Utah Triple Crown several times. More information can be found about Utah open water swimming at www. l



olds with a caring adult. Center Book Group

13 14 15 16 Sing a song West Jordan Book Storytime @ Wheeler Baby & Me Storytime as loud as Group 7:00 pm Farm 10:30 am Storytime for the smallest of pre-readers, newborn to two years old. AnimeCLUB you can! • Wednesday November 2 @ 11:15 am SING

keep his metabolism correct. Starks began training for the open-water swim soon after he completed the English Channel swim. Starks and his friend Gordon Gridley met at Jordanelle Reservoir early 8030 South 1825 West in the mornings two or threeWest Jordan, UT 84088 times a week. They would swim 20–25 miles a 801-943-4636 week at the reservoir.

Toddler Time 11:15 am TangleArt! AnimeCLUB—Tuesdays November 15 & 29 @ 4:00 pm 7:00 pm Teens. Come to West Jordan Library’s AnimeCLUB! It is open to teens who enjoy


Several family members supported and celebrated Chad Stark’s channel swim. (Gordon Gridley/resident)

CLOSE AT ALL LIBRARIES Are you a writer? Do you want to be? Come to Salt Lake County Library's Viridian ALL LIBRARIES Event Center on Saturday, November 5 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and meet many local 6:00 PM CLOSED authors. They will be leading writing workshops and signing their books. There will be CLOSED West Jordan Library Book Groups: adult, teen, nonfiction and children's authors. Join us monthly for a lively discussion of a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles. images by drawing structured patterns." NO SKILL or EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! Please try to arrive a few minutes early so we can start on time. :)


Copies of the book are available for check-out the month prior to discussion. • West Jordan Senior Center Book Group—Tuesday Nov. 8 @ 10:30 am • West Jordan Book Group—Monday Nov. 14 @ 7:00 pm




Full STEAM Ahead!—Wednedsday November 9 @ 4:00 pm AnimeCLUB Join us for Full STEAM Ahead where fun meets science! Come enjoy engaging activities with science, technology, engineering, art and math. 4:00 pm

Library Hours:

Mon-Thurs 10:00-9:00 Fri-Sat 10:00-6:00

Quick Meals with USU Food $ense—Thursday September 10 @ 7:00 pm Come explore different ways to prepare meals ahead of time and get them on the table faster! Recipes and samples will be provided. Presented by USU Extension. Registration requested. or call 385-468-4820.

Turkey Has a Terrible Temper Puppet Show—Saturday November 12 @ 11:00 am Tess Turkey has a problem with her temper. And every time she gets mad, her friends place a bright feather in her tail to remind her to be nice. They're only trying to help, but her tail keeps getting heavier and heavier. Will Tess ever learn to keep her temper?

‘Like’ us online: WestJordanLibrary


PLAY West Jordan High School graduate and current Jordan High assistant swim coach Chad Starks completes the second leg of the open water triple crown by swimming across the Catalina Channel. (Gordon Gridley/resident)


W estJordanJournal.Com

November 2016 | Page 7

West Jordan Fire takes second place at chili cook-off By Tori La Rue |


embers of the West Jordan Fire Department gathered at the South Towne Mall in Sandy on Sept. 24 hoping to secure first place in the fourth annual Utah Firefighter Chili Cook-off for the second year in a row. Nearly 15 fire departments from across the state competed in the cook-off, a fundraiser for the University of Utah Health Care’s Burn Camp. Children, teen and adult burn injury survivors are invited to the camp to socialize with other people in similar circumstances and learn about healing from professional nurses, physical therapists and firefighters. “As far as I’m concerned, we’re all winning as soon as people buy tickets for chili,” said Jack Gray, a West Jordan resident representing the Ogden City Fire Department. “We’re really here for the kids who will benefit from camp.” About 5,000 people attended the cook-off, and together the departments raised $12,528 for the Burn Camp, with South Davis Fire Department raising the most at $2,677, West Jordan coming in second at $1,711 and Unified Fire Authority third at $1,304. West Jordan took second place two more times, falling to South Davis again for the people’s choice chili and taking second in booth design behind American Fork Fire Department. West Jordan’s booth included a nearly 10-foot tall fake fire hydrant, and American Fork’s booth was wooden and decorated like an old-West saloon. “Well, it would be great to win again, but from last year to this year, you have departments who have stepped up their booth and other departments who have made changes to their

West Jordan Fire Chief Marc McElreath hands a small cup of chili to a customer at the Fourth Annual Utah Firefighter Chili Cook-off. (Tori La Rue/ City Journals)

chili,” West Jordan Fire Chief Marc McElreath said about the competition, adding that his department will make changes next year. Kent Warner, a firefighter and paramedic on West Jordan’s C platoon, said he was “volun-told” to make the chili for the competition after he made a chili for his co-workers that they liked. The department won the 2015 Utah Firefighter Chili Cook-off using Warner’s recipe. Warner changed the recipe this year by substituting smoked pulled pork for steak and reducing the spiciness of the chili.

Judges commented that they missed the spiciness, so Warner said he plans to add some heat to the West Jordan chili for the 2017 event. Many departments bring the same chili each year. Unified Fire West Valley brings a red chili and a chili verde, and Unified Fire offers a cashew chicken chili and vegetarian cashew quinoa chili each year. Shelby Williams, event participant who came to support her brother who works for the West Valley Fire Department, said, setting all bias aside, the West Valley’s chili verde chili was her favorite. She said thought they should have won. Overall, it was an activity that members of her family, no matter what age, could enjoy, she said. Williams ran around the event with her niece and nephew in the parking lot and lawn area of the South Towne Mall. In addition to the chili cook-off, event organizers set up games for kids including inflatable slides. Rob Marriot, of Unified Fire, said he thought the event was a success because it allowed the firefighters to raise money toward the burn camp. Marriot said he and other firefighters from his department have participated in the burn camp and have seen the children learn how to cope with their injuries. This year the state’s firefighters will give more than $12,000 to the burn camp, but the burn camp participants will give the firefighters much more than that in terms of strength, he said. “Let’s promote the cook-off for next year and make it bigger and better,” Marriot said. “Let’s beat what we raised this year during next year’s event.” l

JORDAN SCHOOL DISTRICT Special Education Child Find

Public Notices

Every child is entitled to a public education regardless of disability. Children with disabilities may go without services because families are not fully aware of their options. If you know of a child, birth to age 22, who is not receiving any education services or feel that your child may be in need of special education services, please contact your local school or call the Special Education Department in Jordan School District at (801)-567-8176.

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Page 8 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

City contemplates use of 1,700 acres after Facebook declines offer By Tori La Rue |




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The West Jordan City Council has disallowed applications to amend the zoning and land use maps for nearly 1,700 open acres for up to six months. (Kimberly Roach/City Journals)


he West Jordan City Council voted to temporarily disallow applications to amend the zoning and land use maps for nearly 1,700 open acres on the southwest side of the city. The ruling came after Facebook accepted a deal with New Mexico, failing to bring a data center to 230 acres of the 1,700-acre West Jordan property, known as the Pioneer Technology District. “In that Facebook has now been terminated from our horizon, we would like to make sure that there are no other submittals for use of that property until we can do a proper master plan, and we would like to do that for the full 1,700 acres,” City Manager Mark Palesh said to the council at the Oct. 12 meeting. The temporary land-use ordinance prohibiting applications for amending the zoning and land use maps does not affect the city’s ability to make their own changes to the maps or affect developers from applying for building permits or subdivision plans that meet the current zoning. The change simply keeps applicants from trying to change the zoning and land use during a time when city staff is trying to create an all-inclusive vision for the 1,700 acres. “It’s very limited in scope but very, very important to make sure you stay focused on your future land-use process for this area,” Deputy City Attorney Duncan Murray said, addressing the council. The temporary hiatus to applications for changes for the Pioneer Technology District may last up to six months and will ensure that zoning and map changes to multi-family and highdensity residential areas will be compatible with the city’s infrastructure and services. The district, with its center at New Bingham Highway and Bacchus Highway, accounts for one-10th of the city’s total land—not something they want to mess up on, according to Duncan. Councilman Zach Jacob said he was in favor of the temporary land-use ordinance as long as the city would collaborate with other stakeholders to

create a vision for its southwestern-most portion of land. County leaders, including County Mayor Ben McAdams, had opposed the Facebook development, saying that nearly $240 million in tax-incentives was too much, but West Jordan leaders, including Mayor Kim Rolfe, continued to argue that the center would have strengthened the local economy and brought in otherwise nonexistent property tax revenue. “Yes, this is our city, but this is also our county, and it is also our state and our school board,” McAdams said. “We saw what happens when we don’t work together.” Jacob suggested asking the Western Growth Commission to weigh in on the use of the Pioneer Technology District. The group was originally formed by the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce and includes representatives from West Jordan, Taylorsville, Riverton, Herriman, South Jordan and Bluffdale who discuss the plans for the development of the west side of Salt Lake County. The commission is similar to McAdam’s newly formed Mountain View Economic Development Commission, which the county mayor initiated to bring about a development that’s cohesive with surrounding cities across the Mountain View Corridor. Jacob suggested some kind of merge between the two groups, stating they have a similar purpose that could help in the planning of West Jordan’s largest section of open land. Councilman Chris McConnehey said the city staff will build a more detailed plan for the 1,700acres from the already developed masterplan. “It is not that we are starting with a blank slate,” he said. “We have a lot that’s been done in the past.” The vote passed unanimously with six council members in favor. Councilman Chad l Nichols was excused from the meeting.


W estJordanJournal.Com

November 2016 | Page 9

Visions collide at city council meeting By Tori La Rue |


wo dreams came head to head as a family tried to rezone 23 acres of their property near 8157 South Mapleleaf Way. “My dad was a general contractor and a small home builder, and he held on to this land because he had a vision for it,” applicant Kim Mascherino said. “There were many times offers were declined throughout the years for larger home builders to purchase this land. He held onto it because he believed in the potential of letting a small-home builder come in and build on this land.” Masherino’s family wanted to change the potential lot size of their property from 1-acre and half-acre lots to 10,000-squarefoot minimum lots, so they could build about 80 homes. The family took up several rows of seats in the West Jordan City Council Chambers on Oct. 12. Other residents filled the remaining seat in the council room and more lined the back and side wall, waiting to hear the council’s decision. Residents who live near the land in question came to express their opinions almost unanimously against the family’s proposed rezone, saying the development would disrupt their rural way of life, cause traffic congestion and present a safety risk for children and pedestrians. The neighborhood to the west

contains 1-acre lots where many land-owners raise families and livestock. “We have a dream, and we have a vision— the same their family did,” said Scott Lambson, a resident from the neighborhood to the west. “We don’t want to stomp their vision, but we can’t just let them stop ours as well.” After more than an hour of discussion about the issue, the council unanimously denied the rezone, stating they felt the rezone in questions was incompatible with the neighborhood to the west. Councilman Chad Nichols was excused from the meeting. Councilman Chris McConnehey backed his vote by stating he didn’t see an adequate buffer between the rural residential neighborhood and the proposed rezone. The conceptual plan showed the new development connecting to the rural residential area via Susan Way, which is currently a stub road, bringing the two zones into one neighborhood, he said. Councilman Zach Jacob said he thought the rezone was compatible with three of the four surrounding neighborhoods, but he added that majority doesn’t rule when it comes to rezones. “This whole area doesn’t make sense the way that this was developed—smaller lots, surrounding bigger lots, surrounding mobile homes with industrial across the street—none

An aerial view of about 23 acres of property near 8157 South Mapleleaf Way in West Jordan. The owner proposed a rezone during the Oct. 12 city council meeting. (West Jordan City)

of this makes any sense,” Jacob said. “Plugging in another piece that only sort of makes sense— I don’t think works for me. I don’t see this development fitting in this patchwork quilt of a neighborhood.”

The land could still be developed using its current zoning, rural residential full and halfacre lots. Mascherino and her family declined to comment on what they planned to do with their land following the ruling. l

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Page 10 | November 2016

Creative STEM program entertains students after school

West Jordan Journal

Crossing guards benefit from key solution By Jet Burnham |

By Jet Burnham |

Students decipher clues for a binary code scavenger hunt. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


tudents at Joel P. Jensen Middle School spend their afternoons battling robots, building with marshmallows and programming computer games. The fun is part of their popular after-school STEM program. Principal Bryan Leggat said he is thrilled with the success of the program, now in its second year. Two days a week, the focus is on computer programming; the other two days on robotics. There are also various problem-solving and creative activities to keep the students challenged. The 40–60 participants each day are from all grades and all academic levels. “We have special needs to advanced students all doing programming,” said Heather Woffinden, who instructs on computer programming days. Darion Johnson has been attending since the program began last year. “Right now I’m learning basics. Later, I’ll probably program a game because I’m a big gamer,” the eighth-grader said. Along with programming, students are getting familiar with binary code. Madison Gailey, a ninth-grader, enjoyed making binary necklaces, spelling her name in code using black and white beads. On another day, Dustin Plott, who used to work as a programmer but now teaches History at the middle school, created a scavenger hunt with clues written in binary code for the students to decipher. All four teachers involved with the program enjoy it as much as the kids. “I grew up participating in STEM activities as a kid (but it wasn’t called that back then),” said Alisha Lyman, one of the robotics teachers. “This is what brought me to this school,” said Woffinden. “I love computers and getting kids excited about computers.” Spencer Larsen, who teaches Spanish, doesn’t have a background in robotics, but he enjoys being part of the program. “I’m just learning along with the kids,” he said. One kind of robot the students use is Mindstorm LEGO robots, purchased with grant money awarded to the school last year.

Students program their robots to complete an assigned task. But the after-school program is less structured than daytime classes and some students spread out into the hallway, pitting their robots against others in “Sumo-Bots.” One group of inventive 7seventh-graders, including Eric Garcia, Jonathan Conreras and Omar Valadez, customized their robots with long drills and spinning weapons in hopes of overpowering contending robots. “I just get out of these kids’ way and let them create,” said Larsen. When they do ask for help, students are encouraged to do their own problem-solving. That is what Rozanne Morgan (ninth-grader) and her brother Sethro (seventh-grader) did when they had trouble with the color sensor on their Mindstorm Robot. Brainstorming solutions is part of the fun. Larsen says it’s these kinds of experiences that build resilience. Lyman agrees. Last year she coached a group of students in a LEGO League competition. “There was a lot of problem solving involved, and even though they couldn’t get the robot to do exactly what they wanted in the competition, they still had a great time,” Lyman said. Each day, the students can expect a new challenge. Sometimes they work with electric circuits to turn anything--Play-Doh, cups of water or even their fingers—into game controllers. Other days, they build towers out of unexpected building materials—marshmallows, paper clips or spaghetti noodles. The variety of fun and challenging activities is what keeps the students coming back four times a week. “This opportunity for self-discovery is one of my favorite things about STEM,” said Lyman. “We have students who participate and love it, but we also have students who sign up and after a while realize robotics is not their thing, and that’s OK. STEM gives them an opportunity to try something they might never have considered, and it’s awesome to see them try something l new.”

Traffic Operations Center developed a key to give crossing guards the ability to manipulate times according to needs. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


rossing guards Trudy Smith and Heather Childs are using a new tool to help students from two West Jordan schools safely cross the street each day. The key, which was innovated in Utah, is inserted into the crosswalk box and adds 15 extra seconds to the timer. Engineers at the Utah Department of Transportation developed the key specifically for crossing guards working at difficult crosswalks. “The key gives the crossing guards ability in real time to add the necessary time to walk the kids and themselves across the intersection,” said John Gleason, UDOT public information officer for . Before, crossing time was a rushed 30 seconds. The extra time is beneficial at the intersection of 9000 South and 2200 West, which has six car lanes and a bike lane. Crossing guards have struggled to get kids across and then get back to the sidewalk in time to aid students walking the other direction. Because it only affects peak crossing times, the extra 15 seconds does not delay traffic throughout the day. Traffic engineers have monitored traffic and have seen no additional back-ups for morning east-bound drivers, according to Gleason. Childs and Smith don’t use the key in the morning hours. Students’ arrival times are staggered and fewer students walk to school in the mornings, making it unnecessary to adjust crossing times. However, from 3 to 3:45 p.m. nearly 200 students from Hawthorn Academy and Westvale Elementary cross the intersection. Most parents and drivers haven’t noticed a difference since the key was put into use midSeptember. “It’s just a big deal to us,” said Smith. Gleason says UDOT is pleased with the results. “The goal is to keep people safe and to keep traffic moving,” he said. The key has provided this balance. Drivers could actually see a benefit to the

added time, according to Lisa Johnson, who lives just east of 2200 West. “The light is too short,” Johnson said, adding that she knows she’ll have more time to get through the intersection when the key is in use weekday afternoons. Crossing guards have noticed the added time also relieves traffic exiting Hawthorn Academy. “The turn lane used to be backed up to the school,” said Childs, who has been working at the intersection for eight years. With the extra time, the left-hand turn lane on 2200 West can clear out. Opponents of the added time think children should learn to cross more quickly. “If the kids run, they are more likely to trip and fall,” said Smith, who doesn’t believe that rushing students is a safe practice. The key solution came as a result of frustrated crossing guard Richard Hirschi of La Verkin, Utah. Several months ago, he contacted UDOT to ask for more than the 10–18 seconds he had available to get La Verkin Elementary students safely across Highway 9. “It’s a major highway, and it’s just flooded with cars,” said Hirschi. Costing only $20 and requiring a simple 30-minute installation, “[the key] is a minimal investment with a big pay-off in safety,” said Gleason. “Engineers have talked to crossing guards, and, hands down, the response has been very positive.” To improve safety even more, crossing guards ask drivers to follow intersection safety rules. Right-hand turners should not proceed until the crossing guard arrives safely back to the corner. They also ask drivers to remember to slow down in school zones. The key is in use at six crosswalks throughout Utah. Crossing guards or school officials interested in implementing the key in their school zones can contact traffic operations engineers at l


W estJordanJournal.Com

November 2016 | Page 11



April 2016 November 2016

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

“Faces & Places” exhibit

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

“Can you get my speeding ticket dismissed?”

Roles and Responsibilities of the City Council Based on the variety of phone calls I get, there seems to be some confusion as to the scope of the mayor’s duties and authority. Contrary to popular belief, I can’t get your speeding ticket dismissed (sorry about that), but I can legally perform a marriage. And I don’t handle the day-to-day operations of running the city – that’s the city manager. Under our Council/Manager form of government, the elected City Council Members are responsible for setting policy, passing ordinances, and providing direction and fiscal oversight. The city manager implements the policies and ordinances set by the City Council, and functions like a CEO in a private corporation, whereas the mayor is similar to the chairman of the board. The City Council is comprised of the mayor and six council members. The mayor is elected at-large and serves a four-year term. Of the six council members, four are elected by district and two at-large. Council members serve four-year terms, but sometimes circumstances create a vacancy that must be filled outside the usual election process. With Councilmember Sophie Rice’s recent announcement that she is moving out of the city, there is now a

vacancy in District 4. As a result, we are looking for potential candidates from District 4 to fill it. (See sidebar.) Serving as an elected official requires an interest in working with others to better our community. There is also a significant time commitment because you are essentially oncall 24 hours a day. In addition to the official City Council meetings that take place twice a month (typically the second and fourth Wednesday at 6 p.m.), there are also other meetings, boards, committees and city events to attend. Council members receive $1,500 per month for their service, so it is expected that they attend their meetings. In September, the City Council approved an Ethics Ordinance that outlines expectations, including attendance, and includes penalties if council members don’t meet the minimum attendance expectations. Public service is rewarding as you see things take shape and move forward. It can also be frustrating when the City Council fails to find a way to work together. It is okay to disagree – in fact, that’s expected – but the Council needs to work together to provide policy and direction upon which all city actions, programs and priorities are based. I’m looking forward to welcoming a new council member to join us as we work together to move our city forward.

Apply now for City Council District 4 vacancy Councilmember Sophie Rice recently announced that she is moving and will be vacating her City Council seat in District 4. (District 4 boundaries are in the area between 7800 South and Old Bingham Highway from Bangerter to west of U-111.) The City Council will be interviewing and appointing a new council member to represent District 4. • • • • • •

To be considered for this position, you must meet the following qualifications: Be a United States citizen at time of filing. Be at least 18 years old at the time of the next municipal election. Be a registered voter of the municipality. Be a resident of the municipality or a resident of the recently annexed area for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the date of the election. Be a resident of District 4. In accordance with Utah Constitution Article IV, Section 6, any mentally incompetent person, any person convicted of a felony, or any person convicted of treason or a crime against the elective franchise may not hold office in this state until the right to hold elective office is restored under Section 20A-2-101.5.

West Jordan’s latest Schorr Gallery November exhibit features the photography of Jon Bouwhuis with his photos of people from around the world. An opening reception will be held at the City Hall Schorr Gallery, 8000 Redwood Road (3rd floor), from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. The public is invited. About the Artist Jon Bouwhuis became interested in photography when he was a sixth grader and his older brother was taking a photography class. The two brothers set up a darkroom in their home, developing and printing their own and classmate’s photos. It was a hobby that led him to complete his first degree, a BFA in sculpturing, from Utah State University. Several years later he embarked on a second degree in photography from Weber State University, after which he began teaching evening photography classes. Over the years he has refined his skills behind the lens while also pursuing a career as an Air Force officer and pilot. His career took him many places, including two combat tours as a B-52 pilot in Vietnam. Since retirement, Jon and his wife

LaNore, a retired educator, have traveled extensively, affording them an opportunity to see many beautiful and interesting locations around the world. They have traveled to seven continents and visited over 100 countries. He has particularly enjoyed capturing the varied and interesting faces of the people he has encountered. His “Faces & Places” exhibit features photographs taken during some of their travels. Jon, a Bountiful resident, presently serves as an advisor to the Board of Trustees for the Bountiful Davis Art Center. He is a member of the Salt Lake Print Society, a group of photographers who meet monthly to learn and share their interest in photography. He regularly exhibits at various locations along the Wasatch Front.

MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT Did you know? in order for your vote-by-mail ballot to be counted...

your new ballot box!

Ballots must be postmarked before November 7th

You must sign the affidavit on your return envelope.

Your signature must match the signature we have on file.

Visit our website to: Find a ballot drop box Find an early voting location Find a vote center

To apply, please bring a letter of interest to the City Clerk’s office on the third floor of City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road. The appointed council member will serve until Dec. 31, 2017. During the 2017 Municipal Election, the position for District 4 will be included for a two-year term. More information will be posted online at and on the West Jordan City Hall Facebook page as it becomes available.

You will receive your ballot the week of October 11th

Track your ballot

Salt Lake County Election Division 2001 South State Street, Suite S1 -200 Salt Lake City, UT 84190



Page 12 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal



CERT training Nov. 18-19 In the event of a natural disaster, it could take several days for public safety personnel to respond to individual homes, making it important to learn emergency basics so you can be as self-sufficient as possible. The West Jordan Fire Department is teaching a two-day Community Emergency Response Team training on Nov. 18-19. This CERT course is for those residents and people who work or own businesses in West Jordan who would like to be trained on what to do in case of natural disaster or other emergency. The course requires completion of an online course prior to taking the hands on class. The handson portion is taught by West Jordan firefighters and other local professionals. You will learn about disaster preparedness, disaster medical, fire suppression, and search and rescue. The online self-study portion usually takes about six hours to complete. The 12-hour classroom practical session will be held Friday, Nov. 18 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 19 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. You must complete both portions and the required training hours in order to receive certification. CERT training is open to all West Jordan Residents, age 18 and over, and anyone who works within West Jordan City limits. The cost of the class is $35, to cover some of the cost of materials. Class size is limited to 24 students and is selected on a first-come, first-served basis. If the minimum number of 12 students is not met, the class will be postponed until spring. To register for the class, email certwjfd@wjordan. com and an application and information will be sent to you. There is a $35 non-refundable deposit to help cover the costs. Questions? Email certwjfd@wjordan. com or call 801-260-7300.

Get involved and make a difference in your community Apply now to serve on a city committee The city has a variety of volunteer-run committees designed to make our community a better place. If you have ever wanted to get involved and help shape the future of our city, now is the time. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities including: • Western Stampede – Dust off your cowboy hat and join the fun as we plan for our 63rd Western Stampede Rodeo. • Arts Council – Help promote art and cultural events and activities. • Activities and Events – From the Demolition Derby to the Independence Day parade to the Memorial Day Tribute and everything in between, help bring these events to life. • Healthy West Jordan – Ready, set, RUN! The Healthy West Jordan Committee plans programs and events

in an effort to keep our community moving. • Parks and Open Lands – Share your ideas on what types of parks we need and how we are going to pay for the maintenance and operations of them. • Sustainability – Help find ways for us to be more efficient in our use of water, energy and other resources and plan for the future growth in West Jordan. • Planning Commission – The Planning Commission helps determine the types of new homes that are built and where new stores and business are located. More information is available on the city website at under the “Resident” and then the “Committee” tab. You can also email or contact City Hall at 801-569-5100 if you have questions about the committees or how to apply.

If you want to make a difference for women and men who are experiencing domestic violence and victims of violent crimes, West Jordan Victim Assistance Program (under the direction of the City Prosecutor’s Office) is just the place for you to get involved. Contact us about participating in our victim advocate volunteer training. On-call volunteers are trained to offer support, guidance and resources to victims and survivors of domestic violence. No experience necessary – just a clean record, empathy and willingness to learn and commit some time to our program. Training starts soon. Call 801-566-6511 or email for more information.

Volunteers Needed for Tree Planting Project Nov. 5

Join Our Team The City of West Jordan is in need of several more crossing guards to help children safely arrive at school. This is a great parttime job for someone looking for flexibility and extra income. Other job opportunities include a facilities maintenance technician, fire service officer, seasonal utilities laborer, seasonal parks laborer and street maintenance worker. Job opportunities continually change so if you don’t see something that interests you now or need more information check our website at

The city will be planting trees to replace those that were recently vandalized along 2200 West and Veterans Memorial Park. The planting party takes place Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 a.m. Meet in Veterans Memorial Park, 8030 South 1825 West, at the small pavilion near 2200 West. A hot breakfast will be served. Bring a shovel and work gloves if possible. Volunteers under the age of 16 need to be accompanied by an adult. Visit to sign up or email


W estJordanJournal.Com

November 2016 | Page 13



CALENDAR OF EVENTS - 2016 (Note: Activities are tentative and may change)



Document Shred and E-waste Recycling, 10 a.m.-noon, 8000 South 1825 West (parking lot behind City Hall)


November Election



Retirement Seminar, 7-8 p.m. City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road



Veterans Day – City Offices Closed



West Jordan Youth Theatre “Mary Poppins,” Joel P. Jensen Auditorium, 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. Saturday matinees.



Planning Commission, City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road, 6 p.m.



Sign up now for the next session of the Citizen Police Academy Is your view of law enforcement something you learned from watching television programs or going to the movies? If you want to find out what really happens in law enforcement and get to know the people behind the West Jordan Police badges, sign up now for the next session of the West Jordan Police Citizen Academy. Applications are being accepted for the two sessions scheduled in 2017. There is no charge to enroll, but applicants must pass a police background check and commit to attend the 11-week course. The Academy is held on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Community Room at the Police Department, 8040 S. Redwood Road. Participants must be 18 years of age. Academy attendees spend part of their time in a classroom learning about law enforcement and the situations officers encounter. But the experience is not limited to the classroom. Participants also get to ride along with officers as they answer

calls from the public. Other course highlights include firing weapons under police supervision, participating in a role-play SWAT scenario where they make split second decisions in a “shoot no shoot” interactive video training experience “I have been so impressed with the caliber of people I have met while attending the academy,” said Liz Halloran, a recent graduate. “I have learned there are many specialties within the police department.” The city’s gang detectives also opened her eyes to the problems drug traffic brings to the state. Julie Rowland enjoyed meeting the officers and “getting to know them as people.” Ankur Verma participated because he wanted to better understand the

City Council Meeting, City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road, 6 p.m. (Tues., Canvass Election)

Shredding, e-waste and battery recycling Nov. 5 from 10 a.m.-noon

21-26 Green Waste collection ends November



Thanksgiving Day – City Offices Closed




Day After Thanksgiving – City Offices Closed



Planning Commission, City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road, 6 p.m.



City Council Meeting, City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road, 6 p.m.

November 11, 12*, 14, 18, 19*, & 21 *Matinee Performances: 12th & 19th - 2:00pm Evening Performances 11, 12, 14, 18, 19 & 21 - 7:00pm $8 at the door and $7 pre-purchase from a cast member Joel P. Jensen Middle School 8105 South 3200 West Join the conversation! Follow West Jordan – City Hall.

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

West Jordan residents can bring up to two “bankers boxes” of paper for shredding and residential electronic waste on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 November 5 10am-noon a.m.-noon. Documents will be shredded on site in the west parking lot behind City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Road. Hard drives can also be shredded if they have been removed from the computer. Batteries Plus will also be on hand to recycle batteries. They will accept up 10 pounds of alkaline, 1 pound of lithium and other types of common batteries that would reasonably be recycled by a consumer. They cannot accept Liquid NiCD or Liquid NiMH batteries (both are very rare) and quantity is limited to residential recycling and not commercial. Bring proof of residency or city employment (driver’s license, utility bill or city ID badge). Two glass recycling drop off bins are also available: one is in the parking lot of the old library, 1970 West 7800 South, and at the intersection of 7800 South and New Sycamore Drive (7025 West). More information at Parking Lot behind City Hall • 8000 South 1825 West


The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 (801) 569-5100

role of police and also educate his family. “I learned that police officers have to react in a split second and react within the law,” Verma said. “It’s a very tough job.” He spoke so highly of his experience that Verma’s wife is applying for the next session. The next session starts Jan. 12, 2017 and is limited to 24 participants. To sign up, contact Crime Prevention Specialist Barbara Tatangelo by calling 801-256-2033 or emailing

Page 14 | November 2016


West Jordan Journal



Holiday Trash Collection Schedule Trash collection will not take place on Thanksgiving Day. If your regular collection day is Thursday, your trash will be collected the following day. Trash collection takes place on most holidays except for Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. If your collection date falls on one of these holidays, your pickup will be one day later. For example, if a holiday falls on a Tuesday, your collection day will be Wednesday and Wednesday’s pickup will be Thursday and etc. through the end of the week. Then the following week will be back to the regular schedule.

5600 WEST; 7800 SOUTH – 8600 SOUTH WIDENING West Jordan City plans to improve 5600 West between 7800 South and 8600 South. The project design firm has been selected and project design will be developed through spring of 2017. Project improvements under review include widening 5600 West from 7800 South to 8600 by adding additional lanes for a new five-lane roadway; reconstructing the existing lanes; waterline replacement (separate project prior to roadway widening); storm drain installation; sidewalk and bike lane improvements; retaining/noise walls where warranted; and a possible signal located at 8200 South. A public open house is planned in January (date/location TBD) following the development of design plans to allow area residents, motorists and business owners to address concerns, ask questions and learn the rationale behind project plans. Construction is currently estimated for summer 2017. STAY INFORMED: This project has a dedicated communication team to work with area residents and stakeholders. Please feel free to contact us about this project. We are here to help!

Project Map

Sign up for project emails to stay up-to-date on construction progress and impacts at


HOTLINE: 888-966-6624, EXT. 5


W estJordanJournal.Com

Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation holds bond election By Kelly Cannon |


alt Lake County Parks and Recreation will have a bond election on the Nov. 8 ballot across the entire county. Called Salt Lake County Proposition A, the bond will issue $90 million to build new parks, trails, recreational amenities and a recreation center, as well as renovate and improve existing facilities. According to Callie Birdsall, the communications and public relations manager of Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, the county currently has a bond for parks and recreation projects out that will expire this year. The bond that is on the ballot is a continuation of that bond. “This bond that is coming out is to build these facilities, build some more parks, update the Jordan River with the water trail,” Birdsall said. “It’s not really a new tax. It’s a continuation.” The proposition builds upon the reauthorized Zoo, Arts and Parks tax, which passed in November 2014 with 77 percent of the vote. The proposed $90 million in bonds is divided into $59 million in proposed projects and $31 million in proposed maintenance and improvement for parks and recreation locations that already exist. The first listed project is $2.7 million for Knudsen Nature Park in Holladay. The park will include a playground, open lawn, pavilions, picnic tables, fishing pond, wildlife education center, amphitheater, water mill education center, trails, covered bridges and restoring 475 feet of Big Cottonwood Creek. West Valley City will receive a $3 million Pioneer Crossing Park with open space, boardwalks, historical education areas, natural amphitheater, urban camping areas and a canoe launch. The Magna Township will get a $11.2 million for the Magna Regional Park. The park will include a multi-use sports fields, a playground with water play, outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, a paved perimeter trail, skate sports and neighborhood access points. The Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center will receive nearly $2.5 million in upgrades and additions. This includes replacing pool mechanical systems to save on energy costs and replacing the existing filtration system with a more efficient and environmentally friendly system. The existing outdoor diving pool will be reconfigured to include 500 additional square feet of water surface area and will be fully ADA accessible. Wheeler Farm will receive a $2.75 million outdoor education center, which will include a 150-person classroom, a greenhouse, demonstration kitchens, offices and storage. Hands-on experiences will include horticulture, agriculture, livestock, watershed science, urban forestry and volunteer opportunities. South Jordan can expect a $12 million Welby Regional Park if the bond passes. Phase one of park development will be located primarily on 10200 South and will encompass approximately 47 acres. The park will include lighted multipurpose sports fields, a playground picnic shelters and a walking path. A $2.2 million Jordan River Water Trail is also proposed and will include a series of formal boat access points at strategic locations throughout the Salt Lake County’s section of the Jordan River. A new Jordan River Water Trail will be implemented and other improvements will strive to improve the current condition along the river. White City Township can expect a nearly $1.7 million White City/Sandy Trail. The paved pedestrian and bike trail will follow along the abandoned canal in White City beginning at 9400 South and will run along south to the Dimple Dell Regional Park, where it will connect with the Sandy Canal Trail. The largest project proposed bond is the nearly $20 million recreation center in Draper. The 35,910-square-foot center will feature a competitive lap pool, a leisure pool with a water slide and amenities, child care, two dance/multi-use rooms, fitness area, trails,

November 2016 | Page 15

Your Text isn’t Worth It!

Eleven new projects and several improvement projects are part of the proposed parks and recreation bond. (Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation)

open space and space for a future gymnasium. New $25,000 multi-use sports courts are slated for Salt Lake City that will include lights and a storage facility. Each court will be made out of asphalt or concrete. The last project listed with the bond is a $1.75 million Oak Hills Tennis Center in Salt Lake City. Located along the fifth hole of Salt Lake City’s Bonneville Golf Course, improvements include renovations to the existing tennis facility clubhouse. The $31 million in maintenance and improvement projects will include the Dimple Dell Regional Park, the Equestrian Park, Mick Riley Golf Course, mountain trails, Oquirrh Park, Salt Lake County parks, Southridge Park, Sugar House Park and universally accessible playgrounds. According to Birdsall, the proposed projects were submitted to the ZAP board for consideration. The approved projects were then sent on to the county council for their approval. The county has held several public meetings in various cities to educate the public on proposed bond. “We have posters and brochures in recreation centers, city halls, event centers (and) libraries,” Birdsall said. Birdsall believes the public is responding well to the proposed projects. “The support of parks and trails and open space is incredible every single year because of the increase in population and the urban sprawl that is happening. The need for open space is exponentially growing,” Birdsall said. “When you talk about parks and recreation, most people are pretty excited about it.” To learn more about the proposed bond and the projects it includes, visit l

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Page 16 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

School district looks to pass bond By Tori La Rue |





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ith a rapid increase in student population in coming years, Jordan School District officials are looking to pass a $245 million bond for six new school buildings in the November ballot. “When there are too many in the school and classes are too large or held in facilities that aren’t adequate, education can suffer,” said Susan Pulsipher, Jordan Board of Education President. “We feel that it is important for this bond to pass to continue to provide high-quality education.” Voters in the Jordan School District turned down a $495 million bond in the 2013 election, claiming it was too large. The district reworked the new bond proposal, reducing construction costs by 17 percent and decreasing the list of items to be accomplished. The proposed bond includes a complete rebuild of West Jordan Middle School, which was built 60 years ago and is currently the oldest school in the district. It also includes building a high school in Herriman, new middle schools in South Jordan and the Bluffdale/Herriman area, and elementary schools in Bluffdale and Herriman. The schools would open between the 2019–20 and 2021–22 academic years, and would help to accommodate the projected 9,000 new students that will enter the district within the next five years. If the bond passes, Zions Bank estimates the average homeowner will pay $16.80 more per year than they currently pay for bond payments, but there is a chance that the numbers could increase or decrease slightly. Bond payments will eventually go down because the new bond would be issued as old bonds from 2003 are paid off, Pulsipher said. Currently Jordan School District is home to the two most populated three-year high schools in the state—Herriman High School and Copper Hills High School, each nearing 3,000 students. The district also claims three of the top-10 most populated middle schools in the state and six of the 18 elementary schools in Utah with more than 1,000 students. The district is tracking 633 new residential developments throughout the community that could lead to more explosive growth, including Riverton’s 543-acre Mountain View Village development announced earlier this year. Herriman High School is projected to grow to 4,700 students in the next five years; the Copper Mountain Middle school population is expected to double in five years (the school would need 55 portables to accommodate the increase), and Bluffdale Elementary is will likely grow to 2,172 students in 2021, according to the study. District representatives said Copper Hills High School’s population is likely to stay around 3,000, which is why they are not proposing a new high school for the west side of West Jordan. Heather McKenna, a West Jordan resident whose ninth-grade son attends

Sunset Ridge Middle School, said she disagrees with the district’s choices for school placement. “I think that I can support a bond and see the necessity of what they are doing, but they could do something to balance the south and north side of area to see that everyone gets the schools they need,” she said. “They say that Herriman is growing more than our current land allows us to grow, but there’s a handful of land the city’s trying to rezone that was not considered in their tally of land that’s already being developed.” While McKenna’s son will already be out of the public school system by the time the new schools are constructed, she said she’s concerned for other friends and neighbors in the area. While Herriman needs more schools and bigger schools, McKenna said she would’ve liked to see the district construct a small high school on the parcel they own across from Sunset Ridge. Instead, the district plans to sell the land. “A small school could at least provide a little relief,” she said. Pulsipher said the opening of the new schools in Herriman would allow boundary changes that would trickle down to West Jordan, Riverton and South Jordan areas that will not be getting new schools, but McKenna said she thinks the Herriman population will be too large for boundaries to shift much in the way of helping west Jordan. Ellen McDonald, who lives “as far west as you can get” in West Jordan, said she’s in favor of the bond. “I know people are really tough on this because they don’t want to pay for something isn’t there’s, but they are part of the district, and you can’t help only your little area of a district,” said McDonald, who taught school for 41 years—28 of those years in the Jordan School District. “People in West Jordan didn’t pay for West Jordan schools alone. People all over the district helped pay for the schools that are in West Jordan right now, so if you are going to be part of the district you need to help even if this time around the bond may not affect you personally.” There’s a number of improvement and maintenance projects that could be put into place in cities that are not getting new schools if the bond passes, Pulsipher said. These projects could include additional stadium seating and locker room renovation in Bingham High School, lighting upgrades and a new baseball field at West Jordan High School, a cafeteria expansion and roof replacement at Riverton High School and a commons area

upgrade, outdoor bathrooms and a weight room expansion for Copper Hills High School. Overall there are 32 projects within 21 schools that are on the district’s Capital Outlay Projects Future Recommendations list. “If the bond doesn’t pass these likely won’t happen because we will have to put all of the money we’ll get toward new schools,” Pulsipher said. After the 2013 bond didn’t pass, the district built two elementary schools from capital reserve, kept 12 elementary schools on a year-round calendar, initiated a pilot modifiedtraditional schedule program in two schools, changed 15 school boundaries and added portables to highly populated schools. “We have limited ways to accommodate growth,” Pulsipher said. “The difficulty is they are not ideal.” If the bond does not pass, the district will continue to install more portables, which Pulsipher said creates a strain on schools’ inner infrastructure, such as hallways, bathrooms, cafeterias and media centers. “West Jordan has had so much growth in recent years, and I would actually love to see the portables disappear,” said Christie Hardy, a resident whose children attend West Hills and Sunset Hills middle schools. “I was a big supporter of the bond last time, and I will continue to support it this time.” Pulsipher said another alternative, if the bond didn’t pass, would be looking into “pocket bussing,” where students from a densely populated area would be bused to schools that are further away to avoid crowding. There are six classrooms within the district that aren’t being fully utilized and could be part of this program, she said. District officials consider bonds the best option for funding because school districts cannot collect impact fees in Utah. Also, traditional funding has higher interest rates than bonding and pay-as-you-go methods would not allow the district to build schools fast enough to keep up with the growth, Pulsipher said. If the bond passed, the district would sell bonds incrementally as construction progressed on the schools. They would be required to pay the bonds off 21 years from the date they were sold, according to the ballot. The ballot also states that the district would use the entire $245 million bond for the new schools, and would purchase land if there was a remaining balance. Ballots were sent out at the end of October and must be signed and postmarked by midnight on Nov. 7 or dropped off in person at designated locations on Nov 8. l


W estJordanJournal.Com

November 2016 | Page 17

Painted piano tells stories By Jet Burnham |


select handful of students at Fox Hollow Elementary transformed an old piano into a work of art. Principal Kevin Pullan and teacher Deborah Hanson are thrilled to provide these fifth- and sixth-graders a chance to salvage the instrument while developing skills in the arts. “Pianos in schools take a beating, and this one looked terrible,” said Pullan. “It was an eyesore. I thought about sending it out on surplus. Then I had an idea.” An artist himself, Pullen knew the 40-year-old piano would make a great canvas for an art project. “I love to see the kids painting,” the principal said. The piano was painted white and divided into sections. The young artists designed their own square and mixed their own colors of acrylic paints. A variety of artistic styles were used to create the quiltlike look. Sixth-grader Jaya Tuft recently began experimenting with stippling. She applied this new technique to her side of the piano. Rose Andam’s style has tiny features and highly detailed elements. Kayley Liu mostly draws animals and has had little experience working with paint. Trying something new with this project, she added lots of colors to her section. “It feels like we’re vandalizing, but we are fixing it,” said Isabelle Baker, a sixth-grader. Bylee Atherley doesn’t want to stop at painting pianos. “I wish I could paint my violin,” she said. Pullan asked fifth-grade teacher Hanson to oversee the after-school project, which took one month to complete. “She knows how to integrate the arts into the curriculum

The young artists’ creativity was not limited by their workspace. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

and does it every day,” Pullan said. They decided to decorate the piano in folk art, one of the topics she taught her students last year. “I thought it would be fun to have some of the children take what they had learned from her and apply it in a more permanent and lasting way,” the principal said. Folk art generally represents a person or culture so the designs have personal elements. Leah Homer, a sixth-grader, designed a block that represents things she loves: Disneyland, Gettysburg, dance, French and the U of U.

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Skyler Mardis created a scene with a corn stalk and a sunrise, inspired by early mornings on her great-grandma’s Illinois farm. This art project is different than anything these young artists have done before. “This is a new medium for the kids,” said Pullan. Most artwork they produce is on paper and is temporary. “This is something that will last,” he said. He plans to invite students play the piano as background music during Parent– Teacher Conferences. The students feel ownership of their creation and hope the piano will be in use at the school for a long time. “I’ll bring my kids here one day and tell them I did this when I was 11,” said Leah Homer. Pullan is thrilled to have a teacher like Hanson. “She is a champion for arts in schools,” he said. She says the same of him. “I came specifically to this school because of the principal,” she said. “That’s 100 percent the reason I came here.” Previous principals had not been as supportive. Hanson insists that integrating the arts doesn’t take time away from core subjects. She believes it makes better students and better people. “I’ve always felt art is important and not in the classroom enough,” she said. “Kids have had so little experience with arts, they are excited to use it.” Hanson believes focusing only on core subjects leaves the students incomplete. They need experience with the arts to be well-rounded. “It takes away part of their humanity to not have that l balance,” she said.


Page 18 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

Copper Hills wrestler turns MMA fighter By Greg James |


opper Hills High School graduate Jordan Marshall, a highly proficient high school wrestler, is adding to his wrestling background by pursuing a mixed martial arts fighting title. “I am nervous for this, but I am confident in myself and my abilities. I hope I have enough skills to pull out the victory,” said Marshall before his first MMA match. Marshall’s first experience in the ring lasted 53 seconds. He secured the victory over Trevor Mortimer with a technical knockout in the first round. Marshall landed a hard left hand to the head of his opponent and took him to the mat where he punched him three more times before the referee stepped in. “He has the mentality to never quit,” said Victory MMA Gym coach Cam Tueller. “He has always gone out and laid it on the line. I know he wants to make a career out of this, and he already has promoters ready to sign him after his amateur career is over. He can turn pro if he wants to work hard.” Marshall began wrestling at the age of 6. His family had encouraged him to participate in a sport, and his uncle talked him into giving wrestling a try. He closed out his high school wrestling career in June when he graduated from Copper Hills. He was a three-time state qualifier and placed twice in his weight class. In February, he finished fourth overall in the 125-pound class at the Utah State 5A wrestling championships. He was the divisional champion headed into the state tournament. “Wrestling taught me a lot about dedication and what is needed when you participate in a sport,” Marshall said. As a wrestler, Marshall has the ground skills needed to fight

A Copper Hills High School wrestler won his first MMA fight in a TKO Oct. 15. (Jordan Marshall/Victory MMA)

MMA. His biggest hurdle was learning the stand-up boxing and kicking part of the sport. “He has a strong wrestling background and is catching on well to the stand-up part,” Tueller said. “He takes muay thai

training classes three times a week and is working on his boxing. His stand-up is getting so good that he can go up or take the guy to the ground with no problem.” Tueller runs Victory MMA Gym and is an assistant wrestling coach at Copper Hills High School. He has helped coach Marshall for many years. He encouraged him to try MMA fighting after his high school wrestling career was over. The sport of MMA has grown in popularity all around the world. According to, MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. MMA is the name of the sport and the Ultimate Fighting Championship is its premier fighting organization, similar to the National Basketball Association . It encompasses disciplines from various martial arts and Olympic sports, such as wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, taekwondo and judo. A common misconception to MMA is that there are no rules. On the contrary; there are many rules, including no headbutting and 25 other listed fouls. There are eight weight classes, and the fights are judged by three ringside judges each evaluating MMA techniques. “I started training a little over a year ago,” Marshall said. “I was really encouraged by my high school coaches. Right now I train two to three hours a day. My strength has to be the ground stuff like wrestling, but I picked up on the other stuff quickly. My goal would be to make it to the UFC. I have watched and dreamed of fighting since I was young.” His first fight was sanctioned by Steel Fist Fight Night. He is scheduled to fight again in January. l

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his is the story of a “saucy” hardworking boy from Salt Lake. Four years ago, Todd Loertscher experienced a devastating job loss. He sat his family down two weeks before Christmas to give them the bad news. They had prayed for months that things would get better for their dad. His wife began to say, “You know when God tells you no…” Their oldest son cut her off and finished the sentence, “’s because He has something better for you!” With the help of his wife, Todd came up with a restaurant concept involving potatoes. They took the only thing they had left to bargain with, their home’s equity, and presented their business plan to the bank. Rejection was the response. The family doesn’t have grand aspirations for wealth or fame. The motivation was rather simple: Todd wanted to work in the industry he loves and be able to provide for his family. His wife had dedicated a country song by Montgomery Gentry to him: “If you’re doing what your able, putting food there on the table, providing for the family that you love. That’s something to be proud of!” Todd wanted to be proud of his work. He was tired of companies outsourcing their food production and declining quality and service. That was not acceptable in his business plan and made giving up out of the question.

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Two sauces became frontrunners for the SpudToddos concept — the sauce Todd makes every Christmas and the sauce he makes on Thanksgiving. Everyone looks forward to Todd’s cranberry citrus sauce and the Favorite Sauce is a recipe that has been in his family for years. The concept was coming together and the menu was under construction.


This time they would take their plan to a number of banks. Rejection after rejection came in. Finally, a call from Andrew Sproul at Zions Bank, and they were approved. With the loan, they began to hunt for a location. Again, they encountered rejection after rejection. Eventually, they found a place in Jordan Landing. The lease was such that no concessions would be made for a remodel. Todd would have to do all the construction himself and his wife would need to be the designer and decorator. For six weeks they felt like they were starting a remodeling business rather than opening a restaurant. SpudToddos has been open since June and the reviews are phenomenal. They have a 4.9 rating on Facebook and are being recognized for what Todd — the ‘Todd’ in SpudToddos — is all about — delicious food made in house for a reasonable price. The gluten-free community is delighted as well because SpudToddos offers gluten-free options for almost every menu item. Todd and his family are hopeful that their family-owned and operated restaurant will be welcomed and will be serving spuds in West Jordan for years to come. l

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Page 20 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal

Jaguars football team making an impact By Greg James |


he West Jordan High School football has returned to relevance in their region and in the state. Second-year head coach Mike Meifu has his players believing they can compete. “Things are going really well,” Meifu said. “It has been a positive season. The kids have set a higher standard for themselves and are having fun at the same time. This is just the start for us. We have talked about competing with some of the top teams in the state. They have responded well to that.” The Jaguars finished the regular season with a record of 8-2, including 4-2 in Region 3. The Jaguars placed third in region and qualified for the state tournament for the second straight year. Last season was the team’s first playoff appearance in three years. They lost to Lone Peak 53-6. The Jaguars insurgence directly relates to the play they have received from the quarterback position. Through eight games, senior Dylan Krans had thrown for 1,967 yards and 24 touchdowns. In his high school career, he has thrown for more than 3,600 yards. “There is no question Dylan is a leader,” Meifu said. “He is part of what makes our offense work. He has a skinny frame, but his arm is his strength. He can chuck the ball around. He throws it easily 50–60 yards downfield and on target. He also runs well. We use him in some designed quarterback runs, and he can scramble well if there is nothing open.” Krans has taken the snap from center Fitu Kaivelata since little league. Meifu calls his center the heartbeat of the team. “As the center he is overlooked by the stats,” Meifu said.

The defensive front line for the West Jordan Jaguars is causing mayhem on opposing quarterbacks. (Shelly Oliverson/West Jordan football)

“He (Kaivelata) brings the energy. No question he is a leader too. Between him and Dylan they play the most important positions on the offense. When our o-line is working, it gives Dylan time to find the playmakers downfield.” Seniors Mack Wakley and Tanner Petersen lead the team in receptions. Petersen has nine touchdowns. The eight wins in 2016 tops last season’s five. Meifu said the team goal is one step forward from last season, a playoff game victory. The Jaguars recorded the school’s first ever

victory over Brighton High School Oct. 7, 31-10. “Last season we just scratched the surface,” Meifu said. “This year, we have already surpassed that. The guys have responded. They trust the program and their teammates.” Despite difficult losses to Bingham, 51-21, and Jordan, 4135, the team has shown improvement. The play of the defensive line for the Jaguars has provided a solid base. Senior Alden Tofa has become an important leader on that line. Seniors Austin Leausa and Noah Kinikini, with junior Eastin Watts, anchor the defensive line attacking the opposing quarterbacks. The quarterback pressure the defensive line gets allows the secondary to make plays down field. Junior Jacob Yada has six interceptions, a school record and the second most in the state. “The defense is assignment-sound, and the line gets good pressure on the quarterback,” Meifu said. The state tournament is scheduled to begin Oct. 28-29. The championship game will be held Nov. 18 at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. “The core of this team has played together for a long time,” Meifu said. “You do not see that anymore with open enrollment and transfers. They are fun to be around and work extremely hard and push each other. They all had opportunities to go to other schools, but they stuck together and that is what l we see now.”

Let’s make our kids the priority again.

November 2016 | Page 21

W estJordanJournal.Com

Heartfelt Wall Hangings

Heartfelt Wall Hangings 1538 West 7800 South in West Jordan

Heartfelt Wall Hangings celebrates its 10-year anniversary and will celebrate by running events all month. The events will be advertised on their Facebook page. “Back in 2006, I would have never imagined we would be here with our business,” Owner Heidi Salazar said.   After starting out in the Salazar home, the business has grown to a craft store and boutique. Custom vinyl cutting and decorations are their bread-and-butter products.  As her business grew, Salazar had the idea to hold crafting classes for her customers.  “I knew women needed a place to go and get away for a couple of hours from the craziness of everyday life and laugh and giggle with other women,” Salazar said.  Initially, she was worried about getting customers to come to her garage for a class, even for a free painting and crafting class. Happily, she had no problems and the project eventually grew into a monthly

staple for the business. “I call it paint therapy,” she said. “There is something about painting and talking that can wash away the worries of the world.”  In 2011, Salazar moved the business from her home to 1538 W. 7800 South in West Jordan. Heartfelt Wall Hangings now has classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and three class sessions on Saturdays where participants can use business paints and supplies. Classes are $5 and include space at the free monthly project.On Friday evenings, Heartfelt Wall Hangings holds a “Super Fun Girls Night Out.” The event cost $25 and includes dinner from Cafe Zupas, $20 store credit for crafting supplies and space at the free monthly class.  “It has been a fun and crazy journey. There are days that I wonder why I do it and then other days are so rewarding,” Salazar said. “I always tell customers my paycheck is listening to the laughter during classes.”  But her business is more than just

classes. It is a place that serves the artistic needs of both the crafty and the craft challenged. “The unique thing about us is you can come in and shop the boutique-style finished items or you can shop for the do-it- yourself crafts,” she said. Crafting, she likes to joke, can become addictive.  In November, Salazar will be fielding nominations for their annual charity effort, Heartfelt Hopes. Every year, customers nominate families in the community that are struggling. Then Heartfelt Hangings sets up a tree with decorations that details things that the family needs with the hope that customers will donate to help the family.  “We want to help people who are doing everything they can to help themselves,” she said. “We want to give a hand up, not a hand out.”  Please stop by and choose a heart to help a family. Sign up for a class or a Girl’s Night Out at l


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Page 22 | November 2016

West Jordan Journal Junior Golf now offered all Winter long at The River Oaks North Range


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The Murray Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers has scheduled two outstanding evenings to celebrate upcoming holidays. You are invited to join us. We meet once a month, and our next two meetings are these:

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W estJordanJournal.Com

Home Makeover: Uninspired Edition


f researchers study my genetic make-up, they’ll find a preponderance of genes that create a longing for candy and silence, and a disturbing lack of genes related to interior design and holiday decorating.  When my kids were little, my decorating style was what I called Sticky Chic or Bohemian Toddler. As they grew into teenagers, my design concepts alternated between Early Landfill and Festive Asylum. Now, my style is what I lovingly call Dust. Before Pinterest was a thing, I’d scour magazines for ways to make my home look pleasant that didn’t involve renting a bulldozer or spending $5,000. Now I’ll spend hours on Pinterest, scrolling through images of beautiful kitchens and bathrooms; then I’ll purchase a new garbage can and call it good. I’m amazed by people who can look at a room and visualize décor that belongs in Good Housekeeping because people who visit my home usually ask if I get my decorating ideas from Mad magazine. I just don’t have an eye for that kind of stuff. My genes have no idea

what to do with throw pillows. How can you sit on a couch with 27 throw pillows? Someone once said, “Design is thinking made visual.” If my thinking could be made visual I’m afraid it would include a lot of blank and/or confused stares, accompanied by slow blinking. I know a woman who used a handful of matchsticks and a pound of year-old taffy to sculpt a quaint Halloween yard display.

For Christmas, she twisted three green pipecleaners into a full-size holiday tree, and then adorned it with a dozen hand-knitted baby quail. She leaves a trail of glitter wherever she goes. I hate her. To me, decorating means finding kitchen tile that camouflages spaghetti stains or changing out the family photo that is 10 years old. I have no idea how to arrange lovely accent pieces. If I’m feeling a little wild, I might invest in a scented candle. I was recently asked to help create fun table decorations using crinkly paper strips and plastic flowers. I dumped what I thought was an appropriate amount of paperage and flowers on the table, but my centerpiece looked like a crinkly green nest that had been attacked by crows. The woman in charge of the event walked up to my “decorated” tables and let out a gasp. She quickly rearranged four strands of the crinkly paper and suddenly the whole table transformed into a fairy wonderland with twinkly lights and butterflies. A real decorator

defies the laws of physics. Halloween decorating is easy. I already have the cobwebs and spiders. I just sprinkle some blood on the floor and call it good. Christmas decorating is a little more difficult. Last year, using my sparse skills, I spent the entire afternoon creating a festive holiday atmosphere in our home. My husband walked in, sipping his Diet Coke, and glanced around the room. “I thought you were going to decorate.” I looked at my hours of work and tersely replied, “I did.”   “What’s that pile of crinkly paper strips doing in the middle of the room?”  There was a long pause while I considered the ramifications of manslaughter. “Don’t you have something to do?”  Now that scientists can genetically modify our DNA, perhaps I can get an infusion of the interior design gene. I don’t need to be Martha Stewart level, but at least something a little better than Mad magazine. l




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Profile for The City Journals

West Jordan November 2016  

Vol. 16 Iss. 11

West Jordan November 2016  

Vol. 16 Iss. 11