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April 2020 | Vol. 20 Iss. 04


FROM SECOND COUSINS TO ‘LIVER SISTERS’ By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


ntil last November, Drea Richardson of West Jordan had never even donated so much as a vial of blood. Richardson, a veterinarian and mother of three, is “petite” and doesn’t weigh enough. But when a cousin posted on Facebook that her young daughter, 1-year-old Destiny, would need a liver transplant, Richardson felt she had to act. “I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t at least try [to be Destiny’s donor],” she said. Destiny was born with a metabolic disorder, diagnosed at four days old. And while doctors knew from the beginning that Destiny would need a liver transplant, it was too risky to perform the surgery on such a young infant. They knew the chances of success would be much greater if they waited until after her first birthday. The Facebook post wasn’t meant to solicit organ donors. But when Richardson saw it, she began a process of “soul searching and prayer” to know if she should try to be the donor. She knew her blood type—O+—made her a good candidate. So, she began the application. First, she filled out a questionnaire. When that was approved, she had bloodwork done. Next came the MRI, CT scan, EKG and more bloodwork. In addition to genetic testing (to make sure she didn’t have the same genetic markers of Destiny’s condition), doctors also needed physical imaging of her liver to make sure it was a good anatomical fit. Finally, a few months after initially seeing the Facebook post, she received word from the transplant team that she was a match.

Drea Richardson with 1-year-old Destiny, recipient of her liver donation. (Photo courtesy Drea Richardson)

The team asked her if she wanted to call and tell her cousin the good news, or if she wanted the doctors to call. “I was like, ‘Um, I’m going to call,’” Richardson said with a laugh. Just before Thanksgiving, Richardson underwent surgery to have one-fifth of her liver removed, a process she describes

as “really, honestly, an easy thing to do.” Drea and Destiny both had their own transplant teams, so there would be no conflicts of interest. If at any time Richardson decided she wanted to pull out, she could tell her team, and they would report that she had been barred from donation for medical reasons. Continued page 05


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April 2020 | Page 3

When screen time is a good thing By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


tah Film Festival’s ninth annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival is geared entirely toward children. This year’s event was scheduled March 6-8 and 13-15 (though the second weekend was postponed for public health concerns), with showings at the City Library. But Tumbleweeds also expands its audience beyond downtown Salt Lake City with field trips that bring the film to schoolchildren. One such field trip took place March 9 at the Viridian Event Center. More than 300 students from Hayden Peak Elementary in West Jordan, Neil Armstrong Academy in West Valley and Riverton Elementary filled the Viridian’s auditorium. They watched a series of international short films, interspersed with discussion moderated by professional animator Jarom Neumann. “How many of you know how to read?” Neumann asked the auditorium of students, who ranged from third to sixth grade. Almost every hand went up. “Did you know how to read right away?” he followed. Except for a few class clowns who shouted that they did, everyone shook their heads. Neumann then explained that his purpose was to teach the students to read a film. Michelle Walker, education manager for the film center, echoed his sentiment. “I want kids to watch film almost as text,” she said. While screen time is derided as at best a waste of time and at worst a brain-drain, some may question the wisdom of a field trip whose purpose is to let kids watch movies. But Walker emphasized that the focus of Tumbleweeds is media literacy, not just media consumption. Before and after each short film shown during the field trip, Neumann asked students to focus on things such as how the color scheme of a scene made them feel, what a central object in a film might symbolize, why a certain scene made them laugh or who the


into Utah County. While the film center promoted Tumbleweeds field trips by reaching out to principals of hundreds of schools, teachers primarily learn about it through word of mouth. Walker conducts educational workshops in classrooms throughout the year, which allows her to make a personal connection with teachers and spread the word about Tumbleweeds. Sometimes, parents will attend one of the public screenings or workshops and reach out to their child’s teacher. Tumbleweeds uses its donor funding to cover all or most of the busing costs for field trips. If there’s one thing Walker wants people to know about Tumbleweeds, it’s how carefully curated it is. “I respect so much that a lot of families and parents are really careful about what they put their kids in front of,” she said. “I know I could walk any of my nieces or nephews into any screening. You’re going to see really awesome film that’s going to be different Jarom Neumann speaks to students at a March 9 field trip screening presented by the Tumbleweeds Film Festhan anything you’ve seen, but it’s going to tival. (Alison Brimley/City Journals) be family-friendly.” l protagonist and antagonist of a film were. The films shown were all international animated shorts, many with no dialogue at all. The films chosen were diverse in their style, sound and country of origin. They aim to “give kids access to films that they’re never going to see in a Megaplex or on Netflix,” Walker said. Walker spent years as a high school English teacher before coming to the Film Center. As a teacher, she realized that she relied more and more on films to teach an idea. “Film is where all the art forms converge,” she said. It’s sound, it’s movement, it’s dance, it’s photography, it’s painting. Everything comes together in that.” Her time in the classroom showed her

that kids are already on their screens all the time. The goal is to teach them to “engage, analyze and apply” what they’re seeing. “Kids more than ever, learn in images, it is our responsibility to help them read image. They’re going to be constant consumers of media, but can we teach them to be better discerners of media?” In total, Tumbleweeds reaches more than 3,100 students through field trips, with hundreds more attending public screenings on the weekends. The Viridian’s screening filled up this year, and film center staff members hope to add more showings in coming years. Tumbleweeds is well-known downtown, but officials hope to increase its presence in the southern end of the valley and




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Continued from front page 01 Richardson was aware of the potential risks. With any major surgery, there is always a small risk of severe bleeding and even death. She also knew there was a chance of hernia post-operation. Still, she reported to Colorado to have her surgery, confident things would go well. And they did. Live liver donation is possible because a healthy liver will regenerate itself after a portion is removed. Just two weeks after surgery, her “liver values” had returned to normal. Doctors were “really surprised” at her quick recovery. Destiny is doing well too, though her condition means that she’ll likely never be without some difficulties. She still uses a gastric tube, and she’ll always have to live with dietary restrictions. Technically, Drea and Destiny are second cousins, but Drea refers to Destiny as her “liver sister.” Richardson is eager to share her story in hopes of spreading the word about organ donation. While the experience was a success, Richardson is ineligible for any future liver donations. As for other organs? She’s “more protective” of her kidneys—you’ve only got two, and they don’t regrow themselves. And while she emphasizes that organ donation is a “very personal decision,” she encourages others to consider it. You can sign up or get more information at BeTheMatch.com or OrganDonor.com. l

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Drea Richardson during her hospital stay last November. Richardson says she thinks her story has gotten so much attention because her organ donation took place over the holidays, when people are eager to hear positive stories. (Photo courtesy Drea Richardson)

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April 2020 | Page 5

Water quality education creates ripple effect By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


team of five high school students are determined to rid Utah of harmful algal blooms that wreak havoc in local salt and freshwater ecosystems. After two years of trying to find a scientific solution, they decided educating the public would have a more immediate effect. “People in Utah who are really contributing to the issue, they’re not aware of the severity and how they are affecting those bodies of water,” Kate Larson said. “And so we figured, why not educate them and enable them to make a difference with us?” Krissy Watson, Kate Watson, Kate Larson, Alexander Atkinson and Gavin Grose call themselves the Conservation Catalysts. Living in various cities around the state, they have worked together on the project in-person and virtually, as students of Mountain Heights Academy, an online school. Their aim is to raise awareness about water contamination caused by fertilizers, pesticides and pet waste that inadvertently leaks into local water systems. To spread their message of simple behaviors that make a big impact on water quality, the team created an app, a website and instructive social media posts. Much of their solution focuses on educating young people. They developed an elementary school curriculum with games, stories, songs and activities to get kids excited about making a difference in their community with environmentally safe habits. “When a kid is excited, they might go tell their parents and their friends, and it’ll create, as we like to say, a ripple effect, where one person can make a whole community change,” Kate Watson said. The curriculum has been distributed to schools, universities, bookstores and libraries. It is available in digital format on an open educational resource and on their website. “We mostly focused on the outreach

and getting as many contacts as we can and spreading our influence as far as we possibly could,” said Alexander, who also translated the curriculum into Spanish. In February, the Conservation Catalysts presented their curriculum to the Utah Lake Commission technical committee. The scientists and professionals working to address nutrient problems in the lake were impressed with the presentation. They added the students’ curriculum to their educational outreach program. “They took legitimate science, and they interpreted that into a digestible guidance for young people to get involved in,” said Eric Ellis, executive director of the Utah Lake Commission. “If you really want to make a difference, you’ve got to find ways to get everybody involved. They did a great job of figuring out ways to get everybody involved.” Ellis said the team’s plan will be effective because promoting simple changes will be more successful than asking residents to make huge, unfeasible lifestyle changes. “In my ideal world, that’s the way we address environmental issues—one bitesized piece at a time,” he said. “These are reasonable improvements that we can all do that, if everyone did it, would make a big difference in the world.” The Conservation Catalyst team encourages simple changes to prevent excess nutrients from getting into gutters and the storm drains that eventually contaminate freshwater systems: • Dispose of lawn clippings and yard waste in the garbage can. • Avoid using nitrogen and phosphorus-based fertilizers. • Pick up after your pet.

Students explore the science of cyanobacteria in a BYU lab years before they became the Conservation Catalysts. Pictured left to right: Dr. Julianne Grose, Gavin Grose, Alexander Atkinson, Kate Watson, Kristina Watson, Kate Larson, Lora Gibbons. (Photo courtesy Mind Over Media PR.)

inate this problem over time, then eventually it will really make a huge difference. That’s our mission as Conservation Catalysts.” The students documented their research and solutions to enter the Lexus Eco Challenge, a contest for students in grades 6-12 to create a plan to tackle environmental issues in their communities. The Conservation Catalysts advanced to the finals of the nationwide contest, winning $10,000. They now are awaiting the announcement in mid-April of the winners of an additional $30,000. Another Utah team, the Fanplastics from Olympus Junior High, is also a finalist. Team adviser Lora Gibbons said the project has gone beyond learning, earning a grade or even winning a contest because after the contest is over and the students have graduated, their curriculum will continue to “In a community, we’re all connected,” be used. “What they’ve created is a lasting imKate Larson said. “And so, if we have these small actions that we are doing to help elim- pact,” she said. “It’s not something that will

end with the project. And that was really what they wanted to do when they set out. They knew that it’s hard to solve the problem of cyanobacteria or harmful algal blooms. But what they can do is they can create something that teaches and inspires. And that’s what they’ve done and it will continue well beyond them.” Last month, some of these same students advanced to the finals in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. MHA students have placed well in the National Ecybermission Contest and the Thanksgiving Point Eco Challenge for the last few years. These self-motivated students, who’ve won thousands of dollars in individual scholarship money and for the school, are enrolled in MHA’s Science Research class. “The class was built for the students to be able to have a venue to work on project-based learning competitions,” said Gibbons. l






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West Jordan City Journal

Well-informed student is ‘chill’ despite community panic By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

The Copper Hills Academic Decathlon team. (Photo courtesy Thom Manning)

lex Hess, senior at Copper Hills High School agrees with the decision to close schools, even though it means he will miss out on prom and the school band tour to San Diego that were cancelled. “I think that Utah has taken effective steps to prevent the spread,” he said on March 16. He should know. As a member of CHHS’s academic decathlon team, Hess has researched in depth about the spread of infectious diseases. Each year, the team learns everything they can about an assigned theme. This year was “In sickness and health, an exploration of how we deal with mental illness and physical illness.” His sophomore year, it was Africa. While learning about the Ebola outbreak in Africa, Hess said he understood that diseases could spread in the U.S. but it wasn’t as likely because of advanced medical systems that would provide a level of protection. Now that it has become a reality in his community, he said he is still “pretty chill.” “I’m not necessarily as scared as other people are for this disease.” he said. Because of his knowledge, he knows the importance of hand washing, social distancing and remaining calm. The purpose of the national program is to inspire academic excellence through competition. Teams study a curriculum with a specific theme to prepare for a speech, interview, essay and seven multiple choice tests in math, music, language & literature, social science, economics, science, art. The CHHS team placed third in their division against 15 teams at the state competition. Grace Bramlage took second overall with an impressive 7700 out of 10,000 points possible. (The first-place student scored 7800.) Team adviser Thom Manning said the tests are extremely difficult. “A 50% on these tests, depending on how the day’s going, that might be medaling turf,” he said. “This year we’re doing distinctly better than we have in the last couple of years,” Manning said. While previously an after-

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school club, this year team members learned the curriculum in a class. Hess said that doubled the learning time. “You read [the manuals] on your own and then in the class you have time to bounce your ideas, what you’ve learned, to clarify misinformation with your classmates,” he said. “It’s a really wonderful experience,” he said. “You don’t get the experience in other classrooms and other academic settings—it’s a very unique experience.” Hess said many of his teammates are challenged and motivated to come to school for the first time because of the unique opportunity the class provides. Hess joined the team his sophomore year. “I’ve always had a fascination with learning,” he said. “This is literally a club for people who like to learn.” Nine team members and three alternates include students of varying grade point averages. The diversity balances strengths and weaknesses of individuals. “It becomes a cool cultural experience for the students because the 4.0 students sometimes don’t have friends or interactions with students who sometimes get F’s and sometimes get D’s,” Manning said. “Those that have the GPAs that are 2-point-whatever don’t necessarily hang out with 4.0 kids. But when they’re in the class, there’s a melding of the ways.” Manning said high performing kids are pushed and challenged to push themselves more and lower-performing kids find that with time and effort, they can perform surprisingly well on tests. Manning participated in Academic Decathlon as a high school student and jumped at the chance to coach CHHS’s team when it became available seven years ago. “I feel like it gives me a chance to make a real difference to the students to watch them grow over the year, to help them to stretch in different ways,” he said. The number of teams at the two scrimmages, region, state and national competitions is declining. Manning said there’s not

enough community recognition or awareness of the program. “A lot of the groups kind of live and die based off of a passionate coach or a passionate administrator who makes sure it happens,” Manning said. “If that one person disappears, then it dissolves.” The teams are small to begin with anyway so transportation to competitions and field trips for enrichment learning are difficult to secure. “When your team is about nine students, trying to order a bus to take you to places is not very economical,” Manning said. “So we’ve usually been able to order a bus in cooperation with three to five other teams.” During the closure of the school due to the virus, Manning challenged students to find something interesting to learn and share it with the group. He hopes to have the opportunity to go back and explore interesting tangents of learning the class had to abandon in favor of preparing for competition earlier in the year. “I now have students who trust me and believe in each other and like to learn stuff and so we could go all sorts of places,” Manning said. “I’m looking forward to it academically myself. We might be able to go down rabbit holes of education that are heretofore unexplored.” l



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April 2020 | Page 7

What’s your legacy?

Everyday Psych: I didn’t want to talk about COVID By Cassie Goff | c.goff@thecityjournals.com

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I’m not afraid of the virus, I’m afraid of the people.” This sentiment is one I’ve heard constantly in my social circles. It’s a sentiment I share and would like to elaborate on here. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not only important to stay safe and healthy (by routinely practicing proper handwashing and social distancing to combat the virus), but level-headed and grounded as well (by routinely practicing research and critical thinking to combat mass hysteria and panic). The TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version of what I’m suggesting here is: don’t freak out. Even in the throes of the “toilet paper crisis” there were still rolls of toilet paper in many stores (don’t worry, I checked). But with everyone sharing stories and frantic pleas for toilet paper on social media, we all flocked to our local stores to hoard the goods. With such instances, we temporarily forget about the primary concern we are all facing. And getting into a grocery store fight doesn’t help combat that primary concern. Researching and understanding the science of the coronavirus is extremely important for keeping ourselves and our loved ones happy and healthy. Credible information helps to combat mass hysteria. If we allow ourselves to become too worried, anxious, and/or panicked, we could enter the realm of mass hysteria or acute conversion. “Mass hysteria is the spread of bodily complaints within a school or workplace with no organic bases for the symptoms,” explains psychology professor Dr. David Myers. Mass hysteria is most commonly termed in cases without medically diagnosed physical illnesses, but noticeable symptoms. For example, psychiatry professor Dr. Gary Small wrote about the “phantom gasser” in Illinois who would spray poisonous mist into the windows of teenage girls. The girls were showing physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and burning sensations. Other such examples of mass hysteria include nervousness around nuclear testing in the 1950s, meowing nuns during the Middle Ages, and arm and hand tremors in writing classes in Germany in 1893, among others. However, sociologist Dr. Robert Bartholomew defines mass hysteria as “a collective stress response.” From the collective stress we are all encountering and/or experiencing related to the coronavirus, I think we have the potential to exhibit signs of mass hysteria, even with a real organic basis for the symptoms. For example, “Notes from the field” by Iuliano et al., a 2009 study focusing on the

H1N1 outbreak in Delaware, showed the possible effects of mass hysteria, even with a real physical illness. As Jaimee Bell, a freelance writer for the website Big Think, describes, “Mass hysteria isn’t only about your mind convincing you that you have symptoms of a non-existent disease or virus—it’s a collective state of mind that can convince entire populations of things that aren’t based in evidence or logic.” In his commentary, Bartholomew goes on to say, “Think of mass hysteria as the placebo effect in reverse. If people can think themselves better, they can make themselves sick.” Here, he references conversion disorder, which is a somatic symptom disorder within the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Statistical Manual – five). These disorders have symptoms “associated with significant distress and impairment.” (However, I think our current situation might call for acute illness anxiety disorder, as the criteria for which is a “preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness” and “a high level of anxiety and health.”) This is all to say, let’s be cautious and careful in the wake of this pandemic. We don’t need to be constructing hysteria, experiencing symptoms of acute anxiety, or reverse placebo-ing ourselves. Instead, know the symptoms of COVID-19 to be wary of (fever, tiredness, and dry cough) and react as normal to everything else (like allergies). Don’t panic or become too hysterical. Instead, the stance I’ve been trying to embody and perpetuate is to have a pragmatic level of concern. l

www.LarkinCares.com Page 8 | April 2020

West Jordan City Journal

Tattoos and permanent makeup in West Jordan By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


uring a city council meeting at the end of February, Mike Johnson, owner and artist of Studio Elev8 in South Jordan, approached council with a request to change city code that currently prohibits tattoo

businesses from operating in West Jordan. “As of right now, permanent cosmetics are allowed in West Jordan, but other body art, illustrative tattooing is not,” Johnson said.

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City Code defines which personal care business can receive license and which cannot. “This definition includes permanent cosmetics when done in association with another permitted use such as beauty shops and nail salons, but excludes tattoo and body engraving services.” Council Chair Chris McConnehey said on social media, “This is why we prioritize citizen comments. We have the day-to-day things that we have to address, but there are some things that don’t cross our radar until someone stands up and says something. I’m sure there will be more to hear and further conversation in the coming weeks.” Illustrative body tattooing is allowed in South Jordan city, where Elev8 is currently Mike Johnson, tattoo artist, addresses the West Jordan City Council in February this year about changing code located. to allow illustrative tattooing business in the city. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

“I’m looking to move,” Johnson said. “ I want to come to West Jordan because I’m really impressed with the rebuilding of the city. It’s more centralized. I have a lot of people that travel from all over the world, and it makes it easier to access.” Johnson has received supportive comments on social media. “I used to be against and misinformed about tattoos and now I have 2 of them,” Resident Channel Achenbach said on social media. “ I got them both in 2019 in love and support to a friend that took her life and when I lost my Father, that same year. I’ll support YOU!” l

Safe Driving Habits


pring is upon us, summer is on the way; and with warmer temperatures and (hopefully) blue skies on the horizon, drivers can’t blame slick roads or blinding flurries for their faulty driving anymore. Driving safely requires good driving habits. Habits. Not occasionally safe maneuvers. The following are some prudent practices to implement in your daily travels. Blinkers and blind spots Driving 101. If you plan on changing lanes, let others in on your secret. Everyone will appreciate it. Others want to know what you are planning. Likewise, if you see a blinker come on indicating your lane is that car’s desired destination, let it in. This isn’t the Daytona 500. We are not racing for $19 million. It is common courtesy, if we want people to use their blinkers, then we should reward them for doing so. Remember the blinker doesn’t automatically assume safe passage to the next lane. And while your car’s sensors in the rearview mirrors are helpful, they are not omniscient. Check your blind spot with your own eyes. There’s a reason it’s called a “blind” spot. Tire pressure This one is almost as simple as the first. Check your tire pressure on a regular basis to know if there is a small leak. Maybe you drove over a nail and didn’t realize it. We often don’t look at the tires on the passenger side since we don’t approach the car from that direction, checking regularly allows you to examine those opposite side wheels.

WestJordanJournal .com

It will keep your car’s handling in its best condition. Each vehicle can have different appropriate PSI (measurement for tire pressure), but when temperatures drop, so does the pressure in your tires. Drive defensively This means keeping distance between you and the car in front of you. Touching their bumper does nothing for you. And if you need to get that close to read their license plate or sticker, your eyesight is troubling and you probably shouldn’t be behind a steering wheel. Also you can’t always see what’s in front of the car before you. They may have to slam on their brakes due to an unexpected obstruction. If you rear end them, insurance rarely works out in your favor. This can also mean slowing down on wet roads or not weaving in and out of traffic. Distractions This is the No. 1 reason for accidents. This is not limited to using the cell phone, though texting, checking news alerts or making a phone call are all terrible decisions to make while driving. It also extends to dozing off or checking the price at the gas station you just passed. Be alert, stay vigilant. Other drivers may suddenly stop, they may not see you as you yield or turn. By staying engaged and sharp, your reactions can be sharper and you may even anticipate what other drivers are looking to do. These habits are important and it is not overdramatic to say that they could save a life.




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Learn more at - www.siegfriedandjensen.com April 2020 | Page 9

Families adapt to school at home By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Kids take a “brain break” from schoolwork. (Photo courtesy Amy Stewart)


We’re Expecting! We are excited to announce the renovations of our Women’s Center! A child’s birth is a special experience. Our goal is to provide a comfortable, tranquil atmosphere for women and families to celebrate this joyous occasion. The project, completed in two phases, will transform and modernize our Women’s Center. The first phase involves our postpartum unit and started January 6, 2020. We are expected to complete the project Summer 2020.

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Page 10 | April 2020

t’s a job they didn’t go to college for and yet, overnight, parents became teachers for their children as Utah schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers transferred faceto-face learning to an online format and parents juggled their own workspaces and schedules to accommodate school at home. “I’m grateful for these teachers because this homeschool thing is rough, and frustrating and overwhelming but we are all in the same boat together and we will get through it together,” said Herriman resident Amy Stewart, mother of a kindergartener, fifth and seventh grader. School at home for Jordan District got off to a bumpy start March 18 with an early morning earthquake and problems with connectivity with district-issued Chromebooks. Things have improved since then, with families adapting for what works best for their family. South Jordan resident Chelsea Brown said no one is doing this alone. “We still have a teacher who is attached to every bit of our learning who will still give us a grade and who is still available to us,” she said. Brown created a designated space for school work for her first and third graders. “We’ve created a classroom,” she said. “That’s where school happens so that my kids know we aren’t doing YouTube right now. We’re not playing games. We’re in the classroom.” She also works with one child at a time to keep them on task. While waiting their turn, the other child keeps engaged in learning with programs they’ve used in school such as Lexia and Moby Max. There are also many online learn-

ing sites which are offering free access while schools are closed. Students are familiar with online learning formats because teachers have been using them all year. Marinda Wessman’s third grader always does math homework online and now that the English worksheets are digital, they are still familiar to her. “It’s the same work,” Wessman said. “It’s just figuring out how to do it online versus doing the paper and pencil. I just really appreciate that the teachers are being so organized and putting all the assignments in an easy format.” Two of Wessman’s children are in the Chinese Dual Language Immersion program at Monte Vista Elementary in South Jordan. The DLI teachers have been providing regular video instruction through Zoom. “The teachers are really good because they know that they’re kind of on their own when it comes to the Chinese stuff—they can’t rely on parents to help,” Wessman said. Dominoe Hammond, who has children in high school, middle school and elementary school, is impressed with her children’s teachers. “I’m amazed how they were able to pull this together in no time,” she said. “They’re connecting with their kids, even through all of this, and they’ve been so responsive and so helpful to answer our questions. I’m just so grateful.” Her older students keep organized with calendars and assignment lists. Her younger ones are comfortable with the online format and can complete their work fairly independently. “Even my first grader is managing it on her own with very little help,” Hammond said. “So my energy can be

focused on all the bonus stuff, the extras, the fun things afterwards.” The Hammonds, who live in West Jordan, hold fun family PE classes and baking lessons and play games once school work is done. “We are just trying to get through this the best that we can for ourselves and our families and it’s going to look different for everyone,” Hammond said. In Herriman, Amy Stewart schedules regular breaks for her three kids. “I feel like with as much time as they will be looking at a computer, I want them to take breaks to move their body,” Stewart said. “Essentially, after about 30 minutes of work, we take a five-minute break and have them move.” The kids do quick ladder drills, cosmic yoga, or a hand and foot game she printed off the internet. The family holds recess after lunch and plays together outside in the evenings. “We are just trying to get through this the best that we can for ourselves and our families and it’s going to look different for everyone,” Hammond said. As of this writing, families did not know how long schools would be closed. Most are optimistic that they will get better at this new normal with more time. They are also enjoying the slower pace of their lives. Wessman, who lives in Herriman, is enjoying the break from driving her children to and from their schools in Riverton and South Jordan and to their extracurricular activities. “I’ve enjoyed having my kids around, and I really love having our evenings open,” she said. l

West Jordan City Journal



APRIL 2020

Paid for by the City of West Jordan M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E In March, the World Health Organization officially declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. Even before that announcement, the City of West Jordan was working with Salt Lake County, the State of Utah, and the Federal Government surrounding a response to what would happen next. As I write this, the city has followed Governor Herbert’s preemptive guidelines and canceled upcoming events including: West Jordan’s spring cleanup day, A Walk in the Park and the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The city is taking every step necessary to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. West Jordan has a full-time Risk Manager who is certified in preparing the city on how to respond in situations such as this pandemic and other natural and manmade disasters including fires, earthquakes and floods. The Risk Manager and other city staff are prepared to report to the emergency operation center, a multi-purpose space also used by the fire department for training. I’ve seen and heard several residents worry about the status of our tap water during this pandemic. Be assured that your water lines are connected to a technical system which is built to keep your water safe. Your water will NOT be affected. During this rapidly growing situation, keep these three things in mind: • Always wash your hands. • Avoid touching your face. • Do not visit an event if you, or someone in your household, is feeling sick. The city will continue to work with all public entities to ensure our residents remain safe. Now, I ask of you to please help our elderly and immune-deficient neighbor. Whether it be a run to the grocery store or just picking up their mail. We can all work together to keep our communities healthy. Many of the preventive measures have created economic issues for a lot of small businesses. Now is a good time to look to the sales and services our local businesses may provide for us. As we work together, serve each other, the better we will get through this. This change is affecting every one of us. Let’s take the good we learn from this to use for improve our lives going forward. Sincerely,

Mayor Dirk Burton

Construction Notice 7800 S. 4000 W. Construction has started again on the 7800 South project in West Jordan. Delays and closures are in effect. Crews are adding an additional lane to the west side of 4000 west and Jordan Landing Boulevard at the intersection of 7800 south. The existing asphalt in that intersection will be removed and replaced. New traffic signal poles will be installed, and a final lift of asphalt will be laid at 4000 west and Airport Road. Final striping and medians will be placed along the road. Crews advise drivers to use an alternate route. Work is expected to be complete in the summer of 2020.

E-Waste Recycling & Document Shredding Did you know that the City of West Jordan holds quarterly e-waste recycling and document shredding events? The next one is May 2 from 10 a.m.-noon in the City Hall parking lot, 8000 S. Redwood Road. West Jordan residents can bring up to two “bankers boxes” of paper for shredding and residential electronic waste each quarter. Documents will be shredded onsite. Hard drives can also be shredded if they have been removed from the computer. Unfortunately, televisions, CRT monitors, cracked LCDs and printers are not accepted. (Trans-Jordan Landfill allows some of those items to be deposited by our residents. Please contact Trans-Jordan at 801-569-8994 for more information.) Bring proof of residency or city employment (driver’s license, utility bill or city ID badge). For more information, contact 801-569-8994.



Coronavirus – What you need to know and how the City of West Jordan is preparing The City of West Jordan is actively working with County, State, and Federal authorities on coordinating efforts surrounding a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Residents have reached out wondering what they can do to keep their family and community healthy. To start, do not panic. The best thing to do is to stop the spread of germs using every day preventative actions.

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS? • A respiratory disease that was first detected in China. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”)

WHAT ARE EVERY DAY PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS? Personal health habits that people should use ALL the time, including to help protect against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. They include: • Covering coughs and sneezes • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects • Staying home when sick • Staying home if exposed to a sick household member • Washing hands and using hand sanitizer. • Here is a helpful infographic: bit.ly/cdcstopgerms Simply wiping down your desk at work and your counters at home can protect against coronavirus. The CDC has a list of EPA-approved products to stop the spread including: • Purell Multi-Surface Sanitizer • Clorox 4 In One Disinfecting Spray • LYSOL Disinfectant Spray These products are expected to be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. You can find a full comprehensive list of products here: bit.ly/epaproducts Be sure to always follow directions on product labels.

WHO IS MORE AT RISK FOR SERIOUS ILLNESS FROM COVID-19? The CDC says older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease and/or have recently traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, or Italy are at higher risk of getting very sick from the illness. If you fall into this category, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick. Health experts are asking that you: • Have supplies on hand (extra necessary medications) • Avoid contact with people who are sick • Take every day preventative actions (washing hands, avoid touching face, clean and disinfect your home, avoid crowds) • Find more information here: bit.ly/cdcatrisk

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? People have reported illnesses ranging from mild symptoms to severe. The following symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure: • Fever • Cough • Shortness of breath • When to call a doctor: bit.ly/whentocalladoc

WHY DO I SEE SOME PEOPLE WEARING FACEMASKS? DO THEY HELP, AND SHOULD I BE WEARING ONE TO PROTECT MYSELF? Facemasks provide a physical barrier that can prevent person-to-person flu virus transmission in several different ways. You should only wear a facemask if you are sick,

the CDC reports it can prevent infecting others by minimizing the number of droplets which are propelled into the air when an ill person coughs or sneezes. I’ve noticed some stores are out of bottled water. Should I be concerned about West Jordan’s drinking water? The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) wants residents to know that the public water supply is safe. In the case of quarantine or outbreak related to the coronavirus, public drinking water systems are designed to continuously deliver safe drinking water to your tap. “Drinking water treatment and disinfection has effectively protected Utah’s population for many decades. These protections will safeguard residents against drinking-water-borne viral infections—including coronavirus,” said Marie Owens, Director of DEQ’s Division of Drinking Water. “There is no need for residents to stock up on surplus bottled water in preparation for a potential outbreak of Coronavirus.” The Coronavirus Disease is an evolving situation. Get up-to-date information from the CDC at cdc.gov



Social Security Scam Alert

Green Waste Collection Begins April 1

Another scam is making the rounds targeting innocent Utahns. If you’ve recently received a phone call from the “Social Security Administration” asking you to verify your Social Security Number, do NOT give them information. Hang up, call police because It’s a scam. If something seems fishy, go with your gut, it’s probably a scam. The Federal Trade Commission adds: • Your Social Security Number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. • SSA will NEVER call to threaten your benefits or as you to wire money, send cash, or purchase gift cards. • The real SSA phone number is 800-772-1213, remember, scammers are putting that number in their caller ID. If you are worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 800-772-1213 to speak to the REAL SSA. • NEVER give any part of your social security number, bank account information, or credit card number to anyone who contacts you. • If you wish to report a Social Security scam, visit www.ic3.gov.

West Jordan’s green waste collection program begins the first week of April on your regular collection day and runs through November. Place only yard clippings in the green waste can. The program is run in partnership with Trans-Jordan Landfill. The green waste is turned into compost that is then sold to the public. The compost is made from yard clippings like grass, leaves, ground wood and organic material. (There is no dirt, manure or bio solids in the compost.) The mixture is then composted for several months until it is matured and ready for sale. The landfill also sells a variety of screened woodchips perfect for landscaping and curb appeal. “Both our compost and woodchips are available for residential purchase at affordable rates,” said Jill Fletcher, Trans-Jordan’s Public Education Coordinator. “The green-waste-to-compost program diverts usable material away from the landfill, while providing a local resourced product back to the residents of West Jordan.”

West Jordan’s K9 Handlers Officer Brett McMullin has worked for the City of West Jordan for six years, before that he worked as an animal control officer. “I’ve actually wanted to be K9 handler my whole life,” said Officer McMullin. “I always wanted to be a police officer and I’ve always liked dogs, so I figured what better way than to do both things at the same time?” In his six years at the station, Officer McMullin has handled two different dogs, both in age and personality. Hank was seven years old when he retired, and Trigger is a threeyear-old Belgian Malinois who is eager to learn. “He’s a lot of fun, he has a lot of energy, and just like any other dog Trigger loves jumping and loves playing,” said Officer McMullin. K9 officers have to go through hours of intense training before becoming certified and getting a chance to work out in the field. After basic training, which mostly consists of teaching the dogs to be obedient, these animals have to go through nearly 1,000 more hours of work. “Here in West Jordan, we have four K9 handlers and five dogs. Trigger is a dual-purpose dog which means he does what we call patrol work, where he tracks down bad guys, but he also does narcotic work, so he’s certified in finding drugs as well,” said Officer McMullin. For these K9 officers, their work is everything. They know when it’s time to be serious and time to be obedient. But much like humans, they also like to let loose and enjoy some time with family, too. “He’s actually a really friendly dog, unless it’s time to be serious. At home Trigger plays fetch with my kids, steals their toys and chases them around the yard,” Officer McMullin laughed. Trigger’s handler says he even gets along with two other dogs at home. In the eye of the public, Trigger does look like any other dog. But unlike those other dogs he has a job to do to keep our community safe. “At the end of the day, these dogs are our family. They go home with us, play with our kids, they’re basically just another kid to us. It’s a great part of the job.” Said Officer McMullin. If you’re interested in becoming a West Jordan Police Officer visit: selfservice.wjordan.com/MSS/employmentopportunities/default.aspx

KEEP IT CLEAN • DO NOT bag any items. • Please DO NOT put dirt, sod, cardboard, garbage, debris, concrete, rocks or plastic bags in the container. • All materials should fall freely from the container when dumped. • Please do not overload. Lid of the container must close completely and branches should not stick out of the container. • Place container curbside by 6:30 a.m. on your scheduled collection day during green waste season. For more information, visit WestJordan.Utah.gov/garbageandrecycling or email publicworks@wjordan.com.



West Jordan Animal Shelter Always in Need of Donations

DO YOU KNOW? The City of West Jordan Recorder’s Office can notarize documents for you! As long as you have a valid photo ID they can notarize any legal document. Give them a call at 801-569-5115. Open 8 AM - 5 PM Monday through Friday.

The West Jordan Animal Shelter cares for several animals at a time, whether they be runaways, newborn dogs and cats, or animals who have been dropped off when owners couldn’t care for them any longer. Because of the numbers of animals they have in their custody, they’re always in need of donations from the community. Here’s a list of some much-needed items: • Soft dog treats • “Shreds” Friskies cat food (not pate) • Scratching posts for cats • Dry cat food • Dog leashes and collars • Cat collars • Small animal bedding • Small animal treats and chews (bunny, guinea pig, ferret) • Bunny food • Feliway plugins • Cones (E- collars) all sizes • Paper towels • Plastic storage bins • Glade plugin refills • Lint rollers • Rawhide free dog chews The West Jordan Animal Shelter is located at 5982 New Bingham Highway, West Jordan, UT 84081. You can give them a call at: 801-2823951.

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

Join the conversation! West Jordan – City Hall

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



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Five apps and online games to keep your mind sharp during quarantine By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


ith public schools closed and many parents working from home for the foreseeable future, many Utah families have a lot more free time on their hands than usual. Parents will probably be hearing a lot of, “What can I do?” from their kids. To help answer that question, we compiled a list of a few apps and online games that are addictively fun, but won’t rot your brain.


that challenges one’s geographic knowledge and investigative skills. It utilizes Google Maps’ Street View feature, as it places you in a random location somewhere in the world. Though it doesn’t tell you where it is. Your job is to move up and down the streets of your mystery location, gathering clues to help locate yourself, anything from license plates and flags to street names and the lan-

guage on signs. Once you have a rough idea of where you might be, you drop a pin on a map and make your guess, then earn points based on how close you are. There are also different modes so you can limit it to just the United States or major metropolitan areas to make it easier. You can play the game at www.geoguessr.com.


Lightbot is an app for Apple and Android devices that teaches basic coding concepts like commands and loops. It starts off easily enough that elementary-aged students can handle it, but progresses in difficulty to the point where high school students can find a daunting challenge.

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Little Alchemy is a game that tests users’ creative thinking skills as they combine “elements” like air, earth, fire and water to create new ones. Combining fire and water, for example, creates steam. Combine that steam with the earth element to get a geyser. It’s an open-ended test of ingenuity as you create buildings, weather and even life itself. You can find the game on the Apple and Google Play Store, as well as a browser version at www.littlealchemy.com.


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Afraid your kid will rot their brain with too much screen time during self-isolation? Here are a few games that will actually keep their minds sharp. (Photo via pxfuel.com)

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If you like trivia games but apps like Trivia Crack drive you crazy with how many ads you have to click through just to play, then you should definitely check out Sporcle. It’s a website (www.sporcle.com) with tens of thousands of trivia quizzes on every subject from pop culture and history to sports and geography. There’s even plenty of quizzes for the kids too, like trying to name every one of the 151 original Pokémon, or trying to name the Disney movie based on visual clues. Double the fun by going head to head with a family member by doing the same quiz at the same time.

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Have you ever found yourself clicking through a seemingly endless spiral of Wikipedia articles at two in the morning and wound up on an article about something completely random, and then think to yourself, “How did I get here?” Well, this app turns that process into a competition. It gives you a random Wikipedia entry to start with, as well as a target entry. Your job is to click through the links of Wikipedia to try to reach the target. It’s a good practice in relational thinking and (depending on how fast you’re trying to go) you might also pick up some trivia knowledge along the way. You can either play solo, against your friends and family locally or solo, if you want to take your time. l

West Jordan City Journal

West Jordan airport bill ‘dead’

Free Class for 1 person

By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


ast month, City Journals reported on a Utah House Bill proposed in 2020’s legislative session. House Bill 310 would have allowed the transfer of the South Valley Regional Airport (or Airport 2) from Salt Lake City to West Jordan City at a low, or even zero cost. “It’s dead. West Jordan chose to oppose the bill allowing them to explore options,” Kim Coleman, District 42 representative, said. The bill was sent to committee for language revision but then ultimately failed without West Jordan and Salt Lake City’s support “West Jordan city officials entered into an agreement with Salt Lake City that limited our (West Jordan) city’s future options, and it

remains unclear why,” Coleman said. Creighton King, business and aircraft owner, has used the South Valley Regional airport as his base for 35 years. He is frustrated that the airport has been neglected and left without a future to grow. “West Jordan City needs to look at all of the great aviation based business, jobs and growth that can happen, because I know that two companies right now would be willing to build manufacturing there, build jobs there,” King said. “Unfortunately, Salt Lake City has a very restrictive land leasing policy that makes it nearly impossible for any smart businessman or woman to invest in the airport because the land lease restrictions are preposterous,” King said. l

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WestJordanJournal .com

April 2020 | Page 17

The benefits of poetry in a time of uncertainty


By Katy Whittingham | k.whittingham@mycityjournals.com

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Books in the “Poetry for Young People” series.


t’s never too early to introduce children to poetry and to celebrate National Poetry month this April. There are many resources available to help children reap the benefits of reading and writing poetry, including building community and advancing literacy, while still having tremendous fun while you’re at it. Former Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Whatola Trommer, a poet, teacher, storyteller and creative consultant for her site “Word Woman,” talked about the outcomes, creative exercises, resources, and poems to help promote a child’s interest and investment in poetry even during a time of social distancing and school closures. With many parents and caregivers now in the uncertain position of developing and supplementing school curriculum at home for a temporary time, Whatola Trommer explained that poetry can be an enjoyable way to learn and connect and, “perhaps best of all, poetry will be a way to foster creative discussions about what is happening in the world right now.” Whatola Trommer also wants to reassure educators and parents that despite suggestions, there is no wrong way to go about it. “There is not a right way to read a poem. There are many right ways to read a poem. I would suggest that parents and kids read poems and begin a discussion by talking about what stood out about it, what phrase or word or image. And in this way, the poetry can open up larger discussions about feeling and ideas related to the poem.” Instead of poetry workshops, Whatola Trommer leads what she calls “playshops” because they are too enjoyable to include the word “work.” She breaks down some of the benefits of exposing children to poetry as follows: “One, poetry is fun. Two, poetry is highly useful for literacy in young children (especially rhyming poems). Three, poetry can be acted out. Four, poetry can be used to supplement

other classes and open up other subjects – poems about math, nature, other languages, other cultures. Five, poetry helps children access and talk about feelings. Six, poetry is fun to say aloud. Seven, poetry is fun to write.” At an early age Whatola Trommer fell in love with children’s poet Shel Silverstein and still appreciates his poems today as they are “supremely playful, but also have dark underbellies.” She sees the value of also introducing children to some adult poets. For example, she said, “Most kids will find joy in Blake’s ‘The Tyger,’ in Dickinson’s ‘Hope,’ and in Shihab Nye’s ‘Kindness.’” She credits E.E. Cummings’ poems for first instilling in her that poetry can be both playful and still tackle difficult subjects. Whatola Trommer has continued in this vein herself by writing such poems including her recent poem about the pandemic, “Staying Home,” which she said would be accessible for kids. The poem recognizes fears that children, and all of us, might have right now, but ends with the following lines of comfort: “They remind you who you are /invite you to look out the window/and see how beautiful the world/ when the shadows are long.” This poem and many others, including other poems about the pandemic, are available on her blog www.ahundredfallingveils.com, where Whatola Trommer continues to write poetry daily. While she can’t promise all poems will be as accessible for children, she said some will. For more of Whatola Trommer’s poems, playshop information, prompts and other resources including creative exercises visit her website wordwoman.com. National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and includes participation opportunities for young people including the “Dear Poet” project. For more information visit poets.org. l

West Jordan City Journal

Female senators protest abortion laws By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com


uring Utah’s 2020 legislative session, H.B. 364 two controversial bills concerning House Bill 364 (HB364) would imabortion laws in the state were introduced, plement additional necessary requirements amended, voted on and sparked protest. in order for an abortion to occur. In Utah, a S.B. 174 woman must give informed consent in order Senate Bill 174 (SB174) would restrict to receive an abortion. This bill would rewomen from getting abortions, with limited quire informed consent to include: viewing exceptions. Primarily this bill would “pro- live fetal images of the unborn child, listenhibit an abortion at any stage of a pregnant ing to a description of those fetal images, and woman’s pregnancy, except under certain listening to an audible heartbeat of the fetus, circumstances.” Those certain circumstances if possible. In addition, the woman must wait when an abortion would be allowed would 72 hours after to give informed consent. be when childbirth would result in death or a Abortion Revision was sponsored by “substantial and irreversible impairment of a Rep. Steve R. Christiansen and Sen. Curtis major bodily function;” when two physicians S. Bramble. agree that the fetus has an abnormality that During the bill’s introduction Chriswould be lethal; or the “woman is pregnant tiansen explained that “a doctor who fails to as a result of rape or incest.” give an ultrasound would face a fine up to In addition, this bill would enact penal- $100,000 on the first instance, and $250,000 ties for physicians who perform abortions. If on later instances,” reported Imlay. the abortion did not meet any of the above Action criteria, the person who performed the aborOn March 10, when HB364 was introtion “is guilty of a second-degree felony.” duced to the senate floor, all six female senaAbortion Prohibition Amendments was tors (Deidre Henderson, Republican-District sponsored by Sen. Daniel McCay and Rep. 7; Jani Iwamoto, Democrat-District 4; Karen Karianne Lisonbee. Mayne, Democrat-District 5; Ann Millner, During the bill’s hearing, “McCay clar- Republican-District 18; Kathleen Riebe, ified that if a woman performed an abortion Democrat- District 8; and Luz Escamilla, on herself, she could face felony charges,” Democrat-District 1) stepped off the floor reported Ashley Imlay from Deseret News. in protest, before the vote was taken. Seven

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Sen. Ann Millner, Sen. Karen Mayne, Sen.Jani Iwamoto, Sen. Luz Escamilla, Sen. Diedre Henderson and Sen. Kathleen Riebe made national news this legislative session as they protested bills concerning abortion on the senate floor. (Photo courtesy of Utah State Democrats)

days later, the bill died on the floor without a final vote. SB174 was recommended favorable and moved to the floor with a 10-3 vote. SB174 was passed by the Senate on March 2. It was

then passed and signed by the House of Representatives on March 12. On March 16, the final draft of the enrolled bill was prepared. l

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WestJordanJournal .com

April 2020 | Page 19

Staying Safe and Healthy in Salt Lake County

Aimee Winder Newton Salt Lake County Council | District 3

At the time I submitted this article, we were all at home, trying to steer clear of other humans to avoid COVID-19. Who knows what the next two weeks will bring as our state, nation and world deal with this crazy virus? And to make matters even more interesting… we had an earthquake. I spent some time at our Salt Lake County Emergency Operations Center. Rest assured we have professionals helping us navigate these difficult situations. Our county health director has been involved in every detail related to COVID-19. Our public safety and public works personnel oversaw issues related to the earthquake. We have others who are monitoring public safety and health 24/7 and keeping policy-makers and other decision-makers informed. These people are watching out for you. It’s times like these that I think

about how lucky we are to have strong communities that band together and help each other during times of need. It’s touching to see neighbors reaching out to each other to make sure they are okay. I love hearing stories of how families are trying to still support local businesses during these difficult times. There is a lot of uncertainty right now. This text from my neighbor was poignant, and I share this with his permission so we can all better understand some of the additional burdens small business owners may be carrying. Others may have these same fears as they wonder if they will be getting a paycheck, or if their job will exist: “Of course we all want to be civil minded and help keep the virus from spreading, but at what economic cost? We all have families to feed. My business is responsible for the income of six families. If I go

Tough Times: How To Skip 2 Mortgage Payments

With these uncertain times and all-time low interest rates, now is one if the best times in history to refinance your home. In most cases, you can miss up to 2 month’s mortgage payments & receive up to $2,000 in cash. Currently, the federal government is incentivizing homeowners with low interest rates to help boost the economy. Lenders are being overloaded with refinance requests, so now is the time to look and see if this would benefit you and your family. Rates will not be this low for very long as the panic and pandemic subsides in the world. Please see the excerpt from Experian.com in the article below.

under, a lot of people will become welfare burdens on the state. I believe It is very shortsighted for the government to mandate so much of small businesses without giving any definitive help. They want to force us to give employees paid time off. That mandate alone will bankrupt me. Promises of small business loans and a website address aren’t going to cut it.” I get it. It’s frustrating when we have no timelines and not a lot of great answers. The great thing about Utah, though, is we know how to do hard things and this will not last forever - aftershocks will stop, immunity will develop, supply chains and economies will adapt, and markets will recover. Jobs will once again be plentiful and businesses will boom. We can do this! In the meantime, hug your families (or maybe elbow-bump), keep an eye out for your neighbors, and stay healthy.

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• Change in interest rate structure: Borrowers can choose a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). While an ARM can save you money upfront with a lower fixed interest rate for a set period, it becomes variable once that period ends. If you notice that interest rates are rising and want to lock in a low fixed interest rate to avoid taking on too much risk, refinancing can allow you to do that.

• Equity cash-out: If you need cash fast and want to avoid high-cost loans, doing a cash-out refinance will give you access to some of the equity in your home at the cost of the new mortgage loan.

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Page 20 | April 2020



The better way home.

West Jordan City Journal

High school sports events on hiatus during COVID-19 pandemic By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


ocal high school and youth sports programs are on hold as the country braces itself against COVID-19 concerns. “We are currently following the direction from the Granite School District,” Hunter High School’s athletic director Pam Olson said. The Utah High School Activities Association released a statement dated March 13 stating all activities, athletics, practices and team gatherings be suspended beginning March 16. This directive is set to last approximately two weeks. More information can be accessed on the website www.uhsaa.com. “It has been a little bit crazy,” Taylorsville High School athletic director Guy Mackay said. “Most of the kids are disappointed. They want to compete, that is one of the reasons they put in all of the hard work. It will definitely be more difficult to keep up the enthusiasm of the teams if they are unable to play.” At press deadline all UHSAA events had been postponed. The NCAA has cancelled its spring sports including March Madness. The Utah Grizzlies also announced the remainder of their season has been cancelled. Trying to keep things as normal as possi-

ble could be difficult. “We don’t want to cause a panic. We haven’t taken too many precautions other than cleaning equipment and encouraging good hygiene. We are trying to be understanding when kids don’t feel good too,” Mackay said. Kearns High School initiated a no handshake or high five policy before events were cancelled. “Our kids are understandably disappointed,” Kearns athletic director Davis Ballard said. “But they understand why it is happening.” The UHSAA board of directors is in constant contact with Utah public health officials. They pledge to reevaluate in two weeks and notify their member schools. “We encourage schools to follow best practices from the Utah Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control, along with the best practices of school districts and charter boards,” UHSAA Assistant Director Jeff Cluff said. Spring sports schedules and makeup arrangements will be made following the approval to proceed by state government officials. l

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April 2020 | Page 21

Easy Recipe Ideas from the Pantry By Cathy Taylor


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I was once asked to write down some easy recipes for the husband of a woman who is a quadriplegic. He wanted dinner ideas that were quick and inexpensive, and easy enough for someone with little cooking experience.  After some thought, I decided that instead of writing down each individual recipe, I could share a list of pantry items that, if he kept on hand, could provide him with a variety of meal ideas.  This list has since been shared with newly-weds, college students, and wonderfully enough, my own teenagers who are taking on more cooking responsibilities.  

ies, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, rice, or corn.

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3- Pasta

Pastas like rigatoni, macaroni, fettucine, linguini, cheese stuffed tortellini, and penne are great to break up the monotony of regular old spaghetti noodles.   And the toppings for pasta can be just as varied: marinara, Alfredo, meat sauce, sautéed vegetables, butter and seasonings, parmesan, salad dressings, olive and other flavored oils, or vinaigrettes. While these probably aren’t considered a pantry item, I love to include them because they are so versatile, and pair well with most anything.  They can be fried with onion, grated into hash browns, boiled and mashed, used in soup, roasted with olive oil and a variety of seasonings, baked and topped with veggies, chili, cheese, cream soups, salsa, sour cream, etc.  You can even bake them the night before and keep them in the fridge for later use.

5 – Bottled sauces, dressings and marinades

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A Woman’s Place


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As the mother of four daughters, and grandma to several granddaughters, I’m frequently asked (okay, twice) what advice I’d give to young women. Women are stronger than ever before, yet many men try to drag us back to the Victorian Era. Men keep gettin’ up in our bizness, drafting regulations about our bodies, creating rules about everything from prom wear to breastfeeding, and making sure we’re slutshamed if we behave out-of-line. We’re called hysterical. We’re labeled as trouble-makers. We’re branded as unreasonable. We’re given a warm glass of milk, a pat on the head and sent to the kids’ table. Men have had thousands of years to run the world – and I’m not impressed. Maybe it’s time they step aside and let women do the heavy lifting. (Which we can totally do.) Here’s what young women (of every age) should know:

Own your voice.

Don’t waste time explaining yourself and don’t apologize for being a smart, confident, breath of fresh air. Shout your brilliance from the rooftops and ignore those grumpy old men who slam their windows to block out the noise.

Live an authentic life.


Travel. Get educated. Eat what you want. Drink what you want. Wear what you want. If a man’s morals are compromised because he caught a glimpse of your shoulders (or ankles, or earlobes) – not your problem. Instead of adding layers to our wardrobes,


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how about men get their minds out of the damn gutter?

Raise your standards.

Life’s too short to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate your greatness. If your partner is fighting with you instead of for you, time to show them the door.

Think big.

When you’re being pushed aside, refuse to budge. There are generations of women who fought for your right to stand tall, raise your voice and share your truth. They’re cheering you on. You can feel their energy, right?

Embrace your goddess self.

Remember that amazing idea you had? Remember how you set it aside because you thought you had to be something else? Dust that idea off. Shower it with love and attention. Don’t be afraid of big ideas. The world needs your creativity.

Plant yourself at the table.

We’re tired of being dismissed. We’re sick to death of being talked down to (mansplaining, anyone?). We’re capable, functioning adults and we have something to say. Ladies, don’t back away when you’re described as “shrill” or “harsh” or “bitchy” or any other words men use to slap us down.

Give yourself permission to be human.

We’re not robots who smile 24/7, tidy up after meetings and schedule luncheons. Don’t feel self-conscious if your expression isn’t “happy” enough. Look serious. Who cares? Men certainly aren’t smiling, cheerful androids.

Stand your ground.

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April 2020 | Vol. 20 Iss. 04


FROM SECOND COUSINS TO ‘LIVER SISTERS’ By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


ntil last November, Drea Richardson of West Jordan had never even donated so much as a vial of blood. Richardson, a veterinarian and mother of three, is “petite” and doesn’t weigh enough. But when a cousin posted on Facebook that her young daughter, 1-year-old Destiny, would need a liver transplant, Richardson felt she had to act. “I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t at least try [to be Destiny’s donor],” she said. Destiny was born with a metabolic disorder, diagnosed at four days old. And while doctors knew from the beginning that Destiny would need a liver transplant, it was too risky to perform the surgery on such a young infant. They knew the chances of success would be much greater if they waited until after her first birthday. The Facebook post wasn’t meant to solicit organ donors. But when Richardson saw it, she began a process of “soul searching and prayer” to know if she should try to be the donor. She knew her blood type—O+—made her a good candidate. So, she began the application. First, she filled out a questionnaire. When that was approved, she had bloodwork done. Next came the MRI, CT scan, EKG and more bloodwork. In addition to genetic testing (to make sure she didn’t have the same genetic markers of Destiny’s condition), doctors also needed physical imaging of her liver to make sure it was a good anatomical fit. Finally, a few months after initially seeing the Facebook post, she received word from the transplant team that she was a match.

Drea Richardson with 1-year-old Destiny, recipient of her liver donation. (Photo courtesy Drea Richardson)

The team asked her if she wanted to call and tell her cousin the good news, or if she wanted the doctors to call. “I was like, ‘Um, I’m going to call,’” Richardson said with a laugh. Just before Thanksgiving, Richardson underwent surgery to have one-fifth of her liver removed, a process she describes

as “really, honestly, an easy thing to do.” Drea and Destiny both had their own transplant teams, so there would be no conflicts of interest. If at any time Richardson decided she wanted to pull out, she could tell her team, and they would report that she had been barred from donation for medical reasons. Continued page 05


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West Jordan City Journal | April 2020  

West Jordan City Journal | April 2020  

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