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May 2020 | Vol. 20 Iss. 05

FREE HOW WEST JORDAN IS HANDLING THE COVID-19 CRISIS By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


est Jordan playgrounds are devoid of children. City employees now work from home, leaving City Hall a ghost

town. Businesses have shuttered. Many residents are unemployed. Twenty-eight city employees lost their jobs. When Utah leaders announced a soft closure in March, West Jordan officials followed. Since then, council discussions centered on the virus crisis: how it’s changed the city and how to move forward. Public meetings are still aired on YouTube and Facebook, though every participant is in his or her own office or home to maintain proper social distancing. “I appreciate the opportunity we have to meet, even if it is virtually,” Mayor Dirk Burton said. “Under the circumstances, it is more important than ever for us to band together and move forward with the work we have.” When many businesses closed their doors after the stayat-home directive, many lost customers. As a result, sales tax revenue for the city plummeted. “Sales revenue expected loss is 15% from what was expected,” Finance Director Danyce Steck said. The loss demands adjusting the city budget. Budget discussions will take place in May and June to adjust it for the current fiscal year (July 2019 to June 2020) and the coming year (July 2020 to June 2021. The City Council is considering many reduction paths to bring down operating costs. “The first thing we tackled was no wage increases,” Steck said. “The second step was that reduction in force. [We] changed from an operating lease to a lease-to-buy program and to keep those vehicles not just three years but five years.

West Jordan City Council meetings are held remotely, with everyone tuning in from their own home or office. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

We found some service levels we could reduce like park main- serve funds over the next two years. At the end of June 2021, tenance or scale back on things like events. there would only be $5.7 million left in reserve. Reserve funds may be used to make up the rest of the Every city in the state is required to have at least 5% of its loss, which may require a total $6 million from the city’s re- operating revenue stored for emergencies, though leaders are Continued page 5


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May 2020 | Page 3

West Jordan’s own Kanye By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com

West Jordan musician Alfonso Belloso takes inspiration from all kinds of genres to make what he describes as “hip-hop for hipsters.” (Photo courtesy Alfonso Belloso)


lfonso Belloso of West Jordan guesses he was one of the first to hear about Kanye West’s surprise visit to Utah last year. West’s “Sunday Service,” held Oct. 5 at the Gateway, was reportedly unknown by the public, police force and the Gateway Mall officials until the last minute. Belloso heard about it from a friend the day before it happened and was upset when he realized he was scheduled to work the day of West’s visit. So, naturally, he quit his job. Belloso wanted to welcome West with a banner he made himself. He hung his banner, which bore the single word “Kanye” on the Bangerter Highway overpass above 7000 South covering the words “City of.” The words on the overpass now read “Kanye West Jordan.” Was it worth it to quit his job? “It was a rush,” the 26-year-old Belloso says with a smile. “I had an awakening that the world can be my playground. It’s just waiting for me to


play with it and do weird stuff. I didn’t hurt anyone, and it was up for a few hours, and then the wind blew it over.” This is the attitude that guides his own career as a musician. Belloso is more than a megafan who would quit his job for the chance to see West; he’s a prolific music producer himself. His most recent release, streaming on Spotify, Google Play and Bandcamp, takes its title from his freeway sign. A photo taken of his sign serves as the cover to his album. Belloso describes his music as “hip-hop for hipsters.” He lived for some time in Los Angeles but mostly grew up in West Jordan. He credits his suburban hometown with influencing the more laid-back sound of his records. “It’s not as gritty, because I grew up in West Jordan,” he said. He added that it lacks the urban “narrative” found in similar music. Of being a hip-hop artist in West Jordan, he says, “It just made me feel like anything I did had a little bit of flavor on it, as opposed to what was already happening around here. I’m sort of like an outsider. I’ve always felt like a big fish in a little pond.” Belloso grew up with a DJ for a father, who instilled in him a passion for music. He credits his early interest in emo bands like My Chemical Romance and Hawthorne Heights for helping him nurture that passion. Some of his early musical projects echoed the emo sound, though you’d be hard-pressed to hear their influence in the sound of his newer albums. His beat-making is part of what gives him an affinity for West. “I always felt like I was the only one making beats in West Jordan,” Belloso said. He calls himself “the Kanye to my friends. Whatever [Kanye] does, I’m that version, for Utah.” The vocals on the first track on “Kanye

West Jordan” begin with a bold claim: “I am the best living recording artist.” It comes from a rant Kanye posted on YouTube in 2018, which Belloso set to music. He’s surprised that some listeners think that’s his voice on the track. While playing guitar in his rented practice space downtown recently, Belloso had an experience that changed the way he thought about music. He noticed somebody he didn’t know was imitating what he was doing in the next room. He started to get irritated and expressed his irritation to his friend. “And my friend was like, ‘No, he was just inspired by what you were doing,’” Belloso recounted. “It just gave me the sense that I have no ownership over any music. It’s give and take.” As for the legality of this give and take? Belloso’s music is largely sample based, meaning he takes clips and sounds created by others and mashes them into an original creation. He describes the process as scrapbooking or collaging, “but with sounds.” Legally, Belloso said, “I can do it as long as I’m not making any real money off of it. Once people start to notice, then I have a problem.” Until then, his plan is to release as much music as possible. “They can sue me or give me fines all they want, but the music is already out there,” he said. Because his music is streaming on various platforms, he does make a little bit of money. But the total so far, he said, is just enough “to get me dinner for, like, a month.” Though he’s young, everything about his approach is very old-school. “I just try to get as much equipment as I can from thrift stores, hand-me downs— whatever I can get my hands on,” he said. He opts for hardware, like cassette tapes, instead of computers. And he’s never wanted to promote his music on social media. Instead, he hopes he will be a “word-of-mouth” artist.




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 brad.c@thecityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. 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. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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In his daily life, Belloso opts for a flip phone rather than a smartphone. “I highly recommend it,” he said. “I’m really unplugged. This has helped me focus more. That’s how much I want to achieve something.” He sees more musical experimentation in his future. Though he hasn’t sung much on his tracks in the past, he said people seem to like it when he does, and he likes performing vocally. He hopes to “move away from the just-production stuff and write more pop songs.” Though he has lofty goals for his music, he doesn’t let it get in the way of things he sees as more important. “I’m all about people and being a kind person,” he said. “I feel like for a minute there in my career I was really dead-set on being famous, but it felt so superficial for me after a while. Relationships that I had built were becoming easily pushed away.” But overall, he said, “I’m a person that just wants to connect with people. I think my main goal in life is just to be kind to myself and hope I make some good music by doing that.” l

This photo of Alfonso Belloso’s homemade banner, which he hung to welcome Kanye West to Utah last October, became the cover of Belloso’s latest album. (Photo courtesy Alfonso Belloso)

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Continued from front page warned against having any more than 25%. West Jordan has remained near 18% for the past several years. Councilmember Kelvin Green is concerned about the use of reserve funds year after year. Because there is no guarantee that the city’s economy will recover in the near future, he is concerned that using millions from the funds year after year is an unwise trend to set. “Getting close to $2.2 million in reserves scares me [if we use another $3 million after 2021],” Green said. “That’s not even enough to fix a water main if we had an earthquake.” Chief Administrative Officer Korban Lee also warned that even though the city has reserve funds available, it is a one-time pocket to dip into. “This budget that we’re putting together is still not a balanced budget because we are proposing to take $3 million out of rainy-day funds,” Lee said. “We have really got to get our ongoing expenses in line with our ongoing revenues.”

were already picking up grab-and-go lunches.” At the beginning of the shut-down, there were predictions about the number of infections we would see in the state. Jared Smith, risk and emergency response manager, said, “We’re not seeing nearly as many deaths that came out on some of the models.” Smith also reassured that the immediate future seems manageable. “[The fire department] came up with a system, built some boxes with some UV lights in them that they’d use to disinfect masks,” Smith said. “They’re building six of these boxes that they can distribute to all the different fire stations and police departments and public works.” l



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While there is some darkness in the uncertainty, there are lights of kindness shining through. When the citywide Easter egg hunt was cancelled, 26,000 eggs went un-hunted. West Jordan City Hall published on Facebook that “D.A.R.E. and school resource officers handed out Easter eggs to students at some of West Jordan’s Title 1 schools, who

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May 2020 | Page 5

A season for the record books By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com

Bands, cheerleaders, fans and players won’t be cheering for high school sports this spring. The remaining season was cancelled because of the pandemic plaguing the world. (Photo courtesy of Greg James/City Journals)

Water polo, along with 42 sanctioned Utah high school sports teams, Kearns High School softball team played two games, winning one, bewill not be crowned champions this spring. (Photo courtesy of Greg fore its season was suspended and later cancelled. (Photo courtesy of James/City Journals) Will Sosi)


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t was a season that was and wasn’t all at the same time. On April 14, the Utah High School Activities Association released this statement; “In accordance with Gov. Gary Herbert and state superintendent Syd Dickson’s announcement that Utah schools will be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, the UHSAA has cancelled all remaining spring activities, including sports and state championships.” Spring sports teams were participating in their second full week of competition in March when a two-week suspension was announced, leaving hope the season would resume. But after nearly three weeks of no games or practices, UHSAA officials made their final decision. Before the suspension, some teams had made trips to warm climates such as St. George, Las Vegas and Arizona to get early season games. Others had only played one or two contests. “This pandemic has hit everyone in different ways, especially for us involved in spring sports,” Kearns head girls softball coach Will Sosi said. The Cougars played two games before the soft moratorium was enacted in March. They came away with one win over Davis and lost to Mountain Ridge. The UHSAA suspended spring sports March 16, a suspension that was extended to last at least until May 1. The ultimate postponement meant boys and girls lacrosse will not award their first official state championships until next season. It also cancelled base-

ball, boys soccer, softball, track and field, boys tennis and girls golf. “Our girls were starting to work together,” Sosi said. “I was excited to see that because team chemistry is so important. We had a video the night of the announcement. My seniors were all positive about the announcement, but I could tell they wanted to cry. They held back because they did not want me to see them cry.” The UHSAA board statement went on to say, “We recognize the overwhelming disappointment this decision is for students and athletes, especially seniors. The Board’s highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of the students, schools and communities at this challenging time.” Understandably, there has been backlash and disappointment. Several supporters have gone to social media to garner support of overturning the decision. “It is just discouraging,” a parent of a West Jordan baseball team member Teresa Athlerley said. “The boys work so hard to get to this point, and now it is for nothing.” Cyprus High School boys baseball coach Bob Fratto found out his retirement was official at the time of the announcement. He had planned on stepping down at the end of this season. He did not know it would come so soon. “What a horrible way for him to go into retirement,” said Shane Anderson, assistant coach for Cyprus High baseball. “He had 32 years of hard work and dedication, and it all ended on a tweet.

I also have a senior on the team, so this one hurts double. Wish there was a way they could have figured out how to play.” The Kearns softball team did its best to enjoy its time as a team despite the lack of games. The team mom, Sina Sosa, spotlighted every girl throughout the layoff. She assembled photos, interesting facts and family information about every team member including the coaches. She also organized Tik-tok videos from each of the players. “It was fun to watch them and even participate in one,” Sosi said. “We even had some of the shyest girls on the team participate. We had fun, that was something we could do even from a distance.” Other schools participated in team-building activities during the layoffs; others watched team film or concentrated on schoolwork. “My team’s overall reaction was disappointment and discouragement,” Hunter boys soccer coach Brett Solberg said. “We had been looking forward to this season since this group was freshmen. We (Hunter) were placed on a two-week quarantine (a student was diagnosed with the virus), and things changed so quickly. I have been really encouraging schoolwork and individual studies for the kids.” High school seniors will never have a chance to compete at this level again, but for underclassmen there will be next year. “It is about their safety,” Sosi said l

West Jordan City Journal

Sounds familiar: local reports on the 1918 influenza pandemic By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com

An Oct. 10 (circa 1918) Salt Lake Tribune article encouraged residents not to panic over Spanish flu, but to take the threat seriously. The Spanish flu proved more deadly to a larger segment of the population than COVID-19 will likely be, but before it fully arrived in Utah, residents were apparently uncertain about how dangerous it really was.


n Sept. 25, 1918, Salt Lake Valley residents were reading in the newspaper that despite all they’d heard about the new influenza epidemic, there had not yet been any cases reported in the area. By Oct. 10, the same papers were reporting that churches, schools, dance halls and “moving picture shows” had all been closed—mostly as a precaution. “There does not appear to be any great amount of alarm over the situation at present,” a Salt Lake Tribune article reported. Yet by the end of the epidemic, Utah would lose more than 3,500 people to the Spanish flu. In 1918, West Jordan was a rural community still more than 20 years away from being incorporated. Copper Hills and West Jordan High School didn’t exist. Neither did Jordan Valley Medical Center. Sports legend and mayor Marv Jenson had been born on a West Jordan farm just a year earlier. But the policies that altered everyday life for residents throughout the Salt Lake Valley would affect West Jordan residents as well. For those who feel overwhelmed by today’s news, be glad you weren’t around in 1918. The coverage of flu-related deaths and policies was rivaled only by the amount of coverage on the first World War that would end just as the first wave of the epidemic was finally on the wane in Utah. Still, reports from fall 1918 will have a ring of familiarity to the news junkie of spring 2020. Every day, papers reported on locals

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who had come down with, recovered from, or died, as a result of influenza. Perhaps most famous among those who succumbed in 1918 was then-president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph F. Smith, who passed away on Nov. 19 at the age of 80. But lists of the deceased included Utahns of all ages. Unlike today’s pandemic, which poses most danger to the elderly and immunocompromised, the Spanish flu frequently targeted healthy people between the ages of 20 and 40. Many reports announced deaths of soldiers who had fallen ill in training camps or overseas. A reporter for the now-defunct Bingham Bulletin correctly predicted on Nov. 15, 1918, “it is very likely when the figures are obtainable for the year 1918 it will be shown that the disease carried off more men than did the battle.” Like today, news reports also focused on the massive volunteer efforts underway. The Jordan Stake conducted a major linen drive in November, donating hundreds of articles to the Red Cross. The Red Cross also put out a call for “volunteer nurses” after exhausting all its regular employees. Face masks were also a hot topic of conversation. Instructions for mask wearing told people to sterilize their fabric face-coverings every few hours by boiling them. Bingham proudly proclaimed itself the “first town in the state to wear masks,” even though the flu hadn’t yet struck the mining town. Bingham’s health officer Henry Standish was kept busy “arresting” residents who “were caught out without masks.” When the flu did come to Bingham, half of the town’s doctors had left to help the war effort in Europe, leaving only three doctors to hold down the fort at home. Their hospitals overflowed, and sick family members were left at home. An editorial proclaimed their work “deserves praises equal to those who have faced the enemy on the firing line.” Eventually, life began to return to normal—though many had lost family members and friends. By November, the disease was said to have “peaked,” and by early 1919, residents rejoiced that churches, schools and businesses were reopening. But perhaps most eerily familiar is 1918’s answer to this question: “To panic or not to panic?” The Bingham Bulletin said about the flu, “there are many who are intensely afraid they will take it and many who say that they are not afraid at all and pay no attention. But being afraid or not afraid has nothing to do with its dangers…. The doctors are overworked, and nurses are unobtainable, and it is the duty of everyone to try to avoid contracting the disease.” For more detailed information, visit www.influenzaarchive.org. l

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Collectors still collect even during a pandemic By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com

To the families we serve, The Larkin Mortuaries and Cemeteries are proud and honored to be assisting families and friends with their loss for the past 135 years. Given the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for you to know that we as funeral directors are taking precautions to limit exposure to the coronavirus. As we have always done, we are still operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week making certain that those entrusted to our care and the families we serve are receiving uninterrupted service and attention. In the last days and weeks, the Larkin management have been in regular contact with numerous state and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, National Funeral Directors Association and the Salt Lake County Health Department. Our continuing goal is ensuring the health and safety of the public and that the information we receive is as current and accurate as possible. These are just some of the changes we are implementing: • We are sanitizing our facilities several times daily • We are asking staff to stay home when possible • We are encouraging arrangements by phone and email • We are limiting the gathering size of our arrangement conferences, services and gravesides to meet the state and federal mandates That said, people will still be passing away and families will want to say goodbye. We still have a myriad of options. Your funeral director will explain ways that you can memorialize your loved one in a meaningful way. If you are experiencing a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, we encourage you to not attend funeral services. Reach out to the Larkin location handling services and we will be willing to share your sympathies with the family of the deceased and they may also offer some other options to let the bereaved know that you support and care for them during this difficult time. Notes of sympathy may also be left on our website for the family to see. Every obituary on our website allows for online condolences. Sincerely, The Staff of Larkin Mortuaries and Cemeteries

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West Valley resident Lynda Elmers displays an uncut sheet of basketball cards. She has collected for nearly 20 years and claims to have more than 10,000 cards. (Photo courtesy of Lynda Elmer)


ollecting sports memorabilia can become a passion for young and old alike “When I was a kid, we collected cards to put them in our bike spokes,” West Valley resident Lynda Elmer said. “Later, I had a job as a retail buyer, and I purchased cards for stores. That is when it really started for me. Now, I probably have more than 10,000 cards.” Picking a card in her collection as her favorite was a difficult proposition. “I am not sure, that is a hard question,” she said. “I have a ‘56 Mickey Mantle and a couple of uncut sheets of cards that I really like. I have all of my best cards locked away in my safety deposit box.” Sports collectibles have evolved from a hobby to a business for several local dealers. Brian Dong recently opened Finders Keepers Cards and Collectibles in West Valley City. His new store brings in all types of collectors from all over the area. “My parents took me to a card shop when I was young,” Dong said. “I got into the hobby. I began by collecting NBA and ‘Return of the Jedi’ cards. It has always been fun stuff.” Collectibles come in a wide range of items, including photos, cards, jerseys, helmets, balls, programs and tickets. Many of these items can be autographed or game used and can become very valuable. “We recently had some old Jazz schedules that you used to pick up at the gas station years back,” Dong said. “I see ‘Star Wars’ toys and jerseys. Nowadays, collectors are very player based. The card companies also release special inserts or parallels. They have changed the collecting landscape.” As expected, Utah Jazz player cards in this market command a lot of attention. Dong

said Raiders, Steelers and Broncos are the most popular NFL teams. Baseball trails in popularity but still has a faithful following. “The cost really varies and depending on how much you want to invest the cards are out there,” he said. Beckett magazine was the best resource to assess the value of your cards, but recently eBay has surpassed it. According to a recent search, Michael Jordan cards hold five of the top seven searched cards on the site. A 2003 Limited logo Michael Jordan patch card had 48 bids selling for over $86,000 Finders Keepers has an in-store eBaystyle bid board. Local collectors can display items for sale and patrons can bid on them or they have a buy it now option. “It is like an eBay in the store,” Dong said. “We have had jerseys, framed photos, autographs and all kinds of stuff go up on the board. I sold a Sting autograph, and right now, I have a few Donovan Mitchell cards and a Larry Bird auto that can be very valuable.” Before digging through the attic to find those valuable baseball cards, it is best to do your homework. “I went to collectible shows and became a dealer,” Dong said. “It can be a lot of hard work to make any money. I suggest any to come down and let us look at your cards. We buy, sell and trade if the price is right. Open a pack of cards and see what is inside—that is how I got started. It is like Christmas every day.” Elmer has passed her love of the hobby onto children and grandchildren. “They are going to be surprised when they find my closet filled with nothing but baseball cards,” she said. l

West Jordan City Journal

Will the performing arts center ever be able to raise the curtain?


By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com

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This digital rendering is an example of what the arts center may look like, though its future is again in jeopardy. (Courtesy West Jordan City)


n 2017 was a groundbreaking; the community was excited. In 2018 that ground sat vacant; the building was too expensive. In 2019 a new plan was made; everyone was skeptical. In 2020, there is motion toward a new, more cost-effective arts building. Will it open in 2021? Early in March, Chief Administrative Officer Korban Lee and Councilmember

Kayleen Whitelock presented the new building outline for construction, a rough timeline and a confirmation that money is ready for construction. “One of the things we are consistently talking about is that the cost has to stay within budget,” Whitelock said. We hired a construction management team to help us with it, so they’ve been going through and offering some ideas to save money.” Plans were then slowed when the corona-

virus crisis hit Utah. After seeing a dip in sales tax revenue, West Jordan officials may be forced to reconsider their plans for the center. City leaders will still collect bids from construction companies. Final budget discussion begins in May, and some West Jordan City Council members are unsure whether to consider the art center when laying off some employees. “We have an arts center that has $6 million earmarked,” Councilmember Melissa Worthen said, “In my home, we had some trips; we had some purchases. We’re not doing them now. I look at this budget, and I really see that the same way.” $3 million is budgeted from the city for this fiscal year (July 2019 to June 2020); an-

other $3 million is to come in the next fiscal year. $Two million was scheduled to come from a grant from Salt Lake County. Lee stated in late April that, “One thing we found out was that Salt Lake County notified us that our TRC grant which is paying for a portion of this project is in jeopardy. There will likely be a delay in receiving the grant from the county.” May and June will be budget discussion and planning, and a decision will likely be reached soon. Whatever the decision, city leaders will still be prepared for possible building in the future. “If we have any disruption, we have a complete set of construction drawings that can be used in the future,” Lee said. l

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May 2020 | Page 9


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West Jordan City Journal

Living Planet Aquarium videos bring animals to public By Jenniffer Wardell | j.wardell@mycityjournals.com


e can’t go to the aquarium right now, so the aquarium is doing its best to come to us. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium has spent the last several weeks offering free educational videos through their social media accounts that highlight different aspects of the aquarium. The videos started with the Scarlet’s Adventure series, which took a macaw to visit some of the aquarium’s other residents. They’ve since expanded to several different types of videos, ranging from crafts and science projects to behind-the-scenes explanations of various aspects of the aquarium. “People are still learning and are looking for resources,” said Brent Beardsley, public programs manager at the aquarium. “People are looking for things to watch especially for their children to help them learn. We want to help give people those resources so that they will have something wonderful and fun to see and experience right from home.” The first series, Scarlet’s Adventure, is a 12-part series that can be viewed in its entirety through the aquarium’s website: thelivingplanet.com/scarletsadventure. The series showed Scarlet visiting everyone from sloths and otters to penguins and other birds, with other team members answering questions and offering insights into the animals. One video even discusses the plants of South America that help the native animals there thrive. “Primarily, our mission is to inspire people to explore, discover, and learn about Earth’s diverse ecosystems. We also aim to foster a sense of stewardship for all life on the planet,” Beardsley said. “With that in mind, and given that families and teachers are now isolated at home, we want to provide engaging, entertaining, and education-

al experiences that connect people with the Aquarium’s mission.” Their newest video project involves special themed videos for each day of the week that focus on different subjects. Monday videos focus on aquarium-themed crafts and art projects, while the Tuesday videos feature animal trivia. Thursday videos mostly focus on simple science experiments that families can do at home. The series can be found on the aquarium’s YouTube page. “One of my favorite parts is how everyone has been working together on (the videos) – animal care, marketing, education and more,” Beardsley said. “As we are doing more videos than we normally do, we are bringing in more people and letting them showcase their ideas and talents.” Of course, it’s not always easy. “One of the biggest difficulties is remote meetings and work,” he said. “It’s tricky to do it all while maintaining social distancing.” Beyond the technical challenges that come with putting the videos together in a time of social distancing, Beardsley said that his team misses aquarium guests as much as the guests miss being able to visit. “The thing that we miss the most is being able to see the faces and reactions of our guests,” he said. “To see that moment of ‘wow’ and ‘aha’ as they experience the aquarium.” There has been one unexpected side benefit, however. “We have done more deep cleaning, and now the Aquarium is sparkling clean,” he said. Until everyone can come and see the animals in their newly sparkling habitats, however, he added that the aquarium staff will continue working to bring some of that

CENSUS 2020 BEGINS ONLINE MARCH 12, 2020 The U.S. Census helps fund our schools, health care, roads, and other important parts of our community. Laura, one of the aquarium’s ambassador animal coordinators, shows off a red-tailed boa constrictor during a Fearless Friday video. (Photo courtesy of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium)

magic to people’s homes. “We hope that our viewers will have fun and learn something,” he said. “We want them to experience curiosity and a sense of wonder. This pandemic is not going to last forever, but the learning that children engage in and their sense of wonder at the natural world is something that will.” l

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Lesley Scoville, endotherms keeper at the aquarium, feeds a sloth in one of the Scarlet’s Adventure videos. (Photo courtesy of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium)

WestJordanJournal .com

May 2020 | Page 11

Copper Hills sterling scholars impress peers, teachers, judges By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Copper Hills 2019-20 sterling scholars. Back row: Emily Jensen, state participant, CTE; Loren Yancey, region participant, Math; Ethan Peery, region participant, Business; Ryan Allred, region participantVisual Art; Mariah Cheney, School winner, Family and Consumer. Middle Row: Kenzie Sayasith, region participant, Science; Brianne Sandburg, school winner, Instrumental Performance; Hailey Winn, region participant, Social Studies; Grace Bramlage, State Champion, World Language. Front Row: Natalie Smiley, state participant, Compter Tech; Taci Miner, State Runner-up, Vocal Performance; Bree Smedley, school winner, Dance; Alyssa Beckstead, state participant, Speech and Debate; Kambrie Wilde, region participant, English. (Photo courtesy Kyle Jensen/ CHHS)

snickering from the audience. “About halfway through, the whole mood of the room shifted and was just dead silent,” said Jensen, Sterling Scholar adviser. “Then, Taci hit this high note at the end that she held for forever.” “As I finished the song, they just exploded,” Taci said. “They stood up and were just roaring with applause. It was surreal. Nothing had ever happened like that before.” Taci was touched by her peers’ support and encouragement, which gave her confidence as she moved on from school Sterling Scholar to region and then state competition. “This Sterling Scholar experience has really set her on a path; she might someday become a professional vocal singer,” Jensen said. “Taci was the best singer I’ve ever heard come out of Copper Hills, and that’s saying something.” At Copper Hills, Taci is a member of ladies choir and madrigals, and vocalist for the jazz band. She has been featured in multiple CHHS musicals, including the vocally challenging lead role of the chaperone in “The Drowsy Chaperone” last fall.


yle Jensen was nervous about how stuCHHS choir director Marc Taylor said in dents would react to Taci Miner singing an addition to her extraordinary talent, Taci has Italian opera piece at the assembly announcing fantastic work ethic. the Copper Hills High School sterling schol“She is focused and concentrated,” he ars. There was some initial whispering and said. “She doesn’t let things distract her from

her goals.” In addition to excellence in a specific academic discipline, students competing in the Sterling Sterling scholarship and recognition program, sponsored by Deseret News, must also show good citizenship and leadership skills. “They want to make sure that it’s not just about them being an awesome vocalist or instrumentalists or mathematician, but they are well rounded and going to be an awesome person in the community,” Taylor said. As a well-rounded candidate, Miner serves on choir council, seminary council, Hope Squad and is active in community programs. CHHS has a successful Sterling Scholar tradition, with 94% of the school winners in last five years advancing to the Wasatch Front Central region level, said Jensen. This year, five CHHS students were among the 168 Utah high school seniors who advanced to the state level. Taci placed as runner-up finalist for the vocal performance division, and Grace Bramlage was named World Languages finalist. Grace excels in academics, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. After she campaigned to establish an academic decathlon class to support the school team, she placed second overall at this year’s state Academic Decathlon competition. Grace also dazzled judges at the inaugural Educators

Rising state competition this spring. “Basically, anyone that comes in contact with Grace immediately recognizes the intelligence and the leadership,” Jensen said. He said she is also down-to-earth and humble, despite her brilliance. “In the 10 years I’ve been teaching, I would put her up there in the top two or three of the most exceptional students I’ve ever had.” Grace is fascinated with ancient languages—she studies Spanish, Latin and Greek—but also loves physics. “I believe understanding the way language works is as vital to understanding the world as physics is,” she said. “The easiest way to understand humanity is through the way we communicate.” School closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak has not slowed Grace down, though she has had to become more proactive in her learning as she works to complete her high school courses and AP tests long distance. “A lot of the way I learn is engaging with other people and developing my thoughts concurrently with them and discussing their opinions and building off that,” she said. “And since I don’t have that resource of other people’s perspectives right now, I have to go more out of my way to research other perspectives and think more in-depth on my own and over a longer period of time.” l

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MAY 2020

Paid for by the City of West Jordan M AYO R ’S M E S S AG E The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt in communities across the globe, and while we are living in this time of uncertainty, know that some things still remain certain. Rest assured knowing that the City of West Jordan is continuing to serve its residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our employees are working diligently to keep our city safe, and our residents informed. Be assured your water is safe, your trash will continue to be picked up, and your roads are being maintained as usual. As we continue to keep our city safe, we are ensuring our employees feel safe and healthy while doing so. I know many of you are watching the news, making sure you’re keeping up to date on what is going on with the coronavirus and the state. You may be aware of the reduced revenue the city will receive as a direct result of COVID-19 precautions. Some local media stations have also covered the city’s difficult step of implementing a reduction in force. These stories may lead you to be concerned about the city’s financial stability. West Jordan does have a rainy-day fund, but in this time of ultimate unknowing we know better than to rely on that. Myself, and my administration, are doing everything we can to send a budget to the city council that meets with our projected revenues. On the topic of money, as you receive a stimulus check from the federal government, I ask that you keep in mind our local businesses in West Jordan. These are our neighbors. Their success affects our communities. Give back to the restaurants where you have celebrated birthdays, give back to shops where you have purchased your milestone anniversary gift, or splurge on your favorite dessert at a café. Let’s be there for our local businesses when they need US the most. Working together, we will succeed getting through this. Stay safe,

Mayor Dirk Burton

West Jordan Water Rate Proposal A new water rate is proposed to go into effect starting October 1, 2020. The West Jordan City Council looks to approve a new rate structure that will decrease residential base rates and put a greater emphasis on tiered rates, encouraging conservation.


Here’s a look at the proposed fee schedule for residents: GRAPHIC #1 “The average resident would see a decrease of $9.60 per month during winter use. Summer is more difficult to calculate because it’s based on how they use their water,” said Danyce Steck, West Jordan’s Finance Director. Steck said most residents use between 2,000 and 4,000 gallons of water per month in the winter.


With those projections, here is what an average bill would look like for a resident in the winter: GRAPHIC #2 By rearranging the rates, residents would then have a lower base rate. The chart also shows what a change in the sewer rate fee would look like. “The sewer fee has a base rate and usage is based on winter use. Most people won’t be above that $8.00, so that sewer piece of their bill would be about $20.00 a month,” said Steck. “For all, a utility bill in the winter would decrease 10 percent” “Landscape is seeing one of the biggest changes,” said Steck. “They were not participating in the cost of the meters before.”


Here’s a look at the proposed fee schedule for commercial and landscape businesses: GRAPHICS #3 & #4 According to the Utah Division of Water Resources, Utah uses the most water per capita in the U.S., consuming 210 gallons of water per person per day. Steck said she plans to run some analysis on summer use this October, to see the highest water users, based on parcel size, and possibly set the rates based on that. Moving forward, utility rates will increase at a lower rate. “We’ve rearranged the rates, giving a lower base rate for residents,” said Steck. “We’re choosing to have small incremental increases instead of having to defer and a have a large increase. So, every year we will be adjusting the rates up 2 percent.” To watch the council’s discussions on water rates, visit the city’s YouTube page. To learn more about water-wise programming and conservation education visit the city’s website: westjordan.utah.gov, or JVWCD.org.




Do You Know what’s being built near The significance of #TakeOutTuesday A nationwide push is underway FIIZ 7800 S. and Mountain View Corridor? encouraging people to support local West Jordan is working to build additional water storage for homes on the west side of the city. To read more about construction going on in West Jordan visit: www.westjordan.utah.gov/constructionprojects

restaurants. Each Tuesday, during the COVID-19 pandemic has been dubbed ‘Take Out Tuesday‘ and the “Great American Takeout.” Utah State health orders have mandated that restaurants only offer take-out and delivery. Those restaurants and their employees are in more need than ever to earn an income and help support themselves and their families. Here’s a list of just some of the local restaurants in West Jordan you can help out, just by ordering some food: 5 BUCK PIZZA ARCTIC CIRCLE BARBACOA MEXICAN GRILL BEANS & BREWS COFFEEHOUSE BETOS BOMBAY HOUSE BOUT TIME PUB & GRUB CAFE RIO MEXICAN GRILL CAFE TRANG BISTRO CAFE ZUPAS CHILI’S SOUTHWEST GRILL CHOCOLATE COVERED WAGON CHICK-FIL-A COLD STONE CREAMERY COSTA VIDA DAIRY QUEEN


Beware – Coronavirus Scams in Utah The Utah Division of Consumer Protection is reporting an influx of scams that revolve around the coronavirus pandemic. The FTC and the FDA have jointly issued tips to look out for to avoid becoming a victim to one of these scams yourself. 1. Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time. 2. Hang up on robocalls Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch low-priced health insurance and work-at-home schemes. 3. Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO Be sure to use sites like; coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus for up-todate information. 4. Do your homework when it comes to donations Never donate in cash, gift card, or by wiring money. To report a scam to the UDCP, call 801-530-6601 or visit dcp.utah.gov



Working from Home? Tips from the Mayor on how to adjust Mayor Dirk Burton is no stranger to working from home. Using the same desk, he’s had since he opened his own electrician business in 1988, he’s learned a thing or two about balancing work life and home life - all under the same roof. Tip #1 – Determine a schedule and stick to it: “You have to be a self-starter; you don’t punch in with a time clock. I would get up in the morning and get dressed like I normally would, and then go to my office. Once I would get to my office, I had to pretend like I wasn’t at home anymore, that I was actually at work.” Tip #2 – Take breaks when you need to: “I’m not very good at sitting in a chair all day long, because as an electrican, I’m up and moving around all the time. So, that was another adjustment for me, having to sit down in a chair all day. After a couple of hours, I would give myself a break, go on pause and get myself a drink or go for a walk around the block. Anything to get my heart rate going.” Tip #3 – Try to distance yourself from distractions: “Pick an area in your home that is away from where the kids are, sometimes that’s really difficult. I lived in an apartment where I had no place to put a desk. So, I put a desk in my master bedroom. I could close the door, and that became my office for the day.”


Tip #4 – Switch off from ‘work mode’ by powering down: “Once I’m all finished for the day I close all the windows down, I get up and walk away, and say I’m done for the day. I don’t go back to that desk until the next day.”

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Tip #5 – Cut yourself some slack, know this isn’t easy for everyone: “It takes some work. It will take a few days. The first few weeks are really hard, but the better you do a pattern, and repeat that pattern the next day and the day after that, the easier it is for you to get used to working from home.”

Twitter: @CityWestJordan Facebook: @WestJordanCityHall Visit Westjordan.utah.gov for direct links.



How COVID-19 testing is being handled in West Jordan It’s been months since COVID-19 was first declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since then, the guidelines for how and where to get tested have dramatically changed. Now it’s much easier to get tested for the virus, in part, thanks to the number of tests the state of Utah has access to. Jon Butterfield, President of Jordan Valley Medical Center, says his campus provides outpatient testing, along with a drive-thru, which is available 12 PM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat, chills, body aches, and a decreased sense of taste or smell. “If someone is experiencing any of those symptoms, they can drive up to our main in-patient entrance where they will be greeted by a laboratory technician that’s wearing full protective gear and equipment,” said Butterfield. “That person will be able to test them and take a nasopharyngeal swab right from their car. They’ll get results in 24 to 48 hours.” New guidelines allow for anyone to get tested even if they’re experiencing just one of the several symptoms that are tied to COVID-19. For now, numbers in Utah seem to be leveling out, with the same number of positive cases being reported every day. If a surge were to happen, however, Butterfield says his hospital is prepared. “We do have 18 beds designated for COVID-19 patients,

either confirmed or suspected, and that’s just on the in-patient side. We’ve also designated 11 of our emergency department beds as COVID-19 beds,” said Butterfield. “We do have plans that will allow us to nearly double the size of beds within that area and we’ve deployed those plans. We stand ready. Thankfully, we haven’t had to use them.” While many see hospitals as a so called ‘hotspot’ for the virus, Butterfield urges that life must still go on. People are going to break bones, get kidney infections, and experience other medical emergencies unrelated to COVID-19, and those individuals should not be afraid to go to the hospital to get the care they need. “The most important thing for you to know is that the hospital is safe. every person that arrives to our hospital whether they’re a patient or a visitor is screened for symptoms of COVID-19,’ said Butterfield. Although, right now, little is still known about this virus, doctors and nurses are ready, working hard to keep our community healthy. When asked what the public can do to give back to health care workers Butterfield echoed the advice heard across the globe; stay healthy by staying put. “Stay home, do what you’re being asked to do with social distancing, make sure you’re washing your hands, and keeping your families safe and healthy by doing the things you really ought to be doing to prevent the transmission of this disease. As long as people take it very seriously, we’ll be okay.” To learn more about getting tested for Coronavirus in Utah visit: Jordanvalleymc.org or coronavirus.utah.gov

Trans-Jordan Landfill reopens to the public On March 30th, Under Governor Herbert’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Directive, the Trans- Jordan Landfill suspended public accesses to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Only essential commercial haulers with accounts were permitted access. The Trans-Jordan Landfill has modified procedures to allow safe distancing practices between customers and employees. “We feel that we have had a chance to get our feet under us so we can now keep both residents and employees safe, during this pandemic while running a safe and efficient operation.” States Jaren Scott, Executive Director of the Trans-Jordan Landfill. The Trans-Jordan Landfill reopened all services to the public on Monday, April 20th, 2020 under the following guidelines:

guidelines, based on recommendations from federal, state and local officials. For the most up to date information, visit transjordan.org.

• Only credit/debit cards will be accepted. NO cash transactions. • Social Distancing of 6 feet will be enforced at ALL locations of the landfill. • Limited discussions with Landfill staff will be permitted. (Scale-house, spotters, etc.) Due to guidelines stated above we anticipate longer lines and wait times as we control the flow of customers to prevent large groups at any one area of the landfill. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. We are continually monitoring the situation and following the 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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How will COVID-19 impact K-12 education? By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


any educators say students’ academic retention will plunge greater than that of the typical summer slide from the prolonged COVID-19-induced school closure — and preliminary research is supporting that. NWEA, a not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide with assessments and research services, studied what summer learning loss can tell educators about the potential impact of school closures has on student academic achievement. In their April 2020 findings, NWEA researchers concluded, “students will return in fall 2020 with roughly 70% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year. However, in mathematics, students are likely to show much smaller learning gains, returning with less than 50% of the learning gains and in some grades, nearly a full year behind what we would observe in normal conditions.” While many school districts plan to give assessments to students in the fall to determine the actual amount of reviewing and reteaching that may be necessary, Mathnasium of Cottonwood Heights owner Mila Gleason said the impact may be even greater with students who already are struggling. “Some of these students may not have a structure in place or a support system and are needed to help with their family situations,” she said. “We may see an increased divide.” That may be from helping care for younger siblings to working to help sustain the family,

leaving little time for homework. Students may also not have the additional income needed to attend college in the future or the ability or time to seek out counselors to help figure out college financial aid packages, researchers said. Hillcrest High Principal Greg Leavitt said it’s been a challenge. “This is something we didn’t plan for in this massive way, to have school shut down for more than a day or two,” he said. “It’s a different kind of challenge, foreign to all us, and there’s no way we can deliver the product we normally do. Our teachers are teaching 30 minutes versus 70 minutes in normal classrooms. Some students are doing well and keeping up the rigor. Others we’re trying to keep motivated and learning; it’s a different world right now.” Park Lane Elementary Principal Justin Jeffery said his staff is following up with students who haven’t checked in on a Zoom meeting or haven’t grabbed a packet, with emails, phone calls and even with a certified letter. “We all know this is not the same as instruction in our classrooms, but what our teachers don’t want are huge learning losses,” he said. “We haven’t been in this situation before, but the silver lining is that we all will be better with teaching with technology and offering blended learning. Many of us haven’t pushed to learn everything until now, when we’re forced to, and so we’re becoming much more tech-savvy. I’ve never done social media so I’m finally coming into the 21st century.”

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Utah’s schools may have an advantage over other states, Utah Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Darin Nielsen said. “We’ve worked to provide technology to our schools throughout our state,” he said. “We’ve infused money to increase the number of devices and training in distance learning. We have a real emphasis on blending learning.” West Kearns Elementary dual immersion third-grade teacher Daisy Reyes said the soft closure caught her off guard, but her new norm is teaching online from her living room. “I’ve been continuing to read the story we were reading in class, being consistent, so students can look forward to this time every day,” she said. “It’s ideal to be there in person, but the benefit of technology is that we’re still able to make some face-to-face connections through the screen and we are all learning how to use technology more.” Indian Hills science teacher Rachel Afualo said that she had to step up her learning when it came to Canvas. “This has helped me become more open-minded to digital learning and gain more resources as a teacher,” she said. “I can create labs online and use them in the future, when a student is absent. And we can look at the way we’re teaching and discover more ways to interact with students and find more opportunities and platforms to connect with them. It’s a different territory and I’m learning to be more flexible working with it.” Granite School District Director of Technology Chris Larsen said that his school tech specialists and media center specialists have been reaching out to help teachers and parents, helping them learn digital platforms so they can connect with students. “Our teachers know how to teach, and in a matter of days, have taken their curriculum to provide it to students face to face through technology so students can continue to learn,” he said. “We are all making this the best situation for families and kids.” Larsen said that more than 20,000 Chromebooks have been checked out to Granite School District families. Murray School District’s secondary schools already are on a 1:1 device ratio, but the District also checked out Chromebooks for younger students. Canyons District also

checked out Chromebooks to families who indicated a need and worked with providers to provide free internet access as a temporary solution to the crisis. This may lead to innovation in education, something many educators applaud, like Summit Academy seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher Natalie Sluga. “A lot of positive can come from this,” she said. “We can tap into creativity, we can use more platforms, more apps, more ways and ideas in education.” The combination of asynchronous online learning tools (such as reading material through Google Classroom) with synchronous face-toface video instruction could turn into the new norm, educators said. Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker said that now there is different sense of urgency in learning to teach online. “We are making sure our community understands what teachers are doing and doing admirably,” he said. “We had teachers who were timid to try new things, jumping out of their comfort zone to learn new technology. There’s no way to duplicate the experience of our professional instructors in person, but this is giving us an opportunity to look at blending learning opportunities in elementary school. We could see asynchronous delivery and then doing it together in a synchronous model that would allow more in-depth discussions and new opportunities for learning.” Nalwalker also said that he would like to look into checking out Chromebooks to students to use during their elementary years. “Students will have greater access and can empower their own learning. It can become a habit that is integrated into daily routines,” he said. Families also may play a greater part of students’ education, Altara Elementary Principal Nicole Svee Magann said. “Families have slowed down and family dinner has returned for the majority,” she said. “There’s more time they are connecting together, playing games and interacting with one another. Parents are stepping into teaching roles and are appreciating what teachers do more and are working together to ensure students are learning.” l

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With students no longer in classrooms, educators now question what the impact of COVID-19 online education will be in the new academic year. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Page 20 | May 2020

West Jordan City Journal

Eat well to perform well By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


hether doing squat jumps and mountain climbers in your basement or running (with social distancing in mind) at your local park, people are finding ways to train for their preferred sports. But one important aspect to remember is nutrition. The topic of sports nutrition is likely to spark constant change and intriguing research for a competitive or recreational athlete. “It can all depend on the type of activity you are doing as to what you should be eating,” Andrea Talbot, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the Bariatric Medicine Institute in Salt Lake City, said. What is sports nutrition? Nutrition is the foundation of athletic success. A well-designed nutrition plan allows active athletes to perform at their best. The right type of food will supply energy, nutrients and fluids to keep the body hydrated and functioning at peak levels. “Think about food as being fuel,” said personal trainer at Drive Personal Performance Center Kenyon James. “For a race car to perform at its best it needs clean fuel, the best it can get. If you go get unleaded fuel from the gas station before the race it will never go fast. The same is true for an athlete. If they eat junk food the body will not work well.” The energy our bodies need for the best

body function comes from three main food groups. Carbohydrates are either simple or complex. Simple carbs include sugars that occur naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk. Breads and potatoes are examples of complex carbs. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which feeds energy to the body’s cells. Proteins are made up of amino acids. It plays an important role in muscle recovery and growth. Fats provide energy to the body and protect our organs and cell membranes. A well-designed diet and plan will include sufficient calories and healthy nutrients. Depending on the activity the athlete may adjust his intake for his or her needs. “I used to eat like five to six thousand calories when I was riding my bike in training,” former competitive cyclist Kiley Cook said. “I eat a lot less now, but weigh about 15 pounds more. My dad bod is coming in nicely.” Cook said his failure to adjust diet could be affecting the way his body digests the food he is eating. Endurance event participants of one to two hours daily should eat three to five grams of carbs per pound of body weight to keep up with demand of energy on the body. A

200-pound man should eat approximately 600g of carbohydrates, but should use minimal amounts of fat and proteins the day of an event according to active.com. If activities last more than one hour it is important to replenish the electrolytes and glucose, sports drinks and fluids are a good idea for endurance athletes. Resistance training programs are designed to build strength. Protein intake is especially vital. According to werywellfit.com protein requirements can vary by body type and fitness level. We all lose body water throughout the day. Athletes lose additional body water through sweat. Fluid replacement is an essential part of a nutrition plan to maintain the body’s optimum performance. “If you feel thirsty you’re already becoming dehydrated,” Talbot said. “Drinking is a very personal thing during training. You do not necessarily need electrolytes replacement unless the activity takes more than 90 minutes.” Whether exercising as a competitive athlete or for health improvement, sport nutrition should play an important role in your success. It can help enhance performance, improve recovery and make reaching goals possible. l

A long distance runner should be concerned about the food they eat to maximize their performance. West Jordan junior Abigail Jackson uses the high school trainers and coaches to learn what is best for her performance. (Greg James/City Journals)

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May 2020 | Page 21

State and city emergency managers cite key lessons from March earthquake By Joshua Wood | j.wood@mycityjournals.com


he Great Utah Shakeout came a month early this year with the real deal. The 5.7 magnitude earthquake that shook the Salt Lake Valley on March 18, and the many aftershocks in the weeks that followed, made all those past community earthquake drills startlingly relevant. The good news was that the March 18 quake was not “the big one” that Utahns have been taught to expect. On the other hand, officials learned that many residents still needed a lot more practice in preparedness. “It’s given us an opportunity to practice our emergency management process,” said Wade Mathews, Be Ready Utah manager with the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “We were already active for COVID-19, and it’s given us an opportunity. People didn’t quite remember what to do. We want to emphasize the importance of stay where you are, stop, drop and hold on.” Mathews cited the quake as a great learning opportunity for everyone. In the event of a much larger earthquake, the shaking would likely be too violent for people to run for cover. Even in large aftershocks, the best thing for people to do in the moment is to stay where they are, drop down, and hold on for cover. If an earthquake were to strike when people are in bed, for example,

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Mathews said the best thing for them to do is to stay in bed and put a pillow over their heads for protective cover. The March earthquake provided real experience for local emergency personnel to put all their drills into practice. Cottonwood Heights canceled its annual Shakeout event due to social distancing measures for the COVID-19 pandemic, but officials tentatively plan to hold a drill this fall. Lessons learned from the recent earthquake will help inform their planning. “The biggest thing that we’ve seen is

that it has brought the realization that it could happen,” said Assistant Emergency Manager Julie Sutch of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. “That’s probably the biggest takeaway. We’re seeing more people being geared toward preparedness.” Preparedness is the primary concern for Mathews. From the state level to community organizations to each household, knowing what to do is the top priority. “We’re going to emphasize protective action more with our outreach,” Mathews said. “If we don’t know how to survive the disaster, the rest of our

plans don’t matter. We want everyone to be able to survive. That’s why we emphasize protective action so much.” Protective action during an earthquake includes: • Drop to your hands and knees to protect yourself from being knocked down • Cover your head and neck with one arm • Crawl under a sturdy desk or table if one is nearby • If no table or desk is nearby, crawl to an interior wall • Stay on your hands and knees, bent over to protect vital organs • If you get under a desk or table for shelter, hold on to a leg until the shaking stops • If not under shelter, cover your head and neck with both arms For more tips on earthquake preparedness, visit shakeout.org/Utah. The lessons of the recent earthquake, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have provided real reminders of the importance of emergency preparedness. “We want to create a culture of preparedness where we live,” Mathews said. “Knowing the risks of where we live helps us have emergency preparedness plans in place.” l

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May the Healing Begin, a letter from our publisher

Dear Readers,

I probably failed to mention something very important last month, there is a better and probably easier way to help support the journals. Since the Journals are funded by advertising dollars, you can help us by doing business with our advertisers and letting them know you have seen their ads in the Journals and that you appreciate them doing business with the Journals. It is their advertising dollars that have kept the Journals printing over the last 29 years. Like most local businesses the Journals will be hurt from the pandemic, with the actions taken to shut down business many of our advertisers were forced to close their doors. With closed doors there was no reason for them to advertise. This quickly reduced the amount of advertising we had in the Journals. We have been hurt, but we will survive and the Journals will continue to print and hit your mailbox during the first week of the month.

Last month for the first time as being a publisher I used some of our space in the newspaper to write a letter to the readers. I would rather save our newspaper for the news or advertisers, as opposed to my ramblings. However, I felt compelled to follow up with another letter this month. Last month I informed readers that they could donate to the Journals by using our new website (donate.thecityjournals.com) or by sending us a check. We have had a steady outpouring of generosity since then. We collected donations ranging from $5 to $100. We are so thankful for each of these donations. We are committed to making sure that these funds are used to improve the reader experience with the newspaper. Over the next few months I will update all those who have donated on how the funds were used. One of the downsides of the newspaper business is that we don’t always get to hear from our readers. Over this last month we have heard loud and clear from many of you. Until next month, And with each email, note, letter, and donation we are filled with joy and a sense of val- Bryan Scott idation for the work that we do. Publisher, City Journals


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Riverside students claim top spots in Arbor Day poster contest By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


tudent artists from Riverside Elementary won half of the top prizes in the Utah Division of Forestry Annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. Four students, Danny Haws, Lucia Berber, Nora Foote and Leila Kofeloa, took the top award in their grade level out of 250 entries statewide. “We were really shocked,” said Jeran Farley, urban and community forestry coordinator. “Judges have no idea where any of the posters are from. After they judged them, we were shocked that four of them were from the same school.” Riverside Elementary Media Assistant Carla Nelson encourages all students to enter the contest because it creates environmental awareness and is a great opportunity for students to showcase their artistic talents. “They just get excited about it because it’s fun to hang their artwork up,” Nelson said. Unfortunately, no one will get to enjoy the winners’ work on display at the school, which is now empty. “The sad thing is that they announced the winners three days after they closed the school,” Nelson said. “We had all of our school winners hanging up in the hallway so the kids got to see those. They knew who won from our school, but they didn’t get to see the state winners.” Normally, state winners’ artwork is

framed and displayed at Red Butte Gardens. Winners are invited to participate in the state Arbor Day ceremony where they shake hands with Smokey Bear and help plant a tree. But this year’s winners won’t be able to do any of that due to social distancing measures. Farley said he is working on a way to recognize students for their creative work but feels students have still benefitted from their participation this year. “The purpose is to make school children more aware of the benefit of trees,” he said. This year’s theme was “Trees are Terrific No Matter Where You Live!” Riverside previously had an art specialist that gave students tips on how to draw trees, said Nelson. This year, students used their own creativity and personal style to interpret the theme. Leila, who is blind, was chosen as the winner of the Special Needs categories. She created a poster, with the help of her teachers, of what she imagines trees look like. Danny, the winner of the kindergarten division, drew himself and his house on his poster, using his favorite colors: orange and blue. “Danny worked really hard on this and took it very seriously,” said his mother, Lyndsie Haws. “We are just happy he gets to see that his hard work paid off. l

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Hopefully by the time this reaches your mail we are beginning to dip our big toe back into life again. Like many others, being thrust into solitary confinement, left me with some spare time to spend on social media, and thanks to my friends I learned so much about how to handle this disaster. With the vast array of opinions, I found putting it all together difficult though, but I gave it shot anyway. It’s all as clear as mud now, here’s what I learned. Working from Home: If you are able to work from home you are lucky, unless you are required to work from home, then it’s horrible and you wished you could go to work, because working from home is too much work. Keeping a Healthy Diet: In effort not to get sick we should eat well, but we should not go out to get healthy fresh food when we run out and eat whatever pre-packaged food we have on hand instead. However, we should order out at our local restaurants to help keep them in business. Then it’s okay to go out to pick up the food. Your food might be prepared by someone sick that doesn’t know they are sick, but it’s okay if you pay by credit card and take the food out of the container. However, you should avoid going to the grocery store at all costs because you might get sick. Getting Sick: Wearing a mask is not helpful, but if you get sick you should wear a mask. But, don’t go to the hospital if you’re sick, because you might get sick if you do. You might be sick and not know you’re sick,

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so you should wear a mask even while driving alone in the car alone. The Press: Every article starts with a panic headline designed to shock us. But when we read the article, we find it’s not so shocking after all and perhaps even a little boring, except when our friends post these articles to social media. Then we never read the article, we just start divisive arguments based on the shocking headline instead. Politics: We are all be untied as American’s; we are proud, and this is the time we shine. But, if there’s a government action that we don’t approve of, then we are not united if we disagree with our friend. We might even be called names, because name calling on social media is okay. Huh??? Love: We love our partners so much we could not live without them, they are our everything, unless we have to live with them non-stop. Then we feel we’d rather live without them. Home Schooling: Teachers are the saints and I can no longer remember why I even had kids. Grandparents: You can’t see your grandkids, but if you’re a grandparent and work in a grocery store or pharmacy, then you can see someone else’s grandkids. You can avoid getting the virus and still see your grandkids virtually by using a computer program called Zoom but, watch out, your computer might get a virus instead.

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Laughter AND



Tomorrow is Another Day in Quarantine


As soon as COVID-19 hovered in the air we breathe, I went into full-on “Gone With the Wind” Scarlett O’Hara mode, ripping up bed sheets to make toilet paper and stockpiling moonshine for antiseptic. Of course, Scarlett was useless in an emergency. For the majority of the Civil War, she whined and married rich men. I’m also pretty useless in emergencies. When I knew the shelter-in-place edict was coming, I didn’t stockpile food, I scurried to the library to check out all the books. After hoarding four months of library books, I told everyone in the house (my husband, my daughter and her two children, ages 3 and 8) to check their 72-hour kits. They responded, “What 72-hour kits?” Not a good start. In the shed, I located an emergency essentials bag that looked like it had housed a family of weasels. Along with 10 years of dust, it contained an expired can of roasted almonds, a box of matches, a pair of underwear and a spatula. We were doomed. Tossing my hair like Scarlett, I tied on my shopping bonnet and sang out “fiddledee-dee” as I headed to the grocery store for provisions. By the time I got there, options were limited, unless I was keen on making a casserole with canned asparagus, creamed squid and buckwheat flour. I figured we’d just be creative with dinner. (Lesson learned: 3-year-old granddaughters don’t like creative dinners.) Our meals usually consist of some type of egg for breakfast, leftover Easter candy


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