West Valley City Journal DEC 2019

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December 2019 | Vol. 5 Iss. 12

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WEST VALLEY SWIMMER

SETTING STATE RECORDS AS AN 11 YEAR OLD By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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young phenom is swimming in the pools at the West Valley City Family Fitness Center. Shayla Zulcic, an 11 year old, is making a name for herself by setting two state records and pushing herself to always get better. “When I swim I do what I do and I am proud of what I do,” Shayla said. “My brother went to state and that made me want to swim. I saw how happy he was. There was a lot of excitement.” Shayla began swimming just over two years ago. Her brother, Benjamin Zulcic, was then a senior at Granger High School. He finished 22nd overall at the state high school swim meet in the 50 free (2017). Shayla is on track to eclipse her brother’s success. “I was happy, all of the morning practices and work I have done has paid off,” Shayla said. “I like the backstroke the best. I am getting better at fly and breaststroke. It is more techniques in those strokes.” She took this season’s long course state championship for the 400 free. Her time was only one second slower than the state record and she established a new West Valley Aquatics record originally set by Claire Jackson in 2010. Shayla took second in the 100 back and a second state championship in the 200 free. Her success has affected her family. “I cry sometimes, to tell the truth,” Shayla’s father Edin Zulcic said. “I still get nervous every time she races. It has taken a lot of time for me and her mother, but we think it is a Shayla Zulcic from West Valley City set a club record at the state long course championships. Her time of 2:29.62 in the 200 m free was good enough fun sport. It is certainly healthy and she has made friends from for first place in the event. (Photo courtesy Edin Zulcic) Continued page 5

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West Valley City Journal


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More and more people are saying they just don’t get colds anymore. They are using a new device made of pure copper, which scientists say kills cold and flu viruses. Doug Cornell invented the device in 2012. “I haven’t had a single cold since then,” he says. People were skeptical but New research: Copper stops colds if used early. EPA and university studies Businesswoman Rosaleen says when demonstrate repeatedly that viruses and bacteria die almost instantly when people are sick around her she uses CopperZap morning and night. “It saved me touched by copper. That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp- last holidays,” she said. “The kids had tians used copper to purify water and colds going around, but not me.” Some users say it also helps with heal wounds. They didn’t know about sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a viruses and bacteria, but now we do. Scientists say the high conductance 2-day sinus headache. When her Copperof copper disrupts the electrical balance Zap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no more congestion.” seconds. Some users say copper stops nightSo some hospitals tried copper touch surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. time stuffiness if used before bed. One This cut the spread of MRSA and other man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” Copper can also stop flu if used earillnesses by over half, and saved lives. Colds start after cold viruses get in ly and for several days. Lab technicians your nose, so the vast body of research placed 25 million live flu viruses on a gave Cornell an idea. When he next CopperZap. No viruses were found alive felt a cold about to start, he fashioned a soon after. Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams smooth copper probe and rubbed it genconfirming the discovery. He placed miltly in his nose for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold lions of disease germs on copper. “They never got going.” It worked again every started to die literally as soon as they touched the surface,” he said. time. The handle is curved and finely texHe asked relatives and friends to try it. They said it worked for them, too, so tured to improve contact. It kills germs he patented CopperZap™ and put it on picked up on fingers and hands to protect you and your family. the market. Copper even kills deadly germs that Now tens of thousands of people have tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback have become resistant to antibiotics. If said the copper stops colds if used within you are near sick people, a moment of 3 hours after the first sign. Even up to 2 handling it may keep serious infection days, if they still get the cold it is milder away. The EPA says copper still works even than usual and they feel better. Pat McAllister, age 70, received one when tarnished. It kills hundreds of diffor Christmas and called it “one of the ferent disease germs so it can prevent sebest presents ever. This little jewel real- rious or even fatal illness. CopperZap is made in America of ly works.” Now thousands of users have pure copper. It has a 90-day full money simply stopped getting colds. People often use CopperZap preven- back guarantee. It is $69.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with tively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to get colds after crowded flights. Though code UTCJ8. Go to www.CopperZap.com or call skeptical, she tried it several times a day on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen toll-free 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. advertorial

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Three West Valley City Council members easily win reelection By Darrell Kirby | d.kirby@mycityjournals.com

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est Valley City voters have expressed their satisfaction with the current makeup of the city council. They reelected three council members in November by comfortable margins: Tom Huynh in District 1, Karen Lang in District 3, and Don Christensen as an at-large representative.

TOM HUYNH

Huynh won a third four-year term on the city council by defeating Christiana Tavo with 68% percent of the votes cast. Huynh attributed his victory to adequately representing the diverse population of northeastern and most of eastern West Valley City. “I personally have a connection with voters in the district,” he said. Still, the councilman says residents are “frustrated” with public safety issues in his district, especially with the opening in November of a 300-bed men’s homeless shelter, dubbed the “Men’s Resource Center,” just across the border in South Salt Lake. Huynh says he plans to monitor the facility “very closely” for any potential impacts spilling over into his district. Another worry of some residents in his area is the planned construction of a 430-unit apartment complex and nearly two dozen townhomes at the site of an old Kmart store at 4100 South and Redwood Road. They fear that crime and other problems could arise from such dense housing. Public works, such as keeping streets in good repair, is another matter he plans to address for his constituents. Huynh entering his third term on the city council continues a story of success that was hard to imagine when he fled Vietnam as a destitute 19 year old and settled in the United States a couple of years later. He earned a degree in Asian Studies from BYU and has been active in a variety of community organizations and causes locally and beyond.

Journals

Tom Huynh. (Photo courtesy West Valley City)

Karen Lang. (Photo courtesy West Valley City)

“From the bottom of my heart, I appreciAnother issue is the availability of afate the people in my district and the city,” he fordable housing not only in Lang’s district said. “They’re so nice to me.” but in the city as a whole. She laments that KAREN LANG “affordable” is a relative term, since the cost Karen Lang was also easily reelected of such homes is still “out of reach” for many to the city council with nearly three-fourths residents. of the ballots cast for her over challenger Lang hopes she and her colleagues on Kaletta Lynch. the city council and residents can continue Lang feels it was a vote of confidence by what she calls the “small town” feel that West voters in her district covering the northwest- Valley City maintains where people know ern and northcentral part of the city. “It was each other despite the city being the second very reassuring that we’re on the right path,” most populous municipality in Utah with she said as she enters her third term. about 138,000 people. Still, Lang says a concern of some of DON CHRISTENSEN her constituents is the construction activity to While the margin of victory was narrowextend Mountain View Corridor from 4100 er than that of his two colleagues, incumbent South to State Route 201. As reported in the Don Christensen still handily outpaced DarOctober issue of the West Valley City Jour- rell Curtis 58% to 42% in his bid for a second nal, those who live closest to the highway consecutive term for one of two at-large seats project noted disturbances such as dust and on the city council. noise, but Lang expects frustration to subside “It humbles me that they (voters) enas work advances toward its scheduled com- trusted me to another term,” Christensen pletion in summer of 2021.

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said. Like fellow councilmember Lang, Christensen says his reelection is an indication that “maybe we’re doing things the right way.” Christensen says it’s a busy time for West Valley City with ongoing economic development projects including the early stages of construction of a technology park on Lake Park Boulevard near Stonebridge Golf Club. Another issue to address during his upcoming term is the completion of Mountain View Corridor and how it will impact traffic flow on city streets, especially 3500 South and 5600 West. “We’ll need to be prepared to take care of that,” Christensen said. Christensen previously served on the city council from 2009 to 2013, ran unsuccessfully for mayor, and was voted back to the council in 2015. Huynh, Lang, and Christensen will be sworn in to their new terms on Jan. 6 at city hall. l

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Continued from front page her team and other clubs.” Shayla is a fifth-grader at Monroe Elementary in West Valley. She has played soccer, but finds the time demands on swimming to be more fulfilling. “She has gone by a saying about practice: ‘Practice doesn’t make you perfect, perfect practice makes you perfect.’ Every day she comes in, she practices almost nine times a week and every day she is trying to drop her time. That has been what is important to her. I built her a shelf for all of her medals and we just built her another one because she just moved up in age group,” Edin said. She started swimming on the West Valley Sea Wolves Aquatic pre-competition team. Her times improved and she was persuaded to join the competition team. There she received more specific coaching to help her get better. “My coaches teach me techniques and how to make my time better,” Shayla said. “Swimming is very fun and it can be hard. You can learn a lot from it. The first place I felt like I was fast was when I was in Montana. I got some medals, now I have 50 to 60 medals on my shelf.” The Sea Wolves have 57 swimmers on the competition team, slightly down from years past. Most swimmers come from the West Valley City area. “Our team is not that big, but it makes

me proud that I can be the fastest even though I am not on those big clubs,” Shayla said. “I visualize the race and focus on the water as I approach each race. It calms me down and gets me ready to go.” Representing a team and swimming as individuals is something her coaches have worked with her on. The Sea Wolves coaches help set goals so the athletes know what they need to do to advance. “I share the things she does every day to my coworkers,” Sea Wolves head coach Mike Hillman said. “She gets up every morning at four to come to practice. I have older kids that always make excuses. She is the built-in example of what a great swimmer is. It makes it easier for me as a coach when her family supports her. I tell people that I think I have an Olympian on my team.” Several swimmers on the Sea Wolves team have opportunities to compete after high school. Many girls have the opportunity to earn scholarships from their swimming achievements. “Every one of our swimmers have improved. I love that we have this facility that we have to practice and train in. It is so incredible to have the support of the city staff,” Hillman said. The Sea Wolves train and compete at the West Valley City Family Fitness Center. They offer competitive as well as recreationWest Valley Sea Wolves swimmer Shayla Zulcic and her coach, Mike Hillman, after her two state champional swim teams. l ships at the long course meet this summer. (Photo courtesy Edin Zulcic)

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December 2019 | Page 5


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

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

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State Board of Education School Fees Project Lead Tamra Dayley said that this past year, after continuing to get three or four daily complaints from parents claiming, “public education isn’t free” and concerns about increasing numbers of fees and soaring amounts, the Utah Board of Education “looked into it to make sure we are compliant” with a 1994 court case ruling. She said the task force discovered that many “schools were misunderstanding the ruling. We found many school districts weren’t compliant with the court ruling” during the past decades. To be fair, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said that with the growth in school programs and competitions, nobody could see the direction of co-curricular activities and travel. “Most school districts thought they were compliant and they were not knowing and unintentionally going against it,” he said. Years ago, “there were no names on jerseys or needing a new helmet, or needing multiple costume changes, or needing to play or perform out of state. Now, our school board will be looking into the activities to determine if the travel is reasonable, if it’s the only competition of its kind to travel, and if these trips are meaningful. We want to make sure all our

In 2017, Alta High School’s band marches near the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. With new travel regulations in place, student group travel may become limited. (Photo courtesy of Alta High School)

kids can participate.” In 1994, 17 school children from five area school districts and seven parents heard from Utah’s 3rd District Court that the state must provide “a system of public schools open to all children of the state” and “there must be reasonable uniformity and quality of educational opportunity for all children throughout the state.” Furthermore, the court found that “local (school) boards of education are continuing their efforts to eliminate nonessential expenditures that have unreasonably driven up costs for many programs which have great value for students, such as choir, debate, vocational courses and team activities, and that additional efforts will be made to ensure that those above the current wavier eligibility standard are not ‘denied the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the required fee, deposit or change.’” While fee waivers are available “to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the required fee, deposit, or charge,” fees and fundraising were increased amongst other participants, so much, that it made it difficult for some students to participate in one activity, let alone several, Dayley said. “We were finding that here is a group of three, four, five fee-eligibility students, but we can’t have other students paying additional fees to cover the fee-waiver kids. We need to charge all students equally and have the LEAs pay to have everyone participate,” she said. “If it is a project or field trip related to the course that is graded, then the schools or school districts needs to pay so all students

have that same opportunity for the grade.”

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND TRAVEL ALSO WERE SCRUTINIZED.

“We’ve seen prices raised for several uniforms, travel and items that aren’t critical to the activity,” Dayley said. In Granite, where more than 60% of the students qualify for fee waivers, their Board of Education looks for equality amongst the high schools. “Gone is the day that names are printed on jerseys and are given to students at the end of the year,” Horsley said. “We need to make it a quality experience and quality program across the board.” Another example, Dayley said are performing arts trips. “If schools feel that travel and performance are important for the band, choir or performing arts group to provide an integral part of their education, then they need to evaluate if it’s good enough for the rich kids, how they will help pay for the socio-economic kids and find a way,” she said. “What we need to question is ‘is the trip to Disney for one hour of instructional time considered instruction or is it more of a trip?’” Several districts’ drama teachers have sidestepped these rules by creating a community-based trip to New York, allowing students, alumni and others to join on what may have once been a school trip, Dayley said. “As long as it’s a community trip, and teachers aren’t using the school to promote or handle arrangements or be liable, and advertise it ‘at an arm’s length,’ from the school, then it’s permissible,” she said.

West Valley City Journal


Emergencies don’t wait. Neither should you.

Although Hillcrest High drama students, seen here in 2016, traveled to New York City to better understand theater, they would now need to meet new Canyons School District travel regulations that align with a 1994 court ruling. (Photo courtesy of Marie Otto)

Complying with the changes ahead with activity fees and travel, Dayley said, “It will be a bumpy road ahead. Some rural districts already have made that hard decision. They don’t have a football team, or choir, or cheerleaders.” Canyons School District Spokesman Jeff Haney said Canyons’ discussion at all levels has been how to fairly implement fees at the most reasonable cost possible while still maintaining the same number and quality of activities that parents have come to expect from Canyons District schools. “Travel has become an expectation by many parents and students,” he said. “But the district must consider if the travel is contributing to an academic goal and if the district is able to fund fee-waivers for students where needed. The other danger is that if robust programs are not provided, families with means will continue to seek private lessons, teams or instruction, but students without the means would lose the opportunity to participate at school. The (Canyons) Board of Education is giving great consideration to what is fair and reasonable while also considering how to maintain robust and educational programs for all students.” As of April 1, schools now have to outline what is included with the

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fee charges, whether it’s a lab fee or a sports and club activity fee — and there are regulations in fundraising, including the amount raised and the families’ time commitment involved. “We want transparency. We want to know what’s important and what schools are doing with the fees,” Dayley said. “We want parents knowing, before their student goes into it, how much the maximum amount will be.” Horsley said that there will be changes, as the law states that fundraising is optional and that the school district will need to cover costs. He said that a Granger High audit showed that cheerleader fees cost about $2,500, but “not a single one paid because they were covered by fundraisers. But now, if someone doesn’t want to participate in fundraising, they don’t have to.” However, their costs are being examined. “We need to look to see if our fees are reasonable and if they really need to have four outfits and three out-of-state trips,” he said.

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

AND IF LEAS DON’T COMPLY?

“We will work with the school districts to be aligned,” Dayley said. “Basically, they’d have to ignore us for two years and if they do, then the last resort would be withholding of funds, but I don’t foresee that. We want to help students prepare and meet the goals of Utah’s education system. We want IT ISN’T JUST THE UTAH the same right for all students as the BOARD THAT IS REVIEWING court stated back 25 years ago, but now THE FEES. there’s more clarification and ways to This year, in the legislature, House support involvement so all programs Bill 250 would require LEAs to evalu- can be made accessible to students.” l ate and review their school-fee policies

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December 2019 | Page 7


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Centenarian Gene England fought in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. (Sona Schmidt-Harris/City Journals)

Centenarian Gene England reflects on the Battle of Okinawa and the founding of C.R. England

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itting in Gene England’s presence is like sitting with the Hollywood version of “The Greatest Generation.” But there is one difference, he’s the real deal. His father started the trucking business, that later became C.R. England with Gene England following in his father’s footsteps. “That was a business that fed the family. I was a different kid in town because my dad had a truck, and I could go with him. Whenever he’d take me it was the happiest day of my life, and he wanted to have me along as well. My legs wouldn’t reach the floor, and he built a little platform so my feet would have a place to land,” he said. “By the time I was 14 years old, I had an Idaho driver’s license, which was legal at that time. They let the young 14-year-old guys drive trucks because they needed the help on the farm. So I was delivering these loads for dad, and it may have been childhood mistreatment or something, but it was the greatest thing in my life.” When England was in the army, he saved his money, mostly by selling his cigarette rations. “And as a result, I came home with enough money to buy that first truck, and when I did that that was the beginning of C.R. England & Sons.” Regarding his truck drivers at C.R. England, England said, “Those are great people that have been able to do that for us and make a good life. And we love them. We’re always so thankful for the people who helped us build this company.” In total, England has 105 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. For his 100th birthday, England sent cards to his posterity, and in the cards, he wrote his advice to them, “Goodness is the

route to happiness.” Few can speak from more experience than he. While England is known primarily for his trucking business, he is also one of the few people alive who fought in the Battle of Okinawa. Born in 1919 in Plain City, Utah, England turned 100 in October. Reflecting fondly on his school years, England said, “We had a good school. It was kind of unusual. At nine in the morning, when the bell rang, we assembled in ranks out in front of the school.” England and his fellow students would march into the school with an army march blaring. His teacher marked out the cadence as they entered. England believes that this instilled in him and his fellow students a desire to serve their country. “Plain City had established a monument at the cemetery honoring those who had served. On that monument, there were 119… that many people had served their country from a little town of 600 people.” One of those serving was England himself. He arrived in Ft. Hood, Texas in 1944 with his young wife and son. He was eventually shipped to the island of Saipan (part of the Northern Mariana Islands). After staying there for a few days, a meeting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held for the about 20 church members in that compound. “And we were pretty humbled people at that time,” England said. “The next day we were shipped out to Okinawa, and when we arrived on the ship, our troops were already on the land,” he said. “They made the invasion.” “It was just a hubbub of activity. All kinds of ships in the harbor, and they’re dis-

West Valley City Journal


charging all kinds of stuff.” “That’s when I became assigned to the 77th Infantry Division. The 77th was the Statue of Liberty Division.” This was because it consisted of mostly New York and New Jersey soldiers. Soon, the 77th Division organized to fight on the island of Okinawa. “The island of Okinawa is a roughly rectangular island, and it’s about 300 miles from the Japanese mainland…so it was an island that we had to have,” England said. “And we’re not going to move at night. That is the battle plan. We will push as far as we can. In the daylight, we’ll dig in, and hold the line there.” England and his division slept in foxholes at night. “But all during the night, there will be flares shot off at intervals. And when that flare is shot you hear the shot go, and a second or two later the light comes on.” “So, we would take naps. We’d tell the guy next to us, ‘I’m going to be off for an hour or two while I take a nap. Watch for me.’” “And every morning, there were a bunch of dead Japanese soldiers around us. Horrible, horrible situation. You can’t believe how bad combat is. It’s the worst you could ever imagine.” “On the island of Okinawa is a big escarpment. It’s a high ridge called the Shuri Line that was heavily fortified. They hadn’t

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Gene England sits with his son Todd at his birthday celebration at C.R. England. (Sona Schmidt-Harris/City Journals)

been able to knock it out of there with our airplanes.” England said there was a change in plans for the 77th Division. “We’re going to call for a pre-dawn attack. We’re going to send troops up 850 yards ahead of our front line up on to that ridge.” They began their endeavor at 3:30 in the morning. “I believe that was on the 25th of June 1945.” “But the problem was they’re still sending out these flares as they always had. And

when that flare went off, you had to be stationary.” “We could already see the light was starting to come on, and we could see people moving around.” “But at daylight, all hell broke loose, and we were in a battle that was terrible. We had dug in in a big semicircle, so we were in foxholes along that circle, and I don’t know how it happened, but one of the men had gotten out of this circle. He had stood up in there and then got shot. He was down out there in

the middle and couldn’t move.” The man who got shot called out for Battisti (the 77th Division’s squad leader). “Battisti come and get me.” He and Battisti had been friends for years. England started to figure out that Battisti, like everyone else, was scared and not about to go and get his friend. “So, after calling for Battisti for some time, I decided to go out to get him on my belly. I thought there’s room for me to slide under the fire and get him and pull him into my hole and let the medics get ahold of him.” “So that’s what I did, and that’s the reason I got the Bronze Star.” The Bronze Star hangs on his office wall, proudly displayed. There had been 126 men who had gone on that mission. The next morning, there were only 25 left. England was one of them. “Our general paid tribute to those who had fallen on the island. We had a ceremony to honor them. And I remember him saying, ‘These are our brethren who have fallen in this conflict. They were young men. We knew these men were loved that we fought with, that had lots of plans and hopes for the future. But here they lie in graves so far from home. And for all the things they hold dear, we honor them. We love them and honor them.’” “But as I think about it, now all these years I’ve lived my life and had a wonderful life.” l

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he long line at the local auto body shop isn’t The Utah Department of Public Safety sugjust for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. gests on its website to have jumper cables, a With temperatures (and leaves) dropping, it’s tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and bat1-Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of teries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery knowing road conditions before ever leaving or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and the house. Utah Department of Transportation has hand warmers.

more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. 2-Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over.

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3-Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slow. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In drivers education courses, prospective drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front.

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ruman Elementary held their annual STEAM night for students and parents on Nov. 6. With several stations catering to math, science and the arts, children from kindergarten to sixth grade were encouraged to think outside the box and extend their creative limits. Truman Voices, the school’s choir made up of students from fourth to sixth grade, opened the event before the PTA passed out pizza, veggies and more to keep the kids’ energy up and their minds ready to learn. Tiffany Schembri, the school’s technology specialist, explained the stations placed around the gym, most of which had to do with studying animals. “The first station, Animal Texture Rubbings, is where you can see the different patterns of animal footprints and body camouflage,” Schembri said. “There is also a building station for designing habitats, a station for building mazes from toilet paper rolls and other materials, as well as Create a Creature, where students are encouraged to design their own animal.” In addition to the animal-centered sections, there was also Make It, Move It for building cars, Build a Boat, Make it Float where children built boats for teddy bears, a block station for putting together patterns, and an adult booth where parents and teachers were encouraged to do interviews. “We’d love the grown-ups to think about how you use STEAM in your everyday life or your job,” Schembri said. “We would then love for you to come do an interview, which will air on our news network, TNN.” An important distinction to the night was the addition of the A in STEAM, which originally stood for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). “The general thought process is that STEAM is better than STEM because it’s including the arts,” Principal Jared Broderick said. “It started as STEM in most districts, in terms of trying to focus on technology and engineering.

Children get to work to make a sink-proof boat. (Jess N. Beach/City Journals)

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West Valley City Journal


Other schools said that we couldn’t push out the arts, because that’s part of a well-rounded education.” Students could choose to rotate around the stations or spend all their time in one place. One popular station was the Make It, Move It table run by fifth-grade teacher, Spencer Van Hoose. “The objective here is for the kids to try and be creative, using different principles of what they might know about magnetism, friction, motion, to make a car move from the start of the track to the end of the track,” Van Hoose said. Imagination was necessary to succeed, especially with several options being possible to make the cars go down the tracks. “Students can use the principles of attraction or repelling with magnets,” Van Hoose said. “There’s wind power; make a sail on top of the car and blow on it. A pulley system with a straw and string. As far as STEAM principles go, this applies to engineering and science and they really have to use their ingenuity.” The event didn’t just magically come together. Truman teachers prepared for months, beginning in August, to pull off such an educational and family-friendly event, which was evident by the block-building station overrun with students’ younger siblings. “We do two main events every year,” Broderick said. “We do a STEAM night in the fall and Literacy Night in the spring. Every teacher has a committee assignment to be on either our leadership team or our behavior-focused team. In addition to that, they need to be on one other committee, whether that is for literacy, STEAM or something else.” The hard work paid off, as the gym was packed from 5:30 p.m. to the end of the event at 7 p.m. Students and parents can look forward to an equally great event in the spring, with the school’s annual Literacy Night. l Truman Elementary students use teamwork to construct a potential habitat from tubes and marbles. (Jess N. Beach/City Journals)

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West Valley police dogs and officers win national awards By Stephanie DeGraw | s.degraw@mycityjournals.com

WVCPD Officer CJ Moore works with his police dog Tank every day. Both won awards at a national event. (Stephanie DeGraw/City Journals)

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he intensity and intelligence of specially trained police dogs was the highlight of a recent demonstration. Ranger and Tank and their police partners earned Top Agency honors for the West Valley City Police Department at an international competition. They challenged police dogs from across the country and Mexico at the Las Vegas K9 Trials Oct. 6. “We did really well on the patrol side and the narcotic side,” Sgt. Jake Palmer said. “My partner Ranger placed third-place top dog overall. Tank won second-place top narcotics dog. We have a special bond with our dogs.” The WVCPD K9 teams competed against over 50 canine handlers from around the country, including handlers from outside of the United States. The teams competed in several tasks to include area and building searches, narcotics searches and handler protection. Ranger and Tank are dual-purpose dogs trained in searching and narcotics detection. The dogs excel in both areas. The training by the WVCPD K9 Unit is excellent as evidenced by the awards. Palmer won the first place Handler Protection award. Ranger, his 3-year-old Belgian Malinois dog, won third place Top Dog Overall category, as well as third place Narcotics Dog, and fourth place Building Search Dog. Officer CJ Moore and his dog Tank won second place Narcotics Dog and fourth place Narcotics Vehicle awards. Tank is a 2½-year-old German Shepherd who joined Moore when he was a year old. Tank was a “green dog” with no training. “Most of us are trainers, and we do all of our training inhouse in our police department,” Moore said. “We can teach them whatever we want them to do instead of getting them from another kennel where they may have some bad habits

Page 12 | December 2019

already. Our dogs are a blank slate and we prefer it that way.” Dogs become family and everyone who has a bond with their dog is kind-hearted, according to Moore. “These dogs become our working partners. Our dogs are officers and we consider them man’s best tool along with man’s best friend.” Dogs train with the officers every day and go home with them at night. “The bond grows quickly. There is a bit of a pecking order. The dogs are alpha personalities and the officers are type-A personalities, so once we establish that rank, that bond is then there. You have this dog that is trained to do amazing things, that will run through a wall for you,” he said. Moore feels it’s an advantage to patrol with a trained dog versus a human. “When I do a traffic stop and walk up to the car, I don’t know what kind of situation I’ll be in. But I can look back and see my dog’s eyes glowing watching my every step. I know if the worst happens he’ll be there when I need him,” he said. Police have buttons on their vest which they can push and the dog’s door will open, so it can come to the rescue. “Having that dog with you all night long is a great feeling that you are never alone. Although he can’t talk to me, I talk to him all night,” Moore said. The WVCPD began using dogs on the force over 20 years ago. K9 officers assist with responding to calls and average 175 calls each month. The K9 unit averages 15 to 20 deployments each month for drug and suspect searches. Around 80% of the time the dog discovers the drugs to be seized. Canine officers on the scene also help police gain control of unruly suspects. The WVCPD K9 officers regularly assist other agencies with suspect and drug searches. l

West Valley City Journal


3500 South undergoes changes for upcoming Mountain View Corridor By Darrell Kirby | d.kirby@mycityjournals.com

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onstruction is underway at a key intersection of Mountain View Corridor in West Valley City. Work has begun to widen 3500 South on the east and west sides of 5600 West to accommodate traffic that will enter and exit the latest stretch of the highway currently being built just west of 5600 West. Prep work for the expanded 3500 South is occurring right now with the removal of utility poles and the lines attached to them. “That was a requirement of the city to move those underground,” said Utah Department of Transportation Field Engineer Braden Andersen. Once that is completed, crews will begin widening 3500 South so each direction of the street will have three through lanes, two lanes for left turns and one for right turns onto Mountain View Corridor. This phase of the construction is scheduled to be completed in October 2020, with the entire 4-mile extension of Mountain View Corridor between 4100 South and State Route 201 slated to be finished in summer of 2021. To make way for the 3500 South widening, a 7-Eleven store, gas station, and a couple of houses were demolished. UTA bus stops on 3500 South on both sides of the intersection have been closed. Temporary stops

Work is underway to place utility lines underground so 3500 South can be widened at 5600 West to handle traffic entering and exiting the latest phase of Mountain View Corridor currently under construction. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

are located nearby. Several trees and sidewalks were removed on 5600 West for the widening of a short section of that street. Andersen says a lot of the work will occur at night and there will be changes in

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traffic patterns and periodic lanes closures Andersen’s advice to motorists: “Don’t and restrictions on left turns at 3500 South be too impatient. There will definitely be and 5600 West. Access to businesses near the some growing pains, but it will be worth the intersection will be maintained but limited at wait.” l times during the road work.

Roundtable Talk with Representative Weight A Time for True Collaboration December is a time when we think about relationships. We plan for time with family, friends, and neighbors to re-establish ties and overcome obstacles to better connect with others. We reflect on the meaningfulness of tradition, heritage, and legacy that result from what we accomplish together. This year, our holiday season overlaps with tax restructuring – an odd mixture of Santa and sales taxes, Christmas carols and constitution amendment, prayer services and property assessments. Maybe it’s a wild thought, but perhaps that timing and weird combination can put us in the direction of a more collaborative process for fair and realistic state taxes. Why not apply the values by which we resolve other differences to develop good policy for the people of Utah? There have already been productive steps for collaboration. Early in the year, Democratic legislators compiled notes from the thoughts and ideas shared at six town halls. Soon after, the tax restructuring task

Liz4Utah.com

ElizabethWeight@le.utah.gov

force was formed and held eight meetings to allow people to express views. Utahns have a clear understanding of what is needed and have defined what makes sense for supplying state funds. Then, the policy process proceeded, but without inclusion or true collaboration among decision-makers. A few leaders apparently dominated with their exclusive views and now seem bothered by compromises they are forced to consider. Additionally, they imposed an urgent time frame. Reform that realistically requires a few years is being confined within a few months and pushed to conclude before the new year. Bringing this back to the topics of December, tax reform involves coming together to resolve differences. But it requires that ideas are integrated in the formation of solutions, not as add-ons or corrections. It requires debate to create and compose instead of arguments about carve-outs or trade-offs. It requires true collaboration instead of compromise.

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December 2019 | Page 13


In-state gymnastics meet to be held at the Maverik Center By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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he Maverik Center in West Valley City will host the inaugural Rio Tinto Best of Utah gymnastics meet Jan 11. Teams from the University of Utah, BYU, Southern Utah University and Utah State are scheduled to compete. “We are honored to host the Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet,” Maverik Center CEO Kevin Bruder said. “We look forward to continuing to host high caliber gymnastics events that elevate the level of competition.” This will be the second time that the four schools will compete in the same event. The other was in 1993 at the Smith’s Challenge Cup. The event was held at the Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah. The Utes came out on top, Utah State finished second, BYU third and SUU fourth. BYU, Utah State and SUU compete in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference (MRGC) while Utah competes in the Pac-12. The Cougars boast 11 in-state athletes on their team. This season they return all but two gymnasts from a team that advanced to the NCAA regionals for the 10th straight season. They placed third in the MRGC last season behind Boise State and SUU. “It is incredible that our state has four outstanding division one programs,” Utah head coach Tom Farden said. “It speaks volumes about the popularity of gymnastics in Utah. This meet will allow each school’s passionate fans to get a chance to see their team in a championship setting. The podium at the Maverik Center is simply one of the best and we are looking forward to this event this upcoming season.” Farden is entering his fourth years as head coach of the Utes. Last season they finished seventh at the NCAA championships. They return 10 of their 24 gymnasts, including two All-Americans, Missy Reinstadtler (all-around) and Sydney Soloski (floor). The team also includes two USA National team members, Maile O’Keefe and Abby Paulson. “We are not just interested in qualifying into the National Championships. We want to get Utah back on top of the podium,” Farden said. Utah owns 10 national championships, its last title came in 1995 and they finished second in 2015. SUU head coach Scoot Bauman’s Thunderbirds finished second in the MRGC last season. They beat Utah State all three times they faced each other last season. Karly McClain was named MRGC freshman of the year last season. Utah State closed out last season ranked 42nd overall and did not qualify for the National Championships. Leighton Varnandore earned second team MGRC all-around last season. The Maverik Center hosted the 2019 Pac-12 Women’s Gymnastics Champion-

Page 14 | December 2019

The University of Utah Red Rocks placed second in the Pac-12 last season and qualified for the NCAA National Championships. (Photo courtesy Utah Athletics)

ships in March and is scheduled to be the host venue for the next three years. It seats approximately 9,000 for gymnastics events. Tickets for these events can be purchased by contacting the Maverik Center and the schools. Utah gymnastics led the NCAA in attendance for women’s sports last season. South Carolina basketball was second and LSU gymnastics third. The Utes largest crowd for a meet was in 2015 when they hosted Michigan at the Huntsman Center, 16,019 an NCAA record. l

We are honored to host the Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet. We look forward to continuing to host high caliber gymnastics events that elevate the level of competition.” — Kevin Bruder,

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West Valley City Journal


Service and sacrifice honored By Darrell Kirby | d.kirby@mycityjournals.com

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reedom is not free. That was the recurring theme of West Valley City’s Veterans Day Program to honor the men and women who served and sacrificed as members of America’s armed forces. The fifth annual event at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center on Nov. 11 recognized local residents who served active duty or as reserves in all branches of the military during peacetime and in conflicts from World War II up to Afghanistan starting in 2001. Some 280 servicemen and women, their families and guests, and city officials attended the dinner and program sponsored by West Valley City. In welcoming the gathering, Mayor Ron Bigelow, himself an Air Force veteran, said that whether military members were in combat or not, their roles were equally important in keeping the United States secure and free. “Even though many veterans who served in peacetime didn’t feel like they did very much, it was critical for their participation because deterrence is as important as the actual combat,” he said. That sentiment was echoed by keynote speaker, First Sergeant (Ret.) Jeff Malo of the Utah Army National Guard, who served in Afghanistan among other places. “Our ser-

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Above left: Ronald Taylor, a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War, takes in the West Valley City Veterans Day Program at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals) Above right: Veterans and other attendees look at displays at West Valley City’s Veterans Day Program at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

vice as a deterrent force is as critical if not more critical than our ability to serve in a combat environment.” Veterans were invited to come forward and introduce themselves, starting with those who served in World War II. The oldest to do so was Ronald Taylor, Chief Petty Officer in

the Navy, who saw action in both World War II and the Korean War. “I’m grateful for my service and all my shipmates,” he said. To the applause of the audience, Bigelow said that veterans will be further honored in the future with the proposed Utah Veterans Memorial Hall to be built not far from

the Cultural Celebration Center. Plans and fundraising for the project are still underway. The mayor said that the building will be not just a site for names and dates, but a place in which the stories and experiences of veterans are told. l

December 2019 | Page 15


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Copper Hills High School will field a lacrosse team this spring; several Granite School District schools will not. (Photo courtesy Copper Hills lacrosse)

Lacrosse unavailable for some local players By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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n May of 2017, the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) voted to sanction boys and girls high school lacrosse starting in the spring of 2020. That season is just around the corner and several Granite School District teams are nonexistent. “There is not a lot of interest,” Taylorsville Athletic Director Guy Mackay said. “It’s a little heartbreaking,” said Kearns senior Miles Watkins. “I thought we would have the first hometown team my senior year, but it is not to be, we are still fighting.” Granger, Hunter, Taylorsville, Kearns and Cyprus high schools are among several not sponsoring teams this spring. Several in Davis County and a couple of southern Utah County schools are in the same predicament. For the players from those schools there are options. Those options involve tough choices. “Players in those Granite District Schools that do not sponsor lacrosse will be able to take advantage of the UHSAA co-op rule,” Utah High School Activities Association Assistant Director Jon Oglesby said. “It allows them to unenroll at their school and enroll in a school that offers lacrosse. Then unenroll and re-enroll after the season at their school.” Granite School District is not the only one not to sanction the sport completely. Nebo and Davis school districts followed suit. Granite students are afforded the opportunity to play at Skyline and Olympus if they desire. Both club teams have existed for several years. “My advice for any interested players or parents is to have a sit down with a school administrator,” Intermountain Lacrosse (IMLAX) Girls Coordinator Maddie Ferguson said. “I am sure there are hold ups in space/ coaches and many things, but in my experience that when approached in the right way people are open to communication and development.” Sanctioning the sport is the first step to it growing in this area, according to supporters. “There is interest in these areas,” said

Collin Madsen, the boys coordinator at Intermountain Lacrosse. “A group of parents is working to start a youth program in Taylorville and we were recently approached by a family in Kearns that wants to start up.” IMLAX is developing a program to help elementary school PE teachers learn the game so they can teach it in school along with sports like volleyball and soccer. “With high school lacrosse administration falling with the UHSAA our office now can have the time for outreach with those schools,” Ferguson said. “It is easy for kids to fall in love with this game. All they need is a stick in their hand.” According to the National Federation of High School Sports, the number of high school sports athletes dropped last season by nearly 44,000 participants. Lacrosse is a sanctioned sport in 26 states and reported 214,000 athletes last season. According to the Wall Street Journal, lacrosse participants has increased more than any sport the last decade. In Utah, sanctioning the sport has had its bumps, but participants expressed their excitement to be part of the UHSAA. “It doesn’t mean that the games are all on prime time or that getting the right coach has gotten any easier,” Ferguson said. “Parent boards are now dealing with the more fun things than the administration things. The school now puts more time and money into logistics like uniforms and such. It does mean that your late night games and pep rallies are in the school announcements. It has become legitimate, the high school varsity lacrosse player is possible in Utah. That is pretty rad in my opinion.” “Administrators and coaches have been wonderfully collaborative,” UHSAA’s Oglesby said. “We are excited for the upcoming season.” Sanctioned boys and girls lacrosse is set to begin this spring. The first official practice can be held in February 2020 and the finals are scheduled for May 22, 2020 in Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman.l

West Valley City Journal


West Valley City calls attention to problem of domestic violence By Darrell Kirby | d.kirby@mycityjournals.com

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est Valley City is not immune from incidents of domestic violence that afflict the United States. Officials with the city say they receive hundreds — even thousands — of reports each year of alleged abuse involving family members and others with close relationships. With October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, West Valley City did its part to call attention to the problem and resources available to victims locally. A “honk and wave” was held in front of City Hall facing Constitution Boulevard followed by city officials, police and community members assembling kits to help victims displaced from their homes because of abusive situations. Mayor Ron Bigelow read a proclamation declaring October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the city. Sharla Hansen Perett, victim services coordinator for West Valley City, says there is a definite increase in reports of local abuse. “It’s also interesting to watch the increase in the severity of the victimization that is being reported. The abuse is getting more and more damaging, more and more toxic than it has in past years, which is definitely scary to me and scary to us as a department,”

West Valley City police, city leaders and community members wave to passing motorists in front of City Hall to bring awareness to domestic violence. (Darrell Kirby/ City Journals)

she said. And it’s not just women and children who are victims. “We have multiple male victims in our caseload as well,” said West Valley City prosecutor Amy Jones. Hansen Perett says multiple support services are available through her office and other public, private, and nonprofit organizations to help people affected by domestic vi-

olence. They include emotional, physical and legal resources. “We try to do a wraparound program with each victim so they are utilizing everything that is available to them.” The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says “Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women

and men.” One in three women and one out of four men have suffered physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner, the coalition adds. West Valley residents who believe they are victims of domestic violence can call the Victim Services office at 801-963-3223. The after-hours crisis line is 801-231-8185. For emergencies, dial 911. l

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Utah Cultural Celebration Center to host annual Christmas concerts, holiday market

Nearly 5,000 attend Day of the Dead at Cultural Celebration Center

By Darrell Kirby | d.kirby@mycityjournals.com

By Darrell Kirby | d.kirby@mycityjournals.com

Trees of Diversity will be one of the special exhibits at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center this December. (File photo City Journals)

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est Valley City will usher in the holiday season for residents and visitors with its Winter Concert Series. The city-sponsored events will take place at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, on the following schedule: Monday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.: Beehive Statesmen Barbershop Chorus Christmas Concert Chorus and quartet renditions of favorite Christmas songs will be presented by current members of this 70-yearold singing group. Monday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.: West Valley Symphony of Utah Christmas Concert The 80-musician all-volunteer orchestra will perform old and new holiday classics.

Page 18 | December 2019

Monday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.: Bonnie Harris & The Valley Jazz Christmas Concert Award-winning local singer Bonnie Harris will sing Christmas classis accompanied by the classic big band, The Valley Jazz. This annual holiday tradition is in its 23rd year. Adults and children are welcome at each event. Doors for the concerts open at 6:30 p.m. with first come, first served open seating. People are encouraged to arrive at 6 p.m. to shop for Christmas gifts from local arts and crafts vendors at the Holiday Market. There will also be special exhibits including Trees of Diversity, featuring Christmas trees decorated by different cultural communities and individuals. Admission to everything is free. For more information, visit www.culturalcelebration.org. l

Stephen Scoville with his children Mason, left, Grace, and Noah get in the spirit of DĂ­a de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City. The event on Nov. 2 was a local celebration of a Mexican holiday in which people honor deceased family members with colorful displays of flowers, costumes, music, dance, food, arts, and crafts. Nearly 5,000 people attended. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

West Valley City Journal


West Valley City’s border is home to the largest Homeless Resource Center By Bill Hardesty | B.Hardesty@mycityjournals.com

A

s of Nov. 7, all major hurdles to opening the 1000 West Homeless Resource Center (HRC) are resolved. The planning commission approved the conditional use permit (CUP) as amended, and it was executed after the meeting when Preston Cochrane, executive director of Shelter the Homeless (STH), signed the CUP. This means that starting the week of Nov. 18, men will be transferred to the new facility from The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City. Once that is completed by the end of the month, the downtown center will be demolished. Laura Vernon, the commission chair, complimented both city staff and the applicant for working so hard these past few months to resolve differences. In July, Mayor Cherie Wood was using the term “nonnegotiable” referring to certain conditions. In turn, Cochrane was threatening to have the state take over the property, which, in the opinion of some legal experts, would negate the need for a CUP. “The final document is true to our intent,” Wood said. Wood often mentioned the city’s intent was always for a safe environment for the HRC residents and a safe community for city residents.

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Shelter the Homeless is the owner of the HRC and The Road Home will operate the facility. On the first floor, there is one public entrance opening to an intake area along with bike storage and residential storage. On the north side, in-kind donations can be delivered. Within the center, there is a common area and large dining area. Three meals a day will be available to residents. The food will be provided by Catholic Community Services. Also, on the first floor is a health services clinic run by the Fourth Street Clinic and a barber shop. There is a large case-management area across from health services. On the second floor are classrooms and eight sleeping areas with a mixture of single and bunk beds. There is also a balcony that overlooks the Jordan River. On the east side, there is a laundry, computer lab and a community room. On the roof are over 400 solar energy panels projected to save $1.2 million over the next 20 years. Auric Energy partnered with Rocky Mountain Power to make this savings possible. The average stay will be 90 days. There are both interior and exterior cameras. Ribbon cutting

The ribbon was cut for the largest and last of three HRCs on Nov. 5. The other two HRCs are in Salt Lake City. This HRC is for 300 men only and is 77,461 square feet. During the ceremony, Cochrane mentioned that this new model on focusing on housing started five years ago. “We want to be a trusted neighbor of the community,” Cochrane said. Becky Pickle, The Road Home president elect, mentioned that having Homeless Resource Centers are only one part of the puzzle and that we need to resolve the housing crisis in Utah. She called upon the state legislature to provide more money for low-income housing. “We want to be a great neighbor for South Salt Lake,” Pickle said. She concluded her comments with a passionate thank you to The Road Home staff and volunteers and pleaded for others to get involved. “Deeply grateful for the privilege to be involved,” said Matthew Minkevitch, The Road Home’s executive director in his prepared remarks. He mentioned it was not an easy lift to open the HRC and pledged to work with all parties along the way. “We are committed to helping people find a place they can call home,” Minkevitch

Government officials and members of the homeless resources community cut the ribbon on the new 1000 West Homeless Resource Center. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

concluded. Mayor Wood talked about the 80-year history of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity in South Salt Lake. “We have always welcomed people in need,” Wood said. She mentioned the dedicated HRC officers within the SSL police department that will help provide a safe environment for center residents and the greater community. Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson was the final speaker. She observed that it took vision, dedication and caring to make the HRCs happen. She teared up as she spoke about the high level of community involvement and the importance of finding the best place for HRC residents.. l

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Salt Lake County Council | Aimee Winder Newton | District 3

very fall, Salt Lake County goes through its annual budget process. As the government entity with the second largest government budget in Utah (coming behind only the state budget itself), there are a myriad of programs, services, and expenditures that comprise the now $1.4 billion budget. In addition to the statutorily required functions that include assessing and collecting taxes, running elections, and core criminal justice/public safety roles, there are quality of life functions that make Salt Lake County a better place for families to flourish. These include our regional parks, recreation centers, open space, libraries, and other regionally significant amenities - some of which are funded through tourism dollars. I love living in Salt Lake County, both for the quality of life as well as the fact that we work hard to tackle tough challenges like childhood trauma, poverty, affordable housing, and more. It’s very important to me that county government performs its essential and important functions with integrity, transparency, and efficiency. The budget season is a time when I and my colleagues on the council must act in an oversight role over the executive branch to ensure funds are spent in accordance with the principles above. This is particularly important this year, given that the County Mayor’s proposed budget includes a nearly $18 million property tax increase. My goal is to find any unnecessary spending so that we can balance the budget without a tax increase, before we ever ask taxpayers for more. As we come to the close of this budget process, I want to outline some of the key principles I’ve brought to the budget this year, and every year prior. First and foremost, tax dollars collected don’t “belong” to the county. They are your dollars. Taxpayers entrust the county (or any government for that matter) with a portion of their hard-earned money, and in exchange, expect the government to perform essential, necessary functions for the constituency. There is no amount of tax dollars that is too small to be scrutinized. That is why I push back aggressively anytime I hear someone say, “It’s only x dollars… so we shouldn’t worry about it.” Any expenditure whether it’s $10,000 or $10 million should be reviewed, and if

it can’t be fully justified to the taxpayers, it should be cut. Second, I believe that all government functions should be viewed in two different categories: “need to have” and “nice to have.” The “need to have” list obviously includes things that are statutorily required of the county to perform, as mentioned above. I also consider public safety and criminal justice generally to be in the “need to have” category, since keeping our residents safe is absolutely one of the core functions of government. That doesn’t preclude the need to still find efficiencies in public safety and criminal justice, but this area should be highly prioritized. The “nice to have” list includes quality of life aspects of the county mentioned above, as well as any other program or effort that can easily be described as “good” or of benefit to the county, but not always within the absolute necessities. These two lists are by no means exhaustive here. But this demonstrates the same principle that every family in our county goes through in their annual budgets. They strive to live within their means and focus on essential family expenditures sometimes at the expense of luxuries. Lastly, I review each aspect of our budget and ask “is this the proper role of county government.” I’ve said many times that government can’t and shouldn’t be all things to all people. There are many programs or services that are better suited to other government entities, or even nonprofits or the private sector. Particularly in a tight budget year, it’s important to review each program, service, or expenditure and ask that question again and again. I’m confident that these principles are the essence of good budgeting, and I will always advocate for this approach any time government is given the trust of the public through their tax dollars. Though there isn’t always agreement among my council colleagues on budgetary matters, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and deliberate with them. And I am particularly grateful to the constituents who have trusted me to look out for their tax dollars throughout my years of service.

West Valley City Journal


Winter skies hold less pollution than 10 years ago By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

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inter is coming. With it comes trapped pollution. Air pollution in the Salt Lake valley is a problem: an obvious statement. The good news is, it’s become less of a problem than it was in 2010. In a presentation to the American Planners Association, Thom Carter, UCAIR (Utah Clean Air Partnership) executive director, stated that, “From 2002 to 2017, total emissions have dropped 38% despite the population increasing 34% during that same time period.” Why is the air better? Because we discovered the primary culprits for pollution. Us. Fifty-two percent of Utah residents are now aware their own vehicles are the biggest contributor, whereas six years ago 56% thought mines, refineries and other industries were at fault. Because residents see themselves as responsible, many are making efforts to change their habits. Taking public transit instead of driving alone is one of the biggest changes people are making.

“With 50% of pollution coming from our tailpipes, not idling, reducing cold starts, taking transit, carpooling are most beneficial to reducing our impact on air quality,” Carter said. Another major contributor to pollution is old appliances. “Changing out a traditional water heater to an ultra-low NOx water heater can make a big difference. Experts at the Department of Environmental Quality tell us that nitrous oxide or NOx is a precursor of PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5 micrometers)….When a homeowner switches to an ultra-low NOx water heater, it reduces NOx emissions by 75%,” Carter said. There’s even a way to save yourself cash and reduce pollution; turn your furnace down by two degrees. “Regarding thermostats, we know that people are turning down their thermostats to save money and help air quality….This 2 degree difference can save 1 ton in CO2. The average family emits 25 tons of CO2 emissions per year,” Carter said. However, if any of these small efforts stopped, pollution would again skyrocket. l

Vehicle emissions are one of the biggest contributors to airborne pollution. (Adobe stock photo)

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Santa sightings, Christmas concerts and tree lightings: Inexpensive holiday fun for the family By Christy Jepson | Christy@mycityjournals.com

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udgets can get tight around this time of year. Sometimes taking your family to certain holiday events can be pricey. But don’t despair. Take a peek at this list (but not Santa’s!) and enjoy inexpensive holiday fun for the whole family.

HERRIMAN

Night of Lights: Monday, Dec. 2 from 5-9 p.m. at the Herriman City Hall and Crane Park (5355 W. Herriman Main St.). Enjoy the night while watching the tree lighting, visit with Santa, make a holiday craft, eat at one DRAPER of the many food trucks, listen to live music Draper Tree Lighting Ceremony: Mon- and watch a laser light show. day, Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m. at the Draper City RIVERTON Park. This celebration will consist of lightSanta’s Arrival in Riverton: Monday, ing over 65,000 lights, including those on the Dec. 2 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Riverton City large willow tree in the center of the park. Park (1452 W. 12600 South). Come greet You can also visit with Santa, listen to live Santa as he and Mrs. Claus arrive to the park music, and stroll through the park. Each night on a fire truck. Enjoy making crafts, cookafter Dec. 2, the lights come on at 5:15 p.m. ie decorating, visiting with vendors, writing and turn off at 10:30 p.m. letters to Santa, roasting marshmallows, and Candy Cane Hunt: Monday, Dec. 9 from enjoying a free warm scone with honey but4-5 p.m. at the Draper Historic Park, 12625 ter and a cup of hot chocolate. S. 900 East. Children ages 6 and young‘Twas the Lights before Christmas: er will enjoy this free event that starts at 4 Dec. 6-12, 14-18, 21-23 from 6-9 p.m. at the p.m. sharp. Not only will there be thousands Riverton City Park. This new holiday event of candy canes hidden throughout the park, costs $10 per vehicle. While staying warm in some of those candy canes can be redeemed your car, you can read “‘Twas the Night Befor a new holiday toy. There will be a special fore Christmas” on giant storyboards and see arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire truck holiday lights. (Enter the park through 12800 to meet the children. Santa will be available South via 1300 West) for photos in the gazebo. There will also be Christmas Night of Music Concert: hot chocolate and jumbo marshmallow roast- Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at Riverton High ing. School, 12476 S. Silverwolf Way. Beauti-

A child explores the unique retail experience, Christmas in the Wizarding World at The Shops at South Town. (Photo courtesy The Shops at South Town)

ful holiday music will be performed by a watch: The Northern Lights, foam the melts 100-member choir and orchestra from the before their eyes, indoor fireworks and dry ice experiments. area. SANDY Christmas in the Wizarding World: Visit Mad Holiday Science: Thursday, Dec. this unique retail experience now until Jan. 6. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Sandy Library, 10100 S. The hours at The Shops at South Town are 10 Petunia Way. Santa Eggbert will explore sci- a.m. to 9 p.m. This is the final year that this ence with a holiday twist. Children will get to event will be in Utah. Visitors can browse for

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free or if there is a Harry Potter fan in your family there is a wide selection of Harry Potter merchandise. Santa’s Toy Bag presented by the Utah Puppet Theater: Monday, Dec. 23 at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Sandy Library.

SOUTH JORDAN

Light the Night Tree Lighting Celebration: Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-8:30 p.m. After the tree lighting ceremony, walk down Towne Center Drive and enjoy the festive holiday candy window displays, shop at the Winter Market, visit with Santa, enjoy hot cocoa, gingerbread house displays, live music, sleigh rides, drum line and a holiday movie. SoJo Choral Arts presents the 15th Annual Sounds of the Season Choir and Orchestra Holiday Concert: Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. at Bingham High School, 2160 S. Jordan Parkway. This is a free concert and will last a little over an hour.

SALT LAKE CITY

The Utah Olympic Oval Holiday Festival: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-10 p.m. At this event there will be an oval figure skating ice show, crafts, a visit and pictures with Mrs. and Mr. Claus, a photo booth and public ice skating. Admission is $5 for adults (13 years old and older) and $3 for kids (3-12 years old). Ice skate rentals are $3.50 per person. There is free entry when you bring a non-perishable food item benefiting the Kearns Food Pantry. Skate rental fees will still apply, however. The Utah Olympic Oval is located at 5662 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West) in Kearns. Christmas Carole Sing-Along: Monday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This free concert is presented by the Larry H. Miller family and will feature songs by Ryan Innes, with the emcee being Jason Hewlett.

The Grand Christmas Hotel Holiday Window Stroll at The Grand America Hotel: From now until Dec. 31 be amazed at the 14 handcrafted whimsical holiday-themed window displays. Open Monday through Thursdays 4-8 p.m., Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and from Dec. 21-31 the window displays are open Monday-Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Parking fees apply if you park at the hotel. The hotel is located at 555 S. Main Street.

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The Magic of the Christmas Season: Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 West. This festive night is presented by Mont “Magic” and children who attend will find out what happened to The Grinch and learn what other reindeer games Rudolph wasn’t allowed to play. Children will find the answers to these silly Christmas questions and learn some magic tricks. A Visit from St. Nicholas: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Bring your kids for an afternoon of Christmas stories and take your picture with Santa. This is a free event at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 West). West Jordan Arts Annual Holiday Concert: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-8 p.m. featuring several of West Jordan’s City’s musical groups including the West Jordan Symphony, Mountain West Chorale, West Jordan City Band and the West Jordan Jazz Band. This event will be held at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 West). The West Jordan Symphony’s 26th annual Handel’s “Messiah” sing-along: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 7-9 p.m. at the Viridian Event Center, 8030 S. 1825 West. This program will feature local soloists and the West Jordan Symphony and Mountain West Chorale. l

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74 54-59 2 1 0 8 A girl visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Riverton’s annual Christmas event, Santa’s Arrival in Riverton. (Photo courtesy Riverton City Communications)

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December 2019 | Page 23


Hikers, bicyclists, equestrians weigh in on the future of Salt Lake County’s trails By Jennifer J. Johnson

T

he Visit Salt Lake website boasts of Salt Lake City’s significant “trailheads in town”—but the only trails referenced are downtown-accessible and reference access to the Wasatch Mountains. For those of us who live here, trails matter, too—and not just trails accessible from downtown, but trails in our parts of the valley for varied recreation as well as interconnected trails for daily transportation to-and-from work and other interactions. The city of South Jordan routinely publicizes year-after-year survey results that the No. 1 amenity cited by residents is the city’s robust trails network. City administrators and elected officials repeatedly remind residents of this fact, when matters of development come up—such as paving previously unpaved areas to earn funding to interconnect the trails with other systems throughout the valley, etc. The Jordan River Parkway is a continuous, non-motorized, paved trail, which follows the Jordan River—what Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson calls “the heart of the county”—for 45-plus miles, weaving in and out of urban areas, parks and marshy areas. In August, the City Journals published an article about the preponderance of hiking

Trails, he says, do not represent “one source of truth.” They also, he has found, do not even consistently mean the same thing to different people or stakeholder groups. Helping define trails syntax, along with developing the future of trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians, and other constituents is core to the work his team at the planning department are undertaking now.

AUGUST INPUT

The horse community of Dimple Dell has a long history of protecting nature and riparian habitat and wants to see unpaved, rather than paved pathways. (Andrey Zharkikh/Flickr)

Journals that Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Planning Department is working to “get municipalities and interested parties to come together” to help define and divine the area’s future for trails. In the quest to best understand trails, he said he spent nearly a month studying—by DEFINING TRAILS personal enjoyment on a family vacation— Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation trail systems in Japan, some of which date Planning Director Martin Jensen told the City back to the eighth century.

trails in the area. Trail advocates and environmentalist alike, throughout the valley, now have the opportunity to influence progress on not just existing, well-publicized trail systems, but fledgling, under-developed, unconnected and even undeveloped ones.

During August, the planning department hosted four open houses to solicit early resident and stakeholder input on updating the regional trails plan. Constituents from Magna to Midvale, from Holladay to Herriman were courted to provide input on a proposed trails corridor that would enhance a current patchwork network that provides rare and incomplete EastWest connectivity, to a richer, broader, more connected trails network that would reach the edges of the Wasatch foothills to the East and the Oquirrh foothills to the West, and significantly amp trails access for Western constituents. A big issue of consideration was the matter of to pave or not to pave select trails. Constituent groups made a strong showing.

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biking by having a predominance of softer, unpaved trails, which are easier on newbies likely to experience some falls. That said, Timmer also indicates that he is a big fan of the storied W&OD Trail—or “Wad” trail, which is short for Northern Virginia’s Washington and Old Dominion Trail. That trail is an asphalt-surfaced rail trail that runs through densely populated urban and suburban communities as well as through rural areas. Wad, then, seems akin to Salt Lake County’s Jordan River Parkway. “There’s a place for both,” he said and added, “I ride my bike wherever I go.”

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Dwyer, on the board of both the Salt Lake Valley Trails Society and the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective, underscored what he sees as the critical importance of Salt Lake County’s trail visioning update. “This plan is important—it’s a pathways plan,” he said, observing that the county’s plans for more extensive soft-surface trails, which are also connected with other existing or new trails, would significantly add to the quality of life and limit the need for automobiles in the overall transportation equation. While horse and hiking enthusiasts are interested in the recreation side, bicycle riders such as Timmer and Dwyer are interested in leveraging the two-wheeled recreation experience they love to the fullest extent possible—and doing so in a safe environment. Although the Salt Lake Valley Trails Society’s webpage features a mid-air cyclist in a 160-degree position, Dwyer indicates trails can offer—and need to offer—cyclists safe, connected transportation routes throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Dwyer says he has been hit by automobiles three times while riding his bike. As a result, he says he no longer elects to ride on roads without dedicated pathways. “Without a plan like this, I am terrified,” he told the City Journals. l

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Those deep in horse country speak out loudly and proudly Draper is still a horse community, although ordinances over the past few decades have reined in the larger-scale stables that once helped define the agricultural area now succumbing to development. The Draper Open House, held at the Dimple Dell Recreation Center, was notable in three ways. First, the session kicked off all four open houses. Second, it was well-attended, dwarfing participation at other open houses. Third, those attending the meeting and sharing their insights were decidedly horserights oriented and were of the “anti-pave” nature. The nation’s oldest continuously operating horse organization, the Green Mountain Horse Association, indicates that horses are “the vehicle that thinks” and that “horses are the only means of transport into the wilderness that has a mind of its own.” As a result, horse owners approach the concept of trail sharing as one requiring thoughtfulness and consideration from both rider and non-rider points of view. A group of approximately 30 residents—most, if not all of whom represented the area’s horse community and loudly defended the importance of preserving river ecologies (riparian corridors)—attended and vigorously contributed in both written and verbal comments to the plan. The cycling community – representing those who ride recreationally and full time “I’d like to see more unpaved, soft trails,” said Dylan Timmer of Rose Park, who attended the second of four open houses. Timmer, a cycling aficionado who tends to ride his bike just about everywhere—either in tandem with transit or just solo—notes that it is “a different experience” riding on paved trails versus unpaved trails. Young families, he observes, benefit in the effort to get children started on mountain

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or some reason unbeknownst to me, us Utahans get way too hyped over holiday lights. Perhaps, we really like them because of the creative designs. Or maybe it’s because it’s a cheap or completely priceless way to spend a magical night with friends and family. It might even be a way for many of us to fight the seasonal depression that comes along with the winter darkness. Whatever the reason may be, we love some holiday lights. If you haven’t checked out these locations yet, I recommend them for a usually-completely-free experience (unless you’re buying some hot chocolate). My favorite light events over the past few years have been the Trees of Life. While originally named the Tree of Light, many residents have nicknamed the trees “Trees of Life,” for various reasons. One of the most stunning trees grows in Draper City Park (1300 E. 12500 South). Every year, over 65,000 lights are carefully strung throughout the tree. When lit (which occurs the first Monday evening after Thanksgiving) all of the branches of the tree are illuminated; making it seem like a tree from a magical world. Throughout the valley, many more Trees of Life are being decorated. The closest one to me personally resides in a cemetery. That’s where I would check to see if there’s a Tree of Life near you. Temple Square arguably has the most famous lights within the valley. Located in

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downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square decorates their 10-acre complex with many different colors and styles of lights. This year, the lights will be on from Nov. 29 until Dec. 31. Check them out from 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. The Grand America Hotel in SLC (555 S. Main St.) is a building to sight-see all year round. When it’s lit up with Christmas lights though, it’s hard not to miss. City Creek (50 S. Main Street in Salt Lake City) will turn on their lights for the season on Nov. 21. Their event titled “Santa’s Magical Arrival” will kick off at 6 p.m., when the Candy Windows at Macy’s on Main Street are revealed. The Westminster College Dance Program will be performing “Eve” and will be followed by a fire fountain show. Light the Heights in Cottonwood Heights will occur on Dec. 2, beginning at 5 p.m. A holiday market will be open as City Hall, located at 2277 E. Bengal Blvd., turns on their lights for the first time this season. Other public spaces that are worth walking through to see the lights are This is the Place Heritage Park (2537 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City), Gardner Village (1100 W. 7800 South, West Jordan), and Thanksgiving Points (3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi). Beginning on Dec. 6, Hogle Zoo (2600 E. Sunnyside Ave.) will host Zoo Lights! intermittently throughout the season until Jan. 5. This event does require an entrance fee of

$9.95. On Sundays through Thursdays, they will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, they will be open until 10 p.m. One other event with an entrance fee that’s worth mentioning is Christmas in Color in South Jordan, at 1161 S. 2200 West. You’ll need your car for this one as you drive through lighted tunnels and landscapes for at least 30 minutes. Tickets are $27 per vehicle. Now back to the free-of-charge neighborhood lights. In Sugar House, Glen Arbor Drive (also unofficially known as “Christmas Street”) is a popular destination for holiday drivers. While driving, please be courteous of the street’s residents. In Taylorsville, (another unofficial) Christmas Street has been causing quite a stir. It’s a festive neighborhood where the residents really take to the holiday. Located around 3310 W. Royal Wood Drive, this street is one to cruise down. The Lights on Sherwood Drive in Kaysville is also a neighborhood gaining popularity. According to their Facebook page, their Christmas light shows are fully controlled and synchronized to a light show. Shows start at 5:30 p.m. and run until 10 p.m. every day of the week. If you’re looking for even more places to visit, you might want to check out chistmaslightfinder.com.

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West Valley City Journal


Son of a Nutcracker

I

t’s the time of year people pretend “The Nutcracker” ballet is a fun holiday activity. If you’re one of the lucky few who never sat through this weird production involving multi-headed vermin, living toys and one unsettling old man, here’s a recap. Picture a festive house in the late 1800s with dozens of dancing guests, skipping children and happy servants, basically it’s the “12 Days of Christmas” come to life. Young Clara and her obnoxious brother, Fritz, are the ballet version of little kids crazy-excited for Christmas. (The ballet version differs from real life because ballet dancers don’t speak, where real children don’t shut up from Thanksgiving to Christmas morning.) Dr. Drosselmeyer, Clara’s super-creepy godfather, appears at the party dressed like Count Chocula and presents her with a wooden nutcracker. Clara is over-the-top ecstatic, for reasons I’ll never understand. I guess children had a different relationship with nutcrackers in the 19th century. Clara’s brother is SO jealous of the gift (right??) that he flings the nutcracker across the room, because really, what else can you do with a nutcracker? Clara’s despondent. She wraps his broken wooden body in a sling (like ya do) and falls asleep on the couch, snuggled to her nutcracker. During the night, the Rat King and his minions sneak into Clara’s home, because why not? She wakes up and freaks out. The

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nutcracker turns into a handsome soldier and wields his sword to defeat the rodent army. “Nutcracker! You’re my hero!” screams Clara, if people in a ballet could talk. “That’s Prince Nutcracker to you, peasant,” he sniffs in pantomime, before taking her to the magical Land of the Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy who has an unclear but definite sexual relationship with Prince Nutcracker. While in the Land of Sweets, Clara watches dancers from Russia, Spain, China and Arabia (?) as they perform in a culturally stereotypical fashion. Prince Nutcracker sits next to Clara cracking walnuts with his jaw like some football jock. Mother Ginger shows up in drag with a skirt full of tumbling children, then there’s a flower waltz and dancing pipes and tons more pirouetting before the Sugar Plum Fairy takes the stage to make everyone else look clumsy and insipid. It’s all performed to Tchaikovsky’s musical score that stays in your head through January. In the end, it turns out it was all a dream, as most stories involving young girls and adventure turn out to be. I told you that story to tell you this story. When I was a gangly 11 year old, still full of hope, I auditioned for Ballet West’s “The Nutcracker.” As the audition drew nearer, I practiced every spin and arabesque I’d ever learned. I played the music all day until my

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dad walked into my room, removed the album from the turn table and smashed it into pieces with his bare hands. I showed up at the audition with my hair pulled into a bun so tight it closed my eyes. An elegant dancer performed several steps that we practiced for a few minutes, then we performed for the judges. It was over so quickly. As dancers were given roles as soldiers, party goers and mice, I held my breath. But my number wasn’t called. I was heartbroken. Maybe decades later I’m insulted that the ballet judges couldn’t see my awkward talent. Or maybe I’ve endured enough versions of this tale to see it’s craziness. And if “The Nutcracker” is your family’s favorite holiday tradition, ignore my opinion. It’s all a dream anyway.

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