West Valley January 2017

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January 2017 | Vol. 3 Iss. 1


Skaters, taxes and veterans, oh my! WVC saw it all in 2016 By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

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District 33 Representative Craig Hall and his family visit the Wall that Heals in July at Centennial Park. (Kevin Conde/West Valley City)


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Page 2 | January 2017


Henry’s hope lives on

By Huy Tran | h.tran@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed November 2016 The West Valley City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout West Valley City. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

The West Valley Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Travis Barton travis@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Steve Hession steve@mycityjournals.com CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Melody Bunker Tina Falk Ty Gorton

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n the 75 days he was alive, William Henry Bishop Metcalf, born with a syndrome called Trisomy 18, fought innumerable odds and touched countless lives around him. His story moved hundreds and brought about a message of strength and hope in the community. Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a condition where a developing baby has an extra chromosome 18. This creates several developmental issues that can prove to be life threatening in the early months of life. Studies show only 50 percent of these children will be born alive, with boys in particular having a lower rate of survival. Henry indeed had many challenges stacked against him. “It’s hard to lose your baby,” said Henry’s mother Jeanine Metcalf. “It was a new diagnosis every single day, it seemed like.” Baby Henry was born six weeks prematurely with holes in his heart and weak lungs. He endured pneumonia, an intestinal infection and a broken arm due to his rushed delivery. Chest compressions were performed to start Henry’s heart. As soon as his respiration stabilized, he was evacuated on Life Flight to Primary Children’s Hospital. However, the Metcalf family received a massive outpour of love and support from the community. Many people locally and out of state helped organize funding services for Henry and “#HopeforHenry” became a movement that inspired all to stand up and make a difference. From donation jars at the local Beans & Brews Coffee Houses to car washes, friends and family came together to help. A crowdfunding page was set up for Henry and GoFundMe alone raised more than $4,000 for his cause, most of which came from people the family did not know. Henry’s funeral service took place on Sept. 22, which was broadcasted as far as Germany. Christian Stevens, a family friend, sang with BYU’s a cappella group Vocal Point and presented a special number for the event. He performed Disney’s “Go the Distance” from the film “Hercules”, and moved the entire audience. “He was my favorite,” Metcalf said. “Because of how young he is, the innocence of his voice captured Henry’s essence really well.” The day of the funeral featured a variety of events. The skies filled with balloons as 150 locals gathered for a Hope for Henry balloon launch. “It was funny, because so many of them got stuck together while others flew off separately,” said Metcalf, laughing. “But I found that to be true of Henry’s story. We all stuck together and it completely changed the dynamics of our family.” Indeed, his story taught the importance of family and how love can always bring people together. Henry was a beacon of light to everyone around him, and stood as a reminder to the community that hope exists in the world. He taught all the lessons of forgiveness and compassion.

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Ryan and Jeanine Metcalf with their son Henry at Primary Children’s Hospital (Gusty Darling)

“Henry has taught me to see the sunshine through the trees, to thrive and not just survive,” Metcalf said. “To enjoy each and every moment, to see the beauty even in the darkest moments and to trust in God and His eternal plan.” Henry is survived by his mother and father, brothers Taylor and Collin, and sisters Alyssa, Piper and Darci. The annual Festival of Trees will be displaying a tree this year in remembrance of Henry. The event will be from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at the South Towne Exposition Center located at 9575 S. State Street in Sandy. All proceeds will give “A Gift of Love” to children at Primary Children’s Hospital this holiday season. To learn more about this event, visit www.intermountainhealthcare.org. l

January 2017 | Page 3

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West Marquee Utah Utah Heritage Heritage event Event WestValley ValleySeeks seeks to to Create create marquee By Chris Larson | chris.larson@mycityjournals.com By Chris Larson | chris.larson@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed September 2016


he Utah Cultural Celebration Center hosted the inaugural West Valley Wild West Roundup on July 16 as a way to celebrate the history and culture of the area as the pioneers would have seen it. Visual and Performing Arts Manager Michael Christensen said West Valley City — the second largest city in the state — was trying to develop a marquee or “signature” summer event for the cultural center. At the same time, Christensen said Mayor Ron Bigelow received a grant from Zions Bank to help develop the city’s community arts program. “We thought, ‘How can we celebrate our western pioneer heritage, our Native American history and kind of the Hollywood and real cowboy versions of what happens in the interior west, historically and contemporarily?’” Christensen said. five-hour, one-day event featured live music and The five-hour, events and demonstrations from several local artists and experts, culminating in a performance by The Legacy Folk Ensemble, all celebrating of the cultural heritage of the area. The grant money helped crystalize a spring/summer event that had gone through a few forms before becoming the Wild West Round Up. Originally, the cultural center developed the Festival Olmeca and that lead to another event called The Mix. “As we were talking with the mayor, we thought that West Valley would like to have its own contribution to the larger celebrations that take place in July on and around the 24th,” Christensen said. Christensen said the goal is to connect the Wild West Roundup with the Days of ‘47 events. non-profit Utah Pioneer The cultural center partnered with the non-profit

figures at the Wild West Roundup on July 16. Kids learn how to make small figures –Travis Barton/City Barton (Travis Journals)

Heritage Arts to bring in both musical and demonstration talent which included a handcart, woodworking, blacksmithing, cornhusk doll making, cowboy poetry, storytelling and pioneer era games.

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“If we don’t ever understand our roots we won’t ever understand ourselves,” Executive Director for the UPHA Clive Romney said of the many reasons to know both the culture and skills of the pioneers. The Li’l Feathers Committee brought in students for a cultural demonstration. Li’l Feathers is a Title XI-funded Office of Indian Education, program administered through the Office a federal agency. The Native American Trading post hosted a booth at the event to advertise their unique products and further represent that facet of Utah’s history. The cultural center opened in 2003 and is owned, operated and funded in-part by West Valley City. The center applies for and receives several grants and other funding from organizations like Salt Lake County Zoos, Arts and Parks and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. The cultural center has a dual purpose, according to Christensen. He said that the cultural center acts as an available event center for people to conduct relevant events and as an arts and culture venue. “The cultural center is a place for people to come celebrate their own heritage and culture and learn about the traditions of their neighbors,” Christensen said. Romney said that the pioneer games really help bring people together and have fun. “They had fun and we need to know about what they knew about having fun,” Romney said noting that many pioneer games require a lot of participation and physical exertion, promoting  stronger health and community in many ways. l

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UCCC Holds Inaugural WIFF By Chris Larson | chris.larson@mycityjournals.com


M yWestV alleyJournal .Com

January 2017 | Page 5


ood vendors and Cultural Center staff The West Valley City Journal is a buzzed all over the festival grounds of the monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locaUtah Cultural Celebration Center (UCCC) tions throughout West Valley City. as they prepared for the two-day Wasatch For information about distribution International Food Festival. By Chris Larson | chris.larson@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed September 2016 please email circulation@mycityjournals. Held Aug. 19 and 20, the food festival com or call our offices. Rack locations are featured market vendors also available on our website. ood vendors and Cultural Center staff secured a grant from Zions Bank that helped to Roots 26 Highfood is a and “farmed-based” high representing a spectrum of different nationalities For subscriptions please contact: buzzed all over the festival grounds of the create the food festival as well as the inaugural school, according to Clawson, that prepares and cultures, wellthe asagricultural culturally varied musical Utah Cultural Celebration Center (UCCC) Westcirculation@mycityjournals.com Valley Wild West Roundup, West Valley’s students to goasinto industry. The views and opinions expressed in entertainment. as they prepared for the two-day Wasatch attempt creating a marquee cultural The National FFA Convention will be an displayatadvertisements do not July necessarily Julie DeLong, deputy director of Utah International Food Festival. event. educational trip, where they will hear from the reflect or represent the views and opinCultural Celebration Center Foundation and Held Aug. 19 and 20, the food festival Theheld foodbyfestival, in its first year, ions Loyal Perch Media or was the a current FFA President Larry Case. Cultural hopes Arts Board said the City Journals. publication may not featured 26 food and market vendors ticketed event thatThis featured some popular local Schafer to goDevelopment, to flight school after event is all about building a strong community be reproduced in whole representing a spectrum of different culinary and musical talent. or in part without he graduates saying that the FFA is likely to by him gathering positive theLocal express consent of the owner. nationalities and cultures, as well as culturally chefwritten and restaurateur Viet Pham help pay forpeople school ifaround it is an aagriculture

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varied musical entertainment. Julie DeLong, deputy director of Utah Cultural Celebration Center Foundation and Cultural Arts Board Development, said the event is all about building a strong community by gathering people around a positive community event: food. “The UCCC and the community felt like its time had come,” DeLong said of the event. “It’s time to continue to come together in unity and to eat so delicious food… and get to know each other.” The event was an outgrowth of several factors. An ad hoc community group met July 2015 to talk about community events designed to strengthen the community and neighborhoods. “The idea really resonated with that community group we brought together,” DeLong said. West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow

attended the event Friday night and provided a cooking for Team attendees on The demonstration West Valley Saturday. DIRECTOR: PhamCREATIVE was semifinalist on Food Network’s “Extreme Chef” Bryan and Scott beat world-renowned bryan@mycityjournals.com Bobby Flay in an episode of “Iron Chef America”. He also has been recognized by EDITOR: various media outlets as the Salt Lake Travis such Barton Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine travis@mycityjournals.com Magazine and Reuters over the past several ADVERTISING: years. 801-254-5974 Musically, local favorites Tony Holiday and the Velvetones of Salt Lake and VanLadyLove DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: of Provo headlined Friday and Saturday, RyanonCasper respectively. ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com Roots High801-671-2034 School students Gregory Schafer and Jake Clawson said the local SALESofASSOCIATES: Future Farmers America Chapter was selling wateringMelissa cans toWorthen raise funds for a trip melissa@mycityjournals.com to the National 801-897-5231 FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. Steve Hession steve@mycityjournals.com Shey Buckley shey@mycityjournals.com 801-380-5676 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Melody Bunker Tina Falk Ty Gorton West Valley City Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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community food.said he plans on going related field.event: Clawson “The UCCC and thebut community felt like to Utah State University, will participate in its time had come,” DeLong said of the event. the college fair at the convention where schools “It’sallow time to continue student to comehopefuls togethertoinapply unity will agriculture and to eat so delicious food… and get to know for college. eachClawson other.” and Schafer are not the only ones The event was toanmake outgrowth of several at the festival hoping a good impression factors. An ad hoc community group met July for of their organization. 2015Anny to talkSooksri about community events designed to said she will be representing strengthen the community and neighborhoods. her three different businesses at the food “TheSheidea that festival. is thereally ownerresonated of Chabaarwith Beyond community group we brought together,” Thai in Midvale, Tea Rose Diner in Murray and DeLong said. in the Intermountain Medical Siam Noodles West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow Center in Murray. secured a grant fromconscious Zions Bank to “We are health andthat usehelped purified create the food festival as well as the inaugural water in our food and drinks and many West ValleyinWild West Roundup, West Valley’s vegetables all our dishes,” Sooksri said. attempt at creating a marquee July cultural Sooksri said she has the “spiciest food in event. town” at Chabaar Beyond. The spice for her The foodfrom festival, in of its 1fito rst 10, year, was dishes range a scale with thea ticketed event that featured some popular local low numbers being very hot. culinary and musical talent. Local chef and restaurateur Viet Pham attended the event Friday night and provided a cooking demonstration for attendees on Saturday. Pham was semifinalist on Food Network’s “Extreme Chef” and beat world-renowned

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Chile Verde display example plates of their food during the Wasatch International Food Festival on Aug. 19. Chile Verde displayJournals) example plates of their food during (Travis Barton/City the Wasatch International Food Festival on Aug. 19. –Travis “IfBarton you have never been to the restaurant,

number three is the hottest you will be able to take,” Sooksri said. Bobby an first episode “Ironfood Chef ThisFlay eventinis her stab atofstreet in America”. He also has been recognized by a street food setting. Luckily, she said that Siam various media outlets issuch as intheselling Salt Thai Lake Noodle’s food concept based Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine street noodles. But, it will be different, she said Magazine anda booth. Reuters over the past several cooking from years. The cultural center opened in 2003 and is Musically, Holiday and owned, operatedlocal andfavorites funded Tony in part by West the Velvetones of Salt Lake and VanLadyLove Valley City. The center has applied for and of Provoseveral headlined Friday Saturday, received grantsonand other and funding from respectively. organizations like Salt Lake County Zoos, Arts Roots and High School students Gregory and Parks the Utah Division of Arts and Schafer and Jake Clawson said the local Museums. l Future Farmers of America Chapter was selling watering cans to raise funds for a trip to the National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. Roots High is a “farmed-based” high school, according to Clawson, that prepares students to go into the agricultural industry.

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Page 6 | January 2017


Skaters, taxes and veterans, oh my! WVC saw it all in 2016 By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

A skate park was opened on Oct. 8 at Centennial Park to end a long wait for skaters, bikers and roller bladers. (Kevin Conde/City Journals)


rom Utah’s largest skate park to the city’s public Wi-Fi, 2016 saw West Valley City continue to brand itself as a place to be in the Salt Lake Valley. Skate Park After 15 years of community advocacy and being tossed around the West Valley City Council, 2016 saw funding approved and construction completed for the state’s largest skate park. “It’s an accomplishment of a goal and sort of a promise to the youth and section of the community that’s been waiting for this for a long time,” said City Manager Wayne Pyle. Since its grand opening on Oct. 8 at Centennial Park, the park has been heavily visited with even a large number of adults using the new amenity. “I was by there when it was 26 degrees outside and some people were utilizing it…it’s just fascinating,” said Mayor Ron Bigelow. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, he said it was “another jewel to add” to what West Valley City had to offer. Pyle said it will serve as another “place making benefit” for the city to be identified for its skate park along with the rest of its recreation. At various times over the years the skate park was forgotten about, pushed to the back burner or funding would be pulled. In March 2016, the City Council passed a resolution to fund the $1.2 million project. In 21 years as the parks and recreation director, Kevin Astill said it was a milestone in his career seeing the 2.85-acre skate park come to fruition. “[This skate park] is going to be long lasting,” said councilman Steve Vincent shortly after the ribbon cutting in October. Public Wi-Fi and UTOPIA The year started off with a first for West Valley City. In February, the city launched its public Wi-Fi service—called West Valley City Connect—opening its first hotspot at the West Valley Family Fitness Center. Fourteen of the city parks enjoy the service with additional parks coming online during 2017. “Internet access is no longer a luxury; it is becoming a necessity. West Valley City Connect will provide high-speed Internet service to communities within our city that haven’t before had access,” Pyle said in February when launching the public Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi service comes via the city’s participation in Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) where the network runs off fiber optic lines the city has been building for a few years. West Valley City is one of 11 cities to have chosen participation in UTOPIA.

City Manager Wayne Pyle unveils West Valley City Connect in February at the Family Fitness Center

While the public can utilize the internet access, the city uses the service for city events like its annual softball tournament. City officials said they hoped it would bring Internet access to residents who otherwise couldn’t enjoy the service. While some places aren’t experiencing the full extension of speed due to a park’s size or necessary updates, the city is working to finish those final few areas. Not only are parks enjoying the Internet services, but UTOPIA is also bringing the fiber-connected amenity to homes and businesses. Pyle said 3,800 new addresses were added to UTOPIA in 2016. “We still got a long way to go, but that’s a big addition,” Pyle said noting it has turned a corner since beginning of 2016. Mayor Ron Bigelow credited the positive improvement to a business plan that “works and makes sense” with the city covering costs and building its base by expanding from where people already have it. With the fiber optic service now generating an incremental cash flow, Pyle said the next step will be to either spool up money building at a slower rate throughout all the remaining cities or find another way to finance it to speed up the progress.

said these were ideas that people remember. “When you think about where you grew up the things that stand out to you aren’t the supermarkets or the Home Depot… it’s the things that are completely unique to the community,” Whiting said. Involving citizens in the creation and production of these “place makers” makes the community more personally invested, city officials said. The safe path stencil markers create a more unified neighborhood, Bigelow said. “How do you make [people] feel like it’s theirs. Well for kids, it’s their school so if they see that design on the sidewalk it means more. It says ‘hey, this is our place,’” he said. When Pyle brought in the interns for these projects he also wanted them to create a system going forward to repeat the process. “So we kind of get that muscle memory of we’ll start doing this on an annual basis and we’ll start coming up with new projects or start expanding the old ones if we’re successful,” Pyle said. If they have the same resources, he intends to do it again in the summer.

Place Making Projects To bring more interest to the city, Pyle hired three interns during the summer to take on special projects for the city. The interns, masters of public administration students from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, took on three separate projects to improve or beautify the city. One project, spearheaded by former intern Todd Andersen, saw a mural unveiled along a blank wall at West View Park at 4100 S. 6000 W. The mural, created with local artist Roger Whiting and the Salt Lake County Youth Programs, starts from the left displaying planets in space before gradually focusing on where the park is located on a map. “[It started] just to make a fun, colorful thing to connect the neighborhood with that wall and the rest of West Valley,” Andersen said on the day of the unveiling on July 28. The other projects were organized by interns Romauld Rambikarison and Moses Cissoko respectively. Rambikarison oversaw nine panels of mosaic art created along the TRAX green line on 2700 West, also done by Whiting. Cissoko’s project stenciled path markers laid out for students at four different elementary schools including Hillsdale, Monroe, Diamond Ridge and Carl Sandburg. “The great thing about those were, they didn’t cost a lot of money but they add these unique features to the community,” Pyle said. The three projects together cost around $12,000. At the unveiling of the West View Park mural, Whiting

Sidewalk Trails Inspired by the Freedom Trail in Boston, city officials are trying out sidewalk trails where they create a short mile path that’s drawn around a city park or in a neighborhood. “We’re just testing it to see but we think this is a way to help improve our citizens’ health,” Bigelow said. “We give them a mile trail and they don’t have to drive to it if we can get it in the neighborhoods.” Two test trails are being created at Woodledge Park and Ironwood Park. While Woodledge connects to the regular canal trail, Ironwood is located in the middle of a subdivision. A line was drawn around the block with markings at every tenth of a mile, but Bigelow said it’s a work in progress learning what else is needed for the trails. “It’s just really convenient and we can do it for very low cost,” he said. Bigelow noted mile trails can be done for under $1,000 and provides a location for parents with strollers or kids with bikes to have route to follow. The trails are meant to accomplish the same goal as the mural and stencil path projects by being a “place maker” in the city. “There’s lots of other ways we want to make a city, and this is what we mean by place making, more interesting, more unique, more identifiable and not at a huge cost,” Pyle said. “There’s lots of things we can do that really don’t cost a lot continued on next page…

M yWestV alleyJournal .Com of money and you can try them out incrementally and if they become popular you can expand them.”


Food, food and more food Groundbreaking for Fairbourne Station occurred in 2011, but 2016 saw the plaza blossom with Food Truck Thursday. One of the food trucks, Cupbop Korean BBQ, will open a brick and mortar location over at the Valley Fair Plaza. “We’ve seen some expansion of success of the business itself that’s invested in it so that’s been really cool,” Pyle said. It’s not just food trucks to occupy the space, a concert series is held there along with various events like high school art fairs or Earth Day celebrations. “It’s involving business members in the community as well as the families,” Bigelow said. “The purpose of the city is to provide services to and for the citizens but also it’s to make your community livable and enjoyable.” August saw the cultural and culinary collide as the UCCC hosted the first Wasatch International Food Festival. The event featured 26 food and market vendors from a spectrum of different nationalities including Jamaica, Thailand and Mexico. Over 3,000 people attended the two-day festival.

not gonna be able to do that forever so a decision had to be made,” Pyle said. Bigelow said whether they’re called rainy day funds or reserves, cities need to have them. “You try to set yourself up so even when there are recessions and challenges, you have the ability to deal with it,” Bigelow said. “There are always ups and downs and [the reserve funds] help you cross those ups and downs without resorting to permanent tax increases.” Bigelow credited the city staff for facing up to the problem and addressing it. “It’s a very difficult thing to ask for more money from your residents so I can’t fault them in any way,” Bigelow said. The next step is educating residents to make them aware of the city’s financial condition Bigelow said adding that it’s a personal goal of his to articulate “in a way the public can understand without going into all the nuances and detail.” “We can’t rely forever that our city will just grow and get more money. That cycle catches up with you because you have to provide more police services, more streets to pave and maintain,” Bigelow said. “I think it’s our job to communicate that to them.”

Property Tax Property taxes increased nine percent in 2016 after the city council voted 5-2 in favor of raising taxes. It was the first time in five years property taxes were raised. Much of the revenue generated from those taxes went to public safety with the majority more specifically going to the police department. West Valley faces competition from other cities for police officer pay scales. Pyle said they haven’t been able to fill all the necessary positions, but the increase helped with officer retention. “We were able to give those raises to the police department, we definitely have seen a slowing of departures as well,” Pyle said. Though there was disagreement at the time of the vote— Bigelow voted against the tax increase—he said the concept was correct because the city now has a budget operating on sustainable revenues. “We needed to have a budget that we weren’t supplementing from our reserves,” Bigelow said adding the budgets have always remained balanced. Pyle said another reason for the increase in 2016 was some operations were being funded using the general fund. “It wasn’t at a critical level and it wasn’t at a dangerous level but it was definitely at an unsustainable level that we’re

Celebrating Veterans The city council passed a resolution on Dec. 6 expressing support and proposing a potential site for the future Veterans Memorial Hall. It was an appropriate way to finish the year regarding veterans in West Valley City. West Valley City not only held its third annual Veterans Day Program at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, but it also played to host to the Wall that Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Spearheaded by city official, Nancy Day, the memorial spent five days at Centennial Park, including Independence Day, from June 30 to July 5. Bigelow said there was a steady flow of people the entire time it was here. “We were very pleased with that and there was a very positive response from the public,” he said. Bearing the names of more than 58,000 men and women who perished during the war, the 250-foot replica stayed open 24 hours a day for people to visit at any time. Having visited the Veterans Memorial in Washington a few times, Pyle said “given the reverence and the atmosphere that you have to have there and how they’ve set it up compared with what they’ve done with the traveling exhibit, it’s very well done.” As a member of the Veterans’ Hall Foundation, Bigelow is

Three interns headed separate projects over the summer as place makers around West Valley City including a mural, mosaics and elementary school path markers. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Utah Cultural Celebration Center played host to the first Wasatch International Food Fest in August with cuisine offered from around the world. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

January 2017 | Page 7 part of a board that is striving to build a permanent place in the valley to honor the service of military veterans. The mayor held a fundraiser golf tournament in May with all proceeds going towards the hall. Ironically it was held at Stonebridge Golf Course, where the city has proposed land adjacent to the club house as a potential site. Freakonomics During 2016, Pyle said the city has begun to see property values rise with a 14 percent increase in the median average home value. The last time the city saw a decrease was 2011. While part of that is the general recovery of the economy, Pyle said it is also part of a multi-year effort by the city focusing on neighborhood standards. “We do things to try to stabilize the neighborhoods through incentive programs with the residents to take care of their own properties or code enforcement to encourage them to do so,” Pyle said. As February comes into view so does the completion of the UCCC basement, which will add around 30,000 square feet to the building. West Valley will see the continuation of a few economic development projects in 2017 including Fairbourne Station. Pyle said he expects to see the planned Granger Medical Clinic’s 100,000-square-foot, four-story building begin constructing upwards. Construction of two car dealerships will occur in 2017. One at the Mountain West Truck Center at 7200 W and Highway 201 where a Volvo, Mack and GMC Truck dealership will go, while the Mercedes Sprinter dealership will be at 5396 W. England Way. Pyle said the dealserships will bring “lots of sales tax revenue dollars to the city.” This will be in addition to the various projects going on in the business park next to the Maverik Center. WVC Police The police department experienced its highs and lows during 2016. It’s lowest came on Nov. 6 when officer Cody Brotherson became the first West Valley police officer killed in the line of duty while deploying tire spikes to stop a stolen vehicle. “That was a significant event for our community and we saw a great outpouring of support,” Bigelow said. Thousands attended the funeral at the Maverik Center while residents lined the streets of the processional motorcade from Maverik Center to the cemetery. A candlelight vigil was continued on next page…

Three interns headed separate projects over the summer as place makers around West Valley City including a mural, mosaics and elementary school path markers. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


Page 8 | January 2017

“To Strengthen and Promote the Shared Interests of the Business Community”


Skaters, taxes and veterans, oh my! WVC saw it all in 2016 …continued from perevious page

Representing Businesses in West Valley City, Taylorsville, Kearns and Millcreek Contact Information: Barbara S. Riddle, CMP



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Well-wishers left flowers, candles and balloons on officer Cody Brotherson’s car at Fairbourne Station. Brotherson was the first officer in the department’s history to die in the line of duty. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

held at Fairbourne Plaza where Brotherson’s patrol car was placed to serve as a memorial. During the vigil and the funeral, Police Chief Lee Russo remarked on the deluge of support the police department received from the community. “Despite the grief and the anguish and raw feeling, it’s helped a community come together,” Russo said at the viewing. “It’s made me proud to be a resident of this community.” The department saw some professional highs throughout the year with their “game changing” sexual assault protocol. WVCPD gave a BYU researcher and forensic nurse, Julie Valentine, unprecedented access to analyze the impact of the Trauma Informed Victim Interview (TIVI). Implemented in 2014 by the department, Valentine released the results of her study in April which found that under the new program, successfully prosecuted sexual assault cases increased from six to 22 percent. The protocol involves training officers to better understand how a victim deals with trauma to better obtain information.


Another highlight for the department that will potentially reach its culmination in spring 2017 is the CALEA Accreditation. A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) spent three days in October examining all aspects of the department. They investigated everything from policies and procedures to operations and support services. The accreditation is considered the gold standard in public safety with less than five percent of police departments holding it. It’s a voluntary process that requires reaccreditation every four years. In October Russo said he wants to reach a point where its normal to maintain this standard of excellence. It’s all part of an effort to turn around an agency that was riddled with challenges four years ago. “To go from an agency that’s been ridiculed and questioned to an agency that’s really taken a lead,” Russo said in October. “[Accreditation] is something that’s going to benefit us far into the future.” l





January 2017 | Page 9


M yWestV alleyJournal .Com

RSL, partners unveil mini-pitch at Granger Elementary By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed August 2016


here once stood outdated green and red tennis courts, now stands claret and cobalt soccer pitches. Real Salt Lake, in partnership with MLS WORKS, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and Adidas held a Grand Opening Event at Granger Elementary on July 6 for two brand new mini-pitches. “It’s already become a source of pride,” Granger Elementary Principal Amber Clayton said. The project comes as part of the 20 for 20 Mini-Pitch Initiative where 20 mini-pitches are built in conjunction with the 20 Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs around the country. Each court is meant to offer children in underserved communities a safe place to play as well as supporting the continued growth of the game in North America. Granger Elementary had 45 kids from their summer school program participate with their parents as the special guests for an evening that included Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen, Leo the Lion, Real Salt Lake Players and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “All of our kids need a safe place to play and a chance to play on their own terms and that’s what this place will be,” McAdams said. Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, the pitches were official opened by the kids shooting soccer balls through a banner held in front of the goal. The event finished off the night by dividing up the kids and playing in small-sided

games with RSL players Justen Glad and Jordan Allen. Clayton said that was maybe the best part. “Obviously the speeches and things are nice but for the kids, that was pretty special,” Clayton said. “It was pretty hard to get everyone out of there they were having such a good time.” The surprise of the night came when SNHU awarded a full college scholarship to Brett Thomas, a tech assistant who works in just about everything at Granger. Thomas, who has his associates degree, said he had no idea the scholarship was coming. “It was way crazy, and overwhelming,” Thomas said. In a joint venture with all the sponsors, SNHU awards one scholarship in all the communities where these pitches are built. Clayton asked if they could pick the prospective student and Thomas was chosen. He has worked in various capacities at the school since he was 17 including the after-school program. “All the kids know Brett and he’s worked with all of them so it was very cool,” Clayton said. Granger Elementary was originally built on a former park so while the soccer field was removed, the tennis courts remained. “[The school] is a beautiful building and facility but because those tennis courts were left over from the previous park, there was this disjointedness and now it’s just beautiful,” Clayton said. With the mini-pitches in place of the tennis courts, the school stands to benefit from its newfound

resource. Over 1,000 kids go to Granger Elementary from pre-school to sixth grade with only one gym so the additional space will create more flexibility for them. Soccer for Success, US Soccer Foundation’s after-school program, will work in conjunction with the school’s program for the next few years where six-week camps will be run to improve students’ health. “What we really appreciate is it’s a continuing effort…they’ve made a commitment to continue on so the kids get some real experience with the sport as well,” Clayton said. Clayton said she was very impressed with the level of detail that the RSL foundation and its director, Mary Vanminde, have applied to this ongoing effort. After the grand opening, RSL returned a few weeks later to install a fence between courts to stop balls from one pitch affecting the other. They also left paint and instruction on how to fix touchups. “It’s super cool, they haven’t left any of the details out. They thought of everything,” Clayton said. The pitch is also meant to encourage play within the community, whether it’s organized or not. “We want to give every child in Utah the chance to develop skills and it doesn’t come because you’ve got money, it comes because you’ve got passion,” Hansen said.

RSL Defender Justen Glad leads his team, made up of Granger students, in practice before the scrimmage. (Kimberly Roach)

McAdams said the pitch provides kids a chance to be a kid, and hopefully important aspects for their future. “The freedom to play leads to ability, it leads to confidence and a desire to be physically active for life,” McAdams said. “That would be cool if this pitch worked as a prototype for others around the community,” Clayton said. West Valley City, the community and most notably the students, stand to enjoy the new facility for years to come. “I can’t wait to see the looks on the kids’ faces when they come back,” Clayton said. l

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Children spread child abuse awareness in pinwheel parade By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed May 2016


n the journey to conquer child abuse, kids carried the torch during the Prevent Child Abuse Parade at Carl Sandburg Elementary. On April 8, children of Carl Sandburg Elementary walked in a parade around the school carrying blue pinwheels in honor of Child Abuse Prevention month. “This was phenomenal,” Principal Marilyn Laughlin said. Sponsored by the mayor and Salt Lake County Council, the event saw kids chanting “no more child abuse” as they high-fived Aimee Winder Newton, Salt Lake County council member, during the parade. “That’s just so invigorating to watch those children do their parade and they’re yelling ‘no more child abuse’ and ‘save the children,’ so we love these opportunities,” Mary Lucero, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU), said. It not only excites Lucero, but she said it also incorporates the community at large. “It really gets the community engaged when they see the children get so emphatic and invested in it,” Lucero said. The PCAU offers an AdoptASchool program, where a company adopts a school for $2,500 to provide child abuse prevention education to an entire school, receive a 240 pinwheel garden and a sign in front of the adopted school for the month of April. Earlier in the week, the school planted 400 blue pinwheels in its front garden. Nationally, the blue pinwheel is a symbol for preventing child abuse. Laughlin said the week is utilized to celebrate children being safe. Carl Sandburg Elementary was chosen by the Salt Lake County Council for their AdoptASchool program after the school approached the PCAU requesting its help.

The kids chanted “no more child abuse” and “save the children” as they walked around the school honoring Child Abuse Prevention Month. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

“We just thought it was a good fit because they were so excited about getting this education,” Winder Newton said. “These wonderful, humble families really deserve that — it’s a great community,” Laughlin said. PCAU is the only provider approved by the state board of education to provide child abuse education in schools. “A lot of kids who are being abused don’t know that they are so [the education] is a really good thing,” Winder Newton, a PCAU board member, said. “We’ve all taught our kids to be afraid of stranger danger, but

90 percent of the time it’s someone they know and love and trust,” Lucero said. Lucero said it’s very important to spread awareness about child abuse and the statistics of how common its occurrences are. “I really think if the community knew more about it, no question everyone would be on board with making sure children have the education,” Lucero said. Those statistics include that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18 and Lucero cited the state’s sexual violence council, which said that child abuse costs Utah taxpayers $1 billion annually. Lucero said it costs the PCAU $3.50 to educate a child versus the potential lifetime cost of $210,000 for kids who do suffer abuse. Not to mention the effect on the child’s relationships as they grow older. “[Child abuse] prevention helps saves us a lot of tax dollars down the road and education is key,” Winder Newton said. Winder Newton said the county council wanted to highlight child abuse and show people it’s okay for it to be spoken about. “So if we do have victims, they can come forward and get the help that they need,” Winder Newton said. Lucero said the education needs to be comprehensive with adults and educators so everyone is ready to have an informed discussion with the children. “They [the PCAU] come into the schools and talk about abuse and they help kids understand what it is and what to do,” Winder Newton said. “We’d love to see all the schools do something like this,” Lucero said. For more information on the AdoptASchool program, go to l www.preventchildabuseutah.org.

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Latino Family Night helps engage families in education By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed November 2016

Granite School District hosted its third annual Latino Family Night on Oct. 6 at Hunter High School. Multiple booths were set up to go along with guest speakers as a way to provide informational resources for families. (Granite School District)


ranite School District hosted its third annual Latino Family Night on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Hunter High School. The evening saw various cultural performances from Latinos in Action, guest speakers and multiple booths to provide an entertaining and informational night for families. “The intent is to increase parental engagement,” said Ben Horsley, communications director of Granite School District. “We’re not going to be successful in helping these kids academically without getting parents more engaged.” Latino Family Night brought different resources under one roof for a night where families could learn about what services are offered in their community as well as to better understand the American education system. Booths came from Salt Lake Community College, South Valley Services, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Salt Lake County Youth Services along with many others. Horsley said they strive to let everyone know that schools can’t do all the education alone. “We do need these partners to come together to get engaged in that education system and know what they can do to have an impact on a child’s life,” Horsley said. It’s a system that can be unfamiliar to immigrants who may feel they don’t have a place in schools. Nearly a third of all Granite School District students identify as Hispanic and that percentage is expected to rise in the coming years. Isabel Rojas is the director of systems and operation for Latinos in Action (LIA) and was the emcee for the night’s events. She said events like Latino Family Night are important for the Latino community as it helps breaks down language and cultural barriers. “The fact that the district hosts a night in their language, with materials in their language, with their music and their dances says to them [they] can be involved. This is a safe place not just for my students but for me,” Rojas said. Granite School District Superintendent Dr. Martin Bates gave his speech in Spanish, which Rojas said made an impact. “It meant a lot [that] the top of the school

district will speak to them in Spanish, so it’s awesome,” Rojas said. The keynote address came from Eduardo Alba who was born in Mexico as the fourth child of 12. Alba moved to the United States when he was eight and went on to earn a masters degree in education administration. He said kids can follow that same pattern, especially when they have familial support. “Everything here is geared towards letting parents know what resources are available, and then how they utilize those to the benefit of their kids,” Horsley said. Having a night specifically for the Latino community with speakers like them, Rojas said, creates a place of safety and feeling that America is their home. It proves particularly useful for kids. Rojas’ parents are from Bogota, Columbia immigrating to New York shortly before she was born. She understands growing up with your feet in two different cultures. “It’s hard to marry the two because we feel like we have to keep our culture at home and our U.S-ness out there and you separate the two,” Rojas said. LIA aims to bridge the gap by helping students to find confidence in the qualities they have like being bilingual. “Maybe one of the biggest challenges is just perceptions that aren’t true, that are deficit based as opposed to the assets that our culture brings,” Rojas said. “[Students] are bilingual, professionals look for bilingual people.” Lacey Aparicio, an LIA student from Kearns High School, spoke during the program about how LIA helped her find cultural family in LIA coming from a house where her mother is Caucasian and her father is Mexican. She gave her speech half in English and half in Spanish, respectively. Another student spoke about how she was able to overcome her shyness with LIA. A sophomore from Cottonwood High School approached Rojas while being interviewed about joining LIA. “It gives us the opportunity at LIA to help [students] see that every part of who they are is an asset,” Rojas said. l

January 2017 | Page 11


Page 12 | January 2017


‘Rat’ wins state wrestling title


By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed April 2016

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Antonio “Rat” Ruiz (left) entered this year’s state wrestling tournament with a 33-8 overall record. (Britton Pike)


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he 126-pound 5A state wrestling championship match was decided by one point, despite the winner’s broken ankle in the match’s final minute. Hunter High School senior Antonio “Rat” Ruiz was carried off the mat by his coach, Terry Allen, and despite the pain he knew he had won his family’s first state wrestling championship. “My ankle hurt, but I was super pumped. I think it felt numb and warm, but my mom was freaking out and crying,” Ruiz said. Ruiz led his state championship match 7-1 entering the final minute. As he engaged with Brighton High sophomore Brayden Stevens, he felt his ankle get caught underneath him. He said the pain was incredible and immediately fell on his back into a near fall position (almost a pin). “I was on my back and had to push off with my heel and leg to get rolled onto my stomach,” Ruiz said. “I knew if I could build a base and stall it out I would be OK. I knew if they stopped the match I would be disqualified for my injury because I knew I could not stand up.” The injury cost Ruiz four points, but he held on for the 7-6 victory. “My grandpa helped support me so the referee could raise my hand, and then coach Allen carried me off the mat,” Ruiz said.

Hunter High School’s Antonio Ruiz paused to take a picture with his grandfather and his state championship bracket. (Britton Pike)

Ruiz had wrestled Stevens several times over his career. Ruiz said it was always an even match. His state championship capped off the tournament for the Wolverine senior. Ruiz defeated Mountain Crest freshman Jace Dart 10-1 in the tournament’s opening round on Feb. 10. He faced another Mountain Crest wrestler, senior Karthner Knight and beat him 9-4 to qualify him for the second day of the tournament. Knight was the division champion and finished third in the weight class. On day two of the tournament, Ruiz faced Pleasant Grove sophomore Matthew Zorn and defeated him 13-3 to put him in the championship match. “Rat is a hard worker,” assistant coach Derek Jensen said. “He would stay after practice and work on his weakness. He even would work on figuring out ways to beat his opponents’ best moves. He knew one of his opponents was good at the fireman carry (a move diving at the mid section and flipping them on their back). He practiced defending that for a week so he would be ready.” Ruiz finished fourth in the state tournament his junior year and won one match in the state tournament his sophomore year. “Hunter has been a great experience,” Ruiz said. “I learned and helped build the program. I learned to work hard even if I did not have a partner to wrestle.” l

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Salt Lake County Council



Poverty, criminal justice, suicide, and government transparency: Issues to tackle in 2017

s we begin a new year, I see great opportunity for Salt Lake County to work as a regional government, collaborating with state and local partners to help address complex issues. There are a few issues I feel are particularly important, and I’ll be focusing on them in the coming year: intergenerational poverty, criminal justice reform, suicide prevention, and improved transparency over the county budget. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 1.1 million residents in Salt Lake County roughly 10.8 percent are experiencing poverty. In recent years the State of Utah has taken great strides to better understand poverty in our communities, with a specific focus on intergenerational poverty. Distinct from situational poverty, intergenerational poverty refers to a cycle of poverty and use of public assistance programs that continues from one generation to the next. I believe every Utahn should have access to the opportunities our robust economy offers, allowing them to Salt Lake County Council break free of the constraints of a cycle of poverty. I’ll be


Aimee Winder Newton, County Council District 3

working with state experts and local officials to see what appropriate role the county can play in addressing this issue. Criminal justice reform certainly ties into poverty issues. Specifically, I’m interested in how the county can help reduce recidivism in our criminal justice system. Helping former offenders rehabilitate and connect with job opportunities to contribute to society after they have completed their time in jail is vital. There has already been a tremendous amount of great work in this area, and I’m eager to help move these initiatives forward. We all know that suicide among Utah teens is staggeringly high—something that is totally unacceptable. This past year I testified before the State Legislature about the need for a statewide three-digit number to connect people with crisis intervention resources. I’ll continue to push forward on that issue in 2017 and beyond. We can and must do better for our residents struggling with severe mental health issues. Lastly - better government transparency for tax dollar spending is vital. Though conceivably more procedural in

nature than the other issues I’ve discussed, I still feel very strongly about the need for proper transparency to the public. In particular, I’ll be looking at how we can better communicate the complexities of the county budget to our residents. They have a right to know where their tax dollars are going—and whether those uses are efficient and effective. With roughly one billion dollars comprising the total county budget, there is a lot of work to do to ensure transparency in how we spend tax dollars. There will of course be additional issues that come up during the year, but I believe these items above are crucial issues to tackle—and I believe the county can be a great partner working with state and local leaders to make a positive difference. I’m constantly reminded of the humbling opportunity I have to serve on the Salt Lake County Council. I’m eager to continue working hard on behalf of my constituents and all county residents to ensure Salt Lake County continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. l

Aimee Winder Newton, County Council District 3


Page 14 | January 2017

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Wolverines Win Spirit Association Championship By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed May 2016


heerleaders provide more to local high schools than pretty faces and pom-poms on the sidelines. The Hunter High School team won a United Spirit Association national championship and still has time to support the Wolverines teams. “We are really excited. It is the first time a Hunter cheer team has ever won something like this. It is a big deal for us,” second-year cheerleader coach Rikki Rindlisbacher said. The Wolverines participated in the national USA competition in Anaheim, California March 18–20. They brought home a first-place trophy in the coed varsity show, cheer novice division. They competed against nine other schools. The Wolverines qualified in a regional qualifier in December at Cottonwood High School. The competition judges look for appealing formations, exciting and enthusiastic dance routines, team pyramids, tumbling and stunt combinations. “I think it is cool to watch the team in their routines. The stunts like Grayson [Baker] doing a one man [a one-person lift] are cool. I can tell they got better all season,” Hunter sophomore Kolbie James said. The team practiced three days a week in the mornings starting in August. They cheer for football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, they timed swimming events and even performed at break of the wrestling matches. “I think the team does a lot for the school. I have an awesome group of kids. They all carry good grades and volunteer at many community events. I tell them that they can have the rest of their lives off, but from August to February they live at the school,” Rindlisbacher said. The team is comprised of three boys and 25 girls. During the third term, 22 team members had at least a 3.5 grade point average and six had 4.0s. “We have kids that are determined to do their best in school. Some of them are involved in other school activities. They still are driven and determined to do their best. These kids are so excited,” Rindlisbacher said.

Hunter High School cheerleaders captured their first Spirit Association national championship in Anaheim, California. (Hunter Cheer)

The team found time in their busy schedule and lives to support one of their own team members, Teal Chubak. She was diagnosed with cancer before the school year began. The team rallied behind her, selling T-shirts and starting the hashtag #tealforteal in support of her. “The kids wore teal bows and wanted to remember their teammate. At the nationals many of the girls put the letter T on the bottom of their shoes. It helped them remember who they were performing for. It was exciting that Teal was able to go with us to California,” Rindlisbacher said. The team is already preparing for next school year. They held tryouts April 12–15 and will begin practices before the school year ends. l


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January 2017 | Page 15

Nordfelt recognized for distinguished service By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com | Story originally printed March 2016

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Member Care Representative Software Sales Specialist Customer Service Gaming Guru Dennis Nordfelt has refereed high school basketball for 23 years. (Dennis Nordfel)


he Utah High School Activities Association recently presented its list of honorees for its 2016 Distinguished Service Awards. West Valley resident Dennis Nordfelt was recognized as the male official of the year. “It is nice to be recognized. I got a call from a school administrator a few months ago, and he told me they were going to nominate me. It is a nice award. I guess if you do it long enough they run out of deserving winners so it had to be me. It is certainly a good recognition,” Nordfelt said. He has been refereeing girls and boys high school basketball games for 23 years. He began doing varsity contests in 1997, and in the last eight years he has started to officiate boys and girls varsity soccer games. He began his career as an official shortly after his high school graduation, at the urging of some friends he worked with at Winder Dairy. “I came home from my mission and saw an ad in the paper. I enjoy it a lot. It keeps me in shape and gives us [my family] a little extra money that we use for vacations. I end up with usually two games a week,” Nordfelt said. The referees are assigned by a coordinator. Nordfelt is able to block out the days and teams he would rather not work with. “I usually block Hunter games, because I know so many people in the area. On a varsity level I cannot think of a coach or team that I would be disappointed having them on my schedule. I know many of the coaches by name, but that does not mean they do not yell

or question a few things,” he said. “Many of the coaches recognize we are professionals and trying to do a good job.” In his career he has refereed games with the UHSAA, the Scenic West Conference (Snow, Salt Lake Community College and Utah State Eastern) and a few Division 2 (Dixie State) games. “I have seen some great plays. A couple of years ago I was doing a Pleasant Grove and Lone Peak game. Both teams were undefeated and in the top five. One stretch of about five plays in a row were full of incredible shots, one after another. I was running down the court as the lead official and I wanted to cheer,” Nordfelt said. Once a year the UHSAA recognizes outstanding educators, coaches, officials and individuals who have made significant contributions to high school activities. The Distinguished Service Award began in 1987 to honor individuals for their service and contributions. Each recipient was chosen because of the standards of excellence they exemplify through their service, professional responsibilities, leadership and sportsmanship. “I really have an affinity for high school activities not just sports -- all activities. I see the blessing it was in my life as a kid and I know it makes a difference in these kids’ lives. I could never get rich refereeing, but I enjoy another opportunity to associate with pretty good kids, young men and women,” Nordfelt said. l

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Millions of taxpayers face refund delays in 2017 New tax law requires the IRS to hold some refunds until February 15 As many as 15 million taxpayers could have their refunds delayed until at least February 15 next year. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act now requires the IRS to hold refunds for returns claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC) until February 15. Approximately 30 million taxpayers claim the EITC or ACTC, with half filing early. Taxpayers should file as they normally would, even if they expect their refund will be delayed. The IRS still expects to issue most refunds in less than 21 days, although the IRS will hold refunds for EITC and ACTC-related tax returns filed early in 2017 until February 15 and then begin issuing them. While the IRS will release those refunds on February15 many taxpayers may not see the funds deposit into their banking accounts for a few days afterward. This additional delay could be for many reasons and it is best for taxpayers to check the IRS’s Where’s My Refund website for any funding updates.


Delay helps IRS combat tax identity fraud The EITC received nationwide averaged approximately $2,500 per eligible taxpayer last year. While $65.6 billion was paid out last year, the IRS indicates that approximately one in five payments are made in error, either through fraudulent filing or confusion due to complexity in claiming the benefit. These credits are target rich for tax identity thieves and fraudsters. In fact, the EITC has one of the highest improper payment rates of the 16 “high-error” programs

identified by the government. Holding taxpayer refunds until February 15, along with the mandate that employers send employee W-2s to the IRS by January 31, allows the IRS additional time to help prevent revenue lost due to identity theft and refund fraud related to fabricated wages and withholdings. It is important for taxpayers who claim these benefits to plan now for the delay. Visiting with a tax professional now can help them better understand the overall impact. Delays just one part of tax law changes The PATH Act made dozens of changes to the tax code, including permanently extending many tax benefits, implementing renewal requirements for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), changing eligibility requirements for certain tax credits, expanding other tax benefits, increasing the cost of making mistakes and altering small business tax benefits. But its delay of millions of refunds until at least February 15 will be widely felt by early filers who in the past could expect a refund which averaged more than $3,500 in 2015 by late January. To learn more about tax law changes and refund delays due to the PATH Act, taxpayers can visit www.hrblock.com/path. NEWSthe FROMworld’s OUR ADVERTISERS [Sam Hernandez is a tax professional for H&R Block, largest tax services provider. Sam has been providing expert tax advice and preparation support for taxpayers in the Salt Lake City area since 2010.]

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In a world of rising healthcare costs, many people delay or avoid seeing a doctor. What people like this need is another health care option, one that won’t drain their bank accounts if they come down with a sinus infection or break their arm. That option exists. It’s called Medallus Medical. Formerly known as After Hours Medical, Medallus Medical is a network of nine urgent and primary care facilities that facilitate an innovative membership program as well as accept most major health insurance options. The membership program works like this: members pay a monthly fee for themselves and their family and then pay a $10 office visit fee for all-inclusive, in-office services with some procedures offered at discounted rates. Members are able to receive quick access to doctors when ill or injured and avoid costly emergency room visits. Medallus is a walk-in facility, open late seven days a week every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Medallus also offers 24/7 telephone and telemedicine services. “The bottom line is that Medallus is the absolute cheapest way to keep my employees happy and healthy,” FastKart owner Joe Miller said. “It is the best benefit I can provide them for the money. Period.”

“My wife cut her finger and we went to Medallus and paid $10 to get the stitches,” Miller said. “My daughter broke her finger and we went to a hospital and that visit cost us about $1,100.” The membership program is not restricted to the well insured. Services are open to all, including the uninsured and those with high deductibles. People who are uninsured can get the basic access they need to a physician and the insured can save out-of-pocket costs and reduce premiums. But, it should be noted, the Medallus Medical membership does not satisfy the insurance requirements for the Affordable Healthcare Act. Troy Mason, owner of TechnaGlass, also provides an employee program through Medallus Medical. TechnaGlass has been a member of Medallus Medical for about four years. Mason said that it has allowed his employees to have higher deductible plans and still get access to non-catastrophic medical services. As the father of five daughters, Mason says it’s not uncommon for one child to pass an illness on to another, thus making office visits a regular thing. One of Mason’s daughters cut her finger on broken glass while at the University of Utah. For $10, she was treated at the Medallus location near downtown Salt Lake City and, 10 days later, was able to get the stitches removed at the location closer to Mason’s home, he said.

“From a father’s perspective it has been fantastic and from an employer’s perspective it allows us to get our employees more affordable access to health care,” Mason said. Medallus facilities are equipped for basic primary care such as physicals as well as long-term care for patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma, etc. Medallus treats urgent needs, acute illnesses such as respiratory illnesses, infections, broken bones, lacerations and any other non-life threatening issues. All locations are equipped with a laboratory and digital X-ray systems. Medallus Medical facilities are not equipped to handle chronic pain management, long-term treatment with controlled medications such as Oxycontin, Methadone and Adderall, substance addiction and withdrawal or advanced psychiatric problems. “There is no reason to not go to a doctor now,” Miller said. “I think that anyone who doesn’t use Medallus is a fool. You can quote me on that.” Contact Medallus Medical at 1-877-633-9110 or visit www. medallus.com to find a location near you. For information about membership for yourself/family or business, please contact Arliss at 801-810-7058 or email at Arlissf@medallus.com l

Thinking abouT divorce? If you are not sure how to begin, or where to get help, join us for a two-hour seminar to learn: • The divorce process and what happens in court. • How long and how much a divorce costs. • Getting started and the resources available. Patricia L. LaTulippe, an attorney with more than twenty-five years’ experience and recipient of 2015, 2016 Utah Business Legal Elite and 2016 Avvo Award, will be teaching the class and answering general legal questions. SIGN UP for the workshop by returning e-mailing info@divorceknowhow.com. Total cost for the class is $25.00 prepaid, $35.00 at door (if seating is available). PLEASE NO CHILDREN and seating IS LIMITED.

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Page 18 | January 2017


Goal Keeping – It Isn’t Just for Sports




t’s the New Year and I bet you just can’t stand the thought of reading yet another article about why you shouldn’t make a resolution. After all, only 8% of us actually keep them, so why bother? To get where you want to be in life you have to have goals. Not just dreams, high ambitions or lofty visions. You must have realistic and achievable goals. If you aren’t steering towards a purpose how will you get there? If making that goal a New Year’s resolution is an option then, why not? So, this article is about how to keep that resolution so you don’t end up with just another un-kept promise to yourself. 1 – Be Realistic: One of the things that I have found that keep them in perspective is to take my goals in small steps. To do this I choose a goal that may take a year and then break it down into weekly, monthly and sometimes daily achievable things. For example, maybe I want to lose 20 lbs., and I make that a New Years resolution. I have just given myself permission to take the entire year to lose 20 lbs., only 1-½ pounds a month (no wonder I never lose 20 lbs.). You can break that further down to daily healthy eating or exercise goals. I use this same breaking down technique for financial goals, getting organized, helping others (remember the charity box?) and even getting the yard in shape in the spring.

2 – Write it down: The best way I have found to recognize a goal is to take pen to paper. It’s not a list in my mind. I mean put pen to paper. My purpose isn’t to belittle technology or all those nifty, handy dandy goaltracking apps. Those can be useful. But, I have found that the actual physical act of writing down my goal makes them become real. You are making a commitment. It’s no longer and idea. Plus, writing down your goal gives you a starting date and will motivate you to see it through. Plus, it makes it easy to track your progress, which will help you gain momentum. How to stay on track with your goals: Okay, so now you’ve put your goal in writing. How do you stay on track? Here are some ideas to try that have worked for me. 1: Make a List I like to write my goals down in a weekly, monthly and yearly list on a calendar. It’s important to cross them off when they are finished. Putting that glorious line through or checking it off gives finality and makes for a great amount of satisfaction. 2. A Spreadsheet: While my calendar method works well for me, other people find more satisfaction and motivation

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3. Sticky notes: Sticky notes work very well for visual people. You can use the sticky notes to keep you on track and serve as a consistent reminder around the house, in the car or at work. If you are the kind that needs a lot of reminders, or your goal is to break a habit, sticky notes can help you succeed. An example would be if you’re trying to be more organized, put a sticky note in the spot that seems to accumulate the clutter, perhaps the kitchens counter, reminding you to put the item away immediately. So, whatcha’ waiting for? It’s time to break out the pen and paper. Taking that first step of writing down your goals won’t accomplish them. That part takes work, but it does help you get going in a clear direction and makes them achievable for getting you on the right path to success. Happy New Year

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by creating a sophisticated spreadsheet with colors and percentages to track progress. If you are the techy type transfer your original pre-written goal to an Excel spreadsheet and then break it into smaller achievable goals with a time frame. I have found that spreadsheets work very well for financial goals. Just like paying my bills, I’ve used them as a method to help me reach goals for saving money for a car or vacation.

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January 2017 | Page 19

M yWestV alleyJournal .Com


Laughter AND




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nd you thought January was boring. After the holidays you wondered how anything could top the sheer giddiness of Christmas. Well, prepare to be dazzled by the celebrations observed during this first month of the year. You can’t go wrong with Bath Safety Month. Our family tradition is to smear the tub with canola oil then place a plugged-in hair dryer and toaster on the rim of the tub. If you can shower without slipping and electrocuting yourself, you win! I hope you didn’t forget January 2 was Happy Mew Years for Cats Day. If you missed it, there’s a good chance your cat “accidentally” knocked over a houseplant and tracked soil across the carpet. January 2 was also a big day for unhappy marriages. The first Monday of each year is the most popular day to file for divorce. (I guess she wasn’t impressed with the year’s supply of Turtle Wax she found under the Christmas tree.) Also, it’s Personal Trainer Awareness Day, just in case you wondered who the guy in shorts was who kept following you around the gym yelling at you to squat lower. It’s nice that fiber is finally getting some recognition. Celebrate Fiber Focus Month by feeding your family only whole grains, beans and nuts. Maybe January should also be Constipation Awareness Month. If your office Christmas party wasn’t embarrassing enough, Humiliation Day on January 3 should fill your quota of mortifying shame.



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bread, prunes and eggs. (That would make one helluva casserole.) I guess when it’s so cold outside, the only thing to do is sit around and celebrate food. I’m good with that. After stuffing our pie holes with holiday fare for six weeks, it’s time to establish healthier dietary and exercise habits. Observances like Family Fitness Month encourage us to sign up for gym memberships we’ll never use and purchase P90X workout DVDs that we’ll watch while sitting on the couch eating a bag of Cheetos. So don’t let the chill of winter bring you down. There are dozens of celebrations to choose from, including the one I’m trying to get approved: National Hibernation Month. l



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(After researching this observation, it isn’t about humiliating yourself (or others), it’s a way to recognize that humiliating individuals or groups isn’t cool. Organizers should change the name to No Humiliation Day to avoid awkward encounters in the office.) Personally, I’m looking forward to Show and Tell Day at Work on January 8. I haven’t done Show and Tell since kindergarten and I’m excited to show co-workers my collection of belly button lint. January 13 is International Skeptics Day where you question the accuracy of every statement ever made. It’s a good day to research fake news on Facebook instead of blindly sharing bogus content. You know who you are… There’s just no other way to say it. January 18 is National Thesaurus Day. If you think Talk Like a Pirate Day is a barrel of laughs, you’ll love Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day on January 24. I practiced this morning during breakfast. Me: Yer lookin’ like a dadburn claim jumper with that dumfungled smile on your man-trap. Hubbie: Can you just hand me the toaster? It seems there’s a celebration for everything in January. Squirrels! Penguins! Dragons! You get a day! And you get a day! And you get a day! What about toilet paper?! Well, let’s not get silly. January is a big month for food with national observances for candy, hot tea, oatmeal, soup, wheat


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