West Valley Journal June 2019

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June 2019 | Vol. 5 Iss. 06

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WOLVERINES SCORE REGION GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

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By Greg James | greg@mycityjournals.com

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or the first time in the school’s 29-year history Hunter High School boasts a region golf championship. “They are somehow making golf cool,” Wolverines head girls golf coach Devon Cooper said. “I felt like that if I invested in the girls the program would benefit. We are going to get a banner in the gymnasium. That is something they can come back years from now and show their kids. It is a legacy, the first of many region titles.” As few as four years ago the team barely had enough players to field a team and even ran out of golf balls during the season. “I am really proud of the girls,” Cooper said. “They have worked hard and put in the time to lower their scores and improve their golf game. We have had support from the community. Walmart donated drinks for us and a man from The Ridge (Golf Club) donated 1,000 balls. That made me cry because of where we had been just a short time ago.” The Wolverines have a full team of 26 golfers including their junior varsity program. “It is a lot. We have nine varsity golfers and 17 JV. If we had not started our JV program last year some of the girls would not have moved up to varsity this year. It is how we are building the varsity team.” Last season the Wolverines began a program to invite interested girls to be part of the team. They pay discounted fees and practice less, all in an attempt to familiarize the girls with the game. Joe Stanley also joined the team as an assistant coach. “He has been a great addition. He brings wisdom and knowledge of the game. He has a lot of golf experience and has raised four daughters and is a great father figure to the team. It has been good to have him help to work together with these girls,” Cooper said. Stanley’s daughter, sophomore Charity Ralph, came out last fall to a Wiffle ball get-to-know-the-game that Cooper offered. It was her first experience with the game. After a few tries she was hooked and has bonded with her father. “Now they play the game together. After practice the other day they went and played nine. It is a new experience for them. We host a daddy-daughter fundraiser in the spring that helps fundraise for our team. I have seen these girls bonds grow deeper. Families are now playing the game together,” Cooper said. “Golf is a game that everyone can do. It is a lifelong sport.” Senior Mallerie Brown placed second in Region 2, Gwen

Wolverines score region golf championship Caption: Hunter High School’s girls golf team is setting records and teaching girls a game they can play the rest of their lives. (Photo courtesy of Devon Cooper)

Grunwald, fifth; Peyton Newell, eighth; Charity Ralph, seventh; Lily Brock, 10th; Cierra Peterson, 12th; and Anna Goodwin, 14th. Every tournament they strived to do their best, but like the team motto, “together” they knew that it was not all on them to win every match. “It never fell on one girl. They each said it might be me. If a girl has a bad day, they would turn to their teammates and offer encouragement. Gwen constantly surprised us. She was the first girl to break 100 in my four years with the team,” Cooper said. Newell is a four-year varsity player. Copper said every member of the team has improved. “Mallerie started playing her sophomore year and has really put in the time. She has taken lessons and really put in extra work. Gwen was a player that last year came out just to have fun and had never played,” Copper said. The state golf tournament is scheduled to be held May 13 and 14 at TalonsCove in Eagle Mountain (after press deadline). “We have a chance to make it to day two as a team. That would be an accomplishment,” Cooper said. l

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Hunter wins first track title, pole vault record broken

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By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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Hunter won its first ever girls region track championship this season. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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unter won its first ever girls region track championship in a season where longtime state records have fallen including the boys pole vault record that has stood since 1995. Robbie Walker, from Riverton High School, cleared 16 feet 3 inches to break the record, a culmination of hard work and the help from trainers. “Robbie has trained with us for several years,” Utah Pole Vault Academy director and Bingham High assistant track coach Kody Pierce said. “He is a good athlete. We say he has great hops. He is a hard worker. He committed himself and had the state record in mind for a couple of years. I feel like there is a place for anyone to come and learn this event.” Walker jumped over 15 feet last season as a junior. His teammate Trent James went higher than him and offered some good healthy competition and encouragement. “I think he saw what he could do, knew he had this year to train to reach the state record. He has worked his butt off,” Pierce said. Pole vault has only been a track scoring event for girls and boys in smaller classifi-

cations for five years. Some schools did not even own the equipment until recently. “I was in the same boat as most of these kids,” Pierce said of his high school track days. “I recruited a buddy to help and have figured it out. Since then I have traveled all over the country and have learned to be a better coach. The pole vault world is pretty tight knit. We help each other and want to see the

well.” As Walker’s arms cleared the bar the cheers erupted. “This is a pole vault community. There are no boundaries. They love the pole vault and love other pole vaulters. It doesn’t matter what school you are from. Him breaking the record was cool. A good high school vaulter is somewhere in the 14-foot range. Robbie is an exception,” Pierce said. Brittany Kuhn, from Hunter, won the Region 2 100m and 300m hurdles. Senior Ola Lapuaho finished first in the discus and long jump. Cyprus’ Vaeaega Gasu has posted a top 10 – Kody Pierce time in the boys 100m this season. His 11.05 is close to a state record. Jaren Kamakana finished on top in the region discus and javelin. The state track finals were held May 1618 at BYU (after press deadline). The Pole Vault Association is open year round and encourages youth to participate. Its indoor facility in Riverton even hosted a pole vault event this spring when the weather rained out a weekend track meet. “We have 40 to 50 kids that participate with us regularly. It depends on the time of year. We have several schools that do not have a pole vault coach. We want to help all the kids that need it,” Pierce said. l

“He is a good athlete. We say he has great hops. He is a hard worker. He committed himself and had the state record in mind for a couple of years. I feel like there is a place for anyone to come and learn this event.”

sport grow.” Pole vault technique and training can be very specific. “It can be a fun sport that you can come and do just in the spring season, but to be like a Robbie Walker you need to put in the time. They are the ones that get the higher marks. We have athletes of all skills and ages,” Pierce said. “Gymnasts make great jumpers, speed strength and agility are important. A good pole vaulter will be one of the best athletes on the track. He may not be the fastest, but one of. They need to be strong and jump

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June 2019 | Page 5


Valley Junior High celebrates 70 years By Jess Nielsen Beach | j.beach@mycityjournals.com

Traditional Latin dancers entertained the crowd. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

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ast and present students of Valley Junior High gathered on May 4 to celebrate the school’s 70th birthday. With banners, decorations, and even a few birthday sheet cakes, it was the perfect place to be on a sunny Saturday morning in West Valley. Partnering with Comcast Cares Day, participants were greeted just outside the main entrance with free shirts, doughnuts, and an itinerary for the activities ahead. Dozens of activities were planned by the hour to keep people entertained. “It’s going to be a big day,” said Holly Hennessey, a parent volunteer. “It’s awesome, because for each person who signs in, $14 goes back to the school.” Also excited to participate in the festivities were committee members from the Taylorsville/Bennion Heritage Center, who hoped to not only celebrate the school’s anniversary, but also encourage people to visit their museum. “I went to Valley,” said Susan Yadeskie, Historic Preservation Committee chair. “We were originally going to have one table, but there were so many historically relevant pieces that the principal gave us an entire room.” The setup was a blast from the past, with dozens of yearbooks, photos and plaques all showcasing the accomplishments and milestones of the school through its 70 years. Much of the display was in perfect condition, lending an air of awe to the assortment. “We have pictures from our Historical Preservation Museum that show the very first school bus, drawn by horse,” Yadeskie continued, reminiscing about the origins of Valley Junior High and her own memories of her time there. “It’s amazing to see the difference year to year. Valley was remodeled last year, and when we walked past the gymnasium, I had a flashback of all the games we watched on the bleachers. It’s just so fun to be here.”

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After perusing the past, the students were invited to invest in their future. On hand with pamphlets, pins and more was Teri Dial, the site coordinator for GEAR UP. The program, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, helps students from seventh grade all the way up to senior year. “We take students to college campuses, provide job shadowing, fund additional education field trips, academic tutoring and really anything the kids need,” Dial said. “GEAR UP will also support them through their first year of college.” Children were encouraged to learn more about the program and how to participate by completing a word search throughout the school: find the definitions of A-Z, and then come back to receive a prize. “It’s really a fantastic program to have in your school,” Dial said. Other activities around the school took place in shifts. Indoors, there was volleyball, rocket making, hat decorating for Mother’s Day, a STEM lab and video games. Outside was soccer, Twister, face painting, drone flying, and even a booth set up by the local police and fire departments. “We’re here to give the kids some education about safety,” said one firefighter. “We’ve got booklets, bracelets and other things to make it fun.” After the third session of activities, attendees were invited outside to a Latin dance demonstration and, later, stunning performances with traditional Mexican costumes and music. There were several dances, between which Salt Lake County District Attorney and former Valley Junior High student Sim Gill, spoke. “If you’re walking down the halls, there’s so many memories,” he began. “Let me tell you: in junior high, sometimes you

Children were invited to take part in a Latin dance demonstration. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

feel a little awkward, things feel a little different, but this is really where you start to set those great memories. Over 40 years later, I still remember all these friends that I’ve kept in touch with. You’re going to make lifelong friends here. This is a great, great school to be part of.” Gill stressed that relationships can be the foundation of future success. “It was the friendships I made here that laid down the seeds for everything that I’ve been able to accomplish in my life. This is a great community, a wonderful school and this is where our future begins. I’m proud to be a liger.” Another alumna, Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson, added her thoughts following Gill. “I love this school. I’m having a lot of memories today,” Overson said. “I’m liger proud and proud of all of you who are here today; you never know what’s going to happen, you never know what’s in your future. Study hard, make lots of friends, life is a journey that is not over until we’re done. Let’s learn, respect and enjoy.” The event came to an end with a student speaker who praised the value of teamwork at the school, and the principal, Trent Hendricks, saying a few words in favor of his own experience. “Our past is what creates us. Junior high is the time when you start to shape who you are and it’s an honor to be a principal in that part of kids’ lives, especially in such a great community.” The school then brought out a liger (half lion/half tiger) mascot piñata, carefully crafted by the students and supervised by the art teacher. Dozens of children gathered, and squeals of excitement were heard as it was broken and candy scattered. Spirits were high as the attendees were entertained again by the Latin dancers. The

crowds enjoyed pizza and cake to honor the school and community they love and will continue to love for many more birthdays to come. l

Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson reminisces about her teachers when she attended Valley Junior High. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

SLC District Attorney Sim Gill addresses his former school. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

West Valley City Journal


The display case inside the school chronicles its impressive 70 years. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

Student body officers picked up a brush and painted dozens of colorful designs on the faces of excited children. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

Guests see the history of Valley Junior High through displays from the Bennion/Taylorsville Heritage Center. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

Students and community children gather to break the liger mascot piĂąata. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

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Participants enjoyed birthday cake to celebrate the junior high’s birthday. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

June 2019 | Page 7


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verhead power lines will be buried across 4100 South, but only some. A city owned road, 4100 South is in the midst of being reconstructed. Just last month, the West Valley City Council approved a resolution reaffirming its commitment to the project after construction costs came in nearly 29 percent over city officials’ estimate. The underestimate was attributed to the construction market and the limited amount of contractors available to do such a job. Power lines running east to west along 4100 South will remain, but the distribution lines that cross 4100 South will be buried by Rocky Mountain Power into conduit and boxes. The total cost to the city is just over $164,000 from state transportation funds. The City Council unanimously approved the resolution for the power line burial on May 14. Other aesthetic improvements along the busy corridor are planned including street trees, park strips and matching fencing, according to Russ Willardson, West Valley City public works director. It was just over a year ago in April 2018 when the council informally voted to not bury power lines along 4100 South as part of the Power lines at aerial crossings on 4100 South will be buried as part of the 4100 South reconstruction between reconstruction. At $3.5 million, a majority of the council deemed the cost too high, and felt Bangerter Highway and 5460 West. (City Journals) the priority should be road care. l

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The May 14 approval doesn’t undo this decision, but will see power lines at the following aerial crossing locations buried: 4121 West 4129 West 4200 West 4250 West 4380 West 4430 West 4460 West 4490 West 4508 West 4556 West 4650 West 4700 West 4850 West 4870 West 5000 West 5070 West 5093 West Holder Drive 5160 West 5250 West 5280 West 5350 West

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What 4100 South facing north, looks like right now. (Photo courtesy UDOT)

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onstruction on the Mountain View Corridor, from 4100 South to S.R. 201, won’t be done anytime soon. The project, which started this spring, is estimated to finish in summer 2021, according to UDOT Engineer Codee Raymond, who presented an update to the West Valley City Council in early May. Raymond is the resident engineer responsible for the project, which includes ramps extending to California Avenue (1300 South). Included in the project is an intersection enhancement at 3500 South that extends to 5600 West widening out the intersections. It will also include a trail bridge for “continuous connectivity,” Raymond said. A trail park and ride will be accessible through 3575 South. MVC will have bridges over cross streets at 3100 South, 2700 South, Riter Canal and 1730 South. While 2400 South will have a cross street bridge over MVC with a trail that runs underneath. Councilwoman Karen Lang said she’s regularly asked by constituents if there will

be enough space in between the north and south bound highway for this to work. “We’ve left plenty of room,” Raymond responded. He added MVC is constructed differently on the south end versus the north. From Old Bingham Highway heading north, they constructed the freeway section with ramps. On the south end, frontage roads were built. “Eventually we’ll just widen two lanes in the center and then have four lanes each direction when phase three comes along,” Raymond said. The new interchange at 201, MVC and 5600 West (described by Mayor Ron Bigelow as “a mini spaghetti bowl”), will feature various on and off ramps on between the three major thoroughfares. The one area in question could be 201 eastbound on ramps from MVC and 5600 West being too close in proximity, but Raymond assured the council there wouldn’t be a merging problem. To stay informed, call (800) 596-2556, email mountainview@utah.gov or visit udot. utah.gov/mountainview. l

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Tracy Aviary Nature Center planned for James Madison Oxbow Park By Bill Hardesty | B.Hardesty@mycityjournals.com

Drawing of phase 1 of the proposed Tracy Aviary Nature Center along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. (Photo courtesy of South Salt Lake City)

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racy Aviary is coming to South Salt Lake City this summer with the opening of a nature center along the Jordan River. The City Council suspended their rules on May 8 to pass on a 7-0 vote an ordinance creating the Nature Center Pilot Project (NCPP) overlay district. The same ordinance was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on May 2. The quick pace of approval was the result of using an outside consultant and a lot of groundwork by city staff, the consultant, landowner and applicant. Tracy Aviary and Salt Lake County had placed a hard May 15 deadline. “I love this project. I support it. I love the idea of having legitimate use of the river. Eyes on the river. This is exciting,” said councilwoman Sharla Bynum of District 3. The ordinance covers phase 1 of the project. The nature center will be built on a 1/2-acre part of the James Madison Oxbow Park at 1100 W. 3300 South. The Park is part

of the Jordan River Parkway trail system. The nature center will focus on the river’s ecosystem and provide ways for the community to interact with nature surrounding the river. The full nature center design is still under discussion. Phase 1 This phase will consist of visitor education center and office, bike rentals, and restrooms. The center will be open during daylight hours. Currently, there is no plan to charge an entrance fee. The classroom will be a mobile building on a temporary foundation. It will have an office and a classroom. The bikes will be stored in a shipping container. Local artists will be encouraged to paint a mural on the long side of the container. The bikes are designed for families to use along the Jordan River Trail. Tim Brown, Tracy Aviary CEO, mentioned that phase 1 allows them to get their feet on the ground as they fundraise hoping to complete an 8 to 10-acre campus for active

An aerial view of the location for phase 1 of the Tracy Aviary Nature Center planned for the James Madison Oxbow Park along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. (Photo courtesy of South Salt Lake City)

recreation along the river. By creating the NCPP overlay district, the complications of a permanent zone change, or a subdivision are avoided. During phase 1, no live animals will be housed at the nature center. However, Tracy Aviary will use the classroom for their robust educational offerings such as river walks for families and community groups. Built within the ordinance is an end date. Tracy Aviary has four years to build the full design. If they choose to leave, the land reverts to the old code and Tracy Aviary would have to restore the property. This temporary overlay district can be extended beyond four years with the city council approval. The City staff recommended the passage of the ordinance because, “The proposed amendments are consistent with General Plan Goals [of]: a. preserving existing open space, and creating new parks, open space and recreation and cultural sites,

b. enhancing the quality of life in the City by improving the community’s appearance, safety, education, positive outlook, gathering places and positive momentum, c. regulating land uses based on compatibility with surrounding uses, residential areas, and economic feasibility, and d. establishing the Jordan River Parkway as a desirable place to be enjoyed by all residents, especially families.” Homeless Resource Center One concern voiced both at the planning commission meeting and the city council meeting was the distance between the nature center and the new homeless resource center opening this fall. The center is being built at 3380 S. 1000 West. In both meetings, the consensus was the location was bit of a concern. However, the concern is mitigated by the positive step of the nature center. l

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High school students learn about careers in the digital world By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

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erriman High student Patrick Brown may opt for a career in information technology. The high school senior attended the recent DigiForge information technology career fair where he attended three sessions: database, game design and cybersecurity. It was really fun to learn about cryptology and script,” he said, adding that he already knows C#, C++ and JavaScript. “It can all help to have a good understanding as a base for a career.” Sponsored by the Wasatch Front South Region Consortium, about 250 students selected from 14 industry presenters who spoke on topics from data science to game development. They also could tour Salt Lake Community College’s Center for Arts and Media as the presentations were held at the College’s South City campus. “Our conference goals are to inspire and excite students about technology careers, show possible career paths, and offer creative learning opportunities,” said Patti Larkin, Canyons School District Careers and Technical Education coordinator. Students from Jordan, Canyons, Murray, Tooele, Salt Lake and Granite school districts came to learn about their technology career options. Corner Canyon High School junior Jack Eckersley is interested in pursuing a career in animation and game design, but he also attended the session, “Databases: The Most Delicious Secret in Information Technology” where he learned from Control 4’s Andrea Allred about how some companies, such as Target, customize letters to their customers based on what coupons they use. Allred said data also has been used to identify where malaria is reported in Zimbabwe, then teams are sent to try to eliminate any standing water to combat the disease.

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High school students from across Salt Lake Valley attended DigiForge information technology fair where Control4’s Andrea Allred shared with students “Databases: The Most Delicious Secret in Information Technology.” (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“Data is used in so many different places and ways, but databases are needed to be kept secure, with a strong password, firewalls and encrypted information,” she said. “With more and more data being collected, we need more database analysts and administrators. There’s a lot of opportunities to get involved and available resources.” In another session, Murray High sophomore Lincoln Pham was learning about 3D

graffiti from SpyHop’s Chris Manfre. Manfre demonstrated how to use layers, saturation, clipping, levels and blending in Adobe Photoshop to achieve their own artwork. He also said he changed from a career as an audio engineer for death metal bands to studying graphic design so he could make album covers for bands. “Find out what you like to do and go for

it,” he said. Lincoln said he already has an idea of the career he’d like to pursue — cybersecurity. “It’s basically hacking, but with permission,” he said, adding that he also attended sessions in cybersecurity and computer myths. “I’d be deciphering codes, which aren’t hard, but fun to do. I’m planning to take computer science classes, but this gave me a head start.” Pat Wright, who chairs the event, said part of the reason to interest high school students in technology information careers is to fill positions. “There’s not enough people in the jobs now and by 2020, we expect it to grow to 2 million people,” he said, adding that there are about 300,000 people in the field now. “There’s a lot of technology out there that is growing and not enough Utahns to fill the demand.” He recommended students as young as elementary start learning more about computer programming as more careers will incorporate it in the future. He said by middle school, students should learn computer science, and in high school, programming should be required. While he applauded districts where students learn code.org in elementary, he also recommended students learn more coding, such as the free Utah Code Camp on June 8, which teaches students from age 5 to 15 skills from Arduino and Scratch to Unity and HTML (www.utahgeekevents.com/events/ kids-code-camp-2019). “It’s becoming a digital world from artists to virtual reality to gaming to understanding data,” Wright said. “We need our kids to be prepared and get excited about their future.” l

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Orchard Elementary celebrates 40 years with carnival, time capsule opening By Jess Nielsen Beach | j.beach@mycityjournals.com

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tudents past and present gathered at Orchard Elementary to celebrate the school’s 40th birthday on April 24. The school was named for a Magna pharmacist who was so well loved, he had the elementary school named for him after his tragic death. A birthday carnival was set up outside to mark the occasion, including food trucks, bouncy houses and castles and other activities for the community to enjoy. Part of the celebration included the opening of a 20-year-old time capsule in the auditorium, with the Orchard family in attendance. The past items recovered included floppy disks (much to the shock and confusion of the students), headlines from the local papers, gas prices and what the then-students wished to be when they grew up, which largely included astronauts. “I was here when they opened the 20year capsule last time,” said PTA president Amanda Young. “I attended here all my years, K through six, and now my child is attending here. It’s a legacy; I was here last time and now I’m here to see another capsule be sealed.” The new capsule will be filled with today’s headlines, student projects, and other artifacts and popular culture of the current year. Students, teachers, and those involved

with the school were invited to place something in the container. It was even proposed that a cell phone be placed inside, as that technology will surely look vastly different in 20 more years. “This capsule will be sealed again by May 22,” Principal Leona Chandler said. “We’ll be sealing it up and then this school is going to be rebuilt out in back. When that is completed, we will move the time capsule over there before they tear this one down.” At the conclusion of the program, participants were encouraged to play games, enjoy the carnival on the field, and check out the silent auction put on by the PTA. There was also a display of yearbooks that included all 40 years of the elementary school. “We love Orchard,” Young said. “When you love something, you come back.” l

The silent auction put on by the PTA included gift baskets and other prizes. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

Former principal Walt Layton speaks to the crowd about the capsule he buried 20 years ago. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

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Council approves block grant funding for public services, infrastructure By Travis Barton | travis.b@thecityjournals.com

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Just over $1.2 million in federal money will go to needed public services and city programs after the West Valley City Council unanimously approved the recommended projects. (Pixabay)

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ust over $1.2 million in federal money will go to needed public services and city programs after the West Valley City Council unanimously approved the recommended projects. Funds come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the CDBG (community development block grant) program. Before funds can be approved federally, the city must have an action plan with a budget listing where the money will go. Fifteen percent of funds (about $185,000) go to public services like The INN Between, YWCA Utah and Crisis Nursery Support Center. Heather Royall, who leads the CDBG committee for WVC that makes final recommendations on where to budget the money, said there was a 6 percent decrease in funds this year for public services. Representatives from a few of those services expressed their gratitude to the city during the May 14 City Council meeting. Bobby Lord is with the Crisis Nursery Support Center (3660 S. 3600 West in WVC),

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a free nursery care for children ages 0-11. She said the West Valley City location is the most utilized and the only 24-hour location. There were 755 confirmed victims of child abuse in West Valley City last year. Lord said their goal is to prevent that from happening. “We just want to thank you guys, your funding is very important to us and directly impacts the number of people and hours we are available,” Lord said. Kim Cree with The INN Between, a community hospice for the homeless and assisted living center for elderly who can’t afford care and now has 50 beds since moving to their new location in Sugar House, thanked the council for their support. “You came and thanked us,” Councilman Lars Nordfelt said during the council meeting. “It’s super easy for us to say yes, but you’re doing the hard work so thank you.” Other funding included $714,000 to infrastructure and $247,262 goes to administration which is capped at 20 percent. The largest amount of funding was $350,000 for the Truang Park Development.

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A behind the scenes look at a Salt Lake Bees game By Christy Jepson | christy@mycityjournals.com

W

hen fans walk into the Smith’s Ballpark and hear the words “Play ball!” they expect a night full of exciting baseball, tasty food and entertainment. What fans don’t see is the work that goes on behind the scenes that starts weeks, days and hours before the first pitch of each game. It’s the preparation and planning of the groundskeeping department, food and beverage division, and the marketing and communications departments that work together to make a memorable evening for fans coming to the ballpark at 77 W. 1300 South. Nikki Sim is the game operations and marketing manager for the Salt Lake Bees. She is responsible for planning all the onfield and video board promotions, the promotional team and staff, theme nights and giveaways. For Sim, her work begins before the fans enter the gates. She is constantly meeting with the video production team, DJs, the PA announcer and promotion team to go over everything to make sure everyone knows their job. “If everyone is on the same page for videos, promotions, and their responsibilities, things tend to run smoothly. Marketing is very important to a sports team because for the Bees, we want more than the baseball fan to come to a game. We want people who are eager to do something on a warm evening to come to a Bees game and experience more than just baseball,” Sim said. When you are Matthew Greene, the director of operations for Pro Sports Catering and in charge of all food and beverage at Smith’s Ballpark, your work starts anywhere from two days before a big game or the morning of regular games. Just last year, concessions sold over 25,000 pounds of hot dogs. They also hosted the largest picnic in minor league baseball for a group of 6,000 people. Greene has over 200 employees who work for him in the food and beverage department. “For many employees, this is their first job and it’s great to see them grow up over the summers and then we get their younger siblings. You get to know the families and it is rewarding when the older ones come back from college and make it a point to come say hi,” Greene said. In his duties of director of field operations, Brian Soukup and his crew of two fulltime assistants and two seasonal assistants, make sure the playing field and outside landscaping is in top notch for every home game. For an evening game, Soukup and his team start working at 9 a.m. to make sure the entire field is mowed, then they pack the bullpens, work the mound and plate, clean and drag the track and spend several hours working the infield dirt. According to Soukup, it is not uncommon for his crew to work 14-15 hour days because after games they stay and repair and prepare the field for the next day. Other

Page 14 | June 2019

jobs they do are water the grass, paint grass lines and set up the field for batting practice. “We mow the field every day when the team is in town and every other day when they are out of town. That means we mow our lawn about 200 times a year,” Soukup said. In order to get community members aware of the Salt Lake Bees, Kraig Williams, the communications manager for the Salt Lake Bees, helps with public relations, media relations, community relations and digital media. “For me and my team it’s informing people of what is happening at the ballpark that they will enjoy, whether that be through social media to promote an upcoming theme night, setting up media interviews with players that fans would like to know or getting the team and our staff out in the community to help,” Williams said. To these Salt Lake Bees employees, getting fans to games is more than just about baseball. It is trying to make the best experience possible. “We provide more than just baseball,” Sim said. “Children can meet our beloved mascot, Bumble, ride a train, play on a playground, and make memories with their families.” Bumble is the Bees’ mascot and has fun with fans at the games. (Photo credit Brent and Paul Asay) Both Williams and Soukup agree that the Bees games are an affordable way for families to spend time together. “For example, you can get four tickets and four hot dogs for $24 on Monday nights on our website and it’s a lot of fun for the whole family … For those that aren’t into the game, we have tons of fun promotions and theme nights for all kinds of people,” Williams said. So whether it’s a major league game or a minor league game, every department contributes in different ways to make each Bees game a grand slam for the fans. For more information about the Salt Lake Bees or to buy tickets visit their website at https://www.milb.com/salt-lake/tickets/ l

The Smith’s Produce Race is the most popular on-field promotion at the Salt Lake Bees games. (Photo credit Brent and Paul Asay)

Simon Matthews, a Salt Lake Bees pitcher. (Photo credit Brent and Paul Asay)

West Valley City Journal


How did Granite District fare in the 2019 educator wage wars?

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n April, Granite District announced that they had reached a tentative settlement for setting starting teacher salary at $43,500. Canyons and Murray districts announced they would start teacher salaries at $50,000. The wage wars were on. Ben Horsley, GSD’s director of communications said there’s more to total compensation than salary, such as health insurance. “While other districts may offer larger base pay, Granite teachers will see more options in their health benefits at a lower cost, which means more money in our teachers’ pockets at the end of the day,” Horsley said. One innovative way that Granite is competing to compensate their teachers is through their Wellness Clinic, which held a ribbon cutting event on May 13. “This clinic is the first of its kind in Utah. All GSD employees and their families can come and receive care, including primary and urgent care, lab work and prescriptions at no cost. It is a major piece of what we will expect will attract employees to Granite for years to come,” Horsley said. The clinic is located in the former seminary building at Valley Junior High School on the corner of 4200 South and 3200 West in West Valley. It is scheduled to open for patients before the beginning of the 2019-2020

By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com school year. It will be staffed by clinicians from Premise Health. Horsley also said that this has all been done without having to raise taxes. Canyons’ and Murray’s increases will both require a property tax increase. Mary D. Burbank, assistant dean for teacher education at the University of Utah said she commends the districts for committing to support the teaching profession by improving compensation. “It’s a big leap to increase pay level. It highlights the priority of certified teachers. There’s a shortage of teachers in the community, and actions like this symbolically underscore the importance of the profession,” Burbank said. Burbank also said that a compensation package may be what makes a teacher choose to work in one district over another. “We’re always looking for new teachers and work closely with our district partners. We value their recognition that it takes work to become a teacher and retain them,” Burbank said. John Funk, also of the University of Utah’s teacher education program, said that Granite has recently been on the forefront of raising teacher salaries. “It was two years ago the Granite District pushed the envelope by providing a 12 percent increase to their

teaching staff. Other districts knew they would have to compete. I applaud Granite for trying to do something to begin to compensate teachers,” Funk said. Funk said he encourages his students, future teachers, to consider the following when interviewing for a job. “Don’t be fooled by the beginning salary. Look closer at the benefits,” said Funk, who found that considering insurance premiums changed take-home pay. “Also, look at the salary schedule. Compensation (goes up) according to the number of years taught and the level of education the teacher has attained,” Funk said. His studies showed that salary can change significantly based on the district’s pay ladder as early as four years into the job. These comments align with Horsley’s, who said he hopes teachers will “do the math” when it comes to picking an employer. “Canyons and other districts’ health insurance costs are such that after paying for them… net pay will be less than what (a teacher) can get in Granite.” One point of agreement was the need to recruit and retain quality teachers. “We are in a world of hurt right now. Most colleges and universities are down in numbers in their teacher prep programs. The salary amounts may help,” Funk said. l

Students at Woodstock Elementary in Granite School District volunteer answers for a guest educator. Granite hopes to recruit and retain quality teachers with a new starting salary of $43,500 and a free employee wellness clinic. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

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Grizzbee takes a bite of a fish thrown on the ice after the Grizzlies first playoff goal, a tradition dating as far back as anyone can remember. (Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography)

T

he season for the Utah Grizzlies has come to a close, but their fans know how to enjoy the game. “It has been this way since I can remember,” longtime season ticket holder Ed Rappleye said. “We have got the feed the grizz.” No sooner had the first playoff goal hit the back of the net than fish came cascading from all levels of the stands onto the ice. A timeout was called and the off-ice officials entered the arena to clean up the mess. “They do things like this all of the time. One time it was a teddy bear toss, the last regular season game it was undy Sunday that the fans threw underwear, (there was also) sock night. The first weekend the fans throw fish on the ice. It is interesting to see the guts splatter sometimes,” Rappleye said. Home games at the Maverik Center are packed with more than gametime entertainment. The jersey auctions have become wildly popular as well as chuck-a-puck every second intermission. In March they host a scoutsleepover in the arena. The scout’s game ticket includes a scout patch, play time on the ice and a catered breakfast in the morning. “Some of the stuff they do is fun. Chuck-a-puck supports a different organization every time. The money goes to support a charity like youth hockey…,” Rappleye said. Fans buy foam hockey pucks and

during the designated intermission they throw them on the ice. The numbered puck closest to center wins a prize. “That is why I keep coming back. They treat me well and the games are fun. I missed a few games this season, but they allow me to cash in my tickets,” Rappleye said. The Grizzlies season ended abruptly this year. They lost the first round playoff series to the Idaho Steelheads in five games. The Grizzlies won the first game of the series 7-1, but lost four straight overtime games to end their season. They finished third in the mountain division of the East Coast Hockey League behind the Tulsa Oilers and Idaho Steelheads. A total of 42 players saw ice time for the Grizzlies. They are a farm team of the Colorado Avalanche. All three of the Avalanche organization teams qualified for the playoffs. In October, head coach Tim Branham became the winningest head coach in Grizzlies history. In his six seasons in Utah, he has amassed 215 wins. They have qualified for the playoffs five times. The team’s primary responsibility is not to win games. It is to develop players to advance to the next level. Forward Mitch Maxwell has spent parts of two seasons with the Grizzlies. He is from a small southern Alberta, Canada town named Magrath. His hockey experience has been slightly

different than some of his teammates. He spent two years away from the game on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Maxwell played 29 games this season and scored five goals and had six assists. He began playing hockey at four years old as his family encouraged him to play the game from a young age. His father, uncle and brothers all played professional hockey before him. “I served a mission for the church in West Virginia,” Maxwell said. “The hometown fans always treat me well, but I think being a member of the church here is a little more common. The only other LDS players I played with were family and friends. I love it here in Utah. At this point in my career I am just trying to get better every day and move up.” At one point he thought his career was done. “When I was younger I got cut from a team. I tell people to keep going and keep working. Being a member of the church has taught me to keep working hard and going on a mission helped me with that. I have had good teammates and having discipline is something I have learned,” he said. The Grizzlies will return to action in October. More information can be found on their website utahgrizzlies. com l

West Valley City Journal


Hillside Elementary celebrates Children’s Day with soccer, music and art By Jess Nielsen Beach | j.beach@mycityjournals.com

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hildren’s Day was celebrated on April 30 by the students of Hillside Elementary with a presentation of art, music and sports. “We are honored to be partnering with the Mexican consulate here in Salt Lake for this very special occasion,” said Hillside principal Deborah Woolley. “We are grateful to them for what they have done and for reaching out to us and being able to do this special celebration with us today.” Packed to capacity with attendees, the auditorium was decorated with the students’ colorful drawings and pictures, all capturing their take on idols and impressive persons of Mexico, in hopes of winning a contest that was issued weeks prior. The first speaker was West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow, who addressed the children and emphasized the responsibility they have before them. “It’s fun to come to schools and see what the future of our city looks like,” Bigelow said. “As I look out here, I’m reminded that West Valley City is made up of many different nations, cultures and languages. Some of you will speak those languages in your home, and I encourage you to remember those.” He continued to speak on immigrants and the importance their heritage lends to the United States as a whole. “Unfortunately, many groups came to this country and their parents spoke another language, they learned English, but their children and grandchildren did not maintain their language. That is a great loss to our country, because we need all of those languages as we come closer and closer as neighbors.” Martin Bates, superintendent of Granite School District, was also on hand to encourage and address the students. “Don’t just go to college. Graduate from college,” Bates said. He then asked the teachers in the room to raise their hands if they had attended a university. An outburst of surprise and awe came from the students as they looked around and saw every hand up. With this example, the children proceeded to raise their hands enthusiastically when asked if they planned to attend college as well. The students in the Dual Language Immersion program then stood, many sporting intricate headdresses. Several upbeat songs were performed, all in Spanish, to a delighted audience filled with teachers, parents and community members. On hand to congratulate and thank the children in the audience was the Head Consul of Mexico in Salt Lake City, José Borjón. “Today, in all the schools of my country, they are celebrating Children’s Day,” Borjón said. “The schools in Mexico have festivals, games, prizes and singing like we’ve had today. But remember it’s not just about

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Students raise their hands when asked if they want to attend college. (Jess Nielsen Beach/City Journals)

Traditional Mexican dancing and costumes were on full display for the celebration. (Jess Nielsen Beach/ City Journals)

enjoying yourself. Remember that you have rights. You should work and study and protect yourself and your rights, and as families and parents, we should work hand-in-hand with that.” Borjón closed by announcing his commitment to donate Spanish language textbooks to the school. “As a consulate, a city, as authorities, we are committed in helping you succeed,” said Borjón. The celebration of culture came to a head when Oxaca, a dance group specializing in traditional Mexican dances and costumes,

took the stage. The women were adorned with full skirts, braided hair and vivid colors, while the men wore charro outfits and heeled boots. Monica Velazquez and her husband teach dance classes in the community. “We love teaching the children,” Velazquez said. “We teach all ages, from kindergarten up to teenagers.” The last event was the appearance of two REAL Salt Lake soccer players, Julian Vazquez and Sebastian Saucedo. Each spoke to the children about hard work and the importance of parental support. “I was a young soccer player, training with his dad every day,” Saucedo said. “I think the support from parents is the most important thing. If you can support your kids with whatever sport they like and you dedicate your time with them, it will pay off in the future.” The players discussed their rise to become team members of RSL, including attending RSL’s academy and participating in games across the world, including Mexico and South Korea. “My favorite field to play on was in Mexico,” Vazquez said. “They have a really nice facility for the national team. We’ve had a lot of games there, and it’s a neat experience.” The students were then issued a challenge. Hillside’s High Flyer awards, which reward great citizenship on the playground, were announced with a special prize: at the end of May, a drawing from the recipients will receive jerseys, shirts, soccer balls and more from RSL. The high-energy event concluded with the presentation of the winning mural, which Borjón accepted with a smile. “Thank you so much,” Borjón said. “This has been an incredible day of celebration.” l

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Former NBA coach hosts skills camp for kids By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

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t’s not often an NBA coach comes to town. And yet it just so happens that Utah is lucky enough to be the home of former NBA assistant coach Barry Hecker who has been teaching basketball for more than 40 years. The veteran coach, who lives in Murray, became used to life on the road after a 21-year NBA coaching career with stints for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies. Following his retirement in 2013, his travels haven’t slowed down. This past year, he has conducted clinics in Finland, Senegal and Canada along with various states around the country while also working with high school and college players on an individual basis, including some in Utah. This summer, he is back home for a four-day Shooting and Offensive Skills camp June 17 through 20 at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center, located at 8015 S. 2200 West, in West Jordan for boys and girls in grades third through ninth. “These camps are all about the basic fundamentals of basketball,” Hecker said. “We focus on quality fundamental instruction, we work hard with a lot of discipline and structure and we have a lot of fun. When these kids walk out of there, they know they’ve been taught and improved.”

The camp is scheduled for June 17, 18, 19 and 20 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The cost is $80, which includes a T-shirt. Registration is open online at www.slco. org/gene-fullmer/ or at Gene Fullmer Rec through the first day of the camp. The first 40 kids registered will receive a free basketball. Contact Jason Kehr at jkehr@slco.org or (385) 468-1951 for more information. The camp is being sponsored by Ken Garff Automotive Group, Chick-fil-A and Standard Optical. The long-time NBA coach started playing basketball in the seventh grade and it wasn’t long after being involved in the sport that a junior high P.E. teacher instilled in him a desire to coach the game. A trip with his dad to a Celtics game as a 12 year-old solidified that dream. He has coached basketball at every level, but his first coaching experience was running the John Henson Junior High track team in Oxon Hill, Maryland. “I didn’t know anything about track, but I decided if I was going to coach it, I was going to win so I found out everything I could and we won the championships three years in a row,” he said. He then coached the junior varsity basketball team at Oxon Hill High School and led them to an undefeated 20-0 season.

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Former NBA coach Barry Hecker worked with NBA player Rudy Gay during his 21 years in the NBA. (Photo courtesy Barry Hecker)

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Following several other coaching stints, he landed a job at Salt Lake Community College in 1976 where he met Harry Weltman, the general manager of the now-defunct American Basketball Association’s St. Louis Spirits. Weltman was later hired as the GM for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and took Hecker from a West High School coaching job in 1984 to the NBA as the player personnel director for the Cavs. Hecker held the same position with the Los Angeles Clippers two years later and was promoted to assistant coach in 1994, where he had two separate stints in the coaching and player development ranks. He was an assistant coach at Memphis through 2013 when he retired from coaching. “I love basketball because when it is played the right way it’s beautiful to watch – when all five players are playing their roles, sharing the ball and having each other’s back,” Hecker said. “It’s a game where five lesser talented players can beat five more talented players.” Hecker said the values he has learned from basketball are invaluable and it thrills him to share those principles of hard work, teamwork, unselfishness and persistence, along with the physical skills of the game itself, with others.

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Motorists take note: lane filtering law comes to Utah By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com

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ext time you sit in traffic on State Street and watch a motorcyclist travel down the middle of two lanes of stopped vehicles, don’t fly into road rage. This practice, known as lane filtering, is now legal. The goal is to prevent rear-end collisions between motorcyclists and approaching cars. Utah Highway Patrol has done a thorough job of explaining House Bill 149, a new motorcycle lane filtering law (legal since May 14, 2019), effective throughout the state. A link on the UHP Facebook page explains the law in detail and shows an example of doing it the lawful way. Sergeant Jason Nielsen of the Sandy Police Department encouraged drivers to have motorcycle awareness. “There’s going to be a learning curve. This is something brand new to the state of Utah. Other states have similar things, but this is new to us, so hopefully that learning curve won’t cause any injuries,” Nielsen said. All commuters should be aware of the law and have an extra eye out for motorcyclists. That way, traffic will be a safer group effort. How exactly should it be done? Lane filtering is only legal when: • The posted speed limit is 45 mph or less (never on freeways)

ing in the same direction • The vehicles a motorcycle is passing must be stopped • The motorcyclist speed must be 15 mph or less • Above all, the movement must be made safely • When traffic begins moving again, the motorcyclist must safely merge back into a lane

Street bikers are asked to follow the exact law requirements. “Drivers of any automobile — cars, trucks and motorcycles — need to be patient. Whether people agree with it or not, it’s the law. They’re (motorcyclists) allowed to do it,” Nielsen said. He gave examples of roads where lane filtering would/wouldn’t be permitted. “If it’s on Bangerter Highway, then no.” The speed limit is over 45 there. “But State Street is OK.” The higher speed freeways are illegal places. “The majority of roadways in Salt Lake Valley though, this law falls under,” he said. Dan Smith, assistant parts manager at South Valley Motorsports has been riding street bikes for 20 years. “One scenario is • The road has at least two lanes travel- being stuck in between a couple cars on the

Lane filtering law comes to Utah. (Amy Green/City Journals)

road, and seeing them on cell phones or doing something, not paying attention. I already know that I’m not going to get seen. Coming up to a stop light, I’ll move myself to the front where I know that when the light turns green, I can get out of any bad situation,” Smith said. If one is motivated to take a motorcycle licensing class, Utah is ready to educate at driver’s ed training facilities for that, too. “There are correct ways to get introduced to the sport, mainly the Utah Rider Education

www.utahridered.com has a program for new riders. They teach you all the appropriate ways to be safe in traffic and how to handle your bike,” Smith added. Seeing motorcycles pass everyone else can feel unfair. That’s not the intent. When done correctly, the lane filtering law has a purpose and a function, meant to protect. Sandy Police Department stats show 24 motorcycle crashes just in Sandy City in 2018, with one fatality recorded. The goal is always zero fatalities. l

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June 2019 | Page 19


Salt Lake County’s Welcoming City tackles racism, encourages healing through stories By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

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n presenting the State of the County speech at the end of March, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson praised the County’s becoming a certified Welcoming City for incoming refugees and existing minority populations. This honor credits the County’s providing rich resources for refugees and a host of other factors. The County ratcheted up its welcoming status April 26, by joining in the YWCA’s pledge against racism in a public way. The Salt Lake County Office of Diversity and Inclusion sponsored a Stand against Racism community luncheon, in concert with YWCA/Utah, anchored by written educational materials and a panel discussion about racism with a question and answer session. “Racism is a form of discrimination, based on … generalized differences between groups … and that those differences … make one group, or groups, inherently superior over others … making us inherently different and unequal,” reads the definition of racism, per County materials. Panelists comprised young people of color, ranging from millennial-aged professionals and college students, to a member of Generation Z, a Kearns High School sophomore (millennials are defined as those born between the years of 1982-1996. Generation Z or Gen Z are born 1997 and later.)

Panelists shared experiences with the pain and confusion of racism as well as the restorative, strengthening healing of positive role models, all here in Salt Lake County. The 90-minute session explored issues ranging from racism to role models, from stereotypes to starting over, from institutional change to personal responsibility. The program included encouraging participants to stand and read aloud the anti-racism pledge. Attendees were also treated to hearing the pledge recited in both Spanish and Japanese, by local residents. Provocative audience questions — and statements masquerading as questions — ranged from requesting an apology from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its previous discriminatory policies regarding black members to a Sugar House man questioning why he is branded a white nationalist, amid his professed cultural awareness, to a refugee mother wondering how to answer her children’s asking, “Why are we black?” From racism to role models Abandoning wearing the hijab headdress, customary as an expression of her Director of the Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Emma E. Houston ensured the “Stand against RacMuslim religion and culture, became a pro- ism” community dialogue was a “safe space” for questions ranging from white nationalism to perceived tection strategy and coping mechanism for church bigotry. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals) South Salt Lake-based Muslim licensed clin-

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ical social worker and therapist Faeiza Javed who works in Murray. Javed, however, leverages this as a strength in her counseling practice. “I learned how to navigate my multiple identities,” she noted in her Psychology Today bio, “which helps me be present with my clients and understand their issues.” “Racism? I don’t think it will ever disappear, that’s just how it is,” said Michael F. Iwasaki, a Japanese-American attorney practicing in Salt Lake City for the State of Utah. Latina high school student Susana Lemus, a sophomore at Kearns High School, indicated “feeling really welcomed” here in Salt Lake County. Local role models In terms of the Salt Lake experience for the young panelists, Emerald Greene, an African-American graduate student at the University of Utah, observed, “Having people who look like us in positions of power” as “representation” is helpful. Greene cited the County’s own Emma E. Houston, director of the Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as a local role model. Greene, who resides in Salt Lake City, works as an intern for Houston’s office. What about role models who are not employers? Lemus and Michael F. Iwasaki both credited their parents. Iwasaki, a fourth-generation AsianAmerican, also included his grandparents among his role models. Javed indicated finding role models on social media as a source of solace. With regards to the Salt Lake environment in specific, like co-panelist Greene, Javed pointed to someone right there in the room: “Luna Banuri, now there is a powerhouse,” she said, crediting the local activist participating on the Utah Muslim Civic League and Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. The temperature of racism – Anecdotal insights with an eye toward data The best way to help fight racism, is to “give up a seat at the table,” according to Kwamane O. Harris, an African-American man who works for Planned Parenthood in Salt Lake and has a bachelor’s in criminal justice. For Harris, giving up a seat at the table translates to businesses and organizations proactively seeking to ensure diversity in decision-making, “giving a voice and listening … then they can talk about things they need.” Iwasaki indicated that media attention to racism is helping combat the problem as is proactive action such as the passage of hatecrimes legislation this past legislative session, here in Utah. Having already been complimented as a mentor for people of color, audience member and Avenues resident Luna Banuri challenged the panel and the audience to question racism through data. “There has been an increase in hate crimes across the country,” she stated. “We need to rally as a community and create in-

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stitutional ways to address issues.” Banuri followed up with City Journals, providing information about anti-Muslim hate crimes. According to FBI data, such crimes targeted against Muslims are continuing to rise, approaching the highest incidence of crimes, just after the 9-11 tragedy. Another mentor credited by panelists, Salt Lake County’s Emma E. Houston, a Sugar House resident, whose office sponsored the event, recommended a personal engagement approach to help thwart racism and offered the services of her own office. Responding to a refugee woman’s angst at hearing her children feel their teachers do not value them, she said, “Go to the school. Have a conversation. Take the temperature.” Houston indicated her office’s CODA – Council of Diversity Affairs – can be a support for those in need of knowing where to even begin the conversation with the school, or even with their own children. See diversity, as opposed to color All five members of the panel disagreed with the idea of bringing races together within a human race, by ignoring color. “My ethnicity makes me unique and proud about who I am,” emphasized Harris. “The problem is, [that] we are fearful of difference(s) – that’s the mindset and the ideology that needs to change,” asserted Javed. “I am proud to be Japanese-American,” shared Iwasaki. “In a perfect world, you wouldn’t see color, you would see diversity.” And again, from the youngest panelist, Lemus: “When the box comes, I’m going to check ‘Hispanic,’ proudly.” Moving forward, together A lasting a ha moment of the panel question and answer session came when Kearns sophomore Lemus, started to make a comment about older people, then stopped, recognizing what she self-branded as ageist assumptions, apologized and moved on. “When it comes to diversity, we need to love it,” said event moderator Lance Paul Keen Brady-Sayer, who, himself, said he, a person supposedly attenuated to concerns of minority populations, realized what he considered his own lack of racial sensitivity in asking a Native American friend about their plans to celebrate the Fourth of July. “I do not think you can un-learn racism,” said African American University of Utah graduate student Greene, “but you can definitely learn how to be an advocate for your own information.” Stand against racism – no hate, no fear The YWCA Pledge against racism is available at standagainstracism.org/. For more information about standing against racism and being part of Salt Lake’s certified Welcoming County, contact the Salt Lake County Office of Diversity and Inclusion by reaching out to Emma Houston at ehouston@slco.org. Join CODA, the Council on Diversity Affairs, to make a difference in the community at www.SLCO.Org/Diversity. l

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June 2019 | Page 21


Father’s Day around the County 2019 By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

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appy Father’s Day, Salt Lake County! The City Journals gives a tribute to Valley dads by sharing what they are doing this holiday.

for her husband’s Father’s Day. She is going to recreate a memorable Hawaii anniversary, by turning their Holladay backyard into Hawaiiday—creating a temporary sand pit and paddling pool, complete with 12 children and Father’s Day bows to Mother’s Day Like a gentleman, June’s Father’s Day parents in grass skirts, sipping “mocktails.” bows to May’s Mother’s Day, opening the The ModernDad.Com—‘We get to famidoor for her and letting her go first. Father’s lies in different ways’ Day, according to some fathers the City JourUtah is somewhat famous for its momnals interviewed, like to keep their day more my bloggers — women who write on the modest than a more elaborate Mother’s Day. Internet about their experience as moms. Explains Jeff Stenquist, a Draper res- Jason Dunnigan, senior digital communicaident and Republican member of the Utah tions specialist at Riverton-based Stampin’ Legislature, “Myself and fathers in general, Up!, has been presenting the other side of the we don’t get into celebrations so much. We story, giving “a guy’s perspective” on being don’t try to draw a lot of attention to our- a parent since the first posting of his “The selves.” Stenquist noted that gifts for Father’s Modern Dad” blog in 2014. Day tend to be “socks,” versus more exotic This Father’s Day will be the first time gifts for Mother’s Day. Dunnigan, who was adopted, is armed with Socks work just fine for the Draper dad information about his biological parents. of adopted children from the Ukraine, folAt Christmas in December, he was giftlowed by the added gift of biological children ed with ancestry DNA from local company in what some parents would consider an en- Ancestry.com. Through the experience Dunviable boy-girl-boy-girl formation. “Father- nigan ended up in dialogue with his birth hood is a great honor. It’s a great experience mother and learned about his birth father. to be a dad.” The experience—and what he said he will be thinking about this Father’s Day—is Father’s Days on the road, again a gift for himself, knowing, “I am where I am Utah daddy blogger Jason Dunnigan has been writing about being a modern dad for the past five years. This Born in India and then growing up in supposed to be.” Dunnigan, a father of three Father’s Day he is grateful for his adoptive parents and three young children. (Photo Credit Jason Dunnigan) Kearns, Salt Lake County District Attorney and Salt Lake City Foothill neighborhood who said he looks like his father, Taylorsville resident Sim Gill recalls spending Father’s resident Jim Dunnigan, a long-time Republican representative of the Utah House of Day on the road with his father. Back in those days, property assessment Representatives, observed, “Sometimes, we was a centralized function for the state, ver- get to families in different ways. I am really sus a responsibility now delegated to coun- grateful.” ties. Gill’s father, Jagdish, then an appraiser for the state of Utah, now residing in Cottonwood Heights, would travel the state to assess land values. “Delta, Kanab, St. George, Price, Duchesne,” Gill rattled off Utah municipalities as if in a speed challenge. Gill and his brother and sister always viewed Father’s Day as “an adventure” and a “special time,” spent on the road, away from their Kearns childhood home.

Giving fathers a head start West Valley City resident Frank Bedolla said he has coached more than 600 low-income Utah dads on how to be the best fathers possible, by un-learning behaviors and attitudes. Through his nonprofit Fathers and Families Coalition of Utah, Bedolla offers the Nurturing Fathers Program, a 13-week, evidence-based training course designed to teach men parenting and nurturing skills. Fathers and Families Coalition starts the work of growing great future dads for young men, as well. Bedolla’s “Wise Guys” course, currently being taught at Murray High School and downtown’s Horizonte School, “teaches young boys how to be men, how to treat women.” Bedolla said that previous generations of parents misunderstood “quality time,” to the detriment of their children and families. “They thought quality time was being present, but it is also being interactive.” His advice to Utah fathers, for Father’s Day 2019? “The best thing you can do is invest in your child. Be the best father you can be. Be there.”

Foster Father of the Year—A Hawaiiday in Holladay Just in time for Father’s Day, Holladay resident and head of strategic insights for Western Governors University Michael Morris was named Foster Father of the Year for the Salt Lake metropolitan area. First fostering, then adopting seven children within the first six months of marriage, Morris and his wife, Amy, were a phenomenon. Now, almost three years later, the couple has achieved near super-foster hero status for fostering another five children, all siblings, hoping to ultimately reunite them with their birth parents. The Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival at the Gateway is officially honoring him the last day of the festival—and the day before Prizes for papas - keeping fathers safe on Father’s Day. the job by remembering their children Wife Amy Morris has another surprise For the past 14 years, WCF Insurance

Page 22 | June 2019

2018 Exemplary Father Vladimir Cespedes receives his honor with the best gift of all – his children. (Photo Credit: WCF)

(Workers Compensation Fund) has reached out to Utah’s growing Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audience. As can be imagined, many of those folks are dads. WCF wants to remind dads to be careful on the job, and do it through the gentle and most powerful tug of all—through the heartstrings of their children. The Padre d’el Año—Father of the Year—competition gives Utah children a way to nominate their fathers to earn the special honor and to be gifted with prizes WCF touts as being $500 in value. Children in three age groups—ages 7-11, 12-15, and 1517 nominate their papas for the prizes. Three fathers each season are honored,

receiving cash and one-of-a-kind gifts. This year’s Padre d’el Año and two runners-up will be honored at the June 29 Real Salt Lake game later this month. While the program is targeted to Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audiences, the honor is available to all. Entry forms (offered in Spanish and English) are available at www. wcfespanol.com/. The contest is a case of all fathers being winners. “The major reward that each father receives is knowing they are heroes for their children,” said Carlos Baez, community relations manager for WCF and Taylorsville father of three. l

West Valley City Journal


Water conservation, countywide police shortage characterize final SLCO town hall By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

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ountywide water conservation and concerns about a law enforcement labor shortage headlined the tail end of a five-site, cross-county town hall tour, ending May 9 at Salt Lake County Element Event Center in Kearns Metro Township.

Water conscientiousness, conservation “an absolute priority” for west side SLCO Mayor Jenny Wilson says she has Kentucky Blue Grass on the lawn of her Federal Heights home for her kids to play in but indicates the whole county needs to gear up for water conservation, and that, through conservation and water-wise planning, grass can co-exist with a conscientious yard. The key is conscientiousness for individuals and cognizance according to legislators and the county. According to Wilson, if the sweet carrot of conservation does not invoke restricted water usage, then the smarting stick of price regulation will change—must change— county residents’ water usage. A question-answer session with the mayor yielded her comments, where she lightly chided previous SLCO administrations’ ambiguous or even agnostic treatment of environmental issues and underscoring what she promises to be elevated concerns about environmentalism during her administration. “You are right to be critical of the county,” Wilson said. “To date, we have not been very strong on environmental issues.” Indicating what she depicts as newfound county courage and strength with regards to environmentalism, she asserted, “Water conservation is an absolute priority.” The matter is of particular concern for west-side development, where “we will only have the water if we change our practices,” she said, adding, “We have got to change the conversation in our state.” It is a consistent theme Wilson has been building since delivering her “State of the County” speech in March when Wilson announced her commitment to creating a new Office of Environmental Services. County leaders also concerned about law enforcement talent shortage During a presentation either she or a representative of her staff had delivered throughout the five-site, cross-county town hall, SLCO Sheriff Rosa “Rosie” Rivera diverted attention to a concern about SLCO law enforcement being understaffed and experiencing considerable challenge attracting talent in a Salt Lake Metro and state economy with less than 3 percent unemployment. Law enforcement compensation is a hot-button in the Salt Lake Metro area. According to Police Sgt. Kevin Hunter with the SLCO Sheriff’s office, there is a 600-person statewide shortage for law enforcement per-

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sonnel. SLCO’s jail management accounts for 116 of those jobs, resulting in what Hunter says is a 26 percent open headcount. Early-to-mid-May saw Salt Lake City officers reportedly pleading with the city council for higher pay and the capital city’s council approving budgeting for nearly twice the officers proposed by SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s staffing request. Mid-month, South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood proposed the city’s first property tax hike in a decade — a 31 percent increase — to fund pay raises for police and firefighters amid what she said are some of the lowest responder salaries across the Salt Lake Valley. “It’s very important that we get enough staff, so if you know people in law enforcement, it would be great to send them my way,” Rivera said to a loud round of applause. Rivera pointed out that SLCO runs continuous police academies year-round, has raised starting wages for officers and, thanks to new legislation, as of July 1, SLCO can hire individuals as young as 19 years of age to work in the jail. Wilson addresses additional concerns as “a friendly bureaucracy, efficient bureaucracy” In addition to addressing water conservation, Wilson addressed residents’ and elected officials’ concerns, ranging from security along the Jordan River amid the nearterm severing of services (June 30) and legislated closure (Sept. 30) of The Road Home Homeless shelter and a transition plan to three Homeless Resource Centers dispersed through Salt Lake City and neighboring South Salt Lake City. Kearns-specific issues seemed limited to questions about development issues surrounding the still-new metro township form of government Kearns migrated to circa 2016, to grumblings about years-long delays in SLCO’s developing the Oquirrh Park green space. In depicting the county’s relationship with KMT and other west-side metro townships such as Magna, Wilson said, “We’re a friendly bureaucracy and an efficient bureaucracy.” She also emphasized SLCO’s regional transportation and connectivity responsibilities and stressed her administration’s and SLCO’s overall “problem-solving capabilities.” Cross-county town hall tour hits final stop Stop five on a cross-county town-hall tour landed Wilson and a team of elected officials and the departments that support them squarely at the most magnificent and newest site of the tour—the SLCO Element Event Center in Kearns. Prior to the May 9 town hall in Kearns, SLCO held town halls

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson (left) discusses Southwest Quadrant development issues with West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding and his wife, Kathe Riding, at the Kearns Town Hall, May 9. (Photo Credit: Salt Lake County.)

in South Jordan, Draper, Millcreek and the SLCO Complex itself. The town halls were ambitiously executed, just months after Wilson assumed office late January. (Wilson advanced to the mayoral position via a special election by the Democratic Party after former Democratic SLCO Mayor Ben McAdams’s ascension to the national political sphere, joining the United States House of Representatives, defeating former Republican representative Mia Love in the November 2018 election.)

dicative of “The Kearns Initiative,” a placebased initiative started in 2015 by McAdams. “Mayor Bush was fantastic to get the word out,” said Ryan Perry, senior policy adviser for Wilson, giving credit to Kearns Metro Mayor Kelly Bush for the full attendance at the event. Bush’s staff advertised the town hall on the Kearns Metro Township’s Facebook page and even provided Facebook Live video footage of the event. “West-side communities such as Kearns, Magna and West Valley City—they usually The Element Event Center venue and are very good at showing up,” said Perry. comments on Kearns West-side dignitaries show support Kearns residents Alex and Nancy Aerts Bipartisan support for the SLCO tour said attending the town hall afforded them was on display in Kearns. Utah Sen. Minoritheir first time inside the Element Events ty Whip Karen Mayne and Utah Rep. Erik Center. Hutchings were in attendance, representing “A west-side kid who’s proud of it,” both chambers of the Utah Legislature, and said Alex Aerts, who has previously served both Democrat and Republican political paron committees for the building he now was ties, respectively. enjoying. “Modernization is great. BeautifiWest Jordan Mayor Jim Riding and wife, cation is better.” Kathe, were in attendance, as were WJ City “We are slowly getting away from the Councilmembers Dick Burton and Kayleen old Kearns,” said his wife, Nancy, consid- Whitelock. ering the changes positive. During the eveBush was also supported by KMT Counning, Wilson cited numerous SLCO projects cilman Alan Peterson and Kearns Communiin various stages of completion, contributing ty Council member Paula Larsen. significantly to the beautification of the area. Magna Metro Township Mayor Dan The results noticed by Nancy Aerts are in- Peay and wife, Shauna, also attended. l

June 2019 | Page 23


Summer 2019 filled with community festivals By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

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s the school year winds down and summer heats up, festival season takes off and lasts throughout the summer. From the end of May until late August, cities throughout the Salt Lake Valley celebrate community spirit with parades and fireworks along with local traditions unique to each summer event. Check out this schedule of festival events and plan your summer fun.

SOJO SUMMER FEST South Jordan City Park| May 29 - June 1 • South Jordan City Park (11000 South Redwood Road) • South Jordan City Hall (1600 Towne Center Drive), Heritage Park (10800 South Redwood Road) • With the theme “Where Summer Begins,” South Jordan gets the season off to a classic start with SoJo Summer Fest. Attendees can enjoy summer traditions like the car show and parade on June 1 along with a fun SoJo twist, the Battle of the Bands.

HEART AND SOUL MUSIC STROLL Sugar House | June 8

• 1530 E. 2700 South • Local bands share the healing power of music as friends and family can stroll from house to house listening to various performers. Food trucks and bike rentals will be available. These performers spend the rest of the year playing for audiences who can’t come to the music stroll.

WESTFEST West Valley Centennial Park| June 13 - 16 • Centennial Park (5405 West 3100 South) • “Your Family, Your Community, Your Festival”—Westfest offers something for everyone. The event includes a parade, 5k and 10k races, vendors and fireworks. From June 13 to 16, enjoy one of the best carnivals in the valley.

FORT HERRIMAN TOWNE DAYS Butterfield Park | June 17 - 22 • Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South) and other locations • Herriman celebrates 20 years of incorporation at this year’s festival. Residents and visitors can show off their talents in the Fort Herriman Days talent show and enjoy the circus and a wide variety of events, including the Yeti Run. The festival also features a home run derby, carnival and more.

Page 24 | June 2019

Old West Days Rodeo in Bluffdale will feature fun for the whole family. (Photo by Dave Sanderson)

TAYLORSVILLE DAYZZ

RIVERTON TOWN DAYS

West Valley Regional Park |June 27 - 29

Riverton Rodeo Arean |June 27-29, July 2-4

• Valley Regional Park (5100 South 2700 West) • Taylorsville offers a blend of the usual summer festival activities along with a musical twist. Festival goers can take in the parade and fireworks, check out the hot rods at the car show, and run the 5k. The event also features performances by the Utah Symphony and the Taylorsville Orchestra.

• Riverton Rodeo Arena (1300 West 12800 South) and City Park (1452 West 12600 South) • The Riverton Rodeo returns on June 28 to start off Town Days. The event will also feature a parade, carnival, fireworks and movie in the park. To fuel their fun, attendees can take in the chuck wagon breakfast. Contests and activities include spikeball, pickleball, 3-on-3 basketball, yoga in the park and more.

This year’s summer festivals will feature plenty of activities for children. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Davis)

West Valley City Journal


DRAPER DAYS

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

Draper Park | July 11 - 13, 16, & 19 - 20 • Draper Park (12500 South 1300 East)

STAMPEDE DAYS West Jordan Rodeo Arena| July 4 - 6 • West Jordan Rodeo Arena (2200 West 8035 South) and Veterans Memorial Park (1985 West 7800 South) • July 4-6 • West Jordan offers a big time rodeo, fireworks, carnival and more during Stampede Days. The festival kicks off with the parade, which is followed by two days of action-packed rodeo activities and then the carnival.

SANDY CITY 4TH OF JULY

• Draper Days kicks off with the rodeo July 11–13, then the festival continues with more activities, including the children’s parade on July 16. There will be plenty of tournaments and activities on July 13 when people can compete in pickleball, tennis and basketball. Events on July 19 and 20 include the parade, car show, 5k, concerts and more.

OLD WEST DAYS RODEO Bluffdale Park | July 26 - 27, August 5 - 10 • Bluffdale Park (2400 West 14400 South) • Old West Days kicks off with the rodeo on July 26 and 27. Then a wide variety of activities happen between August 5 and 10 including a parade and the family shindig on Aug. 10.

South Towne Promenade | July 4 • South Towne Promenade (10000 South Centennial Parkway) • “Let Freedom Ring” is the theme of the Sandy City 4th of July festival. The event will once again feature the spikeball tournament, plenty of vendors, games and activities for kids, as well as the parade and fireworks.

FUN DAYS Murray Park |Juy 4 • Murray Park (296 East Murray Park Avenue) • Murray Park is the place to be for the city’s Fun Days on July 4. The day includes a breakfast, parade, 5k run/walk and children’s race. Attendees can also enjoy the chalk art contest, and of course, fireworks. • July 4 Parade and Festival • South Salt Lake • Fitts Park (3050 South 500 East) • The City of South Salt Lake offers a pancake breakfast to start off its July 4th parade and festival at Fitts Park. The festivities will also include a 5k and parade.

BUTLERVILLE DAYS Cottonwood Heights| July 26 - 27 • 7500 South 2700 East behind Butler Middle School • Butlerville Days returns with two action-packed days of fun. There will not be a 5k this year, but the popular pickleball tournament is back. Attendees can also enjoy the parade, rides and games, the car show, a movie in the park and fireworks.

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HARVEST DAYS

Representing the Business Voice in West Valley City, West Jordan City, Taylorsville & Kearns Areas

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Contact Information: Barbara S. Riddle, CMP

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June 4 – Disaster Preparedness Program June 5 – Business Connections June 6 – Legislative Affairs Committee June 13 – Leadership Institute Session June 14 – Causal Friday Lunch June 19 – Business Connections June 26 – Annual Golf Classic FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER FOR AN EVENT, CALL: 801-977-8755 or visit www.ChamberWest.com

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Midvale City Park | July 29 - August 5 • Midvale City Park (425 East 6th Avenue) • Historic Midvale Harvest Days take place from July 29 to Aug. 5 and will feature block parties, a movie in the park, music and more. The parade, festival and fireworks will take place on Aug. 3 at Midvale City Park.

SANDY BALLOON FESTIVAL Storm Mtn Park |August 9 - 10 • Storm Mountain Park (980 East 11400 South)

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• Starting at sunrise, the Sandy Balloon Festival will take off from Storm Mountain Park and fill the skies. Activities will fill the rest of the weekend, including the balloon glow on Saturday evening at the South Towne Promenade (10000 South Centennial Parkway).

BLUE MOON ARTS FESTIVAL Holladay City Hall Park |August 24 • Holladay City Hall Park (2300 East 4570 South) • Wrap up the summer in Holladay with the Blue Moon Arts Festival. The event will include live music, arts, food and children’s activities. l

June 2019 | Page 25


Salt Lake gangs ‘steady’ and beyond ‘west side problem,’ says gang expert By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

Six hundred law-enforcement professionals and community members attended the Gang Conference 2019 at Sandy’s Mountain America Exposition Center. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

To say it is a west side problem is an absolute fallacy.” Make no mistake, Unified Police Department Lieutenant Mike Schoenfeld has gangs squarely in his crosshairs, and with that statement he chides Salt Lake Valley suburban residents who naively believe that their community is immune to the impact of gangs. “You can’t throw that comfort blanket over yourself and say, ‘It’s a West Side problem,’” said Schoenfeld, a decorated law-enforcement professional whose expertise in gang prevention has landed him at the helm of the Metro Gang Unit/Salt Lake Gang Project. Residents of Murray might be well aware of this, following January’s rival gang shooting outside Fashion Place Mall, leading to injuries and arrests of two individuals. Salt Lake City gangs – influenced by West Coast gangs but uniquely Utahn The term “gangs” has been used to refer to groups of outlawed young men since Shakespeare’s time. The term has been, unfortunately, increasingly more common here in Utah since the late 1980s, when first Ogden, then Salt Lake City started being a destination for West Coast-based gangs looking to expand. Schoenfeld’s gang-specific crime unit has been standing strong as a force against gangs since its formation in 1990. Schoenfeld himself started gang-focused work in 2007. “A west side gang member might live in The Avenues. An Avenues gang member might live in Herriman,” he said. To illustrate the ubiquity of the Salt Lake Metropolitan Area’s gang problem, Schoenfeld added, “We have gang members from the Oquirrh Mountains all the way to the Wasatch Mountains. We have gang members [who are] from the poorest of families to

Page 26 | June 2019

very, very wealthy families. “Our kids don’t really claim a territory,” he elaborated. “We have kids in Salt Lake who may claim to be in a Kearns gang who have never even been to Kearns.” Salt Lake gangs’ geographical fluidity contrasts with larger metropolitan areas, he said, where gang members—for their safety against rival gangs—are tethered to eight to 10 block radiuses, the social equivalent of ankle monitors. “Gangs in Utah are not very territorial,” he said, noting that the phenomenon of social media expands Salt Lake metro gangs’ reach. ‘I could never imagine the level of violence and the willingness to kill’ Not only are gangs furthering their tendrils into communities, but they are recruiting younger members and are committing darker violence at younger ages. “What shocks me is the level of violence at that age,” Schoenfeld said. The age he is referring to is young teens, of 13-16 years old, and their willingness to kill others of the same young age. “Back in my day, we had fist fights. We had disagreements. I could never imagine the level of violence and the willingness to kill – I can’t wrap my mind around that.” 29th annual Gang Conference – for law enforcement and community What Schoenfeld does wrap his mind around are the latest techniques for neutralizing gang violence and gang formation in Utah. It is the heart of the 2019 Gang Conference, recently held as an opportunity for educators, medical professionals, juvenile courts, community members, and law-enforcement professionals to become educated about complex, gang-related issues. With approximately 600 in attendance, “The conference is our opportunity to teach our partners in law enforcement and the com-

April’s Gang Conference marks the 29th year for the annual event. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

munity,” explained Schoenfeld. He says that Law enforcement sessions also delved approximately half of the attendees are from into more community-oriented issues such as law enforcement, and the other half being understanding the psychology of young gang from the community. members, encouraging positive relationships The ‘Narcos’ hunters – ‘Very impressed with youth, and a few different sessions on the relationship of music to gang activity. with the work going on in SLC’ One of the sessions took square aim at This recent conference was headlined by of the recent GlenMob phenomenon where a a presentation offered by the retired Drug Endozen people connected with a music group forcement Agency (DEA) Stephen “Steve” serving as a front for a hybrid gang focusing Murphy and Javier Peña, the agents who “took down” Pablo Escobar and serve as the on narcotics distribution were arrested via a models for characters in the popular Netflix national Justice Department probe. One of series “Narcos” and a variety of other media the leaders of GlenMob, which is associated with the Glendale neighborhood of Salt tellings of the story. Reaction to the presentation was mixed, Lake, has also been arrested in conjunction with many to most finding it entertaining and with a rape of a minor. Community members were given a look others, being disappointed by the glamorizaat everything from a course titled Gangs 101 tion of criminal “anti-heroes” and the dated to a look inside prison gangs at the Utah State nature of the learnings shared. Salt Lake Area Gang Project employees Prison. Civilians unfamiliar with gang behavIwalani Rodrigues, a gang prevention speiors and their byproducts may not immedicialist, and Andrea Atencio-Valdez, a program manager, both had their photos taken ately grasp why, for example, medical professionals would attend the conference. with the former DEA duo. Schoenfeld clarified: “In an emergency A Salt Lake County employee who preroom, if they see stab wounds or gunshot ferred to remain anonymous disliked energy and funds spent on potential knowledge as- wounds or other traumatic injuries, they sets yielded from such an old case. Pablo Es- might be dealing with gang members or ricobar was killed in 1993, more than 25 years val gang members.” A serious situation can quickly escalate, with an individual being ago. “Very impressed with the work going on treated for serious injuries one moment, then in Salt Lake City” is how Murphy described having members of the patient’s rival gang the duo’s briefings on the work being done swiftly emerge on the scene. by Schoenfeld and the Metro Gang Unit/Salt SLC gangs state of the state Lake Gang Project. As to the state of the state with Utah gangs, Schoenfeld indicates the size and Law enforcement and community learnscope of Utah gangs is remaining fairly ings – from Gangs 101 to GlenMob steady, with the older population either goLocal law enforcement were informed ing to prison or leaving the lifestyle, but then on matters of ambush or surprise attacks being supplanted by young and younger gang and other officer survival strategies as well members. as learning from instances where police of“I wish it was declining, but it really, it is ficers have been shot in the pursuit of gang staying steady.” l members.

West Valley City Journal


Competitive youth sports: Training Hard By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

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or the past several years, youth sports have become increasingly competitive and time-consuming with year-round opportunities on various fields of play. Is there a benefit? What is the cost? Over the next two issues, the City Journals will explore the current trends of competitive youth sports with signing up for yearround options at young ages and specializing in sports early versus trying out multiple sports while looking at the effects of the intense training required that can lead to recurring pain in young athletes and burnout. Why children play sports The first thing we need to do with our young athletes, according to Aspen Institute Executive Director Tom Farrey, who authored “Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions Of Our Children,” is to make sure this is what the kids want to do. “Youth sports is a wonderful thing. They’re terrific. We just have to understand that we’re dealing with human beings – little human beings – they’re not miniature adults and we need to listen to what they want.” The number one reason children participate in sports is because it is “fun.” In a study by George Washington University, youth listed 81 definitions of “fun” as social bonds, access to action and coaches treating players with respect. Interestingly, “winning” was the 48th reason and “earning medals” was 67th on the list as far as motivations behind young athletes playing sports. John O’Sullivan, in an article, “Why Kids Play Sports,” recommends that we let young athletes define their level of enjoyment with sports and continue to listen to their perspective throughout our evaluations of their “sporting path.” “As they get older…you might have to tell them that in order to pursue their goals in a sport, they might have to step it up a notch environment wise,” he said. “But when that time comes, let it be their decision to make the jump. If you force it, you may lose them. When we force kids to try out for a high-commitment, performance-pathway sports team, and all they want is to play and be with friends, they will burn out, lose the love of the game, and quit.” O’Sullivan also encourages parents to be patient with the varying levels of growth and performance of our children. “Your nineyear-old soccer player who only made the B team is just fine. Your 11-year-old basketball player who isn’t playing AAU is not a lost cause. Every child develops at different ages and on an individual timeline, and your best contribution is to help them fall in love with a sport so that they actually want to play and practice enough to get good at it” He further states, “The greatest athletics-related gift you can give your child is love of sport. They will take it from there.” As the entire landscape of the competitive youth sports environment has changed

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over the past decade, the one constant through all of this is: kids play sports to have fun, most stay in sports for many years because they are still having fun and a large percentage have left athletic fields because they are not having fun. Demands on young athletes At younger and younger ages, club and accelerated sports leagues options are available which lead youth into spending more time focused on one sport. Aside from the financial burdens that increase at older ages and levels, the intensity of the training for that sport – and sometimes at the exclusion of all other activities – also trends upward. Multi-sport athletes also risk overtraining and overuse with different workouts from different coaches. Despite some benefits of avoiding burnout from one sport and developing different skill sets from various sports, a high demand is put on youth’s bodies with minimal recovery time. This is where the greater cost potentially lies as more and more is being demanded of youth athletes. “Where is the research that more is better? I don’t see it,” said Carolyn Billings, Brigham Young University director of Sport Medicine and head athletic trainer. “We are pushing our youth to train more than some of our college and professional athletes, and it is wrong. Under this system we have created with such a desire for prestige and winning, we are doing a real disservice to these kids. Sports used to be such a positive thing, but we’re losing sight of those life lessons.” George Washington University professor of sports management Mark Hyman said, “The system is now designed to meet the needs of the most talented kids. We no longer value participation. We value excellence.” That demand on the bodies of those in youth sports is taking its toll with injuries that are up 500-700% from 10 years ago, including severe ones. Billings noted that she began her career in 1995 and didn’t see an ACL injury until nine or 10 years later. “Now, I typically don’t see a soccer player who hasn’t had some type of knee injury,” she said. “And those are just some of the results of what’s been happening over the last 15 years.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of young athletes are injured each year with half of those injuries considered preventable. Utahbased Sport Ready co-founder Robin Cecil, a physical therapist of 25 years, said. “Look around. Has an ACL become common? Have you heard your child often complain of pain? Injuries are becoming so common that it is now considered normal. Playing with pain is not normal. Giving our children Tylenol to get them through a game should not be considered normal. The ‘no pain, no gain’ motto was for a different era with different parame-

For the past several years, youth sports have become increasingly competitive and time-consuming with yearround opportunities on various fields of play. Is there a benefit? What is the cost? (Stock photo)

ters. The pains that hurt at night are typically growing pains, but if it’s pains during the day, we need to address it.” Cecil often finds athletes approaching her asking for help and reporting frequent pain. “We know what causes a lot of what’s going on. We need to first recognize that it is a problem and then find ways to place the child back of the center of their own sports experience.” Some things to consider For parents with younger children considering competitive sports: • There is not a magic starting age for competitive sports • Identify your focus. Are you looking to develop your athlete or win at all costs? • Find a system that will allow children to play multiple sports through elementary school. • Understand the early specialization sports, such as gymnastics, diving, figure skating have very complex skills that are able to mastered before maturation, and also the late specialization sports (basketball, soccer, field hockey, tennis). • Consider children’s interests and match sports to children’s temperament, size and level of commitment • Consider the cost For parents with children already in competitive youth sports • Recognize that sports have changed • Recommended guidelines are that a child does not compete or train more hours per week than their age • Understand that playing multiple sports

in the same season when competing in at least one sport at the competitive level leads to greater chances of injury • Consider the benefits of taking two months off each year for specialized athletes • Ensure that athletes are warming up and cooling down with each training and competition. • Ensure that your athlete is hydrate. • Understand that you are the child’s best and most invested advocate. Speak up if your child is in a situation of overtraining and/or is dealing with injuries on a regular basis or burnout. • Understand your role in caring for and monitor your athlete’s health, wellness and workload or make sure the coaches and clubs they play for are doing so. (Compiled from sources including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, John O’ Sullivan, Francois Gazzano, “A Home Team Advantage by Brooke Lench, Sport for Life, Project Play and other health professionals) The competitive youth sports industry pulls at wallets, time, desires, goals at a financial price tag of upward of $15 billion with opportunities of accelerated sports leagues and elite traveling teams and the “possible” college scholarship. This is the cost. Young athletes and parents can weigh the benefits and risks involved with the high-level training it takes to get there. In the July 2019 issue, the City Journals will discuss ways to monitor workload, wellness and injury and burnout to increase the safety of our young athletes within the school and club settings. l

June 2019 | Page 27


Cheers and encouragement: How to be a better sports parent By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Travis Nichols coaches his son by showing him the moves he needs to complete to win his wrestling match. (Greg James/City Journals)

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ere’s something most kids will never say to their parents: Thanks for screaming at the referee and the other team the entire game. All parents want to help and support their kids while they play sports. Most are able to do so without hindering others’ enjoyment or putting unnecessary stress on coaches or players. However, a refresher on spectator etiquette is always a good thing. “Parents that support their athlete, regardless of their role on the team make, the best parents to work with,” former Copper Hills boys basketball coach Andrew Blanchard said. “It helps when parents find a role in the program that supports and are genuinely happy without expecting something in return.” Here are three ideas from truesport.com to help you to become a better sports parent. Support the coach Some parents believe that their child’s performance within the youth program is a reflection of their own parenting skills and self-worth. They feel that constant instruction from the sideline will help their child get

it right. In a study by truesport.com, children who are over-parented shows they are more likely to develop anxiety, have low self-esteem and believe they have no control over their success. “I feel boundaries are important, but the coach needs to have a relationship with the parents so that they know he cares about the overall mental and physical health of the athlete,” Blanchard said. “I think parents asking about playing time or other athletes should be avoided by all accounts. Playing time is a coach’s decision and should not be brought up in conversations or meetings.” Let your children learn as well as fail. Remember to let kids have fun and encourage pick up games with no parents, coaches or stat keepers. Encourage children A player waiting to hear what base he needs to throw the ball to may never learn to make decisions. It is good to let players act with an objective. In the book “The Narcissist You Know,” Dr. Joseph Burgo encourages competitive parents to talk to their kids, praise their ef-

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Ryan Davis sits quietly as his son’s wrestling coach explains the best ways for him to become a better wrestler. (Greg James/City Journals

forts and be less critical of their mistakes. Help kids set goals. They are like a road map of where they want to go both in and outside of sports. Break down the big goals into smaller, incremental goals. “Players must work while they wait,” Blanchard said. “Otherwise, they will not be ready or prepared when their chance to play comes.” Respect officials and the opposition Bad calls happen. They happen in youth sports, high school sports, professional sports and even the Olympics. Of all the places the bad call matters the least, it is youth and high school sports. In most youth sports, the official is a volunteer; there is no instant replay

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or mega million dollar prize money on the line. Sportsmanship is generally talked about in a sport context, but as you step back it is generally good behavior and communication in any situation. Children model the behavior and communication styles they see. Teaching children to play by the rules, own their mistakes, say thank you, disagree respectfully and be a team player is important. “At the beginning of the season, I have a meeting and encourage the parents to be positive with their athlete,” Blanchard said. “They should speak positively about their athlete and his teammates. I encourage them to avoid ‘table talk’ unless it is positive.” l

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Remember these safety tips during fireworks season

ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24, Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country.

• Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law.

• Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns.

• Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks.

• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

• Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. • Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. • Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. • Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. • Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. • This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside.

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• Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. • Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. • Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. • Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. • Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles.

June 2019 | Page 29


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o you know what the first day of summer (June 21) means for a music lover like myself? Summer concerts! Utah, surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly?), has an amazing music scene. From rock shows, to country extravaganzas, to electronic music festivals, to rap concerts, to musicals, to recitals; we’ve got it going on. When purchasing tickets, concertgoers have a few different options. You can purchase tickets through one of the most popular local ticket vendors: Smithstix. Alternatively, you might seek out tickets from TicketMaster, VividSeats, Songkick, Stubhub, or other similar websites. Or, you might buy tickets directly from the venue. For example, if a show is at The Complex or Eccles Theater, you can visit their website and purchase tickets there. The final option is to buy tickets at the door (or maybe even from scalpers). After spending years refining the craft of buying tickets for the best price possible, the best advice I can give is: it depends. I know, I know, that’s not the answer you were hoping

for. Here’s why: it depends on how much the tickets are, how excited you are to see the artist, and when/where/and how long the show is. When considering buying concert tickets, I recommend answering the following question: how much do you care about seeing the performance? Usually, that answer has some follow-up questions. Have you been waiting to see this artist/band/show? If so, how long have you been waiting? Do you know song lyrics (if there are lyrics)? Would your life benefit from seeing the artist/band/ show live? Or will it be better to only know them from their videos, televised concerts, etc.? After gauging your desire to attend the show, figure out how much you would be willing to pay for a ticket. If it’s someone like Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney, are you willing to pay in the triple digits? If it’s someone local, or niche, are you willing to pay $20? Maybe $40? Once you have an acceptable number in your head, go ahead and search for those tickets, but not before. At this point, if you find the desired ticket is about $10 below your acceptable price range, go ahead and snag that ticket. Allow for that $10-$20 flexibility, because online vendors will charge various service fees. Smithstix has at least three different service fees, generally totaling around $15.

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Or, if you find the ticket is a little over your price range, but your desire to attend far outweighs the cost, make sure to buy early. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you want to go to a show, but it sold out quickly, so now all the tickets are over $200, when they were originally around $40. No one wants that. If the ticket is not in your desired price range, and you’re not sure if you really want to go, you have some options. Buying at the door isn’t a bad one. The awesome thing about buying tickets at the door is the absence of service fees. If a show is going to be $20 at the door, I can bring a $20 bill and be just fine. Not like when a website says it’s going to be $20, then all of a sudden, it’s $35 because of fees. However, if you wait to buy your ticket at the door, there’s the possibility that the show could sell out. And then you’re back to the question, how much do you care about seeing the performance? Is it worth potentially missing it? If you’re looking for shows or performances to attend, sign up for newsletters. There are places on many websites where you can sign up for pre-sales. Additionally, some ticket vendors, Live Nation for example, will occasionally have $20 ticket weeks, where they list a handful of shows for $20 a ticket. Those are an absolute steal!

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ne of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I think of this when I’m feeling glitchy, when my processor runs slow, my memory won’t upload and I can’t download complete, coherent sentences. When my energy drains like a cell phone battery, that’s the sign I’ve neglected my mental health for too long. I get snappy with my husband to the point he tells me to get out of the house and come back when I can act like a grown-up. After flipping him the bird, I pout to my car. Self-care isn’t just bath bombs and margaritas. Bath bombs dissolve too quickly and margaritas only get me into trouble. Selfcare is tapping into activities that recharge your energy levels. This might mean asking for help (I know, a woman’s ultimate sign of weakness) or finding more time for yourself. Ordering pizza Monday nights is just fine. Jogging through the park is just fine. Hiding under your bed eating Hershey kisses is just fine. Telling your family you’re going to get ice-cream, then taking a monthlong drive through the Andes is on the border of just fine. The point is, find your own self-care routine. This should involve spending time alone. I’m sure in the 1600s, women who practiced self-care were burned at the stake. Why would a woman want to be alone when she gets to care for a 75-year-old husband

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