opening brings smiles
Kaylene White, McKayla Heath, McKenzie Burgess and Rachel Miller helped create this gingerbread house (above) from scratch. JATC students put the final decorations on the tree (right) to get ready for the Festival.
Future Teachers Believe Money Grows On Trees
t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially in the teacher education class at the Jordan Applied Technology Center in West Jordan. The 19 high school students are all members of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America and decided to donate a Christmas tree and a gingerbread house to the Festival of Trees, held at the Sandy Expo Center from Dec. 3-6. “Because this is a teacher education program and because these students want to be either general or special education teachers, and because this helps Primary Children’s Hospital, that’s a great connection,” teacher and FCCLA advisor Kaylene White said. “We decided to do this as part of our FCCLA service project.”
“ We are trying to become teachers
so we want to show that we’re here, we want to be here, we want to make a difference in the world.” The white Christmas tree titled “Candy Cane Christmas” is decorated in red, white and green decorations and is surrounded by a big candy cane fence. The gingerbread house, made by four of the students is called “The Candy Cane Palace” and shares the color scheme of the tree. Both were available for purchase at the Festival of Trees. The students met at White’s Holladay home to bake and assemble the gingerbread house.
By Marci Heugly “We voted on doing a gingerbread house, so we got put in charge of doing it,” Rachel Miller said of their cinnamon-scented creation. “We’re going to see if we can keep it together with hot glue, but it will definitely smell good.” The students each made a batch of gingerbread and donated bags of candy to use for decoration. The tree was also provided as a donation and came from the JATC. “Our principal, Chris Titus, purchased our tree and FCCLA purchased the decorations,” White said. “We could use our budget for other things, but we choose to use it for this. Some people spend thousands on a tree. We spend a couple hundred dollars, but we probably triple what we spend when the tree is purchased.” McKinzie Burgess is the FCCLA public relations officer and is in charge of their Festival of Trees participation this year. “It’s a little stressful and all, but it’s fun and actually gets me more in the spirit of Christmas,” Burgess said. “We decided to do a white tree instead of the traditional green to bring out all the white, red and green decorations. We are super excited to be part of this.” Every year, members of the FCCLA compete against other schools in STAR events (Students Taking Action with Recognition), which includes doing projects and service in the community. These events help develop leadership skills and career preparation as a team and as an individual. “The Festival of Trees is part of our community service for our regional STAR competition in February,” White said.
Future Teachers continued on page 4
jags jump to it
q u o ta b l e c o m m u n i t y :
“This man parachuted in behind enemy lines in the D-Day invasion and served the rest of the war in different campaigns, including Holland and the famed Battle of the Bulge.”
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Page 2 | December 2014
City Council Honors WWII Veteran
West Jordan Says No To Inclusion On Prison Relocation Site List
By Sherry Sorensen
here are moments in history that will always be remembered. There are men and women who made those moments possible that should never be forgotten. WWII veteran Jack Kent Hansen is one of those men. “This man parachuted in behind enemy
Hansen was recently recognized by the West Jordan City Council for his part in that invasion. He served from 1943 to 1946 in the renowned 101st Airborne Division, nicknamed the Screaming Eagles, a U.S. Army light modular infantry division trained for air assaults. Rolfe honored Hansen for the service
WWII veteran Jack Hansen is recognized by Mayor Kim Rolfe for his years of service in the Army.
THE WEST JORDAN TEAM
lines in the D-Day invasion and served the rest of the war in different campaigns, including Holland and the famed Battle of the Bulge,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said. On June 6, 1944, Hansen and his comrades joined in the largest seaborne invasion in history as allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in Operation Overlord.
West Jordan City Journal
that he gave to his nation, the world and to his fellow soldiers. Hansen, who has undergone several operations on his throat over the years, had only one thing to say. “I wish that some of my friends that are all gone now could have some of these honors, too,” he said. l
By Sherry Sorensen
he City of West Jordan does not want to be the home of a new state correctional facility. In a strongly-worded statement to the media on Dec. 3, city leaders criticized the Prison Relocation Commission for listing a site near SR-111(7300 West) and 9000 South as the top potential location for the new prison. According to the statement, West Jordan was not identified as a site until October, after 26 other properties had been under consideration all summer by the commission. The commission announced a list of six possible sites Dec. 2. “I don’t believe wisdom was used by the consultant to select this site for the prison,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said. He vowed to fight the move with every resource at his disposal. Of the six possible sites currently under final review by the commission, three are in Salt Lake County, two in Utah County and one in Tooele County. City leaders said an out-of-state consulting firm added West Jordan to the list because of its proximity to current workforce, volunteers and associated services, without consideration of current and future plans for the development of the area or the detrimental social and economic impact such a decision would have on the community. They suggested that this site would only re-create the same problems that Draper City is currently facing. Not long after a statement and petition opposing inclusion on the final list was posted to the city website and social media pages, residents began to chime in with their thoughts on the announcement.
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“This proposed site for the prison relocation is literally in my backyard. And yes, I don’t want it here!” resident Nichole Luthi said. “There are tons of neighborhoods being developed in this area, including mine, and the site is across the street from a middle school.” South Jordan City officials also released a statement saying they join West Jordan, Herriman and other southwest Salt Lake Valley communities “in complete opposition” to the proposal. “The prison would be 500 feet from existing neighborhoods and have two schools within 3,000 feet. Both South Jordan and West Jordan have long envisioned the area selected as a place for homes, businesses, schools, parks and families to grow. The prison is not consistent with that vision,” South Jordan Mayor David Alvord said. l
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Page 4 | December 2014 Future Teachers continued from page 1 This is the fourth year that this class has participated in the Festival of Trees. The students help by choosing and assembling the tree and decorations, making the gingerbread house from scratch and advertising the event around the campus of the JATC. “We are trying to become teachers so we want to show that we’re here, we want to be here, we want to make a difference in the world,” Burgess said.
West Jordan City Journal
ON THE COVER credits when they graduate. “We’re required to do a general and a special ed. practicum, and each quarter, we get to choose if we want to go to a middle school or elementary,” FCCLA Treasurer Kadie Young said. This helps the students narrow down the field they’d like to pursue after graduation by giving them hands-on classroom experience. “Before they get to college, they know if they want to be a teacher at all or
Balloons Recognize Donors, Honor Sierra Newbold By Sherry Sorensen
omcast Cares recently presented a check for more than $17,000 to the City of West Jordan. In turn, the West Jordan Exchange Club presented company representatives with a metal balloon cluster for the donor wall at the Sierra Newbold Playground. “We can’t thank Comcast enough for participating with the residents of our city through the Comcast Cares, I Love West Jordan Day,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said. “In the rain, I thought no one was going to show. Instead, we had the greatest turnout
Regional Park. “The playground is dedicated to one of our young citizens, 6-year-old Sierra Newbold, who was murdered. The playground is named for her in honor of all children so that they can fly and reach their potential,” said Doug Diamond, former exchange club president. Both Comcast and the City of West Jordan received balloon clusters in recognition of their significant contributions to the park. Donations for the park are still being
Teacher education students at the Jordan Applied Technology Center donated a tree and a gingerbread house to this year’s Festival of Trees. Because every student in the JATC teacher education class is a member of FCCLA, they work together to accomplish their service projects. “We’re a really small chapter, comparatively speaking,” FCCLA President Tia Carlile said. “Other high schools can draw from the whole school; we can only draw from this class.” Each student goes to their respective high schools in the morning, then comes to the JATC in the afternoon for their courses, for which they get 13 concurrent college
if they want to do elementary or secondary education, general or special education,” White said. FCCLA helps them with the reallife application of serving the community, especially with a big project like the Festival of Trees. “We really all just work together to get it done,” Carlile said. The students went to the Expo Center on Dec. 1 to set up the tree display and the gingerbread house, then attended the Festival of Trees as a group on Dec. 3. l
Ray Childs from Comcast presents West Jordan Mayor Kim Rolfe with a donation to help pay for the Sierra Newbold Playground. Photo courtesy of the City of West Jordan in event history.” The money, donated on behalf of more than 1,100 volunteers that participated in the service event this past April, will be used to offset the costs of the new all-abilities playground located at the Ron Wood
collected through the West Jordan Police Department. Three balloon sizes are available depending on the contribution amount. “Our goal is to fill that wall with balloons, symbolizing the freedom that children should have,” Diamond said. l
December 2014 | Page 5
Community Celebrates Store And Roadway Openings By Sherry Sorensen
orget about Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for many West Jordan residents, the most exciting day of shopping this year fell on a Wednesday. On Dec. 3, a new Smith’s Marketplace opened its doors in an area that has long felt cut off from the rest of the city. “We have a lot of residents in this area who have been really struggling, desperately waiting for some sort of retail out on the west side of the city,” City Councilmember Justin Stoker said. The 123,000-square-foot store brings 300 new jobs to the city and is the first of several retail and dining establishments opening in the 23-acre shopping center on the corner of 7800 South and 5600 West. “We’ve lived in the area for 10 years and have waited a long time for more convenient shopping and dining,” Donna Mautz said. She was among the hundreds of community members invited to attend a VIP pre-opening celebration with city leaders
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and store executives on Dec. 2. The event offered residents a firsthand glimpse of the new building, along with an opportunity to meet store management and sample just a few of the 200,000 products offered throughout the store. “We’re excited. This has been a long time coming, and the management is so awesome and fun. We really hit the jackpot,” Mary Anderson said. In the spirit of giving, Smith’s executives donated $10,000 to help the community. The West Jordan Exchange Club received a check for $2,500 to be used toward the Sierra Newbold Playground, an all-abilities play area at the Ron Wood Regional Park named in honor of the 6-year-old West Jordan girl who was murdered two years ago. Smith’s Marketplace Manager Scott Carter presented the remaining $7,500 to Jen Campbell of South Valley Services, an organization committed to helping victims of domestic violence. The shopping center is just one part of
Smith’s Marketplace executives present Jen Campbell of South Valley Services with a donation of $7,500 to use toward their mission of assisting victims of domestic violence. The Highlands, a 370-acre master-planned community being developed by Peterson Development Company. The first phase of the project will include an additional 50,000 square feet of retail shopping, along with additional commercial, residential and openspace improvements. Last year, former city manager Rick Davis said the shopping center, anchored
Tuesday, December 16, 6:00 p.m. West Jordan Golden Corral (8860 South Redwood Road) Wednesday, December 17, 6:00 p.m. West Valley Golden Corral (3399 West 3500 South)
by the Smith’s store, is “the largest [retail] development on the west side of the city since Jordan Landing.” The new one-mile extension of 5600 West between 7800 South and 7000 South opened in late November and has already been a great blessing, community members
Community Celebrates continued on page 6
Page 6 | December 2014 Community Celebrates continued from page 5 said. “The completion of [the extension] has generated a tremendous interest from other businesses that will serve this growing area well,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said. “We’ve been living in this area and feeling a bit cut off from civilization for 11 years. The increased connectivity and easier access to shopping, thanks to the road and
West Jordan City Journal negotiate with property owners to acquire rights to the land so the connection could be completed. “Melissa Johnson, who is the former mayor, worked tirelessly to bring in the money to help make that street a reality,” Stoker said. Johnson acted as an advocate for completion of the 5600 West corridor not only for the development potential, but also
Smith’s Marketplace executives present a check for $2,500 to the West Jordan Exchange Club for the Sierra Newbold Playground.
commercial developments, are amazing,” Danielle Peek said. Making the roadway completion possible wasn’t an easy task. Besides working through the legislature to obtain funding for construction, city leaders had to
Improving Snow Removal In West Jordan By Sherry Sorensen
est Jordan residents are tired of their neighborhoods being virtually ignored by snowplows each winter. City leaders say that this year things are going to change. “Last January, the council decided that we were going to take a different position on snow removal,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said. “Previously, snowplowing of subdivisions was not a priority. We decided we’re going to be proactive because of the numerous complaints about the ice buildup on residential streets.” Several years ago, the city council voted to deemphasize the plowing of subdivision streets. The move conserved resources, but it also left residents frustrated as they’ve spent each winter driving on snowcompacted roads.
plowed last. Residents can help make snow removal more effective by being aware of and abiding by city code regarding winter parking. From Nov. 1 to April 30, the city prohibits onstreet parking when it’s snowing or snow is present on the streets. “[Street parking] can really impede the whole snow removal operation. It makes it dangerous for the car owner and our drivers,” Public Services Manager Tim Peters said. “Our drivers are told that if they go down a street and there are cars and it looks impassible, take a picture and send it to code enforcement.” Refraining from placing portable basketball hoops on the street and promptly removing garbage cans after pickup also helps, he said.
because of the enhanced access that the road now provides to emergency responders. This spring, the City of West Jordan will partner with UDOT and West Valley City to widen the remainder of the roadway between7000 South and 6300 South. l
West Jordan officials say neighborhood snow removal will receive a higher priority this winter than it has in years past. Photo courtesy of the City of West Jordan “Our neighborhood gets missed all of the time, so the road is solid ice for months,” resident Jordan Michel said. Snowplow drivers will now clear residential roads earlier than in the past to prevent snow compaction. However, most subdivisions still won’t be salted, due to the cost and difficulty of storing larger quantities of the de-icing material. As in the past, roadways will be cleared on a priority basis. Streets with the highest traffic volume are among the first to be cleared. When crews are able to keep the main roads clear, they’ll move to subdivision feeder streets, then into the subdivisions. Cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets will be
Penalties for not abiding by the code include citations or impounding of vehicles. In preparation for the increased snow removal efforts, the city recently acquired several new vehicles to be used for plowing and salting in the winter. The remainder of the year, the trucks will be used for paving and cement work. Also new this year, the city has contracted with the National Weather Service to receive storm updates several times each day. “It’s a very specific weather forecast. We’ll receive different forecasts for different parts of the city so we’re able to attack the worst parts of the city first,” Public Works Director Wendell Rigby said. l
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Get your employees on board. Giving employees an avenue to give back is important to morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team. "When your employees love what they're doing, they do a better job." Offer employees an opportunity to volunteer during work hours or participate in gettogethers after work, which is more fulfilling than just meeting for drinks. Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities for
Let customers know how you're giving back. Once you've implemented your volunteer strategy, let current and prospective customers know what you're doing by including this information on your website. Put a dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your employees have spent giving back so it's easy for customers to understand how much your company gives to the community.
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Page 8 | December 2014
West Jordan City Journal
Pie In The Face For A Good Cause
WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE TO BE W
By Marci Heugly
est Hills students had one goal before Thanksgiving break: bring 5,000 cans of food to donate to the Utah Food Bank. “The second-to-last day, we had 2,500 cans so we were very nervous,” said Rachel Reid, a language arts teacher and student government adviser who helped oversee the drive. “We had 2,700 cans come in on the last day. It was very exciting.” The motivation came in the form of pies. For every 1,000 cans the students
le, a language arts teacher and adviser to the student body officers. “A couple of the kids throwing pies are the ones that brought in 500 cans of food. A couple are from the classrooms that brought the most food per student.”
ome of the students took the challenge beyond just raiding the kitchen cupboards. “We had one student that went around and did a food drive in his own neighborhood. He was someone that brought almost 500
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Ben Aguero, a seventh-grade officer, and Emma Dent, an eighth-grade officer, join Assistant Principal Caleb Olsen to get pie in the face for the West Hills food drive. donated, they were promised a pie to throw at Assistant Principal Caleb Olsen. As an additional incentive, two student body officers volunteered to have pies thrown at them. The grade that brought the most cans of food earned the opportunity to attend
cans,” Reid said. “Another student and their family did a haunted house, and the admission was to bring cans of food that they turned in.” The students were able to track the progress toward their goal on a poster hanging in the main office. They surpassed
“ We just started last year and had similar success, so we set it up again. It’s a good way to get the students involved.” an assembly where a few of the students would take turns throwing pies at their human targets. “Because the eighth-grade class brought the most food, they’re the ones that get to throw the pies,” said Ellen Stem-
their goal by bringing in 5,243 cans of food for the Utah Food Bank. “We just started last year and had similar success, so we set it up again this year,” Reid said. “It’s a good way to get the students involved.” l
G O OD NEIG HBOR
NEWS Your voice matters Contact your Legislators and share your thoughts on the proposed West Jordan prison site. We encourage you to be respectful of the site selection process and focus on the reasons why the West Jordan site at 9000 South 7300 West is not the best location for a state prison. (See the adjacent Mayor’s Message and map on page 11 to learn why it doesn’t belong here.) Aaron Osmond: Utah State Senator District 10 Phone: 801-888-8742, Email: email@example.com Jim Bird: Current House Representative District 42 Phone: 801-280-9056, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Kim Coleman: As of January 1, House Representative District 42 Phone: 801-890-4675 Email: email@example.com Ken Ivory: House Representative District 47 Phone: 801-694-8380, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Earl Tanner: House Representative District 43 Phone: 801-792-2156, Email: email@example.com Eric Hutchings: House Representative District 38 Phone: 801-963-2639, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne Harper: Utah State Senator District 6 Phone: 801-566-5466, Email: email@example.com Daniel Thatcher: Utah State Senator District 12 Phone: 801-759-4746, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRISON RELOCATION COMMISSION MEMBERS The Prison Relocation Commission has been working for about three years to identify sites to relocate the State Prison currently located in Draper. When the Legislature was examining options to either refurbish or replace the current prison (built in 1951), they also considered using the site for economic development and relocating the prison. Primary criteria for relocating the prison are location and access to facilities and services such as courts, hospitals, utilities and the labor force, which makes locating the prison in a remote location as many have suggested impractical by those standards. The Prison Relocation Commission will meet on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. in Senate Room 210 to discuss this further. Info and details at WJordan.com. Sen. Jerry Stevenson (R) - Davis County email@example.com; 801-678-3147 Rep. Brad R. Wilson (R) - Kaysville, Chair firstname.lastname@example.org; 801-425-1028 Sen. Karen Mayne (D) -Salt Lake County email@example.com; 801-968-7756 Sen. Even J. Vickers (R) - Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard & Washington Counties, firstname.lastname@example.org; 435-817-5565 Rep. Gregory H. Hughes (R) - Draper email@example.com; 801-548-2922 Rep. Eric K. Hutchings (R) - Kearns firstname.lastname@example.org; 801-963-2639 Rep. Mark A. Wheatley (D) - Murray email@example.com; 801-566-4862
M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E
Not the right place for a prison It came as a shock recently to learn that an outof-state consultant working for the State of Utah identified a piece of property in West Jordan (located at 9000 South 7300 West) as one of six possible locations to relocate the State Prison. I want to make it clear that I absolutely do not agree with this proposal, and I want to assure you that we are taking aggressive steps to have our community removed from the list immediately. We have been working around the clock to solicit assistance from neighboring cities, key legislators, the State Economic Development team, adjoining property owners and many others. The Prison Relocation Commission (PRC) has been working for more than three years to find a new site to rebuild the current prison. They have identified the four criteria they will use in assessing each of the potential sites and I have to tell you: West Jordan simply does not fit the bill. The first criteria set forth by the PRC asks if there are any issues that would make the site unreasonably difficult or costly to develop. In West Jordan, utilities and infrastructure must be considered. Due to elevation, the high water costs could be a factor and sewer lines would need to be installed to service the site. The existing water and sewer lines in the area may not be large enough to handle the facility without substantial investment. Current road infrastructure is also inadequate to accommodate the demand from such a large facility. The second of the PRC’s criteria asks if there is an identified, compelling state interest that would likely be impaired by locating the prison on the site. The answer to this question is a resounding “yes”! The state benefits from economic development by way of tax revenue. This site holds some of the last remaining property in the Salt Lake Valley to support large-scale industrial and business development. West Jordan’s general plan identifies this area and surrounding land for neighborhoods, commercial business and civic use. All of these developments contribute tax revenue in one form or another, whether it be income tax, property tax and/or sales tax. The state prison consumes taxes and does not produce tax revenue. Consideration should also be given to the impact that a prison would have on our ability to educate our children. The Jordan School District has indicated that taking 400 acres off
the tax rolls would negatively impact their ability to build new schools and to fund education for existing schools. Impairing our ability to provide a quality education for our children should be a compelling interest to the state. The third PRC criteria deals with population growth. Is the proposed site in the path of expected concentrations of population growth and increasing population density that will likely occur in the foreseeable future? Again, the answer is yes. West Jordan is one of the fastest growing communities in Salt Lake County, and if this area develops as planned, the population of West Jordan would almost double. The City continues to grow to the west at a rapid pace, with one subdivision already touching the border of the Kennecott mine property. Right now, there are 16 subdivisions under construction west of Bangerter Highway and a planned subdivision that will touch the site boundary. The last of the PRC’s criteria asks about the contemplated land use plan of the local community. The City’s land use plan designates this area for economic development. We maintain that the highest and best use for this land is low density residential uses with a mix of business and industry to the southeast of the site. We planned for this type of growth, and we maintain that moving the prison less than 11 miles from its current location will only result in a continuation of many of the same problems it faces at the current location. If you agree that this is not the place to locate a prison and that such plans will risk the future economic growth, stable economy and adequate tax revenue to supply government services, we invite you to get involved. Contact your legislators and the commission members via email (see sidebar) and add your name to the petition on the West Jordan website at Wjordan.com. We will continue to work tirelessly to send this message to the decision makers and do our best to ensure that the future of West Jordan is protected. Best Wishes, Mayor Kim V. Rolfe and the West Jordan City Council
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER
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GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER CALENDAR OF EVENTS
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Interfaith Council Presents MESSIAH SING-A-LONG
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
Jordan Oaks Stake Center 8117 S. Leslie Dr. (3905 West) 7 p.m.
NOV E M B E R
PRISON RELOCATION COMMISSION MEETING
GREEN WASTE PICKUP ENDS
CHRISTMAS EVE DAY
City Offices Closed
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JA N UA RY
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NEW YEAR’S DAY
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
City Offices Closed
City Offices Closed
JA N UA RY
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
WEIGH BIGGEST LOSERS KICK-OFF
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
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Gene Fullmer Rec Center 8015 S. 2200 West 5:30-8 p.m.
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West Jordan Police Dept. 8040 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84088 801-256-2000 801-840-4000 Dispatch
Holiday Collection Reminder There will be no garbage collection on Christmas Day, Thursday Dec. 25. For the remainder of this week, collections will be made the day following your normal collection day. For example, Thursday’s collection will be made on Friday and Friday’s will be made on Saturday. Normal collection schedules will resume the following week. Thanks for your cooperation! Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Public Works Department at 801-569-5700.
Copper Hills Students Use Their Paws For A Good Cause By Marci Heugly
opper Hills Grizzlies are fierce, especially when it comes to helping out the local community. Every year, they gather money to provide a nice Christmas for children that otherwise wouldn’t get very much. “It used to be called Sub for Santa, but now it’s Paws for a Cause, like grizzly paws,” teacher and student government adviser Scott Adamson said. “We use the money to buy Christmas for any child from infant up to 18 years old.” The school held a kickoff assembly on Dec. 3, and the collections will continue until the closing assembly on Dec. 18. Creativity counts as the students try to raise at least $20,000 in a few short weeks. “We have ‘The Night Before Christmas’ dance on Dec. 13 that is put on by the class officers. All the money will go toward this program,” Adamson said. “There’s a talent show at the school on Dec. 5 that costs $5 for an individual and $15 for a family. Also, our student body officers literally walk around with donation pails all the time.” The clubs at the school turn the event into a friendly competition to encourage more donations. Latinos in Action, FCCLA and FBLA are some of the clubs that get involved. People of the Pacific Club make Polynesian food and sell it at lunchtime. After they pay for the cost of the food, they donate the rest. At the closing assembly, the clubs that raise the most money get to pour honey on the heads of their competition. “Our fundraising is strictly kids, parents and community,” Adamson said. “Our students usually do so well, there’s
money left over that we can use to help others throughout the year.” For Christmas, the gifts usually include clothing, coats, boots and basic necessities. If there is extra money, they add a few toys. “We like to keep it local. Last year, we delivered presents to 114 kids, and 100 of them were in West Jordan boundaries,” Adamson said. “Probably 80 or 90 percent of the proceeds stay in West Jordan and mostly Copper Hills. We like to shop locally, we like to donate locally.” On Black Friday, several student body officers helped bag purchases at Smith’s Marketplace in West Jordan. The store donated money to get the fundraiser started, and the students got to start their service right away. “Our principal, Todd Quarnberg, is behind it. It’s a good program. We want our students to learn more than academics,” Adamson said. “I’m lucky just to be a part of it.” l
Jags Get Mad With Holiday Giving By Marci Heugly
hen West Jordan High School students get mad, they really get MAD (Making A Difference). Each winter, they choose a charity to help out as part of their Mad Jags program. At a schoolwide assembly on Nov. 25, the student body officers presented this year’s selected charity. “Every year over the winter, we do different activities and different fundraisers to help charities and this year, it’s the Tyler
Robinson Foundation,” Sophomore Vice President Rylee Lewis said. “We do a basketball tournament; we go door to door asking if we can do odd jobs. We try to do anything to get money.” The kick-off assembly featured student talent, from the dance company to the orchestra, and everything in between.
Holiday Giving continued on page 14
December 2014 | Page 13
Page 14 | December 2014 Holiday Giving continued from page 13 The students watched a video presentation about Tyler Robinson’s story, which included a video shout out directly to the Jaguars from Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of Imagine Dragons. When he was 16 years old, Tyler Robinson was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of connective tissues that had
West Jordan City Journal
EDUCATION spread to his lymph nodes and through his body. He had 20 rounds of chemotherapy during his junior and senior years of high school, but eventually succumbed and died on March 4, 2013. Tyler was an avid fan of Imagine Dragons. When he attended a concert in October 2011, the band dedicated a song to him and a longer-than-lifetime friendship was formed.
West Jordan High School student body officers present the Tyler Robinson Foundation as the school’s target charity this holiday season.
“Someone contacted me and informed me that Tyler had passed. It was at that moment that I felt like this was not the end of Tyler. His life would continue; his legacy would continue. People needed to be inspired by him in the way that we were inspired by him,” Reynolds said in a YouTube video explaining how the foundation came about. He contacted the Robinson
“ It’s my favorite time of the year. Not
just because it’s Christmas, but because I get to have a bonding experience with the whole school. It’s just the most amazing thing; one of the most wonderful experiences we’ll ever have.” family and asked if they could join forces in creating a foundation in Tyler’s honor to help other families facing the battles of childhood cancer. West Jordan students cheered as the foundation was introduced to them. “We’re just introducing the students
to the charity and getting them involved so it becomes more personal for them,” Lewis said. During the month of December, students will earn and collect money for the foundation. “It’s my favorite time of the year. Not just because it’s Christmas, but because I get to have a bonding experience with the whole school,” Student Body Vice President Alex Bybee said. “It’s just the most amazing thing; one of the most wonderful experiences we’ll ever have.” l
December 2014 | Page 15
Joel P. Jensen Students Give The Gift Of Time By Marci Heugly
ith the spirit of Christmas in the air, most people are looking for ways to give back to the community. There are food drives, Sub For Santa programs and toy collections going on at nearly every corner. Students at Joel P. Jensen Middle School have found a different way to give back this holiday season. “This year we are doing it differently. Instead of collecting cash, we are collecting service hours,” said Mary Garcia, a special education teacher and advisor to the student body officers. “We call it the Panther Express.” During the month of December, the students search for ways to serve the community. Between Dec. 1 and 19, they are logging their service hours to work toward the grand prize of a talent show performed by their teachers. The more service they contribute, the more talent acts they get to see their teachers perform. “It’s always a surprise to see what the teachers come up with,” Garcia said. “They’ll sing, dance or even do a comedy skit.” The 15 classes with the most service hours get to attend an assembly in the auditorium. The rest of the school will watch it on closed-circuit televisions in the classrooms. The assembly will be held in January so the students can contribute until the last day of school this year. “Each seventh-period teacher collects forms that have to
be signed by an adult or a supervisor, whoever the students did the service for,” Garcia said. “They can rake leaves or shovel walks; there are lots of ways to serve.” Some of the service opportunities are provided by the school. In December, students can purchase candy cane messages for $1 that they can send to their friends during school. This money is used to buy fabric to make blankets for the West Jordan Community Resource Center, which provides services to victims of domestic violence. “Three days a week, students with a C- or lower are given RTI time (response to intervention). Students with a C grade or higher can pick a free activity to do during this time. One of those activities right now is to make these blankets,” Garcia said. While the school has done similar Panther Express programs for the last 10 years, this is the first year they are doing service instead of collecting cash. “We’re trying to find a way to pull all the kids in. Not everyone can give cash, but everyone can give service,” Garcia said. l
Members of the student government at Joel P. Jensen Middle School are encouraging the student body to give service this season.
Page 16 | December 2014
West Jordan City Journal
Football Player Will Let Nothing Hold Him Back By Greg James
ot being able to hear the quarterback call the play or the fans cheer has never held West Jordan’s Alex Wilson, 15, back. He has wanted to play football since he was 3 years old and mimicking his older brother attacking the opposing quarterback on the sideline. When Alex was born, the doctors discovered a small hole in his heart. He had surgery to repair the hole, but the medications that were used left him unable to hear. “He has taught me that anything is possible. Kids with disabilities can do whatever they want to. He has such a loving heart, and his friends love to be around him,” Alex’s father Travis said. “I think some kids with disabilities think they will be made fun of or cannot do it. Alex is a rugged kid and gets right in there and has fun.” Alex currently plays in the junior division (14 and 15 year olds) of the West Jordan Little League, Ute Conference. He has played since he was 8. His father has always helped coach his team.
Communicating with Alex was a challenge in the beginning. His teammates learned they couldn’t just talk to him. They had to find other ways to connect. Now many of his teammates have learned some sign language. They also point to the spot or move Alex to where he needs to be. Teammate Easton Watts said at one game, after the team had signed some information to Alex, the referee threw a flag accusing them of making gang signs. The coaches had to explain to the official what was going on. “I do not think other teams even know [he is deaf] unless they try to talk to him. He always gets to the quarterback first,” Watts said. Alex leads his junior team with nine sacks. His team recently held a silent practice. The coaches wanted to simulate what Alex goes through every day with each of the kids. No one was allowed to speak. Instead, they had to sign or point to communicate. Travis Wilson said the players fumbled
Alex Wilson (#99) has learned to play football by watching his teammates and following what they are doing. He has been deaf since soon after his birth. the ball, missed passes and could not make their blocks because they were so distracted. They were amazed with what Alex goes through every day. Alex attends Jean Massieu School for the Deaf and Blind at 1655 East 3300 South. He plans to attend Skyline High School because of its current deaf school program. “His family has been part of our league for a long time. Travis has coached here forever and is well-respected,” Jaguar league president Travis Johnson said. Alex’s junior division team finished their regular season with a 9-0 record. They
defeated Cyprus 14-0 in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 1. Alex had two sacks in that game. They won the Ute Conference championship game Nov. 8, 13-6 over Corner Canyon. Besides football, Alex plays basketball and video games. His father said that has helped him learn to play football. “I want to go to Skyline. I have friends that go there. I really like playing football and tackling the quarterback. My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys, and I like hanging out with my friends,” Alex said through his father. l
Grizzlies Shoot For A Blockbuster Season By Greg James
hen the final buzzer sounded to for someone to emerge and take over for end last season’s final game, the us,” Morley said. Copper Hills girls basketball team knew it was just the beginning of I am very optimistic. If we their preparation for this year. Head coach Ben Morley has a young team stay together and work hard, with limited varsity experience that we can be a great team. is hungry to compete. “I am very optimistic. I like to see how our team will handle adversity. If Sophomore Kate Sisler was voted by we stay together and work hard, we can be her teammates, along with juniors Mikelle a great team,” Morley said. Magalogo and Baylee Leiter, as team capThe Grizzlies have no seniors returning tains. Morley said any of them could step to the team this year. Among the eight juniors forward to become the leader the team needs. and five sophomores, Morley said a leader Shirsten Wissinger returns this season will need to step forward. after leading the team in scoring last year. She “We are a young team that does not averaged 12.4 points per game in 2013 and have a lot of varsity experience with our Grizzlies continued on page 17 program and what we expect. We are waiting
December 2014 | Page 17
West Jordan Boys Basketball Team Plays Up-tempo
Grizzlies continued from page 16 started this season on a roll, averaging 16.5 points in preseason games against Olympus (lost 45-44) and Taylorsville (won 50-35). “We challenged Shirsten to attack off screens [move without the ball]. We expect her to have a great season. I would also like to see Mikelle [Magalogo] be more aggressive offensively. We played well toward the end of last year, but this is a new season. We always seem to play well when region comes,” Morley said. Letier is the Grizzlies second-leading scorer. She averages 10.5 points and 11.5 rebounds a game. Magalogo is averaging 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds. Junior Ashley Larsen has averaged seven rebounds this season. “We are a very young team, and I think we are going to surprise a lot of people. We are becoming a family on and off the court. It is great to get feedback from my coaches.
By Greg James
he West Jordan High School boys basketball team could be described as a high-flying trapeze artist with a harness. Their approach to playing the game is high speed with control. “We really like our guys. We have some seniors with varsity experience. They know how to shoot the basketball and stretch the floor [play fast]. The area we lack is size. We will need to take advantage of our speed,” Jaguars head coach Scott Briggs said.
“We need to create a match-up problem on our own by dragging the opponent’s big players away from the basket to defend us. We need to make them guard us. It will be a work in progress, but we are really excited,” Briggs said. Senior Dallas Winberg averaged 5.1 points per game last season. He opened this year with 26 points in a preseason loss to Pleasant Grove, 74-67, Nov. 25. “Dallas is a good shooter. He can move
Shirsten Wissinger (left) scored 289 points last season for the Grizzlies. Sophomore Kate Sisler (above) averaged seven points per game as a freshman for Copper Hills. Photos courtesy of dsandersonpics.com I am willing to work on whatever it takes to help our team succeed,” Magalogo said. The Grizzlies compete in Region 3. Morley said it could be one of the strongest in the state. “Brighton could win it all. Alta and Bingham could be top five teams. We could be too, but have a lot of work to do. These girls are working so hard in the off season, playing lots of games. The challenge now is to get them to play together in our system. We have the talent, and the chemistry is coming together,” he said. l
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The Jaguars are hoping to celebrate several wins this season and advance to the state tournament. Photo courtesy of dbaphotography.com The Jaguars roster lists one player taller than 6-foot-3 (sophomore Bryan Banks at 6-foot-5). Briggs said their keys to a successful season will be good shot selection and rebounding against the larger teams in their region.
to the basket. One thing I like about him is his competiveness. The bigger the game, the better he plays,” Briggs said. “Tristen [Peterson] has come a long way as a play-
Boys Basketball continued on page 18
Page 18 | December 2014
West Jordan City Journal
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he West Jordan Senior Center is located at 8025 South 2200 West. Phone 801-5617320 or visit www.westjordanseniorcenter. com for more information. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with lunch served at 11:45 a.m. for a suggested donation of $2.50 for anyone 60 and over. Lunches are given out on a first-come, firstserved basis. They also offer an alternative lunch daily without a reservation. Looking for a volunteer opportunity? The center needs some front desk volunteers. They could also use some help in the kitchen from about 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you have any skills you would like to share, please give them a call and ask for Lisa. Dec. 17, 1 p.m. -- Red and Green Holiday Fair. Seventh graders from the American Preparatory Academy will perform and conduct a holiday sing-a-long. Enjoy Christmas crafts, snowflake manicures and games. The center will provide refreshments. Dec. 19, 12:30 p.m. -- Annual Santa Party. Please bring a wrapped, white elephant gift to participate in a fun game. Santa always
Boys Basketball continued from page 17 er. I think we are better when he is on the floor. Connor [Oniki] helps us spread the floor. If he hits the three consistently, we will be tough.” Oniki scored 23 points, including seven three-pointers, in the Pleasant Grove loss. Peterson led the Jaguars with three steals. “We will be dangerous this year and surprise a lot of people. I think teams will underestimate us. I can help our team by taking open shots and distributing the ball to my teammates,” Petersen said. Briggs will use a rotation of players to keep their legs fresh. He said twins Jacob and Jordan Lowery, Sam Ahanonu and Treivan Taei will all play important roles for the Jaguars. “Our coach uses the word ‘relentless’ a lot. We are going to be relentless on defense and tough to guard with our speed. I am confident in our team’s ability,” Winberg said. Briggs is beginning his 16th year as the Jaguars head coach. They finished last season with a 11-13 record, losing to Brighton 5746 in the tie-breaker game to advance to the state tournament. “We will start our five best players. They may not be the tallest, but we will create and be a tough team to defend,” Briggs said. l
comes to deliver gifts to everyone. No children, please. Dec. 24, 12:30 p.m. -- The Center Closes for Christmas. It reopens Friday, Dec. 26. Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m. – New Year’s Eve Bash. Come enjoy casino games, Wii bowling and other fun games. There will be refreshments and prizes so, join in ringing in the New Year. Jan. 6, 11 a.m. -- January Birthday Party. Valerie Guymon will play the piano followed by a delicious birthday lunch. Everyone over 60 with a January birthday is invited to have their lunch sponsored by the Advisory Committee. Jan. 14, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. -- Days for Girls Humanitarian Project. This is a great volunteer opportunity to really make a difference in young girls’ lives. The center needs people that can bring in sewing machines, sergers or just come in and help clip threads or trace and cut out patterns. Donations of cotton fabric, flannel, washcloths and hotel soaps are always welcome. For more information, speak with Lisa at the center. l
Jaguars senior Tristen Peterson averaged 4.1 points per game last season. Photo courtesy of dbaphotography.com
December 2014 | Page 19
MAKING HOLIDAY MEMORIES: NINE CREATIVE AND FRUGAL TRADITIONS By Joani Taylor
recently met a gal who told me a story about how they use their cowboy boots for Christmas stockings. This came about because, during a move to a new home, the box with their holiday decorations got lost. Instead of buying new stockings they hung their cowboy boots on the mantle and have kept the tradition ever since. When you think of Christmas traditions you might think of driving around and seeing the lights, watching a favorite holiday movie, enjoying special recipes or opening up PJ’s on Christmas Eve. Holiday traditions invoke wonderful and playful memories of childhood and help bond us to those we love. We asked our readers at Coupons4Utah.com what their favorite holiday traditions are and we got a lot of great responses. Here are a few favorites that are out of the norm and easy on the wallet. Stop a Cop: Wrap up goodies, then on Christmas Eve find a police officer or stop by a firehouse and deliver your treats, with an offer of thanks and gratitude for keeping you safe on the holiday.
Toy Clean Up: Two or three days before Christmas gather the kids and go through their toys. Place those they no longer play with in a special bag and put it under the tree. On Christmas Eve, St. Nick will take the bag and replace it with their newly wrapped toys. The toys get donated to a local shelter or care center. Table Talk: Use butcher paper instead of a tablecloth and breakout the crayons. Everyone, adults and children, writes or illustrates something on the table. It can be words of gratitude, a big announcement or sharing a goal they hope to achieve. When it’s time for dinner each person shares what they wrote. Go Camping: Camp out around your Christmas tree the night you decorate it. Tell stories by candlelight. In the morning have the same breakfast menu from year to year, like funny face pancakes or a special muffin or bread that you only make on that particular morning.
Discover Your Inner Actor: Put on a holiday performance. Act out the nativity and read the story of Christ’s birth from the Bible. Then, have a gift exchange game where the gifts cannot cost more than $5. Newlyweds Forever: Make a yearly decoration for the tree out of things you can find around the house that represents where you are in that stage of life. Your ornaments will tell a story of time as you grow your family. Winter Wonderland: Make a paper snowflake each day during December and have your child write something they are thankful for on it. Then hang the snowflakes in the window or around the house. Ants in Your Pants: Go sledding or ice skating on Christmas day after opening the gifts. This is a great way to channel the Christmas excitement into a healthy family activity. Hide and Seek: Santa’s mischievous elves hide one present for Christmas Eve. They leave treasure hunt style clues all over the house leading the way to the gift. What’s your holiday tradition? For more ideas our readers submitted visit: coupons4utah.com/traditions Happy Holidays!
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Rockin’ Around the Real Christmas Tree By Peri Kinder
ow that we’re empty nesters, my husband has tentatively suggested that we destroy Christmas. We’ll be cuddling in front of the TV when he whispers, “Do you think it’s time we invested in a fake tree?” “No.” “But a real tree stresses you out each year.” “That’s not stress, it’s the Christmas spirit,” I reply. “I didn’t know the Christmas spirit was so grouchy.” A real Christmas tree has always been the center of my holiday decorating. Growing up, we’d hang stockings, put out Advent calendars and display nativity scenes, but the season didn’t officially start until the tree was plunked into a bucket of boiling Mountain Dew. (We had the only caffeine-addicted tree on the street.) After dad strung the lights and went to hide in his bedroom, we’d attack the tree like a whirling tornado, fighting over who got to hang favorite ornaments. Once we were in bed, mom and dad would redecorate and hang tinsel, one silvery strand at a time, on every branch. I’ve carried on that tradition (minus the tinsel that would cling to our clothes) to create our own perfect Christmas tree. Our holiday tree has never been a symbol of opulence. We’ve never had a Winter Wonderland tree with white fluffy reindeer frolicking through snowy silk ribbons, dangling with sparkly Swarovski crystals and silver-sequined snowflakes.
Instead, our tree’s branches are weighed down by homemade angels with ratted-out hair and lopsided halos, clothespin reindeers tangled around hand beaded wreaths, and South Park characters rubbing shoulders with the baby Jesus. Decades of school photo ornaments hang amid the evergreen boughs, detailing years of missing teeth, questionable hairstyles and teenage angst. And loved ones who have passed away are remembered with ornaments ranging from dancing shoes to teardrop prisms. Put together, it’s an explosion of bad taste that would make Martha Stewart cry. But it’s not just a Christmas tree—it’s a family tree representing years of holiday memories. The finished product is only half of the story. Finding the perfect Christmas tree is a tradition/catastrophe I anticipate/ loathe every December. Hence my husband’s misguided “fake tree” suggestion. He just doesn’t understand that a
plastic tree is a soulless imitation of holiday beauty, and the first step to anarchy. Each year, I schedule a day to pick out a tree, and, without fail, it’s the coldest, snowiest, iciest weekend of the month. My youngest daughter tags along to make sure I get it right and to help hold the tree on top of the car once the loosely-tied knots start to unravel—much like my mind. We scour tree lots, looking for an evergreen that is devoid of bare spots, more alive than dead and not full of spiders. (Don’t ask. It’s a horrible holiday memory.) We also try to avoid tree lots managed by the town drunk. (That’s another Christmas/horror saga involving a leering, inebriated tree salesperson with a chain saw.) Once the tree arrives safely home, we discover the 10-foot tree won’t fit into our 8-foot living room. We attack it with dull handsaws and scissors until it fits, and then, in a flurry of Christmas chaos, we adorn it with lights and ornaments, and top it with a rickety angel, balanced precariously on the highest branch. When the dust settles, we’ll cuddle by the decorated tree, watching Christmas lights twinkle while the snow softly falls. It’s the epitome of holiday perfection. Until my husband whispers, “What do you think about having Christmas dinner at Village Inn?” Could be a long, cold winter in our home. l