June 2015 | Vol. 15 Iss. 6
The West Jordan Divide: Personal Accountability By Lewi Lewis
also: — mayor rolfe makes A statement — Form Of Government Explained — in a legal nutshell “Nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, corporations and
municipalities have come together to envision and implement a long-term plan for annually celebrating the River.” page 7
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Page 2 | June 2015
WE WANT YOU! Call for Letters and Photos The City Journals are excited to announce the addition of “Letters To The Editor” and “Photo Of The Month” in our new “The Resident Voice” section. A community without a voice is a powerless entity. Because news is the aggregate voice of the people, its importance depends on the belief that you can make a difference. The editorial staff at My City Journals believes it to be vital to receive, hear and address the unique and invaluable voices of the community.
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Be involved. Be engaged. Be the voice of your community. —Lewi Lewis, Editor
West Jordan City Journal
Much ado has been made lately about the divide on the city council. It’s come to a head with the “firing” (or “administrative leave” if you will) of city attorney Jeff Robinson. I have heard from some residents that the whole thing is “embarrassing” and that the council needs to “stop bickering and get on with the business of [running the] city” and that we should “vote them all out and start over.” I can understand the above sentiments. However, I don’t think it’s a matter of incumbency that is the issue. when (and if) certain council members (the mayor is a council member in our form of government, and nothing more) act outside their scope of influence or authority, it is absolutely right for the other council members to call out the guilty parties. These matters need to be investigated, and action needs to be taken if it is warranted. The matter should not be swept under the rug, so to speak, just so residents are not embarrassed at the bickering. I’m not accusing anyone of any wrong doing, malfeasance, misconduct or other-
wise. But if such is occurring, it needs to be investigated and action needs to be taken to censure or remove the guilty party(-ies). Sometimes we need to wade through the difficult or the embarrassing in order to do the right thing. Zach Jacob
Mr. Scott and Mr. Lewis, I would like to thank you for your articles about our city leaders in the West Jordan City Journal. It is important for residents to be aware of what is happening. I will be taking Mr. Scott’s advice and attending the city council meetings to see it for myself. It’s unfortunate that we have to babysit our leaders. Please continue to keep the residents updated. Sincerely, Ruth Shaw
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June 2015 | Page 3
West Jordan City Honors Fallen Military Soldiers With Memorial Day Tribute By Taylor Stevens
South Jordan, UT — In our office we have seen far too many patients suffering with the debilitating symptoms of peripheral neuropathy like burning, weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling. We even see individuals whose neuropathy is so far advanced they are at risk of having their feet amputated.
s the sun set on Memorial Day in Veterans Memorial Park on May 25, an assembly of residents in red, white and blue, men and women in uniform and Patriot Guard riders on motorcycles converged at the Military Services Monument to celebrate fallen military veterans. Black smoke from a burning flag rose in the sky as the 23rd Army Band Quartet and the Utah Pipe Band played patriotic music. The flag burning was part of a flag retirement ceremony, which laid to rest a symbol of the United States and its doctrine of freedom to signify the sacrifice military soldiers have made for that independence. “Memorial Day is an important time to remember the many men and women who have given their lives to preserve our freedom,” said West Jordan mayor Kim Rolfe in a city press release. “West Jordan is proud to present this tribute to remind our community of the meaning of this holiday.” The ceremony, which was hosted by KUTV’s Sterling Poulson, began with a religious invocation and included a roll call of Utah soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Additionally, the Patriot Guard—a group of men and women who attend funerals of fallen soldiers to protect families from protestors— kept watch throughout the ceremony, holding flags in solidarity down the sidewalk on either side of the Military Services Monument. West Jordan residents Christi and Gary Barton lost their son Zachary, a member of the Air Force, in 2013 to depression related to his time in the military. They said the ceremony was an important way to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Figure 1: Falls affect millions of seniors in the U.S. every year.
National Guard soldiers marching in to present the colors for the National Anthem. “Most people don’t realize or understand the meaning of Memorial Day,” said Gary Barton. “It’s who can have the biggest sale and sell the most cars—and that’s not what it is. It was simply for the military, and it’s okay that everybody is lumped into it. You go to the mortuary and you pay your respects. But still. Memorial Day is about fallen military.” Christi Barton said that Memorial Day has a completely different meaning than it used to. “We probably would be having a barbeque and not know the Patriot Guard riders or anything else,” she said. “The biggest thing is to spread the word and bring that real meaning back to everybody.”
On May 25, residents of West Jordan City gathered for a Memorial Day ceremony to salute military officers.
However, none of these are the reason neuropathy can be a deadly condition. The biggest risks from peripheral neuropathy are the balance problems and falls that this condition can cause. You see, the nerves in your feet help send signals to your brain to maintain proper balance. When the nerves are damaged by neuropathy it is common to feel like you are off balance, or going to fall. Many of you reading this may have already fallen, and live in fear that your next fall may result in a fracture or concussion. Sadly, over 2.4 million seniors in the U.S. every year visit the emergency room each year due to falls, and nearly 23,000 die. This damage that results in balance problems is commonly caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet which causes the nerves to begin to degenerate due to lack of nutrient flow. As you can see in Figure 2, as the blood vessels that surround the nerves become diseased they shrivel up which causes the nerves to not get the nutrients to continue to survive. When these nerves begin to “die” they cause you to have balance problems as well as, pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and many additional symptoms. Figure 2: When these very small blood vessels become diseased they begin to shrivel up and the nerves begin to degenerate.
To make matters worse, too many doctors simply prescribe medications which don’t fix the cause of the problem. Even worse, some of these drugs have side effects that include dizziness and loss of balance! There is now a facility right here in South Jordan that offers you hope without taking those endless drugs with serious side effects. (See the special neuropathy severity examination at the end of this article.) In order to effectively treat your neuropathy three factors must be determined. 1) What is the underlying cause? 2) How Much Nerve Damage Has Been Sustained. NOTE: Once you have sustained 85% nerve loss, there is likely nothing that we can do for you. 3) How much treatment will your condition require? The treatment we use in our office is like watering a plant. This technology will allow the blood vessels to grow back around the periphFigure 3: The blood vessels will grow back around the nerves much like a plant’s roots grow when watered. eral nerves and provide them with the proper nutrients to heal and repair. It’s like adding water to a plant and seeing the roots grow deeper and deeper. The amount of treatment needed to allow the nerves to fully recover varies from person to person and can only be determined after a detailed neurological and vascular evaluation. As long as you have not sustained at least 85% nerve damage there is hope! Dr. M. Shane Watt at NeuroBolic Health Center will do a Neuropathy Severity Examination to determine the extent of the nerve damage for only $57. This neuropathy severity examination will consist of a detailed sensory evaluation, extensive peripheral vascular testing, and a detailed analysis of the findings of your neuropathy. Call 801-495-4444 to determine if your peripheral neuropathy can be treated, pain reduced, and your balance restored. Our Peripheral Neuropathy program is the most comprehensive and state of the art treatment that exists in Utah. Dr. M. Shane Watt Chiropractic Physician
1664 West Town Center Dr., Ste D South Jordan (Next to Cafe Rio)
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Page 4 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
The West Jordan Divide: Personal Accountability When the issue is clearly legality of action, is there any room for opinion? By Lewi Lewis
he caustic landscape that has become synonymous with West Jordan government continues to unfold with Mayor Kim Rolfe’s May 27 public statement against last month’s article published by the City Journals. Rolfe later said in an interview, “Now I don’t know if you got them wrong. I’m just saying that I’m … stating the facts.” Rolfe’s allegations seem nothing more than an attempt to clutter an already cluttered situation, direct the eye of scrutiny elsewhere and veil the real issue, which is nothing more than the legality of actions. In the specific case of Robinson, the question remains: was Mayor Rolfe overstepping his mayoral authority by directing Chief of Police Doug Diamond to take on the responsibility of temporary city manager and escort Robinson out of the building on April 20? City Code [1-7D-9] states that in the event of the city manager being absent, the city manager can appoint delegation. But what defines being absent?
April 22, and at no time do I recall being told that I could not do that or that any changes had to be carried out by a specific date. In fact, what I discovered the week of the 13 through the 17 was that other members of the council did not agree with the changes the mayor was telling me to make, and that they expected a plan to be brought back for discussion.” When Rolfe was asked why Haderlie wasn’t in the closeddoor session when this directive was allegedly given, and why it was carried out when Haderlie just so happened to be out of the building, he said: “We cannot discuss what happened in closed session,” referring to the April 17 meeting in which Haderlie was told by Rolfe not to attend. The mayor is adamant that the truth will come out. “Since April 8 continuing through the end of my term, all closed-door sessions will be recorded,” Rolfe said, adding that the transcripts are in the process of being released. But, what that process entails he didn’t know.
The division within the council is no longer about the blade that caused the wound but the germ that is infecting it. As to whether or not Chief Diamond was acting as temporary city manager on April 20, opinions differ. “In no way, shape, or form,” Haderlie said. Chief Diamond said, no, he was not acting as temporary city manager. “Nobody told me I was, the mayor didn’t say anything about it, that they temporarily appointed me. Nothing even close to it.” “I guess it’s a matter of opinion,” Rolfe said.
olfe alleges that acting city manager Bryce Haderlie was scheduled not to be in the building Monday or Tuesday of that week to do what the council directed him [mayor Rolfe] to do, so he did what he felt he needed to do. Rolfe later clarified that he meant to say that Haderlie was not in the building on April 20 at 9:15 a.m. when he put Jeff Robinson on administrative leave. Haderlie agrees that he wasn’t in the building at precisely 9:15. “I was there from seven a.m. until 8:45.” Haderlie was on his way to a two-day seminar on city business, but says he was fully reachable. Does this define being absent? “I was only 45 minutes away. That isn’t far enough away to be leaving delegation to other people,” said Haderlie. Why, then, wasn’t Haderlie in the building at precisely 9:15 a.m. if he knew he was suppose to carry out such a timepressing directive given by the majority of the council? Haderlie says he didn’t know that this specific action was going to take place on April 20. “I don’t recall ever having a discussion about this having to be carried out on this date,” he said, and then offered some clarity: “The mayor and I had conversations on April 13 and 14 about proposed changes to the legal department. I repeatedly asked for the opportunity to bring a plan back to the council on
f the council wrongly directed Rolfe to take action, should the mayor have refused? If the mayor overstepped the bounds of his authority by instructing Chief Diamond to escort Robinson out of the building without the knowledge of the city manager, should Chief Diamond have refused? When asked why he at least didn’t question the legality of Rolfe’s actions, per city code, Chief Diamond said, “The
In A Legal Nutshell The debate of whether or not the removal of former city attorney Jeff Robinson on April 20 by Mayor Kim Rolfe, and not city manager Bryce Haderlie, was justified or legal continues in a “he said, she said” interpretation of law. Mayor Rolfe defends the legality of his actions by saying Haderlie was not in the building and that Chief of Police Doug Diamond was acting as temporary city manager. mayor said this was something the city council had authorized him to do, and to be honest, in the moment, I didn’t know what was going on. Knowing what I know now, I should have questioned it.” The division within the council is no longer about the blade that caused the wound but the germ that is infecting it; until someone decides to take a step in the direction of truth, rather than half-steps toward half-truths, the sickness that has been plaguing the city for months will continue. With the upcoming elections, and the majority of council seats up for grabs, it is unlikely any harmonious mending will be seen or even attempted in the coming months, but it is a chance for the citizens of West Jordan to become informed and engaged. If the people do not get involved and take the helm of this wandering ship, it will continue on its wayward course. l
June 2015 | Page 5
Form Of Government Explained The following is and excerpt from “WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?” by David L. Church, from the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
he most common cause of conflict is misunderstanding the form of government that the city and town is operating under. Too many people run for an office without understanding the office they seek. The form and structure of local government are set first by state law and second by local ordinance and policy. The state law establishes the basic form of government for all cities and towns [see Utah Code section 10-3b-101 et seq.]. There are three basic forms of government. They are known as the council-mayor form of government, the six-member council form of government and the five-member council form of government. Prior to May 4, 2008 there was also a form of government known as the council-manager optional form of government. That form is no longer available under state law, but the cities and towns that had previously adopted that form continue to operate under it. The state law also allows voters in all cities and towns to change forms of government to any of the three approved forms [see Utah Code section 10-3b-501 et seq.]. Within six-member council and fivemember council forms of government, there
is the flexibility to adopt local rules and procedures [see Utah Code section 10-3b303(1)(b) and section 10-3b-403(1)(b)]. Not everyone elected to an office of mayor has the same powers. The power and duties of mayor in the six- and five-member council forms of government is very different from the mayor in the council-mayor form of government under state law, and even within the various six- and five-member council forms of government there will be differences between mayors in different cities and towns depending on local ordinances. Mayors elected in a city operating under the council-mayor form of government are the heads of an executive branch of government [Utah Code section 10-3b-201, 202]. The executive branch is separate, independent and equal to the legislative branch. These mayors are powerful people. A mayor in a city operating under the old council-manager optional form is a figurehead mayor only [See former Utah Code section 10-3-1223 now repealed]. The mayor is a member of the council and does not have any executive or administrative powers. An appointed city manager holds the executive and administrative powers. Mayors in cities and towns that are operating under the six- and five-member council forms of government fall somewhere between these two extremes …” l
Read the full article at www.ulct.org in their Policy Research section.
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May 27 Council Meeting: Mayor Rolfe Makes A Statement “I have a statement I’d like to read: the right of free speech is so important to me and I will defend that right always. After reviewing the articles in the West Jordan Journals, I want to state, on the record, some of the facts that were state in error: First, Bryce Haderlie was not in the building on April 20 at 9:15 am. Second, the entire city council was told the week before that he would not be there. Third, under the direction of city council and municipal code 1-7d-p, Police Chief Diamond has assumed the role of temporary city manager in Bryce Haderlie’s absence, many times. Fourth, Councilmember Southworth was not at the April 17 closed door session. Fifth, there would only be one subject of closed-door session that the city manager would not participate in. Sixth, I have recordings of the closed sessions of April 8 and 17.”
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Page 6 | June 2015
West Jordan Gears Up For Fourth Of July Fun
ickets are now on sale for West Jordan City’s biggest event of the year, the 61st annual Western Stampede PRCA Rodeo. The rodeo will begin at 7 p.m. July 2-4 at the West Jordan Arena, which is located at 8035 South 2200 West. Each night of the rodeo is themed: July 2 is Family Night, July 3 is Pink Night—to raise awareness for women’s cancers—and July 4 is Military Appreciation Night. “I’m real excited to see what this year brings,” said West Jordan mayor Kim Rolfe. “I’ve always been a big fan of the rodeo and horses, so I’m real excited to see the action again this year. I’ve been attending for a long time, and it seems to keep getting better each year.” In addition to the rodeo, the city’s Independence Day events will include a motorcross show and the horse-riding group the EhCapa Bareback Riders. On the Fourth of July, the parade will begin at 10 a.m. and run north on Redwood Road from City Hall to 7000 South.
Photo by Michael Bateman
Photo by Brian Oakden
The city is hosting a Movie in the Park event at 9 p.m. that evening, the only free movie in the park this year. The city’s fireworks show, which will serve as a finale to the Western Stampede, will begin at 10 p.m. In light of the city’s firework prohibitions, Fire Chief Marc McElreath urged residents “to attend the city’s professional fireworks show in Veterans Memorial Park.” In some areas of the city, it is a Class B misdemeanor to light fireworks, meaning that a violation could cost up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The police department said in a news release that they would be working with the police department to ensure enforcement of the prohibition. Utah’s unusual weather contributed to the city’s crackdown on firework safety. The state’s wet spring led to an extreme growth of vegetation that has dried in light of rapidly increasing temperatures, “creating a large fuel load and potentially significant fire danger,” McElreath said in the statement. In addition to the area restrictions, Utah’s state code also prohibits fireworks during most of the month. Personal fireworks may be employed July 1-7 and July 21-27. “These restrictions are in place to help keep people and property safe,” McElreath continued.
Jordan Valley Cancer Center By Crystal Couch
West Jordan City Journal
ayor Rolfe spoke to a crowd that gathered for a groundbreaking event at the Jordan Valley Medical Center, where they introduced the Jordan Valley Cancer Center to the community. Easily accessed by the majority of the community, this center is located in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley at 3580 West and 9000 South in West Jordan. As the mayor spoke about his family, he pointed out that cancer “will touch all our lives at some point.” He spoke about his mother being a cancer survivor and of losing his father three years ago to brain cancer. The mayor, like many, is excited to see West Jordan The official ‘breaking of the ground’ of the Jordan Valley Medical Center. City and Jordan Valley Medical as partners in The center will have specialists in medical oncology, this fight against cancer. One of the speakers, Carl Whitmer, IASIS Healthcare surgical oncology and radiation oncology. They will also have president and CEO, said, “It’s not about just treatment but available support groups, survivorship programs, physical therapy and include exercise and nutritional experts. aftercare.” That is what this center is for. At the close of the ceremony, Chaplain LeNae PeaveyThe center is set to open in 2016 and will offer comprehensive cancer care, from diagnosis through treatment, Onstad, MAPM, director of pastoral care at Jordan Valley and on to survivorship. They will provide both impatient and Medical Center, blessed the ground, the workers, the staff and outpatient care, and the center was built off their motto “We the patients who will enter the building. For more information about the center, visit www.jordanvalleyMC.com. l are here to care,” said Whitmer.
According to the city’s press release, restricted areas include: 1. All areas west of U-111 (Bacchus Highway) within West Jordan City limits. 2. All areas within 200 feet of the Jordan River Parkway Trail east of 1300 West. 3. All areas within 200 feet of the area commonly referred to as Clay Hollow Wash that run east and west in the area of 7800 South (approximately 4800 West to U-111). 4. All areas within 200 feet of Bingham Creek, located near Old Bingham Highway, running the length of the east/west boundaries within West Jordan. 5. All city parks, unless a permit has been obtained for a professional display.
West Jordan Residents Declare Candidacy For Upcoming Vacant Seats Taylor Stevens Ten West Jordan residents have declared their candidacy in the 2015 municipal election for City Council, each hoping to fill one of the four open seats. The Primary Election for the seats in Districts 1-4 will take place Aug. 11, and the General Election Day is Nov. 3. Those candidates chosen by West Jordan residents will be sworn into office Jan. 4, 2016 and will hold their councilmember positions for four years. District one candidates: Barry L. Bell, Christopher M. McConnehey, Kevin L. Mertin and Jay Thomas District two candidates: Dirk Burton and Judith M. Hansen District three candidates: Zach Jacob and Tim McConnehey District four candidates: Alan R. Anderson and Sophie Rice To vote, West Jordan residents who are not already registered should do so in person eight days prior to the election at the County Clerk’s office, or seven days prior online. Those who prefer to vote by mail should have their voter registration forms postmarked 30 days prior to the election. Ballots for the primary election will be mailed out by July 14, and by October 6 for the general election.
June 2015 | Page 7
West Jordan Celebrates The Jordan River Trail Taylor Stevens
he Jordan River Commission held the second annual “Get into the River Festival” on May 30 to celebrate and improve the Jordan River Trail. Wells Fargo sponsored the festival day, which included activities such as sidewalk chalk art, a Selfie Scavenger Hunt, and a Mayor’s Mile. “It was awesome,” said Mayor Kim Rolfe. “There were quite a few young children up to about 10 years old that ran, and the families ran along with the children. I had one of the funnest times I’ve ever had running with those children. I think they all enjoyed it immensely—I know I did. We look forward to it next year.” The Jordan River Commission sponsored the event across the river, garnering support from many other cities across the valley. According to the festival’s website, “This is the first time that nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, corporations and municipalities have come together to envision and implement a long-term plan for annually celebrating the River.” This festival was a way for the city to raise awareness and foster a sense of community around the Jordan River Trail. “[The festival] is really to get people down to the river trail to see that it’s a unique asset and there for everybody to use,” said Julie Brown, West Jordan’s events coordinator. “So many people don’t get down there, and when they do they realize all the great things you can do.” Raising community awareness around the Jordan River
“Nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, corporations and municipalities have come together to envision and implement a long-term plan for annually celebrating the River.”
Trail is especially important to the city, in light of the major development plan the City Council approved on the Big Bend area of the trail at its May 27 City Council meeting. “It’s a big, long-term project,” said Kim Wells, West Jordan’s public information officer. “The Jordan River Trail Commission has been working to reclaim the river area. They’re trying to remove invasive, non-native species and restore it to the wetlands it should be.” The Big Bend development will focus around the goal of habitat restoration as well. The Big Bend development area will “include an urban fishery, and there will be rerouting on part of the Jordan River to facilitate some of the trail without eroding the bank of the river,” Rolfe said. “We also plan to create a wildlife area. Also, a viewing platform is part of it as well to view the wildlife and the ecosystem that will be created there.” City Council members said they wanted to agree on a concept for development that would be low maintenance and low cost to the city. The plans for the Big Bend development are expected to cost six to eight million dollars. The project will be funded
West Jordan residents had a chance to outrace Mayor Rolphe along the Jordan River Trail as part of the Mayor’s Mile. Photo courtesy of Kim Wells largely by a $225,000 grant awarded to the city from the Utah Departments of Water Quality and Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Foundation. At the City Council meeting, the council said it currently has $764,000 for the project. After the development is finished, the city will have to maintain everything on the trail aside from the actual river, but they are looking into possibly earning revenue from the urban fishery to offset the cost. The project will be completed in five phases, with an expected completion date in 2030. l
Page 8 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
West Jordan State Representative Accused Of Fraud By Taylor Stevens
here’s been a spotlight on West Jordan City, amid confusion, division and secret closed-door meetings of the City Council—but now the City Council has to share that spotlight with Utah Rep. Ken Ivory from West Jordan, who was accused of fraud by a D.C. group called the Campaign for Accountability on June 1.
The CfA’s fraud allegations center on what they say is a misuse of funds and false claims made by the nonprofit that Ivory leads, the American Lands Council, to generate an income for Ivory and his wife. The CfA is asking attorneys general in three states, including Utah, to investigate their claims. In their June 1 statement, the Campaign for Accountability said, “Rep. Ivory has devised a scheme to defraud individuals, including local lawmakers, by making false statements to persuade them to donate to his personal non-profit organization, which exists primarily to pay him and his wife.” The CfA said that the Lands Transfer Act is unconstitutional; they also state that Ivory’s claim that this act would generate a windfall of revenue to the state of Utah is fraudulent. According to the CfA, a lands transfer would “impose
prohibitively expensive costs on the states.” Already, Utah is investing $2 million to take their fight for the transfer of lands after the deadline passed on their demanded 30 million acres from the federal government in 2014. The organization is also concerned that Ivory is profiting off of House Bill 148—legislation that passed with Ivory’s sponsorship in 2013. Ivory has dismissed claims by the CfA concerning the unconstitutionality of the Lands Transfer Act. The federal government owns over half of Utah’s land, a situation that Ivory and other proponents of land transfer back to the states say is not only one that is historically necessary but that will lead to an economic windfall to the states that regain their land, as well as better environmental use of that land as it comes into local control. Ivory maintained that the claims made by the Campaign for Accountability are the product of a leftist agenda that wants to intimidate the American Lands Council “because we are having success spreading the word that there is a path to more effective, local management of public lands.” Responding to criticism on The Salt Lake Tribune’s “Trib Talk” about the over $100,000 that IRS tax records show Ivory and his wife received in compensation from the ALC in 2013, Ivory said he’s been hired “as an educator” by the organization. He said he has disclosed his employment with the Utah legislature and should be compensated for his position at the ALC. “I’ve been hired to do a job,” he said.
He also said the claim that he is lying to the local counties was made without talking to the counties. “Locally, West Jordan City and Chamber of Commerce, South Jordan City and our own Western Growth Coalition, the Utah Republican party—to name just a few—have all weighed in with their support for the transfer of public lands for more
effective, local control of our lands,” Ivory said. So far, it seems that the truth of statements about the constitutionality or lack thereof of the Lands Transfer Act has been a hotly debated game of he said, she said. The CfA stated that legal scholars at the University of Utah have maintained “the federal government has absolute control over federal public lands, including the constitutional authority to retain lands in federal ownership.” Meanwhile, the ALC cites a Brigham Young University law review, which Ivory says concludes that “the federal government has a duty to transfer its title to the public lands,” and says the University of Utah analysis “conveniently omit[s] many stubborn facts to reach their agenda-driven conclusions.” l
June 2015 | Page 9
By Bryan Scott
ver the last few weeks, I have realized that even our local politicians have taken up a certain dance that can only be described as the “D.C. two step.” It has come to the point where I now expect to not get an answer from these individuals, at least not a real answer. It seems that right now they have three main plays in their playbook: 1) Hide behind closed-door sessions: Over the last year and half this seems to be the primary tactic. The city recorder told us that in 2014 the council carried out 25 of these secret sessions. These meetings are allowed under state and federal law but are restricted to certain topics. At the last meeting they kept the public waiting over 30 minutes while they were in closed-door session. 2) Peek a Boo: This strategy is used by showing us only what they want us to see and then act like if they don’t say something then it just doesn’t exist. I have referred to this tactic in the past as half-truth or a shadow game. 3) Attorney Client Privilege: This is a new play that has entered the game in the last few weeks. Now, city officials and staff members are stating that if they are emailing or talking to the City Attorney’s office that such communication is protected under Attorney Client Privileges. Jumping from one legal barricade to another is a battle that we at the Journals are not going to play. We will ask the questions. If they want to lie to us or not, or bombard us with sticky, half-truths, then we will simply let them answer for their actions when the truth prevails
aws require politicians to hold meetings in an open and public forum. This allows transparency into the actions of the staff and elected officials. Why was Jeff Robinson put on administrative leave? It took us long enough to find out who put the City Attorney on leave, which seems to come down to Mayor Rolfe. Let’s never mind the argument that the Mayor may have done this without proper authorization and simply ask why he was put on leave? Some tell us he was under investigation, some say that he is not under investigation and that it was a personal disagreement between the Mayor and City Attorney for his whistle blowing on Judge Kunz, who is a friend of Mayor Rolfe. Why is the City considering paying him $80,000 in a separation agreement? I recently received an email from a city council member
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that had an attached document, which was a draft of a separation agreement between the City and Jeff Robinson (City Attorney who is currently on administrative leave.) I can see only two reasons why the city would agree to this: either someone at the city did something wrong and the city owes it to Jeff Robinson or our city administration does not care about spending tax dollars. $80,000 Dollars is more than the average wage of a West Jordan resident. Should the city be considering giving Jeff Robinson this amount of money? And if so, why and who should be responsible for the cost? Council Members, Mayor and staff: it’s time to act like local politicians, leave Washington politics for Washington Politicians. You were elected by Utahans to manage this city. I believe the citizens of this city would like to see you act as such, using fairness, honesty and transparency. That said, in the last council meeting that I attended I did see some signs of improvement. It appeared to me that certain members of the council and staff were working to make things better. I know that these types of personal/ professional disagreements cannot be fixed at a flick of a switch, but small actions can go a long away. I hope these actions continue and I hope that the council and staff decide to be more transparent to the people of West Jordan. This is what the tax payers deserve.
ast month I challenged each of the council members to submit a letter to the editor, not one council member did. I would like to challenge the City Staff and Council to a special interview. I believe that at the end of the day, when the truth is needed, it is best to put everyone in the same room and ask the questions that are needed. I would ask the Staff and Council to agree to a group interview, where our staff can ask the questions that need to be answered. These individuals have the ability to suspend the rules and agree that nothing is secret and agree to full transparency. It seems that each of them is pointing the finger at someone else. If there is wrongdoing, the taxpayers deserve to know who’s involved. l
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Page 10 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
“Grease’d – Happy Days Are Here Again!”
esert Star Playhouse, the theater that’s built a reputation for producing laughout-loud, family-friendly musical comedies, continues its 2015 season with a sock hoppin’ flashback to the 1950s in “Grease’d - Happy Days are Here Again!” Excited to start their senior year at Saltair High School, the Sharks dream of repeating their state championship victory in water skiing at the Great Salt Lake over their bitter rivals, the Antelope Island High School Jets. With the help of Saltair High School’s own hero, Manny Zeko, victory is almost assured. When the mysterious and charismatic new student Charles “Ponzi” Ponzerelli shows up, can Manny, with his fellow Sharks Canucky and Putzi, and accompanied by the lovely leader of the Pink Lemons, Frizzo, stay on top of the world?! Come along with this crazy cast of iconic characters and their sidesplitting, high school high jinx as Desert Star takes you through this spoof of all things 1950s. Written by Ed Farnsworth and directed by Scott Holman, “Grease’d” runs from June 11 to August 22, 2015. The evening also includes another of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The Kickin’ It Country Olio will feature some of your country music favorites, with a unique and always hilarious,
CALENDAR: “Grease’d – Happy Days Are Here Again!” Plays June 11 - August 22, 2015 Desert Star twist! Desert Star audiences can enjoy gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, burgers, scrumptious desserts, and other finger foods as well as a full selection of soft drinks, smoothies and a large array of iced and hot steamers and coffees while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. l
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm; Saturday at 2:30pm, 6pm and 8:30pm and some Saturday lunch matinées at 11:30am; Friday late shows at 9:30pm Tickets: Adults: $22.95, Children: $12.95 (Children 11 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Call 801.266.2600 for reservations or visit www. DesertStarPlayhouse.com for more info.
KUTV Wins May Sweeps By Lewi Lewis
n September 10, 1954, KUTV Channel 2 Utah signed on the air for the first time. Sixty-one years later, they are the crème de la crème of broadcast news. From 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. throughout the week, they placed first in the ratings over every newscast in Utah, capturing 63 out of 72 quarter hours throughout the day and easily winning May sweeps. Out of all lifestyle shows, KUTV’s “Fresh Living” came in as nonpareil and the successful new social media show, “The Refresh,” continued its upward swing by winning its 3 p.m. time slot.
“We are so grateful to our
audience for tuning in each day.” 2News at 10 led the pack with easy distance; Mark Koelbel and Shawna Lake helped make 2News at 10 the highest rated local news program in Utah yet again. 2News “This Morning” gathered the most viewers in the state, and CBS came out the victor in a battle for network news with
Channel 2 10pm news team: Sterling Poulson, Shawna Lake, Mark Koelbel, Dave Fox and Matt Gephardt. CBS This Morning. KUTV and CBS took first in primetime programming, offering a staggering 19 of the top 30 primetime shows. “We are so grateful to our audience
for tuning in each day,” said Lee Eldridge, KUTV news director. “We have a very loyal group of viewers, and our staff here at KUTV works their hardest each day to provide the newscasts our audience deserves.” l
G O OD NEIG HBOR
Paid for by the City of West Jordan
City Council Candidates File for Upcoming Race Thanks to all who entered the race to fill four City Council seats in this year’s municipal election! Get to know your candidates and the issues and help shape the future of your community. Candidates running for City Council Districts 1-4 are as follows: DISTRICT 1: Jay Thomas, Kevin L. Mertin, Christopher M. McConnehey, Barry L. Bell DISTRICT 2: Dirk Burton, Judith M. Hansen DISTRICT 3: Zach Jacob, Tim McConnehey DISTRICT 4: Alan R. Anderson, Sophie Rice Once again, the Municipal Election will be conducted as an all Vote By Mail Election. The General Election in 2013, which was the first year the City held
an all Vote By Mail Election, saw an increased voter turnout from 16 percent in 2009, to 34 percent. As you can see, we more than doubled our voter participation. Salt Lake County Elections Division will mail the Primary Election Ballot to all registered voters in Council District 1 by July 13. The General Election Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the City by Oct. 5. There will also be two Election Day Vote Centers on both election days: Aug. 11 for the primary (only for District 1) and Nov. 3 for the general election. The Vote Centers will be located at the Bingham Creek Library, 4834 West 9000 South, and the West Jordan Library, 8030 South 1825 West, and will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Calling all photographers! CONTEST SHOWCASING THE BEEHIVE STATE The West Jordan Arts Council is looking to spotlight our state’s beauty in an upcoming photography contest. Photographers can compete for prizes and glory in two subcategories: “Nature Untouched” and “The Human Touch.” There are divisions for professional, amateur and youth photographers. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners in all categories for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. There will also be a “Best in Show” and a “Mayor’s Choice” award. Each
The driving of the Golden Spike in Promontory Utah. Photo Courtesy of Reed Scharman
photographer can submit two entries, 8x10 inches to 16x20 inches in size, mounted on mounting board. Entries will be taken at the Schorr Gallery on July 10 from 10 a.m. to noon and July 13 4-6 p.m. There is no fee to enter. The opening reception and prize announcements will be Friday, July 17, starting at 7 p.m. The show will run through Sept. 11. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E
Pride in Our Fourth of July Traditions Our great city has a history steeped in tradition, and when it comes to celebrating our nation’s independence, we have some long-standing traditions of which we can all be proud. This year, the Western Stampede celebrates its 61st anniversary. West Jordan held its first rodeo back in 1954 and it has been an integral part of the city’s Fourth of July celebration ever since. My family and I have been attending since we moved to the city 39 years ago. It’s an event we look forward to every year. I can honestly say that the rodeo is a great source of pride for our city. The Western Stampede regularly shows to sell-out, or near sell-out crowds, and brings in visitors from all over. It has something for everyone: there are traditional rodeo activities that are truly firstclass, as well as high flying motocross stunts that will take your breath away. The Mutton Bustin’ Challenge offers the city’s littlest cowboys and cowgirls a chance to try their hand at riding sheep. The rodeo runs daily July 2-4. On the Fourth of July, there are even more great activities rooted in West Jordan tradition. Bring your family out at 10:30 a.m. to enjoy the parade – it runs north up Redwood Road from City Hall to 7000 South. Get your spots early as the parade often brings out record numbers of people. I will be there, along with the rest of the City Council, to join in the festivities and hand out candy. After the parade, at 1:30 p.m. the West Jordan City Band will perform at the Viridian Amphitheater. This is your chance to enjoy some patriotic tunes while relaxing in the sunshine. Once it gets dark, at around 9 p.m., join us for a Movie in the Park. This year’s feature is “Despicable Me 2” and it will play in Veterans Memorial Park. Stick around for the conclusion of the days’ festivities: a grand fireworks finale that lights up the sky at 10 p.m. Come out and join the fun as we celebrate our nation’s independence and enjoy a long-standing West Jordan tradition. I hope to see you there. For more information on the Western Stampede visit www.WesternStampede.com
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
West Jordan Stampede & Celebration JULY 2, 3 & 4 July is a month to celebrate our Nation’s birth and the commemoration of the entry of the first group of pioneers who entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. In West Jordan, we celebrate both! First enjoy some western flavor with the 61st annual Western Stampede! This PRCA rodeo runs July 2, 3 and 4 at the West Jordan Arena, 8035 S. 2200 West. This homegrown favorite started as an amateur rodeo and has grown into a professional show that attracts some of the best cowboys and cowgirls around. There’s also a parade, fireworks
and movie in the park on July 4. Then get ready for Merrill Osmond’s Utah Pioneer Days July 23-24 in the Arena. A cast of over 150 youth depict, with dance and music, the journey of the Utah pioneers. The show includes wagons, handcarts, live animals, music, special guests and one of Utah’s largest firework displays in the valley. Admission is FREE to this theatrical and fireworks extravaganza! Details at www.UtahPioneerDays.com.
WESTERN STAMPEDE RODEO – JULY 2, 3 & 4 Tickets are on sale for the West Jordan Western Stampede Rodeo July 2, 3 & 4. Come see the thrills and spills that are part of this fun event, which is celebrating 61 years! You’ll also enjoy high flying freestyle motocross action from Maneuver Motorsports and bareback riding from EhCapa Bareback Riders. Buy tickets in advance online for the best prices! All seats reserved. Grandstand Adult $12, or $10 for children under 12. Lower Reserved: $17. Event details and ticket purchase at www.WesternStampede.com.
FOURTH OF JULY PARADE West Jordan’s Fourth of July parade runs NORTH up Redwood Road from City Hall at 8000 South to 7000 South. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.
Road Closure Notice Several roads will be closed Saturday, July 4 to accommodate the Fourth of July Parade. Redwood Road from 7000 South to 8000 South will be closed from 10 a.m. to noon; 7000 South between 2200 West and Redwood Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon; and no thru traffic will be allowed on 7800 South. Please use alternate routes during these times.
PARADE ROUTE NORTH up Redwood Road from City Hall at 8000 South to 7000 South
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN WEST JORDAN BAND CONCERT
MOVIE IN THE PARK “Despicable Me 2” lights up the big screen July 4 in Veterans Memorial Park. Showtime is about 9 p.m.
After the parade, wander over to Veterans Memorial Park, 8030 S. 1825 West, and listen to patriotic sounds of the West Jordan Band. The band performs at 1:30 p.m. in the Viridian Amphitheater.
FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS
CELEBRATE our Nation’s birthday with a FIREWORKS
SUPPORT OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS!
FINALE in Veterans Memorial Park at 10 p.m.
Volunteer And EARN FREE TICKETS! The Mountain America Credit Union Western Stampede relies on countless volunteers throughout the year to make this huge event a success. Our largest need for volunteers is during the events. Shifts are four hours. For every four hour shift worked, you qualify for up to two grandstand tickets to the rodeo or demolition derby (Sept. 12). The more you work, the more benefits you get! It’s our way of saying thanks for helping to bring this community tradition to life! We have many different volunteer options ranging from box office to ticket takers, to parking attendants to ushers to parade help.
Please email email@example.com for more information or visit WesternStampede.com
THANK YOU PHOTOGRAPHERS!
Fireworks Laws Personal fireworks are not allowed in city parks but may be discharged according to state code between the dates of July 1-7 and July 21-27 in non-restricted areas. Restricted areas include: 1. All areas west of U-111 (Bacchus Highway) within West Jordan City limits. 2. All areas within 200 feet of the Jordan River Parkway Trail east of 1300 West. 3. All areas within 200 feet of the area commonly referred to as Clay Hollow Wash that run east and west in the area of 7800 South (approximately 4800 West to U-111). 4. All areas within 200 feet of Bingham Creek, located near Old Bingham Highway running the length of the east/west boundaries within West Jordan. 5. All city parks, unless a permit has been obtained for a professional display. Visit www.WJordan.com for additional details.
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
June 18-20, 22, 25-27
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
J U LY
“JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT”
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Copper Hills High School 5445 New Bingham Highway 7:30 p.m.
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
West Jordan Arena 8035 S. 2200 West
18-20, 22, 25-27
J U LY
J U LY
2-4 INDEPENDENCE DAY CITY OFFICES CLOSED
Redwood Road from 8000 South to 7000 South 10:30 a.m.
‘One Stitch at a Time’ On Display at the Schorr Gallery
City Band Concert, 1:30 p.m. “Despicable Me 2” at 9 p.m. Fireworks, 10-10:30 p.m. Viridian Event Center Amphitheater 8030 S. 1825 West
Schorr Gallery Exhibitor, Michelle Walton, discovered cross-stitching in 1994 and has been stitching beautiful – and serviceable – pieces ever since. Her work is on display at the City Hall Schorr Gallery through July 10 and can be seen during business hours Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For the past six years, she has received numerous awards and ribbons in the Utah State Fair cross-stitch competitions. This is her first exhibit. “I hope those who see my work enjoy what they see,” said Walton. “Most of these pieces took quite a while to complete, but I loved every minute – and stitch – of it.”
J U LY
J U LY
J U LY
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.
2015 Water Quality Report The City of West Jordan’s 2015 Water Quality Report is online at WJordan.com. You can also pick up a copy at West Jordan City Hall in the first floor Finance/Information area. The report contains important information regarding the quality of your drinking water, which surpasses all federal and state requirements. For more information, call the Utilities Manager at 801-569-5707.
The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 (801) 569-5100 www.wjordan.com
Join the conversation! Follow West Jordan – City Hall.
West Jordan Police Dept. 8040 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84088 801-256-2000 801-840-4000 Dispatch
The West Jordan Youth Theatre will be holding a summer workshop the last two weeks of July. They will also be walking in the July Fourth Parade and invite all previous cast member from this year’s shows to participate and wear their shirts. Auditions for the fall show will be in August. For more information, visit www.wjyouththeatre.com.
June 2015 | Page 15
From Costa Rica To Majestic USA By Karena Rogers
ever in a million years did Costa Rican Katia Vargas Torres Wasden think she would be teaching dual immersion language to kids at Majestic Elementary in West Jordan, UT. Wasden grew up in Costa Rica, but love knows no bounds, and when she met and fell
in love with a man from Utah, she knew she’d follow him to the U.S. An economics professional back in Costa Rica, Wasden was determined to continue working in America and immediately started studying English. “It is very important to learn the language of the country that you live in. I learned lots of English from watching cartoons!” said Wasden. A family member told Wasden about an opening at her local elementary school, teaching both English and Spanish, and she jumped at the chance to use her skills. Wasden has taught at Majestic Elementary for over four years now as an immersion aide. She is impressed with how quickly her students learn a new language, and says that it has been an incredible honor to open the minds of the children. “Learning the native language of their peers, both Spanish and English, has cultivated
Katia Wasden, shown here with her husband, holds her official American citizenship document. Photo courtesy of Katia Wasden
Katia Wasden was sworn in as an American citizen on May 1 of this year. Photo courtesy of Katia Wasden more understanding and respect between the kids,” Wasden said. But as happy as Wasden was teaching, she felt something was missing. Wasden noticed that her students held a deep love for their country, something she never felt in Costa Rica. “Costa Ricans are not passionate about their country,” said Wasden. “I never felt loyal to Costa Rica, which is sad.” She respected
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the nationalism exuding from her students. “I decided that I wanted to feel as patriotic as my kids,” she said. She began studying for the citizenship test immediately, and was sworn in as a United States citizen on May 1 of this year. “I love the culture, the food, the people, and even the weather!” said Katia. “I love being a part of this wonderful country.” l
Page 16 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
Turnaround, Bright Eyes By Karena Rogers
e’ve all overslept and been late to school. But how would you like to wake up to your grade school principal in your room? If you’re a student at West Jordan’s Majestic Elementary, this might have happened to you this year. “We’ve also given alarm clocks to students, and checked on them at bedtime,” says Principal Todd Theobald. This is not your typical grade school. Majestic Elementary is one of three Jordan School District recipients of a pioneering approach to education founded by Partnership for Leaders in Education and The University of Virginia’s School of Business, called the “Turnaround Program.” The Turnaround Program is no cake walk. Awarded to at-risk Title 1 schools and federally funded, the program describes itself as “the only program in the country dedicated to establishing the school system conditions that set the stage for change and to building transformative leadership capacity to achieve that change.” The basis of the program is a belief that all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, race or any other societal hindrance, can learn and succeed. There are specific, measurable benchmarks that schools must follow: high attendance, consistently improving test scores, and personal growth within both students and their families, among others. The motto is: “Greater flexibility with more accountability.” (Principal Theobald only had to visit one sleeping student at home for word to travel that he was taking this program seriously). There are reduced class sizes and more personalized teaching strategies to accommodate specific needs. Along with these benefits, schools must stringently report all findings. In its second year at Majestic Elementary, the Turnaround Program is already making great strides. In 2013, the state of Utah gave Majestic Elementary a “D-“ grade. With adherence to the guidelines of the Turnaround Program, that grade was raised to a “B” in 2014. Historically one of the lowest performing schools in the district, kindergarteners at Majestic are now 96% proficient in language arts and math. District leaders and principals attended intense training to implement the program, and parents and students pledged to meet each benchmark stipulated. Four times a year, students are tested on language arts and math. Teachers then spend hours combing through those test results to determine what they can do better, what they did right and how best to tweak their curriculum for the next round of testing.
Principal Theobald checks a student’s progress on a math sheet.
This process, called “deep data diving,” is highly analytic, and many conversations take place among teachers and administration throughout the year, exploring different tactics that will best educate the students. “We know we are not going to have the highest scores in the district, but we focus on what we call ‘quick wins,’ which is simply emphasizing the positive,” Theobald said. Since its implementation at Majestic Elementary in 2013, the Turnaround Program has had its ups and downs. “There were times when I wanted give up,” Theobald admits. “We all felt this way, more than once. But when you see the pride and positive changes in these kids, many of whom struggle with tough personal lives, you want to come back and do it all again; we’ve never worked harder.” The kids have also never worked harder. With the Turnaround Program, they are partners in their own learning, making responsibility mandatory. Students know that if they work hard, their test scores will reflect that, resulting in academic competitiveness that most of these kids have never experienced. But now that they have a taste for accomplishment, they aspire to the next level, proving the success of the program Kindergarteners at Majestic Elementary are 96% proficient in math and language arts. while also instilling pride and a thirst for success in the student. “When a fourth grader runs up to me in the hall with his eyes lit up and his face beaming to tell me that he rose two levels in Sage testing, I know we’re making a difference,” Theobald said. He implements “every minute matters,” underscoring arriving to school on time, ready to learn every day. To better assist the students, teachers identify specific skills in each child and target that child’s learning time, boosting personalized abilities. “These kids are trying really hard,” Theobald said. “I tell them, ‘Win or fail at the end, doing your best is really all that matters.’” But not only are they winning, they certainly are not oversleeping anymore. l
the CHALKBOARD Sheriffs Size Up South Valley By Karena Rogers
outh Valley School had a special week recently with Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Protective Services Division. Students were able to participate in numerous events with officers, creating tools in the woodshop, planting in the greenhouse, bowling, learning basic public safety practices and just chatting about life. The aim of the visit was to inform and educate students of what police actually do on a daily basis, and how police can help the students, if needed. “We will make this an annual event,” Officer Kevin Memmott, who spearheaded the project, aptly named Sheriff’s Week, said. “It was great to answer questions about what police do for the community, and to teach these special kids about ‘stranger danger’ and how to get help during an emergency.” The 18 to 22-year-old students who attend South Valley School grapple with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. South Valley
A South Valley student checks out the bells and whistles in a police car. focuses on training these young adults in specific life skills, vocational work and transitioning into the community. In addition to regular school courses, South Valley contains state-of-the-art facilities which cater to all of the students’ special needs. “One of the main problems law enforcement faces today is a negative perception in the community,”Officer Memmott stated. “We are dedicated to changing this by reaching out to our schools and larger community to inform and educate. We are people, individuals just like you, and we work to protect and serve.” Officer Thompson and Lieutenant Huth exercise their green thumbs in South Valley’s own grow house.
June 2015 | Page 17
An Early Head Start By Karena Rogers
ver wish you could go back in time to impart some wisdom to your eighth-grade self? There are two exceptional kids at West Jordan Middle School who most likely won’t ever have to reflect on that concern. Jesus Lino and Allegra Erznoznik were recently awarded the distinguished Joseph
R. and Mary K. Gardner Scholarship, which pays them each $20,000 toward their college educations. The scholarship is awarded only to West Jordan Middle School students who meet the following criteria: students must live in temporary housing, students will be first generation college attendees and students must
maintain a 3.0 GPA. They are also required to graduate from West Jordan High School and attend a Utah college. Of the eight applicants, these two kids stood out. “I know how much this will impact my life,” Allegra said. Allegra is active in the school’s STEM program, a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach to these studies and aims to move students from the middle of the pack to the top of the pack in the international arena, advancing students’ understanding of the material. “I really want to go to college, and now I have that opportunity. It’s not just a dream anymore,” Allegra said. She lives with her retired grandparents and plays softball in her downtime. Jesus’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico. “My parents are both janitors. My sister and I want to go to college. Now that I have the scholarship, it relieves the pressure on my parents to pay for school,” he said. Aside from being an outstanding student, Jesus excels in advanced volleyball, tennis and badminton. The Joseph R. and Mary K. Gardner
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West Jordan Middle School scholarship winners Jesus Lino and Allegra Erznoznik with Principal Dixie Crowther. Scholarship was created by Joe Gardner in memory of his parents, Joseph and Mary. The Gardners instilled in their four children the importance of education. Neither Joseph nor Mary graduated college, but all of their children did. “Two of us also went on to earn graduate degrees,” said Andrea Hinojosa, daughter of Joseph and Mary, who also teaches American history at West Jordan Middle School and
oversees the scholarship. “We all worked fulltime throughout college, in addition to taking out student loans to pay for our schooling.” Joe and his siblings wanted to pass on their parents’ passion for education to more children, especially those who might not be able to otherwise obtain the opportunity of a college education. “Knowing that this money is already there, in eighth grade, is a big deal to these kids,” Hinojosa said. l
Jordan Child Development Center is Now Accepting Applications for the 2015-16 School Year!!
PRESCHOOL Jordan School District offers an inclusive, developmentally appropriate preschool experience for children from a variety of backgrounds, skill levels and abilities. This program is designed for children with developmental delays as well as typically developing children. Preschool Classroom Locations: Bluﬀdale Elementary • 14323 S. 2700 West Columbia Elementary • 3505 W. 7800 South Copper Canyon Elementary • 8917 S. Copperwood Dr. (5600 W.) JATC-2 • 12723 S. Park Avenue (2080 W) Majestic Elementary • 7430 S. Redwood Road Monte Vista Elementary • 11121 S. 2700 West Mountain Shadows • 5255 W. 7000 S. Rosamond Elementary • 12195 S. 1975 W. Silver Crest Elementary • 12937 S. Elementary Drive (5500 W.)
Non-delayed Tuition Information • Classrooms combine preschool children with & without disabilities • Children attend two or three days per week in the AM or PM session • Registration Fee: $20.00 • Tuition Costs: Two days a week $70.00/month; Three days a week $95.00/month
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Jordan Child Development Center 801-567-8510
Page 18 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
Jaguars Hire New Football Coach
By Greg James
he West Jordan High School football team has a new head coach. Alumnus Mike Meifu has been hired to take over the helm of the Jaguar football program. “West Jordan is in my blood and I am fired up to be here. Being in this school again means a lot to me. I believe this is a great time in these kids’ lives, and I am glad to be part of it,” Meifu said. The Jaguars former head coach Dan Dupaix stepped down to pursue a career outside of football. The school announced the hiring of Meifu May 21. “In my phone conversations and interviews with him, I have heard his plans for West Jordan football and his passion for West Jordan High. If I was a 17-year-old kid, I would be excited to have this man leading our team,” Athletic Director Scott Briggs said. “I watched him from the sidelines as a running back. I am not sure we have ever had a tougher back going through that line. I think we have pulled out a piece of gold in the coaching ranks.” The list of former Jaguar head coaches is
not long. In the schools 33 year history, they have had seven head coaches: Larry Sanich (1981-85), Tom Molen (85-88), Rick Bojack (89-97), Brent Hawkins (97-99), Mike Morgan (99-2013), Danny Dupaix (2014-15) and Meifu. “I have put a lot of hours in this school building, in the weight room and on the football field. To be able to come back here is cool. It is something I have dreamed of,” Meifu said. Meifu outlined his team goals and objectives at a parents and players meeting May 28. He said academic, athletic and personal improvement are his main goals for the players. “The administration and I talked about molding these players. Winning is also important. It is not worth the work if we are not trying to win. We want to develop the kids in our main three areas. I also want to build a connection to the community and pack our stadium on Friday nights,” Meifu said. Meifu graduated from West Jordan High School in 2005. He was named first team allstate for the Jaguars as a fullback in 2005 and led the team to their best season (nine wins) and a state semi-finals loss to Skyline 33-3. Meifu
Mike Meifu stands far right on the sidelines as offensive coordinator for Southern Virgina University. Photo courtesy of SVU set the single season school rushing record with 1,304 yards and scored 21 touchdowns that season. He played at Snow College for three seasons and coached there for five. As an offensive coordinator and running back coach, the Badgers played in two national championship games. He also was the offensive line coach at Southern Virginia University from
Utah Girls Tackle Football League By Crystal Couch
t nine years old, Sam Gordon of South Jordan became well-known after her father uploaded a highlight video of her playing football onto YouTube. Within 2 days it had generated over 5 million views and gained national attention from many media outlets. She has helped pave the way for females interested in what is typically known as a “boy sport”. Now in West Jordan, the very first girls tackle football league in the United States has begun. “I’m really excited to help form the first ever girls tackle football league in the U.S. A lot of my friends wanted to play tackle football but their parents didn’t want them playing with the boys, so this league is a way for them to play,” Sam said. In 2012, Sam’s first year of football, she had 25 touchdowns and 10 conversions on 232 carries for 1,911 rushing yards in a single
season, all while playing against all-male teams. They also recorded 65 tackles while she was on defense. She has been a huge inspiration for young girls and was the first female football player featured on a Wheaties cereal box. This being the league’s first year, it was limited to four teams of twelve girls in fifth and sixth grades, and was on a first-to-register basis. “The spots in the league filled up in less than a week, which shows that a lot of girls want to play. The girls who are playing in the league are having a lot of fun and love playing football! Now that girls are hearing about our new league, even more want to play, so next year it will be even bigger,” Sam said. Safety is a huge concern for the league, and all coaches are Heads Up certified, meaning that the coaches
“The spots in the league filled up in less than a
week, which shows that a lot of girls want to play.” were taught the proper way for youth to tackle, wear equipment correctly, concussion awareness and more. This league is playing with 8v8 rules, reducing the lineman. This allows the game to run at a faster pace for players to gain more touch downs and for it to be generally less physical. The first year is coming to a close, but if you have a daughter interested in joining, you can find out more information on their website: www.utahgirlstackle.com. l
2013 to 2014. “It is going to be different. Our old coaches were a small part of our family so it is hard to get used to having a new coach,” junior running back Briggance Percival said. Meifu is married to West Jordan alum Jamie Driggs. The couple has an 18-monthold son, Maximus, and are expecting another child in September. l
June 2015 | Page 19
Racing Season Gets Underway By Greg James
ocky Mountain Raceway, located in West Valley City, opened its 19th season on May 2. Despite the rain and poor weather, the racing on the oval track has been hot and heavily contested. The 3/8-mile asphalt oval has provided Utah racing fans with some high intensity racing this spring. In North American auto racing, a short track is a racetrack of less than one mile. Short track racing is where stock car racing first became an organized and regulated competition. The 11 degree banking at Rocky Mountain Raceway has provided a great place for 10 classes of cars to compete for season championships. The premier racing class at Rocky Mountain Raceway is the Maverick Modifieds. These cars sit on large, slick tires
exposed on all four corners of the car. They each run a stock crate Chevrolet 350 engine and will reach speeds at the end of the straightaway close to 100 mph. Michael Hale holds the track qualifying record, with an average speed of 86.26 mph. The 2014 modified champion, Mark Ith Jr., won the initial modified main event May 2. He is currently the class point’s leader. Jimmy Waters is in second place and Lynn Hardy is in third. On May 30 the modifieds ran a double points 100 lap main event. Dan McCoy and Ith Jr. battled nose to tail before a late race caution sent Ith Jr. to the back of the pack. McCoy finished first, 2013 track champion Tyler Whetstone second and Hardy third. “There was some bumping and The figure eight trains are a fan favorite at Rocky Mountain banging between me and Mark. My car was fast tonight. I think he was Raceway. Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography the only one that could have caught me,” McCoy said in his finish line interview that night. The track hosts several other fan favorite racing classes. The figure eight trains consist of three cars chained together. The lead car has the engine, the middle car is stripped completely and the third car has no engine but only a four-wheel braking system. The lead
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Maverick Modified car number 84 is driven by 2014 track champion Mark Ith Jr. Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography driver must navigate the figure eight track while his brakeman helps keep them from crashing in the center intersection. “I don’t know much about the cars, but I like to watch the trains and figure eight cars. They are awkward and it is fun to see them almost crash,” racing fan Jaylynn Merrill said. The double deckers are another favorite at the racetrack. In that class one car is attached on top of another. The top car steers while the bottom driver has the gas and brakes. Other racing classes include the super stocks, hornets, midgets, sprint cars, figure eights and mini cups. On July 4, Rocky Mountain Raceway is scheduled to host the annual Copper Cup Classic. Winged sprint cars from around the western United States are scheduled to compete. More information on upcoming events can be found on the track’s website www.rmrracing.com. l
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Page 20 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
West Jordan: A Youth Baseball Hotbed
By Greg James
outh baseball in West Jordan City is thriving. With two operating leagues and 10 diamonds, over 1100 of the city’s youth are pitching strikes and hitting homeruns, with numbers increasing slightly from last season. The increase in players in West Jordan is completely opposite to other areas around the country. According to a January 2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal, combined participation in the four most popular team sports -- basketball, soccer, baseball and football -- fell by roughly 4 percent among girls and boys ages six through 17. Baseball bat sales have dropped 18 percent since 2008. The leaders of local leagues attribute their success to hardworking volunteers and the excitement baseball brings to the players and families that support the leagues. “The best part of our league is that it gives kids a chance to play baseball. That is
why parents coach or help in our league. We are volunteers. It is not our league; the league belongs to the kids. We try to run it in a way to make sure they have fun, whether they can afford it or not,” West Jordan Pony president Shane Sykes said. West Jordan Pony operates at Veterans Memorial Park, 2200 West 7800 South. West Jordan/Copper Hills Baseball plays its games at Ron Wood Memorial Park, 5900 West New Bingham Highway. Both leagues boast five fields with snack bars. Each league is affiliated with different national baseball organizations. West Jordan/Copper Hills is part of Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth for the older boys. They have over 740 participants this season. Teresa Atherley is league president and manages a board of 22 volunteers. Parents help organize each age group of teams, schedule umpires, coordinate the snack bar, schedule fields and incorporate an accelerated program for more advanced players. “Our league is a family. If the call ever goes out or there is an issue, the baseball community is here for each other. We have issues, there are coaches that freak out or umpires that call games wrong, but we know that when we leave the field this is a baseball family,” Atherley said. West Jordan Pony is affiliated with the national organization PONY, which stands for “Protect Our Nation’s Youth.” They have just over 400 players in the league. Like the other league, a board of volunteers helps organize and run the league; Sykes is the league president. Both youth baseball leagues rely on West Jordan City to maintain the parks, but parents chalk the fields, rake out the rough infields and
West Jordan youth have learned to enjoy and have fun playing baseball. Eleven-year-old Colton Atherley is having fun playing first base for the Cubs at West Jordan/Copper Hills. Photo courtesy of Greg James
The West Jordan Pony players have had fun learning to play the game; the Padres were victorious over the Angels 19-2. Photo courtesy of Greg James generally maintain their baseball fields. Both leagues have had to battle the rain this season. “Rain was a major obstacle this year. The last few weeks have been crazy busy to try to play all of our games,” Sykes said. Both leagues have joined with Rocky Mountain School of Baseball to give accelerated players an advanced opportunity to play. On Saturdays both leagues host super league games on their fields and have age group teams playing alongside the more advanced players. “The level of play in our league has gone up because our advanced players have had a chance to play at a higher level with Rocky Mountain. That skill comes back into the lower level league games and makes everyone else better,” Sykes said. Atherley attributes some of the leagues’ success to Copper Hills High School’s baseball teams. “They set up a clinic and help us with
tryouts. They even have some of the players out here umpiring. I think the coaches like the kids to be out here and involved. It gives them more experience,” Atherley said. Despite the rain this season, the Mustang Yankees in the Pony league are undefeated, and the Pinto A’s, Bronco Mets and Pony Giants have only lost one game. At West Jordan/ Copper Hills, they have experienced some of the same success. The Peewee Yankees are undefeated, the Brewers have only lost once and Minor White Sox and Major Braves have two losses. “The league has been around a long time. We are dedicated to the kids 100 percent,” Sykes said. Each league will select all-star teams to compete for state championships in their age divisions. Those tournaments are scheduled to begin the end of June at various locations around the Wasatch Front. l
June 2015 | Page 21
By Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
ater conservation should be top of mind as we head into summer. Our warmerthan-normal winter and low snowpack in the mountains worries agencies who deliver water to Salt Lake County residents. According to the National Weather Service, a monitoring station at Snowbird, where snowpack normally has 41 inches of water in mid-April, had just under 21 inches. That makes it the second driest year in the past 25 years. In Big Cottonwood Canyon, the Brighton monitoring gauge was the driest it has been in 29 years. Salt Lake City Public Utilities, which manages the watershed in the county’s Wasatch Mountains, has said its goal is to conserve as much water as possible in the reservoirs, should the pattern persist next year. Salt Lake City has issued a “stage one advisory,” letting water users know to conserve. Similar warnings are being issued by other utilities, including the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, which also supplies water in Salt Lake County. Fortunately, there are steps that all of us--including government-- can take now to ensure that we get through the hot summer months ahead. Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation,
which uses water in parks, golf courses, swimming pools, ice rinks and recreation centers, has a comprehensive list of “best practices” that is followed by managers and employees. Parks and Recreation is already actively managing its water use in order to keep over 5,000 acres of park space enjoyable. Parks irrigation systems are inspected weekly and malfunctioning components are adjusted or replaced as needed. All 104 county parks are aerated at a minimum of twice a year. Aeration allows water to quickly reach the roots and reduces the amount of water applied. Ninety-one of the 104 parks are on a computer-controlled central irrigation control system. It monitors the moisture content level in the turf at each park, and the amount of water applied is adjusted based on climate conditions and rainfall. As current systems age, or fail, we are phasing in new technology in an effort to improve efficiency. If needed, due to water restrictions, our managers are able to “brown out” passive turf areas while applying enough water to keep the trees and other grassy areas alive. With respect to our recreation and golf facilities, older toilets, urinals, showers and faucets have been converted to low flow models, saving thousands of gallons of water
each day. Swimming pool water is recirculated and water is only added as needed for required operation. All new Parks and Recreation facilities are designed to a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Standard, which includes strong water efficiency requirements. Utahns consume about 240 gallons of
water per person per day. As our population increases, one way to help meet future demand is through conservation. Utah has a goal of reducing per capita water consumed by 25 percent in 2025. So far, we’ve conserved 18 percent, so we’re on the right track. For more information, visit www. conservewater.utah.gov. l
Page 22 | June 2015
West Jordan City Journal
10 FREE OR CHEAP ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS THIS SUMMER
By Joani Taylor
Limit 6. Expires 7/31/15
ummer season is the time when we are looking for things to entertain the kiddos and get them out and enjoying our fabulous Utah happenings. Here’s a handy list of things you can do with the kidlets this summer that won’t break the bank.
nee Series, where children’s matinees are held every as they are known to fill up. Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in Murray Park Pavilion #5. These Lowe’s and Home Depot Building events – While are free for all to attend. these are held year round, they are a great one to put Wheeler Farm – The farm is a fun place to visit to on your summer to do list. The classes are completely learn about farm animals. There is no admission fee free. Kids will get the materials needed for the build, Kids Bowl Free (kidsbowlfree.com) – Kids can to enter. But, there are fees for activities such as wag- a special apron, and participation pin or patch. Visit bowl 2 games for free each week at select bowling on rides, milking the cow and other special events. your local store for details. centers around the state. Shoe rental is additional and Wheeler Farm also has a kids summer camp that is Gardner Village- June 1st-August 30 th you can pre-registration is required on their website. $65 for an entire week of farming fun. keep the kids busy with one of the “Busy Bee” camps Geocaching (geocaching.com) – Seek out a hid- Megaplex and Cinemark Theaters – have summer at Gardner Village. Make your own jewelry at the den treasure by using the free mobile app or your movie passes for kids. A pass is $5.00 to $10 for 10 Busy Beader Summer Camp at The Bead Farm. Learn GPS. There are 1000’s of geocaches hidden, not only movies. While these are older movies, kids enjoy get- to knit at Kamille’s. Attend a tea party at Georgell around Utah but worldwide, making this a great ting out of the heat and seeing their favorite movies Doll Shop or Cookie College at Naborhood Bakery. travel activity, too. Check out my post on Coupon- again. Visit your local theater for details. And master the art of sewing at Pine Needles. Visit s4Utah.com for all the ins and outs of how it works. the Gardner Village website for a full list of event Splash Pads – Coupons4Utah has compiled a list of (coupons4utah.com/geocache) dates and times. over 60 splash pads across the state. Visit one close he next time you hear the kids saying those Barnes & Noble – Download a reading journal from to home or check the list for a vacation destination dreaded words “Mom, I’m bored!”, break out the website or pick one up at the store. Have your child coupons4utah.com/splashpads. this list and go make some fun summer memories. read at least 8 books during the summer and then Conservation Park (conservationgardenpark. take the completed journal to any Barnes & Noble org) – The Garden host various camps and activities Find more fun things for kids to do at store and your child can choose a free book. throughout the summer. Cost for these camps are coupons4utah.com/activities-for-kids Murray City Park – Has a summer Children Mati- usually around $7.00. You’ll want to register early
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ome craft stores are where you might go to pick up the many supplies you might need for a self-imagined project. You may even go to a big-box store for those supplies. Although this works for some craft needs, it is mostly a cold, detached experience. Heartfelt Wall Hangings challenges that experience with service that boasts a personal, friendly feel. Heartfelt Wall Hangings is a fun, boutique-style craft store, where people can come to work on a project or simply pick one up to bring home. Their real specialty, and where they set themselves apart from the rest, is in their classes. They have a fun classroom area where they offer classes, and even a Girls Night Out. The classes are on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with Girl’s Night on Friday. “We created the classes so that ladies
could have a place to come and enjoy themselves and get away for a couple hours from the everyday worries of the world,” explained Heidi Salazar, one of the owners of Heartfelt. “I always call it paint therapy.” Each month they offer a free project that each person gets when they register for a class or a girls night out. The class registration includes your seat, the free monthly project, and paints and supplies to finish any other projects purchased in the store while you are there. Girls Night includes dinner from Zupas, twenty dollars to spend on crafts, and the free monthly project. There are hundreds of other project to choose from that start as low at two dollars, and there is definitely something for everyone. The classes are not their only offering. If you don’t have time for a class, or just want something fun to do on a slow afternoon, you can also just stop by their store to peruse the many projects and purchase them, finished or
un-finished. Heartfelt can make any custom vinyl that you would like, at a very reasonable price, and there is a great assortment of other boutique items to look at and purchase while you are there. Heartfelt Wall Hangings is a family owned business that opened their West Jordan location in September of 2014. They have been in business since 2006, when they started out of their home. “It is our heartfelt desire to create a warm friendly atmosphere,” says Heidi. “We want everyone that enters as a stranger to leave as a friend.” It’s hard not to feel that way when you walk through the doors at Heartfelt Wall Hangings. Stop by their store at 1538 W 7800 S in West Jordan to see why. Visit www.heartfeltboutique.com to reserve a spot in the next class, or call 801-432-8741 to schedule a private party. l
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Children Without Borders By Peri Kinder
just learned that when I was a child, my parents were criminals. That’s a lot to take in when you thought your mom and dad were law-abiding citizens--more or less. I had no idea my parents hid a dark side until I heard that parents in Maryland were charged with neglect for letting their kids walk to the park. Alone. At first, I thought the story was a joke and kept reading for the punchline. Nope. Totally real. A neighbor called the police to report that the children were playing without the required amount of helicopter-parent supervision. Additionally, the nosy neighbor stated, “It wasn’t the first time these children played by themselves.” Gasp. The siblings were taken by Child Protective Services while the parents were investigated, and (because we have to label everything) the term “free-range parenting” was created. Free-range parenting is defined as, “A new, hands-off approach to raising children.” But other people label it as neglect. So, if I was so inclined, I could retroactively (and in my mom’s case, posthumously) have my parents thrown in the slammer. Every Saturday morning, after we finished eating Fruity Pebbles straight from the box while watching “Land of the Lost,” my mom would kick us out of the house and tell us not to come home until sunset. Then she’d slam the door. And lock it. We were cool with that. We shrugged, hopped on our bikes and went to find something to do. We’d wander through
neighborhoods like adolescent Pied Pipers, picking up other unattended children. Then we’d end up in someone’s yard playing Red Rover (aka Clothesline Your Buddies) until those parents told us to get lost. We’d amble to 7-Eleven where we’d buy candy cigarettes and Fresca (because the can looked like beer). We’d sit on the swings sipping our pretend beer and discuss whatever it is kids discuss in those situations. I’m sure we fooled everyone because doesn’t every 10-year-old sit in the park swigging a cold beer while smoking with her friends?
I guess our parents didn’t think we needed 24-hour supervision. We walked to school every day with a group of friends, rain or shine. And we frequently rode our bikes nearly two miles to the Murray Library with ne’er an adult in sight. In a time before cell phones, GPS and tracking devices, parents relied on their kids to use common sense. They taught us to avoid strangers, stay off the train tracks, don’t go into homes when the parents weren’t around and, basically, not to be stupid. My daughters could also have charged me with neglect, and they’ve probably already contacted an attorney. I often allowed them to bike to the local swimming pool and stay there for hours. They also walked to 7-Eleven—and probably bought candy cigarettes with their friends. People say, “Don’t you know how dangerous the world is?” Guess what? The world has always been dangerous. Helicopter parenting, obsessive worrying and overprotective hovering doesn’t stop bad things from happening. Here’s my definition of neglect: not allowing your children to create a feeling of independence; not allowing your children to be bored and have to create something; not allowing your kids to make mistakes, get lost, mess up and face consequences. Kids are resilient, and more often than not, they make the right decision. So I guess I’ll have to forgive my parents for teaching me to be independent and creative. Gee, thanks mom and dad. l