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April 2016 | Vol. 16 Iss. 04


City to Build New Public Works Facility By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals

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The indoor vehicle storage at the current public works facility is inadequate, according to city officials. —West Jordan City

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page 4 Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.

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Page 2 | April 2016

West Jordan Journal

Celtic Reels and Irish Tales are ‘The Craic’ at Viridian By Mylinda LeGrande | mylinda@mycityjournals.com


he luck of the Irish was in the air on March 12 at the Viridian Event Center. “The Craic” is an Irish term meaning to have a fun and social time at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. On this night, the hall was near bursting, with every seat filled, families sitting on the floor in the front and others standing at the back and along the sides. All had come to see Cross Strung, a locally grown but nationally touring family band. This national touring act performs less often in Utah and more often nationally. It is made up of three sisters and a brotherin-law. Sherrie Cluff is the leader and mother of the Cross Strung family band. She sometimes joins the band to play a bohdrum, Irish flutes and whistles. Other band members include Leah Cluff, 21, who plays violin and cello. She discovered Celtic music for the family. She recently studied it in Ireland with master musicians. Sarah Riggs, 25, plays the mandolin. Her husband, Dan, 28, plays the fiddle. Emma is 19 and plays both electric and violin bass instruments and sings vocals. Leah Cluff, one of the sisters, said, “We’ve been playing together for about 15 years. My mom wanted music in the home. We started out with bluegrass but then discovered Celtic music, so we do a little bit of everything. We’ve been touring for about five years now. We use about 12 instruments, including an Irish drum called a bohdrum. We also use Irish whistles. Some of the bands we take inspirations and songs from are, first, Hanneke Castle, a Scottish performer. She takes a modern twist to traditional music. Another band we admire is called Cricket Stills. They are incredible. They take traditional music and

Cross Strung Viridian event poster. —Mylinda LeGrande

put a completely different spin on it. Those are the bands we look for the songs that have been changed in some way and we use them [in our performances].” A few of the songs from the set list that the band played included “Fair Maiden,” “Whistle Medley,” David’s Jig,” “Danny Boy,” “Grandpa John,” “America the Beautiful,” “The Curse Reversed” and crowd favorite “Half Hung McNaughton.” Nathalie Chipping, a student at West Jordan High, is required to attend a live event every quarter for her orchestra class. “I found out about it from their website. I play cello, so I enjoyed hearing the cello part along with the songs. I like the rhythmic beat to the music,” she said. Along with the band, other entertainers at this show included Rachel and Ryan from the Acadamh Rince Irish Dancer

Clarification: In last month’s article “City Demolishes Pony Baseball Concessions Stand,” Mayor Kim V. Rolfe is quoted as saying, “A few facts: no one plans to tear down the concession stand; we have money in the budget to remodel the concession stand.” This is a true statement, and plans were moving forward to remodel the facility. However, inspections found the building to be unsafe and in such poor shape that it was torn down. A concrete pad and utility hookups are being installed to provide a place for a concessions trailer. Other options are still being considered.

Group. They wore traditional Celtic dancer costumes. While the band played, they thrilled the audience with Irish jigs and reels. It added to the festivity of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday that would be celebrated later that week. Paul Evans has been attending these concerts with his wife, Angie, for the last two years. “We have a neighborhood Facebook page. They posted about an Excellence in the Community event a few years ago, which was the first we attended. Since then, if we are [in town], we are here. We love these concerts. I’ll tell you what: the musical talent of that family — what a great blessing it is to have that kind of handclapping, foot-stomping music [available] for free. There are serious musicians that come out to perform at these events. The only thing I would change is to have the whole auditorium open. These concerts are getting popular,” he said. Besides the organizer, Jeff Whitely, the Excellent in the Community team included Austin Meeks on sound and Meg Sanderson as the photographer. Whitely founded this group after being a street musician in Paris. “We present a concert on the second Saturday of each month where we feature local musicians. Our founding premise is that Utah talent is underestimated, undervalued, underutilized and is an undervisible resource. We, in a gentle way, try to persuade civic leaders to recognize the accomplishments of Utah musicians and to harvest those accomplishments for the good of the community. If music programs are cut back in schools, please bring your kids here regularly,” he said. l

Correction: In last month’s article “West Jordan Works Toward New Copper Hills Marketplace Development,” information is incorrectly attributed to “David Murphy, West Jordan’s Development Director.” David Oka is the development director; David Murphy is the city’s capital projects manager.   In last month’s article “West Jordan Gears Up for Busy Construction Season with 7000 South Project,” project cost is listed as “over a half million dollars.” Project cost for this three-phase road project is $12.5 million. 

April 2016 | Page 3

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West Jordan Journal

Giggles and Wiggles at Kid Concert By Mylinda LeGrande | mylinda@mycityjournals.com

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More than 400 people attended the concert. —Mylinda LeGrande


n March 4, children gathered in the auditorium at the Viridian Library. They thought they were simply having fun with their parents, but this family-style concert was actually a valuable learning experience in disguise. Families got the rare opportunity to see performer Jim Gill up close to listen to music and stories while participating in singing and interactive fun. The librarian in charge was Anna Zanarini. “He emailed us and said he’d be back in town and asked if I’d be interested in his program. I said ‘for sure’; we aren’t going to say no to him. I estimate there are 400 to 500 people here. It is a great turn out — we are super excited,” she said. He presents his “concerts of play” at libraries and community events throughout the country. In addition, he also conducts workshops to early childhood educators and children’s librarians. Some of the songs he performed at this event were “Jumping and Counting,” “The Silly Dance Contest,” “Alabama Mississippi,” “Spin Again,” “I Took a Bath in a Washing Machine,” “Doe Ray Me on My Toe Leg Me” and “A Soup Opera.” In 2010, his newest book, “A Soup Opera,” was named a “Notable Children’s Book and Recording” by the American Library Association. Lynette More came with her husband, Jeremy, and kids Kemmer, 6, Stormy, 9, and Ivy, 4. “We came to see him once before when he was at Wheeler Farm three or four years ago. Then we saw a flyer a few days at the library. I remembered we’d seen this guy before and knew my four-year old would love it. My kids seem like they are loving it,” she said. According to his website, Jim Gill has a unique approach to his concerts for young children and families. This is because his graduate studies in child development have convinced him that family play is more important to young children than music alone, whether the music is classical, folk or rock and roll.

Jim Gill’s concert poster. —Mylinda LeGrande

Megan Wander came with her husband, Austin, and children: daughter Lexi, 3, and son Ben, 8 months. She said, “I really like Raffi [another children’s musician], so when I saw [Jim Gill] was coming, I looked him up on YouTube. I saw he was a big deal. My daughter loves music and to dance.” While Wander was being interviewed, her husband, Austin, came out of the auditorium and laughed as he said, “I’m getting a workout in there.” Each of Jim’s concerts is an active sing-along and clap-along. He bangs out energetic rhythms on his banjo while everyone claps, jumps, dances and even sneezes along. The concert is filled with songs and stories from Jim’s award-winning recordings and books for young children. Jim’s approach is beyond the music. According to his website, “Jim’s true art is to create a joyful musical experience for children and parents together. Every concert becomes part of Jim’s ongoing Family Room Tour where Jim’s music play creates a family room in each concert hall, library or school auditorium he visits.” Gill holds a master’s degree in child development from the Erikson Institute of Chicago and spent 20 years directing weekly programs in music and movement play in the Chicago area. “During the best concerts, the children are watching and playing along with the adults in the audience as much as they are watching me,” Gill said. “I lead the games, but the children are most likely to remember the joy of their family play.” He commented on Facebook about this event. He said, “Many thanks to the Salt Lake County Library for inviting me to lead a concert last night for about 400 children, parents and grandparents that were ready to sing and play along. Thanks to the children’s library staff for sharing my music and books during story times and introducing so many families to my songs over the years.” l


W estJordanJournal.Com

April 2016 | Page 5

David N. Sundwall, M.D. Selected to Lead Rocky Mountain Care

New Chief Medical Officer Brings a Wealth of Experience


ocky Mountain Care, the leading transitional rehabilitation community in the Western United States, has appointed David N. Sundwall, M.D. as the new Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Sundwall will provide dedicated leadership as the organization moves into its next level of development. He will focus on improving our overall abilities, quality of care, best practices and quality measures. Dr. Sundwall is currently a Professor of Public Health at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and has considerable experience in the health care field, including having served as the executive director of the Utah Department of Health for six years (2005– 2011). In this capacity, he has the responsibility of overseeing 1,000 employees and managing

a $2 billion budget. His leadership will be invaluable as RMC continues to position itself as a leader in the industry, offering high-quality programs for all people entrusted to their care. RMC is known for creating an environment that treats patients and family members with kindness, integrity, respect and dignity. As CMO, Dr. Sundwall will provide medical oversight and expertise to the Rocky Mountain Care’s Medical Directors and deliver strategic guidance on the implementation of innovative clinical programs to position RMC as a trailblazer in health care. His leadership will build on the more than 20 years of individualized care that has earned RMC the reputation of being a trusted member of the communities they serve. Dr. Sundwall has considerable experience in health policy and administration at the national level. He lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 24 years, working in both Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government, as well as in leadership positions in the private sector. Throughout his

career, he maintained a medical license and volunteered in public health clinics, providing primary care to medically underserved populations. Dr. Sundwall has served on a number of boards and councils throughout his career and is currently on the Board of Directors for Senior Whole Health (based in Boston, Massachusetts), the Maliheh Free Clinic, the University of Utah School of Dentistry National Advisory Committee, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Health and Safety Committee, David Eccles School of Business Masters in Health Administration Advisory Council, and the Salt Lake Advisory Board for Zions Bank. He is board certified in internal medicine and family practice, and works as a primary care physician in a Utah public health clinic two half-days each week. In 2014, Dr. Sundwall was chosen as Utah Doctor of the Year by the Utah Medical Association and was honored by a proclamation by Gov. Gary R. Herbert at the state capitol. l




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Page 6 | April 2016


West Jordan Journal

Local Societies’ Projects Enliven West Jordan’s Oldest Cemetery


By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals



esert Star Playhouse, the theater that’s built a reputation for producing laugh out loud, family-friendly musical comedies, continues its 2016 season with the comedic whodunit. “Murder on the FrontRunner Express: A Clue-less Pyramid Scheme!” This hilarious spin on murder-mystery and Utah county health product startups is a laugh for the whole family. The show opened March 24 at Desert Star Playhouse. The new St. George to Salt Lake leg of the FrontRunner Express is on its first trip north, and the governor has pulled out all the stops to make this a flawless trip by hiring the best train inspector in the world, Inspector Jacques Clueless. Little does the inspector know, with recent legislation changes, the unpopular governor has a target on his back. And when the train’s crew starts turning up dead, all passengers become suspects. Could the killer be the rich widow Madame Beehive, the social media darling Kimye, the disenfranchised millennial Jared Jr. or the beautiful tech savvy Lucy Jones? Find out in this hilarious ride of a comedy! Written by Ed Farnsworth and directed by Scott Holman, “Murder on the FrontRunner Express” runs March 24 through June 4. The evening also includes another of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The Don’t Touch that Remote Contr-Olio will feature some of your favorite TV theme songs, with a unique and always hilarious, 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 and smoothies while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table.

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hen Lyman and Harriet Wight’s baby son died in the early 1850s, they chose to bury him next to a grave of an Indian infant, just south of the fort where they lived in the West Jordan area. When they buried their child next to the infant, they gave root to a pioneer cemetery that still exists today. Their story is found in historical documentation kept by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers — a national society that reveres and preserves the heritage of the Utah pioneers. The local chapters of Daughters of Utah Pioneers and its brother society, Sons of Utah Pioneers, plan to dedicate and revitalize this landmark, now known as Wight’s Fort Cemetery, by restoring its plaque and installing a memorial in April and May. The cemetery, located at about 9000 South 3480 West, is the oldest cemetery in West Jordan, and people are still being buried there, Elaine Crane, captain of the local chapter of Daughter of Utah Pioneers, said. “My family’s lived in West Jordan for 32 years, and we’ve driven past the cemetery countless times, but it is almost lost with buildings around it,” she said. “One day while driving past [the cemetery] I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun as a group to put an arch up over the entrance naming it?’” In September 2014, Crane proposed her idea to the board, and they agreed to move forward with the initiative. Board member Colleen Barlow was especially supportive, according to Crane. Barlow raised her children in a house right across the street from the cemetery where the Jordan Valley Medical Center now stands. Her family would always go to the American Legion’s gun salute at the cemetery each Memorial Day, and her sons enjoyed playing spooky pranks on their friends at the cemetery. The cemetery must have made an impact on her sons, because they are now helping with the arch project, Barlow said. Barlow’s son Reed Barlow, a professional engineer, drafted the plans for the archway that were presented to the city council in December 2014 and approved in February 2015. The arch will be 16 feet wide and 16 feet tall with the words “Wight’s Fort Cemetery, Established in 1853” etched into it, according to Elaine Crane. Colleen Barlow’s son Hyrum Barlow, a professional metal worker, will be building the steel archway that will be powder-coated

Daughters of Utah Pioneers sold quilts, bonnets, dolls and other pioneer staples at West Jordan Independence and Pioneer Day events. This quilt, crafted by Colleen Barlow of the society, includes historical West Jordan sites in its textile pattern. —Elaine Crane

forest green, and her sons Joshua, Henry and Jacob Barlow will install the archway at its position at the cemetery, she said. The Daughters of Utah Pioneers raised money for the arch by selling homemade aprons, blankets, tablecloths, dollies, toys, dolls, bonnets and other staple items of the Utah pioneers at the city’s Independence Day parade and Pioneer Day Rodeo in 2015. They had enough money to begin construction of the archway but are still accepting more donations through Elaine Crane at 801-569-2180. Crane said she believes the arch will be finished by mid-May. They’ll have a ceremony to introduce the arch and dedicate the grave site on March 21 at 10 a.m., because it’s not known if the site was previously dedicated, she said. Elder Allan Packer, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will dedicate the grave, and light refreshments will be served, Crane said. The Sons of Utah Pioneers will be hosting their own ceremony with Wight’s Cemetery to restore the naming plaque monument that’s been in the cemetery for years. The ceremony will take place on April 16 at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. Jim Crane, Elaine Crane’s husband, said he and the other local members of the Sons of Utah Pioneers are replacing the old plaque with a new one because it’s faded and has become difficult to read. The plaque gives the history of the Wight’s Fort Cemetery, he said. Elaine Crane said both organizations hope that these installments in the cemetery will give new life to an old historical site. l

April 2016 | Page 7

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West Jordan Journal

City to Build New Public Works Facility By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals

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Due to a water leak, part of the ceiling collapsed at the West Jordan Public Works facility. —West Jordan City


uilding a new public works facility has been a hot topic on the city council agenda for the past seven years, according to Mayor Kim Rolfe, but the spot for the facility was undecided until the city council meeting on Feb. 24. City staff proposed the new facility be built over the current 10-acre facility and the seven acres of city-owned land that’s adjacent to the north, at approximately 7960 South 4000 West. The vote passed four to three. Councilmember Jeff Haaga toured the current facility and said it presented safety hazards to the city employees working there. The facility has inadequate ventilation, holes in the ceiling and inadequate amounts of indoor parking space, among other problems, said Kim Wells, spokeswoman for the city. The building was dedicated in October 1986, when the city had 35,744 people, and today the city has over 110,000 residents, Wells said. Jim Riley, facilities project manager, said the city’s expected growth over the next few decades will require a larger facility. The council members were all in favor of a new facility, but there was deliberation over where the facility should be constructed. The 17 acres of land that encompass the current facility and the area to the north would be the least expensive solution, according to Mark Palesh, city manager, but it would also cause the demolition of two soccer fields. “I’m in favor of the new facility, but it’s my experience that when you take away a park, you don’t often get one back,” Councilmember Zach Jacob said. With Councilmember Chris McConnehey absent, the vote failed during the Feb. 10 city council meeting three to three, with Councilmembers Sophie Rice, Chad Nichols and Jacob dissenting. Nichols said it might be possible to sell the city land to make a profit and purchase another site for the facility, and Rice said she wanted to look into other options.

“This may be the best spot, but just in case, I would prefer to table this item until next meeting,” she said. Rolfe brought the item back on the agenda for the Feb. 24 meeting. “This is a less-than-adequate facility, and to put this off is not the right thing to do,” he said. During the meeting, representatives from public works showed a map of potential land sites that they might be able to obtain for the facility in the same region of the city. Most of the sites were private land that the city might be able to purchase. Rolfe and Haaga said they still believed the plot that staff proposed was the best option. “Soccer needs to be taken care of, but we need to take care of this now,” Haaga said. “I am not going to be the council member that’s not paying attention to the safety of our employees.” Brian Clegg, director of parks and recreation, said his department has a shortterm fix for the soccer field shortage by opening up fields that they were planning on closing for maintenance this season. He said that in the long term they would open up new fields in the Ron Wood complex, on 5900 W. New Bingham Highway. “In the end, there would be no loss of any kind,” Clegg said. Chad Barnett, of West Jordan Youth Soccer, said the fix would work in the short term, but in the long term it might not work because the teams would need more than just replacement fields; they would need additional fields because the league is growing. Jacobs proposed an amendment to the motion of approving the facility site. He proposed that city staff look into options for obtaining the sports fields. The motion with the amendment passed with Councilmembers McConnehey, Rice and Dirk Burton dissenting. McConnehey said the site would have been a “prime place” for economic development. l

April 2016 | Page 9

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West Jordan Journal

Bangerter Highway to Transform into Freeway By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals

The Utah Department of Transportation plans to convert four intersections on Bangerter Highway into freeway-style interchanges, like this one at Redwood Road. —Tori La Rue


he Utah Department of Transportation plans to convert all of Bangerter Highway’s intersections into freeway-style interchanges, and four of those intersections will likely be started in the 2017 construction year. “We have experienced growth across the state and the southwest part of valley. The population should nearly double soon, and we need to plan ahead and plan for that growth,” John Gleason, spokesman for UDOT, said. “Bangerter Highway has become a highly traveled road that we want to function in an efficient way to additional traffic.” Construction on Bangerter Highway at 600 West in Draper has already started, and the department is conducting studies now to see how freeway-style interchanges would affect Bangerter’s intersections at 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 114000 South, according to the UDOT website. The plan is to begin construction at these sites at the start of construction season in 2017, Gleason said. The four intersections will be patterned after the Bangerter Highway interchanges at 7800 South and at Redwood Road. They will likely take one year to complete, and the department will work on them simultaneously so they can “get in and get the job done,” Gleason said. “There’s short-term headaches with any construction, but the long-term payoff is great,” he said. “It’s such an important corridor that we need traffic to continue moving.” Chase Tripp, of South Jordan, said she’s not happy about the construction. She said she takes Bangerter Highway every day to work, and she thinks traffic already runs smoothly. She said the freer-flowing traffic after the interchanges are installed might not be worth the slow traffic during the construction time.

Holley Robinson, of Taylorsville, said she’ll be avoiding Bangerter Highway for a year, but she believes that the interchanges are an excellent idea. She said she hopes the department looks into all options before doing all of them at the same time. “It seems like they could potentially bite off more than they can chew, and that’s potentially dangerous because the more construction and rerouting of traffic may cause more accidents,” she said. In the fall of 2014, several car crashes, one of them fatal, occurred at the construction site of the Bangerter Highway and Redwood Road interchange, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. People who took that route commented on how confusing the intersection was during construction, according to a news report by Fox 13. UDOT evaluated the intersections and made changes, according to both reports. “On all of our projects, safety is the number-one priority and consideration,” Gleason said. He said safety is one of the things the department is looking at now during the study phase of the project. The projected cost of the four intersections is nearly $196 million, with the 5400 South intersection at $60.2 million, 7000 South at $41.1 million, 9000 South at $49.2 million and 114000 South at $45.4 million, according to the department. When the four are completed, seven of the corridor’s intersections will have freeway-style interchanges, and the other 11 intersections will be converted “as funding allows,” according to UDOT documents. The projected cost of the entire corridor, 18 interchanges, is about $830 million. Residents can offer their feedback by emailing bangerter@utah.gov or by calling the project hotline at (888) 766-7623. l


W estJordanJournal.Com

April 2016 | Page 11

City Council Approves New Recreation Center By Taylor Stevens | taylors@mycityjournals.com

Thank you Tony!

Although some council members were resistant to approving the development of a new recreation and aquatics center on cityowned property at Ron Wood Park on 5900 West New Bingham Highway, the council hired an architect on Feb. 24 in order to move forward with the project. —Taylor Stevens


he West Jordan City Council took the first steps toward developing a new aquatic and recreation center at Ron Wood Park on 5900 West New Bingham Highway with a 5-2 vote on Feb. 24. The recreation center has been a discussion item for several years, and the cost of the center will be in the range of $35 to $40 million, according to Kim Wells, West Jordan’s public information officer. “Over the last few years, there have been talks to build a new rec center on the west side of our growing city,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said in his mayor’s message. “This proposed rec center will be in addition to the county-owned Gene Fullmer Rec Center and will be owned and operated by the city rather than the county.” The council approved an agreement on Feb. 24 with the firm VCBO Architecture to design the center. The design costs were mandated not to exceed $1.6 million. Councilmembers Chris McConnehey and Chad Nichols voted against the proposal, citing a desire to see more numbers before they committed the city’s money. “I’m not quite ready to commit $1.6 million quite yet,” McConnehey said. “There’s still more information I’d like to see.” Specifically, McConnehey said he wanted to see numbers “around population and distance from the proposed sites to see how reasonable of an expectation it is that this could be self-sustaining” and to ensure that there would be enough resident demand for the recreation center. Councilmember Jeff Haaga expressed concerns about the location of the

The city approved an aquatic and recreation center on Feb. 24, which will join other amenities at Ron Wood Park on 5900 West New Bingham Highway. —Taylor Stevens

recreation center, as well — particularly the lack of commercial development in the area immediately surrounding the location. “I think it’s a terrible location,” Haaga said. “Where we’re planning to put it here in the middle of nowhere, you all know I’ve been opposed to that. I think it’s a mistake.” However, Haaga put aside his concerns and voted for the development so the project could move forward conceptually, he said. “Maybe in time, we’ll have things around [the area], so I’m going to support the motion and hope and pray that we have homes built out there eventually, so we have people that can utilize it,” Haaga said. Rolfe said that the city-owned location on which the project will be developed is one of the assets of the center. “Having it here … puts it adjacent to the water park, the playground, the tennis courts, the Ron Wood baseball fields — it really becomes a destination for everyone in the city, I believe, at this particular location,” Rolfe said. “There will be nothing like this complex in the entire valley that we put in this location.” Construction on the project should begin in late fall and will last approximately 18 months, Wells said. “We are still in the very early stages of this proposed project,” Rolfe said in his mayor’s message. “Details like membership costs, specific programs and funding mechanisms are still being discussed.” He said the goal is to “create a fantastic amenity for our residents” that is financially sustainable “as a standalone facility.” l

The West Jordan Chamber of Commerce Business to Education Partnership Council (BEPC) wishes to thank Anthony Lopez, student at Copperhills High School for his meticulous work in producing a video of business leaders talking to high school students about job interviews. The Chamber arranged for six business professionals to come to the high school to be part of the video with general topics to cover. “We gave complete control of the setting to Anthony. He was meticulous about setting up the equipment, lighting and sound. He put the business people at ease while recording them and had complete editorial control over the finished product. Many business people and educators have viewed the finished video and have complemented the production—this is thanks to Anthony’s work on this project.” Steve Fifield, BECP Chair and VP Cyprus Credit Union It’s a pleasure to recommend Anthony as a highly skilled and professional video producer and editor and a great addition to any school program or company that decides to hire him in the future. If you’d like to view the video he produced, go to: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=qBka6QAvGhoIt BEPC - The purpose of the Business to Education Partnership Council (BEPC) is to develop, enhance and support partnerships among local businesses and the education community.


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Page 12 | April 2016


District Plans to Rebuild West Jordan Middle School


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West Jordan Journal

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

The Jordan School District is looking to build eight new schools within the next five years, including the complete rebuild of West Jordan Middle School. –West Jordan Middle School


he Jordan School District Board of Education is seeking feedback about their proposed 5-Year Building Construction Plan before deciding on an official bond amount for the November ballot. “We’re trying to be good listeners. This is a community effort,” Susan Pulsipher, president of the board, said. “We want to know what the majority of the community thinks should happen prior to voting on the bond for the ballot. We want it to reflect the will of the community.” Pulsipher said the new schools are a need. Copper Hills High School has the highest student population in the state, with Herriman High School trailing closely behind in second place, according to data released by the school board. The district can only place so many students in one school before it starts impacting education, Pulsipher said. After the last bond went “up in a blaze of not much glory,” the district listened to resident comments about frugality and cut back on maintenance and other operation costs in order to fund two elementary schools entirely on capital reserve, Kayleen Whitelock, board member, said during a West Jordan City Council meeting. The draft of the school board’s 5-year Building Construction Plan proposes the building of six additional schools, funded by bonds – including four schools in the South Valley area and a complete rebuild of West Jordan Middle School. At 60 years old, West Jordan Middle School is the oldest building in the district, and, according to Pulsipher, the other two schools that were built at the same time have already been torn down and replaced. Last summer the boiler was replaced and the air conditioning was installed in the building for the first time. It’s only a matter of time before more serious renovations would need to happen at the school, Pulsipher said. “We talked about a remodel, but after a cost analysis, we realized it’d be cheaper to completely redo the school,” Pulsipher said. Dixie Garrison, principal at West Jordan Middle School, said she is “completely in favor” of the new school being built, because it would revitalize excitement and

learning. “I believe we would see a bump in achievement because teachers and students would have a space that is comfortable and better facilitates learning,” she said. “The old school has a lot of character, but it also has a lot of problems. It would be important to carry the history of the old building over to the new building.” Garrison said she’d like to see a new auditorium in the style of the school’s old auditorium because it’s a unique part of the school that the school and community both use, but she said she’d like the district to change the way the school faces to be towards the neighborhood instead of Redwood Road, for safety purposes. The bond and new school have the potential to show West Jordan Middle School students that education is important to their community, Garrison said. “It would be a shame if the upcoming bond were to only include money for growth or new schools,” she said. “The students deserve to learn in a facility that is just as nice as any new area of the District.” The bond amount that will be proposed to fund the new West Jordan Middle School and the other five schools is yet to be determined, but, according to Pulsipher, the school board will determine the details of the bond before May, and it will be on the November ballot. The draft of the building plan estimates that it will take between $208 to $247.2 million to construct these schools, not including furnishings. The projected cost of the new West Jordan Middle School alone is between $32.5 to $38.5 million, according to the building plan. The plan states that the district would begin construction in 2017, and open the school for the 2019-20 school year. Residents may review the building plan by searching for “5-Year Building Construction Plan” on jordandistict.org, and may contact the school board with feedback using the board members’ contact information located under the “Board of Education” tab on the same site. l


W estJordanJournal.Com

West Hills Introduces Steampunk to an 1870s Musical By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals

Girls sport steampunk-meets-Victorian-style costumes in their school’s musical.


est Hills Middle School combined comedic opera with steampunk style in their production of “The Pirates of Penzance” in March. Students requested a school musical with prominent roles for boys and with lots of stage time for chorus members, producer Clarisse Offen said. “The Pirates of Penzance” was a great fit for these reasons, but the production crew feared that the students wouldn’t enjoy it because its roots date back to 1879, Offen said. “We wanted to do our own thing with it, so that it would be unique, and steampunk just worked,” Judy Binns, volunteer director, said. “I thought the kids would dig it, and they do. It gives it that little something extra to say, ‘We’re West Hills and we’re awesome.’” In the steampunk genre, science fiction and new technology meet the Victorian era, producing an edgy and industrial oldfashioned look. Metallic gears hung from the school’s ceiling over the stage, and the students’ homemade costumes combined lacy designs with dark leather to set the scene during the show’s run on March 11 and 12. The classic story unveiled in its new environment as ex-pirate Frederic, played by Nathan Cooley, stumbled upon the daughters of Major-General Stanley and fell in love with one of them. Abigale Hokanson, who plays the love-sick daughter named Mable, said her favorite scene is when the ensemble of police come on stage and sign about how they will die to protect the Major-General’s family from any pirates. Major-General Stanley, the man with the most power in the show, was played by Gavin Robinson, the shortest member of the cast. Gavin, 12, said this was his second play and he got butterflies when waiting to go on stage. “Once I get on stage, I am ready to go,” he said. “It just feels so cool to be on stage and have people laugh at you.” Gavin sang “Major-General,” a fast-

paced tongue-twister song in which he describes his qualities. Gavin stood on a wooden crate as he sang the song, helping him to stand out among the rest of the cast. In another song, the policeman danced in rigid form, occasionally breaking out a more modern dance move. Offen designed the policemen’s outfits, with olden-time collared white shirts as a contrast to their modern-style dance. Alene Peterson helped two of her granddaughters make their costumes for the show. She said they modified skirts from the DI and found steampunk accessories to give their outfits some flair. “It was funny because the Zurchers was basically all out of steampunk accessories because everyone had rounded up supplies from there for the show,” she said. After seeing the performance, Peterson said she loved the concept of combining “The Pirates of Penzance” with steampunk. “I’d seen the play before, but they altered the play to fit the age of the kids,” Peterson said. “It really worked. Steampunk made it just fantastic.” The cast consisted of 72 sevenththrough ninth-graders, with six students on stage crew and six more running the technical booth. The directors, producers and other helpers are volunteer moms whose kids attend West Hills. Offen didn’t have any children attending West Hills this year, but she said she loves helping with the school musical so much that she didn’t want to miss this year. “Judy and I decided that even after all of our kids have grown out of West Hills, we want to still keep the musical alive and around,” she said. Spectator Brian Hall said West Hills pulled the play off so well that he would have thought they were in high school. He said he was surprised West Hills didn’t charge an admission fee. “This is the type of thing I would pay to see,” he said.l

April 2016 | Page 13

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Page 14 | April 2016

West Jordan Journal

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t wasn’t until after taking career tests that Kenzie Prows, 17, decided she might want to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a dental assistant. “My cute mom pulled out all of her books and tools, and that’s when I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue,” Kenzie said. Kenzie said her love of working with people, working with her hands, memorizing and leading proved to be of use when she participated in the Jordan Applied Technology Center’s Certified Dental Assisting Program during her junior year of high school. She was the vice president of the Health Occupation Student Association over her class at the JATC, where she earned multiple awards for leadership. The experience helped her to land an internship at SoJo Dental, where she now works as a certified dental assistant, she said. Her long-term goal is to make it back to the Jordan Applied Technology Center as a teacher. “I want to pay it forward to the future generations and dedicate my life to doing

what I love,” Kenzie said. In the meantime, Kenzie’s plan is to graduate from high school this year and continue working at SoJo Dental while attending Utah Valley University, where she said she aspires to be a Wolverine Ambassador. She said she also wants to continue serving in the community. In her spare time, Kenzie puts together dental hygiene kits for the South Valley Center, a local domestic abuse shelter in West Jordan. Kenzie was selected to represent West Jordan High School in the Skilled and Technical Education Category for the statewide Sterling Scholar Awards. She said she felt ecstatic and honored to have this opportunity. “Going to state was actually terrifying,” she said. “After my first interview they said they told all the applicants the next day whether or not they had moved on to the next round. However, at my last interview, they told me that I would not find out until March 10 when I was on stage being filmed at the LDS Conference Center in front of 800 plus people — if that’s not

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Kenzie Prows examines cow teeth at the Jordan Applied Technology Center.

intimidating, I don’t know what is.” Kenzie didn’t win state sterling scholar, but she said she knew she gave it all that she had, and she said it was an honor to make it as far as she did. “All the skills I’ve gained through my CTE experience has completely enhanced my portfolio in the dental as well as the academic world,” she said. l

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April 2016 | Page 15

Grizzly Basketball Competes at High Level By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


t finally came to an end — the end of an era and the end of prominent high school careers for several seniors on the Copper Hills High School boys and girls basketball teams. It was an end not to be forgotten and always to be savored. “We really try to keep this all in perspective. We keep it together with the 17 kids on the varsity team and go game by game. It is fun to compete at a high level. This is something we have tried to build at Copper Hills,” Grizzlies’ boys head coach Andrew Blanchard said this season. The Grizzlies’ girls and boys teams both advanced deep into the state playoffs this season. The Lady Grizzlies finished their season undefeated and advanced to the 5A semifinals. They ran into another team that was also undefeated, the Layton Lancers. Despite a valiant overtime effort, they fell 46-44. The girls semifinal game between the two unbeaten teams offered overtime drama, controversial calls and a memorable physical battle between the two clearly superior teams. Layton jumped out to a 17-3 lead, but senior Shirsten Wissinger scored 9 second-quarter points to help the Grizzlies go into halftime down by one, 23-22. “I am so lucky to have a coach and a team that pushes me to be the best person I can be. We have had to earn it every day in practice,” Wissinger said earlier this season. In the second half the score was tied seven times and neither team led by more than two points. Then things got pretty strange. Wissinger, who finished with 22 points,

fouled out on a controversial offensive foul at the end of regulation. The officials then lined the players up going the wrong direction for the overtime tip-off, causing all sorts of confusion. Layton scored an uncontested layup as a result, but Copper Hills never gave up. “Every team struggles to find that closeness. This has been a magical season. The wins are great and everyone likes to win, but I like to see the individual growth. This is when coaching is fun,” girls head coach Ben Morley said. The Grizzlies had several shots as the clock ran down in overtime but were unable to connect. Their season came to an end as the Lancers advanced to the championship game. The magic continued for the Grizzlies’ boys team. Their road to a 5A championship game was highlighted by a semifinal victory over top-ranked Lone Peak. They finished second in region 3 and had 22 regular season victories. “I could not be more proud of what these kids have accomplished. They have battled through adversity and they’ve had a great career,” Blanchard said. The region 3 regular season champions, the Bingham Miners, were all that stood between the Grizzlies and their state championship goal. The Miners proved to be too much and pulled away in the second half for a 61-44 victory. The Grizzlies controlled the game pace in the first half. They led 24-23 at halftime. Seniors Charlie Olson and Preston Sanchez poured in nine and six points respectively to keep the Grizzlies in control.

Copper Hills established itself as a basketball powerhouse this season. — Copper Hills High School

The third quarter proved to be the back breaker. The Miners outscored the Grizzlies in one stretch 18-3 and pulled away. Sanchez finished with 12 points and Olson 10 in the loss. The Grizzlies have 12 senior basketball players that are scheduled to graduate this spring, but its coaches said this is just the beginning. “Our school is pretty proud of what both teams have done. There is a program in place where players can get involved at a young age and have a great experience. We will be strong in the years to come,” Morley said.l

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oin us as we spend the morning planting trees, spreading bark mulch, pulling weeds, cleaning flower beds, painting and sprucing up the park and arena. Volunteers check in at Veterans Memorial Park, 8030 South 1825 West, from 7-8 a.m. where they will be divided into project groups and enjoy donuts, juice and receive a t-shirt. Projects run 8 a.m. until noon when volunteers meet back at the Veterans Memorial Park pavilion for pizza. All ages are welcome to participate. In addition to making improvements to the community, Comcast will donate money based on the number of volunteers who attend. Last year we raised over $16,000 that was distributed to local nonprofits. Please register in advance so that we can plan projects, t-shirts and food. Details and registration online at WJordan.com or email julieb@wjordan.com.

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

Springtime is a busy time around the city. Crews are installing LED lights on more than 5,000 streetlights; repairing roads damaged by winter weather; preparing parks and sports fields for the season and moving forward on many projects that have been in the planning phases waiting for warmer weather. One project I look forward to each spring is our community-wide cleanup. We are excited to partner with Comcast and serve as a project location for their nation-wide Comcast Cares Day (see article at left). I invite you to join me as we plant trees, spread mulch, paint and spruce up Veterans Memorial Park and the arena. Make it a family event and teach your kids the value of community service as we work to beautify our community. We had more than 1,200 volunteers last year and want to beat that record this year! Participants are encouraged to register in advance so that Comcast can provide enough t-shirts and meals. There is an online registration form accessible from the city’s calendar at WJordan.com or you can email julieb@wjordan.com for a registration form and details. Please mark your calendar and spread the word. Springtime is also when green waste collection resumes, making it easier to beautify your yard. Please help us extend the life of the landfill by recycling your grass clipping, leaves, small branches and other green waste. Simply put green waste in the green can and put it curbside on your regular trash collection day. Please help beautify our City. We also have free dumpsters available to help with your spring cleaning. You can schedule a dumpster for regular trash or green waste every 60 days. As you can imagine, this is a popular program. Even though the City Council doubled the amount of dumpsters from previous years, availability can be limited, so plan ahead. Find out more by visiting WJordan.com. Thanks for doing your part to help keep our community clean and green!


Page 20 | April 2016

West Jordan Journal

Jaguar Football Players Make College Intentions Known By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com Hunter Christensen, a Jaguar wide receiver and tight end, signed a letter of intent to play college football at Dixie State in St. George. —Shelly Oliverson


ollege football coaches have added West Jordan High School as a definite stop to shop for talent. The Jaguars’ first-year head coach Mike Meifu has helped several players find opportunities to continue playing football after their high school careers have ended. “For a lot of these kids it is a dream come true. An opportunity to play at the next level is what some kids work for. It can also help them to be able to afford to pay for college. It is a big deal,” Meifu said. BYU snagged the biggest Jaguar recruit, senior Atunaisa Mahe, a 6-foot, 285-pound defensive lineman. Mahe committed to the Cougars during his junior season but made it official this spring. He had 38 tackles, five for loss and three sacks during his senior season. In addition to football, Mahe played rugby and is an impressive power lifter for the Jaguars. He received an honorable mention at football all-state. “He [Mahe] is a stud of a kid. He is extremely hardworking and humble. He plays the game the right way and is very strong. He really learned his position,” Meifu said.

Scott Clayburn signed to play football at Minot State in North Dakota. — Shelly Oliverson

Tight end Hunter Christensen signed his letter of intent to play at Dixie State. Christensen, a 6-foot-3, 203-pound wide receiver and tight end was voted the team’s most valuable player and first team all-region 3. He has a 4.0 grade point average. “He [Christensen] stepped in for us when we had an injury at tight end. He has good size and speed and creates mismatches for the other teams. I think he will do well down at Dixie. He will be an asset for any school,” Meifu said. Second team all-state offensive lineman Tryce Leuluai has signed to play at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound offensive lineman as been clocked at 5.02 seconds in the 40-yard dash. “Tryce has high standards in the classroom. He was our team captain and has a great work ethic and high character. Scotty [Clayburn] was one of our team leaders; both are great young men,” Meifu said. Clayburn stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 330 pounds. He signed for Minot State in North Dakota. He was named

BYU grabbed Jaguar senior Atunaisa Mahe as part of their 2016 recruiting class. —Shelly Oliverson

Jaguar offensive lineman Tryce Leuluai signed to play football at Colorado Mesa University. —Shelly Oliverson

second team all-region and also played rugby for the Jaguars. “I am sure we will have more kids picked up as we go into summer. These kids are all West Jordan kids. People do not always think that kids can get scholarships if they play at West Jordan, but they can if they work hard and prepare themselves. These are all high-character kids,” Meifu said. Meifu has had experience recruiting for college programs. He was an assistant coach at Snow College and Southern Virginia University before returning to his alma matter, West Jordan, as its head coach. “I think there is a benefit to have me here. I know what colleges are looking for and what schemes they run. I can see how a player’s skill will translate into college programs,” Meifu said. The Jaguar coaches help the players gather and distribute films, but Meifu said their abilities, test scores and overall grades can have a huge impact. Many colleges do not offer full scholarships to athletes. Academic scholarships afford many players the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. l

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April 2016 | Page 21

W estJordanJournal.Com

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Nine Tips for Saving Money at the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland


isneyland: it’s Utah’s favorite theme park. With the exception of California, it’s estimated that more people from Utah visit Disneyland per capita than from any other state, but it’s expensive. Setting the whopping cost of admission aside, it’s not uncommon to see folks spending a king’s fortune on food and merchandise. Disney is a magical place for the kiddos, but the real magic for adults is figuring out how to pay a visit without breaking the bank. It’s been a while since I visited Disneyland, so I turned to some of the frugal moms that write for Coupons4Utah.com and travel expert Krista Mayne from Wasatch Travel for some moneysaving advice to help you save on your next Disney trip. Here are their tips and tricks for saving money at the most magical place on earth. #1 — Check with a travel agent before booking. When you purchase a package, many airlines offer bulk airfare discounts when combined with either a hotel or car or both. Travel agents have access to these for you. Going off-season and staying in an off-property resort can yield the highest savings. #2 — Check for group rates. Disney offers various discounts for military members, college students, credit union members, corporate and government groups, teachers and youth groups.



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#3 — We find the three-day hopper pass to be the best ticket value, as it allows you one early entrance into one park. This means you can ride some popular rides before the crowds pick up. We suggest spending one full day at Disneyland, one day at Disney’s California Adventure Park and one day going between parks to visit anything you missed or want to see again. You don’t have to use these days consecutively, so add a few beach days in between. #4 — Make use of the hotels shuttle service. Disneyland charges $17 a day to park in one of their parking lots or structures. Multiply that by three and you’ll be spending $51 just to park. Parking for oversized vehicles and vehicles with trailers comes in at $22 to $27 a day. #5 — Buy souvenirs before you go. You’ll save a ton of money by purchasing T-shirts, character pjs, drink cups, etc. before you go to Disneyland. For extra fun, hide your treasures from your kids and sneak them out during the night as a gift from the magical fairies. #6 — While Disney’s official policy says it does not allow outside food or drinks, Disneyland does allow most food and water or juice items in small, soft-sided coolers. A few things they will not allow are hard-sided coolers, glass containers, large coolers or alcoholic beverages.

Fountain drinks and water bottles inside the park are upwards of $3 each, but ice and water are free anywhere that sells food and drinks. Counter meals are considerably less expensive than eating at table service restaurants. Adults may order kid meals at counter restaurants, which are a surprisingly generous amount of food.   #7 — Purchase a Premium Disney Character meal as part of your travel package, which is valid at Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration, Ariel’s Grotto or Goofy’s Kitchen. If you use it for one of the dinners rather than breakfast or lunch, you will save the most money on your meal. #8 — If you are a Chase Disney or Star Wars Visa or debit cardholder, you will get extra perks, such as 10 percent off select food purchases in the parks. Chase Disney debit cardholders can meet at a secret place for special alone time with Disney characters. For information visit https://disneydebit.com/ vacation-perks. #9 — Use coupons. You can save on local restaurants and shops by couponing. Purchase a membership to the Orange County Entertainment Book to use on your vacation. Visit http:// www.coupons4utah.com/Entertainment.com


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for details. Also, check your hotel for local coupons, which are oftentimes found in in-room magazines. ADDED VALUES To find out more about the available travel packages for Disney, contact Wasatch Travel. Mention Coupons4Utah in the City Journals for a free personalized gift for your children. Krista Mayne can be reached at 435-709-8656. Thanks to our coupon-clipping moms of Coupons4Utah Holly and Chelsi for the additional tips. l

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April 2016 | Page 23

W estJordanJournal.Com

Death by Appliance


’m pretty sure my hair dryer tried to kill me. Its cord wrapped around a drawer handle, pulling the dryer out of my hand where it crashed into my shoulder and hip before smashing onto my foot. It’s not the first time I’ve been attacked by a machine. It got me thinking — if regular appliances can figure out how to bump me off, imagine how easy it will be for smart appliances to murder unsuspecting homeowners. I remember when the Clapper was invented. It was pure magic. You clapped your hands, your lamp shut off. Simple. Non-threatening. But I’ve watched enough scifi to know technology can become unspeakably evil. Let’s see: I can let my phone control my lights, heating, power and bank account. Yeah, nothing can go wrong with that. Advances in technology (i.e., ways to make us lazier) move shockingly fast. When Isaac Asimov laid out the rules for robots (they can’t kill us, they have to obey, etc. — kind of like the rules we give teenagers), I don’t remember the robots ever actually signing anything promising to abide by those rules. We just assume our machines won’t kill us in our sleep. (Kind of like teenagers.)

Now, your fridge has all kinds of power. It notices you’re out of milk and alerts a farmhand in Nebraska who gets jolted out of bed with an electric shock so he can milk a cow and send a drone to drop a gallon of milk on your porch. Your toilet can analyze urine and tell the fridge to add minerals (or rat poison) to your drinking water. The next step will be a toilet that realizes you’re pregnant and immediately posts your happy news to social media sites. There are security cameras you can access through your phone to spy on your kids, spouse, pets and neighbors. At what point do these “conveniences” become intrusive? Will toothbrushes sneak a DNA sample and send it to the FBI? Can hit men track you through your cell phone with voice-recognition apps? Could your phone run your fingerprints when you pick it up? Conspiracy theorists’ heads will explode with all the frightening possibilities. And if you think dealing with moody humans is bad, try putting up with passive-aggressive appliances. You’ll hurt your toaster’s feelings when it overhears you



say what a good job the microwave did heating up your meatloaf, and suddenly your toaster will barely warm the bread. Your refrigerator will dispense water e-v-e-r s-o s-l-o-w-l-y after watching you use filtered tap water one too many times. If scientists want to be helpful, they can create a washer that stops automatically when it senses a dryclean-only shirt, or notifies you if your bra gets tangled around a blouse like a boa constrictor squeezing the life out of a wild boar. They could design a smoke alarm that won’t beep at 3 a.m., scaring the dog to death and prompting him to sleep in my closet for two days. They could create a vegetable crisper that would send rotten broccoli to a neighborhood compost pile. Or how about a bathroom scale that locks your kitchen pantry when you overeat on the weekends? Currently, there is nothing “smart” about my home (including the residents). But I predict someday soon, my nightmares won’t be about circus clowns or spiders; they’ll be about microwaves gone amuck, or hair dryers that finally figure out how to finish me off. l


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Profile for The City Journals

West Jordan April 2016  

Vol. 16 Iss. 04

West Jordan April 2016  

Vol. 16 Iss. 04