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December 2015 | Vol. 15 Iss. 12


Students Pay Tribute to Vets By Rachel Hall

PAGE 14 Students in Harmony, the Hayden Peak Elementary School choir, opened the Veterans Day program with the singing of the National Anthem, after Boy Scouts posted the colors.



PAGE Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.




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West Jordan Police Dogs Take Home 16 Trophies from Competition


he West Jordan K9 police dogs brought home 16 trophies from the annual Utah Police Officers Association canine competition, held Sept. 19–20 in Vernal, UT. West Jordan also brought home second place overall in narcotics top agency and third place overall in patrol top agency. “It’s important to go up there for the camaraderie with the other departments and be able to show off our dogs and what they can do,” Danny Benzon, a sergeant with the West Jordan Police Department, said. “It’s not all about fighting people; it’s about the obedience that the dogs have.” West Jordan sent three of its four police dogs with their handlers to the competition, where they competed against 25 other dogs from around the state and Colorado. The competitors were Duke with his handler, Officer Tom Smith, Bronco with Officer Steve Hutchings and Odin with Officer Greg Gray. “The competition was competitive, and the final overall scores were very close,” Benzon said in a memo to the West Jordan Police Department. “I am proud of our officers and the effort they have put in over the past year to achieve these accolades.” Benzon said that participating in the competition is important for the department for a variety of reasons. “It shows that we do a lot of work,” he said. “It brings out the fact that these guys keep

their dogs in top performance. And we learn a lot from the other handlers up there, too—what they’re doing differently, what’s working for them, what’s not working for them.” Canine dogs assist police officers in searching for drugs, explosives and crime scene evidence, as well as apprehending and searching for criminals. Police dogs also help protect their handlers. “The goal is to come home each night,” said Officer Steve Hutchings, a handler whose dog participated in the competition. “The dog, in my opinion, ensures that. If I don’t have another officer to back me up, I know my dog is there.” K9 dogs and their handlers develop a close bond, and for Hutchings, it’s no exception. “I would be devastated if something happened to my dog,” he said. The police department purchased Hutchings’s canine, Bronco, about a year ago, when the dog was 1 and ½ years old. “The dog stays with [its] handler,” Hutchings said. “It goes home with us; it becomes part of our family as well. We have them on the weekends. I take mine on vacation and all those good things.” All handlers and their dogs must go through eight weeks of patrol training—which includes narcotics, fight work, tracking and evidence—before they can go out into the field,

said Hutchings. Once the team gets out of training, it isn’t over. “We train every day, just like anybody else with a specialized skill,” Hutchings said. Because he hasn’t had the opportunity to train his dog as long as others in the competition, Hutchings said he was proud of Bronco’s showing at the event. “Me and Bronco have been together for just over a year now, so for me personally it was a great achievement. We didn’t actually graduate until January, so for us to even be able to compete with other dogs that have been around for five, six, seven years was great for me and a real accomplishment. I took a lot of pride in that. To be able to see my hard work paying off and my dog be competitive in those areas was great.” At the competition, the dogs participated in a variety of exercises to demonstrate the skills their handlers work to teach them, such as obedience and searching for drugs and people. One exercise the dogs participated in was an obstacle course, where they had to walk, jump and climb over obstacles, including balancing across teeter-totters and jumping through tires. Throughout the obstacle course, the organizers also introduced distractions to test the focus of the individual dogs. “It’s an obedience thing,” Benzon said. “A lot of these [obstacles] are done without verbal

By Taylor Stevens

communication, just hand motions.” For the narcotics portion of the competition, the dogs search buildings as well as open areas to sniff out drugs. “They place drugs on an acre or two of property, and [the dogs] have a time limit to find the drugs,” Benzon said. “They’re judged on whether the dog indicated in the right place or wrong place—same thing indoors.” Next, the dogs sniff out people in indoor and outdoor settings to simulate a possible perpetrator situation. For Hutchings, it’s skills like these that make K9s such an important component of any police department. “[The dogs] are invaluable,” Hutchings said. “Their senses are so much better than ours, that they are able to find things we just walk right past and have walked right past, whether that be people or narcotics.” Hutchings also thinks the competition provides its own value. “It’s kind of nice to see where you are and gauge yourself against other agencies and those kinds of things,” Hutchings said. “And bringing home 16 trophies shows we do train hard, we enjoy what we do, and we’re very  versatile.”

The trophies the dogs and their handlers took home at the competition are as follows: Tom Smith with K9 Duke

1st place in building search persons 1st place in area search persons 4th place in apprehension 5th place in obedience 4th place in narcotics vehicle search 4th place overall top dog

Greg Gray with K9 Odin

3rd place in area search persons 3rd place in building search narcotics 5th place in agility 2nd place in top dog narcotics 5th place in patrol top dog

Steve Hutchings with K9 Bronco 2nd place in narcotics vehicle search 4th place in agility Decoys choice award Officer Greg Grey and his dog Odin brought home five trophies from the Utah Police Association canine competition. Photo courtesy of Steve Hutchings


The three K-9 handlers with the West Jordan Police Department showcase the 16 trophies their dogs brought home from a recent canine competition in Vernal, Utah. Photo courtesy of Danny Benzon

STAFF WRITERS: Greg James, Taylor Stevens and Mylinda LeGrande AD SALES: 801-264-6649 SALES ASSOCIATES: Ryan Casper: 801-671-2034 Melissa Worthen: 801-897-5231 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper: brad@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Trevor Roosa, Ty Gorton

2nd place in narcotics top agency 3rd place in patrol top agency


CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott: bryan@mycityjournals.com ASSISTANT EDITOR: Rachel Hall: r.hall@mycityjournals.com

Team Overall

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amilies from across the county came out in their Halloween best, young children in tow, to celebrate both Halloween and the end of the fall season at the Salt Lake County Library’s third annual Pumpkinpalooza event on Oct. 31, held at the West Jordan Viridian Event Center. As the name of the event implied, the free celebration centered on all things pumpkin. There was a pumpkin decorating competition, a pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin arts and crafts and pumpkin smashing, as well as a costume contest and Trick-or-Treating booths. The event also featured activity booths from West Jordan businesses and other surrounding cities.

Tyler Curtis, event center manager at the West Jordan Library, said that the event brought in 1200–1300 attendees from across the county—filling a community space the Viridian Event Center was created to satisfy. Part of the culture the Salt Lake County Library system wants to create is one of free community fun, Curtis said. “The library system is all about free,” he said. “We like free, and the event center was built to host events that help bring the community together and provide a number of resources. This is one more thing that helps bring the community together and have a lot of fun.”

By Taylor Stevens

The highlight of the event for many was the pumpkin-smashing portion of the day, when attendees watched pumpkins splat to the ground in awe. “We built a trebuchet and we popped pumpkins, and the fire department dropped pumpkins from their big ladder truck,” Curtis said. “I like the pumpkin smash.” Although Curtis said the event was a success, the Salt Lake County Library system is already beginning to plan for next year’s event. “It’s important that you tell everybody that they need to come out next year,” Curtis said.  “They missed out on a lot of fun events.”


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The fire department wows the crowd by smashing pumpkins from above. Photo courtesy of Tyler Curtis

Attendees at Pumpkinpalooza watch with awed faces as the fire department smashes pumpkins from above.

Winter Safety in West Jordan A s many West Jordan residents prepare for the holiday season, the West Jordan Public Works Department is preparing for the cold weather as well. It helps to prepare plans for snowplowing and winter safety early, particularly in a city as large as West Jordan. “It’s a huge city,” Tim Peters, West Jordan public services manager, said. “At last count, we had something like 855 lane miles—and that doesn’t include lane miles that have been added this last year, such as subdivisions and 5600 West.” Peters said there are simple steps residents can take to increase public safety for all West Jordan residents and employees this winter. Most important among these is “having cars removed from the street,” Peters said. “There should be absolutely no street parking during storms if people want the streets cleared.” West Jordan Police have issued warnings and tickets to cars parked on the street in the past, so it’s in the best interest of both residents’ safety and wallets to move their cars. “There’s some streets that are so narrow, and you’re talking the worst possible condi-

By Taylor Stevens

tions—ice at night when there’s already low visibility,” Peters said. “If you have cars on both sides of the street that are narrow to begin with, it’s such a hazard that quite honestly if our trucks can’t get down there they’re not going to. The last thing we want to do is take off the side of someone’s car.” Peters said residents should also be conscious of basketball hoops in the public rightof-way, as well as low-hanging tree limbs— both of which can get caught on a snow plow and cause major damage if hit. West Jordan staff sometimes work up to 12-hour shifts late into the night to clear the roads and subdivisions of same-day snowfall—a change the city made a few years ago from a policy of plowing streets the first day of a snowfall and subdivisions the next day. Finally, Peters said that residents should check the weather forecast frequently during the winter months and prepare for their morning commute accordingly. “You’re more likely to arrive safely and in a more calm manner if you plan accordingly and double your commute time,” Peters said.

 .

The first snowfall of the winter season rests on a West Jordan resident’s car. Photo by Taylor Stevens





27 Quick & Easy Fix Ups to Sell Your West Jordan Teams Up with Utah Food By Taylor Stevens Bank in Citywide Food Drive West Jordan Home Fast & for Top Dollar


ach day, one in five Utah kids are unsure of where their next meal will come from. Overall, 16 percent of Utahns—440,000 individuals—are “food insecure,” according to statistics from the Utah Food Bank’s website. These sobering statistics are part of what moved the city of West Jordan to partner with the Utah Food Bank for a citywide food drive that lasted until Nov. 23, just a few days before Thanksgiving. The timing of the drive was a push to help those hungry Utahns through the pang of food insecurity, which is often believed to be felt even stronger during the cold weather and holiday season. “In the past, we’ve done a food drive just with city employees, and this year we thought it would be fun to expand it to the public, knowing that there’s a lot of people that need these resources and something that we can help with,” Julie Brown, events coordinator for West Jordan, said. Residents were encouraged to root around in their pantries and cupboards “to see if they can donate anything to help with hunger in Utah,” according to Kim Wells, West Jordan City’s public information officer. As one of Utah’s largest cities, expanding the scope of the drive to the entire city had the potential to have a huge impact on the Utah Food Bank’s cause. The city felt it was important to try and cultivate that involvement from the West Jordan community this year, Wells said. “We figure that the broader the reach, the more people we can help. So it made sense to broaden the scope and involve the whole community,” she said. In addition to engaging residents, West

Jordan also teamed up with local businesses to promote the cause. Along with donation bins located in city facilities like City Hall, the fire station, and the West Jordan Justice Center, residents could drop donations off at locations like Riley’s, High Point Coffee and Yogurt Vibes, among other locally-owned and operated businesses. In the past, the food drive had been a competition between city employees who were Brigham Young University and University of Utah football fans to see which group could bring more food and build momentum through rivalry. Although the city didn’t have an exact goal for how much food they wanted to collect this year since they used a different process than usual, it hoped to exceed the amount donated in prior years with the help and engagement of the whole community. “After the donation, we usually kind of weigh it or calculate it sometime, so we will let people know how much we collect,” Wells said. “Obviously the more items we can get, the more people we can benefit.” Information from the city on how much food residents and city employees donated this year has not yet been made available (by press deadline). From one donation bin in City Hall for the city’s 500 employees last year to 14 collection bins for the city’s 110,000 residents this year, the city greatly expanded its scope to help those in need for the holiday season. “I think people don’t realize there are more people who are hungry than we often think. It’s more of a problem than we realize,” Wells said. 

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Donation bins were spread around West Jordan at local businesses, such as this one at High Point Coffee, to generate more donations to help feed Utah’s hungry this holiday season.


local life




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ugar Factory Playhouse and West Jordan Theater Arts will be presenting “The Dickens Christmas Carol Show,” by Arthur Scholey. It is a musical version of Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,” which is true to Dickens’ original written word. “I find this show very reminiscent of the ‘Christmas Carol’ shows Hale did 25 years ago,” the show’s director and Hale Centre Theatre veteran, Pat Oliver, said. Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold, jaded man caught up in a never-ending quest for riches. To him, Christ- Colin Baker as ‘Fred’ (red shirt) and Aseneth Castaneda, Fred’s wife (white sweater) and other memmas is simply an annoy- bers of the cast rehearse the dinner party scene from “The Dickens Christmas Carol Show” as Stephen Scrooge, played by Stephen McBride. ance and distraction from McBride as ‘Scrooge’ (wearing nightcap) watches. pursuing his one great love: money. But a late-night interview with will lose in the very near future if he does not Dickens Christmas Carol Show” stars Stephen McBride as ‘Ebenezer Scrooge,’ Galen Chathis dead partner’s ghost, followed by the visits change - and soon! Travis Green, marketing director for Sug- terton as the ghost of Scrooge’s dead partner of the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet To Come, may just be the thing to open ar Factory Playhouse described this year’s pro- ‘Jacob Marley,’ Peter Johnson as Scrooge’s his eyes to what his bitterness and selfishness duction crew and cast. He said that the show clerk ‘Bob Cratchit,’ Colin Baker as ‘Fred,’ have cost him and what he is missing now and was produced by Michelle Groves and Jenni- Aseneth Castaneda as the ‘Ghost of Christmas fer Bedore and directed by Pat Oliver. “The Past,’ Steve Hedman as the ‘Ghost of Christmas Present’ and Paul Vibert as the ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come’. “There are 38 people in the cast. Mateo Seminario (one of two actors playing ‘Tiny Tim’) is the youngest cast member and will Ages 6 - 12 be turning six next month, I believe. Stephen McBride (‘Scrooge’) and Galen Chatterton WHY ATTEND? (‘Marley’s Ghost’) are tied for the oldest at ‘Book and Cookie’, a Read To Me Retreat, creates a love of 67. Most of the men in the show are Hale fine books, forgotten stories, suspense, intrigue, fantasy, Centre Theatre veterans. The theater experience of the child actors runs from having history and imaginative meanderings. seven or eight shows under their belt to never Each week reading retreat groups will hear some of the having been on a stage before. We have four world’s best literature read to them in a home setting. violinists and a pianist (who has been with us for 20 years and close to 40 shows) accompanying the music for our show. One of our THEY WILL GAIN: A love of stories • Appreciation of good literature female leads is the drama teacher at West Jor• Enhanced imagination • A desire to read • PLUS an opportunity to dan Middle School,” Green said. The dates for the show are Dec. 4, 5, 8, 11, escape from technology for 90 minutes and receive a wonderful treat 12, 18, 19 at 7:30 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. matin a safe haven at Grandma’s house! inee on Dec. 12. They will be performing the show at the Midvale Performing Arts Center, About Raelynne Kunz: FEES DUE: 1st reading visit of the month which is located at 695 Center Street. Raelynne Kunz was a school teacher for 23 December, 2015 — $50 Tickets for the show are $8 for general admission and $5 for children ages 12 and under, years. She has received recognition for her 2016 — $150 for each 3 month block seniors, ages 60 and over, students with ID and work in writing and publication programs January - March | April - June groups of 10 or more. The doors will open 30 and has worked internationally in curricJuly - September | October - December minutes before the show. The tickets may be Guests: $12.50 per session if room is ulum development with the Reach the purchased in advance at Macey’s grocery store available and reserved prior to session. Children Foundation, the United Nations in West Jordan or at the door with cash or a check. and numerous African childrens charities. GROUP SESSIONS More information about the show can She is the Mother of seven and the proud Grades 1 - 3: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 4:30 to 6pm be found on Facebook at Sugar Factory PlayGrades 4 - 6: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 7 - 8:30pm grandmother of 23. house/WJ Theater Arts where there will be  ticket giveaways.

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local life



Spooks, Treats and Musical Thrills at Halloween Symphony

By Mylinda LeGrande


n Oct. 30, the West Jordan Symphony performed their annual Halloween concert in an audience-packed auditorium at the Viridian Library. There were so many people in attendance that they spilled out into the hall, sitting on extra chairs provided by the library. The successful performance was enjoyed by both the musicians and audience members. Songs included a special number, “Halloween 2015 Spooky Stratosphere,” arranged by Dana Bentley. Along with symphony members, elementary students directed by Dana Bentley, Bonnie Heaton and Mele Morgan also performed this selection. These students were from Copper Canyon, Hayden Peak, Oakcrest, Fox Hollow, Midas Creek and Quail Hollow Elementary Schools. It was a delightful number and the audience members were surprised and thrilled with periodic screeches that percussion member Henry Clarence injected into the song. Other songs played during the concert were “Phantom of the Opera” Sections (Andrew Lloyd Webber, arr. Custer), “Frozen” Selections (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, arr. Krogstad), “Pirates of the Caribbean” (Klaus Badelt, arr. Ricketts) and others. Not counting the guest elementary school students, there are 50 or so regular members of the city orchestra under the direction of musical director Larry M. White. “We’ve invested 12 years [into this or-

Larry M. White, director and conductor of West Jordan Symphony.

Kids enjoy trick-or-treating to symphony members.

ganization.] We do this Halloween concert in addition to a Christmas program and the Messiah Sing-a-long. The Christmas concert is put on by the West Jordan Arts Council and combines the band and orchestra members and is held at the Viridian Library. The sing-a-long is at City Hall the Sunday before Christmas. These musicians have played in college or somewhere that have also wanted to keep playing. They have expressed an interest. We are a community orchestra,” White

said. Dana Bentley first organized the city band and orchestra in 1984. She is not only a member of the symphony and plays the violin, but she also directs elementary school students in a before- and after-school music program. “It is our third year. I teach the kids at Midas Creek and Hayden Peak,” she said, referring to the students’ involvement with playing with the city symphony. The city helps fund the orchestra through


various sources such as ZAP, The Utah Division of Arts & Museums, Art Works and the National Endowment for the Arts. Anyone can join but has to have enough experience to play to the level of music that the orchestra performs. The youngest members are in high school and the oldest are grandparents. The money is obtained by the city from various funding sources, which pays for their sheet music. The members of the orchestra are unpaid volunteers. They meet weekly at the old West Jordan Library from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Several musicians dressed up in costume as well as a skeleton, named “Bones,” festively dressed in Hawaiian clothing and sunglasses. He was staged behind a snare drum to add to the spooky atmosphere. Kevin Johnson was dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera and plays the melaphone. He has been with the symphony for 13 years. “It’s been fun. [The symphony] has a lot of heart. Larry is a lot of fun to work with. He makes you want to play better. He is a great asset to the city,” he said. When asked about the elementary students playing with the symphony, Johnson recognized how the children interact with the group. “The kids are really great because they see what you can do. Very few of us are professional musicians. By in large, we are a bunch of people who just want to play music,” he said. Another symphony member, Kurt Skill, is first French horn. He spoke on how he became involved in the city music program. “I have kids now and have stopped playing. I had my instrument just sitting there. I thought it was time to get involved and found the orchestra. It was nice to get back into it and be part of something again,” he said. After the concert, kids in attendance enjoyed trick-or-treating to the members of the symphony out in the hall, where they got to meet the talented musicians and accumulate a  nice assortment of Halloween treats.

local life



Lights on Wakefield Delight and Profit Local Charities By Mylinda LeGrande


hen Robbie Gowers was growing up, he always dreamed of having the type of decorated Christmas house that everyone would want to come and see. Ironically, several years later when he and his wife, Bree, first moved into their home, his wife wanted him to hang lights for Christmas. He said that he “fought her tooth and nail.” The next year he didn’t put up any house lights at all. It wasn’t until a friendly neighborhood competition the following year that got him interested in putting up lights again. “It got very out of control. That year we had 10,000 lights. The next year I began the animated part of it (computer controlled) and to keep positive actions, we added in a charity into the mix. It was a big success and a very big learning year,” he said.

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Earth, and The Mascot Miracles foundation. Both help children battle cancer and other serious medical conditions. In addition to his personal home light display, he is collaborating with another commercial light display company, which will have his name on it. They are building a drive-thru Christmas display on land leased from Kearns Oquirrh Park Recreation Center, which will feature just under a million lights. “It is a passion, a serious addiction. Some are addicted to pills; I’m addicted to lights. Christmas lights are a very big love for me, and using them to help others is such a joy for my family. It’s a nonstop hobby that never stops through the year, and I depend on a very patient wife,” Gowers said. During the fall, he spends his days pro-

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The Gowers began to have a huge following of people that would come out to the display every year, as well as on social media. These factors helped to gain the interest of a world-renowned decorator who got in contact with him to help him on a few projects. Gowers explained how the light display hobby snowballed into a full-time endeavor during the winter season. He has been putting lights up now for nine years, four of them with the computer programming. “That season I traveled as far as South Korea to build a display. I gained a much bigger knowledge for the next Christmas, adding more [work] to mine. I also got involved with several other displays in the state, including Valley Fair Mall, Christensen and Hymas Law Firm and Fiber Net located in Orem. I then found myself in Argentina building another display there,” he said. That year the Gowers started taking donations at their house display for a young girl that was battling brain cancer. Gowers said that it was a joy to be able to help that family with Christmas gifts, medical bills and more. He indicated that last year was their biggest and best display, as it grew to have over 50,000 lights. They are now using their donations for two different local charities, Children and the

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fessionally decorating houses and businesses, and then after dinner in his free time, he works on decorating his own house until early in the morning. He started building his house display early in October and finished in time for lights on the day after Thanksgiving. It takes 200 man-hours to complete the projects. He said that his neighbors have been great helping him with the light display and cooperating with the heavy traffic flow during the month of December. The display has its last day on New Years Eve. He hasn’t had too many problems with the display, with two exceptions. The first year someone slashed the new inflatable snowman, and last year he fell from his man-made tree, but miraculously escaped injury. The house features 52,000 lights that are completely computer controlled, and it takes over a mile and a half of extension cords to power the display. Nine different songs run continuously that are broadcast over a car’s radio at 87.9 FM. He has added professional voiceovers in between each song so the music sounds like it is coming from an actual radio station. He uses Light-O-Rama computer software, which allows him to program each of the 176,000 elements that are part of the display. For each minute of music played, it rep-

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resents 10 hours of work that it took to program the lights of the display. The computer program controls when each individual light will turn on and off, and also its brightness. He explained how he had to wire every single part of his display not just with one strand, but one strand with each of the three primary colors. To add to his display, he has also built a “mega tree” which stands 23-feet tall. That feature alone has 15,000 lights on it. His display also features a 20-foot inflatable, fondly named “Betty The Snow Woman,” that took one year for a company to fabricate. The power supply is maxed out for Gowers’ house. He hasn’t had to add any extra electrical control panels yet, but the family must be careful not to run large appliances during the display or else risk blowing the house power circuits and ruining the expensive equipment that run the lights. His power bill quadruples for the month of December. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will visit on most weekends at the house display, along with several local team mascots. Together with the Gowers, they hand out several thousand candy canes each Christmas season to people who come to enjoy the display. The home is located at 6388 South Wakefield Way (5885 West). This year the display will run from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. The hours of the display are from 5:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is a locked donation box on the property with proceeds to benefit  this year’s charities.

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local life



Authors Chose to be at the Write Event in November


ocal Authors and You was a Salt Lake County Library event that took place on Nov. 7, at the West Jordan Viridian Library. Held from 1-5 p.m., it featured 50 local writers and 28 unique workshops available to aspiring writers and others who wanted to learn more about writing. Each workshop lasted for 30 minutes, so it was possible for someone to attend eight different workshops that day. Nearly 100 people attended the event. The well-organized event took place in the lobby of the library as well as the event center auditorium, which was divided into two parts. One section held eight round tables where attendees and local authors could gather around for an intimate experience. The other side of the auditorium was devoted to authors’ booths, where you could get a chance to meet the authors, buy their books and get to know them better. Liesl Seborg, senior librarian for Hunter Library, said that was the reason why she organized this event. “This is second year that we have had it. Basically, we support the writers in the community and we want people to know what fabulous writers we have. We have a huge local writing community that is not necessarily nationally known. This is a good opportunity to get to meet the authors as well as to attend the workshops. Fortunately for us, we are also supporting writers doing NaNoWriMo, [on Nov. 1, participants begin working towards the goal

of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30 which coincides with this event, by giving them this opportunity,” she said. Attendee Karina Park said that this was one of the best-organized writing conferences she has ever attended. Park attended the class by C.R. Asay: “Get the most from your critique group.” “I wonder if it didn’t get enough advertising, though: it wasn’t very well attended. The only place you could find information on it was on Facebook. Writers are everywhere; it is such an incredible thing to offer these free workshops because usually they can be very expensive. You can take time to visit everybody’s tables; there is no rush or crowds. I really love how the workshops are in another room at small tables. They were so personal and I could have the chance to be one-on-one [with authors],” Park said. Snacks were provided and prizes for a drawing held were handed out every 30 minutes. Many prizes included books written by the authors attending the event. The best part of the conference was that it was a free event. Many local events are expensive to attend, so those on a limited budget could have access to authors, information on how to get started with writing, perfect their projects and understand the business of writing at no cost to the community. Gama Ray Martinez, a top-selling author on Amazon, had a booth at the event. His published trilogy, “The Oracles of Kurnugi,” is

By Mylinda LeGrande

Author Laura Bastian’s booth.

about a boy named Henry who falls into the land of human imagination known as Kurnugi. He had been networking with the Salt Lake County librarians when he was asked to participate in the conference. Another author, Jared Quan, was there manning his booth. He is on the West Jordan Arts Council and is president-elect of the League of Utah Writers. He wrote a middle grade book, “Changing Wax.” “The book took me about two years to write, mostly inspired by my five kids. They keep me on my toes and are very humorous. I was able to capture a lot of fun things that they do around the house. I wrote an episode every week for two years, and then we were able to refine it,” he said. Ka Hancock, author of “Dancing on Broken Glass,” is published internationally in several different languages. It took her three years just to find her agent, Foundry. After she submitted her work to them, her book was finally sold at auction. She was there to lead a workshop, “Every character needs a problem: Conflict with a side of turmoil,” which was held in the library lobby. “You think you have to describe your character at once in the very first pages. The best books are when you are a little bit intrigued about a character. The most interesting ones reveal themselves layer by layer right down to their naked core. Readers will follow these kinds of characters almost anywhere... The characters have to be compelling; the dif-

ference between characters we would follow into the depths of hell vs. one we could care less about is called internal conflict,” she said. One attendee, Ashley Pack, an aspiring author working on a fantasy novel, attended a workshop by Angela Scott: “On Writing: Somewhere between torture and fun.” “[Scott] basically went over the writing process: how it is part torture and part fun. It was helpful when I was able to ask her about how she got published because I am interested in that. It was useful to hear her story. I feel like I understand it better now, because I hadn’t really researched it,” Pack said. Local author Mette Ivie Harrison offered a workshop, “Writing through fear.” She won the Utah Book Award for “His Wright Hand,” sequel to “The Bishops Wife,” A National Bestseller and an ABA Indie Next Selection. Other workshops offered were, “Stories of Chinese intellectuals immigrating to the U.S.” by author Dr. PengPeng Pan Tang, “Putting science in your science fiction” by Roger White, “Independent and self-publishing” by David Van Dyke,” “Steampunk short stories” by Jay Barnson, “Polishing your first draft” by Robin Glassey and many more. Also on hand at the event were professional editing companies that writers could connect with, as well as Deseret Book and The Utah Writers Guild which helped sponsor the event. “Spring into Writing” will be the next free family writing, library-sponsored event to  be held next year.


Night in Bethlehem

Live Nativity Saturday, December 12, 2015 • 5-8 pm 1007 W. South Jordan Parkway (10600 S.) South Jordan, Utah

• Waffle Love Truck • Hot Chocolate • Memory Christmas Tree • Animals from K-Bar Ranch • Music • Complimentary Memorial Dove Ornament .


local life



Scrooge and Second Chances


n the timeless tale of “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge, a callous miser, is given a second chance to live a better life. The Desert Star Playhouse in Murray City was also given a second chance at life when it was purchased and renovated instead of being torn down. Before that purchase the theater saw much of life and many second chances. The Desert Star Playhouse has enjoyed a long life. In it’s infancy it was called the Gem. It saw silent movies accompanied only by a piano, and remembers a world when radios, refrigerators and a woman’s right to vote were only a recent luxury. In the 1930s the Gem had it’s first second chance, as it was rebuilt and expanded into the Iris Theater. With its Art Deco style facelift, it was a building like no other in Murray. It showed blockbusters like “Gone With The Wind” and rare Swedish films for immigrants brought to Murray by the smelters. During the Great Depression, owner Tony Duvall would let children see movies for free or in exchange for scrap metal. After the Great Depression, the Desert Star continued to see change in its name and ownership. But in 2000 when Murray City recommended demolishing it, Mike and Alyce Todd gave it it’s most crucial second chance, by purchasing and saving it from demolition. The value of a second chance is immeasurable, if seized as Scrooge did to become a

By Alisha Soeken

better person. Today the Desert Star is a dinner theater known for its parody plays and family -friendly comedy. The proof of its positive roll is observed in the lives of those who work at the theater, both past and present. “The Desert Star has made a positive impact on my life in so many ways. It was my first job and where I had always hoped to perform. After auditioning many times, I was cast in “The Hungry Games,” fulfilling my dream, almost 10 years after I started working there. I also gained experience in light and sound unmatchable to any theater, made lifelong friends and to this day love seeing the fun shows they put on,” actor Katie Terry said. The Desert Star’s current show is, “Ebenezer Scrooge: His Nightmare Before Christmas.” Dan Larrinaga, Ivin Conatser, Lee Daily, Ed Farnsworth, Jennifer Aguirre, and Kerstin Davis. Photo courtesy of Desert Star PlayIt’s about Ebenezer’s life after he house decides to reform. “I love the idea of a sequel to ‘A Christmas Carol,’ exploring the other side Larrinaga,who plays Bob Cratchit, said. and have 15-20 rehearsals,” Larrinaga added,. The effort that goes into producing a show Because we rehearse while the current show of being generous. The idea that just because you turn into Mr. Nice Guy on one Christmas at the Desert Star is enormous. Cast member is still in production and the new show opens morning doesn’t necessarily make up for years Tyrus Williams said, “We start working on all only four days after the old show closes, as you of being a compete jerk,” cast member Dan aspects of the show five weeks before we open, can imagine that’s not much time, so the work is fast and furious. It’s a challenge but like it or not, it makes you a better performer.” As proven by Williams, cast members are not only great performers. “I wear a lot of hats at the Desert Star. I design scenery and props for the shows, I occasionally run lights, do sound, and manage the stage. I’m also in charge of the general store and all the holiday decorations and lobby displays,” Williams said. Unlike what Williams and Larrinaga will do in their show, Charles Dickens never told of the life that Ebenezer Scrooge lived after receiving his second chance. The Desert Star was given that chance more then once, and for more then 85 years has seized it, as Scrooge did, to give of itself remarkably to others. Visit that historic building, watch a show, laugh, and in the words of Larrinaga, “By the end of that show, I hope people will simply have been entertained, feeling better than when they came in, and perhaps finding themselves more in the mood for the holidays. Catching a bit of the Christmas spirit that people felt way back when, and now, as they read Dickens’ ‘A  Christmas Carol’.” Ebenezer Scrooge: HIS NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS Plays November 12, 2015 through January 2, 2016 Tickets: Adults: $22.95-$24.95, Children: $12.95 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Call 801.266.2600 for reservations www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com .


on the cover .


City Councilmember Files Lawsuit Against City, Council, City Employees By Taylor Stevens


est Jordan is soon to be entangled in yet another lawsuit by one of its own, in the latest episode from a saga of infighting and political contention at City Hall. Councilmember Jeff Haaga filed a notice of claim of his lawsuit on Nov. 4. That same night, he stepped down from the dais, addressed the council as a resident, and served each of the elected officials—excluding Mayor Kim Rolfe—their notice of the lawsuit pending against them. “Really all I need to do is approach the dais—with your permission, Mayor—and give councilmembers and some staff members a document,” Haaga said during public comment as the assembled residents exchanged confused glances. Those on the dais seemed just as puzzled. “Not sure what just happened there, but that was highly irregular,” Councilmember Ben Southworth said uncomfortably. The councilmembers then each stated publicly their refusal to accept the document notice Haaga had put in front of them. Haaga is suing the parties for $750,000 in damages, although he said he believes actual damages incurred to exceed that number. According to the notice of claim document, these damages include loss of physical and emotional health and income. The nature of his claims includes violation of civil rights, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, abuse of the judicial system and violation of the first amendment, among others. In the notice of claim, Haaga joined dozens of other voices in past months in alleging the contentious culture at City Hall, writing, “The parties, individually and/or in concert with one another, acted maliciously against me in an effort to dissuade me from my actions in fulfilling my duties as a West Jordan City council member.” He said the environment had created an “inability to perform my elected official duties because of fear of retaliation, causing great emotional and physical issue,” and had also led to his hospitalization in September 2014. Along with alleging personal damages— such as inability to make a living publishing a community magazine due to the actions of one of the parties named—Haaga also brought


Councilmember Jeff Haaga

forward claims of government abuses of power at City Hall. One such allegation is that “the interim city manager and one or more of the abovenamed council members were openly violating the Utah Governmental Open Meetings Act,” according to Haaga’s notice of claim. Haaga’s lawsuit joins others filed against the city in the last few months by past and present employees and elected officials. Mayor Kim Rolfe sued the council in August for discussing changes to his authority and pay as mayor—litigation that was rejected by a Salt Lake City judge. In October, West Jordan’s ousted city attorney, Jeff Robinson, filed a notice of claim of his lawsuit against the city for wrongful termination and conspiracy, among other allegations. Haaga could not be reached for comment and did not respond to voice messages requesting a statement, nor did the council members  who were contacted.

Haaga’s notice of claim was filed against the city of West Jordan as a whole, as well as against the following people: Bryce Haderlie, former city manager Justin Stoker, former city councilmember Doug Diamond, chief of police David Church, contracted city attorney Eric Johnson, contracted city attorney


DECEMBER 2015 | PAGE 13 .

By Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams

How Salt Lake County Expects to Drastically Reduce Homelessness


hen I’m asked about homelessness in the county, the question can be either, “Isn’t the situation better than it’s ever been?” or “Isn’t it worse than it’s ever been?” Both questions reflect truth. Over the past 10 years, Utah has nearly solved the problem of chronic homelessness—defined as people who have experienced homelessness longer than one year and also have a disabling condition. The

number of chronically homeless in Utah has dropped 91 percent, to fewer than 200 people. But the faces of homelessness are varied and are always changing. From the woman and her children who become homeless due to domestic violence, to the teenagers who “age out” of foster care, to the veterans who struggle with complex health needs, the causes differ. When you figure that out, it leads to a different conversation about what should be done about it. A year ago, that conversation began. It was started among two groups led by Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County. The city’s group was chaired by former Salt Lake City Mayor Palmer DePaulis and community leader and philanthropist Gail Miller. They focused on the grow-

ing demand facing the Road Home shelter facility near Pioneer Park. I co-chaired a county effort which brought all the many excellent providers of homeless services together as one problem-solving group. In October, that group, which includes the YWCA, the Crossroads Urban Center, the Housing Authority, Volunteers of America, the 4th Street Health Clinic, Catholic Community Services, the LDS church, the United Way, and the Pioneer Park Coalition (31 partners in all), unanimously agreed on 14 shared outcomes to guide our work moving forward. It begins with our commitment to ensure that everyone in our community has a safe place to live. Today we recognize that even though we spend collectively $52 million a year on homelessness, we aren’t achieving these 14 outcomes. Everyone is trying hard. Everyone is doing good work. But until we agreed to come together and all pull in the same direction as a team, we can’t harness all that good work for the best results. We all want a system that makes sure people are safe, receive efficient service delivery and are able to focus on self-sufficiency so that they can live stable and rewarding lives. The week of Thanksgiving, both groups came together to make an important announce-


ment. Any facilities that serve the homeless populations going forward must be built and located where services needed can also be delivered. We start with the outcomes we want to achieve, select indicators that honestly measure how we’re doing and then put the money and the programs in place to accomplish those outcomes, such as diverting individuals and families from emergency shelters whenever possible and working to prevent homelessness from happening. The consequences of failing to measure the impact of our programs and continually improve the system’s effectiveness go well beyond wasting scarce tax dollars. Every time a homeless person participates in a program that doesn’t work—but could have participated in one that does—that represents a human cost. We’ve pledged to move forward in unison to minimize homelessness in our community. That’s what Utah is known for—a place where we come together to build a safe, healthy and  prosperous community for all.





Hayden Peak Elementary Students Honor Veterans


By Rachel Hall merican flags lined the sidewalk leading to the front entrance of Hayden Peak Elementary, where students held the doors open for distinguished guests and visitors attending the annual Veterans Day program held in honor of all former and current military members who have served to protect the United States of America. “We sent out a general invitation to any veterans,” assistant principal Amy Adams said. Scott Freimuth was one of the many veterans who arrived to listen to the program, which consisted of patriotic music and sincere thank-you letters written by students in each grade from kindergarten through sixth. “The students did all of the Sixth-grade student Alexa Kesten emceed the event, which included pawriting on their own,” Adams triotic songs and letters read by students offering their gratitude to forsaid. mer and current military members. Freimuth, who joined the United States Army right out of received a memorable reception at the airport high school, has been attending the Veterans Day program since his older son, as a thank you for his service. “We got leave right after they sent us now 15, was in elementary school. He still PARTY ROOMS feels honored to hear the feedback and appre- home so that we could spend time with parents or family or wives or whatever, and my ciation given at such an event. EXPIRES 12/31/15. LIMIT ONE PERSON PER COUPON. AVAILABLE “I think it’s awesome that students here whole family was at the gate to meet me. I was [and] people around the world can recognize hugging my mom and my dad and I remember people walking by. They were like, ‘I don’t 801-561-5306 8860 South Redwood Road • West Jordan, UT 84088 the service that we provide,” he said. even know you but I want to give you a hug,’ It was in 1991, after Freimuth returned Monday - Thursday: 11am - 9pm Friday: 11am - 10pm Saturday: 8am - 10pm Sunday: 8am - 9pm from a tour in Operation Desert Storm, that he and they were hugging us. That is awesome that our country recognizes our service that the men and women provide,” he said. Alexa, the 11-year-old emcee of the program and vice-president of the student council, is proud to have two grandfathers that served in the military. “I am very grateful to them, because one of my grandpas who is still alive – he’s a great person. He’s very respectful. He has a great sense of humor and he’s a very loving kind of • Reset Your Metabolism person. I feel like being a veteran kinda helped him build that character,” she said. • Lose 5-20 lbs in 10 Days The school choir, Harmony, composed of students in second through sixth grades, • Detox Your Body helped open the program by singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Fifth-grade students also 60 day Money Back Gauranteed! performed a medley of military anthems in honor of each branch of service. Cindy’s Actual Before & After... “The music always makes me cry,” AdREAL PEOPLE – REAL RESULTS – REAL FAST ams said. FIRST SECOND BEFORE 10 DAYS Students stood to speak in front of the 10 DAYS school-wide audience and veterans with a microphone in hand, each expressing their gratitude in an honest and sincere way. “These heroes have put their lives on the line so that we might live in a world that is safer, free and more just. This day and every day we pay tribute to America’s sons and daughters. As a grateful nation, let’s show our appreciation by honoring all of our veterans,” Maggie said. Zoe, another student, thanked veterans for RESULTS NOT TYPICAL INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTOR their hard work and efforts to keep the country safe. Receive a $50 gift card by using the gift card code: slcpurium “We miss you when you are gone and are glad when you come home,” she said. at www.mypurium.com/slcpurium Harmony performed “God Bless the USA,” and additional speakers read their letters For more Information or to Register before a moment of silence was held. Flowers were handed out to the veterans and the colors for an Informational Workshop, Call 877-878-8197  retired as the ceremony came to an end.



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DECEMBER 2015 | PAGE 15 .





The West Jordan Chamber of Commerce announces their NEW Business Resource Center, serving all business small and large working with West Jordan City Economic and Community Development to Raise the Tide of doing business in West Jordan! A first of its kind in the western Salt Lake valley supporting the business community. Offering business members drop-in workspace; meeting or presentation space with clients. The center also produces bi-monthly business and leadership workshops and trainings, to provide business people access to continued learning for a more educated workforce.



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Paid for by the City of West Jordan

Citizen Police Academy Graduates Its 20th Session Twenty-one West Jordan citizens graduated from the 2015 fall class of the West Jordan Citizen Police Academy, Nov. 5. The graduation ceremony culminated 13 weeks of classes teaching residents what the life of a police officer is really like. “Learning why and how officers operate in all types of situations kept me intrigued and anxious for the next week,” said class member Jeannette Whipple. “I learned from every class and every class had many things of interest.” Academy subjects include: firearm safety, crime scene investigation, K-9 officer training, crime prevention, traffic enforcement, street gang investigation, and defensive tactics. It’s not all classwork however. Field trip/ tours are provided to the Salt Lake County Jail, Valley Emergency Communications Center, and the police department’s firearms range. Attendees have the chance to fire weapons under the supervision of officers. There is also an opportunity for a ride-along with an on-duty officer. A favorite of Academy attendees is the “SWAT Team Scenario.” Students are given firearms with non-lethal paint-ball style projectiles. They have to decide if they will or won’t shoot in specific situations. The realistic exercise follows a computer generated set of circumstances students also participate in. It’s the same type of training police recruits receive. “I hope your experiences changed your attitudes about police work and particularly

what we do in West Jordan,” said Police Chief Doug Diamond. “It takes a lot to be a cop. It is not an easy job. Adrenalin is hard on the body. There is a lot of up and down in what we do. But, our officers want to do this job; they want to serve the public.” Attendees not only learn the basics of police work but have a chance to listen to the spouses of officers. They share some personal details about what it is like to be married to an officer and how the profession impacts their family. It re-emphasizes the human side of law enforcement and the sacrifices families make. Academy sessions are very popular and fill up quickly. It’s a weekly three-hour experience but attendees will tell you the three months fly by. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and pass a basic background check. Graduates can apply for two levels of volunteer service within the police department. There is no fee to attend but class size is limited. More information and an application can be found online at www.wjordan. com. Click Departments, Police, Citizen Police Academy or you can contact Crime Prevention Specialist, Barb Tatangelo at 801-2562033 or Christie Jacobs at 801-256-2032.

‘Arts Council Christmas Celebration’ Dec. 5 Mark your calendar for Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. and join the West Jordan Arts Council to kick off the holidays! The event takes place at the Viridian Event Center, 8030 South 1825 West (behind City Hall), when the West Jordan Band, Symphony and Mountain West Chorale present “A Christmas Celebration.”

M AY O R ’ S M E S S A G E

Election Shapes City Council I want to congratulate our newly elected City Council Members! This year’s municipal election to fill four council seats brings two new faces, Dirk Burton and Zach Jacob, who join Sophie Rice and Chris McConnehey, who were re-elected. They will be sworn into office Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 8000 S. Redwood Road, and will serve four-year terms. This year’s election was decided by as little as 90 votes. You can see how each vote makes a difference in a municipal election where races are often decided by a handful of votes. We had 32 percent voter turnout, which is a little less than the 34 percent voter turnout in 2013. Thank you to those who voted and also those who ran for office. Serving on the City Council can be a satisfying experience when we work together to move the City forward and bring to life the many great things happening in our community. It can also be very frustrating when we fail to reach a consensus that allows us to progress.

ELECTION RESULTS Council District 1 Christopher M. McConnehey – 1,869 Kevin Mertin – 1,610 Council District 3 Zach Jacob – 1,357 Tim McConnehey – 619 Mike Kellermeyer – 168

Council District 2 Dirk Burton – 1,852 Judith M. Hansen – 1,687 Council District 4 Sophie Rice – 1,533 Alan R. Anderson – 1,443

I’ve served two terms on the City Council and am now almost halfway through my term as mayor. I’ve experienced both satisfaction and frustration. It is my hope that this new Council body will work together effectively to move the business of the city forward. I’m not naïve enough to think we will always agree, but it is my goal to encourage civil discussion and idea sharing that in the end will help us come up with policies and direction that strengthen our community. If you’d like to learn more about some of the great things underway in our city, watch the West Jordan Development video that showcases some of these projects (like a new rec center and much more). The video is targeted at realtors, but residents can learn from it too. You can access the video on the city’s website as well as on the West Jordan YouTube Channel. I’ve lived in West Jordan for more than 40 years and love our great city! There is so much potential found within our city’s 32 square miles. I appreciate the many great people among our 110,000 residents who consistently make our community better. Have a happy holiday season and stay safe.


Compete for prizes and improved health CONTEST RULES: • The Way to a Better Life program will run from January 19th-April 26th, 2016. • Each contestant MUST BE 18 years or older before January 19, 2016. • Each contestant MUST provide a completed and signed entry/disclaimer. • Each contestant may pay his/her non-refundable fee by cash or check. All forms and payment must be received no later than January 19, 2016. • Contest Kickoff/Initial Weigh-In/Pre-Assessment will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 between 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.) Contestants may come anytime during that block of time. • Each contestant must weigh-in weekly on Tuesdays (January 19 - April 19) between 5:30pm-7:30pm. Refer to calendar for weigh-in locations. • Contestants are allowed to miss 5 weigh-ins and still be eligible for prizes. If contestants miss more than 5 weigh-ins they are ineligible for the Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3 prizes but are still encouraged to participate in the duration of the contest. • Occasionally if contestants are unable to attend a Tuesday night weigh-in they may make an appointment for an alternate weigh-in at the Salt Lake County Health Department located in the South Building of the Salt Lake County Government Center (2001 S. State Street) To schedule an appointment call or email: • Phone: (385) 468-4047 or (385) 468-4058 • Email: healthywestjordan@gmail.com

• The Final Weigh-In and Post-Assessment will be held on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.) Contestants may come anytime during that block of time. • If you are unable to attend the Final Weigh-In on April 19, 2016 you may make other arrangements to weigh in BEFORE the Final Weigh-In with the Salt Lake County Health Department. Post-Assessments can also be completed with the exception of cholesterol and glucose testing. • Phone: (385) 468-4047 or (385) 468-4058 • Email: healthywestjordan@gmail.com • Each contestant is encouraged to consult a physician and engage in healthy and safe weight loss. Any extreme dieting and participation without consulting a physician is strongly discouraged. • Body Composition/Body Fat Percentage Measurements will be taken at 4 intervals during the contest. • Contestants who have paid their fee, complied with all rules, and have not missed more than 5 weigh-ins are eligible to win prizes. Prize Winnings will be divided into men and women for 3 major categories: • Category 1: Weight Loss / Body Composition - Top Male and Top Female • Category 2: Point Totals - Top Males and Top Females with Highest Points (Category 1 excluded) • Category 3: Point Totals - Participation Points Random Drawing (Category 1 & 2 excluded) must be present to win

• Random small prize drawings will be held throughout the contest for attending weekly weigh-ins and the contest finale. • Winners will be announced at the Finale on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 6:00pm at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.)

ALL DECISIONS BY THE HEALTHY WEST JORDAN COMMITTEE ARE FINAL. Information and registration at WJordan.com All materials or information given and provided in conjunction with the Way to a Better Life contest are intended for general information purposes only. Under no circumstances are they intended, nor should they be construed, as a substitute for professional health advice from your doctor or health care provider. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary program. If you have a medical problem, please contact your doctor or health care professional.


Holiday Trash Collection Schedule Trash collection will not take place on Christmas or New Year’s Day. (Trash collection takes place on most holidays except for Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) If your collection date falls on one of these holidays, your pickup will be one day later. This year’s holiday trash collection will take place on Saturday after Christmas and also New Year’s. The following week will be back to the regular schedule.

Winter Parking Ordinance Winter driving weather is upon us! Remember that West Jordan City Ordinance 7-3-10 prohibits parking a vehicle or semitrailer upon a street when it is snowing or snow is on the street from November 1 through April 30 of the following year. Violations will result in citations issued. If left snowbound for more than 48 hours, the vehicle is subject to impound. Residents can also help our plow drivers by removing vehicles, trailers, and garbage cans from the street. Here are some tips to help you drive safely in snowy conditions: • Set your alarm clock to start your day earlier and plan on twice the normal commute time. • Clear the top of the car, the windshield and the windows of all snow and ice before driving. • Always bring warm clothes and extra water in the car with you. • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. • Double the amount of space you would normally put between you and the car in front of you.


WATER RIGHTS AND WATER SHARES The City of West Jordan is interested in purchasing Water Rights in Salt Lake County and Water Shares in Utah Lake Distributing, Utah Salt Lake, Welby Jacobs, South Jordan, and North Jordan Canals. If interested, call 801-569-5091.

• Brake and accelerate slower than normal. • Do not slam on the brakes, if you can help it. • Know that many people are nervous when driving in winter weather and use caution when passing. • Stay 50 to 100 feet away from an active plow truck.

Get involved and make a difference in your community APPLY NOW TO SERVE ON A CITY COMMITTEE The city has a variety of volunteer-run committees designed to make our community a better place. If you have ever wanted to get involved and help shape the future of our city, now is the time. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities including: • Western Stampede – Dust off your cowboy hat and join the fun as we plan for our 62nd Western Stampede Rodeo. • Arts Council – Help promote art and cultural events and activities. • Activities and Events – From the demolition derby to the Independence Day parade to the Memorial Day Tribute and everything in between, help bring these events to life. • Healthy West Jordan – Ready, set, RUN! The Healthy West Jordan Committee plans our annual fun run, Weigh Biggest Loser contest and more in an effort to keep our community moving. • Parks and Open Lands – Share your ideas on what types of parks we need and how we are going to pay for the maintenance and operation of them. • Sustainability – Help find ways for us to be more efficient in our use of water, energy and other resources and plan for the future growth in West Jordan. • Planning Commission – The Planning Commission helps determine the types of new homes that are built and where new stores and business are located. More information is available on the city website at www.wjordan.com under the “Resident” and then the “Committee” tab. You can also email info@wjordan.com or contact City Hall at 801-5695100 if you have questions about the committees or how to apply.








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City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.












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Students ‘Get a Life’ at West Hills Middle School Event By Mylinda LeGrande


130 Years


inth-grade students had a dose of reality on Oct. 20 at West Hills Middle School. Reality Town is a hands-on experience where students are allowed to make financial and life choice decisions such as careers, home and car buying. Students were able to choose a career based on their GPA. The higher the GPA, the higher their pay would be. “Work-based learning enhances college and careers and how they work together. Reality Town is the financial

the students arrived in the school gym dressed in attire appropriate to their chosen career. The goal was to stop at each financial booth that was manned mostly by parent volunteers. Booths were comprised of housing, taxes, transportation, groceries, bank, child care, doctor’s office, utilities, entertainment and others. With a set amount of income they were able to pay bills, choose housing and transportation. America First Credit Union repre-

This school experience was meant to be fun for the students, but also proved stressful. If wise choices weren’t made or there was a calculation error in their checkbook, students ran out of money and had to visit the financial advice booth where they were advised to sell their expensive house back, get a loan or be advised to get a second job. It wasn’t without problems, either. One student, Lyndsey, had a salary of over $90,000 as a psychologist, but also

sentative, Melissa Veltri, assisted in the financial/banking booth. The bank also donated the booklets and checkbooks for the students to use during the event. “We really believe in promoting financial literacy and financial education. These kids are going to be our future; they are going to our next members, borrowers and savers. We come out in the community and do various activities with the kids not to necessarily promote ourselves, but to be in the community and give correct information,” Veltri said.

had a spouse who was a student and worked part time, and had three kids. She wasn’t allowed to use the spouse’s income for childcare, which seemed unrealistic. She seemed very flustered, as she explained why she wasn’t having a good time. “I made all the right economic choices: buying the cheapest house and car, choosing the economic choice on food, and I still ended up with no money. I’m not sure if the volunteers calculated my checkbook wrong for me or what, but I didn’t even go to all the booths. How does that happen with my amount of given income?” she said. Despite the stress of the real-to-life experience, it was an overall success. Students experienced how their choices and grades they make now will impact them in the future. “I think it’s a really good hands-on learning experience. I’m trying to teach my kids how to manage their money. This helps them understand what moms and dads do,” parent of a WHMS student, Mar nie Brussell, said.

Taking Care of



Students at WHMS visit each booth in Reality Town.

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part. Grades do matter for this scenario. What we are trying to say is that you need to budget your money,” Marta Rae Diamond, a work-based learning representative for the district, said. To include different family scenarios, the students were assigned to be married with a spouse that works full time, to be a stay-at-home parent or be a student/ part-time employee. Some of them were also a single parent. Each was randomly assigned to have one to three children. Armed with their financial booklets,


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Expectations Are High for Boys Football Teams End Successful Seasons Basketball Teams W W By Greg James

By Greg James

icked wind, snow, light rain or blistering heat will not deter West Jordan and Copper Hills little league football teams from storming the field to take on their next opponents. “We had lots of kids this year. It was exciting and awesome. I have nothing but praise for our volunteer coaches and board members. I am thankful for the time they put in,” Copper Hills Ute Conference president Rex Fivas said. The Scout Division (7 and 8 year olds) at Copper Hills, coached by Preston Sweeney, had a very successful season. They captured a division championship with a 21-19 victory over Olympus on Nov. 14. They finished the regular season with a 7-4 record overall. They defeated Cyprus in the first round of the playoffs 28-6. “Overall our Scout program was a great success. We had four teams of 7- and 8-yearolds. It was great,” Fivas said. West Jordan little league also celebrated its own championships. Bantam Division (13-year-olds) head coach Conrad Capel

est Jordan and Copper Hills boys basketball teams have something to prove. Different reasons have motivated each team to start the season headed in the right direction. Last season Grizzlies head coach Andrew Blanchard said his team would not surprise anyone. They had experience returning at every position, and he expected them to get better as the season went along. Despite finishing the regular season 15-8, they struggled against the teams in Region 3. Their 6-4 region record was only good enough for a three-way tie with Alta and Brighton for

They will also rely on the size of center Porter Hawkins. At 6-foot-8, he will garner attention from defenses around the state. The outside shooting of Trevor Hoffman and Charlie Olson will need to help open the middle for Hawkins. Hawkins and Sanchez have both verbally committed to play at Dixie State in St. George after graduation. The Jaguars’ opponents should check their eyesight before their games. They may think they are seeing double. The brother combination of Jacob and Jordan Lowery, both seniors, scored 348 points last season. The Jaguars finished last season with a 7-16 record. Their only region victory was a one-point, come-from -behind win over Jordan. They only averaged 51.7 points per game; only Hillcrest scored fewer points in Utah’s 5A division. Improving their scoring average could help them increase their win total this season. Head coach Scott Briggs is beginning his 15th season at West Jordan. The Jaguars successful past will help propel this team to return to the top. They Jordan Lowery, a 6-foot-3 forward, will need to help carry the scoring load to help have won two state titles the Jaguars improve this season. Photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com (2001 and 2008) in the school’s history. The Grizzlies defeated the Jaguars in both second place. Their two losses to Brighton forced them to be the number four seed in the of last season’s match ups; 57-42 and 66-50. state tournament. That matched them up with They are scheduled to face each other Friday, powerhouse Lone Peak in the first round, and Jan. 8 and Tuesday, Feb. 2. West Jordan is scheduled to open its they lost 99-74. Their first round loss has motivated them season Nov. 24 (after press deadline) against this season. The Grizzlies return several key Hunter. They visit Herriman Wednesday, Dec. players. Four seniors are scheduled to take the 2 and host Syracuse Friday, Dec. 4. Copper Hills is scheduled to host its first court to help the Grizzlies return to the state tournament. Preston Sanchez led the team last home game Tuesday, Dec. 8 against Roy and season in scoring. In his career he has averaged will participate in the Elite Eight tournament in American Fork Dec. 10-12. 11.4 points per game. 

led his team to a 28-14 victory over East for a division championship. Jethro Knox helped guide his Midget Division (12-yearolds) to a championship with a 20-19 thrilling victory over Taylorsville. The Mity Mite Division team (11-year-olds), led by Steve Coffman, defeated East 25-24 for its championship. West Jordan and Copper Hills youth football programs participate in the Ute Conference Football Program governed by the national organization USA Football. Copper Hills had nearly 380 participants and 19 teams; West Jordan had 10 teams. Both programs are run by volunteers. They help with uniforms, equipment, snack shacks, scheduling and safety. “I cannot wait until next season,” Fivas said. Ute Conference Football was established to promote the opportunity for all players to enjoy and participate in the game of football. West Jordan hosts its league games at West Jordan Middle School, and Copper Hills  plays at West Hills Middle School.

The Copper Hills Mity Mite football team finished this season 5-6. They were coached by Heath Hills. Photo credit Greg James


Are Bargain Hunters too Dang Cheap?

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hile chatting the other day with a friend of mine who owns a popular downtown Salt Lake restaurant, we got into a conversation about deals and coupons they offered through various advertising mediums. This restaurateur friend of mine has promoted many times through these marketing avenues, and I was picking his brain for insight on what works and what doesn’t. I mentioned that I had been reading on Yelp.com (a popular customer review website) a plethora of negative comments about various restaurants (including his), and how MANY of the negative reviewers start their review with “I had a coupon or deal voucher for this company and decided to give it a try.” Then the reviewer would launch into a rant of negativity, bashing the food or service provider. As my friend and I further discussed this, he stated that sometimes bargain hunters are terrible customers and that “it is not uncommon for them to complain, under tip and even attempt to mis-use their certificates or coupons.” I’m finding this trend sad and disturbing! Most of these businesses are local to our economy. They employ our families, friends and neighbors. They support not only their families but the employees that count on it, too. When they discount their product, it’s in



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the hopes of getting new and loyal customers. Then, in addition to having to pay the advertiser, they watch as we, the consumers, berate them publicly for future customers to see. SAY WHAT?! I’m sad to say that many merchants I’ve spoken with view deal users as classless and cheap. I recently had the marketing director of a popular Utah location tell me they did not want coupon and deal users at their place of business, leaving their, and I quote, “McDonalds bags and dirty diapers all over their lawn.” OUCH! That hurt! After all, I rarely eat fast food and my kids are adults. Of course, one has nothing to do with the other. It was the stigma she attached to the bargain hunter that bothered me. When I use a deal voucher or coupon, I take a much different approach. The f i r s t thing I do is to thank the manager or owner (if possible) for providing me with this great chance to try their services or product. Or, I will immediately let the waiter, cashier or other employee know that I have the deal voucher and then ask them to thank their boss on my behalf. I’m happy, kind and courteous and do my best to make the service employee have a better day. This small gesture of kindness will

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set the tone for your entire dining or shopping experience. It will make the merchant proud and glad they offered YOU this discount. This holiday season, I hope you’ll join me in saying thanks to the merchants from whom you have received special savings. Leave comments on their Facebook pages, tip extra, make a purchase without a coupon even if there is one, or simply smile and show gratitude to our small local Utah businesses for giving us a discount on their products and services that we might not have discovered otherwise. If you do go back to the business, let them know you found them through a coupon or deal, and you  are so glad you did.

Limited time only at participating restaurants. Additional charge for Extras. Plus tax where applicable. No cash value. One coupon per customer per visit. May not be combined with other offers, coupons or discount cards. Coupon must be surrendered with purchase. Void if transferred, sold auctioned, reproduced or altered. ©2015 Doctor's Associates Inc. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor's

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DECEMBER 2015 | PAGE 23 .

Have Yourself an Eco-Friendly Christmas By Peri Kinder


t turns out that some scientists think we’re headed for a mass extinction. Merry Christmas! I guess our greedy attitude about the world’s resources is taking its toll on the oceans, rain forests, various ecosystems and the ability for celebrities to own a different fur coat for every day of the week. In order to reverse this Christmatasrophe, we need to change our wasteful habits. I’ve put together some new holiday rules that might just save the planet. (You can thank me later.) • Due to the inversion, chestnuts can no longer be roasted on an open fire. Chestnuts can instead be microwaved and then sprayed with a chemical-free Roasting Chestnut air freshener. • In accordance with PETA guidelines, reindeer will not be allowed to fly for 24 hours without a bathroom or smoke break. • Naughty children will no longer receive lumps of coal, but will instead be given a stocking full of organic Brussels sprouts. (Much worse than coal.) • Colorful Christmas packages can only be wrapped in old newspaper, making them neither colorful nor timely. • Thanks to global warming, dreaming of a white Christmas is no longer allowed. • No Christmas trees can be displayed unless

materialistic little buggers (i.e. teenagers) who are never content. Cutting back on holiday extravagance could remind your family of the importance of the season. As Thoreau once said, “Simplify, simplify.” (Although you’d think he

they’re made from reclaimed barn wood. • With the rapid rise in STDs, mistletoe can no longer be hung at office parties. (All other unacceptable behavior has been canceled.) • Christmas carolers can only go door-to-door with the proper permits and background checks. • The phrase, “Let your heart be light” only applies if your heart is powered by solar panels. • Because of the increasing number of people with diabetes, cookies for Santa are no longer allowed. • No family can send out Christmas newsletters. (Not to save the planet. I just don’t want to read them.) • Due to the melting of the polar ice caps, Santa’s workshop is being relocated to Canada. While these changes are great, it’s not just our harmful environmental attitudes that need a holiday makeover. Unregulated capitalism in America has created a society of




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could have said it once.) You can tell your kids you’re trying to save money or you can tell your kids that Putin has “annexed” the North Pole and put a sanction on gifts made in Kris Kringle’s workshop. Whatever works. Decorate your home with nature. Pinecones, dried leaves, artfully arranged twigs and fresh pine boughs (cut from your neighbor’s tree) can add a beautiful touch to a mantel or centerpiece. I went in my backyard to find some nature but only discovered little piles of Christmas spirit left for me by my dog. For Christmas dinner, whip up a delicious batch of grass fed, locally-grown, free range sweet potatoes. Forgo the annual ham or turkey and try a fresh holiday green salad. (Don’t cook reindeer burgers, unless you want PETA to jump out from behind your couch and smack it out of your hand.) You could even give your guests a paper bag full of food scraps as a Start Your Own Compost Kit. Then, on Christmas morning, while you’re sitting with your family amidst piles of gifts made from recycled soda cans, old socks and discarded toilet paper rolls, you can bask in the warmth of an eco-friendly Christmas. Or, according to scientists, it might be the warmth of poisonous gases trapped in the earth’s atmo sphere. Happy holidays.

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Profile for The City Journals

West Jordan December 2015  

Vol. 15 Iss. 12

West Jordan December 2015  

Vol. 15 Iss. 12