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Sen. Weiler sends letter to pose questions over election controversy
by Becky Ginos
Nov 29, 2015 | 490 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sen. Todd Weiler speaks at the Capitol as Gov. Gary Herbert looks on. 
Courtesy photo
Sen. Todd Weiler speaks at the Capitol as Gov. Gary Herbert looks on. Courtesy photo

WOODS CROSSThere has been a great deal of political fighting between the Republican Party and state election officials over count my vote versus the traditional caucus/convention route. After the recent ruling to clarify SB 54, questions still abound and Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Dist. 23 is knee deep in the controversy.

“It all started about three years ago when the count my vote group approached the Republican Party,” said Weiler. “They said they were concerned that the caucus system was not reflective of the public at large because it excluded the military and single mothers with young children. Their philosophy was the reason people don’t vote is because they feel like it’s already been decided so their vote doesn’t count.”

Weiler said he sat on the committee that debated the issue for about six months. In February 2014 the legislature crafted and passed SB 54 that would allow both the delegate system and the petition path. However, the Republican Party Chairman James Evans has stated that the petition route is not allowed under the rules of the party and candidates who choose that avenue could be disqualified.

With all of the confusion and the election filing date right around the corner, Weiler decided to take action. “I sent a letter to the election office to ask if I would still be placed on the ballot if I went the signature path,” said Weiler. “My questions were designed to bring this to a head. I had to jump into the fray to get things moving along.”

According to Weiler, Evans said the Republican Party will only allow a caucus and anyone who goes the signature route will be “excommunicated” from the party. “The lieutenant governor made the decision to designate them as a Qualified Political Party (QPP) which would make it so a candidate could choose either the convention path or signature path or both,” said Weiler. 

“Under the current law, do I have the choice to collect signatures, go to convention – or do both?” Weiler asked in his letter to the state elections officer, Mark Thomas. “If yes, what if my party says I can’t collect signatures? If no, what has changed?”


Weiler goes on to ask if a QPP can prohibit a candidate from collecting signatures under the current law and revoke his membership. If so, would his name still appear on the ballot as a Republican?

“I want to go to convention,” said Weiler. “I want to be able to face the delegates and tell them why I should be elected. I don’t know anyone who isn’t going to the convention. I think everyone is planning to do both. Why wouldn’t you hedge your bets? Jim Evans was offered a seat at the table but he refused to be part of it, then he says the party wasn’t included.”

Weiler said he’s not the only candidate who is concerned. “I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t,” he said. “Every candidate is in the same situation. I’ve had many of them tell me ‘thank you, thank you,’ for taking this on. I think it is kind of ridiculous to say if you gather any signatures you can’t be a republican.”

Now Weiler is waiting for a response to his letter. “I’m either courageous or stupid,” he said. “The real kicker is that the Republican Party does not control the ballot. They can kick and scream all they want but it depends on the lieutenant governor.”




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Bountiful/Davis Art Center holiday show offers feast of art
Nov 29, 2015 | 507 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lester B. Lee’s “Rockport Episcopal.” 
Photo by Jenniffer Wardell | Davis Clipper
Lester B. Lee’s “Rockport Episcopal.” Photo by Jenniffer Wardell | Davis Clipper

BOUNTIFUL — Give your holiday season an artistic spin. 

The Bountiful/Davis Art Center is doing just that with its 41st Annual Holiday Art Show, open now through Dec. 23 in the art center’s main gallery. The exhibit includes work from more than 50 artists, an eclectic variety ranges from delicate landscapes to bolder, more modern pieces. 

Sprinkled throughout the gallery and front entrance are several specifically Christmas-themed works, including a set of gorgeous, classic Santas from Robert McKay.  Paul Mann’s “The Christ Child is Born” takes us to the intimate warmth of the nativity, where a tender family feeling radiates off the canvas. Kirk Harmon takes a more reflective approach to the same setting in “Mary Pondered These Things,” her distant gaze focused on the future, heaven or eternity. 

Other Christmas pieces feature a more modern twist. Carma Hart Fuller’s painted gourds make abstraction seem elegantly retro in “Christmas Decorations,” while her “Pleasing Poinsettia” has an almost stained-glass quality. Steve D. Stones seemingly gives a nod to Andy Warhol with his fun, pop-culture influenced paintings, which include everything from Mr. Potato Head dressed up as Santa to St. Nicholas himself having a serious discussion with Colonel Sanders of KFC fame. 

The exhibit stretches beyond the holiday theme, however. Namon Bills “&” is modernity with a more homey touch, the elegant sleekness of the ampersand offset by snippets of what feels like the remnants of an adventure. Carol Berry gives an even greater nod to wordsmiths, building portraits of Ludvig Van Beethoven and Edgar Allen Poe out of related words. The resulting pieces are bold, creative and fun. 

Landscapes have a strong presence as always, often skewing toward smaller, more delicate works. Bessann Swanson captures the state’s mountains with what only seems like a few wisps of paint in “Cliffs and Sky,” while Lester Lee brings “Rockport Episcopal” to life just as delicately. On the bolder side of things, Wendy Dimick’s “Up, Up and Away” does a beautiful job capturing both the height and brilliance of a group of slender trees.

There is also a scattering of plein air pieces from the competition the art center held earlier this fall, a representation of the year that’s drawing to a close. 

Other artworks are most notable for their sense of playfulness. Susan Darger’s “Christmas in the Universe” turns a string of lights into a glowing fantasy, while Dimick’s jungle cat duo feel like a storybook come to life. Mary Wells’ “26 Endangered Dragons is an actual storybook,” a pop-up wonder that will make you long for a closer look.

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Life and Laughter: Have Yourself an Eco-Friendly Christmas
Nov 29, 2015 | 301 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print


 The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Davis Clipper.


It 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, reindeers 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 Brussel sprouts. (Much worse than coal.)

• Colorful Christmas packages can only be wrapped in old newspapers, 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 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 also 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 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 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 decided to “annex” the North Pole and has 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 overhanging 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 them 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 atmosphere. Happy holidays.

Peri Kinder’s book, Life and Laughter, a compilation of her award-winning columns, makes a great Christmas gift. To order or find out more, email her at

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Davis High wrestler signs with Missou ssouri
Nov 29, 2015 | 232 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KOELLING STANDS WITH school leaders after signing with Missouri. At right, he  competes against Salem Hills’ Jacob Armstrong.
Courtesy photo
KOELLING STANDS WITH school leaders after signing with Missouri. At right, he competes against Salem Hills’ Jacob Armstrong. Courtesy photo

Clipper Sportswriter


KAYSVILLE--Davis High senior Wyatt Koelling has a goal to become an Olympic and world champion wrestler. He took big steps towards fulfilling that dream by signing with the University of Missouri on Nov. 11.

“Going to wrestle for Missouri is the best possible way for me to succeed,” Koelling said, noting the regional training center the Tigers access. “Their Tiger-Style way [of an upstanding lifestyle expectation] is about developing as a person on and off the mat and that is a perfect fit for me.”

“We did our homework on Wyatt and then I went to visit Davis High and saw firsthand how the students and teachers love him,” said Missouri head coach Brian Smith. “The more we got to know Wyatt and his good character, the more we realized that he’s the type of kid we wanted here in our program on and off the mat.” 

“This is what he’s been working for,” Davis head coach Neal Porter said. “He is extremely self-motivated and works year-round at his goals, which gives him every chance to achieve every one of them.”

The son of Guy and Kris Koelling of Kaysville won the 85 kg title in the Cadets (17 and under) division at the Pan American Games this summer in Guadeljara, Mexico, as a current member of the U.S.’s World Team. He also competed in Bosnia at the World Championships in August but lost in the first round.

“Those were great experiences and I learned a lot about what I can do to improve,” he said.

Koelling started wrestling in the second grade while also trying out other sports. During the summer between his fourth and fifth grade years, he won the Freestyle National Championship at Utah Valley University.

“That was the greatest feeling,” he said. “Looking back, it was definitely one of the things that helped me want to stick with wrestling and I really started to take it seriously.”

After a family move from Logan to Kaysville in seventh grade, Koelling sunk himself more into wrestling – while playing football and lacrosse as well – since he hadn’t made any friends yet. “I was getting super burned out and because of that I was not performing and excelling the way that I wanted to,” he said. “The hours I was putting into practice wasn’t showing in competitive and I was getting really frustrated and at one point, I wanted to quit.”

Guy and Kris Koelling continued to take their son to practice to finish the commitment he started. “If it wasn’t for them pushing me, I don’t know if I would be wrestling today,” Wyatt Koelling said.

He began focusing more on wrestling from that point on and it resulted in Freestyle and Greco Roman national championships at the end of his eighth grade year.

That success led Koelling to a desire to make a world team and compete for the U.S. “So, I worked really 

hard and went to the United World Wrestling Cadet National Championships in Akron, Ohio and didn’t even place,” he said.

In 2014, the current Greco national champion again tried out for the world team and came up short with a third-place finish. This past summer, he traveled back to Akron and came away with a spot on the team. 

At Davis High, Koelling is a two-time state champion – at 182 lbs. his sophomore year and 195 lbs. last season – and will again be a team captain for the third consecutive year.

Koelling credits his parents for their support, and Porter, Wyatt Ray, Talan Knox and Craig LaMont for their coaching over the years. He said he will put in the work to “go do business” for the Darts before moving on to the college ranks. 

“At Missouri, I’ll be practicing with the best, and that’s what you have to do to become the best,” he said.


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Tom’s Tomes: Galloping before I am gobbling
Nov 28, 2015 | 207 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

By time most of you read this, I will, hopefully, have finished my new Thanksgiving tradition—a 5K race. This began last summer when my health-conscious wife talked me into trying a 5K in Heber City over Memorial Day. I finished—that was goal number one. Then last Thanksgiving Day, we “ran” another one in Cottonwood Heights. This year, we’re going to do that one again.

Because I’ve been fighting an ankle injury since February, I haven’t worked out much in terms of running. I walk a couple of miles a day and have slowly started jogging a bit. So we’ll see how it goes on Thanksgiving Day 2015. My goal is to break two hours. Just kidding. Sort of. Wish me luck. 

With the fall prep sports season having ended, and in my dual role now as both Managing Editor and Sports Editor at the Clipper, I thought this might be a good time to reflect back on some of my favorite moments, and memorable athletic performances, from the first part of this high school sports year. In no particular order, here are athletes and events I was “thankful” to see this past sports season:

Davis High golfer Cole Ponich—phenomenal talent. I’d sign on to be his agent right now if I was qualified. This kid will be on the PGA Tour in a matter of years.

Kennedy Yost and Haley Stafford—the Woods Cross soccer tandem that was more dangerous to opponents than Butch and Sundance.

Olivia Wade and Ireland Dunn—the Davis soccer tandem that were offensive weapons NO ONE could stop.

Griffin Hill of Davis High—he could return kicks for TDs, haul in long passes for TDs, and once he was in the open, no one could catch him from behind.

Bountiful football star Max Tooley, who could do it all on both offense and defense. And he’s headed to BYU! (I’m a Cougar, so hooray!)

Tennis star Whitney Turley of Davis—won the 5A first singles title, something that’s become a family tradition. The four seniors on the Bountiful volleyball team who kept the team bonded despite some early season turmoil, and motivated everyone else to have their eyes on the prize—a state championship. And my apologies to sophomore Aubrey Rice, whose name we left off the championship roster in our tribute last week. She was a great part of the team.

The Davis High girls’ soccer team—an amazing group of strong offensive and defensive players. Perhaps the most dominant high school team I’ve ever seen in ANY sport—and I’ve been doing this for almost 40 years.

Viewmont volleyball player Liz Hewlett for her enthusiasm every time her team won a point. She produced many of those winners herself. Davis’ cross country teams—first in 5A boys in state, second in 5A girls, keeping a strong tradition alive in Kaysville. The school won EVERY region title available in the fall. Quite impressive.

And two particular events stand out for me:

Homecoming at Davis High—with a marching band that outperforms most collegiate bands, it was a great Friday Night Lights experience (once the sun set). 

And Bountiful High football’s tough loss at Timpview on a chilly November evening, when the Braves kept coming back and coming back and nearly pulled the upset. 

It’s a whole new season now—basketball, wrestling and swimming and diving. What surprises await us? I’m thankful that, assuming I survive my 5K, I’ll get to find out.

Happy Thanksgiving.



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