FARMINGTON — Some may say Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is not yet reality, but the ideals King espoused in that speech and many others, are getting new attention with the rising generation.
Students from around the state participated in an essay and video contest related to King’s work, sponsored by the Educational Equity department of the Utah State Office of Education.
State winners and their teachers, principals and parents were honored at a luncheon hosted by Davis School District last week.
Seven of the 14 student winners were from Davis County schools.
“We feel (the contest) helps the students learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, it’s challenges and accomplishments,” said Amanda Charlesworth, program specialist for the state equity department.
“This gives the kids the opportunity to look at the world through a different lens,” she said. “It helps them be advocates where needed, and helps them know they need to speak up when necessary.”
The message came through for Connor Kleinman, a Woods Cross student who shared the video award with fellow seniors Davis Johnson and Alex Sutherland.
Their video, as all others in the competition, was based on King’s quote about service:
“Everyone has the power for greatness,” said King, “not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.”
The Woods Cross team wanted their video to be as deep as the quote, said Conner, so they filmed in the hills over Davis County, with broad vistas to “evoke the emotion of the quote.”
“The more you think about it, you can start to understand his purpose and how incredible he was,” said Connor. “It’s amazing how true it is and how greatness really is defined by service.”
Rebecca Doud, a student from North Layton Junior High, won the grand prize for the esssay contest in the seventh to ninth grade category.
Her essay, which she read at the luncheon, compared the people of the world to a symphony, where every person has a part and can “make an impact even if we’re not noticed.”
Some people provide the melody, like King, she said through her essay.
But those who add harmonies in support or provide the percussive beats by small acts are also important.
The keynote speaker at the Wednesday luncheon was Nadia Crow, a news anchor and reporter for ABC’s channel 4.
Crow spoke of those who inspired her, both at home and in the workplace, and said civil rights are not just an issue of race, but of religion and gender.
“Dr. King’s legacy matters to all of us,” she said. “His legacy is the way we treat people and the way we carry ourselves. Dr. King’s legacy still lives in all of us regardless of our skin color.”
At the start of the luncheon, Bryan Bowles, superintendent of Davis School District, outlined King’s passion for education, including that he started school before he was technically old enough and that he started his college studies at age 15.
“It’s a wonderful experience to study his work,” he said, “to study his writings and to write yourselves.”
Bowles said a statement made by King has always resonated with him: “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” said King.
Bowles encouraged the kids to live up to that challenge.
“You are in the position – each of you – to stand up, to speak up,” said Bowles, “to continue in the path of education and to continue to always speak up.”
Kudos for taking the important step to set up a revocable living or family trust to avoid probate and protect your estate for your loved ones. If it has been more than five years since you reviewed your trust now is a great time to make a New Year’s resolution to get it out and take another look.
1. Funding: This is the process of making sure your assets are properly transferred or directed to your trust when you die. Real estate must be transferred to a trust prior to your death by a recorded deed. If you acquire new properties or timeshares and fail to deed them to your trust, those properties will need to go through probate in order to be distributed or before anyone can do anything with the property.
Bank accounts, credit union accounts, investment accounts, bonds, retirement accounts and annuities have specialized funding instructions to make them a part of your trust before you die. It is not recommended to put retirement accounts into a trust as there can be serious tax consequences.
2. Minor Beneficiary Provisions for Grown Children: If you created your trust when your children were young you may have made them concurrent beneficiaries with you and/or your spouse before your deaths to be sure they received support until they were grown. If your grown children still have rights in your trust while you and/or your spouse are living, your children’s legal problems can become yours.
An amendment may guarantee that your children do not have any legal interest in your trust until after both you and your spouse die.
Your trust also can be set up to protect your children’s shares from their creditors, ex-spouses and from an inheritance making a disabled child ineligible for disability benefits like Social Security and Medicaid.
3. A-B Trusts and Marital Trust vs. Credit Shelter Trust provisions: Many trusts drafted in the last 30 years contain provisions to maximize Federal Inheritance tax exemptions. In 2015 the federal estate tax limit has risen to $5.43m thus making many of the old trust split formulas obsolete and can result in unanticipated consequences.
Many trusts become irrevocable upon the death of the first spouse, rendering the trust unchangeable. Unfortunately, a home held by an irrevocable trust may not qualify for a reverse mortgage.
On the other hand, a trust that is revocable may be subject to marital claims if the surviving spouse remarries later in life. Some older trusts thought to provide some form of Medicaid planning may not work because of changes in Medicaid laws.
Trusts are wonderful tools; however, because laws constantly change, a trust should be seen as a living and evolving entity much like a garden that needs pruning and watering. To make certain that your trust works the way that you intend it needs to be reviewed by an elder law attorney in your area.
KAYSVILLE — The next time you take a sip of hot chocolate, thank a tree.
Chocolate of all kinds starts its life as cocoa beans, which are seeds found in pods that grow on cacao trees. USU Botanical Center will take Davis County residents through the process in their next Explore the Garden Family Night: Hot Chocolate Night, set for Jan. 26 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the USUBC Utah House. In addition, there will be a hot chocolate tasting bar.
“We like to have a little learning, a little fun, and a little doing,” said Jayne Mulford, who organizes the events. “It gives us the chance to share some knowledge, and maybe have a fun activity.”
Richard Anderson, the botanical center’s greenhouse manager and new plant introduction specialist, will talk about the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate. The beans, which start out white in color, often become violet or reddish-brown during the drying process.
“He’ll also tell us a little about the cocoa trade,” said Mulford.
Afterward, there will be a hot chocolate tasting bar, where different flavors will be available for sampling. Attendees will also be able to make their own packet of specialty hot chocolate to take home.
“People can add their own different flavors and spices,” she said.
Hot Chocolate Night is just the first example of the botanical center’s efforts to expand their Explore the Garden Nights, giving them the chance to show off a wider range of opportunities the botanical center and Utah House has to offer.
“This series is designed to get families interested in different sections of the garden,” said Mulford.
February’s night will focus on succulents, those plants with fleshy sections designed to hold water for the plant, and participants will get to take home their own indoor miniature succulent garden. In March, the topic will be backyard birding at the botanical center’s Wetland Discovery Center. Participants will get the chance to make and take home their own bird feeders.
Hot Chocolate Night costs $3 per person or $10 for family. To register, visit usubotanicalcenter.org and click on the “Explore the Garden” link.