Make the world a better place during the holidays

Editor:

During this festive time of year, can we each take a minute and reflect on what is really important in this world and in our lives? To me it is spelled out in one word Goodness. Being good, being kind, being generous and above all being respectful. Each day we are barraged by bigotry and hatred and evil. Discrimination is rampant and is based solely on difference. Too many are taught "we are better than the others". We are superior. They are inferior. Be it because of their religion or skin color or sexual orientation or that they are short, tall or anything else that "we" are not. The reality is we are all different. And we are all the same. We may look different, speak differently and believe differently. But in the end we are all human beings with strengths and weaknesses and aspirations and dreams. The best gift we can give to ourselves and our loved ones this year is to set the example, to show the way to being the kind of person we all know we should be. Reason and empathy and emotion and the ability to feel joy and sadness is a big part of what makes us human. We can employ those traits and enrich the our lives and those we share this wonderful world with. This holiday season let's all commit to follow the words inscribed on the inside of the doorway at my High School "Go Forth and Spread Beauty and Light". It will make a difference.

The Best of the Season to Everyone

Jim and Laura Arnold

Park City

A parent speaks out for kids at underage party

Editor:

This is a response to Ms. Stratton's letter dated 12/18/13.

My husband and I are both Utah natives, and we have lived in Park City for 26 years. We appreciate that members of our community, both local and beyond, have the right to voice distinct and often varying opinions; indeed, our country was founded on this principle, and this is our 1st Amendment right. When we voice our opinions, however, we need to consider all the facts and the specific contexts of situations or issues.

It is not our intent to have our young adults disobey or disrespect the law, and it is not our intent that they avoid the consequences of a poor decision. We understand and support the theory of natural consequences, and we hold them accountable for their actions. In fact, we are clear about raising our young adults to be citizens that honor our laws and constitution. Your letter describing us parents as self-entitled misses the mark, because at least 30 of us waited for over two hours in below-zero temperatures to address our young adults and take accountability for their actions.

I am very fond of Treasure Mountain, because they have an amazing staff of qualified teachers, counselors and administrators. I am disappointed and sad, however, that a TMMS teacher believes that all the young adults were drunk, combative and obnoxious, and that all the parents supply alcohol and permit underage drinking parties in their homes. This misconception and unfounded prejudice is exactly why my husband is speaking out. We have never and will never serve alcohol to our underage young adults, and we do not condone underage drinking by our young adults or their friends.

This discussion is a much broader issue. We want to address the local law enforcement's abuse, disrespect, condemnation, and impropriety in dealing with this situation and many others. We also want to discuss the attitude and approach of these civil servants that inspire fear in the community. Sadly, your accusations accomplish the same.

Ending on a positive note and by way of mending fences and building a bridge, I welcome and invite you to attend the meeting that we plan to hold after the New Year. We welcome your voice, comments and opinions in person. We hope this meeting will help you and others to "get real" about the members of this community and our view that our young adults should face the consequences of their actions while law enforcement must adjust to help build a safer, more professional and respectful environment for our young adults and citizens. We are hoping to lead a conversation that is not heated, accusatory or negative, but rather calm, tolerant, and positive.

Tami Macfarlane

Park City

Students celebrate the true spirit of the holidays

Editor:

The true spirit of the holidays was demonstrated this past week by Mrs. James' fourth-grade class at Park City Day School. I am proud to say that my daughter was part of the experience.

Park City Day School helps its students become altruistic, caring and involved citizens through Service Learning projects integrated with their academic curriculum. As part of this program, Mrs. James' class learned about the VOA Homeless Youth Resource Center, an organization that helps children, some of them not much older than themselves, who are without a home.

For their annual "Market Day," in which the students produce, market and sell homemade goods, Mrs. James' class selected the VOA Homeless Youth Center to receive all of the profits they generated from the day. My daughter was so excited to come up with a product that she could make herself, market and sell to benefit these children. She and a fellow classmate teamed up to create a list of supplies and cost of production, to visit "the bank of parents" for a business loan, and to create marketing materials in art class.

The fourth grade earned close to two thousand dollars. They took their hard earned money and went shopping at Walmart to buy backpacks and supplies for these homeless kids. My daughter was excited to "fill her backpack" with as many things as she could, debating on which pair of gloves would be warmest, which fast food restaurant had the healthiest food (gift cards for food were purchased at Walmart too) and if the blanket was too big to fit in the backpack. When the shopping was done and we were boarding the bus to go back to school my daughter looked at me and said "we did something really good today. I feel so bad that these kids don't have a home. I hope this helps." I was both proud and in awe that my 10 year-old daughter recognized that others need help and how much she wanted to be part of the helping process. As a parent I couldn't have asked for a better holiday gift.

Tracy Roberts

Park City