Candidate for Congress is playing into old politics

Editor:

I moved to Utah four years ago and have been involved in getting people registered to vote and became engaged in the political process. I am a strong proponent of equality and am an active member of the Democratic Party.

Last Friday in Park City I attended a Meet & Greet for Dr. Peter Clemens, a candidate for the 1st Congressional District, who I respect as an individual. I asked him directly what would make him more electable than his challenger, Donna McAleer? His answer was consistent with what I have been told before by party elders, as well as political experts throughout the state: "Polls show that a woman cannot win national seat in Utah in today's political climate!"

Is that seriously the case? If so, it is a total offense to women and men! We all have mothers, daughters, and sisters. To suggest that they cannot win in Utah is very concerning.

Also, I have been told that a "winnable candidate must be LDS." I understand that the majority in this state are LDS, but does that, and should that be, the criteria to win a national office in Utah?

With all of the discussions about the decline of our environment, job insecurity, economic turmoil, and cuts to our military spending, I would hope that the voters of Utah would be engaged in finding solutions through political candidates not based on their faith or gender. Some might say I am naïve to the political reality of the state.


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I would hope in 2014 that real life experience as a business person in manufacturing, as a director of a healthcare organization, as an officer in the Army, problem solving, and positive work ethics of the type that Donna McAleer has would be the prerequisite to who we would elect to send to office.

That is why I support and will work diligently for Donna McAleer for Congress in District 1.

Jeff Stern

Park City

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Mountain Trails volunteers to the rescue

Editor,

Last Saturday the Round Valley Roundup, Utah's only Nordic ski marathon race, took place -- but just barely. At 5:30 a.m. on the day of the race, part of the race course was lost when an ice dam broke and rendered unusable a key section of the Round Valley Nordic trail system. With some quick thinking and determination, the Mountain Trails crew, headed by Rick Fournier, MTF's Trails Genius, saved the day with a race course re-route that was later touted by some of the 248 racers as a high-quality, challenging and very fun course.

It would be easy to end the story there, but what really needs to be highlighted is the fact that this race could not have happened without the help of almost 30 volunteers. Park City has no shortage of volunteer opportunities and finding people to lend a hand is often one of the biggest challenges we face in preparing for race-day. Thus, I want to express special appreciation to the Round Valley Roundup volunteers. They were patient while we managed re-setting the course, diligent in their posts when finally assigned and flexible in doing whatever needed to be done on that chaotic morning.

The Round Valley Roundup is a fundraiser that helps cover the cost of winter grooming in Round Valley. Volunteers who are willing to step up and act as Course Marshals, Aid Station Attendants, Set-up/Tear-down Crew, Medical Staff, etc., are what keep costs down and race revenues up. All profits from the race go back into the trails, so if you love the winter trail system, thank a Round Valley Roundup volunteer!

Only with the generous support of sponsors and volunteers alike, is the Mountain Trails Foundation able to put on great community events like the Round Valley Roundup, Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, Park City Marathon, the Mid Mountain Marathon and the Tour des Suds.

Thanks to all who help the Mountain Trails Foundation continue its efforts to protect, build and maintain non-motorized trails on the Wasatch Back!

See you out there,

Lora Smith

Mountain Trails Foundation

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Billboard protections would usurp local control

Editor:

This annual attempt by the billboard companies to add more and more "rights" to owners of billboards is contrary to the philosophies espoused by our Legislature. We continuously hear "Get the Feds out of our business" and "we don't want to be beholding to the Federal Government." Yet when it comes to signs, that are logically the jurisdiction of local government, and are not a protected right in anyone's constitution, the Legislators keep listening and for some reason keep expanding the land use rights of billboards, when billboards are already one of the most protected land uses in the State.

The recent bill filed to prevent local governments from having any say as to the conversion of an existing billboard to an electronic billboard is another example, of the Legislature acting like the Federal Government. Because of a history of significant campaign contributions by the billboard industry, the Legislators are listening and acting on requests from that private industry, not unlike what we hear happens all the time at the Federal level. It is hypocritical and ethically another example of how lobbying, campaign contributions, and free campaign advertising, result in our political moral compass being thrown out the window.

John M. Janson

Millcreek Township

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Idol contender takes a bow

Editor:

I want to sincerely thank each and every person who has shown support for me over the past couple months as I've been on my American Idol journey. Being away from home, keeping up with school work, and dealing with a lot of pressure has been a hard experience for this seventeen year old, but knowing that I had such amazing home town support has meant the world to me. Specifically, I would like to thank Mr. Jensen, along with my PCHS teachers for helping me stay on track with school, Matt Strader with Basin Rec Field House, Kara Smith, and Davanza's for hosting a fabulous viewing party last week, and all of the amazing people who attended and supported me.

American Idol was the most amazing experience. I learned about performing, as well as, behind the scenes info about the music industry, and I made friendships that I will take with me forever. Though I made it to the top 15 girls, but was cut before the voting rounds, this is not the end of the road for me. People have asked how to keep in touch to find out what I'm doing next you can connect with me at AustinWolfe.com, subscribe to my YouTube channel, or follow on Instagram and Twitter (Austinwolfey). I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for all the love and support. The best is yet to come.

Austin Wolfe

Park City

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Women's Giving Fund edges closer to goal

Editor:

The Park City community at its best! As a founding member and steering committee member for the Park City Community Foundation's Women's Giving Fund (WGF), I want to thank the 855 plus women who have already joined this powerful philanthropic effort.

Our goal is to have 1001 women make a one-time gift of $1,000 in order to establish a million dollar endowment that will benefit women and children in our community. A special thank you to Canyons Resort & Vail Resorts and Zions Bank for their challenge grants that clearly generated additional awareness and new members.

We are now in the home stretch. If we reach less than 150 more members by the end of April, we will meet our goal. The Women's Giving Fund is connecting women from across our community to each other and to the needs of our community. Please become a founding member now!

Your commitment to the WGF will make a difference in your life, the lives of people who need our help, and in our broader community. Please join us today by contacting the Park City Community Foundation at 435.214.7477 or visit their website at http://theparkcityfoundation.org/wgf.

Joy Erickson

Park City