Letters to the Editor, March 5-7, 2014
March 4, 2014
Old mining structures need preserving
We as a community need demand that both Park City Mountain and Deer Valley
Resort start preserving the old mining structures that are on their properties.
As you ski past these beautiful old mining buildings year after year you see that they are slowly — and some not so slowly — deteriorating. The problem is when they’re gone they’re gone. An example is when you go to the Pioneer Lift at Park City Mountain there is a plaque with a picture of old mining builds that used to be there. Unless we want a bunch of plaques representing our history we need to demand the resorts take responsibility for preserving these priceless structures.
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Facts should determine living wage decision, not ideology
Living Wage House Bill 73 was heard in House Health and Human Services committee Monday. The bill raises the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.25 for workers and from $2.13 to $3.13 for restaurant servers. The main complaint facing the bill is the probable cost to the state and to small businesses.
Representative Lynn Hemingway, the bill’s author, said, "Committee members made a brave choice to allow this bill to be heard today. Facts should determine whether or not this goes forward, not ideology. The fact is that the current minimum wage does not provide a way for workers to live with dignity, to accomplish their goals. These facts will come out in interim study. We have the tools to lower unemployment, increase educational attainment and boost people’s chances to climb out of poverty. We have a tendency to blame the poor instead of the system we have set up that has continued to damn them."
The bill’s fiscal note claims a $20 million price tag from public and higher education. Representative Hemingway continued, "The biggest cost attached to this bill is in education, which directly confronts the systemic lack of funding for our education system. Our priorities are all backwards right now. We need to put our money where our mouth is. We need to support our hardest working employees and give them a chance to live, not survive."
HB 73 would affect 35,000 Utah employees, 85% of which are over 20 years of age and working full time. Representative Hemingway hopes that an increase in the living wage would lessen the dependency on the social safety net, and support working parents who have not had the chance to earn college degrees. "We either reward people for their hard work, or we support their families through government programs. These are the decisions we have to make now."
Utah House Democratic Caucus
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Veterans: sacrificial lambs
Our Legislators have no qualms sending our men and women in uniform into harm’s way. We who served and those who continue to serve do what is expected in service for our Country, even if it means the giving of our life. Eventually we become Veterans.
Some of us at some point need help from our government, usually in the form of VA benefits. A Senate Bill S.1982 would have included disability compensation, pensions, survivor benefits and education, vocational training rehab, opening of new VA clinics and medical facilities and cost of living adjustments for military retires; naming a few benefits.
S.1982, titled: Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits, a Bill to improve provisions of service and benefits to veterans. The Bill failed passage in the Senate by a vote of 56 to 41, needed was 60 Yea votes. All Democrat Senators voted Yea. The Bill failed because of the Republican vote of Nay. Those Senators who disagreed was due to $21 billion budget spread out over ten years. Our veterans are not worth the dollars. Where does that place the veterans, they still have to continue to beg for VA benefits.
Where is the accountability when it come to veterans benefits? It seems many of our legislators do not understand accountability. Must veterans continue to carry budget cuts on their backs?
There is still an active House Bill HR-543, The Vietnam Agent Orange Act for Blue Water Navy. Will this Bill fail as well? We used to be able to count on our elected Congress and Senate who would send us off to war. We counted on them to do the right thing when we would be in need of help, no more, so what happened?
All Americans should contact their respective members of Congress and Senate and advise them to do what is right for our veterans.
John J. Bury, U.S. Navy, retired
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PCHS tech program is dazzling
Recently I attended Parent Teacher Conference for my 5th grader, Kira. She’s at JRES, in Ms. Johnston’s class, and Kira led me through a multimedia computer portfolio of her work in class this year. It dazzled me!
Wow, congrats to Ms. Johnston and Mr. Daenitz for partnering together to create a class of 5th grade tech-wiz kids. In particular, I appreciate Ms. Johnston taking the time to custom tailor curriculum to give our kids every technology advantage using many computer programs. Also, thanks to Mr. Daenitz for spending many hours helping the kids sort through thorny problems and fix them. Kira was very proud of her accomplishments.
Also, thanks to PCHS Principal, Bob O’Connor, for his visionary creation of a robotics program for our district. In only their third year of competition, PCHS Robotics Mentor, Charlie Matthews, coached the RoboMiners to a first place win in Utah’s First Tech Challenge competition. Two other teams from Park City, the PCHS Torque Team, also coached by Mr. Matthews and the LadyBots also medaled in this competition. The RoboMiners and LadyBots are both headed to the regional competition in Sacramento on March
This is exactly the innovative technology vision we were hoping our district would achieve.