Letters to the Editor, May 16-19, 2015
May 15, 2015
Man’s best friend gets another demerit
Add me to the growing list of dog bite victims. On Tuesday morning May 12 at 8:30 a.m. on the Rail Trail, 1/4 mile east of Wyatt Earp Way (Chatham Crossing) next to the marsh but before the first foot bridge I was bitten by a dog off-leash. I stopped running when I saw the pair of dogs off-leash ahead of me They looked suspicious, one dog came around behind me and bit my right buttocks. It felt like someone grabbed my buttocks firmly with their hands. I was lucky the skin didn’t break and was uninjured. The owner’s response was "I’ve never seen it do that before." Responses like that show how unpredictable dogs can be in public, and why dogs should be on-leash regardless of how well-behaved they are.
I have reported the incident to both Park City Police and Summit County Animal Control. It was a scary incident, since I know three people in Park City who have been bitten by dogs and sustained injuries. Every morning there are many people with dogs off leash on the Rail Trail near Prospector Square. I have seen dog owners with their dogs on a leash but untethered to the owners hand. They just let the dogs roam free with the leashes attached, thinking it satisfies the leash law! There needs to be more education, bolder signage and stricter enforcement of the leash laws, especially on urban trail systems like the Rail Trail and Poison Creek Path. Laws without teeth are useless against dogs with sharp ones.
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Council is getting tough with Mountain Accord
There is some good news concerning the Mountain Accord. At the Executive Board meeting this past Monday, Board members Andy Beerman and Chris Robinson unequivocally told the Board that their constituents in Park City and Summit County did not support any transportation connection between Park City and the Cottonwood Canyons. Also there was a memo presented by the Mountain Accord staff to the executive board which proposed that any tunnel or surface transportation connection between PC and the Cottonwood Canyons be excluded from the blueprint and NEPA study going forward. In addition there was language proposed to be included in the MA charter which says "Local jurisdictions are not obligated to implement actions with which they are not in agreement."
While these items are not a done deal until the board votes on the final version of the blueprint, we have thus far been well represented on by city council member Beerman and county council member Robinson. The vote on the final blueprint should be coming up in June or July. We all need to stay vigilant of the regarding Mountain Accord and supportive of our representatives as this moves forward.
There can be no question that these major policy positions are in large part the result of all the citizens here in Park City and Summit County who have made themselves informed, and then made their voices heard by attending meetings, writing letters to the newspapers, speaking to our elected officials, and providing comments. We also have elected officials who clearly care about this community. This is democracy in action.
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Taxi driver responds to critic, questions Uber policies
After reading Sam Rubin’s letter in the Wednesday edition of The Park Record I feel compelled to respond.
With a very broad brush stroke Sam labels the taxis in Park City as unreliable, dirty, overpriced, smoky, and smelly. He even uses the word insane.
I can make the same claim about some of the people I’ve driven.
He extolls the benefits of Uber cabs, yet in the same sentence he mentions that not a single Uber cab was available on a weekend when he needed a ride. Sam mentions that the Uber cab cost only $10 ($10.25 after tip I’m guessing) while the local taxi cost $28 (even?). Like most Americans paying for any service, Sam’s focus is only on the price he is paying. Not the business expenses that every business incurs.
I’ve owned and operated four businesses in the 34 years I’ve lived in Park City. The taxi business is the least profitable, with the toughest licensing and insurance regulations.
Right now the web is full of stories about Uber drivers involved in crashes where the insurance is in doubt. There are also multiple stories of Uber drivers attacking female guests, or doubling back and robbing homes. Though none of these stories involve Park City, it is good to remember that the Uber model is a close cousin to hitchhiking. For a fee.
Because Taxi insurance is so expensive I won’t be running this summer. However, if Sam has need of a ride next winter, I’ll be driving the clean cab, with full insurance, and free bottles of water. Although he will need to bring more than $10.25 for the fare.
Jack Fenton, Ski Town Express
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Uber fan took unfair pot shot at taxi companies
Sam, you spoke without knowledge of the full situation. Uber has no expenses, uses other people’s cars, their drivers often are not licensed, do not have the required homeland and FBI background checks, the commercial insurance, the PC license, SLC license nor pay the fees to the airport. Uber flies under the radar and has a laundry list of lawsuits and numerous violent attacks from their drivers on guests.
Local companies/drivers pay all required fees and have passed the FBI/Homeland security test or they cannot drive in Park City or go to the Airport. Commercial Insurance costs about what the car payment is. So add the car payment, insurance, fees, licenses, airport gate charges, auto repairs, gas, etc. and being a local taxi is expensive. Plus they have passed FBI/Homeland security checks and are approved by the government. I don’t recall ever hearing about any law suits or attacks by our drivers.
Local companies have fixed fares and their fees do not go up when they are super busy. Even during Sundance, their fees usually only increase by $5 per ride. Uber has low fees when they are not busy but when they are busy their prices surge to astronomical levels. During Sundance many people complained of Uber pricing. i.e. local rate from Stillwater to MS $25-$31 Uber $139, MS to St Regis local $21 Uber $150, Jewish Temple, local $21 Uber $119.
So Sam, you can save money with Uber, but when they hit you with surge pricing, you are going to wish you had connected with a good local company. To be disrespectful of the local companies is unfair. The facts are, Uber is rarely out there and most times, locals are. You will find the locals are your best resource when you get off your high horse.