Letters to the Editor, Oct. 26-29, 2013
October 26, 2013
Editor: I had not planned to publicly offer an opinion on the upcoming Mayoral elections. I know and respect both candidates for this position and have worked on City problems with both of them. However, recent public statements have caused me to reconsider. There are two issues that have been put forth in the past couple of weeks that have me concerned.
First, Andy has embraced the concept of cooperative planning with the County and the State for major issues such as traffic, transportation, and air and water quality. Jack has stated that he is against this concept of cooperative planning. Andy feels that cooperative planning is the best way to try to manage the problems that we will be facing in the near and distant future.
Jack has stated that he thinks it will help foster growth and we should stay out of it. Well, some growth is inevitable, and it will be planned by the County and the State without Park City if we do not participate. One of the things that makes Park City attractive to tourists and skiers is its’ ease of access. At this point that access mostly cars and busses. Anyone who goes in and out of town knows we need to find a way to help reduce traffic and we can’t do it on our own. We need cooperative planning.
Second is the issue of non-primary vs. primary residences. Jack is concerned that our ratio of non-primary to primary dwellings is approaching a 70/30 split. Well folks, I’ve been keeping track of this statistic since the early 2000’s with data from the County Assessor’s office, and the ratio hasn’t varied more than 5 percentage points from a basic 65/35 split during that time (regardless of the erroneous statistics in the Outdoors magazine article). This split is good! In addition to the obvious benefits of the Utah tax laws, non-primary (second) homes provide us with the lion’s share of our tourism bed base. Most of these dwellings are the condos and condo hotels throughout town from the St. Regis to the Prospector condos, and most of these units are in a nightly rental pool. That’s what we have to offer our guests and it is good! It doesn’t mean we are losing our locals it means we are keeping the ration pretty darn consistent. As someone who is directly engaged in our main economic business, Andy understands second home ownership, and encourages this part of our community to get more involved. Jack seems to think it is a problem.
These are both good guys, dedicated to their community with demonstrated devotion to Park City. However, Andy will make a better mayor.
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Former Park City Council member
Students enlightened again by Institute program
Once again, the Park City Institute supported my junior high school classroom. Teri Orr and her team brought in the artistic director and actors from Letters Home to ALL of my classes.
Over three days, 11 performers worked with leadership, journalism and English classes. They customized their outreach for each class. For English, they analyzed letters and point-of-view. For leadership, they demonstrated how to take risks. And, for journalism, they showed how to tell stories dramatically.
Almost 150 students had the opportunity to learn from this outreach. Thank you Park City Institute for supporting students in Summit County.
There’s no turning back from bad Treasure decision
Respected Council Members,
I am writing you today to express my deep concerns over the proposed Treasure Hill Development. I will say up front that I have a house on Lowell Ave. so the impact of construction on me and my family will be substantial. The roads are narrow and there are no sidewalks or infrastructure to handle pedestrians, cars and heavy construction vehicles. Any development on Treasure Hill will require significant upgrades to the infrastructure in Old Town and a significant improvement in safety systems to ensure the separation of pedestrians and construction (as well as visitor) traffic.
So, having said that I have a personal reason for my concerns on Treasure Hill I also simply believe that the scale of the development will greatly damage the value of Old Town and Park City. Development is not always good or bad but it does need to fit into the fabric of the town. Treasure Hill, as outlined to the public, does not fit into the fabric of Park City. It is grossly over-sized, the amount of excavation and building is far out of scale to the Old Town area and the essence of Old Town. I find it very interesting that we spend time preserving structures in Old Town (I agree completely) but then consider a development that will dwarf Old Town and change its character forever. As if we are saving one or two (or 10) pieces of history then eliminating the context for their existence.
This is a very important decision that you have been tasked to make and one that will change the face of the city for us, our children and future generations. Once approved and construction starts there is no way back – the dye is cast and the damage is done. The benefits may or may not flow from the development but one thing is certain and that is there is no way back and no way to preserve the true value of Park City. If there is a cost to buy out the existing rights then this is a cost I am very willing to pay, it will be lower in the long run than the cost to the community of Treasure Hill development.
Development can be helpful and create jobs and opportunity but theses come at a cost and the cost of Treasure Hill is too high and it is irreversible. Don’t give up the spirit or fabric that has made Park City into the wonderful place it is now for the potential of development. The trade off is too high and there are better places for new developments than on Treasure Hill.
Frank Lloyd Wright once said: "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines"
But in the case of Treasure Hill no vine can cover the mistake or bring back what was the magic of Old Town and Park City.
Scott I. Kerr
PCEF donations funded an abusive speaker
On Sept. 19 and 20, the Park City Education Foundation funded guest lecturer, Sherman Alexei, verbally assaulted the children in attendance. He opened (at least) one lecture by asking the students to stand and repeat: "I am an over-privileged white sh#-head," as well as asked white boys to stand and say "I have urination privilege." The students were referred to as "over-privileged whites" and "racist" and other profane and demeaning adjectives in every session.
Our school district prides itself on supporting multiple anti-bullying campaigns and yet allowed this man to malign the students about at least two things that they have no control over: the color of their skin and the way their parents chose to raise them. The eight lectures occurred over two days, and NOTHING was done to stop or curtail the abuse.
It is also disturbing that the Park City Education Foundation played such an instrumental role in securing and funding Mr. Alexie’s visit. After the lectures, an Ed Foundation spokesman was quoted as saying that they are "proud" to have done so.
Every day, the parents in this community send the most precious people in their lives, their children, to the public schools. They are owed an emotionally safe environment. allowing the children to be verbally assaulted and emotionally bullied by Mr. Alexei, the Park City School District and Park City Education Foundation has demonstrated a double standard about bullying, exhibited a profligate tendency with donated funds and betrayed the trust which has been given to them.
Of two good candidates, Beerman is better
We have two excellent and experienced candidates running for mayor. It’s nice to see. I have known Andy Beerman and wife Thea almost since they arrived in Park City. I have known him as a friend and employer and neighbor. As a current City councilman, as a President of Main Street Merchants, and through his direct involvement in open space acquisition and preservation, environmental issues, skiing, biking and trails. He attends many planning and city affairs. The list goes on. His energy and commitment, attendance in all facets of our city are unparalleled. I have lived here for 41 years and have never seen this level of involvement by a mayor or candidate. We need this kind of energy in our mayor going forward. That’s why I place my vote for Andy Beerman.
RE-ELECT Cindy Matsumoto for Park City Council
Cindy has worked tirelessly for the past four years to preserve the character of Park City while furthering the business climate at the same time. Whether as a key board member of the Park City Historical Society or as a local business owner, Cindy has a proven track record. She is a good listener, a good communicator, and is committed to preserving the best of Park City while ensuring we convey a world-class reputation with a small-town feel. Cindy is passionate about maintaining our excellent quality of life for Park City’s businesses and residents, while providing a wonderful experience for our guests. She has the experience!
I know firsthand how hard she works. She is thoughtful and solves problems in a pragmatic manner. Her Council experience these past four years along with her leadership can continue to guide us for the next four years. Cindy’s commitment to open space, public transportation and sustainable growth benefits our town.
Vote to RE-ELECT Cindy Matsumoto. Carry on the good work Cindy!
Abandoned cat needs a loving home
This is about a cat we call Parley!
I just want to let people know that all animals have feelings and they depend on their families to take care of them and that it is unacceptable for people to just abandon them.
Parley is a beautiful, long-haired, very smart, sweet, loving cat. He is neutered and has all his shots. We found him at the top of Parleys Summit by South Ridge near the west bound lane of Interstate 80 on Oct. 11.
It appears after checking if he is micro chipped, putting up flyers, ads on KPCW.org, KPCW radio, KSL classified and knocking on doors and talking with South Ridge owners who have seen this cat in the neighborhood that his family sold their home and left this cat behind to fend for himself.
We would keep him but our 3 cats are not accepting him. Parley is awesome. He is around 2 years old as per the vets and has a great, mellow personality. Do you know anyone who wants a beautiful long hair very smart sweet loving cat?
Andy Beerman will make a positive difference
At a time when we witness so much political division at a national level, I am reminded how lucky we are to have local governmental and community leaders who instead genuinely foster community cooperation.
In the race for Park City Mayor, we have in Andy Beerman a proven leader with an impressive record of facilitating local and regional collaboration on a wide variety of topics (economic development, visionary transportation plans, Olympic Legacy efforts, etc). I’ve seen this first hand and am very impressed with Andy’s approach and style of finding solutions to sticky issues.
Andy has terrific passion and energy, which along with his propensity to always gather the background facts and input, makes for a winning combination. I encourage the Park City voters to support Andy for Mayor!
Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation
Hope Alliance returns from Haiti
To the Incredible Community of Park City,
The Hope Alliance-Haiti returned from our expedition last week and we want to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you who supported us with backpacks, sneakers, and donations. Our trip was a resounding success thanks as always, to our donors and volunteers.
Our gratitude to PC Marc, Basin Rec, Park City Community Church, LDS Ward, Creekside Christian Church and South Summit Middle School for their collections. Thanks to Baby Gap Outlet for the school supplies, Home Depot for helping with our water filtration systems and countless friends for your help. Your service to the desperately poor helped beyond our hopes and greatly increased the education and services we were able to provide on this expedition.
The expedition team in Park from Park City was spectacular and poured out their hearts for the orphans, families and villages in Camatin, Haiti. These generous and hard-working volunteers helped provide infant and pre-natal education; backpacks and school supplies and food to feed 3 entire schools. We were also able to re-roof and repair, rebuild or rebuild the homes of 6 single mothers, distribute water filters in villages, teach jewelry making for a new micro-enterprise, and make repairs to the orphanage and other endeavors.
Finally, this story needs to be told and our deep thanks to The Park Record for sharing the work of The Hope Alliance with our community.
Kym Meehan and Melissa Caffey
The Hope Alliance
Wake-up call for school district
I found it strangely ironic that the night I came home from a PCSD public comment meeting, I also received a call asking me to "answer the call" to donate to the PCEF. Why you might ask is this so ironic? I had just spent the evening decrying one of the lectures given by a speaker the PCEF paid to bring to the high school!
Why speak out against a lecturer? This particular speaker, Sherman Alexie, opened one of his many lectures by asking the students to stand and repeat: "I am an overprivileged white sh**head."
I know most parents wouldn’t knowingly pay someone to psychologically abuse their child, but that is in effect what happened. The PCEF gets its money mainly from us parents.
So this year, I chose to donate money to my children’s school in another way to avoid placing it in the hands of the PCEF, which in my mind needs a wake up call from us parents with the message that funding the abuse of PC high schoolers is not correct and needs to change.
I did not and will not "beat the call" or "answer the call" until I feel the PCEF takes my wake up call seriously and restores the trust that has been lost.