Letters to the Editor, Sept. 2-5, 2017
Submissions from Park Record readers
September 1, 2017
Miners made Park City's lifestyle possible
Sunday, I went to a trailhead above Sundance for a hike. At the parking lot, I found a parking space off to the side behind a brand new Subie. My eyes were drawn to a rather large bumper sticker that simply said: "Ban Mining." I couldn’t help but be struck by the absolute irony and hypocrisy of this bumper sticker on this new vehicle. Throughout my hike, my mind trailed back to that car and its bumper sticker and to the owner who felt so compelled to put that on their car. Could the disconnect really be that great in society today?
I have lived in Park City for 24 years, a town that was founded on mining and thrived thanks to its main industry for almost a 100 years. Generations of men and women toiled hard in this mining community. Vast fortunes were made which fueled other enterprises and developments. Everything we touch on a daily basis comes directly or indirectly from mining. You go to the grocery store in the morning and jump in your car, get on the bus, all made from mining and powered by mining, whether it is electric, solar or fossil fueled. Mountain bikes, skis, ski lifts all linked to mining in one way or another. Granite countertops in our building trades — mining.
Natural resources mined such as molybdenum, which is a hardener for steel, goes into our commercial buildings, bridges, homes, cars, trucks, ships, airplane and anywhere structural steel is used. We have a shortage of copper these days because it is in such heavy demand from technology, plumbing, construction, appliances, electrical switches, and the list goes on. Ban mining? No cell phones or computers. Agriculture from field to table, building roads, heating homes, transportation all have components of mining. Jobs created from mining both directly and indirectly are staggering.
To “Ban Mining” is to ban the progression of our society and to disregard the contributions, sacrifice, developments of miners and the mining industry. We can no more ban mining than we can ban breathing for to do so would mean the cessation of the development of our society, our nations or NASA’s “reach for the stars.” Our economies, our development would come to a standstill, and eventually die. Perhaps a more appropriate bumper sticker would be: “Have You Hugged a Miner Today?”
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South Point development plan meets county objectives
I am responding to last week's letter to the editor concerning South Point as the designated representative of the South Point project developer. On June 1, 2017, Rich Sonntag recused himself from any participation before the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission regarding South Point. His recusal will allow the Planning Commission to continue to benefit from his deep development experience on matters not involving South Point.
The prior letter incorrectly stated that South Point was originally to be undeveloped. The 2001 County Commission approved a minimum of 99 and up to 176 residential units in South Point, and additional South Point density has been subsequently authorized. The 2001 development agreement justified development in part because of the property's unique location "adjacent to existing and planned infrastructure and isolated from small towns and active agricultural production existing elsewhere within Eastern Summit County." Even today, no better location exists for development of the middle-class and attainable workforce housing that Summit County so badly needs without impacting small town and agricultural lifestyles enjoyed elsewhere in Eastern Summit County.
The current Eastern Summit County General Plan recognizes the need to develop a variety of housing types convenient to public transportation and existing services and infrastructure as well as the need to provide neighborhood commercial, employment centers and economic development. South Point is the best available location for the higher density development contemplated by the current General Plan to meet the plan's housing and economic objectives. The developer has proposed important public benefits that support density above the approved 250 units, including donated sites for a school, parks, a reservoir and a Children's Justice Center facility. We look forward to full public dialogue on these County policy objectives and South Point's proposal.
Ellison Management, L.C. for South Point Utah Development, LLC
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Harvey proves climate change is real
It doesn't take the 1,000-year storm named Harvey to prove climate change. Consider that we haven't had a major storm hit the U.S. in the past 12 years. Or the fact that in the last 400,000 years our planet warmed up enough to emerge from four major ice ages that covered virtually all of North America in several hundred feet of ice. Or ask the dinosaurs about variations in global weather.
I've never met a real live "climate change denier" (ooh, that sounds almost as nasty as being a “racist” or “bigot"). What I have encountered are some articles by no-kidding meteorologists and universities who question the accuracy of computer models that predict specific, detailed catastrophies at specific times. And it's been interesting to watch the call to arms morph from "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change". Hell, humans don't even have computer models that can accurately predict our snowpack four months from now. And don't lay out the "consensus of scientists" argument as an immutable fact; that's the same community that collectively believed in a flat earth, that the sun revolved around the earth, that the atom could never be split, and that man would never walk on the moon. A "consensus" can be a rather fragile thing.
Nope, absolutely everyone that I've ever met really does believe that the climate is changing, and they all believe that mankind in general needs to clean up our act (and our planet)! They only differ in the measures that should be taken. Maybe the "educated voters" referred to in last Wednesday's Park Record should be a bit less dogmatic and a bit more willing to listen to other views.
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Before it's needed: make sure fire hydrant is unobstructed
Editor and fellow Parkites:
Is the fire hydrant closest to your home accessible? Walking around Park City neighborhoods, I've observed that landscaping sometimes obstructs fire hydrants. I recently reported this to officials who did not seem to share my concern. Meanwhile, this week's Park Record warns about the persistent risk of fire, along with the persistent hot, dry weather, and other news sources report that residents of an upscale Bountiful neighborhood may have to evacuate due to wildfire.
Park City Municipal Code requires that access to fire hydrants should not be blocked by property owners' plantings or winter snow. Yet it appears that the code is not enforced. Homeowners should be aware that the extra time it would take to untangle axes, shovels and hoses from foliage obstructing hydrants that are buried under snow, piled high and compacted by the road plows, could mean the difference between an extinguished fire and a destroyed home.
If your closest hydrant is obstructed, let city officials know of your concern.
Beverly Hurwitz, MD
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