The other day, as I walked the Rail Trail near Promontory to check the mountain bluebird boxes I monitor every summer, I was horrified to see three of my eleven boxes had been damaged, two of them torn completely off their posts and left broken on the ground.

To the uneducated and malicious vandals who did this, shame on you! The Utah Mountain Bluebird Association spends a considerable amount of money and countless hours of volunteer time to help mountain bluebirds cope with loss of habitat due to growth and urbanization in Utah. These birds also compete with ever-growing numbers of European starlings and house sparrows, also cavity-nesting species, for nesting places. The volunteers maintain the boxes, count eggs, record hatch and fledge dates, and at the end of the season we send our data to Cornell University's Ornithology Data Bank which tracks trends to better understand how to counter the decline of this beautiful native species.

Despite this senseless vandalism, the boxes will be repaired and reposted, once again at the time and expense of the volunteers, and next summer another generation of mountain bluebirds will make their homes here in this beautiful place we all call home. It was lucky this season's chicks had already flown away, and no birds were hurt or killed this time, but I am compelled to repeat, to those responsible: shame on you!

Wendy Cole

Park City

Abundance of horse manure ruins a hike


Recently I ventured out onto the Mormon Flat trail off of the road to East Canyon, a trail regularly used by many hikers and mountain bikers, for an early fall hike.


Unfortunately, what should have been a wonderful experience was negated by an abundance of horse manure left behind on the entire length of this trail by some equine enthusiasts within the past few days. Instead of allowing myself to take in the beautiful fall colors, my eyes were fixated on the trail under my feet in order to avoid stepping in this unsightly mess. (Based on the amount and frequency of piles, I assume it was from a number of horses.)

Whenever I hike on local trails with dogs, I always carry a poop bag with me (provided free at many trail heads, thank you), or at the very least, kick any dog mess I see off to the side of the trail as most other users of the local trails would also do. However, I wonder why the horseback users of the trail I ventured upon did not share the same responsibility and respect to other trail users, or, at the very least, hadn't chosen to ride their horses on a different trail that is not known for regular traffic by hikers and bikers.

I have friends who own and ride horses but choose to do so on less-used trails. Not only is it safer for the horses and their riders, but more respectful to other trail users. I realize it would be time-consuming to get off your (high) horse and clean manure off the trail (carry a small shovel or rake to make the job easier), but laziness or an uncaring attitude is not an excuse to cause the trail-usage experience by others to be anything less than enjoyable. Please take care of our trails and leave them in at least as good a condition as you found them.

Scott Sherwood

Park City

Chris Robinson is best choice for District 54


We have a number of exciting elections this year and it is as important as ever to get to the polls. State House District 54 is a newly carved district after the 2010 Census and includes Old Town, Main Street, Prospector, Thaynes, Park Meadows, Old Ranch Road, Trailside, Silver Creek, Highland Estates and all of Wasatch County. We in Park City share many common interests with our neighbors in Wasatch County. We rely greatly on tourism and land-use legislation to keep our economy strong. It also seems that many of us who live in these Wasatch Back communities have similar lifestyle goals as well.

Chris Robinson is running for House District 54 as a Democrat. He is in his second term as a Summit County Councilor and has a comprehensive view of all the issues impacting our community from water rights to land conservation, from road maintenance to local taxes. As a large landowner and rancher in the West, he has an in-depth knowledge of land. Currently, there isn't anyone in our legislature with Chris' background on federal lands in either party. On the council, he has been working to preserve the land that sustains our tourist-based economy and the lifestyle we cherish. He fought to keep nuclear waste out of Utah and has settled many old land and resources disputes bringing more open space to our community. Chris is a problem solver. He always says the "devil is in the details but so is the solution."

As a fifth-generation Utahn, Chris already has an established nonpartisan network of legislators and business people at the Capitol and through out the Intermountain area. When he goes to represent the Wasatch Back, he will go not as a Democrat or as a Republican, but as a moderate consensus builder with a proven track record in bringing disparate interests to the table. Chris has always made decisions and led based on all of his constituents' best interests. He has stellar interpersonal skills in collaboration and loads of great brainpower.

I hope you will decide to vote for him for Utah House District 54.

Carolyn Frankenburg

Park City

Hilary Hays should've been at awards ceremony


I feel compelled to comment regarding recent school board decisions concerning Hilary Hays.

First, I must mention I was co-PTSO president at Park City High School from 2004 to 2006. I worked on several committees with Hilary and I was always impressed with her devotion to students and teachers. I found her to be a true problem solver. It was such a contrast from my middle school experience.

I was so disappointed with the middle school receiving "head nods" and "thanks for letting me know that" comments. Amazingly, they were promoted within the district.

Hilary's commitment to excellence resulted in an award to the high school for the highest AP test scores in the state of Utah. Utah Governor Gary Herbert presented this award on Wednesday, Sept. 26, without Hilary Hays present. What a travesty! The person most responsible for the success of her students and teachers was not present.

Why is she not principal of our high school? Is she not the right gender or is it because she could make the hard decisions when needed? It is such a loss for our students, teachers and parents. Our community needs and expects the best from teachers, and administrators.

Shame on you, school board, to tarnish the reputation of a person who succeeded at her job. I heard the person responsible has conveniently left his position for greener pastures. Curious?

Do the right thing.

Kim Keffer

Parent, taxpayer and local citizen

Home tour helps Peace House reach new audience


Peace House changes lives and saves lives. But without the support of the Park City Board of Realtors Philanthropic Organization, through its annual Luxury Home Tour and Auction, Peace House would have difficulty providing the variety of programs it does to victims of domestic violence.

Peace House thanks the Park City Board of Realtors for the many hours its members contributed to making the 2012 Luxury Home Tour the exceptional event that it was. Luxury Home Tour Chair Sandra Vogt deserves special recognition for her leadership and commitment, and we also wish to thank the 2012 tour's presenting sponsor, The Colony. Peace House is grateful for the many individuals and businesses that generously contributed to the lengthy list of auction items that were auctioned at the gala at La Caille in June.

This year has seen more activity at the shelter than in years previous. But with Peace House-sponsored classes explaining what abuse is (and the variety of forms it takes) now in place and available to all students in school districts in Summit and Wasatch counties, the organization hopes the message that there's no excuse for abuse is heard by even the youngest ears. This year Peace House opened outreach programs in Heber City, Coalville and Kamas, where victims can learn about their options and resources to end abuse in their lives. These programs are made possible by the generous donation by the Park City Board of Realtors Luxury Home Tour and Auction.

We sincerely thank you.

Jim Smith

Chairman, board of directors, Peace House

Give us an example in a small Western ski town


In Gordon Mills' guest editorial in this past Wednesday's Park Record, he states that he was an architect for 40 years and designed buildings across the U.S. and Asia. His article was very well written and informative, but I can not believe he was comparing the town of Park City to Paris, NYC, London and Washington, D.C. This is ludicrous. Those cities are HUGE cities that have the size to allow for the construction of one or two very unique buildings because they make little impact on the overall city. Visitors to these cities have to specifically travel to these buildings in order to view them (with the exception of the Eiffel Tower in Paris).

Mr. Mills, in his article, should have provided the reader with a more appropriate comparable/example of a huge ultra-modern structure, in a Western ski town, that did not comply with its town's current building regulations when it was built, and has been met great acceptance, not only from that town's residents, but also the world community.

I will speculate that the reason he did not provide an appropriate comparable of a "like structure" that exists in another small Western ski town is because none exists! I have been to Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Sun Valley, Mammoth, Truckee, and Stowe, Vt., and none of these towns has an ultra-modern, behemoth edifice that overwhelms all other structures in the town. Do we (Parkites) want to be the first small Western ski town to allow the construction of a building that does not fit with the overall town character or comply with our current building regulations? I, for one, do not!

Mike Baker

Park City

Defining success is like trying to catch smoke


As a student at Park City High School and an AP student, I found the governor's visit to be nothing short of embarrassing. While academic achievement is worth celebrating, one cannot do so without acknowledging collective efforts of success.

The AP classes I've taken are wonderful and stimulating environments of learning taught by wonderful teachers. Students are a mixed bunch of striving to learn. Admittedly I find myself on the lower half of that scale at times, but at the end of the year I always find myself in a position of learning so much. My AP strengths lie in English and history, which are quite the contrary to math and science. I've even just finished Algebra 1.

I know some hardworking and wonderful AP students along with hardworking and wonderful non-AP students. Defining success is like attempting to catch smoke with bare hands. It's such a grandiose and fluid topic that isn't the property of one academic area. To some, success is having a roof, food and a job while others have dreams of making dollar signs and corporate positions. There are no wrong or right answer to success and, like no human is alike, often no two stories of success are. Some people choose to fill their schedules with AP courses and, hey, more power to you. Some choose to focus on art, or science or English. No one's area of success should devalue another's.

I've come to understand while each person has a strength, many might not lie in school or traditionally measured areas of achievement. The governor's blatant move to ignore the well-rounded scope of the student body made me feel sad, confused and un-encouraged.

I've been blessed to know students who will go far in the fields of math, French, Spanish, education, business, English, film, acting, singing, computers, sports and every talent imaginable. Many of these students are not enrolled in an AP course and have no plans to do so. Some load up on math, English, drama, language and the many other subjects available. All the better, for without intellectual creativity humanity would cease to exist.

Cozy Huggins

Park City

Rotaries at Newpark won't help traffic flow


Sometimes "new/improved" isn't a good idea. I think that almost every day when encountering all the construction going on at Kimball Junction. August seems an odd time to dig up pavement. But most mystifying is the plan to lay two traffic circles/rotaries in the vehicle nightmare that is currently Newpark.

I don't agree that rotaries "keep things moving," as its proponents have said, nor have I noticed a decrease in traffic on 224. The rotary near Walmart can be death-defying. I regularly switch to DEFCON mode, because it is evident that many drivers don't really get it.

Since the directional signs and the lane painting have been changed since its debut, perhaps it's obvious to the decision-makers that many drivers have not embraced this driving pattern. Just yesterday I witnessed a vehicle driving in the wrong direction . And yet, we're getting two more? In such a heavily congested area? Perhaps it seemed like a good idea in theory; the results have been anything but.

At Newpark, there will be many spokes in a confined area, supposedly designed to further traffic movement. Instead, expect fender-benders, brake lights, complaints from tourists and lots of explanations as to why you're late.

Allyson Hogan

Park City

Armstrong is a skilled leader, problem-solver


I recently learned that Roger Armstrong is a candidate for Summit County Council and I felt it important to share my thoughts about Roger with Summit County voters.

To cut immediately to the chase, I think Roger will make an outstanding County Council member. I have worked with Roger as a member of the Motion Picture Advisory Committee for the Governor's Office of Economic Development as well as in my position as president of the Motion Picture Association of Utah. He's a highly skilled leader and very creative and practical problem solver.

Our committee frequently has to balance the concerns of the Utah filmmaking workforce with economic and political issues. Roger is outstanding at working with the committee as a team and gathering all of the important and relevant information required to make a fair and reasoned decision. He is also very skilled at focusing the issues on the most critical parts of any problem and is outstanding at identifying more subtle but important issues that might otherwise be overlooked.

It is rare that someone like Roger is willing to step up and make himself available for public office and there are a lot of reasons why so many good leaders decline to do so. He is such an obviously outstanding choice for Summit County Council and I urge you to cast your vote for Roger this coming November.

Jeff T. Miller

Vineyard Productions, LLC (UT)

Salt Lake City

Robinson brings record of service, experience


As we all prepare for the upcoming elections, I'd like to make a strong recommendation for your consideration a vote for Chris Robinson to represent us in District 54 at the State Legislature.

Chris brings experience and a record of service, leadership and vision to the table, making a positive difference in community, state and national organizations and as a Summit County Councilor. As an elected councilor, Chris has shown his care for community through his educated consideration of all sides of complicated issues. He listens to each point of view, respectfully asking the hard questions, deliberating carefully on matters both for their immediate and their future implications, while always working to find possible creative solutions to achieve a final consensus of strength, resolution and action, without ever compromising values.

We need strong proven community leaders to represent us at the state level. Chris is just such a person. Whether voting early, by absentee ballot, or on Election Day Tuesday, November 6, 2012, thank you for voting and letting your voice be heard.

I'm voting for Chris Robinson, District 54, Utah House of Representatives. He will serve us well.

Donna VanBuren

Park City

Knauer knows schools backwards and forwards


Week after week I have read letters to the editor endorsing Tania Knauer for the Board of Education and always find myself nodding my head and agreeing. Today, I decided to add my voice.

I had the pleasure of knowing Tania for many years. I got to know her through our activities in the classroom that our children shared seven years ago. Field trips, reading groups, the science fair what ever needed to be done, Tania was present, willing and more than able.

In the past few years, our family has experienced some educational challenges and Tania has become my "go to" person for answers. Long before she decided to run for the school board, I sent her an email asking for her advice. Instead of replying by email, she came over to our house and talked to us for hours, in detail, about navigating a sometimes difficult and confusing system.

More than a few times, I have reached out to Tania for guidance and without fail she has responded quickly and pointed me in the right direction. She knows the schools, their advantages and challenges backwards and forwards and I really can't think of anyone I would feel more confident having represent my children and their best interests.

She has always been involved, cared and educated herself in to make sure her children get the best education possible. Now she is bringing her talent, energy and knowledge to do the same for all of ours.

Melissa Band

Park City

Kudos to Kate Bush for Richardson Flat cleanup


I just wanted to publicly thank Kate Bush of Park City for spearheading the cleanup of the old dump site off Richardson Flat Road. What an eyesore it was for many years. It now looks fantastic thanks to the landowner and Ms. Bush. As someone who enjoys a leisurely jog or bike ride down Richardson Flat road, it's nice not to have to dodge flying bullets or witness ignorant citizens dumping their trash.

Just as an FYI, most of the land, if not all the land, around that area is private property. Therefore, shooting of guns and dumping of trash is trespassing. It's discouraging to constantly discover people dumping their trash or target practicing with firearms. Sadly, most of the offenders are not residents of Park City but surrounding areas who come over here to litter in our backyard. I also want to thank Summit County Sheriff's Department for promptly responding to violations. I applaud their vigilance and great support in providing a safe community for us all!

Nikki Keye

Wasatch County

Where is principal who led PCHS to awards?


I always thought one of the downsides of being a small-town reporter was the constant dog bite stories. I thought that someone like Jay Hamburger would be chomping at the bit to do a local story just full of intrigue, insider dealings and chicanery.

The governor comes to town to honor Park City High seniors for their achievements in advanced placement exams, but where is the principal who was at the helm during the years that led up to this achievement? Fired. Yeah, that's right, fired.

Where is the head of the school board who made this decision? He quit, leaving a lawsuit that he and other school board members have brought down upon the strained finances of the school district and its taxpayers.

This is just my opinion. I could be wrong!

Jay, how about turning over this rock and looking underneath?

You could become a Whopper. Right now you're looking like a slider.

Mark MacKay

Park City

Pollard has ability to build consensus


I wanted to take a moment to comment on Sue Pollard's candidacy for the Park City City Council. I have known her for nearly 10 years, and I can say with great certainty that she would be a terrific addition to the team. She is highly intelligent, amicable, and one of the hardest working people that I know.

While everyone has opinions, Sue is far from close-minded, and has the ability to build consensus among her peers with an articulate, direct, and fair approach. She goes the extra mile in pretty much everything. Her leadership style is amicable and fair. Her goal is to enhance the performance of the City Council to an even higher level.

On another note, I know that she has helped out many of her neighbors in tough spots, whether it be watching children for a few hours, preparing meals, or rides to friends with a broken car. She does this in a selfless way, often inconveniencing herself, and I believe that such is an indicator of strength of character. That is the type of person whom I think would benefit the council.

Her attention to detail, her work ethic and energy level would be an asset in the public or private sector, and she has elected to serve the public.

As a small-business owner in Old Town, I wholly support her in her run, and trust the citizens of Park City to come to know her better and support her.

James Young

Old Town