National AmeriCorps Week was recently held March 9-17. As a Park City native, I have moved beyond the confines of my mountain-town home. I recently graduated with my bachelor of science in nursing in Portland, Ore., and am currently a member of the Chicago Health Corps, an AmeriCorps national program. The Chicago Health Corps strives to increase access to health-care services within the Chicago metropolitan area and cultivates the ability for a dedicated group of ordinary citizens to make an impact in their local community.
As an AmeriCorps member, I serve with the American Cancer Society as a colorectal cancer screening health educator and screening navigator. The Illinois Region's Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative connects uninsured patients at federally qualified health centers in Chicago's underserved communities with colorectal cancer screening resources at partnering hospitals. My position ensures low-income residents understand the importance of establishing a primary-care medical home, staying up to date on age-specific screening tests, and developing lifestyle habits that promote health for their futures. My service has impacted the communities I serve in by providing access to health education and cancer screening resources, but the communities I serve in have also impacted me.
My service in Chicago has allowed me to develop a better understanding of community and the importance of allocating resources that are population based, keeping in mind much more than geographic location or socio-economic status. Communities are defined by those whom inhabit them; therefore, health resources and programs are only effective once the needs of the community are addressed. As I reflect on my term of service, I am thankful for the close-knit community I grew up in and have a great respect for the leadership it takes within a community to stand up and begin to make a difference for their future health.
In the spirit of community service, don't forget to keep an eye out for AmeriCorps members in your communities and celebrate 19 years of impactful national and community service!
Don't let 'Bark City' be known as 'Bite City'
I just read in the 3/13-15 Park Record that another person, while walking on a trail, was attacked by an unleashed dog, this time (March 10) in Round Valley. According to the letter by Joel Zuckerman, the husband of the victim, the dog owner said "you should have kicked him when he ran at you."
So, if I understand this correctly, when charged by a dog, one should balance oneself, kick at the precise instant, and powerfully enough to dissuade a charging pit bull (in this case) that can be half your body weight. And with such force that he turns tail and runs, rather than consummate the attack.
It is time! Everyone knows that there are "leash laws." Everyone knows that this ordinance is not enforced. Everyone knows that owners with off-leash dogs are given a nod and a wink by anyone in authority.
Part of the Summit County Ordinance 113-J defines "under restraint" as being "within the real property limits of the owner." My husband, Benny, can tell you that this kind of "restraint" left tunnel marks from canine incisors on his leg as he was running on the pavement on Highland Drive. Off we went to an urgent-care clinic for treatment.
There are signs at the UOP Nordic Ski Loop, maintained by Snyderville Basin Recreation, that say "No Dogs." On 2/7/13 I took a picture of a woman coming off that trail with two unleashed dogs. As I was driving in to the trailhead parking lot, halfway up the Olympic Park road, I could see them happily bounding along the ski track.
This is not a place that the owner just happened upon during her walk. She had driven the dogs there and parked in the lot actually facing the restrictions sign.
No one is in control of his or her dog by voice command. Many owners think that they are. Check the "lost and found" KPCW classifieds. I have come upon "lost" dogs during a trail run, and later found the frantic owner far below in a parking lot. "They never run away!" she cried.
Many owners have said to me, "He won't hurt you" after I have been startled by a rushing barking dog. I counter with, "I don't know that, and you don't know that."
I love animals, but I also love feeling safe on the local trails.
It is time to put some teeth into the ordinance I refer to, which was put in place in 2008. Don't let "Bark City" be better known as "Bite City."