Letters to the Editor
Editor: In my entire life I’ve never cared enough to state my opinion to any media but I am enraged with UDOT’s seemingly inept ability to keep the crucial Park City-to-Salt Lake City, I-80 link in good repair. It’s not like we have any real alternatives to get into the valley if there are problems on this stretch of highway. I moved my family to the area 18 months ago and I only hear about how quick and convenient it is to get to the Park City area from the airport, unlike our neighboring Colorado resorts. We endured the delays during the entire summer’s road construction. Why didn’t they do all three lanes properly then? Why is the critical "truck lane" in such negligent disrepair. This stretch of I-80 is probably one of the most highly traveled by our visitors, residents and interstate truckers. If we want to maintain a competitive edge with other ski resort areas, we don’t want them to be stuck in traffic because UDOT is trying to save some capital expenditures. We pay a lot of taxes to live here and UDOT is not being responsible to it’s citizens, visitors and commerce by scrimping funds on this section of road. If they need the money, maybe they should allocate it from a less-traveled section of the highway funds. Stewart Gross Park City Regarding the dog shooting Editor and dog lovers alike: In light of recent incidents, I am writing to express my disgust with the lack of sensitivity, lack of professionalism and use of poor judgment administered by the Summit County Sheriff’s Department and the Animal Control unit. On Dec. 9, a husky belonging to my friends, the Schapper family, was shot and killed by the Sheriff’s Department as they claim he was "chasing a deer" in the Trailside neighborhood, adjacent to my son’s elementary school. Regardless of the legality surrounding this incident and the suspicious nature of the shooting, in my opinion, the officer used very poor judgment in firing a shotgun adjacent to an elementary school, a church, a playground and several homes. To add insult to injury, we traveled to the Animal Control Department on Monday morning to retrieve the dog’s body and found that the officers had dumped him into a dumpster in the alley behind their building. Clearly, my friend was hysterical, and I requested assistance in retrieval of the 70-pound dog body. I was told we were on our own, and as I approached the dumpster with my eight-month-old, crying daughter in my arms, we began rifling through the trash, only to eventually find his frozen, bloody body in the bottom of the garbage dumpster under feces, stale food and other animal bodies. Several officers came out and watched us, and looked on blankly while my friend sobbed over her pet’s body. We eventually lifted the 70-pound body into the back of the car and my friend received a citation as her parting gift. I am absolutely shocked and disgusted at the insensitive and disgraceful way this was handled. I will pay homage to Sheriff Dave Edmunds, who phoned me Tuesday morning, equally as disgusted with the manner in which this was handled. He was extremely helpful. In a community where people love and respect their pets, I am so disappointed that something like this could happen. As Park City tightens the noose around our pets’ rights, I think someone also needs to tighten the reins on animal handlers. Someone needs to be responsible. Sincerely, Natalie Evans Hatch Park City Pedestrian danger Editor: As a resident of Sun Peak, I am deeply concerned about the construction of an industrial-sized hotel in our neighborhood. Although there are different legal reasons why this project is illegal under the county’s previous agreement, my biggest concern with this proposal is the danger to our children from the significant increase in traffic. The addition of a 275,000-square-foot, 330-room hotel will have a dramatic impact on the safety and livability of a neighborhood that only has 370 families. Terrace Development Partners, located in Chicago, has related how their hotel will have no restaurants, no facilities and no recreation options. Consequently, hotel guests will have to drive their cars to eat, shop, golf, fish, or almost any other activity. Guests at the Sun Canyon Lodge will need a car to do just about anything other than sleep. The increased traffic from hotel guests and hotel construction will effectively shut down use of Bear Hollow Drive. Today this road, which has no sidewalk, is used by our children to walk to the bus stop and to move around the neighborhood. (We have about 100 school-age children.) The road is also used by others — including many non-Sun Peak residents — to exercise or walk their dogs. The increased traffic load from this 330-room project will be focused on this single road. Although the county has accepted Bear Hollow as adequate for vehicles, that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily adequate for pedestrian use. Bear Hollow is so narrow and has such limited shoulder space for pedestrians that the Mountain Trails Foundation installed only a handful of parking spaces at the Sun Peak Trailhead and assigned all other parking to the Community Church parking lot near S.R. 224. Many users of the Sun Peak Connector bike and hike up Bear Hollow to access the trailhead. A hotel on the way to the trailhead places all of these users at risk. Commissioners, I urge you for a "No" vote on this proposed 330-room hotel. Trey, Cathy and Jack Campbell Sun Peak A safe haven for newborns Editor: Tragically, we have all seen news reports about infants found, suffering and sometimes even dead, at playgrounds or in bathrooms. This heartbreak is completely avoidable. No infant should ever be abandoned to die. In 2001, I sponsored a bill making it legal for a mother (or someone she trusts) to anonymously leave her infant in the care of a hospital — no questions asked. The newborn will receive medical care and be placed with loving, capable, adoptive parents. Since this law took effect, there are infants who are alive because their mothers chose this legal option. Anyone can obtain confidential information for themselves or a friend at our new Web site, http://www.utahsafehaven.org or our toll free number: 1-866-694-2229. Please share this information with any organization or individual you feel is appropriate. I wish every child could grow up in a supportive home with his or her biological parents. When this is not possible, adoption into a loving family is a wonderful option. In those extremely rare cases where the birth mother is considering leaving her infant in an unsafe place, this law allows her to guarantee the safety and well being of her newborn without placing herself in jeopardy. Please help us get the word out on the Utah Newborn Safe Haven program. Together we can help save lives. Patrice Arent Utah State Senator, District 4
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After 2 avalanche deaths in as many years, the backcountry gate leading to Dutch Draw gets attention
The last two Utah skiers or snowboarders to die from avalanches have left from the same backcountry gate at Park City Mountain Resort. Some are wondering why it remains open.