Letters to the Editor
December 21, 2005
I was disturbed to hear that a Summit County Deputy Sheriff shot and killed a dog in the Trailside area recently. There is a church, an elementary school, a playground, Basin Recreation facilities and many homes in this area. It is beyond my comprehension how a "trained" police officer could have determined that a dog had cornered a deer in a field of sagebrush. I find it difficult to believe this dog was threatening the life of the deer. Besides, common sense would tell a rational individual that a deer can outrun a dog all day long.
This deputy has demonstrated poor decision-making skills. How would this individual react in a true crisis? I fear you have a "hot shot, gun-brandishing yahoo" on the force. This does not sit well with me.
A concerned Trailside resident,
KSL helicopter chasing deer
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If the sheriff can shoot a dog for chasing a deer, can they shoot down the KSL helicopter for chasing and harassing a whole herd just to get good footage of snow in the canyons for their viewers?
Wendy Winegar Park City
When reading The Park Record it is always interesting to see what is going on around town. I have to say, though, I have never felt so sick to my stomach after reading about the shooting of a defenseless animal. I do understand that wildlife need to be protected and preserved, but was this deer any different from the many seen on the sides of roads and highways daily, possibly injuring innocent people.
Maybe a better plan would be to shoot off a warning shot to scare the dog and the deer away. I realize that a police officer needs to keep order and protect our community, but I think that this act needed to be thought out a bit more. When using a firearm, everything needs be taken into consideration, especially the community. We are a very dog-friendly town and we also offer hunting licenses to kill deer.
In this circumstance, I feel that the police and this law were wrong. I feel so very sorry for Jenny and I do hope that the next dog she gets is a great hunting dog. I’m not sure of the exact evidence, but did this dog even draw blood? I am pretty sure that deer are extremely fast runners. Is it possible that this deer was sick or injured? Maybe this poor dog was actually protecting us. Mrs. Schapper, I am so sorry for your loss.
Brian Landau and Anne Carothers Heber City
Protect Bambi at all costs
Dear fellow citizens:
I and other responsible, "expert" gun owners are putting together a new Park City community service for the citizens of Utah and their "valuable and threatened" wildlife. We feel Bambi has been "worried" long enough and we’re not going to take it anymore.
We visualize this new service as a kind of hunting club. Once or twice a week we will roam our neighborhoods in this beautiful resort town of Park City looking for our offending neighbors’ vicious dogs. We’ve seen so many dogs chasing birds, gophers, squirrels, mice, deer and other wildlife in our peaceful neighborhoods and feel these dogs can no longer be given such freedoms.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Department and the Utah Division of Wildlife’s Sergeant Scott White have given us their view of the law — "people are within their rights, or have the privilege, to go ahead and shoot the dog." Therefore, we as privileged citizens must act. As a community-minded club, we feel that promoting the death of your neighbor’s "harassing and vicious" dog will put Park City and Summit County on the map again as a wonderful place to live.
Thank you for your support and remember what poor Bambi says, "The only good dog is a dead dog."
Mike Stoner Park City
Animal control policies
What a specious argument the Sheriff’s Department uses when describing the incident at Trailside. Yes, the dog owner is at fault, this cannot be denied. However, this deer is in more danger from automobiles than from dogs.
Recently two moose were killed on S.R. 224 near the McPolin barn. Numerous deer carcasses can be seen by the roadside throughout the year. So why would a deputy sheriff shoot the dog near a neighborhood? Because of a "law" allowing this. The justification just is not clear. Cite the dog owner. This would have a better effect than killing the animal.
What this incident has done is polarize the community. The Sheriff is an elected official and sets the tone for the deputy sheriffs. Peace officers are taught to use restraint with regard to use of weapons. Restraint easily could have been used in this situation. I suggest two things as a result of this incident. The deputy involved should never be in a command situation or should resign from the sheriff’s department. Secondly, Sheriff Edmunds must rethink policies of animal control within and around a growing population despite the law on the book. The sheriff’s leadership is judged on Election Day.
Rudolph Rougenez Park City
Stop the attacks
I am a graduate of Park City High School. I am appalled and disgusted at the continued attacks against the late Bill Huhnke. Having suffered an untimely death almost two years ago, he is not here to defend himself. That means it is up to us, his former students and friends, to speak on his behalf.
I never saw Bill Huhnke do anything inappropriate or unprofessional in my two years as his student. None of my friends did, either. But now, a former student claims Huhnke abused her for years. She has filed a lawsuit claiming PCSD failed to protect her. I find her claims highly suspect. If the so-called victim’s reason for filing a lawsuit is the protection of younger girls, why would she choose to file the suit now, when obviously there is no danger? If the former student was abused, why did she volunteer in an environment where should would be in close contact with her abuser?
These are questions The Record should have asked the accuser and her attorney before running the story.
Instead, the paper ran a one-sided story filled with rumors and allegations, not facts. I knew Bill Huhnke. I respected him. Most of all, I know he would never do what he is being accused of.
Chris Durden PCHS Class of 1999 Kennewick, Wash.
Projections for 2006
After seeing how the administration has controlled the government over the last five years, I can clearly see how 2006 will fall out.
As the Republicans found their ratings the same as current Park City temperatures (-10), it will be time for "Enlightenment 2006." A coordinated orchestrated effort by Karl Rove to prove Republicans have awakened and feel the pain of us ordinary folks. They will, throughout this period of "enlightenment," try to undo many of their worst mistakes of the past five years; most will be conveniently undone just prior to mid-term elections:
1. In late 2006 the POTUS (President of the United States) will suddenly realize that our mission in Iraq has been an "overwhelming success" and troops will start coming home. This will be right before mid-term elections, not sooner as it might backfire and the Republicans won’t earn any mid-term votes. Remember, we Americans have short attention spans.
2. In late 2006, the POTUS will have scientific principles explained to him, or be told by Karl Rove that it will be a wonderful idea ("opportunity") to embrace curbing global warming. What a novel idea. The United States will be, of course, seen as "the leader" of this great idea. Nothing will actually be done prior to elections (or after).
3. In 2006 the POTUS will endorse a 20-year study to assess increasing CAFE standards. A fantastic idea. (The same standards POTUS relaxed prior to hurricane Katrina). This study will be done by "special" scientists and corporate energy officials that helped VP Dick Cheney write current energy policies. Nothing will be done, but it may buy a few mid- term votes. It will be a "noble idea," says VP Dick Cheney.
4. Somehow the POTUS will put the new Medicare drug scheme out to pasture. What a mess! This is a leading albatross for all Republicans except in Utah. In Utah, elected Republicans are lifetime appointments. So, clip this out, add your own predictions, and tape it to your refrigerator to see how enlightened our government becomes next year.
Bill Wegesser Park City
No free skiing for seniors
I’m over 70 and my wife is 67. Imagine my surprise when we stepped up to the ticket window to get a free "over 70" lift ticket and a senior ticket for my wife and learned that PCMR no longer offered free skiing to those of us over 70. I’m sure someone ran a Strategic Economic Model and reached the conclusion that a skeezer would ski five days in a vacation week and PCMR could make an additional $225.
Well, here’s the other side of their Strategic Economic Model: We were going to ski PCMR, but because of the new "over 70 pays" policy, we skied Deer Valley (after all, Deer Valley is No. 1 and PCMR is No. 5 and a five-day ticket is only $230). PCMR lost the lift ticket revenue from my wife (five days $45=$225) and they lost lunches at $10-$12 from each of us (five lunches x two skeezers x $10=$100) or a net revenue loss to PCMR of $325. We’ll be back in March with another couple so PCMR should double that to a loss of $650. Bad decision, PCMR, here’s hoping you reverse yourselves next season.
George Fischer Virginia
Sun Peak development
As a Sun Peak neighborhood resident, I feel compelled to define the key issues surrounding a proposed 275,000-square-foot development in our narrow residential canyon.
The land for the proposed development was originally intended to be the site of a 140-room lodge attached to the Junior Olympic ski training facility, or alternatively as single-family lots. The Ski Training program has forsaken the Sun Peak location. Due to the controversy generated by the newly proposed development smack dab in the middle of a full-time residential neighborhood, the County Commissioners graciously held public hearings. At these hearings the county commissioners were presented with essentially three choices regarding the use of the neighborhood land: 1) the parcel can be developed in strict accordance with the abandoned vested rights agreement (VRA), allowing either a 140-room hotel or single-family lots; 2) the parcel can be developed in a manner that does not comply with the VRA or current county code; or 3) the parcel can be developed in compliance with current county code.
As to choice one, this would provide the developer relief from an obviously expired deadline. Strict application of the expired VRA would permit single-family lots or a 140-room hotel. This is incompatible with the current neighborhood design, particularly absent the Junior Olympic ski training facility and entrance to the Utah Olympic Park.
As to choice two, there is no justification for our elected officials to select this option. A high density, six-story, 275,000-square-foot project, not attached to a resort, does not belong in the heart of a residential neighborhood and there is no such precedent in our community.
Choice three is most consistent with our community standards. virtue of the expiration of the VRA, the County is obligated to retire any prior vested rights and abide by our current development code. The Summit County records demonstrate two consecutive years of inactivity, and no payment of the development application. Clearly, the developer’s application was abandoned, and in the meantime, the VRA had expired.
Any development on the parcel should concur with current county code.
Jerry Polukoff Sun Peak
Cleared but still in the fog
We were stunned last week when we read Jared Whitley’s educational article on Bob O’Connor’s harassment lawsuit. It alluded to law-breaking activity that never occurred and to which the five teachers in question never held.
Actually, we should clarify. We were surprised to read such unsubstantiated drivel in The Record; we were not surprised at the source of the information. We are extremely dismayed that Mr. O’Connor continues to twist truths to best serve his own personal needs.
Mr. O’Connor piously refers to a "party" in which we "tapped a keg and had a buffet at Deer Valley" at a time when parents insisted on trying to support us as teachers, and investigate the treatment we were being subjected to by Mr. O’Connor. The "keg party" to which he refers, consisted of dozens of parents and other faculty members who were concerned about what was happening at TMMS. The "party" consisted of various foods and beverages — not a "keg" — all provided by concerned parents. We found the implication, that we as teachers, would break the law and host a "keg party" both rude and slanderous.
To top it off, it bears repeating, the five beleaguered teachers didn’t even participate in this meeting though parents and other faculty wanted them to speak. For Mr. O’Connor to imply that the get-together was anything other than a meeting of concerned people trying to help is nothing short of libelous. Both he and The Record should be ashamed.
It deeply saddens us to think that maybe many things, in regards to Bob O’Connor’s "administrative style" have not changed. O’Connor stated, "I don’t think it had changed the way I conduct things." Unfortunately, truer words have never been spoken.
Judy Holt, Judy McClellan Tessie Palczynski Peggy Quinlan-Gee
Housing for seasonal help
Why is there a problem of housing for seasonal workers in the Park City metropolitan area? The answer is in front of all your faces. South of Las Vegas, Nev., there is a large resort named Primm Resorts and they have the same dilemma that the Park City area suffers from a lack of housing. On any day, an individual who works at the resort can take the bus downtown to the CAT bus terminal, and catch an air-conditioned bus ride to work, then home. The bus runs go all three shifts, covering the needs of the resort.
Salt Lake City just opened the new intermodal public transit hub in the downtown area, for something just like this idea. The three major resorts in Summit County could survey their employees to see how many would ride the bus to work, then figure the cost the number of buses that would be needed to be chartered to meet their needs. Then they could figure how much to charge each employer/rider, and then go from there.
Todd Brklacich Salt Lake City