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Letters to the Editor

Vouchers suck money out of public schools

Editor:

The voucher advocates’ Oreo commercial purporting to show that the voucher plan will increase classroom spending in the public schools is a classic example of lying with statistics.

Hidden in its premise is a logical error that confuses revenue with spending. If accountants did this for businesses, they would "prove" that no business in the country ever made a profit because profit is what’s left after subtracting expenses from revenue. If revenue is treated as expenses, there is nothing left for profit.

The expense of running school is not the per-pupil price of education. The per-pupil amount is a measure of school revenue. The school’s expense is what it spends to maintain a classroom seat, whether it is occupied or not. Expenditures are actually on a classroom, not per-pupil, basis. A teacher’s salary is an expenditure because it is the cost of a classroom teacher. The school gives money to the teacher. The school never gives money to a pupil, so there is never any per-pupil expenditure.

If the school spends $30,000 to put one teacher in front of a classroom of 30 kids, and one kid goes away on a voucher, the school still has to spend $30,000 for the teacher. The per-classroom seat cost of a teacher is, in this example, $1,000. If a kid leaving on the voucher takes half his revenue away ($500), there is $500 left for one seat and $1,000 for 29 seats. That adds up to $29,500, not enough to pay for the teacher. If two kids are voucherized, the public school is $1,000 in the red. That’s how the voucher scheme really works it sucks money out of the public schools.

Keith Baker

Heber City

Vote for Walkability and small-town charm

Editor:

Having been born and raised in Park City (one of the rare few), I have seen the town grow and develop into a major resort destination. Like my parents, most of you came to Park City temporarily or on vacation, fell in love with the small-town charm and the lifestyle and never left. Many benefits to the community have come with all of the growth, but there is also one huge negative: TRAFFIC.

This November voters have the opportunity to shape our town’s future and preserve the small-town charm that keeps us here by voting YES on Walkability! While the growth and traffic that comes with it is inevitable, we have the opportunity to minimize the impact. voting yes for the $15 million Walkability Bond, the roads will be safer and the traffic will be diminished. The Bond aims to interconnect areas of Park City by building more and improving existing bike and pedestrian trails. If you vote YES and help to pass the Walkability Bond and these paths, bridges, and tunnels are built, the daily bottlenecks that occur on Bonanza, Kearns, and other highly congested areas of Park City will be minimized.

For an estimated 30 cents a day we can continue to create and preserve the outdoor lifestyle that is so essential to maintain the charm of Park City, which is why we are all here in the first place. Vote YES on Walkability!

Whitney Olch

Park City

We like Wal-Mart

Editor:

Your recent editorial concerning the proposed Wal-Mart expansion shows your personal bias against a good store. Your use of unfounded and inflammatory terms such as "lack of employee benefits," "cheap imports," and "cutthroat pricing" shows the extent of your bias and in my opinion is a sorry representation of what a newspaper ought to be. I am writing this to let you and Wal-Mart know that we really like Wal-Mart and our shopping experience there since it was first built has only been good. We hope that they do succeed in getting approval for their expansion plans. It will be a great benefit to the entire community.

Leo Smith

Park West Village

Empowering our teen community

Editor:

Treasure Mountain International School’s 8th graders enjoyed and learned a great deal from local social worker Kathy Meyer. Kathy shared her expertise with our students regarding teen depression: the signs and symptoms. Thank you Kathy for taking the time to commit to and empower our teen community.

Susan Graves-Henneman

Wanda Taylor

TMIS health/PE instructors

Moving bikers and walkers out of harm’s way

Editor:

A few weeks ago I had to drive my daughters to school at McPolin. The sun, having just risen over PC Hill, was shining straight into my eyes while I drove along Little Kate. As a car was coming towards me in the opposite lane, a girl on her bike swerved into my lane to pass a slower child also on his bike. I stopped, of course. The car coming toward me went by; the girl and her mother on bikes passed the slower child. When it was safe, I went on.

I believe that that is how it should be. A driver in my position needs to go slowly around children on bikes because they are often wobbly and unpredictable. The point, however, is this situation could easily have turned deadly. Even well-meaning people might be looking the other direction. The sun was in my eyes, and the glare off my windshield was difficult to see through.

Park City has outgrown many of its bike lanes and crosswalks. There are many more people on the roads than there used to be. It is time to be proactive and improve our trails and sidewalks to move walkers and bikers out of harm’s way. The walkability bond will do just that. It will provide the funds to protect bikers and walkers not just from the handful of rude and careless drivers but also from the potentially deadly convergence of several otherwise normal situations.

Please vote for the walkability bond on November 6th.

Cheryl Fox

Park City


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