Letters to the Editor
December 8, 2007
This week, we learned that President Bush has been actively misleading us on Iran – lying to get us into another reckless and disastrous war. It was revealed that Bush has known for months that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Bush said he "only learned of the new intelligence assessment last week." But according to the Washington Post, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley "said Bush was first told in August or September about intelligence indicating Iran had halted its weapons program." That means Bush has been ignoring the intelligence as he’s saber-rattled for months against Iran – recklessly pushing toward war with Iran like he did with Iraq. We can’t afford to let Bush and Cheney start another disastrous war. Congress must act now and make it clear that President Bush has no authority to strike Iran.
Snow didn’t deter basketball McFundraiser
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Park City High School boys’ basketball team, coaches and parents would like to thank Mark Young and Cynthia Smith of McDonalds for allowing the boys to raise money for the team. Thank you to all of the diners who braved the first big snow storm of the year to come out and eat with the team.
Go Miners! Karen & Mark Emerson
On behalf of PCHS boys’ basketball team
Clinic fund-raiser is just the tip of the iceberg
A big thanks to all the new and regular supporters of the People’s Health Clinic. The annual fund-raiser was the tip of the iceberg in raising the funds PHC needs for yearly operating costs. It’s never too late to help and be a hero in your community. Donations can be mailed in to The People’s Health Clinic. P.O. Box 681558, Park City, Utah, 84060. You can also learn more and donate online at peopleshealthclinic.org.
Community Outreach, The People’s Health Clinic
High school is getting better, not worse
Brianna Wilson made many excellent points in her well-written Nov. 30 "Student to Student" column, "Is Park City High heading downhill?" She used the rankings Newsweek has given to the school over the last three years, using a calculation of college-level test participation I invented ten years ago. Everything she said about my method, The Challenge Index, was flattering and accurate. But she let the tricky and often deception behavior of rankings lead her in the wrong direction, and that is entirely my fault. I started to rank schools because I knew if I didn’t, no one would pay attention to what I was saying about the need to move toward value-added ratings like the Challenge Index, and move away from measuring schools by parental income, like most test score rankings.
But I have found many people, having seen ranks drop, rush to conclude that the school has somehow gotten worse. Ms. Wilson showed her true colors as a journalist by printing my actual rankings and ratings, and they tell a different story. PCHS ranked 150 in 2005 and dropped to 216 in 2007, just as she said, but that NOT because the school got worse. It is because many more schools rose in the ratings and got on the list, including thankfully some in Utah. Never every school on the list saw its rank decline.
Now look at the ratings, the real story. In 2005 PCHS got a 2.494. In 2007 that number rose to 2.625. That means that great high school, whose many wonders I have seen with my own eyes, got better, not worse, at least in its college-level test participation rate. This is something to celebrate. I pray such progress will continue, which I am sure it will with the very committed community leaders of Park City and sharp eyed young reporters like Wilson.
Washington Post education reporter and columnist
Barton doesn’t speak for Mountain Town Stages
In response to Randy Barton’s letter to The Park Record of December 5th, 2007:
While we respect Mr. Barton’s right to his opinion, we must clarify that he is not a member of the Mountain Town Stages Board of Trustees and does not speak for the organization. In fact, we do not agree with Mr. Barton’s statement nor with his decision to distribute it.
The fabric of our community is woven by our nonprofit organizations. These organizations look after our open spaces, feed our lost pets, mentor our children, groom our trails and look after our wildlife. They are made up of our friends and neighbors who volunteer their time and energy to make our community a better place to live. As one of these organizations, Mountain Town Stages has a seven year history of providing free music to the community. Summer nights sharing wonderful music under the stars with our neighbors is a tradition enjoyed and supported by many of the citizens of Summit County.
As with any organization, Mountain Town Stages has changes in staffing. Mr. Toby Martin was hired as our Executive Director and, after a period of working together, the Board of Trustees decided that he was not the best fit for the organization and his contract was terminated. This was a disappointment to Mountain Town Stages and we are sure that it was a disappointment to Mr. Martin. Mountain Town Stages now prepares for the 2008 concert season with a strong financial foundation and great excitement for the New Year.
It is critical that we acknowledge the strong support of The Canyons for free music in Summit County. Over the last seven years The Canyons has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing top music talent to their Forum for the enjoyment of our community. Mountain Town Stages has had the privilege of producing these famous Saturday concerts. As The Canyons looks at new projects involving musical production, they have given Mountain Town Stages full consideration to provide these services. The Canyons has more than earned our full respect for any decision they may make regarding Mountain Town Stages and how we may or may not fit with their plans.
Like The Canyons, Santa Fe Partners has been a generous financial supporter enabling the Quarry Village stage to become a fixture of the Jeremy Ranch community with its Sunday night summer concerts.
The Deer Valley Wednesday nights, La Casita stage, Miners stage, Peoa stage, the New Park stage, all this music is made possible by generous corporate supporters who step up to give to their community.
This is not "business" that Mountain Town Stages competes for, we are a nonprofit, we are the community, we gratefully accept what our sponsors give us and work hard to exceed the expectations of our audiences. Believe us, no one enjoys the music more than your Mountain Town Stages volunteers!
So thank you to all the community businesses big and small who sponsor our stages, thank you to the Park City Chamber/Bureau, thank you to Summit County government and Park City government, and thanks to all our friends and neighbors and visitors who come to enjoy the music and leave a donation in the bucket or send in a check. You are the community, you are Mountain Town Stages, and we, the active volunteers, are here only to act on the wishes of our community and to turn them into a reality.
It is the end of the year and if you would like to join our great sponsors and help the cause for free music with a donation our web site welcomes you at http://www.mountaintownstages.com .
We thank everyone for your support and look forward to seeing you again when the snow melts and the music begins.
On behalf of The Board of Trustees, Mountain Town Stages
Our neighbors never forgot Justin
Our son, Specialist Justin Murrell, returned home 12/04/07 after serving 15 months in the Army as a medic in Baghdad. We would like to express our gratitude to Alan Petersen and the Boy Scout troop from St. Mary’s. They came to our house and put 40 flags in our yard to honor our son and his unit.
We would also like to thank Colonial Flag who donated the flags. Our neighbors also put red, white and blue balloons on their mailboxes and had their Christmas lights on to show support for our son. WHAT GREAT NEIGHBORS WE HAVE! Thanks for all you do Tony and Staci Arnoe. We also need to let our friends and family know how much we love and appreciate them for praying for Justin and all the support they gave us during this time.
We pray that all military servicemen and women who are serving our country in Iraq will soon return home safely to their families.
Steve, Rachelle, Justin and Ethan Murrell
Randy is barkin’ up the wrong tree
I find Randy Barton’s letter to The Park Record curious in both its content and purpose. It has been no secret that Mountain Town Stages and I parted ways after one year of my having served as its executive director. I have not, nor would I ever, nor do I need to represent myself as being part of Mountain Town Stages. I have been a working professional in the entertainment business for more than thirty years, and the work I am doing now, and hope to do in the future, is only a continuation of that career.
My departure from the organization was caused by several factors. While it is true that one of the events I produced caused a substantial financial loss, the organization had been in a similar financial predicament in prior years due to one of its paid concert events having caused the same sort of financial crisis. Mr. Barton has stated a solution has now been put in place, and I am most pleased that Frontier Bank has once again shown its support for Mountain Town Stages. I will add, however, that there were other important issues and conflicts I had with the board of directors, and seeing no change in its policies and practices, I would have had no choice but to resign from the organization.
My year with Mountain Town Stages was both fulfilling and successful. We were able to add the Locals Concerts at Deer Valley, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, the July 4th Parade, a new stage at New Park/Basin Recreation Center, and concerts on Labor Day weekend at Olympic Park to our events list. My confusion as to the purpose of Mr. Barton’s comments is that none my current or future work is planned at any location that is in anyway owned and operated by Mountain Town Stages. I have events planned with The Star Bar and Harry O’s, and my other work is on stages that are operated by independent local businesses. I will note that I, myself, informed Mountain Town Stages of everything I was doing, and that I find Randy’s use of the phrases such as "rumors" and "his own locations and ideas" offensive. Does he think that there is a patent on producing live concerts?
I wish Mountain Town Stages continued success, and hope that they find someone soon to fill the vacancy caused by my departure. In the meantime, I will bring the same level of commitment and effort to my new projects as I did last summer for Mountain Town Stages. The public deserves nothing less.