Letters to the Editor
February 27, 2008
Since when are solutions ‘poison’?
Steve Guthrie, in his recent letter to the Park Record, labels Frances ReMillard’s Feb 13th op-ed "over-simplified poison." Of course it’s simplified. The point of the op-ed is to encourage people to exercise their critical thinking skills. But poison? ReMillard’s op-ed actually offered a collection of studies and reports (which any of us can check for ourselves) to substantiate that the root cause of increased violence against the U.S., Israel, and allies is overwhelmingly grievance-based a product of the US and Israeli government’s foreign policy of occupation, subjugating populations and grabbing land and resources. I see that as the good news. After all, if the US-Israeli foreign policy is contributing to the problem, then a change in policy would contribute to the solution. Since when are solutions poison?
Mahan Singh Khalsa
Salt Lake City
Who gave these officers a license to speed?
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Every day I drive from the west side of Salt Lake to Park City. At least two days a week I am passed by speeding Park City police officers on their way to work. Today (Feb. 21) was the last straw. I was passed by vehicle license number 89545EX, a white Ford Explorer with Park City on the side of the vehicle. It was traveling at a high rate of speed which I feel was unsafe and unnecessary of our law-enforcement officials. Now I admit I broke the law today to speed up and clock the speed of this vehicle. It was traveling at 85 mph on I-215 eastbound at 5:25 a.m.
Tuesday the 19th it was a little later, about 5:40 a.m., when I was passed by a different Park City police vehicle license #41052EX. I have been passed frequently by this particular vehicle. As it approached the summit it was passed by a second police vehicle, the same one mentioned above. Now I drive between 65 and 70 mph on the freeway. Almost everyone exceeds the speed limit, which does not justify breaking the law, but when our law enforcement officers exceed the speed limit for non-emergency driving, what kind of a message does this send to other patrons on the road. All law enforcement officers should set the example and stop being hypocrites. I also object to the misuse of our public tax dollars. These individuals are assigned expensive SUV’s to operate, which do not achieve the highest miles per gallon, as we all know. I realize they need special vehicles for their jobs, but to see them constantly and routinely abusing their right to operate a state vehicle and misusing our tax dollars is infuriating. Brad A. Barker West Jordan
Robbins was a great mentor, special friend
To say that I was stunned on Monday morning when I walked in and heard the news about the passing of Paul Robbins is an understatement. I mean, I had just talked to him Friday as he was a virtual journalism whirlwind in Whistler covering the World Cup where Lindsey Vonn captured the downhill championship.
Stunned went to sadness as I realized I maybe said five words to him that day instead of our occasional banter and catching up on each other’s lives. At the very least I could have told him what an incredible job he had done on the articles he had just written for us. But I guess death is something you can’t always prepare for and there is always something more you could have said.
I keep thinking that the phone is going to ring and I’ll here that warm, "Hey, lady" on the other end. Shoot, I half expect him to call me or email me and make some funny comment about how the whole passing away thing on Saturday has totally screwed up his writing schedule.
The thing is, he did mean something to me and to this paper. He meant a whole lot. This was my first sports-writing job and his support and encouragement made a big difference. He helped me to learn the ropes of ski writing and event coverage that bled into all of the other World Cup sports that I cover on my beat. One day we had breakfast on Main Street and he just listened as I regaled the challenges of covering multiple beats and he had tips and suggestions for all of it.
The stories Paul Robbins wrote for the Park Record were never just boring old race reports, not even the actual race reports. They were always laced with humor and history and a personal touch. His stories would come to life and draw the reader in, in such a way that is rare to find, and our small mountain-town paper was very lucky to have a writer of this caliber.
Paul Robbins was one of those "old guard" kind of sports writer, who had been there and done that and been doing it for a longtime. His knowledge of ski racing and of the individual athletes was literally frightening and almost impossible to ever find again, but the best part was, he more than knew these athletes, he really knew them and valued them and took the time to truly learn their stories and what made them tick.
As I was reading his memorial blog I saw entries from Ski Racing Magazine and Sports Illustrated writer Tim Layden and other giants in the industry and I marveled at how lucky we were to have a piece of him. He was a great mentor for a young writer like me, but more importantly a very special friend and I can’t begin to imagine how much I’ll miss him.
Park City people have spoiled me
Our narrow roads and massive snows require cooperative driving and a level of ‘neighborliness’ I find delightful. Most everyone goes out of their way to accommodate one another. That’s why I got so cranky this morning. I had been taking that kindness for granted!
I went to pull out of my garage this morning to take my son to his bus stop, and was blocked in by a taxi. This would not have been a problem, as the driveway easily accommodates two vehicles, except he parked squarely in the middle and at an angle! And he was not in his van. The passengers he had left in the van saw the situation and were perplexed — do they move the van themselves? They decided against it, but were upset and apologetic. I was stuck — and late.
When the driver returned to his van with the rest of his passengers, I informed him my son was about to miss the bus and asked him to quickly move over. I told him I understood he couldn’t get up the hill and had to park there — no problem, but next time to leave room for residents to get around him. He was extremely rude and sarcastic, and even though his poor passengers (who were clearly uncomfortable by his nasty attitude) offered to wait so I could go, he refused, and took his time loading their baggage in before he finally pulled away.
We pulled up to the bus stop just as the bus did, and the bus driver waited patiently for my son. (Thank you for saving me a trip to Ecker Hill and back!)
Even though it had worked out fine and my son caught the bus, I was rather perturbed. However, I laughed at myself and was filled with a warm gratitude when I realized why I was so upset!
This was my first negative experience all winter — even with the impressive snow and challenging road conditions we have had on Woodside. I have become so accustomed to the usual Park City kindness, cooperation, and genuine caring that the antisocial behavior of this shuttle driver (which was so far from the "norm") stuck out like a sore thumb! I realized I am no longer jaded and numbed by such lack of consideration.
In the city I moved from a year ago (which shall remain nameless), rude behavior would be expected and this taxi driver’s inconsiderate attitude would be considered "normal". I am not used to dealing with that anymore!
So thank you to the rest of the taxi services for making this an unusual experience. Thank you to each conscientious resident and guest for creating a nicer "normal" by taking the extra moment and energy to be thoughtful, kind, and considerate of the needs of others. It truly affects all of us, and makes Park City a feel-good place to live and wonderfully addictive to visit!
Repairs underway on South Summit school
Progress continues on the restoration of the South Summit Middle School. Crews have reinforced the gymnasium and hallway walls in preparation to remove the damaged portions of the building. The School Board and Administration are currently studying the possibility of using this opportunity to solve some of the overcrowding issues at the elementary. It may be advantageous from both an economic and educational standpoint to expand the middle school and move the 5th grade from the elementary to the middle school.
This concept will be discussed in a series of meetings over the next three weeks. The Board is anxious to make the public aware of these meetings and invite interested patrons to be in attendance. Information regarding the financial advantages of making such a move will be presented and discussed. In addition we will be conducting research and presenting pertinent data in regards to moving the 5th grade into the middle school.
Once again the Board is interested in the opinions and thoughts of those who will be most closely affected by such a change. They invite you to attend the scheduled meetings. (Editor’s note: See page A17 of this issue for meeting schedule.)
South Summit School District