Letters to the Editor
I would like to commend The Park Record for your follow-up article, "Update: After adopting newborn in 2006, couple celebrates Pride." Your description of Erik as a "happy, healthy two-year old" and description of his parents as "ordinary," whose lives revolve around their son is hopefully something that will dispel myths and prejudices many people hold about alternative families. It has been my privilege to know this family, and I can attest that both Manuel and Ted are excellent parents, and that Erik is indeed a very happy, well-adjusted toddler as your article describes.
One thing that is not clear in your article, however, is that the adoption cost of $38,000 that you list is actually about three times higher than what a heterosexual couple or single person would have paid to adopt Erik. Because of prejudicial policies not granting homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals, Ted and Manuel had much more bureaucratic "red tape" to deal with, and this increased the cost of the adoption tremendously. This is just one example of how policies discriminating against homosexuals are harmful to children and families. Money that could have gone towards starting a college fund for Erik, or towards the cost of adopting another child to be his sibling, instead went to pay excessive and unnecessary adoption costs.
Many potential parents would have given up in the face of such high costs. Fortunately for Erik (who did not have anyone else lined up to adopt him and was slated for the foster-care system), Ted and Manuel were willing and able to make the extra financial sacrifices involved in his adoption. Not all children are as fortunate as Erik.
I would encourage everyone to write their legislators and implore them to change the adoption laws to allow homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals. Equality will only benefit families and children.
Anne has what it takes to serve on board
I am writing to make our community aware of an outstanding school-board candidate, Anne Bransford. This is especially critical in that the field of candidates in the district in which she is running (Vern Christensen’s seat) will be narrowed in the coming week. Her district would be poorly represented if she is not on the ballot and I urge you to vote for her!
I have known Anne for many years. Our paths crossed first through volunteerism at Treasure Mountain International School running a fund-raising auction. She tirelessly solicited items and ran a flawless checkout for the event exhibiting her persistence, organization and critical thinking skills. I also saw her outstanding work at our church where she has been a member of the vestry (governing body of the parish) and made valuable leadership contributions which would translate beautifully to our school board. Finally, Anne is a devoted mother to her 3 children and is like the Energizer bunny when it comes to any job no matter how big or small that will benefit not only her children but the school at large. As an example, note her many years as Field Day chairwoman at Parley’s Park Elementary!
In closing, Park City School District should have the commitment of such a dedicated community member. Be sure Anne is your choice for school board in 2008. We need a woman of her caliber representing us!
Parley’s Park staff pampered by PTA
School’s out and summer’s here, but the staff at Parley’s Park Elementary School (PPES) has fabulous memories of how well we were treated by our PTA this year. A sincere thanks goes out to Shawna Doughman and her crew for all the pampering we received. It started in October with meals during our fall conferences (including a take-home dinner at the end of the week for each teacher’s family!) and continued throughout the year with small surprises left in our mailboxes. There were more meals for February conferences, and it all culminated with Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Wow we were treated with breakfasts and lunches, flowers, chocolates, and prizes for all, donated by more than 35 local businesses. We appreciate their generosity. Parley’s is a great place to be, thanks in large part to our supportive community of families.
On behalf of the staff at PPES
Is there a reason for mass departures?
I want to commend The Park Record for the great interviews with the departing PCHS teachers. Bob Burns, Jerry Fiat, John Krenkel, Bill Kahn, Craig Watson, and Tony Winterer were all there when my boys were at the school, and I’ve been impressed with the talent and dedication of all of them. They certainly deserve the publicity you’ve provided for them. And they certainly will be missed by students and parents alike.
I’m pleased to say that I served on the PCHS Community Council during the time that almost all of these gentlemen were hired, and that I was on the hiring committees for a couple of them. It’s very satisfying to look back after 20+ years and see that so many of our decisions turned out so well.
It really concerns me, however, that so many talented folks are departing at the same time. The school district will have a difficult time filling some huge voids. I hope they will be able to find experienced teachers to take the places of these star performers.
I must say that I had the same thought, when I learned that so many top high school teachers were retiring, as I had when I heard that so many of the most talented and experienced people were leaving the Park City staff there must be a problem at the top! I hope the School Board, and the City Council, are doing some very careful exit interviewing to try to find out if there’s more to these mass departures of top people than might meet the eye. I believe that these are circumstances where hiring a qualified consultant would be a wise investment.
Sentences for crack use are out of whack
Twenty-two years ago this week, Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose. His death stunned the sports world and left an indelible mark on our justice system. In the months following his death, Congress passed harsh new mandatory minimum drug laws that set a 100:1 disparity between the amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine that trigger the same five-year mandatory prison sentence. The result: One-size-fits-all sentencing, regardless of an individual’s role in the case.
continuing to lock away first-time and nonviolent crack cocaine offenders for extraordinarily long sentences instead of treating the problem, we are repeating the mistake, not the lesson, of Len Bias’ story. We are repeating a tale of lost promise.
In recent months, we have seen a new effort among the courts, the public and even among some of our politicians to rewrite the ending for these prisoners. What is Congress waiting for?
Anne Bransford has teachers’ respect
I am writing to show my support for Anne Bransford, candidate for the Park City School Board, District 3. Anne and I have worked on many boards and committees together in the past and I value her ability to get the job done, no matter what the job entails. As a mother of three children, all of whom are currently enrolled in the Park City School District, I have witnessed Anne’s dedication to their various schools and activities, and I have seen the respect that teachers and administrators have for her as a parent/volunteer. The School Board would be hard pressed to find another candidate with Anne’s level of enthusiasm and leadership ability.
They’re paving paradise and
Spring must finally be here. The dump trucks are rolling in force, the cranes are installed and the backhoes are grinding and beeping from every direction. Early mornings, dwindling evenings and those peaceful Sundays are what I’ve learned to appreciate living in the heart of Park City these days. This is an open letter to all of the citizens, residents and neighbors of Old Town Park city who have come here to appreciate what is still good, or what still CAN be good, about our community.
But I have a problem. I have a garden. A garden in Old Town adjacent to my home that is threatened for demolition to accommodate a "parking pad" that is required by the city for all new homes built in city limits. It’s a very unique garden in a xeriscape setting, comprised of rare alpine plants gathered worldwide over the past 20 years by my father. Unable or unwilling to challenge the impending greed of "small lot, big house" encroachments and the insistence of planning department demands for MORE PARKING, my father has moved on. But his pride in the art of gardening remains for all to enjoy, at least for now.
The garden is in full bloom, and I invite anyone who is interested in rare alpine plants to stop by, take a photo, explore, or just plain enjoy this unique natural wonder at 164 Sandridge Ave. in Old Town, any time. (Unleashed, well-mannered dogs welcome!)
In my ongoing battle for the preservation of Historic Old Town, I want to thank The Park Record for the recent editorial and article pertaining to the Historical Society Home tour last weekend. Also Sandra Morrison, Sydney Reed and Ron Butkovich of the Park City Historical Society for all their help, information and support. Your dedication to the living history of Park City is crucial to the survival of our old homes and open spaces. And I intend to fight for Park City’s living history because I still live here and I’m not history yet!
Wendy Van Reyper
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.