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Letters to the Editor

Editor:

(An open letter to the Park City Chapter of Rotary International.)

Dear Rotary Club:

Thank you for the dictionaries that you gave to the students at McPolin Elementary. We will use them a lot. Some of us use them at school and we use them 100% at home. We use the Webster’s Dictionary for Students to help us spell.

Victoria Stockton, Zane Schemmer

And all the 3rd graders at McPolin

What an amazing community we live in

Editor:

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for all of the love and support we have received over the past year, from the time of our 16-year old son’s diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma (children’s cancer of the soft tissue) last December and through the last 12 months of intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This past Sunday evening we received a visit from the Arlin Ovard family. The Ovard family came representing buyers from the Junior Livestock sale to inform us that a lamb had been sold in Brian’s behalf at the Summit County Fair to help with his ongoing medical expenses.

Please accept our heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed — we are overwhelmed by such generosity. We have always felt blessed to be able to live and raise a family in Summit County but in the last year we have come to realize what a truly amazing community we live in. We have been loved and supported in unbelievable ways and are forever changed by your kindnesses to us.

Love,

The family of Kevin and Shannon Orgill

Coalville

Devotion of Ecker PTO is incredible

Editor:

The teachers and staff at Ecker Hill International Middle School would like to thank our incredible PTO for their devotion to the students and staff at our school. The list of special gifts, devoted time, and contributions is long, but we would like to list a few.

Thank you from the teachers for leaving special treats in our boxes, bringing delicious food for parent-teacher conferences and donating books to our classrooms. In addition, thank you for your amazing Mini-Grant Program that allows teachers to expand the resources in their classrooms. Those resources directly enhance the education of Ecker Hill students.

Thank you from the students for sponsoring The Fall Social, The Book Fair, Academic League, the IB Community Service Fair, and Red Ribbon Week. We feel fortunate to have supportive parents who sacrifice so much to improve their children’s education and support the staff who teach them. We truly appreciate your time and efforts.

Jennifer Hales

On behalf of the teachers and staff of EHIMS

Is this an example of Park City pride?

Editor:

As you may have noticed, many of the new bus shelters around town have been adorned with art (by artists that were commissioned by the city). Some have art on the rooftops, some within the structure itself.

The newest "custom fitted" bus shelter has been completed and installed. The location is Kearns Boulevard, between the high school and the Park City Learning Center.

Months before the installation took place, a group of kids from the non-profit Arts Kids Organization were called upon to use their imagination in designing the color scheme and overall design. Led by local artist Bob Commander, these kids planned, painted, and labored over what should be a source of Park City pride for many years.

It is our humble opinion, that it is a REAL piece of art.

Others in Park City definitely do not agree. Within one week, the structure was vandalized. Graffiti now covers the characters and pieces of metal have been mangled and destroyed.

As George Steinbrenner said when graffiti artists attacked the now demolished Yankee Stadium: "I have more money and I will buy more paint." As a result, the "artists" slowly stopped defacing the stadium walls.

Our city doesn’t have an unlimited budget to spend on paint. What our city does have is more pride and definitely more well-behaved kids that should be a threat to the small group of vandals that attack hard work, sacrifice, and pride.

Since the bus shelter sits adjacent to public school property, maybe the art department should assign kids to take care of this piece of art, to show some of that famous Park City pride.

Supporters and installers,

Steven Kemp, Benjamin Lykes, Jeffrey Lykes and Brian Kahn Park City

Art inside shelter may have to be removed

Editor:

Thank you so much for the article honoring the beautiful bus shelter art by Bob Commander and Arts-Kids. I am sad to report that the vandalism continues most likely by a few angry kids, but we may decide we need to remove the art work on the inside, since broken metal can become a liability. No one anticipated that this fun creation would become an object of destruction in our town.

I do have one correction to the article Arts-Kids is not just for "at-risk" kids. We attempt to create a balance in each group: children who do not have as many opportunities as others, kids who may be experiencing stress inside or outside of school, and kids who just love art and being in community. It is a community program with a goal to promote diversity and greater understanding among others as well as creativity and positive self-expression.

Thank you for your support and advocacy,

Pat Drewry Sanger

Executive director and founder, Arts-Kids

Park City

TOSH staff showed expertise at screening

Editor:

Thank you to Lynn Angelini, PT, and Lynne Margolis, PT, of TOSH for their expertise and professional scoliosis screening with the students at Treasure Mountain International School.

It was a pleasure working with you ladies.

Gina Agy

PCSD nurse, Park City

South Summit school programs are intact

Editor:

(An open letter to patrons of South Summit School District)

As we begin the month of November and near the Thanksgiving holiday, I can’t help but reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a beautiful valley and communities filled with dedicated citizens and wonderful children. It is a pleasure to work with the employees, parents and students of South Summit School District.

Across the nation, we hear of schools and districts that are struggling financially. South Summit School District is very fortunate to be in a fiscally sound position. Even though the turndown in the economy has had an adverse effect on our district revenue sources, we remain in the enviable position of having the necessary resources to finish our existing building projects as well as complete the present school year without any major program reductions. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t had to carefully examine our programs and practices to see where savings can be made. District Clerk Kip Bigelow, school principals and the various departments have been busy examining their areas of responsibility to see where financial savings can be made without decreasing the quality of the programs being provided.

For those who were not in attendance at our June budget meeting, you may be interested in how the district’s revenue sources have changed over the last few years. In the late ’90s oil and gas property made up 50% of our total revenue sources. 2002 it was down to 33% and in the 2007-2008 school year it was down to 1.6%. Fortunately, during this same time period secondary property values in our district began to rise. Secondary property now makes up 41% of our revenue source and has helped to offset the loss of oil and gas revenue. While we are not in the same position as we were six or seven years ago, we are indeed fortunate to have substantial revenue sources.

While thinking about the financial resources of our district, it became obvious to me that the district’s greatest resource is found in its dedicated employees, parents and students. Recently, I met with some of our students to discuss and brainstorm their ideas on what we can do to make our schools and district better. It was very impressive to see these students from the elementary, middle, and high school take this task seriously and work, discuss, evaluate and decide on what was most important to their success as students. I left the meeting uplifted and so optimistic about the future of our schools and community. Even though everything is not perfect in the district, we all have much to be grateful for.

As we approach the holiday season, may each of us look around our communities, schools, and neighborhoods to find the positive that exists in each of them and seek out ways that we can help make things better.

Barry Walker

Superintendent, South Summit School District


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