Letters to the Editor | ParkRecord.com

Letters to the Editor

Many animal-vehicle collisions are avoidable

Editor:

We applaud Midway resident Cathy Boruch who, in her Letter to the Editor of Dec. 31, expressed outrage over the death of six elk, which were senselessly driven over a 50-foot embankment on Highway 189 in Provo Canyon. It is bad enough to lose wildlife to an unavoidable accident, but these deaths were caused by the thoughtless, selfish actions of a driver. We are deeply saddened the driver obviously had no patience or concern for these animals.

The Wildlife Protection Society is a grassroots, nonprofit organization devoted to protecting and preserving wildlife for future generations. Our efforts are directed at decreasing animal-vehicle collisions and preserving critical habitat and migratory corridors. We welcome the public concern over this tragic event, and agree that it is time to stop the senseless killing of our cherished wildlife.

Canada has led the way in providing overpasses and underpasses which allow wildlife to safely access water, food sources and habitat. In Banff National Park, 24 underpasses/overpasses have been installed, and animal-vehicle collisions have been reduced by 80 percent. In New Mexico, largely as a result of the efforts of a group of students, state agencies have installed fences to guide mule deer, black bears, cougars, and other wildlife through safe passages beneath I-40. So far the project, which was completed last year, seems to be working. Last summer, the Western Gov er nors’ Association voted to make wildlife corridors a top priority. Bridges planted with grass and trees to make them more appealing to the animals already arch over roads in Canada and Florida. States such as Colorado, Washington and Ari zona are making plans to install over- and underpasses to ensure the safety of their wildlife. The question is, "Why not Utah?"

Animals, like humans, are creatures of habit. They cross in the same location year after year. Preserving these migratory crossings is critical to the survival of the species. We notice with great interest that the Summit County Public Works Department is "trying to identify every project we think potentially would fit" anticipating funds from a potential federal stimulus package. Among the projects listed were tunnels for pedestrians at Kimball Junction, even though a huge overpass already exists. Without addressing the issue of how many people currently do or do not use the existing overpass and statistics on area vehicle-pedestrian accidents vs. vehicle-animal collisions, we suggest that now is the time to be thinking of how to avoid the ongoing slaughter of local wildlife, and perhaps prevent mass killings like the one in Provo Canyon.

We urge everyone to support our efforts to protect one of Utah’s treasured resources, our wildlife. Join us as we urge county and state officials and legislators to follow other states in taking measures to provide safe migratory corridors and protect wildlife habitat. The future of these animals depends upon it. Anyone interested in supporting our efforts may call the Wildlife Protection Society at (435) 640-8050.

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Jacqulin B. Fehr President, Wildlife Protection Society

Park City

Is this the last act for the Egyptian Theatre?

Editor:

There is a treasure in Park City. It’s right there on Main Street, about halfway up. When you have dinner at Shabu, you simply can’t miss it. And for ten days in January, it becomes a global icon for independent film.

The Egyptian Theatre is a treasure. It’s not a treasure because it is the crown jewel of the Sundance Film Festival. Or because it puts on five Broadway-quality live performances each year. It’s not even a treasure because it was built back in 1926, around the same time as Graumann’s Chinese and Egyptian theatres in Hollywood, or because live performances have been presented to Parkites for over a century.

No. The Egyptian Theatre is a treasure because of what it represents to our community and those who visit us.

Live theatre has been uniting people for centuries in one form or another. From ancient Greece and Rome, to Shakespeare’s England, to New York’s Broadway, and right back to Main Street, Park City or USA, for that matter. People have been coming together for thousands of years, literally, to laugh, cry, gasp and sigh at the hands of the talented artists who give a little bit of their soul to deliver performances to the public.

Community theatres like our Egyptian Theatre are an integral part of preserving the tradition and history of live performances. These are the places where our children learn about theatre. Whether from a seat in the audience or from the stage as a performer, these theatres expose our children to the beauty of human creativity, passion and emotion.

Sadly, our connection to this history and tradition here in Park City is at risk of making its final curtain call. The Egyptian Theatre is in severely dire financial straits with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel.

Yes, the theatre has had financial problems over the years. And, yes, some angel or a group of angels has always come to the rescue. But not this time. This is it. The last act.

Which brings me to my point. I have worked with director/producer Melissa Balin to establish a campaign whose purpose is to keep the doors of this theater open, and intact. This campaign is called Save the Egyptian and we will be launching it at Sundance this year. We will be filming video vignettes of celebrities, tastemakers, community leaders and you, sharing their memories of The Egyptian Theatre over the years. These vignettes will be used in a fund-raising campaign we are planning for later in 2009, and will be available on our website, http://www.savetheegyptian.com , after the festival.

Please find us on Main Street between January 15th and 18th, check out our website (which will premiere just before Sundance), or visit us on Facebook by joining our fan group and/or cause, both called Save the Egyptian. We’re on MySpace too, http://www.myspace.com/savetheegyptian .

Go see a play at our community theater, give a penny, a dollar, ten dollars, fifty dollars whatever you can afford to The Egyptian Theatre. Ask us how you can help save this treasure for yourself, your kids and for another 100 years of live performance in Park City.

It doesn’t matter how you help, it just matters that you do.

See you on Main Street!

Stacy Hess

Park City

A simple solution to a complex problem

Editor:

The translation of Occham’s Razor from its original Latin says, "One should not increase beyond what is necessary the number of entities required to explain anything." In other words, simple is better.

The economy is on the mind of everyone these days. No one escapes. We hear the problem is complicated, requires many hours and days of meetings by hundreds of the best minds around to solve this complex issue. But if we really look to the root of the matter it involves basically two things: homes and cars. Solve these two problems and the bank problem goes away, retail does better and Detroit keeps working. Financing aside, it’s the people that have stopped buying, period.

I propose a simple solution to the problem and if you agree, write your congressman. The solution is in investment tax credits for individuals. Provide in the tax law for every individual to obtain an investment tax credit for buying a house or a car and it does not matter how many of each you buy. For a house: 10% of the purchase price with a minimum of $15,000 tax credit for every house you buy. You would have to keep it for three years, keep the taxes paid, maintained and habitable during that period. For a car: 15% of the purchase price in a tax credit regardless of the size or cost. Tax credits are just that, they go against your income tax directly, not a write off.

In addition the government needs to allow individuals to take money from their IRA accounts and use that money tax free to pay off debts. Right now, if you remove funds, you pay tax and penalties. They should make this retroactive to 2007. This puts the money in the hands of the people where it belongs. It provides incentives to purchase a car or a home, removing excess inventories from the market, and it gives investors an incentive to purchase multiple homes, hopefully fixing them up, keeping them in good condition and perhaps turning them in to productive rental properties. You could extend this to commercial real estate later as well. Simple solution to what appears to be a complex problem.

Again, if you agree, write your congressman.

Dennis Wilkinson

Park City