Letters to the Editor
January 21, 2009
There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. And honorable people might disagree where that line is. But Brent Smith’s letter lauding the dispossession, imprisonment, and slaughter of the indigenous Semitic people of Palestine would certainly appear to have crossed that line. Will The Park Record be printing letters praising the genocide of native Americans? The gassing of Jews? The lynching of blacks? The ethnic cleansing of Darfur? All of these people are subhuman in someone’s eyes, just as the Palestinians are subhuman in Mr. Smith’s eyes.
When a letter that is short on accuracy and substance but long on hate and prejudice crosses your desk, it’s OK to decline to print it. When a letter dehumanizes an entire group of people, it’s OK to decline to print it. When a letter celebrates the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children, it’s OK to decline to print it. A newspaper should inform, educate, and enlighten. It should not be a platform for ignorant bigots to spread their messages of hate.
Treasure project needs more scrutiny
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I am writing to request that you do your part as a community newspaper and print the latest renderings of the proposed Treasure project prior to the next Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Feb. 11. As a homeowner in Old Town who has followed this project for the last few years, I can’t help but get the feeling that all the citizens of Park City are still not fully aware of the size and scope of this proposed project.
Any positive comparison to the PCMR Base Project with the Marriott Mountainside, or even the Town Bridge/Lift Project, is like comparing apples and oranges. All of the citizens of Park City should see that "Treasure" is massive and the beautiful hillside where it is proposed to be located will forever be lost if approved.
While we residents of Old Town have many practical concerns related to traffic, safety, roads, and the overall quality of life in our neighborhoods, this is not just an Old Town issue. All citizens of Park City should have all of the facts and renderings prior to the Feb. 11 Planning Commission meeting. It is the responsibility of the local newspaper to inform the public, please do your part to ensure that decisions regarding Treasure represent the input of all citizens of Park City, not just those of us in Old Town.
David W. Hood
Proposed Old Town code changes are punitive
The proposed Land Management Code amendments would have a negative and devastating effect on the Historic District. The changes are punitive in nature. They would punish the owners of historic properties that have not renovated by limiting size, design options, and adding onerous development conditions. When restrictions become too onerous to build or to remodel, it encourages demolition by neglect.
Historic Old Town has the character that makes Park City a unique place. That character has evolved over time and should be allowed to change with the rest of the world. The minute details of the proposed changes fail to address the issue of trying to maintain Old Town as a vibrant part of the community and a decent place to live. The City might consider a larger role in undergrounding the overhead utilities and addressing parking issues to help improve Old Town. Excessive restrictions contribute to the gentrification of the historic homes as there is no economic or tax benefit to maintaining them. It is not possible to renovated historic properties that have so deteriorated over time that they cannot be saved. The scale of the district has changed and there are only a limited number of historic properties. New construction in and around the Historic District has been allowed to build at a scale totally out of character with the area. The small lots should not be penalized for having large developments next to them and should be allowed the same development rights. It is not the time to adopt a poorly conceived document that would negatively affect all of the Historic District.
Treasure Hill site would make great open space
I live at 911 Lowell next to the proposed Treasure Hill development. While I am basically excited about anything that improves Park City, I have a lot of concerns about this particular development.
1. First and foremost is safety. I am very concerned about getting fire and other emergency vehicles up to what already is a very narrow, congested and dangerous street, with pedestrians already having to share the road.
2. I am very concerned about the massive structure of this development overhanging historic downtown.
3. For many years I have had great ski access on and off Creole. How will this affect not only me but all my other neighbors who have enjoyed great ski access for a long time?
4. In these economic times, I find it hard to believe that this project will be funded and completed in any kind of a timely manner. I am also extremely concerned that the project will be started and then funding will be withdrawn, and the project will remain half-completed and a horrible eyesore for years to come. I think the City should insist whatever project is built here has financing, complete with bonding, to ensure that the project is not a dangerous eyesore.
In conclusion, my concerns are traffic, safety and density changing the entire face of historic Park City, along with tearing up a beautiful hillside into an empty construction hole.
I would very much like to see this site purchased or traded and kept as open space, or certainly a lower-density project.
David S. Van Denburgh
Israeli invasion has inflamed hatred
I would like to respond to the bloodthirsty Brent Smith letter entitled "Israeli invasion of Gaza justified." Mr. Smith makes many sweeping broad generalizations and ignorant comments that maintain the current status quo indefinitely between hawkish Israelis and radical Palestinians. His views do not lead to resolving fundamental issues or bring peace.
The Hamas militants who have been firing rockets into Israel are wrong, but the Israeli army’s invasion of Gaza is a political move, not an earnest attempt to solve the real issue. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has been under fierce criticism for the Hamas rocket attacks and parliamentary elections take place February 10th. Mr. Barak is hoping that, by his decision to invade Gaza, his Labor Party’s popularity will increase as well as his odds of becoming prime minister.
The blockade this summer and the recent invasion have punished everyone in Gaza, radicalizing the population. The invasion undermines the Palestinian moderates, who are the best hope for both sides. In punishing Hamas, moderates like Mahmoud Abbas now come across as weak, irrelevant, and ineffective, while Hamas emerges as the victor. The way to solve the Israeli Palestinian difficulties is through diplomacy, not war. This current Israeli invasion has made Hamas stronger, not weaker.
Today the Israeli army is starting its withdrawal of Gaza and what have they really accomplished? True they have killed some Hamas militants, but they have also killed hundreds of innocent men, women, and children and created a new generation of hate towards Israel. This continuous tit for tat between the Israeli government and radical Palestinians does not accomplish anything positive. Mr. Smith, you can’t kill them all, or maybe that is your objective, which makes you no better than the radical Muslims you chastise.
Mr. Smith states, "Arab nations want everyone to believe there was no
Holocaust." True, there are some ignorant Arab people who make that claim, but the vast majority of Arab people know that the Holocaust happened and the vast majority of Arab people in the world believe in Israel’s right to exist.
Finally, Mr. Smith argues that Americans would not stand for missiles fired from Mexico into the United States. He is correct that Americans would not allow Mexico to attack the U.S., but to compare Mexico to Gaza is ridiculous. Although the U.S. did acquire two-thirds of Mexico’s land in 1848, Mexico is an independent nation. Gazans have endured three years of embargo, crippling shortages of food and total economic collapse. Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but the Palestinians still do not have control over their airspace or seacoast. Again, I am not justifying Hamas rocket attacks, and I believe they are entirely wrong, but Gaza is essentially a Palestinian prison camp with no control of its borders.