Letters to the Editor
September 23, 2009
My bid to become the mayor of Park City was unsuccessful, but it was such a great learning experience. I wanted to take a moment to thank all the people of Park City, those who voted for me and those who didn’t. Park City is the most beautiful place on earth and has the finest and most wonderful people in the world. Never have I known so many truly wonderful and kind people. I love that the people of Park City are independent self-thinkers. They question everything and their opinions are not set aside just because someone doesn’t agree with them. I love that.
Park City is so fortunate to have two great guys to choose from as their mayor. I know them both and like them both very much. Good luck to both Dana and Brad. I know either one will give their all to serve Park City.
I’ve learned that, as important as being mayor is, serving Park City and being part of the solution is also very important. I hope to serve Park City in many capacities and do my part to help Park City and the people who live and work here. Thank you for the chance you gave me and thank you for being such wonderful people!
A grateful Parkite
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Faith in e-ballots is unjustified
City Hall election director LoPiccolo’s claim that "there have not been problems with the counting locally" is not supported by any evidence whatsoever, given that Utah has never conducted any manual checks of the accuracy of its publicly reported vote counts, and given that the Diebold DRE paper rolls can be easily manipulated to match fraudulent results, even if manual checks were conducted, and given that Diebold is known to drop votes from entire memory cards and batches of ballots during the upload and tally process. If this claim were true, then why did Summit County lead the effort to make Utah the most secretive state in the nation with respect to keeping its election records secret so that the public cannot investigate the integrity or accuracy of the process?
Likewise, are any of the publicly reported machine counts of paper ballots going to be manually counted or is the election being conducted based on blind faith in the infallibility and honesty of all voting component vendors, technicians, and election staffers?
LoPiccolo made the false claim that "the voters also may check whether the machine registered the proper selection before their ballot is finalized."
No computer scientist would ever claim that he could see inside the voting machine and know that his vote was recorded or counted correctly. LoPiccolo must imagine that whatever she sees on the touchscreen must be the same as what’s inside the computer — a trusting assumption, but untrue.
No e-ballot voting machines should be used in any election where verifiably accurate results are desired.
Nationalizing health care is not socialism
(This is an open letter to President Obama and his spin team.)
I was hoping to approach the issue of health care from a pro-capitalist perspective. I hope this can strengthen your sell to Congress and to the people of how fair a public option really is. Nationalizing health care is not socialist. It falls very much within the doctrine of capitalism. For if the basic institutions on which a society relies are not met, which in this case is basic health insurance for 1/6 the population, than those individuals do not benefit from living in a capitalist system. The system is based on the assumption that all our basic needs are met, needs like safety, education, housing, food access etc. With all of those needs reasonably met, the population is free to pursue their own economic interests. And reasonable can be a relative term, if you consider the public education system as reasonable. However, if the terms aren’t met, and 49 million Americans don’t have affordable health insurance, and those with preexisting conditions can’t find someone to insure them, than how can they be expected to pursue their own interests. They would have a hard time affording a checkup.
A single payer or public option of health insurance only ensures the entire population access to their basic institutions.
To say this isn’t a basic institution is to be naive, when a single trip to the hospital could easily put one in bankruptcy. Or the fact that certain states require you to have insurance …
Health insurance has evolved into a 20+ percent-per-year increase. The companies have abused their monopolies over the population in pursuit of their own profit. They need to be relieved of the chokehold they have on this country and let the people control their own destinies.
Let’s not forget Basin Recreation
As much as we were delighted with the editorial on September 16, I would like to point out the absence of the Snyderville Basin Recreation District in the entities that provide the awesome trail experience in our area. They are the entity that has constructed, maintained and continues to add to the over 120 miles of the trail system we enjoy in the greater Park City area. Basin Recreation has been the voice at the Planning Commission and County Commission meetings constantly furthering the trails cause and doing the hard work on the ground, building, signing and maintaining the trails in the Basin Recreation District. Our trail system would not be nearly as complete without their efforts and I hope everyone recognizes the contribution of Basin Recreation to our community.
Over the past several years there has been a concerted, collaborative effort to present a seamless tight-knit trail system to our community and our visitors. We all work together so that the trail user really has no idea of the jurisdictions of Park City Municipal, Basin Trails and Recreation, Summit County and Utah State Parks but are presented with one of the finest trail systems in the country.
Mountain Trails Foundation
Sorry to see the Stewpot close
It is with great sadness (that we see) the closing of the Stewpot. It was a great place for the local residents to find good food at a reasonable price. We wish Danny and Toni well and hope that they might find another place to provide their unique brand of food.
Educating our kids is our issue
I’m sorry, but I disagree with the general feeling that the Park City teachers should suck it up and take another slap in the face. Of course they are upset! The Board of Education cuts out their Professional Development Days (so loss of salary) and then expects them to pay more for health care (so less salary, but pick up more of their expenses). For years our community has all laid claim to the fact that we have a superior school system to the rest of the state, so don’t start comparing us to other districts now that you want to cut teacher benefits! May businesses, along with many other entities, have used our "excellent" test scores and curriculum as a selling point for their products or their services.
Teachers have one of the most thankless jobs. They don’t work just eight hours a day, as all of you think. They work another 3-5 hours at home, planning, preparing and correcting. Who do you think writes those letters of recommendation for the colleges? Who pays for that time? Who do you think produces the high test scores on AP and college exams? In addition, has anyone ever sat down and asked a teacher how many extra duties they are required to perform as part of their job and how much more has been added on over the last few years? How far they have to commute because they can’t afford to live in the community where they teach? Who do you think has to work on accreditation for schools? Fill our college application forms?
Well-respected educators make for happy and productive students. Students that have a passion for learning. It’s high time we accept that ALL of us are responsible to maintain the high quality of education and the level of funding expected to support it. We, as a community, should all support a tax hike. Why should the educators who are the backbone of our system be expected to shoulder the burden of paying to educate OUR children?
A ‘big cut in benefits,’ you say?
I am disappointed with the headline on the web regarding the cut in teachers’ benefits. To use a very provocative and incorrect title such as "Teachers howling at big cuts in benefits" is unprofessional. Asking teachers to pay $5 per visit more than last year and to pay up to $42/month for deductible is not a big cut in benefits given the actual cost of the health benefits they receive. Where is your objectivity? At least let the debate around health-care costs go on without exaggerating the impact.
Give readers the complete picture
The Park Record is like our favorite curmudgeonly uncle — a little forgetful, playfully cranky, and humorously forgetful. We love their mild quirks and idiosyncrasies until that same uncle makes the same errors of memory and perspective so frequently that they become an embarrassment for the whole family. Such was the case when The Park Record’s Editorial Department reported on the change in teacher’s health-care benefits. To encourage teachers to "gracefully offer to share the burden of maintaining the district’s high educational standards" without reference to the other compensation cuts teachers have already accepted this year and have historically accepted is poor journalism. We teach our students to consider the many sides of thorny societal issues — we don’t advocate. We, as teachers, encourage students to research the issues, uncover the facts, and then make informed decisions. The Park Record is a teacher, of sorts, for the community. When our newspaper doesn’t provide the complete picture then the entire community’s ability to make informed decisions is lessened. Proper decorum and constructive discussions can thrive when people are fully informed. Then and only then can our community find positive solutions to thorny issues.
A poor way to gauge teacher commitment
The Park City Education Association high school membership regrets the ill-informed position taken by The Park Record in its September 19 editorial. Park City teachers have already taken pay cuts, continue to work without a contract, and are being asked to do more with less. The insurance changes are only part of a deeper, long-simmering dispute.
Comparing hard-working teachers to South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, who led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag flying over the state capitol, does nothing to educate the public. Teacher professionalism is best measured by their commitment to excellence in the classroom, rather than the reactions of a small frustrated few at a board meeting. In the future we encourage the newspaper to take its important work more seriously and, at the very least, have a reporter present at the meeting.
On behalf of Park City High School PCEA members