Letters to the Editor
May 17, 2006
As a 15-year veteran of the information technology industry, I do have some very serious concerns about the security of our new electronic voting machines.
First of all, I am very wary of the software that runs these machines. We are dealing with an unknown quantity and are only relying on Diebold’s assurances that it is tamper-proof. I feel that Diebold should make the source code for this software available to the public, so that security experts and concerned citizens may review its security measures and, if appropriate, provide security-enhancing patches. Some might argue that the closed nature of the Diebold source code is a security benefit. Rubbish, I say. You only have to look at your virus-laden Windows desktop computer, a product of a closed-source model, to see what intelligent, monetarily-motivated criminals can achieve.
My second concern is with Sue Follett’s description of the physical security of the machines. "Five upstanding workers" holding the keys to these machines hardly constitutes adequate security. The paper notes that these people work out of two offices within the county government, which means that, in all likelihood, these people know each other quite well. It’s a perfect setup for collusion. If Diebold and the county really wanted strong physical security, they would require three (or more) keys to open a machine and the key-holders would be picked in a double-blind manner: no key-holder would know who holds the other keys.
Please, do not accept Diebold’s word that these are tamper-proof machines. I urge the Summit County Elections Office to publicly address these concerns.
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Sharing the road
In the May 10 editorial titled "Share the road means cars and bikes," I agree with the statement that motorist and bicyclist alike need to share the road. But in the article there was some wrong information provided for bicyclist. In the second to last paragraph, the article stated "Cyclists, especially those who ride with a team, need to stay on the right side of the white line&" This information is incorrect. Cyclists need to ride as far to the right on the roadway as practical. The "roadway" as defined by the Utah Code in 41-6a-102 (Definitions) (51) (a) "Roadway" means that portion of highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.
(b) "Roadway" does not include the sidewalk, berm or shoulder.
Under Utah Code 41-6a-1105 bicyclist are to ride to the right of the roadway "A person operating a bicycle or a moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as near as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway&" This does not say they must ride to the right of the white line or shoulder if you will.
In many cases there is not sufficient shoulder width for a bicyclist to ride to the right of the white line. Riding just to the left of the white line when there is little or no shoulder gives a bicyclist an out to the right if evasive action is needed. It also puts the bicyclist out more in the view of motorists. Also, roadway debris collects on the shoulder of the road and it can be very hazardous to bicyclists. So please understand that there are situations that make it unsafe to always travel to right of the white line, and that a bicyclist may be doing this to keep himself or herself safe, and in no way are they trying to upset motorists.
West Valley City
Water leak can’t be stopped?
Thirteen days and counting. That’s the number of days there has been a steady water leak spouting from Norfolk Avenue and 11th Street. Park City Public Works knows about it. I’ve called them several times but apparently they just can’t seem to find the time to stop it. "It’s not a priority." Now I don’t doubt they are busy but why can’t they find the time to stop this wasteful water leak? Is it a lack of resources? Are there other leaks they can’t stop? I really don’t know but obviously nothing is being done while thousands of gallons of perfectly good water roll down the street and into yards. Meanwhile, I find it interesting to read the recent article in The Park Record with a warning by the Park City Water department about our increasing consumption of water and the need to conserve (www.conservewater.utah.gov ). I certainly appreciate the warning and the need to conserve but perhaps they should practice what they preach.
Brian Van Hecke
TMIS fundraiser for Peace House
Thank you to Mike Holm, Destiny Grose and the rest of the staff at Dan’s who graciously allowed us to set up space in your store to carry out our TMIS fundraiser for Peace House on Saturday, May 6. Thank you, too, to all of you generous shoppers who donated food, supplies, money, clothing, bedding and books. the end of the day, your efforts allowed us to deliver $65 in cash, and several hundred dollars’ worth of goods to the women’s shelter. In fact, you gave so generously, it took us two trips to deliver all the goods.
Thank you again for your help in making this project a huge success.
A matter of kid safety
A few weeks ago on the front page, there was a picture of a kid in the skate park doing a kick-flip without a helmet. This week there is a picture of a kid on a BMX bike, catching big air, without a helmet.
I think it is a bad example to our community to show these kids without a helmet. Young kids will think it’s "cool" and do that to get their picture in the paper.
David Eckstein, 4th grade
Parley’s Park Elementary School
What are we teaching our kids?
On Sunday, a boy crashed his dirt bike into an off-leash dog. The boy often races down our residential street at high speeds, and I have seen this dog off-leash once before. The dirt biker cell-phoned his family the moment it occurred. The dirt biker’s entire clan arrived to intimidate the dog’s young owner with a barrage of loud and hostile words about why he, his father and his dog were at fault.
What are we teaching our kids? Outfitting an 11-year-old with a full-fledged dirt bike and encouraging him to race it through neighborhoods is despicable. The idea of doing so, then accosting somebody who was injured by those actions is astounding. What if the dog was one of the many bumbling toddlers in my cul de sac? Who would throw the tantrum then? We are set for a beautiful Utopia, where nobody is responsible for anything, and all you need do is drop to the ground screaming and kicking to get what you want and to quiet objections.
Our children pay attention to our every lesson, and they will learn this one well.
The issue of helmets
I’m so happy to see bike riding on any publication, but in the future, can you show a kid jumping with a helmet? It is so important to stress safety.
Staff Appreciation Week
The Parley’s Park PTA would like to extend an enormous thank you to the many local businesses who made donations on behalf of our staff. Thanks in part to their generosity, Staff Appreciation Week was a huge success at Parley’s! Our staff is awesome and we are so thankful our local merchants recognize and appreciate that! Thank you all!
Parley’s Park PTA
Sacrifice for freedom
Let us not forget that the freedoms we hold dear to our hearts, and that we take for granted, are purchased with the pain and anguish, the lives and blood, of our soldiers. Let us also not forget the tears and the grief that come to mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and other family who watch bravely while the soldier answers the call of duty.
Let us not forget also that freedom and democracy do not exist in all countries and, in order for those countries to have such things, some things are necessary. But remember always that the American soldier has answered the call in times of war, and in times of peace, and let us hope that our military will always stand and do so when the time comes. Take just a moment to think of the troops and what they are going through before you judge. Take a moment to think of all the people who went before and sacrificed for your and my freedoms, and then say a prayer to protect and bring our soldiers home safely!
Cinco de Mayo fiesta
Last week McPolin Elementary held it’s second annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. This fiesta was a well attended success. We’d like to thank some of the people in our community that helped make this event possible.
Special thanks to Alberto Martinez, the owner of La Casita for the wonderful food and for bringing his great band Concepto Tropical. Thanks to Magali for teaching our kids Mexican dances and for bringing her dance troupe to perform. Thanks to the parents (our decorating committee) and who stayed and were our cleanup crew. Thanks to everyone who came to enjoy the festivities, mingle with the community and even hit the dance floor. Thanks to all the kids who performed and thanks also to The Park Record for your great coverage.
New safety mechanism
"DelRay!" Bikers rejoice. There is a man in a country town in Utah who has given us a wonderful way to be safer save more biker lives. First, understand that bikers have wind in their ears and very athletic breathing. This makes it difficult to hear while biking.
Now we can simply scream, "DelRay!" When a rider has his head down, and there is an obstruction ahead, it takes too long to yell, "Watch out for that rock!" By the time the whole expression is said, the biker has already hit the rock. Just scream "DelRay!" He will look up immediately, and no accident will occur.
Passing a "T" in the road, as a car fails to signal and turns left heading into the bike traffic, and you buddy hasn’t noticed, scream, "DelRay!" You are the first to see dogs off leash making a beeline for your buddy, "DelRay Dogs!" You are the leader and you point to a hole in the road and suspect your buddies are looking at the llamas instead of where they’re going, scream "DelRay!" Buddies immediately forget the llamas, look at you pointing, evade the hole, all is well.
It is not often that politicians donate their names to healthy, athletic, tax-paying citizens. They prefer extremely large letters on bridges, buildings and monuments. This man has given us his name to help save us from accidents and fatalities. We should thank him by using it as often as possible.
Car drivers can benefit, too. Your significant other is driving and dialing his cell phone and the car is aimed more at Moose Hollow that at the lane you’re supposed to be in. If you yell "Watch out," your (soon to not be) significant other will look at you to ask "What?" while the car proceeds into Moose Hollow. Just scream "DelRay!" The cell is dropped, car direction adjusted, another two lives have been saved.
This is a wonderful gift we’ve been given. Let’s be kind and appreciate the benefits. Remember, we pay good taxes to get service like this from our politicians.