Letters to the Editor
After reading Jay Hamburger’s article on Rabbi Aaronson, I felt that the rabbi’s comments were just as dangerous as Islamic religious zealots. The Rabbi Joshua Aaronson needs to expand his exploration of the current war on extremism and violence in the Middle East. His comment, "We are at war with Islam," is ignorant and inflammatory. The vast majority of suicide bombers are secularists, not radical religious extremists. Throughout history, when a democratic nation has militarily occupied a foreign state, which has a different religious base, violence has ensued. The occupied nation’s suicide terrorist efforts are politically driven, not religiously driven.
I found his suggestion that a mandatory conscription in the U.S. would keep the U.S. out of future wars ironic when his remarks and mindset only perpetuate war.
Register and vote!
Concerned residents of Park City and the Snyderville Basin have formed the No Vote/No Voice committee to get out the vote in western Summit County. Why? Because of our appallingly low voter turnout. Park City and the Basin comprise approximately 80 percent of our county’s population but, unfortunately, voter turnout in a non-presidential election year like this is typically between 20 and 30 percent. In stark contrast, eastern Summit County has a consistent voter turnout approaching 85 percent. Thus, there is a real risk that the minority may control the majority unless Park City and the Basin vote this Nov. 7.
So, if you treasure our core community values of open space, trails, clustered development and controlled growth, please vote on Nov. 7! Even better, vote early. Unfortunately, because of the intransigence of our lame duck County Clerk, Sue Follett, early voting is only available at the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville Oct. 24 to 27 and Oct. 30 to Nov. 3. Please don’t let the inconvenience of traveling to Coalville prevent you from voting early! And, if you don’t vote early, be sure to vote on Nov. 7 because, otherwise, No Vote equals No Voice.
Lack of election information
Summit County Residents:
It’s a shame that reporter Patrick Parkinson and The Park Record feel that continuing a media circus on articles that have been reported before is the best for the Summit County residents. I had asked Mr. Parkinson no less than three times last week (even sent him an outline to help with the article) to publish an in-depth article with extremely important voter registration information and deadline dates. It seems as if The Park Record is not really interested in providing important election information to its readership. Mr. Parkinson stated he would print it on Wednesday, Oct. 11 and I emphasized that the deadline would have passed and wouldn’t do the citizens any good to have the article in Wednesday, Oct. 11. It’s also a shame when articles appear that they only have partial information and not all of the facts. The Board of County Commissioners has asked Mr. Parkinson numerous times to report all the facts for a true accounting of the subject and are extremely frustrated when he ignores their requests.
For the record, the Summit County Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Recorder and Treasurer take home the same compensation package. The County Attorney and Sheriff take home a higher compensation package than the other five officials. This compensation package is set by the Board of County Commissioners and the Board of County Commissioners is the only one to vote on the compensation packages. Unlike your federal and state legislators where they vote on their own pay raises.
Our citizens rely heavily upon our local news media to receive election information. This omission was extremely important for the citizens due to the new 2006 legislation. It’s a shame that The Park Record did not feel it important enough to report.
Summit County Clerk
Early voting outrage
I am writing to express my outrage at the inflexibility of Sue Follett, our outgoing Summit County Clerk, in refusing to allow early voting at locations in the Basin and Park City. Every roadblock Ms. Follett raised in opposition to the County Commission’s request was addressed: there is money in the budget, Diebold machines and training are available, and security concerns were allayed.
Yet, she still refuses to allow early voting at locations convenient to where the majority of Summit County’s population resides — in the Basin and Park City. Instead, if we want to vote early, we have to go to the County Courthouse in Coalville (over 20 miles away) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 24-27 or Oct. 30-Nov. 3. Don’t let this tactic disenfranchise us. VOTE!
High school drill
The decision of the Park City School District to conduct a drill using the SWAT team seems to have been a bit overly dramatic. Given the current events in the last week with all the school shootings, this sort of action enforced the notion that this is a possibility in our school. The students seeing the SWAT team invade the school no doubt experienced the horror of the possibility of an emergency. Inevitably, students are going to realize that the school environment is not necessarily a safe one. Playing a "reality show" in a high school, given recent events, could traumatize the students and lead to unnecessary fear.
One of the unfortunate consequences of an uncontested election is that the healthy, critical review of an incumbent’s performance does not take place. This generally leads to a descent into a business-as-usual mediocrity within the department concerned. If no one asks the questions, no one has to provide the answers.
Take the race for Summit County Sheriff as an example. Seems like Dave Edmunds is doing a fine job and the headline photo in last week’s Park Record would seem to support that. The SWAT team in black uniforms stormed the high school in a hostage rescue demonstration designed to calm fears that the Amish school tragedy might be repeated here. But were those uniforms or just costumes?
Some questions: Just how well prepared are the deputies assigned to this team? Are they properly equipped and trained and does the department give them the resources they need to do the job right? The article indicated they were becoming familiar with the new floor plan for the school, but the team should already have current floor plans for all public buildings in the county at their fingertips. Were any on the team proficient with explosives to the extent that they could identify and isolate an improvised explosive device?
How often have these guys been to the firing range and are they the best marksmen in the department? Does the team train regularly with the fire department, paramedics and medivac helicopter? Because if the answers to the first questions are less than perfect, the answer to the last question better be yes.
Perhaps it would be a good policy for Summit County to require an independent audit and inspection of ANY department following the uncontested re-election of a department head, just to make sure someone is asking the right questions and to keep our public servants on their toes.
Hunters in The Canyons
Imagine my surprise as I was running on the Ambush and Mid-Mountain trails in the middle of the day, Sunday, Oct. 8, when I ran into hunters. They were grouse hunting with rifles. They had driven up to the north side of the Ambush trail (Utah license 124 NGG) and were shooting on the trail. I warned several hikers going up from the base of The Canyons about the hunters as there were no signs or warnings. I also alerted a desk clerk at the Sundial Lodge, who called security.
In my opinion, it is not safe for the public to hike, mountain bike, or trail run in The Canyons if hunting is allowed. If people are going up there to hunt, then the appropriate trails should be closed, the public warned, and the hunters should wear orange clothing so they can be seen.
Defending The Line
The Park Record purports to support affordable housing, but its ongoing negative coverage of The Line Condominiums says otherwise. In its front-page article, "Jarred awake from the American dream, quickly," instead of covering the fact that 22 families will have new homes on Deer Valley Drive at one half market price of comparable units, you focus on minor construction issues, which by the owners’ own quotes "have been fixed."
Mountainlands Community Housing Trust (MCHT), which will soon break ground on the construction of its 100th home in Summit County, is proud of the quality of its construction and takes strong exception to innuendos to the contrary. MCHT has paid for extended home warranties and has subsidized this project in the amount of $250,000 and is lending an additional $170,000 at no cost to the purchasers.
New owners and The Park Record were told MCHT’s goal was to get all owners in their units as soon as possible before addressing routine punch-list items. Even knowing this, The Park Record focused on minor complaints and ignored positive comments communicated to it by several homeowners.
The article also included an inaccurate timeline, which has been presented in numerous articles on this project and implies all the delays and cost increases were caused by MCHT. It does not address the fact that MCHT waited almost a year for a building permit from the city before being able to commence construction after a ceremonial groundbreaking, making it impossible to meet original costs and deadlines. These omissions were repeatedly brought to your reporter’s attention.
The fact that this project has been completed despite a political and bureaucratic environment not conducive to affordable housing and a difficult construction cycle is a credit to MCHT’s hard-working, dedicated staff.
It is a shame that The Park Record continues to highlight the negative when MCHT is such a powerful force in creating and preserving affordable housing in Summit County. Perhaps you should be as concerned about the quality of your reporting as the quality of our construction.
President, Board of Trustees
Mountainlands Community Housing Trust
Response to Brody Taylor
I am currently a deputy with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. I am writing this letter concerning the quotes made by Mr. Brody Taylor in the latest issue of The Park Record.
I have been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for two and a half years. I have personally seen a dramatic change in the way the department is run and the morale of the employees in that time. Both of these changes have been nothing but positive and continue to increase toward that positive nature.
I am not writing this letter to point negativity toward Mr. Taylor, but to explain that Sheriff Edmunds has done an excellent job and that he treats every person in the community, as well as his employees, with honesty and respect.
I do not live in Summit County but would be honored and set at ease if Edmunds was the sheriff of the county I currently live in and feel that my fellow deputies agree with me 100 percent.
I am confident that Sheriff Edmunds will be sheriff in this county for many years to come and that the Summit County Sheriff’s Office will, if not already, become the best law enforcement agency in Utah.
I am writing in response to the article written in last Saturday’s paper " Jarred awake form the American Dream, Quickly." I feel that the article was a bit skewed. My boyfriend and I purchased one of the two-bedroom Line condos and are LOVING it!
I can’t believe all of the trash talk from everyone else. I own a beautiful new home in the town that I love. What more could I ask for? We chose to purchase a "deed restricted" home, which means that we knowingly purchased a home without top-of-the-line features. OK, so the flooring and light fixtures are on the low end, but come on, we knew this getting into it. Hairline cracks? Are you kidding me? Step in to any new build, you will find the same cracks. Things settle. You fix them. Get over it. Our house has had minimal things wrong with it, nothing more than to be expected in a newly built home. Mountainlands and their construction crew have been nothing but accommodating in making the minor repairs.
We are impressed more than anything. The floor plan is open and spacious. We have solid wood cabinets, brand new appliances, a big garage and a three-minute walk to Main Street.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the situation and are so grateful to Mountainlands for going through all that they have to provide us with this wonderful opportunity. When we started looking at home purchase options, none of them were in Park City. To our dismay, we had plans to head out of town to find something affordable. I was told about The Line condos and quickly applied. Now, here we are sitting in our first home that is not in Layton, but a brand new beautiful condo in Park City. I’d say the American Dream has come true.
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Buses, trains and gondolas doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but they make up the transit alternatives for the mountain transportation system the Central Wasatch Commission is trying to create, mostly in the Cottonwood canyons.