Letters to the Editor, December 3-6, 2011
December 3, 2011
I am a supporter of the Occupy movement, at least the basic idea that corporations and a small number of individuals are benefiting at the expense of the masses. However, I am really getting tired of the eyesore known as Occupy Park City. I went back and read through the Bill of Rights and found parts about "freedom of speech" and "peaceable assembly," but I couldn’t find a thing about the right to camp in public parks.
The idea that people can express their discontent with our governments is a fundamental belief for the U.S., but there are limits as to how it can be done and where. You can’t claim freedom of speech and yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater. You also can’t voice your opinion over a loudspeaker on Main Street at 4:00 a.m. Why is it critical to have a set of mostly unoccupied tents and a large plastic-tarped structure in our city park? I have been by there more than a dozen times and have never seen anyone there. That’s freedom of speech? Now there is a sign up saying that they (he?) are busy and won’t be there as often.
I understand the city is looking at renewing Occupy Park City’s permit for a tent camp in the park. I would suggest that they don’t renew the permit, but as always, be flexible about permits for demonstrations around the city. As for the movement, if the only thing I ever see is a set of tents where they don’t belong and a scrawled sign, it actually has a negative effect instead of the one you are looking for.
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If we want to provide true workforce housing (although the current "need" is debatable), this new setup is much more desirable as it is not as isolated. Isn’t access an important aspect for people who may not have access to reliable transportation?
The pristine area behind the Weilenmann School of Discovery is a known habitat and migration area for our wildlife including beaver, moose, deer and fish. Why disrupt their long-standing home when there is feasible land that is already being developed in Kimball Junction? We also know Kilby Road cannot sustain the increased traffic that this new development would cause.
Let’s take another look at the overall plan and get sensible, shall we?
Businesses, citizens get behind nonprofits
Once again the Park City Mountain Resort has demonstrated its tremendous generosity and support for the local community. allowing the Summit Land Conservancy to sell 2,000 tickets as part of the Community Benefit Days, the resort has made a powerful contribution the protection of local open spaces. Also this year, Park City Mountain Resort sold an additional 1,000 tickets to start a legacy fund that will be held with the Park City Foundation and used to support nonprofits throughout the community.
We are also grateful to Jans Mountain Experts, Cole Sport, Zions Bank, and Sports Den for selling the tickets on our behalf. We hope that everyone who purchased a ticket has had the chance to enjoy the lovely weather and great conditions that Park City Mountain Resort provides. This kind of partnership with local citizens, local businesses and local nonprofits make Park City the wonderful, extraordinary place that it is.
On behalf of the Summit Land Conservancy and the open spaces we protect, thank you!
Executive director, Summit Land Conservancy