Letters to the Editor, February 6-9, 2010
February 5, 2010
I just looked at the date to see whether The Park Record opted to do its April Fool’s Day edition several months early. Alas, no. At what point will Utah accept that, in a state where the majority of people have children, and lots of them, the burden of educating said kids must be borne by all? Those who wish to have kids should be prepared to assist with the cost of their education.
A vegan’s lament in the hunterlands
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It seems that this vegan wannabe is living in an area that just doesn’t fit with the vegan lifestyle. I’m not complaining as I love it here. It’s just that, being a California native, I was spoiled with all the health-food population living in sunny southern California! I mean, yoga and yogurt were a way of life. Granola, health bars, and fruit smoothies were popular way before this form of consumption became in vogue. Needless to say, my background is in early hippie gourmet eating, and the whole non-meat genre was well under way when I lived on the West Coast.
However, I decided to become vegan when I moved to Utah. What in the hell was I thinking? This is the land of hunters and fisherman, not tofu-grass-fed vegans. And the restaurants are few and far between. If I want to go to a "vegetarian" restaurant, it is at least 45 minutes away. I live in Park City, and if you want a vegetarian or vegan meal, most restaurants serve pasta with a dash of vegetables and heavy cream sauce, or you can always order marinara poured over more pasta, or a vegetarian pizza with 5 cheeses. That almost doesn’t give one a reason to go out for an evening. There is nothing too difficult about preparing noodles and sauce. I could make the same dish at home and don’t even have to comb my hair.
There are a couple of restaurants in Park City that do have prepared vegetarian/vegan meals, but they are of the minority. A great restaurant, Shabu, has an excellent vegan dish of crusted coconut tofu with vegetables. I love it! And the Riverhorse on Main has a superb vegetarian meal. But those are the exceptions. I find most of the time it is just too much trouble to order a "specially prepared or substituted" meal. This makes eating out a rather unpleasant experience.
I do wish this vegan thing would catch on in Utah. It will probably take many years for others to understand the vegetarian’s reason for eating in this peculiar way. We feel it is detrimental to your health, to the environment and to the animals. If restaurants do not agree with our preferred diet, at least accept that some of us are not meat eaters, and that does include fish. I am not being judgmental. I just feel we should all have choices. the time this becomes more prevalent here, I will probably have moved on to greener pastures.
So, there you have it. This fish is swimming upstream at the moment, and will probably be doing so for several years. Can’t blame everyone here for being the way they are; I just wish the restaurants would make one dish that was vegan. I wish they would make just one imaginative special dish that they created as equally appetizing as they do when a beef dish is prepared. Vegetables are colorful and can be elegant if presented in an original way. Chefs are supposed to cater to all types of palates, but since we are the minority at present, I will have to suffer through pasta and pizza for a long while.
Shortchanging our kids and our future
(This is an open letter to Utah Senator Chris Buttars.)
I have read with interest, and personal awe, your proposal to have my child graduate after completing the 11th grade. What a fabulous proposal (not!). It would save the state of Utah $102 million in costs this year. My child, who is already in one of the lowest educationally funded states in the nation, will now certainly sit at the very bottom. What an honor! I personally think you should have your PR people contact Conan O’Brian about having a spot on his nightly show. You would win millions of fans, and supporters. The contributions will flow in acknowledging your genius at fixing the state budget problem. Oops, he was just canceled … Too bad for you!
How about thinking outside of the box? Maybe the hordes of children that live here actually could benefit from having 12 years of education, like the other 49 states. What college would want a child with a limited or adjusted diploma from Utah? What would that child do for work, other than maybe your job, Senator Buttars?
Maybe this state can look at … gasp … a lottery! (My computer keyboard just burst into flames typing that.) How about opening up the liquor licenses for restaurants and bars (tax revenue, folks!)? There has to be a better solution to the education problem here.
Personally, I would rather toast my child’s 12th-grade graduation with a glass of champagne or sparkling cider than take a Prozac and hope for the best after only 11 years of education.
Senator Buttars, wake up to the reality that this state needs to move into the 21st century and pursue any and all options to raise funds to educate our children to the best of our ability. Shortchanging the kids now only shortchanges the potential of the future leadership (a.k.a. our kids) that this state needs to achieve all this state can be in the future.
I know that April 1st is a long way off, but that proposal was certainly a joke.
Hoping for better ideas,
Can we swap congressmen?
Watching Congressman Jason Chaffetz on YouTube makes me want to swap congressmen. In fact, if you are willing to trade Chaffetz with us, you can have our Congressman Chris Carney and I’ll throw in our two senators to boot. My elected members to Congress have voted to fine me, arrest me and jail me if I fail to have a health insurance policy to their liking! My members of Congress have voted to enact laws which can never be change by all the generations to follow us? Yes, Jason, I would thank my lucky stars if you were our congressman in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.