Letters to the Editor, May 4-6, 2011 | ParkRecord.com

Letters to the Editor, May 4-6, 2011


On behalf of Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the 60 friends and supporters who attended the sold-out Spring Concert Fundraiser April 30 at Riff’s Acoustic Music to benefit Habitat.

The event celebrated the kickoff of a new program, A Brush with Kindness, enabling Habitat, community partners and volunteers to provide exterior home maintenance and repair services for home owners with low incomes. A Brush with Kindness is a natural extension of Habitat’s mission to provide decent, affordable housing for working members of our community and opens the doors for Habitat to be in more continuous service to families with low incomes in our service area. Funds raised from the event will provide much needed program support for all of Habitat’s programs, including: Construction & Home Maintenance/Repair, Family Services, Mortgage Servicing, and Volunteer Programs.

Habitat would also like to extend a special thank you to Larry Hart, owner of Riffs Acoustic Music, for hosting the event and to sponsors Done to your Taste Catering and Silver Rose Bakery for the beautiful hors d’oeuvres and desserts respectively, and to the Best Buy volunteer team for their enthusiasm, energy and generous donation of opportunity drawing items! I would like to personally thank Anita Crane for joining us with her artful eye and photography talents, Kris Swanson, Creative Concepts Communications, and Matt Sullivan, Ace High Printing, for generous marking and printing help, Bob Hewson, Steve Hewson and Tom Mahoney of Detour Utah for sharing their musical gifts, and finally a heartfelt thanks to Mayor Dana Williams for being an authentic affordable-housing advocate who can tell the story in a most compelling way.

Lisa R. Schneider

Executive director, Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties

Let’s put an end to wildlife-car crashes


I have sincerely horrific news. Roads are spelling disaster for us and our megafauna. Utah has lost at least $45 million in a five-year period (see study from 1996 to 2001 by Bissonette and Kassar), and new data show that the cost is still rising (estimated 21 percent increase in crashes since 2005).

All this is thanks to WVCs (wildlife-vehicle crashes). Part of this money is lost through the blood that comes from human fatalities in Utah yes, approximately $24 million in human death expenses (plus $1 million from injuries). When large animals are killed or injured, it adds to the approximate total, costing us an additional $2.5 million in the five years studied. Where does the rest fit in? Car damage for about $17 million.

How much can we risk? Utah is losing at least $9 million a year, not to mention many innocent animal and human lives. In 20 years we will have lost at least $180 million!

Luckily, there are solutions. We need roadways with underpasses or overpasses and fences. To protect a square kilometer with an underpass costs about $1.5 million (my calculations), yet it has a balance of $30,628 per year. ("Balance" refers to the estimated benefits minus the estimated costs of the mitigation measure per kilometer per year for a hypothetical road section that receives five deer-vehicle collisions per kilometer per year.) According to my calculations, if every state in the USA fixed every mile up (added fences with underpasses, overpasses or animal-detection units), within 20 years the entire government’s debt would be paid! Most certainly, the entire money spent on a WVC prevention project would be reimbursed. If we put enough of these all across Utah, we would save literally millions while saving wildlife and people.

Daniel Tabin

Age 11, Ecker Hill International Middle School

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