Letters to the Editor, November 4-6, 2009
November 3, 2009
I read with amusement the comments of Merlyn Johnson, mayoral candidate from Coalville, regarding "bicyclists not spending a dime in Coalville. They only stop and ask to use the restroom."
Perhaps if there were a bike shop in Coalville, bicyclists would use that restroom and possibly buy something. I would also venture to guess that some motorists often stop to use a restroom without purchasing anything. So, my fellow cyclists, on your next trip through Coalville, please purchase something after using the facilities and be sure to wash your hands.
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Sally Elliott doesn’t speak for me
I am writing in reference to the October 24 Park Record article titled, "Military hotel might attract huge retailers." Within that article, Councilwoman Sally Elliott is quoted as saying "WE (emphasis added) don’t really want a Costco in Park City and our codes specifically prohibit it."
I am curious whether, as an elected official, the councilwoman’s reference to "we" specifically references information collected among her constituents which indicates that the majority are not in favor of big-box retailers located in Park City, or whether it represents a personal opinion, in which case she should have clearly stated that by stating "I don’t really want a Costco in Park City." Big-box retailers, while popularly berated by some who find their presence, among others, monopolistic of small "Mom and Pop" stores, nevertheless form the backbone of discount buying among those not as fortunate to afford the time and expense of shopping at boutique stores.
While I do not intend to debate the pros and cons of big-box versus small-business retailers, one could certainly argue that their presence is attractive for increased sales-tax revenue, employment opportunities, and also allows people to shop locally rather than taking their business elsewhere to larger cities where such businesses do exist. As a local who loves the greater Park City area and would prefer to shop here rather than driving to Salt Lake City area, I would welcome the presence of a retailer such as Costco. I suspect that the taxes generated by their presence, as well as the opportunity to shop locally for many items unavailable here and at a reasonable cost, would be welcome by many others as well. As for the councilwoman’s reference to codes that specifically prohibit big-box retailers, I am also curious how Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot, among others, were able to locate here. Also, they appear quite successful in appealing to the locals.
Park City history has a new home
Thank you, Park City!
On Friday night, October 16, 500 locals cheered Rich Martinez, Park City’s "ol’ miner," as he cut the ribbon to the new Park City Museum. After six years of planning, designing, fundraising, and building, we celebrated the opening of this fabulous new museum.
Thank you to the "old-timers" who offered their precious family heirlooms, those who jumped on board with generous donations, and our hundreds of volunteers who gave abundantly of their time and expertise. Because of their efforts, the galleries are filled with amazing interactive exhibits of Park City history.
Thanks also to Chez Betty, Shabu, Jean Louis, 350 Main, Café Terigo, Zoom, Java Cow, and The Spruce Restaurant, who provided delicious hors d’oeuvres and Wasatch Beer who served up our very own Park City Museum Grand Opening Ale.
More than 600 people visited the new museum the next day. What an amazing turnout! The new Park City Museum would not have been possible without the efforts and support of many, many locals. Thank you everyone.
Executive director, Park City Museum
Thanks to many tree-house huggers
We would like to thank the many people who have expressed approval and support for our children’s tree house over the last 16 months, most of whom live on Oak Rim Lane, or adjacent to it.
While the Board of Adjustment denied our application for a special exception to leave the tree house in its current location, 14 neighbors submitted letters in favor of the special exception. Another seven neighbors we contacted expressed appreciation or approval of the tree house. All 21 of these property owners indicated that if they had a concern about the tree house, they would have spoken to us about their concerns, rather than filing an anonymous complaint with the city. We have many very good neighbors on and near Oak Rim Lane.
We also received positive comments from unexpected sources: The postman who recognized our name when we picked up the post-vacation mail and expressed his support. The delivery drivers and tradesmen who have seen the tree house and expressed admiration for it. The people out for an evening walk who stopped by and wondered what all the hubbub was about.
The discussion also taught us a bit about the flow of information in the modern world. Two college roommates we had not spoken to in years Googled us and found us due to articles about the tree house. One of them brought to our attention a Facebook page for the "Park City Tree House Preservation Alliance." We had no idea. We have received calls from media as far away as Arkansas inquiring about the tree house. Most were disappointed it was so small. They seemed to think it must have several guestrooms, running water and electricity.
Finally, we would like to thank the people who do not live on Oak Rim Lane, but who have asked us to please move to their street, as they would like to have more people like us near by. Some of you have known us for years and we appreciate your informed support. Others we have never heard of, but our tree house has evidently caught your attention and we appreciate your sentiments.
Leadership P.C. has a lot of partners
Leadership Park City would like to thank the community partners and sponsors who have helped us complete our program year for Class 15, and launch the program year for Class 16, so beautifully. Special thanks to The Canyons Resort and the Grand Summit Hotel for sponsoring our opening orientation session and dinner, and to the National Ability Center for doing such a wonderful job with the Ropes Course for our new class. Thanks also to Tim Taylor and everyone at Phoenix Wines and Spirits for their generous sponsorship of our end-of-year celebration. And we are especially grateful to Barbara Schmaelzle, marketing director, and the staff at The Spruce Restaurant and Dakota Mountain Lodge for making our welcoming reception for the new class and banquet celebration for graduating Class 15 so incredibly special. How fortunate we are to have such a lovely property in our community; thank you for welcoming us so warmly! Leadership Park City could not do the work we do without the generous support of our community partners. Thank you for helping us launch another year of developing leadership talent and community stewardship in Summit County.
Lisa Cilva Ward
Co-directors, Leadership Park City
Now we know how to spell Ro tar i ans
Thank you, Rotary Club, for the dictionaries. We had a great time when you came to McPolin. It was fun talking to you about your Rotary Club. We will use the dictionaries a lot!
and all the third graders at McPolin Elementary School
Main Street’s merchants rock
What an amazing Halloween! The weather, the dogs, the kids… We are so thankful to have the Main Street merchants welcome us with candy and smiles. For so many years, such a great gathering for our town.
Kirsten, Martin and Hillary Fox
More media access than Hugo Chavez?
Randy Barton has too much power.
This town is way too small for one person to have a four-hour talk show five days a week during prime time, and preside as theater manager of our town’s only live theatrical venue. In no other area of our community would we allow such a consolidation of power in one individual and our creative culture is especially sensitive to the need for many voices.
Park City struggles with cultural diversity issues and having one person in charge of two major cultural outlets is not helping. First of all, Randy uses his position on the radio to plug his other venues at the expense of other legitimate nonprofit organizations in town. If there happens to be something happening at the Egyptian, we are subjected to a barrage of reminders throughout his tediously long show. All other nonprofits must go through the regular channels to advertise their events and not only is this unfair but it creates a skewed cultural calendar and will eventually allow those venues to dominate and exclude alternatives. Even Hugo Chavez of Venezuela spends less time on state television every day propagandizing his people.
As head of programming for the Egyptian, Randy Barton has done a decent job with the resources at his disposal. As our only live theater venue, however, I would suggest a more community-oriented approach. I don’t think it’s wise to have one person as the gatekeeper for such an exclusive cultural outlet. Representatives from different segments of our community should have an equal say as to what is shown and produced, and I would expect that this approach would make better financial sense as well. It is clear to me that there is a consistent theme to this summer’s lineup; I’ll call it white man’s hoo-ha, and it does not adequately engage or represent our entire community.
This is not an attack against Randy Barton personally, but a wakeup call for the community to diversify its cultural representatives or suffer the consequences.
Shelter lacks concern for pet owners
I believe our pet friendly community should be made aware of the poor customer-service skills and policies of the Summit County Animal Shelter. I recognize that Animal Control provides an important service to our community, but the lack of compassion and attitude of indifference I encountered by the employees at the shelter last week left me frustrated, saddened and upset.
Last Monday evening, I found out that my indoor/outdoor cat had been taken to the Animal Shelter the previous Thursday, October 22, since she did not have a collar (she frequently gets out of them). When I arrived at the shelter on Tuesday to pick up my cat, I was informed that she had been adopted out to another person the prior evening, Monday, October 26. As a consolation, I was given the offer that I could take one of the cats at the shelter, as a replacement, for free.
I was shocked at this callous suggestion. Anyone who loves their pets knows that a "replacement" is a ludicrous offer. I was told that the shelter policy is to place unclaimed pets up for adoption after five days. The shelter website does not specify their "policy," or how the five days are calculated since the facility is closed on Sundays. After several days of unreturned phone calls and emails, I was finally informed by the director, Bob Bates, that once an animal has been adopted out, there is nothing they can (read: want to) do about it — the animal is gone. They will not attempt to contact the woman who adopted my cat, and I am missing a much loved member of my household. I believe that my cat was prematurely adopted out, and if this has happened to me it could also happen to other people in our community.