President arrives on Wednesday
May 23, 2008
President Bush is scheduled to arrive in Park City next week for an overnight fund-raising trip, a visit that is expected to bring in significant money for the Republican Party but also mobilize local critics of his administration.
Rick Ryan, a Park City Police Department captain, said Bush plans to spend Wednesday night in Park City and depart on Thursday morning. He is unsure what time Bush will arrive.
The Police Department will put extra officers on duty for the presidential assignment. Ryan and a sergeant met with the Secret Service on Friday morning in Salt Lake City to discuss security.
"They seem pretty upbeat about the trip," Ryan said about the Secret Service agents.
Bush would be the second consecutive president to visit Park City, following two ski vacations Bill Clinton took during his second term. Clinton went on short strolls on Main Street, but it is not clear whether Bush will make a public appearance.
Local critics of Bush, meanwhile, plan what is being dubbed the ‘Bush Bash Barbecue’ at City Park to mark the trip.
Recommended Stories For You
Musician Rich Wyman, one of the event’s organizers and a well-known local peace activist, said he plans to perform, and other speakers will offer remarks. In previous demonstrations, Wyman has played peace-movement standards and original songs.
The event is scheduled from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Wyman said he and about 12 others huddled on Thursday night at the Park City Library and Education Center to plan an event to mark Bush’s visit.
"I wanted to do a parade but was outvoted," Wyman said, adding the others preferred a lower-key event than the dramatic demonstrations he has put on before, including one in which he submitted to a waterboarding, the controversial torture technique.
He labeled the barbecue a "family event" where dogs will be welcome as well. Wyman expects 100 people to attend. He said his comments at the event will lean toward the idea of an environmentally friendly economy. He said he will talk about the prospects of fermenting green industries, such as those harnessing cleaner-burning fuels, in an effort to curb global warming.
Wyman said he is unsure if he will address the Iraqi war in his remarks. Wyman previously has starkly spoken against the war.
"We’ll be talking about the election coming up and how enthusiastic we all are to see a change," Wyman said, calling Bush an "unpopular president."
Jill Sheinberg, who plans to attend the City Park event, said the president’s visit "just needs to be marked by people who do not support this administration."
"We can’t have him here without marking it we can’t, not if you believe in democracy," she said.
The Police Department expects the City Park event will unfold without incident. Police Chief Lloyd Evans said previous demonstrations involving Wyman have not been disruptive.
"Based on my past experience with Rich and his group, is they’ve never been a problem in the past," Evans said.