Letters: Be respectful on the trails, especially during COVID-19
A trail of respect
We live in a wonderful place with great opportunities for outdoor recreation. To keep this recreation access safe and open for all of us, please continue to respect social distancing guidelines. Yes, singletrack trails are outdoors, there is wind, and where COVID is concerned it’s definitely safer to pass a stranger on a trail than to be close to someone indoors. As someone who is high risk, I’m admittedly tired of avoiding every other person and would love to have some respite and feel safe on our amazing trails.
But on our rides recently I did not feel safe. We went late to avoid crowds. We had masks to pull up when quickly passing to protect others (and show respect when seeing others with masks). We planned to give a lot of space to anyone needing to pass. But what did we find? Multiple groups of people hanging out together, stopped at the trail base and trailhead and along the trail, hovering around intersections, in zero cases providing safe space to pass through with any semblance of distance. No one stepped back or offered space more than inches. One person even lectured me for taking my bike off-trail to get a wide enough berth while sitting on their bike with only inches of passing room.
It’s great that most still followed normal trail etiquette (uphill traffic with right of way, allowing people to pass) but we need to take it a step further. In case you’ve forgotten there is still a pandemic going on, and our state is seeing rapid growth in cases even still. Easing restrictions doesn’t mean it’s over — it’s now on all of us to protect each other to the best of our ability to enable opening to continue. Please show respect and kindness to others; it doesn’t take much to be kind and safe while still enjoying your outing.
Stevens will make lasting impact
After eight years of owning a house in Summit County, last summer I moved here full time and began to learn more about our local issues, constituents and leaders. After attending a Summit County Council breakfast, a Future Park City planning session, visiting numerous nonprofits in the area and volunteering at Sundance and Park City Film, a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to help with the Malena Stevens campaign. I read a bit about Malena, met her for breakfast and gladly joined her campaign effort.
Malena has the drive, talent and credentials to make a lasting impact on our County Council and our community. Her skills and background would bring a needed perspective to our council. There are many talented, driven, caring, kind and compassionate people in our community but very few at Malena’s level. The energy and dedication she has devoted to learning about our community, working with the Police Department and spending time with family is amazing. I can’t wait to see how that energy and thoughtfulness will translate to helping Summit County become the best version of itself for all people in our community.
You have read many letters over the past weeks extolling the talents, skills and preparation of Malena to be a Summit County councilor. I want to add my support to these voices. I have had a ringside seat as she campaigns for this position and I can’t think of a person I would rather have represent me and the future of Summit County.
Please join me in voting for Malena Stevens for Summit County Council.
Cancel cancel culture
The non-stop, mind-numbing proliferation of social media has given rise to the cancel culture wherein far too many think the right way to drive their agenda or perspective is to silence those who oppose it. Be it your neighbor, your community or some individual or entity one has no direct engagement with, the shut-them-down attitude is all too often being used as the default. It is so wrong on so many fronts.
At the same time, how many times do we see social media mobs descending viciously based on one report of a wrong, only to then learn the facts were misreported or flat out wrong. But too late. The attack was done and the attackers have moved on with little or no regret. Just brush the wrongly attacked off as incidental casualties … a minor inconvenience.
How does this play out in the long run? Look at your family, personal or business lives and imagine what happens when reason and dialogue are replaced by blind vitriol. What happens to society when discourse is diminished, or even blackballed as we are seeing all too often today. The cancel culture is a cultural cancer and it is metastasizing rapidly. The direction needs to change and it is up to each of us to do our part. To practice and to teach tolerance, patience, objectivity and reason. Failure to do so will not be pretty.
Wearing a mask is respectful
It has been seven months since my beloved soulmate, Steve, passed away from a rare autoimmune lung disease.
While my family and I mourn our loss every day, we are, in some small part, grateful that he did not have to suffer through this COVID-19 crisis. If he’d have still been manager of The Market Pharmacy, you can bet that he’d have worn a mask, and he would have graciously, but firmly, asked his customers to do the same.
Wearing a mask is the kind and respectful thing to do. It protects those around you. I choose to wear a mask whenever I am away from my house, not only because I care deeply about my community, but because I know that Steve would have, lovingly, insisted upon it.
Please, just wear a mask. It’s that simple.
Jane M. Hamilton
Stevens will represent us all
I write in support of the candidacy of Malena Stephens for County Council. There have been a number of such letters already. Rather than point to her positions, I suggest support for her based on three basic fundamentals:
1. She listens. She is not spending her time figuring out how to respond. Rather, she is actually hearing. She may not agree with you, but you will be heard.
2. She has the ability to change her mind — not capriciously, but in response to new information or changed circumstances.
3. She is swayed by facts. She is not an opinion in search of supporting facts.
Malena will represent the people of Summit County, not just one faction or another.
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F. Joseph Feely III writes in a guest editorial that he is concerned about the “likely impact of the extreme policy positions” Democrats will pursue if they win control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.