Letters, July 24-27: Environmental concerns, words matter and more

Terminology matters

As a geologist who has been involved in literally hundreds of soil and groundwater cleanups over the past few decades, there needs to be made some critical points regarding the soil repository being proposed along the SR 248 entryway. The first point to be made is that the placement of such repositories are highly regulated and subject to intense scrutiny on final design before any contaminated soil is placed in them. The design of such repositories are also subject to uniquely contain the identified contaminants being placed in them, address the highest concentration levels of contaminants identified through laboratory analyses, as well as toxicity, leaching, and mobility potentials using very stringent and conservative measures. Final design also always takes into consideration visual and land impact potential. Using sound scientific and engineering principles has proven extremely successful at many similar sites across the country, and those where breaches have occurred almost always involve repositories that are decades old and placed at a time when government regulations were lax or non-existent and engineering poorly implemented. The second point is that such repositories should not be referred to as “toxic waste dumps.” Such a term is loosely applied and typically used to instill fear mongering in the absence of sound reasoning. Lastly, whereas it may be easy to say “not in my backyard” and have the soil shipped to another county, we should also consider whether the additional cost to truck and store the impacted soil could not be better used for other beneficial purposes to our community, not to mention the deleterious carbon emissions impact that will take place by running trucks back and forth between Park City and Tooele County. Political leaders need to rely on experts in their respective fields in their decision making and not be swayed by their own ignorance or where public sentiment is being voiced by those in the absence of sound professional and specialized knowledge.

Dave Serena

Park City


Moved by nature

I first saw the Church of Dirt last Monday. I was moved to silence. Then yesterday I heard a report about it on KPCW. These things I wrote in my journal after my visit that evening.

It is free.

Organically conceived.

Very loosely organized.

It has great views.


Humble (dirt) humility human .



Vulnerable (not protected from the weather).

There are no religious symbols, except the mountains, the sky and the community of people who show up there for various events.

In a community where so much is centered on “money,” where often the church of every stripe is seen as a business, how great to find something like the Church of Dirt. I’m reminded of a chapel in New Mexico on the high road to Taos where people go inside to gather a bit of dirt because they think and believe that the dirt will heal them.

Perhaps it will. Maybe it does.

Park City could use some dirt like that and a church like the church of dirt.

I hope we find a way to keep it and for it to be part of our land conservancy, free, beautiful, open to all.

Jeffrey Louden

Park City


How kind of them

If you’re uncertain about the benevolence of the want-to-be developer at the base of Park City Mountain Resort – this is straight out of their submission:

“The Applicant commits to providing amenities at the Richardson Lot to improve the comfort for employees waiting for the shuttles. This will include, at minimum, the purchase and installment of a city-approved shelter and bench.”

Maybe if we all shout loud enough the City will condition the approval of their 4-star hotel to include an extra leather couch and some cushions?

Clive Bush

Old Town


A hard worker with necessary skills

Over the past several weeks I have observed with keen interest the field of candidates who have tossed their hats in the ring for the two City Council positions that will be determined by the upcoming election. It is a varied field, but one candidate has truly impressed me: Jeremy Rubell.

Frankly, I have been concerned following the decision by Steve Joyce not to run for reelection. Steve has been a dedicated member of the Council and one who has sought balance, brought insight and has worked very hard to bring deep understanding to many of the issues facing Park City.

Jeremy has impressed me as someone who has the background (he is a strategic planning consultant to the power industry) and work ethic to fill the void that Steve’s departure is sure to bring. Jeremy’s listening skills have complemented his organizational and financial skills allowing him to present very logical and well-founded approaches to such topics as affordable housing, the limited role that the City should play in development and the need for a holistic approach to planning.

In brief, Jeremy has already shown his ability to work hard, understand issues and bring his much-needed skills to the table. We are fortunate to have Jeremy in the race and he deserves our votes.

Steve Taylor

Park City, UT


Olympian, environmentalist for Beerman

I couldn’t agree more with Andy about climate change. If the world keeps going like this, our ski town will be seriously challenged within most of our lifetimes. Andy is a champion in this area locally, but maybe more importantly, he’s begun a movement among ski towns nationwide that promises to bode well for all in the ski business. But of course my support is not limited to that— Andy is championing an issue that we all need to get behind if we are to avoid a climatic catastrophe.

What I don’t understand is why Andy is catching heat about the Black Lives Matter street art on Main Street last year. Isn’t the issue of racial violence and discrimination not critical as well? I personally am proud that my City allowed the mural to happen (especially since we are overwhelmingly Caucasian). Are people upset that we joined a long overdue national movement for racial justice? Or that we had paint on the street for a few months? Or do they just not agree with the sentiment of the saying? I wish I could understand their dissidence.

Andy and I have strategized for years about how to bring the Olympics back to town in a way that challenges the current model of ever-increasing cost, environmental impact, and bother to the host cities—as well as returning the Games to being more about the athletes and their achievements. (It’s an issue dear to me—I’m an Olympic gold medalist.) We’ve discussed at length making the Olympics carbon neutral or even carbon negative. Andy’s done fantastic work in these areas as our mayoral member of the “bid committee”. He deserves our thanks and continuing support.

I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with Andy for many years. He is a person of high integrity and intelligence — and of great conviction. I strongly support his re-election for mayor.

Dick Roth

Park City

Swimming, Tokyo Olympics 1964

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