Letters: Moderate Democrats have been shamed into silence
Shamed into silence
On March 6, this newspaper interviewed the leader of the Summit County Democratic Party, Meredith Reed, about Michael Bloomberg’s first-place finish in the Democratic presidential primary in Summit County. “I’m stunned,” Reed said, adding, “I’m not familiar with any Bloomberg supporters.”
The shock of the Democratic leader is shocking to many Democratic voters. If there’s one person that should have their finger on the pulse of the Democratic electorate in Summit County, it should be the leader of the Democratic party in Summit County.
One possible explanation of this disconnect is that Reed has isolated herself in an ideological bubble, only interacting with the faction of the party that shares her views.
But a more generous explanation puts the blame on the current environment of public opinion: Reed doesn’t know what the majority thinks, because the majority is afraid to say.
We live in a time where it is increasingly common for people to heap shame on others for their politics. Many Democrats think this is actually a good thing, because the people being shamed into silence are the bigots supporting bigoted candidates. But even if you accept this thinking, you should consider that shame is an imprecise weapon: the collateral stigma of bigotry tends to stick even to moderate Democrats, being after all not so different from moderate Republicans, who are just two steps away from the Third Reich … at least, that is how moderate Democrats fear they will be perceived, and so they tend to hide their beliefs.
But they don’t stop voting.
Deliver better snow removal
The parking lot on the side of the Main Street post office is not being plowed or taken care of in a timely manner. It is dangerous — a couple of weeks ago it was a sheet of ice. Many people of various ages — some with disabilities — often have to navigate an unplowed, unsalted area when they get out of their cars. This is unacceptable — the city needs to take care of this since it is not the responsibility of the post office. Also the area in front of the post office needs to be better maintained.
Response needed after poaching
The slaughter of the bull elk off of Bitner Ranch Road is not just a simple crime of poaching. Rather, it’s a complex murder of magnificent animals that includes issues of sadism, animal cruelty and public safety in the discharge of weapons near homes/public highways.
Left unchecked what can we expect? We can only ponder if this is other than economics.
Certainly, expect more poaching, as this is not the first incident in the area. The state Division of Wildlife Resources has complicated this matter by refusing to declare the Bitner Ranch Road area a no-hunting zone, even though it is a corridor for the elk migration to protected areas and includes housing developments that are deed restricted by the county to prevent hunting.
An immediate community-wide response is required. The County Council should assign Sheriff Martinez to investigate and he should enlist the State Bureau of Investigation if necessary. The council should request the Division of Wildlife Resources to declare the entire Bitner Ranch Road area a no-hunting zone and pressure our state representatives to get DWR to act. Additionally, the council should donate to the GoFundMe account offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.
The Park Record should also step up and publish in every edition a front-page summary of the investigation so that citizens will be able to monitor the response of our public officials. KPCW could do the same.
Most importantly, anyone with information should come forward. Donate to the GoFundMe reward site and contact our government officials to act.
Honest dialogue and corporate compromise
In a Park Record letter to the editor Feb. 29 titled “Take Rocky Mountain Power to task,” I painted a less than optimistic view of residential rooftop solar future if the public service commission allows Rocky Mountain Power to reduce credit to solar producers for excess power by 83%.
Even with this uncertainty, there are significant arguments for rooftop solar as an alternative to fossil fuel production of electricity.
First, reduced cost. A solar system installed seven years ago would cost about 25% less today.
Second, increased efficiency. A solar panel of seven years ago rated at 250 watts today is rated at 310 watts.
Third, environmentally friendly. Except for production of the system itself, electricity is produced carbon-free.
Fourth, residential rooftop solar is without moving parts, resulting in low system maintenance.
Fifth, no added footprint. Corporate energy producers are investing in vast solar arrays that cover thousands of acres of land, further degrading the environment. Conversely, rooftop solar uses an already-existing footprint.
Sixth, little energy loss. Electrons moving in a conductor cause resistance which in turn creates heat. This resistance is the largest cause of energy loss from generation to user. The longer the conductor, the more loss. Rooftop solar electricity is used onsite and by immediate neighbors with less loss due to the length of the conductor. A significantly more efficient system.
For an electric generator utility to remain viable, it must give its stockholders a competitive return for their investment. This requires making a profit. That reality is not intrinsically bad. Neither is it counterproductive for residential solar producers to appreciate the power company’s valuable uninterrupted service. However, honest dialogue and corporate compromise to the point of lower shareholder profits in the interest of less carbon output is not only wise but imperative to the longterm existence of Rocky Mountain Power.
David C. Ludema
Build, baby, build
Congrats to Wasatch County for continuing the growth around Jordenelle and ruining the landscape around the reservoir. And what exactly does “regionalization” mean as spoken by officials? Is that a term meant to convince us of the county’s blunder? I can’t wait for more traffic to come and more of the natural landscape to be altered for the pursuit of dollars and sales. Oh and wait, what about all those who ride their bikes up the hill and into Kamas and from Kamas to Park City. The thought of more high speed traffic is encouraging. What will come next? Maybe private docks, and resident-only access? Maybe there will be kayak wars. Keep up the great work, elected officials. You’re all doing a swell job of continuing to play into the developers’ hands. In fact, why don’t we allow for multiple hotels, shopping centers, more car dealerships and three more Woodward eye sores to be built. That should guarantee each of you re-election.
Sure the developers and proponents for growth will argue how necessary development is, and why it’s good for the area. Why shouldn’t they? These very same people have found an area where the elected officials in Park City, Summit County and Wasatch County just say “yes” seemingly to any and all growth proposals. I mean really, if only winning the lotto was as easy as just buying a ticket.
So how much will our taxes continue to climb to fund services needed to accommodate this impending growth, given the right of way, by our trusted elected officials, who claim to have the city and county’s best interest at heart. That’s more funny than a stand-up comic’s routine. It’s like the Trump administration has entrenched itself in Park City, Summit County and Wasatch County. Despite pleas to stop growth, or at lest curb it for an extended period of time, nothing changes, concerned voices fall on deaf ears, and it’s business as usual. The motto for our elected officials and this area should be “Build Baby Build.”
Oh, how’s the alleviation of traffic congestion on S.R. 248 and S.R. 224 going?
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“[I]t looks like we’ll be stuck with a blighted building … on the gateway road into our otherwise scenic resort town,” writes Beth in a guest editorial. But, she argues, it doesn’t have to be that way.