Letters: Multilingual signs would make a statement about Park City
Sign of the city
Many, many Parkites joined me in being stunned at the “(expletive) off and speak English” incident on a city bus. That sentiment is the antithesis of our town, and yet it happened. Somebody did not get the message. That got me to thinking, and a set of circumstances converged in an idea I want to share: Multilingual signs.
Most of us have been about in the world and noticed that, whatever the local language, major signs (and menus and fliers and so on) will include an English version, and perhaps another language or two. Somebody thought ahead — and not in English — “We know you’re coming and we want you to feel welcome and get around okay.”
Is that not our ethic in Park City? And what better way to reaffirm it than with multilingual signage? I’m not suggesting it is a practical necessity. I’ve met people of dozens of different nationalities on local ski lifts and all of them had no problem with English. But I am suggesting that, symbolically, it would be a great step forward in demonstrating our commitment to being a world town, a diverse town, a welcoming town, and a progressive town. Try to find another town in the USA, much less in Utah, with that commitment.
And here is the convergence part: We are pursuing another edition of this Olympic Games thing, and Park City will be under a microscope for a time. Suppose the microscope revealed multilingual signs. Who wouldn’t be impressed?
There is some expense involved, too, but signs have to be replaced on an attrition schedule, and thus could be converted to multilingual with minimal budget impact.
Actually, we are already committed to multilingual signs in one place — city buses. That clearly is not enough. With multilingual signs all over the community, that guy might just decide to keep his mouth shut next time.
The support is welcome
What a community this is. You get an idea and ask people to help and they just leap into the project. Park City Historical Society’s “Friends of Ski Mountain History” and a few descendants of the founders produced a really fun and very amateur portrayal of the lives of the founders of the Silver King Mine. Shay Blackley and Rob Newey volunteered to handle all the technical equipment at the Santy. Park City donated our use of the auditorium. Residents absolutely filled the seats and everyone had a terrific, fun evening of remembering how we became a community. In case you missed it, Rick Klein, famed videographer of the PC Follies, volunteered to bring his lights and camera to record the production. Great fun and many thanks for Donovan Symonds for chairing our lecture series about our mining history. Next up: First Tracks March 6 (donate $1,000 and contact me before March 4: email@example.com), and free lecture on “Park City Mining Methods” by Mark Danninger March 21, at the Historical Society’s Education Center on Sidewinder Drive.
Responders stepped up
We want to thank everyone who rushed to keep us safe last week when our roof caved in. The Park City Fire District and Park City Police Department were on the spot very quickly and ensured that we were out of harms way. The firemen retrieved necessities for us because we weren’t allowed inside and we only escaped with the clothes on our backs.
It’s wonderful to know firsthand how great the emergency services are in Park City.
Carol and Leonard Raizin
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Steve Berlack, whose son died in an avalanche in 2015, writes in a letter to the editor that “[i]f you want to venture into the backcountry, do it safely. Get the education you need. … Understand the forecast. Make conservative decisions like your life depends on it.”