Letters: Sentence for driver in fatal crash unlikely to deter distracted driving
Cooperation could ease Pickleball court concerns
Regarding the feature about the dearth of pickleball courts, I am curious about what has happened at the MARC.
There are four courts marked for pickleball. These courts don’t look like redrawn tennis courts. Lines are crisp, nets are permanent, and the court surfaces are pristine. However, something has happened between last summer and this summer. Last summer, the four MARC courts were filled with players.
This summer, there are many open play times for MARC pickleball, and courts are empty. In fact, I’ve been told players sign up for pickleball and then cancel or don’t show at the last minute. I’ve arrived at the MARC to play to hear three other players have canceled. Why? The MARC features two learn-to-play clinics during the week, and one session of tactics and drills. These classes are usually well-attended, as is the round robin on Saturday mornings.
At the MARC, cost is $5 per person for open play. Perhaps some players don’t want to pay the fee to play, but I’d rather pay a fee than wait 30 minutes to an hour in the sun for an open slot at a free facility farther from my home.
Do these facilities work together to schedule playing times to enable more people, across Park City, to participate at all area facilities? Are politics or personalities involved to sway players from one recreation facility to another? For those courts that have wait times most days, can communication be structured to enable more people to play at all Park City’s facilities?
Don’t forget about Osguthorpe Farm
Why save the Osguthorpe Farm? People are confused. Why save it, when we are being asked to save so much? There is Treasure: 105 acres overlooking Old Town, $64 million; Snow Ranch: 19 acres, $6 Million; and last but not least, The Osguthorpe Ranch: 158 acres with $2.5 Million still remaining and desperately needed by this October out of the original approximately $18 Million price tag. The deadline was originally last March but a loan taken by the family gave a bit more time. The Osguthorpes want to conserve this land. They do not want to see it go for development, but because of an inherited financial obligation, they have to raise the money. They have resisted development for years. According to former mayor Brad Olch, “They easily could have sold out 1,000 times.” (Park Record 6/2/09). They received the Leopold Conservation Award in 2011. Because they cared and didn’t develop it, we now have the McPolin Farm, 121 acres of conserved land that includes the Land of Oz trail and a protected entry corridor on 248/Kearns Blvd. Yes, they have received money, but if they hadn’t cared about keeping the land open, they could have received much more. Now as one of the oldest families in our community, they are asking our help to conserve this heritage farm, a huge gathering place for Sand Hill Crane and an amazing green view from the mountains. We only need to raise an additional $2.5 million. I cannot believe we are letting this land go. We need to come together as a community and help the Osguthorpes save this land. Quick action is needed. Donations should be made specifically to saving the Osguthorpe land through the Summit Land Conservancy, wesaveland.org. If the deal does not go through, I believe they say they will refund your donation. Yes, I want Treasure, Snow Ranch and other large heritage pieces of land saved, but we must act immediately to help save the Osguthorpe property before October.
Jail sentence unlikely to deter distracted driving
The article about the sentencing of Nathaniel Richard Bone to 120 days in jail for causing the truck crash on Route 40 in May of 2017 that killed Landon Peatross of Duchesne and paralyzed Sandra Bowden of West Jordan raises questions about the appropriateness of the sentence. Mr. Bone admitted to browsing the internet when the crash occurred. The article does not identify the Summit County 3rd District Court judge who imposed the sentence, and it doesn’t say whether Mr. Bone’s driver’s license is suspended for any length of time. Distracted driving is a serious problem that injures or kills a lot of people, and a professional driver like Mr. Bone should know better and be held to a very high standard for avoiding distractions. His career as a professional driver is probably over, because of the increased potential liability for any trucking firm that would hire an employee who previously caused a serious accident. Insurance companies are touchy about that sort of thing, and trucking companies need to stay on the good side of their insurance companies. There are some mitigating factors in this case, but not enough to justify this sentence. It doesn’t provide much of a deterrent to other drivers who might be tempted to use their cell phones in a dangerous way. We should know who imposed this sentence and if Mr. Bone will be back on the road any time soon.
F. Joseph Feely III
Pickleballers are right to be salty
I am writing in response to Ben Ramsey’s fine recent article highlighting the dearth of pickleball courts in Park City. Having visited other resorts of our caliber, it is striking to me how few courts we have and how little Basin Recreation and the MARC seem to care about providing enough courts to accommodate the ever increasing demand. They seem to make decisions catering to tennis at the expense of pickleball. We are all aware of limited resources at Basin Rec especially and how difficult it is to balance competing demands.
But perhaps Basin Rec should consider this: stop trying to compete with the MARC, a beautiful tennis facility with many superb indoor and outdoor courts, and instead focus on creating your own niche of providing the premier pickleball courts in the region. (A good first step was the recent creation of indoor courts at Basin Rec). The MARC would probably gladly bow out because they have made no secret that they prefer the greater income from tennis players. Believe me, we pickleballers get the message that we are considered the poor relations there.
The spokesman for Basin Rec suggests building more courts at Silver Creek Village, but as Kathy Pederson correctly points out, the wind there militates against that solution. And while we pickleballers prefer dedicated courts, until they are built we are willing to play on courts accommodating both pickleball and tennis. But greater care must be taken in marking the lines: They are adequate at Trailside, but abysmal at Willow Creek, where work should be accomplished sooner rather than later to remedy the mistakes made there. More oversight must be exercised in future transitions to dual use courts. So to the powers that be at Basin Rec I say “0-0 start!” The salty pickleballers are coming your way.
Speed limits for e-bikes could fix problem
I have to strongly agree with Mr Assenheim’s editorial. I have also observed many under-aged riders, frequently in groups, carelessly operating these machines. I’ve also seen many riders on the gravel trail between Newpark and Willow Creek park. Seems like an easy fix would be to severely limit the speeds these bikes will reach and, as I’ve read about other cities’ issues, GPS devices that would kill the bikes’ power when they are used where not allowed. Though these bikes serve a purpose, they promote ridership by people with little or no bike riding experience and ridership searching for a thrill. Seems the easiest solution would be to limit their speed for the safety of others using our incredible trails system.