Letters: Summit County Council failed to properly regulate Woodward lights, and now we’re stuck with them
Stuck with a failure
I listened in dismay to comments by various Summit County Council members at an meeting Wednesday indicating they are surprised at how bright the evening lights are at Woodward Park City. At the same time they said the lighting is in compliance with the conditional use permit they approved.
How can they be surprised? There can only be two possible reasons. The first, and seemingly likely one, is that they did not really do their homework before providing the approval. Was the lighting mapped? Did they ask for computer modeling to be done to show just how bright the lights would be? Seems to me that with a project of this magnitude full disclosure should have been demanded. One of the councilmembers went so far as to state they thought the lights would be no brighter than what was previously at Gorgoza Park. Why did they think that?
The only other possibility was that Woodward did not provide full disclosure. But in that case, one would think the lighting would not meet the conditional approval given.
Equally distressing is that as far as Summit County Council is concerned, there is nothing they can do now. It is up to Woodward to voluntarily make any changes. And I have noted of late they have moved the time up from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. for lights out. Whether this is permanent or not I do not know. But the problem remains, the lighting at night is overwhelming and not in keeping with our mountain setting.
What is clear to me is that the Summit County Council failed in their most basic responsibility. Their surprise indicates they did not know. They approved the project, including the lighting, without knowing just how offensive it would be. And their failure here results in Jeremy Ranch residents being stuck with their failure. Let’s hope this is not standard operating procedure for the council. Let’s hope they learn from this and be sure to get the facts … all the detail before giving the green light on big projects instead of hoping for the best. Wishful thinking is not a good strategy!
Vaping is a problem at PCHS
In our national crisis about the health risks of vaping and its prevalent use among America’s youth, I felt compelled to write this letter to inform Park City residents of the reality at Park City High School.
I was a teacher at PCHS during the 2018-2019 school year. I am an experienced teacher with a career of success as measured by students graduating and going on to college where they thrived due to the academic skills and self-confidence I instilled. I also have had extremely positive feedback from my students telling me how much a difference my class and our rapport made in their lives. So it compels me to inform of what the youth at PCHS are actually doing, and the lack of action by the adults. I inquired to my students if drug use was prevalent at PCHS, which surprised me due to the area’s affluence. The students, laughing at my question because to them it was so obvious, told me story after story about the serious drugs being used on campus by many of the students. They told me that many are using vaping products and that students are vaping during class, when a teacher’s back is turned. I suspected such, and I knew of a student who I suspected of vaping during my class. I reported this to the administration, and no action was taken, in spite of my repeated requests. Nothing was done, and students continue to vape on campus and during classes. Vaping is causing serious health risks nationwide, including several fatalities. What is also concerning is the lack of control the adults and professionals have within the high school. The students are doing what teenagers do, push their boundaries as they grow up — and it is the adults who should act and show the limit of these boundaries and demonstrate clear consequences. Studies show that when students have too much control at this age, it causes anxiety, depression and other serious mental health issues. I have never witnessed a student body so affected by anxiety, and in my professional opinion, it is partly due to the fact that the adults are not taking control in that building, and students are doing whatever they want to do. Is this what you want for your youth and community?
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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.