Letters to the Editor, Feb. 13-16, 2016
Keep up the pressure to ground helicopters
In 2007, when one of the local hotels used a helicopter service to shuttle guests from the airport, I wrote a letter like this. Nine years later, the issues seem more pressing.
Helicopters landing in a residential neighborhood is more than a noise issue. Helicopters consume about 60-160 gallons of fuel/hour depending on vintage, size, and weight capacity, and pollute more than most other modes of transportation, releasing about 3-5X the emissions of a diesel car that can often seat more people.
Statistics show that if a hospital helipad has just three landings a day, value of nearby property drops a notch for every half-mile proximity to the helipad. Are local realtors ready to disclose that properties they are selling may be impacted by helicopter operations?
Then there are safety issues. Will storage fuel tanks also be located in the residential neighborhoods where the choppers operate? Keeping the skies safe for essential helicopter medical rescue, firefighting, and other matters of civic security is another reason to restrict chopper tourism. And what about the possibility that sudden weather changes will cause a helicopter to crash and kill some of us?
As for the noise factor, helicopters not only emit so much audible noise that passengers and pilots wear protection, but they also emit subsonic sound waves that rattle windows, knock pictures off walls, and intensify the discomfort of the audible sound. The noise is most obnoxious when choppers land and take off.
Around the country, citizens and legislators are battling the public nuisance of helicopter tourism. When New York City restricted flights over Central Park and the Empire State Building, chopper tours of the Big Apple were moved to neighboring Brooklyn and New Jersey to plague residents there. Moving helicopter operations out of residential Park City can only plague wildlife.
And finally, the pleasure of skiing, golf and other outdoor activities is compromised by noise. Are we willing to shatter the goose’s golden egg so that a few people can profit from serving a few pampered visitors, while putting the health, economy, security, and peacefulness of our community at risk?
Thanks are here offered to the authorities who acted on citizens’ behalf to curtail the recent Uber aviation assault during Sundance. However, with heli-skiing being part of local culture, I worry that Uber, Blade, and other helicopter companies will all soon be knocking on the door to Park City’s skies.
Beverly Hurwitz, MD
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Irresponsible skate skiers are ruining Round Valley
Now that the much appreciated no leash laws have come into effect in Round Valley, I am afraid we have to address another problem regarding irresponsible skate skiers.
I was walking with a friend and my small, 13-year-old lab this Saturday morning. There were many walkers with dogs, bikers and cross-country skiers. My little lab was hit by an oncoming skier going as fast as he could, knocking my dog to the ground. He never even stopped to see if my dog was OK. I then put my dog on leash and we continued to walk towards the parking lot. Another skate skier came roaring up from behind without any verbal warning, shouting at us to "share the trails" as he roared by.
It seems to me that skate skiers should be limited to times when there aren’t so many others using the trails, especially on the weekends, or should have designated times when those of us with dogs can chose to avoid. It won’t be long before there is a serious accident with either a dog or person if it is allowed to continue as is.
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Judy Horwitz writes in a guest editorial that Summit County voters must continue to support a vital source of funding for the area’s arts and culture institutions.