Letters to the Editor, Feb. 17-19, 2016
Stung by yellow jackets at Park City Mountain Resort
Skiers and snowboarders at Park City Mountain Resort need to be warned that there is an infestation of yellow jackets on the mountain. These seemingly innocuous insects are hanging around the Slow Skiing areas under the pretense of keeping the mountain safe, but be warned: their real purpose is to ruin your day.
I was stung when I failed to make enough turns down Home Run. I was not skiing too fast, I was not skiing out of control (64-year-old guys don’t have the energy to ski out of control), I did not endanger any other skiers or boarders. Nope, I just didn’t make enough turns for the Yellow Jacket so I got stung. They photographed my pass, and gave me a stern lecture on not straight lining down through the Slow Skiing area. Wow, a lecture on skiing from a guy from Texas — I’ll bet he didn’t grow up on skis!
So be very careful out there. Vail Corp is not only after every dime they can suck out of your wallet, they now want to tell you how to ski. Better stock up on cans of Raid when you are on the mountain.
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Utah House of Reprehensibles is at it again
I thought Park City was supposed to be cool and not an outpost of Bumpkinburg, USA. I thought they considered thinking like a troglodyte even tackier than driving into valet parking for The Sundance Film Festival in something less Façonnable than a high-end German 4×4.
Apparently not. Park City’s Rep in the Utah House of Reprehensibles is sponsoring a bill that will establish TWO classes of marriage. Type 2 cannot adopt, among other things. Need I explain more?
Personally, I could enthusiastically get behind such a two-class apartheid system IF it contained the following three provisions:
1) Squalling brats and their breeders can be immediately ejected from airplanes. Even in mid-air. I get their peanuts.
2) School Taxes have to be paid by Group 1 ONLY, the people who make the lil’ darlin’s in the first place. (It has always dumbfounded me how religious zealots never grasped that Gay marriage largely renders abortion a moot point because when Gays assume the responsibilities of parenthood it’s always a mature, considered choice and never the result of a mistake in the back of a Chevy. You’d think the Christian Taliban would be happy! There’s just no pleasing some people.)
3) Everyone not in Group 2 must write 1,000 times, "Sponge Bob Square Pants is NOT a designer label."
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New polystyrene lunch trays are bad for kids and the planet
I am a 5th-grade student in Mrs. Rocchi’s class at Parley’s Park Elementary. I have gone to Parley’s for five and a half years and my school has recently started to serve all school lunches on disposable polystyrene plastic (commonly known as Styrofoam) trays. This is bad in many ways. One very important reason not to use polystyrene plastic is the health concerns. When we place food into or on polystyrene plastic it instantly leeches a toxic chemical called styrene into the food. Over time this can have serious concerns for our health. According to the organization, "Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families," the chemical styrene in polystyrene plastic can lead to cancer, vision loss, impaired memory, nervous system effects, and concentration problems. We can avoid eating and drinking out of polystyrene plastic by bringing your own containers to take-out restaurants and bringing water bottles to commercial functions.
Another equally concerning problem is the environmental branch. When polystyrene plastic is released into the environment, animals and plants suffer from many consequences. Even in the landfill polystyrene plastic can blow into habitats and the chemical styrene is released into water sources and can intoxicate fish quickly and fatally.
The best way we can stop this problem is to avoid using polystyrene plastic products and to protect the environment in ways such as picking up trash whenever you have the chance and to think twice about how much waste you are producing and to be more conscious about what you are doing. Park City can’t overlook this problem, why isn’t the Park City School District taking action?
Isabel Smith, 5th grade
Parley’s Park Elementary School
Summit Council should pull out of Public Land Initiative
The Summit County Council and many different stakeholders worked long and hard to find consensus on Summit County’s portion of Congressman Bishop’s Public Land Initiative (PLI). They submitted a stakeholder agreement, the only one in the PLI process, and had every right to expect that this would honored by our Delegation. However, Mr. Bishop apparently has other ideas on the subject.
I think Mr. Bishop wants to change the standard for what wilderness means in this country and this is the legislative tool at his disposal to do just that. While he touts a big increase in wilderness in the PLI, the language in his bill disregards the spirit and intent of the 1964 Wilderness Act, which the Summit County Council honored in their proposal.
For example, he wants to allow helicopters into the Wilderness, and for what purpose? Probably to gun down predators like coyotes. He also mandates a level of livestock grazing that can be only raised but never lowered, no matter what. Stock tanks and constructing other developments within the wilderness would be allowed. The Forest Service would not be able to manage the area for sensitive plants and animals, like wolverines.
The way in which Mr. Bishop redefines wilderness has nothing to do with the way Americans have defined wilderness since the Wilderness Act was passed. If Mr. Bishop will not honor the Summit County consensus agreement in full as submitted by Council, then the Council should not be hesitant to withdraw from the Public Land Initiative and avoid setting a very bad national precedent.
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Candidate for Congress blasts Bishop’s stand on land
The members of the Summit County Council have rediscovered an unpleasant truth about Rep. Rob Bishop and his promises regarding public lands. He is not a trustworthy negotiating partner.
From the congressman’s attempt to remake the Land and Water Conservation Fund in a radical and dystopic manner, whereby the funds monies would unbelievably be directed back to the oil and gas industry, to whom Rob Bishop is beholden and from whence they came, rather than being used as they had been for decades in providing monies to mostly western states for land and water conservation programs, including public parks, trails and their maintenance, and the purchase of easements in and around National and State Parks, to his attack on the Antiquities Act of 1906, he has proven repeatedly that he feels his most important work is to stick a fork in the eye of the federal government. Never mind the fact that this durable public program and legislation were created by the great conservationist of his own party, Theodore Roosevelt.
Thankfully members of his own party who together with their constituents really like the LWCF just the way it is thank you very much, were able to act collaboratively and quickly, something for which Mr. Bishop does not appear to have a penchant, and restore the funding of the LWCF in a bipartisan manner for an additional three years.
The great and earliest political preservationist in the US, Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, whose work the current congressmen in Utah’s first district is trying to recklessly undo, said this in a speech on July 4, 1886 in Dickinson, South Dakota: "it is peculiarly incumbent on us here today so to act throughout our lives as to leave our children a heritage, for which we will receive their blessing and not their curse…. If you fail to work in public life, as well as in private, for honesty and uprightness and virtue, if you condone vice because the vicious man is smart, or if you in any other way cast your weight into the scales in favor of evil, you are just so far corrupting and making less valuable the birthright of your children…. It is not what we have that will make us a great nation, it is the way in which we use it."
Representative Bishop would do well to consider what his constituents and their children and grandchildren would consider a fitting birthright in these public lands negotiations, and act uprightly and accordingly.
Democratic Candidate for Congress, Dist. 1
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Another citizen supports grounding helicopters
Thank you Beverly Hurwitz (Park Record, February 13-16) for channeling my issues with helicopters flying over Summit County.
Although Sundance brought the issue to a head, helicopters have been buzzing Summit Park for some time now. Their flight path is directly over houses that hug I-80, flying dangerously low while transporting the elite at 2:00 a.m., waking up the neighborhood with noise and prop wash that literally shakes a house.
It was one thing to have emergency air evacuation before the new hospital, but to accommodate the rich and famous to save ten minutes travel time when less intrusive ground transportation is available, warrants a ‘no fly zone’. And less you think helicopters don’t pose a safety threat to those living below their flight path, I recall at least three fatal crashes in the last 10 years over the Wasatch range, one as close as Mountain Dell reservoir.
I have recently filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration concerning noise and safety regarding this issue, but at this early date have not received a response.
I urge concerned residents to do the same by going to the FAA website and searching ‘complaints’ or calling them at (801) 257-5020.
It is time to enforce Old Town parking regulations
In as much as residents in Old Town must have a parking permit displayed on their front window to park on the streets as well as their guest(s)’ I find it interesting to note that permitted parking is already allowed and those that do not have a display should be ticketed or towed.
Am I making this too simplistic and obvious? I am not referring to parking on Main Street. Also, the signs in front of homes or condominiums indicating parking for that specific dwelling should be adhered to and as such, that vehicle should be showing its permit. If you are going to spend the time and money issuing these permits either enforce it or take it off the books.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Moore
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P.C. School board is back on track
I applaud the Park City School Board for planning and executing the recent "What Counts" events Feb. 8-9. I felt fortunate to be invited to the event on Feb. 8 at Treasure Mountain Junior High School. I think community members were able to give some important input to the board on what the community values in education and what we feel are the current strengths of our school district. This event will help bridge the disconnect that exists between the school district and the Park City community.
I took away from the event that our community values quality teachers, collaboration with the community, education that starts with teachers, among other things. I am sure other participants had other takeaways.
This event was a good start to the board’s strategic planning process, and I look forward to continued communications and community involvement in the next steps of our school district’s strategic planning process. I hope that strategic planning process includes tackling the tough questions like 1. What’s not working? 2. What should we stop doing? 3. What can we do better? 4. How do we address the disconnects that exist among parents, teachers, administrators and district directors?
I encourage all community members to get involved and stay informed by communicating with our school board representatives, asking questions, and attending school board meetings to assure that our educational values are represented.
Member, Citizens for Better Education
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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.