Letters to the Editor, March 16-18, 2016
March 15, 2016
SB 246, bad for Utah and the world
SB 246 is has already passed through the state legislature and may soon be on its way to Governor Herbert’s desk if we don’t act to say ‘no’ to this very ill considered bill.
Posing as ‘Funding for Infrastructure Revisions’ this bill would use $53 million of taxpayer money to help build a port near Oakland to export Utah coal overseas.
Having just reached another climate milestone of the warmest February on record with particularly alarming rates of warming being observed in the polar regions is this a good time to use our hard earned money to fund a project out of state that would seek to deliver UT coal to China and other countries who are allegedly moving away from coal as a major energy source?
While this bill may help the Utah coal industry in the short term in the longer term we are contributing to an industry that will further assist in the disruption and degradation of our global climate. It seems a Faustian bargain Is this a good use of our financial resources now and looking toward the future? I think not.
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How about we take that money and use it for infrastructure projects that focus in clean and sustainable technologies? Perhaps the areas of Utah that are in need of an economic injection might be good locations for such projects which would then turn a lose-lose scenario in to a win-win that would leave our state and our world in a better and not a worse place heading in to the future.
Looking ahead we want to see our state heading in a direction that finds ways to stabilize the climate and the economy hand in hand and SB 246 does not do this.
Salt Lake City
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Grade realignment – a better plan?
The school district is preparing to jump back into master planning following months of gathering input. Grade realignment is a critical element and was a major point of contention in the district’s proposed plan. Does it make sense to broaden the discussion to include moving to a more traditional 3-tier (K-6,7-8,9-12) configuration for our schools? If Treasure Mountain is to be retired from service the timing seems right for this discussion.
The 2011 master plan called for building a fifth elementary school to add capacity and more evenly distribute the population across the district. The district has the same needs today … does it make sense to build an elementary now? Spreading elementary across five schools should provide space for 6th grade. Research favors delaying transition to middle school until at least 7th grade due to negative impacts of middle schools on younger students. National trends favor K-8 elementary or delaying transition to middle school until 7th grade.
One final option to consider is demolition of Treasure Mountain. The district needs a place to house advanced programming such as PC CAPS and CTE. Does it make sense to re-purpose Treasure Mountain as a multipurpose center for these, and other programs?
A K-6,7-8,9-12 alignment makes sense for our district. It keeps kids closer to home longer, aligns the district with national trends, limits impacts to traffic and reduces transitions. It may require more planning up front and initial cost, but has the potential to deliver a more manageable, cost effective solution for the long-term. It certainly seems worthy of further consideration.
Jo Ann Funseth, Jim Tedford, Peter Yogman
Citizens For Better Education
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SOS Outreach celebrates great ski season at Canyons Village
Snow, sun and lots of fun! On Sunday, Feb. 28th, the first class of Park City’s SOS Outreach graduated 43 students who participated in this season’s inaugural session at Canyon’s Village. Over the past couple months, our students participated in skiing and snowboarding lessons hosted by Park City’s Ski School. Many of these kids had never been on the mountain before and have now developed a love and passion for the sport in thanks to a partnership between SOS Outreach and Vail Resorts.
SOS Outreach is a youth development non-profit program designed to engage underserved students in long-term mentor-based relationships through outdoor sports. The program integrates six core values of courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion and humility. We wish to thank Vail Resorts, The Park City Ski School and instructors, SOS Outreach and the many parents and volunteers who made this season’s program a success for all the kids. See you next year!
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A friend of the library says goodbye
Summit County Library Patrons,
After much consideration, I have decided to retire as the Friends of the Summit County Library President. I have been involved with the Friends since its inception in 1993 and have been President for over 20 years. It’s time to step aside for someone who has more energy and new ideas for the growth of the organization.
The unfortunate reality is if no one steps forward to take leadership, the Friends will be dissolved. So, it’s your choice – run for office or by show by lack of interest your vote to dissolve FOL.
To facilitate this, there will be a General Meeting and Election on Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building auditorium (Kimball Junction Library). If you are interested in running for office, please be prepared to present a short talk detailing your qualifications and goals for the organization. You must be a dues-current member of the Friends of the Summit County Library to run for office or vote. You are welcome to join or renew that night.