Letters to the editor, Nov. 18-21, 2017 | ParkRecord.com

Letters to the editor, Nov. 18-21, 2017

GoFundMe donors changed a life


For the last two years the focus of my life had been hijacked in order to deal with my jaw pain. Eating, laughing, speaking, existing all became an uphill battle for me as I tried to no avail to manage my pain. I'd seen countless doctors to try to find a solution. In March it became simply unbearable and I finally accepted the necessity for surgery. I then spent 6 months petitioning my insurance to give me coverage for the costly surgery. Appeal after appeal ended up fruitless, if it wasn't life threatening I wasn't getting coverage. Never mind that the same surgery done on any other joint in the body would be covered; TMJ was a "specialty". I was desperate, hopeless, and angry. Just 3 days after my final decision was issued I received a note from a dear friend who had set up a GoFundMe to help with my jaw surgery. I spent the next month bursting into tears of joy as I watched my friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers gave to help me. I was floored by the overwhelming support and responses I received and to this day my heart is swollen with gratitude for this incredible community that rallied to help me toward a pain free life. If there was ever a doubt about the nature of humanity or the heart of this community, let my story dissolve that doubt. Nearly 200 people gave to me and over $1,500 was given anonymously. I will be spending the rest of my life paying forward the love and generosity I've received and I cannot wait. And to Anonymous, thank you. I wish I could thank each of you personally for you have truly changed my life for the better. Words will never convey my full gratitude, but for now… THANK YOU!!!!

Heleena Sideris
Park City

Pitch in to save farm


The 158-acre Osguthorpe farm on Old Ranch Road deserves to be saved – and protected forever – as a working farm. As a feeding ground for migratory sandhill cranes, Redtail hawks, and wildlife. As open land. As a breathing space in our growing community.

Housing and commercial development is pressing in on Park City, and Parkites, from all sides. As a Realtor, I can tell you that more development – much more – is in the pipeline. It is imperative that we save quality open lands now, before it is too late to act. By saving the Osguthorpe farm we save a vanishing piece of Park City's farming and ranching heritage.

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For decades, the Osguthorpe family has worked its Old Ranch Road farm. Once a dairy, today the family grows oats and alfalfa on the land. The Osguthorpes consider farming a privilege, a gift. And they want to pass that gift along to their children, grandchildren, and generations of Parkites to come.

Develop the land? Yes, they've had offers. But as the family patriarch says, "Houses are the last crop."

That's why they've agreed to put a conservation easement on the farm. It's also why the family reduced the price of the land by nearly $3.5 million to help make the easement possible.

The Summit Land Conservancy, our local land trust, has negotiated an $8 million federal grant to preserve the farm. But, the Conservancy must raise $5.5 million in private funds to secure those federal dollars and keep the "green heart" of the Synderville Basin beating strong. Forever.

Please consider making a gift to the Summit Land Conservancy to help save the Osguthorpe farm. You can give online at http://www.wesaveland/osguthorpe. A gift of any size will help. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Fred Vallejo
Park City

Consider pardoning a turkey this year


President Trump is getting his pardon pen ready, as the Mueller investigation starts indicting his associates. This Wednesday, he plans to practice on two very innocent Minnesota turkeys.

The other 244 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year have not been so lucky. They were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes were clipped to prevent stress-induced aggression. At 16 weeks of age, slaughterhouse workers cut their throats and dumped them in boiling water to remove their feathers.

Consumers pay a heavy price too. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases. Intense prolonged cooking is required to destroy deadly pathogens lurking inside.

Now, for the good news: Per capita consumption of turkeys is down by a whopping 34% from a 1996 high of 303 million, as one third of our population is actively reducing meat consumption; Our supermarkets carry a rich variety of convenient, delicious, healthful plant-based meat products, including several oven-ready roasts.

This Thanksgiving holiday, as we give thanks for life and good fortune, let's also skip the gratuitous violence and grant our own pardon to an innocent animal.

Pruitt Richardson
Park City