Letters to the Editor, Sept. 23-27, 2017
Submissions from Park Record readers
September 25, 2017
Fears about proposed care facility are misguided
Paul T. Meyers' letter (9/20-22 –Resident questions proposed care facility) provides a valuable teaching moment. Far from the long-discredited 'asylum' concept to which Meyers alludes, today people with mental health issues and brain disorders can live full and independent lives. They contribute their skills and talents to their communities and strengthen their neighborhoods.
For two years, through community education, public advocacy and awareness building programs CONNECT Summit County has worked to end the devastating stigma and isolation Meyers' letter tries to prolong. There is a growing recognition of the fact that one in five people will deal with a mental health crisis during their lives. The impact on the loved ones who try to help them creates a ripple effect that touches almost everyone in the community.
We have been impressed by the willingness of our neighbors to support and encourage the inclusion of people with brain disorders. Over 2,000 attended our May Mental Health Awareness Month consumer education events. The county and city governments and schools are partnering with private interests and non-profit organizations to address the program needs of an underserved segment of our population. The county council recently added addressing mental health and substance abuse issues as one of its five strategic priorities.
In Summit County we can be proud of our progress in bringing mental illness out of the shadows, but Meyers' letter reminds us that fear-mongering still exists. It teaches us that we all have serious work to do to dispel disproven ideas and reach uninformed people so that as a community we are moved to action by compassion for, rather than fear of, those in need.
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Ed Rutan, President, Natalie Herron, Cindy Levine, Chelsea Benetz Robinson, Lynne Rutan, Jim Whitney, Shauna Wiest, Executive Director
Connect Summit County Board of Directors connectsummitcounty.org
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WWII veteran is one of America's true heroes
Just read with great interest your article on Vic Rainey and his service during World War II. Vic is a true American hero.
The war in the Pacific against the Japanese was brutal. Our men fought against an enemy that was going to fight until the last man. Conditions in the Pacific were horrible. Constant rain, mud and heat against a well-trained and motivated enemy. The Japanese felt Okinawa was the last front before we invaded the Japanese mainland. They were going to defend the island with every resource they had. Men like Mr. Rainey served this country bravely and fought for our freedom against an enemy that demonstrated their willingness to attack our country at Pearl Harbor. Mr. Rainey did all this at the age of 17, amazing. Thank you for your service.
With all the articles published in The Park Record defending the rights of illegal aliens and climate-change nonsense, it was a breath of fresh air to actually read an article about a true American hero. Thank you.
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Community turned out to help fight hunger
I wanted to send a personal shout out/thank-you to our entire Park City community for supporting our the Christian Center of Park City's Hike 4 Hunger community event and, most importantly, helping us fight hunger right here in our community and region. It was our sixth annual Hike 4 Hunger and each year it keeps getting better. The need for food is real and it is surprising. Around 24 percent of our current student population in the Park City school district qualify for free-and-reduced lunch. These same children and families are among the many guests we serve through our Food Pantry. Thanks for caring and joining together to address this critical need.
On behalf of our CCPC staff and all of those we serve, we thank you!
Rob Harter, Executive Director
Christian Center of Park City
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Save our 2-way single track
We are beyond lucky to have access to so many mountain bike trails. Word is they amount to 400 miles within easy reach, with the majority allowing for 2-way traffic. For me, this translates to more like 700 miles, because no trail rides the same in the opposite direction. Certainly, our choices are many.
Which takes us back around to the recently publicized letters describing the head-on crash at Round Valley. By no means a complete surprise, as any regular at RV can attest. But, a good indicator of an area of practice in which I believe we can improve. Clearly, assuming both bikes were mechanically sound, and both riders had full use of their ears (no music or phone), one or both crash victims were riding too fast for their ability and or the available sight distance. How much sight distance is sufficient? Consider the scenario where each rider is running along at a decent 10 MPH clip heading for a meet. Giving each rider 3 seconds to execute a complete stop while decelerating in a linear fashion, each travels an average of 5 MPH, or 7.3 feet per second (FPS), over the 3 seconds. So each rider covers 21.9 feet while executing the stop. Therefore, the riders must be able to see each other at a distance of about 44 feet if they are to stop just before kissing the other's front tire.
Whether skiing or mountain biking, we all love executing a flawless tight turn at speed. Of course, there are countless maze-like turns on our local trails where sight distance is less than 44 feet. Back in the day, it wasn't so much an issue, as riders were few and far between. But "progress" has brought with it an appreciable increase in ridership basin wide. In short, this ain't nothin' like the wilds of British Columbia any more. For your consideration: Next time you hear a well-meaning "I'm solo" as you execute a no-stop meet, assume this rider isn't aware of the rider just a hundred feet or so behind him. In our evolving suburban environment, always best to:
- ride as though there is an oncoming rider around every bend
- let out a strong "hoot" in advance of entering blind turns
- engage oncoming riders with an advance verbal greeting and a big smile
- consider stopping and removing yourself and your bike from the trail to socialize
Bottom line: If you're skidding to a stop, or running into people, you're simply riding too fast, regardless of your ability level.
Let's work together to preserve our 2-way single tracks. If we don't, the remedy may include downgrading trails to one-way traffic. Either way, it's on us. Save our 700!
Stay loose, light, low and centered,
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Letter about care facility was way out of line
My outrage turned to sadness as I pondered my response to the Paul T. Meyers, Ph.D. hateful rhetoric regarding a housing opportunity for four individuals with intellectual disabilities. He claims to be educated, but his words boast ignorance. Mr. Meyers posed the question, "Do you think such an asylum within your neighborhood would diminish your property value?" While I'm distressed by his words, I'm encouraged when I see children and adults of this generation befriend, rather than fear, people with special needs.
Before we revisit the facts of the single, assisted-living home, I suggest that he and people of like mind pursue an education in humanities, no degree required — it's local and free. Venture out into our community and engage with this special population; they are forgiving, brilliant, and kind. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that will surely expand your horizons: National Ability Center (empowers individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence, and lifetime skills through sport, recreation, and educational programs); PC ALL (Park City Adult Lifelong Learning); and CONNECT (Promoting better understanding of Mental Health in Summit County). Even if you're short on time, you can participate in the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition's mission to end bullying through kindness. It's that simple, be a good neighbor.
Now, let's look at the FACTS of the proposed house:
The applicant, Todd Hood, is seeking approval of a 3,514 square foot Group Home located at 3123 Pinebrook Road. The Group Home would be the residential component of a facility serving autistic adults. It is proposed to have a capacity for 4 adults living on site, with a nonresident administrative assistant overseeing the facility. The Group Home is NOT intended as a care facility with a large staff, doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. The Group Home is intended as a place to promote increasingly greater levels of independence in the residents. Additional facts can be found here: http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/6719
Thank you, Todd Hood and fellow community members who promote inclusion rather than exclusion.
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