Letters: Value of non-essential workers in Park City must not be dismissed
Non-essentials are essential
Our beloved town is complex, to say the least, comprised of extremely diverse contributions to our community and to our economy. The beautiful “quilt” of Park City points to the intrinsic value that each individual piece of “fabric” contributes. The snow removal worker is no less valuable to our town than the CEO of a local corporation, or a grocery clerk no less valuable than a police officer.
The City Council’s recent majority decision to weight the affordable housing lottery toward what they consider essential workers does not support the fragile ecosystem of our town. While those “essential” workers are undoubtedly a valuable part of our community, we cannot dismiss the value that the “non-essential” workers contribute to the overall fabric of our community. From our past as a mining town to the ski town we are now, we have depended on the “non-essential” workers to make this town what it is.
I’ve lived in Park City my entire life. I am not an “essential” worker. I chose to leave my work in nonprofits to join the family business. Since then, I’ve been able to contribute in greater ways to our town than ever before. I still choose to stay here, hopeful that one day I’ll be able to live here forever, but without the support for us non-essential workers, I wonder what sort of community we are fostering.
NIMBYism is rampant, but is this decision a simple placation to get support? If so, let’s address the root of that problem: certain individuals not wanting to live next to contractors, cooks and retail workers, among others. At the end of the day, it’s each thread that holds this diverse quilt together.
I’m grateful to be a part of this quilt that has supported me throughout my entire life. Let’s do our best to move forward with inclusion and nuanced inquiry to how we achieve our goals. We are all Parkites, we are all essential in our own unique contributions.
Rules of the road
Please tell me what the rules of the road are for the City Trail running between the Transit Center and (roughly) the Clock Tower. Over the past few days, my leashed dog and I have been walking on this trail in our lane, and cyclists have whizzed by on the downhill part, at such a rate of speed that my dog and I are startled. Should I wear a helmet and mirrors to see these cyclists coming?
There is no warning on their approach. What is the rule of etiquette here? Wouldn’t a bell warning us of their advance or, perhaps, a yelled out “On your left, or on your right” be appropriate? Surely these fit downhill cyclists have the breath to issue a warning.
The surprise offers a risk to both cyclist and pedestrian. What if the pedestrian, unaware of the cyclist’s approach, moved quickly to pick up a piece of trash or a big stick, and ended up in the path of the cyclist? Both parties may be injured, and the expensive bike might sustain some damage too.
Should walkers and former high school majorettes carry hula hoops, flags and batons to create a protective swath of space?
We need to understand the risks to everyone on the City Trail.
Words to take to heart
I thought Tom Clyde’s July 13 column, titled “Our charming mid-size city” was brilliant, so much so that some of his key points deserve to be highlighted and repeated so that we truly take them to heart. These are all Tom’s words:
• We are no longer a quirky little mountain town. We are now a metropolitan area that will soon sprawl continuously from Summit Park to Daniels, east of Heber, and all the way around Jordanelle. We will become a city of 100,000 people. What’s already approved gets us there.
• We need to quit planning and governing like a quirky (mountain) town; we need to start dealing with the reality that we are a mid-sized city. Park City is just a neighborhood in the greater metroplex. (Our) parallel is now places like Bend and Traverse City.
• There are planning commissions in Park City, Snyderville Basin, Eastern Summit County, Wasatch County, Jordanelle Basin, Hideout, Francis, Kamas, Oakley, Midway and probably others. That’s a whole lot of planning, without much attention to what’s happening across the jurisdictional boundary.
• We need all those jurisdictions working together, and the artificial boundaries ignored. Planning commissions will spend months on a vacant lot in historic Newpark, but not five minutes on a project of 1,300 units on the other side of an arbitrary line.
• People live and work here like it is a single community, but we manage things like it is several separate continents. That needs to stop. The Wasatch Back needs to be managed as one entity.
• I’d like to add that very few — if any — of us decided to become a mid-sized city, and unexpected consequences are what happen when people neglect to look at the larger picture.
A blind genius
Trump’s so-called “environmental speech” on July 8 was full of lies.
Fact: He has reversed 80+ Obama-era regulations protecting our environment and has given the fossil fuel industries the green light to pollute our vital rivers and streams, rather than “protecting” them. Trump regards agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the so-called “deep state.” He forbids the words “climate change” and scientists often are forced to bury their findings for fear of repercussions by Trump’s administration.
Trump, a self-pronounced “stable genius,” pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. His promotions of fossil fuel production is now even threatening our pristine National Parks. Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” was shut down while greenhouse gas emissions keep spiking. Our “genius” president recently refused to sign a communique to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region, unless it was stripped of any references to “climate change.”
USDA scientists have been declining issuance of press releases on over 45 peer-reviewed studies cleared through the nonpartisan Agricultural Research Service. All studies point to deadly effects of climate change under Trump’s administration with dire consequences for our planet. Trump announced to USDA scientists they must decide within a month to move to the Kansas City bureau, or quit. Many staffers believe their relocation is an effort to silence their research into topics that don’t align with Trump’s political agenda.
Trump, in fact, has made “America Last.” Germany, China and others are running away with the future. France’s president started “Make our Planet Great Again,” luring our best scientists to Paris. So far 24 scientists from the U.S. and other countries do research there. The U.S. was once the leader in science research. Sadly, Trump our “genius” is blind to the existential crises facing humanity!
I was very disappointed in the image that was used in the article “Tyler Orgill, 22, always loved going to the Summit County Fair. Now he’s running it.” that was published on July 16.
Several years ago, I attended a county fair. I was excited to peruse the local arts and crafts, taste some local foods, watch a demolition derby and enjoy some rides and games. My enthusiasm was shattered when I sat down to watch a “mutton busting and calf riding” event that others told me would be a great time. I found it very difficult to watch a small child holding on to a frightened and confused baby animal in distress to the point that it was foaming at the mouth and trying to get away by running in circles. I found it distressing to see impressionable youth go after goats tied to ropes attached to a stake, catch them, throw them to the ground and bind their feet together all while the crowd of mostly adults cheered on. I found it distressing to see young adults rope baby animals with violent jerking force, body slam them to the ground, tie their legs so they can’t get away, and then drag them by the neck.
I realize that others may not find these events disturbing but at the very least, it’s important that everyone recognize that there are many people who are sensitive to these activities. Many of the animals used for rodeo and fair entertainment often suffer serious injury such as broken spines and some are killed as a result of the violent force and contortion put on their bodies.
Please advertise and attract people to activities that do not involve using animals for entertainment. Promoting these events only further desensitizes people to inhumane treatment of animals and gives the impression that abusing animals for fun is acceptable. Summit County and local media outlets that serve the county should evolve away from promoting events that involve inflicting pain and distress on animals for entertainment.
President Trump is not only making America greater, he’s making the world a better place. He is loved in Israel, where his people are working on an Israeli-Palestine peace agreement. The people in Japan are happy that he has ended the North Korean militaristic buildup that sent missiles over their heads during the Obama years. The leaders in Europe respect him and have begun to pay their fair share of of their own NATO defense. He has the friendship of the major world dictators in China, North Korea and Russia. Within his first years he brought defeat to the barbaric ISIS.
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Beverly Hurwitz writes that Parkites should be concerned about lead poisoning given Park City’s mining heritage. We “must come together to make sure that a beatable, old enemy doesn’t hurt Park City’s next generation.”