Letters: Wear a mask not for your safety, but for theirs. It’s a matter of respect.
Show respect, wear a mask
With the opening of the economy and the easing of social restrictions, many of us feel like expressing our 1st Amendment rights and discarding our masks. They certainly are uncomfortable to wear, and we may believe they are ineffective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Furthermore, if we are young and healthy, even if we contract the virus, our risk of dying from it is less than 1%.
Unfortunately, some of us are over 65 and have underlying medical conditions that put us at considerably higher risk. We too would like to break from relative isolation, see our friends and visit public places. But we are fearful of contracting the virus because we see so many people who are not wearing masks.
There is plenty of evidence that wearing masks helps prevent the transmission of infectious disease. However, the mask wearer is minimally protected from the non-wearer, while conversely the non-wearer is protected from the wearer. This may sound counterintuitive, but wearing a mask largely contains or limits the dispersal of the wearer’s respiratory droplets, but does not protect him or her from inhaling the cloud of respiratory droplets projected forward by the non-wearer who is less than 6 feet away.
I know that no one wants to be responsible for causing another’s illness or possibly death. So carry a mask with you at all times and put it on in all situations where social distancing is difficult or impossible. Whether it’s in the market or a store where the employees and other customers are wearing masks for your safety, please show them the same consideration and respect.
Biden’s VP pick is crucial
If we have learned nothing else we have learned that Trump will do anything and say anything to get elected. There is no act or lie he is incapable of if it is in his interest. This is not a political statement, it is a statement of fact.
And so we are going to run Joe Biden against him? That is a done deal, the party has spoken. But Biden is such a weak, wobbly and foggy-headed head of ticket that, even against the world’s possibly most hated man, he may get creamed. As things stand right now, I would bet on it. Once again, Democrats are steering their own ship into the rocks. Biden’s age and dubious capacity make who he picks as a vice presidential candidate far more crucial than such decisions in other elections. This, and Trump’s very advanced insanity, mean that all voters need to look eight years out, not just four years.
Biden has already boxed himself in by proclaiming he will only go with a female. Fair enough, not a necessary call at this point but the call is in. So, who? Elizabeth Warren? Amy Klobuchar, Gretchen Whitmer or Kamala Harris? Really? This is the “earn while you learn” crowd, and none have the intense appeal it will take to overcome Biden’s “ho-hum” demeanor and Trump’s take-no-prisoners campaign. Just won’t happen. So, I guess we are all in trouble, as we are looking at four more years of this nonsense, right?
No. Not Right.
Biden needs to go down on bended knee, and Barack does too, to convince Michelle Obama to join the Democratic ticket as VP. This sucks, in my opinion, because I think she should head the ticket as president. If she can hang on for four years she will be president for eight years. That simple. Biden is not strong enough to beat Trump with a “meh” VP choice. Only Michelle Obama can drag him over the finish line. In the process she will inspire all of us to get off the seat of our pants and work for change.
She won’t want to do this. We, all of us who care, need to tell her she has to do this.
Let’s try a car-free Main
I would love for Main Street to be “largely vehicle free” as proposed in an article in The Park Record “Pedestrianized Main Street? It could happen” in the May 16-19 edition. Especially if it is a boon to the merchants.
If you average the hours of a typical summer when at least part of the street is closed to traffic for events like Tour of Utah, Park Silly Sunday Market, July 4th parade and Arts Festival, it would far exceed the modest six hours, one day per week suggested. With so many events canceled this summer, our focus can be entirely on local businesses.
It has never crossed my mind to attempt parking on Main, even during shoulder season. Do people really count on finding the perfect spot and refuse to visit the merchants and restaurants if they don’t? It is so easy to park on Swede Alley or take the free bus. Ride the trolley up the hill if you like.
This will not be a typical summer in the face of COVID-19. What an ideal time to experiment with expanding pedestrian space for those of us who prefer to maintain “social distance” or for the pure joy of no vehicle exhaust and impatient drivers honking horns. Let all the shops and eateries spill out the door, on the sidewalk and into parking spaces to temp us with their goods.
Have you visited Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado? It is a beautiful thriving car free space. Let’s try it!
Harte knows the issues
At a party that we hosted, my wife Sally asked three of the most influential women in Park City who they thought should run for the County Council. They all said Canice Harte. She agreed, asked him to run for Council Seat C, and is his campaign manager.
Although Sally knows Canice well, I do not. However, as Sally’s husband, sometimes I am questioned about candidates that she supports, so I decided to educate myself. I visited the following two sites where the candidates have stated their cases, which I encourage you to also visit:
• KPCW’s Local News Hour candidate interviews on March 31, starting shortly after 33 minutes into the program
• Summit County Democrats candidate information
From visiting these sources, my conclusions are that:
• Both candidates are sincere and qualified.
• Canice has more experience, and at higher levels.
• Canice has a much better grasp of the issues, with five areas of focus stated in the Summit County Democrats site plus age-in-place senior-citizen issues in the KPCW site. Malena Stevens deals with platitudes, and doesn’t have the fire at gut level that I am used to seeing in our candidates for office.
Based on my research, I am voting for Canice, and encourage you to do so.
Support Stevens for County Council
Summit County has been through a shock with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we will come out the other side relatively intact due to outstanding local leadership. However, the June primary allows county voters to further improve our political representation to reflect new realities.
My main new reality is a reinforcement of what I already knew — the most essential threads in the fabric of our community are the lower-paid and lesser-privileged workers that held it together in the most critical days. Clerks, drivers, stockers, nurses, med techs, first responders, teachers, cooks, cleaners, maintainers. The new reality is that they need and deserve more voice in local government, and that is what Malena Stevens, candidate for County Council Seat C, brings to the June primary.
Malena is a longtime local who holds all the academic credentials you expect, plus major work experience in law enforcement administration, crisis response and disability programs. Equally important is what she does with her “spare” time — work on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, in domestic violence and suicide prevention, women in leadership and much more.
Diversity, inclusion and engagement with the most essential workers in our community is the new post-COVID reality, and that is Malena Stevens all the way. Please join me in supporting her for County Council Seat C.
Our community needs Canice
As a Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner, I have had the unique perspective of working side by side with both of our candidates for County Council for the past three years.
I have had the chance to measure their leadership styles on the Planning Commission and to see how they work with the county and applicants. Canice Harte’s extensive business experience, with companies both large and small, coupled with his deep-rooted commitment to the long-term success, viability and sustainability of our community are clearly on display and are skills that we need on the Summit County Council to get us through this unprecedented time.
I also know Canice as a fellow Rotarian. Our Rotary motto is “service above self” and he lives that motto every day. Canice has served as the president of his club, is the current assistant governor within our Rotary district and is the chair of Miners Day — raising funds for the nonprofits that are the lifeblood of our town. Canice is also a Marine Corps veteran. He has lived a life of service.
Canice is the only candidate that has worked for a local nonprofit organization, the only candidate that has two children in our public school system, and the only candidate to have had two small businesses in our community. I urge my fellow community members to vote for Canice Harte for Summit County Council Seat C. He is the leader our community needs.
Snyderville Basin Planning Commission
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F. Joseph Feely III writes in a guest editorial that he is concerned about the “likely impact of the extreme policy positions” Democrats will pursue if they win control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.