Letters: Wildlife overpass needed on S.R. 224 near McPolin Farm
Wildlife overpass needed on S.R. 224
I am joining many other concerned citizens to voice safety concerns regarding travel along the dangerous S.R. 224 to and from Park City.
The facts are that there has been a 201% increase in Park City’s population since 1980 with no provision for wildlife mitigation on S.R. 224. Studies have concluded that the area between mile markers 7 and 9 is one of the top hot spots within Utah for vehicle and wildlife collisions. Since safety is a top priority for UDOT, then now is the time to act as it is reported that over 17,000 people commute to Park City daily for work that do not reside within the city limits. Summit County is a popular destination for recreation enthusiasts year-round and keeping the flow of unharmed motorists, cyclists and wildlife moving through this natural migration corridor safely should be a top priority. The recent attempts at lowering the speed limit and placing digital signs have not been effective and the speed limit is hardly being enforced. We need to provide a permanent solution for safe passage for both motorists and wildlife.
We advocate for a wildlife overpass on S.R. 224 across from the McPolin Barn area that will provide increased motorist safety. During a previous 13-year study in the state of Utah, it was reported that the cost per wildlife collision fatality is approximately $5.380 million and over 14 accidents/wildlife collision fatalities were reported. Clearly this wildlife overpass would pay for itself with just one accident avoided and save people’s lives! It is an opportunity to create a beautiful welcome to visitors at the gateway into Park City. What would be more memorable: a herd of elk crossing over S.R. 224 on the wildlife overpass as you drive into town, or animal carcasses left dead and strewn along the highway?
Thank you for your immediate attention. Let’s work together as a community to protect all who travel here.
After all as UDOT promotes: Zero fatalities is the only acceptable goal.
Community health hero
People’s Health Clinic was recently named one of Reader’s Digest’s “Community Health Heroes.” This was a tremendous honor but in fact it is our amazing army of volunteers who deserve the recognition. One of the Clinic’s Health Heroes is Dr. Eileen Gallagher, a volunteer pediatrician here at the clinic. On Oct. 30, People’s Health Clinic held its first flu shot clinic for McPolin Elementary families. Due to the timing of this clinic we called it “Say Boo to the Flu.” The clinic was a huge success, distributing all of the 60 flu shots that were brought to the clinic. At the end of the night we had to turn a few families away. These families were given instruction to visit People’s Health Clinic’s next flu clinic on Nov. 5 at our main clinic location at 650 Round Valley Drive.
We believe everyone deserves quality health care and this is just another way that we try to further our mission in the community by providing health care to the uninsured of both Summit and Wasatch counties. This collaboration was due in large part to the wonderful work of Principal Bob Edmiston and his concern for all of his families. Mr. Edmiston has been known to bring students to the clinic when he has felt they are in need of immediate care. Also, we are grateful for the generous donation from the Community of Nursing Services and the United Way of Utah. Throughout the year People’s Health Clinic will conduct clinics at McPolin every other month, focusing on different medical issues from dental care to asthma screenings and education. Our goal in this collaboration is to reduce the number of missed days of school for the children in our community, helping them to thrive and learn.
People’s Health Clinic executive director
Rethink your position
Tim Henney’s words in his Park Record guest editorial may be well-intentioned, but they are dangerous, un-American and unconstitutional. He is proposing a litmus test that potential residents must pass before they can move to Park City. The implication is that if one does not align with certain “Park City values,” you shouldn’t be living here, and you definitely shouldn’t move here. Every single one of us should be concerned.
Mr. Henney points out that during a meeting of a subcommittee of Utah Associations of Counties (UAC), a commissioner encouraged opposition of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Mr. Henney and I agree that “this is in and of itself unacceptable” — a bipartisan organization like the UAC should not be compromised by partisan rhetoric. This reasoning is exactly why I, and many other Park City parents, continue to oppose the Welcoming Schools program in our children’s educational institutions. Political neutrality should be maintained in each instance. Those on both sides of this debate should be able to find common ground. However, it becomes harder to do so when reasonable points are couched in such supercilious jargon that implies: “You are free to live in our town, but only if you espouse the opinions and beliefs that I myself espouse.”
I am old enough to remember when Jews and blacks couldn’t join a country club or attend certain private schools in my community because their “values” didn’t align with the establishment elites. We all learned of a time when men argued that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they “exhibit such a want of judgment, and such a lack of perception of actual facts.” (John Henderson, British MP for Aberdeenshire Western). Remember a World War waged against an Aryan State that believed non-Aryans were impure and evil?
Mr. Henney, I invite you to reread your words and rethink your position. As written, these words are elitist, divisive and unconstitutional.
Plethora of perks
With all due respect to the Park City Board of Education, I believe it’s high-time for the board to acknowledge their mistake in purchasing a near-million-dollar house in Jeremy Ranch for the sole pleasure of our superintendent. To add fuel to this already divisive fire in our community, the school board is currently installing landscaping and a heated driveway for a small fortune.
We have a beautiful community with great schools. No one doubts this, and the influx of talented, smart and caring people speaks volumes about our fantastic town. For this reason, there’s no justifiable excuse for our board being so loose with our tax dollars. Our great schools aren’t that way because of one excessively paid person. I’d argue they’re great because we parents care enough to volunteer, donate money, bring meals to teachers and speak out when we notice our money enriching one at the expense of many kids.
We can surely attract a quality superintendent candidate simply by telling them our address — Park City. The school board will tell you this compensation package is par for the course. I disagree: we live in a highly desirable place and there’s no need to dangle a ridiculous salary and free house that would rent for $60,000 per year in front of an administrator’s nose. This isn’t the suburban East: This is an awesome mountain town and that buys us some strong bargaining power when considering public servants.
I’d like to suggest that we offer our top administrator a fair salary, perhaps 25% more than a school principal, and limit the plethora of perks our elected board continues to drizzle on one person. Let’s use the money saved to keep teacher’s pay high enough to actually live in Park City, or fix-up some aging classrooms, or a scholarship for disadvantaged graduates. Or we could put solar panels on the superintendent’s house next to help with her electric bill.
A desired narrative
It has been a week since the Park City School Board (PCSB) reported that vandals had thrown a rock through a window at the superintendant’s home in Jeremy Ranch. In their comments, a PCSB spokesperson said the home was “absolutely targeted.” With all the vitriol going on … and frankly flamed by PCSB comments regarding the Welcoming Schools program discussion, this event offered a great add on for the side of right as determined by the PCSB. In a guest editorial signed by all five members of the PCSB it was stated that “a rock was thrown through the window in response to the vitriol…”
The only problem is that their was no rock. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office investigation, which included getting the opinion of a window contractor, concluded there was no untoward activity. The inside pane was cracked. The outside pane and screen and the rest of the home were undamaged. No rock. No attack.
Surely the superintendent found no rock. Surely someone on the PCSB had spent at least a minute looking at the facts. But maybe not. Maybe they were too excited about having a narrative to support their other narratives that they chose to not let the facts get in the way of a good story. … But either way it was at best bad behavior or at worst willful negligence.
As a resident of Jeremy Ranch, we are happy to know this was not a case of vandalism in our quiet neighborhood. We welcome the superintendent to the community as we do all who choose to live here. And shame on the PCSB for ignoring facts in order to create a desired narrative and in so doing creating stress for our community.
With Erin’s leadership, we find comfort knowing more families like ours will have the privilege to give their own kids a solid foundation of lifelong learning for generations to come.
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