Letters: Winter Sports School benefactor will be missed | ParkRecord.com

Letters: Winter Sports School benefactor will be missed

Submitted by Park Record readers

Don’t take food from the mouths of babes


Who would have thought you would need to defend feeding a hungry child?

The President’s budget proposes deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as food stamps).

Here in Utah, over 80% of SNAP recipients are families with children. Although most of these children’s parents are employed, these low-income families (especially those with very young children) are having difficulty keeping up with the cost of housing, child care, and medical bills. Currently, 1 in 3 preschool children receive help from SNAP. We know from decades of research that children who receive SNAP benefits do better in math and reading in elementary school and will go on to have better long-term health.

More cuts to the SNAP program will take food from the mouth of babes.

Debbie Baskin

Salt Lake City

What is the cost of our wars?


Where is Don Rumsfeld when we so desparately need some of his “metrics” on our wars? Not the known unknowns or untruths of WMD’s but some reality, maybe some known knowns. What has been accomplished? Anything? How much has it cost? How many people have died? I’m sure we’d be hearing plenty of boasting if any of the answers were good.

Nick Wright

Park City

Preservation should focus on local green space


Last week’s PR headlined a non-news article outlining an un-appointed person’s informal proposal that we erect a tiny-home tenement on our municipal golf course. Why does such a minor blip incite anxiety? Why are we even discussing this?

There is reasonable fear that Park City’s Old-Town-centric leadership might consider such a perverse plan, as they eye our open space for tax-payer subsidized affordable housing. Last year they passed a preservation easement for Library Field (Old Town’s dog park) and then promoted an enormous bond to protect remote acreage, even as our school bond failed. It’s clear, despite a seeming willingness to max out municipal credit, that budgetary choices must be made.

Yet, priorities seem amiss: Let’s preserve, for perpetuity, what LOCAL green space exists. Address public transit, then cooperate with county to build affordable housing that sensibly connects to that network. While affordable housing is a noble objective, all 800 units do not have to be exclusively in the center, and preservation of what little open space remains is the only way we “keep Park City, Park City”.

Who among our leaders will step up and instigate a preservation easement that protects the recreational space beyond Old Town’s borders? Certainly, the families of Thaynes Canyon, Park Meadows, and Prospector merit the same protection as Old Town’s dogs.

Krista Dana

Thaynes Canyon

Housing idea should not be pursued


The idea of taking part or all of the PC Golf Course for affordable housing could be the most “LUDICROUS” idea I have heard from any Politician or would be Politician since I moved to PC some six years ago!

It is now abundantly clear why Josh Hobson was not elected to the PC Council nor appointed to the Council!

I am all in favor of affordable housing in PC. Taking one of the last “green areas” of any size, for this effort, just does not fit with what PC is all about! This is a city that uses the out of doors, uses the golf facility to the point where it is hard to get a tee time in the summer, and uses that area extensively for cross country skiing in the winter! We strive for tourists in PC and this is one of the attractions that many people come to use, one of the finest Golf Courses in the area!

PC has a large land bank. I think Council has to get over the idea that affordable housing can only be in the heart of the city. They need to get realistic and get on with this effort by engaging with private enterprise and making land available on the edges of the city to build affordable housing. Let us all remember, all of these efforts are spending TAX PAYER MONEY, and sooner or later, owners are going to rebel at how that money is spent!

Chuck Haggerty

Park City

WSS benefactor will be missed

James A. Parke passed away quietly in his South Carolina home with his wife Marilyn by his side on February 21, 2018. He was 72. Since the Winter Sports School opened its doors as a charter school in 2014, Jim was not only the new School’s first major benefactor, but also to this day, its single largest donor. While supporting the School in many ways, Jim declined any public recognition or Board of Trustee position. His main goal was the School’s success.

Jim Parke retired from the General Electric Corp. in 2005 where he was Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of General Electric Capital Services as well as Senior Vice President of the parent corporation. An avid skier, Jim maintained a home in Park City for many years prior to his retirement, but after 2005, Jim spent winters at his home in Deer Valley.

In the summer of 2013, early in the school’s initiative to become a public charter school, a trustee of the Winter Sports School introduced Jim to Head of School, Dave Kaufman. Jim was impressed with his leadership, the unique educational opportunity offered by the School, and its mission to provide winter sports athletes an environment in which they could pursue their dreams of athletic excellence while being assured of a first-class college preparatory curriculum. Several days later, Jim stood with Dave and several trustees in the shell of a building, which had just been purchased and uttered the words that launched the new Winter Sports School: “How can I help?” Dave and the Board were heartened that momentous day by the knowledge that they had the support of a person who believed resolutely in the School’s mission.

The Winter Sports School, its trustees, its new Head of School, Tess Miner-Farra, and its entire community of students, faculty, parents and alumni will be forever grateful to Jim Parke, the caring and thoughtful gentleman who, at a major crossroads in the School’s history, simply said: “How can I help?”

Bud Canaday

Winter Sports School trustee

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