Letters, April 7-9: County’s actions on transit speak louder than words
Actions speak louder than words
I read the recent article about the new High Valley Transit district with dismay. The article states, “officials have said that riders will not experience a decline in service because of the organizational change.” That is patently untrue.
Our family lives in Silver Springs for better access to Park City and Kimball Junction than where we used to live in Jeremy Ranch. We live on our specific street so that we can easily walk to the Pink line bus stop. We ride the bus year round. We have small children and installing car seats and boosters in microtransit and then lugging them around town is just NOT an option. Seriously, stop and imagine hauling those things around the Park Silly Sunday Market, to concerts at Canyons Village, to restaurants! That’s on top of having a stroller and a backpack.
At that point, we will definitely just drive — microtransit doesn’t sound any different than us driving our car anyway, except that we can leave car seats in our own vehicle. I get that microtransit works better for some neighborhoods, but the Pink already comes through Silver Springs and serves the neighborhood well. It takes 5 minutes to get through Silver Springs. Why cut part of a route that currently serves the community well? I see many people get on the Pink from various stops in Silver Springs, including many seasonal workers. Lots of people go to Kimball Junction as well, and it looks like that part of the route is also being scrapped.
I don’t see how eliminating the Pink route better serves the community, except for tourists and people only trying to go skiing from certain parts of the area. Don’t assume that what serves you better will also serve everyone better. Don’t tell me all of us will be better served by eliminating a 5-minute portion of an existing bus route. Summit County talks a big game about sustainability and alternative transportation, but when it comes down to it, the county’s actions speak louder and show that these are not priorities.
King of the mountain
It was great to read the front-page article March 24-26 titled “’King of Nordic skiing’ will stride into his next chapter” about Dave Hanscom. The article points out Dave’s years of volunteer service to the Nordic community in Park City and the Salt Lake Valley. However, it only scratches the surface in the amount of time and leadership Dave, along with Mary, has given back to the community.
Other examples of his commitment and leadership date back years ago (think 1970s and 1980s). Dave was ski touring director of the Wasatch Mountain Club and helped the club in their avalanche safety courses. These volunteer efforts predate the Utah Avalanche Center. Lucky for folks like Charlie Sturgis and others, Dave and coauthor Alexis Kelner wrote and published a book in 1976 called “Wasatch Tours.” Besides listing great backcountry tours in the Tri Canyon area the book introduced many people to the cold facts of avalanche danger. The chapter about avalanches, route finding, rescue procedures, etc., were studied by many and helped experienced users and newcomers to backcountry skiing and touring in that era stay safe.
If you judge a book by the number of times one has read it, “Wasatch Tours” is my favorite book of all time. My recommendation to all of the newcomers now entering the backcountry is to get a copy of this book and read the second chapter multiple times. Also go online every day and read the Utah Avalanche Center website so you know the current ski conditions. So thanks to Dave, the “king of Nordic skiing” but also the humble “king of the mountains,” for all you do.
Pony up with pocketbook
While the plans for the arts and culture district look really exciting, the cost is very high. I don’t understand why the two nonprofit anchors aren’t providing financial support at this time. Dan Lemaitre, Kimball Art Center board chair, assured the public in his recent letter to the editor that the Kimball is financially sound. It should be given that it sold its Main Street building for more than $8 million. And there is no doubt that Sundance Institute has significant resources. So why aren’t these entities required to invest more now? Who gets a deal where the government buys land for you, pays to improve it and then holds it for you until you decide to buy it? It is completely unfair that the Park City taxpayers are bearing the burden of most of the upfront costs and shouldering the entire risk of this project. Why doesn’t the city plat the project and demand the nonprofits buy their land to reimburse for their prorated share of costs to date? Then we will know how committed they are to the district!
A bipartisan solution
“Record Drought Strains the Southwest,” the March 9 Wall Street Journal reported with a dateline from St. George. “For the first time ever, rancher Jimmie Hughes saw all 15 of the ponds he keeps for his cattle dry up at the same time this year.” Climate change is NOT a future risk. It’s here now and costing us lives and money, both individual and taxpayer dollars.
How quickly we forget the 2020 wildfires, the Texas electricity debacle and record flooding in the U.S. and in Australia. Hardly a day goes by without a climate-related disaster somewhere in the world.
The most effective and conservative way to address climate disruption is with a carbon fee. The proposed bipartisan, revenue-neutral Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act would place a fee on carbon producers. Dividends would be paid to all Americans. Fully 80% of Americans would receive more dividends than what they would pay in higher prices. Economists agree that a carbon fee is the most efficient mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. No other policy can match its economy-wide effects in changing investment decisions and individual behavior.
The carbon dividends plan would generate an extra $190 billion in economic output per year, on average, while achieving the same emissions reductions as a regulatory approach, according to NERA Economic Consulting. As both policies drive deeper emission cuts, the gap widens further: by 2036, GDP is $420 billion higher each year under the carbon dividends approach. According to the Climate Leadership Council the plan would create 1.6 million jobs and drive $1.4 trillion in innovation.
Carbon pricing is more effective than government regulations and is supported by the American Petroleum Institute (the oil industry’s top lobbyist), the Business Roundtable, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Shell, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips. It’s time for a price on carbon.
Jean M. Lown
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