Letters, Dec. 23-25: Locals-only time slots needed at grocery stores
Keep it local
‘Tis the season, to be sure. The influx of visitors — both domestic and foreign — has begun. The numbers are anticipated to be well below normal this year, but the faucet is still on. Out-of-state license plates and record home sales substantiate the theory that people are not only visiting, but moving here, in many cases from states with the worst COVID statistics.
Grocery stores last summer were quick to respond to the need to protect populations in the “vulnerable group” of senior citizens. Now the group that needs protecting might be expanded to include “locals.” Particularly near our ski areas, the stores are packed with vacationers either just picking up something for the evening meal or stocking up for their weekly rentals; it’s not a stretch to assume many are from areas of the country less successful than Utah in monitoring and slowing transmission rates.
The grocery retailers would be doing a great service by providing the safest possible environments for locals to shop. Eliminating even one stress factor from grocery shopping — potentially higher virus exposure — would ease the minds of those who live here year round and typically don’t consider grocery shopping a high-risk activity.
Whether combining it with current “seniors’ hours” or establishing a new, dedicated time slot, such an option would go a long way toward keeping Utahns safe (and increasing customer loyalty). It may also help with isolation and mental health concerns by providing another protected opportunity to see friends and neighbors during “locals only” designated time slots.
The right priorities
Here’s a recommended priority list for dispensing the COVID vaccine:
• all medical/hospital/pharmacy workers
• all nursing home residents and workers
• all first responders (police, fire, EMT)
• all teachers and staff who actually work in schools (not administrators or virtual teachers)
• all grocery store workers (clerks, stockers and maintenance)
• all truck drivers and transportation industry hands-on workers
• all over the age of 65 and those with selected (doctor-certified) medical conditions
• all restaurant and bar workers
• all retail workers
• anyone else who wants it (including professional athletes and the entertainment industry)
• and last in line, all elected politicians (federal, state and local) because they have continued to take full pay during the pandemic while contributing virtually nothing to mitigate its effects.
Let’s apply some common sense
Hey Park City (mayor, council and staff),
Time to get real. “Great“ idea to propose an increase on property taxes when many people in town are struggling to get through each day. Got to love how our elected officials have no problems spending other people’s money. Guess you all are taking that from the federal government’s playbook. How about making some minor and relatively “inexpensive” changes to some of the roadways in and out of Park City while fewer people are riding our extensive bus system this season.
Public transportation utilization from December to April and beyond, will be down dramatically. No matter what you try to do, people aren’t getting on buses if they don’t have to. (Please don’t take this as my proposing everyone drive their own car.)
Having lived in Kimball Junction for four-plus years, a “local” knew when to travel and when not to. If you don’t have the luxury of choosing when to travel, you figured it out. I have since moved to Hideout (don’t even go there) and seen the “other side” of the commute into and out of our beloved Park City.
A few simple suggestions (with minimal cost):
• Coming into Newpark on S.R. 224 going north, allow right-hand-turning cars to move over sooner starting at Bear Club Drive. Less congestion at the light and less chance of an accident with someone being blind-sided.
• Have two left turn lanes coming off U.S. 40 (both east and west) at Exit 4. Both exit ramps are plenty wide for three lanes currently. This will cut down on the time the light needs to stay green for the exit ramps and keep traffic flowing smoother on S.R. 248.
• Have two left turn lanes on S.R. 248 to U.S. 40 going west, starting just after the film studio.
• Implement two lanes coming into town from 6 to 10:00 a.m. and two lanes leaving town from 2 to 7 p.m. on S.R. 248. Very minor pavement work would be needed. We just need to apply common sense and cut through red tape.
Make a difference
Stop the Polluting Port Coalition is asking for donations to commission a Human Health Risk Assessment study in order to ascertain the detrimental impacts the Utah Inland Port will possibly impose on human health, life expectancy and premature death rates along the Wasatch Front. The group shouldn’t have to pay for and commission this study, but it appears from what I understand that it will otherwise not be done. So concerned residents and environmental groups are stepping up and taking it upon themselves to have this study done, which will use traffic patterns, science and projections to see the full impact that the inland port will have on our future. If enough money is raised, I am hoping they will also do an environmental impact study as I am certain this project will negatively impact our Great Salt Lake, its migratory birds and more.
Please donate whatever you can so that they can complete this important study. They have raised almost half of the needed $20,000 for the Human Health Risk Assessment study. No amount is too small. Go to UPHE.org (Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment), go under donate and select “stop the polluting port campaign” under “designation,” and your donation will be restricted for this purpose. This is a tax-deductible donation as applicable by law. If you care about quality of life in Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front, this is your chance to help make a difference.
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