Letters, Feb. 6-9: A refresher on basic trail etiquette
Trail etiquette refresher
Last week I was up off of Mirror Lake Highway for a socially distanced hike when I came across a large group of women, who seemed uncertain on trail manners. And this week while hiking through Round Valley I overheard a nasty interaction between two hikers on leashed dog etiquette. With so many new people in Park City, and to the outdoors, I think now is a good time to take a few moments to remind ourselves of basic trail courtesy.
1. In large groups you should always step aside to let others in smaller groups safely pass. If your group is too large to step out of the way without going off trail, then your group is too large. Especially right now while our state battles high COVID numbers.
2. The sounds of nature don’t include loud music or people yelling. Be respectful of others who choose to enjoy the full experience of nature and wear headphones if you must have music.
3. Wear your mask. There is zero excuse in the middle of a pandemic to pass someone on the trail without a mask. And, as was the case with this group of women, it is exceptionally irresponsible if you are hiking in a group. A brightly colored scarf does not count as a mask.
4. Even if your dog is friendly, it is dangerous to allow your dog to run up to another dog who is on a leash. You do not know how the other dog will respond, and the leashed dog may feel trapped and threatened.
5. Leave No Trace. No garbage, no dog waste, no orange peels. Nothing.
Lets all do our part to protect each other and this beautiful mountain town.
When will the madness end?
Like many Parkites, I want to scream when I continue to read about the proposed growth in our little mountain town. Currently, it is the County Council’s consideration of various developer rationalizations to ultimately approve construction of over 1,000 residential units in the Tech Park, in the heart of Kimball Junction! At the very same time, UDOT is seeking input regarding its proposals to rebuild the Kimball Junction intersection, which is already perpetually clogged with traffic congestion. A leisurely drive along S.R. 224 and S.R. 248 into town is a thing of the past!
Are our leaders completely deaf to our cries over the years to dramatically slow the growth? Exceptions to the city’s and the county’s master plans seem to constantly occur! Why call it a master plan if our leaders are swayed by developers, again and again, to “let this one pass” — these days often by the developer’s proposal to include a small, token amount of affordable housing?
I decided to go back and read the Park City General Plan, which was initiated in 2009. A very well-intended study at the time. The concerns expressed by the public back then will sound very familiar: “keep Park City, Park City; keep our small-town feel; Park City should not be overbuilt and sprawling; traffic is a (major) issue — we need to figure this out or we will lose our appeal; a common fear of some future huge urban sprawl from the top of Parleys to Kamas and Heber.”
Since then, construction seems to be occurring on just about every remaining piece of land in the city and both local counties.
We are in the midst of an influx of numerous individuals fleeing the pandemic and moving here, a critical water crisis, environmental concerns and traffic backups everywhere you look. When will this madness end? Why isn’t every resident loudly and decisively demanding that our elected officials be held accountable, and put a stop to this explosive growth, which none of us want?
If something is not done, we will lose our last chance to “keep Park City, Park City!”
A bright idea
Last week some friends and I went for a moonlight ski in Round Valley, and while the stars were bright and magnificent, there was no doubt that their brilliance was masked in part by the thousands of artificial light sources around us. Although Summit County and Park City both have dark skies ordinances on the books, there are many, many light sources in our area that were installed prior to these ordinances taking effect. With what seems to be every home in the county occupied during the pandemic, the impact of artificial lighting on our environment is particularly pronounced this year. We are indeed fortunate that Utah has 21 “Dark Skies” sites now that Jordanelle and Rockport have been added to the list. But the pace of development and people’s affinity for lighting their trees and bathing their homes in light overnight may make those dark skies designations impossible in future. So friends, a simple request: Please consider turning off exterior lights after 10 p.m. Timers are great for helping you remember. If security is a concern, motion sensor lights are inexpensive and effective. We live in a beautiful place and the clear air in Utah makes viewing the galaxy a rare treat. Look up from your devices every once in a while and stare at the stars. It’s worth it.
How much will all-electric cost?
(Regarding the op-ed “All-electric is the way to go,” in the Jan. 30-Feb. 2 edition) I would like someone to add how much all this electricity will cost us. Why doesn’t anyone talk about that? Electric vs. gas is already a no-brainer; gas is cheaper. Who can afford their air conditioning bill as it is? Then you want to add electric bills for cars, cooking, heating, etc.
Pinon Hills, California
Clyde has the credentials
Regarding Ms. Farrell’s complaint in her letter “Enough with the diatribes” (Feb. 3-5 edition), I have to wonder where she is from as I strongly suspect that the great majority of Park City residents look forward to, and greatly enjoy, Tom Clyde’s irreverent insight into all things everywhere! Tom’s long-term credentials as a Park City (and world) contributor and observer are a treasure that many enjoy sharing widely.
If Tom’s weekly column is that painful for Ms. Farrell, may I suggest that she stop reading it? If she really desires to remain within her right-leaning “silo,” there are plenty of internet and TV sources to suit her needs.
Fest was a smash hit
I know that economically Park City suffered the loss of movie stars, moguls, editors, etc., but the Sundance Film Festival’s digital platform was absolutely fabulous.
I moved from Park City in October and with COVID could not, of course, come back to visit and attend the festival, which I was integrally involved in when I was there.
The digital platform allowed me to see 15 movies seamlessly! What a joy. Betsy Wallace and the Park City team worked their fingers to the bone to make this happen. Kudos to her and the entire Sundance organization. I know that it was a financial hit for their nonprofit — but we, the moviegoers — profited tremendously. Thank you, Betsy, Sundance Institute, and all of the filmmakers who submitted fantastic films.
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Opinion pieces are just that
I write with regard to Anne Farrell’s letter stating her evident dislike (and obvious lack of understanding) of Tom Clyde’s very long-running opinion column in the Record.
Surely it is obvious to even the most casual reader that his columns are opinion pieces, not “news.” Also, traditionally, for those who know or care about newspapers, the last two inside pages of the first section of a broadsheet are most frequently dedicated to opinion columns, editorials, and readers’ letters in newspapers the world over, as “the old stewardship” deemed way back in the day. As a dedicated newspaper reader of some 60 years, it is sad to see on display such ignorance and lack of regard for tradition.
Finally, Mr. Clyde has been writing his opinion pieces for close on 40 years, by my reckoning. Park City was once a truly fun and unique place, with a much more diverse population; Mr. Clyde’s columns, to me, have continued to provide this working-class resident with a reminder of how it once was here, instead of the utterly stultifying rich-person’s Disney-style resort-town that it now is. I don’t always share his opinions, but I do enjoy reading them. As is always the case for any type of medium, if you don’t like it, then don’t read/watch/listen.
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Two Park City High School students write that small changes can make a big difference as Utahns try to preserve the beauty of their state.