Letters, Jan. 23-26: Solution to Swede Alley liquor store problem is to get the state out of the alcohol business
Privatize liquor in Utah
Mr. Thomas Jacobson, the member of the Utah DABC, in his guest editorial, states in his first paragraph that there has been a lot of misconceptions about alcohol in Utah. His piece certainly is full of them. Mr. Jacobson states that the DABC cannot staff the Swede Alley store due to non-competitive wages, and goes on to say that the only solution is to get the Legislature to raise wages. What Mr. Jacobson fails to mention is that the more logical solution is to get the state government out of the business of retail sales and distribution of alcohol. Privatizing this effort is completely in keeping with the platform of the dominant political party in Utah to get government out of things that can (better) be accomplished by private industry.
The next misconception is that Utah liquor stores sell alcohol at or below what is charged consumers in other states. A 2-liter bottle of Ketel One Vodka sells for about $49 in Utah liquor stores. It sells for about $29 at Lee’s Liquor in Nevada, or at a Costco in California. The next misconception is that we have actual choice. Try buying a 25-year aged rum from Costa Rica or Bermuda at a Utah liquor store. The next misconception is the bit about special orders. Yes, the capability is there, but if you want to order a case of wine from a California winemaker that makes wonderful wine but only about 600 cases a year, you find out that these small businesses don’t have the staff to deal with the mountain of paperwork the state of Utah requires.
Mr. Jacobson states that the DABC turned in $500 million of profit last year. Privatizing alcohol sales would likely double that number, provide Utah consumers vastly more choice, create a host of new small taxpaying businesses, with private-sector employees, establish consumer-driven operating hours and provide more taxpayer funding for state-led alcohol safety programs. Privatization is the real logical solution to the Swede Alley problem, but what is the realistic chance that it will happen given that our Legislature has demonstrated on numerous occasions that they are completely happy with ignoring the will of their constituents?
Green and proud
Congratulations to the three businesses that were recently awarded a Recycle Utah 2020 Green Business Resiliency Award! I want to publicly thank Alpine Apothecary in Redstone, Hearth and Hill restaurant in Newpark and Soaring Wings Montessori School on Old Ranch Road for their commitment and continued efforts to operate sustainably, even during a year of public health and economic calamity, and of extraordinary business challenges. They are deserving of recognition for resilience and for finding ways to remain good environmental stewards, to modify their goals and come up with new ways of doing things green.
Thank you also to The Park Record for giving this good-news story so much attention in the Saturday, Jan. 16-19, edition. Doing so has enabled readers to learn about some of the specific things these three winners are doing to operate sustainability during a very difficult time for them. It’s important; they inspire us to continue to set green goals for ourselves.
I hope Soaring Wings families will continue to partner with the staff in serving meals with less waste, to drive to and from school and pick up their children more responsibly. When patronizing Alpine Apothecary and Hearth and Hill, congratulate them and find out more about the changes they have made to continue serving you in the kinds of sustainable ways they are committed to.
A list of the 100-plus and growing green businesses that look to Recycle Utah for guidance in creating and meeting their own sustainability goals can be found at recycleutah.org/green- business-program/. I’m sure they are all Green Proud and eager to share the ways they reduce their carbon footprint that are really pretty perfect for all of us.
Time to take a stand
In response to the letter of giving transplants a chance (“Give transplants a chance,” Jan. 20-22) sure there are some transplants that try and look to conform to what was small-town living; however a great number of them don’t. We see this disrespect daily in our town, on our trails, at the grocery store, post office, etc. The number of transplants from big cities far outweigh the locals who have grown up here. Subsequently, a great number of these transplants from the cities originally mentioned come from some of the rudest states in the country. As a born-and-bred local, we don’t need their attitude here, nor their tax dollars, and quite frankly, why should locals have to adjust? The consistent rise in taxes, joke of affordable housing when building materials are rising at record pace, and toll on our water system to accommodate this incomprehensible growth is absurd. It’s bad enough that the city and county planning commissions have ruined what was once a clean-air, limited-built town, with their gross inability to cap growth. That along with the snobs having come to Park City has in-turn crowded our roadways, crowded our trails and created a swelling population, which has turned trailhead parking into a a nightmare in some areas, and created new no-parking zones. It’s time to take a stand and hold the city and county clown show accountable for their blind eyes not limiting growth, and letting these transplants ruin what was once a fine place to live.
A supporter of students
I had the pleasure of working with former Park City High School principal Bob O’Conner for the most part as a dedicated supporter of the PCHS baseball team. In that role he was extremely supportive doing all that his position would allow. Unbeknownst to most was also his unswerving effort to support all his students. As a mentor for “Latinos in Action,” I had the privilege of trying to get four female Latina students admitted to the Paul Mitchell salon school. The five of us were advised by the administrator of the school that we would need to deposit $600 in a few days to meet the deadline for admission. That afternoon, upon returning, I advised Bob of the financial requirement to get the admission process started. To my amazement I was able to deliver a check to the school two days later fully authorized by him. A great human being who supported ALL of his students without fear or favor. I am better for knowing (and hunting) with him.
Change for a cause
Park City Sunrise Rotary, Park City Rotary and Twilight Rotary would like to thank the community for donating their change to support the Rotary Foundation’s fight to banish the polio virus from the planet. Thanks to your donations on Jan. 9, our clubs have donated $1,400.40 to “End Polio Now.” To make this donation possible, we’d like to thank Mountain West Credit Union for donating their coin counting machines to process the coins — it would have taken a month of Sundays to count the change manually. Thank you to The Park Record for publicizing the event. And thank you to all Rotarians who stood out in the cold and smiled under their masks. Look for another event in the spring.
Park City Sunrise Rotary Club president-elect
Share our city
Our own Myles Rademan once said, “Park City is not ours, it’s ours to share!”
Now more than ever, let’s love our Park City neighbors … and stop judging license plates!
Solve the supply problem
Something is not right with regard to the information we are getting regarding availability of vaccine in Summit County. We called our senior friends in Salt Lake City, San Diego, Phoenix and Spokane, Washington. They have ALL received their inoculations. None of them are frontline health workers — they are simply senior citizens. Yet the numbers that have been published to date indicate it could be several months before seniors in Summit County receive the vaccine. We are told it is a supply issue. If that is the case the local politicians should be doing something to get our supply on par with the rest of the state/country. If it is a local distribution issue those responsible should be trying to solve the problem instead blaming outside parties.
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“We the people are not being represented here,” writes Rich Wyman regarding Park City’s proposed soils repository in Quinn’s Junction.