Letters, May 1-4: Celebrate our First Amendment rights
Here’s to free speech
Sometimes it’s hard for me to celebrate the exercise of free speech when I disagree with it. But it’s nice to have opinions returning to letters to the editor. I may not agree with some of them, but usually find them funny, uplifting, irritating or informative. So instead of supporting or disagreeing with some letters in the most recent issue of The Park Record I am going instead to celebrate that we live in a country with free and fair elections where we can exercise our First Amendment rights. Thanks to The Park Record for providing this forum.
Our community cleans up
Park City and Summit County are a little cleaner after the events last weekend: The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) event and various community cleanup events.
Thank you to the community for bringing their hazardous materials to the HHW event on Saturday. By doing this, you helped to keep these items out of our landfill, protecting our local watershed and environment. The 2021 Spring and Fall HHW events would not be possible without the support of Summit County, Park City Municipal Corporation, Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, Recycle Utah and the Sunrise Rotary Club. Special thanks to the crew working the event from Park City Sunrise Rotary, Summit County staff and others.
I also wanted to thank the various community groups out picking up litter last week to celebrate Earth Day. From local businesses, nonprofits, neighbors to families, it was so great to see community members of all ages out making our environment just that much more beautiful. We are fortunate to have such an amazing community that cares. If you’d like to borrow gear for your own cleanup, contact Recycle Utah at 435-649-9698.
Recycle Utah executive director
A call to open hearts
Recently a strongly worded letter appeared in the Record about President Biden taking away the writer’s guns. Some of his interpretations of the Second Amendment to the Constitution have been long debated, some having to do with the founder’s premise for the Second Amendment when muskets were the only gun of choice. Patriots lifted their deer hunting muskets from over the fireplace mantel and joined their neighbors to confront the British invaders. Fast forward 240 years and a person can access military-type weapons designed to kill many humans in a short period of time and occupy a state capitol building.
In addition to “what” gun, today’s arguments are also about who can carry a weapon, why and where. Should the “why” be disconcerting in today’s climate of racial fear? Since 1876 there have been a total of five rulings by the Supreme Court on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the most recent in 2016 (D.C. v. Heller). In all cases the rulings have upheld previous decisions that the right to carry a gun is limited to a person belonging “to a well regulated militia” or a “state militia” and “to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
It is anticipated that challenges to states allowing open carry by private militia types and the sale of semi-automatic weapons will be considered by the Supreme Court this year. The writer’s fear about a “radical President,” the “left’s plot” and civil unrest should be addressed by voting. I hope the writer isn’t suggesting that guns may be a better alternative. What the nation needs now is time and space to come together. It’s less about a call to arms and more about a call to open hearts.
Food truck phobia?
I tuned into the City Council discussion of the arts and culture district on Thursday, and it was enlightening to hear actual plans, alternatives and numbers for a change. But my favorite part, by far: Talking about food/culinary options, the council members agree over and over again they want “lots of small, entrepreneurial, creative and diverse” things. Which precisely describes what? Food Trucks! But they REFUSE to utter the words “food truck.” What is with this council and their food truck phobia? Makes you wonder what secrets the restaurant association is hiding in the back room.
Wolves need protection
I was horrified and truly sickened to learn that the Idaho Legislature approved a bill that, if signed into law, could mean the killing of 90% of the state’s wolves.
Senate Bill 1211 may result in the massacre of more than 1,300 wolves, including pups. Decades of progress in wolf recovery would be lost. If anything, wolves need to be relisted under the endangered species act before it is too late. So many have already been recently killed. Science has shown that predators like the wolf are actually extremely important for a healthy ecosystem. They help take down sick animals — for instance deer with chronic wasting disease — and even help plants and streams by keeping deer on the move, thus preventing overgrazing. They are not the cause of decreased deer/elk numbers, and ranchers can be compensated for losses. We must protect these majestic animals.
There is a petition going to Idaho’s governor chng.it/wxF8GtkKkJ, or simply give him a call. Also call or write the federal government to get these animals relisted as endangered before it’s too late. I never thought I would see this happen once again. If we do nothing, we will all be guilty for having let them be slaughtered.
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“Proponents should be honest about what they plan to put in a landfill,” writes Thomas Jacobson, “and everyone should understand the consequences if the geology and hydrology have not been properly studied.”