Letters, Sept. 15-17: Public health over personal freedom
Community over self
As I write this I’m convinced there will be some whose reaction will be wishing I’d be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. At a recent Park Silly Sunday Market, I ran into a friend that made a suggestion that struck me as very sensible.
He suggested that proof of vaccination should be required to board a chairlift in Utah this season which could be connected to their ski pass, making it easy to control. His reasoning for doing so? To protect the staff! With all the difficulty employers are having filling positions, shouldn’t we make an effort to keep those willing to risk public exposure healthy? Ties right in to a story on KSL evening news recently involving interviews of three medical personnel and their level of frustration and burnout. Eight people calling in sick one night shift, nursing managers having to return to the hospital to cover, watching family members grieving, putting themselves and their families at risk and being just plain tired. Hospitals in neighboring Idaho are now having to triage patients because there’s no more room and not enough staff.
Personal freedom ends when it puts another at risk. Science tells us the vaccine is safe and to top it off, it’s free! Yes, there are some that have been vaccinated and still get sick. But the numbers tell us their symptoms are less severe and less likely to put them in an ICU than those that are not. This virus may be with us for a long time and common sense and news reports are telling you that if you get the virus and are vaccinated your odds of surviving with little or no ill effects improve pretty dramatically. So think community rather than self and just get it done.
Proactive about lead poisoning
Thanks, HR Rinderknecht, for another opportunity to inform people about lead poisoning (“Officials have community’s interests at heart,” letters, Sept. 8-10). Because children are low to the ground, their exposure to dust and soil is significant, even indoors. Oral exploration by babies further increases risk. However, contaminated soil isn’t the only risk.
Thank you, Park Record, for alerting residents to the fact that tap water can also contain lead, especially in neighborhoods with older pipes (Home magazine, fall 2021, pp 36-37). How much lead gets into culinary water depends on the condition of pipes/fittings, water temperature, how long the water sat in the pipe and other variables. learn more at epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water.
Lead also occurs in air pollution, even if contaminated soil isn’t being locally excavated, and even where contaminated dust isn’t blowing off the bed of the Great Salt Lake.
When I started practicing pediatrics in 1981, lead-based paint had barely been outlawed (1978) and leaded gasoline persisted into the 1990s. However, young families may now be unaware of the risks, even though one out of five children with learning/behavior problems could be suffering from lead toxicity.
When I asked the Summit County Health Department why there’s no information about lead testing on their website, they conceded there should be. Perhaps they’re preoccupied with COVID, but the lessons from Flint, Michigan, should be prompting leaders to prioritize protecting babies’ brains from this environmental toxin. Testing 1,000 children for lead exposure costs less than one year of special education for one brain-injured child.
Testing blood levels is the only accurate way to determine if a child’s environment is causing excessive exposure. By the time symptoms develop, it’s too late. While mandatory lead testing of all toddlers is required in some states, Utah isn’t even testing 4% of its children. Park City should do better than that. Please see utahleadcoalition.org.
Park City deserves Rubell
It had to be several months ago, before anyone even filed to run for City Council. It was a cool morning. I made my daily approach around Marsac Circle, heading to work on my bike, and up in the right corner I noticed something … be kind, be local, be Park City.
A Jeremy Rubell campaign sign. I was like “Who is Jeremy Rubell?” About a couple days later, my co-worker said he saw a bunch of Rubell signs at the municipal golf course … “Who’s Jeremy Rubell?” Well several months later, can tell you who Jeremy Rubell is.
He’s kind, he’s local, he’s Park city, he’s one of us for sure. Jeremy is what this town needs to represent us.
I’ve never heard Jeremy say one bad word about anyone. He is not the kind of guy that puts people down or judges. He’s simply positive. In a day where you don’t meet many people anymore that are really good, Jeremy bucks the trend.
Jeremy is fair and has no agenda or pretense. What you see is what you get — hard work and focus, a person that we can really use on the City Council.
I’ve been impressed with his calm demeanor and his knowledge of the local system and his outside experience as well.
How many times do people get bigger than the game. Jeremy’s humility speaks volumes. The only game in town for him is the residents of Park City.
I know he’ll do his best to work on the simple things and has the courage to take on the big issues of tomorrow. He will keep your voice alive.
So come November, make your vote count and vote for Jeremy Rubell. Because I know I will.
Jeremy has reinvented himself from a Park City local to someone who is now on the verge of doing great things on City Council.
Let’s get him across the finish line. He deserves it and we deserve it … and most importantly, Park city deserves him!
Old Town resident and former City Council candidate
A future of hope
Since 2019, Summit County Clubhouse, one of our youngest local nonprofits, has opened its doors to offer hope and opportunities to adults living with mental illness in Summit and Wasatch counties.
Mental illness is often the underlying cause of an inconsistent work history, interrupted educational and vocational endeavors and isolation. Clubhouses creates a welcoming, inclusive community where members can come and participate in positive and constructive tasks involved in the actual operation of the Clubhouse.
Individuals living with mental illness need support and a safe place to build self-confidence, develop or brush up work skills and learn or re-learn social skills. Summit County Clubhouse is one of nearly 300 Clubhouses in over 30 countries. Services are free of charge and once someone is a member, they’re always a member and able to return at any time for support and connection to the community.
Summit County Clubhouse has embarked on a “Future of Hope Building Campaign” to raise funds for a renovation of its forever home on Highland Drive. The money raised will allow for updates, upgrades and installation of new amenities and technologies in the house, but the philosophy of delivering compassionate care, education, job training and social activities for members is already a solid foundation on which to build a future of hope.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, check out the website for more information: summitcountyclubhouse.org.
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“This town cannot risk destroying this historic treasure by allowing a development that not only does not fit the environment but egregiously out-scales the entire town,” writes Nancy Lazenby.