Letters to the Editor
January 17, 2007
Dear Father Bussen:
Father Bob, you are so cool. I respected you even before I moved here, as I had subscribed to The Park Record for years. I knew of your work with the Hispanic community. After I moved here I was in charge of a Gay Sabbath service at Temple Har Shalom. I was at our services the night you were a guest speaker and you pulled no punches on the more controversial aspects of your faith
As everyone in town knows, my child and adopted kids are all gay. I really wish I were a Catholic and could be a member of your flock. I hope you can pull this off without being punished by the church. Kudos to you for serving ALL of us.
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I think the International Baccalaureate program that the Park City schools have adopted is great. I like doing the community service because I feel like I am doing something good for other people. It has taught me to think of others and not just myself. I hope that all of the students choose to participate because it will make us better people.
Your comics page
Bravo! Not all papers have such faith in their readers’ intellect as to publish such a sly prank as the letter in Saturday’s paper attributed to a "Vicki Emery" without worrying about it being taken seriously. With such biting satirical statements as "They want to finish the job, they know they are winning," you really hit the bull’s eye. Why, for a second, I thought the letter was legitimate (the thing about the enemy being the very groups and their associates who launched the attacks on 9/11 was SO 2005, though). The brilliant juxtaposition of that letter with your editorial regarding your concern about the war was pure art, simply Walt Kelly-esque. And what a finish! "We are winning." Outstanding!
Sirs, you have outdone yourselves. I thought this sort of tomfoolery was only delivered to my mailbox in your annual April Fool’s edition. Congratulations.
Stay the course
Consumer Reports recently released a scathing report about rear-facing child safety seats failing laboratory tests and implying that it may be unsafe to use certain seats. While some of the claims may bring about additional research, the users of child safety seats in our state must remain vigilant in the proper use of child safety seats.
Even a questionable seat, not perfectly installed, offers greater protection to a child than one left unrestrained or held on an adult’s lap in the vehicle. Research has proven time and again that rear-facing seats are highly effective in reducing the likelihood of death by more than 70 percent.
More frightening than the Consumer findings is the number of older children traveling unrestrained or without the use of belt-positioning booster seats. Years of dedicated effort to inform and educate parents about the importance of proper use of child safety seats should remain the constant. I encourage all parents to "stay the course." Read your child safety seat instructions, the vehicle owner’s manual, call a safety seat technician for free assistance, (801) 662-CARS, and use a child safety seat on every trip.
Child advocacy manager
and Safe Kids Utah co-chair
Primary Children’s Medical Center
Salt Lake City
Are Utahns taller and fatter?
When I first arrived in Park City nine years ago, having lived most of my life in the state of New Jersey, I was impressed with seeing a fair number of taller than average women and men, compared to back East.
I finally called the Utah State Health Department in Salt Lake City and for some time I was bounced between it and the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, including the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Epidemiology and finally Anthropology. When I called Anthropology, I enjoyed an unexpected laugh, when I was told that it was a store in a mall that specialized in refurbishing suits and dresses!
Somewhere along the way it was suggested that it might be worthwhile to try public libraries. So I contacted a local librarian, (Summit Library, who promised to investigate. He called me after about a week and duplicated an article in the Deseret News, titled "Utah by the Numbers" (Feb. 8, 2002). It is a compilation of a multitude of statistics ranging from the fact that Utah has more breweries and brew pubs per capita than New York or California to the height of tallest building (420 feet), height of tallest mountain (13, 528 feet). On page four of five, I hit pay dirt: "Average height of women, five feet five inches; average weight of women, 152 pounds; average height of men, 5 feet 10.8 inches; average weight of men, 189." A total of 17 resources were identified.
I really got lucky when I came across an article in the National Section of the New York Times, Dec.15, 2006, entitled "Fatter, Taller and Thirstier Americans." This article attempted to compare the most current data, 1376 tables in the Census Bureau’s 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States. For example, "Americans are getting fatter, but now drink more bottled water per person than beer. Taller, too. More than 24 percent of Americans in their 70s are shorter than five foot six. Only 10 percent of people in their 20s are." It should be noted that statistics for any individual state were not available.
When Congress adjourned on Dec. 9, the nation should have breathed a great sigh of relief. The old saw telling us that "no man’s property is safe while the legislature is in session," comes to mind whenever the government officials decide to take a break. One of the last moves of our leaders involved continuing some tax cuts. But spending also needs to be cut! The accumulated national debt now tops $8 trillion; the current fiscal year will have a red ink total close to $300 billion; the dollar’s value is sinking badly versus the Euro and other currencies; and our nation’s trade deficit continues to soar. Every economic indicator practically screams that the nation should cease excessive spending, cut back or cancel many government programs, and cease passing along huge indebtedness to future generations.
Meanwhile, I read in the financial journals that foreign holders of U.S. debt such as Communist China have been given power to dictate U.S. policy. Should China and these other countries decide to sell their U.S. bonds, a worldwide depression felt most intensely right here in the United States would result.
Fiscal sanity hasn’t been practiced for decades. And the Bush administration along with a compliant Congress shows no signs whatsoever of restoring fiscal responsibility.
Matt K. Davis