Letters to the Editor
Imagine this hypothetical case: Mr. and Mrs. Peterson presented to the ER with red eyes, complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea. They were misdiagnosed with a virus. Then after playing in their yard, their four-year-old son developed stomachache, diarrhea, and tremors. In the ER he died before an antidote could save him.
Unbeknownst to the Petersons, a neighbor hired someone to destroy musk thistle, to avoid fines by the Summit County Weed Department. Herbicides recommended in the "Weeds of Summit County" pamphlet were used and wind blew the chemicals into their yard. Because of local weed policies, this hypothetical situation could become a tragic reality.
Here are other issues raised by information from the Park City Building Department regarding residential weed control:
Most of the recommended herbicides contain 2,4 D, a PAN Bad Actor. That’s a term used by the Pesticide Action Network for herbicides known to be carcinogenic, neurotoxic, to alter reproduction, contaminate groundwater, and cause acute poisoning, which can look like mild flu or be fatal, especially in small children or pets. It’s also toxic to birds.
Tordon 22K is specified for industrial use in Canada by its manufacturer who warns that this product has unusual fire/explosion hazards and fire fighting water must be available for disposal.
Roundup (glyphosate) is used so prolifically that agriculture developed Roundup-ready crops, resistant to its effects, just to use more Roundup. But now the weeds are becoming resistant, while this herbicide increasingly permeates food and water.
There’s toxicity to bees, fish and other wildlife.
The pamphlet advises per-acre herbicide use, not easily calculable to rock gardens.
The pamphlet doesn’t mention weed control with soap-based spot sprays and similar approaches advised by the Audubon Society.
The letter states that open space is being invaded by weeds, but the pamphlet indicates many are native plants. Thus they will continue to thrive necessitating herbicides forever.
So what’s the bigger problem here? Tolerating native nuisance weeds, or scaring thousands of residents into using toxic chemicals by imposing fines that can be arbitrarily applied?
Beverly and Kenny Hurwitz
More peace and green for P.C.
I’m sick of listening to and smelling my neighbor’s gardeners all weekend long, and it’s getting worse every year. Whatever happened to the good old rake and broom? Rather than picking up and disposing of debris, it’s being blown into the air we breath. Leaf blower motors are large emitters of CO, NO, HC, and PM, aka smog (or haze to the folks who are in denial). Two-stroke engine fuel is a gasoline-oil mixture, thus especially toxic. Particles from combustion are virtually all smaller than PM2.5. According to the Lung Association, a leaf blower causes as much smog as 17 cars. The average blower measures 70-75 db at 50 feet according to a manufacturer’s lobbyist, thus louder at any closer distance. Leaf blowers are routinely used less than 25 feet from neighboring homes.
Several cities throughout the U.S. have already banned these dirty, noisy machines and I believe Park City and Summit County should, also. Park City already sounds and smells like the big city, let’s not stop at wind power and recycling, and target this dirty, unhealthy problem, also.
Snow Creek housing
I think it would be appropriate for everyone to get copies of the letters sent to Mayor Williams regarding the building of affordable housing on the Snow Creek location. The Park Record chose to not print them and only alluded to comments made at the public meeting. One of the letters from a property owner indicates that the condo they own at Windrift is far too valuable to have affordable housing near it and wants to keep the "middle class" out of the area so their property values won’t be affected.
Now, at least, they had the common sense to use the term "middle class" as opposed to "them." See, I remember when "them" referred to Jews, blacks, gays and people perceived as socially low class or other undesirables.
Being two of the above mentioned groups (Jewish and middle class, and if I think about it, maybe even an undesirable), I am surprised to find that I live in such a posh neighborhood; did my Park Meadows property values go up so fast and high that I now live in Deer Valley? Hold it — they have affordable housing in lower Deer Valley so I guess I can’t use that as a comparison.
Maybe the person who wrote this letter needs a Park City history lesson. The miners started it, the great ski bums inhabited it, the visionaries bought property in the ’80s and the middle class built it, even the Windrift condos. The profit seekers came along later and made it so the builders of their futures could not live in the town they built.
So, if we can give back a little to those who "Protect and Serve" maybe we all can be forgiven for not being supportive of "them" in the past.
Elementary music program
This past Saturday, May 12, the bands, orchestras and choirs of Ecker Hill International Middle School and Jeremy Ranch Elementary School won a combined six trophies for the Music in the Parks statewide music performance competition. In their respective divisions, EHIMS sixth- and seventh-grade orchestras each won first place, sixth-grade band won first place, seventh-grade band won second place, the choir won first place, and the JRES choir won first place in the elementary school division. Special thanks to the following teachers who dedicated many zero-hour mornings and after-school sessions to help this talented group of kids live up to their musical potential: Rebecca Suelzle (EHIMS), Aaron Webb (EHIMS and fifth grade band at the elementary schools), Rebecca Webber (EHIMS) and Mary Morgan (JRES).
I attended the competition (held at Northridge High School in Layton), and I was so impressed with our kids’ level of performance. But the best part was later at the awards ceremony, seeing the excitement and pride our kids took in winning. It’s just as important for these kids to experience this kind of teamwork and accomplishment as it is for kids with athletic talent to win a statewide football or basketball championship. In a time when the school board is considering cutting the fifth-grade music program, I urge the community and school board to think about what it meant to all the Park City fifth, sixth and seventh graders who got to compete statewide at something they’re good at, let alone win. I’m not so sure the sixth and seventh graders would have been as polished, had they not been able to start their musical training in the fifth grade.
Ecker Hill and McPolin parent
Demise of Park City
Listening to KPCW this morning regarding Park City businesses, I thought back to how much soul Park City had back in the ’60s. It was fun to go to Park City, shop and eat in the restaurants.
Then, just as the fun and joyful dolphins flee as the sharks move in, the kind and smiling employees departed to be replaced by the cold, bored and indifferent, with a few exceptions.
The rich definitely have their place in the scheme of things, but those with heart are definitely in the minority.
Park City has lost its soul and its appeal. Its present mayor has those qualities. Let’s hope it rubs off.
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Judy Horwitz writes in a guest editorial that Summit County voters must continue to support a vital source of funding for the area’s arts and culture institutions.