Letters to the Editor
Editor and Summit County citizens:
I would like to provide a couple points of clarification to the Saturday, April 15 Park Record article.
Ms. Dopp attended the equipment demonstration as reported and we spent a considerable amount of time educating her on the parts and pieces of the machine, along with allowing her to vote ballot after ballot after ballot. I opened a locked secure door to educate her on the printed ballot operations. She even made a statement after seeing the printer that "it was not as bad as she had been led to believe." As for an "eruption or sparring," I believe this was a "gross misstatement." At no point in time did Ms. Dopp or I raise our voices, bare our teeth or growl at each other. It is true that we have a difference of opinion on the electronic voting equipment. I realize that this is a "grabber" for attention to the article and I hope the citizens of Summit County remember this when they are reading any article or listening to any news broadcast on any subject.
The one-line statement, "Utah does not require audits," is a true statement. However, Utah State Code 20A-4 — Recounts and Election Contests — mandates when an audit or recount is necessary, and the elections officer has no choice but to follow the law. It also outlines stringent guidelines as to who has accessibility to the ballots.
Many of us know that perception is not always reality. As with all city, county, state or federal governments, Utah elections have very strict guidelines outlined in the Utah State Code. Please be responsible, informed citizens and attend these voter equipment demonstrations to ask the questions and form your personal opinions.
Summit County Clerk
Emphasis on illegal
Re: Ms. Torres’ letter to the editor, April 15:
I’m so sorry, Ms. Torres, that you feel so angry about the illegal immigrant issue. You are obviously one of the "people who just don’t get it."
Firstly, I commend you for becoming "legal." You set a good example. The issue is "illegal." It seems like you want to condone illegal action. What’s up? It’s illegal to smoke pot. It’s illegal to run red lights. It’s illegal to steal. It’s illegal to be in the U.S. without papers. Get the point? Nobody is against the immigrants that acquire the correct papers. German, Russian, Chinese — it doesn’t matter — if you don’t have your papers, you’re illegal and breaking the law.
The Canadians would throw me out of their country immediately if they found out that I was illegally working in their country, not to mention enjoying their health care system, rebutting your claims against your Gringo neighbors.
Secondly, rebutting your claims again, I’ll bet you an acre of land that all of the great Latinos who fought in the wars were legalized or American born. I know because I am a Gulf War vet. I can’t guess how many Irish, Japanese, Italian, Argentinian, Samoan, etc., also fought in America’s wars, no matter how trivial. Yes, Ms. Torres, this is the land of the free. Abiding by laws let’s you also enjoy that freedom.
Legal vs. illegal
I have been quite offended at The Park Record’s coverage on the subject of illegal immigration. The Park Record does not seem to understand the difference between illegal immigration and legal immigration. It has used the phrase "anti-immigrant" to describe people who support enforcement of our current laws or toughening of those laws. As a daughter of legal immigrants, I am very pro immigrant but very anti illegal immigrant. The Park Record does not seem to comprehend the difference between the two.
Also, for some reason, other letter writers to The Park Record have also injected race into this discussion where it does not belong. I don’t care if you are lily white with a name like Volker and make really good bread, or you are brown and have a Spanish surname and work very hard at Wasatch Brewery. If you are here illegally, then you should be deported. Which part of "illegal" don’t they understand?
I have lived in other countries where I needed to get a visa years in advance, obey their laws, whether I liked them or not, and then left when my visa expired. I don’t understand why some people think that U.S. laws are less important than any other country’s laws.
I would hope that The Park Record would be more accurate in its coverage.
Save the Utah desert
Recently Senator Robert Bennett released a legislative proposal called "The Washington County Growth and Conservation Act of 2006." Sounds like a great Earth-friendly idea just in time for Earth Day, doesn’t it? But, it endangers almost 70 percent of the proposed Zion-Mojave wilderness and takes away protection of 10 square miles of designated Wilderness Study Areas. The proposal generously protects wilderness that is already protected within Zion National Park while allowing the construction of a highway through federally protected desert tortoise habitat and damming the free-flowing Beaver Dam Narrows.
As a graduate student in the late 1970s, I tracked and monitored desert tortoises on the Beaver Dam Slope in southwestern Utah. The land had suffered from generations of overgrazing and the weather could be brutal. But as a result of these studies a sizable portion of the land was declared protected and over the past decades I’ve been satisfied to see how verdant it has become. Between the rapidly growing towns of St. George and Mesquite there is a quiet chunk of desert that is rich in the flora and fauna peculiar to the desert. I’ve walked in the cool free-flowing waters beneath hawk nests in towering cottonwood trees and across the scorching desert, looking up, unexpectedly, into the eyes of wild horses. Kit foxes, coyotes, lizards, snakes, deer, bighorn sheep and a mad variety of birds make their homes here. I’ve also arrived in St. George to see yet another red gash on the hillside and wondered, "What is the plan here?"
Senator Bennett, citizens of Utah — what is the plan here? Our deserts are a national treasure. They are the very reason people come to southern Utah to live. Do you want St. George to look like Phoenix? I ask for public hearings to be scheduled in our communities on this issue before the legislation is acted upon. On behalf of the desert communities and our children, who have a right to enjoy them as so many of us do, please act to keep the Zion-Mojave wilderness intact.
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F. Joseph Feely III writes in a guest editorial that he is concerned about the “likely impact of the extreme policy positions” Democrats will pursue if they win control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.