Letters to the Editor
May 3, 2006
The comments made by DelRay Hatch concerning cyclists in Oakley, not only shocked me, but made my stomach turn. I lost one of my best friends when Bill Corliss was hit by a car in Utah County.
Mr. Hatch, I would like to have you repeat your words in front of Bill’s family and the family of Josie Johnson and all of the other family members who have lost loved ones in bicycling/auto accidents. Mr. Hatch, if you see me riding my bike around Oakley, please don’t see me as someone who is making you 10 seconds late to get home. Please think of me as a father and husband with a wife at home who is expecting our second child. Is your 10 seconds so important that you would risk taking a father away for his two-year-old son and unborn child?
Please remember the new Utah law that requires motorists to give cyclists at least three feet as they pass.
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Victims of injustice
Immigration agents in the field are doing the dirty work of "just following orders" from superiors out there somewhere as they go after undocumented immigrants, mostly Latinos/as.
It reminds me of Latin America’s "death squads" in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, so deadly in countries like El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and still today in Colombia. Dutiful "death squads" rounded up "subversives" and dutifully put them in their shaded vans or trucks, obedient soldiers "just following orders." Many of those victims were my clergy colleagues. Meanwhile, many ordinary Latin Americans kept a fearful silence. Latin Americans forgot the Nuremberg heritage that all those along the line are guilty, from the top down, and even to remain silent implies complicity.
"Just following orders" was not an acceptable excuse or reason for carrying out those unjust and immoral orders in the days of the "dirty wars" in Latin America. Neither is it an acceptable excuse or reason today to round up undocumented immigrants in the U.S. while "just following orders." Nor is it an acceptable excuse or reason for others to remain in silent fear.
Immigrants are here because they’re victims of so many injustices in their homelands, injustices that "agreements" like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) have helped to create. All of us would do so much better to just follow the order of compassion for the victims of unjust "agreements" like NAFTA and stop blaming its victims. How many undocumented immigrants or other poor Mexicans (or U.S. citizens) had a voice in crafting NAFTA? Get rid of or change NAFTA not the immigrants.
If "they’re breaking the law" then change the law.
Rev. James E. Flynn
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Rule bending only when necessary
The recent hype surrounding the immigration issue and "undocumented workers" has provided a profound and renascent outlook on my life. It’s a new paradigm that can apply to almost every facet and phase of one’s life. Here are some examples:
For starters, I am going to travel to Disneyland. And rather than pay the entrance fee, I’ll wait in the entrance area and when there’s a chance to sneak in, I will. I’ll roam the park and pick up trash or clean tables after guests have eaten. And yeah, I’ll take in a few rides as well — because once you’re in, you might as well enjoy the attractions. If I’m there long enough and work hard, I can expect to avoid punishment and receive an employment opportunity along with all the benefits that Disney has to offer.
After my summer job at Disneyland, it will be time get serious about a life career. I have decided to travel to Boston. simply loitering in the hallowed halls and classrooms of Harvard for a few years, I expect to be a medical doctor, lawyer or investment banker. How can Harvard possibly expropriate such degrees simply because I am an undocumented student?
Likewise, if I wish to fly airplanes for a career, I can sneak into the airport and onto airplanes. After a few years of observation, I’ll become a pilot granted, an undocumented pilot, but a pilot nonetheless.
This really is truly a munificent country. If you work hard, are patient and only breach the rules (they’re really just guidelines) when you absolutely must, you can be anything you want.
PS: Let’s be serious about a few things: The "guest worker" program is really a guest-voter program for the DNC and a putsch on the United States of America.
The rest of the story
I read with interest the article about the Summit County Republican Convention held last week (Park Record, April 29). I was at the Democratic Convention and would like to point out some inaccuracies.
First, the convention contrary to Chairwoman Walker did not start 40 minutes late! It was called to order at 7 p.m. and delegates were encouraged to meet candidates. At 7:30, the chair began making introductions and welcomed the Republican chairwoman that was met with a warm round of applause.
Secondly, why in the world would Vice Chairman Bruce Hough make a mean spirited jab at Rob Perry? I know Ron Perry and he is one of the most honest, humble and hardworking people I know. Ron’s resume has obviously scared enough of those present that they are already slinging mud. There is enough tension between East- and West-side residents to last a lifetime.
And finally, an answer to Sheriff Dave stating, "I’m mystified like a lot of people" when asked why Kamas policeman Scott Mark entered to run against him. The answer is: Competition in a democracy is healthy! I have a question for the sheriff. Why in the world did you announce to the media last year that you "were one of the few at the FBI Academy last year to bench press 300 pounds." To quote you Sheriff, "I’m mystified like a lot of people."
I hope that this election season will bring out some healthy debate on issues and that our representatives are held accountable. Our elected officials often say one thing and do another. Case in point, "Let’s cut federal taxes to stimulate the economy," but when the state of Utah has a one billion-dollar surplus, they want to sit on it.
Moose on the loose
I’m sure I’m not the only resident in the Sun Peak/ParkWest area who’s seen the cow moose and her two yearlings moving (slowly) about our neighborhoods the past few weeks.
They’re a gas to watch (they look like New World camels of sorts) if you’re lucky enough to have them stop by your place for some shoots and shade, as they have mine three times in the past two weeks now (they stayed three hours last Saturday). They also don’t make much noise and are even bigger than you thought when they’re just on the other side of your window.
Naturally, you don’t want to suddenly find yourself two feet from three very large wild animals, unless there are walls and windows between you. Still, you definitely want to see them from what optimum vantage point your personal index of eyesight and foot speed affords. Finally, several persons with first-hand knowledge have convinced me that hitting even one moose with your car is most unfortunate. The three moose I’m talking about are practically inseparable. I don’t know how you’d hit one without hitting all three.
Fortunately, we Sun Peak/ParkWest residents (and transient motorists in the area) can cover all bases by keeping our eyes peeled for the three moose on the loose.
Even though most people in Oakley might not realize it, the folks who have the disposable income to be riding bikes that cost several thousand dollars through their fine town pay plenty of taxes. They just choose to use a different form of transportation.
Perhaps there should be a stroller tax for pushing a stroller down a sidewalk. Or a dog tax for walking a dog. Or an idiot tax and a tag for public officials who need to be identified by people who might be entering the town.
Thank you, Easy Street
On behalf of Volunteers of America, Utah’s Homeless Youth Resource Center, I would like to say thank you to Easy Street Brasserie for its large donation of fresh and frozen produce. Generosity from community partners, like Easy Street, helps the center effectively reach out and provide a safe haven for homeless street youth. Thanks again, Easy Street.
Leslie Bauman, youth advocate
Homeless Youth Resource Center
Volunteers of America, Utah
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