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Letters to the Editor

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Support for arts festival

Editor:

The other day I read an article that indicated Mayor Dana Williams was not interested in supporting the Park City Arts Festival. This statement made me very sad. I have owned an art gallery in Park City for the last eight years and, before that, I loved going to the art festival in the summer, and I still do. You can go for food, for music, for all kinds of affordable art. I think something that brings 40,000 people to Main Street is something very viable. It might be strange for a storeowner to encourage this but it is a reason for people to visit Park City in the summer. We try to make it a special weekend for visitors and artists. And may I say that the Kimball Art Center is a very important part of the Park City community. It has wonderful shows, a strong staff, classes and lectures at all times of the year and reaches out to the children in the community and could be more with the support of the town. They also organize the art walks, which are very successful.

Yes, helping with domestic violence, health clinics and other programs are important but art and a place to go are just as important in this world. I do know the city was very instrumental in helping the Historical Society and I am hoping the mayor and council look at this very carefully because losing the arts festival and Kimball Art Center could be a very sad move. It is a tradition – people look forward to it, it is a family outing. I think we should try to make it the best art festival in the country with annual support from the city. Let’s do it.

Connie Katz

Owner, Coda Gallery

Poor example of a Democrat

Editor:

I’ve thought that those who continue to support the Bush administration fall into two categories. The first are basic idiots who have no clue, who were born into conservative households and perpetuate the lame thinking like a vicious cycle of child abuse. Then there are the dirt bags, who put their financial benefits first.

Well, it turns out our local Democratic chief, Rob Weyher, falls into the latter category. Reading the front-page article in the May 31 Park Record, he gives money to whomever and whatever benefits him most financially.

Seems like he’s paid no federal income taxes since 1991. Because of that, he has given Bush $3,000 in campaign contributions. No income tax! How many average Americans got to do that for the past 15 years?

So what has Rob given to? Supporting our troops in Iraq and armoring their Humvees against roadside bombs — zippo; Homeland Security nada; Katrina relief zero again; federal funds for maintaining our highways goose eggs.

It gives him more money to put into political races: $1,000 for Hatch so his daughter could get an appointment; $500 to Jim Hansen because of his business contracts and he’s a "nice guy."

He maintains he supports Democratic principles like universal health care, pro-choice, rights for gays, and he is a fiscal conservative. He supports with what? Not his campaign contributions, as his lineup doesn’t come close to any of these.

Where do you draw the line, Rob? When do your true beliefs overcome your greed? Lying about weapons of mass destruction leading us into a nightmare in Iraq? Exposing CIA agents? The New Orleans debacle? Massive tax breaks for the wealthy? (Sorry, we already know you like that one.) Exploding deficits? The hit list goes on

The simple fact is that Rob Weyher is a poor representative for the Democratic Party, but more so, a poor excuse for an American. The local Democratic Party needs to stop selling out to Rob’s campaign contributions. If they are to have any credibility with Democrats, they need him to go away before the next elections.

Russ Paskoski

Snyderville

Don’t squeeze the merchants

Editor:

Having recently passed the 20-year milestone as a business owner on Main Street, I have heard the "Let’s get the merchants to pay" phrase more than I like to remember. While many businesses do benefit from Sundance, some don’t and let’s not forget that it is just a 10-day event, once a year. Our official "off-season" lasts four months a year and, despite all the studies done over the years, still nothing has been done to offset those difficult slow periods from the standpoint of a business. Our expenses don’t stop, we are all now paying higher rent than ever and a huge portion of the property taxes on the buildings we occupy and don’t own, as well as the other challenges of doing business in a resort community. So, when it is suggested that fees be increased because of one event a year, do you question why we all get irritated? As we have now become a full-time community, why not put that effort into making a full year of good business and having the extra sales taxes, etc., instead of passing on another expense to the merchants? Yes, that might take more effort than just deciding to increase fees to businesses, but what great benefits to everyone, including the people who do come during those months and expect to find businesses open and something to do in Park City. They might actually leave with a great feeling and want to return again for that special Park City experience.

Thank you,

Jane Schaffner

La Niche, Park City

Community scholarships

Dear Park City Community:

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the generous donors and presenters of the Park City High School Community Scholarships and Book Awards that were held on Thursday, June 1. I would also like to thank the many community members who participated in awards reviews.

Most of all, I would like to thank three very special women who have dedicated a tremendous amount of time throughout the year to the scholarship program. Allison Florance and Barbara Pavlick have served in the scholarship office on a weekly basis. Barbara Bach dedicated countless hours as a volunteer in the scholarship office. Any student who visited the scholarship office this year probably met Ms. Bach or received information from her or prepared by her about scholarships! I am extremely thankful for the help of our scholarship volunteers this year.

This is my fourth school year at Park City High School and I am always amazed at the outstanding and unique qualities of our students. I am proud of their accomplishments. It has been an honor to serve them.

Sincerely,

Dana Ardovino

Community scholarship advisor

Park City High School

Clean up rewards

Editor:

Thank you to Recycle Utah for organizing Pride In Your Park Cleanup Day, and to the many sponsors that made it a fun event with great food and prizes. The fresh bagel breakfast and a gourmet sack lunch were generous pay for a morning’s stroll with a trash bag, and the dollar coins taped on to recyclable trash made it a real treasure hunt for the kids. We would especially like to thank Gary and Jana Cole of Cole Sport for donating the grand prize Jackson won in a drawing, a junior mountain bike!

Paula and Jackson Dean

Kamas

A tragic anniversary

Editor:

June 5 is the 25th anniversary of the first documented case of AIDS. I’d like to tell my story, my AIDS story from Kenya.

In March, I spent 3 weeks walking from hut to hut to visit women who have small income generating (microcredit) loans with the nonprofit agency I volunteer for that is based in Salt Lake City (Opportunity Fund for Developing Countries, OFDC). I met grandmother after grandmother who is raising four to six grandchildren due to parental deaths from AIDS. These old ladies are feeding their grandchildren with the small profits they make from their businesses.

Mama Grace, Mama Yunis, Mama Jan Mama Jan was dying of AIDS when I visited her at her mud and cow dung hut in the remote, rural village of Kaliwa, Kenya. I could see the small plot of land that she was no longer able to farm. I could see her dying.

I am home now. Mama Jan is dead. Mama Jan’s old mother is raising Mama Jan’s five orphans. OFDC is sponsoring these orphans, along with many others, in school and we are providing them with mosquito nets so they can sleep protected from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

What will happen when the old grandmothers die? What will happen to Africa? Congress should fund the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria so we can stop this story from repeating itself.

Nia Z. Sherar

Founder and executive director OFDC

Salt Lake City


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