Letters to the Editor
Please stop insulting residents by continually misrepresenting Bear Hollow Village as an example of the great things you’ve done to make affordable housing in Summit County a reality.
Most recently, Dave Thomas misled readers about the county’s accomplishments, using Bear Hollow Village as an example. Earlier this year, it was Bob Richer doing the same. This political self-promotion is nonsense — UNLESS the "objective" for affordable housing is providing bargain-priced ski homes for non-residents.
Of the 62 Bear Hollow deed-restricted units (with an appreciation cap of three percent annually) 49 are NOT owner-occupied; 55 owners don’t work in Summit County; 35 owners don’t even live in Utah. Many units are in nightly rental. Even the developer’s sales office is deed-restricted, owned by investors and leased back to Hamlet Homes! And I have NO issue with those owners; they’ve done nothing wrong and are in compliance with the deed restriction.
Reality: the majority of Bear Hollow deed-restricted units are vacation homes for non-resident owners, NOT "affordable" homes for local residents.
Why? The deed restriction written for Bear Hollow in 2000 had none of the components included in properly-structured programs found in other high-dollar towns, such as buyer qualifications/screening (Donald Trump qualifies to buy in Bear Hollow), resale controls/oversight, occupancy guidelines and language governing foreclosures, which, according to the underwriting department of Zions Bank, makes the units ineligible for standard lending, causing access to secondary financing for current owners, and primary financing for potential buyers questionable.
Thanks to the county’s lack of competence six years ago (the county signature/approval page on the Bear Hollow document isn’t even signed!), the deed restriction in Bear Hollow has failed to meet any reasonable affordable housing objective. Rather, it’s a way to get a second home in Park City at half price.
The Canyons vs. Kenny Griswold
Hopefully things can be worked out soon between American Skiing Company and Kenny Griswold in regard to The Canyons resort. I’ve enjoyed skiing The Canyons since ASC took over the ski area. So many people in town have great memories of skiing ParkWest, but that mountain did have a few shortcomings.
We got excited when Kenny Griswold turned it into Wolf Mountain. That excitement was short lived once we had the chance to actually experience Kenny G. and Wolf Mountain. So many decided we would never buy passes to Wolf Mountain again.
ASC came around and we decided to give their product a try. We have been back every year since as passholders. ASC and The Canyons have been great members of the community. I hope they are here to stay.
Zions Bank philanthropy
Every June, Zions Bank employees perform a most generous public service by painting a house in our town. This month these wonderful folks painted my home at 811 Norfolk Ave. In the evenings after banking hours, Zions bankers were at my house painting. I now have a bright fresh white paint job and the house looks very nice. I do not know how to adequately express my appreciation and thanks for this generous program.
End of a July tradition
To our dear friends:
My daughters, Eileen and Maureen, and I take this opportunity to announce, with saddened hearts but cherished memories, that our annual Fourth of July get-together at 1150 Park Ave. will not be held this year. I have moved from that address and now reside in Francis. After 12 years, our driveway "hospitality suite" is a thing of the past.
Each of our July Fourths has been a lovingly anticipated day for us. We shall miss this very special occasion for refreshing friendships and reliving never-to-be-forgotten reminiscences with each of you and all of you.
God bless you all and God bless Uncle Sam.
A classic mistake
I enjoy your frequent automotive features by Malcolm Gunn, but what a faux pas in the last issue. As any leading Baby Boomer generation member can tell you, the picture that accompanies the "fine lines" story on the 1959 Chevy Impala is that of a 1960 Chevy!
Perhaps we aging car buffs are too critical, but there are distinct differences in the fine lines of these two different years of the Impala. Malcolm Gunn of all people should know. I assume his proofreaders are probably not as old as the car in question.
On another note, I attended a classic car and hot rod show in Heber Saturday. The commemorative T-shirts with the theme "Back to the ’50s" had a 1966 Chevy Camaro as the icon image. Go figure.
In an era where most new cars look like Easter eggs, I am glad I grew up with the distinctive American-made automobiles of the 1950s and 1960s.
Bubble is about to burst
Everyone agrees– last ski season was a triumph, but remember, the celebration of that record year is this century’s version of a deck party on the Titanic. Utah’s ski business is a dead duck, the proverbial dead man walking. It is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet. Very solid climatological studies show that by mid-century, there will be no natural snow skiing below 10,000 in the U.S. (excluding Alaska), and artificial snow won’t exist under 8,000 feet. Only two of today’s lifts in Utah will be able to provide skiing — Snowbird’s Little Cloud and Alta’s Supreme.
In the 100 years between 1960 and 2060, Park City will go from a ghost town back to a ghost town. Kiss your property values goodbye. Kiss your business goodbye. Kiss skiing goodbye.
How did this happen? Simple. The Republicans in the statehouses, and in Congress and in the White House refused to do anything about global warming, and there are no greater culprits than Utah’s Legislature and Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett. They have not helped Utah’s ski industry. They murdered it.
Right to Ride legislation
Regarding S.B. 781 "The Right to Ride" bill, it has been said that "The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse." Certainly no other activity is more synonymous with the history of the vast open lands of the West than horseback riding and packing, or more celebrated within the western identity and lifestyle. Yet every horse owner knows that horsemanship skills are neither easily acquired nor maintained. To that end the U.S. House of Representatives has passed S.B. 781 the "Right to Ride" bill which guarantees access to public lands for saddle and pack stock.
The legislation is now languishing in the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, is the chairman. I implore each and every horse enthusiast, to urge him to support and move this bill out of committee and onto the Senate floor. Please e-mail him: http://craig.senate.gov or snail mail: 490 Memorial Dr., Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402; or 520 Hart Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. If you don’t have time for a letter you may quickly register your support by calling: (208) 523-5541 or his office in Washington (202) 224-2752, or fax (202) 228-1067, TTY (202) 224-9377.
Please contact your own senators to express your support for this legislation. Thank you for helping in this effort.
Eagle Rock Backcountry Horsemen Assoc.
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Steve Berlack, whose son died in an avalanche in 2015, writes in a letter to the editor that “[i]f you want to venture into the backcountry, do it safely. Get the education you need. … Understand the forecast. Make conservative decisions like your life depends on it.”