Letters to the Editor, Aug. 31- Sept. 3, 2016
Thanks from a humble honoree
I want to thank you, Nan Chalat-Noaker, for your kind and thoughtful words as you introduced me at the Park City Rotary Club’s Professional/Volunteer Citizen of the Year ceremony last week. You have been a competitive rival over the last 22 years and an even better friend and mentor.
To the Rotary Club, I am thrilled to be included among the ranks of amazing women like Bea Kummer, Nan McPolin and Candy Erickson. A shout-out to Franci Eisenberg for taking the time to write her clever nomination and to the selection committee for deciding I’m worthy of the honor. To Bill Coleman and Blair Feulner — thank you for your trust in hiring a gal right out of journalism school, oh, so many years ago.
To my dedicated listeners — thank you for getting up early with me, for texting and emailing me questions to ask our elected officials, as well as sharing your weather conditions and traffic reports.
As we come off another successful pledge week at KPCW, my thanks too for your continued financial support of local news. I also want to acknowledge the wonderful words to live by comments made by Kim McClelland who was honored the same day with the Volunteer Citizen of the Year award- words all of us can all relate to: If you are lucky enough to live in PC, you are lucky enough. Thank you Kim for all of your contributions to making Park City the fabulous place it is – it was an honor to stand by your side.
I look forward to seeing all of you at Monday’s Miner Day parade!
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Transgender citizen has done a great service for others
I would like to tell The Park Record, despite its typos and grammatical mistakes, what a wonderful newspaper it is. I would like to laud Cami Desiree’s bravery in so publicly allowing her private life to become public.
I don’t think there are many towns or papers like ours that are so accepting of others. This article will give strength to those in the closet to know they are not alone. You have done a great service to those folks and hopefully their families. I am proud to be a subscriber and proud to call Cami my friend.
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Don’t be foled into approving transportation tax hike
Economists classify sales tax as regressive because it takes a proportionately greater share of a low-income taxpayer’s earnings than of those of a more affluent taxpayer. The proposals that will appear on the November ballot for two quarter-percent sales tax increases will, if approved, increase the county retail sales tax to a total of almost seven percent (almost 8.5 percent in Park City), which is too much.
The arguments made by the County Commissioners in favor of this tax increase are so disingenuous they should raise red flags that the Commission is up to no good. First, they say that each is only a penny on four dollars. But there’s already 26 cents tax on a $4 purchase in Snyderville, which these measures would increase to 28 cents. That would be $2.80 on a $40 purchase or $280 on a $4,000 used car, and so on. Next, they say they won’t increase the tax on groceries or gasoline. That’s true, because they can’t. State law caps the tax on groceries at its current 3 percent level, and all the taxes on gasoline are imposed by the state and federal governments.
Face it: when someone promises not to do something he can’t do anyway, he’s covering up a swindle on something else.
Finally, they say that an astonishing 90 percent of the tax (by which they mean the revenue) will be paid by tourists. We’ll all be paying more when we shop in Summit County, and I don’t see that many tourists at the Ace Hardware in Kamas or at the auto dealerships on Rasmussen Road. If the County Commission wants to make tourists pay for their transit and transportation ideas, they should simply raise the Transient Room Tax which, by definition, does not put a regressive tax burden on locals.
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Shhhh! Concert goer wants to hear the music
Call me square, but I go to Deer Valley concerts to actually hear the performance. I’m sorry if you are offended that I do not want to hear about your child the honor student, a new-found cottage cheese or your latest gluten-free diet, but out of respect for the performers and the fellow concert goers, can you please keep your conversations down to a whisper so that the rest of us paying patrons can enjoy the show? Thank you.
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Forget Bonanza Flats – pay attention to Treasure
On our November ballot, Park City voters will be asked to approve two new taxes from the county and a $25 million bond request to help acquire Bonanza Flats. I think it’s also safe to assume that the Park City School Board will be back soon with a better plan for a significant school bond.
So Park City, how do you feel about all of this?
Some funding requests make sense. But let’s look at Bonanza Flats. Most everyone in Park City, including me, has been supportive of open space funding requests. But this one feels different and the Park City Council has been woefully inadequate in both justifying the expenditure and in offering a rationale for support.
Interviews on KPCW have explained that the property may be for sale and if Park City buys it, we can help cut down on Marsac traffic. Huh? Can’t our Transportation Dept. come up with other ways to fix Marsac than spending $25 million?
Bonanza Flats is three ridgelines away, 10 miles uphill, 9,000 feet high and tucked south of Jupiter Peak. Oh, it is also snowed in and inaccessible all winter long to anyone other than people like Jeremiah Johnson.
Bonanza Flats is mostly in Wasatch County; does that mean Park City would pay Wasatch property taxes? The Park Record has reported that City Council hasn’t even talked to Wasatch or Summit County Councils about partnering on this purchase. How about the State of Utah? What about the Mountain Accord negotiations — should they include this parcel of land? Why is Park City charging off all by itself like a mad bull? And what happens if the final price is $40 million? Do we just walk?
It is time for this Council to do some due diligence to either build a solid case for approval or face up to another bond failure waiting to happen.
While this Council is off chasing open space in Wasatch County, under their noses the Treasure project is about to explode. Sooner or later the Sweeneys are going to run out of patience, want their money and hit this town with a $90 million lawsuit for unfairly negotiating pre-granted development rights. Lawyers will be lined up and down Main Street trying to get a piece of that action. Would a $25 million stipend influence the Sweeneys to change their demands?
The people who live north of the Town Lift will be both economically and aesthetically devastated by Treasure. If we are going to raise Open Space funds, why aren’t we focused on Treasure — a space that impacts everyone in Park City?
Come on Council, get your priorities in order!
I solidly support open space proposals that impact Park City: ones that affect sight lines, views, entry corridors, recreation or major development projects such as Treasure that touches all of the above. I’m not for buying property off in Oakley, Kamas or the Wasatch outback just because it becomes available.
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Condo project would ruin Newpark
Dear Pat Putt and Summit County Council Members:
My wife and I have been vacationing in Park City for the past 19 years. Several years ago we bought a town home in Newpark. We love Kimball Junction and Newpark and will eventually make this area our permanent home.
We are writing today to express our displeasure with the approval of the new condominium project to be built in the temporary Maxwell parking lot.
BOTTOM LINE: We are certain that the proposed condominium building will be an eyesore and destroy the current open, and environmentally-friendly character of the Newpark. Newpark prides itself as a LEED-certified community and the proposed building in Newpark’s central plaza will be “a square peg in a round hole.” Some residents have used the phrase “it will create a fortress” when characterizing the proposed changes and we feel this phrase is highly accurate.
We always felt that the local population and local government officials cared strongly how about the environment and how buildings melded aesthetically into the landscape. The impact of such a large rectangular “boxy” structure on such a small, open and very unique space, would be enormous. When driving or walking into the central plaza of Newpark, the first thing people see is the Swaner Preserve with Wasatch Mountain range in the distance–a sightline worth preserving.
If this building is constructed, the first sight they will see will be a high-rise condominium project. The proposed building will “box in” the small concert area and ruin the open and friendly feel of this delightful, and unique space. Currently, people feel free to relax on their lawn chairs or blankets when they attend community sponsored concerts and events. The proposed building would create congestion and it is doubtful that anyone would want to live right beside this gathering area when there are concerts. Construction of this building will have a dramatic negative economic impact on the Newpark Hotel as few people would want to rent a room in the hotel where the view of the Preserve is replaced with a view of the side of a new condominium.
We sincerely hope that local government officials will think twice before approving this poorly thought out project. Thank you for your kind consideration of our concerns.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Edmondson, M.D. and Mrs. MaryAnn Edmondson
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Park City’s listener-supported community radio station, KPCW, asked listeners to help us reach our pledge goal in one less day last week and listeners delivered. We hit our target Thursday afternoon just as the now four-day drive drew to a close.
There are too many people to thank for our success, but I do want to single out one volunteer for service above and beyond. Marlene Peacock took on a much larger role and started work on the drive months ago, and followed through running the pledge room. Thanks Marlene and thanks to everyone, including Jana and Gary Cole now in the third decade of support hosting the Back Alley Bash, which was the perfect way Friday night to close out a successful week.
Thank You All!
Larry Warren, Cindy Kaiser
KPCW – FM
A reader involved in addressing mental health in Summit County applauds Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elena Amsterdam for their efforts to help mountain towns wrap their arms around the issue.