Letters to the Editor, Feb 1-4, 2014
February 3, 2014
Citizens need a way to review sheriff’s department actions
After several failed attempts to meet with Sheriff Edmunds’ Citizens Advisory Board to discuss my concerns involving the now-infamous underage drinking party in November, I feel compelled to make known other concerns regarding sheriff conduct.
On the night of November 23, 2013, four young adults were pulled over in their vehicle at Kimball Junction. The officer claimed that the light over the license plate was dim. The sheriff’s department officer did not ask the driver for his license or registration; rather, he spoke only to the front passenger. He asked the young man, "Do I know you?" and "Are you carrying illegal drugs?" The young man responded "no" to both of the questions. The sheriff’s officer then returned to his truck and came back with his drug-sniffing dog and walked around the car with the dog. The young adults were then allowed to leave.
The young adults’ constitutional rights were violated.
In August of 2013, the Sheriff’s Department entered a family home without a search warrant or the permission of the homeowner, an act that violated the constitutional rights of the family.
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What purpose does a citizens advisory board serve if it will not meet with citizens?
Since this topic has become public, many people in the community have come to me and shared their stories of law enforcement crossing the line. Several have said that their college-age children do not want to come home because they feel harassed by the sheriff’s tactics. The Hispanic community is terrified; they are afraid of local law enforcement.
I am proposing the formation of an independent Police Civilian Review Board that is appointed by the County Council. The purpose of this board would be to allow citizens to discuss concerns they have about police abuse. Salt Lake City has such a board, as do several other progressive communities. Salt Lake’s review board mission statement states: "The Civilian Review Board is critical in ensuring police accountability, as well as protection for police who have been falsely accused. It will, in the long run, promote greater trust between the police department and the community it serves." (Source: slcgov.com/civilianreview)
Citizens for Community Based Law Enforcement
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Coal group’s effort to advertise during festival was disingenuous
Friends of Coal’s and Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute’s (RMCMI) sneaky attempt to link its pro-coal message to the Sundance Film Festival in advertising on a rolling billboard truck during the Festival was foiled when they received a cease-and-desist letter from attorneys representing the Sundance Institute after they learned of this unauthorized use of the Sundance Film Festival name/brand. According to RMCMI’s Twitter page, because they used the words, "Sundance Film Festival" it caused a copyright infringement issue.
I find it disgusting that the coal industry would use the good reputation of the Sundance Institute, founded by Robert Redford, who is well known for his environmentalism and conservationism, to try and message to the public that coal is a part of, and endorsed by, the Sundance Film Festival.
A January 17 press release had been issued by the Friends of Coal (a front group created by the West Virginia Coal Association), and the RMCMI. The advertisement linked coal to the Sundance Film Festival, trying to promote the supposed benefits of coal in generating power for films shown at the Film Festival. Their press release stated that they were, "part of the Sundance Film Festival."
An excerpt from the press release read: "Thanks to the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute and the Friends of Coal West, a billboard truck explaining coal’s connection to Utah and the Sundance Film Festival will be a part of this year’s event. This billboard truck will be driven during the ten days of the Sundance Film Festival and will highlight the benefits that coal brings to Utah and the Festival, especially in providing low-cost affordable electricity."
This advertisement was an obvious attempt by the coal industry to use the Sundance Film Festival name/brand, knowing the Festival gets huge attention from the media, to try and link dirty coal with Sundance’s excellent name and reputation.
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Don’t miss this important meeting on General Plan
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the Park City Council and the Planning Commission will hold a joint meeting to discuss Park City’s General Plan. After hearing input from Park City citizens, the Planning Commission made changes to the plan and sent a recommendation to the City Council. The Council is scheduled to vote on it March 6th. In the meantime, the public can give further input on the General Plan. It is an important document because it guides the decisions the City will make in the future concerning density, growth, development, affordable housing, transportation, open space, recreation, and other issues.
These decisions will affect you and your neighborhood. I urge all Park City citizens to come to the Council Chambers in City Hall on Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. to hear the discussion and give your feedback. You can view the General Plan online at http://www.parkcity.org (click on "Doing Business" and then "Planning and Zoning") or at the Park City Library.
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Injured hiker wants apology from skate skier
To the skate skier owning the unleashed black dog in Willow Creek Park: On Jan. 4 at approximately 1 p.m. your dog knocked me to the ground (the skate skier with a white hat) and you did not stop to see if I was OK. I was diagnosed with a herniated disk requiring an MRI and a series of painful injections. I have been unable to stand or walk without pain for three weeks and will be required to spend four months with no skiing, hiking or going to the gym.
I am also a dog owner and was in the park walking my dog that was leashed at the time your black dog knocked me down. I can understand the desire to let one’s dog run off leash but at least one should leash the dog in the congested areas of the park where there are other people and dogs. This was not done and the injury described above resulted from this lack of concern. I hope the unidentified skate skier enjoyed the day. I did not and it will be months before I can walk in the park again.
Was this your dog? An apology would go a long way.
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Men can donate to Women’s Giving Fund, too
This is a challenge to The Men of Park City:
Hopefully you all know about Park City Community Foundation’s "Women’s Giving Fund". If you do -that’s great. If not, you can find out all about it at http://www.parkcitycommunityfoundation.org/wgf but here are the basics: the Park City Women’s Giving Fund seeks to raise $1,000 each from 1,000 people creating a permanent fund of $1,000,000 that will annually grant out it’s earnings to Summit County nonprofits for the benefit of Summit County women and children. The donors to the fund, through a grants committee, will determine the recipients of the grants. The beauty of this is that this fund will exist permanently and significant grants will flow from it forever helping women and children in our community.
Now, here is where we men come in. Over the past 10 months the women of our community (and a number from elsewhere) have made 785 donations of $1,000. Yes, that’s an amazing $785,000! But, they still need over 200 additional donations between now and April 30th to reach their goal and I think it’s time we Men of Park City jumped in and helped the women get this done.
Even better, Zion’s Bank has pledged a challenge grant. If the fund reaches 1,001 members by April 30th, they’ll grant $35,000!
Surely 200 of us have mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, daughters-in-law or granddaughters in whose name we could make a donation(s). Looking for a moving Valentine’s Day gift? Here it is. Looking for a birthday present? Here it is. Looking for a way to honor your spouse? Here it is. Looking for a way to help a child or grandchild learn about philanthropy? Here it is. Yes, $1,000 is a lot of money but it can be paid over 12 months ($84/month) and the benefits continue year after year after year.
Please help the women of our community who are working so hard to reach their goal and you will be helping our community’s women and children forever.