Letters to the Editor, Feb. 15-17, 2017
Submissions from Park Record Readers
Equal Pay bill has a serious downside
Here’s the problem with the Equal Pay bill being considered by the Utah Legislature: Traditionally men have earned more than women in the workplace because they are considered the primary breadwinners for families. They need to make enough to support their families and allow the Mother to remain in the home to raise and nurture the children.
If businesses are forced to pay women the same as male earnings, that means they will have to reduce the pay for the men they employ, simple economics.
If that happens, then men will have an even more difficult time earning enough to support their families, which will mean more Mothers will be forced to leave the home (where they may prefer to be) to join the workforce to make up the difference.
And as even more women thus enter the workforce that creates more competition for jobs (even men’s jobs) and puts further downward pressure on the pay for all jobs, meaning more and more Mothers will be forced into the workforce. And that is bad for families and thus for all of society.
It’s a vicious cycle that only gets worse the more equality of pay is forced upon us. It’s a situation of well-meaning intentions, but negative unintended consequences.
We should encourage our Legislators to drop the whole notion. Let the marketplace determine what free-market forces should prevail. It is not the role of government to dictate to businesses what they should pay anyway, either as a Minimum Wage or Equal Pay for men and women.
James C. Green, Wasatch County GOP Vice-Chair
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Olympic celebration organizers are grateful for community support
Earlier this month our Olympic communities of Heber City, Midway and Park City played host to the world once again with over 500 athletes from nearly 40 nations coming to Utah for the USANA FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Championships. It was the largest celebration of our Olympic legacy since the 2002 Games 15 years ago.
On behalf of the athletes, I want to extend my thanks to everyone in our local communities who made the teams feel so welcome here. It meant a lot to these young athletes to compete on the Olympic venues at Soldier Hollow and the Utah Olympic Park. And it was gratifying to see the volunteer support and the open arms with which Utah welcomed the world once again.
Events like this are core to our Olympic heritage. It’s an important fabric running within our communities that brings motivation to our children and a sense of pride in being able to welcome guests to our home.
Thank you, as well, to the teams at Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow for producing wonderful events. It was exciting to rekindle the flame again and bring the excitement of international competition to a new generation.
Bill Stenquist, Chairman
Utah 2017 Organizing Committee
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State takes irresponsible stand on public lands
My best outdoor experiences have been on protected public lands, specifically in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. I’ve worked as a manufacturer’s rep, based in Park City, since the mid-80s. We’re in the outdoor and ski business, our sales agency does business with 31 outdoor retailers in southern Utah.
Former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama designated Grand Staircase and Bears Ears National Monuments, on their way out of office. Many of us in Park City and Summit County share a passion for these special landscapes, and our five National Parks. I’ve watched the business climate improve in towns like Escalante and Boulder, Utah, as a direct result of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument designation. Last year, the Escalante Visitors Center recorded a 51 percent increase in visitation. People yearn for a unique experience on our public lands. Our federal government has a long history of protecting these treasures, our state government claims they can now do it in a “more responsible way.”
Our Utah politicians, including Gov. Gary Herbert, Reps Tim Quinn and Logan Wilde, and Sen Allen Christensen, all voted in favor of rescinding the national monument status of Bears Ears. Sen. Keith Van Tassel voted last week to reduce the size of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
How is this “more responsible?”
Our outdoor industries largest trade show, Outdoor Retailer, has a huge economic impact on our state. Outdoor manufacturers and many retailers are saying they’d rather go to Colorado in 2019, when the shows contract expires. Utah stands to lose 45,000 visitors and $40 million in direct spending from losing the show, as a result of our state governments assault on our public lands.
Don’t believe our state politicos, they don’t have the best interests of these primitive landscapes and geologic wonders in mind. Wake up, people, get involved now! Donate to Grand Staircase Escalante Partners to keep this awesome monument intact. Go to gsenm.org/programs.
Besides, spring is right around the corner. Head down there and have some fun in these special places!
RJ Guiney, Mountain Source
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My ‘sign’ for dog owners
This winter we have been blessed by a good snow year. We have also been cursed by irresponsible dog owners on many trails in the area messing up this beautiful snowy area.
For some reason, even when a well-stocked “dog waste” station is very convenient, those owners do not pick up their dog’s poop. I have considered making a sign for a couple trailheads stating: “If you don’t pick up your dog’s s**t, please leave the area!” This sign would have been a bit redundant, as there are plenty of notices stating these rules, so I decided to do two things: pick up a couple bags full of other people’s dog crap (not fun!) and write this letter.
I really like dogs and I like most dog owners I meet on the trails, but I am disgusted by those owners who don’t pick up after their pets. It is because of these poor practices that there are several park and watershed areas where dogs are not welcome. It is not the dog’s fault; they are just being dogs. Also remember, these areas feed your water sources. Please help us keep our areas dog-friendly and our drinking water clean.
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Christopher Smart writes in a guest editorial that, until police reform happens in Utah, young men will continue to be ripped away from their families.