Letters to the Editor, Feb. 21-24, 2015
February 20, 2015
Teen Council provides essential guidance for peers
The teen council of Summit County is doing some fantastic outreach in our community. They are a group of junior and senior Park City High School students who have engaged in weekly training and outreach to help spread awareness and unbiased information about healthy relationships and sex education. Teen council is funded through Planned Parenthood of Utah. Every parent in Utah of a middle school or high school student has had first hand experience with the woefully inadequate state regulated sex education curriculum offered in our public schools. The Park City Teen Council of Summit County is in its first year of public outreach. Their overall mission is to provide accurate information and daily guidance to their friends and peer group. The success is evident in the many events and presentations they have made throughout our community.
Since their three-day summer retreat, the teen council students have undergone extensive education and training skills in the many facets of teen sexuality. They meet a minimum of two hours each week and then volunteer additional time to bring their skills and knowledge into varying organizations throughout our community.
I have observed some of their work firsthand. The professionalism, poise and maturity exhibited by these youth are truly impressive. They have shared their knowledge and training through formal presentations at medical clinics, schools, church groups, youth groups, and a variety of clubs in our community. But best of all, they are available to share and engage their peers on a daily basis. Whether in the lunchroom, the lacrosse field or the bagel shop, they can accurately and honestly discuss topics of sexual identity, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, sexual abuse, consent, date rape, harassment, and any of the many influences that our children are dealing with in their social environs. This organization offers an extraordinary experience for those participating. They are exposed to information and practical skill sets that provide them with confidence, and self-awareness. In turn, they bring this to their peers by sharing their knowledge, encouraging safe practices, endowing empowerment and control in
the typically tumultuous time of a teenager.
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The Teen Council provides members with valuable, life knowledge. They are given the skills to better their own, personal lives and the lives, safety, and understanding of those kids with whom they interact. If you want to know more about Teen Council of Summit County, or if you want your junior or senior to consider applying to this amazing organization, contact Annabelle Sheinberg at 801-521-2731.
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Don’t let Wasatch Front outnumber us at Mountain Accord table
At a cost of $6 billion, The Mountain Accord is considering building trains from Sandy, up The Cottonwood Canyons, blast tunnels, and connect Park City to the Wasatch Front. This would have huge impacts on Park City, Summit County, and the Wasatch Mountains. On Tuesday Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. there will be a Mountain Accord Q&A and Open House at the Park City High School Lecture Hall. It is important that everybody in our community comes and learns more.
There are 21 Participating Organizations in The Mountain Accord. In 2014 they each paid $25,000to have a seat at the table. That number is being doubled in 2015 to $50,000bringing the grand total to $1.575 million.
In 2014 The Utah State Legislature apparently gave Mountain Accord $3 to $3.5 million. Now Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (R-Sandy), is asking the Utah Legislature to set aside $5 million this year for The Mountain Accord in a "bid" to lure the IOC and the Olympics back to Utah. The heads of the state legislature have been asked to audit The Mountain Accord before giving them any more money. The Leadership has said ‘no,’ they will not audit them.
Over the last two years State Legislature has granted $8.25 million to Mountain Accord.
Between participant funding and money from the state legislature more than $ 9.8 million is being spent. (Taxpayer funded city and county staff time spent working on The Mountain Accord is incalculable.) Where is this money going?
Utah is one of the poorest states in funding our schools but $6 billion dollars for ski trains?
Local leaders have said they are either not interested in the rail system or are waiting for more information, yet the new Mountain Accord maps already show the train coming out around PCMR or coming over Guardsman’s pass. If Park City and Summit County are paying to be at The Mountain Accord table then why are our interests not represented? Watershed preservation is a benefit and permanently protect forest areas but at what cost?
Park City and Summit County’s interests are vastly outnumbered among the Mountain Accord participants. It is important that everybody in our community comes to Tuesday’s meeting.