Letters to the Editor, Feb. 22-25, 2014
February 21, 2014
Guest editorial was disrespectful to Mormon Church
I’m writing in response to Wednesday’s (2/19/14) Guest Editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune, titled, "Reduce Education Subsidy for Large Families." I understand that the article is from the Salt Lake Tribune, and therefore, none of you wrote the article, however, the fact that you selected it for print tells me that you thought the issue deserved additional attention.
I’m so sick and tired of the same old Mormon-bashing.
To clarify, I am not a member of the LDS church, nor am I a Utah native, however I have been living and working in the community for a long time, and I will say that some of my close friends are members of the LDS church.
I found the editorial to be distasteful and disrespectful– I am so tired of your Mormon-bashing at every chance you get (very bold I might add, given that Mormons make up 62 percent of Utah’s population, as the article states). Mormons were here before any of us, and they have made for a very successful, and community-centric state — isn’t that part of why we all enjoy living here?
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The editorial was meant to highlight a proposed bill, however, for me, the message was completely lost with the negative statements towards the LDS Church. Perhaps the bill has merit– however, after reading the article, I’m left with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth toward the bill and The Park Record.
Out of a three-column editorial, two of the three columns consist of stereotypical Mormon criticisms, and only one column is spent discussing the bill. If the bill is good, then it should stand on its own, and not because someone spent 2/3 of the time alienating a religion.
Just as you ask us all to celebrate "Park City Gay Week" in today’s paper, why don’t you practice the same tolerance and acceptance to the Mormon Church? Or do you find the church’s continued presence too threatening to your agenda?
Jackhammers are driving business away from Main Street
Jack hammering in front of retail businesses, concrete cutters employing their trade, active for hours in the middle of the day, in the height of our primary season. Visitors running down the street with their ears covered. Dust, dirt, and the noise, which is unbelievable. Large hauling trucks pulling in and out, constantly. All are an everyday occurrence for upper Main Street.
The negative comment from visitors says it all about how the city is managing this situation and how it impacts their shopping experience. Comments like: "I didn’t think we would be flying into a war zone," "When did that building burn down," and "How is this allowed" have been heard over and over this winter.
The impact to local businesses cannot be measured.
So where is the city on this mess? The appearance of unfettered and unregulated construction with no regard and concern for the brick-and-mortar retail stores who are bearing the brunt of this nightmare scenario, not a happy face to be found on upper Main Street and what’s sad most of all, even if the city chooses to come out from its hibernation with regard to the destruction of the winter season and winter business on upper Main Street, it’s too late. The damage is done. Why is no one listening?
What’s left to be said except: "The inmates are running the insane asylum."
Thomas Anthony Gallery, Park City
Legislature is negligent on air quality issues
I found an interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Internet version entitled: "Utah Senate rejects new teeth for air quality rules."
Once again, our elected officials have failed their constituents, by not acting to clean-up the air we breathe. Once again, they failed to recognize some very important biological facts: We need clean air to survive; we need clean air to be healthy; we need healthy people for an economy to work.
Senate Bill 64 did not make it out the Natural Resources, Agriculture, & Environmental Quality Committee, a committee that Senator Van Tassell sits on. All but one senator on the committee voted against HB64. Senator Van Tassell was not the lone dissenter.
Senate Bill 64 would have banned medical waste incineration within five miles of homes; increased maximum civil penalties from $10,000 to $37,000 per day and criminal penalties up $45,000 and more for repeat offenders. It would also have extended the statute of limitations to 10 years, due to the limited number of inspectors and resources for detection.
The existing state penalties are less than the federal penalties. The way to keep the federal EPA from coming to Utah with severe penalties is to "get out in front" of them with more stringent laws, regulations and rules, showing that Utah can regulate clean air and water with little or no assistance from the federal government.
Not moving the SB64 from a committee was a vote to keep polluting air, as we are aware; air pollution causes increased incidents of respiratory disease and in some cases cancer. It also indicates that the Senate and Governor are at odds over cleaning-up the air we breathe.
The one legitimate argument centered around a medical waste incinerator that had been at its location for many years and the governing municipality of that area allowed residences to be constructed around the incinerator facility. However, this argument is not insurmountable. It could have been exempted (as could all current incinerators where residences have been constructed after the incinerator) from the bill. As it turns out the incinerator in question, had planned to relocate before the bill was written, making this argument a moot point. Future residential incursions into the safety zone could have been addressed and a solution found, then written the bill.
Clean air and water is not a partisan issue. It is an issue vital to us all. Senate Bill 64 was needed, as are more inspectors and resources to make and maintain clean air in Utah.
Local kids’ success depends on education funding
It’s been joyful watching students I’ve counseled and taught do so many wonderful things with their lives over the past 30 years. I will speak to the resiliency and spirit of Park City kids anytime whether Olympians, American Idols (I don’t know Austin Wolfe, but I was instantly taken with her talent and diligence and felt she was overlooked,) environmentalists, humanitarians, authors, physicians, pilots, professional dancers, engineers, artists, and even some lucky ones have chosen to become educators. Many highly intelligent high school students have said to me,(and I quote) "I’d love to become a teacher, Mrs. White, but I can’t work that hard and be that poor all my life."
If you own an apple pie business, for example, and you receive a crate of bruised and less than perfect apples, you would send them back. We, as educators, get to keep each child, regardless of bruises/flaws/challenges and teach each to rise to the highest potential and help him or her reach the best quality of life possible. This takes a lot of time and money. Our educators aren’t paid what they are worth, nor are they highly valued. Let’s change that.
Many unsung heroes help raise our PC kids including classified employees who work in schools. Most have college degrees, but they earn a bleak hourly wage. No school could run without them.
School Board Members you vote for help allocate your property tax money, and I can attest that mine haven’t gone down in the past 35 years! Soon, we’ll have our kids back in town carrying Olympic medals. Austin will become stronger in her pursuit of a professional music career, and we’ll all help her. I ask only that educators be paid more when they clearly give their lives to launching our children. Let us pass this torch and hold it high for generations; let’s allow educators at least to pay their rent in Park City!