Letters to the Editor, February 23-26, 2013
February 23, 2013
My name is Will. I am a fourth grader at Evansville Day School in Evansville, Indiana. I am working on a state report on Utah. I would appreciate if you could publish my letter in your newspaper so your readers could send me postcards, brochures, or anything else that would help me with my report. Could you please have them send the information by April 1, 2013.
3400 N. Green River Rd.
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VAWA bill poses constitutional problems
This is a response to a column, "Which violence victims should we protect?" which appeared in The Park Record on Feb. 20.
Sen. Hatch was an original cosponsor of the original version of VAWA in 1994 and voted to reauthorize it both times since (in 2000, and 2005). The primary reason Sen. Hatch opposed the version of the reauthorization bill that passed last week was because of a provision regarding how VAWA would be enforced on Native American lands.
Section 904 of the Leahy bill would give tribal courts jurisdiction over non-tribal individuals in domestic-violence cases. This presents numerous constitutional problems, since Native American reservations are sovereign nations, and key provisions of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights have been interpreted not to apply there.
The version of VAWA that passed the Senate lists certain rights to be afforded non-tribal defendants, but not only stops short of guaranteeing all constitutional rights but also does not provide for direct review of convictions in U.S. courts. Sen. Hatch could not support legislation that deprives American citizens of constitutional rights and judicial protection.
Press secretary, Office of Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
Are we evolving, or taking a step backwards?
Beginning with about first grade, my parents taught me that you don’t respond to violence with violence. You need to be above that.
When I studied the Greek philosophers and world history and compared it with modern society (this is back in the 1960s), I believed that we were evolving into a more rational and gentle species. We’ve come a long way in doing away with slavery and child labor, for example. We’ve granted women suffrage and other protections.
Lately thought, have we taken a step back? Is the answer to gun violence more gun violence? Are the lessons my parents taught me and the lessons I taught my children about violence all wrong, or can we rise above that?
A frivolous wish list of unnecessary amenities
I am disappointed with the prospective development plan that came out of the county to be voted on by the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. The plan contains a push for county subsidies to be offered to developers that create high density, low income and work-force housing, fair grounds, heritage preservation and public art. Most disturbing, the plan calls for the county to "assist households who (sic) earn up to 150% of the Area Median Income" (AMI). The AMI for the Snyderville Basin is $101,000. This means that the county would subsidize housing for people with incomes of $150,000!
I was not able to attend the meeting to voice my concerns about the (mis)use of taxpayer dollars that would be associated with the adoption of the plan because I had worked a 10-hour day prior to the meeting. As a single parent and longtime resident of Park City, I work hard to make ends meet and stay in my home. Taxes have gone up considerably and take a large bite out of my earnings. Not everyone in Park City is wealthy. I make less than the AMI. I receive no subsidy, I expect no subsidy, but please don’t expect me to subsidize the increased tax revenue required to make accommodations for those making more than I do and a frivolous wish list of unnecessary amenities.
The County Council has chosen to increase county expenses by hiring a public-relations representative to sell their high-tax, big-spending agenda. I am grateful to this newspaper for allowing me a voice on this subject; I can’t afford a lobbyist.