Letters to the Editor, Jan 13-15, 2016
Citizen input needed to redirect Park City School Board
Many questions over education and facilities continue to circulate after the school bond defeat in November. The citizens’ group Citizens for Better Education (CBED), has expanded its mission to continue to advocate for the community, voicing questions and cross-examining data, encouraging a broader scope of input on educational initiatives. Through private and public meetings, more robust conversations about education are beginning to happen. Next month, the School Board is planning a set of community meetings called "What Counts" to gather public input and inform the district’s strategic planning — those efforts will guide curriculum, programming, funding and facility decisions for many years to come. (Contact a Board Member ASAP if you want to be included, as the participant lists are being compiled now!)
The local Board of Education needs local input to know how our community defines student success. What paths are we taking, or need to realign, so we can reach these educational objectives? How do citizens help transform education in our public schools to assure the success of all students?
CBED is currently compiling a list of questions that we hope the School Board will consider in its strategic and master planning. If you have a question or topic you’d like asked, please submit it to us via our Facebook page "Citizens for Better Education".
We are all interested in the future of education in this community. Educational standards are changing right now at the federal, state and local levels. This next year will define those changes for many years to come.
Encourage yourself to be involved:
-Attend School Board meetings to know what’s going on.
-Contact a School Board member to be invited to the "What Counts" meeting
-Voice topics that need attention in our schools
-Go to "Citizens for Better Education" Facebook page and submit questions to us
-Follow our Facebook for updates and developments
We anticipate that the rigor, attention, and time invested now will set the Board and District in a direction that better aligns community, schools, kids, programming, and buildings toward a future we all support.
Ali Ziesler, Jim Tedford, Peter Yogman, Chuck Klingenstein
Citizens for Better Education
Reminiscing about Stein Eriksen
It is with so much sadness we must say goodbye to Stein Eriksen.
As a young teenager in Norway I watched all his races including the 1952 Olympics — always congratulating him at the finish and being rewarded with a smile and a handshake.
I lived with my aunt and uncle who were good friends with Stein’s parents, so they were frequent visitors. Stein spent much time in his father, Marius’s ski shop. Together they developed the multi-groove ski. Those were the skis I brought with me when I came to the U.S. in the 1950s.
When I took a semester off from college to work in Squaw Valley, Stein Eriksen, Trygve Berge and some of his other ski instructors came once a week and gave us "the greatest show on earth" as they did their acrobatic skiing, jumping over picnic tables etc. — nobody ever better than Stein.
We did not call him Stein, he was simply "Him." We, the employees of Squaw Valley, put on a totally amateurish show (The Squaw Valley Follies) at night which brought a good laugh to all.
In 1989 I was skiing with my daughter Tania and my future son-in-law, Peter, at Deer Valley. I shouted "single" and ended up on the lift with Stein. We had a long talk reminiscing in Norwegian which we did several other times when I ran into him at the Racquet Club.
A few years ago my sister, who lives in Oslo, brought me a book about growing up in Norway in the 1940’s — the World War II years, the clothes we wore, houses, schooling, food rationing etc. I loaned it to Stein who read it, signed it and sent it back to me. I will treasure that book forever.
Gerd Holmsen Aguilar
* * *
City’s decision in Round Valley my lead to lawsuits
In light of the recent decision by Park City Council to allow unleashed dogs in most of Round Valley: I do look forward to the imminent re-naming of the open space to Dog Turd Valley (though in truth it should have been thus re-named several years ago).
But let’s not lose sight of the upside: this decision should allow extra legal recourse to those attacked by dogs not under sight/voice control of their owners (which, in 10 years of hiking and riding the area, would seem to be the vast majority). Equestrians in particular are at huge risk from unleashed dogs, as most horses are spooked easily by them.
Unless City Council intends to hire a vast number of people to enforce the ordinance that unleashed dogs must be under voice and sight control of their owners, we should now be able to sue the city for negligence in the event that we, or our controlled pets, suffer injury from such semi-feral animals.
Park City Council has been made aware that many people and their pets have already suffered injuries, some severe, from uncontrolled dogs; it is an absolutely foreseeable outcome that more attacks will occur as a result of this new decision. Any negligence by the council in enforcing the sight/voice control law will ideally bring a much-needed ability to seek from Park City Council appropriate financial remedies (and, ideally, punitive damages) for future victims of dog attacks.
* * *
Stein stood out even among other medalists
I don’t want to say that Olympic gold medalists are a dime a dozen in Park City, but there’s an awful lot of us. Most people around here are only a degree or two of separation from one.
It takes a very special set of circumstances: support, physical talent, timing, mental strength – and probably a lot more – to get to the top of the Olympic podium. It’s extraordinary really.
Some local gold medalists stand out from the rest of us: Eric Heiden — five individual gold medals in one Games; unequalled except by Michael Phelps. Joss Christensen — throwing a trick in the final round at Sochi that nobody had ever done before, including himself. Unreal!
But nobody stood out like Stein.
Every once in a while someone comes along who changes a sport forever; like Duke Kahanamoku, Knute Rockne, Dick Fosbury, or Stein. The Duke gave us the crawl stroke. Swimming has never been the same. Fosbury gave us the "Flop". Can anybody remember going over the high jump forward? Knute gave us the forward pass. Can you imagine football without it?
I remember watching movies of Stein with my family when I was a kid, just learning to ski. He seemed unreal, more like he was dancing than skiing, A picture of grace and ease. It was athletic beyond understanding. Mystifying. "How does he do that?" we all wondered. All I wanted to do was ski like Stein. What was it that he did that everybody in the world copied, including me? Skis close together? Feet as if they were one? Shoulders doing some weird thing nobody had ever seen before?
Stein and these other amazing people find these things all by themselves. They figure out how to do something better or easier than anybody has every done it before. And their sport is different forever. . . .
We were blessed to have had one of these beings living amongst us. I used to run into Stein in the post office every once in a while. He seemed to be just another guy, but I’d get tongue-tied because I knew he wasn’t.
Dick Roth, 1964 Olympic Gold Medal swimmer
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Ray Freer writes in a guest editorial that residents deserve more answers about the process that led to the controversial Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street in July.