Letters to the Editor, Jan. 6-8, 2016
January 5, 2016
Owner is responsible for dog’s and mountain lion’s death
This is written regarding the Salt Lake Tribune article about a cougar attack in Summit Park on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.
The facts squarely put responsibility for this sad event on the owner, not her dogs or the cougar. She let her dogs out (NOT on leash) at 2 a.m. They didn’t find the dead dog until morning, while the other dog returned injured. Letting them out to roam is cruelty considering the brutal temperatures up here, let alone the danger posed by wildlife. Given her negligence the owner’s satisfaction with the cougar’s killing is offensive. She alone bears responsibility for her poor dog’s death and the surviving dog’s injuries, not to mention the destruction of a beautiful wild animal.
Science indicates cougars are struggling in Utah because of over-hunting of their small numbers, the encroachment on their territory by development and the negligence of humans. It hurts to lose a dog that is loved and cared for. There surely wasn’t enough care to protect those dogs, allowed out off leash to encounter a cougar just trying to exist. How very sad for the animals.
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Gallagher critic’s anger is misplaced
I was not at the Dec. 27 performance by Gallagher at the Egyptian Theater that caused Virginia Shram to feel the personal attack and victimization she reported in her guest editorial, but I was surprised that The Park Record would print the serious charge that Randy Barton "threatened and harassed" her, given that Ms. Shram’s only reported interaction with Mr. Barton was that he asked her why she was leaving the theater mid-performance. Also, based on what Ms. Shram has written, the only violation of core values in this situation is the one that would have occurred if Gallagher’s other performances had been cancelled as requested by Ms. Shram, which Mr. Barton averted by refusing to do so.
People in Park City like to leash their comedians even less than they like to leash their dogs.
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Call to censor comedian is part of worrisome trend
As a lover of comedy, the Egyptian, and the LGBTQIA community, the reaction to Gallagher brings up mixed emotions. Gallagher is offensive. Gallagher is crude. Gallagher is incredibly controversial. But Gallagher is also talented and very funny. It’s difficult to differentiate between what can be labelled as "hatred" and what is simply a joke. Being able to laugh at one’s own characteristics is incredibly important when living in a world with so much diversity, but having that self-awareness is difficult when one begins to feel like the victim.
As a college student, the effects of a society that demands political correctness in all spaces are instantly recognized. Incredibly talented comedians of all kinds are now turning down offers to play college campuses because they are aware of the outrage that any off-color comedy is likely to inspire. The harsh criticisms coming from those people for whom an act were never intended can often ruin these acts for folks who would really enjoy them. The people who get excited to see comedians like Gallagher enjoy these acts not because they are bigoted, but because they can see the humor in all aspects of life.
It would be an awful shame to see a public demand for censorship leak out of its current home in college campuses — a place where it is already very limiting to the free flow of speech and ideas — and start affecting incredible communities like the one we have here in Park City. Gallagher should be discussed widely and thoughtfully, but not censored.
Self-censorship is an acceptable practice. When planning to see a concert, theater performance, or sporting event, an attendee would be advised to research what they’re about to see and decide if it’s worth their time and money. That same advice is even more enthusiastically given when planning to go see a comedian. I mean absolutely no ill will toward Virginia Shram, and I hope her relationship with a wonderful establishment like the Egyptian Theatre can be mended, but a few minutes on Google could have saved a world of heartache.
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Bigotry is alive and well on the montain
A friend of mine is a successful business man who has lived in several places in Europe and the U.S. He is also a Holocaust survivor. He often says that he feels more comfortable, more accepted, less threatened in Utah than in any other place he has lived.
A nice comment on our community.
Another friend of mine recently had a different experience. She was riding up the Silverlode chair lift with three friends. They were joined by two men they did not know clearly out-of-towners, and, as is often the case, they struck up a conversation. It was friendly at first, but then one of the two men passed the comment that the Park City ski area used to be great, until it was purchased by a Jew from Long Island. My friend told him she was a Jew from Queens, to which he replied, "I figured". Their conversation ended with that.
We are fortunate to be in Park City, but perhaps we live in a cocoon here. It is important to remember that elsewhere bigotry, racism, ignorance, and hatred exist, indeed thrive, at all social and economic levels. A sad comment on our larger community.
Ted Levy (A Jew from Brooklyn)