Letters to the Editor, Jan. 7-10, 2017
Submissions from Park Record Readers
January 6, 2017
Thank you to SCPW for helping us protect our snow
Many of us have been living, going to school, and working in Summit County for the past decade or more. We are all familiar with changes the town has experienced: from the explosive growth in Kimball Junction, to the chaotic scene that Sundance Film Festival brings, which seems to progress every year.
Aside from the town's physical changes, we can all agree that weather patterns have been a little funky. According to physicist Robert Davies' most recent presentation on climate change, we are indeed experiencing drastic environmental changes here in Park City. Over 95 percent of scientists agree that such changes are attributed to greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. We've all certainly experienced the impact: From an increase in rainy days throughout the year; to a shift in the heavy winter season months (October through March vs. December through early May).
Thankfully, there is an organization in Park City that has been working tirelessly to unite Park City residents and leaders to work toward one goal: to reduce our energy consumption and therefore our carbon footprint. That organization is called Summit Community Power Works (SCPW).
I'm writing this editorial piece to honor the work that Matt Abbott, Mary Christa Smith, and Lisa Yoder did along with many more devoted community members. SCPW was formed to compete in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, which encourages Park City and other communities around US to reduce their energy consumption. Such plan has been implemented with great success in Park City, as households have "made the switch" from over 100,000 energy hungry incandescent light bulbs to LED's. Not only that, over 100 solar panels and smart thermostats were installed.
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How much impact, exactly, has this effort had on our town? We, as a community have reduced our carbon footprint by 50 tons of CO2 annually. This number represents taking 12 cars off the road for a whole year, every year from now on. This effort certainly deserves recognition and continuity.
Let's greet this New Year with a sense of accomplishment, integrity and abundant hope for Park City's future. Let's set Summit Community Power Works as a standard model to continue our efforts in reducing our energy consumption. Let's transform Park City into a 100 percent renewable town with a thriving snow-based economy and recreation.
A 14-year Park City resident
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Utah Treasurer condemns monument designation
I am appalled by President Obama's decision today to designate a Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah – a decision that blatantly ignores the will of the majority of Utahns and the input of every elected official in Utah who represents the area affected by the designation.
The president has clearly misused his authority under the Antiquities Act, and in so doing has jeopardized the wellbeing of many Utahns with vested interests in the affected region.
As chair of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Fund board of trustees, I am deeply concerned about the damaging impact this designation will have on lands held in trust for Utah public schools – an estimated 100,000 acres of school trust lands are contained within the designated monument, and the designation could have a disastrous impact on the endowment managed by the state for the benefit of its public school system. Approximately 64 percent of our state is federal public land, while only six percent is administered within the school trust. By his actions, the president is showing reckless disregard for Utah's public education system and its funding.
Further, as chair of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, I am surprised at the disregard the president is showing for Native American groups — Utah Navajos in particular — who count these lands as their heritage.
As frustrated as I might be with today's decision, I am confident that our state's efforts to challenge this action appropriately through the many administrative, legal and legislative avenues available to us will yield positive results.
I will work with the incoming administration, Utah's congressional delegation, tribal leaders, our governor, our attorney general, the Utah legislature, and San Juan County officials to find the appropriate resolution to this important and complex issue.
Utah State Treasurer
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Sundance pops up with much needed supplies
I want to publicly thank the people at the Sundance Institute and Kara Cody. Before the holiday school break, the Sundance Institute supplied the PopUp Pantry at Park City High School with healthy snacks, toilet paper, hygiene products, and other basic necessities.
The Vice President of Latinos in Action, Angel Lopez, noted, “we are immensely thankful for the donations.” He explained, “families in need could breathe with ease” because of this generosity.
Often we forget how many struggle to buy the basics here, in Park City. Sundance Institute’s generosity meant that families could take a brief break from buying costly basics.
Because of the Sundance Institute, families in need left for the holidays with the basics. THANK YOU, Sundance Institute!
Julie Hooker, teacher
Park City High School
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