Letters to the Editor, January 27-29, 2016
Dogs shouldn’t have free run of the city
This is in response to Beano Solomon’s response to my earlier letter to the editor.
My letter regarding the revised leash law contained no threat to sue, merely an observation that it will provide a much-needed method of financial recourse to those of us who have suffered attacks by unleashed dogs, and whose owners refuse to take responsibility.
Regarding your condescending assumption that I am a newcomer, I have lived in the greater Park City area full-time for almost 14 years — though I understand that makes me a newcomer by the standards of those who were born and raised here –and I have been visiting Park City on a regular basis since 1984.
Eleven or 12 years ago, I was attacked in Round Valley by an unleashed dog, who rushed me and clamped his jaw on my upper leg, with no provocation whatsoever on my part. I was ambling along one of the trails and the dog came charging out of the brush at me. I screamed repeatedly for help; the owner came running and the dog let go of me, whereupon the owner collared it and walked rapidly away with it. I yelled at him to help me as he hastened off; he did not so much as turn to look at me, let alone offer assistance.
Regrettably, mine is not the only instance of such an attack, nor of such a response by an owner.
Long story short: many stitches and roughly $2,000 in medical bills later — all of which I had to pay myself – -a lot of money for a working-class person who at that time made about 8 bucks an hour), I think it fair to say I am not merely a "disgruntled hiker" who was "hurt a bit." In addition to my medical bills, I lost wages for a period of some 3 weeks, as I was unable to endure standing for hours on end at the retail job I then held.
Leash laws exist for a reason: All dogs, no matter how well-trained, retain the capacity to cause harm, and very often their owners don’t know what will set them off until it happens. Most communities recognize this, hence the existence of leash laws pretty much everywhere. Any community which does not strictly enforce the control of potentially dangerous animals, therefore must realize a degree of liability in the event of attack.
And with regard to the further implication in your letter that I am somehow defective in my understanding of "community," please, please do come and introduce yourself to me at any of the sales conducted by the Summit County Friends of the Library (an organization I’ve volunteered for now for many years) or indeed, any of the other community groups for which I regularly volunteer.
* * *
Show some respect: stash the cell phone
To the parents in the back row: Sitting a few seats down from you last Friday night, I glanced over as you focused your attention on your smart phone. Then I turned my attention back to the stage. I glanced over again as the blue light once more lit up your face while you looked down upon the little screen. Meanwhile, on the big stage, the sixth and seventh graders of Ecker Hill Middle School gave the performance of their young lives in their production of "Beauty and the Beast." Was it Broadway? No. It was a middle school production and it was the result of hours of dedicated hard work on the part of the students, their director Mary Morgan and her crew. Unfortunately you chose not to respect this fact. You chose to spend half of the hour-long performance attending to your phone and the other half nodding off. I can understand the nodding off, it was Friday and it was a rough week, but the phone? It was Friday. It couldn’t wait?
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those kids and for the parents, family and friends who took advantage of that fact by giving the performers and stage crew their full and undivided attention. What giving that attention equates to showing respect for the dedication and effort on the part of those kids, showing respect and appreciation for their hard work! That is a gift you missed giving your child and as well as every kid on that stage. No one but myself is aware of the fact that you missed this opportunity. You may well read this letter and not even be aware that it is being addressed to you. But, as a parent, I ask us all to consider the ways in which we do and do not show respect for the work our children do. If we wish to have them grow into adults who fully embrace the importance of hard work and dedication we need to let them know now, while they are young and developing the traits they will carry into the future, why these efforts are valuable.
So, the next time your kid is performing, be it on a stage, an athletic field, a recital hall or wherever, please be there and be fully present for your child. They may never know what it is that you do in the audience or in the bleachers but you will and as a parent that makes all the difference.
* * *
Summit County applauded for grounding choppers
For several years, it’s seemed that our local governments have bent over to satisfy every whim of the Sundance Film Fest and any business affiliated with it. But I am proud and grateful that County officials drew a sensible line and brought an end to the helicopter transport service that was begun without proper permits.
Helicopters are noisy and, even when piloted by pros, have more accidents than fixed-wing aircraft. When they started landing near Old Ranch Road, citizens complained and the County stepped up and made them stop. Kudos to Manager Tom Fisher, Attorney Robert Hilder, Sheriff Justin Martinez, and Council Chair Roger Armstrong. Special thanks should go to Sheriff Martinez, who issued a cease-and-desist order. Ironically, Justin served as an air crewman on Coast Guard rescue helicopters and undoubtedly has more hours in the air than anyone else involved in the matter.
Again, thanks to the County for showing that, for Sundance, the sky’s not quite the limit.
* * *
Recycle Utah thanks Vail Resorts
Together with Vail Resorts through its Epic Promise grant, Recycle Utah has been able to continue educating our children on the importance of water and energy conservation, sustainable resource management, and the reality of climate change. With Vail Resorts’ incredible support, over 7,000 school children have learned the three R’s reduce, reuse, and recycle, and how to apply the three R’s in their everyday lives.
Without Park City Mountain’s generous donation of time and energy, Recycle Utah would not be able to teach nearly 600 children about our connection to water at the annual Water Festival. We are inspired by Vail Resorts’ commitment to environmental conservation and education, and through its Epic Promise grant, we will continue to educate the next generation of environmental stewards.
Insa Riepen, Executive Director
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