Letters to the editor, March 1-3, 2017 | ParkRecord.com

Letters to the editor, March 1-3, 2017

Submitted by Park Record readers.

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Here's how you can help save Bears Ears

Editor:

I oppose actions by our legislature to eliminate or shrink Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante monument. I’m sure many of you reading this feel the same way, especially after President Obama already shrunk the parcel by 600,000 acres.

Here in Park City, most of us appreciate the benefits of tourism and open space and believe they would serve the Bears Ears and Escalante communities better than mining, drilling and development. If you agree, here are a few things you can do to make a difference while having some fun:

1. Call and write to your representatives and the Governor.

2. Visit these areas. Talk with the locals. Spend a little money. Jumpstart the economic benefit that the local population may not yet appreciate.

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3. Take pictures of the magnificent landscape. Post on social media. Educate your friends and family. Ask them to take action.

So when you’re planning your mud-season desert trip this spring, make sure you include Bears Ears and Escalante. Do your part to keep these areas pristine and pure for all. Be the change you want to see.

Alison Godlewski
Park City

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Utah should work to retain top talent, regardless of gender

Editor:

On February 15, ParkRecord.com published a letter to the editor from the Wasatch County GOP Vice-Chair, bemoaning gender wage equality because of "simple economics." Based on his letter I believe it would be generous to call Mr. Green's understanding of economics rudimentary.

I am a daughter of Utah. I was born here, educated here, and will be graduating in a few short weeks with an MBA from the University of Utah, thanks in part to generous state-sponsored tuition waivers and scholarships. After graduation, I will be taking my MBA, and matching salary, out of state. It was an easy decision, since all but two other states in the union have a smaller gender pay gap than Utah. There is an economics term for the exodus of skilled workers from their homes to seek better pay elsewhere: it's called a brain drain, Mr. Green, and, if you made it past day one of Econ 101 you would know that it's universally considered to be a bad thing.

More women in the workforce, however, is an undeniably good thing. It may shock Mr. Green that many women actually want to work, just as others want to be full time parents. A study published by McKinsey & Company in 2015 found that full gender pay equality would add $4.3 trillion to the United States GDP, echoing a number of recent studies. A productive labor force is where we achieve a return on investment on the educating of young people—the missed potential shows that our educational investment is currently being squandered.

To my Utah Legislators who get weak-kneed at the idea of running government like a business: Utah should work hard to attract and retain top talent, which inevitably includes both men and women. Retaining top talent requires proper and equal compensation. The Equal Pay Bill is the first step in growing Utah's GDP, retaining talent, and moving compensation into the 21st century.

Shelby A. Cate
MBA Candidate, David Eccles School of Business, 2017

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Wiping out predators will damage entire ecosystem

Editor:

Congress has voted to strip away protections for wolves, bears and other predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. Don Young, R-Alaska argues the rule "illegally seized authority away from the state of Alaska". This rule was crafted by professional wildlife managers to stop the most appalling practices imagined in wildlife "management." Young promotes killing wolf pups and hibernating bears in their dens, shooting grizzly bears from aircraft, and trapping grizzlies and black bears with steel-jawed leg-hold traps and snares for a slow, cruel death.

Refuges are where we celebrate biological diversity. This is not hunting for food; it is perverse slaughter. It's an outrage that Congress would revoke rules that stop senseless slaughter of predators in disregard of the important role they play in healthy ecosystems. Science be damned! Wolves and bears are "keystone predators," annihilating them will affect other species and the entire ecosystem. Climate change and human development has already savaged wildlife. The last resort is the Senate. With the present administration the outcome looks dim. Please pressure your senators and sign this petition if you care.

For more information: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/239/695/517/dont-allow-slaughter-of-any-more-alaskan-wolves/

Maria Roberts
Park City

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Green needs to back up apology with action

Editor:

Sure, Mr. Green, I accept your apology for your misguided recent letter. You make a key point in your latest letter: we all agree there are historical attitudes and challenges in overcoming pay disparity. That is exactly why the government has a responsibility to make sure all workers are given the same opportunity to compete fairly in the work force. Now the burden is on you to proactively empower your female constituents and raise their wages to equal a man's for a job well done.

While you are at it, support a woman’s ability to have control over her own body and reproductive rights! I am more than willing to forgive you, but I will not forget either, if your actions do not back up your words.

Eileen Kintner
Park City

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Effort to preserve Bonanza Flats continues

Editor:

The Summit Land Conservancy is a local land trust working here in Park City to save open space. Since our inception as a project of Park City's Leadership class in 1998, we've worked to raise money here to save land here.

Today, we are part of the coalition of 10 nonprofit organizations working with Park City Municipal to find the last $13 million dollars to save Bonanza Flat. This is 1,350 acres of beautiful, high alpine forest, meadows, and lakes and is easily viewed from the top of either the Empire lift at Deer Valley or the McConkey's lift at Park City Resort.

The broad support for saving Bonanza Flats is clearly demonstrated by the fact that 10 nonprofits, including local groups like Mountain Trails and the Summit Land Conservancy as well as state-wide organizations like Utah Open Lands and The Nature Conservancy, are striving together to reach this common goal.

The importance of keeping this property safe for public recreation, wildlife habitat, and the natural systems that catch and filter our water is demonstrated by the hundreds of people from across Utah who have donated already to save Bonanza Flat. The importance of saving Bonanza Flat from the proposed 230 units, roads, and fractured habitat was made clear when over 70 percent of Park City residents voted to tax themselves to keep this land free from development.

Together, we are taking big chunks out of the $13 million gap, but we still have a long way to go and not much time. Park City Municipal has to make a second payment of $1.5 million on March 15, and they will only make that commitment, if others have stepped up significantly.

Whether you call it Bonanza Flat or Bonanza Flats, we need everyone's help. If you'd like to be part of this amazing conservation opportunity, please visit wesaveland.org or call our office in Park City: 435-649-9884, We are all in this together.
Thank you!

Cheryl Fox
on behalf of the Summit Land Conservancy Board of Directors

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Reader asks leaders not to move backwards on health care

Editor:

You may think, as I once did, that insurance companies defined "pre-existing conditions" as chronic and serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Only people who are really sick had “pre-existing conditions”, right? Wrong! Pre-ACA I was denied coverage for the "pre-existing condition” of an injury-related knee surgery 6 years previously. Pre-ACA my husband was denied coverage for having the "pre-existing condition” of an unfilled antacid prescription.

At the time these "pre-existing conditions" occurred, we were covered by our employer's policy. We had left our jobs to work as independent technology consultants and were simply attempting to continue our insurance coverage through a personal insurance plan (as opposed to an employer-based plan). We never had a lapse in coverage. The multiple insurance companies from which we tried to obtain coverage did not relegate us to a High Risk pool with higher premiums or limited coverage. We could not purchase insurance in any form at any price, period.

Thanks to the ACA we've purchased health insurance on http://Healthcare.gov since 2014 without being denied coverage for, at some point in the past, relying on healthcare insurance to provide the benefits for which we purchased it.

Senator Hatch, Senator Lee and Representative Bishop: as you deliberate how to move our health care system forward please don’t take us backwards to a time where "pre-existing conditions" and coverage were determined on the whims and profits of insurance companies. Please don't be the reason my husband and I can no longer be insured. Please save our healthcare and vote "No" on any attempts to repeal the ACA!

Cindy Hendrickson
Park City

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Shrinking Bears' Ears will encourage sprawl, threaten economy

Editor,

I oppose the actions by the Utah legislature and our Congressional representatives to do away with or shrink Bears’ Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante monument.

These lands benefit Utah's outdoor tourism industry. Utah politicians want to sell off this precious land, and it’s already hurt our pocketbooks by driving away events like the Outdoor Retailer Exposition, which has brought 40,000 visitors, plus $45 million, from the outdoor tourism industry creating over $1 billion in tax revenues for Utah. This gorgeous array of canyons, cliffs, mesas, and sacred grounds as well as thousands of archaeological sites are threatened by extraction industries that put money in the pockets of out-of-state companies.

Rural counties receive a bigger share of money from visitors to our natural beauty, expanding their economies into a growing source of money and jobs from tourism and recreation. Lobbyists for quick mining profits threaten our Utah parks and long-term economic wellbeing.

Summit County and Park City are exacerbating fossil fuel demand by developing sprawling new neighborhoods that require expanding automobile use. Building roads without wildlife-road-crossing structures kills thousands of wildlife that keep our local forests healthy. When forests die out, due to wildlife removal, the local climate heats up threatening our winter recreation economy.

Millennials prefer homes in walkable, bike-able, multi-use, diverse neighborhoods near transit stops. European countries use form-based zoning with walkable neighborhoods and a wider diversity of people. Thus, the U.S. has the highest per capita CO2 output in the world. We should change single-family zones having good bus transit service to multi-use neighborhoods to allow denser development and stop sprawling auto-dependent development.

Kathy Dopp
Park City

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Park Record blurs difference between legal and illegal immigrants

Editor:

Talk about fake news! Your front-page story on the “Day Without Immigrants” protest conveniently failed to mention this was really a “Day Without ILLEGAL Immigrants.” No LEGAL immigrant is losing sleep about The White House insisting that federal immigration law be finally enforced after 30 years of non-compliance.

Yes, America is a country of immigrants but it is also a country of laws. The United States remains the most generous country in the world when it comes to legal immigration, welcoming more than a million people a year, the overwhelming majority of them being men and women of color.

This Orwellian blurring of legal and illegal into the word “immigrant” is another example of a biased news media more interested in pushing its agenda than objectively reporting the facts.

Austin Hardy
Park City

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Park City restaurants should offer more plant-based alternatives

Editor:

I recently saw a news clip that stated Germany's Environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, has ceased serving animal-based food at official functions. She feels the need to be a role model for combatting environmental degradation due to livestock production.

It made me think of Park City's stand on the environment and the residents' goal of being "green." Enough Letters to the Editor have already addressed this issue so I won't go into depth about the dynamics of livestock production, the health benefits of a plant-based diet or issues that have already been written about.
Twenty years ago I married a woman whose diet was entirely plant based. She never expected me to change my diet, but I ate what she cooked and found out how incredibly good her food was. Over time (as my blood pressure and other medical factors improved) I gradually changed my diet.

I have two points to make here: restaurants in Park City, for the most part, are lacking plant-based options for their guests. My wife and I went to one of Park City’s finest restaurants (intentionally not named) a while ago and found the only plant-based dinner option was tasteless steamed vegetables. I think a plant-based diet is becoming more popular and the restaurants in town might benefit by expanding their menu to include more plant-based options.

My second point is to ask readers who consider themselves environmentally friendly to consider the diet/environment relationship. Whether you try "Meatless Monday," change your diet completely or partially … this is a win-win option.

Finally, I'm lucky to have a doctor whose diet is plant-based (not many doctors go down this road) and I have learned a lot of compelling info that has been priceless to me. Restaurants, citizens of Park City, consider if this might work for you.

Val Stephens
Park City

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Word Gets Around

Editor:

Pretty little town I live in, so smug, so secure
All the help crammed into illegals ghettos
Patrolled day and night by our protectors
We all sure appreciate the below-minimum wagers
Forced contributions to our overwhelming illegal economy
Don't bullshit me, you and I know its true
God knows we want them to stay, otherwise where would we be?
We would have to pay them living wage, and charge the stars a little bit more
And our construction. real estate and service economy might have to finally be honest
Something they've never been.

Our Council, our City Government, has a unique opportunity
To make a truly ethical l statement, in the face of greed and the sand thrown in our faces
Be Tough but be Real, ignore for once short-term business interests
We are ready to spend 30 million dollars on low-cost housing
Subsidizing businesses who won't pay living wages
Never asking them to pitch in at all, the biggest lie to taxpayers so far
If you do that, we're coming for you

If I didn't know all of you better, I would say this is the typical political hustle
But I still have faith in you, Buck Up
Tell them all to enact a $15.00 living wage, are your jobs that important to you?
Tell the whining merchants, who we all subsidize outrageously anyway
To get a grip, this is who we are, they can stay or get out of the way
Stop cowering when it comes to what is best for our community

Don't disappoint me, I love you all
But look at what is happening around us
Have the courage to make a statement
Draw the line, for people who are here to stay
Housing isn't the problem, take first things first
It is the minimum wage

Michael Witte
Park City

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Crowd at immigration meeting was bigger than reported

Editor:

Regarding the meeting last night on immigration (St. Luke’s meeting of Park City and Latino Community): The estimate of 300-350 is low! The 16 pews hold at a minimum 12 and there were at least 12 people per pew – that’s 200! Standing in the isles and back there were more than twice that number! (no room left!) I am an engineer — at least 400 if not 500 when you include the kids and babies of our Latino families!

Great job Park City and Bravo to the Chief and Sheriff!

Robert Lux
Park City

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Capt. Green's letter represents regressive point of view

Editor:

In response to Saturday’s guest editorial suggesting that a prior editorial by Mr. Green regarding equal pay for women was misunderstood:

Having read many of Cpt Green’s guest editorials and letters over the years, I’m loath to grant him the benefit of the doubt and dismiss his views as poorly constructed sarcasm to be taken with a grain of salt. This man has consistently taken an extremely regressive (a better word than ‘conservative’ to describe GOP ideology) position on every issue on which he has chosen to speak. His thinking and views are clearly in step with those of fellow regressives, which is why he was elected Vice-Chair of the GOP in Wasatch County.

But his views (and theirs) are offensive to progressives everywhere, not to be taken lightly by those of us who would like society to keep moving forward and not take a giant leap backwards into a darker time.

Pete Nixon
Oakley

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Reader hopes sheriff will change policy on ICE detainers

Editor:

In the Park Record article about the immigration forum, “Lawmen Assure Latinos Amid Tensions,” the Sheriff’s Office process for when someone from outside the U.S. is arrested was described by Sheriff Martinez. As part of that process, the Sheriff stated that if the arrested person cannot prove they are legally allowed to be in the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is contacted. The undocumented suspect would be eligible to post bail and be released if ICE did not order them held.

What you neglected to say in the article is that the current practice of the Sheriff’s department is to hold the arrested person for an additional 48 hours if ICE requests a “detainer” so that they have time to interview the suspect and perhaps take them into ICE custody. However, at Thursday’s forum, Sheriff Martinez agreed to consult with his lawyers to determine if these ICE detainer requests have to be followed. The immigration forum panelist from the ACLU stated that ICE detainer requests are just that: requests, and not legally binding orders that have to be obeyed.

So, thank you to Sheriff Martinez for promising to look into the legality of detainer requests and for considering, if legally permissible, changing the practice of holding undocumented suspects simply due to ICE requests.

Bonnie Brown
Park City

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Park City property owner is annoyed by spam from Realtors

Editor:

My family owns a condo in Park City that's title is addressed to my residence in Hawaii. I receive a shameful amount of junk mail from Park City area Realtors fishing for business. I would say at minimum I receive 15 pieces a week, often more. I used to call brokerages, ask to speak to an office administrator, and ask to be removed from any further mailing list. Then I started noticing this was having no effect. Not long after, on a call to a brokerage, I was connected with a principal broker, who told me that no matter what I do, the mailers will keep coming.

Realtors routinely search public tax records for the billing addresses of area homes and send out these mass mailers. I find this practice offensive on so many levels. First and foremost it is extremely wasteful. If the total tonnage of junk mail per year originating from these firms could be calculated in sure it would be shocking. Secondly, they offer no “opt out”. Even the inbox attackers at LinkedIn give you that.

I only visit once a year, and I think it might be nice to bring a little something from Maui, a file box full of mailers, that is as long as it’s not too heavy to check.

Ben Ellison
Maui, Hawaii