Letters to the Editor, March 25-28, 2017
Submissions from Park Record readers
March 24, 2017
WWII vet tells Trump: Do not built this wall
As a 90-year-old Marine veteran of WWII, I remember many things that seem to be forgotten in this era. For instance, a big wall built to separate two countries. At the end of WWII, Germany was divided in half between the Allies and Communist Russia and the capitol of Germany, Berlin, was totally surrounded by the part of Germany under Russian control.
So the city of Berlin was divided in half between the allies and the Russians. After a short period of time too many East Germans in Berlin were fleeing to West Berlin so the Russians built an enormous wall right through the middle of the city. I don't remember how many checkpoints they had in East Berlin, but they were heavily guarded by Soviet troops.
During several years after the building of the wall, many East Germans, trying to escape to West berlin were caught and imprisoned or killed. Most of the rest of the world was opposed to this wall and efforts were made to get the Russians to remove it. It wasn't until an American President, Republican Ronald Reagan became very involved and told the Russian dictator, tear down that wall" that the wall was torn down.
Now we have Republican President Trump wanting to build a similar wall in the United States of America. We cannot allow this to happen.
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City should consider selling ice rink
Park City has a commitment to preserving open space. This a wonderful policy, I applaud the city for the commitment to open spaces. When short on revenue a person, business, or city may have to liquidate their assets in order to achieve what they desire. I purpose the selling of an asset that the city does not want or need, that is not profitable, and that is not vital for the city to operate or own. Sell the ice facility and save Bonanza Flats.
The Park City Ice Facility runs a deficit and has been subsidized since it has been built. Selling the ice facility would save hundreds and thousands of dollars in tax payer revenues. Selling the facility would raise enough capitol to preserve Bonanza Flats. The benefits selling the ice facility out weight the cost of maintaining the facility that operates in a deficit. The overall impact of the sale would bring a great benefit to the Park City community. Savings from not building a new ice sheet would be over 5 million. The sale of the current facility would bring in at least 6 million. This is a very rough estimate but the ballpark saving would be over 11 million. Add in the loss that the facility operates and the numbers increase.
Private investment in a multi-purpose ice facility has been rumored for a couple of years now. List the facility on MSL and at least give it a chance to see how much or what sort of interest is garnered. It’s time to liquidate one of our city’s assets to preserve the land that surrounds us.
The question is; Would you prefer having a facility that runs deficit, that is difficult to maintain, and a place that a very small percentage of Park City citizens utilize or purchase a vast beautiful land that all residents can use at no charge? Selling the ice facility to the private sector is the obvious choice and the best outcome for the facility to maximize it’s true potential. Park City should not be in the ice business. Let the facility grow and maximize it’s true potential and at the same time save one of our most precious land areas.
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Consider the ecosystem as a whole
At a recent wildlife presentation by Jeff Corwin, he reminded us how fortunate we are to have hawks, eagles, owls and other animals in Park City. Last week, I was amazed to see what I believe was an eagle, several hawks, mule deer, elks and a pair of sand hill cranes, all as I left for work one morning from my home which borders the Swaner Preserve.
This week, I have noticed that the ground squirrels (really cute to watch), have returned along with signs of prairie voles (animals which mate for life and show other human like social behaviors). My letter is in the hope that people won’t be quick to use harmful poisons to rid themselves of these sometimes less appreciated creatures. The hawks and other birds of prey are here because of the plentiful ground squirrels and voles. When we poison them, we often also poison the animals that feed upon them. And the biologist in me can not believe that the poisons do not enter our waterways especially in areas close to the Swaner Preserve.
We use to have so many foxes but I have only seen one in the last year. Please let’s think of our ecosystem as a whole, and help preserve what we have in Park City.
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Housing needed for middle income folks too
It is all well and good that this community provides low income housing for the resorts workforce and now, homes for the “essential” workforce but what about the employees that fall between these two barriers to housing? My adult son works for a resort and makes too much for low income, is not “essential” and not enough to afford the high cost of rent that is advertised in this paper and online! I’m very surprised that more people don’t complain about this.
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Don't turn Canyons Village into a city of high rises
A challenge to TCFC, Replay and Vail – let’s get real about your intended amendments to the current Canyons SPA regulations. It’s cute to call this area Canyons Village but what these guys seem to have in mind is actually Canyons City. How high can they go, how dense can they build, how much money can they make? Come on, maybe roll back the avarice just a little bit.
Try to attend the SBPC meeting — guaranteed to be important and interesting for us all.
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Private outdoor event space would disrupt neighborhood
Thursday, March 30 at 6 p.m, the Park City Council will hear an appeal of a recent approval of rooftop event space above the Kimball Garage. We should all seriously consider attending. The citizens filing the appeal believe the outdoor and tented space for up to 480 people with amplified music for unlimited days of the year will seriously devalue their lives in Old Town. But it’s not just an Old Town problem. We fear it will also further degrade the Old Town experience for all of us in the City and County, as well as for our visitors.
This use of the former Kimball Art Center will change the feel of Park City more than any Danish-architect-designed remodel ever could. Traffic, parking, air pollution, noise and night sky impacts have not been fully studied, and there are no requirements for their mitigation.
Imagine the congestion with Ubers dropping off guests for a large wedding on Heber Avenue at 5 p.m. on a Saturday during Christmas. Imagine the attendees of a corporate dinner looking for parking in Swede Alley. Imagine this space rented by Sundance each year. And the catering trucks double-parked on Park Avenue. And the number of service workers driving in to staff these events, as we have only begun to build new affordable housing for the existing workforce.
And certainly not least of all, we feel for our Old Town friends who will be listening to amplified music several night a week or more. As someone said, listening to 480 “happy” partiers sing “YMCA” at 10 p.m. night after night could have more residents selling and Old Town becoming our complete AirBnB sector.
Here’s the crux: The Planning Commission seems to be at cross-purposes with City Council, who is looking to “take our foot off the gas” regarding events. The City Event staff goes through an involved process evaluating and mitigating the impacts of events before giving approval to even a one-day event. But the Commission just gave 365 event approvals each year into the future. No special event permit or mitigations required.
City Council has a new vision for Park City that is more citizen-focused. They need to know we don’t believe this use fits a small, livable, complete community. Please come to the Marsac at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. If you can’t attend, send an email or make a call.
Sarah and Chuck Klingenstein
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Celebrating spring in a sustainable way
Where is global warming when we need it? I do look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather, and flowers in bloom.
The first day of spring is actually a perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our personal habits — to clean house, to jog outdoors, and to replace animal foods with healthy, delicious vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits.
The shift toward healthy eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well are touting vegan recipes.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world’s No. 1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about "death of meat." Even Tyson Foods new CEO sees plant protein as the meat industry’s future.
Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years.
Each of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based dinners and desserts in our supermarket’s frozen food, dairy, and produce sections.