Letters to the Editor, March 8-11, 2017
Submissions from Park Record Readers
Basin rec pleads for help from pet owners
Some of our favorite community amenities are those spaces that allow us to recreate with our four-legged friends. Dog parks, trails, off-leash areas – these spots allow us all to stretch our legs and enjoy time with our animals. Unfortunately, the actions of a minority currently threaten the enjoyment of these amenities for the majority.
We need your help. We have the ongoing problems of (1) owners not cleaning up after their pets, and (2) poop bags failing to make it to trash receptacles. Basin Recreation employees are working hard to groom trails, organize events and facilitate programming for our patrons. We rely on pet owners to ensure that the pet friendly amenities are kept clean. While it would be convenient to have a trash can right when you need it, placing receptacles along a trail without vehicular access makes it nearly impossible to carry large amounts out of the trail area.
We know that you all don’t want to trek through poop. We also know that you don’t want your pets to trek other dogs’ poop through your houses and/or cars. You are probably getting sick of hearing us talk about poop. We are appealing to your sense of community. Please remember to leave the area cleaner than you found it and encourage your friends to do the same. Doing so will ensure the continued enjoyment of these amenities for years to come.
Bob Radke, Trails & Open Space Manager, Ben Liegert, Parks Manager
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Our public libraries, ourselves
As gateways to knowledge and education, public libraries have always played an important role in our democracy. They are part and parcel of the American ethos, and a clear example of the workings of liberty, equality and diversity.
These days, public libraries play an even more critical role as not just havens of intellectual curiosity, but of tolerance, respect and civility for all who enter. They are not just a window into who we are as individuals, but a reflection of what we strive to be as educated and inclusive communities.
The Park City Library is no exception to this mission. It’s a 21st century space staffed by professionals committed to providing services and information to match.
During Fiscal Year 2016, the first year in the newly remodeled building, a record 161,215 patrons came through the Park City Library’s doors, an increase of 67 percent over the old library. In addition, meeting rooms were used 1,755 times and study rooms were occupied 5,356 times. Finally, a total of 17,368 people attended a variety of library programs for children, teens and adults.
These numbers show that the money invested to upgrade our library space and services was also an investment in our community’s education, our arts and sciences, our culture, and, most importantly, our children.
Thank you to the City Council, City Manager, and supporting staff and community members who had the foresight to recognize the value of that investment and the courage to move forward with the project.
And thank you to library director Adriane Herrick Juarez and her incredible staff whose hard work, professionalism and commitment to excellence pay back that investment many times over. They make the Park City Library not just the “smartest” building in town, but the “warmest” and most welcoming.
Christopher Cherniak, Chairman
The Park City Library Board of Trustees
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Thanks for giving young scientists a boost
We are writing to thank everyone who helped make the 2017 McPolin Elementary Science and Engineering Fair a great success!
In the weeks leading up to the Fair, several students from the PCHS National Honor Society helped our 5th graders ready their projects. Many science-and-engineering-minded community members judged our 4th and 5th grade projects with rigor, patience, and praise. The Montage, Westgate Resorts, and Skullcandy gave their employees time off to judge science fairs across the school district and many of them — some in bowties! — showed up on our doorstep.
On the home front, our amazing McPolin parents helped with everything from set-up to judging to break-down. Many teachers and staff provided guidance and logistical help. And the McPolin PTO and Community Council gave us invaluable financial support.
Finally, for the second year, Yodipity generously donated gift certificates for our aspiring scientists and engineers, proving that kids can be bribed with frozen yogurt to work hard!
This overwhelming school and Park City community support allowed us to judge more than 120 science and engineering projects submitted by 138 students. It was wonderful to see their inquiring minds at work…what questions they chose to explore, what tests they used, what worked and, sometimes more importantly, what didn’t work. Because that’s what science is all about!
We couldn’t have done it without you!
Maggie AbuHaidar, Susan Morris and Austyn Borjigin
McPolin Elementary S&EF Coordinators
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Exploitation of illegal immigrants
As someone who has worked in real estate development in Park City and Wasatch County for the last seven years, I would like to comment on the push to protect illegal immigrants from deportation.
The real reason Park City residents don’t want illegal immigration laws enforced is because they don’t want to pay higher labor rates than they pay illegal workers which keeps more money in their pockets.
While it sounds compassionate to say it is because they want to keep families together and that they have a better quality of life here, who are we kidding? How great can their quality of life be when they live on incomes far below the poverty level.
At least in Mexico or other Latin American countries they would have the opportunity to work in one of the many factories that have left the USA looking for cheaper labor rates.
It is no different for Park City residents who see themselves and their children as too good to do such undesirable tasks as housekeeping, janitorial, kitchen staff, construction labor, etc. Let’s just be honest with ourselves, greed, selfishness and pride are the real drivers behind the claim to protect illegal immigrants.
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Wodward project would violate zoning
Summit County is playing fast and loose with the development code. Woodward/Gorgoza wants to build a 45-foot tall and 52,107 square-foot building to house its indoor action sports facility at the Gorgoza tubing park.
The proposed site is a Hillside Stewardship Zone, which prohibits “recreation and athletic activities, commercial.” To get around the prohibition of the recreation facility, the county is calling the building an “accessory building” which is supposed to be a building which is subordinate to, and the use of which is incidental to the use of the site.
The indoor sport action facility will be the main attraction on the site. Requiring a 200 percent increase in parking is hardly subordinate.
The height exception, 45 feet instead of zoned 32 feet (a 40 percent increase) and the square footage increase request of 52,107 over the zoned 10,000 (420 percent greater) is to accommodate the indoor, action-sports activity. We all know the adage: if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck — it’s a duck.
The applicant, “Parley Recreation Partners,” provides recreation facilities. I am sure Woodward would be a wonderful recreation opportunity for Park City, but not where it is prohibited.
Let’s hold the county accountable to the development code. This matter must be challenged during the public comment process.
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Every person in Park City matters
I have been a long-time volunteer at People’s Health Clinic, a volunteer-driven, community-supported organization dedicated to providing quality healthcare to the uninsured in Summit and Wasatch Counties. I am a retired nurse and donate my time every week by seeing patients, taking vital signs and welcoming each into our Clinic.
I am also privileged to be a board member, as our main purpose is to ensure our doors always stay open for the patients.
This clinic is a lifeline for all people in Park City. My heart is full of gratitude for our staff and volunteer physicians whose commitment and passion for each patient is relentless, providing the highest quality of care. And, nothing feels better than seeing their appreciative smiles. It is so rewarding!
Everyone deserves healthcare, no matter their economic, ethnic or cultural background. Please help us keep People’s Health Clinic alive and strong and consider volunteering. There are many ways to contribute whether you can translate Spanish, have medical training or can donate funds or items, we need you!
Please visit our website for more information (www.phcpc.org). Park City is only as strong as the people in our community and each person matters.
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A tribute to two top-notch educators
The Park Record recently ran articles highlighting two of Park City’s elite educators. I hope folks understand that this couple, an educational super-duo in my opinion, has been working hard on behalf of our students for many years.
Charlie and Heidi Matthews have always given selflessly to the individual and collective pursuits of students in Park City. Charlie, as PCSD’s STEM coordinator offers tireless support for our science students, programs, and science fairs. Heidi shined as a librarian for years at Treasure Mountain and now shares her expertise with the state as UEA President. She is a fierce advocate for all students both locally and nationally.
If you see them around town or on trail please say hello and thank them for all that they do. We are fortunate to have them in our community.
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Remind Congress to fund AIDS relief programs
Teri Orr’s touching story, “What it took to rise” in the March 4 edition of The Park Record, helps us understand and appreciate the many lives we lost to HIV/AIDS not that long ago. Now there are antiretroviral medicines that bring almost-normal life to people living with HIV. But we need to rise again if we are to protect programs like PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and malaria.
These programs are providing life-saving medicine to millions around the world, strengthening health-care systems, and bringing hope that we will finally control these pandemics once and for all.
Of course, cuts to these programs will give these diseases a chance to bounce back to dangerous levels that threaten us all. So take a few minutes to call or write your representatives and senators and ask them to fully fund these programs, so millions of stories will not end like Tommy’s. We have the power to guide Congress to the right decision: make the call.
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Feminism comes in many forms
Feminism is a loaded word these days: to some a badge of honor and others a personal attack. The Silverzweig family brand of feminism is passionate and inclusive — women can do anything and should not be limited by society or government.
That can mean earning a wage, raising children, or both at once so long the woman makes that decision for herself. My wife Chelsea has chosen to stay at home with the kids. Being a passionate feminist and a stay-at-home mom can be lonely. Stay-at-home moms are often overlooked and under-appreciated, not just by society at large but by leaders of the feminist movement, as well.
Wednesday, March 8 is a ‘Day Without Women.’ All over the country, women are showing how crucial they are to America by not participating both at work and at home. I live in the Wasatch Valley, and here women work at the highest levels of society and industry: judges, doctors, mayors, teachers, nurses, police officers, and more.
They also work hard at home, like Chelsea, where the hours are longer and the pay much worse. If every hard-working woman either in an office or at home took a day off on Wednesday, the whole valley would grind to screeching halt.
I don’t yet know if Chelsea will participate in the Day Without Women, or if she’ll decide her personal obligations outweigh her political beliefs, but either way this is true: I couldn’t do anything without her. I couldn’t run my business. I couldn’t raise our two beautiful children to be so kind and wise and sweet and clever. I couldn’t keep the house such a warm and inviting place to live.
I’m deeply grateful and under no illusions as to how essential she is.
So thank you, Chelsea, so very much.
President, Wasatch County Young Democrats
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“I am concerned with reliance on the information coming from the ‘professional consultants’ without challenging or exploring the critical underlying assumptions driving their analyses,” writes Old Town resident David Gordon about the proposed PCMR project.