Letters to the Editor, May 13-15, 2015
May 12, 2015
Drought is still an issue, despite rain
Smelling the freshness and enjoying the gentle "plop-plop" of the recent Spring rains that were caressing the trees and grasses outside, I was drawn to take a walk drawn not only by its soothing nature, but wanting to enjoy this brief interlude before the summer heats are upon us.
Rain and snow are the lifeblood that provide for every facet of our lives, and yet, as California is currently demonstrating (and the greater southwest of the U.S., in general), we are gripped in drought or near-drought conditions that is not predicted to go away anytime soon. Snow-water content in Utah stands on average at 25 to 50% of normal and low river flow is exacerbated as thirsty grounds drink up the snowpack run-off. So, as I headed off with ever increasing rain on the windshield and as I approached my intended hiking grounds along East Canyon Creek, it was with great surprise, and even more dismay, that I couldn’t help but notice that the sprinklers at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School were on and delivering their mega-gallons of precious water to the already saturated ground. What a waste of precious resource I thought! And I doubt that JRES was the only place this was occurring.
Technology is easily and cheaply acquired to sense rain and decide for us whether the grass needs watering or not. Installing such a system would not only quickly pay for itself in lowering water bills that our taxes help offset, but on a more ethical standpoint, it would seem only natural that our schools, in helping to set the example to those that we entrust to teach our young, should set the bar and provide the example that water conservation and water awareness needs to be ingrained so that our current and future generations can continue to benefit from water supplies that are increasingly becoming scarce.
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PCHS students: Save our library!
Before we even had a chance to have our first day at Park City High School, the PCSD School Board made a decision to get rid of the PCHS Library in order to make room for the PCCAPS program. Just like that. Without ever thinking, "Oh hey, maybe we should ask the students. Maybe we should get some input from the kids who are in the library every single day. The students who love reading actual book books. The students who need help finding information or need a quiet place to study. The students who feel like the library is the only place in the school they can go and feel safe, and feel accepted. The students who love the librarian like a second mother."
They didn’t ask us. They should have, because we are the people who are going to be negatively impacted by this out-of-the-blue decision.
For us, the library is more than just a place to read and check out books (although we love books). For us, the library is a safe space; a place where we can go to get away from everything we have to put up with in school. We walk into the lunchroom and immediately feel like we are under so much pressure to find somebody to sit with and find someone who is actually nice to us because, let’s be honest, high schoolers are not always the kindest of people. When we walk into the library we are immediately greeted with Hellos and smiles and ‘How was your weekend?’
The library is our place. And we realize that not everybody in the school is as ecstatic about the library as we are, but we can give you a long list of people who are. We can name many students who would be willing to fight for us to continue to have a library as we enter high school.
Aren’t there other solutions to finding a place for PCCAPS without taking away our library? Couldn’t the spaces be shared, instead of a full-on takeover? And above all, why didn’t anybody ask us?
Maggie Haynes and Abigail Burfitt
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Wine & Swine event provides vital support for Peace House
Barring any opinions of vegetarians who may have been present, the 2015 Wine & Swine pig roast to benefit Peace House was another great success. This event is held annually the Saturday before Mother’s Day to support the important work the Peace House provides our community and families in need. 2015’s pig roast saw new support from Smith’s Food & Drug and Deer Valley Resort. Many thanks go to the small army of volunteers from St Luke’s church that, without them, there would be no Wine & Swine events.
Special thanks go to local band The Dusty Boxcars. Their music made the evening something special for the guests.
Most importantly, thank you to the Peace House staff and volunteers for the important work you do for our community.
Paul Van Der Bosch
St Luke’s Episcopal Church
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Avid high school reader protests loss of library
I was in disbelief when I came across an article on the front page of The Park Record about the end of PCHS library. This confirmed the interview on KPCW the day before, but I still couldn’t believe it. I don’t know who is making these decisions, but I would like for you to know that there could be major impacts on the fact of my library being gone. From my point of view (being a high school student) I need my literature and strongly believe that without it there’s knowledge that I won’t be receiving that I might need for the future and won’t have.
What gives you the right to take my library away from me?
I appreciate the fact that the Park City School District provides me a laptop because I feel it has improved my learning. Learning with technology works to an extent. What a physical book can do for me can’t be replaced with technology. Libraries give me choices. There’s variety. Sure, technology can do the same, but a physical book provides information that helps me learn. I like having books because no matter what I am always going to have them, they’re always going to be here. I will have the chance to connect to books and recommend a novel to someone else.
I don’t like the idea of taking away PCHS library for PCCAPS. My school library is important to me. Don’t take it away.
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Resident takes issue with Simpson’s editorial
In response to Liza Simpson’s May 6th Guest Editorial, my observation is that, Council member Simpson, you seem concerned, perhaps a bit obsessed, with what "facts" Rich (Wyman) "knows" about the Mountain Accord.
Is your commitment to the process based on re-educating citizen activists with the "facts"? definition, an ‘accord’ is "a created harmony, a concurrence of opinions or wills." So the Mountain Accord may not be as fact-based as you believe; and it is most definitely not science, yet. Four arbitrary pillars of study: Transportation, Environment, Recreation And Economy, battle it out in a four-way tug-of-war, maps are drawn, scarce resources allocated and agreements reached and documented. And it may be the best process we have right now, as growth and development continue apace.
So why worry about a bit of critiquing? First, Rich and his group exert their efforts in a ‘watchdog’ role, in my opinion. Second, though it may be frustrating for you, by representing Park City in the Accord process, you represent the citizens who elected you, which requires you to listen on occasion to opinions you may not agree with.
After all, local community members feeling free to speak publicly, is at the heart of what creates a community we can be proud of.
Steven A Swanson
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Teachers are grateful for PTO support
The staff at Ecker Hill Middle School would like to thank our PTO for a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week. We felt loved and appreciated by our parents and students. The amazing breakfast, delicious lunch, and generous gift cards made us feel like true VIPs.
on behalf of Ecker Hill Middle School Staff
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Uber is welcome addition to Park City
With the implementation of Utah SB294 ("Transportation Network Company Act") that went into effect on Tuesday, May 12, it is exciting to see our state embrace technology and allow services like Uber to operate legally throughout the state — including Park City.
While the Park City Buses are a great form of transportation, often one needs a ride more quickly than once every half hour or don’t want to wait outside in rainy/snowy weather for the bus to arrive. The local taxis/cabs that are available are often dirty, smoky, take forever to arrive (if they even arrive), and charge an insane amount to travel a few miles (based on some of my recent trips it breaks down to over $4 per mile).
I learned of Uber several years ago during the Sundance Film Festival and was thrilled to see that they are now operating in the Park City area. This past weekend I took a ride from No Name Saloon & Grill to the Kimball Junction area for $10. The previous weekend (when no Uber vehicles were available) a local cab charged me $28 for the same ride.
In the past when I have called for a local cab I’ve been told that they are "on their way" only for it to take over 45 minutes to arrive. When I requested the ride via the Uber app, the Driver arrived in three minutes and I was able to follow him as he approached Main Street. I love being able to rate the driver and the entire "cash-less" experience.
I hope the rest of Park City is as excited as my friends and I are about the arrival of Uber. I for one will now only use them for my transportation needs. I would encourage everyone to try Uber.
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A little appreciation goes a long way
A tremendous thank you to Christa Graff and Erin Grady, our PTA Teacher Appreciation Co-Chairs for all of the food and gifts last week. Thanks to all the parents who support us all year long and our amazing PTA. We couldn’t do it without you!
Alane J. Gaspari
Teacher, Parley’s Park
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Feeding bears will hurt, not help, them
"A fed bear is a dead bear". I know I might take things too seriously…and the Steins Buffet jokes are funny, however the photos and videos circulating social media and the news of a bear(s) at Park City resorts are breaking my heart. First, why are people surprised to see a bear in bear country? Second, why are more precautions not being taken for wildlife to not access human trash? I am super unimpressed with the resorts ability to close the doors and keep wildlife out. Before this area was our play ground, it was this bears family home.
In other bear/wildlife communities they take much better precautions with trash. Not so in PC. There are dumpsters everywhere, home trash cans kept outdoors, pet food outside, etc. I am surprised that the bears didn’t get the "free food" memo sooner. PC and the resorts need to take ACTION right away to protect wildlife and the residents and tourists. When a bear starts relying on humans for their food source they can become dangerous and end up being removed or killed from their habitat.
So stop freaking out about the bears, take immediate action, put your trash away, travel in groups, sing happy trail songs, and let the bear be.
For more information residents and business should check out Wild Aware Utah on how to live and travel safely with wildlife. http://www.wildawareutah.org/
Shawnee Loris Sawyer
Wildlife Outreach Educator