Letters to the Editor, May 3-5, 2017
Submissions from Park Record readers
Trump could tweet that the wall is already done
Reality, this week concerned with continued funding of the government, has apparently gotten in the way of Trump’s Border Wall. But wait, timely formation of a Committee of Frontier Defense (CFD) similar to France’s efforts after WWI could still save the day. After that credibly deniable fake news Trump just has to tweet that his wall is funded, done and dusted. Follow this with an arrogant Sean Spicer convolution and all that’s left is a ribbon cutting for the Imaginot Line and a wild celebration for our narrowly salvaged safety and freedom. Ditto for the wall we’ll soon need to keep out Canadian cows.
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Federal budget cuts imperil our children, our elders and ourselves
As a Speech/Language Pathologist with 47 years experience, I am concerned about the cuts in the proposed Federal budget. I have worked with children in Early Intervention (birth to age 3), pre-school (ages 3-5), public school (pre-K through 12th grade), and with geriatric patients up to age 90. I have worked with people in all ages and stages of their lives. I have worked in suburban New York schools, inner-city Boston schools, and mountain and rural schools in New Hampshire. I have worked with people of all races and from all economic levels.
I know from experience that hungry children do not learn well. Malnourished children do not grow well cognitively, emotionally or physically. To cut meals that feed children contributes to a tragic waste of human potential. Cutting after-school programs that feed children and provide a safe place to do homework would mean that parents either would not be able work and pay taxes, or that children would not be safe in unsupervised home situations.
Cutting the Meals on Wheels program, which services elderly people, many of whom are shut-ins, means that these people would lose not only nourishing meals, but often their only contact with the world outside their homes. Malnourished people become ill, and wind up in the hospitals more often, which, without adequate insurance, means that over-burdened hospitals bear the brunt of the cost. This cost, of necessity, would be passed on to other patients. The result would be that the cost of health care would increase.
As a Jew, I have been taught “…to do unto others as I would have done to me.” I am writing to our legislators that, as Christians, they have been taught the same doctrine. To put this is practical terms, would you, the reader, want your children or grandchildren to go hungry or unsupervised after school? Would you want your parents, grandparents, or yourself, should you suffer a reversal of fortune, not to be able to have meals delivered, if you could not provide them for yourself? Our legislators are charged with the responsibility to care for the welfare of the people in our state. The past has shown that “Trickle-down Economics” does not work. We should be smart enough to learn from the mistakes of the past.
The Affordable Care Act does need work. If more states had opted in, so that the pool of healthy people had been larger, costs would have been cut. Cutting health care for thousands of people does not serve the best interest of this country. Fix the plan, don’t scrap it.
I would hope that you, the reader, would consider the concerns addressed here in human and humane terms.
Deborah S. Taylor, Speech/Language Pathologist
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Tire size doesn’t matter
Why is it about every year this time we have people who continue to destroy what they love. They may not see it this way, they may not care to see it this way, maybe they just don’t care at all?
Here’s the deal: the size of your tire on the trail during mud season doesn’t matter, it doesn’t give you the green light to ride when the trails are wet. Our trails in Park city are nothing short of amazing, but they won’t be for long with our increased population, ridership, negligence, and sense of entitlement. The tread of a tire in any size and the centrifugal pull on any wet trail does equal amounts of damage, from loosening the soils, rocks and deepening the ruts around rocks and roots, not to mention the people avoiding puddles and destroying the outlying vegetation.
Park City people try to blame Salt Lake City people, but it’s Park City people I see on these trails. I witnessed at least 10 people riding around trail closed signs and Glenwild alone. I talked to four of them they all said they knew better than the people who put signs up.
Is that what we’ve come to? Please choose to do the right thing, give the trails a chance to dry up and heal from a long wet winter. It’s called “being good stewards” of the things you love the most. It’s called “doing the right thing.” Oh and my fellow dog people, pick up your poop and bags too.
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Ol’ Miner’s family appreciates the community’s support
We would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks to The Park Record for the article and tribute honoring our husband and father, Richard Martinez. We appreciate the staff and management of The Park Record for the long association they have had with our father. Over the years, the newspaper has published many articles on Rich. These articles assisted in Rich becoming very well known in the community.
Rich was a life-long resident of Park City. He loved this town. He served his community and the people who lived here his entire life. He will be greatly missed by family and friends, alike.
We would also like to thank the people of Park City, Heber, and the Kamas Valley for the outpouring of love, support, and concern shown to our family, expressed through the sharing of stories, flowers, thoughts, prayers, food, and donations made to the Park City Museum.
Thank you, again. Your caring and kindness are deeply appreciated, and will not be forgotten.
Leona Martinez and children: Deanna Welch, Jana Rae Grose, Rick Martinez, Clark Martinez, Crae Martinez, Robyn Martinez, Cori Ann Stepek, Trent Martinez, and Holly Taylor
Truly Inspired by “Antarctica Ice and Sky”
I am writing to encourage your readership to view the documentary Antarctica Ice and Sky. The film is available for a nominal fee by several viewing services via http://www.musicboxfilms.com/antarctica–ice-and-sky-movies-140.php?page_id=17 .
Park City Film Series and Citizens Climate Lobby sponsored a screening of Antarctica Ice and Sky on Thursday April 29th. I was one of the fortunate 200+ who attended. I found myself fighting back tears as I experienced a myriad of emotions produced by this story of a scientist’s lifelong commitment to his craft, told through an interesting narration of the historical video record.
Without spilling too much of the story I’ll simply say I now feel blessed with a deeper understanding of the individual risks, personal sacrifices and lifelong commitments associated with the scientific knowledge we humans now possess, the farce and futility of political distortion of scientific effort and a stronger commitment to fight political manipulation of our hard earned collective intelligence.
I attended the event expecting to learn a little bit. I left with a treasured experience. I encourage your readers to feel it for themselves.
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Park City is moving in the right direction
Responding to the guest editorial, “Park City is spreading false info about climate solutions”:
The tools in our energy toolbox today are coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear, and renewables like wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, biomass, etc. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses. Fossil fuels, with their high energy density, have powered our world to becoming what we are today and will continue to predominate, no matter who is in office, for decades. Thirty or so years ago, we began to take a greater look at the downsides of fossil fuel use and look at cleaner options. For coastal and central U.S. areas, wind currently beats coal and oil and competes with natural gas economically for electric power generation. In Utah and neighboring states, solar is our greatest natural asset and offers hope to many of us for improving our air quality, providing sustainability, energy independence, and offering thousands of new, decent paying jobs.
Every energy option has an energy penalty in the mining of minerals, transportation, manufacturing, and recycling of materials at the end of their useful life. There are numerous comparative studies that evaluate the carbon footprint of each energy source. Wind and solar are advantageous in that they create power onsite, with no burning or transportation of the fuel source; the serious negative being the ‘down’ times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind blowing; fossil fuels are required to offset the periods when demand surpasses supply; the advent of higher-density, cleaner, safer, and less expensive batteries in the coming decade offers hope that expensive ‘powering-up’ of gas/coal power plants to meet peak demand can be minimized or even eliminated.
We agree with the writer that the conspicuous consumption so evident in America and especially in a resort town like Park City is unsustainable; we need to follow the example set by cities such as Aspen, which require new homes over a certain size to offset their energy usage with renewables to make them Net Zero Energy. We applaud the efforts of Park City and Summit County to challenge residents to lower their carbon footprint. Contrary to the belittling statement by the editorial regarding energy conservation, it is the lowest hanging fruit; we can air-seal and insulate our homes, switch to LED lighting, upgrade mechanical equipment when it makes sense; it can save us money each month, conserve energy resources, and make our homes more comfortable for the remaining life of the home. We have excellent recycle opportunities with Recycle Utah and Habitat for Humanity, so that many items don’t have to go to the landfill. These efforts are important.
Is solar or wind the perfect solution? Not really. Are any of our efforts to make the world a better place perfect? Not really. Is the technology improving? Are our research labs coming up with superior and safer products? Absolutely! Is our community committed to becoming a better society by doing what we can to become sustainable? I choose to believe we are.
H. Macdaniel Ball
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Kids will benefit from Communities that Care program
I am heartened to see the funding for Communities that Care (CTC) as well as the efforts of Summit County to look at its mental health services. I extend my gratitude to the many individuals and agencies who championed this cause over the past several months.
Directly or indirectly, we all have a part in this initiative. In a meeting a few weeks ago, it was suggested that the intent of CTC is not to “fix broken kids,” but to remove obstacles that block their wholeness from being fully seen or expressed (4/26/17 letter to the editor, J. Pineda also made this point). The spirit we each carry in our daily lives is the spirit of the community we live in.
From my research, CTC provides a structure in which a community comes together to evaluate how well it’s supporting the livelihood of its youth. It’s an opportunity not only to see what’s working, but also to strengthen prophylactic and preventive measures. And it’s interesting that some of the best prevention exists in feeding the basic needs of the human spirit.
Last weekend, speakers at the TED2017 Conference “The Future You” unveiled scientific data showing the positive effects of face-to-face social interaction, the increased satisfaction felt by disciplining our cell phone usage, and the value that comes from getting outside ourselves and seeing a deeper meaning behind our actions. The research says these things might actually save your life (Susan Pinker, Adam Alter, Emily Esfahani Smith, TED2017, April 24-28, 2017).
Together, we have the opportunity to regenerate a sense of what it means to live in Park City, to be a young person, to retire here, or to engage with each other as residents and visitors. With moral courage, we can come face-to-face with the claims of dis-ease that have crept into the collective mentality of Park City and other Summit County communities and deal with them honestly, humbly, intelligently, and compassionately.
Doing that, we have the potential of being a community that recognizes that anyone might be having a good or bad day, and we can take a moment to exercise the spirit of humanity and give or ask for a bit of help from someone else. Or find happiness in small moments — in the feeling of satisfaction from knowing that you have done something well, from the feeling of loving someone around you and knowing they love you back, from the beautiful snow-capped Wasatch peaks or a walk in the mountains on your own, or just from a genuine smile.
I’m looking forward to seeing the good that comes from this opportunity and how the widespread nature of the program utilizes humanitarian elements to empower community health.
Ali Britt Ziesler
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Student wants leaders to support gun control
I want the government to ban guns because it causes so many deaths. The people who are allowed to have guns are police officers and military soldiers to protect the people. People think guns are not a bad thing, but it causes problems with the police. If the police catch you with a gun without a valid license, you can get arrested if the officer thinks you’re going to shoot them or someone else. It might get you killed.
I heard a gun shot in Salt Lake City, Utah; a gang member shot a 14-year-old girl and luckily the girl survived the bullet. No one likes to hear gun shots because it’s the worst thing you will ever hear in your life. People buy guns to protect themselves or to kill other people. Barack Obama wanted to make stricter gun laws to not have so many gun deaths. If the government banned guns, it will be nice to live in a place where guns are banned or at least that the wrong people are not using guns to kill each other. Hope the current government changes the gun law to keep the country safe from guns.
Park City student
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A reader says a recent City Council decision regarding affordable housing “does not support the fragile ecosystem of our town.”