Letters to the Editor, Nov. 12-15, 2016 | ParkRecord.com

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 12-15, 2016

Submissions from Park Record Readers


Willow Creek ice rink needs more care and attention


Now that it feels as if we may actually have a winter, I was thinking about the ice rink on the pond in Willow Creek Park. As a former member of the PCHS Hockey Team, I spent many hours out on that pond in the past playing pickup hockey and simply enjoying skating outdoors. That was when the "Ice Man," Randy Hanskat, created the rink and was handling its upkeep. Just one guy. Despite that limited amount of manpower, Mr. Hanskat had that rink open every year for at least six to eight weeks. I'd drive by at night and see him out working on it in the dark using a lantern for lighting. There were times when a slushy storm would force him to close it temporarily, but he'd always get it back up and the ice was perfect.

Since Basin Rec took over the maintenance of the pond and the ice rink before the 2014/15 winter, it has been open, I think, a total of about two weeks in two winters. The year before last was understandable due to the warm temperatures, but last winter there was no excuse. The first two weeks of December featured highs in the teens and lows below zero, perfect for flooding that pond and making great ice.

My friends and I headed out there one day in mid-December thinking they must have flooded the ice many times with the cold weather. We were mistaken. The ice was so poor, and dangerous, that we took our skates off and simply messed around in tennis shoes and boots. It was a joke.

It can't be a manpower problem. I looked on Basin Rec's website and they have 25 employees. So, how is it that one guy working alone could do a better job than a whole crew of 25?

Recommended Stories For You

I hope for the little kids learning to skate and play hockey out on that rink, as I was when Mr. Hanskat first started doing the rink, that Basin Rec actually puts some effort into maintaining the ice this winter.

Erik Stevning
Park City

* * *

Are you smarter than a first grader?


Our first-grader came home from Trailside Elementary School a couple weeks ago holding an LED light bulb and told (emphasize "told") my wife and me that we need to change all of our light bulbs because it was the responsible thing to do. When a seven-year-old tells you something that you know is right, but you haven¹t done anything about, it is quite impactful. I want to thank SCPW for presenting their LED Switch curriculum to our young (and very smart) kids. They are making a difference in our community. Thanks SCPW!

Jake and Shawn (and Sebby) Doilney
Park City

* * *

Rocky Mountain Power throws shade on solar power


Rocky Mountain Power has proposed to increase the rates on all new solar power users so that the they pay approximately the same is if they never purchased solar panels. This means that, every time a homeowner purchases $20,000 in solar panels, hoping to avoid utility bills for the next 25 years and clean the air, her or his investment will have been wasted.

RMP’s proposal is akin to the action that Provo Mayor John Curtis vetoed when the Provo Municipal Council imposed fees on solar. As Mayor Curtis wisely stated, ” I believe a solution will be found that draws broader support from the community … and that shows greater respect for solar customers and for our vision concerning renewable energy and clean air."

Trying to balance out costs among different users is not unreasonable (although paying no attention to climate change seems ill advised). But RMP is proposing to make new users pay the same amount that they would pay without solar panels. Thus, it is not really about making things fair. It’s just about killing rooftop solar and the industry and jobs that go with it.

Send your comments on the issue to: psc@utah.gov with subject line: Docket #16-035-T14 Public Comment. Be sure to ask for an extension of the public comment period beyond Nov. 22!

Lauren R. Barros
Salt Lake City

* * *

Rocky Mountain has been a good partner, except on this issue


When I was a County Commissioner in Summit County I worked with Chad Ambrose as a liaison to Rocky Mountain Power. It was a pleasant experience. Rocky Mountain Power also made a very generous donation of $3,000 to our Park Record Newspaper digitization project. So, while I have every reason to be grateful to them, I’m quite disturbed about their fast-track request to add a surcharge to those who care enough to install photovoltaic solar panels on their roofs. Most people join in the rooftop solar installation movement to reduce carbon footprint and climate change, not because of any economy they expect to receive. The payoff is too far away to be palpable.

It’s important to my children and grandchildren to leave them with a smaller carbon footprint and a better chance that they can succeed on a planet that will survive.

If you charge a higher rate, however, you will dampen the enthusiasm for this valuable environmental contribution. Please consider denying the request for higher fees. Because of the damage that burning fossil fuel causes, people who use more fossil fuel electricity should be paying for the damage that fossil fuel burning causes to the environment. Think of it as a way to discourage carbon burning.

While I’m happy to pay a reasonable monthly fee to Rocky Mountain Power for use of the grid which they have installed at great expense, I’m not happy to pay more than my fair share. I was a very early installer of solar panels on my roof and I did it to serve as an example to others. Summit County and Park City have made great efforts to reduce our carbon footprint because climate change is already affecting our economy by shortening the ski season due to warmer weather. We can’t afford to damage it further.

Sally Elliott
Park City

* * *

People can't pick and choose which laws to follow


If you are in the United States illegally you are breaking the laws of this country. If you are allowed to break our laws with impunity then the rule of law, which states that all laws apply equally to all persons, no longer applies to anyone. The result is anarchy. No one who is here legally can or will be deported; this is the law. If you run a red light it is no defense to say you didn’t see it. Likewise if you say you forgot about the $50,000 gain from the sale of a property the IRS will extract a penalty and look at you very closely for years to come.

All laws must be equally enforced for the good of all of us. When city councils, sheriffs and marshals get to decide which laws to enforce, we are on the road to disaster.

Thomas Hurd
Henderson, Nevada and Park City

* * *

Students warns about dangers of drug addition


Drug addictions have been killing people since our ancestors first came to the U.S. and this problem has just gotten worse. Every year more than 150,000 people die from an opioid overdoses.

Many good people get hooked on drugs that they physically and mentally can't stop taking. My mom told me a story about a kid who had just had a shoulder surgery, and when he went on vacation, he crushed up his painkillers and snorted them. That kid has learned to deal with his addiction, and the next time he had surgery he didn't take any painkillers for fear of getting addicted again.

My uncle had everything a man could want, money, power, friends, family, but he gave all of that away for drugs. I've always found it hard to understand why someone with that much going for them would throw it all away for something so bad for you. But my uncle is a very lucky man because he found treatment before it was too late.

Drugs have changed all of our lives, whether it be remotely or directly, drugs have influenced, where we live, who we hang out with, and pretty much anything we do nowadays. In conclusion, we have to eradicate all drugs because drug addictions will be destructive and they have a history of tearing apart families, wasting money, and even killing people.

Jeremy McGrath
Park City

* * *

Realtors' 15th annual Turkey Drive was a big success


On Nov. 17 and 18, the Park City Board of Realtors celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the Park City Turkey Drive at the Market at Park City.

Our goal was 2,300 turkeys of which 850 birds were donated to the Park City Christian Center for distribution to both Summit and Wasatch counties. The remaining birds along with hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items were delivered to the Utah Food Bank for distribution beyond.

This drive is made possible by the many members, colleagues and friends of the Park City Board of Realtors that always give generously from their hearts. You have again shown the depths of your compassion and without you, the overwhelming results and the number of people that will be enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner would not be possible. To Rick Otto, Mario Ferreira, and Barclay Butera and their many clients and friends, a ginormous heartfelt thank you for your generous contributions during the Wednesday fund raising event that started this year's momentum. Finally a great big thank you to the many members of our wonderful community who again supported the turkey drive this year. Together we are making a big difference by "giving hunger the bird." Because of all of you, over 14,000 people will be thankful you provided them with a turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.

The turkeys for the annual drive are provided entirely by Mike Holmes at The Market in Park City. He has been our ardent supporter for the past 15 years and for two days Mike and his staff commit their time and resources to ensuring the success of this event.

Every penny collected goes to purchasing a turkey – we have absolutely no overhead so we rely completely on volunteers who are individually and collectively amazing and bigger thanks to them all.

We hope you will put the 16h Annual Turkey Drive on your 2017 calendar.

With sincere appreciation and heartfelt gratitude.

Deb Hartley
Park City Turkey Drive

* * *

Local climate change and what we can do about it


Every decision we make affects climate change. The U.S. has the highest per capita CO2 emissions in the world. CO2 and methane are both greenhouse gases. Air conditioning is the number one consumer cause of CO2 emissions, followed by CO2 emissions. Increased fuel efficiency and lower-carbon fuels are not reducing CO2 emissions due to increased per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Hydraulic
in eastern Utah captures only 10% of the gas it releases! The other 90% percolates through natural fissures into our atmosphere with a greenhouse effect 50+ times that of CO2. Forest fires reduce the amount of CO2 removed from our atmosphere by plants.

Republicans now in control at the federal level have vowed to eliminate climate change responses. So, what can we do to preserve our local ecological services (fresh air, clean water, decomposition, snow, tourism, …)?

Here is a brief list:
1. Stop building buildings with skylights and large east and west-facing windows that heat in summer and cool in winter and, if you own one, use insulating blinds or drapes. Build large south facing windows with 3 to 4' south roof overhangs;
2. Live near to where you work and reduce your VMT. Allow only new mixed-use development not requiring automobile use. Provide local employee housing;
3. Build wildlife road crossings to preserve the biodiversity of local forests to deter forest fires and sequester CO2. Prohibit new roads without wildlife crossings;
4. Eat vegetarian or grass-fed meat (grain fed beef emit more methane gas);
5. Turn off electric items when not in use;
6. Stop mowing and watering. Let your plants grow tall to conserve water and sequester carbon;
7. Turn off your air conditioning and turn your methane gas heat down;
8. Stop using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that kill bees.

Kathy Dopp
Park City

* * *

Healthy lunches should be served in healthy containers


This letter is an add-on to Paxton Ryker's 9/3-6 editorial pleading for parents to promote healthy plant-based foods in our schools. How dreamy if PCSD would offer a Meatless Monday, at least, to our students. EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School) is helping to replace processed foods with healthier, home-cooked options. Also this school year, Styrofoam trays have been replaced with a healthier and more sustainable alternative, thanks to students' Stella Strader and Gabe Reilly.

While the hope is to enhance school lunch purchases due to healthy and inviting options, there will always be home-lunches. Let's not forget about the associated waste! PCSD is working towards recycling in the cafeterias, but we as parents can also be more eco-savvy about how we pack our students' lunches. Check out these websites for options to avoid single-use plastic containers: http://www.kidskonserve.com, http://www.snacktaxi.com, http://www.to-goware.com, http://www.kleankanteen.com, http://www.lunchbots.com.

The amount of waste that is generated in our cafeterias is mind-blowing. Parents can help. Let's work together with a cradle-to-grave mentality for our children's health and future.

Mary Closser
Park City