Letters to the Editor, Sept. 28-30, 2016 | ParkRecord.com

Letters to the Editor, Sept. 28-30, 2016


Dinner in the garden was a masterpiece


Sunday, Sept.18, D.I.G. In (Dinner In the Garden) was held at Summit Community Garden to celebrate Family Meal month. Two local nonprofits, EATS Park City and Summit Community Gardens, partnered to bring the community together to enjoy a delicious meal with fun, family activities in a beautiful garden setting. Much to our delight, the dinner sold out a week ahead, with over 300 people attending. This turnout was a true testament to the community support within Park City for an event that is designed to bring families and the community together in a casual, laid-back environment where people can enjoy locally grown food, listen to music, say hi to old friends and make new ones.

Not only was this event the result of a partnership between two nonprofits, the food was provided by a joint effort between the Deer Valley and Park City culinary teams — a true, unique collaboration that created a tasty menu from expert culinary minds. And it doesn’t stop there. The family activities, such as herb pot planting and an interactive garden display, were provided by other like-minded organizations, including the Summit County Health Department and Swaner EcoCenter.

Of course, it couldn’t have been such a successful event without the help of our own organizational staffs, over 20 volunteers, numerous donors and enthusiastic sponsors. Thanks to you for your passion and dedication.

This was an amazing community event made possible by some great people and organizations. The simple message of families and people getting together to share a meal is so important in this face-paced life we live — and it was thoroughly embraced by the Park City community last week.

Thanks again, Park City, for all your support.

Ann Bloomquist & Ken Kullack
EAT Park City & Summit Community Gardens

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Park City water conservation effort is good but could be better


I’m a committed homeowner (since early 1990s) and part-time Park City resident. I split my time between here and Santa Cruz, Calif., where I sit on the Water Commission, having previously served on that city’s Water Supply Advisory Committee. I appreciate the work that our Public Utilities department does to provide Park City with a safe and reliable water supply.

On Sept. 22, Clint McAffee spoke with Leslie Thatcher (http://kpcw.org/post/local-news-hour-september-22-2016), partly about water supply planning. I was surprised to learn that: (1) we consume over 11 million gallons per day (MGD) during the summer; (2) proposed system improvements may require over $100M in capital investments; (3) water-related costs run at about 2.5 percent of average gross income right now (versus the national ‘target cap’ of 2 percent); and (4) projected that water costs could run up to 4.5 percent of average gross income, depending upon the finalized capital investment plan.

By way of contrast, Santa Cruz consumption has averaged under 8.5MGD this summer. Santa Cruz serves about 25,000 accounts and 95,000 people. There is a UC campus in town, and 2 18-hole golf courses, all of which are served by the City’s water system. Like Park City, Santa Cruz is a year-round tourist destination. Certainly, Santa Cruz has higher average humidity. However, I think we can agree that the Santa Cruz system serves many more customers using far less water than does Park City. Santa Cruz has made conservation a cornerstone of its water-supply strategy for decades now, with the results you see: Santa Cruz regularly rates among the most conservative in the country as regards per-capita water use.

I applaud Park City’s current conservations efforts (especially WaterSmart). Given the consumption levels in Park City and the proposed supply projects, I would assert that we can and must do better with conservation here, before we propose to embark on capital expenditures on the scale discussed today. Once we’ve maximized conservation, we can evaluate the true need for additional supplies. The most cost-effective water supply project is the one you don’t have to build!

Doug Engfer
Park City and Santa Cruz, Calif.

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Canyons residents fight the battle of the berm


The Willow Draw Cottage subdivision in the Sun Peak neighborhood is feeling the Vail effect, and not in a positive neighborly way. Park City residents, here we go again! We need your support and maybe Vail will listen.

The residents of Voelker Court, bordering Canyons Golf Course have been shocked by a massive reconstruction of the 11th hole, including a huge 10-12 foot berm being constructed right in the backyards of their homes, substantially impacting views they have enjoyed for many years.

While a golf course in the backyard may be a good thing, the recent reconstruction of the 11th hole with blatant massive changes with 10-12 foot berms bordering their property is not. With a construction project of this magnitude, Vail and Summit County had a responsibility to give notify to the residents. They did not. This is not a low-impact grading project, it is a massive reconstruction with substantial impact.

This hole was designated as a par 5 with the hole to be located at the former maintenance building, but because the building was not relocated in a timely manner, former county manager, Bob Jasper, allowed a temporary par 4 and extended the completion date of the course from 10/31/14 to 10/31/16. There was no indication the fairway would be raised 10 feet above grade to extend the hole to a par 5. Furthermore, the county and golf course officials maintain notice to neighboring properties, is not required for a grading permit.

Did they know this reconstruction would include 10- to 12-foot berms in their backyards?
If the homeowners were aware of the possibility of future changes in this part of the golf course, I bet they did not know the magnitude of how these changes would impact their homes and subsequent future value.

Park City residents: Please take a bike ride or drive to Voelker Court. Take a look at the mountain of dirt in the backyard of homes bordering the golf course. It is absolutely wrong. Summit County and Vail, do you think a grading permit of this magnitude deserves notice to the residents?

Vail, golf course officials and Summit County: You have an opportunity to make this right. Please consider the impact this has on quality of life for these residents. There is room for everyone here — homeowners and golf course.

Cathy Richards
Park City

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America’s economic inequities must be rectified


The paradigm in the American workforce is still the white male. The gender wealth gap affects all women, what is even more appalling is the Racial Wealth Gap. This affects everyone!

Recent statistics are alarming: For every $1 a White American holds in wealth, a Black American holds only 6 cents and a Latino American only 7 cents. One might think this is related to education, however, unbelievably, a Black or Latino college graduate holds less wealth on average than a white high school dropout!

Most wealth inequalities are explained by discriminatory (overt or implicit) public policies and the federal tax system.

As Congress looks to enact tax reform for 2017 and/or beyond, I urge our Senators and Representatives to enact tax reforms that are on the legislative poverty agenda, that will be key in accelerating economic mobility by reducing current gender and racial discriminatory policies that target low-income Americans!

Some of these proposed reforms are:

  • Tax time savings. A stepping stone in building financial stability.
  • Providing incentives for tax time savings that will accumulate quickly through matched funds.
  • Allow workers to claim a part of their EITC early as an alternative to payday loans.
  • Ensure we are protecting ALL consumers.

    Michael W. K. Brown
    Salt Lake City

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    A wildlife fence along I-80 would protect animals and people


    As an animal loving person I’m very concerned about the wildlife that risk and lose their lives everyday while walking over I-80. I urge the government of Park City and/or Utah to build a high wildlife fence to prevent those accidents to happen.

    Currently lots of animals try to cross the highway because there is no way around it. Everyday animals and people get badly injured or die in those kinds of accidents. A reason why so many animals can get on I-80 is because the small metal fence in the Park City area is either fallen or just to small to prevent the animals from jumping on the street.

    Installing the high wooden fences outside of the Park City area would drop the percentage of accidents and dead wildlife. Because this decision might take some time, Park City might have some volunteers that would like to help reinstall the old fence. If it would come to the decision that Park City would build the high wildlife fence, then the animals might think sometimes twice if they should go over the street. I think it is important to look at the safety both of humans and animals. This act would show the respect that we should show our animals, at the end the animals own this area.

    I think this idea of building a new wildlife fence should be shown support throughout Park City. I would like to see action as soon as possible, to prevent further accidents.

    Janne Koch
    Ecker Hill Middle School