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Tom Clyde: Gone viral

Tom Clyde, Park Record columnist

Construction has resumed on the future Target store at Quinn’s Junction. The press release said they hope to get the parking and entry road paved before winter sets in. It wasn’t the kind of announcement that sounded like it was raining money, and they had all they need to complete the project. The developer was interviewed on KPCW and said they would be getting the roof finished, too. Both of those are significant steps. But the delay will be hard to overcome. It seems almost impossible that the Target store will be open in time for Christmas shopping. In the interview, the owner said he had discussions with several TV series and game shows. Nothing has been finalized. So the project is still being built entirely on spec. Just imagine how great it would be if we became the new home of "The Price is Right," or "American Ninja Warriors." Maybe one of those Spanish language soap operas?

If you build it, they will come. Or not.

I guess I should be more respectful of the entrepreneurial spirit. I couldn’t have built an albatross like that. The guy has a dream, and over nearly a decade, despite all logic and great opposition, he has been able to muster the resources to get it sort of half launched. We have Sundance here for 10 days every year, showing movies that are already made and were filmed somewhere else. Why shouldn’t that be the basis for a year-round film production business right here? Of course, Deer Valley has the seafood buffet once a week in-season, so why not turn Park City into the hub of the lobster business? It could happen. In fact, there is a big Styrofoam-insulated building that might be available soon for an inland lobster farm. Is that opportunity knocking?

Now there is a second case of Ebola in Dallas. The guy who arrived in the U.S. with the infection has died. He first showed up at the hospital and gave the full list of Ebola symptoms. He told them he had just come from Liberia. They gave him a bottle of antibiotics and sent him home. My guess is that he failed the wallet biopsy, and a non-paying patient got the kind of care that the uninsured get in this country. But he came back, seriously ill, and got the full isolation-chamber treatment after all before he died.

Two people involved in the care of the Liberian man have now contracted the virus. It’s a cruel irony that the two new cases are both people who have devoted their lives to trying to help others. They were obviously in very close contact with him, but presumably were taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves. You have to hope their cases have been caught soon enough for successful treatment.

My guess is that things are fairly quiet elsewhere at Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. No matter how close the contractions are, you might drive on to the next hospital for delivering that new baby. Should I get that knee replacement at the hospital with Ebola, or the one down the street without? Might avoid Texas altogether.

The official response seems pretty fumbled at this point. I don’t think a reassuring speech from Obama would do much to put people at ease. Obama’s ability to provide credible reassurance on anything has vanished into a cloud of lame duck-itude. Crazy congressmen (that’s probably redundant) aren’t helping by saying everybody illegally crossing the border is an Ebola vector. The experts in the field don’t seem to fully understand what we are up against with it. So we are randomly taking the temperatures of people getting off planes from Africa. Feel better? Two cases is not an epidemic, but it’s very troubling that the place where we should expect the best practices and containment protocols didn’t get it right.

Not to be outdone by the crazy congressmen, a Baptist preacher in North Carolina, Rev. Ron Baity, is telling his flock that God has sent us Ebola because the Supreme Court didn’t hear the cases on same-sex marriages. The court’s non-decision let the consistent rulings from the lower courts stand, which means that same-sex marriages are now legal in about 35 states, with the rest to follow as the other circuit courts follow the precedent the Supremes left in place. According to online news articles, Baity told his flock that if they thought Ebola was bad, just wait to see what God will send our way next.

He didn’t explain why God had sent Ebola to western Africa, which as far as I can tell, has not approved same-sex marriages. They must be getting the divine smack-down for some other reason. On the other hand, sometimes a virus is just a virus.

Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.


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