Tom Clyde: Things to ponder in 2020
With the start of the New Year, it’s always appropriate to pause to reflect on where we are. Things are on the messy side nationally. The very stable genius in the White House has been impeached for running what amounts to an amateur mafia shakedown of Ukraine. He blocked Congressionally approved military aid to an ally, engaged in a shooting war with Russia over seized territory, and would release it only if Ukraine concocted some Fox News conspiracy theory about Joe Biden’s (sort of slimy) son. People died while Trump was trying to trade military aid for dirt.
So now the House has impeached him. The Senate, run by Moscow Mitch McConnell, has promised to have a full and fair trial, just as long as they don’t have to hear from any witnesses and can acquit him in time for lunch. It’s possible that Santa Claus left spines under the Christmas trees at Republican senators’ houses, but that’s not the way to bet. The only part of this that has any suspense is whether the House will actually advance the impeachment to the Senate, or decide that sit on it, preventing the sham trial, and the inevitable claim of complete exoneration from a complete scoundrel. Lindsey Graham, who was overcome with a case of the fantods over the Clinton impeachment, has said he doesn’t need to be bothered with evidence in the case of Trump. He can do no wrong.
The editors of “Christianity Today,” a leading evangelical magazine, said Trump lacks the moral qualifications to be President and should be removed from office. About damn time. Apparently Trump’s moral deficiencies had escaped notice during the campaign, the “grab ‘em” tape, porn star pay-offs, and the general graft and corruption of the last three years. Somehow the evangelicals decided that the ends justify the means, and embraced Trump as the Adulterer in Chief, as long as he packed the courts with anti-abortion judges. There’s nothing in the Ten Commandments about hypocrisy. Not specifically.
So we enter the new year with the President of the United States being blessed with a new title befitting his impeached status. George Conway christened him “IMPOTUS.” Maybe that’s enough.
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On a local level, another year has passed without any action taken on improving traffic flow on Highway 248. After an expensive environmental review, the City convinced UDOT to shelf the mega-widening project, and instead, repaint the lanes to make 2 lanes inbound. Then they courageously delayed doing even that for another couple of years. With so many problems that are simply unsolvable, you’d think that when they find a solution that could be implemented by two guys on a Sunday morning, they might actually do it. High fives all around. But you would be wrong. We plan, we don’t actually do.
The existing Richardson Flat parking lot doesn’t work because to get to it, you have to first go through the entire traffic jam, park, then wait for a bus that will never come. That can be fixed. With a half mile of new road turning off 248 east of the rail trail crossing, the increasing traffic from the Kamas/Hideout direction could be diverted into the lot. An off ramp from US 40 would put Heber traffic in the lot. The building they are trying to boot the senior citizens out of, a former Union Pacific Depot, could be moved out there and converted back into a transit building with a coffee shop, bathrooms, waiting area, and even a convenience store. Maybe even a replacement for the Maverik gas station that will be gone if the much studied Arts District moves forward. For about what they have spent on studies, the problem could be solved. The resorts could run direct shuttles, non-stop, to the ski hills. But if you’re looking for action, you’re in the wrong place. Eventually paralysis becomes policy. Safer to do nothing than risk something that isn’t Park City/World Class perfect.
While we can rest assured that that 2020 (and 2021 and 2022) will be a lot like 2015 when it comes to implementing traffic improvements (except the traffic volume is growing exponentially), there are cosmic changes in my world. Once the next page on the calendar turns over, garbage day at my house is changing from Thursday to Friday. I’m not sure what that means, or how it’s even possible. For my entire life, garbage day has been Thursday. I haven’t moved a lot, but every place I’ve ever lived, garbage day was Thursday. Thursday being garbage day is one of the few constants in life, ordained from on high. It’s part of the planetary cycle. If garbage day moves, what else moves with it? Will I not go to church on Monday, instead of not going on Sunday?
Something to ponder while stuck in a quite fixable traffic jam for another year.
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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“There is some sweetness in this isolation. Gifts of time and room for conversations too often hurried in our BC world (before Corona).”