Comments about ‘Letters: Erik Olsson doesn't have any standing’

Return to article »

Published: Thursday, Aug. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Edgar
Samaria, ID

My. My. George Hawkins seems to have a bee in his bonnet because someone dared to suggest that he and his fellow Utahns should find a way to use their water resources more efficiently. And what better way to discredit someone than to state they are from the “artsy, upper crust town of Croton-on-Hudson in the state of New York.”

After using other attempts to discredit Mr. Olsson, associating his with the unpopular – in Utah -president, then Mr. Hawkins makes the puzzling statement that “we desert dwellers want to live like the elite folks back east” after he has taken such care in badmouthing those same people.

So what would give Erik Olsson “standing?” I would suggest that his reading and contributing to the DN means he has some attachment to Utah - maybe relatives, maybe friends, perhaps his religious affiliation. And yes, Croton-on-Hudson is a beautiful community blessed by the rain that falls in the Hudson River Valley. But the desert of Utah is beautiful as well. Why doesn’t Mr. Hawkins want to celebrate that with natural landscaping, as suggested by Erik Olsson, instead of changing it?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

Here's the difference, Mr. Hawkins. He lives in an area where water is abundant. We live in an area where it is not. If you want to live in a green area where water is not scarce, then I suggest you move somewhere where water is abundant. That doesn't make him an "elitist" because he chooses to live in New York. That always seems to be a Utah thing - blame the elitists from "back east" or all the Californians moving here. It's kind of humorous, actually.

The fact remains that Utahn use a lot of water per capita, and if the people in Utah want the federal government to help fund the Lake Powell pipeline, those who provide that funding should be allowed to have an opinion.

President Obama's travel is really irrelevant to this discussion.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

I would like to address a MYTH that is repeated endlessly here in Utah since about 1850.

"We live in a desert."

About 80 percent of the population of Utah resides in an area called the Wasatch Front. From Nephi to Brigham City is about 140 miles. The average width is about 7 miles. The Wasatch Front is about 1,000 of Utah's 82,144 square miles. Not even 2 percent of Utah.

When the pioneers came into the valley the natural grass was up to the boots on the horse riders. Wheat is a grass that people eat. Wheat is dry land farmed up and down the Wasatch Front. Wheat is not a desert crop unless you irrigate.

Yes, the pioneers engaged in substantial irrigation along the Wasatch Front. No sane Utah resident would call Florida a desert. I home teach a man, here in Payson, that works in Florida each winter engineering irrigation systems for vegetable farmers. The need for irrigation does not define a desert.

Wendover, Green River and St. George are located in the desert. The shrinking farms and growing cities of the Wasatch Front are NOT located in a desert. Popular myths die hard.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@WilliamGronburg
While we don't live in a desert we do live in a very arid climate. The maximum amount of precipitation a year for a desert is 10 inches. Salt Lake City gets 16 inches per year. We are literally one step up from a desert. There are a million people in the SL Valley alone. We have too many people to plant Kentucky Bluegrass and water it 4 times a week. We really need to get on top of our water problems. Utah County is already having problems running out of landscape water. Other places in Utah will be next.

Edgar
Samaria, ID

William Gronberg - with all due respect, watering - irrigating - farmland to grow vegetables is a totally different need than watering the lawn in your front yard. Obviously we need vegetables and the Florida climate allows for vegetable growing all year round. But growing green grass in your front yard for the pleasure of looking at it, or playing on it, is an unnatural thing. Erik Olsson's yard in the Hudson Valley most likely doesn't require an underground sprinkler system to keep it green. Mother nature takes care of that.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Those living in other States are so free with their advice. They probably think that we wait with bated breath for them to help us "country bumpkins". They tell us that Utah can't make decisions for Utah. They tell us that we need to keep Utah locked up so that they have a playground to visit when they leave their overcrowded cities. They tell us that they deserve our land to become monuments and parks for their enjoyment.

It's typical liberal gibberish, i.e., do as I say and not as I do. Remember when Ted Kennedy was opposed to power generation in his neighborhood? He didn't want his view of the ocean to be spoiled. He cared nothing at all for the needs of the paupers living near him. His felt that his wealth protected him from such crass concerns, such as lighting his house.

No, we don't have enough water, but why is that a concern of someone living in New York? Doesn't he have local problems that he could address?

Sorry Charlie!
SLC, UT

Kentucky blue grass requires 24 inches of water during Utah growing session and in that same time period we have about 3.5 inches of rain. the math is quite simple.

@mike

so i would not say we are "country bumpkins but I do think maybe it is a bit arrogant on our part to roundly dismiss others because they do not reside here.

EDM
Castle Valley, Utah

Holy cow, George. Because Erik Olsdon lives outside Utah he can't care about Utah?

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

My post does not discuss the merits of Kentucky grass being grown by the residents of the Wasatch Front. I also agree that the use of precious water to grow food for human beings is a better use of that precious resource.

I am debunking the popular myth that most Utah citizens “live in a desert”.

10 inches of moisture per year or less is a typical definition for a desert. That definition is less than perfect.. Most of the millions of square miles of taiga forest in Russia, Canada and Alaska receive about 10 inches or less of moisture per year. The south pole gets much less than 10 inches and is nothing but frozen water a mile deep. Evaporation rates are of great significance.

Yes, the Wasatch Front does have a high evaporation rate in the summer months. But, when you can grow winter wheat and the natural grass was up to the boots of horse riders in 1847, then the myth of a desert is, well a myth.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

@ William Gronberg: It's not a myth. Deserts aren't always sandy, hot and bone-dry. We live in the Great Basin, which is a high altitude desert. (Try cultivating anything here without irrigation. Take grass, for example.) The South Pole (Antarctica) is also a desert based the definition of a "cold arid" desert as determined by annual precipitation.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

This coming from the very same people who are constantly complain about those living everywhere else but Utah...

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

So an outsider should not speak out about our water use in Utah? I guess I have no right to express concerns over water diversion in the Everglades of Florida or oil production development obstructing water flow in the Bayou of Louisiana?

By definition we are a "semi-desert" - 10-20 inches annual precipitation. Utah valleys are also classified as "high altitude deserts." The St George area is a true desert - 8 inches a year. We brought an Eastern landscape mentality to an area unsuited for it. Conservation and more desert landscaping are what we should be addressing.

As for the issue of credibility, George Hawkins lost it when he compared an Obama vacation ($181,000 for accommodations for his family, staff and secret service for a week stay at Martha's Vineyard) with the cost of the proposed Lake Powell pipeline ($1.064).

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

Forgot to add "billion" on the Lake Powell pipeline. It should read $1.064 billion.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Yes Dave, the Great Basin is primarily “...a high altitude desert”. However I am ONLY writing about less than 1 percent of the Great Basin. The Wasatch Front is the only area that I am addressing and the myth that it is a desert is my subject.

As for “(Try cultivating anything here without irrigation. Take grass, for example.)”: Winter wheat is a crop that is grown on the Wasatch Front and Box Elder County without irrigation. I admit that compared to Kansas and North Dakota our output is almost a joke. In 2004, Utah was #32 in the United States and with a value of about $20 million dollars. It is my understanding that the land for the Payson LDS Temple was a small dry land grain farm before the present construction.

Native grass was doing great in 1847. Overgrazing changed the area. Yes, almost all grasses from eastern North America and also from Europe will require generous watering. They generally do fine until about late April or early May.

The desert myth is just a myth.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I expect Mr. Hawkins to remember this letter next time he feels moved to comment on Florida's Stand Your Ground Law of New York City's ban on large soft drinks or China's one-child policy.

Since he does not live there, he does not have the right to express an opinion.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Maybe Erik Olsson would like to comment on the ban of soft drinks larger than 16 oz. in New York. Surely, his wisdom could explain why the people of New York are so incapable of choosing the size of their soft drink sizes that they need to have a politician limit their appetites. Maybe he could also tell us why New Yorkers elected Hillary Clinton as one of their Senators. Don't they have anyone in New York who is capable of serving in the Senate? How about electing a Massecutsetts citizen as a Sentator. Maybe the name, "Bobby" was just too much for the electorate in New York to ignore? What about "Weiner". Is he really the person that the people of New York want to represent them?

New York has a host of problems. Are they so arrogant that they think that they can dictate water policy to Utah? We know that we need more water. Has New York offered to send us water, or to just send us unwanted and unneeded advice?

Sorry Charlie!
SLC, UT

@J thomas

So J Richard's if you do not think that he should have an opinion about Utah why would it be alright for him to have an opinion about new york city, a place he also does not live? it was a nice slight of hand attempt to deflect but perhaps you could address his comments rather then dismiss him based on location. I also find it interesting that you seem to think someone offering an opinion is the same as dictating, again another attempt at deflection maybe? why do oyu hide behind other sing ins and make only passive aggressive references to others post? not really building credibility.

Wastintime
Los Angeles, CA

As long as Utah remains a 'taker state' shouldn't the good people of California and New York have some say regarding the money we give you? My daddy used to tell me that I could make my own decisions about how I spend my money when I was earning it myself. Why should we pay for a new water project for you if you are not good stewards of water? What have you done for us lately? You take our federal money but never call or write to thank us.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The water he is writing about is on Federal Lands, not State.

Therefore - Anyone from these UNITED States has claim on them, and has say-so.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

So J Thompson, after most of your post is filled with critisicm and pointing out all you see as wrong with New York, then you complain about a New Yorker commenting on Utah? Arrogant much? Whatever.

Oh, by the way, there is no soda ban in New York and Weiner will never be elected.

And another thing, the reason people comment about what happens in other states? It's because we are Americans, and all of this country is our home. All of it. What is it about that that conservatives find so hard to understand? We're in this together.

- So what is it, guys? Are we in a desert? A semi-desert? Not in a desert? Who's right?

Wow, freedom fighter, lot of anger there? I rather imagine Mr. Gronberg doesn't want to see the destruction of Utah just because he states the Wasatch Front is technically not a desert.

Hey! How do you get away with calling him an obstinate child and Willie when my comments get booted if I look crosseyed at someone? What's up with that?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments