One of the biggest differences this year is the wonders that snow can do for our local economy. But there is an important lesson to be learned and that is the need to grow revenues. What a difference when revenues grow compared to when they don't. That's a lesson that should not be lost. We need to focus on growing revenues and it is clear that local government needs to implement policies that will help grow revenues and that means making changes. The reality is the local economy is still, and will be for the foreseeable future, driven primarily by tourism. We need to implement policies that bring about the kind of change that will make this destination as competitive as possible and, in doing so, serve the needs of the local community. We need changes to attract not more visitors, but those who will spend more money and increase business revenues create better employment opportunities for all and more tax receipts that will enhance services for the local community. Simply put, the status quo policies and infrastructure will not sustain the local economy and will further erode the already small middle class. We need to either come to grips with that and make positive, and at times challenging, change or slowly watch a continual slide. We need a bold agenda, not a timid one.
Contrast this with those who prefer to increase taxes or, worse yet, those who seek to preserve the status quo and provide no vision for the future.
SnowGlobe part 2. Last year there was a tremendous amount of complaints from nearby residents. Instead of listening to all the loud voices and canceling the event, which would have been the normal reaction of the city, they actually did something novel - worked hard to improve the running of the event. They addressed the issues of concerns and the event was much improved. Credit should go to the city and the college and all those involved for their efforts to improve an event that benefits the South Shore in a many ways and, more importantly, showing leadership in making a tough decision in the face of loud opposition.
Despite the improvement of the event, it was marred by tragedy when a young woman attending the event walked away from the event on a bitter cold night and lost her life. We don't have all the facts surrounding this terrible situation and we will have to see what happened. We do know this much: it was a tragedy that didn't need to occur.
It's amazing how many people want to be on the City Council when they don't actually have to campaign and get elected for it. We will likely have seven people who will vie for one City Council appointment. In the last election, we had four people running for two seats - all the more reason why we should have an election. Let those six run a campaign, develop policy platforms and sell their ideas to the community.
The allegations against Johnny Poland make for a terrible chapter in our town's history.
I am in favor of women in combat, I think it's about time.
Oh no! Beyonce lip-synched the national anthem at the inauguration; it's the end of the world as we know it.
The Republican Party needs a top-to-bottom turnaround or it will become even less relevant. They remind me of the old Cadillac cars - poorly designed and engineered, stodgy and out of touch with the market before someone turned that brand around.
Speaking of Republicans, it's gotten so bad for them in California they now think Jerry Brown is moderate and good for them.
What's happened to Apple? Is the magic gone? Looks like the iPhone 5 is not selling as well as they had hoped. Steve Jobs was great at launching new exciting products, but it's an entirely different challenge to extend products.
Don't miss "Zero Dark Thirty." Don't get hung up on the politics of torture - there are several scenes in the movie - just go and enjoy it for the entertainment quality. Grab some popcorn and get your seat because it's riveting. If there really is a CIA analyst who worked tirelessly to track bin Laden, she is an American hero whose identity is only known to a few.
The biggest challenge for this year is a mindset that that expects big changes and improvements while doing the same old thing. Enjoy the Super Bowl.
- Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at email@example.com