My View: Notes from the front row
February 26, 2013
Unbelievable but believable. Of course the old guard Sierra Club would sue the regional plan. Given the number of years and hundreds and hundreds of meetings to bring together a fragile compromise on the regional plan, it kind of was no surprise they would sue. What they claim is that, by shifting authority for development decisions to local agencies, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will be eager to approve new projects at the expense of environmental protections. What they are saying is that local government and residents cannot be trusted to protect the environment, but they are.Instead of working together to develop a compromise that, while not perfect for everyone, allows the community and the two states to move forward, old guard environmental groups are not satisfied. They want to impose their will on everyone, they are like an occupying army. It would be one thing if they proposed a better, science-based idea, but they don’t. Despite the fact that thousands and thousands of hours by scientists, engineers, community members and more and millions of dollars have been spent — a couple of locals know better. Arrogance of the highest order.What the Friends of Tahoe Vista, North Tahoe Citizens Alliance Friends of Lake Tahoe and the North Tahoe Preservation Alliance as well as the Sierra Club propose is more of the same. These groups put up no science, they have no data of their own, yet they propose to fix the environmental problem by doubling down on failed policies. This is the equivalent of “Voodoo Environmentalism.” These groups rail against redevelopment, which brings with it cutting-edge environmental technology and strategies designed to reduce sediment runoff, and they fall back on the same old any-development-equals-bad-development argument. But they are wrong and the facts show them as wrong. What is bad for the lake is the current old strip development infrastructure that facilitates erosion and sediment. They pine against smart development as if they and only they have the answer despite the fact that these very practices and strategies have been used by communities across the country that care just as much about their environment.Having a feel-good ideology to protect the environment and actually doing it are two different things. Make no mistake, these neighborhood Nimby groups are protecting a failed status quo and need to be held to account for the damage their actions are doing to the environment. There is an environmental cost of doing nothing.The fall-out: There is much at stake, perhaps the biggest is the future of TRPA. By filing a lawsuit, the Sierra Club has given fuel to those in Nevada who will seek to leave the compact under SB271. They don’t seem to get this or take the threat as real but the state of California does. Just last week, two senators proposed SB 630, which is a contingency plan if Nevada leaves the compact.
I am getting a bit tired of those complaining about presidents who play golf. First of all, I like a president, Republican or Democrat, who is out there having some fun. In fact, I’d be suspicious of any politician that did not have a hobby. It’s good to see a president having a chance to play at their passion. Secondly anyone who has ever played golf knows it is the most humbling of games. Just when you think you’re on top of the world the next moment you’re in the weeds. Perfect for a president. Play on Mr. President.I think I am for the sequester. While I know it’s bad policy, it might be just the thing to shake up the country and more importantly Republicans and democrats in Washington.
Don’t miss the movie “Sound City,” a really good film about the sound city recording studio in Van Nuys not far from where I used to work as a kid. The film is good on a number of levels, but most interesting it reveals how technology impacted the industry and how there is less of a reliance on true musicianship an how music today can be created by computer alone. It’s a first film for Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and, if you have any interest in music, you will appreciate it.If you’re a fan of tri-tip and what non vegetarian don’t love trip tip. Don’t miss the Phil Lesh Tri Tip sandwich at Hot Gossip. Mighty tasty.
Scott Valentine had it right in his opinion piece. The needs of younger people need to be addressed. That won’t happen unless they get involved with the heavy lifting needed for change.— 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.