Letters to the editor for June 24
June 23, 2008
This one-year anniversary of the fire has caused us much reflection. We had no idea how drastically our lives would change in just a few hours, as our house was destroyed in the Angora fire. Our reflection prompts us to express our appreciation to the people who have made adjusting to our losses less painful over the last year. They are our Angora fire angels.
Architects Brian Shinault, Marco and Erik, worked long hours to help families who lost their homes. They designed plans and satisfied building requirements when there was confusion about what those requirements were. Tom Yant has been an amazing “hands-on” contractor who has made the rebuilding process happen quickly and smoothly. Best of all, he has been patient with two decision-crazed clients.
We had no idea that selecting AAA insurance was going to be one of the best decisions we would make. Like many, we were underinsured. However, can you imagine an insurance company retroactively increasing your insurance coverage after your house burns down? AAA did that, and we are very grateful to them.
Special thanks to Patty, Pete, Norine and Gary, who helped with that nasty job of digging though ashes to find a few special mementos, and to all our friends whose support, love and caring during such a painful time comforted our hearts and kept our hopes alive.
Our children, Alison, Paul and Holly, son-in-law Bryan and our grandchildren have been a wellspring of support and love for us. Our neighbors have been simply wonderful. We feel a special connection to those who also lost their homes that is always comforting. We celebrate their healing along with ours as they rebuild.
Finally, we appreciate this community for showing us what a big heart you have. Whether it was free massages by Davis, discounts from combs to clothes, Chris at Studio Six thrusting makeup and shampoo into Susan’s hands, or the many other acts of kindness and generosity shown to us, the gestures meant more than you can imagine.
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Reflecting one year later, the gift from that devastating fire that remains is the genuine gratitude we feel for others. Thank you all.
Phil and Susan Middleton
South Lake Tahoe
With the last election barely over, and the people having spoken, the school district has decided to place another school bond measure on the ballot.
It seems from their statements that the district will overreach again. I would consider voting for a bond that only focused on updating existing facilities that have fallen below acceptable standards for learning and safety. I will not vote for one that only “estimates” what the cost to the taxpayer will be, while presenting a wish list of nice-to-have projects that exceed in scope that which a community of this size should be asked to afford. Will an automotive academy teaching hybrid engine repair make our kids more globally competitive? That’s debatable. What’s not debatable is that the ability to communicate, with a strong background in science and math will. Isn’t this where our emphasis should be?
As to the cost of Measure A, the Tribune has editorialized (June 6) that scare tactics were a reason for the measure’s defeat, and that the electorate was somehow fooled into thinking that people may have to move away should the measure pass. Maybe we weren’t scared or fooled, but just possibly had a better grasp of the financials than what was presented.
The Tribune implied that the tax you would pay during the first year would be the tax you paid annually through year 35. Really? Will the assessor suspend the annual 2 percent increase allowed by Prop. 13? The Tribune also stated that half the homes are assessed at or below $199,000. That means that half are assessed above $199,000, and those owners will be asked to shoulder an unfair burden of the bond’s cost.
I expect we will be asked to vote on another bond in November. The district would be well advised to consider scaling back their project list in hopes of acceptance by more of the electorate. We are being bombarded by increases from all agencies and providers. Another additional tax may not force us from our homes yet. But the prospect of retirement here is looking less hopeful all the time.
South Lake Tahoe
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