Bob Sweigert


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April 9, 2013
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Grasshopper Soup: Tahoe politics makes you wonder

Will anyone be here to read this in the paper on Wednesday? With all the chaos in the world, and the threat of more chaos from North Korea, who knows, maybe a radioactive cloud drifted in from a nuclear explosion somewhere in the Pacific and dropped us all dead in our tracks.

Even though that scenario is probably on everyone’s mind, I’ll get a letter blaming me for fear mongering just for stating the obvious, even though it could be an understatement compared to a description of what a disaster might really look like given the possibilities that exist in this unpredictable world.

Blame that paragraph on the fact that I didn’t surrender to my first inspiration of the morning, which was to remain snuggled in bed under the covers as cozy, and as silent, as a teddy bear watching the snow fall.

Yes, Monday was the perfect morning for staying in bed and ignoring the chaos, corruption and instability in the world. We have enough in every little cross section of humanity that exists in the two-state Tahoe Basin.

It is still unclear as to what is going on between California and Nevada (and all the other litigious groups) as far as the fate of Lake Tahoe and the TRPA goes. There seems to be endless confusion as to whether or not all the groups involved need more laws, or revisions of laws to force them to do the right thing or to even know what the right thing is.

It is also unclear as to whether or not communication and cooperation involving the governing of Lake Tahoe ever existed before 2011, or if it was better when no one was talking, or, do we really need to worry now that everyone is talking?

According to news reports, and some people close to whatever it is that is going on, communication and cooperation can’t happen naturally between human beings without the proper legislation to enforce those two rare and elusive requirements for doing things properly.

We depend on courts and paper for direction, and that doesn’t always work either. Some public officials follow the rules, and some don’t.

Given the political morass underlying the fate of Lake Tahoe, and if what I hear in Tahoe City is true (and my sources are solid), then several questions necessarily arise.

How are decisions really made in this world? Are proper procedures followed to maintain the appearance of propriety while private decisions are being made behind closed doors? Are money and power our only means of survival, our only identity? Is everything done by governments in this world always done in the most transparent and ethical manner possible (that’s an easy one to answer)? Are public office holders here to serve everyone, or just themselves and a select few? Should we give them the benefit of the doubt, our complete trust, and show them good manners only to be taken advantage of or ignored?

Like I said, I should have stayed in bed. But now there is bocce to look forward to.

The TCPUD has told me that a bocce court will be installed this summer on the property they (we) recently acquired from the Tahoe City Golf Course. I’m sure bocce is a fun game, but who plays bocce? Who in Tahoe City ever talks about bocce? Two sources tell me someone in the TCPUD has a bocce court at home. Perhaps the decision originated there. I am happy for bocce players. It is a great day for bocce!

More parking along the south edge of the golf course is also possible, pending permits and further study by the TCPUD and their partner, Placer County, both taxpayer-funded entities. So, the question must be asked, who will pay for additional business parking in Tahoe City if it is approved, the taxpayers or the business owners?

Is it possible to avoid legal and ethical chaos in Tahoe, or are we just a spitting image of the world at large?

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 9, 2013 06:16PM Published Apr 10, 2013 10:47AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.