Carl Ribaudo: My View: Notes from the front row
Special to the Tribune
There is a bubbling split underneath the surface of the South Shore, specifically on the California side. The split is occurring between those who have a more progressive view and want to see positive changes in South Shore and those who are looking to maintain the status quo. You can see it in almost every issue that emerges: the regional plan update, the loop road, paid parking and the Meyers Community Plan. At every turn there are those who want to see change and those who don’t. The status-quo types have a cynical view toward the agencies that have failed the local community. But how long do you hold on to that view? The progressives are looking ahead, they want to see progress and positive change. It will be interesting to see if this split manifests itself in the upcoming county and city elections.
Has the Meyers community plan become toxic? There is a lot of infighting over the Meyers Community Plan, especially over the current 35-foot building height limit which is 7-feet below what is allowed in the 1993 community plan. Yet many don’t want to provide room for an incentive for a taller building in exchange for a business that may in fact be desirable. The fact is, there have been only two new private-sector buildings in Meyers in years: the new Bob Dog Pizza building and Century 21. At the same time many businesses, especially restaurants, have failed with regularity. Why would the Meyers community want to close off future opportunity (hotel, visitor center or something else)? Why not keep all options open and if the time comes the community can debate any proposed development that may need to go above 35 feet.
Why the animosity to corporations? I have news for everybody, just about every business in South Shore is a corporation. But some are cool and others aren’t. Trader Joe’s is cool, Safeway not so much. It’s the same reason why people see Apple as a cool corporation but the very energy companies that allow Apple to produce its products are not. Not every business that is a corporation is bad nor are all good, just like people.
The Big Picture
Drought drought everywhere. It will be pretty ugly looking at the lakes and reservoirs throughout California this summer as the shortage of winter snow and rain give way to the reality of a parched state. What the drought highlights and what we should have been doing all along is looking for ways to stretch those resources. Just because we have years where we have lots of snow and rain does not mean conservation, stewardship and innovation in preserving water should not be pursued with greater intensity.
One of the paradoxes that is interesting is that California has become the agricultural basket of the country and, yes, it takes a lot of water. But walk into just about any grocery store in California and check out the produce (organic or otherwise) section and compare that with stores in other states. Are Californians willing to restrict water to agriculture and give up some of their produce for all those salads? We will see.
Don’t miss the new outdoor entertainment schedule for Harvey’s/LTVA summer concert series. There is something for everyone from the Eagles to Lady Gaga. I am looking forward to it.
It’s a Wrap
It’s baseball season and while the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened the season this past weekend down in Australia the rest of the major leagues open this week. It’s a time that all baseball fans look forward to where every team has a chance to win. Ah spring.
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
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