Letters: BLM demonstrators not welcome; Stop trashing Tahoe (Opinion)
BLM demonstrators weren’t welcome in Minden
It is obvious Edmund Andrews only likes free speech that he agrees with. The citizens of Minden exercised their right to free speech by showing up to let the BLM, or whoever they were, know that they weren’t welcome in Minden.
The sheriff set aside an area where anyone could express their opinions but had no duty to keep the people separated unless there was trouble. Maybe their presence kept Minden from becoming another Portland.
The fact that the radicals left very early to go back to wherever they came from sounds like they got the message.
Harold Parks, Minden
Stop trashing our beaches and trails
Tahoe is an environmental treasure, a turquoise jewel in the mountains. But for all the visitors we welcome, many see fit to leave their trash behind, everything from busted winter sleds, to summertime beach litter, to trash piled alongside already full containers.
This kind of disrespect leaves it to the locals to pick up behind the tourists, and as Tahoe is one of the few vacation destinations still open for business, the situation has gone from bad to worse.
For years now, the interests of our city council have been the interests of the casinos, developers and Vail Resorts. Councilmembers make a show of environmental causes, while ignoring the trash that piles up on our beaches and trails every weekend. According to city records, over the past 12 months, our police department issued a mere 31 citations for littering, collecting only $3,017.50 in fines. That’s less than $100 per citation.
For comparison, a citation for a dog off-leash is close to $500. I attended this past Friday’s anti-littering protest, and not one representative from the city or city council was there. Apparently “stop littering” is too controversial a position for our city government.
This is the brass-tax of putting tourists first and locals last.
This problem has a solution. The fine for littering in our parks and beaches should increase to $800. A single code enforcement officer near a full trash bin on a busy weekend could write tickets all day long. Tickets. Not warnings, tickets. The revenue would more than cover the cost of enforcement and alter behavior faster than any overpriced marketing campaign begging people to behave like adults.
We need a city council with the guts to put locals first — but that is not the council we have now.
This is our home and it deserves better.
Scott Robbins is a candidate for South Lake Tahoe City Council
City council candidate’s views on Black Lives Matter
Since I am running for city council, and am a legal on the ballot candidate, I thought I should state my views on Black Lives Matter in regards to the community that I plan to represent.
I like to get the facts before proceeding forward with decisions. I’m not interested in hype, popular opinion as seen through the lens of political correctness, nor adopting a view that may exist somewhere else, but may not fit the facts in our community. However, how the BLM movement focuses on defunding police has become questionable.
A recent Gallup Poll clarififies that black Americans want the existing same presense of police 61% of the time. They want increased police presense 20% of the time and less presense 19% of the time (Gallup 8/5/2020). If this holds true for our black community, then we have a very small amount of residents who want less police presense. However, these percentages may not accurately represent the sentiments of those within South Lake Tahoe. The only way to get a more accurate, truthful view of the police by black residents, would be to ask them personally, neighbor to neighbor, “What is your experience of living here in South Tahoe regarding law enforcement?”
As a future councilman, I plan to listen primarily to the real, live person who lives here and not the hyped propoganda. In the past I have found honest conversations between neighbors to be quite informative. I plan to do the same in the future. I want to know what is happening now, right here, to my neighbor in regards to this issue. Not Portland.
Leonard Carter is a candidate for South Lake Tahoe City Council
Thanks for making book sale a huge success
Dear South Lake Tahoe community, I write this letter of gratitude on behalf of the Friends of the South Lake Tahoe Library. On Aug. 15, we hosted our very first ever Drive-thru Grab Bag Book Sale. The traditional book sales are our biggest fundraisers and due to CDC restrictions, they are just not possible.
This new format was uncertain but you rose to the challenge. You generously donated books to be sold and you embraced this unique event making it a huge success. Thank you sincerely for being there for the friends and for your library.
We make an exceptional team. Let’s do it all again in October.
Denise Haerr, South Lake Tahoe
Tahoe locals should stay local now they have plague
All that I have been hearing recently from Tahoe locals is for all the visitors to be sent away and for them to stay in their own backyards.
It’s a divisive mantra and an insult to those who have spent a fortune in Lake Tahoe over the past years supporting the local economy. Now that there is evidence of the plague in Lake Tahoe, I ask that all locals not visit the Bay Area and to stay in their ‘local’ area. Thank you very much.
Rick Hart, Union City
City doesn’t need to regulate shared rentals
Shared rentals should not be subject to business licensees, income taxes, nor the transient occupancy tax and there is no evidence that the city needs to provide any regulation of the activity.
This proposal is nothing more than a greedy attempt to increase taxes on the poor. A person’s home is “their castle” and the city has no right to invade the sanctity of the home. The proposed ordinances are also overly burdensome, complicated and time consuming. Individuals sharing their homes with guests are not large corporations with business managers, accountants and lawyers.
Local residents generally engage in hosting a shared rental in their homes to help pay the rent or mortgage on the home or put food on the table. Unlike the VHRs that are primarily owned by out of town investors that siphon money out of our city, the shared rentals are putting their income directly back into our community through the purchase of food, goods and services from local providers.
I see the guests in shared rentals as extensions of the family who are merely contributing to the mutual support with the hosts by offering some assistance in supporting the shared facility. In this light, the city would be attempting to tax a family for sharing their income to pay the rent.
Further, I would oppose any expansion of the TOT that is used directly or indirectly to promote tourism. We have seen the devastating effects of overtoursim on our community, it has destroyed the quality of life for the residents of our city, clogged our roads, trashed our beaches and forests and destroyed the peace and serenity we once enjoyed here.
The city needs tourists because they developed a very poor business plan that depends on those business and TOT instead of productive businesses. Greed and unrestrained spending has made the city even more dependent on the tourist dollars. It is time to end this vicious cycle of dependence and addiction.
New taxes require approval by a two-thirds majority. I encourage all the voters to reject any proposed ordinance that would tax the shared home rentals either long term or short term.
The city is asking for comments until Aug. 21 at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at Courtney Weiche, Assistant planner at 530-542-6022
John Messina, South Lake Tahoe
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