My View: Celebrating South Lake Tahoe’s 50th birthday |

My View: Celebrating South Lake Tahoe’s 50th birthday

Carl Ribaudo
Tribune Opinion Columnist

The City of South Lake Tahoe celebrated its 50th birthday and the opening of the Bijou Bike Park last Saturday with a parade and grand opening. Take it from someone who often finds these things corny — it was the real deal and it was great.

I chose to ride my bike in the parade given that I am for the first time in 30 years a permanent city resident. Those participating in the parade and those who came out to line the street seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

Events were capped off with the opening of the new Bijou Bike Park and a wonderful tribute to Tom Wendell. The park was dedicated to Tom by his brother, Ted, who remembered him in words and thoughts only a brother’s love could express. It was a special moment indeed. If half the kids who ride that park take the time to know who Tom Wendell was, well, let’s just say it would be a good thing.

I have several takeaways from the day’s events. First — one person with an idea can change the world even if it’s just a small one like ours. Ben Fish, who was the project’s visionary, did just that; he’s one person with a vision, and he did change our little world. Second, it takes take at least a small village (or army) to get an idea implemented. The city council, the city manager, the public works director, TAMBA, hordes of city staff and volunteers (too many to mention) can all say with pride they were a part of it. Bravo to all of you — our community is in your debt.

“South Lake Tahoe is becoming what it always wanted to be.”

The bike park is a pivotal moment for this community, too. The music and the feeling of pride that only accomplishing something can bring is a sign of a community with confidence; and confidence stays with you no matter the challenges or issue. South Lake Tahoe is becoming what it always wanted to be. Maybe, just maybe, people realize that no government agency, no bureaucrat or consultant, gives you a vision; so stop waiting for it. You create your own and go after it. The city is becoming a place that has ideas and can get to where it wants to go, a place where people help each other out and a community that pays tribute where it’s due. Those who were there were not the cynics or the naysayers, but rather the future. Vison wins; it always does in the end.


I am already burned out on presidential election stuff. We don’t event vote for another year and we have to listen to this stuff — ughhh.

I know all the candidates want to dump Obamacare, but I am looking to see what they replace it with. Still waiting …

The Pope is a game changer. His ability to go beyond politicians to Catholics worldwide is something both the right and left fear. It’s amazing, Popes have come and gone all with the same power. This one is different.

California is being hit with two bad hands — fire and drought. The reservoirs are so low. Don Pedro and New Melones reservoirs are just trickles of what they used to be.


Ahem! It’s fall — that means its baseball playoff time. So start paying attention; it starts at the end of the month. My Yankees should hold on for a wild card, but who knows how far they’ll go. The Giants will be watching this year.


Happy Birthday, City of South Lake Tahoe!

Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at

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