My view: Musings on Loop Road (opinion)
Tribune Opinion Columnist
• Loop Road, Part 1 — As might be expected, the battle lines are being drawn over the Loop Road between those that are for change and those that are not. The proposed project has been framed from a limited perspective from the beginning. The project is not about access to Nevada as some may have you believe; access to Nevada already exists. The project is also not just about economic development for some of the businesses that are impacted. The project could be about much more. Step back and reframe the Loop Road as a way to shape the community the way we want it for the future. Don’t we want to reduce the number of property rentals in the city neighborhoods? Get rid of slum housing and provide better low-income housing? Don’t we want to improve traffic downtown? Don’t we want a stronger economy with better opportunities for local residents? The Loop Road is a catalyst to achieve those goals. The project is not an end in itself as many people seem to suggest, but it’s a means to an end. Too many people have an opinion on what’s wrong with the project, but fail to ask how we take advantage of the project. Those that are opposed to it at this point have offered no viable alternatives to bring about positive change.
• Loop Road, Part 2 — Why do some in the community want to have a vote on doing the Loop Road? The project is being funded by federal and state government. No one has ever asked to vote on the over $1 billion in funding this lake has received from these same sources in the past — why now? If voting is so important, where were the calls to ask for a vote on the $6 million the city (local tax payers’ pockets) spent on the Harrison Avenue project? Not a peep. Seems strange.
• Loop Road, Part 3 — I have never heard of a community turning down infrastructure funds from state and federal governments. Ever.
• Loop Road, Part 4 — There are still lots of questions that have been raised that need to be answered, and I am not sure how it comes out at the end of the day. Wouldn’t we as a community be better off being open-minded and asking how this project can be a catalyst to improve the community and increase our options for a better South Shore in the future? Or do we just keep what we have and call it good?
THE BIG PICTURE
• I totally understand the Republicans’ refusal to approve a new Supreme Court Justice; that’s politics. But to not even meet with the nominee — that’s disrespectful.
• I agree with the president about opening relations with Cuba. By the next generation, Cuba might as well be our 51st state. I hope to ride a motorcycle through Cuba, enjoy a Cuban cigar and watch a Cuban baseball game in my lifetime.
• How is everyone liking the presidential elections? Yikes!
• There are some really good Happy Hours around this community — grab a friend, grab a sunset and enjoy one of South Shore’s treats.
IT’S A WRAP
• I am really tired of this notion that you are not a local unless you have lived here 20 or 30 years. It’s dumb. Everyone and their ideas are welcome from the moment they arrive. It’s arrogant to think only those who have been here can contribute. In fact, it’s these newcomers that often have the best ideas and see South Shore in the freshest light. They can see how much better the place can be. Sure, you can respect you elders, but to simply defer to them because they are your elders? Never.
Carl Ribaudo is a contributing opinion columnist for the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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