My View: Notes from the Front Row |

My View: Notes from the Front Row

Local Musings: Some of the best questions about why environmental policy has failed over the past decades are being posed by the Pipe Club. For those of you who don’t know, the Pipe Club is a group of underground, anonymous scientists and engineers who work for the myriad of environmental agencies around the lake and are critical of current efforts to improve the environment. Their primary focus is to draw attention the numerous pipes that drain directly into the lake, along with sediment, crud and everything else. Their approach is satire at its best. Don’t miss their videos. Their website is full of information and research papers that support their positions. They pose the toughest questions anyone is asking the environmental industry. You can check them out at

Consolidation has come? It was interesting to read that the City of South Lake Tahoe and the Lake Valley Fire District are looking at the potential for merging. It’s about time. Past efforts have failed, in part, because of turf protection and lack of political will. If this effort is to be taken seriously, at least two things need to occur: The process must be opened to the public or the effort will not be seen as genuine and will add to the further distrust the local community has of its local government; and the City Council must demonstrate more political will then it has recently. If they lacked the will to put in parking meters, do they realistically have the will for this? We shall see.

The recent delay of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency by another month in releasing the Regional Plan Update plays right into the hands of the SB271 proponents who point to the agency’s inability to get it done. Don’t get me wrong; I support the regional plan update, but a slipping time line does not help. Will we lose the December approval date?

The Big Picture

Here come new taxes. Maybe. As if one is not enough, it appears there will be two tax increases (at least) on the California ballot this November. The first, being put forward by California Gov. Jerry Brown, will increase taxes on the rich as well as increase a sales tax on the rest of us. The second, put forward to attorney Molly Munger, seeks to increase taxes on the rich. The governor’s tax proposal will try to hold education spending where it is while closing the budget gap. Munger’s proposal bypasses the legislature and will go directly to schools. What happens if neither passes? Maybe we will finally be forced to deal with the real problems of the budget.

I can’t take it anymore. When will the republican primaries end? Not soon enough. I am so sick and tired of hearing about contraception, delegate counts, outer-space colonies and all the rest. I still don’t know what anyone, including the president, stands for and what the long-term vision is for fixing this country.


A long time ago I gave up watching the traditional Sunday news shows. I just decided I could not be part of the finger-pointing of these guests, who are often Washington insiders. But there is one exception you might check out: Fareed Zakaria GPS. The host is thoughtful, interesting and, while other hosts facilitate the finger-pointing, he puts forward actual ideas, insights and solutions.

Does anyone still like a great steak for dinner? In these vegan times, I not sure. If you do as I do once in a while, grab a rib eye from Overland, fire up the barbecue and enjoy.

Best ads on TV. The most interesting man Dos Equis beer ads. For the last couple of years these ads have been great. The beer is good, too.

League Watch

When the League decided to sue the TRPA on the shorezone plan, they thought it would be a slam dunk. But a funny thing happened on the way out of the courthouse – it wasn’t a slam dunk. In fact, one could say the TRPA won; though the victory was not as clear-cut as they would have wanted. Let’s see. The League lost sierra Colinas, the lawsuit with the City of South Lake Tahoe, and now this. Maybe new executive director Darcie Goodman-Collins should rethink the way the League operates.

Who is Ann Harper and why you should know? Stay tuned.

It’s a Wrap

Very sorry to see the number of deaths that have occurred on the slopes all round Lake Tahoe this winter season. Very sad.

– 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

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