My View: Notes from the front row
Special to the Tribune
While no one likes to pay for parking, it is necessary and I support it. Paid Parker has been an unfortunate whipping boy for those that have a deep cynicism toward city government. Here are my reasons:
1. Inequality. Why should a mother with a couple of kids pay to use the public pool, a city-owned asset, but those who want use a high-demand, city-owned parking lot not be charged? Why should other citizens subsidize free parking? Just not fair. In fact it seems selfish.
2. The program never had enough time to be modified to work as best it can. Typically these programs need a couple of years so data can be collected, changes made and results analyzed. This program was not even in place for a year when opposition appeared. The city has done a good job in revising the program to minimize the impact on local residents, the program needs more time.
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3. There is plenty of paid parking in South Shore, from Forest Service beaches to Camp Richardson to downtown. No one seems to want to oppose that. Where is the uproar against the Forest Service or Camp Richardson?
4. While no one likes paid parking, the funding is needed. While those that oppose paid parking often indicate it won’t do much to help the city budget I beg to differ. A couple of hundred thousand here and a couple of hundred thousand there add up. Every bit of funding helps. Vote no on P.
Airport Master Plan. The city will be holding another community meeting this Thursday. Much has changed since the airport’s heyday back in the ‘70s. Getting rid of the airport as some would like won’t happen nor will landing 747s. What is needed is an approach that integrates the airport as part of the regional and South Shore transportation system, serves to benefit the local economy while providing a public safety role as it did during the Angora fire.
I wanted to pass on some thoughts regarding the new “Saving Lake Tahoe” book By Michael Makley. The book provides an excellent history on how the Lake was devastated from over-fishing, clear-cutting and development. The more recent episode related to development centers around the Tahoe Keys and the casinos. It’s safe to say the Nevada Legislature and the South Lake Tahoe business community had little regard for the warning signs about the deterioration of the Lake. It’s an interesting contrast from then to today where stewardship of the environment has become paramount. If you are looking for a book to read this summer this could be the one.
The Big Picture
Even Obamacare’s most fervent supporters need to consider the program given the failures of the federal governments running of the Veteran Affairs hospitals. The problem is the VA hospital was often touted as an example of a well-run government health care program. I guess not.
At what point do we deal with the mental health crisis and guns? What happened at Isla Vista sadly is a monthly occurrence in a nation that simply does not have the will and seems powerless to deal with it.
Don’t miss the NBA playoffs. I am a big baseball fan but the NBA playoffs have been great. I think the Hockey finals deserve a look while I am at it.
It’s a Wrap
Kudos to the TahoeChamber and its leadership group which put on a great event several weeks ago. The day-long program (with 200 attending) included guest speakers and panelists brought forward many issues confronting South Shore. The leadership group succeededin informing and elevating the level of discussion.
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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