My View: South Tahoe needs improvements to infrastructure
Tribune Opinion Columnist
Sorry I missed this column last month; I was on vacation. I had the opportunity to go on a motorcycle ride through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. There are some incredibly beautiful places out there that are — dare I say — as beautiful as Lake Tahoe. Too often we think and act as if the sun rises and sets on Lake Tahoe; it doesn’t. It creates an arrogance that is often our pitfall. In many places I visited, the community and infrastructure was far better then what we have to offer.
Our government agencies need to move with urgency so we can rebuild this place in a more environmentally sensitive way that is attractive to locals and visitors alike with infrastructure matching the lake’s beauty.
Vacation rentals: Ugh. I see while I was gone the city put in place a new policy with regard to vacation rentals. This has been a simmering issue, and I understand it from all sides. It could have been avoided if the vacation rental industry and the city had proper enforcement procedures in the first place. I am not sure this policy is fully cooked however. One troubling aspect is the council voted on a policy without the benefit of a study they commissioned to understand the situation. It’s not the way I would have done it.
Busy summer: There are lots of things going on locally — from music to special events. I have not seen these crowds since pre-recession days. I can’t wait to see how much travel spending there was this summer. It’s too bad we left hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, taxes and wages on the table because our built infrastructure just does not match the lake. Lack of urgency by city government and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is costing this community millions.
Bike park: It’s great to see the new bicycle park finally getting done. It’s long overdue. Forty years ago, while growing up in Southern California, I was among the very first wave of BMX kids; we were cutting and welding Schwinn bicycle frames in metal shop. To see how far it’s come, and how much local kids enjoy it, is fun. Thanks to the community and staff for staying with this. Keep the pressure on all government agencies to produce results. Squeaky wheels get the grease.
THE BIG PICTURE
Fire is everywhere. It’s not only devastating natural resources, but its impact is on the air we breathe, our insurance rates, and the impact on tourism economies by people who cancel trips. There are those in the community who take exception with the way the U.S. Forest Service thinned the forest or who have a problem with the airport. To them I would respectfully disagree. I’ll take a thinned-out forest as prevention any day and I’ll take an airport for emergency needs, and I don’t care if it costs the city a couple of hundred grand a year.
I am also mighty impressed with two woman who just completed the elite Army Ranger Training School. I know it might not sit well with some for women to go through that training; but if it’s OK with the generals, I am good, too. It might be time to lift the ban on women in combat. Bravo soldiers!
Don’t miss the new exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art — “Tahoe: a Visual History.” It looks to be a great exhibit.
IT’S A WRAP
Sadly this column is dedicated to the brave firefighters who lost their lives this summer battling fire. They are true heroes. Enough said.
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