2003 brings hope for positive changes | TahoeDailyTribune.com

2003 brings hope for positive changes

In less than 48 hours we will usher in another year. If only we had a crystal ball to see what is in store for us as individuals, a community, a nation, a world.

History seems to be repeating itself. It was Jan. 21, 1991, that the United States launched an air campaign against Iraq. It appears we are headed for Part II of this saga. It is our hope a more peaceful resolution can be found.

Saddam Hussein is a killer of his own people who would not hesitate to eliminate every American alive. But we cannot kill every person who entertains these same thoughts. An international coalition needs to resolve the tensions, not the United States alone.

Sen. Trent Lott has raised the thorny issue of racism. No longer the majority leader, we can only hope people in leadership positions are far more open-minded than this wannabe segregationist. Perhaps President Bush’s strong criticism of his friend will be an example that is followed by members of both parties.

Prejudices will only divide us. We learned tolerance and compassion after Sept. 11. It would be sad to think those lessons were fleeting.

The South Shore has had its share of divisive issues in 2002. The killing of bears brought out the letter writers, the protesters, advocates on both sides of the issue.

There is hope a dialogue has begun to educate people about bears. A dialogue among officials to revisit current policy when it comes to handling bears in people’s cabins.

Forest management is going to be an issue in the coming year. The president has his ideas of what is best. It seems like it is a seesaw approach to dealing with our land — it all depends who is in office. This is no way to protect our forests.

It is time that we, the people living in the land of trees, take a proactive approach toward our environment instead of letting suits nearly 3,000 miles away dictate policy.

This is our land and we need to be the stewards of it. We need to be telling others how best to manage it, not the other way around.

On the South Shore we also need to re-examine the direction our towns are going in. If South Lake Tahoe is to become this great resort destination, what happens to the middle class that is already being squeezed out?

The abundance of donations on the South Shore is a double-edged sword. It is heart warming all the good that people here do. It is sad that so many are in need of extra help.

We praise the groups that sprang up this past year to look at the disparity between the haves and have nots. It is reassuring that ours is a community that wants to embrace all segments of our population.

It is our wish that 2003 is full of peace and happiness for all you here and throughout the world.

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