Letters: Amazing people; election endorsements; How Tahoe wins (Opinion)

Amazing people in our community; Remember to create defensible space

To the Editor:

I am writing to thank Amanda Milici, Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, Captain Martin Goldberg, prevention division within Lake Valley Fire District, Battalion Chief Mike Boyce of Cal Fire Amador El Dorado Unit, the CCC Crew and their supervisor, and Jennifer Cressy of South Tahoe Public Utility District for their help, professionalism, and dedication to our community. We have such amazing people in our community.

I live in the Black Bart neighborhood and we are following in the footsteps of other neighborhoods to be recognized as a Firewise USA neighborhood. Check out the website for more tips.

One of the key takeaways I had from a recent neighborhood committee meeting with Martin Goldberg was the importance of creating and maintaining defensible space, in order to prevent house to house fires. During the Caldor Fire, he said there were three factors that helped spare Christmas Valley: favorable winds, heroic fire fighting, and defensible space work that had been done in the neighborhoods.

One of the main risks we observed as we walked around our neighborhood is the proximity of firewood to homes. Firewood and other flammable materials should be located a minimum of 30 feet away from structures. Also, remember to screen or seal any vents or decks that would allow embers to enter (they can travel at least a mile).

We are all in this together. Please take action to create defensible space.

Meryl Lowell, South Lake Tahoe

Wes Rice is right choice for Douglas commissioner

To the Editor:

Douglas County residents have benefited greatly from the last four years of service by Commissioner Wes Rice. He deserves your vote in the June 14 Nevada primary. Wes is a longtime resident of Round Hill and has made many contributions to the Tahoe community. He was the Senior Boat Patrol Deputy for 15 years on Tahoe, helping keep our residents and visitors safe. Wes served for over 12 years as a trustee on the Round Hill GID and always works for the everyday needs of Tahoe.

Commissioner Rice has worked hard to make Tahoe a better place to live and visit. He is respected and trusted by everyone he works with, and is an effective voice in the operations of Douglas County. As a planning commissioner I’ve seen him provide common sense solutions to issues that come before him. My endorsement is a personal one, and not as part of my role on the planning commission.

Kirk Walder, Zephyr Cove

Dr. Kermit Jones right choice for 3rd Congressional District, Tahoe

To the Editor:

Dr. Kermit knows that hard work and service pays off. After years of growing up on a farm in Michigan he went on to become a doctor. After 9/11 he answered the call of service and became a flight surgeon in Iraq. He later became a White House fellow for veterans health care.

Dr. Kermit’s priorities include bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, expanding access to doctors and nurses in rural communities, increasing the number of health care providers, ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, protecting a woman’s right to choose, mitigating climate change and strategic forest management.

Running against Dr. Kermit are Scott Jones and Kevin Kiley.

Scott Jones is a retired Sacramento sheriff. His priorities include silencing black lives matter protestors and not enforcing COVID restrictions. Representative Tom McClintock has endorsed Scott Jones.

Donald Trump has endorsed Kevin Kiley, former state assembly representative. Kiley’s priorities include building a southern border wall. His webpage does not list policy positions and he refused to be interviewed by the Sac Bee or to participate in a candidate forum with Dr. Kermit. He associates with QAnon, ACT for America and extremists that have called on Americans to arm for civil war. He states on his website that he wants to be a congressman for all Californian conservatives and patriots who are part of the movement. He makes no mention of representing the constituents of CD3.

Dr. Kermit Jones will be a congressman who puts politics aside and works with both parties to get results. He is the best choice for Tahoe.

Susan Chandler is chair of the the South Lake Tahoe Democratic Club

How Lake Tahoe wins

To the Editor:

The people have spoken and we are listening.

At the first four destination stewardship public workshops, the No. 1 stewardship goal for Tahoe’s residents is lake preservation.

Previous efforts to create a sustainability plan with imported experts began with public discussions on how we “like our tourists” and ended with a report of suggestions without collaboration or longevity.

So, what if this time we lead with our wealth of local stewards and guidelines?

1. Community members practicing daily stewardship

2. Nonprofits whose activities sustain or enhance the watershed

3. 60 years of lake science

4. Washoe people, who for 10,000 years left no trace (a few takeaways there)

5. Sustain Tahoe’s responsible travel programs

6. The nine federally mandated thresholds

What is preventing the tourism industry from promoting a visitor menu of activities conducive to protecting the lake? Is it an inability to attract, educate, and implement activities that sustain the well-being of the lake and its watershed? Or, is it private interests surrounding this national treasure controlling access and activities?

It would behoove Tahoe’s residents and tourism industry to insist that a “Boots-on-the-Ground” local stewardship team form to co-create and implement a viable stewardship plan, followed by paid positions. Federal and state funding are available to help efforts to lead and manage a stewardship plan that follows mandates for a national treasure.

As Sue Daniels in the Kings Beach workshop said, “The Lake does not owe us a living.” However, living in a destination, we owe the lake mitigation for our foothold and a shared responsibility to help guide travelers that we encounter to adopt our Tahoe culture of caring; a culture that we can sustain as we lead by example.

Let the games begin and this time let’s ensure the lake wins.

Jacquie Chandler is founder and executive director of

Jeffrey Spencer for District 5 Supervisor

To the Editor:

My vote for El Dorado County District 5 Supervisor will be for Jeffrey Spencer.

This is the second run for Spencer and I sincerely hope many of you will vote for him.

Jeffrey has a very clear understanding on the real issues this town and our county are facing today.

He detailed serious community issues in recent Q&A interviews. Please Google Jeffrey Spencer for Supervisor and read for yourself.

Spencer recognizes a diminished local resident’s quality of life and representation due to over tourism and housing affordability. He addresses the need for better jobs and wages, and diversity from our singularly tourism-based economy. He sees our local workforce and home buyers’ inability to afford homes to rent or purchase. The county’s myopic focus on tourism revenue is forcing residents out.

Jeffrey brings a great deal of experience in transportation management to address our roadways and infrastructure neglect. I do not think the other candidates have half the experience in this area.

He would like to see more county revenue being spent directly where it was derived.

Public safety and transportation are other priorities Spencer is concerned with.

There is so much more Spencer has addressed as concerns he would take on as your supervisor.

I believe Jeffrey Spencer is very experienced, astute and intelligent and our best candidate for this job.

Please join me in voting him in. We deserve the new creativity Jeffrey Spencer will bring to the Board of Supervisors.

John Adamski, South Lake Tahoe

We need to commit our political candidates to an antitrust agenda

To the Editor:

(Editor’s note: This letter is in reference to a story published last week in the Tribune about a shortage of baby formula)

The birth rate in America has been spiraling downward for decades, and now we can add to that the unavailability of baby food to feed the few who do appear on the scene.

Once again, ordinary folk are being treated to the reality of the extreme deficiencies of a monopoly economy, with only a handful of large companies cranking out this and other products and services in America.

Since the 1970s, America turned hard in favor of monopoly in business, industry, finance, and just about everything else. Monopoly is the economic system of autocracy. Both systems want to limit the privilege of participation to only a few favored persons or entities.

Today we are suffering from monopoly in on-line retail, banking, advertising, credit card processing, luxury goods, hotels, insurance, and media. We have diminishing options in hospitals, pharmacies, labs, and health insurance. Size and power has taken over agriculture and food processing, sports, and defense industries. Even big tobacco is making a big comeback.

The people need to commit our political candidates to an antitrust agenda and then follow their every move if elected. Our babies are depending upon it.

Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, Utah

Goodbye Tahoe after 40 years

Goodbye Tahoe. After 40 years in South Lake Tahoe, my wife, Elsie,and I have moved to Connecticut to be closer to her family. It has been good but we miss SLT and all our friends.

My wife wants to thank the Cristandos (John’s cleaners) and Safeway and I would like to thank The Danny Marona Show (he brought me to Tahoe in the first place), The Steve Walker Band (Steve, Charlie, BJ-you guys helped me so much through my cancer), LTCC (especially Lisa Shafer, all the executive assistants, Mark Williams and my original dean, Diane Rosner who helped me get my music program going there 19 years ago), my musician friends, all my students and their families and our fantastic neighbors and extended friends and family.

And thanks to the High Sierra Casino (now the Hard Rock) as we would not have met 38 years ago without them. We love and miss you all and will treasure Tahoe and the people that live there forever. Thank you.

Eric and Elsie Hellberg, Torrington, Connecticut

Tahoe Chamber endorses Rice for Douglas Commission

After careful consideration, Tahoe Chamber is endorsing Wes Rice for re-election, representing Douglas County Commission District 4.

Shaped by decades of experience in law enforcement, Wes is a steady hand in the often-tumultuous world of County decision-making and politics. He is not afraid to speak up and support what he believes is in the best interest of the county, its residents and businesses, and works to hire and retain good county employees.

He cites his support of the Tahoe South Events Center as one of his major accomplishments. At the time of the vote, Wes knew the center would be the catalyst for revitalizing Stateline, a destination with declining valuation. This project has now triggered significant investment by casino ownership in facility and amenity upgrades. When the events center opens next year, it will generate $700,000 to $1.2 million in new consolidated tax revenues for Douglas County. Tahoe Chamber agrees the Tahoe South Events Center will promote entertainment, sports, conventions, and cultural events for the county and region, now and into the future.

Commissioner Rice adamantly represents and serves the entire County while being a champion for District 4 and the unique needs of the Tahoe Township. After significant public input, Wes helped craft a harder-hitting ordinance to cap and regulate vacation home rentals. He backed this by a meaningful commitment to enforcement and established a Vacation Home Rental Advisory Board to ensure accountability and recommend necessary modifications over time. He represents the county on the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, TRPA, Tahoe Transportation District, and the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority, contributing to his overall knowledge and decision-making. He understands and supports the important role Tahoe Township and Stateline resorts play in generating vital revenue that support services and programs throughout the county.

We also carefully considered how a candidate would fit in the County Commission and believe Wes Rice is the best fit. He currently serves as the BOCC Vice Chair, and working with Chairman Gardner, has helped restore decorum to the meetings and work of the commission.

Despite endorsing Wes Rice, we want to commend and recognize the interest shown by candidate Natalie Yanish who has served for 12 years as a dedicated member of the Kingsbury General Improvement District. It is important we encourage new leaders to step forward in public service. We believe in the sincerity and commitment of Yanish and while we did not endorse her candidacy this year, she is a community leader worth watching.

Steve Teshara, Mike Glover, Tahoe Chamber

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