Letters to the editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the editor

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

To the editor:

If you are talking in the kitchen or the classroom what you have been writing, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Your children are hearing it.

Taxation without representation is why this country was formed. Instead of beating up on the McCarthy family, who has been in that city for over 40 years contributing in many ways, try going after your elected officials, the chamber of commerce and the TRPA about improving the housing and the economic situation of your community.

Diminished enrollment means diminished state funds. Families are leaving or not coming because of severely poor housing and no real employment.

Turning motels into low-income housing is a fantastic idea. Requiring 11Ú2 parking spaces is stupid and a deliberate roadblock to cause it to fail, typical of your city officials!

Insist that the city and TRPA stop with the roadblocks and that the chamber prove they are working tirelessly on attracting new clean light industry and business and you will be well on your way back to your great schools as well as many other benefits of a thriving community.

Get positive, folks. Negative isn’t making it!

Jean Widman-Turner

Vancouver, Wash.

Voters can’t have it both ways

To the editor:

Just because I voted against Measure L doesn’t mean I hate our public schools or am in league with the time-share owners.

I objected to the way the district pandered to senior citizens. Board President Wendy David phoned senior citizens and encouraged them to vote yes simply because they would be exempted from the tax. What an insult to those who would have had to pay it!

Although $60 isn’t very much, it would still have been a regressive tax, which is unfair. It would have been more accurate to call it a fee. And yes, the measure clearly needed to be rewritten to account for the manner in which parcel numbers are distributed.

The district appears to be unwilling to make any changes, even though enrollment has declined and money is scarce. It spends too much on administrative expenses, based upon the state’s recommendations. Schools used to be about the three R’s, but now they are trying to do everything. What’s a school doing with a psychiatrist?

I spoke with a teen in the AVID program who said it doesn’t do her any good because she’s in AP classes and there’s no one in the program who knows enough to tutor her, but she can’t quit because she has to stay in the program the entire four years in order to get credit. What a waste of her time and my money.

This paper recently devoted a full page to the new Drugstore Project for middle school students. Why is it the school’s job to host huge, expensive anti-drug programs? Why is it up to the schools to keep kids busy after school? Don’t parents have any responsibilities anymore? Why do people think there is some constitutional right to school sports and clubs? In tight economic times, it would seem prudent to cut the superfluous programs and get back to basics.

Our governor was recalled because voters wanted someone who would cut taxes. Taxes are what allow the state to pay for public education. You can’t vote for politicians who want to reduce taxes, then complain about the lack of money for services.

Suzanne Soule

South Lake Tahoe

Do your job and stop finger-pointing

To the editor:

Regarding high school teacher Bridey Heidel’s comments: She is out of line. Ms. Heidel’s letter, in my opinion, makes light of a serious situation that the community is attempting to address.

I am one of the estimated 2,850 voters who voted against Measure L. That was a difficult vote for many of us. I take exception to your comments.

Remember, you work for the taxpayers. You provide a service that can be replaced. There are many unemployed teachers willing and able to take your place in a heartbeat. The voters have sent you and yours a clear message, which is, come up with better solutions to the problems.

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. So quit pointing fingers and do your job.

Mike Crowley

South Lake Tahoe

Heartbroken after Measure L loss

To the editor:

I’m really grieving for the loss of Measure L, loss of good teachers, loss of good quality school programs, and loss of community support. The time-share homeowners thought the $60 tax fee was “unfair” but they are probably the same ones who do not want to pay taxes in Lake Tahoe anyway. If you look under El Dorado County tax sales, many of these time-share owners show up in default of their taxes!

Justice was not done by any means! All it did was divide the community. It stripped our teachers of lifelong careers, forcing some to sell their homes to relocate to other cities, and disrupting their lives for “wannabe homeowners” who live here one week a year by choice.

After Measure L was defeated, the owner of the Stardust stated that he may now be willing to work with the school board and community needs. Let’s see how much he really cares and contributes to our schools and programs in the future.

If you look at any top scholar in your community or country, you can bet they had a background in athletics, theatre, arts, and music during their school years growing up. Why would we strip our schools of these valuable programs that benefited so many in our society?

I own two homes in Lake Tahoe and had no problem paying $120 to keep schools alive, teachers employed, and to implement all the programs that have been in existence for decades. My son is a sophomore and three-sport athlete. Now we have to pay $595 a year for him to play, with no tax write-off. We will now be out knocking at every homeowner’s door, including time-share owners. We will take them up on their offer of “fairness” in donating to our school’s cause as “homeowners” of this community.

A very sad and grieving homeowner of 34 years.

Barbara Cunningham-Pershing

South Lake Tahoe

Rewrite measure, then try again

To the editor:

Let’s get over it and on with it. Yes, I’m referring to the defeat of Measure L.

With great reluctance I voted no on this measure. I have never before voted no on any school-related issue.

The main reason that I voted no was the fear of litigation promised by the opponents of Measure L if the measure passed, which would tie up the funds for an indefinite period of time. The kids would certainly be the losers if this happened.

Secondly, the measure and election was written and planned in a very deceptive way. Measure L should have been on the March primary ballot. A special election in April, involving one issue was a waste of taxpayer money, inviting intense scrutiny. That is exactly what happened.

When parcel tax was defined to mean “per time-share week” the measure writers opened the door for trouble. The resort owners and managers all of a sudden had a good argument against the tax. It probably would have otherwise gone unchallenged.

Perhaps the proponents of Measure L should stop blaming everyone else for its defeat and start writing a measure that we can all support. Clear up the confusion involving fiscal responsibility. It is difficult to present a “blank check” to an administration that hasn’t made it clear where they plan to spend the money.

I don’t feel that I am alone in saying that I would be glad to vote “yes” to money for our schools when the issues are clear, fair and supported by facts.

Denise Jobski

South Lake Tahoe

It’s time to stop calling us names

To the editor:

On this Earth Day, our nation and our communities face challenges on a number of fronts: a war in the Middle East, an economy that has not recovered from the last recession, and gas and heating oil prices that are through the roof. In the face of these crises, our government’s response has been ineffective. The situation in Iraq is spiraling out of control. The tax cuts have not led to the economic revival we were promised. Efforts to lower gas prices have been met with stiff opposition from the countries that supply our oil. Meanwhile the regulatory rollbacks that protect our health and environment have not led to the energy reliability the government promised would come from the trade off.

The nexus of these problems calls for an immediate and large intervention by the federal government, not a retreat. It calls for an investment like the one we made when we as a nation committed to putting a man on the moon. A solution exists. There is a coalition of labor unions, environmentalists and civil rights groups called the Apollo Alliance that suggests that a bold investment by the federal government into clean energy and energy-efficient vehicles would directly confront all of these issues. The plan calls for the investment of $300 billion dollars over 10 years.

The result would be more than 3 million jobs, a decrease by half of our Middle East oil imports, and a healthy and safer environment. This investment would pay for itself as a result of renewed economic activity and the savings from efficient use of our current resources.

This is a plan that can work. It is the kind of action we need.

John Marchese


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