Letters to the editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the editor

The Tribune’s front page headline story alerting us to the growing threat of pandemic flu ought to prompt all of us to prepare for this possible emergency. Getting prepared, however, takes time and money and it cannot be completed in a few days or a week.

If an outbreak should occur, common but necessary household items may be in widespread demand and shortages could occur; and since we are a somewhat isolated community, the re-supply of essential goods and services could be interrupted. Individual citizens need to find out how to prepare themselves and start doing it now. We cannot all go shopping for the same things at the same time.

Many people in our town may not be able to prepare entirely on their own. We need to identify this population and figure out how their basic needs can be met.

We ought to require the City Council together with the County Health Department to prepare and publically present an emergency response plan. This plan should invite ongoing public comment and urge public participation. It should not be a static document that waits on the shelf for a disaster.

We have all watched the failed rescue attempt after Katrina. We know that passivity, a poorly informed population, and the expectation that help is on the way, does not lead to a good result.

But we can prepare ourselves and we can help each other prepare materially and psychologically. The sooner we get started the better.

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Gloria Harootunian

South Lake Tahoe

Don’t let offenders back on the streets

This letter is in response to the Oct. 31 article on restraining orders.

The article said since last October, 89 restraining orders were violated, on those violations how many arrests were actually made?

In South Lake Tahoe, our statistics of domestic violence are astronomical, it is possible because there is little consequence for victimizing someone else.

In the same article it states, “A restraining order represents power and support.”

Every time someone violates a restraining order and is not punished our power and most of all our basic right to be safe is taken away from us.

I urge anyone in our legal system to make a difference, think before you let someone back on our streets, you just might save someone’s life. Or sentence them to the same fate, or worse, as Susan Rizk.

Kristine Fulton

South Lake Tahoe

American pastime and expectoration

In closely observing the world of sports, I have come to the unsettling conclusion that many parents of sports-minded youngsters are sadly lacking in preparing their offspring in their quest for millions. Expounding on the evils of Juicegate (featuring Balco Barry) and Vikingsgate (A.K.A. the Love Boat) is fine – but not enough.

It all starts with the name. At least, it does if you want your little guy to have his best chance at carrying an NFL pigskin. No more Tom, Dick or Harry-it’s Priest, La Dainian and Rashean. Don’t ask me where they come up with these names-just throw out the baby book and get creative! My latest discovery is the Seahawk’s Maurice Morris. Now that’ s… cute.

The name isn’t as important in baseball, but there are vital skills to be taught, beyond the mundane hitting and pitching. The more esoteric skills-for instance, the fine art of expectoration.

Spitting. You need to start the kid early on this, so that in those dog days of August when his buddies are drying up, he’s still going strong. It’s a growing phenomenon in pro ball: the better the athlete, the more liberally he douses the field. I notice the .200 hitters just contribute a few puny jets, while your star outfielder lets loose a healthy stream upon taking the field (sorta like claiming his turf, or marking his territory), then after making a good play, ejaculates a mighty blast, as if to underscore his greatness. The pitcher spits before delivering, the first baseman spits while guarding the bag-it goes on and on. Your best managers lead by example, but of course they have the advantage of drinking more in the dugout. They have to make their feelings known after every wrong pitch, after every bonehead play by their team, after every lucky hit by the opposition, after every wrong call by the ump. It’s a tough job.

Larry Suydam

South Lake Tahoe

Need an explanation about city’s plans

Redevelopment of an area is supposed to increase property tax revenue by increasing the assessed value of the property. To be feasible, the increased revenue must pay back any up-front and administrative costs in a short time, i.e. make a profit. If a previous article about the convention center is correct the City Council agreed to rebate the property taxes to the developer as an inducement to take over the project. Where is the profit in that? It sounds like the developer gets to build 300 condos and not have to pay any property taxes. I’m sure there is an explanation somewhere because the redevelopment agency has done such a stellar job in the past. Maybe the project has taken 12 years to get to this point because previous potential developers saw it was a loser and it took a big giveaway to move it ahead.

Who is supposed to market, run, and maintain the convention center and what will it cost? Marketing alone could cost a couple million a year and with five year contracts it could take a long time to take business away from existing centers. A little research showed that the convention center business has been severely overbuilt in the last decade and loses money. Maybe the income from the parking garage and the roundabout will make up any shortfall.

Harold Parks


In support of controlled burns

I’ve lived here in South Lake Tahoe for 25 years. I would like to make a reply to the person or persons who regard controlled burn as “Stench.”

Four years ago, my back yard, which coincidentally is your back yard, was a scary place to be. During those windy hot September days, I watched with trepidation for any puff of smoke. The forest had stands of beetle-killed lodgepole, small-girthed, close-packed tree stands and haphazard slash piles. The recipe for certain conflagration.

That following winter, I snowshoed out to see what all the noise was about. A dinosaur type machine was cutting down those killed trees and small ones not letting in the light. Then it whisked those trees away. I was very impressed with that machine. Zero environmental impact!

The following spring, forest service hand crews began an arduous task. They gathered the detritus described before. They even cut down the fire ladder fuels, those are dried branches touching ground from living trees, and gathered up safe burn piles. And yes, they burned them.

In summer, crews came through again and gleamed the leftovers. I even met a fire crew that had come down from up Mount Shasta way. They were working over chain saws in my back yard which was fine with me and my neighbors!

What is the end result after three hard years of work? We now have in my back yard something that almost resembles a native forest. In fact it is.

I am an amateur naturalist. I’ve noted different types of birds, trees, flora and more mammals. Maybe they were there before, now I can see them.

Oops, I forgot to close m window. You know what stench is? It’s picking through your half-burned home, if your lucky. Imagine looking out over a charbroiled moonscape that was once your neighborhood.

My hat is off to the U.S.F.S. and others for restoring a small section of mine and your back yard to a beautiful and “defensible” environment.

Randall W. Tobey

South Lake Tahoe

Last week’s Tribune carried two articles about concerns for smoke and safety from controlled burns. About 20 years ago a Forest Supervisor was harangued by incessant calls from annoyed residents concerning a prescribed fire in the vicinity of Camp Richardson. After that incident – which very successfully reduced fuel at that edge of South Lake Tahoe – he would not consider future burns near town. His decision essentially slowed efforts for many years to provide defensible space around communities.

Yes, smoke can be a serious irritant to people, especially when an inversion holds it like a blanket close to the ground. However, I can accept that smoke as a minor irritant as compared to the threat of tongues of flame approaching my community in a wildfire. I hope that others will think the same and support prescribed burning that rids the forest of accumulated fuel at much reduced cost compared to chipping or other methods.

Jon Hoefer

South Lake Tahoe