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Letters to the editor

I was stunned to read City Manager David Jinkins’ op-ed piece (“Working toward a resolution to airport tree controversy,” June 26) on the airport trees. He starts by saying that he’s not in any way responsible because he was “on vacation” when the trees were cut. He then goes on to imply that it’s okay to break forestry and water protection laws because the city wanted to address a perceived “safety” issue. Both excuses seem invalid.

Because I have to mail my taxes by 5 p.m. on April 15, does that mean I can run red lights on the way to the post office? Or, consider this parallel regarding the “safety” issue: Both the U.S. Forest Service and Caltrans routinely cut “hazard” trees on their property that are deemed to be a safety hazard. But they must (and they do) follow all other laws along the way. They cannot (and don’t) just go out and cut hazard trees in violation of other laws because it’s a “safety” issue.

Our city certainly deserves due process, and nobody should rush to judgment. But if it is determined that the allegations are true, and our city violated its tree-cutting permit, then our City Council should issue a public apology and inform the TRPA and other regulatory agencies that it will not dispute any fair and reasonable fines. And both the city manager and the airport manager should resign, or they should be fired.



Maybe its also time to stop the bleeding of millions of dollars from our city budget and just close the airport once and for all. The tax money we continually lose on the airport benefits only a small number of mostly wealthy folk. That money could instead be used to fix roads, buy snow plows, build sidewalks, and do other things that would benefit us all.

Tom Suk



South Lake Tahoe

Another power grab by environmentalists

The current display of arrogance and stupidity on the part of Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, playing out now via articles in the newspaper, has its roots firmly planted in the past. If you think that TRPA just found out about the trees being cut at the airport, then you are at best severely misguided, and at worse deluded as the radical Muslims in Iraq.

These people were just patiently watching those trees inch upward, waiting for someone with the honor and veracity to do the right thing, so they could flagrantly abuse the power of their office, so childishly wasted on them years ago. The settlement agreement between the TRPA, the city, the League, and the California attorney general’s office, signed and agreed to by all, said, among other things, that the airport would operate under all applicable rules of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ladies and gentleman, it was the FAA that insisted the trees be cut down. The reason was to save human lives. Clearly TRPA and the League have no regard for human life, nor the veracity to honor their own agreement. Be clear on this, all TRPA and the League care about are their own self-interests, that being, among other secrets, the closure of the airport. I want to personally thank the airport authority for doing what was obviously required.

It was said, by Aristophanes, loosely translated, that youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance educated and drunkenness, sobered, but stupid is forever. Folks, we have allowed the inmates to take control of the asylum. The League and TRPA are nothing but a bunch of jack-booted stormtroopers, that only typify the adage “absolute power, corrupts absolutely.” Rest assured, Pathway 2007 will be nothing more than a further power grab. They don’t care about you or the lake. It’s about abuse; they love it, and are well versed in its use.

Lee Griffin

South Lake Tahoe

Think about liability in airplane crash

Let’s consider a situation where there is a terrible accident at our local airport and it is determined that trees and their maintenance and or removal were a contributing factor. Just who will be included in the lawsuit: the city, FAA, TRPA or everyone in sight. Someone must be liable. I think it must be determined just who has controlling legal authority over the airport and the rest just butt out.

David Dewitt

South Lake Tahoe

$425,000? That’s some expensive firewood

As a senior citizen, I believe it is exceedingly thoughtful and generous of our city manager to promise to give some of the city’s recently acquired firewood to the area’s seniors, as reported in the Tribune. Very generous, indeed, considering its value, some $425,000 (in potential fines), we are told.

I only hope that others in our community who will be asked to share in the purchase price of this extraordinary harvest will not feel slighted.

Jerome Evans

South Lake Tahoe

Tallac: Give credit where credit is due

In the recent Tahoe/Tallac Association story (“Window into Lake Tahoe History,” June 23), it would have been nice had the current directors clued your reporter in on the fact that Carol Spain was the progenitor of our ongoing sociocultural phenomenon.

And that that incredibly evocative theater space known as the Boathouse was conceived by Carol and the late Leo Buscaglia.

Carol’s friends may be happy to know that she recently had a one-woman show of major mural-sized paintings in, I believe, Santa Rosa?

Whatever, we should always acknowledge the efforts of our betters.

Frank Eng

Stateline

Convention center costly, unnecessary

Why do we need a huge and expensive convention center when any of our casinos can handle large, convention-type affairs? The cost alone would be enormous when the money could go for sidewalks and road repairs.

Wake up, City Council. Don’t use money for the consultants. We who live here pay enough as it is. As for raising our water rates for developers, let them pay the costs.

Marge Novak

South Lake Tahoe


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