Letters to the editor for March 6
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama must run together. “Leave it to the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” according to one of the numerous pundits commenting on the primary race. That clairvoyant statement is looking more accurate with each passing day. Either way that the superdelegates rule, half of the newly energized constituency will feel that the system has ruled against them. If Obama gets the presidential nod, Clinton supporters will feel disenfranchised, and, according to a recent CNN poll, many will either not vote at all or, worse yet, vote for McCain. Likewise, if Clinton comes out victorious, the massive groundswell of new young voters coming out of the woodwork to support America’s first potential African-American president will turn their backs once more on the political system and not feel compelled to vote for the woman who beat Obama.
The more Clinton and Obama attack each other and dig holes in each other’s political and personal past, the stronger the Republican Party, grows, and the easier it will be for McCain to bury either one of them in those holes so adeptly carved by their present opponents. As Obama criticizes Clinton’s reporting of personal income tax and Clinton criticizes Obama’s ties to Tony Resco, McCain sits back and watches the Democrats hand him the presidency.
For the first time in a generation, turnout numbers and political involvement have reached percentages equivalent to the 1960s, when more than 60 percent of the population voted and cared enough about what was going on in the world and our country to ask themselves what Kennedy demanded: “what you can do for your country.” People are again asking themselves that same inspirational question. Why throw all that political will away?
Clinton and Obama need to put their egos and their personal quests for power behind them. Their platforms are essentially synonymous. Their impact on historical precedent the same. Their aptitudes and savoir faire in politics both exceptional. And their desire to do something noble and right with their time in office totally equivalent. It’s time to change. That means the candidates as well as the country. Clinton and Obama must run together.
South Lake Tahoe
To Mr. Don MacKay (letters, Feb. 27), the Tahoe Daily Tribune and Douglas County residents: Don, you should do your homework before you quote prices of sprinkler systems in the United States. We cannot buy these systems at Wal-Mart like you can. Systems in Douglas County have to be engineered by a licensed contractor; these systems cost 10 to 12 times more than U.S. fire administration estimates.
I am putting an addition on my home on lower Kingsbury. Between the engineering, insufficient water pressure, and structural and cosmetic restoration, the three estimates for the retrofit varied from $82,000 to $105,000 – a far cry from your $1,000 Canadian systems. I’ll bet your opinion would change if you were being forced to install a U.S. system.
The other thing people need to understand is that most homes cannot be retrofitted because of the 2003 building codes.
For homes built primarily of 2-by-4 construction, installation of the sprinkler system would cause loss of structural integrity and make it impossible to retrofit to new earthquake guidelines.
These homes, the majority of the homes in Tahoe-Douglas, would have to be torn down and completely rebuilt. This is an unrealistic approach to a problem that our fire marshal, Rick Nicholson, has created.
Fire safety is a very important issue in this community, but it will not be solved by forcing people to tear down their houses and start over. Let’s get real. People need to know the facts and stand up for our rights. Call your county commissioners. Be at the next meeting.