Take care. If you have not heard or seen the catchy new “Take Care” advertising campaign. The campaign was put together by a coalition of groups and agencies and is designed to focus on changing some very specific behaviors with regard to protecting the environment. (Full disclosure I did participate in a couple of meetings to provide some input on visitor behavior.) Too often our environmental concerns have focused on the big picture i.e. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) policy and not where the rubber meets the road. That’s exactly what this awareness campaign does, it focuses on specific consumer behaviors with regard to litter, dog poop, cigarette butts etc. Now if we could only get more trash cans in public places it would be a big help.
• The issue of property rentals continues to get interesting. Not sure I know what the answers are, but here is what I think. The city needs a three-step program to get this resolved. First, enforcement needs to be real and needs to happen. It is clear that the current system is not getting it done. Second, the city needs to do real analysis of all the related issues. What the economic impact would be if there was a moratorium or no rentals allowed? Anyone who tells you they know, doesn’t know. Once the city gets all the information on all the issues then it should consider what is the appropriate policy. The problem we often get into is making policy decisions with limited information. Council people have a bias “to act,” which is understandable. Sometimes the best way to act is to get more information to make the best decision.
• There is no question this winter was as tough as it gets and it raises the big question, were these past four years some sort anomaly or is this the new normal? I think the best was to look at it from the communities standpoint and plan for both. Plan for all the winter activities but also have a contingency in place, should we need it. We need to be smart, not just reactive.
The Big Picture
• Something that has bothered me for a while is how traffic tickets have become government fundraising tools. This insidious government practice has grown since the recession. A recent opinion piece in the L.A. Times outlines the issue nicely. In California a $100 fine can quickly grow to almost $500 and more if fines are not paid. Of course fines are often not paid because people don’t have the funds to pay them that escalates to losing your license. Since 2006 more than 4.2 million licenses have been suspended and only 70,000 restored. You get the picture. Tickets have become draconian.
• Burger notes. Like many of you, I have been eating burgers in this town for years. Here are my top three places: The Lucky Beaver, Lakeside Inn and Izzy’s. I know many will disagree and that’s what makes the world go around. Try them and see.
It’s a Wrap
• Yes baseball season is one month in and a couple of interesting notes. The Giants have struggled and the Yankees have done OK. But what is really interesting to probably no one but me is the play of Alex Rodriguez. No controversy, hitting some home runs and driving in runs and on the verge of breaking Willie Mays’ home run record. It’s too early for a redemption story (not that one is possible) but we will wait and see.
• The death toll seems unreal in the Nepal earthquake it’s so sad to see this beautiful little country that is the keeper of Mountain Everest so devastated.
Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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