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Strengthen community

Measure F on the ballot this November is just as critical to the future of Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) as it is to the strength of the entire South Shore community. Imagine our community without a decent and competitive academic center like the college. From grandpas to graduates, the college intersects the lives of nearly everyone. And while many voters remember the new campus being unveiled like it was yesterday, the main college buildings are a quarter of a century old. As the college has aged, learning technology, student demands and the need to diversify offerings have leapt ahead.

The kind of investments needed at LTCC will cost money and much of it must be raised locally. The evolution of tax policy in California and across the nation means that if we want a good college in our midst, we have to be the ones to step up and share the cost. As a business owner, I recognize the need to cut from large state programs and expensive bureaucracies, but that does not mean that local needs simply disappear. Although there are matching dollars available from the state, Measure F is the way to unlock them and provide for our own future. The bond measure requires a local body to manage the money and the funds can only be used for facilities maintenance and construction.

Can we afford Measure F? The measure would increase property tax for the average property owner less than $100 per year. That’s about the going subscription rate for cloud-based storage or a few magazines. The college is ailing and at a crossroads. Vote yes on Measure F for a more secure, locally-funded future for one of our community’s most critical assets.

Jeff Cowen

South Lake Tahoe

Great return on investment

Sometimes we forget, at least I do, how, in one moment, a catastrophic fire can start, and without proper fire protection, destroy our homes, belongings, and even endanger our lives. Driving through the “burn area” , left by the Angora Fire, I recalled the fear I felt in the pit of my stomach as the flames raced through heavily wooded neighborhoods destroying almost everything in its path. Since then, there has been a lot of work done to thin out the woods and the highly flammable brush, in hopes of reducing the chance of future fires. Unfortunately, there is much more work to be done and that work requires money.

Nobody likes taxes, especially since many of our tax dollars are misspent, but tax money that will go directly to those who work every day to keep us safe from fire and protect our beautiful environment is tax money well spent. But how big a tax does Measure H represent? Well, after dropping off the old $20 per year special tax that is expiring, it would cost home owners $8.50 per month ($100 per year). For $8.50 a month we are getting a great return on our investment.

The main reason why I, like many of us, can live in Lake Tahoe is our large number of tourists. Because so many of us depend on those tourist dollars, Measure H is a small price to pay for the good we’ll all receive. Keeping tourists and ourselves safe and preserving the beauty they come to see will insure that Tahoe will continue to be a pristine and prosperous place to live.

Recently we have all felt a little uneasy because of the King and Cascade fires. I rest easier knowing the great work our firefighters are doing to make Tahoe more fire safe, but I also know that there is a great deal of work yet to do. We all need to support the future of this amazing area and the fine men and women who work so hard to keep it that way. Vote yes on Measure H.

Paul Bruso

South Lake Tahoe

Comparable effort needed

U.S., state, and municipal health authorities are working overtime and spending millions of dollars to stem the spread of Ebola, which has killed just one person here.

Where is the comparable effort to stem the spread of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that kill 1.4 million Americans annually and are linked conclusively to excessive consumption of animal products? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that’s 23 times the number killed by all infectious diseases combined, including AIDS, hepatitis, blood poisoning, and intestinal infections!

Apparently, our society tolerates this massive assault on our public health, because meat, dairy, and egg products have powerful champions in Congress. Bacteria and viruses have none.

Yet, each of us can take personal responsibility for our own and our family’s health by reducing, then dropping animal products from our menu. Fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains contain all the nutrients our body requires and are touted by leading health authorities. Soy and nut-based meats, milks, and ice creams offer a delicious transition treat. Lots of websites provide helpful transition tips.

Samuel Alexander

South Lake Tahoe

Measure F makes Tahoe safer

Wait, what? Safer? Yes! As a 20-plus-year South Lake Tahoe resident and a recently retired FBI agent, I have experienced Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) as a student, a guest speaker, and as an occasional criminal justice instructor. Over the years, these connections have proven to me just how essential LTCC is in giving our local youth a pathway toward a productive future. Whether students come to the college interested in criminal justice, the Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy, early childhood education, wilderness leadership and education, medical and dental office work, or any of the many programs offered at the college, LTCC is our town’s ticket to a good job. Even better, many of these jobs directly contribute to a safer, healthier community for all of us.

When our local youth has the opportunity to learn in a world-class, cutting-edge setting, they’re on the path towards a great job and a satisfying career for life. And that’s something we can all benefit from. Please vote yes on Measure F this November to help LTCC keep our kids going in the right direction.

Chris Campion

South Lake Tahoe

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