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Healthy community

I’ve been closely involved with Lake Tahoe Community College since its beginning in 1974, when I was elected one of the first LTCC Board of Trustees members. I’d like you to consider, just for a minute, what would happen if the college’s Measure F bond effort failed to pass this Election Day.

Since the bond would cost homeowners $25 per $100,000 in assessed value, Measure F not passing would mean a homeowner savings of about $6 a month on average – that’s true. The college would continue to exist, and the Board of Trustees, college leadership, and faculty and staff would find a way to keep LTCC going. Our dedicated and professional educators would continue in their efforts to prepare students for transfer to four-year programs, for rewarding careers, and to lead them on enjoyable educational experiences.



But without the solid foundation Measure F provides, our teachers wouldn’t experience the excitement and freedom to create and innovate that reliable funding can make possible. Without funding, innovation is hampered. The spark innovation provides makes teaching a true joy, and that would be missing.

Our students deserve the best education we can give them. Measure F funds would continue and even improve the high-quality experience LTCC provides. Should we be satisfied with merely an adequate educational experience, in merely adequate facilities? I believe that in order to achieve their goals and do their best work, students need a well-supported and enthusiastic faculty, teaching in the finest facilities we can provide.



If Measure F fails, it tells our city and the world that the citizens of South Lake Tahoe are satisfied with the status quo, not interested in being the best but rather in being just run of the mill. Great schools are the result of a dynamic, progressive, forward-thinking community that attracts new business and population to it. Will larger, healthier businesses be anxious to spend large sums of money in communities that don’t value exceptional education? Will the state of California be motivated to tap LTCC as one of its 15 pilot schools to offer four-year degrees in a community that’s satisfied with a status quo college?

True, everyone dislikes higher taxes. With Measure F, we’re talking about $6 a month to homeowners and businesses. But in the face of worldwide competition for investment and tourist dollars, can South Lake Tahoe afford to be labeled as “status quo”? The health of our local college is tightly bound to the health of our community. Please join me in voting yes on Measure F, and make the right call for our kids, college and community.

Fritz Wenck

South Lake Tahoe

It’s not broken

The race for Douglas County Sheriff is a clear choice. I have been a Douglas County resident since 1998 and Sheriff Ron Pierini has done a great job for all 16 years. Prior to living in Douglas County, I lived in large cities with high crime rates. It is so refreshing to live in an area that has one of the lowest crime rates in Nevada. You simply cannot put a value on what it means to feel safe in your home and neighborhood.

If the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department is not broken, there is no need to fix it. Dave Brady’s campaign states that he has the education, training, and law enforcement experience to do a better job than Ron Pierini. There is something wrong with their math. How does eight years in the Redondo Police Department, two years with the Nevada Gaming Control Board and 15 years as a Douglas County reserve surpass Sheriff Pierini’s 41 continuous years of law enforcement experience? Nevada Governor Sandoval appointed Sheriff Pierini as the Chairman of the Peace Officers Standards and Trainings Commission (POST). Brady is not even POST certified and would need to complete 16 weeks of training in order to serve as Sheriff. The law enforcement experience of the candidates is not even close. Brady states that the Sheriff’s Department has the same six patrol cars as 1986 when the truth is there are nine patrol cars each on day and swing shifts and eight deputies patrolling graveyard shift. Since only 20 percent of the deputies’ time is used to respond to calls, additional patrol cars are simply not needed. Earlier this year, my girlfriend called the Sheriff’s Department and the deputy arrived in less than 15 minutes. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department has always provided excellent service and quick response times under the leadership of Pierini. Pierini’s steady management style earned him the endorsement from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Protection Association that represents all DCSO Deputies, Investigators and Sergeants. His friendly nature inspires over 200 volunteers to assist the department every year.

Pierini is also a great citizen and leader for our community. He has volunteered for many worthy causes in Douglas County. He is a long time member of the Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club. Ron also served on the original Board of Directors for Austin’s House and helped bring the project to completion. I will be casting my vote on Nov. 4 for Sheriff Pierini to provide his excellent leadership for another four years.

Conrad Buedel

Minden

H for Homeowners

The upcoming ballot Measure H provides critical fire protection for homes in Lake Valley’s Fire Protection District. Following the Angora Peak Fire of 2007 our community qualified for a number of emergency federal and state grants that allowed us to increase our fire arsenal. Unfortunately, these grants expire this year while the threat to our community from wildfire does not. Thus the responsibility to protect our homes from wildfires such as the all too close King Fire becomes our own. Though we pay an SRA fee, it is a completely unrelated failure by the state government to provide widespread fire support. The scope of that program is too large and has provided little to no assistance to our specific community. H is a measure by us for us, supporting programs like Angora Peak Fire Crew and the Free Curbside Chipping that have proven to work for our community over the last several years.

Kyle Hayes

South Lake Tahoe

Black bears three

From the meadow, they came to make their visit. Mama bear and her two cubs, a yearling and 2-year-old, to make a family of three hungry bears. Mama went snoozing while one at a time the cubs climbed our apple tree.

Carefully, each went out on a limb for apples until antsy yearling decided out of turn to again ascend the tree.

Then the show began. Two bears on a limb in mid-air teetering, bobbing, struggling without luck for apples. Under the weight the tree began wobbling and seemed ready to break. But two smart bears sensed there was peril and inched their way down, safe and sound, ready to wrestle on the ground. From the meadow, they came, to make their visit.

Bill Crawford

South Lake Tahoe


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