Ribaudo column: Time for Lake Tahoe South Shore to move ahead on Loop Road project (opinion)

Carl Ribaudo
Tribune Columnist

Local Musings

I took last month off for a little summer fun and had a chance to reflect on some things during that time. “Nothing Venture, Nothing Win” is the title of Sir Edmund Hillary’s autobiography. Hillary, as you may recall, and Tenzing Norgay were the first to climb Mount Everest. I have always loved the title of that book because it sums up so many situations in life — to move ahead or not. That’s exactly where the South Shore finds itself today: to move ahead or not.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity to move ahead or not is the Loop Road. It’s a once in a generation opportunity. We can deal with a major issue like traffic which will continue to worsen as the population grows and to bring a variety of benefits to the local community, including workforce housing. These are just the benefits we know about but there could be more possibilities we are not even aware of.

There is a concept called adjacent possibility. In essence it means by taking a step you open yourself to endless new possibilities and opportunities that you would not without taking that step forward. That same potential is true with the Loop Road.

Those who oppose the Loop Road for the community offer nothing — no vision, no idea, no solutions to the challenges the community faces today and will continue to face in years to come.

What they do offer is a steady commentary of fear and why things can’t work. They argue for the status quo instead of the endless possibilities our community can realize. They have become masters at it.

But the “gang of no” fails to ask: How we can make it work? How can we squeeze more benefits from the project? They trade away the future possibilities for the status quo, a losing proposition for all, except them.

This community has met every challenge and opportunity and we will do the same with the Loop Road. The project will bring so many benefits and possibilities. It’s not just about the road it is about the possibilities. The next time the “gang of no” tells this community it can’t be done, it won’t work, just remember “Nothing Venture, Nothing Win.”

It’s time for the city to present a timeline for the new recreation center. The tax measure to build a new recreation center was passed nearly three years ago and the taxes collected are in the millions. The city needs to present a defined timeline as to when the new facility will be developed. Enough time has passed.

Along with this topic, there are some in the community, including at least one member of council, who think those funds can be spent on other recreation areas within the city. That was not the intent of the measure and would be met with a legal challenge. Spend the money as it supposed to be, on a new recreation center.

The Big Picture

Gov. Newsom has decided to get tough with NIMBYs who don’t want more housing in their neighborhoods. In June, the board of the Southern California Association of Governments, which includes city and county elected officials from across the region, voted to build 430,000 homes by 2029.

The governor sees it differently and has indicated the number of homes needs to be 1.3 million in Southern California. It will be interesting to see what happens in Northern California and more specifically if there will be an impact in South Lake Tahoe.


Don’t miss “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” especially if you love Quentin Tarantino. Don’t miss the Woodstock special on PBS. And don’t miss the Black Ice Theatre Co. — they are one of the most creative things happening in South Shore.

That’s a Wrap

Congratulation to South Shore local Robin DeSota and his wife Lauren. Robin summited Mount Everest in May, the culmination of a dream. He must understand perfectly what Sir Edmund Hillary meant when he said “Nothing Venture, Nothing Win.”

I was saddened to hear former City Councilman Keith Klein had passed away. He was a wonderful person I always enjoyed talking to. He will be missed in the community.

Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.