Ribaudo column: Lake Tahoe’s South Shore lacks public art, real leadership
November 29, 2017
Like any art, South Lake Tahoe's new statue celebrating the Olympic athletes has its supporters and detractors, which is what art should do: stimulate discussion from all sides. There's nothing wrong with healthy discussion and debate.
What this piece of art does do is remind us of how much more public art the South Shore needs. When you compare us to places like Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara and other destinations, the city and the South Shore come up short. While the public display at the airport and the new piece at the commons are welcome, we need to do better.
The city has ambitiously stated its desire to attract a billion dollars in investment, which is a good thing, but it lacks a formalized approach and funding commitment for public art. The new Tahoe Arts Alliance can play a role, but the city needs to make public art a higher priority.
Public art is a reflection of the local community, its values and culture; the South Shore is a much more interesting place with more creative and expressive people than the current offering of public art would indicate.
It's that time of year when the City Council selects a new mayor. Prediction: Austin Sass will give up his role of mayor, and Wendy David will be the new mayor. It's got me thinking about how the organizations that impact South Shore operate. Be it the city, the counties, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, chamber of commerce or any other, it's hard to discern leadership from the organization.
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Yes, there is consensus, but leadership is hard to find. We do lots of meetings, lots of presentations and lots of studies, but real leadership is getting harder and harder to find. Solutions for the big issues like traffic, affordable housing and getting rid of old motels seem to elude us. We need more urgency and more decisions.
Board chairs of these organizations are going to have to do more than just run a meeting; they are going to have to lead and make real change.
I was sorry to see Measure C, which I supported, defeated. For me, the economics were just too compelling not to. In the short term, I don't think much will happen with repairs. Over the long term, roads will continue to deteriorate, the cost will increase and fall on residents — not tourists. But the voters did speak.
The big picture
It was 1969, and I was not yet a teenager growing up in Southern California when one morning the headlines of the LA Times blared the gruesome murders of the Manson family. Since that day I have followed this story until its ending last week with the death of Charles Manson.
My friends and I used to ride our bikes and hike the hills adjacent to the Spahn Movie Ranch, where Manson and his followers lived. How could this have happened in what was until that point an idyllic childhood?
These senseless murders shocked my world, and since that time I have read books, articles, websites and more. What always amazed me, and still does, was how one person could so influence people's minds and convince them to do the most heinous of crimes. It's a story that is still with us today.
Rot in hell, Charles Manson.
If you're ever going back and forth to Reno and you're looking for some good Mexican food in Carson City, check our the Hacienda restaurant inside the Hacienda Market and Grill at 2270 E. William St. You will not be disappointed.
It's a wrap
It's now the end of November and we are still hopeful snowstorms that are vital to the local economy will arrive. It seems like every year we are hopeful but still have this angst over the issue. Is this anyway to run a tourism-driven economy? More thoughts on a changing tourism economy to come.
Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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