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South Lake Tahoe risks becoming Anytown USA

Mick Clarke

Things change, but not always for the better. All the squabbling about old cars at the “Y” and whether we like or dislike it misses the real point of what is actually taking place there, but it got me thinking. Let me make it clear, as a 28 year resident, I love Tahoe. And Tahoe to me is not just the lake and the mountains: It’s the local community. It’s not just about “visual appeal” or lack thereof. Tahoe is made up of the people who actually live here and work here year round, including people like John Runnels and his unusual car lot. Being fond of old American cars, I’m personally OK with it; sorry if you disagree, that’s my opinion. Cars come and go. Some of those who can’t deal with it have a not-so-hidden agenda, but for those who just don’t like old cars, there’s a whole “other side” of town that may have more “visual appeal” for them. I call it “Anytown USA,” it’s at the “other” end of town, and here’s my point.

South Lake Tahoe is steadily becoming just like every other town in California, and Nevada for that matter, and pretty soon we’ll all know where we’re going to eat, drink, and shop just like everyone else. It’ll be a no-brainer, because there’ll be no choice. Kudos to the local businesses that have the guts to hang in there downtown; I’m very happy you are there, waving the local flag. To those who dislike the local Tahoe scene and think that the “creeping nightmare of Stateline” is a good thing, don’t worry, “Anytown USA” is coming to the “Y,” and who will stop the insatiable greed that is pushing it down Highway 50, squeezing out the sense of community along with it. Take note, squeezing takes different forms. It’s happening at the “Y” right now! I’ll leave it there. If we continue to elect people who are only anxious to turn the rest of South Lake Tahoe into “Anytown USA,” you can say goodbye to many of the remaining small businesses, eccentric or not, as greedy property owners and small-minded politicians squeeze out the little guys and welcome the deep pockets of the corporations. I suggest those who have a problem with old cars spend a little time thinking about what’s going to replace them. It’s now time to get serious about just who you want to be your city representative in the upcoming elections. I personally would rather see any old car at the “Y,” rusty or not, than yet another chain restaurant or drug store. This community is eroding, greed has taken over and it’s time to wake up! Keep the corporations where they belong, in “Anytown USA,” and work to keep the community of South Lake Tahoe a community. I ask you to think about why you came to South Lake Tahoe in the first place, and especially about the impact of your vote upon the future of our community, our children, and their children.



– Mick Clarke is a 28-year resident of South Lake Tahoe and owner of Signs of Tahoe.


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