RIBAUDO: Local musings | TahoeDailyTribune.com

RIBAUDO: Local musings

For every idea put forward by a governmental organization, opposition arises. Witness the City of South Lake Tahoe, which has put forward a number of new ideas to help deal with their budget shortfall. New iniatives like paid parking, part-time plow drivers, privatizing the ice-skating rink – all of which have been put forward as a means of reducing the city budget shortfall – have been met by some with strong opposition. But citizens can’t have it both ways; no one wants to pay more in taxes, but no one wants to change anything. That formula no longer works. New ideas are always challenging. Some will work, some won’t. You learn and go on, but the status quo is guaranteed failure.

Unfortunately an organization trying to do good deeds may have mismanaged a significant amount of funding. This feeds into an already strong perception by the public that governmental agencies are incompetent.

That’s exactly what Earth Justice, which filed a lawsuit trying to stop the proposed Homewood development, tried to do. That request was quickly dropped by a federal judge. When asked about it, Laurel Ames from the Sierra Club (a party to the lawsuit) indicated it was a non-issue, but if it was such a non-issue why request it in the first place? The elitist mindset of those who want to request a judge to hear their case knows no bounds. Unbelievable.

This is one of the mantras that is emerging from the elite environmental groups with regard to projects that can benefit the environment, the economy and community. But what is “too big?” The problem is that the answer is subjective and in the eye of the beholder – but that is just what these groups want. Because “too big” has not been defined, they can continue to oppose everything. If “too big” is now an issue, they need to define it with specific criteria.

As a former college adjunct faculty member, I am all for college education but I am getting a really queasy feeling about for-profit colleges. Sadly, the for-profit model has emerged because traditional colleges and universities have not adapted quickly enough to the changing needs of consumers, or they did not want to change. The debt level that many students emerge with is staggering.

I am really tired of billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson funding Newt Gingrich’s campaign. If Newt can’t raise the funds necessary – except with one guy’s checkbook – well, it’s better to put your vote somewhere else.

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I am thoroughly enjoying the newfound fame of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. Kids, take a lesson. Lin was written off by major colleges and cut by pro teams, but still kept working hard and coming back. You can do anything. How bad do you want it?

Welcome to a new monthly section in this op-ed called “League Watch.” In it I’ll highlight my observations on the action of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. We’ll look to separate what the league says from what it does, to see if the league is ready to be a part of the solution or play the same old obstructionist role it always has. If you have not yet read the Tribune interview on new League Director Darcie Goodman-Collins, you should. You’ll get a good sense of where Collins in coming from. It’s interesting that Collins seems to think the problem with the league has been failure at messaging. Most who care about the lake think it would be better for the league to quit looking backward and start looking forward with real ideas that embrace sustainability instead of regulatory approaches that don’t work. Well, we can at least be hopeful.

Despite the weak economy, despite the lack of snow, despite the ongoing bickering, despite a whole host of challenges, this community keeps on rolling along; its tribute to those who just get every day and do what they do without complaining. Here’s to you.

– Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at carl@smgonline.net.