In response to coverage of the NLTRA
Tahoe Businesses/Locals, Are You Ready for Another Tax?
If you are an eastern Placer County citizen, you should be outraged. A compulsory tax you’ve never seen on a ballot is scheduled for approval by Placer County. While you had your hands full with the coronavirus, a new form of unelected substitute for government came to town with a new tax that they are trying to call something else. The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association is trying to form a Tourist Business Investment District (TBID) that will tax eastern Placer County businesses to promote tourism, affordable housing, and infrastructure improvements on SR 89 and 267. This scheme will dip into the pockets of every local since there will be a tax on just about everything except gas and groceries. This is a work-around on the requirement that a sales tax must be approved by the voters by a two thirds majority. These people were not elected and … will manage the initial $10 million pool of yearly monies. The entity is stacked with big resorts. A non-governmental authority is going to tax your business if more than 20% of your customers are tourists. What gives them the right? They can call it a fee or an assessment or a tax, but you will pay it. In fact, the percentage will continue to increase as it has in other TBIDs.
We used to call this taxation without representation; maybe we still should? Tell Placer County this is no way to run the county’s business.
The time and place for the public meeting to hear testimony on establishing the new TBID and levying assessments is set for Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. at 175 Fulweiler Avenue in Auburn. Hopefully, it will be a Zoom meeting … stay tuned. Please send your concerns to your Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson at email@example.com or me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Ann Nichols, Crystal Bay, via letter
In response to COVID coverage
Time to Take the Vaccine
After 10 months of witnessing the coronavirus’s destructive capacity and now seeing our hospitals in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Central Valley at full capacity, I would gladly take the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer. I sincerely believe it would be a layer of protection for someone my age (66).
Despite the fact that we now have over 322K people who have died from COVID-19, we are not going to beat this without several vaccines coming into play with over 300 million people.
I returned from Europe in Jan. 2020, only to be sick in bed for over a month. All the symptoms were COVID-19. I did recover, and yes, I never had a shot of anything put into my body for the last 30+ years.
This year, I had a flu shot and also a pneumonia shot at CVS Pharmacy in Tahoe City in late October. Both myself and my husband know several well-respected doctors/nurses who work the frontlines and all have taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
~ Mary Bennett, Alpine Meadows, via letter
In response to Truckee “sanctuary city for small businesses” campaign
Not a Sanctuary for Me
Excuse me, could we chat for a minute? I listened to all your arguments about making Truckee a sanctuary city and allow restaurants and stores to open without restrictions. It made me sad. I get that we need to help everybody get through the plague. Just like you, I want to get through it. But unlike you, I might not survive it, and your actions and demands make it less likely. Why?
I’m 55, was fit and heathy, but a year ago found out that I have stage IV, metastatic, incurable, and eventually terminal cancer. My chances of dying if I become infected are much higher than those of the general population. Therefore we barely leave the house during the current surge, except for some very distanced, masked hikes, and for medical appointments where I hope nobody in the cancer center infects me.
If we can’t stop the current surge, and just go about our business, medical rationing will come to California. This doesn’t just mean that there will be triaging of COVID patients; it will also present me with the real possibility that my treatment will be interrupted, further shortening my life. One of the drugs I was on this year sent me to the emergency room with a heart attack. Luckily that happened in the summer, when the ERs and ICUs were quiet. If it happened now I might not be that lucky.
So please, reconsider your behavior and let’s celebrate when this is over. And give me a chance to see another Christmas.
~ Silke Pflueger, Truckee, via letter
In response to The California Advertising Tourism Industrial Complex by Chris Gallagher
I would like to commend Chris Gallagher for his insights shared in his recent My Shot article regarding the NLTRA, its practices of hiring agencies outside the area, and the duplicity of many of their claims. It seems that Chris, like many of us, has recognized the resort association’s shallow rhetoric and has called them out on it.
Chris points out that the NLTRA continues to trumpet their success of bringing tourism to North Lake Tahoe which cannot be substantiated by any tangible increase in revenue. It was refreshing to discover that others share in this viewpoint.
Many of us remember back in 2015 when an audit of the NTLRA spending revealed irregularities with the finances at the NLTRA, and these irregularities prompted Placer County to cut back its funding. No longer content with its share of TOT dollars, the NLTRA has now garnered even more funding by way of a TBID assessment (otherwise known as a tax) on local businesses.
The NLTRA is a relic of the “Good Ole Boys (and Girls) Network,” funding friends and denouncing foes and using our dollars to do it. Thanks, Chris, for a shot well placed!
~ Sam Rudnick, Tahoe City, via letter
In response to Why the Long Lines at the Truckee Post Office?
Shout-Out to Our Downtown Postmaster
Our post office has responded to our and its frustrations most creatively. Chronically understaffed, [with] an influx in residents and the holiday pressure, the lines at our downtown post office experienced one- to two-hour waits. Postmaster Daniel Saville has announced that his door is open to emails and texts and calls, and I am sure he’s had many. He also initiated a process wherein if one gets a yellow slip they can contact the P.O. and an employee will bring their package(s) out to them in their car. I know folks who have used that system and it worked beautifully. Also, I went to the [post office] Sunday and had a yellow slip, which I decided to go to the front with, and lo and behold, they had the Dutch door open and were retrieving pick-up packages for customers. Very short line and wait, whew!! Finally, Daniel posted other ways to deal with packages such as a system of weighing the package and prepaying the mailing fee and then just dropping it off.
I laud Daniel and his overworked staff for creatively working to manage people’s needs. So helpful, particularly given all we are having to deal with at this time. Thank you for your service.
~ Rolf Godon, Truckee, via letter
Dear Postmaster Saville
I read the article in Moonshine Ink where you explained why we have a very long line at the post office every day. After I read the article, I still had questions.
1) I assume you can’t prevent people from getting their mail when there is no mail box they can rent at the post office. Is there any way you can separate their mail from those that have a mailbox? It seems like there should be a separate window for those who are picking up their mail sent to them under “general delivery.”
2) Why are Amazon and other companies allowed to dump huge packages on the post office? There doesn’t seem to be adequate storage space. More importantly, it doesn’t seem safe for the staff to haul large, sometimes heavy boxes out to the front for people to pick up. Last time I was there, I saw a box containing a ladder and another containing a dresser. This is ridiculous. Shouldn’t there be a size limit?
3) I signed up for Informed Delivery. I got a notice that a picture I ordered was “ready for pick-up.” My medication was still in process. So when I went to the window with the yellow tag, I thought I was going to get the picture but got my medication. I waited for another yellow tag for several days but it never came. I went to the window and showed the staff my tracking number. They found the picture I ordered. Two days ago, I got a yellow tag, waited 55 minutes, and found out there was no package for me. It was probably for the picture I had already picked up.
4) I’m afraid to order anything because I don’t want to be stuck inside the post office for an hour, even though everyone is wearing a mask. This can’t be safe for the staff; the air circulates through the open window at the package pickup. I would appreciate it if there were more lock boxes, even outside. I also noticed some boxes in the hallway are broken; why can’t these be fixed?
Thank you and the entire staff for doing your best to deal with the tsunami of packages and new residents. But this current situation is not safe for anyone. Someone will get sick with COVID or get hurt trying to get boxes off the shelf.
~ Min Yi, Truckee, via letter