In response to Breaking Bad by Juliana Demarest

Just Say “No” to Dogs … To Train Them

I got a real chuckle out of your article on training a pet. Line my counter with aluminum foil and double sided tape? Give my dog a treat and put it in a room by itself after it jumps on the counter and grabs my food? That’s how I train it to get a treat. Jump on the counter and snatch my sandwich. Get a treat and your own room to enjoy it. Come on people! The first word a dog should learn, at an early age, is “NO!!!” If that doesn’t work, say it louder followed by, “BAD DOG.” That is not animal abuse. A well-trained dog will stop in its tracks at the word “NO!” Crossing a busy street? Jumping on a stranger? Incessant barking? “NO!” should make them freeze, knowing they are doing something wrong. I’ve had dogs. Good behavior should be rewarded with praise and a treat, bad behavior should be scolded. Works for (most) people. Bugs me to no end to be on the beach and a dog with wet, sandy paws walks across my blanket sniffing my food while the owner says, “Sorry, sorry.” Sorry doesn’t cut it. Train your pet. If people can’t train their dog I can only wonder how they train, or don’t train, their children.

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~ Craig Meacham, Truckee, via letter

In response to Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive by Becca Loux

A Delicate Dance

Very well-written and great investigative reporting. The human element shines through and helps us all understand the delicate dance small business owners face during the pandemic.

~ Wendy Sumner, Truckee, via letter

In response to Truckee’s general plan update

Balancing Community Needs Through Transferable Development Rights

As Truckee grapples with the creation of the Truckee 2040 General Plan Update, we need to re-envision how we strike a balance between growth and conservation. Many parcels in Truckee are designated for development that may no longer represent the community’s vision or needs. However, it is legally, politically, and ethically infeasible to deprive someone of the developable value of their property. The ongoing land use alternatives process is the time to think creatively and bring forward equitable solutions. Transferable Development Rights are one potential solution that could help create that balance.

If Truckee implemented a TDR program, it would do three things:

First, it would set a price for the right to develop property, creating a “TDR” unit that would likely be based on floor area ratio (FAR, related to building height) per acre.

Second, it would designate areas that are eligible to have their TDRs sent elsewhere and those that are eligible to receive TDRs. This ensures that the program directs development away from areas in need of conservation and toward places that can better support lower impact means of transportation.

Third, it would create a market for TDRs. Property owners who choose to sell their TDRs would receive cash in exchange for implementing a permanent conservation easement on their land. Developers who choose to purchase TDRs would be able to increase the size of their project by some proportional amount, increasing their revenue to offset the TDR purchase. Conservationists could be allowed to buy TDRs, too, purely to take them off the market.

TDR programs are a well-established practice in communities all over the U.S., including our neighbors in the Tahoe Basin. With support from Mountain Area Preservation, it’s a creative solution worth exploring.

~ Ruth Miller, Truckee, via letter

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