In response to Using Data to Open Doors

Tracking Short-term Rentals a Priority

This absolutely needs to be done. First, to create a fair playing field and second, to generate revenue for the town. The Town of Mammoth has an ordinance that every short-term rental must apply for and conform to the rules, which include safety and adequate parking. Also, each online listing must then have the permit number displayed. This makes it very easy for a compliance officer to check and see if the owner is paying TOT. They have collected revenue equal to multiples of the staff person’s salary.

~ Bob Yoder, Truckee, via online


In response to Continued Privatization of Water on the West Shore

Water Company Going to Highest Bidder

Really, it’s simple … Mr. Marr is going to go with the highest bidder. It’s not difficult to understand the motivation. He and his staff clearly don’t want to invest in the current technology (radio read) water meters. They cost big money and aren’t going to pay off very quickly. Why should Mr. Marr care about rates? He gets free water for life, so that is nothing more than a red herring to deflect from the issues here. Want to know about Golden State/American States Water, the prospective buyer? Go here: Better yet, talk to one of their customers. You will find out how much they pay and what kind of service is received … AND the quality of service is the real issue here. I’m sure the public realizes who is likely to provide the higher quality service.

~ Mark Edwards, Zephyr Cove, via online

Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong

A: We are not going to the highest bidder. B: I get 12 percent back on any money invested in the system. C: I am selling to the company that is not giving me free water for life. D: I have been a member of this community since 1956 and care for it dearly. So, Mr. Edwards, you are wrong pretty much on all points.

~ Robert Marr, Tahoma, via online

In response to Martis Valley West Approved

Down-ballot Elections are the Solution

Three of the supervisors voting on this were up for reelection this past June. Two of those three voted for the project. I wonder how many of the citizens objecting to the project participated in the supervisor elections held last June? Interesting that so many are focused on the presidential race, and of course it is important, but it is the down-ballot elections that affect our lives so closely. Case in point is the passage of this project.

~ Alan Mischler, Ashburn, Virginia, via online (His daughter has been a resident of Incline Village and North Lake Tahoe for the last 6 years.)

When You Look at a Map

When you look at the map of the Placer Supervisors’ Districts, the four yes votes are all from more built-up areas of the county. More development means more fees and tax dollars for the county — thus their approval. The Tahoe area is NOT suburbia — perhaps it’s time for the Tahoe and mountain areas to secede from Placer County!

~ MaryAnne Casella, Tahoe Vista, via online

In response to Case Closed

Blood Boiling…

Having just read Case Closed, I’m both disgusted and insulted! District Attorney Cliff Newell gave both former legal counsel Steve Gross and CEO Bob Schapper of Tahoe Forest Hospital a complete walk. Moonshine Ink covered (and very well) the situation over the years and it seems that it’s not even in dispute that there was wrongdoing, which resulted in Mr. Gross and Mr. Schapper stepping down and/or being removed based on their actions.

The District Attorney feels that it would not benefit the taxpayers to pursue legal actions because the end result is that the wrongdoing has ceased … Well, that’s just unacceptable. Example: one year I made a mistake in my tax filings — an HONEST mistake. I was hit with late fees, etc. I corrected what was wrong but was still accountable for what I did wrong which was nothing more than a clerical mistake. Mr. Schapper and Mr. Gross seem to have had intent and/or KNEW they were breaking ethical boundaries, if not legal ones, and simply were sent on their way while in the process earning millions of dollars.

Time and time again we see our government and legal system systematically fail us. There are people “above the law” and out of reach. It’s unacceptable for people to abuse the system, break laws and trust, and have zero accountability. Mr. Gross and Mr. Schapper failed this community, the hospital, and now Mr. Newell has failed the taxpayers by setting the tone that corporate corruption is an acceptable form of doing business.

~ Court Leve, Truckee, via letter

Wallace and Terry Bring Ready Experience to Airport Board

Please join me in voting Lisa Wallace and Andrew Terry for Truckee Tahoe Airport Board. Wallace is current board president, while Andrew Terry is a seven-year veteran of the Airport Community Advisory Team.

We need decision makers who already have the experience and knowledge to jump right in and keep the airport responsive to the community while managing a safe and reliable facility for pilots.

I am affected by the noise of low flying aircraft over my home. Air traffic at our airport is rising at a rapid rate. This is bad news for me and my neighbors. There is more work to be done, but I feel like my calls have been heard. Thanks to the perseverance of Lisa and Andrew, voluntary curfew hours have been extended.
These two understand that the airport is stronger when it is responsive to the community voice and to local pilot needs.

~ Kaitlin Backlund, Truckee, via letter

Libraries Offer Community a Place to Come Together

Truckee is varied demographically and geographically. Like our nation, the people of our small community have different agendas, needs, and perspectives. Sometimes, we are divided: Clinton vs. Trump, local vs. tourist, development vs. open space, millennial vs. baby boomer, haves vs. have-nots.

Luckily, we have a place, right here, where our differences evaporate in the search for new books, access to free wi-fi, computer services and educational resources. Our free libraries offer us not only books but a place to come together and find common ground.

We have an opportunity to come together, once again, and support our local library. Join me in voting yes on Measure A on Nov. 8 to support, protect, and improve the Truckee Library.

A yes vote for Measure A ensures that our common ground gathering place, also known as the public library, will have resources to serve our wide and varying needs.

Measure A: restoring hours cut during the recession; expanding programs for children and teens; increasing and expanding the community’s access to Internet and other technology.

Measure A: raising the sales tax revenue so that 25 cents for every $100 spent in sales tax in Nevada County returns to the library.

Measure A: refreshing … something we can all agree on.

~ Seana Doherty is the Yes on Measure A Campaign Truckee Chair,

We Need Truth in Our Elections

With the current election, we find ourselves in a post-truth world, where a random and false statement made on the Internet somehow becomes a truth. While this issue is clearly raging at the national level, I was surprised this week to find out it has crept into the local arena.

Candidates who run for elected office need to do their homework for the position they are seeking, and make an effort to deliver the real facts. If they are unwilling to do this homework, then how effective can they be working for us?

So I was very surprised to visit Teresa O’Dette’s election website and read her claim that she is “the only candidate to run for the airport board from North Lake Tahoe in the past 16 years.” The same claim appears in her candidate statement. Not true.

I live in Tahoe City, and served on the airport board for four years up to 2008. I was proud to overlap with one of my North Tahoe neighbors, Steve Swigard, who as president led important and positive changes to the Truckee Tahoe Airport and who stepped down in 2006. And immediately prior to my election, Ken Foster and Connie Stevens on the California side of the North Shore, and Don Starbard from Incline Village, served on the Board. So that’s five people from North Tahoe in the last 16 years.

I am sorry Teresa, but your statement is just not true.

~ Paul Vatistas has lived in Tahoe City for more than 16 years, and served on the TTAD board from 2005 to 2008.

Herrick Focused on Tax Revenue Issue

We encourage you to vote for Gerald Herrick to represent the public on the Truckee Fire Protection District Board. As a private citizen he has spent considerable time investigating the issue that property tax revenue from newer developments in Martis Valley has not been allocated to Truckee Fire and instead goes into the Placer County general fund. These areas currently receive service from Truckee Fire without receiving adequate tax revenue. Keep us safe through long-term financial stability. Vote for Gerald Herrick.

~ Dan and Alysa Pearson, Truckee, via letter

Rick Stephens Will Make Airport Even Better

I sit in my office staring at the airport as I write this letter in support of Rick Stephens for Truckee Tahoe Airport Board. Since 2010, I have watched the airport expand its use by the air travel community, and the community overall.

I have attended Rick’s community meetings where he talks about his campaign, the airport, and the details of the district’s operation. One of Rick’s campaign points that appeals to me is the idea that the airport can do more to contribute to improving Truckee and the North Shore.

I have known Rick for more than six years, both socially and through his business and community positions. Having a lifetime of business success, he has also focused his time and personal skills to improving our local community. He was the volunteer project manager for the Community House in Kings Beach, taking the project from land acquisition through construction, and has served on the Truckee Fire District committee on property tax.

Rick takes this community and business ventures seriously, but still has a sense of humor and humanity that allows him to relate to folks and reach decisions — even among diverse groups.

I believe he will take his experience and personal skills to make the airport even better — both for those who use it for air travel and to improve the community it occupies.

~ Glen Van Dyke, Van Dyke Law Group, via letter