In Response to Housing Crisis | Out of Reach

Housing Topic Important Issue

I wanted to thank you for the news and investigative reporting you bring to our community every month. In particular, the past issue focusing on housing was a great resource in our discussions at the latest North Tahoe Family Resource Center Board of Directors meeting. Different voices telling their stories written in compelling ways … thank you! I look forward to learning more during the coming months. Keep up the great reporting. And cheers to available, good housing in our community.

~ Lucila Bratt, Homewood


Renters Have Rights

I’m a retired ex-New Yorker who rented the first 35 years of his life, and now I split my time between Sun Valley, Idaho and Reno/Sparks. While we had a lot more laws protecting the renter back in New York City, I admit I’m shocked at the attitude owners have here and in Idaho on what they can and cannot do. I’ve seen some people in your article (Out Of Reach, Feb. 2016) with places with no heat, plumbing, etc., and claiming to be powerless and not being able to withhold rent. That is total BS. There are national tenant laws where a renter can place rent in a bank or escrow account until certain repairs are made. The people in your article should learn of these things; see your state housing authority. When you are renting, technically the place is yours, not the owner’s, when it comes to living conditions.

~ Thomas Frieder, Sparks

Thanks for the Housing Coverage

I loved your coverage of our local housing crisis in your last issue. The personal stories about our friends’ and neighbors’ struggles to work and live in our community were powerful and very moving. Your articles really helped put a face on the many locals that are impacted by the high cost of housing, and shed a light on the need for more affordable housing. Personally, I want to live in a town where all people can work, afford to live, and contribute to our community. Thanks for all you do to educate and bring awareness to important community issues.

~ Kim Bradley, Truckee

Laziness Wears Down Landlords

While I applaud your efforts to illuminate a lack of affordable housing (Moonshine Ink, Out of Reach, Feb. 2016), I must point out why owners may not be jumping at the chance to become landlords. I have rented out a room in my house for several years. With only a couple of exceptions, the renters are laggards. Here is my most recent true story as an example.

I ran a craigslist ad explaining that I had a furnished room with a private bath in a nice quiet home. The lodger would have their own private driveway. There was room for a trailer or other equipment. The rent included all utilities and the only stipulation was that the lodger was responsible for keeping the house warm via the wood stove; keeping the wood stocked in the house — I bought the wood — and keeping the fire going. That lodger backed up his dilapidated trailer and filled my garage up with his toys, and he never asked permission to do so. I needed my garage, so I cleared it out and gave him my 8 x 12 shed. One would expect the lodger, a 39-year-old man, to feel grateful. Not so.
As for the wood stove and the fireplace, alas, this has proven to be too hard. He literally will not put a log on the fire. One would expect common courtesy when living with one other person in a household, but they would be destined to be disappointed. Laziness and feelings of entitlement among the lodger community have turned me off of it. I am evicting him and I have serious hesitation about opening my home to another lazy ungrateful Truckee/Tahoe entitled “baby-man.”

~ Annie Pratt, Truckee

An Open Letter to Nevada County Supervisors

I know you have concerns about quality of life in Nevada County. So do I. I am asking that Nevada County voters be respected regarding regulating cannabis cultivation. AB 21 has passed the Senate 35 to 3; there’s no longer an urgency in this urgency cannabis cultivation ordinance. Please consider retracting this radically flawed ordinance, including presenting it to voters. Thank you, Supervisor Richard Anderson, for realizing that cannabis cultivation is a planning issue; I hope you will continue that conversation with the other supervisors.

Sheriff Keith Royal stated he did not have the manpower to do his job under the last ordinance. Upholding this ban will more than triple his work load. The real growing problem of meth and heroin will be ignored. Overall, the 2012 ordinance didn’t work. Once again, this new proposed ordinance is going after farmers. The criminals will rejoice, while increasing their black market share. If this ordinance is voted down, we restart from a divided community and have wasted taxpayers’ funds. If the ordinance is voted in, the black market ramps up to full force. Now is the time to create a stakeholder advisory council to work out ways to responsibly regulate cannabis cultivation. We do not need to rush to a vote for a bad law.

~ Ken Teichmann, Grass Valley

Kudos to El Dorado County

The streets in the portion of El Dorado County north of Emerald Bay were “chip-sealed” last summer. With the inception of snow removal operations, it became obvious that the chips were not “secure” within the roadway surface and were being scraped up by the graders, and thrown by the rotary blowers. Those of us who may recall the last time our roads were treated using this process, there was nowhere near the amount of loose chips/gravel as we are seeing this time.

After speaking to several people in the county and sending photos of the road surface and chips thrown onto roadside properties, sweepers were immediately dispatched to our community to remove as much of the loose chips as possible. The county has been very responsive to this situation. They have determined that there was a failure of the material used in the process, and are taking steps to alleviate the friable condition of the roads as soon as weather conditions allow.

I have always found El Dorado County to be very responsive to issues facing our community. You don’t have to look far to see that our snow removal operations have been far superior to those in other communities around the lake. We were the first to have “side gates” on our graders, which make for far smaller, if any, berms across our driveways, and new equipment has been purchased and well maintained, despite the high maintenance requirements and high prices of heavy equipment.

~Ed Miller, Meeks Bay Fire Protection District president, Tahoma