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John Marshall: Choose freedom over tyranny

It is more than discouraging to read that the city council refuses to take seriously the call to declare Truckee a business sanctuary to protect local businesses from the capricious and non-science based whims of our State government. I am willing to bet that if calls were made to declare a sanctuary to break federal laws by shielding illegal immigrants the council would have gladly taken this up.

Local businesses and restaurants should form a group and agree as a unit to open in defiance of the orders as well as fund a legal defense fund. Any fines should be just ignored. Orders to shut down should likewise be ignored. Any attempt a enforcement should be met with unified resistance. One business can be victimized by the government, all is very different. A legal defense fund can both protect and be used to sue any government individual or agency that seeks to harass them. It is time to choose freedom over tyranny. Let people make their own choices and stop permitting government to exceed its constitutional authority.

John Marshall


A letter to Representative McClintock

Never have we seen a more biased, unfounded, anti-science attitude voiced by and elected official than the editorial by Representative McClintock in last week’s Sierra Sun.

It is insulting, at best, that you dismiss the 24,000 Californians who have died with COVID-19.

Your concern only with the economy, as opposed to the common good representing the average citizen’s health is indicative of a total lack of understanding of the severity of this issue.

I know you are not from this district, so it is not surprising you don’t share the attitudes of the people of the area, but, even as a carpetbagger, you should show some respect for the values of the electors of the district.

You assume breakthroughs will protect you and other privileged people like Trump and Giuliani, but you show not a scintilla of concern for the health and well-being of the rest of us, let alone first responders.

I am personally offended to read a column so free of empathy for the American people.

Mary Hart Thompson


A big shout out to our downtown postmaster Daniel Saville

Our Post Office has responded to our and their frustrations most creatively. Chronically understaffed, an influx in residents and the holiday press, the lines at our downtown post office experienced one to two hour waits. Daniel Saville, the postmaster, has announced that his door is open to emails and texts and calls — and I am sure he has had many. He also initiated a process wherein if one gets a yellow slip they can contact the post office and they 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 over-worked 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


Heidi Standteiner: A doctor’s plea for sacrifice

“I’m so sick of COVID.”

I hear this over and over, and believe me, I am too. I am a mother of two children who are trying to ski race, play soccer, socialize, and learn remotely. I am also a physician at our local hospital taking care of COVID-19 patients and watching this pandemic wreak havoc on many lives.

I will start by saying, hang in there! A vaccine is here, and hopefully, months from now, we will see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Until then. .. what you do matters.

I’m writing this because unless you work in healthcare or have experienced it first hand, it is hard to grasp what this virus is doing. It is hard to picture what’s happening inside our overflowing hospitals that have been on lockdown for eight months. Even I start to forget when I don’t work for a few days; I let my guard down, I bend the rules, I relax, only to be brutally reminded of the devastation caused by COVID-19 the minute I start my next shift.

I hope the following scenario paints a picture of what is happening at the bedside and why our actions matter. Multiply it times a million. Or more.

A family of four gathers for dinner with grandma, grandpa and a couple “close friends.” A few days later, two guests become mildly ill with COVID-19. They recover and everyone from the party is fine, no big deal. Except the infected guests unknowingly infect others, who further pass it on to others, until eventually someone more vulnerable becomes sick with COVID-19. This symptomatic person shows up in his local Emergency Department. Because there are no available ICU beds at that facility or any other in a 200 mile radius, he is treated and “hospitalized’ in the very busy ER for 2 days until an ICU bed becomes available. Two weeks later, despite a team of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, phlebotomists, radiology techs, lab techs and many others working tirelessly around the clock, and despite giving their very best effort, praying for his recovery, and risking their own health, the patient gets worse. He dies alone on a ventilator in the ICU with his devastated family watching on an iPad and a devastated hospital crew at his bedside.

This sounds dramatic because it is dramatic.

Please, I beg you, wear your mask, avoid crowds, don’t travel, follow guidelines, wave to your friends from a distance, enjoy Christmas with only your household. Please don’t have dinner with “close friends” or throw a “small” party for your kid’s birthday. Relish this opportunity to bond with your children, your spouse, your loved ones, and be grateful.

We got this.

SACRIFICE for the greater good.

Heidi Standteiner

Olympic Valley

1. We have all participated in the most phenomenal and comprehensive election in American history on the local, state and federal level.

2. The election occurred in the midst of a pandemic, had the greatest voter participation in history and delivered concise results in a timely and coherent fashion.

3. The election was fair and decisive. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are our new leaders and deserve our congratulations and support as citizens.

4. Every governmental entity that looked into allegations of voter fraud and/or miscount of ballots and election mismanagement has found none.

5. Every State and Federal court (including the United States Supreme Court) has found no evidence of voter fraud or any other election misconduct.

6. The thousands of election staff and volunteers throughout the country who oversaw the election, counted the ballots and secured the results deserve our eternal gratitude for preserving American democracy.

7. The machinations of the defeated and discredited President and his minions need to be called out for what they are attempting- a coup of the democratically elected government of the United States of America and its citizens.

8. A special thank you for our independent judiciary which has, once again, protected and preserved our democracy and way of life and protection of the rule of law vs. the rule of the mob.

Mark Himelstein

Soda Springs

Silke Pflueger: Keeping each other safe

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 it that we need to help everybody to get through the plague. Just like you, I want to get through it as well. 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 Christmas when this is over. And give me a chance to see another Christmas.

Silke Pflueger


Richard Haslag: Remembering individual responsibility during pandemic

I am amazed at the number of people willing to proclaim the pandemic is a hoax, while there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Many of these same people are willing to believe that widespread voting fraud has affected the outcome of the latest election, while there is no creditable evidence to support this claim.

I am disheartened to see the number of people who are blaming their economic woes on government mandated shutdowns, while seeming to forget that the pandemic is the root of our issues. Shutdowns, while painful, have been proven to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus. The sooner the virus is under control the sooner business begins to return to normal. Of course there are many people hurting from the economic downturn and the pain has been spread disproportionately. In the meantime we hear one of the sticking points to an agreement of future federal government relief is provision of aid to state and local governments. Who do the elected officials think they are protecting? State and local governments provide services to the same people that Congress and the President proclaim to be representing. Those same people just happen to be tax payers and voters.

I hear a lot of people complaining about the erosion of their individual rights during this pandemic. I hear little talk about individual responsibilities. Someone taught me early in life that with every right and freedom our country affords us, comes a responsibility to protect those same rights of others. Of course we are free to ignore recommended safety protocols such as wearing a mask, but we have the responsibility to do what we can to prevent the spread of the virus to others.

When will common sense become common again?

Richard Haslag


David Trustman: Demand more from elected representatives

Demand more from elected representatives

We are currently 20+ days since the election. We have all seen our President file lawsuit after lawsuit trying to invalidate this election. He has racked up loss after loss, while he and his lawyers continue to make claims of fraud, refusing to offer a shred of viable evidence. In court, the lawyers don’t claim fraud, because they know they don’t have any reasonable proof. Despite all this, our republican senators and congress people, including recently re-elected representative Tom McClintock refuse to grow a backbone and stand up to the presidents nonsense. They hide behind statements that the president should be allowed to pursue all avenues in his search for a way to invalidate the election. Their lack of morals and conviction in favor of playing it safe, hoping not to upset the president and risk their next reelection is appalling.

While they are correct that the president can pursue all his legal remedies, it is obvious to anyone paying attention, that he has run out of avenues that would actually change the outcome of our election. By remaining complicit with his ridiculous shenanigans, they have hamstrung president elect Biden’s transition process, during the middle of the worst rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths since the start of this pandemic. At what point do we, as a people, demand that our representatives put the good of the country over the good of their career?

Please call and/or write to your representative! Tom McClintock just got re-elected for two more years. If he is unwilling to stand up to a bully in the White House, how does he expect us to believe he will stand up for us? Let’s vote him out of office and replace him with a republican, democrat, or independent who is willing to stand up for morals and character rather than one who hides in the corner, not willing to stand up for what’s just and what’s right. We need to demand more from our elected representatives!

David Trustman


Heidi Timinsky: Kudos to Girl Scout Troop 732

Kudos to Girl Scout Troop 732

Local nonprofit Kids Helping Animals teamed up with Girl Scout Troop 732 of Tahoe City to make sure the doggies awaiting their forever homes in the shelters this Thanksgiving wouldn’t feel left out! Girl Scout Troop 732 delivered hundreds of homemade doggie treats to Pet Network in Incline Village.

This troop takes their Girl Scout Law to heart and is always doing great things to try and make the world a better place! Recently, they completed a challenging 5k hike through the snow in the forest while wearing masks to support various nonprofit organizations that were dear to their hearts. These 6 and 7-year-olds girls hiked in honor of supporting everything from helping sick children, to finding cures for cancer, to helping animals in need, to helping people with life long illnesses keep food on the table.

Way to go Troop 732 for not letting anything get in your way of making the world a better place during these challenging times. Keep up the great work of continuing to spread kindness to all! We are thankful to have these girls leading the way.

Heidi Timinsky

Olympic Valley

Richard Haslag: Looking towards term limits

Looking towards term limits

Jim Porter omitted one crucial change that needs to be made in our government, particularly on the national level. Term Limits.

I’m not sure that the framers of the constitution intended that “pubic service” should be a career. While it is imperative to have experienced individuals making our laws, the tendency seems to be that once a person is elected to congress their most important concern is getting re-elected not in thoughtfully considering what is in the best interest of the country. The idea of compromise has become a sign of weakness, while we forget that compromise is one of the strong points of our legislative history. Neither the left or right has all of the best answers to all issues facing our nation. As with most of the items on Mr. Porter’s list, enacting these changes is going to be seen, by those in power, as a threat to their livelihood and perhaps to their political ideology, therefore not likely to become reality.

Richard Haslag