Mountain Times: Vote no on snow berms … yes on Measure A |

Mountain Times: Vote no on snow berms … yes on Measure A

Norm and Alan Nicholls
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; The snow has returned, and what fun for those who love skiing, boarding and playing in it, and and#8220;sorry about thatand#8221; to those of you who live up here and hate snow. I, admittedly, have wondered why so many people live up here and complain about the snow. I guess that some of those complainers are married or cohabitate with people who love the snow … so they stay up here to keep the and#8220;love aliveand#8221; and continue to complain. Those that donand#8217;t have this excuse … what are you doing here?

One of my favorite e-mail jokes that comes around at least once a year, is the one that begins with the writer so happy and excited about the first snow flakes of winter, the coming of ski season and the beauty of the winter. Gradually he/she gets grumpy with all the shoveling, spinouts, berms, etc. as the winter progresses. Finally the writer gets irate, hates snow, hates snow plow drivers, hates the weatherman, and proceeds to go over the edge … only to look forward to the first flakes of the next winter.

I have had a few of those grumpy moments in the past week. I know the plow drivers are working very hard, for many hours at a time, but sometimes you wonder what is going through their heads.

Last Saturday a town of Truckee driver hit both sides of Donner Pass Road in the west end of Truckee with 3 to 4 foot solid berms at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. That definitely upset a lot of businesses and their customers as people could not get in or out until the berm was shoveled out … and the shoveling was difficult at best. A few brave soles took a run at the berms only to get entirely high centered which complicated the situation even more.

This brings up a complaint I have had for many years and wrote about 2 to 3 years ago in this column (with no acknowledgment nor progress from the powers to be).

From 1973 until 1979, Alice and I lived in South Lake Tahoe. During those years much (but not all) of the snow plowing was done with road graders. You still see a good number of graders with Caltrans today, but just a few by other jurisdictions doing local snow plowing of town and county roads.

There are a good number of differences between a grader and a front end loader with a blade. The main differences: a grader has two cutting blades versus one, and a grader has front and#8220;andand#8221; rear steering. and#8220;Ifand#8221; a grader is put at an angle with both blades down, it and#8220;canand#8221; cut a wider swath of snow than a loader with only one blade. I believe, however, that and#8220;articulatingand#8221; loaders have become the vehicle of choice as they can work faster and have much more maneuverability.

HOWEVER … we locals of South Lake Tahoe loved our graders because they were equipped with a hydraulic and#8220;gateand#8221; on the right edge of the middle blade (under the drivers seat). This gate could be lowered hydraulically to catch the berm created by the front blade while passing a driveway; then raised to allow the snow to be pushed to the side of the road until the next drive, and so forth and so on.

I am surprised that this technology, used 30 to 40 years ago, fell by the wayside and is no longer used today. I, for one, would love to see the Town of Truckee or one of the counties outfit one or two graders with this technology and give it a try. Try it, you might like it! I know most of us would!

Measure A … A big thank you to Dan Spano for his and#8220;My Turnand#8221; editorial about Measure A last week. Even though he wrote the argument and#8220;againstand#8221; Measure A in the election handbook, his and#8220;Sierra Sunand#8221; article better explained his feelings, and his current position after talking to Superintendent Steve Jennings and other school officials and supporters. Even though he did not say he would vote yes, he left that possibility open.

I agree with him 100 percent as to the need for much more oversight and scrutiny of the process through the oversight committee and even possible outside monitoring. We, the community, have the right to be assured that the funds we are assessed are spent wisely and within the absolute guidelines of this important measure. Vote yes, then become an informed watch dog to ensure your investment in our kids is used wisely!

Seniors … if you need a ride to the polls, call me. Please do give me a call a few days ahead of time so I can plan out my day and to make sure you make it to vote. Thanks.

This just in … the Rotary Club of Truckee in collaboration with High Fives Foundation will hold its 18th Annual Crab Feed on Saturday, March 19, at the Truckee Community Recreation Center. Tickets are available from any Rotarian including Kane Schaller (one of my Dickson Realty colleagues who and#8220;reallyand#8221; wants to sell his … 530-448-3792); or Steve Randall at the rec center at 530-582-7720. Food, auction, and comedian Rick Dand#8217;elia.

Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

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