My Turn: Vets hall should not be sold to church
TRUCKEE, Calif. – On Oct. 11, 2012, I picked up a copy of the Sierra Sun while I was in town. An article, “Rec/Park District to discuss sale of Truckee Veteran’s Hall,” caught my interest. I read the article and wondered how a public entity can be sold to a private one? So I called a lawyer, my son, and he advised me that a public entity can be sold to a private business; however, what I needed to do was to research the deed and find out what stipulations were made by the previous owner of the Veteran’s Hall, usually a city or a county, at the time the property was given to Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District.At the board meeting on the same night, Steve Randall, the General Manager of TDRPD, passed a handout explaining the history of the transfer of VH from Nevada County to TDRPD. In 1994, the TDRPD acquired the VH building from the county for $1 with the stipulation that the building has to be used for recreation or be returned to the County. I assume that meant that the building must be used for recreation for all members of the community.So as an atheist living in town of Truckee, I don’t see how selling VH to a church, any church, will add to my recreation’s need as a member of the public? Churches don’t pay taxes and don’t contribute financially to the well-being of the community, and as far as their spiritual benefits they only pollute the young minds by telling us that the world was created in six days and that the earth is 6,000 years old. Just believe in that and see how far one gets in any profession except becoming another clergy.Now I don’t have any problem with churches, and we sure have enough of them in Truckee. However, selling a public entity to a church is not right to me and there are many more people opposed to this transaction besides me. I have another proposal for the VH building – why not make it an “Anti Crime and Violence Museum”? Our young people are being brain washed with our news media and Hollywood thinking that violence, war and destruction is a glorious profession. They are constantly shown pictures of so-called “Shock and Awe,” the computer game industry is making violence and killing cool and groovy thing to do and Hollywood makes movies where tanks can even fly. Wouldn’t anyone just like to be in one of those tanks? I would, if I could.All these make war and violence a glorious thing to do and sends more and more of our young boys and girls to their young death in foreign places. So lets make VH an “Anti Crime and Violence Museum,” and show what really happens in wars and when the war is over.Let’s show the picture of all those veterans of wars who are homeless and panhandling in cities all over this country. Let’s have pictures of the soldiers who are committing suicide more than one per day in our ongoing wars. Let’s show what really happens when a tank blows up with an RPG. What happens when our drones attack innocent people in weddings and funerals. Let’s put pictures of Abu Gharib on display or the urinating of our brave soldiers on the corpses of dead human beings.Why not show some of those bad apples we have in our wonderful military forces that are bringing democracy to other people at the point of gun, “accept my way of life or die.” After all, America is all about choices. Also we can show documentaries on violence against women and victims of violence rampant in our society. From shootings in schools, universities and businesses to show that killing is not the solution to our daily problems. We are a nation addicted to violence and wars and believe that guns can solve all of our problems.The same way we educated our people against the dangers of smoking and drugs we can educate our young people against violence, war and destruction. There would be no violence if we could settle our differences with rational and peaceful communication.We also don’t have to worry about traffic and other problems by building a lift which would take people from the bottom of the hill to the VH building and charge $10 per person or more. The town makes money, the TDRPD will make enough money to pay the $20,000 per-year cost of VH upkeep and we may even change the minds of our young people by showing them that violence is a behavior better left to the past and war is hell and not as glamorous as computer games, TV and movies make them to be and above all that our way of life is not the answer for the entire world. Parvin Darabi is a Truckee resident.