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Newsom talks environment, Mousehole in preparation for Truckee visit

Kyle Magin
Sierra Sun

A Thursday night stop in Truckee is planned for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as he continues to test the waters of a 2010 bid for the governorship of California. The 41-year-old Newsom took some time Wednesday to chat with the Sierra Sun about what hes found out on his trip through the Golden State so far.

Sierra Sun: Mayor Newsom, youve made a few of these stops already, what issues are on the minds of Californians?

Gavin Newsom: Ive got to say, its remarkable in some respects and unremarkable in that some of the issues are exactly the same. People are worried chiefly about the economy, keeping their jobs, the state budget and issues in health care and education.

SS: Mayor while many Californians share concerns there must be some difference between those in rural California and urban California. What issues do you see as a concern to rural Californians?

GN: When youre thinking of rural California youre talking about the issue of land use and the relationship of land use and development. The issue of education is very prominent, as is poverty… There are some alarming numbers of unemployed right in the Central Valley. Many people are also concerned about suburban and rural sprawl in these areas.

SS: In the Tahoe and Truckee areas we view the Bay Area as a source of income, how is this area viewed by those in the Bay?

GN: I spent a good portion of my life up there as a kid, and I have to say there are a lot of similarities. Tourism is the lifeblood of our city and it is the lifeblood of Tahoe. Theres a connection thats very visceral and real, many of us vacation up there if we cant afford to fly to Europe or other states to enjoy vacations there, a lot of us make the big trip up to Tahoe, its tremendously important to many of us.

SS: Are our environmental issues something people in the Bay Area think and care about?

GN: They are remarkably important to us, the issues with the TRPA, I cant put down my local paper without reading about them. How many of us havent driven white-knuckled under the Mousehole in Truckee? This may be my subjectivity, but I think Tahoes issues are tremendously important to us because we understand they are consumer based.

SS: You have championed universal health care in San Francisco, is that an idea you say as a viable one for the entire state? Could we afford it?

GN: My answer is yes. I say that not with blind optimism but after careful consideration… The capacity of counties to build relationships with local clinics is limitless in California and we have an extraordinary resource base to pull from.

Newsom is scheduled to appear from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Truckee High School. The event is free and open to the public.


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