Great golf deal, but watch the budget | SierraSun.com

Great golf deal, but watch the budget

Norm and Alan Nicholls

Alice and I played golf at Ponderosa Golf Course on Friday afternoon with two of our relatives, David and Audrey Wagman. The parking lot was packed, people parked their cars on the street, and the course was full. The saving of this course for our community is probably the single most community conscious act that has happened in Truckee for quite sometime. Remember the course was built by the community for the community in the 1960s. Without Ponderosa Golf Course, many folks in Truckee would not have had an affordable place to play. We are confident that the Truckee Donner Recreation andamp; Park District will continue to revive the course and make it into the nicest 9 hole golf course in the area.If you havent been back out this year, it is time. The rates are very affordable: $30 for 9 holes, $50 for 18 (kids 15 and under and seniors 62 and up: $20 and $40)until 2:30 p.m. Starting at 2:30 p.m. (Monday through Thursday) you can play all you want for $20 (kids 15 and under: $10). On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the twilight rate (2:30 p.m.) is $25 for adults and $20 for kids. Call 587-3501 for your tee times!

Alan and I are real estate agents and we were recently compiling information on sales activity and sales volume for 2008, year to date. We took the exercise a little bit further and came up with the following results that I think should be of interest to everyone, especially our decision makers. (This statistical information was taken from data obtained from the Tahoe Sierra Multiple Listing Service computer generated program. This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed).Although we are very bullish on Truckee, and our real estate market has performed better than other markets, we have been trending downward in light of these challenging times. Year to date (through July 26, 2008) there has been approximately $211,646,000 in real estate sales in the greater Truckee area, that includes the Town of Truckee and Placer County (Lahontan, Northstar, etc. outside of the city limits but within the Martis Valley area). For the same time line in 2007, sales volume totaled $256, 246,000 in property sales. In 2004 (our last big year), there were $275,868,000 in property sales through July 28.With reduced property sales come reduced tax, permit fees and mitigation revenues which make up much of our towns operating budgets. We ask that our decision makers make prudent financial decisions based upon less than normal revenues and higher operating costs due to inflation and higher energy costs. They may wish to think twice about beautification projects such as landscaping our roundabouts, at least for the near future.

When I was a kid growing up in Oakland, my Dad and I went out to the old Oakland Airport one day to see an air show. One of the performers was a sky writer. During his show he was in radio communication with his ground crew that stood just a few yards away from where we were standing. I remember him saying smoke on when he began part of a letter, then smoke off when he maneuvered to his next position. Ive never forgotten that.The past weeks there has been a lot of smoke on and smoke off in our local atmosphere and it is getting old and an irritation to many. But we should be extraordinarily thankful that we have had no major blazes locally.One of our readers, Camille Sowers, emailed us and recommended a good resource on fire safety. Check out http://www.firewise.org .

Dan OGorman was our early bird winner and correctly answered last weeks question that the current Rec and Park offices and facilities on Church St. was the original site for Truckees elementary school. Life-long Truckee resident Mary De Lisle explained that this building was actually the second school built on that site. When Mary was a little girl she attended grammar school in a tall building with 20 to 30 steps up to the main floor. She went on to say, On the main floor there were two large rooms. The room on the left was for grades 1 to 3 (we had no kindergarten classes in those days), and the 4th through 6th graders were in the room to the right. You climbed more stairs to the top floor where there was a gym and a stage. The 7th and 8th graders were taught on that floor.We used to line up every morning in front of the school and pledge allegiance to the flag, and then proceed up the stairs to our class rooms. In those days our high school was located on the other (west) side of McGlashan Hill between what is now the Vets Hall and the old McIver Dairy (near the Villager Nursery). Other winners: Mark Brown, Dean Litchfield, Jerry Blakeley, Pete Kelp, Lori Tucker, and Normal Ayers.Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group, are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd.