Our thoughts drift to winter | SierraSun.com

Our thoughts drift to winter

Norm and Alan Nicholls

After a week off due to election coverage, we are back and in sync for biweekly Wednesdays. The elections are over (thank heavens!), we have a few inches of snow on the upper peaks, and now we are waking to a little bit of daylight.

Yes, after a great spring, summer (except for all the smoke), and fall, it is time to think winter ” skiing, boarding, shoveling, sliding down the road, and all the other fun things associated with snow in the Sierra.

Exploding pine cones? A lot of us have been here a pretty long time, but can any of you remember another year when the debris from pine cones has been so prevalent?

Yes, it did seem like there were a lot of pine cones on the trees this year, especially at the very tops of the trees. But what has caused the cones to seemingly explode on impact or what is happening to produce this phenomenon? It’s definitely not all caused by squirrels. If you know what is going on, please let us and our readers know.

They’re everywhere! The annual snow removal company competition has begun. It looks like Waltman Snow Removal was the first company to begin putting out snow poles, with the other companies following closely behind. Now we have thousands of these white poles dotting our landscape, especially in Tahoe Donner.

Although the poles are necessary to delineate driveways and identify whose client is who, it is too bad that they aren’t darker in color. Painting them other colors would be tedious and once the paint started chipping off they would really look horrible.

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However, I believe that Cal Trans used to use black PVC extensions with reflectors in the past. If there are alternatives to white, it would be great to see a change to a less conspicuous color in the future.

We can all help. Katie Shaffer, last year’s “We Care About Truckee” grand prize winner dropped us an e-mail last week which we want to share with our readers:

“It may not quite feel like the holiday season is upon us, but the folks involved with the Truckee Community Christmas effort are already gearing up to help several hundred less fortunate local families and individuals. Celebrating their 15th year of existence as an umbrella organization, Truckee Community Christmas collaborates with a number of local groups and businesses collecting and distributing food, toy, and clothing donations.

“The consensus of board members is that this year’s tough economic climate will make securing donations a greater challenge than in year’s past.”

We will be writing more in a future column about this wonderful organization and how you can help, or you can get involved right now with the Truckee Community Christmas by calling the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce at 587-2757.

Last week’s question: What a great response to last week’s question. Our column was in Thursday’s paper rather than Wednesday’s. Either more people read the paper on Thursday, or we finally hit on a question that motivated our readers to call (or e-mail) in.

We had some creative answers and comments which we would like to share.

Keith Nikkel correctly answered our question that “Nevada County decided to make Commercial Row one way in an easterly direction and Jibboom St. one way in a westerly direction” to help minimize traffic congestion in the downtown core. “What a circus it was,” remarked Keith.

Ed Candler’s answer, “… built first roundabout in Truckee at the entrance to downtown” was first deemed incorrect, but once we thought about it, the one way configurations could be construed as Truckee’s first attempt at a roundabout. So Ed, you are a winner.

Dan Warren: “Making Commercial Row and the ‘super sized potholed’ red light district of Jibboom Street one way.”

Jim Duffy: “In an effort to lessen traffic congestion in downtown Truckee, Nevada County decided to stop working on roads altogether. That meant the pot holes the size of a Buick discouraged even more traffic as they grew and grew.”

Ron Rettig: “The county in its wisdom made downtown Truckee a giant traffic circle with Jibboom one way and Commercial Row the other way. Typical of public employee bureaucrats, they are always going in circles and driving the taxpayer nuts!”

Carol Fromson wrote “In 1990 I worked for Dan Delaney at Golden West Realty and our office was next to “The Passage”. I had the window seat and it was interesting watching the drivers as the one way was not posted very well and everyone was confused!”

Sometimes co-author Alan Nicholls remembers the experimental traffic configuration was there when he first received his driver’s license in 1990. No one seemed to know exactly how long this experiment remained in place, but most agreed too long!

Other winning players included Mary De Lisle, Paul Tomasello and the Coffee And group (Larry McEneaney, Kenny Osborne, Ralph Coronado and Brian McEneaney), Charlie White, Dean Litchfield, Steve Ascher, Cliff Sharp, Katie Shaffer, Joan Jones, Heidi Martin, Barbara York, Jim Meskimen, Sandy Watters, Lori Tucker, Eileen Lion, and Nancy Shaver who politely pointed out our misspellings of Makena Beach and La Perouse Bay in our write up about Maui. Thanks for the catch.

This week’s question: Years ago, the Truckee Sanitary District’s business office was downtown on Commercial Row. During a renovation, something was discovered above the ceiling that made headline news. What was discovered? Call us at (530) 550-5035 or email us at nnicholls@dicksonrealty.com with your answer.