October 11, 2005
I was feeling good about this new school year until I received my first paycheck a few days ago. The feeling turned into a mortified depression knowing I had to budget it for a month. I am now taking home $140 less a month then I did last year. I’ve lived in Truckee for 27 years, which is most of my life. I have worked as a paraprofessional for the school district the last eight years. I love what I do and work hard to help our students.
However, it is getting harder each year to do what I love. Every employee’s insurance has gone up 16 percent per person. Teachers have settled their negotiations and now the classified employees will follow. We are only asking for an 8 percent increase, which clearly will not cover our loss. I want the public to know that we have been hit the hardest during these negotiations. The classified staff includes bus drivers, custodians, aides, librarians, mechanics, secretaries, and kitchen staff. Without us the schools could not run efficiently. Does the district really expect people to survive on $1,000 a month or less?
It breaks my heart when one of the students asks me if I can stay after school to help them with their math. My answer is, ” Sorry, I can’t because I have to go to my other job.” As much as I wish I could, I can’t. After seven hours of teaching in classrooms, I go clean vacation homes for four times as much as I make at school. Thank God for scrubbing toilets.
I would like to commend the letter to the editor (“When do we stop building?” Sierra Sun Oct. 7). It is fully valid.
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I moved to Truckee seven years ago, which by locals’ standards means I was a local for one year. During those seven years I saw the greenbelt in Glenshire drift away from a place where we used to build forts, bike jumps and play paintball. Now I am disgusted to see this “greenbelt” littered with houses. There will be another 2,500 track homes in the other greenbelt by the clubhouse.
What is happening? I know people want to live in the mountains, but eventually we will use up all of our land. When that happens, how many “second-home owners” will care that they destroyed Tahoe? I believe the same amount who destroyed Vail will do the same to us, cut their losses and find the next Tahoe.
We all know construction is a huge industry in Truckee, and slowing building will cut many jobs. But if you’re a local who doesn’t mind seeing Reno and Sacramento merge through Truckee you’re in the wrong town.
The answer to the question “When do we stop building?” (Sierra Sun Oct. 7) becomes obvious if we look at Census Bureau data. Not long ago, the Sierra Sun ran an article stating that there will be 20 million more people in California by 2050. The state is adding over a half million annually. That’s like a new Sacramento every nine months. To keep up, building must occur in every corner of the state. Our beautiful area is not exempt.
I share the letter writer’s concern for lost open space, but recognize that the problem is not developers; it’s hundreds of thousands of additional homebuyers. Without this extreme demand, the rampant development wouldn’t occur. It’s the law of supply and demand.
The root cause of the population explosion is also in the Census data. Unfortunately, it’s politically sensitive ” it’s mass immigration. Many conservatives see slowing the rate of immigration as bad for business while many liberals think it is somehow racist and refuse to discuss it. It’s time, however, to acknowledge the elephant in the room and the damage it’s causing. Instead of blaming others, we need to accept that it is our mad race to populate that’s causing the enormous human, environmental, and economic costs we often complain about.
We can continue our denial, blaming “greedy developers” for the loss of our precious open space, or we can address the real cause. We can do this now, or wait for population to reach 50 million here and billions nationally. We deny this reality at our peril. As voters, the choice is ours, but we must demand action from elected officials. Visit http://www.numbersusa.com to learn what you can do.
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