April 25, 2006
In November 2004, local voters passed a measure (Measure H) to create bond money to build a new community college in our region, Sierra College. The winning of Measure H symbolized many things for me. For one, I saw our community thinking about the future in a sustainable way. By providing post-graduation opportunities for our local kids we were saying that we acknowledge the need to provide higher education for those who can’t afford to leave the area, or for those who just don’t want to. It also meant support of our local economy and diversification of it. Providing opportunities for adults to increase their education levels and potential earning capacity is just good planning. And lastly, voting in a community college meant a boost for the arts and this brings richness and a better quality of life to any community.-
Let’s not forgot all these high hopes we had for our new Sierra College campus when we (77 percent of us) voted for it in 2004. And let’s not forget that casting your vote in support of our new campus is not the last task. I am writing to encourage you to participate in the design of this wonderful new educational asset currently well under way. May 1 is the final community design meeting in the series. I urge all of you to attend and share your ideas. A bold vision and strong ideas from the community are what brought us this college. Now we need community vision and ideas, again, to make it a true community campus.
Here are the details, so please come and participate: Sierra College Community Design meeting: Monday, May 1, 6:30 8:30 p.m., Town of Truckee Council Chambers.
I’ll see you there.
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The problems that concern the Tahoe Truckee Unified School district are not clear to me at this time. What is clear, however, are the problems our schools are having nation-wide trying to educate our children. A recent article in Time magazine April 17, 2006 reported that the national drop-out rate is 30 percent. Time also stated that school systems across the country are continuing to suffer a dwindling interest in math and the sciences.- These are serious problems. The future of our young people and our competitiveness in the global economy are at stake.
Though these national statistics are very sobering, I recently learned of a local education initiative that gives me hope for our region’s students. The project is called “Education Matters”, which is a collaborative effort to gather community ideas around local educational priorities. My understanding is that this information will be used by various community groups, including Truckee Tahoe Unified School District, for its five-year strategic plan.
As a concerned tax-paying retiree with adult children I want to help. I believe there are others in our community who also want to help but just don’t know how to get started. Education Matters offers the opportunity to get involved and use our skills to help our students. It is clear that fresh ideas are needed or we could get stuck in the same old rut of “give us more money,” which hasn’t proven to be the answer to a better education.
If we want to make a change in the direction our educational systems are going we must start at home. I am asking the citizens of this community to step forward and offer help to make our schools better. Join me in May by participating in one of the 10 community forums being offered. This Education Matters project is offering us an opportunity to understand the problems our community is facing and how we might help.
I’ve lived full-time and part-time in our Truckee home for 25 years and have seen many changes in that period. Those changes involved both good and bad decisions, and unquestionably the worst decision (in my view) ever made by Truckee was to charge for parking downtown. That decision will probably have limited affect on tourists but it has and will continue to negatively impact downtown merchants by locals.
Granted, as one resident noted in a letter to the Sierra Sun, the plan behind this poor decision was discussed during the planning stage. But I think it was neither effectively nor objectively presented to locals before the decision was made.
Otherwise, why is there so much outrage now? If the negatives to this metered parking decision weren’t so prevalent, we would see many more candidates for the downtown parking commission. But who in their right mind wants to be associated with such a poorly conceived program? Considering there are always an abundant number of ambitious amateur politicians in any town, the low interest in being on the parking commission reflects the negative aspects of metered parking from the local’s standpoint.
An old truism applies to this situation, and it is: “Don’t put good money after bad.” In other words, forget the whole idea and discontinue the metered parking program.