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Readers write

Sierra Sun letters to the editor

The preliminary design of the proposed three-level parking structure on the Tahoe Marina property was presented Dec. 14. The compromises revealed in the meeting leave much to be desired, and it is possible the original design requirements should be reviewed and revised so the public is not subjected to a building that is difficult, and perhaps costly, to use.

The major problem design-wise, in my opinion, is related to the structure’s height. In order to minimize “scenic” aspects, the height of the building will be limited. For this, the architect has had to resort to a structural design that requires columns or pillars throughout the two lower levels of the building. Although the number and spacing of the columns was not discussed, I believe a design that provides a column-free open span through the parking areas is preferable. Of course, an open-span design automatically requires deeper cross beams and an increased vertical height between floors.

I consider the columns to be undesirable and probably unacceptable because of the increased difficulties of maneuvering around the columns, the resulting frustration of the drivers, the personal costs associated with damage to autos, and the increased costs of repair to the damaged columns.

Since the basic concept of the structure is to facilitate relaxed tourists and residents that are eager to spend money, shouldn’t parking be as stress-free and user-friendly as possible? Clearly, the requirements placed on the architect need to be examined in detail. First, are the requirements for 135 parking spaces at this location valid and justifiable? To what extent is the requirement based on infrequent peak demands, such as the Fourth of July and Christmas holidays, rather than more extended periods of lesser demands? It does not make sense to me to provide an expensive parking structure that is needed only a few days a year.

This project is a classic example of an engineering project in which the solution for compromising conflicting and incompatible specifications is solely an engineering solution, and any considerations of convenience, safety and optimum usability for the public have been considered to be of secondary importance.

Myron B “Mike” Hawkins

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Tahoe City

On rare occasions, the Sierra Sun publishes a column so inaccurate that it demands a response. The “My Turn” guest column (“Teachers and district deserve respect” Dec. 25., 2006) certainly demands comment.

While the column contained many inaccuracies, two were particularly glaring. Has the writer taken his own advice and looked at the teacher contracts? If teachers started work at 8 a.m. at Truckee High, there would be no teachers for the first half hour of class. Many teachers arrive at 6:30 a.m., and work until 5 p.m. or later. Like all professionals, they also take work home so they can be ready for the next day. In fact, employment studies have shown that the average teacher puts in more hours during the school year than the typical worker in industry does in 12 months.

Again, if you had bothered to look at the teachers’ contract, you would have discovered that teachers are paid, typically, for 182 days per year. Teachers do not get paid vacations like workers in private business. The pay a teacher receives during the summer is pay that was held back during the school year, simply to even out the teacher’s monthly income. Check this with the district if you are doubtful: teacher time off is unpaid.

The next time you feel the need to write for the newspaper, do us all a favor: check the facts first.

Frank Aldridge

Truckee

Having moved to Oregon two years ago for affordable housing, I was kind of amazed to read that the governor had a house in Idaho at Sun Valley and had broken his leg skiing there.

So what I would like to know is who at Boreal do I have to talk to about getting a refund on my season tickets? I mean if Sun Valley is the choice of the governor of California, then I am sure wanting to hit some of that powder.

I understand why he would ski Idaho. The traffic up to the slopes is horrific here, and who would want to rub elbows with Californians? If he could not be bothered to go through all that just to ski, why should I bother? My only question is why did he not run for governor in his preferred state of Idaho?

Mark Walker

Medford, Oregon