January 23, 2007
In reference to the Jan. 19 article on the Spring Creek affordable housing development, I would like to shed some light on why the Town of Truckee might be having some trouble filling the units.
A family of four must make $77,000 or less to qualify to purchase a 1,300 sq. foot duplex for $305,000. Assuming they borrow to make the down payment, with insurance and property taxes figured in, they will have monthly payments of at least $2,500, which totals $30,000 a year, or 39 percent of their annual income.
How can a family of four living in Truckee, a family whose members eat and drink, drive cars, get sick, wear clothes, shoes or diapers, go to preschool, daycare or college live on $77,000 a year in a $305,000 home? They can’t. Even the most reckless financial advisor will cap your monthly mortgage or rent payment at 30 percent of your income, with ideal being 25 percent or less. Anyone who does the math will have to pass on this one. The price needs to be lower, or the qualifying income higher.
You can call it affordable, but that doesn’t mean it is.
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Suddenlink’s employees commend the Truckee Donner Public Utility District for commissioning a survey on the subject of broadband and for taking steps to make that survey as fair and objective as possible.
The results suggest there are extremely high levels of satisfaction with current broadband providers, but there is also some interest in the district offering broadband services in conjunction with third parties, if they can do so at prices that are competitive with current providers. That “if” is a significant one ” which is why the district’s board rightly decided to revisit its broadband plan to determine if they can, in fact, build an all-fiber network economically enough to compete on price.
As with the community survey, we hope the district’s board will take steps to make sure this next round of analysis is conducted by a third party or parties with no vested interest in the outcomes.
Meanwhile, Suddenlink will continue to-invest in its services, building on the progress-we have already made. Case in point: According to the TDPUD-commissioned survey, nearly 80 to 84 percent of our customers today are satisfied or very satisfied with the services we provide, a marked improvement compared to prior surveys. Yes, we have room for-more improvement and, as noted, will continue to make investments to that end, starting with a new network enhancement project in the Tahoe Donner area this spring. Still, our local employees deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve accomplished so far; a point that TDPUD board member Ron Hemig publicly acknowledged during last week’s meeting.-
We thank Mr. Hemig for this recognition and hope he and his board colleagues will evaluate next steps with critical eyes and open minds, as they have done recently, considering all options, including our past offer to work collaboratively with the TDPUD for the benefit of the entire community.
This letter is to everyone, but perhaps it is most intended for those of us who do not live on the lake and have perhaps forgotten that it is we ” the general public ” who own Lake Tahoe. It is not owned by those who have lakefront homes.
Why am I telling you this? Because the TRPA governing board will soon is vote on an ill-conceived Shorezone plan. This plan will add over 200 new private piers to our shoreline and allow almost 2,000 more buoys. Why is this important to you? It is important because the true beauty of Tahoe is the wild beauty. Not a shore cluttered with unsightly piers and boat lifts. Not a shore littered with one huge buoy field after another. And surely not a lake that is increasingly polluted by power boat emissions.
Are you a kayaker? Do you walk or ski along the shoreline? Do you love to watch birds? Perhaps you are a swimmer or you enjoy taking your family to enjoy a quiet day at the beach. Hundreds more private piers and 2,000 more boats on the lake will not enhance your experience.
Speak up now before it is too late to protect Tahoe from those who would privatize it. E-mail the governing board at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a letter to the board at Box 5310 Stateline, NV 89449. It will take 10 minutes to make your opinion known. Do it now, before it is too late for your voice to be heard.
So John Doolittle claims to have changed his behavior, turned over a new leaf. Still, he supports the disastrous Bush Iraq policy, a policy termed by Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel a “tragedy and a disaster.” Three of the four retired general and military experts testifying before the Senate are against the Bush “surge,” one calling it “folly.” The only one for it is the neocon who helped draft the plan.
It is said we get the representatives we deserve. We do not deserve Bush, Cheney, Doolittle, et al.
It is time to deliver a real message to these politicians … time to impeach Bush and Cheney. It is doubtful even that will get the message to Doolittle. Even so, perhaps the Democratic congress can take a stand and stop this insanity. They can, but will they?
Gary W. Harrison
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