August 8, 2007
We should stop treating stream zones in the Tahoe Basin as “sacred cows.” The Angora fire revealed that stream zones can be potentially very dangerous, as well as environmentally sensitive. Surely we must continue protecting stream zones for environmental reasons, but that should be balanced by the potential dangers stream zones, loaded with forest fuels, pose.
Forest fuel build-ups in stream zones are greater than other areas of the forest for two reasons:
1. The normal tendency of forest fuels to collect in stream zones or stream beds, especially in periods of high run-off.
2. Present regulations make removal of forest fuels more difficult and expensive.
Because of the excessive build-up of forest fuels in the stream zones, they have the potential to be extremely dangerous, and those dangers should be balanced with the environmental benefits.
Stream zones with excessive build-up of forest fuels are potentially dangerous because:
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1. Residing next to one is like living next to a potential bonfire fire.
2. When ignited by a ground fire, the excessive fuels can easily create an intensity sufficient to turn a ground fire into a crown fire, with or without wind.
3. Stream zone fires act as “fuses” or “wicks” which allow the fire to expand rapidly by just following the excessive fuel build-ups, either up or down the stream or both.
4. We have about 60 major stream zones in the basin that could contribute to other catastrophic fires around the lake.
I believe, either with or without the TRPA’s leadership, the permitting and regulations relating to the removal of forest fuels should undergo a drastic review and should be made less difficult and more cost-effective.
In short, I believe we should quit treating stream zones as “sacred cows.”
Though I wish Albert and his big deck every success, it is coming at the expense of my quality of life. The Caliente (new restaurant in Kings Beach) has created havoc on my street. With limited on-site parking, customers are lining the street immediately behind the restaurant on lower Chipmunk Street, and this is creating a nightmare for everyone.
The street is so congested that it is single-car room only, locals who have to get home are stuck waiting for cars to find parking and barely making their way up the road. Additionally, the big deck may as well be in my front yard. Music, partying, swearing, fights, and even conversations can be clearly heard from my bed as late as 1 a.m. (bar hours). I have children and this is simply not acceptable. The customers may as well be partying on my deck! I live approximately 200-plus yards from the restaurant. What are the public ordinances regarding noise and parking?
The unintended consequence of putting a large deck on the roof with no noise barrier is that the sound travels everywhere. Could the deck be closed at 10 p.m.? Could you refer your customers to public parking down the street? I intend to raise the issue publicly to make lower Chipmunk either no parking or parking allowed on one side of the street only.
I realize that the Caliente recently experienced their official “Grand Opening,” however in preparation their neighbors have been experiencing this for at least a couple of weeks, culminating in the last straw this weekend. Caliente please be respectful of your new year-round neighbors.
I just wanted to thank both managers to call me and let me know they were sorry. I do think Dial-a-Ride does a great job in this town. But that day I think I defecated my pants, because I thought I was dead, but I just want to say I’m sorry if I caused any harm to any one. And thanks again, Melissa for addressing the problem. Keep them employees on the training. Keep up the the good work all of you, but remember I think the town and will be watching. Thank’s a lot for the phone call, it made my month.