October 14, 2007
I am a newly arrived resident of Truckee and I am truly enjoying the Truckee-Tahoe experience. I especially enjoy strolling down the street in historic downtown Truckee, chatting and shopping as I go. Lately, two questions have come to mind. Why is there no pedestrian bridge over the tracks to encourage shopping on West River Street? The pedestrian bridge would create a new shopping district that would nearly double the tax base and pay for itself very quickly. The bridge could be located on the west side of the old train station, using leased land from the railroad.
My understanding is the railroad will allow cheap, long-term leases for land that otherwise produces no income for them. Imagine both sides of the tracks flourishing with shops and restaurants, furthering the Historic Downtown Truckee experience. Also, why does the sidewalk end where it does on Donner Pass Road, not encouraging further shopping farther down? There are certainly fine establishments that I must admit I never knew were there until I became a full-time resident. In all of the many times I came as a tourist, I mistakenly believed that the buildings that were located farther down were of a business and residential nature, as in law offices, houses, etc. If a sidewalk were to be built, I’m sure that business would greatly increase in the shops located there, further increasing the tax base.
I was impressed with the letter to the editor on Sept. 24 ” “Well-Rounded Schools” ” in response to the article titled “Long Distance Education.”
Truly the measure of a great education is a combination of all he listed, and some I will add: High school graduates going on to colleges … but this is not necessarily for everyone. Our children’s coping skills; learning techniques and the pure love of learning; interaction with people of all races and ethnicities rank quite high in the success definition.
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We have five children between us, and all are quite successful, due in part to the event-filled years, and outstanding teachers at Tahoe Lake, Rideout, Kings Beach Elementary, North Tahoe Middle School and North Tahoe High School. Successful levels of education reflect the input from the teachers, your own children’s determination and yourselves as parents.
I would like to point out some additional facts regarding your Sierra College Truckee Campus cover story in the Oct. 11 issue of The Sierra Sun. The concern regarding the “Rocky Start” was addressed prior to the letting of the construction contact in 2004. After the approval of Measure H, after an in-depth survey of the site on Mclver Hill and consulting with the Town of Truckee and the water district, it was determine that the estimated cost of site preparation were low. It was also determined that it would be beneficial to run the a major water line 7,000 feet from the east end of the site to Highway 89, which will eliminate the water tower on Mclver Hill and improve the water distribution in Truckee. In addition, it was discovered there would be extensive excavation and road work needed to access the site. These costs could not have known pre-bond.
Because of these additional estimated cost, the size of the building was reduced by 7,000 square feet prior to the ground breaking to bring the project into budget. During the process, the community, staff students and the Citizens Oversite Committee were deeply involve with the planning. The result will be beautiful campus with the intra-structure to grow and benefit the whole North Tahoe and Truckee community
The Sierra College staff and the contractors are to be commended for the speed the project is moving. The building will be enclosed this fall so interior work can continue during the winter with completion by early 2009. Project is on schedule and taxpayers are paying less than what we estimated they would by nearly 33 percent.
Bob Hartsfield, Chair
Sierra College Citizens Oversite Committee
A month ago I had an epiphany regarding my thoughts about Truckee. I went to Cabo San Lucas where I have a timeshare and to yearly. This year I noticed a Wal Mart, Costco and a Home Depot were opening in Cabo. It broke my heart seeing yet another way of living about to vanish into Corporate America. I called my adult children and asked them to travel soon before everything is the same around the world.
It was then I realized that when I first moved to Truckee from the Bay Area, I was irritated that there’s no place in Truckee to get affordable necessities. Why was there no Wal Mart here? I felt that way for the first three years. Mind you, I was still working with my Bay Area clients and had a “citi-it” attitude about instant conveniences.
I do taxes for a living and noticed when I took on Truckee clients that people working for large corporations needed to work three to five jobs to get by. This opened up more need to own your own business, the mom-and-pop shops that helped create the charm in small towns as well as the social environment.
Just as I worried that the Wal Mart in Cabo would eliminate every mom-and-pop shop in Cabo and lose its charm, or lit up McDonald’s signs on 800-year-old buildings in England takes historical charm away, it would do the same to our darling community.
So thank you City of Truckee for having the foresight to say no to big buisness and giving the Truckee newbies time to know why. Locals can drive to Reno if need be, but supporting local businesses will make you want to live here forever. Locals helping locals is what made this town family.