Readers write | SierraSun.com

Readers write

It’s time for the annual Truckee Rodeo, and I say it’s time to end this tradition. In the Old West, when cowboys rode the range wrangling steers all day, there may have been an excuse for being able to wrestle a cow to the ground or tame a wild horse through brute force. But we are supposedly more civilized now, and we have learned that animals can be handled without being abused. Rodeo is a remnant of the Old West that has outlived its day.So what’s wrong with celebrating the sport of riding a bucking horse or throwing a terrified calf on its side while strong men tie its legs together? The problem is in celebrating cruelty to animals. Yes, it’s true that there is skill involved in staying on the back of an animal who is crazed with pain of a tight strap around his genitals. Yes, it’s truly difficult to position a rope around the neck and legs of a calf who is running (he thinks for his life) from men chasing on horseback. But where is the glory in causing fear and pain to these creatures?There are so many ways for people to prove their strength, their speed, their prowess, their courage. They can compete with others of their own species, or with sleek machines, challenging their abilities against evenly matched, willing participants. There is no joy in watching animals who have no choice as they are prodded and spurred into a state of aggression or panic. If we did this to dogs or cats we would be prosecuted for cruelty. Why do we allow this same treatment of horses and cattle to pass as entertainment?Surely there are better places to spend our leisure time than in an arena reminiscent of the ancient Roman games. Real cowboys no longer rely on cruelty to manage their herds, and the horse whisperer has been shown more effective at taming wild horses than spurs and a bucking strap. It’s time to create a new tradition and end the shame of Truckee’s rodeo.Maureen KoplowTruckeeScammed! My husband and I lost our camera last week at a North Shore restaurant with a full disc of photos of family and friends and grandchildren. We put up signs around the local area as well as placed ads in the lost section of our local newspapers with a reward offered. Today we received a call from a man that asked, “Did you loose a camera?” I was dubious at first but when he asked me several questions about the camera and the pictures on it, I felt more at ease. I then asked him where he found it. He told me that he bought it for $100 near Tahoe City when he was driving through on his truck driving route. I also asked him how he got our number and he said he saw it in the newspaper “Lost” ad.He asked me to call back on the 219 area code number. We called him back to figure out how we can do the exchange. He said he would FedEx the camera back if we would go to a Western Union and wire half of the reward money to him and then we would send the other half after we received the camera. We were naïve. We tried his number right after we wired him the money and his number was no longer in service. We now realize that it appears that part of his racket requires: 1) A phone card with a cell phone. 2) Western Union and a code word (no I.D. required) to pick up the money and 3) the Internet to find “Lost” ads to dupe unsuspecting folks. We just want to warn other honest folks out there that this kind of racket is happening. Ron and Jane JennyCarnelian BayResponding to an emergencyOn July 19, the North Tahoe Public Utility District employees responded to a call that a contractor had accidentally hit the district’s sewer force main. Our crews were on-site within minutes of our being notified and the district activated its Emergency Response Plan. As one can imagine, an incident of this nature is something everyone hopes never happens, but utility districts have to be prepared for just such accidents with Emergency Response Plans and mutual aid agreements. As unfortunate as this incident was, it is a shining example of why districts prepare an Emergency Response Plan and the mutual aid agreements are put in place and that they work.The North Tahoe Public Utility District expresses its appreciation to the agencies that responded immediately to our call for aid during the sewer spill: Tahoe City Public Utility District, Incline Village General Improvement District, Truckee Sanitary District, and Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency. There were also the private companies, Alpine Septic and Waters Trucking that came immediately with additional trucks when it was determined that they were needed.In addition, we thank the many other agencies that were involved in the process: The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Department of Fish and Game, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, and many agencies within Placer County including Office of Emergency Services, Environmental Health, Public Information Office and the Sheriff’s Office. Additional support came from the Coast Guard, North Tahoe Business Association and the Cal-Neva which provided food Wednesday morning for employees who had been working around the clock. Last, and definitely not least, we would like to thank our employees and the employees of all of these agencies that worked so hard to deal with the initial emergency, clean-up and remediation, as well as all the follow-up and attempt to get as much information out to the public as possible. Although only on the job for a year as GM/CEO for the NTPUD, I can attest that the district’s employees truly are dedicated to serving our community and protecting Lake Tahoe. Steven R. RogersGeneral Manager/CEONTPUD