Signs of spring and an alarming situation
April 25, 2006
Signs of spring are finally popping up around town. I spotted my first tulips over the weekend, passed a couple of road cyclists out for a spin and in the newsroom appeared a young man with a picture of him holding a 24-pound Mackinaw caught in Donner Lake.Along with spring comes the thaw. And with it the assorted roadside jetsam lost or thrown out over the winter. Yes, along with those tulips, crocus and daffodils are the single gloves, broken tire chains and the standard garbage that somehow ends up on the ground. While the dirty piles of snow will eventually melt, the trash wont disappear without help. So instead of thinking that someone else will make Truckee beautiful, why not pencil in June 3 on the calendar for Truckee Day. Thats the roadside trash pickup day when volunteers hit the streets. Last year saw about 1,000 folks picking up more than nine tons of trash. The best part is all that hard work ends up with a town-wide block party at Truckee River Regional Park. Cleanup volunteers get free entry and food, and there will be live music.Keeping Truckee beautiful and a party too: What a deal. For more information contact Nichole Dorr at the Town of Truckee at 582-7707, or visit http://www.townoftruckee.com.
The background noise of any newsroom wouldnt be complete without scratchy radio calls coming across the police scanner.The ear gets tuned to catch things of importance: robberies, major accidents, gun play or any other out-of-the-ordinary mayhem. At the same time the ear filters out the mundane, like traffic stops, fender benders and alarm activations. The problem is that those alarm calls, the vast majority of which are false, are anything but benign. I was astounded to read in Sierra Sun reporter David Bunkers story on todays front page that out of nearly 1,200 alarm calls the Truckee Police Department responded to in 2005, only three were legit.Not only is the associated $35,000 cost a hit to the department’s budget, but it can only be a huge distraction for officers. Talk about crying wolf. Cops are trained to never let their guards down while on duty, but how many times can they respond to these alarms primed to deal with a bad guy knowing that they’ll likely be a waste of time?The Town of Truckee has a law on the books that allows the department to fine repeat false alarm offenders. Alas, the PD doesnt have enough personnel to do the paperwork needed to recoup its costs.Talk about an alarming situation.Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org