Sierra Sun top 10 stories of 2009: No. 1 and#8212; School district division | SierraSun.com

Sierra Sun top 10 stories of 2009: No. 1 and#8212; School district division

the staff of the Sierra Sun

Sun File PhotoThis was among the many signs that blanketed the North Tahoe communities throughout summer and fall as residents disagreed with the school district's decision to reconfigure its lakeside schools.

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; We would prefer to look at 2009 with one eye closed. For a brief time, the region saw the economy dip down to levels not seen since the late 80s, and optimism dip even further. During that volatility, the stress on us as a region was evident. We fought and filed lawsuits, we packed our bags and left, and much of our community was pointing fingers about the future of the school district.

Frankly, it wasn’t much fun, which is why we’d prefer just to move on and forget most of it. Yet, that would be too easy. Between the bad news headlines and tragedies did lay a bit of silver lining. Those in the region who survived 2009 and#8212; however you define that and#8212; will walk into 2010 with a resolve and a confidence unparalleled in most of our lifetimes.

The evidence is clear. Development on the horizon is beginning to employ more workers. Early snowfall propelled the region to the top of the resort world for the 2009 Christmas holiday week, and the school district is beginning to refocus itself away from the politics and back to the classroom. But we don’t have to remind our readers how far we still have to go, and the volume of challenges we have to overcome to protect our region and our quality of life.

So, to 2009 and all its bittersweet memories, we bid you adieu and thank you for the whipping. And when you finally go, please don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and definitely don’t look back.

Divisions within the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District have been a top story for a few years running, and 2009 might have seen the most divisive issue yet. A school-board approved reconfiguration that caused kids and leadership to change at many schools angered hundreds in the district, and caused a recall effort against three school board members. Public demonstrations on both sides of the issue led to finger-pointing, personal attacks and in some cases, threats of violence and loss of employment. The recall effort failed to garner enough signatures to land a recall item on an election ballot, and its true effects won’t be known until the school board election in 2010. And the biggest issue will remain unresolved and#8212; a district divided by history, philosophy and a national forest that is challenged to live up to its name, and become and#8220;unified.and#8221;