Sierra Sun top 10 stories of 2009: No. 7 – Unexplained tragedies | SierraSun.com

Sierra Sun top 10 stories of 2009: No. 7 – Unexplained tragedies

the staff of the Sierra Sun

Sun File PhotoFirefighters walk around the Henness Flats building shortly after an explosion in one of the apartments in August. Police concluded the explosion was accidental, and Truckee Fire and the town's building department later ruled a "cooking fire" caused the explosion that killed one and injured four others.

TRUCKEE./TAHOE, Calif. – 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 – however you define that – 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.

We learned that some times, there are no answers to the toughest questions, including “Why?” From an unsolved murder in Truckee Donner neighborhood that left an elderly woman dead to a fatal explosion at Henness Flats that was left with a questionable explanation at best, we learned that local authorities, no matter how hard they look, can be stumped.

We send out our condolences to the families who were affected the most by these tragedies, and hope our law enforcement officials continue to look into these cases. Without resolution, there is no closure, and without closure, it is nearly impossible to begin the healing.