Back in town and a few observations | SierraSun.com

Back in town and a few observations

Norm & Alan Nicholls

Were back … after a fun week skiing in Utah, we are back in Truckee, back to work and have been watching the glop come down. The very wet snow, or Sierra cement, is exactly what was needed to fill in the voids and cover the obstacles at our ski areas. All that is needed now is cold temperatures and some real powder. We should have excellent ski conditions for the Presidents Day holiday week. And, dont complain the poor people in upstate New York have received 110 inches of snow in the past seven days.

There are many people who have pretty much given up on winter and are speculating that it may be one of the driest winters in recorded weather history in the Sierra. Alan is our diehard skier and never gives up. He points out the late start to great skiing last year. He also recalls sometime in the early 90s when he and other Truckee high school baseball players actually had preseason practices on the high school field in February. In his words: Once the season started (March 1), we were unable to hold any practices or games on our home field. I forget how good a baseball season we had, but the skiing was great.

What a great surprise to see Steve Ames in front of the espresso maker at the Espresso Bar at Mountain Hardware this morning. He and his wife, Christal, purchased the espresso stand a week or so back. Since selling their former business, Ames Deli Mart, last year, they have been looking for other business opportunities that would tweak their interest. Of utmost importance to Steve was to find a business that would allow him the freedom to continue coaching football at the high school.Steve and Christals children graduated several years ago, but Steve and Christal continue to support the youth (and adults) in our community a generous gesture by incredibly generous people. Thanks for resurfacing, and we look forward to seeing what you have in store for us at the coffee stand.

I dont know whether our column of Jan. 31, or a compilation of our column, newspaper articles, and editorial comments about the ice skater losing his life at Donner Lake prompted the online survey and last weeks comments in another Sierra Sun column.We left Truckee the day of the drowning, and submitted our article, from Utah, on Sunday, Jan. 28. We also did not read any Sierra Sun articles during the week we were gone, nor did we see the survey question when it was published. Let me (Norm) take a few inches of print to explain where I was coming from in our last column and what I personally believe: Donner Lake does not freeze over on a regular basis. Donner Lake is extremely deep and chances are if someone falls through the ice even 20 feet from shore, injury or death can occur. There are numerous other safer opportunities and venues to ice skate in our area including three actual ice rinks.My complaint about the newspapers glorifying this rare occurrence and recreational opportunity was that, to the best of my knowledge, there was no mention as to the potential accompanying dangers. A simple quote by a city official or fire official stating the possibility of inherent danger would have sufficed. I really wonder whether the victim (from Sacramento) read about this attractive nuisance and came up here, or whether he just happened to be here and decided to go out ice skating.I also believe that using the town-owned message boards to warn of a possible dangerous condition is informational, not regulatory. A simple Danger, Thin Ice would probably suffice. Threatening a fine or ticketing people is regulatory. A warning to be extremely cautious is not.And, when people talk about their right to take chances, do they have the right to place themselves in a situation where emergency responders put their lives in jeopardy to pull their bodies out dead or alive?There is no exact answer to this situation or what should be done in the future. The fact is an out-of-area man died and local rescue workers lives were put at risk to retrieve his body. This situation may have been avoided with simple informational warnings and some common sense.

Last weeks rain melted all the snow in my front yard and, sure enough, the voles are back. Despite my efforts to get rid of them with some very expensive castor oil-based granules, they are back and so are their tell-tale furrows on my lawn. So off to the store I went to buy my Juicy Fruit gum to gag em. When I opened the package of gum and the individual sticks, I found that the gum appeared to be stale. But since I hadnt chewed gum in years, I figured maybe gum is not pliable anymore in its packaged state. I broke up the sticks in pieces and spread them around the area where the critters had been working. Several days later I went out to check things out. I believe every stale piece was still present and accounted for, and the amount of damage has increased. Stinkin voles!

Larry McEneaney was our early bird winner last week by identifying Ron Cooper as Longs (Truckee) first manager. Larry got up early to answer the question at 6:31 in the morning, just minutes before his neighbor, Tim Keltner, called in. Other winners included Leah Krone, Jessamyn Specht (e-mailed us from San Diego), Ron Perea, Kristin Walsh, and Shirley Reynolds. Although Brent Collinson mistakenly identified Paul McGoldrick as the original manager, Brent was probably correct that Longs Truckee was not in existence in 1979. Our mistake, he wins too. Norm and Alan Nicholls, of the Nicholls Real Estate Group, are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd.