Don’t forget our Tahoe-Truckee service workers during holidays
A t about 8:30 a.m. Christmas morning, as I was filling my gas tank en route to the office to wrap up the Dec. 26 print edition of the Sierra Sun, my cellphone rang.
It was a Tahoe City area number, one I knew I’d seen before but didn’t quite ring a bell at the time. Regardless, as a newspaper editor and essentially being on call 24/7 in the event of breaking news, I answered.
Dave Zaski’s familiar voice greeted me on the other end. The North Tahoe Fire Protection District’s public information officer informed me of the fire that occurred Christmas Eve night at Brockway Springs.
While no one was hurt, four people were displaced in the incident that led to several condo units being damaged. It took several fire crews a good two hours to put it out, due to its tough-to-access location.
Dave and I touched base later in the morning to get the finer details for a story online and eventually in the Dec. 26 print edition.
As always, Dave was informative and helpful, and he provided as much information as possible.
Later on Christmas, I took a break from work to call my mother back home in Michigan to wish her a Merry Christmas. She, like me, was also on a short work break. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, her day was a busy one to ensure her elderly patients had the care they needed.
Somewhere in the middle of these two phone calls, I received a press release from the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, informing me of the arrest that morning of 24-year-old Daniel Vega following an alleged Christmas Day burglary.
To make a long story short, Vega apparently broke into a vacation home where visitors were sleeping, and ran out the front door with stolen property after he was confronted.
He fell in the snow, dropping a knife in the process, and was eventually found by police on a nearby street and arrested for a burglary he said he didn’t commit.
Moving along, I received a press release Friday morning from Pete Mann with the California Highway Patrol, informing me of how CHP and Caltrans teamed up on Interstate 80 the night of Christmas to locate and care for a 77-year-old Citrus Heights man who’d been reported missing earlier in the week.
The man appeared disoriented and said he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
His truck wouldn’t work, and all he wanted to do was get home; after a Caltrans employee let him warm up inside his snowplow, CHP officers worked to transport the man back to Colfax to be reunited with his family.
What do all these stories have in common? Well, aside from them being newsworthy items, they involve people from all across the country, and right here locally, who work tirelessly during the holidays to ensure we are safe and to offer us assistance in so many ways.
Fast forward to today, New Year’s Eve, and we’re smack in the middle of another holiday week here at Lake Tahoe and Truckee. Tons of visitors are back (or, some never left!), families are gathered and fun is sure to be had as we ring in another new year in 2015.
While many of us are looking forward to all the festivities and watching the ball drop — and many others are sure to wake up a bit, ahem, groggy on New Year’s Day and looking forward to skiing or perhaps the College Football Playoff — it can be easy to forget that many public employees and service people will again be laboring hard into the night Wednesday and throughout Thursday.
For example, as you’ve likely read, there will be a large increase in the number of police and law enforcement personnel on our roads, watching out for drunken drivers. At the same time, several sober drivers will be manning bus routes across the region to ensure Tahoe-Truckee revelers get home safe. Meanwhile, those working in our hospitals will be waiting in the event their services are called upon.
It’s with this in mind that I’ve finally developed my New Year’s Resolution for 2015, and I hope many of you will join me in the same or similar endeavor.
Whether they are cops, nurses, doctors, road crews, fire fighters, ski patrollers, restaurant owners, bus drivers — you name it — these people deserve grand appreciation.
So, while you’re out celebrating tonight, or at any point in 2015, take a few moments to walk up to some of these people and thank them for making our lives just a little bit easier.
I guarantee it will make their day.
Kevin MacMillan is managing editor of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. Reach him for comment at email@example.com.