T he dark side of man is not limited to the anti-democratic fringe confined to the cuckoo’s nest of politics. Thieves also ignore the law and infringe on the right and freedom of others to choose what to think and how to make a living for themselves and their family.

Reading about the theft of more than $21,000 worth of the Tahoe Lobster Company’s crayfish traps was a total bummer last Friday. It is no surprise that some humans are bullies and thieves, but what a drag it is to know that such delinquent, sleaze-ball anger and malice can be found here in beautiful Lake Tahoe, where you would think the average, or even below average, human mind would be inspired to function more clearly, and more constructively, than a boat full of holes.

Chances are the crime was committed by someone who has better things to do than hurt his fellow man. He, or she, might even be smart enough to make the kind of moral and ethical judgments good people know how to make. Perhaps the guilty party is an otherwise good person who just happened to lose control of his thought process on this particular occasion, and that it was just a once in a lifetime, gross lapse of judgment. But the time and effort that had to go in to stealing the traps seems to suggest otherwise.

That is no way for a person to be. Time for a change of heart.

Whoever stole the traps should be ashamed, man-up, admit to the crime, make restitution and take the consequences like a man.

If Mr. Fred Jackson (the victim of the theft) is correct in his theory that the thief is a member of the local fishing community in some way, shape or form, it is safe to say the crook owns a boat. A boat certainly had to have been used in the rip-off of the traps. In any case, the culprit should ask himself how he would like it if his boat were stolen and, along with it, his livelihood.

The issue of crayfish as a food source for trout is beside the point. Theft is still wrong.

How such acts of desperation can weasel their way into Tahoe defies reason. It’s one thing to feel all high and mighty about our cause, but quite another to make a reckless mistake. We are wrong to think our cause is so superior that it justifies hurting others.

The happy, good people were out in droves last weekend, enjoying the bright side. Sunlight was dancing in the pines on a light breeze that didn’t seem to mind anything getting in it’s way. It was a perfect day by the lake so close to the sun, where the blue sky likes to run. The lake has many names, but we call it home. Tahoe!

Everybody and their mother was here. Tahoe City was almost as crowded as a day in July or August. More than 100 people enjoyed Commons Beach on Sunday.

It was a colorful weekend as well. Golden poppies have bloomed at lake level, the snow flower (sarcodes sanguinea) has been seen in rare clusters of five or six and people were dressed to the hilt, perhaps a little too dressed up. Everyone looked great but, come on, this is the mountains! But it was a special occasion. People looked good for mom and put some more color and class into the mountains, though there are plenty of locals who contribute more than their fair share.

As long as mom had a good day then everyone should be happy.

The dad whose hands were so full with the family picnic provisions at Commons Beach that he dropped a bag of toys and had to kick it all the way back to the car was busy making mom happy.

I wonder if the crayfish trap thief has the courage to tell his mom what he did.

It’s never too late to walk on the sunny side of life.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.

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