Filming the elusive pink elephant |

Filming the elusive pink elephant

By Jamie BateNo sooner than I finished writing a column last week (“On Camera, but why?”) about the video cameras set up at the Highway 89 north-Donner Pass Road intersection, they were gone.On my way home a week ago Tuesday, I was looking for the three cameras that I saw a guy installing on a post next to the intersection the day before. After seeing him out there putting them up, I figured it could be an interesting story for the Sierra Sun. After our staff made a few calls that ultimately led nowhere, I decided to write a column about the cameras being installed in the public right-of-way but nobody in the know knew about.The next day they were gone. I swear, I wasn’t seeing things. The fact that none of the public agencies we contacted knew about the cameras, doesn’t help my case, but really, they were there. (I am pretty sure that pink elephant I saw running through the woods across the road was a figment of my imagination, though.)I figured the cameras were part of some traffic study or something of the sort. Some readers, however, had a more ominous take on the devices; as in Big Brother is watching.Whatever people’s opinions on cameras posted at various intersections in the region and how they impinge on one’s privacy, my real interest was about traffic counts along Highway 89 north.With hundreds of lots in Gray’s Crossing ready to be built upon, Pine Forest being built out, the Spring Creek project approved and the folks who already live in Prosser Lakeview, Prosser Heights and along Prosser Dam Road (and the pink elephants), that area’s roads will only get busier.Pour that traffic onto a state highway that already carries a healthy amount of unfettered truck and tourism traffic from the north, and things will get even more interesting at several intersections out there than they are now. Eventually, road improvements – be it roundabouts or signals – will have to be built. And maybe more cameras that nobody knows about will be installed in order to catch those elusive pink elephants that will surely be trampling the greens planned for Gray’s Crossing.Or am I just imagining things?Jamie Bate is editor of the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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