Letters | SierraSun.com


Governor’s aid sought for Donner Lake

To the Editor:

The following letter was sent to California Gov. Gray Davis:

I own a residence at Donner Lake in the town of Truckee, Calif. As you are aware, for the past three months all of the homes and businesses at Donner Lake have been under a “boil water” order. Apparently, there have been major failures of both the purification and delivery systems of Donner Lake Water Company. Information has been difficult to get as to exactly why this has happened, but from what I understand a “fix” had been funded and should have been in place well over a year ago.

As of now some of the issues we are facing are:

– We cannot count on having running water at all times.

– The water we receive must be boiled before drinking or used for food preparation. The other option is to use store-bought bottled water. In either case it is an additional expense and significant inconvenience. (However, we still receive bills from Donner Lake Water Company.)

– There is a major concern about available water pressure for fire-fighting requirements.

– The value of our properties, for resale or rental, has declined. Residents have filed for a reduction in property tax assessments. If granted, the county will have less tax revenue.

– Business establishments at the lake are suffering economic hardship.

Perhaps the most difficult item of all is that we do not know when the system will be fixed or replaced and at what cost to us. The “estimates” run from a minimum of six months to several years. There appears to be a local political fight shaping up over this, and I’m concerned that we will continue to suffer while the parties battle it out.

As your constituent, I find this situation unacceptable. You, as the state’s highest elected official, must intervene and do everything within your powers to expedite a cost-effective solution as soon as possible. Help us remove this uncertainty from our lives.

Jeffrey Ross


Airport board needs to address public concerns

To the Editor:

The current debate over our local airport which pits anti-noise advocates against the pro-economy airport supporters generates valid points of concern from both sides.

Homeowners whose homes are affected by airport operations certainly have a right to be heard and responded to, and those who use the airport either for business or pleasure have a right to avail themselves of its services at their discretion also. Homeowners who find themselves trying to be heard across the kitchen table when aircraft are flying overhead may be asking themselves why they chose to buy a home proximate to an airport, or they may have owned the home so long that airport operations have greatly increased right over their heads.

Whatever the cause, pilots generally do not wish to make life miserable for those below them. Most of us are perfectly willing to adopt reasonable and safe noise abatement procedures that will help reduce the number of trips to the ear doctor for our friends on the ground. Those pilots that are not included in the “most” category are those that may be new to the area, those that may find themselves in a dangerous situation requiring application of power, or, unfortunately, those who just refuse, or are too stupid, to cooperate.

For those that refuse to cooperate, every effort should be made by airport board and management to obtain “N” numbers, contact the infringing pilots, and reprimand locally or have them cited by the FAA.

I for one believe that a competent board member is one that seeks to address all of the public’s concerns, gripes, compliments, and desires. This should be handled with courtesy, respect, and equality by all parties in an effort to achieve a smoothly-run airport that can be a benefit to us all.

Bruce Kuecker

Airport Board Candidate

Tahoe Vista

Candidates just want to close Truckee airport

To the Editor:

And I thought the Three Stooges had passed away. Not so, say I! They’re running for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District board. Proof that all is alive and well in Stoogeville:

All three of these candidates live in the same neighborhood under the downwind leg to Runway 28 at the Truckee Airport. They’re wondering why they have aircraft noise? The last time I checked the airport has been in the same location since 1962, something to do with the Olympic Games. Since all three of these candidates are fairly new to the neighborhood we’ll have to assume that their real estate agent failed to disclose the source of noise in the sky above their new homes.

They are running for the airport board under the positive guise of reform. Let’s look at the reform they have in store for the community. The first case they would like to make is that the only thing you find around airports is (surprise) pilots. Therefore it must be a good old boys club. Well they could be correct, except the women of The 99’s, the Women’s Flying Association, might take exception. Using the 99’s as an example we begin to learn what these clubs and associations contribute to the community.

Then there is the Civil Air Patrol. This organization is busy teaching our children how to be responsible adults. Maintaining a search and rescue capability. Let’s close the airport and get rid of the noise. Who needs responsible adults anyway? Then there is the E.A.K Chapter, the deadbeats that have been teaching our high school kids for two afternoons a week for the past five years. Let’s restrict their activities – that should cut down on the noise.

Then there are the fixed base operations at the airport. We could run them off and have no one on the field doing maintenance or light training or charter operations at the airport. Your kid doesn’t need an aviation career or an aircraft that is well-maintained. They could go and the noise with them.

Or, would it be easier not to vote for people that would buy a home next to an airport and think they could close it?

Al Turner

Carnelian Bay

Airport board race important

To the Editor:

The Truckee Tahoe Airport has been commended by Aviation Professional Associations for its financial record keeping and its snow removal operation. The Truckee Airport is extremely well-managed. I believe the airport staff and management should be commended by this community for its management of this valuable public resource.

The Nov. 7 election for Airport Directors is an important race this year. There are eight candidates asking for your vote. Each have their own reasons for running. You should ask questions and find out who are the single-issue candidates. Several of these candidates are part-time residents who have spent considerable time at their primary residences in the Bay Area trying to close local airports. These are important issues; the wrong vote could cost this community millions of dollars.

Knowledgeable, committed, experienced, full-time residents should manage the airport. I have been publically involved in our community for almost 30 years. I have an extensive business management background and am prepared to continue to represent citizens of the entire district. Thank your for your vote.

Ken Foster

President, Truckee Tahoe Airport Board of Directors

Writer has facts wrong on gliders

To the Editor:

I guess the election letters rule of the Sierra Sun “no personal attacks on people” only applies to certain letter writers. When it comes to pilots who fly at the Truckee Airport anything goes. In response to the latest mudslinging by Marc Pado (Sun, 9/28), pilots do go through rigorous training to receive their pilots license. Obviously Mr. Pado has no idea what is involved. My take on his nasty letter is that he purchased a home on the ridge in Glenshire during winter and was not aware that airplanes would be passing over his house approaching the airport landing on Runway 19. From his kitchen window he can look directly down Runway 19. For a pilot this would be an excellent location; for someone who is not a pilot, and obviously frightened of the planes, it’s not a good location.

But, why attack someone who has worked very hard to make the Truckee Airport a safe place to fly, donating time and energy to address the noise issues without compensation? This is a well-run airport with excellent records. I’ve not seen Mr. Pado at any board meetings. This airport is a major transportation center now, due to the number of people moving here.

Mr. Pado’s concept of glider pilots coming in over the old airport flats for landing is completely incorrect. I am a glider pilot and have been flying here since 1975. I have never made a pattern from that area, nor has anyone else unless they are making a straight in approach from the north after a long cross country flight and are very high. It is too far from the runway, there are severe downdrafts off the end of Runway 19, so a glider pilot must be high and close in to make a landing on the runway. We cannot go around, plus the power traffic only flies on the right side of Runway 19 on downwind, the gliders are only on the left side of 19 on downwind. To address the issue of power traffic landing, a pilot is looking at the end of the runway and is descending. If this is over homes, it cannot be helped, that is what Mr. Marshall was talking about.

Mr. Marshall was making a tongue-in-cheek comment about a Wal-Mart [replacing the airport], but Mr. Pado has not lived in Truckee long enough to know the value of that statement, nor have the other letter to the editor writers. It’s too bad Mr. Pado doesn’t know that Mr. Marshall is also a glider pilot/instructor, and lives directly across the street from him.

Toodie Marshall


Construction affects Lake

To the Editor:

The Truckee Town Council presents the double face of Janus in its efforts to preserve the beauty of Donner Lake.

They look forward to preserve the environment by requiring contractors to buffer road and construction sites with hay bales thereby preventing dirt and sand from washing into the lake. With their other face they look backward in shame by permitting road gravel used on icy roads to be swept into Donner Lake drainage ditches. I live on Donner Lake next to an easement with a drainage ditch to the lake. Each spring and after heavy rains several cubic yards of road sand wash into the drainage ditch and ultimately into the lake. It would be interesting to know how many truckloads of gravel are deposited on the road around the lake during the winter because much of it ends up in the lake. It would be simple for the town council to develop a catchment and removal system for gravel.

Our heirs will appreciate their efforts to preserve the shoreline of Donner Lake.

Anton Sohn


Railroad makes as much noise as the airport

To the Editor:

Having watched the airport controversy with a great deal of interest, I feel that my feelings and thoughts might add some enlightenment to the situation.

Being a Nevada resident and paying taxes at the airport where I have had an airplane for 34 years, I believe I have some idea of how the airport works.

Watching the airport grow to become the finest mountain airport in the west has been a great learning experience, and having seen all kinds of airport boards and managers come and go, I feel that we have an excellent board at present, with the best interests of the community and pilots foremost, which is as it should be. The thought of electing three members to the board in November who admit they know nothing about airplanes, airports and aviation is dismaying, to say the least.

One candidate has made a career of trying to close airports. This person tried to close Reid-Hillview at San Jose, fortunately without success, and has now gotten a house in the traffic pattern at Truckee Airport, and has become a pest calling the airport constantly complaining about the noise. This person has even gone so far as to call to complain about noise when no plane has left the field.

The airport noise abatement committee is working hard to create traffic patterns to minimize the noise made by airplanes operating out of the field, and are to be commended for their efforts.

Landing fees are a burden on all who fly, and the lack of such fees make Truckee a very desirable airport to use, contrary to what some people think. Not every person that owns an airplane is wealthy. Many are on fixed incomes, in other words, ordinary people who are in love with flying and the freedom it represents.

The railroad runs right through downtown Truckee, and also makes a lot of noise, but there has not been a huge outcry to move it.

True, there are inconsiderate pilots flying into Truckee and great efforts are being made to educate them. Just think of all the inconsiderate car drivers we contend with daily, all of us, and how they affect our daily lives.

Finally, Bob Marshall, whom I have known for many years, is a fine pilot and a very level-headed thinker, doing more than his share as a board member to alleviate the noise problem, but does not suffer fools gladly!

Bert Jensen

Incline Village

Board needs non-pilots for proper balance

To the Editor:

I have been reading with some amusement the dialogue between the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board (pilots), and the other candidates (non-pilots).

Since when should airport board members be pilots to make it a better board? If so, then the hospital board should be all doctors and nurses, the school board all educators, etc. -and wow, how about the cemetery board?

I have pilot and glider licenses and have used the airport and hangar facilities extensively. It may help to have some aviation knowledge; but the entire board? That’s why you have (or hope to have) a good general manager (they cannot seem to keep one).

A board should be “balanced.” I have been on many boards of directors, and they have all been very balanced with many experiences and vocations; and what you do not know you learn very quickly (or you should).

Looking at the airport board’s decisions over the last few years since manager Dick Pegg retired, they have cost you taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars from very poor decisions, including the handling of Ms. Tennant’s dismissal and the hangar contract mess-up.

Incidentally, to my knowledge taxes on aircraft based in Truckee and the hangar taxes mostly go to the state, county and some to the town, with very little returned to the Airport District.

You pay many of the taxes for the airport operations, so look carefully at the candidates before you cast your vote!

Cliff Hartwell


Airport helps inspire young potential pilots

To the Editor:

An open letter to George Simmons, airport board candidate who states the Truckee Airport brings “noise, safety risks and little else.” You probably don’t want to hear a different perspective on the airport, but I am going to tell you this one anyhow.

This summer, Dylan Eichenberg (a 10-year-old from Tahoe City) set up a weekly lemonade stand in front of Obexers Market. His sign read “all proceeds help me go to Aviation camp.” Lou Reinkens, a local pilot who lives in the area, noticed Dylan’s interest and gave him an invitation to the EAA Young Eagles program held at the Truckee Airport. Dylan and his parents arrived at the Truckee Airport bright and early for his first free airplane ride and a little schooling on how airplanes work, what makes them fly and how to be safe around their operation. I had the pleasure of flying Dylan on this, his first-ever flight. The rest of the youngsters (81 in total) had similar experiences.

Dylan was now even more excited about flying and the upcoming NASA Space Camp/Aviation Challenge. He was worried that his lemonade business might not provide enough cash to fund the $700 tuition. He decided to write a letter to the EAA thanking them for the flight and asking if he could apply for a scholarship to secure the remaining necessary funds for camp. The EAA said yes, gave him $500 and his business brought in $300.

Jim Dean, another local pilot, volunteered to fly Dylan, his dad and a friend to Castle Air Force Base, the site of the five-day aviation camp. His favorite experience was the centrifuge – he got up to 3Gs and didn’t pass out! He placed second overall in his age group in the Top Gun Mach I Simulator, provided by the U.S. Navy. His grandpa, a WWII Air Force mechanic formerly stationed in England, was there for his graduation.

The $500 scholarship had strings attached; Dylan had to speak before the EAA public meeting. He stood in all of his four-foot glory on top of the dinner table and opened with “Hello, my fellow aviators…”

Bob Horvath


Churchgoers were not “Pharisees”

To the Editor:

I was dismayed by Tom Covey’s implication (in his Sept. 28 letter), that those who made the decision to worship the Living God, rather than be part of the Truckee Town Portrait, are “Pharisees.” It’s unfortunate that he uses Jesus’ willingness to come to people where they are to deride the coming together of believers to worship Him. Yes, the Bible shows Jesus walking among the people, just as practicing Christians do today. The Bible also shows Jesus in the synagogues, where he faithfully worshiped God and preached His Word.

Mr. Covey also said, “Jesus Christ taught us, by example, that making disciples was far more important than locking himself in a building on the Sabbath and interpreting laws.” Jesus did not take lightly the gathering together of people to worship and study His Word. Jesus spent much of His time here on earth quoting and explaining scripture, and giving us more of it. Covey also mentions Pentecost as the beginning of the Christian church, which it was; he didn’t mention that it happened in a locked upper room among people who gathered together to wait upon the Lord. In fact, each of the public gatherings at which Covey mentions Jesus spoke (Passover, Purim, etc.) were in the temple – a place of worship. I do feel sorry, however, for people whose church-going experience is limited to listening to dry exhortation of laws, and not the joyful worship and life-giving study of the Living Word of God.

Finally, in reference to Brian Larson’s letter, it was inappropriately entitled “Should Town Portrait have been on Sunday?” It seemed clear to me that he questioned whether the portrait should have been scheduled so early on Sunday, knowing that many community members would still be in the midst of joyful worship.

Rhea Padellford


Thanks to local recycling efforts

To the Editor:

Thanks to Darin Olde for his article “Truckee’s waste stream may draw fines in 2001” (Sun, 9/21).

The Citizens’ Waste Management Advisory Committee appreciates your attention to this important issue. The article implies that the Town may be fined at a rate of $10,000 per day for non-compliance of the Integrated Waste Management Act, in which California cities and towns must divert 50 percent of their waste through reduction, reuse and recycling programs. I want to reiterate that it is highly unlikely this would happen, due to our expanded programs and “good faith” efforts. It is useful however, for everyone to be reminded that we’re not just recycling because it makes us feel good. It is the law.

The article stated that the Town would be approving additional funds for the recycling program. The Citizens’ Waste Management Advisory Committee has a budget of roughly $33,000 per year, which is comprised of Nevada County General fund monies earmarked for recycling/waste management programs, and grant funds from the state. Although we must accomplish a monumental task with this modest budget, the committee was not asking for increased funding, but asking the Council for approval to shift a larger percentage of this budget towards contractual agreements with California Waste Associates, which is implementing some of the programs the committee has approved. These include waste education in the schools, a television media campaign, and working with the state to make changes in how diversion rates are calculated, among others.

Although we have a long way to go to reach our goals, we have made great progress in the last year and a half. I would like to thank the volunteer members of the committee for all of their hard work, the Sierra Sun for their coverage, and the people of Truckee who have embraced recycling and are helping to Keep Truckee Green by reducing their waste.

Beth Ingalls, Chairperson

Truckee Citizens Waste Management Advisory Committee

Airport is out of control

To the Editor:

As a Truckee property owner, and a vacationer in the Lake Tahoe Basin for more than 50 years, I feel compelled to communicate my view regarding the Truckee Tahoe Airport controversy.

In recent visits to Truckee, we have noticed a tremendous increase in noise generated by airplanes constantly taking off and landing. While I understand that airports do contribute a certain level of noise activity, Truckee Tahoe is completely out of control. The issue that outrages me the most, is the fact that a portion of our property tax dollars are going to support this excessiveness. We tolerate airports in the metropolitan areas of our country, but in a lovely, peaceful environment like Truckee, it is extremely offensive and not necessary.

I feel it is absolutely essential that we, the non-pilot taxpayers, have a voice on the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors.

That is why I strongly support Lynne Larson, George Simmons and Parvin Darabi to represent us on the Airport Board.

Sonia Deauville


God should be brought back to schools

To the Editor:

My daughter started kindergarten this year and I’m trying to be very much involved in the school to help out. Last Friday was Glenshire Elementary’s “Eagle Walk,” and I was able to go over, cheer on the kids and bring some snacks.

Before the festivities began they said the “Pledge of Allegiance.” As they got to the part, “And the republic, for which it stands, one nation” then “under God” was not said. It was skipped completely. The other parents and I were flabbergasted. Our mouths dropped open. It was pathetic that they changed that. You cannot do that. Our nation is under God, whether anyone wants to believe it or not. That’s the way it is, always was, and always will be, and to take that out, keep it from our children and to not teach them what that means is simply wrong. They’ve taken any and all religion out of schools, and then they wonder why it has gotten as chaotic as it has.

Maybe I’m from the old school, where religion and real discipline (not a ‘time out’) played an important role in the classroom, but my generation turned out excellent compared to what so many elementary school aged kids are doing now in schools across the nation (i.e., sex, drugs, and killing with guns). Think about that!

Sandee Lade


Speeders a problem in Glenshire area

To the Editor:

As a member of the Glenshire/ Truckee community I am constantly dismayed at the speed at which people drive through their own neighborhoods. This is a continual daily problem that needs serious attention. The speeders are not “flatlanders.” They are not even teenagers. They are adults!

Most of them are mothers with small children in the car. I have asked people to slow down by motioning to them with my hand. I have been flipped off as they accelerated their vehicle. Great role models for their children!

It’s time to stop this unsafe behavior and think about the children who may be crossing the street or playing in the yard. Let’s slow down for all our sakes. If you have a speed problem on your street, call the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office at 582-7838. Keep calling until someone responds. Let’s have a safe community at all levels.

Debra McCall


Ron Florian for Town Council

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my opinion and lend my support to Ron Florian for Town Council.

Ron has proven himself to be an extremely capable, highly intelligent and experienced businessman. He has given his time and resources to so many people, to the schools and to many organizations in our town.

Ron listens patiently to requests for all kinds of help, and truly cares about the quality of life for us all. We see the positive results of his involvement on a daily basis.

Ron Florian is a great asset to the Town Council, bringing with him an incredible amount of knowledge, integrity, and experience. I hope you will join me in voting for Ron Florian for Town Council.

Mike Diaz


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