Letters | SierraSun.com


Local resident takes a stand on gay rights

To the editor:

I was astonished at how difficult it has been to write this letter. Opening yet another closet door is never easy. But sometimes it is simply time to stand up and be counted. I was delighted with Mr. Dirga’s lighthearted and warm account of the lesbian wedding of two of his friends (Sierra Sun, 8/31), and then by turns horrified and outraged at the hate- and fear-filled responses in the letters column. Did these people really think they were talking about me? I was then heartened by the letters speaking up for love and acceptance, and I want all Truckeeites to know who I am.

I am a 72-year-old divorced woman, resident of Truckee for two years, your neighbor, co-worker working a part-time job at Tahoe Women’s Services, classmate in the low-impact aerobic class, fellow occupant of the reading room at the Truckee library. I shop next to you at the local supermarket, stand in line with you at the post office, worship with some of you at the United Church of Christ in Olympic Valley, and belong to civic organizations. I am known to many of you as “Maia Schneider’s Mom,” and I proudly stood beside her at the Truckee Town Portrait 2000. And yes, I am a lesbian.

I tell you all this (more detail than you ever wanted to know, I’ll bet) to stress our similarities and to remind you that we have more to unite us than to divide us. There are only 6 billion of us on this tiny planet, and we have to find ways to share it. It is my fervent prayer that we will celebrate the new millennium by celebrating our diversity, and I invite all who share that view to join together to find ways to make that dream a reality.

Mary Lou Carson


Intimidation against homosexuals

To the editor:

Want a sure-fire formula for maintaining your superiority over any particular group of people different than you? Follow these tried-and-true techniques:

1. Own God exclusively. It’s perfect for when someone disagrees with you because it’s impossible to prove or disprove. You can use it to justify everything from ethnic cleansing to slavery, and who can argue with God, right?

2. Terrify and intimidate. Although you will have to commit many heinous crimes, eventually they become so terrified about what could happen that they are effectively silenced. At that point you could march millions of them straight into ovens or gas chambers, and they wouldn’t say a word.

3. Destroy self-esteem. Deny basic human rights such as voting or marriage. Then reserve certain privileges for married couples. Deny adoption or inheritance rights, or the right to serve in the military. Maintain your ability to fire them from their jobs just because they are different than you.

4. Dehumanize. Stereotype them as sexual perverts or predators filled with uncontrollable lust and desire to rape, especially children. This works exceptionally well when you are most often the one committing the rapes, violence, spousal and child abuse, as it will effectively distract attention from you!

5. Fault people for their differences or better yet, claim it’s by choice. Blame and guilt are important components of their wrongfulness. This is important because how can you be right unless they are wrong?

6. Predict doom and gloom. For example, say that “those people” will cause the rest of us to start marrying our dogs and cats very soon.

Aren’t people catching on to these techniques? They don’t seem to. For some recent examples, see letters to the editor, Sierra Sun (9/7): “Locals Speak Out Against Homosexuality.”

Discrimination is alive and well.

River Coyote

Kings Beach

Hate is not supported by the Bible’s words

To the editor:

In the early ’60s I became a “born-again Christian,” a decision I take as seriously now as then. During that time, I learned that almost any premise one wishes to promote can be supported by scripture. Although the Bible may have been divinely inspired, it has been translated through the generations by mortal men who probably credited God with some of their own ideas. Recently, a theologian quoted two versions of the same scripture. They completely contradicted each other. It is distressing that this source can be taken so literally to hurt so many.

As the recent homophobic letter writers quoted the Bible to extol their bigotry, they passed over the many admonitions to “judge not” and to love their brethren. Did they choose certain verses in order to inflict as much pain as possible? That seems decidedly un-Christian. With so many life-affirming scriptures at their fingertips, why did they choose to go with hate?

Another thing about my Christian experience: There were no flashing lights or signs saying, “Check Brain At Door Before Entering.” I know that blind faith is a requirement of Christianity, but does it mean that you cannot think for yourself or consider evidence in order to reach an intelligent decision? It has been proven that homosexuality is innate, not learned. It is a well-documented fact that homosexuality occurs throughout the animal kingdom (we had two male guppies that ignored the females in favor of each other).

Let me submit this scenario for these Christian writers to consider: Your child comes home one day and says, “Mom, Dad, we need to talk…” Would that person, whom you have loved for a lifetime, suddenly become an abomination in your eyes? Or, would you continue to nurture, hoping for a life of happiness, commitment, and fulfillment for your loved one?

Homosexuals did not choose their orientation any more than you did yours. Many of them are Christians, just as you are. And, many have chosen to devote their lives to doing good, fighting crime, promoting education, being faithful to one person (how many times have you or your spouse been married?), etc… You have chosen to hurt and hate. Why is that? And, who emerges as more Christian?

Patricia J. Hauser


Children quote God against gay marriage

To the editor:

My name is Joshua Bradley Kneeskern. I am totally against gay weddings.

God never intended a man and another man or a woman and another woman to be married to each other. Yeah, they may be “happy” but they are in sin!

I love God and I will please Him. I am only 10 years old. You may think this is nothing but I go by the Bible so I am not lying! Satan is lying to you. Please do not throw away this letter.

God intended for man and woman to be married not to be homosexual. I will never support gay marriage.

Joshua B. Kneeskern


To the editor:

My name is Michael Kneeskern. I am a 14-year-old homeschooler in 9th grade. I read one of your recent columns in the Sierra Sun entitled, “Two Brides, One Wedding.” I was appalled. Appalled and deeply hurt because same-sex “marriage” is definitely not what God had in mind when He created male and female. I am a Bible-believing person and know full well that the Bible does not lie.

The Bible says that God created the man and the woman to live in harmony and love and partnership. This is not to say that man-to-man or woman-to-woman friendship is wrong. But to share sexual feelings such as gay and lesbian people do is very, very wrong. God ordained only for a husband (male) and wife (female) to share sexually with each other. To think God blesses wayward sexual unions is wrong and is very sad.

Please consider my beliefs and take them to heart. And please, stop sending the wrong message to the people of Truckee.

Michael R. Kneeskern


Disagreeing with others is not bigotry

To the editor:

In my recent “Letter to the Editor” regarding gay partnerships, I stated that the homosexual agenda was not satisfied with simple acceptance from the straight community, but in fact they intend to have their lifestyle promoted by all people gay and straight as a normal and acceptable way of life. I also stated that part of the successful gay agenda is to paint people out as hate-mongering homophobes if you simply disagree with their choice of lifestyle – not calling them names or treating them poorly – just simply disagreeing with the gay way.

Well I’d like to thank L. Dearing of Truckee for proving my point completely. I suppose if I disagree with her on who the best mechanic is in town then I must be a hate-mongering “Mechanophobic.”

Bottom line, you do your thing and I’ll do mine, but don’t force and drag me in. L. Dearing’s letter amazes me because she attacks me, yet states I’m the bigot. It always amazes me how the one slinging the mud is usually also the one crying wolf!

Jamie Brimer


Gay column celebrated true love

To the editor:

I am one of the many, it appears, to be commenting on Nik Dirga’s “Two Brides, One Wedding” (Sierra Sun, 8/31). I suppose this debate could rage on for weeks if we choose to let it. I do not presume to change the attitudes of others with my own opinion. I feel compelled, however, to write a letter stating how lovely it was to read that article about love and commitment. I feel that perhaps I am the only person in Truckee to do so, based on the numerous letters of hate and ignorance that seem to have poured in to the paper since that article was published.

Whether you publish my letter or not, I would like to state that as a wife, mother and heterosexual I find it unfortunate that so many of the readers seemed to have missed the point of your article. When I read it, I saw it as a piece about a committed couple who wanted to celebrate their love with their family and friends. I don’t understand how some of the readers could force a connection to pedophiles and rape when reading an article about love and relationships.

Although you have published but one positive response to the

original article [as of 9/7], I hope that you have received more than that. I really thought this town was a little more tolerant and less ignorant and hate-filled than it appears to be through the responses that have been published since the original article was run.

Tiffany Wilhelm


Letter writers showed hate, ignorance

To the editor:

I was disgusted to read the anti-gay, ignorant and smear-filled letters to the editor in your Sept. 7 issue. The letters attacked your paper’s previous opinion piece on gay weddings. The letters were hardly a pleasant display of the hometown folks here in Truckee. The paranoia and misinformation was so absurd it’s hard to know where to begin: everything from rampant promiscuity by every gay to a personal knowledge of what “Our Heavenly Father” has in mind for all of us.

One had only to insert the old “N” word where the word “they” was in each letter and it would have sounded like a KKK lead speaker.

One letter said that gay-bashing crimes get all the headlines and the reverse never happens, so an ugly crime by gay people is detailed. There was quite a bit of media coverage about a crime committed by a white heterosexual Gulf War veteran named Timothy McVeigh. Should I think that every heterosexual Gulf War veteran is a baby killer?

The tired old game of bringing up child molestation in any discussion of anything homosexual is just the same old Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson garbage. Stating that the majority of people in California voted 2 to 1 to pass Prop 22 so “they” should “go back to the closet” or quit trying to get legislation passed would have been an attitude easily blended into the atmosphere of Berlin in 1933. There were some ideas back then the majority seem to like.

Now is what I’ve said unfair? To allude to the KKK, the Third Reich, the example of heterosexual McVeigh? Maybe. Then we are even.

We have two kids. Since we have chosen not to follow Leviticus in “The Good Book” and will not kill our children if they misbehave, my wife and I have hopes for our children. As our kids have grown they have interacted with neighbors, friends and our coworkers who have happened to be homosexual. These people have displayed a much higher standard of dignity and humanity than was displayed in those letters.

We hope that as our children mature they will continue to judge each individual by the content of their character, even Christians, Gulf War veterans and Truckee locals.

Kevin Conway


Airport board has ties to community

To the editor:

Once again the three candidates for the airport board are trying to create an issue that does not exist.

Candidates Darabi, Larson and Simmons are trying to paint the current airport board as only being pilots who do not know what they are doing, and you the public, are not being fairly represented at the Airport District.

Let me point out some facts: the current board members are Ken Foster, KB Engineering, Don Starbard, Contractor, Don Bedard, Business Owner, Barbara Northrop, co-owner of Northbuilt, F. Robert Marshall, retired from the University of California and corporate business. Most of these people have been in this area over 20 to 30 years and have also contributed to the economic well-being of the Truckee-Tahoe area.

All of your current board members are full-time residents first, business owners second and like a lot of other people, have other interests that allow them some recreation. The unique combination of business person and pilot give the greatest flexibility to the Airport District.

When we fly to other airports we see what works and what doesn’t. The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is unique and very well-run: let’s keep it that way.

F. Robert Marshall

Airport District director

Plane noise committee has had no impact

To the editor:

I would like to respond to the article “Airport Noise Solutions Under Consideration.” (Sun, 9/14)

First let me say I am the first one to give credit where credit is due. If the “solutions” being considered by the pilot group reduce the noise from airport operations in our community, I say congratulations. However, after four months of committee work there appears to be (according to the article) no resolutions in place. For the past 20 years only pilots have served on the Airport Board of Directors. I am concerned that this sudden attention to airplane noise will pass after the November election is over unless non-pilot community members are elected.

Further, I don’t think anyone will be fooled by the implication that only one neighborhood is impacted by airplane noise. Since I announced my candidacy for the Airport Board of Directors, I have been in contact with residents from several neighborhoods who have expressed a renewal of hope that they might now have a voice in how airport operations affect noise in their neighborhoods and their quality of life. Many of these citizens gave up contacting the airport with their concerns about noise long ago as there had been no positive response. I have been told that these citizens and their friends will now register their noise complaints at the polls on November 7 by voting for non-pilots to serve on the board.

Lynne R. Larson


Candidates would add balance

To the editor:

I would like to add my observations to the recent flurry of exchanges regarding the upcoming election for board members of the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board. I believe the community would be best served by sending a message of no more “business as usual” by electing George Simmons, Parvin Darabi and Lynne Larson.

The present board has repeatedly demonstrated its lack of accountability to the community by its dismissive treatment of neighbors who attempt to be heard and to address legitimate concerns regarding the airport and its policies. For too long has the present board demonstrated its insular and cliquish behavior to the detriment of the larger community. The Truckee Tahoe Airport is not a private club and should not be operated like one. Change is overdue.

I have heard the argument that pilots have unique appreciation of the airport issues and therefore are the best board members. This self-serving position overlooks the basic reasoning behind elected boards – providing checks and balances of the “experts.” We would not accept a school board made up entirely of teachers, a hospital board composed of physicians, or a PUD board of engineers. Why not? Because repeated experience has taught us that the notions of “experts” need to be counterbalanced by the wisdom of informed public opinion. Like school boards, hospital boards and PUD boards, our airport board needs membership from the general community to insure public responsivity.

In the upcoming election, the candidates George Simmons, Parvin Darabi and Lynne Larson are the best suited to return balance and accountability to the Truckee Tahoe Airport board.

Tom Cooke


Airport board does a great job for Truckee

To the editor:

The recent campaign by three individuals for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board is one of the most distressing attempts to date to subject others to the “tyranny of the majority.” These people are not airport users, are not knowledgeable about airport operations and at least two of them are vicious enemies of general aviation everywhere.

Our airport should be run by sincere, dedicated people who are committed to maintaining, improving and enhancing general aviation, not by the politically motivated who create specious arguments in pursuit of their personal goals. In this case, these people want to destroy Truckee Tahoe Airport just like they are attempting to destroy Reid-Hillview airport in San Jose. They must be stopped.

Truckee Tahoe Airport is a gem in the aviation world and a tremendous regional asset. It is a safe, clean, well-run and very friendly operation and a model that pilots hold out to communities around the nation. Contrast it to Reid-Hillview, where hostile authorities have forced it to disintegrate into an over-priced, dilapidated hovel. Truckee Tahoe Airport provides a needed transportation alternative at all times and critical access in times of emergency. All it takes is a few snowslides, rockslides or big-rig accidents to isolate North Tahoe and Truckee – except for the airport. The airport employs many of our residents directly and generates revenue and tax base for the town, the greater community and for Placer and Nevada counties. Local pilots support the community at large with their volunteerism and encourage flying techniques that minimize noise.

I have maintained my vacation home in Truckee for 11 years and am now planning my retirement here. I lease a hangar at the airport and purchase most of my fuel there. I pay my taxes and patronize local businesses. I chose Truckee/ North Tahoe because it is not only a prime resort community but also a refuge from the bustle, chaos and nasty politics of the big city. This is an area where people live and let live, where we respect each other as individuals and tolerate diverse activities, whether or not we participate in them all. Let’s not allow “NIMBYs” from San Jose to turn Truckee into another cauldron of enmity and resentment. Vote to retain the dedicated District Board that has so far made Truckee/North Tahoe a model aviation-served American community.

Richard M. Tavan

Palo Alto, Calif.

Airport noise complaints ignored

To the editor:

Your article last week regarding noise at the airport could have been titled, “Another reason for not wanting to stay in Truckee.” We have lived in Truckee for almost five years and have seen it change from a small quiet little town to one which, if those running it have their way, is destined to become the San Jose of the Sierra. If this happens, then most of the people I know will leave.

The Truckee Airport Interim General Manager is mistaken if he believes that only the residents of Ponderosa Ranchos are affected by the noise from the airport. Many people who live outside Ponderosa, sincerely believe the airport’s Board of Directors need to effectively address the noise generated by aircraft taking off or landing but have not complained because they feel their concerns will be ignored.

If the current board cannot deal with the noise problem, then we need to elect board members who will.

Charles Whitaker


Vacationer says airport service is good

To the editor:

I have been vacationing at Tahoe since 1964, flying in since 1968. I’m from Los Angeles and enjoying the lake depends on the airport availability. It’s an excellent facility in every way: safety, two runways, GPS approach, hangars and repair facilities. It is incomprehensible that anyone would consider limiting it or making it prohibitively expensive.

The economies of both the city of Truckee and the Lake must benefit significantly from the airport. I encourage everyone involved to make a effort to continue current airport services.

Bernard M. Diamond, M.D.

Los Angeles

Airport noise affecting area residents

To the editor:

In the article “Airport Noise” on Sept. 14, I feel this was a one-sided report. There are some of us who live in Martis Valley and we have been calling for several years and we do not live in the Ponderosa Ranchos. I have called several times while Peter Soderquist was still the airport manager. I guess I will have to start calling again on a weekly basis.

At least I thought our little “Lahontan” airport was making the money from all those private and corporate jets to cause so much noise and pollution, however I found out this is not so. A number of these jets are for people who live in Incline Village and they do not pay California property taxes… we do. I cannot fly out or land at Truckee/Lahontan Airport … yet I have to put up with all the noise and expansion of this little airport. “Are the foxes watching the henhouse?”

The Noise Abatement Committee and the airport board are made up of pilots. We are not represented at all. Let’s vote for some fairness and good common sense this time. “If we expand the airport build it and they will come!”

(Bob Marshall has tunnel vision: how about a pool or an ice rink for all to enjoy?)

Mary L. Dutra


German seeks Truckee penpal

To the editor:

My name is Raimund Pajonczek. I am 43 years old and live in Berlin, Germany.

In 1996 my family and I visited Truckee and got acquainted with very nice guys from Truckee with whom we spent only one night. But since then we are sending e-mails. I am very often visiting tahoe.com and interested in what’s happening in Truckee and the U.S.

It would be very nice, if I would receive an e-mail. I’ve been in the U.S. already six times. My e-mail is raimund-pajonczek@gmx.de. So long and have a nice day.

Raimund Pajoncz

Berlin, Germany

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