Letters | SierraSun.com


Rodeo supporters refute accusations of animal cruelty

To the editor:

I am writing a letter in rebuttal to a letter by Pamela Hormiotis published in the Sierra Sun on Aug. 17. She seems to believe that people involved with rodeos do not take care of their animals.

I have grown up with farm animals and have attended rodeos most of my life. Animals are the cowboys’ and the stock contractors’ livelihoods. They are treated better than most people’s dogs. My son learned responsibility and how to care for animals partly because of his experience with rodeo animals. It is sad when people misjudge and spread misinformation to others about rodeo.

And yes, Ms. Hormiotis, I have seen what goes on behind the scenes. I have seen the hours contractors and cowboys and cowgirls spend caring for their animals. I have seen the veterinarians who check out the animals to make sure they are well cared for. Believe me, I love animals, too. If I would have seen an animal being mistreated, I would be one of the first ones to contact someone about it.

Janice Van Groningen

Selma, Calif.

To the editor:

Rodeo represents a reasonable and acceptable form of animal use to the tens of thousands of participants and to the millions of people who attend rodeos each year. People are not attracted to rodeo unless they like animals. Healthy and strong animals are essential to a quality performance.

Pamela Hormiotis has dutifully copied misinformation from a source that she apparently thinks is reliable, but she should investigate the source, allow herself first-hand knowledge of rodeo, and become a credible representative for animals. The claims she made are outrageous. Since they are not true, her energies are wasted in meeting a need for animals. She needs to find a neglected animal and make a difference in its life. She won’t find it in rodeo.

Linda Burdick, Executive Director

Friends of Rodeo, Inc.

Merced, Calif.

To the editor:

I have had the opportunity to go behind the chutes at many rodeos including competitions at the high school, college and professional levels and in all cases I found the animals to be extremely well cared for.

Between performances I have walked in back of the arena to see them calmly eating or resting with their penmates.

In an age where other sports grab headlines by biting, kicking and spitting, rodeo is a sport that embodies the spirit of the American west – independence, the ability to succeed by hard work and perseverance, respect for oneself, for others and for the animal athletes. Competitors whose only paycheck depends on individual performance are always willing to help each other.

Rodeo is a well-regulated sport designed to protect animal athletes. The Truckee Rodeo Committee should be commended for hosting such a wholesome and entertaining event.

Kathleen Vieira

Paso Robles, Calif.

To the editor:

Having lived my entire life in a ranching and rodeo environment. I have experienced rodeo both as a spectator and as a contestant. In rebuttal to the letter in the Sierra Sun Aug. 17, I would like to comment.

I respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I can understand how some spectators who have never had the good fortune to be raised around livestock can misinterpret the manner in which the animals are handled.

First, we must keep in mind that rodeo and the animals work as a team. Rodeo relies on their animal as do these animals rely on rodeo. The care and treatment of rodeo livestock is governed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. One important stipulation in the PRCA rules is that a licensed veterinarian be present for every performance to insure the animals’ safety. Animal Welfare and stock contractors as well as the cowboys must adhere to strict rules and regulations or jeopardize their right to compete. A copy of the PRCA book on Animal Welfare is available by contacting the PRCA at 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, Colo., 80919.

I encourage anyone who has any apprehension about the treatment of rodeo livestock to please obtain a copy of this book, so you can enjoy rodeos free of unfounded concerns.

Stephanie Reeves

Ramona, Calif.

Truckee airport offers many benefits to area

To the editor:

As has been pointed out in previous letters, the financial and emergency benefits of Truckee-Tahoe Airport are many. However, it is worth pointing out the community benefits that are not so evident.

Every year the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA, 92 members strong) conducts the Young Eagles program, where young people between 8 and 18 are given free airplane tides by the members. EAA recently sponsored a student to attend “Aviation Challenge,” a week-long program at Castle Air Force Base, and I flew he and his father to the event. EAA has monthly pancake breakfasts, public invited, where, frequently, antique and home-built airplanes fly to our airport. We conduct high school classes for students interested in aviation. This year’s Air Affair attracted many Truckee residents to the events planned for the entire day.

If you want to learn to fly, or take a ride – glider or single-engine – it is available at the airport. If you need to charter a plane to get somewhere in a hurry, this is available at the airport. The airport generates over $20 million in revenue to the local community [according to a study commissioned by former Airport director Peter Soderquist]. This is not a small operation, but a huge benefit to Truckee.

The fascination of air travel continues to attract young people to watch the airplanes take off and land. I encourage you to come to the Truckee-Tahoe Airport and meet the local pilots that like nothing more than to discuss their love of aviation.

I frequently attend the airport board meetings. These people are doing a great job and welcome your input on how to make this asset better for the local community.

Jim Dean


Private planes do not deserve tax subsidies

(Editor’s note: Parvin Darabi is a candidate for the Truckee-Tahoe Airport Board.)

To the editor:

“This November, I would recommend voting for knowledgeable incumbents.” – letter from Lowell E. Northrop Jr., Sierra Sun, August 24.

I just wonder why does Mr. Northrop assume that the non-incumbent candidates are not knowledgeable? And based on what criteria does he make such recommendations in his letter?

Secondly, since when asking questions at board meetings is the only way for people to get information? Why hasn’t Mr. Northrop – who apparently attends the Truckee-Tahoe Airport Board meetings regularly – questioned the board or his wife Barbara, a board member, about the inadequacy of landing fees, hangar fees, and tie-down fees charged or not charged at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport? Didn’t he understand the subject of tax subsidies in the letter from Mr. Simmons the week before?

I am for using our tax dollars to support the airport for law enforcement, fire and rescue missions. What I am against is subsidizing the corporate jets and the private planes. According to the Tahoe-Truckee Airport website, there are no landing fees and the hangar fees and overnight fees are minimal. Why shouldn’t we charge landing fees? Why shouldn’t we charge overnight parking fees? The people who fly into our town in corporate jets are not poor. Anyone who owns a private plane is not poor. What is wrong if they have to pay their fair share? As an example, a 900 square feet of hangar space is rented at the airport for $162 per month, while a 200 sq. ft. space at the self-storage is rented for $160. What is wrong with charging the actual rates? After all, what is wrong with operating a profitable airport?

Parvin Darabi


Incentives should be given to homeowners

To the editor:

Your article about the “Hunt” property in Brickelltown got my attention (Sun, 8/17).

Mr. Zirbel forgets the restorations completed on the C.B. White House, the Waves building, the Sierra Business Council building, the Lippert property, and others downtown. Many of our neighbors have revitalized and rehabilitated their homes and properties without the so-called “certificate of economic hardship.”

As private individuals, we are slowly working on our home, doing the work ourselves as we can afford it. I want to point out to those of you who are not familiar with the Nevada County economic incentives mentioned in your article, that in order to qualify for such loans a family of two can only gross $26,000 a year. In this inflated market do you know anyone with an income that low who can actually buy a house here, even a “dilapidated” one?

Our local government should continue to promote and create affordable housing for the people who work in Truckee. Maybe Mr. Hunt could even incorporate a small apartment within his business complex. This is the kind of revitalizing we need. Northstar-at-Tahoe is an example to other large employers in their efforts to provide housing for their workers.

Fifteen years ago we organized a group of property owners in Brickelltown and made an effort to work with Nevada County to try to improve our little patch of town. No one could be bothered then. Now that property values have gone through the roof, bigger developers are getting the attention we home owners could not.

I am happy to have neighbors like Mr. Hunt who have good intentions, and the ability to follow through. However, I hope our unique town with its Wild West railroad flavor will not be turned into another over-priced, exclusive tourist destination.

I would just like to see real incentives made available to folks who want to make a home here in Truckee. The heart of this town is its people. Let’s not forget that.

Val Kelly


Home prices are ridiculous

To the editor:

So I’m browsing the Mountain Homes real estate section of the Sierra Sun recently and I stumble across ads that preface the costs for two Truckee homes listed at over $400,000 with the words “affordable” and “only.”

Now, some might say that “Well, Leigh, it’s all about context” (i.e., these ads are written for second home buyers).

Hmm, let’s see, how’s this for context: the Sun recently reported that Truckee’s median family income is $48,000 a year, while demographic profiles of Nevada County show per capita income to be less than $25,000.

Does the real estate company that listed these homes seriously think that anyone in the ballpark of these two income figures is grateful and relieved that there are “affordable” houses out there for “only” $400,000? Or that they would find a $549,000 home, as another ad put it, an “excellent value”?

It’s no secret that with a median home price of $366,000, Truckee has an affordable housing problem. Ads like those mentioned in Mountain Homes (and let’s not forget those postcards from real estate companies urging homeowners to sell while the market is hot) are insulting and show an incredible disconnect from the housing market’s social and economic impact on this community.

Leigh Fitzpatrick


Town must pay for good police force

To the editor:

One of the most critical departments that any town has within its sphere of influence is law enforcement. The Town of Truckee is in the process of creating its own police department within the Town of Truckee governmental system.

While this creation sounds logical and worthwhile, there is one question that begs to be asked. Law enforcement personnel are highly trained professional individuals, along with their support staff. Credentials such as these do not come cheap if you want to maintain a quality police department. The level of service currently provided by Nevada County Sheriffs Office has been and is now meeting the standards we expect in our community. The Town of Truckee is concerned about the cost incurred in contracting with Nevada County for our present level of law enforcement.

When the Town of Truckee creates the new Truckee Police Department, will we as a community receive at least the same or better in professional services from our new police department? In order to continue or increase the level of service in our town, the pay, benefits and general well-being of our law enforcement personnel must be met. If the Town of Truckee intends to continue the current level of pay, staffing and training of our current services, then there may be no reason not to change.

But if the Town of Truckee does not continue or increase the pay and benefits, then we are decreasing our level of services in law enforcement and this is a waste of time, and a threat to our community in decreased service.

The old saying is true today: you get what you pay for. Is the Town of Truckee willing to pay for it?

Dan Cooley


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