Letters to the editor | SierraSun.com

Letters to the editor

Kids need to take responsibility

To the editor:

As the parent of a high school senior and member of the boys’ soccer team I would like to add a couple of comments. If ever there was a misplacement of justice then this is it. Whether this case results in acquittal or conviction one thing is certain D the adults will be the scapegoats and the kids will continue to party and suffer no consequences for the events they’ve set in motion.

I have always told my children that we in this country have the greatest amount of personal freedom on the planet. We can really do just about anything we want to do.

However, according to the social order, my personal freedom stops at my neighbor’s doorstep. I do not have the freedom to negatively affect another person’s life without facing consequences for my actions. Well, kids, your insistence on having alcohol at your celebration has now severely impacted the lives of three of the best men in our community. Even if this case is dropped tomorrow, as many of us hope it will be, these good men have suffered immeasurably in the court of public opinion. Their lives are forever changed. Will any of us parents or kids step up and take some responsibility for that?

If you really want to help in some small way here’s one thing you can do. The next time a “buddy” offers you a beer take some responsibility for your actions. Make the right choice and you’ve begun taking some responsibility for what happened that night D get high and you’ve once again allowed these three men to take the fall for you.

I issue a challenge to all you kids who claim to support these three fine men. Don’t let your support end with the signing of a petition. Show your support by actions D stop experimenting with alcohol and drugs. Or is that too much responsibility for you?

Roger Gannam


Coaches hypocrites to provide alcohol

To the editor:

I am 16 years old and a former resident of Truckee, and I attended Tahoe-Truckee High School for my freshman year. When I read the article and the letters to the editor in regard to the soccer coaches, I was appalled.

Alcohol is a common problem at Truckee High and what the coaches did exacerbated this seemingly acceptable use of alcohol among minors. I do not know the coaches and, although they do sound like nice people who have dedicated themselves to their town, these actions were illegal and irresponsible and the proper penalties should not be dismissed. Their actions showed zero respect for themselves, the soccer players and the community.

I also find these coaches to be hypocritical. When I read the front page article, a parent of a team soccer player stated that on several occasions she witnessed Coach Holman stating that if anyone on the team was caught drinking that they would be “off the team.” What kind of role model goes out to buy alcohol for his team? I find it fitting that Coach Holman, Coach Jitloff and Mark Ross should be given the same penalty that a soccer team player would be given.

When it comes to the law, the individual’s status or reputation does not matter. Once someone commits an illegal action out of enthusiasm or just plain stupidity, he or she deserves to receive the punishment that fits the action.

Katie Rieden

Santa Rosa

Coach was valuable role model

To the editor:

We would like to begin by stating we do not condone teenage drinking. Our goal as parents of two teenagers is to get them through their teen years alive and into responsible adults. Along the path to making responsible decisions, unfortunately, our children will make some poor ones. This is part of the learning process.

It is up to our children, with our guidance, to make the right decisions regarding alcohol and drugs. This girl, whose parents filed the complaint against these three individuals, made the wrong decision. Alcohol and drugs will always be available to her and it’s up to her to make the right decision and for the parents to take responsibility for their daughter and not blame other people.

If anyone really knows Mike Holman they would know how against drinking he really is. Yes, there was a judgement error made but the intent was to prevent kids from driving drunk. Our son and daughter had the privilege of having Mr. Holman as a coach. As a coach he always insisted the kids not drink. Not to mention the many kids he kept off the streets and out of trouble, other kids fees he personally paid for and the thousands of dollars in lost personal income due to countless hours of volunteer time. We feel that Mr. Holman has provided a valuable community service for many years and do not want to see him punished for this mistake.

Teenage drinking in Truckee is a reality. Yes, abstinence is the perfect solution, however we do not live in a perfect world so we need to deal with this situation realistically.

We would like to see the charges against these people dropped with the addition of more education and problem solving within our community before the teen accident and fatality rate begins to rise.

Marcia and Mat Lowrance


Teen binge drinking can lead to death

To the editor:

I have been following the story involving the soccer coaches providing alcohol to their team members to celebrate their win. Children learn from example. What example are the “adults” showing to them? Is the only way to celebrate to do so with alcohol?

What happened to the respect that should be shown to our local law enforcement? The Truckee Police Department has sworn to uphold the law and protect our citizens. The police were simply enforcing the law as it is written. The comment that “Teen drinking is inevitable” has been made. Is it inevitable or expected of teens to drink?

When I was 14, I received word that my cousin, who was two years older than me at the time, had died. He was at a party where alcohol was being provided to the kids by adults. This was a supervised party. On a dare, my cousin downed a bottle of alcohol in one drink. He was cheered by all in attendance. He lost consciousness almost immediately. He was driven home by one of the adults attending the party. His mother managed to get him awake and got some coffee down him. He seemed ok and was put to bed. He never woke up. An autopsy was performed to find out what happened and the results were shocking. Due to the rapid ingestion of alcohol his brain had been starved of oxygen. The doctors don’t know how or why he ever woke up after drinking it. They said that his brain died from alcohol poisoning and evidently his body didn’t know it right away. I was only 14 years old at the time, but the memory still haunts me. I just know that my cousin died because of actions occurring at a “safe” party. No charges were ever filed in what my family considers to have been murder.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against drinking. There is a time and place for everything. Some can probably handle themselves fine with a few drinks but some cannot. Bottom line: what happened was illegal. We don’t get to choose which laws we want to follow just because we disagree with lawmakers. That is why we have elections.

Barbara Bolstad


Say ‘no’ to Martis Valley developers

To the editor:

My family and I are very concerned about the growth prospects and future development plans of the Martis Valley in Placer County. Through my life I have watched area after area be destroyed by development. I was raised outside of Philadelphia and the surrounding farm and horse county has become subdivisions. As an adult I traveled numerous places in the west, including Beaver Creek in Colorado. The increase of new construction and building density destroyed their natural beauty.

I cannot tolerate another beautiful area being destroyed by poor planning of urban sprawl. Ski areas should not have condos piled so close to each other that they look more like an amusement park.

Why can’t we say “no” to the developers for once? Why must humans grow areas to the point of strain where water tables are depleted, streams and rivers are contaminated with runoff from golf courses and air quality is sacrificed? I hope in this day and age in California people would have evolved enough not to destroy everything around them for an extra buck.

Timothy M. Polishook

San Francisco

Martis Valley draft outrageous

To the editor:

The Martis Valley Plan recently proposed by the Placer County staff is a major threat to Truckee and to the natural environment of our region. This plan will more than triple the number of houses and apartments in the valley.

More importantly, the plan proposes an incredible amount of employment to be built there, up to 6 million square feet of commercial space of various kinds (mainly office and tourist commercial). This is about 10 times what we have in Truckee currently.

Truckee, Nevada County and citizen’s groups should not put up with this charade. No meaningful citizen participation was involved in the planning process. The proposed plan is derived from a plan done in 1975, which also permitted way too much development. In my 35 years of being involved in land use planning, as a consultant and professor, I have never seen a local planning process so driven by local landowners. Basically, this plan is just a pasting together of the private landowners’ maps of what they want. Such a process violates the intent of the California planning laws.

The proposed Martis Valley plan will necessitate the four-laning of the 267 Bypass, which the Placer Co. transportation staff is now saying can take four lanes. The resultant traffic volumes will completely overload the Bridge St. intersection in downtown Truckee, making it as miserable as it is now, even with the Bypass operating. All of our commercial streets will be flooded by traffic. The huge amount of employment in the Valley, the widespread subdivisions, and the four-lane roadways will interfere with deer migration routes and their summer ranges, and will likely pollute the groundwater supplies.

The proposed plan is outrageous. I suggest that those of us that live in Martis Valley and Truckee get involved soon. The draft impact report will come out in mid-March and will deserve great scrutiny, especially with regard to traffic, water quality, and habitat issues. Call Placer Co. Planning at 530 889-7470 to get one, and then send in comments.

Bob Johnston


NH2020 should be put to public vote

To the editor:

Recently Nevada County Fifth District Supervisor Barbara Green stated that she helped create Natural Heritage 2020 and what its plans are.

The Sierra Business Council said the point of public meetings is to get peoples’ participation. NH2020 says it relies on public participation. The Sierra Sun in their invitation said, let your voices be heard, get involved.

People did get involved, they let their voices be heard, they had public input, with letters to the editor, and with a public appearance in Truckee to express their concerns, views and doubts. Others collected thousands of signatures of those with questions wanting information, so they can decide the right or wrong of NH2020. The articles in our paper tell us the direction in which NH2020 is taking us.

If more is needed, then Erich Sommer’s conversation with our supervisor in our paper on Feb. 14 I would think would be an eye opener. There is real fear in the people concerning NH2020 because of the similarities with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Is NH2020 going to become our TRPA?

Can we have growth without harming the landscape, open space, plant and animal habitat, farmers, ranchers, and our natural resources and can we accomplish all this without treading on one’s property? Yes. It comes back to the people with their vote. This NH2020 issue will be settled one way or the other, but it must be done at the ballot box, by the people, not at a citizens’ advisory committee round table, nor by three or four supervisors or members of the Sierra Business Council. The one person, one vote method is a great way to resolve the NH2020 matter.

But people have turned NH2020 into a hot potato for their own political benefit and have passed around rumors that aren’t true, stated our supervisor. People have made it controversial, she said, we didn’t intend it to be. Well, if concerns, views, fears, doubts and questions created a hot potato and controversy then so be it. We will leave this up to the people as to who served up the plate of hot potatoes, with its large ladle of controversial gravy. It is better to speak up to something and be right than to say nothing about something and be wrong.

Ken Easley


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