Letters to the editor | SierraSun.com

Letters to the editor

Unacceptable living standards have long-term effects

To the editor,

I just had to do it. I filed a complaint with the Nevada County Environmental Health Department requesting response to the garbage, trash household furnishings, auto parts and who knows what else in the common area of the Donner Creek Mobile Home Park from West River Street at 89. I subsequently learned that Nevada County could only address similar existing conditions around the mobile homes as the subject site is, in fact, over the line in Placer County.

I filed the same complaint with Placer County Environmental Health, and discovered through a very helpful staff member that similar complaints were on file for prior years. They’re investigating.

These conditions are not a result of and visible due to spring thaw. These are living conditions. And they’re unacceptable in our community. Not only as an eye sore on a much traveled road. Or for health reasons. But also because the park is full of families with children who are growing up in a dump. If community and household standards of higher value are not set, taught and maintained we’ll have a continuing problem. It’s not a matter of funding. It’s living standards that are unacceptable and must be changed for the better.

Mike Dunsford


Writer seeks change in school district plans for school

The following letter addressed to school Superintendent Pat Gemma, John Britto, director of facilities and construction for the school district, and the Truckee Donner Public Utility District, is printed here at the author’s request.

Dear Sirs:

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the April 30th meeting for the Community School, but this is my response to Dr. Gemma’s letter announcing the plan to locate the school on Glen Road, near Meadow Park.

The TDPUD is perpetually trying to make use of their property on Glen Road by annexing our quiet, residential neighborhood with some sort of industrialization that will destroy the quality of the living environment. A few years ago they conspired with the park district to turn this “public use” property and most of Meadow Park into a parking lot, but the public banded together to successfully persuade them to avoid that disaster. Last year’s nightmare was their “temporary” use of the property to block public access to the east end of the park for their industrial materials storage. Now we, the residents, must confront another assault as the TDPUD works with the school district to make another catastrophic decision that will have a detrimental effect on the public.

Dr. Gemma’s letter promises to avoid imposing an impact on the neighborhood by providing “sufficient parking,” but neglects to address the impact of increased traffic on this cul de sac. Every family on this street has small children who play there, and their safety will undoubtedly be compromised by the transportation of these students who have “encountered difficulties” elsewhere.

The students have criminal records, and we are not fooled by the euphemism “Community School.” We know that it will be closer to a Juvenile Hall. Meadow Park is already a magnet for Truckee High School students who cut class to smoke, drink, and vandalize the area. This fact can be verified by the Town Police patrols that use the lot to survey the park. The new element that this school will introduce can only exacerbate the current situation.

Dr. Gemma’s letter promises to “… improve the unsightly appearance of the property …” and “… provide a well-kept, attractive project …” by placing a portable classroom on the site. First, the TDPUD could plant some grass and trees and place some picnic tables there to allow the property to be truly “public use” and not to their financial advantage. Second, Dr. Gemma’s use of “attractive” and “portable classroom” in the same context is a glaring contradiction in terms. The property, at present, is dirt and rocks, and the only unsightliness is that the TDPUD is remiss in sending employees to pick up trash on a regular basis. However, harmless rocks, dirt, and debris are preferable to the alternative, unavoidable dangers of this project and the inherent activities that its users will bring into our neighborhood.

I am absolutely certain that the school district has other property that will be much more suitable for their “community school.” There is plenty of room next to the continuation school, Sierra High School, between the middle and high schools. There is also a new construction of a middle school on Highway 89 that could include this facility. Either of these two alternatives would not impact current neighborhoods or harm citizens’ property and lives.

When will the people who sit on these boards realize that families live here, and any decision other than the construction of a family residence on that property is completely unacceptable?

Thank you for immediately abandoning this idea. The people who live in this neighborhood appreciate your concern for the quality of our lives, and the students for whom this facility is intended will have a proper environment for their quest for academic excellence.

Sheldon Haun


$6 million airport expansion is frivolous

To the editor,

As a full time resident of Truckee and a participating member of this Community, I feel a response is necessary to last week’s article “Airport Taking Off”. This article regarding expansion truly surprised me since I have attended many Airport Board meetings where it was clearly stated that no expansion plans were being entertained in the near future.

Frivolous, extravagant and an unnecessary use of out tax dollars! While a new building at the Truckee Tahoe Airport might be in order to replace the airport’s aging terminal and office building, it is ridiculous by any business standard, to initiate the action by stating “we have up to $6 million to spend.” Don’t these elected officials get any training?

To build a new terminal building to increase office space is a reasonable expectation. The current terminal building has cramped office space only in the second level, which has much less space than the lower level. The lower level consists of the conference room, a deli, and one large mostly unused lounge area. Total size of the existing terminal building is 5,000-sq. ft. as stated by manager Gotschall. A new terminal of the same size but organized better would provide more office space and a bigger conference room. This is all that is required.

Most of the proposed designs have separate lounges, exercise rooms, and sleeping quarters for pilots. Then there are additional lounges. It looks like the primary purpose of the designs was to spend $6 million. 12,500 sq. ft to 21,000 sq. ft is extravagant. Just because the airport has amassed $6 million in cash from our tax payments over the years does not mean it should be spent frivolously. This cash could be used to pay back previous FAA grants so that the airport could eventually get out from under FAA use restrictions and allow the airport to function with more restrictions as many of the airport district citizens would like it to function.

It appears this is yet another smoke screen, being built on the premise ” build it and they will come” Do we really want a commercial airport in Truckee?

Dorothy Hudecek

Truckee, Ca 96160

‘Community spirit’ means adequate funding for projects

To the editor,

Last year, in the interest of supporting a worthy project and doing a good job my company volunteered to get involved with the Sierra Nevada Children’s Museum and Kidzone project. The SNCM/Kidzone project promises to be a great place for kids… when it’s ready! Unfortunately, technical issues, complex logistics, and finally a significant funding shortfall have plagued the project since the beginning.

My company first donated a bunch of time to the project in the design phase. At some point we entered into a contract to install a high performance heating system, which is what we do, and we think we do it well. Unfortunately, we were eventually prevented from installing the system according to our original design with radiant panels in the walls and were instead required to put the heat in the floor, according to a “committee-style” decision. As heating system contractors and Energy Efficiency Consultants we know the floor system won’t work well because its under a 2″ thick rubberized mat. However, this situation is repairable but it will just take some more funding.

And that brings us to money. The project has simply run out of funding and needs help.

By example, our small company has been sitting on over $11,000 unpaid debt since last year, a burden we are not well-positioned to shoulder.

It is partly born of self interest, but the purpose of this letter is to drum-up support for this worthwhile project. If there is anyone out there who has talent for fundraising or would like to make a donation, your involvement would be greatly appreciated.

The project still needs a ventilation system, interior finish work, and various fixtures and such… it is not yet complete, but pretty nearly. With your help we can take it that final step toward having a great facility for kids!

Please contact Barbara Wilkinson, Executive Director of The Children’s Museum at 530-587-KIDS for further information. Thank you!

Peter Millar, President

Energy Solutions Group

A step toward solution for dock trash

To the Editor,

This is a follow-up to my letter regarding the trash problem at Donner Lake. I received a very concerned response from our community.

A clean-up day has been set for Saturday May 11. Anyone who would like to help, please meet at Shoreline Park (located midway on the North side for the lake) at 8 a.m. gloves and trash bags are recommended.

Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a more permanent solution — trash cans at the public docks.

Sandy Rademacher


Swift action by Truckee Police thanked, admired

The following letter is being published in the Sierra Sun at the writer’s request.

To the Chief of Police,

My wife and I would like to thank you and your department for the fast and swift apprehension of the burglars that have been burglarizing Tahoe Donner homes. The house that we have kept our car for the past four years was burglarized as was my car.

The first officer to respond to the Wolfgang house on Sunday morning was Officer Schoenberg followed by Officer Womack and Sergeant Nickels. These officers conducted themselves in the highest level of professionalism during the interviews and police protocol.

A couple of days later I had the opportunity to meet officer Todd Slezak who informed that the suspects had been caught in the act of burglarizing another home on White Fir in Tahoe Donner. Officer Slezak used my phone to call the retired 30-plus years-of-service LAPD officer that his 1949 academy service revolver had been retrieved from the suspects. Officer Slazek used tact and compassion during his phone conversation with the home owner on Wolfgang.

I have had time to contemplate the situation and many times these kinds of actions from a police department go unnoticed. Well, I thought it time to jot down some words of thanks and accolades to these officers and your department for the swift apprehension of the suspects.

Joseph and Val Sutter


Jets should be prohibited in airport’s future

To the editor,

Reading the recent article on the airport expansion options gives me cause for alarm. Accommodating future commercial carriers was mentioned. These would be jets ? My understanding is that the airport recently (resolution 2000-13) changed the airport classification from B2 to C2 as part of their initiative to ‘slow airport growth’ and to help institute noise abatement. In order to implement commercial flights this classification will need to be reversed.

Does the airport board realize that jets (all plans actually) make noise. Perhaps the first thing the pilots see are the nice new airport facilities but then they’ve conveniently ignored all the residences they’ve flow over. I beg the board to take into account their full constituency before planning to attract commercial services with the related negative impact of noise.

And all this after a board member suggested that they could ‘eliminate jet traffic’. Eliminating jet traffic would be a far better asset to our community than accommodating potential future commercial carriers.

Andrew Terry


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