My Turn: Planned rec center and planes are bad combination
I am deeply saddened by the death the two jet pilots who were killed on Dec. 28. My heartfelt condolences to their families. As I was putting my flu- ridden body down for a rest, I heard and felt the explosion. I thought something had fallen on my roof. That was not the case.It is clear that if that ill-fated jet had been trying to land on Runway 10 and the same kind of incident occurred, the jet could have crashed somewhere in the Ponderosa Fairway Estates, Truckee Regional Park, the Senior Center, Olympic Heights or the site of the proposed new recreation center. The Sierra Sun staff report about the number of crashes attributed to the Truckee Tahoe Airport is frightening. I realize these incidents are not the fault of the airport, but never the less they happened in our community.What’s my point? The folks who are responsible for approving development plans in this community have got to wake up to fact that the airport is a danger and development must be kept as far away from the airport as possible. To have someone tell me that development on a certain lot is “OK” because the Airport Compatible Use Plan says so, is wrong, wrong, wrong. A perfect example: The Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District Board of Directors is bent on building a recreational facility (with your money) in an area close enough to the airport to be of concern in my mind. One of the board members spent a good deal of time with me showing me how the site was safe because the “flight path” wasn’t right over the site. The fact that the site proposed for the recreational center was “free” makes it irresistible. It is no secret that once a plane is in the air, nobody has any control over where the pilot drives the plane.I have tried to be supportive of the proposed recreational facility. I am a former student of recreational and leisure studies and I understand the need for such a facility. When I brought up my concerns about the location of the proposed center to the recreation board, the chairperson at the time rolled his eyes and was most unpleasant. I cannot with a good conscience be quiet about my concerns any longer. Everyone who will be asked to pay for the new center and their children and families who may use the center need to be seriously concerned about the location. Just because land is “free” doesn’t mean we can be negligent. I personally think it would be far better to pay more for the facility in a different location and have peace of mind and bigger safety margin. The unfortunate crash of the jet on Dec. 28 is a wake up call. Is anybody out there awake?Lynne R. Larson is a Truckee resident.
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