I’m afraid the Sept. 21 letter (“A corrupted phrase”) correcting a previous column’s definition of “Third World” needs correction.
According to two of my Berkeley political science professors, one an advisor to Nixon during his first visit to China, the terms First through Third World were coined by Mao Tse-Tung. According to Mao’s theory the First World was the “imperialist” superpowers the US and the USSR. The Second World was the smaller “imperialist” states such as France, Germany, Japan, etc. The Third World was everybody else (including China) and was being exploited to differing degrees by the first two. That’s also the way http://www.marxists.org sees it.
Kudos to Kathryn Kelly (My Turn: “Does the Truckee Tahoe airport board have money to burn?” Sierra Sun Sept. 21) for laying it on the line about the new airport board’s refusal to accept an Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant for improving our airport and saving taxpayer money. Something Dr. Kelly didn’t explain is that the AIP is funded by a commercial fuel tax (4.3 cents/gallon), general aviation fuel tax (10.3 cents/gallon gasoline and 21.8 cents/gallon jet fuel), and a handful of taxes on airline tickets. Airport users, therefore, are the ones who pump millions of dollars into the FAA’s fund used for keeping our nation’s airports safe and in good shape.
The new board decided to decline $450,000 of what is actually free money, claiming grant assurances need more study, even though they are aware that the assurances are already in place in perpetuity at this airport. Obviously our new board is very concerned about adding 20 years onto eternity.
The study is to determine how they can ignore grant assurances. This conclusion is drawn from listening to the board’s discussions: Director Hetherington wants to find out what the “white spaces” are in grant assurances (read: so they may be violated); Director Eagan said that she doesn’t want to be in a position to make a decision accepting a grant and then reneging on an obligation (she doesn’t seem bothered by reneging on obligations that have been in place for decades); and Director Vatistas wants to negotiate terms and conditions (of nonnegotiable assurances) with the FAA.
Our money, with which this board is entrusted, is being frittered away. Watch this new board for the creation of a burgeoning bureaucracy, study after expensive study, squandering our money by refusing to accept AIP funds, violations of grant assurances, and horrendous legal fees attached to those violations.
This airport board has just put $450,000 down the toilet, with many more headed that way.
The My Turn column “Does the Truckee Tahoe airport board have money to burn?” (Sierra Sun Sept. 21) was very misleading and untrue. I suggest you get a copy of the board meeting (Sept. 22) recording and hear for your selves. I have a question that I would like answered. This question deserves some investigative reporting. The airport just spent over $4 million to build two rows of hangers. Why is it then that these hangers are rented at below market value?
Private industry would not operate in this manner, why would a special district do this?
As a frequent user of the Truckee Tahoe Airport over the last 16 years, it pains me to witness the actions of the current board of directors. The Truckee airport has been known as one of the best small resort destination airports in the country.
The current hangars nearing completion will qualify for Federal Aviation Administration AIP funds in an amount approaching $450,000 to offset construction costs. That is nearly one-half million dollars that if not applied for in a timely manner by the Truckee Tahoe Airport board of directors will be gone forever. These funds will then have to be made up for by increased user fees and possible increased taxes by the special airport tax district.
Do you, as a tax payer, consider this to be a responsible course of action?
Many of us do not like to see Truckee and the North Lake Tahoe area involved in the very rapid growth witnessed during the last few years. However, others see this area as a very desirable. Many in the area owe their livelihood to the the tourist and construction industries that are major factors in the area’s economy. The Truckee Tahoe Airport has been part of this growth, as it provides reasonable access to Truckee and the North Shore. It is part of what makes Truckee unique.
The Truckee Tahoe Airport is an asset to the entire area. As such, the Truckee Tahoe Airport board of directors has a responsibility to oversee the safe and efficient operation of that airport, and for sound financial decisions regarding that asset, to the tax payers of two counties.
North Shore Lake Tahoe
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