What’s happening to this area? This gorgeous, awesome place we call Truckee/Tahoe? I picked up the Sierra Sun Wednesday morning to read the headline of “Royal Gorge, 4,000 acres sold.” The headline alone isn’t that alarming, but when you read on the story is purely depressing. Another big (Bay Area) developer has purchased another chunk of land and though they, temporarily, say they aren’t going to build we all know it’s just a matter of time before they do. It’s all about the big bucks in the developers’ pockets as they pay no regard to this pristine area or the people who live here and love it as it is. When do we stop building homes, condos, townhomes, villages, shops, malls? When do we say enough is enough and let the natural beauty of this place remain? Do we just keep developing until there’s no open space left? Do we turn Truckee/Tahoe into Bay Area II or Sacramento II and forget all about why we love this place, what makes it special? Is it just a race to obtain land, develop it and laugh all the way to the bank in your chase for the almighty dollar? When will you stop?And you wonder why there’s an unspoken animosity between full-time Truckee/Tahoe residents and second homeowners/Bay Area folks/Sac folks.Nicole Mackey TruckeeReaching out worksPublic servants frequently get criticized but rarely get praised. The Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe (CATT) has found it necessary, on occasion, to deliver criticism, but we also know a good thing when we see it. The Board of Directors of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District recently voted to adopt a “Public Outreach Policy.” The policy intent is to “initiate contact informing the community of important issues appearing before the Board of Directors early enough to permit thorough discussion of the issue prior to the Board taking formal action.” The policy identifies action to be taken when issues arise that may have an impact on ratepayers and other stakeholders. These actions could conceivably range from a personal phone call, meeting, direct mailing, paid advertisement, or other way to reach out to inform a potentially affected stakeholder in advance of a decision.Upgrades to the Website and televising the meetings are additional new actions being taken by the TDPUD to improve communication and outreach.While we obviously see a benefit to this policy, we hope the greater public, the TDPUD Board and staff also realize a benefit in the future. Improvements in the decision-making process should lead to better decisions, and the TDPUD Board and District Manager Peter Holzmeister deserve our thanks and praise for making this commitment. Pat DavisonExecutive DirectorContractors Association of Truckee TahoeNominee lacks depthThe President isn’t being overly clever in selecting Harriet Meirs to replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor. It makes sense. The religious right is attacking Ms. Meirs as lacking intellectual depth. This is more than likely the bond between the two.President Bush urges the American public to trust his judgement and choice of Harriet Meirs. Trust a man’s judgement who has been on the wrong side of most every issue. Bush says and tells his base that Meirs won’t change over the next 20 years. Great, in case the President hadn’t noticed, life is all about change, not straitified ideologues.Any Democrats who embrace Meirs as a swing vote in the filigree of O’Connor are barking up the wrong tree. Harriet Meirs is a solid anti-abortionist and all that that implies. Ron Lowe Nevada City
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