Readers write |

Readers write

Regarding Jamie Bate’s column on Rep. John Doolittle’s leasing a hybrid Highlander (“It’s not easy being green” Sierra Sun March 15) for the exorbitant sum of $1,073 a month, this is outrageous even if the Highlander is a “hybrid.” Some recent hybrids like the Highlander, Lexus RX400 and Honda Accord get marginally better mileage (3 or 4 mpg) than their non-hybrid counterparts as they all feature powerful V6 engines mated to electric engines, not for the purpose of increased miles per gallon but for increased performance. The hybrids are faster than their gas-only siblings.

The idea that pushing these hybrids (by allowing them in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane for instance) is stupid. Our goal should be to increase efficiency ” say 45 MPG minimum ” not to pick a particular technology as the winner. The goal is reducing dependence on oil, not on anointing a particular approach as “green,” and these low-mileage, high performance hybrids aren’t the right direction.

A Subaru Outback would get essentially the same mileage, have the same carrying capacity, better snow capability, and would cost $300/month to lease. However, if Doolittle really wants efficiency, he’ll drive a Prius or a hybrid Civic (both 50+ MPG) and put chains on the one day a year he drives up the hill in snow (if he ever does).

Doolittle certainly likes “the green” though, as reported by the San Diego Union Tribune in the article “Congressman Doolittle, wife profited from Cunningham-linked contractor” ( Both he and his wife have personally profited from their work with now convicted criminal Randy Cunningham and from their associations with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former House Leader Tom Delay.

Having the sixth most expensive leased car is par for the course for a guy who obviously sees his position in Congress as a license to enrich himself and live a life of luxury (driving his fancy Highlander hybrid).

Come November, I suggest we put a real “conservative” in there (be they Democrat or Republican) who’s interested in conserving taxpayer dollars and not lining their own pockets.

John Hillstrom


I wanted to thank the kids from Alder Creek Middle School for their letters to the editor with growing concerns about the Martis Village Theatre closing and to all who have signed the petition that is in circulation.

I’ll admit, I’m naive to the business reasons the theater is being asked to close. What I do know is that any town that lets their theater of 25-plus years close is a ghost town. Not like Truckee isn’t already a ghost town. What’s all this talk about the revitalization of Truckee when local business are closing right and left. Who in a political position in this town can’t see that something has gone horrible wrong here? People can’t afford to live here anymore, business can’t afford to stay here anymore, and now we have to pay to park here too.

I work at the Martis Village Theatre and I’m extremely sad of the thought that I’m going to lose a job I love. I’m sad for all ” ages 2 to 102 ” who love going to the movies and we won’t have that luxury in our town anymore. The doors aren’t locked yet, don’t give up hope. This is where we need to ask for some kind of help from some association or agency, planning commission or community members because the future for the Martis Village Theatre is looking pretty grim with a slated closing date of April 9.

Lynn Shortidge


In reply to “Now Playing: Drunk in the Woods” (Sierra Sun column March 17), as a teen who lived his “impressionable” years in Truckee, I feel I have a say on this topic. I lived in Truckee, but by the town’s standards I wasn’t a local in my eight-year stay. I watched the Teen Center revamped, umpired Little League and, of course, drank in the woods.

Why? Well, I lived in the Shire. With the exception of a few forests left untouched and the clubhouse being open only four months per year, entertainment options were limited. Soon, the forests disappeared and became houses. Like most Truckee teens, I fled to the woods with the concept of freedom ” thanks to a bottle.

Skiing is fun until you turn from a child to junior and start paying through the nose. Backcountry is an alternative, but who wants to hike up the snowy mountain after three runs?

You can’t blame us. Truckee really isn’t teen-oriented. The worst part isn’t that we were drinking, but that the town never thought about teens. Put us in school and hope we see a better way of life. The town is cutting its losses. Teens don’t contribute to the town like Bay Area, moneybag teens who just have to look like they “own” Tahoe. Again, can you blame us for retreating to the woods?

The only problem with this scenario is the ends. Remember those 300-plus kids who fled the police at O6 a couple years back? Zip ties and night vision goggles; how hard is it to spot 300 drunken kids fleeing into the woods? For the TPD, it was difficult. Does anyone remember the Boca party that had Truckee in uproar? A girl fell in the fire, but because we were drinking it was our fault.

Truckee needs to do one of two things. Get with the program and incorporate teens into the town with some form of entertainment, or kick us out and sell the town as a resort community with no interest in kids. Maybe our board should stop selling locals short of the moneybags and actually think about us for once, not the greenbacks they can rake in.

John Forbes


It is said that the Eskimos have 24 different words for “snow.” Over the past few weeks it occurred to me that we in Truckee have many words for “snow” as well.

Let me provide a few examples: sleet, slush (blowercloggerschnee-Ger.), ice, powder, corn, Sierra cement, frost, yellow snow, red-wax snow, flurries, blizzard, garbage, groomed. So you see, the Eskimos have nothing on English speakers.

But living in Truckee the past month has brought to my mind a flurry (sorry) of new words for describing snow. Here are just a few:

Mogul: The snow that tosses you far into the air if you are not careful; 4WD-snow: Self-explanatory unless you are a flat-lander in a Buick; Jack-knife snow: Watching traffic over I-80 leads to this term. “I just sorta lost control.” Yeah, and you were only going 65 downhill in a big-rig without chains; Rear-ender snow: This happened to me going down Northwoods my first winter in Truckee; Maui-snow: The kind of snowfall that causes you to pack your flip-flops and bikini and head for the islands; Garbage snow: The snow that conceals your garbage can from the Town of Truckee snow blower as it sprays your house with the week’s garbage; Green-snow: The color of garbage snow since you and friends emptied two cases of Heineken apres ski the night before. I was picking green glass shards from my lot for years; Giants-snow: The snow that makes you dream of going to Arizona for spring training; Roundabout-snow: You all know what this means; Margarita snow: Forget the blender. Add tequila and a squeeze of lime.

Paul Duggan


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