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Readers write

A dark smoke rises behind Truckee High School every morning as students (many unaware) talk, laugh and jostle their way to class. A contractor is tarring the roof of the new gym, and let me warn you, because the contractor has not produced the required postings, what dangerous substances this project produces: polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs) which can (according to OSHA and a number of medical experts) trigger nausea, headaches, rashes and sensitization. Once sensitization occurs, an individual can experience symptoms in response to the slightest amount of any typically benign chemical or substance and be ill for months or even decades. Tar fumes also are on the hazardous substance list as a known carcinogen, and because they can trigger a cancer even years later, no one should be exposed to even a minimal amount of a carcinogen especially when it can be avoided. Last week, when some students and staff members reported headaches and nausea, the district called in their expert. As a result the cooker was moved to another location behind the school, workers began at 6 a.m., the ventilation system no longer sucked outside air into the school, and fans were brought into the classrooms in attempt to blow the danger away. Luckily the temperature also dropped and the wind blew to aid in the dispersal; the fumes were less concentrated in the classrooms but still noticeable especially in the band and gym area. We appreciate the district offices efforts, but the necessity of the tarring and the deal with the contractor should not take precedence over the safety of students and staff. Even if these toxins were to measure within E.P.A. levels, the more sensitive individuals could still be seriously affected. One of the districts stated goals is a safe environment for all. The district has done what it could to minimize the effects, instead of what it should in this case change and in the future contract the hours of the workers in these large projects so that no potentially hazardous fumes are produced during school hours.Tricia PaddenEnglish teacher Truckee High

After reading the happy face paid PR ads from the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association about the health benefits of paid parking, I am asking the newspaper to investigate the following questions.Did the TDMA president personally profit from the transfer of Union Pacific parking leases to the Town of Truckee?Did the Town of Truckee and the TDMA follow the California laws of Local Agency Formation Commission and California Environmental Quality Act when they formed a parking district?Is paid employee parking paid for by all businesses in the parking district?Does paid parking employee parking discriminate against low-wage workers?Did the Town of Truckee or the TDMA ever survey its taxpayers for their support?Jody SweetTruckee

This is in regards to the alcohol sting article (Alcohol sting nets 6 Truckee businesses Sierra Sun May 25, 2006). It is a shame that the ABC and Truckee PD have to resort to doing stings on local businesses to see who is selling alcohol to minors. What is more of a shame is that six of the 13 businesses were caught selling to a minor. Perhaps there is an apparent and obvious problem of why a sting needs to happen in this town.What may be most shameful is the blatant copout of J.J. Morgan at Moodys and Tina Stull of Glenshire Store. I am not sure how straight-forward the decoy operation was at Moodys, but a minor was served alcohol at some point. And Tina, if you are frazzled at lunch when they are catching you off guard, maybe you should hire more employees and understand that you and the other businesses that were cited are direct contributors to underage drinking.At the very least, ——– took responsibility for his fault. He like myself probably learned about responsibility for you actions when we were children: If your hand is in the cookie jar and you get caught with it there, you can probably expect punishment.If you think that the ABC and Truckee PD are trying to be sneaky, they probably are. Its their job. You set yourselves up for failure.Take some responsibility for your inactions.Chris Howdy Fowler Truckee



As the Clerk/Recorder of Yolo County, California, I often remind folks that an election is a machine with hundreds of thousands of moving parts. In Yolo County, over 85,000 of those moving parts are voters. In Nevada County, over 65,000 are.With that kind of volume, every single County Registrar of Voters office experiences inevitable glitches at election time. Sometimes an absentee voter does not receive a ballot; sometimes he receives it late. Sometimes we inadvertently send out two. Voters sometimes lose or spoil their ballots. Sometimes post office machinery damages them. A thousand other things can go wrong because we have so many moving parts and so many are human. It happens in every county, in every election. Our error rate is remarkably low, but it is not zero.Kathleen Smiths opponent is a fine man whom I have known for many years, but I believe her vision, energy and experience are superior. From my perspective as a colleague who has done this job for many years, Kathleen Smith is doing a great job. She assumed office under difficult circumstances and works with a board of supervisors who do not provide the level of staff support that many other counties, including Yolo, benefit by. Kathleen stepped up to the plate when she took over this office, and she has proved to be equal to the task. I believe she is as fine a county clerk-recorder as any in California. She enjoys the respect of her colleagues and deserves the support of her voters.I urge Nevada County voters to consider the terrific track record that Kathleen Smith has achieved and to cast your vote for her on election day.Freddie OakleyYolo County Clerk-Recorder


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