“No man is an island, entire of itself…” wrote William Blake. If Blake lived here today, he’d change his words to “No airport is an island, entire of itself…”The current airport board of directors and some of the challengers believe that the airport is apart from the district it serves. Look at the board’s goals, listed on the airport district’s Web site. “Supporting the local community” is No. 4, after goal No. 2 of “providing excellent customer service” and No. 3 of “supporting aviation.”Curiously, these board members, elected by residents of the airport district, make those residents their No.-4 priority. They have forgotten that the definition of constituency is “voters.” The name of one slate, consisting of one incumbent and two challengers, states its loyalty in its name: “Friends of the Airport.”Some district residents, who aren’t experiencing the jet noise, have dismissed concerns about the jet noise, likening it to the noise from the freeway and the railroad. As a resident of Prosser Lake Heights, an 18-wheeler or a train flying over my house has never disturbed me. However, I have been unable to carry on a normal conversation and my sleep has been disturbed many times in recent years because of jet traffic. Furthermore, the discussion of noisy old jets versus newer, quieter jets does not address the problem of arrogant jet pilots ignoring the suggested takeoff pattern away from residential areas.If you prefer a board unresponsive to its constituency, a board that believes it has no power and no energy to explore options, a board more concerned with pleasing non-resident jet pilots (there is only one jet based full time at our airport), and you like jet noise, then vote for the current board members.However, if you would like directors with a “can-do” attitude, directors responsive to the community they are elected to serve, and directors with the energy and the commitment to seek answers to complex questions, then vote for Kathleen Eagan, Mary Hetherington and Paul Vatistas.Nancy Burby MaassTruckeeGreen doesn’t walk her talkBarbara Green doesn’t walk her talk when it comes to affordable housing, contrary to what was erroneously claimed in a recent letter to the editor.Green is one of two votes which have “deadlocked two-two over a single paragraph of a largely technical housing plan.” Please read “Hung up on housing issue; Supervisors clash on rural growth, risk losing funds” by Becky Trout in The Union newspaper, Aug. 23, 2004. The article states “But as time ticks on the eight-month overdue housing plan, the supervisors will have to find a compromise or risk losing money for local nonprofits and affordable housing, as well as exposing the county to legal challenges.” This isn’t the person we want representing us on affordable housing issues on the Truckee Town Council. The Town of Truckee has built over 400 affordable housing units during the time incumbent Ron Florian has served on the council. How many units of affordable housing have been built in the unincorporated area of Nevada County during Green’s tenure on the county board of supervisors? How many units of housing will be lost to the county because Green has no leadership skills and cannot even fashion a compromise over a technicality?Green never spoke up in favor of any of the affordable housing developments I represented before the Truckee Planning Commission or the town council. Was it because it was her own neighbors in Sierra Meadows, the NIMBYs, who were lined up at the podium objecting to the developments that we now take a great deal of pride in pointing to as outstanding examples of affordable housing?On the other hand, Florian, along with other brave souls on the council, voted in support of the affordable housing; not because it was the popular thing to do, but because it was the right thing to do. And they didn’t get hung up on and lost in technicalities to get there because they could see the big picture. Please join me in voting for Ron Florian for town council on Nov. 2.Ruth I. Frishman, JD, MBA Affordable housing advocateTruckeeKerry’s my manIn the first presidential debate, I was hoping to hear two things. First, I wanted to hear John Kerry lay out his plans for Iraq, for winning the war on terror, and tell the U.S. about Bush’s deceptions and dangerous errors. I wasn’t disappointed. Kerry staked out a strong plan to bring peace to Iraq and to refocus our efforts to fight terrorists around the world. Kerry pointed out some of the gross errors that the Bush administration made in entering the Iraq war, short-changing the true war against bin Laden in Afghanistan, short-changing security at home, and turning Iraq into a quagmire of insurgency and chaos.Second, I wanted to hear President Bush tell the truth about Iraq and about the nuclear dangers posed by Iran and North Korea, which have gotten significantly worse during his watch, but he refused. While his own intelligence services, military advisers, Republican colleagues, and even his secretary of state have said that Iraq is in chaos, Bush still presents a version of Iraq seen through rose-colored glasses. And he has all but ignored the far more dangerous situations in Iran and North Korea.This debate made it clear: John Kerry is a leader we can trust to tell us the truth when it comes to our nation’s security and to protect the U.S. at home and abroad. George Bush has had his chance. I’ve been ready for a new direction since January 2000; now smart Americans will send Bush a one-way ticket to Crawford.Lin ZucconiTruckeeStick to the airport issueDemocracy protects the right of individuals to enjoy being uninformed and ignorant. A recent letter to the editor (“CARE is just blowing smoke,” Sierra Sun, Sept. 29) demonstrated this well. Although I cannot speak for the Community Airport Restoration Effort committee (as the letter writer feels he can), my impression from knowing one of the candidates for years is that her position is far from the writer’s portrayal of wanting to bring big box stores into the area. Not only does this assertion have nothing to do with the airport, I feel that is the antithesis of what the three candidates stand for. They are trying to get some balance on the airport board to guard against a special interest (pilots) from shaping the policy of the airport, which may not be reflective of the interests of the community as a whole. Perhaps the letter writer should stay more involved in the politics of his primary residence, Los Gatos, and just come to Tahoe Donner to ski. Steven ThompsonTruckeeCARE candidates off courseI attended the Glenshire Community Airport Restoration Effort meet-the-candidates night, at which Kathleen Eagan admitted that our airport is very safe, and further that jets are extremely safe. That’s quite different from what she said on KTKE when she claimed that our airport was extremely unsafe, and when she personally told me that our airport is very unsafe. Suddenly it’s very safe.At another meet-the-candidates night, a CARE candidate mentioned 737s coming to Truckee. The civil engineer candidate, who is supposedly knowledgeable in asphalt, didn’t bother to explain weight-bearing capacity of the runway, taxiways and ramp, so I had to explain why 737s cannot come to Truckee. It’s certainly sensational to portray the evil airport as expanding to bring in 737s.Those candidates sensationally relate how onerous it is for an airport influence area to cover 50 percent of our town. They want you to believe it’s the airport’s fault that state-mandated protection of property sellers and buyers (inside an airport influence area) is an evil thing, and that they will be able to “correct” that by thinking outside the box.They also want you to think certain critical safety zones defined in the community land use plan can be drastically reduced. These concepts display either a gross misunderstanding of the CLUP or a gross desire to have the public believe state laws don’t apply to Truckee.Those candidates sensationally relate that our small town airport has turned into LAX, and how they would return it to a small town airport. If they had any idea of how small town airports in America operate, they wouldn’t echo this promise.Those candidates sensationally relate how our airport is expanding, but neglect mentioning that when all the planned hangars are built, there will still be about 900 acres of open space on the airport. Compare that to Truckee’s urban sprawl along 267.Our town is being led astray by candidates who only comprehend one part of a complex issue called an airport. Look to other candidates for a broad understanding of how aviation and airports successfully co-exist with communities.Tom MeadowsTruckee
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