If you are the sort whose fragile ears will ring for days at the news of another nail in the coffin for our local coffee shops, I regret to inform you that the trend of corporate schmaltz has spread like the West Nile virus into rural Tahoe. Yes, the $6.4 billion giant with 10,500 stores in 37 countries is moving to Tahoe City. The company everybody loves-to-hate-but-still-patronize has thrown its proverbial green apron into the ring, with their crappy coffee threatening the great independent, well-staffed cafs of the North Shore. Gentle readers, there are plenty of diners and coffee shops here already. Does Starbucks offer the community anything that the local shops and culture not provide? This corporation is notorious for poor labor standards, is anti-union and still quibbling with Ethiopia over fair-trade practices. The reasons that Starbucks hurts our communities seem to range from the sentimental (new Starbucks storefronts tend to squeeze out independents) to the practical (they contribute to increased parking and litter problems). The companys go-go self-portrait feeds the dismaying perception that there is no slowing down our accelerated culture. It’s a grab-and-go sort of thing. They really do draw people who seem completely self-oriented. They’re mostly single people going in, double-parking, and being irritable that their order isn’t exactly what they asked for. In order to preserve the character, uniqueness and spirit of our home, we need to express our opposition to the inclusion of the Starbucks Corporation in our neighborhood. I ask that all parties involve reconsider this decision and take into account the larger opinion of the community upon which it is being imposed.Serenity EnriquezTahoe City
I’m usually nothing more than a little bemused by the stream-of-consciousness rambling in Grasshopper Soup, but the column on Wednesday was rather ill-conceived. I know the columnist must be trying to to hit a satirical note or two, a la John Stewart, but he’s way off the mark.As a physician who has worked in the Veteran’s Administration system, I can assure him that most all veterans would rather have been here at home boinking people than getting shot at, and his flippancy is a slam to vets everywhere.The notion that we would breed a special group of babies to serve as more cannon fodder when they reach the age of 17 is tasteless. The spectre of men volunteering to knock up young women as their civic duty is just plain creepy (especially men past a certain age). This has nothing to do with being PC, it’s just poor concept.Can’t the Sierra Sun find more interesting commentary? The paper went from a right winger who drew all his material from the Fox Network, the American Spectator and Anne Coulter’s books, to this semi-perverse effluvium. Give us something to intellectually sink our teeth into, conservative, liberal, who cares, as long as it’s thoughtful. Elena Nyhan Truckee
Traffic mitigation fees for developers make a lot of sense: new development adds a load to existing infrastructure that is difficult to offset in a timely fashion through rising tax revenue alone. But applying traffic mitigation fees to the school district does not make sense: the schools are part of the infrastructure that suffers increased load because of development. More appropriately, the schools should receive a share of the new fees paid by developers so they can expand to meet growing needs.I urge the Town Council to reject this ill-advised concept. If they cannot do that Thursday evening, then they should at least refrain from railroading the matter through the council without usual and customary public notice and public opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. If there is justification for this puzzling charge, let it emerge through that process. I havent seen it so far.Our schools are our nations most urgent internal priority. Just because Truckee is a booming resort town awash in tourists and second homeowners is no reason to short-change its schools. Residents count, too.Rick TavanTruckee
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