Sixteen hearty souls were out last week as part of the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway program removing litter from the first two miles of Highway 267. A great activity that keeps our community highways clean on a road that we all use and that’s an entrance and exit point for our many visitors.One concern: I was appalled at the number of cigarette butts littering the roadway; there were hundreds and hundreds of them. At the same time we were picking them up, to our east was the smoke billowing from the 500 acre (as this is being written) Highway Fire burning next to Interstate 80. Officials say, We don’t know if it was intentional or accidental, but our investigators say they’re sure it was human caused.Please, remember don’t toss those cigarette butts. We all have a big price to pay.Arlene BeckerNorthTahoe-Truckee California Democratic ClubAdopt-A-Highway Safety Co-ordinator
In response to Range of opinion on Royal Gorge (Sierra Sun letter to the editor, May 21). For the writer to say Royal Gorge didnt conduct a survey is pure semantic quibbling. Royal Gorge can call it whatever they want, but when they admittedly said in their concept plan that, meeting attendees were asked to rank their top four of a list of 12 features of the Concept Plan, to be summarized later, this is a survey. It is what it is.I was at those meetings, and many people felt that the questions were oddly phrased. Our responses to statements were to be ranked as Most important or least important. Ranking by importance is meaningless for biased formed questions. In their scenario: Importance does not indicate whether its positively important to you (I really want this) or negatively important (I really dont want this!). Important does not always equate to desirable. For example, one of the questions asked us to rank the statement, Provide a new elevated railroad crossing on Soda Springs Road. 53 percent ranked it number 1 in importance. Does importance in this scenario mean important to have the elevated railroad crossing? Or, an important issue because of the negative impact it could have. e.g. slipping or sliding on icy elevated roads?Another interesting point is that the questions mixed conservation uses with development uses. For example, Keep Van Norden meadow in a natural open space, trails, playground and picnic areas. If they truly want to keep it open, then why do they need to build trails, a playground and picnic area, they dont exist today, are they not natural by definition. Hence, the question should have excluded trails, playground and picnic areas, then the question would be valid. I could go on, and on, but I think the readers get the point.I support Royal Gorges challenge to Sierra Sun readers to read their plan at http://www.royalgorgefuture.com and decide for themselves if it seems like a good model for decision making. Keep in mind; the people working for the developers depend on the success of this egregious build out for their livelihood. Lets stick with the facts.Randy O. DiazSoda Springswww.savedonnersummit.org
Geoff Burrows, owner of High Sierra Marine, states in your article of May 14 (Buoy Business) that the illegal buoys that people refer to are actually just unpermitted buoys that will eventually be permitted by lakefront homeowners.Could one conclude from that statement that illegal, undocumented foreigners in our country are actually just legitimate, tax-paying individuals who will eventually be sworn in as American citizens?Everyone must play by the same rules; didn’t we learn that in kindergarten? Illegal buoys are just that: illegal. They shouldn’t be in the lake until all permits are issued, just as illegal visitors to our country should not be issued driver’s licenses until they are legitimate citizens.In addition, the lakefront homeowners do not own the lake all by themselves we all own the lake, wherever we live. As such, we are all stewards charged with the care and maintenance of the lake. The permit process should be completed before any new structure goes into, onto or over the lake. TRPA and the states of California and Nevada must find the resources to police these actions. Perhaps levying fines for those current illegal buoys could pay the way.Joyce PowellGlenbrook
Two environmental articles [recently] caught my attention. One reported that Placer County voted $10 million toward the $23.5 million purchase price for nearly 1,500 acres of permanently protected open space in Martis Valley. This is a wonderful example of enlightened public policy resulting in a public-private partnership to preserve this beautiful area from future development and for future generations.The second article reports a $5.3 million fine against a pipeline operator for fuel spills in the Donner Lake area. The article further states the state Water Board will receive $1.3 million of the penalty money. Recently a fuel oil spill in Massachusetts resulted in $7 million of a $10 million federal fine being awarded to purchase open space, key to environmental health in the spill area. I suggest that the very best way to use the Donner spill fine money is to use it to purchasing critical open space in the Sierra. The $5 million leveraged in this way rather than spent on current government operations will pay huge dividends for our children and grandchildren.Lee HayesNevada City
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.