With the increasingly heavy burden we are all paying for the war in Iraq, I found myself having a hard time getting “up” for this year’s Fourth of July. I realize we all have a tremendous amount to be grateful for, being Americans, yet sometimes I lose the real feeling of patriotism. I lose enthusiasm for all of the flag waiving on the nightly news.
I’ve come to realize that life is filled with nuance, complexity, subtlety and change. It, and we, are precious. Opening to the pain, and beauty, and wonder, and joy of all that life provides us is a remarkable process. Yet knowing all of this, I still find myself under-inspired about the Patriotism thing.
Luckily for me, I live on Donner Summit. Our Fourth of July Parade was a sea of Red, White, Blue, and Lime. That’s right, lime. Over 165 lime green t-shirts, on the cutest little kids I’ve ever seen, marched, paraded, rolled, and uni-cycled past me all reading “Kids 4 Donner Summit.”
An annual parade, this year was the first ever unified theme. The children have spoken. They do not want to live amongst hundreds and hundreds of condos, nor do they want their summertime lake dredged into a water storage reservoir.
They want to save the Summit. They like the forest the way it is. They wrote a song about no development. They had a special dance. They made banners, they had floats, they were in costume, they had four-foot long streamers flowing out of their hair. One little girl, her nose just barely over the information table, with big brown eyes, proudly handed over $3 to donate to our legal fund.
These kids were enthusiastic and they were PATRIOTIC. These Kids for Donner Summit reminded me that some things are worth fighting for. Let’s hope that Foster/Syme will listen to the children.
Nancy Minges, M.A.
This letter is in regards to the real potential for disaster in Tahoe Donner if the current situation along Alder Creek is not put on an emergency clean-up status. Anyone who doubts this should drive along Alder Creek off Highway 89 north. There are several miles of dead trees, either standing or lying on the ground.
This area feeds directly into Tahoe Donner ” actually to Hillside Drive, the camp grounds and on to Northwoods Boulevard. If a fire begins, and travels as quickly as the current wildfires have spread, this could become a disaster area very quickly.
In addition to the potential loss of property, it is even plausible for loss of life. There are only two outlets for Tahoe Donner, which has several thousand homes. Alder Creek Drive is one of them it could be closed off. Northwoods is the only other.
Anyone who has ever seen the skiers trying to get out of here in the winter, with the subsequent back-up of traffic, can only imagine what it would be like to have thousands of cars trying to exit a fire. The potential is horrific.
Would it be possible to cut through the bureaucracy and begin clean up of this area up immediately? I am aware that a plan for ‘this summer’ is in the works. I just hope that it is not too late.
As an occupational health nurse, I have been trained in safety as all of you have. You know what could happen here. I hope that someone will address this issue before we have another Donner-area tragedy.
They didn’t know what they were getting into ” we do.
Fran Crandall RN, COHN
Dear Sierra Club “SC”, Sierra Club Business Council [sic] and Wilderness Society employees. I see your campaign to stop commercial thinning near my community was successful. Do you recall? Seventy-five years ago the U.S. Forest Service was directed to grow a tree farm here that would supply all of California wood needs in the year 2000. For over 75 years, fires were suppressed, brush was sprayed and trees were planted creating tree densities of 200-600 trees per acre. This “unprecedented” overgrowth is 5-9 times safe density for prescriptive burns. Add in the 2.5 billion board feet of new growth every year and you have the makings for apocalyptic firestorms of biblical proportions.
We rural residents needed that commercial thinning to save just some of our communities from burning. Thinning, your actions have denied us.
I see where your SC spokesperson called the commercial thinning that was happening near by community a “perverse activity.” I’ll tell you what a perverse activity is: Knowingly stopping commercial thinning that will absolutely save communities from burning.
Thank you so much for bringing some humor to the editorial page. I’ve noticed that you have come up with a fictitious letter to the editor writer who is obviously the creation of your editorial staff. When you first started seeding the editorial page with this character a couple of years ago your logic, facts and reasoning were just plain silly but, you are to be commended for the evolution of this column. Like any good comedy routine it has gotten better and more nuanced with time. The fractured lines of thought with no regard for reasoned logic are classic Homer Simpson or the simple minded innocence of Borat. It’s nice to see some unproductive finger pointing in a paper filled with stories about people who are trying to deal with some admittedly complex problems. Seriously, the idea that the same administration that handled New Orleans can manage the Sierra ecosystem? Now that is funny stuff. Or, if it weren’t for those damned tree huggers they could manage the forests back to those pictures you see of Truckee from the 1870s. You never heard of a big fire risk back then. Keep up the great work, you and your staff are keeping the people of Truckee in stitches.
I’ve taken Sen. Joe Biden’s advice to heart and called the White House regarding President Bush’s decision to commute the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Well, I’ve been getting a busy signal for the last two hours, so I think I’ll e-mail.
I encourage you to contact the White House too and let them know what you think. What’s that emotion north of indignation? Outrage perhaps. Yes, that’s what I feel. Personally, I think former Ambassador Joe Wilson had it right when commenting on President Bush’s decision. Wilson said recently on NPR’s Morning Edition that this proves “this administration is corrupt to the core.”
Ambassador Joseph Wilson is the former diplomat whose wife was at the center of the CIA leak investigation that sparked the Libby case. In denouncing the Bush administration, Wilson told NPR, “I would only hope that Americans now realize, with this subversion of our system of justice and the rule of law in this country, just exactly how corrupt they are.”
Thanks and Happy Independence Day. This is the day we celebrate the act of defeating the oppressive illegitimate tyranny that threatened to enslave us. But please don’t read into it, there’s no metaphor or serendipity with the timing, I assure you.
And yes, Bill Clinton pardoned plenty of people, but none were involved in a conspiracy to deliberately expose the identity of a covert operative for the CIA to discredit her husband politically.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
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