Readers write |

Readers write

It is essential to calm the traffic in Kings Beach to make it a nicer place for tourists. A two-lane highway with a center turn lane will have almost the same capacity as the current four-lane highway with no turn pockets. It will slow cars down and make it easier for pedestrians to cross. Also, it is critical to have year-round parking on both sides to protect pedestrians on the sidewalks from moving vehicles. Both of these principles are well-known in Europe and the U.S. Bike lanes on each side permit cars to enter and exit parking spaces with little interference with the traffic stream. Traffic calming in many cities in California, the rest of the U.S., and Europe has resulted in more shopping time spent per tourist, a much better walking experience, and greater safety. Killing off your sidewalks kills off your shoppers.

Caltrans District Director Jody Jones’ letter saying that she will not approve the alternatives that have parking in the summer is just unbelievable. She does say that she is judging the plans just on traffic impacts, but this is too narrow a view, even for a transportation planner. She works under federal and state laws that mandate her to consider all modes, including pedestrians, in her decisions. Also, she reached her decision without even reading the whole report. I hope the TRPA and Placer County take a broader view of what a street is for. Streets are not rat runs for cars. They are for pedestrians and bike riders, too. The bogus issue of traffic cutting through neighborhoods can be handled with signage and a few partial blockages.

Caltrans funds may not even be needed for this. Restriping the existing road section and adding two stop lights may well work.

Poor John Doolittle, not only must he endure almost daily airing of his legal problems on page one of the Sierra Sun, but now you feel compelled to include letters from constituents unhappy the congressman isn’t squandering our tax dollars fast enough.

Without delving into the particulars of H.R. 3567, I gather the writer of the letter to the editor, (“Open question for Doolittle” Sierra Sun Oct. 30) is upset over Doolittle’s failure to support an expansion of the federal government’s practice of loaning tax dollars or guaranteeing loans to businesses unable or unwilling to secure funding from other sources. Isn’t there plenty of capital available in the private sector for credit-worthy business ventures? Next time I learn of some businessman unable to obtain a loan I’ll be sure to give him the letter writer’s name. Certainly the writer will be glad to help with his own savings.

The writer apparently supports a bill to fund federal flood insurance, H.R 3121. I suppose this would put California taxpayers on the hook for all those folks in places like North Carolina or Florida who keep building vacation homes in flood plains or in the path of hurricanes and want our help when the inevitable happens. Why do you suppose those benefiting from such a program can’t buy insurance from regular underwriters?

Another letter (“Doolittle let us down”) joins the other writer in the attack on Doolittle, both urging an expansion of federally funded children’s health care. I’m sure the writers support absolutely free and all-inclusive federally funded health care for all America’s children legal or illegal. My guess is they would likely toss in free day care, food, housing, clothing, K-thru-12 education and college. (Should I add grad school?)

As so many Americans today share the sentiments of the writers, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to join with like-minded individuals and pledge 50 percent of their income to establish a private charity to fund all the largess they can dream up. That should enable us selfish, old-fashioned taxpayers to retain enough of our income to clothe, house, feed, insure, medicate and educate our own families. And, oh yes, my wife just reminded me, pay all our taxes.

My name is Rachael Coxson and I work at the Great Outdoor Clothing Company. During Truckee’s Safe Street in the Gateway Shopping Center I somehow dropped my cell phone into someone’s candy bag. It’s a red Sync, from cingular. It has a white Fox head sticker on the back and a phone charm that was pink and blue that said my name. Please contact the Sierra Sun if you have the phone.

Just like building a house, the foundation of a volunteer project must be strong in order for the project to succeed. Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe “Community Project” volunteer Dennis Zirbel of Dennis Zirbel Architect donated his professional expertise to prepare a site map and restoration report for the Russel Valley Sheep Camp on national forest land north of Truckee.

Russell Valley Sheep Camp is a collection of buildings, some almost 100 years old, slowly decomposing back into the soil. Historic preservationists see a need to stop the decay because the Sheep Camp is one of the last remaining features of the Basque sheepherder lifestyle found in the American West. Dennis took measurements and photos and then wrote a detailed building-by-building assessment that will serve as the basis for a public/private restoration effort in the coming years.-

CATT Community Project is grateful for the work done by Dennis, and Truckee River Day volunteers who showed up Oct. 14 to build a fence at the Sheep Camp have Dennis to thank for proper fence location. Without his work, the project would not be on firm footing and progress would be delayed. Thank you Dennis!

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