Readers Write |

Readers Write

Despite enormous effort by the Bear League to educate residents and visitors about living in harmony with Tahoe’s precious wildlife, most especially our bears, yet another avoidable tragedy has been played out in Rubicon.

Apparently a second-home owner (as my husband and I are) saw a cub on their deck, became fearful and called the Department of Fish and Game, which handed out yet another depredation permit to have the bear killed. (These permits are being handed out like Halloween candy this year, it seems.) So a trap was covertly set, a cub wandered in, its desperate mother and sibling outside were trying to comfort it when all three were shot by the contracted trapper for El Dorado County.

Did these homeowners sustain any damage from this cub? Did they document the damage, if any? Did they photograph the cub doing damage, if any, to be sure the right one would be caught? Did anyone think of contacting the Bear League, which has tremendous resources available to help homeowners deal with ‘problem’ bears? Did they make sure their garbage was not available to passing, starving bears? Did anyone think about relocation? Was a gun the only alternative to handling this situation?

My husband’s family has had property on the West Shore since 1903 and we are grateful for the opportunity to spend time in Tahoe’s (rapidly disappearing) wilderness with our wild neighbors. We have learned that bears are amazingly smart, courageous and even compassionate beings (one mother we know with two cubs adopted two more this summer who were orphaned by another shooter) that’s more than we can say about the people who had this latest family shot.

Like the other recent writers, I too have experienced problems with mail delivery in Truckee. From some unknown reason, in late August and early September, our mail started being returned to the senders with the yellow sticker “return to sender, no mail receptacle, no forwarding address” (of course not, we hadn’t moved).

Now, we have lived in the same house, at the same address, with the same mailbox for 12 years. Mail with some very important papers for my wife from Tahoe Forest Hospital was returned. A gas company statement was returned, so the gas company suspended the account (not to mention fees that were incurred because we had not received the statement). These are the only ones we are aware of because of actions taken by the senders.

I did bring up the problem in person at the post office twice and delivery seems to be better, but how does a customer really know? There really are no excuses for these kinds of problems.

Hey, citizens, guess what? Your Federal Aviation Administration wants you to know that they are doing something about airline delays by opening some additional airspace along the busy East Coast for the holiday season.

It won’t help. The FAA, supported by recent platitudes from Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., also claims that true relief depends on implementation of a “next-generation air traffic control system,” a project estimated to take at least 15 years and cost tens of billions.

That won’t help, either. Today’s congestion is not caused by crowded airways or ATC shortcomings. It is caused by lack of capacity at just a handful of the busiest airports. Their runways operate at capacity and planes wait on the ground and in the air for an opportunity to get on a runway. Late departures cause late arrivals. Late arrivals cause more late departures. It’s like an urban freeway at rush hour; everyone gets delayed.

There are three practical approaches to this problem: add runways, add reliever airports and reduce the use of “hub-and-spoke” routing by adding direct flights between more city pairs. No amount of air traffic control modernization will alleviate this problem. It’s politically easier to buy electronics than to lay asphalt. But it won’t help.

Truckee is town based on recreational opportunities. It was founded to support the railroad but now our reason for existence is to support recreational opportunities and provide accommodations to those partaking in those recreational opportunities.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that local retail outlets can’t display their recreational wares prominently. Specifically The Sports Exchange on West River Street can’t display skis outside, on their property, because it detracts from the architectural features of their building of historical interest (interest to whom?).

Better to let the business go bust, the building deteriorate, a developer to come in, and lose more of the character of Truckee. Dumb.

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