Although I do not have concrete material to provide at this time, I wanted to give residents in the Sierra Nevada an update in regard to the proposed Sierra Nevada Conservancy legislation.As I mentioned in my last e-mail in June, Assemblyman John Laird and I agreed that I would leave my AB 1788 in Senate Natural Resources Committee. AB 2600 is now the official conservancy vehicle. Although it has not yet been amended, I wish to assure you that I remain unequivocally committed to a conservancy established upon strong local influence at every point in the conservancy’s decision-making process. We are very close to putting forward language that is built upon this principle, while also respecting the legitimate concerns coming from others with a variety of different priorities.It had been my hope to provide you with bill language by the middle of July. However, the combination of the budget deadlock and several difficult-to-resolve issues related to the conservancy language have held us up until now.If all goes as planned, I believe that by this week, we should have language that I will be able to provide to you in person or via fax for your review. (It will not be available via Internet or e-mail until several days later.) If you desire to receive the language via fax, please e-mail Jedd.Medefind@asm.ca.gov.AB 2600 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee Aug. 4 in its current form. Since the bill will be going to the “Suspense File,” there will not likely be much discussion of the measure. It will be amended while on the Suspense File, and then will likely be voted to the Senate floor the following week. Feel free to contact my office with any questions. Tim LeslieAssemblyman, 4th District Setting the airport record straightI am Ken Foster, president of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors. I am not in the habit of responding to letters to the editor or editorials in our local paper. But, the information pertaining to the Truckee Tahoe Airport District contained in many recent letters and guest editorials in this paper has been so erroneous that I am now compelled to respond.The airport board of directors is very proactive regarding the reduction of aircraft noise. As a board, we have adopted flight path procedures to encourage pilots to fly over less noise-sensitive areas. We have adopted a pilot education/incentive program that rewards pilots for agreeing to “fly friendly” over our community. Most recently, we embarked on a program that will request all aircraft over 12,500 pounds gross weight to contact the airport and request permission to land in writing prior to their arrival at Truckee. This will provide the opportunity to educate pilots further about our efforts to “fly quiet” and be a good neighbor to the Truckee/North Tahoe community.The airport has no plans to expand any facilities that would increase capacity or encourage increased operations at the airport (an “operation” is a take-off or landing). The airport has adopted aircraft landing fees to help fund our noise reduction efforts, among other things. The Truckee airport board of directors will not entertain any scheduled commercial air service into our community.It has been written in the pages of this paper that the airport has plans to expand the airport to 120,000 operations per year – this is untrue. We are currently experiencing approximately 35,000 operations per year. The Airport Master Plan projects 61,600 operations per year in 2020, based on community and air transportation growth. The airport is not expanding its physical plant in anticipation of growth in our community. We do not plan to expand the length or number of runways; we do not plan to expand or rebuild the terminal.The airport board of directors is concentrating on managing the noise issue over our community. You are invited to attend our next public workshop on airport noise on Sept. 29, and help us to be a good neighbor in our community. Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight.Ken FosterPresidentTruckee Tahoe Airport DistrictBoard of DirectorsHow about an affordable housing/luxury property tax?I am pleased to know that the affordable housing issue that faces our community has been addressed as a serious enough issue by the Truckee Town Council to appeal the approval of the Placer County Board of Supervisors decision to allow development in Martis Valley to proceed.The question at hand in my view is: Should real estate developers be financially responsible for providing affordable housing to the labor force necessary for completion and ongoing facility maintenance and service of the proposed project?I personally do not believe any concessions offered to the local communities other than a greater tax basis will ever come to fruition to appease any secondary party’s interest. Have we forgotten the promised highway improvements to ease congestion at Highways 80 and 89 interchanges and widening proposal that were ultimately revised in the wake of the Intrawest village project in Squaw Valley?I believe the only logical way to resolve the affordable housing issue is by levying an affordable housing property tax upon these new developments’ end users. A referendum should be drafted and included for approval on the upcoming fall ballot.This solution could work many fold to appease both the interested development partners and the concerned town planners and local residents that understand what the adverse impacts to our community will be when these issues cannot be resolved properly. By removing financial responsibility for affordable housing away from the developers and to the end user also makes a statement that the end user is willing to assist the local community in these special circumstance issues and will be acknowledged for their contribution. Ultimately, the inhabitants of these proposed resort/golf developments that have the financial solvency to acquire these multi-million dollar properties can also bear the burden for the negative impact their exclusive lifestyle will create on the local area.If an affordable housing/luxury property tax becomes too financially problematic for the development and successful completion of these types of projects, then plainly, these projects will not be allowed to proceed.Dan HikelTruckeeHonored by Sutton’s serviceYour article blasting Pat Sutton was disgusting (“Micro-managing nightmare or public’s PUD watchdog?” Sierra Sun July 23). I thought that the Sierra Sun was a “newspaper.” The fact that Mrs. Sutton has continually opposed the broadband project is not news at all. Originally the proposal for this service was estimated at $12 million, but has now risen to $24 million. The notion that these costs will not trickle down to electric and water customers is questionable at the least to me. I remind you that this is a public utility district and Mrs. Sutton was voted on to the board by rate payers. Someone must agree with her.I, for one, am honored that she has given so many years of her live to public service. It is a thankless pursuit and only gets noticed when you take a perhaps unpopular stance on issues. It is healthy for the system for someone to ask the difficult questions and demand answers. If the Sierra Sun continues to print pointless and rude articles such as that on the front page a better place to pick up the paper might be at trailheads to clean up after our dogs.Hugh WilliamsTruckeeLargest and best-ever vacation Bible school For the first time, more than 100 Truckee children from pre-school through fifth grade attended vacation Bible school held at the Church of the Mountains. The Methodist and Lutheran/Presbyterian Church’s ecumenical vacation Bible school’s seventh year was the largest and best ever and ended on July 30. More than half of the children that attended are not members of either church. The directors, Kristy Morgan and Lori Breuch, said the school was very successful. The 19 “crew leaders,” former students in fifth grade and above, found this was an interesting experience, teaching them to be leaders in the community. Most of the students said they can hardly wait to come back next year as they enjoy the experience so much. One of the projects was to send supplies and coloring books to children in Mexico. Each book had a picture of a Truckee student included in it. There was a lot of singing, games, crafts and even theater presentations. For more information about the program call Lori Breuch at 582 9285. George Long
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