The article (Road Work Ahead Sierra Sun April 27) describing the double roundabouts was very informative and it appears that it will make for safer and more efficient traffic travel in that area.The signal at the West River Street-Highway 89 intersection constructed a few years ago has made motorized traffic safer. But what about the safe pedestrian travel between the roundabouts and West River Street under the railroad on Highway 89? How safe is that for pedestrians and cyclists?The only way for foot traffic to get from West River Street to the Gateway area of Truckee is to go through this hazardous passage. With the increased vehicular traffic through this narrow passage, foot and bicycle travel becomes more and more dangerous. When the West River Street intersection was renovated, I thought that something would be done to make the underpass safe for pedestrians. But the only thing that appeared was a sign cautioning motorists Peds in tunnel.In this day and age when we are worried about asbestos, abortion, endangered species, saving the bears, wetlands, the clarity of Lake Tahoe, etc., why dont we pay more attention to pedestrian safety on Highway 89 and do something like build a separate tunnel for pedestrians to prevent injuries or fatalities?The question is whos responsibility is it to make sure it is safe for pedestrians to go through the Truckee mousehole? Does the responsibility belong to Caltrans, Union Pacific Railroad, or the Town of Truckee?As a concerned citizen, I think it is the responsibility of all three to make sure it is safe for pedestrians to pass under the rails.Chinese laborers bored the Summit Tunnel over the Sierra Summit for the railways in 1877-78. I think Caltrans, or the Town of Truckee could bore a tunnel under the rails in 2005.Gate De MatteiOlympic Valley
A week ago, I drove from my house in Sierra Meadows to the Martis Creek Road area to go for a run. As is normal for this time of year, the parking lot was full. Many people, like myself, had tasted spring and were looking to get out and enjoy it. There were moms with strollers, kids on bikes, walkers, runners and several dogs. I stretched for awhile and slowly began my run. As soon as I passed the locked gate (and the dog waste bag dispenser), I was overcome by the stench of dog feces. The culvert to the left of the road, flowing with fresh snowmelt, was choked with algae. As I continued up the road, so did the smell. This smell persisted for at least 100 yards. While Im sure there are several dog owners that use the Martis Road area and are responsible about disposing of their dogs waste, it became obvious to me that there are too many that do not. As recently reported by the Lake Tahoe Conservancy, dog waste has had a significant negative impact on Lake Tahoe. Dog feces and urine contain a large amount of nitrogen and phosphorus, the nutrients algae use to fuel their growth. Bacterial contamination is another serious effect. Reduced water quality, reduced fish populations and reduced recreational opportunities are just a few of the immediate results.When I finished my run and had returned back to the parking lot, I noticed many Keep Tahoe Blue bumper stickers on the vehicles parked there. While Martis Creek does not flow into Lake Tahoe, the irony was almost as rich as the stench of the dog waste. While disposal bags have been provided for dog owners, too many are not using them. A new approach needs to be taken.Geoff QuineTruckee
Recently a student reflection revealed this about Truckee High School staff: Staff is cheerful, even when were not. Staff keeps their temper long after weve lost ours. They plan field trips, give up lunch, sponsor clubs, become class advisors, help prep AP exams, attend games, host concerts, chaperone dances, coach, and make learning exciting. They help us understand, greet us each day, help solve problems, argue for us to our parents, help us get into college, and work to get us scholarships. They even get us jobs. They care about us and keep us safe. They do all of this selflessly and without expectation.They also put on plays, art shows, and display our work. They feed us, inspire us, entertain us, get after us, enjoy us. We see them early in the morning and late at night. They attend our games, funerals and our graduations. Some are seen bicycling, wake boarding and sailing on Donner, hiking, and bombing the slopes. For years we have trick-or-treated at their houses and had their kids as our friends. Weve been to awards ceremonies that theyve hosted. And it doesnt end there. We have their help when were in car accidents. They visit our hospital rooms, bring homework to us when were sick. Live lives that we respect. Tell us the truth. Some sacrifice time with their husbands, wives, and kids for us. Still others spend their vacations taking us on drama and band trips. Parents come home after back-to-school night telling us that they are proud, because teachers bragged about us.We have all had a chance to work on (or be on or in), films, yearbooks, newspapers, plays, talent shows, academic and sports teams, concerts, mock town councils because staff gives their time. Some brilliantly teach us the hard ones like math and science, or how to write a great sentence. Others cleverly teach us life. We are amazed that: Teachers forgive us Custodians never complainAdministrators give us more chancesBus drivers even let some of us on the bus Tech lab people fix computers over and over againAttendance ladies help us each and every timeLibrarians are always still willing to help SAC staff has never turned us awaySo, let us thank our staff for all that they do for us.Truckee High School Leadership Class
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