Sierra Sun editorial: The advice is simple — speak up, speak out |

Sierra Sun editorial: The advice is simple — speak up, speak out

EDITOR’S NOTE: Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Sierra Sun editorial staff.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — If the past couple weeks are any indication, the power of the human voice still can resonate. Loudly.

Exhibit A: The Tahoe Vista Animal Shelter. When the idea first became public last fall to shut it down, and have Placer County give the town of Truckee a $750,000 check to combine services there, it saw some brush back.

However, as we published stories and opinion pieces, the Facebook posts in the social media world began to grow, and so, too, did the public conversation. By the turn of the new year, we were being copied on many emails from concerned residents to the Placer County Board of Supervisors, urging the elected officials to consider another option.

The public feedback (or kickback, depending on your view) worked, and the board decided last week, 3-1, to delay a decision for six months to allow residents to work with government to develop other solutions to benefit both communities.

Exhibit B: Martis Valley West. The furor among residents and conservation groups over the potential Tahoe Basin development of luxury homes as part of this larger land conservation deal has been growing for many months.

It’s not surprising. After all, any development proposal, particularly if proposed inside the Tahoe Basin, is going to receive massive criticism from a very vocal portion of our population.

This one, however, had the added variables of “ridge lines” being compromised, and it would have needed the TRPA to bend the rules a bit to make it work. It drew the ire of locals, leading to the scheduling of open meetings from those against the project and plenty of media coverage not just locally, but throughout Northern Nevada and California.

Just this Tuesday, however, the developer pulled the Tahoe portion from the plan, based on public feedback and criticism, according to East West Partners (or, should we now say, Mountainside Partners).

These are two recent examples in which a higher power — government, for one; and big development, for two — have proposed a big-deal plan, and the public has fought back in search of something better. Some might like it, and some might hate it, but it’s an incredible example of how we the people still can make a difference.

It’s with this in mind that we encourage residents to use these examples as ammunition to responsibly and effectively question those higher powers when something deserves to be questioned.

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