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Letters to the Editor
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Dear Moonshine Ink:
CARE: What it is

There seems to be a concerted attempted by individuals in our local aviation community to misrepresent the Community Airport Restoration Effort (CARE) and its goals. They label us as a small but vocal minority. Strange. There are only 267 individuals with FAA licenses in the Tahoe Truckee Airport District (TTAD) - less than 1 percent of our community. It would appear that they are a small but vocal minority. Anyway another label they try and paint CARE with is that we are a group who are trying to close the airport. Oh really? CARE's stated mission is ...
"to preserve our mountain community's quality of life and the long-term viability of the Truckee Tahoe Airport by supporting an airport board that will tackle the issues of:
• Noise pollution
• Community safety
• Land Use restrictions
• Appropriate use of tax dollars we provide"
Nothing about closing the airport in there. In fact perhaps some of the more observant of our local aviation community may notice that CARE is working towards "the long-term viability" of the airport.
They suggest that CARE is active for self-serving reasons. Well yes, they're right. We want "to preserve our mountain community's quality of life". Both self-serving and community serving. The aviators? They presumably want to preserve their freedom to fly whatever, whenever, wherever, without regard to any consequences. Cheaply.
CARE is endorsing three candidates in the upcoming election. In order to gain CARE's endorsement the three candidates, Kathleen Eagan, Mary Hetherington, and Paul Vatistas, each had to commit to following CARE's mission. So they too will work towards the long-term viability of the airport by recognizing and working towards solving the issues that are accruing at the airport. Please listen to what they have to say and consider voting for them in November.
~ Andrew Terry, Truckee

Clearing the air
After reading the latest series of opinion letters on the airport, I feel as a non-local, non-vocal, recently-acquired property owner in Truckee, I may have made a mistake in choosing Truckee as a town that I would like to eventually relocate to. Visiting Truckee on August 15 and 16 I experienced first hand the issues that numerous members of the community have raised. Every five minutes there was the drone of planes and jets over Truckee. To my untrained eye these planes did not seem to adhere to any prescribed flight corridors and flew continuously over residential areas. I can understand the concern of the citizens of Truckee, for they are the ones most affected by the airport, not those living on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
Keeping abreast of the Truckee airport issues, I believe some points addressed in the letters of the most strident supporters of the airport need to be addressed.
1. To my knowledge CARE does not advocate the elimination of the airport.
2. It is somewhat disingenuous for a current board member to lay the blame of citizens' concerns about the airport at the doorstep of the Truckee Town Hall's greed for tax revenue and not take any responsibility themselves. Doesn't the airport board itself receive millions in taxpayer money?
3. There is no control tower at the small Truckee airport and it is my understanding the FAA therefore has little control over take offs and landings as well as flight corridors.
4. The actions of the current board promote an increase in air traffic rather than air traffic dictating the actions of the board â€" i.e. Truckee airport's fee structure may have more of an impact than the growth of Truckee.
5. If nearby airports, such as Sierraville, Beckwourth's Nervino, and Reno-Stead have made improvements, there is little need for increased growth at the Truckee airport.
6. I would venture to say that the vast majority of visitors to Truckee never see the airport and it is not their first impression of the town. The vast majority of visitors drive in from the Bay area or Reno and it is the small historic mountain town and the majestic environs that visitors see, not the airport.
7. Do board members really believe that in order to have a first rate community you need to have a large, multi-runway airport. I suggest they take a close look at Park City, Utah a thriving historic mountain town which is 32 miles from Salt Lake City. Park City does not have an airport and some how even managed to have a large part in the 2002 Winter Olympics. A first rate community to most means an excellent quality of life with clean air, water, good schools, excellent hospitals, minimal traffic and noise as well as a sense of community. The current airport, while not large, is first rate â€" in other words, the quality of the airport operation should be considered, not the number of arrivals and departures it can handle.
8. Boards in general are tasked to represent all the individuals whom they serve, not just a small self serving group. One need only to look at the California Medical and Dental Boards, both which have a mix of professional and lay members to serve all members of the community. Does a board consisting only of pilots, the majority of whom do not live Truckee, really represent this community?
9. Most disconcerting of all are the comments of an airport board member who states "I will stand by you to ensure the continued operations of our airport are maintained in a first rate manner without any restrictions whatsoever."
Where in this country can any board or elected body be void of responsibility or accountability to its constituency? Where can any business or government body not have restrictions imposed on them? The citizens of Truckee are not well served by a board that will not address the very real issues of the airport and arrogantly shrug off the concerns of the electorate.
~ Jeffery Pucher, DDS, MS

Why we need Barbara Green
Many years ago when we were living in Portland, the battle cry was, "Don't Californicate Oregon!"
You couldn't find it in the dictionary, but you knew exactly what it meant. In Truckee, we need to raise a similar cry. We face tremendous threats to our town. We need to avert the collapse of our infrastructure and the desecration of our environment. We need a town council with integrity and experience in facing such challenges. We need Barbara Green.
Barbara has been representing Truckee and protecting our interests on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors for the past four years. In spite of often being in the minority, she didn't waver in supporting the protection of our environment. She has the intelligence to realize that it is our environment that is the basis of Truckee's economy. While there has to be a balance between development and the status quo, we can't simply look at the short-term benefit and ignore the long-term damage caused by uncontrolled growth. Her experience on the board of supervisors will help her in dealing with the Placer County Board of Supervisors to try to prevent the overbuilding that is threatening Martis Valley.
We need to have Barbara's voice representing us on the town council. Please join us in voting for Barbara Green for Truckee Town Council in November.
~ Bruce and Marijo Douglass, Truckee

From the editors:
What happens in the outside world affects life here in Truckee. If you don't believe us, ask anyone at TNT how China and a shortage of gypsum impacted the construction industry here in Truckee. Ask anyone who works at Tahoe Forest Hospital's emergency room what happens when war takes one of your most solid workers for a while.
We know our readers know to vote this November; we expect record numbers at the polls nationwide. But we have something special to ask of our readers as they head to the polls this November: please become informed regarding local district board and Town of Truckee elections this year.
Many supporters of John Kerry are not as supportive of their candidate as they are opposed to re-electing George W. Bush to the White House. Many people supporting Kerry feel that the man in the White House is a bully and uses aggression unnecessarily. It's not so different closer to home.
At Moonshine Ink, we attend a lot of board and Town meetings. Some of those meetings have not been pleasant because of personal issues among board members and sometimes staff. If you don't like George W's aggression, would you condone aggression among local board members? Would you vote for the board member who attempted to strike another? Would you vote for the board member who viciously and verbally attacks and attempts to humiliate the staff members serving that board? Would you vote for the board member who condones discrimination against some of the people the board represents?
Would you vote for a board member who is suing the district he represents? Would you vote for the board member who repeatedly interrupts, belittles and demeans a fellow board member, over and over again, at every board meeting? Would you vote for anyone who uses violence or aggression, whether verbal or physical, to accomplish government or personal business?
This may be a small town, but big decisions are made here. When you go to the polls this year, please consider the conduct you expect of your local board and council members.
We'll let you know next month how these issues affect our choice of candidates.

 
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About Opinion

The Opinion Page is your place to spout off. This section contains letters to the editor and longer My Shot pieces. Also, the Spout features two bimonthly perspectives — In the Past, delving into Tahoe Truckee history, and In the Moment, an artistic musing of a moment today.

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March 14, 2019