In Response to Eve Quesnel’s article Perceive your Place:
Eve’s article is hopeful, but is our region becoming green? The Truckee-Tahoe region is about as unsustainable as a region could be. Aside from good progress with land trusts acquiring lands and protecting them, most other needed actions are not occurring. We live by importing food and energy for almost all of our needs. Our winter economy is dependent on skiing/boarding, which will probably die off shortly. Second-home owners and visitors expend oil to get here for short visits and oil will become much more expensive in the next few decades. Getting around while here requires a car, due to the sprawl layout. The Tahoe Basin could use an electric alpine rail system, because of its linear pattern, but the TRPA and local agencies have never studied this and have not even developed the necessary travel models, in the past. The forests have been managed in a completely careless fashion for 50 years and so are now overgrown and dangerous. Hotter summers will bring a great increase in wildfires.

Due to global climate change, water supplies will be more difficult to manage, with less snow and possibly less precipitation. Flooding will become much more severe for Truckee (and Reno). No one is planning for these changes. Our future power needs will become very expensive to fulfill. Energy conservation is practical, but the Truckee Donner PUD (TDPUD) and Sierra Pacific are way behind in developing such programs. Current building codes are not nearly strong enough, as they are based on the Calif. Energy Commission standards, which are very conservative.

The TRPA (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency) needs a new Board and stronger statutes controlling them. They have fiddled around, never effectively addressing water quality in the Basin. Fire breaks are needed around most developed areas and few communities are requiring this. And so on.

~ Bob Johnson

Bob, I greatly appreciate your comments. I’ve lived in Truckee for 20 years, so I’ve seen some of the drastic changes that have occurred here. For a few years, honestly, I walked around in a stupor completely astounded at what was going in ‘my’ community. My husband and I, along with many of our friends, contemplated moving to other mountain towns, but alas, the wave of growth and development followed them too. While I too am frustrated by many of the issues you raise (transportation, food, energy, building codes, etc.,) I’ve also witnessed, especially lately, a coming together of locals. If we are in a fight or flight situation, I think we’ll fight to maintain and restore those bioregionalism ideals. I applaud your concerns and the attention you bring to the deficiencies in some of our local systems. Let’s get together on these issues and move in a positive direction!
~ Eve Quesnel

In response to Mayumi Elegado’s article: Coal Critic accused of insubordination:
I would hope that any of us would stand for our beliefs, regardless of the ramifications. I can’t say that I have always done that. My only hope is that Mr. Terrell remembers to be respectful of others- even when they have opposing views.
~ Jennifer Hall

In response to Chris Jennerwein’s article: Rise to the Top: Truckee Sourdough:
Hey, love your bread! How about using organic flour though? It’s not that much more expensive and is better for ya.
~ Norman Ely