December

My View: Notes from the Front Row ™

Local Musings

While some may look at December as a great way to look back and wrap up the year, yours truly will look forward and give you a couple of my hoped for New Year’s resolutions.

  • Mental health in my opinion is the number one issue confronting South Shore. After talking with many people from the mental health field as well as politicians, law enforcement and many others there is no question in my mind there is no more important issues we are facing. Yes its more important the local economy and the lake. For too long this issues has had a stigma that we must get over. This issue is slowing killing part of this community. Mental health issues, addictions and all that it entails are touching everyone. You think everyone has a perfect family they don’t. It is time for mental health professionals, El Dorado County, The City of South Lake Tahoe, Douglas County, Schools Districts, the college, law enforcement, the medical community, the business community and anyone else to come together and find ways and money to improve this situation.
  • Tourist Accommodation Units or TAU’s as they are called need to be put on the table for elimination. For years TAU’s served an important purpose in limiting the number of hotels that could be built bringing some sense and order to the uncontrolled development of thirty years ago. But like most government policies it’s the unintended consequence that comeback to bite and TAU’s have done just that. These very same TAU’s and the artificial value they are creating in old lodging properties have so badly distorted lodging industry property values its preventing new people from buying these properties, retrofitting them with environmental improvements that reduce sediment loading that we are memorialized these bad for the environment structures. Everyone knows this is an issue and the time has come to assess a very simple idea “What if we woke up tomorrow and there were no TAU’s?” How long do we support a policy that in fact is preventing the change we need to improve the lake? How long do we continue to support a policy that is hurting the local economy and in turn hurting the local community? I say times up.

The Big Picture

  • Cuba. Could not agree more with President Obama’s policy change on Cuba. There are two failures here communism and our policy. Maybe after 5o years we should try a different approach? The Cubans are going to love the freedom that eventually comes with constructive engagement. Just ask the Chinese. Could you imagine if Richard Nixon had never went to China? I have long wanted to visit Cuba and I hope sometime in the future that I will sitting at a Cuban baseball game, sipping a Cuban beer enjoying a Cuban cigar.

Recommendation

  • Don’t miss New Year’s Eve at Stateline. Go out party but do it safely. Take selfies post them up, send them out, have fun, have a toast but remember lets in 2015 let’s all just try a little bit harder to make this place a little better for everyone.

It’s a Wrap

  •  On a serious note, this column is dedicated to Dejon “Dede” Smith, the local youth who was killed in the recent storm. I did not know the young man but no parent should have to feel this pain. My sympathies go out to all his family he will be missed by them and his many friends.
  • Finally, I want thank all of you who read this column every month. I appreciate your comments both those who agree and those who don’t. After all it is what makes the world go round.