Hard to believe Summer's almost over, but the kids are back in school, Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and soon the population of Incline will have its annual falloff. I've been away on business so much this summer that it's a bit hard to find things to write about, so herewith that old columnist's standby, the bunch of short, unrelated items.
- It looks like there's actually a chance of the beach issue being put to bed this week. We can expect (it's already begun) the usual flurry of outcry from those who, Chicken Little-like, are sure the sky is going to fall if their view isn't upheld, but in point of fact the Board of Trustees has done yeoman service on this issue and can be expected to come up with a good compromise, the definition of which is that it will please no one completely and won't cut anyone off completely either. I don't know about you, but I for one will be very happy to see this one put to rest once and for all.
- When did public profanity become acceptable? On my first Costco run in quite a while last Saturday there was a young man with a tee shirt, the printing of which I can't reproduce here, but which included a word that, not so long ago, was considered rude in the extreme to use in polite company, much less print on a tee shirt. I take a back seat to no one in my commitment to free speech, but I believe it was Justice Holmes who said that the freedom to swing one's arm ends at the other person's nose. I think that the public display of extreme profanity, whether spoken or printed on garments, rises to the level of "the other person's nose" in more ways than one. I've spent a great deal of time outside the US this Summer, and I hope it won't seem unduly Pecksniffian of me if I say that this is an area where we are far behind others in terms of gentility.
- Having lived in Incline through one full cycle of school years, it's a little strange to see children I've known since they started school going off to college and to watch a new class of IHS Freshpersons walking down Village at lunchtime. This is that proverbial case where the high school kids seem to get younger every year, but in fact it's we who are getting older – each successive class is about the same age, and each is a year younger than we are by comparison to the last class. Still, it's great to see them and to watch them grow up and move on – great for all of us except maybe their parents.
- Despite the staff turnover and the continuing, sometimes laughable, typos, I'm sure you've noticed the improvement in the Bonanza over the months since Terry Drago and Tanya Canino took on the jobs of Publisher and Managing Editor respectively. As a columnist who has nothing whatever to do with editorial policy or management, it's not immodest of me to toot the NLTB's horn. The emphasis on local news and issues and the return to a "community newspaper" concept has, in my never humble opinion, brought the paper back to a par with its quality in the Jurkonis/Carraway era, and may even be expected to surpass it.
- So here we go into another election year, with the Nevada Caucuses in January and then the quadrennial spectacle of a presidential race. Maybe, just maybe, we can keep it civil – at least 67% of us nationally agree that we need a major change, though we may differ reasonably about what that change should be. Let's hope against hope for a decent airing of the issues and a respectful campaign.
Happy Labor Day, all. Let's send the Summer of '07 off with real appreciation for all the joy it brought us from its early start through the great celebration of Red, White, and Tahoe Blue, and on through the glorious August weather we've been having. See you on the lake.