Flip-flopping fandango

A few weeks ago, I wrote about being completely neutral, uncaring and apathetic about the prospect of a fairly large casino-hotel project, Tierra Del Sol, being built in my figurative backyard here in Spanish Springs. Since that column was printed on July 21, I’ve had cause to re-think my indifference.

I received three thoughtful responses, which triggered a re-examination. To their credit, those correspondents did not come at me with angry written tantrums, telling me that my head was so far up my blah blah blah that they would never ever read my column and boy they couldn’t wait to boycott all advertisers in the paper.

What they did do was present their case for opposition to Tierra with patience, respect and short, declarative sentences. With such an approach, they got something done. That is, they got me to sit on my patio, add a couple additional cubes to the ole margarita and re-think my happy-go-lucky nonchalance on the issue of casinos out here. The one key point to which the correspondents alerted me was that there is a big difference between Tierra and the Tamarack complex on South Virginia Street. That difference is hotel rooms. Tamarack has zero; Tierra would build 200.

That aspect, when stewed over for a proper length of time, does not settle all that well in the brain pan of your reporter. With those rooms, Tierra could conceivably open the floodgates of Spanish Springs to all kinds of sinners from Susanville, rednecks from Roseville, pinheads from Placerville, mobsters from Marysville and hooligans from Hooterville. In addition, it’s safe to say the project would very probably not improve the traffic situation on Pyramid Highway, which is occasionally hellish and on the verge of becoming regularly nightmarish.

Plus, you have issues such as the possibility of declining property values near a casino complex, the specter of Pyramid becoming loaded with casinos, the twiddling of the county’s master plan to allow satellite casinos, and the potential onslaught of extreme noise pollution in the form of country music cover bands.

So, what the hey, I now hop off the Great Fence of Indifference and land nimbly aligned with the forces of NIMBY. If I was filling out your basic survey, I’d describe myself as somewhere between “strongly against” and “somewhat against.” I guess you could say that I’m now “sorta strongly against.” See you at the council meetings.

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Early playa report: Our cold, wet winter seems to have had a positive impact on the Black Rock Desert. I was out there recently, and the playa was a lot firmer than last year at this time, which means that it will probably be a little less dusty out there for BM’05. As a bonus, a sturdier lake bed may be slightly more efficient in soaking up the thousands of gallons of steaming piss that will soon bombard its surface.