What a difference a November makes. The local election, while still not final, has taken South Shore in a new direction. The old guard running for the City Council has been denied and swept out, and the council will welcome three newcomers. It's probably for the best — we need fresh voices. It will be interesting to see if the new council members can grow into governing a city.

All of them seem to be smart, but will they have the wisdom to govern? Will they think strategically or act in the moment? Will they govern with the best interests of everyone in mind or just listen to individual supporters? Can they take the big picture view and recognize the world is changing and South Shore also must change, or will they be stuck in status-quo thinking?

As of writing this, it looks like Measure T will pass by a few votes — and there are winners and losers. I don't think this issue is anywhere near resolved. I would anticipate a lawsuit(s) and, possibly, a new ballot measure to reinstate vacation rentals. Time will tell, but when you take away someone's income it gets personal. We shall see.

Measure T really did show how divided the community is. How split can a vote be? Years ago, we were divided by a state line. Today we are a community divided by age, issue, progressive vs. conservative outlook. It will stay this way for a long time unless the new City Council can show this community the way to compromise.

It was great to see MTV's acquisition of SnowGlobe. I know there are residents who can't stand the event. But in my view, it has been incredibly important and helpful for South Shore. MTV is a global partner South Shore can benefit from by reaching an important tourism market.

The people working at the recreation center are some of the nicest I have come across.

The big picture

California has burned all year long, but the Camp Fire in Paradise and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California are two I have a connection to.

Several years ago, I was doing a tourism project for Butte County and spent a lot of time in Paradise. In the process, I got to know their community and appreciate it. At the time Paradise received a whole lot less attention than Chico but was interesting all its own. So sorry to see this happen.

The Woolsey fire was more personal. I grew up roaming the Santa Monica Mountains. I body surfed Malibu and Zuma beaches. As I got older, I hiked and rode my bicycle through the area. I was just there a few weeks ago for a short getaway. I was all over the burned area: Mulholland and Decker canyons and all the others. Gone. Burned black under the Southern California sky.

I covered every mile of those roads and have suitcases full of memories. I'll be a very old man by the time all that terrain comes back. These devil California fires destroy the land and scar the people who lose everything, or heaven forbid die. It's sad to know it may never be the same.

Is anyone as sick and tired as I am about the hoopla of Black Friday? I mean really.


Enjoy the season, live a little, do something different and reach out to those less fortunate. There are many deserving organizations that can use your help. Support them!

It's a Wrap

This column is dedicated to all who lost their lives in the Thousand Oaks shooting and the devastating fires. Sigh…

Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at carl@smgonline.net.