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The best of Tahoe remains

June 27, 2007

Re "Tahoe Fire: Fighting the Flames," June 26

The trees and houses of South Lake Tahoe are blackened by the devastating Angora fire, but not the hearts of residents. The town hall meeting Monday night was crammed to overflowing with a crowd of locals estimated at 1,200. The common theme: We love our town, and what can we do to help our neighbors who lost everything?

I'll tell you what non-locals can do: Keep coming to visit our beautiful lake. The ash will be gone soon. Come and spend money in our restaurants and our local stores. Leave big tips -- the waitress who brings you your pie may have lost everything but the clothes on her back.

If you have a vacation home that you use once or twice a year or you vacation rent to frat boys having a party, consider long-term renting to one of the 17 hospital employees, the two or three doctors, the accountants, lawyers, waitresses, firefighters, police officers or store owners who lost their homes.

You come to Tahoe for the beauty of the lake, but the real beauty is her locals.

KELLY SHANAHAN MD

South Lake Tahoe

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