april tahoe mt. news .. unedited
Editor's note: This is a monthly article following one of the hundreds of people who lost their homes in the Angora Fire in summer 2007.
By Kathryn Reed
It’s Easter Sunday and John Mauriello is with Tara Brennan and Tony Colombo at their property in the Angora burn area. A toast is interrupted.
Mauriello says a couple squad cars from El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department show up because some guys have been seen stealing from construction sites.
El Dorado County sheriff’s Detective Matt Underhill said because the goods were returned immediately no further investigation was done by his department. He worked on a couple construction theft cases in late summer, and then a burglary earlier this year involving someone who did house cleaning at a home in the area that had nothing to do with construction.
Mauriello says word on the street is thefts are going on up there, but Underhill says otherwise. Besides the thefts, Mauriello is tired of all the dogs in the area coming up with the contractors. He says the workers aren’t good about cleaning up after their animals.
The retired 69-year-old still is on the fence about rebuilding. He went to a meeting about green building last month at the college.
“It was nothing but a pitch. I thought it was ridiculous and I left,” Mauriello said. “It was a waste of my time.”
Despite a slew of agencies and green related entities handing out information, the two key speakers did seem to be mostly touting their businesses and what they personally could offer the Angora survivors.
Mauriello was also there to ask a question for a neighbor who is building green and wants thicker walls for better insulation. A Tahoe Regional Planning Agency official told Mauriello to tell his friend coverage would be the issue. Or, he could lose square footage inside to make it work.
“If TRPA is so concerned about everything and building green, shouldn’t they make a couple minor exceptions?” Mauriello asked.
Since moving back to the burn area as a renter, Mauriello said the winds are something to behold.
“Without the tree canopy, those winds come down. The winds are horrible. This house literally shakes and it’s a new house,” he said.
Mauriello is still working on his inventory. It’s time consuming to remember everything that was in his place on Mount Olympia Circle before it became ash on June 24.
Instead he is looking for more favorable activities – possibly taking a music class at the college this quarter, while definitely being back at the campus gym.
He’s not sure what to make of being summoned for jury duty twice this month.
“I guess they are making up for lost time,” Mauriello quipped, since these are the first notices he’s received since the fire.