Andy Wirth published his latest opinion piece in the Auburn Journal today, titled “Another View: Community input shaping Squaw Valley’s future.” It’s no more than another attempt at misleading someone into believing that the public is supporting his efforts to bring the Village at Squaw Valley project to fruition. We’re not fooled, and we hope you’re not either. It certainly makes us wonder if Andy Wirth is the man we want to shape the future of Squaw Valley, or anywhere else in the North Tahoe region.
Why wouldn’t Andy want to publish that opinion piece in local papers? We’re pretty sure we know why. Here’s a sample from his piece:
“To remain competitive, we have developed — with substantial community input — a plan consistent with our region’s core values relative to environmental stewardship and our mountain resort culture.” – Andy Wirth in the Auburn Journal
In the piece, Wirth garners his idea of public support from the one person that spoke in favor of the project at the recent Placer County supervisor’s meeting. He ignored the fact that roughly 350 individuals, groups and public agencies (including the Town Of Truckee, CHP and others) expressed their concerns or disapproval of the Village project after the draft Environmental Impact Report was released this summer.
Does anybody in Tahoe really believe this line?
“Due to substantial project reductions and investments in roads and mass transit, the drive time between Squaw Valley and Truckee will increase by less than one minute. Squaw Valley to Tahoe City will increase by mere seconds.” – Andy Wirth in the Auburn Journal
We are absolutely certain that had Mr. Wirth published this piece locally, he would have found a multitude of negative comments posted in rebuttal within a very short time. Instead, what appears in the comments section is some classic “astroturfing”. The original comments that appeared with the article are not written by people that live in the Tahoe community, nor are they people that live in Auburn or Placer County. Who are they? Most likely they are paid shills, employees of some SEO company, or maybe Wirth’s high school buddies. We have seen the same tactics used on every pro-Wirth piece published over the last year. Check this example in a recent article in the Sierra Sun. And let’s not forget he was caught authoring his own letter of support by non-profits, comparing himself to Mother Theresa. We encourage you to add some real commentary to today’s piece in the Auburn Journal.
It’s clear that Mr. Wirth chose the Auburn Journal for a reason. It’s Placer County that is slated to approve the Village at Squaw Valley Plan. Where is the official seat of Placer County? Yup, it is Auburn. It’s pretty clear who he is attempting to influence.
Wirth’s editorial was not the only “puff piece” to appear this week. We also noted a piece titled “Andy Wirth is merging business with fun” in the XReplublic blog. While technically a blog, the XRepublic appears to be no more than an SEO padding publication. It’s there only for search engines to find, so Andy can be connected with his favorite keywords like “passionate protector”, “backcountry ranger”, and “adventurous”. The astute reader will note that these types of publications have no pictures, no comments, no advertisements…and likely no real readers. If you take a minute to just Google “Andy Wirth”, you’ll run across a whole bunch of these sort of “articles”. It’s quite clear that Andy is very worried about his public image. These pieces don’t get published for free.
Again, we’re concerned about the future of Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley and the North Lake Tahoe region under the leadership of Andy Wirth and KSL Capital. Our “Keep Tahoe KSL Free” stickers should be available by next week…