Won't apologize for telling truth
On behalf of the Coalition for Smart Growth, I must respond to Mr. Van Dien's recent letter to the editor in which he mischaracterizes statements made by Lynn Hettrick and disputes the findings of two independent economic studies.
Certainly, Mr. Van Dien is entitled to his opinion, and The Record-Courier has been more than generous in allowing him the ink to voice his view repeatedly. On several occasions, he has attacked Lynn Hettrick, a 14-year veteran and public servant in the Nevada State Assembly and Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, a nationally renowned economist whose client base includes numerous universities and government agencies. Yet, not once has Mr. Van Dien cited a study or any credible source to back up his assertions, only the musings of a fictitious character.
Given Mr. Van Dien's penchant for discussions with imaginary friends, I suppose the facts are irrelevant to him. Since the Coalition members live, work and pay taxes in the real world, we wish to point out a few glaring inconsistencies with "Bo the Builder's" fictional account of what is wrong in Douglas County.
Mr. Van Dien contends that county management "has left taxpayers in a pickle and should resign."
Clearly, the county, as well as our state and nation, is facing an unprecedented budget crisis. Locally, we are experiencing the worst housing market slump in 30 years, yet we have a vocal minority continuing to call for no growth. There are many factors contributing to our current economic situation, some of which are beyond any local control. To place the blame for all the ills in Douglas County on the county manager and developers is not only inaccurate, but irresponsible. Mr. Holler and his dedicated staff serve in an advisory capacity. It is ultimately the responsibility of the elected commissioners to set the direction for the county, make appropriate decisions and be prepared to alter course when those decisions prove to be ineffective to balance the needs of the county as a whole.
Mr. Van Dien also states, "The Coalition for Smart Growth owes the people an apology." We will not apologize for telling the truth. The coalition is comprised of business people, bankers, citizens, ranchers and developers who believe in reasonable growth and protecting property rights. Because we have been active participants in this community for many years, we understand and appreciate the history and rural texture of Douglas County. Based on our experience and well-documented research, we know a flexible, balanced approach to growth generates revenue for the county and provides much needed jobs. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, the coalition remains committed to working with the commissioners and county staff to promote a prosperous community and for that, we will not apologize.
President of the Coalition for Smart Growth
I would like to respond to Mr. Lon Smith's letter which appeared on Jan. 30. If Mr. Smith does not like to read about animals on the front page or anywhere else in the newspaper, he should subscribe to The New York Times or Wall Street Journal. Nevada has thousands of homeless and unwanted animals, as well as many animal heroes such as service dogs. Getting the word out to the public may help animals get the attention they deserve and possibly save some from being put down because people are not aware of their needs.
A good time to invest in Valley
We hear so much spin of the stories; economic slow down, collapse of the real-estate market, flailing consumer confidence, the war, etc. Locally, with big master plan amendments, the flood plain debacle, backroom politics that make me nauseous, and fights over water, all of this can suck the lifeblood from anyone.
Yet during times of hardship, individuals (and communities) can reach into themselves to display those positive attributes we call character.
A community is least about the bricks and buildings, land use and the like. A solid community is built upon relationships, synergies and engagement; it is similar to making a house a home. Our debates on growth and resources are important, but it more important for the community to grow and mature in ways beyond the inept policies of a myopic county government. Growth is multidimensional; lets not get too fixated on the physical, it is time to invest in the cultural, educational, and recreational aspects. We may find more agreement and more reasons to trust each other without the imposing fingers of a misled government.
We have many opportunities to grow within the community; two are striking. First, a thank-you to Mr. Raymond Sidney for planting a seed in the conversion of the old lumber building into a Center for the Arts. Yet, we do not want to become a community dependent upon handouts; it is up to the community to make it work. Secondly, we are fighting to retain a community college, similarly, the seed was provided and it is a valuable institution that takes a community to make it work. There are many others, but these two initiatives are worth the time to get involved and support. We all learned early in life, nothing of value is free and you can only get back what you put into it.
Now is a great time to invest in our community, you are likely to enjoy the returns.
Dedication should be for all people
Each year, at this same time, the United States puts everything to one side in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights he stood for. Throughout the years, since his assassination, there have been many heartfelt dedications to this great man.
There have been parks and statues in his likeness dedicated to him. Not to mention the many streets, overpasses and large amounts of freeway sections that are in his honor. Then there are the hospitals and churches. The list goes on and on of things dedicated to Dr. King including a federal holiday where most people get a day off, if they like it or not, to reflect on the great deeds on this man.
"On that same day on the same hour when Dr. King was assassinated, 25 years earlier, tens of thousands of Jews were being rounded up all throughout Europe in what later on would be called the largest and most horrific cases of mass murder in recorded history."
So now this author asks: where's their holiday?
I for one strongly believe that all these dedications to Dr. King were only given to suppress all the hatred that was before, during and after his assassination. Honor had nothing to do with it, civil rights leader or not.
Yes, Dr. King was a great man who wanted to see the end of oppression and equal rights for everyone and not just for blacks either.
But stop and think. Were there not people just like Dr. King that were murdered by the Nazis?
People who had hopes and dreams just like he did. They too wanted equal rights. They too had a voice that cried out for freedom, but it only fell on deaf and hateful ears and was lost in the very dark pages of world history.
We're far too selfish when we honor the death of just one great man when there were millions of great people who died before him. Maybe for some, the past should just be forgotten, and maybe some just don't care.
During the Holocaust there were entire families erased from the face of the earth as their bodies went up in smoke. I don't see anyone taking a day off for them.
When the assumed body count was in for the European theater of operation after World War II, there were many more than 50 million plus dead from the end results of what the Nazi's started.
I used the word plus because of the people that were never found, and most likely will never really know just how many people really died.
I like to use the term, "Jesus wept as God counted for only He knows for sure."
So if we're going to dedicate, honor or just take a day off to reflect on a great man, then let's do it for all the great people who died crying for freedom.
Martin Luther King was only one man who died in the multitudes of his own race of people and indeed a great man was he that should never be forgotten.
But let us not forget the multitudes of people who believed in the same things as he did who died in concentration camps all over Europe simply because they were Jews.
They too had a voice that cried out, "we too, have a dream..."
What happened to Americans?
What has become of America(ns)? Our founding fathers established this country with limitations on government. The government was only to defend the country, deliver the mail, protect its citizens freedom and to make one currency.
To defend America an armed force was formed that was to be the best on Earth. On the currency, the word "God" was placed. Those founding fathers expected that all Americans would be responsible for his or her actions and own well being. The people of 250 years ago hung horse thieves.
In less than 250 years, look what this country has become.
Government is involved in almost every phase of life.
It funds things such as teapot museums, farmers to not grow crops, supplement crops such as tobacco, give grants to police departments to watch for seatbelt compliance and on and on. It takes months of labor, from each citizen, just to pay the taxes put on them by out of control governments.
The Supreme Court decided that no government can have a religious scene or statement on its property. Have you ever wondered then, why these judges take an Easter and Christmas break. We cannot even do away with mass murderers let alone hang horse thieves thanks to them.
Police officers, fire department personnel and UAW workers, to mention a few, make far more than our military.
For sure these groups have much better retirements. None of these groups spend months away from family and friends, sleep in the dirt and eat MREs. I'm not picking on these occupations, they just come to mind.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how much tax money goes into education and the elderly, it is never enough? Our founders assumed that we would plan and prepare for our retirement.
That brings to mind just what social security has become. It was established as a political move that was meant to supplement retirement income.
A president funded a war with the funds and congress has added all kinds of programs that have no relationship to retirement.
The average retired person still charges on credit cards and states they have to live on a fixed income. At least we know that every month we have money coming in.
In this moment of my madness I won't even go into good old Pinky who put up billboards claiming to be independent.
When you vote, try to filter out all of the BS and vote for the person(s) who might just shrink government and return it to what the Minute Men fought for.
TRIAD celebrates 12th anniversary
The 12th annual signing of the charter and declaration of the Douglas County TRIAD will be held at Douglas County Senior Center on 11:30 a.m. Feb. 20.
The document will be signed by Douglas County TRIAD Chairwoman Samantha Heers, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini, East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts Deputy Chief Bobby Wartgow, and Douglas County Senior Services Supervisor Warren Bottino.
The senior center lunch and monthly birthday celebration for Douglas County seniors will follow the signing.
In 1985, the National Sheriff's Association, the International Chief's of Police Association and AARP agreed to work together to reduce the victimization of the elderly.
This formed the first TRIAD chapter. Since that time, over 400 TRIAD chapters have sprung up nationwide.
In February 1996, Douglas County TRIAD was formed, working toward the one goal of enhancing the quality of life for our senior citizens.
This is accomplished by sponsoring various programs and providing educational seminars benefiting Douglas County seniors.