Letters to the Editor Nov. 5


I am writing to ask that you deny the Park Cattle master plan amendment on Nov. 6.

First, you are the same commissioners who recently amended the 1996 master plan text which greatly increased the number of houses a rancher can build on ag land over and above the present zoning of one house per 19 acres. Commissioner Nancy McDermid was chair of the planning commission at that time and took the lead role in the 10-year update. McDermid championed revising the clustering bonuses upward as it was supposed to help the ranching community obtain additional profit from developing their land while preserving open space. With the new bonus structure, Park Cattle can build approximately 600 homes if they cluster, leaving the balance of the land in open space. This is many more than the 236 homes that were allowed when Park purchased the property in 1995.  Now, the Park sisters are not satisfied with 600 homes and want upwards of 4,500. My question to you, the commissioners, is "why did you bother to change the master plan if it is not supposed to work for Park Cattle along with all the other ranchers?" 

Second,  you are the same commissioners who passed the Growth Management Ordinance in July 2007. Section 20.560.070 of the ordinance states that "the number of allocations is compounded annually at a rate of 2 percent for the 50 year planning period resulting in a total number of allocations of 26,812." As a member of the committee working on the growth ordinance language, I was told by former County Manager Dan Holler, that 26,812 was the maximum build out of the county as it represented the number of available lots on record at that time. You, the commissioners, were cautioned before adopting the growth ordinance that if you amended the master plan in the future and increased the available residential lots that the maximum build out or total allocation scenario would be a sham.

How can you justify asking the voters to approve the growth management ordinance advisory ballot question in November and then amend the master plan two days after the election by approving an additional 4,500 lots for Park that are not part of the ordinance calculation in July 2007? This would make a mockery of the recently adopted growth management ordinance. How can any commissioner approve a master plan amendment that changes the projected population build-out or total allocations for the county that was the cornerstone of the growth rate in the ordinance?

If the Park Cattle amendment is approved, a terrible precedent will be set, making it extremely difficult  for the commissioners to deny a similar request by any other large landowner. Approval of Park's application would spell the end of the rural character of Carson Valley. Please vote to deny.

Judy Sturgis



Alaska is known for its "Bridge to Nowhere," but Minden is building an expensive 5-foot meandering County Roadside Walk from nowhere to nowhere. In the process the ditch will be covered up and the big trees cut down. The town fathers say "Oh, the sidewalk will provide a way to Minden Park for children. "Pardon me, what about Mono and Esmeralda avenues on either side of the park?"

Wouldn't it have been nice if there was a safe walkway to the swimming pool; or if the six laid-off employees at the library could be re-hired and better library hours could be had.

Yes, I know this was a grant.

L.L. Kerley



In your last issue a young lady, 10-year-old Emma Sperry, wrote regarding the removal of trees along County Road and in other parts of old Minden. I am sure that many others have asked themselves the same question. Thank you Emma for your inquiry and concern. The Town of Minden is removing unsafe very old cottonwood trees as a matter of public safety throughout our old town area. The County Road improvement project is critical for pedestrian safety, drainage and wellhead protection.

The old trees, as well as overgrown volunteer trees, brush and debris in and around the ditch, will be replaced by a landscaped pedestrian walkway similar to the block completed between Fourth and Fifth streets on County Road.

The walkway will be maintained by the Town of Minden and will also have trees that will grow tall with a root system that will not grow into the streets and sidewalks and create the pedestrian safety and drainage problems that unfortunately the old cottonwood trees currently do. We thank Emma for her active participation in the affairs of the community.

Bob Hadfield

Minden Town Board member


I am a student at Carson Valley Middle School. I am 15 years of age and have a project for health class, and it is on tobacco. Smoking in public should not be allowed because non-smokers have the right to not be next to the smoke.

I also think that because you can get cancer by second-hand smoke. All people have rights to do what they want but there is a risk for smoking like cancer and that can lead to losing parts of your mouth.

Such as your jaw (upper or lower), and tongue. It is also bad for your lungs, heart, and liver.

Smokers also have rights to smoke if they want to, but they should have to do it in areas that younger kids and other people that don't want to smell smoke.

Oh yeah, I am also becoming a part of stop at my school.

It is a great way of showing you what your body parts will look like if you smoke and don't stop. Well that's all I have to say on this subject. Thanks for your time.

Shawn Judd

Indian Hills


In September of 2007, Alex Burga of Burga and Associates, owner of the Old Town Antique Store located on the corner of Highway 395 and Eddy Street in Gardnerville, generously donated the use of his building to East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts for the purpose of fire training.

Over the past year, both career and volunteer crews have rotated through the building to train on various skills. The training sessions focused on structure fire strategy and tactics and included size up, command, gaining access, fire attack using standard hose evolutions, search and rescue, large area search, use of thermal imaging, rapid intervention tactics, ventilation, multi-company operations, and personnel accountability.

The ability to perform these skills in an unfamiliar arena is a tremendous benefit to firefighter training and safety.

As of Oct. 1, 2008, East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts has completed training at the Old Town Antique Store and has turned the keys back over to the owner. The East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts Training and Safety Division would like to publicly thank Mr. Burga for the kind donation.

Larry Goss

East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts



Hello. My name is Gus. I'm a 100-pound Rottweiler who wouldn't be alive today without the help of Douglas Animal Welfare Group.

When I was picked up wandering near Highway 88, it was impossible to miss the grapefruit-sized tumor on my back and my cries of horrible pain with every movement I made. In the past, a dog coming into the shelter in this condition would have been "humanely euthanized." But that was before DAWG.

First, a foster home was arranged so that I could have day and night care. Then came expensive vet visits, X-rays, and MRIs, that indicated the need for even more expensive surgery to remove the tumor and fix a compressed neck disk.

Could DAWG save me? Would it be worth the $6,000 plus and countless hours of care it would take? Did I have a good chance for a healthy, pain-free future? And would anyone be willing to then give me a forever home?

DAWG thought so. I think DAWG's president put it best: "We could help a lot of dogs with this kind of money, but ask yourself, is any one dog worth less than all the others combined?" Was it worth it? Yes, it was. Six weeks later I'm still in my foster home and in pretty darned good shape. The tumor was cancer, but was confined with clean edges"a very promising outcome. And the compressed neck disk? Well, if you could see me running, playing ball, rolling on my back, and cuddling with my foster mom and dad, you'd know that's no longer a problem.

So what happens now? While my foster mom and dad love me very much, they have an older gal who is not at all happy with my being here. It's time to move on. Toward that end, I have two goals. Can you help me achieve them?

Goal 1: Find a loving, forever home. I'm a big dog, but I don't need a lot of space. That's because my greatest joy is just to be by my people's side. I'll walk with you, sit with you, and cuddle with you. And I'll put a smile on your face with my "Rottie Wiggle of Joy" every time I see you. I'm a big, goofy, loyal, loving, housetrained, obedient boy, and it's impossible not to fall in love with me. Call the Douglas County Animal Shelter 782-9061 and they'll arrange a meet at my foster home in the Gardnerville Ranchos. You won't regret it.

Goal 2: Pay DAWG back. It's not that they require or even expect payback. But I worry that they've spent so much on me (more than $6,000), that they may come up short when another critter needs help. I would feel so much better if I knew their medical fund was replenished. My foster mom told me about a book called "Pay It Forward." It's the story of a terminally ill young boy with an unfailing belief in an individual's power to change the world and in the ultimate goodness of the human spirit. DAWG exemplifies this spirit and puts it into action every single day. I know times are tough right now, but if each and every one of you could "pay it forward" with even a small donation, it would go a long way toward helping DAWG keep up its good work.

Thank you for helping me and for helping DAWG. I'll write again and let you know how things turn out.

Gus the Rottweiler

Douglas County Animal Shelter



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