Letters to the Editor Oct. 29


One can't blame Realtors, builders, and housing industry suppliers for enjoying their prosperity during the recent protracted housing bubble. Unfortunately their wish for a resumption of the good years as just around the corner, asserted in a guest opinion "County must be ready to revive itself," is equivalent to faith in the tooth fairy.

That author rejects the 2 percent annually compounded growth limit ordinance as too limiting. According to Nevada's state demographer population grew during the frothy bubble period 1996 to 2006 at 3.3 percent compounded. According to the U.S. Census Bureau it was 2.1 percent. We'll know in 2010 who's right.

Could homes grow at 3.3 percent while population grew at 2.1 percent? Could be. In the same period school population actually fell 6 percent. That tells us something. Could it be that's why there are so many empty homes around?

I suggest the Realtor and builder folks should accept that the bubble they promoted will probably never happen again. It would never have happened had the nation and the world not pyramided debt to the most ridiculous levels since the 1929 crash. Sure, residents were better off during the boom, but it was a false boom riding a wave of overbuilding, debt, and speculation.

When buyers had no down payment, when speculators were taking on second and third homes to flip using refinancing of their first home, no problemo, there's a special mortgage for you. Now we know it as sub-prime.

Home building should never, never be the engine driving a local economy. In the long run housing grows no faster than the national population, which probably grew at a rate of 1 percent a year over the last 10 years. The supply of rich Silicon Valley emigrants is about finished. The construction work that attracted hundreds of illegal immigrants is also finished.

Douglas businesses ought to accept the possibility that the 2010 census will be closer to 46,000 than 52,000, and the excess supply of homes might last until 2012 or 2015. If you build it, they might not come.

In Carson Valley we now have an opportunity to make a community prosper the old fashioned way, by exchanging our money amongst the 40,000 or so of us to pay for the wide variety of goods and services to supply essentials and luxuries too and recreation and entertainment. Let's focus on making the Valley's mountains, rivers, and wide open spaces into an attraction for tourists and maybe future retirees. Instead of paving it over.

We may yet be grateful that retirees moved here with their fixed but steady incomes. But we have to put priorities straight first, and forget about construction as a way of life, nor an industrial worker's paradise either. That goes for county government as well. Growth is not essential to prosperity.

The slow growth ordinance is most likely an anachronism. It allows Valley population to exceed 100,000 over 30 to 40 years. That's paving over the Valley. But it won't likely happen anyway.

Jack Van Dien



Thought I would answer Rob Wigton's question, "Are we better off now than in 2000-05?" Well, Rob, I don't know about right now, but I was better off in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s, before the building boom.

I did not have the crime, the drugs or the traffic problems that I have now, and my taxes were one-fourth what they are now. I don't know why my taxes have gone up because growth pays for itself. At least that is what we have been told. Maybe the county is hoarding my additional taxes somewhere. Maybe they have this huge vault in the bottom of the old Minden Inn.

If we end up with unlimited growth again, we are going to need a bypass road for Gardnerville and Minden, because it takes as long to get through the two towns as it does to get to Carson City. And who's paying for that?

Oh, I forgot, growth will pay for it. Silly me. Also, if growth pays for itself, why are Douglas County and the surrounding communities asking the Legislature to remove the tax cap so they can raise our taxes again to pay for the infrastructure that supposedly growth has already paid for?

Sorry Rob, but my life is not better than it used to be.

Dale Bohlman



I strongly believe that a "no" vote on county Question 1 is good for Douglas County. I do not believe in uncontrolled growth or paving the Valley. I bought property in Carson Valley for the same reason everyone else did or will in the future, because it is both rural and beautiful.

I am in favor of managed growth in our Valley and especially in preserving the water and agricultural resources we enjoy today. I have now read the entire master plan with emphasis on the growth management element. This portion of the master plan was updated in 2006 in response to the Sustainable Growth Initiative having passed in 2002. I can see the master plan provides for an average growth objective from 2-3.5 percent. I believe our county staff and board got it right in this updated master plan. Indeed, a permit allocation system must be devised in order for our county staff and commission to maintain compliance with the growth management element's provisions. My objection to the ordinance is contained in section 20.560.060 where commissioners can only make changes not affecting the total number of allocations or the 2 percent growth rate. These cornerstone provisions will remain in perpetuity unless placed on the ballot as an advisory question for voters.

The casual reader might think this is a good move for the people of our county. It is furthered in the ordinance that the 2 percent rate is compounded as if to infer this was a compromise by the SGI representatives who helped craft this ordinance.

The real problem I have with the growth ordinance and permit allocation ordinance as approved is that it removes from our elected officials the latitude to react to changing market conditions and special circumstances as they are charged to do by their very charter.

Instead it allows for the vocal minority in our Valley to play politics without actually running for office. I commend each of our commissioners for their dedication to the county and its citizens. I expect that our votes count for something and if I wanted to run the business of the county, I'd run for office, not handcuff the elected officials. If they don't do the job to your liking, vote them out. If you think you have a better idea, run for office, attend public debates, but get involved and don't let the "vocal minority" continue to portray themselves as the only good solution for our county. If this question is defeated it means very little in the near term as our county is in the throws of a difficult economic downturn and a substantial real estate market adjustment.

Defeating this ballot question gives our incoming board of commissioners the latitude to re-visit this issue. It looks quite likely that the new board will have three of the five members who approved the ordinance this past July, so there will likely not a hasty setting aside of this legislation. I urge you to finish reading the paper, get a copy of the ordinance, the master plan and read them all for themselves. They're all public documents.

Dan Dykes



In the Oct. 22 issue of the Record-Courier, Mr. Rudy McTee, chairman of the Coalition for Smart Growth, Mr. Rob Wigton, co-owner of Century 21 Clark Properties, and others have expressed their disdain for the county growth ordinance, which is to help control growth.

I will vote for the ordinance because I feel it is the great Douglas county compromise.

The ordinance is basically a compromise drafted by a committee of members from the Smart Growth Coalition, the Sustainable Growth Committee, the county and the community. It may not be the perfect document as it is impossible to please all parties when you have two opposing opinions, but it has been approved and adopted by the county commissioners.

I can understand the position of Mr. McTee and others because greater growth means greater market sizes and that means greater profits to businesses.

Greater growth also means greater infrastructure which means greater taxes to the citizens of Douglas County.

Businesses serve more as tax collectors than as tax payers. The money to pay their taxes comes from the prices they charge for the goods and services they sell in Douglas County.

Isn't it time we stop the debate over the rate of growth and the accompanying expenses in defending the two positions and accept the compromise?

Sanford E. Deyo



The senior population " age 65 and above " of the United States is increasing at a significant rate " much greater than any other age group. For every county that has seen a decrease in seniors there are 2 other counties with an increase in their senior population. The seniors have to live somewhere. Certainly it is much more economical to live in Carson Valley than any location in California, Oregon or Washington, yet why is the senior population of Douglas County on the decline?

Douglas County probably has the most inadequate senior center in comparison to any other county in the western United States. In addition, our County Commissioners have made significant reductions in county senior services during the last few years. Our local politicians apparently believe that retirees, who potentially might move to Douglas County, won't hear about these inadequacies, but they are wrong. The word gets around especially to those seniors who are looking for an area in which to retire. At a recent Gardnerville Town Board meeting the seniors of Douglas County were referred to as "old gummers." This attitude toward seniors prevails with most of our county and town governments. Tax them and don't provide them any services.

When you drive down Highway 395 it is apparent that approximately 20 percent of the Minden and Gardnerville retail and business facilities are vacant. I know that our businessmen would like to blame this problem on the national economy but much of it is the result of our declining senior population. Our county has very few tourist attractions and most of the thru traffic on Highway 395 is commercial, so practically all of the local businesses are dependent on our county residents. I just don't understand why Douglas County doesn't care about its senior population. We don't do anything to attract seniors to our county and what is worse we are driving out some of the local seniors. It is time for our local politicians and businessmen to wake up.

Paul Lockwood



It has been at least a year or so. When there was a permit required for a new casino and hotel at the north end of Douglas County on the east side of Highway 395.

The person who wanted a high sign on his property was declined of open fire and high of the sign code in Douglas County. Again and again this subject came up and recently it was declined again with the approval of two members of the planning commission. When the first time came along there were many people in favor of this project and only some people who live in the area oppose this.

Times are not getting better and many people have gone into foreclosure because a lot of people did not want growth in Douglas County and they have their wish fulfilled. If you drive down Highway 395 you see more stores for sale or vacant because they do not see a depression in Douglas County.

Even if our house value goes down our taxes will be the same or maybe higher. The planning department refused this casino which could spend maybe $30- or $40-million in Douglas County, hiring people to build and to be employed by this company.

I know that the salary of the planners will be the same, but the working man has to keep up with taxes, insurance, etc.

We need this project and even the existing casinos will profit from the people who receive an income out of this.

There are many stores in Douglas County who would love to see their income become bigger and Douglas County could use the room tax and gaming taxes for a better future and keep their people working and schools filled up again.

Garry den Heyer



Sifting through the Park Cattle proposal with all its extensive data has been a challenge for many members of our community. Park Cattle has done an impressive job of promoting their proposal to develop a significant portion of Carson Valley, and I certainly have no animosity toward Brad Nelson or Rob Anderson. They both seem like pretty nice guys. But they are salesman, and their sales pitch is classic.

But Park Cattle is not in this to provide a senior center; they are not in this because they endorse a horse park; they are not in this because they support higher education. Those are the elements of the sales pitch. They are in this for the money " money that will be generated by the development of a significant part of our community. That is the product.

So let's take a look at that product. I would ask each of you to picture yourselves standing on Buckeye Road, in front of the elementary school, and looking to the north. Now try to envision some 1,500 homes between you and Muller Lane.

Now look to the south and try to envision 3,000 more homes between you and Toler Road. Can you see it? Can you see 4,500 homes?

Is that what you want for Douglas County? Park Cattle is trying to sell a product that the majority of the residents of Douglas County have repeatedly said they don't want " high density housing on small lots; a combination not in concert with the rural atmosphere of our county, or the growth element of the county master plan.

Park Cattle would have us believe that, if we don't do this deal now, we'll never have another opportunity.

Just what a good salesman might be expected to say.

But I would submit that If we significantly alter the rural feeling of this Valley, which this plan does, the things that draw people here will be lost forever and people will stop coming.

If they want to live in Orange County, they will stay in California.

If you believe as I do that this is a bad plan for our county, please contact your county commissioners and ask them to vote no on this amendment to the master plan.

Gary Griffith



I have lived here for 8 years, and since the trees on County Road have been cut down, I cannot tell that it is my street. It is all because they are going to build a sidewalk. I completely understand that we need sidewalks, but we can build them out because our street is so big.

The main reason why they are building the sidewalk is to cover a ditch, but in all the years we have lived here, no one has ever gotten hurt or drowned in the ditch. They have even cut down the trees in Minden Park, and some of the trees aren't even rotted. They are destroying the natural beauty of Minden, and we need to stop them now.

Emma Sperry, 10



James Rose asks "Where's Waldo?" My question to Mr. Rose is "Are you paying attention?"

Assemblyman James Settelmeyer represents this district with dignity and devotion. As a matter of fact, he's recently been named the Small Business Administration's Region 9 Ombudsman, a volunteer position. That is no small task and one that speaks to Assemblyman Settelmeyer's deep commitment to our county, our state and our region.

It will be small business which brings us out of our current economic slump by creating the jobs that we need; we must have Assemblyman Settelmeyer's help to shorten the time it takes to do so.

Small business has endorsed Assemblyman Settelmeyer and we urge you to thank him as well by sending him back to Carson City to represent us.

Cheryl Blomstrom

Nevada director National

Federation of Independent Business

Jacks Valley


I attended every fire department barbecue, spaghetti feed and pancake breakfast this year, and the only two candidates that were at all of them were Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, and county commissioner candidate Mike Olson. Assemblyman Settelmeyer donated to every one of the volunteer fire departments fundraiser; no other candidate did that.

Settelmeyer and Olson listened to their constituents; apparently their opponents only felt certain ones are worthy. The two candidates who are worthy of my vote are Assemblyman Settelmeyer and Mike Olson.

We need to elect officials who are accessible for their constituents.

Mary Jane Harding



Heading into this election, I was not sure who I was going to vote for as my choice to represent District 39 in the Nevada State Assembly. But after the candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters held Oct. 16, I decided to do some research. This was prompted by the absence of incumbent James Settelmeyer. I was insulted that Mr. Settelmeyer was not there to join in the discussion of issues addressed by challengers JoEtta Brown and David Schumann. Every candidate running for county commissioner and every other candidate for Assembly District 39 were there, but Mr. Settelmeyer was absent. It appears that Mr. Settelmeyer expects us to just vote for him without any information. Since I refuse to do that, I decided to gather my own information.

After consulting the records for the 2007 Legislative session, I was disappointed by what I saw. Of the nine bill draft requests submitted by Mr. Settelmeyer, four did not receive a hearing, two had no action taken, and one was indefinitely postponed. Of the two that were passed or adopted, one was only a resolution designating "Kick Butts Day" in Nevada. After looking at this list, it seemed like Mr. Settelmeyer really didn't do much for Douglas County. I'm sure that there are many reasons for these results (including some beyond Mr. Settelmeyer's control), but the fact remains that little came from our assemblyman.

I want my representative to be someone who can get things accomplished to help out the citizens of Assembly District 39. In my mind, this person is JoEtta Brown. Mrs. Brown is well versed in fiscal matters having served as vice-president of American Savings Bank. She also testified at the state Legislature in 2005 in favor of the Property Tax Cap that year. In addition, by being a Democrat, she will most likely be in the majority party of the State Assembly. This is a huge advantage when it comes to having bills heard in Legislative committees.

I hope that you join me in voting for JoEtta Brown for State Assembly District 39. Her intelligence and financial experience will help not only our District, but the State as a whole, in these trying economic times.

Bruce Armbrust



I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the assertions about Assemblyman Settelmeyer in Mr. Rose's letter in Friday's paper. Mr. Rose, a life-long Democrat, whose front lawn sports the campaign signs of every Democrat running for office this year, says he is now going to support Settelmeyer's opponent? Should we be surprised?

The League of Women Voters debate was originally scheduled for Oct. 15. Assemblyman Settelmeyer had planned on attending, as did many of the politically active women of the community. The date was then changed to Oct. 16, and Settelmeyer had already accepted two speaking engagements in Reno. From the amount of attendance at the debate, it seems that many other people had conflicts as well.

Donna Baushke



I have had the opportunity over these past few months to thoroughly examine the candidates for District 1 county commissioner. My decision to vote for Greg Lynn as the best choice is based on many factors. I highly recommend, if you haven't done so already, to spend a few minutes reviewing Greg's contributions to Douglas County at www.electgreglynn.com. You'll discover he is the most knowledgeable candidate running in District 1, and I fully support his election as our next county commissioner.

Kathryn Z. Zogorski



My name is Cindy Trigg and I am the current vice president of the Douglas County School Board. I am respectfully asking for your vote in the upcoming election. It has been an honor to serve on this school board with my fellow colleagues. We were voted the school board of the year in 2007 by the Nevada Association of School Boards.

I have worked hard over the last four years to make sure that I have focused on keeping the needs of our children first. The board oversees many aspects of managing your childs education and the system, My goal and focus has been to put our children's needs first. My priorities are safety, student achievement, parental involvement, our fiscal responsibility is to make sure we can meet our priorities. Making sure you know where to go to be an advocate for your child.

Our collaborative efforts on the board have paid off, Jr. ROTC, a new superintendent, new career and technical classes, increased rigor, changes in policy for advanced placement, zero tolerance policies on bullying, gangs, drugs and alcohol, to name only a few and just recently coming to consensus on budget cuts that saved our tutoring money for the elementary schools.

I have earned the respect of my colleagues by being voted into leadership positions on the board and being appointed to the board of directors of the Nevada Association of School Boards. Communication skills and consensus building will be critical for the board going forward. We will be facing massive cuts mandated by the state budget and will need to work together to find solutions rather than trying to advance anyone single agenda. Working together with our community resources, the business community and innovative ideas from all sources.

I have been endorsed by the Nevadans for Quality Education, a non-profit group that has committed to finding a stable and predictable way to fund education in Nevada. I will be joining them at the upcoming legislative session to make sure all our voices are heard for education in Nevada.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Cindy Trigg



There's an opportunity to make an investment for the future of children and schools in Douglas County. That investment is a vote for Greg Felton as our Tahoe representative on the Douglas County School Board. We have three children attending Zephyr Cove Elementary and Whittell High School and we understand the issues and opportunities that face our district. We continue to be concerned and disappointed in the lack of representation from incumbent Cindy Trigg.

Greg Felton has been a longtime, active participant in school board meetings, and with his four children also in the district, he is keenly aware of the needs and issues facing our communities. Greg has been a consistent leader throughout the Lake school consolidation effort, radon mitigation repairs, district-wide budget review and more. We appreciate his expertise, smart recommendations and overall caring concern for our schools. With 22 years of management and board experience, Greg will employ much-needed creative solutions for the betterment of the district and for the future of our children. We encourage you to join us and many others to vote for Greg. We ask for your support of Greg Felton, Douglas County School District Board.

Andy and Tracy Owen Chapman

Zephyr Cove


As president of the Douglas County School Board, I want to thank the Douglas County commissioners for passing a resolution supporting the school continuation bond. They did so despite the fact that the county would receive the majority of the taxes now going to schools should it not pass. We are grateful to the commissioners for acknowledging that this bond is the right thing to do for the students and citizens of Douglas County.

I also want to thank voters who already voted "yes" on the school continuation bond, and urge those yet-to-vote to do so.

Here is my top five list of reasons to vote "yes:"

No. 5 " Our students face serious facility needs. The citizens committee that visited the school sites determined that school buildings have critical, urgent needs such as new roofs and heating systems. You can review the project list at www.douglaskids.org.

No. 4 " Only a bond can fund the needs. The school district conducts its routine maintenance from the proceeds of the Operating Funds received from the state. However, as our schools age, they need larger ticket items. Bonds are one of three sources of revenue we can use for these projects. Current bonds are retiring. When they are gone, the second source, government services tax, will be gone, too. The third source, the residential construction tax, fluctuates each year and doesn't produce anywhere near the needed revenue. Selling Kingsbury Middle School may be a great idea for the district to pursue when the real estate market improves; however, the proceeds from that asset will not be available in time to meet current urgent needs.

No. 3"The district has a proven record. Douglas County Schools turn out a great product. With far less than the national average in per pupil funding, our student achievement is far greater than the national average and is regularly at the top of Nevada districts. Not only do our students excel, we also practice prudent financial management. Our last bond was to last 10 years, but we have not returned to the voters for 16.

No. 2"There are accountability measures. There is built-in accountability with this bond. The Douglas County Debt Management Committee approves all bonds, ensuring that the district has reserved funds for a years' worth of payments. By law, bonds cannot be for a longer duration than the lifespan of the project they fund. Also, after the election, an oversight committee will be established to assure that only funds which are needed are used, that the highest priority projects are done first, and that the district uses pay-as-you-go when possible.

No. 1"The continuation bond will not change your tax rate. Passage of the bond will not increase taxes. Failure will not decrease them"the amount going to schools now would just go to other government entities.

Please vote "yes" on the school continuation bond so that these funds can remain dedicated to the improvement of our school facilities. It is an investment that will benefit our students as well as our community's future.

Teri Jamin



I have been a teacher in Douglas County School District for almost 19 years. I have been through multi-track, year round and watch our school strain with the constant use. I have seen aging school roofs leak, taught in rooms that were 55 degrees in the winter and rooms flooded from old bursting pipes. I have also seen our wonderful custodians deal with all these emergency situations with amazing professionalism and frustration knowing that there was no money to do anything other than a temporary fix.

I know that times are hard and money is tight for everyone. However, we owe it to our children to provide them with schools that are maintained. The school continuation bond is not asking for our schools to be in Cadillac condition, but they should at least be a Chevy. The passing of this bond will not raise or lower your taxes. It will just assure that the money will not go to another bureaucratic organization. We owe it to our children. I urge you to please vote "yes" for the school continuation bond.

Susan Lacey


Dougals County Public

Employees Association president


Ms. LaMoyne Bibbero's letter on Oct. 22 in response to Debra Chappell's letter referring to vandalized and stolen political signs was very disturbing to me. Regardless of who you support in this election year, it is never OK for someone to deface, destroy, or steal someone's sign. Political signs are one way we voice our freedom of speech. You might not like a sign someone puts up on their lawn, but it is their right to voice their opinion.

I know for a fact that the road signs that were put up by Obama supporters were bought by hard working Americans. The campaign did not pay for those signs. They are a direct result of the hard work that many here in Douglas County have done. The money came from individual donations. So when someone steals or destroys these signs, you have stolen my right to free speech. If caught stealing or destroying a sign, one can face a fine of up to $250.

Ms. Bibbero, if you can't stand looking at the Obama signs in Jacks Valley, I suggest you drive up and down Highway 395 between Jacks Valley Road and Minden and look at how many McCain/Palin signs there are that have not been stolen or defaced. Perhaps that will make you feel better this election season.

Helen Costa



Though somewhat flattered by LaMoyne Bibbero's recent flamboyant descriptions of my "humongous Obama billboards" as "Vegas strip meets Jacks Valley" (letter of Oct. 22), and further delighted that she does indeed take notice of them daily, in the interest of full disclosure I cannot take full credit for the grandiose marketing display she so indignantly describes.

Though I do have an obviously effective banner on my front porch, I doubt that it alone could have attracted the attention her glitzy-over embellished description of it has. For anyone tempted now to hop in the car and head north to Jacks Valley hoping to find the Douglas version of the final stop on the Apple Hill map, or the Vegas inspired dancing water show with the Obama/Biden neon sign atop a replica of the Eiffel Tower that Ms. Bibbero so lavishly describes, I fear you'll be sorely disappointed.

For I, alas, have only one meager 4-by 8-foot road sign on my own property to offer (nope... no bakery, crafts or wine tasting I'm afraid) and disappointingly, it is smaller than the McCain sign across the street that Ms. Bibbero also drives by daily but failed to mention. The other "humongous" Obama/Biden signs she attributes to me are on other owners properties - sorry Ms. Bibbero, I can't help the fact that there are several Obama supporters in the neighborhood.

She goes on to assert that this is the "in your face approach" of the entire Democratic Party. As opposed to what? The oh-so-discreet McCain/Palin signs plastering the 395 corridor or worse - the Rush Limbaugh induced hate rhetoric shouted at recent Palin rallies? Your right, that's not in your face, it's an all out assault on our complete national sensibilities!

Before one makes sweeping assumptions about ones neighbors, Ms Bibbero, perhaps you should know that some of the Obama signs that you refer to, that "stare you in the face" daily as you drive by, sit on Republican and non-partisan owned properties as well " and I doubt that they would appreciate being lumped in with the party that you so mightily disdain.

In your indignation and outrage over a simple sign expressing a political preference, you seem to have missed the point of my original letter entirely. That campaign signs do sit on private property and we are all entitled by law to display them, whomever we are supporting. And the principle that affords this freedom Ms. Bibbero, that you seemingly find so offensive, is the very one that enables people like you to vote exactly as you please.

So Ms. Bibbero, thank you for the recent Vegas comparison and ensuing publicity, and for those flocking to see the Obama/Biden'08 display for yourself, I'll warn you, what happens here in Jacks Valley apparently doesn't stay here " it's sweeping across an entire nation.

Debra Chappell

Jacks Valley


This is a response to a letter I received anonymously, addressed to "The Winhaven Fascist." I received this letter anonymously, which, to me is no surprise. People like this writer are cowards preferring to attack without provocation, those who do not deserve their attacks or expect them.

You say in your letter that the reason you decided to send this letter was my choice to decorate my front yard with "Fascist, Name Calling Signs about Barack Obama," because a sign in my front yard says "NoBama, Socialism won't solve your Problem." In fact, the mere existence of your letter, condemning me for having an opposing point of view to yours is fascism.

Now, let me explain some things to you:

1) Fascism is the act of oppressing anyone who has an opposing view to yours, committed by you with your letter to me.

2) You call me stupid, but I know what fascism is, and you obviously don't.

3) You say that I'm ignorant, but have nothing to base this on since you know nothing about me. By definition, that is ignorance.

4) Your KKK thing is obviously a racial reference. Barack Obama has ties to Father Flager, Reverend Wright, and William Ayers. All three of these have been supporters of the Black Panthers, Black Power, Marxism, and Black Liberation Theology. All very racist.

Republicans wrote the Klan act to stop KKK oppression, as well as the equality act, and the civil rights act. I am not a racist in any way, I believe that there are both good and bad people in every race. I just won't vote for Obama because he's a socialist.

Barack Obama's entire platform is based on raising taxes on the wealthy and giving that money to the poor.

For every right, there is an equal responsibility. Barack Obama's platform is to give more rights to some at the expense of others. Who gets to decide who makes too much money, who gets to decide that your salary is more than it should be and how much of what you earn should be given to others? How do you create success in this country by punishing those who succeed and rewarding those who do not? How do you create jobs, by punishing those who actually create those jobs? Have you ever worked for a poor person? The answer is no.

You can direct any response you may have to this to the Republican headquarters in Gardnerville and they will forward it to me.

One last thing, in your letter you insult President Bush several times. Bush has made a lot of mistakes along the way. But he has been blamed for a lot of things that he had nothing to do with. Bush hasn't received credit for the many good things he's done.

It has been almost 3,000 days since there's been a terrorist attack on American soil. If you had asked any expert, left or right on Sept. 12, 2001, they would've told you that another attack was imminent. Bush has stopped several that we know about and many more that information hasn't been released to the public. Say thanks to Bush for that.

David Amador



There is widespread support for the growth management ordinance (Douglas County Advisory Question No. 1). This ordinance was passed by the county commissioners in July 2007 by a 4-1 vote, with only Commissioner Kelly Kite in opposition. It is supported by all six current candidates running for commissioner.

No one applied to the county to write the official opposition to the advisory question.

A wide variety of people with the best interests of the county at heart have called for approval of advisory Question 1. They have nothing to gain personally, but are only concerned about the quality of life here in Douglas County.

It seems that the only people who oppose the growth management ordinance are those who stand to personally profit from further uncontrolled growth.

The Coalition for Smart Growth is dominated by big developers, including Brad Nelson, CEO of the Park Cattle Co. The coalition has fought any effort to manage growth. They funded the misleading postcard sent to Douglas County voters last week urging a no vote on Question 1.

Peter Coates is a developer and president of the Douglas County Building Industry Association. He has spoken out repeatedly against the growth management ordinance. He is also involved in the mis-named Committee to Save Douglas' Schools, who oppose the growth ordinance. Call the committee's officially listed telephone number and tell them you resent their misleading postcard.

The ordinance is designed to "protect both the county's financial and natural resources," as called for in the master plan. It will help us avoid the worst excesses of the boom/bust real estate cycle. It is meant to allow us to grow within the limitations of our infrastructure, to keep us from being overwhelmed with traffic, to safeguard our water, and to preserve our quality of life. It deserves your support. Vote yes on Advisory Question 1.

Sheryle Lengdorfer



Once again, Max Baer and Jethro's Casino have tried to ignore the Douglas County sign ordinance; and fortunately, once again the Planning Commission has denied their application for an extraordinarily large sign. The current code for signs is a maximum of 30 feet in height and 115 square feet in all. The Baer proposal was for a sign 90 feet tall with a total square footage of 878 feet.

That is a huge difference for a sign that will negatively affect many Douglas County residents who reside in the northern county and/or who regularly drive on Highway 395.

My concern is this: Over and over again the majority of Douglas County residents have voiced their opposition to the Baer project and specifically to the size of the sign proposed for the casino. Now, one of the members of the Planning Commission, who is also a candidate for county commissioner in District 5, recently voted to approve this ridiculously large sign. Obviously, Mike Olson, the candidate in question, is not willing to listen to the citizens of this county.

It raises the question of Mr. Olson's real agenda and whether or not he has connections to other developers such as Park Cattle. For example, Mr Olsen does have an inordinate amount of his campaign signs on Park Cattle land. This is obviously not a good sign (no pun intended ).

Therefore, I am urging the voters of this county to support Nancy Epstein's bid for county commissioner. Nancy Epstein has repeatedly and sincerely stated that she will be the voice of the people. Nancy has stated that she will "bring independence and loyalty to all residents of Douglas County." Nancy supports the master plan and the county's growth ordinance and is willing to work for real solutions in order to help secure the future of our community. It is time for an independent voice to be heard on the county commission " a voice that will speak for all of us. Nancy Epstein is that voice, and I urge the citizens of this county to cast their vote for her.

Kathy Garcia



The best candidate for commissioner in District 5 clearly is Nancy Epstein. What we need in our county commissioners is honesty, openness, and balance. People should vote for the best candidate, regardless of major party affiliation. I can't think of a single issue that comes before the commissioners that could be considered a partisan issue.

Nancy Epstein is a small business owner and 14-year Carson Valley resident. But most importantly, she is not aligned with any special interest group. In fact, she has declined to accept campaign contributions from any political action committee. She would be a welcome addition to the Board of Commissioners.

Her opponent, Mike Olson, on the other hand, is obviously biased. He is supported by the Coalition for Smart Growth, a pro-development group. He claims that he would like to end the divisiveness in this county, but he would be part of the problem, not part of the solution. He is a devoted follower of Kelly Kite, a notoriously pro-growth commissioner. As a planning commissioner, Olson was the only one to vote for densities of 25 dwelling units per acre, an urban density totally inappropriate for our rural community. His votes on the planning commission have consistently displayed his marked pro-development leaning.

Nancy Epstein would bring a fresh outlook and a needed balance to the county commission. Having listened to her at recent voter forums, I have observed that she is informed on county issues, smart, thoughtful, and open-minded. I urge you to vote for Nancy Epstein for county commissioner.

Gretchen Walsh



Since when was the Constitution amended to dictate how the states shall accept people into full citizenship of the respective states? The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for the states to establish their own laws when not overruled by the U.S. Constitution.

I can't find one word in the 14th Amendment, or anywhere else in the Constitution, about the length of time a person must reside in a state in order to become a citizen of that state, which means that is left to each state to decide. Nevada provides that a person must live here for six months in order to achieve Nevada citizenship, and the right to vote as a Nevada citizen. If persons have been here less time, they are still considered citizens of the state in which they were citizens before coming here. Let them vote absentee in those states. They can't know enough about Nevada to be informed voters here.

Don't allow the federal government to interfere in states' rights. It's unconstitutional. Vote no on Question 1.

Judy Jacobs

Topaz Lake


I've spent my entire life educating and caring about our children, as a college teacher, local school board member and state school board member, among many other efforts. I have decided to run for the state board of education because educating Nevada's children is so important to me and also because public education faces such a challenging and uncertain future.

It has become obvious that the burdens placed upon our public schools by the federal No Child Left Behind Act are not worth the money we get from the federal government. It's time to end our participation in the act in Nevada. I want our teachers to be free in their own classrooms without the constant interference that it creates. Our education efforts need to be directed toward individual student needs in the classroom.

I'm running for the state board because I believe that we can find solutions. It is time for our schools to focus on structural reforms, returning to basics, and reducing the massive burdens of administrative overhead that keep our tax dollars from getting to the classroom and providing a top-flight education for our children.

I'm a 28-year resident of Carson City and a fourth-generation Nevadan. I've been a professor of economics at Western Nevada College for the last 19 years. Also, I am a licensed Nevada business education teacher.

Dave Cook

Carson City


I am concerned about Congressman Dean Heller's most recent television advertisement which falsely states that his congressional challenger Jill Derby supports free health care for illegal immigrants. He cites the S-CHIP bill, a bill which would have provided healthcare and check ups for thousands of Nevada children, it's something Mr. Heller voted against. This is not true, it would not cover illegal immigrants and specifically states that children must be legal U.S. residents for 5 years before they can qualify for coverage. I am personally disturbed by this commercial and why Rep. Heller would publish such lies. Jill Derby has won my vote.

Gim Hollister



To the many people still undecided, I commiserate. Extremely biased spin and vastly over-simplified bumper sticker slogans are truly a bewildering minefield. What makes matters worse is that we are asked to vote as a supremely important civic duty and yet no-one ever teaches us how to make the right voting decisions.

There are three and only three areas of concern when deciding who deserves your vote, and that is true for local, state, and national positions. Here are the three: personal character, track record, and policy position. You need trustworthy facts on all candidates, followed by an unemotional assessment of each against these three criteria. The information is out there, but it is hidden amongst the political noise. Your task is to identify trustworthy sources for information, extract the essence, and then make your call. Oh, and beware of getting dragged down into trivialities " stick with your fundamental principle beliefs and ignore the contradictory minutia.

It is actually a much easier task if you individually consider the three criteria. Again: personal character, track record, and policy platform. Try this out on the presidential candidates and then work down from there.

Jim Herd



In the midst of the mud being flung (both nationally and locally) in this current election year, I wanted to commend my neighbors here in Carson Valley for keeping our collective wits together, and Northern Nevada manners intact.

Sure we've all seen eyes roll at a yard sign, or heard a sigh when someone expressed support for one side or the other, but I have yet to see anyone engage in the ranting and raving I've seen in the media.

Our greatest strength as a community is each other. We open doors for each other, turn in lost wallets, say "thank you," look people in the eye when you talk to them, and are more likely to strike up a conversation with someone who calls the wrong number than about anywhere in the world. We also realize that this is the democratic process. Everyone has a right to an opinion, and the fact that each of us can express that opinion is what makes winners of us all.

Don't tear down signs and don't tear down each other no matter how you feel about the issues and candidates. We're all going to be living in the same community on Nov. 5, and we're all going to need the door opened for us sometime.

Robin Bernhard



More than 200 years ago, a Scottish professor by the name of Alexander Fraser Tyler predicted the fate of our great country. He wrote, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."

This current presidential election is nothing short of an auction. It appears as though voters have learned the principle of tapping the treasury. Senators Obama and McCain each make astounding promises of largess, for which you as a middle class taxpayer (and a voter) will pay nothing. The list of "free benefits" is long with one candidate, and endless with another. One current proposal will even underwrite your equity loss on that $250,000 house that you paid $350,000 for last year, expecting to sell it this year for $450,000. (And the bank was greedy enough to loan you $330,000.)

Keep in mind that none of these government benefits will cost 95 out of 100 of you a dime. Are you seeing the professor's point? Are we as American voters so selfish that we will vote for whoever promises us the most personal benefits. The result is guaranteed to be the collapse of our society, as we know it. One candidate would have the upper 5 percent pay the bill for these new benefits. Wouldn't that be great. They currently pay 60 percent of all income tax. That's not enough? Neither candidate has any conceivable way to pay for the goods that they offer at this auction.

My challenge is that of personal responsibility. Stop living beyond your means, and don't ask or expect the government (your neighbor) to finance what you are unwilling to pay for, or undeserving of because you didn't have the discipline to live within your means.

Hold your elected officials accountable for breaking the treasury and destroying this country. Stop voting for politicians solely on the basis of who will personally benefit you financially. Senators Reid and Ensign, Congressman Heller: I'm fed up, and like other patriots, we're not going down silently. Why does the president not have "line item veto" authority, and a balanced federal budget? No more excuses. Get it done or get out.

I hope and pray that the life cycle of this democracy has not reached its end as Mr. Tyler predicts. I believe that God gives a country the leader it deserves. We deserve leadership that will stop this heinous auction of the public treasury.

Greg Burns



What a real diverse time we live in. Not only do our neighbors come from all over the world but we discuss issues such as gay marriage. It is not an easy discussion. There are people in the world who are gay. There is no reason " they just are that way. Add it to the long list of things I don't understand.

But nature selected male and female as its foundation. I admit, there may be exceptions. But clearly male and female is the foundation. It has been that way since nature began. It is all around us in hundreds of millions of examples from insects to flowers.

Marriage between one man and one woman has earned a spot at the top of the social acceptance ladder.

California law already guarantees gays and lesbians equal rights through civil unions. That will not change. Proposition 8 simply defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Californians, please vote yes on proposition 8.

Callis Ogles



We have only a few more days until we make a collective decision that will determine our nation's future. No election in the past 50 years has the import of this one. For those of us in the Eastern Sierra and Western Nevada, this national election will have significant consequences.

I am especially concerned about the impact the election of John McCain and Sarah Palin would have on our local public lands and natural resources. We all enjoy the vast open spaces in our nearby national forest and BLM lands. Yet McCain and Palin would continue the policies of the Bush administration to expand destructive road building, logging and mining, and even the sale of many public lands, all for the profit of large corporations.

McCain and Palin both have a history of opposing conservation measures. McCain has supported big energy corporations and opposed environmental protections at every point in his congressional career. He even opposed the Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project, a highly useful study of bears in Montana. McCain cited this comprehensive study as "pork" in two of the presidential debates - yet he professes to support science. Palin has opposed anything that gets in the way of oil industry expansion on public lands, including protections for polar bears and beluga whales. She continues to be skeptical that global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. And neither McCain nor Palin has said anything about where all the waste will go from the 35 new nuclear power plants they propose. You have to suspect it will be headed to the desert lands of the West. In short, McCain and Palin will be a disaster for our environment and public lands.

In contrast, Barack Obama presents a thoughtful, well-reasoned strategy for making our country less dependent on fossil fuels, addressing global warming, and protecting our environment. His plans for the expansion of alternative energy sources and green industries are sustainable and make sense. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called Obama a "transformational figure" who displays "a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity" and "a depth of knowledge" in his approach to the nation's problems. These are the qualities we need in our next president.

Phil Bellman



Beware of those who tell us that they are going to lower taxes for 97 percent of taxpayers and raise the taxes of the other 3 percent, you know, those with tax returns of over $250,000 a year. Such a reduction in our taxes is for nothing if it is offset by a loss or reduction in income or an increase in prices.

In our economy the consumer, wage earner, and producer are all inevitably linked. Increasing the tax on one impacts the others. Many of our small and essentially all of our medium sized businesses are in the proposed tax increase group, this increased expense would increase the instance of the closure of businesses, reduction in business expansion, postponement or elimination of pay raises, reduced pay rates, layoffs, reduction or elimination of employee benefit packages, an increase in prices for goods or services, and so on. All of this constitutes a decrease in jobs and income with an increase in prices for the people who received the tax reduction. Nothing substantial or lasting will be gained.

There seems to be an implication that this proposed tax adjustment, spreading the wealth around, is to correct an unfair tax load dumped on the lower income by the rich. From the last year that IRS figures are available, the top 3 percent of returns paid 53 percent of all the income taxes paid. The lowest 59 percent of all income returns paid just over 5 percent of all income taxes paid. Don't let politicians, trying to create a false perception of persecution, drive an undeserved wedge between taxpayers. Promising to give us more money in this manner is nothing short of pandering for votes.

Our current economic crisis pales in comparison to the looming disaster coming from the national debt. It is of such magnitude that its solution is almost certainly dependent on a significant reduction in government spending perhaps accompanied with a tax revenue increase. Lower tax revenues only slow or reverse such efforts.

Think of the public debt as the government having credit cards in the name of every taxpayer in the country. After all, it is our taxes that must pay the debt on those cards. Every year the government increases the balance owed while making increasing interest-only payments. There is obviously a limit which, when reached, will be anything but pleasant. If you are a family of three your share of the debt that you owe on your card is over $100,000. Your family of three's share of the interest only payment in the FY2009 federal budget is almost $2,600. Sixty-two percent of the entire FY2009 federal budget is for social security, medicare, medicaid, other government entitlements and interest on the public debt. We need a reduction in government spending and the national debt, not a reduction in tax revenues. Our government must stop trying to be all things to all people.

Ben Justus



Once again I must answer Ron Landmann, concerning his letter of Oct. 24. He states that the Constitution only guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He says that the Constitution does not guarantee that we will all have health care coverage. The main point of his letter states we should all take personal responsibility for our own lives and family. In adversity we should pick ourselves up by our own boot straps and that rugged individualism should always prevail. Mr. Landmann seems to be a devotee of survival of the fittest, or Social Dsrwinism.

Constitution or no Constitution, I believe everyone in this country is entitled to healthcare coverage. I have just completed 20 months in three cancer hospitals with my four and a half year old grandson. He had a rare malignant, brain cancer. The bill added up to about $2 million. Mr Landmann, how many people do you know, that have that kind of health coverage? Mr Landmann, how many people do you know that can cover that kind of a bill by picking themselves up by their own boot straps? Mr. Landmann, how many people do you know that can work to cover that personal goal? Mr. Landmann, how many families can stay intact under these circumstances without any health coverage? Cancer care is probably is probably the most expensive disease that any family could ever face. My daughter had excellent health coverage even though it still cost us plenty.

It is such attitudes, as expressed in Mr. Landmann's letter, that have placed Nevada at the bottom of health care coverage in the United States. I hope the readers of this letter, including Mr. Landmann, never have to go through the nightmare my family experienced which includes the worst kind of horrendous disease and its cost. The outdated arguments of help yourself under all circumstances needs some strong changes in this state and healthcare coverage for all should be first on the list.

Harold Zaroff



Although more than a dozen of the terrorist acts committed against the United States since the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in 1968 have been committed by Islamic fanatics, I am not nearly so concerned about Mr. Obama's ties to Islam, Ayers, Raines, Acorn, Rev. Wright, etc., as I am about his philosophy of a government that, in order to support those near the bottom of our economic heap who pay little or no income taxes, those of us who do pay taxes on our earnings and IRA's will have to pay more. "Spread the wealth around" is what Obama told Joe the Plumber. That's a one-way street to socialism and I don't think that's what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they pledged their lives, fortunes and honor to break from England and found an independent country. They could have been tried for treason and hanged if this "noble experiment" had failed. I thank God that I am fortunate enough to be living in this country and to enjoy the freedoms that we have in our republic.

Words are manipulated to make it sound like only Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, and all big businesses will pay through the nose, but the taxes of every tax paying citizen of this country will go up in order to pay for all of the social programs Obama is promoting. Any big taxes levied against most businesses will trickle down to you and me in the rising cost of consumer commodities. Business ventures in this country will be taxed to the point where many will go out of business, many will move off-shore where the long arm of the IRS can't reach them, and more manufacturing will move overseas. That will cause a tremendous loss of jobs which in turn will affect our economy profoundly. I am sure that Harry Truman, for whom I voted, is turning over in his grave now that the radical far left has taken over the Democratic Party.

I've heard analyses that one of the reasons for the wild, chaotic ride in today's market is that the market is afraid Obama will become president and then we will be in for a ride even wilder than the ride during the Carter administration, and I think a lot of us remember that mess.

Even scarier than an Obama presidency is a possible majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate. With an Obama presidency and non-filibustering majorities in the House and Senate they can do anything they want and get away with it.

Think of all the federal judgeships that will be handed over to the liberals (think gay marriage legal in 50 states), and appointments of leftists to the Supreme Court and the subsequent decisions that will favor the far left. How many people do you think will go to prison over this Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae debacle which started this entire economic cascade? Narry a one.

I am praying like crazy and I hope there are a lot more people out there who feel as I do: socialism is not the way to go.

Marian E. Vassar



The DHS All-Sports Boosters would like to thank Bouquet and Bouquet for their generous discount of our homecoming football mums.

All proceeds from the sale of the mums will go directly to supporting DHS athletic programs. We thank Bouquet and Bouquet for their continued support of our schools.

DHS All-Sports Boosters



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