Letters to the Editor Oct. 31


I am quite disappointed in The Record-Courier for the headline that was put on the letter I wrote to the editor concerning stolen and destroyed political signs. The Record-Courier labeled my letter "Whose signs are ugly?"

My letter was in no way a reference to any political signs being ugly. My letter was about the total disregard people on both sides have for opposing political party's signs and their freedom of speech.

The Record-Courier does not offer a field in their online submission of letters to the editor for a headline. The editorial department decides what the headline will be. Please do not put words in my mouth. I feel your headline was inaccurate and missed my point completely. A better headline would have been, "Political signs are freedom of speech."

Helen Costa



Change is a big theme in this year's political landscape and it's needed at the local level every bit as much as the national level. This year, we need to elect Greg Felton to the Douglas County School Board. In terms of connection to the schools, education, leadership experience, and service to our community Felton beats Trigg hands down. Felton has four kids in the schools, Trigg has none. Felton holds three degrees, Trigg has none. Felton is a leader in many community organizations including Boy Scouts, Douglas County Search & Rescue, Civil Air Patrol and others. A recent letter praised Trigg for making board meetings even though she had worked thousands of hours for the state Democratic Party, worthy service I'm sure, but Felton's service is better tied to our community.

Over the past two years Felton has attended most board meetings, served on a district committee to evaluate the capital improvement needs of all Douglas County schools, and advocated for the safety of our children to the point of getting the federal government to ask the district to change course. Felton was an advocate while Trigg sat by idly. The challenges facing our schools are not new to Felton and he will hit the ground running. He'll ask the right questions and foster the creation of the best schools possible.

As an incumbent, and with all the advantages of being entwined with the state Democratic Party, Trigg would seem to have all the political advantages - mass mailings, organized groundpounders, name recognition, etc. However, Felton's years of senior management experience at a Fortune 500 company, combined with exceptional analytical skills and high energy will strengthen our school board far more than keeping the status quo. Make the best choice for our children, vote for Felton.

Ryder Evans

Zephyr Cove


This is a response to the Oct. 24 letter from Mr. Kevin Kjer. He feels Greg Felton would be the best candidate to represent the Douglas County School Board Area 3.

I would like to tell your readers why I do not agree. As a 17-year resident and the parent of three Douglas County students, I feel Cindy Trigg should be re-elected to the school board.

I met Cindy Trigg 15 years ago when our children attended Douglas County schools together. Mr. Kjer's letter portrays Cindy Trigg and our current school board in a negative way.

Mr. Felton did not live in Douglas County during the emotional and painstaking process that culminated in the entire board's decision to close Kingsbury Middle School.

Radon levels were tested at Zephyr Cove Elementary School prior to Mr. Felton's move to Douglas County as early as 1988. Radon has been an ongoing issue at the school for many years and thanks to a collaborative effort from Lake parents (Mr. Felton included here) as well as the entire board the issue is now resolved.

Mr. Kjer says, "because Greg has attended almost every board meeting in the last two years, he could jump right in without missing a beat." Mrs. Trigg has not missed a board meeting in the last four years and currently serves as vice president of the board and has been appointed by her peers to the Nevada Association of School Boards.

Greg Felton's Web site, which Mr. Kjer references, compares himself to Cindy Trigg. Mr. Kjer states that Greg would bring, "real world" business experience to the board. Cindy has been an international purser for American Airlines (30 years) and a successful small business owner.

Mr. Kjer quotes the Tahoe Mountain News, September edition, and makes Mrs. Trigg's volunteer work for Jill Derby sound negative. Should Cindy Trigg be faulted for volunteering for Dr. Jill Derby who has had a lifetime commitment to education in our state? In the October edition, the Tahoe Mountain News endorses Cindy Trigg for another four years on our school board. "Trigg has been there for Lake children and parents all four years. In her first term she has learned the nuances of working on a board, the intricacies of a school board and the mind numbing constraints of the feds. Now is not the time to change direction. Cindy Trigg deserves to be on the Douglas County School Board for four more years."

Mr. Kjer states that, "we need someone on the board that will look at the long-range implications of district decisions, fight for the health and safety of our students, bring real world business experience and is in touch with the concerns of today's parents." I agree. We need to re-elect Cindy Trigg.

Kelly Ferris

Zephyr Cove


As a concerned and very involved parent of children in the Douglas County schools, I wanted to address two issues important to our community.

Douglas schools are older and need a lot of maintenance, and the money to do this will come from your vote "yes" on the continuation bond. A "yes" vote will not raise your taxes, but keeps them going to our schools rather than elsewhere; a "no" vote will not lower your taxes.

Our students also need to be well represented with the school district board. Parents are the advocates of their children and should be encouraged to participate and contribute. One of the most involved and fair parents I know is running for a seat on the board, and I urge you to vote for Greg Felton. He communicates with the community and represents their true points of view. He has dug deep into issues like radon in our schools and found facts and answers so that we can be sure our children are safe (one school had seven times the safe EPA level of radon, he helped push through the modifications needed to lower them). He has shown the energy and ability to work with the board to resolve issues like this in a professional way. His opponent, the incumbent, has just blamed parents for creating a controversy. He truly does things for the right reasons " as being a volunteer for Douglas County Search and Rescue, Boy Scouts and Civil Air Patrol shows. His election to the board would mean all students and parents in Douglas County would be represented, including his own children.

Jeanne Ward



I am writing in support of Mike Olson for District 5 commissioner.

Mike's five years on the planning commission and two years as president of the business council give him an insurmountable advantage in experience with county affairs and familiarity with the workings of our codes and government structure when compared to his opponent.

Mike knows the rules and he knows the players, and will be a very quick study for commissioner.

In the difficult times ahead we call on all the experience at the helm that we can find, and Mike's tenure on the planning commission has demonstrated the cool-headed, common sense approach that we're going to need.

Mike has also shown that he has not only the time but the energy to do the vast amounts of homework required for this job, as anyone who has watched at planning commission meetings could testify.

I find it interesting that the Sustainable Growth Committee, in their ceaseless effort to focus this election on growth, has targeted Mike specifically as unacceptable to their agenda. It seems that, for the next few years, growth will be the very least of our problems.

In fact, an absolute lack of growth will be the problem, and it seems unlikely that we will see another building boom in the foreseeable future. Mike understands that our energies will be spent on resolving budget issues and wrestling with the tough choices that will confront us.

I strongly urge you to cast your vote for Mike Olson for the District 5 commission seat.

S.C. Collins



Before I filed to run, I asked folks what they wanted in a commissioner. The resounding answer was someone who is fair and open-minded, independent, not bound by special interest, and someone who can put the best interest of Douglas County first. That's the way I started my campaign and that's the way I'm ending my campaign. Along with 25 years of business experience, I'm bringing fresh eyes, new energy, and integrity that will serve the County well.

I also pledged to remain free of special interests, accepting no Political Action Committee donations, which I have gladly done. The campaign has raised $10,300 as of Oct. 28. For a job that pays $24,000 that seems reasonable. I remain focused on the budget and have a short-term plan to address the present, as well as a long-term plan to diversify our revenues beyond gaming and property taxes. My grassroots campaign has brought me face-to-face with residents who are very concerned about our county. We have so many talented and generous folks in our community who are willing to share their ideas and their talent. We need to work together to come through these tough economic times and plan for a bright and united future.

Different times call for a different candidate. We need more than business as usual. I have the judgment and heart to put the best interests of Douglas County first. Please support me because I will represent you on the county commission. I ask for your vote on Tuesday.

Nancy Epstein

County Commission candidate

Saratoga Springs


Let me introduce myself, I am Jerry Rosse. We have never met, nor to my knowledge did you know my dear friend and business partner, Arnold Settelmeyer.

I am outraged at your use of my departed friend's name. The audacity of hype that you and other pathologically partisan individuals go to is beyond shame. One of my friend's proudest moments was when his son was sworn into office. James has served in the same spirit of his beloved father; with tireless devotion to the good of this community and this state. He is available for not only his own district, but for Nevada as a whole.

Jerry Rosse



A while back in your paper I saw that Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, made a challenge to all political candidates. He had recently made a generous donation to the senior center and he said it was one the best things to do with campaign funds. I happen to agree.

Since then I've seen no other news about any other candidate who cares enough to meet his challenge.

Assemblyman Settelmeyer passed legislation last year to protect seniors and children. He also served on the senior and veterans legislative interim committee which has made several recommendations to make the lives of seniors and veterans better in the Silver State. As a senior, I appreciate his hard work and have talked to him several times about his work. He has always been there to talk to me.

I hope the citizens of Douglas County will put the only candidate for Assembly District 39 who has passed legislation for the protection of seniors back in office. That's only one of the reasons I voted for Assemblyman Settelmeyer, and I hope the readers will too.

Irma Lindsay



I would like to encourage all voters in Douglas County, and anywhere else that a person could vote legally, to seriously consider checking the box next to James Stettlemeyer's name. Going for his second term as assemblyman, he has more than demonstrated fiscal responsibility and caring for all the issues most important to the residents of our county.

A gentleman farmer/rancher, born to a founding pioneer family of Carson Valley, James is a family man with moral, cultural, environmental and family value principles, worthy of serving a second term in the Nevada State Assembly. There are no surprises with James ... What you see is what you get.

Straight talk, truth and the American way will persevere in the state capital, by re-electing James Settelmeyer.

Rick Campbell



After reading that negative letter about James Settelmeyer I felt compelled to investigate.

First, I looked for information regarding the League of Women Voters. From their own information, they say they support gun control. Mr. Settelmeyer has a perfect rating from the NRA. It's clear those groups are in conflict.

Mr. Settelmeyer also worked on Senate Bill 237 whitch allowed people to carry a concealed weapon. That's important to his rural constituents.

As to the assemblyman's record, a first-term legislator is limited by his and the other party. The Democrats control the house where Mr. Settelmeyer serves. If you want to blame a lack of hearings, perhaps you should check with the committee chairs who didn't schedule them.

The writer mentioned Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 17, the Kick Butts Campaign support bill to encourage people to quit smoking. The local Douglas County partnership helped work on it. What a slap to out local community group from the writer.

If you want to see what Assemblyman Settelmeyer has done in the legislature go to the Web site and read, read and read " all 1,280 references. You can see for yourself how hard James works for all of us (even those who write nasty letters). After seeing all the hard work he's done, I, for one, will be happy to vote to send him back to Carson City.

Mick Neilon



On behalf of the Coalition for Smart Growth, I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Slade's recent letter in which he accused our group of utilizing "sleazy, underhanded tactics" during this election cycle. Apparently, Mr. Slade takes issue with citizens exercising their constitutional right to publicly endorse views that differ from his own perspective. Specifically, Mr. Slade criticized a recent mailer sent out by the Committee to Save Douglas' Schools, which urged the public to vote "no" on ballot Question 1 and "yes" on the school continuance bond question.

The mailer emphasizes the fact that critical county services such as school maintenance (as well as police and fire support) depend on the residential building industry for a significant portion of their funding. Our school district receives $1,600 per building permit to help cover capital improvements. Because of the housing slump, the amount of money the school district receives from the residential permit taxes has decreased by over $900,000 during the past five years. Unfortunately, even when the housing market eventually rebounds, there will be less money available for the school district's capital improvement fund because the growth management ordinance places an artificial cap on the number of building permits issued annually.

Mr. Slade contends, while offering only specious evidence, the Committee to Save Douglas' Schools is a "bogus front for pro-development interests." In fact, the group primarily consists of parents and educators who care deeply about the future of our community. Despite the misleading statements, Peter Coates is not a member of the Committee to Save Douglas' Schools. He has consistently represented the building industry with integrity and honor, defending the hard working ethic that comprises the heart of the construction industry.

His wife, Cate listed his business phone number as the contact number on the Secretary of State form because as a school district employee, she cannot field election-related questions from her place of employment. The Coalition for Smart Growth made a legal contribution to this organization because we share the belief that reasonable residential growth provides a significant financial benefit to schools as well as the community as a whole.

Clearly, Mr. Slade is in favor of the growth management ordinance, and he's certainly entitled to his opinion.

Yet, it's sadly ironic that a man who professes to not wish to get "bogged down in the divisiveness" of the growth issue has once again resorted to name calling and bullying those who express opposing views. The Coalition for Smart Growth has been up front in voicing our concerns about the growth management ordinance. We urge citizens to vote "no" on Question 1 to compel the county commissioners to create a more flexible policy that allows for the inevitable economic fluctuations that occur. Additionally, for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the greater good for Douglas County, we support the school continuance bond.

Rudy McTee

president, Coalition for Smart Growth



During the primary election season I served as a member of the Citizens for Accountable Government panel that interviewed all of the county commissioner candidates who agreed to be interviewed prior to that election.

At those in-depth face-to-face interviews, I had the rare opportunity to peek into the character of those candidates; to learn how they process information, how they solve problems, how they might deal with those who differ with them, and who, if anyone, was behind the scenes pulling their strings.

The questions posed in the interviews did not deal with specific issues, but the answers gave me insight as to how those candidates might deal with the significant issues facing Douglas County now and in the future.

At the time, it was rumored that CAG was dominated by Democrats, or Republicans, or SGIC members, but those rumors were false. In truth, CAG is an eclectic mix of people, some with other citizen interest group affiliation, some with no such affiliation, but all with the good of Douglas County, its residents, and our quality of life foremost in our hearts and minds.

To preserve our credibility as an unbiased non-partisan organization, panel members left our personal preferences at the door and looked at each candidate through the lens of objectivity. That was easy for me since I am not a member of any citizen interest group other than CAG.

I now speak from that experience as an individual, not as a CAG spokesperson, and make the following recommendations for County Commissioner " Doug Johnson for District 3 and Nancy Epstein for District 5. I wish I could recommend a candidate for District 1, but both Greg Lynn and Anje deKnijf (as well as Eric Rieman and Blaine Spires) opted out of the CAG interviews, so I have no personal experience on which to base a recommendation.

I understand that CAG will reconvene after the election to begin monitoring how our all our county commissioners live up to their campaign promises, past and present. A periodic report will be made available to help guide citizens in re-election or recall actions in the future.

Robert Ballou



I would like to start by thanking The Record-Courier for reporting in a responsible and unbiased manner during this very tumultuous election year. You have consistently printed articles and letters to the editor on both sides of all issues and candidates. There are many of us who have remained on the fence on many issues. I was one, but thanks to you, I was able to vote knowing I made informed decisions.

A confusing issue for me was the Douglas County School District's bond measure. Initially, because I support education and our children; I thought the bond made sense. This past month, with articles in the paper, the KIDS Web site and letters to the editor, I have changed my mind. There were just too many times the actions by the school district conflicted with what they were saying.

The KIDS Web site tried to make me believe that most projects in their bond issue were safety related and needed immediately or schools would suffer. However, in a recent article I read, the school district was planning on spending nearly $1 million for a second gymnasium at Whittell High School with only 250 students. If the school district was serious about safety, $1 million would pay for several of the health and safety issues on the KIDS Web site under the highest priority bond needs, one which is $1 million boiler providing heat to the students and staff. Instead, they plan on spending at least that much on a second gymnasium for a student population one-sixth the population of Douglas High School which only has a gym and a half for 1,460 students.

In addition, the school district has spent thousands of dollars on lights for Whittell's football field, thousands of dollars on additional parking at the administration offices, not to mention the recent $1.5 million over and above on salary increases. None of these are bad things when times are good, but when the school district is spinning a tale of doom and gloom, claiming schools may have to close due to safety issues, is very contradictory.

The Record-Courier reported the district signed a performance contract with Ameresco. According to the KIDS Web site, half of the highest priority bond needs, totaling over $7 million, are considered "ESCO" projects qualifying for performance contracting. The article stated if the bond is not approved in November, the school district may lose capital funding. What was not mentioned was that the district could have sought a simple law change in the 2007 Nevada Legislature that would have solved this issue, but they chose not to seek this solution, which does not make sense.

It is the conflicting stories about issues such as those above that have made me realize actions do speak louder than words and that the school district bond is not necessary. I voted "no" on the bond knowing I had made a good decision based on excellent information provided to me by responsible reporting.

Randy Swaim



In every election there are always winners and losers. This time around it looks more like our country could be the real loser. I see too many things that do not add up to an honest election.

One candidate agrees to take government funds to finance his campaign. The other one broke his word and accepts millions from special interest groups.

There is no law that says we have to vote. It is our duty to vote, but more than that, it is our privilege to vote. To register people on street corners, shopping malls and college campuses makes a mockery out of our voting process, and it contributes to voter fraud. Any citizen can register to vote at any courthouse and many fire stations or police stations. People who do not register on their own are most likely not interested in our political process. The country is probably better off without their vote.

All early voting should not be allowed. Things can change from day to day, and an early vote can not be taken back. People who are unable to go to their polling place on election day for what ever reason, can apply for an absentee ballot available at any court house.

What happened to our Republic? What would our forefathers say?

Dieter Hoffmann



I don't know about you, but I am tired of this whole two-year election. Let's cut the rhetoric and look at the choice we have before us. Who has the best chance at leading us out of our current economic crisis, while ensuring our precious right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," that we all cherish?

We have the Junior Sen. Obama, a lawyer, former state senator, an activist community organizer and first term U.S. Senator.

His opponent, Sen. John McCain, who served honorably as officer and Navy pilot in Vietnam, served four years in Congress and served 22 years in the Senate.

Attempts to label John McCain as a continuation of President Bush's term is ridiculous. The record shows that while Obama has voted with Pelosi and Reid 96 percent of the time, Sen. McCain has supported Republican issues only 88 percent of the time

In evaluating the candidates, there are two major issues.

The first is the issue of goals. While Obama wants change, what kind of changes will he try to make? He wants to raise our taxes and "redistribute the wealth" by giving tax rebates to people who pay no taxes. He has consistently supported the liberal agenda of Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi.

Will he also agree with and support the "drastic changes" that Pelosi is planning right now? Remember that Congress has a lower approval rating than the president.

John McCain's goals are to put changes for America's most critical needs as first priority. He wants to lower taxes and shrink government. He will act to fix the broken system of earmarks in Congress. He will lead an overhaul of the failed social engineering that is responsible for our current fiscal crisis.

The second issue is experience and skills. Sen. Obama has charisma and is a good speechmaker, but he lacks experience in making hard executive decisions. This lack of experience greatly increases the risk of making a critical mistake. As we found with President Kennedy, lack of experience led to bad choices in two out of four major decisions he made in his term in office.

Sen. McCain has in-depth knowledge of the critical issues in Congress, the nation and the world. He has command experience as a Naval officer and has made good decisions in critical situations. He has consistently fought for less government waste, elimination of pork, and fought to reform the bad lending regulations and social engineering laws that caused our current economic crisis.

The major issues are simple. Which candidate has the best experience for the job, and what direction will he take our great country?

The choice is clear. Do you want complete Democrat Party control of the White House, the Congress, and probably the Supreme Court, or do we restore the checks and balance that our founders provide for in the Constitution? Can we afford to allow the fox to guard the hen house?

The choice is yours.

James White



Vote this election as if your life depended on it because it just might. I will be brief with this missive. Aside from whatever else you have heard, seen, or read from the Obama-Biden campaign, they want to disarm lawful U.S. citizens with the help of a complicit congress. Incidentally, the next President might just have to fill two or possibly three Supreme Court vacancies. Imagine a Hillary Clinton, a Charles Schumer or some other left leaning politician like Dianne Feinstein in those positions. What leads me to believe that an Obama-Biden administration would make a serious attempt to disarm the public? Well first of all they have backing from The Brady Campaign, originally called Handgun Control Inc. Additionally Joe Biden during a Democratic party debate last year said "I'm the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban." Of course, that ban was on over 100 semi-automatic firearms mainly because of their cosmetics.

Obama has supported similar legislation while in the Illinois State Senate. He also voted for the following: to allow unfounded lawsuits designed to put the firearms industry out of business; to ban most rifle hunting ammunition; to levy increased taxes by 500 percent on firearms and ammunition; and most egregiously to allow prosecution of citizens who use a firearm for self defense in the home (March 25, 2004, Ill Senate S.B. 2165)

There is one last point to make. Obama favors distribution of wealth fairly which is the same as sharing the wealth or "from each according to his ability to each according to his need." That is pure Karl Marx, that wonderfully successful governmental system of the last century. The system was successful at what you may ask; successful at murdering over 54 million people in the Soviet Union and another 38 million in the Peoples Republic of China. This does not count the suffering endured by hundreds of millions of additional people in abject poverty and slavery. One other thing both countries had in common is the populations were first disarmed.

C. V. Sledd Shearer



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