March 18, 2021 Letters to the Editor


Tarkanian comments on VHRs


This past meeting was dominated by vacation home rentals. After years of kicking the can down the road and watching VHRs grow exponentially, the BOCC directed staff to make numerous substantive changes to Douglas County's VHR ordinance.

While I am happy with many of the changes, I believe the board failed to address the most critical issue concerning VHRs: where VHRs should be allowed and where they should not. The Tahoe Basin is a diverse community. One size does not fit all. In some areas, VHRs are needed and welcomed. In some areas they are not. I believe most VHR permits should be issued in areas where tourists frequent — such as ski lifts, casinos, and other commercial areas.

I made a motion to direct staff to comprise three new zoning overlays, with most VHRs in tourist locations; some but more limited VHRs in a buffer zone; and no VHRs in purely residential neighborhoods. I do not believe VHRs should be allowed in gated communities, with one lane, and whose bylaws, deed restrictions or CC&Rs prohibit commercial activity.

While the board voted down my proposal 3-1, the board did, however, vote to prohibit VHRs where HOAs prohibit it and where the legal instruments listed above prohibit commercial activity.

Two additional votes we disagreed on were the imposing of a cap of 600 permits in the Tahoe Basin and a complete ban on VHRs in the Carson Valley. There are currently 608 permits outstanding in the Tahoe Basin. To cap permits below what has already been issued is going to cause some real problems for the county, and the low cap limit will prevent future VHRs in areas that are appropriate, needed and welcomed.

While I am not in favor of expanding VHRs in purely residential neighborhoods, I am concerned that the BOCC has approved an ordinance that clearly treats two parts of Douglas County differently, and not through a zoning mechanism. It is never good to have different sets of rules for two different parts of the county.

However, I am excited about the many positive changes the BOCC is making to the VHR ordinance. Fines for unpermitted VHRs will quadruple; fines for violations of permitted VHRs will double; and parking, noise and occupancy limits — along with trash requirements — were significantly improved. Additionally, complaints of violations of VHRs must be responded to within 30 minutes and resolved within an hour.

I have received several good questions from constituents concerning clarification of one item or another or concerns how an item may unintentionally affect a certain group. I am working with county staff to get an answer for each of their questions. If anyone else has a question please feel free to email me at

Danny Tarkanian

Gardnerville Ranchos

Eye of the beholder


Apparently, class, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

I suggest the YouTube broadcast of the county commissioner meeting titled “Douglas County Commissioner John Engels Berates and Bullies Innocent Female Resident.”

Douglas County Commissioner John Engels goes crazy, berating and bullying a resident during public comment in commission meeting.

Has to be warned multiple times by the District Attorney and other commissioners to stop. A real exhibition of class.

Danna Meyer


Letter writer experiences lunacy


Are you aware of the lunacy prevalent in our country?

Disneyland is going to open but not public schools in 11 states – Kentucky, West Virginia, New York, California, Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Delaware (Newsweek, March 28).

There is systemic racism in our policing agencies. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics says this is not true. (WSJ, March 5)

10,000 illegal immigrants were stopped entering the USA in a recent seven-day period. (Bill O’Reilly, March 3).

Asylum seekers are given $1,100 cash at the southern border to travel anywhere in the USA to wait 3-5 years for their court hearing. (O’Reilly, March 9)

Brownsville, Texas 108 illegal immigrants test positive for COVID and subsequently released to travel in the USA. (Fox, March 3)

Drug cartels profit $250,000-plus/day transporting illegal immigrants into America. (The Epoch Times, March 7).

20,000-plus U.S. organizations were “hacked” via Microsofts vulnerable software. ( March 7)

You have to show identification to receive a COVID vaccine but not to vote. National Conference of States. 36 require I.D., 14 do not.

The HR-1 COVID Relief stimulus is $1.9 trillion. Approximately 7 percent will go to COVID relief. (WSJ).

The USA has 6.2 percent unemployment (WSJ, March 5), countless unfulfilled jobs yet the government (via HR-1) is going to pay you $2,400/month (Federal $300/week, plus state unemployment) to not work. (WSJ, March 8)

Our public schools desperately need money. K-12 public schools received $67 billion in 2020 and with HR-1 another $123 billion. Congressional Budget Office estimates that only about 5 percent will be spent this fiscal year.

L.A. Public Schools had a $500 million surplus for 2020-2021 school year. (WSJ, March 10)

My letter is not political. America, however, must stop the lunacy and stand up and fight for the rights and values that made her the noblest nation in the world and saw 10,000 illegal immigrants in seven days wanting to obtain those same rights. Put a sign in your front yard, write your editors, politicians.

Demand fair and balanced factual media reporting and both sides of a story. Without animosity, raise your voice, express your mind, and stand up for your country. American author Ella Wheeler Wilcox opined, “To sin (miss the mark) in silence while others doth protest makes cowards out of men.” It is time to be brave. God bless America.

Peter Engle


No one escapes expiration


Pastor Gene Holman never fails to make clear “the point!” (March 6, Religion).

If anyone ever succeeded condensing the benefits of honoring Jesus Christ as God and savior, he did it – pointing out a mere five monumental key reasons. Tis indeed “unspeakably beneficial” for everyone to honestly address, now, because no one escapes their earthly life’s unknown expiration date – when it will be too late.

Joy Uhart


Disappointment, outrage lack of faith


It was with disappointment and outrage that I read the statement from Jerry Nadler (D-New York) stating that “What any religious tradition describes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress.”

The arrogance of this man is unparalleled. If Nadler is correct then why do people swear their allegiance to God before they testify in court or assume an elected office?

It is a common misinterpretation of the separation of church and state that is quite prevalent today. All of the Founding Fathers were deists, believing in an all-powerful being that created all things. The concern these men had in designating this separation was that religious leaders would take over the government and establish one church over another in direct conflict with the First Amendment.

We can see the wisdom involved when we look at the nations in the Middle East and the control a single faith has over the citizenry. An all-powerful clergy that doesn’t allow any diversity of thought or action, an antithesis of America. Mark Twain has been credited with saying something along these lines; If there is a God and you believed then you have your just reward, if there isn’t a God and you believed then you have had a good moral life giving service to your fellow man, but if there is a God and you weren’t a believer …

Too many today are trusting in their mortal reasoning and physical senses to try to make sense out of our existence and purpose on Earth. This is folly. The answers to our questions are beyond our comprehension unless we have faith, the acceptance of things that can’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Many of the problems we face today are due to a lack of faith.

Dan Paterson



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