Memorial Mural Relocation Celebration
The Memorial Mural that has stood in front of the Cultural Museum since 2009, created by the first class ASPIRE Academy students as a labor of love, will stand again! The Mural had to be relocated due to renovations at the Cultural Museum and will be reestablished not 100 feet away on the Carson Valley Middle School side of the front lawn. This project was born out of a grief journey during a time when a number of young people from our valley passed away over a short period of time (25 young people ages 10 to 25, over a five-year period). Back in 2009, the ASPIRE students wanted to create a mural to remember and honor these kids and their families and to provide a place of solace and hope for anyone experiencing grief. Today, we want the families and friends of those represented on the mural to know that your loved ones are not forgotten! This letter to the community is an invitation to the families of the young people represented on the mural, as well as anyone else who is interested, to attend an outdoor celebration ceremony on May 25 at noon at the Mural site. It is also important to note that the relocation of the mural would not have happened without the volunteer efforts of amazing humans within our community. Including, but not limited to: Frankie Benitez, former ASPIRE student and “foreman” of the volunteer effort to relocate the Mural! I take my orders from him! Zack Kluever, another former student, and his wife, Maddy and sister, Baylee who repainted and refinished the mural to repair the fading of 12 years exposed to weather. Dan Luke of Luke Landscaping donated all landscaping materials and Isreal and Wendy Contreras of Heavy Duty Concrete and Pavers donated curbing. Keith Lewis, Superintendent of Douglas County School District, enthusiastically supported the relocation effort along with DCSD Principals, Gavin Ward, Nancy White and former ASPIRE Principal, Marty Swisher. John Tobias of DCSD Buildings and Grounds Maintenance was instrumental in establishing the new site and preparing it for relocation. Current ASPIRE students and staff are creating messages of encouragement and a process for others to remember loved ones when visiting the mural. And finally, former ASPIRE students and staff — always FAMILY, have reached out from the moment the original Mural was taken down, with offers do whatever it takes to contribute to the relocation effort. To all of you, and those humble humans who were not mentioned: Thank you. Feel free to call 775-339-3010 for more information on the celebration.
ASPIRE Academy High School Principal and an ALWAYS ASPIRE Family Member
Not buying it
Regarding the misleading article in last week’s Record-Courier (“Construction resumes next week on Tahoe South Events Center” May 1): First, one statement that no one disagrees with, “Government has no money that it doesn’t first take from the people.”
I am always amused when the TDVA and many supporters for the Event Center at South Lake Tahoe continue in insisting that the $34.25 million the county has indebted itself to pay to TDVA has nothing to do with raising taxes. Yet they know that if taxes did not go up, they would receive $0 from RDA#2.
But, to compound the illogic, the spenders grab ahold of what they must regard as a homerun and insist on saying the Event Center does not increase taxes on anyone, it only concerns those property owners within RDA#2. I am sure you are intelligent people and in fact 57% of you saw the truth and voted to dissolve RDA#2, but three of the five commissioners pulled a fast one on you.
After agreeing to put the RDA#2 Referendum on the ballot for you to decide the fate of RDA#2, the next two agenda items during that Board of Commissioners meeting committed a third of the anticipated $116 million RDA#2 funds to go to TDVA anyway (no matter what the voters showed they wanted), which means that $34.25 million tax dollars are being diverted away from where they would go, even though RDA#2 no longer exists. It is simple, spending is what leads to higher taxes.
$34.25 million is being diverted from schools, the fire district, the Douglas County General fund and at least 10 other tax funds the county depends on to not raise everyone’s taxes. When these funds come up short because of the $34.25 million that is being diverted, guess what must happen?
You are intelligent voters and many of you may have seen how when Redevelopment Agencies in California took tax dollars from various towns, cities, counties, and the state, that forced those entities to continuously raise taxes to make up the short falls. In fact, it got so bad that the slush funds were ended in 2012 in California by the California Supreme Court.
Do not be fooled. Those tax dollars TDVA is getting will come out of the wallets of all Douglas County taxpayers in the long run in the form of higher taxes. It is common sense. Let the TDVA know you do not buy their con job.
Another head scratcher
Apparently, Mr. Muzzy was in his treasured sand box during last fall’s elections. In his last opinion, he listed three county commissioners that were voted out by the county voters. Two of the three were not even on the ballot. One had decided to retire and if I am not mistaken, one is still a County Commissioner. Perhaps someone should drop a line to Mr. Muzzy, via a tin can on a string?
Minimum wage not a living wage
There seems to be a serious misconception regarding the minimum wage. The minimum wage has absolutely nothing to do with a living wage. The minimum wage was originally instituted to counter the “sweat shop” labor practices following the Great Depression. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted establishing the minimum an employer could pay their employees was $0.25 an hour. The current rate of $7.25 per hour only affects about 1 percent of employees and many of them are in service industries where if you include tips their salary is roughly double that. The minimum wage is for people still living at home, without a high school education, and with no job experience. As experience and education is gained a person’s wage is increased as employers tend to want to keep already trained personnel in their positions rather than training new hires. The actual cost to an employer is much greater than what an employee sees in their paycheck, when you add in FICA, Workers Comp, and other labor costs the real wage is considerably more. The other side of the coin is of what value is the employee to the employer? To rate a wage of $15 an hour an employee would have to generate around $40-$50 per hour (my estimate) to justify the expense. The employee would have to show up on time, work hard during their shift, and not abuse their sick days, if they have them. Who fills in when an employee doesn’t show up to work? Increasing the minimum wage will cost jobs and increase the cost of goods and services to the detriment of the poor who some politicians say they are trying to help. Let the market have a say in the cost of doing business in America.