Aug. 31, 2022, Letters to the Editor

Airport growth engine of development


A column in the Aug. 24 R-C urges us to get behind Minden-Tahoe Airport growth and to make it happen sooner than later. This is wrapped in the seeming appeal of a new east side “sports aviation” complex.

But the column betrays what may be the real purpose here, airport growth as an engine of development. Perhaps most alarming is the use of Reno-Tahoe Airport as an example, the author stating: “I remember when there were only a couple of small buildings on the east of the Reno-Tahoe Airport. Now it’s built out and a very valuable economic asset …” I doubt Reno-Tahoe is the vision most here have for our airport.

It’s not hard to find examples across the country of local airports where growth has transformed them from popular assets into significant nuisances, which their communities then struggle to control. How does this happen? Well, it’s the consequence of a system designed to promote the growth of aviation facilities nationwide and then lock communities into their operation, regardless of the impacts.

Simply put, the FAA is pro-aviation. It collects taxes from us every time we fly, whether in our own plane or an airliner. Those go into an aviation trust fund which disperses money for the development of local aviation facilities. When communities accept that funding, they become obligated to operate the resulting facilities in a “non-discriminatory” manner, which means allowing any operation that can use them. So, for example, small runway, small aircraft; big runway, big aircraft. And in this scheme the facilities always precede the impacts. So, by the time the community realizes it has a problem, it’s too late.

Sports aviation on the east side of our airport sounds benign. What isn’t discussed much is what happens to the rest of the airport. But look at the airport master plan and you’ll see an airport transformed into something entirely different than we have today, 95% funded by those enticing FAA grants. Just two examples: the main runway is slated for a 2700’ extension and the plan reserves space for a control tower. Why? What do those have to do with “sport aviation?”

That main runway aims straight at Minden, Gardnerville and the Ranchos. I have regular jet arrivals over my home. Not a bother now. But what happens when the runway is moved half a mile closer to our towns and its extension leads to a different mix and frequency of operations of the sort that require a control tower?

Sports aviation sounds good and is what our airport is mostly about these days. And what most here would likely support going forward. But I think it is fair to ask what comes along with that and whether that’s what this community wants, before we sign on the dotted line and find ourselves obligated to an airport, and impacts, well beyond what most here imagined.

Terry Burnes


Hard to run as Independent


When I ran for Douglas County Commissioner in 2020, it was with the intention of serving the community.

It’s my belief that both major parties have failed our country and the American people. I am extremely tired of the partisan politics where both sides are more interested in wielding power than in doing anything for our country. I put myself out there to offer the people a more independent option. Fortunately, although I lost, my opponent is doing a much better job than expected. 

I approached this election cycle with the same intention.

Having registered with the Secretary of State’s office to run as an Independent. I asked them what I had to do to get on the ballot in November. A clerk showed me a petition form in the pamphlet saying “You need to get 100 registered voters to sign this petition. I’d get extra if I were you.”

In May, I got 140 signatures and tried to turn the petition in to the SOS before Memorial Day. Mark A. Wlaschin, the Assistant Secretary of State for Elections told me that I shouldn’t turn them in because “You didn’t ask to use the petition form (the one that they had provided), so…, all your signatures are invalid …Don’t worry, you have until June 17 to turn

in your petition.” 

In the second week of June, I tried to turn in 100 signatures to Amy Burgans to verify. She called Wlaschin to confirm and advised me to turn the signatures in on June 16. On June 16 I tried to give her 160 signatures, and she informed me that according to Wlaschin, I was too late, and she couldn’t accept them. I then drove to Carson City to ask Mr. Wlaschin personally about the statutes. He informed me that indeed I was too late. He said “I’m sorry. The statutes are very confusing, even to us. You’re not alone. Other independents had the same problem.”

I would like to thank all the wonderful people who signed my petition. Your support was gratifying. 

You haven’t heard the last from me, but this cycle I won’t be on the ballot. 

Charles “Charlie” Holt


More homes require more water


It’s inevitable that more and more homes will be built. With more homes requires the need for more water.

When Chichester was built, the homeowners association required sprinkler systems and green grass.

They eventually allowed draught resistant landscaping.

I suggested that the Douglas County commissioners require drought resistance landscaping for new developments. I never heard back from them.

It’s time we consider this requirement.

Ed Eggert


Math scores a sign


Personally, I think it’s funny (sad) that no one seems to understand why our students’ math tests scores are so far underwater. It’s very simple. Today’s parents have no idea how to do the math that they are teaching today, so how does the school system expect us to help our kids learn. We are raising a teenager and every year since fourth grade we have actually gone into the classrooms for help from teachers that can barely or can’t explain today’s math to us. I admit we’re not rocket scientists, but we have done OK with the poor education we received. 

 Terry Davis


Fear of the Woke


Look who’s woke now: Bob Russo and Virginia Starrett have taken the recent test report data and concluded that the DCSD school district is the victim of “woke” culture, CASEL, and CRT. I am confused as to how one can draw the conclusion that a statewide and universally equivalent drop in math test scores is the direct result of any of these things. Math is the universal language. It spans cultures and beliefs and languages, and whether you are woke left or woke right, math doesn’t care. Blaming math score decline on cultural doctrine lacks any basis in fact or logic. Could there be a link between student apathy and a standardized test that has no bearing for a portion of students who aren’t focused on college? Possibly. There are a lot of factors that could contribute to declining math scores, but I for one believe that the students and young persons in Douglas County are bright, engaging, and want to succeed. Saying that students don’t care about a test score belittles their ambitions and pretends to understand the different motivations of our students. Do some students not care about the ACT at 16 and 17 years old, maybe not, but to make blanket statements about the student body demonstrates how little they know or care about the young people in Douglas County. And why they should be kept as far away from students and the educational system as possible.

Further, the tenor of letters to the editor that condemn teaching philosophy and doctrine that are not taught or used in Douglas County is a solution in search of a non-existent problem. Teachers in Douglas County are not robots. They do not preach. They do not regurgitate wrote doctrine of any sort. They are good educators. As a father of two students who completed all of their grade school education in Douglas County and a member of the community for over 16 years, I would say that a great deal of the teachers in DCSD would be considered conservatives on a majority of issues. And the students in my children’s classes were never told what or how to think. They were taught events and given knowledge and then were allowed to discuss and debate amongst themselves. My children and their peers were taught how to think critically and then allowed to draw their own conclusions. Perhaps that is what drives the fear of the “woke”: Free thinking, individualized expression, and true independence. Right or left, conservative or progressive, the woke fear what they cannot control. And the letter writers are certainly afraid and demonstrating their own brand of wokeness.

John Collins


Untruths in school board race


It amazes me to witness untruths, the left spew. Weeks ago, Ms. Lisa McGuffin stated that Butterfield, Lehmann and Jackson are in the “red corner.” Lisa is not being truthful. The truth be known Burns, Dickerson and Jansen are “in the red corner” not the “blue corner.”

What does how long you’ve lived in Douglas or number of children they have to do with being a school board candidate? Across the nation parents are deeply angered at the massive social engineering taking place with CRT, etc. It’s destroying our children’s minds and their ability to receive a once superior education including other curriculum.

As parents and citizens we must question what we are being told that does not comport with the facts. If Lehmann, Jackson and Butterfield are truly against CRT when they state “there are policies in place to address complaints” tells me they actually are for CRT, SEL and DEI. Ms. Butterfield worked from 2018-2021 as an Assessment Secretary and has acquired the mindset the district desires.

Burns, Dickerson and Jansen are definitely not one-issue candidates. Talk to them regarding their concerns. The reason CRT is such a hot topic is due to it being taught this last year in K-12 across America.

The intentional, perpetual federalizing of education in D.C. is for the purpose of controlling children to be social justice warriors and our children may turn against their parents thus destroying the family. This is the deliberate dumbing-down of education and our entire society. Please, parents do not be deceived.

In a book titled “The Freeman – Ideas on Liberty” it states … “fitful experimentation on children ...To put it bluntly, public education treats parents like children and children like guinea pigs.”

By the way, Republicans do not vandalize others campaign signs, liberals do. My husband and I have witnessed it in years past.

Sally Bowman


Editor’s Note: All six of the school board candidates are registered Republicans. School board is a nonpartisan office.

What are seniors doing?


After reading the article about math scores plummeting as well as today’s Opinion piece, I have some questions. First, if high schoolers are not planning to go to college, just what are they planning to do? 

Adulthood starts shortly after high school seniors exit school in June. Do they have a job lined up that may introduce them to further advancement in meaningful and lucrative fields? Are they going to take over a family business for which they’ve been trained already? Are they planning to enter apprenticeship programs or perhaps enter Western Nevada College to learn a trade? Maybe the military can train them for jobs in their communities.

University education is an admirable goal. It’s also a huge real estate selling point to claim that a town’s high schools send a large number of kids to college. As many adults have already discovered, a university education promises very little return for the money. But hey, “our kids go to college” whether it’s worthwhile or not.

Meanwhile, anyone who has hired any kind of repair or service person to fix or remodel anything in their home has also discovered there’s a severe lack of competence. Often, a client has to call the company to send someone out to repair the damage caused by the first person. That second person is often much older and much better trained than the first. 

In many trades, machinists for example, the average age of workers is in the 50s and 60s. They’re looking to retire, but the industries still need their talents and deep knowledge of the jobs. And who’s going to replace them?

Community colleges such as WNC, offer extensive programs for the trades. One at WNC, called Mechatronics, covers mechanics, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and power control. This course prepares workers to maintain machinery in factories and resorts. (Think ski lifts) Very few young people seem motivated to enter such courses. 

Why? Is it because they’re lazy and just want to hang out? Or is there another reason? 

How much exposure to industrial trades do public schools offer their students? Industrial arts programs were ditched decades ago in favor of ... (drumroll) ... college prep classes. Gotta get those kids into college because it really looks great for our community. Meanwhile, nobody knows how to screw in a light bulb without aging adult supervision. 

Maybe our brand new school board can figure out how to solve this conundrum.

Sue Cauhape




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