June 8, 2022, R-C Letters to the Editor

Large flags fly at Eastside Memorial Park in Minden on Memorial Day. In addition to being Election Day, Tuesday is also Flag Day and the U.S. Army’s 247th birthday.

Large flags fly at Eastside Memorial Park in Minden on Memorial Day. In addition to being Election Day, Tuesday is also Flag Day and the U.S. Army’s 247th birthday.
Lori Piccini | Special to The R-C


In Support of Rice for Commissioner


The Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce endorses incumbent Wes Rice for the Board of County Commissioners seat in District 4. His reasonable approach to problem solving, collaborative demeanor and wealth of experience will serve the residents of Douglas County well over the coming four years. He has demonstrated his ability to think forward and lead the Commission and the County into the future.

Wes’s long-term commitment to community service is commendable. As a resident for 31 years, he has served the Sheriff’s department, been a constable, and contributed as a member of numerous boards and committees. His range of experiences has provided our members a proven track record as an evaluation of his leadership. Wes has been a quiet but consistent voice through the years on important issues facing the business community.

Wes has a solid foundation for understanding and addressing the critical issues facing Douglas County. He seeks the middle ground for thoughtful solutions while working to maintain the wonderful quality of life we all enjoy. He recognizes the importance of meaningful, sustainable growth which must occur to protect rights of individuals, balanced with policies that protect the unique aesthetic qualities of Douglas County. Over the years, Wes has encouraged discussions and solutions which attempt to meet in the middle and avoid extremism on either side.

We hope you will join us and the many other organizations and individuals throughout the County in supporting Commissioner Rice. We are confident he is the right person for the job, and we appreciate his continued willingness to serve the community. Vote Wes Rice for the Douglas County Commission.

Alicia Main, Executive Director

Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce

Rice best for commissioner


Douglas County residents have benefitted greatly from the last four years of service by Commissioner Wes Rice.  He deserves your vote in the June 14 Nevada primary.  Wes was the Senior Boat Patrol Deputy for 15 years on Tahoe, helping to keep our residents and visitors safe.  Wes served for 12 years as a trustee on the Round Hill GID and always works for the everyday needs of our entire county.  

Wes has been Chair of the Republican State Party Rural Caucus where he demonstrates his commitment to keeping Douglas County rural.

Commissioner Rice is respected and trusted by everyone he works with and is an effective voice in the operations of Douglas County.  As a Planning Commissioner I’ve seen him provide common sense solutions to issues that come before him.  My endorsement is a personal one, and not as part of my role on the Planning Commission.  

Kirk Walder

Zephyr Cove

Rice for continuity


For over the last decade, Douglas County has been plagued with employee turnover that has been unprecedented. Throughout the organization, employees ranging from sheriff’s deputies to department heads, county managers and even county commissioners have experienced limited tenure with the county.  

The cost to the taxpayer is considerable, and the loss of institutional knowledge and historical context, when it comes to the decision-making process is difficult to measure.

Continuity of Leadership is vital to the health of any organization, and historically lacking in Douglas County.  We need experienced leaders that know the organization, its people, and the issues confronting the County at large. 

Currently, Wes Rice is the only sitting Commissioner who comes to the position with prior public service experience.  We can not afford more freshman leadership deciding the future of our County.

We need knowledgeable leaders.  We need to re-elect Wes Rice.

Dave Brady


Voting for Butterfield


I’ve been an educator in Douglas County for 22 years, I am a parent of a Douglas County student, and I was a Douglas County student since the first grade through my senior year in high school.  So, I wonder why all the sudden, I’ve become somebody to be feared?  I promise you; I am not here to indoctrinate your children with CRT.  I am here because like you, I care deeply about your children and only want the best for them and want them to grow up to be well rounded, responsible citizens of our community. I want them to know that they are loved, and we believe in them. The teachers of this great district are only asking that we have the support to carry this message to our students.  I believe we can continue to move forward in a positive direction through the choices we make in our school board.  This is why I will be voting for Roberta Butterfield, Heather Jackson and Robbe Lehmann and I encourage you to do the same!

Brandi Bray-Torres


Social emotional learning nose of the camel


Although Social Emotional Learning is relished among its proponents as a valuable tool for enhancing the emotional and mental well-being of our youth, its true intent is to indoctrinate students and turn them into social justice warriors advancing far-left political and globalist ideologies that oppose the values of most parents and the principles that have supported our great Republic. 

According to Karen Niemi, the president and CEO of CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning), “social-emotional learning helps students “move from anger to agency and then to action,” primarily in the cause of anti-racism. (The Federalist; 2/8/2022)

No ethical person approves of racism. Yet, the definition under SEL is that whites are the oppressors while people of color, the oppressed. This creates division among people.  

Once SEL finds an entry point into school curriculums, as benign as it may appear initially, it is only a matter of time before its dark side surfaces and pollutes the minds of our youth. And, with it comes its close neighbors, such as CRT and “gender literacy.” 

This is happening throughout the country. In December 2021, in the Spreckels Union School District in California, two teachers coached a 12-year-old into trans identity. The school also changed her name and pronouns all WITHOUT parental consent. (The National Desk; 12/17/2021)

And in November 2021, West Hartford Connecticut parents became furious when they found out that kids as young as kindergarten were being taught “gender literacy” that focuses on identity and inclusion. (The Hartford Courant; 11/22/2021)  

It is becoming commonplace for teachers and administrators to override parental authority and push these programs. “According to Alliance Defending Freedom, public schools and administrators are taking it upon themselves to make these (transgender) decisions without involving parents and in fact cutting them out.” (The Daily Signal; 12/16/2021)  

So, do you think that what we see happening in other parts of the U.S. cannot happen in “Rural America” Douglas County? Well, it can and will if we do not pay close attention to what our youth are taught. 

We need strong and transparent school board trustees who will not bow down to the “woke” agenda and will stand with parents and endorse a comprehensive educational program that includes math, science, English composition/grammar, and civics. An education that will provide our youth with the opportunity to succeed in their chosen careers and appreciate the freedom that has been gifted to them from the work and sacrifice of past generations. 

Fortunately, we have three highly qualified candidates running for school board trustees that are well-equipped to face this challenge. They are David Burns (in the June primary election) and Susan Jansen and Katherine Dickerson (in the November general election). They deserve our votes for the benefit of our children. 

Bob Russo


Voting for Butterfield


During our upcoming election we have the chance to elect three new school board members.  As a former history teacher at Douglas High School for 22 years, as well as six years in California Schools prior to that, I know from firsthand experience the school board of any school is critically important.  It has the final say in nearly every district policy, as well as the overall direction that the schools take.  It is the guiding hand of schools.

Additionally, the school board is the important direct link to the voters of how a district might handle a given issue from everyday issues to various hot button ones that constantly arise.  The health of a community is in large measure defined by the health of its public schools.  In this election, like most elections, it is important to choose the right people for these incredibly important local school board seats.  

Young people of all ages learn best in a steady, confident and clear environment.  DCSD schools have had that environment for decades.  We have raised generations of nice kids here who are competent and ready to take on the world.  We have great schools and that greatness is guided by our school board. 

To continue to do this hard school board work I enthusiastically support the following three candidates:  Heather Jackson, Robbe Lehmann and Roberta Butterfield.

Heather Jackson, who is up for reelection, has shown herself to be a thoughtful and careful decision maker.  She visits schools, talks to everyone, taking in a wide variety of information before carefully making a decision or taking a vote.  She has four kids who have or are currently attending Douglas County Schools.  She knows what is going on from multiple angles.  She is a steady hand.

Robbe Lehmann is a second candidate up for reelection.  Even while facing opposition, he takes his time to really study all sides of an issue.  At a recent school board meeting this year I saw him bring at least 5 books to the meeting he had already read on a “hot button issue” he was to vote on that night.  He wants only the best for the students of Douglas County and is dedicated to high standards.  He, too, is a steady hand.

Roberta Butterfield is the third candidate I enthusiastically support.  She has taught at WNC in business, marketing, economics and math as well as having been a financial analyst in the past.  Her masters degree in business will allow her to understand the finances of the district well.  She currently works at Douglas High School, has DCSD children herself, and knows the needs of parents in our school.  She will be a steady hand holding a calculator. 

With these three candidates elected, and their thoughtfulness guiding us, our school will only continue to improve.  Please elect Heather Jackson, Robbe Lehmann and Roberta Butterfield to Douglas County School Board.

Adam Lazear

Retired History Teacher

Founder - DHS Alpine Outdoor Club

I will listen to parents


If you live in Douglas County, no matter what district or political party you belong to, you can vote for Roberta Butterfield in the primaries.

So why should you fill Roberta Butterfield’s ballot bubble? 

I have the right experience and qualifications. I am the parent of two Douglas County graduates, one who graduated in 2020 during toilet paper shortages and unexpected online classes with a learning plan for dyslexia, the other in 2021 with both an associate’s degree from Western Nevada College and a diploma from Douglas High School.

I have a degree and professional work experience in finance and project management. I am also a bit of a spreadsheet and research geek. I will use these skills and experiences to review and improve our schools’ budget and financial considerations, create better processes within our district, and focus on how information is shared to ensure transparency, communication, and connection within our community.

I have been a volunteer, substitute teacher, substitute nurse, and Assessment Secretary at Douglas High School. I understand the teachers’ concerns because I have worked with many of them. I understand the parents’ concerns because I am one of them. 

I will work to forge a greater connection between our community and our schools.

I will listen to parent and community concerns, research and ask questions to understand issues, and make decisions putting our students and families first. I will communicate the “why” of my decisions.

My experience in Douglas County schools has shown me how dedicated and accomplished our district employees are. Because some in Douglas County believe accusations of “indoctrination” I am committed to greater two-way communication, respect for all opinions, and transparency. The school district must also continue its vigilance ensuring all materials and instruction reflect community values and are age-appropriate.

For 11 years I have worked, volunteered, and advocated - doing what I could in my roles to improve the school environment and facilitate school-parent communication.  As a board member, I will continue and expand these efforts.

Douglas County School District ranks at the top of the state in academic achievement. I am committed to keeping us there — maintaining a laser focus on increasing achievement in reading, writing, arithmetic, and other core subjects necessary for success in real life.

We know supportive relationships with peers and adults in the school environment contribute to better student outcomes. Schools that foster kindness and compassion have higher school performance scores. Humans are social creatures that thrive with connection.

Tackling “learning loss” from time spent out of the classroom isn’t just about cramming in more subject matter.  It is also about reconnecting students to their teachers and schools, because students do better when they feel they have personal value to contribute and a clear path to success. 

The school board is a place to bring together parents, teachers, community members, administrators, and students, forging a system that reflects our collective community values and results in excellent education for every student.

Roberta Butterfield


We need outsiders like Brown


I feel compelled to reply to Laurie Hickey’s recent letter appearing in The Record-Courier wherein she asks several questions including, “What has Sam Brown done in or for Nevada to warrant the support he is receiving?” _First, I must say his military service and sacrifice was for our entire nation including Nevada. Second, he has established a small business here and lives in Washoe County with his family full time. Also, he truly wants to represent all Nevadans in the US Senate and not just the national Republican party which I believe has lost its direction. 

As to Sam Brown’s family ties to the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals, Laurie fails to state that Sam’s great grandfather was the legendary Cleveland coach Paul Brown, founder of the Bengals. And that ownership of the Bengals remains with Sam’s great uncles and their families, not with Sam or his father. 

My question is do we as Nevadans want someone who is supported by the people of Nevada, such as Sam Brown, or someone who is taking direction and funding from current and former elected officials from Florida? I believe we all have come to realize that career politicians can’t fix the problems in Washington, we need outsiders like Sam. 

What is not said is Sam’s campaign has received contributions from over 40,000 donors with an average contribution of only $63. That is truly grass roots support, and answers Laurie’s final question as why so many Douglas County republicans are supporting Capt. Sam Brown and not Adam Laxalt. 

Ron Alling

Zephyr Cove

Common sense car control


We’ve been told time and again that we need some “Common Sense” gun control laws.  But where did you last see anyone with “Common Sense”?

How about my school bus driver, Ronnie?  When I was 15 or 16, I wanted a squirrel rifle and since I was the first one on the bus in the morning and the last one off at night Ronnie and I became good friends.  He told me that he thought I should go look at the rifle Bruce Thompson had for sale at the local Pure Oil station.  I did, I liked it and handed over $25 on the spot to buy it and then brought it home on the school bus.  This was 1956 in rural Wisconsin.  The rifle is actually a 22 caliber Mossberg carbine.  With the scope, hand grip, sling and clips, it looks very much like the M-2 carbine we used when I later served in the Air Force.  It might have been the “Assault rifle” of the 1950s by today’s logic.

Now for some real common sense — as I view it.  On November 2022 last year a red SUV (Ford Escape) deliberately plowed through a Christmas parade in Kenosha, Wisc.—the same city where an AK 47 killed two people during the summer riots (Kyle Rittenhouse).  That SUV killed five people and injured another 40.  It happened in the blink of an eye and to the disbelief of those who witnessed it.

I should think our politicians could have come up with some “Common Sense” car control laws by now.  At the very least Congress could have held hearings.

They might have considered:

Banning red SUVs

Banning Ford Escapes

Banning all SUVs (We’ve gotten along okay without them before)

Equipping SUVs with technology that shuts the engine off and applies the brakes when approaching parades, or

Banning all red vehicles since red is such an aggressive color (Henry Ford would certainly have supported this)

Of course, none of this will be considered since the automobile industry contributes mountains of cash to political campaigns.  Ford alone contributed $2.5 million to the 2020 campaigns—mostly to Democratic candidates.  

Then there is the North American Auto show coming up Sept. 14-25.  How many politicians, celebrities, entertainers, and gun control activists will we see there?  

In 2021, automobiles (Including SUVs and trucks) killed 42,915 people – the most in 16 years, up 10.5 percent over the previous year. This equals almost to the number of fatalities in the Korean or Vietnam wars.  Yet we still make “Military Style” SUVs and then paint them red. Enough is enough.

Thomas Bee


See something, say something


I am blessed to have had the opportunity to graduate from school before 1999- before Columbine and before we worried about the safety of children in school.  My children, however, have understood that school is a dangerous place since they were 18 months old and placed into the care of both the private and public care in Douglas County.   What if Gardnerville Nevada was Uvalde, Texas? What makes us different?  Today in Gardnerville it was 85 degrees, today in Uvalde it was 85 degrees.  Today in Gardnerville our kids played at recess, ate lunch, learned together and thankfully at the end of the day they came home to their families.  Today in Uvalde their kids that played at recess, ate lunch, learned together and then they were targeted by a man with a gun who wanted to kill them.  The children who died have left a huge hole in the world.

As part of Douglas County Leadership 2022 our class spent the day learning about Public Safety and the Judicial System in our community.   One of the most eye opening and shocking portions of our day was spent with Capt. Daniel Britton where he spoke about active shooters.  He did an amazing job outlining the brief history of active shooters in the United States and I want to thank him.  The key takeaway from the 45 minutes?  So many of these incidents could be stopped by the people who know the shooter - the clues are abundant and most times very hard to ignore.   If you see something, say something.  We have a non-emergency line to DCSO- 775.782.5126.  Use it.  Safety doesn’t happen by accident. 

Maggi Vandenburg


Open up Nevada primaries


Well, this year’s primary ballot is in the mail. Once again I held my nose and registered for a party before my vote would have any meaning. I consider myself an independent and it rankles that I am disenfranchised by our closed primaries. 

According to Ballotpedia: “An open primary is any primary election in which a voter either does not have to formally affiliate with a political party in order to vote in its primary or can declare his or her affiliation with a party at the polls on the day of the primary even if the voter was previously affiliated with a different party.  Nevada state law stipulates that voters must be affiliated with a political party to vote in its primary. Winners in primary elections are determined by plurality vote.” Plurality means that the candidate with the most votes wins. 

When I brought up this issue on social media, one person commented that an open primary would lead to chaos. Chaos? You mean it would be too messy to have every voter choose from a long list, as we have this year, and not be able to see who the winner is? Is that too difficult?  

My poli-sci professor taught us that the primary election is the most important election of all because of the number of candidates available. All legally registered voters must be allowed to vote in order to get a firm idea which candidates are most likely to prevail in the general election. This is also an advantage for the parties. Instead, they want to suppress participation by unpredictable and uncontrollable independents. I guess that’s where the chaos is. 

In a state that holds party caucuses, it’s a waste of taxpayer money to also insist that primaries be party-only. It’s redundant and evil in its intent to deny non-party-members their rights.  

When I voted at age 21 (in Utah), I received a ballot with all candidates listed. I was told I couldn’t cross between parties, but I was not restricted to just non-partisan offices and propositions. Registered as an independent, I could still vote for candidates for partisan offices. When I moved out of Utah, I was shocked to be denied this kind of ballot. 

We may struggle over voter IDs and mail-in ballot integrity, but we are ignoring the bigger threat of suppressing open primaries. The other issues are mere distractions from this crime against independent voters. So many people take for granted that this is just the way it’s supposed to be, but they don’t understand how deeply this harms our democracy. It also fosters voter apathy. 

To all of you who want Nevada to open its primaries so that taxpayers can participate in the open elections they pay for, I urge you to contact your legislators to change this law. It’s time that all voters be allowed to exercise their right to vote in primaries regardless of party affiliation. 

Sue Cauhape 


Thanks for a great year


We had an extraordinary year bringing back activities after a pandemic at Douglas High School. Between raising money with our rival to support the victims of the terrible fires, the first Prom & Mr. DHS in three years, and an amazing Homecoming we have had a great year putting on events for the entire DHS Community and the Carson Valley at large. 

We would first like to thank the students that make up our leadership family. Without their dedication, creativity, and resilience, nothing would be possible. These students spend hours on end taking care of every last detail to make events for their peers. We would like to express our additional thanks to Laurie Moon and Pam Neumyer for all of their support. 

We would also like to thank all DHS Staff members. It truly takes a village, and our classified staff, teachers, counselors, and administrators go above and beyond to help make our goals possible. We are so thankful for everything they do and their endless effort to support the students of DHS. We would also like to thank Superintendent Keith Lewis, the district office staff, and our DCSD School Board for their support and belief in what we do. 

Lastly, we are proud to have a school that is part of a valley like this one; one that prides itself on community and support. We would like to thank the following businesses who generously supported our events this year: Ron Harpin Photography, Minden Pizza Factory, Kid Pix, Gourmet Sewing Company, Team Sports Ink, Human Bean, Coffee on Main, DST Coffee, Carson Valley Golf Course, Joey Whitacre, Steve Chappell, and the Carson Valley Inn, Accolades Trophies and Engraving, Ann Britt, Kaia Fit & Tumbleweeds Gymnastics, The Record Courier, Minden Starbucks, Kristopher’s, JC Merrithew Construction, Western Nevada Supply, Schat’s Bakery, The Chocolate Shoppe, Yogurt Beach, Ironwood Cinema, Amanda Keith, JT Basque and Carter Eck, Sarah Drinkwine and Kurt Hildebrand from the Record Courier. 

We would like to offer a special thank you to Genoa Lakes Golf Coursef or allowing our high school students to enjoy a magical night in the midst of one of the most beautiful places in the valley. Also, to the Town of Minden and the amazing staff there who make sure that Mr. DHS and homecoming can involve our entire community. 

We greatly appreciate everyone’s dedication and hard work put towards helping us in this journey. Go Tigers!

Sofia DeLange, 

Student Body President 21/22

Reagan Brown, 

Senior Class President 21/22

Mena Dedmon, 

Leadership Teacher

Karen Lamb, 

Director of Activities


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