May 4, 2022, R-C Letters to the Editor

A Model T parked in front of the Genoa Town Hall during Western Heritage Days on April 30.

A Model T parked in front of the Genoa Town Hall during Western Heritage Days on April 30.

Not indoctrinating students


I have been an educator in Douglas County for nearly 30 years and I have taught hundreds of students in multiple DCSD schools.  I have seen firsthand the incredible instruction and support of our dedicated teachers and DCSD staff.  

We live in a conservative family-oriented community that cares about each other and supports both profit organizations that employ great numbers like General Electric, Carson Valley Inn, and Starbucks, and nonprofit organizations such as Partnership Douglas County, and the Community Food Closet. All reach out beyond the schools to help families in need. The school district staff I know is open to improvement and dedicated to student achievement and support for families.  Nothing in school is part of a “hidden agenda”.  We encourage students to become responsible and respectful citizens who can learn to solve problems peacefully and who think for themselves.  Our teachers are not “indoctrinating” our students.  We are focusing on valuing each student’s uniqueness and potential, while teaching critical content based on state mandated standards. 

Before COVID, schools emphasized family participation and volunteering.  COVID stopped in person learning.  Post-covid teachers and students are now faced with the challenge of making up for lost academic time, as well as social opportunities that students naturally experience while engaging with others. Most students experienced loss in their families and have dealt with isolation from routine. This year, we are working with families to rebuild some sense of structure student’s lives.  Parent volunteers are coming back to the classroom, and all our schools have reinstated family nights, academic field trips, as well as literature, music, and art fairs.  

The members of the DCSD School Board are critical in supporting the work of school staff, students, and their families. I support the candidacies of Jackson, Lehmann, and Butterfield for the school board races and their positive drive for the betterment of our schools. All three are active parents of a combined total of nine DCSD students.  Candidate Heather Jackson is the child of DCSD educators, and  a dedicated parent of four sons. Before serving as a school board trustee Heather served as PTO president at Pau Wa Lu Middle School. She has coached Little League, AYSO, and rec volleyball, as well as worked with church youth groups. Robbe Lehman, as a dedicated father of a son and two daughters, and school board trustee, has gone above and beyond  to support both academic and athletic programs in Douglas County. Roberta Butterfield, mother of two daughters,  like Leymann, has a background in financial management and overseeing large projects while keeping taxation and government intrusion at bay.  Butterfield also served the last three years as an administrative assistant in the Counseling office of Douglas High. 

My husband and I are proud of the work we and our wonderful colleagues in DCSD have the privilege to do with our students.  I ask that you support Heather Jackson, Robbe Lehmann, and Roberta Butterfield because they are committed to provide a high quality education for our students and the competence to make this happen. 

Mary Stoll


Check the signs


Here’s a tip that works for me and could help one make decisions as to who to vote for in the Douglas County School Board races. Those who displayed vote for Biden/Harris yard signs now display yard signs for candidates Jackson Lehman and Butterfield.  I give those same people credit for the destruction of our country by way of historic sky-high inflation, literal monthly (D Day equivalent in numbers) invasion of the southern border by illegal aliens seeking free medical care, looming food shortages and possible war with Russia even as we continue buy their petroleum products, and especially the outrageous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan showing the world America’s ruling class is dangerously weak and feckless, etc. Since those same Biden voters have already exhibited poor judgment by their presidential vote their support and judgement of these candidates should be questioned.  

One cannot assume Jackson Lehman and Butterfield are moderates so one should look deeper into and question their philosophies. For example, do they each agree parents have a big say in what is taught to their children?

One more thing. It was noted recent California transplants promptly posted a yard sign supporting Black Lives Matter, the self-described Marxist organization. After at least a year they took it down and nearly at the same time planted Butterfield for school board sign in their front yard and on their car.  As far as I am concerned that tells you everything you need to know.

Cathryn Kotler


Who’s an expert?


In my years watching the events in the valley and reading the Record-Courier, I have seen few letters to the editor as ridiculous as those of Lynn Muzzy and Dana Meyer on April 27.

Mr. Muzzy says, “Mrs. Starrett, a professional educator who has been attending local Douglas County school board meetings, has taken note of what is being taught to very young Douglas County school kids.”

How has she taken note? Despite an open invitation from the superintendent to visit the schools in person, there’s no report Starrett has ever visited a classroom.

But you know who actually is in the schools? The litany of professional educators who are working in our district each and every day, and who have written letters and spoken at school board meetings refuting the lies, misrepresentations, and exaggerations of Mrs. Starrett. 

In what world does Mr. Muzzy live where the testimony of one person, Virginia Starrett — who takes national news and applies it to our district — hold more validity than our very own educators, who work extremely hard every day taking care of our own kids? Not in the real world, that’s for sure. 

Muzzy ends his letter by insinuating that teachers are indoctrinating “grammar school students with a divisive political premise that he or she might be an oppressor or a victim because of their skin color.” This is not happening in our schools. There have been zero complaints of this ever happening in our district. Muzzy, like Starrett, assumes that if something has happened in another district it must have happened here. I say to Muzzy, show me where this has happened in our district; and if you can’t, stop spreading lies.

Dana Meyer, in her letter, claims that the current board members who are running for re-election “are not informed of what is being taught in Douglas County schools.” Meyer suffers from the same issue that Muzzy does. 

In fact, those board members — as they regularly report in their monthly board meetings — have spent hundreds of hours doing exactly that. Finding out what our educators are doing every day, and they are consistently impressed and inspired by what they see. 

In the end, both Muzzy and Meyer claim that one person knows better than dozens and dozens of others who have far more experience and who actually are in schools and working directly with our own students, teaching lessons, supporting and encouraging them to grow and become their own critical thinkers.

It’s a good thing that neither Muzzy nor Meyer are prosecutors. How would a judge and jury view one witness against 50 high quality, expert witnesses who refute everything the witness said? Not very long. Muzzy’s and Meyer’s claims fall flat because there is no evidence to support them. 

Roger Rusmisel

Fish Springs

Disappointed in school board attacks


I don’t usually weigh in on politics but I have to speak up about these school board elections coming up. I am a semi-retired rancher who is chasing his grandkids around now, and I have lived here for 10 plus years. My daughter teaches 4th grade back up in Idaho. I just can’t believe how the schools are under attack here. When I think about how hard these teachers work it just makes me sad that Virginia Starrett, Leslie Burns and others want to attack the board members who support our teachers.

Schools are not political places, period. Now, I am an old conservative and in my family, the term “redneck” is a high compliment. I voted for Ronald Reagan and I’d do it again. But these extremists who are assaulting our school board are not conservatives, they’re just nuts. Our schools do a good job of keeping politics out of the classroom. The teachers I’ve met here strike me as real professionals who put the kids first. These folks who Starrett has put up to run for the board are the ones trying to bring politics into the schools. Let’s keep them out.

I was at the meeting at Mad Dog’s restaurant awhile back where Dickerson, Burns, and Jansen made their cases for their campaigns. All I heard out of them were insults and lies about the school district. I heard folks yelling things at some of our retired educators that I wouldn’t repeat anywhere, to anybody.  Unfortunately my daughter is dealing with the same nonsense up in Idaho. Apparently these folks are coordinating nationally. 

One of the big reasons I love living here is that we don’t usually deal with the crazy issues we see on national news. But now it seems that we are. Since when did the elections for school board trustee in this little valley become a platform for hatred and misinformation? 

I will be supporting Roberta Butterfield, Robbe Lehmann, and Heather Jackson in the upcoming elections and I urge all sane people to do the same. I’ve spoken with each of them and they genuinely care about the kids in this valley.  We need to protect those kids from the craziness their opponents have promised to bring us.

I’ll be staying tuned to this newspaper and the board meetings to see how this all turns out.

Ed Moss


Who better to serve schools


As a father of two children currently enrolled in the DCSD, I’ve taken the time to formulate my thoughts on the School Board elections. It seems there are serious candidates who recognize the real challenges and opportunities that the DCSD must navigate, and there are candidates who offer platitudes. Like so many of the other letter writers who felt it important enough to share their thoughts, it is clear that the candidates most serious about working for the students of the DCSD are Roberta Butterfield, Heather Jackson, and Robbe Lehmann.

Here are a few guiding principles I’m using to determine who will best serve the needs of the DCSD.

First, I think it’s crucial that our elected decision-makers have skin in the game. Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann all have children who are enrolled in the DCSD or have graduated from the DCSD. Their opponents do not.

Second, who better to maintain the historic character of the Carson Valley within the DCSD than those who are either the product of that character or have been instrumental in creating and maintaining it? Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann have all been heavily involved with the DCSD throughout their decades of living in the Carson Valley: they are Carson Valley.

Third, whose platforms are based on serving the needs of the DCSD instead of a platform of emotionally charged distraction? Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann are all educated, informed, and skilled to solve actual problems facing the DCSD. Their opponents make noise.

The DCSD needs to be equipped with the tools to attract and retain the best teachers, counselors, speech and occupational therapists, reading specialists, social-workers, support staff, and administrators. It needs to focus on facilities and asset maintenance. It needs to understand and improve the financial condition of the DCSD. There are legitimate and imminent challenges facing the DCSD and I want the most emotionally balanced, carefully reflective, morally sound, solutions-oriented professionals to be at the helm to meet those challenges. Without question, all of those traits are best reflected by Roberta Butterfield, Heather Jackson, and Robbe Lehmann.

Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann have been engaged and involved in the Carson Valley for decades. If you’ve been to a local park or school to watch a youth sports game or attended a youth band or dance recital, it’s they who were also there watching their kids. If you’ve been to an event to support a local charity or family, it’s their faces you’ve also seen in attendance.

Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann represent the best of Carson Valley: not the byproduct of the California real-estate market.

Please support Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann in creating solutions for the challenges facing the DCSD. We need representatives who will work together to find those solutions and make sound decisions. Their opponents will only make noise.

Jason Martin


Big readerboards will block view


CalTrans proposes to install ‘traffic management systems and roadside safety improvements’ in our neighboring Alpine Co.  The details of this $26 million project are available at but to summarize the major impact, CalTrans plans to install overhead changeable lighted traffic signs at five locations, two in Hope Valley, two at Kirkwood and one in Markleeville. This is in addition to the similar existing signs on Highway 88 at the south end of the valley, and in Meyers. 

Surprisingly, CalTrans has determined that these signs will have ‘less than significant impact’ on the ‘scenic vista.’ 

I believe that the installation of these signs is offensive as well as redundant and extraneous.  Travelers into Woodfords Canyon will have seen the sign at the state line and will have chosen to prepare accordingly.  Those drivers who do not read signs or choose to ignore them will not change their actions.  These additional signs are not likely to significantly enhance ‘mobility or efficiency’ but will certainly be a detriment to the iconic vistas along Highways 88 and 89 (designated California Scenic Highways). 

Additionally, many drivers get their travel data from their phone or their car’s information system, technology that is sure to increase and improve making this project obsolete before it even starts in 2024.  

Although I am a not an Alpine County resident, I have made an official comment to Caltrans that summarizes my opinion.  The above-mentioned website makes it easy for anyone to opine.  

Peggy Ristorcelli


Livestock Show in Reno this week


The annual Nevada Junior Livestock Show and Sale will be held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center May 5-7.  Youth will be exhibiting under the umbrella organizations of the National FFA Organization, 4-H, and Grange along with those who fulfill the independent requirements as well.  

The exhibitors must own and care for their livestock to exhibit at the show.  The projects can range in a time commitment from four months to a year and a detailed record book completes the project requirement.  

I would like to invite everyone to stop by and visit with our amazing young people from the Carson Valley about their projects.  A complete schedule and more information can be found at

A large thank-you also goes out to the Nevada Junior Livestock Show & Sale Board Members especially those in our community.  We appreciate the opportunity for our youth to continue the agricultural traditions of the valley.

Becky Tekansik 


Representatives continue to spend too much money


We are over $30 trillon dollars in debt, and our employees, our representatives, (I refuse to call them leaders because that was never the intent of the Constitution) in Washington D.C. are recklessly spending our tax dollars like they’re children with their parent’s credit cards at the mall. Don’t these people know money doesn’t grow on trees? They continue to spend money we do not have, year after year!

Our tax dollars are worked for; they’re earned. I’m tired of representatives claiming to do something about our national debt and balance our budget but go to Washington and spend, spend, and spend more. I’m tired of the government spending. I’m tired of Mark Amodei among others, breaking that promise! 

If we’re in debt trillions of dollars, what genius thinks it’s a good idea to spend more trillions? Mark Amodei, apparently. Families across the country and across Nevada are struggling to pay for gas and groceries due to the record inflation that arose from the reckless policies and spending in Washington. Instead of standing up for us in Washington, Amodei voted for more spending and escalating the already crippling inflation. When will enough be enough? When every day Nevadans can’t afford to feed our children? 

How about this, let’s go and elect a fiscally responsible conservative like Danny Tarkanian. Danny will fight against radical spending and reverse our spiraling national debt. This congressional election isn’t about whether or not you are engaged with politics. This election has everything to do with whether we will have enough money to live our lives and support our families. 

Mark Amodei has turned his back on the Republican principles that sent him to Washington, D.C. We need Danny Tarkanian in Congress. Join me in supporting him. 

Dainer Bailey


Support for Tarkanian


We are excited to hear about Danny Tarkanian committing to get the Republican nomination for the 2nd Congressional seat from current incumbent Mark Amodei.  There are many factors that have led to our decision to support Danny.  We have had the pleasure working with Commissioner Tarkanian on a wide range of issues facing our county and have enjoyed his personal support for our business after the forced shutdown due to Covid.  Danny featured us in his focus on small business video’s and worked with my conservation group to construct a VHR ordinance with some teeth to it. We have been extremely concerned with Congressman Amodei’s constant support for legislation that is definitely not favored by the electorate in this district. We feel that the congressman’s time has come and gone, along with the rest of  the weak kneed Republican establishment, who seem more interested in going along and getting along with the Democrat constituency groups that have been actively seeking to destroy not only this state, but the whole country.  This would be a 6th term for Congressman Amodei.  it’s time to impose term limits, and elect someone who really reflects the culture and values of the 2nd district not someone who’s more interested in those from outside the district.  Let’s make Nevada…Nevada again, that’s why we’re supporting Danny Tarkanian for the Republican nomination.  Our only regret is we are going to lose an excellent County Commissioner

Best Regards,

Guy and Debra Dannehl


Putin voting for Trump


Trump was recently on Hannity, Hannity tried unsuccessfully to get Trump to condemn Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. Instead, Trump stated, without evidence, that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if he, Trump was president. Shortly after the Jan. 6th riot Putin started moving troops to the Russian/Ukrainian border. Trump during his time in office tried to weaken NATO. A more plausible explanation for why Putin decided to invade Ukraine now is he viewed us, the United States, weaker due to our deep divisions which the January 6th riot highlighted and thus be in a weaker position to rally NATO to oppose his invasion. 

Had Trump won a second term Putin would have had an easier time with his invasion. Why? 1) Trump would not have shipped the same number of needed military aid as Biden has because Trump as president delayed aid that was approved by Congress to Ukraine 2) Trump would not have led the West in sanctioning Putin for his invasion because again as president Trump pushed back on sanctions on Russia that Congress had approved and 3) Trump would not have rallied NATO and the West to oppose Putin because based on Trump’s time in office he did not support NATO. Trump’s former National Security Advisor Bolton recently said that it was Trump’s goal in a second term to pull the U.S. out of NATO.

Trump is the leader of the Republican Party, an individual who calls Putin a friend. This “friend” is a war criminal whose solders are killing men, women and children indiscriminately, whose soldiers have kidnapped tens of thousands of Ukrainian women and children and we have confirmed reports of them raping women and children in the areas they formally held. Trump’s Republican Party claims to be a party that believes in democracy and our Constitution but their actions say something else. Based on text messages we know that members of the Trump Administration and some Republican members of Congress were on board to overturn the results of the 2020 election and are laying the groundwork to contest/overturn the 2024 election should the Republican candidate lose. Republicans used to be a party of ideas/policies but today they are more of a party of hate, disagree with them and they call you an evil person, i.e. pedophile, groomer as one Michigan Republican state senator called a Democratic colleague. Trump’s Republican Party seems to believe they should win every election and if they don’t it was because of fraud. Republicans seem to be perfectly content to be led by a man who admires autocrats and who shows distain for democracies. Ukraine’s democracy is not the only democracy at risk today.

Irene Rice




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