June 21, 2023, R-C Letters to the Editor

Wildflowers take over the hill above Topaz Ranch Estates in this May 21 photograph by resident John Flaherty

Wildflowers take over the hill above Topaz Ranch Estates in this May 21 photograph by resident John Flaherty

Hard winter brings beauty


This past winter kicked our butts. I reminded myself that we need the water and that the snow-covered mountains sure are beautiful, but the cold pressed on stubbornly. I was having flashbacks of long Upstate New York winters and started to doubt my decision to move here. Thankfully though, the seemingly never-ending winter ushered in a beautiful spring. 

Yellows, purples, and greens blanket the fields. Vibrant wildflowers and flowing grass enhance my daily drive, which has become a welcome distraction from the saddening burn areas and needed road work being completed. The beauty of green hued mountains with tops still dressed in white are a Spring favorite. Add in pink, orange, and red delicate ground covers — unexpected surprises on walks that weren’t there the years before — and we have a picturesque start to the season. Spring: the perfect celebration of colors after the drab landscape that Winter brings. 

It always renews my spirit and this one has not disappointed. Take a drive or go for a walk, but don’t miss out. You never know how long the desert will be blooming. This gorgeous Spring makes the Winter of 2022 worth it. Almost. 

Patty Smith

Smith Valley 

Not a pirate


On my little brother’s seventh birthday he informed our parents that he self-identified as a pirate and demanded they equip him with a peg leg and a cutlass. No one had to tell our parents that he was too immature to understand what he was asking for.

But times have changed. Some parents of biological boys are indulging their sons’ claims to self-identify as “trans,” presumably boys believing themselves transgender. A number of girls expressed their concerns at the May Douglas County School Board meeting that the “trans” culture might lead to incursions by trans boys who no longer felt comfortable in boys’ spaces, expecting to use their trans status as a pass to enter girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

 Surprisingly, at the most recent school board meeting some adult attendees who expressed concern about the trans phenomena among boys were met with boos. When school board trustees expressed unease about the potential for misconduct, one woman in the audience called them Nazis. Moreover, a zoom caller representing the ACLU threatened to bring a lawsuit if the school board took action to address possible incursions into girl-only spaces.

 To be clear, boys who label themselves as “trans” are biological boys. If a boy can convince his parents that he is really a girl, they should be prepared to finance the course of puberty blockers and surgery to make that change permanent. Let’s hope Douglas County parents of boys can exercise the judgment my parents demonstrated with my brother.

Lynn Muzzy


Is the school board politicized? 


I moved to Douglas County four years ago, retiring from federal service in California and Florida.  I knew this was a conservative area before I moved here, but some of the events of the last 3 years have raised concern about the nature of the politics in this area.  I hear conservatives rant about radical liberals and the radical woke agenda all the time, but what I see in this rural corner of northern Nevada earns the radical title for conservatives.  I’ve seen more “non-partisan” elected officials broadcasting and promoting their political views outwardly and in a very aggressive manner.  That’s unfortunate, as they are supposed to be non-partisan.  

Ever since the election, I’ve been concerned about the political slant of the new board members. Tonight’s (June 13) meeting confirmed all my fears.  When asked about the mission of the school board, Board President Jansen stated that she’d be happy to share her mission.  CRT, DEI, sexualization of children, woke agenda, trans and LGBTQ issues, etc. Nowhere in her comments did she mention anything about the schools, students, teachers, staff, funding, budgets, maintenance, or anything else you would think the school board would be concerned with.  

Much of the discussion I heard today related to the current legal contract, and whether that firm would support this board’s intent to fight what they see is the “woke agenda”.  In other words, in addition to the support the legal team provides daily to the actual school district staff, if these lawyers aren’t willing to go against the state or federal government to support this board’s political agenda, they have to go!!  In the public comment segment, many people spoke for the current superintendent and staff, and how the current legal support is invaluable to them, how people are really concerned that this board is only interested in their political agenda, that the board isn’t addressing any of the real issues facing the school district.  

Hearing what a great reputation the Douglas County Schools have in the state, and that many people moved here just because of the schools is a testament to prior boards and administrations.  It would be a real shame to let these political board members ruin it.  They should pursue their political agenda on their own time, not as school board members.  Or run for the legislature.

Deb Huelsman


Thanks for helping my husband


My husband Richard went missing on May 25. He was found the next day, lying in a construction site near Sheridan. My neighbor stayed with me of and on through the night and the next morning.

My friends took me to Renown Hospital to be with my husband during his surgery.

Richard is back home and doing well, and we wanted to thank everyone, including Douglas Sheriff Dan Coverley, Sgt. Koontz, Douglas deputies, Search & Rescue, first responders, Care Flight, Washoe Sheriff Bob Harvey with his search and rescue team.

Miracles do happen. What a wonderful community we live in.

Gladys and Richard Turissini



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