June 5, 2024, Letters to the Editor

A cool spring garden in Genoa features Shasta daisies and cat mint. Summer temperatures are on their way into the 90s this week.

A cool spring garden in Genoa features Shasta daisies and cat mint. Summer temperatures are on their way into the 90s this week.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Not all the people


Two commissioners are asking voters to re-elect them. Perhaps you should consider their performance since they were first elected and compare it to statements they made during and between their first and current campaigns. Hasn’t Mark Gardner told us how he allegedly represents Douglas citizen constituents, not special interests, and that he would preserve the rural character of Douglas County? Does a recent political ad that might have showed up in your mailbox state “Danny believes the top priority of his job is to represent Douglas County residents and always put their best interests first.”

For example, during BOCC meetings weren’t petitions signed by 111 Douglas citizens presented to the board in opposition to the rezoning of an 8.98-acre parcel across the street (Heybourne Road) from Minden Tahoe Airport for a California special interest demolition contractor? Wasn’t the purpose of the rezoning to allow the California demolition contractor to have a massive 26,200-square-foot facility constructed surrounded by an 8-foot concrete wall for scrap metal processing and demolition concrete crushing? Didn’t the California special interest haul asbestos laden concrete debris, demolition waste, scrap metal and flattened vehicle carcasses to and from his facilities, including 17 in California?

 Wasn’t the total number of opposition citizen signatures 111 for the first and second Board readings, including 20 from owners and employees of businesses in the upscale Meridian Business Park adjacent to the parcel to be rezoned? Didn’t the owner of a specialty coffee roaster, food manufacturer and distributor at Meridian oppose the rezoning during Board meeting Public Comments? Didn’t an attorney, Amber Handy, for 2241 Park Place Association also request a no vote on rezoning? Didn’t a high end loudspeaker manufacturer at Meridian submit written opposition to the rezoning? Aren’t these all constituents? Did any constituents, other than Douglas Disposal, speak at BOCC meetings prior to the rezoning vote and state they were in favor of the massive 26,200 square foot facility? The Board vote was three for the rezoning of the demolition contractor’s parcel and two in opposition. How did the two Commissioners alleging they represent Douglas County residents vote at the Board meeting?

 Roger Adam


Backing Tarkanian


I watched the Commissioner candidates debate on Wednesday night on the Record Courier website link, and what a rude awakening I had. Although I congratulate all who participated, some of the commissioner candidates were not at all informed of some of the issues. One candidate, in particular, kept referring to what looked like “prepared responses.” What was that all about? The only current Commissioner candidate, other than Commissioner Gardner, who had specifics to respond to the questions posed by the moderators was District 1 Commissioner Danny Tarkanian. Every time, Tarkanian answered clearly and concisely why he voted the way he had on the questions and issues posed to the candidates at Wednesday’s debate. Unlike some other candidates, his responses were not rehearsed or scripted. They were genuine and based on his deep understanding of the issues at hand.

Many of my friends have shared their positive experiences with Commissioner Tarkanian, which have left them feeling hopeful about the future. They’ve mentioned how he keeps them well-informed about the issues and never hesitates to return calls, regardless of the caller’s district. One friend even shared that they didn’t vote for Danny 4 years ago but are now planning to, thanks to his consistent feedback and dedication to his constituents. This is a testament to his positive impact on our community.

I am proud to say I am definitely voting to re-elect District 1 Commissioner Candidate Danny Tarkanian. 

Donna J. Baushke


Supporting McKalip


I support Jim McKalip for County Commissioner. Jim has the leadership we need in the county today. His research habits will be to our benefit. I am strongly against forcing people to stay during their vacation rental time in one area at the Lake. I support Jim for understanding the regulations that have been on the books all along need to be enforced. I watched and listened to the May 21 Town Hall Debate from home. I took notes as each candidate spoke. Running for office is not easy and I respect anyone who puts their hat in the ring. I felt many of the candidates had done their homework and were ready to give their opinions on how things should be handled in the county.

When Douglas County Commissioner Mr. Tarkanian spoke, in my opinion, was different than the others. His tone was harsh. He sounded like a salesman pushing what he knows is best for the county, and expressing over and over he works for and listens to his constituents. I thought that was what a county commissioner is supposed to do. That is a given. The other candidates spoke to the audience as if they were talking to a neighbor.

When it came to the topic of VHRs up at the lake, I felt the candidates had done their homework. Most agreed enforcement of the regulations is crucial, not banning VHRs in certain areas of the county. I feel stiff fines to the homeowners who don’t have their renters comply is key.  Vacation rentals are good revenue for Douglas County and employment for some of our county residents.  Why would anyone declare a certain area around the lake to be off limits to VHRs simply because they are not within the Casino Corridor?  For some that may be fine. Lake Tahoe is so much more than the casinos.  That was the limited thinking years and years ago.  Maybe that is still the way of thinking for Las Vegas, where Mr. Tarkanian moved from. Tahoe is so much more than the Casino Corridor. It is a destination not only for the nightlife and gambling but for the beauty of the area. From hiking, biking, horseback riding to lake activities; boating, fishing, jet skiing, parasailing, to enjoying the beaches and in winter, skiing, boarding and snow shoeing. While in town, visitors check out the small businesses including art galleries and Tahoe merchandise. They take in live entertainment and enjoy many restaurants. 

Many come to enjoy their stay in a quiet home off the beaten path.  Many come with their families to continue their family traditions enjoying the outdoors in such a beautiful area.  No law should be placed on the books to force people to be in one area while staying at a vacation rental, and not be allowed in another area. What happens in the future with other precious freedoms? Do they become obsolete?

Lynda McDowell


Tarkanian better than McKalip


Jim McKalip has made comments that Danny Tarkanian has not done much in the fight for the citizens about Painted Rock Mine. From personal experience with Mr. Tarkanian, I strongly disagree.

From the beginning he has always promptly gotten back to me anytime I have reached out to him. He has met with me and my neighbors on several occasions to discuss the matter.  He has reached out to people in positions of authority for information and has offered several possible solutions.

According to Jim McKalip, there is not much that can be done.  While it will be a fight, Mr. Tarkanian is willing to proceed and try to stop this from happening.

Jim McKalip has also stated that he is in favor of expanding the Minden Tahoe Airport and adding a tower. This strongly goes against the wishes of the residents of this valley.

Through a personal meeting with him I came away with the sense that he is an establishment politician that may not put the needs of the citizens of Douglas County first and should not be elected to the Board of County Commissioners.

Jim Jackson

Johnson Lane

Republicans backing McKalip


Mark Amodei, James Settelmeyer, Ken Gray, and many others are endorsing and supporting James “Jim” McKalip for County Commissioner, District 1. I too, would like to add my support and recommend a vote for Jim McKalip. I have known Jim McKalip for the past nine years and believe he is the best candidate for County Commissioner.

No one wants Carson Valley to look like Anaheim. Jim’s outspoken support for keeping the Valley rural and his solid stance on limited growth, make him the best man to represent District 1. Jim’s hard work and steadfast attention to detail as the Chairman of the Ranchos GID, the largest GID in Nevada, has helped to maintain and improve its essential infrastructure maintenance and utilities. His successful accomplishments are a clear example of his ability and willingness to tackle and resolve the big problems facing our County. He does not get distracted or bogged down with minutia or trivialities but focuses on the important issues at hand.

Jim has been regularly attending Commissioner’s Meetings since moving here in 2015. In all likelihood, he has attended more Commissioners Meetings than his opponent. His long-standing knowledge of the issues, problems, and needs facing our Valley will ensure a smooth transition into the County Commission.

Jim is a solid Republican, who chaired the Douglas County Republican Party for over three years. He is a strong supporter of unity within the Party, and will bring his leadership skills and abilities to work with people to our County Commission. 

Please join me and others in voting for Jim McKalip for County Commissioner. Thanks.

Richard R. Schwabe


Happy Tarkanian is running


We were encouraged to see that Danny Tarkanian has decided to run for re-election to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners. Danny has been a welcome addition to the Board and a strong supporter of the small businesses in the county. It has been a refreshing difference to have a reasoned, objective and intelligent Commissioner working for the people in the 1st district, and indeed the entire county. There are many factors that have led to our decision to support Danny’s re-election, among them are:

1. Extra efforts to keep his constituents informed on all issues before the BOCC. We receive notice of all issues via e-mail facing the Board before meetings take place, and he also informs us after the votes and meetings with the results, and with the reasons for the decisions he made at the meetings

2. Danny has also had public meetings that anyone can attend outside of the regular BOCC business in order to get to know the people of the county and his district, and to discuss concerns that people might have as to the direction the BOCC should take on issues that effect them. It is a real benefit to be able to talk with governing officials in a non-formal setting. It is interesting that County officials tried to act to prevent this from happening.

3. While we haven’t agreed with Danny on every issue, what we have come to expect is a well reasoned, thought out, and objective response on every opinion, something missing from former commissioners, and dare we say it some current ones and his current opponent as well.

Thanks Danny for all your efforts on behalf of the constituents of the 1st District. We hope to see you on the Board for another 4 year term.

Guy and Debra Dannehl


Not voting for Tarkanian


During closing public comment at the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners meeting on April 18, 2024, Mr. Tarkanian declared he did not have a personal relationship with billionaire Glenbrook homeowner Larry Ruvo, and their association was based purely on his parents’ relationship. Meanwhile, there is clear evidence Tarkanian directly colluded with Ruvo to implement an ordinance restricting vacation home rentals north of Cave Rock in Lake Tahoe (Email Reveals Backstory on Glenbrook VHR ban, Record Courier, 8 Feb 2024). Mr. Tarkanian’s argument he has no relationship with Ruvo rings as true as Joe Biden professing he had nothing to do with Hunter Biden’s business deals while receiving 10 percent as the Big Guy. It simply makes no sense that Mr. Tarkanian is so focused on VHRs north of Cave Rock in Lake Tahoe, when the district he claims to represent is the Gardnerville Ranchos. 

It is my firm belief Mr. Tarkanian did not move to Douglas County for the love of the area; he moved here to win an easy seat on the BOCC to position himself for higher office in a Republican stronghold, because he simply cannot win in Las Vegas as a Republican. Mr. Tarkanian is a career, failed politician who is simply using his position on the BOCC to attempt to propel himself to higher office. His relentless pursuit of the VHR ban, an issue that really does not affect his district, is additional evidence of his disingenuous nature and his continuing aspiration to use his position on the BOCC to run for higher office. Tarkanian has to line up those big money donors for his next failed attempt at the CD-2 seat in the House of Representatives, which will almost certainly come once again in 2026. The CD-2 seat is Tarkanian’s true ultimate goal, not representing the interests of the residents of Douglas County.

Similarly, the recent spate of Letters to the Editor in The Record-Courier in support of Tarkanian appeared to be as authentic as a Joe Biden interview on MSNBC. Somehow, the authors all simultaneously seemed to state the same points, which strangely, closely aligned with Mr. Tarkanian’s main speaking points during the recent Town Hall Debate.  Simply more evidence of the fraudulent nature of the Tarkanian brand. 

Finally, during the BOCC meeting on May 16, 2024, the District Attorney reminded the public the Historic Courthouse building, where the BOCC holds their meetings, is being used as a polling place and per Nevada State Law it is unlawful to conduct electioneering activities within the building during the election period. Of course, that didn’t stop Mr. Tarkanian from promoting his campaign website during the very same meeting, further highlighting his nature. 

Daniel J. Casentini


Trusting my instincts


I am voting for James McKalip for County Commissioner, District 1.  I believe his experience on the different boards and committees in Douglas County over many years will serve our community well.  His position on teamwork and consensus building can move things forward in a positive and transparent way.  The last time this seat came up for election, I was torn between voting one way or the other.  You see, I was a huge UNLV Running Rebels basketball fan and loved coach Tarkanian and those teams.  I still remember watching Danny Tarkanian play on those teams and being a huge fan of his as well.  That is why it caught me off guard that someone who I thought should be one of Clark County’s favorite sons was not being elected to positions down there or statewide.  My instincts had me asking what they know down there that I don’t up here in Douglas County.  Over the last year it has become abundantly clear that I should trust my instincts when it comes to such things.  I watched the forum the other night and Commissioner Tarkanian said he was the most transparent one up there.  I don’t consider one to be transparent when it takes a NRS 239 public records request to uncover the truth that someone was anything but transparent on the matter.  In fact, the county is now having to defend against a lawsuit that may never have been filed if real transparency was exhibited.  The people in this county need to wake up and I am one of them.  Between the school board and our county commission, we cannot keep repeating the same mistakes. There are lawsuits on both fronts that should and could have been avoided if we paid more attention to the candidates and trusted our instincts.  

Timothy Ryan


Our voices count, too


As a 45-year resident of Douglas County with children who have attended Douglas schools, I am deeply committed to the values that have defined our community. Elevate Douglas County, a grassroots organization I proudly support, was initially conceived in a local coffee shop. We have many supporters who are concerned citizens, not elected or appointed to any government position. Most are long- time residents who have raised their families in Douglas County. Our mission is to restore integrity, truth, and respect in local politics.

However, it has become evident that County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian thinks he can control how things are done in Douglas County. Tarkanian claims to be a voice of the people, but it’s clear he’s only a voice for those who agree with him. This undermines the voices of those of us who have called this place home for our entire lives. Douglas County isn’t Las Vegas, it is sad that someone running for office in Douglas County is willing to use the politics of Las Vegas (and a recently created Las Vegas PAC) to try to win reelection. 

At Elevate Douglas County, we believe every resident’s voice is valuable. Our commitment is to the well-being of our neighbors and the flourishing of our community. We advocate for open dialogue and respectful communication. As we champion candidates who embody our small town’s spirit of thoughtful leadership and civil service, we must remember that every voice has the power to echo through the community and every vote can shape our shared future.

County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian should not be allowed to dictate how things are done in Douglas County. Those of us who have spent our lives here are just as deserving to have our voices heard as anyone else. It is time for all residents to come together, respect each other, and ensure our beloved county remains a place where integrity, truth, and respect prevail.

Bryan Davis


How long has this been going on?


The Board of Trustees for DCSD hired a firm to do an investigation within the district. The report was supposed to be read at the last meeting, but certain trustees did not want that. Thankfully President Burns made the report available the next morning.

To quote one part of the report “We were authorized to investigate allegations that there existed, and still exists, within the DCSD, an atmosphere and environment of favoritism,, nepotism, retaliation, intimidation, harassment, sexual misconduct, grooming, bullying, and hazing.” And they also focused upon sexual harassment complaints of 11 DCSD female employees made against a male DCSD employee. Gosh! Over how many years has this issue been in the making? Obviously this problem was never dealt with properly. Who was on the Board of Trustees at the time? Who was the superintendent? Who was the HR manager. Who was the legal counsel at those times?

So this corruption must be the reason that the four trustees and current legal counsel are under this assault from the screeching and diabolical opposition. This may explain the desperate strategy to promote within the district. Don’t disrupt the status quo and continue protecting the implanted cabal.

Beth Bunch

Jacks Valley

Opposition mostly conservative


David Burns, current president of the Douglas County School District Board of Trustees, wrote a letter that appeared in the May 23 edition of a Las Vegas online publication. In that letter, Mr. Burns characterized members of the Douglas County community as promoting an “…Anti American, Marxist agenda.” He made clear that he was referring to parents, teachers, grandparents, and students who take the time and energy to attend and participate in school board meetings wearing red shirts. The red shirts are worn by those community members who identify with the We Deserve a Better Board effort. I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I was a law enforcement officer for 33 years. No one would ever think of me as anti-American or a Marxist. Mr. Burns accusations are simply ridiculous, and offensive. Mr. Burns has been corrected many times by those of us who attend school board meetings that we are mostly registered Republicans or identify as conservative (not progressive liberals). His repeated uses of terms like “anti-American” and “Marxists” are inflammatory, divisive and offensive to the community he serves. His dim view of community members is shared by trustee Susan Jansen who has become infamous for her many insults to the community members. The school board majority consisting of David Burns, Susan Jansen, Doug Englekirk and Katherine Dickerson (Burns makes sure to include them in his letter) picked Joey Gilbert as the Board’s attorney. Mr. Gilbert referred to members in the audience at a recent meeting as, “the peanut gallery.” We absolutely deserve a better board! Speaking of Mr. Gilbert, not a meeting goes by without the board majority complaining about legal costs due to “frivolous” lawsuits. Let’s take a peek. The Board majority fired the law firm that served the district for 24 years, were experts in education law, and charged fair fees. They then hired Mr. Gilbert’s firm at higher rates, knowing he had zero education law experience. The legal actions against the district are a result of the Board majority failing to comply with the laws that govern their body. Whether they are willfully ignorant of the law or just feel the rules don’t apply to them, I cannot know. The high legal costs are a direct result of the actions of the board majority. I would like to end on a positive note. We don’t have to live with trustees whose sole motivation is to satisfy their personal political ideology. We need mature adults who focus on providing the best education for our students by hiring the most qualified educators, and creating a safe and inclusive environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive. There are great candidates who are currently running for the position of school board trustee. Please go to https://www.wedeserveabetterboard.com/ to learn more about them, and consider joining our effort to create a better board. 

Rich McGuffin 


Define facist


Former president Donald Trump held a press conference after his conviction on 34 felony charges. In that press conference he attacked the trial judge, ranted about immigrants, said “We’re living in a fascist state”, the trial was “rigged,” and falsely claimed the Biden Administration engineered the prosecution.

The term “fascist” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “relating to a political philosophy, movement, or regime that prioritizes the nation, and often race, over individual rights. It typically features a centralized, autocratic government led by a dictatorial figure, with strict economic and social controls and the harsh suppression of opposition.”

Just as Trump has a pattern of claiming that an election he loses is “rigged”, while only those he wins are fair, his claim that the trial was “rigged” suggests a refusal to accept unfavorable outcomes. This echoes some fascist tendencies. He is also quick to label others as fascists, while showing some characteristics usually associated with fascist regimes (like promoting national and racial superiority or attacking and trying to undermine institutions and norms that oppose him). His statement, “We’re living in a fascist state.” Does this suggest an ironic projection?  

Throughout his speech, Trump painted a stark picture of the consequences of illegal immigration. He called for congressional action to address these issues, while using his influence with Republicans to make sure any immigration bills never see the light of day.

We have an important election coming up in November. The character and integrity of each candidate should be scrutinized, as the role they play could significantly impact the nation’s direction and adherence to democratic principles. This is a critical reminder of the importance of informed and thoughtful voting. 

Elizabeth Mancl



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