June 19, 2024, Letters to the Editor

A Douglas High School graduate's mortar board says it all.

A Douglas High School graduate's mortar board says it all.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

Burns’ column a bad take


On May 21, David Burns, the president of our school board, expressing his “personal opinion,” presented false and inflammatory claims about a community group he calls “Red Shirts,” more accurately known as We Deserve a Better Board (WDaBB), and other community members. Here are some of the unsubstantiated assertions from his editorial in The Nevada Globe:

“. . . the ‘Redshirts’ are a group of progressives who are backed by the national teachers union and other far-left groups.” The truth is that WDaBB is a community group of over 800 members comprised of parents, students, grandparents, district staff, DCSD alumni, and other concerned stakeholders who formed to monitor the decisions and actions of the Douglas County School District Board of Trustees. Our group has no affiliations with any teachers’ unions. We do not associate with any groups outside of the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. To date, our contributions have come from private individuals. So, this claim is completely false.

“They promote an Anti-American, Marxist agenda that has infected our education system in Douglas County, and across the country, with disastrous results.” This is offensive, especially to those in our group who have served in the military and those proud Americans who only want the best education for our children and accountability for the finances and other decisions of our school board. A few others who support the majority of the current board have claimed during public comment that Marxism is taught in our schools and that WDaBB is made up of Marxists. When we question them, they are unable to provide any specific examples of this in the district’s curriculum and schools. This is a national talking point not relevant in Douglas County.

“Based on the information obtained through the Nevada Department of Education website, the proficiency scores are averaging about 33 percent. The test scores for our Hispanic and Native American students are worse, averaging 10 percent.” Mr. Burns has repeatedly made this claim; however, the results for Douglas County School District posted in the Nevada Report Card data do not support it. I emailed Mr. Burns on May 26 and requested he share specific information as proof, but he did not respond. Based on what I find, this is another inaccurate and damaging comment.

 In addition, Mr. Burns identifies eight community members by name who are either part of WDaBB, local attorneys, or fellow trustees.  His disparaging comments and disrespectful name calling is unbecoming of the president of our school board.

Please read Burns’s editorial at https://thenevadaglobe.com/fl/opinion-dear-dcsd-redshirts-we-will-not-resign/ and decide for yourself.

The truth is that David Burns, along with Susan Jansen, has worked to dismantle our school district. Both have caused seven key leaders to resign, and more will follow. 

Change must happen. WDaBB will continue to hold our school board accountable, and we support Melinda Gneiting and Erinn Miller in the November general election for school board trustees. We must make students and their needs our priority.

Marty Swisher


School board not clear on priorities


During the most recent school board meeting, President Burns did something that was of concern to me as a parent. This took place at the end of the interview for superintendent with candidate Frankie Alvarado. 

Mr. Alvarado rightly sought clarification from the board, to whom he would directly report, if his three stated priorities of staffing shortages, chronic absenteeism, and declining enrollment aligned with the board priorities. Instead of providing a clear answer, President Burns stated that the superintendent (referring to acting superintendent, Jeannie Dwyer, someone they would not hire) would “know more about that than we would” and punted the question to her. 

It’s disheartening to think that the board doesn’t know their own priorities, or at least can’t articulate them. The superintendent’s role is to implement the board’s vision, not define it. Not being able to clearly define their vision suggests a lack of clarity and unity within the board regarding their priorities. If the board doesn’t know their own goals, how can they effectively lead and make decisions for our district?

Jennifer Wilson


Bingo for Buddies Fundraising


Leadership Douglas County Class of 2024 is hosting Bingo for Buddies, a fundraising event which will benefit the Douglas County Animal Shelter. Proceeds will go toward funding improvements around the shelter. The event is being held Sunday, August 25th at the C.V.I.C. Hall and includes two bingo sessions that start at 12pm and 2pm. If you would like to be a sponsor or donate, please reach out to dcleadership2024@gmail.com. 

Kara Easton


Thanks for supporting AYSO


As we wrapped up our Spring 2024 AYSO soccer season, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the volunteers who make our season possible. 

Carson Valley AYSO Region 318 had over 335 participants this season, another 16 percent increase over the previous spring season, which means an incremental increase of volunteers to make the season run. We currently have 10 board members to help coordinate the season, but with 35 teams, it takes at least 32 coaches, multiple assistant coaches, referees, team parents, and youth volunteers to make it all happen. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for volunteering your time to enrich children’s lives.

We also finished off our first yearly season of Alliance, AYSO’s competitive soccer program, with two teams. They computed in the Great Basin Youth Soccer League program against other competitive teams from the area. 

I would like to thank Belinda Grant and her photography team for always providing wonderful pictures of our valley children! Additionally, I want to say thank you to Douglas County School District and specifically Gardnerville Elementary School for allowing us to play on their fields this season. I also want to thank Summit Plumbing for providing us with clean restroom facilities throughout our season.

We also want to say a special thank you to all our new sponsors this last year that have helped support all our AYSO programs: Western Nevada Supply, Continuum Packing, Dr. Scott Southard, Fuentes Restaurant, Carson Valley Health, Coach Steve Cochran Fund, The Happy Outlet, Carson Valley Kiwanis Foundation, Intero-The Heckawright Team, Valley Christian Fellowship, Law Farm, Animal Medical Services, Wade and Lisa Morlan, and Gonuts 4 Donuts.

Thank you to the community for supporting our local AYSO Region 318! We appreciate your commitment to the youth in our community. 

Our Fall 2024 soccer season registration is already open! Please go to www.cvayso.org to sign up to play! It’s open to children from 3 years old to 13 years old. Remember to sign up to volunteer when you sign up your child! Fall registration will close on July8th, so please sign up early.

Tami Anderson

Regional Commissioner

Carson Valley AYSO Region 318

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



 I am not much of a historian but have listened to and watched the 80th anniversary D-Day celebrations broadcast from Europe. Leaders from the EU, the U.S. and most importantly, Ukraine, describe the significance of this day for democracy. The NATO alliance, which grew out of rebuilding efforts following WWII, continues as a key instrument supporting nations for whom democratic principles are the foundation of their government. 

Forty years ago on June 6, 1984, then President Ronald Reagan gave an important speech at the D-Day anniversary celebration in which he said, “One’s country is worth dying for and democracy is worth dying for, because it is the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” 

He has also referred to Americans who were part of that rebuilding effort as the “greatest generation” because of their contributions to making a great and powerful country.

Today, our democracy seems less secure. However, we still have the ability to choose. We can decide between two presidential candidates, one of whom questions the value of NATO, has alienated European heads of state and admires the leader of Russia — a country trying to spread its dictatorial regime to Ukraine and knocking on the door of other European countries. 

Very few members of that “greatest generation” who actually fought in 1944 are alive today. Their interviews have been inspiring but also troubling as many express their concerns about the future of American democracy. Important to consider as we get ready for the next big election

Barbara Kuehner



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