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Teachers union plans rally, picketing

Merrie Leininger, Staff writer

The Douglas County Professional Education Association is inviting the public to partake in a little ice cream and election talk at a candidates’ rally at Minden Park Aug. 8.

The teachers’ association has invited Nevada Legislature, state school board and local school board candidates to speak.

Association spokesman Marty Cronin said the association will be making their endorsements soon, in part based on the candidates’ comments at the rally.

“We wanted to kick off for the the election. We’ve invited the local school board, (state Assemblyman Lynn) Hettrick (R-Gardnerville), (his opponent Willie) Edwards, and the state school board candidates, so they all will have a chance to speak,” Cronin said. “We’ve invited all the teachers and the public’s invited. We’d like to give everyone the chance to speak. The association feels the only way to bring meaningful change is through the process of the election.”

The rally is free, open to the public and ice cream will be served.

The monthly school board meeting will also be held the same day at Carson Valley Middle School, beginning at 3:30 p.m. and Cronin said DCPEA plans to picket the meeting, as members have been since March. The school board and the teachers association have been unable to negotiate a contract for the 99-00 school year. An impasse was declared in December.

Grievances have been filed by both sides with the state Labor Board and a hearing is scheduled for Aug. 30 in Carson City.

However, Cronin said the school board incumbents have been invited to the rally after the meeting is adjourned.

He said the format will be informal.

“We’re not directing questions. We will be endorsing for school board and we have sent out questionnaires and are in the process to interviewing them. Members of the public have attended the meetings and we are in the process of making a decision. We thought it would be a good opportunity to hear from them. We’re just a couple of months away from the primary,” Cronin said.

He said a representative from Ed Bernstein’s campaign will attend. Bernstein is running against Republican John Ensign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nevada, who is retiring.

The rally starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Minden Park gazebo.