Letters for April 14
April 13, 2017
Douglas correct in banning pot establishments
Douglas County public officials are strongly commended for adopting an ordinance prohibiting commercial marijuana establishment uses "including cultivation, testing, product manufacture, distribution and retail facilities in all Douglas County zoning districts." The ordinance does not prohibit the use of recreational marijuana in Douglas County or the growing of plants for personal use by qualified people.
In November, 13 of Nevada's 17 counties voted against Question 2 "legalizing" recreational marijuana. Importantly, Douglas County decisively voted against Question 2 — 15,766 (57.4 percent) voting "No" while 11,702 (42.6 percent) voted "Yes". The will of Douglas County voters was made very clear in November.
Douglas County is following the practice in the state of Colorado that voted statewide for legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012. In Colorado, the vast majority of local government jurisdictions have now "opted out" of permitting commercial marijuana establishments in their counties and municipalities. Of Colorado's 296 "local jurisdictions," 215 have opted out (73%) have "opted out." Similarly, in Oregon, 89 cities and counties have "opted out" of licensing commercial marijuana establishments since their state legalized recreational marijuana in 2015.
While some voters may have been persuaded to vote for Question 2 because they favored removal of all criminal penalties on small quantity possession or they were sympathetic to proponents' claim to "regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol," most Nevada voters do not support commercial recreational marijuana establishments in their own counties, towns and neighborhoods.
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The message should be clear — "legalization" might be "OK" to 54.5 percent of Nevada voters, with the margin of victory coming entirely from votes in Clark County. However, the vast majority of Nevadans don't want commercial marijuana establishments locating in their own communities. They don't want youth under 21 attending schools near commercial pot shops; they don't want increased crime resulting from marijuana establishments being "all cash" businesses; and, they don't want the odor /smell and "black market" activity in their neighborhoods from commercial marijuana "grow" operations.
Nuclear option not OK
I am literally sickened by Senator Heller's recent vote to invoke the "nuclear option." By requiring only 50 votes to shut down a filibuster (rather than the longstanding 60 vote requirement), this vote broke centuries of Senate tradition in a short sighted partisan power grab. Senator Heller seems to have forgotten that he represents both Republicans and Democrats. Or perhaps, like so many in his party, he does not believe we Democrats are "real Americans". But Nevada Democrats are real, their votes are real American votes and we are sufficiently numerous to help jog his memory in November 2018.
Community helped make event a success
I cherish this community in which I live and work. I am a teacher and debate coach at Douglas High School, and we hosted a district competition with more than 20 schools from all across northern Nevada and over two hundred students in competition for a small number of spaces to go to Nationals in Birmingham, Alabama, in June. This was a three-day event which required more than two hundred community members to serve as judges for a talented group of young people. When I agreed to host this end-of-season tournament, I was worried that I would not get enough people to help. I urged the students on the debate team to ask parents and grandparents. Many parents and grandparents did come to help out.
What inspires me about this community is that those parents and grandparents asked their bible study and their friends, their neighbors and their boss, their bankers and their lawyers. The library (or media center) was filled for three days with willing volunteers who stayed late into the evenings and came back early in the morning. I was touched by the eagerness of people whom I had asked to come, but even more by those whom I did not know, giving of their time so these students could go on to compete with students from every state in June. Douglas High School allowed us to use the facility, and Marty Swisher (our principal) judged all day Saturday. Our tireless janitors worked longer hours so we could keep our facility beautiful and clean. The superintendent Teri White and Executive Director for Area Three Rommy Cronin also judged Friday and Saturday. Douglas will send four, possibly five, students to Alabama to speak and debate this summer because this great community came to support us.
Beyond judging, parents and community members offered to donate supplies, food, and coffee so that we could feed our judges and sell food to other competitors to earn our trip to Nationals. I want to especially thank the JT Basque Restaurant for bringing a BBQ and grilling Saturday evening's dinner for all of the students still competing. The proceeds from this meal alone will send one of our national qualifiers to Alabama. Bentley donated generously to help send one of our students as well. I also want to thank Starbucks (of Gardnerville) for donating 15 gallons of coffee. You kept us going! Special thanks go out to Three Peaks Therapy, Papa Murphys (both Gardnerville and Carson City-south), Subway and Port of Subs, Les Schwab (of Gardnerville), Thai Jasmine, the Malkmus Foundation who contribute every year, and so many parents and grandparents who baked goodies for us to sell. The list would not be complete acknowledging Jim and Alicia Gifford, Lance Crowley and Mary Wolery, Misty Dee, and Michelle Martin who gave SO many hours as parent volunteers to gather donations and sell concessions. Spencer Trivitt and Luis Valasquez helped sell concessions as our student volunteers along with several debaters. To all the parents, grandparents, teachers, school employees, former debaters, past graduates, and community members who gave of their time and resources, you make this a great community! Thank you.
Douglas High School
English teacher, Debate coach
Cortez Mato should defend Constitution
Dear Senator Cortez Masto,
When you ran for office I had differences of opinion with you on many issues. Despite that, I believed you to be a woman of character, integrity, and capable of reason independent of the corrupt Democrat establishment personified by the Clintons. Your inability to separate yourself from, and rise above, the antics of Schumer, Feinstein and others of the corrupt Democrat machine have shown, conclusively, that my trust in your integrity has been misplaced. Rather than standing up to Schumer, as Sens. Donnelly, Heitcamp, and Manchin have done, you showed yourself to be a pawn that fits in with the Warren, Feinstein, Murray crowd who were bent on politicizing the Supreme Court of the United States. I hope that in the future you will find it in your character to champion the Constitution of the United States and the welfare of the legal citizens of the United States.
We are all immigrants. My great grandparents were Germans residing in the Volga River Valley. When they were harassed by the Russian Cossacks they came to America, legally, homesteaded in Colorado and became citizens. We should be proud of and protect our heritage by deporting the violent, illegal immigrants who have no right to put us in harms way. I expect you to help protect me and my family and our rights, not those who have no rights as criminals.
I have lost many friends and relatives who have defended our liberty, freedom and security. I cannot put onto words the disdain I have for you for siding with the Obama/Clinton cronies who continue to fight to put us at risk.
You just challenged the authority of the President to take action against the enemies of human decency. When considering the Democrats aiding and abetting Obama's imperialistic presidency, I find it ludicrous that you would advocate that members of Congress who have shown themselves to be incapable of criticizing Obama's foreign policy vacuum to now debate what actions should be taken by President Trump. Perhaps it would be appropriate for Congress to declare war on the perpetrators of terrorism, contrary to Obama's egregious denial that there is a global radical Islamic terrorist movement. You might want to look back on how a respectable Democrat, FDR, handled attacks on America and its allies. How JFK stood up to Nikita Khrushchev.
I hope to see you support and defend the Constitution as it was written and to help the President uphold the laws of the United States. It is a fact, not a threat, that if you do not do a better job of representing the citizens of the United States, I will do all I can to see that you do not return to office.
Eldon DeVere Henderson