Letters for Oct. 7
October 7, 2016
Wildfires can have tragic impact
Sunday showed yet another example of how wildfires can have a tragic impact on our community.
For homeowners that live in the wildland-urban interface it is truly critical to understand the work you can do on your own property to not only help protect your home but to also assist fire personnel. We have built homes into an environment that mother nature designed to naturally burn at relatively frequent intervals.
Defensible space has been proven effective time and time again, but sadly many people adopt a mindset that "it will never happen to me" … Yet how many times have we seen, just in the past 5-10 years, the neighborhoods south of town undergo evacuations for wildfires?
When you choose to live in the wildland-urban interface you take on a responsibility to yourself, your family, your neighbors and emergency personnel. Having good defensible space and a plan for evacuation is key to the success of a neighborhood and a community surviving wildfire.
Recommended Stories For You
I strongly encourage anyone who lives in the wildand-urban interface to take the time to visit the Living with Fire program's website livingwithfire.info to learn more regarding your role as a homeowner in our unique high desert environment. The resources and information provided are immeasurable and could easily save your home, your life or the life of a fire fighter.
Thank you to all of the first responders from Sunday's Frontage Fire as well as the CERT volunteers that came to the Community Center to assist evacuees. In a time of tragedy a community's true colors shine and as always this community has proved to be caring and generous.
McDermid packing planning board
I am concerned about recent appointments to the Douglas County Planning Commission, and the undue influence of one County Commissioner, Nancy McDermid. Three of the last four Planning Commissioners appointed, including one on Sept. 15, were personally asked by Commissioner McDermid to apply for a vacancy on the Planning Commission. The other recent appointee, by the way, was Commissioner Lynn's associate, though, not surprisingly, he did not disclose either fact.
At the Sept. 15 Board meeting, Commissioner McDermid boasted about how she had personally asked the two past and one present individuals to apply. She then gave a full endorsement to the individual she had asked to apply for the opening that day, even before the any of the applicants were allowed to speak for themselves, and express their qualifications for the position.
As usual, Commissioner McDermid made the motion to appoint her hand-picked applicant, who was then approved by the Board. As disappointing and inappropriate as Commissioner McDermid's actions have been, it is equally disheartening that the rest of the Board just goes along, abdicating their own responsibility to select the most qualified candidate (Commissioner Penzel gets a pass on this one). The Board should strive for diversity of background and experience in order to have a more balanced perspective on the Planning Commission.
The applicant hand-picked by Commissioner McDermid this time is the Quality Assurance and In Manager of the Lakeside Inn & Casino. Her previous hand-picked applicant was the Director of Marketing for the Edgewood Companies, which not coincidentally has been Commissioner McDermid'a largest campaign contributor. The other two recent appointees to the Planning Commission were both realtors.
It is widely known that Commissioners McDermid and Lynn are (or have been) developers. It certainly seems like they are trying to stack the Planning Commission to be pro-development, as well. McDermid and Lynn both supported the controversial Corley Ranch project, and next we will face the even more egregious request by Park Ranches LLC to build 2900 homes to the east of Minden and Gardnerville.
The Park proposal may come to the Planning Commission as early as October, and to the Board in November. This Park request would devastate our community, and change the nature of our towns forever. It would more than double the size of Minden, with the attendant problems of water, roads, traffic, etc. It also fails to meet the findings required for a Master Plan Amendment, including consistency with the Master Plan and showing a "demonstrated need" for the change.
Thankfully the Minden Town Board unanimously denied the Park request at their meeting in September. Certain County Commissioners, however, seem determined to stack the Planning Commission with pro-development members, hoping they will vote to approve the request, giving the Board sufficient cover to do the same. Let's hope that the other Commission and Board members are willing to stand up for the public interest, and do what's right for the community as a whole. They should deny the Parks unwarranted and unwanted request.
Woman's 20/30 a great club
I am writing to express my new found knowledge and appreciation for a local nonprofit organization that Douglas County offers its residence that I feel is not widely known about.
Being a recent implant to this area, I was looking for a way to help out the community and meet new people. The Sierra Nevada Active Woman's 20/30 club is what I found.
Douglas County has a Men's and Woman's club that both help support underprivileged children in our local community. They do so by having various fund raising events and by the dues provided by their members.
Not only do you get to help with a charitable cause but you get the opportunity to meet new and sometimes very interesting people in your own age group as their members have to be between the ages of 20 to 39.
I hope this letter finds its way to people like myself who are new or just looking for a way to connect and get involved in the community
Lies from pot camp
Nevada voters will be getting duped if they believe the falsehood that Question 2, the Marijuana Initiative, will give money to schools. Section 16 of the initiative provides marijuana tax revenues must first go to the Department of Taxation to pay costs of administration and enforcement, then to localities for their costs—anything remaining to the State Distributive School Account. Individual school districts are guaranteed nothing. Proponents claim a tiny $20 million total will be raised, but the actual amount will likely fall short of even covering the full public and social costs (regulation, enforcement, public health and safety, and substance abuse treatment).
Nevada's initiative copies Colorado's legalized marijuana tax scheme. Colorado's current budget is $27 billion. Their total marijuana tax money for schools is $35 million (that's 0.13% of the budget). Pot tax money to the Denver Public Schools — $0; to neighboring Cherry Creek Schools – $0. The only thing legalization of marijuana has brought to Colorado schools has been marijuana.