Letters for Sept. 20, 2017
September 19, 2017
Campaign not worth the money
I would like to comment on your article from June 22, 2017 "Visitor Authority promoting Valley Legends." I really wanted to wait before sending this letter of disapproval as I was curious as to the "legends" they meant. But now that I have seen some of the magazine ads and surfed their website I am still appalled. I dare to say I hope I am not the only one who believes that the Carson Valley Visitor Authority "Legends" campaign is a colossal waste of money, I believe $121,500 could have been spent much better. It is obvious the advertising agency that was hired knows zilch about enticing visitors. And I suspect the Carson Valley Visitors Authority might be just as clueless. Maybe the locals should have been polled or surveyed as many of us moved out of the valley to work in the real world and then found our way back to this beautiful valley we call home. While others commute to the Bay area, Reno and other locales but still have their home base here, such as myself. These no name folks from the valley are not even known by the locals, let alone the visitors who we may hope will stop here on their way through town. I, for one, would expect to see Olympians, celebrities, inventors or fortune 500 business owners when I see "Legends." Or perhaps the "legends" of the landscape such as Genoa, Jobs Peak, the Sierra, Pine Nuts, etc. … or "legends" in history like Walley's, Genoa, JT (this was a good pick) and Minden Inn? Who knows anything about a girl who rides mountain bikes and I am guessing runs a matchmaking website? Or another that can mix the same drink every other bartender in Nevada can? Why would these women and a teenager who flies entice anyone to visit, let alone stay here in Carson Valley. The comment about "taking a younger spin on the campaign" seems out of place, perhaps they should have focused on the millennials in tech, dog ownership, outdoor adventure (non-motorized), and organic food and foodie addictions rather than assume what some might like. If that is the market you seek, which I believe would be a horrible mistake, as they refuse to spend money on such rural locales as the Carson Valley. Believe me I am a firm believer that our valley cannot survive without the outside visitors, and I think we should do more to actively seek our share of the $2.3 billion industry. But I believe that the Carson Valley Visitors Authority completely missed its mark and wasted good grant money on this pathetic campaign. That is just my 2 cents as a native Carson Valley Nevadan that moved to the big city and worked every day to get back to this little piece of paradise. We should all be ashamed of how this campaign will make us look to others.
Clinic does a lot of good in Valley
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There has been a lot of negative publicity following a meeting held for vets in Minden recently.
The Carson Valley Veteran's Clinic is a very nice and modern facility available to veterans. Many vets, I'm sure are very happy with the service they receive at the clinic. I sure hope they speak up and let it be known that the negative remarks are in the minority.
The valley clinic takes their direction from Reno and from the Federal Government. They must adhere to those rules and regulations. The world of medicine is changing for everyone and especially seniors. Doctors are tired of the insurance companies regulations and will become more privatized as time goes on. It's on the horizon for all of us, not just vets.
The employees at the valley clinic are hard working individuals who are there to help the best they can according to their guidelines. Those vets who are complaining need to realize how the system works. It might not be the best, but don't shoot the messengers.
We didn't always have a clinic in the valley and if the negativity continues and those who have compliments about the clinic don't speak up, you may all be going to Reno for all your needs. The clinic is for the vets convenience.
If you have complaints, perhaps you should think about coming up with some positive solutions that would benefit all.
Community foundation meeting set
As a professional in philanthropy, I spend most of my day learning about and communicating with non-profit organizations the world over. These organizations do an incredible amount of good for people, animals, and the planet we share. Often the only thing preventing them doing more is insufficient funding. Charities need quality employees, equipment, and facilities from which to operate. Sometimes they take on projects that require a sizeable increase to their budget.
While national charities have staff and resources to obtain extra support, our smaller, local charities are limited in this regard. They might have only one or two staff that, although they excel at carrying out their organization's mission, lack the necessary marketing skills to carry out effective fundraising campaigns.
This is where a Community Foundation can step in. Local residents, as members of the Advisory Board of a Community Foundation, are the perfect advocates for local non-profits. The role involves fundraising both locally and beyond our borders to grow a lasting endowment for Douglas County. An effective Board should be a group of well-connected, financially savvy, and philanthropically-minded individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and professions.
The endowment this board will be raising will not be spent directly, but will instead be invested by professionals, with the earned interest made available. While no one knows what problems the future holds for our community, by the time the endowment is large enough to start making distributions, they will be self-evident. An engaged, invested and diverse Advisory Board will be the best entity to help direct funding when the time comes.
On November 1st, the LDC class of 2017 will host Chris Askin, President of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, for an informational meeting to explore this concept further. If you are interested, please join us at the Community Center on Waterloo from 6-8 pm.
Priorities out of alignment
A recent news story on Reno television station centered on an incident involving a suspected DUI driver who was videotaped driving from Kingsbury Grade toward Topaz Lake, and the lack of response from either the Nevada Highway Patrol or the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
In watching the news story, I was dumbfounded the driver did not injure themselves or anyone else for that matter. As a former DUI Investigator, having arrested approximately 300 suspected DUI drivers during my tenure, I had never witnessed such an extreme case as the impaired driver depicted on the news.
Many are quick to blame the deputies on duty for the failed response. Such judgment is premature and plain false. The root cause of the incident is more systemic, and a matter of misplaced priorities within the Sheriff's Department.
Since 1986, when I served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the Department, each shift consisted of five area cars and a Sergeant. Fast forward to the present, and you will find the same number of area cars, despite a population that has grown from 22,854 to 46,997. No doubt, calls for service have increased accordingly.
In a published report submitted to the County Commission by DCSO in 2010, the department highlighted that the number of officers per 1000 residents was 2.23/1000 vs. the Nevada average of 2.95/1000. Keep in mind that the DCSO number represents all sworn deputies, including the jail facility.
The obvious solution, in cases like this, is reallocation of law enforcement resources to the street. But due to staffing shortages and excessive employee turnover, those resources are not always available.
Our community expects a level of public safety commensurate with the tax dollars they spend on an annual basis. When incidents such as the above referenced DUI news story come to light, don't be quick to blame the deputies on duty. They are doing their absolute best under difficult circumstances, compounded by a leadership void within the organization. It's law enforcement management that should be held accountable.
Leadership Douglas County (LDC) is a program sponsored by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. According to its mission statement, it is "a community leadership program designed to develop informed, involved, and knowledgeable community members for Douglas County" in hopes of creating community leaders who will take active participation in helping create "a vision for the future." Every year, the LDC class creates a project that demonstrates its understanding of and interest in the workings of Douglas County. As the culminating assignment of the year-long program, this project will address the community's needs for both the present and its future.
This year's LDC Class has envisioned a project that will have lasting positive effects on our community. We are forming a Community Foundation for Douglas County. It is our hope that this Foundation will provide a vehicle by which donors can designate portions of their estate into an endowment fund to benefit local non-profits. We, as a class, believe that the formation of this foundation is a very worthwhile project. Thousands of dollars to the community are lost when estates have no named beneficiaries. Our Community Foundation will make it easier for people to bequeath monies to the community instead of it being lost to other agencies.
Currently we are making presentations to government officials, service groups, non-profits and others in the community to foster interest in our idea. We have even put together a short presentation on YouTube for interested parties: https://youtu.be/KXF1HWtqYak.
We know that we can't reach everyone in our short amount of project time and that's why we are reaching out to the general public through printed and online media outlets.
If you are interested in this project or know someone that might be interested, such as a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member, please contact our Project Leader, Nick Hinkell, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We will be hosting an informational meeting on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at the Community Center on Waterloo. We hope to bring together those who have expressed interest during our presentations, who have a heart for giving, and the resources to move this project forward with experts in the field who can help us answer more detailed questions. Please attend this meeting if you would like more information.
As a member of the 2017 Leadership Douglas County class, I'd like to thank you in advance for helping us turn this idea into a giving legacy for Douglas County and its future residents.
Much of what I've heard in the past week is that when it comes to Natural Disasters, it's better to plan for the worst and hope for the best. The continued Republican denial of Global Warming is getting old, it's time to get their collective heads out of the sand and look for bipartisan solutions to fix things before we reach a point of no return. The clear majority of the scientific community is sounding the alarm that climate change is real and we humans are the biggest contributors in creating our own global dilemma.
Global warming is evident just in the temperature increase of our oceans. The impact of our ice caps melting is real and already happening. It is believed by some scientists that increases in the ocean water temperature are creating more powerful storms and hurricanes. If the 50+ inches of rain in Texas and the potential for Hurricane Irma to adversely impact the whole state of Florida are any indication of what is to come, we need to look for solutions for the common good of our future generations.
Our priority shouldn't be to build a wall to isolate ourselves from our neighbors, but to build a wall along our impacted shores to withstand the changes in our oceans and protect all our citizens. Our focus should also be on limiting the future impact of our actions that adversely affect our environment. With forward thinking ideas and innovation, we can clean things up and create new job opportunities all at once.
To error on the side of caution should be our motto, Mother Earth will survive us but it's up to us to create an environment that will not lead to our own premature end. Best case scenario: climate change does not lead to our downfall, but we have created a new understanding for our survival. Worst case we cause our future generations unspeakable hardship and devastation.
We have one clear choice and it's not worth the gamble – planning to protect our environment and rebuilding infrastructure will create jobs, stabilize our shores and the American people.
My heart goes out to all those affected by our current disasters.
There has been a lot of talk on the pros and cons of removing confederate statues and flags. I feel that to destroy them would eliminate a part of this countries history. But I also feel that if statues are destroyed, then all plantation homes in the south that had "slaves" as workers should be torn down and destroyed as well. This would help to eliminate all of the early history of this country and also eliminate some of the good that a guy named Abraham Lincoln did while president.