Letters to the Editor for Feb. 14
February 13, 2018
Nevada's largest art project
A huge thank you to all involved in the Willow Reindeer project. Thank you to the kids of Douglas High School basketball, the coaches, Monica Chamberlain for helping take down the willow reindeer in record time of less than two hours and across 65 miles. It was really sepcial, it's been a couple of years since we've been able to add to this and it has been amazing. Many of the people who volunteer are students, juniors and seniors at the high school who have made the riendeer themselves over the years and/or have brothers and sisters who have too. It's like a full circle of art work and teams putting up and taking down the reindeer and it has been amazing. Ken and Lori Paxton thank you. Special thank you to Josh, Jeanna, Layne, Stetson and princess Kelly for helping for years in putting up and taking down the reindeer. Josh also helps keep the sleighs running also for helping with the starter and water pump this year on the reindeer truck. I would have been stuck and many kids would not have been involved without Josh Kelly. And one more thanks all should know, Andrew and Sagico Bell of Indian Hills. Andrew and Sagico for a number of years have not only helped put the reindeer out and helped take them down in both Douglas and Carson counties, but the "Rockin Reindeer" south of Mica drive is to always be known as "Bell Hill." They put them up and down all on their own some years.
Much love to all.
Willow Bill Goulardt
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Tiregate is no joke
Some things I fail to understand with this problem.
What happened to your internal checks and balances? Lead personnel and supervisors are not responsible for what goes on in their work world?
What, if any, tracking system is in place for materials and parts that are ordered?
Why after a number of years, has stealing from the county not been questioned?
The question finally came up that we don't have these tires sizes, as per the story in the newspaper. That should have run up a red flag of wrongdoing.
The very large bill from a vendor shows up and then questions are asked?
I think that some statements need to be rethought from the news stories.
So let's hire an outside concern to do our job. This is throwing good money after bad. Putting a patch on the problem does not solve a thing.
The problem should have been stopped years ago if people were really doing their jobs.
In closing, all are guilty for not doing their job, period. Proper action should be taken. Where should people be sending their applications? Let's solve the waste and handle things following good business practices.
Topaz Ranch Estates
Troubled by speaker choice
I am writing as a member of Concerned Voters Douglas County, a nonpartisan group of citizens.
We are troubled to learn that former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is the invited guest of honor at the Douglas County Republican Party annual dinner. It saddens us to see our neighbors honoring an individual who abused his power as a law enforcement officer.
A man who swore to uphold the law instead practiced unconstitutional acts of racial profiling, inhumane treatment of prisoners, misuse of funds, and ultimately cost the taxpayers of Arizona over $70 million to pay the legal fees associated with these acts.
There is an irony in inviting this man to the Reagan and Lincoln Dinner. We know we have our differences here in the Valley, but we always thought we were better than this – Reagan and Lincoln were.
Opposed to Arpaio speech
I am shocked that our own Douglas County Republican Party has invited a convicted criminal, a man who violated the civil rights of Latinos for years, to be the speaker at its fundraising dinner this month. By celebrating Arpaio, the infamous former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., our local Republican leaders seem more interested in stirring up anger in their base than in addressing policy. Arpaio's record of abuses has been well documented in court proceedings over many years. A federal court in Arizona found that his office engaged in a host of unconstitutional practices aimed at targeting and arresting Hispanics or anybody who "looked like" a undocumented immigrant. Most famously, he established his horrific "Tent City" in the Arizona desert, where suspected undocumented immigrants languished in temperatures as high as 140 degrees and received little or no health care.
Meanwhile, the ACLU has documented, his office ignored victims of sexual assault and child abuse if they couldn't prove their citizenship.
And, as the Justice Department found, his office threatened his critics with a "pattern or practice of retaliating against individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights."
Last year, after Arpaio ignored a court order to stop a wide range of practices, a federal judge convicted him of criminal contempt of court.
Now he is running for the Senate in Arizona.
And to help him along, our own Douglas County Republican Party is hosting him as its keynote dinner speaker on Feb. 18. To me, he has it backwards.
As a sworn public servant, he took an oath to abide by and enforce the laws of Arizona and of the United States as they were written, and to protect all men and women regardless of their nationality or culture. Arpaio blatantly disregarded that oath, as well as a court order, and he only avoided punishment because Trump pardoned him. If the sheriff didn't like the way a law was written, he could have worked within the system to change it. Instead, he decided to take the law into his own hands.
That's not the way our democracy is supposed to work.
Outraged by speaker choice
I am outraged that the local Republican Party has invited convicted criminal Joe Arpaio as their keynote speaker for their fundraiser at the Carson Valley Inn on February 18th. Is he a leader republicans look up to and wish to learn from?
Anyone who respects our constitution would not want a bigoted vigilante for its sheriff.
Our laws should be obeyed by all, including elected officials. Why then are Nevada's elected officials such as Senator Heller and AG Laxalt and Congressman Amodei slated to attend and honor the disgraced Sheriff Arpaio.
Shame on the Republican Party and their elected officials.
Most Trump news focuses on negative
With the booming economy brought on by President Trump's policies [despite the constant obstruction by the Democrats,they just can not put the best interest of the country ahead of hating Trump] tax cuts, regulatory reforms, removing the Obamacare tax penalty for millions of citizens, that chose not to or could not afford ObamaCare.
Repatriation of corporate funds held overseas by 312 corporations are estimated at $4 trillion, which includes examples of Apple Corporation promising $350 billion investment in U.S. economy over next five years and also paying $38 billion to the U.S. Treasury, Exxon-Mobil's $50 billion investment in U.S., and this is just the beginning.
The corporations are starting to pass on a bonus and higher benefits to their employee's and the response by Ms. Pelosi, minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives is to call this tokenism and crumbs.
They believe in big government being able to spend your money better than the taxpayer.
Not one Democrat supported tax cuts, remember this next time you vote.
The compliant media using the Democratic talking points gives Trump agenda only 5 percent positive news coverage, 90 percent of the time it is negative, like the phony Russia collusion which appears to be collusion between H.R. Clinton, hold-overs from the previous Administration in the FBI and the Justice Departments, obstruction of justice, racism, anti-immigration, impeachment, 24/7 and then wonder why President Trumps popularity has a hard time to be above 40 percent.
This is very similar to tactics used by Goebbels, a minister of propaganda for Nazi Germany 1933-45, guided by the maxim "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." I believe President Trumps ratings would be 60-70 percent if he was treated same as the previous administration.
The poll's in the aftermath of the State Of The Union Address were 70-80-percent positive, but if you listened to the pundits other than Fox network you would come away with a different opinion.
Correction: Joyce Richardson is a Foothill resident. The last line of her letter was: "Please print this letter in the hopes that those who enjoy the trail currently can once again take pride in it and band together to keep it pristine."
Not the right direction
Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been invited to speak at a political event here in Douglas County. Whoever decided a disgraced former Arizona Sheriff should come to Douglas County at the precise moment our own Sheriff's office is facing a change in command is exhibiting questionable judgment at best.
One can only wonder if Joe Arpaio's history of monetary misappropriation, countless numbers of violations of detainees constitutional rights to adequate health care, ignoring hundreds of cases of sex crimes of which many involved children, orchestrating his own fake assassination to make himself appear as a hero which resulted in imprisoning an innocent man as a fall guy for four years, and many lawsuits from Joe Arpaio's actions costing millions of dollars for Arizona taxpayers, is the direction his invitees think is appropriate for our sheriff's department? I certainly hope not.
Republicans rent space from Elks
I was at the Douglas County Republican Central Committee meeting on Feb. 6, which was protested (picketed) by a number of people exercising their First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom to assembly. As a Republican, I respect these people who did more than just complain about something they feel strongly about. I think they are "wrong minded" but that is another subject.
The reason for this letter is to state that I hope people don't make a connection between two dots that does not exist.
The first dot is that the Elks Lodge rented meeting space to the Douglas County Republican Central Committee.
The second dot is that the Douglas County Republican Central Committee is featuring a speaker that some people don't like. I like that speaker (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) very much.
Some people connect these two dots with a line of "The Elks Lodge is an organization that supports the Republican Party." They are "wrong minded" thinkers and that line of thinking is not true (fake news)!
The Elks Lodge is a non-political organization. They just rent out some meeting space they have available. They rent this same space to a number of other organizations (not just the DCRCC). The progressive, liberal left is very good at painting people and organizations with a broad brush that best fits their agenda but have no truth in facts.
Get your facts straight before voicing your opinion or presenting a letter.
Judges not sources of power
In his Feb. 9 letter, Mr. Goldsmith misguidedly endorses the invalid doctrine of judicial supremacy, writing, "…the courts that decide the constitutionality of those laws…." Our Constitution begins with the words, "We The People," not we the government, or we the judges.
In 1803, the Supreme Court opined in Marbury v. Madison, a power to invalidate laws of Congress, which has morphed into deference to the courts on all matters. Recall that the Founders formed our government writing in the Declaration of Independence, "…deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
On June 14, 1788, in the Virginia Ratification Convention, while debating the power delegated to Congress by the Constitution, Delegate George Nicholas stated, "If they exceed these powers, the judiciary will declare it void, or else the people will have a right to declare it void."
The Court's assertion of judicial review (practiced as supremacy) is not supported by the text of the Constitution. This doctrine evolved from the continued piling on of "precedents," the Court self-validating its constitutional usurpation. The Executive and Legislative branches failed to nullify this doctrine, allowing it to become accepted.
Thomas Jefferson wrote to Monsieur Coray, Oct. 31, 1823, "…the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government…their decisions…pass silent and unheeded by the public at large…become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the Constitution…."
In Federalist 51 James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, said, "In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates." In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton said, "the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power."
On Sept. 28, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote William Charles Jarvis, an early judicial supremacy adherent, "You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy." He continued, "The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots."
Dr. Alpheus Thomas Mason, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University and one of the country's foremost judicial biographers wrote, "Implicit in the system of government the Framers designed is the basic premise that unchecked power in any hands whatsoever is intolerable."
Mr. Goldsmith accepts the replacement of our constitutional republic with judicial perversion by precedent, establishing an unconstitutional judicial oligarchy. American courts have become politicized, some radically, and would be totally repugnant to our Founders.
I urge Mr. Goldsmith and all Americans to learn our Constitution and stand for the truth. An anonymous quote can light the way: "Study both sides of everything, no matter how personally uncomfortable. If someone tells you not to study the other side of your beliefs, that is a huge red flag that means you should do exactly that."
Home ownership doesn't work for everyone
I don't know who started the false narrative about affordable housing being slums and hangouts for gangs, but it really needs to stop before people begin to believe that nonsense. It makes us sound like California NIMBYs, which I surely hope we all are not.
Another falsehood the fear mongers are pushing is that Douglas County is contributing money to developers to subsidize housing developments so they're more affordable than market rate housing. That's simply not true!
While state law doesn't require counties our size to address housing in a Master Plan, the authors of the plan back in 1996 were wise to include a housing element to highlight then current and future needs.
The current Master Plan Update does exactly what's needed, with goals and action items to assure that adequate housing exists for individuals and families regardless of income level, age or physical condition.
The plan includes statistics on affordable housing that's available to rent or own, housing that's subsidized by an agency of government, and housing that's accessible to persons with disabilities.
It also includes an analysis of projected growth, demographic characteristics of the community, a determination of the present and prospective need for affordable housing, and it begins to identify ways to meet the need for affordable housing for the next five years.
That's not an easy task in what I believe is the most expensive housing county in the state. I don't agree with all the proposed actions, but most of them are reasonable and attainable if there's a will to provide affordable housing for all our citizens.
In no way does the plan suggest that Douglas County needs to encourage the construction of "projects" like those found in big eastern cities.
With land use policies that direct new development to areas with access to public utilities and services, affordable housing may be located adjacent to existing developments. It may be that multi-family housing will be one method to achieve at least a portion of the affordable housing goal. Another portion may be met by requiring affordable housing be included as part of new and larger developments.
Let's face it, job mobility among today's workforce is unlike ever before, and not every person or family is looking for a house in a traditional neighborhood. But they likely want a clean, safe, and inviting place to put down roots, even for a few years if not longer. The need exists today and will into the future.
And let's not forget those who have decided to leave behind lawn mowing, leaf raking and snow shoveling, and are looking for a simpler lifestyle that affords ample time to travel or read a good book. We are all getting older and having affordable and accessible senior housing is important, too.
We are a caring community; we can do this. There are numerous successful models to explore if we do the research. I've personally seen examples that would fit nicely into our rural community. Let's stop the grumbling and get on with it. Enough of the scare tactics already.