Aug. 20, 2020, Letters to the Editor
Our enemy is poverty of the heart
During the protest Saturday, there were spots of kindness from each side, some leaning in to understand “the other.” Mostly visible though, was the hatred shouted and spewed between the various groups. It was disheartening and sadly, eye opening. It’s difficult to perceive that the kind of anger we witnessed could be coming from some of the people living in our community. To be up in arms in support of our sheriff and funding the police is one thing, but this was an unbelievable overreaction. The 500 or so, predominantly white, middle aged men, many with AK47s and assorted weapons, were here, we were told, “to keep our buildings and monuments safe.” To us it seemed many were on the fight and the mission became confused and disorderly, bordering on violence. Some shouted, “get the f… out of here…we don’t want you in our town.” They and a few on horseback, herded the approximately 50 youthful protestors, down the street. Among the protesters were local residents. What town were they supposed to, “get out of”? Was their voice or protest not allowed? Don’t they and those opposing them, have the right to voice their opinion in their own community? The protesters remained solid, some shouting obscenities in return, but they utilized no weapons, sticks or rocks instead continued walking in support of Black Lives Matter.
Where have we gone wrong? Haven’t we learned that “the other” is not our enemy? Our enemy is the loss of respect for one another. Our enemy is hate, fear, prejudice, poverty of the heart. We seem to be at war with one another which results in everyone losing.
Equity actually means fairness and justice. Isn’t that what we, in the Carson Valley can offer? After more than 50 years of living here, we have never witnessed anything like this. It breaks our hearts to see some of our community participate in the hatred that was demonstrated last weekend. We pray, if protests continue, there can be peace and civility in this valley we’ve been blessed to call home.
Judy and Gary Williams
Where was the free speech zone?
The more I think about last Saturday’s protests for and against Black Lives Matter, the more furious I am about Sheriff Dan Coverley’s utterly bogus promise to establish a “free speech zone.”
As we all know, the handful of Black Lives Matter supporters were harangued and continually pushed from one spot to another by the pro-sheriff mobs. A couple of BLM people were assaulted — there’s video — and complaints have been filed.
A true “free speech zone” would entail a cordoned off area for each side, enforced by deputies. Coverley had nothing like that. Nor did his deputies do much of anything when hordes of gun-toting conservatives surrounded the tiny cluster of Black Lives Matter supporters wherever they went.
The one person who really did defend free speech was a conservative, a veteran dressed in camouflage and carrying a gun, who had lost a leg in the military. He jumped in to stop a bully who attacked a BLM supporter, and he loudly told his own side that he hadn’t come to Minden to stomp on people’s right to speak.
I really appreciate that guy, and I wish I had asked his name. By contrast, I am disgusted by Coverley’s phony pretentions.
Coverley is highly indignant that some people might not “trust” the sheriff’s office. After what I saw last Saturday, I wouldn’t trust the sheriff either — and I voted for him.
Edmund L. Andrews
Actions have consequences
BLM, thank you for the great community get together Aug. 8 in Minden. It was an opportunity to re-connect with so many old friends that I haven’t seen in years, plus got to know several newcomers.
It reminded me of the good old Carson Valley Days in Minden. Although I did miss the 20-30 Club’s barbecue, beard and chug-a-lug contest etc. Sure, could have used the Fire Department’s water fights to cool everyone down. Just a thought maybe we can make the second Saturday in August, Police, Fire, Military etc. Appreciation Day in Douglas County. Service clubs and youth groups could provide food and drink booths. A day for the community to recognize, appreciate and honor those that have and are making Douglas County Great!
I am so very proud of this community and all the support shown for Sheriff Coverley and his department. I’m tired of the people that thought we were mean to the poor BLM protesters and the BLM cry-babies that are now complaining about what happened on Saturday. BLM gave us notice that they were coming to protest our sheriff and his department, a few even threatened to burn the sheriff’s office down. They picked the day, time and place of the protest. BLM has now reached out to their followers telling them not to visit our community or support our businesses. Thank you BLM, you got the message we don’t want what you are selling.
Somehow with the protest and counter-protest hoop-la, we have lost sight of the fact that our public library director thought it necessary to present a diversity statement that included support for Black Lives Matter to the Library Board of Trustees for action. I would like to know when and who has been discriminated against at our public library. Wow, has the director and her employees discriminated against Library patrons or was it all about support for BLM. The feel-good Diversity Statement was un-necessary if the Library is being run as it should be. The BLM portion of the statement is a Political Statement that calls for the defunding of police. The Douglas County Public Library and its employees are funded by our tax dollars as is the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. The Library Director’s politics has cost us the tax payers a bundle for the Aug. 8 protest against our police. Actions have consequences, I hope.
Something to be proud of
Thanks to the excellent work of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Dan Coverley, last Saturday’s protests could not have turned out any better! The men and women of the DCSO are always here for the community and this time the community was able to return the favor. Despite various threats on social media, the community responded and did so unabashedly in support of our law enforcement.
It was heartwarming to see thousands of Americans exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. In spite of a small number of agitators being bused into our community to instigate trouble, Douglas County rose to the occasion proving that we’re not Chicago, Atlanta, or Portland. No arrests were made. No citations given. No property was damaged, looted, or burned. And that is something we can all be proud of.
Leadership Douglas County participant
Fantasies in the park
I was shocked to find armed militia members hanging out at Minden Park on Saturday, where families were holding kids’ birthday parties, playing soccer, and walking dogs. They “think” they are protecting the rest of us from their personal boogey-men, but I’m far more afraid of them.
We have ordinances that don’t allow unauthorized guns in courthouses and schools. They need to extend to our parks and playgrounds ASAP. It was bad enough when they bullied a small group of racial justice protesters last weekend. There was no protest this weekend, so is this our new normal?
Minden has always been a family-oriented town, but we’re gaining national attention as a militia hotspot. Is that the reputation we want? How will that affect our tourism, economic diversity efforts and property values?
They claim to support the sheriff’s department, but I’m confident DCSO can handle things without their “help.” In fact these self-appointed vigilantes seemed to create more work for DCSO judging by the number of patrols in the area. I’d love to hear from Sheriff Coverly on the subject. In the meantime, these folks need to find a more appropriate venue to work out their gun fantasies.
It takes childlike faith
Local Black Lives Matter supporters who decried the lack of civil discourse at the Aug. 8 Back the Blue rally, and in other venues, should understand that labeling law-enforcement supporters as racists doesn’t win anyone to their point of view. As to BLM’s assertion that defunding law enforcement will improve public safety, welcome to BLM’s intellectual core that functions only in their own Professor Backwards universe.
From Newsweek 8/12/20: “Black Lives Matter Chicago Organizer Ariel Atkins Defends Looting: ‘That’s Reparations’ ”. Add this statement to BLM’s rioting, looting and arson in Democrat controlled inner cities and it takes childlike faith to believe that BLM and their supporters are merely peace-loving opponents of systemic racism and police brutality. BLM is assaulting police officers with rocks and frozen water bottle projectiles in Democrat controlled inner cities and, in Portland, industrial lasers that blinded three officers.
Douglas County law enforcement officers and the patriots who faced down the BLM protesters on Aug. 8 sent a signal that we won’t put up with Portland-style rioting, looting, arson, or attacks on our police. Sheriff Coverley is to be congratulated for his department’s professionalism and his eminently sensible and well-worded response to our rogue library director, in both his letter and his statement to the press.
Local businessman Christopher Bently recently released an open letter to Douglas County that states: “Ours will be the legacy of a community that chooses for itself whether it stands against violence and builds a stronger future through inclusivity, diversity and understanding for future generations. My hope is that together we will inspire future generations of community leaders to learn that they can rise above the moment, and serve and act for the betterment of the whole community.”
Bently continues his father’s legacy in Douglas County as an outstanding employer and a generous benefactor who has funded initiatives to help out the less fortunate and those with life challenges who need assistance. I admire the worthy goals he promotes for our county. Let’s be clear that inclusivity, supporting diversity, and understanding come from good character, not by giving tacit support to the criminal actions of anarchists. The best way to “stand against violence” is to resolve that BLM and related hate groups never have the opportunity to destroy our community.
Spitting is a serious offense
I realize that most of the residents in Carson Valley hold their civil rights as sacred, but where in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, or any religious doctrine does it give anybody the right to spit on people or spew saliva upon them?
Recently, I’ve heard and read stories about spitting incidents that fill me with disgust. Some I hope are urban legend, such as the tale of an old man spitting on a teenage clerk at Walgreens when she told him he couldn’t be in the store without a mask. I do hope this is rumor; however, a friend of mine told me about how her husband witnessed a similar incident of spitting at Bodine’s. As the man walked toward her husband, the man bent toward him and coughed several times. Her husband was so angry that he got the manager to scan the camera footage and give him a copy so he could sue the man. And then there were the incidents — like it or not — of counter-protesters spitting on BLMers. One “lady’s” photo is going viral on social media.
I don’t care what anybody’s politics or religious passions are, no civilized person spews saliva in any form for any reason upon another person, especially during a pandemic, whether you believe it’s real or not. This is not what decent, mature people do. And if that’s not reason enough for people to stop such behavior, you can be arrested, jailed, and fined. This is serious business, folks. It’s tantamount to attempted murder and is punishable by law.
Lots of things wrong with everything
I will never support Black Lives Matter the organization. That said, I will never support any group with a color designation. As said, All Lives Matter. We all have prejudices. If you don’t want Racism, then Morgan Freeman’s answer is best. “Just don’t talk about it.” Don’t give it any attention, individually or by Media. Yes, the Media does fuel the fire. If there is something in the world you do not like, then BEGIN FIRST by making the change within yourself.
We have a problem that goes far beyond this. Black Lives Matter the organization has no concern for the lives of people, even black people. Black Lives Matter is merely a front for a communist takeover of the United States. The leaders of BLM and Antifa are self-declared Communists. Their goal is basic: DIVIDE AND CONQUER. In other words, get the people against each other, disruption, violence, anarchy and destruction of lives and property. Remove the police(defund?) and spread them out to the point that the people stay at home to defend their families. These individuals hate the United States; they do not like Capitalism(although it made this country great); they do not like our Constitution, nor Bill of Rights. There are those who want a New World Order, and the United States is in their way. Control the Masses. It is evident there are individuals(organizations) supporting BLM and Antifa monetarily. Note one thing, Socialism(Communism) has never worked for the betterment of humanity at any time in the history of the world.
We need to educate the youth of this country as to how freedom works, and how we keep it. Our youth have some idea that a socialist utopia is the way to go. Many even support violent protest. To them breaking through the doors of a Macys is retribution for any disservice they feel has been done to them. Macys can collect insurance on the loss. They do not understand this is theft, or consider what if this act was done to them.
The public education system in many ways have failed our youth. They don’t even teach the history of how this country was founded or what our forefathers went through to achieve freedom from English rule. Removing Confederate flags and statues of those from our past only makes us blind, because we learn from the mistakes of our past. Poland has never removed Auschwitz. Why? Because they don’t want anyone to forget the horrors that went on there, and to never go down that road again. We as individuals and as a culture make mistakes, but we need to learn from them.
As a nation we need to wake up. We are Americans. Not African-Americans, not Asian-Americans, not Native-Americans, not Hispanics, not Caucasians, but Americans. That needs to resonate. Forget all this politically correct crap. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Pull up your bootstraps, and go after your goals. Welfare checks won’t get you there. Be an American, act like an American. If not, then please leave.
DCSO should have de-escalation training
I am a Douglas County resident, landowner and taxpayer here for over 34 years. My husband and sons were raised here.
I participated in the Black Lives Matter event in Minden on Aug. 8.
I have three requests of the county commissioners because there is no internal affairs or overseer of the Douglas County sheriff. Saturday’s event was either the workings of a very naive sheriff or mal-intended. Either way it should never have been allowed to play out the way it did.
So first I ask that a clear resolution be stated by commissioners that neither a private individual nor a public entity be required or should feel it necessary to run their mission statement or any statement past our county sheriff for approval.
Second, I ask training be commenced immediately for the Douglas County sheriff in de-escalation and maintaining professional standards required in emotionally charged situations. Carson City has Black Lives Matter rallies nearly every Saturday lately and law enforcement there manages those participants and anti-Black Lives Matter individuals with calm, strength and professionalism. They do not feel the need to openly welcome armed militia to intimidate any participants to keep control of a situation. Douglas County sheriff could work closely with Carson City authorities to learn and implement their peacekeeping strategies.
And thirdly, there are limited resources in our county. I ask that this immediate de-escalation and professionalism training costs be taken from the sheriff’s budget now and from future budget requests. I have no idea what the costs of Saturday’s additional law enforcement will be to Douglas County. What it will cost me, what it will cost you. But I do not want to pay for services that were not provided. I was, and witnessed, harassments, and threats, as law enforcement looked on. Keeping peaceful Black lives Matter participants and heavily armed angry individuals in very close proximity was either a very poorly planned strategy or exactly what the sheriff intended. In either case using the sheriff’s budget for de-escalation training could possibly discourage this practice in planning future events. Our sheriff needs to consider the safety of all Douglas county residents as well as the unnecessary endangerment of his own deputies who are not paid nearly enough for this unwarranted violence control. Hopefully, with limited resources in the future the sheriff will come up with more imaginative and peaceful solutions.
And for the record, I and other Black Lives Matter participants respect professional law enforcement. Trust is a difficult thing to re-establish when lost.
Kind, caring, compassionate people live here
I am distressed by the level of hatred circulating in our community. I know that many kind, caring, and compassionate people live here. Where can we see a roster of events, organizations, congregations, agencies, and resources that are working toward reducing hatred in our community. I would welcome an invitation to participate in these forums.
Each of us is responsible for change
I bought my first horse in Gardnerville in 1971 and several years later moved from Tahoe to make Gardnerville my hometown. Needless to say I have seen many changes in those 50 years. My husband asked me today, “Why have so many people moved here?” My initial response was that they drive through on 395, and it seems idyllic. It saddens me to experience what I saw downtown on Saturday and in the video images that came afterward. These were not idyllic images. There was so much hate.
I am not going to point fingers or make accusations, because so many of us have devolved to only seeing what we already know and hearing only what we already believe. If we are going to come back together as a community that grows rather than destroys, that has to change. Every person in a position of leadership, power, influence, or authority and each of us individually are responsible for the change.
I don’t know what that change looks like. But perhaps these are some steps. Look at videos that portray an alternative picture to what has already been seen. Ask a question that might receive an uncomfortable answer. Visit a different website, radio or TV station. Get to know a new neighbor.
Don’t bother disputing my view
Recently, we had heard Sheriff Coverley had been ramping up business owner’s ire, by telling them Antifa protesters were coming to town by the bus load, to cause chaos and destruction to their buildings. Some of the things he was telling them was crazy and incendiary.
His agenda might have been to cover his own irresponsible behavior. As a top protector of all Douglas County residents, his letter telling our library personnel not to bother calling the sheriff’s office for help, because they supported a humane Black Lives Matters cry for equality, was unconscionable.
We drove through town to see for ourselves, and were shocked to see that here, in our beautiful little community, there were so many white supremacists with rifles slung across their bodies, wearing military-type vests, shouting obscenities, racial slurs and “Trump 2020!”
We saw maybe 15-20 Black Lives Matter protestors, quietly holding up “Black Lives Matter” signs. Our observation was that it was hugely lopsided. There were way more anti-protesters that were louder, more unruly and definitely more intimidating than anything I’d ever experienced — and we were in San Diego when the Vietnam demonstrations were at their peak.
I was saddened to hear the sheriff’s department allowed these anti-protesters to spit, punch, intimidate, sling racial slurs, and try to run over young women that had the right and permission to assemble.
I write this with cringing embarrassment that this community and the sheriff’s department allowed these fringe anti -protesters ( were they bused in?) to abuse and try to deprive these peaceful protesters of their right to peaceful assembly. Some of these young people live in this community.
How about protecting all residents?
If anyone wants to dispute my saddened/disappointed view, with my own eyes and ears, of our communities’ reaction to the disastrous display of unity and fairness for all, don’t bother.
Mary Ann McNeill
Our civilization is not healthy
Did you always want to be a shopaholic? Run for public office. Just think, if you run short of money you can figure out a new tax to fill your coffers. You never have to figure out (like us taxpayers) where to save money. Like, maybe your spouses’s third cousin doesn’t need a job as your gofer at $90,000 per annum. Or you don’t need to take that fact-finding trip with your staff of 20 to Timbuktu. The amount of morbid obesity (fat) in the government has to be cut; but probably never will be because government is built to grow. The pyramid scheme at its worst.
Our civilization is not healthy. More are employed by the government than are contributing to its upkeep.
Wish I knew how to find out what percentage of the budget goes for retirements. A while back a U.S. senator was being accused of sexual harassment; rather than go to court, he retired. It was said his retirements from all the different public offices he had held was more than $1 million a year. I’ve wondered for a long time if the local city councilman who was caught stealing and fired from his place of employment is still getting county tax-paid medical insurance?
Would it be possible for lobbyists and the companies they represent be made the pay for our elected officials’ retirements. After all, they’re the ones who buy their votes and profit from the same.
Maybe we need to say “don’t vote for a candidate who has a member of the family already in office.” Politics is like show biz in that it seems to be hereditary. Some more questions to add to my list of mysteries of life.
Young stands for justice
I have appeared before Judge Tod Young for the past 10 years for our son’s special needs guardianship, and every time we have appeared, Young has shown a passionate commitment and a deep concern not only for the community but also for every case that appears before his court.
Young’s integrity and transparency is apparent every time he sits on the bench. Young has made a tremendous difference to all special need individuals and has taken his own time to be a part of the Aktion Club (a part of Kiwanis Club), which gives adult special needs people the enhanced values and the opportunity to develop quality of life.
In these times of uncertainty and frustration, Young stands out for his truthfulness and justice. I personally think citizens wold be doing an injustice to Douglas County’s judicial system if Young is not re-elected for the District Court position.
David and Beverly King
Save the Minden siren
The sound of the Minden siren is a proud tribute to the hundreds of volunteer firefighters that have served Douglas County over the years.
The siren, like many others that existed around the county, served as a means of notifying our volunteer firefighters to leave their place of work to respond to an emergency in the community.
Our volunteer firefighters donated their time and resources to build fire stations using community fundraisers to cover the cost of construction. They trained and responded to emergencies 24-7 regardless of the weather and without compensation for their time and effort. Often risking their lives to save others our volunteers came from every walk of life, farmers, ranchers, doctors, lawyers, judges, state senator, store owners and employees. Yes, and even Native Americans. Bently and Continental Telephone (now Verizon) were strong supporters of our volunteers.
The volunteer fire stations were central to the social structure of the communities around them. They were used as meeting places, fundraisers, polling places, emergency shelters and always available to the communities they served.
Volunteer firefighter companies with fire sirens have been central to communities across America. Many have evolved into sophisticated, all-paid, professional fire departments but many still exist as proud, competent, volunteer fire companies. Although East Fork has evolved into a predominantly paid professional department they still have a volunteer component.
When I started as East Fork fire chief 40 years ago the district firefighting force was all volunteer. Each volunteer organization was an independent, corporate entity, not part of county government. They included: Douglas County Engine Company (Minden); Gardnerville VFD; Genoa VFD; Sheriden VFD; Ranchos VFD,; Johnson Lane VFD; Topaz Lake VFD; Topaz Ranch Estates VFD; Ruhenstroth VFD; Jack’s Valley VFD (NDF) andFish Springs.
These separate VFDs worked together to support each other. They responded to each other’s emergencies, always working as a team.
At one point during my career with East Fork the Dresslerville community approached me and asked to be part of the Ranchos VFD. Native Americans training and responding side by side as proud volunteer firefighters. The district volunteer fire chiefs agreed to provide the Dresslerville community a fire engine of their own. It was refurbished and equipped with hose nozzles, fittings and all that is needed to fight a fire.
To sum up the current fire siren issue, the siren was established before the advent of radio activated pagers, for the sole purpose of summoning firefighters in the time of emergency.
The noon and 6 p.m. burst was a test of the reliability of the system required by the insurance industry that sets our fire insurance rates.
Any other baggage that has been attached to meaning of our fire siren is just that, baggage. Baggage that has nothing to do with the original intent and use of the siren.
I consider the noon and 6 p.m. burst of the siren a proud tribute to all firefighters everywhere.
Let’s save the tradition. Do not turn off the Minden siren.
Mails are a mess
In July I mailed a letter from Gardnerville to Genoa. It took 16 days to get there.
On July 16 a utility mailed me my July invoice due on Aug. 8. It arrived on Aug. 13.
In the last two years I have had a number of letters that took up to a month to arrive at my home. It’s common on our block for mail to be placed in the wrong box. Good way to meet the neighbors as you swap mail. After 10 years in my house almost weekly I get mail for the previous couple that use to live in our house.
So how is a mail-in ballot going to work? Also now harvesting ballots is legal?
Wow that really makes for a corrupt election possibility in our state. It’s OK to go shopping, go to a casino, or pot shop but we cant go to a polling place?