Dec. 3, 2020, Letters to the Editor
Reflecting on 2020 fall semester
I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well. It is hard to believe, but we have already been in school for 62 days in the valley, and 52 days at the lake. I want to start off by acknowledging the amazing efforts of our students, staff, and community in making it possible to provide a variety of learning opportunities for the students of Douglas County School District.
As my daily updates should reflect, we are continually monitoring COVID-19 cases within the district, and we are also monitoring this data to ensure we do not have the spread of cases or the development of clusters within a school site. As cases have significantly increased within the Quad-County, I understand how it has the potential to increase apprehension, and how it may impact your own feelings regarding the safety of your children in our local schools.
It’s for that reason that I feel it’s important to provide our community with a summary report of the COVID-19 cases we have had within the school district over the first 62 days of the school year. I believe the data is remarkable considering we have approximately 5,220 individuals who attend our local schools “in-person” as either a student or staff member. While I know our statistics can change quickly, I am not only encouraged, but extremely proud that we have had only 1.63% of our students and staff test positive during the first 13 weeks of the 2020-21 school year. We have also seen almost no evidence that the virus is being spread within our schools. These statistics and observations truly reflect the commitment our students and staff have made to minimize risk within the school setting.
As I said at the start of this journey in August, our parents and community play a significant role in our ability to remain open and provide “in-person” instruction to our students. While I am sure all of us are experiencing some level of COVID fatigue, I ask each of you to remain vigilant and continue fulfilling your role of monitoring your child’s health, complete the daily screening tool, keep them home if they are not feeling well, and implement precautions within your home to avoid exposure.
I close by thanking our community for your support of our staff and the trust you have placed in Douglas County School District to educate your children, no matter what learning model they participate in. While the cases in our community have increased significantly, I believe the data supports that DCSD schools should remain open, and in doing so, we are not jeopardizing the safety of our students and staff.
Thanks for electing Gardner, Nowosad
As one of Commissioner-elect Mark Gardner’s campaign team, I extend my thanks to the voters and the volunteers for Mark Gardner and Walt Nowosad that will put them onto the 2021 Board of County Commissioners. Both of them beat their opponents rather handily.
In this heavily Republican county, most countywide elections are settled in the Republican primary. However, the developer community generously funded a third party candidate’s campaign against Gardner in the general election. Fortunately for the Douglas County constituency that sees their county being covered over with homes and streets clogged with traffic, their very expensive gambit failed, 70- 30 percent.
Commissioner-elect Gardner, with big victory margins in both his primary and general campaigns, brings a clear mandate from an overwhelming majority of voters to the new Board majority. Douglas County voters will finally have a County Commission that will address their concerns. Congratulations to Mark Gardner and Walt Nowosad.
Something to take your mind off stress
Want something to take your mind off today’s stress and be taken back to a more peaceful and tranquil time then check out these two classic movies filmed in Carson Valley.
“Chicken Every Sunday,” 1949. Filmed in Gardnerville, Minden, Carson City, Virginia City, Silver City, and the Tucson Valley of Arizona.
Starring: Dan Daily, Celeste Holm, Colleen Townsend, and a young Natalie Wood.
It is a story of a family’s boarding house and an ambitions husband and father in early Tucson, Arizona. There are memorable scenes such as a political rally in the Minden Park with the original gazebo, trolly cars running down Esmeralda Street, and the building of Tuscan’s first hospital known to us, as the Gardnerville Elementary School. There is a wedding in the original Methodist Church in Gardnerville, where the Parsonage still stands today, see if you can guess where it is. It was fun trying to identify the locations of the various scenes, as well as, picking out the many locals who were extras including my Grandmother (Nana) Elizabeth Mac Brown.
A DVD of the movie can be purchased on Amazon and the Douglas County Library in Minden has a copy for lending.
“Wild is the Wind” 1957. Filmed almost exclusively on the Pruitt Ranch now known as the Corley Ranch in Gardnerville. There are scenes of the Carson Valley, Reno Airport, the Pinenut Range and Hope Valley. You will enjoy seeing what Highway 395 looked like 70 years ago and see the Valley as an undeveloped ranching community. Seeing the Reno Airport out in the middle of fields with no buildings in the background was an eyeopener.
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, Anthony Franciosa and the big screen debut of Gardnerville resident Pete Idiart and his sheep dog Frisky. Locals Bud Brown and Jean Lekumberry (JT Bar) participated in the production of the film.
It is a story of family relationships, lost love, forbidden love, and compromise all within the background setting of ranching and sheepherding. It also has surprising scenes of daily ranching that are remarkably interesting and, in some cases, could be the source of controversy today, Example:
Anthony Quinn (Gino):” What’s the matter? I broke the horse for you”
Anna Magnani (Gioia): “It was a horse before. It’s a sheep now.”
“Wild is the Wind” was nominated for three Academy Awards, Best Actor- Anthony Quinn, Best Actress-Anna Magnani and Best Music for the song “Wild is the Wind” sung by Johnny Mathis. The song became so popular other Artists including Nina Simone, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, and others have made their own recordings.
Wild is the Wind is available on YouTube. There may be other sources that I am not aware of.
I hope you have as much fun as I did watching these films, enjoying the scenes of Carson Valley, and reminiscing about a time long gone.
Special thanks to Cecile Brown for her incredible memory of Carson Valley History.
What was the real cost of rally?
I wonder just how much the County Commissioners’ cavalier attitude toward political rallies have contributed to the surge in Covid infections that we are seeing today. There’s no point in drawing a picture for them to explain the relationship because if they couldn’t see it then they won’t be able to see it now.
Changing the political landscape
Although it may appear to be a good thing when your political party is in complete control of the three branches of government simultaneously, there is a possible downside. Since the election of 2016 and the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the Democrats have vowed to never let such a travesty occur again. How dare the electorate install a president not to their liking! The Steele Dossier, bought and paid for by Ms, Clinton and the DNC led to the Russian collusion hoax, which then led to a very partisan impeachment trial without a single Republican vote in the House of Representatives. Finally, the Democrats blamed the Wuhan, China virus on President Trump with it’s corresponding 200,00+ deaths, even though the CDC admitted that only 6% of those that died did so due to Covid-19. It escapes me how a president who is following the guidelines established by scientists and health officials can be responsible for a Chinese virus.
The two Senate runoff elections in Georgia could determine the future of America for years to come. Democratic victories would create an equally divided Senate with the Vice-President casting the tie breaking vote. At least two issues should concern all Americans if this scenario comes into play; 1) statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 2) packing the Supreme Court to assure ‘legislating from the bench’. Policies that the vast majority of Americans are not in favor of could become law by bypassing the Legislative Branch altogether. In other words, if you can’t win with the existing rules, which have done quite well for the last 200-plus years, let’s change the rules. Prince Machiavelli would be proud.
I also present for your careful consideration the following facts. Just last week David Atkins of the California DNC stated that “the 75 million voters who voted for Donald Trump need to be ‘reprogrammed'” and Don Lemon of CNN basically agreed when he said “Republicans need to be re-educated’ or ‘deprogrammed.'” Obviously, some Americans don’t understand what our Constitutional Republic is all about. Dr. Ben Carson explains, “For the American Eagle to fly it needs a left wing and a right wing.” A one-party system is akin to communism.
Thank you for the wonderful Meal!
I drove to the senior center to purchase a turkey meal for $3.00 on Wednesday, November 25th. Wow, what a meal, hot and ready to serve. Generous portions, very tasty and all you could hope for from turkey to pumpkin pie. Nothing in between was left out. Not only was the meal great, but I got to say hello to several friends taking tickets and serving. Great to get out and see people especially during this time.
Many thanks to all those responsible for the delicious and generous meal. From those who planned it and coordinated it to the servers and kitchen personnel. You all did a wonderful job and such a great service to the community. Don’t know how many were served, but there was lots of vehicles in line while I was there and it moved quickly too.
What a great community we live in. Stay safe and healthy.