Letters to the editor for July 25, 2019
RDA preceded Engels and Nelson
I found some of Lacy Anscott’s pro-Redevelopment Agency No. 2 letter to the editor (July 4 R-C) a needless recapitulation of many of the points in Mike Bailey’s earlier paid advertisement. But her claim that Commissioners Nelson and Engels “… [decided] to oppose the proposed events center at Stateline long before any meaningful public discourse or investigation of facts on the issue” was at least new, if inaccurate.
RDA2 was in place before either commissioner was elected. More importantly, they’re the only ones asking questions about RDA2, like: What gives politicians the right to fraudulently blight some of the most expensive real estate in Douglas County — like Edgewood Golf Course — to form an RDA that will channel taxpayer money to their biggest campaign contributors? If you caught NBC this weekend you could see the squalor and poverty for yourself.
It was Chairman Penzel who cut off Engels’ report on RDA2 mid-sentence at the May 16 BOCC because Penzel doesn’t seem to want, in Anscott’s words, an “investigation of the facts on the issue.”
RDA2 was created because lobbyists for the Stateline corridor were successful in convincing enough commissioners to create what should be viewed as a trough full of taxpayer money to allow Stateline to rebrand itself by funding costly cosmetic changes and adding a few outrageously expensive recreational “opportunities.” The estimated cost of the event center was $50 million. Then it went up to $80 million. Now we see a proposal for $21 million in bike paths and $7.9 million for repairs and streetscaping for Kahle Drive, which by the way is not in the RDA.
The cynical calculation is that the county must keep investigating rather than tell the folks who stand to gain from the RDA2 tax money giveaway that it’s not worth the risk. Example: Anscott asserts that “a great deal of information regarding the proposed events center is necessary before any shovel hits the ground.” Except that the “information” keeps changing. The county’s version of “meaningful public discourse” is asking itself softball questions on the RDA2 FAQ Nextdoor blog. Read through the comments; you’ll see some actual “investigation of facts.”
Anscott’s thank you to Walsh, Rice, and Penzel for not “passing the buck” by shortstopping a voter advisory on RDA2 is misplaced. Douglas County voters routinely cast ballots on the piddliest tax hikes. RDA2’s scope, size, enormous risk to the taxpayer, and lack of guarantee that it will work as advertised, is more than enough reason to put it to a vote of the people. The only reason not to is, as Rice admitted, that the voters would likely kill it.
For Walsh, Rice, and Penzel, it’s a case of mind over matter. They don’t mind, and you — the voters — don’t matter.
Great job Minden
We are grateful for the work done by the Minden Town Board, the town administration staff and the town public works staff. They have put much time and effort into the creation and maintenance of the splash pad in Minden Park, for the enjoyment of all. The increase in laughter is delightful and the gathering of families with children is a good thing for the community. We live across from the park and have experienced only good from public or private events. Though our town continues to grow, the park activities give us all the gift of preserving the small town atmosphere. Thank you Town of Minden.
Gary and Judy Williams
Teenagers benefit from Project Santa
Two well-deserving teenagers are recent recipients of bicycles donated through the Kiwanis Project Santa bicycle program. These young men, who are awaiting adoption and don’t have much, are thrilled to get, in their words, “the nicest bike I have ever had.” They really needed the bikes now during their school break … so it was an early Christmas for them. I’d like to publicly thank Teresa Duffy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for contacting the Kiwanis Club & putting them in touch with me. Also, thanks to Peter, Gary, and all the rest of the Kiwanis team that work hard to provide these much-appreciated bikes. It certainly teaches these young men and women to value the efforts and contributions of all those who provide a variety of services to this great community we live in.
mentor with Tahoe Youth & Family Services
Volunteer Expo on Aug. 22
Looking to volunteer, but unsure of where to start? Luckily for the residents of Douglas County, Leadership Douglas County has put together a Volunteer Expo to help answer this question and more. There will be a plethora of agencies available to share their volunteer needs and expectations. Please come and see us at the Douglas County Community Center on 3:30-7 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Senior Center dining room. Swing by to learn about the different volunteer options in our community and have a chance to win a raffle prize. Volunteering is an easy and empowering way to give back to your community. We hope to see you there.
Family Support Council
Leadership Douglas County-Class of 2019
Good session for renewables
The recently concluded 2019 Nevada Legislative session made great progress in areas relating to solar and renewable energy, as well as laid the groundwork for forward-thinking policies relating to electric vehicles. Since some of the original work which was done to bring net metering and a Renewable Portfolio Standard to Nevada originated in Douglas County, and since the state’s first net-metered home is in Gardnerville, we have much to be proud of locally, as the current efforts built on that work begun in the 1990s. All of the bills described here received overwhelming or unanimous support in both the state Senate and Assembly, demonstrating how far we have come toward bipartisan support for renewable energy and common-sense policies that can lead to economic diversification and growth.
On the solar and renewable energy front:
Senate Bill 358 raises the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030. This means that each provider of electric service will need to acquire electricity from renewable energy systems, or save electricity through efficiency measures, equivalent to not less than 50 percent of the total electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers.
Assembly Bill 465 creates an expanded solar access program through NV Energy by encouraging community-based solar along with workforce innovation and training programs. This will help pass savings from solar energy to low-income families and will create some apprenticeship and training programs in the solar energy field, currently one of the fastest growing professions across the United States.
Two bills and a resolution were passed that will set the stage for more electric vehicle technology in Nevada, and ultimately help the state maintain its clean tech leadership.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 directs an interim committee to study alternative transportation infrastructure funding opportunities and how electric vehicles will fit into these possibilities. These studies will provide legislators with information and data allowing them to craft sound EV policies that address infrastructure needs while growing a critical market. A related pair of bills begin to provide for heavy duty electric vehicles such as buses and trucks.
Assembly Bill 377 raises the weight limits for Nevada’s roads, which will allow for heavy duty electric trucks to enter the market and compete with diesel powered trucks.
Senate Bill 299 allows school districts to apply for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration money to use in purchasing electric school busses. This program covers up to 75 percent of the cost of a new electric bus, allowing the continuation of smart policy that transitions major fleets to cost-saving electric vehicles.
Altogether a good legislative year for renewables, building nicely on efforts begun years ago by forward thinking Douglas County residents.
Great play, folks
A big thank you to the board members of the Carson Valley Community Theater. Lucille Rao, Diana Jones, Michon Chandler, Ann Delahay, Shannon Hickey, Melanie Johnson, and Dave Lavers, staged a wonderful production of the play “Always… Patsy Cline” that sold out every performance and thoroughly delighted all who attended. Krista Jenkins portrayed Patsy Cline. Her musical interpretation, melodic phrasing, and magnetic stage presence, wow’ed every audience. The play is a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash. Highlights are her songs Crazy, and Walking After Midnight.
“Always… Patsy Cline” is the latest in a line of CVCT musical and drama productions that always produce a high level of artistry and production. I applaud the effort to showcase local talent and provide opportunities for residents of the region to participate in all aspects of live theatre production and management. Forty to 50 volunteers are required to produce every show. Audiences come away inspired by the level of professionalism.
The work of CVCT is integral to the cultural and financial well being of Douglas County. Attendees are folks who appreciate and support the arts, freely spend money at the local restaurants and casino, and oftentimes are visitors to our county. They help to lend a “feel” to our county that supports creativity, and will ensure that more resources are devoted to strengthening the arts in Douglas County.
I recognize the efforts of the CVCT volunteers, who’s productions inspire us.
What could be better?
Mistaking ‘other guy’ for God?
A while back, I expressed my puzzlement as to why millions of evangelical Christians continued to support Donald Trump, a man who has repeatedly trashed the Ten Commandments, shredded the Golden Rule and violated nearly every tenet of human decency. Shortly thereafter, I received several “enlightenments” — one, via an unsigned, semi-threatening letter declaring that the president really “does unto others as they have done unto him” (hmmmm); another claiming that Trump was actually “appointed” by God. Indeed, recently our own secretary of state, the “Reverend” Mike Pompeo suggested that the president was enthroned by God to save Israel from Iran. I wonder … is it possible these good folks are simply mistaking that “other guy” — the one with horns and a pitchfork — for God?
Amodei should have supported resolution
I am disgusted by Mark Amodei’s failure to support the House resolution condemning Trump’s disgraceful public display of his obvious and well documented racism. Is there any point at which our Republican congressman would prioritize our country’s well being and prestige over his petty partisan politics? What would Trump have to say or do before he would rebuke him? I suggest Amodei consider this question very carefully now, because, if past experience is any guide, whatever line Amodei draws, Trump will cross it, and sooner rather than later.
“Go back where you came from” has been a well known racial slur for generations. Anyone who lets those horrible anti-American words dribble from their pie hole is either 1) Too stupid to be president. 2) Too insensitive to be president. or 3) Too racist to be president. I’m betting on a trifecta.
Between Horses and Human’s a wonderful program
I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer for “Between Horses and Human’s” during their Summer Leadership Classes. I volunteer for a similar program in the Pacific Northwest and came to BHH to get some new insights and experience through my friend Barbara Slade. I learned so much from Barbara, BHH president, program director, and lead instructor, and from the other volunteers. They are all extremely knowledgeable, compassionate, encouraging, and competent. They know when to provide support or enforce the rules and when to have patience and let a child safely learn on their own through trial and error.
I also learned from the kids and horses. I fell in love with the program’s calm, and patient horses and learned wonderful new ways to communicate with all horses through bodywork, groundwork, and riding exercises. I gained respect and inspiration from the children who have struggled through physical and emotionally debilitating experiences. More than once during the week, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes as a child found the determination to face and overcome challenges and build on their skills and knowledge; skills and knowledge as equestrians and for creating a better life for themselves. Communication, focus, kindness, empathy, courage, trust, perseverance, confidence, accomplishment, pride, and joy are just some of the great things I saw kids learn and practice as they worked with and cared for their horses.
I came to BHH to volunteer and learn some new skills, but came away with so much more. I have new tools to share and build upon as not only a volunteer, but as a person interacting in my community. I look forward to sharing what I learned and encourage you to get involved.
Whether you are thinking of volunteering or know of a child that could benefit, BHH is a wonderful opportunity for yourself and others.