Letters to the Editor for June 13
Thank you to those who helped in a tough time
On Jan. 27, 2019, my best friend, Korbin Preston and myself, were in a horrific car accident, where Korbin lost his life and I received a horrible brain injury along with multiple other injuries.
I am a true miracle. I want to publicly thank everybody for my prayers and fundraisers. There are so many addresses I don’t have, so I can personally thank each and every one of you.
Because of that I am able to focus 100 percent on my recovery. I miss Korbin every second of the day, but he’s given me the strength to heal and I am good.
Fifth-grader thanks teachers, school
My name is Charlotte Bonar and I am graduating from fifth grade this week. I have learned a lot from all my teachers, not just math and reading, but skills that will help me in life. I wanted to thank my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Bales who taught me to love of reading. My first and second grade teacher, Mrs. Chappell, taught me how fun it is to work hard. My third grade teacher Mrs. Mattinson, who taught me how to compromise with my friends. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Spires, for showing me how fun math is. And finally my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Hall, for preparing me for middle school. I would also like to thank my art teacher Mrs. Sedlock, music teacher Mrs. Teachout, and GT teacher Mrs. Esterby who all challenged me to be creative. Thank you to Mr. Odell for showing me PE isn’t just sports but dancing and other fun things too. Thank you to Principal Stoll and all the staff at MES and Mrs. Laura and all the staff at Trinity, for encouraging my love of learning. They have all taught me very important skills I will remember for the rest of my life.
Interesting who’s opposed to Events Center
I find it very interesting, if not amusing, that the same people who opposed the Community Center are now spreading misleading statements about the Tahoe Event Center. The Community Center has added greatly to our community, creating social and physical activities for young and old. Oh, yes, it is also a great place to have meetings which even the Good Governance Group has supported a Second Amendment “Town Hall” meeting there.
I mentioned misleading statements, and what disturbs me the most is that two of our commissioners are being spoonfed the misinformation and can’t comprehend the facts. Most of the funding for the Events Center will be generated by fees paid on hotel rooms in the casinos by Lake Tahoe. That simply means the visitors, not taxpayers will be primarily footing the bill. Additionally, the land will be donated by the private sector. Redevelopment Area 2 is not just the Event Center, but also includes roads, flood control and upgrades the area is deeply in need of.
The Redevelopment Area 2 only impacts a small number of properties at Lake Tahoe. It will not raise taxes for Douglas County taxpayers. Most importantly is the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, not the taxpayers, is entirely responsible for the debt service on the bonds for the Events Center as required by state law.
What is good about the Event Center? It will increase revenue for all of Douglas County by attracting more visitors who will stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, and purchase from our stores. It will create jobs for Douglas County residents. It will increase the assessed property taxes in the Redevelopment Area 2 to be shared by all of Douglas County when the Redevelopment Area 2 expires. I think the best part is the Event Center is a beautiful project that is needed in our area!
County commissioners need to think independently
The full page opinion by Gary Casteel, Jr., titled “This Is Not Good Governance,” said what needs to be said. I agree that redevelopment has benefitted all of us at the Lake and in the Valley. I also agree with Mr. Casteel’s opinion that the recent mailer and the frequent letters by a few people are too often misleading. In tones approaching hysteria, these few people tell us that the County Commissioners must govern the county well and perform financial miracles at no cost and with no change. Unfortunately, the opinions they express seem to carry much, too much, weight with Commissioners Engels and Nelson. County commissioners need to think independently, remembering that they represent each and every one of us: rich and poor, old and young, voter and non-voter, and all political persuasions – not just the loudest voices.
‘Windy generalities and snarky innuendos’
Facts were scarce among the windy generalities and snarky innuendos in Gary Casteel’s full-page ad (6/6 R-C) taking me to task for opposing the Stateline Redevelopment Area number 2 (RDA2). Casteel claims Douglas County voters received “… a targeted mailer designed to intimidate and scare…” Actually, it was an invitation to attend an RDA2 townhall at Hamdogs Restaurant on June 4, led by Commissioner Dave Nelson. Casteel could have saved a lot of advertising dollars by showing up and giving the crowd his opinion and answering questions, as others did that night on both sides of the issue. Casteel’s participation would have been especially welcomed as pro-RDA Commissioners Wes Rice and Larry Walsh showed up at Hamdogs but chose not to attend the meeting.
RDA2, formed by questionable findings of blight, diverts property taxes from the wealthiest area in Douglas County away from funding county services. The county has been making up that revenue shortfall by dipping into reserves and skimping on services for the rest of the county. The sheriff isn’t getting all the deputies he needs and the Legislature just stripped our schools of $4.1 million, on top of what they’ll be losing to RDA2.
Competition from California Indian gaming is hurting lake casinos and other tourist-based businesses, largely because casino holding companies, including Caesars and El Dorado, have made deals to manage Indian casinos in California. Casteel’s full-page ad should have been directed to George Soros and other billionaire shareholders whose California operations are killing their Nevada properties. Before Douglas County taxpayers contribute another dime to this scheme, the giant casino companies should stop competing with their own subsidiaries.
Commissioners Walsh, Rice, and Penzel have put Douglas taxpayers into bed with an industry that specializes in separating suckers from their cash. All over the country slicksters and consultants on the make have been using optimistic projections to convince communities to build event/convention centers that are supposed to draw in tourist and business dollars. Planned at 6,000 seats, the last estimate I saw for the lake center was 130 events per year. However the Reno Event Center, with 1,000 more seats, better weather, and a major airport averages about 56 per year. A Lake event center would be owned by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority with its board of four casino representatives and Commissioner Wes Rice, whose contribution and expense report is heavy with donations from casinos and developers.
Where I do heartily agree with Casteel is his call to demand transparency from our county commissioners on this matter. We’ve proposed that the fate of RDA#2 be made an advisory ballot question. Let each side make their best case and let the taxpayers who are paying the freight decide. Whenever we appear before the county commission we have – and will continue to – demand that sort of transparency, and we look forward to join with Casteel to do the same.