May 7 Letters to the Editor
Our own Mother Theresa
We have in this county our own Mother Theresa, Sgt. Bernadette Smith.
Sgt. Smith has risked her health daily by performing numerous services for our Senior neighbors before and during this COVID crisis, including delivering meals, making sure their health needs are met, and offering other needed assistance.
She does this work without a scintilla of publicity or thought of personal gain — like most great people whose ‘individual beams of light’ truly illuminate the best features of the human race.
If any of your readers, Editor Hildebrand, need to know who to vote for, in the forthcoming Commissioner elections which are vital to the interests of our Seniors, they can consult Sgt. Smith.
William D. McCann
Who to vote for
To all registered voters in Douglas County
I believe we should all cast our votes for the following candidates.
Dave Nelson, District 1
Mark Gardner, District 3
Walt Nowosad, District 5
These gentlemen will work to ensure that Douglas County doesn’t become North Las Vegas.
Why no endorsement for Nelson
Why is it that Mr. Dave Nelson, a long-standing realtor here in Douglas County has not garnered the endorsement of the Realtors Association and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce?
Signs of the times
As you can see from the many sign placements in the valley, the pro-development establishment is all in for the Tarkanian-Tolbert-Walsh County Commissioner slate. Mr. Tarkanian says he’ll protect our way of life in Douglas County, though I doubt he’s lived here long enough to know what that means. Tolbert says he’ll listen respectfully and examine the issues, but it’s beyond belief that as a long term Douglas County resident Tolbert has no positions on the issues; he just doesn’t want to share them with the voters.
At least Larry Walsh has taken some stands, calling the citizen’s referendum to allow a vote of the people on Redevelopment Area No. 2 “California politics.” He claims he’s for protecting our agricultural and open space and our aquifers, but he’s voted the opposite, with rare exception, most recently for the 2,500 home Park project just east of downtown Minden.
Regarding the rising storm over Commissioner Walsh’s “Vietnam vet” controversy, his campaign material included, “As a Vietnam vet …” and “Commissioner Walsh is a Vietnam vet.” This is the definition of stolen valor. Walsh knows he did not deserve the ribbon he displayed on his campaign material. When the scandal broke Walsh bravely sent his wife out to make excuses on social media.
The owner of Walsh’s campaign management firm has said, “I would like to apologize and explain. We were given direction from our client, Mr. Walsh, to share that he was designated by the U.S. Army a Vietnam Veteran.” Ma’am, your client misinformed you. He knew better; you didn’t. But don’t expect Walsh’s running mates to criticize Walsh as the stolen valor scandal continues; they can’t afford to lose his vote.
I’m just as wary of negative campaigning as you probably are, but there’s too much at stake for you to believe what the establishment is putting out about their slate. The developer-casino establishment wants to replace Dave Nelson, the best county commissioner we’ve ever had, and elect a majority that will continue the current Board’s rubber stamp for multi-millions of your tax money to build a Lake event center and continue to approve Master Plan amendments that allow large housing tracts on agricultural land.
Commission candidates Mark Gardner is an Eagle Scout, a volunteer with the Sheriff’s mounted posse, President of Friends of the NRA, and a Senior Services board member. Walt Nowosad, a real Vietnam vet, retired as a Chief Petty Officer from the Navy and brings valuable technical and financial experience from his employment in Silicon Valley. Both are honorable men who have promised to preserve the rural nature of Douglas County. Please vote accordingly.
Vote for economic prosperity
The building of new homes in Douglas County hit a seven-year low in 2019. According to Douglas County Planning Department, 110 new housing permits were issued. The Building Permit Allocation allowed by the Growth Management Ordinance for 2019 was 402 permits, so only 27% of the allowed building permits were issued. Since the growth allowed by the Ordinance is 2 percent annually, this actual growth is just 0.47%. Very Low! For the last seven years, Douglas County has been in a record period of economic growth and record low unemployment. Even still, over the last seven years only 1,178 building permits were issued while the allocation was 2,653, which means only 44% of allowable permits were used. This equates to only 0.89 percent growth in housing. Plus, in the recession years of 2008 to 2012 the housing starts were even much lower! Way below the 2 percent Growth Management Ordinance.
The Good Governance Group people should be happy! But they are not! They keep pushing that development is way too fast, causing traffic problems, not keeping Douglas rural, water problems, etc. Yes, there are around 2,000 building permits in the excess pool available, but I doubt any will ever be used as Zero have been used since inception in 2007. GGG, in my opinion, is just using this as a scare tactic in the election race for their candidate commissioners (Gardner, Nelson, Nowasad) this June. They want to take over the entire management of Douglas County. Also, since they moved here from California and found this beautiful place to live, they want to keep it all for themselves, no one else can come. They don’t even want Veterans to live here in apartments in the words of Commissioner Engels. Also, Commissioner Nelson said he wants to fire our excellent County Manager. There is no doubt that if the GGG candidates are elected they will not approve any new developments at all. For instance, Commissioners Nelson and Engels voted NO on the recent vote to approve the Sierra Ranchos Project despite the developer meeting all zoning and planning requirements. That project, thankfully approved by the other three commissioners, will provide reasonably priced homes in the Ranchos that local workers will be able to afford.
We actually need more building growth as we are probably entering a recession period for a couple of years due to the corona virus. Almost all our housing is being built by local contractors, heavy equipment operators, plumbers, roofers, electricians, framers, landscapers, materials suppliers who will all need work. We need prosperity as planned by the cities of Gardnerville and Minden. We don’t need an extended recession period. Vote for economic prosperity by voting for Tarkanian, Tolbert and Walsh.
It’s Vietnam-era veteran
In regards to the Vietnam Veteran Vs. Vietnam Era Veteran.
Let’s drill this down here. The US Government does not accept the term Vietnam Vet. The correct and only legal term is Vietnam Era Veteran and was codified into law in 1974. (Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (or VEVRAA, 38 U.S.C. § 4212)
A Vietnam era veteran is a person who served on active duty anywhere in the world for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred between Aug. 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge. Or was discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975.
There is no such thing as a “Vietnam Veteran.” So even if you were stationed in South Africa passing out basketballs at a gym, you qualify to call yourself a Vietnam Vet, because that term has no legal standing and is a colloquialism.
The US Government does not recognize “in-country” identifiers (Just like there is no such thing as a “confirmed kill.” ) The main reason is that troops stationed in Vietnam sometimes were tasked with missions in Laos and Cambodia. This keeps the US from having to acknowledge “Laos” or “Cambodia” Vets since officially there were no combat actions in those countries
These are the facts with the corresponding reference above where you can do the research yourself. This should clear up the argument but I know that some people will disagree, but facts are facts.
Penzel attack unwarranted
Barry Penzel’s defense of his pal Larry Walsh’s stolen valor travesty is typical of the twisted logic that we have come to expect from Penzel as he has systematically abused his authority as the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. Penzel’s effort to trivialize Walsh’s stolen valor rhetoric is as nauseating as was Walsh’s behavior. No one is suggesting “fighting Vietnam again.” It is not, as Penzel suggests, “people who were never there… questioning the service of a veteran.” As is characteristic of him, Penzel misses the point. It is the Vietnam Veterans who “were there,” not “a well-meaning servant who never served questioning the service of a veteran of the Vietnam era,” that have called out Walsh for his stolen valor claims. Walsh persisted in his claims until he was finally forced by the Vietnam Veterans who paid for the ad in the Record Courier to change his rhetoric… and that was done piecemeal… first on his front page of his website, then belatedly on other items of his campaign materials.
Penzel’s thinly-veiled attack on Mark Gardner is unwarranted. Gardner, who is running against Penzel’s buddy for County Commissioner, has been taciturn on the matter. It is I, and many other Vietnam Veterans, who are irked by Walsh’s, and now Penzel’s rhetoric and have worked to illuminate the malfeasance that Penzel wants us to gloss over.
Penzel makes the absurd comment, “many were called, few actually served their country.” The families of my roommate and the guy next door who were shot down and killed in action would not agree. As of May 2018, 58,320 names are on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The United States deployed 3,403,000 to Southeast Asia, the Vietnam war zone. There were 47,434 battle deaths, 153,303 non-mortal woundings. Allied military deaths are estimated at 282,000. These numbers belie Penzel’s inane “few actually served….” But that is Penzel’s style… belittle those who dare to disagree.
Penzel tangentially attacks those who have not aligned with him: “Get out of the past, tell Douglas County what you will do, stop saying no and turn your campaign to a positive move forward for Douglas County.” There it is, the crux of it all. Larry Walsh four years ago made campaign promises to keep the County rural, but has instead rarely voted against a development. He sided with his pal Penzel to change land use in Carson Valley from Agricultural to Residential and construction of 2,500 homes. Today there are over 8,000 homes in Douglas County that have been approved for construction. To Penzel a “positive move forward” is approving more initiatives by the developers and special interest groups. At the same time Walsh is making the same campaign promises he made four years ago… keep the County rural.
With that we are back to the “integrity is the gut issue of the Walsh campaign.” Apparently Penzel is willing to aid and abet Walsh as he sells his soul to the Devil to get re-elected. Never mind integrity, principle, and campaign promises.
PAC paying for Tolbert and Walsh
How curious that County Commissioner candidate Nathan Tolbert and Commissioner Larry Walsh have listed the same Political Action Committee, “Douglas County 2020 PAC” as paying for their campaign materials. As the Sundance Kid once asked Butch Cassidy, who are these guys?
The Douglas County 2020 PAC lists Cheryl Blomstrom as the contact name and gives her home on Cherokee in north county as its location. Her PAC’s Contribution and Expense Report shows $42,000 in donations from three contributors.
Trans-Sierra investments of Minden is owned by Tahoe Basin, Inc. president Gary Casteel: $10,000. I recall Mr. Casteel’s letter to the editor last year, a fiery defense of using tax money to fund Redevelopment Agency No. 2 (RDA2) to build a casino corridor event center.
Cecil’s LLC is managed by Gardnerville resident John Jovicich: $5,000. I don’t know anything about Mr. Jovicich, except that his contribution is added to a larger one by the South Tahoe Alliance of Resorts, a casino PAC based in Stateline: $27,000. These contributions make up the $42,000 listed by DC2020.
Wouldn’t it have been simpler for these three entities to donate directly to Tolbert’s and Walsh’s campaigns? Yes, but then everyone would know that, particularly with STAR, which special interests were funding their campaigns. Better to have Ms. Blomstrom’s innocuously named PAC on their material.
Not time to open up yet
Why reopen Douglas County now? What has changed from when we closed everything down? Testing is still insufficient. N95 masks are still in short supply. Our understanding of the disease has not increased significantly. There are no new treatments. There is still no vaccine.
To me, this is like going out in the rain with an umbrella, and after walking a block and noticing you’re not getting soaked, deciding you must not need the umbrella anymore and throwing it away.
It is still raining, folks! Don’t let anyone tell you different. And rainy days can be difficult. But throwing away our umbrellas won’t make the sun come out.
Thanks Jacks Valley Elementary staff
Thank you so much to the staff at Jacks Valley Elementary School, as well as the Douglas Sheriffs and Douglas Fire and EMT’s for participating in the School Parade on April 30. The streets in my neighborhood were filled with students and their families. In this time of shut down and social distancing, this positive and heartfelt gesture was a welcoming relief for all of us. The staff and the teachers have done an excellent job staying connected with students and families during this time of at home learning. Douglas County has always been a special and unique place to live, all of us should be proud and honored to be a part of this community.