Oct. 1, 2020, Letters to the Editor
Thank you for fighting for small business
“Community over Competition” and the Douglas County community proved that credo far better than ever thought before. We noticed, as many others have, that the locals in the area would do and did do all that they could to support and truly redirect their focus to patronizing locally owned business. I would be remised if I didn’t give a very special thanks to The Chamber, BOCC, and the other community partners who fought tooth and nail for small business and rural communities to stay open. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Backing Bellona for fire board
I fully endorse John Bellona for East Fork Fire District, Fire Board District 1, Douglas County Nevada.
The charge of Fire Board members is to represent their constituents in matters regarding the direction, infrastructure and business related to the East Fork Fire District. A key responsibility of Board members is to make informed, unemotional decisions on matters brought to the Board.
I endorse John for the position as, for over 30 years of working with John in the volunteer and career Fire Service, he exhibited this very behavior. We worked on several projects over the years each on opposite sides of the table at times and I can attest that John was al-ways prepared for discussion and decision making. He was excellent at making decisions based on what was best for the end user be it union members or the public. I am confident that John will do an excellent job representing my neighbors and I on matters regarding Fire and Life Safety in the Gardnerville Ranchos.
East Fork Fire District Battalion Chief (retired)
Retain Judge Young
We have resided in Douglas County for over 40 years after finishing at UNR and six years in the U.S. Army. I have known most leaders in our legal and judicial systems over the years. Those systems are an expense residents seldom think about, but it is expensive as we can see where it has failed in places around the nation as once great cities have seen peaceful protest turn into riots and looting. I have known Judge Tod Young over a decade including prior to his appointment as a judge and his first election to the seat.
Most long-term residents know we share a multiple murders in multiple jurisdictions case with Washoe County. It is likely to be an expensive case for Douglas, if plans to try it in Washoe fall through.
We will need a very good experienced judge to handle this case to ensure no errors in process or procedures as such issues could easily multiple the expense of the preceding. Young has years of court room experience as an attorney and a judge and is long time county residence. To my knowledge, his opponent has limited experience running courtroom proceeding. I urge fellow voters to retain Young to ensure his competent judicial leadership and process management retains an efficient, fair, error free professional court and legal system in Douglas County.
$30 a year is a good investment
Douglas County adopted the first Master Plan in Nevada in 1960. In 1996 we adopted a new Master Plan that won the National Planning Association’s “Plan of the Year,” broadly incorporating numerous land conservation concepts. At that time we thought, mistakenly, that A-19, large lot zoning would retain our beloved rural character. We were simply wrong. These properties often end up with a 5,000 square-foot house, a shop, a 10,000 square-foot barn, an indoor riding arena covering an acre, and commensurate roads and fences. Our much loved landscape views are disappearing. To make this land use zoning even worse none of the irrigation water, the life blood of our beautiful county, is permanently tied to the land. Yes, the water rights in all of the A-19 zoning area could be sold downriver. Our unique emerald oasis on the edge of the Great Basin desert is in grave danger of disappearing. The prices that A-19 parcels are now selling for exceed the value of ranch land here by many tens of thousands of dollars an acre. Developers are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre. A “yes” vote on Question # 3 offers an alternative. This 1/4 cent sales tax, about $30 per year per family, would forever save a family ranch a year. Further, the Natural Resources and Conservation Service in Reno gets $10-12 million annually for the acquisition of permanent conservation easements. Nearly every year that money is sent back to Washington for a lack of match money. Yes, we would often effectively be able to double the ranch land protected every year. The green meadows, spectacularly beautiful, wet and food producing, would remain so in perpetuity. The cost, $30 a year. The return on our investment, priceless.
Vote no on County Question 1
I’m am urging you to vote no on County Question 1 on your November ballot to eliminate Redevelopment Area 2 at the Lake Tahoe casino corridor.
Let’s stop the wasteful funding losses to Douglas County agencies including: Tahoe Douglas Fire District, law enforcement, infrastructure maintenance, and other county services funded by the general fund budget.
It’s challenging enough for Douglas County to fund bare minimum services, especially having already lost in excess of $1 to 2 million to RDA2.
Commissioner Engels once said that we expect our Commissioners to act in the citizens’ best interests. NOW is the time to take that sage advice and VOTE “NO” on County question 1.
The Commissioners financial decisions should be based on using their backbones, not their wishbones.
Sadly Commissioners Penzel, Walsh, and Rice voted for RDA2, a special interest gift of your tax dollars to build an event center to attract visitors to Lake Tahoe that may or may not salvage the casinos’ failing business model.
The fact that the casinos are not investing any money in their own rescue pack-age or contributing any funds to the event center should tell you all you need to know. VOTE “NO “ on County Question 1.
Reject the politics of no
Whatever the question, the answer from the so-called Good Governance Group is no. They continue to deny the importance of investing to improve the quality of life for all the residents of Douglas County, while offering no solutions. I expect this relatively small but vocal group will vote no on all three county advisory measures on the November general election ballot. No on maintaining Redevelopment Area #2 at Stateline to increase revenues from the county’s primary economic engine. No to a five cent diesel fuel tax to provide additional revenue for county road maintenance and construction. No to a proposed one quarter of 1 cent sales tax increase to help preserve open space and agricultural lands in the Carson Valley consistent with the county’s adopted Open Space Program.
Undoubtedly, some of these same people were among those shouting “No, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars” when the Board of County Commissioners approved a financing plan for the Douglas County Community and Senior Center in 2012. A mix of funding sources was involved, anchored by the issuance of more than $14 million in general obligation bonds. The center proudly opened in December 2014. I’m certain that many of those who said no to the center now enjoy what is a signature county facility offering programs and opportunities for people of all ages.
Strategic and well-timed investments are the foundation of a successful and sustainable community. Infrastructure and open space investments are on the November ballot. These are modest investments. According to the ballot explanations, the average annual consumer cost of the proposed special and diesel and fuel tax is $50 for those purchasing that fuel. The annual impact of the one quarter of one cent sales and use tax on a Douglas County resident or visitor spending $5,000 per year on taxable goods is $12.50. Redevelopment Area No. 2 does not raise taxes or impose any new taxes.
I will be voting yes on all three county questions. Not only are these investments of value now, but they will be part of the legacy we leave for those who come after. They deserve a quality future, too. Join with me and many others who feel the same way. Let’s reject the politics of no and move Douglas County forward.
Trump lied about COVID-19
Trump was told on Jan. 28 that COVID-19 was deadly and transmitted through the air and it would be the most serious national security threat he would face. In early February Trump told Bob Woodward privately (auto recording) that COVID-19 was deadly while publicly telling his supporters at campaign rallies that COVID-19 was a Democratic hoax.
Trump lied to us about COVID-19. Trump knew that COVID-19 was deadly especially to the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions. Trump lied because he was more concerned about how COVID-19 would affect his re-election than the health and well-being of our citizens.
Because of Trump’s lack of ability to lead us through our national COVID-19 crisis he has decided to take the easy way our, for him, and follow his unqualified doctor’s advice (Dr. Atlas is a radiologist by trade) and move to “herd immunity.” With herd immunity you let COVID-19 payout without trying to contain it. No mask wearing or social distancing, just open everything up and pray for the best. For herd immunity to work 65/70% of our population would have to be infected. Given our current death rate (2.97%) that would mean over 6 million Americans would die to achieve society’s herd immunity. Apparently this is acceptable to Trump if in the short term it helps him get re-elected.
Scientists and medical professionals have said at this time they do not know how long COVID-19 immunity lasts, months or forever? Aside from the immoral aspect to herd immunity and the fact we don’t know if society immunity would work with COVID-19, a willingness to let 6 million Americans die who didn’t have too, to achieve one’s own personal goal is sickening.
Trump’s herd immunity philosophy was on full display with his rally in Minden and again with his indoor rally in Henderson. Pack people together, very few masks or social distancing for hours so he could stroke his ego. Let us pray these events do not follow the example of a recent wedding reception in Maine (60 people attended) in which face masks and social distancing was ignored. To date 175 cases and seven deaths (none of the people who died attended the reception) traced to that event. Our actions have consequences especially during a pandemic.
Health officials and scientists, including the head of Trump’s CDC, have stated that the wearing of face masks, washing hands and social distancing is the best way to contain COVID-19 until we get a vaccine. Containment of COVID-19 would allow us to open up more and more of our economy. Trump is too impatient for this scenario, he wants our economy running at full capacity in time for the election. For Trump everything is binary, yes or no, winner or loser so to him the only solution for him to get re-elected is to get the economy moving, so if people have to die for him to achieve his goal, so be it.
The new law and order Republican Party?
I have only been registered under one party, since I turned 18. The Republican Party, for many reasons not the least of which I considered them to be the law and order party. The years since 2016, have proven that classification no longer applies to the Trump-era Republican Party. If you need proof, think of the protest (rally by any other name) held at the airport, the Biden sign thefts or destruction, the investigation of the librarian, the free pass for the sheriff. If you are a law and order Republican how do you excuse this behavior? Does the new Republican Party stand for law and order applies to everyone but me?
Biden is best for America
I am wondering how any thinking person can vote for Donald Trump. He has been a liar and con man all his life and has done what he knows best — how to milk the system. He has used his office to increase his own wealth and makes his decisions based on how they benefit him personally. I am tired of financing his free ride; in the words of Reagan, he is the biggest “welfare queen” in the land.
He ignores nepotism by putting his whole family on the public payroll and has made millions by staying in his own hotels and insisting that Pence do the same. He learned how to be a bully from his father and military school and still bullies to get his way.
He has told over 20,000 lies during his term in office. His lies about COVID led to tens of thousands of deaths that could have been prevented with early intervention. We rank with Argentina and Peru in the highest number of cases per capita.
He refuses to listen to scientists and bends reality to fit his fantasy world.
He demands loyalty to himself rather than the Constitution.
He puts children in cages as a “deterrent” to immigration.
He has diverted funds from the defense budget to build a silly, ineffective wall.
He states he will not engage in a peaceful transition of power, which is one of the cornerstones of out democracy and the envy of the world.
He has Balkanized America by his white supremacist rhetoric, deliberately inflaming white against black.
He relates everything in terms of himself, not what is best for America.
He has done his best to create fear and distrust of our government institutions, even our beloved Post Office!
If you vote for Trump, you will give an authoritarian, white supremacist four more years to completely destroy our democracy.
Research Joe Biden; take responsibility for educating yourselves. He is a gentleman who is compassionate and respected in Washington and abroad (except by Putin) He is the strong leader that we need to wade through the mess Trump has created and bring our country together.
Help cure Alzheimer’s
This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be different than in the past, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the goal and the enthusiasm is as strong as ever.
Instead of a single, huge event on Saturday, Oct. 24, teams from throughout Northern Nevada will hold individual walks. Team Carson Valley (Minden, Gardnerville, Carson City) plans to walk around the State Capitol building, stepping off at 10 a.m. It’s a small team (I’m the captain) and we’d be delighted to have you join us.
I never thought Alzheimer’s would become a part of my life. But it did when a close relative was diagnosed more than five years ago. I’ve watched her memory fade. And I have accepted that it is still a fatal disease.
I found friendship and support from others in an Alzheimer’s Support Group. You, too, can find hope and support. Even a friendly shoulder to cry on. I did. You’ll learn about the disease. Nobody need walk this road alone.
I attend the support group in Minden. Pre-pandemic, our local support group met face-to-face. But for now, our meetings are held online the second Thursday each month via ZOOM. For information about our meeting or for assistance, call the Alzheimer’s Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.
To join our team, make a donation, or learn more about the walk or about the disease go online to act.alz.org/goto/teamcarsonvalley.
Five years ago I called the hotline. Thank God!
Together someday we’ll find the first survivor of Alzheimer’s.