Oct. 8 Letters to the Editor | RecordCourier.com

Oct. 8 Letters to the Editor

A rider herds cattle along Muller Lane on Saturday.
Kurt Hildebrand

Vote ‘yes’ on Question 3


Carson Valley: The Garden Spot of Nevada. It was a tag-line for our community throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s and is still a refrain heard today. It was not hype. Without a doubt, our Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Nevada, if not the west.

The Garden Spot is attracting more and more people looking for a safe and picturesque community to raise their children or retire.

But this garden didn’t come about by chance. It is the product of more than 160 years of hard work by farmers, ranchers and dairymen. These German, Dutch, Basque, Swiss and a variety of other immigrants and native Americans engineered irrigation systems, plowed the land, and worked the soil in order to make the desert bloom. Many of their descendants are still working and caring for the land in Carson Valley today. Their stewardship is what makes our valley green and open.

Residents and visitors alike want to maintain our agricultural lands, yet the pressures are great. The average age of the American farmer is the late 50s, commodity prices fluctuate greatly as do the costs of things such as equipment, fuel, seed and fertilizer. While agriculturists have a passion for working the land, they also need to make a decent living.

That is why Douglas County Question 3 is so important. It will help preserve our open space while giving farmers and ranchers (and their heirs) important economic incentives. We all know the saying “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” If we want open space and a continued high quality of life in Carson Valley, we have to pony up. We can’t leave it to chance, donations or bake sales. This important undertaking needs a consistent and reliable funding source. For the cost of a monthly cup of coffee we can preserve open space in Carson Valley. I urge your “yes” vote on Douglas County Question 3.

Allen Biaggi


Read, research Question 3


I am a third generation Nevadan. I was born and raised in Fallon, and have lived and worked in just about every corner of this great state. When work brought me to the Carson Valley about 15 years ago, I realized I had found the best place in Nevada. I am an old-school Nevadan who hates taxes and government involvement in our lives. One thing I hate more than taxes is politics. So why have I been a huge supporter of question 3 from the beginning? Because it raises money and tells the politicians exactly what to do with it. There is nothing more satisfying to me than telling politicians exactly what they can do. The money raised through this tax can only be used to secure open space. For example, by purchasing conservation easements that lock land into agriculture use for perpetuity. That means that land would never be used for development.

I am a true Nevadan, and I admit, I have an automatic anti-tax reaction. I rarely, if ever, vote yes on tax questions. I think most people in Douglas County share this sentiment. So, I encourage everyone to please research and thoroughly read this question to discover what it will do for our rural community. As a homeowner and resident of Carson Valley, I am willing to pay this tax to protect the open space that I want my two little fourth generation Nevadans to enjoy.

Yes, if this question passes, it will make development more difficult in Carson Valley. If you have a vested interest in development, then this question is not good for you. The people who are strongly against this measure and are paying money to fight it are developers who make lots of money by turning open and ag land into houses. This would hurt their business. Our County Commissioners, in their infinite wisdom, keep voting yes, yes, yes to development. How about we do something about that? This is a way to stop them and tell them exactly what to do with the money they extract from us. The next time you are at the intersection of highway 88 and 395, look to the east at the brand-new development there. The entire valley is heading that direction. Voting yes on question 3 is a way to stop that.

I, like most Americans, dislike taxes. But I think that if people give this question more than a quick glance, and see what it will do, they will agree with me that this tax is well worth it. There will never be a good time to implement an increase in sales tax. I don’t trust politicians to keep our best interests at heart, so the time to act is now.

I have a vested interest in this community because I want my children to enjoy the same open Carson Valley that I do.

Matt Cole


Vote ‘yes’ on Question 3


As a lifelong community member, I wholeheartedly appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us, particularly in the Carson Valley. Like many who live here, the importance of preserving open space and the quality of life that it affords is immeasurable. This letter is in support of the Agriculture and Open Space Plan, otherwise referred to as Question 3 on the upcoming ballot.

It has been proven that open space is pivotal in supporting mental and physical health, which as a former law enforcement professional I can appreciate and advocate for. Not only will the preservation of open space promote health, there are many other benefits to the passage of this plan. Our Valley has a long-standing and robust agricultural history and the hardest working people I know are ranchers and farmers. This plan will allow for these individuals to keep their land, work it as it has been for decades, and keep the character of our Valley intact.

My wife and I are both native Nevadans and we have certainly seen many changes in the Valley. Most, if not all people we meet are here because of the beauty and tranquility of the area. Those interested in keeping the Valley rural and true to character, as well as want to preserve our quality of life, please join me in voting yes on Question 3.

Ron Pierini


Gardner hasn’t changed positions


Libertarian Party commissioner candidate Charles Holt, who was making a vanity run for commissioner against primary election winner Mark Gardner, seems suddenly to have had his campaign adopted by our county’s big residential developers, the casino lobby and, perhaps, a certain outgoing commissioner.

Holt was so unserious about his shoestring candidacy that, during the primary campaign period, he displayed Mark Gardner’s signs in his lawn. Holt seemed agreeable to signing the no-new-taxes pledge, wasn’t supportive of RDA2 – the Lake redevelopment agency – and took a split-the-baby position that favored far more control of residential growth.

Now, having been blessed with the funding (and permission from county “establishment” entities) to wallpaper the county with his campaign signs, Holt appears to have found his prior positions on the issues inconvenient and tossed them overboard.

On the one hand, you can’t blame the establishment for attempting to reverse the results of the primary. On the other hand, you have to marvel at Holt’s willingness to adjust what some might call his principles to fit in with his new friends.

Personally, I’m much more comfortable voting for Mark Gardner, who’s positions on the issues haven’t changed.

Jim Ghan


Gardner is right for community


During the months preceding the Nevada primary Republican election, The Record-Courier published several letters in which I asserted that the most significant issue in Larry Walsh’s campaign was integrity. Walsh, who was campaigning for the District 3 County Commissioner seat, vowed he supported “keeping the county rural;” to the contrary, with very few exceptions Walsh has voted for every development brought before the Board of County Commissioners. I suggested that he was willing to sell his soul to the devil to get elected. In their wisdom, the voters in the primary saw through his mendacity and voted for Mark Gardner, a man highly regarded for his veracity and community service. Gardner won by a rarely-seen margin of about 20 percent.

Today, with strong financial backing from the developers and special interest groups who fed Walsh’s campaign coffers, Charlie Holt, an erstwhile Libertarian, is campaigning for the District 3 seat and has taken up the gauntlet for these developers and special interest groups whose goals are absolutely opposed to the most salient provision of the Master Plan, that of preserving the rural nature of the county. As we approach the general election, we are seeing Holt reverse his position on the key issues facing the county.

During the primary campaign, Holt had signs in his yard that supported Mark Gardner. He gave the impression he was willing to sign a “no-new taxes pledge,” did not present himself as a proponent of the contrived RDA2 redevelopment scheme, and equivocated on holding residential growth to the levels specified in the Master Plan. Today, with the abundant funding from many of the developers and special interest groups who backed Walsh, Holt has pasted his campaign signs across the county and changed his stance on these critical issues facing the county.

Holt’s blatant duplicity leaves voters wondering what he really stands for: how he will vote; will he stand for what he said he believed in before the primary; or, will he vote as it appears he has promised his newly-found special-interest supporters he will do.

It would appear that Holt is willing to follow in Walsh’s footsteps and sell his soul to the devil to get elected.

In sharp contrast, Gardner has never wavered in his stance on any issue. We all know where he stands and can count on him to do what is best for us, the people, and not the developers and special-interest groups. Voters saw through the smoke cloud generated by Walsh and I am confident the voters, we the people, will see through the smoke screen that Holt is using to cloud his campaign.

DeVere Henderson

East Valley

How did rally come about?


Let me be sure I understood your article correctly. “Douglas County” was contacted by the Trump campaign committee and gave permission to use the airport facility in Minden to defy the governor’s directive regarding a limit on attendance at large gatherings . Does this imply that the commissioners called an emergency meeting or did a couple people in the manager’s office make this decision? If Douglas County is fined several thousand dollars, as was the rally in Henderson, who is going to pay?

Barbara Flanagan


Vote ‘no’ on county question 1


I urge a no vote on County Question #1 regarding Redevelopment Area 2 (RDA2) in the Stateline casino corridor. I am not necessarily opposed to the Event Center there, but I am opposed to funding it largely through RDA2 money that should be going to other county priorities that are more appropriate uses of taxpayer funds.

It is concerning that the reported cost of the event center seems to go up by $20 million every six months or so. It used to be $60 million, then $80, now it’s somehow $100 million. I guess that’s what happens when you’re spending OPM – other people’s money – in this case Douglas County taxpayer funds.

The Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority presentation indicated that the new $5/night surcharge at Lake lodging will raise $90 million dollars in the next 30 years, more than enough to pay for the entire event center, especially when you add in the TOT and other fees. So why is the county being asked to bond $34+ million for this project?

The same report claims that the event center will generate an additional $625,000 per year for the county, while at the same time, claims that that it will generate $33 to 40 million per year in hotel, restaurant, entertainment and retail in the South Shore area, most of it for the casinos, but much of it for businesses in California.

Our taxpayers are essentially being asked to advance more than a third of the cost, but would stand to gain less than 2% of the added revenue in return. That does not seem like a wise return on investment. Rather it seems overly risky for the county. And what are the casinos paying for the event center that will primarily benefit them? Nothing, even though their win this past January alone was more than $20 million.

In his letter supporting a yes vote on question 1 published Oct. 1, Steve Teshara neglected to mention that he is CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, whose members will significantly benefit financially. No wonder the South Shore Chamber supports this project, and the substantial funding from Douglas County taxpayers.

Teshara understands exactly how RDA2 is funded. While his saying that RDA2 “does not raise taxes” is technically true, his statement is nonetheless disingenuous and misleading, since RDA2 will take an estimated $115 million in Douglas County taxes that otherwise would be going to county priorities, such as a new Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, road maintenance, or more sheriff’s deputies. RDA2 funds can only be spent in what is essentially the casino corridor.

RDA2 funding of the event center is contrary to the principles of free markets, small government and fiscal responsibility. It would attempt to bail out private business interests, while putting our taxpayers at risk. It is a giveaway to special interests, to the detriment of county taxpayers. Vote no on County Question #2.

Jim Slade


Do your duty as an American citizen: Vote


I am a proud American citizen. Ever since I became eligible to vote, I have voted in every presidential election. I have not always been pleased with the choice of candidates with which I was presented, but I felt that, in a democracy, it was my obligation to choose the least desirable of the candidates. How could I complain about a president’s performance if I did not, at least, make a choice?

Recently I learned that the current president of the United States has stated that, if he does not win, then the election is rigged. He will not state that he will peacefully leave office if the American people vote for a change. He continues to claim, with no proof, that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. This, despite the fact that over 15 states have used mail in ballots for decades and found no fraud.

I am fearful that the foundation of our democracy, the rule of the majority, is being attacked. We are not a dictatorship. Our leader is not Putin, or Hitler, or Mussolini or Erdogan. Americans cannot be told how to vote. But, once votes are counted, we believe that the election results are fair and honest. Yet we have a president who is telling us, before the election, that he will only accept a win! A president who is threatening to have military and other government officials at the polls to assure a fair election. However, he well knows that this presence may also serve to intimidate some minority voters.

Is this the democracy that Americans have been so proud of since it’s founding? Is this the democracy that citizens of countries throughout the world aspire to emulate?

So, on Nov. 3 or before, I urge you to exercise your duty to vote. Whether it be for a Republican, a Democrat or a third party candidate. And remember, as you do so, that our democracy could well be in jeopardy as a result of your vote. Then follow closely the results of this election and do what is necessary to ensure the continuation of our precious democracy.

Jean Way


President needs to stop insulting military


My family has fought for the United States of America in all its major wars. My husband, two brothers, several uncles, multiple cousins, grandparents and many of my classmates have served, suffered and are still suffering. Many of the above have died for us and our country.

My aunt and uncle were given a triangle folded flag in honor of their brave Army Air Corps son’s ultimate sacrifice in World War II. He was a pilot who was shot down, captured, tortured and eventually executed for our freedom. He was a courageous young POW.

I cannot stay quiet any longer while our president insults our military, past and present. We owe it to and must always honor our veterans who serve and those who sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy freedom and our right to vote.

Do not take your voting right for granted. We must rally together against politicians today and in the future who want to take away or suppress our right to vote to stay in power. Too many people on our planet are still literally dying to achieve what we have, which is the right to choose leaders with our values.

Educate yourself on those running for all offices and understand the issues put before you to vote on. Fact checking is easy. Please do this for your grandchildren and our constitution.

You should be ashamed of yourself if you do not vote!

Suzanne Tsoutsouvas


Suicide Prevention Network spreading good thoughts


“Choose Hope,” “Be Kind” are just a few of the signs I saw all over our beautiful Carson Valley lately. The past nine months of 2020 seems to have been trying, confusing and stressful for the young and old alike. However, when life makes us feel bogged down or stressed, just take a second look at the all the positive surrounding us and know that life is good.

Thank you, Suicide Prevention Network, for spreading good thoughts and constant reminders of hope, kindness and support, to our wonderful community.

Kaycee Summers


School district doing great job


With the challenging times of 2020, I don’t believe the Douglas County School District is getting the kudos it deserves. I can’t even imagine the headache they faced to get the schools open again for this school year. Between government requirements, teacher input and parent input the hours of preparation had to have doubled the normal hours of a work week. DCSD leadership handles enough stressors in a normal year and to pile on the stressors of COVID in 2020 I can only imagine the magnitude of time it has taken to handle the situation.

DCSD has done their best in creating a safe environment for the staff and kids with the ultimate decision left up to the families on whether to send kids back to school or online exclusively. DCSD has communicated more than ever with the families of the kids. The communication is clear and concise. Never have I wondered when my child has school or doesn’t have school due to the many resources available to the families.

So, to Keith Lewis and the entire DCSD staff, your time and effort haven’t gone unnoticed. You are appreciated beyond words and you are doing a great job in this challenging year of 2020. Kudos to you!

Rhonda Tremaine


Thank you to Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Many mourn the loss of a legacy. She was an icon and a role model to many. Every American has benefited from her relentless devotion to the American creed. Ginsburg had an endearing love for family. She raised two children, keeping her family well managed while juggling a demanding career and having her husband be treated for cancer. She fought for women’s rights to financial independence.

Early in her career, her work laid the foundation for the Equal Opportunity Act of 1974. This gave women the right to get a credit card in their name, open a back account, and commit to a mortgage without a male co-signer. In 1975, she challenged a rule in the Social Security Act that only granted benefits to widows, not widowers. She argued the case in behalf of the man, who’s wife, a teacher, died in childbirth. The child was granted benefits, not himself. Ginsburg argued the rule discriminated against working women, who paid into Social Security but garnered fewer family benefits than men. The high court ruled unanimously finding that spousal benefits should be granted regardless of gender.

She similarly fought for military husbands for spousal benefits based on their wives military service. Chief Justice John Roberts, said her 483 Supreme Court opinions- majority, concurring and dissenting would, “Steer the Court for decades “ to come. “Her voice in court and in our conference room was soft, but when she spoke, people listened.” She was known to be thoughtful, careful, compassionate, and honest. She fought hard for the civil liberties for everyday Americans. We should all aspire to find common ground as she did with ideologue opposite, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. All Americans should be grateful for her.

Mary Martin


Doyle’s letter to trustees spot on


I want to thank Scott Doyle for his letter to the trustees of the Douglas County Library. The letter speaks for itself.

Here is a link to the Douglas County Library Board of Trustees meeting packet for the 09/22/20 meeting. Included in the packet, as a submitted written comment, is a 9-page letter from Scott Doyle. This letter begins on page 54 / 62.


Jane Lommel


Disappointed about stolen rocks


My 92 year old Mom took time to paint three rocks to make people smile during the pandemic. She put them along the sidewalk in her front yard. She noticed the other day, that someone had taken them. I guess whoever took them, must need them more. But really? She just wanted to do something nice for her neighborhood. I am truly disappointed that someone took them.

Chris Banker

Chambers Field