Sept. 3, 2020, letters to the editor | RecordCourier.com
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Sept. 3, 2020, letters to the editor

Some thoughts on the master plan

Editor:

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners recently renewed their interest in completing the text revisions to the 2011 master plan prior to Dec. 31, apparently as a legacy of the three departing members. After a four-year hiatus and disapproval of expensive drafts produced by expensive consultants and approved by the planning commission, commissioners have again renewed the exercise by hiring new consultants.

Of particular interest to this lifelong Genoa resident as a stakeholder is the Genoa community plan and the historic preservation element. Two separate advisory bodies to the commission, namely the Genoa Town Advisory Board and the Genoa Historic District Commission, have embarked on their respective recommendations to purportedly be incorporated into the master plan at some point in the revision process.

Regarding the community plan addressing the town’s (230 residents) unique historical, geographical and topographical constraints and its relationship with the almost 3,000 residents surrounding the town within the community area, are issues such as infrastructure, parking, pedestrian safety, noise and annexation.

As a direct property stakeholder in the Genoa Historic District, the creation of a county historic district, including the towns of Minden and Gardnerville, as well as Genoa, would provide uniformity to countywide historical preservation efforts.

In the alternative, maintain the historic district commission as presently constituted, which at this time is the only existing historic district in Douglas County. Expanding its jurisdiction from the present commercial and public facilities zone properties to all properties and structures within the Genoa Historic Appointment zones would significantly enhance local historical preservation efforts.

Approximately two-thirds of the historical structures within the town are currently exempted from the historic district’s jurisdiction by virtue of being zoned residential.

Lastly, returning the locally elected Genoa Town Advisory Board to the Genoa Historic District Commission as ex-officio members, as it was originally constituted from 1974 to 1995, would provide that body with Genoa residents knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with local development as well as historical issues.

Presently, four of the five Genoa Historic District Commissioners, appointed by the Board of Commissioners, do not live within the Town of Genoa and are not subject to the historic district.

It is hoped that these suggestions will be considered by the county planning commission and the board of county commissioners in their deliberations and subsequent enactment of the ordinances, which will implement the master plan in the coming five years.

H. William Brooks

Genoa

Careful with firearms

Editor:

As a casual observer at the March, I observed an elderly man who had what appeared to be an assault rifle slung over his shoulder. The multi-cartridge clip came out of his gun and fell to the street. He bent over and kneeled down all the while his rifle was pointing at various points into the crowd. He should of removed the firearm from his shoulder and aimed it in a safe direction before retrieving his clip. I also observed several armed individuals who had been drinking.

I am not opposed to an open carry state but there must be some test or class to receive this privilege. A hunter safety course is required to get a hunting license for safety reasons. We should at least require something similar for open carry to make sure there is some level of knowledge to keep everyone safe.

Jim Martin

Gardnerville

Library Board should stand up

Editor:

I am the Douglas County Library Trustee who resigned in protest of the investigation about why the library director and staff drafted a diversity statement in favor of Black Lives Matter. I also witnessed the intimidating rally in Minden on Aug. 8 against Black Lives Matter.

Instead of commending the courageous call for openness and inclusion the library proposed, the board is hunkering down, dropping their commitment to diversity since they are themselves intimidated by the vocal group of Douglas residents who falsely accuse their library of “supporting violence.”

Public libraries’ role is to stand up for all points of view. Libraries should show that they fully understand that marginalized groups such as Native Americans living in Douglas County may not feel safe expressing themselves in front of the over-empowered. The library in this case was correct to advocate for those who have been bullied into silence. Unfortunately, it appears that’s why the Douglas library director and staff are being hounded.

Lisa Foley

Zephyr Cove

Investigation waste of money

Editor:

My name is Allen Kunihiro, I am a 31-year veteran, who retired as a lieutenant from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, one of the most diverse counties in the country.

I just read the article regarding the Library Board of Trustee’s, who voted to pay for an “investigation” into the libraries “Diversity Statement.”

I just want to share my opinion, that spending $30,000 plus into an investigation, is purely a waste of county and taxpayers monies.

What occurred, is clearly evident, in that Amy Dodson, authored a Diversity Statement, which included a political statement (her own personal belief?) about “Black Lives Matters.” It is also clearly evident that Sheriff Coverley, printed a statement that should have been stated a little more delicately. We all know what the facts were and the resulting protests that occurred as a result of these two issues. I’m sure Douglas County spent an inordinate amount of money to provide security for the protest that occurred several weeks ago.

Rather than spending precious dollars on an investigation, that everyone knows how its going to conclude, can’t the board just make its democratic decision, based on those facts?

Why should it be that “only” Black Lives Matters. Based on our democracy, “All Lives” should matter, regardless of race, creed, color, or ethnic origin. Everyone and I mean everyone, should be allowed to enter any County building without fear of any retribution, racists attitudes or actions from others.

Why does the County allow itself to be driven by liberal entities, just so they can accomplish their personal ideologies or agenda’s, while the citizens in our communities have to live in fear of BLM and Antifa related protests. I, like many residents in the county, do not want our communities destroyed or degraded by any entities who want to take away our democracy and way of life, as created by our founding fathers.

I am not opposed to a County’s Diversity Statement. But, I believe that Dodson, should have kept that (draft) Diversity Statement with the key term, diversity in mind, and not expressed any political statement about any specific race or ethnicity, ie: BLM. It is these kinds of voices, documents and/or expressions, that cause divisiveness or dissension in our country.

Definition of diversity

These precious dollars can be well spent in other areas of the community, so that everyone who lives in this great county, can benefit from better spent dollars.

Allen Kunihiro

Minden

Librarians promote First Amendment

Editor:

I read in The Record-Courier that the Douglas County Library Board of Trustees has voted to spend $20,000 to $40,000 from the library’s book fund and county Risk Management funds to investigate the reference to Black Lives Matter in a proposed library statement of inclusiveness.

I was a professional librarian for 32 years, and I can assure the citizens of Douglas County that most librarians see it as their mission to promote First Amendment rights and to provide access to information and knowledge to all members of their community. So, such a mission statement is just that — a statement of the mission common to all public libraries. Obviously, it is the reference to Black Lives Matter (BLM) that has created this tempest of outrage in the community.

I wish to address the waste of taxpayer dollars that are proposed to be spent, and have already been spent in an overblown response by law enforcement to a small protest. What has been overlooked is that there was a way to avoid having this issue ignite a firestorm, and it needs no investigation to point out how that occurred. I will put it simply. The Library Board is the body duly appointed by the County Commission to determine the policies of the Douglas County Library. Being a public body, its agenda is posted prior to a public meeting as per the requirements of the Nevada Open Meeting law. Apparently, this agenda item had sufficient detail that the BLM language caused concerned citizens to contact board members and/or the sheriff directly. The entire meeting was then cancelled precipitately, with no opportunity for discussion or public input. This is where any investigation should begin, because the Board abdicated its duties at this point. The meeting should have been held as posted, and the proposed mission statement discussed in an open forum. The librarian could have publicly expressed her rationale for the entire statement, and concerned citizens could have made public objections, as could have the Sheriff (perhaps in a more professional manner than he chose). The Board then could have deliberated the entire statement, amended it without the politically charged reference to BLM (or not), or just have voted it down.

Instead, the Board pulled the agenda and the entire meeting without discussing the issue at all. The Chairwoman then (according to the RC) tried to shift the “blame” to the librarian by saying it was her proposal and the Board had nothing to do with it. Usually, staff makes proposals to boards, whose job it is to consider the proposal, take public input and then make a decision on whether to adopt it. It is the Board’s job.

Believe it or not, there are people in Douglas County who would have appreciated the opportunity to at least submit a comment in public, pro as well as con. Routine handling of the issue might have allowed both sides to present and vent in open discussion, perhaps defusing what later became ugly. What is to be investigated at such great cost? The Board didn’t do the job it was appointed to perform.

Susan Southwick

Alpine View

‘Tyranny of the minority’

Editor:

With all the violence and vandalism that has accompanied the “peaceful protests” did the thought that inviting the BLM to Minden might put the citizens and businesses in jeopardy ever enter the minds of the people that set this up? What would have been their response to violence and looting? Now they want to spend taxpayer money to “investigate” this to assuage their guilt. What good would that do?

I am hoping that we haven’t gone too far down the road of “tyranny of the minority” to save our nation.

Harold Parks

Minden

Investigate what?

Editor:

I started going to the library as a child growing up in Oakland. I would ride my bicycle from 104th avenue in East Oakland to the local branch on 84th Avenue and I have never stopped going to the library since. One of the first things I did upon moving here in 1998 was visit the library and get my card. I go there often and am proud to be a board member of the Friends of the Library.

I believe we Douglas county residents are fortunate to have two truly fine library branches at our disposal which is why I am greatly disturbed about the current unfortunate happenings. If I set aside my personal political views, it appears that both the library director and our county sheriff share blame for this ugly series of events.

That being said I do not understand what needs to be investigated. I assume that the Library Board knows and understands what level of authority was granted to the director. If Amy Dodson overstepped her authority in proposing the diversity statement to the Library board then the board should handle any disciplinary action needed. If she did not then the Library Board should be backing her.

The county commissioners in their current budget have already slashed the library budget so to spend (according to your Aug. 27 article up to $40,000 to “investigate” further is absurd and a total waste of already dwindling library resources.

Terry Knox

Minden

Black Lives Matter agitprop

Editor:

In an Aug. 27 e-mail to the Douglas County Library Board, Camille Bently objected to spending “… the library’s budget on a truly inexplicable investigation into the Library Director, Ms. Dodson in her proposed statement in support of community inclusion across races.” Ms. Bently felt the Board’s action was “… to pander to the interests of a few uneducated but vocal community members.”

Ms. Bently has perhaps bought into BLM’s agitprop that it peacefully opposes widespread systemic racism and police brutality in America. But that’s a lie, proven by televised nightly riots that expose BLM as a violent, anarchist criminal organization. Recently a Georgia 19-year-old who, “ … after watching videos of police shootings, stabbed a ‘random’ white man.” Then there’s the Riot Kitchen, a food truck that transports weapons and equipment for BLM. Most recently, 19 distinct videos document BLM thugs’ street assaults on departing Republican Convention attendees Thursday night in DC; the attack on Sen. and Mrs. Rand Paul was particularly vicious.

An Aug. 12, 2020 Newsweek article quotes Black Lives Matter Chicago organizer Ariel Atkins giving away BLM’s real agenda when she defended looting as “reparations”. BLM apologists are without excuse. The evidence indicates that Ms. Bently may herself be one of those uneducated but vocal community members.

It’s not a stretch to point out that the hundreds of taxpaying citizens who turned out on Aug. 8 to support Sheriff Coverley likely represent the majority opinion in Douglas County. Ms. Bently is correct that the Library Board’s money-wasting investigation is inexplicable. The question is why the Library Board turned its back on their duty to those who patronize and fund the library.

The issue is simple: Director Dodson abused her position by posting an unauthorized statement of support on an official county website for what is clearly a terrorist organization. The only “investigation” to be conducted is whether Dodson would prefer to resign or be fired.

Lynn Muzzy

Minden

Keep the Siren

I have lived in Gardnerville all my life, and as a child I can remember the siren going off at noon and 6 o’clock. When I was out either fishing or riding my horse I always knew when to come home. I didn’t wear a watch at the time so I would hear the siren. At that time we were a small town, we didn’t have the Ranchos, Winhaven, Westwood Village, Stodick Park, Chichester’s, East Valley, Johnson Lane, Sheridan Acres or Mackland.

When the siren would go off once we would know that there was a fire in town twice it would be out of town. You would pick up the phone and ask the operator where the fire was and she would tell you. Then most of the people in town would go to the fire. At that time everything was volunteer.

We have removed so much of what the town used to be let us at least keep the siren.

Sybil Dunagan

Centerville

Deputies willing to help

Editor:

Friday, as we were getting ready to make a right hand turn onto Hwy 395 from Waterloo Lane, a wonderful sight was seen. Evidently, someone dropped a few sheets of plywood on to Hwy 395 at the Southbound left turn lane onto Waterloo.

A man in a pickup and two Douglas County deputies were out of their vehicles and together picked up and placed the plywood on the deputy’s pickup. Citizen and law enforcement working together. What a wonderful community we have.

Mary Jane Harding

Ruhenstroth

Very bad decision

Editor:

I reject violence and always support the rule of law. I support law enforcement and find the idea of defunding law enforcement a non-starter. It might even said that I’m biased toward police officers as both my father and brother are 25-year veterans of the California Highway Patrol.

The decision to spend up to $30,000 on an investigation of a diversity proposal that was not even discussed in compliance with Nevada’s Open Meeting Law is nuts. The First Amendment was written into the Constitution to guarantee Freedom of Speech. This applies to everyone and especially meant to protect the minority’s view. So hypothetically speaking for $30,000 shall we include a review of all the books that don’t agree with our social, religious, or political views? Would a book burning in the parking lot be the next step? The library should not be drawn into politics and it appears the majority vote on the board were looking for political cover. Very bad decision.

I can tell you that after 34 years and experiencing three armed conflicts from Vietnam to Afghanistan I choose to leave my weapons at home and trust that our law enforcement professional will continue to protect and ensure the safety and freedom of all citizens.

Mike King

Minden