| RecordCourier.com

Ranchos man new fire board director

Gardnerville Ranchos retiree Terry Faff was named to the East Fork Fire Protection District board of directors on Thursday.

Faff, a former information technology executive, is a regular speaker at Douglas County commission meetings.

In his application, Faff said his regular attendance at those meetings have provided him with a historical perspective on the district’s evolution and transition into an independent governmental entity.

He has lived in the Gardnerville Ranchos for 22 years.

Faff will take the seat vacated last month by board member Ken Garber, who resigned due to family medical reasons.

Garber’s wife, Pam, resigned from the Douglas County Audit Committee.

The fire district is an independent taxing entity with its own elected board.

Faff’s seat will be one of those up for election next year.

Tiregate grand jury recruitment continues

Another round of notices are going out next week to recruit members for a Grand Jury to investigate more than $1 million in tire thefts from Douglas County.

Unlike a regular jury, participation in the grand jury is voluntary.

The first round of notices didn’t result in enough volunteers to seat the grand jury, which typically runs about 17 members.

Douglas County commissioners agreed to fund a grand jury to wrap up the investigation into the Tiregate thefts.

Among a grand jury’s powers is the ability to issue indictments based on its investigation. Grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret.

Most of the work on the probe into the theft was conducted by the Nevada Division of Investigation, which issued a 99-page report after the thefts were uncovered in March 2017.

However, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office declined to prosecute anyone involved in the case in a Dec. 21, 2018, letter.

That information didn’t come to light until the letter was uncovered by The Record-Courier.

After efforts by county officials to get the FBI, the U.S. Attorney General or the Nevada Attorney General interested in the case met with silence, they asked District Judge Tod Young to convene the grand jury.

The 2017-18 grand jury worked on the case, but because the state also was investigating it, didn’t issue any criminal indictments.

Remembering 911, 18 years later

No one will ever forget the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. That is when 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaida hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.

It was on a clear Tuesday morning when an American Airlines Boeing 767 passenger plane loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel left Boston Logan International Airport headed for LAX. I remember those details distinctly because I was visiting my son and his wife in Braintree, Mass., and was scheduled to take that same flight from Logan to LAX on the following day, Sept. 12, with American Airlines. But for the grace of God…

As the evacuation of the tower and its twin began, television cameras broadcast live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767 — United Airlines Flight 175 — appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center slicing into the south tower near the 60th floor. It caused a massive explosion showering burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below and it immediately became clear that America was under attack.

At 9:45 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77, circled over downtown Washington, D.C., before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters causing the deaths of 125 more people and creating a devastating inferno.

Also, on that day, terrorists hijacked another California-bound passenger plane. Their target was believed to be the White House. A small group of passengers and crew members, having learned the fate of the three other hijacked flights realized they were involved in a larger terrorist plot and made a brave attempt to retake control of United Airlines Flight 93. Although their efforts resulted in the plane crashing into a Shanksville, Penn., field killing all 44 people on board it saved the lives of many other intended victims.

The total lives lost that day were 2,977 victims plus the 19 hijackers and it was declared the “Deadliest Day in History for U.S. Firefighters.” On December 18, 2001, Congress approved naming September 11 “Patriot Day” to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, Congress also declared September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Since 2002, the Sierra Nevada Republican Women have presented an annual 9/11 dinner in honor and memory of these, the most tragic events in America’s history. This year Sept. 11 falls on the regular monthly meeting day of the group so, instead of hosting a formal dinner they have planned a special luncheon and program at Carson Valley Inn. Everyone is invited to attend, regardless of political affiliation.

The speaker for the lunch meeting is Lt. Col. Brad Spires of the Civil Air Patrol. His presentation is titled “Civil Air Patrol: Serving our State and our Community.” Civil Air Patrol is all-volunteer. It is part of the Air Force’s Total Force and has recently been tasked with homeland security. A graduate of Baylor University, Lt. Col. Spires finished at the top of his class at the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and was invited back as an instructor. Following his retirement from the Air Force Lt. Col. Spires joined the Civil Air Patrol in 2008 as a mission pilot. In 2011 he was named Nevada Wing Squadron Commander of the Year.

The CVI banquet room doors open at 11:30 a.m., with the buffet starting at noon. There will be no regular club business conducted during this event. The price is $25 and reservations must be made by September 6. No additional lunches will be sold at the door on 9/11. Reservations can be made on-line by going to the “Events” tab at the club’s website, sierranevadarepublicanwomen.com. Or contacting Bev Anderson at 782-0730.

Contact Anita Kornoff at museummatters1@gmail.com.

Raised by the wild in Woodfords

She was raised by the wild in Woodfords. It surrounded her as a child and has defined who she has become as a woman. On a windswept mountainside overlooking Carson Valley, Shasta Leonard used the isolation to set down deep roots for herself. She is unshakable and grounded. This allows her to travel through life with both an intense trust and an endless thirst for adventure.

Her deep brown eyes and blond hair have made her a striking beauty on the outside, but it is the inner light she carries that you notice first. Growing up in this part of Alpine County is different from any of the other community clusters. The rich blanket of stars covering the night, glorious sunrises, and images floating by in the clouds become part and parcel of who you are. It is a solitude that can open your heart if you let it. It made Shasta empathetic, and has allowed a calm strength to be the center of her nature.

Like many families choosing a rural lifestyle, Shasta was raised without television. Instead there was a large outside garden, endless hours of hiking and wandering in the woods and along lakes and streams. Her parents built a motocross track around their land and she would dirt bike, take care of the llamas, chickens, and ride their horses.

Starting out at Diamond Valley School, she followed her older brother Drake in transferring down to Gardnerville, graduating from Douglas High in 1999. She met her now-husband Ben at church, and they dated during those years. Both she and her younger sister Denali are named after some of the most striking mountain peaks in the United States. It is a fitting name.

Shasta landed in Hawaii working on a Day Charter on the Nepali Coast. Always internally motivated, she surfed, hiked, and kayaked. The shoreline was like a wilderness cathedral to her, with albatross and other ocean birds circling above. Whales and sharks were her constant seaside companions. Her work was like play, but after four years she decided to head back to the mainland.

Her father had been a cabinet maker and she grew up helping him. She took her skills to a woodworking shop in Pennsylvania. Shasta ended up rooming with two other girls she knew from Gardnerville. She found living in the East very different and was glad to have her friends with her. She started to miss her true home though and made plans to return. She drove cross-county with a coworker, backpacking and camping the whole way. In Utah they survived in temperatures going down to negative ten, and hiked the Grand Canyon in a blizzard.

Shasta was home for just two days when she ran into her old high school flame Ben Leonard. When they met for coffee, she didn’t realize they were on a date. It soon became obvious though.

On the suggestion of a friend, she joined the Silver State Hotshots fire fighting crew. Describing her year as “being with 20 dudes out in the woods chewin’ tobacco, cuttin’ down trees, and sleepin’ under the stars.” It was a very challenging job, but she loved it. She found she loved Ben even more than her profession however, and put in her two weeks notice to be with him.

Ben’s job was in Las Vegas, so Shasta went from her wilderness oriented background to that concrete covered city in the desert.

Completing massage school, she worked as a masseuse in both the casinos and in a chiropractors office for three years. Everything about who she is makes her an incredibly talented massage therapist.

They were both happy to move back to the valley when they finally could, and were married in Ben’s parents backyard in Carson City. She has been running Massage by Shasta for the last eight years. She currently works out of Sierra Wellness and Training Center in Gardnerville.

Remarkably, both Ben and Shasta’s grandfathers were friends working for the National Guard together.

Their children Rudy Lu and Joseph are named after the two grandfathers. Shasta has a deep appreciation for growing up so close to nature, and she carries on that tradition, regularly going backpacking and hiking together as a family.

She “doesn’t need a lot of stuff” and that is also a direct result of her upbringing. She is thankful for each moment, and concentrates most on her relationships with people. She is “authentic Woodfords,” this special land giving her the solid foundation she needed to find her own unique way in this complex and challenging world.

Warrant issued in trafficking

A $25,000 nationwide warrant was issued for a San Jose woman who failed to show up for a hearing on Tuesday.

Shawna C. Vallero, 35, is facing felony drug charges, including trafficking, which carries up to a life sentence.

Vallero and Glenbrook resident Matthew J. Alexander were arrested April 7, 2018, near Lincoln Park Circle.

Alexander was driving a red pickup that was parked near Lincoln Park Circle.

After taking Alexander, 41, into custody on a charge of driving under the influence, deputies woke up Vallero, who’d slept during the traffic stop.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies allegedly found an ounce of suspected methamphetamine.

Vallero is denying the charge, but a new date has been set for her trial.

■ A $5,000 bench warrant was issued for a man who was scheduled to appear to reschedule a trial.

Nathaniel S. Ford, 52, is denying a charge of trafficking.

The trial was scheduled for Sept. 25, but has been vacated.

This is the second time Ford has failed to turn up for court. A warrant was issued after he failed to appear for his arraignment in April 2018.

Ford was arrested in March 2018 after he was found stopped in the middle of Highway 395 in the middle of the night.

During a search of his vehicle, deputies allegedly found two bags of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

■ A man facing a felony counterfeiting charge said the only thing keeping him from signing a plea agreement is the question of whether he’ll get credit for his time in Douglas County Jail.

Aaron Lee Campbell, 45, said he signed a waiver of extradition from California to Nevada in May, and that he wants credit for the time he’s served since then toward any prison sentence.

However, District Judge Tod Young refused to consider it because until Campbell enters a guilty plea, he is still presumed innocent.

He is scheduled to return to court on Tuesday.

■ A 61-year-old Lake Tahoe man received a suspended 1-4 year prison sentence after he admitted to possession of a controlled substance.

Michael Horny would have been eligible for mandatory probation if not for his extended criminal record, including a 1-3-year prison sentence for sales of a controlled substance.

“I’ve been a criminal all my life,” Horny said. “Now, I hope I’m a recovering criminal.”

■ A Californian who failed to pay restitution spent 45 days incarcerated after he was arrested on a warrant issued out of Douglas County District Court.

Richard Ellis said he was in custody in Elk Grove for the 45 days.

He was ordered to pay $377.36 in restitution by Nov. 19.

Volunteer Expo draws a crowd

Chief Elections Clerk Dena Dawson pointed to a full page of volunteers eager to be poll workers during the 2020 election.

The Clerk-Treasurer’s Office was one of 42 organizations participating in the first Volunteer Expo at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center on Thursday.

Organized by the 2019 Leadership Douglas County Class, the expo drew 279 potential volunteers to peruse opportunities.

Cooperative Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester shifted between the 4H Booth and the front desk.

“The number of vendors and attendees exceeded our goals and expectations,” Chichester said. “We are thrilled, and are excited for these to become annual events that benefit our community and those working to make it better.”

The Expo was the project of this year’s Leadership Class, who were dressed in red for the occasion.

First established in 1996, Leadership Douglas County informs the class about how things work in the county.

Coordinated by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, applications are being accepted for the 2020 Leadership Class, which starts in January.

For more information, visit carsonvalleynv.org.

Gardnerville resident swims the Bosphours Channel

Not everyone has a bucket list, but with Doug Robbins it seems to never end.

So on July 21, he competed in the Bosphorus Channel Swim, known as one of the pinnacles in world swimming, in Istanbul, Turkey, a 4.25-mile race with about 2,300 swimmers from all over the world — swimming from the Asian side to the European side, a cross-continental swim.

Now he’s accomplished long swims in open water before: Croatia, 16 miles; Greece, 20 miles; Italy, 18 miles; Alcatraz Island to San Francisco, and the British Virgin Islands, but nothing like this, he said.

He explained: When you jumped into the very cold water — no wetsuits allowed — and then hundreds of other swimmers also jumping in from the pontoon raft attached to the ferry, he had been transported up the Asia side of Istanbul. It was “every man and woman for themselves.” Everyone has time monitors attached to their ankles, he said.

“Swimmers kicking into you, swimming over you or under you for the first mile until everyone got into their stride and rhythm, thinning out or those who were dropping out fast. Pure chaos … crazy, cold salt water with waves — and marvelous!”

When he finished, Robbins said, “I had the biggest smile on for days.”

Robbins said the training started in late February doing laps and laps and then went into miles and miles. And honestly, he said, “it’s more mental than pure strength,” though Robbins, being an ex-Green Beret, fits the skill set perfectly, which is what is needed for such an undertaking.

His past bucket list items include swimming Alcatraz to San Francisco, flying a World War II Spitfire over the White Cliffs of Dover, hiking the mountains that Hannibal walked, walking the battlefields of Waterloo where his family member in the “Scotts Gray’s Calvary” fought against Napoleon’s grand army, and so on.

What’s next?

“Certainly nothing water-related,” Robbins mentioned. He said he has discussed a visit to the south Pacific or possibly even going to Argentina to learn the tango or hiking Hadrian’s Wall (73 miles) in northern England or being an extra in the Vikings series — as he says, “who knows.”

Whatever it is, this 73-year-old is not letting grass grow under his feet.

Man waives hearing in theft charges

A Topaz Ranch Estates man with a long criminal history in Douglas County waived his preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Adam William Westmark, 29, is scheduled to be arraigned in Douglas County District Court on Sept. 30 on two felonies, including attempted grand larceny and possession of drugs. Westmark was arrested in March after he missed a stop sign. At the time he was on parole for attempted burglary. He was also allegedly found with bolt cutters, a lock-pick set and pry bar.

Westmark was one of a trio of men involved in 2010 burglaries that resulted in the theft of more than $15,000 in tools.

■ A Californian arrested in connection with felony possession of stolen property charges is scheduled to appear in Douglas County District Court on Sept. 9.

Jeremy Daniel Stritenberger, 43, and Riki Eltingham, 41, were arrested at the old Power Dam in July with a stolen vehicle.

On Monday Eltingham admitted to charges of using someone else’s ID to avoid prosecution and possession of stolen property. While she’s eligible for probation, she could face 2-10 years in prison with consecutive sentences.

■ A Gardnerville man waived his preliminary hearing on a felony DUI and is scheduled to go to Douglas County District Court

Christoval Villarreal, 39, was arrested by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper on May 18 in the parking lot of the Topsy Walmart.

After he was taken into custody, he performed a breathylizer test that revealed he had a .224 blood alcohol content.

■ A Sun Valley man was arrested on several driving infractions as well as a parole violation on Sunday morning.

Cameron R. Cottle, 44, was arrested on Jacks Valley Road near the Target at 9:49 a.m. after a traffic stop.

A deputy reported he could not see Cottle, due to the tint on his windows. A background check revealed he had a warrant out of California and was driving on a revoked drivers license.

■ A Californian was arrested 7:41 p.m. Sunday in Minden, accused of felony drug charges.

Miranda Jones, 34, of Pasadena, Calif., was taken into custody at County Road and 10th Street in Minden after a traffic stop.

Jones was driving a silver Versa that failed to stop at a stop sign. A K-9 detected drugs in the vehicle, and 1.8 grams of heroin and 2.8 grams of methamphetamine were found in her possession.

Jones daughter was in the vehicle and was turned over to Child Protective Services.

Attorney-client relationship life long

Your case is closed and your relationship with your attorney has concluded. But are your confidences still safe? Yes. Your attorney has certain continuing obligations toward you and remains bound by confidentiality and conflict of interest rules.

An attorney who or law firm that formerly represented a client in a matter cannot use or reveal any information acquired during the scope of that representation to the disadvantage of that former client except when the information has become general knowledge or the disclosure is permitted or required by law.

An attorney who represented a client in a matter cannot then represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that other person’s interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent in writing and even with such consent, it is still not advisable to do so. For example, an attorney cannot represent the wife in a divorce and then the husband in a post-divorce proceeding.

When an attorney moves to another law firm, it is important that the attorney’s loyalty to the former client not be compromised while at the same time the attorney’s ability to change employment and accept new clients not be unnecessarily limited. Consequently, without informed consent in writing, an attorney should not represent a potential client in the same or a substantially related matter in which the attorney’s former firm had previously represented the former client if the interests of the former and potential clients are materially adverse and if the attorney had acquired confidential material information about the former client. In other words, simply because another associate in the attorney’s former law firm represented the wife in a divorce does not prohibit the attorney from now representing the husband in a post-divorce matter as long as that attorney acquired no knowledge relating to the wife’s case while working for the former law firm.

The potential for a conflict of interest involving a former client is far greater in pro bono clinics because of the nature of services provided and the method of operation. The legal clinics often focus on domestic violence and family law issues and serve hundreds of clients in doing so. Therefore, a high risk exists that an attorney representing a wife may come across the records regarding the husband’s representation in the past. Due to that, it might be necessary for the entire clinic to be disqualified. Such disqualification happens less in private practice where the firm may prevent it by implementing a “wall” of separation between any conflicted attorney and other attorneys in the firm.

In every situation, particular facts need to be analyzed. A conflict clearly exists if an attorney was so involved in the former representation that the subsequent representation would constitute changing sides in the matter. If the matters involve the same transaction or legal dispute, then the matters are substantially related and the conflict exists.

Sometimes, however, the matters are not substantially related and yet the representation is still not allowed or recommended. This occurs when an attorney has obtained confidential information from the former client. While complying with the duty of zealous advocacy for one client, the attorney might inadvertently use a former client’s confidential information for the benefit of the present client. For that reason, even if the former client gives informed consent in writing, it is ill-advised for the attorney to undertake the representation and the client should be careful when providing such consent.

To guard against conflicts of interest, attorneys are required to maintain adequate records and implement proper procedures.

Natalia Vander Laan is a Minden attorney practicing estate planning, family law, and workers’ compensation.

Longtime resident killed in Holbrook collision

Topaz Ranch Estates resident Jon Justin Trent was identified by the Nevada Highway Patrol as the person killed in a single vehicle rollover near Holbrook Junction on Aug. 16.

The crash occurred off Highway 208 just east of the intersection with Highway 395.

Trent, 34, was eastbound on Highway 208 in a GMC pickup when the vehicle left the road to the right.

Trent steered to the left and the pickup crossed both travel lanes and overturned in the dirt embankment. He was ejected from the vehicle in the 6:07 a.m. collision.

A native of Douglas County, Trent was born to Gayle and John Trent in 1985, he grew up in the county where he played youth soccer.

He is survived by a daughter, Jenna, 12.

No services have been announced as of Friday morning.