Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This is where I apologise...

Tonight, on the day of election, under a full moon, my neighbor told me about the article on the front page of the Virginia City News, vol. 6, #44, dated October 31, 2014, four days ago. It was by-lined Karen Woodmansee. My neighbor even ran inside his house and brought out a copy for me to take home and read. I did.

It is never a good idea to have a Sheriff say in public that statements made in
any publishing media are an "invention." If anything, they were my confusion or failing memory as no recording was made. This was my mistake. I do apologise for any misunderstanding I may have had regarding differentiating between medical certifications and work cards. I do clearly remember that a citation was mentioned; that it led to a fine. According to the Woodmansee article, this happened back in 2012! I erred by intimating that the Sheriff laid the fine.

The interview, from which my blog entry was made, happened in late May this year. The blog entry was made June 2. It is significant that nothing was said to me, nothing was emailed to me, nor was any comment from anyone given to me about the blog entry until Commissioner Lance Gilman brought it up in a county meeting October 21. I count that as a five month period between publication and protest. However, Mr. Gilman has obviously been busy with other business. It seems my error stuck in his craw really deeply. Had I received any notification of the error, I would have corrected it immediately.

It cannot be ignored that the public meeting outburst was just 14 days before citizens were to vote...not time enough to iron out what actually happened, and to publically clarify any issues involved. This is why Editorials were invented. The VC News article reads, to me, more like an endorsement than examination. Again, it was very carefully worded; avoiding any controversy.

Clearing the air is moot at this point. I just want to say that the Sheriff may well be correct. I may have misunderstood the situation; saying medical clearances rather than work cards that were what cited and eventually fined. It was a minor point. I did not remember clearly because Sheriff Antinoro was emphasizing a point about even enforcement of the law being his primary responsibility. The Mustang Ranch incident was almost an aside remark; that was, to my best recollection, quickly passed over in our conversation.

Because of Ms. Woodmansee's investigation, I see several of my remarks to be partially or fully incorrect. Thus, I owe Commissioner Gilman an apology. It is a serious offence, and clear danger to the community, when a sex worker is "on the job" without the benefit of regular medical examinations and certification required in the law. Not having work cards is usually a purely administrative issue that is commonly attended post haste before actual work. Both are clearly required and all parties involved know it. Mr. Gilman's assertions regarding his management of medical certificates are probably correct. I have no way of knowing. However, I was in error in this instance and apologise for my mistake.

I do sincerely apologise for getting this wrong, and for any discomfort that my error may have brought Mr. Gilman, his employees, Sheriff Antinoro, and anyone else involved.

Where all this leads is up to "the powers that be." I carefully note that this minor error may now be investigated by the District Attorney; that a threat of further legal action may loom large. It seems to me that it would be best if the whole incident blows over. I am sorry that anyone was offended by my error. I may make errors in the future. I only ask you correct me so that readers eventually get the story straight.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Since it might be a dreary day...

The weather has turned. Winter approaches and often portends of a sad bit of melancholy. Well, fight it! Don't let it get you down.
Want some tools to help out in this mental struggle? Go here.
Just remember, no matter the situation, no matter how bad, "This too will pass."
For example: Election Day is Tuesday. Those annoying ads will soon disappear!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No dirty pool, please!

I thought I ought to say something about the race for Sheriff in the upcoming election. I am voting for the incumbent, Gerald Antinoro.

Whatever was the issue in last nights Commission Meeting in Virginia City, what I have written is what I believe.

 I received a call this morning from a local reporter checking on her facts. It was about a blog entry some times back in which I was making a point about how Sheriff Antinoro enforces the law without favortism. I had written that the Mustang brothel had received a fine for having workers without current health certificates. He said it to make a point and I wrote it to make the same point: his job is to enforce the law evenly and without prejudices.

Other than what the Sheriff told me, I do not know anything about that incident. I do know that I have never heard of any incident that was not done to the letter of the law in Sheriff Antinoro's offices. I have heard about deputies being furloughed for cause and of deputies being fired for cause. We talked about both in light of his operation of the county jail. If I turn out to be wrong here, you will see it on this blog. But I don't think so. I think I chose the right guy for my vote.

I live in a community that regularly "makes mountains out of molehills." My recent recall from the Lockwood Community Corporation (LCC) Executive Board is one example of how backbiting, red herrings, and just plain stupid actions seem to perimeate our community. Had I been asked, I probably would have resigned and saved the corporation something like $2,000 of our collective dollars; money that whould have been better spent elsewhere. But no one asked. It seems to me that a clique mentality rules here. That is just sad. And so "so unnecssary."

Whatever the issue that drew this blog into the fray, it smells like dirty pool to me; so close to the election. The Sheriff was kind enough to come to my home and give me a couple hours of his day, going over every question I had. His replies were open, plausible and reasonable. That was enough for me to think it truth; regardless of the endless rumor mongering I continue to hear.

I believe Sheriff Antinoro's re-election is the best choise because of this one interview; and the camp inclusions of the other side of his competition being, in my mind, a tad suspect. Believe me, it is not the candidate, but whom he has campaigning, that I have second thoughts about. But that is another story.

I have had a personal police incident involving Deputy Shawn Mahan, Antinoro's competition. I had wanted some candid photographs of the people at our Lockwood Senior/Community Center. I had brought my camera and was taking pictures when one woman (who remains nameless but knows who she is) objected; to the point that the Sheriff's office was called. I was asked to step outside and explain what had happened. I was asked to delete the photo with the person in question. I had already checked the photo and seen that she was not in it, but I refused to delete it for spite. It just seemed too "over the top" for her to have called the police. She may have asked to review my pictures but did not. Any way, the point I make is that Deputy Mahan is a professional. He has always conducted himself in a professional manner. He did in this incident. That matter was all about her mistaken sense of privacy at odds with my right to express myself. Mahan handled it well. I appreciate that so much.

All our law enforcement members deserve our respect. They are out there in this crazy world at risk of life and career to keep us in peace.

I spent many years in big cities where the police are out of control. Be thankful this Thanksgiving that we live under the tullege of the men and women of our Sheriffs office. I have seen so much worse. I don't even want to think about it.

Vote for whomever you wish. It is your right and responsibility. May the best candidate win. Even if that is None of the Above.

But, and here is the crux of this entry, don't paint this blog as "the Lockwood Blog" or any more than just my opinion...me venting when time is available, and in no way any more than one man's opinion. I had, at its inception, hoped that it might be more, but time has passed with scant little involvement. It seems to me that  participation in our community has come down to either fear of reprisal or simple ambivalence. More's the pity. But we do have WeCare, don't we?

I am building a River District "themed float" for the Nevada Day parade in Virginia City on Holloween evening. Come by and offer your "two bits" on it. The friendship between writer (Sam Clemens aka) Mark Twain and inventor Nicola Tesla is our contiribution to this year's event.

It is a significant event of rememberance: 150 years ago, Abe Lincoln needed Nevada's silver and gold to win his war. Now Tesla (the car company in partnership with Panasonic) comes, to join Amazon, Apple, Mars and others in doing business in this county. Money, money, money!
We have things to celebrate! See you at the parade!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Conversation with our Sheriff's Office and UPDATE

Being a citizen trying to understand the issues in my part of the neighborhood, I asked for and was given an interview by both Sheriff Deputy John-Michael Mendoza and Sheriff Gerald Antinoro during the last week of March. Issues discussed were far ranging and both public and personal. I will cover what I can remember in this blog post. Your Comments are asked for and essential. A June 4th UPDATE is below.

As over 60% of the Lockwood population is over the age of 65, it seems appropriate to discuss Senior issues first. Most of the population is concerned with incidents of crime in the area, events that may include their families or persons, and the general welfare of "our little hamlet." We are next to two of the most important transportation conduits in the country: Interstate 80 and the BNSF railroad line. As such, we pose a potential target and possible catastrophic location. Keep aware and report suspicious activity.

We are into election season. Three candidates are on the ballot for sheriff of Storey County. Sheriff Gerald "Jerry" Antinoro is up for re-election. The two other candidates, Deputies Tim Guthrie and Shawn Mahan, have had events in the Lockwood area and have shown to be qualified and personable. 
One more than the others? You decide. It is both your right and responsibility as a citizen to VOTE! Don't vote and you harm our whole way of life. Regardless, there will be undercurrents and rumors: this is an attempt to clear the air somewhat; to make your vote more informed.

  • Deputy Mendosa said that he was working on several program projects that target benefit to the seniors here: Of these, the most interesting to me was Life Alert. We have all seen the television ads ("I've fallen and can't get up!"). I have dismissed pursuit for any number of reasons, mostly money. I recently tripped over the oxygen lines I depend on 24/7.  It occurred to me that I could have really hurt myself. It may have been hours or days before any help came. I wondered about Life Alert when I mentioned it to the Deputy. He said there was work being done toward offering this life-saving service for free to local participants. He will keep me posted. I will pass on any information as it comes.
  • A Emergency Preparedness Plan has been enacted county-wide. I asked Sheriff Antinoro about the recent Wildfire Evacuation Drill event May 17th in Virginia City. It made the local broadcasts. He recognized that a similar program practice needs to happen in the River District and will be scheduled when money becomes available. The main concern here, from my conversations with my neighbors, is fire, with rail accident and flooding also taking credence in planning and preparedness. 
  • The Sheriff reported a Reverse-911 program is in effect now. With it people will be notified immediately by telephone in the event of an emergency. A call from Dave Ballard of Storey County Emergency Management revealed that his office (847-0930) will check to verify your information is correct. 
  • Sheriff Antinoro assured me that plans in the River District to cover emergencies are in place and standard operating procedure will cover foreseen emergencies. Common sense and keeping a "cool head" will  help you and First Respond-ers do what needs to happen to minimize the situation. Copies of the Emergency Preparedness Guide will be available at the Community/Senior Center in the coming weeks, according to Cheri Nevin, county liaison.
  • The 911 situation was discussed. For fire emergencies, including medical (stroke, heart attack) call 911. For sheriff's dispatch, in cases of criminal activity, call 847-0950. If you are a witness or victim of a crime calling 911 out here will cause delays. That may become very important. Put this number in your phone, on your refrigerator, and/or in your wallet.
  • The May 17th Wildfire Evacuation Drill in Virginia City yielded a very informative pamphlet. In it are common sense and instructive lists of what to do in a wildfire emergency. Wildfire is particularly dangerous this year because of the mild winter's low snow pack and dry air (humidity) making brush and cheat grass tinder that burns rapidly with any wind. Copies at the Senior/Community Center with lists pertinent to emergency evacuation are coming, too.
  • Since local newspapers are not daily and suffer of limited distribution access to most residents in the River District, an Incident Blog covering crimes occurring here was discussed. While those papers do publish events, their limited space and cost may be better served through a free access blog. (Like this.) Of course, the Sheriff would be the Ultimate Editor of any post.
  • When a prisoner escaped from the county jail in Virginia City last winter, several people remarked that he might be headed our way. He was captured and a full investigation of the incident was made. Two jail personnel were fired for not following proper procedure. While the Sheriff took full responsibility for the escape, he nonetheless is only one person. He depends on his Deputies following instruction and training to minimize negative events in the community. While a negative incident, this escape incident does show an effort to do his job thoroughly, and enforce penalties where appropriate..
  • There had been an incident at the Mustang Ranch brothel near Patrick that we also talked about. Two sex workers were working without the necessary medical clearance the law demands. Sheriff Antinoro fined the brothel even though it is owned by a highly placed County official who seems to have expected special considerations that were not forthcoming. Sheriff Antinoro summed this up by saying, "I enforce the law evenly as possible to everyone. No exceptions." The other candidates have also said as much; favoritism is root cause of past misdeeds in our county,
  • With regard to personnel issues, the Sheriff agrees that a roadway between Virginia City and Lockwood will be essential in making normal public safety operations run more smoothly. As is, one deputy is often in charge of the entire River District. If there is an arrest (say for drunk driving), he must travel to Virginia City to report and incarcerate the offender. This may leave the community without protection for several hours. A road will cut that time to a manageable factor. While this is but one reason to do that road, chances of getting it built are slim and none. This is due to state highways authority delegating all available monies to Southern Nevada. Let's hope some legislative change will remedy this too obvious need. He did mention a possible access through a development that is proposed; through or near Hidden Valley.
  • Lockwood has no prisoner lock-up facility. If the Sheriff's Office did have one, state law requires a full-time deputy monitor any prisoner being housed. This requires a deputy be taken off patrol or new full-time employees hired. Rather than hire new employees, with the various costs involved, Sheriff Antinoro has opted to "do more with less." This is reflected in his coming "in under budget" regularly. However, often our county has to pay Washoe County fees to house prisoners at Paar Blvd. On balance this is more cost effective. NOTE: This has been a long standing practice. It will probably continue until the population base in the county grows enough to support better facilities. Even then, a Sheriff's Substation Jail will probably go into the Reno Tahoe Industrial Park area; especially if a proposed 850-home development in Painted Rock is built.
  • Witnessing the return of obnoxious early morning whistle blowing, it seems the railroad remains oblivious to our community's interests. With two serious accidents east of us, they pose a real threat to life and property here. Attempts to quell their behavior have been taken seriously in the past, only to have their bad-neighbor behavior taken up again and again. Communication with federal authority to declare our stretch of rail a "No Horn Zone" has gone ignored. Letters to our federal representatives are answered courteously but with no action to help our slumber. As the tracks are in Washoe County in Lockwood, the Sheriff can do little to remedy this long standing annoyance.
June 4th Update:
S.O.S. (Seniors of Storey) are directed to the "Red, White and You" Senior Event scheduled in Louise Peri Park `1000 Peri Ranch Road, in Lockwood, at 1:00 pm on June 21st. Food and drinks will be served. Bring you own lawn chair. There will be music! And...an opportunity to get some notorious persons wet in the infamous Dunk Tank! 
The 2nd Annual Pie Baking Contest will be a major feature of the day. Contestants need to make 2 pies (fruit or nut filling) and bring them to the event. Winners for "Closest to Grandma's," "Most Original," and "Best Looking" will receive a ribbon, recognition in the newspaper (and maybe here), and bragging rights for a full year! WE CARE will sell the pies in slices for charitable benefit...so maybe its deductible, too!
Contact Denis Victorine at 246-3722 for details. The event is sponsored by the Storey County Sheriffs Office and WE CARE.

On June 22nd, the annual Senior Awareness Poker Run will be gathering between 8 and 9 AM at 205 South C Street in Virginia City. Raffle prizes and refreshments will be available. This will be a fun way to raise awareness and provide for county senior citizens in need of help. Come in your car, truck, or on your bike...however you like to travel on a nice summer day.
This event is sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Eagles Comstock Aerie #523, the Eagle Riders, and WE CARE. Donations may be tax deductible:  FEIN 23-715853401.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

KTMB Event Cleans Trailhead Park

A portion of the trash collected 
Number of vehicles reflects participation
Saturday morning, May 10th, an event was organized under the auspices of the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful organization. A mass effort was made to clear old shrub growth and clean up the Lockwood Trailhead Park on the Washoe County side of the Truckee River. Pictures above show both the amount of effort and participation.
We discovered a single company had dedicated this well-attended event in memory of a deceased co-worker. Details may be added at a later date as they become available.
A big "Howdy!" and "Thanks" go to this unsolicited effort at keeping our nearby park up to snuff. We offer our sincere sympathy for their loss and appreciation of their effort.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Considerations at Community Meeting: Bike Path?

At Commissioner Lance Gillman's River District Community Meeting on Tuesday, March 11th, emphasis were placed on the Bike Path, activity in Louise Peri Park, a separate Zip Code for the River District, and designate buildings as historical landmarks.
  • A 500 signature petition FOR THE BIKE PATH was said to have been given the Commissioner, changing his perspective view; as he had only heard negative comments until then. He will be looking into the situation and asked for comments from the community.
  • He introduced Cherie Nevin, Storey County Community Services Officer.  Her email is cnevin@storeycounty.org , office phone number is 775.847.0986, or write her at PO Box 7, Virginia City, NV 89440. She is liaison to the community for the Storey County government. Specifically, it was asked and answered that the place to comment on possible Bike Path construction is through her offices.
  • Commissioner Gillman also reported that "a car" will be made available for public transportation use, to be maintained by a local taxi company, in the near future. Details will be forthcoming as to how that will work.

Consider this GM video.
The only way to get from Lockwood to Sparks is on the freeway. Unless you can swim or wade upriver. Can't bike safely in that traffic. No bus or taxi service. Train don't stop here.
A new WalMart is going in at Legends; want to remain shackled: to your car, paying near-criminal gas prices; or dependent on "organized trips" to shopping there?
Doing an upgrade to to accommodate safety and new technology implies an unlikely redesign of Interstate 80. An extension of the on-ramp to westbound I-80 was seen as compromised by the State's Southern Nevada priorities.
Another way to go would be a reconstruction of Lockwood Road (Pioneer Trail); to junction Canyon Way on the north side of the Lockwood Trailhead Park, re-bridge the river near the train tressel bridge and run on the south side into Clear Water Drive; then utilize the Southeast Connector freeway bike path to access Legends shopping and Reno/Sparks in general.
So, it seems we need to think about more than a Bike Path ! Industry is calling for a "low velocity"road. Speed limits may restrict the type of vehicles allowed; bikes, electric bikes, golf cart-types, and the above. It can be done.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fishing on the East Truckee to Change

Truckee River Fisherman (on Facebook) reports:
"Good news Anglers!! NDOW will change the REGS on the Truckee River next year. From Stateline to Lockwood will be limit 3 (elimination of Trophy section) and from Lockwood to USA parkway limit 1. I'm glad to see the change coming. We have submitted additional REGS proposals as well to further enhance fishing east of Reno."

Assume Stateline is California/Nevada, not up at "The Lake". NDOW is the Nevada Department of Wildlife, your horse/bear hater-killer advocates. REGS is probably short for 'regulations', so get your copy if you can find one. (Link goes to NDOT site, so take your ((Smart phone)) out there or only fish in WiFi areas.) Does this change affect Catch-and-Release (?). Would like to know what other regulation changes they propose...to advocate or criticize. I have corrected two grammatical errors that have no effect on meaning in their post.

It will be interesting to see where NDOW draws the line as being the "Lockwood" border. My guess, since they are known arbitrary and anti-people/anti-animal regulators, is at the west train tressel bridge. That will mess with the optimum number of recreators.