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Preserving controlled growth priority for ordinance’s ‘father’

I would like to thank Mayor Rod Woodbury for his complimentary remarks about my husband, Ralph Denton, in last week’s editorial. He is right that the father of the growth ordinance would be dismayed. He would be dismayed indeed to know the ordinance is in jeopardy. Our lives, and our children’s lives, were certainly made complete when we chose Boulder City as our hometown in 1959.

He refers to Ralph’s oral history, a 2001 book titled “A Liberal Conscience,” which was published by the University of Nevada Oral History program and was made possible by two prominent Boulder City residents. Dr. Michael Ravitch and Bob Faiss paid for the production and publication of the book.

Both of these men, who were dear friends of mine and my husband’s, had moved to Boulder City because they loved living in a small town. I never discussed with Mayor Woodbury’s parents why they chose Boulder City as the place to raise their family, but I would be willing to bet that it was for the same reason we did.

In fact, it was the mayor’s father, Bruce Woodbury, who, as a Clark County commissioner, recommended the transfer of the land in Eldorado Valley to Boulder City in order to prevent its development. Bruce was descended from the same pioneer stock and raised with the same family values as Ralph, and Ralph held him in the highest esteem.

I would like to address and expand on a couple of points that the mayor makes in his opinion piece. Regarding the 1997 amendment to the city charter that required a vote of the people in order to sell one acre of land: This change came about when the City Council began issuing permits to developers who were building expensive homes far out of the financial reach of many, if not most, of the city’s residents. It was the greed of the developers that prompted the citizens to not only vote those council members out, but to also vote for the amendment. (By the way, at the time of this amendment, Ralph was 71 years old, not yet retired as an attorney and still very much engaged in the civic dialogue.)

Many families chose Boulder City because its schools were not crowded. We knew the teachers, who took an interest in each individual child. And as the mayor pointed out from Ralph’s oral history, we lost some good teachers because they couldn’t find affordable housing. That goes back to letting the permits go to million-dollar houses being built instead of concentrating on affordable ones.

Today’s lament that the school isn’t growing baffles me. If they want crowded schools, perhaps they should live in Henderson or Las Vegas, where there are dozens of overcrowded schools.

The mayor rightly pointed out that, if Ralph were alive today, he would be working hard to preserve our small-town lifestyle and ensure that our town is a safe place to raise children. I know he would be advocating for more affordable housing, though certainly not the stereotypical crime-ridden, cookie-cutter, small houses jammed into crowded spaces without yards for children to play.

I know he would be working hard to preserve the controlled-growth ordinance, for he was keenly aware that a town with high-rise buildings, industrial development and crowded schools is inevitably accompanied by more crime and the need for more police protection.

And while the mayor is second-guessing Ralph, let me too enter into that role, for after 63 years of marriage I became an expert at that! We must put our priorities in order. We must preserve our present lifestyle of safe, family-friendly living.

We must work with our Chamber of Commerce to assist our small businesses in creating ways to help them. We must make the bypass a plus for our town, making it easier for the traffic that is currently clogging our local main streets to get out of town in a hurry. Let’s concentrate on creative ways to lure the thousands of people in Las Vegas to come learn the history of their area and bring children to learn at the Boulder City Museum.

Let’s promote the train rides with the schools in Las Vegas, letting them know they can come play for the day in our historic town by beautiful Lake Mead. Let’s concentrate on cleaning up the sidewalks cluttered with old junk. Darlene Burke and her committee worked very hard to bring beautiful sculptures to our sidewalks, now to be obstructed by the junk that litters our stroll.

So once again, thank you, Mr. Mayor, for giving Ralph so much credit and giving me a chance to voice my thoughts. My hope for sweet, clean, green Boulder City is that we can continue to be crime-free, charming, uncrowded and friendly.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.