We’ve Moved!

We-have-Moved-sign-1334841192We now have our own domain for Humboldt Democrats and we’ve moved our blog to a new webspace.  This existing content will remain in place for a while, but new content will no longer be added to this web address.  You can read both previous and new content at our new webspace.  You can now find us here:


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 — Thanks, as always,  for your readership.


R.I.P. Senator Debbie Smith

Rest in Peace and Strength, Senator Debbie Smith — Our thoughts and prayers, from Democrats all across Nevada, go out to Senator Smith’s family in their time of sorrow.


Smith was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. She had successful surgery to remove the tumor before returning for the final six weeks of the session.

A memorial service will be held Sunday in Sparks. ​The service will be at noon Sunday at the Sparks High School gym. Parking is available at the lot behind the school.  Child care will be provided at Sparks High during the service in a classroom adjacent to the gym for children who are diaper-trained.
Should attendees choose to wear a particular color in honor of Debbie, gray is the color representing brain cancer.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Smith’s name to the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, which supports brain tumor research. Donations can be made online at the following link: https://drmarnierosefoundation.racepartner.com/debbiesmith

Official Statements honoring Senator Smith:

Senator Harry Reid:

“Debbie Smith was the epitome of an ideal neighbor, friend and public servant. A believer in the good of government, Debbie’s advocacy for adequately funding our education system will be felt in Nevada for a long time. Northern Nevadans, no matter what party, had a fighter in the Legislature. Despite her difficult year, her positive outlook on life was admirable to all. She was my friend and I will miss her.”

NV Dems Chair Roberta Lange

“Debbie Smith was a giant in the Nevada Legislature who fought tirelessly for Washoe County and Nevada’s working families. No one knew the state budget more or fought harder for more education funding than Debbie. Last session, when she was courageously fighting cancer, Debbie still made sure to get to the legislature to vote for the historic increase in education funding. No one in this state cared more about improving education for our kids than Debbie. I am proud to have called her a friend. On behalf of every Democrat in Nevada, I extend my thoughts and prayers to her family.

Mayor Geno Martini

“Today is a sad day for the City of Sparks and the State of Nevada. Senator Smith was an effective and principled leader and a champion of education, as well as a number of important human causes throughout our state. She was also a champion for her City, and I was always grateful for her strong partnership and advocacy on behalf of the citizens of Sparks. She fought for our citizens every day. She was so brave and strong as she battled her illness publicly. Senator Smith is a great Nevadan who will be missed but will never be forgotten.”

“On behalf of the Sparks City Council and the citizens of Sparks, I offer my deepest condolences to Senator Smith’s husband Greg and their family. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with Debbie and her family for many days to come.”

Mayor Hillary Schieve

“I was incredibly saddened today to learn of the passing of Debbie Smith. A Nevada resident for most of her life, Debbie was one of our state’s strongest advocates for public education. Her work in the Nevada Assembly and Nevada Senate was marked not only by her dedication to bettering education policy, but also by her support of wildlife and conservation issues. I, along with my fellow Reno City Council Members, extend our sympathy to Debbie’s family and friends during this difficult time. She will be missed.”

Chair of the Board of Washoe County Commissioners, Kitty Jung:

“Debbie Smith was a champion for Washoe County and I was heartbroken to hear of her passing,” Jung (Dist. 3) said. “Her dedication and collaboration in the State Assembly and State Senate to supporting children, seniors and adults was exemplary. We were lucky to have someone of her caliber care so deeply about the people of Northern Nevada. On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, we send our thoughts to her family during this very difficult time.”

Rep. Dina Titus

“Senator Debbie Smith was a dear friend, a valued colleague, and a genuinely good person. She always put Nevada’s children first and never sought any credit or personal attention. Her last fight was her toughest, but the angels will now be fortunate to have her on their team.”

Congressman Mark Amodei

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Senator Debbie Smith. Debbie was a respected colleague and I will always value our time serving together in the Nevada Assembly and Senate. As a dedicated public servant with a huge heart for children and families, Debbie fought tirelessly to ensure every child in Nevada received a great education. Nevada will undoubtedly benefit from her courageous leadership and unwavering devotion to her constituents and state. Her work has touched the lives of many and she will be sorely missed. I send my deepest condolences to her husband, Greg and their three children.”

Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis

“Sen. Debbie Smith was an extraordinary champion for children,” said Superintendent Traci Davis. “She waged courageous, sometimes lonely, battles to improve education in our state. She was instrumental in improving education policy and safety measures in schools. She introduced and helped pass legislation to put epi-pens in every school, a measure which saved the lives of two of our students who suffered life-threatening allergic reactions within the first month after the devices were placed in our schools, and many more lives since. For years, she fought for increased classroom funding, capital funding to relieve overcrowding and repair older schools, and established family engagement as a priority for school districts across Nevada. In Carson City during the last session, she helped pass legislation to combat bullying and abuse. She fought the good fight, both in the public forum and in her final, personal battle against cancer. I will miss her leadership, her commitment, and her devotion to education. This is a profound and painful loss for all of us in the Washoe County School District, and for the children of Nevada.”

Washoe County School District Board President Angie Taylor

“I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Sen. Debbie Smith. She was a fierce and selfless advocate for education and for our children, and the effects of her tireless dedication will be felt in this state for decades to come. Through her work with the Nevada State Senate, Nevada State Assembly, Education Alliance of Washoe County, Nevada PTA, and a host of other agencies, she established herself as a powerful defender and supporter of children, families, and public education. This is a tremendous loss for Nevada, but her legacy will live on through all of the lives she touched. I offer my condolences to her wonderful family and friends. It was a privilege and an honor to know her.”


Here’s What President Obama Said

Last night, President Obama delivered the final State of the Union address of his presidency.  If you missed our SOTU Watch Party, you can watch his final State of the Union address here:

He wasn’t focused on our past — he was focused on our future. He spoke about how America’s unique strengths as a nation give us everything we need to build a better future for generations to come.

“That’s the America I know. That’s the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Undaunted by challenge. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That’s what makes me so hopeful about our future. I believe in change because I believe in you, the American people.”

Read the full speech.

You can read the full text of President Obama’s speech on WhiteHouse.gov, Medium, and Facebook. For more, check out past annotated State of the Union addresses to see the progress we’ve made over the past seven years.

The President’s Preview of the SOTU Address

The State of the Union Address falls on January 12, 2016, the date of our next Humboldt Dems meeting.  Roger & Vickie Rock will be hosting the meeting as a SOTU Watch party and will provide a modest meal of Hot Dogs, Macaroni Salad and Beans.  Please take the time to RSVP (623-1029) to insure they have enough food for all.  After the SOTU address, we’ll take a bit of time to work on preparing for the upcoming Democratic Caucuses scheduled to take place on February 20, 2016.



— by Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff

I’ve had the honor of working for President Obama since the day he took office. For nearly three years now, I’ve served as his Chief of Staff, where I’ve seen the challenges he’s faced and the progress he’s made in working with the American people to move our country forward. Together with the American people, we’ve accomplished a lot. But I can honestly say, in all my time here, I’ve never seen him more optimistic about the future.

You’ll see it yourself on Tuesday, January 12, when President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address. He took a few minutes to give you a look at how he’s thinking about this year’s address. Check it out:

After all this time in the White House, here’s what I know to be true:

We still have work to do, but there’s no question: Together, we’ve brought America back.

The budget agreement we reached helps avoid senseless cuts and will unlock critical investments in our national defense as we battle terrorism.

We have verifiably cut off Iran’s paths to a nuclear bomb and fundamentally changed a policy in Cuba that failed to induce change for over half a century.

We are producing more oil than we import, even as we develop more clean energy and continue to reduce harmful carbon pollution.

Our high school graduation rates are the highest they’ve ever been, and last year, incarceration rates and crime rates both went down.

All the while, unemployment is down to 5% while health insurance coverage is up to 90%, even as health care inflation has continued its historically slow increase.

But what we have left to do is bigger than any one policy initiative or new bill in Congress. This is about who we are, where we’re headed, and what kind of country we want to be.

That’s why, in his final State of the Union Address, President Obama’s doing something different. There’s a lot we have accomplished over the last seven years and plenty we can tackle in the year ahead — but this year, the President will do what is rarely done in Washington: Think beyond the next election.

Look for him to focus his address on the challenges — and opportunities — that will impact America for generations to come. Together, as a nation, we face some critical choices. If we make the right ones that build on the best of what our nation has to offer, we will leave our kids and grandkids an America that’s never been stronger, fairer, and more prosperous.

Caucus 101

The Democratic Caucuses across Nevada will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at various precinct locations.  Conducting the caucuses are the responsibility of Democratic Party members and we’re still looking for folks from a number of precincts to help lead their precinct caucus sessions throughout Humboldt County. If no one from a given precinct steps forward to lead a caucus for your precinct, and we’re unable to bring in someone from out-of-state to help make that happen, you may or may not be able to caucus for the candidate of your choice.  If you would be willing to help conduct your precinct’s caucus session, please contact Vickie Rock at (775) 623-1029 or email Vickie at humboldtdems@gmail.com.

Once we’ve identified Precinct Chairs, we’ll be arranging a couple of Saturday training sessions in late January/early February to help you learn how to determine candidate viability and the number of delegates for each candidate who will go on to attend the Humboldt County Democratic Convention on April 2, 2016.  Delegates determined at the County Convention, will then go on to the NV Democratic State Convention on June 3-5, 2016 in Las Vegas.


Are you ready for the February 20, 2016 Democratic Caucuses? Do you know your precinct number? County precincts will be held at different locations throughout Humboldt County. If you’re not sure what your precint number is, you can determine that by checking your registration on the NV Secretary of State’s site: https://nvsos.gov/votersearch/index.aspx

The Fourth Quarter

—  A note from President Barack Obama

Q4Back at the beginning of this year, I made a point to tell folks to pay attention to what we do in the time we have left in the White House — that interesting stuff tends to happen in the fourth quarter.

And I like to think that 2015 has proven that point to be true. We’ve seen our hard work over the years pay off for the American people in a big way: The longest streak of private-sector job growth on record, the unemployment rate down to just 5 percent, and wages growing faster than at any time since the recovery began. The Affordable Care Act has helped drive the rate of uninsured folks in this country below 10 percent for the first time on record. Our American delegation working to reduce carbon emissions brought China to the table, and earlier this month in Paris, nearly 200 nations joined us in forging a historic climate agreement.

And though it wasn’t easy, Congress has also done their part to help end this year with some progress, too. They came to the table and passed a bipartisan budget deal, and in doing so averted a government shutdown for at least another nine months.

My hope is that as we go into my final year in office, we can see even more of this — people deciding to come together to get important things done on behalf of the American people. Because we still have some unfinished business.

I’ve got 12 months left to squeeze every ounce of change I can while I’m still in office. And that’s what I intend to do.  In 2016, I’m planning to leave it all out on the field — and I hope you’ll be there alongside me. I’ve never been more optimistic about a year ahead than I am right now.

We’ve done a lot of remarkable things together this year, and it’s because of committed citizens like you that this country keeps moving forward.  Thanks for being part of this work— these are your accomplishments.  That’s what I want to celebrate with you on January 12, when I make my last State of the Union speech. Make sure you tune in. Let’s squeeze the best yet from the second half of this fourth quarter.

Reinventing High School


— General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Founding Chair,  and Alma J. Powell, Chair, America’s Promise Alliance

We want to talk to you about our nation’s high schools for a moment.

In 2008, the Department of Education required all states, for the first time, to use the same calculation for their high school graduation rate — a key accountability measure that this administration has embraced. In 2010, President Obama and Secretary Duncan joined the America’s Promise Alliance at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to launch the GradNation campaign, setting a national goal of a 90 percent high school completion rate by 2020.

We’re seeing tangible results.

High school graduation rates have risen and are continuing to rise across America. Preliminary data from the Department of Education for the 2013-2014 school year show the narrowing gap between students from low-income families, students of color, students with disabilities, English language learners and their peers.

This increase in graduation rates is the result of hard work by millions of young people, families, educators, community leaders, business leaders and policy makers who have come together to create brighter futures for young people.

But while we celebrate this progress, we need to be smarter and more persistent if we want to continue to raise graduation rates for all students.
Today, a diverse group of people is coming together at the White House to talk about how we can do that in a smart way. You should follow along, and join the conversation here.

Young people have to be a respected voice at the center of change. The only way this works is if they’re a part of the process.

The latest report out of our research institute asked young people who left school without graduating what would have helped them stay in school. Here’s what we found:

The most powerful “innovation” contributing to students’ success is support from caring adults in schools. Young people told us they need an anchor, someone whom they can trust to be a stable presence in their lives. Even better is a web of supportive adults and peers to help them navigate their way through life’s challenges and toward graduation and a successful adulthood.

Students who do not graduate on time have been stigmatized as ‘dropouts.’ But we’ve been listening to these young people and learning about the complex and extraordinary challenges they face — unstable housing, food insecurity, trauma, violence, physical and emotional abuse, and bullying. Leaving school may be a last resort — but it may also feel like their only option. We’re humbled by these students’ determination not only to survive, but to craft a safe and meaningful life and to fulfill their dreams.

Today, we want to applaud those participating in the White House Next Generation High School Summit working together to accelerate innovation that creates the conditions under which all children have a real chance to succeed.

We want to encourage everyone who participates in today’s conversation to be guided by the best evidence of what works. We hope we can ‘redesign’ in such a way that teachers and other adults in schools have the time and expectation to forge real and positive relationships at every turn.

And finally, let’s be persistent: The policies, practices and stigmas that contribute to opportunity gaps in this country were long in the making — and they will take time and attention to dismantle.

(As an aside, I was astounded to hear one of the commentators claim with better education systems, her son could have become a doctor, and that her daughter is a teacher and that’s just fine.  From the tone and the demeanor of the comment, it struck me as the roots of systemic gender discrimination.)

Tickets Are Now Officially ON SALE!


Table reservations are coming in briskly, so I encourage everyone to purchase their tickets and/ or tables soon!

Tickets may be purchased in any of the following ways:

  1. Send payment to address listed on invitation
  2. Give payments directly to Nyla Howell, Kimi Cole, Marty McGarry or John Harris (tickets will be mailed to you when payment received)
  3. Order tickets online through Eventbrite by clicking on this link: GET FIRST IN THE WEST TICKETS

This past weekend it came to my attention that there is a strong likelihood of attracting an additional national caliber Democratic speaker for our event. Updates will be sent out immediately as speaker(s) are added.

1st in the West VIP invitation brochure

NEVADA is truly First In The West for 2016 caucuses- let’s start the year by gathering and showing our Nevada Democratic spirit!

— Kimi Cole, Chair- Douglas County Democrats

Public Hearing: MedX AirOne Air Ambulance Services

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health will hold a public hearing to receive comments regarding an application from MedX AirOne to base air ambulance medical helicopter services at the helipad located at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca, Nevada, providing service to Humboldt, Lander, Pershing, Eureka, Northern Nye, Churchill and Elko counties.

The hearing will be conducted at 11 a.m. on August 11th, 2015, in room 201 of the Humboldt County Courthouse, located at 50 West 5th Street, Winnemucca, NV 89445.
NRS 439A.104 states
1.  No person may operate or undertake any proposed expenditure for the operation of a new medical helicopter that will provide medical helicopter services in an area located within 150 miles from the base of an existing medical helicopter without first applying for and obtaining the written approval of the Chief Medical Officer or the designee of the Chief Medical Officer.


4. In determining whether to approve an application submitted pursuant to subsection 1, the Chief Medical Officer or the designee of the Chief Medical Officer shall:

(a) Contact existing providers of medical helicopter services, ensure that existing providers of medical helicopter services have an opportunity to participate in any public hearing concerning the application, and seek the input of existing providers of medical helicopter services concerning the application.

Members of the public may make oral comments at this meeting. Persons wishing to submit written comments or documentary evidence must submit the material to Laura Hale via email at ljhale@health.nv.gov or via regular mail at 4150 Technology Way, Suite 104, Carson City, NV 89706, no later than August 10, 2015.

A copy of this notice is on file for inspection and/or may be copied at the following locations during normal business hours.

NV Division of Public and Behavioral Health Nevada State Library
Primary Care Office 100 N. Stewart Street
4150 Technology Way, Second Floor Carson City, Nevada 89701
Carson City, NV 89706

Humboldt County Library NV Emergency Medical Systems website:
85 East 5th Street http://dpbh.nv.gov/Reg/EMS/EMS-home/
Winnemucca, NV 89445

Copies may be obtained in person, by mail, or by calling (775) 684-4041

EmergeNevada to Open Applications for 2015 Class

EmergeNVEmerge Nevada is our state’s only comprehensive training program that teaches Democratic women how to run for public office. The program lasts for six months. Applications for the Class of 2015 will open on July 20 and close July 31. Interested women may review and/or prepare an application on Emerge Nevada’s website at www.emergenv.org. A $35 application fee is required upon submission. The Class will begin September 12 and run through March, 2016.