Millennium countdown: 1985
Paper: Nevada Appeal – 14 days to the millennium – Friday, Nov. 15, 1985
President: Donald W. Reynolds
General Manager: David A. Osborn
Editor: Don Ham
Advertising Director: Frank Sharp
Circulation Manager: Jean Steffen
Composing Supervisor: Sherri Sharp
Published each evening Sunday through Friday at 200 Bath St.
A Nevada owned member Donrey Media Group
Family tragedy softened by faith
By Kelli Du Fresne
Today we look at Friday, Nov. 15, 1985. The Countdown 2000 series calls for a look at Nov. 17, 1985, but that issue was missing when the year’s worth of papers was microfilmed.
At this time, the paper is on Bath Street and publishes each evening with a morning paper on Sundays.
The paper today is in part about the death of 19-year-old Kenneth Lee Vecchiarelli of Carson City.
Vecchiarelli and his brother and friends tried to jump onto a moving elevator in his dormitory at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Vecchiarelli slipped and was crushed between the elevator and the shaft.
Kenneth’s parents, Lee and JoAnne Vecchiarelli, have lived in Carson for 26 years, coming from Los Angeles.
His mother, JoAnne, said the 15 years since his death have been hard “but faith can make it easier. I believe God puts everyone on earth for His purposes. When he’s ready to take you, it’s your time. I accepted that he wanted him at that time.
“He was very close to his brothers and sister. They were all within four years of each other and grew up together. He loved family picnics and camping trips.”
Kenneth and his brother Michael lived in Juniper Hall and his sister Maria lived next door at Manzanita Hall.
He was studying civil engineering. While in high school, he won two contests sponsored by the Builders Association of Western Nevada for his designs for houses and took his designs to compete nationally in Kentucky .
When a sophomore at UNR, he won a scholarship from the builders association.
“He was a good kid and a very good student,” JoAnne said. “He liked to ski and was an instructor for the Junior Ski Program.”
Kenneth also enjoyed riding a jet ski, playing soccer for the American Youth Soccer Organization and playing the trombone in the Carson High School marching band.
The news report said the university suspected drinking had played a role in the accident, but JoAnne said the blood tests showed all involved had only minimal amounts of alcohol in their systems.
“It was just a fun game that the college kids liked to play,” she said. “There was a chair on top of the elevator for their use.”
She said the elevator was outdated and that there was no emergency stop button.
“They couldn’t stop it when they knew something was going wrong,” she said.
In the same issue, K. Miller of Carson City has written a letter to the editor on his views on the recent defeat of a school bond, Douglas County is getting $12.7 million to widen Highway 395 between Carson and Minden and a group of residents is calling for better communication between the public and city government.
Miller wrote: In the recent special election which was conducted in Carson City, I would like to make a few comments to the honorable mayor and school Superintendent Harry Dickson.
It is the age-old adage that whenever you need money to push over a project, who do you go to? That’s right, the poor taxpayer. In most cases it is the senior citizen who is stable and a property owner who suffers.
Well, I’m glad to hear that we all helped to put our foot down this time.
I would like to ask the mayor one question, since I missed the meeting of Oct. 28. I have lived in three communities in my lifetime. Every time a new tax is enacted for say one to two or four years, why is it at the end of its time one never sees in the newspaper that that particular tax will now be taken off because it has served its time? No, what they do is funnel it into some other project because they know once they have a good thing going, why shut it off?
If they wanted to fund a project such as that, why not add cents to gasoline tax? That way everyone, even the tourist, would pay for it.
One other thing. If the Grace Bordewich School is so bad why not repair it like they did the Capitol building? When they build a new building it will be as bad as the Kincade building turned out to be.
One last thing, the poor senior citizen gets at 3.1 percent raise in, I don’t know how long, while the teachers get 12 percent retroactive.
The Concerned Citizens for Good Government was set for a town hall meeting the same evening the paper came out. The end of the Appeal editorial asked people to keep in mind that the group consists of involved local citizens. It has no one political point of view, it has no political or special interest axes to grind, it encourages participation from as many people in Carson City as want to join.
Those facts should be kept in mind by “participants” in tonight’s meeting.
The beginning of the editorial said: Anything that encourages better communication, even if pursued by elected officials, can solve problems before they occur, can generate unique solutions to public service problems, can increase the public’s confidence in government, and also can help these officials make solid decisions, confident that they have the public’s support.
That’s why tonight’s town hall meeting sponsored by the newly formed Concerned Citizens for Good Government is so important to Carson City.
It’s unfortunate that this, the first meeting following Carson City’s special election, to be conducted by the committee and cosponsored by other community organizations, came about only after the defeat of a needed ballot measure calling for a sales tax increase to fund the repair of Carson City roads. Defeat of that ballot question was blamed by some on a low level of public confidence in the Board of Supervisors, rather than a simple rejection of a small, one-fourth-cent addition to the sales tax. But that fact doesn’t at all detract form the meeting’s importance.
The ballot measure was passed in 1986 and today about $1.7 million goes toward road maintenance from the collection of sales taxes.
Keeping history straight
In Monday’s Countdown 2000 story Guy Farmer’s career as a Foreign Service diplomat was mistakenly reported as a foreign correspondent.