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February 14, 2013
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Letters to the editor

Support ban on cruelty toward horses, steersTennessee Williams wrote in “Night of the Iguana” that “Cruelty is the only unforgivable sin.” Here are three glaring examples: horse tripping, steer tailing, and shocking horses and cattle in the face with an electric prod, all now allowed in Nevada.But there’s hope. Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, is introducing legislation to ban all three of these inhumane practices. A similar bill failed two years ago — this one deserves speedy passage.The bill will first be heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee chaired by Sen. Aaron Ford. Other members are Sens. Pete Goicoechea, Tick Segerblom, James Settelmeyer and Sen. Manendo himself.This is clearly an “anti-cruelty” issue, not an “anti-rodeo” issue, as some would have it. Neither horse tripping nor steer tailing is a standard ranching practice anywhere in the U.S., nor is either sanctioned by any American-style rodeo association. Indeed, Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers is on record in opposition to these events. Steers’ tails may be broken, even torn off, and horses sometimes suffer broken legs when the steers run the wrong way. Some “sport!”Horse tripping has been banned in nine states, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Nebraska banned both horse tripping and steer tailing in 2009. It’s time for horse-loving Nevada to follow suit. The animals (and we) deserve better.All state legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, 101 N. Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701.Eric MillsAction For Animals, Oakland, Calif.Pay attention to the LegislatureIt seems more and more people are concerned these days about what government is doing for and, more importantly, to them. As our state legislature convenes another session, citizen involvement in the process has never been easier. Two years ago my wife registered as an unpaid lobbyist for the legislative session. Any citizen can be a lobbyist, representing himself, and participate in the process. Benefits include access to all legislative sessions, spending a day on the legislature floor with your representative, and having your voice heard.But it can be even simpler than that. All it takes is a computer. Go to the Nevada Legislature website at There you will find a wealth of information, be able to track the progress of bills, and actually voice your opinion about specific bills before the legislature. I have had my representatives tell me that, since no one legislator can be knowledgeable about all of the 1,000 or more bills introduced in the legislative session, often they will consult the online citizen votes for or against the bill. If the result is overwhelmingly for the bill, then the legislator is likely to vote to pass it. If the result is mainly negative, then the legislator will probably vote against it or let it die in committee. So you can make a difference. And the more citizens get involved, the better our representative system of government works.David ThomasGardnervilleGovernment: It’s nice work if you can get itOnly in government can a guy come to work for two or three days and then get three weeks off.Russ LawCarson City‘Teach to the test’ not a bad thingIt’s ridiculous that the term “teach to the test” has ever had a negative connotation.If any particular test actually tests relevant skills or knowledge, then it is wholly appropriate for a teacher to teach the relevant knowledge and also provide students with lots and lots of practice in working questions and problems that could appear on a given test.Basketball coaches give players practice. Baseball coaches give players practice. Football coaches give players practice. They practice, practice, practice what they are going to do in the “real” game! The same principle is totally appropriate for academic tests.Physicians, lawyers, and certified public accountants all have to pass a rigorous professional exam that tests skills and knowledge that are relevant to their professions. The best professors teach the skills and knowledge that will be tested.No matter what the test is, it has to be presumed that the test creators are testing relevant skills. If a test is not testing relevant skills, test creators should be out of business — period.William PennerCarson CityMayer didn’t understand game-predator connectionGov. Jim Gibbons was right and so is Gov. Sandoval. Ken Mayer put Nevada back years in protecting wildlife and enhancing biodiversity. For some reason Mr. Mayer does not know that the decline of Nevada game, including deer, elk, sage grouse, and antelope, is in direct proportion to the increase of predators such as coyotes, mountain lions, and crows. My family and I spotted a mountain lion within one-quarter mile of our home in Washoe Valley in broad daylight. When that happens there are too many. The lion was not afraid of us. Mr. Mayer reduced NDOW spending on predator control. He did not understand that coyotes and lions eat deer, elk, and antelope, and crows live on sage grouse eggs. Good riddance to Mr. Mayer, and thank you to John Carpenter for exposing his prejudice and ignorance to Gov. Sandoval. Julian C. Smith Jr.Carson CityCarson needs a safe place for troubled teensI am writing about an issue that I believe is a problem in Carson City. There are a couple of places for kids to go like the Boys and Girls Club and the Community Center, but a lot of kids do not like to go to these places. The Boys and Girls Club is more like a day care place for kids after school, and they do not have any one they can sit and talk to. There is not a lot for teenagers to do in Carson if you are not into sports or some kind of club. So from my understanding and the teenagers I have talked to, all there is left to do is use drugs and alcohol and commit crimes. What I would like to do, and I am also attending school for a counseling degree, is to make a place for troubled teens and youth to come and feel safe or to have someone to talk to who has gone through rough times. My idea is to have a place that is open twenty-four hours a day with councilors on-call, with a pool table, couches, punching bag and other things like that. Just a safe place for kids to go and stay out of trouble or have someone to talk to.I wish there was a place like that when I was young.Michael FletcherCarson CitySecond Amendment squashes writer’s pointI searched in the founding documents of this great nation for a “bill of privileges.” No success.I did however find the “Bill of Rights,” which in the Second Amendment clearly states the existing right to “bear arms.”I believe Jim Woods’ argument from Feb. 10 is a case of “apples verses oranges.”John LangGardnerville

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 14, 2013 02:07AM Published Feb 14, 2013 02:05AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.