As state recovers, it's time to reward workers
On July 1, 2009, State of Nevada employees were forced to begin taking four furlough days a month and all merit and longevity pay was suspended. On top of these cuts, our premiums for insurance were raised and our coverage was lowered. Since that time it has only gotten worse with the furlough days cut in half but a 2.5 percent pay cut implemented across the board, ever increasing insurance and retirement rates, and still no raises.
Now the governor wants to finally take us down to one furlough day a month and restore our merit pay in July of 2014. This just isn't enough. What kind of boss doesn't give any of his employees a raise for five years, only pay cuts, furlough days and ever-worsening benefits? It's a wonder the state now has staffing issues and can't hire qualified employees. State employment used to be something people strived for because of steady, decent pay and good benefits. Now state employees are seeking private sector jobs just so they can afford to feed their families and take them to the doctor when they are sick.
We have been asked to endure too much. Now that the state is coming out of this financial hole, it is time to start giving more of it back. State workers have been asked to hold the weight of the budget on our backs for far too long.
Security leader, deputy located stolen wallet
On opening day at the Walmart in Gardnerville, I paid for my purchases and 10 minutes later discovered my wallet was missing. Active Living Director Anne Highmore here at Merrill Gardens insisted they do more than just take my name and phone number.
The security manager at Walmart, Steve, saw the tape, saw my wallet fall from the basket and the person behind me quickly pick it up and put it in her purse. He then ran the tapes from outside and it showed her getting into a car, but did not show the license plate.
Deputy Jesse McKone of the Sheriff's Department rode around and found the car in a driveway. He returned my wallet and everything in it, including credit cards and cash. These people should be commended for helping an 87-year-old senior citizen. I cannot thank them enough.
Nevada misses boat on energy-fueled economy
Nevada has been sitting on thousands of prime renewable energy acres for decades, all the while finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat financially.
During this time frame, renewable energy experts sought to promote this clean air energy for public consumption, only to be turned away for reasons not yet clear to the public. Even more interesting is the fact that the federal government owns most of Nevada's open land and promotes the use of renewable clean air energy over oil and coal. So why hasn't Nevada joined the seven power states now enjoying a good economy created by energy production? Renewable energy has been touted since 1974 on a national scale.
Would it have been cost-effective on a national scale, given the government's plans to reduce and control the economy via environmental regulations? I think not. Would increasing the flora and fauna regulations make it more cost-effective? I think not. I believe the extent to which clean air energy would be used was always in question by the EPA and their congressional leaders. Today it seems quite obvious that the flora and fauna concerns have taken precedence over out atmospheric concerns, which are very questionable anyway.
It's too bad there wasn't a more economic-friendly approach to all things environmental. I guess there was another agenda. Don't be too impressed by the BLM's offer of geothermal leases. As in the past, nothing much came of it. Or so I've been told.
Ronald L. Wood
San Francisco walk to end abortion a big draw
My family and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Walk for Life in San Francisco. Typically held on the Saturday nearest to the anniversary of the controversial Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, over 60,000 peaceful walkers included mothers with children, college students, religious and from all walks of life. These people gathered to pray to end abortion, console those women that have suffered after abortion and bring awareness to the staggering total loss of human life, over 55 million in the U.S. alone since 1973.
After almost two generations of legalized abortion, which can be and is performed during all three trimesters of pregnancy legally in this country, many begin to question the true justice of that Supreme Court decision. There are not many examples in human history where the cost of human life is so great for the presumed "justice" of personal choice. Many young people reflect on the "randomness" of their own lives, that it was the choice of their mothers to "allow" them to live, at least in the perspective of the Supreme Court decision, and the fact that fully one-fifth of their "classmates," disproportionately poor and of minorities, are not present. They therefore call themselves "survivors."
A number of buses leave from Northern Nevada, including one from Corpus Christi Church in Minden to carry folks down to San Francisco. Little media coverage was seen. The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., usually brings close to 400,000 participants.
If local control is vital to GOP, don't pass buck
Due to the recent and continuing gun violence in our country, I contacted both the Lyon County commissioners, the state assemblyman and senator for my area. In my letters I was asking if they would consider a regulation that would prohibit guns being sold at yard sales, as well as on the Internet and newspaper classified ads, thus eliminating the sale of guns without a background check.
I realize that this would not stop all gun violence, I am not naive. But it only makes sense to run a background check when guns are being sold. The people I contacted are Assemblyman Tom Grady and Sen. James Settelmeyer, as well as all five Lyon County commissioners. I have heard back from two, and both passed the buck. The commissioner said it was something the state had to act on, and the Assemblyman said it was up to the federal government.
Nobody will act on this problem, leaving Nevada very vulnerable to another random shooting of innocent citizens. All of those representatives are Republicans, and I don't understand their lack of action. I thought that the Republican Party believed in local control rather than the federal government making most decisions. Apparently that is not true, and we have nobody that is willing to step up and protect our people.
What a shame!
Eliminating interchange should be a no-brainer
The Interstate 580 Carson City bypass to the bottom of Spooner grade is scheduled to be paved starting in 2015 and finishing in 2016. The interchange with 395 is scheduled to start in 2016 and compete in 2018.
The design of the interchange will require southbound traffic to Minden to stop at a traffic light and only allow traffic to Lake Tahoe to travel without stopping. By eliminating the interchange, it would complete 580 in two years instead of four and save $65 million.
Should there be any question about doing this?