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February 24, 2013
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Letters to the editor

Thanks from lawmaker to friendly Carson CityAs a new assemblyman at the Nevada State Legislature, I want to express my appreciation to the people of Carson City for the sincere and gracious welcome extended to me.Carson City residents are quick and courteous in answering questions, from “where’s a good restaurant?” to “where can I buy ink for my printer?”The Holiday Express Hotel staff made my stay with them feel like an “extension of my living room” and retail stores from Walmart and Big Lots to Kohl’s helped me furnish my apartment quickly and cost-effectively.My stops at Paul Schat’s Bakery prove you don’t have to venture to San Francisco to find a great bakery, and Bobby Paige Cleaners provides this legislator with meticulously pressed suits.Carson City is a great town with a big heart and a great place for this legislator to call home for the legislative session.James OscarsonAssemblyman, District No. 36Helmet, texting bills nanny-state nonsenseSen. Hardy (R-Boulder) knows of one instance where some kid fell off his skateboard and cracked his head. A rational approach to studying such accidents would reveal such occurrences are more rare than people suffering from lightening strikes. However, the senator seeks to further abridge the liberties of our citizens with yet another nanny state law, requiring skateboarders to don helmets, even though there is no research that supports any such law. And no, senator, we aren’t going to wear lightening rods, either.Assemblyman Harmon (D-Las Vegas) wants to fine people who are reading while crossing the street. Never mind that every jurisdiction has plenty of laws already to deal with jaywalking, obstructing traffic and reckless endangerment. This silly bill is Mr. Harmon’s way of trying to deal with all those drunks, drug addicts and illegal aliens who dart out into Vegas traffic, oblivious to the danger. Dealing with the real problem of a rampant illegal alien invasion and a growing population of bums is apparently just too hard. If Dr. Hardy and Mr. Harmon got together, they no doubt would conjure up a law that would require Nevada pedestrians to wear helmets (perhaps equipped with lightening rods). Tyler BallanceReno‘Fat tax,’ texting bill infringe on our libertiesThe proposed Assembly Bill 122, which imposes a tax on fast food items, and Assembly Bill 123, which bans texting by pedestrians while crossing a highway, are both pieces of legislation.Assembly Bill 122 imposing a “fat tax,” as some pay phrase it, to curb obesity will amount to punishing individuals who choose consumption of this food, which many eat for various reasons including convenience plus overall enjoyment. The other part of Assembly Bill 122, which some may think is behind this very piece of legislation, could be increasing state revenues by taxing consumers who are already struggling enough. Neither increasing revenue nor punishing food choices of consumers are good enough reasons for this bill to be considered and passed. Assembly Bill 123, which bans individuals from texting, whether sending or receiving data on any electronic device while crossing an intersection except for rare cases, again takes away an individual’s choice to make their own mind up and be responsible without facing a penalty. The texting bill, like its precursor on drivers, will not work very well and if this was passed the same results would occur. Assembly Bills 122 and 123 should not be passed for this reason and it’s called individual responsibility, which everyone needs to get a grasp upon instead of the current path of nanny state.Bill MillerLas VegasYou’re not special; stay away from wild animalsThank you to the people who could not admire and respect and watch the wild horses at the Carson River from afar, like the rest of us did. Thank you for thinking you were special and ruining this wondrous and beautiful sight we had the privilege of having right here in town. Thank you for turning these beautiful animals into nuisance horses by feeding them. Thank you for dangerously interacting with them by taking your pets and kids and grandkids down amongst them. Thank you for ruining the rest of their lives, which they will now spend in BLM pens, after being rounded up and unceremoniously taken away.And thank you to the father who plunged into Line Creek with his son to see and maybe catch the muskrat they had seen. I have seen these muskrats, but I watch them from afar, rather than plunder into their habitat. Great lesson for your son.And thank you to the man who thought he was special and blundered out with his camera to get closer to the mama bear and her cub, closer than the rest of us who were respecting her space and quietly watching from afar. You scared them away, but if you had been attacked it would have been the bear’s fault and most likely she would have been killed.These animals are as special as we are. Please respect them and their habitat and insure that they are still here for your children and grandkids to see.Idie ZamanCarson CityTeach children to learn, not memorizeA recent commentary in letters to the editor addressed teaching to the test, and among other things, encouraged teachers to provide lots and lots of practice in working on questions and problems that could appear on the test. I see this as the main problem in teaching to the test. The No Child Left Behind Act requires students perform to a certain level on a standardized test and is, in some cases, turning teaching and learning into a mere exercise in prepping students to test well. Standardized testing has grown into a monster. There is value in standardized testing, but it should never be the primary focus in the classroom. Many teachers and administrators clearly feel pressure to engage in “item teaching” and rote instruction. The time spent on instructing students in “testing” can take weeks of class time during which students study old examinations or practice test-taking skills. If you teach a child to learn, as opposed to memorize, you will hopefully have a critical thinker who can apply themselves to many things. Testing does not promote learning or curiosity, and it doesn’t necessarily raise performance or knowledge.Doug CampbellCarson City

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 24, 2013 03:43AM Published Feb 24, 2013 03:42AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.