Letters to the editor for Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016

Tribute to Marilee Swirczek

Over the pre-class din of student chatter and shuffling papers, a woman seated at the front of our writing class angled for the instructor’s attention.

“I work with crystals that have healing powers,” she said.

Silence prevailed. We rolled our eyes. Not professor Marilee Swirczek. She stopped handing out papers and held the rest to her chest. “Really?” she said. “We must go to coffee sometime and talk about that.”

“Show; don’t tell,” Marilee taught us.

But this same nurturing mother wrenched off our training wheels and laughed at us when we crashed.

“She should have worn oven mitts,” I thought, feeling the burn of her comments after she returned my first stories.

“Drive your characters to the cliff and then push them off!” Marilee taught us.

We were her characters and she had to punt us from the nest. Better fly if we were to be the next Mark Twain.

I think that’s what she wanted. That’s why she worked so hard for us.

We’d owe here. And we do.

For her students, family, community and Earth she was Tom Sawyer, Atticus Finch and Holden Caulfield.

We are forever shaken.

“Good stories resonate,” Marilee taught us.

Russ Law

Carson City

Progressive policies will keep America great

Keep the Bern going! Bernie Sanders offered supporters a very optimistic, forward-looking vision for America. We can keep these ideas moving ahead by electing a progressive group of candidates here in Nevada: President: Hillary Clinton, Senate: Catherine Cortez-Masto, and for Congress, Chip Evans under the Democratic banner.

If Democrats show up in great numbers and elect a progressive slate and win the Presidency and Senate control, then Bernie Sanders and other progressive candidates like Elizabeth Warren will be appointed as chairpersons to critical Senate Committees. This will ensure that progress on justice, economy, and civil rights will move forward to a President Hillary Clinton to be signed into law. This will keep America great now and into the future.

John Hartley


Question 2 is wrong for Nevada

Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval said he is against making recreational marijuana use legal in Nevada, citing concerns about its impact on young people. He opposes Question 2 on the November ballot. Question 2 is also opposed by Nevada’s Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt and the Las Vegas Review Journal editorially opposed this marijuana industry-written initiative on June 8.

California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown also opposes recreational marijuana legalization: “The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And, all of a sudden, if there is advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?” (Washington Post/ 3/2/14).

California’s Democratic senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein formally opposed legalizing marijuana in the Golden State on July 12, citing a lack of protections for children and motorists.

Passage of Question 2 would allow the commercial marijuana industry to market highly potent edible products (candy, cookies) in this state — aimed at children. There should be bipartisan consensus that marijuana industry promoted Question 2 is wrong for Nevada.

Jim Hartman


Attorney General’s budget isn’t adding up

The Attorney General secured $545,000 of taxpayer money to pay outside counsel to defend the Education Savings Account Plan. Seriously?

This despite Laxalt’s testimony during the 2015 legislative session criticizing former Attorneys General for using outside assistance.

Laxalt suggested that the approval of his budget creating several new expensive positions would negate the need for outside attorneys.

When forced to defend the ESA Plan, Laxalt abandoned his existing staff and instead asked the state for even more taxpayer dollars so some D.C. lawyer could perform his elected duties. By some tortured logic his administration had the audacity to indicate that spending $545,000 was a bargain somehow saving the state money. Seriously?

Laxalt’s infamous evaluation suggested he would benefit from additional legal education. His administration needs to learn how to add.

It’s a sad day when the Attorney General is incapable of defending the constitutionality of a state statute.


Keith Marcher

Retired Chief Deputy Attorney General

Legislation needed to address rising costs of meds

The rising prices of prescription medications is an issue we can no longer afford to ignore this election. Despite receiving tax dollars for their work, prescription drug companies have no accountability or transparency in their pricing methodology and this insular approach will continue to cause healthcare costs rise exponentially. High drug prices put many people at risk of losing everything when loved ones must seek lifesaving treatments that carry an exorbitant price tag.

This is a personal concern for me because I have family who use medications that have had fairly stable prices. Even still, it remains a struggle to afford these prescriptions and make ends meet. As we’ve seen with Valeant, Turing, and other drug companies, they can choose to raise the prices for these drugs without justification or accountability. As someone who will one day help pay for my mother’s healthcare, this hits home.

The current arbitrary system of prescription drug prices puts families like mine in peril; changes in the prices of these drugs could have dire consequences. And no one should lose what they’ve worked hard to build because they can’t afford their prescription medication.

If these companies are using tax dollars for their R&D, they should be accountable to the public. I urge Congress to enact common sense legislation including pricing transparency so drug companies can be held accountable when they raise prices exorbitantly overnight.

Scott McFadden


Civic participation is best for city’s wellbeing

Imagine my shock at not being selected for one of the vacant Planning Commission positions I interviewed for! Actually, I wasn’t shocked at all.

Given my anti-development comments made at both the Board of Supervisors meetings and in my letters to the editor in the Nevada Appeal, I would have been shocked had they selected me. There were several more qualified people who interviewed, as they had previous planning experience in some of the other cities/towns they had lived in.

Hopefully that experience will be an asset to Carson City. However, rather than just “liking the direction the Board is going with Carson City,” I would hope the new gentleman appointed to the Planning Commission will take into consideration what is of benefit to the community as a whole, not just to the developers/realtors/business community members, as they comprise a very small subset of the overall population of Carson City.

Again, the interview process was very “interesting,” and I am glad I participated, which is what all of us should do.

We should participate in what happens in this community as far as the direction the Board is taking us. Don’t sit back and assume they are going to be doing what is best for you and me.

Hope Tingle

Carson City


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