Literate adults are the key to a skilled workforce, a strong economy, safe and healthy communities, and happy productive families.

As director of a local English as a Second language (“ESL”) program, we provide at no cost ESL, GED and Citizenship Test Preparation.

Volunteer community tutors are matched with adults that speak any language, meeting with them each week on a one-on-one basis within their community. A large number of adult students with not having a command of the English language, who joined my program are now able to obtain jobs, received higher paying jobs than they had by advancing in current positions, got off food stamps and other state financial aide, communicate with children’s teachers and medical personnel without interpreters. It is beyond my comprehension why government and educational officials prevent and deter the adult immigrants from obtaining U.S. Citizenship and GED diplomas which, as you know, are needed to obtain jobs.

A few years ago, the fee to obtain U.S. citizenship doubled.

Now, by January 2014, we are requiring students who need a GED to first learn how to use computers in order to complete the GED application and exam.

My ESL program helped 118 adults to become U.S. Citizens because they were able to pay the past fee of $385 fee to apply. However, I have 51 people who are ready to take the test but cannot afford to pay the current fee of $685.

Would someone please tell me why we are keeping back the immigrants in Nevada who are capable of taking a citizenship preparation class and are ready to take the exam? Furthermore, why are we holding back all people who did not graduate high school and need a GED to obtain a job?

Florence G. Phillips

ESL In-Home Program

of Northern Nevada



As a hardworking, tax paying citizen of Churchill County, I believe it is my obligation to call attention to, what I believe, is a severe flaw in our local justice system.

The recent plea bargain between our District Attorney and the Travis’s leaves much to be desired. The sweet deal offered by District Attorney Chief Deputy Lane Mills reduces a second degree murder charge down to a mere misdemeanor, which will, most likely, require no jail time.

I am no professional investigator, but the witnesses and survivors of the crime that I have spoken with have had an unwavering testimony since the night of the events in January of 2012, which led to the death of Harvey Olson LaRoque. Meanwhile, as I recall, the high dollar defense team has come up with a varied ring of stories to fit their needs.

This is a travesty. It is not so much a travesty by what the defense has done, for distortion is their job, but that our own D.A. caved and provided an easy way out for the Travis’s despite, as I see it, overwhelming evidence and solid testimony.

I believe certain questions should be raised:

Is Mills afraid to face a highly paid and high profile defense team in a court of law?

Why has the reputation of the suspects been well protected, while accusations (most of them fabricated or contorted) have been leveled against the dead and injured?

Can our community feel safe with this kind of representation?

Citizens of the community should be outraged by the abject failure of our justice system. I hope others will join me in reporting this state of affairs to the Public Integrity Unit of the State Attorney General.

Scott Elliott