Letters to the editor 02/20/09 | NevadaAppeal.com

Letters to the editor 02/20/09

A true stimulus would reduce taxes

The proposed “stimulus” bill is full of government handouts that I fail to see as stimulating anything except larger government and increased government spending while simultaneously shrinking taxpayers wallets. Where in the U.S. Constitution does it even allude to giving people coupons to pay for television converter boxes?

The “stimulus” bill specifically earmarks $650 million for this handout. The coupons are worth $40 each and a person may request up to two. Check out eBay. There are numerous converter boxes being offered for less than $40 with free shipping and stores sell them from $45-$80. If one can afford to buy a television then one should be able to pay the electric bill for watching it and to purchase a converter box if desired. I wonder how many people requesting these coupons spend more than $40 over the life of their television for DVDs, movies, etc.

And, don’t even get me started on the handout to Hollywood. Over $240 million in tax breaks (handouts) to producers to buy motion picture film. This is an industry that charges exorbitant prices to view films in theaters, pays enormous salaries to actors, and obviously reaps great profits (or they wouldn’t be in the business). Again, where in the U.S. Constitution is it mandated that we subsidize Hollywood?

A true stimulus for me would be to have no federal taxes withheld from my paycheck for 2009.

VICKI HARGROVE

Gardnerville

Punishments beyond the realm of misbehavior

I have lived in Carson City for 37 years and my husband has been a resident for 53 years. Never before have we seen misdemeanor crimes being dealt with in such a heavy-handed matter as they are now in Carson City Justice Court. By definition a misdemeanor is “An instance of misbehavior; misdeed.” Many of the punishments are beyond the realm of misbehavior.

Probation means contact with Alternative Sentencing, whose employees treat people with contempt and intimidation, especially young adult offenders. As a concerned parent willing to do what a parent needs to do to help a child, I was met with contempt and ridicule by an officer in the Alternative Sentencing program when I went to talk with someone. With all the talk about how parents are not involved and must step up to the plate, this type of reaction was undignified.

Violations may be punished with mandated “counseling,” which usually means attendance at AA meetings and completion of the 12-step program as part of cookie-cutter court ordered counseling. AA is not “alcohol treatment” and sobriety cannot be forced upon anyone. Young offenders convicted of minor consuming should not be forced into AA. Counselors have become punishment arms of the court, which breaches the trust of the health-care provider/client relationship and trivializes the care of the individual.

Many of these centers receive public money and depend upon certain numbers of people being served to justify the receipt of such funds, so keeping people in a cycle of counseling is beneficial when asking for public money. There is no advantage to correctly diagnose, treat and get people out of their program so they can get along with their lives.

Make justice fair and appropriate when it comes to misdemeanor crimes. Save precious resources and energy for prosecuting crimes that pose real threats to public safety. Don’t use the bench as the psychiatrist’s chair. Treat the convicted with respect Judge Tatro and accord them the due processes of law that are reserved in the Constitution of the United States.

JEAN KVAM

Carson City

Church should take up collection for sanctuary

Our Carson City Board of Supervisors voted to give an active church $78,800 to build a new sanctuary, which has no historic value. The money will also be used to maintain the old sanctuary which the church’s representatives wanted to tear down.

Couldn’t that money be put to better use by our sheriff’s department? After all, isn’t that why the board attempted to raise our property taxes in the last election? The money could also be used to avoid laying off city employees and cutting back services.

If the Rev. Kochsmeier wants a tourist attraction let him take up a collection, that’s what most churches do when they need something. Why does an active church with contributing parishioners get the direct benefit of public funds?

JOHN SHERIDAN

Carson City