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Letters to the editor

Wind farms won’t solve Nevada’s problems

In an “open letter to Gov. Gibbons,” letter-to-the-editor contributor April Livesay pens her suggestion to solve Nevada’s budget crisis (6/26). She opines … “build wind and solar energy facilities in Nevada on BLM and USFS land … that will stuff money in our pockets and have the added benefit of eliminating our energy problems.” She would have us taxpayers issue state and municipal bonds to pay for this venture.

April, do you really think that nobody else ever thought of this plan? Assuming that they did … why hasn’t it been done already? Ever drive through the Altamont Pass on the way to the Bay Area on Highway 580? Notice all those windmills that are “locked down” and obsolete? Well, April, the reason is that these “alternate sources of energy” do not pay for themselves in capital investment justification without huge incentives and subsidies from government. When the Feds withdrew the subsidies from the wind farms, they stopped turning. California is in a worse budget crunch that we are here in Nevada … why don’t they turn the windmills back on? Think about it and you will figure it out.

After what we have been going through with the V&T Railroad boondoggle, why would Nevada taxpayers ever consider paying for a project that private investors have shunned? If the project could float on its own, private funding would rush in to profit from the results.

DON CONWAY

Washoe Valley

Seniors depend upon tobacco settlement money

Janice Ayres’ guest opinion in the June 26 Appeal was all true.

I have had the pleasure in my business of working for the RSVP folks, the elder law attorney who works out of the RSVP offices, the county Public Guardian and the Public administrator on senior related real estate matters for many years now. I had no idea how much they do for seniors in Northern Nevada and that there are 35,000 of these seniors who do not have the financial security that Brian Krolicki and his family enjoy. If Brian Krolicki’s plan goes into place you might as well approve Yucca Mountain too and make Nevada a complete wasteland.

Some years back Kenny Guinn, the governor of Las Vegas, put together an $800 million tax increase that was to put in place prudent reserves and take care of schools for many years to come. I haven’t met a teacher yet who has seen any of that money at the classroom level and our legislators have a law in place that won’t let them spend that prudent reserve.

I think it would be good if we looked at our government officials and legislators to take some pay cuts and leave the grossly underpaid teachers and their meager raises alone.

MIKE ENRIGHT

Carson City

V&T costs will rise above projections

In a recent letter, Jim Lohse, a resident of Washoe County, urges taxpayers in Carson City to tax themselves to complete construction of the V&T. His letter, however, is a strong argument for not doing so. There are some details he did not address. Among them: What was the cost of diesel when the project was first penciled out and how much fuel will it take to lift tons of train and occasional tourists almost 1,500 feet uphill to Virginia City? Who knows where the other projected costs (steel, etc.) will go?

He cites the clause in the projected bond issue that has a “payback of 5 percent of the railroad’s gross receipts.” Tell me: what is 5 percent of nothing? Future profits are questionable, but the necessity of paying back the loan is not. It WILL be paid off.

We wish the V&T project success, but demand that private, not public funds complete it.

OSCAR W. FORD

Carson City

Registering a complaint about OHV registration

At first it was to protect dealer sales. Then it was to provide wonderful services for off-roaders. When that didn’t work, they told us it was all about protecting the land.

What’s next? Saving motherhood and fighting terrorism?

The evil forces behind Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Registration are at it again. Their blundering first attempt at mandating OHV registration didn’t fare very well – it’s hard to generate support for registration fees because a business isn’t making enough money. So they turned in the hubs, got into 4-Lo, and tried to tell us they were going to groom trails and train us not to hurt ourselves. But they forgot that 86 percent of the places we ride aren’t even owned by the State of Nevada (most of Nevada is federally owned) so that didn’t wash. Besides, who needs groomed trails when you have a zillion miles of Nevada back roads to play on?

Now they’re attempting to winch themselves out by proclaiming that registration is going to save the land, protect the furry fauna and flora, and bring peace to terra firma. Under the label of the Nevada Responsible Trails Alliance, they are now trying to tell us that simply by affixing a license plate or a small registration sticker, pirate OHV’ers will be thwarted in their misdeeds.

Readily identified by these 4″ by 7″ pieces of tin or the 3″ stickers, outback hooligans will no longer be able to rape the land without consequence, or so sayeth the NRTA.

“If all ATVs in Nevada were registered and had visible plates,” says one supporter, “we could see who is misusing the backcountry, and who isn’t.”

One wonders why you can’t see these people now.

Face it. Nevada is a big state, and you can ride all day and never see another OHV’er. And even if you did, you’d have to pull right up next to them to be able to read their license plate, and even closer to read their OHV sticker. The NRTA uses as a recent example vandals that damaged a gate and fences in Montana, yet Montana requires OHV registration. Hmmmmm.

The real reason behind OHV registration is OHV sales. One can easily purchase an ATV out of state to avoid paying sales tax. At a savings of perhaps $500 in tax, it’s worth it to cross state lines. Registration would, of course, necessitate paying the Nevada state sales tax, eliminating the benefit and thereby leveling the purchasing playing field. That makes local dealers and the state giddy with excitement. The only benefit is to the state, and the dealers. It’s insulting to OHV owners to say registration is for us, when it’s really to protect dealers.

The vast majority of OHV operators are safe, courteous, and respectful. The tiny minority that fuels the registration effort will not be frustrated by a tin plate.

ROBERT FRENCHU

President and CEO forgottennevada.org

Carson City

Oil will remain economy’s life’s blood

Kirk Caraway’s column in your June 22, edition is over the top. He frequently writes about that of which he knows little because he hasn’t lived long enough to know much, but his latest column takes the cake.

First of all, the “technology” to which he refers that will liberate us from oil is not anywhere close to reality. We engineers and private sector scientists know this. The so-called environmentalists also know this but they have an agenda. Their agenda is to reduce us from a world power to something less, and what better way to do it than by denying us oil ” the life’s blood of our economy.

Moreover, both company and independent petroleum geologists and engineers know that the combination of ANWR, the Gulf Coast and mid-continent oil shale contain enough oil to carry us for 100 years without OPEC. With petroleum products now costing so much, oil shale has become an economic reality. And protecting the environment during the production of oil, anywhere, is no longer a problem. Witness the millions of cubic feet of coal being removed in the fields of Wyoming. When the coal has been harvested, the land is restored.

The hard truth is the Democrats in Congress and the Senate want to use the price of gasoline as a weapon against the Republicans when in reality, it has been the Democrats for the past 25 years who have voted against every effort to produce more oil in the U.S. Additionally, members of the various environmental associations are numerous and they support Democrats with huge amounts of both money and votes.

My recommendation to Kirk Caraway is to begin gathering his information from all sources, not just left-wing blogs.

BOB THOMAS

Carson City

School district doesn’t need two superintendents

Nevada is experiencing a serious budget shortfall. All state departments are being asked to compute where they could cut their budgets.

Gasoline is over $4 per gallon; food is very expensive; everyone is struggling in some financial way. The entire State of Nevada is struggling.

The teachers are pleading for their 4 percent COLA raise. At the same time they are requesting even more money.

Here is the rub; taxpayers, please pay attention.

Carson City has a new superintendent, Mr. Richard Stokes . He was the Human Resources Director for the school district and was selected without a search for anyone else because he had “proven” himself with the district and would “need no transition time” to begin his duties as superintendent. The public trusted the wisdom of the board.

Dr. Pierczynski announced on Tuesday, June 24, the school board meeting was the last one for her. Also at that meeting the new Human Resources Director, Mr. Jose Delfin, was introduced and made some very impressive remarks to the board and audience. Mr. Stokes and Mr. Delfin seem to be a good fit and both are interested in serving this community. Both of these men are well-qualified and experienced.

However, as it turns out, Dr. Pierczynski will remain on the payroll until Aug. 31 collecting her salary of approximately, and perhaps minimally, $12,500 PER MONTH, or a mere $25,000 of YOUR taxes. When first I heard that Carson City would be employing not one but two superintendents, I did not believe it. Dr. Pierczynski verified that information for me. What came to mind is many people do not earn $12,000 per year, never mind a month.

The irritation is this information was NEVER presented at the school board meetings. This issue was never discussed by the board. The decision was made under the radar. There is a serious question of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Is there any fiduciary (ir)responsibility in this decision? Did the board forget? Did Dr. Pierczynski offer to have here contract amended? Did she offer to donate to the underpaid teachers?

These are YOUR tax dollars.

Ann Bednarski

Carson City

Wanted: Behavior befitting a governor

We all make mistakes and the last perfect person wasn’t treated so well. Our governor, though, seems to be using a brain that doesn’t reside above his eyes and apparently doesn’t care what the voters think. He was elected to the highest office in our state to do a job for its citizens. How he got elected is beyond me, but since he did, I expect behavior befitting his office. So, governor, even if you don’t want to be re-elected, why try being a good human being for a change and focus on the work you signed up for. I bet you won’t be sorry.

KEN HOLLMAN

Carson City

Government should avoid housing bailout

The “Do Nothing” U.S. Congress in Washington is pushing a massive ($300B) plan to bail out the housing industry. This plan is election year pandering at its worst. The 99 percent of homeowners in the U.S. who have worked so hard all their lives and have faithfully made their mortgage payments on time each month are now expected to bail out the remaining 1 percent, including many who have made risky financial decisions in hopes of cashing in on rising home prices. Much of the $300B will be used to provide loans to about 1/2 million borrowers who are now considered too “financially risky” for regular loans. SAY WHAT!

This bill amounts to the federal government turning its back on responsible taxpayers and rewards the irresponsible lenders and investors who created the current housing mess. The federal government itself also shares a lion’s portion of the blame for the current housing crisis by pressuring lending institutions to relax their standards for loan qualifications. So let’s call it for what it is; a massive federal government bailout of a crisis situation caused mainly by the government itself. This is a prime example of the “unintended negative consequences” of government meddling in private business. Hang on to your wallets, its only going to get worse when the Democrats win the White House in November.

BILL JOHNSTON

Carson City