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Letters to the editor

Nevada Appeal readers

They even clean buses

I drive the JAC bus in Carson City. On July 11, 2007, around 4:45 p.m., a baby got sick on the bus after dropping off all of the passengers. I pulled into Nevada Division of Forestry and two young men asked how they could help me. When I told them, they quickly washed out the bus and cleaned off the seats. The bus sure smelled a lot better! This is a very busy time for them, they went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you NDF for all that you do to keep us safe. Clean and smelling good too.

donna west

Carson City

Where’s the other side to the brothel story?

I am not a saint so I won’t rant about other people’s morals. But I will complain about the way you reported the reopening of the Mustang Ranch. That article should have had the word “advertisement” above it. It certainly was not objective reporting of the news, and its placement on the front page was insensitive to the families who subscribe to your paper. Your staff must realize that in mainstream America families tolerate rather than condone brothels. I can’t think of a single parent who wants their daughter to work in a brothel or who wants their son to visit one.

Many parents encourage their children to read current events but I can’t think that those parents would want to put that front page on the coffee table because of the way it was presented. In the same issue you ran an opinion by Kirk Caraway about fact checking the news. Where was your fact checking? What questions did you ask yourself? The opening of the ranch was reported much like the opening of a new ice cream parlor. Is that what you think? Where was the full discussion about the meaning of this event? The other side of the coin? It isn’t just uptight prudes who discourage brothels; there is a dark side to them, a reason why they are not legal in Carson City. But I said I won’t rant, so I will hopefully leave it to you to report the other side. Exactly why are brothels illegal in Carson, Reno, and Las Vegas? What reasons are behind the decision to make them illegal in these cities?

pat hunter

Carson City

TRPA has too much control, should be removed

The saddest English words are “I told you so.” As the Assembly District 26 representative, I often heard the same grievance: “The TRPA won’t allow us to defend our lives and property from fire. We need defensible space but they won’t even let us remove pine needles. Please help us!”

In response, I introduced AB305 in 2003, which provides for withdrawal of State of Nevada from Tahoe Regional Planning Compact. A few legislators – Don Gustavson, Ron Knecht, John Carpenter, and Harry Mortensen – joined the fight with me against the entrenched good-old-boy system that surrounds this run-amuck government agency.

The bi-state (California-Nevada) compact was formed in 1969 principally by former State Senator Coe Swobe. A darling of the environmental movement, the TRPA was established by California, Nevada, and the U.S. Government without direct oversight. Literally it takes an Act of Congress to restrict the authority of this monster bureaucracy.

“A major difference between the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the other commissions relates to the breadth of its authority regarding land use issues. This authority extends to water, air, and other natural resources, as well as public health and safety …” states the Government Accountability Office. The agency regulates everything from number of trees used to shield structures from the view of wilderness worshippers to the depth of pine needles on the ground, while flexing muscle to impose stringent penalties for “non-compliance” against homeowners terrified of inevitable wild fires.

We Nevadans can free ourselves from the tentacles of an agency with unbridled authority over the Tahoe Basin that at times seemed more concerned about the color of house paint. In AB305, we proposed the necessary duties be transferred to an agency such as the Nevada Division of Forestry, which is accountable to Nevada taxpayers.

Mark Manendo (Las Vegas), Assembly Government Affairs chair, killed AB305 without a hearing. He told me he received threats to his political career from U.S. Senator Harry Reid and Coe Swobe, along with others in powerful places, should it see the light of day.

The Angora Fire has these same political types now speaking from the other side of their mouth. “This is really a disaster,” said Coe Swobe, who in 2003 as Nevada’s at-large appointee to the TRPA governing board said, “The top goal must be preventing a catastrophic wildfire.” That was four years ago – so much for top goals. “We worked hard to get this money,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “We expected this money to be spent,” as if throwing more pork money at a bureaucratic bungle ever fixes the problem.

George Washington warned us, “A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.” It’s time to remove this over-reaching tax-sucking bureaucracy that hampers meaningful solutions. Will the newly appointed blue ribbon task force admit failure, or will they continue to band-aid this agency with more money? More of the same allows the government to fiddle while Tahoe burns.

Sharron Angle

Reno

War has been waged for nothing

The “war” in Iraq was lost as soon as the invasion was accomplished, and the monstrous fools who concocted this catastrophe deserve to be prosecuted as war criminals. They have more than embarrassed us, they have betrayed us, and as it seems less and less likely that they will get the Iraqi oil, it’s all been for nothing (except for the profiteers, naturally).

How many dead? Hundreds of thousands? How many refugees? How many lives destroyed?

Your opinion piece gives me two suspicions: first, that you have no real respect for the rule of law and second that you have no family or friends in the fight.

Stick to counting the money, Mr. Velin.

David W. Toll

Gold Hill Nevada

Editor’s note: Conrad Velin, regional finance director for Sierra Nevada Media Group, wrote a guest editorial Friday critical of Senator Reid’s stance on the war.

Time for shock and awe on city’s gang problem

I’m writing in response to a front page article I read on June 14, 2007, addressing solutions for Carson City’s gang problem. Perhaps this letter should be written to the Sheriff, Mayor, and newly elected District Attorney, Mr. Rombardo.

The article went on to say Mr. Rombardo and Carson City received a federal grant to combat gangs. What a great honor to be one of six jurisdictions in the nation to combat gangs. But will this be the last we hear about the grant money and any solutions to the gang problem?

There is a perception or idea floating around out there that we (the United States) are in a global war against terrorists. While I believe in the cause to wipe out terrorism, I believe it is very arrogant on our part to think we can wipe out terrorism around the world, but can’t take out a gang in our own backyard. We can’t even manage our own borders. How can we expect to heal a wound if we can’t stop the bleeding?

Since we are only one of six jurisdictions in the whole nation to receive this grant, doesn’t that put us a little under the microscope? I believe this is great opportunity for our elected officials, namely Mr. Rombardo, Sheriff Furlong, and yes even you Mayor Marv, to put Carson City on the map. I believe we should adopt the same zero tolerance attitude the sheriff and DA of Maricopa County, Ariz., have. You commit a crime, you go to jail.

Specifically, if we outlaw gangs and you are a gang member, you’re breaking the law and you go to jail. I believe the paper quoted 10 gangs in our area. And to what benefit to our community is a gang anyway? Once arrested, dress them in a pink jumpsuit and put them on a work crew. Have them clean up all the graffiti around the town. From where I am currently sitting I can see four different “tags” on walls, just like a dog marking its territory. And I’m sitting right in the center of Carson City.

Secondly, why can’t we create a “green zone” in which no gangs and no drug dealers will be tolerated within the borders of Carson County. Within our borders we should declare English as the official language. Can you imagine what an impression would be created when entering the borders of our state capital and the sign says, “Entering Carson City, a gang-free English-speaking community”?

It’s about time our elected officials grow some gonads and open a can of whoop-ass (Nevada style), and create a little “shock and awe” and eliminate the gangs altogether. A few years ago Sheriff Banister ran a campaign against incumbent Sheriff McGrath. Sheriff McGrath insisted Carson City didn’t have a gang problem, whereas Mr. Banister insisted there were two to four known gangs in Carson City. And now we are two to three times that number. Oops!

When we eliminate the gangs we will eliminate a lot of corruption, drugs, and safe havens for other criminals and illegals. When Carson City’s borders are secured, we can show the rest of our state and country it can be done. Perhaps our bordering counties can do the same until our whole state is secured. And when we convince our neighboring states to do the same, before you know it our whole country will be secured border to border, and ocean to ocean.

At this point in time our Mayor can proudly boast (instead of getting into the paper for other reasons) about why our expensive housing market is doing so well. Because people want to live in Carson City, a gang free English speaking community.

Don’t waste your grant money on pamphlets. The writing is already on the wall. Spend it wisely on the men and women in uniform. Prosecute the people law enforcement brings to jail, and keep the ACLU out of it.

john j. ediss, d.c.

Carson City

Time to re-examine driver training programs

Because teenagers have better reflexes in sports than most adults, we train them to use their reflexes to best effect.

However, for teenagers, driving a car is more important to them than to society in general. Statutes require 50 hours behind the wheel experience with a parent or guardian. When you calculate the fuel costs, it’s mind boggling, which leads to the need for a serious examination of our driver training programs.

Car accidents are the top killer of teenage drivers.

We all need to address this problem. If nothing else, effective use of simulators could have a significant effect on global warming.

My vision is to elevate high school driver training to the same level as the sports programs. Yes, it will cost money, but when we consider the cost of vehicle crashes and human lives, it puts the need for improved driver training in the forefront.

Effective driver training starts in the classroom learning about the rules of the road and traffic control devices. This could be emphasized by driving simulator experience followed by behind the wheel experience. Driving simulation can give students experience with hazardous situations that would be too dangerous for them to encounter in the real world.

What about teenage drivers who complete this program with an A (no lower!) getting a discount on insurance? And have you seen the news lately, where cars fitted with small cameras (parents have them installed) are making teens drive more responsibly? Hell of an incentive. Break a speed limit, don’t buckle up, run a stop sign or a red light, and lose the car keys.

Ron Kendall

Carson City

Veterinarian showed a lack of compassion

I can’t tell you the anger and disgust I felt when a friend of mine told me that her granddaughter’s little weenie dog had been mauled by two Rottweilers. They immediately rushed him to a veterinarian hospital. This little dog was torn to pieces, his eye socket was damaged, he was in agony. The hospital would not help the pup unless the owner handed over $500 just to look at the poor guy, and when the owner asked to make payments they turned them away, with this little dog bleeding all over the place. In my wildest dreams I cannot believe anyone could live with themselves after doing that. The greed and lack of compassion of these doctors gags me. They should be ashamed of themselves.

sue lamon

Carson City