Letters to the editor for Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 | NevadaAppeal.com

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

Need to respond to Zika, dengue fever

For 30 years, I lived in tropical and subtropical climates. Recent new stories about Zika and dengue fever outbreaks really hit home.

On Feb. 7 and 8, the president asked for almost $2 billion to fight the Zika virus, and the mayor of the big island, Hawaii, declared a state of emergency due to an outbreak of dengue fever. These two diseases and malaria are tropical diseases spread by mosquitoes that expand their breeding grounds as our climate becomes warmer and more humid.

A 2003 report, “Climate Change and Human Health — Risks and Responses,” by the World Health Organization stated the first detectable changes in human health may well be the spread “of certain infectious diseases — including malaria and dengue fever …”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, “In 2013 an estimated 198 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 500,000 people died.”

Several months ago, Zika was largely unknown. Now Zika is in the U.S. In Brazil, Zika has become a huge public health problem, apparently causing birth defects and affecting the 2016 Olympic Games.

Although Northern Nevada is cool and dry right now, mosquito-borne tropical diseases are still possible, even in areas like Las Vegas. Global climate change is allowing tropical diseases to spread into the U.S. All of us, regardless of political affiliation, will be affected. We need to consider how to respond to these threats due to climate change.

Bill Prowse

Carson City

Marano has wrong idea about homeless

The problem: The city’s dilapidated resident motels. The solution: Superhero and City Manager Nick Marano says he can do an “aggressive code enforcement” in order to close down all motels that are in plain view and operating on Carson Street (see Appeal article on Feb. 14). I was unaware our city manager enjoys such power. Let’s hope he does not decide fast food restaurants, medical offices, casinos, and single family homes in equally dilapidated condition along Carson Street also become targets of an “aggressive code enforcement.”

I understand Carson City’s 10 percent would like this nasty problem (homeless people) to go away. I understand providing shelter out on the Indian reservation did not work. These darn poor people just keep hanging around. Why don’t we just pick a spot in the desert, erect a fence, throw in some Porta Potties and make these people stay there? Or how about local business leaders, local politicians, local mental health providers, and anyone else concerned start sharing and creating housing environments that can begin to address the many issues associated in assisting the nearly homeless?

I am no superhero. I don’t possess special powers to help me affect change in Carson City. I do, however, know 80 percent of my long-term residents are people who have worked most of their lives and are forced to live on anywhere from $700 to $1,200 per month on Social Security and disability. They don’t bother anyone; they stay in their rooms and try to stretch what little money they have in order to eat each month. It appears to me Mr. Marano is not interested in treating the symptoms, instead he wishes to eradicate the disease.

George Vincent

Manager of Back on Track Inn

Reducing Carson Street lanes a mistake

I agree with Carl Bolton in his letter to the editor, “Reducing lanes on Carson Street is a mistake,” and his suggestion to set up temporary barriers for 60 days to check out the traffic pattern. What have you got to lose?

If the city fathers are bound to go forward with this project, I hope they are smart enough to transplant all the trees and shrubs that are removed from the downtown center medians and replant them in the unfinished medians at the north end of town. At least our taxpayer dollars for all the trees and shrubs would not be wasted.

Paula Morton

Carson City

Backdoor way to take guns away

Anyone can sympathize with someone falling victim to violence from someone they trust, but loss of gun rights for a misdemeanor is just a bad idea. The trouble with our domestic violence laws is that we do not apply logic in applying them, in the same way we fail with our drunk driving laws.

We continue to lower alcohol limits, but we still let a person get convicted three times in seven years before we finally make it a felony. Set the limits back to something reasonable and make it a felony for a first time offense. Then people might have respect.

With domestic violence, any battery causing notable bodily harm or any assault with a dangerous weapon should be a first offense felony, like it is with stranger on stranger violence. This will take care of that individual having a gun, if they care to respect the law.

What we do not need are people losing their rights over a push-down, a slap or a too hard poke in the chest with a finger. That can be all it takes to get a charge for domestic violence if someone is angry enough to call the police.

As it sets now this looks like just another back door way to get people’s guns away from them.

Kelly Jones

Carson City

Something stinks at the PUC

At the Feb. 12 Nevada PUC meeting, the board listened to the pleas and testimony of the general public asking to have their rooftop solar grandfathered with the original net-metering rates. It was mentioned NV Energy proposed a 20-year grandfathering for all pre-September 2015 rooftop solar installations. Some people mentioned speaking to the legislators that passed SB 374, and the legislators all stated it was not their intention to shut down rooftop solar.

Yet three unelected PUC officials decided it was in the best interest of Nevada to throw Nevada citizens under the wheels of multi-billionaire Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway’s NV Energy monopoly juggernaut, and destroy 17,000 hard working Nevadans’ solar investments. Even Gov. Sandoval stated his disapproval of this decision.

Isn’t the PUC supposed to protect Nevadans from the monopoly energy supplier? Something really stinks at the PUC. Take a big whiff. Can you smell it?

Alex Echo

Carson City