Some end-of-the-year drive-by Muthings |

Some end-of-the-year drive-by Muthings

Chuck Muth
For the Appeal

The Carson City Board of Supervisors informed me last week that the Department of Parks & Recreation closed the city’s indoor pool on Sundays for the duration of the winter because practically no one was using it. Um, if no one’s using the existing pool then why are the supervisors pushing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to build a new one? I’m just asking.

• Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice warning about the potential “devastating impact” a “single large” near-monopoly could have on the well-being of Nevada’s citizens. Alas, she was complaining about the proposed merger of two private insurance companies and not the public school system. Go figure.

• University Chancellor Jim Rogers continues to claim there’s no fat in the university system’s budget to cut. Maybe Mr. Rogers could explain the critical need for UNLV to pay $59,670 a year for an “Executive Chef” at the Thomas & Mack basketball center. Those must be some darned tasty hotdogs!

• Letter-to-the-editor writer James Strange recently took me to task for criticizing the taxpayer-funded “Culture of Pizza” course being offered by our system of “higher education,” maintaining that “a well-educated populace is necessary if we’re to expand and diversify our economic base and cope with the challenges of the 21st century.” Strange (pun intended), but the writer failed to ‘splain exactly which 21st century challenges the Culture of Pizza will help us all cope with. Then again, Mr. Strange is a math professor and an employee of the university system, so no wonder it doesn’t add up.

• In response to my column last week suggesting that the debate over potential financial benefits from Yucca Mountain be opened to the public, Bob Loux inked a column yesterday calling the notion “nonsensical.” He also launched into his patented anti-Yucca “Chicken Little” routine, breathlessly pleading, “What’s the going price these days for an ecosystem contaminated by radioactivity?”

Oh, puh-lease. This is exactly the kind of radioactive (pun intended) rhetoric which has been used to stifle debate and public discussion of this issue for over two decades now. I’m surprised Mr. Loux didn’t warn that flashlights would become obsolete once our kids begin glowing in the dark.

I guess I should note that other than a box lunch provided me when I toured the Yucca Mountain facility a decade ago, neither I nor my organization has ever received a dime from pro-Yucca interests. Wish it were otherwise. Kids’ shoes ain’t cheap. On the other hand, Mr. Loux has been getting paid rather handsomely to dump on the dump for over 20 years now. So consider the source.

• By the way, as I submitted this column to my editors yesterday morning, the Appeal’s online question, “Would you favor the Yucca nuclear dump if it could solve the state’s economic woes?” showed that almost half of respondents answered “Yes.” And more people had responded to this poll question than all but one of the last 50. Which tells me the public desperately wants and needs to have this debate despite the sky-is-falling hysterics of the anti-nuclear energy crowd. Happy New Year!

Chuck Muth, of Carson City, is president and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a political blogger. Read his views Fridays on the Appeal Opinion page or visit