Comic Timing

Warm kitchen

Re “Comic Timing” (Arts & Culture, April 10):

I do appreciate the publicity for the open mic scene in Reno,which I am quite fond of, but why would someone so clearly meant to review Disney’s latest release attend a comedy open mic? Things that make us uncomfortable are often the same things that make us laugh. Every comedian deserves the chance to figure out that line without their open mic material being up for review. An open mic is a space to figure out if a joke just shocks the audience or if it’s actually funny. Why would you judge a musician on a sound check or an athlete on his workout routine? A comedian and an open mic are no different. Stand-up depends on a live audience, so open mics are our practice space. You want refined, pay for a show. My tip to Katie Dow and any other reporter before attempting a similar review is to know what a comedy open mic is before attending. You’re going to hear potentially distasteful material, and that’s OK. The Aussie comic Steve Hughes sums it up better than I can: “So what, be offended, nothing happens.” In other news, I’m looking forward to Katie Dow’s upcoming review of Frozen.

Mark Manning

Kings Beach, Calif.

Good triumphs?

The Nuremberg trials witnessed the end to a tyrannical government. During the 1930s, Nazism pulled Germany out of the doldrums of the Great Depression. They were the anointed ones in the eyes of the German people, Obama/Reid was the anointed ones in the eyes of the American people in 2009, even though Obama increased the national debt 42 percent in less than eight years. Both parties have gone down in history as being masters of deception. Hang in there, Clark County rancher Cliven Bundy, the Dems will find out the good always prevails over evil!

Mike Arp


Go west; it’s the best

Re “Ask not for whom the tax rolls” (Left Foot Forward, April 3):

As a past resident and business owner in Oregon for 22 years I was greatly amused by Sheila Leslie’s comparison of sales taxes in Oregon and Nevada. Does she honestly think that if the state of Oregon imposes a corporate tax on a business that it doesn’t get passed on to the consumer? And don’t get me started on the Business Income and Business Property Taxes that most Oregon counties impose on registered businesses.

And quit trying to compare Oregon’s lack of a sales tax with Nevada. While Oregon has no sales tax, it does have a 9 percent state income tax that applies to the first $10,000 of income.

And please stop with the illogical argument that a sales tax hurts the poor. A sales tax applies to everyone, regardless of income. And it makes even those that get “paid under the table” or paid in cash contribute to the state general fund.

Here’s a suggestion for Ms. Leslie, since she seems to like taxes so much: She could move to our neighboring state of California, where the sales tax is approaching 9 percent in the Bay Area. She will be taxed on almost anything that moves, breathes, or has value.

Dave Abel


Better off dead

Re “A date with destiny” (Feature story, April 10):

You have written a very poignant story. It’s a shame but inevitable that people like Herndon meet the end they do. I’m not denigrating him personally. I understand how people are negatively influenced by their bad family or more often, the lack of a family with an authority figure (read, most commonly, a father) to teach a child how to be a man or even how to be a respectable woman. On the other side of the argument, is the community better off without another meth addict, thief and burden on society? That sounds cold, but I have had a break-in where wrapped Christmas presents were stolen from under a tree as well as CDs and a camera and a stereo from my car. These things were stolen so they could be sold for cents on the dollar by a proven doper in the first case and an unknown in the second case, so I’m not so forgiving.

There is often a lopsided amount of sympathy expressed for the perpetrator than for the victims. I suggest you write a follow up article on the person whose Grand Am was stolen and worth only $100 to Herndon. That car could have been their only means of transportation, they may have lost their job because they couldn’t get to work, it could have been the only they owned outright, there could have been any number of impacts on their innocent life because somebody desperate for a meth fix was “more important” than them.

Your article was very well written and not an opinion piece, which is refreshing. The cops may have overreacted, but people forget that they are human, too. Most of the time people get what they ask for. There are so many inexplicable acts people do that I really believe there are such a thing as “demons” that drive people to do awful things to others and themselves.

Rick Jenkins

via email

Mayor Rocky

Re “Urban gurerilllas” (News, April 3):

The article about raccoons unfortunately starts and focuses on negatives and sensationalism, rather than on the more useful information from Chris Healy of NDOW and Barry Brode of Washoe Animal Control. As they both state, wildlife is only attracted to neighborhoods for food or shelter, and it is easy to prevent conflicts by simply removing attractants. Secure garbage cans and store pet food inside. Keep birdfeeders out of reach and use trays to reduce seed on the ground, a major attractant. Close pet doors at night! (Pet doors that open to food—kitchens or pet food storage—are irresistible.) Repair any holes in floors, attics or other enclosed and sheltered spaces. Motion-activated sprinklers also can scare animals away, but it’s best to prevent attracting animals in the first place.

Sherry Guzzi

Tahoe City, Calif.

Fossil fuel folly

Re “On second thought” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, April 10):

Yes, a cleanup fund is a huge necessity. Doesn’t need to be reinvented either, just use the Alaska Dividend fund as boilerplate. Oil companies were forced to create it. The way it was written (based on a Canadian railroad workers fund) leaves it totally out of reach of political misdirection for “good” causes. Why? Keystone’s grimy black record of pipeline maintenance, for one. Case in point is a largely unremarked major pipeline break in Michigan that trashed the Kalamazoo River for 30 miles. BP was drawing all the media attention while Keystone was able to kick a little dirt over that one.

Rick Woods


No cash for oil

Re “On second thought” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, April 10):

It would have been nice if Obama had somehow been able to leverage a carbon tax out of the permitting of the Keystone. Maybe it is not too late. Revenues could be used for subsidizing clean, green alternatives.

Ron Schoenherr