Letters for April 10, 2014

Short stories

The city of Reno, based on one person’s complaint of the parking meters “being too high” for them to operate (Reno Gazette-Journal), shortened the meters without litigation in March 2014! Now, everyone with a complaint about any code, regulation or condition on a personal whim can now demand change without process unless the city of Reno creates law making it no longer liable for future complaints or demands. Why would a city, in gesture, open its doors to the act by example to capitulate to one persons complaint, removing the code of a firewall it has in place to protect it from any whim as arbitrary personal feelings or dislikes from every citizen!

Chris Beard


Editor’s note: Actually, the issue was that people in wheelchairs couldn’t see the meters to use them. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law, and the City Council shouldn’t have to be forced by litigation to comply with the law or to do the right thing.

A white lie

Re “The organic food lie” (Feature story, Feb. 13):

Thank you for a well-written article. While it may be extreme to call it an “organic lie,” this article does a good job of pointing out that genetic modification is not related to “organic.” Organic is a misnomer, actually meaning C/H/O/N/P containing compounds. A GMO plant can be more environmentally-friendly, or “organic,” than a non-GMO, because it can be engineered to be more fit in whatever environment it lives. To reject GMOs universally is baseless, as some genetic modifications are unquestionably beneficial. If you are anti-genetics, you are working against environmentalism and even treatments for human disease. So, please, be more specific.

John Lilly


The big difference

Re “The organic food lie” (Feature story, Feb. 13):

It would have been extremely appropriate to define the difference between trans genetic modification versus using cis genes in genetic modification. It is not simply a question of GMO or non-GMO. To treat the question so basically is apathetic.

Anna Breen


Til we get bored

How long are you slavishly going to print every letter that capitalist running dog Fred Speckmann sends you in reply to Bruce Van Dyke’s musings?

It is a downright honor to be called a moron by that stooge for the Koch brothers and their ilk.

Renate Fong


Damn freedom

Re “Bad hair life” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, April 3):

Hell has finally frozen over, I find myself in agreement with Bruce Van Dyke on at least part of a story. I agree with him regarding the “bridgegate” Gov. Chris Christie’s bridge closing scandal. I, too, question why Gov. Christie shouldn’t be held responsible? He either ordered or knew about it, or he should have known and not have underlings making those kinds of decisions. Either way, although I like his directness in dealing with union thugs and liberal media, I have lost trust in him.

In the second part of Van Dyke’s column however, he has fallen back on his preferred pattern of personal attacks. By now, I fully realize that your newspaper wants to be the rebel of the newspaper world and give your columnists free rein over what they write. However, it would seem that decency requires that these childish personal attacks against people that he disagrees with politically would cease, and he attempts to explain why he differs with the individual he attacks so vehemently. Mr. Van Dyke should try some manners that I’m sure his mother attempted to instill in him as a boy. He might even find that the readers of your newspaper could appreciate his point of view.

Fred Speckmann


Recall the coons

Re “Urban guerillas” (News, April 3):

I live in the Old Southwest section of Reno. I read this article with interest, hoping to find out how to make raccoons go back to their storm drains. My dog barks at the raccoons that come right up on the porch and taunt her at night. I have to get up and let her chase them up a tree at 3 a.m. if I want to get some sleep. I was disappointed the article told me little more than its headline.

Sandra Delehanty


Editor’s note: Paragraph 14 dealt with Washoe animal control official Barry Brode: “He said available pet food is probably the single biggest reason raccoons show up somewhere, or frequent a place more than once. Thus, not leaving food outside is the best way to keep them away.” For a bit more information, check out our editorial on page 5 this week.

Don’t judge

Recently, I was in front of the Wells Fargo building downtown. I had just parked my car and was walking with my 2-and-half-year-old daughter into the building. Two Washoe County Social Workers were walking along the building toward the Washoe County Social Services office. One of the two women, commented that my child had a cute shirt. I thanked her while the second social worker said, “Now all she needs is a coat.” My belief was that entering into social work entailed leaving personal judgment aside. What this social worker does not know is that I adopted my child through Washoe County Social Services. This means that my husband and I not only had to take many hours of classes but also had to pass background checks and a home study/inspection as well as six months of being considered foster parents until we could proceed with adoption. I am saddened, disheartened and annoyed that this social worker felt the need to berate me as a parent in public. I don’t believe this is how the majority of the social workers in this county behave and hope that Washoe County discourages their social workers from making these types of unnecessary comments to complete strangers that aren’t part of their caseload.

Alyna Harrall


Editor’s note: Due to an inexplicable technical error, our third place poetry winner, Sparkie Allen’s “Tuolumne” got butchered. She says anyone who wants to read the poem in its original incarnation can check out her book “Algebra for Women” from the Washoe County Library, or they can even buy a copy at lulu.com. Here’s the poem as read by our judges.


Did you detest

this alien life:

your voice lost

in monotony of daily song?

Russet hawk

keening above you

in the blue;

between granite walls,

his beating wings

center the void,

and the pulse

of your sad blood.


are made small

at the caress

of a raptor’s breeze.