Letters for April 2, 2015

Guns are OK

Re “High noon” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 26):

When I read the “High noon” letter to the editor, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. For any real criminals out there actually planning to commit murder, any “no firearms on campus” laws won’t even be a speed bump on the way to their insane plans.

Who do these “gun-free zone” laws actually affect? The law-abiding gun owners who will be rendered unarmed and defenseless along with their peers when the next Adam Lanza, Elliot Rodger, or Seung-Hui Cho decides to fly off the rocker and perpetrate another campus tragedy. I would ask those who insist on disarming the only people who might defend them in such an attack—would they prefer defense with scissors, or negotiation, or to just hide under our desks and hope the police arrive soon?

To the writer who thinks guns are evil and currently feels safe walking in the dark to her car because of existing law, reality check—why would a potential attacker, who is apparently not deterred from committing a crime of assault, robbery, or rape, be deterred from committing a lesser crime of carrying a firearm in a prohibited area? If you really want to be safe, please look into improving your self-defense and situational-awareness skills, which in the real world does include the responsible, competent carrying of a firearm in certain situations if you choose. That said, I urge readers considering contacting their legislators about Assembly Bill 2 to keep in mind that the term “campus carry” is a misnomer. The bill as written would only allow firearms that are kept completely out of view and must remain a) inside the owner’s vehicle while it is occupied, or b) in a locked box in that locked vehicle when it is not. Basically, it decriminalizes the situation where a responsible gun owner spends time on campus during the day and wants to avoid driving all the way home to drop off a firearm, but wants to be safe and follow the law.

Pablo Rivera


Our corporate owners

Re “Driving us crazy” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, March 5):

Big government exists to protect the majority of us plebs from the bad behavior of a minority of loophole delving, corner whacking, bottom dwellers. Rights pounders can expand a sentence in the Bill of Rights and constitutional amendments into a whole galaxy of rights with infinite variability of interpretation. Responsibility gets the dark matter treatment, unless we get pissed off enough to demand a law or two to curtail some of the more egregious examples of loophole exploitation. And if “right thinking” legislators can’t find a loophole, or generate one through legislation, there’s always the tactic of cutting off the enforcement and protection staff at the knees by removing a few zeros from their funding.

Rick Woods


Borders on slander

Re “Who does Congress work for?” (Letters to the Editor, March 5):

Mr. Reynolds, while stating his opinions regarding our illustrious members of the United States Congress in a very articulate manner, nevertheless can’t help himself from considering himself to be a member of the elite liberal progressive class. The problem is that all his accusations of lies and lack of scientific knowledge directed at Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity provide no examples of those so-called lies. Having a difference of opinion is a cherished right and tradition in our country, but his statements border on slander. All commentators make mistakes while being on the air for many hours every week. My experience with the same media commentators is that Fox, Rush, Sean and many other conservatives will certainly make corrections when being advised of a different conclusion or facts by the listeners. I seldom hear the same admittance by the liberal media.

As to scientific knowledge of the individual mentioned, I can only assume that Mr. Reynolds is talking about “Global Warming” or whatever the liberal media chooses to call nature’s constant changes. As to the “war on drugs,” there will always be advocates who claim that the “war on drugs” is a failure. Depending on one’s outlook on drug use, vigorous debate is called for. The legalization of marijuana in several states will provide us with scientific data and medical information within a few years. Of course, I believe that the long-term results of legalization will be negative, and I can only hope that I will be wrong. What we need to concentrate on is Congress following the dictates of the Constitution, which they haven’t done for decades. That Constitution, in my opinion, is the grandest document ever written and if the desire is there, it will provide the continuation of the great nation we once were.

Fred Speckmann


They should sell it by the pound

Re “Algae blues” (Green, Feb. 26):

The abundant nutrient load in this shallow little “Virginia Lake” pond has been building up for nearly a century now, to the point that outflow from this “lake” can be considered a point source discharge, no different in kind from the outflow of a primarily treated sewage pond. And primary treatment pond effluent is illegal to dump into surface waters in the U.S. We have several ecological “co-conspirators” that are converging to create this water quality regulation migraine here: avifauna, which are continually depositing nutrients; a timeline of many decades of that nutrient buildup; the current lack of a biotic means of removing those nutrients; warm summer temperatures which favor toxic blue green algae; lack of circulation; and an abundance of photosynthetically active radiation (sunlight) due to the unshaded nature of this system.

All of these conditions are old hands at creating and exacerbating algal bloom problems. If we actually want to address this stinky little headache instead of just kicking the can down the road and hoping the Environmental Protection Agency looks the other way, we’ll need to remove the numerous decades’ worth of nutrients from the system, cool the pond to slow the system down, and shade the water column to deprive those pesky little algal cells of their photosynthetic and growth inducing sunbathing time.

What I propose to do all three of these things is use floating, solar powered, irrigated hydroponic “rafts” that we can plant rapidly growing plants on. The genus Mimulus comes to mind, but there are several local genera that fit the bill.

To get these nutrients out of the system, these plants would need to be harvested periodically, and composted elsewhere, such as in a terrestrial restoration project where the nutrients would be happily sucked up by hungry native vegetation, out in the desert somewhere. Talk to those busy bees over at the Friends of Nevada Wilderness as to where they’d want some compost. I bet they’d be more than glad to have it. An effective means of feeding these floating gardens would be to use small, solar powered pumps to pull water from low in the water column, where nutrient concentrations would be higher—and the water cooler—to feed the plants. These rafts would, of course, be attractive to waterfowl. As such, exclusion cages or even just a system of tightly spaced vertical spikes would be needed to keep the bigger dirty birdies off the platforms so the nutrients wouldn’t just be recycled as goose poop right back into the system. And it would put Reno on the map for using intelligent biological methods to solve a problem, rather than just wringing our hands.

Chris Rosamond