Letters for April 3, 2014

Reno’s lion

Re “Lost painting found” (Upfront, March 27):

So, Bernie Carter wheedles and backroom deals the downtown post office, a popular and widely appreciated piece of local history, for a sweet price and now, listen to him. He’s all Donald Trump with his cutsie replies as to the condition and existence of a widely sought after artwork inside the post office.

“I’m not ready to talk about the painting one way or the other. … I’m not at liberty to talk about it right now.”

Bullcrap. That is not the way someone speaks to the future customers he expects to come traipsing in his little deco mini-mall downtown, I’ll tell him that right now. Not someone who concerns himself with local goodwill, that’s for sure.

I’ll be damned to not let him get his claws on any other local real estate deals in the future after the tone of his replies about the WPA murals inside the downtown post office building. I hope any future tenants of said mini-mall are reading those comments before choosing to stick their head in that putrid, reeking lion’s mouth.

Leo Horishny

Sun Valley

Justice for hire

Re “Reform prisons the right way” (Let Freedom Ring, March 27):

“Right On Crime” pretends to be out in front on the issue. Dig a little and you’ll find ROC is a trojan horse. Marc A. Levin, not Charles Colson, founded this Texas group. Levin previously benefited from a Charles Koch fellowship.

These are radical Libertarians whose agenda goes far beyond rehab vs. prison. They want to largely decriminalize white-collar crime: an occasional fine is all the “free market” needs. Their main cost-savings pitch is (shockingly) for more privatized prisons and private diversion programs. In Libertarianspeak, “reform” can mean “tax dollar harvest time!” They talk a lot about closing prisons, aving money and so forth. That’s to distract from the ongoing takeover of state and federal prisons by the jail barons. Almost half of Texas prisoners are now supervised by these private corporations.

This whole business is about filling beds with billable human beings. Having these profiteers running our prisons injects a dangerous incentive into our justice system. These vendors spend millions (of our tax dollars) lobbying for greater use of their services. The justice system is supposed to be a sacred trust. It’s the last thing we should ever privatize.

C.G. Green


Short but sweet

Re “Strange days” (Left Foot Forward, March 27):

Well written … to sum it up, the mayor of Reno, or any politician for that matter, needs to have more than just 30 bucks and a mouth.

P. Lopez

Nevada City, Calif.

The police we deserve

Re “Who watches the watchers?” (Feature story, Feb. 27):

Police officers who display psychopathic behavioral tendencies shouldn’t be police officers to begin. It seems one reads over and over again that police perpetrators of extreme violence are judged unstable, by courts and by the press. There seems to be a pattern that has evolved in departments through the U.S. to hire personnel that, either noted in their resumes from within movement through the profession, or behavior and experience developed while associated with military service, display psychopathic behaviors. There is a good chance that Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, who were apparently fired from the LA Police Department are now employed in some other department. The campus policeman who shot a student of campus in Texas recently had gone through several law enforcement jobs before the incident. There is an economic factor involved in the under-reporting of police violence in the media. Most police personnel are paid a lot more than local journalists throughout the U.S., and they have very wealthy and protective unions and very favorable judicial tendencies to cover for and protect them. I have personal experience that enables me to write confidently that good local journalists are grossly underpaid, no protection from the judiciary, and in general, are treated like crap. Ultimately, the public is responsible for the miserably militarized state of law enforcement in the U.S. It pays their salaries, and it votes for the public entities that provide all police personnel employment.

Richard Smith

Summit, N.J.

Taxed logic

Re “Let’s get logical” (Editorial, March 27):

The so-called “Education Initiative,” akin to Washington State’s onerous “Business & Occupation” tax, not only should be soundly defeated by Nevada voters, it needs to go down in flames! Indeed, the two leading Republican officeholders in state government need to barnstorm any prospective business contemplating a move to Nevada (Tesla) that the Margins Tax is flying against a headwind from the top.

There are three reasons to oppose the Margins Tax:

1. Monies will not necessarily go for improved education, but rather for administrative bloat and excessive compensation. A retired teacher receives an annual pension of $85,000 for having taught public school in Illinois, the state with the highest deficit in the nation. This teacher stated to Crain’s Chicago Business that she never made that much money during her years actually teaching school. A retiree from teaching community college in California enjoyed a generous health plan never entailing a co-payment.

2. The tax imposes a major administrative headache for all Nevada businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals, and independent contractors because even if it is likely they will not bump up against the threshold, it is a new requirement that everyone will have to worry about, distorting decisions about investment to avoid liability. As someone who prepares income tax returns for entities in California and Illinois, I know from experience what a nightmare anything that may be construed as state income taxation can be.

3. The tax will be counterproductive by driving away businesses already established or contemplating a move here, and prompting many others to reduce their scale of operations. Nevada may appeal to gamblers and outdoor enthusiasts, but its greatest cachet remains that Wyoming is the only other state with “no individual or corporate income taxes”—no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Bill Stremmel


Who knew?

Re “Failed experiment” (Feature story, March 13):

An informative read on the history of medical dope in Nevada. Being a conservative, with libertarian leanings, I have mixed feelings on medical marijuana.

 I find it very ironic that the far left want to outlaw E cigarettes as “health hazards” while standing in line to vote in legal whacky weed. Of course the tax money will “go to the schools,” which is always a sales pitch for more taxes. We will have the newest schools, with kids that are so stoned, they can’t recall their test material.

Just how many legal joints can be smoked before one’s lungs are damaged? We should know in a very few years.

Or it could be like gambling. Folks get their government assistance check on the first, then have given most of it back to the state and fed, by about the third, through the casinos which took their cut of the profits, and the state, which took their bite. And their kids still need shoes. They are the victims of oxygen thief parents, just like always.

 Maybe the legal dope thing will work the very same way. Dopers cash government checks, and the government gets most of it back from the taxes of their legal sales points, a pretty good scheme for those running it.

Ron Ryder