Letters for April 5, 2001

There are no ‘wild mustangs’

Assembly Bill 219 would make the wild mustang a state animal. That’s odd; we already have a state animal, the desert bighorn sheep.

It’s also odd for another reason: There are no “wild mustangs” left. They were killed off long ago, some with and some without the sanction of the state.

If they were to make the “wild horse” another state animal, that would make sense, as there are still some of those left, although they are being systematically eliminated in favor of agriculture.

Obviously, the mustang was named because they aren’t around anymore. It’s probably just a matter of image anyhow.

Pete Bachstadt
Carson City

Vision for Reno, 2005

The year is 2005, and the city of Reno is about to be reborn again. After its previous incarnations, the former “Biggest Little City” is about to finally emerge as a major destination resort.

The centerpiece of this newest embodiment is a grandiose structure, rising some 60 stories tall and extending four city blocks, from Lake Street to West Street, over the once-maligned railroad tracks. The colossal and architecturally built edifice contains the elements of hotel rooms (shared by hotels north and south of the tracks), the National Automobile Museum (whose former site has been converted into a functional City Hall, not far from where the former Riverside 12 movie theater has been reconfigured into a new courthouse), an elaborate train station for passenger trains ala New York’s Grand Central Station, a connector to the National Bowling Stadium and the new regional bus depot, parking for some 2,500 cars and a host of restaurants, bars and shops. Emanating from the third floor of the structure is a monorail system that loops through Sparks, the airport, Meadowood Mall, the Atlantis, the Peppermill and Park Lane Mall before returning.

Virginia Street downtown now functions beautifully as a pedestrian mall, and ugly freight trains have been shunted far to the north. Environmentalists have prevailed, and a greenbelt graces the banks of the Truckee River. And, somewhere, Bill Harrah is smiling.

Harry Spencer

Take a look at death penalty stats

Re “Don’t Deny Death as Deterrent” (RN&R Letters, March 1):

I am interested in the current debate about the death penalty, and I carefully read John Henry’s acerbic comments in your March 1 issue. It was terribly disturbing to experience such negatively phrased input.

First, to address Mr. Henry’s assumption that imposing the death penalty deters murder and other related violent crimes. None of the studies and reports I have at hand supports this conclusion. Often enough, it’s quite the contrary. To cite one example, the Northeast, which carries out fewer than 1 percent of the executions in the United States, has the lowest murder rate. By contrast, the South, which accounts for over 80 percent, consistently has the highest murder rate.

Statistical studies also show that it is usual for a capital trial and its aftermaths to generate triple the expenses of one not involving the death penalty.

Which leads me to another item. In a recent discussion, I was assured the death penalty is necessary so victims’ families and friends will be able to reach closure. What manner of closure do inordinately prolonged processes provide?

Jim Edwards
via e-mail

Clarifying the history of Wings & Things

Re “Twisted Chimney to Re-open as a Restaurant” (RN&R Scene & Herd, March 22):

I read with interest your story about Jeff Gruhler’s renovation and impending opening of the Twisted Chimney. However, I need to take exception to the statement, “Gruhler, who owned Wings & Things on Mill Street for 14 years before selling it last year …” as it’s untrue.

My family and I are very proud to say we founded and operated Wings & Things from its inception in 1986 until we sold it in 1994. The restaurant has, in fact, changed hands several times since then and is still in operation at the same address. Jeff owned Wings & Things for a year and a half, at most.

Whether Jeff characterized himself as the original owner or you merely misunderstood, I felt compelled to let you know the facts. We’re proud that even though it has changed hands and has been through several incarnations, Wings & Things is still there after 15 years. I smile every time I drive by.

Kurt Frohlich & Family