Letters for August 10, 2006

Cemented connections
Re “Brick by brick,” (Arts & Culture, July 20):

The “Brick by brick” article made reference to the California Apartments. I would like to point out that the concrete bricks used to build the apartments were made in the old Reno Cement factory which was owned and operated by my Uncle, Louis Bernasconi. There are many houses still around that were built from those early cement blocks. I was born in Reno in 1932 and returned home after 21 years in the U.S. Navy. My father was the baker at the old Rauhuts Bakery on Commercial Row. I enjoy the RN&R, especially when you write about the local area.

Ted Miller

Horse of a different color
Re “The Horse Traitors,” (Feature story, July 20):

I’d like to say your article was appropriately named but contained plenty of propaganda and not enough facts. I would to state a few for your readers.

Wild horses in Nevada account for 75 percent of the population for the entire country. Numbers, depending who you choose to believe, range from independent studies of 16,000, to government stats that claim 26-36,000. Either way, it’s NOT a lot of animals; if it was anything but a wild horse or burro it would be on the endangered species list. There are approximately 650,000 deer and antelope, 600,000 sheep and 1.3 million cattle competing for water and forage. You tell me who is tearing up the range?

The “problem” of wild horses doesn’t really exist, this is propaganda launched by livestock operators and government agencies back in the late 1950’s. Through years of misinformation and blatant lies, people who know little or nothing about horses let alone wild horses now believe the propaganda. Some government agencies receive federal tax dollars based on the number of wild horses they report to the feds to be roaming the range, so the game continues. Livestock operators interests lie in the fact they pay the government $1.35 per head to graze their livestock on open range for six months…With the price of a ton of hay currently between $160-$220, do the math. A ton will feed a cow for about a month. Bottom line is the government can’t sell a tag on a horse, you can’t round them up and sell them for slaughter, so now the goal is elimination. Even once wild horse sympathetic Harry Reid has sold out, check megavote.com to see how he has voted on wild horse issues recently.

Before the Wild Horse and Burro act of 1971, government agencies rounded up these animals, sold them for slaughter, and made bank. There was more graft running rampant than an Eastern oil deal. The public had no trouble buying into whatever outrageous herd counts were reported, largely because of the shift to town living so they were no longer savy to rangeland issues, and they falsely figured our government knew what they were doing.

As for the statement that horses and burros have no predators, that is absolutely incorrect. Man is the biggest. There are some ranchers who shoot them on sight and just keep quiet (it’s a federal offense you know) Several operators herd them onto private or leased property, claim horses as their property, and sell them for slaughter. Many hundreds are lost annually, prosecutions for these operators are slow and the penalty is not severe enough. The Dan sisters whom were convicted several years ago, recently pulled the same song and dance and are again up for horse slaughter charges.

Horses ARE a prey animal, and anything that is carnivorous will stalk, kill, and eat them. Their only defense is to kick or run…witness lions attacking zebras and imagine mountain lions, coyotes, bear and anything else that eats meat going after the young, weak, injured, or slowest.

Wild horses are NOT “quick breeders” as mentioned in the article.

On the contrary, not all wild horses are mares and can reproduce. Mares don’t generally breed until the age of two or three, and only conceive as factors as age, weather, and available forage dictate. To carry a foal to term takes eleven months and 12-28 days and abortions are many. How can a gestation period of nearly 1 year be quick? Unlike cattle, sheep, deer and antelope, horses rarely have twins and when they do, 95% of the time one or both will die. Not all foals survive their first 36 hours, and thereafter the mortality rate is high due to injury, predators, and illness. Anyone who says the population doubles in five years has a hidden agenda and is a liar.

I was deeply disturbed by the foals that were hog tied and left in the desert for wranglers to “pick up later". The foal in the photo looks to be about 2-3 weeks old, and is a sitting duck for any meat eater in the area, not to mention dehydration and death occurs rapidly in the young. You might as well lock your 3 month old baby in a hot car with the windows rolled up and go to a movie and dinner. The result is the same, only the foal has more survival awareness and KNOWS he is helpless and gonna die!

Something the article didn’t mention, and I am wondering, why haven’t criminal animal abuse charges been brought up against the contractor AND the overseeing government agencies management? Leaving an infant horse on the hot desert, hog tied, thirty, without its mother is the worst form of cruelty and abuse!

If you are interested in getting the TRUTH about these and other wild horse issues, there is no better place than the Wild Horse and Burro Expo at the Livestock Events Center August 18-20, 2006. Government agencies and advocacy groups both will have booths. Talk to both and make up your own mind rather than believing the propaganda spewed upon you by our government, and holey articles.

Also on the agenda at the Expo is a horse and burro show, demonstrations and exhibits by animals that have managed to survive ordeals like Sheldon, with the caring owners who have adopted, love, and trained them. The Expo is free, open to the public, and starts at 8 a.m. each day.

Kathy McCovey

Wake up America!

Is it just a little too convenient that an oil company that is making $7.8 billion dollars profit every fiscal quarter can’t put enough of its windfall profits into the maintenance of a 30-year-old pipeline to prevent this type of made-to-order oil shortage? And do we benefit from this all-too-sudden oil shortage?

NO! We end up paying more for gas, more for food, more for water, more for entertainment, more for absolutely everything that trucks supply us because they have to pay for fuel increases.

Fight back America; enough is enough. We can only work so many hours a day or week. What about our children? Do they not deserve to see us and play with us and enjoy being a family living the American way of life and family values.

Remember The film Network—"I am as MAD as hell, and I am not going to take this anymore.” Well, we are taking it now, and we will have to take it until we are all to poor to even drive to work. Think about patriotism: America is for all Americans.

Erik Lauritzen