Letters for August 13, 2015

It depends on how the money is delivered

Re “Studies funding revealed” (Upfront, June 11):

This article is almost enlightening and almost news. After the recent scandal in climatology with so called scientist changing and cherry-picking data to support the conclusion of man-caused global warming, we need to look closely at anything coming out of the scientific community that could influence public policy.

Using doom and gloom predictions to influence public policy has always been a popular and effective tactic. We look back at the hysteria that solar eclipses used to cause and the advantage that huckster politicians and priests use to take of it and smugly know we are enlightened as we turn off our electric lights and burn candles to fend off global warming. I myself am sponsoring a study to determine if people who send me money are smarter, healthier and live longer. I will let you know the results.

Arguan Modeth


Literally speaking

Re “Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada” (Feature story, Aug. 6):

We always appreciate the “Best of Northern Nevada” issue and RN&R’s commitment to marking the changes that happen in Northern Nevada, especially those featuring our creative local culture and characters. We were surprised, though, to see that with the exception of the bookstores categories there were no literary figures, events, or places listed this year. Our whole region is in the midst of a literary revival. There are now two Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programs, and the city has its first Poet Laureate, Gailmarie Pahmeier, the subject of a terrific profile in your paper.

We have four significant literary magazines, and our residents and alumni continue to publish work worthy of national recognition. And just as exciting, we have a fast-growing number of literary events around the region, including public readings, literary festivals, workshops, salons and more. In that spirit, we hope that the RN&R will consider bringing back the literary category for “Best Creative Writer” for the 2016 edition (perhaps even bringing back your genre categories), and that you also consider adding “Best Literary Event/Reading Series/Reading Venue” categories as well. We’re working hard to make the Reno-Tahoe region a literary epicenter in the West, and would be grateful for the RN&R’s support via the Best Of list!

Mark Maynard



Re “Off the wall” (Art of the State, July 2):

It’s unfortunate that the Liberty Street murals were painted over, but Vagner’s facts are a bit off. No one “Zero Dark Thirtied” their way in at 1 in the morning to paint over the murals. The buildings were repainted Sunday at 6 a.m. due to parking and traffic concerns. It is downtown Reno after all. Work was halted several times so passersby could take pictures of the murals before they were painted over. I wonder if the person who tagged the back of the building did so in the light of day.

Chris Smith


Head of the class

Re “The 2015 Nevada Legislature was a mixed bag” (Let Freedom Ring, June 11):

I give Brendan Trainor an “F” for not seeing the truth in these “school choice bills.” Nothing but veiled income and race discrimination. I will also give an “A+” to the same for his continued “trickle down” mentality that has failed this nation since Reagan was in office.

Mark Mcphail


We think so you don’t have to

Re “Self-defense rare in gun deaths” (July 16):

The Violence Policy Center is a pure propaganda outfit with no regard for the truth. If you expect to be taken seriously, you need to quote legitimate sources, or quote sources who might disagree. You know, the old “we report, you decide” mantra.

Stephen Bloyd

Carson City

Very interesting

Re “Give ‘em the bird” (Feature story, July 30):

I’ve been reading the RN&R since Vol. 1, No. 1—seems like over 20 years ago. But lately your stories have been much more interesting than usual. Somebody new at the paper?

I read, with great interest, the story about the Red-tailed hawks. It mentioned that they eat rodents and small birds. I’m here to tell you that they will take larger birds, too, if they are that hungry. I’m a seagull feeder, and I’ve seen the Red-tails stalking those beautiful birds many times. I’ve never seen a catch, I’m happy to say, but that’s because the gulls are very aware of the fatal intentions of hawks.

Keep the interesting stories coming.

Brad MacKenzie


Clean it up

While taking a morning walk by the river, I couldn’t help but be astounded by the effects of the drought. I’m not talking about the water-coming-from-the-sky drought, I’m talking about the lack of positive attention and maintenance coming from the Reno city government drought. The area east of Virginia Street is totally inundated with trash. Both in the river and around it. Between the rusty broken shopping cart on the walking path and the sleeping bags strewn all over the place, you would think the place is becoming a wasteland of human negligence. It’s so shockingly bad that it almost has an apocalyptic feel to it.

The city should use some of that rebranding money and put it towards cleaning the river and areas around it, and it should instruct law enforcement to aggressively enforce whatever laws are on the books about not letting people camp out by the river and leave all their trash behind. The city government should view the Truckee River as the flowing jewel in the heart of the city, and therefore take full responsibility for its wellbeing. Who knows, maybe then the snow and the rain will come back. It’s a nice thought, at least.

David Flynt


Selective outrage?

Re “Loaded argument” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Aug. 6):

Bruce Van Dyke, like so many others, is awed by Africa’s charismatic mega fauna while turning a blind, uncaring eye to deer, cows, pigs, chickens and other animals exploited by us.

Earth to Bruce: “Sportsmen” hunt deer for the fun of it, not to put food on the table. They go for the big rack bucks just as dentist Palmer went for a big-maned male lion. Deer feel just as much pain and fear as a lion. Only an asshole would shoot off Bambi’s head.

And what about livestock? Pigs and chickens, for example, lead short miserable lives in factory farms, never getting the chance to roam free. At least that lion lived the wild life for 13 years. Speaking of roaming free, Bruce should hate zoos, which are mental and physical cages for lions, their instincts curbed by walls and zoo keepers, gawked at by tourists all day every day.

If “Cecil” were a warthog, would Bruce or anyone else care? I doubt it. Good looking animals trump ugly. How shallow we are.

Clyde Mason