Letters for August 14, 2014

We’re not really short

Thanks for printing my letter a couple of weeks ago! I feel honored. If you find yourself short of letters: Weird Al is great! Suffering from a family drama produced and created by my child, I turned to Al Yankovic for solace, and it was forthcoming in a form all can realize if they are partly weird like I am. First was his “Foiled,” parodying “Spoiled,” in which he summarizes his plan for placing an aluminum foil over his head to prevent his brain waves getting into the atmosphere and being killed by a governmental drone attack by the head of our CIA. Secondly, he pretends to be a drum major, heading out onto the playing field of a football team with his band, singing to the opposing team, telling them how stupid and weak they are; i.e. the German soccer team could have assembled and sang, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” in that they won the world title. (Wonder if this would have interested Ann Coulter, conservative columnist who is bored by soccer?) Feel free to add, subtract, or even write the same letter twice if you still have empty space.

Jeannie Jackson



Re “Corporations are people, just like us” (Left Foot Forward, July 10):

I agree with Sheila Leslie. The Hobby Lobby decision allows closely-held corporations to potentially claim religious exemption from covering any medical treatment. Some “people” have religious objections extending to in vitro fertilization. Try paying for that benefit out-of-pocket. What about “people” whose religion prohibits any medical treatment? When medical treatment is an “out-of-pocket” expense, the cost can be prohibitive. According to a New York Times June 30 article, “How Hobby Lobby ruling could limit access to birth control,” an IUD implantation and follow-up care cost a minimum of $1,000. Even if an employee manages the four-figure bill, Hobby Lobby might have religious objections to her using sick-leave. Respecting Hobby Lobby’s “religious convictions” may be hazardous to a woman’s health. Pregnancy can be fatal for some women, requiring effective contraception. A blood clot history rules out most birth control pills. True, women can purchase their own contraceptives, but that defeats the purpose of the Affordable Care Act. How can a corporation having “religious” objections to some contraceptives have no objection to investing in companies that manufacture those contraceptives? And why don’t they object to vasectomies, Viagra, or other male medical treatments?

Merle Levy


Out of context

Re “Or, do unto others” (Letters to the Editor, July 17):

The fourth article of the U. S. Constitution states, “credit shall be given in each state.” There is more, but by choosing carefully which words I use, I can make any hare-brained point. Fred Hinners’ partial quote from Thessalonians proves my assertion.

Is Hinners not getting enough freebies from the feds? What an individual (or commune) work for and save should be theirs without some benefit-sucking drone taking away their hard-earned treasures.

His misrepresentations are reprehensible but typical of partially educated individuals who would rather destroy what others have than to actually work to support themselves. If you insist on talking out of context, sooner or later we’ll hear B. Bunny stating, “Ehh, what a maroon.”

Norris Mellon

via email

Stop the killing

Civilians have paid a horrific price in the ongoing violence in Gaza.

I hope my members of Congress will support and work for a lasting ceasefire that includes lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The U.S. has particular responsibility to help end the killing since U.S. weapons are fueling this conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross has called the blockade collective punishment against a civilian population. U.S. policymakers must call for lifting the blockade to ensure a durable ceasefire.

While it’s imperative to address the immediate crisis, I also hope the U.S. will support long-term stability by shifting from a militarized approach in the Middle East to one rooted in inclusive, diplomatic solutions. The success of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran and the agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons demonstrates that the world can be made a safer place through diplomacy, not more bombing.

Richard Miano

via email


Re “Family guide” (Supplement, July 24):

I was dismayed by the unrealistically thin teenage girl on the cover of this section. It didn’t seem consistent with your values to show the kind of picture that contributes to body image problems and eating disorders in tweens and teens. Shame on you!

Gingi Olstad


Love the one you’re with

I’m no prude, but there’s too much sex going on. Too many people copulating like bonobo apes. The best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies is to not to have sex. This option is free.

Or just go solo. Ladies, you can use vibrators, and for the gentlemen, inflatable dolls.

Donna Manning


Or a sea change

Re “Zoom. Zoom.” (Left Foot Forward, July 31):

Every teacher knows that a low student-to-teacher ratio increases the ability for teaching and learning. What was not mentioned is the yardstick that is being used to measure the learning. When reading levels are assessed, it is with each student actually reading one-on-one with their teacher. The teacher can pick a time for the assessment when the student is ready to succeed and observe their performance to verify that it correlates with the student’s normal classroom ability. It is usually a very accurate assessment vehicle. The standardized testing that is used to evaluate each individual student’s learning in the other areas of the curriculum is not as accurate and their results are often misleading. There are many reasons for poor test performance. Unfortunately, it is the standardized testing that determines Nevada’s national ranking and will in all probability determine the fate of zoom schools. We do need to allow more teacher time per student. Zoom schools show the way. We also need to expand our measurements of learning to include additional assessments, like the reading level assessments. Standardized testing is not the whole answer. We need a paradigm shift in order to succeed in education.

Darcie Smith-Smiley



In our Aug. 7 Arts & Culture story “Walk this way,” we incorrectly stated that a $10 Art Walk Reno ticket would include a hand-painted glass by a featured artist. The $10 ticket includes a plain Art Spot glass. The ticket with the hand-painted glass was $15. Additionally, this article stated that the Art Walk would include “a raffle of prizes worth about $700, including a $40 limited-edition print by the featured artist—approximately 25 other prizes will be on sale.” “Prizes” was incorrect; it should read “25 other prints will be on sale.”

In our Aug. 7 Green story, “Off the grid,” we said that Envirohaven won the 2012 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition and received $50,000. This was incorrect. Envirohaven did not win the grand prize of $50,000 but was a finalist in both 2012 and 2013 in this competition.

We apologize for any confusion these errors might have caused.