Letters for August 21, 2014
Re “Zoom. Zoom.” (Left Foot Forward, July 31):
These schools sound like segregated schools like in the old days, only instead of segregating blacks, Hispanics are being segregated into zoom schools (with a few other kids thrown in so that the appearance of segregation can be denied). It is common knowledge that children learn to speak the language they are surrounded by, and they learn some bits of other languages they are taught, but these taught languages rarely develop into competency like that one sees in the mother tongue. According to the article, the zoom schools have “high populations of English language learners and struggling students.” So the kids would be surrounded mostly by Spanish speaking children, or does someone claim this is not the case? Guess what language is spoken on the playground. Segregating Spanish language speakers does not help Hispanic kids master English. They need more than classroom rudiments to function well. Asking the people who got the taxpayers’ $50 million dollars whether they are succeeding is like Eric Holder investigating himself. Isn’t de facto segregation illegal, not to mention immoral?
Tatiana von Fartzenburg
Same old renaissance
I was driving back to town the other weekend and passed a billboard probably three hours out, near the Bay, for the Silver Legacy Resort. It was advertising the typical things, a washed-up rock band, a stand-up comedian, and some sort of $10,000 slot tournament. Also on the billboard was the “Official Renossance Approved” stamp, something that I have been noticing more around town. I am all for some sort of cultural Renaissance here in Reno, especially after the recent conversations about our image problem. The name of this movement is even pretty catchy. It really seems like a great thing that needs to happen around here. However, as I looked into it more I discovered it’s basically just a marketing campaign for the Silver Legacy, which hasn’t really reached out into the real community that is bringing change to this place. In order for a real Renaissance to happen, it needs to happen with all of our new and interesting businesses. It needs to happen with our music venues and art galleries. It needs to happen with the community, and not with the casinos advertising three hours outside of town for the same old shit that people already associate with us.
They might construe that as negative
Re “Government is not the answer” (Let Freedom Ring, July 31):
It would help your pitch to the new demographics to clarify the relationship between Republican and Libertarian. You should explain that the Republican party is owned and controlled by Libertarian billionaires; Republican office holders merely roll out their “liberty” agenda as ordered. When Republicans can’t defund or deregulate, they just obstruct, broken government being almost as desirable as no government. Assure Millennials and Latinos that once enough of them squeeze inside the angry, white, shriveling tent that is this party, it’ll seem much less crazy in there. And don’t forget the rugged individualist appeal. Tell them they can be just like those plucky Koch brothers (the aforementioned owners). Armed with nothing more than a dream, some elite private schooling, multiple degrees from MIT, an inherited oil fortune, a great tan and perfect teeth, they built an empire—all by themselves. For Latinos, pitch a little more Jesus, a little less billonario. Mexicans come from a place that has both a $0.60 per hour minimum wage and one guy who has $80 billion. Don’t tell them you think the minimum wage should be $0.
Eyes wide open
Re “10 things I hate about Burning Man” (Feature story, Sept. 6, 2007):
I read your piece and find it well-written and fascinating. I am an interested party just now trying to put together a mental picture of me and a Burning Man experience. No tickets for this year, but who knows what the future will bring. I’m handy, mildly creative and willing to immerse myself in BM culture, but articles like yours here are a good basic guide to the trolls of all stripes on the playa. As a hiker and climber, I have often run into Sierra Club groups with an overdeveloped sense of exclusive, aristocratic ownership, much like your participation snobs. I’ve read through most of the BM website, looked at innumerable pics, and then decided I needed to hear about the dark side of BM, during which search I found your article. All the talk of freedom and radical self-expression sounded good, but I kept wondering how that ideal plays out with 70,000 people. The perverts, cougars, participation snobs, yahoos and tourists were all predictable, as was the ambiguous public/private space boundaries, etc., as soon as the floodgates opened in ticket sales. The Borg wanted a city, and they’re getting one, unfortunately. But I just want to say thanks for the well-worded descriptions. They help me to more realistically, and virtually (at this point), knit my spirit into this tapestry with open eyes.
San Dimas, Calif.
Support the support
Washoe County Commissioners David Humke and Kitty Jung, in their recent op-ed in the Reno Gazette-Journal, “Sage grouse need a Nevada solution,” make the case that Nevadans value self-determination and solving local issues right here at home. I couldn’t agree more that Nevada issues need Nevada solutions. It is no surprise that these home-grown, common-sense solutions are a win-win for Nevada. The presented plan places no restrictions on grazing, promotes economic planning, and sets aside important habitat for protection. Myself along with many local family and friends support it, the Washoe County Commission supports it, and our senators are championing it. Please let them know today that you support them in this important matter as well.
To the Harley riders out there loaded with tattoos, foot-long facial hair, jacked up old bikes in need of detailing and paint, ancient leathers, and a criminal record: Thank you. You embody the biker culture and you are how you are not to appear tough, but because you are tough. You have my respect.
To the Harley riders out there with $60,000 bikes, fresh leathers, a private law firm, and a grand total of 20 days per year spent on your motorcycle: You suck. You leave your hybrid in the garage and tool around high-visibility parts of town in force to feel tough for a week during Street Vibrations, but we all know you are poseurs. You are renting a time-share of a culture that you’ll never understand. Each night when you’ve finished pretending, you blaze through my neighborhood at midnight on your overpriced, low-performance Harley, waking up my family and reaffirming to me that you are a poseur. No true badass Harley riders live in my neighborhood; it’s too Pleasantville. I will frequent a dive bar packed with rowdy, authentic, possibly problem-drinking bikers over a casino lounge filled with phony dentists or CPAs or contractors gallivanting in their leathers with their “brothers” for one week a year. We all see right through the act.”