Letters for August 25, 2005

Editorial misfire
Re “Stick to your plan, BRACC,” (Editorial, July 28):

Your editorial “Stick to your plan, BRACC” is curious.

As to the 152nd Airlift Wing, it’s not the BRAC commission that moves 130s out of Reno; rather, it’s the Air Force’s (AF) recommendation. A better title to your editorial would have been: “Believe the Air Force, BRAC.”

With the war in Iraq costing $4 billion a month and the AF wanting new F-22s and F-35s, something had to give. The AF looked at BRAC as one way to help pay for this. But which is better, C-130s or F-22s?

Our 130 unit has fought fires, flown flood relief missions in Venezuela, built schools and a dental clinic in Honduras, and provided humanitarian relief to Haiti. We’ve supported the United Nations in the Balkans, stopping the genocide and supporting a fragile democracy, been to Afghanistan helping put down a brutal Taliban that repressed every freedom, defaced religious monuments and treated women like slaves.

Can the F-22 do this?

Like BVD’s column “Get slick, oil companies,” there are many who say “Sorry, Air Force, but you got some serious credibility problems.” They messed up the tanker buy, they can’t bring projects in on budget, and everyone knows they can’t back the data supporting their recommendations. Now their plan will leave only 10 C-130s west of the Rockies. Is that enough? With your editorial, indirectly, you’ve called for bullets over beans, who’d a thunk it?

Col. Jon Proehl Commander, 152nd Airlift Wing

Footloose in Reno
On a recent Saturday night, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Los Lonely Boys rocked the house at the Reno Events Center. Those who attended enjoyed the great music. But those who wanted to dance, and there were many, weren’t allowed to by an overzealous security staff. Granted, security is responsible for keeping the aisles open in case of an emergency, and when people rush up from the back, it can be a problem. But the crowd wasn’t a problem, security was.

Come on Reno, if you’re going to bring great bands to the Events Center, then do security a favor and provide dance space. Arrange the seating so that dancing is allowed off to either side of the stage, or elevate the floor seating a few feet and provide a dance floor directly in front of the stage. People paid good money to see Robert Randolph and Los Lonely Boys, and they wanted to dance. I was thinking of buying tickets to see Tom Petty, the Black Crows and Santana. But until the Reno Events Center gets a clue and provides dance space, I think I’ll pass and see these artists elsewhere.

Chris Conway

Thanks for fearless coverage
Re “Hot August Nights sends chills,” (Editorial, Aug. 11):

As a fellow journalist, I agree with your recent editorial “Hot August Nights Sends Chills,” calling on the news media to write about criminal activity that takes place at local events like Hot August Nights. I assume you’ll apply this same approach to your coverage of the annual Burning Man festival. You could start by explaining to us how a “non-profit” event can gross $8 million.

Your reporters could describe the massive consumption of illegal drugs by the free spirits who attend Burning Man. And then they could tell us how many of the 1,500 medical cases treated at the festival are drug overdoses disguised as “heat prostration.” Next, the RN&R could inform its readers how much Washoe County taxpayers are shelling out for the medical evacuations—some by helicopter—that originate from Black Rock City each year.

And finally, the RN&R could tell us how much the kiddies enjoy this annual family event. In other words, I look forward to your fearless, hard-hitting coverage of Burning Man ‘05 in accordance with your admirable desire “to start meeting our (journalistic) responsibility to tell the public all of what is happening during these events, positive and negative.” I can hardly wait.

Guy W. Farmer
Carson City

Grow our own oil
Re “Repeal hemp prohibition,” (Essay, Aug. 4):

Bravo for your article on industrial hemp last week.

Hemp as a fuel is certainly worth considering. There is no way that we can run all our vehicles on used grease from McDonalds, but planting hemp farms may help alleviate our dependency on fossil fuels.

Hemp farms could not only provide diesel fuel for many of our vehicles, but it is a drought-tolerant, soil-improving crop which requires no pesticides, nor intense oil-dependent farming techniques.

Hemp makes a stronger fabric than cotton (water and pesticide dependent), makes a superior paper, and provides healthy omega-oils which will help lower our cholesterol.

For a nation which is so dependent on foreign fuels, it’s pretty stupid to not prepare to become self-sufficient.

Growing industrial hemp and legalizing pot are two entirely different things. However, I think we should implement them both.

Craig Bergland