Letters for August 25, 2011

Bad publicity

Re “Welcome to the juggle” (Arts&Culture, Aug. 4):

I am really ashamed the fine people at Reno News & Review had nothing better to write about than a group of kids who listen to violent music that promotes vigilante justice. Normally, I am very tolerant of all beliefs, but these people who supposedly respect everyone just put my 16-year-old brother in the hospital. Two of them jumped him, and another split his head and face open with a knife. The reason was he spoke to one of their girlfriends.

People who would do such a thing, who claim to respect others, but go around Reno exacting their own form of justice, these are the people who get the cover of my favorite publication. People who split my loved one’s head open because they could, just got more publicity, more traction for their message and way of life.

Thank you for digging that thorn just a little deeper into mine and the sides of this fine city.

Name withheld

Party on

Re “Demystifying the special election” (Right to Your Head, Aug. 18):

I was disappointed that Sean Cary thinks only two people are running in the U.S. House special election. Two of the problems with American politics are the emphasis on the two-party system and a media that only talks about candidates they think have a chance of winning. It’s the exact same crap that’s been happening to Ron Paul.

I would like to point out that there are two other candidates for the special election. Helmuth Lehmann is running as an independent. His website is www.helmuthforcongress.com. He can be reached at (775) 200-3874. Tim Fasano is the Independent American Party candidate. His website is http://electtimfasano.com. He can be reached at (775) 835-6136.

In the future, I hope your paper will list all candidates, not just the Democrat and Republican candidates.

Karen Inda

It’s a popularity contest

Re “Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada” (Feature story, Aug. 11):

I read that 3,888 people submitted votes for the “Best Of” issue. I do wonder though, just how many of each of the categories, for each vote submitted, were filled in.

Did just 5 percent of a category have something written in, and of that, the most votes won? Did just 10 votes cause a business to win? Even though there may be a thousand available choices—places that serve breakfast, for example—did the voters visit several places of the same type throughout the city, or were they biased by going to only one place in the past year?

Were the “Best Of” winners influenced by the fact that the business is simply well publicized? For example, Del Hardy’s firm has an hour each week on The Panama Show KBZZ 1270. so his firm must deserve the ‘best lawyer’vote? Or that because they are a “big box/national” store, they must be better than a local store, so the voter wrote it in “just because,” even if they did not visit the store themselves?

I would like to see the categories broken down further into “national/big box” and “local/independent” areas. Maybe on the form have a check mark box inserted where whomever votes can mark that they did in fact visit or voted only because they heard of the place. Aaron Brothers was chosen for best framing, likely because they are national and have a large sign and large building off a main roadway. How many people know that in South Reno there are a dozen other independent framers that, due to their location, do not even have a sign or a sign in a visible location? They are listed in the yellow pages, but possibly due to a “big box mentality,” they are ignored.

Yes, it is somewhat hard not to have some bias in a vote. Face it, if you are a hard right Republican or hard left Democrat, trying to pry their vote to another view will doubtfully happen. I would bet in many cases many of the categories were not even filled in. How many of the 3,888 people have needed to have a picture framed?

Be it that I sometimes find I do need to go to a big box store to pick up some items or if I am hungry, I may go to a little mom and pop hamburger shop stuffed into a back area off of Freeport Boulevard in Sparks, the “Best Of” is just the opinion of those who voted. There are many, many places that are very, very good and are independent—just hidden. Let’s not forget them just because of the few who came to make the “Best Of” list happen.

Gregg Zuelke
Silver Springs

Raises questions

I don’t usually write an editor. But what happened to me the other night in Reno made me think I should.

I read the Reno News & Review often. Actually quite a bit, because as a teen I was featured in the Chico News & Review after a rape by a cop made my story famous, and not for the right reasons. So saying, I appreciate the Reno version.

The other night I met a friend at the West Street Wine Bar. Yes, there is trouble downtown with the homeless and derelict population. I watched a tall, young, black man panhandling. I guess before schizophrenia set in, he was a basketball star in Reno. People treated him poorly, blew him off. I watched him slump away into the night. Fast forward one glass of wine. My friend and I were standing out front discussing likewise bad days. A young Latino approaches. He is holding something. He comes up, asks me for money or to buy something. My friend, who is male, steps in front of me protectively, says we are not interested and to move on. The young man proceeds to tell him to stop disrespecting him. My friend says he wasn’t trying to, to just move on. The man reaches for a gun, right in front of the wine bar. I am frozen. I had naval and police training when I was younger, but I was frozen, my friend just keeps saying he doesn’t mean disrespect. Out of nowhere the African-American man that the whole bar had ridiculed and told to buzz off appears. He steps between the man with the gun and us. He puts up his hand, and he tells him, “You don’t want this, you don’t want this trouble now, go away, get away from here.” The young Latino man doesn’t want to; he yells insults at us even as he is walking away. The African-American gentleman waits until he is gone. I think he is going to ask for something, and truthfully, if I see him again, I will give him money or food or whatever he needs. He just asks if we are OK, and says he think it’s OK now, and he walks off. I have lived in Reno 10 years. After the way that man was treated that night, the fact he stood in front of us and protected us—I just think some of us need to rethink our attitude towards the mentally ill in Reno. If I knew where he was, I would thank him.

Name withheld

The brain drain

Re “It’s not you, it’s them” (Guest comment, Aug. 18):

I find it unfortunate that so many people are prepared to look at the problems facing our state and simply walk away. I find this compounds the problem. It’s a frame of mind that says, “Somebody else will clean this mess, or the problems will just disappear.” Leaving Nevada to suffer the issues at hand does not help to improve the state of matters here. I appreciate that many folks are from “away” and do not see Nevada’s mess as their own. I would prefer to see more people taking the time to go beyond identifying what is wrong here and do something to help clean up the mess. Take a look around, appreciate what we do have, roll up your sleeves, and work on it. Working on a solution is the only way things will improve. It frightens me most that intelligent, educated adults leave Nevada because of the state of education here. The people who suffer from losses within the community are the children. They are left to the system without any protection or sense of why education is important. And later we blame them for being uneducated adults. Perhaps the move to California will open all sorts of opportunities for Kat Kerlin to work on the messes there. May she find a community in which people are better prepared to “work on it” and less apt to walk away.

Melissa Slayden