Letters for August 27, 2015
Mean green machines
Re “Charging electric cars” (Upfront, Aug. 13):
It is great that America is trying to go green with motor vehicles such as hybrids and electric. My issue is they are still driving our roads, using them, causing damage as all vehicles do. But, they don’t purchase gasoline, or very little, so they are not paying their fair share of taxes to maintain our roads. There needs to be a tax placed on the registration of electric and hybrid vehicles to offset the road usage for these vehicles.
Gone to the dogs
I live near Rancho San Rafael Park and, like many others, enjoy walking my three small dogs throughout the park. However, my husband and I have just returned from another harrowing walk that was marred by someone’s large, aggressive and unleashed dog charging our leashed dogs and leashed dogs of several others. People with dogs need to know that just because the dog park is closed, that doesn’t mean that the whole rest of the park is a leash-free area. Too many times now, our dog walks have been cut short by a large, unleashed dog bounding toward our three small leashed dogs. The attitude of the owner of the unleashed dog is always that we are “not cool,” and our “Your dog(s) should be on a leash” comments are somehow rude. The park really needs to police unleashed dogs and their owners better. Also, big signs stating that all dogs must be leashed, prominently placed throughout the park would be great. I realize that people like to get out and exercise their small and large dogs. I am also sure that most everyone’s dogs are lively and friendly—but some aren’t. It’s too bad that the dog park is closed for the foreseeable future. However, that doesn’t make it OK for people to let their dogs off leash and endanger everyone else’s dogs.
Re “Studies Funding Revealed” (Upfront, June 11):
In response to the comment, “It depends on how the money is delivered” (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 13). The so-called scandals in climatology will undoubtedly continue for a very long time. According to Robert Kennedy Jr., there are currently 75 front groups spreading climate denial and, surprise—they are funded by the fossil fuel industry. Doom and gloom isn’t necessary to influence public policy on climate change because the scientific facts speak for themselves. Our planet is experiencing the highest carbon count in our atmosphere in 800,000 years. It is pretty straightforward; the longer we continue to use fossil fuels, the more extreme our climate disruption is going to become and if we wait too long to act, the forward motion of our Earth’s temperature will be impossible to stop. If you want to look at the science and be informed, instead of listening to the rhetoric, the United Nations offers a free on-line course, just go to www.uncclearn.org.
Recently, I was on a national conference call with U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland to discuss the Open Our Democracy Act, HR 2655, which he has reintroduced. The call was convened and hosted by IndependentVoting.org, the largest association of independent voters in the country, of which I’m a part. On the call, we got the inside scoop on this important legislation and the role independents can play in building support for it.
The bill does three things: enacts Top Two nonpartisan primaries for all congressional elections in the United States, makes Election Day a national holiday, and creates a road whereby the practice of gerrymandering could be replaced with a more citizen friendly redistricting process. In other words, it’s an anti-corruption package of reform designed to empower voters and give our country some much needed breathing room from the partisanship that now over-determines every step of the political process.
Delaney said, “Politicians always make the mistake of underestimating the American people. Three hundred million smart Americans are not going to let some 500 members of Congress stand in their way forever.” I couldn’t agree more.
Given the vested interest of most politicians in the status quo, it’s going to take a grassroots movement of independent-minded voters to pressure our local representatives to support this bill. I will be contacting Congressman Amodei this week to ask him to support it. Please join me.
We can Open Our Democracy and unleash the innovation and creativity needed to solve old problems in new ways. We’ll have to free ourselves from the grips of partisanship to do so.
Catana L. Barnes
President, Independent Voters of Nevada
Disorder in the courts
Re “Shackling to become illegal” (Upfront, Aug. 13):
This is just for juveniles? What about for all? Equality? From the start to the finish, the entire criminal justice system needs to be fixed. Go back to what the original documents set forth. Such as, if there is no complaint filed, then there is no case to be heard. How does the state pick up charges and proceed if the person they are proceeding on behalf of asks them to not proceed? By fraud, that’s how. All the judges who exercise color of law should be charged with Title 42 and imprisoned. The justice system is out of control.
Sense and sensibilities
Re “Branch library to stay” (News, Aug. 13):
I appreciated your item on the possible closure of the Duncan/Tranor Community Library. I am currently a member of the Washoe County Library Board of Trustees, but this letter is my personal response to the article and does not represent an official action by the board. Closing a library is a major, even traumatic, issue for library staff and trustees. I hope everyone recognizes that decisions like this are guided by a desire to serve the maximum number of people with the limited dollars available.
Your article mentioned that this issue was discussed at the South Valleys Library, a considerable distance from the Duncan/Tranor site. The meeting was part of the regular Board of Trustees monthly meeting schedule, and the locations are established roughly a year in advance. It was not a special meeting to make a decision about the Duncan/Tranor branch, as could have been mistakenly assumed from your article. The meeting at the South Valleys branch, as well as the subsequent monthly meeting at the Sierra View branch, was well attended by the public and much comment was received.
Board of Trustee members repeatedly stated their interest in further discussion with community members and County Commissioners about securing additional funding to keep all libraries open. Community activist Darryl Feemster was particularly visible in attending Trustee meetings and in offering constructive leadership on how to save the Duncan/Tranor branch. If we had more of this kind of effort we might be talking about expanding the library rather than reducing it.
Your article also cited Andrew Barbano as a “protest leader.” I look forward to discussing the library with Mr. Barbano someday. As far as I know, he has not commented publicly or privately to any of the Trustees. I suppose there’s a place in the world for protests. But a protest implies an us-versus-them mentality. I prefer that people work together to create the best outcome. It doesn’t make good headlines, but it makes sense.