Letters for August 6, 2009

I love Facebook

Re “Beat the Tweet” (Feature story, July 30):

There are times when the Reno News & Review cover story captures the essence of an issue perfectly and puts down on paper something that is important and relevant to its readers. “Beat the Tweet: Social networking is ruining your summer vacation” was not one of those times.

There are hundreds of social networking sites, and they are revolutionizing how people communicate. They allow artists to showcase their art and small businesses to advertise for free. They help parents stay in touch with their children, grandparents with their grandkids. They let political candidates reach thousands of voters and compete against big money incumbents. The list goes on and on.

Instead of dissecting this phenomenon and explaining its very real and very powerful relevance in the world, the RN&R went negative. Don’t get me wrong. I think Sara Faith Alterman is a terrific writer, and her experience with social networking was a fast and fluid read.

However, “Beat the Tweet” didn’t answer these important questions: Why are millions of people joining these sites? How is social networking changing society? How is social networking affecting the local community? What are the pros and positives? What does the future hold?

I hope the RN&R gets it right next time.

Scott Kelley

Communication slaves

Re “Beat the Tweet” (Feature story, July 30):

Sara Faith Alterman’s great article about information and communication overload is most appreciated.

I see people texting while walking and eating and conversing.

I hear people talking about Facebook and Twitter all the time.


It would appear many people have lost their minds.

Did I tell you about spilling coffee in my laptop’s keyboard in the spring of ’06? This was a defining moment. A transformative experience!

Instead of replacing the destroyed laptop home computer, I decided, instead, to see how well I would do without a home computer. (Having one at work is plenty.) I pulled the plug on my AOL and even my phone line. That alone saved me $600 a year.

I needed to completely remove home computing from my house to realize what a time and money parasite the computer had become. I have not missed it one single day in over three years.

My work computer’s web access is filtered by my employer, and the texting feature on my work-issued Blackberry has been disabled. So, I can’t even visit Facebook or YouTube or send a text message.

Woo-hoo! I’m free!

Lee Warner

Cash for capital

Cash for Clunkers, the government’s plan to get rid of old automobiles and replace them with new “environmentally friendly” vehicles is a greenie’s wet dream. The engine is deliberately and permanently disabled. The car is then taken to the junk yard where it is crushed, never to drive again. Yippee! Forget the fact that there are still many working parts on the car that could’ve been recycled for the engine, the interior, tires, lights, etc. What a waste!

Yes, it spurs new car sales, but what does the government get in return, other than political capital from environmental friends? There is no return for the billion(s) that has and will be spent. Or maybe, this is just the precursor to the government’s health-care plan.

Bill Thibault

Green for coffee

Re “Coffee isn’t green” (Letters to the editor, July 30):

Having spent three months of the last two years in Ethiopia, I beg to differ with Emily Edmonds about “slave laborers” in the coffee business. That business is helping “sustain” the economy there, and I can use the words “sustainability” and “Ethiopian Beans” in the same context. Ethiopia is nothing like everyone thinks it is. All we’ve heard is the drought and starvation, and that was many years ago. Ethiopia is growing by leaps and bounds and is a beautiful country with beautiful people, and they have the most delicious coffee and coffee-making customs in the world.

Taunee Perry
via email

Green’s the thing

Re “Coffee isn’t green” (Letters to the editor, July 30):

What Emily Edmonds fails to realize is the play on the words “green bean.” Besides that, Edmonds almost makes a point. The Hub purchases its beans from Barefoot Coffee Roasters, based out of Northern California. Why not buy beans from one of the many local roasters to minimize transportation, she asks. What Edmonds doesn’t know is that many of Reno’s roasters use a “middle man” in purchasing their beans—they don’t buy directly from the farms. Barefoot does. Barefoot visits the farms, which is why their product is known as “relationship coffee.” Barefoot has no middle man. The beans are sent to Northern California straight from the farm, roasted, and then sent to The Hub. Yes, they are four hours away, but they are guaranteed to be more sustainable than any other roaster in town. Edmonds must realize that her beans come from places like South America and Africa, but she doesn’t know the excursion they take to get to a local roaster. They can go to a wholesale buyer, someone on the other side of the country, and then to her beloved roaster.

The Hub’s sustainability does not end with its coffee beans. The organic milk and raw sugar is purchased from the Great Basin Co-op, the employees are all avid cyclists, and many of the structures inside are recycled or used. Edmonds tries to make a point—and fails miserably. In Reno’s limited supply of traditional coffeehouses, The Hub out-greens them all.

Kelly Wright

Thanks for the memories

Re “Favorite daughter” (15 Minutes, July 23):

I enjoyed the 15 Minutes piece on Dawn Wells. The article was informative, but more needs to be said about this lady who gave us a unique piece of Nevada history. This year not only marks the 50th anniversary of when Wells was crowned Miss Nevada in 1959, but it was also 50 years ago when Wells participated in a parade held in Reno on Aug. 22, 1959, to help launch the Bonanza television series. The event was a real crowd pleaser as thousands of Nevadans got a chance to see Wells, Lt. Gov. Rex Bell, the Cartwright clan and Yvonne De Carlo. Ms. De Carlo had the distinction of guest starring in Bonanza’s first episode, “A Rose For Lotta,” that premiered later that evening at the Granada Theater. This event took place a full three weeks before Bonanza premiered on NBC television on the evening of Sept. 12, 1959. Wells would later star in two Bonanza episodes in the show’s 14-year run.

Thanks for sharing the memories of a true Nevadan and a remarkable lady.

Chic DiFrancia
Virginia City


Re “Eco-Event: Hot August Bikes” (Greenspace, July 30):

We published the wrong date for the bike ride for Hot August Bikes. The ride begins at 6 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 7, at West Street Market.