Letters for August 9, 2001

RN&R avoiding casino stories?

Re “Cyanide Flush” (RN&R, July 5) and “Yucca-ed Up” (RN&R, June 7):

I do not like your shifts in editorial policies and story subjects recently. You seem to have shifted your focus and priorities.

Your mission statement must read: Our readership consists mainly of the advertisers. We MUST NOT assume that the advertisers have any intelligence. We must not upset the advertisers. Avoid controversial subjects and repeat stories done by the Reno Gazette-Journal, a paper that has, for years, kowtowed to advertising dollars and casinos.

Nuclear waste and mining have been covered time after time when the other paper didn’t want to write anything new. Now, it’s your turn?

Dewey Quong

The racist ‘patriots'?

Re “Nazis Not Welcome” (RN&R News, July 12):

I read this article, and I came to the conclusion that I would finally write in to you about something. Your paper regularly angers me, and I’ve finally had it!

Under the picture, you say Reno police couldn’t arrest the alleged white supremacists for yelling “white power,” but they could for obstructing justice (what justice?), resisting arrest (for being told to stay on the sidewalk?) and for jaywalking (oh my—hardened criminals!). Why don’t you do a report on hate crimes (or what should have been called hate crimes, but weren’t, because they were committed by non-whites toward whites, and everyone knows only a white can commit a hate crime)? I can give you plenty of sources, links and articles to more than support it.

Here are some American patriots who, while getting violent sometimes, still want America to be its finest, but go to jail for jaywalking. Why don’t you interview me about the illegal alien who rear-ended my car with no license or insurance, caused over $4,000 dollars damage and is still in Reno illegally—yet has had no punitive action brought against him? Here is a real criminal.

Tim Block
via e-mail

It’s supply and demand, stupid

Re “Beware of Blackouts” (RN&R Guest Comment, July 12):

The Guest Comment by Shane Piccinini is a great example of how misinformation can be printed solely for political gain.

The laws of economics are pure and simple. If something is in short supply, the price goes up. In California, energy demand has increased by about 1,000 megawatts per year over the past 10 years or so. Not wanting to build a generating facility, California relied more heavily on power purchased out of the state. Next, the politicians decided that since they didn’t have much power, they could deregulate the cost power companies paid for the power, but froze the price they could sell it for. Deregulation will only work when whatever is deregulated has an adequate supply, otherwise the price will go up.

I am really not against conservation, but only supply will solve this issue. Does anyone remember how expensive long distance phone rates used to be before deregulation?

Neil Prenn
via e-mail

Immigrants should learn English!

Re “Spanish-Speakers Buy Things, Too” (RN&R Letters, July 19):

I am the Jennifer Nelson that Mike Ramos speaks of in his letter to the editor. This is my response.

I speak English. Americans speak English. Immigrants to America from all over the world eventually learn English. Why aren’t there German, Italian or Swedish billboards? Oh, that’s right—it’s that “buying” power thing you mentioned. The bottom line is always the dollar. I’d be offended by a company that tried to lure me in by throwing around a little of my native language. It’s a marketing ploy, nothing more, nothing less: good old American greed.

Our government helps them get over here illegally by providing survival kits, then getting them to stay by offering amnesty, then getting them to spend money. The Mexican population is a puppet, and the U.S. government is working the strings.

I’ll be damned if I’ll ever learn Spanish just to stay in business. Some things are more important than money, things like principle and patriotism and the hope to not have your country overtaken by another. Politically incorrect, I know, but damn it, I can’t help it.

Jennifer Nelson
via e-mail

For the second year in a row, our Rant Issue struck a nerve. Here are some of those letters.

Debatable grammar I

Re “It’s a Mute Point” (RN&R Guest Comment, July 19):

When it comes to the English language, I am a purist, so I read with great interest and kinship the grammar lesson by RN&R General Manager John Murphy. I loved his attack in the misuse of the word “got.”

However, as I read his article, I was subconsciously proofreading it, and a deficiency jumped out at me. One of my English teachers impressed upon me that we should avoid the phrase “I don’t think so.” She said, “I am not interested in what you don’t think. I want to know what you DO think.”

Brad MacKenzie

Debatable grammar II

Re “Inappropriate Apostrophes: Punishable by Death!” (RN&R, July 19) and “It’s a Mute Point” (RN&R Guest Comment, July 19):

A lot of things can go wrong in people’s writing, and sometimes there are things to criticize in the RN&R’s articles. It’s difficult not to make mistakes, especially in such a new invention as language. I am not without blame; the answer (a weak excuse) is that I’m human.

It’s noted that in Jimmy Boegle’s article, the second sentence finishes with the words “grammatical editors.” Should the words be “grammatical errors?” (Yeah. My mistake. Oops. —J.B.)

I keep noticing that sentences are now often started with conjunctions such as “but,” “and” and “or.” I agree with John Murphy about the superfluous use of the word “got,” but I note his use of a one-word “sentence” produced from the word “not.” Shouldn’t there be a subject and a predicate in all sentences?

Eric Woodfield

Debatable grammar III (months-old version)

Re “It’s a Mute Point” (RN&R Guest Comment, July 19) and “Kids & Art” (RN&R, May 10):

This is a letter to the editor on the subject of the column about the misuse of language in your Rant Issue. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. You were guilty yourselves of misusing language in the article about the Duane Hanson sculpture show at the Nevada Museum of Art, when Jimmy Boegle wrote that people thought his sculpture was real when it wasn’t. Sculpture is real but not alive!

Sheryll Wright
via e-mail

Non-debatable spelling

Re Fiction 101 advertisement (RN&R, July 19):

ACK!! What about “i before e except after c,” like on page 23?

“Winners will recIEve prizes!”


Carrie Lee
via e-mail

Again, oops. Our apologeis. —JB

Wanting more words on words

Re “It’s a Mute Point” (RN&R Guest Comment, July 19):

John Murphy’s column in the July 19 issue was terrific. And what is with that apostrophe in Les Folie’s de Paris? Can we have a regular column about words?

Jane Moore

Educating about the apostrophe

Re “Inappropriate Apostrophes: Punishable by Death!” (RN&R, July 19)

I get so annoyed when people make a plural with an apostrophe and an s! And the people that mix up “it’s” and “its.” Yikes!

Please continue to print articles and statements that might educate those who can read!

LaRon Croft

All-ages venues are going away

Re “Apathetic Crowds: Support Your Local Music Scene, Reno!” (RN&R, July 19):

Perhaps David Robert should do a little more research before he rants next time. As of early July, there are no true all-ages venues in Reno/Sparks. The Hard Hat closed its doors to kids, and Rack ’em Up closed altogether. And before you say it, “18 and up” is not ALL-ages. Thus, the Stereomud show at the Little Waldorf doesn’t count.

As far as the turnout for Reno shows, I think the biggest problem is poor or no promotion. I, for one, would have liked to see Chainsaws and Children, but I didn’t see any flyers or posters for the show—and I work in a record store! If promoters would go out and actively promote shows, I am sure you’d see bigger and better turnouts.

James Williams
via e-mail

A club on Sierra Street, Eden, has in the past held shows for those under 18, and Eden remains open. —J.B.

Reno’s music scene needs help

Re “Apathetic Crowds: Support Your Local Music Scene, Reno!” (RN&R, July 19):

David Robert complains about lack of attendance at a recent show at the Zephyr by Chainsaws and Children. Well, did the Zephyr or anybody bother to promote the show beyond the weekly ad [in the RN&R Nightclubs section]? There was no local promotion for the show—there’s no excuse for that when it is so easy to get publicity in this town—and no posters or handbills hung up. How are people going to know about the show?

This is a problem that happens again and again at the Zephyr and other places. The sound systems are mediocre. The crowds are cliquish. You get the sense that the music really is not a top priority for the clubs [and] that serving up alcohol is.

Reno’s music scene is a problem and probably will continue to be. The media must be worked here and people need to be educated, and people need to feel welcome.

Billy Paul
via e-mail

Angry apostrophe brethren

Re “Inappropriate Apostrophes: Punishable by Death!” (RN&R, July 19)

Thank you SO much for your rant about the apostrophe. Believe me, I’m with you 100 percent (especially in regards to that certain casino show … who approved that, I wonder?).

In order to help you educate the masses and remind yourself to laugh now and again, I point you to www.angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif. This is my favorite explanation of the proper way to use the apostrophe. I have it printed out and hanging on my wall, and it does the talking for me.

Enjoy, and remember—you’re not alone.

Frank Ozaki
via e-mail

Breeders shouldn’t complain

Re “Reno Rant 2” (RN&R, July 19):

John Murphy and Jimmy Boegle, you are right! Mangled spelling and grammar and inappropriate apostrophes (especially in the title of that super-hyped show) ought to drive everyone mad. The fact that they don’t probably does indicate the general level of education—and maybe that some people have better things to do than fret about poor English. When I feel charitable, I assume that time pressure and too-quick use of the “replace” button in spell-check software account for some of the “heals” vs. “heels” abominations. In my heart, I know that poor language skills account for the majority.

But D. Brian Burghart has gone off the deep end in his rant, “Government: Stop Discrimination Against Unmarried Couples!” He and his woman pay an extra $3,000 a year for health insurance to defend their right not to marry. That’s their choice. He claims they refuse a religious ceremony. Can they find no one in Nevada who will marry them without using the word “god"? Marriage is more a civil institution than a religious one. Get real. You can solve your discrimination problem in a day. Get married and enjoy the benefits. Or don’t. You decide.

My partner and I cannot marry, despite our many years in a stable, loving relationship. We can never hope to enjoy the spousal benefits you claim you are unfairly denied. And you complain about “social stigma"?

Ted Blackman

Robert put the smack down

Re “Apathetic Crowds: Support Your Local Music Scene, Reno!” (RN&R, July 19):

While I am not a “fan” of the RN&R (in the sense that I don’t wait eagerly from week to week, chewing on my nails until I get the latest copy), I fall into its pages from time to time, especially when music is concerned, be it local or national. And I have to agree (on virtually EVERY point made) with David Robert that in the last year, the “scene” has exploded. In “my” day, you knew exactly every musician who played original music, mainly because there were so few bands … and now?

It seems everywhere you look, someone is popping up and claiming to usurp the local stages—and not just the local bands, who in the last four years have increased nearly tenfold. National acts are starting to see this city as somewhat of a stomping ground rather than a campground.

Mr. Robert, you have taken a giant step and said what EVERYONE has been wanting to say, but they lacked the medium to make a difference or get attention. I know first-hand that just about every local band thanks you and the staff of the RN&R. Let’s keep it up, shall we?

Steavenne Niqqulas
via e-mail

Nightmares about apostrophes

Re “Inappropriate Apostrophes: Punishable by Death!” (RN&R, July 19)

Thank you for your rant on the unnecessary apostrophe. Until I read it, I was afraid that I was the only person in Reno having nightmares about that certain casino show that had to have been named by a partial illiterate, whose only association with a certain foreign country and its capitol was through smudged and torn magazines stored in a plain box under his—oh, never mind, you know I’m talking about.

I teach in an institution of higher learning in Reno and am getting very tired of writing mini-rants in margins of papers about how the use of an apostrophe does not create a plural word. Is this a part of the dumbing down of America? What is wrong with this picture? Keep up the fight!

Nancy Polatty
via e-mail

More grammar frustrations

Re “Inappropriate Apostrophes: Punishable by Death!” (RN&R, July 19):

Don’t even get me started on the weird, unecessary use of quotation marks running rampant in our society. How about the Fitzgeralds’ sign claiming that it is “the ‘Luckiest’ place in town.” Does that mean it’s not actually lucky? Or the sign I see at my local Hallmark each day that reads “we ‘Have’ Beanie Babies.” So do they, or don’t they?

I laughed out loud in my office at “Keanu Reeve’s.” My parents both have college degrees (my dad has an English degree from UC Berkeley, for goodness sakes), and they have a sign on the front of the house that says “Solomon’s.” I’ve been teasing them about it for years.

Grammar is my favorite thing. Does that make me a nerd? Thanks for the great paper.

Heather Solomon
via e-mail