Letters for August 9, 2007

Stay off the bridge
Re “A bike trail runs through it” (Feature story, July 12):

I could not believe my eyes when reading the caption of a photo of Amtrak train No. 5 at Vista Boulevard as part of your feature article. To clarify for your readers, the trail DOES NOT “take users over a train bridge"! The bridge in question is railroad property, is off-limits to pedestrians and bicyclists, and is extremely dangerous. Back in April, I was at the throttle of the same train captured in your photo—Amtrak No. 5—when we hit a young bicyclist on this same bridge. Not more than a week later, I encountered two more cyclists on the bridge who narrowly escaped death. In the past few years, a number of others have been killed when hit by Amtrak trains at this same spot.

Trains approach this bridge at speeds of up to 70 mph. By the time an engineer notices a bicyclist on the bridge, it is too late to stop. Because of the momentum involved, a train moving at high speeds can take a lengthy distance to slow and/or bring to a halt. This location is particularly dangerous because the tracks approach the bridge on a curve. The engineer may not see a trespasser, nor would a trespasser see the train until the engine is close to crossing the bridge. In addition, because of its proximity to Interstate 80, the constant noise of traffic can drown out the sound of an approaching train, so that those who venture out onto the trestle may not even hear the train coming. And the “walkway” in places is not wide enough for a pedestrian—let alone a pedestrian with a bicycle—to clear a train.

Every year hundreds of trespassers are injured and killed on railroad property all across the United States. And in the process, numerous locomotive engineers are traumatized by what can be a frightful experience. Please, stay off the bridge at Vista!

Ron Kaminkow
Amtrak Locomotive Engineer

Daily lacks soul
I am disgusted to see that the Reno Gazette-Journal has fallen into the hands of whores.

No, I don’t mean those who earn a living east along the Truckee River. I mean RG-J publisher Ted Power who allowed such an intrusive theater advertisement to dominate Saturday’s editorial and opinion pages, and RG-J editor Beryl Love who apparently was too spineless to protest this affront to independent thought.

I cannot blame the theater. I’m sure they paid handsomely for the ad’s placement. No, the disgrace rests with the newspaper’s leadership who accepted filthy lucre, who should know better, and who compromised at least the ONE section that should be a marketplace of thought and ideas, not of goods and services.

Shame on you both for continuing to ruin what once was a decent, small-city daily. Where is your integrity?

Doug van Aman
Spanish Springs

Ask an AG
The lowriders did not accomplish the task. Neither did the odd color scheme of their clothing do the job. The talking Chihuahua proved inert. Not even the bastardized “Catholicism” of the popes seems to cast a Johnny-has-the-keys moment on this largely hypnotized culture.

Perhaps with the advent of Albert Gonzales, the world has finally discovered a phenomenon that can be considered “an embarrassment to Mexicans.”

To paraphrase Gustavo Arellano, “ax a Mexican.”

Flombaye Krishnabob Ellison

Heller doesn’t care
Re “Stop the war. Now.” (Letters to the editor, July 26):

Tom Mullin suggests telling Dean Heller we won’t support the war any longer. I tried. The page-and-a-half response I received, machine signed by an anonymous staffer, boiled down to one idea: F**K OFF, S**THEAD! It is past time to tell Heller we don’t support him. It is time to dump the bastard on his butt, which would be easier to do if any of his opposition had even half a cojone.

Robert C. Leavitt
Sun Valley

Iraq on ice
There is no way to do a wrong thing the right way! As if a rapist should be set free for using a condom.

This occupation is wrong! It has been from the first lies. We the citizens of the United States must end it now.

The United States has huge potential to do good. This is a great nation, however, under the shadow of the illegal occupation, all is lost. The damage of all aspects of the U.S. occupation of Iraq serves no purpose except to bankrupt our moral and spiritual conscience as a nation. Even if one believes in war as a tool of diplomacy, lying is still wrong. Any course of action based on lies is a fallacy.

Reason and truth are not fallacies–they are the very basis of our democratic way of life. The U.S., through this administration, has abandoned truth and reason. It is imperative that we remove our nation from this oil quagmire and work through to an honest and reasoned solution.

Mark Hebert