Letters for December 16, 2010

Insider training

Re “Aspiring insider” (Editorial, Dec. 2):

Your “Aspiring insider” editorial wasn’t fair. While it’s true that the Reno Gazette-Journal may not be the ideal organization to “lead the discussion” about this region’s future, who is? Who has stepped forward? Who wants to lead? Who’s letting our community know that we’re thinking about this stuff?

Northern Nevada is hurting today partially because over the years we’ve developed, contracted for, or otherwise created a number of strategic plans, grassroots efforts, etc. And then we quit. Someone doesn’t think it’s quite right. One organization or another—council, commission or group—didn’t come up with it. We don’t get it.

I was deeply involved in the largest grassroots movement ever created in this region about 10 years ago, One Region. Virtually every company and organization in Northern Nevada took part, yet it fell apart for two reasons:

1) Sue Clark-Johnson, the RG-J publisher you slammed for starting the Forum for a Common Agenda, did, indeed, leave town. And no one who had been here for years stepped in. (By the way, she didn’t volunteer for the post. A group of us approached her, and she graciously agreed to lead the effort.) 2) New elected officials didn’t understand its power and simply let it die.

When I read Beryl Love’s story in the RG-J containing the “We’ll lead the discussion” quote you refer to, I emailed him with my concern about our region’s well-meaning penchant for beginning “strategic plans,” and our difficulty with seeing them through. Mr. Love seems to be keenly aware of it. The truth is—plans take time; patience is required right up there with ideas and hard work. When one leader steps aside, another needs to step up.

This region could really use less finger-pointing and complaining, and more leadership and willingness to just get on board and do it. What do you think this region would think if the Reno News & Review actually called the RG-J and volunteered to take part?

If Beryl Love is the one willing to stick his neck out this time, good for him. Maybe the result will be more than a sore neck.

Mark Curtis

Trickled on

Re “Trickling up” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Dec. 2):

I agree with Bruce Van Dyke about the inconceivable opposition to the watered-down financial reform package. On the surface, higher corporate profits appear to be a good sign for our economy. Unfortunately, there may be a disheartening, but totally believable reason why these obscene numbers cannot create jobs.

How much of that 1.6 trillion in this country’s reported third-quarter profits came from paying nearly zero percent interest on the average bank account? No help needed there. Denying or delaying insurance claims—or better yet, insurance coverage—looks fine on the balance sheet and can be accomplished with existing staffers.

The airline industry expects to make huge profits for 2010, over $2 billion of which is from checked bag fees. No help needed there, either. Seems like we are confusing profits with productivity, and hampering true recovery.

The most dangerous problem with failing to re-power the most productive middle class is the record debt that we’ve incurred. Most alarming is some of the countries who our Congress has entrusted with our economic destiny (China, Russia, Libya, Iran, Nigeria).

Jim Cooper

Now, that’s funny

Re “A toast to real life” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Sept. 23):

You know what practical majors, such as accounting or business or psychology, at the University of Colorado excel at? Keg stands and puking in bushes. I can vouch for it, because I am your damn daughter, Bruce. I may be good at those, too, but at least I can carry on a stimulating conversation. You’d be surprised how much further that can get you. I’m smarter than many kids in my classes, and though that may sound completely elitist, I deserve some credit for not being a total mouth-breather with a finance degree. People with master’s degrees can’t even get jobs right now, so cool your jets and understand that thinking for yourself is more important than thinking for a society that is quickly sliding further and further down the totem pole. And I did not “hunt ’n’ peck” this response because I’ve written more papers in four years than you can count! So there! Love, your daughter.

Catherine Van Dyke
Boulder, Colo.

Faux news

Re “Aspiring insider” (Editorial, Dec. 2):

The biggest problem with too many members of the “news” media today (i.e. Fox News) is that they create the news rather than report it. Good for you for attempting to keep at least one news source honest!

Susan Malby-Meade
Washoe Valley

Drug profits

Re “Bad news” (Letters to the editor, Dec. 9):

Switzerland used to have a very serious heroin addiction problem. Now their heroin problem is a small fraction of what it used to be. Did the Swiss government get really tough on drug dealers and addicts? No.

In 1994, Switzerland started an experimental program to sell heroin addicts the drug at very low cost, even giving it to the addicts who couldn’t afford it. In 2008, 68 percent of the Swiss voted to make the program permanent. Have Swiss heroin-addiction rates skyrocketed? No, they have fallen dramatically. So has their overall crime rate.

Will we adopt Switzerland’s heroin policy? Probably not. Too many people, industries and institutions have a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo of drug prohibition.

Kirk Muse
Mesa, Ariz.

Good and busy

Re “Tight squeeze” (Foodfinds, Dec. 2):

I think maybe the inexperienced food critic needs to go back to Pie-Face Pizza Co. and rethink her comments. First of all, I don’t know why she would expect a hostess in a pizza parlor, how ludicrous is that? Secondly, did she stop to think that the reason there are so many people in there is that the food is good, the company is great, and the atmosphere is fabulous? Plain and simple. So, if she is ever in downtown Reno, and it’s 3 in the morning, and she’s really drunk, I hope they don’t let her in.

Sherry Dunn

Union City, Calif.

Flame job

Re “Tight squeeze” (Foodfinds, Dec. 2):

I usually look forward to the smart writing in the RN&R. I read it largely for its progressive views on local life. I expect the same smart writing in reviews of restaurants and movies. This review of Pie-Face sounds like a flame on an adolescent’s MySpace. I am terribly disappointed in RN&R’s editorial staff for allowing the publication of this drivel. You owe Pie-Face an apology, and you owe them a professional review. I’ve not eaten there, but I plan to now. I have many friends who have and have found the decor funky, the staff friendly, and the pizza excellent. That’s a good thing for Reno.

Gaye McCollum-Nickles


Re “Ralph the penis and ’70s sex ed” (View from the Fray, Dec. 9):

In last week’s View from the Fray, Deidre Pike wrote about efforts to change the sex education curriculum in Fallon, Lyon County. That is not correct. The correct name of the city in Lyon County is Fernley. We apologize for any confusion our error caused.