Letters for December 30, 2004

God visited Hymer
Re “Community Christmas on Hymer Street” (RN&R, View from the fray, Dec. 23)

It was such a treat to be a part of the Christmas on Hymer project.

For 10 years, I have complained about the neighborhood flanked by Rock and 21st and Glendale and the railroad tracks. After years of seeking good causes, it dawned on me that there was a veritable mission field right here. So I decided to do Christmas for the kids in this area. My original thought was to do grab bags on the door step.

But when Dan Ward and Carmen Trujillo at Kmart Distribution Center jumped in with gifts from their Angel Tree and opened their employees’ children’s party to these kids, I began to get the inkling that we had something much bigger on our hands.

This “party” experience was probably more an experience of how God works through people who may not even know they are a part of His plan. Every time we had a need, something came to meet that need.

Baldini’s gave all the food, local businesses gave goods and money. One day a man gave me money for a gift at 6:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., I had a mom stop by two weeks after the gift list was closed because she heard we might have shoes for her son. He got shoes and a toy. A local business brought over cases of diapers that immediately went to families on their last diaper. Brand-new baby toys came to meet the needs of a pregnant mom, and $100 came two days before the event when I had four new kids to buy for. This event was divine right down to the wrapping paper.

Some of you are skeptical. Coincidence, you say, and a fair amount of Christmas spirit. Well, I disagree. You are hearing from a woman who can’t keep gas in her car. There is no way imaginable that I could do something such as the coordination of this event. Thankfully, I didn’t have to bear that burden. Roughly 12 businesses and 35 volunteers felt the pull to do something great. And they did. I just answered the phone.

The point is this. Something phenomenal happened using ordinary people doing ordinary things. For one special moment, businesses joined with unions who joined with the Sparks Fire Department, who joined with people of every race, gender, age and creed to pull off something that looked like peace, harmony and joy.

Have you, like me, been complaining about how things are? I encourage you to realize and accept that change is in our hands, each one of us. We are the catalyst for change. We build community one person at a time.

Angela Campbell

You never walk alone
Re “Facing the Court Alone” (RN&R, News, Nov. 4)

Dennis Myers’ story raises the topic of domestic violence. While Washoe Legal Services’ loss of federal funding for real victims is regretful, another highly problematic area needs disclosure: abuse of the Temporary Protection Order (TPO).

Many parents have faced the court alone. False allegations of abuse are exactly how uncooperative parents and their attorneys can use “big government” to obliterate the parents’ rights, take their children, and legally steal their property.

Hundreds of local parents may have already faced the guilty-until-proved-innocent inequality of a malicious TPO.

Dishonest parents can overturn court-ordered custody at a moment’s notice, and experience says that the first one to strike, wins.

Unlike WLS’ genuine victim’s program, one-party TPO’s are a politically charged issue that depends on the assumption they work. For this, there is scant evidence. Meanwhile, there are countless ruined parents in this country and scores throughout Washoe County who’ve lost custody and property—and perhaps even their freedom—to a bogus TPO.

Does domestic violence TPO “protection” also require vast expenditures from an indifferent and incompetent Big Brother? Is the TPO office performing a service … or a Draconian disservice to innocent taxpayers?

Jon Lane

He’s right about paranoia
Re “Demand exit polls” (RN&R, Letters, Dec. 23)

I had to chuckle at Mr Garner’s letter regarding exit polls.

Garner comments on the proximity of the new Ukrainian election to Christmas Day, seeming to imply that this is some kind of a plot to control the outcome.

In reality, Ukrainians are primarily of the Orthodox faith. As many of us know, the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe has never adopted the Gregorian calendar, so they still celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7—almost two weeks after the election.

I guess when all you have is suspicion, everything looks like a conspiracy. I can’t help but wonder what else Mr. Garner is wrong about.

Bill Nickerson