Letters for December 4, 2008

Thanks, but no thanks
Re “We give thanks” (Editorial, Nov. 26):

We can all be thankful that the “Reno Ripper” has likely been caught. It was a horrible tragedy, and he deserves a fate worse than death. But I’ve never before witnessed such lousy police work in this case and been abused by the people who are supposed to be looking out for me. If not for the dude’s girlfriend or his girlfriend’s friend or her pet dog or whatever miracle happened, the RPD would still be grasping at straws. I was one of those straws, as were many white men whose only crime was that they happen to live near the university. Never mind that I don’t own a car, don’t look like the suspect, and don’t rape and kill people, many local men were harassed and intimidated into giving DNA samples by our heroes in green. Frankly, I don’t trust the RPD, and my worst fear is that they’d drop the samples and contaminate them or otherwise decide that the public demanded a killer, and they could have decided to frame one of us. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. As much as this Biela guy sickens me, he’s already been convicted in the RG-J, most recently by an irresponsible piece written by Siobhan McAndrew. They’re practically setting him up for a change of venue or a mistrial. What stupidity! And RPD? I’m still waiting for that apology for the way you treated me and so are about 50 others.

Peter Thompson

No fear
Re “Owed to joy” (Editor’s note, Nov. 26):

Your urban roots are showing!

You wrote that “our ancestors cowered before the unknowable future. Without the benefit of … a watch, the incrementally shorter days must have been terrifying.”

Washoe County (not to mention the entire Southwest) contains numerous rocks into which, thousands of years ago, people carved solar calendars. These spirals precisely predict and identify each equinox and solstice.

Valerie Cohen

Editor’s note: True, true. But I was thinking more along the lines of australopithecus.

Use the web, Luke
Re “Government conspirator” (Letters to the editor, Nov. 26):

To Milo Reese who can’t get through on the phone to the DTV-2009 conspirators:

Try www.dtv2009.gov. If you don’t have an internet connection, the library does have one. I received two coupons in about four weeks. Used one to buy a converter online, total cost to me: $13.

Jon Harrison
via email

Don’t demean students
Re “The Nevada Senate blues” (Know You’re Right, Nov. 13):

One doesn’t need money to have the ability to spend it. That’s how our national economy, homeowner’s market, and our credit crunch crisis all happened. The previous generation and legislature (Republicans and conservative mindsets alike) held this view, took it to heart, and borrowed, spent, borrowed and spent, until the point that my generation, OUR generation, was left to pick up the pieces. The problem with the mindset of, “Let’s cut everything that we possibly can live without now, and then get back to it later,” is that it holds the same peril that “Let’s borrow what we can now, and pay it back when we can” holds: We never get back to it later. That’s why our local school system is in shambles, and our economy is collapsing.

We need to trust to the system, and even I, a fellow University of Nevada “kid” of 21, am not going to sit down and accept cuts to education. Without a properly educated workforce, you end up with Americans without the means to become active and productive citizens, which hurts the economy far more in the long run than any tax increase ever would. Trusting in the system to produce active and knowledgeable citizens is the only way to ride out the mess that we’re in, not cutting and accepting a world where suddenly less is possible.

And Journalism 101 for you: Don’t demean your audience. Calling your peers “kids,” and suggesting that Nevadans don’t care as much about their state as the official that they elected is just ignorant, though it’s a very effective means to go about alienating the people whose opinions you’re trying to sway.

Deidre Emerson

And we’ll have fun, fun, fun
Re “Speed racers” (Arts & Culture, July 10):

You’ve nailed the Reno Fernley Raceway drag race experience real good! It is awesome to race, watch or work to provide a place for folks to come out and thrash … errr … race their cars, their friends’ cars, dad’s truck, or rent-a-cars. I work the start line area. It is hard to find words to describe the facial expressions of the racers/passengers. All I can say is come on out to a RFR drag race, have fun!

Russ Hayes
Sun Valley

Bailout Brazil
If U.S. automakers are to be given more bailout money, we must be assured that jobs will not be sent abroad, as is the case with both the Ford and General Motors production plants in Brazil. Already $1 billion of bailout money has been earmarked for General Motors’ facility in that country.

We need to resuscitate our economy, not stimulate Brazil’s.

Massive changes need to be made in our tax code, tariffs, trade and import/export laws. And, most importantly, something must be done to reverse the flood of outsourcing jobs and the resultant loss of employment and tax revenue.

Paul G. Jaehnert
Vadnais Hts., Minn.

Let’s try him
Due process.

A phrase some folks might know. Both words are in a dictionary, right along with the definition of DNA. And it’s all in English.

Yet we don’t really need it in the 21st century with Brianna Denison, do we, this quaint rigmarole of a justice system? Why even use the word “suspect?” It’s essentially meaningless. There is only absolute certainty on our plate.

Me? As a media consumer, I’d like to know how many of the 13 locations on chromosomes, or loci, matched to be considered “perfect?”

If this guy’s the sick thing that took Ms. Denison’s life, great: We have an exceptionally admirable police force, and I’m a believer in the death penalty.

Yet as a suspect in this arcane process of arrest and trial, the suspect hasn’t even had a preliminary hearing yet.

Oh, another phrase devoid of any palpable relevance to the masses.

Do not confuse this with some defense of anybody who could be so sick as to take an innocent girl’s life, walking among us—not with our stellar mental health care system.

It won’t bring Ms. Denison back, let alone undo whatever he did to her, but fry this guy if he’s the guy. A sociopath is not rehabilitate-able, and I don’t want to pay for his or her room and board.

My concern is only this: how easily things become self-evident when there’s very little real evidence yet, only allegation. No trial. No testimony. No idea what DNA testing is and also what it isn’t. That’s just plain scary. And stupid.

That’s a word in the dictionary, too. They all are.

As in “trial.”

I thought for a moment maybe anyone was left in America not cowed by shiny bright baubles, a freakin’ trial just some thing that others and our media might pause to advocate on the sheer premise.

Craig Ayres-Sevier