Letters for February 1, 2001

Lower the DUI limit to .08

The Reno Gazette-Journal recently published an editorial praising California’s efforts to reduce lung cancer with its aggressive anti-smoking campaign. A 14 percent drop in lung cancer cases in 10 years is certainly noteworthy, but it pales in comparison to the 48 percent drop in alcohol-related traffic fatalities that California has achieved. Also over a 10-year period, California averaged 2,591 alcohol-related fatalities per year from 1987-1989, and that has dropped to 1,330 from 1997-1999.

The headlines of almost every major California newspaper announced that on Jan. 1, 1990, the DUI threshold would drop from a .10 blood alcohol content to .08. This major step in DUI legislation served as a major deterrent and has proven to be life-saving legislation.

During the same 10 years, the Nevada Legislature has refused to enact a .08 BAC in five consecutive sessions, and our alcohol-related fatalities have increased 14 percent. It is estimated that this delay has cost the lives of 150 or more people.

As we approach the start of the 2001 Legislature, Mothers Against Drunk Driving would like to invite all Nevadans to contact their state senators and assemblymen/assemblywomen and urge them to support “.08” for Nevada. In 2001, we have the opportunity to focus on saving lives in Nevada. In 2003, Nevada will be “forced” to pass “.08” because of a federal mandate and the threat of losing millions in federal highway dollars.

How many more Nevadans will have to lose their lives and be injured before our legislators see that passing “.08” is the right thing to do? It’s no coincidence that California and many other states, which have lowered their BAC level to .08, have also lowered their alcohol-related fatality rates.

Laurel Stadler
Chapter Director
Lyon County MADD

We want more nuke power!

The parallels are strong. Both the Titanic and nuclear power plants were engineered with too much confidence that no disaster could happen to them, and thus with too little effort to build in safety features. Both were also operated recklessly.

After Titanic, U.S. and English maritime laws were tightened to insure safer equipment and practices. There was no cry for shutting down all passenger ships or claims that ships could never be run safely. Likewise, after a reckless-driver accident, there is no cry to ban all cars. Such illogic is only heard from activists against nuclear power.

Nuclear power plants, wherever U.S.-style plants are used, have an enviable safety record. They also save tens of thousands of U.S. lives yearly, because they emit no smoke, and they are the only affordable source of more electricity that doesn’t increase global warming. Are they not the gateway to a healthier environment?

Steven C. Barrowes
via e-mail

Props from The Food Bank

Re “The Food Bank of Northern Nevada” (RN&R Committed to Community, Dec. 7):

Just wanted to say thank you for the lovely and very accurate article on us in your recent publication. It was most impressive and very helpful. Our board was very appreciative for the write-up and found it quite comprehensive.

Again, thanks so very much.

Cherie Jamason
The Food Bank

Props for Van Dyke

Re “Sex, Drugs and Money” (RN&R Notes From the Neon Babylon, Jan. 18):

I’ve never felt compelled to respond to any of Bruce Van Dyke’s articles, although I read them. No disrespect to you. However, “Sex, Drugs and Money” hit home. I showed it to my 16-year-old daughter. There, I hope, it made an impact as well.

Terse. Succinct. Drugs. Sex. Rock ‘n’ roll is OK without the previous two. Money is B.S. without love. Meaningless without love.

Jerry Kopp
Carson City

No props for Bob Grimm

Re “The Year in Movies” (RN&R, Jan. 18):

Why hasn’t Bob Grimm been fired yet? He is quite possibly the worst movie critic of all time. He wouldn’t know a good movie if it came up and bit him. Several good movies are on his “fair” and “poor” list for the year 2000, while two terrible movies are on his “good” and “very good” lists. Reno is a town with many bad things, and Bob Grimm is certainly one of the worst, in my opinion!

Tom Schreck
Carson City