Letters for February 11, 2016

All commerce all the time

Re “White guys only need apply” (Left Foot Forward, Feb. 4):

It must be fun to just take shots at people trying to make our community better. Sheila’s ability to issue judgment on others with little reference to the facts shows that she lives in the glass-is-half empty, everything-is-negative world. The more than 14,000 residents, over the past four years, who are no longer unemployed (fact), many low income and women, may find little comfort with her crusade to represent or “help” them.

As for the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, an organization that is run by a woman chair, that has as many woman executives as male, and has more than a dozen female board members in a business community that is traditionally dominated by males, may not be the best example of an organization that is gender bias.

Maybe Sheila should take the time to consider all the great things happening in Reno, due in part to EDAWN’s efforts, rather than showing her many biases. One of these days she may actually write something positive about our community?

Mike Kazmierski


Note: Mike Kazmierski is president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), a private organization that tries to bring new companies to the area.

Re “White guys only need apply” (Left Foot Forward, Feb. 4):

I was a little surprised this morning when I received this article about the “Directions: Engines of Change” conference from a colleague. In her column, Sheila Leslie claims there was no “gender, racial, or income diversity at the podium,” the speakers were “all-white, all-male and all self-promoting,” and she goes on to claim that the Chamber of Commerce, which presents the event, failed to represent the community. I was surprised because I was a speaker at the event and, it is also important to note that I am a minority myself. I had the honor of welcoming over 700 attendees, delivering a speech on the blueprint for success, and officiating at the closing ceremony. I’m not writing this response to criticize Leslie. I actually agree with parts of her letter. It is important to have people of color in leadership roles.

Here are a few facts about the chamber in our community: The chamber’s past chair and current chair are both minorities. Almost 40 percent of our new board members are female or people of color. The chamber is working with the Washoe County School District, community college, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, and university to improve our education system, not just for the future, but for the present with programs and certificates that help our underemployed and unemployed qualify for jobs.

After reading Leslie’s letter, I looked at the makeup of our Directions: Engines of Change committee team (50 percent female and people of color), and the process used to select companies and industries highlighted at the conference. I am confident that there was no bias in the way our decisions were made.

Nevertheless, I hope Leslie and others in our community will continue to look for opportunities to promote diversity, and I invite them to join the efforts the chamber already has underway. Leslie, I would very much enjoy taking you to lunch and discussing the many ways we could work together to positively impact our community.

Danny DeLaRosa


Note: Danny DeLaRosa is board chair of the Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce and a vice president of United Federal Credit Union.

A place in the sun

Re “Fighting the future” (cover story, Jan. 21):

Dennis Myers’ solar article is an example of high art done by a master researcher; it deserves several reads.

I hope Dennis, an extraordinary writer, will dig into our private utilities’ penchant for delivering high line voltages, which has been ongoing for at least this decades that I know. This “hidden tax” may be what prompted Buffett to buy the company, having made it appear perhaps more ’efficient’ that it actually is. Or not, but I won’t go there just yet.

Jeb Bateman [laid-off solar worker] is a wonderful man with a delightful family and has been at the front of solar for a long time. I am confident that things will turn around again and that we will continue to develop solar here in sunny Northern Nevada. We do have the second best solar in the country according to some, and we need people like Jeb here, not in California.

Now it’s time, I think, to tell the utility company to bugger off. I am certain that just one 100 watt solar photovoltaic panel will adequately power at least three 30-watt LED lights for illumination in the standard house, all off grid, all free any time that ol’ sun doth shineth. I’ve seen latest generation LEDs and they are damned bright. But then who turns on the lights in houses when the sun is shining, after all? Well, I do.

If the power companies are going to screw us, then perhaps it’s time to take one or two of those nice panels you have off line, and off grid, and use them direct. Any designers out there? I’m ready to rock on this. Put on your thinking caps. Imagine, direct use of solar energy, what a concept.

PS. There’s a whole lot more to solar than just fancy PV panels, too, kids.

Craig Bergland