Letters for February 19, 2009

The extraneous ‘e’
Re “Let Them Eat Pancake” (Letters to the editor, Feb. 12):

Michael Moberly’s imagery was a bit of a shock. “This breakfast line was like watching a clown shoot up heroine: sad but not surprising in the least.”

I mean, one could understand that sort of misogyny unfolding in Carson City, but right here in Reno? First lady Mondegreen gets the Uzi lullaby, and now this! Heavens! “… not surprising in the least”? I dare venture that this distasteful development would not sit well with the likes of Hamlet, Heathcliff, Pyramus, Romeo or Lord Godiva! And woe unto the misguided varlet who would eclipse the honor of Cherry Davis Trail, only to be summarily vanquished by the wrath of Mark Trail’s invincible single punch!

I must concur with Moberly that getting shot up by a clown is a sad fate for a heroine. However, the presumption that it is not at all surprising suggests to me that we do not all spend our weekends baiting livestock in the company of quite the same caliber of clowns.

Mr. Moberly needs to be sensitive to the effects which his imagery can have on a reader caught by surprise. When I read his narrative, I was engaging in the wholesale consumption of grilled cheese sandwiches and Kendall Jackson merlot. As you can easily imagine, the moment when I read his shocking imagery was by far, my best John Belushi imitation to date.

Flombaye Krishnabob Ellison

Who needs English?
Re “Career opportunities never knock” (Left in the Lurch, Feb. 12):

Cory Farley had some things to say in his column regarding career opportunities. As it happens, career opportunities have always been something of a concern of mine. I attended high school, as I had no choice. I took a year of Spanish. Could someone please tell me what sort of career opportunities there are for someone with a year of high school Spanish? I took four years of English. Could someone please tell me what sort of career opportunities there are for someone with four years of high school English and the ability to memorize a page or two of high school poetry and write a theme about The Merchant of Venice? I took U.S. history. I did learn about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. However, none of the Democratic members of Congress learned about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Probably, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act knowledge isn’t a good path to career opportunities.

I did manage to learn some mathematics and a little computer programming. I make my living writing computer programs. However, I had to come very close to hand-to-hand combat to get into the classes, as the high school wanted me to study things like psychology or biology, which don’t lead to much of a career path without advanced degrees.

Now, maybe I’m not being fair. I did recently have a conversation with a liberal arts college graduate who did have a job. She said, “Yes, I have a bachelor’s in liberal arts. Would you like fries with that?”

A.J. Bima

Invest in art
Re “Acid rain” (Editor’s note, Jan. 29):

I am the artistic director of Sierra Nevada Ballet, the professional ballet company for Northern Nevada. We are very concerned for the arts in this difficult economic time. The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities.

As Congress considers the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the arts and culture sector must be included. They enhance community development; spur urban renewal; attract new businesses; draw tourism dollars; and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and builds a robust 21st century workforce.

SNB is a non-profit art group. Nonprofit arts organizations are employing people locally, purchasing goods and services within the community, and involved in the marketing and promotion of their cities. In fact, there are more full-time jobs supported by the nonprofit arts than are in accounting, public safety officers, even lawyers and just slightly fewer than elementary school teachers.

SNB gets funding from the Nevada Arts Council, which gets funding from the NEA. Americans for the Arts reports that a $50 million investment to the National Endowment for the Arts will provide funding to save 14,422 jobs from being lost. This is based on the ability of the NEA to leverage $7 in additional support through local, state and private donations, for every $1 in NEA support.

SNB’s annual budget is $360,000. There are approximately 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations, which spend $63.1 billion annually. Without an economic stimulus for the nonprofit arts industry, experts expect about 10 percent of these organizations (ranging from large arts institutions like museums and orchestras to small community-based organizations in suburban, urban and rural areas) to shut their doors in 2009—a loss of 260,000 jobs.

While our budget may seem small, SNB serves more than 80,000 people from age 3 through 93. In a report released in mid-January, the National Governor’s Association stated, “Arts and culture-related industries, also known as ‘creative industries,’ provide direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.”

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia issued the following statement: “Arts organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession. They’ve seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs, and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will support this important investment.”

Rosine Bena

Money from heaven
Re “Safety first” (Editorial, Feb. 12):

You asked in your recent editorial on Yucca Mountain, “We invite Mr. Barone to identify the federal statute that guarantees such funding. It doesn’t exist.”

Well, I’m not talking for Mr. Barone, but here are the federal statutes: Title 42–Chapter 108–Subchapter I - Part C 10167. Benefits agreement

“Once selection of a site for a monitored retrievable storage facility is made by the Secretary under section 10165 of this title… the State in which the site is located, shall be eligible to enter into a benefits agreement with the Secretary under section 10173 of this title. …

“The Secretary shall offer to enter into a benefits agreement with the Governor of Nevada.

Section 10173 also says, “In addition to the benefits to which a State … is entitled under this subchapter, the Secretary shall make payments to a State or Indian tribe that is a party to a benefits agreement under section 10173 of this title in accordance with the following schedule.” It then details a payment schedule for Nevada starting at $10 million a year, and going to $20 million a year until the facility closes.

To date, Nevada has received over $400 million from the project without negotiating for benefits.

Sorry guys, but the funds do exist. The account has over $20 billion in it right now, and Congress can allocate additional funds … if only Nevada would ask.

Randi Thompson

Editor’s note: Our editorial referenced guaranteed funding. The statues quoted here permit but don’t require funding.

Re: “Capital losses” (News, Feb. 12):

In our story, we incorrectly referred to Clark County Sen. Mike Schneider as Mike Henderson. We regret the error.