Letters for February 23, 2017
Re “Hidden history” (cover story, Feb. 16):
Mr. Myers is to be congratulated on his extraordinary review of this book about gay Nevada [Out of the Neon Closet by Dennis McBride]. I can see myself in at least two places although he doesn’t mention my name.
I was a gay Assemblymember in the 1970s who was in the closet publicly but outed in my first term by another legislator. A Mormon member of the lower house who sat next to me on the floor told me about the outing. And he didn’t care. Nor did anyone else since I was very serious about my work representing my district. But in that time, being out publicly was complicated politically. At least I assumed it was. It is heartening to see how much Nevada has changed and all the heroes and heroines.
The story of Tom Ogg is distressing, and there are many such stories where ignorance and prejudice triumph. And today, I laugh when I see ads from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce about gay Las Vegas. I moved away with my lover because we wanted to be more open about our lives and San Francisco beckoned. I will be buying Mr. McBride’s book and congratulate him for writing it, and also Mr. Myers for a powerful review plus some injection of his own considerable knowledge of Nevada history.
South of the city, surrounded by sage covered hills, green valleys with streams running through, is home to wild horses, bobcats and coyotes. Hawks, eagles and migratory birds soar overhead. In the open space, you feel yourself relax.
This is how we used to live before the city grew like a cancer, consuming farms and ranches, before life evolved into tract homes where neighbors stayed indoors, crime rates increased along with population, fast fooderies, gas stations and strip malls. You may have wished there was something you could’ve done to preserve the rural slice of heaven you used to know.
Wednesday March 1, 5:45 pm, City of Reno is voting to annex the pristine pasture behind historic Steamboat Hotsprings to build 300 homes! Unabated, they will consume the next pasture and the next until Reno and Carson are one continuous stretch of city. Once gone, it’s gone forever. Make your voice heard! Say “No Annexation!”
Re “Buses taking ‘locals’ to Tesla” (Erik Holland cartoon, Feb. 16):
Instead of usually working as a crew driver for wildland firefighters, last summer my employer gave me the assignment of driving one of the buses depicted in the political ’toon. My passengers were Panasonic engineers and technicians from Japan. I told them I was unlike those who negatively viewed their presence and thanked them for being here.
Tesla has a contract with Panasonic Japan, which also has invested in the gigafactory. Panasonic has been producing lithium-ion batteries in Japan since 1994. Our community, state, country didn’t have the human capital to work on the start-up of the Gigafactory. That’s why these knowledgeable and highly skilled engineers and technicians are here. I’m sure they would rather be back home where their families, friends and loved ones are. But they, like many of us would, didn’t turn down an historic opportunity to work abroad and have a different cultural experience. I had the pleasure to work with these gentlemen for several weeks and enjoyed the growing camaraderie that came about through learning and speaking Japanese phrases. For me it was an honor to meet and transport these admirable and kind people.