Letters for February 24, 2011

Heated discussion

Re “Burning down the firehouse” (Right to your head, Feb. 10):

With comprehensive and investigative reporting, provocative interviews, timely profiles and on-target editorials from Dennis Myers, William Albright, Kat Kerlin, Brian Burghart, Bruce Van Dyke and others, the RN&R has established itself as a “must read” in this community. If this journalistic momentum can be attributed to the RN&R Mission Statement, I suggest you revisit it after publishing Sean Cary’s presumptuous, stereotyping commentary, “Burning down the firehouse.”

Just what exactly was Mr. Cary’s point? If it was to accurately profile workplace abuses of firefighters some 500 miles away, he did a poor job. Simply regurgitating the one-sided, sensational numbers from the Las Vegas Sun or Las Vegas Review-Journal is shoddy, copycat journalism at best and reckless, damaging rhetoric at worst. Work schedule abuse is a deplorable act and any accusation of such practice should be substantiated prior to airing generalized, defamatory, dirty laundry. Not once was the term “alleged” abuse used. Has the independent investigation by new Fire Chief Washington and Metro P.D. been completed?

If Mr. Carey’s point was to set a degrading, disrespectful, “guilty by association” tone, then he did a great job. Comparing firefighters to washing machines. Really? I’ve never read anything so disrespectful to any profession let alone to one that swears an oath to risk their lives to protect citizens’ lives, conserve property and mitigate hazardous incidents. Implying that firefighters are simply 20-year-old high school grads rather than researching the extent of their AA, BS, Masters and PhD degrees is insulting. Being unaware of the years of continuous state and national educational certification required to be allowed to even practice CPR, trauma care, childbirth, intubation, defibrillation, drug administration, technical rescue, hazardous materials ID, water rescue, structural fire attack, leading a strike team or supervising a division during a wildland fire, is a blissful display of ignorance. Outrageous statements like “The jig is up,” and “abuses undoubtedly happening statewide” are grossly speculative, highly inflammatory and serve only to perpetuate unwarranted hatred at a time when societies need to focus upon galvanizing vs. fragmenting. Where is Mr. Cary’s proof? Did he bother to check with any local officials, city or county managers or Northern Nevada FF associations? Maybe they conducted proactive examinations in conjunction with their finance departments and city managers offices and found no sick leave abuse.

Perhaps a weekly deadline is a challenging thing in Mr. Cary’s profession; however, it is no excuse to indirectly attack the dedicated, brave men and women in the fire service, especially in Northern Nevada, in the Reno News & Review! Bottom line: Read your mission statement, then do some homework. An apology is in order.

Mike Pilcher

Money, money

Re “This is dubstep” (Feature area, Feb. 3):

It was interesting to see the dubstep phenomenon addressed objectively since I have been thinking strenuously about this recently popularized genre of music. So here are my thoughts:

It all ties into basic economics. Any trend, fad, artistic value, or music genre, such as dubstep, will be marketed on a massive scale once it takes hold of the populous. We as Americans value ourselves as a society rich in culture, practically oozing with aesthetic and artistic hubris, but truthfully, the only culture we can offer is capitalism.

Albeit the mainstream or underground scenes, capitalism is the bottom line, and I will give an example to prove my point.

Take for instance the Bassnectar and Glitch Mob shows that recently graced the Reno area at the GSR. Both shows were jam-packed if not sold out at $30-plus per ticket. This sheds light on the question as to why the GSR, a major casino/resort with more licenses than one could count, would be so tolerant of such an ejaculation of youthful chaos. Drugs, overdoses, violence, alcohol and wild costumes come with the dubstep territory, and every savvy businessman from the drug dealer to the head of marketing at the GSR will benefit from it.

People have figured out how to sell dubstep, and boy, does it sell. However, someday it will no longer sell. It will be replaced by a new, lucrative genre that is easy to market, and no matter what it is once one gazes upon the sweating bodies amassed in front of the stage, one sees fun, and too the scheme of numbers of which we are all locked into. For good or ill.

Daniel Rosta

People are strange

Re “One true religion” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 10):

I liked the distinction by Name Withheld in the letter “one true religion” that Christianity is about faith, rather than being a religion of work. However, the statement, “Only Christ says that man can do nothing” could easily be misinterpreted. Christians believe in a triune God: “God the Father (or Mother), God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (which dwells within us). While this representation of God is unique to the Christian religion, it is my belief that other religions that worship one God are not worshiping a different God from us, but rather are worshiping our God in a different way.”

The column is titled, “Filet of Soul,” not “Filet of Christian Soul.” Other religions put the focus on God the Father/Mother or God the Spirit. I have long admired Brian Burghart’s ability to report on a wide variety of religious services and topics in an objective and loving way.

After all, Jesus came into the world with one new commandment, “Love one another,” and this was the focus of his life’s work. Rather than just loving your neighbor or people like yourself, we are called to love all people, even our enemies or people with vastly different beliefs. It is in loving rather than condemning people of other religions and beliefs that we are most Christ-like.

Lizbeth Trotti

Restrict education

A system that uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize education, as UNR and UNLV certainly do, should be assured of a return on its investment. Those who major in liberal arts such as philosophy, religion and literature get their education financed by taxpayers, as do those who major in science and engineering. The difference is that science and engineering graduates are generally able to find work in their fields, thereby paying back into the system that paid for their education, while a huge percentage of liberal arts grads wind up working at Starbucks.

With the recent budget cuts, it’s time for the Board of Regents to restrict subsidization to the majors that can lead to future jobs in that field.

Karen Marie

Don’t hold your breath

Re “Yours, mine, hours” (Filet of Soul, Feb. 3):

I can appreciate faith and what value lies there for us as a whole. The problem is the hellfire and brimstone lectures we get that end times are upon us. Sorry, but it just does not wash. Rarely do we see them recant when the dire predictions of the apocalypse do not pan out. I found on the web an apocalypse meter so you can see graphically how close we are. Looks like a bad stock market chart. Of course, we have the one and only god, even though there are some 28 major faiths in the world plus innumerable variations. More people have died in the name of religion than in all the world wars put together. Thus far, no one has come back to tell us what the real story is. I am not saying a belief is bad (note: not just Christianity), but many fundamental churches want you to bring your wallet and leave your brain at the door. Christ is coming, and you can’t take it with you. If you wonder what I believe, agnostic fits quite well. So I plan on a comfortable seat awaiting Dec. 21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar runs out … then what?

Ted Beecher