Letters for February 26, 2009

Fair prices

I love the RN&R food reviews, especially when the culinary crusaders uncover an overpriced “black hole of Calcutta.”

But, good or bad, $40 for three, for lunch? I’m glad some people have the money to waste. I never understand the shopkeepers who have the balls to charge those prices for half-assed glop and half-assed service.

I can make three meals a day for two: fresh, non-fattening, no-acid reflux, made-from-scratch meals for $5 a day. My coffee comes from a can and a pecolator for 4 cents a cup, not a drive up window.

Just like mom used to say, “We have food at home!”

John Fisher

Target by town

Re “The Future Golden Age of Journalism” (Feature story, Feb. 19):

My guess is that a restaurant in Carson City would be willing to pay to have its ad served up to online readers in Carson City. That’s where micropayments would come into their own. For example, you could charge them 1 cent for any reader, 2 cents for Carson City readers, 3 cents for Carson City readers who read restaurant reviews, 4 cents if they also click on restaurant ads, etc. You get the idea. If the ad included a code redeemable for a special discount, the advertiser would have direct feedback showing the ad had worked. And if readers know that online ads have discount codes, they’ll actively seek them out. The ability to target online advertising is the main reason ad dollars are moving from print media to the Internet. If newspapers available online are missing out on that trend, it might be because their servers aren’t targeting the ads well enough.

I doubt that online readers will ever put up with being charged by the article. The golden age of journalism will arrive when the system becomes smart enough to track the kinds of stories we read and the type of ads we click on, then display ads that are relevant to our needs and tastes. That would make the ads as interesting as the editorial content, not something to be tolerated or avoided.

Rich Dunn
Carson City

Control issues

Re “What happened to ‘For the good of the country’?” (Left in the Lurch, Feb. 19):

The Republicans are telling us that the government is the problem, while the Democrats are saying that the government is the solution. I say that it all depends on who controls that government. Take a look at the last eight years when the conservatives ran things in Washington.

Brad MacKenzie


Soup for everyone

Re “No soup for you” (Foodfinds, Feb. 19):

In response to the article regarding Reno’s Tahoe Roasting Company, written by Sharon Black, I find, contrary to the author’s abrasive tone and limited opinion, that the food, the service and cleanliness of this trendy and inviting little cafe is quite agreeable. Not only does the shop offer a wide array of coffees, drinks and food items, I have never found the service to be anything less than impeccable. The young couple who owns the shop have given nothing but their best efforts to create an atmosphere that is both welcoming and professional.

They are both charming, and their service has kept me returning to TRC, where I have never doubted that I would be greeted with warm smiles and a brief but friendly conversation. Myself, having been a returning customer and having had the pleasure to visit a few of TRC’s Wednesday Open Mic Nights, I have seen the owners and their employees greet all of their customers with the same service as I have always received and appreciate. Black in her own words emphasizes a “one day and one experience” attitude (albeit hers was negative) and to prospective TRC customers ready to try the comfortable atmosphere, the fresh roasted coffee, and the pleasant, engaging employees, remember the reality is that “one day and one experience” can go many ways, and I’m fully confident that if you try it, it’ll be as great an experience as mine has always been.

Lael Pickel
via email

Paper view

Re “The Future Golden Age of Journalism” (Feature story, Feb. 19):

Excellent story. Not so sure about the prospect of micropayments, but your take on blogs is spot on. I know it gets a little tiresome when some bloggers go off proclaiming themselves the new journalism all the while their content is usually a link to a New York Times story and a snarky comment or two. The much dumped upon MSM (mainstream media), or in your case, not-so-MSM is what drives the news cycle. We just tend to comment on it most of the time.

Since you think micropayments are the future, what is your take on Kachingle? They have been talked up a bit in newspaper circles. Will the RN&R give them a try or is it still too early in your eyes? Although it seems to cater to blogs, from what little is on their site, I would think the founders would be more than happy to have you aboard. It might make for a good test, or at least a story or two.

Anon Guy
Blogger at dullardmush.blogspot.com

Editor’s note: An interesting idea. Keep an eye on the biggies like the New York Times. When they commit to charging for content, the rest will likely follow. It would be surprising to see free publications immediately charge for content, but it’s easy to imagine web-only exclusives paying for expensive databases and investigative stories.

We’re blushing

Re “The Future Golden Age of Journalism” (Feature story, Feb. 19):

As an aspiring journalist, I can attest to this feeling of, “What’s going to be left in journalism by the time I get there?” I’d give up and do something else with my life, but it’s newspapers like yours that inspire me to write. Locals want interesting stories that matter to them, and the Reno Gazette-Journal rarely gives us that. The Reno News & Review is where I go for substantive local stories as they can provoke that feeling of living in a real community, so thank you RN&R! You continually publish high-quality articles that mean something, and it is greatly appreciated.

Katie Goodwin

Amanda’s right

Re “The courts should help these children” (Know You’re Right, Feb. 19):

Amanda’s column was right on to the last period. I am sure there are many women, single or attached, who would like to have children, if not just one child. I am sure there are many who would love to have the government pay for all of them too. But is this supposed to be the right/moral thing to do? NO. It’s as pathetic as those who are setting up web site for donations to support her and her children. Is this the new “American” way? I understand her mother moved out, as she was so outraged and disgusted. Is it fair to bring so many “disabled” children (knowingly) into the world? I think they should be all taken away and Nadya and the doctor should be locked up for life. By the way - how did she afford all the in-vitros? I could guess—one sperm donor—hmmmm.

Abby Worth