Letters for February 6, 2014

Leave Amanda alone

If you look up kangaroo court in the dictionary the abbreviation would be the Italian justice system.

This system tried Amanda Knox on public opinion only, the courts did not show one shred of real evidence against her. Thank god the Italian public did not accuse her of witchcraft—she would have been burned at the stake. It is time those idiots leave this American citizen alone. They have tormented her enough.

Cecelia Soper


Don’t fence it in

What is going on at San Raphael Park? There is construction of a high barrier black fence which makes no sense, is aesthetically ugly, and restricts public movement within the park. Part of this expensive boondoggle can be seen already from N. Sierra Street. Why? This writer asked a park ranger on Sunday, Jan. 26, and was told it was to keep the homeless out. What homeless? I live across the street from the park, and there are no hordes of homeless camping out at the park. Could the stealing of plaques from the park have instigated this ill-conceived move? The fence does not seem to be around memorials, but there is evidence that something with them is planned as there are markers around some of them. This project, which must cost many tens of thousands of dollars, is being funded by the May Foundation which runs the Arboreum at the park.

But what will a high black fence accomplish? It will visually restrict the public viewing areas, it will physically restrict the public, and it will detract from the beauty of the park. What it will not do is keep the phantom homeless from the park or vandals from abusing the memorials. More police patrols would be better. While it might be argued a fence along Sierra Street might curtail entrance to the park after hours, an interior fence is ill-conceived, and will prove to be counterproductive. The fence is being erected by Artistic Fences. The fence is neither artistic or fitting. It is an eyesore and a horrible idea. Your investigative services are invited on this that the public be made aware of what is happening to their park.

Samuel Margolies


Attitude problem?

I have gone to the Reno Bike Project on several different occasions for the sole reason that my bike was in dire need of a simple repair [to a problem] that occurred while I was out handling business. Since my bicycle is my means of transportation in and around Reno, without the use of my bicycle, it becomes very difficult to get anywhere in a timely manner. My latest run in with the Reno Bike project on Fourth Street has me very disturbed and questioning their community ties and what they are really about.

It all started when I was given a bike by a friend who had not ridden it in years and just wanted to get rid of it. I aired the tires and proceeded to make the three-mile ride home. After riding a half mile or so, the handle bars became very loose, so I dug through my tool kit only to realize that I did not have the right size Allen wrench with me. With the realization that I would never make it home without leaving part of my skull on the pavement, I decided to go the Reno Bike Project to get my handle bars tightened. What would that take, all of about 15 seconds with the right tool? How wrong I was.

The greeting along with the attitude made it very unpleasant, and I was almost sorry that I had asked for a little help. As I pushed my bike through the door I could feel it: “No help here, go away” from the two guys behind the counter. When I asked to borrow an Allen wrench and told them the bike was given to me 30 minutes earlier, I was told that I must request the use of a booth and would not be able to use any tools until my request was granted.

Spinning my bike around and pointing it toward the door while taking a couple of steps to leave, I turned, copped an attitude, and said to the person who had approached me earlier, “So what you are saying is that you are going to let me ride out of here with the possibility of my handle bars becoming detached and my head smashing into the pavement.”

His response was, “No, that is not what I am saying,” so I asked, “Then what is it that you are saying?” That is when he grabbed my bike and proceeded to pull a wrench from his tool belt and tightened the bolt. This took all of about 15 seconds. I thanked him and told him that I felt much safer riding home—only to have him turn his back to me and walk away with an attitude.

This is the second time I have been treated like this in an emergency situation where my bike was in need of a very simple repair. Both times I had to cop an attitude and raise my voice in order to get the simplest of help from the bike shop that prides itself on community efforts. I hope that I will not have to raise my voice the next time I need help from the Reno Bike Project in order to make it home safely on my bike.

On the other hand, let’s give those Morris Burners a high five. On one of my many bike rides past the Morris Burner Hotel, I was distracted by the cute blonde Burner and her two male companions who were setting up a table with cold weather gear for the homeless. Nice job, Burners, those jackets you passed out a week later were much appreciated by the homeless as well.

Rick Carter


Don’t sabotage diplomats

From the agreement to eradicate Syria’s chemical weapons to the deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, 2013 will be remembered as a year of historic diplomatic accomplishments. I hope 2014 is not the year the U.S. Senate passes sanctions that sabotage our diplomats’ achievements.

I hope my senators, Sens. Reid and Heller, will oppose the Menendez-Kirk-Schumer legislation that would increase sanctions on Iran and encourage Israel to launch a preemptive attack on Iran. If these sanctions passed, it would violate the first-step nuclear deal and likely lead to the collapse of the negotiations with Iran, which is why the White House has issued a veto threat.

The Senate should heed advice from a recent U.S. Intelligence Community assessment which stated that “new sanctions would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.”

The Friends Committee on National Legislation has more on how Congress can support, not sabotage, diplomacy with Iran: fcnl.org/iran.

Debbie Thomas



Re “A job left undone II,” (News, Jan. 30):

A sentence quoted Rancho San Rafael arboretum official Linda Nelson on the response of Reno casinos to plans for a grove memorializing the victims of the 1985 Galaxy plane crash. That quote should have been attributed to memorial planner Doris Isaeff. The error has been corrected online. We apologize for any confusion caused by our error.