Letters for February 8, 2001

A leader killed twice

Re “Death of a Leader” (RN&R, Jan. 11):

Deidre Pike’s piece about the unsolved murder of tribal leader Glenn Wasson was a great read. I can’t believe the Reno Gazette-Journal did not cover this story, as your writer did. The Gazette was caught sleeping at the wheel on this one. Instead of doing a series on California Indian gaming, they should have followed up on this case, a true mystery with twists and turns that could have made any mystery writer shake his head in disbelief.

For William Bills to say, “I am going by the books, and you can’t go wrong with the books,” means he forgot one very important thing: He is a full-blooded Filipino, not a Shoshone-Paiute. He should have read the tribe’s constitution, which states tribal leaders must be at least a quarter Indian.

What is truly amazing after all this is that some Winnemucca Shoshone-Paiute tribal members would still stick up for a non-Indian instead of one of their own. It’s like the Shoshone man was murdered twice. That, in my opinion, is the sad part of this crime.

Martin Luzon
Auburn, Calif.

Corporate greed story

I have just been enlightened to an example of corporate greed that I need to share.

There has been a man selling the Sunday newspaper in the Lemmon Valley Scolari’s Food and Drug parking lot for as long as I can remember. He always stood under a light right next to the exit along the north edge of the parking lot. With such a great location, he made out pretty good. But a few Sundays ago, he was moved across the street, out of the light, to a less-than-optimum location.

I asked him what was up, and he said that the shopping center told him that he could not be on the property anymore—for “safety” concerns.

His play on it was that the store was not selling enough papers, so it had him moved off the property. How incredibly petty to deprive this man of a couple of dollars, because he is “cutting into the business.”

Tom Wiltzius
Lemmon Valley

Dude, where’s my car?

My car was stolen during New Year’s weekend. As a retired woman living on a fixed income, this was a devastating blow. I filed a police report but figured I would never see my car again.

About a week later, I saw a small news item in the Reno Gazette-Journal about a bank robbery. It turned out that it was my car [used in the robbery]. After the Reno Police Department did their forensic work, they had the car towed to a storage facility.

My complaint is that the RPD never took the time to notify me that my car had been recovered. Instead of having the car, which was not drivable, towed to my home or a mechanic, I had to pay the towing charge and four days of storage charges. This was a financial blow that makes life very difficult for someone in my situation.

If I hadn’t run across the story in the newspaper, would the RPD ever have told me that the car was found? How much would I have owed the towing company then?

I realize the police are very busy and have a responsibility to all of Reno’s citizens. But I feel victimized by the non-communication of the RPD and the unfair charges. The person who stole my car and robbed the bank, to my knowledge, has not been caught yet. Meanwhile, I’m hurting financially, I’m fearful and I’m wondering … where is justice for the victim?

Roberta Heller

Zero tolerance for zero tolerance

On the subject of “zero tolerance” laws, mandatory minimums and “lock ’em up and throw away the key” policies: I raised six children without a father. Had I raised them under Nevada’s unyielding laws, they surely all would have been serving life sentences by the age of 14.

However, I chose to raise them on a day-by-day, event-by-event basis—exactly as I believe laws were meant to be applied.

It appears my way worked OK. It’s not that I raised six angels, but I did raise a top law enforcement officer, a teacher/politician, a manager in one of the largest financial institutions in the United States and a waiter. And what family would be without a problem child or two?

My point is simple … Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung all ruled under zero-tolerance policies. Let’s re-examine this insanity and stop throwing millions into a prison and judicial system that does not work.

Bonnie White