Letters for January 17, 2008

Rhyme time
Re “Butchering the family classic” (Right Hook, Dec. 20):

“Ode to the Butcher”

I flew in from Houston
to see my big sis
the Sierras, Lake Tahoe
in snow driven bliss
One day we sipped
our gourmet caffeine
we sat down to watch
the news on the screen
The heads began talking
about writers on strike
when I noticed a poem
by a writer named Mike
I’m not one to judge
and I’ve no education
but this was like reading
a man’s defecation
the rhyme scheme is awful,
forced, without sense
upon every word
I felt myself wince
He did make an effort
so I’ll tip my hat
but I can’t believe
they would publish this crap!

Dave Garrett
via email

Rhyme time
Re “How to caucus” (Feature story, Jan. 10):

Dennis Myers has written a very informative and entertaining history and explanation of the precinct meetings in Nevada. My background of attending these meetings and conventions goes back to 1964, and Dennis is right on. There is quite a story to be told by old-timers about how the old meeting system worked, and truth be told, there is more to be gained by going back to the old system than the new (except for 2008) systems used. Those old neighborhood house meetings did a lot for party and street unity, and the benefits are missed now in a sentimental look back. In Clark County, we had over a couple hundred locations and, while no one meeting had more than a few to a dozen or so people attending, that was a lot when you added it up. One criticism of the old system was that there were times when nefarious games might be played. These might be the oldest trick of turning out the lights and locking the door in advance of the evening starting time. And, at the other end of the process, there was a hint or two of tampering with the results reported to the County HQ. The locked door usually resulted in a rump meeting being held on the front lawn or at another dissident’s house, and both results reported to HQ, and the fight carried to the county convention. Regardless of the outcome, there was rarely a problem for people to attend, and travel to the meetings was not an issue. And, the activity guaranteed that everybody knew who was registered to vote, and the voting officer was usually chosen from that milieu. So, one big problem eliminated was voter identification at all elections, primary and general. Total attendance surpassed the mass gatherings held in school gyms in recent years, and while it might not have made for a TV opportunity, that was considered the least important thing. I want the good old days of fights and convention disputes to return. Thanks, Dennis, for touching on those better times.

State Senator Bob Coffin
Las Vegas

A wolf in donkey’s clothing
Re “How to caucus” (Feature story, Jan. 10):

Did you know that the Nevada Democratic Party allows people to re-register as Democrats on the day of the caucus, in order to participate in the selection process?

All you have to do is show up (early) at your respective Democratic “precinct meeting” and change your voter registration to Democratic. It’s that easy. But why do this?

My rationale is that I don’t want to see eight more years of the Clintons in the White House, and if I have to give up my non-partisan status to prevent that from happening, it’s a small price to pay.

Anyone with me?

Joe Beverly

So long, Deidre

Re “The rest is the madness of art” (View from the Fray, Jan. 3):

RUMPUS, RUMPUS, RUMPUS: Deidre, there will be a hole in the Reno News & Review for a while, but doing things you’d wished you had done is very important to everyone, including the Deidre. Yes, time does slip away, but not as fast as you think.

So sail to the land of wild things, knowing the terrible roars are you being missed.

I’m sure Brian will find someone close to your abilities. It is good you’re boarding that boat, not as a matter, of course, for we folk, but for your Rumpus, Rumpus wild thing. TANKS. (I also love the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.)

Woodrow Barlettani

Re “How to caucus,” (Feature story, Jan. 10)

In “How to caucus,” we reported that people can register to vote at the Nevada presidential caucuses. In fact, that is true only of the Democratic caucuses. Those wishing to attend the Republican caucuses must have registered as Republicans by Dec. 19.