Letters for January 30, 2003

Thanks for picking us up
While waiting for my car at Wal-Mart on Friday, I picked up your paper and read through it. It was one of the most distasteful things I have read.

I could have ignored it, but I think it should have some response. I refuse to stick my head in the sand. Too many are doing that rather than speaking out.

Nevel Lyons

Big brother backlash
Re “Where were television media?” [ RN&R, Guest comment, Jan. 23]:

How very sad that the mainstream media is content to lie down in the lawn and hum while our President and his cabinet of corporate oil and weapons executives lead us down a path of violence, with no foreseeable end. The huge profits from this endless War on Terror will, by strange coincidence, go to the same weapon and oil industries. The rest of us will pay with the lives of our sons and daughters overseas, and with the sacrifice of our own personal freedoms and security. To try (emphasis on try) to forestall terrorist retaliation to our aggressions, we will be asked to live in a world of increasingly onerous restrictions—not the free America that veterans died for.

If the media continue to see no evil and hear no evil in the corporate takeover of our government and in the government’s forceful taking of a sovereign nation, then they deserve the wounded America that their disregard for honesty in reporting will bring.

David Singelyn
via e-mail

Code claptrap
Re “School’s out” [RN&R, News, Dec. 26, 2002]:

UNV, DOM, CIR, MED, ALT, UMI, EMI, Everyday Math, FOSS, SAPs, CRTs, Terra Nova, Iowa Basic Skills, IEPs, CSTs. It has been said that few professions rival the lingo that the education profession does.

Our staff was introduced to the most recent update of the attendance codes at a half-hour staff meeting last year. Now, mind you, the coding is complicated. A student may miss a certain number of minutes and be considered EMI (Excused Missed Instruction) or UMI (Unexcused Missed Instruction), but if he or she attends a certain portion of the school day it could be MED (Medical), DOM (Domestic) or CIR (Circumstance). We do not have an attendance clerk, so it is up to each teacher to determine what formula the absence fits under.

Extra work for an already overworked profession? Even if you don’t sympathize with the plight of the teacher, you may want to consider the time and energy this whole process takes away from the education of your children, our students.

Name withheld
via e-mail

Prudent advertising
Re “What are they afraid of?” [RN&R, Editor’s note, Jan. 16]:

You’ve got the Reno Gazette-Journal all wrong. They obviously care about promoting healthy competition; just look at the quarter-page ad they ran for the Thunder Station Casino: Dealers Needed.

Richard Hoadley

Dined with the Danns
Re “Showdown in Crescent Valley” [RN&R, Cover, Jan. 16]:

As a former worker for the Western Shoshone Defense Project, it was a delight to see Mary and Carrie Dann’s beautiful faces on the cover of the RN&R. Kudos to Deidre Pike for her just, kind portrayal of the struggle to rise above the constraints imposed by the U.S. government. Having eaten at their kitchen table, I remembered their warmth, wisdom, humor and generosity when I saw the great photos by Debra Reid.

The systematic cultural genocide waged against indigenous people in this rich country weighs heavy on my heart. It is an honor, blessing and inspiration to know Mary and Carrie and to learn from them. They are my heroes.

Kim Elise

Unsympathetic reader
Re “Our condolences” [RN&R, Letters, Jan. 9]:

How fitting that Gail Martin’s letter about her grief over her cat being hit by a car was printed in your “This dog’s life” issue. I appreciated D. Brian Burghart’s Editor’s note reflection on responsible human and animal interaction. Too bad Gail didn’t get the message before she acquired a cat she could not care enough about to take the precautions of keeping it inside. Cats should not be allowed to run outside unsupervised any more than a dog or a child. Domestic animals do not have the ability or the desire to be free. And no one should try to blame someone else for his or her irresponsible behavior.< p>Brenda B. Harding