Letters for January 5, 2006

Save the Truckee River bridge
Re “Think big” (Editorial, Nov. 17):

Even if we “should close downtown Virginia Street to through traffic” (presumably except for the rapid-transit bus), as you suggested in “Think big,” there does need to be a Virginia Street Bridge.

It should be the rebuilt, original concrete bridge, which has become Reno’s icon. And what you dub “Reno’s Trafalgar Square” (originally the square bounded by “Front Street"—between Virginia and Center streets—and the Truckee River, as well as the gardens around the Carnegie Library) should no longer be subjected to flooding, as Venice Italy is, the high-curved Rialto Bridge notwithstanding.

Reno’s flood problem is not caused by the bridges; it is caused by the city’s having cut off all of the river’s original expansion possibilities in the course of building flood walls.

The city that can use 21st-century technologies to retain its heritage railroad depot and even expand it in an architecturally accurate fashion, while digging a trench perilously close and under it and keeping it accessible to rail passengers, can surely reconfigure the river’s expansion possibilities at Reno’s seminal Virginia Street curve in the river and save the icon bridge and the heritage urban downtown they’ve been trying to redevelop.

Also, I not only don’t like, I expressly dislike the “teasers” you’ve been using on your covers. You continually present exemplary articles on subjects which are not covered at all by the Gazoo—not mentioned—and about which the public, especially our newcomers, need to be informed. One cover story attracts readers, and they will discover that, although you are sometimes a rag, you are also full of the meat and potatoes of life in Reno and its environs.

Beth Miramon

Build a sound foundation
School system officials see a “service economy that does not require higher education degrees to earn a decent living” as a problem. The only problem I see is a myopic view and a refusal to acknowledge that a good plumber is often worth far more than the most educated of academics. Not all students are cut out to be a “suit and tie guy.” Is this really a problem? Where would this country be without skilled labor?

Those of us involved in technical/vocational education know this. We preach this as passionately as a TV preacher, but viewed as the “dirty fingernail bunch,” we’re politely ignored or told we just don’t understand. Those who push too hard for change are quietly swept under the rug.

Nevada needs an independent technical college system. Many states have already implemented a separately managed system of technical colleges. It’s time Nevada gets on board.

We often read in the paper how badly business needs an educated technical workforce. We also are informed that high-tech/high-wage industry won’t relocate to Nevada without one.

I realize money is tight, and resources are limited. In construction, it’s far better to put the money in a good foundation than hiring a fancy interior decorator. I think it’s time educators start working on the foundation.

Charles L. Dickinson

Good on you, too
Re “Corps values” (Feature story, Dec. 15):

That “Corps values” article was definitely intriguing. It’s good to see our young people out there getting dirty for a good cause. I hope to see more of our youth with this kind of heart, motivation, and consideration for our planet’s health. It sounds like Mr. Keir has done a great job initiating the program, and it seems like he has great plans for the future. Good work, Deidre Pike, on putting together a fun and informative article. Keep up the good work, RN&R and Nevada Conservation Corps.

Mike Schwab

United Corporations of America
You have heard about low prices of drugs in Canada. What about other countries?

France, Italy and Spain use direct price controls. Spain and Britain also limit profitability on a drug-by-drug basis.

The House Committee on Government Reform, in a 2001 report on prescription drugs prices, found as a result of controls, such drugs cost 31 to 48 percent less in Canada, France, Italy, Britain, Germany and Japan than in the United States.

Would we need the Bush administration’s phony drug “benefit” if we could buy drugs at European-Canadian prices? Who controls the prices of drugs here? The lobbyists of the rich and the powerful drug companies easily have their way with a negligent president and Congress. The problem is not the government because under President Bush, we lack any type of government. Isn’t democracy grand?

John Marchese