Letters for January 7, 2010

I’m just wild about Harry

Re “Sell ’em out, Harry” (Editorial, Dec. 24):

Your editorial slamming Senator Reid was totally out of line. I’m writing this on the morning that the Senate passed historic healthcare legislation. The universal coverage alone in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a milestone worth celebrating.

Thanks to the leadership of Senator Reid, who stood up to sometimes mean-spirited and disingenuous selfish interests, our country is on verge of the greatest expansion of healthcare since Medicare was enacted in 1965. This is far from the sell-out to conservative interests you portray him as.

Our state’s healthcare system is a disaster for low-income and working class people. If we wait for the perfect, no-compromise solution that you seem to be enamored with, we will only cause greater suffering.

As one who has organized for 25-years on social justice issues in Nevada, I’m grateful that Reid and his capable staff worked around the clock to pass reform, because Nevada needs it more than just about any other state:

• Nevada has the 2nd highest rate of uninsured in the nation, according to the Associated Press.

• Nevada receives three years of full funding for Medicaid. This is critical since we are already dead last (51st) in per capita Medicaid spending.

• Lower premiums and prescription drug costs for Nevada’s 328,000 Medicare beneficiaries

• It will help relieve Nevada tax payers from the burden of paying for those who don’t have insurance.

Our work is far from over. In the weeks leading up to the conference committee, we will be hammering away on affordability—the so-called ticking “time bomb” of healthcare reform. We will fight to make insurance affordable to those who are mandated to purchase it. We will never give up on greater efforts to address racial disparities, providing women and immigrants full benefits, or the public option. Nevertheless, let’s take stock in what has been achieved and give thanks to everyone who made it possible.

Bob Fulkerson
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Rally round the flag

Re “The Decade in Reverse” (Feature story, Dec. 31):

For a paper that pretends to be so enlightened, I’m surprised that your writer R.V. Scheide reacted with such nationalism on 9/11. Putting up the American flag and wanting revenge were the wrong things to do—and that’s what nearly everybody did. The outward displays of nationalism fueled the flames of war; look at the situation we are in today because of it. The only flag I flew on 9/11 was upside-down and, rather than looking for revenge, I thought we should look inward at our decades of foreign policy errors in the Middle East. Rather than saying, “They hate us because we’re free,” we should have been saying, “They hate us because of what we have done to them over the past 50-plus years.” And then we should have changed our foreign policy, rather than going to war.

Karen Marie

Cuts like a knife

Re “Lower ed?” (News, Dec. 31):

Why did the elected officials take only a 1.4 percent cut and the range of cuts across the board for other areas were between 10 percent and 24 percent?

Brian Markowski

Hound dog

Re “Color my world” (Editor’s note, Dec. 31):

Regarding Home Depot vs. the smaller neighborhood hardware store: We recently rescued a small dog. The last thing we needed at this time was another mouth to feed, but as my mother-in-law said; “Sometimes you need to feed your emotional health as well as your stomach.” Anyway, in the interest to save every penny, I promptly marched into one of those big pet market chain stores to do some basic shopping.

They had signs up that indicated a big price reduction on something, and the sign was hanging above some harnesses, but I couldn’t tell which particular ones were on sale. When I inquired at the cash register, after having to stand in line for about 5-7 minutes, I was told by the cashier that they were “marked” and I’d just have to look at each tag.

She didn’t seem particularly busy at that time, and we were only about five feet from the harnesses, but instead of helping me, she turned and walked toward the back of the store and started talking to a co-worker.

Because I had to have a harness and leash as soon as possible, I picked out both and went to the checkout where there was no line and no cashier. After a few minutes, the same gal came and rang up the charges. Both turned out to be full price, and as I paid, I commented that we needed to save since we had lost our jobs and any sale items she knew about would be helpful, since we had a new dog in the house and needed other supplies. She didn’t look at me and instead waved her hand saying, “You’ll have to look for the signs.” I took the harness and leash and walked out.

Later, I drove over to the local neighborhood pet store on Prater near the old Long’s drug, Discount Pet Food and Supplies, and walked in to look for dog food. I was in there for about five minutes or less when one of the clerks came over and asked if I needed help. The next thing I knew I was being educated on dog food contents and learned that the reason our new pet was scratching might be due to an allergy to corn. (This turned out to be correct, and that problem is solved.) I was given some choices of corn-free dog foods, then a lesson on how to train him in various behavior situations that I described, then I was given a tour of the pet toys that might also assist in the chewing problem, and finally upon checkout I was asked to fill out an information card and told that I’d be receiving a free bag of dog food for every nine bags I buy and other in-store specials.

It’s my favorite store now, and our dog loves it, too, because he is personally greeted when he comes along and given treats on the house while we shop.

Martha Liou

Right or wrong

Re “The Decade in Reverse” (Feature story, Dec. 31):

The Reno News & Review did it, too. The Reno News & Review screwed up. On page 13 of the Dec. 31, 2009, issue, the first line reads, “As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close…”

Wrong! The first decade of the 21st century doesn’t come to a close for another 12 months.

We saw it in the newspapers, on television and on the internet, that 2009 was the end of the first decade of the 21st century, and I just can’t understand how so many people could be so wrong.

It’s simple. Go back to the year 1 and count one decade.

1, 2, 3, 4, on up to 7, 8, 9 and 10. (10 years equals one decade).

Count on to 11,12,13 and up to 17,18,19 and 20. (20 years equals two decades.)

If you keep counting up to 100, you have one century, continue counting up to 1,000 and you have 10 centuries, and count up to 2,000 and you have 20 centuries (or 200 decades) and starting with 2,001 (the first year of the 21st century) you count on to 2,002, 2,003, 2,004 on up to 2,007, 2,008, 2,009 and 2,010.

Ten years, the first decade of the 21st century.

Do it another way. Count by 10s (decades) 201 times and what do you get, 2,010 or 2,009?

Count your fingers, 10 fingers (one decade).

Ask a first grader to count to 10.

The Reno News & Review could save their article “The Decade in Reverse” and run it again next year, it would still be timely.

Charlene Aro