Letters for January 8, 2015
We’ll ask our readers
Re “Public enemies in Nevada” (Feature story, July 9, 2009):
Has anybody ever heard of a Reno-based gangster who went by the name of “Baldwin” or “Stanley?” This person may have been implicated in the unsolved bombing of United Airlines Flight 23, which crashed outside Chesterton, Indiana, in 1933. That crime was never solved.
Know your teachers
Re “Witches of the West” (Arts & Culture, Nov. 20):
I love that these articles on our pagan community that have given so many people so much to talk about. It also gives insight into the fact that no two groups in the region actually practice their spirituality in the same ways. There is something in Paganism or Heathenism for everyone at one time or another. Some of us have been learning and working within or on our paths for over 25 years. I have been a practicing Pagan for 30 years and have never been happier. By bringing these groups out of the shadows you allow us all to show our best sides, to discuss some of our good deeds or our ideas for the future within the larger community. There are indeed some wonderful shops here in Reno that have fantastic items for sale and they are run by local people, some with ties to the pagan community. We are lucky to have these folks. By giving us a forum to talk, people who may be looking for information or a teacher, can contact us and ask us questions, to get a book list perhaps or to sign up for a class. I would say to you, make sure you know who your teachers are and how long they have studied and what their backgrounds are. It is not an overnight or a weekend process and should not be undertaken lightly.
Children of Temple Earth
With the new rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the Municipal Securities Reporting Board (MSRB), it will be interesting to see how the new Reno City Council and city manager will deal with the reporting of un/underfunded pension liabilities. These rules can and will significantly affect all Nevada local governments here and across the nation as these bodies attempt to harness in employee salary and long term benefits. At risk are reduced bond ratings, bonding capacity and the extreme issue of possible bankruptcy. Could this mean an end to the nearly open ended salary and benefits public safety workers have with their employers?
Will the Nevada Legislature be forced to look at current public safety contract and bar-gaining statutes to implement some reasonableness for local governments’ vain attempts to control their own budgetary and financial destiny?
So, when do we impress on our local government elected officials that public safety service level issues are reasonable questions to ask while wrestling with salary and benefit negotiations and new financial rules regarding the reporting of un/underfunded liabilities? It’s our dollar and our community. Do we need another call for action?
The present of working hell
Re “The future of shopping hell” (Feature story, Dec. 18):
Jim Hightower has hit the nail on the head, especially on the coffins of the book retailers and indentured “slaves,” oops, excuse me, the temps, used by this conglomerate. And I do mean slaves. I had the displeasure of working during the holiday rush at the Fernley warehouse a few years back, trying to fulfill my obligation to get off of the “unenjoyment” cycle. Went through the pre-employment interview at Integrity Staffing, was hired, and went to work shortly after. Joined the other “sheeple” for a lousily presented training. We were on a probationary period for approximately four days and then on our own by the following Monday when many of us received notices for being too slow! Really? Too many bodies and not enough orders that year! How can we fulfill orders when we’re vying for the same orders that did come down the shoots? And some, I noticed, ignored any shoots with tiny items because they were so hard to scan, so that it ate into your production time and made you too slow! Really, Mr. Bezos, you need to walk the miles in all your facilities and pull your own orders. So I really don’t think that he’s ever been desperate for the basic things of life so he will continue to offer no real jobs at his company with any real benefits for real live human beings. So Keep Calm & Keep Shopping. Makes me want to reread Fahrenheit 451, while smelling the paper pages of a tangible book. Not a Kindle.
Re “Welcome back, Fred” (Letters, Dec. 11)
I think that the RN&R’s haphazard use of the “f” word hurts its credibility with an important readership segment, the “conservative” liberals. Because this word is not part of their vernacular, they “stop” on the word (and wince). That distracts from flow and content.
In the ’60s, I used the word with college friends, but after graduation, my business-major husband convinced me that swearing is an indication of a weak, lazy mind. I do accept the “f” word as legitimate when it “depicts” the everyday speech of many people. I think the “f” words used in “Poetic adjustments” by Bruce Van Dyke fit the poem’s tone (RN&R, Dec. 11). (No offense, but I’d have appreciated it more without the “f” words.) Another valid “reflection” is in situational speech (such as, at sports events, in bars, and during stand-up comedy).
The one carte blanche that I give is to Jon Stewart. He has earned the right to swear anywhere any time, but he’d enlarge his audience if he didn’t.