Letters for July 12, 2012

A good idea

With Artown in full swing, this seems like a good time to offer a suggestion for a project that would greatly benefit the city and offer the art community a fantastic opportunity to fill a space that desperately needs it. The cost would be minimal and, ideally, it could be completed by this time next year and the grand opening could take place during next year’s festival. It’s not a fountain, a statue or a theater. It’s much more than that; I am talking about the railroad trench. This may sound off-the-wall, but isn’t being a little bit off-the-wall part of what Artown is all about? If you are a traveler arriving or departing Reno on Amtrak, you are met with an uninspiring train station facade surrounded by depressingly stark gray concrete walls and overpasses. It makes you wonder if you’ve come to Reno or Dachau. I am sure there are dozens of rules, regulations and other bureaucratic red tape to wade through, but there must be some way for the city, Amtrak, Union Pacific and the hundreds of talented artists in the area to get together to turn these walls, at least around the station, into a colorful, vibrant location that will say “Welcome to Reno and Nevada.” There will never be enough money to make the types of improvements that have taken place at the airport, but with a little imagination and cooperation there is no reason we can’t have a station that makes visitors feel welcome, instead of as though they are arriving and departing in a tomb.

Terry Knight
Carson City

Suckers’ bet

Re “Deception” (News, July 5):

I left Reno shortly after the Great Flood of 1997. When I returned in 2007, I could scarcely believe the changes in the once vibrant downtown. The term “war zone” sprang to mind. It seemed to me an intractable problem. The depression of the railroad tracks and the development of the Truckee River corridor, which had promised greater prosperity, seemed an abject failure. Now comes the iconic Apple to the rescue. Apparently, the cost to the taxpayers will be great, though it pales in comparison to the cost of the decay I saw in 2007. A change to be believed in? One hopes.

Larry Wissbeck
Paonia, Colo.

Can’t believe Jake

Re “Are You There God? It’s me, Jake.” (Feature story, June 28):

Interesting article that begs us to answer the questions: Why and how do humans believe? Why have we created such a strange parade of religions? Why are we such suckers for the fantastic? Why will we defend our beliefs to the death?

It seems Professor Highton has his own belief system—atheism—he claims is based upon reason. However, isn’t it very unreasonable and ultimately egotistical for any one of us, when considering the vastness, complexity and incredible dynamism of our universe, to dare claim there is no god? If the good professor could convince me he knows all, has seen all and understands everything in the universe, then I would perhaps believe him.

Can’t Highton see that there is so much he doesn’t know about the universe? And yet he is essentially saying: Come, follow me. Believe in me. Kind of has a familiar ring to it.

Christopher Hardt
Carson City

Sweet kid

Re “A matter of life & death” (Feature story, July 5):

I have been so lucky to be in the presence of this boy. I can only describe him as “sunshine.” He makes me smile every time I’ve been around him! As a mother of a 3-year-old and 1-year-old, my heart aches for the Farley family. I have never seen such tenderness and love. They are a family of strength, and I’m beyond honored to know them.

Sarah Russell

Jake is proof of god

Re “Are You There God? It’s me, Jake.” (Feature story, June 28):

The arrogance of some academics is astounding. Atheism is a faith as is any religion and has as many fanatics as does any religion. The atrocities done by atheists are just as bad if not worse than those done by believers.

He made a list of items “no critical thinker can believe.” To that let me add that no critical thinker can believe that the sun, the stars, the moon and the Earth, with all the complexity of life, happened as the result of some colossal accident.

Accidents are notorious for destroying, not creating. Can you say that New York was created by accident? Of course not! Yet you want me to swallow the idea that somehow billions of years ago some single cell containing something as complex as DNA somehow came into existence by accident and proceeded to become us. I’m sorry, but my gullibility only goes so far.

Evolution is a faith, not a science, and it’s about time that scientists and academics became honest enough to recognize that.

Don R. Drake
Carson City

A little help

Re “A matter of life & death” (Feature story, July 5):

Ramsey (Penguin) is the most adorable and most loving little boy I have ever known. I have had the privilege of watching this little angel grow up. It is heartwrenching knowing there is nothing you can do to ease the hurt and bewilderment of the “not knowing.” Ramsey has the most amazing momma. Any help that you can give the family would be great! Your support, love and prayers, and if you can help guide them to someone who can help answer their questions, who doesn’t stop or give up when the answers don’t come easy. Too many times they have been pushed off to new doctors, and then more doctors. Tami, Art and Jamie are constantly having to call to get results, or to remind doctors of upcoming tests or equipment that the doctors had promised to get for them. Equipment orders have been “lost” or “delayed.” This is unforgivable! Whatever happened to “patient care” and “follow through?” Any help for the family and for Ramsey would be great!

Monica Acunia
San Antonio, TX

Editor’s note: Yes, please, if you know of any doctors who may know anything—here or abroad—please send them a link to the story, www.newsreview.com/reno/matter-of-life/content?oid=6599234 .

Censor Jake

Re “Are You There God? It’s me, Jake.” (Feature story, June 28):

The anger implicit throughout Jake Highton’s article “Are you there God? It’s me, Jake.” is largely understandable—fundamentalist Christians’ intolerant, sometimes downright hate-filled, attitude toward people different than themselves is both incredibly hurtful to many and infuriating to others. This fact nonetheless does not make it permissible to craft a lengthy rant against them under the guise of an argument in favor of atheism.

Given my bachelor’s degree in religion, I find many of Highton’s arguments not only unconvincing—the stalemate between arguments for and against the existence of God has survived for thousands of years—but also offensive to a variety of believers. His use of stereotypes about the relative intellects of Jews, Catholics, and evangelicals is one particularly hurtful example. I do not doubt that there are several convincing arguments for being atheist, but simplistically lambasting those who are faithful gets us nowhere; indeed, it merely echoes the very aggressive, illogical adherence to belief that Highton is so (rightly) frustrated with.

Jessica Fanaselle