Letters for July 28, 2011

RN&R’s image problem

Re “Reno’s image problem” (Editorial, July 14):

The editorial regarding Reno’s image problem is the most condescending, elitist pile of shit I have ever read in your otherwise egalitarian, populist, independent, intelligent newspaper. I have traveled the world—not to brag, but to inform you that every major city in the world has a huge poor population that is both conspicuous and ubiquitous. You sound like the Manhattanites who complain that for the Puerto Rican Day parade, all the poor Puerto Ricans from the boroughs take over the city.

Have you even been to a major city? Even in San Francisco, I step over more homeless in one block than all of downtown Reno. San Franciscans coming to Reno go, “Wow, where’s all the homeless?” The only difference in Reno is that the poor are white whereas in San Francisco, the city is full of poor blacks and Latinos. You seriously think San Franciscans say, “Gee Reno is full of fat, ugly, poor, white people. I’m never coming back”? Are you serious? In Paris, there are gang bangers and thugs, wearing worn T-shirts all over the place, more per downtown block than Reno. I don’t go, “Gee, I’m so snotty rich I’m never going back to Paris!” I’ve been all over the world to the richest cities and love it in Reno, and you don’t seem to know what a major city looks like, but think Reno should be ashamed of its poor, white rural population that comes out for festivals.

I love them. They’re genuine, nice, friendly, and real, and anyone who judges them by their clothes or weight is a classist, superficial fuck. Don’t be one of those Reno elitists who think they’re special because they’re “middle class” and can look down on the lower class rural folks from Elko, Yerington, Wells, Fernley, etc. Also, there are many middle and upper class people who don’t look down on anyone, and they love the down-home, bucolic, friendly, genuine feel of Reno and prefer that to the cesspool, sleaze-peddling, rectum of American excess called Vegas. There are two kinds of people in Reno: Those who want to be here and see the positives, and those who don’t want to be here and look down on everyone but actually make up the population of losers who make this town look bad.

Blake Crosby

Don’t write about events

Re “Reno’s image problem” (Editorial, July 14):

It’s not very often I am inspired to write in response to an article about anything, but your editorial about Reno’s image problem offended me.

I’m one of the multitudes of people here who like special events in Reno and Sparks. To blame those events for Reno’s image problem is out of left field and simply not true.

Do you really think that the monied and sophisticated people of the Bay Area are offended by the two guys with their shirts off, holding beers, and listening to music?

I went to a “special event” in San Francisco a few years back and saw a guy dressed in a nun habit and wearing assless chaps. I was intelligent enough to know that he wasn’t the mayor, and I visited the city again.

Your editorial is off base, random, and to be honest, a little stupid. But while I’m sober for a second on a Thursday between events, allow me to be Mr. Obvious. The next time writer’s block creeps in, and you can’t seem to think of a single relevant thing to write about, you might want to take a different route than to offend the very people who pick up your free newspaper by judging them at free special events. When I flip through the pages of your newspaper, much of the advertising revolves around the events you are criticizing. Let me spell it out for you, you dilettante: That’s your paycheck!

I hope you’re not patting yourself on the back for writing such a thought-provoking article. If I wasn’t so offended, I would be angry to have wasted two minutes reading it. You’ll probably be fired in a week. Or at least one can only hope. You are a dummy.

Jason Williams

A short play

(The scene: 1 p.m. at Wingfield Park. A concert has just finished.)

IRKED CONCERT-GOER: (Quiety, and calmly) If you want to talk during the entire concert, you should sit in the back.

CHATTY CONCERT-GOER: (Equally quiet and calm) It’s just a casual outdoor concert. (She gazes after the Irked Concert-goer in utter disbelief at his gall as he walks away, shaking his head.)

That was the brief drama played out last week after the DG Kicks noontime concert in Wingfield Park. I’m both fascinated and frustrated with audience members who somehow believe that their right to talk trumps others’ rights to listen and, worse, it is entirely discourteous to the performers who have worked so hard to present a diverse selection of great music—or dance, play, film.

I teach drama, and one of the most important curriculum goals for students in my classes is that they learn appropriate audience etiquette. I wish the two young women sitting behind me last week would have spent some time in my class.

Artown is a terrific part of living in Reno in the summer, and I love that so much of it is free. It is too bad that some audience members believe that free and casual in the cool grass means they are entitled to be discourteous—and unapologetic. While I understand that an outdoor venue sometimes can be a difficult place to enjoy performances for various other reasons, I am entitled to hear it without constant chatter.

Rod Hearn

Dirty phone calls

Re “Are your carpets dirty” (Editor’s note, July 21):

You can do what I did after the third call; I sent emails to the secretaries of state and the attorneys general of California and Nevada with the phone numbers and the phone message. I also let them know I pressed the 9 key to be taken off the list and that I was on the National Do Not Call Registry and the State of Nevada Do Not Call Registry, and the phone calls were not stopping. I didn’t get any phone calls for about six months, and now they are starting up again. I’m getting ready to send out the emailing to the secretaries of state and attorneys general again. Anyone want to join me?

Dewey Quong

Little trust in politics

Re “Screwed” (Feature story, July 21):

This is good political history. When I read the “Screw Nevada Bill,” I was dismayed and ashamed by the self-serving nature of much of the bill. I heard some congresspersons were asked by DOE what was intended by one section that was clearly making a funding demand that made no sense, and the answer was in essence, “Gee, does it really say that?” Not inspiring of confidence. Yet the Yucca Mountain repository was shown to be safe if constructed as proposed, for a million years. (The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff just released a report suggesting Yucca could meet their million-year requirements, and they are the experts, in my book.)

So here we have unfair politics juxtaposed with fair science and engineering.

Should science make such a determination for society? No! This important and consequential national project should be a societal decision informed by science. Elected leaders need to make decisions of this nature for society, since they are the people accountable to the public. Scientists are very useful informing such societal decisions, but that is as far as science should go. Of course, nothing is ideal. Faith in Congress doing the right thing for the right reasons is at an all-time low, it seems. Reading the text of the “Screw Nevada Bill” does not inspire trust in the political process several decades ago, either. But there we are. That is our system, and I spent four years in uniform because I believed in it. Do I still believe in it? Not so much, but I do still have high hopes.

Abe Van Luik
Las Vegas