Letters for July 3, 2003

RoundUp kills weeds
Re “You are what you eat,” [RN&R, Cover, May 29]:

Thank you for addressing the topic of organic farming in your community. Having options for locally-grown, chemical-free produce is important for the health of our communities. I am happy to see that Marcia and Steve Litsinger and Jeb Bateman are catalysts for making organic produce an option in Reno.

I wanted to point out a couple of misleading statements. You mention a strain of canola “that resists the harmful effects of the pesticide RoundUp.” Please note that RoundUp is an herbicide, a chemical that kills plants, not a pesticide, which harms insects and other garden creatures. Also, you quote Marcia as saying, “The fertilizer they put on the food is made up of nuclear waste, the most awful stuff.” While it is true that chemical fertilizers are made up of industrial wastes to provide nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium for plants, I doubt that we have high-level nuclear waste going into these products. It is important to present your readers with facts. We should be able to see that local, organic produce makes sense because of economics, environmental effects and community viability, and not feel like we are driven to organic food because we are afraid of the big, bad agribusiness monster lurking in the distance.

Ginger Ogilvie
Salt Lake City

Watch for a stacked court
Several major events in the past few weeks have pointed out how important any Supreme Court nominee by President George W. Bush will be to the rights of all Americans. The Supreme Court recently upheld affirmative action by a 5-4 vote. Just one justice on that decision could have changed the entire course of civil rights progress in America. The Supreme Court has the final say on many of the basic freedoms and rights Americans enjoy.

The next Supreme Court justice will be the crucial vote on privacy, reproductive choice, individual liberties, environmental protections, church-state separation and corporate abuse. President Bush has named two of the Court’s most far-right members as his models for future nominations. If he follows through on this promise, many of the rights Americans hold dear could be gone forever.

Barbara Zaroff

Radio-free Reno
Re “Media monopolies are bad,” [RN&R, Notes from the neon Babylon, June 19]:

Bruce Van Dyke’s recent piece about a town with nothing but Clear Channel computers running all the radio stations is not far away from what exists here. Clear Channel is just the biggest, most obvious robber baron on the scene. The radio industry is just about to complete the biggest heist of public property since the railroad robber barons swept across the continent grabbing public land like kids ransacking a candy store. The story is “get government off our backs” politics and legislation at its stinkiest.

Anybody with some bucks and gumption can buy a printing press and go into competition with this or any newspaper. You want to go into competition with a broadcaster like “The X” or KKOH radio? Have fun trying. In Reno, every single inch of your ethereal landscape has been sold by the FCC to an entity whose sole mission is to make money and squash competition. And they are. The industry is now swimming in its fourth year of record-breaking profits. Shaky economy in America? Not in radio. Profits in the billions. And now the FCC just ruled to help them “increase market efficiencies.” Meanwhile, quality local broadcasters are as old school and viable as the great Bob Carroll.

Reno’s radio waves, while not Clear Channel-centric, are owned by a scant few companies whose mission is solely to suck every possible dollar out of your airwaves and send the checks back to the home office. Save Bruce and a precious few other real-time-alive human voices, Reno radio is about as alive as they are in Minot, South Dakota.

At the behest of all of the broadcasters here and nationwide, your government has now totally locked you out from using your airwaves. And who cares? I say virtually none of you care beyond grousing.

Name withheld
via e-mail

Where did Sparks go?
I’ve lived in Sparks only a year, but I’ve been visiting for many years.

I can’t believe what’s been done to those trees. That shopping center looked nice [before they removed all the trees]. Now, in my opinion, it looks trashy and ghetto. What is up with the sound wall on Interstate 80? It’s ugly, and it covers up the mountains—not to mention Hot August Nights, the Rib Cook-off and the Sparks Christmas tree. What are we doing to Sparks, and where is all the money for these big projects coming from? I think we need to spend less building walls and uprooting trees.

Allie Woodward