Letters for July 31, 2008

Leave legals alone
Re “Government solutions” (Editorial, July 17):

I just read last week’s editorial and felt compelled to make some points regarding public notices:

· Newspapers already post the notices on the web. Why create a new government bureaucracy to do what’s already being done?

· A key component of public notices is verification of publication by an independent third party, which newspapers provide via affidavit. Unless you agree that government need only be accountable to government, there must be a verification process.

· Government has a responsibility, for the matters specifically defined by law for public notices, to notify the public of its actions. This responsibility goes beyond simply making the information available, if you know where to look. Yes, nearly everything government does is a matter of public record, but some things—ordinances, zoning changes, expenditures—must be widely and legally disseminated.

· Newspapers remain by far the best means to disseminate this information. That’s why the law generally requires publication of notices in newspapers of general interest, so people will actually read them.

· While our survey is not yet complete, results so far indicate 55 percent prefer public notices in newspapers, compared with 17 percent for the Internet. Sixty-five percent of respondents say they “sometimes” or “frequently” read public notices. Should governments be required to continue to publish them in newspapers? Yes: 86 percent.

· I think you vastly underestimate the number of government employees it would require to establish and operate a public notice website for all state, county and city notices.

I’m well aware of the need in this economy for government belt-tightening. I would say, however, that the last place I would want government to cut back is on the information it provides to the public on what it is doing.

Barry Smith,
Nevada Press Association

Carson City

Give us some credit
Re “Banking on confidence” (News, July 24):

I read with interest your story on the banking crisis and the local banks’ responses to it. Two times recently national publications have stated that no banks have failed in the past few years, 2005-2007. That’s false, because I was a Netbank customer until last fall when they failed, and the FDIC bailed them out. It was scary, but I knew my money was OK. What’s really scary is that the media is missing this little fact in their reporting.

My advice is to mostly stick with credit unions if you can. They are well run, operated by locals and do well for their customers, which is why the for-profit banks hate them so much.

John Fitzsimmons

Editor’s note: While we can’t speak to what other publications publish, we can report that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says the last Nevada bank failure before this month was Frontier Savings Association on Dec. 14, 1990, and that the FDIC has not generally been the source of any statements that there have been no recent back failures.

Raising Pan awareness
Re “Heavy, lifting” (Arts&Culture, July 17):

I wish to thank you for the story you published about the production of Brundibar here in Reno. It is an important way of remembering the innocent victims of the Holocaust.

I also wanted to bring to your attention that the second part of the production, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” was the fruit of the hard labor of Mr. Pan Pantoja. As a parent of one of the kids onstage, I was able to see how Pan worked with the kids. While making sure all the ‘technical’ parts were taken care of, Pan also did amazing work explaining to the kids the importance of this show and the heavy burden they carry as the voice of those who can’t speak. I think this reflects in the way they act onstage. I was wondering if it would be possible to have a small follow-up that will acknowledge Pan’s role in this production. He did this without being paid and with the greatest commitment. Many people contributed to this impressive production and most of them were acknowledged in your story. Pan is the driving force behind “I Never Saw Another Butterfly’ and deserves recognition.

Shai Koussevitzky

How do you really feel?
Re “Obama’s aid won’t help” (Know You’re Right, July 17):

I wish I had only to choose between a big screen TV and health insurance. I can’t get health insurance. We tried for health insurance with a $2,000 deductible for catastrophic care. I was turned down. I’ve had back surgery. And the whiners are the big billion-dollar corporations that whine about paying a few extra cents to their workers, and give million dollar bonuses to the CEOs. Is this column the best the RN&R can find to support the political right these days? Her writing is barely coherent, her theses non-supported and her commentary ignorant.

Robin Baizel