Letters for July 7, 2005

Racist letter
Re “English only” (Letters, June 30):

I am aware that part of your job as a journalist requires printing opinions that you don’t agree with. Yet coming from a white American, I was shocked to read what John Fisher wrote last week. I’m sure you could have found someone to voice their racial thoughts more eloquently. I would only hope to see next week’s opinion page filled with decent peoples’ grievances with John Fisher, or I may be tempted to throw this paper in the dustbin.

Harmony Farnsworth

Hasta luego
Re: “Ask a Sophist” and “No More Spanish” (Letters, June 30):

Only a xenophobic yahoo, of which Northern Nevada evidently still has a few, would assume that speaking one language implies an inability to speak another, or that appreciation of one culture implies disrespect of another. I hope that in your benighted crusade to purify our land of all non-Anglo influences, you refuse to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop at WalMart, or buy fruits and vegetables from California, ‘cause if you do, you are the cause, not the victim, of illegal immigration.

Aside from the oft-made points that Spanish was Nevada’s first language for over 300 years until English was introduced by military conquest; that Nevada is one of the few states to be named in Spanish, that stereotyping any race as criminals is plain wrong; and that most educated citizens consider it ignorance, not a point of pride, to read and speak only a single language—hey, let me just say that you’re right, “Duey,” you and your buddies won’t be missed.

David Fenimore
Tahoe Vista, Calif.

Nobody cares, that’s why
Re “Why is life in Nevada so lousy?” (Cover story, June 23):

Thanks for the great article about life in Nevada. I have lived in 20 cities in 12 states, scattered around every region of the 48 states, and I’ve traveled through all 48 states. I’ve lived in Reno for 18 years.

For the first 11 years I lived here, I just could not adjust to Reno. I saw the scandals and corruption at the RSCVA, I found the Reno “work ethic” was apathetic, I saw the under-funded public school system, I observed the Judas Priest trial, and witnessed the dismantling of the magnificent Harrah’s Auto Collection. I would ask out loud, “Does ANYBODY here care about anything?”

Well, over the years, I have seen dramatic changes for the better in Reno. The scoundrels have largely been run out of town, huge investments have been made in cleaning up and improving downtown, I see passion and excellence in the local schools, we now have a great Reno mayor, and the community comes out in droves to support local events.

Reno’s dramatic growth is characterized by people coming here from all over, diversifying our local economy, infusing local businesses with a better work ethic and wonderful new opportunities.

Thanks for a great article, filled with stark facts but also filled with hope and optimism. Although Reno is growing rapidly, I still get that small town feel here. It is common for me to be flagged down just about every day during my little half-hour bicycle commutes to work, by people I have known over the years here in town.

Keep up the good reporting, and please do the promised follow-up story, too!

Lee Warner

On the road
Re “Why is life in Nevada so lousy?” (Cover story, June 23):

Finally, someone has taken notice of how life really is here in the Silver State. I am a Reno resident since 1953. Everything in this article is true. I would like to add high utility bills [to the list of problems]; Sierra Pacific has had a monopoly forever. Housing (rent) is not affordable compared to average wages. I plan to leave as soon as I can save enough money to get out of here. I’ve had enough.

Laura Frolich

The wrong way
Recently, Jim Gibbons voted to allow the FBI and local law-enforcement agencies to find out what you’ve been reading at school and public libraries and on the Internet. Law enforcement could have done that in the past if they could convince a judge that there was a compelling interest, but Jim’s way doesn’t require any judges or warrants.

Jim wants to be your governor, but he continues to vote with George Bush against your rights.

A Reuters report says librarians in the United States have received 268 requests for information on what books citizens have read or checked out. The Justice Department says that while they may need to use this PATRIOT Act ability, they have never used it. Who do you believe?

If a survey is conducted of Internet Service Providers, my bet is that the numbers will be much higher. On the other hand, maybe not, because the so called “Patriot Act” subjects libraries and ISPs to criminal penalties if they disclose any information about law enforcement spying on you.

Dave Anderson
Washoe Valley