Letters for June 14, 2001

The setting shouldn’t be reviewed

Re “Cute kids, creepy venue” (RN&R Theater, May 17):

Was the The Music Man, performed by the Nevada Shakespeare Festival, the subject being reviewed, or was it Piper’s Opera House? Upon reading the column a few times, I’m not quite sure. The show was given a “good” rating, yet in a sort of backhanded way. I think that more time could have been devoted to the review of the show instead of taking little shots at the venue.

The venue is over 100 years old and is currently under renovation. If a column dedicated to the criticism of all the theaters in the Reno-Tahoe area is needed, then lay your attacks at Piper’s Opera House there, not in the review of a show held there. I had the pleasure of attending the performance on May 19. I am not a big musical fan; however, I enjoyed what I saw. It is worth the drive up Geiger Grade and sitting in the historic opera house.

Ron Flesher
via e-mail

He shoots; he scores!

Re “Cute kids, creepy venue” (RN&R Theater, May 17):

After I read Adrienne Rice’s review of The Music Man, I literally threw your newspaper across the room into the trash. This was the first time I did so, because generally, I find the RN&R to be a quality publication.

I found her review to be completely unprofessional and silly. She is not an architectural reviewer. She is a theater reviewer. The three paragraphs on the state of the Piper Opera House’s safety have nothing to do with how the actors performed, the costuming, staging or the general quality of the play.

In future reviews, Ms. Rice should stick to being a drama critic and leave the architecture to the professionals.

Jack O’Wood
via e-mail

Another letter criticizing Israel

Re “Israel’s Actions Are a Censored Story” (RN&R Letters, May 31):

I read your newspaper every week, because you are not afraid to cover stories that the Reno Gazette-Journal wouldn’t dare touch. I am very happy to see that your courage also extends to the Letters page.

Robert Kern’s comments concerning Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians are totally accurate. But the mainstream media wouldn’t dare publish a letter like his, let alone report the truth about the Israeli atrocities against their neighbors.

Brad MacKenzie

Our rights are being taken away

On April 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that people could be arrested for minor offenses, such as driving without a seat belt, riding a bike without a helmet (illegal in some places) or littering.

The Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated … “

Where is your outrage, America? It’s not bad enough we have a war on rights (the war on drugs, a key factor in the destruction of the Fourth and Fifth amendments) already, but now the Supreme Court ruled your rights can be violated for minor offenses. Wake up, America! While you sleep, your republic and freedoms are being stripped from you.

America, you’re not going to like my waking you up, but you are living in a police state. “It’s a free country” is a famous line, but the truth is far different. How can you be free if every part of your life is monitored and controlled by the government? Where you can be arrested on hearsay and where the burden of proof lies on you to prove your innocence? There is no such thing as “innocent until proven guilty.”

Your rights are dying. Will you stand now or wait until it’s too late to restore your liberty?

Nick Aguilera

Props to the bike trail

Re “Big: Our Contributing Editor Loses 30 Pounds, and He’s Still Fat” (RN&R, April 26):

I enjoyed the article about weight loss. Very funny!

I, too, had an epiphany at my sister’s house. At 5 feet 6 inches, I weighed 206 pounds. After six winters in Alaska, I had gained 50 pounds. Every year, I resolved to lose 10 pounds. Instead, I gained 10 pounds.

Like Brian, I have now lost 30 pounds. I lost the weight, because I got a job as a school bus driver across town from my home. I ride my bike to and fro.

I want to thank those who built the bike trail along the Truckee River. It’s the greatest commute in the world. I save on gas and healthcare costs.

Keep up the good work!

Erik Holland

The right fails to see what’s right

Re “Media Fails on Facts” (RN&R Guest Comment, May 17):

Like mind-numbed robots, Ira Hansen, along with most conservatives, responds with knee-jerk reactions to the idea of designating hate crimes. His simplistic conclusion misses the point entirely. When a person commits a crime against someone of another race, it may or may not be racially motivated. A hate crime can be any crime committed by one race against another if, and only if, it was racially motivated.

I have listened to Mr. Hansen argue on KKOH that there should be no hate crime designation, since all crimes are hate crimes. He wonders why should we create a new category for it. But the motivation behind the criminal act has been a factor in the way our criminal justice system determines guilt and dishes out punishment. In fact, we already label crimes such as murder differently based on the motive. That is why first-degree murder is reserved for those who plot in advance the act of killing another human being, and second-degree murder may be designated when one kills in a moment of passion with no planning.

The point of designating a crime as motivated by hate or racism is to label the act so that criminal racists can be prosecuted for the hate-mongers they are. It makes me wonder why anyone would be against designating hate crimes unless they simply were not that offended by racism.

Arguments like Mr. Hansen’s seek to cover up for knee-jerk conservatives rather than confront their lack of concern for racism in our society.

Conrad Frederickson

Bonehead moves abound at WCSD

Re “Insurance issues” (RN&R Editor’s Note, May 24):

Jimmy Boegle hits the nail on the head with a resounding whomp by exposing the “boneheaded maneuvers” by the Washoe County School District.

Unfortunately, the insurance debacle is only one of many boneheaded moves perpetrated by the district administration. My question is: Why?

Why does a school district, which pays an inordinate amount of lip service to excellence in education, insist on creating such a hostile work environment for its teachers? Why does Hager the Horrible insist on subjugating district educators with his paternalistic, patriarchal “Father Knows Best” attitude? To be fair, though, it’s not just [James] Hager, but all the blow-dried, posing superintendents intent on keeping teachers eunuchs.

At least Boegle gets to expose the school district without fear of retribution. As an educator, I’m horrified at this district’s apathetic attitude, refusal to take responsibility for their wrongdoing and inability to create a collegial atmosphere conducive to rectifying boneheaded-ness.

Why is there no accountability? Are they really just too busy making commercials and covering their backsides with PR?

Kathy Braunschweig
Swope Middle School

Great article with a small goof

Re “Happy and He Knows It” (RN&R Arts & Lifestyle, May 31):

I really enjoyed Rick Anderson’s article on Todd Snider. However, he was mistaken when he wrote that Todd’s song “Missing You” was about a romance gone bad. It’s actually a very sweet love song to his father, who passed away just a few years ago. He talked about it at his first of two shows at Big Ed’s last November.

I hope all your readers take the time to enjoy Todd’s Rollin’ on the River Concert on June 15. He’s an amazing songwriter, and we’re very fortunate to have the chance to see him here in Reno.

Mike MacDevitt

The spelling patrol is here!

Re “Movies: Yet Another Summer Movie Preview” (RN&R Summer Guide, May 31):

I am afraid I cannot place much faith in Bob Grimm’s summer movie preview due to the fact this “film critic” misspelled STEVEN (not Stephen) Spielberg’s name, not once, but twice. You’ve gotta love Reno.

via e-mail

Bob Grimm responds: This was an editor’s mistake. I am an extremely intelligent man, and I know how to spell every director’s name in the history of cinema, like Orsen Wells, Phelleeni and Martin Scoresayzee. My bosses don’t have a clue! Sinnsearly, Bobb Grimmm