Letters for June 30, 2016

We serve as conduit

To Reno Gazette-Journal publisher John Maher:

Dear Mr. Maher, last Wednesday, a member of our community and well-liked member of and hiking leader with the local chapter of the Sierra Club died in a rafting accident in Alaska. Her body was found downstream on Thursday.

Through her volunteering and showing us the great outdoors, Karen Todd touched many lives in this community. A search of the internet last Friday showed that thanks to the Associated Press, newspapers all over the country either printed on paper and/or online the details and updates of the accident. On Friday, even the newspaper serving the community of another person on the rafting trip who was also confirmed dead only the day before, the Sacramento Bee, reported the details of the accident, the deaths, and named both persons and their home towns.

At this moment as I write, a search of the internet for ’“karen todd’ Alaska raft” returns 1,470 hits. Do any of them pertain to Karen’s hometown newspaper? No. A search at the RG-J subscription website returns zero results too. It is not as if it was difficult for whomever under you is responsible for monitoring AP wire blasts last Thursday to know the story touched us locally, for clearly within it are the words “Sparks, Nevada.” The AP updated the story frequently and appears to still be doing so.

Your newspaper’s failings in this matter are shameful, disrespectful and unforgivable. Do we have a local, hometown newspaper here in this valley? I am beginning to think we do not. I am beginning to think we do not because, when opening the newspaper to a section sometimes labeled as “Local News,” the news therein directly under that title pertains to the cities of South Lake Tahoe, Pollock Pines and Placerville. All in California. All—out of the area. Stories printed in the newspaper delivered to my doorstep right here in Reno and again, represented as local news. Since we do not have a local newspaper, Mr. Maher, how about we quit subsidizing your operating budget through the purchasing of Public Notices and payments to print the property tax rolls and tax delinquencies? This is a practice that goes back to the origins of newspapers in communities, to when there was a promise made—that in return for those all important life-giving sums of taxpayers’ money, the new and struggling local newspaper would print obituary notices of our dearly departed at a reasonable rate. This is something this so-called local newspaper no longer does at a reasonable rate, but at full display ad rates.

You have broken that longstanding promise to local government and its backers, the taxpayers. Our so-called local newspaper is now old enough and strong enough to stand on its own two feet and to support itself. It’s time for the subsidies to end.

Don Mello


Economic boost coming

Nevada voters should brace for millions of dollars from out-of-state “Big Marijuana” interests supporting legalization of recreational pot on the November ballot. These corporate pot promoters will try to repeat what worked for them in legalizing marijuana in Colorado in 2012. There, they financially overwhelmed opponents by five to one, spending $3.4 million (90 percent from outside Colorado) in passing legalization.

The enormous financial advantage for pro-pot advertising in Colorado overcame opposition to legalization from most all public officials—across the political spectrum from liberal Democrats, like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, to Republicans, like Attorney General John Suthers and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Tea Party favorite. The two leading newspapers in Colorado, the Denver Post and Colorado Springs Gazette, opposed legalization, as did the Colorado Education Association and the Greater Denver Chamber of Commerce.

Big Marijuana will repeat its Colorado advertising falsehoods in Nevada—that “regulation” of marijuana means the end of black markets and that marijuana taxes will be used for education. The Colorado Attorney General and the Governor’s “Weed Czar” refute both claims as myths.

Jim Hartman



Re “Out of harm’s way” (Feature, June 23):

We reported that the heroin overdose antidote naloxone is available through Change Point. The drug is not available directly through Change Point. That organization can provide referrals to Northern Nevada HOPES’ pharmacy or to Northern Nevada Outreach Team, either of which can distribute the drug. We regret the error.

Re “Pointed abstraction” (Musicbeat, June 23):

We reported that Convolve & Reflect is Pinnacles’ first album and that Robbie Landsberg recently became a father. Convolve & Reflect is the band’s second album, band members Justin Hunt and Jesse Kinseth are fathers, and Landsberg is not. We regret the errors.