Letters for March 13, 2014

Armed or dangerous

Re “Who watches the Watchers?” (Feature story, Feb. 27):

I am so glad that you wrote this article. I have been trying to encourage local media to cover these stories for two years! There was a police homicide in south Reno a year or so ago, and no one would ever answer the simplest question, “Was the man armed?” Also, I have met quite a few people downtown that have been physically assaulted by officers, but they do not know how to file a complaint, or they are too scared to. I am really looking forward to more articles.

Katie Colling


Here’s the money!

Re “Show me the money!” (Feature story, March 6):

The story about paying college athletes neglected to consider another, much more desirable option. The purpose of colleges and universities are to train the minds of our citizens to think clearly, logically and to always pursue truth, wherever that path should take us. I love athletics, but we have lost our sense of priorities. Many fine schools have no varsity athletics at all; some are Division III (no scholarships) and some just have unfunded club sports.

Nevada schools should abandon varsity athletics and devote the resources and facilities to supporting the core function of colleges; research and teaching. Our citizens and students could get just as much joy from cheering for club teams, like our University of Nevada Lacrosse team, without all the ridiculous political intrigue created by the NCAA, federal intervention on behalf of women athletics or the greedy sports industry.

Your article lacked details about the actual costs versus benefits of maintaining Division I level programs here in Nevada. It is propaganda that D-I sports are a money maker for colleges. That is only true at a few major market teams. We could spend twice as much and double tuition—which is probably the long range plan—yet most Americans will still consider Nevada a good place to dump nuclear waste, or just another “fly-over” state.

I think that Mackay Stadium and the associated athletic facilities should be razed and biological and engineering research facilities should take their place. Then, Americans would know Nevada as a center for top research and where many of the problems that face our society would be getting solved.

Clairese Chennault


Salty sunshine

Re “A place in the sun” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, March 6):

Aside from reducing our carbon footprint and thus being generally good for old Mother Earth, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project has got to be good for the local economy, too. For example, with 600 or so construction workers camped out there on the desert, the “bunny ranches” have got to be doing a bang-up business. (Yeah, OK, pun intended.)

Gary Robertson

Janesville, Calif.

Don’t tell me what to eat

Re “Goosed” (Green, March 6):

Why should anyone dictate what I can or can’t eat? Citing the shining California example as proof of the wisdom of the ban is hardly a supportable argument given our state is being populated by refugees from the great California lifestyle. Anyone arguing for such a food ban has obviously never seen a slaughter house, a fish farm, the raising of veal or the processing of poultry. If these zealots who want to tell me what I can or can’t eat want to make this a better world, they should focus on the starving children around the globe and less on ducks. And shame on the museum for bowing to the objections of such fringe groups that desire to undermine our simple freedoms by dictating our gastronomic habits.

Jason Katz


Tortured decisions

Re “Goosed” (Green, March 6):

The concern with foie gras is not about limiting or infringing upon people’s choices about what to eat. The concern with foie gras is about animal suffering and torture. It’s about inflicting unnecessary pain on ducks (Hudson Valley foie gras) for a gourmet delicacy. Force-feeding ducks by shoving metal pipes down their throats and pumping in large quantities of corn-lard mixture up to several times a day is cruel. Many ducks don’t survive this harsh treatment. The ducks that do survive are subjected to two or three weeks of force-feeding and sheer misery while their livers enlarge to up to 10 times their normal size. Liver enlargement causes the ducks to be very sick as other organs are crowded in their bodies and they can’t breathe well. They are subjected to this torture, become very, very, sick and then they are killed. Do we really need to torture ducks to obtain their enlarged liver so we have something to pair with black truffles?

Juliana Harris


If I had a hammer

Re “Who watches the Watchers?” (Feature story, Feb. 27):

As long as our police are now hired based on their aggressive profiles, made to look military, given military training, military protocols, and military tools, a military response can be expected for almost anything. And this is becoming the public’s expectation of our police forces—police are the hammer, and everything looks like a nail. This expectation causes an immediate escalation of situations in the minds of both innocent and guilty citizens in tense situations that would otherwise never occur. Thus, their disposition is often provoked into a desperate or aggressive one as soon as a single police officer is visible. And often, police arrive in swarms—it’s procedure/protocol. The argument, “they were just following protocol” is used often by police officials in fatal shootings or abuse cases. These protocols need to change! Whoever are the wizards of these protocols are designing them as if the citizenry were the enemy, and our neighborhoods are a battlefield. SWAT-equipped police have no good sense or reason to be used to serve warrants. The purpose of local police forces has been perverted into something Orwellian.

Thomas Hoops


Lies lead to addiction

Re “Drug Prohibition Fuels Society’s Ills,” Feb. 20):

Cannabis (marijuana) prohibition and its conspirers increase hard-drug addiction rates.

Government claims heroin is no worse than cannabis and that methamphetamine and cocaine are less harmful by insisting cannabis is a Schedule I substance alongside heroin, while methamphetamine and cocaine are only Schedule II substances.

How many citizens tried cannabis and realized it is not nearly as dangerous as claimed and believed other substances must not be either only to find themselves addicted to hard drugs? Can the message from cannabis prohibitionists be any worse for vulnerable citizens?

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.