Letters for March 15, 2001

Police, towing in cahoots

Re “Dude, Where’s My Car?” (RN&R Letters, Feb. 8):

A number of years ago, while living in Portland, Ore., my very-hard-to-drive Volkswagen was stolen around 1 a.m. The police found it abandoned three house-lengths away—not three blocks, but three houses. Rather than checking the registration and seeing that the car belonged three houses back, the car was towed.

This was also Memorial Day weekend. I’ve tried to put out of my mind how much money I eventually wound up paying to get my car out of storage, for disturbing the storage people on a holiday, etc. But I was convinced then, and am more convinced every time I hear one of these stories, that the police and the tow people and the storage people are all in it together.

Sharon Wood
via e-mail

Indian gaming really a blessing

Re “Trench Tennis” (RN&R Editor’s Note, Feb. 8):

In Editor’s Note, you brought up Reno and gambling’s economy nationwide. The Jan. 1 issue of the Reno Gazette-Journal carried a letter that is more truth than poetry. It was from Pan Lambert of Spanish Springs and was headlined “Indian Casinos Offer an Opportunity for Us.”

It said, “Indian gaming could be the best thing that ever happens to us. Finally, something may make us look at what the greater Truckee Meadows really has to offer. The gaming sky may be falling, but we can build a protective structure to maintain what we have and expand the opportunities for other enterprises in business and recreation.

“This area is a spectacular place to live. It is neither too hot nor too cold. Pick your climate. You can ski or play golf on most days in the winter. We have two world-class lakes within minutes. There are mountains to climb, sand dunes to slide on, hunting, fishing and more.”

As you said, Jimmy Boegle, “the City Council would be smart to hold off on green-lighting the train trench until everybody is absolutely sure the city will be able to afford it.” To the entities which would be smart to hold off, add Reno’s Redevelopment Agency and downtown’s stakeholders in monies which the Nevada Legislature set aside from Reno/Sparks casinos’ room tax specifically for downtown Reno redevelopment.

Beth Miramon

Article was biased, fed stereotypes

Re “Mind Over Madness” (RN&R, Feb. 15):

It was mildly amusing to see your ill-informed and sensationalistic take on mental illness. I am an outpatient at the Nevada Mental Health Institute. As such, I was quite amazed to see myself and my peers portrayed in such a light. It came as quite a shock that I was “criminally insane” and that my very existence constituted a situation wherein “the public is in danger.”

I am inherently leery of statements made by individuals who cannot be bothered to use their names. Therefore, I am inclined to take with a grain of salt the statements attributed to the doctors “Andy” and “Ben.” Nevertheless, let’s address some of their concerns.

As a peer advocate, I have endured countless hours of training in the concept of client confidentiality. Dr. Ben clearly violated this tenant by giving your reporter the name of an inpatient. (Editor’s Note: Dr. Ben gave only the first name of the patient after the patient indicated that she wanted to talk to Deidre Pike.)

Dr. Ben, moreover, seems to be wandering about waving a petition signed by 39 patients, claiming that Dr. Ben is or was a “well-liked and trusted member of the staff.” I suspect I myself may have signed this document. I did not know then, nor do I know now, who Dr. Ben was or is. I signed this document because a friend of mine asked me to. To the best of my knowledge, his removal has had no detrimental affect upon me whatsoever. Furthermore, I suspect that were you to track down the vast majority of co-signers, their reaction would be similar to mine.

Now, moving on to Dr. Andy. I have no clue who this individual is. Moreover, I do not particularly care. However, in the unlikely event that Ms. Pike quoted him accurately, from the tenor of his views on his patients and people with mental health issues in general—criminally insane [and] “fucking dangerous"—it would seem to me that we are well rid of him.

Your annoyingly simple-minded article cast broad generalizations over mental health patients in general and reduces us to a vaguely dangerous stereotype. Harold Cook, licensed or not, is under professional restraint from answering your article. I, however, suffer from no such handicap.

Have a nice day.

Laurence Veoume
NMHI peer advocate