Letters for March 22, 2001

Get stats right, Ted Blackman

Re “Say No to Funding Risk-Takers” (RN&R Letters, Feb. 22):

Mr. Blackman seems concerned that we can be free, as long as it doesn’t cost the taxpayers money. Not only is he wrong, but he doesn’t have the facts to back up his claim.

I have been a motorcyclist my whole life, and for the record, I choose to wear a helmet, full-face to boot. Randy Siever’s point [in “Say No to Mandatory Flossing,” RN&R Guest Comment, Feb. 1] is that “Big Mother” seems to think that taking our choice away is for our own protection.

The same government entities that push mandatory helmet laws on states with the threat of withholding federal highway funds need to look at their own statistics. About 85 percent of all serious motorcycle accidents are the fault of the vehicle that drives over the motorcyclist. These are nationwide statistics, regardless of helmet use, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some 80 percent of all FATAL motorcycle accidents are the vehicle’s fault as well.

States that have repealed long-standing helmet laws have done so responsibly, with minimum age requirements, insurance requirements, motorcycle riding course requirements, etc. These states have seen an overall drop in motorcyclist injuries because of education and training. Does it seem unreasonable to consider the same here in Nevada?

Name withheld
via e-mail

Define ‘risk,’ please

Re “Say No to Funding Risk-Takers” (RN&R Letters, Feb. 22):

Let’s not discriminate against those “risk-takers” who don’t wish to wear helmets or seat belts. Let’s stop all the crazies! We need to withhold medical funding from people who do the following: drive small cars, smoke, ride bikes, ski, eat red meat, eat eggs, walk on slippery sidewalks, drink alcohol, take prescription medication or become police officers, because hundreds of thousands of people per year are badly injured and/or die from taking these “risks.”

[Letter writer] Ted Blackman, who do you think you are to decide for me what is risky?

Mitch Lau

Defining ‘risk’ is arbitrary

Re “Say No to Funding Risk-Takers” (RN&R Letters, Feb. 22):

Ted Blackman objects to taxpayers picking up the bill when someone is injured while engaging in risky behaviors. He urges support for laws that prevent risk-takers and their orphans and widows from obtaining public support in the event of a disabling accident.

I wonder, though, just who Mr. Blackman includes in his group of risk-takers. Skiers and bicyclists are certain to be included, but what about pedestrians or beach-goers? Being a pedestrian in Reno is quite risky lately.

Many of the daily activities of living also involve some level of risk. Should we deny benefits to people who fell down the stairs, because they don’t live and work in a single-level building? Then there are the smokers. Aren’t they the kings of risk-taking?

Freedom is indeed wonderful, but preventing members of the public from obtaining benefits they funded based on an arbitrary estimate of the level of risk of their chosen form of recreation does nothing to support anyone’s freedom.

Stephen Herbert

Special message for club managers

Every week, I check out the reviews in the RN&R music/nightclubs section, and every week, hot bands are playing, but they don’t start until, what, 10 p.m.? Then, most of the time, the opening band (if there is one) doesn’t start on time, so that pushes the headlining band’s start time to 1 a.m.! Come on! You’re killing me!

Hey nightclubs, don’t us people who work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or in my case, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) deserve to hear the music?

Christine Mullins
via e-mail


In last week’s news story, “Toxic Nuclear Waste: Coming Soon?” the RN&R reported that Bob Loux became exceutive director of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Projects Office in 1982. Actually, he became the executive director in 1983, when the office was created. We apologize for the error.