Letters for March 29, 2012

State of banking

Re “Grinding to a halt” (News, March 15):

I believe the gloomy outcome of limited financial resources is evident to the majority of the state’s residents and businesses. The lack of financial resources is no surprise to us. We’ve been watching and/or experiencing this negative flow for quite a few years. Revenue from property taxes has steadily declined for years, and sales receipts aren’t robust enough to carry us through this money drought. We can’t depend on the tourist dollar, as they have their own money drought in some other state.

I would hope that we can at minimum get back from the federal government the amount of money we’ve already sent them. All governments within Nevada, businesses, and residents will have to cooperate to bring that money back home. And, the current regime of cutting back obviously isn’t a long term solution. When we don’t have money we can’t spend money. To meet the requirement of our local governments providing matching funds to receive federal grants we will all have to bear the burden of tax increases.

Yikes, I did say that! Sometimes money has to be spent in the short term for long-term gains. And that’s where we find ourselves today. So, let’s have a real conversation about a temporary tax increase to get us through this crisis. If we continue down the road of “no more taxes,” we could shut down our local governments, and nobody would be happy for very long. To those folks who think this wouldn’t affect them, consider just one city department, Public Works, that affects everyone everyday. A minimal description of what this department provides us on any given day: maintains storm and sanitary sewer systems, maintains and operates the city’s water reclamation facilities, reuse program, and sewer infrastructure operates the city’s system of signalized intersections

So, to our governmental decision makers, businesses and residents: If we want a quality life in our fair state, I suggest we have a candid discussion of how we get our money back! Let’s shelve the ideological speeches, realize the severity of our situation and conjure up our best solutions. Solutions can be temporary and/or long term. I suggest approaching our limited financial resources with both short- and long-term solutions. Cities, counties, and the state could offer participatory town hall meetings. I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot of brain power that could be tapped into. So, let’s use it! Let’s find real time, long-term solutions to the multiple problems being experienced.

We might begin thinking outside the box. I’ll start. I suggest that we start with a state bank. Every cent that processes through every level of government throughout Nevada could go through the state bank and that would make an immediate impact on cost of government. We’re currently paying the Too Big To Fail banks/investment firms huge sums of money to finance our municipal bonds. We wouldn’t have to do that if we had a state bank.

Marigael Morris

Go to the source

Re “Romney and the church” (News, March 22):

As a believing, active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon), I do sorrow at those columnists and opinion expressers who reflect misunderstanding, malice and/or animosity toward us. They do so by either using half truths, outright lies, and/or failing to present our views either in context or in a conceptual framework that we believe is relevant. We are taught, though, to “turn the other cheek” and “return good for evil,” and this present scrutiny of the Church gives us the opportunity to do so as we attempt to set the record straight.

I feel sorry for Sally Denton and others who get some things right but other things wrong. I am open to helping her see things in their proper perspective. There are some, though, who seem always to be on the attack. The Lord Jesus Christ, who we honor as our God and Savior, said about such attacks out of ignorance or malice during his earthly ministry: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5: 11-12).

For those who wonder why anyone would attack the followers of Jesus’ day, the Savior added the following interesting insights. After telling his apostles that they would be persecuted and otherwise mistreated he said, “The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2). Then he goes on by saying “and these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me” (John 16: 3). Critics of others’ religions and beliefs probably believe that they also are doing what God wants them to. What does Christ say of this? Those who don’t appear to believe in religion have other motivations, but still end up being critical rather than understanding. Such critics should also, however, give heed to the council the Jewish leader Gamaliel gave to other Jewish leaders who were misrepresenting and often persecuting the early Christians. He said, “Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work (of these early Christians) be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest ye be found even to fight against God” (Acts 5: 38-39).

I hope that those who hear of us will seek to understand our true positions. Draw your lessons from the good, faithful members of the Church.

Phillip C. Smith
Orem, Utah

Spring cleaning

Re “Pepper rally” (Foodfinds, March 15):

I was excited to read Dave Preston’s column, “Pepper rally,” and I decided to try out the restaurant. He made the food sound a little different and much tastier then other run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurants.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life, more than 70 years, and I think I’ve eaten more Mexican food than the average person, so I think I’m qualified to judge quality and taste. I also eat some kind of hot pepper or hot sauce daily—so the title of the column intrigued me.

I was disappointed to find the restaurant closed March 20-21 because the kitchen needed to be cleaned, according to the sign on the door. (I hadn’t seen the note on March 20.) Since your article came out March 15, I wonder how clean the kitchen was when you ate there. I don’t think I want to try it the next time I’m in Reno.

Sandra Gitmed
Los Angeles

Personhood of interest

Re “Top 10 worst Supreme Court decisions” (Feature story, March 8):

Kudos to Jake Highton for this article. It is about time we shine some light on the most powerful branch of our government that is not elected to office. I mean they could declare tomorrow that health care is a right of all citizens, and bam! Everybody would have health care. There needs to be more oversight and controls on these Black-robed Buffoons who think corporations are persons.

The decision of Santa Clara county vs. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886, in which the court citations gave “personhood” to corporations deserves some more consideration. The decision itself has nothing to do with corporate personhood. It is in the headnote of the decision which was written by Bancroft Davis, Secretary of the Court, and former president of the Newburgh and New York Railroad that bestows personhood on corporations. As every law school student knows, the headnote has nothing to do with the decision in the case. So, the personhood argument is based on fraudulent legal precedent.

In the words of one Occupy Wall Street marcher, I will believe corporations are persons, when Rick Perry executes one!

Tom Skowronski
via email

Ego much?

Re “Top 10 worst Supreme Court decisions” (Feature story, March 8):

I would like to know who submitted this story. I am curious because I just read this in Reno, and this happened just after I told someone that I was going to visit the Supreme Court.

Kathy Vee
San Jose, Calif.