Letters for May 1, 2008

Fake help
Provisions for the homeless among us are all dressed up with no place to go—and nobody to go with them. Temporary facilities are no substitute for permanent housing. Professional people and agencies invested in the homeless are no substitute for a community. What an opportunity this moment provides to call upon all the imaginative and innovative creators of local culture and living conditions. Bring together arts people, environment people, peace-and-justice people, health people, small business people, faith people, education people, youth people, family people, employment people, etc., etc. Our city and county are only as strong as the weakest, poorest, most voiceless and vulnerable among us. We all enhance our own humanity by acknowledging their humanity—whoever “they” may be! Wholeness of community—body, mind, and spirit—is much too precious to leave to service specialists of any kind or quality. City and county leaders remain responsible and accountable for the well-being of all our citizens and residents. All of us with places to live are here to help our leaders rise to this urgent occasion.

John Auer

Protect the children
Re “Remove pot prohibition” (Guest comment, April 19):

Regarding JR Reynolds’ thoughtful column, drug policies modeled after alcohol prohibition have given rise to a youth-oriented black market. Illegal drug dealers don’t ID for age, but they do recruit minors immune to adult sentences. So much for protecting the children.

Throwing more money at the problem is no solution. Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only increase profitability of drug trafficking. For addictive drugs like meth, a spike in street prices leads desperate addicts to increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The drug war doesn’t fight crime, it fuels crime.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol—the plant has never been shown to cause an overdose death—it makes no sense to waste tax dollars on failed policies. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe
Common Sense for Drug Policy

Soothes the dying
Re “Don’t dis Cory” (Letters to the editor, April 24):

I’m a hospice chaplain. I help people die well, focusing particularly on issues of spiritual care, but I also on occasion shovel snow, fill bird feeders and deliver copies of the RN&R. Two of my patients are particularly fond of Cory Farley’s writing, and when I told them that since his retirement from the RG-J, he was writing a column in the RN&R, they lit up, and I offered to bring copies. So every Thursday I pull into the parking lot at Center and Maple streets. and get three fresh copies, one each for those two patients and one for me.

The RN&R recently ran an article on the Blarney Band (“Pint of Gold” April 3), an Irish father-son duo, which frequently plays at Ceol’s Irish Pub. The refrain of one of the band’s popular songs is, “If moonshine don’t kill me, I’ll live till I die.” Getting to read Cory is a piece of living for some of us. Cory doesn’t write about “inconsequential things.” He notices the details of life and sees in them the big-picture truths, which do matter all of the time, but perhaps seem more precious when one’s days are numbered. So Cory, thanks for your work. And kudos to all of you who insist on living till you die.

Ruth Hanusa

No, thank you
Re “Supplements” (Earth Day Guide and Sierra Arts, April 17 and April 24):

Thank you for the last two excellent issues of Reno News & Review featuring Earth Day and the Arts. And thank you for adding Cory Farley to your list of writers. His columns have been much missed by readers since he retired from the daily Reno paper.

Marge Sill
via email

Lobbyist angered
Re “Save the web” (Editorial, April 24):

Your editorial is an astonishing piece of incoherent ranting, cobbled together under a banner of “neutrality.” It’s so poorly written that it is hard to know which misstatement or junk-science smear to rebut. But let’s start with the astounding claim that the telecom industry is about to steal the internet from humanity.

That’s not even close to true, as the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, Congress and the Justice Department have made clear. That’s why they refuse to be bullied by a handful of Washington lobbyists into passing ill-advised “network neutrality” legislation. “Network neutrality” is a misplaced storm of political rhetoric that has little relevance to most consumers. The overwhelming majority of consumers agree with broadband providers that the goal is to continue to invest in broadband infrastructure while addressing how to make broadband services more relevant to the lives of most Americans. That’s the goal, and it is one in which the industry, governments at every level, academia and consumers are joined. Successfully. With no threat to the rights of most consumers, and no need for additional and unnecessary regulation of the Internet.

David P. McClure
US Internet Industry Association