Letters for May 19, 2005

Dirty town
Can RN&R cover the problem of trash littering the streets of Reno? I grew up in Chicago. Shortly after the EPA was developed in the early 1970s, Chicago was a mess. I can remember layers of trash floating in Lake Michigan. As the years went by, Chicago became one of the cleanest metropolitan areas in the world and maintains that status to present day. Take a look along Oddie Boulevard between U.S. 395 and Sutro. It’s disgusting.

Trash is not the only problem that seems to be ignored by the appropriate agencies. Car abandonment and graffiti are just as bad. Throw the book at these assholes that can’t use a trash can, have their stolen vehicle picked up, or insist on ruining our quality of life with their graffiti. If the RN&R could put this problem in the spotlight, maybe we could all live in a slightly more respectable society.

Kevin Bottum

House of God
Have you experienced housing discrimination? If you have, you may have called the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) in San Francisco. You probably got a voice-mail prompt instructing you to leave a message in order for HUD to process your complaints under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968—and to “Have a blessed day.” Yes, that is “blessed” as in “hallowed or consecrated by religious rite or word.” Or it could also be a more secular version of being blessed in a way synonymous with favored. Regardless of one’s individual definition, the term carries an obvious religious inference. In this case, the inference was clarified by another HUD employee as definitely meaning a “love of the lord.” Religious expression of public

servants in the workplace has become a very litigious subject. Generally, the employers must show a “compelling interest” in prohibiting religious speech. HUD is the preeminent federal enforcement mechanism for the Civil Rights Act. HUD employees publicly and openly endorsing religious sentiment to potential complainants is like a police officer giving people beer at sobriety checkpoints. This is not to make light of the subject but to bring home just how absurd and trifling Civil Rights have become to some people. It is hard enough to tolerate blatant acts of discrimination done out of ignorance, but in this case, it is done by specialist in the field.

Curtis Hill
via e-mail

Las Vegas should use less water
I would like to protest Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposal to transfer water from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. I am a native Nevadan, and I love our state, its majestic mountains and deserts. Many ranches and farms, as well as the towns and thousands of people who would be adversely affected by routing water that rightfully belongs in Northern Nevada to what is becoming a virtual octopus seeking to spread its tentacles anywhere to gain water. First of all, a flight over Las Vegas displays a panorama of huge green lawns, golf courses and swimming pools, to say nothing of the flamboyant displays of fountains by the casinos and the need of providing for the tourists who drain our natural resources. Las Vegas could survive on less than half the water they are currently using, which is provided by the Colorado River. My husband spent much of his boyhood in Owens Valley, and whenever we drove to Los Angeles, we would see the effect of diversion of its water to that huge city. A verdant valley was turned into a virtual wasteland. Water is scarce enough, and we need to keep all that we have. We are growing, too.

Esther Early

Crisis, what crisis?
Re “The Reno sound” [RN&R, May 5]:

The anxiety Tim Prentiss and many local artists have in searching for a distinct Reno sound is not surprising, since it mostly comes from a limited, mainstreamed perspective. This supposed identity crisis has little to do with the homogenization of musical genres, Comedy Central, or the city’s geographic isolation, but instead from the culture itself. Though venues like the Neverender Gallery, La Bussola and Sound and Fury do give the impression that Reno has a stable, local arts scene, transience makes it difficult for any group to solidify one recognizable sound (assuming that’s even possible). I find it obvious in your article that while the masses will always associate Reno with “gambling, divorce industry, and general immorality and lack of sophistication,” those most affected by the city’s problems—i.e. the punks—have no problem articulating their identity, musical or otherwise.

Jason Luther
via e-mail

Re “Planting community” [RN&R, May 5]:

In the caption to the news story photograph, it was incorrectly stated that Paradise Park community garden would be used for other projects this summer. The garden is up and running. Those who’d like to participate in community gardening should contact Davene Kaplan, 334-2270, or Michele Walsh, 356-3176.