Letters for May 26, 2011

Green as grass

Re “Not so green,” (Letters to the Editor, May 12):

The 2011 Earth Day event hosted approximately 7,500 people to a wide variety of activities.

Nevada EcoNet produces this free event for the community to provide information and to encourage all efforts toward sustainable living practices. Financial support from our sponsors and our for-profit and not-for-profit exhibitors makes the event possible. Our purpose as organizers is not to advocate for certain causes or environmental issues. We accept that not everyone representing their position, product or service will appear in harmony, or be in concert with all attendees.

Our objective is to encourage thoughtful discourse and encourage free thinking, not to be gatekeepers for specific points of view. We recognize that there is always more that can be done, and that no individual or organization can claim environmental purity. We encourage all efforts toward sustainable living, no matter how small.

We view our role in Earth Day as both organizers and stewards. We are proud to have continued this organization’s role of raising awareness of the environment and in bringing this diverse community together for 22 Earth Days. The overwhelming feedback we have received is that this year’s Earth Day was one of the best yet.

This year we reached out to include partner organizations to organize specific parts of the event. We would like to see even more community involvement in organizing future events. We are proud of and grateful to our sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, partners and volunteers who made Earth Day 2011 possible. Their generosity allowed Nevada EcoNet to provide a free and fun educational event for our community.

Jo Simpson
for Nevada EcoNet board of directors

Maybe a little

Re “Publick Occurrences” (Letters to the Editor, May 19):

Admit it, Reno News & Review, you printed James Sommer’s letter to the editor to slam the Reno Gazette-Journal. The fact that the letter was informative and well written is secondary.

I’m a media consultant who learned about RG-J’s problems from my mother, a longtime columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. She knew the print media was soon to reach a crisis. With a down economy and the convenience of accessing free news on the internet, why pay for it?

Fifty years ago, RG-J called itself the Nevada State Journal. We all loved sitting with our coffee and digesting unbiased and factual stories. Not now.

They’ve made huge mistakes, like expressing opinion on the front page as well as advertising. Maybe they think readers are stupid and don’t have an eye for ethical reporting? The first rule? Know your readers. The Journal doesn’t have a clue.

You people have found your niche. Offer a print news publication for free, comfortably profitable, and watch from your window as our traditional newspaper crumples. You probably won’t, but I intend to send flowers when they bury the Journal.

Wil Dawson

Welcome to the ’70s

Re “Tattoo you” (Feature story, May 5):

As far as I’m concerned, our mayor is an idiot. He and the people before him let downtown become blighted. They don’t want to progress with the times, they allow no new building, no new casinos, no nothing. What reason do people have to come over the pass from California? Our casinos are nothing special. I’m not saying we need to become Vegas, but if we want to compete for business we gotta progress. They say come to Reno for skiing. Why would people stay here, when they can just as easily stay in Tahoe? I heard it rumored we would become the next Silicon Valley. What happened with that? My husband is in construction and is gone 95 percent of the time out of state to work. If we get the opportunity to move, I’m all for it. We have been Washoe County residents a long time, but I can’t wait to move. I agree with the tattoo artists about the fly-by-night shops, if the quality is poor the shop won’t survive. My husband and I are both tattooed, and I sure don’t want a cheaper tat on my skin.

Rose Shair

Budget crisis basis

Re “PLAN releases plan” (Upfront, May 12):

Regarding your article “PLAN releases plan,” more taxes, more taxes, and more taxes! A major reason retiring California baby boomers—seniors—come to the state of Nevada is affordable property taxes, and no state income tax on their pensions to fund California style entitlement programs to accommodate the working poor, which include large groups of exploited illegals working in service industry (hotels, kitchens). Perhaps if the service industry employers paid their workers a decent wage and benefits, there wouldn’t be a disparity between the haves and have nots. Take a look at the demographics of Nevada in the latest census. Seniors vote their pocket books. Nevada lawmakers have the foresight to encourage and plan for the arrival of the California baby boomers. How many state of the art hospitals do we have in Northern Nevada now? I sincerely doubt Nevada will reverse the status quo. If people want more social entitlement programs, take a short drive to California.

Sue Dain

Free for all

Re “Here’s your chance” (Upfront, May 19):

I will file for the special election on Monday assuming the courts don’t interfere with the secretary of state’s ruling. The discussion turns around the political party and their role. Is it about money or public interest? I want a representative government in the public interest not the corporate interest. The only one I can be sure of is me. I was the elected Democratic nominee on the ballot less than six months before this situation arose. Yes, this is an opportunity to do it differently. As we know, if you vote on who spends the most on ads, not qualifications and issues, you will continue to get the same results.

Nancy Price

Private skools kick ass

Re “Rhee charged with deception” (Upfront, May 19):

Your article is pretty much a recap of a story in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss. The article by Strauss was poorly researched and offers many opinions with very few facts. Despite Strauss claiming that she is not defending teachers unions, that is exactly what she does. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that our public schools are failing our students? Strauss refers to poverty as the major cause of poor inner city school performances. Could it be that the parents of children in the inner city are negligent in supporting these schools and not encouraging their children? I would suggest that the answer is a resounding yes! When comparing public schools with religion-based schools, i.e. Catholic schools and other privately funded schools, the comparison is seldom in favor of the public schools. Yet, the funding for public schools is usually much higher with the exception of some elite private schools. Even inner city non-public schools offer a much better education to their students. Funding, therefore, is not the cause of different results, but the teachers who work under different rules. Very few critics of our public schools have laid sole blame on the individual teachers, but on the system of teachers union rules under which they work. Much discussion has taken place regarding charter schools and school choice. No matter what these critics claim, whenever choice is offered, the majority of parents opt for the non-public schools. Private sector competition is the solution to our education problem.

Fred Speckmann