Letters for May 28, 2015

Money for benefits

I believe that the Mayor and Council should begin funding the city’s Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) liability using the multi-million dollar surplus. According to the June 30, 2014 City of Reno audit, the OPEB obligation increased by $13 million in fiscal year 2013-14 to a total net unfunded OPEB obligation of $89 million. Spending the money on anything other than the OPEB obligation is irresponsible, and places the burden of paying these current costs on our children and future taxpayers. It also will result in reduced service levels in the future when the OPEB obligations are paid.

Gary Kraemer


Why the racist radio?

Have you wondered why there is not more Black music other than rap on the airwaves? It bothers me big time when the music that more audiences enjoy is the old school ’70s and ’ 80s sound. But if you want to enjoy it live, or even listen to it on the radio, you won’t see an R&B act performing it, but some other nationality with big afros trying to portray R&B artists in America. It’s very upsetting when they are accepted for trying to sing black, dance black and act black. But let a real R&B artist, band or vocalist perform the music that was developed by an R&B artist, and they can’t get a job or an opportunity.

The agents, promoters, and entertainment buyers don’t want to support Black music coming from a black artist. Even what few black agents there may be won’t even support a black R&B band or artist. Their excuse is they are too black! Why aren’t the whites being “too black” when they try to perform black music all night long? The R&B artist that may be booked by a talent buyer is only there so that the agent or buyer won’t be charged with discrimination!

So, you ask, why am I bringing this up? I am tired of seeing what should be blackface brought back to life all over again! The racism in the entertainment industry is overwhelming, and so obvious that it’s scary to see anymore. And worst is that no one will stand up against it. The black artists in America have lost their identity. Back in the day, bands had their own sound, their own look and style, and either you liked it or you didn’t. Nowadays everyone is being told, “If you play and sound like this you’re only gonna be paid this much; you can only work with these certain musicians or vocalists; you must have one or more whites in your band, or we won’t book your act; you must look the part, act the part, and sound like everyone else out there today.”

I have never and never will sell my soul to the powers-that-be to get a job, a record deal, or a tour just to turn around and hate myself tomorrow for playing the game that I have always fought against.

Will we ever see R&B artists stand together for each other? Or will you continue to sell your soul against your brothers and sisters in the industry for a buck? I’m not going to change my style, my format with my music or the lineup of my band. I was told directly once that the boss won’t book us if I change anything about my band right now. The only music we’re gonna play is suited to please our white audience. They don’t want to see too many blacks at our shows, it sets a negative example!

Well that was enough for me, I knew it was then I needed to make my departure from that band, and I did with no regrets!

Michael Coleman


Off target

Re “Guns everywhere” (Letters to the Editor, April 30):

In response to the Editor’s note to Doug Thompson’s article, I have to set the record straight. Your advice that he should not “walk into a Nevada casino and assert his rights” is plain ignorant. There is no Nevada Revised Statute barring the carry of firearms in any gaming establishment. As a U.S. citizen, I can carry my gun in any casino I please. I can also, under current Nevada law, carry a gun in banks, stores, bars and houses of worship. To tell Doug “you would not advise it” has no basis on Nevada law and therefore it is irrelevant. If you have never read it, I’d advise looking at Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada State Constitution. While you are at it, read Section 20 of the same article. Then look up the NRS 202.010 under General Information. You might learn a lot about who can legally do what.

Justin W. Edwards


Editor’s note: Of course, there are still obstacles to carrying guns into casinos, like their rules, such as this one at Harrah’s:

Horrible humans

I do not know if this is the right place to post a letter. If so, please do not use my name. I am handicapped, and have a hard time walking any distance. I have a handicap license plate. However, there are many people here in the Reno/Sparks area that seem to be too lazy to park where they should. They would rather park in a handicap spot knowing that the cops will not do anything about it. I have spoken to some who do this and have been told to my own goddamned business! I would hope that when they read this, they will realize they are not only doing something illegal, but hurting a handicapped person who needs the closer parking spots. I keep hoping that those who do this, that when they get to be my age, 82, and find they need a handicap spot, they are unable to find one because someone has parked there illegally! Please, people in Reno/Sparks, do not park in the handicap spots as there are people who really need them. They would park anywhere else if they were able to walk better/farther. If you feel you really need to park there, ask your doctor for a letter to the DMV to obtain a card or license plate. We would appreciate your not using our spots as we really do need them.

Name withheld


Harder to kill

Re “Campus targeted” (Feature story, April 2):

The gun-on-campus debate continues, so here is my two cents worth. One reason given for having guns on campus is to protect women from assault. According to law enforcement numbers, a majority of rapes are called acquaintance rape—committed by someone the victim knows. The same law enforcement numbers indicate that most acquaintance rapes are not reported. When you apply for a concealed weapon permit, they teach you how to use the weapon safely. But they don’t teach you how to kill. Hitting a paper target is not the same as taking a life. How do the supporters of guns on campus expect women—when they are not willing to report being raped by someone they know—to shoot them? Before there can be any real discussion of guns on campus a survey has to be taken to see how many people are willing to take a gun in hand and kill.

Dewey Quong


Editor’s note: Against all expectations, it appears Nevada legislators have once again voted against allowing guns on campus.