Letters for May 31, 2001

America needs mass transit

Re “Losers Ride the Bus” (RN&R Letters, May 3):

Mr. Jay Star’s flaccid attempt to enlighten us about bus ridership is both misguided and outdated. His assertion that “in general, Caucasian Americans will not use mass transit” is untrue. Caucasian Americans make up the largest portion of mass transit users, and that applies to Reno. The implication that Caucasian professionals who ride the bus are losers is pregnant with racist overtones.

The reality of transit is that for many years, the government and the automotive-oil industrial complex have colluded both directly and indirectly in making transit more expensive and less desirable than cars by destroying electric streetcar systems and subsidizing new highways and urban sprawl. The truth is that America’s auto dependency is costing us in an increasingly competitive global economy where many competitor nations spend less on transportation and urban sprawl-related costs.

The truth is that America is becoming more competitive by moving into a new age of smart growth, more diverse development and better transit options.What is Jay’s next brilliant outdated thesis? If you’re a computer or Internet user, you’re a nerd?

Ed Park

Israel’s actions are a censored story

Re “The Top 10 Censored Stories” (RN&R, May 3):

Your article on censored stories omitted one conspicuous and egregious topic: Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people.

Assassination squads merit no reaction? Using armed troops against civilians merits no reaction? Physically isolating an entire people from the outside world merits no reaction?

It’s time for the media to acknowledge the truth: Israel is an expansionist power carrying out colonization and genocide against a powerless people, and, in the process, blaming the victims for the situation.

Robert Kern

Expectant parents have options

Re “Nurses: Give Baby to Mommy” (RN&R Guest Comment, May 3):

As I read “Nurses: Give Baby to Mommy,” my soul cried out to all the women who have these experiences. There are other options for women. Couples need to be aware of these options to obtain the birth experience that is best for them and baby.

Doulas (trained childbirth assistants) are trained to help and support the couple, even before labor begins. They help the couple explore their options and encourage them to discuss those decisions with health care professionals.

During labor, a Doula can assist the couple to remain focused and in control. They can help dads to provide the loving support moms require. Doulas are trained to help make that first breastfeed a more positive and satisfying experience.

According to Marshall Klaus in Mothering the Mother, the assistance of Doulas can reduce the use of epidurals by 60 percent and the Caesarean birth rate by 50 percent. Can we get back to the basics and allow women to have the best birth experience possible while maintaining access to the medical advances that have saved the lives of countless women and babies? It is possible.

Debbie Soderbeck

Get prepared; don’t blame nurses

Re “Nurses: Give Baby to Mommy” (RN&R Guest Comment, May 3):

Krista Benjamin’s attempt to blame the nurses for an unpleasant childbirth experience is clearly misplaced, and it shows a complete lack of personal responsibility on the part of her family.

The birth of a child takes planning and preparation. You can’t use the argument that you didn’t know it was coming! Part of the responsibility is for parents to sit down with their pediatrician well before the birth. There are a zillion questions that can be best addressed with proper planning. But to expect the “assembly-line system” to be concerned with your expectations is foolish.

Finally, to single out Nevada’s hospitals by asserting that your friends in other states had a “more humane beginning of parenthood” reflects nothing more than an inaccurate, irresponsible and immature perspective of Nevada’s health care.

My hope is that, in the future, this family will take proactive steps to insure that everyone, including the nursing care professionals and the baby’s extended family, can experience the joy and happiness that such a miracle brings into all our lives.

James Smith