Letters for May 5, 2011

How’s that ironic?

It’s ironic that the young people who voted Obama in will be the ones paying for his deficits when they retire. It won’t affect me, I’ll be long gone by then, but it does make you wanna shed a John Boehner tear for our children and their children’s children. Looks like the same cycle from the ’60s, where the ’70s mushroomed into a plethora of liberal ideals and spending, the birth of the nanny nation. Fortunately, Ronald Reagan rescued us. The question now is, who is the next Ronald Reagan? Somebody needs to step up and take one for the Gipper.

Mike Arp

Money numbers

Assembly Bill AB545 will deny Washoe County School District millions of dollars in new funding. The bill seeks to change the population threshold for approximately $3.9 million in room taxes that WCSD is entitled to when Washoe County population reaches 400,000. U.S. Census 2010 reported Washoe’s population at 416,000. Additional millions for the school district are also available from real estate transfer taxes. The bill originator, the legislative counsel, has recommended changing the population threshold from 400,000 to 700,000 in over 200 individual Nevada statutes, including those that have significant detrimental financial impact to Washoe County. Although Clark County and its school district have benefited from the current population thresholds, the legislature is looking at denying the same financial benefits to Washoe County. Legislative Counsel is prohibited by law from initiating bills that “urge” or “recommend” legislation; however, the bill is making its way through the Assembly with Washoe County legislative member support. Unless citizens call their county commissioners and urge immediate public hearings on every NRS change that affects Washoe County, the bill will pass unopposed. We also need to call and email our legislative representatives and express opposition to AB545. Encourage your commissioners, city council members and School Board of Trustees to do the same.

Terry Tiernay

Web extra

Re “The noble rich” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, April 21):

The Bar of America thing and the one about the oil company subsidies are great. That’s twice you nailed it in terms anyone can understand and especially the south of $35,000 a year Republicans. Hopefully, your column gets wider circulation than the free-at-the-sandwich-shop local news, politics and events paper.

Mitch Morgan

Good catch

Re “Baseball’s hit parade” (Arts&Culture, April 21):

The New York Yankees have never had a well-known catcher with the nickname “Catfish.” They did have a very well known pitcher, “Catfish Hunter” (James Augustus Hunter). Bob Dylan’s song, “Catfish” was about a pitcher, not a catcher.

A.J. Bima
via e-mail

Kill the dying goose

Re “Tax Mining” (Letters to the Editor, April 21):

Ditto on taxation of mining, and let’s include taxation of gambling enterprises consistent with national levels, too. Alaska, by the way, implemented their Permanent Dividend with an endowment structure that supports education grades kindergarten-university. When I lived there in 1983-86, schools were at least two years ahead of those in the lower 48 academically, were provided state of the art facilities, and teachers were well-compensated, honored members of every community. Another thing about the Permanent Dividend Fund: Legally, it is so tightly protected that the funds can be used only for education and an annual dividend for residents. Politicians and other special interests have tried for decades to get their hands on a piece of that fund without success. Long after oil companies trash the North Slope and suck it dry, the fund will continue to support Alaska’s schools.

If you’re at all open to the idea of such a system, look at that structure for a model. Mining and Gaming industries should have no complaint supporting Nevada’s educational system, which provides the workers they need.

Richard Woods
via email

Problem children

Re “Crunch time” (Editorial, April 21):

Let’s really look at this issue: Nevada ranks among the worst in unemployment rates of all the states, our education scores and system are the worst in the nation, and we have some of the highest rates of illegal immigration! Could a possible reason for our terrible education scores be that the system is inundated with children of illegal immigrants? Is it that difficult to connect the dots? Illegal immigration hurts Nevada. It hurts the legal immigrants who came here the right way. It hurts our schools, our teachers, our children. Trying to paint those addressing the issues of illegal immigration as racist simply shows how ungrounded your argument really is. As citizens, we should be allowed to be concerned with the real concerns of illegal immigration without fear of being falsely accused of racism! This isn’t about race! It’s about people breaking the laws and us paying the price for it in unemployment costs, tax dollars, and failing education systems. Poor form, News & Review!

M. Dononvue

Party on

Re “Understanding the Tea Party” (Right to Your Head, April 14):

As a thinking liberal, I often enjoy Sean Cary’s view from the right, and on rare occasions actually agree with him. However, his take on the Tea Party is wildly erroneous. It is not a grassroots movement as believed by some well-meaning conservatives. The Tea Party is an invention of big business lobbyists and the Koch brothers. It is funded almost exclusively from these sources and represents the interests of these groups. The party leaders are obviously Rand Paul, Michelle Bachman, Sharron Angle, and their ilk, and these are the elected (or not) representatives of the Tea Party. Their single aim is to dismantle the government, including education, Social Security, Medicare, and infrastructure, and basically privatize everything, allowing the corporations who already rule our lives even more wealth and power, while gutting the middle class. If you are wealthy, this is very nice for you, however for the rest of us, it doesn’t work out too well. As far as patriotism, anyone can wrap themselves in the flag to obfusticate the real issues. However, the quote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” likely applies here.

Sorry, but this is a whitewash of a very nasty and virulent movement who will use any means to advance their agenda, including lying about the President’s birthplace or his religion. As a matter of fact, most of what the tea party says is either misinformed, or outright lies. You want to know who the tea party actually is? Just follow the money

Richard Cooper
Incline Village

Paper kills trees

Re “Earth Day Program” (Supplement, April 28):

Thank you for the laugh. I couldn’t help but noticed that every one of the thousands of issues of the Reno News & Review you printed contained a copy of the program for the Earth Day event on May 1. That’s 24 pages of color newsprint, containing very little substantive information about the event. Think of all the trees that sacrificed themselves so that you could provide your readers information about this great function, designed to save the environment.

I surely hope I am not the only one who got the joke. I tend to have a dry sense of humor, too.

James Umbach