Letters for November 4, 2010

Black cloud

Re “Mushroom cloud” (Foodfinds, Oct. 28):

Your restaurant reviewer is insane! Nu Yalk Pizza is the best, when I’m not in Reno I miss it, and I bring out of town visitors all the time. Just brought a 15-inch Mushroom home for dinner because her hateful review made me hungry just thinking about Nu Yalk Pizza. It has consistently been great New York style pizza ever since I first tasted it about 1978.

Marilee Alessandra

Your endorsement

Re “Our endorsements” (Editorial, Oct. 28):

It was brought to my attention today that at least part of the reason I did not receive the RN&R endorsement was due to a misconception that I did not support a marriage license increase for aid to victims of domestic violence in the 2009 legislative session. Therefore I have a story to tell you.

I realized with the slow economy and the decline in the wedding industry that the domestic violence organizations would be looking for more money in the 2009 session. It is true that we in the wedding industry didn’t want to see an increase, but we were also sensitive to the fact that domestic violence was on the rise, and they badly needed the additional funding. I wracked my brain for months trying to find a solution, a way to get them more money without increasing the cost of a marriage license, and I came up with what I thought was a brilliant alternative.

Sen. Maurice Washington came to me early on and asked how I felt about a marriage license increase. I sat down with him and laid out an alternative plan. That plan was to leave the marriage license fee as is and rather increase the cost for a certified copy of the marriage certificate. A certified copy has become a mandatory document for name changes with Social Security, DMV and many other uses such as insurance matters, military issues and even passport applications. Sen. Washington agreed it was a great alternative if the numbers were there. He arranged a meeting to include himself, domestic violence lobbyist Paula Berkeley and myself to discuss the possibility and practicality of my alternative plan rather than increasing the cost of a marriage license. Paula agreed it was doable and she would take it to her people if the numbers were there.

The numbers were there. In Washoe County the previous year they had only issued about 10,000 marriage licenses, but they sold 26,000 certified copies. In Clark County they issued 98,000 marriage licenses but they sold 168,000 certified copies. It was nearly twice the money domestic violence agencies were asking for. My idea created for those very worthy organizations in the 2009 legislative session nearly $1 million in new annual untapped revenue.

The only area where there was confusion is that it was meant as an alternative to raising the marriage license fee. However, the legislature chose to award both fees for victims of Domestic Violence. Never did I try during the session to keep them from receiving additional funding.

I cannot imagine if you had noticed that I have [Committee to Aid Abused Women director] Joni Kaiser’s personal endorsement that there would have been any question regarding all of the above. Joni agrees Amy Harvey, for the sake of the domestic violence agencies, has to go. Ms. Harvey has never created a single cent for domestic violence.

If in fact this is the reason I did not receive the RN&R’s endorsement, it would have been nice if someone had contacted me to establish the validity of this. I worked hard and put my brain to brilliant use to find this money for domestic violence, a million dollar windfall not conceived by anyone other than myself. A pat on the back and a thank you would have been more appropriate.

Even the opportunity for a short interview could have cleared this matter up.

Of course, at this point, what is done is done. However, I would like you to know the facts. I have never discouraged funding for this important organization.

Margaret Flint

Editor’s note: Our endorsement of Amy Harvey for Washoe County Clerk was based more on the way the clerk’s office has been operating under her administration than on the issue of raising fees for marriage licenses and certified copies to provide increased money for domestic violence agencies, which is not a primary function of the office.

Poem for a friend

This was written as a school assignment by my daughter about the marine, Sgt. Frank R. Zaehringer III, we buried here in Reno this weekend. I thought it was good enough to share with everyone. She and my son, who is a two-times Iraqi war veteran, were both close friends of Frank Z.

By Amanda L. McGough

The music played and the congregation stood.
Heroes dressed in uniform took the flag;
Unfolding it piece by piece, section by section,
They held it up for all to see through their tears.
The gun shots rang off outside, seven at a time,
Continuing until they added up to twenty one.
Each shot piercing my heart, rippling pain
Through my body, commanding the tears to flow.
Another took the shells, placing them in the flag.
The music played on and the tears still poured.
Piece by piece, section by section, these heroes
Folded the flag back together until it was a triangle,
With all the pieces stuffed inside, nice and neat.
Silently, I wish my heart was as easily put back
Together. Piece by piece, fold by fold.
Silently, I wish the wounds would heal.
Less than silently we cry. Cry for him, cry for
His wife, cry for his sister, and cry for their son.
But mostly I cry for me, for the twenty one holes
In my heart. For what could have been. For the
Memories that were and the memories that won’t ever
Be. I cry for the hero that sacrificed his life,
Helping those who cannot help themselves.

In loving memory of Sgt. Frank R. Zaehringer.

Ginger Gibbs

Todo bien

Re “Opiniones habladas” (Art of the State, Oct. 28):

Que bueno! Deben publicar esto siempre en espanol como revista bilingue. Tiene razon tambien que el espanol si suena mas romantico que el ingles! Super interesante y demuestra la cultura hispano viva aqui en Reno!

How great! Wow, RN&R should publish in Spanish or as a bilingual publication. He’s right, Spanish does sound more romantic than English! This is super interesting and definitely shows the Hispanic culture alive and well here in Reno!

Alexander Mendes