Letters for November 5, 2009


Re “Fuzzy F.M. memories” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Aug. 4, 2005):

Where’s my Tuesday night Album of the Week?

Here we are approximately 30 years later; I lived in Reno ’74 until ’81.

I’m living in Vermont now but have never forgotten how much enjoyment I got out of listening to all you guys on KGLR and KOZZ after the change.

When I bartended day shift, at first Harrah’s Reno and then John Ascuaga’s Nugget, I listened to the Bruce Van Dyke Show every morning and really loved it. I do believe it’s where I first heard Pink Floyd’s The Wall—or most of it, anyway.

I still have a few cassettes of Albums of the Week with bits and pieces of ads and announcer conversations—Stu Buchannon, a few others.

Thanks for the memories!

Jay A. Knickerbocker
Brattleboro, Vt.


Re “Lost” (Filet of Soul, Oct. 22):

I agree that arrogance of religion is at least a contributing factor to some of the more intractable problems on the globe. I must, however, point out that in the very next paragraph you make a mistake of arrogance by assuming that the only way to atheism is through religion. While I follow your logic that to reject the idea of God based on exposure to only one religion doesn’t make for a fair exploration and rejection, it is not logical to assume that atheism requires the experience of and subsequent rejection of a dogma or deity. To be sure, there are some who follow that path such as the atheist in the book. However, the only way to “know” and therefore “accept” or “reject” a religion is to engage in the activity of making the choice. You assume a primacy of religion—a necessity for belief in order to be a non-believer—which quickly becomes a tautological argument. If one doesn’t—for whatever reason—explore then accept a religion or a deity or belief then he or she would have nothing to reject … get it? Are they then not legitimate “non-believers” because they just didn’t bother or didn’t know or didn’t care to ask the question? In the effort to be a good citizen of the world, I know quite a bit about religion and belief as it is fundamental to understanding human behavior. It cannot follow from that that I am required to grapple with questions of religious faith. It’s a non-question to me. I find your quest interesting to read about and applaud your right to do so, but to assume that my atheism requires an effort on my part to “give all religions a try” first is, well, religious arrogance.

Rebecca Thomas


Re “This Toxic House” (Feature story, Oct. 22):

Thank you for writing about such a taboo subject in the real estate community. These banks and their select few have been able to operate with complete disregard to ethics, professional courtesy, federal and state laws. Some of these select few had little or no experience, and when experienced agents were busy, the only revenue they could muster up was doing BPOs (Broker Price Opinions) and against the rules at that time. Not having management/real estate skills in the past has resulted in their complete breakdown in processing listings and closings. Asset managers of banks continue to dump homes onto the select few overworked/stressed-out agents not only in Reno but throughout the country.

Forget any type of disclosure from anyone, even if they are aware of it. It all started with the banks not having to disclose anything wrong with the property, even if they are aware of it, per a Nevada statute. The agents who represent banks even if they know of a defect try to piggyback themselves onto this law even though it doesn’t apply to them.

The typical deal goes something like this: Bank agent puts a bait-and-switch ridiculously low price in MLS to create a bidding war; many claim that they won’t submit them until a certain date to generate a lot of offers. All of a sudden it is in escrow before that date even comes up or, if they do wait, there is no communication, as many won’t even talk to the public, let alone other agents. They feel they are so mighty as to request to send emails only to them, which go unanswered. Then they claim to have no written response from the seller (bank) and many times, the agent themselves won’t respond, a direct violation of many laws and ethics. The word is that the offers aren’t even getting submitted, and the agent themselves are just submitting the good cash offers even if one is higher so it closes quick, and they get their commission quickly.

This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in the neighborhood, and the next bank agent lists the next home even lower and creates even lower tax bases for our schools, fire, police, etc. Homeowners in the area don’t want to pay on their existing devalued home and guess what? It creates job security for these select agents as other homes soon follow the foreclosure path. These agents are operating a pure commission mill with no regards to values and the effect on property taxes communities.

Their big excuse is that “the bank told me so” or “that is how they roll” or something like this. I am sure these same agents wouldn’t hesitate to tell a seller if they are overpriced, so why not tell them when they are underpriced? I didn’t even have to get past the first page of the code of ethics to see that they are required to get their sellers a fair price (not 30 percent below market or more). The irony is that we taxpayers are in essence the sellers as we have bailed the banks out.

I feel for the buyer who wanted the Lakeridge House. He was correct, marketing/fair price is out the window. It is all about the quick cash sale, kickbacks, who you know and getting onto the next commission.

Ed Mellick
via email


Re “We are the World” (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 22):

Come on, give me a break, regulate the free market of supermarkets? People know what to eat, and that they should eat veggies and fruits, whole grains, and not the junk, but they choose not to. They know they shouldn’t sit on their asses in front of the TV for eight hours a day, but should we regulate TV watching? There are programs like food stamps, food banks, soup kitchens; a homeless person can even dig through the trash in the back of a restaurant if they are that hungry in this country. I am currently one of those who has had to drastically cut our food bill to make do, but I still manage to buy relatively healthy choices. There is too much waste of food in this country, when people of the world are starving to death, with no help or hope in sight. Right now in some parts of Africa, there has been no rain this year, and people are dying of starvation by the thousands. Why not concentrate your efforts on feeding them through well-water fundraising or seed and animal donations? Ten thousand children die every day from starvation as close as Mexico. We are the world, why not take the gluttonous excesses of this country and ship them to those who have literally nothing?

Let us eat ourselves to death, it’s one of the only freedoms we have left, but I guess sometimes freedom doesn’t always free you.

Tania Lackner