Letters for October 11, 2007

Join up
Re “Bum bashing” (Editorial, Sept. 27):

Attacks on homeless persons are attacks on us all. So are attempts to diminish and dismiss their essential humanity and value to our community. Persons who are homeless long-term live much closer to the earth, much lower on the food chain, are much better recyclers, and leave a much smaller fossil-fuel print than all the rest of us.

Yet 75 percent of persons homeless became so just in the past year. There is nothing “chronic” and everything “urgent” about their condition. With all our intentions, as yet Reno has no public facility for homeless families with children. The only program addressing those needs has a long waiting list. Every night a child spends on a street, in a car, on a couch, in a daily or weekly room is a tragedy. Many of us are a mortgage payment, a job loss, a catastrophic illness or accident away from that same tragic prospect.

Every war we fight—every wounded veteran, every casualty of PTSD—every dollar we choose to spend on destruction over creation, every factory we close, every job we eliminate, every house or home or neighborhood we develop without regard to affordability … each of us can name the tragedy for ourselves. Yet when the legislature had the chance to invest $20 million in community responsibility and action on homelessness, it chose to spare just $1 million. When the president last visited Reno to ask more support for the war, he joked about how Reno’s homeless must all be bad gamblers. Mr. President, senators and representatives, sisters and brothers, housed and unhoused—we are all in this together.

Rev. John Auer

Seniors’ wallets attacked
I was shocked to find that Citifare had raised the cost of a 31-day bus pass for Senior/Disabled from $31.50 to $32.25. This annual increase appears to have become a tradition. Seniors and the disabled may be the major users of the bus system. But they are also often on fixed or low incomes.

There is a hidden danger here. A 31-day pass gives freedom of use of the Reno/Sparks system and also earns a nice discount for traveling to Carson City. If people are forced to use the two-hour transfer and 24-hour pass, their traveling will be curtailed. Any recreation director in the country will tell you that seniors are difficult people to get out of their residences.

I would definitely participate in any recall action to this unconscionable business practice which started with raising the Senior/Disabled pass to the highest percentage of fare increases when it went to $30.

John D. Daniels

Think teal
Re “Breast Cancer Awareness” (Supplement, Sept. 27):

You don’t kid around when you cover cancer.

While I am impressed that you would devote so much space to such a downer of a subject, I wonder, did you know September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month?

Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States and the deadliest gynecological cancer. While not so common as breast cancer, 1 in 67 women will develop ovarian cancer.

Historically, ovarian cancer was called the “silent killer” because symptoms were not thought to develop until the chance of survival was poor. However, recent studies have shown this term is untrue and that the following symptoms are much more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population. These symptoms include abdominal bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).

However, because these symptoms mimic those of menopause or other female complaints, women tend to ignore them.

Women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist.

When diagnosed early, five-year survival rates are more than 90 percent; the same as for breast cancer. But since most women are diagnosed in later stages, the overall five-year survival rate falls to less than half.

Pat Patera
Washoe Valley

Green with hope
Re “Skeptics in the Market” (GreenSpace, Sept. 20):

Your “Skeptics in the Market” piece revealed general disinterest in green marketing—I’m skeptical, too.

I can remember the population scare of the 1960s, a widely publicized crisis not unlike global warming of today. Of course, the logical correlation between global warming and overpopulation can’t be denied. Nor can it be denied that we ignored the warnings.

Of late, the word “green” has become very fashionable in the media and with our politicians. However, when I step out into the street, I don’t see much “green” out there. Scary. Little reason for hope, but still let’s hope we do better this time around.

Del Williams

Re Shall we dance/fight (Arts & Culture, Oct. 4)

A miscommunication with our photographer resulted in incorrect caption information being published. Patrick Wilson was identified as Brandon Osborn. We regret the error.