Letters for October 11, 2012

Support small colleges

Re “Higher education, lower population” (Election, Oct. 4):

In last week’s article about the Board of Regents race in District 9, I was quoted as supporting the proposed new funding formula for Higher Education. Let me clarify: I support the need to address the equity issues resulting from the old formula. However, if the new formula were implemented as proposed, Northern Nevada institutions of higher learning—rural community colleges in particular—will suffer. In the case of the rural community colleges, losses will be devastating. I view the proposal as just that—a proposal, and a platform for a revitalized discussion about the importance of high quality universities and colleges throughout Nevada. I would hope that it will serve as an occasion for Nevada’s leaders to find the means to fund higher education without sacrificing the vital missions of our great schools. I was present at the founding of Western Nevada Community College, and I taught there for 28 years. I intend to protect it as well as to work toward a glorious future for all our Nevada universities and colleges.

Michon Mackedon

Too cruel

This is a letter to Tom Gorey at the Bureau of Land Management Washington office : No matter what we work for or on whose side we are—[we see online footage that] shows a horse running with a broken leg during a round up. We know accidents happen. But this is bad. You can’t possibly blow this off as just another bad luck event in the minority. If your wranglers are as professional as your agency claims, this would not happen. Trap pens would be better designed. There is a problem when horses break their necks and legs. For God’s sake, this must stop! This is America, not the third world of savagery. BLM must stop this cruel treatment and find better ways to prevent it. To you, it’s just a statistic. To this horse, it was his life, his freedom. He suffered horribly, and I cannot fathom the fact that anyone within your agency can allow such horrid mishaps. BLM must improve. Are we at least agreeable on this one part? And better sooner than later.

Monika Courtney
Evergreen, Colo.

Kitty time

I’m writing today to remind readers that along with brightly colored leaves, harvest festivals and cooler temperatures, fall also marks the second annual “kitten season” at local shelters and rescues. In most parts of the United States, kittens are born within a few weeks of tax day in April. They are ready to leave their mothers (if they have them) in June or July. Cats that are not spayed can have another litter in August, and those kittens are ready to be adopted in October. This large influx of cats can put excessive strain on local pet groups, who are still working to care for and adopt cats born in April. And while help is appreciated year round, now is a great time to support your local shelter, rescue or humane society by adopting, volunteering or donating resources.

As a former Director at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for three years, and with 30-plus years in the sheltering community, I know a common misconception is that national animal groups are umbrella groups for pet shelters and spend most of their resources on helping care for these animals. After all, that’s what the commercials full of needy dogs and cats imply. However, HSUS isn’t affiliated with pet shelters and sends just 1 percent of the money is raises to pet shelters, according to its tax return.

Local shelters don’t just need money—they could also use supplies to help, like dog or cat food and towels. Whatever animal lovers can give, they should make sure their donations are staying local if they want to help care for pets.

Diana Culp
Humane Society for Shelter Pets

Frederick, Md.

Religion, politics, beer

Like everyone else, I’m getting a lot of polling calls. For many of them, you have to answer demographic questions before getting to the important stuff. And if you don’t answer those demographic questions, the robo-call gets stupid (I’ve even had a live robo-caller get stupid). I wonder, though, if all these metrics serve to emphasize and legitimize differences between us more than anything else they might be doing. It’s certainly the case that demographics are used by the campaigns, the media, and third parties to pit me against you, and us against a whole host of “thems.” I get it that demographic polling makes political ads effective and that campaigns must maximize the effect of their spending, but it’s also the primary fuel powering the engines of big-money politics and a lot of noisy talk shows. I think it’s important for the sides to ask our opinions, so I’ll be glad to answer questions about the economy, health care, how I plan to vote and why. For that, you don’t need to know anything about me other than I’m eligible to vote and I do. If you need more than that, buy me a beer sometime and we’ll chat.

Michel Rottmann
V.C. Highlands

Cancer in Washington

Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent cancer patients and survivors from Northern Nevada to call on Congress to make cancer a national priority. I joined more than 600 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers from across the country to ask lawmakers in our nation’s capital to protect funding for cancer research and prevention programs. I met with Nevada representatives, Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Shelly Berkley, Rep. Mark Amoedi, Rep. Joe Heck, and a representative of Sen. Dean Heller, and made it clear that Congress needs to put partisanship a side on behalf of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and more than 1.6 million people in America who will be diagnosed this year. Funding for research at the National Institutes of Health and for cancer prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund must be top priorities in the federal budget. Legislation recently introduced in Congress to improve the quality of life for cancer patients must also be an important priority. By making these lifesaving programs a priority, we will ensure that progress continues in the fight against cancer.

Mark Savage

Free love for half

Re “Love the ones you’re with” (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 27):

Let’s start a town where they practice polygyny. (Mormons don’t do this.) There are 100 men and 100 women. Then, 50 of the men take two wives each. Thus, 50 of the men have no place in the community, and they most likely leave (either before or after they make a run at one or more wives already taken.) Then, the 100 wives each have two children, 100 girls and 100 boys. Ignoring the fact that the men will probably take some of the girls as additional wives, that leaves 50 well connected boys with two wives each. That leaves 50 boys with no wife and no place in the community. No one spends much on educating boys with no place in the community, so the boys are taken away and abandoned, since they have no place in the community and no training or skills. Polygyny doesn’t work arithmetically. Now, the men who have two wives each normally can’t support two wives. Thus, the wives live on welfare and aid to dependent children. That means non-polygamists support the polygamist lifestyle. That just doesn’t add up. (By the way, the things that are presented here is the way that USA polygamy actually works in the real world.)

R. Richard