Letters for October 22, 2009

Best category to lose

Re “Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada” (Feature story, Oct. 15):

“Best place to pamper your puppy”? What kind of a dopey category is that? And I see where there was a category for best dog day care, but not one for best child day care, unless I missed it. In any case, what’s with the craziness of pet owners pampering their animals and sending them to day care? Why are adults pretending dogs are children? What’s next, dressing dogs up in Halloween costumes and taking them to see Santa at the mall? Oh wait, they already do that.

Cathy Wilcox

We are the world

Our country is among the richest in the world. Our crops grow well, and food supply is plentiful. So why is it that people are hungry? Each day, people are forced to choose between groceries and other needed items. And why is it that after all the education we’ve received, those who have plenty of food are eating so unhealthy? It’s because the multi-billion dollar marketing industry has shaped our purchasing habits to focus on the quick and cheap, rather than the healthy.

Mom and pop grocery stores are a thing of the past. The top 50 supermarket operators account for over three-quarters of U.S. supermarket sales. Their interest is not the healthy eating habits of Americans, it is pure greed! They push the high margin foods such as packaged, processed and junk foods. Never mind the fat and sodium content. The retail chains must be taken over and revamped. Healthy fruits and vegetables must become staple items at the dinner table. All Americans should have access to the same quantity, quality, and selection of food, regardless of the amount of money they possess.

The answer is clear. Legislation needs to be considered that will reform the industry. A national program must be implemented, and the free market must be suppressed. It is time for our government to step up and ensure that all citizens receive the healthy food they need. Government run stores are better prepared to provide the foods that we need and limit of our access to high fat foods.

Failure to reform our grocery industry would be catastrophic. Homeless will continue starving. The middle-class will grow more obese. Meanwhile, the rich will only get fatter—in their wallets.

Bubby Coffey

Thumbs up

Re “Bronze Star to Renoite” (Upfront, Oct. 15):

I have been friends with Josh Trudell for years now and am so proud to call him my friend. Not only has he served in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he has even considered going back and serving his country. Nowadays, not too many people are in the military for the right reasons, and Josh has served many years with the sole intent of protecting America. I am very proud of Josh and blessed to be a free American because of soldiers like him.

Desiree Chamblee
via email

Be more grateful

Re “Arrested development” (Feature story, Oct. 1):

My comments and opinion, as stated below, are mainly directed to D. Brian Burghart, the gentleman who authored the above referenced article.

To quote: “What about a single mother of young children who must live outside of town simply because that’s where she can afford to live? It’s a $50 cab ride one way to work from Red Rock Road. How is that the same punishment as for a lawyer who lives a mile from his or her office? How is that equal treatment under the law?

“If that same mother gets caught driving on a revoked license, it’s a mandatory 30 days in jail.

“Some people will say that people who get behind the wheel even a little tipsy deserve everything they get. Drunk drivers killed 373 people in Nevada in 2008. I believe that a misdemeanor traffic stop should not be able to destroy a family—but a death or substantial damage is not a misdemeanor, it’s a felony. I’ll also say this: During the nine months since my arrest, I was not told by a single person that they had never driven drunk. Not one.”

Fair? How fair would you think it was if that same single parent had your son in the car with them while driving a “little tipsy”? How exactly do you measure “tipsy”?

I have seen someone drunk on two beers, maybe not above legal limit, but still drunk. I guarantee I would not want one of my family members in a car with that person. The someone whom I speak of is myself. I may have 10 drinks a year, so two beers in one setting pretty much wipe me out. Would I think it fair if I was the one caught after only two beers? Probably not. Would I be pissed? Probably so. But when it comes right down to it, I know that I should not be driving. As the saying goes, “If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.” Have I driven while a little tipsy, you betcha! Can I thank my damn lucky stars that I was never caught, you betcha! Can I look back on those times and think “thank god I didn’t kill anybody,” you betcha!

Someone being stopped for being a “little tipsy” may be someone that has not been given the chance to kill somebody else. That person should have thought of the possible consequences to their actions prior to taking that first drink, i.e, all the reasons you listed in your article.

By the way, you may have gotten off on a technicality, but you may want to sit back and wonder if any lives were saved that night, yours included, by you being arrested and taken off the street. If not for your arrest you may very well be sitting in jail waiting trial for manslaughter. Just wondering how you would feel if you had killed anybody else? How would you be feeling if that someone else just happened to be your son who was riding in another car that you hit?

What you should be doing is writing those officers a letter thanking them for possibly saving your life, and keeping you from possibly spending the rest of your life in prison had the outcome been much worse.

Sandi Jones
Richmond, Texas

Whip a dead media

Re “Get ready for a post-daily world” (Feature story, Oct. 8):

Not all daily newspapers are dying. The “family-owned,” closely held entities are not in trouble.

The death of the daily newspaper is part evolution, part self inflicted destruction.

As a 15-year, former Nevada State Journal, Reno Evening-Gazette, Reno Gazette-Journal and USA Today employee, I submit that most newspapers are run by tyrants and idiots.

Their dilemmas are the same as those which destroyed the American economy and shoved others over the cliff: The boom-and bust mentality. Mergers and acquisitions. Overextension and speculation. Corporations putting small businesses out of business. Squeezing every last drop of lifeblood out of them.

Retail or publishing or whatever, all are guilty.

The demographic of the newspaper subscriber is male, white, 45-plus years old. Brown, non-English speaking people do not buy the paper. Most people care about who won the game last night. News organizations have been shuffled together and have to invent entertainment 24/7. A picture of somebody’s cat. A guy dines and dashes. The helicopter reports on the police freeway chase. Journalism is now a junk science. The news has been canceled. We’ll just have one Pravda. It will be tacked up at the bus stop.

You do not achieve success by raising the price and lowering the quality. You succeed by getting new customers.

This all reminds me of the story of the farmer and his horse. “I want to make more money. I will feed the horse less today and work him harder.” Next day, he seems OK. “I’ll feed him less again and work him even harder to make more money,” and so on.

After some time passed, the farmer came out to feed the horse less and work him harder. The farmer found a dead horse.

John Fisher