Letters for September 1, 2011

Not gonna happen

Re “Debit cardholders face fee” (Upfront, Aug. 25):

As far as fees by Wells Fargo, if I had an account with them, I would be moving it. If I was considering them, I am no longer. When the banks are posting, in some cases, record profits, we the people get stuck supporting their profit margins. Had a very interesting discussion with a co-worker about ethics and morals. The ethics of the large companies is the support of the profit margins to the shareholders. It also follows that collateral damage, i.e. loss of clients or damage to same, need not be an issue if the profits are still there. It was quite an eye-opener as I never thought in these terms before. With record profits, you would think it would trickle down and make things a bit easier in this economy. Not gonna happen. It would be a breath of fresh air to see some of these companies put their clients first. I would change to that company in very little time if I thought that was the case. Maybe that’s why my money is in a local credit union. Then the same thinking goes for our Congress, most of us have cut back; why not a voluntary drop in their pay or benefits? They are mostly attorneys. Not gonna happen.

Ted Beecher

American ingénue-ity

I am sorely distressed at the direction our country is taking regarding renewable energy.

The mainstream focus seems to be on those cutesy Solar PhotoVoltaic panels (PVs), while instead, perhaps we should grease our energies and work towards more realistic themes.

Most PVs are made in China, which is good for them, but does not increase U.S. prosperity or manufacturing or your financial well-being.

We invented and optimized them, but outsourced to our great woe and gnashing of teeth.

A far, far greater bang for the buck is to install solar water heaters, which are not only super efficient but able to be manufactured locally. Yes, that’s right, that’s something we can still make in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

And provide jobs, for goodness sake.

I could rail, also, about swamp coolers over air conditioning units, but that’s been said before, and we should all be aware of its greater efficiency, lower energy consumption, and local manufacturability.

And while the Chinese are going gangbusters and getting rich selling us solar PV panels, our own national good efforts are dying on the vine.

I speak to the focusing collector—search for Tessera Solar or other solar engines—which use a truly novel and efficient means of providing electric (and hot water).

These 30-plus-foot solar dishes run a four-cylinder Sterling hot air engine, and require a very small manufacturing footprint. We could even make them here in Reno if we had the gumption and togetherness and a tiny bit of daring seed money. Sigh.

One dish can provide 25KW of electric, uses no water to run—other than washing the metal reflectors occasionally—has a tiny bitsy area footprint, and they are grid-ready.

When I see a solar furnace installed in Reno, then I will be a happy guy.

It seems even some good neighbors could get together to pony up the funds to build or buy one of these remarkable devices.

But, no, sorry, we’re all stuck on corporate media hype, and anything other than the “Newspeak” we all are pap-fed is taboo.

There is nearly a horsepower of heat energy hitting a one-meter area while the sun shines. To not take optimal advantage of this in any and all ways is a determining factor on our national and cultural longevity.

As the Gumpster says, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Craig Bergland

Brian’s in love

Re “The next big thing” (Feature story, Aug. 25):

Do you have a crush on Fernando Leal or has the News & Review been taken over by the RG-J? This is the same boosterish, marketing-uber-alles approach they use. However smitten you are with the concept, couldn’t you at least manage to ask some important questions about the economics, particularly the public cost?

Tracy Figler

Drug rockets

I wonder what the United States would do if Mexico or Canada launched rockets onto our soil, killing our citizens. I think we all know that answer. The United States would aggressively defend its citizens. Why then, when Israel is attacked by rocket fire, targeted at killing innocent civilians, are we not all enraged? Why is there any question about Israel defending herself?

Last Thursday, Hamas fired rockets into Israel, killing eight people, and over the weekend, continued rocket attacks killing another Israeli. The international community must stand up to terrorism in the Middle East.

The international community should cut off ties with Hamas, a terrorist organization that receives money and weapons from Iran and is committed to destroying Israel.

The international community should oppose the Palestinian unilateral bid for statehood backed by the United Nations and urge the Palestinians to return to unconditional peace talks with Israel.

This is how a world that values human life should operate. Now is the time.

Gail Ferrell

Lost soul

I was saddened to read that you had decided to stop writing the Filet of Soul column. The irony of the name and your approach were not lost on me, but I often found beautiful bits of wisdom in your writing.

I appreciate the hard work and artistic effort you made over the last four years to produce such a high-quality column—I suspect that it was the best of its kind in the country. Have you considered publishing a compilation of your favorite Filet of Souls? I for one would be delighted to own such a volume.

Spiritual development is usually easier when pursued in a community of like-minded believers. I’m curious about which of the many services you attended appealed to you most.

Anyway, thank you so much for doing the column. It was a highlight of my week and will be sorely missed. I’ve lived here three years now, so I missed the first year of your column, but would love to read it in print format.

Lizbeth Trotti

Editor’s note: Thanks for your kind words. I kind of miss doing the column, and I’ll probably pick it back up someday. In the meantime, all the Filet of Soul columns can be found at www.newsreview.com/reno/filet_of_soul/all?oid=310596. To answer your question somewhat obliquely, I liked most the services that showed me things and taught me concepts that I’d never heard or contemplated before.


Re “AG cautious on lawsuit,” (Upfront, Aug. 25):

In an item about a Nevada lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Chase, we confused two lawsuits.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has more than one pending lawsuit involving Morgan Chase.

One involves alleged anticompetitive conduct and fraud in the municipal bond derivatives industry. That case has been settled, with Morgan Chase agreeing to pay millions in restitution.

Another suit involves foreclosure practices by several mortgage services, Morgan Chase among them. Cortez Masto and officials in three other states have been reluctant to join that supposedly 50-state settlement because it includes language protecting some mortgage institutions from ongoing probes. That could undercut Cortez Masto’s efforts to hold those institutions accountable in continuing investigations or future lawsuits. We regret the error.