Letters for September 14, 2006

Mechanical response
Re “I, robot” (Art of the State, Aug. 24):

I was so happy to see that robot on the cover of your paper! He has a fan site already: robotronia.com! He looks like NASA! I met him for the first time on the playa in 2004. He cracked me up with his colorful stories and dead-on impressions! The last time I saw him was Spring 2006 here in Reno. He was battling a giant glowing mantis behind the Zephyr Bar. I love that robot!

Lewis Siffer

Marshal Sam McCash
Appears to be a new marshal in Sparks.

Political observers may consider changing their unofficial moniker for the Rail City from “Johnstown” or “Ascuagaland” to “Harveyville.”

The remarkable Mr. Whittemore’s legal and political tactics were able to get the Sparks City Council—behind closed doors—to reverse its previous public vote and let him put a casino resort on Pyramid Highway.

He may be the most dynamic powerbroker/business mogul in these parts since George Wingfield seven decades ago.

Mike Sion

Confused the issue
Re “The answer is blowing in the wind” (Right Hook, Aug. 24):

Lafferty, like many others before him, presents the Lamont-Lieberman contest as a Democratic vote on the war on terror. This is totally incorrect: The vote was on the war on Iraq, which has little to do with 9/11 and other terrorist attacks against the West. Actually, the Iraq war has diverted resources from the war on terror, created innumerable new terrorists, and added to the chaos in the Middle East.

I used to work in Iraq in the early ‘80s, and most of the Iraqis tended to praise the ruthlessness of Saddam Hussein, claiming that only he can keep Iraq together. But that’s an ancient story. For now, I have the following question to Lafferty: How many Iraqis have been involved so far in terrorist plots against us or our allies outside of Iraq? I have heard about Egyptians, Saudis, Libyans (Pan Am Flight 103), Pakistanis and British citizens of Islamic creed, but never about Iraqis.

Andrzej Trzynadlowski

Skinny legs and all
Re “The answer is blowing in the wind” (Right Hook, Aug. 24):

Is the spleen-venting Michael Lafferty really Ann Coulter in drag? Their venom is a perfect match.

Tracy Figler

It’s a gas
Re “The Streamliner’s handbook” (Feature story, Aug. 31):

What a breath of fresh air (and maybe just a little exhaust)! Your story about Denis Manning’s passionate lifelong attempt to set (and recapture) a new land speed record on a motorcycle was such a sweet departure from the standard political, cultural, socio-conscious, food/music content (not that there’s anything wrong with any of those!). But for us motorheads, it was a nice change.

Although some of the technical content may have been a bit overwhelming for some readers, your writer, R.V. Scheide, was right on the mark, from his history research (Cal Rayborn’s first speed record, the motorcycle slump in the ‘80s etc.) to the vast complexities of designing and building your own motor to conveying the true, unwavering, almost maniacal passion of a man on a mission to accomplish something that has never been done by anyone else on Earth … EVER!

In land speed records, there is no second place; you either hold the record or you don’t. And you know what they say about records: They’re made to be broken. As a former motorcycle business owner and flat-track racer, I understand the passion and hope that Denis, Chris Carr and their crew go out and kick some serious salt-covered ass. Please do a follow up on the Bonneville weekend; I’m sure your readers will appreciate it. I know I will.

Bob Carnahan

Playing politics with lives
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an emergency contraceptive, Plan B, but it will permit over-the-counter sales only for women who are 18 and older.

The FDA shouldn’t have played politics. Nevada’s teenage girls deserve options. As someone who has been an intern with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, I know that women under 18 are the ones who most benefit from over-the-counter access to an emergency contraceptive. Making it more difficult for teens to avoid unintended pregnancies is a bad decision, furthering our outrageous teen pregnancy rate.

In 2000, Nevada had the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation. Through sex education and access to birth control, it has dropped to 12th. Easy and timely access to an emergency contraceptive is important. Minors currently have access to other contraceptive methods such as condoms and spermicides. The government should not be catering to political conservatives and leaving teens in the dark because, without Plan B, teens will search for a Plan C.

Nicole Donald