Letters for September 27, 2007

Green like me
Re “10 things I hate about Burning Man” (Feature story, Sept. 6) and “Greening of the Man” (Green, Sept. 6):

Your articles had valid points and concerns regarding the Burning Man event and the effectiveness of the Green Man theme. However, I think that it is important to point out that there was a positive outcome for a sensitive ecosystem in the area surrounding the event.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness in conjunction with the Nevada Outdoor School, Friends of Black Rock/High Rock, Earth Guardians and the BLM helped make restoration a part of the 2007 Burning Man festival.

In honor of the “Green Man” theme, about 35 volunteers worked over the course of three days to protect the sensitive Coyote Springs Dunes in the Black Rock Desert. This unique dune complex contains kit fox dens and a rare spring. It supports much wildlife.

Volunteers raked away the tracks caused by irresponsible off-road vehicle use that has destroyed much of the natural vegetation in the area, transplanted native vegetation to help the natural recovery process, and erected a rustic fence to protect the area from further damage by off-road vehicles.

This is one point in favor of the “Green Man” theme that deserves recognition, as does the work of those dedicated few who took the time out of their Burning Man experience to work on their public lands and make a difference for Nevada.

Pat Bruce
Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Inaccurate caption
Re “Up, up, and under” (News pick, Sept. 13):

You printed a photo of a Great Reno Balloon Race balloon with a caption containing incorrect information.

In fact, an incident like that described in the caption has never occurred in the 26 years of the event. If you look closely at the photo, you will notice that the power lines are in front of the balloon, and the balloon is floating behind the lines at a safe distance, according to the pilot, the launch director, the FAA and the power company.

A balloon flying into a power line is a very serious issue and would cause pilot disqualification, power outages and balloon damage. In other words, we would have been notified, and the balloon would have been damaged—if something like this had occurred.

Safety is a primary concern at the Balloon Race, and it’s important to us that your readers know that. Balloon Race safety officials work very closely with Sierra Pacific Power Company to ensure pilot and passenger safety in a number of ways:

• Through electrical safety demonstrations, maps and examples, Sierra Pacific’s safety consultant teaches each balloon pilot and ground crew to avoid power lines, as well as what to do if a balloon accidentally becomes entangled in a line.

• Sierra Pacific Power Company changes its electric operations during the week of the event, switching approximately 50 percent of its overhead electrical lines in Reno from automatic to manual operation. This means if there is any inadvertent contact with the lines by a balloon, power will not come back on automatically, as it normally would. This could prevent injury to the balloon occupants and the ground crew.

• Additional electrical operations staff is assigned to the area during the races, to facilitate manual operation, and to ensure there is a prompt response to any mishaps that might involve balloons and power lines.

On behalf of The Great Reno Balloon Race and in consideration of the pilot whose balloon is featured, we would like to let your readers know that the information in the caption is false.

Marlene Olsen
The Great Reno Balloon Race

Editor’s note: You are correct. The caption was inaccurate. We removed the erroneous caption information from our website as soon as we became aware of the miscommunication between photographer and editor. We also clarified the information in a correction in the next edition on Sept. 20. We regret the error. Particularly to the pilot and crew, we’re sorry for any inconvenience our error caused.

A hard Rock and a place
Re “A few good people” (Filet of Soul, Sept. 20):

As Rock staff, we love the article written about our church. We just wanted to make sure your readers understood that Pastor Dan Whittemore was our guest from Reno Christian Fellowship, as our Worship/Music Director was on paternity leave, as you had mentioned. Normally, our worship style tends to be a bit more “rockin!” Come back and visit us. We always like to say, Try us for four weeks in order to get the real “feel” of the church! Thanks for visiting us!

Nicki Perkins

Dogs rule, humans drool
Re “Dogs are killers” and “Dogs eat poop” (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 13, Sept. 20):

Over the past two weeks, letters from dog haters have appeared. To Jennifer Tuttle … lady, who you callin’ an idiot? I know my dog loves me, and another one once saved my life. Are there bad ones? Sure. But I’ve met more rotten people than bad dogs. You shouldn’t be mouthing off so vehemently on a subject you obviously have no comprehension of. And Larry Taylor’s letter a week before, in which he references all dogs as “subservient.” Do you, sir, have a job, a boss, a spouse, pay your bills, obey laws, pay income tax? Then I submit that you, sir, are subservient as well—just serving different masters. The argument that dogs only like us for their food and comfort doesn’t hold water. Millions of humans are married to people they can’t stand, or working horrible jobs, for much the same reasons. The tens of millions of us who love our pets can only look at people like Ms. Tuttle and Mr. Taylor, and feel sorry for you. You’re missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Mike Mantor
via e-mail