Letters for September 30, 2010

Golden nest egg

Re “Stop giving away Nevada’s gold” (View from the Fray, Sept. 23):

Deidre Pike obviously lives in a cartoon world where a warped and unreal sense of reality abounds. Mining generates huge amounts of revenues to the local communities, the counties, the state, and the federal government in the form of a variety of taxes and fees. Mining is a very important employer of people (not the cartoon type). It pays well, allows these people and their families to live well, and these employees pay taxes at very high rates. Yes, the mining companies are now making money—does Pike have a problem with profit? It seems so, and she has obviously, conveniently forgotten that these same mining companies struggled through many tough low gold price years with little or no profit taking, but during this time thousands of people remained beneficially employed. The solution to the state’s budget woes is not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs but to cut the cost of government, which by the way, produces nothing and is an ever-growing, expanding, expensive burden on those who do produce and pay taxes.

Dave Mathewson

No rights for poor seniors

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would rise from his grave if he knew that the state of Nevada had a special “86” statute that gives any property owner in Nevada the right to refuse service to anyone, plus the right to photograph them and evict them from their property, plus the right to arrest them for trespassing if they ever return to said property. For the last 20 years at least, many casinos have issued these illegal restraining orders to thousands of local citizens and tourists without due process or the equal protection provisions as guaranteed by our Constitution. Generally speaking, these illegal restraining orders are issued to homeless people.

Recently, on about Aug. 17, I was 86’d from the Reno public bus terminal near the Reno Bowling Stadium, for snoozing while waiting on an hourly bus, and when I returned to the bus center about 10 minutes later, I was arrested for trespassing. I was incarcerated for 30 days in Washoe County jail, while awaiting trial.

During my 30-day incarceration, I was abused by almost every guard who handcuffed me, although I offered no resistance, and I was tortured by cold temperatures while naked without normal blankets. I had to sleep on hard maple chopping block bunks without any mattress for about 13 days while on suicide watch. I am 77 years old with severe back problems, which qualify me for a small Veteran’s Administration disability pension.

And, when my trial without a jury was due on Sept. 20, the District Attorney’s prosecutor dismissed all charges without compensating me for any damages that occurred during my false arrest and confinement, where I lost more than 25 pounds and more than $2,000 in personal clothing and belongings and other intellectual property, plus my computer and all my software that was left in my hotel during my incarceration. My weight loss was due to the garbage served from a kitchen with a very tight budget, mostly Polish sausage. peanut butter sandwiches, and other strange Mexican food.

James H. Armistead

More dead geese

Re “Stop giving away Nevada’s gold” (View from the Fray, Sept. 23):

But what if the price of gold doesn’t exceed $1,000 per ounce? Historically, that hasn’t been the case, so what do we do if gold collapses after you have sucked away their cash reserves that would be used to keep people working during lean times? Do you not think that is putting jobs in jeopardy? I was a Nevada gold miner for some time, and when the company was struggling to keep my job during the Clinton economic boom, mining didn’t receive a subsidy. Why should mining be forced to subsidize others beyond the benefits they already provide? You big government liberals can’t help but meddle, and pretty soon you’ll cripple the mining industry like you have other job providers. These aren’t the times to raise taxes, especially on the few healthy companies that are hiring and building. Be happy that mining is prospering and providing much needed jobs and government revenue. We need a diverse economy, and mining provides benefit when other industries suffer. If in the 1980s and ’90s we enacted the extra taxes you are clamoring for, we would not have the current gold producers because they couldn’t have afforded to build the billion-dollar investments we currently have. If you don’t stop sticking your nose into an industry you don’t understand, you are going to end up killing Nevada’s goose that lays the golden egg. Think carefully before you upset the delicate balance by following the recommendations of NGOs that are not employment experts.

Mark Bowling
Vail, Ariz.

Sheet shock

Re “Beneath the sheets” (Green, Sept. 23):

Thought I’d mention that I am desperately allergic to dryer sheets—if one gets in my laundry I end up in the doctor’s office with a rash all over my body. Yuck!

Nancy Peppin

Wrong shoes. Really, really wrong shoes.

Re “Deliver us from clichés” (Film, Sept. 16):

I just saw the movie Resident Evil: Afterlife and Bob Grimm’s well-written review is right on the money. I have to admit I am a fan of the series and have enjoyed the first three. This one, however, lost all interest for me after the visually stunning open action sequence. What bothered me the most: the villain’s (“the awful Shawn Roberts”) shoes were all wrong. You can’t have a bad guy wearing frumpy shoes as he hustles off to the escape helicopter! He’s got to have really expensive shiny black leather shoes with narrow toes. For the rest of the film, he is just beyond dorky to me. There is a litany of other problems with the movie, but that was the most unique flaw. Hoping the next one is better.

E.A. Moore
New York City

Don’t close toilets

Is it only me or is there a trend toward cheapskate, lazy retail businesses eliminating restrooms for customers? I am seeing more and more rude signs stating “no public restrooms.” I feel it is high time that having and maintaining available restroom facilities should be one of the requirements in order to get and keep a business license. With only mall shops, hot dog stands, and similar tiny establishments where restrooms would not be practical being exempt. In the interest of public health, this should include not only restaurants but all retail businesses that have facilities on premises and simply choose not to let their customers use them. We need to work together and make the “employees only” restroom sign a thing of the past. The homeless, addicts, vandals or inappropriate behavior being offered as the flimsy reason is in fact a law enforcement problem and should not be used an excuse to further inconvenience the public. Let’s see the health department and maybe our legislature step up to the plate.

William Brinsmead