Letters for September 8, 2005

Re “State of the art,” (Cover story, Aug. 25):

It is interesting that Kris Vagner is writing about the art scene in Nevada, but she really doesn’t seem all that connected. Vagner couldn’t be more incorrect than to state “a lot of this work [the work of Nevada artists] doesn’t get into the public eye. Not locally, anyway.” I guess because the staff at Sierra Arts is out taking the art to the public, there isn’t time to get Vagner out to see one of the four free galleries around Reno. Or perhaps because these galleries are free, they don’t merit Vagner’s attention. Well, if you want to see what is happening with artists local to Northern Nevada and around this region, visit the Sierra Arts Foundation Gallery, 17 S. Virginia St., or the Metro Gallery in Reno City Hall, or the Northwest Reno Library on Robb Drive, or even the South Valleys Library off Wedge Parkway. Here are four—yes, count them, four—local galleries committed to getting the art from local artists out into the public eye.

I know for sure at least two of the artists in the Triennial got a good boost from showing with Sierra Arts. Maybe these galleries aren’t important because they are free or because they are out “in” the public eye instead of expecting the public eye to come to one location for art.

Chad Cornwell

Osama’s in Iraq
Re “Standing with Cindy,” (View From the Fray, Aug. 25):

I have been to Iraq. I spent eight months 13 miles from Tikrit, the apex of the “Triangle of Death.” I worked with Iraqis, all Sunni Muslims. I have seen the truth. Cindy’s son died in a fight to give other men and women their freedom. I am sure you will not believe that, but that is what is happening in Iraq. That is the noblest of all causes.

There are responsibilities that go with the freedoms you and the progressive right fail to comprehend. It is patriotic to protest or to disagree with the President’s foreign policy. That is, until the shooting begins. After that, it is not only irresponsible abuse of the freedoms we have, but it is unpatriotic. Because an unintended consequence of those rights, privileges and immunities is [that you offer] aid and comfort to the other side. Just because you have the right doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. Cindy is exploiting her richly deserved sympathy for being a Gold Star Mom. She met once with the president last year, in person. Now she and you pretend it never happened. She is dishonoring her son’s voluntary contribution to his country and is willing to make his and all Americans’ deaths meaningless.

One thing all the Iraqis expressed to me was they were glad we were there, but they were afraid we would leave before we finished the job. If we leave now, who will believe our speeches about freedom of speech, women’s rights or voting rights? We talk the talk but do not walk the walk: a paper tiger with no stomach to fight for the very rights Cindy is using. Al-Qaida is counting on the United States quitting this fight.

Your column would be better titled “Standing with Osama.”

Dana West

Rant is due
Re “Hot August Nights sends chills,” (Editorial, Aug. 11):

What in the world is the Reno City Council/Redevelopment Agency thinking? And while we are at it, what’s the matter with the property owners in downtown Reno? How does turning hotels into condos or taking out good, reasonably-priced motels for parking lots bring more out of towners to Reno? WAKE UP, people! We need more tourists to come here to spend money and to have a good time. Closing Virginia Street from Fourth to Second streets just to prevent teenagers from cruising (like their parents used to do) is a bunch of crap. They cause few problems. Want to talk about problems? How about during the Hot August Nights weekends? While I was going to work, I saw at least three or four fights in the streets up and down Fourth Street from the Eldorado to the Sands, and no cops in sight! Traffic was rerouted to side streets with very long red lights. Ever thought about turning those lights to flashing yellow to keep cars moving? And last of all, the casinos keep their slots so tight no one can win. Shame on Reno!

Gene Newhall

Think you’re not a homophobe? Think again.

Re “Picture George and Laura,” (Letters, Sept. 1):

In his letter, Tom Silva wrote, “I am not ‘homophobic’ even though I believe men having intercourse with other men is disgusting and unhealthy.”

Homophobia, in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is defined as “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.”

That Silva believes his “aversion” to be rational is neither here nor there. He is clearly homophobic, clearly irrational and clearly one of the reasons the world is as messed up as it is.

Viva la differencia!

Maria Bustamante