LETTERS: Bring seriousness to water GM vote

To the editor:

As a ratepayer, taxpayer and resident of Southern Nevada, it is concerning that one of the biggest decisions facing the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Las Vegas Valley Water District the past two decades — hiring a new general manager — seemed to evolve into a game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Las Vegas handicappers predict whatever decision the LVVWD board makes will be rubber-stamped by the SNWA board.

Don’t the non-water district board members who sit on the water authority board have more concern? Are we perhaps taxing our elected officials with too many auxiliary board duties to be effective and engaged directors of water, one of our region’s lifelines? Consider that our contemporary regional water agencies in the West all have boards of independent water, legal, operations, environmental, business and engineering experts. Maybe it’s time to re-examine the makeup of the SNWA board. Maybe it’s time to further separate the water district and water authority.

While some progress has been made in response to the recession and tight economy, reforms are still needed — in the name of equity and parity in the areas of staffing and compensation, work days and work rules, retirements and pensions, outsourcing and insourcing, conservation and rate-setting, and other operational policy matters. No doubt our water rights and associated legal challenges are of paramount concern, but infrastructure and operational effectiveness should not be dismissed. At this critical junction of these agencies, please tell me the decision will be more than eeny, meeny, miny, moe.



UNLV basketball

To the editor:

It is about time that the UNLV men’s basketball coaching staff faces reality. The loss to Air Force on the Rebels’ home floor pointed out all that is wrong with this basketball team. They can’t play defense. They don’t have a clue as to what to do against the zone defense. They are not good shooters, as good-shooting teams make free throws. They lack the fundamental team discipline it takes to win. In short, they play as individuals in a pickup basketball game.

Dave Rice did well in the past with Lon Kruger’s recruits. Dave Rice’s recruits have been busts. Anthony Bennett could not play a lick of defense when he came to UNLV. He couldn’t play a lick of defense when he left UNLV, either. His offense consisted of standing around waiting for his teammates to pass him the ball. He never worked hard to get a free shot or a layup. He was content to stand on the perimeter and shoot jumpshots. This lack of coaching is evident in his play in the NBA. He is on course to be the biggest No. 1 draft pick disappointment in NBA history.

This season’s team exhibits the same lack of coaching, skills and floor awareness. Players stand around against a zone defense. They don’t play hard-nosed defense. The Rebels don’t press because they don’t know how to, or they don’t match up with the other teams’ skill sets. UNLV can’t win the games it is supposed to win because it lacks the fundamental discipline that it takes to win.

It looks like former Athletic Director Jim Livengood missed the boat when he selected Mr. Rice as coach. Mr. Rice obviously lacks the understanding of what it takes to put a winning basketball team on the floor. He seems to be more willing to tell the media what great talent he has recruited than in developing the individual skills necessary to put a competitive team on the floor. With the ticket prices, there isn’t much entertainment value in watching the Rebels’ style of play.



Taxpayer money wasted

To the editor:

After reading yet another article about trying to get Israel and Palestine to partner in peace-making efforts, I believe Secretary of State John Kerry has become a champion of lost causes (“GOP senators wary of Israeli-Palestinian peace plan,” Saturday Review-Journal). Secretary Kerry was involved in a lost-cause war in Vietnam. His chances of getting Israel and Palestine to become partners in a lasting peace are like me winning the lottery in every state that has one; it’s never going to happen. The situation will be the same a century from now.

May I make a suggestion for yet another lost cause, Mr. Secretary? Try to get all corporations using cheap labor in foreign countries to instead bring all their manufacturing back to the United States.

This country should give out medals for lost causes. American politicians, service personnel and civilian advisers in the Middle East would qualify. And we poor taxpayers have to foot the bill for these lost causes. All this money should have been ground into mulch. Then we could have at least made some good use of it.



Unemployment numbers

To the editor:

Unemployment benefits have expired for many people. Our friends in Washington, D.C., say they will do what they can to extend them for another three months. Then what?

Since 2001, more than 42,000 American factories have shut down. In 2013, state legislatures approved an estimated 40,000 new laws, many of which went into effect Jan. 1. It seems to me the more government tries to help, the worse things seem to get.

But not to worry folks, the more than 500,000 elected officials in the United States will be just fine.