LETTERS: City strikes out with youth sports fees

To the editor:

Once again, we see government mismanagement in action. This time it’s from the Las Vegas City Council in the form of fee increases for youth sports (“City fee increases finding few friends in youth sports,” May 19 Review-Journal).

The city has a budget shortfall in the neighborhood of $9 million, and it wants about half that money to come from huge fee increases on soccer, baseball and softball fields. We’re not talking about a reasonable increase, or a 50 percent increase, or even a doubling or tripling of fees: instead, some fees will go up 600 percent, and others will rise 20 times, from $50 to $1,000. Why do the members of the City Council think they have a right to look at fields as some sort of cash cow? The city is not a private company, it’s a government entity.

We didn’t build the fields to make money and turn a profit; we built the fields so that our kids can play Little League. Youth sports are viewed as a public good, enhancing the lives of the children and parents involved. Private individuals cannot build and maintain sports fields on their own, because they’re just too expensive. This is one of the responsibilities of local government.

When a government starts charging fees to turn a profit, it forgets its mandate, it loses sight of its purpose, it ceases to be a public entity organized for the betterment of its citizens. Its council members should revisit why they wanted to work for the public in the first place. If there’s a budget shortfall someplace else, the council should get its costs under control, or specifically raise a tax for the other services it wants to provide. But, either way, find a better way of fixing the problem than taking money from Little Leaguers.



Trapping vs. natural death

To the editor:

The litany of attacks on trappers and hunters by animal rights activists are usually based on the claim that such practices are inhumane (“Nevada’s appalling support for cruel trapping must end,” May 12 Review-Journal). One needs to ask: compared with what?

Compared with the standards of Walt Disney, where deer think and talk things over, and where lion kings rule? Perhaps so, but in the real world of nature and wildlife, it is a different story. Every single wild animal, be it a bear, deer or kangaroo rat, will die someday. If the animal rights activists think that wild animals die comfortably in their beds surrounded by loving family members, they are sadly mistaken. Disease, starvation, dehydration and predation are the most probable causes, and in the absence of management tools such as hunting and trapping, entire wildlife populations suffer horribly.

That is the reason the entire wildlife management profession and every conservation association supports regulated hunting and trapping. Professionals know that regulated hunting and trapping are far more humane than letting nature run its course unimpeded. The animal rights “experts” beg to differ, but how is it more humane to allow (or mandate) that wild animals must die by disease or starvation when there is a much better way?

Drought, fires, disease and the fluctuations of wildlife populations have to be managed carefully in order to have any chance for a healthy and sustainable environment. Since 1937, it’s been proved time and time again that regulated hunting and trapping programs are the critical and essential tools of modern wildlife management.



The writer is president of the Southern Nevada Coalition for Wildlife.

Constable shakedowns

To the editor:

Regarding the article on the actions of the constable’s office (“Constable’s office accused of shaking down woman,” May 21 Review-Journal), the same thing happened to me on June 22, 2011. A deputy knocked at the door of my home and asked my name. He accused me of having Oregon license plates when I lived in Las Vegas full-time. After I informed him several times that I only reside here in the winter and have a home in Oregon, he went outside and made a phone call. Afterward, he started writing out a citation and demanded $100, saying that I needed to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days to obtain Nevada license plates. Again, I informed him I could not do that, as I would be in violation when I returned to my home state.

I did not pay the $100, and after about 45 days, I received a court summons, as he had promised. In front of the judge in Justice Court, I again reiterated that I was only a winter visitor and to obtain Nevada plates, which requires swearing that I am a Nevada resident, would be fraud. The judge immediately dismissed my case.

My friend, who is also a snowbird and leaves a car here year-round, also received a citation last fall, and she’s gone to Washington state for seven months.

The constable’s office needs to be informed by the judiciary that this is illegal and must be stopped. Abolishment of the Las Vegas constable’s office can’t come soon enough.