LETTERS: Lake Las Vegas a costly oasis

To the editor:

Lake Las Vegas is the poster child for bad water policies in Southern Nevada. It shouldn’t amaze us that a Review-Journal article painted a glowing picture of new development at Lake Las Vegas (“Lake Las Vegas is starting to look green again”, March 10).

After all, as reported, it is a focal point for the rich and famous, and those who needn’t pay much attention to the more mundane topics of life — such as climate change, dwindling water supplies and increases in water rates.

The 320-acre Lake Las Vegas is filled with 3 billion gallons of drinking water from the Colorado River, enough water to supply more than 18,000 Las Vegas residences for a year. An additional 1.4 billion gallons must be used and replenished each year to prevent the lake from becoming a dead salt pond.

Yet the Southern Nevada Water Authority still wants to spend $15.7 billion on a pipeline to bring short-term ancient aquifer water to the valley. This precious drinking water used in Lake Las Vegas is being consumed and wasted largely for the benefit of the affluent residents, and to make the development look more appealing — an artificial oasis, complete with man-made rivers and waterfalls in the driest desert in North America.

Now a New York hedge fund developer/mogul wants to resurrect two abandoned and thirsty golf courses to aid in using water from the lake, so it can be refilled with drinking water so that it won’t die. What is wrong with this picture? Nothing, if the actions of local politicians and bureaucrats are to be interpreted.

When will Southern Nevadans awaken from the long era of sticking our heads in the sand concerning development?



The writer is a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Buying politicians

To the editor:

It is a national shame that people with millions or billions of dollars can use their money to sway elections in states they don’t even live in. When I was first eligible to vote 40-plus years ago, I looked to candidates who were for my city, county or state. Now I have elitist billionaires from Kansas or New York trying to influence people in my state, Nevada.

Then there is Sheldon Adelson, who doesn’t think the citizens of this country have a right to gamble online. Forget the fact that his fortune came from people who gamble. Talk about hypocrites.

Now the Koch brothers are trying to influence Nevada citizens to vote for their candidate (“Campaigns in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District getting hefty outside help,” March 10 Review-Journal). The people of Nevada (and any other state) should have the right to choose the candidate who best represents them, not some elitist billionaire’s choice. There should be a federal law that prohibits these kinds of power-hungry rich people from trying to influence individual state matters.

The elections are no longer the peoples’ choice. They are just whoever can generate the most money from the influential (read: billionaires). It is too bad this minority has the power to buy our representatives. It makes no difference if you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or independent, you really have little choice when these people can influence the decision of the majority.



Redistributing insurance

To the editor:

Nancy Pelosi said to all of us that Congress needed to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in order to understand what was in the bill. All the Democrats who voted for this bill listened to her logic and passed it, unaware of what it said.

I finally understand what this law is about. To insure the uninsured, we have to first uninsure the insured. Then the government can require the newly uninsured to pay extra and be re-insured. Extra charges are required so the originally insured, now re-insured, can pay enough so that the originally uninsured people can be insured for free.