LETTERS: Poorly coached UNLV basketball program headed in wrong direction

To the editor:

The facts speak for themselves. It appears that Dave Rice is not the coach who can return the UNLV basketball program to its glory days. To say his third season was a disaster is an understatement. After losing to Dixie State, this team exhibited some serious problems: a lack of coaching and preparation. Mr. Rice and his staff can’t coach defense.

The team did not know what to do against the zone defense at the beginning or end of the season. The Rebels ran an offense that looked like something out of Amateur Athletic Union basketball. The present coaching staff has done little to develop any of the talent that they have had to work with, and players who enter the program show little improvement in their skills from one year to another. Players who are dedicated to the team elect to stay in school and improve with the program.

The problems with coaching were evident when Mike Moser and Katin Reinhardt decided to leave the program last year. Obviously they felt the coaching staff could not further their development as basketball players. UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy has her work cut out for her: She should demand that next year’s team win the conference regular season title or the conference tournament at the end of the season.

Four years in a college basketball program is plenty of time for a coach to establish himself. Outside of winning with Lon Kruger’s recruits, Mr. Rice has given the fans of UNLV little to be happy about. His lack of prior head coaching experience is destroying the program.



Obamacare advertising

To the editor:

In his Sunday op-ed, “We’re young, but we aren’t stupid,” Evan Feinberg asserts the Obamacare marketing team failed woefully with an advertising campaign aimed at millennials. I agree with Mr. Feinberg that the content of the ads is questionable.

However, if you consider the output of Madison Avenue in general, then adjectives such as “inappropriate” and “insulting” are almost universally applicable. The impossibly perky British lass who wants to talk about our “bums” while shilling for toilet paper comes immediately to mind. The group of twenty-somethings Mr. Feinberg describes as “expressing disgust and disappointment” over the ads was featured in a satirical six-minute “The Daily Show” segment and numbered exactly five.

What other misleading assertions does Mr. Feinberg make? Consider that Generation Opportunity launched the opt-out ad campaign featuring the infamous “creepy Uncle Sam” mascot who startles horrified patients in exam robes, wielding a speculum at a young female and snapping on a latex glove while preparing to probe a young male. May we add “distasteful” and “distorting” to our list? Politically engaged observers understand the crux of Mr. Feinberg’s screed is not marketing, although he is, after all, just another shill. Mr. Feinberg serves as president of Generation Opportunity, another Koch-funded operation whose mission to undermine the Affordable Care Act is as transparent as Mr. Feinberg’s words are disingenuous.



Fees are taxes

To the editor:

In response to P.J. O’Malley’s March 15 letter to the Review-Journal, “Accident fees could help Metro reconsider noninjury accident policy”:

Obviously Mr. O’Malley, along with many others, is unaware that any and all monies paid to our government, at any level, are taxes. Taxes are what governments charge. We pay taxes so our government can perform functions to serve us. As time has gone by, folks such as Mr. O’Malley have come to believe we should pay more for these services. Mr. O’Malley’s solution to the ‘problem’ is to create another surtax.

When Obamacare gets into full swing with its tax increases, I feel he and others might think differently about reducing their own wealth. When public servants retire with pensions that are triple the average annual private-sector wage in Nevada, then Mr. O’Malley’s position becomes absurd. Metro’s plan is similar to President Obama’s: If taxpayers won’t cater, just close everything. My way or the highway.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie chose to use Mr. Obama’s methods. They remind me of the history of firemen and fire departments. If a structure did not have the proper seal or sign/emblem displayed when it caught fire, the saying was, “Let it burn.” When the firefighting business got slow, they would go out and start fires, informing the owner that for a fee, an emblem would be placed and the fire put out. All of this sounds like the old protection racket to me.



E-cigarette revolution

To the editor:

There was one positive aspect of e-cigarette vaping that Sunday’s informative article in the Review-Journal did not address: drivers who smoke (“Future of e-cigarettes in the ‘vapers’”). If tobacco cigarettes were somehow completely replaced by electronic cigarettes, we would no longer have to contend with the dangerous practice of still-burning cigarette butts being carelessly tossed out of car windows. We wouldn’t see hundreds of discarded cigarette butts curbside at highway offramps.

We also wouldn’t have to contend with cigarette smoke from people who hold their burning butts outside the windows of their cars because they themselves don’t want to smell it. We would also avoid piles of spent butts in parking lots from inconsiderate smokers who empty their car ashtrays onto the ground.