LETTERS: Water authority due for policy changes


To the editor:

The Southern Nevada Water Authority has a new general manager, so one can hope the authority will make some long-overdue policy changes. Nevada and the SNWA have never advocated for an increased share of Colorado River water. As the fastest-growing state for 50 years, Nevada could have pursued an initiative to have river water slightly reallocated every 10 years.

The SNWA has never advocated a change in the amount of water allocated for agriculture. It has condoned almost free farm water and the yearly shipment of billions of gallons of river water to China in the form of alfalfa.

A decade ago, with or without assistance from state politicians, the SNWA could have asked for a presidential executive order reducing water deliveries by 5 percent to all Colorado River states. Such a reduction would have helped the level of Lake Mead, water quality, wildlife, marinas, power production and the Colorado River delta.

Several nations have or are developing 21st-century technology to desalt seawater. Saudi Arabia has plans to spend $11 billion to convert all of its oil-powered desalination plants to solar by 2020. Meanwhile, the SNWA is planning on using 19th-century technology to build a 300-mile pipeline.

Any of the above measures likely would have eliminated the need for the pipeline, estimated to cost $15 billion. With 3 million people in Nevada, this pipeline is the equivalent of everyone in the state writing a check to the SNWA for $5,000.

MARK BIRD

LAS VEGAS

Bringing down America

To the editor:

We just received another phony revelation from the White House to further insult our intelligence. President Barack Obama is now calling on lawmakers to redouble efforts to help the economy. In his 2008 presidential election, he promised to change this country into his own image. Soon after his election, he confirmed his intention in his apologetic trip to Europe, telling those socialist countries he planned to bring this country down to their level. Unfortunately, to our detriment, this has been his only success.

Through President Obama’s actions, many running against the Constitution, he has dramatically added to our debt, which is now more than $17 trillion and counting. At the same time, he converted this most successful and envied capitalist land of opportunity into another nearly bankrupt socialist disaster.

Since the 9/11 attacks, we were supposed to be fighting terrorism. Unfortunately, with Mr. Obama’s intentional policies and actions, no amount of terrorist attacks could have wreaked as much destruction to this country as he has. His latest boondoggle, Obamacare, is less about health care and more about taking away what few freedoms we still have.

I feel sad for the young people in this country. I wonder how they will survive in the current economic environment. It is long past time for President Obama to be replaced.

HERBERT BURR

LAS VEGAS

Veterans set aside

To the editor:

On Jan. 9, Senate Democrats under the leadership of Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked an amendment that would restore military pensions, which were cut back in the recent budget agreement. At the same time, Sen. Reid denied a vote that would close a loophole that allows tax refunds for illegal immigrants.

I wish Sen. Reid would explain to the taxpaying citizens of this country why he and his Senate colleagues favor giving unearned benefits to illegal immigrants over the needs and earned benefits of our military retirees, many of whom are wounded warriors.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that explanation. Unfortunately for us taxpayers and legal voters, I think he believes he doesn’t have to explain any of his actions to anyone.

STEVEN G. HAYES SR.

LAS VEGAS

North Las Vegas plight

To the editor:

John Lee, the new mayor of North Las Vegas, is an optimist, and that’s a good thing. But after reviewing the city’s financial overview in Sunday’s Review-Journal (“On the brink but looking up”), optimism won’t get the city very far. Mayor Lee says he doesn’t need dollars, he needs lots of dimes. Perhaps he chose to ignore the old adage “being nickeled and dimed to death.”

The primary source of revenue for most municipalities is property taxes, followed by sales taxes. North Las Vegas’ primary costs are labor, existing debt and infrastructure. These are not about nickels and dimes; they are all about dollars.

As a resident of Las Vegas, I don’t see any real benefit to sharing many services with North Las Vegas. The city of Las Vegas is not a charity. Clearly Las Vegas’ per-person employee costs are at least as high if not higher than those of North Las Vegas.

This all boils down to shared physical resources, not manpower. The Review-Journal article states that North Las Vegas has 222,000 people and 430 police officers. If this is true, then there’s one officer for every 516 residents. This is a better ratio than Las Vegas police.

Despite North Las Vegas’ best efforts to attract new business and reduce facility costs, about the only thing that will make a major impact on the city’s situation over the long term is continued and substantial improvement in property values and jobs, along with extreme reductions in its labor costs. Until then, Mr. Lee’s nickels-and-dimes crusade may act as a bridge to a better place.

Here’s hoping that happens before even more people exit this city and take along with it the city’s ability to recover on its own.

RICHARD RYCHTARIK

LAS VEGAS