Cancer institute continues with its mission

To the editor:

The Review-Journal's Monday story on a deal between the Nevada Cancer Institute and the Desert Research Institute contained some glaring mischaracterizations.

First, the Nevada Cancer Institute has not "collapsed.'' It is in the process of reorganization, which should be completed by this summer. The institute is restructuring under the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and expects to emerge as the Nevada Cancer Institute Foundation, supporting the ongoing work of the patient care center and cancer research efforts in Nevada.

Because of the prolonged economic downturn, the institute earlier this year sold the patient care center to the University of California, San Diego Health System, where medical care and clinical research has continued uninterrupted since the inception of the facility.

The Desert Research Institute recently reached an agreement with the institute -- as a result of ongoing mutual discussions and not as a result of any "vacuum'' -- to accommodate a group of medical researchers seeking to continue their research. The deal has not been publicly announced because it is subject to court approval.

The Nevada Cancer Institute continues its same mission: to reduce the burden of cancer through innovation and collaborative research, education and patient care. Contrary to the perception left by this story, the lives of many Nevada cancer patients continue to be improved as a result of the work of the Nevada Cancer Institute.

Michael Yackira

Las Vegas

The writer is chief executive officer of NV Energy and chairman of the board of directors for the Nevada Cancer Institute.

In the road

To the editor:

In response to Adrienne Packer's Sunday Road Warrior column on traffic safety awareness:

The competition put on by the Safe Community Partnership and the posters from the Honea family promoting awareness of pedestrian and vehicle safety were exceptional ideas.

But more issues should be addressed:

For county and city transportation officials:

1) Crosswalks are so worn you can barely see them, thus they don't reflect in the dark.

2) Left- and right-turn arrows are also worn. You have to be right on top of the markings before you realize you are in the correct or incorrect lane.

3) On many long stretches of street, the raised plastic markings are broken off, leaving holes. In the dark, there is no way to be sure you are in the correct lane.

For the state of Nevada:

1) The law stating that pedestrians have the right of way should be reversed. This law is illogical and provides pedestrians with a false sense of security. The average vehicle weighs 2,000-plus pounds. The average pedestrian weighs 125 to 225 pounds. It's no contest. Pedestrians may not have air bags, but they can stop on a dime.

All a pedestrian has to do when crossing the street is stop, look around and proceed with caution. A driver has to stop, look in both side mirrors, the rear mirror, check all four portions of the intersection, keep track of the traffic lights, road markings, road signs, other cars and pedestrians.

2) There are many drivers illegally texting or driving while drunk, but there are far more pedestrians walking around with phones in hand and/or Bluetooths or music blasting in their ears, leaving them completely oblivious to everything and everyone around them.

If the traffic responsibility field were evened, where a driver wasn't automatically at fault, perhaps more people would pay attention. Whether you are on wheels or on foot, if you are stupid enough to be texting, on the phone, blasting music, running for a bus, drunk, or just messing around, you should be legally "at fault."

Please, parents, teach your children to be afraid of a 2,000-pound vehicle. So many times near schools, I see parents, child in hand, jaywalking.

Phoebe Dinsmore

Las Vegas

Religious freedom?

To the editor:

I agree with Sandra Fluke: Catholic employers should not be allowed to choose which parts of a federal law they will follow -- in this case, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

What's next? Allowing Mormons to have multiple wives, or letting orthodox Muslims follow Sharia law? Or are we saying that some religions are more equal than others?

Changing the law due to pressure from one religion violates the First Amendment.

Subhash Garg

Las Vegas

Other foot

To the editor:

Frankly Scarlet, I don't give a damn. But before conservatives spew indignation over Rush Limbaugh's First Amendment rights, let us reflect back to the Ronald Reagan era and the Moral Majority mullahs, and their concerted efforts to boycott products that advertised on TV shows they objected to.

The shoe is on the other foot. I reckon two wrongs make a right.

Kent Wallace

Las Vegas

Cab wait

To the editor:

I am legally blind. I had to wait more than two hours at midnight recently for a cab at a Wal-Mart.

If you are not on the Strip, then forget it. Two taxicabs were called. Sitting at a Wal-Mart is not fun.

Why don't taxis work? More cabs on the road? No way. I have lived here since 1979. Taxi companies don't care unless you are a tourist.

David Baxter

Las Vegas