Blame nature for cougar death

To the editor:

In response to a Review-Journal article on the state’s decision to kill a cougar that was roaming a Las Vegas neighborhood, George E. Rowe writes from the apparent piety of Caliente that “if not for the irresponsible management of growth [in Las Vegas], this animal [a cougar] would still be alive today” (Monday letters). What a farce.

News flash, Mr. Rowe: Growth didn’t kill the cougar. Mother Nature is the culprit there.

Young mountain lions are displaced by their mother when she breeds again, ensuring that she can raise a new set of kittens without interference from older, more dominant siblings. It’s the way lions survive and expand their range.

This young lion was simply unable to survive in the territory where it was born, and hence it sought a territory of its own by moving out of the mountains where its food supply lives (deer, elk, burros and mustangs), and attempted to make a living off of housecats and stray dogs. It happens with amazing regularity, but often young lions never make the news headlines because they get run over by cars, killed by other dominant lions when they cross into their territories, or by packs of stray dogs or coyotes.

Here’s another novel idea for our Lincoln County friend: The Las Vegas Valley is not pristine cougar habitat. Never has been, never will be. Not enough food or cover for a cougar here. Never has been, never will be.

So if you want to charge those of us who live in Las Vegas with being greedy, or irresponsible, go right ahead and cast stones. But don’t use a displaced animal that wandered out of its habitat and into ours as your poster child.

Tracy Truman


Gaming influence

To the editor:

Most Nevada voters are aware of the need to increase public funding for education, health care and infrastructure. What most voters don’t know is why our Legislature has failed to increase the tax rate on the casino industry.

The reason is campaign contributions to the governors, both houses of the Legislature, and to your county tax assessor. These casinos do not give millions of dollars to politicians just for the fun of it. They expect something in return.

As long as our politicians have their hands in the casino industry’s pockets, they will never vote to increase the gaming tax. They will continue to do what they have always done. They will get it from you. After all, these good-old-boy, fat cat politicians wouldn’t want that free meal, hotel, trip and next job gravy train to run out of track.

The Nevada State Education Association’s initiative to increase the casino tax from 6.75 percent to 9.75 percent is a good start.

Then we need to pass a law that makes it illegal for the gaming industry to make campaign contributions to politicians, like New Jersey did.

James Essenpreis


No fan of Reid

To the editor:

Your Sunday article singing the praises of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would have been funny if it hadn’t made me throw up.

First, the article quotes a political science professor who says Ol’ Harry’s job is more difficult than the president’s. I guess it is difficult looking for someone to surrender to, day after day. We, America’s citizens, are just plain lucky that Sen. Reid was not in office in 1941. We would be speaking, reading and writing either Japanese or German — it would just depend on who Sen. Reid got to surrender to first.

He must have some really rich cats sold, as his “war” chest (pardon the pun) is so full of money. Does what he has amassed so far include both the money he got from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the property deals he made money from?

If Ol’ Harry was in the war, I’ll bet his rifle would bring big money. He could advertise it as, “Only dropped once and never fired.”

Lee S. Gliddon Jr.


Parking tax

To the editor:

I just made a trip to the new Internal Revenue Service building at 110 City Parkway. Much to my surprise, the IRS has no free public parking. They don’t even have a parking lot. You must park at the building next door. There is a fee $3 for the first half-hour. I was afraid to look at how much it would cost thereafter.

Isn’t it odd that we are forced to pay to visit a public office?

Bruce Holloway


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