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Carrying water for the teacher unions

To the editor:

In her June 5 column, Erin Neff opines on the end of the 2007 Legislature and writes, “After this session, Nevada will still be dead last nationally in per-pupil funding. The Clark County School District will have hundreds of vacant teaching positions.”

This is simply not true. There are 18 states with lower per-pupil spending than Nevada.

I’ve been involved with the education business, either as a school board member or layman volunteer, for many years. This is one of the worst distortions I’ve read. It ranks right up there with the National Education Association’s pronouncement that both California and Mississippi were at the bottom of the list for educational funding in 1990.

Ms. Neff predicts the usual dire consequences (which can be solved only with money) as Clark County hires for the next school year. Of course, there’s no mention of the simple fact that all high-growth school districts with inner city problems have difficulties in hiring and retaining new teachers.

Maricopa County, Ariz., is virtually a demographic clone of Clark County. Why do they have less problems hiring new teachers even when the average teacher salary in Arizona is lower than Nevada? Would it have anything to do with the fact that Maricopa has a large number of independent school districts while we deal with one Stalinist megalith?

If Ms. Neff wishes to carry water for the teacher unions, I would suggest she do it somewhere other than in the pages of Nevada’s largest newspaper.

Kenneth Record


Pulling teeth

To the editor:

So, 27 of the 71 graduates of the UNLV School of Dental Medicine who opted to stay in Nevada are not finding it easy to enter local practice (June 4 Review-Journal).

How many of these 27 were the students who — in a highly publicized scandal months back — were found to have cheated by “obtaining a faculty member’s computer password to check off approval fields in electronic documents, which were supposed to have been done by faculty only”?

Maybe they can find work with the Clark County Commission working on their political counterparts.

John Oreschak


Getting warm

To the editor:

Constant histrionic, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, global warming spiels, such as the screed issued by David Chambers (June 6 letter), grow as tiresome as they are erroneous.

Regarding NASA, its top administrator, Michael Griffin, speaking recently on National Public Radio, made some refreshingly sensible comments about the present global warming scare. Mr. Griffin said he doubted global warming is “a problem we must wrestle with,” and said it is arrogant to believe that today’s climate is the best we could have and to believe “we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change.” Scientists from around the world have supported Mr. Griffin’s statements.

Slight warming has indeed occurred, on a worldwide average, since the last Little Ice Age, but the emotional predictions of pending apocalyptic crises are more than slightly over “baked.” Climate change is an oxymoron — the climate is always changing. And so-called documentaries presenting dramatic pictures of polar bears and whole cities drowning in a tidal wave of human-caused inundation need to be brought down to earth with a few facts.

In reality, polar bear populations are increasing in much of their habitat and the rise in sea level that’s occurred over the past century has amounted to slightly over an inch. Man the life jackets.

As a matter of fact, in the unlikely event that the entire Arctic Sea ice cap were to melt, it would cause no change in sea level, same as the ice floating in your drink doesn’t cause it to overflow as it melts.

The bottom line is that all of the anthropogenic gases in the atmosphere amount to a minuscule percentage of the total, and that their relationship to the climate remains highly speculative, regardless of all the wailing and hand-wringing and protestations of the True Believers to the contrary.

All that the proposed global warming “fixes” will accomplish, aside from being completely useless in “correcting” the trend, is to strangle future economic growth and prosperity. And statements such as “protecting the profits of the coal industry must stop,” put forth by Mr. Chambers, reveal much about where the real motivation of many of the doomsayers lies.

James Bowers


Hilton hotel

To the editor:

I cannot put my faith and belief in a justice system that granted — even for a day — a spoiled heiress a get-out-of-jail-free card for “emotional stress.”

Someone really thought that Paris Hilton should be allowed to serve out her sentence wearing an ankle bracelet under mansion arrest? The U.S. justice system has officially jumped the shark.



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