Don’t single out farmers as cause of water woes

To the editor:

In response to T. Keller’s Aug. 28 letter, “Desert farmers”:

Mr. Keller is correct in his assumption that water is an important commodity. However, the farmers shouldn’t be the focus of his feelings.

The farmers were, for the most part, responsible for settling the area and their plight was and still is “survival.” Trying to make a living off the land — I’m talking about small family farms, not the giant agri-corporations.

This matter of water should be an equal appropriation. However, after living in Las Vegas from 2002 through 2006, I think Mr. Keller should also realize that with all the golf courses, swimming pools and landscaping, all entities need to conserve this precious commodity — including households. Let’s not put the blame on the farmers.

BILL HALL

ST. GEORGE, UTAH

Cross of carbon

To the editor:

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan stated in his speech at the Democratic convention. “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold:” He was defending bimetallism (both silver and gold coinage), which favored the debtor farmers and Western silver interests.

In view of the “cap and trade” legislation being pushed by politicians, that same speech should be made again today in defense of the American taxpayer as, “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of carbon.”

We are told that we should replace carbon-based fuels with renewables, even though sufficient cheap renewables are not here yet. The president has stated that he intends to drive the carbon-based electricity producers out of business by selling carbon credits to drive up the price of electricity that you and I will pay. In a nutshell, cap and trade would impose federally defined limits for U.S.-generated greenhouse gas emissions, which will give the government nearly total control of the economy.

High-energy costs will drive up the price of our manufactured goods and send even more jobs to India, China and Mexico. The advertised reasoning for “cap and trade” is to make us independent of foreign energy sources, and to stop global warming. We have more coal, oil, and gas in this country than Saudi Arabia, but we can’t exploit it. Man’s significant effect on global climate change is an unproven theory, disputed by many reputable scientists, one that will be ignored by India, China and Mexico anyway.

At a time of economic recession, to unnecessarily burden the nation with higher prices for electricity and gasoline exemplifies political arrogance. It is high time to change come politicians.

LEE R. BISHOP

LAS VEGAS

Worthwhile endeavor

To the editor:

For most of my life I’ve watched the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and I’m now 63 years old. I never knew much about the organization, except that it involved kids in wheelchairs. At least that was the case until I was about 55 years old, when I was diagnosed with a type of muscular dystrophy called Inclusion Body Myocitis.

I had no idea MD could affect middle-aged people.

Since then, I have found out what a wonderful, professional organization the MDA is, and how much it helps so many people. Those in the Las Vegas office are great examples of the caliber of professionals in this organization.

I suspect this year will be especially difficult to obtain pledges because of the current economic conditions. Therefore, I urge anyone who can contribute, to consider adding a little extra this year, to minimize as much as possible any curtailment of services that would otherwise be necessary.

Tom Covert

LAS VEGAS

Arrogant pol

To the editor:

I was very frustrated when I read the Thursday article, “Meeting no day in the park.” It stated that there was a “compromised reached” between the residents and developers at Mountain’s Edge regarding the building of future parks in the area. This is simply not true.

The only compromise reached was pre-established between County Commissioner Susan Brager and the Focus developers.

Meanwhile, the Review-Journal seemed to miss the even bigger story: that democracy has become relative in Las Vegas. Ms. Brager stated during the hearing that she is willing to go against her constituents to do what she thinks is right. Since when has this ever been the role of an elected official?

Ms. Brager’s job is to represent us and our wishes, not single-handedly alter and mold her district into her vision of what it should be, no matter how noble her intentions are. Out of those of us who spoke at the meeting, there was only one man who agreed with her proposal, constituting less than 5 percent of the opinions heard. Yet Ms. Brager continued to insist that the majority were “wrong,” “foolish,” and even “unsympathetic” when we are no longer promised the parks we were guaranteed upon investing in our homes.

Ms. Brager chooses to appease big business rather than advocate for the citizens she works for. To her, democracy is as relative a term as the word guarantee. Brager chooses to be a democratic leader only as long as her voters agree with what she thinks is best, otherwise she will become patronizing. She says she can’t understand why we would reject the parks the commission is giving us for free. What she fails to acknowledge is that we at Mountain’s Edge aren’t asking for anything to be given, we are asking for her to help in ensuring we receive the parks we were guaranteed by Focus when we took out our home loans. In a commissioner, we don’t need a nursemaid, we need an advocate.

Ms. Brager’s actions illustrated just how relative democracy has become these days. Her behavior is indicative of the feelings of superiority and expertise that has crept into every corner of our government. Ms. Brager was elected to be a civil servant, not to insult our intelligence with fallacies and back room deals.

ATHENA STEVENS

LAS VEGAS

Pay up

To the editor:

In his Thursday letter on socialized medicine, Richard Secrist spoke like a true LBJ Democrat. Gimme gimme gimme.

Here is a plan. Mr. Secrist wants things given to him? I’ll give him my bills and he can pay them. Works for me.

DAVID RUTHERFORD

LAS VEGAS

Design-build

To the editor:

In response to your Monday editorial on the Nevada Department of Transportation “handing out money”:

In a project of the scale in question costs could easily exceed $2 million. The stipends that NDOT paid out covered only a fraction of the costs of preparing the bid.

Stipends are important to ensure that there is competition in the bidding. Without stipends, only a handful of contractors in the country could afford to absorb the costs of being an unsuccessful bidder. Meaning it would be very unlikely that local contractors would ever be able to compete.

Stipends ensure that owners get quality proposals as well. If the proposers had no chance of recovering any of the up-front costs that they must bear, how likely are they to invest the time and money to get a quality proposal?

NDOT is not alone in using the design-build method of project delivery or stipends. In fact, all but one state allow design-build in some form or another. Design-build projects are typically completed 33 percent faster and up to 10 percent cheaper. It appears to me that instead of smearing the officials at NDOT, the Review-Journal ought to be thanking them for saving the taxpayers millions of dollars.

Richard Thomas

WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE WRITER IS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE DESIGN-BUILD INSTITUTE OF AMERICA.

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