Federal regulation of gaming a worry

To the editor:

The editorial page of the Review-Journal mischaracterized the American Gaming Association’s position on Internet gambling in its March 9 editorial, “Wanna bet?”

The AGA is not lukewarm on Internet gambling because of a fear of competition. In fact, some of our member companies have been vocal about their interest in getting into this sector of the business should it be legalized.

We are concerned that recently introduced Internet gambling legislation represents the first toe in the water toward federalizing the regulation and taxation of gaming, which threatens the long-held rights of individual states. We also worry that laws moving too hastily toward legalization could neglect the development of adequate protections to prevent underage gambling online and to safeguard those who may have gambling problems.

These and other important issues require a reasoned approach, which is why we continue to support the Internet Gambling Study Act, sponsored by Reps. Shelley Berkley and Jon Porter of Nevada and with 68 co-sponsors on Capitol Hill. It’s a more deliberate move forward, but one that is far more responsible and responsive to the complex issues surrounding this topic.

Frank Fahrenkopf



Root out the guns

To the editor:

Clark County Superintendent Walt Rulffes’ letter to the editor in Sunday Review-Journal reassures us that our schools are the safest places children can be, in spite of the 15 guns found in the schools during the past year (and probably several times that number of undetected occurrences). This situation represents a tragedy waiting to happen.

Not included among the questions Mr. Rulffes would ask parents is if they have unsecured guns at home. Realistically, not all parents will be able to answer these questions, and the School Board needs to take a proactive approach to this problem.

Access to our middle and high schools needs to be limited and monitored using metal detectors, even if this requires the erection of 12-foot chain link fencing around each campus.

Also, the presence of Las Vegas police for an hour each in the morning, lunchtime and after school needs to be implemented. I can think of no better use of the additional officers that our sales tax increase has provided.

Henry Schmid


Where’s the oversight?

To the editor:

A colonoscopy in Nevada? Unsafe at any speed. Ralph Nader, where are you now that we need you?

The real shocker about blood-borne contamination problems found in many of our outpatient clinics was the lack of oversight by anyone. Does it take a rocket scientist or an M.D. to understand simple health safety issues? I hardly think so. But it does require some level of personal inspection and auditing. Gov. Jim Gibbons sure didn’t help by denying a major increase in the number of health inspectors.

Besides the health department’s abysmal inspection cycle or lack thereof was the absence of simple cross-checks. If a clinic ordered and used 100,000 multi-use vials and 100,000 single-use vials, how many syringes did the clinic use? How many should the clinic have used? Welcome to the sixth grade!

What about those individuals who have been harmed? Is pain and suffering from hepatitis C or HIV the same for a 22-year-old person as it is for a 72-year-old? There is a state-mandated cap of $350,000 for noneconomic damages. Forget about whether this cap is right — it isn’t even pegged to the Consumer Price Index or other measures that would keep the dollar value constant.

Maybe next year the Legislature can get to the bottom of this. Time is not on lawmakers’ side, nor is it on the side of the general public’s health. But it is time that we had oversight from a full-time elected government and not a bunch of part-time, special-interest cowboys here in Nevada’s version of the Wild West.

Richard Rychtarik



To the editor:

Why is it the Southern Nevada Health District examines dozens of restaurants every week, rates them and releases the findings for publication in the newspaper every Wednesday?

Why are 50 outpatient surgery centers supposedly inspected once every three years? Why has it been nearly seven years since the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada was inspected? What is the difference between getting food poisoning at a restaurant and contracting hepatitis C in a surgical clinic? Life or death perhaps?

One inspection team appears to be working very well, while the other complains there are not enough inspectors. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have clinics inspected more often and results published to make the public aware?

Adele VandeHouten


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