Hey, that’s not my bag, baby!

To the editor:

McCarran International Airport and their participating airlines really need to get their act together. I have flown into McCarran twice in 2007 and each time have had outrageous delays in waiting for luggage. In June, my party and I had to wait 50 minutes until our bags were placed on a carousel. But Dec. 26 topped this record with a new level of ineptness.

Arriving on time on a Southwest Airlines flight, I went to the baggage claim area, found the correct carousel, and waited. And waited. After a half-hour, I noticed that our flight had been taken off the screen above the carousel. Several passengers approached the Southwest office, prompting an announcement that flights are only allowed to stay on the screen for a specific amount of time and anyone who had waited for their bags more than an hour should see the office. This was a prelude of things to come.

In the end we were sent to three different carousels, waited an hour and 25 minutes for luggage delivery and were told that the delay was caused because Southwest had only one crew working.

I believe that the local hotels and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority should note that Southwest’s attempt to cut costs may have cost the hotels some revenue. I saw at least two irate passengers writing down the names of the Strip shows being blared over the speakers and screens at baggage claim. They were not noting these shows in order to buy tickets. They were making sure that any company that advertised in such a sloppily run operation as McCarran baggage claim did not receive any of their business while they were here on vacation.

And I don’t blame them one bit.

Randall Buie

HENDERSON

Drug war

To the editor:

Regarding your thoughtful editorial: “Logic and the drug war” (Dec. 26):

There is no logic in our so-called drug war. Do we punish people who consume unhealthy foods? No. Should we? No.

A lot more Americans die as a result of unhealthy diets as compared to recreational or self-medicating drugs.

In Pennsylvania it is illegal to lick a certain type of toad. Do we need laws prohibiting us from consuming human or animal waste products?

Personally I don’t want my government attempting to protect me from me. I want my government to protect me from people who attempt to harm me against my will. And otherwise stay out of my life.

Kirk MUSE

MESA, ARIZ.

Venetian plan

To the editor:

I read with great interest the recent commentary by Venetian executive Bill Weidner regarding the gaming tax debate. Unfortunately, his version of the “facts” doesn’t provide the complete picture. And his attempt to shift the debate to privatizing the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s operation of the Convention Center amounts to nothing more than “economic Kool-Aid.”

Yes, Nevada’s gaming tax is the lowest in the country. But when visitors — or convention planners — decide to visit Las Vegas, the gaming tax is not a factor in the decision. The cost of the room — and meeting space — is.

The Convention Center’s rates are not a “huge below market giveaway.” Unfortunately, The Venetian narrowly defined the “market” as Las Vegas. The real market that Las Vegas competes in is national, even international. The convention authority is the envy of competing destinations, due to the success Las Vegas enjoys. Unfortunately for The Venetian, all of Las Vegas, including The Venetian’s competitors, enjoy the fruits of that success.

The implication in the piece was that privatizing the Convention Center would effectively raise their rates Here is a simple economics question: Would higher rates attract more — or less — business to Las Vegas?

Yes, The Venetian was one of those “great new, state-of-the-art Southern Nevada resorts.” Where did The Venetian come from? The Venetian (formerly the Sands) was built with the profits from the operation and sale of Comdex. Comdex enjoyed huge success (and profit) operating in — you guessed it — the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Venetian built their convention facility and entered the convention market with full knowledge of the marketplace economics. Their proposal is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to improve their economics, not solve Nevada’s problems. Since when is re-directing existing revenue creating “new revenue”?

The Venetian’s last “economic solution” was to simply not pay their construction contractors, ultimately forcing some of them out of business. Ask them how the Venetian’s “economic Kool-Aid” tastes.

I ask you: What’s wrong with this picture?

The Venetian’s tax shift proposal should be viewed for what it really is: a proposal to sabotage the state’s economic engine for the benefit of The Venetian.

Craig Rowley

LAS VEGAS

Self-interest

To the editor:

Once again the Review-Journal and its partner the Sun deposits on my driveway 10 pounds or so of the assessor report of property values — information available freely on the Internet. This is a massive waste of taxpayer money, not to mention the thousands of trees that went bye-bye.

It’s amazing how the Review-Journal will run a series at the drop of a hat about an official leaving lights on in an office, but nary a word — in fact, no words — about this waste. And don’t excuse yourself because “it’s a law.” The Review-Journal has never been shy about campaigning for changes to the law, but not in this case.

Ah, self-interest. It’s a beauty to behold.

BOB LIEBERMAN

LAS VEGAS

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