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LETTERS: HOAs needlessly fear radio operators

To the editor:

Regarding Barbara Holland’s recent homeowners association commentary (“Bill would allow radio towers in backyards,” Aug. 2 Review-Journal), the federal government is not taking away the right of HOAs. Rather, it is supporting the right of federally licensed amateur radio operators to use their own property outside the interference of HOA managers and directors.

The unchecked proliferation of HOAs and the vast majority of implacable community boards caused this problem, as there is hardly a homestead location not under the control of an HOA. Therefore, it is increasingly impossible for licensed radio operators to install the most modest of antennas, many of which look similar to television antennas. Hence the bill HR 4969 before Congress, which would simply extend the existing rules of what is known as known as PRB-1.

Ms. Holland does not understand that PRB-1 states that local governments may limit antenna placements and height for safety, health and many other sensible reasons, and Clark County does just that.

For example, for towers, there is a height limit of 60 feet and a setback of 15 feet. On average, you’ll need 15 pages of structural drawings and engineering calculations ($2,500), which then have to be certified and stamped by a licensed Nevada professional engineer ($1,000). Then you have to go purchase a tower ($1,500) and dig a tower-footer for concrete and rebar ($3,500). Cough up permit fees ($500). And don’t forget the actual beam-antenna ($1,500).

So, will we see $10,000 towers sprouting like weeds should HR4969 pass? No, we will not.

The reality is that most radio operators can’t afford a tower; they just want to put up smaller beam antennas or house-mounted vertical antennas that range from a few inches to 15 feet tall. Or they just string a near invisible long wire (one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter) across their own property.

I say to the all-or-nothing, scorched-earth HOA management crowd: look up the word “compromise.” Even though I convinced my HOA board members to reluctantly compromise and adopt new standards to allow amateur radio antennas, not one other person in our community, in three years, has put up an antenna or even inquired about doing so.

I encourage every amateur radio operator to write their congressional delegation and insist upon passage of HR4969.

J. DAN CONNELL

LAS VEGAS

Sinking ship

To the editor:

To all those who are so troubled by what is happening in America today, I have only this to say: President Barack Obama has two more years. You haven’t seen anything yet.

The Republicans will accomplish little by taking control of the Senate in this year’s mid-term elections, because the president will continue to ignore the congress and rule by dictate. Bringing a lawsuit against the president is futile because it will drag on for years, with endless appeals and stonewalling until President Obama is long out of office and his destruction — or as he puts it, fundamental transformation — of America is complete.

In 1974, the Democrats held the House of Representatives, which controls the purse strings of the government. They used this legal authority to simply defund the Vietnam War, sabotaging the peace agreement President Richard Nixon had negotiated to end the war. This allowed for the communist takeover of South Vietnam and the horrors which ensued.

Today, this power is in the hands of the Republicans, and they could use this legal constitutional authority to immediately stop the president’s illegal activities. It is the only hope for America, but the GOP just doesn’t have the will.

It seems increasingly obvious that, regardless of political party, vast majority of our public servants in Washington are all in the same boat — a luxury life boat on a sinking American ship.

ROBERT WELZ

LAS VEGAS

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“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing it, it multiplies it.” — Martin Luther King Jr.