To the editor:
When the U.S. Constitution and its amendments were written, the Founding Fathers imagined the press as watchdog, not lap dog. I’m blown away that the people can strike down an anti-business proposition so decisively — Question 3 on the ballot last November — and then the state Legislature and Gov. Brian Sandoval can circumvent the will of the people anyway, through the governor’s business license tax. The tax even got a wimpy response from the press, especially the Review-Journal.
Where is the sense of outrage that our elected representatives would do that? As the offspring of two career high school teachers, and as someone who also taught for 12 years, I can see that providing more money for the same old stuff that has failed so dismally everywhere isn’t the answer. Structural changes are needed in how teachers are trained, how students are taught and what they are taught.
I’m blown away that the journalism profession has reacted so weakly. Nothing is inevitable, ever, unless the victim lies down on railroad tracks to be run over by a train. Action is needed, and the press should be leading.
High Desert shootings
To the editor:
I read the article about the latest shootings at High Desert State Prison (“High Desert’s shootings add up,” April 16 Review-Journal). It seems as if the writer is sticking up for the offenders and putting down the correction officers who are there to watch over the inmates and keep them out of our communities.
If the corrections officers were letting the offenders have full-on brawls with one another, the media would still have something to say about it. Do you want the corrections officers to turn a blind eye toward inmates fighting each other? Or do you want the officers to do their jobs?
The offenders are in prison because they disobeyed the law, doing something that put others’ lives at risk. If an offender is acting up in prison and putting another inmate’s life at risk, do you want the guard to sit around and watch, or do you want the guard to seize the threat? Corrections officers are trained to minimize threats; there was a situation that needed to be controlled, and the guard acted accordingly.
We seem to advocate more for criminals’ well-being than we do for those protecting us. Do you think these lawsuits will make the guards stop using deadly force, or do you think the lawsuit will make the prisoners believe that they can act out without further punishment or consequences?
Science, money and Yucca
To the editor:
My husband and I moved to Pahrump 15 years ago and thought that the Yucca Mountain Project sounded like a good idea. About 12 years ago, we signed up and were cleared for a tour to check it out. After traveling a long time in the bus, I thought to myself, “It still must be a long way away, as there are no mountains around here.”
Just about then, the bus stopped and we were there. Yucca Mountain is a hill, and not a very significant one at that. After a short tram ride into the tunnel, we stopped and walked into a big cave-like rock cavern, where we were given an informational presentation. I don’t have much of a scientific mind, but I pointed out to my husband all of the cracks and fissures in the rock walls and ceilings. Is that the way it should be?
At a later date, we read a newspaper article about how scientists were falsifying records regarding the amount of water infiltration. Eventually, they apparently “fixed” the data to be more realistic. I recently looked online and found that earthquakes occur frequently in the 50-mile radius surrounding Yucca Mountain. Since 1976, there have been 621 seismic events of 2.5 or more magnitude in that area.
Also, there are serious potential problems associated with transporting nuclear waste to Yucca. All this is in an area within 100 miles of a city with a population of 2 million whose water supply could be contaminated for all time. So, as the Review-Journal reported April 16, why is our government allocating an additional $200 million to re-study Yucca Mountain as a potential nuclear repository? Is this just another instance of politics and influential money trying to override science?
NV Energy solar deception
To the editor:
As a solar user and retired newspaper guy, I was shocked to read NV Energy’s recent full-page ads. Both this and other statements about rooftop solar owners not paying their share are deliberate and misleading half-truths, if not outright lies.
Here’s why: NV Energy points to a “retail” price of around 12 cents per kWh and a “cost” of 5 or 6 cents per kWh. It’s obvious that solar systems produce energy during daytime hours and no power at night, so a comparison with “time-of-use” rates is much more appropriate.
NV Energy’s latest April 1 Statement of Rates shows time-of-use residential power from June through September at 37 cents per kWh for peak summer hours, versus 7 cents per kWh for off-peak hours. Solar uses little if any peak summer power and has zero net daily consumption for roughly eight months a year. This means most solar power credits will be used for summer nights valued at 7 cents per kWh, and NV Energy will do quite well reselling our peak summer solar at three times our 12-cent credit.
Berkshire Hathaway is simply using this clout to push its own agenda, at the expense of NV Energy’s reputation. Who in the world thought it was a good idea to let a fox run our henhouse? This utility should be run for the benefit of our state and citizens, not to enshrine and maximize self-serving corporate profit at public expense.