Attacks on UNLV are totally without merit

To the editor:

I read with disgust the Nov. 14 commentary on UNLV by professor William Epstein. Apparently, Mr. Epstein has a personal vendetta against the faculty, administration, students and staff. He must have been hallucinating.

My professors are internationally recognized. Our dean at the School of Community Health Sciences, Mary Guinan, has hundreds of publications in the medical field and worked as a public health warrior in Africa, eradicating small pox and then again on the forefront at the CDC fighting the AIDS epidemic. She graduated from the No. 1 medical school in the nation, Johns Hopkins.

On the other hand, Mr. Epstein’s alma mater ranked 61st in his region of New York.

Mr. Epstein’s attack on the abilities of UNLV students is without merit. Apparently, he has never been to our state-of-the-art library at midnight, when it is packed with students working on their studies.

I have a suggestion for Mr. Epstein: Quit. Let us hire several associate professors for the six-figure salary he commands as a tenured professor. We need positive professors who can work as team members to inspire the future leaders of Nevada, the nation and the world.

Maryanne Tirinnanzi

Las Vegas

Red tape

To the editor:

In response to your Nov. 21 commentary, “Strangled by red tape”: In the 1930s, this nation built Hoover Dam. It took about five years and cost about $35 million. In the 1970s, we built a visitors center at the dam. It took 12 years and $172 million.

The difference? To build the visitors center, we had to conduct an environmental impact statement.

Frank E. Bupp

Las Vegas

Taxing ways

To the editor:

I agree that the sales tax exemption should be extended for those states without a state income tax (Review-Journal editorial). However, those same states are in the same boat as smokers when Congress votes to increase taxes on cigarettes. The majority could care less if they impose taxes that don’t effect them. Hope Congress sees the inequity and extends the sales tax deduction.

But what I am really curious about is the statement in the editorial concerning extending tax breaks for the wealthy. The comment “on high-wage earners who are able to invest in businesses and create jobs” has proven to be false. The unemployment rate in December 2000 was 4.5 percent. The tax breaks were enacted in 2001. By 2004, the unemployment rate was 6 percent and now it is 9.7 percent. I ask you, where are all the jobs that are supposed to have been created by these tax breaks for the wealthy?

I’m not talking about the jobs in China created by American investment in casinos, or jobs in India created to handle call centers, I’m talking about American jobs.

Now the Republicans won’t extend jobless benefits for all those people whose jobs vanished and the wealthy have not delivered on their “ability” to create jobs with extra money given to them by the tax breaks. When we will learn that wealthy Americans today could care less about the hard-working middle class? The only thing they care about is if their yacht is bigger, their house is bigger, their private jet is newer and so on.

Review your story some months ago about the gentleman in an upscale Las Vegas neighborhood who complained that the recession has caused him to have to drive a four year old Lexus instead of the new Mercedes he wanted to buy. Talk about a Marie Antoinette complex.

In all fairness, why invest in a business, build it up and create jobs? When you die, the government wants to take most of it away through estate taxes. It is little wonder our economy is in shreds. Again, when will we learn?

Michael R. Stilley


Privileged class

To the editor:

Isn’t it amazing that the government officials exempt themselves from the laws they impose upon us? For example: ObamaCare and TSA searches.

In addition, they put in place triggers to ensure automatic salary raises for themselves without a public vote.

Not to mention their ability to make investments with knowledge that they have due to their office, such as purchasing land knowing there will be a bridge built next to it.

Makes you wonder.

David Sutton

North Las Vegas

Higher degrees

To the editor:

I agree that getting a master’s degree will not in itself make someone a better teacher. (Review-Journal, Tuesday). But discouraging teachers from getting higher degrees also has no benefits.

Even though I didn’t walk into my classroom a better teacher the day after I got my master’s degree, it did open doors that wouldn’t have been open for me without it. I became a more valuable commodity in the work force. I was able to do other jobs outside the classroom, such as consultant work, jobs I would not have had access to without it. I was able to better myself in that I had a greater connection between the working world and the classroom curriculum and was better at communicating with my students what they could expect once they left the classroom.

All of this I would attribute to my master’s degree.

So by taking away the financial incentive for educators to obtain higher degrees, you reduce the effectiveness of our classroom teachers to understand and communicate the educational needs of our students in the working world. I doubt anyone would want that situation, at least anyone who wasn’t wearing blinders.

Jim Hayes

Las Vegas

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