Don’t meddle with the Desert Research Institute

In response to your April 17 story about officials at the Desert Research Institute fearing the institute might be swallowed up by one or both of the Nevada universities — UNLV and UNR — currently overseen by the Nevada System of Higher Education:

DRI is an awesome research institution that has operated from its inception with neither assistance nor interference from the state higher education system. It boasts 150 internationally acclaimed scientists who last year worked on 400 research projects and received $30 million in grants and contracts. It is respected throughout the world for the quality of its research, the quality of its faculty and most of all its academic independence and integrity.

Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. It’s difficult for an institution to earn a reputation for integrity and once this reputation has been lost it’s nearly impossible to gain it back. Just think of all our public officials and clergy who were highly respected until they were exposed with their hands in the cookie jar — or, worse yet, until they were caught exposing themselves!

The Nevada System of Higher Education and its chancellor have been involved in several worrisome episodes over the past few years, any one of which — if true — would cast doubt on the integrity of the entire organization for decades. In addition to the April 17 article regarding just-released emails alleging deliberate deception of the Legislature (“Agency misled panel on funding”), Chancellor Dan Klaich was previously accused of violating ethical standards (Review-Journal, Sept. 1, 2015 and Dec. 22, 2014). Whether these allegations are true or not makes little difference. Both NSHE and its chancellor are now damaged goods.

So please don’t sully the pristine reputation of DRI by carving it up between UNLV and UNR, which in turn report to the Nevada System of Higher Education. Keep it just the way it is and everyone will be better off.

Henry Soloway

Las Vegas

Mountain zoning

In response to the April 13 letter from Mike Measday, “Commissioner overstepped her bounds”:

I never overstepped my bounds nor used my position wrongly. I have rights as a property owner and on my own time and at my own expense I wrote a letter last August to property owners in my subdivision. I initiated it because of my concerns, as well as concerns from other neighbors, regarding farm animals in a forested area.

My letter contained my personal cell and was intended to inform owners what our CC&Rs allowed and didn’t allow. I had several calls and letters from owners thanking me for the information and saying that they agreed with the CC&Rs. Not one person who didn’t agree ever reached out to me.

Just for information, county zoning was changed in the late ’90s to create an outlying rural zoning code, CD5. In doing so, the county just captured rural areas without regard to agricultural areas vs. forested. This month, the commissioner from the area — at the request of me and other residents — asked for an agenda item to discuss the conflicts publicly. No one tried to mislead or force their views on anyone.

Public disclosure is healthy and that’s exactly what took place. My late husband owned our property since the late ’70s, so I’m quite aware of the rules. That was the issue: Our CC&R’s prohibit farm animals. Nothing more, nothing less. The issue has been sensationalized for no good reason.

Just because I’m a county commissioner doesn’t mean I don’t have property rights. The issue of any zoning change is now moot.

Chris Giunchigliani

Las Vegas

The writer represents District E on the Clark County Commission.

Downtown cover-up

I was surprised to see the letter last week from Nancy Wood of Pittsburgh regarding the practically nude “entertainers” on Fremont Street. I have written previously regarding this indecent exposure and submitted written complaints to the city on more than one occasion.

One time I did witness a patrol officer approach such an “entertainer” and demand she cover up — at which time a male person with her flipped out a T-shirt.

What a black eye for Las Vegas. I will not take any of our guests downtown nor recommend they go there.

Virginia Brimmer

Las Vegas

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