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LETTERS: Bad workers do disservice to hard-working VA employees

Sadly, I laughed out loud reading the editorial on the Department of Veterans Affairs, regarding Elizabeth Rivera’s employment at a Puerto Rico VA hospital, where she was fired for her involvement in an armed robbery (“The vacuous VA,” Monday Review-Journal). In getting Ms. Rivera reinstated, her union noted that the management-side labor relations specialist was a convicted sex offender, and the hospital director had been arrested and caught with painkilling drugs. Certainly no surprise there.

Neither would it surprise me if there are problem workers at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center, still employed due to union protocols. Until someone has the courage to confront public-sector labor unions and make major changes, taxpayers will continue to pay these individuals’ salaries. It’s probably a fantasy to believe that anyone in Washington, D.C., has such courage — including VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

How sad it is for the hard-working, honest VA employees who must deal each and every day with people of such low character.

Judith Smith


UNLV basketball

So let me get this straight: UNLV, in hiring Chris Beard as its new men’s basketball coach, decided to pass over Stacey Augmon, who played on the Rebels’ national championship team and was the national defensive player of the year while at UNLV. He’s also a former NBA player, former NBA assistant coach and current UNLV assistant. But instead of hiring Mr. Augmon, UNLV hired the University of Arkansas-Little Rock’s coach, whose claim to fame is beating Purdue in a first-round NCAA Tournament game this year.

UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy was key to this process. Yet her being hired as athletic director in 2013 was a bit of a mystery, since she had no previous experience in that role. But she cited the need for Division I head coaching experience in whomever took over the men’s basketball program.

The interview committee was made up of UNLV President Len Jessup, Ms. Kunzer-Murphy and radio analyst and former UNLV player Robert Smith. That sure looks like three people who are experts for this job.

Robert Burton

Las Vegas

Subscription rates

I have been reading the newspaper since I was a freshman in high school, starting with the Stars and Stripes back in 1986. I never liked the idea of my money supporting the Review-Journal editorial page, but I was unwilling to give up my morning ritual. Most of the teachers I know are unwilling to subscribe to the RJ because the editorials on education seem to lack any first-hand experience or actual observations of real classrooms.

There was a teacher discount the first several years I subscribed to the RJ, but that ended a few years ago. Now the RJ is increasing my annual subscription rate from $161.20 to $200.20. I didn’t notice this significant increase mentioned n the newspaper.

I’m surely not the only customer who will not renew the subscription. It would be interesting to see an article on what this large increase in subscription rates does to the circulation of an already dying media format.

Jeremy Christensen

Las Vegas

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