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LETTERS: Government shutdown long overdue

To the editor:

Those in Washington, D.C., warn us that if there is a government shutdown, there will only be funds available for those items deemed essential. We are currently $17 trillion in debt and have $112 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This does not even include the debt or liabilities from the “affordable” health care mess. Funding only the items that are essential is exactly what we should be doing.

Elected representatives also warn us that a government shutdown would convey a message to the rest of the world that we cannot meet our debts. The rest of the world already knows we cannot meet our debt; that is why we have to buy our own bonds. The only people who don’t seem to understand this are our representatives in Washington. A government shutdown might, in fact, be about 55 years too late.



Water crisis

To the editor:

I love Las Vegas, but I’m concerned that someday, I’ll turn on the faucet and no water will come out. I’ll call the Las Vegas Valley Water District, and they’ll have a pre-recorded message: “Sorry, we kept doing our best to serve everyone, but we finally ran out of water. Maybe you can get some at your local market.”

Look at Lake Mead and tell me that such a scenario is not a possibility. If you believe that this is an emergency, the following example provides a possible solution: Years ago, I bought some acreage in California to develop a mobile home park. Engineering was done, I applied for the zone change and was ready to move forward with development. But two weeks before our zone-change hearing, Los Angeles County ordered the local water company to stop all new water hookups, because service to existing homes was insufficient.

And there went my dream. But the moral here is that the water authority should stop all new water service here, too. Then, the agency needs to convince all water companies receiving Colorado River water downstream from Lake Mead to do the same. This should really be the responsibility of the federal government, but it is too inept. So it’s up to our water agency to push for an unpopular move. But that might be the only solution for those of us who need water for day-to-day survival.

It’s time for those making the big bucks at the water authority to step up and be productive before Lake Mead runs dry. And California should use that big body of water to its west to meet its needs.



Casino greed

To the editor:

There were two letters of interest in the Sept. 13 Review-Journal, from Marlene Drozd (“Casino tax increase”) and Susan Ray (“Gas tax outrage”). Both questioned why the overburdened taxpayers in Nevada are always the victims of these increases, when in other states, casinos pay a much higher tax rate than casinos in Nevada.

The answer is simple: Nevada casino owners dictate their wishes to the state Legislature, which of course relishes the election contributions from those casinos.

Greed is involved, too. Why is smoking not allowed in casino restaurants, while it is allowed in gaming areas? Casinos are afraid they might lose business if smoking is banned. When you hear the slogan, “We love locals,” it really means that casinos love the money and loyalty of locals.

And why do millions of dollars needed in Nevada go to California coffers? Because the casinos tell the politicians not to approve the sale of lottery tickets in Nevada.

The casino owners do not care about the health and well-being of the people who patronize their establishments. What they care about is the figure on the bottom line.



Yucca Mountain

To the editor:

The idea of the state spending $5 million to fight the reopening of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is an injustice to the people of Nevada and the United States (“Nevada OKs $5 million to fight nuke waste dump,” Sept. 11 Review-Journal). The money should be used to educate people about the uses and safety of nuclear power as a relatively cheap source of energy.

Ignorance brings on fear, and fear has polarized people from the inception of the nuclear waste storage concept. I recommend two books from Dixie Ray Lee, the original head of the Atomic Energy Commission and former governor of Washington: “Trashing the Planet,” and “Environmental Overkill.” These texts will provide the necessary information to make a decision based on knowledge, rather than fear.

To my knowledge, in the 60 years of nuclear energy use to generate electricity in the United States, there have been no deaths as a result of radiation exposure. Compare that to the large number of coal miner fatalities or the deaths as a result of explosions from the use of natural gas or propane. Of even more significance, there are no greenhouse emissions from nuclear energy generation, nor the billions of tons of gases emitted annually from burning fossil fuels.

The benefits of storing nuclear material in Yucca Mountain far outweigh the risks. The problem here in Nevada is based on politics, not science.



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