Suddenly, the big topic for discussion concerns Las Vegas hotels planning to charge for parking, after many years of providing free parking (“MGM to charge for parking,” Saturday Review-Journal). Residents and visitors alike are upset, but the hotels justify the move by discussing the need for more income.
Instead of charging for parking, how about eliminating the dispensing of free alcoholic drinks 24 hours a day? Not only would the casinos save a good deal of money, but they would also bring in revenue from those who want drinks and are willing to pay for them. Charging for drinks will discourage those who only come to the casinos to drink, but above all, it will help cut down on the number of those who drive under the influence.
Before dismissing the pay-for-drinks concept, give it some thought and consider how easy it would be to implement, with no need for additional building or hiring more personnel or developing new technology. Everything necessary to get it started is in place.
Locals to flee fee
Regarding the article, “MGM to charge for parking” (Saturday Review-Journal), Las Vegas should not be compared with “other ‘high-demand’ tourist and convention markets, such as New York, Los Angeles and Orlando.” I’m sorry, but locals are incensed at this proposal and will stay away from any and all properties making this change.
Richard Schmalensee’s article on utility-scale solar power spends much space alleging that rooftop solar is not as efficient as utility-scale solar (“It’s time to supersize,” Sunday Review-Journal). If so, we need to ask if NV Energy and the Public Utilities Commission knew this while they were encouraging/subsidizing homeowners to install rooftop solar. If they knew, then they just sucker-punched all who invested money in trying to save the Earth.
But all is not lost. Mr Schmalensee’s summary states, “The ultimate goal should be to treat all solar generators equally.” Yet NV Energy and the PUC want to reduce reimbursement of rooftop solar owners over a period of a few years to 2.6 cents per kilowatt hour, for energy which otherwise must be generated by natural gas at its currently depressed price.
Let’s compare apples with apples. The Department of Energy stated that all power generated by the Crescent Dunes solar energy plant will be sold to NV Energy for 13.5 cents per kWh for 25 years. In late September 2011, Crescent Dunes received a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, so this is not NV Energy’s money at risk. It is our money.
Thus, according to Mr. Schmalensee’s recommendation, all rooftop solar owners in Nevada should receive 13.5 cents per kWh for the next 25 years. Currently, rooftop solar owners are being paid less than 13.5 cents. They should be getting a raise, not a cut to 2.6 cents.
Clearly, NV Energy and the PUC are trying to dupe the public while killing Nevada’s solar industry. Rooftop solar helps save the Earth, while the NV Energy-PUC twosome wants to cut rates to rooftop solar owners and have us use more natural gas, contrary to the recent Paris climate agreement.
Praise for the RJ
I have been following the comments by readers on the state of the Review-Journal. Having enjoyed the advantage of living all over the U.S., this inveterate (and critical) newspaper reader would like to chime in as well. Whatever the sum of life in Las Vegas — it has its pros and cons — for my money, the Review-Journal ranks among the very best dailies in the country.
First, it’s great to have a newspaper at my door that doesn’t skimp on the news. Certainly, choices must be made regarding which stories make it to print, yet the RJ does a very good job covering both topical events and more arcane subjects — stories I find interesting and unexpectedly useful. A recent piece on Allegiant Air comes to mind.
RJ reporters also have a solid mastery of English. It’s a sad state of affairs when such a standard expectation becomes the stuff of compliments, yet we live in times when editing appears less and less important to credibility. I appreciate the RJ’s attention to the fundamentals.
Lastly, I support the manner in which the RJ staff perseveres with independent coverage under its new owners, the Sheldon Adelson family. We are watching, left and right alike. Please keep it up.