Basin and Range

I read the article on Basin and Range (’€œNevada gains new monument,’€ Friday Review-Journal), in which Sen. Harry Reid exclaimed, ’€œIt is going to be world famous. World famous!’€ Then I thought of the story, “The Emperor’€™s New Clothes.” Someone had duped the emperor into thinking he was wearing something magnificent when he really was wearing nothing at all.

How many tourists are we going to be able to dupe into thinking they are going to see something magnificent when they go to Basin and Range? I love and appreciate the beauty of the desert, so I hope it doesn’€™t become a laughingstock.

And if Basin and Range is getting this designation to preserve and protect natural landscapes, why is the government letting some artist hack away at the desert and call it ’€œart’€ — and call it ’€œCity’€ at that? Further, if the government lets one person alter the natural beauty, anyone who wants to add their ’€œartwork’€ to the desert should be permitted to do so.



Beating blight

Earlier this month, North Las Vegas knocked down an old, burned, abandoned, crime-ridden flophouse in a residential neighborhood (“NLV keeps up battle with blight,” July 2 Review-Journal). Twenty more buildings are on the city‘s demolition list.

It only takes hours to demolish a house and remove the debris, and yet years go by in our cities with nothing being done. It’€™s the financial and political bottlenecks that slow blight removal. North Las Vegas is getting the job done, but it took 18 months and $14,800 to remove that one house on Tonopah Avenue.

The solution to blight removal is to have an all-volunteer demolition organization, similar to Habitat for Humanity. Retired equipment operators can train senior citizens and people who are financially set. Provide them with donated equipment, and they’€™ll have fun clearing the dead houses for free. Can anyone out there set that up?



Paying double

Ed Wagner‘s letter regarding Education Savings Accounts and taxpayer money going to private schools is an important element in the discussion of taxpayers‘ money and public education (“Education Savings Accounts,” June 24 Review-Journal). But as is often the case, there is another argument independent of ESAs that the mainstream media doesn‘t talk about very much.

Parents who send their children to private schools are hit with a double-whammy. First, they have to pay property taxes to the government for the public school, even though their children don‘t go there. Then they have to pay tuition to a private school. Unfortunately, in this country, you can‘t deduct private school tuition on your income taxes.

Conversely, parents who send their child to public school gain twice. First, the child is able to attend a tuition-free school. Second, for each child who doesn‘t attend public school and instead attends private school or is home-schooled, that‘s one less child to pay for to put through public school.

In some countries, parents can have their child go to any school they wish, government or private, and it is paid for by all. Here, only those attending government or public schools receive the full benefits. The only exceptions might be private schools getting government-subsidized lunch benefits or, in some states, school bus service.

If I had a child in private school, I would be paying for it twice. That‘s not the case with parents who only send their children to public schools. Any crumbs the private schools might get is more than offset by the taxes those parents are paying to prop up the government-funded schools.



Abuse of power

Regarding the editorial on the Las Vegas home invasion (’€œRight to keep and bear arms,’€ Saturday Review-Journal), using the power of the press to encourage the public to get guns is unconscionable. This editorial was not an opinion. It was a device to encourage gun purchases and an abuse of the power of the press.



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