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Previous low bidder gets no bus contract at all

To the editor:

In open competitive bidding last year, First Transit Inc. of Cincinnati was the apparent winner of a multi-year management and operation contract for the valley’s Regional Transportation Commission bus system, at a much needed savings of $50 million.

“Good ol’ boys” squabbling among our commissioners and council members quickly surfaced. Four commissioners backed the challenger while four backed the present operator, Veolia. Complaining about how the bids were scored, they eventually canceled the new contract.

Last week’s announcement, that a complicated new RTC bid scoring system completely eliminating this low bidder, demands inquiries by ethics commissions, the FBI, or someone with authority.

The Review-Journal’s editorial page presented an outstanding review of this scam in its Nov. 11 Viewpoints section.

Meanwhile, First Transit has been doing an exemplary job of safely operating the RTC Paratransit System with clean, late-model buses and friendly drivers – even if some minor tuning seems needed to help sometimes overloaded dispatchers.

Will this smell be allowed to continue along with the bugs flying around the Sloan channel, or will someone have the guts and wherewithal to challenge?


Las Vegas

Festival announced

To the editor:

The great renaissance is under way. The inspiring news (Review-Journal, Nov. 13): a sprawling new festival of music, food and art will arrive in downtown Las Vegas next year. It’s to be called the Life is Beautiful festival.

Nevada is a forward-looking community, embracing new ventures and good music (e.g. the Electric Daisy Carnival and Burning Man festivals). This colossal festival in the heart of our vibrant city will show the world what we Las Vegans can do. We’re Number One!

Our Las Vegas economy’s future is bright. And when you couple it with the great things Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is doing in the rebirth of our downtown, the serendipity and synchronicity spell success.

Las Vegans, let’s rally round our innovative entrepreneurs, business community and art/culture/entertainment communities. Let’s show the world that Life is Beautiful in our crystal city, Las Vegas – the epitome in delivering happiness to everyone.



Veterans sacrificed

To the editor:

Veterans Day was last week. We need to educate our children on the sacrifices that our veterans have made. Some lost limbs, others lost lives, all in the name of freedom.

If it weren’t for our brave soldiers during World War II, my ancestors would never have been liberated from Hitler’s concentration camps. Both my grandfather and uncle served in the Army (the Korean War and Vietnam War, respectively). I was serving in the Navy when the USS Cole was attacked and I witnessed first-hand what tragedy and death really were.

The word hero should never be used lightly. Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods tragically lost his life in Benghazi, Libya. He believed in his oath and despite knowing he was outmanned and outgunned, he tried to rescue our ambassador, more importantly a fellow American.

We must remember those who are out there in the cold. To you, my brothers and sisters, I say you are not alone. These brave men and women did their part and now it’s time we did ours. I urge everyone who can to visit their local VFW and donate food and/or clothing. If you don’t have the time or don’t know where you can find your local VFW, you can go online to sites like WoundedWarrior.org and donate there. Thank you and God bless America.



Conscript them

To the editor:

I was fortunate to see the interaction of those who served our country in the military in various places last weekend. It didn’t matter if young or old, male or female, what race or ethnicity, these proud members of society were companions again.

After the divisive election we just saw, this weekend’s activities brought a closeness to those who were probably far apart in their vote.

I believe that every person, upon high school graduation or age 18, should be subject to compulsory military service or equivalent for not less than 18 months. This will bring people together with a common goal, requiring them to acquire a new family of people with dissimilar backgrounds, leading and being led in a common cause.

I understand this has been tried previously, and there have been people who have been able to shirk this responsibility. My thought is that unless physically unable to serve, everyone should be called.



Good old days

To the editor:

As I read letter after letter in your newspaper predicting the end of the world because President Obama got re-elected, I pause to reflect. I find myself in complete agreement with all of them.

Oh, how I long for the good ol’ days, four or so years ago, when we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month. I recall fondly two badly mismanaged wars (one launched absolutely unnecessarily, based upon faulty intelligence), each with no end in sight. I get choked up when I think about the then-thriving U.S. auto industry, and the horrible fate that has now been visited on it.

I pine for the days when health insurance companies could deny coverage for people – even children – with pre-existing medical conditions. I get positively angry when I realize there are millions of people who could never get medical insurance before, but will now have access to it. And I bemoan the loss of a health care system that allowed people who had worked hard all of their lives, and done all of the right things, to be financially ruined because someone did the unthinkable – they got sick.

I, like your letter writers, pine for those halcyon days, and am terrified that the apocalypse appears to be rushing toward us.



Limit population

To the editor:

In his Nov. 8 letter, Joseph Schillmoeller laments the failure of 50 years of welfare to lift the black underclass out of poverty. And it has failed, miserably. But the problem is not limited to black people, and our debt problems mean that government programs will probably be reduced and make the problem even worse.

It’s time for some honesty from the politicians who suggest that Band-Aids like pouring federal money into education will magically solve the problem. They won’t.

When the number of people exceed the economy’s ability to support them, you must either magically grow the economy or limit the growth in population. China solved its population problem by forcing couples to limit their families to one child. That obviously wouldn’t work here, but incentives for effective birth control and limiting incentives to have children might be a good start.

Washington’s budget problems can’t be fixed without solving some of the underlying problems.



Three-month limit

To the editor:

I just read about the amount of money spent on TV ads by both political parties.

What a shameful waste! Do these election people really think anyone sits and watches and listens to these same ads over and over and over again? Do they think we are stupid?

I think campaigning for all elections should be limited to three months.



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