Real heroes: Those who fight forest fires

To the editor:

Your Tuesday editorial on our aging air-tanker fleet highlights a serious problem within the Obama administration’s Department of Interior and its misplaced priorities.

Instead of worrying about endangered snails and rodents in the forests, we should be concerned about the safety of our forest firefighters. These courageous workers risk their lives fighting forest fires with limited support from aerial tankers due to the dwindling numbers and reduced capabilities of the fleet. Most of these aircraft are converted transport vehicles more than 50 years old.

Unlike urban firefighters, whose average salary is $175,000, including benefits, the average forest firefighter makes $48,000 in salary. The forest firefighter is a real hero who toils with limited mechanized support in rugged terrain to contain forest fires. They make do with cold meals in the field instead of shopping for steak and lobster at Alberstons while having a latte at Starbucks.

The Obama administration needs to focus federal spending on improving our aging aerial tanker fleet instead of pouring billions into wasteful solar energy projects such as Solyndra, which result only in bankrupt companies.

Conrad Ryan

Las Vegas

Medical fears

To the editor:

I am quite perplexed by the obvious hatchet job performed in Sunday’s Review-Journal on the 14 doctors who worked for Dipak Desai (“Colon tests: Safe in Vegas?”). These doctors – to the best of my knowledge – worked hard, did excellent work and were not part of anything that Desai has been accused of doing.

This appears to have been a deliberate attempt to either, once again, scare the public half to death or to set up a vigilante-style jury for the future trial of Desai.

Virtually all of these doctors – who thankfully still are actively working here in Las Vegas, where we have a shortage of qualified specialists – were specifically shown to have done nothing wrong. The fact that there are accusations against Desai and two nurses means just that – they are currently accusations. No one has been tried and convicted of any wrongdoing to date. The future will let us know more.

A couple of the doctors settled malpractice lawsuits against them, but who in their right mind would believe that they and their insurance companies could successfully fight a malpractice lawsuit with the scandal hanging over their heads?

So far, we have nine confirmed cases of Hepatitis C, of which at least five cases happened in one day. So far, what we really have is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Nevada State Medical Board of Examiners causing a crisis that did not really exist. These two organizations, with the help of the media, put more fear into the public than anyone could have ever done.

The claim that up to 50,000 people could have been infected turned out to be false and a gross exaggeration. I am tired of all of the claims and exaggerations. The Review-Journal story proved nothing and showed only that fear-mongering is still a way to sell newspapers.

Bob Dubin

Las Vegas

Illegal immigrants

To the editor:

I attended a discussion event this past Saturday at the Mexican Consulate on Sixth Street regarding the topic of “illegal immigrants.” The event was informative during the first hour, but during the second hour, people became a little reactive over the term “illegal immigrants.”

It made me wonder if this was supposed to be an informative event or a debate.

There were demands that members of the local media stop using the phrase “illegal immigrants” and instead use “undocumented immigrants” or “undocumented workers.” But even if the local media adapted to this, it does not change things nationally unless lawmakers or the White House go along.

Those who are offended by the words “illegal immigrants” should reach out to the lawmakers and the White House to initiate such change. One of the ways to do that is through local Republican and Democrat organizations that are well-connected with the local politicians and the White House.

In Southern Nevada, the Democrat lobby is led mostly by a Latino/Hispanic group, so it should be easier to reach the lawmakers to initiate a process of strategic communication.

If the real objective is a solution, then a solution should be initiated through the proper chain of strategic communication, not by a reactive approach. Reaction and instigation creates more frustration, develops more controversy and results in an unnecessary blame game.

Raj Tumber

Henderson

Fight game

To the editor:

When I saw the front page of Tuesday’s Review-Journal, I expected to read that the Senate had finally passed a budget. No.

Or maybe that Congress finally put a stop to President Obama’s war on religion. Or his social experiment on the military. Or that he had opened up more land for drilling. No.

Or that the Obama administration was being sued to enforce our immigration laws. No.

Or that we finally had a fixed tax rate. No.

Instead, the front-page article was on senators wanting federal oversight of boxing. This effort was being led by Sens. Harry Reid and John McCain.

I’m sure that there is nothing more pressing than calling for a federal commission on boxing.

Since Sen. Reid has bottled up a budget in the Senate for years, he must have time for the more important things in American life. Like boxing oversight.

I just hope Obamnesty doesn’t cause the same problems as Jimmy Carter’s Cuban policies and Bill Clinton’s Haitian policies. But it’s nice to know that the U.S. senators don’t have that worry.

Forrest A. Henry

North Las Vegas

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