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When will we get train to Yerington?

To the editor:

Regarding Anthony Marnell’s letter defending the XpressWest high-speed train project (“Reid’s motives pure on XpressWest,” Friday Review-Journal):

This ridiculous project consists of a high-speed train traveling between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif. Victorville is 90 miles from Los Angeles, so people would have to take a bus or drive those last 80 miles or more, as it is too far to walk to L.A. and there’s not much to do in Victorville.

In 2011, I wrote to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., proposing a high-speed, ground-level train like the DesertXpress (the name given to XpressWest at the time) running from Las Vegas to Yerington. That’s right, Yerington. It’s about as far from Reno and Carson City as Victorville is from Los Angeles. Surely a similar high-speed train — just like the DesertXpress — running a regular schedule between Las Vegas and Yerington makes just as much sense. When can I expect funding?

Sadly, Sen. Reid didn’t respond, and I’m still waiting for funding. Still, my hopes remain high, as the ridiculous project to connect Las Vegas and Victorville appears to be getting closer. Keep your hopes up, people of Yerington.



Do your homework

To the editor:

I just read Anthony Marnell’s letter to the editor (“Reid’s motives pure on XpressWest,” Friday Review-Journal). I say to Mr. Marnell, “Get on track.”

Yes, we do need high-speed transportation up and down Interstate 15, and yes, a high-speed train is surely that mode of transportation. However, making Victorville the first stop is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. If this project is built, build it all the way to Los Angeles. Have you forgotten that in 1862, the transcontinental railroad was started, and it was finished in 1869? With today’s technology, a high-speed rail system could be built in much less time over a considerably shorter distance.

As with the transcontinental railroad, which was supported by the entrepreneurs of the day, Mr. Marnell and all the casino operators in the valley will be the first to benefit from a rail line. I say continue to push for it, but when you get up on the podium, let the public know how much financial support you and the rest of the casino kingpins are willing to give. Instead of building a casino in China costing billions of dollars, build the rail line. All of you can afford it.

Sen. Harry Reid has had his fingers in a number of pies, and most have been failures. Sen. Reid looks out for himself and his family, and he is known to put the public and his constituents second in his decision making. Mr. Marnell, you’re an intelligent man who makes a lot of sense. We do need rapid transportation, and high-speed rail is the answer, but before you take on the Review-Journal, do some homework.



New ballpark

To the editor:

The new owners of the Las Vegas 51s baseball team are exploring the idea of a public-private partnership that would float bonds for a proposed new ballpark costing $65 million (“51s owners to make public financing pitch,” July 24 Review-Journal). The public portion of this partnership would consist of the city of Las Vegas, Clark County and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. We the citizens would guarantee that this $65 million loan would be repaid even if the ballpark went bankrupt, which it might — think Las Vegas Monorail, Solyndra and Detroit.

If this ballpark is a sound investment, why don’t the owners of the team approach a bank or a private equity group for the funding? That way, the owners get their $65 million and they build the ballpark, and the public isn’t at risk. But if banks and private equity firms have no interest in funding this venture, why should the citizens do so?

Public funds are limited, and there are loads of more important priorities, including police and fire departments, public schools, roads and highways, public parks, water treatment, flood control, indigent hospital care, public transportation and deferred maintenance on our decaying infrastructure.

Sure, a new ballpark would be nice. If and when it’s built, I’ll occasionally go there. But a ballpark ranks way down on the list of priorities for public funding.



Unnecessary danger

To the editor:

I feel sorry for young men such as David VanBuskirk, who give up their lives so other people can live theirs (“Officer dies in rescue attempt,” July 24 Review-Journal).

A few years ago, I was hiking at Red Rock Canyon when I saw a hill that I thought I could climb with ease. As I was climbing, I could see the stones under my feet were unstable. When I got to the top, I realized I had made a big mistake.

The hill was higher than I thought, and those loose rocks made it impossible to go down safely. I was ready to call 911 when I saw a wash off to my right. I started down with my heart in my mouth. I grabbed onto a branch to steady myself, but it broke, and I went sliding down and cut my arm.

When I got to the bottom, I made a vow to never do something that stupid again. If people thought before they did something stupid like I did, the David VanBuskirks of this world would be alive today. People, plug in your brain before you do a foolish thing that puts other people in danger.



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