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Wildlife officials dragging feet on sage grouse problem

To the editor:

Your April 13 editorial, “A ‘stupid bird’?,” did not state directly who or what was responsible for the decline of the sage grouse. I will do that.

From July 1989 to June 1991, the Nevada Department of Wildlife conducted a survey of sage grouse production and mortality. Fourteen hundred eggs were placed in 200 simulated sage grouse nests, with seven eggs per nest. This was during the 15-day period when sage hens lay their eggs.

At the completion of the 15 days, all 1,400 eggs were destroyed at both study areas. Ravens were believed to be the chief nest predator.

During the 1991 legislative session, a bill was introduced to do raven control with aircraft. State wildlife officials did not show up to testify about their own survey.

Department of Wildlife officials knew this was a problem more than two decades ago and have done nothing on their own to correct this situation. Quite the contrary, they have fought against raven control. A sportsmen’s group, Nevada Alliance 4 Wildlife, asked for and received $100,000 of Heritage Fund money for raven control. Department of Wildlife Director Ken Mayer fought against this proposal all the way. Does this sound like a director who wants to do something abut this serious problem?

Mr. Mayer was fired by then-Gov. Jim Gibbons for not doing anything about the declining deer numbers. By fighting the sage grouse proposals, Mr. Mayer and his predecessors have shown a lack of interest in solving the sage grouse problem, leaving the state facing serious repercussions if this bird is listed as threatened or endangered.

CECIL FREDI

LAS VEGAS

The writer is president of Hunter’s Alert!

Less proficient

To the editor:

Gov. Brian Sandoval, as well as national critics of our public school systems, all tout the charter school as the panacea for our educational problems.

Yet your April 13 article, “Charter school to get state funding for six more years,” states that only 29 percent of the charter school students passed the standardized Nevada reading tests, while only 45 percent passed the math tests.

In spite of these dismal statistics, the Clark County School Board signed a contract to fund a charter school for six more years. At a time when the school district has a severe budget deficit, when we are currently dismissing good teachers and cutting their salaries, why on earth are we wasting funds on a less proficient system of education?

In addition, the district is hiring several hundred teacher mentors. This represents a double expenditure – hiring a teacher and then hiring a mentor for a teacher. We need to hire good teachers in the beginning and then hire actively engaged principals to supervise and help their teachers develop to their maximum capacity.

Instead of pointing the accusatory finger at our hard-working teachers and their union representatives, maybe we should be questioning the lack of common-sense decisions made by the School Board and the district.

PEGGY J. COX

LAS VEGAS

Needs of women

To the editor:

Molly Orr hit the nail on the head with her Tuesday letter about women’s work (“Women work hard – no matter what they do”). My mom always said, “A woman’s work is never done.” She was right.

My wife, ever the optimist, says, “Life is tough and then you die.” She is also correct.

No one has an easy road – least of all Ann Romney. Five boys, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, holding a household together while her husband was running at 110 percent – none of that is play. It’s work. She’s earned her husband’s respect, or he wouldn’t have asked for her viewpoint on the economy.

In a letter published the same day, Richard J. Mundy doesn’t agree. He concludes, based on Mitt Romney’s financial status, “Mitt Romney does not understand the needs of women.” Hello? After 44 years of marriage, I still don’t understand the needs of women. Dear, dear Mr. Mundy, if you do, please share it with the rest of us.

Ronnie Garner

Henderson

Natural beef

To the editor:

In response to the ongoing dispute between the Bureau of Land Management and the Mesquite rancher:

Let’s open all the BLM lands across the nation to ranchers to graze their cattle on. Then, instead of the grain-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-filled meat that is destroying our health, we could all afford to purchase healthy natural beef.

Dia Osborne

Henderson

Good work

To the editor:

While I don’t always agree with John L. Smith’s political commentary, I do enjoy his writing style. Tuesday’s satirical column (“Baboons’ word skills could bring unintended consequences”) was the perfect read to go along with my morning cup of coffee. Keep up the good work.

Victor Moss

Las Vegas

Know better

To the editor:

In response to the Wednesday letter written by Mark E. Jimenez on teachers creating textbooks:

Yes, that is a brilliant idea. Years ago, I taught in Los Angeles. New textbooks came without workbooks. After about six weeks, the teachers provided the lesson plans we had developed. The publisher turned these into the workbooks that came with the textbooks. Who knows better than the teachers what text will work for our students?

Darlien C. Breeze

Las Vegas

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