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Lottery bill killed again in Nevada Legislature

To the editor:

By now I think everyone involved knows that the bill to create a lottery in Nevada will die in committee, as it has for 20 or 30 years now. I would like to thank Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas, who shepherded it through the Assembly and got it passed on to the Senate. He had the right idea, when he said, “It’s time to have the people in Nevada decide whether or not they want a lottery.”

In the Senate, however, Government Affairs Chairman John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, would not even bring it to a vote. We heard some of the same old boo-hoo arguments such as, “The people would only buy one gallon of milk instead of two,” or they “wouldn’t buy bread or cereal, nor buy shoes for the children, instead they would buy lottery tickets,” or, “The church is against gambling.”

Truth is, the gamers are against anything that may take money from them.

Vernon Pechous

HENDERSON

Numbers game

To the editor:

Ed Vogel’s Tuesday story “State lottery appears dead — again” is a perfect example of how elected representatives pursue their own agendas despite the desires of the public. If state Sen. John Lee is so sure of his position, then why not let the voters decide if a lottery is appropriate in Nevada?

He feels he must protect the poor from being enticed into buying tickets, saying they would buy them instead of food. What universe is he from? We don’t need this, “I know what’s best for you” attitude in our representatives.

I can only hope the residents of North Las Vegas take note of his attitude and reflect on this during the next election.

ED FELDMAN

HENDERSON

Malpractice costs

To the editor:

In his May 13 article, “Hepatitis victim to testify law unfair,” Review-Journal reporter Paul Harasim confuses journalism with editorializing. A front page article should report the facts, not advocate a political position as Mr. Harasim does.

The bill in question, AB495, which died Friday in the Senate, would have reversed the will of the people by lifting the cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. This cap of $350,000 for “pain and suffering” resulted from a 2004 vote of the people of Nevada and was intended to stem the exodus of doctors due to sky-high malpractice insurance premiums at the time. Mr. Harasim implies that the initiative to keep doctors from leaving the state was orchestrated by now-disgraced Dr. Dipak Desai, who somehow managed to fool and manipulate the voters. In fact, no voters had their arm twisted — everyone could see that doctors were being driven out not only by high insurance costs, but by frivolous lawsuits. Something had to be done.

Without giving any details, Mr. Harasim claims that the doctors’ claim that high insurance premiums were driving them out of business “was found to be specious by the nation’s General Accounting Office.” Yet in the same sentence he acknowledges that malpractice insurance rates have dropped by as much as 30 percent thanks to the cap.

AB495 would have turned back the clock by bringing back unsupportable insurance costs to our doctors — not just the bad doctors, but the many good ones too. Doctors would have again fled Nevada, leaving us in an emergency for a second time. Sometimes laws bring about unintended consequences, but in this case there is no question of the result because it has happened before. And make no mistake: The consequences would be dire.

ELLEN SHAW

HENDERSON

Paid off

To the editor:

I am sick and tired of the negative spin and misinformation the Review-Journal continues to regurgitate on the backs of educators in Nevada. Jim Day’s May 12 political cartoon Is a perfect example.

Get your facts straight, Mr. Day. Teachers do not get paid “12 months, pay and benefits — for nine months work.” Teachers are paid for the number of days they work — 184 days per year. Teacher pay is based on a pay schedule from the number of days in a school year. Experience and education will give them higher salary schedules, as it should.

Teacher salaries are based on the total school year figure divided by 24 pay periods for the year (paid bi-monthly). In truth, teachers getting paid during June, July and August are getting money that has been held back and owed for services already provided.

It should be noted, Mr. Day, that teachers are not even paid for Christmas, Thanksgiving or any other major holidays — something I’m pretty sure most people like you probably do enjoy.

Legislators should stand up for teachers and education; teachers have taken a back seat in the state of Nevada for decades.

Norman Caruthers

LAS VEGAS

Federal Reserve

To the editor:

On Feb. 26, HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, was submitted and referred to the House Committee of Financial Services. This resolution calls for a full audit of the Federal Reserve, a private bank that currently operates in secrecy and is not required to give an accounting to Congress or the American people.

This bill currently has 150 co-sponsors, but U.S. Reps. Dina Titus and Shelley Berkley, both Nevada Democrats, are not among them. Despite constituents’ attempts to reach them on this matter, neither has made an attempt to co-sponsor this bill, or to respond. The people of this nation were promised transparency and accountability this last election cycle — this bill would be a great place to start.

Tiffany Osborn

LAS VEGAS

Burger wars

To the editor:

Fat Charlie’s burger is the best (“Meet the Top 10 burgers in Las Vegas,” Wednesday Review-Journal)? Any burger with an egg on it is un-American. It’s obvious that this list was designed to support the casinos and can’t be taken seriously.

My favorite burger in Vegas is at Red Robin.

What I would give to have a Whataburger in Las Vegas.

Frank Beaty

LAS VEGAS

Easy plan

To the editor:

Secretary of State Ross Miller said he hoped legislation would be enacted to improve the way the state keeps track of companies that owe money to his office. I have a better idea.

Let’s have someone in his office do it without any legislation being required. It should be a simple project to come up with a computer program listing all corporations who pay an annual fee and when such annual fee is due. Then check each month to see if payment has been made. If not then bill such corporation and collect the amount due plus penalty for late payment.

Since Ross Miller doesn’t seem able to grasp such a concept, maybe he should take on the responsibility himself. At least he would have something to do and may learn something.

Bryce Lee

LAS VEGAS

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