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No more cuts to public schools

To the editor:

Like any other sensible American, I understand that budget cuts in a time of economic troubles are a necessary evil. I also understand that desperate times call for desperate measures — in other words, sacrifice. And it is with this mind-set that I initially approached the imminent educational budget cuts.

Regardless of the fact that I am a teacher, and Nevada’s most recent budget slashing is hitting close to home, I approached the issue with a positive attitude.

Now that school is starting, however, and reality has smacked me across the face, I realize that this is no way to operate. Cutting educational funding means shortcuts on learning from every angle. I’m not even going to address the challenges it will introduce into my job responsibilities; I’m worried about our children.

And I say “our children” without regard to whether each individual Nevadan has sired offspring. Rather, they are “our children” in the sense that it is our civic responsibility to educate these kids and ready them to manage the state when their time comes.

By slashing educational spending, we are saying as a society that it’s perfectly fine kids might miss out on reading a chapter at home because there won’t be enough books to go around. We are saying that we don’t mind that kids in Nevada might not be trained using the latest technology because we didn’t upgrade. We’re saying that a promising young athlete or performer may never realize his or her world-class potential because his or her parents cannot pay to participate in programs that used to be free.

Collectively, we’re saying that it is perfectly acceptable for Nevada’s students to be less than adequately prepared for their future.

Somehow it becomes painfully obvious that we’re forgetting that it’s our future, too. We need to find a solution that doesn’t threaten the well-being of our most important resource: our children. It is our responsibility to protect them, nourish them, provide for them.

Education is not where sacrifices should be made.

Jennifer K. Welch

LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER IS A CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TEACHER.

Knowing our enemy

To the editor:

I clearly recall the moment when Mikhail Gorbachev said, in effect, that he was going to do the worst thing ever to the United States. He said he would eliminate their enemy — and then he broke up the Soviet Union.

I remember it well and knew intuitively that he had it exactly right. Now, after a decade and a half without international alliances against our erstwhile common enemy, we in the West have fragmented as we individually search for new identities, causes, political alliances and enemies to fight. It’s been hell.

Frankly, based on what’s happening in Georgia, it’s kind of good to see Russia back to its old self. Now, at last, we can return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when we knew exactly who our enemy was.

Stephen Martin

HENDERSON

Putting people last

To the editor:

In response to your Wednesday editorial, “Endangered Species reforms needed”:

The proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act may reduce the hurdles to development and the costs of construction projects, but these changes are a far cry from the proper thing to do: put the Endangered Species Act to rest.

For decades, the Endangered Species Act has been used to victimize property owners, to take away their land, their assets and their livelihoods. In the name of preserving every variant of plant and animal life, the Endangered Species Act has enabled the violation of individual rights in every corner of the country, rights that our government was instituted to protect, not trample upon.

At the expense of human life and human progress, the Endangered Species Act has been used to prevent the construction of dams, irrigation projects, power plants, housing complexes, highways and many other essential forms of human development.

No law that places the well-being of plants and animals above the well-being of humans should stand.

David Holcberg

IRVINE, CALIF.

THE WRITER IS A MEDIA SPECIALIST WITH THE AYN RAND INSTITUTE.

Primary vote

To the editor:

The 2008 primary election was not an exact science (Thursday Review-Journal editorial). Yes, the no-new-taxes records of the Republican winners predominated, but the exceptions remain.

State Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, who voted for the highest tax increase in Nevada’s history, was apparently forgiven — forgiven after spending $300,000 to prove that he’s a “conservative.”

In the first place, he should have been regarded as the poster-dude for term limits. On the other hand, his opponent, former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, worked tirelessly for Proposition 13-style property tax limits for the third time and had a record of voting against most taxes and tax increases during her tenure in the Legislature.

What happened? Permit me to suggest that the male population of Washoe County could not vote for a woman, no matter what the record indicated.

Let’s sit back and see what and who Sen. Raggio accommodates this time.

Charles F. Carpenter

HENDERSON

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