Paper needs to ‘get it’ on environment

To the editor:

Initiatives that attempt to re-educate civilized society about the irresponsible use of resources and its effects on our environment should not be labeled as “insipid,” as you wrote in your Tuesday editorial (“Lights off”).

Rather, I would prefer to read an editorial that reflects the intellect of somebody who finally “gets it” and sees that irresponsible use of our natural resources is simply gluttony (one of the seven deadly sins) that is destroying our home planet.

Unfortunately, information is our only weapon in helping to delay its demise. And you are being very irresponsible in the distribution of information.

ABBIE GRANT

LAS VEGAS

Tax game

To the editor:

It’s getting old reading about people trying to bleed the casinos dry by saying the gaming industry should be taxed more to support schools. Could it be that those who are supporting this endeavor have kids in schools here and are looking for the handout? I wonder how many of those people are biting the very hands that feed them? Could they be the same people who want to see fewer kids in casinos but think nothing of making casinos cough up for their kids?

People seem to forget the reason Las Vegas exists in the first place — the casinos. Everything that happens here not only stays here, but it all — from the grocery stores, to the malls, to our medical and legal professions, our pharmacies, etc. — happens because casinos exist. Las Vegas simply would not be here without casinos.

I know, I know. They make lots of money off of tourists and locals alike. They have money to build both here and abroad. They’re loaded. They’ve got the bucks. But here’s a surprise: They’ve earned it, folks. They take the risks. They invest. And we all benefit by it because we live here, retire here, raise our kids here, enjoy it here. Take a closer look at some of the “quiet” taxes that no one talks about, just in case you think you’re not paying enough.

Did you know part of your vehicle registration goes toward a “government services tax,” which charges you 4 cents on each $1 of DMV valuation and is returned to local governments and school districts? Yet the DMV charges only 1 cent on each $1 of DMV valuation for highway construction. Does this make sense? What has our vehicle registration got to do with schools? But we who drive pay it, kids or no kids. You, who don’t drive, don’t pay it.

Check the county assessor’s Web site to learn how your property taxes break down. You’ll see, without question, schools eat up the greatest portion of your property taxes. Not police. Not fire. Schools.

We don’t need more police and fire? At one time or another everyone benefits by these services, yet they receive a smaller portion of our property taxes than schools. If you live in an apartment, you don’t pay it directly; your landlord does. But ultimately, through your rent, you do.

And there’s another group that kicks in to support your children’s schools: We who have no kids in school. Seniors on fixed incomes. Couples with no children. We’re all supporting your schools and we sit here listening to complaint after complaint about there not being enough money. There’s plenty of money, folks. Make it work. And, oh, by the way, schools are not good or bad because of money. You’ve just been sold the myth and you bought into it. Truth is, schools thrive when parents are involved.

The casinos pay enough. We who are without children of school age pay enough. The teachers union can get off its duff and start working on quality outcomes just as any private-sector employee would. And it’s time for parents of school-age children to kick in and start thinking of ways they can do more to improve their children’s schools.

For starters, try participating.

Jan Ashman

LAS VEGAS

Getting rich

To the editor:

Who says trial lawyers don’t have our best interests at heart? In the mail I recently received an unexpected bonanza: a check from Yahoo! to pay me for overcharges the company imposed a couple of years ago on my advertising account.

If you are not familiar with how it works, it goes something like this: sign up to advertise on the Yahoo! search engine, and when somebody clicks on your ad, you are charged a nominal fee, say a nickel or a dime. Once a month your credit card is billed.

Well, it seems Yahoo! inflated the number of “hits” advertisers actually received and the trial lawyers caught wind of this discrepancy and filed a class-action lawsuit. I was one of the beneficiaries of that lawsuit and that’s why I received a check for the munificent sum of 14 cents. Yep, I got 14 cents. The trial lawyers got millions.

Seems fair to me. After all, they were only looking out for me.

Believe that and I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell you.

Jerry Fink

LAS VEGAS

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