Smoking ban foes ignore public health

To the editor:

In response to your Aug. 16 editorial, “Ticketing smokers”:

I would like to speak on behalf of the majority of voters who enacted the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act. As an employee of one of the nonprofit health organizations that supported Question 5, I have been surprised and angered by the backlash from bar and tavern owners toward this law.

In both its articles and editorials, the Review-Journal has focused entirely on the economic impact of this law, while ignoring the public health aspect. Your Aug. 16 editorial shifts the focus to enforcement, while still ignoring the subject of public health. Twenty percent of adults in Nevada are smokers, yet when the bar and tavern owners complain that this law is putting them out of business, they fail to recognize that fact. If as much energy and money was spent marketing their establishments to the 80 percent of nonsmokers, and creating environments that enticed them to visit, they would see increases in customers and profits.

Simple amenities such as good food and service, reasonably priced beverages and smoke-free air can go a long way in bringing in the majority of people, such as the ones who voted for this law.

CHRISTOPHER ROLLER

HENDERSON

Cheating teachers

To the editor:

In response to your Aug. 21 editorial about merit pay for teachers:

As a retired teacher from the East Coast, I have seen and experienced first-hand what emphasizing test scores can do. Teaching is no longer about educating our children so they can grow into responsible, eclectic, wise adults. It has become about teaching the test, or teaching to the test, or making sure in any way possible that a teacher, school or district has achieved the highest possible scores.

Now you are suggesting rewarding teachers monetarily for their high test scores? I have seen teachers change answers on answer sheets, give out answers to a class at large and stand at a child’s desk to make sure that the correct answer was noted.

Merit pay, in my mind, will only serve to encourage the rampant cheating and dishonesty that already exists.

Ellen Rabin

LAS VEGAS

Warrior spirit

To the editor:

In his Monday letter to the editor, Robert Raider asked about those considering which candidate to support: “Do you consider political ideology, past voting records, stance on the economy, foreign policy … (or) skin color?” To those I would like to add “guts.”

Who among the present wannabes has the guts to ride into the fray like Teddy Roosevelt? Or to challenge an enemy destroyer fleet in an 80-foot PT boat, as did Jack Kennedy? Or to pull the trigger on the atom bomb, as Harry Truman did? Or to face off with Nikita Khrushchev in the perilous Cold War, as Dwight Eisenhower did?

Yet our next president will face tough new challenges that will require a warrior’s response. Campaign words do not scare the leaders of the world. We need to have warrior genes in our candidates. Where do we get them?

Political parties are responsible for bringing candidates to the voters. So far we have self-energized wannabes, unproven as leaders in times of crisis. Read of the Cuban crisis in JFK’s biography. You will see the hell a president goes through and why he needs a warrior spirit. Do we have them, and where are they?

It may take a lot of persuasion, but Democrat Jim Webb and Republican Fred Thompson have that spirit. Let’s look to the future when campaign promises have wilted and new action is needed. Let’s look for candidates with the warrior spirit. Americans once were warriors and world leaders. We can be again.

Earl Hinz

HENDERSON

Speed kills

To the editor:

In response to Amy Davis’ Saturday letter about the Las Vegas Beltway being built to expedite traffic:

Yes, the 215 is meant to expedite traffic. However, it is not meant to be a racetrack. Speed signs are posted for a purpose, and if you or anyone else exceeds the speed limit you should expect a ticket.

“Going with the flow” represents a mob mentality, and those who follow that mentality intentionally break the law. Why have any traffic signs if drivers will not obey them?

Let’s face the facts. The drivers who are speeding, running red lights, not using turn signals, etc., do so with the intent to break the law. Sadly, aggressive driving and speed kill.

JAMES FENTERS

LAS VEGAS

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