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Spend on classrooms, not consultants

To the editor:

As much as I have disagreed with Review-Journal editorials on public education, I have to concede and say I totally agreed with the opinion expressed on Monday in “Good work, if you can get it.”

The hiring of two education consultants at $2,200 a day each for a total of $77,000 is a total waste of money and Clark County School District resources. All this decision does is show how out of touch our School Board members and Superintendent Walt Ruffles are from the many problems facing our public education system.

When we hear a call for change in our political leadership, it certainly needs to include our School Board and the public school administration. With one of the highest teacher/student ratios and teacher attrition rates in the nation, it certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist or two “hard to find” educational consultants to figure out why some schools can’t perform at a satisfactory level.

Until this school district makes a concerted effort to put more of its financial resources directly into the classroom, instead of the pockets of administrative consultants, we will continue to find our classrooms performing at a less than satisfactory level.

Jim Hayes


Protecting wilderness

To the editor:

It was excellent to see the Review-Journal’s C. Douglas Nielsen chime in on the threat to Gold Butte (Oct. 2 column). But his solution is not only not practical, his concerns about the legislation are invalid.

For starters, no roads in the proposed wilderness areas will be closed. Zero, none. Another fact is that all guzzlers for wildlife will remain open to access, as well, which should give any responsible hunter less to fear about this bill. The Wilderness Act itself designates hunting as one of the activities allowed, and National Conservation Area status also explicitly allows a wide variety of uses for the land.

One issue Mr. Nielsen left out of his column is Clark County’s legal obligation to comply with the Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan. That also is a federal obligation, and the county needs this legislation to make sure it abides by the law.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., should be applauded for stepping forward to present this bill on behalf of Gold Butte and the many people who love it. As someone in Republican Rep. Jon Porter’s district, I’d like to see more leadership from him.

And as a responsible user of our public lands, I wish Mr. Nielsen (and everyone) continued enjoyment of them, and hope that until this legislation is in place, he brings a garbage bag to help keep the place pristine — like I do.

William Huggins


Smoking ban

To the editor:

I have read a few letters regurgitating the notion that the economic downturn is the sole reason for the staggering loses thrust upon local taverns, not our archaic anti-smoking law. Does the economy affect the bottom line of small businesses? Of course it does. But then, how do you explain the massive number of layoffs, kitchen closings, schedule cuts, lost revenues and taxes incurred starting in December 2006, when the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect? Maybe, just maybe they had something to do with the smoking law, you think?

The biggest concern we all should have with this unconstitutional law is the simple fact of selective enforcement. Why can 35-machine casinos be considered exempt from this law while 15-machine taverns have to suffer the hardship? Why can I stand in a casino food court area that is a designated nonsmoking area, then take one step and be in a smoking area, when local taverns must erect walls, install expensive ventilation systems, build cubicles and doorways and ban food delivery altogether?

To be fair, make smoking illegal and enforced in all gaming venues in the state, or let businesses and consumers decide for themselves how and where to conduct their business.

Robert Opp


Pilfering the public

To the editor:

I was brought up to believe that people should be held accountable for their actions. So why is Bob Loux being allowed to resign as executive director of Nevada’s Nuclear Projects Agency (Sept. 30 Review-Journal)?

Why isn’t he being prosecuted for embezzlement? Didn’t he unlawfully take taxpayer funds and enrich himself and his associates? Where I come from, that’s theft, pure and simple. I guess he figured he wasn’t getting his fair share of the money being wasted on both sides of this issue — money that would be better spent on real problems.

For all the money spent so far, we probably could have put the waste into a spaceship and shot it into the sun.

Roger Ouellette


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