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Stuggling downtown and P.T. Barnum

To the editor:

Another highly publicized promotional event billed as beneficial to the city has been evaluated by those it was supposed to help, and they are not impressed. Downtown merchants found that the downtown Grand Prix street rally did almost nothing for business except create distracting noise for hotel guests and make it more difficult for regular customers to negotiate the streets. Just as with the NBA All-Star Game, no one seemed to get anything out of it but headaches and lost profits.

The city is in a very delicate balance. The Lady Luck is closed. Binion’s is apparently for sale. The City Council suspended its own rule requiring background checks before issuing permanent liquor licenses because a principal of Jillian’s wouldn’t go for it just to keep the place open so Neonopolis wouldn’t become a ghost town.

Downtown casino profits are lagging. Condo projects that are built are going unused. Other developments are simply folding their tents. The council will practically give land to any developer who will promise to plop a building on it. And the lead balloon of a professional sports arena keeps trying to be floated.

It is time to start thinking inside the envelope to work on common-sense solutions to alleviate the drain on city finances by this lackluster section. We need more Alan Greenspan and less P.T. Barnum thinking before the citizens who remain in Las Vegas find themselves with a backbreaking tax burden, paying for failed publicity stunts like the Vegas Grand Prix.

KENT RISCHLING

LAS VEGAS

Too loud

To the editor:

After reading your recent article concerning noisy neighborhoods and the so-called noise ordinances, I’ve concluded that the Review-Journal is performing a disservice to its customers by giving them unreasonable expectations.

Anyone who has called the police about noise before 10 p.m. — or midnight on weekends — will just get a brush off.

I have been told by the police a number of times that people can make as much noise as they want before the above-mentioned hours. They say I have no recourse and have to live with it.

That’s one of the reasons the police don’t get much support from me when they are looking for raises.

STEVE WATKINS

LAS VEGAS

God-given rights

To the editor:

Regarding Robert Wynd’s Thursday letter about your editorial, “Saturday in the park”:

Mr. Wynd says he wants parents to step up and take responsibility for their children. Right on!

The government is not responsible for your home life and many other aspects of human individuality. People need to learn that the government is not there to give handouts and to tell us what to do every second of every day.

Mr. Wynd said he wanted to hear one politician stand up and say that parents need to take responsibility. Well, I think you should look up Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. He’s been telling people for a long time that we are individuals first — with God-given, sovereign rights — and nobody, not even government, should take that away from us.

Everyone needs to accept responsibility for their own lives, not pass it off to the government. Rep. Paul is running for president in 2008, and he has my vote. Please take the time to hear what he has to say. I think you’d be impressed.

Elizabeth Belcastro

LAS VEGAS

Life lessons

To the editor:

In his June 8 letter, “Bad things,” Grant Couch quotes Richard Dawkins to the effect that there’s no evidence atheism systematically influences people to do bad things. He admits they do really bad things, but not in the name of atheism. What semantic mumbo jumbo!

Here’s the bottom line: Every time some atheistic ruler gets into power — be it Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao — tens of millions are slaughtered because atheists don’t see people as created in the image of God and worthy of life, but simply as pawns in a supposed utopian power struggle. Bad ideas have very bad consequences. Those who are not restrained by believing they must someday answer to God will do unspeakable evil, as history has shown.

George Washington and Alexis de Tocqueville knew this well. “Of all the habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable,” wrote Washington in his farewell address. De Tocqueville wrote in “Democracy in America” that the source of this country’s greatness was not in its lands or industries, but in its churches and its people’s religious nature. I pray that Mr. Couch and Mr. Dawkins also learn these lessons.

Gary Strabala

LAS VEGAS

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