The hunt for energy savings, chance to feel smug

To the editor:

Yesterday I had to run a few errands but was short on fuel, so I first stopped at the corner gas station and put more air in my tires.

I drove to Wal-Mart, but before going in I thought about all those little colorful envelopes with messages inside telling me about the “evil” retail giant. I went in anyway to buy bandages and light bulbs.

I checked the label on the box of Band-Aids, and there was no lead in them, so I felt safer. Then I looked through the light bulbs, when I remembered Al Gore saying that we need to buy those “energy-efficient” bulbs, and if we do Earth won’t die. Sanity returned before I bought anything, and I drove to another store, where I bought said items (spending about $4 more). It was worth the price to feel smug about saving the planet and defeating the “evil” store.

On the way home, I felt the car engine chug a few times, then it stopped running. I was lucky enough to coast into another gas station, where I put more air in my tires, but the darn car still wouldn’t start.

What’s going on here? “The One The World is Waiting For” told me to put more air in my tires, and I wouldn’t have to depend on foreign oil!

Oh, the injustice of it all. I walked back home and had a beer, thinking, “Damn these lying politicians.”

John Campbell

LAS VEGAS

Hot air

To the editor:

Wednesday’s editorial, “Obama’s energy policy,” and Jim Day’s Wednesday cartoon took shots at presidential candidate Barack Obama’s suggestion concerning the proper inflation of automobile tires.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every pound per square inch of under-inflation has the potential to waste 4 million gallons of oil a day in this country. Assuming about 25 percent of tires are under-inflated means a saving of about 1 million gallons a day, or 365 million gallons a year.

These savings are real and realizable. Sen. Obama was on the mark, but your editorial and cartoon were not.

Irwin Kaufman

LAS VEGAS

No discipline

To the editor:

Dr. Larry Tarno, top administrator of the Nevada State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, has the audacity to say to the public that careless Dr. Scott Young should not face any serious disciplinary actions even though he reused syringes and vials on multiple patients (“Doctor licensing board not recommending sanctions,” July 30 Review-Journal).

Dr. Tarno goes on to say that Dr. Young’s “peers are very comfortable working with him.” Unsafe injection practices were witnessed, yet this doctor’s peers want the guy to continue practicing medicine? Let him practice on them.

What is it going to take to have the medical profession in this state straighten up and practice good medicine? It is a no-brainer. Dr. Young should be stripped of his license, and his peers should stand up and cheer rather than say they’re “very comfortable working with him.” These doctors who have the mighty “me” complex and demeanor of Dr. Young and who chose to infect patients with a fatal disease should all be tossed out of the medical profession.

I’ve worked in and around the health field for more than 20 years, and I am totally disgusted with the slipshod medicine practiced by many so-called professionals here.

With open and transparent information on the medical profession, the good, expert, honest practitioners would remain in Nevada, and the bad ones would be culled out, which would not be loss to the prospective patient.

BRADLEY KUHNS

LAS VEGAS

HOAs and foreclosures

To the editor:

The article “Subcommittee targets housing sector” in Tuesday’s Review-Journal Business section provides some insight into what may be proposed by the 2009 Nevada Legislature to protect homeowners and renters from predatory lending, renting and sales practices. Unfortunately, some proposals are misguided, absent or not well-thought-out.

First and foremost is the absence of a “speculator beware” proposal. Today, a housing speculator with one or more mortgages underwater (and we all thought this would be hard to do here in a desert) can simply walk away with only a credit blemish. If a U.S. military veteran with a VA home loan tried this, even after filing bankruptcy, he would still carry the loan deficit obligation. So should everyone else — especially speculators. This may cause some people to think twice about blatant speculation or lying on a loan application.

There are thousands of homeowner associations in Nevada. Those who somehow believe that NRS116 and their homeowner association’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions offer protection from the loss of monthly dues income and protection from housing blight need to rethink their position. As I understand it, in a foreclosure here, the mortgage holder is only obligated for up to six months of unpaid homeowner association dues. If the prior owner was in arrears more than six months, then the association most likely eats it, and the revenue is lost. If this involved back taxes and not HOA dues, those taxes would have been collected.

Any homeowner association fines assessed against the foreclosed homeowner simply evaporate. If those fines were because the homeowner had let the property deteriorate, then the HOA receives no funds to restore the property. For the HOA, the problem is exacerbated if it had been in a position to actually make the required exterior repairs and then assess the homeowner the cost. That investment is also lost to the HOA in the foreclosure.

After foreclosure, restoration becomes the responsibility of the mortgage holder. Rarely is this done. The property is eventually sold as-is and at a price that reflects the overall deteriorated condition, thereby further negatively impacting the property values of the entire community.

Good luck trying to contact the mortgage holder about maintaining his property after a foreclosure. By the time the grass dies, the pool turns green, the property is vandalized and the homeowner association’s letters are “returned to sender” or not returned at all, months have elapsed. Sure, maybe the homeowner association’s CC&Rs list the right to fine the new owner and the mortgage holder for disregarding the CC&Rs, but so what? Where is that new owner? Where does he live?

Don’t forget, buried in most CC&Rs, the owner is first entitled to a formal deficiency notice and then a hearing before the homeowner association’s board before he is asked to pay a fine. None of this will ever happen.

One of the primary objectives of a homeowner association is to maintain the common property and joint homeowner interests such that home values are preserved and enhanced. HOAs here need new laws so that these objectives can be properly maintained.

Let’s keep these objectives in mind in 2009. Hey, why wait until 2009 — the sooner the better.

Richard Rychtarik

LAS VEGAS

Halverson hearing

To the editor:

District Judge Elizabeth Halverson in an insult to the intelligence of the voters (“Judicial hearing proceeds,” Thursday Review-Journal).

Judge Halverson was more than willing to collect her $130,000 salary while feeding at the public trough for one year and contributing nothing to earn that. Her retention rating from the legal profession, according to the Review-Journal, was 8 percent, the lowest of all judges.

Her attorney, Michael Schwartz, conveniently circumvents the basic issue, and that is the alleged incompetence that got her removed from the bench.

In addition, Judge Halverson’s extreme obesity has a potential future cost to the taxpayers in the event that she is physically incapable of continuing as a judge.

It is strongly advised that the Judicial Discipline Commission take immediate action to remove Judge Halverson permanently from the bench and terminate her salary. The voters deserve better representation.

Geret N. Kritzer

LAS VEGAS

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