Water pipeline impacts are unacceptable

To the editor:

The editorial of June 24, “Greens use endangered species act…” shows a disturbing lack of regard for solid evidence. Purportedly, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has solid evidence and research backing their plan to build a water pipeline from rural Nevada, while the “greens” have only excuses.

The latest U.S. Geological Survey report, a culmination of years of studies by reputable scientists, supports much of what rural Nevadans and Utahans have been saying: There is no surplus water in Snake Valley. In fact, there is a deficit of 21,000 acre-feet of water per year in Snake Valley.

The report did not study potential impacts of water removal. The water authority chose not to run a model they had developed to show impacts because of “uncertainties.” Pat Mulroy has said repeatedly that we won’t know what the impacts are until pumping is started. So where and what is this solid evidence that supports the pipeline?

The real discussion concerns what are considered acceptable impacts. Based on the water authority’s testimony at the state engineer’s Spring Valley hearing, it’s acceptable to destroy all the vegetation that depends on the aquifer to survive; and it’s acceptable to destroy ponds that stand in the way of the pipeline, even though the ponds contain endangered species and are surrounded by rare swamp cedars.

It’s also acceptable to destroy acres of natural habitat because the water authority will establish a nature preserve on one of their ranches.

Snake Valley is my home and I consider the water authority’s acceptable impacts to be totally unacceptable. Their assurances of solid evidence have a very hollow ring.

KATHY HILL

WENDOVER, UTAH

Free speech

To the editor:

I am always amazed by the number of people who feel their own opinions are the only correct ones. Both Lou Frederick and David P. Beechuk, in their June 22 letters to the editor, extol the remarks in Sherman Frederick’s June 17 column while denigrating any and all ideas put forth by Las Vegas Sun editor Brian Greenspun. Personally, I don’t care for much of what either has to say, but I value the freedom of expression we have in this country that allows both to have the opportunity to say it.

Imagine the stultifying world we would live in if we all thought the same way about every issue. Probably Mr. Frederick and Mr. Beechuk would be thrilled, as long as it was their way of thinking. Having the Sun included with the Review-Journal is one of the bright spots of my day. Many excellent columnists are featured, with ideas that broaden our thinking and horizons. It would be a great loss to our community if those voices were stilled.

Anne Oney

HENDERSON

Long process

To the editor:

In response to Diana West’s recent commentary about “illegals … not assimilating”:

Although I do not support all of President Bush’s foreign and domestic policies, I do support his position on immigration reform, particularly his views on immigrant assimilation.

As a 20-year resident of the southwest United States who has lived and worked with the second- and third-generation descendants of immigrants; as someone who has studied and/or worked as an emigrant in Europe, Canada and the Middle East; as the grandson of two nonEnglish-speaking immigrants; and as a husband of a more recent immigrant, I think I might have a unique and possibly better perspective on immigrant assimilation — one more grounded in reality, than that of Ms. West.

In my experience, assimilation is multi-generational process. While my grandparents couldn’t speak English when they arrived in the United States, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren did assimilate, becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers and businessmen and women. I think the process is the same in the United States, Canada and Europe today — although possibly where significant religious or cultural animosities and intolerance exist, like in the Middle East or in certain European ghetto-like enclaves such as Belfast, Paris or Brussels, this process may be delayed or never occur.

Among the second- and third-generation Hispanics I know, however, many of them are more American — particularly in their tastes, consumption patterns, and no-holds-barred patriotism — than I am. And although many of them can still speak and understand their parent’s mother tongue, their written Spanish and Spanish grammar is generally terrible.

Thus, I have to conclude that — like my forbearers, previous generations of Hispanics, and like every generation of Americans that has come before — the children of our current immigrants will also assimilate and assimilate quite well.

Jeffrey M. Shear

NORTH LAS VEGAS

Not genuine

To the editor:

Your Monday wire story about New York politicians referred to Hillary Clinton as a New Yorker. The only reason she moved to the state was to ensure her election to the Senate to move her closer to her bigger goal. Yes, Manhattan loves her. Downstate New York loves her. But go upstate and it’s a different story. The residents there are bearing the brunt of the tax increases, the cuts of services since her election to the Senate, and, most importantly, her habit of ignoring any city north of Albany.

Pamela A. Tette

LAS VEGAS

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