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Why focus on costs of presidential visit?

To the editor:

I read Thursday’s article under the banner headline “Obama visit: Air tour operators must stay grounded” with interest and curiosity. A visit to your hometown from the president of the United States should be a source of pride and excitement. A presidential visit is, however, always associated with some level of inconvenience associated with post-9/11 security issues.

The one-day shutdown of helicopter tour companies would cost them $500,000 to $750,000. Using those figures, that means the helicopter tour companies, which operate year-round, gross between $182,500,000 and $273,750,000 per year (and that is not taking into account that this is a relatively slow time of the year). Those figures are somewhat hard to believe.

Could there have been political motivation behind the focus of your article? During the eight years of his presidency, George W. Bush visited Las Vegas often, mostly for fundraisers. Did any of his visits merit a banner headline focusing exclusively on the cost and inconvenience to the city?

There was an attention to cost details of a presidential flight anywhere. During the prior administration, was there a series of articles focusing on the number of trips President Bush took to vacation in Texas?

This article represents the type of journalism that should be on the editorial page or the op-ed page. It certainly doesn’t merit a front-page, banner headline in what should be reserved for the true news section.

Stanley N. Cohen


Stay home

To the editor:

Your headline on Saturday declared, “President lauds Reid.” Certainly, you didn’t expect Barack Obama to do anything else, since he flew here to raise money for Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election.

If you look at the cost of the president’s visit (Air Force One itself was probably $250,000) — not counting the personnel who came along to protect him — the extra expense to Las Vegas for police, etc., and the loss of revenue to the air tour operators because of the no-fly zone at our airport ($500,000 to $750,000), the trip cost was in the millions of dollars.

How about next time the president can stay home and save all of us taxpayers this expense?

Robert Goodin

North Las Vegas

Native Nevadan

To the editor:

John Chachas recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Harry Reid. In Friday’s Review-Journal, columnist Geoff Schumacher took a nasty swipe at Mr. Chachas, calling him a carpetbagger.

Mr. Chachas is a third-generation Nevadan, was born and raised in Ely, and is a product of the Nevada public school system. Mr. Schumacher says Mr. Chachas left Nevada because “he was invited to attend two of the nation’s best universities, Columbia … and Harvard.” I particularly noticed his use of the word “invited.” Obviously Mr. Chachas had no difficulty gaining admission to those high-level institutions.

Mr. Schumacher names seven men who have served as senators from Nevada, listing also their occupations before attaining their senatorial status. With the single exception of Chic Hecht, who “owned several businesses,” all the others appear to have been employed in government positions at taxpayer expense — no experience in business, private enterprise or job-creating industries was cited for any of them.

Mr. Chachas, on the other hand, has been employed in the extremely competitive world of finance, and, further, appears to have attained an impressive level of success in that difficult environment. No doubt he has acquired superior knowledge of how business must operate to be profitable, an extremely desirable attribute for someone who aspires to a seat in the U.S. Senate.

We know Mr. Chachas comes from a highly respected and industrious family and has roots deep in Nevada soil. Mr. Schumacher mentions that some on his list have “returned” to serve. Mr. Chachas is willing to give up an apparently good lifestyle to “return” to his roots and provide a very much needed public service. To diss Mr. Chachas and his Ely upbringing is to do a disservice to him and all of us living here who may be the beneficiaries of his knowledge and experience in the world of global business.

For the record, I have never met Mr. Chachas or any of his family, but I’m willing to listen to what he has to say and not dismiss him out-of-hand because he took advantage of great opportunities that were offered to him elsewhere.

Paul B. Winn

Las Vegas

Not brain surgery

To the editor:

I certainly am not an economist, but I did learn in a basic high school economics class that demand should always be higher than supply. Chief executive officers get paid millions in salary to keep casinos profitable, and yet they keep buying each other out and building more and more.

Now they wonder why room occupancy is lower, restaurant profits are down (how many restaurants are in each new hotel?) and why people are not spending as much gaming money.

And now the CityCenter opens, and visitors have yet another option as to where to eat, play and shop.

I cannot say I feel sorry for the casino moguls, who are dealing with losses — they certainly have overfed the “golden goose.” It’s supply and demand. Maybe now they’ll get the message.

Better late than never.

Theresa Krause

Boulder City

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