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Letters to the Editor

Asbestos study a big waste of taxpayers’ money

I read in the Boulder City Review in the March 31 issue that a group of scientists wants an $8.5 million grant from the federal government so they can play in the dirt like children in a sandbox. They want to dig and study asbestos, and find how much is in the soil in Eldorado Valley.

We already know there is asbestos in the soil, so what they find doesn’t really matter. Will they recommend shutting down Boulder City and we all move out, or will the government issue masks for the citizens of Boulder, or will these scientists want more government money to install sprinklers throughout Eldorado Valley to keep the dust down?

Like the little red hen crying “The sky is falling, the sky is falling,” these scientists(?) will cry “Asbestos, asbestos, o’ woe, what can we do?”

As you can tell I am worried and wringing my hands. Am I a bit sarcastic? Of course! Come now, this is humorous; no, bizarre; no, more like ridiculous. Yes, I am laughing; no more like crying that this will be approved and our taxes will pay for this.

I have lived in Boulder City for 26 years and asbestos has never been a problem. Think with me for a moment; take a number, let’s say, over the past 60 years has there been reported even one case of asbestos in a person’s lungs by the hospital or doctors? Surely, if there had been, big notice would have been given. If so, asbestos experts would have swarmed Boulder City howling the dangers. Methinks that the citizens of Boulder City are quite safe from any dangers of asbestos.

No, if you are concerned about health, these scientists(?) should dig in the Las Vegas Valley bowl. When I cross Railroad Pass on a windy day there is a dust cloud blanketing Las Vegas. Nothing is visible. On a calm day, the Strip and Las Vegas are clearly visible. Big, big problem for the lungs of the citizens in the Las Vegas dust bowl.

What this is all about is that a group of men and women who have nothing better to do want the federal government to support them to the tune of $8.5 million while they play in a sandbox. Hello! Guess whose taxes pay for this? Yours!

I have no ax to grind when money is spent in health research. The health of the citizens of our nation is of primary concern, but not when it accomplishes nothing other than the government paying a group of men and women to dig in the sand.

A final note: John L. Smith wrote an editorial not too long ago about asbestos in the dust created by the construction on the bypass around Boulder City. So now there’s the extra expense of wetting the soil to keep the dust down. John, there is no life without dust blowing in the desert. John, if you have nothing better to write about, why not write about a real dust bowl — the Las Vegas Valley where you live?

Barney Cargile Jr.

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