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Letters to the editor

Educators important in lives of students

My immediate response to Donald K. Pennelle’s letter to the editor in the Sept. 18 Boulder City Review that educators should not support Ballot Question 3, The Education Initiative is my favorite quote: “100 years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the type of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

Question 3, The Education Initiative, is the most important decision Nevada voters will make in the November election (early voting starts Oct. 18). Nevadans will vote to increase the funding of schools by instituting a tax on the gross revenue of businesses generating more than a million dollars a year. Eighty-seven percent of all Nevada businesses are not in this category. The largest 13 percent run the spectrum from Wal-Mart and national retailers to the medium-size family ranch and fast food franchisee. There may not be a perfect tax, but Texas funds its state via the margin tax.

Educators know the meaning of being asked to “do more with less” — not enough desks, not enough text books, not enough copy paper, not even enough toilet paper and paper towels in school restrooms! If TEI doesn’t pass, there is no means to make significant improvements to the funding of schools. Without more funding, Nevada schools will continue to limp along: lowest in per pupil funding, low performance on toxic testing, high dropout rate, and high teen suicide and pregnancy rates.

A study done in July by the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research finds TEI would create more than 11,000 jobs and would have a positive effect on the economy. These findings correspond with studies showing Nevada’s inadequate funding of education and consistently low education rankings “limit economic opportunity in the Silver State.”

Voting yes on Question 3 is the most important thing Nevadans can do to help our students and our economy. Students, schools and the economy — yes on 3 helps all three!

Valerie J. McNay,

Speech Language Pathologist

Clark County School District

Congressman ignores pollution in views on energy

Rep. Joe Heck makes the assertion that we are currently limited in our energy development and therefore must rely on foreign sources to meet our energy needs. He does not address the issue of pollution and its consequences.

He mentions alternative energy sources, but details that we need to open more lands and offshore areas to fossil fuel extraction. He apparently is not following the rate of increase in oil and natural gas production occurring on current leases.

He gives no time, or apparently thought, to the fact that the key component of all fossil fuels is the element carbon, which is trapped in a form not active in the cycles of matter that this world operates on.

When fossil fuels are burned for energy, whether in an engine, power plant or furnace, that carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, a gas that is active in life and physical cycles of the planet. Though it is the same gas used by plants to form their food, the amount released from fossil fuel use is in excess of the amount that is in the normal cycles the planet has been operating on during man’s presence on the earth.

That excess is pollution; it has resulted in increases in the average temperature worldwide, and an acidification of the oceans. We have only begun to see the related consequences.

Rep. Heck likes to refer to “burdensome regulations” as an important factor in holding back job creation. How about recognizing and giving appropriate weight to the burdens of increased storms, sea level rise, drought, and species extinction that are some of the results of carbon pollution and its effects? Effects that are currently with us, that are going to increase as the planet adjusts to the present increased carbon dioxide load, and that will get even worse if the increases continue as they presently are doing.

William Belknap

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