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How about we start with ‘Cat in the Hat’?

To the editor:

I found Steven Gardner’s letter vilifying the “No Child Left Behind Act” quite humorous. I especially liked his “No Child Moves Ahead” quip since we are all painfully aware that in the Clark County School District “Every Child Moves Forward” regardless of their actual mastery of the grade level subject matter.

But the real kicker was his desire for his students to “explore the richness of Shakespeare.” Given the early middle school reading level of a majority of high school seniors, I doubt if his students could explore the “richness of Dr. Seuss.”

In fact, if Mr. Gardner asked his students what they thought about Shakespeare, they’d probably tell him he makes one heck of a fishing reel.

Mark Morris

Las Vegas

Vote counts

To the editor:

We truly are at a crossroads in this country.

During this heated debate, I just realized that the balanced-budget amendment — something I have always favored and which the GOP is advocating — is either simple thinking or a ruse.

If the debt ceiling is not raised, what would the federal government have to do right now? That’s right — balance the budget. We have a de facto budget amendment right now.

If the ceiling is not raised, the government would no longer be able to spend more than revenues collected.  The government would have to decide who gets paid and who gets cut. The soldier or the NEA? The Social Security recipient or EPA? If our credit rating is downgraded, it will only be because it is obvious that these decisions will never be made. Not because we did not raise the debt ceiling.

Since the Democratic Party is avoiding their duty — such as presenting a budget — and the GOP is reluctant to engage them in one-sided debate (which is useless), the future is clear: Unless the American people hand the keys over to one exclusive party in the next election, disaster is assured.

So America, vote wisely. The mommy party or the daddy party?

The “everything is going to be all right, I will take care of you” party or the “there is no free lunch” party.

This may be the biggest and possibly only relevant vote left in your lives.

Richard Vertrees

Las Vegas

Circus act

To the editor:

I am so tired of reading letters to the editor in which people complain about one political party or the other being responsible for the mess this country is in. Let’s face it: Ninety percent of the politicians in Washington are nothing but circus clowns dressed in business suits, regardless of party affiliation.

These people don’t care one iota about what is best for you, me or the country in general. What they do care about is getting re-elected, and that means doing what the money people and special interests want them to do.

The sad part of the whole affair is that we keep re-electing the same Bozos to go back to the Big Top in Washington to conduct our business.

Tim Hicks

Las Vegas

Gone nuts

To the editor:

We as a nation have lost our minds. Can the people in Washington really believe it is a good idea to take out a loan to make our loan payment? I am no financial genius by any stretch of the imagination, however, this can only be described as insanity.

There are so many programs within the federal budget that are unnecessary, irrelevant, wasteful or at the very least non-essential that can be set aside while we service the debt. This argument going on right now is the equivalent of using a credit card to pay the electric bill because you don’t want to use your beer money.

If there is any question whether or not the politicians have our best interest and future prosperity in mind, ask yourself one thing: Are the companies that were too big to fail, still too big to fail?

John Mayes

Las Vegas

Good plan

To the editor:

I would like to provide a brief history lesson to Richard McGarrity who feels the proposed tunnel at the Interstate 15 underpass at F Street and McWilliams is a “wasteful project” (Wednesday letter).

As part of my doctoral dissertation with the UNLV Sociology Department, I have been researching this issue for the past three years. In October 2008, the Nevada Department of Transportation, with approval from the city of Las Vegas, dumped hundreds of tons of dirt at the intersection as part of the I-15 widening project without prior notice to the residents, as required by law.

The original plans, as drawn up in 2004, did not call for the intersection to be closed. But shadowy negotiations with certain unkown city officials resulted in the change to the plans that effectively cut off a main access route for the residents.

Since the 1950s, NDOT and the city have sytematically closed off other streets that lead from historic West Las Vegas to downtown, despite protests from the residents, in what can only be described as racially motived attempts to isolate and alienate this largely African American community. Had city and state officials heeded the protests of the F Street wall, they could have prevented the need to eventually replace it with a tunnel.

Mr. McGarrity began his comments by mentioning the recent murder at the 1400 block of F Street, which is about a mile from the F Street wall, questioning the “character of the neighborhood.”

Ironically, on the same day as his remarks, the paper published an article about four murders on the strip between Sands and Tropicana, with each murder occuring within walking distance to an I-15 underpass.

One final note: in the past decade, the city has invested nearly $800 million on downtown redevelopment projects but only a fraction has been spent to redevelop the historic Westside. If you want to question wasteful spending, how about the Strip monorail or the mob musem?

The tunnel at F Street and McWilliams will not be a wasteful project, but perhaps the first step in a long overdue process to redevelop this historic section of Las Vegas.

Robert J. McKee

North Las Vegas

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