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Letters

To the editor

A select few

EDITOR:

I don’t have a problem with our Tiger Band going to Washington, but I do have a problem using my tax dollars to do it.

I do not pay my taxes for this purpose.

Taxes are supposed to be for everyone’s benefit, not a band to go off and play in Washington.

I am sure we have many other projects in this county that can use this money.

I know it is only $15,000, but it is still our money, not the band’s.

I am sure that there are many more people in the town who feel the same way.

What really is wrong about this is that a select few are going to benefit, while the rest of us get to pay higher taxes for them to do it.

Robert Joers, Gardnerville

Great support

EDITOR:

Thank you, taxpayers. When you wrote your check for property taxes, a big chunk went to Douglas County schools. At Minden Elementary School, this funding helped to build eight more classrooms for our new but overcrowded school. Our new wing opened this week and we love it!

When Minden Elementary School opened four years ago, it was designed to accommodate 325 students. When we recessed for our winter break last month, our enrollment was 387 students. For the past three years, a windowless supply closet has served as a classroom, and special services has been squeezed into a utility room to free their small office for classroom space. This year, 42 first and second graders, their two teachers and all their desks were crammed into a classroom designed for 25 kindergartners.

Now, thanks to our new wing, students at MES have the space they need to learn and grow, without bumping elbows with their classmates. The new classrooms have allowed us to add a teacher and split the largest class in order to come close to the 16.1 student-teacher ratio the Nevada Legislature calls for.

At Minden Elementary School, we appreciate the many blessings showered on us by our community. Even richly-blessed 6-year-olds need adequate space to learn and to behave well. We want the taxpayers and school board trustees to know that we appreciate your support of learning in Douglas County. We also specially thank our friends and neighbors at Gardnerville Elementary School for their patience. We know that financing the MES addition meant a delay in the much-needed remodeling at GES.

Since the beginning of this school year, we have gained an average of one student per week at MES. At this rate, by the end of the school year, we will have increased our enrollment enough to fill two classrooms over opening day enrollment. Our caring principal, teachers and staff have warmly welcomed every new student at MES, despite the crowding. Now we will have the space for them, too!

Dianne Jennings, President, Minden Elementary School Parent Group

Get involved

EDITOR:

I would like to encourage others to get involved with the legislative process. It is too late now to introduce bills, but you have a great opportunity to study the process as it happens, starting Feb. 5. Time and parking are the biggest problems you will have.

If you think you personally can’t accomplish anything there, you are wrong. That’s the only way it will ever happen.

A case in point: According to the Nevada Appeal this morning (Jan. 4), Nevada is one of 14 states that now requires psychological testing for youthful animal abusers. Most people might think that the state did this on its own. Not true. If someone had not asked Sen. Ernie Adler to introduce the idea, it never would have happened. Unfortunately, Ernie was not re-elected, but Assemblyman Bernie Anderson carried it on to passage into law.

People, like the media, seldom ask, “Whose idea was this, anyhow?” I am probably the only one who knows “whose idea it was.” It was a single individual who cared very much about the issue, enough to do the research required and then present it to the legislative committee – all on his own, with little help or encouragement and certainly no recognition for doing so.

The same criteria can be applied to the state’s mandatory pet sterilization law (NRS 574.600), among other things. Hopefully, by July 2001, there will be more, similar accomplishments.

If anyone would like to spend some time “making a difference,” I would be happy to share what I know and get them started. I won’t do it for you, but I can tell you something about doing it. Call me at 882-4880 and leave a message.

Pete Bachstadt, Carson City

Real millennium

EDITOR:

We have been living with the year 1 for 12 months now (2000). No one has claimed that it doesn’t exist. Even though the first person to date Jesus’ circumcision as the year 1 AD was not aware of the existence of 0, this does not alter the fact that 0 exists.

You have only to look at a ruler and see that there is a space in front of the number 1 as well as after. This space belongs to 0. Just because there is no room to print a 0 on a ruler doesn’t mean that it isn’t there in front of the 1. So, if we accept that 0 represents a section of time as well as space, we must ask ourselves, “Is it 0, 1, 2, 3 or 1, 2, 3 and then eventually 0?”

I submit that 0 comes first. We have been living in the year 0 and we have been living in the second millennium just as the vast majority of people always knew. Ergo, Jan. 1, 2001, is not the beginning of the second millennium.

If a mistake was made way back when, then let the historians go back and renumber. Don’t ask us to say we believe something that is obviously not true.

And by the way, if the 1800s were the 19th century and the 1900s were the 20th century, then that means that 1-999 was the first millennium, 1000-1999 was the second millennium and we are now in the third millennium.

Barbara Flanagan, Gardnerville