Letters to the editor for Sunday, May 10, 2015

A tribute to mom

“Stories first heard at a mother’s knee are never wholly forgotten — a little spring that never quite dries up in our journey through scorching years.” — Giovanni Ruffini, Italian novelist.

The following poem is by this writer, Dr. Thane W. Cornell, who interrupted a successful media career in California to return to Florida — where he was brought up — to be at the side of his own terminally ill mother back in 1964.

Man’s Oblivion

Before a man looks at himself

And evaluates his worth,

He often carps at Womanhood —

From high Heaven down to Earth;

He claims she’s either too plump or too thin —

Or she’s either too tall or too short —

And before taking stock in the slouch he might be,

He’s already made his report!

He doesn’t stop to think, I’m sure —

And I guess he’s too much pride

To know that a Woman — his “Mom” by name,

Conceived his right to deride!

Thane Cornell

Carson City

Free market or market manipulation?

Ron Knecht is again on his stump, preaching Reaganomics — just get out of the way of big money and it will take care of you. There’s faith for you.

Certainly government is bloated and much given to hegemony, but it cannot be wholly blamed for our economic stagnation for obstructing progress. Not when for the past half-century big money has bought, bribed, extorted and even murdered to keep people in government to serve it.

Our government is owned, all branches, both sides of the aisle, and also the judiciary. Our real rulers are the economic monarchy, and they do as they please. They procure where it’s cheap, sell to us dear, and meanwhile we languish for want of work at a living wage. There is no telling how many advancements they have squashed or delayed because they either threatened their empire or were not profitable for them at the time.

One example — Ask yourself why you can no longer buy a party balloon at the dollar store, or why helium is so difficult to obtain in quantity. Chevron owns the right to helium. Government no longer stockpiles it. Supply dwindles, availability drops, and prices rise. Helium is also a necessary element in developing plasma energy, an amazingly powerful, clean, and renewable source.

Free market or market manipulation? You make the call.

Kelly Jones

Carson City

Congrats on a good season WNC softball team

To the Western Nevada College softball team, good season this year. You played very hard, and you never gave up. To the coaches, good job. You are the best.

I will always support the programs at the college. Good season, ladies, you practice very hard too.

Kevin Marcella

Carson City

Flexible scheduling key to employee morale

There’s a lot to be said for workweek alternatives to the five eight-hour days. I’ve worked five eights, four 10s, and six 12s (every other week). While five eights is the norm, four 10s tend to lead to excessive employee fatigue. You end up spending one day of your three-day weekend catching up on sleep and chores. Working three 12s is even worse for employee performance. The last two hours of a 12-hour shift just drag due to employee fatigue while productivity plummets.

My most recent experience (and the one which seemed to offer the best balance between worker fatigue and time off) was a company that defined the workweek start/end as noon on Friday. Employees were voluntarily divided into A and B schedules. Those on the A schedule worked four nines on Monday through Thursday and eight hours on Friday. On Friday, the hours from 8 a.m. to midnight were counted toward the current work week, while the hours from 1 to 5 p.m. (one hour for lunch) counted toward the following work week.

The following week, the A schedule workers worked four nines on Monday through Thursday with Friday off because they had already logged four hours on the previous Friday afternoon. Each pay period was thus two weeks of 40 hours each. The number of employees selecting the A and B schedules was about even, so the office was staffed five days a week during normal business hours. If overtime was required, it was a lot less disruptive to have people put in the hours on their normal “off” Friday.

This sort of flexible scheduling improves employee morale at no cost to the employer while preserving the 40-hour work week. Time and a half requirements for hours worked over 40 during a pay period remained in place.

Dave Thomson

Carson City

Knecht on the mark about funding education

I read through Nevada State Controller Ron Knecht’s commentary on May 1 and wanted to write a letter of appreciation and thanks to him and to the Appeal. He covered the subject matter of funding education with a reasonable and logical approach.

As a longtime resident of Carson City and a graduate of Carson High School, as well as our three children, I truly appreciate Mr. Knecht’s insight, common sense and understanding of this subject. To quote one of his remarks: “Great teaching, not expensive gimmicks, produces great learning.” Amen!

If memory serves me, our 1950 senior class had 40 students. We had some great teachers, all of whom managed to handle that many students without too many problems — we all managed to get educated and prepared for college.

I agree with his statements regarding the political marketing efforts of teachers unions and that class reduction, all-day kindergarten for all and state preschool spending have not produced meaningful gains in student achievement. He hit a bull’s eye with that statement.

Ann Cameron

Carson City


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