Letters to the editor

Douglas seniors deserve a new center

Seniors are a minority in Douglas County, and they are certainly treated that way. Seniors make up about 30 percent of the county population. If you only count adults, the senior population is approximately 40 percent. Most seniors live one or two to a household, unlike the average household, which is three or four persons, and they also tend to live in the more expensive houses with higher assessed values. Consequently, seniors directly or indirectly (rentals) pay approximately 50 percent of the county residential real estate tax.

Seniors do not have children in public schools. Generally speaking, they do not commit crimes. They do not use illegal drugs. They pay for their county paramedic services, and less than 1 percent of our seniors receive Douglas County welfare. In addition, over 200 seniors provide free volunteer services to Douglas County.

With statistics like these, you would think that Douglas County would jump at the opportunity to provide its senior population with decent senior center facilities. But NO! I have queried many counties throughout the United States with similar demographics to Douglas County. What is wrong with our county that we have to treat our elders in this manner? The county needs to build a senior center that supports the needs of our complete senior population.

I have talked to many of our seniors concerning this problem. and most of them have completely given up on the idea of the county ever supporting them with adequate senior center facilities. Construction of other county buildings and supporting real estate developments seem to have much higher priorities. It's time for our Douglas County seniors to demand some representation along with their taxation. Some of us may be old, but we can still stand up for our rights!

Paul Lockwood


Court system frustrates many

According to the media, Judge Weller's alarming incident could have possibly been averted. There was talk of the notion of "terror-proofing" all government buildings, but that is tantamount to simply building more hospitals for AIDS patients to solve the problems.

Apparently, the emotionally disturbed Darren Mack drowned in a pool of his frustrations with his divorce proceedings, coupled with the alleged unfairness of Judge Weller's decisions in the matter. His claims of injustices stem from the influence of outside sources and special-interest groups, which influence so many judges' decisions.

And as a guest resident at the Nevada Department of Corrections since 1998, I can personally attest to the fact that the majority of incarcerated offenders are equally frustrated with so many judges' inequitable rulings. Now, that is not to say that those individuals would have reacted with less- insane tactics as Darren Mack to their situations.

The problem is with the nature of the system and the egos that influence the judges' decisions. After all, their careers are dependent upon such influences, mainly due to elections. Hence, judges are precluded from rendering fair and just decisions in any of their cases which adversely affect those involved, as well as the taxpayers.

One better idea involves a change in the judicial system wherein all judges are appointed independent of special-interest groups and individuals with hidden agendas. Only then will the system have some modicum of operating in a fashion with justice and fairness for all.

Ferrill J. Volpicelli



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