Silver Dollars and Wooden Nickels: Saying goodbye to a longtime contributor

The Nevada Appeal's "Silver Dollar" and "Wooden Nickel" feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.

SILVER DOLLAR: We were saddened to hear about the passing of 87-year-old Vernon Latshaw, a Gardnervlle resident, on April 3. Vernon, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a Pearl Harbor survivor, was a regular contributor to the Nevada Appeal's editorial page. Vernon also was very good at keeping us on our toes making sure we stayed balanced on the issues. He was quick to add his opinion while respecting others' opinions. He was a positive member of the community always adding to the conversation. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Betti and a daughter, Laura. We will miss his hand-written letters.

WOODEN NICKEL: Thankfully tragedy was avoided last week when a Reno-Tahoe International Airport air traffic controller fell asleep on the job Wednesday morning. That scares us. The Federal Aviation Administration acted quickly adding a second overnight controller at 26 airports (including in Reno) and a radar facility. It was the second case last week of a controller being suspended for sleeping on the job.

"This is absolutely unacceptable," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "The American public trusts us to run a safe system. Safety is our No. 1 priority and I am committed to working 24/7 until these problems are corrected."

We couldn't agree more.

SILVER DOLLAR: To the 670 ewes and 700 lambs that started working last week to reduce highly flammable cheat grass.

Supported by Carson City's Open Space Division, along with the Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada State Lands and the U.S. Forest Service, the effort is part of a hazardous fuels reduction project to remove cheat grass and other non-native vegetation that has sprouted since the 2004 Waterfall Fire, said Carson Ranger District Fuels Specialist Steve Howell.

The sheep will be busy working on more than 2,000 acres of private, city, state and federal land to keep our community safe from fire danger.

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