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Letters to editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Thanks to those who attended dementia education session

My thanks to the community members who attended our Dementia Friends of Pahrump Education session on May 29th. We gathered at the Valley Conference Center to view a film about dementia and learned from Senator Valerie Wiener about the state position on many items of interest related to dementia.

Our chairperson, Jennifer Carson, held our attention as always with her knowledge of dementia in everyday life. Barbara Payne gave us information about her Alzheimer’s Support group held here twice a month. Our local media provided invaluable support of our program.

Thank you all very much.

For more information and books about dementia, please call me at 775-253-5791.

Jan Lindsay

RSVP &Dementia Friendly Pahrump

Opioid epidemic spinning into worse problem

The opiate crisis is continuing to get worse in the United States and is now being considered a “syndemic,” after graduating from being an epidemic. A syndemic is when two or three other epidemics start playing off of each other. Right now, besides the opiate epidemic, we also have the benzodiazepine epidemic and the methamphetamine epidemic as well. What’s happening is that all three epidemics are fueling each other.

The opioid crisis has been around for quite some time, as well has the benzodiazepine problem, and the methamphetamine problem has recently reappeared in the last few years. The opioid epidemic came first and can be said to have spun the other problems alongside it.

What we have happening now is that these three problems have created major increases in new HIV infections, Hepatitis C infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and infectious endocarditis. I knew that if we didn’t really step up and get a handle on this problem, it was going to get worse, and it has. The opioid epidemic that has claimed thousands upon thousands of lives has now grown into a different, scarier monster.

For more information on the opiate syndemic, visit http://www.narconon-suncoast.org/blog/opioid-crisis-now-considered-a-syndemic.html

If you are in need of a referral to a treatment center, call us at 877-841-5509

Jason Good

Yucca Mountain is not the best choice for site

I believe in the ‘law’ of common sense and how to get the biggest bang for my tax dollar, and Yucca Mountain as a repository site doesn’t make common sense nor is it a good investment of tax dollars.

The nation already has a site for the long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste and it’s been in use for decades. It is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. The site is superior in stable natural material (salt) as opposed to the permeable material (volcanic rock) at Yucca Mountain. Yucca Mountain is located in a Level 4 earthquake and volcanic zone, the highest zone there is.

What you want is the best rock choice at the best location, with the best natural systems as a long-term storage site. You pick a site that has been naturally stable for a long, long time and where it’s likely to remain like that for a long, long time into the future. Not a site that requires an engineered approach that attempts to subdue nature. That ‘best’ site describes the existing New Mexico site.

Politics has driven the selection process of storage sites, which is precisely why Yucca Mountain was chosen. Not the ‘best’ site, but rather the site in a state with the least political muscle. Nevada in the early 1980s had far fewer people when the site selection process took place. Nevada had far fewer members of Congress and therefore the perfect state to be bullied when a choice was made. And Las Vegas, the nearest large city, was not the growing metropolis it is today, with an enormous economy that needs protected from any potential threats from nuclear transportation accidents or a breach of the storage site.

Turning to cost, which is important to folks like me, those who believe we should receive the best storage site at the least cost, the New Mexico site wins hands down.

Recent reports from the (GAO) Government Accounting Office, pegs the cost to complete the Yucca Mountain site at a whopping $400 billion, up from the original estimate of $80 billion. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act established a 0.1 cent per kilowatt-hour users’ fee on nuclear-generated electricity, to fund long-term storage of high-level waste from nuclear power plants. Through 2014 this fund had accumulated $100 billion, an amount that is $300 billion shy of the estimate to complete Yucca Mountain. To prepare the New Mexico site, the superior geologic storage option, is estimated by the GAO to cost $30 billion. If getting the biggest bang for your tax dollar is important, then it is a ‘no-brainer’, and where the government and nuclear power industry needs to focus.

I suggest we follow the best available science, at the best cost, and reject licensing the Yucca Mountain site, in favor of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Dwight Lilly

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