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Letters to editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Nye school district offers apology for malfunction

Dear PVHS Students, Families, and Community,

On behalf of the Nye County School District, I want to thank everyone who attended the PVHS graduation ceremony to show their support for our young people who completed this important milestone. It was evident by the large audience in attendance that this community values and supports our schools; the NCSD is extremely grateful for your presence and your support.

Although we rehearsed several times throughout the week, an unfortunate and unforeseen event took place during the ceremony, and for that I am deeply sorry. The sound system malfunctioned and, despite our best efforts, was unable to be fixed in time.

Due to this system failure, several students’ names could not be heard though the PA speakers—an important part of the rite of passage as students walked across the stage. Again, my deepest apologies to those students and their families who were affected.

The PVHS staff met immediately following this mishap and have found a hard-wired solution to ensure that the system will function properly from now on. Again, words cannot express how deeply troubled I was by this malfunction.

I would also like to thank KPVM and the Pahrump Valley Times for their coverage during this special event. Your coverage and photos were encouraging and spectacular.

With respect,

Kyle Lindberg

associate superintendent

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

Are we headed toward the ‘new world order’?

Well put, Mr. Dwight W. Hunter, in your letter dated June 14 in the Pahrump Valley Times! I think you may agree the “new world order” is basically to control the masses.

A simple, good analogy would be comparing it to a large cattle ranch, with the elitists being the ranch owners making all policies regarding all aspects of the ranch.

Next come the hired hands or cowboys who carry out the policies of the owners, living a fairly good life if they follow the policies. These would be the bureaucrats, less powerful political figures.

Last would be the cattle, who after years of being subjected to domestication, know as long as they don’t get out of line they will be fed and occasionally be allowed to frolic. If they get out of line they could be punished.

The elites are some of the top players in the economic world, the world of academia and a few in the political world.

David Jaronik

New government program to aid poor is needed

I would like to see the U.S. Congress pass a new program into law which would replace the former “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” program, which was passed under FDR in 1935 and abolished in 1996.

Ever since its abolition, there has been a large increase in the number of people (especially children) living in “extreme poverty” (meaning living on less than two dollars per day) and “deep poverty” (meaning at a level half of the official poverty line).

It could be paid for by adopting a “National Wealth Tax” of 14.25% on all individuals with a net worth of $10 million and higher, which is exactly what Donald Trump proposed in 1999 before he became what I have always considered to be a “FAKE-conservative.”

In return for receiving this assistance, all recipients would be responsible for doing some type of volunteer work and/or job training.

Sincerely,

Stewart B. Epstein

Can any of us afford an air ambulance trip to Vegas?

No doubt many of us share the anguish of the lady faced with bankruptcy because she is confronted with an exorbitant charge for a helicopter transfer from Desert View Hospital to a medical facility in Las Vegas. A follow-up story was in the PV Times on June 14, 2019.

When questioned by a PV Times reporter, the air service representative responded with various whys and wherefores. Meanwhile, the patient – and I dare say – the victim, is left with few options. It’s possible that a lawyer could intercede on her behalf, although that step may be limited. As for DVH, the cost of air ambulance service appears to be of minimal concern…. It’s not our problem. Take it up with the transporter.

We must face the reality that even for those who maintain essential medical insurance, the cost of transport by air ambulance from Pahrump can be ruinous.

Yes. I well understand that there is no free lunch. Yet I find this situation not merely troubling, it is intolerable. Surely air evacuation of patients from any location within Nye County can be accomplished without stripping them of their basic wherewithal.

The thought occurs that a helicopter ride from Las Vegas for an aerial view of the Grand Canyon can run you what, two, three hundred bucks? And you’ll cover a distance of around 500 miles round-trip. By comparison, the charge for emergency airlift to a medical facility only 60 miles away is nothing less than outrageous.

What alternatives are there? One that comes to mind is informed choice. Whenever medical attention is required beyond the capacity of our local hospital and transfer by air is the best option, the patient or the patient’s representative must decide how to go. And before that decision is made, the patient or representative ought to be made aware of the cost.

Would it be unreasonable for the state to provide oversight and require that the fees charged by the air transporter’s parent corporation be modified, based on a patient’s financial circumstances? Then again, like any other business, regulation the air ambulance could be done by Nye County through its licensing process.

There may be other possibilities worth consideration. In any case, I must believe that the medical needs of rural Nevadans can be met short of impoverishing us.

Ralph Bazan

Most people fear the word ‘radioactivity’

Living in Beatty, Nevada, for over 50 years, I have learned a lot regarding various subjects.

One of the most interesting things I have learned is how people deal within themselves regarding the word “radioactivity.”

The word radioactivity speaks for itself, and in more ways in which people are afraid to admit within themselves, much less to each other. Please let me explain.

Radioactivity is “here” basically for all eternity as it has been since long before mankind, namely, the Sun. It isn’t something we can get rid of, so now we, as a people, have to deal with it. Now the question is: How do we deal with it? That is a good question.

Basically, and simply put, radioactivity is nothing else but a flow of particles, neutrons, etc., which is controlled by radioactive absorbing rods to maintain the desired level of energy contained within radioactive reactors. Yes, sometimes things go wrong and we have emergency situations develop such as Three Mile Island, for example. There has been reactor problems within Russia and Japan as well. Now the question is: How many people died from these reactor failures?

We, including people worldwide, went through the same thing about 130 years ago. It was called electricity. People were afraid of electricity because they didn’t fully understand it. All they “knew” were the hazards of which they heard from other people. Since then electricity is very widely accepted and virtually used in every way of today’s life.

Electricity is nothing else than a controlled flow of electrons that goes house to house, and all businesses throughout the world. Without it, where would we be? What would our world have been like without electricity? The list of questions go on forever, but, at the beginning of the development of electricity, people were equally as scared then about electricity and the problems resulting from it just as we are now presently afraid of radioactivity.

The only problem with radioactivity vs. electricity means we have used radioactive rock to deal with. And now this brings issues to bear in mind. What do we do with the used sources of nuclear fuel? Presently we have numerous used fuel sources scattered all over the world. And what about the present monitoring of these used fuel sources? Are they as adequate as our technology within the United States? What will be done in time when the containers become corroded to such an extent they are no longer able to safely contain the radioactive fuel sources within? There are ways to deal with this I would like to address.

1) Right now we have a site in Nye County, Nevada, known as Yucca Mountain Repository Site, which is also attached to the Mercury Test Site, which is known to be a testing center for above ground and below ground nuclear weapons. Because of these nuclear tests, scientists developed ways to monitor radioactivity.

2) Because of the nuclear weapon testing mentioned in part 1, the grounds surrounding the actual test sites are basically known to be condemned for hundreds of thousands of years. Why can’t the land in the same proximity for testing be used for Yucca Mountain? We have the scientific know-how to monitor the storage and the best way to address situations as they become apparent. Why contaminate other lands basically being used for the same purpose as Yucca Mountain?

3) Instead of using Yucca Mountain as a high-yielding nuclear burial site, I would like to propose Yucca Mountain be used as a radioactive incinerator, in other words, burn the used fuel source to such an extent there are only ashes to deal with, and then store those remaining ashes within Yucca Mountain. It would greatly minimize the ever-pressing need to build more storage containers and would make people realize there is not really anything to be so greatly concerned about.

Right now the main thing Yucca Mountain Repository Site is being used for is nothing else but a political football. It is an item being used by political hopefuls to gain votes. The game is over, now, let’s deal with the issues. I am led to believe the repository site has already been finished and awaiting a train bed to be built to access Yucca Mountain.

In closing, I would like to ask a very simple question: How many people have died worldwide because of nuclear issues such as Three Mile Island, Russia, and Japan’s nuclear reactor problems and how many people died last year in the wildfire in Paradise, California, and not counting so many other people who died due to wildfires in California and throughout the entire world?

What was the cause of the Paradise fire? A faulty electrical wire falling to the ground sparking the fire. Interesting? Are we going to outlaw electricity now?

I, as a private citizen, would welcome any and all future development of Yucca Mountain and to explore the incineration concept I presented, and in hopes this email will generate favorable support from all political representatives regarding Yucca Mountain, including and not limited to, public support, Nye County commissioners, Nevada state legislators, United States legislators, and the president of the United States of America.

Sincerely,

Perry A. Forsyth

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