Letters to the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

A convention of states is needed to restrain government

Have you paid or do you still pay taxes to be put into the Social Security trust fund? All of your money has been stolen out of this fund and replaced with worthless paper IOUs by greedy politicians to fund their political self-interests.

Anyone earning over $128,400 this year pays no additional Social Security tax even if they earn millions. Those who need Social Security the most pay on all of their earnings while those who need it the least pay tax only on a slice of theirs.

A Convention of States as outlined in Article 5 of our Constitution can happen if 34 states agree to do so. Through approved amendments to our Constitution, we the people can impose fiscal restraints on our federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and enact term limits on its officials without federal interference.

Over 250 organizations are against this convention because they want to control us, but we can counter this by voting for and communicating with our governors, state senators, and state representatives.

So far, 12 states have passed the Convention of States resolution. Fourteen have passed it through their state House, 16 have passed it through their state Senate, and 27 have passed it through one committee or more.

Where does your state stand? Why don’t you and those you know take it from here to make it a reality.

Ken Van Riper

If you can’t say something nice about Trump, say nothing

John Brennan has had his security clearance stripped legally by President Trump for leaking basically confidential situations. Then he and so many others who feel entitled yell, “The president is censoring my right to free speech.” Really?

You note he’s all over the “fake news” channels and papers talking about it. That IS free speech – just not confidential government leaks, as he‘s been doing.

Anyone who uses a clearance to gather insider information should be stripped of their clearance classification. It is after all the president’s right to strip anyone’s clearance.

About all I read and hear on the news is Trump lies every time he opens his mouth or tweets…. But he never said “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” under this new, “affordable” health care plan. He’s never said, “This plan will help everyone and cost you less for your coverage.” Anyone remember?

If RINO (Republican in name only) and holier-than-thou representatives and senators were doing due diligence for the people who elected them, the POTUS (president of the United States)Donald Trump could and would have much of his stated ideas as candidate by now.

His actions so far have benefited legal citizens of this great country – the ones who voted legally. Yet it is hard to see or hear good about him. It is truly sad. If you can’t say something good say nothing and vote your conscience.

Henry A. Hurlbut

Scientific investigation will determine Yucca’s suitability

The 10 AUG 18 letter to the Pahrump Valley Times by Mr. Walt Grudzinski presents critical commentary about the Yucca Mountain project without a full appreciation of the actual situation. The Pahrump Nuclear Waste and Environmental Advisory Committee supports the Nye County Board of Commissioners in matters including nuclear waste disposal.

Members of this committee have worked on the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), worked at and volunteered as environmental management advisers to the NNSS (formerly the Nevada Test Site). Members have commented on the YMP siting process throughout the years and have kept up to date on underground water levels and flows, either locally or regionally through constant interaction with the United States Geological Society (USGS).

It is important to first note that when a commissioner speaks about “letting the science speak for itself,” contrary to the implication of Mr. Grudzinski, it is a statement that clearly means that even though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has found that the Yucca Mountain site is likely to meet regulatory requirements, it is important to complete the licensing hearings to give an opportunity for others to present dissenting views to be heard. The congressionally-created Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an authoritative, independent, agency that was assigned responsibility to review and oversee the potential licensing of Yucca Mountain. That’s correct; no decision has been made to proceed with building the repository. That cannot happen until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission determines that there are no arguments contravening the case for the safety of a repository at Yucca Mountain.

Mr. Grudzinski makes a serious error in selecting a number of scientific parameters, selecting web pages that contain material that sounds as if it should be relevant, and concluding that the science of Yucca Mountain must pose a threat, in direct opposition to more than 30 years of scientific investigation overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, presented in public meetings, and published in peer-reviewed journals. One cannot judge the suitability of a site for a repository by looking at single parameters – it is the behavior of the entire system taken together that must be assessed. Mr. Grudzinski errs in concluding that water in the Pahrump Valley would be at risk. The aquifer of the area in which Yucca Mountain is located is not connected to any water system in the Pahrump Valley. He further misses one of the most important attributes about a repository at Yucca Mountain – the repository would be located 1000 feet above the water table. That attribute was pointed out by the United States Geological Survey as one of the reasons Yucca Mountain could make the most suitable site.

Regarding waste containers made by the lowest bidder; yes, the procurements will be competitive. As they also are when bidding on building an aircraft carrier or jet aircraft for the government. What Mr. Grudzinski misses is that acceptance of a container for disposal will be subject to stringent requirements, again overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Finally, the seismicity of Southern Nevada was recognized even before study of the site began. While the actual area of Yucca Mountain is relatively seismically quiet (see work by the Nevada Seismological Laboratory on Earthquakes in Nevada, 1840s – 2012), the demonstrations of the acceptability of the Yucca Mountain site assume the occurrence of a far larger earthquake that has ever occurred there based on geological evidence.

The Pahrump Nuclear Waste and Environmental Advisory Committee has followed the science of the Yucca Mountain project for years, attended public meetings, posed intelligent questions of the scientists, and relayed our views to the Board of County Commissioners.

The committee does not profess to be security and intelligence consultants as the author has identified himself, but possibly, might be considered intelligent consultants who live and work in our valley. We have followed the process to site the repository from pre-EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) to the present and believe we can address issues pertaining to the Yucca Mountain site in a logical, non-bias way.

Speaking for the entire committee,

John Pawlak and Mary Duff

Co-chairs, Pahrump Nuclear Waste and Environmental Advisory Committee

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