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Recent letters explain issues the way they should be explained

As I read the Pahrump Valley Times, Friday, November 20, 2015 edition, on Page A18, I was amazed that I thoroughly appreciated the information provided by three of our residents.

They are Marilyn Swango, PhD., Dennis Crooks, and Zuzana Kukol. We have so many differences of “opinion” in the Pahrump community that I find that many letters to the editor are merely opinion, name-calling, or innuendos without facts but, in this case, I sincerely appreciated these three letters. I’ll comment briefly on each one.

Carns mistaken in argument – by Marilyn Swango, PhD

Not only did Dr. Swango articulate her argument, she gave factual statements and actual cases to add credibility to her argument. She used a 1978 landmark study and a 2014 policy brief to debunk the mistakes made in the argument by Mr. Carns in his Community Viewpoint statements on November 13th. She could have merely explained why we use tutors to improve the educational environment. One-on-one is probably best, but the smaller the class size the better it is for the teacher and the student.

As a former high school teacher and as a ‘retired’ high school and middle school principal with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), I can attest to the fact that smaller class sizes definitely benefit the students while helping the teachers maintain their sanity. By the way, the graduation rates for DoDEA students are continually in the upper 90 percentile with most graduates going on to higher education.

Oscarson should be praised for funding education – by Dennis Crooks

For those that don’t know, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is considered the 51st state for educational purposes. When DoDEA is considered in the national educational ranking, Nevada falls to number 51 while DoDEA is usually number 2 or number 3. While funding isn’t everything, it certainly sends the message that the state leadership cares enough to make education of our youth a priority. So, I, like Mr. Crooks, applaud Assemblyman Oscarson and Governor Sandoval for not taking the “easy’ route merely to follow the party line. We can always find ‘somewhere else’ where funding is up and the level of education is down. However, we’re NOT somewhere else; we’re in Nevada where the entire nation knows that in education we rank below New Mexico and Mississippi.

I won’t repeat the positive arguments made by Mr. Crooks but I will reiterate that it was well written and his letter will find support by many in Nye County. His comments will especially find favor with those residents who are concerned about the education of our students and the educational ranking of our state among the other 49 (or 50 if you include DoDEA).

Correcting the record – by Zuzana Kukol

While I fully support the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Karl Mitchell to maintain the sanctuary for the tigers and the liger, I have always wondered why the county would have a policy about exotic animals that is “complaint-driven” as we were continually told. It took Ms. Kukol’s letter to explain it so “even I could understand it” and also explain that the 2007 zoning change actually made sense. I also know that some “big cat” owners were ‘grandfathered’ and I’m sure that some of the commissioners attempted to explain it to me but it took this letter to ‘break it down’ to layman’s terms that I can clearly understand.

Some property was grandfathered and others were not. It is the “property” that is grandfathered, NOT the property owners. So, to her I say THANKS for the clarification.

We need more Letters to the Editor like these three that explain or correct mistakes in information without name calling or slanderous statements. I encourage everyone to read Friday’s edition of the PVT (November 20th) and read these letters in detail.

Dr. Tom Waters is a Pahrump resident and was a member of the Pahrump Town Board from 2011 to 2014.


Pahrump Town Board (2011-2014)

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