To the Editor:

We are under attack. And though there are no tanks rolling down our streets, the consequences would be just the same. Pillage. Southern Nevada wants to change Nevada Water Law. And they have just succeeded at passing Assembly Bill 298. As you likely already know; the SNWA has lost numerous court cases because of their failure to meet prudent legal and scientific requirements with their Watergrab of Rural Nevada water. So, now they want to rewrite the rules.

AB298 has numerous changes that expedite taking every drop. They want to drastically weaken existing water rights and protections for the Environment. They want water mine. And they even want to be exempt from judicial review. All of these things are illegal now. But if we don’t stop them, that’s all about to change.

By lowering Nevada’s standards; AB298 opens the door to devastating long-term impacts – and compromises decades of strong existing water policy principles that have protected Nevada from problems seen in California and other states. Moreover, AB298 improperly prioritizes “mitigation water” so that more conflicts will occur. Which is compounded by the exemption from the permitting process to take water from some place else to use as mitigation water – which further propagates the exploitation to even more areas.

These water law changes are quite simply permission to plunder. We may as well call AB298 the “screw Rural Nevada” bill.

Call your State Senator. Call you friends. Call your friends in Vegas. This has to be stopped.

Delaine and Rick Spilsbury

To The Editor:

Every year, Nevada’s teachers go through a rigorous evaluation to assess how effective they are in educating Nevada’s children.  Administrators observe teachers in the classroom, make sure they teach to the standards, and even assess how much they do outside of the classroom.

Over the past few years, teachers have been increasingly evaluated on how their students perform on the standardized tests. Next year, student achievement data will account for 40% of the teacher’s overall evaluation.  While the intent is to improve teacher performance, the reality is it will lead to fear for job security.  Creative teaching methods, rounded learning, and teaching past the curriculum will all go out the window when teachers feel they must teach to the test to pass their evaluation.

That will be devastating to both teachers and their students throughout Nevada. We have a chance to turn that around with AB 320.

I teach at a small rural school in White Pine County.  We have a total of 13 students ranging from third to sixth grade.  Of my 13 students, five are English Language Learners (38%), and two others (23%) require Special Education services for learning disabilities.

Because test proctors are not allowed to provide interpretations or translations to students during the tests, it is very difficult for these students to test well.  In addition, while my students were testing, the testing website crashed twice. This disruption affects student concentration and repeatedly happens every year.  Meanwhile, these scores will make up a large percentage of my evaluation.  These issues and statistics can be found in any rural or urban school throughout Nevada.

Testing is neither an accurate indicator of whether all students are learning the concepts nor of how well teachers perform in the role of educator.  Therefore, it does not show the effectiveness of the educator and needs to be removed from the evaluation.

Heather Yacapraro

Nevada State Education Association

To The Editor:

Senator Bernie Sanders has set out to convince Congress and the American people that importing drugs from abroad will benefit consumers and produce more affordable drugs. Importation will do no such thing. In fact, if importation is allowed, Americans will be at greater risk of buying a drug that is substandard, adulterated, or fake.

Currently, the Federal Drug Administration has an airtight quality control system for America’s drugs on the market that keep patients safe. Patient safety and the high quality of our medicine is a cornerstone of our healthcare system. The FDA lacks the resources to ensure the same quality for imported drugs. Recently, four previous FDA commissioners stated it would be nearly impossible to have the same level of control given the number of origins and pathways of imported drugs. As Vice President of Government Affairs of the Retail Association Chain Drug Council, I’m acutely aware of our states many deaths due to the same second-rate and dangerous fake drugs brought in from the Black Market.

I urge Senator Heller to protect our nation’s drug supply by maintaining access to safe medicines. Importation is dangerous and not in the best interest of anyone depending on effective and safe pharmaceuticals.

Liz MacMenamin

Vice President of Government Affairs

Retail Association Chain Drug Council