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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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March 6, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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March 6, 1997
 

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Optatuu Chess and chains in Nye County To aggressively seek the truth and report it. That is the job description of journalism in any society wor- thy of the adjective "free" being attached to its name, print or electronic. To the extent that this responsi- bility and right is diluted, abridged or compromised by government forces or through self censorship any given society's freedom is weakened. Journalism, as described in the preceding paragraph, is an interesting, even fascinating, thing to attempt to practice in Nye County. It is like playing a chess game I where you play by an es- tablished set of rules and This Man's Opinion your opponent plays by byBrentMathewson no known rules. In chess :when you place your opponent's King in "check" he " is required to respond to the challenge or lose the game. In Nye County such a move is met by simply ignoring it or making a diversionary move. The pub- lic might as well be watching a magician as he or she practices the art of illusion and delusion. This is by no means an exaggeration. The cause of the current fiscal chaos in Nye County government is focused at the top at the Nye County Manager level. It is easy to lose sight of this if you try to look at the big picture all at one time. The single common denominator to the vast millions of dollars that have been wasted since Payment Equal To Taxes (PETT) fund money began pouring into Nye County a few years back is irresponsible advice given to the Nye County Commission by the Nye County Man- ager. Nye County could and should be one of the richest counties in the United States as measured by tax money available per capita. Instead, we are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. For those who don't know it, Nye County government spends on average well in excess of $3 million a month and these expendi- tures are made almost exclusively at the direction of the Nye County Manager. The Nye County Commis- sion is cripplingly dependent on fiscal advice from the Nye County Manager and Nye County is presently fiscally-crippled because of the lack of quality of the advice it has received from the person or persons hold- ing that position. Let's tighten the focus on this chess game and I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about. In early November 1996, the Nye County Manager was placed in "check." This happened when the Nye County District Attorney, Bob Beckett, formally no- tified the commission that multiple class C felony vio- lations of Nevada law were ongoing in Nye County government. I am not ashamed to say that this column and the Gazette had something to do with this move on the board. The felony viola- tions have to do with tampering with official county documents by county employees resulting in the Nye County Manager's special assistant, Rachel Nicholson, being illegally paid out of the Nye County General fund for her newly created position at a cost to the Nye county taxpayer of about $100,000 per year. The manner of funding this position is com- pletely contradictory to a vote taken by the commis- sion on September 17, 1996 and also violated Nye County Resolution 96-16 which initiated a hiring freeze and banned newly created positions in county government due to an acknowledged fiscal crisis. The county manager, Les Bradshaw's basic reac- tion to being informed of these ongoing felonies has been to ignore it and wait for the public to go back to sleep. When the public wouldn't quite do that, he made a diversionary move in mid-February 1997 and arbi- trarily appointed Ms. Nicholson as the acting director of the Nye County Senior Nutrition Program. This newly created position also violates Nye County Resolution 96-16 and was apparently an act of desperation on Bradshaw's part to find additional funding to pay Letters to the Edltor ,,. i I f . l, ,J l r I I I'" ] i , i i f On a rugged hill two blocks away from home The year is A.D. 33. It's late on a stormy Friday after- noon, and I am standing on a rugged hill by a trash heap outside Jerusalem. I huddle with a group of women just a few yards from the cross. Large drops of rain begin to pelt the dust and I clutch at my head shawl, wiping away tears and rain. I can not take my eyes off Jesus. His body is ramrod stiff, covered with caked dirt and blood, back arched, near death, yet hands stretched and fingers splayed. Jesus' head bobs back against the crossbar and He groans, "I thirst." I step out of the group and listen. Did Jesus say He was ..... thirsty? Before I can act, a soler, half- drunk, cracks offa stalk of hyssop, spears a sponge and, after soaking it in sour wine, laughs and thrusts it to His face. I am horrified. Wait. This is all wrong. Dont giveHim wine gone acid. This is the Lord who is asking for a drink, a real drink, and I frantically think, Oh God, if only I had a jug of fresh water. This is the Savior who's asking for help, not some criminal. But I am helpless to do anything. History is written. It cannot be changed. Tiffs year is A.D. 1997. It's late on a stormy Friday afternoon and Seretha is driving by the nursing home two :blocks from home on her way to a guild meeting. She remembers a community notice mentioning the need for more dinner-time volunteers at the home. A picture flashes into her mind - Seretha is standing next to an elderly resident in a wheelchair, holding a cup of coffee to his lips. But the image passes as quickly out of her mind as it entered. After all, she's never been inside of the place, knows nothing about wheelchairs, and would probably spill her coffee. A twinge of guilt nags. But the guilt is eased as Seretha shrugs her shoulders - some other organization will do something. Others more qualified will take care of the problem. And besides, she reasons, those people aren't really my neighbors. "Then the King will say to those on his fight, 'Come you who are blessed by my father, take your inheritance ..... I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink...' Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see I II II III you ..... thirsty and give you something to drink?" The King will reply. 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Mat- thew 25 : 34-40) When we meet the needs of our neighbors, we have min- istered personally to Him. Everyday we rub shoulders with people who have needs. The coworker in the next depart- ment who just learned she has cancer. The woman at the dry cleaners who recently lost her husband. The parents whose son has cerebral palsy. The homeless man. This Easter and each day of the year we can rewrite his- tory. We can give the Lord a drink. IS/Janet Doyle Round Mountain, NV Thanks from Kiwanis I would like to take this opportunity to express my per- sonal gratitude to you on the beginning of what will prove to be the largest fund raiser in this community. The local Kiwanis Club of Pata'ump Valley will be able to help the community in so many ways ! 100% of the proceeds of this year's "Manure Madness" will remain in the valley. Our priority is children pre-birth to 5 years old. We are also active in assisting many seniors. Lord knows this com- munity has many needs. It's people like you at the Gazette and; the people at Pahr- ump Dairy (Ed Goedhart and Joe and Martha Torres), Val- ley Rock & Sand (Tom and Lisa Mendel), Domino's Pizza (Scott Smith), Rotary Club (Roxanne Thurlow and Cam- eron McRae), Bestco Signs (Henderson, NV), and the mys- terious merchant that donated a case of soda, that make Pahrump a great place to live. This fund-raiser will Continue every Saturday in March ld will likely take full advantage of the promise of Pahr- ump Dairy to match all donations up to a total of $10,0001 Please join us for breakfast any Wednesday at Mountain View Casino at 7:00 am to see first hand what community spirit is all about in Palmmap. Again, thanks a million! IS/Kevin Roberts Kiwanis Club of Pahrump Valley We write letters, we don't get answers Editor's Note: The following Guest Editorial contains a verbatim reprint, with permission, of an unanswered Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thur, sda/vlarch 6, 1997 11 Rachel's salary. Why? The move has seniors in an up- roar from one end of the county to another and all points in between. Nicholson's first official act in her new capacity as acting director of the Senior Program in Nye County was to temporarily close the thrift store in Pahrump which is run by the seniors in that community as a ways and means project. Nicholson perceived that the store was in violation of a fire code. This went over like the proverbial turd in a punch bowl. At least one county commissioner, Bobby Revert from District 3, does not like the smell emanating from Bradshaw's latest move in regards to Nicholson. While attending the February 27, 1997 meeting of the Amar- gosa Town Advisory Board, Revert pledged to bring the issue to a head at the March 4, 1997 meeting of the Nye County Commission. That commission meeting will l'fave taken place by the time you read this article. It is interesting to note that while Bradshaw's action in appointing Nicholson to this "acting director" posi- tion requires the approval of the Nye County commis- sion the item was not agendized or even buried on the consent agenda under "personnel actions" on the agenda of the March 4, 1997 commission meeting. Perhaps the million dollar question is the one I get continuously asked by members of the public at large. What is it that Bradshaw and Nicholson are aware of that causes the commission to go to such extraordinary lengths to keep these people on the Nye County payroll? The world is not a just place. It's just a place. Be- cause of that and to act as a counter balance to it, it is the job of journalism in a free society to inform the public. The public also has a duty. It is the responsibility of the public in a free soci- ety that chooses to remain free to weigh the informa- tion given. To judge it forits content and quality and to act accordingly. The chains are of your own mak- ing. And you can break them if you will. That is this man's opinion. , i,,,,i : i., ,,i  i," i*c,il .... i, , ...... i,, i III II Ill letter to Dr. Philip Stone, Associate Director of planning and analysis, U.S. Department of Energy. The letter speaks for itself. Ed. Dear Dr. Stone, I am a taxpayer & voter (and my Ph.D. is just as good as yours). You are suppose to be a Civil Servant (not a Civil Overlord). Why then do you refuse to return my phone calls, or evea to answer a reasonable written question with a simple Yes or No? Notice that yesterday in Germany 10,000 protestors suc- ceeded in blocking the transport of high-level Nuclear Waste despite the efforts of 30,000 German policemen to nullify their peaceful, nonviolent protest. Notice that yesterday the Editor of the Las Vegas Sun said that "Nevadans don't want the dump; they want good science to find the kind of 21  century answer to this problem that will make it a national solution, and not one that will punish only us, our children and their children." To deny dogmatically is to say that something is impos- sible. But to assert this is to claim, tacitly, that you al- ready know the full spectrum of the posslble. In a century in which every decade has brought new and astonishing scientific shocks, that is a huge, brave and audacious faith indeed. It requires an almost heroic self-confidence and an equally gigantic ignorance of recent intellectual his, tory. (The New Inquisistion, by Robert Anton Wilson, 1987.) Your intransigent refusal to answer a legitimate ques- tion from a concerned citizen implies that you believe that Admiral Watldns: Princeton Professor of Physics, Will Happer; and Rochester Professor of Nuclear Chemistry, John Hulzenga infallibly knew "the full spectrum of the possible" even though the "laws" which they quoted had only been verified in high-energy exlefiments in vacua, and in almost equally high-temperature conditions in rar- efied, gaseous plasmas ,but NEVER inside of a solid-state lattice (or on the surface of a lattice)! Don you know that true scientists regard all "laws" as "forever tentative," especially outs/de of the parameter- regimes in which they have been most repeatedly con- finned? Do you want the Clinton-Gore Adminim'on to go down in history the way the Pope Urban IV's College of Cardi- plea s page24