A potpourri of opinions

A potpourri of opinions

A potpourri of opinions

Local Marijuana Zoning

At its last meeting, the Humboldt County Commission decided to amend zoning regulations to prohibit marijuana establishments in unincorporated areas of Humboldt County. Some people may argue that marijuana use should be free from government interference; others will bring up unintended (but not unforeseen) consequences on children and other issues in states that legalized marijuana.

But no one can ignore the fact that Nevada rushed implementation of the new law, resulting in continuing confusion over distribution rights. And questions regarding enforcement of federal law and banking regulations have not been resolved here or in other states. Commissioners were right to stay out of this mess until issues that might cause county liability are clarified.


Recently this newspaper reported that the Family Support Center will rent space in the building on Humboldt General Hospital’s “West Campus”. Offices in this building have been mostly vacant since it was constructed.

And despite a beautiful new obstetrics unit, it was reported at a recent Board of Trustees meeting that the number of OB patients is down. Clearly former CEO Jim Parrish’s strategy of “build it and they (doctors, providers) will come” was a failure.

During the pre-employment interview with new CEO Art Frable, he spoke in general terms of expanding services. I hope he - and the Trustees - will learn from HGH history and focus more on the actual services and providers than on space to house them.

Las Vegas Massacre

It’s important for investigators to look for a motive for this mass shooting. But it’s possible none will be found. There is evil in this world, and actions propelled by evil are not necessarily rational.

The Vegas shooter wasn’t a social outcast like the Columbine killers, diagnosed with mental illness like the Sandy Hook shooter, or making a political statement like the Boston bombers. But he was a loner, as they all were in some ways. Even in a casino full of people, serious gamblers are focused on themselves and whether they are winning.

This guy called himself a professional gambler, which is just a socially acceptable way to say he was obsessed or addicted. And addictions often lead to irrational choices. This is most clearly seen with drug addiction, but ignoring family to spend all evening on social media or busting the family budget with daily trips to the coffee shop are consequences of minor addictions.

We don’t laugh at drug or alcohol addiction, but most other addictions are fodder for jokes: “I can’t make it through the day without a latte” (or cola, chocolate, time on Pinterest, watching the latest hit TV drama).

Specific motives may not be found for horrific killings like Las Vegas, but if Americans continue to isolate themselves through technology or indulgent obsessions, we shouldn’t be surprised if more massacres occur as some loners veer off the path of socially responsible behavior.

First Lady’s Footwear

When President Trump and wife Melania visited Texas after Hurricane Harvey, massive criticism was heaped on the Fist Lady because she wore high-heeled shoes. If she had tripped and fallen, criticism might have been justified. But if she can walk through debris in heels, there’s really no story - except maybe to commend her for her gracefulness.

Tax Reform

The Republicans’ tax reform plan is still short on details, but I like most of what I’ve seen:

* First $12,000 of income ($24,000 married) is not subject to tax.

* Elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Liberals claim only the rich pay the AMT, but calls for repeal began at least a decade ago because there was no adjustment for inflation (until 2013) and more upper middle class taxpayers have become subject to this higher rate. Dealing with the ATM is burdensome: there’s a complex one-page worksheet to find out if you must fill out the even more detailed one-page ATM form.

* Elimination of the Estate (Death) Tax. No matter what your income level, the government shouldn’t take 40% of what you’ve worked to amass in your lifetime.

Various loopholes and deductions must be closed to bring in revenue to offset losses from the above changes. How Republicans plan to achieve this balance is key to passage of reform legislation.

The Democrats are continuing to promote class warfare, insisting rich people should not gain from any tax reform plan. But if a plan can be conceived that brings tax relief to all income levels, it would benefit the entire U.S. economy.

Suzan Loda is a 31-year resident of Winnemucca. She can be reached at suzan-uncommonsense @outlook.com .