THUMBS DOWN to construction work on Interstate 580, which has made getting to the airport to catch a 5:30 a.m. flight a strange journey thanks to lane and off-ramp closures.
Did the taxi suddenly travel north and exit at Oddie Boulevard, circle around and head south on the freeway, only to pass right by the airport, take the next available exit, circle around and head north to finally find an exit and get to the airport?
We are pretty sure that was the circuitous route, but we could have been dreaming or having a nightmare thanks to the early-morning hour. Besides wondering if we would miss our flight, we also worried about finding an ATM to pay for the cab ride.
THUMBS DOWN to the disparity created by state legislators when they approved the Education Savings Account program, which allows parents to use a large portion of their child’s per-pupil state school funding toward private-school tuition.
Only students who have been enrolled in a public school for 100 days are eligible to accept the cash and enter a private school. What about those already enrolled in a private school? Well, they are out of luck for now. They are being penalized for already spending family money for a private education. There was talk that they might meet the 100-day requirement by taking a single online class at a public school, but state officials shot down that idea. Sounds like the makings of a lawsuit.
THUMBS UP to water savings by many customers of the area’s public water utility, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority. Water consumption has decreased in each of the last three months in response to the utility’s call for a voluntary 10-percent reduction to cope with the lingering drought.
More can be done, however, especially when we notice sprinklers on commercial property going off in a rainstorm.
THUMBS UP to Sparks city officials for taking on a big job: updating the city’s extensive zoning code and involving stakeholders in the process. Officials say they wanted to revamp the code to “improve its user friendliness.”
Anyone who has ever examined local government zoning and planning rules knows that user friendly isn’t an adjective that comes to mind. But that should be, at a minimum, the goal of every government regulation that’s imposed on taxpayers. Another goal: getting rid of unnecessary, burdensome regulations that are especially hard on small businesses.
Finally, THUMBS UP to the Sparks High School class of 1975, which held its 40th reunion last week. We met a few of the reunion organizers, who are outstanding representatives of the class and the community. We hope the class had a good time.
In case anyone’s wondering, Microsoft was founded in 1975, a year that also marked the introduction of the disposable razor, the premiere of “Saturday Night Live,” convictions in the Watergate scandal and the second semester of journalism school for the publisher of the Sparks Tribune.