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Opinion
Nevada can make the best of an inbred situation
Fired firefighters? Inbred bastards? Yahoo cammodudes playing cowboys and commandoes? Bloodlust for federal carcasses? Where others see embarrassment, I see marketing opportunities. How do I love them? Let me count the ways. 1. MAYOR CASHELL’S CHICAGO-STYLE URBAN RENEWAL PLAN. Witnessing all the chest thumping and hand-wringing over Reno firing 35 firefighters, a visitor could be forgiven for concluding that the little villages by the mucky Tr...
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College athletes in major sports need unions
One fact alone settles the argument about unionism and pay for college basketball and football athletes: John Calipari got a $150,000 bonus because Kentucky reached the Final Four of the March Madness basketball tournament. Aaron Harrison calmly made the crucial three-point shot with 2.6 seconds left that won for Kentucky. His performance earned him a hero’s plaudits but no money. Calipari, who scored no points, merely coaches the Wildcats. He...
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Comstock history refurbished
One of the most ambitious restoration projects on the famed Comstock Lode was marked on April 4 with the cutting of the ribbon for the newly refurbished Yellow Jacket Mine Headframe. The event was held at the iconic Gold Hill Hotel, which sits down the hill from the headframe. Starting at 5 p.m., the weather went from clear to brisk to snow showers, which caused the bulk of the evening to be spent indoors at the hotel. The actual ribbon cuttin...
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Once in a lifetime poker game
It all began in 1937 in a smoke-filled backroom of a local barber shop. As the ceiling fan swirled, the cigar smoke around the bright light hanging over the green felt table, drinks were poured, the players were seated and eager to play poker. All of them worked for Frank Hague, the notorious mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey. The last man to enter the room was, “Bike.” He was one of Hague’s personal chauffeurs. He ran the poker games and was t...
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The next big thing: Obamacare Bitcoin online vote exchange
Don’t decry money in politics. Embrace it. Elected officials do. Recently, Clarence and the Supremes further morphed money into free speech. Liberals burst into flames while conservatives licked their chops for donkey barbecue. However, for dessert we can have our cake and eat it, too. When Joan Claybrook headed the Ralph Nader-founded Public Citizen a few decades back, she called campaign contributions “legalized bribes.” The truth may hurt, ...
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Banqueters shout: hail, César, marvelous freedom fighter
Dennis Myers, news editor of the Reno News & Review, rightly calls César Chávez one of history’s “great apostles of nonviolence.” He met him in Reno during a visit in 1986, writing that it was one of “the privileged moments” of his life. The reason is obvious: Chávez brought greater pay, greater working conditions and greater dignity to campesinos. He played a key role in the everlasting fight for justice and equality.   Myer’s glowing tribute...
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No shortage of interesting news last week
There was no dearth of major news stories last week. There were so many, in fact, that the on-going coverage of the Malaysian jet disappearance was pushed to the back burner. First off, in appropriate fashion, President Barack Obama chose April Fools’ Day on which to tout the achievement of 7.1 million sign-ups for ObamaCare. He was so delighted that he complimented many of the throng of supporters on an individual basis for their “good work.”...
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Ray Roach: Remembering a true friend
As we drift through the decades of time, the attendance at celebrations and remembrances of life becomes more frequent. Last Saturday, I paid my last respects to Ray Roach, a fellow employee at Consolidated Freightways. Ray was a truck driver and I worked in the office. We both had at least one thing in common: we enjoyed humor. Over the years we were never “close” friends; but listening to stories, experiences and emotionally professed love f...
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In search of the modern day Barbara Bennett
It was 1979. Memories of the Joe Conforte-controlled Sparks City Council were fresh in voters’ minds. Despite the seeming Rail City harmony, uneasiness remained. It later came to light that John Ascuaga’s “reform council” elected in 1975 was abusing the public trust in new ways. The 1971-75 council was gloriously corrupt. One guy even tried to extort money from the Catholic Church by soliciting a bribe during confession. Somehow, God leaked it...
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Mobs of people spoil visit to San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the great cities of the world. Its surroundings are marvelous: the San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. Its museums are first rate. Its parks wonderful. But that’s the problem: the city is so inviting it has too many visitors. Hordes swarm at museums making leisurely, contemplative viewing impossible. You wish you were a billionaire so you could afford a private guided tour at hours museums a...
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Bill O’Reilly vs Judge Adams
It’s not often I agree with the outspoken ultra-right conservative commentator, Bill O’Reilly, but we share common ground on his criticism aimed at our own Washoe District Court judge, Brent Adams during his usual daily televised rant toward leftist politicians in general and democrats in particular. O’Reilly called Adams an “outrageous individual” and called for his impeachment after the judge sentenced sex offender, Isaac Onsurez, to 10-year...
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The law of the land
Since 2010 the Affordable Care Act, better-known as ‘ObamaCare’, has become the law of the land. This expression has been used by many Democrats in Washington as the most important reason why ObamaCare cannot be repealed. However, many strict Constitutionalists have said that the changes made to the law, some 36 in number at last count, may not have been Constitutional in nature. Also, the Chief Administrator of this law, HHS Secretary Kathlee...
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Abolition of death penalty gains ground — slowly
Eighteen down, 32 to go. That’s the plodding progress to abolish the death penalty in this often inhumane nation. A 19th state, New Hampshire, is on the verge of ending capital punishment. One important “why” of New Hampshire’s new position is significant. A Manchester, N.H., cop, John Breckinridge, saw his patrol partner shot to death in 2006. He wanted revenge: the death penalty for the killer. But Breckinridge became depressed, began to dou...
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Bob McGowan, Miss America and César Chávez
It should have been a happy occasion, but wasn't. I accompanied local resident Ramon Chávez to Tuesday's Washoe County Commission meeting to receive a proclamation declaring March 31 as César Chávez Day. Commission Chair David Humke opened with a bulletin from Sen. Harry Reid about the weekend death of former Washoe County Assessor Bob McGowan. I made a few remarks about Bob when it was my turn to speak and will do more Monday night at the Cés...
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Obama, Putin: Two faces of Democracy
President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin seem to have their own version and interpretation of the true Meaning of democracy. Obama is claiming to the world the Crimean referendum was illegal. Putin argues the referendum was legal and a true voice of the people. I have to ask, how can any referendum be illegal in a democracy? A referendum, according to my old Webster dictionary, is “The submission of a proposed public measure or law...
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Three Olympic giants
As we mentioned several weeks ago, this area’s greatest collection of celebrities occurred during the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley. While the actual games were over an hour away from the Reno-Sparks area, the two local entities did an amazing amount of business during the traditionally slow month of February. Hotel rooms were at a premium and even motels within a 100-mile radius enjoyed full bookings. The Chamber of Commerce heade...
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Academic spoils Elder College lecture on ‘Inferno’
Remind me never to go to another lecture at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (Olli), the Elder College adjunct of the University of Nevada, Reno. Phil Boardman of the UNR English Department was supposed to talk about Dante’s “Inferno.” One hour and 13 minutes into his recent lecture he finally got to the subject. Then he had to hurry because the talk was to end in 17 minutes.  He spent all that time showing slides and discussing Dante’s l...
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The politics of media ga-ga boosterism
After last week’s column, I foolishly thought I was done with the latest debunking of Nevada’s miraculous high school graduation rates. Then came last Sunday’s Reno Gazette-Journal and a Tuesday editorial whereby the Korporate Kinks of Kuenzli Street filed for divorce from reality. In April of 2012, while the Reno paper was busy validating Dr. Heath Morrison’s unbelievable graduation rate increases, I was printing the truth. The superintendent...
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Crimea: Ethnic freedom
From all appearances, Russia is beating the United States at their own game of divide-and-conquer military strategy, defending the sovereignty of independent states for their own gain and foreign policy hidden behind the two-faced political mask of good cop-bad cop manipulation that in the long term benefits the power of central government, not the social needs of the people they profess to serve. The attempted, orchestrated secession of Crime...
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Tennis on a grand scale
The best thing that ever happened to tennis in Washoe County was the opening of the Tahoe Racquet Club at Incline almost 50 years ago. Peter Paxton, an LA transplant, built the club that saw then-governor Grant Sawyer toss out the first ball to the likes of Pancho Gonzales, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall. Laver went on to win the opening tournament by defeating the much-larger Gonzales. I never expected to see such high-caliber tennis again. Howev...
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