Being Frank

I think Frank Partlow has snapped. At least that’s the vibe I got from his column in last Sunday’s Reno Gazette-Journal.

If Partlow is losing his marbles, that would be a bad thing as far as the local establishment is concerned. Partlow is the executive director of the Northern Nevada Network, which coordinates a lot of campaign contributions from some of the area’s biggest businesses.

He calls himself a “local government analyst for business organizations,” which is a nice way of saying he gives businesses advice and lobbies government officials on their behalf, using contributions as a bargaining chip. And more often than not, the NNN’s favorite candidates get elected. But don’t actually call him a lobbyist. It drives him crazy.

Speaking of crazy, Partlow’s column, “This Is Why Nothing Ever Gets Done Here,” is a must-read. He starts off by lambasting long-time area residents who dare question his viewpoints.

“Local public speakers and letter-writers often buttress their arguments by noting how long they have lived here,” Partlow rants. “My irreverent reaction is that if you lived here so long and did nothing, you are more likely to be part of the problem than its solution.”

He then goes on to say that only the “Bedouins of the Sinai and the rednecks of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., are more inward-looking than Renoites,” and that Renoites would rather say they can’t fix problems than actually try to fix them. He also accuses residents—especially those who badmouth the Gazette-Journal—of being largely ignorant.

“News media should tell you what to think about, not what to think,” he says, clearly missing the irony that—as part of the local media—he is in the very act of telling people what to think.

He then makes this baffling statement: “Real leaders, who have their own compass and want to chart a course for the rest of us, have almost no chance of election here.” Yet, as I’ve mentioned, the candidates supported by his Northern Nevada Network have almost always won their races.

The ranting manner in which Partlow writes had me clutching my stomach with laughter. And one of the funnier things about his column is that he never bothers to let us know what problems he is talking about. He makes Reno sound like it’s screwed. Now, I know Reno isn’t perfect, but I kind of like the place. And why is Partlow so pissed, anyway, seeing as his paid-for candidates have thus far approved his biggest pet project, the train trench?

The last paragraph of his column is one of the funniest of all: “Save your hate mail. When you read this, I’ll be in Australia adjusting my attitude.”

OK, Frank. Here’s hoping you got a nice nap in Australia to relieve that crankiness. And, hey, thanks for the column! It was simply crazy.

If you needed further proof that Northern Nevada’s weather is weird, consider this: In many parts of the valley, the top two snowstorms this “winter,” inch-wise, have both come in April. The last snowstorm, which hit April 20, resulted in about nine inches of snow at my family’s ranch in Steamboat. The unexpected storm surprised many trees, which were happily blooming at the time, by dumping so much wet snow on them that some branches broke off under the weight.

And I was bummed that we didn’t get our RN&R softball team signed up in time for the spring season. Go figure.

Finally, we promised that we’d fill you in on the benefit for the "Greg Allen Legal Defense Fund," so here are the details: It will be held April 29 from 2 p.m. until who the heck knows when at the Zephyr Lounge, 1074 S. Virginia St. Tickets are $10, and the list of scheduled bands is quite impressive: The Atomiks, Intox, Segway, Uncle Funkle, Phat Couch, Inflex and DJ 34 are all slated to appear. There will also be a barbecue, drink specials and a raffle. For more information, call Gallery Cui-ui at 786-1111.