Candles ready for a comeback

Here’s some info that should rightly scare the lint out of your belly button (assuming, of course, that you are packing an umbilical terminus that could be called an “inny,” and that you’ve been wearing a garment that freely casts off loads of colored fiber). Current population of the Truckee Meadows: about 300,000. Projected population in 2030: 500,000.

Conclusion: We are well on our way to fulfilling the Greater Reno-Sparks Master Plan, which is to become the Fresno of the Great Basin.

One thing to remember about utility deregulation: It was supposed to result in cheaper power prices for the customers. Interesting to see how dereg instead became a green light to impale the customers on a rebar spit, upon which they could then be roasted to a crispy, golden brown.

Also encouraging to see the major league procrastination “vibe” settling into Carson City involving Nevada’s version of three-card-dereg-monty.

Early estimates first guessed that we would jump into the deregulated energy marketplace sometime last year. Those estimates were revised in 2000, pushed back to sometime in early 2001; even later last year, those estimates were edged back to mid- to late 2001. A couple of weeks ago, industry analysts were guessing (as opposed to estimating) 2003. Now, it appears that the mood has slowed and darkened even further, and the latest discussions have been riddled with talk of mandatory two-year stretches in Ely Max for any state legislator that votes “yes” on any deregulation bill before 2010.

Liberal Democrats are confident they can scuttle such legislation, or at the very least get some easier time written into the bill, maybe Lovelock Medium.

So, all you folks out there with scads of disposable income (and there are plenty of you who are doing just fine; I mean, those ain’t fixer-uppers getting built around all those golf courses) _ why the hell aren’t you having a $25,000 solar-powered electricity system installed in your dream home this very weekend? Think about it. For the price of that silly boat in your driveway that’s currently providing shelter for 47 extremely grateful spiders, you could get off Sierra Pacific’s teat for life.

Kudos, hurrahs and backslaps to whomever thought of putting thousands of wind-powered electric generators on the barren expanses of the old Nuclear Test Site. Here’s hoping it becomes a reality very soon.

Then again, it’s easy to imagine the following hose job _ the feds hail the Test Site Wind Farm as a terrific idea and give Nevada 10 billion bucks to put it together. The money, however, comes with some difficult-to-detect small print, which we, in our friendly gullibility, don’t pick up until it’s too late. To our horror, we discover that the power from the T.S.W.F. becomes available to Clark County only after the feds take what they need to run The George W. Bush Federal Nuclear Suppository at Yucca Mountain! Gadzooks! DOE’d again!