I’m with stupid

Last week, RN&R intern Mike Seibert was talking to one of the area’s uber-activists."You guys should write more about the problems of growth. Those little editorials don’t do any good.”

We couldn’t agree more, but frankly, we don’t know how. A quick Google site search of the Reno News & Review brings up about 218,000 hits for the word “growth” from the last five years or so. We’ve written about spheres of influence. We’ve written about air quality and wildlife on Mount Rose. We’ve written about traffic. We’ve written about water—both water quality and water as a limiting factor to growth. We’ve written about houses climbing hills and fuckifying the visual landscape. We’ve written about crime, gangs and violence. We’ve written about housing costs, the impacts on schools and education, high utility costs, property taxes and sales taxes, potholes and pot, homelessness, the putrefaction of the quality of life hereabouts, sprawl, land use, gunfire on the slopes of Peavine Mountain, smart growth, downtown redevelopment, ever-lengthening commute times, rental costs, building community and developers paying their fair share. Whew.

We’ve written about every aspect of growth that we could think of in articles both long and short.

Look, we’re not saying, “We told you so.” We did, though.

The problem is, there’s no moving here and then closing the door behind you. Everyone has an equal right to move here and degrade the environment. Politicians who don’t take contributions from developers lose elections (very similar to the power casino owners used to wield). People who saw the oncoming train and shouted loudest are still shouting as the train rolls by.

Mainstream media has never met a development it didn’t like: “The annexation plan did not give anyone the right to start building new developments; property owners within the annexation areas may never get that right,” the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial said on July 3. Instead, it gave planners the ability to determine what the right questions are and require that they be answered before a shovelful of dirt is turned.” . That statement is true in its specifics, but you, we and the RG-J editorial board know it’s bullshit—of course, that ran the day after the paper’s searing indictment of growth run amok in “A city rises in Nevada’s desert.”

At least one person here in the world headquarters of the RN&R believes government has already approved more housing than the environment—air, land and water—can take. In other words, the ax has already fallen, and we stupid chickens are expending our last strength on undirected action.

Cynicism aside, maybe it’s not too late, and maybe Hidden Valley isn’t the only community that should be spared having its quality of life graded under a road.

There are many candidates running on limited- or smart-growth platforms, some in offices small enough that a few voices can change outcomes. Still, if every single slow-growth candidate were elected, they would be in the minority in every single jurisdiction.

What the heck? Maybe there is a way to send our community’s growth into remission. But it’s going to take more than a story in this little weekly. Still, if you’ve got the big idea, let us know, and we’ll write about you. But if you’re running a campaign to “raise awareness,” c’mon, we weren’t the only ones who saw the farmer reaching for his hatchet.