Letters for August 31, 2006

Get outta town
Re “Hot August roadblock” (Editorial, Aug. 17):

It does not take going up to Robb Drive, the TMCC campus, or the McCarran Ring to see the brown haze in the “Blue Skies” of Reno. Nor does it make sense to blame the finely tuned classic cars, which are taken out on the streets a few times a year, and ignore the proliferation of Hummers, SUVs and pickup trucks on our city streets year round.

The HAN police are just another example of Reno security people playing by casino rules in the public sector.

Finally, the city of Reno has moved from one extreme (that of declaring all road construction to be finished by Hot August Nights) to the other extreme (that of complete anarchy). What is needed is a person with a big map and the big picture. Some people have suggested moving large public events to Stead. That might mean a few dollars less downtown, but would that be all bad?

John D. Daniels

Burghart makes me puke
Re “Primary Reform” (Editor’s Note, Aug. 17):

Editor Brian Burghart admits registering as a nonpartisan voter. A strange position indeed for an editor. Neutrality is a refusal to take sides, a refusal to be angry, to be roaring.

His admission reminds me of the Laodiceans, inhabitants of the ancient Asia Minor city of Laodicea who were lukewarm about Christianity.

The Revelation, 3:15-16, says of them: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou wert cold or hot … because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Nonpartisanship is a lack of conviction. For an editor, this is disturbing. It is especially disturbing in an editor of an alternative newspaper such as the Reno News & Review. (Or, as it should be, an “underground” newspaper.)

Perhaps this neutrality is a major reason the RN&R is just another Establishment paper like the Reno Gazette-Journal. It runs a liberal column by Deidre Pike but balances that by conservative columnist Mike Lafferty. See? Objectivity!

Yes, editorials in the RN&R are consistently good, pinpointing local, state and national problems. But by and large the paper is dull, the last thing you would expect from an alternative newspaper.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, perhaps the nation’s best alternative newspaper, is not neutral. Editor Burghart ought to use it as a model.

Jake Highton

Gay is not passé
Re “Is gay passé?” (Feature story, Aug. 17):

I am very disappointed with your article. Your research for this article was horribly inadequate. Had you dug a little deeper, you would’ve heard about a popular gay bar in Reno called Tronix. There you can find topless male and female bartenders and flocks of gay boys dancing their asses off on the stage. I don’t know a single gay person in Reno who doesn’t know about Tronix. Tronix is practically The Works’ twin.

Also, gender-preference is, in reality (at least among the gay community) not what you described. A lot of queers I know could tell you they don’t fit into the bi-chromatic gender “rainbow” that our society adheres to. There is nothing “gender-ambivalent” about the scene you described at The Works. You could’ve done a little more research on the gay scene and found that we aren’t becoming as assimilated as you thought we are.That’s not even the worst part of your article. I am co-president of UNR’s Queer Student Union, and I was appalled at your presentation of our group and its goings-on. Our club is far from being “just another cultural group” who “conducts business as usual.”

Had you really looked into our group, you would’ve found out that this past year we were sued by a member of the College Republicans twice and sparked the huge campus-wide, free-speech debate after protesting the military recruiters on campus. The debate ended with changes in UNR’s policy after the ACLU stepped in and pressured the administration to make changes to its Free-speech Zones policy. So, if you had done a little digging, I doubt you would’ve included that little blurb about college campuses being “havens of free speech.”

People are being fed the warm, fuzzy notion that everything is OK, and that people are being treated fairly, and that people in the gay community are no longer living like second-class citizens.

Your article was a damaging insult to the gay community. In the future, I would suggest that the RNR hire a gay freelance writer, or if that is too much to ask, someone who at least has some clue as to what they’re writing about.

Caley Murray
via e-mail

Re “Brick by brick” (Arts & Culture, July 20):

The Newlands House was not designed by Frederic DeLongchamps, though it was included as an aside in the Historic Reno Preservation Society’s walking tour of the architect’s work.