Nice place to visit

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Expect me to be in a suffering mood for a bit. Too many of my smart, creative and educated friends are leaving the state. We’ve been calling it the “brain drain” for as long as I can remember. What has been a constant drip has now become, or at least seems like, a gusher.

Kat Kerlin’s commentary last week told part of the story of why she’s leaving the best job in Reno journalism. It’s because our elected officials have been so corrupt and so boot-licking to monied powers-that-be for so long that she can’t feel any hope that the schools will be up to the task of educating her child. Yes, yes, that’s only part of the story—she wanted to be nearer family and in a situation that presented both challenges and the potential of professional and financial advancement—but it’s a big part. And I know she was suffering existential guilt that she was torn between friends here and Lily’s future.

Kat is among the best all-around, most talented journalists I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She’s a good friend with a sympathetic heart and titanium spine. That’s not to even mention her deadline ethic. Can you tell my mood’s deteriorating as I write this? I miss her already.

And now, she, like Deidre Pike, is another symbol of the brain drain.

But what’s the bottom line? It’s that in many ways, because of Nevada’s historic colonial nature—by which I mean just being a whore that ships its resources to other states and countries—people can go to almost any other state in the union and expect better housing, better social systems and better opportunities. And that creates a human resource exodus.

And that bugs the shit out of me because I’m here. I don’t want to lose my friends, I don’t want educated people to leave, I don’t want the best musicians to move to Portland, I don’t want the best students to move to … anywhere.