River’s edge

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

After the big snow dump during the last weekend of January, it seemed like locals were excited to see the Truckee River flowing at full force again. I even saw some folks on social media fretting that the river might spill over its banks like it did during the Great New Year’s Flood of ’97. But it also seems to signify healthier local water levels after a couple of dry years. The river, like everything else in this town, seems to fluctuate from a pathetic trickle to a mighty Amazon.

After a while, that boom-and-bust cycle just seems like the nature of life here in the high desert. It’s like that in the local economy, but also culturally. Some years, the local art and music and food scenes just seem to explode. Other years, even the most die-hard Nevadans consider moving to richer climes. We have dry years and wet years. Red years and black years. Rich years and poor years.

And the Truckee River, with its fluctuating water levels, seems like a convenient symbol at the heart of that constant change. Remember, this town was started because somebody needed to maintain a bridge over that river. And it looks like the newest iteration of that bridge is developing nicely.

In other news, watching the Iowa caucus results roll in on Monday night awakened my inner political junkie. That beast lays dormant for three years but then, around this time every election year, I transform into the kind of monster who checks the latest poll results every morning—even before I check my email or log into social media.

Don’t get me wrong—I always try to stay informed and up to date, but during election years, I start following the races with a fervor akin to baseball fandom—obsessing over minute statistics and percentages. And this presidential election is going to be an exciting, weird race. The Democratic rivalry might be as close and hard fought as the 2008 primary. And the Republican field is a rogues gallery that rivals Batman’s nemeses. But it’s hard to say who’s the biggest joker.