The best of times. The worst of times.

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Our job, as a community newspaper, is to reflect our community. Sometimes that job is to reflect serious problems like corruption or homelessness. But this week, our job is to reflect those things in this community which the community itself—by voting in our readers’ poll—defines as superlative. We highlight our community’s best barbershop, best new restaurant, best church, best barista, and a whole lot more. This is our annual Best of Northern Nevada issue.

Huge congrats to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

The winners are listed in this week’s feature section, starting on page 13, but be sure to also visit our website,, to check out the first, second and third place winners in many of the categories. The runners-up are often just as great as the winners—if, perhaps, not quite as well known.

It can be hard to fully embrace a celebration of all the nice things here in our nice little corner of the globe when there are so many nasty things happening out there in the world. Regular readers of this column might recall that last week I lamented the tragic massacre in Gilroy, California. That column attracted some snarky replies from readers, like the guy who wrote, “Way to take a stand against violence against young children! Are you also for double coupons?”

And then, during the week that issue was on the stands, there were two more horrible shooting sprees—in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

The problem is that this subject is indeed politicized. Taking a stand for children, and innocent people, isn’t just common sense. Some people think that protecting guns is more important than protecting people. It’s a “topic of debate,” not just a problem to be dealt with.

And meanwhile, mass shootings keep happening in this country. Over and over again.