The rising

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Really, welcome. I know that there is no requirement to read this newspaper, so I appreciate it when you do. There are other sources for much of the information contained here. It is my belief that we have a lot of content that you can’t read anywhere else, and the rest would require you to check six or seven other sources—newspapers, magazines, TV shows, internet, what have you—but that could just be my own delusion.

I see a lot of things I don’t read in newspapers, and sometimes those things fly in the face of what I do see in the news. For example, I see unemployment has risen again in Nevada. I see apparently homeless people in places I’ve never noticed them before, sitting on sidewalks on major streets in Reno—along Skyline Drive, for example.

And on this, the morning of the State of the State and the day before the State of the Union, there’s a lot of uncertainty among many of my friends—business owners, service industry workers and teachers among them.

But I see other suggestions that the economy is hitting bottom. And that’s where I find hope. I see friends whose homes have been foreclosed discovering a new normal, and somehow, since they’re not paying the crazy mortgages forced by the housing bubble, they have more money than they’ve had in years. I look at those closed hotel-casinos, and I only see one possibility for them—affordable condos for lower middle-class buyers. I’d have to say our high-end condo market is glutted.

And you know what those buyers might look like? Thirty-somethings who want to be where the culture is. That could be our new economy.

Jobs are the missing piece in this puzzle. They’re not likely to be downtown, which means we’ll have to rethink our mass transit system. Our community will have to take the lead on this one, since our electeds are apparently impotent to envision and act on a future when gambling and construction are smaller pieces of the economic pie.