Indy Digest: June 9, 2022
Regular readers of this space know the Independent acquired a sister newspaper earlier this year: On Jan. 31, the Reno News & Review—a paper in my hometown I edited a couple of decades ago, where I ever had my first professional byline—joined our company.
Since 1995, the RN&R had published a weekly print edition—until March 2020, when the then-owners suspended publication because of the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after, the Reno News & Review resumed publication online in a limited fashion. When it joined our company earlier this year, we went to work, upgrading the website and beefing up the content. Then, over Memorial Day weekend, the RN&R returned to print—as a monthly, just like the Independent.
Over the last several months, as I’ve worked to revive the RN&R (while keeping the Independent humming along, of course), I’ve learned a lot. And I mean A LOT. But one of the strongest and most powerful lessons came as I helped deliver copies of that return print edition across the western portion of Northern Nevada, over Memorial Day weekend and in the days that followed.
While I expected the response to the print edition—the first RN&R in physical form published in 26 1/2 months—to be largely positive, I did not anticipate the level of emotion we encountered.
Most powerfully: Two people—one, a library employee; the other, a CVS clerk—teared up when they saw the stack of RN&R copies in my arms.
Part of the emotion comes from the fact that the RN&R was, and is, an area institution. For more than 2 1/2 decades, the RN&R has been part of Northern Nevada’s fabric. The newspaper’s racks and red distribution boxes were seemingly everywhere, while plaques and certificates from the paper’s Best of Northern Nevada readers’ poll are common sights on businesses’ walls. The RN&R led arts and culture coverage in Reno, and broke numerous important stories over the years. It was a beloved community institution—at a level I hope the Independent is at here in another 15-plus years.
But the emotion, I discovered, also came from another, arguably deeper, place.
The pandemic cost all of us a lot. It’s taken the lives of more than a million Americans—our friends and loved ones. It’s wreaked havoc on the economy, on our supply chain, and our psyches, collective and individual. To this day, every sneeze or sniffle activates a back-of-the mind fear that the Rona has finally gotten me—and given I deal with allergies, I have sneezes and sniffles all the damned time.
In the case of Reno, the RN&R was a representation of COVID-19’s costs. The last print edition—with a bright, red cover announcing the publication’s suspension—was published on March 19, 2020. Reminders of the loss of the RN&R remained everywhere, in the form of those empty racks and boxes, and those Best Of certificates. So when I showed up, or one of my fellow distribution folks showed up, with a big stack of RN&R print editions in our arms, it represented—in a way I did not anticipate—a reversal of that loss. It represented healing, and a return to normalcy, and perhaps even the end of the pandemic (even though the pandemic is not over), because one thing the pandemic had cost us was back.
It made me realize how truly traumatic these last 27 months have been. It made me confront some of the ways in which I, personally, have been affected by the pandemic and all the havoc it’s wrought. And it reminded me how powerful healing can be—and how much healing we all still have to do.
From the Independent
June 7th, 2022
The Mizell Center’s 642-square-foot kitchen was originally built more than 70 years ago. The renovation would add more than 1,100 square feet to the kitchen—making it 1,776 square feet, to be exact.
By Greg Niemann
June 8th, 2022
As more and more celebrities established homes in the area, the Moortens were called upon to create landscaping for clients including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, Lily Pons and Walt Disney.
June 9th, 2022
Topics handled on this week’s comics page include insomnia, well-regulated militias, time travel, Mike Pence—and more!
• Our partners at CalMatters always offer up fantastic state-level coverage—and such has been the case with their primary election coverage. We’ll share two stories here. First up is an attempt to answer the question: Why didn’t more Californians vote? Emily Hoeven writes: “Although turnout stood at just 16% on Wednesday—stoking fears California could break its low-turnout record of 25.17% set in 2014—things could change significantly in the coming weeks. Los Angeles County, for example, estimates it still has 400,000 votes left to count. Elections guru Paul Mitchell told my colleague Ben Christopher that, based on the historical gap between the initial ballot count and the certified total, ‘The way I think about it … you have to add 9 or 10 points. So maybe it’s 28%. But who knows! We have to be humble.’ Nevertheless, ‘it seems safe to say that turnout in (Tuesday’s) primary will not be held up as a shining example of citizen civic engagement,’ the nonpartisan California Target Book, which tracks election data, wrote in a Wednesday email.”
• Second up is CalMatters’ summary of what happened in the election—and what remains to be determined as votes are counted. For example: “Californians may not be used to hearing this, but our votes actually do matter for national politics this year. With Democrats desperate to hold on to their sliver-thin majority in the House of Representatives, some of the most competitive toss-up races in the country are to be found in the Central Valley, Orange County and the northern suburbs of both Los Angeles and San Diego.” It should be noted that one of those competitive races will determine who represents much of the recently redistricted Coachella Valley, as incumbent Rep. Ken Calvert will face Democrat Will Rollins in the general election.
• May the hopes in this ABC News headline please come true: “Moderna says new booster for fall could be ‘turning point’ in COVID fight.” The gist: “Moderna Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Burton told ABC News that he believes the company’s ‘highly effective’ updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccine could be a ‘turning point’ in the nation’s fight against the pandemic. ‘The data are definitely better than I had even hoped,’ Burton told ABC News that in an interview. ‘Given the magnitude of effect—that seven-fold increase in antibody levels—we could for the first time, be at a vaccine that is truly effective with once yearly dosing because we know those antibody levels will decay.'”
• Here’s your monkeypox update, compliments of NBC News: “World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned Wednesday that the window to contain the global monkeypox outbreak may be narrowing. ‘The risk of monkeypox becoming established in non-endemic countries is real,’ he said at a briefing in Geneva. Since the start of May, the WHO has confirmed more than 1,000 monkeypox cases across 29 countries outside West and Central Africa, where the virus is endemic. If outbreaks aren’t contained and the virus does gain a foothold in new regions, it could simmer indefinitely at low levels. It’s also possible cases would rise to epidemic proportions in some places, meaning large numbers of people would get sick in a short time frame.”
• What’s the latest product hard to find due to supply-chain issues? Time magazine has the answer: “In the last few months, I’ve visited stores in New York, Massachusetts, and California—no tampons. And it’s not just me. Dana Marlowe, the founder of I Support the Girls, which provides bras and menstrual hygiene for people experiencing homelessness, told me that her organization has seen a big drop off in tampon donations. ‘What’s been going on for a couple months is that organizations call us up and say, “we need tampons,” and we go to our warehouse and there’s nothing there.’”
• Well, here’s an impending mess caused by the state Legislature, as explained by the Los Angeles Times: “By the end of summer, every bar and restaurant employee who serves alcohol in California must obtain a new certification. So far, just 33,000 people have become certified, a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of workers employed by not only bars and restaurants but also wineries, breweries, distilleries, brewpubs, event centers and stadiums—essentially any place of business where you can drink. … Assembly Bill 1221, or the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act, will require bartenders, waitstaff and their managers at establishments licensed to serve alcohol to undergo a three- to four-hour training on how alcohol affects the body, the consequences of over-serving, basic laws regulating alcohol and intervention techniques for dealing with inebriated customers. Workers must then pass a two-hour open-book exam. … The law goes into effect July 1, and 60 days after—by Aug. 31—the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will require that alcohol servers be properly certified. Any workers hired after that date will have 60 days to complete the certification. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Department said it plans to focus on outreach rather than immediately penalizing businesses that fail to comply.”
• And finally … congrats to these four recipients of a scholarship from the Palm Springs Modernism Committee. From a news release: “The Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom) has just awarded four $2,500 scholarships in memory of Robert Imber, founder of PS ModCom’s Education Committee (EdCom). Each scholarship is renewable for up to four years for a total of $10,000. The recipients are students planning on pursuing education in architecture, design, landscape or building-related engineering. … This year’s recipients are: Amy Ramirez, Cathedral City High School, Sustainable Studies/Sustainable Design; Jacob Baskin, Palm Springs High School, Sustainable Architecture; Ephraim Patterson, Palm Springs High School, Architecture/Construction Engineering; and Eliza Moto, Rancho Mirage High School, Mechanical Engineering/Robotics. Additionally, PS ModCom’s Education Committee has expanded their architecture education program to more schools. Originally developed at St. Theresa Catholic School, the program is now being implemented at Palm Springs High School and middle schools including Nellie Coffman, Raymond Cree, James Workman, and Painted Hills. The program educates students on our built environment including what is unique to the Coachella Valley: Desert Modern Architecture.” Learn more at psmodcom.org.
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