Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fishing on the East Truckee to Change

Truckee River Fisherman (on Facebook) reports:
"Good news Anglers!! NDOW will change the REGS on the Truckee River next year. From Stateline to Lockwood will be limit 3 (elimination of Trophy section) and from Lockwood to USA parkway limit 1. I'm glad to see the change coming. We have submitted additional REGS proposals as well to further enhance fishing east of Reno."

Assume Stateline is California/Nevada, not up at "The Lake". NDOW is the Nevada Department of Wildlife, your horse/bear hater-killer advocates. REGS is probably short for 'regulations', so get your copy if you can find one. (Link goes to NDOT site, so take your ((Smart phone)) out there or only fish in WiFi areas.) Does this change affect Catch-and-Release (?). Would like to know what other regulation changes they advocate or criticize. I have corrected two grammatical errors that have no effect on meaning in their post.

It will be interesting to see where NDOW draws the line as being the "Lockwood" border. My guess, since they are known arbitrary and anti-people/anti-animal regulators, is at the west train tressel bridge. That will mess with the optimum number of recreators.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hess Felony Charges Thrown Out

   In the June 14th issue, the Virginia City News reports that Senior Judge Edward Johnson of Dayton has dismissed felony charges against former Storey County Commissioner Greg "Bum" Hess stemming from an altercation February 1 with former Virginia City High School student Kody Burrell. The judge left open the possible refiling of misdemeanor charges at a later date.

Greg "Bum" Hess   
   The front page news article went into great detail regarding the arguments at hand. By-lined to Karen Woodmansee, it detailed the judges decision and an extensive review of Deputy Attorney General Rhonda Clifton's rebuttal and explanation of the law involved. In summing up, editors reported that actual testimony will be published next week.

   In a companion Woodmansee article, Scott Burrell, father of victim Kody, explained his armed involvement in the same incident. Sheriff Gerald Antinoro acted to defuse the situation by explanation to Burrell about what was about to happen. Based on statements by Hess, according to the article, Burrell feared for the safety of his family and had armed himself against possible further violence.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Geothermal Profile

If your are in any way interested in the geothermal potential of our area, and you should, a new study has produced a national map that graphically presents how rich Nevada is in unused potential.
Meanwhile, I have taken the first steps toward installing a vertical closed-loop system to heat and cool my 600 sq. ft. mobile home. As you might think, the process is complicated due to both existing law and the politics involved in any new project around here. I will post events as they take place in hope that you, dear reader, also consider this and other alternatives to polluting power sources. Yes, Patrick is set up to burn coal if necessary. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Commissioner Gilman holds 2nd Open Forum

 Having just come from a Community Open Forum hosted by Lance Gelman, newly-elected Storey County Commissioner, word regarding the county's need to consolidate and focus the effort to improve our neighborhoods is the first order of  business. There is a real need to take an existing but inactive Community Outreach and Services Program (COSP) to the next level. Gilman asked that everyone attending (about 40 citizens) contact the two other Commissioners and the County Manager to endorse the appointment and full funding of this Program. 

They are:
Commission Chairman Bill Sjovangen
(775) 847-0968 office
(775) 847-7558

Vice Chairman Marshal McBride
(775) 847-0968 office
(775) 847-0325

County Manager Pat Whitten
(775) 847-0909 office
(775) 721-7001 cell

     The Outreach Program will oversee and streamline community action programs, measure the "pulse" of community wants and needs, and assist where there is need in promoting and funding events and other community endeavors  Projects now go unfunded and/or undone for lack of guidance. Gelman pledged to endorse and expedite any program that will benefit the River District neighborhoods. 

*     *     *
     Also discussed was the building of a bike path out from the new Veteran's Memorial Bridge, part of the Southeast Connector being built to extend Sparks Boulevard (to be named   Veteran's Boulevard at completion) to and through the new Lockwood Trailhead Park. As the majority of attendees voiced a general disapproval of the project, it was explained that the Path will come out Canyon Way, across the Lockwood Bridge, turn on the Long Creek Bridge, take Peri Ranch Road out to the Landfill road. The only neighborhood involved with any bike or foot traffic would be, at this date, the LCC homes along Peri Ranch Road and the homes in the Peri Ranch complex. No Plan involving Rainbow Bend as been proposed and none is contemplated.

     One attendee became so upset, she walked from the room saying, "No, no, no..." When asked to stay and explain her position, she did not and left the building. Such impassioned opposition seems a common dilemma to those want the path as a means to avoid the freeway in getting to and from town. Without explanation by that one person, her position fell to daft explanation based on emotional fact and rumor.

*     *     *
     When queried, Gelman offered that no Storey County housing project is proposed that he knew of in the River District. He said there was one in the Painted Rock area on the Washoe county side of the river. 

*     *     *
     As operator of the Reno Tahoe Industrial Park (RTI), he reported that "a few" of the 100-odd wells dug in the area have yielded tepid water. Most the wells are approximately 100 feet deep. To get water hot enough to use for geothermal purposes, he said, wells in the 1,000 foot depth are more likely to be involved. 

*     *     *
     Calls to the above numbers have been unsuccessful this afternoon. Do not give up. Send emails. This is critical to improving the River District position in the county. Your endorsement of the Community Outreach Program may be the critical one that balances this issue.
*     *     *     *     *
The May 10, 2013 issue of Comstock Chronicle carries a front page article on what is discussed above. In the article, it reads that the question of going ahead on the Community Outreach Program is unresolved, although unclearly written. There is review of the recent history included. 
Omitted but also discussed was the situation with the railroad (Burlington Northern Santa Fe...BNSF?) carrying cargo containers to and from the RTI. Suggestion was made that there are fees involved in the track snow tunnels going over Donner Pass and that two-high containers do not fit through the tunnels, even though one sees them go by both directions in that configuration. Also, it was submitted that the railroad sees the cargo container traffic as "inconsequential"...not far enough to be "profitable enough." Since the railroad has proven time and again to be "not good neighbors," one wonders if this is "snow" to set up the eventual fee schedule to the railroads' maximum advantage. 

One attendee offered information about a trucking company that does this type of shipping. Later discussion conjectured that, based on driver experience, fees would be approximately $500 per container.

All this began with the statement by Commissioner Gilman that the largest bicycle maker in America was looking to set up distribution in RTI. Without their desired means to containerized shipping, they have put plans on hold while alternatives are investigated and discussed. As present, this is costing jobs and economic energy as we recover for years of recession.

In attempting to contact Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Public Affairs Director Lena Kent, it seemed appropriate to have the railroad comment on this service situation and two others regarding the railroad. 
She returned a first call, commenting that BNSF does service RTI and she was not aware of what I was saying in my first voicemail. I returned her call, leaving a message that she should read this weblog and reply by email (as a comment or to ) Her reply will be published here.

For some reason, the emails I sent have not been delivered. I have received notification to that effect from my email provider. One was a Notice of Delay, but no reason was given. The other a Notice of Undelivered Mail. Again with no explanation. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What does the Southeast Connector have to do with Lockwood?

Rendering from RTC web site of the new bridge for the Southeast Connector Project.

It runs north and south. It will bring considerable traffic to and from the area of Sparks now getting hot. A new shopping and entertainment center houses a plethora of high end outlets and recreational opportunities: Legends of Sparks. Problem is that its "way over there" to the rest of the area...until this road goes in. It brings the shopping center minutes away from the heavily populated South Reno neighborhoods, making Legends only a few minutes from most everywhere in the valley. 

It is called the Southeast Connector; more for its location than its direction. This morning, Channel 2's Early News show stressed the Open Meeting was tonight. Time would run from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.

I got there about 4:20, oxygen bottle in hand. I didn't plan well. In just a very few minutes, I realized that the planners had seen the value in extension of the current bike path (now The River Trail).
A very Spartan design, very minimal, and looking somewhat inconvenient for the recreating public. It takes long transition routes. But it is there! Cars 1, Bikes 0. Hikers and campers were not specifically mentioned. Nor was a launch area for tubers, canoes and the like. Parking? [Yes, there is the money thing. It is a priorities argument.]

I sat down about 5, expecting the show to get underway (shortly). Forty minutes later, I ran out of oxygen. My last small tank was in the red zone. I had barely enough to get to my van and hook up. I only had the big bottle I brought just in case. I thought I could just take deep breaths and manage. I was wrong. I was feeling weakness and began to get a headache. I decided to leave. It was nearly 6, and people were still milling around, no action onstage. If according to plan, it was to end in an hour. These things always run long. I was done. It was just to ambitious to think I would last and be able to add my two cents. Bad planning, but there wil be other meetings. I am on the mail list, I think.

I did take the handout info with me. It has URLs for further info: , and . I read everything. It comes off as a done deal, even though certain permits and real estate commitments are "still in process." Having already drilled through what I found beforehand, I began to wonder about this public relations event. We are interested folk and urged to contact Michael Moreno, RTC Public Information Officer, at for the latest. I may do that just for fun.

Wish I had stayed for the full tilt boogie. From the tone of the handout, general attitude of the attendees, and host project personnel, the real challenge is on the other end of this major road project (Phase 2). The River Trail is a low priority item to these folks. After all, there are golf courses real estate developments, government revenue, and lots of insider movement yet to come. The audience was full of guys in Levis that looked lost without their tape measure, plenty of older folk taking in their own interests, many who seemed to be obliged to attend, but not me.
There is an effort to get The River Trail to extend out to Lockwood, eventually to link Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. I join with my neighbors that like this idea and want to help see it realized. But first it must join Sparks with Lockwood. The River Trail web site has the trail climbing the cliffs on the north side of the freeway. Hope not, since there is already a road that runs from the water treatment plant on the river to very near the new Lockwood Trailhead Park. The River Trail web site has that Storey County is dragging its feet, property owners are being difficult, and expenses involved are too great. .

Once in Lockwood, after RUNNING IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE (up Peri Ranch Road), The River Trail will trunk with the run (now already in) from Mustang to Patrick (Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park).  

RTC designers went with a design for their trail, where the new Southeast Connection bridges over the Truckee River, that looks like an afterthought. Emphasis is on utility rather than economic potential. It is as though all involved missed how California grew along the freeways. So much potential. There will be races, people. International races. And not just at the new off road track. Those vehicles will no doubt be banned; as will other of road vehicles  But not granddad's golf cart! Or an upgrade to it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Privacy and its Expectation in Public Places

This morning, while waiting for my turn in line at the regular Wednesday Food Bank in the Community Center, I took a wide angle picture of the main dining room. Seated around the table were a half-dozen Lockwood seniors. There was no flash as ambient light was sufficient for the photo. I took one shot and returned to my place in line.

A very few minutes later, I was told that someone had a question for me. It was "why" had I take the photo. I replied I am chronicler many public photos of Lockwood. She then objected to having had her picture taken. Addressing the group, I offered to edit any identification of any individuals (who might object). I have software, (as seen above) that can alter digital photos in many ways. Pixel-ating to hid identity is one of the easier processes. The woman, who here will remain anonymous in deference to her demands of privacy, asked if I could just delete the one I took. I said I could, but would not; after another in the group threatened to sue if I published her likeness. I expect a more mature response than I received. It sounded to me like more of a demand than a request.

The objecting woman called someone to ask what to do. Told they could call the sheriff, she did. Meanwhile, my time came to get groceries. Half-way through my shopping, two Deputies arrived..They asked if I would talk to them. I asked to finish what I was doing; to which the replied, with some verbal force, that they just wanted to talk.  We went outside and discussed the situation.

They wanted me to delete my photo "in the interest of neighborly peace." I explained the long struggle I have had with this group of women; that I would not delete nor publish the photo. I would edit out any identifying areas in it; that I would keep it in my Life in Lockwood file for future reference only. Aside, I was asked what I expect from old women like them.

Here is what I expect. I expect to be able to take photography in any public space where there is no expectancy of privacy. I expect to be treated with the same respect that anyone, who might object to such photography, may require. I expect to be left alone so long as what I am doing harms no one.

The deputies were reasonable and respectful. For that I am thankful, and will let the Sheriff know as much if the opportunity presents itself. I was able to finish my grocery run and return home.

This incident was unnecessary and a waste of county resources.  I feel fortunate to live somewhere that their difficult job can still afford common courtesy. The Sheriff's office has better things to do than field complaints from citizens unable to settle situations in a mature manner. I did not delete the photo, and will not, because doing so would have given them a victory. Such ill feelings are a two-way street; one that is as polarizing as politics. If I make enemies over such, I am bigger than returning their spite would paint me. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Geothermal Project for Lockwood?

It has been below freezing nearly every day since Christmas. Now a notion of how to beat the high cost of heating (both air and water) comes to mind in the potential resource beneath our feet.

Is it there to be had? Will government pay to find out? How do we get it? Who will own it? How will the energy be distributed? What are the costs involved? Is it better to "take the bull by its horns" now, or wait for entrenched utility interests to take (away) the initiative? What is a logical first step?

Whatever it is, it will take money. The internet has begun to nurture hundreds of good ideas that are intended to work our economy out of its recent malady. One local attempt is underway to raise initial start up monies. You can read of this here.