Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

One of the things I love about living in Reno is the culture clash. There’s the Old West side of things around here—ranching, mining, gambling, drinking—longstanding traditions, well established. And then there’s the more recent influx of California-style modernity—fancy food, fancy drinks, fancy art, fancy music, cutting-edge technology, progressive social values like tolerance and equality. It’s like Wyoming and San Francisco all mixed up with just a pinch of Monte Carlo.

For those of us who appreciate both sides, it’s a win-win: We get good beef and good avocados.

And I’m well aware that many locals probably see this newspaper as an emblem of the Cali influx. Probably less so now, since the paper has been a local institution for a couple of decades, but, sure, our sister papers are based in California cities, and alternative news entities like ours tend to arise in cosmopolitan burgs. Despite the presence of our libertarian columnist and our happy willingness to publish letters and guest comments from right-wing thinkers, we’ve been known to take clear editorial positions espousing progressive policies.

But every once in a while the culture clash will reach some boiling point that makes my skin crawl. The recent coyote hunting contest in Lemmon Valley is one. I was tipped off about the contest by a reader who was organizing a protest outside of the Wayside Bar, which promoted the contest. (This is Reno published some good photos of the protest.)

On the one hand, I grew up in Virginia Foothills, which in those days was fairly rural, and our backyard abutted the hills. We lost a lot of cats and rabbits to coyotes. I understand that coyotes are predators that need some population control.

On the other hand, they are smart, beautiful animals, and the idea of some yahoo killing them for fun makes my blood boil.

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