Keeping track of what’s important

There are war crimes being committed in the Ukraine.

“OMG! Did you see what happened at the Oscars?”

Children are being murdered.

“I can’t believe he slapped him! He needs to face consequences.”

OK. So you don’t care about the Russian invasion and attempted genocide. Closer to home, right-wingers are trying to suppress voting by passing laws that will undermine democracy.

“One of the Kardashians  eloped in Las Vegas! I’m not sure which one.”

You are a moron.

“That reminds me, have you seen the new “Jackass” movie? I haven’t, but Twitter says it’s great.”

Guy Bartello, Reno

Planetarium about to turn 60

The Fleishmann Planetarium on the University of Nevada, Reno campus will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year. Built in 1963, the planetarium was revolutionary, featuring the only 360-degree projection technology in the U.S. at the time. Inspired by its anniversary, the UNR College of Science is looking to raise $5 million to support improvements of this community treasure. The Jack Van Sickle Foundation supports this mission with donations to the Fleishmann Planetarium and Science Center Fund, furthering its 15-year tradition of giving. To support the planetarium as it celebrates 60 years, visit

James Read, Reno

Big Pharma extorts Americans

Sometimes it’s just easier to make a point with a story.  A friend of mine is troubled with diabetes and has been for several years.  She is on Medicare but finds the co-insurance to be expensive.  So she shops for the same medicine that is her lifesaver in Mexico.  The point is that after shopping in the states the best she could do is $20.33 per pill while in Mexico she would have to pay $1.  Twenty times more for the same drug!  Astounding!   So are Americans being extorted.  Looks like it to me.  Another point is this same lady does what my brother does and gets her dental care in Mexico, as more and more Americans are.

So what the heck is going on?  Are American corporations a band of criminals?  Think of the Sackler Family, Mylan Pharma, Moderna, Pfizer, Purdue, all doing things that 30 years ago would have been criminal.  When they get caught these folks pay a small fine and pocket millions.  That is what happens when you let kleptocrats write the laws. 

Jaw droppingly,

Don McKechnie, Sparks

In praise of candidate Kyle Isacksen

Kyle Isacksen is running for Washoe County Commissioner. One of the most authentic, enthusiastic, and motivated citizens of the country and the world, Kyle is an outstanding husband, father, and friend. Since landing in Washoe County in 2004, Kyle has wholeheartedly approached life in the region by demonstrating a deep sense of responsibility and concern for the welfare of all inhabitants and the celebrated, fragile environment.

As a get-out-the-vote and education leader, he has been a tenacious collaborative organizer for the community. Programs Kyle started that have taken root and are thriving include the High Desert Montessori School, Great Basin Naturalists, Climate Action Initiative, Down to Earth Composting, the Reno Garlic Fest, and Be the Change Project. He co-authored with his wife, Katy, a delightful children’s book, Snakes Wear Socks, currently being adapted as a piece for educational theatreIn 2013, Mother Earth News named Katy and Kyle’s family dwelling “Homestead of the Year.” He’s a prolific and published writer-blogger who served two terms on the Ward 3 Neighborhood Advisory Board. Kyle teaches natural construction techniques and built “the first single-family home in Nevada to become part of a community land trust for affordable housing to demonstrate the feasibility of land trusts as an affordable housing solution.” (See his campaign website,

He collaborated with the Desert Research Institute and the University of Rochester to analyze and reveal a significant amount of microplastics in our precious Truckee River, in the snowpack, and in the air. Ever the innovator, Kyle and Be the Change Project commissioned a stage adaptation of extensive interviews conducted with DREAMers. In 2014, Liberty’s Children ran to wide acclaim at Reno’s new artworks incubator, the Potentialist Workshop. Kyle’s priorities for the region include affordable housing, the environment and climate, development and growth, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, education including the arts, election access, workers, voting rights, and tree canopy coverage — not a typical candidate’s list, but a comprehensive agenda that addresses the ecosystem in its entirety.

In an era when politics has become profoundly cynical, combative, and polarized, and the masses have turned away from reasonable civic engagement, Kyle leans into community action with extensive experience, knowledge, grace, devotion, courage, compassion, and always a healthy dollop of humor. He has the character, track record, and resolve to work as a professional public servant.  It is my great honor to call him my friend. I urge everyone to vote Kyle Isacksen for Washoe County Commission.

Jeanmarie Simpson, Reno

GOP = Greedy Old Perverts

In case y’all haven’t heard yet, today’s hilariously hypocritical Republican Party of Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and her convicted sex offender husband Jayson Boebert (R-CO Jail) love to snort cocaine and attend orgies.  Or so implied the photogenic, paraplegic 26-year-old Republican congressman from North Carolina, Madison Cawthorn on March 24:

 “The sexual perversion that goes on in Washington… Being kind of a young guy in Washington when the average age is probably 60 or 70… you look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life, then all of a sudden you get invited:  ‘Hey, we’re going to have a sexual get together at one of our homes.  You should come.’  I’m like, What did you just ask me to come to?’  Then you realized they asked you to come to an orgy… Some of the people that are leading on the movement to try to remove addiction in our country, then you watch them do a key bump of cocaine in front of you…”

Religious Right founder Jerry Falwell’s so-called Moral Majority of the 1980s, which was politically triumphant in its time, has since then devolved into Jerry Falwell, Junior’s Immoral Minority of putrid perverts who misuse Jesus’ name to financially fleece their foolish flock.  And you thought partisan political gridlock was the cause of the GOP’s long-standing inability to get anything done in Congress, but no — as it turns out, the real reason is these days the GOP stands for nothing more than Greedy Old Perverts.

And if you actually need additional proof of the randy Republican Party’s prevalent perversions, I have but just two dirty words for you that sum up the GOP’s hypocrisy on this issue perfectly:  DONALD TRUMP.  Need I say more?  I do?  OK then, speaking of snorting cocaine, how about DONALD TRUMP JR?

Jake Pickering, Arcadia, Calif.

The Reno News & Review welcomes letters to the editor and submissions for guest opinion columns about current issues. Letters and proposals for guest columns may be sent to

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *