RIP Bruce Van Dyke, pilot of the airwaves

Thanks for the memories. The piece on Bruce VanDyke (RN&R, Oct. 1) was nice: short and sweet and nice, some of the things that Van Dyke was typically not, if you knew him. He certainly wasn’t short, his general demeanor and criticism was rarely sweet and nice wasn’t a word I would have used to describe him.

He was very tall and often a little full of himself; being nice if you were a Rockstar DJ would have ruined the act. We both worked in radio when Reno had about nine stations, late seventies, early eighties, when rock stars were tall and thin with lots of hair and screamed many of their songs: women loved them.

I guess I kind of wanted to be him because I was the guy down the hall who sold the radio advertising and wrote the commercial spots; I did get to go to lots of radio remotes, you know, car dealerships, new store openings and fast-food startups. The only problem was I was all dressed up in a giant duck costume…quack, quack, while he had the mike and the girls.

 A few years later, we had both grown up some and I discovered things are not often what they appear: I was not a duck and he was not a Rockstar. He was very bright and very nice. But never short. Bye, Bruce…see you on the other side.

 Patrick Luna, Reno

A ‘tunesmith and a wordsmith’

I still remember interviewing Bruce for a piece in the RGJ about the “X” and its amazing resiliency. He was just so great. We talked Reno radio, the “X” and its birth, why the station kept coming back against incredible odds, and why so much of the station’s success was the pride that the people who worked there took in its existence. Bruce made a very clear point that to be a good DJ a person had to take pride in being a “tunesmith” as well as a “wordsmith.” No one in our area was a better “tunesmith” and “wordsmith” than Bruce. His Reno News & Review, column, which you write about so well, Jimmy (RN&R, Oct 1), was an extension of this wonderful intersection of music, thought and words that Bruce inhabited so well. I remember he called me after my story in the RGJ appeared. He thanked me for it, and said that anytime I wanted to come down their studios again and hang out, I was welcome. Come to find out, all of Reno had the same standing invitation with this uncommonly talented man.

John Trent, Reno (via RN&

PHOTO/COURTESY OF BRUCE VAN DYKE: The dean of Reno alt-radio, Bruce Van Dyke, shown here at the Grand Canyon, was retired, but still did shows on Jive Radio, available online. Van Dyke died on Sept. 16.

Godspeed, BVD

Bruce Van Dyke was Reno.
Iconic, A tad wacky, wonderful and totally full of the Sierras. My bucket list wish would have been to follow him around in his Northern Nevada treks, to see for myself what he so beautifully described. I have collected a ton of his RN&R articles because they were, to me, so Spot On.
The news of his passing was and will always be devastating.
God Speed, and when you catch up with Hunter S. Thompson? I expect Tales From Beyond The Neon Babylon!
With great Love + Respect.

Leslie Maxwell, Reno (via RN&

Burning Man fizzles

It’s fitting that your story about Burning Man (RN&R, Aug. 1) was illustrated by a sculpture of a glass shark. Now that the event has hit attendance of 80,000 and ticket prices are in the stratosphere, the annual “Hippie Heaven on Earth” has “jumped the shark.” What began as a pretty cool arts festival has deteriorated into a overblown campout for Bay Area tech bros and assorted hangers on who freely pass COVID around (RN&R, Sept. 14). Northern Nevada makes money off the coconut water crowd and that’s the only upside for Reno. But it’s time that Burning Man gets doused. It’s run its course.

Ken Waters, Reno

Thanks to Dolan Auto Group

This fall we are extraordinarily thankful for Dolan Auto Group who has committed to buying all of the turkeys for Catholic Charities’ Thanksgiving food baskets. Local residents interested in holding a food drive to help complete these baskets may contact Monique Jacobs at Anyone who would like to contribute financially please note “Thanksgiving” in the comments of your online gift.

Catholic Charities, Reno

Libertarians on the ballot

This cycle, the Libertarian Party of Nevada ran a 40-year record number of candidates – but we also ranked and rated our opposition. We prepared a voter’s guide for our membership (and for anyone who cares about shrinking the size and scope of government) with our opinions of the other candidates in these races.  Here is the guide:

Katie Banuelos, The Libertarian Party of Nevada

Marchant is a danger to democracy

One of the most dangerous political candidates in the country is running for office in Nevada. If elected, he will have power—too much power—over our elections. His name is Jim Marchant (RN&R, Aug. 11),  the Republican nominee for secretary of state. His chief issue is “election integrity,” which is troubling because the last thing he wants is integrity in our elections.

Marchant believes Donald Trump was the “legit” winner of the 2020 election—never mind there is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate this claim. To make matters worse, he supported sending an alternate slate of Trump electors to Congress over the will of Nevada voters and said he would do it again. He also said that he would not have certified Biden’s victory if he had been Nevada’s secretary of state in 2020.

This is an ominous sign of what is to come. If Marchant is our secretary of state in 2024 and a Democrat wins, the odds are high that Marchant will not certify the results, resulting in a constitutional crisis. He’s been an election denier since he lost his race for Nevada’s 4th congressional seat to Rep. Steven Horsford in 2020. He claimed he was the “victim of election fraud.” In reality, he was just the loser.

He thinks elections have been rigged for more than a decade and the winners “have been installed by the deep state cabal.” Apparently, the only time elections are rigged is when Marchant and his preferred candidates lose. He is so conspiratorial about elections that he even questioned the legitimacy of the primary he won in June. He said he was “not really confident in the result” and that there “could have been anomalies.” He is the leader of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, which exists—in his words—to work

The secretary of state is our last line of defense of our democracy. If this person undermines our elections, we will cease to have a functioning democracy. We can’t let that happen.

Hyla Winters, Las Vegas.

Join the Conversation


  1. Merchant spreading the Big Lie and falsehoods of rigged elections in Nevada is simply untrue. The former, twice impeached, president has been allowed, by some power-hungry people in the Republican Party, to spread the Big Lie while inciting an Insurrection on January 6, 2021 to try to prevent the peaceful transfer of office. Many courts throughout this great Nation rejected the Big Lie as a frivolous and unsubstantiated claim. Who, in their right mind, doesn’t see this as an attack on American Democracy? Merchant is one of those power seeking liars!! Reject MERCHANT!!

  2. The amount of noise on my TV and online where both sides claim the other as a manifestation of pure evil is astounding. It is impossible to know the whole truth behind these 30- or 60-second spots but I’m certain it can’t possibly be as bad as the ominous sound tracks would indicate. It almost makes me want to throw my hands in the air and drop out. Almost.
    But I won’t because that frustration is exactly what a lot of the noise is about. One way for a minority party to win is to do everything they can to keep people from voting including just making noise. Even if they discourage a few of their own, the fact that they’re a minority suggests that they’ll discourage more from the opposition. Don’t let that happen. Vote. I’ll say it again – Vote. Because if you don’t, you’re part of the problem.
    Mike Rottmann
    VC Highlands

  3. Republicans argue that inflation is due to Democrat spending and policies. It makes a good bumper sticker or hat label, but it’s simply not founded in facts.
    The inflation caused by the Democrat’s emergency spending during Covid was known by the Democrats to be potentially inflationary, but it kept people afloat and alive during the very real pandemic that Republicans ignored and denied. The alternative would have been significantly more deaths, more failed businesses, and more suffering in general.
    The Democrats had plans to manage that small inflationary bump but those plans got voted down by two rogue Democrats and all the Republicans who planned to use the failure they created to whip up outrage for the midterms.
    The majority of today’s inflation originates from ongoing supply chain issues (China is still our biggest supplier of most things and they’re still not at full production, for example) and gas prices which are a direct result of the Ukraine war and Russian decisions. And there are a LOT instances where companies are pricing things based on maximizing profits independent of value or actual costs. But that doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker or hat.
    Democrats, without a veto-proof majority in the Senate, have done a lot for working Americans in just two years. Republicans spent the time making people hate and/or fear each other based only on who they are, denying election results despite having no proof, and not acknowledging January 6 for what it was. The bottom line is that Republicans don’t believe in government. That being the case, why would anyone believe they can or want to govern?

    Mike Rottmann
    VC Highlands

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