Last year was pivotal for Reno in many, many ways. While the city proudly beat its drum as it tried to define what we want to be as a community, it is the on-the-ground folks occupying our everyday lives who slog the metropolis forward — often on uncertain ground.
It’s an exciting and trying time to be a Reno resident. Many of ThisisReno’s top stories from 2016 show that we are, indeed, making up a city that is solidifying its identity not only as a destination but also as a place to live. And the powers that be, uncoordinated as they are at times, are pushing agendas sometimes inconsistent with those who struggle to get by.
Reno and its ever conflicted brand got “ink” around the country, and some of that press coverage accurately reflected our emerging identity.
With that mind, here are some of our stories that rose to the occasion in 2016 and had an impact beyond what some have referred to as our “scrappy, little website.”
- Journalism student Jose Olivares crafted a long-form piece on what it’s like to be homeless in Reno. It’s solid journalism and an unfiltered peek into what many of our residents live with every day: Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Being Homeless in Reno.
- The working classes can also be conflicted. We broke the story of the Tesla walk-out, an action by workers at Storey County’s Gigafactory that was covered around the world: About 350 Union Workers Walk Off Job at Tesla Gigafactory.
- When two youth were forcibly arrested earlier this year, a case of conflicting information emerged. The case is still pending, and most use-of-force cases by law enforcement are deemed justified after review, but a national interest also has locals paying more attention: Eye-Witness Accounts Differ From Reno Police in Use-of-Force Case (Watch Video).
- Growth and development continued mostly unabated in 2016. These pieces are many we covered about ongoing approvals of developments in the North Valleys, as well as Verdi and other areas with available land in Washoe County. From Erin Meyering: New Development Planned at Peavine Mountain. And: City Council Gives OK to New Development in Verdi. From Carla O’Day: Lemmon Valley Annexation Approved by City, and Additional Growth Expected For South Meadows.
- Ky Plaskon gave us an end-of-the-year gift, one family’s take on affordable housing: Washoe’s First Container Home: Thinking Outside the Box (Video).
- The year ended on a sour note for city government. Hopefully 2017 is an opportunity to honestly assess issues, and to mend: City Manager Investigations Show City Hall Rife With Dysfunction.
- Reno art never stops: VIDEO: Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll at Good Luck Macbeth. And PHOTOS: Who’s Making The Rock Sculptures at The River? And: PHOTOS: Harrah’s Decadence is Home-Grown Burlesque at its Finest.
- Business was good. So good that the Tesla Gigafactory benchmarks gave the carmaker its agreed-upon tax credits, which the company then sold to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. While a legislative analyst bemoaned this story as not being newsworthy, it was picked up by the Associated Press (Las Vegas) and went global: Tesla Sells $20 Million Worth of Tax Credits to Las Vegas Casino. We also welcomed a new tasty business to town. From Dana Nollsch: PHOTOS: A Sneak Peek at Hinoki Sushi.
- And we made Reddit: Reno’s Alleged Tie in “The Zola Story” (NSFW).
- Despite it all, we never forgot how to party. In fact, travel, partying and recreation continue to help define us: Two great snow-shoe hikes not far from Reno, LIST: Holiday Light Shows in the Truckee Meadows, R.I.P. to The Knit — Welcome to the Rockbar Theater and from Chris Moran, The Loneliest Road in America: Five stops along U.S. 50 in Nevada.
- Lastly, hockey: City Council Approves Agreement to Bring Minor League Hockey to Events Center.
Happy new year! Thanks for being with us.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.