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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reno, Nevada

Reno is the county seat of Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The city has a population of about 220,500 and is the most populous Nevada city outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. It sits in a high desert valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Reno, known as The Biggest Little City in the World, is famous for its casinos, and is the birthplace of the gaming corporation Harrah's Entertainment. City residents are called Renoites. Reno is bordered to the east by the city of Sparks. The Reno-Sparks metropolitan area is informally called the Truckee Meadows, and consists of about 400,000 residents. History As early as the 1850s a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a relatively fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra began. Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850 and a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush. To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community that would serve to service travelers soon grew up near the bridge. After two years, Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake, who continued to develop the community with the addition of a grist mill, kiln, and livery stable to the hotel and eating house. He renamed it Lake's Crossing. In 1864, Washoe County was consolidated with Roop County; Lake's Crossing became the largest town in the county. Lake had earned himself the title "founder of Reno." By January 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) had begun laying tracks east from Sacramento, California, eventually connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah to form the first transcontinental railroad. Lake deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake's Crossing. Once the railroad station was established, the town of Reno officially came into being on May 9, 1868. CPRR construction superintendent Charles Crocker named the community after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain. As the mining boom waned early in the 20th century, Nevada's centers of political and business activity shifted to the non-mining communities, especially Reno and Las Vegas, and today the former mining metropolises stand as little more than ghost towns. Despite this, Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa and Australia; the state yielded 6.9 percent of the world's supply in 2005 world gold production. The divorce business eventually died as the other states fell in line by passing their own laws easing the requirements for divorce, but gambling continued as a major Reno industry. Beginning in the 1950s, the need for economic diversification beyond gaming fueled a movement for more lenient business taxation. One of the worst disasters in the history of the region occurred on the afternoon of February 5, 1957 when an explosion ripped through the heart of downtown. At 1:03 pm, two explosions, caused by natural gas leaking into the maze of pipes and ditches under the city, and an ensuing fire destroyed five buildings in the vicinity of Sierra and First streets along the Truckee River. Forty-nine people were injured in the disaster and two were killed. The first explosion hit under the block of shops on the west side of Sierra Street (now the site of the Century Riverside), the second, across Sierra Street, now the site of the Palladio. The presence of a main east-west rail line, the emerging interstate highway system, favorable tax climate and relatively inexpensive land created good conditions for warehousing and distribution of goods to the growing population in the surrounding eleven western states. Environmental factors Wetlands are an important part of the Reno/Tahoe area. They act as a natural filter for the solids that come out of the water treatment plant. Plant roots absorb nutrients from the water and naturally filter it. Wetlands are home for over 75% of the species in the Great Basin. However, the area's wetlands are at risk of being destroyed due to development around the city. While developers build on top of the wetlands they fill them with dirt destroying the habitat they create for the plants and animals. Washoe county has devised a plan that will help protect these ecosystems: Mitigation. In the future, when developers try to build over a wetland, they will be responsible for creating another wetland near Washoe Lake. The Truckee River serves as Reno's primary source of drinking water. It supplies Reno with 80 million U.S. gallons (300 Ml) of water a day during the summer, and 40 million U.S. gallons (150 Ml) of water per day in the winter. Before the water goes to the homes around the Reno area, it must go to one of two water treatment plants, Chalk Bluff or Glendale Water Treatment Plant. As an attempt to save water, golf courses in Reno, like Arrow Creek Golf Course, have been using treated effluent water instead of treated water from one of Reno's water plants. The Reno-Sparks wastewater treatment plant discharges tertiary treated effluent to the Truckee River. In the 1990s this capacity was increased from 20 to 30 million U.S. gallons (70 to 110 million liters) per day. While treated, the effluent contains suspended solids, nitrogen, and phosphorus, aggravating water quality concerns of the river and its receiving waters of Pyramid Lake. Local agencies working with the U.S.  Geology Reno is situated just east of the Sierra Nevada on the western edge of the Great Basin at an elevation of about 4,400 feet (1,300 m) above sea level. Numerous faults exist throughout the region. Most of these are normal (vertical motion) faults associated with the uplift of the various mountain ranges, including the Sierra Nevada mountain range. In February 2008, an unusual earthquake swarm began to occur with some quakes registering between 4 and 4.5 on the Richter magnitude scale. The earthquakes were centered around the Somersett community in Western Reno near the areas of Mogul and Verdi. Many homes in these areas were damaged. Climate Reno sits in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Annual rainfall averages 7.48 inches (190 mm). Despite this low amount of rainfall per year, Reno features a steppe climate due to its low evapotranspiration. Annual precipitation has ranged from 1.55 inches (39.4 mm) in 1947 to 13.23 inches (336.0 mm) in 1983. The most precipitation in one month was 5.25 inches (133.4 mm) in December 1955 and the most precipitation in 24 hours was 2.29 inches (58.2 mm) on January 21, 1943. Winter has snowfall which is usually light to moderate but can be heavy some days, averaging 23.8 inches (60 cm) annually. Snowfall varies with the lowest amounts (roughly 19–23 inches annually) at the lowest part of the valley at and east of the Reno/Tahoe International airport at 4404 feet, while the foothills of the Carson range to the west ranging from 4700 to 5600 just a few miles west of downtown can receive up to 2–3 times as much annual snowfall. The mountains of the Virginia range to the east can receive more summer thunderstorms and precipitation, and around twice as much annual snowfall above 5500 feet. However, Snowfall increases up in the Virginia Range are less dramatic as elevation climbs than the Carson Range to the West because the Virginia Range is well within the Rain Shadow of the Sierra Nevada and Carson range. The most snowfall in one year was 63.8 inches (162 cm) in 1971 and the most snowfall in one month was 29.0 inches (74 cm) in March 1952. Most rainfall occurs in winter and spring. The city has 300 days of sunshine per year. Summer thunderstorms can occur between April and October. The eastern side of town and the mountains east of Reno tend to be prone to thunderstorms more often and these storms may be severe because an afternoon downslope west wind, called a "Washoe Zephyr", can develop in the Sierra Nevada, causing air to be pulled down in the Sierra Nevada and Reno, destroying or preventing thunderstorms but the same wind can push air upwards against the Virginia range and other mountain ranges east of Reno, creating powerful thunderstorms. Nevada's climate is unpredictable at times. Summer highs are in the low to mid 90s °F (32–36 °C), but temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C) occur.  Government Reno has a basic democratic municipal government. The city council is the core of the government, with seven members. Five of these council people represent districts of Reno, and are vetted in the primary by the citizens of each district. In general, the top two vote earners in each ward make the ballot for the city-wide election. The other two members are the at-large, who represent the entire city, and the mayor, who is elected by the people of the city. The council has several duties, including setting priorities for the city, promoting communication with the public, planning development, and redevelopment. There is an elected city attorney who is responsible for civil and criminal cases. The City Attorney represents the city government in court, and prosecutes misdemeanors. The city's charter calls for a council-manager form of government, meaning that the council appoints only two positions, the city manager, who implements and enforces the policies and programs the council approves, and the city clerk. The city manager in charge of the budget and workforce for all city programs. The city clerk, who records the proceedings of the council, makes appointments for the council, and makes sure efficient copying and printing services are available. In 2010, there was a ballot question asking whether the Reno city government and the Washoe County government should become one combined governmental body. Education Universities and colleges The University of Nevada, Reno is the oldest university in the state of Nevada and Nevada System of Higher Education. In 1886, the state university, previously only a college preparatory school, moved from Elko in remote northeastern Nevada to a site north of downtown Reno, where it became a full-fledged state college. The university grew slowly over the decades, but has begun to expand rapidly along with the rest of the state and currently has an enrollment of 16,867, with most students hailing from within Nevada. Among its specialties are mining engineering, agriculture, journalism, business, and one of only two Basque Studies programs in the nation. It houses the National Judicial College. The university was also named one of the top 200 colleges in the nation in the most recent U.S. News and World Report National Universities category index. Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) is a regionally accredited, two year institution which is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The college has an enrollment of approximately 13,000 students attending classes at a primary campus and four satellite centers. The college offers a wide range of academic and university transfer programs, occupational training, career enhancement workshops, and classes just for fun. TMCC offers associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science or associate of general studies degrees, one-year certificates, or certificates of completion in more than 50 career fields, including architecture, auto/diesel mechanics, criminal justice, dental hygiene, graphic design, nursing, and welding. Public schools Public education is provided by the Washoe County School District. Reno has eleven public high schools: Damonte Ranch, Galena, Hug, McQueen, North Valleys, Regional Technical Institute (RTI), Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College High School, Washoe, and Wooster. There are three public high schools in neighboring Sparks, attended by many students who live in Reno: Reed, Spanish Springs, and Sparks High School. Reno-Sparks has 13 middle schools: Billinghurst, Clayton, Cold Springs, DePoali, Dilworth, Mendive, O'Brien, Pine, Shaw (Spanish Springs),Sparks, Swope, Trainer, Vaughn. Reno-Sparks has 64 elementary schools: Allen, Anderson, Beasley, Jesse Beck, Bennett, Booth, Brown, Cannan, Caughlin Ranch, Corbett, Desert Heights, Diedrichsen, Dodson, Donner Springs, Double Diamond, Drake, Duncan, Dunn, Elmcrest, Gomes, Grace Warner, Greenbrae, Hidden Valley, Huffaker, Hunsberger, Hunter Lake, Jesse Hall, Johnson, Juniper, Lemmon Valley, Elizabeth Lenz, Lincoln Park, Echo Loder, Mathews, Maxwell, Melton, Mitchell, Moss, Mount Rose, Natchez, Palmer, Peavine, Picollo Special Education School, Pleasant Valley, Risley, Roy Gomm, Sepulveda, Sierra Vista, Silver Lake, Alice Smith, Kate Smith, Smithridge, Spanish Springs, Stead, Sun Valley, Taylor, Towles, Van Gorder, Verdi [pronounced VUR-die], Veterans Memorial, Warner, Westergard, Whitehead and Sarah Winnemucca. (some schools included on this list are in Sparks) Public charter schools Reno has many charter schools, which include: Academy for Career Education, serving grades 10–12, opened 2002. Bailey Charter Elementary School, serving grades K-6, opened 2001. Coral Academy of Science, serving grades K-12, opened 2000. Davidson Academy, serving grades 6–12, opened 2006. High Desert Montessori School, serving grades PreK-7, opened 2002. I Can Do Anything Charter School, serving grades 9–12, opened 2000. Rainshadow Community Charter High School, serving grades 9–12, opened 2003. Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School, serving grades PreK-8, opened 1999. TEAM A (Together Everyone Achieves More Academy), serving grades 9–12, opened 2004. Alpine Academy Charter High School, serving grades 9–12, opened 2009.  Private schools Reno has a few private elementary schools such as Legacy Christian School, Excel Christian School, and Lamplight Christian School as well as private high schools, the largest of which are Bishop Manogue High School and Sage Ridge School (SRS). Libraries Washoe County Library System has locations throughout Reno and its surrounding communities. Economy Before the late 1950s, Reno was the gambling capital of the United States, but in the last twenty years Las Vegas' rapid growth, American Airlines' 2000 buyout of Reno Air and the growth of Indian gambling gaming in California have somewhat reduced its business. Older casinos were either torn down (Mapes Hotel, Fitzgerald's Nevada Club, Primadonna, Horseshoe Club, Harold's Club, Palace Club) and smaller casinos like the Comstock, Sundowner, Golden Phoenix, Kings Inn, Money Tree, Virginian, and Riverboat closed, and some converted to condos. Because of geographical proximity, Reno has traditionally drawn the majority of its California tourists and gamblers from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, while Las Vegas has historically served more tourists from Southern California and the Phoenix area. Several local large hotel casinos have shown significant growth and have moved gaming further away from the Virginia Street core. These larger hotel casinos are the Atlantis, the Peppermill and the Grand Sierra Resort. The Peppermill was chosen as the most outstanding Reno gaming/hotel property by Casino Player and Nevada magazines. In 2005, the Peppermill Hotel Casino began a $300 million dollar Tuscan-themed expansion. In an effort to bring more tourism to the area, Reno holds several events throughout the year, most of which have been extremely successful. They include Hot August Nights[33] (a classic car convention), Street Vibrations (a motorcycle fan gathering and rally), The Great Reno Balloon Race, the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off (held in Sparks), a Cinco de Mayo celebration, bowling tournaments (held in the National Bowling Stadium), and the Reno Air Races. Demographics Historical populations Census Pop. %± 1870 1,035 1880 1,362 31.6% 1890 3,563 161.6% 1900 4,500 26.3% 1910 10,867 141.5% 1920 12,016 10.6% 1930 18,529 54.2% 1940 21,317 15.0% 1950 32,497 52.4% 1960 51,470 58.4% 1970 72,863 41.6% 1980 100,756 38.3% 1990 133,850 32.8% 2000 180,480 34.8% 2010 225,221 24.8% As of the census of 2000, there were 180,480 people, 73,904 households, and 41,681 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,008.3 per square mile (2,611.4/km²). There were 79,453 housing units at an average density of 1,149.6 per square mile (443.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 2.6% African American, 1.3% Native American, 5.3% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander, 9.3% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.2% of the population. Mexican Americans made up 29.0% of the city's population. There were 73,904 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.6% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.06. In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $40,530, and the median income for a family was $49,582. Males had a median income of $33,204 versus $26,763 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,520. About 8.3% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.  The population was 180,480 at the 2000 census; in 2008, its population was estimated at 217,016, making it the fourth-largest city in the state after Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas, and the largest outside of Clark County. Reno lies 26 miles (42 km) north of the Nevada state capital, Carson City, and 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lake Tahoe in a shrub-steppe. Reno shares its eastern border with the city of Sparks and is the larger of the principal cities of the Reno-Sparks, Nevada Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a metropolitan area that covers Storey and Washoe counties. The MSA had a combined population of 342,885 at the 2000 census.[35] The MSA is combined with the Fernley Micropolitan Statistical Area to form the Reno-Sparks-Fernley Combined Statistical Area, which had a total population of 377,386 at the 2000 census. Transportation Roads Reno was historically served by the Victory Highway and a branch of the Lincoln Highway. After the formation of U.S. Highways, U.S. Route 40 was historically routed along 4th street through downtown Reno, before being replaced with Interstate 80. The primary north-south highway through Reno is U.S. Route 395. Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) has a bus system that provides intracity buses, intercity buses to Carson City, and an on-demand shuttle service for disabled persons. The bus system has its main terminal on 4th Street in downtown Reno and secondary terminals in Sparks and at Meadowood Mall in south Reno. Numerous shuttle and excursion services are offered connecting the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to various destinations: South Tahoe Express provides connecting shuttle service to South Lake Tahoe Resorts. Eastern Sierra Transit Authority provides shuttles to destinations south along the U.S. Route 395 corridor in California, such as Mammoth Mountain and Lancaster Modoc Sage Stage provides shuttles to Alturas and Susanville, along the northern US 395 corridor. Railroads Reno was historically a stopover along the First Transcontinental Railroad, the modern Overland Route continues to run through Reno. Reno was historically the southern terminus of the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway (NCO) and the northern terminus of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Using the NCO depot and right of way, the Western Pacific Railroad historically provided rail service to Reno. Downtown Reno has two historic train depots, the inactive Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot and the still active Amtrak depot, originally built by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Amtrak provides daily passenger service to Reno via the California Zephyr and multiple Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches connecting to trains departing from Sacramento, California. Air The city is served by Reno/Tahoe International Airport, with general aviation traffic handled by Reno Stead Airport. Reno/Tahoe International Airport is the second busiest commercial airport in the state of Nevada after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Reno was the hub and headquarters of the defunct airline Reno Air. Utilities Potable water for the City of Reno is provided by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority. The Truckee River is the primary water source, with the purification being done at two plants, Chalk Bluff and Glendale. The Chalk Bluff plant main intakes are west of Reno in Verdi, with the water flowing through a series of flumes and ditches to the plant itself. Alternative intakes are located below the plant along the banks of the Truckee River itself. The Glendale plant is sited alongside the river, and is fed by a rock and concrete rubble diversion dam a short distance upstream. Sewage treatment for the majority of the Truckee Meadows takes place at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility at the eastern edge of the valley. Treated effluent returns to the Truckee River by way of Steamboat Creek. Electrical power and natural gas are provided by NV Energy, formerly Sierra Pacific. Power comes from multiple sources, including Tracy-Clark Station to the east, and the Steamboat Springs binary cycle power plants at the southern end of town. Sports Reno is home to the Reno Aces, the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and plays in Aces Ballpark, a downtown ballpark opened in 2009. Reno has hosted multiple semi-professional baseball teams in the past, most under the Reno Silver Sox name. The Reno Astros, a semi-pro unaffiliated baseball team plays at Moana Stadium. In basketball, the Reno Bighorns, a 2008 expansion of the NBA Development League, plays at the Reno Events Center. Reno is host to both amateur and professional combat sporting events such as mixed-martial arts and boxing. The "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James J. Jeffries was held in Reno in 1910. Boxer Ray Mancini fought four of his last five fights in Reno against Bobby Chacon, Livingstone Bramble, Hector Camacho, and Greg Haugen. Reno is expected to be the future home of an ECHL ice hockey team, currently named the Reno Raiders, but construction on a suitable arena has yet to begin as of the 2010–2011 season. The franchise has been dormant since 1998, when it was named the Reno Rage, and earlier the Reno Renegades, and played in the now defunct West Coast Hockey League (WCHL). In 2004, the city completed a $1.5 million whitewater park on the Truckee River in downtown Reno which hosts whitewater events throughout the year. The course runs Class 2 and 3 rapids with year-round public access. The 1,400-foot (430 m) north channel features more aggressive rapids, drop pools and "holes" for rodeo kayak-type maneuvers. The milder 1,200 ft (370 m) south channel is set up as a kayak slalom course and a beginner area. 2022 Winter Olympics bid The resort region around Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada borders have formed the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition to make a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. They cited the airport, close mountains, and compact geographic area in which the games could be held. Squaw Valley Ski Resort, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, is considered a major advantage to the bid. Recreation Reno is home to a variety of recreation activities including both seasonal and year-round. In the summer, Reno locals can be found near three major bodies of water: Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, and Pyramid Lake. The Truckee River originates at Lake Tahoe and flows west to east through the center of downtown Reno before terminating at Pyramid Lake to the north. The river is a major part of Artown, held in the summer at Wingfield Park. Washoe Lake is a popular kite and windsurf location because of its high wind speeds during the summer. Skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular winter sports and draw in many tourists. There are 18 ski resorts (8 major resorts), including Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Sugar Bowl, Diamond Peak, Heavenly Mountain Resort, and Mount Rose Ski Resort located as close as eleven miles (18 km) and as far as ninety-eight miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Other popular Reno winter activities include snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowmobiling. There are many bike paths to ride in the summer time. International bike competitions are held in Lake Tahoe over the summer time. Culture Artown National Automobile Museum Nevada Museum of Art Nevada Shakespeare Company Pioneer Center For Performing Arts Reno Philharmonic Orchestra Reno Pops Orchestra University of Nevada, Reno Arboretum Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden Notable residents Mädchen Amick – Actress Chris Ault – Hall of Fame NCAA Football coach, currently coaches the Wolf Pack football team. Luke Babbitt – Basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers Shannon Bahrke – silver medalist 2002 Winter Olympics, bronze medalist 2010 Winter Olympics, and 2003 World Cup champion Brent Boyd – Offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings Chris Carr – kick returner and nickleback for the Baltimore Ravens. Chino XL – Rapper; owns a residence in Reno Walter Van Tilburg Clark – Author of The Ox-Bow Incident Doug Clifford – Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer. Joe Flanigan – Actor. Rudy Galindo – Figure skater Bud Gaugh – Drummer of the Band Sublime Jim Gibbons – Governor and member of the United States House of Representatives from Nevada. Mark Gilmartin – Golfer, Entrepreneur Curtis Hanson – Producer-director of 8 Mile, L.A. Confidential, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and others. Jennifer Harman – American professional poker player. Wilder W. Hartley (1901–70), Los Angeles City Council member, 1939–41, born in Reno Terri Ivens – Soap opera actress on All My Children Armon Johnson – Basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers Mark Kotsay – Professional baseball player Mills Lane – Former boxing referee and District Judge and a television personality on Judge Mills Lane. Paul Laxalt – Governor and U.S. Senator from Nevada Greg London – Multiple award winning entertainer. Greg London Day July 30, 2009 Proclamation by Reno Mayor, Bob Cashell. Dana MacDuff – film producer, Oakdale Pictures April Meservy – Singer-songwriter Rich Marotta – Boxing commentator, Los Angeles radio personality Randy Messenger – Professional Baseball Player. Chuck Ruff – Edgar Winter Group drummer Jason-Shane Scott – Soap actor Shannyn Sossamon – Actress of A Knight's Tale and 40 Days and 40 Nights. Sharon Stone – Actress Willy Vlautin – author and musician

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