Scene In Passing: To lobby, or how to lobby; that’s the query

If the devil is in the details, as the hackneyed expression goes, where is the angel hangin’ out when it comes to Carson Street downtown?

Perhaps — but only if you’re quick and peer askance through a crack in the universe — you’ll see the winged creature sporting a halo and enjoying a drink with that red clad and cloven-hoofed horny dude at someplace like Jimmy G’s Cigar Bar. If you eavesdropped you’d no doubt hear them chortling about the three lanes design for Carson Street while quaffing some Irish whiskey. I found that universal crack. Here’s what I heard the detail-oriented devil say:

“Sure took the wind out of those windbags, didn’t we?”

Leaning in from my nearby table, but trying to look casual and elsewhere, I overheard the angel reply:

“Sure did. Never could understand why those preachers think we can’t work together. These three lanes will have both the four lanes and two lanes crowds temporarily in consternation. But they’ll regroup. It still makes the four lanes advocates unhappy. What’s the deal there? Are they married to their vehicles?”

The devil said:

“I suppose. But those muscle-propelled people are sleeping with their bicycles and sneakers, so don’t get high and mighty. I’m still amused both sides think you’re on their side and I’m in league with their opponents. Truth is, it’s a tempest in an isosceles triangle. That’s why we put three lanes in the designers’ heads. It’s a win-win. For me, it’s mischief; for you, it’s thought-provoking. No, no, I’ll buy. Then you and your boss will owe me.”

With that, they left and my reporter’s notebook was full. Other things found there at the end of a busy week:

Community Development Director Lee Plemel says the downtown design isn’t a throwback effort to revive 1960s-style downtown commerce. Sounds to me like code for: Doreen Mack, head of Downtown 20/20, isn’t driving the process. And she isn’t. The design is an offshoot from the vision earlier this century that was vetted then and revived by City Manager Nick Marano. Call it a reimagining revival.

Moving on, Deputy City Manager Marena Works says her report on the Nevada 150 Fair had to be delayed until the Oct. 2 Board of Supervisors meeting. Early indications, however, are the city apparently made about $30,000 or so. The first-time event didn’t recover the $75,000 city governing board’s buy-in. But given board comments a 2015 fair won’t surprise. People having fun builds a constituency.

Finally, Andie Wilson says she has little influence with her supervisor/squeeze, she said she preferred business licenses for medical marijuana establishments to be zero, but Supervisor Brad Bonkowski crafted the compromise to make them range from $5,000 to $25,000. To be precise, the businesswoman said she is sleeping with that supervisor yet had no influence on the issue.

Is that a euphemism? Or is she actually sleeping? If it’s the latter, someone should explain to her how to spiff up her lobbying skills.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at


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