Scene In Passing: Ode to growth, needs, capitals & weeds

There’s little left to say regarding anti-growth angst in Carson City, except there’s a particularly site-specific reason to grow stronger.

First a reprise of the basic general facts of life. Life — genetically, economically and almost any way you figure it — requires ascension or it atrophies, feeds or starves, grows or dies. This is a metaphor for all life and growth, though it must be added the best growth is smart growth, planned growth, and growth that makes you better rather than randomly bigger.

Carson City, as mentioned above, faces an additional threat in this grow-or-die world. In a nutshell, it’s Las Vegas.

With regularity these days, lawmakers from down that way take a stab at stealing state capital status away to Nevada’s most populous city. Already much state office bureaucracy is down there due to the large Vegas population, which is OK. Whether it’s just for leverage and political jockeying to trade for other things or serious and selfish intent to actually move the capital, however, the move-the-capital overtures are unlikely to end.

You only need to know one thing to understand why. The U.S. Supreme Court rule regarding one person, one vote, It means representation weight goes to populous places.

With that you can bet the need here to grow better, stronger, leaner, meaner, smarter and more relevant isn’t just for this community but for the non-Vegas balance of the state as well. If Carson City doesn’t grow better, the day could come when that famously droll marketing slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” changes into a horrid political and governmental nightmare for Carson City, Reno and rural Nevada.

‘Nuff said on grow or die by suicidal inattention.

Speaking of growth, meanwhile, weeds (dare I say like Vegas) grow wherever they get a chance, and Carson City government is looking into whether there’s a smarter way to stop their growth and kill them instead.

Scott Fahrenbruch of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department said city government is testing organic pesticides at John Mankins Park on Oak Ridge Drive.

It’s a three-acre park where such organic weed-killers will be used rather than Roundup or 2-4-D. The former is an all-purpose weed killer, the latter a broadleaf herbicide. Fahrenbruch said the testing is in cooperation with a group called Beyond Pesticides. The pilot program includes training in Reno for city staff this summer and an assessment of how well organic pesticides work, as well as the financial cost to the city.

He said the pilot program testing will last the rest of this season and a decision on whether to expand such usage would come in the fall or later. “We’ll give it a fair try,” Fahrenbruch said.

The test program was first noted in a public meeting by representatives of Label GMO Nevada at a July Board of Supervisors session. They called on the city to do more. The environmental organization is affiliated with Grassroots Action Network, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) 4 organization, and it calls for “discovering and implementing landscaping and food system methods which protect all living things.”

No doubt, for good or ill, that would include such things as Nevada lawmakers from Las Vegas.

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


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