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Dave Berns

Story Archive

  • Education

    Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011

    He inherited a school that was in poor shape. There were few working toilets. Air ducts were covered with filth. Carpets and tile were blackened from years of poor maintenance. Windows throughout the campus were deeply marked by knives and car keys.

  • Nevada

    Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008

    My buddy Fast Jimmy says too many politicians lack “nails.” “They’re almost as bad as reporters,” Jimmy says, flashing his best Jersey-boy smirk. “Their egos are weak, and they need the attention. Besides, they got no nails.”

  • State of the Valley

    Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

    The e-mail sat in my in-box, an angry bullet fired by a frustrated white man. Minutes before, he’d heard San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Ruben Navarette refer to white Americans as “lazy.”

  • State of the Valley

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    The green crowd is at it again, this time pushing for wind farms throughout much of the West and Great Plains. TV commercials are appearing nationally making the case, saying that a sea of wind towers could free us from our oil dependency, with a boost from cars fueled by natural gas.

  • State of the Valley

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    It’s ridiculous, just plain ridiculous to assume that Gov. Jim Gibbons used any political influence to receive a special designation that lowered his annual property tax liability from about $5,000 to $15 on 40 acres of sagebrush in rural Elko County.

  • State of the Valley

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    We’re reeling from a series of jolts: $4.50-a-gallon gasoline, neighborhoods shaken by empty homes, rapidly rising food prices, growing unemployment and a war in its sixth year. We’re seeking solace, a sense that things will be okay, but there’s no consensus on solutions. It’s the American way. Greater wisdom can come from the partisan divide that passes for enlightened debate in Carson City and Washington, D.C. But it feels as though we’re lacking enlightenment and debate

  • Foreclosures

    Thursday, June 26, 2008

    The young couple stands in their Summerlin driveway, an impromptu yard sale illustrating their plight. They need cash. Their house, once the symbol of a personal dream, is now a burden.

  • Economy

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    Sales are down. Tips are off. Work is disappearing. The national unemployment rate climbed to 5.5 percent from 5 percent in May, the largest jump in 22 years, with the loss of 49,000 jobs. Longtime Nevadans/immigrants; men/women; young/old—it doesn’t matter. Many sense something is wrong.

  • Crime

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    The 20-year-old woman walked into Rick Aco’s restaurant, a sad look covering her face. It had been almost two weeks since Zulma Yessenia-Pena lost her boyfriend to an apparent gang shooting, leaving the young woman to raise the couple’s three-year-old daughter. Las Vegas police had not found the killer.

  • Economy

    Thursday, May 29, 2008

    There’s always the Duke with his sing-song voice, the miles of attitude that stretched from mesa to mesa and that athletic swagger. Surrounded by marauding Indians or searching for his kidnapped niece, the Duke remained the Western idyll of the self-reliant settler. John Wayne didn’t need no stinkin’ help.