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Steak strips, shrimp, chicken and green onions are draped over the sides of a bowl to create the "molcajete loco" entree at Garibaldi's in Elko.

Mixing film noir and sci-fi, Argentum seeks submissions

ELKO – What happens when modern sci-fi meets the film noir style of the 1940s?

Artists, photographers and writers will have the opportunity to intertwine those themes for the upcoming edition of Great Basin College’s arts and literary magazine, Argentum.

“We are hoping to see a creative take on the 1940s,” said editor Dori Andrepont. “The full title for this year is ‘A Modernistic Perspective of the 1940s.’”

Artwork that can be photographed and reproduced, along with writing submissions will be accepted up to Feb. 15, with a limit of three submissions per entrant.

Winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $250 to $50 and will be awarded to three GBC students enrolled in summer, fall and spring semester classes for the 2018-2019 school year whose work adheres to the theme.

The magazine also accepts submissions from high school students, GBC alumni, and faculty and community members.

The scope of work is broader than it has been in previous years, Andrepont said, listing multiple genres that could be considered by the judges including detective, fantasy, folklore, humor, historical fiction, humor and western.

“We hope someone sends us an interview with a World War II veteran as much as we want to see a new science fiction story based on the Roswell UFO incident,” Andrepont said.

In visual arts, cartoons, ceramics, graphic design, drawing fabric arts, painting, photography, jewelry or sculpture will be accepted.

There are hopes that despite someone’s level of experience, everyone will try their hand at the theme, Andrepont said.

“There are many incredibly talented community members that we hope [submit work],” Andrepont said, “but new writers and artists often feel like they can’t compete with someone who has 25 years of experience, for example.”

Applying this kind of twist on entries could spur artists to look at the 1940s through the eyes of a millennial, Andrepont explained, providing some suggestions for some possible entries.

“A photographer might look at the 1940s for cosplay ideas,” she said. “A writer could consider that one historical detail that leads to a ‘what-if’ story, and an artist may want to look at futuristic art of the era.”

The theme will carry through in the magazine’s 1940s layout with much of it printed in black and white. It will be published at the end of the spring semester.

“We truly hope that the contributors have fun with this theme,” Andrepont said.

For submissions forms and guidelines, visit

Ellison, Goicoechea look ahead to 2019 session

ELKO — Defense might be Republican lawmakers’ main tactic in the upcoming 80th Legislative Session dominated by Democrats, yet northeastern Nevada GOP officials still hope to advance bills to benefit rural areas.

“We are going to have to play defense and do a good job of it,” said state Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, who has served District 19 since 2013.

In November’s general election, Democrats won a supermajority in the Nevada Assembly and were one seat shy of the same in the state Senate. Democrats hold 13 of 21 seats in the Senate and 29 of 42 seats in the Assembly, The Associated Press reported.

Session begins Feb. 4, 2019, and lasts 120 days.

“Talk about a minority. We’re barely on the radar screen,” said Goicoechea, who is “very apprehensive about what’s going to happen in the next session.”

District 33 Assemblyman John Ellison, R-Elko, supported a similar approach, saying “the biggest thing we’re going to have is defense.” He has served as assemblyman since 2011.

Ellison said he tries “to look at everything with an open mind. We have some good legislators on the Democratic side that I think we can work with.”

Probable top issues

The rural Republican lawmakers anticipated the 2019 Legislature to focus on social issues, such as abortion and gay rights, along with collective bargaining for state employees and an attempt to change the minimum wage. Other priorities they predict will zero in on education, water, public lands, gun control and taxes.

“There are going to be some bills that come out that are totally against my faith,” Ellison told the Elko Daily Free Press.

The assemblyman said he strongly opposes Democratic Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak’s stance on stricter gun laws, including the ban of assault weapons and silencers, according to an AP report.

“You don’t just unarm the people,” Ellison said.

Regarding budget, Goicoechea did not foresee a significant tax increase despite being wary of a perception among Southern Nevadans that rural areas “aren’t paying their fair share.”

Ellison, however, said he thought the session could deliver a “massive tax increase” and that some tax bills might come down “that will be nasty.” He sees mining and business being at risk, as raising net proceeds tax on mines or lowering the threshold of the commerce tax might seem like attractive ways to increase the state’s budget.

“I’m worried about mining. I’m worried about business,” Ellison said. “They could also come back and hit gaming.”

The assemblyman also expressed concern over unfunded mandates that could be passed down to rural areas, where taxes are already at or nearing the cap.

Elected officials will have a better understanding of Democrats’ plans after Sisolak delivers his State of the State address after being sworn in. “Then we can strategize,” Ellison said.

Both lawmakers already are prefiling bills to change laws with their districts in mind, and saving one or two from their allowances of bills to address issues as they arise.

Ellison is allowed to sponsor 10 bills this session, and Goicoechea 20, according to a chart based on Nevada Revised Statues. Draft legislation can also come from legislative committees, the governor, state agencies and local governments.

Goicoechea bills

The senator plans to sponsor bills pertaining to his rural Nevada district. He said his focuses are on capital improvements for schools; a request for changes to the White Pine County Courthouse; and livestock auction bonding and auditing.

“Every session, there will be a few water issues,” said Goicoechea, who described two issues related to water management and appropriation that he hopes to address.

One bill would require that the state water engineer establish a 10 percent reserve in any water basin where rights are not totally appropriated to “get a little bit of a cushion,” he said, explaining that most of the state’s basins are over-allocated.

“We are missing the mark on a lot of those water basins, and now we are having to pay the price at almost a third of the basins across the state,” Goicoechea said, adding that he wished more protections had been put in place 50 years ago.

Another bill he described would change law regarding where landowners can drill wells. Existing law states that a new well may be drilled within 300 feet of an existing well as long as the second well is on the same property. Goicoechea said he would like to change the law to allow the second well to be on an adjacent lot if the property is owned by the same person, provided it is within 300 feet of the first well.

“We are going to have to be a lot smarter with how we use our water,” he said.

The senator said he also supports legislation that would allow certain counties and cities, including Elko and Elko County, to increase the tax on diesel fuel. Funds collected from the excise tax are used for road improvements.

Ellison bills

Ellison said he is supporting bills that would affect Elko County and the cities within.

His proposed legislation attempts to establish a state office of emergency management, which could open up opportunities for grant funding to support systems such as Elko County’s upgrade to Next Generation 911.

He described other legislation that clarifies laws regarding handymen; assures that sexual abuse victims are notified when their abuser is released from prison; holds drivers responsible for accidents on private property; and advances suicide prevention and recovery in schools.

“People sent me there to do my job,” Ellison said, “and that’s what I’m going to do my hardest.”

“We are going to have to play defense and do a good job of it.” Nevada Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka

City to look at seeking bids on pool

ELKO – Elko City Council will be deciding at its Jan. 8 meeting whether to authorize going out for bid for repairs to the city’s swimming pool and will be talking about Barrick Gold Corp.’s large donation for the repair project.

Barrick has provided $83,500 to the city for the work on the pool, which the city closed on Nov. 27 due to a structural failure on the northern wall of the facility. Lostra Engineering estimates the pool work will cost $343,000.

“What a great gift to the Elko community and taxpayers,” Elko’s new mayor, Reece Keener, said a Jan. 4 announcement of the donation.

Parks and Recreation Director James Wiley said the $83,500 “will be extremely helpful in completing this unscheduled facility repair in a timely matter.” He earlier estimated the pool wouldn’t be open again until spring.

The announcement from Elko City Manager Curtis Calder on the Barrick donation also points out that Barrick provided $500,000 to the city toward the Elko Regional Sports Complex scheduled to open later this year.

Lostra Engineering inspected the 49-year-old, single-story pool facility and found that the problems were limited to the northern wall. He has developed a preliminary design and cost estimates, so bids can be sought for repairs.

The city hired the engineering firm with the opportunity to move into second and third phases to oversee construction, however, Wiley wrote in the agenda for the 4 p.m. meeting Jan. 8 that “prior to authorization to proceed with Phase II and Phase III of the agreement, staff is requesting authorization to solicit bids.”

In a report to the city, Michael Lostra said the inspection showed: broken northern roof/wall support beams; air gaps forming on translucent paneling between support structures; existing temporary support structures along the northern wall glass area; separation of brick veneer around support columns; weathered glued laminated timber support structures; and major sagging and deformation along the northern wall and roof area between the laminated timber support structures.

Wiley is accepting donations from individuals and businesses for the pool repairs. He can be contacted at 777-7266.

The packed agenda for the Jan. 8 meeting, the first for Keener and two councilmen, Chip Stone and Bill Hance, also includes second reading and potential adoption of a revised ordinance governing legal brothels in Elko.

The ordinance reduces the number of allowed brothels from five to four and provides new guidance on work permits and adds a requirement for translators for sex workers talking with police or city staff to address concerns about human trafficking.

The revised code also states that the city will pay for translators. That is because brothel fees are going up. Another action item on the Jan. 8 agenda calls for possible adoption of a resolution setting those new fees.

The fees go from $3,000 to $6,500 for new licenses and annual renewals after a compromise from the original proposal in a business impact statement to make them $10,000 each. The fee for license applications goes from $2,500 to $5,000. That fee wasn’t changed from the business impact statement, however.

Along with the regular meeting, the council also has a special session at 3 p.m. Jan. 8 to hear a presentation by the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool regarding board governance and ethics.

Calder said the presentation is designed for new and returning election officials “to familiarize board members with open meeting and ethics laws prior to any problems occurring.”

The new mayor, Stone and Hance join council members Mandy Simons and Robert Schmidtlein, who weren’t up for re-election.

VA seeks Elko’s help for national cemetery

ELKO – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs appears to be moving forward with a long-sought national cemetery in Elko for veterans by asking the City of Elko to provide water service to a site for the proposed cemetery.

The VA is offering to pay for the design and construction of a special water line to the location, which is 15 acres of land near the Adobe Middle School that would fall under the county’s jurisdiction because it is outside city limits.

The site at the intersection of Cattle Drive and Western Way isn’t served by the city because it is at a higher elevation that the city’s water tanks, so the VA is proposing the new line and a booster station to pump 200 gallons per minute, according to the agenda for the Elko City Council’s 4 p.m. Jan. 8 meeting.

The council will be asked to consider whether in exchange for the VA paying for the design and construction of the water line and pump station, the city would accept maintenance of the line and waive connection fees.

In turn, the city would charge one and a half times the city rate for water service, the agenda states.

When Dean Heller was still a U.S. senator last year, he proposed a bill in Congress to establish a veterans’ cemetery in Elko, which would provide another national cemetery to join ones at Boulder City and Fernley.

Heller, a Republican who lost in the November election, said in February 2018 that “Nevada’s heroes deserve a dignified final resting place close to home, and for too long these veterans and their families have not had the option to bury their loved ones in a national cemetery.”

His bill called for the transfer of U.S. Bureau of Land Management property near Elko to the VA for the cemetery, and Elko County Commissioners talked about the bill at February 2018 meeting, expressing support but voicing concerns about who pays for the upkeep of the cemetery.

“I think northeastern Nevada will be well-served by a veterans’ cemetery. We have a large number of veterans, and this would be a great service,” Elko County Manager Rob Stokes said on Jan. 4.

He said the county hasn’t heard anything regarding a possible cemetery since last February, but the county has supported earlier efforts to develop a veterans’ cemetery in Elko County. The county offered to donate land for a VA cemetery near the Elko Hot Hole years ago, he said.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced back in 2012 it was looking at providing burial services for veterans in rural areas, but no plans for a cemetery materialized then. An audit two years later showed veterans in rural Nevada still didn’t have options, according to an Elko Daily Free Press article on the Feb. 21, 2018, county meeting.

Greg Deimel, public affairs office for the Elko BLM office, told commissioners then that every VA cemetery he has seen is well-kept, and he said Heller had staffers investigate potential sites for a cemetery back in 2015. Deimel wasn’t available on Jan. 4 for new comment on the land transfer because of the partial federal government shutdown.

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