Brian Sandford

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February 24, 2013
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Brian Sandford: Discovering Carson City, an undiscovered gem

"Why would you move here?" I was asked that a number of times during my first few days in Northern Nevada. I've shared with numerous former strangers that I just moved here from the Seattle area. It's important to me to be open about my background in a state with a close connection to its history, as well as a healthy distrust for certain forms of government and outsiders moving here and proclaiming what's best.

I certainly will never do the latter, but why would I move HERE? Here's why.

As I alluded to in my first column - you can view it at - this is a warm place. Not just during sometimes-sweltering August, but year-round. I don't think I've lived in a friendlier region, and people I meet attribute that to various things, such as the service industry here and the ever-present sunshine. I don't know where it comes from, but I sure appreciate it.

Nevada wears its Battle Born slogan proudly. As you know, its push toward statehood occurred during a time of deep strife in this country. In that regard, it has much in common with the original 13 colonies on the East Coast, but it arguably has maintained its streak of rugged independence more than any other state now that we've reached 2013.

That rugged independence appeals to any good journalist. Our passion at the Appeal, if you'll pardon the expression, is to mine for stories. Like the people who first populated this state, our goal is to explore less-chartered territory, to seek hidden truths. I'll write more in a future column about exactly why I consider that mission vitally important.

If you haven't lived in a pancake-flat state such as Ohio, where I grew up, the mountains here might be ho-hum. To a newcomer, they're majestic and a constant reminder of how our communities are insulated in numerous ways.

Carson City and its surroundings are a destination, not a point of departure. Visitors come here for the history, the perfect weather during certain spring and fall months, skiing in the winter, gambling and, although first-timers might not realize it until they get here, the friendliness I mentioned earlier. There's a reason why Carson City is growing, why I and numerous others have come here.

Despite that growth, Carson City remains a somewhat undiscovered gem. Smaller state capitals tend to enjoy better-than-average employment and amenities otherwise unavailable to similarly sized towns. Large cities such as Phoenix, Boston and Atlanta happen to be home to the capital; Carson City IS the capital.

Our tax situation is favorable compared with other states', and things are much less expensive here than in nearby California - or in Washington state, where I'd regularly spend 50 percent more on grocery items, rent and entertainment than I do here.

I immediately liked this newspaper; the staff and mission are strong. More important, many of you like this newspaper, or at least root for it to succeed. My main goal is for us to excel, and people I meet demand no less. I like that.

I'm about out of space, which is just as well. I'm in my third week on the job, and I'll likely write a sequel to this column within two months. In the meantime, I'm looking to get to know you, and I'll reply to any email, whether it's titled "Decent column," "Terrible column" or something unprintable. Thanks for reading.

• Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 24, 2013 03:35AM Published Feb 24, 2013 03:34AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.