Carson Column: Slow down - Fremont is open

It's only July, but for motorists making their way down Saliman Road, it's already time to start watching out for school kids.

Fremont Elementary School is in session and crossing guard Jack Dyer says he's having a heck of a time, and not just with automobile drivers.

He sets up the scene this way.

"We have kids coming from any direction use the bike path on the road and there is a mark along the crosswalk for kids to walk their bikes across," he said. "Cars are coimg by there at 40 mph, so it's important that the kids go to the crosswalk to cross."

Dyer says his problem isn't with young bicyclists, but with a few of the older ones.

"Here comes this lady riding a bicycle. She's got a helmet on and a smaller bike attached to hers with a little girl on it."

Jack says he watched as the woman crossed two lanes of traffic and turned into the school driveway.

"She was coming fast, man, and she got into that traffic and in and around it," he said. "As passed by I asked her to stop on the way back."

Jack explains that the crossing guards make the children go down to the crosswalk, get off their bicycles and walk them across the street.

Jack said his talk with the woman didn't go particularly well.

"She rode up the street back north and popped a wheelie down the other side," he said. "But, she was in the bike path the whole way."

Jack gets to see a lot of crazy things in his line of work.

"There's one lady who has a phone in her ear," he said. "She puts a notebook on the dash and starts taking notes while she's waiting for us."

Fremont started school on Tuesday, so watch out for those school zones.

"People have to get used to school being open again," Jack says.

The cast of "How to Eat Like a Child" will go on the road Monday.

BAC Stage Kids director Carol Scott is taking 20 children to Wingfield Park to help wind up Reno's monthlong Artown celebration.

Scott says the show begins at 1 p.m. and admission is free.

When I first moved up here, about 11 years ago, I started growing my beard. People I worked with would ask me if I was entering the beard contest for Nevada Day.

I thought, "What fun. A contest to see who can grow the best beard over time."

Imagine my disappointment when I learned that the beard contest was not a race at all.

Not to take anything away from the hirsute gentlemen who consistantly win the contest. Their beards are unquestionably the result of years of hard work and conditioning. But contest implies some sort of beginning and ending and my issue has always been at the beard contest's starting gate.

As a periodic beard grower, I take pride in my ability to launch a beard and have it fill in within a fairly short period of time.

However, I really can't leave the beard on through the years and just let it grow and grow without getting it caught in the keyboard when I'm typing.

So I propose this. Add "fastest growing" to the usual categories of longest, fullest, reddest, whitest, blackest, best salt and pepper, best groomed, scruffiest and most bearded community.

Each contestant would have a photograph taken along with the date, and on Oct. 28, this year's Nevada Day, they show up and have the result judged on the Capitol steps by a Supreme Court justice.

It's a wacky idea, but I think, that if you are going to have a contest, make it a race.

Four Nevada journalists have been selected for induction into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Two of the inductees are former Nevada Appeal employees, Sue Morrow and Pete Kelley.

Sue began working at the Appeal in 1962. After her retirement in the earlier part of this decade, she would occasionally put in a shift until 1997, reading copy and keeping the reporters and the rest of us on our toes.

One of the inductees is a Las Vegas icon and a hero to UNLV's journalism students in the mid-80s.

Ned Day was working for the Valley Times when he broke the story about the stealth bomber program, which was then based in central Nevada. He went after Tony Spilotro and the Hole in the Wall Gang. Spilotro was played by Joe Pesci in the movie "Casino."

I remember the mob planting a bomb in Day's car, which Ned managed to dodge, and when the tow truck company tried to do something, Ned went after them too.

Ned Day spoke to a class I was taking the year before he died. He shared a philosophy with us that I still hold dear today.

"Get the news, get it right and get it out," he said.

Ned Day died during a Hawaii vacation at age 42. My classmates and I still speculate on whether it was the Mob, the CIA or just being the brightest light in the sky that finally caught up with him.

(Kurt Hildebrand is the assistant managing editor at the Nevada Appeal.)

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