Thieves deserve to be in the doghouse

The people who walked off with two of the Spay and Neuter Project's collection boxes ought to be in the doghouse.

In fact, the boxes look like doghouses and are placed at businesses through Carson and the Dayton Valley corridor.

Spay and Neuter Project operator Tom Blomquist is a proud guy. He's managed to operate a no-kill shelter on donations and the money he and his wife earn. Tom works late shifts as a waiter in Reno to bring home enough money to insure the 20 dogs and nine cats that would otherwise be put down get a new lease on life.

"I didn't think I would still be waiting tables at my age," said the 53-year-old. "I've always made my living in the saloon business."

Now Tom's tokes go to help support the animals he and wife, Lee, keep on the property.

The two boxes were taken from Piper's Casino and an area Pizza Parlor.

"They don't bring in much money," Tom said. "But a few dollars help."

I last heard from Tom about Cody the dog, found early this summer after someone attempted to perform a home castration.

Cody is happy with his new family and, though he will always be a bit neurotic, he is doing fine.

Chic DiFrancia called to say he played only a minor part in the "Modern Marvels" episode about mining. David Toll, Chollar Mine owner Chris Kiechler and Sutro expert Pete Leonard were interviewed during the program.

Chic said it was a good program and thoroughly researched. He says he once had Rich Foley calculate how much wood was beneath Virginia City over a couple of drinks.

"He figured out you could build 27,000 two-bedroom homes with the timber," Chic said. "They used it on the tape." Chic says it plays every two or three months.

Chic told me that Gary Elam, former owner of the Comstock Chronicle, was in town about six weeks ago preparing a video about the McKinney shooting.

Gary's wife, Mary Beth Hepp-Elam, worked for me at The Record-Courier for a couple of years. Chic says Gary and Mary Beth revived the Chronicle in July 1987 and worked it until the early '90s. Mary Beth always told me that the newspaper business just never was that profitable. Roger that.

Appeal design editor Trina Kleintjes will be on her way to Georgia with her mom, Shirley Anker, on Tuesday to start a new life.

Trina first worked for the Appeal laying out the classified ads. She spent a little time at UNR and came back to take my seat at the Appeal's design desk when I moved over to the city editor's chair. That was two and a half years ago. Trina's dad is Carson City dentist P. Chris Kleintjes. Her grandparents are Leonard and Frances Anker of Gardnerville.

Every time someone leaves, someone else arrives. In Trina's case that is New Jersey transplant Maria Dal Pan, a 24-year-old graduate of the University of Delaware.

Maria received her degree in English and then decided to move out to Reno on her own.

While here, she hooked up with a friend from her hometown of Clifton, N.J., Jason Dias.

She and Jason, a Storey County deputy, are to be married in the Clifton Greek Orthodox Church next summer in their own "Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Maria says the church is supposed to show up on "The Sopranos" sometime this season, but she doesn't know why or when.

The novelty of working the news desk hasn't worn off Maria yet, as she smiles when asked how things are going.

"It's like a new puzzle every day," she says.

I haven't had a message on my voice mail at the Appeal for two months. In an effort to improve communication, the Appeal has found me a new phone number that will allow anyone to leave a message for me any time of the day or night. As always, the e-mail is good.

Kurt Hildebrand is former managing editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 887-2430, ext. 402 or e-mail him at


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