Column: Tragedies always with us |

Column: Tragedies always with us

by Kurt Hildebrand

I had a long chat with Fletcher Ingals, who is a board member on the Lake Tahoe Boys & Girls Club.

Fletcher and I talked about what seems to be a trend toward increased violence in society and how frightening it all is.

Fletcher, who is stinging from the connection of the Tahoe club to the recent kidnapping and killing in Stateline, said he didn’t understand how these things happen.

My dad and I have had the same discussion.

I agree that it seems like there is a lot more violence in our society now. But I disagree that it is because we are more violent than previous generations.

Stories about the violence in Nevada and California mining camps are as shocking as anything we have today. New York’s Hell’s Kitchen and Chicago’s gangland are just samples of the deadly periods America has known during her history.

One Old West editor noted that it was too dangerous to go out on the streets without a sidearm in his frontier town.

We are not at that point here. The fact is that the number of people living in Nevada has increased by 1.7 million since I was a child in the 1960s. The 1960 Census reported that there were 285,278 people living in the entire state. The state’s population may hit 2 million in this year’s Census.

The increase in the number of people increases the chance that one of those people will do something horrendous.

I received a couple of calls complaining about the headlines we put on the stories dealing with Krystal Steadman’s death.

Both callers said we were sensationalizing the girl’s murder.

In our defense, I would say it is difficult to sensationalize a case where a little girl is taken from a public parking lot in broad daylight and then found with her throat cut the next day. The story is that shocking.

A good headline tells the reader what a story is about. In this case, I would rather put the details in a headline so parents know not to leave the paper where their children can see it. There was nothing in those headlines that wasn’t also in the stories in even more graphic detail.

Minden’s Ray Smith came by with his Carson City book on Monday. It’s 220 pages and I promised to read it as soon as I get a chance.

Ray has been writing books about Carson and Carson Valley for many years, but he said he really hasn’t come across a good source on Carson City.

“I was to give a speech at the Gold Hill Hotel and I was doing research when I found there wasn’t a lot of good material about Carson City,” he said. “I developed a considerable amount of material, but a snow storm canceled the speech.”

Ray is not one to worry too much about the dates or figures that is the bread and butter for most historians.

“I’m more interested in the stories than in dates,” he said. “The book consists of vignettes about people.”

“Carson City Yesterdays” is on sale at several book stores in the Carson area.

A Lake Tahoe Community College instructor is offering a class in dealing with Tahoe’s regulatory agency.

According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Bob Kingman has succeeded in establishing the class called “Lake Tahoe Agencies and Governments.”

The Trib left it to the readers to make the obvious connection, including a long list of local and regional governments with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency third from the top.

I think they should call it TRPA 101.

When I found out the Greek flag was going to go up at the Legislative Building on Friday I had to go watch. That and it was a beautiful day to be out on the Capitol Complex.

Greek independence may seem like an obscure thing for people to celebrate in Carson City, but we owe the Greeks much.

Kurt Hildebrand is assistant managing editor of the Nevada Appeal and is still humming the Greek national anthem.