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Looking back at 2014 in Tonopah while looking ahead

Should the first column of the year be a look back or a look ahead?

I don’t know the answer to that question. So perhaps this year-end column will be a mixture.

Looking back, 2014 certainly was an interesting year in Tonopah with the hospital troubles and then revitalization.

There was continued progress on the infrastructure of our town. An election came and went with upsets, surprises and new faces on the horizon.

While this could be said locally, it also was true on the state and federal level. Changes are all around and the future will judge if that is a good thing.

Nevada is undergoing assimilation of the Bureau of Land Management’s plans for the future. And that certainly will affect each and every one of us who wish to recreate on the public lands of the Silver State.

A new, intermediary appeals court is coming on line and that will affect the future of Nevadans involved in the court system.

And while there can be a transition from the past to the future—how about Nevada politics?

Today or yesterday was the first day of Nevada’s next election cycle. Things are all set up for Gov. Brian Sandoval to challenge Harry Reid in the next election period. After all, if Sandoval wins, a Republican steps up from Lieutenant Governor to become the state’s chief executive. If Sandoval loses, he returns to the governor’s mansion for the last two years of his last term.

As for Reid, his power has been diminished with the Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate.

But sometimes things are not what they appear. Reid did a strong job as the senate’s “minority leader” and he will continue to wield power in the new congress, especially with a Democrat still in the White House.

A freshman here or there, Nevada continues to have little relevance in the House of Representatives.

Need something done? There are 400 or so congressmen with more seniority and experience than our district representative, Cresent Hardy.

That is not to say we would have been better off with a one-term congressman.

But congressmen can solve your VA problems. They can work on Social Security difficulties. Just don’t count on them for meaningful legislation—like Steven Horsford did with the Yerington land deal to the benefit of Lyon County residents.

There is more in our future than politics.

Back to the hospital, it is seeing a new light of day. Patient numbers are up, the bankruptcy is over and central Nevada once again has a viable medical facility. New doctors continue to sign on, robotics are possible in the emergency room, past problems continue to be addressed.

Certainly a better situation than what the community faced in December, 2013. With new elected officials come new promises for the future. The new sheriff has promised more public disclosure. Other officials promise to march to the same beat.

We have a strong town manager and support staff which promise a vision to the future and more benefits for our community. And while some might lament the vacant buildings on Main Street, the Mizpah has opened its new brewery/restaurant and Jim Marsh entities continue to entice visitors and locals along the primary thoroughfare.

There are plans out there for new housing and area mining operations have their continued presence and a “promise” for a bright future.

I have lived here for six decades and I know that the past is not as bleak as it might seem and the future not as bright as “promoters” might promise. We live in a tourist/mining town and it always will be marked by highs and lows. Some things promised will come to fruition and others will not.

However, since May 1900, the residents of this area shadowed by Brock, Brougher and Oddie peaks have known that sometimes things are great and sometimes they are difficult—one day’s 25-cent steak at the Mizpah Grill is tomorrow’s nickel cup of soup up the street.

So as we look back and forward—let us share the recollections of good things which have transpired and let us look ahead to a positive and fruitful year.

Each and every time I step into Scolari’s, the post office or elsewhere along Main Street, my fellow residents put forth a feeling of cheer and optimism—with a smile on their face and a lilt in their gait.

As I look forward to 2015, I feel like the luckiest guy on earth because, not only am I surrounded by a loving family, I am embraced by the love of Tonopah.

No looking back—onward and upward.

Look out 2015—here comes Tonopah headed for a brighter and better new year!

Bill Roberts is a reporter and columnist for the Tonopah Times-Bonanza &Goldfield News.

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