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SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, 2016

Downtown: No easy answers Efforts ongoing to improve housing, retail vacancies in Reno’s core

MIKE HIGDON @MIKEHIGDON

Even as Reno sees a resurgence of new business and economic growth, its most high-profile area remains moribund, with shuttered businesses and poverty. According to Reno residents, downtown detracts from everything else Reno has to offer, such as outdoor activities, arts and culture. Some even called it an embarrassment.

“Downtown is the weakest link,” said Mike Kazmierski, CEO and president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. Kazmierski’s job is to bring new companies to Reno by marketing its best qualities but the current state of the city’s core can make that job harder. In a project to rewrite the city’s mas-

ter plan, called ReImagine Reno, 5,800 people online and in person were surveyed to gain insight into the community’s vision of the future. One recurring complaint in the more than 1,000 online comments is that downtown Reno is dirty, unsafe and doesn’t engender good See DOWNTOWN, Page 9A

SETH A. RICHARDSON | SRICHARDSON@RGJ.COM

T

he doors to Battle Born Boxing open at 5 p.m. The boxers wrap their wrists and warm up before circuit training begins. It’s a Tuesday and a shooting just occurred a few blocks away from the gym on Sutro Street. The kids aren’t phased by it. Shootings occur often enough in the north Reno neighborhood near Hug High School. Instead, they’re focusing on training. Their coach, Roberto Nerey, enters around 5:30 p.m., having just come from the scene of the shooting. There’s music blaring in the background, Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones.” Nerey, always jovial and upbeat with the kids, starts the timer on the wall for circuit training: three minutes of workouts, 30 seconds of rest, repeat. The ring stays empty for most of the night. It’s seen better days, with makeshift fixes and stains from previous fights See BOXING, Page 6A

Carlos Silva works a punching bag at the Battle Born Boxing gym on Dec. 10. Run by anti-gang activist Roberto Nerey, the gym on Sutro Street takes youths and gives them both training and an alternative to the criminal activity that plagues much of the neighborhood. JASON BEAN/RGJ

Only in the Sunday RGJ

Public unions face hurdle in front of U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court opens the new year Monday and seemingly is poised to wipe out, or maybe just weaken, the ability of public unions – that represent teachers, police, firefighters and other government workers – to collect fees from non-members. USA Today, 1B

Same-sex ad breaks ground

ASK THE RGJ

Reno’s BVW Jewelers has joined a cadre of national companies targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. BVW’s advertisement involves two women, scenic Reno, a proposal and a big smooch. Business, 11A

WOULD OBAMA’S GUN PLAN AFFECT AREA CASES? To understand the real-world effects of President Obama’s new gun plan, Ask the RGJ decided to look at how it might have affected three prominent Northern Nevada gun cases. 4A

Inside today

$3 Retail Home delivery pricing inside  2016 Printed on recycled paper

Local ...........................1-16A Lottery ............................2A Business ...................11-15A Tech Review.................12A USA Today...................1-6B Sports..........................1-10C

Our Nevada ..............1-12D Obituaries...................8-9D Jobs/Classifieds ......10-11D Voices............................1-4E USA Life Color Comics

Weather High 38 Low 20 Forecast, page 16A

Call RGJ FOR DELIVERY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE: Call 775-327-6788 or 800-970-7366

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