The podcast is taking a summer sabbatical but we still wanted to talk about some of our stories so Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson and Reporter Megan Messerly sat down for a half hour to do just that. Topics include Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo’s post-Oct. 1 report on improvements the department needs to make, the City of Las Vegas vowing not to pay hacker ransoms and the 2020 elections including the call-in rather than caucus option for Democrats.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, we hear from the team in the north (Riley, Michelle, Daniel and Joey) and most of the Las Vegas team (Jon, Jackie and Jacob) as they strive to answer your questions. This is a special edition of the IndyMatters Podcast celebrating our 100th episode. It is a bit longer and a bit of a departure from our usual format. We hope you enjoy it. If you did not a question submitted for this episode and have burning queries for us, don’t worry — there will be an episode 200.
On the 99th episode of IndyMatters, education reporter Jackie Valley sits down with Nevada System of Higher Education board of regents member Trevor Hayes to talk not about higher education but about reporting she has done on primary school students struggling with dyslexia. Hayes’s daughter struggles with dyslexia, and Jackie has been following her journey as she learns to read. Later on in the episode, we shift gears; our new reporter Jacob Solis comes into the studio to chat with Jackie about his extensive reporting on Gov. Steve Sisolak’s campaign finances (who donated to him, how much and where in the country they were from).
With the 80th session of the Legislature behind us, The Indy’s Multimedia Editor Joey Lovato sits down with reporters Megan Messerly, Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder to recap what happened. They talk about the big bills that passed (and died), the last-minute drama between the Democrats and Republicans, bills that will have effects you may have missed and more. There is also a surprise guest at the end of the episode so listen for that. Also, be sure to send your probing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for the special 100th IndyMatters episode that will air in two weeks!
This week on IndyMatters, reporter Megan Messerly talks with the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, about how the party sees Nevada as the 2020 election draws ever nearer. Perez talks debates, the Democratic party’s focus and goals both in the state and nationally.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, reporter Michelle Rindels sits down with Amanda Morgan, Michelle Booth and Michaela Tonking of Educate Nevada Now, an advocacy group powered by the Rogers Foundation that aims to reform Nevada’s school funding formula and also increase funding for education. They talk about the formula, how it relates to education and how the group thinks the state should spread out funding to districts and schools.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, we play the audio from a forum we had in Reno, hosted by Indy editor Jon Ralston with panelists Jeffrey Berns from Blockchains, Reno Land CEO Chip Bowlby and Center for Regional Studies project manager Brian Bonnenfant. The forum covered development in northern Nevada as well as the impact large private companies will have on the region and what they need in order to succeed.
This week Michelle Rindels and Megan Messerly sit down to talk about the Economic Forum, a panel of five business professionals and economists that helps predict revenue for the state budget. They also talk about the impact the forum’s projections are likely going to have on spending on everything from education to health care to a railroad museum as the Legislature moves into its last month.
Just past the halfway mark and the week of first house passage where hundreds of bills were voted on, Riley sits down with Democratic Assemblyman Howard Watts to talk about the bills he has going through the Legislature. Which ones are moving on and which ones died after first house passage. They also talk about the minimum wage bill, the ICE holding bill that Watts co-sponsored and if he sees a divide in the Democratic caucus this session.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, reporters Michelle Rindels, Riley Snyder and Megan Messerly sit down for a round table discussion in Carson City. They talk about what bills will be going to the first house passage next week and what bills have died, as well as the reason some legislators introduce bills they know won’t make it to a vote.
A panel discussion moderated by Indy Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Jackie Valley on the state of education in Nevada with the people directly involved: teachers, students, parents and administrators.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, Michelle and Riley talk about the “mass liberation” and no cash bail movements, as well as the death penalty and reform efforts to reduce Nevada’s growing prison population. Michelle also talks with members of the no cash bail movement to hear their stories of incarceration along with their goals lobbying lawmakers in Carson City.
This week on IndyMatters the producer, Joey Lovato, steps out from behind the soundboard to chat with reporter Daniel Rothberg about his new weekly newsletter, Indy Environment. Daniel talks about what subscribers can expect, as well as what bills he has been watching in Carson City. Later in the podcast, Joey pulls back the curtain and asks Daniel about his reporting process — and what he likes about reporting on the environment, plus what challenges he faces. If you would like to subscribe to Indy Environment you can do so here.
The issues of affordable housing and homelessness are a growing problem in Nevada, and the Legislature is working on a few bills addressing the issues. This week reporters Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder sit down to talk about some of the pending proposals, and Riley shares what he saw and heard during a committee hearing on affordable housing. Michelle also interviews J.D. Klippenstein and Catana Barnes with Acting in Community Together in Organizing Northern Nevada (ACTIONN) re: their reaction to the measures, the receptiveness of the legislators they have talked to, and what they think most needs to be done to address the issues.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, we leave Carson City for a quick trip up to the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno to talk with the Dr. Kristen Averyt. Reporter Daniel Rothberg asks about the institution’s relationship with NSHE and how they get their funding. They also talk about climate change, how science can influence lawmakers and Daniel’s favorite topic: hydrology! Dr. Averyt also tells listeners about some exciting new changes at DRI.
Reporter Michelle Rindels sits down with Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara and executive director of the Clark County Education Association John Vellardita to talk about Read by Grade 3, testing, the state’s education funding formula and more in this double interview on IndyMatters.
This week reporters Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder sit down with Republican Senator Ben Kieckhefer to talk about his thoughts on the gun background check bill and a possible red flag law, as well as his positions on a textbook spending bill, collective bargaining, Senate finance and Tim McGraw.
Reporter Roundtable: Legislature’s first month – Indy reporters recap the week in the Legislature on this week’s episode of IndyMatters. Megan tells us about two bills — one allowing physician-assisted suicide and one requiring municipal elections take place in even years. Michelle talks about a bill that would put harsher penalties on crimes involving a weapon and an initiative to raise college graduation rates. Riley gives us the lowdown on a bill that calls for the popular vote to determine the winner of the presidential race, essentially eliminating the Electoral College, as well as sharing some energy news in the “Riley Energy Corner”.
This week reporters Riley Snyder and Megan Messerly sit down with two freshmen in the Assembly, Republican Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen and Democratic Assemblywoman Connie Munk. They cover the transition into Nevada politics, what the first few weeks have looked like, bipartisan efforts at the Legislature, as well as a bill looking at vaccinations and another looking at drives licenses for charter school students.
Riley Snyder, Michelle Rindels and Megan Messerly gather around the table at the Indy Carson City house to talk about this week’s big topic, gun sales background checks. Riley breaks down SB143, what it entails and its history. Megan explains some of the problems that have been brought up by opposition. The team also discusses other stories from the week including affordable housing, campaign finance, donor breast milk and marijuana.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, reporters Riley Snyder, Michelle Rindels and Megan Messerly sit down to talk about the first few days of the 2019 legislative session. We hear about the exciting (or not) first day of goings-on, as well as expectations, the pros and cons of a citizen Legislature, term limits and everyone’s favorite mini segment: Riley talking about energy policy! We also have a surprise guest appearance from Moby the adorable, unofficial Indy Mascot.
ACLU policy expert and lobbyist Holly Welborn sat down with reporters Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder a week before the Legislature convenes to discuss a range of topics from criminal defense reform to Marsy’s Law to a proposed private prison ban.
Gov. Steve Sisolak sat down for an IndyTalks on Tuesday with Editor Jon Ralston and talked about everything from his opposition to the death penalty, private prisons and cash bail to why his extending tax rates that were supposed to decrease is not a tax increase to how he wants to change how Brian Sandoval funded education. A lot of news here.
Reporter Daniel Rothberg sat down with Brad Crowell, who heads the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, to talk about water, sage grouse conservation and wildfires. They also talked about what policies and aren’t changing under a new gubernatorial administration. “I think you’ll see from this administration more leaning in on addressing climate and energy problems,… focusing on clean energy, focusing on reducing emissions,” he said.
Mike Willden, chief of staff for departed Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, looks back on an exceptionally long career in Nevada state service and the major changes he’s seen along the way, including implementing and then defending a Medicaid expansion against repeal efforts in 2017. With reporters Riley Snyder and Michelle Rindels.
In this week’s episode of IndyMatters, Nevada Independent reporter Daniel Rothberg sat down with UNR President Marc Johnson, who shared his thoughts on the future of the university as it sees increasing enrollment and pushes for a top-tier research status. Johnson also discussed his views on free speech amid tension on campus over how to regulate hateful speech and maintain a culture of inclusion.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Riley Snyder chat with newly appointed state Sen. Dallas Harris, a PUC lawyer who reveals how she voted on Question 3, what she thinks about arguments that state workers should not be allowed in the Legislature and much more. Come for the issue to and fro, stay for Riley betraying his alma mater (“University of Nevada at Reno”) and Jon saying he wants the senator to be sued. Then, Jon and Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson discuss the new senator and the state budget debate to come.
Attorney General-elect Aaron Ford sat down with Editor Jon Ralston and reporters Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder to discuss his plans to try enacting a stalled voter-approved gun background check law and to defend the state’s marijuana industry against any potential federal crackdown.
Editor Jon Ralston and Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson chat about early voting, the U.S. Senate race, the governor’s race and much more. There is passion, information and humor.
Live from Elko City Hall, reporter Daniel Rothberg sits down with Mayor Chris Johnson for a wide-ranging conversation about marijuana, the economy and rural Nevada politics. They also talk about Johnson’s run in the Republican primary for Assemblyman John Ellison’s seat and President Trump’s visit to the town two days earlier.
Reporter Daniel Rothberg sat down with West Wendover Mayor Daniel Corona at his City Hall office to talk about the small town on the Utah border. Corona, a Democrat and Nevada’s youngest mayor, described West Wendover as a blue dot in conservative Elko County. Elected in 2016, he has taken strong positions on immigration and health care during the Trump administration. They chat about those positions, how the city has dealt with the legalization of marijuana, a controversial topic in rural Nevada, and why Corona is voting no on Question 3.
Former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff and Nevada Assemblyman Chris Brooks debated the pros and cons of Question 3 aka the Energy Choice Initiative on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in a lively exchange moderated by Indy Editor Jon Ralston and Reporter Riley Snyder.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Jackie Valley chat with Keith Lynam, the incoming president of Nevada REALTORS, a statewide association. The trio discuss Nevada’s housing market and whether Las Vegas will ever see its pre-recession peak of median home prices. Then, Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson joins Jon for a spirited discussion about the 1 October anniversary and Brett Kavanaugh.
Reporter Daniel Rothberg sat down with Jim Faulds, director of the Bureau of Mines and Geology. The bureau, which serves as the state’s geological survey, develops maps that assess everything from earthquake risk to geothermal potential. They talk about the state’s dynamic geology, why Nevada came to be targeted for mineral exploration and how much more there is to learn about the processes that continue to shape the Basin and Range.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Riley Snyder chat with Democratic Rep. Dina Titus about her regrets on not running for the U.S. Senate, more women claiming to have been harassed by fellow Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who she will support if Dems take over the House, who she might support in 2020 (hint, ABT) and much more.
On this week’s episode of IndyMatters, Northern Nevada Indy reporter Daniel Rothberg sits down with the mayor of Reno, Hillary Schieve. They talk about Schieve endorsing democratic candidate for governor Steve Sisolak as well as the struggles that Northern Nevada has with affordable housing and an increase in the homeless population as the city grows. Later on, they talk about flood risks for development projects in the region, the controversial strip club debacle in the city as well as a retrospective on Schieve’s past year in office.
Editor Jon Ralston and Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson talk to Wayne Thorley, the man who oversees the election section of the secretary of state’s office. They talk about what’s being done to secure the November vote,. what went wrong in the primary and where the voter fraud probe is that started a year ago.
In this wide-ranging interview, John Entsminger, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, talks with reporter Daniel Rothberg and Indy Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson about concerns over a Colorado River shortage, the agency’s continued push for a pipeline project to pump groundwater from Eastern Nevada to Las Vegas, ongoing water litigation across the state, and the need for policy changes.
Reporter Michelle Rindels and Editor Jon Ralston sit down with new UNLV President Marta Meana in this episode of IndyMatters. Meana, who started her new job in July, discusses what she’s been doing to promote healing in the university community after the departure of President Len Jessup, anger from donors and tension between the philanthropy community and regents this spring. She also discusses her vision for UNLV to be more fully integrated in the Las Vegas community and how her experience leading the school’s Honors College for six years will inform her quest to raise student achievement at the university.
Editor Jon Ralston and The Indy‘s resident medical expert Megan Messerly talk with the executive director of the state medical association, Catherine O’Mara. O’Mara talks about the challenges the state faces when it comes to doctor shortages and other more in-depth topics such as prior authorization and continuing medical education credits. Later we hear from the editors of The Indy, Elizabeth Thompson and Jon Ralston, as they speak candidly about the lengths some Nevada elected officials have been going to in order to avoid talking to Indy reporters and their disgust at false accusations of bias. There is also a very open discussion about Jon’s role as a political commentator and how donations impact the Indy‘s reporting (spoiler alert: they don’t).
Reporter Michelle Rindels sits down with a few people in this episode of IndyMatters. First, we will hear from Rachel Palmer and her probation officer Gianna Griffin as they talk about the struggles Palmer faced going in and out of jail because of her mental health and substance abuse issues. Palmer is now going through the Day Reporting Center for her check-ins, having a much more positive experience than in the past. Later we hear from two officers from the Division of Parole and Probation who talk about the new approach the state is taking with the Day Reporting Center and the resources that are being offered there.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Riley Snyder sit down with Meredith Levine of the Guinn Center, to discuss her new report on the Energy Choice Initiative. Levine, whose report has been cited positively by both sides of the ballot measure, found that there’s no easy way to determine how its passage would affect rates or how much renewable energy would be used by Nevadans.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Jackie Valley chat with Principal Margarita Gamboa of Sunrise Acres, the elementary school that was the subject of our recent five-part series. Then, Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson and Jon then discuss the headlines of the week.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Megan Messerly sit down with Lindsey Harmon, the new executive director of Planned Parenthood in Nevada. What’s the organization’s battle plan for 2018? Does she believe Dean Heller supports Planned Parenthood, as he once claimed? Can Steve Sisolak’s daughters keep him woke on these issues?
This week, UNLV Immigration Clinic chief Michael Kagan joined reporters Michelle Rindels and Luz Gray, along with Editor Jon Ralston, to talk about the policies at the border that have been roiling the country. Kagan talked emotionally and thoughtfully about the nuances, the Obama and Trump approaches and more.
Editor Jon Ralston, Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson and reporters Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder preview the primary election. They discuss the governor’s race, the two congressional races, the D.A. race and a spirited Assembly race involving a brothel kingpin and a GOP assemblyman. Also: Headlines and Jon and Elizabeth discuss the latest on the supposed probe by the AG of a rural sheriff who endorsed him.
Assemblywoman Heidi Swank breaks some news and provides some context on the state’s efforts to regulate payday lenders. She tells us about how it failed in 2017 and what she’s doing to prepare for 2019. Reporter Riley Snyder and Editor Jon Ralston chat with her. Then, Jon and Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson talk about the electric utility’s love of renewables and Big PhRMA’s and the Culinary’s fear of new drug transparency bill regs.
Special IndyMatters: Our debate between the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Megan Messerly talk to Heather Korbulic, who runs the Nevada health care exchange. She talks about premiums rising, marketing Obamacare and much more.
Editor Jon Ralston and reporter Michelle Rindels chat with Laura Barrera, an immigration attorney who went down to the southern border to counsel a refugee caravan last month. She talks about what she saw there, the ins and outs of the asylum-seeking process, the TPS program and immigrants in Las Vegas.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson reveals where he’s headed with education in the upcoming session, including his plans for marijuana and hotel tax money, in a conversation with reporter Michelle Rindels and Editor Jon Ralston.