Every Other Sunday: The Little Waldorf Saloon

The games selection is small, but there is still enough to keep you busy while you wait for your meal.

The games selection is small, but there is still enough to keep you busy while you wait for your meal.

My youngest son, Lucas, visits me every other weekend. It is a time to focus on having fun and enjoying our time together. All other obligations get put aside for a few days. At 13, he is tall, lanky and wears his hair long. Sunday is our day to go out for lunch and on most Sundays we go to the Little Waldorf Saloon in Reno, Nev. But the journey involves a few other stops.

Neither of us has Internet on our home computers, so we stop at the University of Nevada, and share time on the computers. For an hour, we watch the trailers to the latest movies and check YouTube for the latest video of a teenage skateboarder castrating himself on the rails of a park stairway.

Then we cross the street and go to the Little Waldorf Saloon. The restaurant, styled in rustic wood and a cannon sitting on its roof, has our favorite special on Sundays: buy one hamburger; get a second for a penny. The cannon came to Reno with the restaurants founder, Red Waldorf, when he left his uncle’s hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, and travel to Reno to start a restaurant in 1922. The Little Waldorf would fire the cannon when the UNR Wolf Pack won a game. However, the Reno police put an end to that due to noise.  We sit down at a booth and watch a bit of whatever game is on the television. Today it’s football. The inside is dark, with stained hardwood beams, seats and, well, just about everything in the restaurant is covered in wood or Old West antiques.

Lucas is still the reigning champion of Dragon Punch!

Lucas is still the reigning champion of Dragon Punch!

After Lucas orders the Great Bacon Burger and I go for the Sourdough Burger, we play video games. The Little Waldorf has a limited selection of games, but we enjoy ourselves. “Street Fighter II” and pinball are always on our agenda. But Lucas loves “Dragon Punch,” which isn’t even a video game. It is a larger-than-average boxing speed bag attached to a machine. Punch the bag, and the machine gives you a score.  Lucas got the highest score, 8648, a few months ago and he takes pride that no one has yet to beat his score.

To my chagrin, I have yet to beat him on this game. I know how to throw a punch and, at three times the boy’s weight, I should be able to beat him easily. Yet every other week I get served.

Bottlecaps ($5.49) are green and red jalapenos battered, fried and served with ranch dressing. The batter is light and almost reminds me of tempura. This is a great appetizer with a little heat and the addition of red peppers adds a little variety to the look of the dish. This got a thumbs up from Lucas.

Bottlecaps ($5.49) are green and red jalapenos battered, fried and served with ranch dressing. The batter is light and almost reminds me of tempura. This is a great appetizer with a little heat and the addition of red peppers adds a little variety to the look of the dish. This got a thumbs up from Lucas.

We take our time at the Little Waldorf. We enjoy our appetizer of Bottlecaps, red and green jalapenos deep fried in a very light batter, and drinks while waiting for our meal. I am always fascinated by the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy. He can switch from talking about why is there still racism to fart jokes to his desire to learn to play Paganini on his violin to why he thinks the Dodge Viper is the best car in the world to why he thinks mechanical webbing is a better idea than organic webbing in the “Spider-Man” films in the span of a few sentences. He talks about what he is learning in history class; the Second Industrial Revolution. I mention that I am studying the same subject in my economic history of the United States class, but with a focus on the economics of the era. Our Sunday lunch is an open forum.

After lunch, we usually go shopping. Sometimes he needs new clothes, which he is surprisingly good a choosing for a boy his age. But usually we travel to the Barnes & Noble and Best Buy on South Virginia Street. We take time looking at books. He looks at historical fiction. I look at comic books.

At five o’clock, it is time for the good times to end. We go back to my apartment. He picks up his things and I take him back to his mother’s. Our Sunday travel is not elaborate and hardly exciting, but it is our time together.

It is an opportunity for Lucas to act a little more like an adult and for me to act a little less like one. I know my time is short. Another year or two and he will be more interested in girls, sports and whatever the hell kids are into these days. The writing is on the wall. I will be irrelevant, at least for a while. And the Little Waldorf will just be a restaurant on Virginia Street that I used to go to with my teenage son.

Text and photos Copyright © Paul George 2012

The Sourdough Burger ($9.49) includes a spicy mustard and grilled onions. Another great choice at the Little Waldorf!

The Sourdough Burger ($9.49) includes a spicy mustard and grilled onions. Another great choice at the Little Waldorf!

The Great Bacon Burger ($9.79) featured, well, you guessed it, bacon. Lucas loved it.

The Great Bacon Burger ($9.79) featured, well, you guessed it, bacon. Lucas loved it.

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The Shakespeare Animal Fund Keeps Focus on Animals

With less people donating and an increased demand for services due to the lagging economy, the Shakespeare Animal Fund has had to turn people in need away, leaving some Reno pet owners with no choice but to give their animals to a shelter. Now the nonprofit has the added burden of not having an office to base its operations.

“We recently had to shut down our office because the landowner, who originally provided the space free of charge, began asking for rent,” said charity founder Jennifer Webb.

Already having to turn people away, Webb decided that paying rent would drain more cash from benefits the charity offers the public.

“I try to make sure as much of the money people donate to the Shakespeare Animal Fund is used to help people and pets in the community,” Webb said.

An all-volunteer staff operates the charity, which pays for emergency veterinary expenses for the elderly, disabled and others suffering financial difficulty in the Reno area. It also provides dog and cat food to those who need it. In some cases, these local pets have not had food for days.

According to its Web site, each $100 the charity receives “can make the difference whether an animal can be saved.”

Anyone interested in donating to the Shakespeare Animal Fund can call (775) 342-7040 or visit its Web site at shakespeareanimalfund.org.

Video produced by Paul George for the Shakespeare Animal Fund and Journalism 207/208 at the University of Nevada, Reno.

©  Paul Anthony George and The Reno Signal, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Paul Anthony George and The Reno Signal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Sexual Safety an Ongoing Campus Concern

The Campus Police regularly participate in student-organized safety awareness events. Officer Jon Martinez speaks to a crowd at the recent Slut Walk, a rape awareness march. Photograph: Paul Anthony George

With more than 18,000 students attending the University of Nevada, Reno, including more than 2,000 living on campus,  safety, including sexual assault, remains an issue of importance for students and staff at the university.

“We do not have any cases of sexual assault by strangers,” said UNR Campus Police Cmdr. Todd Renwick. “Of the four to six reports per year, pretty much all of them are date rape types of sexual assault.”

But Renwick adds that only a third of all sexual assaults are reported. “Most victims,” Renwick said, “do not report due to embarrassment or they do not want to go through court proceedings, having to testify in court.”

Listen to an interview with Commander Renwick:

Police Services and UNR have programs to protect, educate and assist students with campus safety. Along with regular patrols, Renwick said, the police participate in student safety and awareness activities such as the recent Slut Walk. The department also publishes brochures about campus safety and these are available in the lobby of the Police Services office in the Student Services Building.

UNR’s Campus Escort program began in 1984 as a service that walked students and staff to their cars or classes. Now the program is made up of eight vans, giving students and staff rides up to two miles from the campus perimeter.

“The purpose of the program is to increase safety and offer a safe transportation alternative for students and staff,” said Program Coordinator Chris Partridge.

Some students have complained, however, that the service sometimes takes up to 45 minutes to arrive. Partridge said that delays are on the rise and the department is addressing the issue. Last semester, according to Partridge, the Campus Escort gave 33,500 rides, the department’s largest demand ever.

“It can get overwhelming,” Partridge said, adding that the department’s goal is to reach passengers within 10 to 15 minutes from the time they call for a ride.

Another preventative measure taken by the university are the “blue light” emergency phones installed throughout the campus. With the touch of a button, the station places a call to a 911 dispatch.

“They have low activity, but serve as a deterrent,” Renwick said. “However, they have been helpful for medical emergencies.”

UNR’s Police Services also offers a self-defense course for women called Rape Aggression Defense. This national program features certified trainers and is available to women on campus.  According to UNR’s Web page for the program, it is a free 12-hour course. However, students can pay for a one-credit course that meets weekly.

Another program UNR offers is a counseling program called Personal Safety and Sexual Assault Prevention. According to its Web page, the program offers confidential counseling with mental health professionals, advocacy, and “workshops and classroom presentations on sexual violence prevention, personal safety awareness, healthy dating relationships, and the impact of alcohol and drugs on issues of sexual consent.”

The programs offered by UNR and the campus Police Services educate, protect and defend the student body from sexual assault and campus violence.

Police Services recently released its annual report about security and safety on campus. According to the report, the number of reported sexual assaults declined in 2010. There was one reported case that year, compared to six cases in 2008 and four cases in 2009.

But for any victim of sexual crimes, the statistics do not matter. The Crisis Call Center, a nonprofit organization, assists people with suicide hotlines, domestic violence counseling and many other personal safety issues, including sexual assault.

“We provide emotional support and a forensic examination. It is completely free. We have very high confidentiality. We are protected like a priest or a psychologist,” said the center’s Sexual Assault Support Services Program Assistant Tina Schweizer.

The victim, Schweizer said, can choose whether or not to report the incident to the authorities. However, cases where the victim is under 18 years old must be reported to law enforcement.

Statistics provided by Schweizer state that the rate of sexual assault in Nevada is higher than the national average. The statistics show that 20 to 25 percent of women attending college experience sexual assault during their college career. However, UNR continues to show a decline in cases of sexual crime.

Renwick expressed satisfaction with the programs that are in place.

“We have a pretty good educational safety component on campus.”

©  Paul Anthony George and The Reno Signal, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Paul Anthony George and The Reno Signal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Related Articles:

Slut Walk Brings Rape Awareness to Campus

Safety Contacts

Slut Walk Brings Rape Awareness to Campus

March coordinator Monika Mala leads protesters, yelling “a dress in not a yes.” Photograph by Paul Anthony George

Monika Mala, 25, a grad student working at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Center for Student Cultural Diversity, had never heard of a Slut Walk before another employee mentioned it to her. She researched the subject and discovered that these anti-rape marches were happening, not just in the United States, but also in other countries like Africa and India.

According to Mala, these marches began forming after a Toronto, Canada police officer made a comment that, in order to avoid sexual assault, women should not dress like sluts.

With a large freshman class entering UNR for the fall semester, Mala believed it would be a good time to raise the issue of sexual assault and campus safety by staging the march.

“This would be a cool event to have here,” Mala said.

Kasey Lafoon and Tina Schweizer, from the Crisis Call Center, participated in the Slut Walk. Afterward, both gave speeches to the crowd about the counseling the center provides for victims of rape. Photograph: Paul Anthony George

The protest took place Wednesday, Sept. 7, beginning behind the Jot Travis building on the UNR campus. Mala estimated the crowd to be 150 participants, including men and women. As the marchers moved through the campus, they yelled “a dress is not a yes” and “no means no” while carrying signs reading “victim blaming was never an option.”

The march ended in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union, where Mala introduced UNR Police Officer Jon Martinez, who talked to the crowd about the services the campus offers to improve campus safety.  Kasey Lafoon and Tina Schweizer from the Crisis Call Center then spoke about common misconceptions about sexual assault.

However, the event was not without critics. Nevada Sagebrush columnist Enjolie Esteve wrote an article a day before the event, commenting that it sends a mixed message and elevates a degrading term used toward women.

“I never meant for the event to have a derogatory message,” Mala said. She wanted to dispel the myth that “just because a woman dresses a certain way she’s inviting … sexual assault.”

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Additional Articles:

Sexual Safety an Ongoing Campus Concern

Safety Contacts

©  Paul Anthony George and The Reno Signal, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Paul Anthony George and The Reno Signal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Safety Contacts

  • Emergency police, fire, ambulance 911
  • 911 (from a campus phone) dial 9-911
  • Counseling Services (775) 784-4648
  • Campus Escort Service (775) 742-6808
  • Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) (775) 784-1225
  • Student Health Center (775) 784-6598
  • University Police (775) 744-4013
  • Non-Emergency Dispatch (775) 334-2677 (334-COPS)
  • Reno Police – Victim Services Unit (775) 334-2115
  • Sparks Police (775) 353-2279
  • Washoe County Sheriff (775) 328-3000
  • Crisis Call Center (24 hours) (800) 273-8255
  • Nevada Coalition against Sexual Violence (775) 355-2220

Additional Articles:

Sexual Safety an Ongoing Campus Concern

Slut Walk Brings Rape Awareness to Campus