June letters: Readers sound off on Rhyolite Ridge Project, burlesque

Another call to support the Rhyolite Ridge Project lithium mine 

As a combat veteran and retired adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, who taught U.S. energy policy and U.S. foreign policy for more than 18 years, I understand the critical need to secure our lithium supply chain, which is now dominated by China.  

We use lithium batteries in electric cars, solar-field energy-storage batteries, vehicles and weapons systems. We have new mines located in Thacker Pass north of Winnemucca, and the Rhyolite Ridge mine near Dyer. The economic benefits to Nevada of lithium mining will be immense. Esmeralda County, where the Ioneer Rhyolite Ridge mine will be located, will get up to $26 million in tax benefits over the next 26 years. 

Both mines have been going through a decade-long process to get started. Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge mine near Dyer is on the last step, an environmental review by the Environmental Protection Agency, and I urge our congressmen, senators, Nevada officials and citizens to go to their website and support the Rhyolite Ridge project. Our senators and our congressman, Mark Amodei, need to use their political influence and contacts to get these two mines going quickly for their massive economic benefits to their communities and to the state. 

Nevadans also need to be aware of the good news in the tech area related to Northern Nevada. The Reno/Carson region has been designated as one of 31 tech hubs by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). This relates to lithium batteries and other materials. 

We already have many companies in this space, including Tesla; Redwood Materials in Carson City, which recycles lithium; and Dragonfly Energy in Reno, which makes Battle Born Lithium Batteries that are used in RVs, vans, boats and off-grid applications. There are currently more than 7,000 people employed by the existing lithium-related industries I just mentioned. 

The good news is that UNR’s Center for Economic Development has applied for a $75 million grant to facilitate the lithium tech hub in Northern Nevada. We need to expedite the mining, processing and utilization of Lithium. Nevada will benefit immensely, and our energy independence will be greatly enhanced. 

John A. Scire, Reno 

In defense of burlesque  

In response to “Dancing in the moonlight” (RN&R, May 2024): Burlesque was described as having “often-negative, amateurish and crass connotations” and further inferred as distasteful, overtly sexual, unskilled and lacking in artistry.  

The origin of burlesque is rooted in satire and was used to criticize the privileged, elite, ruling classes in society. Contemporary burlesque as an artform is synonymous with striptease, and employs elements of live music, dance, singing, comedy, illusion, theater, clowning, aerials, shibari and other forms of entertainment, expression and artistic exploration. It can encompass empowerment, vulnerability, expression of self, body positivity, sensuality, sexuality, social justice, subverting social norms and more. 

Many performers in burlesque have marginalized identities. It is a revolutionary act to express sensuality and sexuality in bodies that have been historically policed, oppressed and disempowered. I am forever grateful to have this artform, this community of performers, and audience members to celebrate the absurdity of the human experience together. With that sense of community, I believe it is our duty to lift others as we rise.  

I understand wanting to set yourself apart and create an image and brand. That process, however, does not need to include demeaning others, morality policing, or publicly degrading an entire community. 

Comments in the article not only diminish the brilliance of performers who frequent the burlesque stage, but also pass judgement on audience members who come along for the ride. There is enough room on the stage for all of us.  

Nicolina Ilya Colette, Reno