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Volume 16, Issue 43
Dec. 31, 2014-Jan. 6, 2015
Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce Member
Dozens of mistakes identified in now-viewable records
Federal education officials: Nevada can’t
charge dad to look at children’s records
By Karen Gray
Nevada Journal
LAS VEGAS — Remember the
Nevada dad who was told it would
cost him over $10,000 to see the
records the State of Nevada has on
his children, a story first reported
by Nevada Journal?
He’s been allowed to view those
records — without being charged
— following intervention by the
federal Department of Education.
Student information warehoused in
the Nevada State Longitudinal Data
System, said federal officials, constitutes education records under the
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and therefore must be
open to inspection by parents.
John Eppolito, the father of four
faced with paying $10,194, told Ne-
vada Journal last week that after
months of battling with the Nevada
Department of Education (NDE),
he and his wife were finally allowed
to review the records housed on his
children in the department’s database.
While Eppolito said it would
have taken more than a full day to
review and understand all the data,
in the four hours he spent reviewing the information, he identified
more than 30 erroneous addresses
associated with his children.
“These are just four kids,” he
said. “How many others?”
NDE uploads and stores more
than 800 points of data daily on
each public school student, and
Eppolito earlier this year asked department officials to see the records
on his four children.
State officials responded that the
state’s $10 million K-12 data col-
lection program — called the “System of Accountability Information
Network,” or SAIN — “was not
designed for student-level inspection” and informed Eppolito it
would cost him $10,194 to see the
information because the state would
have to do a “data dump” and create the programming required to
produce a “report.”
Eppolito, however, had not
asked the state for a report. He simply asked to “see” the information
regarding his children that NDE
maintained in its database.
Parents’ rights
under federal law
Federal law — the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act —
entitles parents to review and inspect their children’s educational
records, at no cost, regardless of
whether they are maintained by the
school, district or state.
Conversations with officials at
the federal U.S. Family Policy
Compliance Office also suggested
the possibility that NDE was in violation of the Act.
Such violation, at least theoretically, could mean Nevada losing
federal education dollars.
Nevada Journal contacted NDE,
citing federal officials’ statement
that the state was “supposed to provide [parents] the opportunity to
inspect and review [records] upon
request,” and that “there shouldn’t
be a fee for inspecting and reviewing the records.”
Nevada State Superintendent of
(See Parent’s Rights, Page 6)
My Point
of View
By Rolando Larraz
I am glad the euphoria of the
holidays is over this week and I can
go back to a normal status writing
my Point of View without having
to be worried about hurting
anyone’s feelings or giving the impression of being a cold-blooded
insensitive person.
But, before I start writing some
of the stuff that has been bothering
me for a while, I want to take a
moment to thank District Court
Judge Art Richie Jr. for the beautiful Christmas card he and his wife
sent me.
Judge Richie is maybe the only
one in this world that still uses real
Christmas cards to send to people
in the Christmas season — we
didn’t even send real cards this year
— and for that I am grateful to
Judge and Mrs. Ritchie Jr. for their
effort to keep the tradition alive
while helping to support the United
State Postal Service by purchasing
While talking about judges in
District Court I want to thank Judge
William “Bill” Kephart for the invitation that I had received to his
swearing-in ceremony on Friday,
January 2nd, 2015 at the Clark
County Government Center (Commission Chambers) 500 Grand Central Parkway. The event is at 2:00
p.m. precisely.
This event is not going to be like
events in the courtroom of some of
the judges — such as when something is scheduled for 9:00 and at
9:20 the judge is seen at the courthouse parking lot just getting out
of the car.
And... I’m still waiting for the
delicious cookies that one of the
judges promised me before the
Christmas season started; but in the
meantime I will start with my first
column of the new year, 2015.
Perhaps this year Chief Judge
Jennifer Togliatti will take time out
of her busy schedule and address
the attorneys’ attire in open court.
How can the court tell people how
to dress for court when an attorney
shows up in jeans, jogging shoes,
T-shirt and (maybe by accident) a
jacket and with the blessing of the
judge conducting his morning calendar?
I was in that courtroom that day,
I saw it with my own eyes, and
thought he was the defendant instead of the attorney of record and
the judge sounded sincerely grateful when she thanked the attorney
for coming in dressed ready to jump
(See My Point of View, Page 2)
in news
(See pages 4 and 5)
Morality is a private and costly matter
By Gordon Martines
By definition, Morality is the set
of principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or
good and bad behavior. Having directly been an observer for the past
36 years, I can attest to the fact that
the LVMPD police administration
is definitely lacking in Morality.
Notwithstanding, this past,
present, and more than likely future,
police administration substitutes
money for morality. In police terms,
it is called “Shut-your-mouth
Let’s examine the Travon Cole
officer-involved fatal shooting incident. After all the lies have been
told, the cover-up manufactured,
and all the parties involved have
been publicly vindicated and even
promoted to higher positions, taxpayer monies were then given to the
survivors so that they would not
pursue a civil rights complaint lawsuit and thus possibly expose
wrongful acts committed by the
police department. And as a side
note, let me reassure you that when
the federal government examines a
case for trial, there is no stone left
In my widest dreams, I still can’t
quite figure out why a human being, unarmed, squatting down halfnaked, flushing his dope down a
toilet, is suddenly, recklessly, and
maliciously shot in the back of his
head and killed instantly by a narcotics detective serving a warrant,
who - backed up by several other
narcotics detectives and a TV civilian camera crew - felt that the lives
of his backup team and himself
were in immediate danger from
Travon Cole. I am guessing that the
only person that knows the real
truth of why deadly force was used
is Detective Yant, the new chief
counselor for cop shootings, for the
Morality=0 Expediency=1
Let us examine the Stanley
Gibson officer-involved fatal shooting. Stanley Gibson for the most
part had barricaded himself in his
vehicle in the parking lot of an
apartment complex. Responding
officers had blocked Gibson’s vehicle from moving in any direction
by the use of their patrol vehicles,
setting up a barricade. A plan was
formulated to approach Gibson’s
(See From the Desk, Page 8)
Page 2 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
The Rhiannon Gonzales Story Conclusion:
DA Dena Rinetti describes Elgin’s medical condition
By Rolando Larraz
Las Vegas Tribune
Final Part in a Series
Criminal Court on Tuesday, May
13, was not the triumph that it was
originally scheduled to be. Instead
of Willis reporting that he had released Gonzales from House Arrest
and restitution had been made, he
was reciting a list of the parole violations committed by Gonzales.
Willis stated that Gonzales was in
violation for failure to report, as
well as violations regarding controlled substances, directives and
May 15, two women from the
Parole and Probation Department,
VOL. 16, NO. 43
Rolando Larraz
Rolando Larraz
Perly Viasmensky
Maramis Choufani
Don Snook
Colleen Lloyd
Kenneth A. Wegner
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one of whom was Parole and Probation Specialist Terra Kolpak,
went to see Gonzales at Clark
County Detention Center and informed her of the options available
to her if she admitted to having a
drug problem. They clarified that
many who have opted for the “Drug
Court” after having violated probation were able to get their probation reinstated. On May 15,
Gonzales waived her rights to a preliminary hearing, requesting her
case go directly to court.
June 3, 2014, Criminal Court,
presided over once again by Honorable District Court Judge Valerie
Adair. Chief Deputy District Attorney Dena Rinetti, wearing stiletto
heels and towering over the diminutive Probation Officer R. Willis,
swears Willis in. Willis reports that
on May 7 Gonzales refused to sub-
mit to a drug test, on May 8 she
failed to report and on May 9 she
was administered a drug test which
showed positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine. Invoking
the search clause Gonzales’ phone
was discovered in her car. In the
phone text messages were discovered that indicated that Ms
Gonzales was selling controlled
substances. Willis did admit that up
to that point she had always tested
clean and that he was just about to
allow visits with her daughter.
In addition, Willis stated, “there
was a video on Gonzales’ phone of
a baby, who has just been identified as her son, and her daughter,
with Gonzales’ voice in the background, which showed that she had
not adhered to her stipulation of ‘no
contact’.” In actuality, the video had
been sent to Gonzales by her daughter, taken at her grandmother’s
house, and it was Gonzales’
mother’s voice that was heard in the
Willis never spoke again as
Rinetti took over, ultimately demanding a prison sentence for
Gonzales. Gonzales admitted to
having done drugs, but not to selling them. John Piro pointed out that
Gonzales had been under an enormous amount of stress, including
financial. He told of her inability to
complete a 40-hour work week due
to her probation commitments, thus
disqualifying her from being paid
any of her earned commissions. He
told of her recent car trouble, shut-
ting off of utilities, not being able
to see the doctor because the facility required payment at time of service, concluding that this entire ordeal must have been extremely difficult to handle, and she finally
broke. Piro asked that she be placed
into a drug rehabilitation program.
But then Rinetti dropped the
bombshell, “And she’s pregnant!”
There was complete silence for a
split second. Then Judge Valerie
Adair pronounced “Probation Revoked” and stood up and left the
courtroom in disgust, as did
Gonzales’ family, who were dumbfounded at the revelation.
Afterward, when Gonzales was
visited by her family, she reported
that she was not pregnant, saying
that she too was just as surprised to
hear that as anyone else. She
pointed out that if she were pregnant she would not be able to get
accepted to the Fire Camp that she
had learned about and had already
planned to request.
Today Rhiannon Gonzales, an
inmate of the Nevada Prison System, is part of a crew of the Nevada
Fire Forestry Division, working on
fires, floods and forestry projects.
In order to be accepted she had a
rigorous test to pass and could not
have any write-ups against her.
Apparently Gonzales was not pregnant. She earns $1.00 an hour when
they are working on a project, and
$1.00 a day when they are not. She
sees a therapist and attends church
services regularly. She has still not
been approved any visitors since
her arrival at the Florence McClure
Women’s Facility on June 17, prior
to being reassigned to the facility
that staffs the Forestry Division. On
September 26, 2014, her mother
spoke to Rhonda Larsen of Family
Services for Nevada Department of
Corrections, to inquire about getting permission for the children to
visit. Ms Larsen found that there
were visitation restrictions with
Gonzales’ children placed by the
Nevada Department of Corrections.
She then told Gonzales’ mother
which form to instruct Gonzales to
request so that she can appeal the
The children are both healthy
and as happy as can be expected,
living in Southern California.
Iyanna is currently on the volleyball and drill teams at school and,
like both her parents, writes lyrics/
poetry, and she studies ballet. She
also plays basketball and is the star
of her softball team. Thankfully,
Elgin is in perfect health. He is an
extremely bright boy, who already
shows signs of excelling at basketball and soccer, he attends a weekly
storytime at the library, a child development class with his caregiver
once a week and will soon be joining a sports league for toddlers.
They are being raised by their fathers, grandparents and an excellent
caregiver for Elgin. They love each
other very much; but Iyanna still
misses her mother tremendously
(See Gonzales, Page 7)
I will tell everyone that has experienced a bad ruling from Judge
Ochoa that they got what they deserved because they know how to
read, and how to use the computer
and could have learned about Judge
Ochoa and his record on the bench;
it was so obvious he should never
have been reelected.
What happens is that people “do
not want to get involved” or “don’t
have time for such things”; between
work, the bar, and the casino there
is not enough time to learn about
the people who are running for office in our community and that is
the reason why the wrong people
get elected, especially in judicial
And now the next and first issue
of 2015; I was under the impression that loitering is against the law,
not only in Las Vegas, but everywhere else in the nation.
Nowadays there is no place in
Clark County, which is where I live
and about which I care the most,
where, when one gets out of an establishment, one is not bombarded
by a team of no less than six people
of all races, genders and nationalities, asking for help to “get something to eat,” to “buy a cup of coffee,” to “catch the bus,” to “feed my
children,” and any other excuse to
hustle money from the next victim.
I remember years ago when I
was married, my now ex-wife used
to go to a department store by our
house and there was a blind man
there with a bucket collecting
money from generous people.
I kept telling her not to give any
money to the man because when
people give money to beggars they
never go away and she told me that
I was too cheap and just didn’t want
to let a dollar go.
One day we were driving on
Sahara Avenue and while stopped
at the light at Eastern, I looked at
her and asked, “Do you remember
the blind guy by the store? Look
who is driving that Mercedes next
to us.” All she could say was, “Oh,
my God!”
My ex is not that bad of a person and when she said “Oh, my
God,” I thought she was going to
wonder how a blind man could be
driving a car, but all she said to my
surprise was, “Okay, you’re right,
you won.” I could not believe that
my ex agreed with me, but I was
What I am saying is that something has to be done to end the
plague of beggars that now exist in
our community becoming pests to
our residents.
Police no longer assist with car
accidents when no one is hurt, so
maybe they can patrol the parking
lots of supermarkets and department stores to give the people patronizing those businesses some
peace of mind.
They could start at Smith’s Food
and Drug parking lot on Desert Inn
and Decatur, with the Spanish lady
selling tamales out of her car, most
likely without a health card or any
other hygienic measures.
Two issues for my first column
of the year that may not seem too
important to some, but they are to
me. Happy New Year!
My name is Rolando Larraz, and
as always, I approved this column.
Rolando Larraz is Editor in
Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His
column appears weekly in this
newspaper. To contact Rolando
[email protected] or
at 702-868-NEWS (6397)
My Point of View
(Continued from Page 1)
on a boat in Lake Mead.
Later I learned that the attorney,
despite the fact of giving the impression of being very wealthy (every attorney likes to believe and
give their clients the impression that
they are very wealthy), had been
very sick for a while.
Well, I personally do not believe
that being sick is an excuse to show
up in court with the wrong apparel,
and if I don’t mention his name, it’s
because I don’t see the benefit of
embarrassing the judge any more
that she has already been previously
All I said is that the rules should
reflect a two-way street, one way
for the court, and one way for those
appearing in court; it cannot be all
or nothing, or am I wrong to think
that the court and those working in
the court are not above the law?
One more thing about the courts
and then I’ll go into another issue
that has been bothering me for a
while and get it off my chest once
and for all to give me peace of mind.
The other day I had a man come
to my office complaining about
Judge Ochoa ruling in his case, and
I was shocked to learn that that man
voted for Judge Ochoa in last
November’s election.
I was even more shocked when
I learned that he voted for Judge
Ochoa because his attorney told
him who to vote for and he thought
that by voting the way his attorney
told him to vote would help his
I told the man that I was glad that
the Judge had ruled against him in
his case because there was enough
information out there to NOT vote
for Judge Ochoa; there was no reason why Judge Ochoa should have
been reelected after all the damage
he has done in this community.
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December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 3
RTC recognizes student winners
of annual Anti-Graffiti art contest
Kylee Shay Mitchell,
Roy Martin Middle School
The Regional Transportation
Commission of Southern Nevada
(RTC) recognized local students
who won the agency’s 8th Annual
Anti-Graffiti Art Contest at two special award ceremonies on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Roy Martin Middle
School and Thursday, Dec. 18, at
Victoria Fertitta Middle School.
The RTC’s annual art contest,
sponsored by Vector Media and
Outdoor Promotions in partnership
with the Clark County School District, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department Graffiti Investigation
Section, Crime Stoppers and the
Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition,
invited local elementary and middle
school students to create and submit artwork that promotes the
contest’s theme, “Keep Southern
Nevada Graffiti Free.”
More than 209 students from 14
schools across the valley participated in this year’s contest. At the
ceremonies, RTC recognized the
top two winners — Kylee Shay
Mitchell of Roy Martin Middle
School and Aleya Porter of Victoria
Fertitta Middle School. The artwork
of the two winners will be displayed
on the outside of an RTC transit
vehicle and will travel Las Vegas
Valley streets for up to one year.
Students were encouraged to
create original designs and to support the message of respecting each
other’s property and not devaluing
or defacing it with graffiti.
The runners-up included
Katheryn Macias-Padron, Isaac
Carpenter, Hunter Mecham, Sara
Barajas Villa and Luz Molina
Garcia of Cashman Middle School;
Jesus Martinez-Cazares and Jade
Alexe of Roy Martin Middle
School; and Britton Cheney of First
Good Shepherd Lutheran School,
who were recognized with certificates of achievement. Artwork submitted by the runners-up will be
featured on transit shelters around
the valley.
Inyo Promises Patrons
Will Experience Asian
Cuisine Variety
The New Year often brings many
new things to celebrate and 2015
will be no different. Galloping in
from the tail end of the Year of the
Horse, January 1, 2015 will also
bring the opening of Las Vegas’
newest food attraction, the Asian
variety cuisine themed Inyo
Aleya Porter,
Victoria Fertitta Middle School
Located at 6000 W. Spring
Mountain Rd. #1B in Las Vegas,
Inyo sits on what was once the
Maple Tree Café. Foodies may remember the Maple Tree Café as the
only restaurant in Las Vegas where
the hit television show, Food
Network’s Restaurant Impossible
had come in and completely redesigned the restaurant. Most of the
interior will be kept from the show,
while adding an Asian flare to
brighten the space.
Inyo will be more than just an
Asian restaurant. It will be your
Asian experience without the travel.
Owner Chih Peter Chen, was born
in Taiwan and married a Japanese
bride, Mayumi Miyoshi. Having
grown up in the restaurant industry, the 30-year old restaurateur
learned the business from the inside
out, from working at his parent’s
restaurant until he recently ended
his adventures at the Tropicana
Casino. Chih has spent much of his
life traveling across Asia and hopes
to bring a brand new experience
with a diverse menu.
Knowing that a restaurant is only
as good as its head chef, Chih
partnered with Gregg Fortunato,
former Head Chef at the high end
AND GRILL inside the Cosmopolitan Casino and former Executive
Chef of Little Buddha inside the
Palms Casino. Fortunato has experience opening many Asian-themed
restaurants around the country, having opened the Buddha Bar in
Washington D.C, Jia at the Beau
Rivage Casino in Biloxi, MS, and
also served on the opening team for
several Roy’s Restaurant locations.
With this restaurant adventure,
Fortunato and Chih will focus on
bringing together various Asian
cuisines, such as Japanese, Chinese,
Thai, and Korean dishes into a
single harmony. The majority of
Inyo’s dinner menu will be priced
under $10 dollars as menu items are
specially designed to be shared like
tapas, allowing the guests to order
a few items to sample instead of one
large order. Guests will also be able
to enjoy complementary side
dishes, similar to the experience of
going into a Korean restaurant.
Inyo will be the perfect place to
go to satisfy a night out with friends
or family, offering a variety tailored
for those that have several cravings.
For more information, visit http:/
Cleaner fires help
Nevada, EPA says
Burning a cleaner fire in that
wood stove or fireplace over the
holidays is helpful to the health of
Nevadans and also benefits the
state’s climate, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency.
Alison Davis, senior adviser in the
Office of Air Quality Planning and
Standards at the EPA, says a good
way to burn the hottest and most
efficient fire possible is to use only
dry, seasoned wood.
“The reason this is important is
dry wood burns more completely,”
she says. “That benefits you in two
ways: you get more energy out of
the firewood because it burns more
of the actual wood itself and the
other is the fire then produces less
Davis says you can easily tell if
wood is dry by knocking two pieces
together, which should produce a
hollow sound. She adds that a moisture meter can determine wood’s
moisture level, which should be at
twenty percent moisture or less.
Davis says smoke coming from the
chimney is a key sign that you’re
not burning an efficient fire.
Davis adds that wood smoke
produces fine particle pollution,
which can be harmful to human
“When you breathe in air that
has fine particles in it, it can penetrate deep into the lungs where it
can harm the heart, the blood vessels and the lungs,” she says. “Fine
particles are linked to heart attacks
and strokes.”
Davis says particle pollution
from wood smoke can be a major
cause of air pollution in cities across
the nation, especially those with airinversion problems during the winter months.
Nevada economy ends
year on high note
Nevada’s economy is adding
jobs faster than all other states except for Colorado and North Dakota. Bill Anderson, chief economist with the state Department of
Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says 3.8 percent job
growth in the first half of 2014 reflects a gain of up to 40,000 new
“You can definitely see signs of
a pickup in Nevada, and a recov-
ery, at least on the jobs front,” he
says. “That’s stronger than it is
throughout the rest of the nation.”
Anderson says professional and
business services, as well as leisure
and hospitality, are the leading sectors for job growth. He notes job
gains measured in the thousands
were also added in construction,
health care and manufacturing.
Nevada ends the year with a 6.9
percent unemployment rate, which
remains about a point above the
national average. Anderson notes
the state has come a long ways since
the dark days of the Great Recession when Nevada’s jobless rate
peaked at 13.9 percent. He expects
the positive jobs trend to continue.
“By the time we get out to 2017,
we’re looking at year-over-year job
growth that approaches 50,000 a
year, and a lot of that improvement
in growth is attributable to the Tesla
project,” he says.
The Tesla project is the electric
carmaker’s so-called “gigafactory”
to be built in the Reno area, which
is expected to create more than
6,000 jobs.
LUSH to open sixth new
store in Las Vegas
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, the British born ethical cosmetic deli, is preparing for the
launch of its sixth store opening in
Las Vegas at the Grand Bazaar
Shops in late February 2015.
The 295 sq. ft. cosmetic heaven
at Grand Bazaar Shops will bring
LUSHs’ portfolio to a total of 217
stores across North America. 22
new jobs have been created, which
include a variety of roles from retail managers, team leaders and
sales associates.
Alyssa Gates, LUSH Cosmetics
Director of US Real Estate: “We are
thrilled to be opening our sixth new
store in Las Vegas in February next
“Our long term relationship with
local consumers has allowed us to
expand to two new locations in
Nevada next year including Grand
Bazaar Shops and The Forum
Shops at Caesars (late January
2015). LUSH was already extremely well-received by consumers when we first launched in Las
Vegas several years ago and as a
result we felt it was time to further
extend the number of stores in the
“We are also very proud to have
created 22 new jobs and be building knowledgeable and professional
teams, who will continue to make
shopping at the stores a unique and
enjoyable experience.”
(702) 439-5333
Tuesdays & Thursdays
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
on RadioTribune.com
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Page 4 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Our 10 most important local stories of 2014
10. Reid wants suburban
Chinatown on Bundy’s land
After one whole week of tension, confrontation and threats, the
Bureau of Land Management
backed up from the idea of taking
rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle and
decided to allow Bundy’s cattle to
graze on public land.
After twenty-one years of raising his cattle on what is now federal land, the Bureau of Land Management decided that it’s time for
Bundy to pay — or for his cattle
not to graze on federal land.
The Bundy’s ranch, located less
than a hundred miles from Las Vegas, has been in Cliven Bundy’s
family since 1870 and he has owned
almost three hundred acres of the
land adjacent to the one of which
the federal government is claiming
The seized part of Bundy’s cattle
by the federal government sparked
protesters from different parts of the
nation to come down to support
Bundy’s rights to have his cattle
graze on federal land as he and his
family have done for over a century.
Protesters — who all believe in
the U.S. Constitution — traveled
from California, Idaho, Las Vegas
(NV) and Montana to Bunkerville
to unite with Bundy in his singular
effort and offer him a show of
peaceful support in his stand against
Bundy, a 67-year-old rancher
whose family has operated a ranch
since the 1870s, does not recognize
federal ownership of the land where
his cattle graze. Nevada, says
Bundy, owns the property.
The federal government disagrees. In 1993, the government
revoked Bundy’s grazing rights on
the land after he stopped paying
grazing fees. He also refused to
comply with federal orders to remove his cattle from the property,
which the federal government says
is home to federally-protected tortoise populations.
Several websites reported that
the Nevada rancher who forced the
federal Bureau of Land Management to back down last week may
have been targeted because a Chinese solar company with ties to Sen.
Harry Reid’s son wants the land for
an energy plant.
9. End of an Era:
Jackie Gaughan dead at 93
If anyone qualifies for several
honorable adjectives at this time,
that one is Jackie Gaughan, the
gaming pioneer of Las Vegas who
once owned a part or whole stake
in several casinos in the downtown
area, not counting his pet project
— The El Cortes Hotel and Casino
— on a corner that could very well
be called the corner of Happy and
Healthy (as the commercial for
Walgreen drug store states),
Fremont and 6th Street, in the heart
of Las Vegas.
There has been only a handful
of men in Las Vegas that deserve
to be called legends, and added in
between Benny Binion and Sam
Boyd is Jackie Gaughan. No others
can claim that title.
Jackie Gaughan partnered with
many legendary figures of our
time, including Ben Siegel, but
Jackie always stood by his own
principals and his own rules,
getting the reputation of an honest
and straightforward individual.
Last week, with the death of
legendary casino figure Jackie
Gaughan, Las Vegas saw the end
of an era that, unfortunately, we
never can or will see again.
8. County reveals licensees
for Marijuana: The new drug
dealers do not know how to
spread the wealth
Not that long ago being a marijuana-smoker was not something
that one bragged about, and being
a marijuana dealer carried a stigma
with it, since that was not accepted
in the majority of social circles or
communities anywhere.
A long-time Las Vegas highroller named Jimmy Chagra —
whose name isn’t that well known
today — was a legend on the famous Las Vegas Strip back in his
According to gaming experts,
Jimmy Chagra gambled millions,
handed out $10,000 tips to cocktail
waitresses, and sometimes even
paid off the mortgages of certain
casino workers.
Chagra was active as a trafficker
in marijuana and the money he had
was the product of his marijuana
business, an enterprise that sent him
to prison despite all the charitable
gestures and financial help he offered to others.
According to one observer, he
was “the undisputed marijuana
kingpin of the Western world,” but
many of those people who benefited
from Chagra’s generosity on many
occasions denied knowing the person who financially helped so many
of them.
The late Jasper Spaciale went to
a federal prison for loaning money
at only 2 percent interest a week to
those who needed a quick loan until payday because loan-sharking
was considered a mob-related business, and it was an illegal business
as well.
Today there are legit loan sharks
on almost every corner in Clark
County, charging as much as 39
percent interest; but because they
are licensed and give a piece of the
action to the city or the county, they
are called payday loans.
community’s elite — those who
walk around with their nose high
in the air and are considered the
“royalty” of our community and of
a caste that would not have been
seen with the likes of Chagra of
yesteryear — are proudly appearing before the County Commission-
ers asking for a license to be drugdealers.
From a sitting Judge (Jim Bixler)
to the son of the Senate Majority
Leader (Rory Reid) to a narcotic
detective and political pundit
(David Kallas) to a powerful political consultant (Sig Rogich) to a
newspaper magnate owner of several newspapers in the area and casino owner (Bryan Greenspun), as
well as casino executives and real
estate tycoons and almost anyone
who is someone in Las Vegas, including those who still hide their
names under some of their puppets
to avoid the publicity: they all want
a piece of the pie, a piece of the
marijuana market fortune.
Only those with money and
clout are allowed to be marijuana
dealers in order to keep the money
within the same elite group. No
outsiders are allowed.
7. Lawyer lied during Kirstin
Lobato’s Nevada Supreme
Court arguments
A minimum-wage convenience
store clerk who lies under oath in
court can be convicted of perjury
and sentenced to prison. In contrast,
a highly paid lawyer can fearlessly
lie his or her head off when publicly appearing before the Nevada
Supreme Court.
We know that because of what
occurred during oral arguments before the full Nevada Supreme Court
on September 9, 2014 concerning
Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s habeas corpus appeal. The attorney representing the State of Nevada — Clark
County Assistant District Attorney
Steven S. Owens — repeatedly lied
about issues related to Ms. Lobato’s
The Supreme Court’s response
has been deafening silence. Owens’
dishonest assertions include:
1) Owens lied twice that Ms.
Lobato made a “confession” related
to Duran Bailey’s homicide in Las
Vegas on July 8, 2001. The truth is
that during Ms. Lobato’s trial the
State didn’t assert in its opening
statement, closing argument, or
present trial testimony she made a
“confession” to Bailey’s homicide.
It exists only in Owens’ imagination.
2) Owens lied, “She was convicted by her own words at the trial,
and her own words belie the argument that she is actually innocent.”
The truth is there is nothing incriminating regarding Bailey’s homicide
in her police Statement or comments attributed to her — none of
which even include the date, location, or manner of Bailey’s death
from a head injury. Furthermore,
Ms. Lobato’s habeas petition details
her conviction was due to Metro
Det. Thomas Thowsen’s extensive
false testimony regarding her Statement and comments, and his alleged
investigations; and more than 275
unrebutted instances of prejudicial
prosecutor misconduct during her
trial — none of which were objected
to by her lawyer.
3) Owens lied, “Shortly thereafter [Bailey’s homicide], Kirstin
Lobato in Panaca, Nevada, started
talking about a severed penis.” The
truth is Ms. Lobato mentioned in her
Statement that prior to June 20,
2001 she had a conversation with a
woman about the Las Vegas rape
attempt she fended off with her
pocket knife. Also, her habeas petition includes unrebutted new evidence by nine alibi witnesses who
were informed by her beginning in
May 2001 that she used her pocket
knife to fend off a would-be rapist
in Las Vegas.
4) Owens lied that Ms. Lobato’s
vague comment referring to a conversation with her father is evidence
of a guilty mind to Bailey’s homicide. The truth is her comment refers to a conversation with her father in June 2001 — weeks prior to
Bailey’s homicide.
5) Owens lied, “But nothing at
the crime scene is going to help
them because the jury already knew
that evidence there pointed away
from Kirstin.” The truth is Ms.
Lobato’s unrebutted new exculpatory crime scene evidence establishes among other things that
Bailey’s killer made all the
shoeprints imprinted in blood and
they don’t match Ms. Lobato;
Bailey’s cutting and stab wounds
were not inflicted by her pocket
knife; and Bailey was alive when
his rectum injury occurred, proving
she was convicted of a non-existent
violation of NRS 201.450. Furthermore, two jurors determined after
reviewing all the new evidence that
“it could have possibly resulted in
either a hung jury or Ms. Lobato’s
6) Owens lied Bailey’s time of
death isn’t “critical.” The truth is
the State’s theory of Ms. Lobato’s
guilt depended on convincing the
jury Bailey died before 7 a.m.
7) Owens lied the jury “rejected”
Ms. Lobato’s alibi evidence she was
in Panaca the evening of July 8. The
truth is the State conceded during
its closing argument it is factually
true she was in Panaca from at least
“11:30 a.m. through the night.”
8) Owens lied in his assertions
Ms. Lobato’s unrebutted new expert
forensic evidence Bailey died after
8 p.m. isn’t important. The truth is
the State conceded at trial she was
in Panaca 165 miles from Las Vegas at that time, so it is impossible
she committed his homicide.
9) Owens lied, “We have here a
couple statutory remedies that Ms.
Lobato could avail herself of. ... and
the other is a motion for DNA testing...” The truth is Ms. Lobato’s
petition for post-conviction DNA
testing of crime scene evidence —
including semen recovered from
Bailey’s rectum — was vigorously
opposed by the Clark County D.A.
and denied by Judge Valorie Vega.
The Nevada Supreme Court dismissed her appeal, “Because the
order is not appealable.”
The foregoing is only a partial
litany of Owens’ gross dishonesty
throughout his argument. It was a
continuation of Owens’ dishonesty
related to Ms. Lobato’s case.
6. Clark County’s child
welfare system is ‘broken’
The public had its first chance
Tuesday to go before a newly organized panel to speak out in support
of or to recount problems they have
encountered with the child welfare
system. There was a unified, undisputed message: The child welfare
system is “broken.”
The Las Vegas Tribune has car-
ried stories for many years about
families and children the system has
victimized, giving credence to that
assertion, but sadly, it’s nothing
One speaker at the public hearing, Verise Campbell, a grandmother of two young children who
had a hard fought battle to gain custody of them, was a key presenter
whose story became somewhat central to the day. Her story brought
tears and highlighted several of the
problems others report experiencing with the child welfare system.
The courtroom on the 17th floor
in the Nevada Supreme Court hearing room at the Regional Justice
Center was filled to its 70-seat capacity for the four-hour long session, according the Public Information Officer Michael Sommermeyer
of the Administrative Office of the
Courts, who directed overflow visitors to an area where they could
Justice Nancy Saitta presided as
the chair and lead driving force behind the blue ribbon committee she
convened to look into and report its
findings, recommendations and directives by the end of its four-month
term. The period ends early in 2015
prior to Nevada Legislature’s biannual session. Saitta said the
committee’s report will be complete
in time for “action” in the upcoming session.
What was clear from the first
public hearing of the planned series
is that action for change is called
for loudly; but will anything ultimately be done? Some in attendance, such as panel members
Mayor Carolyn Goodman, District
Judge Deborah Schumacher and
Saitta of the blue ribbon committee vow to bring about change.
5. Prosecutors in Las Vegas,
Clark County, lying to get
It is already an accepted saying
we hear all the time that Las Vegas
is a city where people come on vacation and leave on probation — or,
in some cases, they do not get to
leave because they are confined to
prison for a crime they may not
have committed or participated in,
or even known about at all.
And that happens because many
people who come to Las Vegas do
not realize that the city is not as
friendly as it wants visitors to believe it is.
Also, when a tourist gets in
trouble, that tourist is under the erroneous assumption that the laws of
the United States, which are supposed to apply to all, apply to Las
Vegas, Nevada as well. In reality,
there is a different set of rules here
because this is not the United States
of America — this is the “Country
of Las Vegas,” under a dictatorial
regime similar to a police state.
It seems that “intent sexual assault” is the charge in style nowadays for men, and “child abuse” is
the charge for females who do not
bow to the system; these are the
charges prosecutors use to win every case, even if it requires lying.
(See Top 10 Stories, Page 5)
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 5
Top Ten Stories
(Continued from Page 4)
There is the case of a young Marine who sat in jail for a month for
a sexual assault charge that he did
not know he committed; there was
no DNA, no evidence of any kind,
not even an alleged victim — and
yet he was kept in jail for four
months after bail had been posted.
There is also the case of a Florida
engineer who refused to agree to the
prosecutor’s “benevolent” offer of
pleading guilty and doing “only” a
few years behind bars or else be
found guilty by a jury — that in
most cases is manipulated by the
prosecutors; he is now facing thirtyfive years in the Nevada State
4. Mother protests with
hunger strike in front of the
Regional Justice Center
The mother of a young man with
several mental illnesses spent all
last week in front of the Regional
Justice Center on a hunger strike
protesting against a court decision
by Judge Douglas Smith after her
son finalized a plea deal where he
would plead guilty to lesser charges
in return for a much lower sentence.
Dagmar Diaz was arrested and
charged with kidnapping and intent
of sexual assault; his public defender attorney negotiated a lower
sentence if he admits guilt to a lesser
Up to now, everything seemed
routine and business as usual with
the prosecutors and defense attorneys playing at law with the lives
of the defendants.
However, everyone agreed to the
plea bargain deal and they were
ready to be in Department 8 in front
of Judge Douglas Smith to seal the
negotiations, but no one counted on
the judge’s racial antagonism
against Latino defendants; he did
not approve the deal.
The Public Defender appointed
to the case tried to explain to the
judge that the young man had several head injuries and illnesses due
to being run down under a car in
front of his school, but Judge Smith
did not allow her to finish the explanation and shut her down.
The Deputy District Attorney,
who always hides under the name
of the elected District Attorney, was
shocked with the judge’s decision
and tried to explain to the judge the
plea agreement, but the judge told
both attorneys that he didn’t care
and the ultimate decision was up to
him and... NEXT CASE.
Judge Smith is known for being
rude and arrogant on the bench and
has the tendency to be extremely
rude to people who speak with an
Judge Smith most recently was
in the spotlight when he locked up
a Hispanic man because he thought
the defendant displayed an attitude
while in court, and then raised the
man’s bail from $3,000 to $1 million. Later the Nevada Supreme
Court disagreed with Smith’s order
and ordered the defendant’s bail
back down to the original $3,000
and the case transferred to another
The issue with that Hispanic de-
fendant is not the only case on
which the Supreme Court had disagreed with the decision of Judge
Smith; Las Vegas Tribune found
more than thirty cases in which the
Nevada Supreme Court had not
been in agreement with Judge
Smith, reversing the rulings.
Dagmar Diaz and his mother
Blanca have been in the country
little more than a decade from
Cuba; just a few months after
Dagmar was enrolled in his school,
he was run over by a car in front of
that school on Twain and Spencer.
Dagmar was in a coma for fourteen days and his mother had to quit
working to care for him; he was
diagnosed with schizophrenia, post
traumatic brain damage and attention deficit disorder (ADD) and
needed continual medical attention.
3. Do parental rights extend to
medical marijuana patients?
If you appear in Clark County
Family Court Department T, in
front of Judge Gayle Nathan, the
answer is NO. Judge Nathan is
enforcing a zero tolerance policy
for the Defendant, Keith Patton.
Judge Nathan is on a mission to
show this medical patient “how
miserable it can get” if he follows
his doctor’s recommendation.
Keith Patton suffered a severe
head trauma in 2003 and dealt with
migraines, vomiting, and sleepless
pharmaceutical medications had
severe side effects. He now uses
medical marijuana not only to
alleviate the symptoms but also as
preventive medicine. He is a fully
functioning honor student at ITT
Technical Institute.
Keith moved to Las Vegas in
2012 from Northern Virginia, 2,400
miles across the United States of
America, to live closer to his son.
Prior to his first appearance in front
of Judge Nathan, he received a
medical recommendation from a
qualified physician, and now holds
a valid Nevada State-issued
medical card.
Keith appeared in Clark County
Family Court as the Plaintiff, Erin
Bersell, and mother of his then 3year-old child, Aiden, would not
allow him visitation. Ms. Bersell’s
attorneys, Andrew Kynaston and
Edward Kainen, submitted an
Instagram photo of a glass bong
Keith had sold to a medical patient
as evidence of his “emersion in the
drug culture.” This “evidence” was
not in the pleadings, but Judge
Nathan allowed it to be entered and
ordered Keith to test for drugs.
Keith was not allowed to speak and
had not entered his prescription
into evidence prior to the hearing
since listing medications currently
in use is not on any court form and
this allegation was not in the
He tested positive for his
prescribed medication and returned
to court on December 6, 2012.
Photographs of Ms. Bersell under
the influence with a marijuana bud
tucked neatly behind one ear were
presented to the court and found to
be not relevant. The request to test
Ms. Bersell was denied by Judge
Nathan. The court ordered that
Keith was to “NEVER EVER drive
the minor child anywhere until
there is a further ORDER of this
court.” There is no evidence that
Keith cannot care for, or that he is
a danger to, Aiden; he has not even
had a speeding ticket, and has no
Should all medical patients be
prohibited from transporting their
children anywhere because
something MIGHT happen, or just
those who have a Nevada Stateissued medical card?
2. Child welfare system
reform: Real change
or more of same?
All agencies may have problems
of one type or another, but the Clark
County agency responsible for
protecting the youngest and most
vulnerable—the children—has for
too long gone relatively unchecked
and uncorrected, according to
countless family advocates,
families who have been
inexplicably victimized by agency
malfunctions, and media critics —
the Las Vegas Tribune at the
The pages of this newspaper and
programs on RadioTribune.com
have been filled for years with
articles covering the Division of
Child and Family Services and
exposing major problems and
questionable rulings in several
cases that came before the family
courts. Accounts of families and
children the system not only did not
protect, but who instead became
targets of abuse and torment or
neglect, are proof that deeper
investigation into the county’s
system is warranted.
This week, the Nevada Supreme
Court Justice Nancy Saitta and
others have gone on record vowing
to look into and correct the
“shortcomings” and “deficiencies”
in the agency and systems
overseeing children’s welfare.
Keith Patton with his son at Lone Mountain
Las Vegas Review-Journal’s
Tuesday headline showed a recent
development that echoes what the
Las Vegas Tribune has been calling
for over the years: “Child Welfare
Reform Sought.” The front page
article announced that a “blue
ribbon committee” has been
convened to look into problems
with the Clark County child
welfare system and courts.
The system encompasses Child
Haven, the emergency shelter for
children in protective custody after
they are removed from situations
deemed abusive or neglectful; the
foster home placement program,
and the family court departments
that oversee cases involving
children with one or both parents
in some type of dysfunctional or
unhealthy living condition or
embroiled in family custody
An emailed statement about the
Information Officer Michael S.
Administrative Office of the
Supreme Court of Nevada stated:
“[Saitta] has asked a group of
Nevada leaders to serve on a blue
ribbon committee to look into
deficiencies in the Clark County
child welfare system and courts.
The panel, which will meet over the
next four months, will make
recommendations for county action
and/or legislation to be passed in
the 2015 state legislative session.”
The committee was convened as
a part of the Court Improvement
Program for the Protection and
Permanency of Dependent
Children. Saitta is presiding chair.
“Action needs to be taken
immediately to address these
shortcomings that are jeopardizing
the well-being of children in Clark
County,” said Saitta.
Among those chosen for the
committee are Las Vegas Mayor
Carolyn Goodman; County
Commissioner Susan Brager;
former Assembly Speaker Barbara
Buckley, currently the executive
Director of Legal Aid Center of
Southern Nevada; Nevada Health
and Services Director Amber
Howell, along with Second Judicial
“These children deserve better,
and I get no sense of urgency on
the part of the system. This
committee will identify the most
serious issues in the child welfare
system and work with [county]
officials to make sure they are
corrected quickly,” Saitta further
1. Las Vegas police
mourning the death of
two ambushed officers
Las Vegas police and the
community are mourning the death
of two of their own when two
officers were senselessly killed
while having lunch at a local pizza
According to reports, the
tragedy started approximately
11:30 Sunday morning when two
individuals, a man and a woman,
approached Officers Alyn Beck
and Igor Soldo while having lunch
at CiCi’s Pizza, ambushed them
and took their service guns.
The two suspects allegedly
yelled ‘This is a revolution’ as they
left the restaurant and headed to the
Wal-Mart store across the street.
During an emotional press
conference on Sunday afternoon,
Sheriff Douglas Gillespie said he
could not confirm the veracity of
the statement at that time.
At the Wal-Mart store, the two
suspects shot a shopper at the door
and made their way to the back of
the store where allegedly the
female suspect shot her male
companion and then killed herself.
The citizen shopper who died
during the shootout at that WalMart in northeast Las Vegas has
been identified by the Clark County
Office of the Coroner/Medical
Examiner as Joseph Robert Wilcox,
31, of Las Vegas.
The standoff and the
investigation lasted through a
substantial part of the evening,
while officers continued to put
pieces together to make sense of
what had occurred.
Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn G.
Goodman, was the first one to
comment on the shooting, stating
“This was a senseless and cruel act
— killing three innocent people,
two who dedicated their lives to
protecting all of us in our
community, and one who was
innocently going about her daily
life. At UMC Trauma and
thereafter with fellow officers, I
saw their pain was evident and
clear. Their resolve was greater
than ever to serve our community
with loyalty, dedication, and to
honor the memory of their two
comrades and friends. I
immediately asked that flags at city
facilities be lowered to half staff in
remembrance of the officers and
the innocent woman also tragically
shot today.” (Previous media
reports had incorrectly identified
the civilian victim in this incident
as a woman.)
Former Assistant Sheriff Ted
Moody and Sheriff candidate is
only candidate that responded for
a comment on this article. Moody
said, “The attack yesterday was
incomprehensible act of violence to
be added to a long and rapidly
growing list of tragic incidents
gripping our nation. The loss of
Officer Alyn Beck and Officer Igor
Soldo is as shocking as it is
heartbreaking. Our prayers are with
the families of these officers, the
family of Joseph Wilcox, and with
the brave men and women of the
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Las Vegas Tribune columnist
and former Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department Lieutenant
Norm Jahn emailed his comment
and said: “This stunning and
senseless incident will do
emotional damage to everyone at
Metro and anyone who has worn a
badge. It is unlikely that any ‘street
survival’ training would have made
a difference, but Metro leadership
can surge forward with support for
the families of the officers and also
for the larger police family.”
The two officers were assigned
to the Northeast Area Command.
Beck had been employed with
LVMPD since Aug. 2001. He
leaves behind a wife and three
children. Soldo had been employed
with LVMPD since April 2006.
He was also married and leaves
behind both his wife and a baby.
Officers Alyn Beck (left) and Igor Soldo
Page 6 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Parent’s Rights
(Continued from Page 1)
Education Dale Erquiaga then
sought formal direction from federal officials, asking specifically, in
part, if data maintained in the State
Longitudinal Data System were in
fact “education records” and
whether NDE had to write a computer program interpreting the data
in order to respond to the parent’s
request to inspect and review his
children’s education records.
Dale King, director of the federal compliance office, replied with
a detailed, six-page July 28, 2014
letter that addressed multiple issues
Erquiaga had raised.
King’s advisory letter noted that
the U.S. Congress in 1994 had
amended the FERPA law “so that
parents would have the right to inspect and review education records
maintained by an SEA” — a “state
education agency,” in fed-speak. He
then also noted that “FERPA defines ‘education records’ as information directly related to a ‘student.’”
That essentially nullified the legal position the state had been arguing — that no “records” exist on
the Eppolito children because
SAIN’s student data do not constitute “records” under the law —
records allegedly being documents
— and neither FERPA nor Nevada’s
public records laws require the state
to create records.
“Some have argued that FERPA,
specifically 34 C.F.R. ß99.10(b), requires NDE to create a program to
enable it to identify and extract individual-level data,” wrote former
Nevada Deputy Attorney General
Carrie Parker in a May 14, 2014,
legal memorandum to Erquiaga. “A
review of FERPA, its corresponding regulations, and associated case
law reveals no such requirement.
Additionally, no such requirement
exists in state law.”
King’s letter to Erquiaga, however, immediately cut to the heart
of the issue by noting, in its second
paragraph, that what Nevada school
districts upload to the state, on a
nightly basis, are “each student’s
current data record.” (Emphasis
He continued:
...[P]arents have the right to review education records maintained
by an SEA on their children who
are or have been in attendance at
any educational agency or institution that is subject to FERPA. Accordingly, records that are directly
related to students and maintained
by the [Nevada Department of Education] (or SLDS) are ‘education
records’ for purposes of FERPA’s
inspect and review provisions.
Federal compliance director
King also cites FERPA implement-
ing regulation 34 CFR ß99.10, including ß99.10(d), which specifically provides that if circumstances
effectively prevent a parent from
exercising the right to inspect and
review a student’s education
records, the SEA “shall,” in part:
(1) Provide the parent or eligible
student with a copy of the records
Agencies, King went on to say,
can charge a fee for copies. If a fee
for copies effectively prevents a
parent or student from exercising
the right to inspect and review education records, however, then educational agencies “would be required to provide copies without
payment.” King then notes that educational agencies “may not charge
a fee for search and retrieval of education records.”
The department would not generally be required to create a new,
interpretive record or document for
a parent, King said. “However,” he
continued, NDE “would be required to respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of records.”
Those explanations and interpretations are required “regardless
whether the data is generated from
a State assessment or if the data is
generated from education records
uploaded from constituent
Heather Kays, a research fellow
at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of School Reform
News, told Nevada Journal, “It was
and is unacceptable for the Nevada
Department of Education officials
to think that they had a right to track
student data and not provide access
to the same information to parents.
FERPA exists specifically for cases
like this to protect student privacy
and parental rights.”
Mistakes in records
Given the numerous mistakes
reported regarding Eppolito’s children, Nevada Journal asked NDE
if it was taking any steps to ensure
the accuracy of all student information in the SAIN system.
Judy Osgood, NDE’s public information officer, replied that the
department has a number of steps
to validate data to ensure accuracy
of data fields. The processes, she
said, are employed for routine business such as attendance/student
counts and assessments.
As for student addresses,
Osgood explained they “are not
used by the state except for a step
in the generation of a unique student identification, albeit an ancillary use.”
According to the state’s NV
2012 SLDS Project Feasibility
Study Report, however, student addresses are actually key elements in
student “identifiers.”
Student addresses and ID numbers are “Bio Demographic Attribute Elements” used in the generation of a “Unique State Personal
Identifier” as part of Nevada’s goal
to develop a Matching Data Hub to
assign unique state ID numbers to
individuals “so that students and
teachers can be followed throughout their enrollment in PreK-12 and
postsecondary education and into
the workforce,” according to the
report. (Emphasis added.)
Eppolito’s experience, however,
has demonstrated that the information in these tracking systems may
not be accurate, and thus not reliable.
When asked how the Eppolito
misinformation got into the state’s
system, Osgood replied that the
state does not enter any data into
SAIN and that “all information in
SAIN is collected by local school
districts and transferred to SAIN.”
Eppolito said it’s disingenuous
for Osgood to say NDE doesn’t
enter information into SAIN, because they did.
When Eppolito found the inaccuracies in his children’s’ records,
NDE sent him back to Washoe
County School District to verify the
information there. However, the
records in the school district’s information system were correct.
“During the meeting we pulled
a few of the erroneous addresses,”
WCSD’s Chief Academic Manger
Scott Bailey wrote to NDE officials.
“His children did not populate as
related to any of the addresses.
Other students enrolled in the District were associated to these addresses, but not Mr. Eppolito’s children. We are unable to find a connection between Mr. Eppolito’s
family and the addresses in question.”
Osgood said that NDE is not
aware of any bug or system issue
that would cause data inaccuracy
and that when it becomes aware that
any of its records are incorrect, it
takes steps to correct that information.
Eppolito said he has been informed by NDE — but has not
physically verified — that the information pertaining to his two oldest children has been corrected. He
still awaits an update on the information regarding his younger children.
“So, it’s inaccurate that NDE
can’t manipulate the SAIN information, because they did,” Eppolito
“How did they fix the two older
children otherwise?” Eppolito
asked, noting again that information
at WCSD was correct.
Osgood, in an email, said the
best way for parents to ensure the
accuracy of information warehoused by the state is to “ensure the
data are correct at the district.”
“Parents should alwaysremain
vigilant and involved to ensure the
information housed by the District
and therefore the subset of the information contained within the District that goes to the state is accurate,” she said.
Eppolito advised differently, reminding parents that the information on his children was correct in
the Washoe County School
District’s system. The errors, he
stressed, existed within the state’s
database system.
Moreover, he said, the state’s
data exists in an unreadable format.
“Parents don’t know what the
codes mean,” Eppolito said. “Who
knows what else is getting mixed
NDE has updated its practices so
parents have access to student information in person, Osgood said.
The department will respond to any
appropriate parental request to view
their student’s data.
Parents who want to inspect their
child’s information maintained in
the state’s data system may contact
Glenn Meyer, the IT Manager for
NDE at 775-687-9126.
Karen Gray is a reporter/researcher with Nevada Journal. For
more in-depth reporting, visit
nevadajournal.com and npri.org.
Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
On January 5, 2015, Justice
James W. Hardesty will become
Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court. Chief Justice Mark
Gibbons, who has served as Chief
Justice throughout 2014, will conclude his term and Justice Hardesty
will assume leadership as the administrative head of Nevada’s judicial branch of government.
Justice Hardesty is a native Nevadan, having been born and raised
in Reno. He graduated from the
University of Nevada, Reno and
practiced law in Reno from 1975
through 1998, when he was elected
to the District Court bench in
Washoe County. He was elected to
the Supreme Court in 2004 and previously served as Chief Justice in
In 2014, Chief Justice Gibbons
and Justice Hardesty worked
closely with their colleagues on the
Court and Nevada’s legal community to explain the need for a Court
of Appeals, which was approved by
voters in November.
“Justice Hardesty tirelessly traveled the state demonstrating the
need for a Court of Appeals and
explaining how the court will benefit Nevadans,” said Chief Justice
Gibbons. Establishing the new
court is expected to be one of Chief
Justice Hardesty’s first tasks.
“The beginning of the Court of
Appeals marks a historic moment
in the history of Nevada’s judicial
system and will be one of the most
important projects of the Supreme
Court in the new year,” said Justice
Hardesty. “The Court of Appeals
provides us with the opportunity to
reduce the backlog of the Supreme
Court and eventually provide
quicker resolution of all appeals in
Nevada. I anticipate assigning our
three new appellate judges their first
163 cases the first week of January.”
Chief Justice Hardesty will work
with Nevada’s lawmakers on budget and legislation at the 2015 Nevada Legislature and will give the
State of the Judiciary address to
lawmakers early in the session. The
Chief Justice is administrative head
of the state’s legal system, speaking publicly for the Court and representing the Nevada Judiciary nationally.
The Chief Justice presides when
the Supreme Court sits as the full
court and chairs the Commission on
Judicial Selection, which nominates
candidates for judicial appointment,
and the Judicial Council of the State
of Nevada. Under the Nevada Constitution, only justices in the last
two years of their current 6-year
term of office are eligible to be
Chief Justice.
James W. Hardesty to
become Chief Justice of
Nevada Supreme Court
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 7
LGBT Americans face greater social and economic
disparities in the South, Midwest, and Mountain states
Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
Americans face greater social and
economic disparities in the South,
Midwest, and Mountain states, according to a new Williams Institute
report sponsored by Credit Suisse,
a longtime partner of the Williams
Institute. The report reviews social
climate, demographic, economic
and health indicators, and highlights disparities between the 21
states that currently have non-discrimination laws that include sexual
orientation and the 29 states without such laws.
“In states where legal climates
are less supportive of LGB people,
social stigma toward them is also
higher,” said co-author, and Williams Public Opinion Project Director, Andrew Flores. “Social and legal climates are generally intertwined such that supportive laws
and social acceptance run hand in
“While there has been a lot of
focus on the social and legal inequalities that LGBT people face in
the South, the inequities for those
living in the Midwest and Mountain states are sometimes overlooked,” said Amira Hasenbush, coauthor and Jim Kepner Law and
Policy Fellow. “These data point to
severe disparities with respect to
HIV infection rates in the Mountain
states and economic vulnerability in
the Midwest.”
Key findings include:
(Continued from Page 2)
and Elgin does not even know his.
One wonders how this situation
ever escalated to the point that it
did. Could it be possible that the
powers that be in Las Vegas, Nevada employ such inept humans
that they cannot even interpret a
medical report correctly? Is it that
they have too much of a case load
to actually pay attention? Or is this
simply a case of female bullying, a
group of women taking a dislike to
another woman? — although it is
appalling to think that anyone, especially in a professional capacity,
could be so malicious.
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Dena Rinetti, who will apparently
stop at nothing to build her career
stats, is the epitome of the proverbial saying “If she had brains she
would be dangerous.” Rinetti has
been awarded enormous power
with no accountability. She has
demonstrated how much disregard
she has for the state’s resources by
all that was wasted on this case. But
let’s face it: the judicial and prison
systems are big money-making
Because the CPS workers involved in this case were not licensed, the family was not able to
file any formal complaints against
them. One wonders what exactly
was going on in the mind of Child
Development Specialist Violeta
Menjivar, as there were no previous calls made against Gonzales,
and her children displayed none of
the behavior signs usually associated with abused children. Quite the
contrary; in fact, could it be as
simple as the fact that even though
Gonzales is Latina, she does not
speak Spanish? Or the fact that her
children are half Black?
Several attempts were made to
contact Lisa Ruiz-Lee, Department
of Family Services Director, for
comment, but all were ignored. It
should be noted that Lisa Ruiz-Lee,
an advocate for the department’s
use of psychotropic medications,
was instrumental in bringing about
the implementation of an Enterprise
Resource Planning System between
the Clark County Judicial System,
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Regional Transportation
Commission of Southern Nevada
and University Medical Center —
which includes Children’s Hospital
Nevada. This seemingly logical
implementation of resources would
be the impetus that created the police state that brought the burden to
bear for Gonzales and her two children.
If there is one thing to be learned
from this, it is this: Never believe
that something like this cannot happen to you. This was the last thing
that this family would have ever
imagined having to live through.
Gonzales’ life plans were that of her
protecting needy children, not of
serving time in prison for child
LGBT Americans in the 29
states without state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation (non-state law
states) consistently see greater disparities than in the 21 states with
such laws (state law states), including in the following areas:
—Social Climate: An LGB social climate index, which measures
the level of social acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people,
found that the 21 state law states
have a much warmer climate towards LGB people than the 29 nonstate law states, with average index
scores of 70 in the state law states
and 52 in the non-state law states.
—Economic Vulnerability for
African-Americans: AfricanAmerican LGBT individuals live in
higher concentrations in the 29 nonstate law states (18 percent) than in
the 21 state law states (12 percent),
leaving nearly 900,000 AfricanAmerican LGBT workers with limited legal options to address experiences of discrimination based on
sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.
—Household Income: While
same-sex couple households enjoy
a $14,000 income advantage in the
21 state law states, that shrinks to
$5,300 in the 29 non-state law
states. In contrast, same-sex couple
households with children face an
income disadvantage when compared to their different-sex married
counterparts with children. That
income gap widens from $4,300 in
the state law states to $11,000 in the
non-state law states.
LGBT Americans in the South
face increased disparities compared
to LGBT people in other regions in
the country in the following areas:
—Household Income for
parenting same-sex couples:
Same-sex couples raising children
have a household income that is
nearly $11,000 lower on average
than their different-sex, married
parent counterparts who are raising
—Health: More new HIV infections among men who have sex
with men (MSM) have come from
the South than any other region in
the country. Southern LGBT individuals also have the lowest insurance rates in the country, with
nearly one in four lacking insurance. In contrast, 16 percent of nonLGBT individuals in the South do
not have health insurance.
LGBT people and same-sex
couples from the Midwest find
themselves facing some of the
greatest inequities in:
—Education: LGBT individuals in the Midwest are less likely to
have completed a college degree by
age 25 than non-LGBT Midwesterners, while LGBT individuals in
other regions of the country tend to
have similar or higher levels of education than their non-LGBT counterparts.
—Household Income: LGBT
individuals in the Midwest are substantially more likely to report having a household income below
$24,000 than their non-LGBT
counterparts (35 percent v. 24 percent, respectively). Same-sex
couples have a statistically significant income advantage in all regions of the country, except the
Midwest, where the advantage
nearly disappears. Among same-sex
couples raising children, Midwesterners have a household income
nearly $20,000 less than their different-sex couple married parent
LGBT people and same-sex
couples in the Mountain states face
regional differences in:
—Household Income: LGBT
individuals in the Mountain states
are much more likely to report having a household income below
$24,000 than their non-LGBT
counterparts (33 percent v. 22 percent, respectively).
—Health: MSM in the Mountain states currently have the highest incidence of HIV in the country
at 61.6 new infections per 100,000
MSM. They also have the greatest
disparity among the regional population as a whole. The new HIV infection rate among MSM is nearly
six times the regional population
rate, and the MSM HIV prevalence
is more than 50 times the regional
population prevalence.
—Adoption: Same-sex couples
in the Mountain states have the lowest adoption rates of same-sex
couples throughout the country,
even though different-sex married
couples in the same region have the
highest adoption rate in the country, among different-sex married
“It’s not just that LGBT people
in the Midwest and South are poorer
because people in those regions
tend to be poorer overall,” said Gary
Gates, co-author and BlachfordCooper Distinguished Scholar. “In
some cases the economic disadvantages that LGBT people have relative to non-LGBT people markedly
increase in those regions. In others,
the advantages that you see for
LGBT people in other parts of the
country either disappear or reverse.”
“While the nation seems on the
verge of full marriage equality,
most states still have not adopted
non-discrimination laws protecting
LGBT people,” said Brad Sears,
Executive Director of The Williams
Institute. “This report sheds light on
important differences between
LGBT people who live in the states
that have moved ahead on LGBT
rights — mainly on the coasts —
and those who have not.”
“This study clearly identifies the
financial disparities faced by members of the LGBT community,” said
Pamela Thomas-Graham, Credit
Suisse’s Chief Marketing and Talent Officer and head of the bank’s
New Markets business. “We
partnered with Williams on this research for the same reason we created the Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index and Portfolio: better information and more transparent
data leads to smarter decisions for
investors, policy makers, and our
Page 8 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Ghosts of the Desert
By Jerry Schafer
Back in the 1950s, Stan Irwin
was the Entertainment Director of
the Sahara Hotel, bringing unknown talent like Don Rickles and
Shecky Greene into the Lounge and
producing big name stars in the
main showroom. At that time, the
Stardust Hotel was presenting the
Lido de Paris, and the Dunes presented Fred Apcar’s Casino de
Paris. At the same time, the
Tropicana Hotel presented the Follies Bergere, and Del Webb’s
Thunderbird Hotel was presenting
the Ziegfeld Follies.
Caesars Palace didn’t open until 1962, but the hotel had a “Star”
Dave Victorson was their Entertainment Director. The Sands Hotel also had a Star policy for its entertainment presentations. Jack
Entratter was their Entertainment
Director, booking names like: Frank
Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean
Martin, Nat King Cole and the like.
I was Entertainment Director at
the Thunderbird beginning in 1962,
booking such stars as: Judy Garland, Jack Benny, Robert Goulet,
Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows,
and more.
Beginning in 1989, when the
Mirage Hotel opened on the Las
Vegas Strip, the title Entertainment
Director took on a different meaning as new Entertainment Directors
were appointed in the new hotel
As far as I’m concerned, the
great hotels that made up the backbone of this city were responsible
for causing this city to become the
Entertainment Capital of the world.
No individual person, Entertainment Director or group of entertainment directors made this town; but
rather the hotels themselves and
their creative owners who financed
everything that took place inside
their hotel properties were the ones
who caused this city to become
what it is today.
The entertainment directors of
the 1960s were talented fellows
who had a list of production credits
to their names that gave them the
stature they deserved in that capacity. In addition to that, they also had
experience in the entertainment industry that gave them the ability to
know exactly what they were doing when they booked acts into the
hotel showrooms and lounges — or,
for that matter, when they themselves produced a show.
Back in the 1960s there were
several unions that governed most
of what happened in the showrooms
of Las Vegas as far as the performers and musicians were concerned.
There was the AGVA (American
Guild of Variety Artists) and the
Musicians Union that oversaw all
that took place in the orchestra pits,
or anywhere else any musician
would perform. These unions set
not only the standards by which
their members operated; they also
set the fee scales.
Producers found themselves in
a position that led them to cooperate with the union scales in all respects. After all, back in the 1960s,
most of the musicians and performers were members of either the
AGVA or the AFM (American Federation of Musicians), or of AFTRA
(American Federation of Television
and Radio Artists).
Of course all members of all
unions (guilds or federations) paid
dues to their respective organizations, keeping in tune with the good
old American way of doing business. In other words, as they say; if
you want to hear the music, you’ve
got to pay the fiddler!
Back in those days, from time
to time, there were strikes by one
union or the other, holdouts to increase the pay scales or to change
the rules and regulations regarding
the time element related to rehearsals of a musical variety show or
The entertainment directors held
meetings on a monthly basis to discuss the trials and tribulations of the
union involvement. They would
also discuss entertainment in the
city. I can attest to the fact that for
the most part, they worked together
in harmony trying to achieve the
same goal... to turn Las Vegas into
a respected destination for tourists
all over the world.
Most hotels used the same tricks
of the trade in their advertising and
The shows were essentially the
drawing power for the casinos...
Bigger more famous stars meant
bigger casino drops (winnings in
the casino).
Topless showgirls, glitz and
glamour was the order of the day
with feathers and rhinestones glittering up the stages where musical
variety shows took the place of Star
policy presentations. The competition therein was fantastic, and the
bottom line was... it was great for
Big Las Vegas Orchestras were
also the order of the day in almost
every hotel.
Nat Brandywine had the orchestra at Caesars Palace, and on their
day off, the relief orchestra of Cee
Davidson took their place.
Up and down the Las Vegas
Strip show business was alive and
kicking in both the showrooms and
in the lounges that presented famous musical show groups such as
Louie Prima and Keely Smith, The
Treniers, The Back Porch Majority,
and individual artists including famous comedians.
In the early 1960s, the first afternoon show to ever take place on
the Las Vegas Strip was presented
in the Thunderbird Hotel’s lounge.
The show was called; Speaking
of Girls, and was the forerunner of
countless afternoon shows that soon
Over the years the face of the
Las Vegas Strip has continually
changed, and so has the skyline as
many of the famous hotels that were
the backbone of Las Vegas were
imploded, making way for newer
and more modern properties.
Those of us who have lived and
worked in Las Vegas since the
1950s are known today as the oldtimers. Sadly for most of us old-timers, we saw the demise of such great
hotel properties as The Dunes, The
Sands, The Desert Inn, The
Stardust, The Frontier, The Haci-
enda, The Thunderbird, The Silver
Slipper, The Castaways and the list
goes on and on.
Along with the implosions of the
great hotels that were responsible
for making this city known as the
Entertainment Capital of the World,
the Gaming Capital, The Marriage
Capital, the Divorce Capital, the
Number One Tourist Destination in
the World, the Number One Convention Destination, and more,
came the demise of the Musicians
Union, the American Guild of Variety Artists, and then it was
goodbye to live music, goodbye to
lounge shows, goodbye to dinner
shows, and goodbye to the Star
Policy in most hotels.
The goodbyes didn’t end there.
Just like the names of the hotels that
are no longer here, hotels I refer to
as “Ghosts of the Desert,” the city
also said its goodbyes to the talented entertainment directors
whose place has been taken by hotel executives who are moved up
from working in other job descriptions inside the new hotels.
The so-called entertainment directors of today for the most part
have virtually no production experience, yet they work in the entertainment department as entertainment directors nonetheless. Fortunately, these new types of entertainment directors cannot make a decision on their own. Today, most
things in most hotels are decided by
a committee, unless of course, an
owner like Steve Wynn comes
along. The fact of the matter is,
Steve Wynn has the talent to find
and present world-class entertainment without the need of assigning
any entertainment director.
Today Las Vegas hotels do not
rely on their showrooms or show
presentations to bring customers
into their properties. Today, the additions of nightclubs, along with the
addition of shopping malls, attract
tourists; and most important of all,
it attracts purveyors of all kinds to
their properties. Those are the main
attractions today!
In reality, nightclubs have, for
the most part, taken the place of the
Las Vegas lounges of the past. Today hotel nightclubs account for a
major part of the hotel’s profits.
As indicated above, together
with the nightclubs, the shops and
stores and restaurants that pay rent,
and in some cases pay a piece of
the action too, are the things that in
reality, have taken the place of what
the hotels used to rely on as far as
earning profits were concerned.
Las Vegas casino action is no
longer the mainstay for any Las
Vegas hotel.
Certainly gaming revenues account for a percentage of the hotels’ profits; but today, unlike days
gone by, the casinos are not the attraction they used to be.
From The Desk
(Continued from Page 1)
vehicle and extract him from the driver’s position. The plan consisted
of breaking out the right rear passenger window and inserting pepper
spray or tear gas, thus forcing Gibson to evacuate the vehicle. This
plan was formulated after about 32 minutes, after removing innocents
from the immediate area and deploying police officers that were then
properly briefed to guard the perimeter around the vehicle. The plan
was sound and practical, as I have personally observed when I was
part of a similar situation in years past, when I was part of a SWAT
unit that deployed such tactics. This was not a difficult task to accomplish without anyone getting injured or killed and even taking the suspect safely into custody.
Unfortunately, a patrol lieutenant (Dockendorf) arrived at the scene
after the original plan was just about to be initiated, and immediately
informed personnel at the command post that he was now taking charge,
and thus proceeded to alter the original plan. This alteration consisted
of using a Bean Bag Shotgun to knock out the rear window of the
Gibson vehicle before deploying pepper spray or tear gas. This new
plan was still feasible and workable, except for one tiny little factor.
That little factor was that not all police personnel were informed or rebriefed of this little last minute alteration of using a Bean Bag Shotgun to knock out the window. By using a Bean Bag Shotgun to knock
out the rear window instead of a blunt object, the sound of a gunshot
was now introduced into the plan, and the shattering of a rear window
glass without any apparent reason other than from a gunshot.
So now you have a police perimeter guard that is not made aware
that others are going to use a Bean Bag Shotgun to break out the window, and that a gunshot will be heard and not to react, and that the rear
window will be broken out without anyone near it. When this occurs,
about the only conclusion that could be drawn is that someone inside
the vehicle is shooting from the inside vehicle to the outside of the
vehicle and thus, is placing everyone on the perimeter in danger. Officer Arevelo felt that this was the case and proceeded to neutralize the
threat, and shot and killed Stanley Gibson, who had sat up in the driver’s
seat of his vehicle.
The rest of the story is just another immoral act that the LVMPD
police administration is empowered to commit. The LVMPD administration directly blamed Officer Arevelo for the death of Stanley
Gibson. This type of condemnation is akin to blaming soldiers on the
field of battle with murder. This just isn’t done; the real culprits in this
preventable “accident” are the persons at the top of the food chain.
Immorality is again employed by the LVMPD police administration. First off, they immediately drop the hammer on Officer Arevelo;
without proper investigation, without proper due process, sacrifice the
lowly patrol officer as he is always expendable. Second, levy minor
discipline to intermediate supervisors, which will later be redacted
and unnoticed, for their part in this incident, so as to appear to be fair
and impartial, and attempt to appease the masses. Third, pay off, as
soon as possible, the survivors of Stanley Gibson; after all, the money
is not really coming out of the LVMPD police administrator’s pockets. This will essentially close the case and prevent any further examination of this unfortunate accident. Fourth, make sure that local boughtoff political activists keep repeating the same official scenario over
and over, to convince the masses that their explanation is the right one
and any other explanations are mere conspirator theories.
So folks, there you have it. And just one more point. All of the
official conclusions so far have come from the LVMPD police administration and supported by political hacks. These conclusions have been
accepted without even getting Officer Arevelo’s side of the story. I
personally spoke with Officer Arevelo for over two hours to get his
side of the story; it was quite a revelation to say the least.
How many of you, who believe in the LVMPD police administrators version of what happened, have spoken directly to Officer Arevelo,
and then formulated your own righteous conclusion? Get all the facts
first and then point the finger.
Gordon Martines is a former LVMPD detective who has served in
many capacities over his 39-year career in law enforcement. He has
been a candidate for sheriff in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, with the
intention of bringing integrity and accountability back to the department, and filed a federal lawsuit against LVMPD in 2011. Martines
now contributes his opinions and ideas to the Las Vegas Tribune to
keep the public informed and help improve policing in Las Vegas. He
has also appeared on the Face the Tribune radio program several
times to share his plan for a better LVMPD.
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 9
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. — Thomas Jefferson
Our Point of View
Let’s keep this year’s
resolutions alive!
It is no secret that the year that ends today has been a
tumultuous one in many ways, showing us that people everywhere are carrying a grudge of one kind or another and
showing their own frustration at having innocent people
suffer the consequences of the guilty people’s behavior.
Unarmed young people being killed by what some see
feel are assassins in uniform; good, honest, dedicated police officers getting ambushed and killed for the behavior of
some of their heartless counterparts, and bad police officers
getting commendations and promotions. So unfair!
Bad judges get reelected while good judges are taken
down because they are not controllable, bought by unethical useless attorneys with a few dollars to spread around to
be able to control the judges they just bought and paid for
during the election.
Elected officials believe in their self-serving mistaken
dreams that they are Kings and Queens, reigning above all
those who helped them to win their “royal” office, while the
“lowly” voters suffer for their poor choice of candidates for
the next four years.
Elected officials seem to be under the impression that
those very people that elected them are brainless and they
can just change their mind, opinion or actions whenever it
suits them and the electoral will never find out — which
shows a great deal of disrespect for the people they are supposed to be serving.
People become indifferent to all the mistakes those elected
officials make when they are recognized by such “an important public figure” who says hello to everyone in the
place, obviously hoping for that extra new vote in the next
election and not because he/she is part of the community
and looking for ways to help those who believe in them.
It is time to take our future, our life and our community
seriously, and to make time for paying attention to the life
and well-being of our children.
Police officers should start trusting the community they
swear to serve and protect so they can get the trust and respect that the majority of them deserve.
The community needs to give an opportunity to police
officers to act human, and respect those officers that put
their life on the line to protect and serve them on a daily
Perhaps this year will be the year for us not to be hypocrites but to start respecting each other and respecting all
our human, civil and constitutional rights, working hard to
make this nation the example we believe it once was — an
example that everyone would like to think it is, but is not —
and an example of which we can genuinely be proud, as
people around the world look at us to see if it is true.
This new year is the year that we should work harder
than ever to keep our new year’s resolutions all year ‘round.
We are not talking about those “smaller” resolutions, such
as going to the gym more often, eating better or getting more
sleep, or any other of those other resolutions that we know
we won’t keep even before we start. We are talking about
our quality of life at the hands of our politicians and leaders.
In this new year, we need to get more involved, more
educated, and really learn about those who we have chosen
to represent us; and above all, we must not allow those we
elect to treat us like mentally-challenged voters who can
easily be led astray.
What the people in Clark County, and even all of Nevada, need to do as this year gets under way is to think about
the community and not just ourselves. It is time that the
people we’re elected to represent us, the community, in all
their different positions, be reminded that they are not the
ones in charge. WE THE PEOPLE are in charge, and they
should keep that in mind. If we know someone is being
fooled, let’s step up to that person and speak up!
Look at all the drama created by a few Republicans that
are under the impression that they are manipulating all the
others when they are the ones being manipulated by the Governor himself.
Governor Brian Sandoval has a plan to raise taxes —
something that he assured us he was not going to do — but
by having a person like Michelle Fiore as Chairman of the
taxation committee and as a Majority Leader, she can stop
the governor’s plan to raise taxes.
So what should be done? Have the current Assemblywoman removed as chairman and as the majority leader,
discrediting her along in the way.
It has nothing to do with my genetics or owing money to
the government; almost everyone in the nation has had problems, disagreements or confusion over their taxes.
Who would be better to deal with taxes than those who
have lived, dealt with and experienced tax problems? Only
those who have faced that dilemma and are still able to sit
down and reason with their accusers and keep their business open, employing people that otherwise would be joining the long list of unemployment collectors.
Let’s keep our New Year’s resolution this time. Happy
New Year!!!
And my New Year’s Wish
to President Obama...
By Perly Viasmensky
Wishing friends and even strangers a “Happy New
Year” is a common phrase we normally use, but do
we really mean what we are saying?
Sometimes with the beginning of a new year we
need to wish others more than a simple phrase, hoping they learn things they were supposed to know all
year long.
I do wish a very happy and prosperous new year to
my friends of many years: Don, Maramis and Parker.
I wish my friend, Maria Ureña, who is going
through very difficult trying times, all blessings from
our Good Lord Jesus Christ.
I wish Jason and Jennifer Lamberth, who lost their
beautiful little girl, Hailee, a year ago because of the
actions of two insensitive bullies, peace, much peace
to their heart.
I wish the two bullies, CH and JJ, understanding
of the horrible things bullying can do to others and
acceptance of their criminal acts.
I wish wisdom for the parents of those two bullies,
so they have the common sense to provide professional
psychological help for their children, so they don’t
ever have to be responsible for the death of another
child and the suffering of other parents.
I wish Governor Brian Sandoval to have the common sense, since he is so concerned with education in
Nevada, to consider instructing the School District that
their priority is the safety of our children, more than
money for schools or teachers, and that bullying is an
issue that cannot and should not be tolerated in our
schools. (I can bet, and I am not a gambler, that Gov.
Sandoval would not take it easy if his little girl became a victim of bullies at her school).
My wish for White Middle School Principal Andrea Katona; Dean Ron Kamman; Dean April Barr;
counselor Sabreena Adams; and physical education
teacher Kim Jefferson is that they will all learn from
Hailee’s case that they are in the education business
for the benefit of the children, and the next time they
learn of a child who is being bullied they will know it
is their duty to notify the parents immediately. It is
not up to teachers to ignore the fact and then have to
deal with the death of a child on their conscience.
For everyone else, I wish 2015 will bring happiness, health, love and prosperity.
Now I want to thank President Obama for his New
Year’s gift. Honestly, I was expecting something more
useful and less painful than his acknowledgment of a
new relationship with Cuba.
President Obama has no idea how painful it is for
Cuban-Americans to see him shaking the bloody hands
of Raul Castro, a man who directed the execution of
more than seventy of Batista’s prisoners of war.
Many call former president of Cuba, Fulgencio
Batista, a dictator, but how many know the definition
of the word “dictator”? A dictator is a ruler with total
power over a country, typically one who has obtained
power by force.
Apparently, President Obama doesn’t realize or
doesn’t know that President Batista was elected president of Cuba. Batista was president of Cuba for just
six years, two years less then Mr. Obama’s term in the
White House. Fidel Castro obtained power by force.
The Castro brothers are dictators and have had total power over Cuba and the Cuban people for the last
56 years this coming January 1.
Thousands of Cubans have died in front of Castro’s
infamous firing squad. There was no discrimination
as far as the firing squad was concerned. Young and
old, black and white, rich and poor were sent to “el
paredon” (the wall).
Thousands of others have died in the shark-infested
waters between Cuba and Florida looking for freedom.
They were all human beings trying to escape the iron
hand of the Castro brothers and the criminals behind
Many of those who helped Castro gain power and
were involved in the killing of many Cubans, like Sori
Marin, were among the thousands who were shot at
the “paredon.”
In fact, I have an anecdote regarding my own father who was well aware of who Sori Marin was and
(See Viasmensky, Page 11)
Modern Prometheus
Heading into 2015
By Maramis
that if we didn’t KNOW we were of
As we greet the new year, 2015,
different races (if one considers the
we are all probably looking for
Black race and the White race two
something at least a tad better than
separate races), there wouldn’t be any
what we had in 2014. Hopefully, it
RACIAL disharmony! We would all
will rise above that “tad” and be a
be free to like or dislike each other
whole lot better.
based on how we perceived each
Can we believe we’re already 15
other to be. Yet, as we well know, if
years into this new century? That’s
we harbor any automatic racial feelquite a chunk of time. Fifteen years
ings, we never give certain people a
here and fifteen years there, and a
chance; they never become real
few of those additions add up to a
friends or even pleasant acquaintanperson’s whole lifetime.
ces of ours — we simply can’t or
How will we face Father Time —
won’t stretch our mental limitations
or whoever is there monitoring those remaining sec- to sincerely accommodate anyone of “that race.”
onds — when we come to the last tick and the last
So, as time goes by, if we carry those limiting ratock of our clock? What kind of an accounting can we cial feelings with us, we always expect the worst from
offer for what we did with our hours, our years?
“them,” are suspicious if “they” act aloof — or even
If we had to write a headline to represent a year or friendly — toward us, and are quick to think the worst
a period in our life, or even our whole life, one that of “them” in a situation where it is “them” (the other
represents something significant or especially note- race) against “us” (the race in which we find ourselves).
worthy along our journey, what would we write? And if we never upgrade those automatic feelings, we
Would we start with something like, “My wedding will go meet our Maker on that note, without a happy
day — the happiest day of my life,” or “I still miss my song in our heart.
mother,” or would it be more like, “A turn for the
Although this is a somewhat far-fetched example
worse: Arrested for DUI (or Drugs, or Murder)”? Or to use, I remember that in the story “Frankenstein,” or
would it even possibly be something like, “Racial The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley, the “monprejudice led to my downfall”?
ster” (who was just getting to understand his own naSeveral of those chunks of time ago, when I was in ture, which was quite different from the humans he
the Army, I worked alongside a male coworker who encountered) wanted desperately to be like the kind
was my senior. We got along great and I liked him. I and loving family he had been secretly observing.
believe it was mutual, and it was all in the line of duty, Upon meeting him rather suddenly and without any
since we never mingled outside of work. It wasn’t until softening commentary to explain his presence or his
years later, long after I left that assignment, that I past deeds of kindness to them (he had been gathering
learned he was Black. It wasn’t obvious to me, and their firewood for them daily, as a gesture of anonythe subject of race never came up, and I therefore never mous love), this first human family that the creature
gave it any thought. That’s when it dawned on me
(See Maramis, Page 12)
Page 10 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Editors note: The views expressed are entirely those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Las Vegas Tribune.
The Conservative Case Accepting liars to testify
against Keystone Corp
The Vice President of
By Chuck Muth
Keystone is Bob List.
Republican Assembly
List is the former NeMajority Leader Michele
vada Republican NaFiore recently called out
tional Committeeman
donor and mining tax-hike
who is so in the tank for
advocate Monte Miller —
the GOP establishment
Treasurer of the Keystone
that he was actually
Corporation — by name
ousted from his leaderand suggested he was part
ship position by the conof efforts to elect moderservative delegates to the
ate candidates who are faNevada Republican State
vorable to raising taxes —
Convention in 2012.
as long as they weren’t
So as you can see, the
Miller’s taxes being
current leadership of Keystone is anything
And Fiore’s “king has no clothes” dec- but a bastion of movement conservatism.
laration against Miller is one of the smokeBut did Miller and Keystone actually
screen excuses Speaker-of-the-Weak John work against conservatives by supporting
Hambrick used just before Christmas to moderate candidates in Republican primajustify his unauthorized attempt to remove ries? Well, let’s take a look.
Fiore from her elected position as Majority
Here are some of the contributions KeyLeader of the Republican Assembly Cau- stone made during primary election season
cus (RAC), claiming in a “for internal com- this year, as per the Secretary of State’s
munications only” memo that Fiore “put at website...
risk long standing relationships with Key2/14/14: $5,000 to One Nevada PAC, a
political action committee set up by modMaybe yes; probably not.
erate, tax-hiking Republican State Sen.
But from a conservative standpoint, Greg Brower
Miller’s Keystone was absolutely an estab2/14/14: $5,000 to Becky Harris, the
lishment GOP support organization that moderate GOP candidate running against
worked against conservatives in the 2014 a conservative candidate in the Senate Diselection cycle. Here, let’s take a look...
trict 9 primary
The first thing you’ll notice about Key2/14/14: $5,000 to Patricia Farley, the
stone is that their new Registered Agent as moderate GOP candidate running against
of January 2, 2014 is now Kolesar & two conservative candidates in the Senate
Leatham, Chtd.
District 8 primary
And guess who works at Kolesar &
3/17/14: $5,000 to Assembly RepubliLeatham?
can Caucus, which under the misdirection
Senate Majority Leader Moderate Mike of then-Minority Leader Pat “The ApRoberson.
peaser” Hickey and then-Assistant MinorAnd as you may recall, it was Miller and ity Leader Paul Anderson actively, though
Roberson who teamed up to screw largely clandestinely, supported moderate
Nevada’s mining industry with a proposed assembly candidates against conservative
$600 million tax hike last session.
assembly candidates in the GOP primaries
The president of Keystone is John
4/10/14: $2,500 to P.K. O’Neill, who
was running against a conservative canGibson was a member of Republicans didate in the Assembly District 40 GOP
for Harry Reid in 2010.
(See Chuck Muth, Page 11)
Put on your “Yes Face” in 2015
By Doug Dickerson
alities. Are you where you
Perpetual optimism is a
thought you’d be? Perhaps
force multiplier. — Colin
not. But 2015 is your year
to embrace a new attitude
During his days as
and to right the course.
Don’t be discouraged
Jefferson and a group of
where you are — it’s only
companions were traveling
temporary. It’s your startacross the country on
ing point.
horseback. They came to a
It’s now time for some
river which had left its
honest appraisals of where
banks because of a recent
you are in order to chart
downpour. The swollen
the course to where you
river had washed the
want to go. Don’t turn a
bridge away. Each rider
blind eye to your current
was forced to ford the river on horseback,
realities. See them for
fighting for his life against the rapid cur- what they are — benchmarks to where you
rents. The very real possibility of death want to be by the end of 2015.
Say yes to new successes
threatened each rider, which caused a travAs
you embrace a new attitude and new
eler who was not part of their group to step
you can then move forward with a
aside and watch. After several had plunged
plan to achieve new successes.
in and made it to the other side, the stranger
be your year to bring on that
asked President Jefferson if he would ferry
been thinking about. It could
him across the river. The president agreed
up in a Master Mind group
without hesitation. The man climbed on,
achieve your goals and
and shortly thereafter the two of them made
it safely to the other side.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Always bear in
As the stranger slid off the back of the
that your own resolution to succeed
saddle onto dry ground, one in the group
important than any other.” This
asked him, “Tell me, why did you select
is essential to your success.
the president to ask this favor of?”
year to say yes to new sucThe man was shocked, admitting he had
opportunities you’ve only
no idea it was the president who had helped
him. “All I know,” he said, “Is that on some
Say yes to yourself
of your faces was written the answer ‘No,’
your year to square your shouland on some of them was the answer ‘yes.’
head high, and to embrace
His was a ‘Yes’ face.”
God-given abilities you
Whether or not you wear a “yes face” is
is the year to tune
a choice you make each day. Along with it
hold you back
are the consequences of that choice. As we
influence. It’s
enter into a new year let’s explore a few
who refuse to
ways in which a “yes face” can be a differsee
who desire to
ence maker in 2015. Here are four ways.
Say yes to a new attitude
2015 is your year to say yes to what you
Your attitude is the deal breaker of all
know in your heart to be true about
deal breakers. 2015 will be no different for
as a leader so you can run your
you if you do not learn to master your attirace
confidence and faith. Where other
doubted you and have said no
As a leader your attitude is contagious
it’s now time to say yes!
and sets the tone for your leadership style
to soar!
and effectiveness. John Maxwell was right
when he said, “People may hear your
Doug Dickerson is a syndicated columwords, but they feel your attitude.” In 2015
He writes a weekly column for this
say yes to a renewed attitude that is posinewspaper.
To contact Doug Dickerson,
tive and empowering.
Say yes to new realities
Each New Year brings a new set of re-
By Mace Yampolsky
When I represent someSt. Louis County Prosone, I am really careful
ecutor Bob McCulloch
when we are about to distold radio station KTRS
cuss the facts of the case. I
that he allowed witnesses
ask “Why do you think you
he knew were lying to tesare being charged with this
tify to the grand jury about
crime?” It gives them some
wiggle room. I specifically
Ferguson. This article is
do NOT ask what haplargely adapted from that
pened. I then tell them that
interview, with my obserthey have an obligation to
vations added, of course.
tell the truth. Whatever
Why did he allow
they tell me, I will believe.
people to testify in front of
But if they tell me somethe grand jury in which he knew their in- thing different later, I have a problem. I
formation was either flat-out wrong, or flat- can’t put them on the stand.
out lying, or just weren’t telling the truth?
However, it is their decision. If they inHe said “Well, early on, I decided that any- sist on testifying, there are a couple of
one who claimed to have witnessed any- things that I must do. First, try to withdraw.
thing was going to be presented to the grand On the eve of trial, it will not happen. The
jury. And I knew that no matter how I court may ask why. I will say that I can’t
handled it, there would be criticism of it. reveal why. This informs the judge that the
So if I didn’t put those witnesses on, then client is going to perjure himself on the
we’d be discussing now why I didn’t put stand. Then if the client testifies, I cannot
those witnesses on. Even though their state- ask individual questions. I have the client
ments were not accurate.
do a narrative (which is normally not al“So my determination was to put every- lowed). Finally, I can’t refer to anything
body on and let the grand jurors assess their that I believe is false in my final argument.
credibility, which they did. This grand jury
Later in the interview, McCulloch said
poured their hearts and souls into this. It he would not charge any of the witnesses
was a very emotional few months for them. he said “absolutely lied under oath” with
It took a lot of them. I wanted to put every- perjury. Is there anybody you’re thinking
thing on there. I thought it was much more about charging with perjury? For going in
important to present everything and every- front of the grand jury, calling you up, givbody, and some that, yes, clearly were not ing you false information...
telling the truth. No question about it.”
McCulloch: That issue has been raised,
This really offends my sense of fair play. and it’s a legitimate issue. But, in the situLawyers, especially prosecutors, have an ation again, in the manner in which we did
obligation not to put on false testimony. He it, we’re not going to file perjury charges
knew it and he put them up anyway. He against anyone. There were people who
said he would be criticized anyway. So why came in and, yes, absolutely lied under
didn’t he do what was right? As a defense oath. Some lied to the FBI. Even though
lawyer, it becomes more complicated. The they’re not under oath, that’s another podefendant decides whether he testifies or tential offense — a federal offense (a
(See Mace, Page 11)
You won’t find
Christmas under a tree!
By Michael A. Aun
Companies have parties.
The simple fact is... I
It’s like a huge hurricane
would make an excellent
is coming through. You
Scrooge. I’m usually
just go with it and hope
grumpy. I’m tighter than
to survive. And to add
Dick’s hatband and am
insult to injury, the Visa
generally in a lousy mood
bill arrives the first week
around the holiday season.
in January. Happy New
Why do some people do
Christmas holidays better
I do love the music
than others? Perhaps the
and the lyrics of
holidays remind them of
Longfellow that we enjoy
the loss of loved ones. I’m
over the Christmas holione of those guys. I lost my
days, some of which is
father over Christmas and
remarkably revealing.
New Years.
“And in despair I bowed my head;
Another thing I can’t wrap my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
around is why we tend to go overboard on
“For hate is strong,
the whole gift thing. Let’s be fair... mer“And mocks the song
chandisers have us hooked. My wife never
“Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
met a Mall she didn’t like. I’m yet to go to
So, like it or not, we plow ahead to enone I do like.
dure the season if you’re a Grinch like many
I’m convinced that Santa is always in a are. If you’re like my wife, who has never
happy mood because he knows where all grown up, she celebrates Christmas all year
the bad girls live... but I digress.
long, including playing Christmas CD’s in
We go to all this trouble to celebrate July.
Christ’s birthday but we make no efforts to
In truth, Christmas is really a necessity.
practice what Christ preached. In fact, it There has to be at least one day a year that
has become politically correct to say Merry brings us to the reality that we’re here for
X-mas or Seasons Greetings so we don’t something else beside ourselves. Indeed,
offend those who don’t share your beliefs. the meaning of Christmas is really about
Go figure.
love in action.
Do you really want to celebrate ChristThe uncomfortable irony of Christmas
mas? Use the thousands of dollars you blow is that millions upon millions have fought,
on gifts to feed the hungry, clothe the na- bled and died because of their religious
ked, to welcome the unwanted, to care for beliefs. Perhaps more humans have been
the ill, to love your enemies and to do unto sacrificed over the centuries in the name of
others as others would have you do unto religion than any holocaust or hurricane or
them. Do not do unto me what you’d do to so-called “act of God.”
yourself. Most people aren’t very kind to
Bottom line, it’s easier to be more spirithemselves.
tual and more giving when you have a few
We used to wish each other a Merry bucks in your pocket. It makes you wonChristmas, now everybody says Happy der, what kind of gift would Jesus ask Santa
Holidays. We Christians call it Christmas for? I wonder if you’ll find it in a Mall.
and we go to church where the Priests beg Don’t think so.
us to increase our donations. The Jews call
It’s almost a paradox that the Christmas
it Hanukkah and they go to the synagogue story is built upon a narrative about the
where the Rabbi wants guess what... more homeless... and that it should be celebrated
money. The atheists simply go to parties guess where... in every home!
and get loaded and when you pass them on
One of the kindest and most symbolic
the street, you say “Hey... look out for the Christmas gifts is a lovely candle. It makes
no noise at all but softly gives while growThe most glorious mess we make every ing small in a humble, unselfish way.
year happens on Christmas morning when
The bottom line, if Christmas isn’t found
kids are opening gifts and tossing the pa- in your heart, you won’t find it under some
per everywhere. I can’t tell you how many tree. It’s just not there.
gift cards and how much cash we’ve thrown
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist
out over the years with the trash.
and writes a weekly column for this newsLike it or not, Christmas is compulsory. paper. To contact Michael Aun, email him
Schools are dismissed. Work stops early. at [email protected]
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 11
Editors note: The views expressed are entirely those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Las Vegas Tribune.
The Hazards of Overplaying Police Events
By Norman Jahn
So why did thousands of police
mourners turn their backs on the
major of New York over the weekend? Did officers from any other
agency who attended the funeral of
Officer Rafael Ramos also turn their
backs? More importantly, what
point are they trying to make and
did they make it?
Some members of the LVMPD
were also scheduled to attend the
Ramos funeral and if they turned
their backs on the NY mayor in
‘solidarity’ with the locals, would
this have been considered appropriate? The LVMPD doesn’t have a
‘beef’ with the mayor of New York,
does it? I’m actually quite confident
that members of the LVMPD who
attended would have acted professionally. I hope nobody proves me
So what was going on BEFORE
the executions of two NYPD officers by a man with mental health issues, and is the ‘overplaying’ of all
of these deaths going to result in any
Here is a brief timeline:
7/17/14: Eric Garner dies after
an altercation with the police in
New York; 8/9/14: Michael Brown
dies after an altercation with the
police in Ferguson, Missouri; 11/
20/14: Akai Gurley dies after being
shot by a rookie police officer in
New York in what Commissioner
Bill Bratton called a ‘bizzare mistake’; 11/22/14: Tamir Rice (a 12year-old) dies after handling what
turns out to be a toy gun in a park
in Cleveland, Ohio; and 12/19/14:
Two NYPD officers (Rafael Ramos
and Wenjian Liu) are gunned down
while sitting in their car in New
The death of Eric Garner after
an altercation with police officers
caused an uproar — not so much at
the time that it happened, but after
the officers were NOT indicted by
the grand jury. Garner died in July,
but there were a series of other
highly publicized incidents after his
death which added to the pressurecooker. The grand jury in Ferguson
also did NOT indict Officer Darren
Wilson. The non-indictment of Wilson for Michael Brown’s death was
announced on 11/25/14 and resulted
in rioting that I watched late into
the evening. The non-indictment of
Daniel Pantaleo for Eric Garner’s
death was announced only one week
later, on 12/3/14, and things boiled
over because of the media hype and
the ‘promoters’ of one cause or another. All of these ingredients came
together and exploded.
Garner’s incident was on video
and the ‘optics’ were not good —
meaning it did not look good on the
video. Officer Daniel Pantaleo had
reached up to Garner and tried to
control his head but it looked like,
and at times was, a choke-hold.
Even while on the ground, one officer still had his arm around
Garner’s neck. Garner was saying,
“I can’t breathe” and died an hour
later at the hospital. The cause of
death was ruled ‘homicide’ ...so
were the deaths of Michael Brown,
Tamir Rice, and Akai Gurley. The
deaths of the NYPD officers are
also considered homicides. But
guess what? The only deaths that
will be considered MURDERS are
the deaths of the two police officers. Any reasonable person should
pause for a moment and try to understand the perception of the
people concerned about the Garner,
Brown, Rice, and Gurley deaths.
It isn’t hard to figure out where
the phrase, “Black Lives Matter”
comes from when you are spoonfed just one side of a story. Nobody
is going to jail for the deaths of four
black men and they were not even
called murders. Promoters like Al
Sharpton incite the crowds, but it
is true... there are also four black
men dead (all involving THE POLICE) and there will be NO prosecutions for murder.
In comparison, there are two
police officers dead (one Hispanic
and one Asian) and, had the suspect
not killed himself, he would have
been charged with murder. Too
many members of the public lack
an understanding of our criminal
justice and judicial systems. This
should be considered to be an embarrassment to our country. Many
people overreact because they are
just uninformed or ignorant. Others just have nothing better to do
but to get rowdy and try to achieve
anarchy and they don’t even understand the ‘cause’ for which they are
acting foolish. In my opinion, protesters are distinguished from rioters, and the police must tolerate
peaceful protests.
So after the non-indictment resulting from the Garner death, Bill
de Blasio didn’t show enough ‘love’
to the police officers (more accurately to the PBA). He was outspoken about his opinion and his alleged experiences and THE TALK
he had to have with his son. That
‘talk’ is a good idea because it
should include the importance of
are certainly less likely to be killed
or injured (no matter what color you
are) if you follow directions given
to you by someone who has a badge
and a firearm. This would be true
anywhere on the ‘streets’ because
the person with the gun is likely to
be in charge of the situation.
Police don’t take criticism very
well. They don’t like to be criticized
by the public or their supervisors.
They don’t like to be critiqued by
their peers. I learned this during a
25-year career and I also didn’t take
criticism very well — especially
when I thought I was doing right!
Police don’t take unjustified
criticism very well either — actually they take it worse! If we were
able to watch video of a half-dozen
incidents like that involving Eric
Garner where nobody died or was
injured, would we possibly start
(Continued from Page 10)
4/10/14: $2,500 to Robin Reedy,
the GOP establishment’s candidate
who ran against conservative INCUMBENT Assemblyman Jim
Wheeler in the Assembly District
39 GOP primary
4/10/14: $2,500 to Ron Schmitt,
the moderate establishment candidate recruited to run against conservative Jill Dickman in the Assembly District 31 GOP primary
4/10/14: $2,500 to Laura
Bledsoe, the moderate establishment candidate in the GOP primary
in Assembly District 19
5/13/14: $2,500 to Melissa
Woodbury, an incumbent moderate
Republican who didn’t even have
a primary!
5/13/14: $5,000 to Moderate
Mike Roberson, the infamous Senate serial tax-hiker who was being
challenged by conservative
grassroots activist Carl Bunce
5/14/14: $2,500 to Stephen
Silberkraus, the moderate establishment carpet-bagging candidate who
ran against conservative businesswoman Amy Groves in the Assembly District 29 GOP primary
But perhaps the strongest indictment against Keystone in this regard comes from an email Miller
sent to every member of the RAC
just hours before a caucus meeting
in early December where Paul
Anderson was running against John
Hambrick for Speaker-designee.
In that email, Miller admitted
that he directed, I believe, some
$25,000 to a PAC 100 percent
owned and controlled by Anderson
rather than donate that money to the
RAC — for which Anderson was,
at the time, the Assistant Minority
Here’s an excerpt from Miller’s
email to prove it...
“There have been rumors that
funds (from the Keystone Corporation) given to the Growth and
Opportunity PAC were misappropriated or misused. I would like to
address these rumors directly.
Funds were specifically invested in
the Growth and Opportunity PAC
because of the strategic plan to
grow the caucus — developed to
pick up and maintain seats over
multiple cycles. These funds were
given directly to Assemblyman
(Paul) Anderson’s Growth & Opportunity PAC instead of the Caucus for the purpose of executing a
plan presented to us through multiple meetings. They were not intended for general Caucus use but
to execute the Growth and Opportunity project.”
This bears repeating...
The Republican Assembly Caucus is the official organization responsible for “picking up and maintaining” Republican seats in the
Assembly. Not conservative seats.
Not moderate seats. Republican
But rather than direct Keystone’s
money to the RAC — where it
would be used to support both conservative and moderate GOP candidates — Miller diverted that
money to Anderson’s personal PAC
where only moderate candidates
loyal to Anderson would be supported.
And he did this while Anderson
was in the #2 leadership position
with the RAC!
Here’s the bottom line...
Has Keystone been a generous
financial supporter of Republicans
in the past — including plenty of
conservative Republicans?
But did Keystone, under Miller’s
direction as Fiore suggested, work
hand-in-glove with moderate establishment Republicans who aided
moderate GOP candidates over con-
servative GOP candidates in primaries in 2014?
The prosecution rests.
After sacking conservative Nevada Republican Assemblywoman
Michele Fiore as Chairman of
the Assembly Taxation Committee
and announcing that he was unilaterally removing her from her
elected leadership position as Assembly Majority Leader, Speakerof-the-Weak John Hambrick appeared last a week ago on KDWN
720 AM Alan Stock’s radio program to ‘splain hisself.
It was during this interview that
Hambrick declared that he would
only honor his signed Taxpayer Protection Pledge — in which he promised the constituents of his district
and the people of Nevada that he
would oppose and vote against any
and all efforts to increase taxes —
“by and large.”
I wonder if that same caveat was
included after-the-fact in his marriage vows?
This is also the interview where
Hambrick stunned listeners with the
revelation that he had been blackmailed into removing Fiore by one
of two unidentified political consultants — Cory Christensen or
Nathan Emens.
“Republicans champion policies
that built Texas. Democrats favor
policies that built Detroit. Every
city and state is free to choose.” —
Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public
policy grassroots advocacy organization. Chuck Muth may be reached
by email at the following address:
[email protected]
Chuck Muth
thinking about a ‘better way’ to accomplish the objective, which was
control and custody? I sure hope so.
Corrections and improvements
should be made continuously —
NOT only after a death. There will
always be cops who don’t think
anyone should say negative things
about the police or a particular police incident (like Garner’s death),
but one day they may reach a turning point. Maybe it will be when
their teenage son gets bounced off
the hood of a police car before he
can identify himself.
de Blasio (and others) believe
the Garner incident was a tragic
death, but it was also a ‘monkey
pile’ — which is a term I recently
read in a police magazine. It has
nothing to do with ‘race’ or
‘ethnicity’; it means piling on when
usually one person is on the bottom.
Think of it as a goal line stand on
the football field. Everyone is trying to do something but it turns into
a mess and a mass of humanity.
Police sometimes get involved in a
struggle during an attempted
takedown, which looks ugly and IS
ugly because it is unplanned, uncoordinated, unpracticed, and ineffective. Many police officers are not
highly skilled in defensive tactics;
that is just a fact! They have to resort to unnecessary levels of force
because of their lack of skills or
even their lack of physical fitness...
and because they either can’t or
refuse to COMMUNICATE respectfully, persuasively, and patiently. Eric Garner may have died
from exertion just from running a
block. He did not die of a chokehold, but what is the narrative that
has been painted for the public?
Shortly after all of the controversy started brewing over Garner’s
death and the non-indictment, I saw
a post on Facebook from a police
officer that I know in Las Vegas.
( h t t p s : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m /
watch?v=Nql1xRtWKOU) I immediately viewed it and found it to be
one of the best training experiences
that I’d ever had on techniques to
control an uncooperative person. It
was made by the Gracie brothers
and it was very sensitive to the concerns of the Garner family, the public, and the police officers who
should be required to view it and
practice the techniques in their departments. Make no mistake
people... Garner did not comply
with the officers but he also did not
fight with them, strike at them, or
make any overt attempts to harm
Based on their public comments,
de Blasio (and others) were viewed
with contempt by the Police Benevolent Association head who
said, “We need a mayor to stand up
with and for us.” Pat Lynch said his
members feel as if de Blasio is
“throwing them under the bus.” He
(See Norm Jahn, Page 12)
(Continued from Page 10)
felony, ask Martha Stewart!).
He said “I thought it was much more important to present the entire
picture.” Even if it was distorted?
There’s talk of one witness now, and some of the media is doing exactly what I said they would do; they pull out one witness and just latch
on to that, and this lady clearly wasn’t present when this occurred. She
recounted a statement that was right out of the newspaper about Wilson’s
actions, and right down the line with Wilson’s actions. Even though I’m
sure she was nowhere near the place.
McCulloch’s description of the woman who “clearly wasn’t present”
and parroted Wilson’s statement from a newspaper aligns with the account of “Witness 40,” Sandra McElroy. The Smoking Gun (a website
that publishes controversial stories) reported that McElroy lied to the grand
jury, telling them she watched while smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk
as Brown got shot and he never had his hands up. McElroy’s version
matched Wilson’s account, which had already been reported by the time
she spoke to investigators on Sept. 11, four weeks after the incident.
Well, there is not much the public can do. The DA controls the grand
jury and this is how it happened. The bottom line is this .if the DA does
not want to indict someone, it doesn’t happen.
Mace J. Yampolsky is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, 625
South Sixth St., Las Vegas, NV 89101; He can be reached at: Phone 702385-9777 or fax 702-385-300. His website is located at:
(Continued from Page 9)
what he had done to others in Cuba.
My father encountered a lady who told him that he looked familiar
and wanted to know if he was an officer of the Castro regime. My father,
who always had the quality of being cynical, told the lady: “Yes, I was
with the Castro brothers.” The woman continued speaking to him and
told him, “I am the mother of Sori Marin.”
My father asked, “Why are you dressed all in black?” And she responded, “Oh... they have just killed my son.”
The image of the many Cubans that had been killed because of her son
came across my father’s mind and he told the lady, “You have no idea the
morbid pleasure I have to see you dressed all in black, so you can feel in
your own flesh the pain of all Cuban mothers, wives and daughters who
have lost loved ones because of your son.”
The woman had an attack of hysteria and the police were called. My
father explained the situation, thinking he was going to be arrested. The
police officer said: “Good for you. Have a wonderful day.”
President Obama wasn’t even born in 1959 or 1960 when Cubans
started to arrive in Florida. It was the Cubans who worked hard and built
Miami into a cosmopolitan city and made it an international port.
Thank you, Mr. President, for your support to the criminal communist
regime of Cuba, while the general Cuban population will continue being
hungry and oppressed. Oh, should I thank Pope Francisco also?
Happy New Year, Mr. President. Happy New Year to you and your
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune.
She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at [email protected] tribune.com.
Page 12 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Three people who are still alive because
this cause for justice commenced
By Thomas A. Nagy
Part 26 of a Series
Three people in Clark County,
Nevada are alive today as an indirect result of this writer taking on
this cause for justice. Before revealing their names, I want to provide
some background.
When I first became superficially aware of the story, I was living on a farm in Clark County,
Washington. I had moved to the
Lucky Bunch Farm owned by
“Farmer Tom” and Paula, at the
beginning of August 2012. That
move occurred three weeks after I
had been held at gunpoint for more
than four minutes in a gang-motivated robbery in a convenience
store, a Plaid Pantry. It was barely
2:00 a.m. and I was the only person present. When two of the armed
robbers spread a blanket at my feet,
I thought this was the end of me;
the scene was captured on surveillance video. Plaid Pantry offered a
reward for information; thousands
of dollars were paid to a family
member of one of the four young
men involved in the robbery. As the
only witness, I had every reason to
believe that I was a target of other
gang members who objected to
some of their “family” being arrested to stand trial.
I was directed to a counselor for
my nightmare and insomnia that
followed, before and after I gave
testimony to a grand jury. After an
hour of answering a psychologist’s
questions, I was given a list of
symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder, PTSD. “That explains it,
then,” I said. Yes, I Had nearly all
the symptoms of PTSD. Returning
to work was impossible. I looked
for an alternative.
For the previous three years I
had been looking for an opportunity to get hands-on experience at
growing food, organically. I had
been writing about our need for this
knowledge, and advocated for use
of organic methods in urban gardens. Research had taught me that
global soil nutrient and water supplies are diminishing quickly, and
that renewal is essential to our collective survival. Over the previous
three or four years I had collected
hundreds of related magazine and
books on organic foods and farming, and I began to write a blog to
encourage others to become interested in self-sufficiency. My blog
“ReGeneration” is found at: http://
In exchange for forty-eight
hours of work on the Lucky Bunch
Farm, I was to receive “room and
board” from Tom and Paula. It was
to be an eight-hour a day, six-day
week, with Mondays off. Three
days each week - Wednesday, Friday and Sunday - we would harvest crops for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) clients.
My hosts would provide meals,
laundry once per week, and a place
to sleep and shower. These were the
terms I accepted.
“Room” meant a tent to sleep in,
amidst a grove of trees toward the
back center of the five-acre farm.
Although it was loosely wired for
electricity, there would be no
Internet connection possible for the
first two months. I was cut off from
my primary way of communicating
with the world. I set up my computer and began to keep notes on
my experiences on the farm.
After working fourteen hours
each day for the first five days, I
realized that something wasn’t
quite right at the Lucky Bunch
Farm. Fourteen hours of labor with
occasional periods of rest was an
effective means of de-stressing
from PTSD, however. The alternative was to go back to Portland and
greater stress. I chose to stay; I had
made a commitment.
During the next fifteen weeks, I
worked every day without a single
day off. My average held at fourteen hours each day. By the end of
October, I had supplied the owners
with more than $900 in groceries;
so much for “room and board provided.” That promise of laundry
once per week? By the third week
I was washing my own clothes in
buckets, soaking them overnight in
soapy water then rinsing them in
well water in the morning, hanging them to dry in my tent, in front
of a blowing fan. This became necessary because Paula had berated
me as a “sexist woman-hating male
chauvinist” for expecting women to
do laundry for us. I had offered to
do it myself. After all, I had been
an expert dry-cleaner in Texas, and
ran a commercial laundry during
the 1980s. I had washed and
pressed more clothes than Tom and
Paula would wear in their lifetimes.
More than three times, I was told
at the end of a long day during
which temperatures topped 100
degrees, “no shower tonight ...
Paula is taking a bath, and that can
take hours”; hence, more than a few
times, more times than I care to recall, I ended my day by cleaning
myself with well water, a washcloth
and soap. No part of their agreement would be fulfilled by Farmer
Tom and Paula.
Long hours of hard work had its
benefits and a positive effect on my
health. Persistence strengthened my
will. That was the only payment derived; knowledge and experience to
add to my list of skills. Later, in calculating hours worked and the required base pay under Washington
State laws, I found that I had given
more than $12,000 in unpaid labor
to the Lucky Bunch Farm in exchange for broken promises, all
within four months.
(Continued from Page 11)
said (BEFORE the assassinations of
the two officers) that if there were
a police funeral, they would not invite de Blasio. Nobody could have
expected two funerals so soon.
Was Lynch playing “Al
Sharpton” by capitalizing the publicity platform after the shootings to
PROMOTE his cause and attack the
mayor? Is this tragedy being overplayed to swing the pendulum back
in the other direction and get some
of that pro-police sentiment back?
I wonder what Police Commissioner Bill Bratton thinks of the
loudmouth Lynch? Better yet, I
wonder what Lynch would look like
if he was in the shoes of Pantaelo
and tried applying takedown techniques from his era of policing?
Bratton has provided a sense of
calm and reason in between the two
factions. Bratton may be the only
person displaying true leadership in
the entire situation. He was on national TV speaking about people
and how their perception is their
reality. This would refer to how
blacks may feel about the police. Do
the police want to understand or
accept this fact? Well, they sure do
want the public to accept their
‘threat perception’ as their ‘reality’
after a deadly force incident, don’t
I really don’t think most municipal police officers (street cops)
worry too much about their mayor.
They are accountable to their police
chief and much of the rest of it is
just ‘politics.’ I don’t like seeing the
protesters and rioters take advantage
of any illegitimate SYMBOL and I
also don’t like the idea that police
all over America should now have
a chip on their shoulders because of
the problems between Lynch’s PBA
and their mayor.
Unfortunately, many police officers have been killed under circumstances that just cannot be explained (Beck and Soldo in Las Vegas) and tragically many others —
including four who were gunned
down in a coffee shop in Lakewood,
Washington in 2009. Most of the
shooters acted alone and were already known to be convicted criminals or mentally unstable. I don’t
recall reading that any of these types
of cop-killers acted to promote a
cause or make a political statement.
I also don’t recall any of these types
of incidents leading the way to
change the flagging public perception of the police.
Do Lynch and the PBA forget
what police unions often do with
their police chiefs? When they don’t
get what they want they throw their
police chief under the bus, which
is what recently happened in Phoenix and frequently happens elsewhere. When Officer Pantaleo was
questioned, he said he used a technique that he learned in the police
academy... that can be construed as
‘throwing the police trainers under
the bus’ for the purpose of assigning blame and possibly civil liability.
What is likely to be true is that
Pantaleo was not taught a ‘chokehold’ or an ‘arm bar’ technique that
would restrict airflow. What is
likely to be true is that NYPD defensive tactics trainers may be embarrassed by the ‘monkey pile’ that
they saw on video and they may be
privately saying that the group of
officers handled the contact poorly.
The Gracie brothers would be saying that their officers needed ‘skills’
and practice. That is a fact... not a
judgment! Criminals may be more
defiant and dangerous these days,
but I see a whole lot of DEFIANT
attitudes coming from the police
these days as well. If they think they
can keep doing what they have been
doing, there will be a lot of job
openings for new police officers.
In conclusion, did the ambush of
the two NYPD officers at 3 p.m. on
December 19 have anything to do
with the anti-police protests across
the country and the protesters who
were chanting, “What do we want?”
“DEAD COPS!” “When do we
want it?” “NOW!”?
the shooter in New Town, Connecticut or the GUN cause the deaths of
dozens of school children?
The pendulum has swung from
anti-police (after Ferguson, New
York, and Cleveland, etc.) to propolice after the NYPD officers were
killed. Chest-thumping union
mouthpieces claiming that de
Blasio has blood on his hands (after the shooting) and ‘social issue’
pimps like Al Sharpton, at the other
extreme, are not getting us anywhere. The media has reported that
race relations in America are worse
now than in the recent past.
We need a true direction and a
steady progress and improvement
of the police in the future to promote order, trust, and respect... not
a WRECKING BALL swinging
back and forth doing any more destruction.
Norm Jahn is a former LVMPD
lieutenant, who has also served as
a police chief in Shawano, Wisconsin, and has nearly 25 years of police experience. Jahn now contributes his opinions and ideas to help
improve policing in general, and in
Las Vegas in particular, through his
weekly column in the Las Vegas
Norm Jahn
As the weather cooled in October and days shortened, I was asked
to remain after Thanksgiving to
help Farmer Tom develop a nonprofit organization to teach organic
farming methods there. To stay
through the winter I’d have to completely gut a 1975 “Presidential”
travel trailer that had gone to ruin.
Then, I’d have to make it livable,
with a new floor and ceiling, using
only recycled materials from the
Lucky Bunch Farm. That accomplished, I moved into the space near
the beginning of October. Within
weeks I had developed a plan for
Farmer Tom to follow, explaining
the benefits of a non-profit organization and how that would help him
attain his stated goals, and his
dream of “outreach.” I had been
managing hundreds of millions of
dollars in federal grants following
Hurricane Andrew in Florida during the 1990s, and helped many
non-profit organizations meet and
stay within eligibility criteria to re-
ceive grants. Higher management
within the Florida Department of
Community Affairs had taken exceptions to memoranda I wrote describing corruption within the Miami-Dade County School Board in
relation to hurricane recovery
grants, so I was labeled a “whistleblower” and forced out of a career
in Florida State bureaucracy.
Farmer Tom did nothing at all
with the information I provided
him. He had been running his farm
“off the books” and intended to continue doing so. Rather than develop
a legitimate operation or organization he came up with a new scheme
just one day before Thanksgiving.
He decided that he would create a
website that would make him “rich
and famous, the king of my own
empire.” He would call his website
Cannabis Consumer Guide.” He
raved for three continuous days
about his ingenious idea and how
this website would make him world
(See Nagy, Page 13)
(Continued from Page 9)
reached out to, swiftly departed their cottage in fear (because of how he
looked). He then wandered the wood in search of something else... not
knowing what that would be, until he found another human.
As Shelley wrote from the “monster’s” mind,
“I was scarcely hid, when a young girl came running towards the spot
where I was concealed, laughing, as if she ran from one in sport. She
continued her course along the precipitous sides of the river, when suddenly her foot slipped, and she fell into the rapid stream. I rushed from
my hiding place; and, with extreme labour from the force of the current,
saved her, and dragged her to shore. She was senseless; and I endeavored, by every means in my power, to restore animation, when I was suddenly interrupted by the approach of a rustic, who was probably the person from whom she had playfully fled. On seeing me, he darted towards
me, and tearing the girl from my arms, hastened towards the deeper parts
of the wood. I followed speedily; I hardly knew why; but when the man
saw me draw near, he aimed a gun, which he carried, at my body, and
fired. I sunk to the ground, and my injurer, with increased swiftness, escaped into the wood.
“This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human
being from destruction, and, as a recompense, I now writhed under the
pain of a wound, which shattered the flesh and the bone.The feelings of
kindness and gentleness, which I had entertained but a few moments before, gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain,
I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind...”
Is this possibly what has happened to some members of the human
race? Faced with a situation that involves some member of that “other”
race, a situation in which something “bad” happens, and at that moment
all the facts are not known and therefore cannot be considered for evaluating the full meaning of that situation, the event gives rise to “hellish
rage and gnashing of teeth”? And that person then vows “eternal hatred
and vengeance to all... (members of that so-perceived offending race)”?
The “monster” continued to muse over his condition:
“My sufferings were augmented also by the oppressive sense of the
injustice and ingratitude of their infliction. My daily vows rose for revenge — a deep and deadly revenge, such as would alone compensate for
the outrages and anguish I had endured.”
Is it not in reconsidering one’s wounds, over and over again, and the
supposed reason for those wounds, that one magnifies the offense and
strengthens one’s resolve to take revenge not only upon the inflicter of
those wounds, but upon all who “represent” that person or persons? So it
might seem and so it might be.
At the end of that story, the being created by Frankenstein felt he could
not live in a world of humans. They were not like him; he was not like
them. The differences between himself and all others was apparently his
sad undoing. But in his case, he really WAS different, while all those we
encounter are merely different versions of human beings, each one with
his own personality, and his own charm... or lack thereof.
I’m looking forward to a year in which we can all put hatred and rage
aside and consider that we’re all just members of the human family, no
matter our color or race or anything else, even while we’re still perfectly
free to dislike and not socialize with those who might present themselves
with nasty, mean-spirited personalities and/or horrible behaviors and despicable deeds in the offing.
So (depending on one’s job and situation of course) taking on everyone as a potential friend or amicable acquaintance can be something to
consider this year, even while exercising one’s normal and cautionary
(not automatic) discernment to not let certain people “in.” Remembering
Dr. Frankenstein’s creation (perhaps from the original story by Shelley,
not necessarily the movie versions) and how he was treated might help
humans understand the need for friendship and acceptance between those
who seem, or appear to be, different, if only by color of skin.
So while we all might wish for goodwill and brotherly love with no
walls between us, no one ought to actually expect anyone to bring “evil”
and possible-to-likely trouble into one’s heart or home in the name of that
“brotherly love.”
Good health, much happiness, and genuine goodwill to all in the new
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.
She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email
her at [email protected]
Have you been embarrassed lately when someone pointed
out to you that you misspelled a word in your report or maybe
had a whole sentence all messed up? Have you personally
felt that you could’ve done a much better job on that manuscript
but just didn’t have the time?
Why put off doing what you know you should have done before:
call in an editor! As a word-, sentence-, and document-doctor,
she will fix what needs fixing by adding a little of this or that,
and taking out what shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Give yourself the luxury of looking your best in print!
[email protected] 702-706-6875.
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 13
(Continued from Page 12)
famous. After the end of the third
day I told him that he needed a hook
to bring people into his sphere.
“You need a book,” I told Farmer
Tom. He flat out said, “I don’t do
books.” It took me ten minutes to
convince him that I could create the
book, and that we would share profits evenly “to save his farm” and
manage his future. He finally
agreed. He offered me, again, a position of managing his farm while
he marketed his website and the
book, once it was complete.
I saw in this an opportunity to
apply hundreds of proven techniques that I had learned from an
extensive library on organic farming and marketing for urban areas.
That was very important to me at
the time, to develop practices that
helped people become self-sufficient, and to demonstrate that if this
city boy could do it, anyone can.
Within a few days of starting the
book, and barely after we went over
the outline of topics to be covered,
I realized that Farmer Tom would
not honor his side of this deal either. Nevertheless I had made a
commitment to do this project, and
I try to keep my word. I did complete that book within about ten
weeks, knowing all along that
Farmer Tom would do his best to
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For the last five years “Face The Tribune” has been the premier show
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cheat me out of fair profits in some
way or another. That proved to be
an accurate assessment of the man
and his intentions. I never made a
dime for my work in creating the
book, as it was first incarnated,
while Farmer Tom and Paula took
thousands in profits. As soon as I
made arrangements to leave the
farm, I put an end to that.
By that point in time it was September 2013, and I was contacted
by Cynthia Turner to write a book
about the death of her son, Jason
Ryan Turner-Shenker. After a few
lengthy telephone conversations, I
agreed to do the book for Cynthia.
My decision was a sound one at the
time, because her story was compelling. Something told me that I
should do this project, even though
I could see little or no personal benefit in doing so. Everything was
ambiguous, including the start date
for this project, and where it would
lead. All I had to go on was a
Shenker name, and deep corruption
in Las Vegas and the State of Nevada. Already I had worked for
more than a year without being paid
a dime, and even had expended
money that benefitted those I’d
worked for rather than myself. I was
close to being “broke.” Yet, knowing that this would eventually
change, I agreed to take on the Las
Vegas Shenker project.
Because I did so, I know that
three people are still alive today.
Had I not done so, I have solid reason to believe that Morris Arthur
“Artie” Shenker Jr., Jennifer Marie
Lee and probably Cynthia Turner
would not be alive today. For the
first two, plans were well under way
at the time I agreed to write the book
for Cynthia Turner to have October 31, 2013 be the last day that
Artie Shenker and Jennifer Lee
would be alive. The end of Cynthia
Turner might well have followed
soon after.
In the next segment, I will provide details of how I know this was
to happen, and what exactly was
scheduled to take place that day.
Thomas A. Nagy is the author of
Cannabis Consumer Handbook
available at Amazon.com, and the
blogspot.com. Email direct at:
[email protected]
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and at length on the show.
Martines spent 12 years as a Los Angeles police officer before moving
here and resuming his police career in Las Vegas, retiring from the Las
Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after 27 years of service. The
amount of corruption and cover-ups by executive officers witnessed by
Martines inside the department led to his decision to contest the good ol’
boy’s club and run for Clark County Sheriff three times against what he
knew were almost insurmountable odds.
“Open Mic” carries the voice the LVMPD does not want you to hear,
yet it is always there, every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on
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Covering what’s happening in the
Las Vegas Black Communities
• Talk Shows • Infomercials •
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• Business Promotions •
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820 S. 7th Street • Las Vegas, NV 89101
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Page 14 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illusions
By Sandy Zimmerman
Las Vegas Tribune
Photos by MediaEdison Graff/
Stardust Fallout and
others submitted by
Dirk Arthur as indicated
There is close-up magic and
Arthur lives dangerously every
night as he performs his “Wild Illusions” with his wild animals.
Dirk is one of the few illusionists who still uses wild animals in
his act.
I enjoyed Dirk’s previous shows
in Las Vegas five years ago and now
he returned with even more amazing illusions.
There is a thrill seeing his wild
animals on the stage which we usually see kept in cages. Dirk owns a
Bengal Tiger, White Bengal Tiger,
Panther, Snow Leopard and Bobcat.
I wonder if he keeps them in his
home as Siegfried and Roy did.
Their white tigers roamed around
the rooms.
Dirk smoothly makes the transition from announcing his next illusion to calmly and quickly performing the seemingly impossible
His fans will be happy to hear
about Dirk’s new illusions, including the “Laser Cannon”, and there
is even a helicopter, flames and
other surprises.
He does work closely with the
animals and allows them on the
stage. Those are the moments that
the audience came to see.
You will see bigger illusions and
with the thrills of using wild animals adds even more to Dirk’s
“Wild Illusions” show.
Dirk should be commended that
he actively participates in promoting the preservation of wild life.
His national television appearances include NBC’s “World Greatest Magic,” “The Late Show with
David Letterman” and his own
widely acclaimed primetime special
“Big Cat Magic” on Animal Planet.
During the opening night VIP
party, I met the Riviera Hotel’s Banquet/Catering Chef Carl Mc Gilton
and discussed the feast on their buffet table.
Chef Carl explained, “Our selection includes Beef Meat Balls with
sweet Thai chili sauce, Beef
Teriyaki Satay with Teriyaki sauce
and an alternative for meat, chicken
Satay with peanut sauce. There is a
nice selection of different sauces for
each dish.”
The crab cakes were lightly fried
then cooked in the oven and they
add Truffles to the Mac n’ Cheese
for more flavor.
For their Poached Pear and Blue
Cheese Tarts, the pears are dipped
in red wine, anise (herbs) and cinnamon. They place them in the
oven with the blue cheese to
Photo by Edison Graff/Stardust Fallout Media
Photo courtesy of Dirk Arthur
Photo courtesy of Dirk Arthur
give a soft texture.
Thursday at 7 p.m. (dark Fridays).
The Desserts are Fruit Tarts, The Riviera Hotel is located at 2901
Danish, Brownies, Eclairs, Cup Las Vegas Boulevard South.
Cakes, Macaroons, Bacon and
Cheddar cheese puffs and six types www.rivieracasinocom
of cheese.
This is a show for the whole
family. Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illu- Zimmerman is a syndicated columsions! will run Saturday through nist featuring Show and Dining re-
views, travel, health, luxury and
more. Sandy is talk show host of the
Las Vegas Today Show programs
and Discover the Ultimate Vacation
travel specials. If you want to suggest topics for articles, request for
a review, for information or to ask
any questions about Sandy’s articles, call (702)-731-6491.
Photo courtesy of Dirk Arthur
Photo by Edison Graff/Stardust Fallout Media
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 15
Mary Wilson of the Supremes to
perform at the Suncoast Showroom
This Week
in Las Vegas
By Mike Kermani
By Mike Kermani
Las Vegas Tribune
Singer, writer, entertainer and
founder of The Supremes Mary
Wilson comes to the Suncoast
Showroom January 17 and 18.
While growing up in Detroit’s
Brewster Projects, Wilson befriended Florence Ballard, Betty
McGlown and Diana Ross at age
13. The quartet later formed a singing group, The Primettes. Wilson,
Ballard and Ross were signed to
Motown Records and became
known as The Supremes.
The Supremes were nominated
for a Grammy Award in 1965 and
1966, garnering an unprecedented
12 #1 hits, including four in a row
— “Where Did Our Love Go,”
“Baby Love,” “Stop, In The Name
Of Love” and “Back in My Arms
Again.” In 1977, Wilson released
her first solo album, “Mary Wilson,” which yielded the dance hit
“Red Hot.” In 1992, Wilson released her first album in 13 years,
“Walk the Line,” which included
the single “One Night With You.”
Wilson became a best-selling
author with her autobiography,
“Dreamgirl... My Life As A Supreme.” The book has sold more
than 250,000 copies in hardback,
becoming one of the most successful rock and roll autobiographies of
all time.
Wilson created a traveling exhibit of 70 gowns worn by The
Supremes throughout the years and
can be seen on tour at countless cities across the United States. The
exhibit is currently being housed at
the African American Museum in
Showtime each evening is 7:30
p.m. Tickets are available from
$15.95, plus tax and fees. Tickets
can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office, by calling
702.636.7075, or visiting
“I Am Woman” songstress
Helen Reddy is set to perform at
The Orleans Showroom January 24
and 25.
Best known as a recording artist, Helen Reddy had more fifteen
singles on the Top 40 Billboard Hot
100 — six of which hit the Top 10,
with three reaching No. 1 — including her signature hit, “I Am
Woman.” In addition to Billboard
chart success, Reddy was the first
recording artist to win a “Favorite
Pop/Rock Female” American Music Award, the first Australian to
win a Grammy Award and to have
three No. 1 hits in the same year.
Reddy’s hit songs “I Am
Woman,” and “Delta Dawn” have
been a part of numerous television
and film soundtracks: “Sex and the
City 2,” “Cold Case,” “My Best
Friend’s Wedding” and “The
Simpsons,” among others.
On television, Reddy was the
first Australian to host her own
hour-long weekly primetime variety show on an American network,
along with several specials that
were seen in more than forty countries. She has also acted on the large
and small screens with roles in “Airport 1975,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Sgt.
Pepper ’s Lonely Hearts Club
Band,” “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy
Island” and “Diagnosis Murder.”
In theater, Helen starred in the
musical “Blood Brothers” on
London’s West End and on Broadway. As a solo concert artist, she has
played at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln
Center in New York, as well as the
Royal Albert Hall and the Palladium
in London.
In 2006, Reddy released what
became a best-selling memoir “The
Woman I Am.” “The Woman I Am:
The Definitive Collection” and
many of her early recordings continue to be downloaded worldwide.
Showtime each evening is 8 p.m.
Tickets start at $39.95, plus tax and
convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box
Office, by calling 702.365.7075, or
visiting www.orleanscasino.com.
Venue: The Railhead
Genre: Blues
Date: Thursday, January 15,
2015 at 7 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $5 cover at the
Formed by 19-year-old Kim
Simmonds, Savoy Brown is considered one of the architects of British
blues. The band’s debut album,
titled Shake Down, was released in
1967 and featured a collection of
blues covers. Following lineup
changes, the band soon released the
albums Getting to the Point, Blue
Matter and A Step Further, the latter of which helped develop a loyal
fan base in the United States. The
band’s most successful album came
with the release of Hellbound Train,
which peaked at number 34 on the
Billboard charts. Must be 21 years
or older.
Stand-up comedian and actor
Sinbad returns to The Orleans
Showroom with his unique come-
dic storytelling and wit January 30
and 31.
Sinbad is best known for various television and movie appearances throughout the 1980s and
1990s, including several HBO
comedy specials.
Sinbad’s comedy is built more
on stories than jokes, based on everyone he meets, everything he’s
seen and everything he does. As the
son of a preacher man, he is committed to making his comedy sidesplitting but not profane. He also
takes the trials and tribulations of
audience members and throws it
back in their faces, creating a
unique comedy experience.
Sinbad began his career as a
seven-time contestant on “Star
Search.” He spent four years on the
television show “A Different
World” and starred in his own series, “The Sinbad Show.” Sinbad
made his film debut in “Necessary
Roughness” and also had leading
roles in “Jingle All the Way,”
“Houseguest” and “First Kid.” His
appearance on the series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” received critical acclaim.
Sinbad was named one of Comedy Central’s top 100 comedians
and was featured in a special program on the network in 2010. He
received a NCAAP Image Award
two years in a row for his annual
HBO special “Sinbad’s ‘70s Soul
Music Festival.” Sinbad has also
participated in several USO tours.
Recently, Sinbad released a new
one-hour special that debuted on
Comedy Central. “Sinbad: Make
Me Wanna Holla” is a stand-up special featuring a riotous original performance that took place in Detroit.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are
available starting from $49.95, plus
tax and convenience fees, and can
be purchased at any Boyd Gaming
Hilarious antics and amazing
basketball skills will entertain the
whole family.
The iconic Harlem Globetrotters
are bringing their unrivaled family
show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet, to Orleans
Arena. The show features incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick
shots, side-splitting comedy and
unequaled on-court fan interaction.
Attendees will watch as the
Globetrotters face a great challenge
- the infamous Washington Generals are more determined than ever
to beat the Globetrotters this year.
The Generals were the last team to
beat the Globetrotters and are now
coached by a former member of the
1971 team. They are on a mission
and will do whatever it takes to win,
with a new strategy that’s sure to
give the Globetrotters a run for their
The Globetrotters appear Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m., at the Orleans Arena, 4500 West Tropicana
Reserved seats available for
$121, $63, $41, $33, $28 and $24,
and can be purchased by calling the
Orleans Arena Box Office at 702-
284-7777 or by visiting
A special “Magic Pass” is available for an additional charge of $22.
The Magic Pass is admission to a
30-minute interactive event on the
court with the Harlem Globetrotters
from 5:30 p.m. — 6 p.m., prior to
general ticket entry. A ticket to the
main event is also required for entry.
2014 has been an incredible year
for American artist Zola Jesus. She
signed to legendary record label
Mute, released her fifth studio album “TAIGA,” and received support across the airwaves from
KROQ, KEXP, KCRW’s “Morning
Becomes Eclectic,” NPR’s “All
Songs Considered,” WNYC’s “Studio 360,” SIRIUS/XM, and critical
acclaim from BILLBOARD Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine,
VOGUE, Pitchfork, Marie Claire,
ELLE Magazine, GQ, The New
York Times, SPIN, RELIX, and
Under The Radar Magazine to
name a few. “TAIGA” peaked at #4
on the iTunes Alternative New Album Charts, #9 on the Top New
Artist Charts, and #7 on the CMJ
Radio 200 Charts.
Zola will appear February 7 at
the Bunkhouse Saloon.
Wrapping things up nicely after
an impressive year, Zola Jesus has
been featured in dozens of “Best Of
2014” lists, including Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Best Songs of
2014,” CMJ’s “Best of 2014,”
“Hype Machine’s Most Blogged,”
and Under The Radar Magazine’s
“Top Albums of 2014.”
Mike Kermani is an entertainment writer for the Las Vegas Tribune newspaper. He writes a weekly
column in this newspaper. To contact Mike Kermani, email
mkermani@ lasvegas tribune.com
Page 16 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
Donny & Marie extend residency
at Flamingo Las Vegas
By Jerry Fink
Las Vegas Tribune
One of the most popular acts on
the Las Vegas Strip, Donny &
Marie, who recently celebrated
their six year anniversary at Flamingo Las Vegas, signed an extension to entertain sold-out audiences
through the end of 2015. Additionally, a new building wrap of
America’s most-loved brother-sister duo has been installed on the
front of the property.
Donny & Marie opened at Flamingo Las Vegas on Sept. 9, 2008
and the worldwide response was so
instantaneous and overwhelming
that their original six-week contract
was extended soon after the show
opened. Now, over six years later,
they are ecstatic to continue to call
Flamingo Las Vegas home of their
lively 90-minute variety show.
Throughout their time at the Flamingo, Donny & Marie have been
the recipients of accolades from
critics and fans alike. They have
been voted by readers of the Las
Vegas Review-Journal as the Best
Overall Show, Best Performers and
Best Singers in Las Vegas, and in
Oct. 2013, Flamingo renamed its
iconic showroom the Donny &
Marie Showroom.
Donny & Marie perform at 7:30
p.m. Tuesday — Saturday in the
Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas. Tickets range in
price from $95-$260 (plus taxes and
fees) and are available at the Flamingo Box Office, by phone at
(702) 733-3333 or (800) 221-7299
or by visiting the website
Ring in 2015 at Downtown
Grand Hotel and Casino, starting
with an elegant dinner at Triple
George Grill followed by an exciting evening of drinks, gaming and
entertainment in the casino.
Downtown Grand will offer an
all-you-can-drink special for $29 at
Art Bar, The Commissary, Furnace
and Ninth Island from 9 p.m. to 12
a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31. Wristbands may be purchased in Art Bar
from 12 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec.
30, and beginning at 3 p.m. on
Wednesday, Dec. 31. Live entertainment by DJ Two Fist Tommy
will be provided throughout the
evening on the casino stage. At 8
p.m., the drawing for the Electronic
Extravaganza Giveaway will take
place. Prizes range from $50 to
$500 in Free Slot Play to a selection of electronics, including a 60inch LED Smart TV, Blue Ray Disc
Players, iPAD Air, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and a 8.9” Kindle fire
At midnight, there will be the
Champagne toast and lavish balloon drop on the casino floor, where
guests will also receive complimentary party favors and hats.
At Triple George, guests may
begin their New Year’s Eve festivities early with a four-course dinner
priced at $60 per person. Start with
a choice of either seared foie gras
with truffle honey, Granny Smith
apples and French toast; beef tartare
with capers, chive, red onion, Dijon
mustard and egg yolk; or jumbo
shrimp cocktail with Bloody Mary
cocktail sauce and mango chutney.
For the second course, Triple
George will offer lobster bisque
served with lemon créme or a
roasted beet salad with arugula,
goat cheese and tangerine
vinaigrette. The main course features either a 9-ounce filet mignon
and a lobster tail stuffed with truffle
mashed potato, sautéed mushrooms, red wine demi-glace,
Dungeness crab and lemon butter
sauce; Dover sole with potato puree, caper butter sauce, sautéed
green beans and watercress; or
roasted herb chicken with butterscotch carrot purée, frisée salad,
sundried tomatoes and chicken jus.
For dessert, select either a refreshing bowl of fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries served with whipped cream or
vanilla créme brulée served with
whipped cream, strawberry and
New Year’s Eve dinner hours at
Triple George will be 4 to 10 p.m.
on Wednesday, Dec. 31. To make a
reservation, call (702) 384-2761.
Award-winning composer and
arranger David Perrico is bringing
his newest musical creation, David
Perrico — Pop Strings Orchestra ,
to Red Rock Resort. The 15-piece
pop orchestra will feature energetic
performances of club favorites with
modern orchestrations by Perrico
every Saturday, beginning Jan. 10,
A celebrated trumpeter, Perrico
leads the impressive 15-piece ensemble of strings, horns and rhythm
section, featuring Naomi Mauro
and Eric Sean’s powerful vocals.
Like Perrico’s other musical venture, Pop Evolution, the Pop Strings
Orchestra is comprised of the leading musicians from the city’s major productions shows and bands,
including Rod Stewart, Shania
Twain, Donny & Marie and Terry
Fator, among others. Performances
will feature Perrico’s arrangements
of songs by Bruno Mars, Justin
Timberlake, Rihanna, Maroon 5,
Madonna, India.Arie and many
David Perrico — Pop Strings
Orchestra will perform at Rocks
Lounge inside Red Rock Resort every Saturday, beginning Jan. 10,
2015. Doors open at 10 p.m. There
is no cover charge and guests must
be 21 years or older. Entry is firstcome, first-served and based upon
venue capacity. For more information, please visit www.sclv.com/
The 15th Annual Canon Customer Appreciation Reception/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Benefit Fundraiser
and NCMEC Celebrity Golf Tournament will be held in Las Vegas
to raise funds and awareness for
child safety.
This year, actor Richard Burgi
will emcee the Canon U.S.A., Inc.
and NCMEC Benefit Fundraiser.
Celebrities, elected officials and patrons of NCMEC are anticipated to
attend, including special guest John
Walsh of “The Hunt with John
Walsh,” a weekly investigative/
documentary TV series airing on
Also attending are more than 50
celebrities, including the music
icon Alice Cooper; actor Patrick
Warburton (Rules of Engagement);
actor Michael Pena (Gangster
Squad, American Hustle and Fury);
actor John O’Hurley (Seinfeld,
Family Feud); baseball star Roger
Clemens, known as “The Rocket”
(MLB Baseball All-Star and World
Series Champion); and many more.
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 7,
2015 — Canon Customer Appreciation Reception/NCMEC Benefit
Fundraiser, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 — NCMEC
Celebrity Golf Tournament , 7:30
a.m. breakfast; tee off at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Benefit Fundraiser at
the Bellagio Hotel, Bellagio Grand
Ballroom; Celebrity Golf Tournament at Tournament Players Club
(TPC) Las Vegas.
Since 1997, Canon U.S.A. and
NCMEC have collaborated to educate the public about the growing
issue of child abduction. The
Canon4Kids program, a partnership between Canon U.S.A. and
NCMEC, donates product to help
law enforcement quickly disseminate photos and information about
missing children, produces PSAs
with missing children’s photos and
educates parents about tips for taking and maintaining updated photos of their children.
Rockers Styx return to The Pearl
inside Palms Casino Resort on
Jan.18, 2015 at 8 p.m. Tickets start
at $33, plus any additional service
Styx — Tommy Shaw, James
“JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan,
Todd Sucherman and Ricky
Phillips, along with the occasional
surprise appearance by original
bassist Chuck Panozzo, have performed more live since ’99 than all
of the previous years of its career
combined. Two Super-Bowl appearances and Pollstar Box Office
chart-topping tours with Def
Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO
Speedwagon, Bad Company, to
name just a few, two more studio
albums and no end in sight, STYX
continues to conquer the planet, one
venue at a time.
Doors at the Pearl will open at 7
p.m. and show time is 8 p.m. The
Pearl Box Office is open daily from
noon until 7 p.m. with extended
hours on select event days. Follow
The Pearl on Twitter at
@PearlatPalms for concert announcements and event information.
DEC. 30–JAN. 4
The world-famous Improv at
Harrah’s Las Vegas is the longestrunning comedy club on the Las
Vegas Strip. The Improv’s ability to
showcase young comedians, as well
as bring in big names, has attributed to its longevity and success.
Each week, The Improv showcases some of the funniest and
freshest faces in comedy, creating
a show that is always unique and
definitely funny. The comedians
who will perform Dec. 30- Jan 4
Bil Dwyer: Bil Dwyer was born
and raised in Chicago. He gradu-
ated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in radio and television. Dwyer previously appeared
on “The Late Show with Craig
Kilborn,” “The Martin Short
Show,” “Late Friday” and “Evening
at the Improve.” Dwyer has also
been credited in “The Test,” “Extreme Dodgeball,” and The 70’s
Rick D’Elia: Rick D’Elia has
been a recurring sketch performer
on “The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno.” His keen observational humor and quick wit lead him to the
finals in the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition. D’Elia
has appeared on television shows
such as Comedy Central’s “Standup Standing-up,” “Comedians Unleashed” and UPN’s “Grand Slam
Comedy Jam.” He has headlined
numerous clubs all across the country and entertained our troops in
Japan, Korea, Bahrain, and Germany.
Andy Ostroff: Growing up in
Natick, Massachusetts, Andy
Ostroff was pulled between two
choices: follow his father’s footsteps and go to law school or move
to Los Angeles and pursue a career
in entertainment. Since then he has
filled his rÈsumÈ with many leading film roles, television guest appearances and theatre work as a
sketch comedy participant. Ostroff
is best known for his work in
“Roommate,” “Chicks Who Click”
and “Panman.”
Shows are at 8:30 p.m. and 10
p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Tickets are $29.05 or $44.95 (plus
applicable taxes and fees) for VIP
tickets that include special seating,
an Improv T-shirt and post-show
meet-and-greet with the comics.
Special two-for-one tickets are also
available for locals for the 10 p.m.
show. Tickets are available at
Harrah’s Box Office (702-3695223)
Jerry Fink is an entertainment
columnist for the Las Vegas Tribune
newspaper and writes a weekly column. To contact Jerry Fink, email
him at jfink@ lasvegastribune.com.
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 17
Seinfeld’s Steve Hytner at the Downtown
Grand Laughs Christmas Comedy Show
By Sandy Zimmerman
Las Vegas Tribune
Photos of Steve Hytner’s
appearances in films unless
otherwise indicated
Most Seinfeld fans know Steve
Hytner as the stand-up comedian
Kenny Bania who was always verbally sparing with Jerry Seinfeld.
As XFINITY Entertainment
Staff said, “Kenny Bania is a cheesy
and obnoxious stand-up comedian
who often finds success by following in Jerry’s footsteps. The word
“modest” is not in Kenny’s vocabulary.”
It was great seeing one of the
character actors from the hit comedy Seinfeld TV program in person.
I interviewed Steve Hytner
along the red carpet at the party
before the show. “I’ve seen you so
many times on Seinfeld but didn’t
realize you had a career as a comedian.”
(SH) “On television I play a bad
comedian, ha, ha, so we hope that
doesn’t cross over. It’s been great.
I love being able to do both. Sometimes it is a lot easier to feel like a
rock star when you are doing standup.”
(SZ) “Isn’t it difficult, you have
to please the audience?”
(SH) “Nothing worth while is
easy and believe me, I tried some
things that were very un-worthwhile. Stand-up is a risk- reward,
the risk is huge but the reward is
(SZ) “How long were you in
Seinfeld, that ran forever?”
(SH) “I did the last five years,
the last five seasons. I think I have
been blessed to do so many different shows but Seinfeld is kinda’ the
800 pound gorilla. It’s all encompassing and that is a good thing. The
success of that show and really the
way the show has lasted has been
staggering so I am lucky and
blessed to be a part of that.”
(SZ) “Tonight we see Paul
Scally’s Downtown Grand Laughs
Comedy Show, you are the guest
Photo by Sandy Zimmerman
comedian and its for charity so this
is a big night?”
(SH) “We call that a win, win,
right? We get people laughing and
to open their wallets and at the same
time give to the kids because that
is what it is all about.”
(SZ) “The Downtown Grand
Hotel recently opened, a benefit to
our community to have a new hotel
(SH) “I call it “spiffy”, I think
the only word is “spiffy”, I‘m going with “spiffy.”
Steve Hytner is an actor, standup comedian and a producer who
appeared in Face/OFF (1997), In
the Line of Fire (1993), The Prophecy (1995) and other programs.
Comedian host Paul Scally’s
Downtown Grand Laughs Comedy
Show appears every Thursday, free
to the public.
For information about the Grand
Laughs Comedy Show or the
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino,
call (702)-529-3573. The Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel &
Casino is located at 206 North 3rd
Street, near the Fremont Street Experience.
Zimmerman is a syndicated columnist featuring Show and Dining reviews, travel, health, luxury and
more. Sandy is talk show host of the
Las Vegas Today Show programs
and Discover the Ultimate Vacation
travel specials. If you want to suggest topics for articles, request for
a review, for information or to ask
any questions about Sandy’s articles, call (702)-731-6491.
SUGGESTIONS: Do you have a
favorite singer, comedian, hypnotist, vocal group, specialty act,
spectacular production show or
other entertainer in Las Vegas?
Please let us know and you may win
free show tickets or other prizes.
Send the name of the entertainer, the
reasons for your choice and your
telephone number. Information is in
the paragraph above.
Photo by Sandy Zimmerman
Page 18 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
EarthTalk is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to:
[email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/
subscribe; Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Dear EarthTalk: Are there still
outspoken global warming deniers
in Congress or the mainstream
media? If so, what do they say
when presented with scientific
facts and anecdotal evidence
pointing to an increasingly warming atmosphere? — Ben Charles,
Cary, NC
Given the preponderance of data
showing rising temperatures around
the globe in recent decades — along
with the increasing frequency of
extreme weather events — it’s hard
to believe there are still any climate
change deniers. But a recent survey
by the non-profit Center for American Progress found that some 58
percent of Republicans in the U.S.
Congress still “refuse to accept climate change.” Meanwhile, still others acknowledge the existence of
global warming but cling to the scientifically debunked notion that the
cause is natural forces, not greenhouse gas pollution by humans.
One of the chief doubters in the
U.S. House of Representatives is
Texas Republican John Carter, who
reports on his website that the
United Nations’ Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
and the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit in Great Britain — two
of the world’s foremost authorities
on the extent and severity of global
warming — hid their own research
results showing that world temperatures have not actually been rising,
but in fact have been falling, over
the past several years.
“We may or may not even be in
a warming cycle,” says Carter.
“Even if we are, scientific evidence
does not conclude that activity by
man plays any significant role.”
Regardless, Carter supports more
research and development of solar,
wind, tidal and geothermal energy,
along with the continued development of hybrid, natural gas and allelectric vehicles.
Another outspoken climate
naysayer in Congress is House Science, Space & Technology Committee chair Lamar Smith, another
Texas Republican, who calls the
Obama administration’s 2014 National Climate Assessment (which
squarely pins the blame for global
warming on human emissions) “a
political document intended to
frighten Americans into believing
that any abnormal weather we experience is the direct result of human CO2 emissions.” He adds that
“the Obama administration feels
compelled to stretch the truth in
order to drum up support for more
costly and unnecessary regulations
and subsidies.”
Of course, the right side of the
aisle in Congress isn’t the only
place you’ll find climate change
deniers. In a recent op-ed article that
appeared on FoxNews.com, scientist and author Daniel Botkin comments that the 2014 National Climate Assessment “ignores...the real
history of life itself: endlessly
changing, highly adaptable, and
never subject to the kind of stasis
that the climate change consensus
imagines, wrongly, to be Nature’s
ideal state.” Plenty of other conservative media voices on Fox News
and elsewhere are vocal in their
skepticism about humans’ (leading)
role in climate change.
But regardless of how persuasive some of these pundits might
sound, the facts speak for themselves. IPCC reports that human
influence on the climate system is
“clear,” with greenhouse gas emissions driven largely by economic
and population growth skyrocketing to record levels and leading to
The Women’s Earth Alliance helps women around the world secure their rights and safety and remove
barriers to full participation in society by supporting them in addressing the environmental issues impacting
their lives. Pictured: A female farmer in India.
atmospheric conditions unprecThe Women’s Earth Alliance climate change, says WEA:
edented in at least the last 800,000 (WEA) supports community groups “Women in underserved communiyears. IPCC adds that greenhouse around the world that work at the ties find themselves on the front
gas emissions are “extremely likely intersection of women’s rights and lines of climate impacts, often witto have been the dominant cause of the environment. A project of the nessing their water sources and trathe observed warming since the Berkeley, California-based David ditional land bases shift or disapmid-20th century” and that warm- Brower Center, WEA partners with pear because of a dangerous mix of
ing will be a “very likely” catalyst local women-led community changing temperatures and strucfor increased heat waves, extreme groups engaged in finding solutions tural inequalities.”
Currently WEA focuses on three
precipitation events, warmer oceans to vexing environmental problems.
and higher sea levels.
WEA helps women secure their geographic areas: India, North
rights and safety and remove barri- America and Africa. Its India ProDear EarthTalk: I heard about ers to full participation in society gram supports small and emerging
a group called the Women’s Earth by supporting them in addressing women’s groups that are promoting
Alliance that works on environ- the environmental issues impacting food sovereignty, traditional knowlmental projects in many parts of their lives. By bringing women’s edge and advocating for the rights
the world. What kinds of projects? leadership to these critical environ- of women farmers. The group’s
— Judy Stack, Barre, VT
mental issues, WEA helps bring trainings, advocacy and movement
vital voices, perspectives and par- building have enabled thousands of
ticipation to addressing the great- poor Indian women to become enest and most basic challenges of our vironmental leaders in their communities.
In North America, WEA links
The idea for WEA emerged from
bono legal, policy and business
a meeting in Mexico City where 30
across the continent with
women leaders from 26 countries
women leading envigathered to address how women can
do more to address today’s environrapid
mental challenges. WEA offers
training and resources around issues
of water, land, food and climate and delegations, WEA’s innovative
change, operating on the guiding advocacy partnerships protect saprinciple that “when women thrive, cred sites, promote energy justice,
communities, the environment and and ensure environmental health on
Indigenous lands,” the group refuture generations thrive.”
Of utmost importance to WEA ports.
And in Africa, WEA partnered
is securing women’s access to basic resources (food, land and wa- with Crabgrass, a California-based
ter) so they can enjoy economic, human rights group, to create the
social and political security. Since Global Women’s Water Initiative
women in many societies are re- (GWWI) that provides training to
sponsible for the management of help people implement water refood and water, the group reports, lated strategies to improve their
they can “experience both the un- communities’ health, self reliance
equal burden of work to secure and and resilience to climate change.
prepare the family’s food and wa- With GWWI, WEA and Crabgrass
ter as well as the vulnerability are building a cadre of advanced
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, calls the which results from traditional gen- female trainers skilled in applying
Obama administration’s 2014 National Climate Assessment — which squarely pins the blame for global der roles at home and gender dis- holistic solutions with appropriate
technology to environmental probwarming on human industrial activity — “a political document intended to frighten Americans into believing crimination in society.”
that any abnormal weather we experience is the direct result of human CO2 emissions.”
Women also tend to be particu- lems regarding water, sanitation and
larly vulnerable to the impacts of hygiene.
Executive Office
For Rent
Includes conference room,
utilities and Internet.
Furnished or unfurnished.
$600 per month.
For more information,
call (702) 699-8100.
December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / Page 19
Three Surprising Ways to Get
More Out of Your Workout
By Sidney Wilson
If you’re looking to get a lean,
toned physique it’s not enough to
just focus on reps, sets, exercises,
or the type of workout you’ll be
While all these are important to
achieve your fitness goals, it’s also
important to take care of your body
in other ways to increase performance, reduce injury, and prevent
These include warming-up before your workouts, foam rolling,
and allowing for proper rest.
Don’t Skimp On
Your Warm-Up
Warming-up may not seem all
that important, but skimping on a
warm up can lead to injury and poor
It should be a part of every
Warming-up heats up and loosens the body so it’s ready for your
upcoming workout.
It can increase range of motion
and can improve muscular performance and power.
These are all things that will kick
your workout into high gear.
Now, I’m not talking about just
hoping on a cardio machine for 10
minutes followed by some static
stretching, but instead completing
a dynamic warm-up that’ll heat up
the muscles you’ll be using.
A dynamic warm-up is one that
utilizes stretches, but while moving.
These include exercises like leg
swings, arm swings, shoulder rolls,
bodyweight squats, walking lunges,
high skips, or high kicks.
These movements should be
progressive by starting single joint
movements and working into more
complicated multi-joint movements.
So give it a try.
You’ll be surprised at how ready
your body will feel for your next
workout session.
Roll It Out
Like stretching, foam rolling is
often one of those things you know
you should do, but never quite find
the time for.
However, it should not be neglected!
Maintaining flexibility and mobility of those hard-earned muscles
is important to prevent injury, increase performance, and speed up
Sidney Wilson
Foam-rolling, which is also
It’s important to take regular
known as self-myofascial release, breaks from hard training to allow
is a form of self-massage.
your body time to repair, recover,
It can be done with a foam roller, and to avoid overtraining.
which is a cylindrical shaped piece
When you rest, your body uses
of foam.
that time to rebuild and grow stronFoam-rolling can be used as a ger.
warm-up, post workout, or on its
Now this doesn’t necessarily
own. Sometimes, I’ll do it while mean you have to sit around all day
watching TV so it doesn’t take up on your day off.
any extra time.
You can if you choose, but doStart by lying on the foam roller ing some light active recovery exand applying moderate pressure to ercises such as stretching, going for
a specific muscle.
a walk, or doing some gentle yoga
Roll slowly until you find an can be very beneficial to recovery.
area that feels tight or painful.
The key is to keep it light.
Hold the roller there for 15-30
This isn’t meant to be another
seconds until you feel the muscle strenuous workout.
relax and release.
In addition to taking rest days,
They key is to gradually loosen it’s very important to get enough
the area.
sleep on a daily basis.
If you’re just starting out this
Sleep is important for muscle
may be very painful at first.
recovery, hormone balance, and
You can always ease up the pres- peak performance.
sure a bit if you need to.
So on top of taking it easy at
The pain should ease up over least one day a week, be sure to get
time, especially when you stay con- your 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
sistent with regular foam-rolling
Sidney Wilson is a Las Vegassessions.
based celebrity fitness trainer and
Foam-rolling works best on the lifestyle coach dedicated to providlower body, especially the glutes, ing his clients with the tools needed
quads, hamstrings, calves, and ad- to “Get Vicious.” Through rigorous
ductors, but can also be used on the workouts and extensive nutrition
pecs, lats, and rotator cuffs.
coaching, Sidney trains clients at
It can safely be done on a daily The Get Vicious Training Center
basis and is a great habit to add to located at 5693 South Jones Blvd.
your routine.
Suite 103, Las Vegas, NV 89118, or
Make Time For Rest
remotely around the world through
Kudos to you for maintaining a his website www.sidneywilson.com.
regular exercise routine. But just Sidney can be contacted at:
like anything, too much of a good [email protected] or 646thing isn’t always a good thing.
Help Social Security help the homeless
By Steven Zuelsdorf
Social Security Operations
Supervisor in North Las Vegas
December 21 is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Since
1990, on or near the first day of
winter and the longest night of the
year, the National Coalition for the
Homeless brings attention to and
seeks compassion for the homeless
who have died because they didn’t
have a warm, safe place to sleep.
Even as the recovery works its way
through the entire economy, no one
is immune to potentially being
homeless. People in our community
— colleagues and family members,
military veterans, and our friends
— might be too proud to ask for
help. Too often, homelessness ends
in tragedy.
Social Security provides services to the homeless and you can
w w w. s o c i a l s e c u r i t y. g o v /
homelessness. Those who are
homeless can apply for benefits
and, if they are eligible, their benefits can be deposited directly into
a personal banking account, a Direct Express debit bank card, or
another electronic account. They
can also have benefits mailed to a
third party, or if necessary, a representative payee can receive their
Social Security also collaborates
with other agencies to help the
w w w. s o c i a l s e c u r i t y. g o v /
you can read more about the Health
Care for the Homeless program that
provides grants to a network of lo-
cal public and non-profit private
organizations. Social Security also
participates in the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, as well as
the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)
program. PATH helps people with
serious mental health issues or
people who are homeless or at risk
of homelessness.
Every day, and especially on
December 21, remember those living without a place to call home.
Homelessness is a complicated and
emotional issue, but we can help
our brothers and sisters — friends
and family — access the safety net
that Social Security provides. Visit
w w w. s o c i a l s e c u r i t y. g o v /
homelessness to learn more.
You Need
To Know
By Dr Nina Radcliff
Food and Depression
By Nina Radcliff, MD
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of
medicine or the slowest form of poison.” — Ann Wigmore.
The link between food and our physical health is well known. What
we put into our mouths can either help protect us from, or increase our
risk for, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke—the number one, two,
and three killers in America. But did you know that what we eat and drink
can affect our mental health? Studies have proven that a healthy diet can
help decrease our risk for depression as well as become an important part
of a holistic approach to treat it. In our desire to be healthy, both physically and mentally, let’s revisit the saying “we are what we eat.” And let’s
opt for healthy!
Back to basics
Studies have shown that people who enjoy diets rich in fruit, veggies,
beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and lean meats (aka the Mediterranean
diet) have lower rates of depression. There are a number of reasons for
this. The body requires nutrients, or building blocks, to manufacture many
of the “happy” chemicals in our brain; and these foods are nutrient powerhouses. In fact, the term “junk food” implies that the food item has
minimal nutritional value. Filling our tummies up with nutrient-poor foods,
or empty calories, often prevents us from consuming nutrient-rich foods
and can cause a nutrient-deficit.
Eating healthy can also decrease our risk for cardiovascular disease,
stroke, diabetes, and cancer. These illnesses have been linked to higher
rates of depression.
Our body’s immune system responds to foreign invaders to keep us
safe. However, there are triggers that can cause our immune system to
run amok and result in inflammation, an abnormal state. Studies have
shown that inflammation not only can disrupt circuitry and the transmission of signals within our brain, it can also kill brain cells, leading to
depression. The “3 P’s”— Processed, Packaged, and Prepared foods —
are rich in harmful oils, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and additives (colors,
flavor enhancers, preservatives) that can trigger inflammation. Consuming these items every now and then is unlikely to cause harm; but because
they are cheap, fast, and convenient, consumer research shows it has become easier and easier to reach for them.
Our bodies produce a waste product called free radicals that can contribute to aging and a number of disease states including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s dementia, arthritis, and diabetes. Fortunately,
antioxidants can seize and disarm these harmful molecules. Beta-carotene (broccoli, carrots, peaches), vitamin C (blueberries, oranges, tomatoes), and vitamin E (nuts and spinach) are some well-known antioxidants. Let’s incorporate them into snacks and meals.
Consuming carbohydrates can boost an important “feel good” chemical called serotonin. Unfortunately, it can also expand our waistlines and
pack on the pounds. A good balance is to choose complex carbs (whole
grains) and healthy carbs (fruit, veggies, legumes) over simple carbs
(cakes, cookies).
Can we eat our way out of depression?
No; a new, healthy diet cannot replace other treatments. Additionally,
a healthy diet does not provide a bullet-proof vest when it comes to preventing depression or other illnesses. However, eating healthy should be
incorporated into a holistic treatment plan against depression which includes exercise, improved sleep, counseling, decreasing and dealing with
stressors, yearly physicals and, if appropriate, medications.
Reduce alcohol
Similar to the age-old question of what came first, the chicken or the
egg, the same can be asked about depression and alcohol. People who
drink heavily and regularly increase their risk for depression. This may
be because alcohol is a depressant, increases inflammation, decreases
“happy” chemicals in the brain, or can cause chronic illnesses. Conversely,
those who suffer from depression are twice as likely to drink away their
sorrows and develop a drinking problem.
Dietary changes cannot cure or completely prevent depression. But
because we are what we eat, healthy food choices can help keep us in our
best physical and mental health. Every time we put something in our
mouth is an opportunity to nourish our body. Food is fuel. And just as we
would not expect our cars to run smoothly or efficiently if we were to
pump low quality fuel into it, we must apply the same reasoning to our
bodies. I want to encourage you to think about what you are consuming
and make good choices with what fuels you.
Dr. Nina Radcliff is dedicated to her profession, her patients and her
community, at large. She is passionate about sharing truths for healthy,
balanced living as well as wise preventive health measures. She completed medical school and residency training at UCLA and has served on
the medical faculty at The University of Pennsylvania. She is a Board
Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists where she serves on committees for Young Physicians and
Communications. Author of more than 200 textbook chapters, research
articles, medical opinions and reviews; she is often called upon by media
to speak on medical, fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle topics impacting our lives, today.
Page 20 / LAS VEGAS TRIBUNE / December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015
The Atlantis is not your
typical Swiss restaurant
By Sandy Zimmerman
Las Vegas Tribune
Photos by Sandy Zimmerman
Walking around the ancient
buildings in Basel’s Old Town
transports you back to the past. After the walking tour, it is time to stop
for dinner and the Atlantis Restaurant became a perfect modern contrast to Old Town.
Their lounge attracts attention
the minute you enter the building.
The purple lights and low tables
creates a festive feeling.
The extremely large Moroccan
chandelier hangs from the ceiling
looking almost too big for the dining room.
The Atlantis is also a club on
Fridays and Saturdays this is a party
setting with live music after 11 pm.
Dinner guests can stay for the night
club at no additional charge.
The Atlantis Restaurant’s
brightly colored cuisine look like
works of art.
Claudia Danuser, the Manager,
explained, “We prepare food from
every part of Europe and with some
Asian influences. Since Switzerland is near the Italian border, we
serve many Italian dishes.
Everything is bright, beautiful
and artistic, the chef checks every
dish first before it leaves the
Their menu offers a wide variety of choices like the bright pink
Beef Carpaccio, thinly sliced raw
beef with olive oil and parmesan
shavings in balsamic vinegar.
Two Basel favorite starters are
Roasted Foie gras on ginger bread
with a orange — cointrau shake and
raw Beef tartar “classic” served
with toast and butter.
A touch of India, fried Scallops
Tandoori marinated on a lemon
grass skewer and lemon salad.
Atlantis Restaurant, Basel, Switzerland
For steak lovers, there’s Filet of
Beef with a cassis crust on a white
wine butter sauce and Bramata
The Venison medallions are
served with a cognac cream sauce
and Lingonberry apple along with
e another interesting selection Veal
medallions with morel cream sauce
and Schupfnudeln.
Pair your food with wines from
Italy, the United States, Argentina
and Spain.
Summer is the time for dining
on the Mediterranean Sun Terrace
and if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or a wedding,
Hector’s Room (Rittersaal-Great
Hall) is the best choice.
In 1947 the Africa explorer Paul
Seiler along with his younger
brother Kurt founded the Atlantis
Basel, exhibiting African art alongside living alligators. However,
Atlantis Basel only became really
successful when a pianist was hired.
This made the Atlantis into a popular music bar.
The years brought changes and
different owners until the present
owners who are now celebrating
their 70th year. Visit www.atlantis.ch.
Zimmerman is a syndicated columnist featuring Show and Dining reviews, travel, health, luxury and
Beef Carpaccio (CH) with olive oil and parmesan shavings.
Moroccan Chandelier
more. Sandy is talk show host of the
Las Vegas Today Show programs
and Discover the Ultimate Vacation
travel specials. If you want to suggest topics for articles, request for
a review, for information or to ask
any questions about Sandy’s articles, call (702)-731-6491.
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