and the west
CITY DESK • 383-0264
Elko County ready
to end trout battle
to ride
Lounge to morph
into Mob Bar before
museum opening
A new freshman at UNLV carts her stuff into her dorm room. Today’s freshmen, mostly born in 1993, have not known a world where the
Las Vegas megaresort was a new concept, the Internet didn’t exist, or 911 was just an emergency phone number.
UNLV has changed a lot since new batch of students were born
hink about 1993.
What you were doing,
where you lived, the
job you had and the
clothes you wore, the music
you listened to and the dead
you mourned.
And then think about how
old you were at the end of
Richard Chavez and most
of the rest of the incoming
freshmen at UNLV weren’t
even born yet.
Sobering, huh?
“It’s always been a dream of
mine to go to UNLV, ever since
I was a little kid,” said Chavez,
18, who grew up in Ely.
He and more than 900 other
students, mostly freshmen,
were moving into the dorms
last week. Classes start today.
Chavez said he’s going to
major in political science.
He wants to be a lawyer. He
got jazzed about the legal
profession while working in a
lawyer’s office while he was in
high school.
He’s already figuring on
attending UNLV’s Boyd School
of Law, a well-established and
respected institution that is
Las Vegas’ city-sponsored
shrine to its mobbed-up roots
is making a mark downtown
and it hasn’t even opened.
Sidebar, a quiet, upscale
lounge on Third Street, is
planning a makeover into a
1920s-style supper club in
an effort to capitalize on the
scheduled February opening of the city-funded Mob
When it opens as Mob Bar
on Dec. 5 — the 78th anniversary of the repeal of the 18th
Amendment that outlawed
alcohol — the ambiance will
include a dark, shrub-shaded
facade, vintage decor and
Italian food from recipes
and ingredients that would
have been common during
the 1920s.
The idea is to tap into the
enthusiasm, and wallets, of
Now might be right time for
organized crime theme to catch on
Times are changing
student body
from 19,600
to 28,000.
Since 1993, Treasure Island, MGM Grand, Luxor, Monte
Carlo, New York-New York, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, The
Venetian, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Wynn Las Vegas,
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Palazzo, the massive CityCenter
and The Cosmopolitan have all opened on the Strip.
Clark County’s
population more
than doubled,
from 900,000 to
almost 2 million.
The UNLV Runnin’
Rebels’ only national
championship came in
1990, before today’s
freshmen were born.
In 1993, Interstate
215/Las Vegas Beltway
existed only as an
Growth scores give schools No Child Left Behind alternative
Orr Middle School Principal
George Leavens isn’t surprised
that only half his students tested at grade level in math and
reading last school year.
That’s not unusual for an urban school.
He cares about the test results. But he places a higher
value on a different measure
of academic success.
His goal for Orr: “I’d like our
growth scores to be above every other school in Las Vegas.”
When Leavens talks about
growth scores, he means the
rate at which the school’s
students progress compared
to other Nevada students.
That’s important to him because many Orr students
Growth model tracks students’
progress from low to high
Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth
Street Gaming, predicts the
mob theme will grow in
popularity in Las Vegas.
Everyone knows monopolies are bad, unless you are one
hat a difference
four years make
when it comes to
the philosophy of
bus contracts and monopolies.
Many of the same people and
companies who were opposed
to splitting the bus contracts in
Southern Nevada then are now
for it. And vice versa.
The arguments are much the
same; they’re just coming out
of different mouths of people
whose positions have flipped.
But it does raise questions
about why in 2007, when
Regional Transportation
Commission General Manager
Jacob Snow proposed splitting
the bus route contract into two
contracts, the idea went into
Never Never Land when Veolia
Transportation held the single
Yet in 2011, when Veolia
is the highest bidder for
the $600 million bus route
contract and First Transit is
the low bidder by $50 million, a
number of board members are
strongly opposed to continuing
a monopoly.
In 2007, Veolia argued a
single contract brought cost
Jane Ann Morrison
savings. Today, Veolia supports
the idea of a split contract
because competition is a good
thing in the business world.
Of course, First Transit
also has switched horses.
Four years ago, it was against
monopolies. Four years later, it
prefers holding the contract all
to itself, rightfully contending
that’s how the bid request was
proposed by the commission
board in September.
Clark County Commissioner
Larry Brown, Boulder City
Mayor Roger Tobler and
North Las Vegas Councilman
Robert Eliason are the only
overlapping members, serving
then and now.
The other board members
at that time were Clark
County Commissioners Bruce
Woodbury and Chip Maxfield,
Henderson Councilman Andy
Hafen, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar
Goodman and the late Mesquite
Mayor Bill Nicholes.
In 2007, Snow laid out
reasons why competing
contracts might mean fresh
ideas and new approaches.
At the time, Veolia CEO
Mark Joseph cautioned against
splitting the contract, calling
it a serious and major change
which was very risky from an
operations and relationship
standpoint. Costs always
went up, he said, when a
contract was split, because of
Laidlow, MV Public
Transportation and First
Transit were all for splitting
the contract ... then.
While no vote was taken
back then, Brown and others
raised enough concerns
that it became obvious the
majority of the board didn’t
favor two contracts. The
idea Snow had presented
with such enthusiasm never
was presented again, partly
because radio frequency issues
for communicating with buses
couldn’t accommodate two
contracts. (Now it’s possible.)
So the idea of split contracts
faded away until this year,
after Snow recommended that
First Transit get the fixed-route
contract. First Transit also
holds the contract for the
public bus system for the
Now Veolia wants
split contracts for the
fixed-bus route, and First
Transit no longer praises that
idea. Instead, First Transit is
suing to force the commission
to sign the contract.
Today, some board
members voice concerns
about monopolies: Las Vegas
City Council members Lois
Tarkanian and Steve Ross
and County Commissioner
Chris Giunchigliani. Brown
has aligned with them, citing
unanswered questions.
Brown, the commission
chairman, is trying to negotiate
a compromise; but now that
it’s in the court, compromise
becomes less likely. Plus,
there are federal laws
against agreements between
transportation companies, if
they come close to price-fixing.
Splitting the contracts may
be smart. Or not. But it’s too
late to change the rules now.
If breaking a monopoly was
important to board members,
they should have brought it up
before issuing the request for
proposals. The anti-monopoly
folks had their opportunity
then, except for Tarkanian, who
wasn’t on the board.
Why was a contract for
a single company fine in
September 2010, but not in
August 2011? What’s changed?
The 4-4 split between the
eight elected officials on the
board has deteriorated into a
head-butting contest that would
do Nevada’s bighorn sheep
proud. But really, big horns are
the models of dysfunctional
government, not effective
Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears
Monday,Thursday and Saturday. Email
her at [email protected] or call
702-383-0275. She also blogs at
Page 4B • Monday, August 29, 2011
Las Vegas Review-Journal
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Loving father, husband,
Collins, 47, of Las Vegas,
Aug. 24, 2011. We lost
Dann too early, doing
what he loved, helping a stranded truck
Freeway in Arizona.
He was born Oct. 16,
1963, in Everett, Wash., and was a
21-year resident of Nevada. In his lifetime, he started two well-known
towing companies in the Las Vegas
area, D&D Towing Inc. and Vegas
Heavy Haul, dba, Big Valley Towing.
He was well-loved in the towing industry and was everyone’s friend.
Dann was preceded in death by his
mother, Janet; his younger sister,
Carol; and his two younger brothers,
David and Patrick. Dann is survived
by his loving wife, of five years, Debbie; his daughter, Janelle, his younger sister, Kathy; his father, Tim; and
his adopted children, the cats, Jack,
Sylvester and Bristol and the dogs,
Buddy, Cosmo and Bliss. Services will
be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at
Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave.
Please consider making a donation to
Opportunity Village in Dann’s name.
Dann will be sorely missed.
Dardeen, 93, a Las
passed away Aug. 24,
2011, at Grace of
Home. Born in Vincennes, Ind., Oct. 6,
raised in and around
Terre Haute, Ind. He
began his gaming career as a traveling
dice dealer, touring many states
when his journey finally brought him
to Las Vegas in 1948. Blackie was the
quintessential gaming pioneer and
host, who always knew the first
names of his customers and their
children. He knew every game a casino offered inside and out, because he
had dealt them all before moving into the executive ranks. He also coowned the Silver Slipper and was
even hired as a gaming consultant on
some Hollywood movies. He worked
at many of the top hotels with his last
stop in the 1989 opening of the Mirage Hotel as a casino host. He retired in 2004. Blackie was always
dapperly dressed and was spot-on
with a charming personality. Popular
approached Blackie in the 1970’s about
putting his life story in a book, but
Thompson died just as they were getting started. “Just my luck,” Blackie
said. “The story ended before it began.” As adept as Blackie was on the
golf course, he was just as quick with
one-liners, always delivered out of
the side of his mouth and with a
twinkle in his eye. “My wife could find
a blonde hair in a yellow shag rug,”
was one of his better quips. Another
typical retort was, “If that’s not the
truth, you can have my watch. And,
it’s a Rolex ... at least that's what the
guy said who sold it to me.” He leaves
behind his beautiful wife, of 59 years,
Wanda; sisters-in-law, Peggy Steil
and Jane Wilson and their families;
son, Howard (Carol) of Indianapolis;
daughter, Denise (Danny) Spach of
Las Vegas; grandchildren, Sean of
Tampa, Fla., Dax of Indianapolis, Preston and Bryan, both of Las Vegas,
and Jillian of University of Reno; and
four great-grandchildren. He also
friends and co-workers, most who
looked forward to their many exciting trips to Vegas, knowing Blackie
would take care of them. Special
thanks to his son-in-law, Danny
Spach and niece, Ginger Steil Benson
for all their help and support during
his illness and to Grace and her staff
of caregivers. “Rest in Peace Blackie
and may you have many “eagles” in
Blackie’s wishes, services will be private. Donations can be made to the
Lou Ruvo Brain Institute or the
Shriner’s Childrens Hospital.
A Grateful thought toward
Heaven is of itself a Prayer.
Triple George host Anthony Sandoval walks by the Sidebar, 201 N. Third St. The bar plans to transform into the Mob Bar to take
advantage of the opening of the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, aka The Mob Museum.
▶ MOB: Now may be right time for theme to catch on
people who come to Las Vegas nostalgic
for the days when a hostile takeover involved baseball bats and kneecaps, not
boardrooms and stock purchase offers.
It will be the first major change on
Third Street since property owner CIM
Group hired Fifth Street Gaming to operate the bars and restaurants near the
shuttered Lady Luck.
CIM Group and Fifth Street Gaming,
which control Third Street between Ogden and Stewart avenues, are working to
reopen the Lady Luck under a new name
and attract more foot traffic from the
Fremont Street Experience, and are betting the city’s Mob Museum will help.
Fifth Street Gaming CEO Seth Schorr,
34, a longtime Las Vegan who spent part of
his childhood living in the Golden Nugget,
said he expects the mob theme to grow
in popularity now that the mainstream
gambling industry is far enough removed
from the days when mobsters siphoned
pre-tax cash from the count rooms.
In addition to the pending Mob Bar,
which has a license for unrestricted
gambling, other mafia-tinged attractions
tied to casinos include the Mob Experience at the Tropicana on the Strip and
Oscar’s at the Plaza Hotel downtown, a
steakhouse named for former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who rose
to prominence as a defense lawyer for
notorious Las Vegas mobsters.
“You couldn’t do this in the early 1980s
because there were still (mob) remnants
in the early ’80s,” said Schorr, whose
father, Marc Schorr, is a longtime associate of Steve Wynn dating back to
Wynn’s days operating the Golden Nugget downtown. “Now I think we have the
opportunity to look back from where we
are to that era.”
The Mob Bar will focus on the 1920s,
an era that predates legalized gambling
in Nevada and the rise of organized
Other new mafia-tinged attractions include the Mob Experience at the Tropicana.
crime in Las Vegas.
Some of the period decor will include
vintage fixtures and old-timey touches
like tabletop cigarette lighters, Schorr
The food will come from the kitchen of
the attached Triple George restaurant,
but the Mob Bar will have its own menu.
Triple George chef Ro Fernandez
said the menu will include dishes such
as Al Capone braciole, a steak pounded
thin and stuffed with prosciutto, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese roasted
and served with tomato sauce; and a
chicken piccata sauteed with olive oil,
lemon, white wine, mushrooms, parsley,
capers and chicken broth.
Fernandez and Schorr said the plan is
to keep the dishes simple and fresh and
the ambiance authentic so guests get a
true taste of the period.
“This is a place that a gangster would
have gone to, not a theme place about a
gangster,” Schorr said.
It remains to be seen whether the property can accomplish more as the Mob
Bar than it did as Sidebar when it comes
to attracting foot traffic downtown.
While the block of Third Street where
it’s located is visible from the Fremont
Street Experience canopy, it’s not yet
as well-trafficked as Fremont East, the
stretch of bars on Fremont between the
canopy and the El Cortez.
Tim Dressen, 39, a frequent Las Vegas
visitor from Minneapolis who operates
the website www.FremontStreetBars.
com, said the makeover is a good idea
because Sidebar doesn’t have a strong
“They each tend to have kind of a
unique schtick,” Dressen said of Fremont East bars like Insert Coins, a video
game lounge, and Beauty Bar, which features live music and a 1950s salon decor.
“Whereas Sidebar, there’s not really anything in and of itself that is its own.”
Monica Miranda, 25, of Las Vegas, a
former Sidebar bartender and a customer, said the challenge will be to attract tourists drawn to the Mob Museum
without alienating locals who already
frequent Third Street.
“As long as they don’t go too theme-y
... I don’t think the regulars would mind a
little bit more action,” she said.
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at
[email protected] or 702-229-6435.
▶ FRESHMEN: Times are changing
perennially ranked in the nation’s top
100 law schools.
The law school opened as Chavez was
getting ready for kindergarten.
It has become a national pastime to
gently mock college freshmen — and
older folks — every year with the
release of the Beloit College Mindset
List, a compilation of pop culture trivia
and other inane stuff that shows how
things have changed over the years.
The Internet has always existed!
Ferris Bueller is old! Remote controls
are everywhere!
The list, put out by a small college
in Wisconsin, is intended to remind
professors that the incoming freshmen
class doesn’t necessarily see the world
the way the professors do.
In 1993, UNLV’s enrollment was
19,682. It’s expected to be about 28,000
this year, where it’s been for several
In 1993, the Strip did not exist as it
does today.
Since then, Treasure Island,
MGM Grand, Luxor, Monte Carlo,
New York-New York, Bellagio,
Mandalay Bay, The Venetian,
Paris, Planet Hollywood, Wynn Las
Vegas, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas,
Palazzo, the massive CityCenter and
The Cosmopolitan have all opened.
“Yeah, back when my dad came here,
it was just the Flamingo,” said freshman
Alexa Terrazas, who also moved into the
dorms last week.
Terrazas, 17, is from the Los Angeles
area, but she said she has family in
Las Vegas. She’s visited many times.
She wants to major in hospitality,
which made choosing UNLV easy.
“They’re the No. 1 school in the
country,” she said.
Classes start today at UNLV, where hundreds of freshmen moved into the dorms late last
week. In 1993, UNLV’s enrollment was 19,682. It has been about 28,000 for several years.
She’d like to be an event planner, a job
idea she got after watching her mom
plan parties at their house as a hobby.
Terrazas said she was in fourth
grade when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks happened. The United States has
been at war almost as long as she can
Kalin Scott-Wright was in elementary
school, too, back when everything
changed. He went to Walmart the other
day and bought supplies — Band-Aids
and stuff — for himself for the first
time in his life.
“I feel like I’m an adult now that my
mom left,” he said on dorm move-in day.
“I’m on my own now.”
Scott-Wright is from the Los Angeles
area, and he chose UNLV because he’s
hoping to join the football team.
Yeah, a guy born the year NBC lost
both “Cheers” and David Letterman is
old enough to play college football.
So does he feel young and naive?
Does he feel like he’s barely lived,
while everyone else is watching the
years pass by and their hair turn gray?
Of course not. He gets that he’s still a
teenager. He gets that he has a whole lot
of life left to live.
But he also gets that there’s another
generation coming up behind him,
which will have its own list of things
everyone else, including him, will
probably marvel at long after’s he’s
graduated from college.
“Remember when people used to ... ?”
everyone will say.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at
[email protected] or 702-383-0307.