Las Vegas


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US News on Nevada Water Grab

By now few in the West are unfamiliar with Las Vegas' water grab plans. The efforts to defoliate the rest of Nevada in favor of unrestricted growth are the subject of an article in this week's US News and World Report. Nearly twice as much water is what Las Vegas water grabber Pat Mulroy tells the magazine when she is not explaining why long showers aren't wasteful. There is a number to think about. Twice as many people in the Las Vegas metro area. Take your lot and divide it in half. Double the number of cars on the road.

The Las Vegas marketing slogan says that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. If Mulroy continues unchecked it will literally be true as nobody will be able to go anywhere else. Residents won't have to worry about taking out their sod to support the over-the-top evaporation from Lake Las Vegas, rather they will just move into their cars and live on the roads. And of course the Governor has a plan for the roads too. Between Mulroy's pipe dreams about what population Las Vegas can support and the Governor's road-funding-without-taxation fantasy Vegas and the rest of Nevada have a long road ahead.

Unintended consequences

Many things we do have unintended consequences. Consider for example the research suggesting mobile phones may be killing off bee colonies. The consequences of this are particularly dire on our food crops. In spite of a great apricot blossom this year we appear to have few fruit set on the trees. What we didn't have to go with the blossoms were the bees to pollinate them.

Southern Nevada Water Authority's attempt to grab water from rural Nevada and surrounding states is rife with such unintended consequences. Consider the global food supply chain that feeds Las Vegas. With the destruction of the agricultural areas of the state Las Vegas will be totally dependent on this global chain instead of having the local resources to support the community in times of crisis. We have recently seen the effects of this global supply chain when a Las Vegas company sold contaminated wheat germ to pet food manufacturers and poisoned pets across the continent. With a food supply this fragile even small disruptions have huge consequences.

House of cards

Today's news includes the story that our country's experienced military leaders fear the effects of global warming may be a threat to homeland security and our security interests around the globe. Closer to home Southern Nevadans are being asked to support a plan that could crush their security. The Southern Nevada Water Authority's risky plan for exploiting the resources of rural Nevada, if allowed, will upset the delicate balance of life in the desert.

Unfortunately there are operatives, formerly known as newspapers in league with the Water Authority. Instead of educating Nevadans and those who might visit here about the devastating effect such a plan would have on the area these papers run off the wall editorials when a commissioner is not afraid to stand up for what is reasonable. It is difficult to decide where to start when addressing the problems with SNWA's suspicious scheme. To begin with SNWA and its partners routinely state a cost figure of $2 billion. Independent experts place the cost at between $12 billion and $20 billion. Even at the high end these estimates don't address that the deep water aquifers may have dissolved salts and require desalination.

Mystère continues to impress

We went to see Mystère last week. I'd seen the excellent show thirteen years ago when it was in its opening run at the tent theater outside the Treasure Island. Over the years the show has been moved into a custom-built theater but it has not lost the magic. Often people who have not seen a Cirque du Solei show ask what it is about. Truth be told it is a bit hard to explain. Cirque's website says the following:

Mystère is an overwhelming sensory experience. It is in constant motion and features high-energy acrobatics, evocative dances, colorful costumes and vivid lighting. It is a feast of colours and passions, of beauty and frailty which recalls a distant past and speaks to the future. It breathes rhythm and music.

In this day of marketing hype it would be easy to believe that "overwhelming sensory experience" is typical hyperbole. It is not. Each of the two times I have seen the show I have had the impression that it would take at least a dozen careful, planned, trips to become relatively sure one had caught most of what is going on.

Hiding things in plain sight is one of the trademarks of the great Cirque shows. The set changes and rigging are handled as much by the actors and actresses as they are the offstage magicians pulling strings and levers. Mystère remains a great show and if visitors to Las Vegas get to see just one this could easily be the one to see.

Nevadans need to vote with their feet

A group of twenty businesses are trying to overthrow the will of the voters of the state of Nevada.

Whether the businesses are ultimately successful in their attempt to prevent clean breathable air, Nevadans need to vote with our feet. The facts do not support the business owner's claims. Business owners at a few, unscrupulous businesses are threatening their employees with loosing jobs because of the measure. Other localities that have passed similar measures find that restaurant business often goes up after enacting smoke-free laws.

These businesses, however, would rather prey on the fears of their employees instead of complying with a law that a majority of the state. Quite simply the time has come for Nevadans to tell these businesses we don't appreciate their antics. We need to take our business to establishments that respect all Nevadans not just those who smoke in restaurants.


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