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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ghost towns cropping up in Las Vegas

echelon.jpgThe wind whistles through Steel bones welded together in squares towering 4 stories high here on the strip. There are large pits, huge concrete structures with strands of steel poking up like hair. It's a lonely site that would take an hour to walk around the whole place. Some materials are wrapped in white plastic like sheets over a corpse. The machinery and equipment are gone except for the cranes towering like graveyard crosses. It was once going to be the exclusive 4 billion dollar Echelon resort. Like so many ghost towns in the the state, it's a memory of how good things once were and of how bad they can go. There are probably at least a half dozen structures like this throughout the valley. The owners pay for light security, electricity and taxes, holding on to hope that there will be a return to the glory gold-rush days of the past. The open pits here are similar to the mining pits that are left gaping across the state. Leaving them like open sores is part of official state policy. It's a policy of hope that the resource once minned there will become lucrative again so why fill in the mines. And in this case, that mine is an unfinished structure. Unlike the typical boom-bust ghost towns that litter the Nevada countryside, these boneyards of Las Vegas resorts weren't preparing to mine exhaustable resources of the earth, rather the goal was to mine the pockets of the nation's workers. When those pockets are full again someday, the nation's workers (and hopefuly the filthy rich) may return to empty their pockets here. But for now, Boyd Gamning, the owner of this indefinitely postponed construction project is just one part of a shrinking resource problem, or shrinking revenue problem that is. While this time last year the company's revenue was approaching a billion dollars, income was only 20 million. Now the company is reporting its eeking by with just 12 million of income in the last three months. It blames locals for not gambling as much. In fact, locals have been leaving town. Thats another echo of a ghost town in the making. Ghost towns are popular tourist destinations too. So maybe even these empty eyesores may become another marketing tool as Las Vegas continues on its purpetual search for idenity.

Wed, August 5, 2009 | link          Comments

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign greets with suicide.

An old brown Datsun pick up truck sat alone in the parking lot under the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign this morning. Inside a local man in his 40's is slumped over the steering wheel, a gun nearby as commuters and tourists drove by. An off duty police officer noticed the strange scene this about 6 a.m. and called 911. Police have determined it was a suicide. The sign and parking lot were closed for a few hours. Suicides in Las Vegas go largely unreported by local media. The stated reason is that it depresses people and makes them consider suicide. People regularly jump off the stratosphere, a popular spot to commit the crime. More commonly however people overdose on drugs according to local paramedics who say that they deal with at least one suicide case every weekend. The only reason it was reported today is because media had to explain why the sign was closed.datsun.jpg

Wed, August 5, 2009 | link          Comments


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Nation's First Cold War Memorial Groundbreaking & Book Signing

The Forest Service members of the CIA and workers from Area 51 were at Mt. Charleston outside Las Vegas for the groundbreaking of the nation's first Cold War Memorial on Saturday, November 17. This will enhance the regions international recognition for its role in America's victory in the Cold War. The Atomic Testing museum with its hands-on exhibits, the atomic test site with its bomb-ravaged structures and now the cold war memorial honoring America's heroes who lost their lives in America's longest war. Vistors can get a signed first-edition copy of Silent Heroes of the Cold War (Stephen's Press 2008) and learn more at this first public event on a multi-million dollar Forest Service project in the area.

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Children's Health Care (Live)

UNLV's 1st News Director

Artifact Theft (NPR)

Construction Defects (NPR)

Mortgage Fraud on the Rise (APM)

Muslim Radicalism (Voice of America)

Vegas Thirst for Groundwater (Living on Earth)

Computerized Voting Arrives (Voice of America)

Engineering Behind Entertainment (NPR)

Wind-powered Car (KNPR)

Industry of Prisoner Employees (KLAS)

Losing it all in Vegas (KNPR)

High-brow Brothel (KNPR)

Desert Con Had Last Word (KNPR)

Money, Blood & Children (KRNV)

Drug Cartel Kidnaps Kid (CNN)

Racist Vegas I (NPR)

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Revolutionary Janitor (NPR)

Tax Fraud Publisher Jailed (NPR)

Yucca Mountain Gold Diggers (NPR)

U.S. Artifact Plundering (NPR)

Vegas Limits Water Use (NPR)

Torrential Vegas Floods (NPR)

Vegas Police, Wrongful Death Suit (KLAS)

UNLV President Resigns

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National Cold War Memorial

The Impact of Governme Secrecy.
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