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Archive for May, 2009

“Psychedelic Ride: A Hippie Bus Street Party” Nightly At Fremont Street Experience

I was going to spend the week telling you more about the fabulous “Summer of 69: Vegas or Bust” extravaganza that’s happening EVERY SINGLE NIGHT this summer. Naturally, my week got away from me so I’m just getting to it in time to invite you to join the fun this weekend.

One of the many reasons you should spend an evening or 20 at the Fremont Street Experience is to see the “Psychedelic Ride: A Hippie Bus Street Party.”  The show plays for free every night at the foot of Fremont Street between the Golden Gate Hotel and the Vegas Club. Show times are 8:15, 9:15 and 10:15.

The hippie bus  was painted by iconic artist John Van Hamersveld. He’s best known for the cover album art for The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, as well as hundreds of other album and event graphics during the golden age of flower power. I had a chance to meet him at the Press Party Unveiling of the bus last Friday. He lives in LA and is totally a MID MOD fanatic as well.

There 10 more major event concerts coming up. Rare Earth and Bill Haley’s Comets are next on June 6th. Check the Fremont Street Experience website for dates, but you can be sure I’ll be telling you about them,

Here’s a little video clip  of the “psychedelic Ride: A Hippie Bus Street Party” that I did last Saturday after the Blood Sweat and Tears Concert.

There’s also the Fremont Street Experience light show that we affectionately call VivaVision (you know I loVe capital V’s). All the rock anthem shows rotate thru the summer. You really must see them all.

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New City Hall To Be Built In Downtown Las Vegas Despite Culinary Union

Guest Editorial by Brian Paco Alvarez

The Nevada Supreme Court says NO to the Culinary Unions Ballot Initiative
In one of the biggest battles Downtown Las Vegas ever faced, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld the lower courts decision in denying the Culinary Union the right to place an initiative on the ballot that would have stripped the Redevelopment Agency of the power to redevelop blighted neighborhoods and invest in new ventures Downtown.

In writing the opinion for the court Justice Hardesty stated that “the City Council improperly refused to place these measures on the ballot.  In the future, should the City Council believe that a ballot measure is invalid, it must comply with its statutory duty to place the measure on the ballot, and it may then file an action in district court challenging the measure’s validity.” At the same time the court stated that “in applying NRS 295.009 to the measures at issue, the district court properly found that the proposed initiative pertains to more than one subject and that the description of effect for the proposed referendum is materially misleading.” In the end the court stated “we affirm the district court’s order denying appellants’ petitions to require that these measures be placed on the ballot.”
Those of us who live and work Downtown are very fortunate that the decision by the court was upheld. Otherwise we may have lost years of progress in the redevelopment of our neighborhoods. The reason the Culinary Union wanted this ballot initiative was basically out of spite because the city and developers refused to sign agreements with them that guarantee any potential future hotels casinos would be unionized. The Culinary Union lost this battle but we must be vigilant in the future of any groups wanting to destroy years of progress in Downtown.
Brian Paco Alvarez
Las Vegas SUN
Review Journal
Nevada Supreme Court Opinion

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Barbie Does Vegas!

Barbie Does VegasBarbie’s coming to Vegas! Anyone have more info on the Barbie Suite at the Palms?

From Barbies Blog, All Dolld Up:

Viva Las Vegas!! It’s been a busy and exciting six months!! With my first-ever Fashion Week runway show and a little birthday party I threw at my Malibu Dream House with a few of my friends, it’s time for some fun in the sun!

With sparkly lights everywhere, shopping galore and sun sun sun – what better place than Vegas to kick-back and celebrate?! I’m packing up my VW Beetle convertible, strapping on my stilettos and heading to Las Vegas for the first time where I will be staying at the all-new Barbie Suite at the Palms Casino Resort! I’m so excited…

Look out Vegas, I’m about to turn Sin City into Pink City.


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A Major Change To First Friday In The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

Organizers of Las Vegas’ only ongoing monthly arts festival takes
necessary steps to preserve its future during tough economic times

(May 29, 2009) Whirlygig Inc., the nonprofit group that organizes the monthly arts festival now in its seventh year in the Las Vegas Arts District in Downtown Las Vegas, announced today that it will scale back First Friday’s offerings during the summer months in order to ensure the art festival’s future.

While neighborhood art galleries and artist studios, antique and clothing stores, and restaurants and bars will remain open from 6 to 10 p.m. on June 5, July 3 and August 7, welcoming the thousands of locals whose patronage of Downtown businesses is perhaps more important now than ever before, the outdoor portion of the event on Casino Center and Colorado Street with its artists booths, live music and street performances will be placed on a temporary hiatus due to lack of funding for the event. There will be visual and performing aritsts on the sidewalks and at surrounding venues.

Whirlygig Inc. relies heavily on generosity of sponsors and its annual fundraiser to provide the funding necessary to put on the event each month, especially the outdoor portion which costs upwards of $10,000 per month for such necessities as fencing, barricading and the presence of Metro officers to secure the safety of First Friday’s patrons. In recent months, sponsorship of the arts festival has gone down 40 percent, and the annual fundraiser (held in October 2008) raised 20 percent less than previous years’ events.

“It has always been the board’s goal to host First Friday every month, whether it’s an art walk and street festival or only an art walk,” says Whirlygig President Cindy Funkhouser. “It’s a challenging time for non-profits everywhere and we have chosen to be creative, to make a change that allows us to keep First Friday alive and to keep the Arts District the place to be on the First Friday of each month.”
Festival-goers will still find parking at the Clark County Government Center, where they can hop aboard a First Friday trolley and tour the Arts District or hop aboard the El Cortez trolley and visit the Farmer’s Market and neighborhood watering holes in the nearby Fremont East District.
For more information, please call 384-0092 or visit First Friday online at www.firstfriday-lasvegas.org, where you’ll find a complete listing of exhibition openings and special events.

Since it began in October of 2002, FIRST FRIDAY has only continued to grow. It is now considered the premier arts event in Las Vegas. From the shops and galleries on Charleston (the Arts Factory, S2 and more) to the new galleries on Main Street (Atomic Todd and others) to the spaces on Commerce Street (Commerce Street Studios), down to the whimsical offerings of The Funk House antique store, and the art galleries and vintage shops in the cottages on Colorado Street. While many people love to walk the neighborhood particularly now with our new beautiful streetscape on Casino Center, we provide arts tour trolleys that make rounds throughout the area and make pick ups every 15 to 20 minutes throughout the evening. And no matter how you decide to get around, you can always expect a diverse crowd, cool local art and plenty of surprises.

Here’s a good idea! Become a “Friend of First Friday” or make a donation so that this scaling back DOESN’T BECOME PERMANENT!

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Legislators Need To Hear From You In Favor Of Overriding The Veto Of Domestic Partnership Legislation

I know it’s “not your fight” for a lot of you. That’s because you have rights that are denied to a lot of your neighbors, friends, family and co-workers. I know it’s not really related to the subject of this blog, but it does affect those around you. I know that the people that I’ve met in the historic neighborhoods are decidedly progressive in their thinking. Once again, it’s the suburbanite soccer mom’s and the elderly and the religiously hateful who are desperately trying to prevent “equal rights for all”. I’m probably alienating myself as a business man from some of them, but so be it. It was JJ’s dying wish that I do everything in my power to stop being a second class citizen.

The VeryVintageVegas community of readers has been very helpful in the past for a lot of issues that I’ve raised here. Primarily, I’ve asked for help on zoning, commercial intrusion and historic preservation issues. Those topics are, of course,  important to me, but so is this. So, I’m going to humbly ask you to help again.

The governor has vetoed the SB283 – The Domestic Partnership Bill. My friend Senator David Parks is trying to rustle up the 2 votes in each house that need to switch in order to override it.

The Las Vegas Sun this morning tells the story well:

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said although the bill provides certain rights to domestic partners, it does not overturn the constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman.

Senate Bill 283 would provide couples, same-sex and opposite sex, such rights as community property, responsibility for debts and the right to seek alimony if the relationship ends.

Horsford assigned Parks, the bill’s sponsor and the Legislature’s only openly gay member, to round up votes for an override.

Parks said he needs two additional votes in both the Senate and Assembly to override Gibbons’ veto.

In the Senate, the bill was approved 12-9, with Democrats Terry Care of Las Vegas and John Lee of North Las Vegas joining seven Republicans in voting against the bill.

In the Assembly, the bill was approved 26-14 in the Assembly, with John Carpenter, R-Elko, and Jerry Claborn, D-Las Vegas, absent.

There’s some irony to this whole stupid debate. Steve Amend, wrote about it for the HRC website:

To give a little history, Nevada passed a constitutional amendment in 2002 stating that only a “marriage between a man and a woman” will be recognized in the State of Nevada.  At that time, the proponents of the amendment said it would only affect marriage, and would not preclude legislation allowing for domestic partnerships or civil unions.  Now, the same people are speaking out against the domestic partnership bill, and are citing the constitutional amendment as a basis for arguing that that the people of Nevada are against any bill that creates relationships similar to marriage.

And THAT is the only reason that the governor has given for vetoing the bill!

The truth be told, in my opinion, there’s really only one solution to the dilemma of “EQUAL rights” for all families. The word marriage needs to be BANNED from the lexicon and the laws of the governments of the state and the nation. The word marriage needs to be turned over to the churches and religions. ANY two people of consenting age should be given a “civil union” license by the state. If they then choose to go to a church and get MARRIED, then that should only be between them and their god. If they choose the marriage route and bypass the civil union granted by the government, then they’ve CHOSEN to not have the LEGAL rights, benefits and responsibilities that come with a civil union. Then the churches can further define marriage as a “baptist marriage” or a “morman marriage” or a “catholic marriage” and put what ever meaning they want to their definition.  

In the meanwhile, the civilized, fair-minded people of the world must work for the piecemeal inclusion of ALL of the citizens of Nevada and the US to be allowed to have the same rights and responsibilities for their families that others have. Here in Nevada, we’re fighting the battle for Domestic Partnership. Other states have gone on to the marriage issue. What really sucks, is that it really doesn’t matter until it’s settled once and for all on a federal level. I’m willing to bet that the final settlement of the issue will be what I’ve proposed above. If we’ve ever learned one lesson, it’s that “separate but equal” doesn’t work any better than “Separate and Unequal”.

The swing votes that are need to over ride the veto are watching the opinion polls at the Nevada Legislature site.

PLEASE, take a second and register yes on SB283 at this website.




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Fight Against Gaming Corrider Expansion Into The Historic Downtown Neighborhoods Of Las Vegas

Gaming overlay expansionWe thought we’d beaten this bill down months ago at the start of the session of the Nevada Legislature. They’re now wrapping things up, and now is the time that the dirty mixing of Business and Politics comes to play.

Here’s another back door attempt of speculator/developers to get the gaming district overlay expanded to allow for an entire neighborhood to be threatened. I testified, along with some of the Neighborhood Association presidents about how destructive this would be to the Historic Downtown Neighborhoods of Las Vegas.  It was voted down early, but as Greg Brown states in his email:


Dear Downtown Neighbors,
Assemblyman Segerblom has just written that Amendment 938 to Senate Bill 354 restores the provision that would expand the Las Vegas Boulevard Gaming district north of Sahara, as far north as St Louis and as far east as Santa Rita. This is the same bill we defeated earlier in the session but which has come back from the dead at the last minute. (It was added as an amendment in the Assembly to an unrelated bill; the Assembly had voted on the other bill and then the vote was reopened, the amendment inserted, and then the vote closed; its a classic insider move by developers to keep our input from being felt.)

Pls contact Senator Terry Care ([email protected], 775-684-6503)

 and urge him to keep Amendment 938 of Senate Bill 354 from reaching the Senate Floor. Its simply unfair to make such a major change to our neighborhood without any public input.  Please act today.



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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures – Vintage and Retro Fixtures

IMG_2505I did do some work this weekend, inspite of all the goings on downtown as well family functions that happened because of a surprise visit by my brother Ken, who lives in Florida.

We had a new foreclosure pop up in McNeil that’s almost entirely original. Retro bathroom and kitchen fixtures, terrific mid century modern lighting, a pink and a yellow bathroom, and a terrific full wall brick fireplace.

It’s priced at only 179,000.  It’s just a hair under 2000 sf, and is on a 12800 sf lot. Here’s the MLS listing.  See if my pictures do better justice to this terrific home. I’ll bet the agent thinks it’s “dated”!

Original, unabused, and unadulterated homes do pop up, though not as frequently as I’d like. Funny thing how they tend to sell very quickly.


IMG_2500 IMG_2503The hall bath is pink, and all the original tilework including the medallion tile is in excellent condition.









IMG_2492The chrome medicine cabinets in the yellow bathroom are a matched pair and are like brand new.








This light fixture is terrific! It’s over the dressing table in the master bedroom.








The full wall used-brick fireplace and the picture window to the massive back yard really top things off with the “wall of glass” merging of indoors and outdoors.


I don’t have anyone in mind for this creampuff at the moment. I do have 2 buyers who would be fighting over it if it had a pool. If you’re wanting to have me start watching for you, then give me a call and we’ll get the gears turning.



IMG_2487And, if you call now, we’ll throw in …… an original “Dishmaster” and Nutone in-counter food processor!







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Back To Work After The Kickoff Of “The Summer Of ’69:Vegas Or Bust”

AIMG_2589That was probably the most fun holiday weekend that I’VE had in years! I sincerely hope yours was just as memorable!

The Guess Who really rocked! Massive crowds, lots of tie-dye and beads. Lots of old concert tee-shirts. Baby Boomers galore as well as lots and lots of people in every age group.

My brother Ken surprised us with a visit from Florida. Lots of the pictures that are on the facebook album have him in it, as well as my brother Joe.



EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the next 3 months is going to be a special event at the Fremont Street Experience as they celebrate the “Summer Of 69: Vegas or Bust”.

There’s 10 more Major Event concerts, including Jefferson Starship, Bill Haley and The Comets, Three Dog Night, and more.

I’ll be doing posts in the coming days on each of the events we attended, including the kickoff press conference where we got to meet John Hammersgard, the icon artist of the hippy generation. There’s a special tribute VivaVision show that’s playing all summer long that should not be missed!


IMG_2623We also watched them pour the casting for the new ceremonial bell for the Smith Center For the Performing Arts. I’m on my way to the ground breaking ceremony in just a few minutes. They’ll ring that bell that was cast right on the spot and dig the first hole! I’ll have my camera on hand for it.





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Summer Of ’69: Vegas or Bust – Fremont Street Experience

IMG_2426“The Guess Who” in concert SATURDAY NIGHT at Fremont East Experience – 9pm FREE

“Blood Sweat and Tears” in concert SUNDAY NIGHT at Fremont Street Experience 9pm FREE



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Having Fun With Our Homes

IMG_2392We’ve been watching Jake’s progress on his new home on 6th Street, Just south of Oakey. It was one of our featured properties a few months back. He doing a great job of UN muddling it.

Now, he’s building a screen across the front of the house that looks like it’s going to very cool. Keep an eye out for the finished project.

Is there a fun, interesting project going on around you? Let me know or send some pictures. I’d like to show off the improvements that are being made to the homes of Vintage Vegas.

Especially of interest will be projects that UN-DO bad things that have been done to our Vintage Homes in the past.


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Stopping To Smell The Hollyhocks

IMG_2399I know it’s supposed to be “stopping to smell the ROSES”, but I didn’t find any on a recent evening walk with the dogs.

I’d heard about this thing called “diet and exercise” but never really paid it much mind. Now it seems like a good idea, so I’m doing it.

Last night, I took Maggie, Shadow and Bayley for a stroll thru the John S. Park Neighborhood. These are streets that I drive down all the time. I’m astounded at what you can see when you’re being pulled by three beagles. There’s little details you just don’t see from the car.

We’ve been walking regularly lately, but I this is the first time I tried to juggle a camera as well as constanly being tangled up in the leashes. It was even more fun. I highly recommend it.



























IMG_2415There’s a virtual FOREST of Pine trees at the corner of 8th and Franklin. Some are on the Mormon Church lot (that’s going to be torn down ) and across the street as well. It looks very different when you’re walking.







IMG_2413There’s landscaping details in your neighbors yards. If you catch some fun things to see when you are out walking….send me a picture and the location. We can make this a regular feature.





Have a great and safe Memorial Day Weekend. I may do some blogging, but am looking forward to some more me time for a change. Unless the phone rings.

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Delfeayo Marsalis Featured At “Jazz In The Park” This Saturday At Clark County Amphitheater In Downtown Las Vegas

Second in the Clean Air Series sponsored by Clark County’s Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management, this concert under the stars is a free offering at the Clark County Government Center In Downtown Las Vegas. Free parking and the chance to picnic with friends and family during the concert makes this a special evening indeed.

DELFEAYO MARSALIS, featured artist, is a member of the notable Marsalis clan of New Orleans and is renown for his trombone playing. The evening begins at 7:00 pm when anyone with blankets or low-rising chairs may start their picnic dining. Food vendors will be present in addition to environmental organizations who will provide timely information on Clean Air and more.

no advance reservations or tickets needed www.accessclarkcounty.com/depts/parks

Where: Clark County Government Center, 500 S Grand Central Pkwy, Downtown Las Vegas

Cost: Free

If you don’t know about him, or want to check him out, here’s his myspace page.

And here’s a little you tube clip to get your Jazz gears turning.

Delfeayo Marsalis performs “What a Wonderful World” at the closing event of the International Trombone Festival 2005 New Orleans.


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The “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign Is Now Listed In The National Register Of Historic Places

LasVegasSignThe “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a significant milestone in the sign’s 50-year history, county and state officials announced today.

“We nominated the sign as part of our centennial celebration, believing wholeheartedly in this Las Vegas icon’s historic value,” said County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, whose district includes the sign. “This designation demonstrates that the keepers of the National Register agree. The sign has been not only an important symbol for our community but a magnet for untold thousands who have had their pictures taken in front of it.”

Nevada Historic Preservation Officer Ron James, whose office forwarded the county’s application to the National Park Service for consideration, said the Register is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of recognition and preservation.

“This sign is one of the most recognizable images associated with Nevada and its tourism industry,” said James. “This national honor underscores the historic value of the sign.”

The Welcome sign is located on the median of Las Vegas Boulevard in unincorporated Clark County, just south of the Russell Road exit on Interstate 15. It reads, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” on the front and “Drive Carefully” and “Come Back Soon” on the back.

The sign is owned by Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) and leased to Clark County. “As owner of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, YESCO is proud to be the stewards of this important cultural resource which has done so much to promote a positive, vibrant image for Las Vegas and Clark County for the past 50 years,” said John Williams, the company’s vice president and general manager.

The sign was designed by Betty Whitehead Willis of Western Neon, at the time one of a few women in the nation working as sign designers. In 1959 a group of Strip hotel owners asked the Clark County Commission to fund the design and construction of a sign to welcome visitors to Las Vegas. The winning bid, from Western Neon, was for $4,000. Later, YESCO bought out Western Neon and became the sign’s owner.

(THERE’S MORE HISTORY about the sign after the jump)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

935085_701_22It took a minute to figure it out once the stars cleared from my eyes.






The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

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Domestic Partnership Bill Passes The Legislature – Governor To Veto

 Channel 3 News at 4 and 6 PM.

I’m being interviewed about Domestic Partnership Bill that the Governor says he’ll veto. Praise for the Legislature, SHAME ON THE GOVERNOR!

It’s me and the Governor being interviewed (separately). Please call the governors office and

tell him to sign the Domestic Partnership Bill (702) 486-2500 or (775) 684-5670

From The Huffington Post Today:

The Nevada legislature has successfully passed two gay rights bills, one that outlaws job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and another that establishes domestic partnerships for gay couples.

But Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons has said he will veto the domestic partnership bill, which would give same-sex couples equal rights to married partners in areas like estate planning, medical decisions, community property and child custody.

“The governor believes that government has no business in your medicine chest or your bedroom,” spokesperson Daniel Burns said. With good reason: Gibbons who filed for divorce in 2008, allegedly had having an affair with playboy model Leslie Durant, as well as sending more than 860 text messages to another woman, Kathy Karrasch, from his state-owned cell phone. When Gibbons was running for governor, he was accused of sexually assaulting a cocktail waitress.

The spokesman added, however, that Gibbons “also believes there are existing contracts that can be created, so no change to the law is needed. If there are people who want to be domestic partners, they can do so under existing laws … He is also mindful of the fact that voters of this state on two occasions have said that marriage is between a man and a woman, and it’s part of our Constitution.”

Nevada voted for a constitutional amendment in 2000 and again in 2002 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The new bill specifically states that domestic partnership is not a marriage.

The Nevada state legislature may have the chance to override Gibbons’s veto, says bill sponsor Sen. David Parks.

Gibbons will have up to five days to veto it and return it to the Legislature, where an override vote is expected. An override requires a two-thirds majority in both houses.

Parks said he has the votes for an override.

The bill originally passed the Senate on a 12-9 vote, two short of two-thirds. It passed the Assembly 26-14 with two members absent and would need 28 votes to override.

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