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community l culture l design l flavor



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COMMUNIT Y Spotlights Sharon & Gregg Carlson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Noah Kohn, M.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11 12

Hamsters and Ferrets and Rabbits, Oh My! Nevada SPCA Finds Forever Homes for Dogs and Cats, Too . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Go Outside and Play Programs Encourage Family Fun in the Great Outdoors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Nevada SPCA 14

C U LT U R E Project Imagine Healing with Pictures and Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Jenny Valdez An Accidental Painter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Upcoming Events Check Out the BLVDS Events Calendar for Upcoming Local Events . . . . . . . . . .

Jenny Valdez 29


DESIGN It Takes a Village Teaching Kids How to Stay Safe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Bricks 4 Kidz Building Self-Confidence through Creative Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


F L AV O R It’s a Good Dog’s Life! Local Entrepreneur Keeps Pets Healthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Marinelli’s at the M Resor t Eating I talian with the Marnell Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Bricks 4 Kidz 38

ON THE COVER: Trucker—his people own The Dog House ©Yasmin Tajik/Shalimar Studios THIS PAGE FROM TOP: Furry friend ©Alex Rodriguez; painting by Jenny Valdez ©Jenny Valdez; building supplies

Marinelli’s 46

©Kimberly Schaefer; Duck Risotto ©The M Resort

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issue 26 f a m i l y / k i d s / p e t s B L V D S L a s V e g a s 5

in th i s i ssu e

what’s inside

f ro m t h e p u b li sh er

THE BLVDS TEAM I am, by most standards, a fortunate girl. I have a small, close, and mostly-sane family. My parents have been married for forty-four years and live just a few miles from me. My only sister and her family live here, too. For all of us, Las Vegas has truly become home. Over the last few years, it’s been my pleasure to share my family with yours through the work I do at BLVDS. I’ve done so not only in our annual “Family, Kids & Pets” issue, but in others. My only child, Charlie, has been photographed for several stories. He and my husband were once the “models” for a story about hiking around the Valley. I’ve written about my son and my nephew, Barrett. And they have inspired stories that have been featured in the magazine—among them J.R. Pony Farm, Sandou Circus School, and Tiptoe Shoes in previous issues. In this issue, I write about Bricks 4 Kidz, one of my son’s favorite afterschool activities and Children’s Heart Foundation who touched our family through their work with my nephew. In many ways, looking through the pages of BLVDS has become like looking through my own family album. Of course, it’s also a pleasure to share with you the stories of local organizations and businesses who serve families and kids—even the furry four-legged ones. Just take a look at Trucker, our cover dog. What a mug! He inspired his people to start a business, The Dog House, which you can read about here. If you’re inspired by him to adopt your own cuddly companion, you can learn about the plethora of pets who are seeking forever homes at NSPCA. And if you’re looking for ways to keep your human family active, engaged in nature, and well-fed, then read on. Kimberly Schaefer, Managing Editor

Copyright 2011 by BLVDS, Inc., all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from BLVDS, Inc. Every eff ort was made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, however, BLVDS, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. BLVDS, Inc. accepts editorial and photography submissions. Send all submissions to:

6 B L V D S L a s V e g a s f a m i l y / k i d s / p e t s i s s u e 2 6

Jan Craddock President & Publisher Sherri Kaplan COO & Co-Publisher Pat Marvel Consulting Editor Kimberly Schaefer Managing Editor Randi Daniels Ar t Direction & Design Diane Bush Photo Editor


Brian Paco Alvarez Tracy Bower Durette Candito Chris Cutler Audrie Dodge Gina Gavan Nancy Higgins Wendy Jordan Wendy Kveck Pam Lang Randi Chaplin-Matushevitz Rob McCoy Jason Roth Kimberly Maxson-Rushton Karen Rubel Kristin Sande Rick Sellers Kimberly Trueba


Chris Cutler Joyce Gorsuch Heidi Kyser Brock Radke Kimberly Schaefer Eric Schellhorn


Allyson Butler Jennell Miller Kimberly Schaefer Alex Rodriguez Yasmin Tajik Greg Warden


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blvds communit y the local spotlight ARTICLES Spotlights Sharon & Gregg Carlson Helping Hearts to Heal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Noah Kohn, M.D. Taking Pediatric Medicine Back to School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Hamsters and Ferrets and Rabbits, Oh My! Nevada SPCA Finds Forever Homes for Dogs and Cats, Too . . . . . 14 Go Outside and Play Programs Encourage Family Fun in the Great Outdoors . . . . . . . . 20

THIS PAGE: Family fun at Lake Mead ©Jennell Miller

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HELPING HEARTS TO HEAL It’s easy to say that when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade. Families who are faced with a child’s critical medical condition could easily be excused from doing so. But that’s exactly what Sharon and Gregg Carlson did when their daughter Julia was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy as a twomonth-old infant. Of course, they had a little help in doing so from their daughter’s physician, Dr. William Evans. When Julia was admitted to Sunrise Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Evans suggested another “heart” family visit them to lend their support as the Carlsons navigated through the often-confusing and heart-rending world of pediatric medicine. “The Acebos, a family whose daughter was 8 years old at the time, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at the same age as Julia. They helped us to be able to cut through the mud,” recalls Sharon. The relationship that developed became the foundation for what is now the Children’s Heart Foundation. The Carlsons’ journey from that initial diagnosis to today has, without question, been a long one. Visits to the cardiologist’s office, medication, a trip to California’s Loma Linda University Medical Center to discuss heart transplantation, and a presumedimminent transplant have been a part of their lives. Julia is now a 13-year-old eighth grader whose heart condition has improved to the point that a transplant is no longer necessary. Says Sharon, “After about two years on ACE inhibitors, her heart started to function normally. She’s still on the meds, not all of them, because they don’t quite know how much of it is the meds making her heart functioning normally, but her heart is no longer enlarged.”

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The Carlsons’ desire to share their experiences and support other heart kids and families became the goals of Children’s Heart Foundation. CHF’s goals include supporting families “as they deal with the emotional and financial toll exacted by a child’s heart problems.” CHF also seeks to educate healthcare professionals and the public regarding pediatric cardiology issues. Says Gregg, “We “The Foundation holds an annual conference were very fortunate locally to work with physicians to ensure that they that Julia’s pediatrician, Dr. Conti, recognized have the expertise to recognize cardiac problems that something was in their patients.” wrong right away. The Foundation holds an annual conference fire fighters who are on hand to make sure locally to work with physicians to ensure that these special children stay safe and healthy. they have the expertise to recognize cardiac Understandably, that’s an extra benefit for problems in their patients.” their parents—a chance to allow their kids to The heart kids’ favorite aspect of CHF? Camp Mend-A-Heart each summer. This year marks the camp’s seventh year offering a cost-free, medically-supervised camp for children who are born with or develop heart conditions. CHF has been fortunate to find an amazing community partner in Rapport Leadership International. The organization donates their Alamo, Nevada, Executive Ranch for the camp each year, donates all the food for the camp, and donates their employees’ time. Campers at Camp-Mend-A-Heart enjoy crafts, water fun, hiking, and a ropes course, all under the watchful eyes of nurses, doctors, and

issue 26

be kids without worrying that their medical needs can’t be met. What’s for dinner tonight? Filet mignon with bleu cheese sauce. It’s our “signature” family meal. Our older daughter, Linnea, just came home from college today. Where is your favorite place that you’ve travelled? Hawaii—we go there every summer for a couple of weeks. What’s next? Our son’s wedding, our family vacation, and then camp.



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COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight


the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y


TAKING PEDIATRIC MEDICINE BACK TO SCHOOL When Dr. Noah Kohn started talking with the person behind him in the buffet line at a friend’s 2007 wedding, he had no idea that conversation was going to change his life forever. The casual, “What do you do?” introduced the pediatrician to a woman who worked for the Nevada chapter of Communities in Schools, a non-profit, drop-out prevention program. The woman

mentioned that CIS had created clinics at Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School in North Las Vegas and Cynthia Cunningham Elementary School in the eastern part of Las Vegas to offer health care to students, but that they had no one to run them. Within a year, Kohn had closed his thriving Summerlin practice to become medical director of the clinics and, in July 2009, founded Clinics in Schools, a non-profit, charitable organization that provides school-based health care to the children of Nevada. Currently, he provides free primary-care medical services at the two freestanding clinics located on the Martinez and Cunningham campuses. The only completely free health care centers for children in the state of Nevada that are open full-time and on a year-round basis, the clinics provide medical services to any child under the age of 18 and to anyone 18 or older who is still enrolled in school. Aided by a medical assistant and a volunteer, Kohn spends two days per week at each school and reserves Wednesdays for administrative work. He says that there is often a line at the door when he arrives at the clinics each morning, and that he often has a line when he opens again after lunch.

“The best part of my day is playing with kids. I get down on their level, make them laugh and be at ease so that they know I’m not trying to hurt them.”

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“We see an average of 20 kids each day,” he says. “For the most part, it’s a bread-and-butter pediatric practice where we treat colds and typical childhood ailments, but we do see a smattering of kids with broken bones, or tonsil, hernia, and appendix problems.”

for kids in need and is grateful for the support he’s received from United Way, NV Energy, The White Group, and CCSD, Kohn is still working on expanding services to include basic lab, dental, vision, and mental health care. Kohn admits that he loves what he does because he loves working with children. “The best part of my day is playing with kids,” he states. “I get down on their level, make them laugh and be at ease so that they know I’m not trying to hurt them. In the end, they know I’m there to help them feel better.” What’s next? Funding. We need money to keep the two clinics open, and we need money to expand, to grow. There are empty clinics all over the valley, but we need funding to add clinical staff and funding to add to our services. I’d like to offer basic lab, vision, dental and mental care, but without funding, it’s not possible. What’s for dinner? Whatever the kids will eat. Only kidding. My daughters, who are both swimmers, like most foods. My wife and I make sure they eat foods that are nutritious and good for them. We stay away from fruit juices which have a lot of sugar in them. Most people don’t realize fruit juices really have no nutritional value and that a 16-ounce glass of orange juice has as much sugar as a bottle of soda.

Kohn also spends time during well-child visits educating the parents and children on family health, personal safety, and nutrition. While he does have a partner who pays for prescriptions

issue 26

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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y

FACING PAGE: What a face! ©Alex Rodriguez



NEVADA SPCA FINDS FOREVER HOMES FOR DOGS AND CATS, TOO Brandy Hill is kneeling on the floor in the

facilitates each year. But there’s also a special

percent increase over 2008-09’s total—and that

Love Bugs room at the Nevada SPCA animal

place in their hearts for the rabbits, guinea

nearly two-thirds of them were euthanized. But

sanctuary, cradling a plump white rabbit in her

pigs, ferrets, turtles, hamsters, and other

Nevada SPCA is a no-kill facility, which means

arms as a steady-handed volunteer clips the

adoptable animals that populate the Love

every one of the 800 animals in the facility’s

animal’s nails with the delicacy and precision

Bugs room in the course of any given year.

care on any given day has caught a lucky break.

“Our goal is to help every domesticated

“At some traditional shelters, you get the sense

Perhaps sensing he’s in good hands, today’s

species who comes into need,” explains Doug

they’ve given up on the animal before he or

lop-eared patient seems almost preternaturally

Duke, the organization’s executive director. “A

she is even in the door,” Duke says. “But when

calm as he submits to this impromptu pedicure.

lot of people who are looking for companion

we take in a dog, for example, he’s going to

He hardly moves a muscle until the procedure

animals don’t always think of rabbits,

have a toy, a blanket, two meals a day and

is finished.

hamsters, and guinea pigs as options, but once

the care of staffers who look into his eyes and

they learn what great pets these animals can

take him for a walk. And the reason we can

be—when they realize the magnificence of

look into that animal’s eyes is that we know

other kinds of creatures—they just fall in love.

he’s going to be safe and cared for. We exist

It can be a revelation,” he says.

to serve the animals’ best interests,” he adds.

abandoned on area golf courses, backyards, and

“A lot of people who are looking

“Because we’re 100 percent donor-funded and

byways in the past 10 years, she knows what

for companion animals don’t

of a neurosurgeon.

Hill, whose own Las Vegas home doubles as a warren for several domesticated bunnies, has this sort of effect on her charges at the sanctuary. Having rescued hundreds of rabbits

makes the creatures tick. And, she knows how to

receive no government money, we’re free to do whatever it takes to help these animals find

always think of rabbits, hamsters,

their forever homes.”

and guinea pigs as options, but

In many cases, doing whatever it takes means

once they learn what great pets

undertaking costly, labor-intensive physical

that they all sort of have the same personality.

these animals can be… they just

rehabilitation. The sanctuary’s single biggest

And really, none of those things is true,” she

fall in love.”

dispel popular misconceptions about them. “People think that rabbits smell, that they can’t live in your home or be housebroken, and

says. “The truth is rabbits are highly social and

expense is medical care, Duke says. He and his staff work with numerous local veterinarians to

It’s a kind of courtship Duke and his team of

minister to three-legged dogs, cats with chronic

animal rescuers and caretakers are working

diseases, rabbits that have been found nearly

to encourage at a time when the foreclosure

starved after being carelessly released into the

understand that.”

crisis and attendant economic woes have left

wild, and other hard-luck cases. And every cat,

an increasing number of animals homeless.

dog, rabbit, and ferret leaves the facility spayed

Hill and her fellow Nevada SPCA staffers and

Clark County Animal Control reports that

or neutered.

volunteers adore the dogs and cats that make

nearly 23,000 animals were impounded by

up 90 percent of the adoptions the sanctuary

the county in the 2009-10 fiscal year—a 10

“We truly believe that every life is precious,

highly affectionate. They’re usually odorless; they have completely unique personalities and make great house pets. So I try to help people

14 B L V D S

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and that there’s somebody out there for every

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COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight

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L a s Ve g a s


the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y THIS PAGE FROM LEFT: Bunny love; kittens need a forever home ©Alex Rodriguez

animal, no matter what the challenges are,” he

Duke decided to do something. After

served him best in his current role. Using all

says. “With our help, every one of them can find

graduating from law school at Pepperdine

of the traditional and digital communications

their special place.”

University, he felt an impending sense of

channels at his disposal—quarterly print

dread while waiting for the results of his bar

newsletters, a blog, Facebook, and Twitter—Duke

exam. With time to kill and no real desire

“markets” his animals to prospective adoptive

to start work at a law firm, he approached

parents by telling their stories.

Duke found his calling two decades ago while studying journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. After learning of the inhumane conditions in which many veal calves were raised, he was appalled—and motivated.

“When you find something that

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and asked for a temporary job. “They created a position for me, and I loved it because I was fighting for the animals,” Duke remembers. “I was channeling my energy and enthusiasm to

A recent blog entry featured a photo of Tito Joe, a 7-year-old Lhasa Apso-Poodle mix, under the headline, “I am a hidden treasure waiting for you.” The post went on to offer details of Tito Joe’s temperament and unique

just rattles your belief system like

make the world a little more kind.”

that, you either get upset, or you

The temporary job ultimately became a

perhaps with other dogs. At the time of

go do something.”

seven-and-a-half year commitment; even after

rescue, he was temperamental and grumpy,

learning that he had passed the bar, Duke

but he is making improvements with trust. An

“That was my epiphany,” he recalls. “I became

elected to remain at PETA until he signed on

adult-only home is still preferred, though, so

a vegetarian at 21 just like that—stone cold.

with Nevada SPCA in 2002.

he can continue his progress. Please plan on

When you find something that just rattles your belief system like that, you either get upset, or you go do something.”

16 B L V D S

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While his legal acumen occasionally comes in handy on the job, it is his journalist’s background, his knack for telling compelling stories, that has


issue 26

needs: “He will do best in a gentle home,

regular professional grooming care for him.” These sorts of details help Nevada SPCA avoid common adoption pitfalls, Duke explains.

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1/14/11 10:37 AM

COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight

Nevada SPCA 4800 W. Dewey Drive Las Vegas 89118 873.SPCA Adoption Hours Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

THIS PAGE: Ready for adoption ©Alex Rodriguez

“We’re trying to give people a sense of the

first room you come to when you walk through

an animal, we’ve made a lifetime commitment.

animal’s unique character and needs, so that

our doors—and dedicated it to these animals

We’re going to use every resource we have at

anyone considering adoption will know what

who have traditionally been forgotten,”

our disposal to care for that animal and find him

that animal is like to live with, and what he or

Duke says. “It’s because we want to highlight

or her a loving, forever home. And we ask our

she will require in terms of care,” he says.

them and get people to see what wonderful

adopters to do the same.”

companions they can be.”

Duke has seen more than his share of animal

all we know. The last thing we want is for

Finding homes for rabbits, he notes, is a

suffering, and human cruelty. But in his view,

people to select a companion animal based

constant challenge, and an ongoing focus.

every adoption that works out is a big victory;

“It’s 100 percent in our best interest to disclose

on appearance or on impulse, because it’s the animal’s personality that ultimately determines whether the fit is right. We do everything we possibly can to avoid those situations.”

“People give rabbits as gifts for Easter— they see them as toys. And then, when the novelty wears off, and they’re not building a relationship with the animal, they dump them

Duke speaks with particular pride of Nevada

in golf courses, or somewhere else,” Duke

SPCA’s success with the Love Bugs room,

says. “They don’t understand that these are

whose location within the organization’s West

domesticated, defenseless animals. So often,

Dewey Drive facility speaks volumes of the

they’ll either starve, or draw coyotes into

value Duke and his team assign to frequently

heavily residential areas which endangers dogs

overlooked species. “A lot of shelters have a

and cats in local neighborhoods as well.

room for rabbits and other small animals, but we took the most visible room we have—the

b l vd s l v. c o m

every life saved an unqualified triumph. “We want to get more people to consider animal rescue—that’s how we’ll make the biggest impact,” he says. “Every one of these animals has something wonderful to give.”

“It’s awful. But it’s an important part of why we need to be here,” Duke adds. “When we take in

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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y THESE PAGES: Photographing nature ©Jennell Miller; enjoying Red Rock Canyon ©Allyson Butler




Regalado remembers the wake-up call that led

doing chores all weekend; she was also unsure

whatever the cause, the effect is indisputable:

her to Families in Nature, a joint program of

where to go for outdoor fun.

sedentary kids. Parents may point to longer

Clark County Parks & Recreation’s Winchester

work weeks, dangerous neighborhoods, and

Cultural Center and the Southern Nevada

reduced funding for physical education, but

Agency Partnership (SNAP).

the truth is, it’s their job to make sure their kids are healthy. With so much working against them, how can

Families in Nature was designed for people just like her. “The main idea was to take people to the outdoors,” says Irma Varela-Wynants,

“While I was doing housework one

cultural specialist at Winchester Cultural Center.

Saturday, I took the trash out, and

With the help of Allison Brody, who oversees conservation education and interpretation for

families stay active? At least two programs

the sun was shining and it was

in Southern Nevada have the answer to that

beautiful. I thought, ‘What am I

started Families in Nature in 2008.

question: Families in Nature and the Nevada

doing? I wasn’t raised like this!”

After gathering feedback at community

Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. “While I was doing housework one Saturday, I took the trash out, and the sun was shining and it was beautiful. I thought, ‘What am I doing? I wasn’t raised like this!’” That’s how Gabriela de

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Like many adults, de Regalado says she was active as a kid. Every weekend her parents would take her camping, fishing, or hiking. Then she grew up and moved to the city and fell into the routine of working all week and

issue 26

UNLV’s Public Lands Institute, Varela-Wynants

events, Varela-Wynants and Brody determined that a program that brought together children, parents, and grandparents, and gave them easy access to the outdoors, would be the most effective.

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COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight

For more information on similar programs, check out these sites online: Desert National Wildlife Refuge: Get Healthy Clark County: Get Outdoors Nevada: Nevada’s Safe Routes to School: Sierra Club, Toiyabe Chapter:

Around 50 people piled into buses and rode up

daughter Samantha on every trip, says, “I’ll

“We needed a central rallying point for the

to Mt. Charleston for the first Families in Nature

continue doing it as long as they have it. I know

idea that it’s critical to get children outside

outing, a blue butterfly-watching excursion in

with budget cuts, it might not last, but I hope we

to have some of those basic, elemental

April 2009. Since then, the increasingly popular

can find sponsors to continue it. It’s so helpful to

experiences they are cut off from,” Baca says.

program has taken families on similar outings

my family and the other families we’ve met.”

The Nevada Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights

So, how do you find out if there’s something

Alliance (COBRA) conducted focus groups

like Families in Nature in your area? One way is

identifying outdoor activities that appeal

to visit, the web site of the

to kids. Then it built the online portal and

Nevada Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. It’s

launched a marketing campaign directing

a clearinghouse for information on camping,

them to those activities. “People of all ages

Varela-Wynants attributes the success of the

fishing, hiking trails, picnicking, parks, and

tend to think everything around Las Vegas is

program to cultural sensitivity. After a failed

other outdoor recreation in Nevada.

barren wasteland,” says Angelina Yost, visitors’

every other month to Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and other sites around Las Vegas. The Nevada Recreation & Park Society recognized Families in Nature with a Program Excellence award for 2011.

attempt to have families meet at one site, she understood that participants wanted to share the ride out. Observing frequent family picnics in the neighborhood, she encouraged program participants to provide the food for potluck lunches. “They really took ownership of it,” Varela-Wynants says. De Regalado, who took her four-year-old

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Led by the Public Lands Institute, with initial funding from SNAP, some 40 institutions have joined forces behind the Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. Several other states have

services manager for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “They don’t realize there are seven million acres of public land surrounding Las Vegas Valley.”

adopted similar bills for their children, and it

Funding for such awareness-building will

was important for Nevada to follow suit, says

soon end, but Baca says Outside Las Vegas

Mauricia Baca, executive director of Outside

Foundation will keep the momentum going.

Las Vegas Foundation.

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blvds culture

entertainment & activities

ARTICLES Project Imagine Healing with Pictures and Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Jenny Valdez An Accidental Painter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Upcoming Events Check Out the BLVDS Events Calendar for Upcoming Local Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

THIS PAGE: Detail of The Octopus ©Jenny Valdez

cultu re


e n t e r t a i n m e n t & a c t i v i t i e s C U LT U R E

FACING PAGE: Denysha enjoys Project Imagine ©Greg Warden



HEALING WITH PICTURES AND WORDS Visitors bring a holiday vibe. The room at

“We’re proud to support Project Imagine,”

acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), variety M7.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital contains greetings,

says Executive Director Melissa Cipriano of

That is, the three-year-old’s bone marrow has

smiles, the color pink, and bottles of acrylic

the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer

stopped policing the microbes in her body and

paint. Three-year-old Denysha sits with her

Foundation of Nevada. Candlelighters

has started producing abnormal blood cells.

father, Dennis, on a green chaise. Her mother

Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada

Tasha and her two-year-old brother Dennis, Jr.,

(Candlelighters) is a local non-profit

stand nearby.

organization that serves families of children

Diane Mifsud Giusti and Erica Deutsch— professional artists from Project Imagine—

diagnosed with cancer.

For Denysha, treatment means chemotherapy. And tiaras, to crown a patchwork of cottony hair and smooth scalp. “Her hair recently started falling out,” says Tasha. “I offered her

“Children in a hospital can feel

hats. She said, ‘I want tiaras.’ ”

isolated and bored. Diane and

Half crowns sparkle above Denysha’s hospital

and Child Life Specialist Wendy Fought—

Erica created the idea of taking a

bed, on a clear plastic canopy that serves as

hospital staff members—facilitate the visit.

child on an imaginary journey to

“Art in healthcare is not new, but more and

get the child’s mind off of cancer.”

unpack for a painting session. Director of Marketing and Media Relations Stacy Acquista,

more people understand how pivotal it is,” says Giusti, program director of Project Imagine. So far Project Imagine has helped 60 children diagnosed with cancer. They make visual art, books, and soon they will be creating music, too.

Candlelighters-funded Project Imagine offers remedies for the anxiety and fatigue that accompany cancer. “Children in a hospital can feel isolated and bored,” says Cipriano. “Diane

an art gallery. While in bed—connected to the intravenous machine that delivers hydration, nourishment, antibiotics, and leukemiafighting chemicals—Denysha can look up at colorful images she and her four older siblings have created. Spongebob Squarepants beams down; so does a cluster of smiley pink hearts.

and Erica created the idea of taking a child on

Tasha holds up Denysha’s first-ever painting,

Project Imagine took root during the 2009-10

an imaginary journey to get the child’s mind

a pattern of purple. “We call this ‘Dragon with

holiday season. It grew from other efforts—

off of cancer.”

a Tracking Device,’ ” says Tasha. “This looks

namely, Giusti’s and Deutsch’s volunteer work at the Candlelighters-sponsored Camp Firefly, a medically-supervised camp for 100 children with cancer.

24 B L V D S

For now Denysha has forgotten her own struggle. It began March 17th, when her parents took her to the hospital with a fever. On April 8th, a specialist diagnosed Denysha with

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issue 26

like a dragon. And that—we decided it was a tracking device.” Today a new painting takes form. Denysha, Giusti, and Deutsch take turns applying color—lavender, light green, and bubble-gum pink.

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C U LT U R E entertainment & activities

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issue 26



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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y THIS PAGE: Denysha’s art projects ©Greg Warden

An RN enters to hang Maxipime, an antibiotic,

a local nonprofit. “Denysha’s invented a new

for the next IV drip. Seeing the Project Imagine

art technique!” says Giusti. “I can’t wait to tell

session in progress, she leaves the bag for

Rex Doty, founder of Toys 4 Smiles.” Giusti and

Tasha to hang later. Denysha gets antibiotics

Deutsch look at each other. “We can do this at

four times per day, via a two-port Broviac

camp!” they exclaim in unison.

catheter line that reduces stress on Denysha’s tiny blood vessels.

When the session ends, Denysha sees off her visitors. She jumps up and down, and starts to

“When you tap into that higher

climb the footboard of her hospital bed. Tasha

state of being that we’re all

smiles. “She shouldn’t have this much energy,

capable of, the child can transcend the circumstances.” “I could become a pharmacist after this experience is over,” says Tasha. For now

because her blood cell count is zero.” Deutsch, art director of Project Imagine, summarizes. “When you tap into that higher state of being that we’re all capable of, the child can transcend the circumstances.”

though, she focuses on the just-finished

For more information about Project Imagine,

painting. Voices in the room contribute: I see a

please visit

horse. . . a butterfly. . . an oil spill. Looks like a

Would you like to support Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada? Here are some summertime events that you can enjoy while helping kids with cancer and their families. August 8th Marriott Las Vegas Charities Golf Tournament Just for the Kids TPC Las Vegas/ J.W. Marriott Resort & Spa August 14th Dancing with the Las Vegas Stars Rain Nightclub at The Palms Tickets $50

Picasso. . . a Warhol. . . a Kandinsky. Denysha paints a fresh canvas, using the wheels of a wooden car from Toys 4 Smiles,

26 B L V D S

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Look what’s new this summer!

On display Jun 4 - Sep 25 Sponsored by

Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home was created by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with the US Forest Service. Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are protected by Congressional law and are used with permission from the US Forest Service. All Rights Reserved. 16 USC 580p-4 & 18 USC 711a






JUNE 2 - OCT. 21

June 11

Salt Lake Choral Artists

July 30

Eric Dodge and Band

June 17-18 St George Contemporary Dancers

Aug 27

Southern Cross Roads

July 9

Cold Creek Bluegrass

Aug 20

Groove Merchants

July 16

Randy Anderson Band

Sept 2

Red Desert Ramblers

July 23

Third Annual Springdale Rock Festival

The O. C. Tanner Amphitheater, located in Springdale, Utah is a satelite campus of Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. It is an outdoor facility surrounded by the cliffs of Zion National Park.

All Concerts begin at 8 p.m. Tickets $10. Available at the door For additional information contact Gail Bunker (435) 652-7994 or

C U LT U R E entertainment & activities

THIS PAGE FROM LEFT: Bird Pond; Milk ©Jenny Valdez



AN ACCIDENTAL PAINTER For most of us, life is never a straight line from

painter when she picked up a brush six years

pageants. It was a good way to pay for school

point A to point B. We don’t always have a

ago. But that didn’t stop her from trying. And

with scholarship money,” she says. She was

clear path in mind for where we want to go

it hasn’t stopped her from growing as an artist

eventually chosen Miss Las Vegas 2000 and

and what we want to do when we get there.

and gallery owner.

Miss Nevada USA 2002.

Valdez, a Las Vegas native, grew up

That time spent competing in pageants

surrounded by family and an assortment of

sparked an interest in working in front of

“I think I painted that cow on my

unusual pets—geese, ducks, goats, rabbits,

the camera on television commercials and

bedroom wall because it was the

and a llama named Tangerine. “I think I painted

eventually in television news. “I interned at

that cow on my bedroom wall because it was

Channel 3. Then I went to a Fox affiliate in

the only pet my mother wouldn’t let us have,”

Denver,” she recounts. It was while in Denver

us have.”

she says smiling.

that Valdez made what was to be the life-

Local artist Jenny Valdez is a living example

Her mother and stepfather were teachers,

of how we are continually evolving as human

and as a young girl, Valdez focused her

beings. Despite a self-described misadventure

energies on her love for animals by working

creating a mural of a cow in her childhood

for a veterinary office. In order to fund her

bedroom, Valdez had no real experience as a

planned higher education, “I got really into

And sometimes, what we want to be when we grow up isn’t always the end of the story.

only pet my mother wouldn’t let

b l vd s l v. c o m

issue 26

changing decision to learn to paint. “When you’re doing TV news it can be depressing. The stories aren’t usually happy. I’m glad I tried it, but. . .” she trails off.



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e n t e r t a i n m e n t & a c t i v i t i e s C U LT U R E

a re-working of that childhood cow mural. Others include animals from her mother’s home including birds swimming in a pond. Paintings based on Alice in Wonderland are inspired by Valdez’ love of the book. “I’ve always loved it. When I was a kid, my mother bought me the tape, and I would listen to it over and over again. We’ve decided to have an Alice show here in October with other artists contributing their takes on Alice,” she explains. Valdez has also applied her creativity to her own literary pursuits. She has written and illustrated two children’s books. I Love to Chase Butterflies tells the story of a family pet called Moose the Goose. The other, Amanda Jean and Tangerine Go to School, is based on the aforementioned llama. Valdez visits local schools to read her book and brings along the

THIS PAGE: The Octopus ©Jenny Valdez

real Tangerine, who is now 18 years old, for the

“I was by myself in Denver. My husband lived

Arts Factory after reading that Trifecta Gallery

here in Las Vegas. I was there working strange

was moving into a larger space in the same

hours, so I needed something to occupy

building. Her gallery shows her work along

Owning the gallery and being a self-taught

my time,” says Valdez. She began diligently

with that of several other local artists—namely

painter are not Valdez’ final goals. She holds a

working on her craft despite her lack of a

Lisa Fields Clark and Barbara Gomez.

degree from UNLV in Secondary Education. “It

formal art background. With the support of her family, she continued learning and growing as an artist. “You work on it every day, and if it’s something that you really love, then you’ll make something of it,” she suggests.

“You work on it every day, and if it’s something that you really love, then you’ll make something of it.” After returning to Las Vegas to be with her husband, Valdez decided art would no longer be her hobby. She wanted to make it her career. Again with the support of her family, she opened her first gallery at Neonopolis in 2008. In 2010, she moved her gallery into The

30 B L V D S

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In addition to operating her gallery, Valdez paints daily. “I paint every day. I get up every morning at six and paint until my husband comes home at three,” she explains. Over the last few years, she has had her studio located in her own home and her mother’s home. Each of the paintings she works on has at least three layers, and she works on three canvases at a time. Her paintings are vibrant, colorful works marked by a touch of whimsy. Many contain fairytale motifs while others focus on animals. Much of the inspiration in Valdez’s paintings

children to meet.

was kind of a way to sum up all of my credits,” she explains. But her love of painting has inspired her to study formally. She is currently taking classes at the College of Southern Nevada. “I really enjoy this. I can definitely say this is the best job I’ve ever had. I like having the gallery and trying to help other artists. I don’t make a lot of money, but I enjoy being a part of the arts scene.” Jenny Valdez Inc. 107 E. Charleston Blvd. Suite 160 Las Vegas 89104

comes from her childhood, including her pets. Her painting, Milk, which is featured here, is

issue 26

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Nothing says love more than  a cold nose and wagging tail. You and your dog can become  pet therapy volunteers at  Nathan Adelson Hospice.  For more information contact  Lisa Browder 938-3961 or

The Glass Menagerie Noises Off! The Winter’s Tale Dial M for Murder


Cedar City The Pet Therapy Program is part of the Bonnie  Schreck Memorial Complementary Therapies  program at Nathan Adelson Hospice

Celebrate 50 Years

e ven ts

JUNE NOW - JUNE 12, 2011 Rainbow Company Youth Theatre Charleston Heights Arts Center

NOW - SEPTEMBER 25, 2011 Lied Discovery Children’s Museum Cultural Gallery

300th Army Band

St. George Contemporary Dancers

Aurelien Fort Pederzoli Violin Recital

JUNE 17, 2011 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza

How I Became a Pirate

Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home

The Motels

Grease The Musical

JUNE 09 – OCTOBER 20, 2011 Tuacahn Amphitheatre Ivins, UT

The Grascals

JUNE 10, 2011 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza

JUNE 17 – 18, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html

JUNE 24, 2011 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza

JUNE 25, 2011 2-5 p.m. Clark County Winchester Community Center

Author Karin Slaughter JUNE 28, 2011 7 p.m. Clark County Library

Summer Reading Program The Little Mermaid

NOW - OCTOBER 21, 2011 Tuacahn Amphitheatre Ivins, UT

Sax Pack

JUNE 04, 2011 8 p.m. Clark County Government Center

Brews & Blues Festival JUNE 04, 2011 3-8 p.m. Springs Preserve

”The Road To China” Bon Voyage Concert

JUNE 05, 2011 2 p.m. Las Vegas Youth Orchestra Nicholas J. Horn Theatre

JUNE 10 – AUGUST 06, 2011 Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

Kalahi Philippine Folkloric Ensemble

Plena Libre In Concert

JUNE 11, 2011 UNLV PAC 895-ARTS,

Salt Lake Choral Artists

The Symphonic Rock Show

JUNE 11, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphiteater Springdale, Utah html

JUNE 18, 2011 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Pavilion

Children’s Health Festival

JUNE 11, 2011 9 a.m.-1 p.m. University of Southern Nevada Sunrise Children’s Hospital, 968-2055

JUNE 11 – SEPTEMBER 05, 2011 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Springs Preserve

JULY 01 – JULY 10, 2011 CSN Department of Fine Arts 651-LIVE (5483)

Pirates of Penzance JULY 01 – 23, 2011 Insurgo Theatre

First Friday

JULY 01, 2011 Arts District

Concert Series IV: Celebrate!

JULY 03, 2011 8 p.m. Henderson Symphony Orchestra Lake Las Vegas

Fourth of July Celebration

Reggae in the Desert

Exploring Trees Inside and Out JUNE 08 – 25, 2011 8 p.m. Super Summer Theatre

Killer Joe JUNE 17, 2011 8 p.m. Fifth Street School City of Las Vegas

JUNE 11, 2011 2-11 p.m. Clark County Clark County Amphitheater



Utah Shakespearean Festival JUNE 23 – OCTOBER 22, 2011 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Richard III Romeo and Juliet The Music Man The Glass Menagerie Noises Off! The Winter’s Tale Dial M for Murder 800-PLAYTIX,

JULY 04, 2011 6-9 p.m. City of Henderson Basic High School Football Field

Author Tess Gerritsen JULY 06, 2011 7 p.m. Clark County Library

Want Even More Event Listings and Information? Visit BLVDSLV.COM and Select Calendar/Events. 32 B L V D S

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issue 26

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Jazz Combo Camp Finale

Fiddler on the Roof

AUGUST 10 – 27, 2011 8 p.m. Super Summer Theatre

Groove Merchants

AUGUST 20, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html

Cold Creek Bluegrass

JULY 09, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html

Southern Cross Roads

The Drowsy Chaperone

JULY 13 – 30, 2011 8 p.m. Super Summer Theatre

Aaron Nigel Smith Concert JULY 14, 2011 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. City of Las Vegas Historic Fifth Street School 229-6383 or 229-3515

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels JULY 15 – 31, 2011 Las Vegas Little Theatre

Randy Anderson Band

JULY 16, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html

Hotter Than July Health Festival

JULY 21, 2011 9-1 p.m. USN United Healthcare 2700 N. Tenaya Way Bldg 2716

Las Vegas Philharmonic WINDS

JULY 22, 2011 7:30 p.m. Green Valley Presbyterian Church Concert Series 1798 Wigwam Parkway, Henderson 454-8484

Third Annual Springdale Rock Festival

JULY 23, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html

Steve Roslonek Concert

JULY 28, 2011 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. City of Las Vegas Historic Fifth Street School 229-6383 or 229-3515

AUGUST 27, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html SEPTEMBER

First Friday

SEPTEMBER 02, 2011 Arts District

Red Desert Ramblers

SEPTEMBER 02, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html


e ven t s

JULY 22, 2011 CSN Nicholas J. Horn Theatre

First Friday

OCTOBER 07, 2011 Arts District

A Streetcar Named Desire OCTOBER 07 – 16, 2011 Nevada Conservatory Theatre Judy Bayley Theatre

Odyssey Dance Theatre’s “Thriller” 2011 OCTOBER 22 – 31, 2011 Tuacahn Amphitheatre Ivins, UT

Lied Children’s’ Discovery Museum Fantasy Gala OCTOBER 22, 2011 Lied Discovery Children’s Museum Mirage Resort & Casino

Pops I

OCTOBER 22, 2011 8 p.m. Las Vegas Philharmonic NOVEMBER

Dance in the Desert Festival JULY 29 – 30, 2011 651-LIVE (5483)

First Friday

NOVEMBER 04, 2011 Arts District

Eric Dodge and Band

JULY 30, 2011 8 p.m. Tanner Amphitheater Springdale, Utah html AUGUST

First Friday

AUGUST 05, 2011 Arts District

Ensemble Production AUGUST 06 – 20, 2011 Insurgo Theatre

FIve Guys Named Moe

SEPTEMBER 8 – 24, 2011 8 p.m. Super Summer Theatre

Masterworks I

SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 8 p.m. Las Vegas Philharmonic

12th Annual USN Scholarship Golf Tournament

NOVEMBER 14, 2011 8 a.m. University of Southern Nevada Cascata Golf Club, Boulder City, 968-2055

The Taming of the Shrew

SEPTEMBER 16 – 25, 2011 Nevada Conservatory Theatre Black Box Theatre

Sign up for Our Bi-Weekly Events Newsletter by Emailing OutOnTheBlvds@BLVDSLV.COM with SUBSCRIBE in the Subject Line. b l vd s l v. c o m

issue 26



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blvds design

architecture & style

ARTICLES It Takes a Village Teaching Kids How to Stay Safe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Bricks 4 Kidz Building Self-Confidence through Creative Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

THIS PAGE: Rendering of Northern S.T.A.R.S. Village ©Assemblage Studio

desi gn


architecture & style DESIGN

FACING PAGE: Fremont East by day ©Alex Rodriguez

THESE PAGES: Renderings of the village ©Assemblage Studio



TEACHING KIDS HOW TO STAY SAFE The national statistics are staggering. In any

The City of North Las Vegas and the North

are not always around. There are too many

given year, over 13,000 children under the

Las Vegas Fire Department are committed

circumstances or things that can go wrong.

age of 16 are injured while riding their bikes.

to teaching real-life strategies for dealing

We are going to teach children how to identify

More than 600 children die annually from fire

with emergencies. A grant- and sponsorship-

dangerous situations and the ways to avoid

and burn-related injuries. Drowning is one of

funded project, Teddy and Tia’s Northern

them or to get out of them safely.”

the leading causes of injury-related deaths

S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village (S.T.A.R.S. stands for

in children under the age of 12. More than

Safety Training and Rescue Skills) will combine

3 million children receive emergency room

traditional classroom instruction with unique

how to identify dangerous

treatment for injuries received in the home,

interactive experiences in a realistic child-

situations and the ways to avoid

and more than 2,000 die from these injuries

sized townscape. Children will participate in

which, in addition to fire and drowning,

activities designed to build self-confidence and

them or to get out of them safely.”

include choking, falls, poisoning, or firearms

to strengthen their ability to make the correct

Captain Williams, who has been working on the

discharged unintentionally.

decisions in a variety of emergency situations.

project for the last four years, obtained 10 acres

While adult supervision and childproofing of

“There is no substitute for parental

homes are important steps in keeping children

supervision,” says Captain Cedric Williams

safe, there is a need to teach children about

of the North Las Vegas Fire Department and

safety, and safety procedures.

chief advocate of the village, “but parents

36 B L V D S

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“We are going to teach children

of Bureau of Land Management land located at Statz Road and Centennial Parkway from North Las Vegas Parks and Recreation for the project. Eric Strain and Drew Gregory of the highly-

b l vd s l v. c o m

While much of the village’s instruction is geared to children in kindergarten through Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village as more of a long-term learning facility. “S.T.A.R.S. will not be a one-and-done type learning experience,” he says. “It will be an ongoing learning experience where kids and adults can some back and learn something different with each visit.” Some of the planned instruction will be seasonal, with lessons in Halloween and Christmas safety being taught around those holidays. Other instruction, like internet safety, will be geared toward older children, and there will be classes in injury prevention for seniors. Captain Williams advises that a lot of the behind the scenes work is done for this regarded Las Vegas architecture firm

quickly smoke fills a room during a fire. Children

ambitious community project. In addition to

Assemblage Studio are the architects behind

will then have the opportunity to practice

securing the land and designing the museum

the village’s basic design. Assemblage Studio

escaping safely from the bedroom through

and interactive areas, the pilot program for

won the 2011 AIA Honor Award for Unbuilt

both a primary and backup escape route.

the educational component is also done. “The

Projects for the design. Patterned after Safety Villages in Texas and Maryland, Teddy and Tia’s Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village will include

The village’s streets will present lessons in pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle safety.

Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village will change the way we educate children,” says Williams.

The children, while operating battery-powered

While the preparation for Teddy and Tia’s

vehicles and riding bicycles, will be able to

Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village may be

practice safety skills from a child’s and an

well under way, the difficult job of securing

adult’s perspective. The realistic streets will

adequate financing for it is, as of yet,

include pavement markings, operating traffic

incomplete. Captain Williams estimates the

“The focal point of the village will be the

signals, and street signs. In addition to these

building costs to be around $15.4 million, and

interactive area,” says Gregory. “It will include

experiential learning opportunities, the outdoor

contributions and sponsorships are necessary

a kitchen, living room, and bedroom where

area will include pool safety and instruction on

to fully realize the envisioned village. In-kind

kids can learn about the hazards in each.” For

other regional environmental hazards.

contributions will assist with the village’s

a museum, an education building, and a miniature town that contains sidewalks, roads, traffic signals, and scaled-down buildings representing actual community structures.

example, the children will have the opportunity to learn safety procedures in dealing with lighters, matches, candles, frayed electrical cords, and overloaded electrical outlets. The bedroom will have a non-toxic “smoke machine” that emits cool steam to demonstrate just how

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“The village in Texas teaches kids how to deal with tornados, something the residents of

construction, while sponsorships will allow donors to be part of the village.

Southern Nevada don’t face,” advises Strain. “We

For more information on Teddy and Tia’s

have a whole set of other issues, so the outdoor

Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village or to find out

area of S.T.A.R.S. will instruct kids in dealing

how you can donate, please visit safetyvillage.

with extreme heat, hydration, construction

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L a s Ve g a s


architecture & style

third grade, Captain Williams envisions


safety, open mines, and flash flood situations.”

to p pick

architecture & style DESIGN



BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE THROUGH CREATIVE PLAY At Bricks 4 Kidz, the kiddos aren’t just playing with Legos®— they’re building skills that will serve them throughout their lives. A national franchise company founded three years ago by an elementary school teacher, Bricks 4 Kidz launched in Las Vegas just over one year ago. In that short time, while the children were busy building with Legos®, the company was busy building their business. Bricks 4 Kidz now offers after school programs at 25 different schools throughout the Valley. In addition to those opportunities for hands-on learning, Bricks 4 Kidz opened their first brick-and-mortar Creativity Center in May. The fun-filled programs offered by Bricks 4 Kidz provide children not only with an opportunity to play, but also to learn. Each program follows a carefully crafted curriculum that teaches participants about principles of design, math, and science while they work together on projects with Lego® building bricks. Says director Erin Coburn, “They aren’t just having fun. They’re learning to work together, building partnerships with other kids. They’re also building their self-esteem through the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing each project.” In addition to their established after-school programs, Bricks 4 Kidz will offer camps throughout the summer at their Creativity Center in Centennial Hills, at Las Vegas Sports Park in Summerlin, and at Trails Community Center in Summerlin. Camp themes include Junior Robotics, Star Wars, and Movie Making 101. Camps are weekly from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 6-11 and cost $225 per child. With the opening of their Creativity Center, Bricks 4 Kidz is also offering Kids’ Night Out on Friday and Saturday evenings. For just $30, parents can drop off their children from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. where they’ll enjoy a pizza dinner, games, and building projects. The Creativity Center is also available for birthday parties. For more details please visit or call 998.4400.

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LIVE @ 11:00

For story ideas, or if you have a problem you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t solve, e-mail us at: 13INVESTIGATES@KTNV.COM

Please Stay On The Trails

The Desert Conservation Program and its partners promote responsible use of our desert resources.


Making Las Vegas A Better Place To Live! or







blvds flavor dining & retail ARTICLES It’s a Good Dog’s Life! Local Entrepreneur Keeps Pets Healthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Marinelli’s at the M Resort Eating Italian with the Marnell Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

THIS PAGE: Delicious dog treats from The Dog House ©Alex Rodriguez

flavo r


d i n i n g & r e t a i l F L AV O R

FACING PAGE: The Dog House ©Alex Rodriguez



LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR KEEPS PETS HEALTHY One local business woman has turned her

to ensure that her recipes included all of the

for anyone else. I don’t like to be told what to

passions for food and her pets into a cool new

necessary nutrients to keep a pooch healthy.

do,” she says with a smile. “I took a personality

business that caters to pampered pooches

The resulting items are produced at a third-

test once that classified me as ‘job hopper,’

and the people who love them.

generation butcher shop in Oregon and sold

so I think it’s better for everyone if I have my

at various locations in Southern Nevada and

own business.”

Jillian Plaster met her husband, Ian Kester, while they were both in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. After graduation, the couple

California including Whole Foods Markets, as well as online.

The Dog House features the Good Dog Food along with treats and holistic supplements.

began applying their knowledge of high-

“This is my favorite section of

“This is my favorite section of the store,

quality foods and love of cooking to the diet

the store, the health section. All

the health section. All of the other stuff

they were feeding their bulldog, Trucker.

is super cute, but it’s to attract attention

“Bulldogs have a tendency to have health

of the other stuff is super cute,

problems and allergies. He’s my first dog ever.

but it’s to attract attention so

Plaster explains. Her primary goal is to help

It was love at first snuggle,” says Plaster. From

people begin to pay attention

people keep their pets healthy. To that end

that experience, the idea grew to share their wholesome dog food with others. While they

to this.”

so people begin to pay attention to this,”

Plaster has also contracted with an animal nutritionist, Leith Henry, who is available

were cooking up all-natural dog foods in their

Now Plaster’s entrepreneurial spirit has

in-store once-a-week to assist customers.

home, they also cooked up the idea for The

moved her to grow the business. In May,

“She’s on our speed dial,” says Plaster, “so if a

Good Dog Food Company.

Plaster opened The Dog House in the newly

customer has a question and she isn’t here,

opened Tivoli Village. Plaster comes by her

we can get an answer for them.”

Founded in 2008, The Good Dog Food Company sells pet foods created with only organic, all-natural ingredients that are carefully sourced from ethical producers. Plaster worked with a veterinary nutritionist

42 B L V D S

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entrepreneurialism naturally. Her father founded Signature Homes, one of the oldest privately held home builders in our area, in Las Vegas in 1978. “I really don’t like working

issue 26

And The Dog House offers some of the most darling products for your pets that you’ll find anywhere. There are candles with essential oils whose aroma is beneficial to animals.

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F L AV O R d i n i n g & r e t a i l

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L a s Ve g a s


d i n i n g & r e t a i l F L AV O R THIS PAGE: Toys, treats, and more ©Alex Rodriguez

“We’re a lot different from other

Many of the products also have a charitable

dog stores. We carry unique

component in that a portion of the proceeds

items that you won’t find there.”

benefits an organization that promotes animal welfare. There are products from The Animal

Better yet, many of them are

Foundation, a cookbook that benefits the K9

produced locally.

unit of the police department, and others.

There are human clothes for the fashion forward pet lover. A puppy sling allows one to carry their dog in the same manner as a human infant. “We’re a lot different from

Plaster is also planning to have one dog at a

The Dog House

Tivoli Village 400 S. Rampart Blvd. #140 Las Vegas 89145 496.4006

Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

time available for adoption at the store. The Dog House’s grand opening raised $2,500 for The Animal Foundation.

other dog stores. We carry unique items that you won’t find there.” Better yet, many of them are produced locally. There are collars, bandanas, dishes, toy chests, jewelry, and

Want your pet to look as amazing as Jillian’s dog Trucker does on our cover? You can with pet photography from Shalimar Studios. Of course, owner and photographer Yasmin Tajik will take photos of humans, too.

Shalimar Studios

much more made by local businesses. All 248.7154

of the artwork on the walls is for sale and was created by local artists. The store is also developing a larger product offering for cats.

44 B L V D S

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issue 26

b l vd s l v. c o m

Trade smaller budgets

for greater choices. SALVADOR BRACAMONTES, 10TH GRADE


IN AN AGE OF EDUCATIONAL BUDGET CUTS, WE GIVE YOU OPTIONS. Odyssey Charter Schools is a hybrid of classroom and virtual instruction. That means we focus more of our dollars exactly where they should be: on providing a premium education for students. Your child enjoys greater flexibility and more personalized attention – two reasons the Department of Education finds hybrid schools to be more effective than online or traditional schools. Plus, we deliver it all for zero tuition. How’s that for budget-friendly?


to p pick

d i n i n g & r e t a i l F L AV O R



EATING ITALIAN WITH THE MARNELL FAMILY You might not expect any of the beautifully designed dining rooms at the luxurious M Resort to qualify as a true family restaurant. But it makes sense at Marinelli’s, serving up familiar, fresh Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. The biggest sign hits you right when you enter the restaurant: it’s the Marnell family crest, representing the local casino biz clan that created and opened this place in 2009. A quick tour of the menu with chef Sergio Santoro reveals an even stronger family influence. Many of the restaurant’s most popular and most delicious selections are straight from the Marnell recipe book. “One of the favorites is the penne alla vodka with sausage, and Tony Marnell, Jr., created that Italian sausage recipe,” Santoro explains. “We make all the sausage in-house. One thing about this family, they are big on quality. That sausage recipe has been in the family for years.” For Santoro, who opened Marinelli’s and also worked for the Marnells for more than three years at Panevino, it’s a natural to mesh such family favorites with dishes that reflect his own style, like Dentice In Panato, an herb-crusted red snapper, or gemelli pasta with asparagus and prosciutto. Santoro says many locals are familiar with the Marnell name, and besides, the recipes are solid. “The lasagna is a little different because it’s made with filet mignon, a very fine grind of beef, and lots of ricotta and fresh parmesan,” the chef says. It also helps that Marinelli’s is a gorgeous restaurant with an open kitchen, private dining rooms, and a patio overlooking the resort’s pool. It’s no wonder that this family restaurant is keeping everybody happy. “The father loves the classics, but his son, Anthony Marnell III, is into some of the more healthy stuff,” Santoro says. “But he still cheats with some pasta every now and then.” Marinelli’s The M Resort-Spa-Casino 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South Henderson 89044 797.1000 Open Daily 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

46 B L V D S

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A Hands on Opportunity to Learn the Fine Art and Science of Wine Making. Make your own handcrafted barrel of premium wine right here in the Las Vegas valley at the FIRST of its kind facility! The knowledgeable Grape Expectations staff will guide you every step of the way through 5 entertaining sessions. The 2010 winemaking season was a sellout success! Don’t delay. Space is limited.

Call or email to reserve your space today!

702-806-3383 1971 Whitney Mesa, Henderson, NV 89014

SkateCity is proud to welcome their newest tenant

Summer Camp Program • Indoor climate controlled 6000 sf newly remodeled street course • Constant supervision • Secure environment • Organized contests • Professional instruction

Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Starting at $125 – lunches included Contact us for more information or stop by for a tour today

Leasing information: Lisa Chasteen 702.222.3022

702-433-5544 • 4915 Steptoe St. #600, Las Vegas 89122 On Tropicana just east of Boulder Hwy





OB/GYN care with a personal touch

Farmers and Artisan Market

Dr. Haslett specializes in general Gynecology, General Obstetrics, Essure, Adolescent Gynecology, Abnormal Bleeding, Pelvic Pain, Abnormal PAPS, Menopause, Bioidenticals, Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts, Contraception, and educating women. Accepting most insurances.

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An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution

Dramatic geometric abstract original paintings available from 5”x5” to over 60”x60”. Custom sizes and colors available upon request. Printed reproductions also available. Visit to explore the limitless opportunities.


520 E. Fremont St., Ste. 184 Las Vegas, NV 89101 622-0727

Not to be combined with any other offer. An Affiliate of the

Miss Atomic Bomb


Smithsonian Institution Museum Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm Experience History and Science by the Megaton Sunday 12-5pm

Mon–Sat    9am–5pm  •  Sun 1pm–5pm 755 E. Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89119 755 E. Flamingo Road 794-5161 (Just East of Paradise Road, South Side)      702-794-5161

Give me your body and I’ll give you back your mind. Start your Journey to vibrant health through yoga today. YOGA PILATES RAINDROP Heather Stanley, Private Instructor email: 702-339-7930

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IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING ONLINE. Monitor their social networks and have an open dialogue about cyberbullying. It’s up to each of us to rewrite the story on bullying. Learn more at fl

Help Us accomplish our Diamond Studded Goal WHY Ranch offers a free specialized riding program called “Diamonds in the Rough” which provides underprivileged Las Vegas youth an opportunity to experience the Wild West heritage of Las Vegas. Our one child - one horse environment is tailored for each child’s specific needs. “Diamonds in the Rough” begins its next session in September with our current partner, Cowboy Trail Rides. WHY Ranch is looking for financial partners to underwrite our students as we expand this fall. Your support will change students’ lives and give hope for their future. Contact WHY Ranch today to learn how you can help make a positive impact upon our Las Vegas youth! Visit to donate or find for more information about the application process. Or call our office: 702.644.9177

Visit for more information or contact us at (702) 644-9177

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When the community works together, the community works. A healthy, growing community banks on the participation of its members, its youth included. And the younger they are the faster they learn that hard work helps others while helping themselves. Bank of America is proud to support those unique individuals who nourish our future leaders day after day. Your involvement never goes unnoticed.

Š 2011 Bank of America Corporation SPN-103-AD | ARD1J1U2

BLVDS 26 June/July 2011 Family Kids Pets  

Join BLVDS Magazine, YOUR Community Magazine, as we discuss what a great place Las Vegas is to live and play with your family, kids, and fur...

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