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Painting Women

Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston February 14 – October 26, 2014

Tickets and information 702.693.7871 • Left image: Gretchen Woodman Rogers, Woman in a Fur Hat, Gift of Miss Anne Winslow, Photography ©2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Right image: Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, Portrait of a Young Woman, Robert Dawson Evans Collection, Photography ©2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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t’s easy to get lost in Las Vegas — well, not get lost, exactly, but lose touch with a sense of place. If the Strip riotously channels everywhere but here, the cityscape that flanks our neon lagoon insists on placelessness: It can often present itself as, at best, a suspiciously Southwestish melange of strip malls, tract homes, weedy lots with political billboards. Landmarks, icons? We’ve got a few. But considered through the smeared lens of edifying hangover, they can often seem like last night’s bad tattoos. (Ahem, let’s hope there’s a removal service that can professionally and discreetly scrub off that unfortunate Slotzilla on our ankle.) Maybe the reason so many would-be Southern Nevadans who end up doing the pass-through shuffle feel a lack of connection isn’t because of all that bad, sad stuff on whatever Nevada report just came out; maybe it reflects a hunger for iconography, a desire for visual anchors in the desert sea that signal home. If I’m describing you — if you keep a suitcase close, certain boxes unpacked — I prescribe a therapeutic regimen of photography. Download an app with all those filters that add cinematic streaks and glares, or splurge on a high-end point-and-shoot that instantly uploads to the social media Skynet. See Nevada solely through a lens for a while. Why: Not so much an art form or pastime anymore so much as, I dunno, this strange and permanent collective cybernetic appendage we’ve all grown, photography nurtures an eye Next MOnth for the markers of place. That was the private buzz I got from being a judge in our Get your fork out: second annual “Focus on Nevada” photo It’s our contest: a crowdsourced affirmation of fifth annual all the different and distinct wheres that DEALicious Meals! tell us where we live: the topos of the


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Strip, revived and re-envisioned; cityscapes and landscapes through different lenses both literal and figurative; people and animals being their true and best selves in their native habitat. (Totally forgot how cool crows look.) I’ve heard a pro shooter here and there grumble how, woe is me, everyone’s a photographer these days, how Instagram has emboldened the hordes and flooded the optical marketplace — online life itself is a photo contest, really — but I’m glad of it: It fueled our contest to the tune of more than 1,400 entries. This year we matured the process a bit. We created themed categories to encourage breadth of vision: Artistic/Abstract, People/In the moment, Landscapes/ Nature, Places and Smartphone. To dose the enterprise with some experimental community cred, we brought on a bevy of judges — designers, photographers, artists, architects, stylists, tastemakers — to judge category finalists on three criteria: impact, expression of the “Focus on Nevada” theme, and technique. The results? Totally wanna go, “See for yourself!” (p. 41), but I also want to wax wishful that we had two dozen more pages to share all the rich sense of place. But the good news is that you can get there from here.


nd speaking of eye candy: On May 2, Desert Companion won a much-coveted Maggie Award for Best Cover at the annual Western Publishing Association banquet in Los Angeles. Considered “the Oscars of publishing,” the Maggie awards celebrate excellence in editorial, design and advertising. The award was for the cover of our April 2013 spring fashion cover — photo by Robert John Kley, design by Art Director Chris Smith. *Fistbump.*

Andrew Kiraly editor

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open topic

Watts III argued that Levitan’s hope for a “normal” daughter itself is rotten with embedded sexism: “Stereotypes not only allow us to make classifications that are likely false (like tattoos + heels + short dress = stripper), they actually are the first step on a road to dehumanizing people. Deciding on appearance that women are strippers or asking for sex is the first step in legitimizing the physical and psychological abuse The G-string theory of women.” Other readers were moved to of Vegas girlhood pine for fleeting, toned, supple, jigglefree youth. Rose Sailcat wrote: “Never m even thought about ‘titty bars’ till I lived in Vegas. I’ve talked to many high school girls 28 who are waiting to be of age so they can ‘be Corey Levitan doesn’t want his infant on the pole.’ In a city that offers pole classes daughter to grow up to be a stripper. and rentable poles in case you don’t have “But, crap, good-looking 18-year-old your own, I think I’d be tempted if I was Las Vegas females can earn 10 times what I 18. But at 61, that temptation has left the do in a year by grinding into male crotches station.” Indignant elderly sex workers: to Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me,’” She said it, not us! he wrote in our May issue. His lighthearted On the Desert Companion blog, account of trying to raise a Wonder Bread Andrew Kiraly wrote about the girl in Jelly Roll City sparked some City of Las Vegas seeking a $1 pole-arized (hehe) reactions. Summer James considered the essay a dehuman- million grant to help scoot along the delicate and iffy private purchase of the izing affront to the dignity of sex workers: Huntridge (a wish the Centennial Grant “Women who do sex work deserve your Commission granted May 19). Lotsa respect. They are everyday people in your community. They are mothers, volun- armchair urban theorists chimed in on what should be done. “... If (Huntteers, community advocates; and they are also just people trying to do their jobs. ridge Revival LLC principals) Joey (Vanas) and Michael (Cornthwaite) can’t ... Frankly, Mr. Levitan, I think that you or figure out a way to fund it, I guess the anyone would be very, very lucky to have a daughter who turned out as well as I have, time isn’t right to turn it into a for-profit one as well-read, well-traveled and well- business. Let all the machinations go their natural course, then decide maybe educated as I am, one who has made her the city should buy it and turn it into a own way and paid for it all by herself to boot. ... I am a sex worker, and I am an up- cultural center, with Huntridge Revival morphing into a not-for-profit founstanding member of the community, your dation to support and run it.” Reviewcommunity and mine, and I am here to Journal music journo Jason Bracelin stay.” Hold that applause! Reader Howard Fa m i ly

My daughter will not grow up to pour some sugar on you (I hope) B y C o r e y L e v i ta n

y 3-year-old daughter and I watch as a mom signs her son into daycare ahead of us. Her zero-percent body fat is stuffed into a short beige dress and towering black heels. The Glade PlugIns perfume cloud and giant, exhaustion-concealing

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sunglasses tell me she’s not a patent attorney. The father of a little girl has only one real job in life, the great philosopher Christopher Rock once orated, and that’s to keep her off the pole. Fellow dads of Vegas daughters: We have

picked the most difficult American city in which to do our only real job. According to the 2012 UNLV report “Sex Industry and Sex Workers in Nevada,” approximately 12,000 exotic dancers are registered with Metro, a third to a half of whom reside here with young children intent on befriending and influencing yours. (Okay, I lied. This report mentioned nothing about children. But how many strippers do you really think aren’t single moms?) Even if we manage to avoid sex workers during our daily routine, we still must walk our children past barely clad cocktail waitresses just to see a Disney movie, and explain hooker billboard trucks when we visit cousins staying in town. And fully half of all middle-class Las Vegas females under age 40, at least judging by my ongoing, nonscientific survey, sport a tramp stamp or some other visually stimulating tattoo. (The woman at my daycare wore a butterfly, encircled by barbed wire, on her ankle.) A more scientific study, by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2012, ranked Nevada the 46th most desirable state in which to raise a child. Stripping-likelihood wasn’t among this report’s indicators, but it did include economic well-being, health, safety, education, community engagement, social relationships and emotional well-being. And those things all sound pretty related to stripping-likelihood to me. As long as I provide strong, positive values — so I’m assured by fellow hostages of this predicament — they will neutralize any skeezeball influences seeping into my daughter’s impressionable gray matter. I believe there’s some truth to this. I’ve seen firsthand the important role played by bad fathering in stripper production. In my 20s, I dated an exotic dancer myself. (Don’t judge me. This was back when I still had closure to achieve for my high-school loser self.) Okay, so maybe I didn’t “date” Amber. We had one date and it ended in tears — first hers, then mine after she

I L LU S T R AT I O N b r e n t h o l m e s

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offered some cautionary industry-side insight: “Why would anyone reopen this venue when the market forces that caused it to be shuttered years ago are far more pronounced currently? Look at the venues that have opened in the ensuing years, most of them booked by corporate powerhouses like AEG Live or Live Nation, who could easily outbid the Huntridge for bands. And so the Huntridge would have to get in bed with a company like that, which would create the very scenario it would ostensibly serve to counteract: high ticket prices, over-priced drinks, etc.”


Elsewhere on the Desert Companion blog, Heidi Kyser wrote about a General Accounting Office report detailing the unappreciated stresses and strains of drone operators. Reader Terri Skyer appreciated the concern, but points out that you can relieve military-career stress, but you can’t completely remove it — nor should we necessarily try: “The stress these jobs produce are inherent to the job itself. The mitigation of stressors is a welcomed goal that should be applied to all men and women in such fields; however, the nature of the job will not change nor will the dual realities these workers must live with. Besides implementing frequent rotation shifts by adding more qualified personnel, there is little else to alleviate the condition of jobs such as drone operators. ‘Burnout’ is de rigueur to these jobs, because of the dedication required of employees. These were never ‘normal’ jobs to begin with and, as such, require individuals who can live this type of life. You must believe in what you are doing and in doing so, the stresses become manageable.” And if they don’t, hey, there’s always stripping.

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41 Focus on

56 Visions of

Entries in our second annual photo contest were so packed with eyepleasing wonder, we needed a batch of judges to arrive at these winning images.

Three photographers, one parkway: a multi-layered visual odyssey.



P H o t o G R A P H Y : V e n u s a t t h e W i l d C a t b r o t h e l b y j e f f s ch e i d , h o n o ra b l e m e n t i o n , p e o p l e / i n t h e m o m e n t

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30 26



departments 26 History

35 Dining

Take a trip down the Arrowhead Highway By Mark Hall-Patton

36 The DishBrash

30 Family

Oodles of noodles

Athletes preparing for the start of the 2014 Rage Triathlon at Boulder Beach

Got kids? These themed activity itineraries will keep their minds and bodies active By Sarah Vernetti

75 The Guide

Photography Matthew Carter

sisters 18 URBANAnti-poverty league has big new plans 20 zeit bitesShake

it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture 22 ProfileDomo arigato, Mr. Roboto! 24 Trendsetter

Nickolas Jensen


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Mexicue 39 Eat this now!

Don't tell us there's nothing to do in Las Vegas 80 End note Oh, snaps!

G u t t e r C RE D I T L e f t

on the cover

All Things 15 GrievAnces  liven Bundy is no Dann C

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Mission Statement Desert Companion is the premier city magazine that celebrates the pursuits, passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. With awardwinning lifestyle journalism and design, Desert Companion does more than inform and entertain. We spark dialogue, engage people and define the spirit of the Las Vegas Valley.

Publisher  Melanie Cannon Associate Publisher  Christine Kiely Editor  Andrew Kiraly Art Director  Christopher Smith deputy editor  Scott Dickensheets staff writer  Heidi Kyser Graphic Designer  Brent Holmes

Account executives  Sharon Clifton, Tracey Michels, Favian Perez, Carol Skerlich, Markus Van’t Hul Marketing manager  Lisa Kelly Subscription manager  Chris Bitonti Web administrator  Danielle Branton traffic & sales associate  Kimberly Chang ADVERTISING COPY EDITOR  Carla J. Zvosec Contributing writers  Chris Bitonti, Cybele, Alan Gegax, Michael Green, Mélanie Hope, Debbie Lee, Christie Moeller, Mark HallPatton, Geoff Schumacher, Sarah Vernetti




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Contributing artists   Linda Alterwitz, Ilka Hartmann, Aaron Mayes, Jakob McCarthy, Brian McCormick, Chris Morris, Sabin Orr Editorial: Andrew Kiraly, (702) 259-7856; Fax: (702) 258-5646 Advertising: Christine Kiely, (702) 259-7813; Subscriptions: Chris Bitonti, (702) 259-7810; Website:

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Desert Companion is published 12 times a year by Nevada Public Radio, 1289 S. Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89146. It is available by subscription at desertcompanion. com, or as part of Nevada Public Radio membership. It is also distributed free at select locations in the Las Vegas Valley. All photos, artwork and ad designs printed are the sole property of Desert Companion and may not be duplicated or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The views of Desert Companion contributing writers are not necessarily the views of Desert Companion or Nevada Public Radio. Contact Chris Bitonti for back issues, which are available for purchase for $7.95.

ISSN 2157-8389 (print) ISSN 2157-8397 (online)

Most credit union members get started the same way – through a family member referral. And usually it’s a personal introduction. At Clark County Credit Union, we have some families who are on their fourth generation of membership. The reason? When you talk to someone at CCCU, or go in to see them at a branch, they will most likely know your dad, or sister, or a co-worker ...maybe even your grandparents. It’s that way because the tradition of service and personal connection has lasted and brings value to their accounts. Even with all the technology of the day at your fingertips, the personal touch at CCCU is still the thing that matters most. Money-saving advice about auto loans, guidance with mortgages, wise investments that are in your best interest. Your not-for-profit financial membership at CCCU will always benefit you, rather than some banking stockholder. Go ahead and decide. Will you take your daughter down to become a customer at a bank? Or will you help her become a member of something that will last a lifetime? Same name since 1951 – CCCU. Same owners for four generations – your family. Online at, or call 702-228-2228

Board of Directors Officers Susan malick Brennan  chair Brennan Consulting Group, LLC cynthia alexander, ESQ.   vice chair Snell & Wilmer

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Directors shamoon ahmad, m.d., mba, facp kevin m. buckley First Real Estate Companies Louis Castle  director emeritus Patrick N. Chapin, Esq.  director emeritus Richard I. dreitzer, Esq. Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP


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Desert Companion’s first pub crawl brought plenty of cheers... so we brought it back for a second round on May 1 in Town Square. The evening featured signature Davalos Tequila concoctions and scrumptious bites served up in four beautiful settings - Brio Tuscan Grille, Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge, English’s: A British Pub, and Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar.

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These are the Polaroids you're looking for page 20

we j ust c an't Quit c l i ven b u ndy

Family ties: The Dann sisters in 1979


This land is whose land? Cliven Bundy wasn’t the first to fight the feds over public land in Nevada — but the details of those fights make all the difference By Michael Green

P h oto g r a p h y I l ka H a r t m a n n © 2 0 1 4


anchers, heirs to the land, claim ancestral rights and battle the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies over who controls it. Supporters flock to their side and celebrities lend aid. Federal officials become involved, and the outcomes aren’t exactly what anybody wanted. This refers to the Dann sisters. Who were you thinking of? The Cliven Bundy story offers the same basic premise. How their stories differ speaks volumes about the Western — and the American — past and present. For the Danns, the trouble began in 1863, more than a century before their fight with the BLM. The combination of the Western Shoshone attacking travelers across

June 2014


ALL Things


Hear more Nevada Territory, and the army forcing Native Americans to work as scouts led to a treaty negotiation. Territorial Governor James Nye and the Western Shoshone leader Te-Moak agreed to the Treaty of Ruby Valley, which eased the immediate problem. Unfortunately, it created another. The treaty said, “The several routes of travel through the Shoshone country, now or hereafter used by white men, shall be forever free, and unobstructed by the said bands, for the use of the government of the United States, and of all emigrants and travellers under its authority and protection, without molestation or injury from them.” Nowhere did it say that the Shoshone gave up any land. But, obviously, they lost it. Or did they? In 1946, Congress established the Indian Claims Commission so tribes could sue the federal government for redress — namely, money for lands taken from them. Some of the younger Western Shoshone were agreeable, but older ones insisted that they remained the rightful landowners and wanted no money. Mary and Carrie Dann were among the latter. In 1974, the BLM charged them with illegally grazing their cattle on federal land. The Danns replied that they had been on their land, and sued the feds. A young filmmaker, Joel Friedman, turned the story into a documentary, Broken Treaty at Battle Mountain, narrated by Robert Redford, an advocate of environmentalism and Native American rights. The film sympathized with the Western Shoshone’s plight, and other documentaries and reports raked the BLM over the coals. But the government didn’t give up, and in 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court held

“The several routes of travel through the Shoshone country, now or hereafter used by white men, shall be forever free, and unobstructed by the said bands, for the use of the government of the United States, and of all emigrants and travellers under its authority and protection, without molestation or injury from them.”


June 2014

Should the

that the tribe had ceded its rights to an earlier time and certainly states conthe land — not in the 1863 treaty, but seemed to prefer that time to trol land in the West? when the Indian Claims Commission this one. In certain ways, they Hear a set aside money for the claimants in served as equally attractive discussion 1979. However, the Native Americans representatives of the causes on “KNPR’s could sue for “original aboriginal for which they fought. State of Nevada” rights,” and U.S. District Judge Bruce But they also had their at desert Thompson of Nevada held that the faults. The Danns and their companion. Danns could graze their cattle on the allies fought for a principle com/hear land but couldn’t claim ownership. more rooted in centuries of misWhen the Bundy family gained its treatment of Native Amerland depends on who’s telling the story. icans, but there’s also such a thing as Cliven Bundy said his family’s claim goes knowing when to hold ’em and knowing back to 1877, when Mormons settled when to fold ’em. Bunkerville. But 13 years before that, the Bundy’s faults have become wellNevada Constitution had ceded control known and certainly are legion. Beyond of the land to the federal government. his views of African-Americans and Also, KLAS Channel 8’s I-Team found choosing not to acknowledge the U.S. that the Bundys didn’t start grazing government, he and his allies promote cattle there until 1954. several fallacies, including that the land Meanwhile, Sean Hannity of Fox should be his to use as he pleases. If the News and other conservative media land belongs to the public, it belongs outlets defended him against the BLM, to all of us. By his logic, he should have which had dunned him for more than to avoid portions of the land belonging $1 million in grazing fees, which he had to those who don’t want him grazing refused to pay for two decades. cattle on it. The Dann sisters certainly were tough But the main fallacy is the contention and difficult, by anyone’s definition. They that the land isn’t the federal governdenied the authority of the federal govment’s because it extorted Nevada’s ernment over the land they claimed. Even acreage as the price of statehood some members of the tribes resented — which would be fine if anyone had the Danns and their allies for delaying a forced Nevada to become a state. No settlement, much as other ranchers and one did. Nevada could have remained advocates of federal divestiture of public a territory forever, completely under lands feel that Bundy has hurt their cause federal control, down to the president far more than he has helped it. choosing the governor, his cabinet and But neither of the Dann sisters ever the courts. Bundy wouldn’t much like went quite so far as to say, “I don’t recthat, either. ognize the United States government as The Danns ultimately represented even existing,” or claim that the sheriff a cause — Native American rights — of their county had the power to disarm centuries in the making. Meanwhile, the U.S. government. No militia groups Bundy and his allies demanded that the showed up to help them, or talked about sheriff arrest BLM representatives and placing women and children on the front threatened a lawsuit over his and the lines in case of violence. Nor did the governor’s failure to act. In a subsequent Dann sisters discourse on how slavery attempt to confront the BLM, Bundy’s had shaped the African-American supporters drove their ATVs over sacred experience. Native American land to protest federal Some of the comparisons between control of public lands. Like the Danns, Mary and Carrie Dann and Cliven Bundy they claim to have rights, and they will are apt: the use or abuse of federal govkeep claiming them. The question is how ernment powers; vast differences in how many other Americans feel similarly — the land is used and perceived; the sense and how many feel that those claims are that all of them may have belonged to trampling their rights.

ALL Things


Man on a mission: Las Vegas Urban League CEO Kevin Hooks is shaking up the league's programs.


A league of their own With a new leader, the Las Vegas Urban League starts to think big B y A n d r e w K i r a ly


oor North Las Vegas. Mired in debt, its tax base shriveling, a city limping along as the state considers taking over its finances. Then — insult to injury — some Bunkerville rancher cashing in his 15 minutes of fame piles on with a racist monologue that singles out North Las Vegas as all that’s wrong with coddling, entitlement-drunk, socialist America. Cliven Bundy certainly didn’t do North Las Vegas any favors. But maybe, in his cringe-inducing monologue on race, welfare and big government, Bundy did a solid for the Las Vegas Urban League. The league leveraged his headline-hogging bit of demagoguery to hype the opening of its new offices on Cheyenne Avenue: The subject line for its April 28 press release reads, “North Las Vegas Non-Profit Will Rally to Dispel Bundy Remarks and Restore Hope.” Enterprising and clever, sure. You might also say it marks a new phase of visibility and vigor for the anti-poverty nonprofit. Since its new CEO Kevin Hooks took the helm a year ago, the Urban League has expanded its budget,


June 2014

shaken up its services and boosted its profile. Even the office move has the scent of rebrand. “We wanted a place that, when someone walks in, not only gives off a sense of being inviting, but also this idea of dignity,” Hooks says as he leads a recent tour through a maze of cubicles, meeting rooms, offices. “The last thing you want people to do is walk into an environment where they have a need, and be reminded by that environment of where they find themselves economically.” The shift in HQ from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Owens Avenue to west Cheyenne is itself a signal flare for a broader vision. “We’re not the Urban League of black people, and not the Urban League of North Las Vegas,” says Hooks. “In order to show that, we’ve got to expand our footprint.” Hooks knows about brands. He’s an outof-town hire who was previously senior vice president of branded entertainment for PR giant Weber Shandwick. “I was not only impressed with his resumé,” says Tony Bourne, a league board member, “but

his ideas were refreshing. He realized that one of our biggest issues was that many people see us as an organization that’s always asking for money, but those people can’t quite articulate what the Urban League actually does. He immediately started making connections in the community to raise awareness.” That awareness already seems to be bearing fruit. This year’s budget, which Hooks estimates at $30 million, is notably higher than that of previous years, which ranged between $10 million and $12 million. “But," Hooks says, "I’d also say that we’re still in a very difficult situation because of the nature of our funding sources. The majority of our funding comes from state and federal money — grants, contracts, workforce opportunities. How do we grow membership revenue, foundation revenue? How do we grow donations from high net-worth individuals who believe in our cause?” Some of the league’s new programs are decidedly different than its traditional offerings of resumé-writing classes, child-care assistance, baby formula and food subsidies. For example, Hooks brought on a senior vice president of agency innovation, Michael Maxwell, who launched ITECH702, a four-week course that immerses students in at-risk schools in basic HTML coding. To Maxwell, it’s a digital-age deployment of the league’s core mission. “This embodies what we’re trying to do: to make people self-sufficient,” he says. “But we wanted to do something proactive, teaching kids skills they can use, and get paid for, right now. It’s very empowering.” Hooks is looking beyond that right now and considering the long-term trickle-down. “What happens when they graduate from high school is going to be interesting. How many of them are going to be offered jobs right out of high school, $60,000-, $70,000-a-year jobs? That completely changes their family tree, the reality of their family, the generation that follows them. All because we were willing to think differently.”

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'Roid rage Polaroid, that is. At the Las Vegas Camera Club, the once-obsolete photo system enjoys a new snap

poker, faced

Colson Whitehead’s The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Death (Doubleday, $24.95) is the latest big memoir about playing in the World Series of Poker. It’s not the best — that honor would go to either Al Alvarez’s The Biggest Game in Town or James McManus’ Positively Fifth Street. But to Whitehead’s credit, he isn’t trying to compete with those acclaimed titles. In fact, it’s not entirely clear what Whitehead, a respected literary novelist, is doing, other than taking full advantage of his original assignment to write about playing in the tournament for But that sounds like a knock, when it’s not necessarily the case. It’s true that The Noble Hustle is a rather

slight work, hardly up to his finest fiction (John Henry Days, Sag Harbor), but it is dappled with apt and funny observations about life and gambling. For example, he expends considerable effort explaining what a wretched individual he is. Although it verges on annoying after a while, this tangent does yield some near-LOL one-liners: “I’d long aspired to the laid-back lifestyle of exhibits at Madame Tussaud’s.” What gives the book ballast, however, are two smart observations about Las Vegas. Whitehead wisely resists the temptation to condescendingly critique, analyze and summarize the city. But he does see Las Vegas in a wider social context — and nails it. • “We go to casinos to tell the everyday world that we will not submit. There are rules and codes and institutions, yes, but for a few hours in this temple of pure chaos, of random cards and inscrutable dice, we are in control of our fates.” • “The mere fact of Vegas, its necessity, was an

In-house photo book library, for club members only

The Las Vegas Camera Club, 1071 S. First St., in Art Square. Membership: $85 for the rest of 2014; gets you discounts on classes, gear, film.

indictment of our normal lives.” Locals may recognize these sentiments, but it’s easy to underestimate the intoxicating power that Las Vegas projects beyond its borders. Because Las Vegas — at least the city of gambling tables, nightclubs and pool parties, of drinking, dancing and doing it — is very different from “back home.” Back home, “rules and codes and institutions” still reign. Whitehead doesn’t say whether he’d prefer “our normal lives” to be more like Las Vegas, but you get the impression he’s not thrilled with much of his “everyday world.” “The world is a disease you shake off in the desert,” he writes, somewhat optimistically, upon arriving here. But he later takes it back: “Do not hope for change, or the possibility of transcending your everyday existence, because you will fail.” Despite the occasional merry rhetorical flourish, The Noble Hustle is not exactly the feel-good hit of the summer. — Geoff Schumacher

THE BOTTOM LINE ›› MORE REASONS TO BAR BEN AFFLECK FROM CASINOS 1. Fewer Gigli-themed flash mobs 2. May help keep that bastard Matt Damon away


June 2014

P o l a r o i ds a t l a s v e g a s c a m e r a c l u b : B r e nt h o l m e s

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or most of my hiking life, I was strictly goal-oriented. I looked for the easiest way to a peak or the deepest point in a canyon. It wasn’t until I started organizing and guiding with groups that I realized just how much I’d been missing. Once I slowed down, the Mojave became an entirely new desert. Southern Nevada’s limestone is a 250-million-year-old treasure chest, and a keen, patient eye will spot countless fossils in the shale that hurrying hikers trot right past. On a spring trek to Gass Peak, a fellow hiker spotted a trailside rock the size of a coffee table, with a dozen obvious fossils in it. I’d traipsed past that rock at least five times, maybe even walked across it, and never noticed. It’s not just sight, either. It turns out the Mojave has some of the best-smelling flora on the planet. Sagebrush gets all the press, but the lesser-known yerba santa, with its thin, leathery leaves, produces a heavenly

Stop and smell this.

scent reminiscent of peppermint and lavender. The hands-down winner: the creosote bush (above). Rub its tiny leaves between your hands to release the unmistakable aroma of desert rain. It’s glorious. The most dramatic reward of slow hiking is, of course, the fauna. Eons of evolution have created animals that blend in so perfectly they’re hard to spot if you’re in a rush. Bighorn sheep roam craggy hillsides throughout Southern Nevada, and they stay above potential predators, including hikers. So slow down and look up. On a human level, hiking at a leisurely pace brings people of all ages and abilities together. Even those who can fly up the trail can also slow down. You’ll have more breath for conversation, for exploring fellow humans while exploring the desert. If you’re going to make the effort to venture into our wild lands, take the time to soak them in. Slow down. — Alan Gegax


Assessing the newbies Donato Cabrera New music director, LV Philharmonic Takes over Philharmonic after troubled reign of out-of-towner David Itkin


Big Vegas job In the news because … Will actually live here?

No “All the groundwork is being laid” for “Las Vegas to completely transform itself into a real, grownup city in a way …” (to the Review-Journal) “I’ll be at a jazz concert, or at the Las Vegas Academy working with young people, working with the choir.” (RJ)

Earnest cliché about Vegas’ potential

Where to find them off-duty

Steve Aoki Globetrotting DJ, spins at Hakkasan, Wet Republic First international DJ to actually move to Las Vegas







Yes “I’m excited about what Tony Hsieh is doing there with the Downtown Project and seeing a real culture developing for the locals.” (to Las Vegas Weekly) “Looking deeper outside the Strip for really great food options, including organic food options.” (Weekly)

Donato Cabrera debuts as conductor Sept. 27 Steve Aoki spins at Hakkasan and Wet Republic 3. More showgirls for Clooney! 4. still peeved about Daredevil 5. pre-peeved about batman

Join us as we honor the 2014 Best Doctors of Southern Nevada

More information at June 2014


ALL Things


ride along

Rick Stater Chemical engineer


ike a small bee swarm, the Basic High School robotics team descends on physics teacher Mark Reed’s classroom. They push desks to the periphery, lay out plastic tubing and wood panels, and puzzle over how to conjure a ring like those used at the VEX Robotics Competition, their Super Bowl. The moment a functional square takes shape, some abandon the construction work and start running their ’bots through drills.

In a corner near the door, Reed catches up with Rick Stater, plant manager at Tronox, a titanium processing facility located in Henderson’s industrial zone. How many kids are showing up lately, Stater wonders. (About a dozen.) How did they do in the March competition? (Won some; lost some.) His interest is more than casual. Tronox is one of the team’s three major sponsors, providing funds for robots, competition fees and other necessities, and Stater has a lot to do with that. Someone shoves a joystick into his hand; senior Jasmine Breciado, one of the four members of Team A, takes another. Before you know it, Breciado and Stater, who’s never seen Team A’s robot before today (and who’s a chemical engineer), are controlling its locomotion and mechanical arm, respectively. Within minutes, Stater has the robot picking up plastic red balls and putting them in marked spots. He falls easily into the team’s cheerfully focused mode. It illustrates something he’d said an hour earlier, sitting in a company conference room: It doesn’t matter how students learn science, so long as they learn it; it’ll apply to whatever specialty they choose later on. That’s why Stater got involved in robotics programs at three Henderson schools. He’d learned that Robert L. Taylor Elementary had a robotics class and could use help with it. He responded by writing checks, but soon felt that wasn’t enough.


J un e 2 0 1 4

With Tronox making headlines lately for less humanitarian efforts (it recently settled bankruptcy litigation, related to toxic dumping, with Anadarko Petroleum, which acquired former Tronox parent company Kerr-McGee in 2006), it would be easy to write off Stater’s efforts as whitewashing his company’s polluted past. But at Basic High, his interest seems genuine. “It’s not enough to check a box on your company forms that says, ‘Yeah, we contribute. We gave you $2,000, now go away,’” he says. “That’s why we got our employees involved.” In 2012, he persuaded two staff members to help — on paid company time — with Taylor’s after-school robotics club; last year, he added another at B. Mahlon Brown Junior High. Their hope, shared by Reed, is to spark interest early, so that by high school, kids are comfortable with the STEM skills robotics fosters. “The biggest thing, I think, that helps the kids is our ability to trouble-shoot,” says Tronox Senior Process Engineer Kevin McIntosh, a Taylor volunteer. “And also their self-confidence.” “Tronox has been so awesome,” Reed says of the company’s sponsorship, which covers all the club’s costs. He plans to triple the number of teams at next year’s VOX competition, from two to six. Stater has personal motivation, too. The youngest of 10 children, his father died when he was 12 years old, leaving his mother a single parent. He quickly figured out that if help wasn’t available at home, he’d have to get it at school. He may also have a sense of unfinished business as a parent, acknowledging that neither of his two children, now grown and in the real-estate business, showed an interest in science and math. “A lot of (local) kids are coming out of high school without competency in math and science,” Stater says. “They may want to go into it in college, but then it’s too late to catch up. We want to help prevent that.” — Heidi Kyser

P h oto g r a p h y Ch r i sto p h e r S m i t h

jun e 2 0 1 4


ALL Things


5 Things I can't live without trendsetter

Nickolas Jensen Chief technological thaumaturgist, Ideabox Media Group Inc., developer of automation systems for homes and businesses


John Varvatos Classic fragrance, $64$84, Macy’s in the Fashion Show Mall

B y C h r i st i e M o e l l e r


OUR PERSONAL STYLE? My personal style is best described as a “multitool” without looking like one. I’m open to looks that get me out of the door in 15 minutes or less while conveying effort at the same time. Sometimes I play by the fashion rules, other times I go commando. Since I work long hours, form and function come into play as I often go straight from work to dinner with clients or friends. 


Cynthia Sylvia Stout Beer shampoo, $9.95$29.95, LUSH in the Fashion Show Mall

Tricks for spicing up men’s looks?

No tricks or secrets here — Vegas summers bring enough spice. A cuffed chino for summer and lightweight cotton chemise button-down shirts for this demonic heat are at the top of my list. Socks or no-socks? Keeping with the form and function concept, I wear a no-show sock. Although I practice in wonderworking, I can’t walk on water.  Biggest fashion pet peeve? It would


SkinnyGuy Kamikaze Attack Collabo jeans by Naked and Famous, $260, shop.

be a celebrity death match between Crocs and socks with sandals. What’s on your desert island clothing list? Shwood handcraft-

ed sunglasses from their brand-new Louis Slugger Collection (; John Varvatos dip-dyed, ultralight linen, shortsleeve Henley (; and a tie between the incredibly rugged Iron Heart selvedge Paraffin Coated 22-ounce Cotton Duck Five Pocket Jeans ( or Wilson volleyball seen in the movie Castaway. No offense, Iron Heart, but I will need someone to talk to, and it’s easier to make friends without pants.  Who are your style icons? I like a classic gent look with a killer fashion sense. My style icons are Nickelson Wooster, Steve McQueen and Patrick Bateman. Who doesn’t like good hair, fast motorcycles or a high-quality business card? What is your top style tip for guys for summer? Buy a motorcycle. Even

grandma looks cool on a motorcycle. Jeremy Scott offers to make you a custom pair of sneakers. What do they look like? Run DMC would definitely be my inspiration. I would go for the classic shell-toe so I didn’t look I jammed my foot into a Beanie Baby’s business end.


June 2014

P h oto g r a p h y Ch r i sto p h e r S m i t h


John Varvatos Schooner boat shoe, $198, John Varvatos in the Forum Shops at Caesars


Thomas Pink Blomqvist Jacket, $750, Thomas Pink in the Forum Shops at Caesars


The road much traveled The highway we know today as I-15 got its start as a rough, raw, dusty — and sometimes dangerous — road. (Keep an eye out for horse thieves) B y M a r k H a l l - Pat t o n


JUNE 2014


Above: A postcard portrays a picturesque Arrowhead Highway. Right: a map of the historic link between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles

nterstate 15 is an umbilical cord to Southern California, bringing countless party-minded tourists and profit-driven business trips from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. But long before I-15 became such a lifeline, a decidedly rougher road connecting L.A. to Las Vegas went by another name: the Arrowhead Trail Highway. (Today, its most recognized vestige is Las Vegas Boulevard.) Indeed, I-15 is just the latest version of a highway that was developed to provide a well-maintained (or at least tolerably drivable) road from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City through Southern Nevada. It’s interesting to consider that I-15 we know today was born as a rough passage that has been a trading route, a desert driving challenge and even an irresistible draw for horse thieves. But before any of that, the Arrowhead Trail was the Old Spanish Trail — which, actually, was neither old nor Spanish. It would have been more accurate to call it the Mexican Trader Trail. Attracted by the valley’s springs, in 1829, Mexican traders gradually developed a new trail through the harsh Mojave Desert. Having found the abundant water available in the Vegas Valley, the dogged explorer and merchant Antonio Armijo blazed the original trail to California with his team, braving desert heat, unforgiving terrain, thirst and hunger (sometimes allayed by eating one of their mules) to trade wool goods for horses, which he then sold in New Mexico. But horse thieves soon caught wind of the trail, tempted by the California missions and ranchos that frequently used the Arrowhead. These thieves were known as Los Chaguanosos, and began their depredations about 1832, when Juan Jesus Villapando led the first band over the trail to California, posing as horse traders

P h oto g r a p h y b r e n t h o l m e s


h i s t o r i c a r r o w h e a d h i g h way pa r a p h e r n a l i a c o u r t e s y b o b s t o l d a l

BILLING SUMMARIES to gain trust before making off with their victims’ stock. Horses stolen by these Chaguanosos bands were often led back over the trail and sold for a fat profit in Santa Fe. Sometimes, the thefts were brazen in their ambition and scope. In 1840, a group of Chaguanosos led by Tennessean Philip Thompson made quite a haul, stealing more than 3,000 head from missions and ranchos ranging from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles. The Chaguanosos drove the horses and mules over the trail through the Mojave Desert — with an angry posse not far behind, intent on getting their property back. Alas, the members of that posse should have known when to cut their losses: Near Cajon Pass, the Chaguanosos ambushed the posse and killed two of its members, dissuading the rest from continuing pursuit. The rugged Arrowhead Trail was the focus of, let’s say, more heavenly pursuits as well. With the move of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the promised land of Utah and the Great Salt Lake, the borders of this promised land were ill-defined. Brigham Young considered all the area that is today’s Nevada  — and that part of California east of the Sierra Nevada — as part of his new

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J U N5/14/2014 E 2 0 1 4 4:31:40 PM



Gioachino Rossini’s Opera Of Laughter and Love


Barber Of Se ille

Friday, June 6 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 8 2:00 p.m. Judy Bayley Theatre, UNLV Set in 18th Century Seville, Spain, “Barber” tells the tale of a scheming doctor who wants to marry his beautiful ward before she is lured away by a handsome and resourceful Count. The Count is assisted in finding true love by the help of his devious barber. Fully staged and costumed. Performed in Italian with English subtitles. Lead soloists and conductor Gregory Buchalter from the Metropolitan Opera.

Count Almaviva Robert McPherson

Figaro Daniel Sutin

Dr. Bartolo Don Basilio Peter Strummer Philip Cokorinos

Rosina Renée Tatum


(702) 895-2787

$95 * $75 * $55 Although Opera Las Vegas is a non-profit organization,Tickets to its productions are not tax deductible.


JUNE 2014

land. With movement to settle the land, it was necessary to have routes that provided access, and the Old Spanish Trail became a part of that trail system.

Left:Auto club booklets extolled the highway's scenery. Right: Historic postcards and photos capture the adventures (and headaches) the Arrowhead Highway offered.

Growing up fast

The Old Spanish Trail would grow up fast as America settled the West. By the early 20th century, the business-led movement for transcontinental highways became aware of the route and saw in it a vital piece of America’s slowly developing transportation network. Boosters in Utah, Nevada, and Southern California began promoting the route through Southern Nevada. The Automobile Club was supportive of the effort to have an all-weather highway, since the Lincoln Highway, which ran through the northern part of the state, was typically closed during the winter. With a lot of hype, the Arrowhead Trail Highway association formed in 1916 and got to work on transforming the trail into a full-fledged roadway. Celebrity endorsements certainly helped. Between 1915 and 1916, race-car driver Charles Bigelow drove the entire route many times in the twin-six Packard he named “Cactus Kate.” By 1917, the Goodrich Tire Company had gone over the road, setting up its familiar signposts to help travelers. These signs (you can see an example in the Clark County Museum) consisted of a heavy steel plate with a center circle in red and white, and arms in black with the names of towns and mileages noted in deep drilled dots on the black surface. These signs were meant to survive in the harsh

desert climate, and many did. The road was eventually rerouted many times, and today’s Interstate 15 and Las Vegas Boulevard follows only a few parts of the road. Between Barstow and Las Vegas, the final route was in contention for a number of years, eventually settling into something closer to what we know as I-15 today. The 1920 Automobile Blue Book, which gave exact directions for someone trying to follow the road, is interesting to review. Just to get out of Las Vegas going north you had to go from “Fremont and 1st Streets, bank on the left. Go east on Fremont four blocks. At .3 miles, 5th Street (end of pavement); turn left. Thru irregular 4-corners at cemetery 1.7. Follow winding but direct road across desert. Pass well on right 11.1, running onto rough stretch across flats 28.4” And this just got you out of town. As the routes for the road changed, the newspapers covered the attempts to drive the route that took the shape of publicity stunts. A spectacular trip by a U. S. Army vehicle in 1917 showed what could be ac-


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complished over the new road. To test how long it would take to get to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles in case the telegraph and railroad were both knocked out, Captain O. R. Bird and three others drove a truck with a mounted machine gun over the proposed Arrowhead Trail Highway route. In spite of road troubles, including a broken axle at St. George and torrential rain south of Salt Lake City, the actual driving time was 36 hours and 14 minutes — almost 60 hours less than the previous record. Estimates of 2,000 travelers over the highway in 1919 led to renewed efforts to lock in the route and build the roadway. (The highway was not paved, but the effort was initially to build a gravel roadbed over the finalized route.) Autos in the 1920s were still not the most reliable overland transportation. They tended to overheat in the desert, and many entrepreneurs would build service stations in the open stretches between towns. The Arrowhead Trail Highway eventually became known as the Salt Lake Highway, and when the federal government began numbering highways rather than naming them, it became Highway 91. Until the creation of I-15 in the early 1960s, it was the only sensible route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and on to Salt Lake City. Our own “all-weather” highway helped Las Vegas become the destination it is today. If you get a chance, try driving a piece of it — even if it is only the Strip.

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With summer break upon us, these all-day itineraries will keep your children’s bodies — and brains — active By Sarah Vernetti


june 2014


he end of the school year means the beginning of the war on summer doldrums: How do you keep your kids from nesting on the couch, merging with their video games while the three-month seasonal brain-drain sets in? One solid strategy: Get ’em out of the house. But don’t just shoo them outside or take them to see random “interesting” sights. Do what Vegas has done so well: Add a theme for maximum enjoyment. Herewith, three examples. Live in the past

Las Vegas may feel like the mecca of new, but families can find historical adventures that highlight the city’s recent and not-so-recent past. Book your tickets ahead of time and start your day at the Neon Museum (770 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 702-387-6366). Take a 60-minute guided tour of the Boneyard, learning about the city’s glittering past thanks to dozens of retired signs. Kids will particularly love the large “ugly duckling” sign and the famous Sahara camels. The museum’s visitor center, the transplanted La Concha Motel lobby, is a space-themed example of the 1960s design aesthetic that is becoming harder to find in Las Vegas. Next, proceed farther down the historical timeline at the nearby Las Vegas Natural History Museum (900 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 702-384-3466). This isn’t the largest, most state-of-the-art museum, but it is the perfect size for kids with short attention spans and can be explored in an hour or two. Learn about rocks and minerals, take a journey

p h ot o s c o u r t e s y s p r i n g m o u n ta i n r a n c h , s p r i n g s p r e s e r v e , neon museum

Step away from the TV!

Explore galore: Clockwise from left, Springs Preserve, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, the Neon Museum

Table 34 into a faithfully reproduced tomb of Tutankhamun, and watch the stingrays dine on their lunches. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop, where you’ll find one of those beloved penny-press machines. Crunch your shiny penny with the image of a dinosaur before you leave. Continue your historical explorations west of town at Bonnie Springs (16395 Bonnie Springs Road, 702-875-4191), modeled after an 1880s mining town. If the kids are feeling hungry, stop by the Wild West-inspired restaurant for a bison burger. Then check out the petting zoo and take a stroll through “old town.” You might even witness a faux gunfight along the way. Finish your history-themed day at nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (6375 Highway 159, 702875-4141). Take a self-guided tour of the main ranch house or check out one of the park’s living history programs offered in spring and fall. However, if the kids have absorbed all of the historical goodness they can for one day, expend some energy outdoors. Walk up to little Lake Harriet or take the Overlook Trail, which ends with a sweeping view of the desert. Those spending the day with older kids can embark on the more challenging Sandstone Canyon trail. If you brought snacks along, enjoy them at one of the picnic tables near the parking lot on the way back to your car.

Featuring Chef Wes Kendricks’ contemporary American cuisine including fresh fish, wild game, duck, lamb, Certified Angus Beef, and comfort food classics. Conveniently located off the 215 and Warm Springs. Dinner Tuesday Saturday 5pm until closing (around 10pm) 600 E. Warm Springs Road Las Vegas, NV (702) 263-0034

Care That’s Built Around You

Make a splash

Rather than spend another Saturday by the pool, plan a family-friendly day that will keep the kids happy while giving their brains a workout. The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-632-4555, is unique thanks to its focus on the more aggressive side of life underwater. Along with less-threatening aquarium staples like colorful fish, jellyfish and horseshoe crabs, the Shark Reef is home to predators such as sharks and piranhas. Before you leave, say hello to the ancient-looking komodo dragon and the formidable golden crocodile. For further water-themed learning, head to Springs Preserve (333 S. Valley View Blvd., 702-822-7700). The flowing

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JUNE 2014



Busy bodies: Clockwise from right, Discovery, Blue Man Group, Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve



6275 South Rainbow, Suite 100 Las Vegas, NV 89118

(702) 818-4100 *Ad must be presented at time of purchase.


june 2014

springs that once existed here played an important part in Las Vegas’ history, providing a habitable environment for people and wildlife. Explore the unique, nature-themed playground and stroll through the botanical gardens. Inside the Origen Museum, the flash-flood display demonstrates the power and danger of rapidly moving water, while the Hoover Dam exhibit provides a visual representation of just how much water Southern Nevada uses each year. Head back outside to check out the desert animals that live behind the Origen Museum, and take a minute to cool off in the mister on hot days. Now that you’ve learned a thing or two, it’s time for a break. Drive to Crab Corner (4161 S. Eastern Ave., 702-4894646, for Maryland-style seafood. Parents can enjoy the hard-shell blue crabs, which are flown in daily, while kids who aren’t so sure about seafood can order the chicken tenders instead. End your water-themed day by getting soaked. Splash pads become es-

sential parenting tools during spring and summer when the kids need to get active. Luckily, numerous splash pads can be found throughout the valley. In the northwest, try the colorful and imaginatively designed Centennial Hills Park (7101 N. Buffalo Drive), which offers two water play areas. At Aliante Nature Discovery Park in North Las Vegas (2600 Nature Park Drive), kids can run through the water feature when they aren’t digging in the sand or feeding the ducks. If the family dog is in desperate need of relief from the heat, head to Heritage Park in Henderson (350 E. Racetrack Road). This park’s splash pad is designed specifically for pooches. Get active

While pure fun might be the top priority for kids, parents seek family-friendly activities that engage the mind and help keep the body healthy too. Spend a day getting active — mentally and physically — at these inspiring spots

p h ot o s c o u r t e s y h e n d e r s o n b i r d p r e s e r v e , d i s c ov e r y m u s e u m , b lu e m a n g r o u p


around the valley. Start your morning at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve (350 E. Galleria Drive, 702-267-4180, Home to nine ponds, the park is a popular hangout for waterfowl and desert-dwellers alike. Walk, don’t run, and use quiet voices to increase your chances of spotting a greater roadrunner or a common gallinule. Kids will get a kick out of donning their binoculars and recording their observations in a field journal, so don’t forget to bring along your bird-watching gear. Next, head to the Discovery Children’s Museum at Symphony Park (360 Promenade Place, 702-382-3445, discoverykidslv. org). Although this museum offers all kinds of interactive displays for kids, the highlight is The Summit, a three-story climbing structure located in the heart of the museum. Climb, stair-step and slide your way through this 70-foot-tall obstacle course of learning. Educational displays are located throughout the tower, ensuring that the kids’ brains and bodies will get a workout. Active kids will also want to check out Fantasy Festival, where they can board a pirate ship or climb to the top of a medieval-inspired castle. For further active fun, visit Sky Zone Las Vegas (7440 Dean Martin Drive #201, 702-560-5900, Offering age-appropriate sessions (so that the little ones won’t get lost in the bouncing), this indoor trampoline park is the perfect place to keep kids active while they attempt to defy gravity. Practice your slam-dunking skills on the SkySlam basketball court or jump into a sea of spongy blocks in the Foam Zone. End your day with three colorful gentlemen who exemplify the intersection of active minds and active bodies: the Blue Man Group (Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, 877-459-0268, This show encourages its audience to contemplate everything from table manners to the human brain to the magnificence of modern plumbing. Once you’ve watched the Blue Man Group, get ready to move. The show ends with the Blue Men urging audience members to get active themselves and join the fun before dancing their way out of the theater.

















You will see your choice of four plays:

You will see four plays:

You will see three plays:




For more information or to reserve your seats, please visit 1289 S. TORREY PINES DR. LAS VEGAS, NV 89146 KNPR.ORG CLASSICAL897.ORG

JUNE 2014


06 14

The Dish 36 Eat this now 39

Our c i ty's be st sp ots to eat & drink

Pig, meet potatoes: TruckU's barbecue pork fries

P hoto g ra p h y By sabin orr

June 2014


Dining out

Above The spice man cometh: Mike Minor's Mexicue is on fire. BELOW TruckU's short rib torta Opposite page pulled pork tacos

High on the hog With a personality to match his flavors, Mike Minor is unleashing his own brand of Mexicue on the masses B y D e bb i e L e e


t’s late afternoon in downtown Las Vegas and Mike Minor is ready for throngs of hungry locals and tourists to flood the streets at First Friday. Standing inside his new food truck, TruckU Barbeque, he waves a spoon in my face. The plastic utensil is lacquered in crimson. “Taste,” he insists. “This is just to give you an idea of what I’m doing here. Do you get that Mexican influence coming through? It’s smoky. It’s spicy. It’s sweet.” His confidence in the recipe is justified. It’s all of those things. It’s also unlike any barbecue sauce I’ve ever tried. Made with habanero chili peppers and molasses, the complex condiment is part Oaxaca, part Kansas City, and 100 percent representative of Minor: unique and in your face. Armed with that colorful persona, as well as some formidable pitmaster


June 2014

P h oto g r a p h y SABIN ORR

May we recommend... Short rib torta Minor’s jumbo beef ribs are sliced to order and served on a rich brioche bun with fresh cole slaw and guacamole. Is it just like the kind you’d find at a street cart in Mexico City? Not at all — it’s better. BBQ pork fries Fried in duck fat, these rich fries are made even better (but not necessarily better for you) with the addition of crispy pork belly and chorizo cheese sauce. It puts poutine to shame.

Ring of smoke

skills, the 41-year-old local chef is using his souped-up truck to chase his biggest dreams. TruckU (, which debuted in April, is a four-wheeled mashup of Minor’s professional experience and personal passions. Up until late last year, he served as the executive chef at Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s local outpost of Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. But when his own interest in barbecue prompted him to leave his decade-long post, he made sure to take his modern Mexican cooking skills with him. “Over the last 10 years I traveled throughout Mexico with Mary Sue and Susan,” explains Minor. “We would take a week or two on each trip and eat the streets all day and night. Then we’d take notes and develop our own menus.” He cites a particular fondness for Yucatán cuisine — “I love the fact that they love pork as much as I do” — but draws inspiration from various regions for his own recipes. “His passion, interest in learning, and creativity is inspirational not only to his whole team but also to Mary Sue and myself,” Feniger writes in an email. “I love that he’s taking these steps to go out on his own.”

Feniger and Milliken’s influence is clear. A quick scan of the TruckU menu — chock full of chilis — is enough to induce heartburn. Wagyu steak tacos are spiced up with serranos, short rib enchiladas get a bath of ancho-flavored mole sauce, and fries are smothered with jalapeños. Even the mayo is spiked with smoky chipotles. That south-of-the-border flair may make some barbecue purists wary, but rest assured that his technique with meat is spot-on. “I’ve been developing these recipes my whole life,” says Minor, whose love of good ’cue is also in no way limited to a single region. “The brisket is Texas-style, the pork is Carolina-style, and the ribs are Kansas City-style.” He regrets to say that he hasn’t done nearly as much travel-related research for mastering the art of barbecue. “But in the age of the Internet,” he says, “YouTube can be your best friend.” The self-trained chef opens the truck’s vertical three-foot smoker to provide proof. He removes and unwraps a foil package to reveal his special “Dinosaur Bone”: a full pound beef rib cooked with Negra Modelo beer and dressed with his Oaxacan barbecue sauce. Once dissected with a knife, each slice reveals a pink “smoke ring” on the outer edges. Anyone in the know recognizes it as the hallmark of proper barbecue.

Johns. Do you know your Jaspers from your Singer Sargent’s?

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June 2014


Dining out

Burn unit: Spice infuses everything on Minor's menu.

‘With my people’




american | the forum shops 369.6300

american | the venetian 796.1110


wolfgang puck bar & grill

steak | the palazzo 607.6300

american | mgm grand 891.3000


wolfgang puck pizzeria & cucina

italian | mandalay bay 740.5522

italian | crystals at citycenter 238.1000

June 2014

Minor hasn’t overlooked the responsible foodie contingent, either. He envisions a sustainable menu down the road, with its ingredients supplied by local farmers. It’s a philosophy he could afford to subscribe to at Border Grill, but for now, he’s doing as much as he can. “Stop flying things around the world because you want to be the cool chef,” he begs of his peers. “Yeah, I can go get some fancy peach wood that’s been soaked in bourbon from Kentucky for my barbecue. But I use what’s near and available to lower my carbon footprint. That’s why sometimes it’s mesquite, and other times it’s hickory. As a chef, these are some of the things I want to teach to others.” While most aspiring chefs hope that a food truck will serve as a cheap launch pad for an even more successful brick and mortar, Minor has a different perspective. The Strip veteran says that TruckU represents freedom and an alltime career high. “This has all turned out to be so much more than I ever thought,” says Minor. “After 10 years of being in a casino, it was time to do my thing and be with my people. I want to be in the community that I grew up with while this exciting thing with food is happening.”

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Buffalo Soldier at Rock’N’oodles

1108 S. Third St., 702-522-9953, Tucked into the heart of the Arts District, Rock’N’oodles is tiny — maybe five tables inside and out — but their ambitions are grand. Rock’N’oodles serves pasta inspired by world cuisine, from a tikka masala plate to a Southern barbecue chicken bowl to a spicy chipotle concoction. Like all their entrées, the Buffalo Soldier starts with a heaping portion of pasta (elbow macaroni, in this case) served in a rich, creamy blue cheese sauce. But the centerpiece is the fried chicken. Breaded, boneless

Tim Hunsaker, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology

Buffalo chicken chunks, worthy of any bar in upstate New York, are layered on the pasta. Julienned carrots and celery cut the heat from the Buffalo sauce, and potent bits of blue cheese take this decadent dish over the top. — Chris Bitonti

Crispy pig tails at Public House

In the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, 702-407-5310, For a clever update on ordinary chicken wings, brace yourself for these chili-glazed chunks of fried pig tails and pork fat. A pool of buttermilk dressing is an improvement on the usual gluey bottled ranch, and whispers of shaved radish are a spicy alternative to waterlogged celery sticks. It’s undoubtedly rich, perhaps to the point of being offensive, but it’s still a dish that belongs on every porkophile’s bucket list. — Debbie Lee

Las Vegas 501 S. Rancho Drive, Suite A6 Las Vegas, Nevada 89106

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702-605-9133 phone 702-678-6159 fax

June 2014


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elcome to Desert Companion’s second annual “Focus on Nevada” photo contest. A quick note before you feast your eyes on the pages of terrific imagery that follow: This year, to bring a heightened mojo to these proceedings, we enlisted a cohort of judges — folks whose aesthetic sophistication jumped the decision-making process to a new level.

And there was plenty to judge: We received 1,442 submissions covering every conceivable permutation of our five categories: People/In the moment; artistic/abstract; landscapes/nature; places; and smartphones. The entries were strong, too; collectively they remind us what a vivid, diverse, fantastically interesting place we call home. We’re glad we had help picking the winners. Now: enough of these words — on to the photos!

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Honorable mentions Artistic/abstract

Alexis Allen


People/in the moment

Michael Contreras



Lisa Cheung


People/in the moment

M i k ay l a W h i t m o r e professional


JUNE 2014

Honorable mentions


Anthony Mojica semi-professional


R a c h e l B e l l i n s ky Amateur/Student

JUNE 2014


Honorable mentions


Stephen Tidwell Amateur/Student


L i n d a a lt e r w i t z


Radames Fernandez Amateur/Student

photographer level Amateur


Carey Christensen Amateur/student


L u c e r o G o m e z Oc h o a Amateur/student


JUNE 2014


2nd Place Cristian Ghilan Amateur/Student Phone

iphone 4S


snapseed, pixlr-o-matic

judges Ginger Bruner artist

Scott Dickensheets Desert Companion deputy editor Betsy Fretwell Las Vegas city manager Kristen Peterson arts journalist

1st Place Julie Hamill

Amateur/student Phone

iphone 4S



JUNE 2014



2nd Place Eric Wright

Semi-professional Camera

Nikon D7000


nikon 18-55mm


JUNE 2014


1st Place

Mike Wetzel

Amateur/Student Camera

Canon 6D

judges Julian Kilker UNLV associate professor Flo Rogers Nevada Public Radio CEO Jo Russ artist J.W. Zunino landscape architect


Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II



Shutter Speed

30 Seconds

f-stop f/2.8

JUNE 2014



1st Place J e ff S C h e i d



Canon 5D Mark II





2nd Place G e o ff r e y M e z a

Amateur/Student Camera

Pentax K-3


TAMRON SP AF 90mm F2.8



Shutter Speed 1/40

f-stop f/16


JUNE 2014

Shutter Speed 1/400




judges Linda Alterwitz artist Diane Bush artist Patrick Duffy arts patron Brent Holmes Desert Companion designer Jerome Thym curator Todd VonBastiaans gallerist/artist JUNE 2014


People/in the moment

2nd Place J e ff Sc h e i d

professional Camera

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV



1st Place

ISO 160

Shutter Speed 1/320

M at T h e w C a r t e r professional




NIkon D7100


Nikon AFS 24-70 f/2.8



Shutter Speed


f-stop f/4


JUNE 2014

People/in the moment

judges Camila Deribeprey fashion blogger Bill Hughes photographer Jerry Metellus photographer Victor Rodriguez creative director Dana Satterwhite gallerist Christopher Smith Desert Companion art director

JUNE 2014



1st Place Sc o t t Wa r n e r professional


Nikon D800


NIkkor 16-35mm lens



Shutter Speed

10 sec



2nd Place Max Hague

professional Camera

Nikon D800


24-70mm f/2.8G



Shutter Speed 25 sec

f-stop f/4


JUNE 2014


judges Tony Flanagan photographer Andrew Kiraly Desert Companion editor Todd-Avery Lenahan designer Michael Monson photographer

JUNE 2014


Grand prize Max Moore

Semi-professional Camera

Canon 6D


Canon 50mm f/1.2



Shutter Speed 1/100

f-stop f/7.1


JUNE 2014

Grand prize

JUNE 2014


Vis ions of Mary land photography by

L i n d a a lt e r w i t z ( l) fine art

A a r o n m ay e s ( A ) people

J a k o b M c C a r t h y (J ) architecture

Why shoot Maryland Parkway instead of, you know, that other big, insanely photogenic street a few miles away? Why, when we assigned these three photographers to capture that elusive quality known as sense of place, did we opt for the understudy instead of the diva? Easy. Visual as the Strip is, we didn’t want the usual dream-factory celebrations. No pretty-city glamour shots. We wanted striking images that would also aggregate as a multifaceted portrait of the city as we know it, as we live it every day: filled with incredibly varied residents, unexpected visions, strange juxtapositions; enlivened by vitalities old (UNLV) and new (the Gay and Lesbian Center), encrusted here and there with history (the Huntridge Theatre), occasionally rattled by conflict (the Huntridge again) and resonant with the kind of big, failed dreams that just might’ve changed the city (the Midtown project, Flavor Flav’s House of Flavor). That's Maryland Parkway, and a lot of it is captured on these pages. Las Vegas Boulevard might be the boulevard, but Maryland Parkway is our boulevard.

That’s why.


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With the vast cultural, economic and historical diversity along Maryland Parkway, it’s easy to become lost in the showcase of what the thoroughfare has to offer. Some places are so deeply rooted in Vegas history that it’s hard to imagine this city without them, while other landmarks are making their own claim to Vegas. Providing a strong visual context as the foundation of this photo essay was paramount in my creative approach. Highlighting the underlying characteristics of what makes the buildings religious, cultural, economic or educational is always a challenge. This diversity along Maryland Parkway shows us where Vegas has been, and where it’s going. — Jakob McCarthy (L)

(A) JUNE 2014



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Photographing on Maryland Parkway was a visit to my past, to the area of my teenage days. I was both excited and skeptical — I didn’t want to alter those great memories, yet my nature is one of curiosity. For this project, I did the unexpected: I elected to use film. And not just any film, one I have never used before, one that shifts colors from the expected to the unexpected. It was my attempt to add an element of chance to the experience of exploring an area I once knew but that was unfamiliar to me now. Pushing the process further, I shot with two low-tech cameras. I guess I really didn’t want to face Maryland Parkway straight on and chance disturbing any precious memories. — Linda Alterwitz


JUNE 2014



Brainstorming this project on Maryland Parkway brought memories of childhood trips to the mall, harrowing time spent in the neonatal unit with my twins, and a lifelong love affair with UNLV. So intertwined has "The Parkway" been in my life, I thought documenting it would be a simple and fun exercise. But as it should be in documentary work, the process was more educational than recapitulatory. What I found were lost souls and blight, feisty entrepreneurialism, and those who refuse to give up on their neighborhoods. What I found was how little I understood the street of my life. — Aaron Mayes




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FANTASTIC scholastic Exciting educational services abound within the Las Vegas Valley

Las Vegas Day School Las Vegas Day School offers students numerous advantages, including a traditional environment; a fully secured campus; parent involvement and communication; and a rigorous academic program, work and study habits, and discipline. Parents should begin shopping for schools approximately one year in advance. It is vital that parents look at all their choices for their children’s education, because their selection of a school needs to match their family’s values and philosophy. Most importantly, parents need to think long-term to determine their hopes and dreams for their child and where they want them to be in the future. The biggest reason parents send their children to private school is to give them every advan-


tage that a quality education can provide for high school, college and their adult business life. The school needs to be large enough to provide the full school experience, yet the teacher-student ratio must be at a level that meets the needs of each child. Parents should inquire about the history of the school, standardized test scores, colleges the graduates are attending, etc., and teachers should be asked about their goals and expectations for their classes. It’s also important to ask about the curriculum and overall mission and philosophy of the school. Parents should look for strong administration, as well as staff hiring and program continuity. LVDS seeks to find, hire and keep the finest possible educators, and has very little teacher attrition. Parents also should

feel welcomed by the administration to discuss their child’s needs or any school concerns. Additionally, visiting schools is a critical part of the decision-making process. Every school has a different mission and purpose, which is only apparent upon visitation. While on campus, parents can witness the interaction between teachers and students, the learning environment, educational materials and if students seem happy.   Las Vegas Day School, located at 3275 Red Rock St. in the Southwest Valley, features a Kinderschool program, as well as elementary and middle schools. For additional information, call 702-362-1180 or log on to

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Preparing Tomorrow’s Health Care Professionals Roseman University’s Unique Educational Model Yields Successful Results

When Roseman University of Health Sciences was founded in Henderson in 1999 as the Nevada College of Pharmacy, the institution aspired to create the best Doctor of Pharmacy program in the world. Today Roseman is on the forefront of preparing tomorrow’s health care professionals, thanks to its proven educational model and the strong dedication of its board of trustees, faculty and staff, students, alumni, partners, supporters and friends. During the past 15 years, Roseman has experienced remarkable growth that has seen expansions into the fast-growing and high-demand fields of nursing, pre- and post-doctoral dental medicine, health care business and medical research. The university’s commitment to Southern Nevada and the region as a transforming force in vital areas of health care education is steady as it continues its plan to establish an allopathic medical school in Las Vegas. Much of the university’s success is due to how it’s different. Roseman created a highly effective pedagogical model that is unique to health professions education. The Roseman Educational Model is immersive and incorporates mastery learning, problem-based and active learning, cooperative or team-based learning, and a block system curricular design specifically engineered to support attainment of learning outcomes and the highest level of achievement for all students. Roseman University has campuses in Henderson and Summerlin, as well as the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan, Utah. The university is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and each of its current academic programs is accredited by its respective accrediting body. Roseman University of Health Sciences is located at 11 Sunset Way. For additional information about Roseman University, call 702-990-4433 or visit the website at


Your investment in their future has met its match. A college savings plan in a class of its own. The Silver State Matching Grant Program* can help boost your savings. · Dollar-for-dollar match into your SSgA Upromise 529 Plan · Up to $300 matching per calendar year, for up to five years · Household income must not exceed $74,999 · Must be a Nevada resident

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Administered by Nevada State Treasurer

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We’re on a journey to redefine the experience of school. Now enrolling students 6 weeks old - 2nd Grade Summer and 2014-2015 School Year 310 S 9th Street, Las Vegas 702.724.1436

Climb Aboard!

It’s All About the Weather in Museum’s Newest Get ready for a complete weather experience when The Magic School Bus™ Kicks Up A Storm at DISCOVERY Children’s Museum, May 24–Sept. 1. The traveling exhibit is based on the popular Scholastic Entertainment books and television series now available on Netflix. The Magic School Bus has been transformed into a flying weather observatory where different types of weather can be created, experienced and measured. Visitors are immersed in the weather exhibit in a unique-

ents and teachers to have a real in-person Magic School Bus experience through Ms. Frizzle’s one-of-a-kind approach to making science fun. Everyone can learn about the different types of weather and their characteristics, and how to read natural world indicators to predict the weather. Plus, they can manipulate scientific measurement tools, such as thermomely Scholastic’s The Magic School ters and anemometers, and get Bus way by visiting “Ms. Frizzle’s the behind-the-scenes scoop on how to read maps and graphs Classroom,” climbing aboard like a real meteorologist. the converted-bus “Weather Observatory” or visiting the “Walkerville Weather Center.” The museum’s summertime Through these three interachours of operation are 10 a.m. tive environments, guests can to 5 p.m. Monday through explore the water cycle and its Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on relation to weather, as well as Sunday. General admission how influences from air, heat, is $12 per person or free for water and land combine to museum members. Visit www. create weather. for more The Scholastic’s The Magic information. School Bus museum exhibit is an ideal way for children, par-

Renaissance Man

Da Vinci Exhibit Examines Life and Art of the Master


Educating healthcare professionals to serve our community

For more information about Touro University Nevada or if you are interested in a campus tour, please call 702.777.3100 or visit 874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson NV 89014

Touro University Nevada is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and licensed in Nevada by the Commission on Post-Secondary Education. Touro University Nevada is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Touro University Nevada does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities.


Da Vinci The Exhibition in the Imagine Exhibitions Gallery at The Venetian follows the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci on a journey of innovation, creativity, science and wonder. Developed by Aurea Exhibitions and produced by Imagine Exhibitions Inc., Da Vinci The Exhibition is a hands-on examination of da Vinci’s life, research and art. Featuring more than 65 fully built life-size inventions, more than 20 fine art studies and dozens of stunning displays, guests will learn the complex beginnings and lifetime achievements of da Vinci through his discoveries in art, engineering, flight, hydraulics, music, light and more. Each invention featured within the display was handcrafted utilizing a modern translation of da Vinci’s unique mirrored writing style in an ancient Florentine dialect. Trained artisans used these translations to construct full-scale models and bring the master’s two-dimensional plans to life. In addition to da Vinci’s role as an inventor, the exhibition investigates a collection of da Vinci’s most renowned paintings, including some controversial works traditionally attributed to him but not yet authenticated. Throughout his lifelong devotion to the sciences and fascination with nature, da Vinci also extensively explored the world of anatomy. Da Vinci The Exhibition’s in-depth and enlightening explanations of his famous studies on subjects such as the golden ratio and “Vitruvian Man”

are complemented by enlarged examples of the artist’s sketches and notes made during his controversial research on the human body. Da Vinci The Exhibition is open for a limited engagement. Exhibition hours of operation are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, with the last ticket being sold at 6 p.m., and 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the last ticket being sold at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at The Venetian box office and are priced at $27.50 for adults; $22.50 for seniors, military, Nevada residents and students with a relevant ID; free for one child age 12 or younger who is accompanied by one paying adult; and $20.50 for additional children. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit entertainment.html.

APRIL 2014


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University Addresses Needs in the Valley

Touro Committed to Health Care and Education of Community Touro University Nevada is part of a system of Jewish-sponsored nonprofit institutions of higher and professional education. It was established to help address the need in Nevada for health care and education professionals. TUN opened in 2004, and today it is a thriving campus with more than 1,300 students enrolled in a variety of degree programs, many of which are the first of their kind in the state. TUN is Nevada’s largest medical school, which offers six additional health care-related degree programs including Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Bachelor of Science in Nursing for new practitioners, and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Also offered are Master of Education and Master of Camp Administration and Leadership degree programs. The university is committed to developing strong educational partnerships in the community. It partners with the Clark County School District’s Center for Teaching Excellence, offering advanced education for Southern Nevada teachers. TUN also partners with Valley Hospital’s graduate medical residency program to provide residency opportunities for Touro students. The Touro University Nevada Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities is a one-stop multidisciplinary source for children with autism and other developmental disorders. Families can receive neuropsychological evaluations, occupational therapy, applied behavior analysis, speech-language therapy and group social skills all under one roof. TUN also operates a multispecialty health center, staffed by faculty members specializing in various fields, including rheumatology, primary care, geriatrics and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Third- and fourth-year medical students do clinical rotations at the center and residents with Valley Hospital assist in the practice. As the health care industry changes, Touro has the ability to assist Nevada with its critical health care needs. In less than 10 years, Touro has graduated more than 1,500 health care professionals and continues to work and partner with the Southern Nevada community. For more information, go to www.tun. or call 702-777-3100.


Kicks Up A Storm Join Ms. Frizzle™ for a journey into the wonders of weather, it’s Wild Ride Certified! Learn how heat, water and air interact to create sun and make a storm at the Weather Mixing Dashboard, report the latest weather at the Frizzle News Station and much more. This hands-on traveling exhibit is based on the best-selling Scholastic books and the ever-popular television series now available on Netflix.

Transformi ng Education 9th Bridge Redefines the Experience of School At 9th Bridge School, where an inspired world of boundless curiosity is envisioned and a focus on creativity and entrepreneurship is ever present, a unique approach for educating children is offered based on neuroscience and social-emotional learning. Throughout the year, this private school’s curriculum cultivates creativity and independence. It also features an artist-in-residency program to help inspire students, and it continually seeks community partnerships and involvement to spark and foster students’ passions. The school welcomes and encourages family involvement as well, and the start of every day begins with Connections, a time when students and their families, staff and administration personnel come together to participate in a schoolwide activity. Connections helps make 9th Bridge a close-knit community, allowing families to stay connected to the school’s happenings and staff. Currently, 9th Bridge School is enrolling students 6 weeks old through second grade for its nine-week summer program and 2014-2015 school year. For the summer program, which runs June 9 – Aug. 8, parents can choose to enroll their child in any or all weeks of the program. The summer program features play workshops that provide opportunities for children to explore personal interests through focused theme studies. Students’ days will also include sand and water exploration, dramatic play, gardening, music, art and yoga. Information sessions to learn more about 9th Bridge School will be held on June 10 and June 24 at 6 p.m. The school is located at 310 S. 9th St. in Las Vegas. You also can find out more about the school and its programs at To schedule a tour of the facility, contact or call the school at 702-724-1436.

KM XB KLUC KXTE KXST KXNT FM /AM Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Kicks Up A Storm exhibit was created by The Children’s Museum of Houston with cooperation from Scholastic Entertainment Inc. with major funding from the National Science Foundation; and in consultation with The National Weather Service, The American Meteorological Society, and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.” TM & © Scholastic Inc. Based on the Magic School Bus book series. © Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. All Rights Reserved.

Kinderschool, Elementary & Middle School

Give Your Child Every Advantage We’ll challenge and inspire your child in a caring environment with programs that have successfully educated thousands of children in Las Vegas for more than fifty years.

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Advanced Innovative Curriculum State-of-the-Art Computer Technology Spanish Music Competitive Sports Extra Curricular Activities State Licensed AdvancED National Accreditation

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BEYOND VEGAS Ge t ou t of tow n a n d e x pe r i e nce a w hol e n e w v i e w of t h e sou t h w e st


APRIL 2014


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Eighth Wonder of the World Celebrates Milestone Tramway Offers One-of-a-Kind Rides for More Than 50 Years

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway did not just happen. It required foresight, planning, financing and, most of all, vision. Construction of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in the rugged Chino Canyon on the north edge of Palm Springs, Calif., was an engineering challenge and soon became labeled the “eighth wonder of the world.” The superlative was earned because of the ingenious use of helicopters in erecting four of the five supporting towers of the tramway. Twenty years later, the tramway was designated as a historical civil engineering landmark. Its inaugural ride occurred on Sept. 12, 1963, with local and state dignitaries and celebrities on hand for the occasion. In 1998, the tramway announced it was embarking on an ambitious modernization program and, beginning in September 2000,

its passengers were riding the world’s largest rotating tramcars ever constructed. Last year, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway marked its 50-year anniversary of taking riders from the desert floor of Chino Canyon to the pristine wilderness of the Mount San Jacinto State Park in Idyllwild, Calif. Tramway hours of operation are 10 a.m. (up) to 9:45 p.m. (down) Monday through Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and holidays, the first tram up is at 8 a.m. Cars depart at least every half hour. Tramway tickets are $23.95 for adults, $16.95 for children ages 3-12 and $21.95 for seniors ages 62 and older. Annual passes are available for $150 for adults or seniors and $90 for children. Prices and hours are subject to change without notice. For more information about the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or to purchase tickets, visit

Easy To Reach, Hard To Forget Town of Pahrump Is a Great Place To Get Away

Vegas is home to some exciting sights, but if you want to explore the true Nevada, you’ll have to head just a little further west. Located an hour west of Las Vegas and an hour east of Death Valley, Calif., the town of Pahrump, Nev., is easy to reach but hard to forget. Set amongst the scenic backdrop of Southern Nevada’s striking beauty, Pahrump is a fantastic destination for an experience miles away — 60, in fact — from the chaos and clamor of Vegas. Unconventional yet comfortable, unique yet familiar, and untamed yet friendly, Pahrump can be summed up in one word: real. You’ll find good food, good people and a good time. Whether you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of big city life or just want to try something new, Pahrump is the ultimate “base camp to adventure.” For visitors who want to unwind and relax, Pahrump offers leisurely activities, including visits to two award-winning wineries, two top-notch golf courses and miles of picturesque trails for hiking. For a more adventurous experience, guests can enjoy high speeds at the Spring


Mountain Motorsports Ranch or Pahrump Valley Speedway, precision self-defense classes at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute or off-road explorations on ATVs or in Jeeps. Pahrump is close enough to Las Vegas for a day trip but unique enough for a vacation. And there are always great events — from car shows to poker runs and everything in between — taking place. Sixty miles west, 180 degrees different; that’s Pahrump. And that’s true Nevada. Check out to see what’s going on. Or, just make the short drive and experience it for yourself. You won’t be sorry … until it’s time to leave.





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06 14

your Arts+Entertainment calendar for june



Alisha Kerlin Clark County Government Center Roadrunners: zippy, darty, a blur of motion! What if, artist Alisha Kerlin wondered after seeing a roadrunner doorstop at a swap meet, you turned them into heavy, immobile sculptures with overtones of Italian futurism? That’ll put some meep-meep in the Rotunda Gallery! Roadrunners that Won’t Run Far shows through July 25 in the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway. Reception 6p, June 5


JUNE 2014


21 Gregg Allman The Pearl at the Palms The South will tour again. 8p, $53-$95,

The Amazing 13 Las Vegas Comic Con Chelsea Handler South Point

Pop culture is building irrevocably toward peak nerd, a year hence, with the release of Avengers 2. Events like this — mingling comics creators with comics fans — help make Vegas a cool base camp along the way. Just ask Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld, Infinity Gauntlet artist George Perez and Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz, among the announced guests. Through June 22, $25-$60,

The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Sure, she has mad skillz on the teevee, with her successful E! shows Chelsea Lately and After Lately, and she can occupy the stage as a stand-up — but we love her for the comic sprezzatura of her classic book title, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. In other words, she’s a very funny human. 8p, $85 and up,

Izel Ballet Folkorico Winchester Cultural Center No, it’s not Cinco de Mayo or Mexican Independence Day. But do you really need a heavily marketed cultural excuse to check out the lively, colorful dancing of Mexico? No, you do not. Here’s your chance to engage in some trans-border cultural understanding. 6:30p, $10$12, 702-455-7340

Channel 10



Through June 6, Mon-Fri, 9a-4p; Sat, 10a-2p. A solo exhibit of fine art prints, drawings and installation artwork by CSN Professor of Printmaking and Drawing, Anne Hoff. Free. CSN Fine Arts Gallery,


Through June 7, Wed-Fri, 9a-6:30p; Sat, 9a-5:30p. Award-winning artist Brenda Dumas presents glass transformed into jewelry, plates, bowls and other pieces of art. Carolyn Hurst is a master quilter. Gaile Ferguson is a student of photography and cinematography in the film department of College of Southern Nevada. The three combine for a holistic multimedia exhibit. Free. West Las Vegas Arts Center Community Gallery, 702-229-4800


Through June 14. A theater musician and circus roustabout with a large dose of wanderlust, photographer Bill Payne barnstormed the US for many years in his truck and trailer with his wife, Danise, by his side. These two had great travel opportunities that provided many compelling picture-taking moments. These photographs reflect that adventure. Free. Sahara West Library Art Gallery,

Australian Pink Floyd: Eclipsed by the Moon Sunday, June 1 at 8 pm

Texas Tenors: You Should Dream Tuesday, June 10 at 7:30 pm

Tiger: Spy in the Jungle Tuesdays at 8 pm, starting June 12

Masterpiece Mystery!

The Escape Artist Sundays, June 15 and 22 at 9 pm


Through June 21, Sat-Sun, 11a and 1p. Mad scientists roam the Preserve with interactive experiments that are different every week. Free with general admission. Springs Preserve


Through July 13. Fashion items utilizing sustainable or environmentally friendly materials. The exhibit also includes photos of each piece, shot with models on location at the Springs. Free with paid general admission. Big Springs Gallery at the Springs Preserve

Death in Paradise Mondays at 10 pm, starting June 16

Freedom Summer: American Experience Tuesday, June 24 at 9 pm


Through July 14, Mon-Thu, 7a-5:30p. The artists in this exhibit were asked to explore a subject that relates to life on other

Visit to see the complete schedule today. 3050 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121


702.799.1010 JUNE 2014


THE GUIDE planets or in other galaxies, space travel, UFO sightings, and the famous Area 51 in the middle of the Nevada desert, as well as any other phenomena that centers on any of these topics. Free. Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 702-229-1012

ARMAND THOMAS: EGYPT Through Aug. 5. Beyond the breaking news, away from the glare of television cameras, daily life continues in Egypt much as it has for eons – carefully, cautiously, steadily. In this photography exhibit, Thomas attempts to depict the duality of contemporary Egypt, a nation caught between stability and change, tradition and modernity, history and progress. Free. West Las Vegas Library Art Gallery,

THE RHYTHMS OF AFRICA Through Oct. 11, Tue-Fri, 12-5p; Sat, 10a-3p. The exhibition will feature African statues, masks, musical instruments, baskets, African cloth and various other artifacts. Also featuring paintings by internationally known artist, Calvin B. Jones. Free. Left of Center Art Gallery, 2207 W. Gowan Road,


June 6, 5-10p. An open-mic event where local fashion designers share the stage with musicians and other performers. Vendor booths and other entertainment throughout. $10, includes red carpet picture. Circus Circus Hotel and Casino,


June 19-Aug. 23, reception June 19, 5:30-7:30p. Artists in this invitational exhibit will select one or more elements and principles of art, which are the tools or building blocks the artist, sometimes intuitively, employs to make a unified piece of artwork. The artists will be asked to make a piece of artwork that explores and defines the particular element and principle chosen. Free. Mayor’s Gallery at the Fifth Street School. Call for appointment, 702-229-3515


June 26-Sep. 6, Wed-Fri, 12:30-9p, Sat, 10a-6p; reception June 26, 5:30-7:30p. Fulmer studied sculpture, art theory and graphic design, receiving his Master of Fine Arts from UNLV in 2000. He has taught at UNLV, Wabash College, Herron School of Art and most recently at CSN. Free. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.,


JUNE 2014



June 21, 7-10:30p. Presented by USA Dance Las Vegas Chapter #4038, a local chapter of the national nonprofit volunteer organization, dedicated to the promotion of ballroom dancing. $10 adults; $5 military/students ages 13-25. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.,


THE BARBER OF SEVILLE June 6, 7:30p; June 8, 2p. Celebrate the 200th anniversary of this comic masterpiece with soloists Victor Ryan Robertson, Daniel Elijah Sutin, Peter Strummer, Philip Cokorinos and Renee Tatum. $55-$95. Judy Bayley Theatre at UNLV, 702-895-ARTS


June 7, 2p. Walter Boenig leads the Dynamic Trombone Quartet in a concert of eclectic music, from classical compositions to popular contemporary standards. Free. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., 702-229-6383


June 7, 6p. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnics to the amphitheater to enjoy this contemporary jazz pianist and composer who is known for more than 25 recordings, many award-winning. Free. Clark County Government Center Amphitheater,

A TRIBUTE TO JOHNNY CASH, TRAINS, AMERICA AND SOME FRIENDS June 7, 7p. Jimmie Ray as Johnny Cash, and Cyndi Cantrell as June Carter, Patsy Cline (and more), along with their band, Black Train – plus a large-scale model railroad. $13 residents, $15 non-residents. Starbright Theatre,


June 8, 2p. Enjoy popular musical favorites as well as traditional brass band repertoire with the Las Vegas Brass Band, a traditional British-style ensemble made up of talented professional and amateur musicians from

Southern Nevada. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library,


June 13-15, 7p. Award-winning vocal quartet Spectrum and its stunning sister-group Radiance perform together in a tribute to Motown and R&B music. $34-$37. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

SOPHIA LELIS WITH THE WOODY WOODS QUINTET June 14, 2p. Lelis will sing one or two of Woods’ compositions and many hits drawn from The Great American Songbook. $10 advance, $12 concert day. Winchester Cultural Center,


June 14, 2p. Known for his engaging commentary and expressive playing, Nigro will perform works by Jose Luis Merlin, Antonio Lauro, Isaac Albeniz, Maximo Diego Pujol, Jorge Cardoso (and many others) in a concert celebrating Latin American music and composers. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library,


June 20-21, 7p; June 21, 3p. Paying tribute to the greatest hits of piano legends Billy Joel and Elton John, this award-winning performer will wow you with his signature style. $35-$55. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center


June 21, 6p. Pre-concert cocktails, 5p. Celebrate the music of Django Reinhardt and other gypsy jazz musicians past and present. Featuring internationally renowned guitarist Robin Nolan, the Icy Hot Club of Los Angeles and The Hot Club of Las Vegas. Food and Django merchandise will be available for purchase. $10 advance, $15 concert day. Fifth Street School,


June 26, 6p. Join Lee Mallory “The Love Poet” and musical

back-up by Nate “The Mad Slapper” Segundo in performances that range from tastefully erotic to romantically sublime. After the show, Lee will sign copies of his latest collection, Now and Then. Free. Ichabod’s Lounge, 3300 E. Flamingo Road, 702-451-2323


June 28, 7p. Gorgeous harmonies and introspective moments combine with historical narrative, energetic dancing and good laughs to create a truly touching walk down memory lane, complete with music from The Mamas and The Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and others. $15 residents, $18 non-residents. Starbright Theatre, starbrighttheatre.htm



June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 8p. Drop-in class with Paul Mattingly, 6p. Comedy show featuring both short- and long-form improv from some of the Valley’s most experienced improv actors. Wine and concessions available. $10 show, $15 for both drop-in and show. Baobab Stage Theatre, 6587 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


June 6-16. The two-weekend Festival of Live Theatre will feature an exciting buffet of new and established plays and performances of no more than one hour each, performed multiple times throughout the festival. See the website for specific days and times of each play. $10-$12. Las Vegas Little Theatre,

50 SHADES! THE MUSICAL June 7, 7:30p. This hilarious parody opens with a ladies book club deciding to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Through their interpretation of the novel, the audience is led on an uproarious roller coaster ride of this unlikely bestseller. The show is full of dance numbers and original songs delivered by an outrageous cast with a live band. $24-$79. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center


June 7, 8p. Michael Raynor created and performs his off-Broadway hit show, which explores his fantastical relationship with his estranged father. This is a story about growing up and the problems faced by adults trying to deci-

pher childhood memories. $38-$42 Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center


June 10-July 5, Tue-Sun, 6:30p; Sat-Sun, 2p. From South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, this religious parody tells the story of two young missionaries sent to a remote village in Uganda where a brutal warlord is threatening the local population. They try to share their scriptures - which only one of them has read - but have trouble connecting with the locals. $39-$150. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center


June 25, 8p. Grey Envelope Theatre presents something for everyone who loves comedy, including sketch and improv! Aruba Lounge, 1215 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,




June 14, 12-11p. Las Vegas’ largest Reggae festival showcasing both the unifying power of Reggae music and the Caribbean lifestyle will include Caribbean-inspired vendors and a beer garden. $25 advance, $30 concert day, VIP tickets $100. Clark County Amphitheatre,


June 19, 6-9p. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, to deliver the message that the last American slaves were now free. This announcement resulted in days of celebration. Please bring low-back chairs and blankets. Food will be available for sale at the event. Free. Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza in Lorenzi Park, 700 Twin Lakes Drive,

June 5, 7p. With friends such as flamboyant Irish poet, lecturer and playwright Oscar Wilde and acclaimed 19th Century French painter Rosa Bonheur, who carried a government permit to dress like a man, William F. Cody was as “unprejudiced as a man could be,” according to prominent western historians. Was Buffalo Bill gay-friendly before the term existed? Free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library,




June 12, 7p. Celebrate Nevada’s 150th birthday with a cavalcade of local writers who contributed to the official book of the sesquicentennial, Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State. A book signing and reception will follow the talk. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library,



Through Sep. 1, 10a-6p. Eighteen holes of serious indoor fun. Explore a tropical rainforest, navigate a polluted waterway and learn how to make a wildlife refuge in your own backyard, all while playing a game of indoor miniature golf. Free with paid general admission. Springs Preserve

June 26, 11:30a. A high-energy, Australian-themed program that combines music, culture, science, puppetry and comedy that is perfect for the whole family. Free. Main Theater at Clark County Library,


June 6, 7p. A night of culinary tastes from top Las Vegas restaurants, beautiful and heart-warming children’s art, great silent and live auction prizes in a cocktail party setting. Live entertainment provided by DJ C01 and John Colombo. Benefits Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada. $150. World Market Center, 495 S. Grand Central Parkway #2203,


June 7, 9a-2p. Family-friendly community resource fair that will include children’s activities, characters such as McGruff the Crime Dog, silent auction, and performances by local children’s groups. Benefits Prevent Child Abuse Nevada. Free. Tivoli Village,

JUNE 2014



Behind the shutter They didn’t win our Photo Contest, but something about these shots made us want to know more Photographer: Lisane Forello

It caught our eye because: It could be the composition, it could be the casually naturalistic style or it could be the horse in line at Starbucks. The story: “My husband, Dushon, usually rides his horse, Misty, a black Morgan, between Southern Highlands and Blue Diamond. One morning he called me and said he was going to pick up a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Since the line inside was too long, he decided to go to the drive-through. I decided to meet him and, getting out of the car, I saw him on Misty and thought it was a unique situation. We need some horse poles at Starbucks so he can tie his horse.”

Photographer: Tony Fountain

It caught our eye because: We liked the eerie, almost taxidermied calm of the bighorn sheep and the incongruous suburban setting. The story: “A co-worker told me about a location in Boulder City where bighorn sheep come down to graze in Hemenway Park. So my wife and I drove there one Sunday morning. To my surprise, we noticed groups of five to seven coming down slowly from the mountain into the neighborhood. I parked my car to take photos. Gradually, they started walking down the street toward the park, right by my car. I had the window down. A couple of sheep walked right by my door without fear or hesitancy. I took great shots of a few females and a couple of rams. We’ve been back to the park in Boulder City several times to just hang out and watch the herds.”

Photographer: Christine Fencl

It caught our eye because: The unusual mix of lightning and … Dumpster? Also, the intriguing possibility that she’d captured the arrival of a terminator from the future. The story: “Taken east of Boulder Highway, down the street from where I work. I was about to leave for the day when I noticed that a rain cloud and lightning were traveling through. Thankfully I had my camera, because I wanted to capture a shot with one side of the frame being the dark cloud/rain/lightning, and the other side of the frame to be the clear blue sky. Because I love shooting urban decay (finding the beauty in everything), I waited until the rain cloud traveled over the area of the Dumpster and was lucky enough to get that streak of lightning with this shot. That is why I titled it ‘Chaos & Calm.’ Left of the photo represented the strength, beauty and ugliness harsh weather can bring, and the Dumpster just added to the atmosphere.”


June 2014



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Desert Companion - June 2014  
Desert Companion - June 2014  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada