Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Longtime journalist Dan Rather has been in town, interviewing people for a story airing tonight on the economic troubles in Las Vegas.
"From subdivisions littered with foreclosed homes to pawn shops brimming with the riches of a better time, much of Las Vegas is feeling the pain," the HDNet network said in promoting the "Dan Rather Reports" show.
In "Busted," Rather speaks with "Penelope," an exotic dancer who competes for work with thousands of others who have taken to dancing to make money.
"I have a house, I'm educated. I have job skills," Penelope told Rather. "I lived in New York, had a real estate license. I was a licensed EMT. I was in the military. You know, so -- this isn't supposed to happen to me."
The network said Tom McCormick, president of Astoria Homes, "is living his own nightmare as the bank now owns 30 of his brand new, never lived in homes."
"At our peak we were selling about 100 homes a month," McCormick told Rather. "And now we probably do two or three."
Mayor Oscar Goodman told Rather the city will quickly rebound.
"Vegas -- has been remarkable, very resilient," Goodman said. When asked by Rather for a timeline on the Las Vegas comeback, Goodman said he feels the city will be back to being a leading tourist destination in 12 months, HDNet said. "I think people are drowning where they are. They're depressed where they are. They're looking for relief and Vegas will provide that to them," Goodman said.
Las Vegans interested in the show can see it on satellite TV. HDNet said it's not carried locally on cable.
Post this on your company bulletin board:
This is National Volunteer Week and United Way’s Volunteer Center in Las Vegas invites the public to lend a helping hand.
Consider these non-traditional ways of "volunteering" your time:
-- Be a leader: Get a group of friends together to do some good. Maybe even attend a project leader training session given by the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada.
-- Extend your spring cleaning efforts by ensuring trash in your neighborhood is disposed of properly.
-- Spread knowledge and goodwill by reading to a child.
-- Take a tip from United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council and donate your used clothing to a shelter.
-- Foster a homeless pet.
-- To find a volunteer opportunity in your area, visit the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada at www.volunteercentersn.org.
Lots of community activities are set for this week, many involving volunteers and Las Vegas-area companies that are donating time and resources for causes ranging from Earth Day to health care to domestic violence.
Here are a few:
-- Summerlin developer the Howard Hughes Corp. said valley residents are invited to celebrate Earth Day at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free event at the Red Spring Picnic Area in Calico Basin features environmental tips on how to adopt a more green lifestyle, interactive children’s activities, interpretive hikes, Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, fire safety tips and appearances by Mojave Max and Summerlin Sam.
The event is hosted by Friends of Red Rock Canyon in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and is sponsored by the Howard Hughes Corp., along with the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association. Other participants include BLM Fire, Public Lands Institute, Dutch Oven Society of Nevada and UNLV Sierra Student Coalition.
"We have a long history partnering with the Friends of Red Rock Canyon," said Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for Hughes. "Helping Friends of Red Rock Canyon with environmental educational outreach is a natural for Summerlin."
Hughes said Summerlin has a long history as an environmentally-friendly community that began even before development commenced.
In 1987, three years before development began, Hughes made its first land exchange with the Bureau of Land Management to preserve and protect the area around Red Rock Canyon. This exchange contributed to the creation of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area as it exists today. A second land exchange in 2002 added another 1,000-plus acres of sensitive high ground into the Conservation Area and set aside more than 1,200 acres for a future county trails park.
Warden said Summerlin was the first major community to use low water-use landscapes and is often credited with helping change the once negative perception of desert landscaping.
"Summerlin was also the first to use low-light-pollution street lighting, natural drainage preservation and is committed to smart and sustainable growth via a land plan that creates and maintains an environment where residents can live, work, shop and play all within their own community," he said.
For more information on Earth Day at Red Rock Canyon, call 515-5360 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To attend the event, travel west on Charleston Boulevard/Highway 159 approximately four miles past the Las Vegas beltway, toward Red Rock Canyon. Make a right at the Calico Basin sign and continue until you see the entrance to Red Spring picnic area on your left. Free parking will be available.
-- Verizon Wireless is supporting Earth Day and domestic violence victims by encouraging residents to recycle their wireless phones, batteries and accessories at any Verizon store year-round or at Go Wireless, a retailer for Verizon Wireless that is holding an Earth Day HopeLine phone recycling drive April 22-26 at 9875 South Eastern Ave.
Verizon said consumers can also save energy by using a power strip for wireless phone or PDA chargers, and then switching it off when everything has been charged so "phantom" energy isn't used.
Consumers can also improve battery life and reduce the need for charging by changing the settings of wireless phones or PDAs; backlighting; and can save paper by converting to electronic statements for many services.
Verizon said HopeLine accepts wireless phones and accessories in any condition from any manufacturer for reuse and recycling. All phones donated to HopeLine that can be refurbished are sold for reuse and those that are not salvageable are recycled in an environmentally sound way under a zero landfill policy. Proceeds from HopeLine are used to provide wireless phones to survivors of domestic violence who are rebuilding their lives or cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.
For information about HopeLine, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
-- Boston Cleaners is launching its Hangers with Heart Recycling and Community Gift hanger recycling program today. The company says some 20 million wire hangers are used for dry cleaning services in the Las Vegas Valley annually – most of which are discarded and end up in landfills.
Boston Cleaners is encouraging customers and non-customers to recycle hangers and as an incentive will donate 10 cents per hanger to two local non-profit organizations – Communities in Schools and Friends of Red Rock. It is estimated that donations from the Hangers with Heart Recycling and Community Gift program will generate $1,000 per quarter.
-- Sunrise Hospital is working with the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) to increase awareness about the importance of DVT risk assessment as part of the coalition’s first-ever nationwide RV tour, ``Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT.'' The RV tour is traveling across the country visiting hospitals to offer free screenings on the bus and educate about DVT risk factors.
The event Friday is free and open to the public from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the hospital's north open parking lot.
The National Institutes of Health says DVT mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. Blood clots in the veins can block blood flow. If the clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream, it can get stuck in the brain, lungs, heart, or other area, leading to severe damage.
Risks for DVT include bedrest, smoking, fractures, giving birth within the past six months, medications such as estrogen and birth control pills, obesity, recent surgery and sitting for a long time.
-- And Cox Communications last week hosted some 300 fourth and fifth grade students from Gene Ward, Joseph Thiriot and Helen Jydstrup elementary schools as they visited an Arabian horse show and got to meet the horses for Cox Kids Day.
The event was during the 3rd Annual Arabian Breeders World Cup at the South Point Arena.
Local Cox Vice President of Public and Government Affairs Steve Schorr said he and his colleagues were "excited to host Cox Kids Day and introduce this beautiful breed to local children, many of whom have never seen a horse in real life, let alone ever touched a horse."