Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 | 2 a.m.
They come from far-flung corners of the globe: Peru, China, Kenya and Russia. Sometimes they come by themselves, sometimes in big groups.
They come here to meet the self-proclaimed Happiest Mayor of the Greatest City in the World — and walk away with his personal poker chips stating as much.
More weeks than not, it seems, when Mayor Oscar Goodman holds his televised weekly news conferences and reports his activities and meetings of the prior week, sit-downs with diplomats from foreign lands are reported.
On Thursday, Goodman announced that a Slovakian official had recently stopped by. Next week, a delegation of young leaders from India and Pakistan.
Why do these officials come to Las Vegas, and what do they get from the meetings?
“They love my office, they love the room,” Goodman said of his uniquely styled City Hall digs, thick with historical and only-in-Vegas knickknacks.
Two or three such delegations visit Goodman per month on average, City Hall officials said.
But real work gets done, the mayor said. Sometimes he helps visitors do business with the World Market Center, for example. That was why the Indonesian ambassador to the United States, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, stopped by in July with his country’s consul general from Los Angeles.
Goodman added that in several instances, dignitaries come from countries that are considering — or grappling with the effects of — legalized gambling. They want to hear from a leader who might know something about that issue.
In the end, though, it’s possible these foreign officials come to Vegas, at least in part, for the same reasons lots of Americans do:
“They love the glitz and the glamour,” Goodman said.
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Flu season’s coming, and city officials are trying to make it easier to get prepared.
Flu and pneumonia immunization shots will be offered soon to seniors and others who need them at various senior citizen centers, officials announced recently.
Centers where the shots will be available include the Derfelt Senior Center on West Washington Avenue, the Las Vegas Senior Center on East Bonanza Road, the Doolittle Senior Center on North J Street, the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center on North Eastern Avenue, and Centennial Hills Active Adult Center.
Shots will cost from $25 to $30 for flu vaccines and $40 to $45 for pneumonia vaccines. Several types of insurance will be accepted, including Medicare Part B, Humana, Tricare For Life, Aetna Medicare Open (PFFS), Medicare Complete, Sterling Option 1, and more than 70 fee-for-service plans.
Photo identification will be necessary, along with proof of insurance.
For information, including dates and times shots will be available and additional clinic locations, call 759-0850 or go to www.southern
For information on restrictions and recommendations for who should receive flu and pneumonia shots, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/.
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Sometimes large-scale government progress means small-scale wastefulness, apparently.
When ground was broken for the $7.5 million Stupak Community Center, near the Stratosphere in Chester A. Stupak Park, some construction had to be done.
But that included destroying two structures designed for the park that cost the city $35,000 to build.
They were canopies, or “shade structures,” custom-built for a play area in the park, a city spokesman said.
The fancy new 34,183-square-foot center will include a multisport gym, a game room, several classrooms and a fitness area.