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July 26, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Holding out for alpacas and solar power

Updated Friday, April 26, 2013 | 4:27 p.m.

The Las Vegas Sun's embedded downtown reporter does a little eavesdropping and takes a pulse on downtown Las Vegas.

• “What are they going to change downtown? Bring us drive-in lattes? I mean, some of it is good but where are the game-changers? How are they going to fix the homeless — maybe “fix” is the wrong word.” — Youngish man, app developer.

• “I love Downtown Las Vegas. I wish I had a shop here.” — Elderly woman walking on Fremont Street.

• “I wouldn’t go with the llama, I’d hold out for the alpaca. They’re much softer to pet.” — City Councilman Bob Beers after learning about the llama parade from Fremont Street to Cashman Field on Thursday.

• “I want to put a solar field out there right now and power downtown!” — Young man at The Beat coffeehouse.

• “This is why they’re angry.” — A woman holds a flier about a house for sale on Seventh Street. Under the picture of the house, the flier reads: “Be a part of Zappos (sic) new version of Downtown Las Vegas."

• “I’ve been ticketed even with time left on the meter. I know there’s a few minutes left because I run out there to add more change.” — Downtown workers referring to the city’s parking meter readers.

• "Feeling sorry for someone is just you projecting what you think it would be like to be them." — Sean Stephenson, a therapist, self-help author and motivational speaker born with “brittle bone disease." He spoke Thursday night at the Construction Zone trailers at Seventh and Fremont streets.

• "In five years, they could do what it took me 15 to do. They’re ahead of where we were after a few years." — former Mayor Will Wynn, of Austin, Texas, at The Beat, talking about Downtown Project and Downtown redevelopment. When Wynn was elected mayor in 2000, he estimated roughly 250 people lived within a 12-by-12 block area of downtown Austin. After the city invested in innovative infrastructure projects, such as a massive chiller that provided free air conditioning to businesses that moved downtown, Austin's downtown took off. Today, some 11,000 people live in the area.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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