Las Vegas Sun

February 14, 2016

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Dave Berns

Story Archive

Frustration, depression plague longtime unemployed
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
She was a productive member of the community, held casino industry jobs for most of her professional life. Now, Donna McQuinn senses that people look past her, an invisible character in a country where self-worth is often measured by the jobs we fill.
She hasn’t had a job for two years.
At Chaparral, some students resent changes they see as 'extreme'
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Elsha Harris-Yolanda and Crystal Carter are having a hard time adjusting to the new sheriff in town at Chaparral High School. The teenagers seem to be exemplary students.
Principal out to change the culture at Chaparral High
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
David Wilson has begun his run as principal at Chaparral High School, which has one of the Clark County School District’s worst graduation rates.
Hancock principal a forceful presence in classrooms
Friday, Sept. 2, 2011
Even before the school year began, Principal Jerre Moore knew she had made friends — and critics — at the academically troubled Hancock Elementary School. “She’s very nice, very polite. She just loves kids to death,” said Sidney Wursch, a precocious third-grader who remembered Moore from last year. But Sidney’s great-grandfather, Lee Beatty, has a different memory of last year, when Moore arrived and began imposing changes.
Q&A with David Wilson, principal at Chaparral High School
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011
He inherited a school that was in poor shape. There were few working toilets. Air ducts were covered with filth. Carpets and tile were blackened from years of poor maintenance. Windows throughout the campus were deeply marked by knives and car keys.
At Chaparral, clean house, new faces, fresh start
New principal brings a sense of urgency, assertive style to inspire upgrade in student performance
Monday, Aug. 29, 2011
David Wilson moved among the 24 Chaparral High School students like an old-style preacher beckoning skeptical congregants to rise to their feet to speak. “What do you want from me? What can I do for you?” he said.
Five struggling schools embark on a journey to improve education
Sun launches yearlong project tracking progress at Chaparral, Mojave, Western, Elizondo and Hancock
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011
Dawn is still an hour away and Dwight Jones is in his office, running on four hours of sleep. There’s not enough time in the day, he says, to address all the problems facing the Clark County School District. So much to do. So much at stake.
Berns: Nevada's been plagued by the recession. A little mercy, please?
Monday, Aug. 15, 2011
He’s one of the most perceptive chroniclers of our troubled era, a journalist who’s equally comfortable when he’s writing about health care costs and credit default swaps.
Las Vegas Advisor boss' advice: Bring back the Baby Boomers
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011
When Anthony Curtis speaks of the challenge of getting debt-laden consumers to spend money in Las Vegas, his analysis is framed by personal business experience as an analyst of gaming and entertainment industry trends.
Valley's three mayors on quest to revive economy, create jobs
Friday, Aug. 5, 2011
Carolyn Goodman attended a recent gathering of U.S. mayors where solutions to the nation’s economic woes dominated the conversation.
Juvenile offenders helping clean up homes in foreclosure
Saturday, July 30, 2011
This is what it’s come to amid the collapse of the housing market. Thirty-one kids, some of them gang members, weeding and trimming the front yard of a foreclosed home in northeast Las Vegas.
Southern California joblessness a drag on Las Vegas economy
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Southern Nevada will continue to be hampered because Southern California’s economy is expected to remain mired in double-digit unemployment, although there are signs of improvement.
With lending down, would-be entrepreneurs rely on savings, credit cards
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Steve Antill cashed out his IRA of about $7,000 to start his Strictly Iron fence-building business. The married father of two lost his job of 13 years and figured he would need to make it on his own.
Late to the party, Las Vegas businesses targeting gay community
Vegas has finally gotten it: Gays and lesbians have money to spend and they should be spending it here.
Monday, July 18, 2011
The dozen fit, comfortable-in-their-own-(exposed)-skin men lounging around the Blue Moon pool one recent afternoon may not realize it, but they’re in the sweet spot for Las Vegas image makers.
Developers continue push for UNLV stadium, retail district
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Skeptics will question the wisdom of building a massive entertainment-driven enclave in the heart of the recession-ravaged Las Vegas Valley, but Los Angeles developer Ed Roski Jr. and his Las Vegas point man, Craig Cavileer, are moving ahead with plans for a proposed UNLV stadium-arena, student housing and retail complex. The effort continues despite the recent legislative failure of a plan that could have helped finance the project or two competing proposals.
Many Nevadans feeling snakebit about economy
Economic reports indicate experts unsure when recovery will arrive
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
A single word drives the thoughts of many Nevadans: “When?” It can be heard in many conversations. When will housing prices rebound? When will the job market bounce back?
Is the NDA missing in action from Nevada’s economic development?
The Nevada Development Authority has underdelivered on diversification. That’s no secret. But is it really to blame for our single-track economy?
Monday, June 27, 2011
At a lunchtime meeting at Panevino restaurant late last year, Somer Hollingsworth outlined his latest plans to market the Las Vegas Valley, particularly to Southern Californians.
Brookings: Las Vegas remains mired in economic malaise
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Southern Nevada could look to Salt Lake City, Provo, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., as models of diverse economies. The four are among the strongest in the region despite the three-year recession, with their increased dependence on health care, high technology, manufacturing and overseas exports.
District confronts reality of poor high school graduation rates
Friday, June 10, 2011
When Dwight Jones was hired last November to be superintendent of the Clark County School District, he promised honesty and transparency to win over a distrustful and suspicious community. Now, School District officials are acknowledging what critics have long suspected — that high school graduation figures have for years been inflated to paint a better picture than actually existed.
Report ranks Clark County among last in high school graduation rates
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
An estimated 16,114 Clark County School District high school seniors will fail to graduate a year from now, according to a story in Education Week, placing the school district third on a list of 25 “dropout epicenters” in the country.
The forgotten Hispanic economy in Las Vegas: ¿Por qué?
When half of Clark County’s kindergartners are Hispanic, how are businesses monetizing those students' parents?
Monday, June 6, 2011
Even in these recessionary times, thousands of small, medium and large business operators fail to tap into the thriving Hispanic market. Why? The Las Vegas Valley’s booming Hispanic population has transformed entire neighborhoods into ethnic enclaves.
School District awaits word on impact of final budget
Friday, June 3, 2011
Clark County School District officials were waiting to hear Friday how much the district’s budget will be cut for the next two years after Gov. Brian Sandoval and legislative leaders reached agreement on a state budget.
Kids sell lemonade to try to save teachers' jobs
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Several youngsters recently walked up to Givens Elementary School Principal Rick Slater and handed him a small plastic bag that held $27 and change. They wanted to help, wanted to save teachers’ jobs at their Summerlin school. Slater was stunned.
Economist who forecasts state finances filed for bankruptcy
Friday, May 20, 2011
The economist who helps predict how much money state government can expect to fund its budget has declared personal bankruptcy, telling the Sun he didn't foresee his own financial meltdown.
Proposal for south Strip arena hinges on securing financing
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The inspiration for Texas businessman Chris Milam’s plans to buy the Las Vegas 51s and build a multisport athletic venue at the south end of the Strip can be found in his relationship with baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Milam met the legendary pitcher along with Ryan’s sons, Reid and Reese, while negotiating a loan to purchase a helicopter with money from the family’s Texas bank.
Amid crowds, some students are left behind
Teachers say increasingly crammed classrooms make it hard to reach segment of pupils
Sunday, May 15, 2011
The former Catholic priest moves among his flock of high school seniors, questioning, listening, seeking eye contact with his students as they read aloud from Isaac Asimov’s series “Foundation.” Arthur Gamboa is working hard to engage the class of 40 Palo Verde High School seniors.
Despite huge stakes, Nevadans ho-hum on budget
Friday, May 13, 2011
Successful politics are often about the ability of lawmakers to sell a story that illustrates what they’re pushing. Legislative Democrats are convinced they’ve done just that as they paint pictures of the potential fallout from Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget cuts.
Chancellor gives gloomy outlook for higher education amid budget debate
Friday, May 6, 2011
Nevada Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich delivered a blunt assessment of the financial future of the state's eight colleges and universities Friday amid the ongoing budget debate in the state Legislature.
Student to regent during heated exchange: 'I don't owe you respect'
Friday, May 6, 2011
A heated exchange between a graduate teaching fellow and a member of the Nevada Board of Regents over proposed budget cuts kicked off today's special meeting of the 13-member panel.
State budget windfall could prevent School District layoffs
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Clark County School District will receive $160 million from the state general fund as a result of revised revenue estimates by the state Economic Forum, potentially preventing layoffs.
In recession, many are hungry without any hope, some are helped
Monday, May 2, 2011
Some work jobs that pay less than 10 bucks an hour. Others receive a combination of unemployment benefits, Social Security and food stamps. Few earn more than $1,200 a month. Once a month they pass through the Fish Inc. food relief program in North Las Vegas.
Crowd at New York-New York is much smaller 10 years later
Sunday, May 1, 2011
It was so movingly improvisational, so absolutely intuitive when the northwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue became a makeshift shrine to the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. In the hours that followed the horrific attacks, people gravitated to the corner in front of New York-New York, wanting to have some connection to the victims of New York City, the Pentagon and Shanksville. If all the world was filled with honorary Americans that day, the four-year-old megaresort had become a piece of the city it mimicked.
Crowd gathers at Cashman Field to rally against education cuts
Union organizers protest cuts that could leave thousands in School District jobless
Saturday, April 30, 2011
About 500 union members marched from Cashman Field to the Grant Sawyer State Office Building on Saturday afternoon while shouting "Save our schools" and "Protect education."
Dark times for schools, future of our community
The state of emergency that exists in classroom is real, and budget woes are aggravating it
Saturday, April 30, 2011
There’s an intersection just west of Summerlin Hospital, where Hualapai Way crosses Crestdale Lane. On one corner sits a park where children play soccer and lacrosse. Several hundred yards away is Bonner Elementary School, one of the better performing elementary schools in the Las Vegas Valley.
School Board approves hiring new head of classroom instruction
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Pedro Martinez, who has never taught in the classroom but is credited with helping raise high school graduation rates in Washoe County, was hired Thursday as deputy superintendent of instruction for the Clark County School District.
This is not a test: Nevada's education emergency
You want a fairy tale? Stop reading. The state of emergency that exists in Nevada’s schools is very real, folks. So, what are you going to do about it?
Monday, April 25, 2011
There’s an intersection just west of Summerlin Hospital, where Hualapai Way crosses Crestdale Lane. Several hundred yards away is Bonner Elementary School, one of the better performing elementary schools in the Las Vegas Valley. The crosswalk has stop signs, no traffic signals and young children warily attempt to cross five days a week on their way to and from Bonner. Drivers race through the intersection without stopping for kids. You can’t help but wonder, if we’re not willing to stop long enough for 7-, 8- and 9-year-old children as they enter those crosswalks, why would we ever do enough to educate them?
UNLV’s overture to business execs includes a campus tour
Thursday, April 21, 2011
UNLV President Neal Smatresk has become increasingly strategic in trying to protect the university from budget cuts, drawing upon advice that he must sell the financially troubled university to business and political players as well as the broader population.
Teacher evaluations called unproductive
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The assumption behind Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education reform package is that red tape has prevented schools from getting rid of bad teachers, who are increasingly viewed as the greatest impediment to improving public education.
New media, old ways: The changing landscape of Las Vegas journalism
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are all here to stay. As the new media reality steamrolls ahead, we have to ask: “Hey, Las Vegas, wanna tweet?”
Monday, April 18, 2011
It’s a moving image, one that appears as if it were taken from the Hubble Telescope. Pictured are a collection of black balls, some large, others tiny, each reflecting hundreds of hits per minute to the Las Vegas Sun website. Facebook, Twitter and Drudge had linked to an election season story about Sen. Harry Reid, and the newsroom’s Wall of Balls, a high-definition TV screen that illustrates Web traffic to all Greenspun publications, overflowed with activity.
Oil price increases spur concerns about Las Vegas tourism
Monday, April 11, 2011
Crude oil prices hit their 32-month high of $127.02 a barrel today and then fell 2 percent amid concerns that demand will decline, with the average retail price for gasoline nearing $4 a gallon.
Toyota parts shortages, delays reported in Las Vegas
Monday, April 11, 2011
Nevadans shouldn't experience delays in the shipment of parts they need to repair their Toyota cars and trucks despite reports of a potential vehicle production slowdown this summer at Toyota's 13 North Americans plants, according to a company spokeswoman.
SCAM CITY: Nevada's mortgage crisis
Nevada is built entirely on the ethos of separating people from their money. We pride ourselves on being sharper than the grifter, the con man. So, why do we need your stinkin' government protection?
Monday, April 11, 2011
Nevadans are strangled by the home mortgage crisis, hundreds of thousands of us stung by bad bank loans. Now we’re paying the price with at least 66,000 vacant units throughout the valley, the worst economy since the Great Depression and many homeowners trapped beneath bad loans they could never afford.
For Nevada Cancer Institute, a new way forward
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Like other nonprofit organizations suffering from the recession, the financially beleaguered Nevada Cancer Institute is having to reshape and refine how it funds and executes its mission.
Nevada Cancer Institute laying off staff, refining mission for future
Friday, April 8, 2011
The Nevada Cancer Institute has begun letting go up to 160 employees — about half of its staff — because of diminished revenue, an unavoidable financial adjustment which, its executives say, will lay the groundwork for a healthy future.
Slow growth could mean high home vacancy rates for years
Monday, April 4, 2011
The comparisons are much easier when you look at where our economy has been, and at least some signs are trending upward. But one thing remains certain: It could be as long as a decade before the estimated 66,000 vacant apartments and single-family units in Clark County are filled to pre-recessionary levels, and that could mean continued uncertainty for the regional economy.
Nevada's teen jobless rate of 32.9 percent among nation's highest
Monday, April 4, 2011
Nevada had the fifth highest unemployment rate for teenagers during a recent 12-month period, according to numbers collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In budget debate, different tones emerge on education
Monday, April 4, 2011
UNLV President Neal Smatresk and Clark County Schools Superintendent Dwight Jones recently met on separate occasions with a top Strip casino executive.
Nevada Cancer Institute director leaves post
Friday, April 1, 2011
Dr. John Ruckdeschel has left as director and chief executive officer of the Nevada Cancer Institute. Dr. Phillip Manno has been named interim director.
Sure Obama wasn't really here on a jaunt? Dang.
Friday, April 1, 2011
First you lectured cash-strapped companies that took federal bailout money against making trips to Las Vegas on the taxpayers’ dime.
Numbers reveal mixed picture on Las Vegas economy
Official says 'the worst of the economy is behind us'
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Three of every five Southern Nevadans are “very concerned” about holding onto a job or finding work while another 29 percent are “somewhat concerned” about one or the other, according to numbers released today by Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis.

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