Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

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Matt Hufman

Editor/editorial and opinion pages

Matt's childhood home got three daily papers, and the ink has yet to rub off. In the last two decades, he has worked at papers in cities big (L.A.) and small (Aberdeen, Wash.) He has covered pro sports, edited a small daily paper and was part of the Sun's Pulitzer Prize-winning team in 2009. He's the editor of the Sun's opinion pages.

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Story Archive

Still a state of pioneers
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014
If you want to know the true nature of Nevada, whose 150th birthday we celebrate today, visit the ruins of St. Thomas, the town founded in 1865 by a group of hardy Mormons. Driven by the pioneer spirit, they…
Take it from one who knows: Nobody chooses depression
Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014
In my experience, depression is not so simple as it's too often made out to be.
Odd Nevada: Ghost towns, the 'car forest' and a haunted hotel
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Three golden spots in the Silver State, filled with strange histories, quirky characters and awesome adventures.
How they’re constructing a birthday cake befitting a state the size of Nevada
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Could Heidi Englund, her husband, Eric, and her friend Misti Gower replicate the 1964 cake, which measured 21 feet long and 13 feet wide and weighed 1,300 pounds? The baking brain trust has plenty of eager volunteers because, as Gower puts it, “People love cake.” Here's what else they have going for them.
Monument near Crystal Springs stands as reminder of religious revelation
Monday, March 17, 2014
A refrigerator-sized monument stands atop a lonely summit about 100 miles north of Las Vegas, just off State Route 375. It’s a tribute to an angelic revelation ...
Ely is a long way from the Philippines, but it’s home
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Roela Peacock works 17 hours a day, four days a week, to help provide for her family. It’s her version of the American dream — not that she ever planned to live the American dream. Especially in Ely, which is ...
In Mark Twain's Storey County, the struggle to keep a library alive
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
You'd think that, of all places, there would be a library in Virginia City, where Mark Twain launched his career. It's even called Storey County (if you can overlook the spelling). Well, there was a library here, then it lost its funding. Now it might be making a comeback.
Where junkers are planted in the desert and called an art display
Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014
Passing motorists traveling past the one-time boomtown of Goldfield may well notice the collection of old junkers off the highway, assembled in such a way that it's no ordinary junkyard. Its creators call it art.
A man's passion to renovate a 147-year-old inn into a bed-and-breakfast
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013
When history buff Rick Main heard of the possibility of buying and renovating a 147-year-old inn in the ghost town of Belmont, he was thrilled. But that was before he confronted some obstacles. Now he's wondering if it's worth it.
Here's a Nevada nuclear blast site you can visit — just don't eat the dirt
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013
Nevada is famous as the host of nuclear explosions at the old test site. But here's another site of an underground test — one that you can visit if you know how to find it. Just don't eat the dirt.
Falling leaves in autumn colors set the scene in Carson City
Monday, Oct. 28, 2013
Some days, the best way to enjoy Nevada is to lie on the grass and look around.
From early Nevada health care to a copy of 'The Mikado,' this museum offers diversity
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013
There are more than a few surprises inside the brimming Lyon County Museum in the pint-sized farming community of Yerington. It's a bit of a mystery how a copy of "The Mikado" ended up in museum hands, and for now it's in a storage room.
Here's how the state capital celebrates Nevada Day: with pancakes and a parade
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
A parade is a parade is a parade, unless it's held in Carson City and celebrates the founding of of Nevada. About the only way to start this sort of day: a pancake breakfast with the governor in an apron.
Where to go for military history and gifts that won't bomb
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013
Nevada has mob, neon and children's museums, but you've got to trek to Hawthorne for a history of bullets and bombs. If nothing else, you won't believe what you can buy there to hold your potted plants.
In a state brimming with mustangs, let's not forget our beguiling, befriending burros
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013
Here's an animal that can't muster the kind of following as Nevada's wild mustangs, but is due more credit for the workhorse that it has been in the settlement of the West.
Why two city slickers would move to this old Nevada mining town, now population 7
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
When two buddies — one from Sacramento, another from the Bronx — drove off a rural Nevada highway and onto a gravel road, they discovered the crumbling remains of a century-old mining town. But they saw something they liked and decided to move in, pushing the population to 7.
Preparing for Nevada Day, we wonder: What does it mean to be a Nevadan?
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013
As we begin our third road trip to explore and define Nevada, we wonder what it means to be a Nevadan and what artifacts best define our state. Your thoughts?
At home in Nevada — here, there and anywhere
Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
It’s always nice to come over the Apex Summit on Interstate 15 and look into the Las Vegas Valley — it means we’re home.
Want character? Try the Hotel Nevada
Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
Nevadans have been thinking big long before Las Vegas went big. Look no further than a little — by Las Vegas standards — hotel in Ely.
Rarely seen beauty lies off the beaten path
Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013
About a half-hour drive south of Elko is Lamoille Canyon, one of the “gotta go’s” that we’ve been told we “gotta go” to, and there’s a good reason to go.
We saw the elephant, and it's not what you think
Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013
The more we travel, the more we hear about the “gotta go’s,” as in, “When you go to Tonopah, you gotta go to the Mizpah Hotel.”
How Mark Twain learned journalism in Nevada
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
Tonight is the Nevada Press Association’s annual awards banquet, which is in Elko this year, and like any journalism event, there will be plenty of stories told — some of which are true and many of which get better with age.
Nevada has a rich history of journalism, and there have been many colorful storytellers who worked in the press, particularly in the state’s early days.
You might not see it, but that dirt is full of gold
Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
At Newmont Mining Corp.'s operation west of Elko, there are all kinds of things you'd expect to see — an underground mine, open-pit mines, people in safety equipment, 20-foot-tall dump trucks and piles of ore. But what you don't see is somewhat surprising: Gold.
If snow falls in Elko in September, does anyone notice?
Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
We spent much of the day touring a mine west of Elko where several people greeted us with a question: “How do you like our weather?”
Gold fever
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013
Mike and I will be touring a gold mine today, and with gold prices estimated to stay at more than $1,300 an ounce through the end of the year, I wonder if they’ll check our pockets on the way out.
With a boom will there be a bust?
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
We’ve arrived in Elko, and it’s clear we’re not in Southern Nevada anymore. It’s cold and supposed to snow tomorrow morning. Ask somebody in town that and you’re likely to get a shrug of the shoulder. It’s Elko in September. Snow happens.
Traffic and racing around Nevada
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
We have hit noticeable traffic on our way north today – as much as we’ve seen recently outside of Clark County.
Alamo is a place to call home
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
I ask the waitress at Windmill Ridge, a comfortable little country-style inn and restaurant, how she ended up here, and she tells of moving from Las Vegas a few years ago with a now ex-husband. But, the small green valley has become home.
'Weather' or not, here we go
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
We’re off to Elko and we’ll do a bit of exploring but there’s business as well – the Nevada Press Association’s annual meeting. Our luggage is a little heavier than normal because the forecast is calling for a cold front moving in and potentially snow. Yes, snow. In September.
An international encounter in Goldfield
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013
At a police scene in Goldfield, two fashionable Spanish women walked up to officers to ask questions and take pictures.
It's all about the burros or is it?
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
We’ve covered more than 1,000 miles over the past week– 1,065.9 miles to be exact, but who’s counting? – and we’re back in Las Vegas for a few days before we venture out again.
What's notable or surprising about this state? Plenty
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
I was asked by a travel writer to describe the most surprising or notable thing from our travels, and that’s a difficult question.
Don't mess with Nevada — or else!
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
I was accosted this morning as I was checking out of a Tonopah hotel.
Paging Robin Leach: We're live at the fabulous Goldfield Hotel
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
The Goldfield Hotel is a monument to the mining boom in Central Nevada. Opened in 1908, it is an impressive brick building, and was opulent – plush carpet, thick leather chairs and 150 rooms, including 45 suites with bathrooms.
Goldfield: A very modern ghost town
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
Goldfield came to life in the early 1900s after the discovery of gold in Tonopah. It was aptly named: the ore was filled with gold, but there wasn’t much more than a field – it was shallow and ran out quickly.
A pocket full of stories and the road south
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
One of the wonderful things about this trip is that our plans aren’t set in stone, and we’ve had some great moments of serendipity along the way.
Different views on the future — and carne asada
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Today we saw two different sides of Tonopah.
Looking for two angry miners in Tonopah
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
If you like ghost stories and ghost hunting, the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah is the place to be. Unlike the Goldfield Hotel, which is a focal point of ghost hunters, the Mizpah is open and you can stay here. And there’s a roster of ghosts.
Moving on from an unhaunting experience
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Last night, Mike and I checked into the Mizpah Hotel and headed up to our room, which had a plaque next to the door. It’s called the Key Pittman Suite. No, we haven’t seen the senator yet, but it’s still early, and we may be on the wrong floor.
There's more than meets the eye
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
We spent most of the day in Belmont, and, sad to say, we didn’t see it all. Given that it’s a small mining town, you might wonder how that’s possible, but trust me.
Charles Manson, Belmont and a woman named Rose
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
If you know anything about Belmont, you’ve probably heard the story about how Charles Manson’s family stayed in the courthouse, or at least left some graffiti in it.
Belmont then and now
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
Don’t be jealous, but Mike and I took off our jackets at lunchtime. Yes, jackets. It was cool this morning in Belmont, which is about 45 miles north of Tonopah. (It’s just about the geographic center of the state.) And, the weather required jackets, which after a summer in Las Vegas, was wonderful.
The ballad of Leo and Sassy Max
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
Leo Dever could play Willie Nelson in one of the Strip’s tribute acts. He has the look — hair braids stream out of a faded black skullcap; a long, combed beard falls down like a mane; a wiry frame and a world-tested look make him a natural. But Dever, 58, is far from the Strip. On Monday, he was pushing his blue-and-white Cannondale mountain bike up the steep Queens City Summit outside of Rachel.
Meet Sen. Key Pittman, D-Ghostville
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
A few years ago, I was chatting with a clerk at the Jim Butler Inn about rumors about someone buying the then-shuttered Mizpah Hotel, which is next door. She had heard of it and thought it might happen. (It did; the Mizpah reopened not long after.) But as of then, she said, there was nothing going on at the Mizpah except the usual “activity.”
A night in Belmont
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
As I write this, I’m sitting at the bar in the Belmont Inn & Saloon, drinking a Coke and taking in the atmosphere.
We’re not paranoid – we’re being followed
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
We started this morning in Beatty and headed north to Tonopah, and then we were stopped in Goldfield as law enforcement officials had clearing the historic Esmeralda County Courthouse because of a reported bomb.
Belmont: A living ghost town
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
Belmont has a colorful history and is a true Nevada town. Silver was discovered in 1865 and two years later, Belmont was bustling and named the seat of Nye County. But the boom didn't last long.
Tonopah: Once royalty
The glory has faded but the town still goes on
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
Halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, Tonopah was the boomtown’s boomtown. High quality (and high quantity) silver ore was discovered in 1900 by a rancher named Jim Butler, and the town that would become known as the “Queen of the Silver Camps” was born.
Heading to old mining haunts
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
Greetings from Beatty, home of the state’s (the world's?) largest candy store.
No room at the inn(s)
A day of contradictions capped in Tonopah
Monday, Sept. 16, 2013
Well, we rolled into Tonopah tonight after a day without cellphone service and found … nothing. There are no hotel rooms to be found. Reservations? Please. I have a few reservations about Tonopah, but none of the hotel kind. (No offense, my Tonopah friends.) We walked into one hotel, and the woman behind the reservation desk shook her head when I asked. Really, I asked, what’s going on here?

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