Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2021

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J. Patrick Coolican


I'm taking leave; don't screw things up in my town while I'm gone
Aug. 9, 2013
For my last couple of columns, I had the genius idea to investigate a suicide at the jail and spend some time at the Regional Justice Center, soaking in the sadness of ruined lives. Fun way to close it out.
Behind the courthouse veneer, a well-oiled if rickety machine tries to dispense justice
Aug. 8, 2013
The traditional metaphor for the justice system is a scale, signifying the strength of each side’s argument or the imperative to balance justice with mercy. The more accurate metaphor is a machine, a grinding, sometimes rickety machine, lubricated by plea deals, that ostensibly applies justice to people — dumping some into the local jail, others to the High Desert State Prison and releasing a few back on the street or into a supervision program such as probation. Very few of the presumed innocent are found innocent.
A mother's despair: her son's suicide in jail could have been prevented
Aug. 7, 2013
Dillon Hill was 25, caught shoplifting for the third time in just a few months. Once a bright and promising UNLV student, he was selling the stolen goods to buy heroin.
State officials: Las Vegas hospitals sloughing off patients on UMC
July 17, 2013
St. Rose is not the only local hospital improperly moving patients to the taxpayer-supported UMC, which is running a deficit this year of about $30 million. Several others were found to have “inappropriately transferred” patients there.


Metro's blindness at soccer melee is a green light for more violence
July 11, 2013
Sun photographer Sam Morris showed great courage when he captured graphic images of the melee that broke out at the Chivas vs. Club America soccer match last week at Sam Boyd Stadium.


For Tom Cunningham and most other stabbing victims, much pain, no justice
June 19, 2013
A few months ago, Tom Cunningham got into a brief argument with a man in a parked truck in one of the most run-down areas of Las Vegas, near the corner of Main Street and Washington Avenue. Cunningham says he regrets it more than anything he’s ever done.


Here's why hundreds of wannabe murderers are roaming our streets
June 18, 2013
Since 2010, the worst types of violent crimes, including homicides and assaults with weapons, have been on the decline here. Buried within the data, however, is a troubling fact.


If Dems can't beat Gov. Brian Sandoval in '14, at least have fun and pick Tick
June 14, 2013
State Sen. Richard "Tick" Segerblom looks like a rumpled philosophy professor, his sun-bleached hair suggesting a sailboat summer sabbatical, icy cocktail in hand, one-liner holstered. Democrats should run him for governor against Brian Sandoval in 2014.


Why even a little progress in addressing mental health is worth applauding
June 13, 2013
On Sunday, I expressed disappointment that the Legislature didn't make more progress on mental health issues. In fairness, I want to lay out what the Sandoval administration feels it accomplished during the recently completed legislative session.


Sandoval shouldn't let last-minute snafu snuff medical marijuana bill
June 12, 2013
In what seemed like a rare stroke of legislative competence, Nevada lawmakers passed a bill this year allowing the establishment of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Now, however, the measure's future is in doubt.


Legislators’ few hits offset by embarrassing misses
June 9, 2013
I’ve been accused of being a Kenyan-born, Muslim socialist. The truth is, however, my aims are far more moderate — for Nevada to be a little more like Massachusetts, though of course retaining our cherished ideal of ready access to guns, booze and the craps table. Insofar as Nevada’s Democratic majority shares this modest goal of mine, how did they perform during the recently ended legislative session?


Mother finds a way to build hope for mentally ill out of son's tragic death
May 30, 2013
Marilyn Rogan-Smith's son Adam was born with a birth defect in 1985 and had skull surgery when he was 4 months old. Unbeknown to the family until years later, the surgery left Adam with brain damage that seems to have manifested itself as mental illness, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder. In April 2012, Adam died of cardiac arrest, though his untreated mental illness was the real cause.


Let's remember: Warren Buffett's power play is to make money
May 29, 2013
Shouts of joy rang out among Nevada’s political elite on the news that an entity owned by famed investor Warren Buffett is buying the state’s electric monopoly, NV Energy.


Search for long lost brother among homeless is 'like a needle in a haystack'
May 28, 2013
Virginia “Jenny” Fisher Murdoch had a dream a few months ago that her brother is alive. Murdoch knows dreams aren’t prophetic, and though she seems almost embarrassed talking about it, she says this one feels different.


Nevada Medical Board, just whom do you serve?
May 20, 2013
Earlier this year I wrote about Dr. Sean Steele, an internist who was accused of a brutal sexual assault after a night of drinking in Las Vegas. Here's the latest from California, which revoked his license, and what's happening (nothing) in Nevada.


J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican was born in Connecticut to a large, Irish Catholic family and then studied dead white male authors at the University of Notre Dame. He started his career during the 2000 presidential campaign, writing for a Web site he created with two friends. He's written for The Seattle Times, The Nation, LA Weekly and, since early 2006, for the Sun.


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