Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2014

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Columnist Susan Snyder: A pedestrian effort on the Strip

We can only hope Las Vegas' list of entertainment celebrities is longer than its list of civic leaders.

For the sidewalks of the Las Vegas Strip will one day be stamped with stars bearing their names, Clark County commissioners decided this week. What happens here is going to be immortalized in concrete.

It's to be called the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, which is way safer than calling it the Las Vegas Walk of Fame. Locals would be calling it the Las Vegas Walk of Shame faster than Mayor Oscar Goodman can suck down a martini.

A bright spot is that it puts "Las Vegas" and "walk" together in a public forum without placing it in the context of how many people die doing it here.

But it may be tough narrowing the list of names. If we included only those civic leaders accused of ethics violations in the past few years, we could probably fill the sidewalk along one side of Las Vegas Boulevard from the Bonanza Gifts Shop at Sahara Avenue to the Gold Strike hotel in Jean.

OK, that's an exaggeration. There probably are only enough names to go as far as Russell Road -- as long as the print is small.

We could arrange them in categories, such as those whose charges were dropped, those whose stuck and Las Vegas City Council Ward 1. Hmmm, maybe we'll have to use both sides of the street.

The section in front of the Aladdin should be Boondoggle Row, to recognize proponents of area projects that that have been less successful than we had hoped, or had been led to believe.

There's the $185 million Regional Justice Center, which is two years behind schedule with no opening date in sight.

Politicians and business leaders promised to secure private funding for the liberal arts building at the Nevada State College at Henderson, only to turn around and convince the state Board of Regents to back a 2005 Legislative measure that would obtain $9 million in public funding instead.

Don't forget the nimwits who decided it was better (for them) to buy Canadian water and truck it to the fountains at Boca Park and Grand Canyon shopping centers near Summerlin, rather than be a drought-conscious community partner and shut off the darned things like everyone else has.

The Wal-Mart at Russell Road and Eastern Avenue.

The Las Vegas Monorail.

Yucca Mountain.

We're positively overrun with civic leaders who need to be remembered.

Now, before you get upset over the fact that we don't have enough money for schools or transit or social services, you'll be relieved to know that money to pay for the Walk of Narcissism is supposed to come from private sources. (And I am supposed to win Megabucks.)

Civic leaders and famous people to receive stars are to be nominated by a committee undoubtedly composed of other civic leaders and famous people. And the nominees' friends, family and fans will donate the $15,000 needed to pay for each walkway star.

Makes you want to run right out and find your checkbook, doesn't it?

Makes you want to find it and bury it in the back yard.

I just hope we can find 3,000 entertainers to fill the spots. That way, civic leaders will continue to be recognized by the decisions they make, rather than whether their pals can raise $15,000.

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