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October 30, 2014

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Joe Downtown Radio: Two councilmen weigh in on downtown’s changes

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Steven Zeller

Joe Schoenmann talks to Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin, left, and Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers during a taping of the “Joe Downtown Show” at the Beat Coffee House.

Joe Downtown Radio

Two takes on downtown from the City Council

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Joe Schoenmann talks to Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin, who has lived downtown for decades and Councilman Bob Beers, who represents Ward 2, a huge swath of land in the western valley.

Everyone thinks they are good at "reading" people, sizing up someone after a few glances or words and knowing the "type" of person they are.

The same goes for cities, and even more specifically, sections of town. From movies and television shows, New York City is a toilet full of crime. Then you visit and find each block can possess its own charm, many even emanate that a neighborly feel.

Traditional advice for newbies to Las Vegas has been "stay away from downtown; find a place out west." In recent years, that advice is changing. More people are seeking homes downtown as economic growth sprouts new businesses and younger entrepreneurs energize the area.

On the "Joe Downtown Show," which airs Wednesdays at 7 a.m. on KUNV-91.5 FM, I talked to two people from vastly different sections of Las Vegas. One is Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin, who has lived downtown for decades. The other is Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers, who represents a huge swath of land in the western valley.

Coffin has watched downtown change — from a quaint neighborhood in which his mom let him bike freely as a kid — to a place of worry and increasing crime, and now it's coming back again, with people, many of them younger, wanting to move to the city's urban center.

Beers represents people who may have little cause to think of downtown, since they can zip from Interstate 15 to their jobs at the casinos with little need to ever look into the heart of the city.

Hear how they see the core, how their views differ and what they think about all the changes, with economic development having moved from the suburbs to the city center in the last few years.

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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