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August 1, 2014

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J. Patrick Coolican

Story Archive

Jack Nicholson, a murder and water rights
Monday, Jan. 7, 2013
A couple of days after Christmas, the federal Bureau of Land Management approved a plan to carry billions of gallons of water from rural Nevada counties near the Utah border to Las Vegas by way of a 263-mile pipeline.
On this, anyway, father and son agree: Turning schools into armed fortresses a bad idea
Friday, Dec. 21, 2012
My father and I don’t agree on much. One thing we do agree on, however, is that America’s obsession with security is destructive to our way of life.
Taking a real liking to a bunch of guys under the lights on Friday nights
My confession: Getting attached to a high school football team, but maybe we all should
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012
On Friday, we posted a long piece that I wrote tracking Canyon Springs High School’s football season. Now comes this addendum, because I must share with you my personal feelings after having found myself becoming attached to the team.
Canyon Springs players find shelter from life's troubles in the shadow of a goal post
Over the course of a season, football players experience joy and defeat together, on and off the field, while learning life's lessons
Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Their school, Canyon Springs High School on Alexander Road in North Las Vegas, near a pig farm whose stench lingers over the campus at times, is one of the poorest in the valley. More than 75 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Culinary head D. Taylor poised for new challenge as national leader
His task: to addess labor unions' failure to reach young people, Hispanics and blacks.
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Las Vegas became gripped in economic crisis. The tourism and convention business collapsed, and workers were laid off or had their hours reduced. For many in Las Vegas, this is when D. Taylor stepped up big time.
Steve Wynn much better suited to casinos than politics
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012
For years now, we’ve been hearing the rich baritone carnival bark of Steve Wynn, who never misses an opportunity to attack President Barack Obama for his economic policies. His passion on the subject is a little obscure.
Republicans nationally can learn from Nevada GOP ... at least in some respects
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
Tuesday was a disaster for the national Republican Party, as President Barack Obama won an election that secured a new governing majority and the Senate remained in Harry Reid’s hands. Elizabeth Warren, pot and gay marriage were just salt in the wounds. In Nevada, however, it wasn’t so bad.
Election results don't bode well for GOP, future local TV revenue
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012
Coolican offers his take on the election results.
Canyon Springs takes down Las Vegas to secure home playoff game
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
The Canyon Springs Pioneers finished off their regular season with a dominant 33-12 victory on senior night against the Las Vegas High School Wildcats.
Dirty politics — in a race for justice of the peace
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
I recently railed against the election of judges as farcical. The timing was perfect, as District Judge Steven Jones faces federal charges this week in an alleged investment scam. A reader sent me another good example of how dumb judicial elections can be.

Who's qualified to vote for judges?
Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012
The election of judges is an utter farce.
Perhaps my favorite piece of data in support of this assertion is that in the 2010 election, 466,000 voters in Clark County cast their vote for a candidate in the U.S. Senate race, while about 360,000 voters made a choice in the countywide judicial races. So, 100,000 people took a pass in the judicial races.
It's time for Nevada to legalize marijuana
More people are in favor of legalization, and like voters in Washington and Colorado may do this election, the state should end the prohibition
Friday, Oct. 26, 2012
Let’s talk pot. Perhaps the most consequential decision faced by voters in three Western states, other than control of the White House, are voter initiatives that would legalize marijuana.
Should we turn the old Ambassador Hotel site into a Middle Eastern market?
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
The possibilities seem endless for the seven acre space.
Sorry, Romney — Nevada won't see 6 percent unemployment by 2016
Nevada's future depends on residents taking matters into their own hands
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
Mitt Romney should have learned his lesson from President Barack Obama and not made any promises about unemployment. During a visit to Henderson on Tuesday, Romney said, “How about four years where at the end we get Nevada unemployment down to 6 percent or lower?” Republicans have been hammering Obama for years because his economists forecast that unemployment would peak nationally at 8 percent even though it eventually reached 10 percent.
Balanced attack helps Canyon Springs to homecoming win against Valley
Friday, Oct. 19, 2012
Canyon Springs extended their winning streak to three games with a crushing 46-0 victory over Valley High School, improving to 5-2 overall.
High-interest lenders need more, not less, supervision
To prevent payday loan abuse, House bill promoting deregulation must be stopped
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
According to the results of a recent survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Nevada leads the nation in the percentage of residents who are “underbanked” — meaning they have some sort of bank account but also resort to high-interest loans from nontraditional lenders to make ends meet.
Canyon Springs shuts out Rancho
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012
Canyon Springs dominated Rancho 51-0, looking sharp after a mediocre win last week and two losses prior to that. They improve to 4-2.
Steven Horsford on his political missteps: 'I learned'
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
Last week I wrote about Danny Tarkanian, the son of the legendary UNLV coach and Republican candidate for Congress in the 4th District. Let’s take a look at his opponent, state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford.
Canyon Springs snaps losing streak with sloppy win over Silverado
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012
Canyon Springs shook off a two-game losing streak to beat Silverado at home 29-21, improving their record to 3-2.
On order for Danny Tarkanian's congressional term: a 'stacked failure sandwich,' complete with FDIC suit
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012
If the voters of Nevada’s newly created Congressional District 4 aren’t careful, they could wind up with a congressman who is in bankruptcy. But that’s just the start of the weirdness.
First Berkley-Heller debate left so much to be desired
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
Some quick thoughts on Thursday’s debate between Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Shelley Berkley. Overall, a weak display. But I was most disappointed in Berkley, who failed to make an affirmative case for the Democratic position.
Portraits of the 47 percent don't match Romney's narrative
Friday, Sept. 21, 2012
Mitt Romney is gracing us with his presence in Las Vegas today. In case you missed it, Mother Jones magazine showed video on its website of Romney telling a group of wealthy donors that people who vote for President Barack Obama “believe they are victims.”
Can we solve the homeless situation by ... giving them a place to live?
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012
A prominent business person suggested to me that to solve the homeless problem Downtown, we should buy an empty subdivision in the suburbs and move everybody in. This person was joking, but there’s actually some validity to that idea. Why? Well, that’s what we’re already doing, and it’s working.
The new rigors of PE: How these kids are muscling their way through school
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
When I was in school, gym class was a bit of a joke, and I’m sure the same is true for you. The kids who were athletic and competitive would play flag football or basketball while everyone else stood around.
Canyon Springs wins rivalry game with neighboring Cheyenne
Friday, Sept. 14, 2012
The Canyon Springs High football team won the battle of Alexander Road Friday, beating Cheyenne decisively, 42-8.

Obama doesn't have to apologize for lies told about his speeches
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012
With President Barack Obama in town this week, I thought it useful to explore a commonly held belief about his foreign policy, namely, that Obama has apologized for America and doesn’t believe in “American exceptionalism.”
Despite efforts to beat them blue with our shoes, bedbugs are winning
Friday, Sept. 7, 2012
My bedbug obsession began about a decade ago, when I read a story in The New York Times that I was certain was an April Fool’s joke.
Close down bathrooms, not food trucks
Competition is healthy, so if city council wants to level the playing field, it should find other ways
Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012
An attempt by brick-and-mortar restaurants to stifle competition from mobile food trucks stalled at the Las Vegas City Council Wednesday, though only thanks to the council’s fecklessness. ...
'Queen of Versailles' serves as an indictment of years of false prosperity
Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012
Along with a lot of misery, the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting Great Recession have produced excellent films, both dramatic and documentary. ...
Reflecting on recession's unfolding a timely reminder of what Obama inherited
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
As I watched President Barack Obama on Wednesday at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas, I thought about four years ago. Because I was so busy covering the campaign, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the fact that the world was collapsing.
Six questions I'd like to ask President Barack Obama
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012
Last time Mitt Romney was in town, I had six questions for him and promised I’d do the same for President Barack Obama, who will be in North Las Vegas today. So, here goes.
Las Vegas has the potential to be more of a fashion industry player
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012
Downtown's upcoming Fashion Lab just might help.
Dissecting the Downtown glut of bail bondsmen
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012
How bail bonds work, what the bondsmen do and more.
Medicaid expansion should be a no-brainer for Nevada
Monday, Aug. 6, 2012
If Nevada doesn’t expand its Medicaid program, one result is that people will die. That’s the stark conclusion we can draw from a New England Journal of Medicine study, which found that in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, mortality rates declined 6.1 percent, with the largest declines among minorities and older adults.
Six questions I'd like to ask Mitt Romney
Friday, Aug. 3, 2012
I can’t make it to this morning’s Mitt Romney event in North Las Vegas, but here are some questions I’m hoping the assembled media will ask him:
A food truck influx has Downtown restaurants—and local government—crying foul
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012
We often hear that businesses wish government would merely get out of the way. Just as often, however, I see businesses lobbying government to kill off the competition. In the latest example, the Las Vegas City Council is mulling protecting Downtown brick-and-mortar restaurants from their wily new competitors: food trucks. As my Las Vegas Sun colleague Joe Schoenmann reported recently, the owner of Uncle Joe’s Pizza on Fremont East was outraged that “there, in front of his pizza joint, was parked a food truck. And it was selling pizza, no less.”
Fancy names aside, they're still Ferris wheels
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Desert Land LLC and Desert Oasis Investments LLC are building the SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel on the south Strip, and Caesars Entertainment is building the High Roller as part of the new LINQ project. But don’t call them Ferris wheels. Caesars is particularly adamant about this. That is why I’m calling them Ferris wheels.
It's time local government stop asking the state for permission to act
Friday, July 27, 2012
Clark County says the state of Nevada owes it $102.5 million and has sued to get its money. But state government, which took the money from county property taxes and sales taxes to solve its budget crisis, has all the leverage in this fight.
Downtown's dining options are about to explode. Hungry?
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
For years, Fremont East was a fun place to drink, especially if you were so committed to drinking (you know who you are) that you didn’t want food to get in the way. Now, however, a restaurant boomlet is coming Downtown. What had been slow and steady progress is quickening, with a pile of new spots opening, in construction or stewing in someone’s imagination.
Dodger Stadium in downtown LA shows that adding a ballpark is no magic bullet
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Las Vegas could learn something from the City of Angels.
Governance is so bad, firefighters won't even live in North Las Vegas
Friday, July 13, 2012
Off-duty North Las Vegas firefighters walked precincts this week, telling residents to pressure the city to reverse cuts in emergency services. The firefighters can’t rely on their own votes in upcoming elections. Very few of them live in North Las Vegas.
Why an urban Downtown and lots of free parking spots are mutually exclusive
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Strategic parking policies will be an important part of the Downtown renaissance.
Catching up on newspapers, finding I was missing a lot
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I doubt I’m alone as a journalist in confessing that I’ve often read the blockbuster news in the newspaper and what was pertinent to my beat, but I let many other stories slide.
Coolican measures how far downtown has to go, one step at a time
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
After watching the Las Vegas Philharmonic blow the doors off the Smith Center recently, my date and I wanted to have dinner downtown. We stood outside, looking toward the Golden Nugget, and pondered how we’d get there.
This team run isn't just practice for high school football, it's practice for life
Saturday, June 30, 2012
It’s Monday morning at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas, the start of summer football practice. At 6 a.m. sharp, Coach Hunkie Cooper tells an assistant to close the gate, because responsible men are prompt. “We took over this program three years ago. Had been 1-30. Last year, we won the division title, beat Vegas in the playoffs. But the most important numbers are our GPAs, our SATs.”
Towne Terrace and the apartment shortage of Downtown revitalization
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Where's everyone going to live?
Nancy Williams Baker has been bringing color to Downtown for decades
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The costume shop owner intended to stay in town for two weeks — she stayed a lifetime.
Finally buying into the Zappos hype
Tony Hsieh's dreams seem lofty, but they are worth pursuing
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
As a journalist, my job is to be skeptical, and given the incessant flimflammery in Las Vegas, I think I was entitled to be extra wary of the Tony Hsieh-Zappos-downtown craze. My outlook is deeply influenced by the “Simpsons” episode when the charismatic charlatan Lyle Lanley sells Springfield a rickety monorail (sound familiar?), so I always try to question what’s in that delicious Kool-Aid. For years I’ve been reading glowing profiles of Hsieh, the prodigy founder of an Internet company he sold to Microsoft for millions before becoming CEO of online retailer Zappos.
Nevada law firms seem to like to have ties to Carson City
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Every upstanding law firm needs framed diplomas from the finest law schools, crystal decanters for single malt scotch and a nice solid oak conference table. And in Nevada, it seems, they require one other amenity: Their very own legislator.
Board member's resignation shines light on region's unhealthy habits
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Nancy Menzel, a professor of nursing at UNLV, is leaving the Southern Nevada District Board of Health in frustration after just one term. Menzel describes a dysfunctional board burdened by conflict with Clark County while public health problems fester. Menzel is supportive of the district but was scathing in her critique of its board.

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