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July 30, 2014

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J. Patrick Coolican

Story Archive

Tony Hsieh’s vision for Downtown might be ambitious, but we need it to happen
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
"Not pursuing his brand of urbanism will doom us."
City Council's decision further brands Las Vegas as kid-unfriendly
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Until they can score a fake ID, there’s not much for kids to do in this town. Las Vegas is like most American communities that way, but gambling and alcohol are central to life here, making the problem even worse.
Not so neighborly: Group essentially says, 'Schoolchildren: not in my backyard'
Friday, June 8, 2012
Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like we live in a ridiculous town. In the latest example, Clark County has put the squeeze on a Montessori school — a Montessori school! — to appease unhappy neighbors, so the school has decided to pack up and leave.
Frustration takes over in quest for local all-ages music venue
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Unless it's a religious or educational institution, "it's basically impossible to open a venue for kids."
On the horizon: A quick look at projects poised to shape downtown
Monday, June 4, 2012
While development remains fairly moribund in the rest of the Las Vegas Valley, there’s suddenly a diverse array of projects in various states of planning and completion downtown.
Want a grocery store downtown? Change is in your hands
Thursday, May 31, 2012
My colleague recently moved into a cool place in Soho Lofts in the Arts District—would someone please change the name of this otherwise worthy building?—and is mostly happy with downtown living. But he’s also discovering its frustrations
TVs, home goods, Gatorade and wisdom — all 99 cents at Henderson store
Friday, May 25, 2012
Regina Burns got in line for Thursday’s grand opening of the 99¢ Only Store on Wednesday at 2:30 a.m. She spent 30 hours securing a spot as one of the first nine customers, each of whom had the chance to buy a 22-inch flat-screen TV for, yes, 99 cents.
Though religious group's efforts are noble, tackling issues won't come without making enemies
Thursday, May 24, 2012
As Cantor Mariana Gindlin sang “Eili, Eili,” the packed ballroom at UNLV hushed. Just moments before, they were boisterous and cheerful, singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” Now, though, the solemnity of the Hebrew song hit the crowd fiercely, and I felt a bit of a chill.
Mind over muscle: Fitness coach Denise Dinger shapes the body and soul
To many in the Las Vegas Valley, she's a bodybuilding icon; to the women she trains, she's family
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
High above Las Vegas, in a suite at the Palms, Denise Dinger is acting as matriarch of a trippy family whose obsession isn’t spelling bees or stringed instruments or dance. It’s human muscle and the display of it. Her charges — “my girls,” she calls them — are nervous and a little giggly, butterflies before they take the stage at the Palms for the Jay Cutler Desert Classic, an amateur bodybuilding event.
In remembering Dr. Clarissa Engstrom, friends and family will mobilize efforts against suicide
Monday, May 21, 2012
When Dr. Clarissa Engstrom died, they came from all over America, like pilgrims offering tribute to a healer. And for many, that’s what she was. As a veterinarian, she treated and cured their animals, but she also treated the soul sickness that afflicts many humans. “I was instantly enamored by her presence,” said John Talley, who came from Florida for one of the memorial services here. When he met Engstrom, known to friends as “Gooey,” Talley was struggling to come out as a gay man and found himself alienated from family. “She said, ‘You’re amazing, and don’t let anyone tell you anything different.’ ”
Young veterans searching for work after serving the country deserve support
Friday, May 18, 2012
During Shaun Clark’s time in the U.S. Army, he was deployed as airborne infantry to Afghanistan, Iraq and to Haiti after the earthquake. He’s experienced more in three years than most of us will in a lifetime. At 21, he’s back home and asking: Now what?
Kudos to Harry Reid for knowing when politicians shouldn't talk in Congress
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Majority Leader Harry Reid reversed himself last week and came out in favor of reforming the Senate filibuster. Better late than never. It might seem obvious that Reid would back changes to the filibuster, but Reid, like many in the world’s most exclusive club, is an institutionalist and traditionalist.
Downtown Bound: Column will focus on an evolving, exciting part of Las Vegas
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
This space is dedicated to one of the most important stories in the Valley.
Courageous first move could bring success to north portion of the Strip
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Someone had to be first. Some guy in a hut had to have the courage to drink the juice of fermented grapes, and good things followed. Likewise, the north end of the Strip needed someone to have the courage to invest. Now that SBE Entertainment of Los Angeles and private equity group Stockbridge Real Estate are putting money into the shuttered Sahara, perhaps the 20-teens will eventually be known as the era when the action moved north on the Strip.
Teenage parents, trying to graduate, face enormous challenges
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Icalynn Gamble had quit going to school last fall, overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being an 18-year-old mother and dejected about her chances of graduating. That’s when a parade of dignitaries — including Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones, state Sen. Steven Horsford and new Chaparral High School Principal Dave Wilson — knocked on her door on a Saturday morning and persuaded her to return.
Building bodies (and minds) with Denise Dinger
On the outer edge of human strength and effort, a fitness coach molds clients for competition—and life.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
On the outer edge of human strength and effort, a fitness coach molds clients for competition—and life.
The Sahara's SLS renovation could mean big things for the north Strip
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The hotel's redevelopment project will begin in September.
Greener Block provides a snapshot of something good, but there's more work to do
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I strolled around Build a Greener Block, which sought to dress up a somewhat neglected stretch of Main Street and turn it into a vibrant urban experience for a weekend, when I heard a new friend scoff that the raw food store was also selling tofu, which, of course, is processed.
With arbitration ruling, teachers union wins battle but comes out a loser
Friday, May 4, 2012
A conundrum: Polls show that teachers are some of the most admired people in America. Yet nearly half of the respondents in a 2011 Gallup poll said teachers unions hurt the quality of education, while just 26 percent said they helped.
Build a Greener Block gives local businesses a look at what Downtown could become
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
A stretch of Main Street was turned into a vibrant urban experience last weekend.
How about delivering them from unfairness?
Monday, April 30, 2012
I received a press release recently that read, “A team of approximately 40 community volunteers and downtown supporters will ‘invade’ downtown Las Vegas on Friday, April 20 to perform a Random Act of Happiness.”
Odds on UFC President Dana White running his mouth? Very good
Friday, April 27, 2012
Imagine NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tweeting out that the Saints are 10-1 to win the Super Bowl next year. Yeah, probably not. But here’s Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, on Twitter earlier today: “TUF Live tonight on FX the MGM has Sicilia -350 vs Saunders +290.”
Why is higher ed getting pushed around?
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Redfield name can be seen all over campus at UNR. The Nell J. Redfield Foundation has given about $40 million during the past three decades for gems such as the auditorium in the math and science building, a student health clinic and the Redfield Theatre.
Hunger strikes and happiness 'pickets': Two very different Vegas demonstrations
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A staged event by Tony Hsieh's for-profit venture and a Culinary Union hunger strike.
Renewable energy becomes fodder for the culture war at just the wrong moment
Monday, April 23, 2012
There’s no point hiding from it, especially in Nevada: The clean energy movement, despite rapid gains in recent years, faces a potential crisis as government support withers. I can hear the cheering from many conservatives, whose latest foray into identity politics is contempt for clean energy (more on that later) while either ignorantly or willfully ignoring decades of massive government support for fossil fuels and hydroelectric power such as the Hoover Dam.
The psychology of pimping, and how a community can help
Saturday, April 21, 2012
The 9-1-1 call is chilling: A woman, who has locked herself in a room after enduring a severe beating, screams. Then she screams again and again. If there are words, they are unintelligible, but terror can be conveyed without words.
What can be done with the city’s half-built corporate eyesores?
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Imagine if the guy who owned the house next door tore it down and started building a cool new palace. Then imagine that a third of the way into construction, he stopped building, leaving a half-finished shell for you to see from your window.
The weirdness of the Strip is what makes it cool — leave it be
Monday, April 16, 2012
The Clark County Commission has seemed lately like the Committee of “Get Off My Lawn!” It recently banned pets on the Strip. And it’s thrown some big fines at homeowners for violating the so-called “Party House Ordinance.”
The Strip needs more police, but casinos shouldn't foot the bill
Thursday, April 12, 2012
After an ugly spate of homicides on the Las Vegas Strip last summer, major hotel companies now pay to have Metro Police conduct extra patrols of our most important commercial district.
Let the Clark County Commission make the Strip safer, but leave the entrepreneurs alone
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Civil libertarians believe the "clean up" is an attempt in the county's battle against the First Amendment.
On second review, DA sticks by decision not to charge Henderson cop in kicking incident
Friday, April 6, 2012
District Attorney Steve Wolfson has issued a final answer and has once again decided not to bring charges against Henderson Police Sgt. Brett Seekatz, who was caught on video kicking Adam Greene in the head five times while Greene was being restrained by other officers.
Two Sun City Anthem residents try to do the right thing—and get arrested
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
"Don’t question your homeowners association, because Henderson Police might arrest you."
In some cases, voters should have the keys taken away from them
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Quick: Who did you vote for in the 2010 county recorder race? How about public administrator? County treasurer? Do you know what these elected officials do?
One woman's escape from human trafficking
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Las Vegas Valley has one of the worst human trafficking problems in the nation, with three times the number of juvenile arrests as New York City, despite the fact that we have only one-fourth the population.
A journey from good student to underage prostitute
Monday, April 2, 2012
Lauren was 16 in 2010, a good if slightly rebellious student at Advanced Technologies Academy, one of the best high schools in the valley. She went to a party one August night and met Darrell, then 20. She fell for him.
Don't question your HOA or you might get arrested
Friday, March 30, 2012
Don’t question your homeowners association because Henderson Police might arrest you. Here’s the story: Robert Frank and Tim Stebbins probably cared too much about the finances of their homeowners association, Sun City Anthem.
Why some elections should be taken out of the public's hands
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
If we don't know the candidates or what the position entails, how do we know who to vote for?
Millions for Newt Gingrich? Sheldon Adelson's money could have been better spent
Monday, March 26, 2012
Local kajillionaire Sheldon Adelson spent $16.5 million to help his friend Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, and I think we can say with certainty it was a waste of money, like “John Carter” or building a condo tower on the Las Vegas Strip in 2007.
The view from under an evolving skyline
Sunday, March 25, 2012
It isn’t what it could be. But it isn’t what it used to be. That’s former planning commissioner Steve Evans talking about downtown and its new public buildings.
As gold bubble deflates, tired excuses will soon follow
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Well, no one could have predicted this: The Financial Times reports that “investors are losing their enthusiasm for gold as signs of improvement in the U.S. economy tempt them away from the traditional haven.” And if it’s made the financial press, you know the bubble has really started to deflate in earnest.
Culinary Union appears dug in for the long fight against Station Casinos
Friday, March 23, 2012
Do not underestimate D. Taylor. That’s what I came away with after an interview with the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union Local 226.
The Solyndra hippies are stealing our money
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Here’s the predictable response to President Barack Obama’s trip to Boulder City’s Copper Mountain Solar plant on Wednesday: Solar is for hippies; government doesn’t create jobs; Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra.
What Adelson’s massive Gingrich donation could have funded in Las Vegas
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
What could you do with those millions?
Nevada Republicans might be model for securing party's future
Monday, March 19, 2012
Gov. Brian Sandoval announced last week that he would allow higher taxes to continue rather than sunset next year, as scheduled, and there was a fair amount of kicking and screaming among Republican activists. But just wait a few years.
J. Patrick Coolican: Death to pizza!
Friday, March 16, 2012
I hate pizza. There, I said it. This isn’t an easy thing to admit, and for years, decades really, I suffered in silence. As with most foods, I judge pizza both by how it tastes and by how it makes me feel after I’m finished eating.
The spaces in between Downtown's landmarks—and why they matter so much
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
J. Patrick Coolican takes a tour with the experts.
School finds measurable ways to help students achieve success
At Halle Hewetson Elementary, progress is the norm
Monday, March 12, 2012
Principal Lucy Keaton has a wall in the office at Halle Hewetson Elementary School that is covered with data, multi-colored charts that resemble something you might find at the Pentagon. The charts show that Keaton, her teachers, staff and students are excelling, a verdict cemented recently when the Clark County School District unveiled a new grading system—the “School Performance Framework”—and placed Hewetson among 37 “five star” elementary schools of 217 in the district.
Smith Center homage to Hoover Dam fitting statement on our past, future
Friday, March 9, 2012
What I like most about the Smith Center for the Performing Arts is that it’s ours. By that I mean it’s a cultural space for locals, but I also mean it’s an institution made possible by a homegrown, collective vision, organization and effort.
Clark County Commission shows its busybody side with party house ordinance and Strip pet ban
Thursday, March 8, 2012
The Clark County Commission has shown it’s not kidding around with it’s “party house” ordinance, while also bolstering its tough-on-crime bona fides by curtailing pets on the Strip.
What makes a CCSD five-star school?
At Halle Hewetson Elementary, progress is the norm
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
"Hewetson wins big points for bringing students from illiteracy to proficiency."

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