Sunday, May 17, 2009

Warm Fuzzies On A Hot Sunday

A trio of happy things to start the week...

* Frenemies Unite! The Nevada Legislature may have come up short of a veto-proof majority to extend domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples on Friday and the divorcing governor seems likely to defend the sanctity of an institution he himself has repeatedly demeaned, but something even more important happened this weekend. The Review-Journal's publisher, Sherm Frederick, leader of one of the most conservative editorial pages in America and someone whose journalistic decisions I frequently baffle over, endorsed -- I'm not making this up -- full-on gay marriage. What's more, he told his fellow conservatives that support of legal protections for families like mine is a conservative ideal that strengthens communities! I don't know if Sherm's commentary is enough to reverse the two votes in each house needed to override a veto, but it certainly is yet another significant landmark in the obvious and irreversible march toward marriage equality in America. And, as a side note, he also attacked the vermin Perez Hilton for his disastrous efforts to slime Miss California for stating her opinion. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I couldn't agree with Sherm more from beginning to end.

* While I'm At It... I have my problems with the Vegas media, to be sure, and I say so often enough. But my six days in South Florida made me realize we have it better here than I thought. The Sunday edition of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel was shameful and flimsy, with an awful design and precious little locally produced copy. What was there was incredibly dull and mostly puffery anyhow. I'm an alum of both newspapers (R-J 96-99, S-S 99-00) and I'm here to say that the Sunday R-J is a better, more substantive, more sophisticated, better-looking newspaper than the Sunday S-S. It's not even close. And I'm not even including the Pulitzer-winning Las Vegas Sun in the equation! The S-S' latest resdesign makes it resemble a high school newspaper, and that's sad because this was once one of the nation's most respected dailies. Also on a related front, there are three NPR stations operating in South Florida and each one of them goes to all-music at nights and on weekends? Wow. Congrats to Flo Rogers and the rest of the gang at KNPR and good luck on that fund drive.

* Happy economic news, too! Ben Spillman writes today that the classy British Airways will begin daily non-stop service from Heathrow to McCarran starting in October. Fares will start at $461 r/t. So somebody's crunching numbers and thinks that Vegas isn't completely dead yet.


Dave Lifton said...

My mother calls it the "Fun-Sentinel" because there's no actual news in it.

mike_ch said...

I'm not sure I'd like to fly straight to the UK from here, but it's nice to see Virgin Atlantic get a little fare competition.

Josh said...

I do like the first five paragraphs. But regarding the rest -- have any proponents of marriage equality ever suggested that any religion would be somehow coerced into performing marriages that they don't believe in?

David F. said...

Mike, its probably the case they are starting, or unless I am mistaken re-starting service, because of the lack of comeptition now. At one time there was three airlines offering Non-Stop Scheduled Service to the UK, one -Maxjet - went out of business in Decemeber 2007, the other BMI, pulled out from all of its North America routes just recently,

Anonymous said...

This is apples and oranges...

MAXjet was not around for very long, and while it was flying it was trying to chase a small niche market segment with all-business class service. It also flew from London's No. 3 airport, Stansted, which has fewer connections than Heathrow or Gatwick and was also a ways away from the city center.

bmi's decision to leave Las Vegas was based more on a change of direction made by its new management. When it left Las Vegas, it also yanked its Caribbean service to focus on markets outside of North America.

That said, bmi wasn't wholly competing with Virgin Atlantic since bmi flew from Manchester, and not many people from that area of the U.K. would be willing to make the commute to London to fly out of Gatwick on Virgin.

We in the U.S. tend to think the U.K. is small and easy to get around, but going between London and Manchester by ground is a pretty time-consuming trek and few would drive from the Midlands into London for a vacation.

British Airways has not previously flown to Las Vegas, and its Heathrow service will open up new markets for one-stop connections to Las Vegas from other markets in Europe.

Having BA in addition to Virgin Atlantic is a great bonus for the Las Vegas tourism industry. These are two great airlines with very different ways of filling their aircraft. The reach of this extends beyond just London.

Anonymous said...

Virgin flies to Gatwick from Las Vegas which has limited connections to the rest of Europe. BA is going to use Heathrow which will help connect Vegas much more efficiently with other European destinations. This will make it easier to get to Vegas from Frankfurt, Zurich, or wherever else BA flies that doesn't offer direct service to Vegas, and therefore expand the number of people who will consider Vegas as a destination. BA should win this fight pretty handily for that reason.

Sir Richard will whine.