* Nothing makes me happier than when a local freelance writer breaks a good, enterprising story out from under the established press, and that's what Melissa Arseniuk did on Sunday in The Daily with her probe of the cleanliness of the pool water at several Vegas "day club" venues. It's thoroughly disgusting but also a pretty great idea and one that it's fairly unlikely either major media company -- or Arseniuk's former employer Vegas Seven for that matter -- would do as it would put at risk one of the few steady advertising revenue streams that have held up through the recession. Nicely done, although did she have to invoke the most predictable of Vegas cliches in her lead? You have that awesome a story idea, it deserves equally original writing.
* Anyone who cares about Vegas and Vegas business matters ought to be subscribed and listening to the Vegas Gang podcast to begin with. But if you need convincing, pick up their superb and frank interview with M Resort developer Anthony Marnell III.
* On that same VG episode, former In Business Las Vegas editor Jeff Simpson noted the meager Vegas media response to the passing of Terry Lanni and used it as a mark of why it's so important for people who care about Vegas -- and cover it -- to pay attention to what's going on on blogs such as Two Way Hard Three and VegasTripping. (I'd add in Stiffs & Georges, too, as required visiting.) Of course, I agree, but Jeff left out one more important piece of it: The established media also must start to acknowledge when online publications break news. Norm Clarke of the R-J is the only one who does so consistently. It was VegasTripping.Com that broke the Aria Legionnaires' disease story, but for whatever reason Jon Ralston would rather give the scoop credit to his hated rival the Review-Journal (?!?!?) than the correct outlet. Lookit:
That's at least two errors in two sentences for Ralston, who loves to mock the R-J for its mistakes but won't ever correct these. First, VT had this up at 8:50 a.m. and the R-J had this up at 9:46 a.m., so VT wins. Oddly, Ralston should have known because he linked to the VT posting. But, also, VT's Chuck Monster is not a local. The blog is based in California. Oopsie.
* Speaking of David McKee, he now has my blessing to be upset with Brian Greenspun for not memorializing Terry Lanni in his Sunday column. In fact, neither newspaper even bothered to write an editorial about Lanni and Vegas Inc just reran Liz Benston's first-day obit. A shameful, disrespectful goodbye for a monumental figure. I was glad to see Howard Stutz follow up with a report about Lanni's memorial service in Southern California, but why wasn't that in the newspaper, too?
* A few things I learned from other journalists this week:
- In Nevada, 75 percent of families choose to donate organs when loved ones who never indicated a preference are in life-ending condition.
- The Nevada desert is used to approximate Mars' surface.
- China had this awesome-looking fake Apple store for a few minutes.
- Free public wi-fi can be dangerous for the businesses that furnish it, too
- Laura Myers is a gifted writer as well as a nice lady, and here's the proof
- Far-right R-J columnist Glenn Cook can be human and funny, too.
Is he kidding? Maybe this goes back to Simpson's point about Vegas journalists needing to pay attention to what's going on online. "No discussion?" There's discussion constantly on the Vegas-related podcasts, at least, including Vegas Gang and The Strip. There was discussion of it in the MSM, too, when Steve Wynn paid to put up trees in front of the stalled Echelon to improve the view a little, when Sheldon Adelson put a wrap on the stalled St. Regis condos and Caesars Entertainment finished the exterior of the stalled Octavius Tower and when MGM Resorts finished the exterior of the vexed Harmon and when the Stratosphere CEO told me for my LVW column that what I dubbed as Decay Alley at the north end of the Strip post-Sahara would be rough on them.
Which is to say, there's been discussion. No, Patrick, you're not the first to notice this. You may have an interesting idea for what to do up there, although I've never heard the many tourists I hear from regularly suggest what Vegas is missing is an outdoor market where they can buy crafts and crap in 105-degree heat. But when you open like that, you show how little you pay attention to the discourse going on all around you.
* Norm Clarke is a maestro at finding the Vegas angle of just about any celebrity death, and there seem to be an awful lot of 'em. So here's what he came up with regarding Amy Winehouse. Amazing, really.
* In case you missed it, I raved about Andrew Kiraly's novel Crit on The Strip last week. It was our Top Secret Tourist Tip of the Week for July 20, too. I read it in about four hours and I'm a slow reader. Buy it.