Friday, November 19, 2010

The Strip + Petcast Are Live on Sat!

We're back in the LVRocks.Com studio from noon to 2 p.m. PT on Saturday to record two new episodes of The Petcast followed by The Strip featuring interviews with Louie Anderson and "Wait Wait" host Peter Sagal.

The Petcast is first at noon with Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control Director Dianne Sauve to explain how a late-night pet dropout works and to relate heartbreaking and uplifting tales of a life in the animal control business. Our second show features Barbara Savidge, co-owner of Olive Green Goods For Modern Dogs eco-friendly pet-friendly items.

Also, my guest co-host for The Petcast this week will be Cindi Moon Reed, a Vegas Seven staffer who wrote a fantastic cover piece recently on the Bobby Berosini orangutan story that really "made" PETA. We'll discuss her reporting as well. Great stuff.

Then, of course, Miles and I are on from 1-2 p.m. We'll probably have time to play the Sagal interview during the live show and drop in the longer Louie Anderson conversation for the podcast edition.

As always, you can listen live at via LVRocks.Com and join the chat with fellow listeners. Or wait and grab the podcast version via iTunes or Zune or listen via that nifty "Listen Now" player on TheStripPodcast.Com or ThePetcast.Com. Your call.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twitter Says It All Re: John Ensign

I just realized I wasn't following Sen. John Ensign on Twitter, so I went to do that. And then I saw this:

Ouch, huh?

(For those who don't get it, see here and here.)

No, The Righthaven-RJ Effort Is Not Dead

Some interesting news this week on the Review-Journal's anti-copyright campaign shepherded by Righthaven LLC's Steven Gibson has been used by "media commentators" to draw bizarre conclusions:

* Righthaven settled with Sharron Angle and several others.
* Stephens Media has attempted to separate itself legally from Righthaven.
* Righthaven, chastened by the courts, won't sue and will drop suits in which less than 75% of a story is used by another website.

What's all this add up to? Well, if you believe some excitable bloggers and Tweeters, the R-J under its new regime has gone soft. But actually, Righthaven has been settling lawsuits batches at a time for months and, without knowing what the settlement amounts are, there's no way to know if they've decided to change course. That information has been kept private.

Suing over excerpts has always been the biggest legal weakness and the overreach of this campaign and, most importantly, the evidence that Gibson is clueless about what constitutes fair use or how news operations work. The courts rightly struck back and the small number of cases involving such behavior are now gone. According to Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun, just four of 69 currently pending cases involved that.

The rest are ongoing -- and Righthaven filed two new ones yesterday. So the effort continues, albeit with some more reasonable parameters.

Nevada's Top Union to Harry Reid: End DADT

More pressure in the form of this letter (click to enlarge and read) earlier in the week from D. Taylor, the head of the 65,000+-member Culinary Union, pivotal for Reid's re-election:

Harry Reid on the Hot Seat Re: DADT

The rest of Nevada's political punditry has taken no interest whatsoever, but this has been quite a week for Sen. Harry Reid's relationship with the gay and lesbian community. I got dirty looks from a couple of local reporters at Reid's post-election press conference on Nov. 3 for quizzing the re-elected Senate Majority Leader on a timetable for repeal of the military's ban on gays serving openly in the military, but then those activists who shut down the Strip to traffic in July held a bit of a demonstration in Reid's D.C. office on Monday as well. (That, above right, is Robin McGehee of GetEqual at Reid's office, photo courtesy of the Washington Blade.)

Didn't read about any of that in your local newspaper or e-mail newsletter, didja?

And now, today, a consortium of Nevada GLBT leaders sent this letter below, prodding him to get Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal to the floor for a vote. Reid has said he will, but it's refreshing to finally see Nevada activists actually, finally get into the act of pressuring their own guy. What a shame he'll never stand for re-election in the state again and all, but hey:

Dear Senator Reid,

A very narrow window exists during the post-election session of Congress in which swift and decisive leadership must be displayed in order to secure successful repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT). With all of the hard work that you have done to get this repeal as far as it has progressed thus far, it would be simply unacceptable for Congress not to get a chance to repeal DADT before the 111th Congress concludes its term.

As Senate Majority Leader, you control whether, when, and how bills are brought before the full Senate chamber. As a strong and principled supporter of ending the discriminatory DADT policy, you have the power to see that DADT gets acted upon in the lame duck session. We, therefore, ask you, the Senate Majority Leader, to oppose any effort to strip language repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The current language in the Senate Armed Services Committee-approved version of the NDAA offers important and overdue protections for servicewomen and military dependents, as well as provides those service members who are lesbian, gay or bisexual the opportunity to serve their country with honesty and integrity. Time is of the essence with ensuring that DADT is not removed from NDAA. We have the votes to end DADT this year. Now we must see more strong leadership from you, Senator Reid.

We know that you are committed to ending the dangerous and discriminatory policy that is DADT. We know that you are one to keep your promises, and we fully expect NDAA to be brought back up before you recess for Thanksgiving. We know you will follow through on your commitment to our LGBTQ community and our military here in Nevada, and across the nation, by ensuring that the DADT repeal provision is not excluded when NDAA is brought forward for a vote.



Jonathan Abbinett
Ronald Ramsey
Conroe Brooks
Loretta Harper
Jennifer Webb
Christopher Mendez-Preciado
Marcos Penaloza
Adriana Felix
Robert Cavazos
James Lee
Edith Byrd

This week's LVW Col: The R-J's troubling future

So I thought about the changes at the R-J for a few days and here's my post-game analysis for the Las Vegas Weekly. Read on! -sf

Why the sudden changes at the Review-Journal
may be a very, very bad thing


The more I think about it, the more I worry.

Like many in Las Vegas, my first reaction to the sudden dismissals Friday of Sherm Frederick as publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Thomas Mitchell as R-J editor was to smile. The two had failed the newspaper and the community in spectacular ways for years, Sherm by becoming an arrogant, obsessive enemy of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Mitchell by being so openly hostile to all things related to the Internet.

But it’s not as simple as that, is it? The actual changes that were made could, in fact, harm Nevada journalism even more than leaving these ineffective, visionless men in their places.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com

The Show is UP: Mystere + Jabbawockeez = Mysterawockeez!

We got back to the LVRocks.Com studio again after a couple of weeks for this episode, which includes what many emailers have said was the blowout grammatical argument of all arguments at the very end. So check that out as well as all the rest. Good stuff. You can click on the date below to get it to play or right-click on it to download it to listen at your leisure. Or, of course, subscribe for free in iTunes or Zune. -sf

Nov. 14: Mysterawockeez!
...with Brian Dewhurst and Phil Tayag

Just as the seminal Cirque du Soleil production Mystere was celebrating an astounding 8,000 performances at Treasure Island last month, the hiphop dance crew Jabbawockeez began a residency a t the Monte Carlo. The two have more in common than you might suspect, both being starless, wholly original visual spectacles that seemed unlikely to make much of a splash in Las Vegas. Mystere, obviously, has. We’ll have to see how Jabbawockeez does, but we’ll hear from stars of both in this episode. First, Steve talks to Brian Dewhurst, who was artistic coordinator for Mystere when it opened in 1993 and in 2000 began performing as a clown in the show. Then, later, we’ll have Steve’s interview with Phil Tayag, the youngest original member of Jabbawockeez.

In Banter: Chip Lightman moves on from Donny & Marie, Rita moves on from Harrah’s, MGM Resorts wants to move on from the Harmon, Steve Wynn has moved on from meat and more.

Links to stuff discussed:

Tickets for Mystere and Jabbawockeez
The Jabbawockeez website
A profile from Via Magazine of Brian Dewhurst from Mystere
VegasHappensHere.Com on Chip Lightman’s settlement with Donny & Marie
Rita Rudner’s news that she’s moving to Venetian in January
Howard Stutz’s scoop confirming MGM Resorts may implode the Harmon
Steve’s Las Vegas Weekly column urging MGM Resorts not to put a wrap on Aria
The Las Vegas Sun’s piece on renting out the condos at Mandarin, Vdara or Veer
Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’s site
Tickets to see Wait Wait live on 11/18 at Paris Las Vegas
The gambling win, room rates and visitation numbers were all up this month
British Airways is adding bigger planes with first class from London to Vegas
Steve’s AOL News piece on the World Series of Poker’s grand finale
VegasHappensHere.Com on Wynn Las Vegas jacking up Garth Brooks tickets by $110 a seat
John Katsilometes’ Steve Wynn piece on his veganism in the Las Vegas Weekly
Robin Leach reports about Steve Wynn’s reworked will
VegasHappensHere.Com on all the other various Wynn news, including the Pascal departure and the earnings call
The Indian TV interview in which Wynn discusses the Kevyn Wynn kidnapping in detail at the 24ish minute mark

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sneaking Peeks at Cosmo, Part II

Two more shots from inside the Next Big Thing, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, provided for use by my pals from Chateau D'if Press. The big interior detail of the resort, which opens Dec. 15, is its mammoth centerpiece chandelier. I've been told that these and the shots provided in the prior post are the first to emerge of it in action. Above is a fuller view, but below is colorful as well.

More to come, I am promised.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sneaking Peeks At Cosmo

That, apparently, is a "virtual" library, inside the Cosmopolitan. This photo and the ones below were sent along by the fine folks of The Chateau D' If Press.

Yup, it's that time of year again. Last year it was CityCenter, the year before it was Encore, the year before that it was Palazzo. Today we're one month out from the opening of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, so of course images are leaking all over the place against the wishes of the publicity staff hoping to keep the place largely underwraps. Even the much-discussed TV ad wasn't filmed at the actual resort and bears no resemblance to any of the property's interiors.

Hunter Hillegas has a whole page of images he's obtained illicitly. So far, those have been more revelatory about the interior decor and what the casino looks like. But this, above, is interesting. Digital bookshelves? How...cerebral. Hmm.

Here are a few more, used with permission. The last one is also inside the casino:

More to come, no doubt. And if you've got some pix you want me to link to or post, feel free to get in touch.