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SEPTEMBER 2014
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Sep. 20, 2p. The former Dodger and World Series Champion shares his hilarious new book, Bring in the Right Hander! My Twenty-Two Years in the Major...   
Sep. 20, 7p. From musical improv to crazy games, you will enjoy being part of the action as you help create what goes on the stage. Clean-burning,...   
Anna and Claire are two bantering, scheming “women of fashion” who have long lived together on the fringes of upper-class society. Anna...   
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The Great Basin -- it's such a great basin!
by Christopher Smith | posted September 19, 2014

Color change

Scenes from a trip to the Great Basin by Desert Companion Art Director Christopher Smith, who shot photos for an upcoming story about the area: striking autumnal color changes, above, and a look down the gullet of Lehman Caves, below. This is a great time to visit this east-central Nevada gem, he says. "I thought it would be colder, but it was really gorgeous."

Say awww!



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Three questions with Gangsterland author Tod Goldberg
by Scott Dickensheets | posted September 19, 2014

The write stuff

Tomorrow, Sept. 20, novelist Tod Goldberg will sign copies of Gangsterland, his new Vegas-set novel, in the gift store of the Mob Museum. He'll be there from 1-5 p.m. The book has been getting raves and buzz galore, and is worth reading, and Goldberg is funny and engaging in person, worth a visit. The darkly comic story features a mob hitman fleeing a botched assignment, who turns up disguised as a rabbi in Las Vegas. For a quick taste, check out the excerpt that ran in the September edition of Desert Companion. We asked him three quick questions.

Where did the story — mob hitman hides in Vegas disguised as a rabbi — spring from?

From a short story I wrote for the anthology Las Vegas Noir, entitled “Mitzvah.” My task was to write something dark and violent about Summerlin, and this idea of someone pretending to be a rabbi and using a Jewish cemetery as a con just popped into my head. Once I finished the story, I knew there was an entire novel — maybe a couple — yet to be written on the topic.

Did you ever consider setting it in a different city? No, never. I specifically saw it taking place in Las Vegas right at the turn of the century, when the gangster culture of the city was suddenly back in vogue. I wanted to play on that boomtown feeling that had captured the city in 1999, when Summerlin was carving through the desert, turning a barren landscape into a giant resort. 

What’s the funnest part of writing about the mob and Vegas? Finding out that even the most outlandish idea I’ve had — all the scams and cons and grifts — have already been done successfully by local politicians ... historically speaking, of course.



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Prepare to be prepared
by Heidi Kyser | posted September 18, 2014

People have scheduled all kinds of September festivities to celebrate National Preparedness Month, showing FEMA they’re ready for any eventuality. On September 10, local chefs used ingredients from nonperishable emergency kits to create gourmet bites at Las Vegas City Hall. The city is also hosting a Twitter chat on September 30 to get government agencies talking among themselves about training for emergency situations.

But the award for most ambitious plan may go to casino corporation Las Vegas Sands and nonprofit Clean the World, which are teaming up in hopes of assembling 100,000 hygiene kits this weekend. Clean the World’s specialty is collecting and repurposing unused toiletries from Las Vegas’ myriad hotel rooms. The hygiene kits that volunteers will put together on Saturday and Sunday will be used for disaster relief efforts both at home and abroad.

“This will have a huge impact,” says Ron Reese, a spokesperson for the Sands. “These kits will be distributed by American Red Cross and during natural disasters around the world, as well as locally at organizations like Shade Tree Shelter.”

Volunteers ages 8 and up will work assembly-line style at the Venetian-Palazzo in two-hour shifts, while organizers keep their spirits up with refreshments, raffles and prizes. As of Thursday morning, 2,300 people had signed up, but Clean the World says there’s room for at least 500 more. For more information, click here or contact Clean the World’s Shae Hagen at  702-221-8777 or shagen@cleantheworld.org.



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9/19/14  
The Great Basin -- it's such a great basin!
9/19/14  
Three questions with Gangsterland author Tod Goldberg
9/18/14  
Prepare to be prepared
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