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JULY 2014
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Roadrunners: zippy, darty, a blur of motion! What if, artist Alisha Kerlin wondered after seeing a roadrunner doorstop at a swap meet, you turned...   
July 24, 7p and July 25, 10:30a. This energetic, bilingual, pop music show is an outstanding experience for families and their young kids. $3. July...   
You’re all, Boston and Cheap Trick are old dudes, dude, and we’re like, Yeah, but at least one of those bands can still...   

A shady deal (the good kind!)
by Heidi Kyser | posted July 24, 2014

Sun trees

You might have noticed the occasional slanted, mirror-like roof over a community center or government office parking lot, but the fact that they’re solar panels — or the sheer number of them popping up around town — likely hasn’t registered. These solar parking shade structures are part of the Las Vegas city government’s huge collective effort to attain “net zero” status — that is, to eventually produce as much energy as it uses. Since 2011, the city has installed solar panels at 38 of its facilities, enough to produce six megawatts of electricity.

“If you put all the solar panels in neat rows on the ground, all in one place, they would cover about 30 acres,” says Tom Perrigo, the city’s chief sustainability officer.

The latest project comes with the help of the Governor’s Office of Energy, which gave Las Vegas a 14-year loan with 3 percent interest to build three solar parking shade structures: at the city’s East and West Yard maintenance and storage facilities, as well as the Durango Hills Community Center. Together, they’ll produce 1.2 million kilowatt-hours each year. The loan was for $1.24 million, which brings the city’s total spend on solar to some $40 million. Is it worth it?

Yes, say Perrigo and his boss, Mayor Carolyn Goodman. “Everything we’ve invested pays for itself through savings,” he says, “and nothing has come out of city coffers for it. We’ve leveraged grants, utility rebates and tax-credit financing, so we’re saving more than our total debt service.”

Over time, energy savings add up to a return on the city’s investment. This is because the price per kilowatt-hour is locked in. For instance, on the latest project, the price will equal approximately 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour over the next 25 years. That’s 2.5 cents less than the current utility rate of 8 cents per kilowatt-hour — a rate that will increase over time, while the solar-production rates stays the same. So, in effect, savings will increase.

“We’re saving just under $6 million on our energy bill right now,” Perrigo says. “Our payback is about seven years.” 

Another way solar pays for itself is by hitting its maximum production during peak periods, when energy use is highest and thus at its most expensive. So the city is reducing demand during peak periods and taking a little energy off-grid.

And then there’s the cut in greenhouse-gas emissions. The three new parking shade structures alone will take 23.8 million pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere during their first 20 years of operation, the city estimates. That’s equivalent to 2,273 passenger vehicles or 985 homes.

Perrigo admits that it takes time to realize these benefits, and that such long-term investments are easier for public entities than they are for private businesses. But he’s hopeful that legislation proposed for the upcoming state session will help commercial properties finance similar investments through energy-improvement districts, because it would provide jobs and address climate issues.

“These projects and investments have helped us reduce our level of greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent,” Perrigo says. “We’re back to what we were emitting in 1997, even though we’ve more than doubled our operations during that time. As a result, Mayor Goodman recently won the national climate protection leadership award form the U.S. Conference of Mayors.” 


Hey, you using that blood?
by Heidi Kyser | posted July 22, 2014

If most nonprofits saw an 8 percent drop in donations over a quarter, they’d be a little concerned. But for the American Red Cross, not having blood for even one patient in need of a transfusion is a crisis. And the organization’s 8-percent shortfall over the last three months amounts to 80,000 fewer donations, causing it to issue an urgent call for donors of all blood types.

“It’s important that people understand: We have to collect 15,000 blood donations every day to meet the national daily demand at hospitals,” says Red Cross spokeswoman Kimberly Houk. “Every two seconds a patient in America needs a blood donation.”

That's a lot of blood. Donations are typically low in the summer, but this year the three-day weekend for Independence Day put a larger-than-usual dent in early July collections. In an average summer week, the Red Cross reports, 4,400 blood drives are on the calendar. The first week of July this year, there were only 3,450.

The organization needs both blood and platelets. To find out if you’re an eligible donor, visit or call 1-800-RedCross (733-2767). Upcoming opportunities to donate in Southern Nevada follow:


July 24, 3:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.: ITT Technical Institute, 168 N Gibson Road


Las Vegas

July 23, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Kaplan College, 3535 W. Sahara Ave

July 26, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Meadows Mall, 4300 Meadows Lane Suite 10

July 26, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center, 5400 S Rainbow Blvd

July 29, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, 3186 S. Maryland Parkway

July 31, 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: LVMPD Northeast Area Command, 3750 Cecile Avenue

Aug. 4, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Southwest Medical Associates, 2316 W Charleston Blvd

Aug. 7, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Valley Hospital Medical Center, 620 Shadow Lane

Aug. 15, 9:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m.: Basch Construction, 6226 S Sandhill

Aug. 19, 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center, 5400 S Rainbow Blvd

Aug. 20, 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Milan Institute, 710 S. Tonopah Drive

Aug. 20, 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.: American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter, 1771 E. Flamingo Rd. Ste 206B

Aug. 21, 7:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Danville Services, 9139 W. Russell Suite # 110



Aug. 13, 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.: Primex Plastics, 752 Turtleback Road

Aug. 13, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.: Primex Plastics, 752 Turtleback Road


North Las Vegas

July 25, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Encompass Care, 6424 Losee Rd

July 30, 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.: ITT Technical Institute, 3825 W. Cheyenne Ave #600

Aug. 11, 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Destinations at Alexander, 3949 W. Alexander Rd.

Aug. 15, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: North Vista Hospital, 1409 E Lake Mead Blvd



Aug. 12, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Affiliated Chiropractic, 2250 E Postal Rd #4





What's in a name?
by Scott Dickensheets & Andrew Kiraly | posted July 21, 2014
As the possibility of a Vegas-based Major League Soccer team inches closer to reality, it's never too soon to pre-think the vital issue of what to call it. Let's not unthinkingly brand the squad after some cliche feature of Las Vegas or some derivative idea of what the city "means," however accurate those concepts might be. Some names to avoid:
Snake Eyes
The Shuffle
The Craps
The Sheldon
The Dry Heat
The Less Dry Than It Used to Be Heat
The Sunday
The Loosest Slots
The Girls Direct to You
The Tense Standoffs
The Constables
Bighorn: The Team
Disgraced Educators’ Inappropriate Touching Brigade
The Evil Clown Dentists
The Master-Planned Communities
The Fremont East Irregulars
The Mulroys
Life is Soccerful
The Gentrification
The Downtown Smell



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