Monthly Archives: January 2010

Miss America Crowned in Las Vegas; Historic Legacy Continues

The 2010 Miss America has been crowned.  Saturday night, 22-year-old Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, walked the Planet Hollywood stage in Las Vegas wearing a canary yellow evening gown, sporting the traditional Miss America tiara and, of course, giving the traditional Miss America wave. 

In 1920, the Business men’s League of Atlantic City was looking for a way to keep sunbathers on the boardwalk past Labor Day.  They held a Fall Frolic including tennis tournaments, parades and concerts.  But one Boardwalk publicity event, where young men pushed decorated rolling wicker chairs through the streets, truly captured the public eye.  It wasn’t the spectacle of the young men or chairs that caught the public interest – it was the young women in the chairs and in particular, Ernestine Cremona, wearing a delicate white robe.  The event was a huge success and was repeated in 1921.  Only now, there was the addition of a “bathing revue” and it came to pass the crowning of the first Miss America, 16 year old Margaret Gorman. 

From the start, the Miss America pageant has struggled with the paradox of presenting a conservative image of women as virtuous and innocent while parading them around in swimsuits and skin tight evening wear.   But, as the years went by, the pageant had it’s highs and lows, eventually struggling to survive as society evolved while Miss America clung to it’s original conservative roots.   

But even though growth came slowly to Miss America, it did come, most notably in the 40’s.  In 1945 Miss America Bess Myerson received the first scholarship awarded as one of the pageant prizes.  But 1945 also signaled a turning of ethnic tide at the pageant, as Myerson was the first Jewish American to win the title.  Just a few years later the “color” barrier was broken when Irma Nydia Vasquez from Puerto Rico, and Yun Tau Zane from Hawaii, the first Asian contestant, walked the pageant stage. 

In 2004, after several years of declining ratings, the pageant’s Aqua Net hairstyles and glitterati gowns were no longer welcomed on network television.  And then in 2006, the pageant turned to the city of reinvention – Las Vegas, Nevada – to begin to, well, stage a comeback. 

And now it’s in Las Vegas, under the gaudy neon lights, playing to a crowd of 7,000 at Planet Hollywood that Fredericksburg, Virginia, native Caressa Cameron received her crown.  

During her on-stage interview – the segment of all pageants that has drawn the most criticism and interest during recent years – Miss Cameron was asked about how to deal with the epidemic of childhood obesity.  Her reply: “We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little.  Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like.” 

Good advice for anyone…

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It’s Red Flag Season in Las Vegas!

Perhaps not as well known as the hunting season in Idaho or the ski season in Vermont, Red Flag season in Las Vegas means increased activity in the sky above and around the city.  It’s a little extra noise and traffic for North Las Vegas locals to endure but for military personnel, Red Flag training exercises are an opportunity to immerse themselves in situations which would be encountered in actual combat. 

Essentially, there are two teams made up of personnel from the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom.  The Red team is the “aggressor” defending key targets including missile sites, tanks and airfields.  The Blue team has one mission – to attack the targets.  

The event, running Monday, January 25 to Friday, February 5, will be conducted on the 15,000 square mile Nevada Test and Training Range north of the city of Las Vegas.  Participating aircraft will depart Nellis Air Force Base twice each day, first in the mid-afternoon and later in the evening. 

Photo at right is of a F/A-18 Hornet blasting through the sun’s rays, supplied courtesy of photographer Mike Stotts.

For the first time in 16 years, Red Flag will include members from the 93rd Fighter Squadron and Maintenance Squadron from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida.    And the Homestead ARB F-16 “Mako” will be included in the aerial training exercises. 

“Participating in Red Flag is a huge milestone for the Air Force Reserve Command,” says Lt. Col. David W. Smith, 93rd FS commander. “This is the best training in the world to prepare pilots for integrated joint operations in the most robust air-to-air and air-to-ground combat threat environment.”

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New Senior Center Opens in Henderson, Nevada

Any large business opening is a big thing in this stifling economy- and especially one of this magnitude.  The formal grand opening for the City of Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30. 

The Senior Facility, which will replace two other older facilities, has been the topic of discussion regarding whether the reported $11.7 million spent on the Heritage Park Senior Facility and the estimated total cost of $26.2 million for the entire Heritage Park complex, was a wise investment during the current economic climate.  

At the time of the July 2008 groundbreaking, the two-year project seemed to be exactly what was necessary to meet the needs of the community.  But as funding for other commitments dried up and the financial domino effect of the mortgage crisis became more apparent, there was little consideration given to putting any kind of hold on the project.  

“Unlike a park, you can’t just leave a half-built building sitting there.” said Kim Becker, spokeswoman for the Parks and Recreation department.  Yet that is exactly what has been done at other local building sites, most notably the bankrupt Fontainebleau sitting just north of the Riviera.  

The Senior Facility, which opened for use on December 16, is a recreational center for adults over 50.  It features a commercial kitchen as well as a demonstration kitchen and the specialty rooms include a dance room, craft room, conference room and media room.  Mindful of the concerns and needs of the community, the Senior Facility also houses a wellness center and health screening rooms and the cafe and lounge area are equipped with the latest in WiFI.  But the centerpiece of this building has to be the fitness room which includes the latest in exercise equipment and the indoor aquatic area. 

“We’re very pleased to be pursuing LEED Gold certification for this building, which truly blends form and function,” said Mary Ellen Donner, director, City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department. “So many elements are eco-friendly and energy efficient, including a ground source geothermal sustainable energy system, flooring made from recycled products, and insulated skylights and windows to optimize natural lighting. It’s a striking building that will truly enhance the quality of life for Henderson’s 50+ residents.” 

In the end it’s possible that the Henderson Parks and Recreation department will find themselves thanked by many in the Henderson community.  As money has become tighter and tighter, families are turning away from expensive hobbies and weekend entertainments and are spending more time at the park.  The reported 13.5 percent uptick in use at the six Henderson recreational centers during the last half of 2009 is expected to continue or increase, especially as this summer season begins and community pools come more into play.

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First Miss Cougar Las Vegas Seeks Eager Cubs, Votes at Jan. 22 Convention

Want to know what Demi Moore, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Madonna, Jennifer Anniston, Ivana Trump, Cameron Diaz, Mariah Carey, and Joan Collins have all discovered? 

Women who are attracted to younger men are invited to compete for the title of Miss Cougar Las Vegas at the first-ever Las Vegas Cougar Convention, Friday, January 22, at the Tropicana Hotel Conference Ballroom.

 One lucky prowling cougar will be crowned Miss Cougar Las Vegas and win a free berth on one of two Cougar Cruises (May 16-23 to the Mexican Riviera) or Dec 3-6 to The Bahamas), a DVD of Ashton Kutcher’s cougar movie Spread and many other prizes courtesy of SinglesTravelCompany.com.  Eligible contestants must be legally single and at least 40 years old. Cost is $20 at the door. Dressy attire recommended.

The most qualified vixen will be selected by the younger men cubs in attendance.  

Doors open at 7 p.m., with an entertaining keynote address at 7:30 p.m. by author Rich Gosse, America’s foremost authority on finding a romantic partner. He is the author of eight books on this topic, including You CAN Hurry Love, Singles Guide to America, and A Good Man Is EASY to Find  (“This is a great book!” says Oprah Winfrey). 

“Age discrimination is perhaps the most pervasive prejudice in American Society,” says Gosse.  “Older women, in particular, are victimized by our youth-oriented society. They are regarded as ‘non-sexy’. Supposedly every American male is only attracted to nubile 20 year olds found in the centerfolds of men’s magazines. The truth is that there are millions of American men who find older women attractive, and we will prove it at the Las Vegas Cougar Convention!”

From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. the dance party gets into full swing, stopping briefly at approximately 11 p.m. for prizes and one cougar attending the convention will win the title of Miss Cougar Las Vegas. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Society of Single Professionals, the worlds largest nonprofit singles organization SinglesTravelCompany.com, and many other companies.

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Nevada’s First Male Prostitute Waits to Please

The Shady Lady Ranch in Nevada, located 150 miles northwest of Las Vegas, had its first male prostitute working on Wednesday, a 25-year-old from California named “Markus.”  But through Saturday, not any lady was shady enough, apparently, to take him up on his enticing offer. 

All 5 feet 9 inches of him, weighing in at 180 pounds, patiently waits- and hopes. 

The brothel’s owner, Bobbi Davis, said she has received a couple of nibbles, inquiries that is, from curious women, including one who talked about making an appointment soon.   But Davis is quick to point out that things are usually slow this time of year. 

Meanwhile, Markus was mentioned by talk show host Jay Leno Wednesday night, but has granted just two interviews – one with “Details” magazine, the other with ABC’s “Nightline” – but Davis said she asked him not to talk to any more journalists.  Probably that was because in the “Details” article he compares himself to a key figure of the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks. 

“This actually isn’t about selling my body. This is about changing social norms,” says Markus. 

Could it be that Markus has a “Going Rogue” book deal in the works? 

Markus, hailing from the adult film business, where he appeared in a few porn movies, if he does get a client, will get paid the same rates as female brethren:  $300 for one hour, $500 for two.  That price includes “anything within reason,” according to Davis. 

“We’re working on our second guy, but we’re kind of slowing it off until we see how good we can do with Marcus,” Bobbi Davis says.

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Las Vegas Illusionist Plans School Visit with Live Bengal Tiger!

Illusionist Dirk Arthur plans to bring plenty of good luck to students of the Hebrew Academy in Las Vegas.   Celebrating the year of the tiger – touching a tiger’s tail will reportedly bring one good luck – daring students will have the rare opportunity to see up close and personal the pearly white fangs of Saber, a 3-month-old rare white Bengal tiger cub.  Touchy-feely is the order to of the day. 

Arthur hopes to start the year off with luck for the students, grades K through 12, at the Hebrew Academy, 9700 West Hillpointe Road, in Las Vegas at noon on Jan. 25, providing them with the rare opportunity. 

White tigers are extinct in the wild since the early ’60s. Today, they are only found in captivity, of which it is estimated that there are only 500 to 600 0f the noble animals surviving on our planet. 

Arthur has arguably the largest exotic cat habitat in the world; Saber makes number five for white tigers at his home. Saber will be three months old when he meets the children and will weigh about 12 to 15 pounds.

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Boxing Trainer Roger Mayweather Bound Over for Las Vegas Trial on Battery, Coercion Charges

A Las Vegas judge said today that boxing trainer Roger Mayweather should stand trial on three felony charges, alleging he attacked a female boxer he used to train.

The woman, 26-year-old Melissa St. Vil, testified that the 48-year-ld Mayweather punched and choked her during an Aug. 2 confrontation at an apartment he owned. 

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem James Gubler ruled St. Vil’s testimony was sufficient to bind the case over to state court on coercion, battery-strangulation and battery causing substantial bodily harm charges. 

Mayweather, the uncle of trainer of unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., did not testify at the evidentiary hearing, and his lawyers chose not to call witnesses. 

The judge set arraignment for Jan. 26 in Clark County District Court. Mayweather’s lawyers say he’ll plead not guilty.

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