Daily Archives: March 21, 2009

Holly Madison Sets Sights on New Las Vegas Gig?

After being the main love squeeze for Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner for seven years, breaking up, and recently breaking up from Las Vegas illusionist and Luxor headliner Criss Angel following a four-month live-in relationship, Las Vegas resident, actress, and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Holly Madison, 29, says she is has no interest in hollymadisongetting back into another relationship anytime soon. 

But what she is wanting is to stay in the TV reality show business but move into “the production side of things.”  One of the three co-stars of the hit TV reality show “The Girls Next Door,” Madison now has her sights set on a Las Vegas project to be a reality show producer.  The concept reportedly would be a combination of “Girls Next Door,” and “The Hills,” with a little bit of the “Crazy Horse Paris” style topless revue thrown in just for good measure. 

“I want to establish my own brand and my own career and not be mooching off something else,” says Madison, who is now immersed into dance rehearing six hours a day at the Delgado Dance Studio in Summerlin.  Madison had no prior dance background before becoming a last-minute addition to replace the injured Jewel on “Dancing with the Stars” and remains in the competition with her dance partner Dimitry Chaplin.

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Cerda’s Enjoy New Las Vegas Home from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

The Cerda family in Las Vegas woke up the morning of March 10 to a call from Ty Pennington and the crew from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and on March 19, they went to sleep in a completely rebuilt, environmentally friendly home designed around the special needs of their children. cerda

While Wright Custom Home/Wright Engineers and more than 500 volunteers were demolishing and then framing out a new house in northwest Las Vegas, the Cerda’s were relaxing in Maui and trying to adjust to the change in their future.  Occasional video showed them limited progress on the building and they had no idea what the final structure would look like. 

After exiting the limo that whisked them home from McCarran International Airport, Chuck Cerda kissed the Extreme Makeover bus.  Surrounded by family, friends and well wishers, the Cerda family shouted “Move that bus!” and for the first time, saw their new two story home in Las Vegas. 

The Cerda’s children, Molly and Maggie, both suffer from Combined Immune Deficiency Disease (CIDD) which makes them more susceptible to lung and upper respiratory infections.  Because of their condition, the girls have limited contact outside the home that makes it even more important that the house be in pristine condition.  The HVAC system will filter the air better than a standard home heating/cooling system.  An advantage that was noticeable soon after entering the residence when Terri Cerda realized her daughter Molly wasn’t having breathing difficulties and didn’t require a nebulizer treatment. 

In addition to the valley volunteers that helped to build the new house, many local businesses contributed build related or maintenance assistance.  Walker Furniture donated furniture for the main rooms; Alarmco donated security services; Freedom Exterminators gave pest control treatments; and The Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Las Vegas provided a musical touch, donating oboes, a flute and $2,000 worth of music lessons for the girls. The four Las Vegas Raising Cane’s restaurants encouraged customers to donate a dollar to every ticket and gave the funds directly to the family to assist with ongoing expenses. 

However it wasn’t just the Cerda family who benefited during the home build.   The United Blood Services bloodmobile parked at the spectator site and visitors and volunteers took the opportunity to donate to the Vegas valley blood bank.  And the Three Square food distribution center in Las Vegas was the recipient of a non-perishable food collection also conducted at the spectator site. 

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition currently plans to air the Cerda family episode on May 10.  The television series airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Las Vegas ABC affiliate KTNV channel 13.

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Red Rock Canyon Preserved in National Landscape Conservation System Bill

Though this bill has nothing to do with the bright lights of Las Vegas, the massive National Landscape redrockConservation System bill has plenty to do with protecting our collective natural heritage for future generations to experience.  

American Indian etchings on the sandstone walls, yucca plants, ancient Joshua trees and more are the beneficiaries when Congress passed this bill that makes Nevada’s three conservation areas, along with its 45 wilderness areas, 62 wilderness study areas, and 26 million acres of public lands in a dozen Western states, all protected in a permanent system. 

The newly enacted bill places natural lands importance on par with the National Park Services system and the National Wildlife Refuge system.  People will soon know what to expect when they visit these areas. 

Although the landscape system was established administratively by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and was kept intact by the Bush administration, it really didn’t have the necessary “teeth” since it didn’t guarantee Congress would make conservation an ongoing priority and fund protection efforts including artifact looting, vandalism, invasive plant and wildlife habitat damage from off-road vehicles and other intrusions, and cultural site and natural resource developments. 

The lands bill passed the Senate in January.  The House then tried to pass it last week by a two-thirds majority but fell two votes short. The Senate then reworked the bill last week and sent it back for reconsideration that passed by a simple majority of the House. 

Red Rock Canyon, located about 30 minutes west of  the Las Vegas Strip,  is one of the crown jewels of the National Landscape Conservation System.  The bill gives the 26-million-acre system in the Western states permanent congressional authorization to ensure its pristine features would remain intact for future generations.

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Las Vegas Performing Arts Center Plans for Groundbreaking

All is not gloom and doom when it comes to Las Vegas art funding in our recession.  The Smith Center for the lasvegasperformingartsPerforming Arts could break ground in as little as two months, thanks to the City of Las Vegas for being in the midst of finalizing a financing package that supports the construction and takes into account the impact of the economic downturn. 

The total $485 million center is being financed by many seed revenue sources including $105 million in Las Vegas bonds that are being backed by a 2 percent tax on rental cars, which are planned to be sold by the end of this month; $85 million in bonds backed by revenues from the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency (not operating funds); and $150 million or more from the private Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.  

The City of Las Vegas total financial obligation for the center funding is $170 million.  

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will be the anchor tenant of the 61-acre Union Park development in downtown Las Vegas that is touted to be the “new Las Vegas,” with the center containing a 2,050-seat main theater as well as smaller performance spaces and classrooms, a park and outdoor theater.  It will be the home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet. 

Construction costs make up $245 million of the total $485 million estimated cost, with the rest of the funding pegged for an operation endowment and furniture, fixtures and equipment. 

Construction is expected to generate 1,000 Las Vegas jobs over two years. 

“We are stimulating the economy,” said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.  “We’re stimulating our intellect in the community.”

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