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Skinny Dugans Won’t Keep You Skinny

HUNGRY?? Skinny Dugans is a great place for you to try, you can either carry out or dine in. They offer delicious bar food without a high price tag. Here’s the opportunity to skip the fast food and enjoy generous portions to satisfy any hearty appetite. Keep in mind my friends that the food they serve is delicious All American bar food so for the health conscious peeps you may want to save Skinny Dugans for a calorie splurge.

The bar has been located in central Vegas since 1973, right off of Charleston and just west of Valley View. Ownership has changed hands before which forced the place to close for short periods of time over the years. In August of 2011, it reopened under new management with a modern vision. The building was renovated with modern decor and includes a separate cigar lounge equipped with several T.V’s, in case you want to chill away from the bar. Skinny’s keeps a clean spacious place to relax and enjoy a laid back experience. The gaming bar features 35 machines for those 21+. No worries for minors wanting to enjoy their food as they also have a restaurant that caters to any age. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner 24 hours a day.

Check them out online here.

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If goal is recovery, why stop drug testing at welfare recipients? – Las Vegas Sun News

I found this article refreshing as I have listened to many claims blaming our nations poorest for being drug users and moochers. It seems to me that most of the nations poor are only trying to survive in a society that decides what type of person you are by the size of your bank account. The numbers are in and Florida’s drug testing welfare law is a failure. It seems as though there is not as many drug users on welfare as people thought. Could people actually be using the system for what it is there for? Who do you think are the real moochers, drug users and creators of financial crisis in our country? What do you think about Nevada taking on the same regulations as Florida? 

Here is what happened when Florida started drug testing its welfare applicants:

Of 4,086 applicants between July and October 2011, 108 tested positive, or 2.6 percent, with another 40 canceling the test. That rate is less than one-third the estimated drug use among Floridians overall.

Got that? Welfare applicants were far less likely to use drugs than the rest of the population.

And despite the few that canceled their test, overall, the threat of a drug test had no appreciable effect on the number of applicants, according to an internal state government document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union when it sued the state, challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Because the tests cost $30 each, and because Florida reimbursed applicants who tested negative, the law wound up actually costing the state money. Plus, a federal judge temporarily halted the law because it was in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.

So, all in all, an embarrassing failure.

But ideas can be zombies, especially in Nevada. So here’s Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, offering up our own welfare drug test bill, Senate Bill 89, which would deny welfare benefits as well as food stamps and Medicaid.

Settelmeyer told my colleague Cy Ryan that his intention is to help people get straight, which is why he included a provision that would allow an applicant who failed the test to enter drug rehab and receive public assistance while there, with another test scheduled 30 days later.

Good plan, if rather patronizing. Except there’s a severe and chronic shortage of treatment beds. A shortage that would have been worsened if Settlemeyer had his way last session — he voted against renewing more than $600 million in taxes that were set to expire. Where do you suppose they would have found the money? I’m guessing drug treatment beds would have been on the chopping block.

There’s a false idea I sometimes hear from readers and the occasional politician that some significant portion of the population is welfare-dependent. (Some seem to think it might even be as high as 47 percent!)

In fact, since President Bill Clinton signed the big welfare reform bill in 1996 that placed limits on how long you could remain on welfare, the national caseload dropped 50 percent from 3.94 million families in an average month to 1.95 million by 2011, according to Pamela J. Loprest of the Urban Institute.

With 310 million people living in America, you can see the percentage of people on welfare is quite small. In Nevada, fewer than 30,000 adults and children get welfare, or what’s officially called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. That’s 1 percent of us.

There’s also a belief the numbers have surged since we elected a foreign-born Muslim socialist president whose goal is to make everyone dependent on government because he’s a secret anti-colonial Maoist, or something.

Welfare rolls have gone up since the recession but still remain below 2005 levels, before the recession.

It’s true that food stamp enrollment and Medicaid and unemployment recipients have increased significantly in Nevada, but that’s because in 2007 we entered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Food stamp enrollment increased 128 percent in Nevada between 2007 and 2010, but that’s largely due to the fact that the unemployment rate tripled. Historically, food stamp and other anti-poverty enrollments increase during recessions and decrease during expansions. Go figure.

If Settelmeyer’s real goal is to help people get straight, why stop at welfare recipients? What about farm subsidy recipients, sometimes known as “welfare cowboys”? Why not test Medicare and Social Security moochers? Or state employees?

Or legislators?

via If goal is recovery, why stop drug testing at welfare recipients? – Las Vegas Sun News.

Pokers Tattoo

pokersThis article is dedicated to a working class tattoo artist, Chris Unger founder of Pokers Tattoo Shop in Las Vegas.

One thing we have in our beautiful city is a large population of tattoo artists.  There are shops all throughout the city and let’s face it everybody knows someone who knows someone right?

For some reason finding the right tattoo artist still can be a challenge though. Then deciding what to get becomes an over whelming  task. Of course, having fears about putting something so permanent on your skin is normal and wise. Not to mention the pain involved which almost isn’t worth it, until you see how great it looks.

It can be devastating to become a victim of a tattoo gone wrong. Trust me I know. Not only is it painful and expensive but that awesome feeling of seeing your great new art is deflated into, “Oh My Gosh what am I going to do”. What can you do but wipe your tears, go home tail tucked and swear you’ll get it fixed, eventually.

For me, the new addition of my permanent mistake was on my obviously visible forearm which forced me to be stuck showing off the pathetic attempt of art or be forced to wear long sleeves most of the time. I even hated talking about it and of course everyone has questions no matter how it comes out.  Honestly though, long sleeves and living in the desert, lets just say for years I was answering a lot of unwanted questions.

Fast forward 9 years and I no longer have to wear my sleeves of shame. By chance a couple of summers ago I happened to meet the skilled and experienced, Chris Unger, a true tattoo artist. As I was waiting in line for a beer, I happened to over hear a conversation from a man standing behind me. He was speaking to Chris about covering up a horrific tattoo. My ears involuntarily perked immediately, I tried terribly hard not to eavesdrop. Lucky for me, Chris must’ve seen questions written all over my little face. He caught my eye and  busted out, “you interested in a tattoo?’ Before I knew it I went from wanting to fix a half dollar size tattoo on my inner forearm to creating ideas to do a full sleeve on my left arm which would cover my tattoo blemish as well. After that it was only a couple of weeks before I took my first climb up the long stairway above Dead Man’s Tattoo Supply Shop to Chris’s tattoo shop, Pokers. Bottled up with nerves and anxiety (this was my first tattoo in years), I was instantly relieved to walk in and see a clean organized and professional shop.

Then my fears quickly slipped away as he took a great deal of time to talk with me about my ideas and how he could incorporate them appropriately onto my skin. The experience became even more authentic when he didn’t even bother to use tracing paper for the outline of my tattoo. Chris took a sharpy to sketch some basic lines on my arm (that looked ridiculous to me, artists always amaze me) and worked free hand from there. It is such a great feeling to know your tattoo cannot be replicated. Mine is designed specifically for the curves and crevices of my skin and mine only. Talk about making a girl feel special.

I was so proud after my first session and other people where impressed as well, even my doctors. Just my outline was getting plenty of attention and questions worth answering. Plus, there was no embarrassment or shame to hide under, a weight had been lifted. Also I couldn’t help but notice that with the several tattoos I had gotten before none of them ever healed so flawless. The next day it was barely tender to touch, Chris had promised me (since I am a big baby), “It’s all in the technique”. This was definitely the best tattoo experience I’d ever had. I would like to give a big shout out to Chris Unger for creating something phenomenal with his talent.

So for any of you ink freaks or ink virgins out there looking for a great tattoo and don’t know where to go, Pokers is where it’s at. His shop features several tattoo artists that will help you put those crazy ink ideas onto your skin. The shop is located on Russell and Valley View Blvd, which means it is only a quick trip from the strip, for all you tourists. Also conveniently located just beyond the strip for all you locals.  Set your fears aside as you are guaranteed quality ink at Pokers so don’t hesitate to call. You won’t be disappointed.

Phone 702-736-6667

Address 5720 S. Valley View Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89118

Click here to like them on Facebook

2012 Housing Growth

Happy 2013 Las Vegas. The new year is already bringing excitement not only because congress got the fiscal cliff taken care of but for Las Vegas there are many projects in the works. These projects are good news for the valley, since the recession hit building projects have been stagnant and Nevada’s bounce back has not been easy. Not only do us desert dwellers have such projects as sky wheels and water parks to look forward to but the housing market seems to be climbing back as well. Since Las Vegas bared the brunt of the worst housing crisis in history it has been unclear what would happen next. With the  market crash houses were left at 60 percent of their values leaving banks and homeowners in desperation. So what now? 2012 showed real promise for the Las Vegas housing market. Houses still are not worth what they were during the time period before 2008 when the inflation bubble was being taken advantage of by banks, buyers and sellers. Realtors had a great year in 2012 and are looking forward to 2013. Since people have been forced from their homes and banks are refusing to forgive or adjust mortgages they are being left with thousands of empty houses they need to get rid of. Of course this is happening at rock bottom prices which makes me wonder, wouldn’t it have been easier to work with the homeowners? Also, there has been an influx of residents from California who refuse to ride out the recession any longer in the Golden State.

Most properties being sold are in the lower end of pricing but there is always those luxury buyers and you have to admit Las Vegas is still luxurious. So we have put a list together to show the six most expensive home sales in Las Vegas for 2012.

  • 1. 7 Falcon View Court, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: Sept. 11

    Price: $8.35 million

    Description: Two-story, 10,650 square feet, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms. Built in 2009. Features a porte cochere, motorized glass pocket doors, double island kitchen, wine room and theater.

  • 2. 9401 Kings Gate Court, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: July 16

    Price: $7 million

    Description: Two-story, 15,802 square feet, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms. Built in 2002. Has theater and fitness rooms, an elevator, a lazy river pool and an eight-car garage.

  • 3. 30 Olympia Hills Circle, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: May 31

    Price: $5.6 million

    Description: Two-story, 14,148 square feet, eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms. Built in 2009. Has an elevator, marble floors, home theater, hand-painted ceilings and a wine cellar that holds more than 600 bottles.

  • 4. 5 Promontory Pointe Lane, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: May 2

    Price: $5.15 million

    Description: Two-story, 12,496 square feet, five bedrooms, nine bathrooms. Built in 2009. Sits on a Summerlin hillside overlooking the valley. Includes a 480-bottle wine cellar, six-car garage, theater, game room, security cameras around the perimeter, a 12-person spa and an outdoor kitchen.

  • 5. 5100 Spanish Heights Drive, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: Jan. 19

    Price: $4.5 million

    Description: Two-story, 14,306 square feet, seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms. Built in 2003. Former home of actor Nicolas Cage. Has 16-car garage, an elevator and a theater room. Master bedroom has a balcony and a sitting room.

  • 6. 45 Hawk Ridge Drive, Las Vegas

    Sale recorded: Aug. 16

    Price: $3.7 million

    Description: Two-story, 7,016 square feet, four bedrooms, six bathrooms. Built in 2009. Located on the eighth green of Bear’s Best Las Vegas golf course.7. 8 Morning Sky Lane, Las Vegas

‘Sin City Rules’ cast makes me an offer I have to decline — for now – Las Vegas Sun News

Check out this article about the new reality show, Sin City Rules. If you haven’t heard about it, it airs on TLC at 7pm on Sundays. This article doesn’t put the show in a good light. Have you watched it? What are your thoughts on the show? Do you think it does damage to Las Vegas’ reputation? This was written by journalist Robin Leach at the Las Vegas Sun. Leave your comments below, let us know what you think.

Talk about bad timing! It’s no secret that I have lambasted the new reality TV series “Sin City Rules” that has aired two episodes so far on the Learning Channel. I loath the concept and the producers staging fake and spiteful dramas. I hate the behavior of the women.

I condemn it because the real powerful women of our great community behave and serve us so admirably, and “Sin City Rules” doesn’t show Las Vegas in its true light. Instead, it confirms the worst fears people who don’t know Las Vegas think of our city as shallow, backbiting and filled with ugly behavior.

I’ve gone as far as saying it doesn’t have one redeeming quality. So imagine my surprise when I received this email from the cast on Monday night:

It’s Amy Hanley from “Sin City Rules.” I wanted to reach out to you as I have always liked you. We are doing some amazing things for the community in the next couple of days in honor of the holiday season. I have been designated as the one to pick whom I feel is the best person to whom we give an exclusive. I am very excited to share this with you, and I have spoken to all of the women, and we are all excited to sit and chat with you.

It will be the first time we all sit down together and are interviewed. We have agreed to allow you to ask as many questions of us as you want, and we will share as much as possible that we can for this special interview. We would love to take you to dinner at Oscar’s since it’s a staple in our community. I feel your columns have the best followers and held in the highest regard. I would love for nothing more than all of us to sit down and show you exactly why we love Las Vegas.

Click to enlarge photo

Scott Harrison/Retna/HarrisonPhotos.com

Jennifer Harman, Lori Montoya, Lana Fuchs, Amy Hanley and Alicia Jacobs of TLC’s “Sin City Rules” at the Venetian on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012.

Please contact me at 702-XXX-XXXX ASAP, as the exclusive we want to share with you is a time-sensitive manner and Christmas is right around the corner. I look forward to hearing from you and enjoying a wonderful steak dinner at Oscar’s.

What an opportunity! Can you imagine they felt I was the best person to get their exclusive? I could find out exactly what amazing things they are doing for the community before the weekend and which I’d happily write to show my fears are hopelessly incorrect, and I shouldn’t have reacted so harshly when Lana Fuchs called herself God.

They said I could ask as many questions as I wanted! I’d find out if Lana’s getting the rumored spin-off. I could ask Lori Montoya how her husband got control of Rain Cosmetics when my friend Rain Andreani, who used to do her makeup and worked with the lab chemist to mix the formulas of the line named after her, wound up losing it. I’d find out why Rain couldn’t be on the show and if the cosmetics line promotion is part of the compensation deal. I could ask Alicia Jacobs how it felt to have all those evil accusations made against her.

I’d never pass up a dinner with five women at former Mayor Oscar Goodman’s steakhouse, and just think I would even have let their producers film it for the show if they’d paid my normal TV fees, which I always donate to our beloved local charity Keep Memory Alive. A great story and charity donation without resorting to a surprise camera ambush!

But as you can see, they made this “time sensitive,” and what with the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood, the Venetian’s Culinary Clash and other obligations before I drive to California for Christmas with my kids and grandkids, it would be after New Year’s before I could accept their kind offer.

However, if they email me the “amazing things they’re doing in the next couple of days to honor the holiday season,” I am happy to report them. Also, if the devastatingly low ratings for the show don’t get it canceled and it is still on the air in January, I’ll happily do the dinner — and happily pick up the tab myself.

My thanks to them for acknowledging this column has the best following and is held in the highest regard. I’d love to know why if they love Las Vegas, they let the producers show them and our city in such a bad light. I am grateful they offered me the exclusive interview. I’m just sorry I have no time to do it as fast as they’d like. It grieves me to say to them “please feel free because of my time constraints to offer it to any of the other columnists who may have time before the holidays.”

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope their TV exposure leads to the fame and fortune they seek and that they somehow turn all this negativity into something positive to truly benefit our great city.

via ‘Sin City Rules’ cast makes me an offer I have to decline — for now – Las Vegas Sun News.

Fremont East Cleaned Up and Becoming More

If you haven’t noticed please come up from under the rock and get out more, downtown Las Vegas is beginning to become a hot spot for locals and tourists alike. Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, plans to redesign and draw more people into the area is working. He has invested a lot of his own money for the project and has focused on downtown. Although, he is not the only contributor he seems to be the most passionate one. He has been able to draw in business owners with original ideas to make Fremont East a new experience for all involved.

Lately, there is more then just the Fremont Street Experience to enjoy on Fremont street, it has become okay to spill out onto the East District nowadays as well. Several new bars have opened up and it is starting to resemble a downtown college town where you have weekend bar crawls which includes hopping to and from an array of bars with different vibes. Except this is Las Vegas, the great city of entertainment and with that comes the responsibility of having the most unique ideas.

What’s down there you ask? Well for starters, Insert Coins is a bar for gamers to get their drink on and still enjoy their video games, Griffin has a unique experience as if you are being lured into a lair of Dracula’s chambers and one of my personal favorites, Don’t tell Mama, a piano bar that employs talented singing bartenders and waitresses which also offers open mic night for patrons 6 days a week.

It doesn’t end there either, Commonwealth has just opened up and allows bar goers to access a fabulous patio up top to enjoy drinks, music and downtown scenery. They are so new that they haven’t even had their grand opening yet which actually happens to take place this Wednesday on the infamous date of 12/12/12. I’ve heard it will be a red carpet event that starts at 6pm, so if you are going to make an appearance be sure to be wearing your finest.

Most recently Backstage Bar and Billiards aka Triple B has become the perfect addition to the city.  Not only is it conveniently located downtown, it gives players a breath of fresh air from the local run down pool halls around the Valley. It is only equipped with 7 Diamond tables that are rented by the hour but pool isn’t the only entertainment in there. At the back end of the room a brand new stage equipped with a brand new system that awaits to rock your night away in the spacious environment.  Also, there are whispers they will be expanding for an even greater experience.

Last but not least rumor has it that right next door to the Triple B another place will be opening up within the next month. Who knew that 6th and Fremont would be so exciting?  One thing is for sure though, the constant change of scenery has given locals and tourists a chance to intermingle, see something new and enjoy this great city together. That my friends it what it is all about.

What are your thoughts about the new downtown scenery leave your comments below.

Ho Ho Holiday Happenings

The Holiday Season is in full force now and I’m sure your wallet is coming out for the purpose of giving. So what are you going to give? You could stick with those corporate stores that offer the same mass produced products or realize it is the most wonderful time of the year and the best time to put some money into your local economy and buy some spectacular gifts.  So this weekend happens to be a perfect weekend to buy local and enjoy some Las Vegas culture all at the same time.

The first Friday of this month will be on the same weekend as the Second Saturday, which means the popular First Friday Festival and the StrEATS Festival are happening on the same weekend. First Friday has become a large event over the years which means there is plenty of opportunity to buy local as there are a plethora of artistic vendors that participate in the festival. It’s perfect for the holidays, you can go out enjoy the community and find unique cool stuff for your giftees. What you are going to see out there is an array photography art, paintings, and even sculptures. You can also find threads from local fashion designers and my personal favorite, fashion accessories to add finishing touches to your looks. If you can’t make it to First Friday, the StrEATS Festival is on Saturday and although it is still in its beginning stages there are several local vendors to check out.

One of the newest vendors that I adore and they just happen to make appearances at both events is A Girls Glitter. They are a local company that is online and sells at local events as well. They specialize in bling and originality of fashion accessories. It’s hard not to buy at least one of their unique fashion accessories with all that sparkle reeling a girl in. Besides every girl needs a new accessory and of course, so does her friend, right?  Be sure to hit them up online if you don’t make it out and see them this weekend.

Of course at both events there will be plenty of those delicious food trucks to help tame the appetite you work up. Just remember to grab a jacket and maybe some gloves as it will be chilly outside this weekend. Hey and even if you don’t buy anything at the festivals get some ideas and grab some business cards to follow up later on that unique gift idea. Save the corporate stores for buying your paper towels and remember keep it real by buying from local businesses for your gifts this season.

One of the best traditions for the Holidays are those beautiful light displays and of course our awesome city has got that covered as well. Take the family out this weekend and enjoy some displays our city graciously offers. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts an annual light show called, Glittering Lights and it is open now until January 6th from 5:30 till 9 pm,Monday Thru Thursday and till 10 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays. It’s $15 per carload during the week , $20 on holidays and weekends so be sure to pack all your friends and family in the vehicle and split the cost.

Also, the Springs Preserve is hosting the Holiday Light Spectacular this weekend on December 8th and 9th from 5 to 9 pm,  it will also be open from December 15 thru the 23rd at same time in the evening. This event will be, “bathed in the glow of thousands of colorful, eco-friendly LED lights, the family-friendly celebration will feature tasty treats, holiday arts and crafts, reindeer (pony) rides for the little ones, photos with Santa, and much more”.

One of the most talked about holiday events for this weekend is the 12th annual Lakes Festival of Lights, located just South of West Sahara and West of Durango Drive. The event is free to attend and there will be many festive holiday family happenings to enjoy like arts and crafts, live entertainment and even a boat parade. It starts at noon on Saturday, December 8th and runs until 6p.m.

Oh, one last thing just to let you know the Mob Bar is celebrating it’s 1 year anniversary tonight offering drink pricing from back in 1933. If you’ve been looking for something to do tonight this is it. So stop downtown tonight at the Mob Bar after 5pm to enjoy some of their delicious cocktails basically a buy one get one free opportunity (buy one get one free should always be taken advantage of…just an FYI).

Whatever you do be sure to get out there this weekend, enjoy and support this fabulous city we live in. Happy Holidays Las Vegas!

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