Each month our intrepid correspondents file dispatches from around the state. In this edition:
Eureka, Hawthorne, Las Vegas, Lincoln County, Mesquite, Tuscarora
Eureka is talking about open pit mining and vultures, and unlike the Comstock these are two different topics here.
The mining news is bad: Midway Gold, proprietor of the Pan Project east of town, has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of their poor returns from the cyanide leach process so far, and has been delisted by the New York Stock Exchange. Coupled with the ongoing ups and downs of General Moly’s New Hope mine, the immediate mining outlook at the southern end of Eureka county is less than golden. However, Barrick is in the permit application process to reopen the Ruby Hill mine with substantial expansion, if the price of gold stays within reach of $1200/oz.
The vulture news isn’t so good either. After having the EPA remediation crew detoxify the big lot at the corner of Main and Gold Streets, the owner cut down the grove of tall firs and cottonwoods that shaded it in preparation for developing the lot.
These trees, though, were the habitual roosts for the vultures that come every autumn, and their annual return has been a Eureka tradition — just short of a festival — for years. Deprived of their familiar roosts, the birds moved up Main Street a few blocks to another likely grove and set up housekeeping there.
Unhappily, these trees shade a residence, not an empty lot, and in no time at all the home, the car, the yards front and back — everything beneath the new colony — was redolent with vulture poop. And as it turns out, vulture poop is toxic and the EPA won’t clean it up, so the beleaguered householder has been plinking at the birds with a non-lethal pellet gun in hopes of driving them away, without visible success.
— B.U. Hooper
The Hawthorne Tornado: The first damage done by the tornado was out at the “Base,” Area 49, just east of town. A building there sustained not only roof sheeting damage, but the structure (roof trusses) was damaged, too.
The first structure hit as it came into town was a billboard. It virtually blew up and was severely damaged. Across the street, it struck two mobile homes back to back. Another billboard 50 feet to the south of the swath was untouched.
Continuing along the north side of 5th street (Highway 95), the tornado was cutting across the parking lot of the Monarch Motel when a gal opened the door to her room, face to face with the funnel. It blew the windows out and part of the roof off, but she was unscathed.
Right across the street to the west, 82-year-old Wilma Moody was sitting in her wheelchair while, in seconds, half of her roof blew off, collapsing part of her east wall. She was, remarkably, unhurt.
The twister continued westward, tearing out a tree and then turning over a 20-foot long steel cargo container. Next, the tornado made a couple of doglegs and tore off the front of the Old Nevada Pizza building, while a 4 x 8 plywood sign was leaned up against the building across the street — and it didn’t budge.
No one was hurt, and within minutes locals were out helping those in need.
— Wade Barton
Besides buffets, another thing Las Vegas does well is implode hotels. So many of the grand casinos of the past 50 years
— Dunes, Sands, Landmark, Hacienda, Aladdin — have been imploded, and now it’s time for the Riviera to join the list. The Riviera opened on April 20, 1955, and closed her doors for the last time on May 4, 2015. So stand aside as more Las Vegas history disappears via nicely choreographed dynamite. It’s something Las Vegas does well.
Drought? What drought? Two water parks have opened in the valley for the summer season, and water isn’t an issue. There’s enough for everyone. At Wet ’n Wild (7055 S. Fort Apache Road off I-215, 702-979-1600), ride the Tornado, Rattler, Hoover Half Pipe, and Royal Flush Extreme. In Henderson, Cowabunga Bay (900 Galleria Drive, 702-850-9000) offers similar exhausting water rides.
Extremely persnickety shoppers like me always stop at the Smith’s Grocery at 8180 Las Vegas Boulevard South because the only Murray’s Cheese in Nevada (“America’s best loved cheese shop”) is there. Murray’s is from New York’s Greenwich Village and carries more than 175 specialty cheese products, along with crackers, honey, oils, chocolates, olives, vinegars, pickles, and dried fruit. One-stop shopping at its tastiest.
We don’t just love our cheese here, we also love our chicken wings, so long as they’re the very best (that’s what I care most about). During Super Bowl XLIX, Americans ate 1.25 billion of them (that’s a ‘b’). Discriminating Las Vegans with a yen for the best, most delectable wings in town head for the Anchor Bar in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. This is the only offspring of the Buffalo, NY restaurant where this iconic chicken wing originated way back in 1964. The wings are tossed in the traditional spicy hot sauce with celery and blue cheese dressing. They are superb, of course, and in fact in 2003, the James Beard Foundation recognized Anchor Bar Chicken Wings with an America’s Classics award.
– Jack Bulavsky
Brooksy’s Bar & Grill
While most people come to Las Vegas to enjoy all the sights, sounds, fun and excitement of the strip, others decide to explore the local areas outside of the strip corridor. And with the weather becoming unbearable for anything except swimming and indoor activities, it’s time to find somewhere cool to spend an hour or two so we do not fry to a crisp during the summer months.
Brooksys Bar & Grill on west Flamingo just east of Ft. Apache (9295 W. Flamingo Rd.)
is just such a place. When I first visited there, I was amazed that the view from the bar was of a hockey rink. Not only was I seeing a hockey game in progress, but I found there are actually two ice rinks connected to the bar. The hockey rinks are part of the Las Vegas Ice Center, which also has a separate entrance. The north rink is home to the Las Vegas Storm hockey team, and the south rink is used for ice skating parties, lessons, group skating, and open skating at various times during the day and on the weekends. Hockey is played every day, all day long, 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.
The bar also has plenty of seating at tables and booths with views of the hockey rink, plus excellent cafe food — entrees, sandwiches, burgers, salads, appetizers, and so on —
and their pizzas draw rave reviews. Check out their website, where you can find Brooksy’s afternoon and evening menu plus their breakfast menu. — Pauline Cimoch
Echo Canyon State Park, east of Pioche, likes to do Scorpion Hunts in the summer. (Yes, real scorpions.) They have two planned this year, on July 11 and Aug. 22. Sounds kind of frightening! Everybody is asked to wear sturdy shoes or boots and to bring a flashlight and some bottled water.
Grandma Camp happened again this year in Alamo. Pahranagat
Valley Postmaster Julie Davis and her husband run Grandma Camp for their grandchildren; Julie says she takes a week off from work and has as many of her 14 (soon to be 15) grandchildren as can come with her at home. They do all kinds of activities and games, have breakfast at the lake, go hiking to see the local petroglyphs and nearby mining ghost towns, make Dutch oven pizza, go to the wildlife refuge to see birds and animals, go swimming, and maybe even have a sleep out. Julie says, “I don’t get to see my grandkids every day because only two of them live by me. Grandma Camp is designed to dedicate my entire week and spend quality time with my grandkids.”
A slogan one of Julie’s daughter came up with states, “Grandma’s House, where cousins go to become best friends.”
Juni Fisher, critically acclaimed Western singer-songwriter, is returning for a performance at the Thompson Opera House in Pioche on Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The Thompson Opera House, built in 1873, is one of only three Old West Opera Houses still operating in the state.
— Dave Maxwell
Mesquite has opened its brand-new splash pad in Hafen Park (450 Hafen Lane) just in time for the summer heat. The deliciously cool expanse of bubbling, flowing water is a great addition to Mesquite’s summertime activities for kids, along with tennis courts, paved trails, playground equipment, shaded picnic tables, and other recreational facilities. Located on the easily accessible bike and walking path along the Virgin River, a pleasant place to enjoy the valley’s spectacular scenery and summer sizzle. Free admission, open daylight hours.
The town’s new “bike friendly” lanes and trails allow kids and adults to safely navigate their way around town this summer vacation. A morning bike ride to the base of Flat Top Mesa is a perfect way to see the town and enjoy a bit of solitude. The energetic hiker can even take a sunrise or sunset walk to the top of that mesa that is Mesquite’s icon.
Mesquite’s summer golf rates are bargain basement prices. Golfmesquitenevada.com gives information about all six golf courses and summer rates to play some of the best courses in the US. Also, the City of Mesquite offers day passes for its beautiful Recreation Center, $6 for adults, with family discounts. Even drop-in visitors can use the indoor/outdoor pools, weight room and other facilities. ( http://www.mesquitenv.gov/city-government/parks-facilities/facilities/recreation-center“)
Each July Mesquite is alive with entertainment. The Eureka Casino Resort sponsors a free Nevada Pops Orchestra concert and Rockets Over Red Mesa fireworks extravaganza on July 4. The Casa Blanca Resort throws a free poolside concert that evening featuring the Spazmatics. The Casa Blanca also offers a fun lineup of bands and comedians in their showroom and lounge throughout the summer. Advance tickets are at startickets.com or 800-585-3737 FREE, with most admissions under $25.
— Linda Faas
Summer hours for Society Hall, the Tuscarora community center, are Saturday and Sunday 11:00-2:00. (Maintained by the Friends of Tuscarora and Independence Valley) The Tuscarora Ladies Club
and various other cookie-makers (out-of-work
buckaroos, ex-line cooks and Peruvian sheepherders) are making sure there’s coffee and a plate of freshly baked cookies for visitors as they view wall posters and memorabilia of Tuscarora history and the ranching community in Independence Valley. Of special interest is the recent e-bay purchase of fifty-five original newspapers of the Tuscarora Times Review from 1881-1883, some of which will be available for viewing.
— Nancy McLelland
Nevada was such a wonderful place until it became Californicated. In 1963 when I first visited the state, poked around ghost towns and went to Reno and the wonderful Virginia St. clubs and hotels, the population was 100,000 and there were 100,000 square miles. Today the state is overloaded with outsiders and don’t tell me about gold and silver rushes in the 1860’s. Today the state is getting overloaded and overridden with new regulations and laws, copying those of that golden state across the mountains and desert. The clink of the silver dollar is gone and so are coins, the state is becoming wired up electronically. Dealers of yore are replaced by automatic dealing machines with t.v. screens and actor/dealers. This is progress?
Some will say it was even better when Mark Twain was living here. Or before white man arrived all together, in Wavoka’s day. Tell me sir…What are you actually DOING to help preserve Nevada’s unique character?
Resisting open pit mining in the Virginia City National Historic District for one thing, telling the world about it for another. How about you?