The roses and chocolates have been delivered, but love still wafts in the Vegas air, overripe and searching in vain for star-crossed pairs to conjoin. May we suggest a few duos ripe for a little peace, love and understanding?
1. UNLV and CSN
The Conflict: The proposed new Nevada System of Higher Education funding formula indirectly pits universities against community colleges by rewarding “performance,” such as completion of upper-level classes and degrees. By their nature, though, community colleges attract fewer students whose goal is graduation and more looking for continuing education.
The Love: The good news for all of Southern Nevada is that the new formula would do away with the old method of pooling tuition revenue from the state’s eight institutions and redistributing it statewide. This means students from CSN and UNLV will no longer send a portion of their hard-earned cash north. And by working together with the community—that means you, Clark County School District—the Valley’s colleges can improve their success rates, further enlarging their share of the funding pie.
2. Steven Brooks and Marilyn Kirkpatrick
The Conflict: He is a Democratic Assemblyman; she is the Democratic speaker of the Assembly. He threatened her. The cops pulled him over. He had a gun.
The Love: Democrat-on-Democrat discord has distracted us from the usual partisan hatred. So there’s that.
3. Clark County Commission and Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura
The Conflict: It started in 2011, when Bonaventura allowed a production crew for a reality TV show to film his staff doing such things as handcuffing traffic-stop victims and bragging about brawls with evictees. The public was outraged, and the County Commission, which oversees the constable’s office, got involved. A cat-and-mouse game ensued, with Bonaventura weaseling his way out of every Commission effort to clamp down on his and his staff’s behavior.
The Love: Looks like the state is jumping in the fray. Marilyn Kirkpatrick—yes, that Kirkpatrick—has apparently taken an interest in the issue, and the Legislature will likely weigh a proposal to overhaul constables’ offices statewide.
4. Chris Milam and the City of Henderson
The Conflict: The Texas developer is accused of pulling a bait-and-switch on City officials: promising to develop a grandiose, multi-stadium complex near the M Resort on 480 acres of BLM land acquired cheaply through the City, but instead planning to sell the land to residential and commercial developers at a substantial profit.
The Love: With the City’s request for an injunction to stop Milam from using the land for anything other than a stadium project moved to March 18—and the date of the BLM land transfer now pushed to March 28—both parties now have time to resolve the issue before it gets even uglier. (Suggestion: Get back to basics. We hear the 51s could use a new crib.)
5. UFC and Boxing
The Conflict: Way back in the 20th century, when Americans wanted to quench their blood thirst, nothing could touch the raw energy and grand spectacle of a championship boxing match—especially one on the Las Vegas Strip. Then came the new millennium and with it a new brand of fisticuffs—mixed martial arts, led by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In the decade that followed, the new, young bully on the block punched, kicked, scratched, arm-barred and rear-naked-choked the grand old sport of boxing into submission.
The Love: Pose the question “Who is Mike Tyson?” to a group of twenty-somethings these days, and the answer most likely will be, “Yeah, he’s an actor.” Which is to say, we’re pretty sure this relationship is beyond repair, especially with boxing’s marquee names—Mayweather, Pacquiao, the Klitschko brothers—on the south side of their careers. Our advice to UFC boss Dana White, who seemingly can do no wrong: Next time a skilled heavyweight falls into your lap, train and promote him as a boxer. Then you can add the sweet science to your ever-expanding empire.
6. Wes Myles, owner of the Arts Factory and Tony Hsieh, owner of Everything Else
The Conflict: Myles doesn’t care for the way Zappos CEO Hsieh’s Downtown Project is managing First Friday: In an October interview with Vegas Seven, he complained that his First Friday income has dropped 30 percent since Hsieh took it over. “Not that they’re not nice people and well-meaning, but they’re so misguided,” he says of Hsieh’s team.
The Love: Myles wants to sell the Arts Factory and leave town. Gosh, if only we knew someone who has bought up tons of Downtown real estate at inflated prices.
7. SkyVue and High Roller
The Conflict: Two competing “observation wheels” (read: Ferris wheels) are being built on the Strip, within two miles of each other. Both are vying to be this town’s signature attraction.
The Love: Link the two wheels with the world’s longest zip line. And build an extension to the airport, will ya?