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Stacy J. Willis Archives - Vegas Seven

Vegas Seven

  • Image

    Don’t Despair! Seven Bad Lists Las Vegas Didn’t Make

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    Las Vegas is not one of the worst 15 cities in which to have a baby, according to The Daily Beast. New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston and Portland, Oregon, all made the worst list. So go ahead, make babies.

  • Next Exit

    Walmart’s Rainbow Epiphany

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    I was still lying in bed reading headlines when I saw that Walmart was about to start giving health benefits to employees’ domestic partners. Right then, my rental house shifted beneath me a little—it’s a quiet suburban house that shares the Walmart aesthetic for mass-produced, affordable banality at a high cost to far-away workers and […]

  • The Last Event Planner You’ll Ever Need

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    Allison Copening has a thick binder full of Las Vegas-area funeral information in the small conference room of her Summerlin office. Among other things, it lists casket prices—at one mortuary, a “Venetian Bronze” costs more than $20,000; at another funeral home, a “Silverado Stainless Steel” is $5,000.

  • The Week

    Under the Big, Dark Cloud

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    Everything‘s on fire! Civilization is burning! Egypt—Egypt! The cradle of civilization—is collapsing. Not that anyone in America knows why—chaos in the cradle of civilization is a font crawling along the bottom of Headline News. Because we’re mad! Mad about Zimmerman! A plot we can grasp! Race divisions played out again in the justice system theater, now available with riveting analysis 85 hours a day, eight excruciating days a week. But wait—Bieber peed in a janitor’s bucket and insulted a photo of Bill Clinton. Hot!

  • About Town

    Taking the Reins

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    Sarah Lampkin approaches Lady, a white, dappled horse, with caution. The 10-year-old girl has just made the van trip with a handful of other homeless kids and their moms from The Shade Tree shelter to Diamond K Ranch in North Las Vegas. Before arriving, Lampkin had been in a bunk at the shelter several times, and before that, there’d been a few hardscrabble journeys back and forth to California, interspersed with school. A rough year, overall, her mom says. But today is different.

  • About Town

    The Burning Season

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    Idling in traffic one afternoon, I watched a guy toss his lit cigarette butt out of a Dodge Ram. It lay on the hot pavement, smoke curling, throughout the red light. My mind wandered—I thought about the firefighters killed recently in a wildfire near Prescott, Arizona, and the fire that has burned more than 15,000 acres at Mount Charleston. The West is burning at twice the rate it did 40 years ago, for a slew of reasons: higher, drier temperatures, earlier snow melts, and precarious collisions of civilization and nature— like cigarettes being flicked out of cars.

  • Light ?Em ? Up?

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    Add this to your collection of memorable Las Vegas billboard art: Two stout fingers holding a droopy cigarette—an image made to resemble the chubby legs and cigarette-saddened sex organ of an erectile-dysfunction sufferer. The message? Male smokers are 30 percent more likely to suffer from impotence than nonsmokers. The purveyor of this public-service message, Smoke Free Gaming of America, plans to add even more charm to the Strip’s highbrow collection of images soon by introducing a mascot named Ed B. Limp.

  • Community

    We?re Doing Better ? Now What?

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    A few years ago, Straight From the Streets activists for the homeless put Margaret and Lupia up in a no-frills weekly apartment on East Fremont. They were both in their 50s; they’d been sleeping on the shaded cement under the freeway. By providing vouchers to the apartment for low rent and assigning case managers, Straight From the Streets nourished both women back to self-sustaining lifestyles: one got a job in retail, the other eventually moved to an affordable senior citizen apartment complex. They weren’t enabled; they were assisted.

  • An Urban Fourth

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    Is Las Vegas a tradition-less city bent on blowing up the past and slapping up something new? This question has become a tradition in itself. Hooray for tautology!

  • About Town

    How’s Your Emergency Plan?

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    A thousand innocent years ago, my elementary school instituted policies to prepare us for emergencies. We had fire drills—everybody had fire drills. We had earthquake—or maybe it was tornado or construction-defect—drills; I recall crawling under my desk for protection, but I wasn’t sure which disaster I was foiling.

  • About Town

    The Long-Awaited Bridge to the Parking Lot

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    It doesn’t matter that most of us arrived in cars; we were there to celebrate the City of Las Vegas’ commitment to walkability.

  • The Week

    The Cost of Downtown Green

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    Half the fun of seeing Downtown’s revitalization is spotlighting some of the older architecture. Las Vegas is known for tearing down the charming in favor of the slick, but by saving and sprucing up some older buildings, a multilayered cultural character emerges: culture; that thing critics say Las Vegas lacks.

  • Allison Serafin

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    Who knew the State Board of Education could be such a hotbed for high-profile movers and shakers? A place to see and be seen? A place for well-known names like Elaine Wynn and promising up-and-comers such as Allison Serafin?

  • About Town

    Finger on the Trigger

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    I’m shooting things with an automatic weapon for fun. This, despite the recent— ongoing—stretch of public massacres across the nation: Empire State Building, Wisconsin Sikh Temple, Colorado movie theater. Right now the victim is Howie the Clown, whose scary picture I am shredding with bullets from a real AK-47 machine gun in The Gun Store, after giving in to the relentless billboards urging me to “Try One.”

  • The Week

    The Many Meanings of School

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    An archway of blue and yellow balloons greeted College of Southern Nevada students at the West Charleston Campus on the morning of Aug. 27, the first day back to school. Students ambled in with varying senses of urgency; some rode skateboards up to the campus buildings before greeting friends; others parked their SUVs and sedans in the surrounding lots and headed directly into the hallways.