A Deep Trust
At the Grand Canyon rim, a passionate—but pragmatic—nonprofit is on guard
March 7th, 2013
Even with 2,000 people who have donated up to 18,000 hours annually, volunteers are just part of the Grand Canyon Trust’s mission. The organization, now in its 28th year, supports the protection of the Colorado Plateau, a vast landscape stretching from northern Arizona into Utah, southwestern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico. Read more »
The Future of Saving Our Future
Some states talk big about green jobs. Others train the people who will create them.
November 15th, 2012
The first thing you notice about the four-story building at the edge of Arizona State University’s main Tempe campus is what looks like a row of whirligigs perched along the roofline. Past the pale lemon and palo verde green walls of the breezeway, an elevator stands ready to whisk you upstairs. Inside, a sign explains it all. Read more »
The Beer Factor
November 1st, 2012
Las Vegas is a town about to have two water parks and two observation wheels. It’s still up in the air whether or not we need a stadium (or two), but after what I witnessed in Denver recently, I’m convinced that what we really need are a few more bars. Read more »
Divided They Fall
In California, two pro-education ballot initiatives just may kill each other off
October 25th, 2012
The two props are different by degrees. Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s baby, would raise sales taxes a quarter percent to 7.5 percent and nudges income taxes up a click or two progressively on four income-tax brackets starting at $250,000. The sales tax would sunset in 2016, the income tax in 2018. This one has the support of the Democratic Party, teacher’s union, the Service Employees Internation Union, etc., and is expected to raise about $6 billion a year while both taxes are in effect. Read more »
The Big Dump
Ten years ago, changes in the Clean Water Act opened the floodgates for mining refuse. Can the flow be reversed?
October 18th, 2012
Environmental organizations have been pressing for a rollback of the 2002 changes—and their arguments may be having an impact: Next year the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will convene for a rules review to reconsider the loopholes allowing for mining-waste disposal. Read more »
Nightlife scenes from the other Jersey Shore
October 11th, 2012
If Revel resort in Atlantic City is any indicator, the world has caught on that we have a good thing going here in the desert. During Labor Day weekend, instead of partying with the EC Twins and Dirty South at Marquee in Las Vegas, I ventured to the newly opened HQ Nightclub (a partnership of Las Vegas’ Angel Management Group and New York’s EMM Group), where I did exactly the same thing I would have done at home … but in New Jersey and with a view of the ocean. Read more »
Underdogs in L.A.
Congressional hopefuls will travel a long way for some Tinseltown support
September 27th, 2012
Los Angeles and politics can make strange bedfellows. What other city can boast of/apologize for sending the Terminator to the governor’s mansion and the Gipper to the White House? Not to mention L.A.’s greatest policy legacy, Proposition 13, the regressive-tax Rosetta Stone of the “I’m OK, you’re a parasite,” Ayn Rand-inflected philosophies of young-gun conservatives such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, vice-presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, and late-blooming-but-making-up-for-lost-time Mitt Romney. In case you want to know how this story ends, check out California’s public education, once the envy of the world and now scrambling to keep pace with Alabama. Read more »
So Long, Starry Skies
Will the planned pipeline for a thirsty Southern Nevada harm Great Basin National Park?
September 13th, 2012
A little more than 90,000 people visit Great Basin National Park each year. Compare that to Zion’s 2.8 million visitors and you begin to understand that Great Basin, nestled in Nevada’s White Pine County, is a sort of stealth park, an under-the-radar beauty. Maybe that’s why it’s a frequent target for really bad ideas. The latest is part of the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plan to pump tens of thousands of acre-feet of water per year from valleys in northeastern Nevada and bring it to Las Vegas via a massive pipeline that would cost upward of $3 billion. Read more »
Atlantic City’s Last Great Hope?
August 23rd, 2012
Revel, Atlantic City’s first new casino in nearly a decade, has been called “Cosmopolitan East,” for its similarities, real and supposed to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Like the Cosmo, it’s put a great deal of emphasis on its non-gaming amenities, and, like the Cosmo, it’s struggled on the casino floor. In June, Revel’s win per slot per day—a valuable metric of casino performance—was the lowest in the city. Read more »
How Scottsdale Seeded the Green Building Movement
The city's venerable program set the standard for the Southwest and beyond
July 19th, 2012
At a glance, Scottsdale, Ariz., doesn’t seem like a crunchy-granola kind of town. Maserati V8s purr up Scottsdale Road, the main drag. Megaresorts loom on the horizon. Lush green golf courses are drenched in irrigation water, while faux Tuscan mansions sprout along the fairways. Read more »