Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tidbits from the 12th Issue of The Henderson Press

There's still a whole lot to do before we can loudly cheer the Santa Clarita Valley goodbye, but we're getting closer to moving. Mom's homing in on possible apartments, and even a mobile home park at the foot of the Strip, near what used to be the Sahara, which is a retirement community of sorts, with lots of activities, and bus service to various places. Mom's deciding if that's really where she wants to be since she's not at that age yet, but it could be convenient, and maybe to be surrounded by elderly people who are probably nicer than my paternal grandparents were, more receptive, more attentive. There's a lot to think about, whether Henderson or Las Vegas, but no matter where we end up, I will explore every single inch of Southern Nevada first and then the rest of Nevada. Nothing will be too far from me.

This issue of The Henderson Press, Vol. 2, No. 7, dated April 7-April 20, 2011, has as its big headline, "Night of the Incumbent." All incumbents running for re-election to the Henderson City Council won in the Primary Election, with only the Ward IV seat not being an outright win, sending it to the June 7 general election. Jeremy Twitchell's article is wonderfully detailed about the wins and comments from the winners, as well as noting that for the first time since Vote Centers were established in the city, ending precincts, turnout did not increase. I get the impression from this article that with how the economy was going at this time, people knew that the City Council was doing everything they can to help them, and didn't want to elect anyone new, because who knows what they would do? What guarantee would there be that their actions would be for the good of the city? If sincere efforts are being made, let them continue uninterrupted.

Twitchell says that only "12.24 percent of Henderson's registered voters cast a ballot, down from 14.65 percent in the 2009 General Municipal Election." Those who voted didn't want such a jolting change. He also says that "this year's turnout is the lowest in a municipal election since the 2007 Primary Election, which featured only one race." That's not an accurate measurement. People aren't going to come out in great numbers for just one race.

Let's see what else is going on:

- Don Logay has an article here about a BMW rolling into Lake Las Vegas. He starts it with, "Apparently, homes in Las Vegas aren't the only thing "underwater" these days." Cue the loud groans. That's a Leno line. What happened? With Logay, it's an anomaly, but he couldn't think of a better way to start this? He says that a 100-foot crane was used to lift the car out of the water? He should have asked the operator of the crane if this has been done before, and start with that. If it's unusual, start it with, "For a crane operator, Lake Las Vegas usually isn't a premier destination. But the siren song of a sunken BMW could not be ignored." Something like that. The rest of the article retains all the good I've come to expect from Logay, continual interest in Lake Las Vegas. And just like Fred Couzens, he's a whiz at photos.

- Couzens writes about a proactive community incensed by the proposed 660-kilovolt transmission line that a single block of homeowners between Foothills Drive and Thoroughbred Drive. Every time I proclaim Couzens' latest article to be his best one, as I did in reading the 11th issue, he writes another one that supersedes it. He's found a comfortable niche in The Henderson Press and I can easily say now that I look forward to his articles as much as Jeremy Twitchell's and Don Logay, quite a change from when I used to dread them in the early issues.

- Karen Y. Lu wrote about the Police Commendation Ceremony Awards, detailing every award given, in thick, small-type paragraphs that take up one and a half pages on pages 8 and 9. It's a surprise to see this kind of community outreach from eight years here in the disconnected Santa Clarita Valley, but very reassuring, hopeful that a genuine community exists there. I've felt it in various pockets of Henderson and in the people I've met, and in the actually healthy-looking people I've seen walking throughout the Galleria at Sunset mall, and can't wait to see the rest of Henderson for that.

- There's a photo of Officer Forest Shields presented with the award for Henderson Police Officer of the Year by Chief Jutta Chambers. Shields looks like an older Andy Samberg.

- Couzens has another article about a 5-year-old girl with a "mysterious neuromuscular disorder" who was not expected to live past age 4, and the expenses involved in her life, heavy expenses, evenly detailed by him. He's getting much better at interviewing people about their lives.

- Karen Y. Lu's article about the then-upcoming 61st annual Henderson Heritage Parade perks me up more while waiting to move, because it's a strong reminder that Henderson has great use for its history. It never forgets when it started, and what it was. Lu writes that the parade began in 1950, three years before Henderson became a city. And this parade is led by Ethel M under the theme, "Chocolatiers for 30 Years," with 100 chocolate-themed entries.

- There's a fact box next to Lu's article, which includes this: "The state of Nevada purchased the entire townsite from the federal War Assets Administration in 1948 for $24 million." And: "When Henderson incorporated in 1953, it had a population of 7,410 and consisted of about 13 square miles. In January 2011, the city had an estimated population of 277,502 and an area of 103 square miles." The newspaper before The Henderson Press was the Henderson Home News, which ran from 1951 to 2009. The Henderson Libraries website has a vast archive of past issues, which I don't think I'll write about like I do for The Henderson Press because The Henderson Press was my first exposure to how news in Henderson is covered, and therefore means a great deal to me, though I'm sure to study more of Henderson's history, these Henderson Home News issues will be equally meaningful. It'll be incredible to read about Henderson from 1951, since I now found out that all the issues are available on the library website.

- There's a coupon from Johnnie Mac's for a $5.95 pasta lunch, "11am - 3pm Daily.", Sunday through Thursday only, expiring on the 15th. I wonder what kind of pasta they favor for it.

- The list of businesses that have The Henderson Press available (free, of course) is staggering. It's another example of how tight-knit Henderson is.

- Still nothing practical in the car ads. Nothing I would want, besides.

- On the right side of the car ads is a small ad for Lucky Star Super Buffet, mentioning a "valuable offer in the coupon section." It's at 617 Mall Ring Circle, south of Macy's. That's right in the Galleria at Sunset area. I haven't seen it yet, but I think it's still there.

That's the end of this issue. I'm debating whether to keep going with this because there's 44 issues total in Volume 2, and Volume 3 has 18 issues so far. Plus there's 5,432 issues of Henderson Home News for me to read. And I will read them all. Probably not all of them before we move, but some. Only when I write these entries do I read the Henderson Press issue featured and I don't read another issue until I feel like writing another entry. I can't do it that way anymore. I'm not really sure how to go about it yet; either an entry for every five issues, or something else, or maybe just keep a file of interesting things I learned and how Jeremy Twitchell, Don Logay, and Fred Couzens are faring, and then post some tidbits once in a while. My goal for The Henderson Press is to read up to the latest issue before we move. I'm sure of that. So maybe it's best to do this another way, because I still want to write about The Henderson Press. It's just becoming less feasible as a possible moving date gets closer. I'll figure it out. Plus I want to see Logay and Couzens evolve faster, because they are growing stronger. I used to think of Twitchell as the star of the paper, but Logay and Couzens have their own terrific skills to offer now, which makes it an evenly-shared paper, though I'm curious about if there are any proper replacements for Twitchell after he and his wife left. Plus, Couzens may not even be around in the current issues, and it'd be interesting to see what new reporters show up, because certainly there must be.

So that's what I think I'll do: I'll keep a file and post once in a while about the paper. I really want to see what happens next, especially since I just downloaded Vol. 2, No. 8, and there's the announcement on the front page that The Henderson Press is now a weekly newspaper. The pressure begins for the reporters, but hopefully it makes Twitchell, Logay, and Couzens even better, another reason for me to not write about it like this anymore. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

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