Archive for February, 2009

LAS VEGAS, NOT ALL ABOUT “SIN”, by Nathan Taylor

Ok, I couldn’t help it–I had to write an article about the long time proposed high speed train project between Las Vegas, NV and Anaheim, CA. After I read an article today on FOXNEWS.COM, published by the Associated Press, where I saw a scathing comment about Las Vegas by Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho.

The comment by Congressman Simpson reads, “billions of dollars for a sin express train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Necessary? I don’t think so.”

As a native Las Vegan, who along with my own family has seen the devastating effects of this current economic meltdown, I was absolutely livid when I saw this comment by Rep. Simpson! Not only is the Congressman WAY out of line when he refers to the long talked about project of building a high speed train between Las Vegas and California as a “sin express”, but he has offended all unemployed trades workers in the Southwest. Maybe the Congressman should read the news and face the reality that all of us here in Las Vegas know all too well–the number of unemployed in Las Vegas alone is over 92,000! Our unemployment rate is over 9.2%, almost 2% higher than the national unemployment rate.

Would residents of Las Vegas like to see this project approved and see construction begin soon–ABSOLUTLY! While the nation faces this crisis together, Las Vegas has been among the hardest hit with home foreclosures, we’ve seen our tourist numbers dimish drastically, we’ve watched as hotels have laid off worker after worker, and new home construction in Las Vegas has virtually stopped. If anyone knows how bad the economy has become and how it has hurt so many people, it is the citizens of Las Vegas.

As far as referring to the high speed train as the “sin express”, all I can say is that is a very blasphemous statement by an obviously uninformed Congressman. Rep. Simpson seems to know nothing about Southern Nevada, so I’ll just give him a few facts. Southern Nevada is home to the following “non-sinful” destinations:

    Hoover Dam, the second highest dam in the United States and a National Historic Landmark–providing power to California, Arizona and Nevada.

    Over 500 Churches exist in Las Vegas representing over 40 Faiths

    Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a popular tourist spot with over six marinas and more that 500 miles of shoreline.

    Red Rock Canyon, where over 500,000 people from all over the world visit every year to hike and experience some of Southwest’s most beautiful rock formations.

While I could go on and on and on about all that is beautiful and fun in Las Vegas, I’ll just leave Rep. Simpson with just those few examples. The purpose of me pointing a few facts out about Las Vegas is to show the Congressman that there is much more to Las Vegas than Casinos, Strip Clubs, and partying.

It is my hope that Rep. Simpson chooses his words more carefully when speaking about Las Vegas. Anyone who makes an absurd comment like that should realize who he may be offending. I was born in Las Vegas, graduated high school here and I’m a proud Alumni from UNLV; home to more than 30,000 students. I can tell you that I take it personal when someone attacks our city, its economy and the great citizens that live and work here. There is a reason why Las Vegas has consistently ranked high among worldwide tourist destinations Congressman and trust me, its not only because we have blackjack tables, roulette wheels and beautiful pools–it’s because of much much more!

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 Nevada Comments Off on LAS VEGAS, NOT ALL ABOUT “SIN”, by Nathan Taylor
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