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Organized crime is back in town (sort of) at Mob-Con


The gangsters are coming, the gangsters are coming.

And, surprise, they’re bringing fans.

My first three guesses would have been lawyers, guns and money, but that shows how little I know about the popularity of the bent-nosed set.

Mob-Con 2014, a celebration of all things related to organized crime, hits town Sept. 27-28 with talks and book signings at Palace Station.

Drafting off the Comic-Con craze, promoter Robert George Allen, writer Dennis Griffin and genuine gangster Frank Cullotta decided to try to cash in on the enduring notoriety of the American mobster mystique.

Bloody though it may be, the gangster subculture and the outlaw in general continue to generate fortunes for Hollywood and cable networks.

With the 2012 opening downtown of the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, and more than one local casino resort willing to play up its mob-connected past to spur interest in its current offerings, the Mob-Con gang might be onto something.

For more information, go to mob-con.net. Or just drop by Palace Station and check it out for yourself. But leave the heater at home.

FLOOD RUNOFF: From Wednesday’s heated town board meeting at Mount Charleston following the recent flood that severely damaged at least eight homes comes this perspective from longtime resident and board member Becky Gismanauskas.

After hearing Commissioner Larry Brown and other officials offer reasons why they failed to provide an earthen berm to divert flood water, she said, “We all know what you’re saying about the liability, commissioner, but what about us? … I pay taxes like everybody else. We all have. We pay the second-highest taxes in the state of Nevada up here. True, we’re not a big community. True, we don’t contribute millions like some of the communities do. … What about us? Aren’t you guys liable for what’s happening to us?”

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Marla Renee Letizia has just announced she’s retiring from the mobile sign business she helped create here. She is the incoming chairwoman of the Jewish Federation.

Some longtime locals no doubt will remember her as Marla Renee, the high-energy meteorologist at two local television stations back in the 1970s, when they were commonly called “weather girls.”

GOOD CAUSE: Take time later this month to toast to a good cause. On Aug. 21, starting at 6 p.m., The Rape Crisis Center is hosting a “party with a purpose” to raise funds for the worthy local charity that for decades has operated a sexual assault hotline.

The event takes place at LAVO inside the Palazzo. With drinks, appetizers and music from Bree Delano for $20 a ticket, you can show support for the center, which has been in service since 1974. Information: rcclv.org.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Conservative firebrand Wayne Allyn Root, Southern Nevada’s most high-profile Obama hater, has just seen his “The Murder of the Middle Class” on the best-seller list among political books for the third week running. … Paul Camacho, former special agent in charge of the Las Vegas office of the IRS Criminal Investigation division, has retired but continues to serve the agency by crafting YouTube videos highlighting great events in its long history of investigations.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. Follow him on Twitter @jlnevadasmith.