If you’re hungry for a positive economic indicator, look no further than the crowd that converged on the World Market Center for this week’s Fall 2009 Las Vegas Market.
The nation’s premier furniture industry showcase wasn’t filled with browsers, as you might expect given the recession. There were plenty of buyers, sources on the scene report.
"There has been a tremendous sense of optimism," says Randy Wells, Las Vegas Design Center vice president, noting that traffic flow substantially increased during the event, which ended Thursday after drawing a near-record crowd.
While the World Market Center downtown was created for industry executives, the Las Vegas Design Center welcomes locals and offers a spectrum of decorating advice.
MISSING LONNIE: Remember when we laughed at the eccentricities of Dr. Lonnie Hammargren during his tenure as Nevada’s lieutenant governor?
Given the current crop of embarrassing public servants, don’t you miss him just a little?
I found myself thinking that Friday night at the Mount Charleston Lodge as I watched Hammargren play his accordion with the hilarious Dummkopfs band on the occasion of the Septemberfest fundraiser to support the Mount Charleston Metro Volunteer program.
Hammargren is not only a brilliant guy, but he has more fun than almost anyone I know. And he rocked the house on accordion and vocals.
Some would say playing with a party band isn’t as exciting as getting caught in a sex scandal, being indicted or being probed by the FBI. (Talk about the Dummkopfs.)
I wanted to ask Hammargren whether he missed politics, but he was having too much fun jamming on the "squeezebox."
Which, in case Sen. John Ensign is wondering, is a euphemism for the accordion.
TOPLESS FOOTSIE: I’d swear I’ve written this before, but it at last appears ousted Crazy Horse Too topless mogul Rick Rizzolo’s delay tactics may come to a halt now that he’s been ordered to appear for an Cct. 7 hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr. The hearing is meant to officially identify the author of Rizzolo’s recent motions in a civil case. Rizzolo has claimed to represent himself, but it appears paralegal James Kimsey has been doing his legal homework.
It’s the latest development in the litigation filed against Rizzolo on behalf of beating victim Kirk Henry, who was paralyzed outside the topless joint in 2001.
RIGHTEOUS RAGE: Reality stars from "Big Brother" and "Survivor" are set to converge on the Rock’n 4 Independence Vegas 2009 show at 6 p.m. Saturday at M Resort.
There will be plenty of bands and laughs. But the best part isn’t the music, comedy or the celebrity schmoozing. The program benefits Rebuilding All Goals Efficiently (R.A.G.E.), a local organization that helps the disabled, and the Poppy Foundation, an animal rights group. Ticket information: 333-1038.
NEVADA AUTHORITY: Stan Paher swears he’s not as old as Nevada. But the seventh edition of his "Nevada Ghost Towns and Desert Atlas" proves no one is more familiar with the state’s incredible out-of-the-way historical sites. The book notes 2,200 locations, 770 ghost towns and stage stops and 250 pioneer cemeteries. Information: (775) 747-0800.
JUDGE COLTON: I guess this qualifies Stan Colton as a jack-of-all-trades. The longtime public servant is scheduled to be sworn in as justice of the peace of Searchlight at 10 a.m. Monday at the Regional Justice Center. Supreme Court Justice Michael Cherry will do the honors.
Colton is a former state treasurer and Clark County registrar of voters, and in 1982, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor.
ON THE BOULEVARD: The 13th annual reunion of former Sahara employees is set for Sept. 22 at Palace Station. … Bob Ansara’s Ricardo’s restaurant at 4930 W. Flamingo Road is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Although it’s known for powerful margaritas and traditional Mexican dishes, I’ll always appreciate the way its wait staff treated my grandmother. They made a 90-year-old lady feel like a queen.
BOULEVARD II: Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth officials are driving a new van thanks to the folks at Findlay Honda Henderson. … "The Last Days of Las Vegas" is local author Roy Hayes’ new thriller. He’s the author of the best-selling "The Hungarian Game." … Tired of walking for charity? Try bowling to help raise funds to support Clark County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate program at 2 p.m. Sunday at the South Point.
Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.