From the Stranger Than Fiction file comes word that former Nevada gubernatorial candidate and Hollywood producer Aaron Russo is soliciting assistance in helping pay his cancer treatment bills through a fundraising Web site.
A contact e-mail, which purports to be from one of Russo’s assistants, informs "patriots" and other friends of the producer of the movie "The Rose" that their generous gifts would be greatly appreciated. Contacts can be made through Russomedicalfund.com.
There is one other thing. The fundraising contact has a Beverly Hills return address.
Looks like things are tough all over.
MEDICAL CASE: Much has been written recently about the allegedly criminal behavior of certain doctors and lawyers in Southern Nevada. An FBI investigation recently led to indictments.
Although no one appears to be investigating it, there’s an intriguing civil case moving slowly through the process down at District Court. It involves a young girl named Taineira Rivera, and whether she received responsible medical care at the time of her February 1995 birth. She suffers from medical maladies her advocates say are related to the medical care. At age 12, she has the functioning intelligence of a 5-year-old, according to one court document.
Questions are being raised by the child’s attorney, Tony Sgro, about whether the defendants in the case have used "obstructive and abusive tactics" during the evidence discovery process.
Given the accusations, the case of Taineira Rivera is one to watch closely.
MORTGAGE BLUES: Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced this week that 3,317 Nevadans are eligible for a share of the more than $1.6 million in restitution Ameriquest Mortgage Co. has agreed to pay the state to settle its predatory lending lawsuit.
Nationally, Ameriquest was compelled to cough up $35 million to settle complaints. If Nevada consumers take the money, they will forfeit their right to sue the company individually.
I am left to wonder whether those consumers who were taken advantage of by Ameriquest will, like certain legislators, be eligible for free concert tickets the next time the Rolling Stones come to town.
CELEBRITY SPORTS: The sharp wits and handicappers at WagerWeb.com, a Costa Rica-based sports book, are taking bets on the odds your favorite young celebrity will end up in rehab soon. Sounds crass, but obviously those handicappers have some free time on their hands before the start of the football season.
Paris Hilton is even money, with Britney Spears at 2 to 1 and Lindsay Lohan at 3 to 1. Mel Gibson is an 8 to 1 shot.
No, Mr. Gibson, I don’t know whether the guys at WagerWeb.com are Jewish.
ORANGE PULP: Poor Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona. He parties with mobbed-up topless bar owner Rick Rizzolo, gets his picture taken, and ends up embarrassing himself when the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit suspends his department from the information-sharing network.
Carona dismissed the criticism and claimed he had never heard of the LEIU. The organization has its critics but has been in existence more than half a century.
If it helps the sheriff feel any better, years ago the LEIU suspended Metro after some of its officers were found to be too close to local street hoodlums. Metro got by but was embarrassed by the snub.
Carona, meanwhile, claimed he wasn’t embarrassed in the least. He must not read the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Weekly, which made him look like an organ-grinder’s monkey in stories this week.
Down at Rizzolo’s shuttered Crazy Horse Too, a banner reads, "Closed for remodeling. Re-opening soon. Sorry for the inconvenience."
LIBERACE LEAGUE: When I heard there was such a thing as the Liberace League, I could only begin to imagine what the team uniforms would look like.
It turns out the Liberace League is a group of volunteers who herald Liberace’s legacy as the consummate, star-spangled Vegas showman. The group is creating a Liberace Piano Competition set to premier in August. For more information, contact Shirley Swift at the Liberace Foundation & Museum at 1775 E. Tropicana Ave.
ON THE BOULEVARD: Information is surfacing in the Family Secrets trial in Chicago about the mob-related murder of Emil Vaci, a restaurant employee with Strip credentials who was working in Phoenix when he was shot to death. Anyone remember Vaci from his years spent working nights and hanging with the Outfit guys on the Boulevard?
Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 383-0295.JOHN L. SMITHMORE COLUMNSDiscuss this column in the eForums!