Reporters’ notebook

Overheard at the New Year’s Eve Bangles concert on Fremont Street, yelled to the band by an encouraging fan: "You still look good!"

Then the middle-aged man (to whom the years have been far less kind than they have been to the members of the Bangles) turned to his friend and said, "What are they, in their 30s or 40s?"

Barely.

From left: Guitarist Vicki Peterson turns 50 on Friday, drummer Debbi Peterson is 46, lead singer Susanna Hoffs turns 49 this month, and bass player Michael Steele is 52.

ALAN CHOATE

 

GETTING RID OF INVASIVE PLANTS HAS BEEN AN UPHILL FIGHT at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, 90 miles west of Las Vegas. Lately, though, refuge workers seem to be gaining the upper hand.

"We were called the national weed refuge for a while," said Refuge Manager Sharon McKelvey. "It’s nice to drive down the road now without seeing all the weeds glaring at you."

HENRY BREAN

 

REPORTERS WERE PROMISED FORMER GOV. KENNY GUINN on a conference Friday call about Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Instead, all they got was political consultant Ryan Erwin.

Explaining Guinn’s absence, Erwin cracked, "At the last minute, he decided to support Huckabee."

One of Romney’s first supporters in Nevada, Guinn got to know him when Romney was governor of Massachusetts and Guinn was in charge of the National Governors Association. Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who won Thursday’s Iowa caucuses, also was a governor at the time but didn’t actually win Guinn over.

"Just kidding," Erwin added quickly. "He’s (Guinn) still with us." Nevada’s ex-governor just had a scheduling conflict, he said.

MOLLY BALL

 

LAS VEGAS MAYOR OSCAR GOODMAN IS KEEPING HIS NEW YEAR’S PROMISE to be healthier.

Sort of.

Last year, enthused about a new gym in the Molasky Corporate Center downtown, Goodman said he was going to join after the New Year.

It hasn’t happened yet, although he says he started the Atkins low-carb diet before Christmas and has lost 15 pounds.

"I still have my bad feet," Goodman said. "I’m sort of just walking around at this point in time, trying to get my body in shape so I can get over to the gym."

The mayor hasn’t given up his alcohol consumption, however, even though the Atkins diet generally frowns on imbibing. (The body burns alcohol calories for energy first, you see, so you never get around to burning fat.)

"The sauce is an integral part of my life," he said. "I have to ruminate in it. That’s the only way I can get myself in that frame of mind."

Indeed, the mayor was in "that" frame of mind on New Year’s Eve as he took the stage to usher in 2008 at the Fremont Street Experience. He wrapped up his banter a few minutes early and decided to head backstage until the final countdown to midnight.

Goodman told the crowd he was going to have a couple more martinis, "and I’ll see you in about three minutes."

ALAN CHOATE

 

IT’S STILL NOT CLEAR WHETHER SAMMY HAGAR’S CABO WABO restaurant will plant a flag in downtown Las Vegas.

Goodman said he spoke to the Red Rocker when he was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, recently, and the two will meet again when Hagar’s in town for the Super Bowl.

"I can’t do anything for him other than to tell him that the downtown is the right place for his kind of operation," Goodman said Thursday.

The mayor said he and Hagar stood out in Cabo San Lucas, but he insisted that he stood out a little more than the former Van Halen frontman.

"After they said hello to me, then they said hi to him," Goodman said. "I’m big in Cabo."

ALAN CHOATE

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