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Southern Nevadans targeted with ‘robocalls’ intended to suppress voting

It’s scoundrel time, Nevada.

It’s that time of the campaign when desperate politicians forfeit their final ounce of self-respect and say anything — usually through third parties using deceptive ads and recorded “robocalls” — to keep from losing.

In Nevada, Latino voters have been receiving misleading calls from “authorities” inviting them to cast ballots over the phone. The practice is being roundly criticized not only by Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but by members of the Latino community. Democrats have responded with a recorded call of their own informing Latinos of the half-clever attempt at voter suppression.

WHOLE NOTES: Swinging jazz saxophonist Don Hill celebrates his 87th birthday at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Caylix Jazz Supper Club at 4760 W. Sahara Blvd. Hill is the longtime sax man for the Treniers and also recorded with Louis Armstrong in a career that reaches back seven decades.

The Boulevard lost longtime composer and musician Don Hannah Sunday at age 79. A 52-year resident, Hannah’s compositions and arrangements won awards, and he worked with Gladys Knight, Vic Damone, Diana Ross, and Barbra Streisand.

VEGAS GUYS: Baseball fans seeking a local connection to this year’s World Series are in luck.

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino and Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields are valley residents. Victorino has provided timely hits throughout the playoffs, and Shields won Game 2 Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

‘FUN RUN:’ Only ultra runners, the maniacs who specialize in distances exceeding Sunday strolls like marathons, can get away with calling a 25-kilometer course a “fun run.”

But that’s as fun as it gets at Saturday’s World of Hurt 34-mile Ultra Trail Race in Bootleg Canyon outside Boulder City.

The good times start at 7 a.m., and the race features seven-time Western States 100-Mile Race winner Scott Jurek.

Frankly, the Southern Highlands Fall Festival 5K Run & 1 Mile Fun Walk is more my speed. It starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Goett Family Park at 10950 Southern Highlands Parkway.

The fourth annual festival offers a pumpkin patch, hot-air balloon rides and a carnival atmosphere. Proceeds benefit The Southern Highlands Boys and Girls Club, Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada, and Children’s Heart Foundation.

BEATTY DAYS: The good citizens of Beatty, located just 100 miles north on U.S. 95, have seen fit to feature yours truly as the parade grand marshal of the annual Beatty Days celebration Oct. 31-Nov. 2. I know what you’re thinking: They’ve scraped the bottom of the barrel in Beatty.

I also questioned their judgment, but then I figured it out: They invited me as long as I brought along my cancer-fighting 12-year-old, Amelia. Now it all makes sense.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. The weekend is jammed with chili cookoffs, bed races, cross-country runs, and no end of small-town fun.

MONSTER SIGHTING: Southbound commuters on the 95 must be doing double takes as they pass the enormous Gila monster replica as it appears to be escaping from the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. It’s big enough to eat a Kia. The Springs Preserve is becoming a favorite place for family outings.

FREE SPEECH: Never let it be said local attorney Kermitt Waters is shy about sharing his opinion. He has taken out a billboard on Sahara Avenue that reads, “No Way, No How” and a “No John McCain” symbol.

Waters, you may recall, unsuccessfully pushed to raise the state gaming tax from 6.75 percent to 20.2 percent.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Federal authorities have their hands full these days with all the public corruption investigations going on, but what’s become of the big federal bookmaking investigation that months ago resulted in raids at local sports books? It’s settling very quietly, I’m told. … Speaking of calm after the storm, Strip nightclub watchers aren’t hearing much from the Pure investigation, either.

BOULEVARD II: Like Wayne Newton near the end of a show, concerned Republicans are “going overtime” to save state Sen. Bob Beers’ seat from upstart Democrat Allison Copening, whose neophyte status has been pummeled in the press. A fifth mailer critical of Copening dropped this week. With so many people voting early, it’s hard to know whether citizens are still listening.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.

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