NOTE TO DON DAVIDSON: When you’re a defendant in a federal criminal trial and accidentally forget to turn off your cell phone, you’d be crazy not to pick your ring tone wisely. For example, Billy Joel’s “Innocent Man” might work.

It was obvious Davidson had not given it much thought when his phone went off during testimony last week in court.

Davidson’s ringer? A cuckoo clock: “Coo-coo (chime) coo-coo.”


THE SOUTHERN NEVADA HEALTH DISTRICT RELEASED its first report on the overall health of Clark County residents last week. There was the expected poor showing in the smoking and drinking categories. And then there was this unexpected surprise: We’re gaining weight, but we’re not as fat as the average American.

The health district offered no explanation of its findings. So we came up with some explanations of our own:

• Too busy drinking and smoking to eat.

• All the lipo.

• The buffets ain’t what they used to be when the carb-lovin’ mob ran things.

• Loose slots, looser scales.

• Overall weight of the community brought down by unusually high number of tiny, French-Canadian acrobats.

• Can only afford to eat one meal a week because of the prices at celebrity chef joints.

• Complain about it all you want, but meth is slimming.

• All the exercise fleeing payday loan collection agents.

• They didn’t count the silicone.

• I can’t smoke where I eat? Guess I’ll smoke.

BEING FAMOUS HAS ITS DRAWBACKS. Just ask former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss, who moved to Pahrump in 2005 and is opening a laundromat there.

Fleiss said merchants and contractors often jack up their prices the moment they find out who she is. She even has a name for the practice. She calls it “Heidi prices.”



At the recent annual “Outstanding Democrat of the Year” fundraiser for the Paradise Democratic Club, presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens was there to address the crowd on behalf of the senator from Delaware.

After being introduced, she said, “I am Joe Biden’s sister. But I want you to know, on my own, I’m a hell of a woman.”


FEEL FREE TO WHIP OUT A TAPE RECORDER when talking to Mayor Oscar Goodman. If you let him know about it, even better.

After asking permission to tape an interview with Hizzoner and receiving his consent, a reporter took out a svelte digital recorder.

“Ooh,” Goodman said. “You could be with the FBI. That’s a Michael McDonald special.”

Goodman was, of course, referring to the former councilman who surreptitiously recorded a conversation between the two in November 2000.

The mayor jokes about it now, but at the time it prompted a typically restrained Goodman response. He called McDonald a “government rat,” a “wimp,” the “lowest form of human being” and a “sleazeball.”



The Senate majority leader complimented the work by President Bush in the losing effort and thanked other senators for their debate.

But the graciousness was tested. Before the vote, as Reid was laying out his support of the bill, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., cut in several times to complain that the Nevadan was speaking too long.

Finally, Reid laid a smackdown, unusual for its bluntness in the normally polite Senate.

“I would say to my friend from Alabama that I would never rudely interrupt him whenever he is giving a speech,” Reid said. “I would never do that, and I wish he hadn’t done that, but I will continue.”

Reid went on to finish his speech.


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Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
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