I take no pleasure in saying this, but it must be said: I warned you about Jim Rogers.
Jim is mercurial, he’s impatient and, most of all, he’s hopelessly conflicted between his desire to be known as a major philanthropist for Nevada higher education, his penchant to try to control regents and legislators via political donations and his position as a public employee within the state’s educational system.
When he first suggested becoming chancellor of Nevada’s universities and colleges, I acknowledged a private-sector guy such as Jim could do something good with the higher education system. But I worried his bombastic, my-way-or-the-highway style would eventually catch up to him. And it did.
Last week came what should be the coup de grace on Jim’s tenure as chancellor.
After a regent criticized his performance as chancellor, an outraged Rogers ended discussions about donating $3 million toward a math and science building at the University of Nevada, Reno. Then he said he wouldn’t consider giving any more of his money to any campus in the system — ever.
The Lord Jim giveth and the Lord Jim taketh away. Honestly, can Jim possibly know how all this makes him look? Philanthropy with strings has never been so unbecoming.
This kind of behavior by Rogers is simply another in a string of examples that point to why Jim Rogers needs to gracefully excuse himself from this ill-conceived chancellor experiment. He’s too thin-skinned and too manipulative to be effective.
It’s a bit odd to write that after all these years of public wrangling over a new sports arena, we may now get two more. The city of Las Vegas is still plowing ahead with a developer who wants to put an arena in the downtown area. Meanwhile, Harrah’s Entertainment is nearly ready to break ground on a sports arena on land it owns just off the Strip, sans government help.
In case you were wondering which arena plan is best, let me assure you that 99 times out of 100, private enterprise will outperform the public sector. Harrah’s has done more due diligence and has more incentive to make an arena work than the city.
I don’t begrudge the city in trying to form a public/private partnership. But in my gut, I know it’s going to be the Harrah’s location that is more successful.
Anybody wanna bet? Oh, sorry, if the NBA comes to town, that wager cannot be accepted.
How hot is it?
I’m always amused by my journalism brothers and sisters who can be so skeptical about everything — except global warming.
Along comes this complicated theory about how, in short order, we’re all gonna suffer from 140-degree summers in Las Vegas unless we reduce our carbon footprint, shut down growth, junk SUVs and stop the construction of a coal-fired power plant near Ely. Then otherwise tough-thinking journalists, without so much as harboring one critical thought, fall to both knees and say “Amen, I believe.”
I hate to be the fly at the global warming picnic, but did anyone see the temperature in New York City last week?
The high was 59 degrees in Manhattan, the coldest high temperature during the month of August ever in New York City.
Sherman Frederick is publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media. Readers may write him at sfrederick@ reviewjournal.com.SHERMAN FREDERICKMORE COLUMNS