Among officers, sheriff’s race a blowout

Talk about an early Christmas present.

Sheriff’s candidate Larry Burns blew away the rest of the field in a recent internal survey of rank-and-file Metro officers conducted by the Police Protective Association.

The survey of 2,300 cops received approximately 700 responses, the union’s Executive Director Chris Collins said. Burns received 91 percent of the vote in response to a question about whom the PPA should endorse.

The rest of the votes were divided between Metro veterans Ted Moody and Joe Lombardo with former Las Vegas Constable Bobby Gronauer also receiving votes.

The survey is considered informal but also informational, Collins said. The PPA generally waits until the close of filing to announce its official endorsement.

Unofficial or otherwise, word of Burns’ popularity with fellow officers is little surprise to those who follow the department. In a recent interview with former Sheriff Bill Young, a vocal Lombardo supporter, said he considered Burns a favorite of the union.

ON WHOSE BEHALF? It belabors the obvious to note that troubled casino insider Tim Poster has a fair understanding of oddsmaking.

He is sideways with state gaming authorities for, among other things, getting caught betting with offshore bookmaking giant Pinnacle Sports.

Poster, a 45-year-old former Wynn Resorts Ltd. executive, was embarrassed by the Gaming Control Board earlier this month when he sought a preliminary finding of suitability; but casino sources predicted he would fight the recommendation in front of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

That showdown never happened. On Thursday, the commission quietly voted to accept the Control Board’s recommendation.

Poster has shown questionable judgment in the past — and, no, I’m not just referring to that ill-fated reality TV show he was part of — but from my place in line at the $2 window, I think he made the right decision. Sometimes it pays to cut your losses and accept a bad beat.

But Poster’s high-betting habits and prime casino contacts make me wonder whether he was merely playing on his own behalf, or if there were others whose bet he handled. It wouldn’t be the first time some high-flying business executive used a beard to place his bets.

BINION’S GHOST: I can’t be the only one wanting to conjure the ghost of the late legendary casino man Benny Binion now that the National Finals Rodeo has voted to pursue moving the grand event to Florida. It was Cowboy Benny who helped bring the NFR to Las Vegas three decades ago.

The cowboys and stock contractors can’t be blamed for chasing the highest purses, but it’s hard to imagine all those rodeo fans wanting to leave Las Vegas for Orlando.

Mickey Mouse in a Stetson?

Say it ain’t so.

CHRISTMAS CHEER: There will be plenty of time for Grinch and Scrooge stories. But take a moment to consider more than 300 special children and family members on Wednesday at the Renaissance Hotel on Paradise Road celebrated the holiday season with a buffet, party and presents, thanks to Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada, Bank of America and illusionist Criss Angel.

Meanwhile, local charities, service organizations and businesses continue to donate gifts and food to economically disadvantaged children in schools throughout the valley.

It’s a reminder not only of the generosity of the givers, but of the tremendous need that exists.

LIFESAVERS: Community Ambulance took the holiday season to heart Monday by donating an automated external defibrillator, EpiPens, and oxygen tanks to Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada. The group is headed by Dr. Florence Jameson.

GOODBYE, HOLLYWOOD: Las Vegans of a certain generation can’t be blamed for feeling a tug of sentiment at the impending closure of Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. Next to Del Mar, Hollywood was a favorite track for many locals seeking to chase the action outside the Strip. Its last race will run Dec. 22.

The track opened in 1938 in the backyard of Hollywood’s star-making machinery. It was the site of Seabiscuit victories and seemingly endless wins by the legendary jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. (In reality, he won “only” 9,530.)

Now locals with an appetite for turf by the surf will dream only of spending delicious days at Del Mar.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Mount Charleston residents and lovers of the outdoors generally will want to keep an eye on the interaction between Clark County and the state of Nevada as officials determine the future of the firefighting service in Kyle Canyon in the wake of last summer’s Carpenter 1 Fire. … Denny Griffin and Frank Cullotta just released “Hole in the Wall Gang,” an inside account of Tony Spilotro’s street crew rendered in Cullotta’s own words.

Have an item for Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to or call (702) 383-0295.

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