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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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February 20, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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February 20, 1997
 

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I0 Thursday, February 20, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Deja Views: The Only Constant is Change By Robert Lowes The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. That message couldn't have been made more loud and clear as we ventured out to the Gazette's Pahrump offices last week. As most regular readers of the paper know, we were always as close as the phone or fax ma- chine since we moved to Las Vegas. Last time we had been in Pahrump was for Thanksgiving Day dinner with the family and friends who continue to live in the growing valley. Thought we knew pretty much what's been hap- pening in the county through the paper but, as they say, seeing is believing. The growth and progress we saw here in the south county would not have been possible for anyone to fully compre- hend, starting with the road improvements to SR 160 be- tween Las Vegas and Pahrump. A lot of dedicated people worked long and hard to bring those badly needed road improvements from optimism to reality, and we all should be in their debt every time we travel along the 60 mile route across the desert and over the mountain to the big city. Over the years, we've lost far too many friends to that very dangerous stretch of highway. I remember, for example, when our old friend Diana Stiles, the long time community leader and Tim Hafen, along with many other too numergus to mention, lobbied the state trans- portation people tirelessly for needed improvements to this main connector road to Las Vegas from Southern Nye County's largest, and fastest growing population center. I remember, when we first came to Nye County to meet with the late Fred Cook, former publisher of the defunct Pahrump and Beatt3'-Amargosa Valley News, who was in- terested in selling his rural area publications. When we met him, Fred, a veteran newpaperman, was working out of the little laundromat over on Second Street. Milt Bozanic was publishing the by R.P.L other tabloid in town, the former Pahrump Valley Times-Star, which as the community grew, subse- quently became known as the Pahrump Valley Times. At that point in time, there were probably around 3,000 people living in Pahrump and the immediately surround- ing area, including a seasonal population of snowbirds. In our best judgement, we didn't think another local news- paper was either needed or could be supported by the lo- cal economies. In addition, there was a guy up in Beatty who used to work for Fred also trying to put out a little local paper, and then there was also the long-established limes-Bonanza up in Tonopah. But there was not a re- gional publication covering the diverse interests of the en- tire county, Nevada's largest geographically. There, we thought was a need. So borrowing on the quoted wisdom of the late industrialist Henry J Kaiser, whom I had inter- viewed years earlier in Oakland, we "decided to fill it." That's when we established the Death Valley Gateway Gazette to serve the entire county from its mid-county lo- cation in Beatty. At the time, there were nearly 8,000 visi- tors to Death Valley every year, and we thought between the locals and tourists, we should be able to see a few papers. Besides, we learned, some 65 percent of those visitors entered form California and exited the same way after their visit. With all the history and other recreational attractions available in Nevada, we thought we should be able to entice some tourism across the border. Apparently, it worked to some degree. Over the years, the Gateway Gazette became the dominant circulation weekly newspaper between Las Vegas and Reno with paid subscribers in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Naturally, there have been a number of changes in 'both the paper and its personnel, including some recent changes as noted on the masthead. Although the name has changed from the original, it was not done to protect the innocent, but rather to more accurately describe the physical loca- tion of the publication. However, it's still the only news- paper in the county to cover both north, contral and south- ern issues of concern to the'residents of this rural Ngvada county. ,"' Like I said.earlier; the' ofily thing :constant is that there will be change, andNye county has experienced more than its change from its historic mining, military and agricul- tural roots. And, as we approach the new millennium, there is bound to be even more change in the years ahead. Congress right to end term limit plan Constitutional amendment: Voter shouldn't be restricted in who appears on the ballot. Good riddance to another proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This time it was the term limit amendment that went down to defeat in the House of Representatives last week, despite the support of Nevada's two Republican members, Jim Gibbons of Reno and John Ensign of Las Vegas. Actually 11 versions of the amendment were de- feated, with differing numbers of terms which mem- bers of Congress could serve - an indication of just how confused the proponents of the measure are. Just about every group that want to limit congressional terms - has its own idea of how many terms would be ideal. That's because there is no magic number. As voters have recognized over the years, some mem- bers of Congress serve their districts well and de- serve all the terms they desire; others should be kicked out of Washington, D.C., as quickly as pos- sible. And there's no good reason why voters can't accomplish that task whenever they do desire. Of course, not all those who should be sent home by the voters are. Some. such as former Illinois Pep. Dan Rostenkowski, manage to use their longevity to abuse their offices, helping themselves to the public largesse. Others simply grow incapable of function- ing because of age or illness, yet are re-elected by their constituents. Those instances are rare, however, and voters generally recognize incompetence when they see it. In not wanting to let voters decide for themselves how long their representatives should serve, term- limit proponents offer this chief argument; that the members are smarter than the voters. They are able to use the perks of office - regular newsletter, for instance, and superior fund-raising prospects - to de- feat any opposition, the argument goes. Yet there is little evidence to support the idea that the voters are not getting the representation they want. Polls show that even voters who disapprove of the job Congress as a whole is doing give high ratings to their own representatives. And it's a fact that few members of Congress actu- ally spend any great length of time on Capitol Hill. As an indication of the turnover experience dint he Senate: Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has reached No. 44 in seniority after just 10 years, which means that more than half the senators there when he started have left in less than the 12 years that most term-limit propos- als would allow Reid. It's hard to fault Gibbons and Ensign for support- mg the proposals, however. Nevada voters, who fa- vored term limits for state offices in the last election but consistently vote for incumbents, also voted for an absurd requirement that congressional candidates on future ballots be flagged if they don't support the amendment. But the bottom line is that Gibbons and Ensign al- ready are subject to term limits. Those limits are the number of times the voters of Nevada are willing to send them back to Congress. And that decision will be based on the voter' determination of how well they serve their state. That's the way it is, and that's the way it should stay. r " Another opening, another show, part00H After the art show and receptionin Las Vegas, W e were invited out to dinner, kVhich being free of course we accepted. Turns out this dinner was being held at a Chinese restaurant, da hard to find so I was to fol- low in a caravan that would be led there. We got in line on the tail end of this caravan. I ain't seen so many fancy cars, All it lacked was a hearse leading it and a police escort. After much driving we get there and this was a real fancy joint complete with Valet Parking. They started to wave us off till some dude in the caravan driving a Mercedes said "Hey, he's with us." Ditto and I reluc- tantly got out of the truck so the attendant could park it after making sure he had a valid driver's license and that he would be careful with no sudden starts or stops, which would disturb the now slumbering chickens in the back of the truck. After all, they have had a big day with all the excitement of moving and seeing the sights and sounds of Las Vegas. The last one of these free after reception dinners I went to up in Reno was to a Thai restaurant, and my knowledge of Chinese cuisine was about the same, none. In an American restaurant you can most of the time recognize what they got. Not so in a Thai or Chi- nese joint. Lots of it looks like it was leftovers from previous dinners scraped onto a clean plate. Another factor common to these places is the fan- cier they pretend to be, the longer the wait is for tables. So we stand around the bar smiling and nodding our heads as we try to hear what somebody is trying to tell Slim Sez by Slim Sirnes us. I may have agreed to a vasectomy but I'm not sure, as the background noise level was so high. We finally get seated and are greeted by the sight of not your normal cutlery, but that of a pair of chop sticks. But by this time our confidence, somewhat enhanced by all the free liquid refreshments, is really high. Be- sides we live in Goldfield where the art of eating a string of peas balanced on a knife blade edge is old k hat, A pair of wooden sticks should be no challenge if they don't serve spaghetti. We set around for some more time and eventually the waiter comes by to take our order. Going through[ the list of house specialties, none of which we under- L) stood or what they were composed of until we got to the last, which as near as we could make out, featured chicken in some form. So this is what we went for. Whatever it was it was pretty good and we could always stop somewhere on the way back to the hotel if we were still hungry. Then it was time to leave, giving our car claim check to the attendant and describing it. He handed it back asking if I had read it. Not thinking, ! said yes. Pretty quick here it shows up, minus chickens, which upset me considerably more than it did Ditto. Whereupon I started to raise caine, but as the attendant pointed out according to the claim check, the management was not responsible for lost or stolen items. Off the record, he explained that it happened to be my misfortune to have arrived at their establishment at the same time a load of poultry was to have been delivered. Oh well, easy come, easy go. Have a good one.