Las Vegas growing pains examined

Architect Robert Fielden. Photo: Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun. Click on the portrait to be taken to "Boom-bust era leaves architectural scars across valley" in the Las Vegas Sun.

All but a den of developers accept that the runaway building across the Las Vegas valley during the last twenty years was wrong. Yesterday in the Las Vegas Sun, staff writer Patrick Coolican and photographer Steve Marcus recounted a tour with Southern Nevadan architect Robert Fielden of the still ravishingly beautiful Mojave basin. Assessing the architecture of the boom, Fielden likened damage done by home builders to that of mining camps. The upshot is a slice of Western history as full of mistakes as it is of potential to learn from them.

If Coolican’s name sounds familiar, it may be because he was briefly lured from Southern Nevada to California to write on city news for the LA Weekly,

Makes sense to them

THE EDITORIAL board of the Las Vegas Sun knows a scientific result when it suits the board’s purposes. According to the board, climate modeling out of the University of Colorado showing the potential of the main storage reservoirs on the Colorado River to go dry by mid-century is all the more reason that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should run a pipeline 300 miles north to the foot of the Great Basin National Park and pump its groundwater south to Las Vegas.

Bankruptcy in the Mojave

IMAGE OF THE DAY: an unfinished shopping mall in Summerlin, Howard Hughes’ “masterplanned” community in Greater Las Vegas. From Las Vegas Sun photographer Steve Marcus with story by Steve Green. To read it, click on the abandoned building site.

Please explain this Washington water lobbyist

A SMART bit of reporting by Joe Schoenmann in the June 20 edition of the Las Vegas Sun follows up Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak asking questions about payments to consultants, lobbyists and public relations experts. First in line in the Sun story is Marcus G. Faust, an oddly Sidney Greenstreet-like figure among Washington lobbyists, whose influence is pervasive in Western water.

From the story:

  • [Sisolak’s] questions were simple: Who’s getting the contracts and what are they doing for the money? …  Washington, D.C., lobbyist Marcus Faust, for example, has had a Southern Nevada Water Authority contract for 17 years. The authority pays $150,000 a year to Faust, who also has contracts with the Water Reclamation District, Department of Aviation, Las Vegas Valley Water District and Regional Transportation Commission. Sisolak said the interests of some of Faust’s other clients — Coyote Springs Investment, a massive development north of Las Vegas,