1 Who makes the best coffee in Las Vegas according to Desert Companion readers? Sunrise Coffee! Or Sunrise Cafe! Or is it Sunrise Coffee Cafe? So confused! Head hurting! In our readers’ poll results published in our February Best of the City issue, we listed Henderson’s Sunrise Cafe (eatatsunrise.com) as the winner. However! Sunrise Coffee (sunrisecoffeelv.com) owner Juanny Romero wrote in to politely inquire whether, oh, you know, maybe we meant … Sunrise Coffee? Doesn’t hurt to ask, right? “There is a Sunrise Cafe, which is a breakfast restaurant in Henderson,” she writes. “It’s a very yummy place, but completely different from us. ... We realize it’s possible that everyone has been voting for Sunrise Cafe and we were not even a part of the voting for Best Coffee Shop. We do wonder, though, if the misspelling and the use of another business’ name might have had a factor in the polling?” We went into the garage, popped the hood of the Best of the City Readers’ Poll survey software and … whaddyaknow, she’s right: Most of the Sunrise-loving respondents wrote Sunrise Coffee, in fact, rather than Sunrise Cafe. We apologize for the mistake. Consolation fun fact: Not only does Sunrise Coffee serve great coffee, but Juanny tells us it’s organic, fair-trade, co-op-produced and never test-squirted into the eyes of cute, furry animals.
2 “In a city that is as large and racially diverse as Las Vegas, how is it possible that your staff did not find any black individuals considered worthy of being listed as influential?” asks Mel Goodwin, senior director of programs and partnerships at The Gay & Lesbian Community Center, about our January “Influence” feature package; she was also included in the list. She continues: “Whether it was intended to be or not, the list you published is racist. In the year 2014, there is no legitimate reason for such a broad based list of community members to be devoid of black folks. ‘Persons of Influence’ is disturbing at best, and I am incredibly embarrassed to be included in it. It took me about a minute to think of the following names of black community members who are well-known and doing incredible work in this community: State Senator Patricia Spearman, Yvette Williams of the Clark County Democratic Black Caucus, Laura Martin of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (who has one of the most commanding Twitter presences that I’ve ever seen), or Derek Washington, well known community activist and State Lead of GetEQUAL NV. Again, I ask — why were no black individuals included in the list? Shame on Desert Companion for equating influence with whiteness.” Fair question. Answer: You’re right. The list wasn’t very racially diverse, and that evinces an embarrassing blind spot in what was clearly a flawed editorial process. We acknowledge that and take responsibility for it. And it’s a consideration we’ll keep in mind for future editions of the feature package and, of course, future issues of Desert Companion. But really, come on, did you have to sign off as “Your former reader”?
3 “What a terrible injustice you do to your readers with your article on Dr. Heck,” writes Marilyn Mackett about Jon Ralston’s March column on U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, titled, “The lonely alien of Congress.” “In the middle of his expensive campaign to convince the Nevadans he is a good representative, you help him along to get re-elected with your Ralston piece. Heck is known for his constant comments that he wants to help people, and then ALWAYS votes opposite the people. He doesn’t deserve a place in your magazine. He is anti-minority, anti-military (voted against reinstating their pay), anti-immigrant (talks like he wants the bill and always has a reason to vote against this issue), anti-women (against birth control), anti-gay, and anti-education. Heck has done nothing for our country except be at the ‘trough’ to get his education as a doctor and then leap into Congress as a ‘do-nothing’ representative. HE HAS EVEN VOTED AGAINST PBS AND NPR FUNDING. Why in the world would you support a creature who works for your death?” Well, since you put it that way! We’re sorry you interpreted the piece as an endorsement of Heck. That wasn’t the intention of the article; instead, the idea was to create a character study on a politician — regardless of his political stripes — trying to fly by his principles in a highly charged, highly partisan environment that doesn’t exactly nourish deepthink on the issues. Your charge that he doesn’t “deserve” a place in the magazine suggests there’s some mysterious threshold for meriting coverage in the publication beyond newsworthiness, but his profile and stature (and the fact that he’s up for re-election, a fact that we assumed to be of interest to readers) were more compelling elements for the basis of the story. We appreciate your input, Marilyn — but most of all, we appreciate that you didn’t sign off as a “former reader.” Phew!