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John L Smith: Former Trump Casino Shuts Down Under New Owner Icahn

Trump's Taj Mahal

It’s a reprieve that reeks of politics.

This Labor Day, while the rest of us will likely be burning hamburgers and enjoying one last weekend before the start of the school year, in Atlantic City approximately 3,000 service workers were to have lost their jobs at the Trump Taj Mahal, the namesake formerly controlled by the current Republican Party nominee for President. Now there’s news they’ll remain at work until some time in October. But that’s little solace for the service workers.

The Taj Mahal’s story is a sad one, but also provides an object lesson about Donald Trump’s self-inflated skill as a businessman as well as his faith in fellow billionaire, Carl Icahn. It’s Icahn Trump has touted for a possible cabinet position; it’s Icahn who now owns the Taj Mahal and has decided to quit a losing venture that is putting thousands of working people on the street. Icahn calls it a “bad bet.”

But those of us who have followed the downward trajectory of Atlantic City in recent years remember a time Trump was bragging about being bigger and better than his counterparts in Las Vegas. He quit bragging after about his fourth corporate bankruptcy.

Now he’s taken his helium-fueled hyperbole on the road show of a lifetime, leaving the unsightly wreckage of Atlantic City in the rearview mirror. Trump didn’t stick around to save Atlantic City, and he abandoned the Taj Mahal long ago.

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That kind of conscienceless corporate carnage is something Nevada’s many thousands of casino service workers may want to think about before going to the polls.

Offroad race through Basin and Range

Basin and Range National Monument/Photo Courtesy: Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

Nevada House members Mark Amodei and Cresent Hardy just can’t help themselves. At a time you might think they’d have better things to do, they’re championing the route of a 600-plus mile offroad race that just happens to wind through the state’s new national monument. They’re challenging the Bureau of Land Management.

Why you’d almost think Amodei and Hardy were attempting to score political points with their rural constituents, who hate the idea retiring U.S. Sen. Harry Reid shepherded the Basin and Range National Monument into existence.

The route proposed uses a dirt road already in existence, that’s true. And Hardy and Amodei claim the race could generate millions for the rural counties, that’s grand.

But if elected officials are actually interested in seeing the race proceed, they may be better served carving a compromise instead of grabbing headlines.

Nevada has been a popular offroad race destination for decades from the Mint 400 and SNORE races to the 500-mile Las Vegas to Reno marathons.

But a small detour around some of the state’s most pristine wildland shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Goodbye to a Silver Screen babe

Gloria DeHaven/Photo: By NBC - ebay, Public Domain, Wikimedia commons 

In the end, Gloria DeHaven went quietly -- but that’s not how she lived her life. You might not know it by reading and watching the local media, but the once quite famous actress DeHaven died recently in Las Vegas at age 91. She had been a Southern Nevada resident for more than a dozen years.

DeHaven starred in Charlie Chaplin’s classic “Modern Times” and dozens more films in a long career. She rarely enjoyed top billing, but anyone who could say they yucked it up with the Marx Brothers in “Room Service,” gave some guy named Sinatra his first on-screen kiss in “Step Lively,” and shared the big screen with Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, and of course Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, deserved the star treatment in her exit from life’s stage. She sang, she danced, she did it all.

Gloria, sweetheart, you were once and always a babe on the silver screen.

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