Parking and Presidential Debates


Associated Press

Classes haven’t even started yet at UNLV, but faculty, staff and students are advised to keep their sense of humor in the run up to the Friday, October 19 presidential debate on campus.

With thousands of credentialed media due to arrive to analyze the candidates’ every breath and syllable, parking that week will be essentially nonexistent. Approximately 5,600 parking spaces will be consumed by the news-hungry horde, according to an official memo I’ve obtained.

Everyone from the Congressional delegation to the Donald Trump cap salesmen wanted the debate on campus. Consider this one of the trifling inconveniences.

Here’s one plan UNLV’s party bosses are considering to counter the crush: Beginning a few days before the final showdown between Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump, the campus will operate a shuttle service from a remote parking lot at McCarran International Airport. At least five busses will be made available.

That’s right. An airport shuttle -- in reverse.

I don’t know about you, but when I want to avoid a crowd I like to go to McCarran Airport, where parking is a breeze.

That’s not all. Faculty is also being advised that, just for the week mind you, they may want to choose -- ahem -- alternate learning experiences in lieu of holding classes.

Support comes from

Several areas of campus will be closed altogether. And, you know, there’s nothing that says we take our learning seriously at the University of Nevada Las Vegas like giving our little scholars the whole flipping week off.

Sure, there’s an upside to having the final debate of the freakishly long and undeniably vicious presidential campaign season at UNLV. It might, as the wags like to say, put us on the map and let the university showcase its many academic long suits and specialties.

Let’s just hope all those seeking to put UNLV in its best light can find a place to park.

Casino owners weigh in on presidential politics 

Political observers have been waiting for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, under its new, casino-linked ownership, to speak up about the presidential race.

It looks like MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren has beaten them to it. In Monday’s USA Today, Murren made a literate argument for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

Can we now expect a strong retort from elsewhere in the gaming industry? Where are Donald Trump’s friends Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson when he really needs them.

Medical marijuana's problem

More complicated news for Nevadans seeking medical marijuana without looking over their shoulders and feeling just a little paranoid.

The Drug Enforcement Administration under President Obama has once again declined to reclassify pot as a medicinal. That’s right.

Despite all the press to the contrary and the many millions spent by the industry to lobby and present the most beneficial side of the story, the DEA is essentially saying marijuana still belongs in the same category as heroin.

While that won’t shutter the growing pot dispensary and grow industry here, and may not stop Nevadans from giving the thumbs up to recreational pot use on the November ballot, it only further complicates the politics involved. It also gives pot prohibitionists solid footing to further their campaign.

Hatch chile season returns

And, finally, it’s almost that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the start of the NFL preseason. It’s the start of the Hatch chile roasting season at that little slice of the best of New Mexico, Carlito’s Burritos on Sunset Road. If you’re chile-addicted, as I am, these are the best of times. If not, drop there or any of a number of local supermarkets and watch the roasters in action. Forget the 100-plus degree heat: Starting this coming week, they’ll be fired up and ready to go.

And I have it on good authority there will be plenty of parking available.

For KNPR’s State of Nevada, I’m John L. Smith.


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