Desert Companion
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APRIL 2014
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Features
Best of the City

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Culture
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Editor's Note
End Note
Essay
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Take 5
the guide
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Take 5
April 24. 7p. A reenactment of combative public testimony adapted from the Missoula City Council hearing to add anti-discrimination protection for...   
April 24. 7p. Singer, recording artist and award-winning songwriter, Taylor and her talented group of musicians will perform a mixture of favorite...   
April 26. 4-8p. Nevada’s largest independent craft beer festival is bigger and better than ever with more than 250 brews from more than 80...   
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There are a lot of pious, chest-thumping definitions of journalism, but mine is pretty simple: Journalism is curiosity guided by a sense of mission. It’s about getting the facts, yes, but it’s also about seeing how those facts line up, where they point. Sometimes, though, it’s fun, interesting and instructive to make it even simpler — to forget the road signs for a while, let curiosity take the wheel and get utterly, giddily lost.

That pure curiosity is the engine powering our feature, “We just had to ask,” a mix of interviews with everyone from Strip concierges to prison wardens to Zen wise men. What did we talk about? Indulge me as I deploy caps lock for a sec: EVERYTHING. In these wide-ranging Q&As that begin on page 41, we ask big questions — about the proper way to live, about justice, death, karma —  and small questions too: Are window-washers scared of heights? How do you make vegan chocolate taste good? Do casino card dealers like math? How do you drive a Zamboni? (Okay, maybe those are big questions, too.) No softball celebrity fluff: The stars here are the everyday — but hardly ordinary — people who make Southern Nevada such a fascinating place to live.

And with election season behind us (are you still having attack-ad nightmares with phantom-floating newspaper headlines and grainy, sinister-looking candidate mugshots? Me too!), we survey the politiscape with two special interviews: Political columnist Jon Ralston sits down with freshman Congressman Steve Horsford, who discusses his plans to represent Nevada in Washington; and veteran journalist Steve Friess quizzes Shelley Berkley on life after politics. Horsford is Nevada’s first African-American congressman and, just as significantly, he’s joining a Congress that is the most diverse in history. Berkley’s loss to Sen. Dean Heller in a high-profile senate race inspired gales and gusts of analysis by pundits and politicos; now you can hear her own take.

Meanwhile, it’s a new year and — did you notice? — happily, none of us have been swallowed by some yawning transdimensional vortex spinning out of the Yucatan. If a bit of spiritual housekeeping or self-improvement is among your New Year’s resolutions, consider achieving it by improving your community — by getting directly involved with the schools in your neighborhood. Our “Be True to Your School” feature is a hand-picked guide to some of the valley’s best educational causes, from helping teachers supply kids with notebooks and backpacks to support groups that ensure at-risk high-schoolers graduate. The 2013 Legislature is on the horizon, and we’re surely in for another season of stormy talk about the importance of education; here’s hoping it’s not all lightning and no heat. Don’t forget there’s a time-tested way to make our schools better: by lending a hand yourself. Find out how on page 26.

Finally, we’re curious about one more thing — lemme hit caps lock again: YOU. Take our Best of the City Readers’ Poll online at desertcompanion.com and give us the dish on your bests, from pizza to parks to places to hike. You’ll be entered to win gift certificates to some great restaurants. But best of all, as a savvy, engaged Desert Companion reader, you’ll be sharing your insider tips with others hungry for quality experiences. Don’t wait — the poll closes Jan. 12. We’ll publish results in our February Best of the City issue. Sound good? Sounds best.


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7291 W Lake Mead
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PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
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UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
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3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
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THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
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THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
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MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
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CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
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3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
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PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
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PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
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6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
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3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
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Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
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PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
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SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
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5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
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NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
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2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
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