The clock is ticking for the immensely-talented Pat Mulroy, which means that, in a few days, we will all be treated to another round of fawning stories about how Ms Mulroy not only managed our water, but occasionally walked on it as well.
Over the years, no one has written more words about our outgoing water boss than yours truly. Without question, she used her sharp mind and forceful personality to do a lot of good things when it comes to our water supply. Although I have been critical of her tenure, I have great admiration for her tenacity and grit, and for how far she climbed in a previously male-dominated world. Her great failure, of course, was her unwillingness to even consider the possibility that we might be hit by an extended drought, even though many water experts warned that it was not only possible, but likely. Had Mulroy channeled her considerable powers of persuasion into pursuing some long range solutions to our water woes, we might be well on the road to desalination plants, or large scale purchases of wasted irrigation water from Southern California farmers, or—better yet—meaningful, non-voluntary conservation on a broad scale.
Instead, we are still spending massive sums of public dollars on a ridiculous plan to use 19th century technology in tapping the groundwater from under a vast expanse of already parched Nevada land, a policy that has already cost more than $110 million and will almost certainly cost more than the $15 billion price tag that has been attached to it, and which would turn a vast region into a dead zone.
But it is still possible for Mulroy to make a grand, parting gesture by starting the ball rolling on a plan to drain Lake Powell and send all of that water into Lake Mead. As Christ Wedig of the Glen Canyon Institute told me, this would stabilize water levels in Lake Mead, bolster hydropower production at the dam, and recover 300,000 acre feet of water per year for the Colorado River system—the equivalent to Nevada’s entire allocation. It would also be a huge boon to the ecosystem of the Grand Canyon, and would remove the pressure to pursue the goofball rural water grab.
Mulroy will not be in her job long enough to see this proposal through, but she could make it happen, in light of the fact that the people who will be left in charge are her peeps and will presumably carry out her wishes for years to come. I’m not holding my breath, but Mulroy is the one person who could pull it off, and what a tremendous headline story that would make as she leaves the position she loved for so long.
Best of luck to her, regardless.
Boulder City Shenanigans:
Those crazy kids who run things out in Boulder City had their fannies whacked by the Nevada Supreme Court late last week. As we have reported many times in this space, the ruling elite in Boulder City, most of whom are related by blood or marriage or are linked by religious preferences, aren’t very tolerant when it comes to dissent by those residents who are not members of the team, so to speak. When a group of civic minded citizens decided to try and bypass the ruling elite thru the petition process, city leaders went after them with a vengeance by filing individual lawsuits against the people who started the petition drives. This heavy-handed intimidation tactic sent a clear message that the BC daddyo’s were not to be messed with. As you may have read, the Nevada Supremes saw this for what it was—a naked power play - and ruled that BC will have to pay through the nose to reimburse the six residents for their legal fees dating back over the past couple of years, a tab that could exceed $100,000. Congratulations to Linda Strickland and the others for standing up for their rights as American citizens, even though they live in a town that considers itself to be a world apart.
People and Places:
If anyone knows the whereabouts of poker pro Sam Grizzle, please let him know his wife and daughter are in town and that they are looking for him. The mom and 13-year-old daughter say they were abandoned by Grizzle when he sold the house out from under them and then took off to play poker with the proceeds. The mom and daughter have been homeless since November and are presently living in a rental car but are about to lose that too. Grizzle, known locally as a die hard gambler who might lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single night, has been tough to find, his family says, even though he is well known in local casinos and was once listed by a Seattle newspaper as one of the “worst fathers in the world” for allegedly abandoning his own daughter and leaving her mother with nothing. The mom, who has lupus, says she and the daughter will be on the street in a matter of days because no local organization has been able to find them shelter. The mom still has her cell phone (for now) so if you see Sam in any of the local poker rooms, ask him to call hom…It seems to me that embattled Judge Steve Jones had no intention of running for re-election. He merely pretended he was going to run so he would have something to surrender to the Judicial Discipline commission prior to them sentencing him for the poor judgment he showed in carrying on a courtroom dalliance with a female attorney who appeared before him. By filing to run for re-election, Jones essentially flipped a big middle finger to the same public he has regarded with such haughty disdain for so long. Had he run, he would have been pummeled relentlessly for his various indiscretions …Casting agent Merilee Lear says business is booming and she can barely keep up. Lear’s company is handling several projects, including a new movie about the Ted Binion murder (hopefully, better than the last one). Former mayor Oscar Goodman has landed the role as Binion’s lawyer, Lear says….Veteran television executive Ralph Toddre has left Intermountain West Communications Company where he served as vice president for many years. Toddre was the hands-on manager of Jim Roger’s television empire for many years. Before that, he was operations manager at KLAS. Someone should scoop him up... Longtime wild-horse advocate Garnet Pasquale passed away this week. She was a tireless defender of the mustangs, especially the few herds that still roam the ranges of Southern Nevada.
There’s not much else I can say about this issue of CityLife, other than it’s been grand.
GEORGE KNAPP is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter for KLAS Channel 8.