It is always sad to lose a family member. I know, because I very recently lost a brother; but losing a mother during the Christmas season has to be especially sad and painful. My mother died in October and that Christmas was very painful, so losing Irene just three weeks before Christmas has to be devastating for Lisa, Dave and their two children, Gillian and Tom.
I know the pain of losing a mother is indescribable, and my prayers are with the Rigglemans; I hope that the Good Lord will give them the strength to handle the pain of losing Irene. She will be missed by those who were blessed with the opportunity of knowing her.
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Las Vegas has always been my favorite city; I have a place in Southern California and other places that I visit on a regular basis, but have always kept my home here because this city has been my home for more than half a century and I have always been very proud of being a Las Vegas resident and having a Nevada license plate; even my car in California has Nevada plates.
However, seeing my city become similar to a third world country makes me very sad: the streets are in desperate need of repair; one drives in many parts of the city and it makes one feel like being in a blender with all the potholes; the yellow lines are no longer serving the purpose of letting drivers know how to stay within the lines because they have not been repainted in years.
At the corner of Arville and Sahara is a big hole in the northbound lane that has been there for ten years — no one ever had the idea of repairing that ugly inconvenient and dangerous hole? Las Vegas used to be a twenty-four hour city with boutiques, drug stores, barber shops, and grocery stores open day and night; now everything closes before midnight.
Traffic lights are twenty years behind the times and out of whack; has anyone driven on Oakey Boulevard lately? You catch all the red lights from Jones to Las Vegas Boulevard and it is not by accident but likely because the nincompoop who synchronized them must have had his mind on anything other than doing his job properly.
Bums loitering in the city streets or the parking lots of grocery stores were something we might see in other cities but not in Las Vegas; now we cannot get out of any grocery chain store without saying no to not just one or two, but several beggars asking for money; a lady or two in a van peddling tamales; or some “entrepreneur” offering to fix a dent in someone’s car.
Let’s not even mention the several cars lined up on Decatur Boulevard between Spring Mountain Road and Sahara Avenue, all put there by the “car salesmen” who placed their “for sale” signs in the windows without benefit of business license, insurance or any other consumer protections, making the scene look like something from East Los Angeles or the Bronx in New York.
Does anyone remember a few years back when traffic lights were installed at the entrance of the freeway? The media and everyone else made a big deal about it as if it were a Strip headliner debut, but those lights had already been part of the California traffic system for about twenty years.
Do I sound sour? Not at all; I cannot complain about my life: I don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs — and at my age, sex is just a gift every six months or so.
I stay at a decent place, I drive a good little truck during the week and an old but comfortable Mercedes Benz on the weekends and I am able to wear a different suit every day of the week.
I have no complaints for myself, but I hate to see my city getting destroyed by greedy politicians; lazy government employees that only care about collecting a paycheck, using government time to get a better education at taxpayers’ expense in order to advance in the political world.
I wonder how many of these suit-clad men or women have ever signed a check on the front instead of endorsing it on the back.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.