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From buses to clean water to cheaper housing, Nevadans weigh in on how to spend billions in federal aid – The Nevada Independent09.04.21

At a Clark County Commission special meeting in July, Trinh Dang, the executive director of Southern Nevadas branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, made a simple request could the county invest some of its share of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into expanded mental health services?

We are understaffed, underfunded, but there is a huge need in our community, Dang said. Our system is just broken in general.

During many weeks of meetings, Dang and hundreds of other Nevadans have told government officials about the ongoing aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic the rise in youth suicide, the financial devastation that forced thousands out of their jobs and closed countless businesses and the exacerbation of the affordable housing crisis.

In meetings held from Las Vegas to Reno to Elko, residents and representatives of myriad nonprofits have discussed the significant damages caused by the pandemic and how the one-time windfall of federal aid dollars can best be spent to address long-term community needs, including affordable housing, public health and water and broadband infrastructure.

President Joe Biden signed the landmark, $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law in March, delivering more than $6.7 billion in federal relief to Nevada (the states general fund biennial budget is roughly $8.7 billion). The majority of those federal funds ($1.1 billion in general aid for local governments and $2.7 in state general aid) can be spent with broad flexibility through the end of 2024.

Since July, officials have sought to gather feedback on spending those general aid dollars through surveys and community meetings, in accordance with the U.S. Treasurys stated emphasis on public input, transparency and accountability.

But even with a lengthy timeline for spending, the pressure is on to garner responses now. While the state will collect ideas from the community through October, counties must submit broad spending plans to the U.S. Treasury by Aug. 31. Other local agencies, including school districts, must submit initial plans by early September.

The focus on public input marks a significant departure from the more top-down process for how previous coronavirus relief dollars were used by state leaders to respond to the challenges of the pandemic. That approach drew criticism from lawmakers, including questions about why the City of Las Vegas spent the majority of its relief funds to maintain city employee salaries.

While it may be tempting to try and spend this money quickly, make headlines and get it out there, we have responsibility to make sure that this money is invested deliberately and intentionally, so that we can build a better lifestyle, a better Nevada for not just us but for generations to come, Gov. Steve Sisolak said at an ARP-focused event in Las Vegas on Aug. 3.

In an interview with The Nevada Independent in late July, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones said ARP funds can be used to address long-term needs because immediate needs were addressed using dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a federal relief package signed into law in March 2020 that brought more than $1.2 billion to the state government and sent other help directly to individuals and businesses.

I think that we were able to use those CARES Act dollars wisely to address a lot of those immediate concerns, Jones said. So I do think we're more focused on sort of a longer term vision of how we address public health and infrastructure in our community.

Some long-term priorities have already been decided. At an August meeting of the Legislatures Interim Finance Committee, lawmakers appropriated roughly $700 million of the states ARP general aid much of which was authorized by lawmakers earlier this year. But even with those funds allocated, state officials, legislators and local government officials still have roughly $3 billion in ARP funds to spend over the next several years.

From crowded county commission meetings to small, in-person events in rural communities, heres how Nevada leaders are eliciting feedback on the states most pressing needs.

Community feedback

In Southern Nevada, the Clark County commissioners started the process early. They held a series of community workshops beginning on July 13, with meetings focused on hard-hit communities, affordable housing, small businesses, health and infrastructure. On top of that, commissioners held smaller town hall meetings within their own districts.

Jones, whose district encompasses portions of Enterprise, Paradise, Spring Valley and Winchester west of Interstate-15, as well as rural areas in the southwest part of the county, noted the new focus on gathering feedback before spending.

The ARPA legislation really encouraged the local governments, state governments to get public input on how the dollars should be spent, whereas CARES Act was more prescriptive in terms of how it could be used, Jones said. The county just wanted to be on the front end, soliciting information from the public.

So far, Clark County commissioners have heard a laundry list of spending ideas, primarily from nonprofits.

Fuilala Riley, president of HELP of Southern Nevada, a social services agency that helps people gain housing access, urged the commissioners to spend funds on affordable housing.

Preserve the affordable housing units we currently have at all costs, Riley said at a July meeting. Please create more affordable housing units, increase subsidized housing programs, and then continue and create programs that keep people housed, like rental and utility assistance.

At another workshop less than a week later, similar groups asked for public health funding.

Andrew Sierra, an organizing manager for the Nevada Conservation League, said improvements to air quality would help combat climate change and address health issues prevalent in minority communities.

This poses a significant health [risk] towards low-income and Black and brown communities, especially considering that they are the ones who suffer the brunt of the climate crisis, Sierra said.

Even as those ideas continue to roll in, the level of community engagement has ranged from robust to minimal at Clark Countys meetings.

While scores of people attended the community workshops at the countys government center in Las Vegas, other meetings led by individual commissioners drew much smaller crowds of fewer than 10 people.

In other parts of the state, ideas and input on spending decisions have rolled in even more slowly.

On July 20, the Washoe County commissioners accepted the countys roughly $92 million share of ARP funds local governments must accept their share of funds from the federal government before allocating them.

County-level conversations in Washoe County about the funds did not officially start until a commission meeting in mid-August, nearly a month after Clark County started its process.

Though most of the meetings public comments were from Washoe County residents upset with the pandemic-related mask mandate a common occurrence throughout ARP meetings several attendees said they would like to see ARP funds allocated toward affordable housing and wraparound services meant to help youth and families that might include mental health treatment and case management.

Making sure that we take a look at more affordable housing, that's extremely important here within Washoe County, especially with the growth that we're experiencing, Benjamin Challinor Mendez, who serves as policy director for the social justice nonprofit Faith in Action Nevada, said during the meeting.

State listening tour

While counties gather feedback on pots of federal relief funds ranging from less than $1 million in Eureka County to more than $440 million in Clark County, the state has taken a broader approach to gathering ideas on its more than $2 billion in general aid.

The state kicked off its community efforts in early August with the Nevada Recovers Listening Tour, featuring Sisolak and Treasurer Zach Conine. The tour consists of 75 meetings over the course of 75 days.

During the first few weeks of the tour, Conine has presented information to county and city officials, from the Pershing County Commission to the North Las Vegas City Council, and has met with a variety of community groups, including business owners in Reno, farmers in Fallon and members of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Schurz.

At a state-hosted event at the Yerington Food Pantry on Aug. 13, Conine asked a group of about 15 local residents how they want to see federal relief funds spent.

Gathered in a small circle around Conine, some people said they thought enhanced employment benefits were leading to worker shortages. Others, including 77-year-old Troyanne Cada of Silver Springs, said the county lacked affordable housing and child care options. A few attendees said students need more social support at schools.

We need a lot of housing for these homeless people, Cada said. We need some reasonable rental homes for the people that, you know, they want to rent and can't afford to buy.

After one woman said that every school should have a social worker, 75-year-old Jerry Harris of Yerington shared the story of her grandson who was abused.

I'd like to see somebody professional there because he said, I couldn't talk to my teacher because I didn't want to go to foster care, grandma, Harris said. These little kids are our future. They need help.

John Fullenwider, a minister who lives in Yerington, told The Nevada Independent after the meeting that he hopes to see ARP funds invested in water infrastructure. The residents of the city have been dealing with the effects of groundwater pollution from a nearby copper mine over the past several years.

Im hoping some of the money will be allocated to water to clean up some of our water waste, Fullenwider said. People are drinking poisonous water, and its not good.

In other rural communities, residents are also hoping for some funds to be allocated towards water infrastructure. On the states listening tour, Conine met with farmers at Lattin Farms in Fallon, where attendees discussed how to better use water for food production, The Fallon Post reported.

The City of Fernley in rural Lyon County has already put those ideas into its ARP spending plans. The citys plans shared at a city council meeting on Aug. 4 dedicate $8 million in ARP funds to support capital projects that improve the citys wastewater infrastructure.

Other sources of input

While many county and state meetings have been used to gauge public opinion and gather ideas, some ARP meetings have focused on more particular groups of Nevadans, such as students in Clark County or Latinos residing in Reno.

At a Clark County School District (CCSD) town hall meeting on Aug. 18, student panelists discussed the difficulties they faced while learning online last year and offered advice for the best uses of ARP funding. Chief among them: mental health services.

One student suggested a dedicated mental health week at school, while another said it would be helpful to have more non-academic extracurricular activities that could help students form social connections and provide a mental break from school.

Students from Global Community High School, which serves students who are new to the country, also requested transportation funding, as CCSD currently does not provide transportation to the school, which forces some students to take Regional Transportation Commission buses each day. District officials have said theyre working on transportation solutions for students and have promised buses will be provided when Globals new school opens next year.

At a roundtable event in Reno on Aug. 24, Latinos called on the state to distribute the federal funds to help small local businesses, create more affordable housing, increase access to interpretation services and invest in local infrastructure by adding more crosswalks, streetlights and parks to low-income areas.

In order for the economy to succeed, we need to invest in small business, Jose Velasquez, who owns A Toda Madre tattoo shop, said in Spanish during an interview with Luis Latino from KTVN. Small business is like the train that needs to keep going, because at the end of the day, large corporations have millions of dollars but small businesses are hurt.

State and local governments also have gathered a vast amount of input online.

Through a statewide website that received hundreds of submissions through early August, people have taken a survey to share their thoughts on how the ARP funds should be spent. Clark County also has a survey for spending ideas, which already has garnered more than 3,200 responses.

Different plans for spending

As community meetings continue across the state, counties and other local governments are on their own paths to developing plans for allocating their share of ARP funds.

Carson City and Fernley, the most populous city in rural Lyon County, each have developed plans for spending that involve directing a large chunk of their ARP funds to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, including Fernleys plans for a community response center that will be used for COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution.

In populous, urban Clark County, the countys initial plans assembled by local government consulting firm Management Partners and presented at a county meeting on Aug. 17 blend different approaches by seeking to address both short- and long-term needs.

Meanwhile, the state has mostly relied on a long-term approach in developing its plans. In mid-July, the governors office entered into a contract with Las Vegas-based consulting firm Purdue Marion, valued at roughly $763,000. Details from the contract reveal plans for state leaders to give 70 presentations to elected officials and boards across the state, as well plans for 44 other community events, including events specifically created for Hispanic and other minority communities. The contract calls for the firm to plan and promote those events, including four months of radio and television advertising.

More money has come into the state through the American Rescue Plan, the bills that preceded it and potentially the bills that follow it than has ever flown into the state at one time, Conine told the Washoe County Commission in August. And that gives us a chance to fix some of these long-term systemic issues.

Reconciling the different approaches

As city and county governments develop their own spending plans, state officials are also concerned that the many different pots of ARP funding may lead to a duplication of efforts.

Conine emphasized that the process for figuring out how to spend the federal relief dollars is complex, with more than 100 different streams of funding coming into Nevada from the American Rescue Plan and the possibility for billions more in federal dollars to come to the state from other federal spending bills.

This is about collecting all of the need, resourcing that need so it's not just an idea, but a plan and then being ready for it when future dollars come, Conine said.

Local governments and agencies also are working on different timelines. Counties must submit an interim report that includes broad spending ideas by category to the U.S. Treasury by Aug. 31. School districts must submit expenditure plans by Sept. 10.

The state has more flexibility, with funds spread across different accounts, including a holding account within the governors office and the state general fund.

Synthesizing the ideas

Even with roughly a quarter of the states general aid already allocated, Conine said the states listening tour is playing a vital role in how the state will spend billions of dollars over the coming years.

[We] wanted informed spending priorities, not just because that's the direction from the White House and the language in the Treasury guidance, but because we want to make sure that communities who have been hit hardest have the option to figure out how to spend this money, Conine said at the Washoe County meeting.

Meanwhile, Clark Countys consultants have already presented the county with the culmination of weeks of feedback.

Synthesizing all of the information from county workshops, commissioner town halls, thousands of survey responses and hundreds of preliminary applications for expenditures Management Partners developed a plan consisting of roughly four pages of recommendations and prioritizes affordable housing, public health, support for local businesses and services for children.

The firms guidance includes recommended allocations for a wide range of categories, including $90 million for public health and $2 million for infrastructure. But the plan remains a broad overview those recommendations do not yet break down further into specific expenditures for government projects and services.

Purdue Marions contract calls for a similar plan that can be narrowed to a list of specific spending ideas, and Conine has said multiple times that all ideas the state receives will eventually be released publicly.

At the end of that process, through the help of the Legislature, we end up with one plan for housing statewide obviously, there'll be different components that are geographic one plan for economic development, one plan for increasing mental and behavioral health services, one plan for et cetera, Conine said at the Washoe County meeting.

As Nevadans continue to reiterate similar priorities for spending affordable housing, public health, the economic recovery and water infrastructure Conine and other state leaders are maintaining an open invitation for feedback.

Our suggestion to everyone, to Nevadans watching, is tell us what you need, tell us how you would fix it, Conine said.

Tim Lenard, Jackie Valley and Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez contributed to this story.

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From buses to clean water to cheaper housing, Nevadans weigh in on how to spend billions in federal aid - The Nevada Independent

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Can You Guess The Most Common Tattoo People Get In Nevada? – iHeartRadio06.29.21

Some people express themselves through music or dancing, while others wear their hearts on their sleeves and express themselves through tattoos.

Due to employers becoming more accepting of tattoos, the career website Zippia looked at data to find out which tattoo is the most popular in each state.

According to Zippia:

Zippia used Google Trends to find which tattoo was the most desired by each state by looking at an entire year's worth of data.

What is Nevada's most sought out tattoo?

According to the study, it's a Gemini tattoo.

You may be shocked that a Gemini tattoo is one of Nevada's most popular tattoos. But, other states have some more interesting choices like tattoos pertaining to COVID, Shia Lebouf, and presidential candidates. And if those aren't weird enough, the most popular tattoo in Washington is a fly.

To see Zippia's full list, click here.

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Can You Guess The Most Common Tattoo People Get In Nevada? - iHeartRadio

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411’s WWE Broken Skull Sessions Report: The Godfather on Nearly Signing with WCW, Papa Shango in The Attitude Era, More – 411mania.com05.31.21

411s WWE Broken Skull Sessions Report: The Godfather

-Air Date: 05.30.21-Run Time: 1:28:55

-Austin welcomes us to the show as today his guest is Charles Wright, better known as The Godfather.

-They shake hands to start and Godfather says he has been enjoying life and having fun. He says he is still being The Godfather, though he doesnt have the strip club anymore. He does have his own CBD line coming out soon. He says cannabis has been a really good thing for him. He will be 60 later this year and it has gotten him off prescription drugs and he doesnt drink as much. It makes him more creative and just a better person. He usually goes to bed around 8-8:30 PM and gets up at 3 AM where he checks his social media. He gets a work out in and then spends the rest of the day with his wife and dogs. He loves getting up early in the morning now which shocks Austin.

-Austin knows Godfather says he doesnt drink as much but he has to do this and breaks out The Jack Daniels. Godfather says he never said he doesnt drink anymore. He just cant drink an entire bottle. They take a shot and talk about gargling Jack Daniels which apparently came from Curt Hennig. It was a honor to do a shot with Curt and you just did what he wanted you to do. They both mention they miss Curt and wish he was still here.

-Austin mentions Godfather was Northern California Basketball Player of The Year. GF says in 1979 he was Player of the Year in High School Basketball. He wanted to play football, but his parents wouldnt sign the release. He was 175lbs and could jump out of the gym as he was on the track team as a high jumper. He took to basketball and played it like he was playing football. He admits his grades werent the best so he had to go to Junior College. He hung out with football players and hit the weights and go up to 240 lbs. He lost interest in basketball and started power lifting. He was given a full scholarship to play college football in Nevada just based off his size and athleticism. He was made an offensive tackle and did well with pass blocking due to his power. He couldnt run block though. He blew his knee out and that led to him working in topless clubs as a bouncer. They have a picture of GF from back in his biker days and he is just massive. He says no drugs as it was all beer and whiskey. The picture was when he was 26 years old and about 2 years from being Papa Shango. He studied Business Administration and admits he never got his degree. He seems to regret that and says he was kicked out of school for fighting.

-Austin mentions he spoke to Taker for stories about Charles. He was told by Taker that Charles could handle his own. GF brings up how he hates anyone using the N word and wont let anyone call him that whether a friend, rapper, or whatever. He used to tell anyone if they called him that he would knock them out. That led to a lot of bar room fights.

-They talk about biker lifestyle and GF brings up wanting tattoos and he got way into it. He got heavily tattooed in 1985. Austin brings up that they filmed Over The Top at near GFs club. He was making good money and says he still has friends from that time. He says most of the guys from the picture became Hells Angels and are either dead or in jail. He survived it because he got into pro-wrestling.

-Back to Over The Top discussion (loved that movie as a kid and still awesome. Goosebumps anytime I hear Meet me half way) as GF says they were filming the movie at the MGM and he worked as a bouncer at a club called Crazy Horse. Scott Norton was a shoot arm wrestler and he saw GF bouncing in the club and told him he should be a wrestler. GF admits he didnt watch wrestling, but he was a roller derby fan. He said he didnt want to do that crap and someone mentioned Bam Bam Bigelow made a million dollars last year and that got his attention. Bigelow went to Monster Factory and GF made a call and he flew out to Jersey. He trained for a short time and Jerry Lawler saw him and immediately wanted him in Memphis. He says his first match of any kind was in Memphis against Lawler and Lawler put him over clean in the middle of the ring. The only thing he knew was to listen to Jerry and Lawler took care of him in the match. He was the Unified World Champion in Memphis after his first match and says he was in the moment as it was just another episode in his wild and crazy life.

-Now he did fall out of the money as working in USWA didnt pay all that much. He was making $50-100 per show and Austin says better than him as he was getting $15-25. They flash a picture of GF early in his career as he is sporting a red mohawk which was the idea of Dutch Mantell. GF says Dutch fired him and Lawler came back and told him they were keeping him. Jerry Jarrett also wouldnt let Dutch fire him.

-Austin wants to know where The Soultaker name came from and GF says he has a tattoo on his arm of a guy that takes womens souls. Austin heard it was from the tattoo on his chest and GF says that tattoo is a patch from the biker group he was in and Vince told him he couldnt have that tattoo on TV so it was covered. The group was called The Thugs and it was all about drinking. Others came in and started dealing with explosives and drugs. He and the original guys said they were leaving The Club and dared anyone to stop them as they were the toughest dudes in the club.

-Austin wants to talk about surviving Memphis when you arent making a lot of money. GF says that when he and Taker talk about wrestling (which isnt often) it is about those days in Memphis. The road stories with Taker, and Dirty White Boy in a Ford Taurus and GF being the guy to know for topless dancers. Fantastic!

-Austin brings up a tag match in Evansville, IN with him and Dutch on one side and Taker and GF on the other side. Austin was only a few weeks into the business and Dutch told him to pick up and slam SoulTaker. After the match GF had a meeting with Austin about letting him know if he was going to slam him before just snatching him up. GF continues with another story about Austin and him working a singles program. It seems Austin didnt want to do the job and he told GF it was nothing against him, but he didnt come here to lose on his first night in the company.

-They talk about working with Dundee who GF calls The Giant Killer. Austin says no matter the size Dundee was also going to get his shit in. GF didnt go to Memphis thinking he was a bad ass. Austin says before he got there, GF and Taker had a match in Memphis. He let Taker tell the story when he was on the show and now he wants GFs side. Taker puts it that they didnt get a chance to talk and GF started beating the crap out of him. GF says remember he was a biker and he understands it is a work. He calls it the worst match in the history of wrestling and takes most of the blame. Taker wore him out with a chair and said we can do it the hard way or easy way and GF opted for easy way. They became best friends after that match. GF mentions he is big into classic country music and told Taker he was too big and white not to have tattoos and too big not to ride a Harley. There you have it!

-Before getting to WWE there is a story about driving back from Memphis after a show was cancelled due to a snow storm. It was GF, Taker, Dirty White Boy and Girl in the car. For some reason GF wanted to drive and he had never driven in the snow. Taker has said GF has only gotten 10 feet and he says he got them 10 yards at least until they got into a spin and slide. He jokes he and Taker have beaten on each other more as friends than anyone. Austin brings up how the two of them would chop the crap out of each other. GF says they woke up one day and mentioned they should stop it as their chests were beat red.

-GF brings up working in Japan and how he learned to work a little more and learned to listen to the crowd. From there he went to Germany and on tour with him was Owen Hart, Fit Finlay, Dave Taylor, Scott Hall, Rambo and he learned so much in that 8 months. When he came back Taker had moved from WCW to WWE and they told GF they were giving him a tryout. Vince hired him and told him he had the body of a monster, but a baby face. He told GF to rent the movie Live and Let Die and GF already knew the movie. Thats were Papa Shango came from as they wanted a voodoo character.

-They take another shot before getting to Papa Shango. They cheer to Undertaker and GF laughs that they put away a lot of Jack in the day. GF says he had nothing to do with the character and he was just happy to be in the WWE. He did a lot of research and spent time in New Orleans and what he was saying was legit. He needed the background to be as authentic as he could. He is a country boy at heart and the character was a stretch. He says the problem with Papa Shango was he had a match with Kamala. Austin and GF both say they love Kamala. GF says the problem was Kamala was so much better at his gimmick than he was and it showed as Kamala was terried of him and that led to him not being able to really wrestle him. Austin thinks the gimmick would have worked better a few years later.

-They show footage from Superstars in May 1992 as Papa Shango puts a curse on The Ultimate Warrior. GF says he was all in with the character and once he put on the paint he stopped talking to people. Warrior spits up pea green soup in the back as Austin and GF laugh about it. GF says the black ooze was from a hose that ran up their jacket. They would have a ball to squeeze the ooze out. He did work hard and admits he was going through a divorce at the time. He has been married 3 times and this current one is going on 23 years. He was a mean person then and only cared about getting drunk and getting into fights. Taker told him they were going to let him go as he was on guard babysitting him. He takes the blame for a lot of those problems. Austin understands as he has also been on the road and going through those types of trials.

-GF goes back to never being a wrestling fan, so when he would get released he told Vince he could go back to Vegas and make $3000 a night. Wrestling has always been his second job as the clubs were his first job. When he wasnt making enough money he would go home to make more. They called him a few time and he didnt want to do it until UFC hit. They had Kimo in UFC and pitched that character to GF. Kama stood for Kick Any Mans Ass and he was sold when they told him they would let him ride a Harley.

-We see a KAMA vignette as he hits harder than Tyson and is faster than Van Damme. All he cared about was that he got to ride a Harley. He doesnt know what happened with the character, but it didnt click.

-Austin talks about the allure of the business and while he had money at home, he always came back. GF says that wrestling was a way to have fun and be around people just like him. They jump to Casket Match with Taker at SummerSlam in Pittsburgh (I was not there for it sadly as I was only 14 and my parents werent going to the show with me). They show highlights of the match and this part of Austins show is always great as he has a blast watching matches. GF laughs and marks out over the fact he came off the top rope with a move. He is stunned he even did something like that. He tells us that he hated going inside the casket and the boys would put dead fish and ICY Hot in the casket. Nice! Taker wins the match as GF says that he loved working with Taker.

-He says it was difficult working that style, but had some good matches with Shamrock. He wasnt having fun anymore and felt it was time to go home after the Million Dollar Corporation run. Austin mentions WCW sent an offer, but ended up hiring Virgil for the spot which GF says ended up being the best thing that happened to him. Oh man, Kama in the nWo as their head of security? Sign me up for that! GF mentions he always had contact with WWE as there was never bad blood anytime he left. He accepted the offer from WCW and Ron Simmons told him not to take it. He asked why and Ron told him he wasnt ready for the boys in the south because they would be calling him the N word. GF shot back then I will be fighting everyone there. That was the issue and Ron told him it wasnt a good place for him. Jim Herd called him back and Virgil did it for a 1/3 of what they offered GF. Austin says Ron is a god in the south and GF says anytime he needed advice in wrestling he went to Ron.

-Next up they discuss WWE bringing Papa Shango back in the Attitude Era. They show a photo of the new look and its pretty sweet. He mentions Lawler painted the face and it was going to be less comical and more serious. He showed up to TV and took pictures with the new look and was told Vince wanted to talk to him. Charles there is a change of plans. We are putting you in the Nation and you are going over Taker tonight. He went to Ron who said he didnt know anything that was happening. They laid everything out for them the next week. He wasnt mad because to him it was a job and he would do what they paid him to do. Austin says that is valuable information and young guys need to learn that.

-We see the initial Nation with Rock, Ron, GF, and D-Lo and then with Mark Henry added. They pulled GF and Ron in and told them they were putting Rock in the Nation. Vince told them when he got people to hate the kid and he turned, he would be the biggest star in the business. The Rock apparently didnt want to wear any of the Nation gear so the best they could get was get his tights trimmed with Nation gear.

-Austin says Ron Simmons is the only guy that could pull off the blue leather helmet and GF calls him a bad mofo. Austin says The Nation was a holding pattern that set every member off on great runs. Its true if you think about it as Ron, GF, Henry are all in the HOF and we know is going there eventually and D-Lo had a heck of a career. GF mentions that know your role and those catchphrases came from Ron and Austin says that he heard that as well. The group started for Ron to be the leader and then The Rock took over. GF says that Ron had no problem with Rock using any of his stuff. He helped The Rock and all of them. Ron was into lounges, D-Lo was into video games, and GF was into strip clubs. Austin says he wasnt a strip club guy, but he would go at times. He would never shell stuff out at first as he didnt have the money and one day a girl was dancing in front of him. He fumbled for a 10 and Taker but his hand on him as the lap dance was on him. GF says it was a great time and they often paid for dances for other people more than they would pay for their own.

-Bone Street Krew! Bones is another name for dominoes as that is what they always played. Yoko was a rapper and always was ready to play. GF says he never had a problem with The Kliq and was friends with them as well. Austin asks for a Yokozuna story and GF tells a story of a road trip with him driving, Yoko in the passenger and Taker in the backseat. Austin says rare for Taker to be in the back seat and GF says because he had respect for Yoko who was pushing 500 lbs at that point. They are listening to Hank Williams and GF is chewing his tobacco. The music is not resonating with Yoko who is all about hardcore West Coast rap. Yoko ejects the cassette tape and tosses it out the window. Yoko looked at GF and said, hey man, did anyone ever tell you that you are black? Awesome! GF puts over how great of a person Yoko is and they do a shot to Yoko. Nice!

-They put up a recent photo of what is left of BSK at a bar the night before Taker retired. GF mentions they were all COVID tested and drank the bar dry that night. GF laughs at how big his arm looks in the picture and Austin tells him they are here to put him over and right now its the largest arm in the world.

-Back to The Nation as Austin wants to talk about the character of The Godfather. Austin brings up that the character couldnt be done today. GF says he was in The Nation but his contract was getting near the end and he needed to think of something. He mentions he and D-Lo were there to jump in for The Rock and eat everyones finisher. His wife brought up the idea of becoming a pimp baby face and GF wanted to be a mean pimp. She convinced him a babyface pimp was a better idea as it would let him show his natural side. She designed all the vests and the jewelry as GF continues that none of it was the WWEs idea. Vince came to him when it got over and told him the character had legs. They show the Rock calling Kama, The Godfather for the first time as he planted that seed in Rocks head. He would run the gimmick on house shows with JBL during the popcorn match after intermission. He didnt have the girls and just said they were in the back if JBL would take them instead of the match and the crowd would chant, take the girls. They used to do 10-12 minute hard hitting matches with no reaction and then did all this pimp stuff and get monster reactions. It was Vinces idea to get girls involved.

-They play video of Godfather on RAW going through his spiel and the crowd is insane. Austin and GF laugh about it and take a shot. It speaks to how fun The Attitude Era was as they could go as far as they want and know they would be reeled in a bit if needed. GF says nothing was scripted and he had as much time as he needed. He told Vince they see enough wrestling and he just wants to entertain them. Austin: a pimp is not a great human being, but in this world it was a hero. GF went to Vince and told him there was a large audience out there that was into smoking marijuana and Vince let him touch on that. He thanks Vince for going with it and says he was having the time of his life. Much like Austin, he was being himself and it is much easier to get over being yourself.

-They discuss the music and GF was played what he calls a bit of porno music mixed with Voodoo Child and he loved it. They go back to the girls and Vince came to him with, Charles do you think you can get some girls? HA! GF just looked at him with really? Not shocking the girls instantly got the gimmick over. He felt like he made it and he is just so happy here seeing how happy he looked during this time. He calls it his favorite character even if it really wasnt a character.

-Austin goes over how GF would offer the women vs having a match and he did it once on Heat in a match with Taker. They show the tape and its fantastic as he nearly broke Taker. I have known you for a long time and you like hoes. Paul Bearer is losing it and Taker is just stone faced. You can have your pick of any one of these hoes. Yeah, this character isnt happening in 2021. Still awesome though as he sums it up perfectly saying it was entertaining and fun.

-Back to Taker and their friendship. They flash a picture of Taker getting his first arm tattoo and GF and Bearer standing behind him. GF was on him about getting work done and they went to Vegas to get that first one done. Apparently Vince was rather pissed about the tattoo.

-GF talks about being tag champs with Bull and how much fun they had wrestling Ron and JBL. They would beat the crap out of each other and then party all night. He also loved working with Owen Hart because of how great he was. Ron and JBL were drinkers and the relationship worked because he would smoke. He loves both of them and also loves Teddy Long who rode with them as well.

-Austin brings up PTC coming down on The Godfather gimmick and they started toning things down. That leads to The RTC and Godfather becomes The Goodfather. Austin asks about the change and GF mentions it was the only time in wrestling he did not like what he was doing. He mentions Vince fought hard for him, but they were coming after the character hard. He wanted to poke fun at The PTC and would go back to The Godfather later. It was no longer fun and he hinted he was going to go home which got back to Vince, so he gave them the tag belts to keep him around longer. Austin mentions he was fighting for The Godfather and for Goldust as that was the other gimmick they were coming down on hard.

-They tried to bring him back as an escort which was Godfather Lite and it just didnt work so they released him. GF was cool with that as it wasnt what he wanted it to be. Austin loves GFs attitude about the business and how he isnt bitter or angry.

-Austin asks about any regrets or things he missed out on. GF says that during his Hall of Fame speech he had been hanging out all day with Snoop. His speech was going to be off the cuff and he had a part where he wanted to put his wife over for creating the character. There was also a part where his grandson was there and it was his birthday. That part went so well that he blanked and forget to put his wife over. The second he walked off stage ah hell, I forgot to mention my wife. That screw up is one he cant fix and he apologizes to her again for it and will continue to do so. Thats a wonderful story!

-GF says they have a BSK Facebook chat and he keeps in contact with a lot of guys through social media and when they come through Vegas.

-They take another shot and Austin wants to know what GF is most proud of and whats next. GF says he is so much behind cannabis, hemp. He has a line coming out with B Real and a CBD line. He does seminars about the health benefits of cannabis. He knows it is isnt for everyone, but it works for him. GF plugs his IG (TheGodfather) which he uses the most.

-He gets the call from Mark Carano about The Hall of Fame. He had been going to Mania every year for 10 years so told Mark he would be there. Mark asks who he is bringing and he asks why. He told him to bring the whole family because Vince was putting him in The Hall of Fame. The show the Hall of Fame picture of GF getting his ring with HHH and Vince presenting it to him.

-Austin congratulates him on being in The Hall of Fame as they prepare for one last shot. GF sums up his career as a great experience with great people. He has nothing but respect for the business and it is good stories with good friends. With that they take the last shot and gargle it and we are out!

-This was great as Godfather is a wonderful story teller and one of the chilliest people you will ever meet. It was so refreshing to just have someone happy and with no ill will towards anyone. He wasnt trying to bury anyone and he wasnt trying to get himself over. As he mentioned he is not a mark for the business or himself. He loved what he did and when it wasnt fun he would go back home to his other job. That had to have made it so much easier for him not to burn out and then he hit gold with The Godfather. This was great and well worth the watch. I kind of wish it ran longer, but they covered everything you would expect. Some more road stories would have been fun. Thanks for reading!

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Why an Alaskan’s love affair with Reno, perfumed streets and all, makes perfect sense – Anchorage Daily News05.06.21

It typically happens in February. The sun has been so distant that its way too little and way too late by the time it finally starts to fill the days. I find myself over Alaska in a profound way, and sorely missing one place in particular: the desert.

Im originally from Massachusetts. Shouldnt I be missing the gentle rolling forests, lakes and creeks? Shouldnt the Citgo sign be flashing in my minds eye like a sirens song, calling me home? Fenway?

My best friend from back east has been nagging at me for years to get a chickadee tattoo in honor of the Massachusetts state bird. She feels it would only be fair to balance out the Big Dipper that stars my foot and ankle and the outline of Nevada inked on my leg. (Shes lobbying for the bird on my bum.)

But Massachusetts has never felt like home to me the way Nevada and Alaska do. I find myself emotionally split between these two places.

How it happened: When I was still young at everything, from my career to myself to love, I flew from Alaska to a work conference near Lake Tahoe. There I met my now-husband a nice guy from Reno, I eventually deduced, in talking to him about his favorite wild places across the state whose name I should not pronounce as Ne-vahhh-duh, as my East Coast upbringing taught me.

Eventually he took me to some of those incredible landscapes in the high desert, and those experiences are what convinced me I could live there. As it turns out, the state is not as I once assumed all casinos, aliens and nuclear waste. In fact, some people call Nevada the poor mans Alaska.

I chafe at that, but its good shorthand for describing what makes the state so spectacular.

Yes, I used the word spectacular. About Nevada. I realize its reputation precedes it and its not exactly known for its splendor (which is unfair I will get to that in a minute).

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, pedestrians pass beneath the famous Reno arch as traffic passes on Virginia Street in downtown Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

My stepdaughter realized this the hard way around age 9. She went to see The Muppets, which has a scene where the Muppets go to Reno. My usually reserved, even shy, stepdaughter let out a delighted cheer seeing her hometown represented on the big screen, and then sank deep into her seat when she watched the characters realize they didnt like it there and needed to leave.

Reno is easy to make the butt of a joke. Much of its downtown is a weak impression of the Las Vegas Strip; a rink-a-dink version of a casino town dumping perfume on the sidewalks (seriously).

Why would you ever go visit such a godforsaken place? Never mind live there, like I did for a few short and now sorely missed years?

Oh, where to begin. Ill start with the perfumed sidewalks.

I know they smelled the way they did because I rode my bike through downtown multiple times a week on my way to work. Riding past the casinos in downtown Reno as part of an early workday routine made me feel like I was seeing something I shouldnt.

The 80s music combined with the perfume pumped on the sidewalk were left over from the night before then they had been part of the ambience, but someone forgot to tell them it was now hangover oclock. Tourists were still asleep within the hulking buildings, so the long sidewalks with bright desert sunlight were empty. All mine.

I cruised through in near-silence, laughing at Cyndi Lauper singing to just me.

Within minutes, I was riding along the bright blue Truckee River that threads downtown, fed by Lake Tahoe, which is a stones throw and uphill drive away. The trees lining the bike path shaded me. I passed a local coffee shop bustling with people, and then came the final stage, and my favorite of the ride a slow, steady incline with a wide shoulder that pulled me closer and closer to a view of the nearby mountains. High desert sage and plant life filled my nose with amazing smells that changed day to day.

This was only my commute. How I got to and from work.

In the evening, I could choose another spot to go run or hike. Maybe in the nearby Mount Rose Wilderness, accessible right from town. If Id been into mountain biking then, I could have hit the popular Peavine trail system.

On weekends, there were almost too many options. Nevada is 85% public lands.

The snow-covered foothills of the Sierra's eastern front are seen beyond the Reno skyline on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Nev. A weekend storm brought more than a foot of snow to the Lake Tahoe area ski resorts and melting runoff pushed the Truckee River in Reno to its highest level since December 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Sometimes we would go car camping by primitive hot springs with an expansive mountain view. Or wed backpack.

In the winter we skied or snowshoed in the mountains and then came back down to dry land in Reno, where any snow almost always melted away by midday.

I loved my sunny and sage-filled existence in the high desert. It contrasts perfectly to my experience of Alaska. Both places are complementary to one another, which means I cant ever fully have the best of both worlds in one place.

After this long winter in Alaska, I crave everything about the desert. If you, like me, thought Nevada, or Reno in particular, was the butt of a joke, think again. Alaskans might find a lot to love in my other favorite corner of the world.

Alli Harvey lives in Palmer and plays in Southcentral Alaska.

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Yelp Names Black-Owned Beauty Businesses To Watch in 2021 – HYPEBAE02.02.21

Expanding on its efforts to support Black-owned businesses, Yelp has compiled a list of Black-owned stores, restaurants and other establishments to watch in 2021. Included in its roundup is a list of Black-owned beauty businesses, spotlighting salons and spas that work with natural hair and darker skin-tones, which are often overlooked by stylists and estheticians.

Encompassing nails, hair, skin and tattoos, Yelps index spans cities across the United States. In New York City, Harlems Natural Hair Salon focuses on textured and natural hair styles while Monocle Tattoo in Los Angeles only uses vegan inks, soaps and aftercare products. Naked Bar Soap in Orlando, Florida, crafts handmade soaps and bath products and Vibe Nail Bar in Las Vegas, Nevada serves up coffee alongside manicures, facials and eyebrow shaping.

Take a look at Yelps list of Black-owned beauty businesses below, and head to the Yelp website for its full list of Black-owned businesses to watch in 2021.

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Nevada’s illegal sex industry is the nation’s largest and a hub for sex trafficking – The Sierra Nevada Ally01.26.21

A patchwork of municipalities in seven of Nevadas 17 counties are the only places in the nation where selling sex for money is legal. Nevada has a total of 19 brothels as of this writing. But the states legal brothels are tiny by contrast to a much larger illegal sex industry, by one estimate, the nations largest.

Brothels are not legal in Washoe and Clark counties, home to the states largest population centers, Reno/Sparks and Las Vegas respectively.

When she was 17, Bekah Charleston ran away from home in Texas. A trafficker sold her into servitude in a Nevada brothel.

Charleston said she was held in virtual captivity in a legal Nevada brothel, regularly raped, and forced, through violence and other abuse, to perform sex acts for money.

Theres this idea that somehow by legalizing it and kind of quarantining it within these brothels, that it makes it safe and healthy, Charleston said during a webinar in November 2020 sponsored by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). Well, I was actually trafficked through the legal system. My trafficker would use the brothels as a form of punishment.

If you werent making enough money, if you were getting arrested too often, he would send you to the brothels. Because then he had other pimps watching over you, and he knew that youd be forced to get off your butt and make money because the brothels arent going to let you sit around and say no all the time.

Angela Delgado-Williams was trafficked from Texas to work for a Las Vegas escort bureau. Delgado-Williams said sex consumers usually dont know the difference between a legal and illegal business.

The irony is, theres so many similarities from the legal prostitution and the illegal pimp-and-ho subculture, or what theyve normalized in the City of Las Vegas, Delgado-Williams said during an online webinar in November 2020. Theres so many similarities to the legal, licensed, owned and operated escort services to the legal brothels.

So theyre making loopholes and allowing escort services to pay taxes and get licenses and buy a business license to sell women. And its understood, when the women go to get hired into these escort services that theyre going to go to a hotel room and service a sex buyer.

An interactive map of Nevadas active brothels:

Legal Brothels

Much of the justification for the legal sex industry in Nevada is that state and local laws protect sex workers. Brothel employees must register with local police and submit to weekly tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and once a month for HIV and syphilis. Condoms are mandatory for all sexual contact. Legal sex workers have emergency buttons that summon security if needed. Access to legal brothels is highly restricted.

Jennifer Barnes is a madam at the Mustang Ranch in Storey County and has worked in Nevadas legal sex industry for 27 years. Barnes says that because brothels are closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the state is forcing sex workers out of the legal setting and into an unregulated, illegal industry. Few dispute that the illegal sex trade is inherently dangerous.

For Barnes, the closure of legal brothels affords a glimpse of what a brothel ban would look like. She told the stories of women who worked at the Mustang Ranch but left Nevada to work as escorts in other states when the brothel closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

They make a ton of money. Theyre not going to go work at Walmart. Out on a date, she knew something wasnt right. She was able to call 911, Barnes said of a former Mustang Ranch worker now in Los Angeles. But this guy bit her face off. He bit her nose off all the way to the right of her face, bit her cheek on the right side and ripped it all the way to the left.

And then in Arizona, I have two other ladies that thought, Oh, well do the buddy system and well be safe.

Hell, no. They were raped. They were robbed. They were pistol whipped, tied with the cords. I mean were really doing a disservice to our ladies that choose to do this industry legally.

Barnes is angry that massage parlors and other high-contact businesses like tattoo parlors and hair salons are allowed to operate, and brothels remain closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Barnes said she has never encountered a trafficked person working in the legal setting. She said that every worker must submit to an FBI background check and scoffed at the notion of a trafficked person being hidden in a legal brothel.

Why dont they go to the massage parlors where they know women are being trafficked? I mean, that pisses me off, Barnes said with some exasperation. It makes me so angry, because the government is fixated on our legal industry, rather than going out and helping the women that are being trafficked, that are being abused, that are working in underground massage parlors.

What About the Police?

In an effort to stymie the sex trade doing business as massage parlors, on Feb. 26, 2020, the Reno City Council passed an ordinance that changed the business licensing requirements for massage parlors within city limits.

The terms massage parlor and massage therapist are not the same. Massage therapists are trained and licensed therapists who provide a service with no sexual component.

A massage parlor will likely not have a certified massage therapist. They may offer table showers and other potentially sexual services that lead to a happy-ending massage.

Renos new licensing requirements include a federal background check for massage parlor owners. Around-the-clock operations are prohibited. No tinted exterior windows are allowed, and no ATM machines can be on site.

The cities of Reno and Las Vegas grant licenses to escort and outcall services. Both cities have licensing stipulations that prohibit sexual commerce as part of companionship or massage services. Business owners must pass a background check.

Right now, companionship customers in Las Vegas or Reno can choose among body types, hair colors, bust sizes, and ethnicity. Many of the images are explicitly sexual in implication. Using sexually suggestive advertising to market escort services is prohibited in Las Vegas.

In a brief email response, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said they are not ignoring the problem and are working to enforce the law and thwart traffickers.

Prostitution is illegal in Clark County and the LVMPD VICE section investigates all prostitution and pandering related crimes, wrote an unidentified Metro spokesperson. These investigations include sex trafficking/ human trafficking. Vice detectives work 7 days a week in both investigative and enforcement capacities. LVMPD Vice operations occur within the tourist corridors and other problem areas throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Vice Detectives conduct various proactive operations to combat prostitution and the crime associated with it.

The Human Exploitation and Trafficking Team

In January 2020, the Reno Police Chief, Sparks Police Chief and the Washoe County Sheriff formed the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Team.

Sergeant Scott Smith supervises the team of four detectives, and according to Smith, they take a victim-centered approach. Their top priority is to find victims and, with the assistance of community service providers, help the them get out from under what amounts to modern-day slavery.

These guys that are trafficking these girls, theyre controlling every aspect of their life, Smith said by phone. Theyre very manipulative. Theyre controlling when they eat, when they sleep. And they have their quotas where they are sending these girls out to do these dates with these Johns. If they dont provide that quota, then theyre beating them and mistreating them and everything else. And we have to prove that.

To truly combat the problem, traffickers must not only be arrested but successfully prosecuted. Detectives gather evidence and then work with the Washoe County District Attorneys Office throughout the prosecution and on into sentencing.

The unit launched in January 2020. The pandemic slowed early activity, but since fully organizing, the team has arrested 66 individuals for sex trafficking, and with those arrests came over 200 felony charges.

During the same timeframe, the unit provided services for 55 victims. That includes temporary housing, food, clothing, vocational training, and job placement.

At the intersection of US 395 and I 80, Reno is a city on the sex-trafficking circuit of Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, Smith explained. With four detectives in the year-old group, the problem is ongoing.

Were a small unit trying to solve a big problem, Smith said.

All but unseen to the public, human trafficking is a reality in Nevada. Smith said community education and involvement is essential.

Weve gone out and talked to the principals and vice principals at the high schools. Were trying to get word out to our educators. Were teaching our law enforcement agencies. Were going out to the hospitals and talking with the nurses because they will run across victims themselves coming into the ER, Smith said.


Sergeant Smith said many trafficked people are runaways, though they come from both stable and unstable families. He emphasized that traffickers are highly manipulative and controlling.

Theyll give the juvenile that attention that theyre not getting somewhere else. And thats how they kind of lure them in. Ill buy you nice things. Ill take care of you, and then it kind of lures them in.

And once they have them on the hook, it turns into, Well, if you do this date for me, we just need some money, and it keeps kind of spiraling from there.

Lisa Thompson is director of the Research Institute of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Thompson said that the illegal sex trade focuses on those who are vulnerable immigrants, people in poverty, young people in the foster care system, and people with disabilities.

The people who are operating, maintaining, profiting off the sex industry are all too ready to take advantage of that vulnerability, she said.

The Foster Care System

Based on interviews with those who have been rescued from sexual slavery by advocates and law enforcement, the foster care system is a major pipeline that supplies vulnerable young people to the sex trade.

We think its incredibly important that we focus efforts on foster care reform, Thompson said. That would be a really important change.

They get exploited in the sex trade. Theyre victims. They age out of foster care. And they continue in the sex trade, and then you know, its like, Oh, youre just a sex worker. Thats the attitude that society has Its been a well known pipeline of foster care being a major supplier, a major conduit of those who make up folks in the sex trades.

Sugar Dating

Seeking Arrangement is a site that entices college-aged women to date for money. Thompson says so-called sugar dating is an ugly symptom of misplaced societal priorities.

More and more young people are, especially like young women in their early or their late teens, early 20s are getting caught up in the sex trade, particularly through these websites like Seeking Arrangement, which make it seem like this is a great way to make some money and pay for college.

But to me, this is a real indictment on our country, if were telling young girls, Were not going to invest in you. We dont believe in you. The way for you to just get through college is to prostitute yourself.

Is that really the best America can offer its young women is prostitute your way through college? This is the message thats become so normalized. And I think people would be really staggered if they talk to the young people in their lives who are in college and just ask them, How many friends do you have who are engaging in online prostitution, and I think they would be blown away by the answers that they get.

The Lawsuit

Do Nevadas legal brothels help create the context for the nations largest illegal sex industry?

Bekah Charleston and Angela Delgado-Williams were plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought against the State of Nevada, the Governor, and the Nevada Legislature. The Governor is named in his official capacity only.

The complaint, filed in March 2019 in the US District Court of Nevada, requested that the state declare the laws that legalize brothels be deemed null and void, along with the county codes that enable legal prostitution in Elko, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey, and White Pine counties.

The complaint claimed that the plaintiffs were directly impacted and harmed by virtue of the existence of the legal sex industry. Having a legal system creates a context for a much larger and totally unregulated sex industry that is rife with trafficked people.

Wherever prostitution has been legalized, the illegal prostitution industry has exploded, said Benjamin Bull, chief legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. There are a variety of reasons why, and sociologists can explain why, but in Nevada, for example, prostitution is legal in a few relatively small counties.

As a result of that, prostitution is illegal everywhere else, but its de facto permitted everywhere. Again, with a wink and a nod, and they basically license escort services. And they require escorts to get some sort of physical examination or health examination once a year. But everybody knows that the crime of prostitution is not enforced. In Las Vegas, I mean, good grief. The motto of the city is What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

The district court dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed. On Dec. 10, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Charleston v. Nevada, affirming the district courts decision. Benjamin Bull said he doesnt see the ruling as a loss.

They could have said Dismissed with prejudice. Dont come back, Bull said. All they did was say, You sued the Legislature and you sued the State, and they have immunity. So you dont have standing to sue them.

Bull said he views the decision as the beginning of the beginning and contends that the context for Nevadas legal brothel system has changed.

This is not the 50s or 60s or 70s or 80s, Bull said. This is the era of the #MeToo movement. The era of Jeffrey Epstein. Its the era of Harvey Weinstein.

Melissa Holland serves as the founder and director of Awaken, based in Reno. Since 2010, according to Holland, Awaken has helped roughly 600 women get out of sexual slavery. Holland says having a legal sex trade sets a context that creates a massive illegal sex trade.

You have been born and raised in a state that has legitimized the commodification of, saying these women are allowed to be for sale for the use of sex. We get to look at women as that potential. As a result, our whole state has become a sex-tourism state.

Jennifer Barnes disagrees and says legal brothels are not responsible for the illegal sex trade in Nevada.

The legal and illegal industries dont go hand in hand, Barnes said. Its either youre going to protect the ladies and the clients that choose to do this industry in a safe, legal, regulated environment or not. And now, the ones that are choosing to do the legal side are being pushed to be on the illegal side [by being closed to prevent the transfer of the coronavirus]. So theyre making our legal ladies criminals.

Nevada lawmakers rejected an effort to ban brothels in the state during the 2019 Legislative Session. Senate Bill 413 died without a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 2019 Legislature approved a concurrent resolution that directs the Legislative Commission to create an interim committee to study the working conditions at licensed brothels, but no meetings have occurred to date.

For Sergeant Smith and the detectives in his unit, some have kids the same age as many trafficked juveniles, so his team is motivated. Whether brothels remain legal or not, a big challenge moving forward is to prevent those who have been trafficked from returning.

Big picture as far as how to deal with the juveniles to get them the better resources, resources they need to get their independence back and kind of get them back on track so they can enjoy their childhood because no child should bethis isnt how they should remember their childhood years.

For Benjamin Bull and NCOSE, working to fight trafficking isnt a moral crusade but a human rights campaign. Another lawsuit challenging Nevadas system of legal brothels will be filed in 2021. This is the beginning of the beginning, said Bull.

We want to be a spokesman for the victims who dont have a voice. Those women who run away from a bad foster situation when they are 12 or 13, have nowhere to live. Theyre caught up in sex trafficking. Theyre controlled. Theyre used. Theyre commoditized. They have videos made of them that are uploaded to Pornhub that last forever, and they come out of it later. And most of them, frankly, have a very early death and theyre forgotten. Lets look at that and prevent it from happening.

Brian Bahouth is the editor of the Sierra Nevada Ally and a career public media journalist. Support his work.

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Through endurance, we conquer: Why Im going to miss an in-person CES this year – Digital Trends01.05.21

On more than one occasion as I have relaxed in my seat aboard an aircraft sat on the tarmac in McCarron Airport, Las Vegas, at the end of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of those unusual factoids we all have in our brains entered into my mind. The great explorer Sir Ernest Shackletons family motto was, Fortitudine Vincimus which means by, or through, endurance, we conquer.

From my second visit onward, I have treated the annual CES technology trade show as an endurance event, because the first time I went I had no idea what I was in for. There is nothing quite like CES, and until youve attended, its very difficult to understand what its really like. As we prepare for an online-only CES 2021, let me give you my insiders view of why, despite the toll the in-person event takes on your mind and body, Im really going to miss it this year.

Everything I talk about here will be about my own personal CES experience, but just because its like this for me, does not mean its how CES is for anyone else. Everyone does CES differently, which is often down to the reason theyre at the show in the first place, and how dedicated they are to enjoying everything Vegas has to offer outside the show. Apart from the exhaustion, that is. Everyone feels that.

My average CES day goes something like this. The time I wake up and prepare to leave the hotel is dictated by the time of my first appointment, which is usually around 9 a.m. Meetings, events, and product launches are the lifeblood of CES, as its where you see and try everything thats new and meet company representatives. Theyre spread over the city, and distance between locations is important to consider when organizing your diary. An hour to get from one location to another is not unusual, and thats when you know where youre going.

However, no one knows exactly where theyre going in Las Vegas, because every place you visit is designed to keep you spending money inside the shops or casinos, rather than finding one suite out of thousands in gigantic hotels. Navigation is just another of CESs challenges, and a reason why at least 20,000 steps are regularly achieved on the busiest days. Between appointments and events, you inevitably stumble across other interesting new things if youre in the convention center, adding to your list of things to write about. Writing these stories is done at any time, and anywhere. All journalists whove attended CES will have at some point written stories up while sat on a hallway floor.

Food is rarely a priority during the day, but most battle-hardened CES attendees will have a stash of energy bars and other snacks in their bag, which can be consumed on the way to the next appointment, or when finally seated at a press event. The arid Nevada air means when someone offers you water at CES, you take it regardless of your thirst, because dehydration is never far away. Neither are dry lips or sandpaper-like hands. After the show closes for the day there are usually parties or events to attend in the evening, friends to have food with, catch-up meetings with colleagues, and more work to be done before the night ends. Then you do it all again the next day.

Its a week of not having enough sleep, finding food when you can, staying hydrated, taking care of your skin, walking for miles, never being exactly sure youre going in the right direction, and working your socks off. Through endurance, CES attendees conquer.

Is it really possible to miss an event as punishing as CES? Yes, it really is. If you like tech and enjoy your tech-related job, the relentlessness of CES ends up not mattering because the people you meet are almost always great, and things you see, try, and write about are so exciting. Ive slept with a robot at CES, got a (temporary) tattoo, had my mind altered, found tech that helps blind people see, interacted with artificial humans, and tried all kinds of tech that was well ahead of its time, including in-display fingerprint sensors and smart glasses.

Without CES, its unlikely I would have tried all these products, and the virtual show this year will make it much harder for me to discover cutting-edge technology just like it. All the products I mentioned above really stood out because I could see, try, and fully understand them in person. It cant be helped this year, but Id be disappointed if the pandemic changed large scale events like CES forever for this reason.

CESs size and diversity means you never quite knew what youd find next. Even though the show runs for four days, I have never come close to exploring every hall or seeing every booth. The feeling of elation when you find a really cool new product, and had it explained by enthusiastic and knowledgeable people, is unmatched. I remember walking away from many meetings at CES meeting DnaNudge at CES 2020 springs to mind and being so hyped up I couldnt wait to write the story, or to tell my colleagues about it either. At CES, this can happen multiple times a day, every day. When you love your job like I do, to miss out on this is truly saddening.

CES, as I hope Ive made clear, is far from a carefree vacation in Vegas. But when you visit a place every year for (in my case) six years in a row, there will be more personal things you grow attached to, and Ill miss doing them this year. For example, every year I and some friends have a tradition of eating at Shake Shack at least once, and preferably drinking tea together at some point on the last night too. CES is an incredibly social event, and everyone bonds over the sheer insanity of it all.

Beyond the many friends and colleagues I see at CES, I will always make random connections too, in a way that can only happen at CES. In 2020 I shared a cab with someone I didnt know, who turned out to be on the cusp of starting a new job at the company I was actually on my way to see. Ive sat on the coaches that ferry people between hotels and been pitched products. Ive stood in taxi lines outside hotels and ended up exchanging contact details with the person behind me, becoming good friends afterward. Thats before bumping into people in the packed hallways who Ive not seen for a year, and making coffee appointments to meet people Ive only ever spoken to by email.

Then theres Vegas itself. I have a love-and-hate relationship with the city, always experiencing excitement and awe when I arrive, and then being glad to be on a plane leaving it a week or so after. But that initial rush of I cant quite believe this place exists is very addictive, and not having it right at the start of 2021 is sad. I also hate the thought of how the pandemic has affected Las Vegas and the many lovely people who work there that Ive met. Its always over-the-top, never quiet, frequently ridiculous, and often seedy, but Ive still never been anywhere like it.

Last year, if youd have asked me to write a love letter to CES, I dont think itd have come out anything like this. With the in-person show on pause, its much easier to look back at the things that make it not only special to me personally, but also how well it succeeds at bringing a giant, vibrant, and fast-moving industry together. If virtual CES 2021 captures any of this, itll have done its job well. However, Ill still be hopeful for a return to Vegas and a real CES next year, when no doubt Ill think about Shackleton, his motto, and his astonishing adventures again too.

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Through endurance, we conquer: Why Im going to miss an in-person CES this year - Digital Trends

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Disney Pixar’s Cars: 10 Tattoos That Will Rev Your Engine – Screen Rant12.23.20

Cars is a classic Pixar film that spawned sequels and spin-offs. Here are some stellar tattoos that showcase this Disney movie.

One favorite Disney film for car fanatics is none other than Cars, as fans became obsessed with a few of the characters like Lightning McQueen and Mater. It is wholesome content that the whole family enjoys, which is why so many have decided to obtain tattoos in memory of this movie. They feature a variety of characters and scenes that capture themovie's essence and remind fans why it was so exceptional in the first place.

RELATED:Cars 4: 10 Actors We'd Love To See Return

The tattoos that have been created feature a variety of designs and styles of artwork, so there is something for everyone to appreciate. A permanent piece of ink is not for everyone, but no one can argue against the fact that these are anything but amazing.

Guido might not have been a racecar, but he was quite useful as a forklift in Luigi's shop. This fan wanted to show their appreciation by adding a tattoo of this character on their arm, and his golden background was well deserved.Avant-Garde Ink created this piece and the way they utilized the person's skin tone for his eyes was a genius move.

This fan loves monster trucks and Lightning McQueen, so they decided to have this version of him inked on their body. He looks ready to rumble based on the expression on his face and the dirt being kicked up around him. Nick Baxter understood the importance of this version of McQueen and knew that it was part of the reason why it was one of Pixar's best movies from the 2000s.

Julio de la Torre is the mastermind behind this tattoo that features Mater and Las Vegas, Nevada. It might not have been the setting of the film, but this person wanted to combine one of their favorite places with an amazing character created by Pixar. The scarce use of red draws the eye and even works to push Mater to the forefront of the piece.

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Disney Pixar's Cars: 10 Tattoos That Will Rev Your Engine - Screen Rant

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