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Scooby Doo, Rory and Pat
by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  April 14, 2007 - reprinted with permission

   Each year a little older and a little poorer and so who cares? Well you and I do but what about society as a whole? Iím not so sure the younger segment wouldnít be happy to see you and I get out of their way and life Ė except for our immediate family members we hope. So what interests me the day before my 86th, well believe it or not but Iím reading my new issue of Scuba Diving magazine which I have been getting for half my life time. Why so long? Well because Iím a licensed Scuba Diver and, believe it or not again, I took the test in Nevada when we moved here some 25 years ago. If you have never snorkeled or scuba dived you have missed seeing the most beautiful part of our planet Ė if you pick the right places of course. One day many years ago, when our two sons were 7 and 12, something caught our eye in the Sunday paper that got us thinking about scuba diving. The next thing I know the three of us are looking for used diving equipment in the paper. We found it at a great price with all the stuff Ė which means air pressure tanks, masks, fins and in Minnesota rubber diving suits. We also did some research as well so we went to Jackís diving shop where he gave us lessons over the counter while he filled our tanks up with air to 2,500 pounds of pressure. Anyway all these years later my two adult sons, a daughter in law plus three grandsons have also been licensed to dive giving us a great reason to get out of Minnesota, Germany and even Nevada in the winter and head for the Caribbean. So far we have been around Minnesota, to Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Turks & Caicos. Other places I have dived a re Belize, Fiji, The Aegean Sea, Puerto Rico, Cabo San Lucas, The Sea of Cortez at Loreto, Hawaii, the Florida Keys and a couple of places off the coast of Japan I did my very best to not do any scuba diving in and you know why. When you find great ocean sea life and coral reefs it really is breath taking to see. It is also fun to snorkel with a mask, snorkel and fins to start with but the real fun of is when you have on the pressure tanks and can go down to a hundred feet or so. What is really exciting is when you are down that deep and look up. That is a long way up with a few tons of water on top of you. Actually it takes almost no effort at all to move around in the salt water if you have everything in proper balance. We have been diving with literally hundreds of Barracudas in a large school and what was funny was one time we were down there watching fishermen getting nothing while all the time we saw fish all over the place. I have dived when I saw a sea bass that must have weighted 600 pounds and which had a mouth large enough to actually swallow me. We have seen shark, sting ray and at one time we could spear lobster by the wash tub full. I used to swim behind our Caymanian who found them and did the spearing. I helped with the eating. Back to the beauty of the inside of the ocean where there is real beauty every place you look and then what is so sad is when we dived Grand Cayman after a hurricane hit our area some twenty years ago and now all you see is dead coral and almost no ocean life left to be seen anyplace. This by the way was the hide away for Black Beard the Pirate back during the sailing days. In my other life I think I would have joined him, oh what fun. What a way to take your family of 10 for a Christmas break and all be together. Back to more mundane things like what is going on in the local scene these days.

   Chairman of the Clark County Commission tells the legislature he doesnít need their meddling in how to manage the University of Nevada Medical Center. I find that a bit of a stretch when we tax payers are bailing out the medical center for a hefty $60,000,000 all because the commissioners and the one most closely responsible is their incompetent county manager. My question is where was she when reports were not making it to the county commission meetings and to blame on the commissioners side surely is the one longest on the commission who has been through these problems before, Bruce Woodbury. There is a board of commissioners and councilmen also who should have known something is wrong when month after month goes by without a financial report from the big money loser, the UMC is always in trouble because of the freeloading come late lies who work in minimum wage jobs with little or no health care insurance so they just go to UMC and know they are going to be taken care of so really why should they even care about having health insurance. They act like the money grow on trees because most of them never heard of anything called a tax payer and they most likely came from some place where there is no health care so of course also no cost for such. What the legislature is proposing in SB533 I must say sounds like something with two tails on it and no head so it doesnít seem to know where it is going either. The bill proposes a 35 member blue ribbon panel to straighten the mess out. With that size panel nothing is going to be settled. When I was on the water emergency panel of 17 it was so bad they thought one of the most important ways to save water was having a waiter ask you if you wanted water served with your meal. Please we do not need anything like that to solve the UMC problem. It might be better to just imploded it because it has been in trouble for years now and no one seems to know how to straighten the mess out. Maybe the way to start is when these people come in who are ill and work but have no health care provided by there employer why not just send the bill to their employer and if they donít pay the bill just add it to their taxes. Then if they donít pay you have recourse by taking their property. The employer that is and wouldnít that go over like a lead balloon? When we had a competent county manager I donít remember those things coming up as surprises. However we did have a problem with their trauma center building but there again was an incompetent hospital administrator who was a friend of one of the commissioners and when yours truly blew the whistle that mess was straightened out by the county buying that concrete block building for a terrible price but better than the other way they were going to do it by a build lease back which I hear is rearing its ugly head some place else now on a new government building.

   For those of you who do not know Patís past history he served at one time as the manager of Clark County answering to the Clark County Commission and did the best job by comparison to any of the other managers in the last 25 years. So letís give him a big welcome as President of Nevada Power and wish him well for the challenges he and Sierra Pacific face keeping power coming on line to satisfy this crazy growth we have.