Friday, April 27, 2007

Sam Angel...Leaving Las Vegas

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mine Disaster, Barton, Maryland

My roots run to a very small town on the Eastern edge of the Great Appalachian Coal Fields. These rich coal deposits once dominated the economy of the area. By the mid 1800's large scale mining operations dotted the hillsides. Many men left Ireland, Scotland and Germany at an early age and sailed to America with the prospect of steady work in the George's Creek coal mines. Many areas of the region are still known by the mines that once operated there. Big Vein Hill (referring to a 14' seam or vein of coal) being possibly the most descriptive.
Sometime around WWII deep mines started giving way to strip mining.
After 170 or so years of pulling coal from the land it's amazing to me that there is still huge amounts of coal still waiting to be mined. In my hometown of Barton, MD (pop. approx 400) there are still two mining companies pulling "black diamonds" from the earth. One of these is Tristar Mining, site of a terrible accident on Tuesday. The story has received national coverage.
From my parents back porch you can see, in the distance, the mining operation although you can't see the section that collapsed.
One report said that 6,000,000 pounds of earth--per HOUR--are being removed in an effort to reach the men. Officially it's still a rescue operation...........
Two men are Still Trapped beneath massive amounts of terra firma.
The daughter of one of the men is my sister's next-door-neighbor.
If you believe in miracles root for one in this case.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Mr. Wynn, THIS is your legacy.

Finally, enough dealers at Wynn Las Vegas have signed cards asking for union representation. The TWU has filed with the NLRB and has requested an election. While it only requires cards be signed by 30% of employees you can rest assured that way more than 50% have signed the cards. Otherwise the union wouldn't bother.

I'd sure like to have been at the dinner table tonight with any of the other casino moguls in town. Perhaps Steve's ears are BURNING. I'd really like to hear some of that conversation.

While it's not yet a "done deal" and an election is rarely simply a formality, perhaps the LV Gaming Union Genie has finally emerged from her bottle. All it took was a little rubbing by Mr. Wynn. After all these years who knew that was all it would take?

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