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Weeding out a potential issue at Raiders stadium site

By Norm Clarke  (VSiN Columnist) 

April 26, 2017 11:59 PM
The view of the prospective Raiders-UNLV stadium from Polaris Avenue, facing Mandalay Bay.
© Norm Clarke

There may be a whiff of controversy wafting around the stadium site favored by the Oakland Raiders and UNLV.

Marijuana exhaust from four state-licensed cultivation and production facilities covering an estimated 100,000 square feet is being detected across the street from what would be the north end of the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium.

The aroma from thousands of maturing marijuana plants is mainly concentrated at the intersection of Polaris Ave. and W. Hacienda.

That’s a lot of skunky, funky.

“I’ve been past there a dozen times and you smell it when you get within a block of it. My passengers start asking me if I’ve got something in the trunk,” said Las Vegas cab driver Andrew Gnatovich.

He spilled the beans April 11 on his popular Twitter account, @LVCabChronicles when he tweeted: “Regarding the proposed Russell & Polaris #VegasRaiders site, there is a grow facility over there now and that entire block reeks like weed.”

I hired Gnatovich to give me a tour of the area in his cab. After driving back and forth in the grow area, I barely picked up the pungent scent.

When I called one of the cultivation facilities, a co-owner confirmed the existence of the grow warehouses in the area and explained why the smell is barely detectable during the day.

“Most people know to exhaust at night,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“Hello ‘Monday Night Football!’” cracked Gnatovich, when I passed along the information.

ESPN cuts include Tuley

A Las Vegas sports gambling writer was among the sweeping layoffs at ESPN on Wednesday.

Dave Tuley, who operates the website and wrote for ESPN Chalk, tweeted his departure in the form of a poem borrowed from the popular baseball ballad “Casey at the Bat.”

It read: “Somewhere sports bettors cheer and somewhere dirty cops get payoffs but there’s no joy in View—I’m among the ESPN layoffs.”

There were reports the number of on-air personalities and writers being let go could exceed 100.

Among those who tweeted they were dismissed: senior baseball writer Jayson Stark, longtime NFL reporter Ed Werder, former NFL quarterbacks Trent Dilfer and Danny Kanell, former baseball general manager Jim Bowden and ex-NBA player Len Elmore.

Elton on the mend

Caesars Palace headliner Elton John is thanking his fans for “an avalanche of well wishes” after a health scare.

He’s recovering from what was described as “an unusual bacterial infection” that put him in intensive care in an England hospital. He was stricken while flying home from Santiago, Chile, a stop on his South American tour.

Caesars Palace announced that John was cancelling the remainder of his April and May concerts at The Colosseum.

Released from the hospital on Saturday, he tweeted, “Thanks to everyone for reaching out. I’m resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour.”

The show returns in October.

Hot links

How UNLV super recruit Brandon McCoy broke down his top five schools

United takes another hit: Giant bunny dies during flight

R.I.P. filmmaker Jonathan Demme. He tells an amazing story of how he started

On this day…

April 27, 1998: The Aladdin, whose checkered history included bankruptcies, mob connections, financial scandals, gambling license troubles, an owner’s death in a motorcycle crash – and Elvis Presley’s wedding – is imploded. The new Aladdin built on the site also goes bust and is how Planet Hollywood. 


Members of the rock band, Plain White T’s, at Topgolf (MGM Grand) on Tuesday, sharing sliders ad Silver Dollar S’mores…

Retired slugger Gary Sheffield and boxer Winky Wright, spotted at N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) over the weekend. They were playing in the Derek Jeter Invitational golf tournament at Shadow Creek.


The punch line

“Over the weekend, musician Kenny G was on a Delta flight and gave a brief performance. Passengers are describing the performance as ‘not brief enough.’” – Conan O’Brien.

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