This Week’s Newsmoji—Poke Me, Please

An emoticon guide to Las Vegas’ top headlines

By Larry Braverman

This is the place. This must be the place.

Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Legacy

🎲 💸 🎰 With the death of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, modern Las Vegas loses another one of its founders. In this era of corporate control, it’s rare for a single person to preside over the development and evolution of the city’s resort corridor—Adelson is among the last of this rare breed. Let’s just zoom in for a quick second and recognize the man’s impact at the local level. For starters, his purchase of the Sands and investment in the convention industry helped shape the city’s economy in ways that are too numerous to list here. Second, Adelson was well known for taking care of his employees, and made headlines last year for his vow to keep paying staff through the shutdown and the current recovery. Unlike many properties on the Strip, The Venetian and Palazzo did not endure the layoffs that have contributed to Nevada’s painfully high unemployment rate. Third, even though he didn’t get a piece of the National Football League, Adelson is directly responsible for bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas. 

Poor, Poor Parler

❌ 🗯 📱 Speaking of politics, it’s been a rough week for Henderson-based Parler, the social networking service that’s become home to conservative loudmouths, MAGA loons, and anti-American secessionists plotting violence against our elected leaders. Parler has been searching for a new home ever since Amazon Web Services kicked it off its servers, but the company has bigger fish to fry. Not only are investigators looking at Parler’s role in the failed insurrection, with metadata showing exactly where Parler users were in and around the U.S. Capitol during the riot; but Parler’s “amateur coding” may have also left the personal information of its users vulnerable to the Crash Override’s of the world. Meanwhile, Parler CEO John Matze claims his life has been threatened in the wake of last week’s attack, although he didn’t provide any specifics. 

Knight Time, Finally

🏒 😀 🏆 There will be hockey at The Fortress. The shortened National Hockey League season begins with the Vegas Golden Knights heavily favored to win the Stanley Cup, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. First, let’s see how this team gels with new defenseman (and big time free agent acquisition) Alex Pietrangelo on the ice and Robin Lehner now firmly established as the team’s starting goalie. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the Knights during the brief offseason, OTS contributor Raymond Harrison has compiled an outstanding collection of VGK TikTok videos to hype you for Season 4. 


The greatest sport on earth #hockey #nhl #goldenknights

♬ original sound – Otto

Poke Me, Please

💉 😷 🏥 If you’ve been obsessing over the Southern Nevada Health District’s COVID-19 vaccination schedule, you’ll be happy to read that vaccinations for the general public could begin as early as next week in Las Vegas. That doesn’t mean we can all take off our masks and hit the dance floor at Hakkasan anytime soon, but it puts us one step closer to the “old normal” and could speed up Las Vegas’ recovery from the pandemic recession. The health district’s current “Prioritization Lanes” for the general population have seniors receiving the vaccine first, followed by Nevadans 16-64 with underlying health conditions, individuals with disabilities, the homeless, and then healthy adults aged 16-64. Nationwide, there’s been a push to speed things up, and the incoming Biden administration is adamant about distributing 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days. 

Ready to Rumble

🇲🇽 🌮 🍽 The faster we get vaccinated the faster we can get back to exploring new restaurants, and El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina will be at the top of the list. The restaurant from Executive Chef Aaron Bryan and Hooper Hospitality Concepts head Andy Hooper just debuted in Mountain’s Edge in southwest Las Vegas, and proudly boasts a menu of Mexican favorites PLUS more than 80 tequilas and mezcals. 

Let’s Meet at Her Place

🎨 🖌 🏫 Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re ready to mask up and check out a beautiful collaboration between artists and UNLV alums Krystal Ramirez and Kyla Hansen at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art. The exhibition, dubbed “This Is the Place, This Must Be the Place” will run from January 15 through April 2, and “centers on a visual exchange between an assemblage by Hansen and grids of typographical abstractions by Ramirez.” We’re not completely sure what that means, but we’re ready for it. 

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