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For some it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend

As of last week, Boulder City’s 99 Cents Only store closed its doors for good.

It was announced in April that the discount store would be closing all 371 locations. While in bigger towns and cities, word of the closures may not have been felt by many. But here, it’s another story.

Granted, as time went on, finding anything with a 99-cent price was like a game of Where’s Waldo. Still, its closure will have an impact on BC residents.

Not only did we lose a discount store, we also lost a pseudo-grocery store. While living in Sedona, Ariz., I’d often swing in and pick stuff up on my way back home, because there wasn’t one where I lived. In the year since moving back, I became adept at keeping track of items I knew I’d want to get there as opposed to any other shopping option, such as greeting cards, cleaning products and often, fruits and vegetables.

When we announced the closure in the Review and asked for the public’s input, the responses came fast and furious. Many, who are on a fixed income, said this will reduce their options and cut further into their household food budget. Many others gave their ideas of what they’d like to see in that building, the most common of which being some sort of grocery or discount store.

Many have questioned why a second grocery store has yet to move into Boulder City, specifically into the old Vons location. Sadly, that shopping area could become an eyesore with two of the town’s largest commercial spaces now empty.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about the number of prominent vacant commercial spaces in town, with Vons being one of them. I talked with Chamber CEO Jill Rowland Lagan and current acting City Manager Michael Mays.

“We’d love to have another grocery store in the community,” Mays said. “We’ve heard from residents who have said that it’s a need.”

Both noted that mid-sized retail companies need certain traffic counts and population base before they will consider a community and right now those numbers are not high enough in Boulder City.

Rowland Lagan said with the opening of I-11 those traffic figures have decreased dramatically and that before it opened, Smith’s had shown some interest in building a grocery store at a different location in town. She also said she’s been told many times that retrofitting the Vons building would be cost-prohibitive and because of that, grocery stores would rather build from scratch.

I know what you’re thinking, how is it that three grocery stores survived in Boulder City not all that long ago in Vons, Albertsons (before the two merged) and Central Market? A valid question, but as Rowland Lagan and Mays pointed out, the numbers are just not there because of traffic and let’s face it, Boulder’s fairly stagnant population growth now and presumably in the years to come. And as May pointed out, they get lots of inquiries from residents but the city can’t force a chain to move here.

For now, as shoppers we’ll have to do our due diligence when it comes to sales and coupons, make the occasional trip to Henderson or Las Vegas and keep our fingers crossed that a second option will want to someday call Boulder City home.

Not on my turf

In early April, the City Council heard a presentation by Lage Design about staff’s recommended option to remove 35% of the turf at the Boulder City Municipal Golf Course.

I-11 is NOT the Autobahn

When the I-11 highway opened almost six years ago, it alleviated much of the heavy traffic congestion through Boulder City. But this beautiful expanse of open road brought with it a sense that “opening up” and putting the pedal to the metal is OK. It’s not.

New law shapes golf course design

I like golf. While I was in college, I decided to take a class in golf – you could call it a “golf course” course. I figured it would be a great way to relax, enjoy nature, and (maybe) boost my grade point average at the same time! For a semester, I learned the basics: how to drive, chip, putt. It was enjoyable. Many of my classmates that semester had been golfing for years. They were better than me, but I was determined to get a good grade out of the class.

The art of communication in consciousness

For Memorial Day I am exploring human consciousness with you. Many misunderstandings have been fought over the lack of a mutual perspective among the parties involved. What better gift is there than one that assists in the art of communication? My work in formulating the discipline of Aquarian Theosophy has led me to the following understanding of humanities’ reality; consciousness is the basis of understanding.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)