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Short takes touch vets, sports, cash

A short holiday week seems a good time for some short takes:

1) Memorial Day is a good time to acknowledge the community outpouring of support for veterans. Many major employers – and seemingly all casino/resorts – are reaching out with special job fairs for vets. The nonprofit community has embraced Veterans Village. U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy added a wounded warrior to his staff last week.

It’s contagious and it’s the right thing to do for those fighting for this nation’s interests. We’ve come a long way from the Vietnam era when returning soldiers were spat at.

Still, jobless veterans are an issue. And the recurring issues of suicide, mental illness and homelessness are clear evidence that the problems need attention at another, higher level.

2) The rush to embrace the Raiders has been breathtaking. And the momentum seems to be building. A chance to land an NFL franchise is indeed a once in a generation opportunity.

But you’ve got to feel for Bill Foley, who is watching in NHL-imposed silence. Anybody heard mention of the Foley’s expansion hockey team recently? Talk about losing momentum.

One pro team for Las Vegas is brilliant. Two teams, playing seasons that overlap by a dozen weeks, seems risky. They could easily split the entertainment dollar so badly both could fail, making Las Vegas radioactive for pro sports for another generation.

Does the race belong to the first mover or the team with the bigger TV deal?

And would the specter of pro hockey with zero tax dollars change the discussion on the amount of private capital needed to land the Raiders?

3) Somewhere at the intersection of a volatile stock market and this week’s listing of local public companies there’s a lesson or two, plus more than a few questions.

Running a casino once was a license to print money. Not so here or in Macau.

Organic growth is nice but acquisitions build revenue at warp speed. Timing is everything and it will likely take a few years to sort out winners and losers.

Even investing in utilities carries risks.

New names replace old on our list as mergers and de-listings take a toll.

So where can the ‘sharp’ money go?

Apparently not to the golf course with Billy Walters, indicted for insider trading.

Maybe those special CD rates make sense. Now if I could just convince myself a return of 1.5 percent makes sense.

I’ll have to keep shopping.

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