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Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

When the guys in the Vegas print shop have no clue how to spell the name of the Washington state Island where you supposedly shoot your show…

One night only!

OK, it’s actually an hour-and-a-half in the morning, but cut the guy some slack, he’s busy.

Steve Schorr, who has lived and worked for decades in Las Vegas, is coming to Whidbey Island (well, Oak Harbor at least) this Saturday, July 13, and will appear in the conference room at the Best Western Hotel from 10-11:30.

That joint, catering to people who want to at least step foot on Whidbey, without having to make the trip out to where Wright’s Crossing is proposed to be built, or, heaven forbid, turn south and see 92% of the Island, is at 33175 State Route 20.

Close enough you can grab a bite at Frank’s Place, far enough away from Coupeville so an out-of-towner can avoid our cooties.

So, why is Mr. Schorr’s cameo in Oak Town important?

Because he’s the public face of Whidbey Buzz, an internet show which surfaced this spring, currently broadcasts twice a week, and positions itself as a local news show, while declining to publicly acknowledge it’s shot in front of a digital screen in Vegas.

Schorr is also Chief Strategy Officer of LV.net, Founder and President of Consulting Nevada, President and CEO of Vegas Life TV and hosts Under the Vegas Sun weekly at Liberace’s Mansion.

He’s Vegas through and through, down to recently noting on his personal Facebook page, “Wow. Another earthquake. This one was bigger than the past. My pool water is sloshing over the edges. Stuff falling off shelves. WOW.”

But now, in the middle of an extremely-busy Vegas schedule, he’s carved out a few minutes a week to talk on the internet about an Island 1,500+ miles from said pool.

Well, I mean, at least some of the stories are about Whidbey Island.

Not really sure of the point of Wednesday’s piece about Restaurants Unlimited filing for Chapter 11 while complaining about the minimum wage … since the closest of their 35 eating establishments are in Seattle — at least 60 miles (and a ferry trip) from our Island.

Probably looks shorter on a map perused pool-side.

But, other than that, Whidbey Buzz is right there in the thick of it, sorta, even if stories about Stanwood and Camano outnumber stories about the part of the Island which starts where Oak Harbor ends.

Why? Well now we can ask him in person.

Cause, if you check out the Buzz website, its two Facebook pages (unless you get banned for asking questions), or its Instagram, you find a troubling lack of transparency for a broadcast which wants us to take it seriously.

This (reproduced exactly as originally posted) is as deep as they get:

We Know here at The Whidbey Buzz, that many people are asking questions about who were are. As a non-profit News Operation we Pride ourselves in providing reliable, nonpartisan , deeply rooted thoughtful journalism. At our core is the truth and facts of stories. We look only to support the community, and as a non-profit newsroom we rely on donations and sponsorships to support our work. We don’t sell advertising but rather hope the community seeks to support what we are doing. We just thought you would like to know.

And that’s where the sting is – if they want our support, our donations, you think they would be willing to talk about themselves, and why, in their belief, Whidbey Buzz matters.

Except, they have done the exact opposite.

When asked questions on Facebook, Schorr runs the gamut from offering similarly vague, cliche-riddled non-answers to the slightly more-satisfying “It’s none of your business!” when asked about who finances the show.

Rigel Studios in Vegas, run by Rick Manning, who is listed on the Buzz Facebook page as a Team Member, won’t answer any questions, either, citing an NDA with Schorr.

But, since Manning routinely shares Whidbey Buzz links on his personal Facebook page, and since the opening credits to the show have been lifted straight from Newsline America, an earlier Schorr show proudly produced and advertised by Rigel Studios … this ain’t rocket science.

There will be some who say, “Give them their privacy.”

You’re more trusting than I am.

I had a grandfather who was fond of saying, “If it looks like a scam, and sounds like a scam, and feels like a scam … get the tar and feathers, boy!!”

He was not the most agreeable of men, maybe. But he also wasn’t a rube.

But, those of you who didn’t get to experience Elmer Svien up close and personal may say, “Give them time. They’ll eventually stop dodging questions, and banning the questioners.”

Just trust the Vegas boys. Nothing shady has ever come out of Sin City.

Don’t ask them why they won’t acknowledge the show is created and shot in Vegas, even as Schorr opens broadcasts with “news from around the world, the nation, and right here at home at Whidbey Island.”

Don’t ask why everyone else affiliated with the show (if there’s anyone else) won’t put their name on the product.

You know, the way reporters and editors at the Whidbey News-Times, South Whidbey Record, Whidbey Weekly, Coupeville Sports, Everett Herald, Skagit Valley Herald and every other semi-reputable news organization does.

Or even some less-than-reputable outlets.

Heck, even IslandPolitics.org, the badly-written (scribbled in crayon?) blog which was the bane of civilized society on Whidbey until it imploded, openly identified its four contributors.

Cliff Howard, Bill Strowbridge, Ken Wolf, and the Big Dog himself, the ever camera-shy Bill Burnett, vented bile (or hot ‘n spicy truth, depending on your personal beliefs), but never hid who they were.

Guess, in the end, I did respect them more than I thought.

Now, maybe Mr. Schorr walks into that conference room Saturday, and in between some Danish and a cup of Joe, he suddenly lays it all on the line, like Sinatra wailin’ on My Way.

Right before he hops back on a big jet plane and scoots back to poolside livin’ in Vegas, he finally pulls back the curtain on the who, what, when, where, and, most importantly, why of Whidbey Buzz.

You want us to believe in something which makes little sense.

You want us to accept, without questioning, that a man in his late 60’s, a man entrenched in Nevada, is making this odd pivot, paying for the production out of his own pocket, just because he may have a friend or two up in this neck of the woods.

You want us to believe you are “digging deep for stories,” when, as a 30-year vet of journalism, I can tell you 99% of your stories exist on the level of regurgitated press releases and stories from other sources.

Don’t post the same footage of jets flying at OLF that hundreds of other outlets have and pretend you’re the first to discover we have a Navy base on this Island.

Don’t immediately rush to hold hands with anti-homeless, anti-low income housing Facebook pages like Whidbey Island Community United, SAFE Whidbey, and Whidbey Island Looks Like Shit, and then pretend ignorance when you subtly start dropping in “stories” which mirror their beliefs.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my grandfather’s suspicious nature has warped my own.

Maybe you’re just doing this out of the goodness of your heart, and there’s no paycheck at the end when Whidbey Buzz, like Newsline America, quietly slips off the internet.

So, you want to meet and greet? Great. I’ll be naive for a moment, even though Elmer Svien would call me a moron for expecting any kind of reveal.

But he was a cantankerous old coot.

Based on the last three months, I’d say it’s a long shot Saturday provides any answers.

Doesn’t mean I won’t be there in that conference room.

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Makana Stone (left) and Kailey Kellner (Amy King photo)

  Makana Stone (left) and Kailey Kellner, on the road and livin’ the hoops star life in Vegas. (Amy King photo)

Lindsey Roberts motors up-court during her 8th grade season. (John Fisken photos)

   Lindsey Roberts motors up-court during her 8th grade season. (John Fisken photos)

Do not trifle with Sarah Wright (33) when she has her hands on a rebound. It will not end well for you.

   Do not trifle with Sarah Wright (33) when she has her hands on a rebound. It will not end well for you.

Wherever there is a hoop, there will be a Wolf.

It may be the off-season, but Coupeville High School’s basketball players are busy criss-crossing the state (and the country) in pursuit of sharpening their hoops skills.

Fresh off a team camp, four Wolf girls paired off and hit the hard court for more action.

Freshmen Lindsey Roberts and Sarah Wright went to a camp at Western Washington University, while senior Makana Stone and junior Kailey Kellner are busy with a select squad based out of Everett.

For the fab frosh, who hope to make an immediate splash with the defending 1A Olympic League champion CHS girls’ basketball squad, the camp was a big push in the right direction.

“They worked on individual skills, along with playing many games,” said CHS coach David King. “It’s always great to see players get the extra time at camps during the off-season.

“Having freshman dedicated and wanting to put in the work to get better is great,” he added. “Hopefully we can build on that and if it works out next summer have more players attend as well.”

It was Roberts second trip to the camp, while the ever-busy Wright carved out some time to make her camp debut.

Stone, last year’s Olympic League MVP, and Kellner, who revived memories of Larry Bird with her long-range sniping, have been bouncing all across the USA with their seven-player select team.

After hitting a tourney in Oregon, they went on to Chicago for another, and are currently in Las Vegas.

King and wife/assistant coach/photographer Amy are on vacation in Vegas, which gave them a chance to watch their star players in action as they pulled away in the second half for a win Friday.

“Getting that exposure with playing against teams and players that are just as talented and athletic is outstanding,” King said. “It would be great for more players to jump on the select teams in the future to get more basketball during the off-season.”

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Oscar Liquidano (right) with younger brother Uriel during last year's soccer season. (John Fisken photo)

Oscar Liquidano (right) with younger brother Uriel during last year’s soccer season. (John Fisken photos)

Liquidano holds down the paint.

Liquidano holds down the paint.

Big O is on his way back home.

Shortly after he was named a captain for this year’s Coupeville High School football team, Oscar Liquidano’s family left town in the spring and moved to Las Vegas.

That left the Wolves one captain down, as Liquidano, the team’s biggest lineman, was supposed to share honors this year with fellow seniors Carson Risner, Aaron Wright and Josh Bayne.

Now, things have taken a huge swing for the positive, as word hits that Liquidano is returning to Coupeville for his senior year.

Getting back a big, veteran two-way lineman who will work alongside Risner, Wright, Matt Shank and others, is a huge boost for the Wolf football team.

“I can’t like this enough!!!” wrote jubilant CHS quarterback Joel Walstad when the news hit Facebook.

Liquidano, who also plays basketball and soccer, is expected to reach town by Saturday. He’ll be a couple of practices behind, but has time to catch up before the start of the season.

While nothing is set in stone, the young man at the center of things was cautiously thrilled Thursday night.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” Liquidano said. “I have faith in God that it will happen.”

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Oscar Liquidano (bottom right) with other CHS football captains. (Sylvia Arnold photo)

  Oscar Liquidano (bottom right, black hoodie) with other CHS football captains. (Sylvia Arnold photo)

Even if he moves to Las Vegas with his family, the legend will live on in Coupeville.

Even if he moves to Las Vegas with his family, his legend will live on in Coupeville.

Aaaaaa-goooooo-nyyyyyyyy.

It’s not 100% certain yet, but there’s a very real possibility the Wolves will lose one of their football captains before he can suit up for his senior season.

Junior lineman Oscar Liquidano, who also plays basketball and soccer for Coupeville High School, may be pilfered away from the red and black if a family move to Las Vegas happens shortly.

“Well, it’s not a sure thing … but only God knows what will happen,” Liquidano said.

The easy-going man mountain was supposed to join Josh Bayne, Carson Risner and Aaron Wright to lead the Wolves into a new league next season. Coupeville is hopping out of the 1A/2A Cascade Conference and joining the 1A Olympic League.

CHS football coach Tony Maggio was last seen huddled in a corner, tears running down his face. Or, at least that’s how I imagine it…

“Devastating. I love that kid,” Maggio said.

If the move happens, it will actually take two football players away from Coupeville, as younger brother Uriel was a standout defensive player for the JV this year as a freshman.

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