We heard more than a few predictions of a great eastern migration during the budget meltdown last summer.  Nevada even ran some radio ads inviting California businesses to consider moving.

I’ll concede that I’ve pondered whether another state may be more hospitable, and the freshly paved highway felt awfully smooth when I crossed the state line on Interstate 15 the other day.  The first thing I passed (even before the cluster of stateline casinos) was a sign for the Nevada welcome center.  Affixed to it was a smaller sign, which said: CLOSED.

Apparently things aren’t perfect in the Silver State, either.

A survey of 100 of the state’s top high school students at a forum sponsored by the Las Vegas Sun found that only 11 plan to stay in Nevada.

In Las Vegas, a downtown redevelopment plan is caught up in squabbles between the city and the Culinary Union, the big labor power in Nevada.  The big hotels on the strip, meanwhile, were worried about rising vacancy rates and then they got word that Dubai World, the money behind the newest mega-project, was in trouble.

Geoff Schumacher, a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, even drew on a column by George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times about dysfunctional Sacramento and California’s prospects for long-running deficits, concluding that Skelton “may as well be talking about the Silver State, not the Golden State.”

As for water, my wife commented that Lake Meade looked pretty low.  She was right.  We saw a news report that said the lake has fallen 120 feet over the past decade and, if there’s another dry winter, a year from now it will be at its lowest level since 1937, when the reservoir was being filled for the first time.

But the highways were great …

— Jim Sweeney