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Images: Meet the divers who swim with sharks at Las Vegas’ biggest fish tank


Steve Marcus

A scuba diver is shown in Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015|2 a.m.

Surrounded by a vibrant collection of marine life, more than 30 sharks glide through the skeletal hull of a faux shipwreck in Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium.

They’re the stars of the attraction, drawing a constant stream of visitors who see them from behind the glass of the fish tank’s 1.3 million-gallon tank.

Swimming With Sharks
Richard Kanthack suits up for a dive in Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.Introduce slideshow “

However for certified visitors, there’s a possibility to get even more detailed to the predators. The aquarium’s Dive with Sharks program offers licensed scuba divers a chance to immerse themselves in the tank for a directed tour.

Who leads those dives? And who keeps the sharks and other sea animals healthy and well-fed? Right here’s a beyond-the-glass intro to the fish tank’s personnel of scuba divers.

Richard Kanthack, 62, scuba diver

A native Californian, Kanthack has actually been in Las Vegas considering that 1992.

Previously employed as an upkeep engineer, he had been a diver for 10-plus years as a pastime until coming to Shark Reef just because” [diving] is what I enjoy to do.”

Kanthack lists annual “shark captures” as a few of his more memorable experiences. To offer sharks a yearly physical, divers utilize a tool that Kanthack compares with “a big Ziploc bag.”

“You sit there and kind of guide the shark into it, when they enter it you pull them up, zip it up, and take it over to the seclusion tank,” he stated.

There’s no risk of being consumed or assaulted by the sharks, as “sharks are opportunistic feeders,” he said.

“We’re not on their menu,” he stated.

Kanthack suches as the fish tank’s whitetip sharks since a diver can casually swim closely beside them. His least favorite animal remains a fish that, regardless of being less than a foot long, left him with a cut that required 10 stitches to close.

“I spooked him and he flipped his tail,” Kanthack stated.

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A shark swims in a 1.3 million gallon exhibit in Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.

Jack Jewell, 57, Shark Reef general curator and diver

A Texas transplant, Jewell worked in fish tanks in the Bay Location and has actually been at Shark Reef since it opened in 2000. Among his most enduring memories came when the destination introduced.

“We literally moved all of the animals from a [holding] developing to right here,” Jewell said, “so we’re catching sharks day after day, delivering them over here, then placing them on exhibition. That was a lot of days of continually hands-on shark experiences.”

Sounds terrifying, perhaps, however Jewell states it’s a mistaken belief that sharks consume people, due to the fact that humans are just not on a shark’s diet plan. That stated, the animals “need to constantly be treated with the [utmost] respect,” Jewell said.

“We do not have any situations where [the sharks] are straight threatening to us,” he stated. “However, we do have to directly engage them for yearly physicals, and those are definitely really extreme encounters.”

In his leisure time, Jewell dives and dives some more. If he weren’t working at Shark Reef, Jewell said he would either be “working at a facility of comparable caliber, or working as a dive safety officer in a big fish tank.”

Ryan Acenedo, 44, diver

The only native Las Vegan on the diving group, Acenedo has actually been in the valley on and off for 44 years and explains himself as “not a desk person.”

A background in security and landscaping led Acenedo to take pleasure in the physical labor and planning to do more things that piqued his interest, like scuba diving.

“I got accredited a while [ago], and I figured, well, I ‘d had enough of tasks that I hated doing so I believed I ‘d try doing something I suched as,” and said.

That thought led him to the Shark Reef. Acenedo’s the majority of memorable experience with a fish was getting “knocked in the head by a humphead wrasse– a big fish with a hump on its head– aiming to catch him to do a physical.” The fish broke out of a net and struck Acenedo in the head, providing him a large swelling and swelling on his forehead.

When he’s not working, Acenedo dives, hikes, and checks out the desert. Aside from needing to place on cold wetsuits, cleaning feces, leftover food and other gunk from the skimmer screens in the tanks is the grossest part of his job.

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Jack Jewell, general curator, gets ready for a maintenance dive in Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.

The best part is experiencing the rich variety of sea life in the fish tank.

“Very few people can state they do this for a living,” Acenedo said. “The animals we dive with in this display screen, you’ll never get an opportunity to do that in the wild since they don’t cohabit in the wild. It’s a quite cool thing.”

Acenedo stated he didn’t have a preferred or least preferred shark.

“I look at it like this: If I haven’t dived with that kind of animal, I wish to dive with it and see what it does. I just take pleasure in entering the water with them and discovering what I can learn.”

Grayson Caldwell, 25, scuba diver

Caldwell has actually been diving considering that he was in high school in his home state of North Carolina and has actually just remained in Las Vegas for a year and a half. Abhoring his property office task and motivated by his moms and dads, both previous amateur scuba divers, Caldwell pursued his dive master training in Honduras. After a short stint as a bar porter on the Strip, Caldwell found Shark Reef.

He stated he hadn’t experienced any especially memorable or terrifying moments in the tank, but that “from time to time, they get truly close [to you] You’re not really in any danger, but when they do get close, there’s a little adrenaline rush.”

One part of the job he holds dear is “seeing the excitement on the kids in the tunnel,” he stated. “The animals are fantastic, however they’re a very, very close second to seeing kids light up, waving at us. That makes it rewarding entering into work.”

Ernesto Dieguez, 25, scuba diver

Another native Californian, Dieguez raiseded in Las Vegas and is a beginner to Shark Reef.

“Everytime I get in there it’s always new, there’s always something enjoyable,” he said. “Dangerous? No. I think the worst bite I’ve ever gotten was from a sergeant significant fish, which is a small fish [a couple inches huge] It was simply a nibble.”

Dieguez explains them as drastically different from their fearsome credibility.

“Sharks are like another person’s actually big pet,” he stated. “They can be fun to be around, but you still need to respect them.”

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Diver posture before an upkeep dive in Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. From left, Ryan Acevedo, Grayson Caldwell, Richard Kanthack and Jack Jewell, basic curator of Shark Reef.

Superstar VIPs guarantee KMA Power of Love Gala firsts for biggest, finest to date


Ethan Miller/ Getty Images

Honoree Gloria Estefan, Keep Memory Alive founder Larry Ruvo and honoree Emilio Estefan Jr. speak onstage during the 18th yearly Keep Memory Alive “Power of Love Gala” benefit for the Cleveland Hair clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health honoring the Estefans on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015|2 a.m.

2014 ‘Power of Love’ Gala
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2014 ‘Power of Love’ Arrivals and Gala
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It is among the most incredible and star-studded charity events of the Las Vegas calendar, and this year’s 19th Annual Power of Love Gala has outdone itself as the best yet with some extraordinary firsts.

Far more than a celebration, it’s a party of life that was created to raise cash for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s programs and services. It’s the very first time that star chefs Giada De Laurentiis and Wolfgang Puck have teamed up for a splendid feast of fascinating wines and innovative cuisine.

It’s the very first time that vocalist Andrea Bocelli will be honored and entertain visitors with a full orchestral show led by “The Beatles’ Love” at Mirage director Greg Phillinganes.

Greg was the key-board artist and director for the 2013 Power of Love Gala with honorees Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine Here’s a YouTube video of their 80th birthday party and Stevie Wonder’s performance of “Delighted Birthday” with Whoopi Goldberg

It’s the first time that Celine Dion will sing once more in Las Vegas after she momentarily relinquished her residency at Caesars Palace to look after her partner and previous manager, Rene Angelil, during his battle with throat cancer.

It’s the first time given that their effective psychological concert in New york city’s Central Park in September 2011 that they will duet during the gala. Here’s a YouTube video of that huge night.

It’s the very first time that music stars Suzanne Somers, our Westgate Las Vegas headliner, and Robin Thicke, a Las Vegas regular, will certainly go to the glittering red carpeting. Various other celebrities will attend the gala Saturday, June 13, at MGM Grand Garden Arena, including Quincy, past honoree Gloria Estefan, nation queen Martina McBride and jazz king George Benson, all whom also will certainly perform; Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; Kris Kristofferson; Siegfried & & Roy; Steve Schirripa; and Clint Holmes.

“I am actually excited to carry out at this year’s Power of Love Gala honoring Andrea and Veronica Bocelli,” said Robin. “Keep Memory Alive’s work in raising awareness for brain health is so crucial, and I’m happy to help support them.”

It likewise is the very first time that the luxurious auction that raises valuable funds for research programs at the hair clinic will certainly include packages from Andrea and Virgin Atlantic chief Sir Richard Branson. Andrea and KMA founder Larry Ruvo have actually donated an extraordinary trip to the singer’s house in Italy.

“Shark Tank” star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has actually contributed his personal 767 jet to fly the winning bidder and a visitor along with seat mates Reba McEntire, The Band Perry, David Foster and others to Pisa, Florence, Rome and Andrea’s estate in Strength dei Marmi for an exclusive show.

Sir Richard is contributing a week’s stay at his private paradise, the 74-acre Necker Island luxury secluded in the British Virgin Islands. He invested $10 million and three years to turn it into among the world’s most special resorts with a 10-bedroom, Balinese-styled villa, two personal beaches, personal chefs and personnel of 100.

It costs $65,000 a day to rent the location for your very own holiday. Necker Island has played host to everyone from the late Princess Diana to Oscar-winning starlet Kate Winslet and cover girl Kate Moss to the late South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela.

Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine.

Stevie Wonder and Whoopi Goldberg.

Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli

Other celebs are contributing auction plans: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff are offering personal tennis lessons and a match; MGM Grand headliner David Copperfield is inviting 4 people to his Bahamas retreat at Musha Kay; celeb chef Michael Mina is taking a group of 8 on a fishing expedition; designer Frank Gehry will build a custom-designed playhouse; and Victoria’s Secret lingerie models are donating 2 front-row seats for their next fashion program.

Caesars headliner Mariah Carey will certainly invite 2 people backstage for a meet-and-greet after seeing her Caesars program; Carlos Santana and Nickelback have actually contributed autographed guitars from their collections; Zappos chief Tony Hsieh is hosting a lunch in downtown; VIP TELEVISION manufacturer Norman Lear will host a Beverly Hills luncheon; and the cast of “American Idol” will certainly invite 2 visitors to this final season’s finale. Furthermore, Cirque du Soleil will certainly let two individuals pick among “The Beatles’ Love,” “Mystere” and “Zarkana” to appear onstage as made-up cast.

Larry commented: “Take a look at the miracle that has actually been created. We’ll see 25,000 patient gos to this year. We’ve expanded beyond Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s, Numerous Sclerosis, Huntington’s, Numerous System Atrophy and other terrible brain-health illness.

“If it were not for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center, many of our fellow residents would have to take a trip far out of town for treatment and care. I can not say adequate about the high quality of physicians and researchers who have actually moved right here to lend their skills and understanding to the work of the hair clinic.

“I am convinced that the cure will certainly be discovered here. This time it’s a case of what happens in Vegas will certainly benefit the entire world. I am also so really proud of our caregiver program, which is one of the very best worldwide sharing with the families how essential the caregiver is. An unique thank you to the stars, chefs and wine and spirits providers and donors for making it all possible.

“Nineteen years ago when we had a memorial supper for my papa who passed away from Alzheimer’s, it was just 35 people with John Paul DeJoria. The following year at our first dinner at Spago with Wolfgang Puck launching Keep Memory Alive, we had 140 individuals. Now we’ve grown to well over 1,200 who support us. We ‘d like to have 1,500 in the arena for this year’s gala, so we still have some tickets to sell.

“It’s going to be one of our greatest programs. To have Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion vocal singing together for Keep Memory Alive will certainly be among the all-time highlights of Las Vegas home entertainment history– and all to benefit our brain center. It speaks volumes about what Las Vegas has actually attained.”

Even in Las Vegas, which has actually made around the world headings with its star-studded festivals and events, the yearly Power of Love Gala tops the lot with this yearly tradition of the greatest and finest trademark celeb occasion.

Tickets are available at KeepMemoryAlive.org for the 5:30 to 11 p.m. event at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Email [email protected] with questions.

A special Philanthropic Neighborhood Leader Award will be presented throughout the gala to attorney Peter Bernhard, previous chairman of the Nevada Video gaming Commission under four guvs.

Larry commented: “Peter has been my good friend and lawyer for over Three Decade. A Harvard graduate who matured in Las Vegas, he has a significant success story, and in my life I understand of nobody with more ethics.

“He has actually been with us from the beginning of Keep Memory Alive, seen us through our trials and tribulations. He’s acknowledged as an extraordinary guy who has actually assisted us in a lot of methods.”

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & & Famous” popularity has actually been a reporter for more than 50 years and has actually invested the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum play area.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/ Robin_Leach.

Follow Sun Home entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/ VDLXEditorDon.

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino

MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 spaces and suites.

MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Funny Club; and world-class home entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.

The resort provides signature dining establishments by star chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish Residence, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star dining establishment, Joël Robuchon.

As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has redesigned all spaces and suites in its primary tower and is including several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Dining establishment and Club, a new high end dining/nightlife concept (being available in April 2013).

MGM Grand likewise features a cutting edge, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Health club, Cristophe Salon, “CSI: The Experience” and an inviting swimming pool complex including the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.

Upscale lodgings consist of The Estate, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the elegant two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Trademark at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located nearby to the main resort.

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard S. Las Vegas, NV 89109

MGM Grand Garden Arena The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, champion boxing and premier sporting and special occasions. The Arena provides comfortable seating for as numerous as 16,800 people with exceptional views and modern acoustics, lighting and noise. The Grand Garden Box office is open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.
3799 Las Vegas Blvd South Las Vegas, NV 89109

Los Angeles is biggest U.S. city to prefer $15 minimum wage


AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Advocates praise throughout the minimum wage increase vote as the Los Angeles City Council votes to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020, making it the biggest city in the country to do so, in L.a Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015|5:45 p.m.

LOS ANGELES– The L.a City Council offered preliminary approval Tuesday to raising minimum pay in the nation’s second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020, a crucial step as wages in America have actually stagnated.

If enacted, L.a would sign up with Seattle and San Francisco as a few of the largest cities in the nation with phased-in base pay laws that eventually need annual pay of about $31,200.

“Today, assistance is on the way for the 1 million Angelenos who reside in poverty,” Mayor Eric Garcetti stated.

The council voted 14-1 after individuals made impassioned statements for and versus the plan that would considerably bump up the wage from the existing $9 an hour, which also is the minimum for California.

The vote sent out the step to the city attorney to prepare a wage regulation that will go to a council committee and, assuming it passes, to the complete council for a final vote and after that to Garcetti.

The vote follows months of argument and research study at a time when American workers have battled with flat earnings.

Average hourly earnings in the nation rose simply 3 cents in April to $24.87. Incomes have actually increased just 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, approximately the very same sluggish speed of the previous 6 years, according to Labor Department figures.

The 9 million jobs lost during the economic downturn have contributed in keeping wages down around the country as well as the recuperation has had restricted impact.

Yet pressure to raise the minimum wage has actually been constructing around the nation and in Los Angeles, which has some of the greatest real estate expenses in the country.

Councilman Paul Krekorian stated his mother raised a family while waiting tables for minimum wage.

“It would be a whole lot more challenging to raise a family now doing exactly what she did … due to the fact that minimum wage has not kept up with the expense of living, with the cost of real estate, with the expense of transport or any of the other expenses that we all have to bear,” Krekorian said.

Labor unions have been active in the city calling for boosts and in arranging low-paid workers such as hotel cleaners, fast-food clerks and chain-store employees.

Across the country occasions last month gotten in touch with McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and similar business to pay workers a minimum of $15 an hour. Lots of fast-food workers currently make near to the federal base pay of $7.25 an hour– about $15,000 a year for full-time work.

The L.a regulation would raise the minimum wage from $9 to $10.50 in July 2016, followed by yearly boosts up until 2020.

Nonprofits and companies with 25 or fewer workers would have an added year to reach the $15 plateau.

In many states, the push to raise regional minimum wages is opposed by state officials worried that such measures could create a confusing patchwork of pay rates.

The lone dissenting vote in L.a originated from Councilman Mitchell Englander, who stated he felt raising the minimum wage above that of other Southern California neighborhoods may lead businesses to cut working hours and tasks and make it impossible for entire industries to do company.

“The very last thing that we must be doing as a city is producing a competitive downside for our businesses with those in neighboring cities and sending the clear message that L.a is closed for business,” he said.

Minimum wages in San Francisco and Oakland recently jumped to $12.25 an hour. A voter-approved step will certainly raise the wage in San Francisco to $15 in 2018. In April, Seattle began phasing in its brand-new $15 base pay law which will take last result in 2017.